Sunday, September 14, 2008

Urban Education

Yes, I am back from a summer of baseball, camping trips, conventions, vacations, catering and wedding cakes. I have so much to blog about that I don't even know where to start. To top it all off I can't pull any of our summer pictures off of my camera. I have spent lots of time and money on the phone with HP trying to tune up my year old computer. I hate Windows Vista but that is a book on its own.

Anyway, my baby started full day Kindergarten and I have been in a state of semi-depression. I can't believe I am done with baby days. I thought I would actually enjoy all the free time but it is just too quiet and way too full of projects that need to get done and can't be put off any longer now that kids and their schedules are no longer an excuse.

Anywhoo, back to the title of this post and what motivated me to get on the computer. I want to start off with the good.
(1)I think that our schools here have a lot of great resources and teachers coupled with great curriculum and high goals. Kindergartners come out reading and writing. Sam's final writing assessment last year was to draw a picture write 5 labels and then write a story with at least 5 sentences including capitalization, punctuation and spacing. Kids who have a good support system can really learn a lot.
(2)I am super excited about Sam's and Emily's teachers, Mrs. Kidwell and Mrs. Bell. A good friend had Mrs. Kidwell for 2 years and loved her. I am looking forward to working with her. Sam had Mrs Bell last year and she is seriously the best teacher I have ever been around and I have been in the classrooms of a lot of amazing teachers. I think that what sets her apart from the rest is her consistency, the way she respects the kids and does such an amazing job of communicating at their level but in a grown up way that teaches them how to communicate. Not to mention she is the most patient person I think I have ever met. If she is with the kids she does not stop to talk to other adults unless it is a quick answer or instruction and then she will say something like, "Sorry about that friends let's get back to our important work." The kids come first and she remembers to reward and give attention to positive behavior instead of addressing the negative all the time. I love her! This year there are 30 kids in her class compared to last year when there was 17 in Sam's. That makes me a little nervous.

Now to the part I am worried about. Emily is a precocious 5 year old who loves to share what she learns at school. She is a quick learner and picks up the words to poems, books and songs really quickly and remembers everything. Seriously, she can hear something once and repeat it back to you a month later. This afternoon I was reading a book and she came in and asked if I would like to hear what she learned at recess. She said, "Mom, I like it so much I can't stop thinking about it. I just watched the girls who were doing it. I didn't talk to them I just watched them so I could learn it." Then she had me hold my hands out, one palm up and one palm down so she could clap them while she sang:
"Down down baby - down down my roller coaster;
Sweeet, sweet baby - sweet, sweet my roller coaster;
Shimmy, shimmy cocoa wa - shimmy, shimmy five;
I like coffee, I like tea;
I like the color boy and he likes me.
Sit down white boy, its okay,
Me and him, we are going to run away.
Yesternight, the night before,
I met my boyfriend at the candy store.
He bought me ice cream. He bought me cake.
He sent me home with a bellyache.
Momma! Momma! I feel sick!
Call the doctors quick, quick, quick!
Dr. Dr. before I die - close my eyes and count to five.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
I'm alive, Channel 5!
See that house on top of that hill,
That's where me and my boyfriend go steal.
Scoop that ice cream and cut the cake
come on baby let's celebrate!

Whoo What!!! Both mine and Danny's reactions were the same. First, "How in the world does she remember all of that?" and second, "Do they really let little kids do that at recess?" My guess is that no one has really stopped to listen to the words. It seems like an innocent little song, like CeeCee oh Playmate from my days, if you don't stop to listen to what it really says.

I know that I live in a city but I guess I wasn't prepared for what sending them to school really means. It makes me realize quickly how important the lessons we are teaching them at home and church are. How much I love the words of the primary songs that will help them build their armor to survive spiritually in the world. In the mean time how do I tell my five year old this song she loves has bad things in it without having to explain what those bad things are, because she will ask? I am pretty sure she hasn't set back to think about what the words really say and I would be pointing them out to her. Do I just stick to the obvious like tea, coffee and stealing? I think one of the first things I am going to do is teach her CeeCee my playmate. Agghhh.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Thursday, September 11

Tagged by Hatsuho

I usually: am thinking about Everything I really need to get done and then doing other things that are not at all related to that list.
I search: for fun human interaction.
I wonder: what life would really be like if I actually ever catch up with ALL I need to get done.
I regret: not saying sorry to a couple of people in college when I thought it was a trivial matter that ended up being huge for them.
I love: my family and being with them.
I care: about how things look and making things beautiful.
I always: talk too much!
I worry: about my kids being strong in the gospel and making good choices. I worry about my curious 7 year old boy and how to answer the questions that he asks and doesn't ask about the bird and the bees.
I am not: motivated to catch up on all the projects I have to do in my house but really want them done.
I remember: everything and it drives me crazy to sit through meetings and come to a decision and then have it come up again later, no one but me remember what we had previously agreed on and then come to a different consensus. I like to be able to count on a decision.
I believe: that there would be world peace if mothers were in charge.
I dance: with my kids all over the house.
I sing: all the time especially when I am with my sisters! Every time I get in a car I want to burst into song. I sing really loud obnoxious opera with my kids.
I don't always: feel very confident anymore.
I argue: back. I usually let things go until someone is outwardly upset with me.
I write: not enough. It is not my favorite thing to do. I would rather create in pictures and visuals.
I win: at a lot of games I play, especially when it is not a game of chance but where you have control through choices. I think because I can be ditsy/distracted people don't always expect me to be conniving/smart.
I lose: lots of hair.
I wish: I remembered to be more of service to others. I always get so busy with fluff that I forget to look beyond the people that I run into on a regular basis.
I listen: to everything. I probably evesdrop too much. My friends in high school used to call me rabbit ears and would have me tune into distant conversations to find out things for them. I know it is bad but I have learned a lot of great things and ideas from people I admire. Like how to make a really moist chocolate cake.
I don't understand: how people can purposefully hurt each other physically, emotionally, financially.
I can usually be found: talking.
I am scared of: something happening to my kids or something happening to me so I wouldn't be able to share their lives with them.
I need: to get my body and house in shape.
I am happy: almost always.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Quote of the Day!

Sam finding a toy Emi had been looking for: "Finders keepers, loser SWEEPERS! Ha, ha you have to clean up."