Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Enjoying the Grandchildren on this side of the World

Kristi, Karl, Kylie, Elle and Cordie are on their way to spend the 4th of July with us. On the way they made several stops one of which was the Wisconsin Dells. They rented a speedboat, kayak and canoe for the day and invited the family in Austin to join them. So yesterday Eileen and I along with Amanda, Lisa, Cenny, and JT drove over to the Dells. The weather has not been nice but when we arrived it was 70 degrees and sunny. Weather wise it ended up one of the best days for being on the lake. Everyone had a great day riding in the speedboat, being pulled behind and bouncing across the waves, and kayaking and canoeing. After about 6 hours of fun and sun we headed to Famous Daves for dinner and then home for us in Austin. Kristi's family is coming today after more fun at Kalahari water part.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Enjoying Our Grandchildren on the otherside of the World!

We have 5 grandchildren home schooled on the other side of the world.   It is too far away to to really be involved in their lives and enjoy their activities.  Some might say - Skype helps overcome the distance, but in this case they are in a country with terrible internet continuity and Skype does not work well.  When we do video conferencing it shuts down so quickly we have to turn off our video in hopes of enjoying seeing them but that only helps a little and they have to keep calling us back when it goes down.  Last week each of the grandchildren were asked to write up a project proposal to show off one thing they've learned this year.  They then made their presentation to other students and parents in their area.  We were invited to attend via Skype.  With our video off we still had many shut downs but it was fun to watch them make their presentations and hear about some of the things they have learned.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gifted and Talented Program

Amanda has been the Gifted and Talented Coordinator for the Austin Public Schools (she is taking a leave of absence to obtain her doctorate).  For the past 3 summers they have had a 4 day program funded by the Hormel Foundation to educate teachers and parents on how to help gifted and talented youngsters.  Along with the program for adults there is a special math camp for elementary children.  "Miss Math, the instructor, travels the country putting on these math camps.  The Hormel Foundation paid for her to come and teach the children and present to the adults.  The instructors cost per child to attend the 4 half day program is $150.  Amanda felt that since the instructor is paid by the foundation the children should not have to pay to attend.  "Miss Math" was not happy with the idea but finally agreed to only charge $40 per child saying that did not even cover the cost of materials.  Lisa attended with Amanda and had Cenny and JT attend the math camp at the same time.  The math instruction consisted on solving puzzles and putting together geometric models, it looked like great fun!

.   Because of the schedule, Lisa left Cenny and JT with us each morning at 7:30 for us to take to the college by 8 and then pick them up at 11:45 and then she picked them up at our house at 4:15
  Monday morning JT was not in the mood to go as he said he already knew everything about math he needed to know.  When we picked him up Monday he was quite excited about all he learned and did his homework without any complaints.  Although he was one of the youngest at the camp, he finished many of the math problems before others and earned lots of points and Wednesday he was the first to complete a special assignment earning 25 points.  The instructor told the other students they could look at his solution if they felt it would help them solve the problem and if they solved it they would then earn 10 points but JT would also earn 1 point for each student that looked at his solution.

  The instructor then told the adults about one of the children that certainly belongs in the GT program.  Lisa was quite surprised to find out the child the instructor was talking about was her son.  Eileen took a few pictures showing some of the things they did.  One day they had hat day and another day was best costume day all had to be home made but JT missed the memo!.  The adults did the same projects in the afternoon that the kids did in the morning.
End of first day with the bag of  projects completed and materials for homework

One of the first day projects

Lisa and Amanda with second day projects

Last day - crazy outfit day.  They also had a scarf and tie day, and a crazy hat day!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun Day With Zeke

Zeke has his knee on a chair as he plays the piano in the Jazz Band on the trip.

The Early Bird Choir also performed.

One of Zeke's favorite rides

His other.

All the expressions were for the benefit of the camera!
A little behind on my posts.  Two weeks ago I chaperoned the Ellis Middle School Early Bird Music Program on a field trip to the Mega Mall.  Zeke is in the Jazz Band and they stopped in Fairbault to perform before continuing on to the Mega Mall for a fun day. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grand Army of the Republic monument in center of the cemetery

Qatar second from Left

Presentation of the wreaths

MoJo and her "mentor"
This Memorial day we had the boys with us so took Qatar to the cemetery to play with the Austin High band for the service there to honor the veterans.  It was a nice ceremony with lots of flags, speeches, wreath presentations and prayers for the honored dead.  Later in the day we went to Vanessa and Eric's for a picnic and there we saw the new puppy Mo Jo, caught this picture just as we were getting ready to leave!