An Off Day in Second Grade

This exchange happened after I received a note from Owen’s teacher and a downcast face from my boy about him showing off a bit with his friends.

Dear Mrs. Martin,

I wanted to write and apologize for Owen’s language and behavior today. I know that he is not in the habit of using unsavory language, nor would Kris or I allow him to. I do feel somewhat at fault for maybe not stressing the “badness” of the word He used. I don’t remember my exact words, but I know that we talked about that word and the fact that it’s in the Bible and what it used to mean. I am confident that I told him it is unacceptable though.

I had thought at first, partly due to his insistence that he was only saying it as it refers to a donkey, that he might actually be innocent. I asked him a lot of questions though, and the clincher for me was when I asked if he still would have said that word if you had been standing next to him. He admitted that he would not have said it.

I can only suspect that he was trying to impress or even shock the other boys by allowing it to escape his lips. I don’t know yet what his intent was

I also don’t know what was going on in the bathroom. Again, he said he wouldn’t have done whatever he did in the classroom or in mixed company. So he was indeed guilty, and full of the shame of it.

I don’t know what came over my boy today and I don’t know why it was all on teacher appreciation day. I’m sure that didn’t convey appreciation very well. I don’t know yet if there’s more I need to do, but I know that I’m thankful.

Thankful that he was mad at himself (not at the boy who told on him) after you talked with him. Thankful that you made a big deal about it and deducted points from his conduct sheet as well as punished him today. I’m thankful that I can send him out, away from me, and he is not just watched over, he is held up. Thank you for keeping the standard that I would myself.

It also gave me the opportunity to teach him 1 Thes. 5:22 and what the Bible says about avoiding evil. Even if he had done nothing wrong, even if his defense about not “meaning” the word in a bad way were completely true, it had the look and feel of “bad” and that’s not Christ like.

I had to write a similar note for Ivan’s teacher earlier this week. Not for poor language choices, thank goodness, but for repeated selfishness, which is what it usually boils down to for all of us. Oddly, I am not discouraged. I am pretty sure that God didn’t give me these fellas to simply enjoy, but to build up, correct and strengthen. How can I build up, correct and strengthen, if I don’t know where the flaws are?

Thank you again for everything you do in that classroom. I appreciate you and the school and all that goes into keeping our children safe and strong.

God Bless,
Mary Kelso

Her reply:


First, let me say I LOVE YOU!! šŸ™‚ Owen is the wonderful boy that he is because of the godly parents raising him!
Second, no apologize is needed because I was just happy to learn that Owen really isn’t perfect!:) His little heart was crushed when we were talking about how his actions had affected his witness for Christ. It was very evident that he loves his Lord and was very sorry for his behavior.
Third, have you ever considered teaching a parenting class? You would be wonderful at it and there are some parents that could benefit from your wisdom!
Thank you for making my day through your testimony as a Christian parent! I am blessed by you every time I speak with you!

All to His glory,


P.S, Please remember that I have raised three boys and am working on the fourth one. There is nothing a boy can do that I haven’t seen before!! šŸ™‚

I love the “P.S.”

My Invention

the Note Mark is my first invention. It has a marker tied to it.It is technically a piece of paper. well it’s more than that.

the “Note-Mark”:

“Where was I again?”

“Don’t write in your book!”

Taking notes.

My paper is filled. šŸ™

hole punching.

tieing the string.

tiiing the ring.

Picking a marker.

Puting on the marker.

Putting on Post Its.

“It’s done!”

taking notes

“It works”

“It fits!”

“I remember now!” šŸ™‚

Legoland Florida

Yesterday, I went to Legoland Florida. It was AWESOME! It was a gift we got for Christmas. McDonalds had a coupon that Mema (my great-grandmother) got for me and my brothers. Me, Grandma, Granddaddy, mom, dad, Ivan and Aron all went together and had a lot of fun.

This is the welcome to Legoland Florida sign. It’s made of like 2000 Legos.

Right when we went in I saw like two dinosaurs, made of like 1000 Legos.

First, we got in line for “Island in the Sky” but the line was way too long, so we decided to do something else. Then we went over to a little place called “Lego Factory.” We got to see the Legos be made. I think they were made out of like colored beads or something.

By the way, there’s like 50 million Legos in this place.

