Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::hook_event() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions_smarty.inc.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::get_event_plugins() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/plugin_api.inc.php on line 746


Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::hook_event() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions_smarty.inc.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::get_event_plugins() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/plugin_api.inc.php on line 746

My Little Fish


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 29. 2008

A-girl has been taking swimming lessons the past 3 weeks in a class taught by a colleague of mine, L, at the Y. She comes with me, helps me get ready for my classes and then has her class while I'm teaching my first of three and then after her class goes with a friend to change and into the childcare with the other three. Initially I hesitated placing her in the class as I didn't think she was quite ready to move up a level. L convinced me to put her in and said if she had any problems keeping up she would let me know and we would place her back a level. Just before her first class, while we were in Wpg at a hotel pool she all of a sudden started swimming about 5 feet on her own. I was no longer concerned about her doing alright in the class as she met the basic requirement for that class level. Not only is she doing alright, she is thriving in the class. Today, L interrupted me in my class to show me what my little girl was up to.....she was swimming face in the water, arms reaching alternately out of the water ( a basic front crawl/freestyle) about half the length of the pool. L said she had never seen such change in a day (from the start to finish of the class) and A-girl couldn't have been prouder! Don't think I have ever had any one of my kids swim at that level at that age. L is one of the best teachers I have had the privilege to work with and to learn from at the Y. I am so glad that A-girl is having the chance to be in her class now. Keep swimming girl! You are going to be chasing those older siblings down the pool lanes at the swim team practices in no time!

Shopping


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Sunday, September 28. 2008

As we ran some errands a couple of days ago, the kids had fun in the Halloween section of a local store. The older three had a great time trying on masks and LJ was OK with them as long as they stayed at least 5 feet away from him. He studied them and seemed to realize that it was his siblings underneath the masks. As they approached and got too close he would scream and cry and get very upset. The kids would try to calm him by moving closer and wanting to hug him, however they would forget they were still wearing the mask and the poor tyke would start the shake in fear and was practically launched from the cart in an attempt to get away. He much preferred our stop to a kids store we had not been to before but had purchased a gift certificate to there in a silent auction several months ago. The kids found all sorts of things they would have loved to take home but our gift certificate didn't go far in this wonderful (but expensive) store.

AJ


A-girl


L










Playing with the magnetic blocks we purchased with our gift certificate. L is sporting her witch's wig. L doesn't seem to mind this as much as he did the masks.

Soaking up the Sunshine


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Friday, September 26. 2008

Today was the kind of school day my kids like. We covered math, spelling, reading, history, writing, language, poetry and then decided to soak up some sun and do some drawing at a nearby park before we went to pick up S from the airport. We walked through the Rose Garden til they chose what they wanted to draw. They drew, we played and them we explored some more in the Peace Garden and the Bird Sanctuary. These are the types of school days I hope that the kids will remember. Learning and growing together and celebrating the joys of nature.























Prove what you do


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Thursday, September 25. 2008

Very good friends of ours were "flagged" by their school district and need to meet next week to show the administrator that they indeed do have a plan in place for the home school education of their 7 year old son despite not having a set curriculum to follow. There are state wide laws governing home schooling and you need to turn in basic forms, test your child yearly and for the most part choose how you document your learning process. School Districts vary in what they want to obtain from home school families. The particular city that our friends reside in (the suburb directly to our south) have a reputation for being very hard on homeschooling families. They expect you to be able to list a set curriculum that you have purchased and are following or be prepared to demonstrate exactly what you are teaching and how. To me, that doesn't sound all that invasive. It seems like you should be able to do that and be accountable for your child's education. Now, there are many home schoolers who do not believe this and feel that the school district has no right to tell them how they should educate their children. I don't want to debate it but rather this process that our friend is going through has me thinking how I would prove what I do in terms of my children's education. I should be able to do it but if I was audited and had one week to pull my information together, could I do it? We do not have a set curriculum that covers all subject areas. We have different curriculum for many different subjects. We use various books, resources, varied grade levels, community classes etc. I document some of it, but not all of it. I know my children are learning and growing. We have them tested and L has shown growth in all areas each year. (AJ has only been tested once). We have some structured, formal, workbook/curriculum type things and other areas grow from the interest of the children. I have been more aware in the past week of noting things, keeping track of our accomplishments and taking a more intense approach at writing things down but I'm human and life gets in the way. I could prove what I do....but could I do it without a lot of stress? I have been questioning my documentation process. What I had worked well with one child but I am needing to expand it. Portfolios and notebooks will become more and more important as the years progress as samplings of my children's work, learning and growth.

Prior to our friend J being "flagged" a couple of us were talking about having our children scrapbook/notebook/document our field trips and special events as part of our coop time together. Yesterday was the first day we met to do this and the timing was perfect especially for J who can now take it as part of her "proof". L wasn't able to go due to a previously scheduled event but the three boys met and had a great time documenting a couple of events. Now of course there was whining and complaining about having to write but for the most part they really enjoyed it. AJ has looked through his several times today and can't wait to share it with Dad when he arrives home. J's son enjoyed it so much yesterday he insisted they keep working today so he would be caught up and ready to put in all the new activities of next week. AJ asked if he and I could work on his today as well. We aren't gong to do this each week, but I know that when we do, the kids (and us moms) will have a great time documenting the special learning that takes place in our homeschooling format.

