Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wrapping up this week

We are slowly wrapping up this week.  Yesterday, our local newspaper, the Leavenworth Echo, printed an article detailing Leavenworth's Distinguished Young Women's  program.  Bonnie is the only local girl who signed up to participate this year.  (Another girl who attends the local high school signed up as well, but she lives in a different town.)  Because Bonnie is the only Leavenworth girl there won't be a local competition, but Bonnie will go to an At Large competition in April to make sure she is qualified to be a Distinguished Young Woman and then go to the state competition in August to represent our town.  Our hopes are that by participating in DYW Bonnie will receive more scholarship opportunities to help pay for her college tuition. 

Tuesday night, Bonnie and I went shopping for a cocktail dress for the DYW competition.  The requirements for the dress is that it is knee length, shoulder straps, and have some bling (sequins or rhinestones) on it.  Wenatchee is not a mecca for finding dresses, but we looked around and found the dress.  It is exactly what we hoped for except for the color.  We were hoping to find something royal blue or red, but this dress is pewter.  I love it and so does Bonnie.  We are hoping our DYW board will give its stamp of approval as well.  Best yet, with store discounts and left over Christmas gift cards paid $6 for a $90 dress.  WooHoo!!!  Bonnie informed me that she needs a dress for each event at the competition so I guess our dress shopping isn't over.  However, I think she only needs one cocktail dress.  The rest just need to be semi-formal.

Brian finished his exams yesterday.  Yeah! First semester is over and the rest of the week he (and I) have off.  Next semester starts up on Monday with orientations for all of his classes.  He is done with Washington State History and Computer Literacy and picks up Wed Design and Game Design.  We have learned a lot this semester and I am hoping for better grades next.  In all, Brian received B's in most of his classes.  He got an A in PE. duh, C's in Geometry and History.  He should have scored a lot higher in both of those last two classes and I am expecting him to do better in Geometry second semester.  In all, I know I just need to crack the whip a little harder this go around.  I just wish the boy was more grade motivated like his sister.  Bonnie is checking on her grades continually and striving to keep her 4.0 at all costs right now her GPA is a 3.96.  

What's done is done.  The boy is smarter than what his grades reflect.  He just doesn't care.  So I am thankful for the little break this week.  Bryce is sick so it makes it a lot easier for the boys to hang out at home and then back to the grind stone on Monday.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Exam Week

It's exam week this week in the virtual world.  Brian is taking his semester exams and I am biting my nails.  I am struggling with how to help him prepare.  Today he took his Physical Science and Part 1 of his Geometry exam.  I would not let him submit anything until he could explain all of his answers to me.  Is that bad?  Everything is open notes, open books, and open study guides so why not?  Right?  Anyway, they only advice I gave him was to SHOW HIS WORK in geometry.  I mean, the teacher put that little three worded statement on the test for a reason.  She doesn't want to know the answer.  She wants to know how you got the answer.  After a brief discussion with my son, he typed in the formulas, how the numbers plugged in, and gave his answer.  Pheww! Glad that is over.

Two tests down and three more to go.  Oh, btw, he got a 96% on his Physical Science exam.  The geometry exam is teacher graded so we won't know about it til later.  Tomorrow he has part two of  geometry and his literature exam.  Literature....the very word sends goose pimples up my arm.  Things like mode, tense, metaphor, narrative verse, .....uggghhh!!! Who cares?  Really.  Either you like the book or you didn't.  Why do I have to evaluate the hidden message that the author is trying to convey?  Can you tell we are a math and science family?

Here is the great news about this week.  After Brian's exam on Wednesday, he is done for the week.  Done!!!  Two days off of school.  Second semester starts next Monday with a "Ramp Up" schedule which is a fancy way of saying we will start you off slowly, i.e. a bunch of orientations to sit through.  But hey, I can deal with it.  We finally, after 5 months, are starting to get the hang of this thing. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On a Much Lighter Note

For those of you who responded to my last post....Thanks for your comments.  It has been distressing.  It was kind of humorous when the principal said he could not accept our transcript because it was a home school transcript...Uh...duh!  I did get the transcript off of the site which has all kinds of forms that homeschoolers can use.  Oh...and did I mention that Bonnie went into their school and came out #1 in her class with a 4.0 gpa?  She put her classmates to shame.  She is currently getting an "A" in her AP History class and she received As and Bs at the community college.  Enough said.

