Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rules

So, I was thinking of rules we had when I was a kid. Things have changed a lot since then.

The other day, I was driving down the street and saw kids riding their bikes on the side walk near a busy street. I started thinking. We live near a busy street that has a few places that aren't so bad. I don't know if I'd let my kids go over to the gas station there right now. Corey is 11 and Amory is 7. When I was in 5th grade I was 10. We moved to Lincoln, NE. One of the busiest streets there is O street. We were NOT to cross O for anything. Did that stop us? Well, of course not!

So, I was thinking about rules. The ones that were broken and those that weren't. My dad had a thing called "Hollering Distance". If we were called to come home, we better be there in no time. I don't even use the word holler. Anyway, the other one we had that pertained to distance and being home was the rule to be home before the street lights came on. I remember they came on in a series. You could pedal as fast as they came on. It was a race to get from one end of the street to the other. Great times. I don't even think we ever got in trouble for not making it back on that. I'm sure we were late, but not too late.

So, anyway, I was thinking of my kids. They don't have these rules. It's kinda sad. They don't really GO anywhere. They sometimes go across the street. I kinda wish they could go run around, but I don't know where they'd go. I DON'T want them near the busy streets, but ultimately, I would have been there if I was a kid.

I don't know, I just think kids these days don't do nearly as much as we did.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Anyway, the kids

All the time you read blogs about kids: Parenting blogs, homeschooling blogs, and just blogs that have random mentions of kids. Heck, you may even see blogs written by kids. I'm actually thinking of having my two start blogging. "Why?" you may ask. Well, there are a few reasons.

Last week we had parent teacher conferences. Amory's was first. Last year, we did his second so he felt vindicated this year. I didn't really know it was a competition, but if your kids are in the same school, you might think about it. Last year, we had a good conference and he was doing at or just above grade level in some things, and below grade level in writing. Let's just glaze over all the behavior issues. (I always write that word behaviour because it looks better all Canadian, but my firefox says it's wrong. Just like theatre is wrong.) Anyway, back to this year. We go in there expecting some of the same. I volunteer most of my day on Monday at the school. I'm in the 1st grade from 8:00-10:00 or 10:30. So, it's interesting that this kid who didn't know his letters before kindergarten, is a top reader! He is reading chapter books and I guess I didn't realize that wasn't normal. His sister was at that level at this age, so it's normal to us I guess. He's at grade level in math. I'd like him to do better at that, but he just doesn't like to sit still long enough to deal with it. Oh, and his behaviour isn't an issue this year. I don't know if it's because he has such great experienced teachers, or if it's him being better. I think a bit of both, probably. His teachers ARE excellent though. Anyway, what the main concern with him is writing. We need to catch his writing up with his reading. Again, I think it's mostly he doesn't want to sit still for it. He never colored as a preschooler. We tried getting him things he liked: spiderman, cars, trucks. Nothing worked. So, ultimately, I think his motor skills are behind. However, he can play video games like a maniac, so that slightly skews that theory. So, back to the blog idea. I was thinking of having him just write a few sentences here and there to encourage the writing process. It won't be HAND writing, so he may go for it. It will help with comprehension and getting thoughts to "paper". We'll see.

Now, on to the girl. She is very bright. However, she won't take risks. She does the minimal amount of work to get what she needs done. I've noticed lately, that means her sentences are very short and boring in most things. So, that's my goal for her. I'm going to try to get her to expand her thoughts a bit. I have no doubt this kid could be way better at most things if she just tries. She used to always be top of the class in reading, writing, math, pretty much everything. Now, she's NEAR the top I'm sure, but everyone else is catching up. I'm not saying average is bad. I'm saying EFFORT is good!

So

Guess what. I still miss my dad even though Halloween is over. It might be because he also went crazy about Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing. I guess, the point is, if it's worth doing, do it right! He made homemade bbq sauce once too.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Dad - halloween god

So, Halloween just ended and it's my favorite time of year. Seriously. I go completely insane for Halloween. Sure, I love candy, but more, I love dressing up and all the frights. At work, I do the Haunted House for our Halloween carnival. I love everything about that. It is a lot of work to set up, but every year, they ask if I'll do it again. I always say yes. I will take pictures next year though. Someone asked me about that and I didn't even think of it!

