While I was in Atlanta Elizabeth got an award for high scores on last year’s STAR testing. Daniel got the award every year he was at her school and she’s once again keeping up with her older brother. And even though he doesn’t go to school there anymore, he also got an award for his fifth grade STAR scores. Then this month, report cards came out and Daniel got a 3.8 GPA for the semester and is officially an honor student. He got an award and a sticker at a ceremony at the middle school gym. Then just yesterday, without telling us to come and watch, Elizabeth got two more awards. Sandy and I are so proud and know they will keep making us so.
Elizabeth is reading a series of books called Warriors and since its about clans of cats, she ended up being a cat for halloween. Sandy made the the costume and even painted her kitty mask. Daniel wanted to be the black spy from Spy vs Spy. It was an easy costume, just lots of black clothes and a hood but Sandy had to make his mask too. Elizabeth wore her costume to school and got to march in the school parade. But, at Dan’s school, they could wear costumes, but weren’t allowed to wear masks, so since his costume doesn’t make sense without the long white pointy face, and there’s no middle school costume parade either, he waited until Halloween night to wear his. Friends came over and they all trick-or-treated together. We watched Monster House, which has become a Halloween tradition here it seems, then they had a little bit of candy and went to bed. The next day we bought their candy from them for toys and I donated it to the control tower where its lasted just a couple of days.
Daniel was promoted into sixth grade and out of elementary school today. There was a graduation-type ceremony where he got a Presidential Education Award for reading, right before getting his certificate of promotion. We then watched a video before having refreshments and gathering in the school courtyard to celebrate. Now instead of a Frederiksen Panther, he’s now a Wells Roadrunner.
Even though he has had an entry every year, this was the only year that Daniel was required to enter. For his project he wanted to see what soda would do to meat. He also tried lots of other liquids too, soaking the meat for 5 days and making regular observations of what happened. It turns out that soda in an airtight jar does not really dissolve meat, but vinegar turns it into jelly. In addition to three kinds of soda and the vinegar, he soaked the meat in lemonade, water and mineral water. In almost all cases when he opened the jar on the fifth day, it really stunk.
Elizabeth went for something way less smelly in trying different ways to blow up ballons. Baking soda, ice water, yeast, warm water, sugar, and heat were all used to try to blow up balloons with varying degrees of success. It seems that the quickest and most effecient way for Liz to get a balloon inflated is to ask Mom or Dad to do it.
At the science fair, there was an raffle and Daniel won a trip to an aviation museum, some miniature golf passes and a session at an inflatable jump house place.
Friday night was the girl scout Me and My Guy dance at Elizabeth’s school. The theme was “Under the Sea”, which I think was the same theme as the prom in Back to the Future. (Oh i looked it up, that one added the word Enchantment.) It was a fun time dancing with Elizabeth, meeting all of the other dads, and watching all the girls go crazy. I think they even went crazier than normal because, at least with girls, it seems dads aren’t as strict as moms.
The Hallers came up to visit on St. Patrick’s day weekend and brought their awesomely shiny bubbly new Airstream trailer with them. On St. Patrick’s Day Eve, while I was at work, Sandy and Elizabeth went to see the annual Dublin St. Patrick’s Day parade. Daniel had to stay home to put the final touches on his big fifth grade research paper on movies. That afternoon Wade, Jeanine, Luke and Olivia drove up in a gigantic van towing an even gigantic-er trailer. They spent most of the weekend with us and all of the kids had a great time playing with each other. On Sunday, we all hiked to the Dublin Library and spent a few hours eating and playing at the St. Patrick’s Day fair. There were rides for the kids but the lines were crazy long so we couldn’t ride anything. We were sad to see them go on Monday, and can’t wait to see them again.
We went to an awards ceremony at school where Elizabeth got an award for being a good role model. The award was for the character trait: Being Giving. I never thought she was that “giving,” and don’t know what she could be giving away. But there it is, and we are very proud of her. Good job, Elizabeth!
My class and I went on a field trip to IN-N-OUT. We got our own hats and name tags. We also got a tour of their kitchen. Then it was time to order food. I ordered a grilled cheese with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.
Camp was the most fun thing I did in 5th grade. We did lots of outdoor activities like hiking Cresta Blanca and playing zombie tag. We also had fun playing indoors. In my cabin we played monkey in the middle and had pillow fights.
The food at camp Arroyo was delicious! I even ate the Teriyaki chicken. On the last day they served the best meal ever! We had pizza and they baked us brownies. Camp Arroyo is probably going to be something I remember forever!!!
Daniel and Elizabeth both got school awards yesterday. I think it’s the first day that both got awards on the same day. Elizabeth’s was for “Excellence in Reading Comprehension.” Daniel’s was for “Most Persuasive.” I know that Liz is a very prolific reader and really does seem to understand most or all of what she reads, but I have never thought of Daniel as all that persuasive. We’ll see at report card time if he’s persuasive enough to get his teacher to give him good grades.
