Wednesday, December 23

Fun stuff before Christmas

Two days until Christmas! Are you ready? We got everything wrapped over the weekend, so are ready sooner than I thought we'd be. Thank you to my in-laws for taking the kids this past weekend so that I *could* get it all done!
So, last night Poseidon sent me an email with a link to a web comic. In the last few years, he has become the unofficial family IT guy, so this particular comic was hilariously very true:

Why it's better to pretend you don't know anything about computers, by The Oatmeal.

After reading that one, I started looking around at the guy's other comics. Do you remember a few weeks ago, when I was nearly hit in the crosswalk? Today, I found this:

Could you pass a driving test?

Created by Auto

You can click that image to take the test for yourself, and the answers are given after you've been graded. I only missed three, none of which were about pedestrians' rights! :D

Anyway, I like some of the other comics from this guy. Here's the homepage for your reading pleasure. I'll warn you, most of them have some salty language, but if you can handle that they're worth reading. My favorites so far (besides the above) are:
Twilight (haven't read it, not interested, I prefer my vampires gentlemanly - see True Blood on HBO)
17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat
How to Use an Apostrophe (this brings out my inner spelling nazi)
How Different Age Groups Celebrate Halloween
The 5 Phases of Caffeine Intake

I'm only on page 2 so far. There's another page of this stuff!

The update portion of this post:
Next week the kids and I will be at Mom's. I'm hoping we can visit a few friends, some of my aunts/uncles/cousins, and I know we're going to drop in on Mama A. at some point. I'll have the computer with me and if it isn't too cold, I'll sit out back so I can get a signal to use the internet. If any of you want to see me and I'm not already planning it, call Mom's house and we'll try to work something out! I'll have pictures and a new post again by the second week of January.

(Image 1 credit)
(Image 2 credit)

Be well ~
Poseidon, Amphitrite, Mister Twister, and Miss Hurricane

Sunday, December 6

Holi-daze has begun!

So, it's December already. We've had two report cards come home. Miss Hurricane, being in first grade, didn't exactly get a report card. It's still a sort of report like Kindergarten. She's doing really well and has no "areas of concern" marked down. This is the first year for her to take what's called an Accelerated Reader quiz - the kids read a book (from a list with point values) and take a test about it, earning points that really only mean they can comprehend what they've read. Well, this child of mine is a bit stubborn and will *not* be told what to do in some cases. This AR test is one of those cases. So, she and I have been going back into the school after the end of the day, once a week, to take a test. All the first graders this year have to take one test per week and are allowed to choose any book they feel they can comprehend. Miss Hurricane has chosen Dr. Seuss books so far, and passed two tests with 100%. I hope I only have to physically encourage her a few more times before she'll take them on her own before school. (I had been taking her to school about 15 minutes early each day, for the last two weeks, to let her take a test before the day starts. This way she doesn't have to think about it during the day. She's been doing her "early work" before the school news show instead, so I've taken her back in to the library *after* school, helping her log in, and *then* she would take the test. Not an easy feat when we share one vehicle around here, and Poseidon's already going into work late so I can pick her up when it's raining/snowing/cold out.) I don't know if it's a test anxiety or just stubbornness for her, but each time it has seemed as though it's stubbornness. She knows she can do it - even the logon and password - but she doesn't want to. Luckily it isn't and will not have an effect on future progress reports or grades.

Now for Mister Twister... he seems to be taking after me in the grades department. His report card was all A's and B's - except math, in which he has a 63. His next lowest grade is an 85, in Science. His previous midterm report looked a lot worse though, so this is really good and we've told him so.
Core Classes:
Reading, T1 {81} T2 {94}
Language Arts, T1 {77} T2 {91}
Integrated Math, T1 {61} T2 {63}
Integrated Science, T1 {73} T2 {85}
Social Studies/History, T1 {74} T2 {88}

His other two classes are electives, and they've changed from last term to this one. This term, one of his electives (given he didn't actually get to choose!) is health. Yes, he's learning about the birds and the bees. *sigh* Well, at least it will be easier for me if he has any questions outside of school. I knew this was coming as early as least year, when his 5th grade teacher told us at a parent meeting that this is taught starting in 6th. This is fine with me, and it actually made it easier on me one day this past week.

[celebrity gossip crap starts]
Did you see, on the Today Show, when Meredith Baxter outed herself? She's a lesbian. Big whoop, whatever. I was mildly worried/interested in her 'secret' because I thought something horrible had happened to her years ago or something. Relief that it didn't, followed by "oh, okay." As long as people are happy and safe, I don't care what they do or who they like/love. That ain't my business, ya know? Meh.
[ /end celeb gossip crap]

Anyway, this segment aired right before it was time for me to take Mister Twister to the bus stop. And it was cold, so I drove him (I hate being cold, folks. HATE it.). While we were sitting in the car, I asked him if he knew what 'lesbian' meant. He told me what he'd heard, from his friends obviously, so I explained what it really means - lesbian, homosexual, everything I could fit into the two minutes we had left until the bus was due. I was also able to tell him how I feel about it (see above, it's "whatever"). I was pretty proud of myself in that I didn't feel embarrassed saying any of it, and he didn't seem embarrassed to be talking about that kind of thing with me. So it was cool, and thank you Ms. Baxter. :D

Back to the regularly scheduled updating here:
So, the boy knows he needs to work on math. It's the only class he's failing as of now, yet back in the Spring he (all 5th graders, statewide) took a test on the core content. Check this out -
Reading ~ proficient, 555
Social Studies ~ proficient, 555
On Demand Writing ~ apprentice, 539 (his penmanship is awful)
Mathematics ~ distinguished, 572


Huh? Looks like he should be doing better in math this year. He isn't learning anything entirely new - right now they're mainly working on the addition/subtraction of mixed fractions, and dividing with decimals. I don't know what was on the state test, or how the scoring worked (scoring scale is 500-580), but somehow he was only 8 points shy of perfect on the math section... and is failing right now? It looks very odd to me, and I think it's probably more a problem with not doing work than him not knowing or understanding the work.

Bringing me back around to Christmas... I think this may be the last year he believes in Santa! Telling him that 'Santa is watching' hasn't helped pull up his grades, they came up because he saw his first term grades and the looks on our faces. He's also getting to the age where toys aren't something he really plays with and it's probably better to just give him gift cards for video games. LOL

Coming soon will be pictures from Christmas Day, and then we'll go up to spend some time with Mom, Baby Brother, and our nieces. Until then, I've got some sewing to do!!

Peace and blessings to you ~