Saturday, May 31, 2008

Glad that's over (well, sort of)

These last two weeks have been exhausting as I've been constantly on the go end-of-the-school-year activities, appointments for the kids, and my normal three-times-daily trips to the school for drop-offs, pick-ups, and to tend to my niece's meals/insulin shots.

The kids' last day was yesterday, and I'm glad the running back and forth is over. The official last day of school will be Monday, but I think I might oversleep that day! ;-)

of course the end of school doesn't mean there's any time to rest! It means I'll have five kids (my three all the time and my two nieces when their mother is at work) to care for, feed, entertain, etc. five days a week!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reading together

We've always loved reading with our kids. Our eight-year-old third grader now devours books like I used to, and our six-year-old kindergarten child is doing very well. For a class assignment this year she has written down all the books she's read each month. Her list is usually pretty long. All the students who have read 10 or more books for the month get a prize, and she has always gotten a prize. This month her list is not as long but each book title has several marks beside it, because we've read the same ones over and over to her!

We are going to get them signed up for the summer reading program at the library next week, so that's exciting.

Here's a good article about the benefits of reading with your kids:

The Benefits of Reading To Your Child

By: Rhonda Gales

To prepare your child for academic success, expose them to books early. Studies have shown that reading is one of the keys to academic success. My daughter loved for me to read aloud when she was a child, especially at bedtime. She loved Strawberry Shortcake, The Berenstain Bears, and any classic bedtime story. As she got older her interest would change, but she continued to read for hours. At age 27 she still loves to read. She follows Oprah's book club and she is a member of Walden's Books as well. One of my fondest memories will be our book fair excursions. We would plan a day where I would meet her at college and we would spend hours at the local book fair. Later we would discuss our finds as well as the latest happenings on campus over dinner. I do believe that our mutual love for books helped to create a strong mother - daughter bond.

My daughter was an honor student, a member of Who's Who in America, and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. I believe that her early exposure to books helped her to excel in her academics. Start reading to your child at an early age. It' never too soon.

Benefits of Reading to Your Child:

·Reading together creates a bond.
·Reading helps to build a child's vocabulary. If there was a word that my daughter didn't understand she would ask what the word meant. It's a perfect opportunity to expose them to the dictionary and read the definition to them.
·Your child will learn to follow a story from beginning to end. (You won't be able to fool them if you try to skip pages. If it's one of their favorite stories, they will know it by heart).
·Your child will have an appreciation for writing as well. My daughter decided to create her own stories. She would sit for hours writing, drawing pictures, and later reading her stories to me.
·Strong academics.

Reading Tips:

·Start reading to your child as early as 6 months. Children this age will usually want to eat their books. Vinyl books would be appropriate for this age group.
·Select reading material that interest your child and is appropriate to his/her age group. Toddlers love bright colors and books that are simple (without a lot of illustrations). Board books are perfect.
·Use different voices and pitches (vary your tone) when you read. Young children usually prefer to hear the same story over and over.
·Purchase a personalized book for your child. They love reading about themselves.
·PBS has great programs where they focus on words, spelling, and their meaning. Check out your TV Guide for time slots and programs.
·Have your child turn the page when you're reading. This gets them involved.
·Allow your child to ask questions, and be sure to ask your child questions about the story.
·Introduce them to book stores early, and allow your child to select books from his or her age group.
·Take them to the local library for story hour. Be sure to get them a library card.
·Set an example. If your child sees you reading, they will follow.
·Don't substitute books on tape. The true bonding experience and benefits come from you taking the time to read to your child.

Article Source:

About the Author - I'm the mother of a beautiful daughter and owner of an on-line business, Rhonda's Fabric Gift Baskets. For unique baby gifts, visit us at We feature diaper cakes, onesies, hand-crocheted dresses, sweaters, and christening gowns for infants. Gift baskets for all occasions! Be sure to visit our blog, Mother 2 Mother, at

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer break getting closer

This is the last week of school and it's going to be a busy week! We (that is, the girls do) have a song/dance group performance one day and a field day/talent show another day.

The performance will be on Tuesday at their school. It's the last show of the year.

