Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Halloween and

the kids are out and about.

Jessica is marching with the band at the football game.

Ty and Jasmine are out trick or treating. Yes, we let our children do this. Rick is with them and they are going to one neighborhood. Why should they miss the fun just because some people have chosen to look at the dark side? But that's me and I know a lot of people don't let their kids trick or treat and that's a good decision too. But please don't leave any comments about the evils of T or T.

Even the pumpkins are out!

But I am home finishing a book and trying to beat the deadline by three weeks. It is Just for Me: My Family and is the third book in that series. You can follow the book's progress HERE.

And Adam is..


Working and going to bed.

Now why would I be so cruel as to deprive one child of the fun? Well, those of you who have adopted children probably already have an idea. Because this is the child who thinks that rules are for everyone but him. He even had the chance to play with the high school band tonight. Jessica's director invited all 8th graders to play with them. There is school choice here and one high school attracts all the band kids--they have 170. We have 70 and are losing three next week. So he invited the 8th graders to join our band at the football game. What Adam didn't tell me is that there were extra practices at his school for those who wanted to do this. And forms to fill out. He didn't go to the practices or have the forms but still thought his director would let him play. Nope. And he was indignate. Too bad he didn't tell me about the practices, he's a good player.

Have a great weekend!

Disney & Relay for Life

The elementary kids could donate a dollar to the Relay for Life team and wear a disney or friendly costume to school.

Jasmine wore Cinderella to the church festival so decided to be Minnie today. My mom made this costume for Jessica when she was about this age.

I believe the ears are from our trip to Euro Disney (France) when Ty was 6 & Jessica was 5. (We were stationed in England) They have been to the Disney in France, the Disney in Tokyo (they were not quite one and two) and the one in Florida but not the one in CA. Rick's the only one who has been to all four.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daily Life: School

In my daily life post about morning, I talked about what we do before school and what time every one leaves. This continues from there.

Tyler and Jessica are in high school--senior and junior. Their school starts at 7:30 and ends at 2:30. Since they get there an hour early Jessica practices her saxophone in the band room. Tyler hangs out.

The schedule is broken into odd and even days. Classes are 90 minutes long. I think it would kill me to have algebra or chemistry for 90 minutes. On odd days Jessica has public speaking, band, 2-D art and chemistry. On even days she has integrated math (that comes after alg. 2), band, drama, and English. She has first lunch on odd days and second lunch on even.

Tyler has government, web design, drawing and dual sports on odd days and English, business computer programming, drama and digital design on even days. He has first lunch on odd days and second lunch on even days. The seniors can drop one class the second semester of their senior year so Ty no longer has dueal sports (Jan 08). However, the bus doesn't run earlier so he either has to pay the $1.20 to ride the city bus home or stay at school anyway.

When I was working Tuesday mornings at the church, we were off on 5th Tuesdays so I started taking Chinese or Subway to them every 5th Tuesday. That only happens about twice in a school year. Thankfully they have had the same lunch hours. Now that I'm not working at the church, I am still continuing it.

Tyler and Jessica are in the same drama class. Since the last names are the same, they sat side-by-side but they provided a bit too much sibling drama so were separated.

Their high school colors are gold/yellow, black, white so they can wear three button shirts in any of those colors. They can have a shirt under it of any of those colors too or a sweatshirt over it but the color of the shirt underneath has to show. I love that they did that. Takes away the pressure to buy high priced name brand clothes for school. There is still an amazing amount of variety in styles and looks within the "uniform" code.

Jeff would be in the same high school as T & J but at Camp T. where he is, they do A.C.E.. He should be a 10th grader but they have let him fall a year behind in many subjects. I do not believe that he would be able to handle the work in the public schools. It is very much advanced from what he is doing with the A.C.E. program. He has never written a paper or done a science or history fair project.

Adam is in 8th and will move up to the high school next year so even after Ty graduates this year, I'll still have two in the same highschool. Adam has
language 3, Algebra, U.S. history, phy ed, band and physical science. He has a regular schedule with each class being an hour every day but the order rotates. So what is your seventh hour class one day becomes your first hour class the next day. I'm not sure why they do that but it works. They are reminded each day in homeroom what class is first.

Adam's school colors are light blue, maroon and white.

The girls ready to go on a colder morning.

Jasmine is in second grade. Her colors are red, white and blue. In elementary school the shirts don't have to have collars and buttons but do have to be in school colors.

Report cards came out Monday and everyone pretty well with Jessica having the highest GPA>

It still feels so weird to only have four children in the house since in GA we had foster children and had up to seven at a time. Then we when moved to FL with our five, we were told five is it. So it was five for a while and then Jeff left and it's been four since. I hope the twins are home by next fall. We have a really good pre k program three hours a day. So they would learn English, letters and sounds and all that but we'd still have plenty of bonding time. It's from 7:15-10:15.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Scrappy looks on as Adam and Jessica build a patio for him and Cheyenne. It's practice for a bigger one later.

Due to such a busy weekend, we read Purpose Driven Life chapter 7 at home and had ice cream.

Church festival

Tyler attended his new church Sunday for both the morning and evening services and plans to go back for the Wed night teen meeting. We have to work out a better plan for getting him there Sunday mornings but other than that, it works out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marching Band Assessment

This is a bit dark because we were near the end and only had the football field lights.

Hectic Weekend

So much is going on this weekend that it'll probably take four posts!!

If you read the last post, you saw it was Jasmine's school festival. Thankfully soccer had been canceled due to heavy rains Friday which soaked the field. If they play on the fields while they are wet, it tears the grass up and it's a fairly new sports complex.

