Author Archive: TommyK

Comments and Test Results

Kaitlyn is having a pretty good week.  On top of getting to be a safety patrol for this nine weeks and being invited to join the Mini Mu team, she also brought home her report card today.

As expected, her report card was filled with an A in every subject, and she made the honor roll again.  It’s probably a good thing we don’t pay her for grades, because I imagine that we would have gone into the poorhouse a long time ago.

My favorite section, as always, is the comments section.  This is from her teacher:

“Kaitlyn has been a delight.  We enjoy her playful personality and spirit.  Kaitlyn is making great progress academically and will continue to do so due to the effort she puts forth in class.  She is always up for a challenge and we love her competitive side.  She is on her way to a wonderful year in 4th grade.  Great job!”

The only thing that I think is wrong in that entire series of comments is that her teacher loves Kaitlyn’s competitive side.  Clearly, she has never seen Kaitlyn lose; it is not pretty at all.

We also finally got Kaitlyn’s Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) test results today.  Anybody who knows me knows that I am not a huge fan of standardized tests for a lot of reasons, one of which is that they make teachers teach to the test.  Also, Kaitlyn tends to struggle on them because she puts a ton of pressure on herself and tends to stress out about them.

Kaitlyn’s scored in the 96th percentile in math.  She earned 24 of 26 points in “Operations, Algebraic Thinking, and Numbers in Base Ten,” 8 of 8 points in “Numbers and Operations-Fractions,” and 19 of 19 points in “Measurement, Data, and Geometry.”

In English Language Arts, Kaitlyn scored in the 97th percentile.  She earned 10 of 10 points in “Key Ideas and Details,” 15 of 16 in “Craft and Structure,” 10 of 13 in “Integration of Knowledge and Ideas,” and 11 of 13 in “Language and Editing.”

Amber and I are very proud of her results, of course.

Mini Mu

It has been a great start to the second nine weeks for Kaitlyn.  She was selected to be a safety patrol, and she is going to take that role very seriously.  Even better, at least in my opinion, is that she was invited to participate on the school’s Mini Mu team.

The Mini Mu team is comprised of students who have been identified as excelling in math.  Kaitlyn certainly fits the bill there.  They will practice a few times per week, right after school, and will have at least two competitions.  Math

Kaitlyn is really excited to have been invited to be on the Mini Mu team, and I think it speaks to her love of learning and how much she really enjoys math.

Practice starts this week, and the first competition is in December.  Amber and I excited for the challenge this will present to Kaitlyn, and look forward to seeing her grow; being part of a team such as this will also help her open up even more and gain a ton of self-confidence.  We look forward to (quietly, probably) cheering her and the team on at their competitions.

Safety First

The first nine weeks is in the books.  Kaitlyn will bring home her report card later this week (you know what that means…a post about her grades and teacher comments of course!), and her AR goal resets (she needs 30 points this nine weeks).  It also means that her time with the Pony Express has come to an end; she really enjoyed helping out.

With the new nine weeks, Kaitlyn has been selected to a new leadership role at the school.  She is going to be a safety patrol this nine weeks!  It was her first choice for the first nine weeks, so for her to get selected for this nine weeks means a lot to her.  And she plans on taking it seriously, too.  Patrol

Throughout the first nine weeks, she would spend a few days each week during after school helping out with the kindergarten students, getting some practice in.

This morning, I could tell that she was nervous before we even left for school.  She was concerned about doing a great job.  Amber and I know she will.  She even put on her safety patrol belt before we even left the house.

Kaitlyn has grown so much so far this school year.  Taking on these leadership roles at school is forcing her to come out of her shell some, and forcing her to work on social interactions and relationships.  She will only benefit from her experiences.

Who Will I Rely On Now?

The tears flowed, off and on, well into the night last night for Kaitlyn as she really began to digest yesterday’s news.  Really, it was a mixture of emotions for her, from happiness to extreme sadness.  Amber and I have never seen her shut down the way she did after hearing the news, either.

Amber and I altered Kaitlyn’s routine a little last night, hoping to help her understand the changes that are coming in the very near future.

As I wrote last night, Kaitlyn’s relationship with Jen is a combination of best friend and big sister/little sister.  Jen has been there for Kaitlyn (and us) on countless occasions.  And because they are so close, Jen has pretty much become Kaitlyn’s closest confidant (because all 9 year olds need one!).  So when she asked us, “who will I rely on now?,” it was just a tad difficult, because for as much as we want Kaitlyn to come to us with everything, there is something to be said for having that one trusted person who you can turn to no matter what.

We made some progress into explaining to Kaitlyn that Jen will still be a huge part of her life, just from several hours away now.  They plan on Skyping and Facetiming at least once per week, and Kaitlyn plans on texting her even more frequently now (using proper grammar and sentence structure of course).  There will be road trips to see Jen, too (she would be smart to find a spot for their “dates” rather quickly).

Mostly, we worked on letting Kaitlyn know that the best thing she can do is be happy for her friend, and support her friend.  It is ok if she cries and is sad about the move, too.

These next few weeks and months are going to be tough for Kaitlyn.  Amber and I already have her looking forward to January, when Jen will be back for the whole month, and they can catch up on so much.  Until then, however, she will have to settle for relying on Jen from a distance.



Kait_JenKaitlyn doesn’t handle change well.  That, of course, is no secret.  Needless to say, she is not handling this change well at all.  But she will, in time.

Since the day after she was born, Kaitlyn has had an adopted big sister.  Jen was one of the first people to hold Kaitlyn in the hospital, and to see how she doted over her when she came to visit, Amber and I hoped that she would always be a big part of Kaitlyn’s life.  And she has.

More than any other person outside of Amber and I, Jen has helped to shape Kaitlyn into the amazing little girl she is today.  Her sense of style is all Jen, too.  Kaitlyn adores and looks up to her in ways that will melt your heart, and we know Jen feels the same about her.

Today, Jen came over to share some news with Kaitlyn.  Amber and I were already somewhat prepared for some of the news, but we were not prepared for everything.

Jen came over to share big news with Kaitlyn…the news that Kaitlyn will soon have someone she can help take care of the way that Jen has helped with her.  Kaitlyn was excited to learn that Jen is pregnant.  She was even more excited when Jen asked her to be a special part of her wedding (Amber was excited to be asked, too).

Kait_Jen_3But there was more news, which Kaitlyn did not handle that well.  Her friend, her big sister, the person she adores probably more than anyone other than us, is moving.  To Charlotte.

To say that Kaitlyn was devastated would be an understatement.  She was crushed.  To her, Jen is supposed to always be a phone call and a mile away, but that is all changing soon.

It was heartbreaking to see Kaitlyn shut down when she heard the news that Jen is moving away.  All that the three of us could do, and what Amber and I will continue to do, is talk about all the positives of the move, and remind Kaitlyn that Jen will always be a huge part of her life.

It is going to take some time, but Kaitlyn will be ok.  She will have her ups and downs not having her big sister right around the corner, but she’ll get there.  Amber and I know, and Jen knows, that Kaitlyn will always keep her close in her heart; the bond the two of them have is amazing, and a few hundred miles is not going to weaken it one bit.  The two of them have shared so much and have so many memories, and there will be so many more made, and they will be even more special.

Amber and I are very thankful to Jen for the impact she has had on Kaitlyn’s life, and on our family.  We are excited for what the future holds for her.




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