Friday, April 19, 2013

Testing and Lego Building Week

This week has been standardized testing week for Amber.  Normal school activity was suspended while we worked through the Stanford 10 during three days this week.

Amber was initially anxious about the tests, as her parochial schools made such a fuss over testing week. We discussed the purpose for the tests, just like last year, and she seemed more at ease. We do the testing at home to help with Amber's general anxiety. 

Wednesday, we had a break from school entirely while Amber had a friend over for a large part of the day. This worked out well for our schedule and let the girls get together earlier than originally expected. 
Testing supplies &
Amber's tornado basement packing. All the current favorite toys, and her iPad Mini.
It's been a stormy week in Missouri, complete with multiple tornado watches, but thankfully no tornadoes in our immediate area.  However the rain amounts we have received are impressive. We are definitely no longer in drought conditions here.  Unfortunately, it has made for a fairly dreary week along with the mind numbing tests. 

Other than the tests it has been a pretty uneventful week.  We've watched a lot of Babylon 5 in the evenings, which is Amber's new obsession. She works that way.  She will be fixated on B5 now until we've watched it all, played all the B5 games she can find, and built all the Lego related items she can. More recently her fixations have coincided with existing Lego sets, but not so with B5. Amber didn't let that stop her, opting to design and build her own Babylon 6 that has some of the features of Babylon 4 mixed with Babylon 5.  Amber even adds new characters to the station as they appear in the series. It's interesting to see her interpretation of a Vorlon.
Tea party while we played Lego Minotaurus &
building Babylon 6 space station
I'm personally very groggy today, as the school bus that stops by our house idled longer than usual today.  Normally, it wakes me briefly around 6:15, but then I can go right back to sleep for another hour. Today the bus paused longer, and my mind started to think about the girl next door that the bus driver was waiting on to appear. I could see her, in my minds eye, running out with breakfast in hand, bleary eyed, and discombobulated.  I've never actually seen her do this, it's just how I know Amber would be if she was on that bus. 

It still boggles me how the schools expect children to be ready to catch their school bus so early in the morning, be productive and well behaved at school, complete hours of homework after school, spend time with their family, and still get adequate sleep.  I felt like an awful mother when I made Amber wake at 6:15am for parochial school, and then had to put her to bed, at what seemed like, immediately after dinner.  Occasionally, depending on the situation at work, Fred would go days without seeing Amber awake. He left before she woke, and stayed at work past her bedtime (such hours are the fate of an IT executive director).  Now, he still leaves before she's awake, but rarely misses her in the evenings.
Birthday celebration at Dave & Buster's for 2 year old cousin,
then bubble blowing at Grandma's.  So thankful we have time to enjoy family now!
It's little moments like this morning that remind me how different our lives were just 18 months ago. How tired, even exhausted, we all were. How hard we worked to spend meaningful time together, yet how little we knew each other despite it all. 

That's just another reason that I am, yet again, grateful to be homeschooling Amber. 

Today is Biscotti's 2nd birthday!  We don't have any big plans for the kitty birthday, not even a new toy since he is a terribly spoiled cat anyway.  But I do have a few pictures to share of the birthday kitty.  According to the vet, he is still a "kitten" even at two years of age, due to his breed.  Our little boy is half Maine Coon (originally unbeknownst to us), so now at 2 years and 16 pounds, he is not quite full grown and still very kitten-y.  We wouldn't want him any other way.  Happy Birthday Biscotti!

Biscotti really likes to play, supervised, in the basement.  He often "helps" with the door.
Biscotti has somewhat unusual markings too.  We call it his "Target bullseye". 
Happy 2nd Birthday to our 16 pound kitten!

Today, I'm prepping for next week when we start Biology!  Eek.  Hopefully, Elemental Science's Biology for the Logic Stage is the right curriculum to get us through this not so favored topic.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Linking with:  photo 79396fe0-1f8b-44f8-a90e-f8ca7bfa801e_zpsa74bcc3b.jpg


  1. Love your cat's name. Perfect with that pretty coloring!

    And yes, I have a little one in public kindergarten right now (have to since she's still foster child) and that early time is brutal! By the time she gets home, she is just DONE for the day.

    1. Thanks, Jamie. Amber named the the kitty when we adopted him. I was happy to read your good news about homeschooling everyone next year!

  2. We don't have to do any sort of standardized testing. But I am glad Amber is more relaxed about it. The school bus thing is something I am thankful for. Keilee never rode the bus but I know kids who do. That is just crazy to expect them to put it such long hours!! Happy Birthday to Biscotti! We have tornadoes too and spent a couple hours in our closet. There are VERY few basements in Alabama. Happy weekend Christy. :)

    1. We don't have to do standardized testing, we just do. It's a decision we have to make every year, but we continue to do it at home with Amber. I too am thankful Amber never rode the bus, just in my car each day. It was difficult enough.

  3. So glad those days of early school hours are behind us ~ only my adult son can remember them. It sounds like you all had a great week.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. Thanks for stopping by and linking up again! I'm growing very fond of you guys! Looks like you had a great week despite some testing anxiety!

  5. Christy -- I can SO relate to what you say about the bus. We have some very obnoxious kids that are waiting for the bus at 6:30 a.m. each morning -- they are loud and running up and down the driveway (which is right next to my bedroom window). Sigh. I remember sitting on my front porch with Anna, reading her devotionals before the bus came. She was always so tired.

    I, too, am so glad we homeschool now. This was a great post!

  6. Oh, testing! Something I'm super glad we don't have to do (yet)! LOL I remember those days and disliking them! Although it did mean a break from REGULAR school when I went as a child! LOL Oh! The Salad-in-a-Jar...make sure the lettuce doesn't touch the dressing. Dressing on bottom, lettuce on top. And have something not too wet by the lettuce; I had chopped hard-boiled egg. I haven't open the last 3 though. I made them last Sunday. I'm anxious to see how they lasted over the week. SUPPOSEDLY they can last up to 2 weeks.

  7. I am so grateful for no bleary-eyed early morning, too. And thankful for how much time we get to spend together. When someone asks about homeschooling through high school, I think of these blessings and think why would we ever go back to the public school regime?

  8. My son, also in grade 5, loves Babylon 5. We watched seasons 1-4 last year. I keep meaning to order season 5. Our local store only carries the first 4 seasons. He also read a couple of the books but then something else came along to grab his interest reading wise. For creative writing he is currently writing a short story called 'Epsilon 6'

    We used to have a Maine Coon cat. She came to us a stray kitten that would curl up in ice cream bucket. Full grown she filled my laundry basket and weighed 26 lbs. Our neighbours used to have 3 little yappy dogs in a run next door and she would sit out there in a hunting crouch in the hopes that one would get out so she could pounce.

  9. I know exactly what you mean about the school schedule. Where we live it is a long ride to school and they pick up the kids before it is daylight. Some days it is after 4:30 when they return. How in the world will these children ever know what down time is, or what they really enjoy doing with this free time? Thanks for linking to HammockTracks. I enjoy your posts and look forward to seeing how this week turned out for you.