On a lighter note, today we celebrated the Ells family January birthdays.  Five of the Ells family members have birthdays this month, so my mother-in-law has everyone over and makes homemade donuts.  Yum!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Is this week over yet?

Is this week over?  Please tell me it is over.  I feel drained.  Like my body hurts drained.  A big part of our week has been centered around dealing with our local high school and whether or not they will accept Bonnie's 9th grade credits.  Just to refresh your memory, last year when we decided to let Bonnie attend the local public high school our goal was to have her enter as a freshman.  However, the freshman classes where nothing but "fluff" and her birth date  put her in as a sophomore.  So we enrolled her as a sophomore and gave the high school a transcript of the freshman classes that Bonnie completed the year before with her grades.  Throughout the course of the year we continued to notice that her report cards didn't show any freshman credits.  Finally, her adviser brought it to the principal's attention and I was told that in order for the school to accept her credits they had to evaluate the curriculum I used.  Oh, I would also have to pay them for the time it took to evaluate the curriculum.  Here it is a year later and the principal informs Bonnie that they can't accept her credits because we don't have enough documentation i.e. tests, quizzes, papers, etc.  and we owe them $35 per hour per subject with a minimum of 2 hours each which comes out to be $70 per subject /5 subjects = $350.  Todd went to the school on Wednesday and retrieved all of my curriculum that I had left with them and talked with the principal.  It is very evident to us that no one really looked at anything.  The principal seems to be having a change of mind on the whole matter and wants to look into the curriculum some more so he asked if he could have the books back to look up their ISBN #s.  We have decided that we don't need Bonnie's freshman credits for her to receive her high school diploma.  As a running start student at the local community college, once Bonnie completes the requirements for her Associates of Arts degree she will automatically receive her high school diploma. 

My word of advice to all my home school friends.  Keep every tests, quiz, and paper you child writes if you want them to go to a public high school.  Don't let them enroll your child until their credits are accepted.  The strain and stress of dealing with this has been overwhelming at times this week.  Add to that getting Brian ready for finals week.  Taking time to meet my some-what relatives who just moved to town, and dealing with all the responsibilities at church. 

I will end this post with a picture that Todd took of Brian.  His favorite place to do school is under his desk...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I think I will talk a little about Bonnie today.

Bonnie has been working the past couple of weekend at Camas Meadows Bible Camp which is about twenty minutes away up in the mountains.  She loves working up there and has proven herself to be a hard worker.  They wanted her to work every weekend for the next three months but we didn't want her to miss that much church, so we agreed that she could work two weekends a month.  She has had to learn how to manage her time.  Being at a camp, you can imagine there is a lot of fun and games and late nights. That is all great if you are a camper, but being on staff it can be quite draining.  The first couple of weekends that Bonnie worked she came home exhausted, and it took days for her to recoup.  We had to lay the law down that if she didn't manage her time better and get some sleep then she would  not be able to work there anymore.  This week she came home rested and ready to get back into her normal routine.  Well....she came home rested.  However, it turns out the visiting group took off with all of her luggage.  (roll eyes and sigh...)  Yep,  Bonnie didn't want to have to drag her bag of clothes, toiletries, etc back and forth across the icy roadway every morning and night so she decided to keep her bag in the bathroom under the bathroom counter.  Unfortunately, someone saw it when they were packing up to leave and grabbed it without thinking to ask to see if it belonged to any one in their group or on staff.  Well, at least she came home rested.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Late Christmas Present

During the month of December while I was busy getting Christmas presents for the family, Todd kept dropping hints that what he really wanted for Christmas was

No... not a Red Rider BB gun. He already has one of those.  Todd wanted......

.... a remote controlled helicopter.  

Of course, I had already gotten his Christmas present and that wasn't it.  I figured his obsession would fade away, and the really cool shop vac that I had gotten him would take his mind off his silly little helicopter, but no, he still wanted one.  So finally, with his Christmas money the boys and I picked up the helicopter of his dreams this weekend.

He had so much fun....that he had to take it to church to fly it around the sanctuary.  Boys and their toys!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

ok...i am not totally inept   I figured out where the pictures and videos are stored on the Apple.  Bear with me.

This week in AWANA was snowball night which is kind of funny since for the first time since moving here, we have NO SNOW!!!

Anyways, the kids had fun.  I made 200 paper snowballs and the kids set up table forts and threw snowballs at each other.  We also gave the kids toilet paper, hats, scarfs, paper cone noses, and fake buttons to make a snowman.  It was a fun night!  Next week we get to play with balloons!!!