With these books, I will have a more definite representation of our learning but I will still need to make sure I have added documentation of our plan so that when/if I get notified to meet with school administrators and asked to share my curriculum, I can stand up with complete confidence and say "here it is" and they will see (even if it isn't' a completed packaged curriculum from one source) that it is a complete, through learning plan.

Winding Down another week


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Thursday, September 25. 2008

As Thursday slips into Friday morning, we are completing another week. This one has had its ups and downs, laughter and sadness, chaos and calm....pretty much a typical one for us.

What makes this one extra celebratory, is that LJ made it through the week at daycare. He had some special help the first day (he got to stay home with a special family member who was visiting) but he survived the other three Y childcare slots (two today!) with relative ease. Based on last week, I thought for sure the transition would take much longer. I am very grateful it didn't take him as long to settle in at the childcare, however the "fall out" has been at home. He is not taking naps, not going to bed easily and is needing a lot of attention. Parenting alone this week while S is traveling for work makes it hard to give him the extra attention he needs while tending to the needs of the others as well.

AJ continues to have a hard time this week for whatever reason. Tonight, after I worked at the second Y teaching today, we came home and I tried to make the evening extra special with treats and a family game. All was going well, til AJ rolled a particular number combination on the dice that meant he basically had to start back at the beginning and he completely lost it. My plans of a pleasant evening gathered together was quickly changed. LJ was screaming because he thought it was great fun to flip the wooden pieces down at random and throw the dice under the couch and was being held against his will in my lap and being distracted with non meaningful things, AJ was wailing because he thought L changed the rules just to make him lose (although I had done the same thing the roll before and was in the same spot), L was upset because AJ was mad at her and A-girl decided to get in on the action because she wasn't tired and didn't' want to go to bed. Clearly everyone had a spot they needed to be.....bed.

We have not adjusted fully to our fall schedule, to my work schedule, Daddy's work schedule of being away every other week or to our school routine. Its coming but we are not quite there yet. By the end of the week, the kids are physically and emotionally exhausted. We are to join a home school day special event at a historic site tomorrow. Large crowds, outdoor event with rain in the forecast, allergies hitting me and A-girl hard, tired kids....not sure how that one will turn out. We will likely choose to stay home and work on some of our school things that need completing and take a field trip later when we are more rested. Gotta love the flexibility home schooling provides.

Family Resemblance?


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Thursday, September 25. 2008

Many people comment (on a daily basis) how much LJ looks like his Dad.........I'm not seeing it here.



He looks more like a piglet! A very fun loving, lovable piglet to say the least!

Lack of Sleep


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Wednesday, September 24. 2008

For some reason this week, my kids are having a hard time going to bed/falling asleep and this lack of sleep is causing challenges for all of us. S is traveling again this week for work so I am on my own again in the parenting arena. Currently, I have my boys still awake. I had a class this evening and had a friend watching the kids. Three of four of them were wide awake when I returned at 9:30 (usually in bed between 8and 8:30). Last night the older two were still awake at 10:00. As a result of their failure to fall asleep earlier, I don't get time to finish up tasks I need to, have no "alone time", they get less sleep and therefore are less able to handle the challenges of the day and I am more tired due to the constant need to "be on" and guide them through/listen to them fall apart in over-tired emotional breakdowns when the challenges of life come their way. My sensitive, sweet, loving AJ seems to be having the hardest time. My phone rang in class and it was him wanting to say good-night (at the appropriate hour) and he has never done this before. He came running out to great me when I arrived home and then came outside a few minutes later when I was loading the stroller in the van. He is hovering and following me everywhere. He had a hard time with friends today and he seems to be stuck to me every since. He talks about not liking swimming because he can't dive and feels like one of the coaches is forcing him to dive and he is no good at it. He likes the rest of it so we talked about how to stop focusing on the diving and enjoy the rest. People keep telling me how things will get easier as the kids get older. I find that hard to believe as it seems to much more difficult. When they were really young they seem to only need the basics and are more than happy. I am finding now that I am much more challenged, exhausted physically and emotionally than I was in previous years (perhaps it is a cumulative effect over the past 9 years) but it seems harder now that they are getting out there more in the world, that their hearts are being broken by friends, that things don't flow well for them and I as a parent am left trying to help them navigate the ups and downs of friendship, sports, school and their family and community life. I wish there was a guide book, a resource with many of the answers but I know that we are in this journey together, chosen for each other to learn and grow along life's path so I seek knowledge, walk forward hand in hand with my family and (try to) enjoy each and every moment as the gift it truly is.

Football Photos


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Tuesday, September 23. 2008

This evening, AJ's football league had their photos taken. We were eating dinner, trying to get out the door etc and I gave him the once over, sent him to wash his face again as he had missed half the dinner smeared across it and I was giving the final inspection. I told him that he had done a great job washing up and that he looked wonderful. I told him that he the cutest boy on his team. Sounding very disgusted he told me "Mom! There is no cute in football!"

