Monday, October 24, 2005

Literacy Specialist speaks again !!!

I am sorry I haven't posted in a while I have been busy, busy.

I have been struggling to come up with a message for the ladies of our ward for this coming Homemaking meeting, (Nov.) You see I have the calling of Literacy Specialist in the ward. In our ward we don't so much struggle learning how to read but just getting people to read. TV etc you know how it is. It is just getting people to read better things. Choosing the "better thing" to read and study. My grand performance is scheduled for Nov. I am still putting together material.

We have been home from our wonderful California vacation. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. I still remember standing sideways eagerly anticipating being blasted by the incoming waves. I was trying to lessen the impact of a full frontal exposure. hahah I still was about swept off my feet. Wonderful time.

Bryan thinks that his mama is a screaming sissy for being frightened by the "Tower of Terror" at Disneyland. I sort of played it up though for his benefit. Man that was scary. Lest you all get the impression that I sleep my day away napping I have to add that I live with an insomniac. Dave never gets to bed before 1:00 am and I usually like to stay up and visit with him, hear his stories, look at the back of his thinning head as he blogs, throw socks at him, etc. Sooo needless to say that I likewise do not get to bed until after 1:00am and after. He can get up and on about his day with 5-6 hours. Not me. I have to catch up somehow. I get creative sometimes in how I do it. So that is my story and I am sticking to it..... The end for now

Monday, September 12, 2005

Whaz UP ??

I have been pretty busy lately and haven't been able to put up posts for more that a week. Sorry all. I have been working on my RS Literacy lesson due in November. Yeah it is that time of year. I did it last year but I only taught the women's class. This year I will be covering gospel literacy for children, youth, and adult.

So of course I am focused. I just started a new blog about Gospel Studies called Know Your Religion. I found an old Sunday School Student Manual that is just terrific in covering the simple basics. It is a little more along the line of Gospel Principles but I think a little deeper. I really enjoyed re-reading it and truly felt the spirit of encouragement and new light added to my understanding already.

I thought that my family and friends might like to read it also but with it being so ancient and out of print I am left to transcribe it. Dave helped me set up a Gospel Study Blog to do this. It is good to be going over it again as I type it into the computer.

I don't know if you and your wards have been struggling to teach the pure gospel of Jesus Christ minus the Church Activity culture. We have had quite a few "strong" youth that came from strong, serving families, in our ward that has graduate right out of Young Men's and Women's without an independant personal testimony. The good peer pressure can only support them for so long. Truly the Church doesn't have the power that the family has in helping our kids.

I have been troubled about what I can do to make sure my two children know and feel a testimony for themselves. So what am I doing? Family scripture study, Family prayer, memorizing one scripture weekly, family service projects. Now I need to get them to do better with their personal prayers and scripture readings. That should be enough to overload me.

So you see my drive to explore supportive ways and opportunities to teach MY children. Homeschool will help I know because I have already seen how much stronger of mind my son is in his Sunday classes. He doesn't care if the others are playing the,"wow we're bored game, look how cool I am?" He will respond to the teacher and the material. WoW....

Anyway that is what has been going through my mind lately. Let me know where it's going to fall flat. hahah Love ya... Dawnie

Sunday, August 28, 2005

If were going to DIE...

At least we willl die Together!

My sister and her family are up visiting us from Santa Clara, Utah. We love having them come and are so much fun. They have 4 boys with their ages ranging from 15 to 5 yrs old. They have been planning for a year to go up to Snowbird Ski Resort and play on all the summer activity stuff. (Zip line, rock climbing-13 stories high, bungee tramp, alpine slide, and tram). You know all that dangerous stuff.

Unfortunately I woke up again with a headache. (one of those company is in town kind of headaches,) not really, but my mom teases me about that. I didnt think it would go away with all the outside activities in the bright sunlight so I had to inform my pleading children that they would not be going with them. (I guess it turned out to be a good thing after all, because they still havent returned back and its 10:00pm).

By about 2:00pm, and after having slept the morning away, I was feeling much better. They had gone to the Copper Mine to let me have a quiet house and had just come back, (2:30) with all their gift shop treasures. They were planning on going four wheeling and wanted me to come. I relented as I was tired of being in the house.

