Carly is moving on from elementary school to middle school. Maturity wise, she was ready years ago, but her very low vocabulary comprehension will make it hard on her next year. We have given the school counselors a heads up though and hope to do more investigation on what is misfiring this summer. She has basically given up on elementary school. She can't stand her immature class and I can't stand her teacher. These poor kids were read to and sent home with worksheets all year. That does nothing for a hands on learner like Carly. She will benefit from a new generation of teachers. Younger I hope, with an idea of how to educate some other way than a worksheet packet. If a kid can't comprehend vocabulary and new terms without a visual, then why set them up for failure?
Caden will be in the fourth grade next year. Hopefully he will be in Mrs. Boyle's class. She is amazing and was a savior for both Jason and Carly. Caden doesn't have any academic difficulties, but I still would like him to have the chance to have such a fantastic teacher. I think she will really force him to work to his potential and make it fun. Caden is not a very competitive child, except in math. He WANTS and NEEDS to be the best at math. Its fun to watch him passionate about things. He also loves many of the things I think are pretty cool, like robots, drawing, Lego's, Star Wars, and many other nerdy things that I'm no good at, but love.
Besides school, our term as a billet family is almost over. John will be with us only one more day. He's made the transition pretty easy I think. He was gone for a week at Nationals and then has been spending every day and night in town with his teammates. We hardly see him and so we won't notice he's gone when he is. Carly and Caden are really sad that he'll be gone. They both got very attached to him. Caden also got attached to John's friend Preston. I'm sure I'll hear about him next year all of the time when the season starts up again. Jason definitely liked the idea of having an older "brother" figure around. I think Jason will appreciate being the oldest more once he is gone. There will not be anyone around to kick his ass. There will also not be anyone around to drive him places, play video games with, or just mess around with in general.
I don't know if we'll host again next year. We haven't decided. I guess we'll see how the summer goes. I did like having someone around if I needed a babysitter and it was a lot of fun to go watch the games. So, I guess we'll all miss John - I hope the rest of his life is full of happiness and rewarding responsibility.
My year as a substitute is also ending. I rarely get calls anymore with only a week of school left. If I do get a call, it is most likely for a really crappy job that I don't want anyway. I really like substituting and am learning that I want to be with older kids FOR SURE. Grade 6-8 would be perfect. I am noticing flaws with the way literture is taught in the schools. Why on Earth do they test kids on details from the story only. Why don't the kids get a chance to give their opinion? Why aren't they writing essays, even if they are short ones? Why aren't they being encouraged to learn the meaning of a novel rather than remembering what color jacket someone wears? FLAWS! Its like I told Jason and Carly last night. A novel is like a work of art and the details, well, they are only the paint. When you look at a painting, do you look at just the colors? Or do you notice how the painting made you feel, what it is of, and what you like or don't like about it?
Time is almost up also - time before our Mexican Vacation! I am so excited to sit at the resort for a week and enjoy the smell of the flowers, listen to the ocean, watch the sky, and spend some time with loved ones. Jay and I are heading to the time share and taking Haanah, Phil, Kev, Ronnie, and Geoff along with us. When we bought the timeshare, we got free weeks that we decided to take all at once. We now have three suites for one week. It will be lovely, though I will miss my kids. No, seriously. I'll be thinking, "________would love this" the whole time. I'm sure they will be going nuts too. I know that they will be arguing and cranky with one another. I worry that Jason will miss baseball practices and I'm really going to be sad to miss his big spring tournament with his comp baseball team. BUT I am definitely not canceling this trip. Mexico, here I come (big ol' butt and all).
One thing that I wish was over that isn't, is Dad's cancer. It has reared its ugly head again in the form of a lump on his neck. I am grateful that I have not heard of it being in his spinal fluid or brain. They took bone marrow and blood. The blood didn't show anything. He will have a PET scan on Friday and we will know more. I am hoping it is contained in the lump and will be removed. If not, I am hopeful he will feel well enough long enough to enjoy some great fishing expeditions this summer. I am reconsidering staying in Minnesota for as long as I have planned though. I am supposed to go down with Jason and hang out with family and friends while he is at a hockey cam for two weeks. Then we will travel around together before coming home. I am not sure that it is the best plan for me to be gone that much, but I am not going to change anything yet. No reason to do anything until we know for sure what is going on.
PS, his cancer is named after the coolest sport ever. My Dad has NHL (Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma)