Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Houston, we have a problem.

No, nothing like imminent death in the outreaches of space. Just a little blog weariness showing its ugly head. We're now in the land of plenty and ease, I don't feel I can complain about the price of anything (yes, I'm willing to pay for every variety of cheese, meat or condiment readily available), or remark on how someone was rude (have you dealt with the "customer service" in India?), or how I got cut off while driving (um, I'm DRIVING). None of that feels right, so I'm letting it all roll right off. Which leaves me with what? What can I write about? It's been two weeks since the last entry, let's see what I can pull up.

OK, let's start with school. School seems to be going fine.
Katherine has really buckled down this year, she's trying really hard to stay on top of things, get her work done AND turned in, making sure she has enough flute practice minutes each week for an A, etc. She's doing a great job. Mornings are still a little rushed for her because if she gets up to take a shower she's primping until it's time to get shoes on and head outside, and if she doesn't shower she delays getting up until the last minute. It's OK though. She hasn't missed the bus yet and has been generally cheerful in the mornings. Classwise, she enjoys band, French 1 is a high school credit course and teaches what she learned several years ago, pre-Algebra again (thanks to her grades last year, though for Katherine grades rarely reflect knowledge level and instead show late assignments or those never turned in, like I said she's doing well this year), language arts is never a problem, science is easy, civics is fun, P.E. is annoying.
Rebecca has proclaimed herself the teacher's aide in her math class. They're covering different sorts of graphs and now moving into fractions and how to reduce them. Stuff she learned last year at AISC. This is the kid who "doesn't like math" and "is no good at math" and she's bored because now the math is all repetitive and easy. This concerns us a bit, because the boys are seeing the same things: the math they are doing here is what they've done in the past few years at AISC. Nicholas is one of the top math kids in his class. Jonathon is adding double digits. In 2nd grade he was doing fractions. Sure it's an easy year (or two) for all of them, but then what?
If this is where we are now, how far behind in math will the kids be when we go back overseas?
Oh well, nothing I can do about all that, is there? Well, of course that's a bald-faced lie, there's a lot I can do to keep the kids up on their learning, it's just going to take some gumption from me to get it going. Here's me... gettin' my gumption goin' :)
Anyhow, life is not all about school. There is After School!
The girls both tried out for the drama program at Saunders. This year they are performing High School Musical Jr. Junior, you say? I did the same thing, a big "say what?" It seems to be a 60 minute condensed story, but I'm not certain. The girls auditioned with a couple songs and a shared skit, the same "Man in Black" skit that was used for Madras Kids last year. Shhh, no one needs to know but us. Today Katherine received a call back sheet for one of the leads. Rebecca didn't get a call back, but we're not sure what to make of that yet. When the whole cast list comes out, then we can cry or cheer. I have high hopes she got a part, and she's fine with a supporting role as a random kid in school. I just really want her to get something.
Katherine and the band played at a pep rally last week. I didn't know about it until after the fact, she says they sounded good and I'll have to take her word for it. Next Friday is 8th grade band night at the local high schools. It's a way for the kids to see what band in high school is all about. Marching band is tough to get into and Katherine had no interest anyway, until we told her it's not just marching around. Then she got a spark of interest. Thankfully she's still enjoying her new flute, though her practice methods leave much to be desired. I'm still looking for a flute teacher who can go one-on-one with her and correct her bad habits. Is there anything like a flute clinic? So she's opted to go to the Forest Park band night with her friend from around the corner, both flautists. I'm thinking the whole family may go to watch a live football game, even if it's high school.
Outside of school related things, we visited with Ian's mom and uncle a couple weekends ago, and my parents took the boys to see Cavalia this past Saturday. The boys had a CD of snippets of the show and it really did look spectacular. They had a great time with their grandparents and said they're excited about their next outing with them. We liked having some time with just the girls too. After lunch out, just the 4 of us, the girls saw a movie while Ian and I wandered the mall and chitchatted. We tried to all go to the indoor mini-golf but it looked devoid of actual mini-golf stuff, and then we tried laser tag but being a Saturday it was crazy busy with over and hour wait. We came home and relaxed.
This week has been a very quiet one. Nicholas has been home the past couple days. Monday he didn't feel well but I sent him to school anyway. Tuesday he woke with a litany of problems: 102.6 fever, muscle aches, stomachache, chills, sore throat, cough, earache, dizziness. I assumed the flu, but this morning most of the symptoms were gone. He still had a stomacheache, sore throat and clogged ears, so he stayed home, but tomorrow he's back to school. It's too bad it hit Tuesday, he missed his first class field trip, but I'm very glad it wasn't any version of flu, bird or swine or regular old type A. He's back to his chipper self, so tomorrow I can be productive again. Since Ian was working from home today and Nicholas was resting, I read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, and my personal opinion is it's just as good as the first one and definitely a bridge to the third. If you liked Hunger Games, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy the second installment.
Now I've really got to finish Return of the King, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and The Amber Spyglass.

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