Dave wanted to go up Butterfield Canyon and take some pictures. Of course we would have to do some side trails. He always lights up at that prospect. We werent really planning to be too long, (a main selling point) and so I thought we could bring the multi-bred dog. (Strider our wandering mutt)

They were already loaded up the snacks and pop, we collared the dog, I grabbed my sunglasses, got the Tylenol, threw the kids bikes in the back, and we were off giggling and wee hooing. It had been such a nice day and I love doing things with my family.

Dave only anticipated being gone 3-4 hours. I have had 2 big steaks marinating in Korean Barbeque, for the last 2 days. They absolutely had to be eaten today. Go get some Brocks corn to go along with it. Wow. Anyway

Butterfield Canyon road leads up to the top of a peak in the Oquirrh Mountains and then on over the other side into Toole, (Pronounced two-ella). We were having a great time teasing and being playful with each other. The kids kept reminding me Were tipping MOM, I cant see the road.! All my fear buttons.

I told them through gritted teeth that I really loved being with my family. Then I added seriously, in a very dramatical voice, If were going to die. We will die all TOGETHER. Ha ahe. Then Sami pipes in Were going to die, Mama? We all laughed and laughed. I once heard, truth is often spoken in jest.

As we ascended the mountain, there were pull outs where we could look out over the whole South Salt Lake Valley. Turn the other way and there was Utah Valley and Utah Lake. We were on the top of the world. It made me wonder if this is what Pres. Brigham Young saw in his vision. You could see to the tips of the Wasatch Mountains.

Sami, my worry wart in crime, was none to excited with all the necessary truck tipping, bouncing, and expansive views. Dave didnt make it any easier either as he had to find the bounciest section of the road to get his dirt road driving practice. I hadnt noticed but as we climbed higher she grew quieter and more resistive. The culmination was when we reached to top viewing area. We were on the literal top peak and she didnt like the height of it all.

This peak was directly above the HUGE Kennecott Copper Mine open pit. You could see the whole operation, all the pits, trucks, shovels, and dump areas. Dave and kids had gone up to the Mine earlier while I was down with the headache. He told me that they saw blasting this morning while they were there. He will be putting all the mine stuff on his blog, The Whole Note. Check out his pictures, they are amazing.

When we parked, I jumped right out as did the dog sitting in my lap. Sami was fussing about this being not good and she wasnt coming out. Dave had not parked to close to the edge, per mamas orders but that didnt lessen her fears. She ended up only coming out for about the last 5 minutes of our stay.

Anyway, I was talking to two guys that were also up there enjoying the view. They told us that they were copper mine workers at the open pit mine in Ely. Their mine was much smaller and directs their traffic differently. They have the dump trucks driving around on Left side of the inner mine roads because their roads were much narrower than Kennecott. This would allow their drivers to judge the distances between trucks better as they pass each other.

While I was distracted in my conversations, the dumb dog was out exploring the rim of the viewing area and peeing on anything of height. In his meandering he found a human dropping. Well, the gross part is that he put his shoulder and neck right down on the little present and rolled in it. He was a smeary mess!!!! OOOH,
I hate that.

Strider came trotting proudly back over to us to let us partake of his new cologne. Dave and I just looked at each other with our noses in rebellion, “Now what are we going to do? We dont have a livestock trough to give him a bath in.!!! This was about the time that Sami decided to come out of the truck to see what all the faces were about.

He has done this once before out at a cattle ranch area. It was an open range sort of set up over by Longhurst Springs out west of Randolph Utah. There were lots of noisey, stinky, cattle all around. He shows up slimed them. We just thought this attack of hot steaming green cow poop was because he was sniffing to close to the heals of a raised bovine tail. He was covered from the top of his head, down his right shoulder, neck, and leg. Luckily the spring fed a long row of cattle troughs to water the animals. He got a prolonged, icy bath in a mossy trough before he was allowed back in the truck, to warm up. We thought he was an innocent victim of some mean cows. Now we know differently.. Why do dogs do that??

Now what are we going to do? Dave tells me, “Leave him here?â€ï¿½ Ha ha, there he goes again trying to protect his new blue truck, that would have to transport the pooped pup home. Can you just see him madly going through mental gymnastics, trying to work out a solution before I popped out with one he is definitely not going to like? We decided that for now it was a good time for the kids to ride their bikes. With the bikes out of the back we could put the four legged, walking mess, back there.

