Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Thanksgiving

This year I hosted my first Thanksgiving. I've done Christmas for the past 5 years, and I have more parties than I can count where I have prepared the food, some of which I have even made Turkey's. This time it was different though, this was for Dave's family who I've never cooked for before. To add to that nervousness I have never cooked so many different dishes for 19 people before.

Wednesday when I got home from work I did as much prep work as I possible could as well as some last minute cleaning. I tired to get to bed early but i just could fall asleep, my mind would not stop running. I finally fell asleep around 1am and my alarm went off about 5am.

I reluctantly got up and started the Turkey. Once I got in the over I was too awake to go back to sleep so I got myself ready for the day. Sometime around 8 Dave got up and it wasn't until 9 for the kids. I think it was around 10 when I started peeling the potatoes that I finally relaxed and realized everything was going to be great. I must say it really was, I made the best Turkey yet, the potatoes, stuffing, and my Swiss cheese green bean casserole were a huge hit.

Besides preparing the food I was nervous about how the 9 kids were going to be. We set a table up in our basement for them in case there were any spills. We figured a concrete floor would be easy to clean up. We also had a TV and DVD player down there for them. They played down there all day with only one fight when Ian hit one of his cousins because she wouldn't stop kissing him.

Dave says that his family all had a great time and enjoyed the food so I would say Our First Thanksgiving was perfect. How was yours?

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Offical

Well this coming Monday my little girl will be a 2nd grader. The principal, Emma's current teacher, and the second grade teachers all agreed they think the best action is to move Emma to second grade.

Dave and I haven't met her new teacher yet but we are hoping to early in the week next week. She did send home the supply list and it looks like we will be doing some back to school shopping this weekend instead of Christmas shopping. I hope the office supplies will be on sale because we have allot to get. It's amazing how much more they need from first to second grade.

There will be allot of work to do in the next month or so but hopefully we can get Emma up to speed quickly and I wont feel as anxious about all of this. One great thing right now is seeing Emma excited about school again, I didn't realize how much I missed that in her.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Big Changes

A few weeks ago Dave and I had Emma's Parent Teacher Conference. The night before our meeting Emma's report card for the first nine weeks came home. Emma was acceding at ever level which was awesome, yet I was nervous for her conference.

Last year during Emma's first week of Kindergarten we set a rule with her. She has to tell us at least one thing new she has learned from that day. We don't care if it's a big or little thing just something. For the most part Emma was able to share something with us each day and she was always excited about telling us how her day was and what she learned.

This year has been completely different. I know as children get older they share less about there day with their parents but I'm pretty sure that shouldn't start at the age of 7. Most days when I ask Emma what she learned I get answers like "nothing" and "I don't know", or "we did the same things we did yesterday so I didn't learn anything new". Add to that a little girl who has been more moody and grumpy when first picked up from school and you get an uneasy feeling in your gut.

So going into Emma's Parent Teacher Conference I knew Emma wasn't being challenged enough at school and I was prepared to ask her teacher what she was going to do to improve that. Dave and I can't and shouldn't be the only ones to challenge Emma academically. I was surprised when Emma's teachers only topic to discuss was how to keep Emma interested.

It seems Emma is at the very top of her class in all levels and at the top when compared with the kids in the other First grade classes. Based on where Emma is she is showing at the same level as Second graders. This comment for me was like a dagger and I could have spit fire at that moment. If you remember we had Emma tested for early entrance to Kindergarten when she was four and we were told no because under state law she would have to test as gifted in all three areas (social, academic, and developmental). Emma tested as gifted in social and academics but was not able to dribble a basketball or tie shoes therefore she was not granted permission to start school two years ago. Now here we are being told that are daughter is at the same level as those kids and bored to tears in her own class.

After our conference the school had Emma take a series of Second grade standardized test. In the reading and writing Emma did exceptionally well, in math Emma did very good especially considering most of the concepts have not been taught at her level.

Last Thursday Dave and I met with Emma's teacher and the school principle to go over her test results and discuss our options. We are considering many currently but the one that stands out the most is to move her to Second grade. Dave and I have talked to Emma about the possibility of that and she wants to. She told us she wants to learn new things and make new friends. I shouldn't be surprised by this, yet I am. I'm not sure most kids would want to leave the Friends they have made and enter a new classroom where they don't know anyone, but Emma does and I am so glad she is so open to things like this. Even knowing Emma's feelings about this Dave and I are having a difficult time with this decision. We don't want to screw things up for Emma and this is so important. One minute I think leaving her where she is when she is so bored and already starting to hate school is the wrong thing and it would be best to move her up, not to hold her back. The next I think it will be to hard for Emma to play catch up and she wont make new friends so we should leave her and try and do more at home with her.

Of course we are still waiting to here from the school as to what they think is best and what is allowed to be done. We are expecting to here from the principle tomorrow, but no matter what there will have to be changes made in Emma's life.

Please wish us luck.