Pumpkin Day

I volunteered to help with Pumpkin Day in Katie’s classroom. I had no idea what would be involved but then I got the email saying we’d be carving pumpkins so bring a knife and bowl if we could. Hoo boy—I hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years…

The classroom was a bit insane (I don’t know how she does it without an assistant—we were spoiled with Owen’s class having one) but overall it went well. There were four moms total so we each had a group of six. We had to measure the pumpkin with blocks and chain lengths, write what the pumpkin felt and smelled like, weigh the pumpkin, see if it sank or floated…and then design and carve the pumpkin. In an hour.

As you can imagine it was pretty much like herding cats. It started with the teacher switching Katie’s seat with someone so we could be at the same table…and the kid completely lost his shit and was a crying hot mess because “he wanted his seat.” Really, kid? You lose it over moving seats for an hour? And then some kids couldn’t pay attention for more than three seconds. One had no idea how to draw an H (“we haven’t done that letter yet”). A few wrote their numbers backwards (71 for 17) but fixed it after I told them—except one kid who literally kept writing it 71 no matter how many times I told him it was 1-7 not 7-1. One kid wrote all his letters on top of one another. You get the idea. I’m not bragging when I say that Katie seemed among the most advanced in her group (able to pay attention, answer questions, write her letters and numbers correctly, and follow instructions).

This is a snapshot of mass chaos before we even started.


I didn’t take many pictures because I was very involved in every step of the way—plus I didn’t have pockets, remember. 


Katie was the badge collector.


And then it was time to go home so Katie got to ride home with me. She had a good time and was happy I came. 

We have our own little Rainman.

Tom brought home his whiteboard from work and left it in the living by room. He walked by later to see this—Owen had completed a bunch of addition problems:

2 + 2 = 4 + 4 = 8 + 8 = 16 + 16 = 42 (his first error) + 42 = 84 + 84 = 168 and on and on.

By the time I got home, he had done more:

He kept adding sums…and did them all in his head. Once I started going through them (which I told him I had to do for it count as his nightly math homework), there were a few errors, but really still impressive. I’m not sure if you can see it, but he went all the way up to 16001664 + 16001664 = 32003128 + 32003128 (which wasn’t the right answer but it was close).

Sometimes he just blows our minds.

A quick visit to Owen’s classroom. 

I needed to surreptitiously give his teacher his end-of-year book to sign so I made an excuse to pick him up. He was excited because they’ve been studying monarch butterflies and they are hatching some in class and he wanted to show me.

Other stuff from his classroom:

I want to be a better writer and good reader.
Owen’s group was responsible for showing the math concept of Regrouping columns.

Artwork projects in the hallway. I asked him what pieces he drew.

The corn, apples, and pumpkin section:

The horse (which Katie said did not look like a horse):

And this—which I’m not sure what it is, but he was upset that someone scribble-scrabbled on it.

He did the red ladybug on the far right.


Owen’s Special Letter

The second day of Owen’s “Me Museum” week was a sealed letter written by someone else about his special qualities. This is the letter I wrote.

Owen has many special qualities and continues to amaze us with his abilities.

Owen didn’t really start talking until age 3, but once he did, he never stopped! We were worried about him learning how to read, when one day he came home from Pre-K and just picked up a book and started reading it to me! He still impresses me with all the words he knows!

He got his first Lego mini-figure at age 3 and has never looked back. He can follow directions on sets above his age level and then tears them apart and builds his own super cool creations. He is our own Master Builder.

Owen has always been super nice and polite and makes friends very easily. Friends, family, teachers, and even strangers comment on how sweet and polite he is.

He is the best big brother to his little sister—he plays with her, gives her piggy-back rides, reads her books, helps get her breakfast, and makes her laugh.

He is very loving with all of our pets. He takes good care of our dog and gives cuddles to the cats.

Owen is good at swimming, baseball, and soccer. He is a Shark 2—the highest level of swimming (and I know he could beat me in a race). He always gives 100% at every lesson, practice, or game. During his first soccer season, his coach gave him the “most improved player” award.

Owen is a great kid and we couldn’t be prouder to have him as our son.


2nd Grade Scientists

I just saw these on Twitter from last Friday (1/28/17).

A visit to Owen’s classroom.

Since I had to take Katie in for her field trip in the morning, I also took Owen. Since we still had some time before school started (and kids can’t be in the classrooms without a teacher or parent), I stayed in his room with him. I took the time to look around and take some more room pictures.



Owen wanted me to see if I could pick out his drawing without looking for his name.


I guessed it on my second try! My first guess was the bottom row, second picture (white) and his response was “Mom, it’s missing arms. I never forget the arms.” :) It’s him helping Katie (notice the yellow pony tails?).


Two panoramics of his classroom.



The weekly reading chart. It’s so complex it needs a key!


This is the original chart.



Just a few glue sticks. :)


These signs are in the hallways and stairwells.


Owen’s teacher says he’s all-around awesome.

This morning was the first P/T conference of the year. We were a bit early so I took advantage and got some pics.




Overall, Owen is doing awesome. She said he’s advanced in reading, ahead in math, and is probably the most respectful kid in class! She also has no concerns with his spelling—he got 95/100 on sight words (the ones he missed were words like WHERE and WHICH [forgot the h] which are very common)—and he behaves in class. What blew me away is his writing assignment—it was done over a few days, but the handwriting was excellent and the story was involved (it was about one of his xbox games)…and he wrote SIX PAGES! It doesn’t all make perfect sense, of course, and there are some errors but WOW. JUST…WOW.







And then a few pics from around the classroom:








And as I was taking pictures I was telling the teacher why (because I make a Shutterfly book each year) so she told me to hang on and she’d stage the Class Jobs list for me (it needed to be done before class anyway). :)


And then I took Katie to the playground for a few minutes since she always begs to go there but we’re usually there during school hours. She says “Mama? You remember the last time we were here and Gramma Jean was swinging with me?:)