Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer is HERE.. Hallalujah!

Well Hi all... so much has happened since I last posted. Obviously, since that was in April!  We had another successful March for Babies.... thank you everyone who helped.  We raised over $3,200.00 for them again this year!   WOW!  Emily successfully completed her first year of High school.  What a doozy.  All in all she had a great year & while her final semester report cards will be mailed to us, so we don't exactly know what she got.  We believe she did really good!!  Last look at her grades for 4th marking period... she had a B+, C+ (honors geometry was killer) and 5 A's (3 of which were in other HONOR classes.)  High school brought many new experiences and hopefully some much needed life lessons for Emily.  She was in her school's spring musical,  The Little Mermaid.  Which brought her a new love for Broadway and also allowed her to get to know and friend many on the cast.  She was in the Disney club, and has discovered a whole new level of love for Disney.  She now really wants to go back to Disneyworld.   We haven't been since she was 5.  I'm not sure how we can swing it, but I really hope we can get there soon.   Was so hoping we could have her sweet 16 there.  But since Brian got a new job, he probably won't have the time to take off.  Bummer.  Plus it's so much money.  But I'm still holding out hope.  Maybe we'll win the lottery.  LOL! This school year was filled with many highs and a few hiccups as well.  BUT..... I'm extremely proud of Emily this year because she had a really tough academic schedule, managed to fit into that a serious commitment to the musical, and had to navigate just being in a new school environment which is tough for all freshman- let alone someone who has some special needs.  This was the first time in a new school that Emily did not have an aide to help her on day 1.  She had an aide for all of elementary school & for the first year of middle school.  But this year, she was completely on her own.  Which is AWESOME but still it was a bit challenging at times but that's why I'm so proud of her.  She did it!!!  Her high school is pretty big with about 300 students in her freshman class alone- it's also two stories and had many more classes.  She had to manage 8 classes and keep a rotating schedule so each day would be different.  So that's a lot to manage for any kid.  I was overwhelmed myself at back to school night when we had to follow her schedule to visit her classrooms but then again, I've never been much for  Even with all that,  she never got less than a C on her report card this year and that was only twice in Geometry.  She did fantastic in English I-Honors and World History I-Honors and in fact she did so well that she made honors in both again next year!  She also made the accelerated programs for both Algebra II & chemistry as well.  (which is a step up from a college prep level).   For Emily the toughest challenge she faced was just being organized and prioritizing.  I think this is tough challenge for a lot of freshman.  We worked hard to help her.  We got frustrated at times but we as her parent's also learned a lot too.  We learned that sometimes we have to listen a little more as parents and have a bit more patience.  We also learned that Emily still needs help w/ prioritizing & we tried to give her guidance on that.  At times Emily's grades would fluctuate not because something was toooo hard but because she would forget to hand in assignments.   As you can imagine that was frustrating especially after the 5th, 6th 7th...20th time we talked to her about it.  It's not always easy to not get frustrated and we had to have a lot of "discussions" with Emily but we eventually learned some strategies to help her. For instance one of her teachers suggested a "homework" binder this way all of her homework assignments could be in one place & at the end of the day she would have everything in that one binder.  This helped.  As did getting her used to looking at the computer portal & seeing what assignments were due & when.  It was hit or miss depending if the teacher's actually imputed them but it was also a tool to use.  All in all I think Emily did learn a lot this year and much of it was bigger than the grades she got.  Which in no way were bad grades but for Emily they weren't what she was used to, and that brought some tough days for Emily.  As I like to say... it's all relative.  Emily has always gotten A's pretty easily so for her to see a C on her report card... that was upsetting.  By the end of the year we all learned what was really important and getting a C in a really hard class wasn't the end of the world. We also were seeing improvement in the areas that mattered the most & that was HUGE.  While Emily still struggles in some social areas she also made some leaps and bounds in that as well.  She had a very social class called Theatre Arts, which did a lot of working together in groups.  They did a lot of improv and "who's line is it anyway" type of things.  I think that class helped her a lot in just interacting with other kids.  Some kids wrote some really great things in her yearbook like, "You made Theatre Arts AWESOME!"   When you see things like that it makes you realize there are a lot of good kids out there!  I'm not going to sugar coat it,  this year was tough at times.  It was a lot of being on top of things & really trying everyday to help Emily realize the bigger picture and how learning these skills we help her not just now but in the future.  SO... anyway.... I think we were all really looking forward to summer this year & as fast as Emily is growing up I don't wish for the time to go any faster but this year was a bit of a doozy and I think we could all use the break, especially Emily.  I'm hoping we have a great summer!!!!  Of course as a high schooler... Emily has two books to read, and two other summer assignments as well but those can wait a week... for right now let's just relax a little...& have some fun!!  lol.  Anyway... I hope you all have a fantastic summer as well! xo

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