Thursday, August 25, 2011

Papesh Summer School


Those are the words I often hear from Austin when it's time to sit down and do the work I give him. I just don't get it. Some days he'll whip right through it, other days it's a lot of crying, whining, and maybe even an all out freak out. It's like the kid has a crazy switch that math seems to trigger. I don't know. But after daily lessons he is pretty proficient in addition and getting there with subtraction, he also can read larger numbers now, but writing them is still difficult. A bit scary as it took all summer to get here. His reading is better which is HUGE and for that I am thankful but I didn't even try working on the writing (not penmanship, but actual writing down ideas, stories, etc which he really struggles with.) I just didn't have the emotional strength to get through his writing block, my apologies to his 3rd grade teacher, and to Austin, I probably should have tried harder.

Tommy did well with his work but would also show some frustration at times on more difficult topics. He learned so much this summer, from fractions, to geometry, order of operations, I think we hit the basics in every math topic. Time to get that kid in some algebra!

On the weekends even Joe would get in on the action. He of course loved math/science so anytime Tommy was doing something that he could easily jump and help with he would and he would also help me with Austin too (sometimes even a few battles). It was cool watching Joe go back and channel his former mathleticism.

This year I will have Tommy in my classroom for Science. I am very excited. I've also decided that I will not be helping him at home with any of the homework, studying, or project work. No my friends that will be left to his Dad, who I know is up to the task. I just don't want Tommy having too much of an edge because his Mom is teaching the class. It'll be a big prep for when I have him for more classes in the coming years. YIKES!

Only a few more days "of torture" and then the kids and I will be back in school and their new teachers can continue the excruciating task of educating my kids. Cheers to a new school year which is only about 10 days away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flash Mobs - Good, Bad, Ugly

Well, I have to say I'm a sucker for the dancing/singing flash mobs and I've seen a ton of them on the net and love them. Of course that is no shocker since I'm a fan of the hokey. Last winter I had my students do a flash mob dance at lunch and it was a big surprise to the younger students and they had a lot of fun with it! I have yet to be anywhere when a flash mob is taking place and I'm afraid with the negative publicity now in Philadelphia with the flash mob violence and the flash rob of 7-11 the other night flash mobs will be fizzling and I probably never will.

I got to participate in one before the lizard fair concert last weekend with Amy and her daughter Emily through Emily's dance studio.  It was very cool and I'm glad I did it.  For those of you who didn't see it on Facebook here it is. Funny while we were waiting in line we talked to the girls behind us as they had brought pizza and when the gal who started the dancing got to going the girls were like "OMG, what is that girl doing??" and then we got to join in. I wonder what they were thinking then?? Probably something like "I wondered why those old dinosaurs were here for a teen concert."

And yes I screwed up and you can see it!! I thankfully hid in the back behind the young, beautiful, and much more talented dancers so you only see me a little bit. But I was there! And today at therapy one of the nurses in the kids adjoining pedi's office saw me and asked "how we liked lizard fair?" she had seen me dance while waiting in line to get. You've gotta be kidding me! I'm a star! ;)

And speaking of the Lizard Fair it was the boys first concert experience and they had an awesome time. We went with a couple other Blizzard Families and saw a ton of people we knew there. Performing that I can remember were Runner Runner, Jay Sean, Flo Rida, and Big Time Rush. So this week we've been all about Big Time Rush it seems. I was sure sore and tired from all the jumping around I did. Lots of fun!

P.S. - I of course love the flash mob fail commercial for AT & T! WE ARE!!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Wedding Anniversary

Today Joe and I celebrate 14 years of wedded bliss.  But I'm really looking forward to next year's big 15th bash.  I will almost certainly be in sunny Florida.  We decided earlier this summer to forgo a trip this year, and we haven't missed Florida since 2001, but have promised each other a bigger and better trip next year.  I can't believe I'm already looking forward to it.  Nothing like wishing my life away.

Every year on August 9th we look at going somewhere to eat that's "non-chain" but we just haven't found a place that we can agree on so back to the Outback Steakhouse for us.  It was scrum-diddly-umptious! A quick trip to Lowe's for a grill cover, then to Kohl's to pay my charge card (I went in with blinders and did good not buying anything else), a drive through Drapers New Car lot so we can dream and then back to Reese to get the kids.  Not a saucy anniversary, but a nice night with my hubby nonetheless. 