We went up to Lego City, they have a bunch of themes in this place, just like Disney Land. I think. Anyway, I went to “Boating School”, “Driving School” and “Flying School.” I didn’t really want to go on “Flying School” but dad talked me into it. It was a roller coaster with the track on top. My head kept bouncing back and forth on the seats cause it was going so fast. Dad said it was going to go slow or a little faster than a ski lift, but it was a LOT faster. Dad still talked me into it, and of course he got Ivan to do it too, and we were both freaked out. We did the dragon roller coaster later in the day, right before the fireworks.

The fireworks were awesome. We had these really cool glasses that made all bright lights far away look like there were two Lego bricks surrounding it. So when the fireworks exploded it made even more Lego bricks go with every single bit of light that came out.

The dragon roller coaster was really creepy. It had a bunch of stuff. It even had a dragon made out of Legos and the tail was sticking out in the next room. And then the roller coaster took us outside and that’s the part I got freaked out in. No roller coasters for me from then on. I didn’t even do the “Test Track.”

When we went to “Driving School” Aron went to “Jr. Driving School” while we were at “Flying School.” Then at our “Driving School” we all got driver’s licenses after our test. We got to see this video showing how they made the giant Ford outside.

Here’s the video.

I think my favorite ride was the “Beetle Bounce.” You pretty much just get in this big chair and there’s a spring that pushes you up, and then you go part way down, and then it pushes you back up, and then you go a little farther down, and then it pushes you up, and then you almost get all the way to the top but you don’t always get all the way to the bottom. Once we did it the first time, we liked it so much, we went over to the line and got back in line right away.

Right after we went to the 4D theater, we went to have a snack. After that, we finally got on the “Island in the Sky.” They said it had a record on people being on it. And we broke it. It was the best day ever!

My School Christmas Party

Yesterday was my Christmas party. This is a picture of me and my friends that my mom took. We got to open a lot of presents and I got a Beyblade. The name of my Beyblade was Earth Virgo. I beat Earth Eagle with him. Earth Eagle seems way better than Earth Virgo, but I still won.

This picture is the whole class playing a game. We had to pass presents around that actually really had stuff in it. I’ll show you what it is later. Mine broke. The girl beside me is Meridith.

The kid beside me in this picture is named George. He has the Earth Eagle Beyblade. George is very strong.

Now you know what was in my present. And you know who won? Meridith! It was almost me, but there was one more pass to the right and I had to hand the grand prize to her. But I was okay with that after we all took out our gift, because she got the same thing, just in a bigger box.

This is my brother Aron. I put my Hershey bar that I got and dipped it in some chocolate milk. Never try it. It was disgusting.

It was the funnest Christmas party EVER!

Week of Camp

Iā€™m back from camp with a lot of stuff to tell. Well after we got some candy we went to play a game and I went to the empty ring and-did I mention that I was on the gray team? Anyway as I was saying I went to the empty ring and scraped my ankle. (the ring was wood just so you no.) Tuesday I scraped my toe at the pool.

On Wednesday I went to the pool while it was raining. And on Thursday we went canoeing (We got stuck a few times.)

On Friday I got a t-shirt and Pastor Chris even signed my shirt!

Things I Like

You know I was maybe four or younger on my blog, now I’m seven. So, I play with older things and do things with older kids.

My best friend is Bradley and he likes Pokemon. I really like the Hardy Boys books. Bradley, not so much. I’m reading book 16 right now. The title of Book 16 is “The Figure in Hiding.” I bought it with my own money because I was selling things to Ivan for money. Plus, I earned it with chores.

I do stuff like sweeping the kitchen and vacuuming the living room and dusting and stuff like that.

I’m on chapter 12 in book 16. I’m also reading “The Hobbit.” Mom, is still on book 12, because I hid my books from her.

Also, I have codes. They are: Code 1 – A23-151C2-D576-A19-395M-24, and that means: The Hardy Boys and Chet 16.
Code 2 – DZ736-42, and that means: Frank and Joe. Those are my codes.

“The Hobbit” is about a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. And I watched “How to Train Your Dragon” today. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen.

I got to see “Kung-Fu Panda 2” at the drive-in theater. The movie starts at dark so we had to wait a while because we went really early, like 5:30. We got there at 6:30. It was kinda boring cause we had to wait a while. Ivan made a new friend, and I spilled the popcorn, while Aron played with Ivan’s new friend. And so, It started way past my bedtime. Like maybe around 9:00.

And I’m back comfortable with swimming. Since I go underwater now, I got to stay longer than my brothers at the pool the first day I got comfortable with swimming again. With Nia. Who’s going to be in school with Ivan next year.

