This has been a busy year for us. I simultaneously can’t figure out how the time has gone by so fast and how we fit so much into just twelve months. Tomorrow will be 2022 and the start of twelve more months of adventures.

In January Fritz and Adrian got their first semester report cards for 7th and 9th grades and both did amazing for their first time in public school since kindergarten and second grade. We also continued trying to figure out just how much food to make to feed our small army (spoiler alert: it’s always too much or too little).

In February we put up a baby urinal in our bathroom and it’s been the best thing we could have done. There was more figuring out how to feed our small army (we’ve pretty much got it down now). We got a playground put up in our backyard. We ended up with COVID in the house and had to quarantine at the same time pretty much the entire state of Texas shut down due to a freak snowstorm and crazy cold (we got lucky and never lost power).

In March I started getting more creative with Mayci’s hair. All the adults in the house got vaccinated for COVID. Zeke turned six on Pi Day. The next day Noah had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and have tubes put in his ears. We got brave and took all six kids to HEB for the first time.

In April I sprained my foot when I gracefully fell down the stairs of The Beast. We also discovered Zeke has hair like Fritz’s: It grows SO fast!

In May our six-year-old officially changed his name to Zeke. School got out and so Mayci finished pre-k, Zeke finished kindergarten, Adrian finished 7th grade, and Fritz finished 9th grade.

In June the kids were bored of their 11-week summer vacation within about 30 seconds so we started our summer schedule which continued the entire summer and worked great. We got Fritz’s end of course results (all three passed). We entered Birthday Season when Adrian turned 13 on Juneteenth. The end of the month the twins turned two.

In July we got Adrian’s STAAR test results (he did great especially because it was his first time taking that sort of test). On the 6th Nicholas turned 3. And then on the 11th Fritz turned 15. Adrian saved all year and enlisted the help of a few other people in order to give Fritz an Oculus Quest 2 for his birthday. On the 18th Anthony turned 4 ending our intense streak of five birthdays in less than three weeks. Fritz got all registered for the virtual school for 10th grade.

In August we finished birthday season on the 2nd when Mayci turned 5. Zeke and Mayci both took off in their reading (best decision ever to work on teaching them how to read over the summer). We found out who the three elementary schoolers’ teachers would be (they’ve all been the perfect teacher for each kid, especially Zeke’s). In the middle of the month it was time for four of the kids to be off to pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, and 8th grades (and Nicky moved to a new room at preschool). A week later Fritz started 10th grade. Just before the end of the month my beautiful mother turned three-quarters of a century old.

In September we started getting monthly boxes of Young Adult books from Literati for Adrian (love those books). Dance classes started up for Zeke and Mayci. I did the most complicated and beautiful hairstyle on Mayci that I’ve done so far (53 twists). The twins moved out of their cribs and into their big boy beds. We took four of the kids to the movies for the first time. Mayci went to dance camp at the high school and got to perform at halftime at a football game.

In October we pulled Nicholas out of preschool. We got the four littlest boys new church clothes. I did some fancy hair on both Mayci and Haley. We had some really cute costumed kids on Halloween.

In November Jamie and I went to see The Beach Boys again. Lola moved in with Cameron and Tami and it’s helped Nicky’s eczema so much (he’s allergic to dogs). We celebrated Jamie’s 46th birthday and one year since we adopted the kids by playing at a trampoline park. We got our family pictures taken. I started having more time to read again thanks to Haley playing with the twinplets six hours a week and the kids getting a little older and more independent.

In December Nicky suddenly started looking much older and bigger than his little brothers. Anthony’s dreams came true when we put a Christmas tree in our living room. My Daddy turned 77 on Christmas Eve.

And now here we are on New Year’s Eve looking forward to what 2022 will bring us. We know a few things like Trek for the big boys, Fritz being ordained to the office of Priest, Birthday Season ending with us having 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16-year-olds, Ani turning 22 in February, Zeke turning 7 in March, me turning 44 in April, Cameron turning 21 in October, and Jamie turning 47 in November the same day we hit two years since the kids were adopted, and having kids starting pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 11th grades in August. Whatever else 2022 has in store for us, I know it will be awesome!

Adrian’s STAAR Results

This year STAAR tests don’t really count. They were mostly for the schools to see how they did with remote/hybrid learning. We got Adrian’s results last week and he did so well. If they had counted, he would’ve passed all of them. Masters, Meets, and Approaches are passing scores while Did Not Meet is a failing score (in normal years).

In 7th grade reading he got Masters with a raw score of 1800. He scored in the 88th percentile. The state average was 1631, the district average was 1644, and the campus average was 1667 which are all Approaches Grade Level. His Lexile level is 1335 putting him well above the expected 7th grade reading level (end of 10th to 12th grade reading level).

7th grade writing I was concerned about for him. He was just diagnosed with dysgraphia and while he had accomodations (mainly he did the test on the computer rather than pencil and paper), writing is definitely not his strong suit. His ELAR teacher got some great work out of him, but not quite what I’d expect from a 7th grader. So when I saw he got Approaches Grade Level in writing I was so excited for him. His raw score was 3662 which is in the 44th percentile. The state average was 3706, the district average was 3728, and the campus average was 3918, which are all also in Approaches. He did the worst in composition and the best in editing. The composition score didn’t surprise me at all, but the editing score definitely did. He’s really worked hard this year in ELAR and it shows.

