Thursday, October 24, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

The 1st quarter ended last Friday, therefore, Parent Teacher Conferences were this week. 

Monday night Keith and I went to the high school to visit Cara's teachers.  Every teacher commented that Cara is quiet in class and does not volunteer an answer unless called upon.  I don't think that we have heard that comment about Cara since Kindergarten or maybe never.  Cara was not a shy person in grade school.  A few teachers said that maybe it is just the transition from grade school to junior high for her.  Every teacher commented that Cara has more potential and needs to be more consistent.  The first quarter has been a transition for Cara.  She has had to learn to balance homework with sports, adjust to a different teacher for each class, and to adjust to a different building. Cara had a good 1st quarter report card.  We hope that the 2nd quarter will go more smoothly.

Wednesday, Keith and I visited the grade school to receive reports on the other three.  First up was Erica.  Ms. Fintowski, Erica's 5th grade teacher, asked that the student come to the conference with the parents so that they could also hear the comments.  Ms. Fintowski made this comment first to us, "Erica is the hardest working student in the fifth grade and her report card is a reflection of her effort!"  Erica had an awesome report card and we were very proud of her!  Erica earned every one of those grades with her hard work and effort.

Then we went to the room right next door to visit with Mrs. Hochstein, Ashlin's 3rd Grade teacher.  Ashlin is by far the most quiet of our 4 children and her teacher commented on how quiet she is.  She said that Ashlin is always paying attention and will answer when called upon with the right answer.  Ashlin is a very good student and things come very easy for her in the classroom.  Mrs. Hochstein is going to continue to work on challenging Ashlin in the classroom.  Ashlin had an exceptional report card!

Lastly was Justin's conference with Mrs. Bowder his Kindergarten teacher.  She commented how she loves having Justin in her classroom and how well behaved he is.  She said that he listens and follows directions.  Then she asked us about how he became so good with numbers.  Justin can count to 200, can write his numbers to 150 and is able to recognize double digit numbers.  She complimented Justin on his good penmanship and good coloring.  Justin is not quite ready to read yet.  He doesn't want to take the time to sound out words, but this will come.

All four of our children are different individuals - physically, academically, personality, etc.  It was a great round of conferences for us as parents.  We are so proud of them!

Take care,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wayne Volleyball Tournament

We are going down the homestretch for the volleyball season.  Only two more Saturdays left before Erica's 5th Grade volleyball season is over.  Last weekend, the 5th grade girls had two teams playing in the Wayne Tournament. 
Erica played on the Norfolk Catholic Black team.  They played Lutheran High Northeast Black, Wayne Blue and Battle Creek in pool play.  They came out of pool play winning 4 sets and losing 2 sets.  Then they lost in the first game of the tournament to the same Lutheran High Northeast team again.
I watched all three pool play games before leaving to get back to Norfolk and get Cara to her final junior high tournament of the season.  It was a very disappointing day for the 7th graders losing all of their matches.  Those girls played the worst of the season.  Until they learn to communicate and play as a team, they will not find success as a team.  Cara has this week off before basketball starts next week.
Take care,

Monday, October 21, 2013

4-H Achievement Day

Yesterday was the Madison County 4-H Achievement Ceremony.  It is a way to recognize the 4-H youth in the county for a all their work throughout the year and to recognize their achievements in the 4-H program.  4-Hers, 4-H alumni, 4-H leaders and 4-H supporters can be nominated for awards.  Individuals were recognized for being in the program for 5-year, 8-year and 10 years.  Leaders were recognized for 5-year, 10 year and 25 years of helping their 4-H clubs.
Erica with Lee Sherry, County Extension Agent, with her award.
 Individuals are recognized with awards on their record books, most exhibits at the county fair, writing news articles for the 4-H Edition to the newspaper, and for selling advertising ads for the 4-H edition.  Cara and Erica applied for the Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover Awards.  Erica received a certificate and pin for completing Level 1 - Amethyst.  Cara received a certificate and pin for completing Level 3 - Ruby.  They both had to complete so many 4-H activities to be eligible to receive the award.  The number of activities to complete is based on their age.
Cara and Charli both received the Ruby Award in the 4-H Diamond Cover Program.
The new 4-H year will start with our 4-H club in a few weeks.  After having a few months off from projects and meetings, it is almost time to start again.  Ashlin is ready to join her sisters this next year.  She is finally old enough to exhibit in 4-H as a member and not a Clover Bud at the fair.