And the biggest thrill of the night for us...Laughing about how MY MOM FORGOT!  She left a message on our machine tonight just wondering how things are going, I called her back and we talked about a Cedar Point Trip for her birthday on Thursday and not a word of JoDa Anniversary XIV.  HAHAHA!  I'm just waiting for her to realize it and call back. LOL  Eh, no biggie deal. 

And I did make it through dinner without crying which is somewhat rare.  Of course I only had one glass of wine versus the whole bottle this year.  I usually end up reminiscing about how different life was 14 years ago and it always turns towards Austie and his struggles. Not tonight though, however, when we got back to Dad's house for some reason he had his 2003 diary laying out on the table and I went ahead and read about his birth. One thing that I often forget when thinking back to those days is sure I had a baby that was very sick and we weren't sure he was going to make it, but I also had a 2 year old who was being shuffled all over the place and that had to be hard on him too.  I saw a lot of writings like "picked up Tommie from so and so" (usually Sherri or Joe's Mother, and he wrote Tommy's name like that back then), "dropped off Tommie to so and so,"  "Tommie spent the night and had to go potty three times and fell out of bed"...Lol. 

I just am so thankful that we have such a great family & friend support system.  Austin wouldn't be doing as well as he is if we didn't have help carting him to therapies, doctors appointments, watching the other kids for us, or just giving us a break so we can enjoy each others company and talk about how far he's come, and how far we've come in 14 married years and 19 years together.  I love Joe with all my heart, and Tommy, Austin, and Ashley too.  I could only dream on August 9, 1997 how rich my life would be and maybe, just maybe, the best is yet to come. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Earth's Oddities

So a critter is ruining my outdoor adventures. 

Yesterday we got home from our running and I went to go water my hanging baskets.  I start walking down our little walk in front of the porch and see a dead something laying on the edge of the walk and the landscaping.  I figured it was a baby bird that had been dropped by a Mama bird.  Upon closer inspection I find it is the head of a skunk.  And with no trail of blood or sign of the rest of the carcass it left me thinking what the??  It was thankfully not smelling but I was seriously perplexed and nervous and stayed inside the whole darn day. 

Joe got home late and took care of it, in the rain no less; thanks hubby.  But it's still on my mind.  How on earth did it get there?

Some theories:
  • An animal dropped it off, but why was there no trail of blood?
  • A student or maybe a not student is pulling a prank on us?  This would be pure evil, I hope it's not this.  How sinister. 
  • A bird of prey accidentally dropped it while flying by.  This seems the most logical.  

I'm just afraid that there are more skunks maybe living under our porch or something.  Not cool.  But I have to get brave or I'll never have any outdoor fun at all.  It's been a rough week in the yard for the Papesh's.  My thumb got skinned up doing yard work, Tommy got stung by a bee and got a bunch of briars in his feet, I had a large splinter find it's way into my foot about a centimeter deep that took Joe forever to dig out, and now we have animal heads making their way to our yard.  Again, what the ? 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Woah Summer

Please slow down. 

It's August - which is like Sunday if you compare summer vacation to a weekend.  But at least it's early Sunday morning when you're just waking up and you have the whole day ahead of you. 

It's been a very different summer for the family. But it's been a good summer I guess I can say 2/3 of the way in. 

There was no hockey camp to cart Tommy to this year which he won't complain about.  Since he was 4 years old he's been allergic to hockey camp.

We said goodbye to Fr. Bill our priest of 12 years and welcomed Fr. Tipton.

We are not going to Florida this summer and really aren't taking any extended vacation at all.  This will be only the third time since we've been married we have not gone.  1998, 2001, and now. 

We've soaked up some fun and sun with a few trips to Cedar Point and Michigan's Adventure.  You know your kids are spoiled when they don't want to go to the fair.  Talk about desensitizing. 

Our yard has never looked better and I've got more ideas brewing in my head for future years.  Just need financing.  ;)

Joe just accepted a new job at Dow Chemical so get ready for more change.  I hope he likes it and does well. 

We've biked a bit, walked a bit, and watched a lot of baseball! The Tiger's are in 1st place and I keep waiting for the mid-season collapse to happen.  And I can't believe I'll admit this but I am rooting hard for Boston and New York to beat up on Cleveland and Chicago this week!

So hello August, time to really allow myself the okay to think about back to school, which really doesn't happen until after Labor Day.  10 years ago I had a 6 month old and was looking at student teaching and I remember the first day of school was August 20th! At least I have five solid weeks left! I'm sure the kids are thankful too!