Monday, February 23, 2015

5 and Ski

    QT turned 5 and we hit the slopes for 5 days for his birthday celebration.  The kids had a snowboard lesson on QT's birthday and Mr. A boarded with the kids the next day.  We went ice skating at the top of Squaw and the kids did innertubing one day. We drove to Nevada for lunch so the kids could see Nevada.  Mr. a invited his 11 year old goddaughter and her mom and 18 year old sister joined.  We had a great time and the kids had a great time playing with their god sister.
Mr. A planned a great trip!
   We stayed at the same cabin we used for QT's 3rd birthday.  Both kids learned to board very fast and it was fun to watch. Family vacations feel wonderful because we can tune the world out and enjoy being together.  Kids grow so fast, so I relish these moments and memories.

   I remember being at the Black Enterprise Ski Challenge in the late 90's and seeing the little kids getting lessons.  I told myself I wanted that.  I also saw the couples  skiing together and I wanted to go skiing with my husband.  So I love that Mr. A loves snowboarding and has introduced skiing and
boarding to our kids.
    Years ago I dated a guy and my brother never said anything negative about the guy.  He merely said, " if you marry x, your kids will never get to ski in Aspen."  I realized my brother was correct.  My kids are fortunate I thought about them when eliminating and choosing a mate. I am grateful I et and married Mr. A.  We are a great team.
   

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Summer Trauma

A couple of summers ago, I was a bit traumatized when I took a quick trip to Kmart in L.A.  and saw high school aged kids hanging out.  http://momswholunch.blogspot.com/2012/06/kids-are-expensive.html

Since then, every year around this time I start thinking about summer.  Having lived amongst and associated with the top 5% money holders, I saw how the summers were for children of the monied.  Mr. A's alumni association had annual end of summer shindigs at a beach club in Pacific Palisades. It was a real life Beverly Hills 90210 summer. It is hard to go to a crowded beach after relaxing in a cabana and having bathrooms filled with mints and cloth towels.   We would go to the Beverly Hills Country club with the alumni and see kids in the pool, on the tennis courts, eating great food and relaxing.

We could not access the posh private places on the regular in but in L.A. there was much available to regular income people, and we took advantage of those things.  We joined the Skirball Museum and that allowed us access to all of the children's museums.  The Skirball was amazing!

I  liked to find out what the Jewish people were doing with their kids and I did that.  They weren't spending wild amounts of money and they had lots of play based activities..  When I see how bright and advanced my kids are, I know nature is involved but that early exposure had an enormous amount to do with their current abilities.

My goal was to give my young kids a firm foundation and I think we have done that.  My kids feel capable and confident in their ability.  They are resilient. They keep trying.  They believe in themselves. They are able to self- direct and motivate themselves.

In my business there are many things I have to teach myself.  If I was not confident in my ability to self-teach and to learn my opportunities would be reduced.  I lose cases but I am resilient, a past failure does not indicate what my future will hold.

I believe opportunities are self-created, so I want my kids to believe they can create opportunities and that they can succeed even after a failure.

Summer has value.  We get to spend time free time together.  I knew that the baby years would be quick and now we have 2 school age kids. We made the most of those years before school began.  Summer allows us the opportunity to enrich the lives of our kids.

I wanted my young kids to have an early childhood full of creativity, communication and life lessons and I want summer to be more of the same.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Homeschool 2015

The A family has been enjoying home school.

Our typical day goes:

Memory
Music - I am teaching her piano

Spelling/ Dictionary
Penmanship
Grammar/Language
Math
Reading- comprehension/ writing

We have speech one day a week and art twice a month.  We started a science class that is held once a month. We do cooking and science activities at least once a week.

I am pleased with TR's progress.  She loves Grammar Island and knows the 8 parts of speech and the parts of a sentence.   She also loves math.  She is working on division and Mr. A times her for addition and subtraction, and she loves that.  She likes testing and proving.

QT can read!  A few weeks ago, Mr A and I figured out that he could read.  QT seemed to think he should only be able to read his sight words.  Mr. A had a talk with him and told him that it is okay if he  knows other words or knows how to sound words out. QT got his confidence together and this week he read to me and didn't halt while reading.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Level 3 Floor

video 
TR practicing the level 3 floor routine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Word is......,

Home

I have been on what might be called a tour of markets. I have broken up with chain grocery stores and I frequent Berkeley Bowl, Farmer Joe's, Andronicos, Piedmont Market, the weekly Farmer's Market for Farm Fresh eggs and fruits and vegetables the Farmers can discuss.

When we were in L.A. I liked Farmers Markets, but now my week is off if I do not get fresh produce from a Farmer.  I like my apples to be dusty, my oranges to have stems and leaves and my eggs to have grass still on them.

I have stopped shopping at Whole Foods.  It's out of the way and I like my market experience over a chain experience. I have developed a love for milk in a glass bottle Cream Top Milk, so I shop the stores that carry it.

