Monday, January 9, 2017

cursive rubric

As I focus this year on streamlining things at school, making things more efficient and increasing productivity- both mine and the kids, I knew I needed to do something about grading penmanship.  It's the bane of my existence.  

It's my first big time saver of the semester!  I made a rubric for grading cursive penmanship. Previously I either did a good, detailed (i.e. time consuming) job of grading it or I did a fast job with no feedback. I think this blends the two. Hopefully this helps me be consistent, specific and efficient. I've graded two weeks of penmanship with it so far, and after a few tweaks- I'm loving it! 

Want a copy?  Click Here

I assume no one wants this exact one... who else has this crazy grading scale?  Geesh!  Here's an editable on... save a copy to your drive and then edit away!    editable copy- Click here

wax museum- again

Another year of wax museum.  It's always so much work- but so much fun.   Here's my awesome third grade team.  Love these ladies! 

I've written about it here in 2015,  here in 2014,   here in 2012 and here in 2011  there's more info there about specifics.   (We did it in 2013... not sure if I didn't write about it- seems unlikely.)

Here's my costume winner- she's the tree from Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. 

Flat Stanley of course. 

Two of us Webs.

This is a kiddo from a different class- He's Stanley Yelnats from Holes.  It was my favorite! 

My Lou was Don Larson.  I learned a lot about Mr. Larson through this project. Lou was trying to hide the casted leg... I think we still see it! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

the leg- part 3

We are so tired.  So tired of dealing with this leg.  After 2 weeks in first the temporary splint and no school and then 7 weeks in the long leg cast and wheelchair we finally got to rid our selves of the full cast! 

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving we headed in to get it off. 

Some of us were more excited than others! 

We thought we were prepared for the day, but it ended up being pretty dramatic for Lou- still sore and mostly scared.  Traumatic might be the better word.  He is holding my hand over his eyes here. 

A very sweet and patient lady spent a whole lot of time with us removing the cast.  it was not as quick as the videos we prewatched online.  

With it off, we were surprised to find a very hairy man leg.  It was scaled and the skin was ready to be flicked off.  Also, we discovered that he had developed a heel pressure sore.  It was pretty bloody put they assure us it would heal up quickly. 

They sent us to therapy to learn how to take care of out new set up and begin the real work. 

With some struggle he learned to do things differently and everyday getting a little stronger.  Honestly, the healing process was slower than we expected. SLOWER.  And full of more, continued, and new struggles.  At least we know there is an endpoint.  This will end.  I won't have to help him dress and go to the bathroom and get in and out of the car and dear hubby won't have to go get him between every class and take him to the next class. 

And then, just like as your little people grow up and learn to do new things and become more independent, he did too.  Instead of me putting his pants on him entirely, like a doll, I could get them up the knee and he could finish.  Instead of us having to follow him into the van and lift his leg into the van seat, we just helped him get into the van and he lifted himself up into the back seat.  It was almost so subtle, this progress, that you don't notice it.  

He wheeled himself around school, with the help of some good buddies and daddy.  Thankfully we all spend our days in the same building.  

Then we got to begin learning the crutches.  Bee was helpful in demonstrating. 

And our days at physical therapy continued.  This day on the bike was an attempt, a flop... a challenge for another day.  The sore on his heel got yucky, got yellow and green sore and I cried.  He cried. It felt like such a set back.  But as with everything else, it's healing and we're moving on. 

Under his physical therapist's instruction, one day, we lost the wheelchair.  He went all crutches.  Stamina needed to be built for sure.  The crutches again brought more independence and new challenges.  

His hands are calloused but his arms are getting stronger.  We're hoping that means for strong baseball arms this spring.  He's worn out at the end of the day.  We are all still worn out at the end of the day but the progress is noticeable.  We have to really push him- he would settle for staying the way things are.  Not his mama and daddy! 

