Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Teacher Conference

I had a conference with Noah's teacher yesterday. It went well. The main thing we discussed was how we see him reading better than his tests would indicate. A lot of it comes down to how they have to assess him. When his teacher said that they were under "Common Core," her voice sort of dropped at the word "core." I commented that nobody's voice seems to go up when they say "Common Core," and she just smiled. It seems that when Lily was in first grade they assessed students orally, but now they have to write. This is not so bad, but it is something for him to work on. He's going to keep reading chapter books though. The trick with Noah is figuring out whether he really comprehends what he is reading. He has no trouble decoding what words are, but he may not be taking it all in.

His other subjects are going very well. He goes to Lily's first grade teacher for math and she said that they love Noah. Noah occasionally talks when it's not appropriate, but overall he is a sweet, well-behaved and well-rounded kid. He's certainly not one of those kids who seems like he eats pop rocks for breakfast.

He is also well-rounded in that he is not just into sports, Star Wars, Mario, Angry Birds, and Wii. His teacher said, that "Noah likes the ladies." He has made friends with two girls - Nina and Jasmine (or Jazzy as she is also known). One day Noah came home with a purple scarf tied around his wrist. That was a gift from Jasmine. Mrs. Griswold said that they had to change Noah's seat because he kept making faces at Nina.

I'm afraid that those big brown eyes are already starting to attract attention. It's all sweet fun now, but in a few years it won't be. It sounds like Noah is starting to be like a guy in an Axe commercial.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekend Activities

We had an extremely active weekend and I am very glad to be working from home today after it. We started it off by attending a Halloween party at the McKenzies. Amanda worked hard to get our costumes together and I think that they came out pretty good.

Being Barney and Betty Rubble was pretty easy, though in the future I have to remember how static electricity works as my costume kept clinging to my shorts. Nevertheless, the costumes were a hit.

Saturday morning brought frost and soccer. This was our last game, so I mixed up the players and positions a bit more. Noah was on offense and alertly stayed near the goalie while the goalie tried to drop-kick the ball. He picked up the trash and put it in the net! This was very exciting for us as it was a pure hustle play. We came home in the afternoon and had some grilled burgers before I watched the first half of Ohio State's pasting of Penn State.

Sunday we went to church early and then got ready for the Monster Dash 5k. Here are Amanda and her sisters in their Pink Ladies getups.

The race was an unqualified success for all. The ladies ran through the whole thing. I finished with a PR of 23:46, which made me happy. Then we headed over to Lilly's Pizza to eat and drink some carbs. Brenna spent the night last night, so I took Noah out to Buffaloe Lanes to play some arcade games and earn tickets. We finished with a long browse at Target, which is one of his favorite things to do.

All in all, it was a very successful weekend. Today I have a parent-teacher meeting with Noah's teacher. I am looking forward to what she thinks.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Family Weekend

We have had a fun, but busy weekend with Grandpa and Bubbe coming down from Wadsworth for a few days. It started Thursday evening with a nice dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans, and an amazing caramel apple pie. Friday we took them to Adams Vineyards so that we could all get a sense of what Muscadine wine was all about. We had lunch at the NC Seafood Restaurant at the Farmer's Market so that they could learn about Calabash style seafood. It was a huge hit.

Saturday we went to Chapel Hill to check out the Coker Arboretum and to do a little shopping at A Southern Season. The Arboretum is not quite as massive as Duke Gardens, but it is a lovely place to take a walk. I think it would be incredible in the springtime. We finished the day with some good meat from the Meat House and, of course, some great wine provided by Grandpa Gary.

Grandpa and Bubbe are currently on the road to Cleveland and we are having a mellow Sunday morning since we have been going to church on Sunday evenings. Noah slept in until 8:00, which was later than the 7:30 he was directed to. He said he woke up at 7:30, but decided to be nice and stay in his room.

Later I made some pumpkin-spice pancakes with fresh caramel sauce. Everyone enjoyed it but Lily, who made her own chocolate-chip pancakes. She got Noah to help her so that he would be eligible to get in on leftovers. I guess that he was in a certain mode of listening to her because while I was talking to Amanda in our bedroom and Noah was in his room Lily shouted up to him to get his attention. He opened his door and angrily yelled, "What do you command me to do?" Clearly she has him trained well!

Justin is going to come over to play with Noah today. Lily and I are going to go out for some errands and to play chess with my new clock. But right now I'm going to keep hiding in the basement and do some reading.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The church we've been attending had a retreat for the fifth and sixth graders. Lily has a friend who was going and we made her go. She wasn't very excited about it because she didn't know anyone else and wasn't sure what she was getting into (I blame my genes for this), but she went. They separated the kids into teams and fortunately she and her friend were on the same team.

We dropped her off Friday and she seemed to be keeping her spirits up, despite a general lack of enthusiasm. When I picked her up Saturday she couldn't stop talking about all that they did. She had a great time. I don't think that she made any BFFs there, but she did have a good time.

It's hard to think of Lily as being old enough to spend the night at a church retreat, but she did. We're just glad that she had a good time. Everything we saw encouraged us that it was run very well and that the teaching was very good.

Now if we could just convince her not to wear jeans and boots on an 85 degree day. She did look real sharp though.