Thursday, May 28, 2009

first grade here she comes...

First day of Kindergarten August 2008
Katie started Kindergarten this year and after requesting a teacher change, she rocked school. She loved her teacher and was loved by her in every possible way. Mrs. Dashman had Katie reading to all sorts of classrooms, writing science reports about American Goldfinches, and she was even the first kindergartner to get the bronze medal for Math Facts (which is taking timed tests for every level from plus 1- 12 and minus 1-12, and she even went on to complete the first three levels of multiplication...can I brag a little about these brains she has in her head??? The best part is that she would get so frustrated when she failed test after test, but she kept going, even after threatening to quit and she accomplished her goal. And she had to try, where most things come easy to her, and I loved how proud she was when she finally finished and had truely earned the medal.) Andy volunteered every Friday morning with math facts and Katie loved this special time with her father. One thing I love about Andy is that he makes time for us. Many wonder if he works at all since he spends so much time with the family, But I know of the sacrifices he makes. Both professionally and physically. He chooses the family over everything and I love it. I know he has a lot of grading and teaching and stays up late many nights or works late or wakes up extremely early to read scriptures so that he can spend time with his children allowing me time to better myself as well and I love him for it. I'm once again reminded how wise my friend Eldon was to tell me to marry this guy. Despite every rocky road we started on, I am continually amazed at this person that the Lord blessed me with. I'm so glad we stuck it out...and that he realised how dumb he was to break up with me in the first place :)!

but back to Katie...

Throughout it all, she has been friendly to others, been a leader and learned many lessons. I was so proud of her. I got to volunteer almost every week with her classroom and once I started my Master Naturalist training was able to teach her class a couple times as well about science. It was a most impressionable first year. Her teacher called late last night to tell me how she had broken down when her class left (as she does every year) but how lucky she was to have such a talented class. I agree. I loved the little kids. I made her a scrapbook of pictures and thank you notes from every child and a basket of food to cook with an apron with all the kiddos hand prints and she told me that in 30 years of teaching, this was the first book she had ever received. And she deserved one. Katie said goodbye....

and moved on up to first grade. She will be in Mrs. Custard's class (who based on the class list, has some of the brightest students in there so Katie should be challenged next year). But really, Katie doesn't care about all that, she's happy for her new teacher and sad to have good friends move into other classes. But if Katie is anything like her mother, and grandmother, and great-grandmothers (for whom she is named)and I like to think she is, she will have no trouble making new friends. Congratulations Katie. I love my little miracle.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

With a flutter, flutter here, and a flutter, flutter there...

Katie woke up on May 7, 2009 at 4:45 AM to join her mom in bird banding at the World Bird Sanctuary. She was pretty excited to go the night before, but fell asleep on the floor as we tried to get her dressed. After a little food in her system, we were off. Katie chatted the entire way there. who knew one could talk so much that early in the morning.Even though it was dark outside, and she was young, the workers quickly put her in charge of pulling off the ribbons that held all the nets shut. I think she appreciated having a job instead of just standing around. They all worked really hard to give her a memorable experience.
She caught her first bird, an Ovenbird in net # 5. After it was
removed from the net and tagged with a clothespin to identify the net, Katie’s job as a runner took over. The birds were generally still in the bag, but this Ovenbird loved to flutter around and the first time it did it, Katie jumped but held onto the bag. I was so proud of how calm and brave she was.

Here we are with the second bird (a Swanson Thrush). Katie and I had some wonderful moments in the woods. Katie kept saying "Oh my" with every new discovery and although I have no idea where she heard this, it was endearing to all around to hear her enthusiasm caught in those two words.

After a bird is taken back to the processing center, it is hung on a line where it waits to be identified and recorded.Katie then got the bird off the line and brought it to the
the processing center where it was measured, banded, weighed, and
checked for parasites and gender. The ladies allowed Katie to see the wing feathers, the feet, to look closely at their eyes and basically to really understand up close and personal some pretty cool songbirds. And I must say, while Katie was learning all this information, my brain knowledge increased as well. It's pretty amazing when you think of what a busy job the creation of the world was. There are some really beautiful creatures out there. Katie then was taught how to release it back into the wild. She
was able to release two birds. A Swanson thrush and an ovenbird.
She was able to participate in this migration study and learn
about birding at the same time. The ladies there were so sweet. They involved this little six year old in every aspect and made her feel special and excited about birding.
Now you know you belong in our family if you stick your little tongue out. it always helps you to concentrate. I can see why some people home school. You can just experience it so much more in person than in a book. What an educational day we had...and all before school even started.