So, over the years, I have gotten more and more obsessive, so have the kids. When Corey was 3 weeks old, I didn't bother dressing her up. We didn't go out, in fact, it seems weird to me when people take their infants out just for the candy. I have seen people do that and always wonder. Maybe they just can't buy their own candy. Anyway, when she was 1, she was a clown. That year, she had a store bought costume, but we did minimal make up. When she was 2, she was a lady bug. She picked her own thing, but the creativity hadn't come out yet. At age 3, she was a bunch of grapes. I don't have that picture on this computer, but it was cute. I got her some purple sweats and several shades of purple felt and made the top look like grapes clumped up. She also got a purple stocking cap that had felt leaves and a pipe cleaner stem. NOW the fun was beginning! Her best friend was a barbie cowgirl that year. So at age 4, I thought we'd make something even cooler, but we had a backslide. The barbie cowgirl was going to be a barbie cheerleader, so my awesome cool daughter, wanted to be a cheerleader too. I refuse to buy that crappy character costume stuff, so we just bought her a KU cheerleader dress that she could wear any time. The new born Amory was a Jack-o-lantern I made out of orange sweats, a orange hat, and black felt. FELT IS OUR FRIEND! He only went out because his sister and her friend were going out. Some people insisted on giving candy to a 2 week old, but whatever. Anyway, I'll have to find that picture on the other computer too. For now, I have just Corey.
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At 5 years old, my child realized she will NEVER be barbie ANYTHING for Halloween. As we were driving somewhere, we were discussing Halloween. I asked what she wanted to be. She said, "I want to be a stoplight". I am sure that was random as we were sitting at a stoplight. This is a kid who at age 3 named her cat Pick because I asked her if it was her pick when she chose it out of the box of free kittens. So, when I asked it's name, she was frustrated at me for not knowing it was PICK!
So, I decide, stoplight, HELL YEAH we can do that. We ran with it. So, my kid was strapped in a lightup box and it was the BEST costume EVER! Her brother was a bee. It was a hand me down and it fit. We are creative BUT cheap!
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So, the next year, was fun too. We had Corey decide she wanted to be an angel and her brother should be a devil! WAY cool.
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The next year, we were all vampires. I can't find that picture. Then the next year, Corey was a dead prom date. It was so hard to get her to wear bloody makeup! Amory was a grim reaper that year. He had his face painted AND wore a mask. After that, Corey was a dead bride. That was fun. We found a black and purple formal at a garage sale. We bought black roses to make a bouquet. I need to get my old computer up to get these all!

Last year was a Vampire RockStar and a dead guy.
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Then this year was a vampire school girl, a skeleton boy, and me the zombie punk.

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Now what does all this have to do with my dad? Well, I got this enthusiasm from him. When I was a kid, I remember him working on my makeup to the extent of perfectionism. He even did my hair. Sure it took forever to get my hair combed out that year, but I looked like the best vampire of all time! Also, he taught me a cool trick for cheapness. If you need a beard (5 o'clock shadow) burn a cork and rub it on your face. Anyway, imagine a biker guy doing MAKEUP. That's my dad. Now, let's think of the time he wanted to be a woman for Halloween. He shaved his face, chest, and legs! Then, another year, he wanted to be a clown. His thick long hair wouldn't fit in a bald cap. He ripped it. He then shaved his head bald! I think that was the first time he had short hair since the Navy! He went all out all the time.

Oh, and he's also the one who taught us to carve pumpkins. I'm slightly saddened by the fact we didn't carve pumpkins this year. The ones the kids bought though, were not good though. AND the fact I had strep made me run out of time. I only have one picture of my dad online. It has nothing to do with Halloween though.
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Anyway, most people say they miss their loved ones on holidays or on their birthday or even the anniversary of their death. Sure, sometimes I do think of my dad on those types of things, but the time I miss him most of course is Halloween!