Sunday, December 29, 2013

December Happenings #3

Here’s another recap of our fun adventures this month!


The kids decorated small trees for their rooms, and they each have their own.  Last year when they got them, they were so excited that they didn’t want to turn off the lights, even after Christmas.  They sort of got used to using them as nightlights.  So they continued to leave them turned on until every single strand of lights burned out on all 3 trees!  So I went and bought new lights this year, along with a new set of decorations for each of them.  Haylee and Hayden decorated theirs right away, but they forgot to help Holden with his.  So I brought it downstairs and set it on the floor where he could reach it and let him go to town with his ornaments.


As you can see, he chose a blue true, his favorite color.  He took such great are in placing the ornaments just where he wanted them.  I “helped” redistribute them a bit when he was done, but he had a lot of fun with the process.  Winking smile


During one of our final school days before our long Christmas break, Haylee and Holden took a short break to enjoy reading Merry Christmas, Stinky Face together on the sofa.  So sweet!  If you haven’t read the series of Stinky Face books, they’re really cute.  They enjoyed this one, too.


We’ve been reading a lot more books together lately outside of our homeschooling because the city opened a new Joint Use Library in conjunction with the local community college, and it’s literally right up the street from us.  They kids (and the adults, too) have enjoyed getting new batches of books and movies quite regularly.  We all love it!


Also before the holiday break, the kids and I made it out to the semi-annual Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.  The holiday sale is always the better of the two sales (the other one is in the spring).  It started at 3 PM the first day, so I was able to pick Hayden up from school and head right out there. 

The kids ended up with quite a haul of books and science experiments to do.  They even got a bucket of make-your-own snow that they can’t wait to make!  I’m so glad they offer a $25 off $100 coupon, ‘cause I actually needed it this time!  Sheesh…the last thing we need is more books in the house, but I can never say no to books.  The kids could be doing something far worse with their time than reading books, after all!


Stay tuned for more details on our December events.

Friday, December 20, 2013

December Happenings #2

Here’s a little recap of more fun stuff we’ve been doing at our house this month.


Holden had a rare treat…last weekend, daddy did some science with him to help me out because we were a little behind from his being sick and also having to go to the dentist earlier in the week.  Daddy?  Science?  YES!  And you know what that means…Holden got to try out an experiment instead of just watching it on the DVD!  ha, ha.  That’s what daddies are for, right?!?


Holden had a lot of fun with this experiment from Sonlight Science K, demonstrating how air took up space and displaced the water from the bottle when he blew through the tubing.  He did this one over and over again!


Then on Sunday evening, I was off to the Holiday Pops concert given by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.  This is always a fun event that ends with a sing-along with the Virginia Chorale Society.  I took Haylee with me, looking very pretty, and my neighbor friend, Valentyna, her daughter, Anastasia, and her mother-in-law who was visiting. 


We had such a great time, as always!  This concert always puts me in the holiday spirit, if I wasn’t already!  It has become a tradition for me.


My front door Christmas wreath was looking shabby and sad this year, so I decided to buy some new decorations and give it a fresh look.  While we watched a movie, I sat on the floor and gave it a makeover.  Voila!  It’s all sparkly and pretty and colorful again!  Yay!


I just love door decorations, don’t you?  I have something for every season…some kind of wreath or wooden sign for every time of year.  It’s just so welcoming!


Stay tuned for more holiday happenings with the Burgess Clan!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Happenings #1

I thought I’d recap some of the stuff we’ve been doing this month in a series of posts.


Our first free Friday of the month, I decided to take the kids to the Orb Family Fun Center in Chesapeake for a little bouncy fun.  I took along my computer since there’s nothing for me to do there, and I played around on the internet while they got all their wiggles out.  They had lots of fun! 


I met a nice lady from England who was there with her kids, and we had a lovely chat about our favorite British foods and where we order them from when we’re craving our yummy favorites.  We had such a lovely conversation, and this helped the 3 hours pass quickly!  Then we were off to pick Hayden up from school at the last possible minute!  I had a free shipping code for the English Tea Store, so that prompted me to order us a box of goodies in time for Christmas while it was on my mind!


We also started off December with some outdoor decorating!  It’s been over a decade since my husband last put any kind of lights on the house for Christmas, and although he showed some promise this year, it just didn’t happen.  This is where having a teenage son comes in handy.  He’s tall enough and determined enough to do it himself!  So here it is…his first attempt at hanging outdoor lights all by himself, with a little help from his little sister.


They had fun with the effort and persevered, despite the endless cold rain they endured in the process.  Go Team Burgess!


On Saturday, I took the younger kids to our community’s Cocoa and Treats with Santa party.  It wasn’t overly exciting…they just did a little peel and stick craft, a pencil puzzle, and had a doughnut and cocoa.  Holden spilled his and cried.  Bound to happen to a 5-year old, right?  Anyway, they got to fill out a letter to Santa showcasing their wish lists and give it to The Man of the Hour himself, Santa Claus. 


At least one of the kids still believes in the magic of Santa, so I had to make one last shopping trip to make sure the wish list items were fulfilled before the big day.  Shew!  Just in time.  Thanks for the extra pressure, Santa!  LOL.


Stay tuned for more holiday happenings from the Burgess clan!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Honoring Hayden

Hayden has been doing so well in his charter school.  For the first marking period, he made the honor roll by getting all A’s and B’s.  The Head of School surprised the 35/125 honor roll students by calling them from class for a special honor roll breakfast!  Hayden was really thrilled to be presented with a certificate and to have the Head of School share a few kind words about each student.  He had 6 A’s and 2 B’s.  We took Hayden out for a celebration dinner at Mi Casita.

The Head of School announced that when the next interim report card came out on December 12th, all the students who had nothing below a C would be treated to a pizza party at school on the 17th.  Interim report cards came out yesterday, and Hayden had 7 A’s and 1 B!  How great is that?

In addition, she said that all students who remain on the honor roll all year will be treated to a big surprise at the end of the year.  Holden told me right then that his goal was to stay on the honor roll.  I want to support him any way I can to help him reach his goal!  It’s so great to see him with some motivation again, setting his own goals and working hard to reach them. 

Over and over again, I’m seen proof that this was the right direction for Hayden.  This was such a positive step for him.  I really see him improving his study skills and getting himself on track for success.  He even asked to go to the library with Steve the other night so he could take his books along and study for two quizzes he would be taking the next day.  That was impressive!  And when he took the quizzes, he said he felt really confident that he had done well.

Hayden loves his Design Technology class.  It’s a really unique class for the students to work on digital design, and they can even manufacture the products they design using a 3-D printer.  Sadly, most of the kids goof off in the class and don’t accomplish much.  Hayden gets frustrated working on group projects, because he really enjoys the class himself, and it’s hard to have to tolerate others bringing down your grade because they don’t contribute anything.  Finally, he got paired this week with the two students who made the Principal’s List (for straight A’s).  He told me that as much as he loved the class before, now he likes it 3 times better because he is working with students who work at a quick pace like him, and they aren’t wasting any time.  They are so far ahead that the teacher told them they could work on a special project assignment if they finished up super early, so Hayden is really looking forward to that!

All this to say that things are going really well at school for Hayden.  I was selected as one of 3 parents to participate on the Planning Council for the school, so I’ve been attending those meetings and participating in brainstorming sessions on things like potential community service opportunities for the students and ways to meet the schools goals for students.  I love having the opportunity there to interact with the Head of School and some of the teachers.  I like feeling like I’m still able to be involved in the direction of Hayden’s education.

Go Hayden!!!