Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Montessori is back on the table. I got a follow up call yesterday morning from one of the heads of the school. She was checking in to see if I had any questions after our visit the week prior. I hesitated... in my head, I'm thinking this school is already off the list so why bother... but decide to ask about the language regarding the parent visit and observation policy.
She was shocked! She had no idea it read that way and it certainly isn't how the school is run. She said they have parents almost daily who pop in at various times just to check on the kids. She assured me numerous times that I would be welcome at any time and that I was also welcome to make an appointment if I wanted to have a more formalized observation with input from the directresses or heads of the school.
We ended the call- and I am feeling like this Montessori school is back on the list. 20 minutes later, she called me back and sealed the deal. She immediately went to the other head of the school and brought this to her attention. Turns out, the Board of Directors of the school have just recently changed the language in the handbook and want it written to be clear that parents are welcome to come into the school at any time.
So not only did she calm my concerns, but she took immediate action to rectify the problem on her end and then followed up with me.
So it is definitely back on the list.
We visited 2 other schools yesterday- just dropped in and asked for info. At both schools, we got a tour and lots of info about the program.
One is a church ministry program that uses the A Beka curriculum. I had no clue what that meant so I did some research. I didn't like what I saw and was ready to drop them from the list. But this place is highly recommended by Miss Lisa and by 2 other parents that have gone through Miss Lisa. So I wanted to check it out, see it for myself.
From my reading, the issue with the A Beka curriculum is that it comes from a fundamentalist Christian publishing company (the fundamentalist part already scared me off) and there have been issues (and even a lawsuit) regarding the pertinent historic and scientific information that is excluded from or simply wrong in the information they print. I asked our guide about the controversy- not stating what it was- and she had no clue what I was talking about. So maybe that's a thing of the past. Or maybe it doesn't really apply to the materials used in a pre-K setting. Checked with a preschool teacher friend of mine... turns out that she was schooled with an A Beka curriculum and advises against it. Says it is too limited. I agree from what we saw when we toured.
It was very focused on reading, writing, and math. The rooms were very small, especially considering that the class could be as large as 16 kids. Very few playthings in the rooms and the focal point of each pre-K room were 2 work tables and child size chairs. I get the impression that the curriculum part of the day focuses a lot on sitting and writing or doing worksheets. Which I don't think suits my daughter very well. Pretty certain it is off the list.
Move on to the next place. It's part of a chain- La Petite Academy. We liked it. Didn't really see anything we didn't like but also didn't love it. It would be fine. But nothing to get super excited about. Curriculum seemed well rounded. My concern was that the teacher turnover was high. Most of the teachers, according to the information in the lobby, had been there a year. The school cook, however, has been there 18 years.
As far as chains go, we are also considering Goddard and Primrose. We need to visit them. And if they pass that first step, we add them to the list.
Oh- another one on my list is a privately owned, independent preschool that will be starting its full day program this fall. The focus at this place is learning through experience and play. Which lines up nicely with what I think Teagan needs. It's a little out of the way for the morning drive and pick up. But... if it is the best choice, then we make it work.
Coming soon... another big pre-K post that will compare out the top 3 choices.
"...and now, ladies and gentlemen, watch as I make this fishing pole levitate! Rise....RISE!"
CONGRATS to Isabella of A Look on the Random Side!
Isabella- drop me an e-mail at gentlemomlc (a) gmail and I will get a shiny new Target gift card out to you!!
Thanks to all who participated!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
First, share memories or thoughts of childhood or adulthood sister-friends. Funny, sad, whatever.
1. My daily drives to and from work with Christy. We enjoy spending time at my house, going out to dinner, at the gym, hanging out with theatre friends. But some of the best laughs come on the drive home from work. We can get absolutely hysterical at ourselves. We should do a podcast or something.
2. College. Jim. "Ooooh! I forgot my baaag!" Not funny to anyone but me and him, but still.
3. My wedding. Jim and Christy were there. 2 people who have proven friendship to me countless times in a variety of ways.
4. Sitting in a backyard in CT, watching Teagan play with a little friend who was born just 3 days before her. Her mom and I are thrilled to have this visiting time together- a rare occurence for people who live states apart. I'm getting to meet the man she's going to marry, she's getting to meet my son. We are "internet" friends. We met online and real and powerful friendship grew.
