Around Here Week 06: 02/04-10

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

 A glimpse into what it is like to live in our family just this moment.

We love you, Miss Baylee!

a handmade gift from my student Kaylee!

photo cred: Jackie F

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 10+ hours (of 1000)
We had some great weather this week that had us all outside enjoying the sunshine, playing with the pups, and even taking a family walk to check the ponds in the fields for frog eggs (none yet!) I know it's only early February but I am already ready for spring - get a move on weather! 

Reading and finishing Me (Moth) by Amber McBride which is our last Project Lit book before I switch schools (gulp!) It is written in verse and absolutely beautiful. Even the cover art is gorgeous. I really enjoyed it and finished it during my 10th period class while the kids took a vocab test - and when they saw my expression as I got to the end, my students were legit asking if I was okay because I was aghast. hahhhaa. Next, I'm reading Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell which was suggested to me by my coworker Mr. Gerney! 

Pup sitting Bo-boy and loving him up so much. He was really such a sweetie and the kids adored him. He slept in the girls' room each night on the floor but not after getting a read aloud from Gemma's ELA novel each night (HAH!) Osa is loving having a playmate too - this is the first time in a year and a half that she's played out all her energy by the end of the day! 

Financial planner check in with our favorite man Dave. Just a reminder to you in case you needed to schedule a check in with yours :)

Having a nice long chat about social media and internet expectations/etiquette with Grey while he moves into the land of social media (snapchat/instagram) as he is on the brink of 14. We made clear our expectations for him and explained that your presence on social media is part of "your brand." So if you are going to post something, make sure that it represents who you are and who's you are. That if you don't have the cojones to say the comment to someone's face, you will not be typing it behind the protection of a screen. That social media is the highlight reel of people's lives and when you start feeling like your life isn't good enough - it is time to step away from the scrolling, look up, get outside, and find your parents and little siblings for a hug because baby, you are loved and the world in front of you is big and beautiful and if you want more out of life YOU have to squeeze more out - scrolling doesn't produce more out of life. 

    Because I've been asked - other phone expectations we have include:

  •  There is no Life360 on any of our phones (my own personal belief that it discourages communication, trust, and truthfulness). 
  • We don't go through messages/photos/social (my own personal belief that it discourages open communication, trust, and truthfulness). We believe (hope) we've done enough front-loading in raising up that the kids don't get a phone at all until we believe we can trust you without snooping. If you earned the phone, you get it with trust and independence. Also I never stop talking about the most awkward things with the kids - so they've been through plenty of weird conversations that they know deep in their bones about spidey sense and if something feels dangerous, it probably is so you better find a grown up you trust to talk about it (us, aunts/uncles, grandparents, coach, teacher, friends' parent). 
  • Kids don't get phones in our family until 13 (minimum - even if you're the last one standing in 6th/7th grade without a phone - LOL, both Gemma and Grey...believe me, we hear about it from them PLENTY). 
  • We have 2 tvs in our house (none in bedrooms), no devices (tablets/iPads), 1 Xbox, and 1 laptop for work/school.
   All of this doesn't mean that we have a perfect system - we've had to have conversations about: 
  • We have had to talk to Grey about his screen time and he's also check us on ours too (guilty as charged! screen addiction and scroll addiction are real!) 
  • algorithms and what you have popping up comes from the things you click - so if you're seeing lots of the same things that's because AI believes that they have figured you that the kind of person you are? 
  • we don't take and share videos that could be hurtful/embarrassing to other people. It might have been funny in the moment (even the person that it happened to could have laughed!) but that doesn't mean it's funny later - somethings should just live in that one moment and it's a funny memory and that's enough. "Trying to go viral" is not a worthy goal to have in life. 
  • etiquette and appropriateness - texts to coaches/adults
   And I'm sure there are many more conversations to come. As always, I think the foundation needs to be on the solid ground of communication (actual face to face, eye to eye) and trust (you trust them and they know it & value that trust). I believe if those two things are in place, then it's possible to work out the kinks as they come up. Raising kids is tough, my hugs to you all. xxo