Take care,

Friday, October 18, 2013


So glad that it is Friday!  It has been a long week.  The kids have a noon out today because today is the last day of the 1st quarter.  End of the quarter means that Keith and I head to Parent/Teacher Conferences next week.  The kids have worked hard all quarter on their homework, so, we are expecting good reports.
Another busy weekend is in store for us.  We are heading to Wayne early on Saturday morning for Erica's volleyball tournament.  The tournament is pool play first followed by tournament play.  Cara's volleyball tournament starts at 1:00 in Norfolk.  This is Cara's last games of the season for junior high.  She will miss playing volleyball!  After volleyball is over for the day, we have a wedding to attend.  Then on Sunday, Cara and Erica have 4-H Achievement Night.  They both have applied for Diamond Clover Awards. 
Tonight is also the rival football game between Norfolk Catholic and Pierce.  Plus, Keith is still working many hours on a huge project at work. 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Volleyball Again

Yes, last Saturday we were back in the gym watching volleyball.  Keith and Erica went to Pender with Neuhalfen's for the 5th & 6th Grade tournament.  Ashlin, Justin and I went to Pierce for the 7th & 8th Grade games.
 It was a learning day for the 5th Grade girls.  Many of the teams at this tournament were a combination of 5th & 6th grade girls, therefore, they were playing up.  Our team was all 5th graders.
 It was also a learning day for the 7th Grade girls to always play until the whistle blows.  They had a few controversial calls at the end of their game and lost the last set.  The 7th Grade "B" team won in two sets and the 7th Grade "A" team lost in two sets.  When you only have 9 girls on the 7th Grade team, we don't really have an "A" or "B" team.  Cara played all four sets.
 Erica's serving and bumping has improved so much this fall.  Hopefully, soon she will be ready to start serving overhand, but right now she doesn't have enough muscle to get the ball over.
This is our last week in the gym for junior high volleyball, but we still have a few more Saturdays left with Erica playing in tournaments.  Go Lady Knights!

Take care,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Justin Turns 6!

 When you are little, you count the months and then days until your next birthday!  This little boy counted and counted until the day he turned 6 years old on Monday.  He was so excited and ready to go to school on Monday.  He took Rice Krispy treats to share with his class for his birthday.  Every student in the class had to make Justin a birthday card which was very nice.
 As with family tradition, the birthday person gets to pick where the family goes out to eat supper.  Justin picked Big Red Keno.  Good choice Justin because the food is always great there.
 Dad took off work a little early and took Justin shopping for a new bike.  He has been wanting a new bike all summer and he has been riding a pink cast-off from his sisters.  This smile was worth the wait.  He has already been seen cruising around the neighborhood on his new wheels.
Justin has really gotten into Legos lately.  So naturally, he also got a new 3-in-1 Lego kit and a large tote to store his Legos.

Take care,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another Saturday Watching Volleyball-Part II

 On our way to Laurel from Wisner, we took the shortest route through Wayne.  On Friday night, Wayne was hit by a tornado.  Outside of town to the south and the east side of town were hit pretty hard by the tornado.  Luckily, no one died because of the tornado.  There were homes lost, some businesses completely destroyed and the airport is totally gone.
 The 5th Grade girls were scheduled to play two games in pool play and then a tournament coming out of pool play.  There were 14 teams in this tournament.  The first game they won in two sets and then second game was a win by forfeit over a Wayne team that did not show.  The tournament was single elimination so you must win to keep playing.
 After playing two or three tournament games, our girls were in the finals against a team from Hartington.  Our girls won the first set and then lost the next two sets.  Hartington was the only team all day to take our girls to three sets.  It was a long day, but they were so excited when Coach Kelli presented them with their 2nd Place medals.
We were so proud of these girls on their 2nd Place finish. 

We are back in the gym this week for more games.  Cara played Monday night against Battle Creek with another loss in three very close sets.  They won the first set again.  On Thursday, we are in Madison for a junior high game.  And then on Saturday, Cara has a game in Pierce and Erica plays in another tournament in Pender.  Bleacher seats are definitely in our future as parents!

