Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015 soccer together.

After a little finagling, we got both girls on the same soccer team -- the Pink Pandas! They LOVE playing on the same team!

This 2-minute video of little kid soccer is probably too long for most folks. The last minute is the best if you only want to watch some of it. Kaleia is in pink shorts, glasses and wears #2. Maggie has black shorts and wears #3. 
This was there first game -- April 11th

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Unusual Recess


One day at recess something unusual happened. As I was walking out of the lunch room, I saw my friend, Clementine running out in the Fir Grove. I met up with her and asked, "Why are you in the Fir Grove?" Clementine answered, "Because the playground is closed." Then I asked, "Why are you running around?" Clementine answered, "Because I think some boys are spying on us." Then I said, "O.K. I'm going to put my lunch box away."

After Clementine and I met up again, we talked more about the boys spying on us. The boys were spying on us by hiding and then running toward us. When we saw the boys hiding and running, we ran away.

The hiding and running kept repeating for all of recess. I liked it but I couldn't tell them that because it wouldn't be fun any more if they knew I like it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sister Superpowers

I bring the groceries in from the car to the bottom of the stairs and the girls take them to the kitchen. Anything too heavy for them, I bring up on my last trip. It is a good system. 

Today, I was imagining carrying the heavy 25 pound bag of rice myself. 

Instead I hear a voice reminiscent of childhood superhero cartoons, "This is heavy. I think this needs to be...a sister-thing!"

With their strengths combined

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Conversations Overhead: Moving

Maggie: *sigh* I want to move.

Kaleia: Why? I like this house.

Maggie: Oh, Kaleia.  Moving is so fun! Everything gets put in boxes. Then, you get to help carry things down to a big truck for Mama and Papa. And when you get to the new house, you get to organize!

Kaleia: (unimpressed) Oh. I still don't want to move.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2015 Tuition on the Track

Excitement Everywhere.
Sweat rolling down my face.
Running, happily around the track.
Talking, running, and walking with my senior buddy.
Thirst and stamps after every lap.
Hot sun shining brightly out.
Hot track, hot day, and hot people.
Loud speaker, noises everywhere, people talking and blasting music.
One lap, then two hugs for Mama and Papa.
14 colorful dots at the end.


Rough Draft:
Focused on action words and capturing all of the senses

Maggie's phone solicitation script:
Most of the time Maggie just left a message. If you were lucky enough to get her on the phone, the above was read with little punctuation or pausing to have a conversation with the potential donor. Usually the phone was handed off to Kaleia with much urging "Now, you ask for money." To which Kaleia's "script" was "Can I have some money too?"

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Pancake Problem

Shannon: "Wow, Kaleia! Another pancake? How many is that for you?"

Kaleia: "Three!"

Magnolia: "I've had three, too!"

Shannon: "I only had two! There is one left on the plate. I wonder how many I made this morning..."

Kaleia: "One, two..." Magnolia: "Let me figure it out!"

Shannon: "Let's all figure it out in our head and share the number we come up with."

Kaleia: "Nine!"

Magnolia: "That's what I got too! I knew my three and Kaleia's three made six, then Mama's two would be eight and one more makes nine!"

Shannon: "Kaleia, what was your strategy?"

Kaleia: "I just counted in my head."

Magnolia (giddy with excitement): "You gave us a story problem!"

Shannon: "Yeah, I guess I did."

Magnolia: "Now I have a pancake story problem for you, but its not addition. It's subtraction!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Story problems can be fun!

As a high school math teacher, I was excited to find an ally in my mathematics culture change mission in Maggie's 1st grade teacher. She is supporting Magnolia and her classmates to see the value of both the accuracy of their answers and the ability to communicate their process. At the fall parent information night, her teacher asked parents to think about the ways we approach reading at home; Cozy bedtime stories, cuddled up together, reading both the familiar and the new and exciting. Yet, most of us have less than "cozy" images of mathematics. It is viewed as drudgery or punishment, and only accessible for some people. Let's change that. Kids are natural mathematicians, wondering about patterns, estimating amounts, making comparisons. We only need to wonder with them. The more we do it, the easier it becomes.

If you need some support, there is a cool foundation called Bedtime Math. They have a few books and offer a nightly email to help give parents ideas.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

There's a Fairy in Our House!

Recently, Brian posted the following story to Facebook:
During dinner tonight, Kaleia (5.5), about to tell us something, looks at her palm, gasps, and then exclaims with conviction, "There's a real fairy in our house!" Then she giggles with glee.

Turns out her friend Ellery had drawn a fairy on her hand at school and told her that if she put water on it it would become real. Fast forward to dinner time: Kaleia, forgetting about the fairy hand drawing, washes her hands absent-mindedly... washing the drawing right off. She is REALLY hoping the fairy hasn't escaped the house.

Since she's 5--the age I started making lifelong memories--I'm always trying to guess which things she will reminisce about in twenty, thirty years. I'm guessing this might be one of them. I wish I had a video.

Tonight, Kaleia isn't taking any chances. Every door and window is checked before she washes her hands so that the fairy can't escape. 

Excited that the magic is working, Kaleia looks up in the mirror. Unfortunately, this is the exact moment the fairy disappears from her hands. Convinced because this permanent pen is washing off, it must be true, it must be magic, the fairy MUST be real! 

Skipping excitedly to me in the living room, Kaleia proclaims, "It worked!" Then asks, head slightly cocked to one side, "Have you seen her?"

Not wanting to disappoint her, "No...but I wasn't really looking. Fairies are really small, so maybe I missed her." 

"This one isn't small! It is the same size as the drawing on my hand. Ellery said. Maybe it's..." and she is off to hunt for the fairy that is surely hiding in our house. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Of all the strange arrangements of objects my children have surprised me with, this is by far the sketchiest. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

7 Weeks to 7 Years

I open up my toasty warm down, knee-length, winter jacket and draw my shivering eldest daughter inside. We are standing outside our church as part of our midnight Pascha (Easter) service.

As I do, Pascha 2008 comes flooding back, when my just-over-7-week old Magnolia slept, tucked inside my coat, while I sang the resurrection liturgy. Now, inside my coat again, my just-over-7-year old is awake and joining me in song.

The years have passed so quickly.