In 8th grade math he got Masters with a raw score of 1896. He score in the 92nd percentile. The state average was 1647 and the district average was 1658, both in Approaches Grade Level, and the campus average was 1730 which is in Meets Grade Level. His quantile level was 1230Q which is well above the expected level for 8th graders. (He took the 8th grade math STAAR in 7th grade because he was in honors math which is the same as regular 8th grade math. This puts him on the path of taking Algebra I next year in 8th grade.)

Even though I don’t think standardized tests are truly necessary, it is nice to have proof that all those years of homeschooling accomplished something and prepared him well for public school!

2020-21 Final Quarter Grades

The kids did awesome this school year. Fritz and Adrian worked hard their final quarter of the year and definitely didn’t slack off at all. Zeke and Mayci learned so much in pre-k and kindergarten. We’re so proud of all of them.

Zeke got 3s in music, 4s in PE (I didn’t even know 4 was an option), 2s and 3s in conduct, 2’s and a 3 in language arts, 3’s, a few 2s, a couple 1s, and a 4 in reading, 2s and 3s in math, 3s in social studies, 2s and 3s in science, and a 3 in health. He can count aloud to 39.

Mayci got 4s in PE (and still has the little crush on her PE teacher that started the very first week of school), 3s in language arts, 2s and 3s in reading, 3s plus a 5 (didn’t know that was an option either) in math, 3s in science and social studies, 2s and 3s in conduct, and 3s in fine arts and technology. She can identify all 26 upper and lowercase letters as well as tell you the sound each one makes, can count aloud up to 29 and can count 20 objects.

Adrian’s Grades
Math A (94%; 95% for the semester; 97% for the year)
Science A (98%; 91% for the semester; 95% for the year)
English B (88%; 81% for the semester; 82% for the year)
Robotics A (97%; 97% for the semester; 96% for the year)
PE A (100%; 100% for the semester; 100% for the year)
Spanish A (90%; 85% for the semester; 86% for the year)
Texas History A (96%; 93% for the semester; 92% for the year)

Fritz’s Grades
Spanish I A (90%; 90% for the semester)
Animation A (96; 94% for the semester)
Outdoor Adventure A (99%; 100% for the semester)
AP Human Geography B (89%; 85% for the semester)
Biology A (94%; 95% for the semester)
English I A (92%; 93% for the semester)
Algebra I B (85%; 90% for the semester)

(4.01 GPA for the quarter; 4.15 GPA for the semester)

Adrian Brag

This morning I had a conference call to finalize Adrian’s 504 for dysgraphia and ADHD and I must brag a little. This is, of course, his first year in public school since halfway through kindergarten. He still loves it as much as he did at the beginning of the year.

The 504 guy at his middle school said the last quarter kids usually slack off a bit, but Adrian is finishing the year very strong with an 88 in ELAR, an 89 in Spanish, and the rest A’s. In addition he said they’ve already gotten the scores from the STAAR reading and math tests that were done on the computer (Adrian’s were due to accomodations that they put in place even before the 504 was finalized). Adrian scored Masters (highest) in both his 7th grade reading and 8th grade math (pre-algebra) STAARs.

He said we should be very proud of our son. Indeed we are.

Still Doing Great

Today is the first day of the third quarter. Fritz and Adrian are still doing great in public school. Their grade for the second quarter were excellent.

Adrian’s Grades
Math A (96%; 98% for the semester)
Science A (99%; 99% for the semester)
English C (77%; 83% for the semester)
Robotics A (100%; 95% for the semester)
PE A (96%; 98% for the semester)
Spanish B (84%; 87% for the semester)
Texas History B (85%; 90% for the semester)

Fritz’s Grades
Spanish I A (93%; 93% for the semester)
Animation A (94%; 96% for the semester)
Health A (100%; 98% for the semester)
AP Human Geography B (88%; 86% for the semester)
Biology B (89%; 92% for the semester)
English I A (100%; 96% for the semester)
Algebra I B (88%; 91% for the semester)

(3.91 GPA for the quarter; 4.24 for the semester)

School Update

We’re in the seventh week of the 2020-21 school year and for the most part it’s going super well for all four of the kids. In 2 1/2 weeks we’ll get report cards and we anticipate all of them will be excellent.

M absolutely loves pre-k. She is so happy to be going to the big school. One of her teachers reported that they just love having her in their class. We’ve started walking to school three days a week and M thinks that is the coolest thing ever. She’s learning all sorts of things and knows the names of pretty much all of the letters already.

E struggles a little in school due to the environment he was in during his first few years. We’re watching him for dyslexia since it runs in his bio family (and, amusingly, his adoptive family, too) and he’s showing some early signs. He really enjoys being in the classroom and learning. He’s got at least four letter names, three letter sounds, and one sight word down pat now.

Adrian is our big surprise. He LOVES school. He can’t wait to be in person in the classroom. He’s getting excellent grades. He’s gotten two 100% tests so far (math and Texas history) and lots of 100% quizzes. His lowest grade on any assignment so far is an 80%. We really did not expect that, though we are certainly delighted.

Fritz is still not thrilled about being in school and does not ever want to attend in person. He has a whole lot of homework. He’s taking an AP course and a couple honors courses so pretty high level stuff. He’s getting it all done and getting a good preparation for college. He’s learning a lot, though.