This worked out for a couple of miles. The kids were having fun on their bikes but soon it became to hot under the camper shell to keep Strider in there. I announce that we are going to have to bring him into the cab to keep him cool. Dave is making all sorts of whining sound effects from his side of the truck as I leave the cab.

I though we could improvise some sort of hazard suit to put the dog and additives into. That way I could keep human and animal happy. I took a Mc Dees sack and poked a hole in the bottom. I got Striders head through it but there wasnt enough coverage. It worked fine in containing the stuff on his chest but not the stuff still showing under his neck.

Punky was standing at the back of the truck with his bike watching our struggles daintily dressing the dog. I was furiously thinking about what I could use for a neck cover and saw Punky's Tee shirt. I did the most horrible thing in Punkys eyes. I asked.. I told him to give me his tee shirt. OOOH, yuck mama. That is disgusting. Not MY shirt. NOW, young man.

He did surrender his shirt, under great duress. I opened the sleeve and poked the dogs head through. That will work. Perfect, a turtle neck." I looked over at Dave as he nods his approval. This might work after all but then again I am the one that hold the mutt.

I picked him up gingerly, feeling him slip a little in my hands. I was sure glad IT was under all those covers. Ohhh I hate that. I lifted him up on the bench seat and sat him on a blanket beside me. There he is sentenced to sit compliantly until he meets the garden hoses. Dave now is quickly rolling down all the windows and has turned on the A/C full blast to push out the foul smell. Do you remember watching your husband change a poopy diaper the first time? Well, get a pretty good picture all the facial gyrations and sound effects coming from the driver seat beside me. NOT GOOD, but it is funny. He wasnt really that bad but close.

Dashing down the hills, in a open Blue Ford truck, What fun we all had as we ride and sing, the poopy dog song tonight.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Isn’t it wonderful they do that?

Yeah Ra Go! Good Job! I can’t believe you did THAT! That’s Awesome!
Way BIG bravery badges for you!

This month has been mighty successful for the young ones of our family. I think Sami more than Punky has a true fear of heights but both these children just flew out of their comfort zone and, in one case, fell with wondrous grace. What a triumph. I love these successes and I am glad I didn’t have to see Punky’s.

Sami’s story first, seeing that she was the first to address her fear of heights. She is only 10 yrs old but for those 10 years she had had great difficulty with being up high. As she has grown older her tolerance for height has increased. I am sure that is a normal thing for most kids. It is most noticeable though, that her beginning tolerance for height was no higher than eye to eye.

The first time I lifted her up over my head as an infant, to coo up at her, she just scream and stiffen like a board. I felt so bad. She was really good at telling me what she couldn’t do.

This year has been a break through year for her. This spring she has discovered the delights of climbing trees. She loved sitting in the tree, swaying with the breezes. The weather was so nice, I even sat out there with her, just to listen to the birds. (The sun is better to carve by you know).

It helped that our little crabapple trees, (the one she climbs), is still pretty small. It is in the front yard where she can get lots of attention and encouragement too. Best of all she could work up to it slowly without her brother giving her too much advice. She sidled the kitchen stool beside the tree, then the ladder, one step at a time, until she had her little self seated on the lowest branch. (5 feet off the ground). All these little victories led up to the big challenge in August.

Every August the city of Kearns has a recreation festival featuring swimming-diving activities, ice skating, recreation sports, and for the grand finale they provide a wonderful fireworks show that night. They call it the “Fire, Water, Ice Festival”. We had been anticipating their fireworks show for the whole month of July because we didn’t go to any other shows this year. The Kearns show is only about 3 miles away and if we get close enough we can see them quite nicely.

Punky and his dad decided that they were going to watch them from the roof top again this year. They had their bag of popcorn and flashlights already for the event. Sami must have been thinking this over for a while. As the boys were getting the ladder set up, we kept encouraging Amy to go up too. (Mama was staying down on the ground where it is safe you see) I didn’t think she could make herself climb up “clear to the roof.” She really wanted to go with her dad so she set it in her mind to do it.
Punky climbed up first. He kept encouraging her from up above while Mama supported her on the steps from behind. She just marched straight up and swung her leg off the ladder and onto the roof.
SHE DID IT!!! WOW what an accomplishment. She got to watch the fireworks show up in the “Bravery Seats”!