The field day and talent show will be Thursday, and children whose parents attended parents' night last week can come to school out of uniform! The kids are so excited about not having to wear a uniform that day. The field day part of the day will be full of outdoors activities, and the talent show will be that afternoon.

I'm not really ready for them to be out of school but it's here whether I want it to be or not. I'm certainly not looking forward to all their yelling and arguing and all the cooking and cleaning up after them that I'm going to have to do. Oh well. I'm still hoping for a good summer.

We're going to get things going next week by getting all the girls signed up for the reading group at the library, and we've got several other trips to local places planned for the summer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We're groupies!

My daughter and niece's school performing group did two performances today at other schools and visited a couple of other places. My son and other niece followed them around all day and we decided that we're groupies!

Their performing group is a song and dance group that sings motivational and popular songs and the kids chosen to try out are on the honor roll and have excellent behavior. My daughter loves being in front of people and she's short, so she is on the first row, dancing, singing and smiling the whole time. My niece is tall and a tad shy, so she's kind of tucked away in the back row, but she might just like it up there.

They started this morning off with a performance at another elementary school in the district, and then visited a famous site for a little bit to run around and let off some steam. Then they went to a park to eat lunch and play, and they finished the day up with another performance at another elementary school in their district. They were gone from school all day and got back to school in time to go home!

My two kids and I followed them around in the car all day and had a very good time being groupies! My son danced, clapped and did the moves during both shows. Toward the end of both shows he got tired and dropped off for a nap. My sister-in-law got to come to the second performance. She couldn't come to the first one because of work. (Speaking of which, we were the only two parents who came. The kids do have a performance next week at their own school so maybe some of the parents will get to come then.)

The girls have one performance tomorrow and we're planning on being groupies again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Very busy schedule!

My head is spinning thinking about our very busy schedule for the rest of the month, mostly with school-related activities.

My older daughter has a presentation about the rain forest with her gifted and talented class Monday morning. It's a play, she said.

She and my older niece are in a performing group at their school for kids who have good behavior and good grades. They have been practicing their songs for a couple of months or so and it's getting time to start their tour!

The two girls have not one but TWO performances on Wednesday. The first one is that morning at an elementary school in our district and the second one is that afternoon at another elementary school in our district. The very next day, Thursday, they are going to an elementary school in a neighboring district for a performance. My younger daughter has a fit session that Thursday afternoon.

The following week, the girls have another performance on Tuesday morning at their own school. The next day the baby has to go get recertified for WIC and then he has a photo shoot later that morning. (It's penciled in, actually. We don't have official confirmation but most likely it will happen.)

There will also be some other field trips for good behavior and honor roll for the girls that I haven't been notified about yet. And of course every day or pretty much every day the baby and I have the breakfast and lunch thing at school with my younger niece.

We are also having a dishwasher and front doors installed in the next week or so, and we are going to spend the weekend with some friends this weekend.

This is all making me very tired just thinking about it!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

That was amazing

I have five kids to tend to in the mornings and believe it or not I didn't have to do ANYTHING for ANYONE this morning!

My nieces came a bit earlier today than they normally do. Their mom dropped them off here about 6:40 a.m. on her way to work. When they got here all the kids and I were still in the bed. My nieces got my girls up, and my girls for some odd reason got right up and got dressed.

My older daughter fixed her own hair and made her own lunch, and my older niece fixed my younger daughter's hair. By the time I got up all I had to do was get in the shower. I didn't even have to choose any clothes for myself since my younger niece did that. The baby woke up while I was in the shower and the girls changed his diaper and dressed him. My husband had gotten home from his first job of the day by then and was entertaining the baby and everyone when I got finished getting myself ready.

Really the only things I did this morning were put socks on the baby, give my niece a belt, and pull lunch fixings out for my daughter.

I know that will never happen again but it sure was nice this morning!

Normally I have to do everything from getting girls' clothes out, making them get out of bed, combing their hair, changing and dressing the baby, and a ton of other things, and that's after I've slept until the last possible second. We manage to get it all done by 7:30 or 7:35 a.m. but not having to do anything this morning sure made things start out great for me!