Second, pass the award on to however many bloggers you'd like to share this with- but make sure you share this award specifically with bloggers that you feel a kinship with. Bloggers you learn from or feel that you teach, bloggers you've connected with in a really familiar and friendly way.
RVing (for Garret- whenever he gets back)
I think it is going to happen! I took a portion of our tax refund and, with Jeff's agreement, opened a vacation account at the bank. So, provided there isn't a major issue between now and July... we should be heading to LANGHORNE PA for a big old FAMILY VACAY this summer! WAHOO!
Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away!
On my way to where the air is sweet!
Can you tell me how to get...
How to get to Sesame Street?
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
"You must choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations."
"Love puts the focus on personal responsibility and improving yourself rather than on demanding more from others."
How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:4-5
In stead of nitpicking and trying to change your partner, instead of focusing on what is wrong with them, Love encourages the other. Choose to find ways to lift up your spouse instead of tearing them down. Be a positive and supporting partner as your spouse seeks to find their true self, their best self. And by doing it together, through positive encouragement, you both become your best selves, your best couple.
"Eliminate the poison of unrealistic expectations in your home. Think of one area where your spouse has told you that you are expecting too much, and tell them you're sorry for being so hard on them about it. Promise them you'll seek to understand, and assure them of your unconditional love."
"When you place high expectations on your spouse that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about yourself? What are some better ways to deal with these disconnects?"
This one hits home for me and is something I struggle with. On one specific issue. And it's a hard one for me to let go because I feel like I already put a great amount of effort into letting it go and giving him his own time and timeline to figure it out.
Jeff's a packrat and a slob when it come to space. Our bedroom is a disaster area. Our dining room is taken over by stuff. Our garage is almost completely unusable. Our basement... which could be a nice family room... is a massive pile of stuff and garbage. It's unsafe.
Jeff knows it needs to be cleaned up. He knows that this way of living is not ok- especially now that we have kids. But he doesn't change.
Are my expectations too high? From the outside, most would say no.
But I know that there are deep issues for him when it come to his stuff. Deep. And he was like this- and worse- when we met. So I knew what I was getting into.
So this, to me, is exactly the kind of thing that I need to let go and let God, so to speak. And hope that someday, Jeff gets the message and chooses to show his own love by cleaning up our home so that we have more family space and less off-limits space.
So today, I'm going to release it. Take the mess off my shoulders. It's an ongoing thing for me but I need to let it go.
Friday, March 6, 2009
"We are so quick to justify our motives. So quick to deflect criticism. So quick to find fault- especially with our spouse, who is always the easiest one to blame."
"As far as we're concerned, we're doing the best we can. And our spouse just ought to be glad we're as good to them as we are."
The thing that strikes me about that last sentence is how selfish it sounds- and we've already done the "love is not selfish" dare!
The book suggests listening when arguing. Instead of proving yourself right, listen to what your partner is saying.
We should be making deliberate efforts to care for the person we've chosen to love. Not seeking out ways for ourselves to be cared for.
"Pride is very resistant to responsibility, but humility and honesty before God and your spouse is crucial for a healthy relationship."
If you have wronged your spouse, you have to seek forgiveness. You can't force them to forgive you but you can choose to recognize your error and ask for healing.
"Admitting your mistakes is your responsibility."
Pray for the things you've done wrong. Admit them to your spouse. Be sincere and truthful. Ask for forgiveness. They may respond negatively or with criticism. But maintain your choice to love and be personally responsible for the actions you've chosen.
"What does your mate need to see in order to believe that your confession was more than just words?"
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
You have to forgive for a marriage to work. And not just forgiveness within your marriage. But letting go of anything from your past that needs forgiving, too. Any hurts from your childhood, for example. You have to let those things go, forgive the people who have hurt you... so that you can be complete in your marriage.
And then you choose to let your anger go against your spouse. Anything you've been holding a grudge over. Anything you've clung to or tucked away... because living a life with hidden and pent up anger just means that it will come back to bite you later on.
Whatever you've been holding on to, whatever grudge you've been carrying... let it go. Choose to forgive.
What did you forgive your spouse for? How long had you been carrying this anger? How do you feel after letting it go?