Mar. 2004
Punky is our little daredevil. I have to keep a close eye on him to keep him safe. At 12 years old he doesn’t have the concept that disasters can happen to him so he tries all the interesting stuff he sees the older kids doing. I guess that is typical but a little worrisome. Once he has a bad experience and learns that is “not good” then he is firm in staying away from that, what ever it is. Case in point;

On our Moab trip last year we went four wheeling along a trail called Chicken Corners Overlook. This is really a nice ride until about the last 5 miles or so, and then evolves into the nightmare from H, E, double hockey sticks, if you are fearful. The road works its way out, along the very edge of a canyon. At least a million feet below us was the Green River. That is where the chicken part comes in.

You don’t look to the side of you, you don’t let go of the “sissy handle”, you don’t sit on the passenger side, you don’t lean on the door, and you better have brown pants on. It is way scary and I did plenty of complaining. I pert near let fly a few choice words to my dearly “Beloved” about what I thought of his driving. (He just giggle-grinned and said “Oh mama, you worry to much”.) Don’t ya just hate that!!!

Well, at the end of the 3 miles of pain, oh I mean trail, it pulls in toward the canyon wall. This is where you turn around but only if you back up. I absolutely hate this four wheel maneuver and was having none of it. The kids and I got out of the Jeep. Papa Bear could go over the edge, just giggling away, if he wanted but I was having none of it. We waited in a safe place for daddy to do the turnaround. Actually I was directing him on how far back to go. I always tell him where to ….. Not really.

When he got the Jeep straightened out, parked, and brakes locked, he came back over to where we were huddled. I had a firm grip on the back of Punky’s shirt collar while Sami was certainly not feeling any temptation to wander.

(I think this was the best trip husband has had in to long. It was fun to see him just glow with delight and pride.) Meanwhile after all the razing my family was giving me, I was going to show them and myself that I was indeed, brave and not a CHICKEN.

I told Papa Bear that was going out to the “point” and he was in charge of the kids. I bravely marched out along the footpath. Did I say I was feeling very brave? What a view. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I stood there (hugging the canyon wall) just taking in the view when Papa Bear called out for me to turn around. He wanted to take a picture of me out there. (my bravery badge moment).

Well, in my honey’s attempt to multitask with Punky around, in dealing with his camera, husband took his eyes off Punky. That break in concentration was all Punky needed. (Did I tell you Punky is 11?) This is not good. Punky had it in his mind to go out there where Mama was. NOT GOOD. “BAD Daddy, don’t ever do that again”.

When I saw Punky walking out to me and my heart jumped up into my throat. I hollered at him to STOP and he just hollered back “What did you say?” He kept on walking. I started walking toward him hoping to keep him away from the really narrow point where I had been. When he finally reached me, I grabbed him and pulled him back against the canyon wall. I told him how dangerous it was for me and now especially because he was out here with me.

He had no concept of the possibly that he could slip, slide over the edge, and die. I guess I didn’t either. It was really thoughtless of me to risked my own life for the sake of bravado let alone that of my son. Why would I do a thing that I wouldn’t want my son to do? BAD Mama, and I won’t do that again.
We carefully made our way back to safety. He softly said to me “Wow mom I didn’t worry about it until you told me.” I hope he learned some wisdom, I know I did.

Punky’s exploits in August are pretty impressive too. The youth of the ward have been trying to have a swimming party over to the Oquirrh Pool complex for about a month now. Each time the appointed day arrives, the weather turns bad and it is cancelled. Last Thursday they were finally “good to go”. The whole herd of young people, 12-18, turned up for the free swim and food.

The diving pool is pretty amazing. They have the springboards, (high and low) and they have the platform tower that has 5, 7, 10 meter levels. They call them the red, blue, and white levels because of the color of flags that are flying on each levels. Punky had always told me with a chuckle that he WAS going to go off one of those tower levels. My reply was always, “Not in this lifetime, bud” He would giggle at me knowing he had pushed one of my fear buttons.

Well, I told him Thursday before he left for this swim trip that he had better not go on the tower because he can’t swim to well yet, and falling that far he would go WAY under the water. “Hahaha,” he tells me. I foolishly think I have made an impression.

Well to make a long story short and not to steal his thunder, (He still needs to post his dialog and story of this achievement), he DID go off the 5 meter tower. (15 feet) I have Monica to thank for all her encouragement for him.