While walking with my friend, Tabitha, this morning, I commented that I needed to take my new camera with me so that I could take some pictures and update my blog.  We talked the whole time and I failed to take pictures.  Guess what?  You're going to get a post with no pictures.

I actually do have some pictures to post and some cool videos but I am still having technology issues.  Part of it is my netbook want allow me to open up my blogger profile because it is intertwined with my son's google account that he has for school.  Another part is I am having troubles finding the pictures I uploaded to the Apple computer in our room.  Ugghhh!!!

So what's new?  Well, I talked to my Aunt and Uncle's niece, Lori, on Thursday and we are planning for our families to meet on next Thursday for dinner.  I am looking forward to it.

It is the end of the semester for Brian so he is in the midst of semester projects and preparing for final exams.  I still have one teacher that I would love to have words with.  I really need to write a letter to the school principal.  Brian's English teacher once again has strayed from the school calendar and changed her plans.  She told the students last week to ignore their grammar assignments.  There were quizzes scheduled and two semester exams scheduled for this week but she told them to ignore them.  Then in her announcement page she told the kids to follow another course of action for this week.  We, or I should said I, did not clue into what was going on until Friday and Brian was now a week behind.  You see I have Brian and I print off the monthly assignment sheet and go by that.  Oh...this teacher also decided to make the switch to the school's Google address this week and has chosen to start to communicate through that site.  Of all weeks to decide to change over, semester exam week is not the one.  It is bad enough that the virtual academy has decided to change to a Google site, but what makes it more confusing is that only a few teachers have made the change so you have to two sites to juggle and manage. Within those two sites you have multiple pages to check and manage for each subject.  It is a lot and personally, for me, it is overwhelming.    Oops, there I go again....venting my frustrations with WAVA.  I know, Sue, I know!

Bonnie is off working at Camas Meadows Bible camp for the second weekend in a row.  Hopefully, she will manage her time there better than before and not come home dog-tired.  My sister-in-law Debbie came over Thursday night and took some awesome pictures of Bonnie.  We will use the pictures for the local newspaper to promote her as Leavenworth's Distinguished Young Woman.  Bonnie is set to compete in the At Large program in April.  She is starting to get nervous.  She really needs to find a dramatic reading for the talent portion of the competition.  I hope she does well and sticks with it.

Well,  that is all you are getting for now.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Family Connections

Last night I received a message from my Aunt Gloria (my dad's sister) in Alexandria.  She informed me that her niece was moving to Leavenworth.  In fact, she (and her family) should arrive this Friday.  Lori is the daughter of my Uncle Weldon's (Gloria's husband) sister.  So although Lori and I are not related by blood we share the same aunt and uncle.  Lori's husband, Kent, is the new associate pastor of the Nazarene church.  Another bit of irony, is that the new senior pastor of the Nazarene church is from Indiana as well and used to live (I think) in Alexandria, my hometown.  My Aunt Gloria knows him as well since he would come to the library where she was the librarian.  Small World!  Oh...and here is one more piece to the pie....Kent's last name is Wright.  My maiden name is Wright.  So....there is another possibility that Kent and I are related as well.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

For twenty plus years, whenever I ask my husband what he wants to eat, I get the same response....steak, eggs, hash browns, biscuits-n-gravy, sourdough (homemade) sourdough toast, juice, and coffee.  It is kind of a joke between us.  Today I decided to give in... a little....I fixed top sirloin steaks and eggs for dinner....
minus the rest since I put Todd on the Prism diet ( Todd and my dad challenged each other to lose 10 pounds.) so no bread or potatoes...hence the sad face....

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Day in Leavenworth

 Our friends, The Harpers, are visiting us this holiday week.  The Harpers went to college with Todd and they were married the week after Todd and I.  In our 20 years of marriage, we figured we have spent 14 New Year Eves together.  Yesterday, the men, Todd, Mike, and Zach, went hiking up Icicle Ridge, Brian and Drew went to McDonalds, and the rest of us went to Munchen Haus for a good ole Leavenworth brat.

 After our brat, we went to our new favorite hangout, Fizzy's Soda Fountain and Antique Store.  Fizzy's serves great phosphate sodas and good old fashioned milkshakes.
It was a beautiful, warm day and we had a great time walking around town.  Once we got home the kids settled down for a Dr. Who marathon while Todd, Mike, Sue and I played Rook. 

Happy New Year!