25 January 2015

Project 52 - Week 3 - Macro

I ended up getting a bunch of eye photos for my macro week.  I didn't branch out much. Because I still want to mess with macro photos and because I don't want to do self portraits this week - I'm doing another week of macro photos.  This time with an emphasis on anything BUT eyes.

My eye. 

Adam's eye.

Carus's eye. Do you see those little crater looking things in her eye.  I don't have them, nor does Adam, but Robert does.  And yeah, I got a photo of Robert's eye but it was a smidge blurry and he didn't want to keep holding still for me. 

One of my succulents.  Very glad to see it's making it through the weekend okay. 

Moss on the paver wall in the backyard. 

Dead leaf lying on the ground.

Leia's eye. (Yoda's wasn't that great. See, told you I went eye crazy with this.)

Timmy's eye.  And again - Simba and Wilbur wouldn't hold still long enough for me to get a photo.  

This next week's theme is Macros part 2.

24 January 2015

Fire and Ice Dance

Adam and his friend Marina all ready for the Fire and Ice dance.  

18 January 2015

Carus's first show!

We went to Shaggy Days yesterday just planning to watch each event, pick out the ones Carus would like to participate in in the future, and cheer on her 4H clubmates in their events.

And then a friend saw us and asked Carus if she wanted to show her horse J-Lo - just for fun. Carus jumped at the chance.

J-Lo is a beautiful, sweet, easygoing Azteca horse and this was her first show too.  We are totally J-Lo fans, as well as fans of her person, Heather.  Thank you again, Heather, for giving Carus this opportunity!

I am so proud of Carus for just rolling with it.  She wasn't prepared to show, she didn't have a nice show outfit on and she had never worked with J-Lo before; but she stepped up to the challenge and tried and had fun.  She didn't place - which she did find disappointing - but she had fun and is excited to participate in the next show, with Scout this time.  She's determined to have a wall full of ribbons. 

Project 52 - Week 2 - Mirror

Well, the project is still moving slowly.  

I see many mirrors throughout the week.  A mirror to help me get ready for the day.  Mirrors used when driving to make sure it's safe for me to back up or change lanes. The sunset I catch glimpses of in the rear view mirror while driving to the barn.  More mirrors while driving, placed on corners with poor visibility so I can make sure it's safe to turn.  Those same mirrors hanging from the ceiling in the hospital, placed  so those transporting patient's can avoid collisions with others and others can avoid collisions with patients. 

But the only one I managed to photograph was this little mirror in the office at work; brought by a coworker to use to check their hair and makeup. It was placed just so that day that I caught a glimpse of my fingers tap tap tapping away. 

I didn't pick up the camera much this week. This was grabbed with my cell phone. But each week is a new chance and I'll try again.  

I did get a shot of an adorable puppy.

The theme for week 3 is macro

09 January 2015

Project 52 - Week 1 - Shadows

The week project started out slowly.  

I wasn't able to get any inspiration for a few days and I worried I would never find inspiration and I would fail my new little project in the first week.  I daydreamed of amazing shadows of summer when it isn't cloudy and dreary outside.  

I had a TTFP shoot last Sunday and quiet hospital corridors always stop me in my tracks. I find them so peaceful - especially a maternity ward.  The shadows in the peaceful hallways broke through my uninspiring fog and I started seeing the shadows everywhere.

I see these shadows from the tree on the back fence from the window by my desk and they lured me outside where it was cold, but sunny.  

Not just any old shadows, shadows that evoke something in me.  Feelings of peace, excitement, and amusement.  

My garden fence casting shadows.  I walked the garden.  I was so frustrated with it at the end of season last year because of the insane, cannot get under control, weeds.  I was worried I wouldn't want to touch it this year, but now that all the weeds are dead I want to go spruce it up and have already started planning my plant layout. I should get out there and clean it up and maybe try to add some yard fabric in the aisle-ways so the grass and weeds don't take over again.

Of course the dogs followed me outside.  

If someone is outside then there is someone to throw a ball for Leia! 

Another sunny day and it was cold outside so I didn't last long before taking my break in front of our large living room window.  The cats always join me here for sun bathing.

Timmy was trying to see what Carus was tapping on the table with, and when reviewing the photos on my camera's LCD I just knew I had to make a peek-a-boo gif.


Next week's theme is Mirror.

05 January 2015

Return to online school

Carus's experience with the local middle school has been VASTLY different than Adam's* and all in the first half of the year (and a lot of the issues started in the first week of school) and we have been extremely disappointed with the administrations response to our questions and concerns.

She has been asking to return to online school since September - and we started really moving forward with that in November after trying all we could do to work with the district.  All we've been able to accomplish is supporting her at home and encouraging her to give each day her all and hope for the best.  It's not really fair to hope for the best.

