I know there’s a little dogsled race going on right now, but our weekend was dominated by debate. It started Friday night, when Sam’s teammates came over for a cram session before the tournament. I secretly wondered how much time 13-year-old boys would *actually* spend studying on a weekend, but they were focused: writing speeches, strategizing, researching, and (yes) dreaming. I texted this picture to Clark, … Continue reading Dedicated Debaters
I’ve been organizing old photos lately, and it makes me pine for the days when the kids were cheek-pinchingly adorable. But it would be a shame to get so lost in nostalgia that I miss this current phase that I’ll someday be nostalgic for, so I’m doing my darndest to live in the present. The present is busy, between work and shuttling kids to school, … Continue reading Junior Grillmeister
Sam is so many things: middle schooler, soccer fanatic, Harry Potter aficionado, and aspiring YouTuber. And now we add teenager to that list. I refuse to let this freak me out. I’ve worked with teens long enough to know that they don’t all turn into eye rolling, surly beasts who despise their parents. I’ve also been a parent long enough to know that sometimes he’s … Continue reading We Have a Teenager in the House!
“The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. “ ~Max Born Sam chose debate as one of his elective courses this semester. Call me crazy, but this might be one of the most useful classes of his educational career. Pubic speaking. Active listening. Persuasive speech writing. Academic research. What’s … Continue reading The Great Debate
It’s back to school season: our house smells like Sharpies and new gym shoes, our lunchboxes don’t have jelly stains yet, and the kids are actually excited to go shopping. Apparently buying pencils and binders is fun, but trying on pants is torture. Go figure. This year the excitement was elevated, because Sam started middle school and Maggie moved up to a new 5/6 combo class. If … Continue reading First Days
We celebrated 12 years of Sam this summer. Here’s the annual time capsule summary of this child we love beyond words: He’s pensive. He soaks in so much of what he hears and observes, and quietly reflects on it for days and weeks. What wit! What laughter! His sense of humor is wise beyond his years, yet he still loves potty humor YouTube videos. Either way, … Continue reading Celebrating Sam
Another chapter in the book of Time Flies is now complete: Sam has officially “graduated” from elementary school. His school honored the occasion with two separate ceremonies. First, there was a program for the Open Optional families, where each 6th grader gave a speech in front of the parents and younger classes. This was followed by a fun slideshow of students from kindergarten through 6th grade. Two days later we … Continue reading Movin’ On Up
Sam could hardly sleep the night before this year’s school spelling bee. He finished in third place last year, but in his mind that just wasn’t good enough. He vowed he wouldn’t let a silly mistake knock him out again. The competition was fierce, but eventually there were only two spellers left: Sam, and a 6th grade girl from another class. The two of them … Continue reading Bee Resilient!
Election season came early to our household, but fortunately student council candidates aren’t allowed to make robo calls. Instead, they spend copious hours designing posters, writing speeches, and begging for button making machines. Sam ran for President, and Maggie for Sergeant at Arms. We are so proud of them both! Maggie didn’t make it to the final round this time, but her disappointment didn’t dampen the … Continue reading Mr. President
Sam had a hard time picking a party theme for this year’s birthday, and I worried he might be getting too old for that sort of thing. Luckily a quick Google search for 11-year-old “tween” birthday parties saved the day. Two ideas came to the top of his list: Minute-to-Win-It Games or an Amazing Race scavenger hunt. He picked the Amazing Race (despite never watching … Continue reading Amazing Race 11th Birthday Party