Mea in Guided Reading

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Working at the school district at which my kids attend, here and there, has provided me with some wonderful opportunities that I would not have otherwise had.

In Kindergarten, I was able to teach Mea guided reading, for a little bit.

There were only three students who needed to be in the same group and too many other groups to meet with during the p.m. session of Kindergarten.

We found a way for me to see these three students as much as my schedule would allow. Mea was in this group of readers.

They were able to pronounce almost all of the words they were encountering in their reading. In fact, one of the students read “trellis” when he saw it in a book.

I exposed them to new vocabulary and different genres of books.

We talked about how smoother and more automatic when we read.

We discussed characters and plot; we compared and contrasted different books about similar topics.

We learned how to ask, and then answer questions about what we were reading.

We wrote about what we read and answering beyond and about the text questions.

Mea sometimes struggled with these types of questions. Her peers modeled for her how to think and respond – it stretched her.

Other times, Mea would see something in the book that was unique – he was able to share her insights with her classmates.

As a group, we enjoyed reading beginning chapter books and nonfiction texts that helped us learn about the world.

It was an incredible opportunity – one that I would never have had if her teacher hadn’t been creative about problem-solving around the schedule, and generous about sharing her students with me.

Everybody knows…

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Everybody knows…

Mea is her mother’s daughter.

It’s her love for sports,

being an avid reader,

and how she enjoys talking to and playing with her friends for hours on end.

 

Everybody knows…

Mea is her daddy’s daughter.

Her fierce determination,

her dark skin that soaks up the sun,

her love for being outside.

 

Everybody knows…

Mea is her Grandmother’s girl.

Her love for baking,

her penchant for writing for hours,

and how she enjoys nature and dirt!

 

 

Everybody knows…

Mea is her Grammie’s girl.

The creativity that flows,

an artistic niche that amazes all,

an eye for all that is unique.

 

 

Everybody knows,

everybody knows,

everybody knows,

eight years have flown by!

You’ve captured the best of the best,

a perfect blend,

a shining star,

the Mea we all love!

Moving Day

Today we move for the sixth time in our marriage.

House one was his bachelor pad – too far from our new life together and my work.

House two…. let’s just say we could hear EVERYTHING through the walls.

House three is where we welcomed Liam home. It was the church sexton’s house – Mike was the sexton. When he left that job, we left our home.

House four is where we stayed the longest. We welcomed both Kieran and Mea home here.

House five became our house when I took my new job. The kids have grown up here. They each had their own room. We enjoyed the spaciousness of this house. It was not peaceful here for many reasons.

House six we move in today. It is a smaller house – allowing me to pursue a job in higher education.

I hope this house brings us as many memories and joys as those that came before. I hope we will learn to call it home.

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Leaving on a jet plane

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So proud that you qualified for Nationals.

Could not go with you this year.

Excited for you to experience Orlando and competitions with students from around the nation and the world.

Hope you remember to call/text.

What a great experience for you to take to finish out your middle school years.

Will you eat enough, remember to brush your teeth and use sunscreen?

Thankful you have this opportunity.

Your first trip away from home….

Nervous parents who cannot wait for your return.

Love, Liam

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Liam shows me and tells me that he loves me.

He shows me by leaning on me and sitting close, especially when something important is happening in his life.

He says, “I love you,” at least six times before I leave for work in the morning.

He shows me by hugging me at least six times before I leave for work in the morning.

He tells me by asking if there is anything he can do for me.

He shows me by kissing me on the cheek.

He asks me if I am happy.

He shows me by sometimes kissing me lightly on the lips; he doesn’t always remember that this is not something a 14-year-old boy does with his mom.

I thank him and remind him, then hug him tight to let him know that he will always be my little boy.

Growth Spurts

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With Liam and Kieran, growing seems to have happened a little at a time. Our one friend joked that, with Liam, if we went into his room at night, we could probably hear his bones growing. As an 8th grader, he is 5’10”. Getting there was slow and steady.

With Mea, we’ve been caught at least three times now, one just this weekend, where, the growth seems to have happened overnight.

Each of these times, the day before, she’s fine fitting in (as was the case yesterday), a size 3 shoe. But when we finally get her to the shoe store, she needs a 4.5!

How does that happen?

Obviously, it’s not literal. Sometimes, we have been “forcing” her feet into a too small shoe (remember she doesn’t really complain about pain). Another explanation is that different shoes have different fits.

We always feel like terrible parents sitting in the store getting her shoes 1-2 sizes larger than she walked in with.

Keep watch!

While Liam is on the tall side, Kieran always measured taller than him (until we gave him medicine).

In comparison to the same year and measurement of the boys, Mea has always measured taller than both. We will see if this trend continues at the end of this month at her nine year checkup.

Then…

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Despite our difficulties with Liam and Kieran, they were well behaved. They didn’t hurt others, didn’t lie (on Kieran’s part, much), and didn’t do anything that would cause much alarm, in terms of how they acted.

So when Mea started to steal, we were caught completely off guard.

We recognized that, because she stole only food, it was connected to the adoption.

But we were perplexed because she had three full meals and three snacks a day.

When I was younger, I was literally sent to bed without dinner. We did not use this type of punishment with any of our kids, especially Mea. We knew that she would react poorly if food was ever a part of a punishment.

Nevertheless, she felt compelled to steal food, often right after a meal/snack.

She wasn’t very “good” at stealing. We would find wrappers or a ton of crumbs wherever she had been.

We did learn to stop asking, did you? Because when we asked “did you,” especially when she was older, she would flatly deny it, even if we had seen her. We were creating a situation that caused her to tell a lie on top of the stealing.

Because we didn’t know better, we took her actions personally. We struggled, until we sought help and learned to understand why.

That doesn’t mean she stopped. But we have learned to respond appropriately – to help her feel loved, unconditionally, regardless of her behavior.