He came home so jazzed he couldn’t stand still. He was hopping around showing how he held his nose, then let go of his nose, and that the 5 meter is only a few feet above the regular high dive and so it didn’t take to much more bravery to do it. Then he names the kids that went off the highest level. “They do these really neat, stand with your back to the water, walk off’s. Like this mom.” (this is Not good for mama’s BP)

He tells us that it was because of his swim shorts that he didn’t die. You see he has these zip off leggings pants, with real pockets, that he was using for swimming shorts. He tells me that while he was falling off the 15 foot tower, his pockets inflated with air and kept him from sinking to the bottom of the pool. He was so proud. His face was like lightning and his smile split his face ear to ear.

I was proud of him and happy for his joy in learning about himself, but…. Why do they grow up, when you are not looking?


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Goat Roping a Bust

We have been studying ancient civilization for history. It has been fun learning about the Sumerians, Mesopotamians, and now Egyptians. One of the fun things about this curriculum is they encourage a lot of hands on activities to go along with the history and sciences. We have been making clay rope pots, mini obelisks, and marbles.

On my travels looking for a hard backed King James Bible, I drove by a tiny sign indicating that down the lane was a goat dairy and ranch. Being the good teacher, I thought ‘Perfect, those ancient people had to deal with goats everyday. Maybe we can get a tour and help out.”

I planned to take the kids that Friday, (we checked Sami out from school to go with us). I pretty much kept our field trip a secret but I was planning and scheming all night long. I was trying to remember all the things to take with us. (camera, wet ones, lets see - what else?) I am a dyed in the wool desert, city girl from Henderson Nevada yet, here I am about to do something very country, you know, - Utah like. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep.

When Friday came, we picked up Sami from school, and were off to the little dirt lane off Redwood road. We turned up the lane and drove to a corner street post sign that said, “Drake Family Goat Dairy and Farm.” We were at the right place. Just across the lane was another little graveled parking patch. There was a fenced pen area beside a small shack. The kids began yipping about the 7 goats, and 3 baby ones to boot.

We parked and got out. I looked around the area looking for someone to talk to. After about 5 minutes I decided to walk further down the lane to see if someone was among the other building in the back area. Sure enough I saw a small shadow of a man go around the opposite side of a large garage like building.

That wasn’t very friendly. I didn’t think he saw me so I softly walked over to this side of the building. I spotted him with two cell phones up to his face. He was busily talking while he fiddled with an air conditioner condenser like contraption. After a minute or two he got up, still talking and walked right past me. He didn’t even look at me. Man alive, am I invisible? That was creepy.

About this time another lady came up the lane and asked if there was anyone around. I told her of my close encounter with the busy man. She thought for a minute and started walking over to the door of the building, (which was propped open). She hesitated for a minute I guess trying to decide what to do. Seeing my opportunity to save the day, I said to her, as I wave her onward with me, “let’s go see”. She followed behind me and we walked right in.

I shouted, “Hello, Hello?” There was a small old man walking among some steel tubs. We ask him if we could get some help. He tells us in a thick Hispanic accent that the young man can. At this time the young man enters and is quickly doing other things. He is called over and learns of this other woman’s problem. He rushes off to get the key to the little self serve store hut. It was about the size of a little utility shed. I guess you can drive up, gather your dairy products, put your payment in a slotted steel box and drive away. That really is self serve. I’m just glad we don’t have to milk the silly creatures. I am not that farm integrated yet.

I decided a while back that I was not going to bother these two with a request for a tour. The kids meanwhile were busy feeding the baby goats anything that wasn’t moving. Weeds, straw, sticks, but what they found tasty was Punky’s denimed pant leg. He thought their little nibbles were funny until one bit down real hard and wouldn’t let go. He had visions of little Jurassic Park creatures snacking on HIM. I didn’t hear of this until we were on our way home. I wonder what his dreams were that night. Ha ha

Mama’s good intentions went bust on this excursion but that’s ok. I didn’t want to be touching of any part of a goat, thank you very much. Too much country is not good.

Altius Academy in Session

Home schooling is going well so far. It has been different for me this time. My past experience with HS and my confidence has been a definite plus. This time I have an established curriculum (Oak Meadow Curriculum) which outlines what I need to be doing from week to week. It is accredited also. We on using the program Dr. Goldstein recommended. I hope to teach the learning skills using his strengths.