Carus was sad that moving to online/home school would mean she would have to give up choir, but we thought there was a chance to have her continue with that if the district would allow.  A fact the principal confirmed and then proceeded to promise Carus she would be able to do.  We were looking at K12/ORVA (Oregon Virtual Academy), which we used when she did online school before and were fairly happy with, and online school through the school district. After further deciding we wanted to limit our interaction with the district and feeling most comfortable with the fact that we've used ORVA before and know what to expect, we went that direction.

When I called the principal to let him know our decision, the second the words "we've enrolled her in K12" left my mouth his demeanor and tone of voice towards me changed. And low and behold - that promise that she could continue with choir became a flat-out no.  Carus was pissed.  She trusted the principal's promise; and I'm mad that he even made that promise. It counteracted all of our, "they might say no" cautiousness.

Then 2 days later she calls me and tells me they have pulled her from class for a dress code violation.  She was wearing an outfit that she had worn several times that year and was similar to an outfit she wore the day before.  But 2 days after they're told she's being pulled from their school (i.e. the money they get for her (and she tests high so they get some extra money) is being pulled) and they have a problem with the outfit. Surprise surprise. I told the secretaries that they were to let her return to class and not to interrupt her education again.  I then went down there to bring her a change of clothes and told them they could only give it to her during her break and it was up to her if she wanted to change.  They had someone run the clothes to her in her class 15 minutes before the end of the day.  Yeah, really important that she not disturb people with her clothing. *eye roll*

A benefit of that visit was that the office ladies looked genuinely intimidated by me, which is a nice change of my usual stammering nervousness around authority figures (they have no authority over me now, but they did at one point and my brain is slow on remembering that).  Turns out that some of that alarm on their faces was because of the tone one of them used to say "mom is arguing" when passing the phone hoping that if someone else told me 'dress code violation' I would stop yelling at them for being arbitrary and interrupting my daughter's education. (I wasn't yelling yelling, I was being firm and using a tone that expressed just how annoyed I was.) They said this in front of Carus and she took that tone as, "this stupid lady is being a huge pain in the ass."  I don't care if they think I'm a pain in the ass and if they tell each other that. I do care if they do that in front of a student, especially my student, because I think that sends the message that the parent's opinion/decisions shouldn't be respected.

Up until that incident we were going to let Carus finish the semester at public school and make the switch for the second semester thinking it would make it easiest all around.  Post incident, we said we're done with them and made the switch - she wasn't returning from the winter break - she was going to start with ORVA first day after the break.  That day was today.

I took the day off - one of the best decisions I've made in awhile - to help her get started and to go down to the school to turn in books and clean out lockers and speak with anyone we needed to speak to. And that trip down there VALIDATED the entire decision to switch in the first place - and switch NOW and not at the end of January in the second place.

When trying to figure out the date best to have her switch I spoke to one of the counselors at the school - or she might have just been the person to enroll and un-enroll students, I'm not entirely sure.  Anyhoo, she had trouble figuring out how to make copies of paperwork in Carus's file to fax to ORVA and/or send home to me for me to fax, and talking with her had me questioning just how many middle schoolers does she have to communicate with on a daily basis? ("I was like oh my gosh, I can't find it and she was all maybe this is it and I was like um, maybe but I don't know and she was like, no I really think it is and I was like it looks like it will work so I thought I would call you to tell you I think we found it." <-- am="" exaggerating.="" from="" her="" i="" led="" line="" me="" much="" not="" of="" p="" pretty="" that="" thinking.="" to="" verbatim="">
Well, we saw that lady today. And she sounded PISSED that we would dare to un-enroll Carus without giving her advance notice. I apologized for changing the date and because I did tell her I would give her notice, but when she was pissy again I said, "Well, we decided during break that we have reached our limit with this school and made the switch to benefit Carus."

Don't really think she heard what I said, but whatever.  Carus practically skipped out of the school with us. The relief she feels from not having to continue dealing with crap (from fellow students and not having administration be of actual assistance/protection) is palpable.

We came home and she logged into her online school and did math placement testing and history and orientation.  Then we spoke with her teacher and got her math testing scores (above grade level) and got the math course assigned and signed her up for a foreign language - which in district she would have had to wait to start until high school.  She's taking French - and I better try to learn along with her or her and Adam will be having all sorts of conversations about me behind my back. Ha! She then practiced playing the piano specifically because she wanted to set aside time so she could play more.  She also plans on including reading and studying for 4H into her school time.  So much accomplished today in less time than usual.

*Adam is a different person and that contributes to the majority of his ease of going through the schools.  He figures out how to make things work for him and if he ignores a lot. And some of the other issues Carus was having (mild case of stalking) he doesn't have/hasn't had to deal with it. Also, every kid/person is different and what works for one person doesn't always work for another. 

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