Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: 11/14-11/19/2010

The big girl is very rarely featured in our Weekly Wrap-up but this week I actually have two updates all about her!

Having been a dancer for 12 years and a cheerleader for 3 years (not to mention the fact that she refused to wear anything but dresses/skirts from the time she was two years old until she was six), you would expect Steph to be something of a girly-girl.  Well, you would be wrong (what she is is impossible to define) and she got to prove it last weekend when she played……Football!! 
Her school has an annual tradition where the Senior girls play the Junior girls in Powderpuff Football and Steph was right in there helping lead the Junior girls to a 12-2 loss.  srcstic   According to TRADITION the Senior girls always win (with a little help from the referees if necessary) but just wait until next year!

Our other piece of big girl excitement was her very first driving lesson with mom.  Steph completed her 6 hours of driving instruction with a licensed driving school a couple weeks ago.  Now, it is up to us to teach her everything else she needs to know and make sure she gets enough practice so she can pass her driving test and get her license in six months. 
She did a pretty good job considering instead of the nice compact Ford Focus the driving instructor had (with the passenger side brake pedal) she had to drive our Suburban.  For anyone who doesn’t know – a Suburban is HUGE!!  It took me a while to get used to driving it after my little Honda Civic.  Unfortunately she has no choice since the above mentioned Civic is a manual transmission.  She will eventually have to learn to drive it but I figured there were a few things she should get the hang of  - like straightening out of turns without hitting the curb (how she got a flat tire on the instructors Focus, thankfully not likely to happen on the Suburban) or braking without giving her passenger whiplash or accelerating up hills without pissing off the people behind her – before expecting her to take on a third pedal and shifting.    Learning to drive in a hugely populated area like NJ is not easy.  There are no wide open roads to drive on.  Instead she had to drive on major highways during rush hour with impatient drivers in a hurry to get home.   I’m sure she’s going to do just great (although I may have to take up drinking).bigtup
Now on to the little guys.  We had a pretty normal (but light) week.   I was hoping to start some Thanksgiving activities but for a variety of reasons we didn’t.   With the Holiday season coming on strong, I’ve decided to go ahead and modify our workload rather than try and do it all and be depressed when it never happens.

First thing we are going to change is to add a LOT of crafts.  Next week we will be making Turkeys, Indian Corn and Cornucopias.  After that it will be weeks of Christmas and Winter crafts - snowmen and snowflakes and ornaments and trees and stars and candles and.....
Second, we are going to read lots and lots of books.  Thanksgiving stories, Christmas stories, Winter Solstice stories, Hanukkah stories, Kwanzaa stories and any other stories we find relevant.

As far as our core subjects are concerned… I don’t want to just ditch them all because I don’t want Georgie to forget too much in the next six weeks.  He is doing so well that I don’t want to lose ground.  But, I also know that with the excitement of Christmas coming, sitting down to do worksheets isn’t likely to happen.  Our extensive list of books to read will help some but I want to do more.  So, I think we are going to play lots of games.   We have a pretty extensive collection of reading and math games that I think will do a great job of keeping up skills.  This will also give me the chance to feature more of our games on here for anyone who may be looking for ideas.
I’m also going to add some physical activity to our day.  The weather has been getting colder (and been rainy a lot) so we aren’t taking walks as often as we were, although the littles are still taking gymnastics every week.  I wanted to find something that would be fun for the kids so I made up some exercise dice that we can use along with our regular foam dice.  One die has stretching/warm-up type exercises – toe stretches, big and small arm circles, side stretches, etc.  The other die has more active exercises – jumping jacks, sit-ups, hopping on one foot, etc.  We’ll start with the stretching die and roll it together with two regular dice.  Add the numbers on the dice together and do the activity on the stretching dice that many times.  After a 2-3 activity warm-up we will do the same using the active die.  Of course, I will be doing every exercise right along with the kids. Smileys_30

Does anyone know a good program to add smiley's to blogger?  I think they work great to get across tone and I have a few saved as clip-art but they come out kind of odd.  I do use Windows LiveWriter to do some of my posts.  Thanks!


  1. I don't know how to fix your smiley problem, but I will state that teaching teenagers to drive is just the most nerve-wracking thing ever.

  2. Ditto! My second driver is only "two months, two weeks and five days" away from her permit (I get daily updates LOL). With this one, we're going to insist she learns manual transmission within the first two months. Her brother, driving for 1.5 years, still won't drive the stick shift car for longer than around the neighborhood...

  3. Way to go, Steph! What a fun week for her, but being a driving instructor is not always fun for mom. Keep the drinks handy.

  4. I just mentioned the *possibility* of driving to my 16yo. She doesn't want too...and after reading your post I'm reminded that I probably really don't want her to either. :)

    Your upcoming rest of the year plan sounds great. I need to do something similar myself! Thanks for sharing all your ideas.
    PS No smiley advice, but I often wish I had some available myself!

  5. I think learning to drive in a suburban in NJ makes her a hero (and mama too).

  6. I'll have to see if you get any ideas about the smiley... I'd love to know!

    I can't imagine teaching a teen to drive! Yikes! My oldest is 10... at least I have a *few* years!

    You have some fun ideas for the weeks ahead! Can't wait to hear more about them!

  7. Thanks for all the well-wishes. :-) I have a little bit of a break now while she's at her dads for the week. The next few months are really going to be rough on my nerves.