Haircuts


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 22. 2008

AJ got a great haircut yesterday and A-girl got her bangs trimmed.







Looking at LJ, I think I needed to have taken him in. What a mop.



Fall Swimming


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 22. 2008

This past weekend was very warm (almost 80 degrees) but it seemed to cool to me for the backyard pool. I was outvoted and the kids had a great time playing in the water. LJ has been nervous of this pool all summer, however Fall must be he season for wading pool adventures in the backyard because he had an absolute blast. L finally dragged him out of the water because "Mom I am sure his legs are frozen, they are so cold!" Didn't phase him. AJ and A-girl played for a bit but then moved on to something warmer. Not LJ and L. They played for quite some time. L invented levels and lessons that she would teach and test LJ through. It was great fun to watch.







What a guy!


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Monday, September 22. 2008



There is something about LJ that automatically draws people to him and makes them smile. We often find ourselves laughing at what he has done/is doing. This was no exception. Yesterday on the back deck he started standing on his head and then I peaked over at him and it became a laugh out loud, hysterical game to him. This moment captures his love of life for me and confirms to me that life with LJ is going to be a lot of fun and adventure!

Busy Day


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Saturday, September 20. 2008

As of mid-afternoon today, A-girl had gone to dance class, AJ had played his first official football game of the season and his lifetime (apparently the other team didn't receive the accurate schedule so didn't come at the right hour to play so it ended up more as a scrimmage but great fun anyway), then AJ went to soccer, the girls went to a local craft store for a special event where they made a t-shirt for their dolls and L hosted her book club meeting at our house. I am enjoying a much quieter late afternoon (aside from the girls arguing, LJ needing to be constant5ly held and AJ wanting h is lemon cut up). In some ways it is good to have the marathon activities out of the way as the rest of the weekend is very quiet.




AJ is #18.



All my sports photos are blurry....guess that goes to show the energy and speed of these kids and the lack of ability of my lower end camera to catch it! AJ is out in front with the red socks.


Love the look of concentration!




Lemon Adventures


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Saturday, September 20. 2008

Earlier this week, Aj convinced me to buy him a lemon at the grocery store. He loves to eat slices of lemon much as others would enjoy slices of an orange. To me, it seems quite bizarre but I decided I would buy the lemon for him anyway. The next day, he was bugging me to cut up his lemon as I was trying to do 6 other things to get us out the door to L's class. Every few minutes, he would come and ask me to cut up his lemon. I would tell him I needed to finish two things (one thing, this thing) and that I would be happy to cut it up for him. After I had completed my tasks, I turned to him and asked where his lemon was. He couldn't find it. Yes, he had managed to loose a lemon somewhere in the house. I had him look for it but then we had to leave. We came home and a few minutes later, the examiner arrived to test them. He says to her "can you smell lemon?" She told him that she couldn't and he went on to explain how he had lost his lemon and she smelled it she should let him know. Nice. Really nice. That was Wednesday and I have searched everywhere for that lemon. Today, as I was picking up a couple of coats and some stray laundry off the floor before L's book club meeting at our house, I looked down as I stood up with my arm full of things and noticed the lemon. The lemon is safely in the fridge and will not be on any house wide adventures lest it will end up in the garbage and AJ is not wanting that to happen. Sometimes I wonder if my house is just a reflection of the fun and craziness of any other house with kids or if by some off hand chance it is even more bizarre!

Words


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Saturday, September 20. 2008

AJ announced to me this morning "Mom! I know how Yahtzee got its name! From one of the war teams!" Now I have been tired lately, and really had to think this one out. War teams....opposite sides in the war....got it Nazi's. I said "I think you mean Nazi's" and went on to explain about the war and the Nazi's. He interrupted me part way through and said "I have never heard of them before Mom! I know it is the Yahtzee team. You need to look it up." Perhaps I have had the wrong history lessons. Life certainly would be different if the war was being faught against a 5 dice game!

Cutting Teeth


Strict Standards: strftime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions.inc.php on line 56
Friday, September 19. 2008

This would be an title entry you would expect for my youngest son, but in fact it is for AJ. After almost two years of no front teeth, his new teeth are starting to cut through. This is a time we have anticipated, not knowing if the teeth were too badly damaged. They appear to be fine so far. The right one is cutting through and the left is being stubborn having formed a blister of sorts as it cuts through the tough gum that hasn't held a tooth for such a long period of time. He is excited to have teeth again. I am sure he is looking forward to eating things he hasn't been able to for such a long time. I am excited for him, yet I find myself missing that vast openess and his toothless grin. Just in case you too will miss it, here are some recent photos just before those teeth cut through.





Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::hook_event() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/functions_smarty.inc.php on line 92

Strict Standards: Non-static method serendipity_plugin_api::get_event_plugins() should not be called statically in /homepages/31/d88100638/htdocs/serendipity91/serendipity/include/plugin_api.inc.php on line 746