Where has December gone?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Where has December gone?
6
Thu, 12-19-2013 - 1:19am

The new year is flying to meet us...it seems like the school year just started and yet it is almost half over.  Updates?

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Fri, 12-20-2013 - 1:54am

Ds17 has discovered by auditing a week of classes that the nearby community college will not offer him nearly enough challenge and has set his sights higher. Good stuff, as he's earning high 90's with hardly any work at high school and is desperate for appropriate challenge. In the meantime he's getting into recording (music and podcasts) and audio engineering on his own, and working away at learning more computer programming.

Dd15 is now doing pretty well, actually, despite having had a frustrating start to the school year. She's balancing her high levels of academic drive, her first serious romantic relationship, her physical fitness and various hobby-related interests quite nicely. She's coping well with the social challenges at school and now that she's assuming she'll be at a different high school for next year everything is feeling more manageable at her current one.

Dd19 should be home from college tomorrow if her flight gets in (we have a very tiny airport where 30% of winter flights get cancelled). She's had a good fall. It's her third year away from home, and it seems pretty normal to us all, and she's pretty settled in in Montreal.

Dd10 has had some big shifts this year. She's decided to quit violin lessons at least for a term, and she's discovered a love for dance. She's seeming incredibly grown-up to me ... has shot up in height to where her sisters were at 12, is definitely adolescent, has found herself a proper part-time job and is loving the high school courses and electives she's taking. She's confident and self-aware, so it's all working well so far. We need to find her a way to get some proper dance training.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Sat, 12-21-2013 - 12:17am

We're supposed to go to the airport tomorow to pick up dd19 in the wee hours of the next morning.  There's a potential ice storm on her end, and a 191 mile drive on our end, so...here's hoping it doesn't end up like my last airport run when dh was eleven hours late because of fog in Peoria.  dd19 finished her first semester with all A's & A-'s, thus laying to rest any reservations about her being able to succeed in a BFA program.  It turns out that although she still needs something "formal" in writing for next semester in order to get continued accomodations for dyslexia on the border of moderate/severe, a letter from a doctor is enough.  (Unlike most people with similar difference, she does not have any speed/attention/speech/organizational deficits.) 

ds22 (still in college, although he could be out) now has a 1981 Ford F-150, with a heavy duty grill guard on front and most of its mottled tan surface dented.  A friend tried to sell it to him last year for $500...a few weeks ago he gave it away.  ds22 got the title and insurance and then...the truck wouldn't start, and he feared that it had "seized".  But now it's running fine...its battered appearance comes from its life as a ranch truck.  But it has just 78K miles...a lot younger than our 1997 Corolla (275K miles), which has started shedding little bits of itself, like the knob on one of the window cranks.  (The plastic part radio power/volume knob has been off for years.)  And now when it's cold, the front windshield "frets" against its gasket.  And the patch to the exhaust failed and now it sounds like a single engine plane or a sportscar...not a "thrifty runabout".  Anyhow, son thinks he can help keep our once new car running for a long time to come. 

dd16 has a weekend job at the vet's.  She also goes down some week mornings to observe.  She missed seeing a dog c-section and going to a ranch to treat cows, but has seen a number of interesting procedures.  And one of the vets (it's a husband/wife pair) is a pilot, and he took us flying and dd16 got the controls of his Bellanca for several minutes.  When she turned while going around a maountain and the plane started to dive, he said very cooly, "This nose on this kind of plane drops when you turn, so you have to pull up while you're doing it."  On the way back to the airport, he said, "Would you like to land, or shall I?"   Even to a hard boiled unschooler like myself, that seems kind of extreme...

  Deborah

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Sat, 12-21-2013 - 2:11am

I didn't think that the CC would have enough to engage your son!  

And...dance training.  My youngest  took ballet from a really good teacher two towns over...who then fled to the big city when she just couldn't make it financially.  (The teacher was living in a borrowed travel trailer...I guess she just couldn't take another winter?)   My kids were all "grew up" much later than their peers: ds was small until he was 16, dd19 (now 5'4") was absolutely tiny as a 13 year old and when she stood up to solo in her jazz band (7th/8th graders) she stood barely taller than some of her seated bandmates, and dd15 still seems to be getting taller...there's a chance her 5'8" brother will be looking up to her.  She says she's 5'7" and not growing any more, but this could just be a ploy to get me to buy more expensive boots because she thinks her feet are no longer growing.  (I didn't realize that people who ride horses never have enough boots.)  This seems to have got off topic...oh well.  Anyhow, I hope you find a way to get appropriate dance lessons that doesn't involve a lot more driving!

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 12:28pm

Agree about the community college for my ds. Community college is a bit different in Canada, I think, in that they don't offer adult basic education (i.e. nothing 'equivalent to high school'), require a high school diploma or equivalent for entry and many offer equivalent to regular university courses, masters degrees in affiliation with recognized universities and such. But regardless, this particular computer program doesn't offer enough to challenge him. 