I also discoverd that the milk man still exists and he delivers the glass bottle Cream Top milk I like.  I have requested delivery, so I am hopeful I can get my 1950's regular milk delivery experience.

School

QT is a perfectionist and I am not patient enough for a young perfectionist, so it's rough.  He is doing very well in kindergarten and his teacher said he is a "hard worker and takes pride in his work.".  I suspect that was her way to nicely say, he won't stop until every letter is perfectly written. When TR was 4, we visited a preschool and the director called her anal because she was trying to build blocks perfectly.  I said yes, she is a perfectionist.  My mother is a perfectionist and I expect the kids get it from her.

Homeschool

TR has finished part 1 of Grammar Island and knows the 8 parts of speech and how each part functions.  We will start working on the Parts of a Sentence at the end of this week.  I am excited!

We use Singapore Math and she has done and understands multiplication and this week she began division and 3 digit addition and subtraction.

I really enjoy homeschool. We do piano/guitar, memory/reciting scriptures or poetry, Spanish, math, spelling, reading/grammar, science, cooking, p.e., money/economics, writing, penmanship, geography, art and field trips. I enjoy seeing her learn, be challenged and come up with creative and exploratory ideas for projects.  We watched a Kahn video on the heart and she wants to study and build a model heart.

TR loves home school but sometimes she misses the school environment. I am hoping the science class had kids she can interact with.  Mr. A has plans to take TR to some homeschool park days so she can meet and play with other home schooled kids.

QT waivers between wanting to home school and attending traditional school.  We need a hybrid.

Exercise

TR has been laughing at my lack of  fitness.  So I have been running at her gym while she is in class. Since I am there I might as well utilize my time to ge fit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Privates and Competition

I have never been in the monied loop so it is only recently that I discovered that people with higher incomes get their kids private tutors for a variety of things.

 When I was in high school, one of my friends had a private SAT tutor. At the time I thought tutors were hired when a person could not grasp a concept and now I learn that tutors are used by higher income parents to make a kid better than what others are doing.

 I read or saw snippets of American Promise a documentary of 2 sets of professional black in NYC who sent their 2 sons to independent schools. Around 5th grade the school offered tutoring and the parents felt it was a suggestion that their sons could not compete with their classmates. Years later they discovered, the other students had private tutors.

 We do Singapore Math for home school and I read the bulk kids in Sinapore all have math tutors. This private tutor thing is eye opening. Last spring TR's old coach told Mr. A about kids getting private gymnastics lessons. One day we were at the gym and saw her teammate getting a private. After that we signed up for a couple. At the school Mr A coached at, the top track runner had a private coach. Now I am wondering why I thought group lessons were sufficient.

  Home School and time management

 We are now doing art twice per month and QT does it 1 time each month. I tried to do speech 2x per month but the speech pathologist said once a week is better. Both kids have made great and quick progress. Gymnastics schedule changed so we now have Wednesday free. Today we went to the zoo. It was nice. I signed TR up for a home school science class, that meets once a month. It is nice to live around science centers. QT took science for toddlers all of last year and now TR can take science for elementary home schooled kids.

 I settled a lawsuit that I filed in 2013, so I feel as if freedom is in my grasp.

Friday, December 26, 2014

M.I.A.

I have wanted to hit the keyboards and blog but with 2 kids, a husband, extended family, and a business, it is a challenge to find the energy once I get the time.
Everyone has million dollar ideas, few have the motivation to execute those ideas.
I have two business ideas. I want to do a special education resource center and I want to do a beauty business that starts sorta like Mary K and I go to bridal showers, pre-prom parties etc. These ideas will be executed. I have sooooo many business ideas but I already have a busy business and sometimes I get lazy.
I am pleased that our current business funds our expensive Northern California Bay Area lifestyle. That makes me feel like The Amey's can build more sucessful businesses. I really want to have a business my kids can work in and expand if they choose. A legacy is my goal. My other goal is to save more.
TR made level 3 in gymnastics and gets to compete in a national meet this winter. If all goes well she can do level 4 by summer. She was set to start competing level 3 last February 2014 but we switched gyms. Having to do level 2 was frustrating for her. It was due to my failures to plan and research. On the positive side I didn't want my 5 year old in the gym 9-12 hours a week. When we moved gyms she was doing 7 hours a week and starting kindergarten, so she was able to enjoy school and do after school activities like dance and cooking class and she had time to free play.
At the old gym, she didn't like the woman who was the level 3 coach and she had begun refusing to go to gymnastics on Saturdays because the coach she didn't like was there. I didn't want her to avoid the sport she loves because of a person. Now she knows that there are other gyms and coaches and she has options.
I really want to do better with money. The kids cost a lot. I've added art and speech to karate and gymnastics. I will probably move art to twice a month to save money and time. The kids love art but the lessons are private and expensive. I am hopeful that we can be done with speech by Spring. That $110 a week is a worthwhile investment because communication is essential but art and speech have added $1k to our monthly expenses. I want to reduce expenses and save money in 2015.
I had a purpose for blogging but this post has taken over a week and I cannot recall what my goal was.