Happy First Day of Spring

Spring is finally here, though you wouldn’t really know it by looking outside.  It’s very dark and dreary with a fine rain falling on the layer of sleet that fell yesterday.  Hopefully, the weather will start improving, the buds will start popping up and Mother Nature will show her true beauty in all the flowers and green leaves.  I’m looking forward to the snow going away!

I’m also hoping that I won’t need all the winter woolies anymore.  Though, that will make me kinda sad as I just finished a pair of fingered gloves for myself.  I’m loving the colors (black, red, green with a hint of white and blue) and they match my winter coat and hat perfectly (well, the black and bright green do anyway), but I’m kinda sad that while I made them to fit me perfectly, they have stretched a bit with wearing them a few times and now feel like they are floating on my hands.  They are still warm, though and I’ll either keep them or give them to Darling Hubby if he’d like them.  I was considering making them with a mitten flap to go over the fingers, but I don’t think I have enough yardage leftover to do both flaps…Oh well.

I haven’t been spinning since the Ravellenics ended in February (geeze, that was a month ago almost!).  I went to Open Spinning at the LYS last night and finished up the 2nd skein of my X’s and O’s worsted weight Navajo plied yarn.  It felt good to finish something.  I finally washed the first skein of X’s and O’s and the skein of Ten and Tardis singles that I spun.  Now I’ve got 3 skeins of yarn drying.  I’m hoping the weather improves so I can get out on the porch to photograph.  The dark and dreary light of today isn’t great for photography…and my attempt at making my own light box was a failure.  😦  Sometimes I’m crafty, but this wasn’t one of those times!

Oh, and I have added one new project to my WIP list.  Little Fidget will be turning 4 in May and along with that he has the opportunity to go to pre-k.  I’ve already put his application in for the district pre-k lottery which will be drawn on 4-11-14.  We should hear if he got into our chosen school by the following week.  We’re really hoping that he gets into the same school his brother currently attends.  It would make life so much easier!  lol  Anyway, since school starts in 6 months I figured that would give me plenty of time to work on a “nap blanket” like I made for Bug when he went to Pre-k.  Fidget decided that he wanted something simpler than the Wheels on the Bus blanket I’d made for Bug.  In a way I’m grateful that he chose something simpler.  While the Wheels on the Bus was a cute blanket it was a lot of work and after a school year of weekly washing it didn’t hold up as well as I’d have liked. Plus, sewing all those 2 inch squares together was a right royal pain!  lol

Fidget chose a red blanket at first, then chose a red and black blanket.  I fell in love with the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting so we scoured Ravelry together to find red and black blankets to give us ideas for 2 more colors.  We settled on black, red, white and dark grey.  So far I’m on block 6 and only messed up once, putting block 4 in the wrong place, but it will work out in the end I think with a bit of fudging.

Sadly, I don’t have any new photos.  Hopefully I’ll get something this week to share.  It’s weird, but I don’t like talking about my craft projects without photos to share!  Better get back to knitting.  Happy Spring, Everyone!

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One Proud Mama!

I went to Bug’s first 1st grade Parent Teacher Conference this morning and I couldn’t be prouder of my boy.  He’s doing fantastically!  Both his teachers just love having him in class (and they told me they weren’t just saying that!)  He makes them smile everyday and his excitement at learning  is contagious!

I already knew that Bug is a phenomenal reader, but Mrs. J confirmed that he’s reading well above the typical 1st grade level.  He’s actually reading at a 5th grade level (S on the Fountas & Pinnell Test)…and the only reason it’s not higher isn’t because he can’t sound out the words, it’s because he doesn’t understand the unspoken/inferred things and feelings between characters.  Our challenge is to find works that will hold his interest and are age appropriate.  Mrs. J gave me 2 huge lists of books to try to find something that takes him longer than 5 minutes to tear through (like the library book he brought home last week that was a level 2 early reader that he polished off in 4 minutes flat and correctly answered every question I asked.)

I did find several Beverly Cleary books on the list and we stopped at the library this afternoon and picked up Henry Huggins and Ribsy.  He was already eyeballing the other Henry books.  Hopefully those will be age appropriate for him and will hold his interest.  I also found some of my old non fiction books that I had when I was in college for elementary education and had to write lesson plans.  I found some books on the human body and several on mummies/pyramids.  He took right to the grossology book (of course!)

Over the summer I read a children’s version of Homer’s Odyssey written by Mary Pope Osborne (the author of the Magic Treehouse series) and last week, we started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and he seems to be really enjoying it.  I’ve been reading a chapter to him at bedtime and if I know there is a word he wouldn’t know I take the time to explain it to him and he’s been good about asking questions if there is something he doesn’t understand.  I actually really enjoy reading chapter books to him.  Picture books are great, but sometimes making him think about what we read the day before is better.

We’ve also noticed that his handwriting and word spacing has improved ten fold since the start of the year.  It’s so obvious in his personal journal entries he does each week.  Now if we could only get him to enjoy the drawing and coloring portion of the journaling we’d be golden…though he’s never been one to color or draw…it was always like pulling teeth to get him to draw pictures at home…even before he started school.

The only downside is that Mrs. J is concerned that he’s not going to show a lot of growth in the reading department.  There’s always room for improvement, but if he doesn’t at least show some growth by the end of the year, the district may complain to the teacher that he didn’t make some improvement.  They only look for improvement, not the fact that he’s reading at well above his grade level…  We are all going to continue to encourage him with his reading and find things that interest him to keep him going.  He’s such a smart cookie that I’d hate to see him plateau out.

He’s also doing really well in his math.  I love that Mrs. J doesn’t want the kids competing against one another.  I can remember when I was in 1st/2nd grade we had to tear through a page of math facts and see how many we could get correct in a minute.  I always felt bad if I didn’t score high.  Mrs. J plans to have the kids compete with themselves and challenge them to improve upon their prior day’s score.  She gave me a set of flash cards that I have to cut out and a chart for his MOOSE book (Management of Organizational Skills Everyday).  I’ll time him and keep track of how many facts he gets correct and chart it.  I’m sure we’ll see improvement.

Needless to say, I’m one very proud Mommy!  It’s great seeing Bug make such strides in his learning.