Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free Multiplication Worksheets

Once again I find myself trying not to pass on my math anxieties to my children while introducing them to such hive-inducing concepts as...multiplication!

I searched out some new worksheets to encourage the magic and found this cool site.

Free Multiplication Worksheets

Keyword being, of course, "free!"

There are good things on the world wide web. Like someone who will do math for me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Party time!

Once again, Pat and Katie hosted Sam's birthday bash. This year, the party started with an outdoor scavenger hunt to find bags of lollipops! Yes, you count five kids in the photo above. The little girl on the right is the daughter of some friends from China who joined us for the fun. (Pat [in the green] had shoulder surgery and was still sporting the sling.)

Here is Sam with his apple cake. Months ago, he took it into his head to have an "apple cake" at his birthday - don't know how or why the notion came to him, but there it was and there it remained. I asked if the cake should be shaped like an apple or have apples in it, and he definitely meant for it to be shaped like an apple. So, Katie took the challenge!

And did very well!
There's my baby blowing out 4 candles!

Sam received many wonderful presents, including this Webkinz shitzu from his siblings.
Special thanks to Pat and Katie for another lovely birthday party and to the grandparents and friends who sent gifts to make it so much fun! I don't think Sam will ever worry that he is unloved!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Behavior Issues

A few months ago, William's school trapped me (through smiles and flattery) into volunteering to keep track of all of the tardy, correction, and behavior slips in the middle and upper school. They said they needed someone reliable and trust-worthy; what could I do in the face of such warm praise? They needed someone who wouldn't reveal the deep, dark disciplinary secrets at Liberty. But I can trust you, right? Besides, all of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Or, even the not-so-innocent in this case.

This is not a difficult job, but, as I have discovered, is incredibly tedious. It was made even more difficult by the school secretary accidentally erasing many hours of work in one well-intentioned flash drive clean-up.

It is occasionally amusing, though, particularly in the "Behavior" category. This category is saved for the especially terrible crimes, crimes which go beyond tardiness or violations of the uniform code. Things like "talking in class after many warnings" and "running in hall." The really funny ones, though, are the ones where individual personalities really shine through. Ones like, "rollerblading in class" or "put snow in T--'s hood." How about "whistling in class and loud crying when told to stop?" Or the cryptic "water bottle, repeated warnings?" Hmmm.

I find myself wondering about the thought processes of these criminals. What made him or her think that rollerblading in class or melodramatic crying was worth getting into trouble?

Did it seem cool at the moment?

Did he consider backing down but was too far in and his pride held him to that particular course?

Did he need a spectacular event to attract the attention of someone - a particular someone?

And, in the end, was it worth the laughs? Was there any regret? Any reconsideration of that chosen course?

These are mysteries which would stump even the experts on "Criminal Minds," for who can understand the mind of a teenager?

All those hormones running around? *shudder*

I realize that I once was one of those creatures but have worked long and hard to push all of those cringe-worthy memories into the obliterating mists of time. I can't revisit those days!

The certainties! The uncertainties! The hormones!

What is even more alarming is the thought that within a relatively short period of time, John and I will be expected to try and parent such a creature!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Here is the birthday boy on his 2nd birthday. His first birthday. We won't go into how long it took me to decorate William's first birthday cake as opposed to how long it took me to decorate Sam's first birthday cake. William got a fancy cake and Sam gets his entire life chronicled on a blog. It'll all come out even in the end. Right?

Look how cute! Oh, my. Don't cry, Anne, don't cry.

Here's the handsome fellow now. Four years old today. We love you, Sam-Sam!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Today, for some reason, the Apple iPad is in the news again and, for some even more mysterious reason, I read an article about it. Generally, I ignore fancy new technology, having neither the engineering/computer geek mind which would appreciate it for its technical beauty nor the ready cash to buy such a thing, but so it is when one is up at the usual time and the rest of the family is sleeping in.

The author of this article, Helen Popkin, had particularly apt and well-written description of the Apple company:

Remember, this is Apple we’re talking about — a company that’s made an art of fetishizing personal technology via elegant design and surreptitious marketing so insidious consumers are compelled to camp outside its glass-encased retail enclaves the night before a product launch for fear that if they go one more day without the latest sleek n’ stylish gee-gaw, their heads will explode.

(Actually, she doesn't use the word 'insidious' correctly. It's Apple that is the insidious one in this paragraph, but I'll overlook that on the merit of the rest of the paragraph.)

Apparently, the name "iPad" has raised quite a few giggles from the elementary-school-humor set in the press corp. I think we can all be more mature than that, but, really, marketing-savvy Apple should have foreseen that result and gone with "iSlate" or "iTablet" or how about "iWrite?" Well, whatever. I get that it "fits." iPod...iPad. Perfect! But are none of the (all-male) execs at Apple so high-minded that they couldn't foresee this?

All of this is not to say that I would turn away an iPad if someone offered it to me. It looks like a very cool product. But I won't be putting it on my Christmas wish-list any time soon.

Products which inspire eloquent prose from the likes of Helen Popkins must be respected, no matter what they are named.