Thursday, August 30, 2007

Middle School Madness

First, a note about Nate. He finally called the doctor to see what was up since we hadn't heard anything. All his bloodwork came back normal for the things they were testing this time. (They did not test hemaglobin or iron levels.) He does NOT have lead poisoning. However, his urine samples are missing. 3 days worth. So he has to repeat the test next week. No news until September. How much longer can this drag on...or rather how much longer can Nate drag on?

Second, why no pictures? I managed to mess up my computer and now I cannot click links on a webpage. I have pictures, but can't click the link to add them. Ho hum...

Ben's middle school life started early Monday morning at 5:20 a.m. when the alarm rang so he could get ready. His bus leaves at 6:17 in the morning. School begins at 7:53. Yes, we are the first stop on the route. Ben arrived at school and started his day with GSG. GSG is homeroom. Ben will have the same homeroom and locker for all 3 years. He has 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in his homeroom class. The 8th graders lead the others in leadership activities and character learning. When Ben reaches 8th grade, he will help lead the younger ones in his class. Interesting program and seems to work to diminish bullying. Ben says he already knows lots of 8th graders and they are nice.

His middle school works on the block program. They have red day and purple day. On red days, he starts with math, science, then lunch, followed by reading, music/art but he is switching to drama. Purple day begins with PE, world cultures, lunch, English, study lab. He comes home on the bus, where mom meets him at 4:30.

World cultures is his favorite because they don't give homework, it is fun, and it is interactive and he filled out an application for a classroom job. Ben's least favorite subject is math because it is a tough subject and the homework is hard.

After 4 days, we are all very tired and fall asleep by 9:30. Ben thinks middle school is better than elementary, while mom and dad are adjusting and thinking it's not so bad......this week.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

End of Summer

Nate is slowly recovering from the 3 day round of blood tests. We are still waiting on the results.

Kim has been busy with preparing for teaching all grades (K-5) science lab and recovering all her files that were deleted in the server migration this summer. She learned podcasting in one of her teacher inservices and is excited to find time to play.

Ben went to the 6th grade orientation for middle school. He immediately hooked up with his friends from elementary school, found his classroom, and thought the parent meeting was "BO-ring!". Mom thought the music was too loud, the other kids too big, and the school just plain huge. It wasn't like that in my day! Monday should be a big adjustment for us all. :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm in love...

with Wyoming! Dad drove Ben & I up a few days before Kim's wilderness school to tour Yellowstone National Park. The pictures don't do it justice - you really have to experience it. Since they hire teachers to work and live in Yellowstone for the summer, Kim is lobbying Nate to allow her to "earn extra money" in the summers.

Before we actually made it into the park, we got settled in at Al's Westward Ho Motel in West Yellowstone, Montana. Very clean, but spartan - definitely within budget.

At Ben's behest, we visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, MT. Ben was able to take part in hiding the bears' food and then watching while they found it. He took great pride in learning everything he could about bears and then sharing his knowledge with innocent bystanders.

We also got to see the wolves howl:

Ten days in Utah...

Ben & Kim traveled to Utah to spend time with family. Bryce's family was very kind to drive up to the Jones headquarters in West Jordan so that we could all be together. It was very, very fun and we enjoyed getting to know cousins that we hadn't seen in a year. Unfortunately, I'm missing the roll of film for those days. I did take a couple of pix of Betsie's girls with my digital.

Ben and Tyce spent every spare second together as did Mary & Kess. I'm not sure I even had a conversation with Mary. It was good to see them! We enjoyed hiking around Silver Lake where Bryce's twins kept the family in one-liners for the next year.

Harrison(upon encountering a fallen pine): uh oh....The tree fell down? We have to fix it! Maybe tomorrow.

Cameron (while viewing 2 female mallard ducks and a duckling). That the mommy and daddy? Kim: no, it is 2 girls. Cam: That the mommy & baby? Kim: Yes. Cam: That other one the daddy! Kim: No....its the aunt. Cam: Oh, okay. Say bye ducks. (ducks quack). Another 150 yards down the trail. Kim: Look Cameron, there's the daddy duck. Cam(screaming so loud it echos across the lake: Bye daddy duck! Bye daddy duck! BYE DADDY DUCK! (continue for next 10 minutes). Kim (to self): please duck, please quack

Cameron (after seeing ground squirrels): Chip chip bite me? chip chip bite me harder? hee.hee..

The other highlights of the week were spending time with my mom and dad. It was really nice to just hang out and visit. Oh, and I did go truck-shopping with my newly retired's how we did.

Family news...

Did you miss us? Ben & Kim spent a month visiting family and doing teacher training out of state. Unfortunately, Nate was unable to go with us.

Nate's tests came back negative, but he had to wait a month for the hematologist appointment. After the hematologist reviewed everything, he insisted that Nate has a GI bleed or cancer and all the previous tests had missed it, so we are back to the drawing board and Nate is doing 3 days of testing to try and detect the signals. UGGGGHHH! We are frustrated and worried, but not much we can do right now. Please keep Nate in your prayers.

On another note, with our increased consumption of red meat (for Nate's iron levels), both Kim & Ben's cholesterol is elevated, so now we have to have 2 diets in the family. Kind of makes us laugh and the dietician groan, but so be it.

I'll post vacation stuff shortly.