Attending a meeting for a trip abroad with Grey at the high school. The meeting was super informative and so well put together (bravo chaperones - especially my fellow book clubber Jake!) Grey and I talked a lot about it and looked at all the information. We aren't going to do this trip, but I am still very strongly in favor of our kids doing a trip before they graduate high school. Going to Honduras when I was a junior in high school was fundamental in the person that I am today (so many things I learned from traveling as a young person: independence, adaptability, awareness, empathy, language/communication, etc).

Someone Special Dance at the elementary school with Rusty and Violet. Brandon, the kids, and I got dressed up and headed out to dance, snack, and talk to friends at the dance. Everyone looked so sweet and we got a picture of most of Vi's basketball team so pretty in their dresses - but you can bet those girls are still fierce on the inside! It was fun to see Rust and Vi with their friends smiling and having fun - always special to get some 1 on 1 (or 2 on 2) time with the kids in a big family! Bravo to the PTA for putting on such a nice event! 

Practicing using chopsticks to celebrate Lunar New Year. Grey, B, and I are the only ones that know how, but Vi is determined and would not eat until she was able to use her chopsticks correctly (Competitive should be Violet's middle name). She did get the hang of it after awhile.

Teaching Spanish 1 about action verbs and conjugations. Spanish 2 read chapters 7-11 and worked through some comprehension practice. Spanish 3 and 4 practiced the Imperfect Past tense and talked about the difference between Imperfect and Preterite. They also helped me un-decorate some of my room and it was very productive and equally sad.

Holding our annual junior class fundraiser (59minute popcorn) to raise money for prom and it went great! Thank you to everyone who endured texts from my junior class and those that bought too. It was important to me to close up this piece of prom planning before I left my kids to make sure that they were all squared away with the money to throw a beautiful prom before I left them. I also finalized the prom posters, tickets, and menu cards this week and got all the files and paperwork organized for Mrs. Foy who will be taking over prom committee when I leave. Ugh, I love these kids - it is so breaking my heart, but I know they are capable and in good hands and I did all I could do to make it okay for them before leaving. 

Sporting with 1 basketball game  and 1 Sparks soccer practice for Violet. Gemma had 2 basketball games with her 6th grade team, did stats for the jr high girls' basketball team twice, and 3 basketball practices. Grey had 1 baseball pitching, 1 QB workout, 2 football chalk talks, and 3 basketball practices. He also lifted most days after school.  Coach Daddy attended the SAFCA football dinner with his players who were selected for the awards (congrats Jon and Sammy!) B took some of our kids to see our varsity basketball players in the playoffs and we lifted twice this week too. 

Making Italian baked chicken with roasted potatoes. Korean beef, rice, and green beans, pierogies & kilebasa, Hawaiian meatballs, copycat Olive Garden chicken over noodles, take out pizza, and take out Chinese food on Saturday to celebrate Lunar New Year!  I made a batch of snickerdoodles on Sunday (they never make it more than a few hours; the kids love 'em). 

1 comment:

  1. Three of our four kids have phones (all the boys) and they got them when they started middle school because they had to walk home from school and I wanted them to be able to contact me if necessary.
    Our kids have always known that "their" phone is really "our" phone (as in mine and their dad's) and we are just letting them borrow it. As such, anything on the phone is open to our eyes. They know I regularly look through text messages or photos.

    We also have Life 360 and I am super grateful for that. The twins are 15 (they'll be 16 in June) and a lot of their friends can already drive. This means they are often out with friends, and knowing that I can pull up Life 360 to see where they are gives me tremendous peace of mind. I also use it when Logan is skating around downtown so that I know where he is.

    It's always interesting to hear how other families manage cell phones and parenting. It's really hard, and I feel like I am trail blazing. Our parents didn't have to deal with this!! Hah!