Take care,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Another Saturday Watching Volleyball-Part I

We had another long day of volleyball last Saturday.  Cara had a 7th Grade Tournament in Wisner and Erica had a 5th Grade Tournament in Laurel.  At the last minute we decided to carpool with another family with girls in 5th and & 7th Grade.  So the moms, Becky and I, along with Justin and Ashlin headed to Wisner and the dads, Tom and Keith, went to Laurel.
 The girls' first game was against Laurel.  They won the first set, and then lost a close 2nd and 3rd set.  They start out so good and then the wheels fall off the bus somewhere.  They communicate and move during the first set.  They have improved soooo much and are so close to winning.  They have to continue to fight for every point and never give up.
 The offense is really starting to come together.  Numerous times they are doing a bump, set and spike.  This is a huge improvement for them.  But, the growing pains are hard.  A few of the girls have never played volleyball before and are just learning the game in the 7th Grade.
 Cara had a rough day serving.  She kept shanking balls.  Then when she finally got a serve over, she had a foot fault twice.  She was frustrated.
 The girls also played teams from David City and West Point Guardian Angel Central Catholic.  Against David City, they again won the first set and then lost the next two sets.  Against West Point Guardian Angel, the coach played a totally different line-up and it was a disaster from the start.
 During the day, Keith and I kept calling back and forth to get updates on both gyms.  After the games, Cara rode the bus back to Norfolk and Becky, Ashlin, Justin and I jumped in with Kassmeiers and we all went to Laurel to finish the tournament there.
After the bus returned to Norfolk, Cara was instructed to walk home with Emma and hang out until the parents got back to town.  Cara, Sydney and Emma hung out for a short time at Emma's house before walking in the cold over a mile to our house.  When they got to our house, they had no way in because all the doors were locked.  Therefore, Sydney crawled through the garage window to get the girls into the house.  The girls then hung out at our house for a few more hours.  On Sunday, Keith installed an outside garage door key pad so that we will not have kids crawling through the garage window anymore.  I still can't believe they did that!

I'll be back tomorrow with Part II - the recap on Erica's tournament.

Take care,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Star Student of the Week

Ashlin was the Star Student of the Week last week in Mrs. Hochstein's 3rd Grade classroom.  On Monday, Ashlin had to share a paper t-shirt poster with the class that told the class all about her.  On Tuesday, Ashlin had to bring her favorite t-shirt from home to share.  She took her "I Love Volleyball" t-shirt to share.  On Wednesday, each student in the class had to write Ashlin a letter.  On Thursday, Mrs. Hochstein read a letter to the class from Ashlin's parents talking about Ashlin's favorites, about being a baby, and how much we loved her.  On Friday, Ashlin brought a snack to share with the class.  She took chocolate chip cookie bars as her snack.  Ashlin is definitely a STAR!

Take care,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ashlin Starts Something New

Ashlin has started piano lessons.  She was very excited that she is finally in 3rd Grade and old enough to start piano lessons.  She practices her lesson very faithfully and does not have to be reminded to practice.  Mrs. Nissen, her teacher, says that Ashlin is going to fly through the first set of books. 

Before started lessons a few weeks ago, Ashlin had started teaching herself how to play by following the beginner piano books that we had.  Unfortunately, Cara and Erica have given up on playing the piano.  They both quit last May which made me sad at the time, but I don't miss telling them to go practice.  I used to love to play.  I would sit down and play for an hour at a time when I was stressed.  It was a way for my stress to go away.  Now I sit down once in a blue moon and plink a little.  The kids were amazed to hear me play one day.  They didn't believe that I could really play until they heard it.

Take care,

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Life List

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman is a book the I just finished readingIt is about a woman who is raised with money.  Her mother owns a cosmetic company that she started out of her home and she gives her daughter, Brett, a position in the company. 

But, Brett's world is turned upside down when her mother passes away from cancer and leaves Brett an inheritance with stipulations.  When Brett was 14 years old, she wrote a life list and then crumpled it up and threw it away.  This life list is given back to Brett at the will reading and she must complete almost all the remaining items on the list to receive a penny of her inheritance.  This life list has some items that seem impossible to complete in the one year time stipulation. 

As the days and months pass, Brett becomes very determined to complete some items on the list and some items she completes without even realizing it.  She is helped along the way by her family and the lawyer, her mother picked out to complete her will.

I loved this book and shed some tears as well while reading.  It shows the true love that a mother has for her child and how as a parent you want only the best for your children.  Sometimes our children do not feel that we always have their best interests at heart, but in the end we do as their mothers.

Take care,