Having the whole day to do all this is a real plus. When you think of all the non-learning time that occupies a traditional student’s day, it is a shame more of it couldn’t be used for real learning. Sami is continuing to go to the elementary school. She needs to work on her negotiating skills that the playground provides.

My husband installed a voice recognition word-processing program called Dragon Naturally Speaking which should help him get his compositions out in written word. We have begun a typing program called Mavis Beacon Types so that should help his computer skills. He does his piano practice during his school time and he likes that. We have a new piano teacher. I hope she works out. I have a handwriting program this year to help with his legibility and speed. The spelling program is sequential and grouped into word families, not the grammatical approach that is traditionally taught.

Punky has been doing well in his I.M. training. We and have been driving to Murray, (much to early), to the U Can Learn Center, there where he has been undergoing Interactive Metronome training daily for the last two weeks now. He has 4 more days left.

One of the main goals we hope that this will accomplish is to improve his upper and lower body integration. It’s like the internal timing that’s needed for a person to jump rope or swim. He couldn’t quite plan and predict when that rope was at his feet and struggled to do these activities. Not good to be entering teen years and be really uncoordinated. It is said to help with intellectual planning, and organizing. We are planning to do “Fast ForWord” also this year. I hope he can have a good foundation for later years.

I hope to remember his love and delight of discovery. He has always had that drive to explore. Now I need to somehow make the difficult things a challenge-puzzle for him to solve. Sounds like a tall order to me.

School Yard Fights for Grown Ups

Our educational journey with our children has been quite an experience. We dreamed of all routine schooling opportunities for our children. My husband is brilliant; college educated, and has his degree. I am stubborn, average, college educated, and have my degree. These traits would serve our children well. We had all the hopeful, anxious feelings of most young families. The elementary school was right across the street after all. We didn’t anticipate that we would be trying to educate our children ourselves at home.

Report card evaluations came and went and found the teacher and school officials already labeling my little son. ADHD was introduced to us. They couldn’t sit with him to show him on his level. They did have 22 other children to teach.

We started homeschooling “Punky”, after his kindergarten year. We found he loved to do math, anything with his hands, listening to stories, learn to read. He’s an inquisitive, busy boy who knew no fear. My little “Sami”, (daughter) of course was right in the middle of the lego’s and mud beside him. He is a great teacher to her and us.

By the beginning of his 3rd grade year at home we wondered about his impulsiveness when safety concerns began to surface. He would climb up a tree and then jump (7 ft) to the ground. There were many other situations he found himself in that had us worried. We took him to his pediatrician who did evaluations. After all was done he thought we could try Ritalin and see if it helped him. It did help him to slow his thinking a bit. He was able to read better, stay with his peers in activities, and sit still enough to do his paper work. He still struggled with writing. This year he was almost refusing to write stories, fill out worksheets.

We wondered if he might have some learning disability that we didn’t know about. My father and brothers have learning struggles so for me this was a real possibility. In the fall of his 3rd grade year I enrolled him in the school and then requested that he be tested to determine if he had a learning disability, and what it was.

This evaluation showed that he had struggles in written expression and math. His scores of all the testing, (Woodcock-Johnson - Revised),etc were 2 points under the districts threshold and so he didn’t qualify for any extra help. We then continued teaching at home for a year more.

In Jan. 2003 we paid for and independent educational evaluation, (WCJ-3). We did it this way because we felt the schools had a stake in grading the test high, so as to prevent extra monies being spent on my son. Can you tell I am becoming paranoid and pessimistic?

We presented the findings to the school for re-evaluation. Guess what, now he qualified. We worked out an IEP, and they supposedly made classroom adjustments for him.

That spring we paid for another educational evaluation to done by an ADHD expert, Dr. Sam Goldstein. He told us Punky has a very high IQ and that we shouldn’t settle for poor effort from the school with excuse that he can’t handle the content. We need to find ways he can maximize his learning opportunities in the classroom. He recommended a classroom teaching style that would work to his strengths. Wow, now we were really getting some keys to help him. I was excited. They told me the teacher he would be assigned to for his 5th grade year was a veteran and very patient person.

