Zeke, Mayci, and Anthony’s Second Quarter Grades

Zeke works so hard in school. He earned every one of his grades with a lot of hard work. It’s amazing how hard he’s come over the last couple years. School comes easy for Mayci. She’s very smart and (when she doesn’t make careless errors) it shows in her grades. She loves school so much.

Starting in first grade kids get percentage grades for language arts, math, science, and social studies. They get E (excellent), S (satisfactory), or U (unsatisfactory) in everything else.

Zeke’s Grades
Language Arts – 88%
Math – 74%
Social Studies – 78%
Science – 83%
Conduct – S
Health – E
Art – S
Theater Arts – S
Music – E
PE – E

Mayci’s Grades
Language Arts – 95%
Math – 91%
Social Studies – 100%
Science – 97%
Conduct – E
Health – E
Art – E
Theater Arts – E
Music – E
PE – E

Kindergartners get lots and lots of grades on a 1-5 scale with 1 being well below grade level and 5 being well above grade level. Most of the grades given are 3s. Anthony is doing really well, especially in conduct which is something we’ve been working hard on since pre-k.

Anthony’s Grades
Music – all 2s
PE – all 3s
Participation – all 3s
Conduct – almost all 3s, a couple 2s, and a 4 in respecting authority figures
Language Arts – two 2s and a 3
Reading – an even mix of 2s and 3s
Math – mostly 2s and a 3; he can rote count to 29
Social Studies – an even mix of 2s and 3s
Science – all 3s and one 2
Health – 3

Sensory Rice

Ani is getting ready to open a little online shop selling dyed rice sensory kits. The rice comes out so pretty. A few weeks ago she had Anthony over and he got to play in some rice she had made.

Just touching the rice relaxed him so much. The color was beautiful and scooping and pouring made him very happy.

The wooden containers are a set I got for her to keep at her house with the rice she made for her little siblings. They were definitely a hit with Anthony.

He made a bit of a mess but that was okay because the rice is very easy to clean up. He played with the rice for quite a while.

Once he was done playing with the rice, he went right to bed and went to sleep quickly. That is not a common occurrence for Anthony. (Ani’s cat Azula liked the rice, too.)

First Lost Tooth

Anthony had a very loose tooth for a few weeks. He was too afraid to let me pull it. And then a couple weeks ago he went to dance class with his tooth in his mouth and came home with it missing. He swallowed his tooth! I told him next time we’re pulling it before it gets to that point, especially since the adult tooth was already part way in behind it all crooked.

This Week’s Lunches and Snacks

This week Zeke, Mayci, Anthony, and Nicholas requested to be able to buy lunch on Thursday. Nicholas didn’t really like buying a lunch after all so even though Zeke, Mayci, and Anthony wanted to buy lunch again on Friday, Nicholas wanted to bring his. They didn’t need snacks on Thursday because it was an early out day (same with Wednesday but they ate the snacks I had packed when they got home from school).

Fancy Hair

Last time Anthony went to the barber he asked for a fancy design to be cut into the side of his hair. He didn’t quite understand that it would be there until his hair grew back. He thought it would rub off. The next morning he ran to the mirror first thing and we so excited that his design was still there. He was just so delighted with his fancy hair.

Zoo Lights

We got the kids (plus Haley and Ani) annual passes to the zoo this year (my parents got passes too). They were on a great sale making them totally worth it.

We figure Haley, Ani, and my parents can take a kid or two at a time so it won’t always be all of us going together (which can be kind of crazy). I suspect Joel will be making a lot of zoo trips between now and when school lets out.

The last time we went to the zoo was while the kids were still in foster care after their good-bye visit with their bio mom. They were just 19 months to 5 years old then!

We used our new passes to the zoo on New Year’s Eve for the Zoo Lights celebration (no jackets even after dark… gotta love winter in Texas). Six kids in the dark in a place we’ve only been a couple times before is super nuts even with four adults and one marginally helpful teen.

They ran around, they danced, they climbed on the lions. They had so much fun. Even when it’s hard to take all of them places and we’re constantly counting to six just to be sure they are all where we expect them to be, it’s totally worth it to see happy their faces and making memories with them.

Texas State Aquarium

While on vacation we went to the Texas State Aquarium. We rented two double strollers. That was one of the smartest things we’ve ever done.

We also checked out a sensory kit for Noah. By the end of the first exhibit he was completely overwhelmed. The headphones instantly calmed him down and made the rest of the visit quite pleasant for him.

All the kids really liked the dolphins. Though when we asked them what their favorite parts were Zeke said walking next to me, Mayci said riding on the escalator, and Anthony said riding in the elevator.

So, basically, we spent over $250 for the kids to like normal, everyday things the most. At least Noah liked the fish. He kept waving to them and saying “Hi, fish!”

Swimming in the Gulf on the First Day of Winter

Four years ago we went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico on the first day of winter. Adrian wanted to repeat that this year with his little siblings.

And so we did. I didn’t think the kids would actually get in the water (it was 52* on Solstice this year) so I didn’t pack bathing suits for them, just shorts.

I was wrong. They went in the water and played for thirty minutes. They all ended up soaking wet and covered in sand. They had the best time ever.

Afterwards we went back to our AirBnB so everyone could get a shower. I can’t imagine they were very comfortable for that thirty minute drive.

Texas sand is kind of a fine powder and it sticks to absolutely everything. We definitely need to vacuum out our rental beast because otherwise it will be forever sandy.

There were a few other people on the beach, mostly riding up and down the beach in gulf carts. Swimming in the Gulf in December isn’t the most common activity.

One guy gave the kids a little boogie board that was slightly broken but my kids didn’t care. That led to a lot more falling in the water and getting even wetter and sandier.

There was one old guy living on the beach in an Airstream attached to a pickup truck. He was very nice and enjoyed watching the kids playing and having fun.

When we tried to leave we discovered we were a little bit stuck in the sand (you park on the beach). So the guy in the Airstream towed us out ending our adventure with a little extra adventure.