My kids are all tiny, so saying my 10-year-old has "shot up" is a relative term. She's on the 25th percentile for height, way below average, but still way above average for a kid in our family: my other kids have never been higher than the 10th percentile, and normally reside below the 5th. My 19yo is 5-foot-zero on a good day, in the morning. 

So did your dd's flight get in? Mine didn't. She got as far as Vancouver (2 hours late), her connecting flight, which she would have missed, had been cancelled as were all subsequent flights to our 'nearby' airport. So she got on the standby list for an alternate airport 4 hours further away, and we started driving to meet her there. She finally got on a flight to there, and the 4-hour drive we did ended up taking 8 hours because of horrible weather on the mountain passes. We successfully met her 22 hours after she had left home. Crashed in a motel overnight and drove back the next day without incident, for a total of 13 hours of driving. Blech. I can't imagine your airport story was without incident either, knowing the ice storm my family has just been through in eastern Canada. 

Sounds like an awesome flight experience for your dd! A friend took us up in his Cessna this past summer and it was spectacular ... unbelievable to fly above a vast wilderness of glaciers and untouched azure mountain lakes. We didn't get to touch the controls at all, though ... the flying here is really challenging when you're low amongst the mountains and it's a summer day full of surprising thermals. It's funny, we know another small-aircraft pilot and they're a vet family as well, as well as being long-time homeschoolers. The elder son, now 20-ish, flies as well and specializes in aerial photography of our region. Here's his website, if you're interested. If you go to Galleries>>Purcells, you'll see the starkest area we flew over last summer. 

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 9:46pm
Two of my kids were tiny until they were about sixteen. The other (the one in the photo) was always right on the 50th percentile... My daughter was supposed to leave a couple of hours after sunset on Saturday, an hour before the ice storm was predicted to "start". Her flight was late to Chicago. I had been watching "flightaware" and there was no way I could see how she'd make the connection, especially because I started getting emails about the flight she had been confirmed for on MONDAY. So, instead of starting for the airport at 11 p.m., I told dh I'd monitor the situation and wake him up if we needed to leave for the airport. I called the airline and got put on permanent hold. Son called. His truck, recently title, tagged, insured, and inspected, had burnt up in the dorm parking lot. What did I think about moving it to our driveway. Not much, I said. And I had to get off hold for this call! And I'm sorry about your truck. Back on hold. Another interruption. Son again, with more truck matters. I told him he'd interrupted my hour wait time and I'd have to go back to the back of the queue AGAIN, and to not call again. Back on hold. Gradually I realized that I was being had: there actually was no one at the other end of the line. And daughter would certainly have called by then. And the alternate flight disappeared from the email link. I woke husband (sometime in the wee hours, maybe 2 a.m.?) to go to the airport. We threw a couple of pillows and down sleeping bag and comforter in the back in case the car broke down on the remote road between us and the interstate. We were about two minutes from driving away when the phone rang...it was dd19 in Phoenix, who had just missed her connection by minutes because the security for the B concourse was closed and she had to go back to A. Or something like that. So, we wouldn't need to get to the airport until after noon on Sunday. The airline put her up in a hotel and provided a complimentary breakfast. So, husband and I tried to go to sleep and then we went to pick her up at the airport. After we were back in CellServiceLand, we started getting a barrage of texts from dd16's employer, who was watching flightaware. The plane would be three hours late. So...husband and I went shopping at the crunchy supermarket. Then he had some fast food at the airport and shared his toxic soft drink and fries with me, and the plane came in, and we went home and got some gasoline on the way and got home after dark, having put an additional 400+ miles on the car. Her total time from when she left dorm to when she walked in our door: 33 hours. Actual time beginning to ending gate: 20 hours. Daughter slept late today and is now completely at loose ends without the work of school, so the keyboard has been in constant use, she drove the car to town with me to pick up dd16 from her job, and now she's been cleaning her room...first watched "Sita Sings the Blues" and is now on "Moonrise Kingdom". So...back to normal.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Tue, 12-24-2013 - 2:26pm

Seems like most of North America is suffering from travel snafus this holiday. Our regional airport is into its fourth day with all flights cancelled, but that's not entirely unusual for us. Glad the airline put your dd up in a hotel: mine wasn't offered the same since although she missed her connection, they offered to put her on the next flight, in an hour, which was cancelled due to weather which apparently made it not their problem. That's what you get when there's only one game in town, I suppose.

My four kids, whose collective IQ probably totals something like 600, spent last night careening at high speed through the forest on sleds, in the dark, with trees everywhere, laughing themselves silly, crashing into things or each other on almost every run. No one died.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc