Saturday, December 29, 2007

today was a good day

Today we visited the Fernbank Museum of Natural History with the kids to see the exhibit, Frogs: A chorus of color. It's the first time Grace ever remembers being there. She was a babe in arms the last time we were there for William's 3rd birthday treat. It was so awesome to see all three kids making connections and enjoying the dinosaurs and natural science exhibits. We actually decided to place membership today so we can go back for more. We also saw an IMAX movie called The Alps about a man who was trying to kill some old family ghosts by re-climbing the mountain which his father died upon.

We at an early dinner at The Varsity. An Atlanta classic overflowing with health food choices. LOL Truly, it is a regional favorite that everyone must try once. I recommend a dog sideways, ring one, and a F.O. Go to this link to translate Varsity talk. What'll ya have? You had better know before you step up to the counter because ordering is serious business.

We also made a final decision to purchase a replacement for our current dishwasher. The dishwasher which came with this house has to be the loudest builder installed appliance in the world. Last year it got recalled and we've been hobbling along trying to decide what to do about it. The recall only gave $150 to replace it, but it was obvious that the appliance was on its last leg and would need to be replaced anyway. So today we bought a really nice stainless elite model from Sears. (The replacement had to be a Kenmore to get credit.) I am oh-so-excited about the 45 decibels of sound. That means I can run the dishwasher anytime instead of at night among other things. Want to know what concerned William? He wanted to know if it was quiet enough to play Star Wars on the Wii while the dishwasher was running.

I'll catch up on the whole month of Christmas soon. Photo review coming soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

decisions of a fifth grader

Last night we wrestled with a hard decision. Jordan just got selected for the Science Olympiad team at school and this activity put us beyond the realm of reasonable activities. I know most of you with younger children are saying, "I have no problem limiting my child's activities to one or two." But honestly, you haven't gotten to the stage where there are so many things available to supplement your child's education. The closer you get to middle school the more this becomes an issue. All the things are good, your child has achieved in these areas making them part of the selection process, and most are tied to school honors activities.

We've stayed with Girl Scouts since 1st grade. It is the one continuing activity which has lasted through so many stages and there are so many positives to it for a girl's self esteem. Jordan has participated in School Chorus since the first opportunity in third grade. She has an award winning director and this is an excellent opportunity to learn musically without taking piano lessons at this time. Music is a true love for Jordan. In 4th grade we added Drama and Volleyball. Drama is another passion for Jordan. My once overly outgoing girl has become more reserved with age and so Drama helped keep her self awareness at a positive level. Volleyball is just a great activity -- and goodness knows she needs something non-academic and physical for her health and mental health. And finally there is the monthly meeting of the School Book Club. Jordan is an avid reader so this is an enjoyable non-stressful meeting for her. So if you are counting that is five activities:

Girl Scouts
Chorus including the instrument practices and honors chorus slots she obtained.
Drama Club
Book Club
(and you must also take into account the activities and services we participate in as a family at church.)

Because most of the school activities were directly after school I did not have to shuttle too much to make the lesson or practice. Sometimes it involved a carpool type pickup, but nothing too difficult. Science Olympiad is a BIG commitment. Huge. Everything builds up to competitions which happen in the spring.

Finally, this morning about 20 minutes before the 6:55am Science Olympiad meeting, Jordan decided to drop Drama and keep Science Olympiad. It was a painful decision. She had just been cast in a play and although final scripts had not been distributed, she was excited about that role. I attended the SO meeting this morning and then later called her Drama teacher to explain. I've offered to help Jordan participate in Drama camps or perfomances this Summer and I think that helped the decision for her. Dave and I both tried to help her reason through all the logic involved. It was painful to watch the process and the true sorrow she felt for things she loved. Dave's feeling was that we were heavy on the fine arts part of activities. He is right about that, but so often these activites have been a good balance from the academics which Jordan faces at school. I think she made a good decision. I also think we are in for a lot of extra work and support with this activity. Still, how wonderful to have the opportunity as a girl to excel in science.

Really, this 'growing up' thing is not as simple as it once seemed.