Once again Daniel got an award for Star testing at his school. He again was in the highest level in both math and language arts. We are so proud of him and noticed that he was one of only two kids to get that award all three years that he was eligible. Given there may be people that didn’t show up for the award, but he clearly is one of the top students at his grade level. After a brief but noisy ceremony in the school multipurpose room, the kids got cookies and cupcakes to celebrate.
So as we are all likely to do every once in a while, at least I hope I’m not the only one, I Googled my name and saw that I was listed as a source in someone’s book. It seems that the author of The Politics of Higher Education in Hawaii, David Yount, used some of my newspaper articles as background information on his book. Well, since I bet there’s not a whole lot of people who can say they were cited as a source in someone’s published book, I got excited, told Sandy, and we decided to buy it. I will probably never read it, although at one time I was very interested in the subject, especially since I was assigned to cover it. But its good to have on the shelf to show people. Of course, I would have to tell people, because although I’m listed three times in the bibliography, its some pretty small print at the back of the book and very hard to find.
Despite limited space in the house because of the kitchen remodel, and limited time, because they started so late, both Daniel and Elizabeth were able to have projects in for this year’s Frederiksen Elementary Science Fair. Elizabeth decided to see if carnations would turn different colors if put in colored food dye and jello, and Daniel explored how balloon rockets traveled along a different types of string. As always they had fun doing the experiments but were not all that excited about documenting them on the presentation boards. Sandy helped lots while I was either at work or painting the bathroom. (Since we changed the floor in the kitchen, and the same floor was in the bathroom, we decided to change that too, which resulted in a whole bathroom remodel.) Daniel and Elizabeth came home from this year’s science fair talking about what they would do for the next one.
Okay, he just kind of plays a normal beginner-ish trumpet which isn’t all that mean, but he got to do so in the Dublin Annual School District Concert with hundreds of other kids from all the Dublin schools. The elementary schools all got together to play what they learned in practice. It was the first time they all played at the same time. It was…interesting. We also heard from the Dublin middle and high schools. Crowded but fun night.
Daniel and Elizabeth both got school awards, Liz for being a good author and illustrator, and Dan for academic achievement. Both got the awards in a ceremony that Sandy went to but I couldn’t because of work. The ceremony surprised us since it came so soon after we got back from Hawaii. We are so proud of both of them.
We’re so proud of Daniel’s getting a STAR testing honor student award tonight. Last year Daniel’s school spent a whole week taking California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting exams. Some kids did well in the Language Arts portion and got awards, some kids did well in the Math portion and got awards, but Daniel did well in both. Everything up to here has been written before (see here). Now having done it two years in a row, we are doubly proud of him. Great job Dan.
Boy summer was sure short. It’s already back to school time and for the first time with first grader Elizabeth going at the same times as fourth grader Dan. Finally Sandy gets some time where she’s not always having to keep the kids busy all day. Now we get to look forward to homework every night again. Yippee!!!
Dan and I went on his class field trip to the Chabot Space and Science Center in the Oakland hills. I was amazed at how much some of the employees really enjoy explaining the properties of the moon and the workings of some of the center’s telescopes. Dan spent the whole day learning about the climate, space, the moon, and astronomy. A few pictures are here.
We’re so proud of Daniel’s getting a STAR testing honor student award tonight. Last year Daniel’s school spent a whole week taking California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting exams. We were surprised when we found out the school gives awards to kids who do well. Some kids did well in the Language Arts portion and got awards, some kids did well in the Math portion and got awards, but Daniel did well in both. The last couple of years he got some ambiguous “enthusiastic learner” awards, but this one seems to actually be a measure of learning performance. Good job Dan!!!!
Both Daniel and Elizabeth started school today, and for the first time ever it was the same school, Liz in Kindergarten (with the same teacher Dan had), and Dan is already in third grade.
Dan did a science fair project for school, and we went to look at it during his school’s open house yesterday. The project combined learning with something he already likes doing….playing with hot wheels. He rolled a hot wheels car down a track several times. Each time the track was coated with something else. He wrapped the track in aluminum foil, sprayed it with water, covered it with sand paper and hand soap and hair spray. To get the project done took a long time because he was sooooo slow in writing it up. But it was a good job and everyone seems to like it.
P.S. The fastest car was the one that went on the hairspray covered track and the slowest was with the hand soap.
I went on the school bus. I liked the bus ride, and when I got to the zoo I was really excited. We saw some meerkats, a turtle eating salad, a newborn eland being chased by a curious giraffe. Dad came with me. I saw some some camels, and I went to the reptile house. My favorite thing I saw was the elephants with the turkeys (wild turkeys had invaded the elephant enclosure). I had lots of fun, and when I was on the bus home I liked looking out the window. I liked hanging out with my friends at the zoo.
We spent a week in the real Northern California (the Bay Area is really central California, just look at a map), where we met Jeanine, Wade and Michael who were visiting Arcata to check out Humboldt state where Mike is going to college. We drove up, stayed in Mendocino and Crescent City and even went up for lunch in Brookings, Oregon, just north of the border.