I have a Star Wars notepad, that’s what I wrote my codes on. I have lots of other things in it. A kid at my school came in my room and wrote his name in it. His name is Eli. Ivan scribbled on the same page with a pen. The next two pages say, I watched 2 movies. I think I was watching Loony Toons. The next page in my pad has Hardy Boys books I have.

I’m hoping that Bradley can come to Kid’s Camp with me and I’m going to VBS, but he can’t come because it’s already filled.

(Dictated by Owen, typed by mom.)

Quick Looks at Life with Owen

January 18, 2010: My kids sing a lot. They just sing whatever is on their mind. Just now I overheard Owen go from something about his toys to singing…”stop, drop and roll.” He repeated it a few times until the other two started singing along. Now I need to teach them the song, “clean up your toys.”

January 19, 2010: Owen’s take on sloppy jo’s for dinner: “They should call it messy jo’s, because it’s really messy.” Maybe he doesn’t know what sloppy means. ?

January 21, 2010: Yesterday afternoon Owen went out to play. When he came in his eyes were real wide and he said, “we were playing, but we came in because we just heard a big grouch of thunder.”

February 16, 2010: Owen (6) asked me where the couple figure skating are from. I said China and he asked, “oh…are any of them toy makers? because a lot of my toys are made in China.”

April 9, 2010: Ivan: what if somebody got as big as God? Owen: No one can be as big as God. Ivan: Why not? Owen: Because their head would stick right out of the earth and you can’t breathe in outer space.

April 24, 2010: I asked the boys what they wanted for dinner last night and Owen asked for Red Robin. I didn’t want to take all three of them to Red Robin by myself so I dissected his reasoning down to…corndogs. We got those at Walmart and everyone was happy. Sometimes you just gotta ask questions.

May 18, 2010: Yesterday Owen (6) took a tumble and muddied and scratched both knees and both elbows. He got up quickly and as we walked to get him cleaned up he announced, “see, I am a man, I didn’t even cry.”

September 3, 2010: I asked Owen (6) if he’d like to earn a quarter (for sweeping the kitchen floor) he said “no…that’s not what life is about…life isn’t about money.” I said, “is it about helping your family?” His yes landed him sweeping the kitchen floor for free.

October 9, 2010: My boys watched Bambi this morning. Wait it gets better. Owen was standing in front of the TV with the toy shotgun he got at his birthday party last night and shot at every furry creature he saw.

October 23, 2010: Owen (7), walking past a karate studio, asked his dad, “Can you use karate to kill a duck?”

November 1, 2010: After seeing a clip from Oprah where the audience members were arguing with her over religion, Owen (7) was trying to tell me about it and this was his description: “You know that show with all the girls that don’t work, and they talk to the news lady.”

December 19, 2010: I just scrubbed about 14 inches up my walls and floor trim and mopped my foyer and then threw Owen’s coat, gloves, socks, shoes and jeans, a big towel, a couple washrags, my socks and sweatpants and my front door mat in the wash. Any guesses as to what happened?

December 24, 2010: The sweetest words my 7 year old has ever said to me was yesterday afternoon while getting the house ready for visitors: “Mom, I’m done dusting, is there anything else you want me to do?”

January 1, 2011: We bought Owen a set of the first six Hardy Boys books for Christmas and he is more than halfway through the second book. I am halfway through the third one.

January 4, 2011: I can tell Owen’s back in school. There’s a pile of papers on the kitchen island that have no where to go.

January 24, 2011: Owen was up by 5:(something). He’s been quietly reading on the couch for an hour or so while the rest of us slept.

February 3, 2011: Owen’s flamingo animal project done at 8:10. He is giddy about finishing. I enjoyed watching him discover the joy of research, and then become a fan of his assigned animal just because he knows interesting things about it.

February 8, 2011: For the first time since Ivan was two weeks old (5+ years ago), Owen (7) has his own room. He was SO excited to go to bed tonight.

February 9, 2011 (Overheard in the van) Ivan (5): “I was the first one buckled and you were last!” Owen (7): Well, I’m glad because in the Bible it says the first shall be last and the last shall be first!” Then silence while Ivan contemplated this the rest of the way to school.

February 9, 2011: Owen (7) keeps using the word Romantic wrong. Ivan asked for some crackers and Owen said, “Yum, they’re so romantic.” A Princess Bride reference is coming to mind.

