InstaFriday: Halloween & Homework

That seems to be what's been occupying our time this last week: lots of homework (at least for Azia and me) and lots of Halloween festivities.

This is the view from the parking lot before I went into work the other day. . . not a bad view, though I'm generally opposed to the idea of going to work when it's still dark.

I've spent much of the week getting mid-quarter papers and tests graded. Every once in awhile Captain America would ride in and check on me.

It's good to have superheroes looking out for you.

Azia and Lex have been busy with their work, too.

Lex found a calendar and spent a good chunk of time scheduling in all his friends on certain dates. He had appointments scheduled all through November and December. I was also surprised he knows what a map is for. He found one in the back of his calendar and wanted me to show him where we were and where we lived. We added a big star to the Montana map at our approximate location so I didn't have to repeatedly find it for him every time he turned the page to check on one of his scheduled appointments.
Azia spent many hours at all of our various tables and desks around here and a few times fell asleep on top of her math books. She did get her grades (which were almost all failing two weeks ago) up to all As, Bs and a couple Cs, before the quarter ended, but hopefully we'll get off to a better start this quarter so we have no marathon homework weeks and no falling asleep in math books and no failing grades (or even Cs). It was hard for me not to be angry and very rude to many people at the school at her parent teacher conference yesterday. She definitely needs to start taking responsibility for herself, but I don't feel like she's getting any help in learning how to do that at school. I don't even know that most of the people working with her there are aware she hasn't been doing anything. For weeks now. Possibly close to a year. If they have been aware, no one was talking to me about it. It took me forever just to track down how to get computer login information to check her grades and to find someone who would set up the account for me. One of the things we got at the conference yesterday was the district assessment test results for the last couple years-- which has graphs clearly showing her not only not making any progress but dramatically going (over the last 18 months) from above average to low in nearly everything. Where the typical growth in math was 11 points over this span, hers was -6.  This is not a kid who has ever had trouble with academic sorts of learning (even if she isn't always enthusiastic about it) and who has all sorts of support. If I was a teacher I'd be embarrassed to hand a parent the stack of things that clearly indicate she hasn't been doing anything when none of them ever talked to me to let me know that was the case.

So, for now we're going to be doing more work at home to get her back to where she needs to be. If that ends up taking up too much time she may take a break from school for a few quarters. If it she isn't going to be able to get anything done while at school it doesn't seem very useful or sensible to send her.  We'll see how this next quarter goes.

And my cat is nearly as annoying as my children sometimes. These photos are from about three in the morning. Everyone else is asleep. You'd think I could read a little with out being bothered. Or without someone climbing on my head or trying to eat my book.

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Zoran, Bryce and Kellen spent the weekend in Kalispell celebrating Kellen's birthday.  I love Zoran's little group of friends. They're such a fun group of boys.
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Azia and I both had 50s era sorts of costumes for Halloween. I tried to convince the family it would be cool to be the whole century (or at least 60% of it) and we could each pick a decade to represent. Azia liked the idea and wanted to dress like this even though no one else was cooperating. Then I thought it would be cute (and super easy) to just have the boys all dress along the 50s theme too. 

Then never think my ideas are that cool. It's just too hard to compete with the idea of being superheroes. I sort of liked it when I could just choose whatever I wanted the kids to be for Halloween. Though, buying a costume is definitely much easier than making something (or 6 some things. . .)

Visiting Connie and Leonard & their millions of Halloween decorations. Israel is getting his photo taken for her costume contest. Our family won an ipad2! Connie is so generous with what she does for our community.

 Azia had the pink & black costume & I went for red . . . I think it added to everyone's idea that I was dressed up as Grandma Elda. Red clothes and red lips--her signature wardrobe items!

Halloween should not be on a Monday. 
 The boys had lots of fun playing and fighting and eating candy all night. Lex was nearly impossible to get up for school the next morning. Luckily his buddy James was there to meet him when we finally did make it to Headstart. He was chipper and happy and excited to see Lex.
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We went down to the Day of the Dead Parade in Missoula last night. I haven't been for a couple years and it's really grown.
 Most of it was pretty cool. Lex loved all the skeletons. I loved some of the school groups that bought kids with art projects and dance and music. Azia and Zoran were pretty excited to get treats from the dressed up Hellgate Rollergirls.

I was really annoyed with all the political groups. Even if I may have agreed with their cause before, a few of the groups lost any support or respect I had for them. It just seemed in poor taste to use that venue to promote their cause. Even if I support a local politician I don't want them showing up at a family party and giving an impromptu speech and handing out campaign brochures. Most of the Occupy Missoula group seemed to have no awareness of what the point of the parade was. . . much of the group advocating the reintroduction of wolves, too. It's nice people care about clean water and a living wages and all sorts of other causes, but it's also nice to sometimes be able to celebrate something other than someone's political agenda. Some of the groups were there representing a cause but the only way you'd know that was by reading a banner or maybe a logo on the side of one of their pieces of art-- just like the school groups and other community organizations participating. None of that bothered me. Other groups seemed to have no sense of situational awareness. They came in everyday clothes, carried their posters with protest slogans scribbled on them, shouted the same slogans loudly at crowd, and were cutting off people who walked carrying alters and photos of ancestors or the groups that were dancing in costumes and makeup they'd put together for the parade. It was all so disrespectful.
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And tonight it was back to homework (just a little bit, it is Friday after all) and then creating a tree for our leaves to keep track of all that we're thankful for. November started without us getting it up so Azia made one tonight.

Azia sent me this facebook message while she was supposed to be working. I was going to tell her to get back to work and then I realized she was using facebook to do her math homework! She had just told me earlier she needed to find 25 people she could ask questions so she could use their answers to create some graphs and charts.

Zoran brought home some books he's written (and "published") so he had to read them all to me. And then he read them to Lex, too.

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