We scheduled a meeting to give the program to the teacher and explain it to them. They agreed. I thought all was going well until about Thanksgiving. Something (I can’t remember now) made me wonder about Punky’s classroom experience so I planned a visit in his class.

I sat in the back of the classroom for several days and watched their routine. Surprisingly the teacher had not made the necessary modification for him. She had not implemented the program that was agreed to at the beginning of the year, and there were other classroom needs I saw that needed addressing. I took notes and showed her how he might struggle in certain situations.

Well the long and short of it is that for the last 2 ½ years that we have been trying to work with the school district we have made no progress, time has passed by, and so has he. With these past experiences we have little trust in the schools to try to help him so that “No Child Gets Left Behind”. Oh did you know the state of UTAH has rejected this measure of the school accountability and vetoed Private School Tuition vouchers. Hummm, I makes me wonder. Sounds like a secret combination to me, I don’t think Utah wants me talking.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wigged out Frogs

Welcome to my world. I have my sweet husband to thank for this new development in my life. He has given to me of the "forbidden fruit," and I did partake. Kind of a switch don't you think but in the world of computers I think it is the rule. He is the greatest computer genius I know and he loves to play on it at work and at home. He only wanted me to have fun just like him. Afterall my two children are also independent bloggers. Ha I was the only rebellious one. I guess that is to be expected seeing that I was born in Nevada. I just hope that I don't embarrass myself. My only comfort is this cloak of anonymity or is it invisibility.
I am sure I will not be so diligent in my postings because I need my sleep! My little daughter has decided that it is her goal to exercise every morning before school, 6:00AM and so I need to come with her. I need the exercise too so I thought I would support her in this goal. Nothing makes you value sleep as when you feel that you are being deprived of it.
I have been going to bed earlier but still struggling a bit. My muscles are rebelling but my spirit is soaring and so I continue on. We are getting ready for Disneyland and Oceanside. She is such an inspiration at how determined she is when she has a plan. We have been having fun with our 30 minute walks, laughing, singing, yelling, in short waking up the neighborhood. We get the dogs barking, wake the sleepy cats sneeking out from under the vehicles in the drive ways. When we get home we just collapse and stare at each other for about a nanosecond before one of us busts out laughing. Oh what fun having a daughter to play with.

I had fun with the initial setup and was faithful in playing the game. One of the last things it asked was my response to their request that I tell a story about a bald frog and a wig. I thought for a little while and wrote a nice long story. When I went to complete the set up it rejected my story. Already. It tells me I must not go over 150 characters for this little section. I will tell you right now that I am never brief in my story telling and quite liberally stretch whatever truth is in it to make it fun. I therefore refuse to be rejected and so I am doing an end run in posting my whole story on this first note. I hope you enjoy my quirkiness.

Once upon a time there was a young teenage boy frog who thought he would always be young and free. He thought he could be as foolish as he wanted. Why worry for today, he had plenty of time to grow up. He would not bother worrying about consequences of his teenage actions. Not just yet.
In the pond where he lived and grew up, there was a well known law that allowed any young unmarried boy frogs to kiss any unmarried girl frogs, but first he would have to give her a hair from off his head in exchange for her kiss. If he went about kissing everyone right and left, then his foolish ways would soon make him bald and repulsive. This would be a bad thing for a young teenage boy frog who was looking for love.
This law was formed by the elders to help young frogs discipline themselves. The girls liked it because they could know by just looking who the foolishly boys were that didn't know what true love really was and who gave away his kisses undiscriminantly. Most teenage boy frogs thought this provision was not a problem because they had plenty of hair. They would make sure they saved their kisses for someone they truly loved and not just for practice or to show off.
There was one young teenaged boy frog who was not disciplined in his thinking or behaviors. Sadly he went around kissing all the girls that would let him. He thought he was the big frog in the pond just like the adults. Before he knew it he started noticing that he had very few hairs left on his head. He looked both looked funny and felt ashamed. You see for a teenage boy frog to be bald was not good. He thought and thought and decided that he could just get a wig, slap it on and life would be good. He went and got a real nice, pretty wig, and slapped it right on to top of his little bald head. He went out hopping along in just fine fashion until the wind and rain pulled that fancy wig right off. The girls on the lilies gasped and turned their heads. He went home ashamed and sad for his foolishness. Now he would have to face those consequences today. He found out that he couldn't eat his cake afterall. Cake is for those who wait. The End.