February 17, 2011: (From Owen’s first grade teacher) “No lunch for Owen today…he ate it all for snack at 9 this morning…this could explain why he was probably starving after school…I will remind him to save some from now on(:”

February 24, 2011: Me looking back into the house as we’re leaving: “Owen you left the hall light on.”
Owen (7): “Ah, that’s okay.”
Me: “No it’s not!”
Owen: “Oh, sorry mommy.”
Me: “Ah, that’s okay.”

March 1, 2011: The boys are bathed and ready for bed. Owen (7) is reading to Ivan (5) and Aron (3). Doesn’t get much better.

March 26, 2011: (Overheard)
Owen (7): “That’s not Karate Ivan…this is Karate.”
Ivan (5): Ugh…whimper
Owen: “See…Karate hurts.”

May 5, 2011: Owen (7) was telling me that there was a boy standing beside him during the worship service last night that was trying to distract him by hitting and kicking him a lot. He said, “I just kept on worshiping until he stopped…and sometimes mom, I was worshiping so hard water started coming out of my eyes.”

May 5, 2011: After church I usually ask the boys what they learned and often they shrug their shoulders and have nothing to say until I prod a little. There is always something that sticks (thanks Cornerstone Children’s ministry). Last night was about respecting elders so I finally asked Owen, “did you learn about old people?” he said, “Oh yeah…we learned they can really break-it-down.”

May 5, 2011:

May 9, 2011:

May 10, 2011:

June 2, 2011: Ivan (5): “I thought I’m not old enough to play this game?”
Owen (7): “Well you can do it, cause you’re smart.”
Ivan: “Oh, so it’s only for smart people and 7 and up?”

June 3, 2011: Aron (3): “Owen where does this piece go?”
Owen (7): “I’m not telling. It’s a puzzle and you have to figure it out or you’ll never be smart.”
Ivan (5): “I’ll tell him.”
Owen: “NO! If you tell him than someday he’ll be an adult and he’ll still be asking for help with everything.”

Unfair Treatment

Owen has been getting in trouble at school lately. Not big trouble. Not embarrassing trouble. Just a more frequent note home, time on the bench at recess or points taken away in class. When I ask him, he says he just gets distracted, he gets bored or my favorite…”they thought it was funny.” Apparently, his teacher didn’t think it was as funny as “they” did.

I’ve punished him at home. discussed options with his teacher and looked at it from different angles. Though I admit to being a little worried at first I am not anymore. He’s just exploring the boundaries again. I think we all do it at different stages and in different ways. I was so rarely in trouble in school that it shocked me to think of him misbehaving or causing problems. However, he’s not me and he’s a boy. It’s different for boys, because, well, they are boys I guess. They have to bang their heads against more walls for some reason. I don’t know.

I also admit to worrying over my parenting and whether I were overlooking something, but his teacher reassured me that he is a very good boy and that it has nothing to do with me. I like her.

One of his complaints since the beginning of this “getting in trouble at school” phenomenon is that one of the other boys is often doing the same thing and doesn’t get chastised nearly as quickly or severely.

I haven’t talked to his teacher about this, but I doubt it’s as different as he perceives it and even if it is…there’s a reason.

After asking a few questions about the other child and the things he did I felt I understood. I remember this same issue from when I was a kid. Another girl and I would be involved in the same activity and I would be scolded more harshly. It infuriated me as a kid, but I understand it now. It’s unfair treatment based on expectation levels.

I explained it to Owen as well. If you have been a well behaved child on almost all occasions and then suddenly act out of character, you will be punished quickly because it is well known that you can do better. Being disobedient is NOT who you are, and therefore discipline comes to correct the difference in your behavior. If you are a child that consistently misbehaves you will eventually be ignored and your punishments will be dealt with less disappointment. There is a differing expectation level between you and the other boy. The upside to this comes when something special happens. If there is an opportunity to handle a special project for the teacher or the class and you and the other boy are the only two available to do it, who will she choose? You, of course.

To my utter amazement, an example of what I was telling him happened the very next day.

Today, when I picked him up from school his teacher walked him to the van and explained that the National Day of Prayer would be observed on campus this week and each class is expected to have one student represent them with a prayer. She asked Owen to say the prayer for their class and he accepted the responsibility. (That’s my boy!) She also said that he had a very good day and didn’t get in trouble once. Yay!

I love it when God orchestrates circumstances and then makes it look like He’s backing me up.