Jessica plays alto sax.

Getting ready for the show.

Jessica had district marching band performance assessment today. Thirteen high school marching bands performed 3 or 4 songs and were judged on marching ability, flag/dance team performance, music and overall effect. No one competed against each other, they were judged by predetermined standards. The bands had from 26 student to 170 students. Ours has 70.

The school with 170 band members took up the whole field. Our only used about half to march their show.
Bands received marks of good, excellent and superior in each area and then an overall rating. I was nervous for our band because this is the first assessment I've been to. I had no idea how they rated them or what they looked for but our band got superiors in every category. I am so happy for them. The director can get a bit intense.

After the awards, Jessica and I had to rush to the civic center for the last bit of the Tops in Blue concert. It was totally packed but Rick and the others had saved two seats right in the middle for us. We had to climb over a ton of people who weren't happy but oh well. Jessica was still in her uniform minus the sash and the hat.

Today we do Purpose Driven Life 7 (I think) and it's the fall festival at church.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Daily Life: Morning

Before I blog about our morning, I need to follow up on the last post by commenting that I will have an appt. with the school counselor and Jasmine's teacher sometime next week. I sent the forms for the last two years that were filled out at Shands detailing the brain malfunction and the problems it causes Jasmine. I stapled them right to the daily chart that comes home. I'd sent them at the beginning of the year. Now that the teacher knows Jasmine maybe it will make more sense.

Daily Life: Morning

We don't have a large number of children, in fact, three less than what we had in GA because Jeff was still with us and we had three foster children, one of which was Jasmine of course. At the time they were all elementary age and below. So 7 under
12. Still not as many as some of you. And only four at this time. But none the less, I'm going to share how we do things here on a daily basis.

Life starts at about 5:20 here. Everyone is up and moving. I'm not a morning person by nature but I'm getting used to it.

Sometimes someone will get up earlier if they have a school assignment they didn't finish.
Such as Jessica who had to finish a poster for Mole Day today. I really, really thought that a mole was an animal or someone who infiltrates an organization but it's a number or equation or something. So chemistry class is having a mole day party today with soda, chips and an experiment. Unfortunately there is a pep rally scheduled for the same time because of a game tonight and Jessica has to play at the rally with the band so she may miss the party.

Adam runs on a whole different schedule. He is up at 4 a.m. and that's when he does his homework time. The others do it in the evening.

Everyone gets their own breakfast. They have to have milk and fruit. They can also have toast, cereal, poptarts, left overs, whatever appeals to them. Jasmine is learning to be independent in the morning by making her own toast. We don't let her try to pour milk yet. Those gallon jugs are pretty heavy. Adam washes the dishes, sweeps the floors and wipes the counters since he leaves well after the others.

Devotions start at 5:50 a.m. We used to spend a half hour together but now that it's so early we only spend 15 minutes together. You can say alot in 15 minutes.

On Monday and Wednesdays we read the teen devotion book "Never Ask Delilah for a Trim" followed by a Bible story. On Tuesday and Thursdays we read the "green book" followed by a Bible story. On Friday's we read Randy's "Heaven for Kids." And we read a couple of pages from a chapter book.

Everyone takes turns reading on green book and heven days because we have several copies. Jessica reads a passage from the Bible and then the kids read around in a circle, even Jasmine, who is also usually eating.

At the end of devotions I ask "What does this mean for you today?" That's a really important part because otherwise they can just listen with brains in neutral and walk away with nothing. Somedays everyone has a lot to say. Other times the reading doesn't grab anyone. At times they will disagree with the author of the green book. The heaven books has been interesting. I am rereading the Left Behind series right now. I started by reading the three prequel books that I'd never read before and one of them has several scenes that take place in heaven so it's been interesting to see how Jerry & Tim's views differ from Randy's. (I have had several chances to talk to Jerry and Randy but I don't believe I've ever talked to Tim more than saying "hi" at a book signing. He'd probably be way over my head anyway.)

Then Ty, Jessica and Rick leave between 6:10 & 6:15. Rick drops them at their bus stop on his way to work. It's only a couple of blocks but he goes right by it. The bus comes at 6:18 and gets to the school at 6:30--an hour before school starts. But that bus picks up kids at the highschool who transfer on to another school such as the alternative school or the tech school for kids who just aren't quite making it in the regular high school and want to learn a trade like construction or welding.

When they leave, I bring up my computer and check e-mail and log in to blogger. This is my mess around time. (And this is my messy desk. If it's clean, it's because I don't have any writing projects going. Right now I'm on deadline for the Just for Me: My Family book--IF YOU HAVE girls ages 6-12, I still need some help. Go to the girl's blog HERE and back to the Oct 7 post--and for my Living with Teens article on the Cult of Celebrity.)

Jasmine gets dressed and usually eats more.

Why is it that this always happens no matter how many times I open the microwave and stir it?????

At 6:45 Jasmine and I leave to walk down to her bus stop. It's not quite .4 mile.

During this time Adam cleans the bathroom, changes into his school clothes and then practices his saxophone for 1/2 hour. He leaves at 7:35 for his bus.

At this time I finish up goofing around on computer, walk on treadmill and then start my writing projects for the day. My laptop is on a book shelf in front of my treadmill so I can watch a movie while I walk but I can't hear it so the subtitles are on. I got rid of two movies last week. I could never tell what the people were saying in some parts but when it was spelled out in the subtitles, it wasn't pretty.

So, that's our morning routine. How about you guys?