People keep asking how much longer. The truth is we don't know and we haven't asked.  It doesn't matter.  I think we've realized that there really isn't a final day.  We don't have an end point on the boot- the boot doesn't matter.  Even once it's gone  things will so slowly get better and surely one day we will be sitting at a baseball game and realize he's running around the bases.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The camping trip

This is our third year to join friends at the camp groups for some Halloween fun! Lou's leg situation  (part I and part II) didn't stop us this year, mostly because we'd already paid for our cabin and basically if we'd been stuck at home and missed out on one more thing because of the leg, I think we'd loose it. 

Plus there was that whole Cubs in the World Series things... so off we went, with projector and outdoor screen in hand.  We were the most popular camp site- because kept stopping by to check the score and inning.  

Bee sported her Katniss Everdeen costume.  Lou was Peeta, but had some issues and didn't get out the cabin door in time to be photographed.  I seriously can't wait until the wheel chair is a thing of the past.  He gets anxious about being in public in the chair.  A  lot. 

I pulled out my Pipi Longstockings costume from several years ago at the last minute (back from 2012).  I had intended to be Effie Trinket, but didn't get my act together in time.  That's been happening a lot lately.  

There was some wheelchair baseball.

And a lot of golf cart rides.  We have been on the waiting list for 2 years! Check out all these boys.  Poor Bee is outnumbered with these sweet friends. 

Another camping trip in the books.  We've already booked next year too!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Welcome Fall

Good news!  Bee got her cast off! That's one kid down and one to go! 

Oh happy fall.  We celebrated with a picnic on the porch and a friend visit to the farmer's market. Could the weather be any better?  

We found a new little roadside market to buy the last of the season's tomatoes.  They let Bee and her friend but all the u-pick flowers they wanted.  What a treat! 

The new house has so many trees.  They're lovely. And then there's all the leaves to take care of.  There's our Saturday.  Happy Fall. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

that leg- part 2

Oh, that leg!  (Part I) We went in to get x-rays about two weeks after the break and discovered that the bone had shifted and was not in the right position.  That explained the pain poor Lou was in.  The pain we were all in! 

Poor kid needed to have it re-set and cast in a big ol' heavy cast. Thankfully we had a full week off this year for fall break- perfect for recovery.  

He got a big. Heavy. Long. Annoying cast.  It's been the bane of my existence.  

The procedure went well and only set us back 2 weeks.  Oh Geesh. 

Lou eventually got used, mostly, to things and we got a system in place for all the things we usually do.  We're on week seven now but this has seriously been the longest weeks of our lives.   It has been harder than I expected and really just a rough time.  

He missed the last bit of baseball season and is missing all of basketball season.  

School has been tough, but he's managed.  We've managed.  Thankfully hubby and I work at the school and are able to help out as needed.  It's been a lot on hubby- Lou has needed help in and out of the building each time classes change.  

Next week we go back for more x-rays and hopefully we end up with a boot or at least a shorter cast. Hopefully a boot.  He could use a better shower these days.  Just saying!

Friday, October 7, 2016

that blue dress

So I had this navy dress that had been with me forever.  Like since the mid 90s.

 Just to date this photo, the sister in the sunflower dress is a wife and mother and the littlest sister-baptized baby is in her lat year of college and engaged.  hmm... Littlest sister was born in 1994.   


So it still fit, but needed a little loving. The length was weird. Not maxi dress long, not ate and short.  I love to wear dresses to school- basically because you're not wearing pants.  I considered removing the sleeve, but I have to wear a sleeve to school so that seemed pointless. 

I looked around online and discovered that the print is pretty cool again.  

I decided to shorted it and add a belt with the removed length.  

Totally wearable again.  

Thinking about what else I have that could use a little remake.   I've probably got this dress somewhere...  Hello 1997.   

On a side note, this was one of my senior picture.  It was a pose my mom wanted.  That was back when the show 'Touched by and Angel' was popular.  There was this scene in the opening credits where she is wearing a hat and dress in this style and sitting barefoot on a suitcase waiting for her next assignment.  That's what inspired this lovely photo.