Monday, November 21, 2016

Family Photo Shoot 2016

We staged our annual photo shoot in and around our new home/neighborhood a few weekends ago. One of our new neighbors, Pati, took the photos for us and we had a great time!



DC Visitors

Yesterday we got to play host to some old and dear friends from DC. I worked with Julie way back when I was in corporate design, fresh out of design school and newly minted in DC. We were both fledgling designers in the vast corporate world of DC design and have remained friends through many job changes and moves. She, her husband Paul and their 9 year old daughter Claire came over for the day. It was good to catch up and the girls loved having another girl to play with and entertain. After lunch we all headed out for a walk around the lake.

Kate found a buddy in her love for rocks. Paul looked over her collection and told her what each kind of rock was.

Claire and Lucy waited patiently for the hot chocolate and just-baked chocolate chip cookies...

Life is good with friends. I miss them already.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A lecture, a piano duet and pajamas

As is usual, things are staying busy in our little household. The day after the election I attended a very timely lecture by Rosalind Wiseman entitled, "Creating a Culture of Dignity."

If you aren't familiar with her, she wrote "Queen Bees and Wannabes" which was the basis for the 2004 film "Mean Girls". I had read this book years ago in my bookclub and have also read most of "The Whole Brain Child" which she listed as a resource above. For those of you with boys, she has also written, "Masterminds and Wingmen". Given the current climate of bullying, it was a great opportunity to discuss ways to combat that and create a more appropriate path for our girls to follow.

This week was Lunch with a Loved One at school so I packed up some soup and spent 20 minutes in the cafeteria with my girls. 20 minutes is not very much time for lunch. That's all I can say about that.

Today was pajama day in their classroom. From what I could glean from them talking over each other, their class apparently earned enough points from good behavior and/or work that they could choose a reward. Pajama day won much to their delight. I remember reading "Fancy Nancy's Pajama Day" to them several years ago and then subsequently regretting that because they wanted their Montessori school to institute the tradition. Which they would mention every time we read the book. Hallelujah for small wishes come true--this morning was the easiest on record with Kate. All she had to do was roll out of bed and eat breakfast.

They were even ready early enough to practice a duet on the piano.

Brave Little Indians from Lisa on Vimeo.

In house news, I've finished the girls' rooms with the exception of curtains. I hope to find some soon and will get some pics up when that is done. We also ripped out the cabinets in the garage and had our handyman neighbor build some shelving instead which has made all the difference in terms of storage now that the boats are in from the lake. I hope to get some photos of that soon too!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Love Letter, Month 82

Dear Kate,

You are 82 months old.
Guess what your favorite activity is these days?

You love reading so much that the librarian at school is now allowing you to check out 3 books/week and if you finish before the next class trip to the library, you may return the books and check out more before class starts in the mornings. You told me that Ms. McCarthy is also allowing you to get books from the supplementary bookcases in the pod for a total of 10 books/week. You are positively devouring books.

When you aren't reading, you are writing. I walked upstairs to find these signs on your door.

Apparently, you are holding writing classes for Lucy?? When I checked in with your sister, Lucy confirmed that you are helping her with her spelling "words of the week" for Ms. McCarthy's class so you meet in your room for lessons.

You two may fight like cats and dogs at times but you love just as hard.
We had a day off from school this month so I arranged for us to have lunch and a visit to your old school in the city. You were thrilled when both Qiongwei lao shi and San-Nan lao shi asked you and Lucy to read to their classes. You read several books in Mandarin and loved the chance to lead the class in saying the words.

You were super excited to play with Shia again.
But the best part of the day for you was having dinner with all six of your teachers in Chinatown. I don't think you stopped smiling all night and I'm fairly certain that your feet were levitating as well.

Your work in math and language continues to astound your daddy and me. As of today, you were only supposed to have finished up to page 84 in your math workbook. You were on page 127 with very minimal input from me. Daddy was checking your work and noticed this page:
What struck him most was not just your logic in answering the question of how many buttons looked similar but the punctuation you used when writing your answer. When we asked how you knew to use a colon, you matter-of-factly told us you noticed how it was used in the books you've read and it made sense here as well.

You were given a weekend assignment to disguise a turkey drawing so it would be safe for Thanksgiving. This was your contribution:
"I'm not a turkey!" "I'm hte Ester Bunny!" "Im not kidding!"

At the Fall Assessment Parent/Teacher conference you got high marks in all subjects.
For Chinese, the target number of sight words you should have mastered is 27. You scored 38. In fluency, the target number was 26 characters/minute. You scored 27.
For math, the target number for composing was 10. You scored 36. For decomposing, the target number was 4 and you scored 7.

Your teachers also told us that they have recommended you to work with the extended teacher for high-leveled 1st graders. Starting next week you will be able to meet Tuesday afternoons for both math and English. You were super excited when we gave you the news and I'm hoping this will cut down on the number of times I have to hear you tell me how bored you are.

(No really, I'm serious about this. I just cannot listen to you tell me how bored you are as you roll your eyes heavenward. I was supposed to have at least 13 years before the eye-rolling started. You much too young to be deviating from the plan just yet. 'Tween behaviour Is.Not.Allowed.)
You love it when I visit the school so you can show off your work.

My last visit was for Halloween. Your class had a party so I brought a pumpkin with fruit hair and shared your classroom party with you and Lucy.
You insisted that I had to dress up if I was going to participate in the Halloween party so I surprised you at school with this. You were thrilled!

After the party, we came home to change in time for the Halloween party at the soccer field and trick-or-treating.
I think you went in the haunted house about 6 times.

Either you didn't have as many Kateisms or I've just been lax in writing them down but I did manage to remember one of them this month:

I like my long hair but I need the maintenance of short hair.

(Don't we all, don't we all...)


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