Friday, October 22, 2010

Red Ribbon Week

Today kicked off Red Ribbon week at the kids' elementary school. Each day of the week (starting next week) will focus on some fun creative way to remind kids to "say no to drugs." One day next week, the entire school will wear red and another day, the students and staff will wear their shirts backwards (so they will be reminded to "turn their back to drugs").

During the weekly flag assembly outside, the kids were introduced to a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer. He was dressed in civilian clothes and didn't seem to make much of an impact on the kids other than the fact that he was an unfamiliar face. Right on cue as the officer said "when I make a drug bust...." sirens and horns flashed and screamed as an army green Humvee and police cruiser tore onto the school blacktop. The kids (kindergarteners through fifth graders) screamed and squealed in excitement and the pitch rose when a DEA agent, fully decked out in his helmet, goggles, and combat attire, stepped out of the Humvee.

It was fun to see the excitement on the kids' faces at this unexpected visit (yes, even though Red Ribbon week happens every year), hear them stumble over the drug-free school pledge they took, and help them climb into these vehicles for a bit of show and tell.

The kids were entertained as they watched a schoolmate get handcuffed (poor kid was told the keys to unlock the cuffs were back in the local PD office). They were enthralled at everything an officer carried around his belt and kept guessing that every flat rectangular object in his belt was a taser (the magazine clip and voice recorder just weren't as exciting). The taser was eventually unclipped and activated so we could all hear the loud buzz of the electricty surging through the hand-held device. Umm . . . remind me not to get too close to one of those things.

So my question is, why do kids keep saying school is so boring? =)

What was one of your most exciting moments in school?
Nope - this trunk isn't good enough for our Costco shopping trips. Lots of stuff in there!

Monday, October 18, 2010

QOTD: How do you grow seedless grapes?

Today's Question Of The Day comes from six year old Lolli.

I've been known to buy seeded grapes because they're cheaper than seedless grapes. Costco on occasion sells these huge red seeded grapes that can pass for small plums on a vine. While it is a pain to slice each one open and pull out each and every seed in the grape (these grapes average about 4-6 seeds apiece), the grapes are sweet and they're usually much cheaper.

After finishing a huge batch of these with my family, I found seedless grapes from one of our local markets for a fairly reasonable price. I splurged and purchases the seedless grapes and enjoyed the luxury of simply washing and eating my grapes.

"Mommy, how come these grapes don't have seeds," Lolli had asked me after noticing her grapes didn't have the 'gaping mouth' as telltale evidence that there was necessary seed extraction.

"Well, some grapes have seeds and some don't," was my brilliant reply. After awhile, I thought that explanation was a bit lame so I added, "just like some mangoes have green skin and others have yellow skin."

She seemed somewhat satisfied with that response or else she was simply enjoying the unadulterated grapes. However, the silence didn't last too long as she asked me a question I simply didn't have the answer to.

"Well, if there is no seed, how do you grow seedless grapes?"

"You know, I don't really know. That's a great question," I told her and as I have said on several occasions in my math classes, "Let me look into that and see if I can find out something for you."

So, thanks to Google, I've skimmed a couple of articles/postings on how seedless grapes are grown (by clippings from existing seedless grape plants). It's a fairly involved process which can be better explained in this ezine article. The long and short of it though, is that I don't think there will be any seedless grapes growing in our backyard.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A week of extremes

From Webster's Dictionary:
adj \ik-ˈsep-shnəl, -shə-nəl\

1: forming an exception : rare
2: better than average : superior
3: deviating from the norm: asa : having above or below average intelligence

I've always felt awe and admiration for parents raising more than two children at a time because there are times where I can barely manage two. I have also realized that my two children--although oftentimes mistaken for twins--probably have a wider span in aptitude than many siblings who are more than five years apart.

In this week alone, Air Boss and I have decided (after 3-days of assessments for Lolli, meeting with eight school administrators, specialists, and teachers, and much flip-flopping) to keep her in her current first grade class. Despite her assessments indicating that she is performing above the current second grade class, all involved school personnel had voiced their concerns and reservations of having her skip a grade.

Towards the latter part of this week, Air Boss and I have also been faced with whether or not to pull 'Shroom out of his classroom for some intensive intervention measures. Although we weren't entirely thrilled with the prospect of 'Shroom spending more than half of each school day in a special education setting (i.e. pulled out of his classroom), we know that he's not keeping up with his second grade peers and is falling further and further behind. Yes, we met with some of the same team who had JUST discussed options for our precocious daughter and now a mere few days later, we're discussing how we can best keep 'Shroom afloat in second grade.

We've decided just this week that Lolli will stay in first grade and 'Shroom will daily receive three hours of special ed in the learning center. Wow - it's hard to believe that they come from the same parents and hence the same gene pool.

Dare I say my children are exceptional . . . ?