It seems as though every new school year my kids are assigned a get-to-know-you project. And when you stay in a school system with multiple kids you start to see the projects recycled. Hallie did an “All About me” poster and sure enough Hunter now in third grade had to make an “All About Me” poster. (Too bad we can’t recycle the material 😉 Kidding…kind of!)
Hunter was happy using his baptism announcement as his picture because he knows he looks good in that picture. After coming up with two sentences, I was born in…and favorite food… he thought he was done. I got him to think of just a few more so his all about me poster wasn’t empty. In no time he was done. No stressing. No worry. No dragging it out. It was done. Love this creative and efficient kid!
A few more straggling pictures from our momentous back to school day last week. I’m pretty sure I take more pictures on this particular day than I do the whole month of September and November combined. (Notice I didn’t include October – Halloween tends to be a heavy photography day as well!) And for those that don’t have kids in still yet and think that I’m bragging…well maybe I am just a little. We’re a couple days in now and we’re finding our rhythm and it feels good!
One thing we learned real quick was if lunches aren’t made the night before, Steve and I end up making them which is not how we roll and our kitchen is a disaster when they walk out the door for school. It took us the first day to realize the schedule needed reworking. I’m from the mindset that kids are fully capable creatures if taught and trained properly (which we all know requires a lot of follow up.) Since the time our kids start kindergarten they are responsible for their lunches which gives them little room to complain what ends up in their lunch. Each kid makes sure they have something from every category – Main item, fruit, veggie, treat and drink – and everyone ends up happy with their lunch. In the past we haven’t had much trouble making that work in the morning, but with more kids it was growing more chaotic and messy. Making them at night when the dinner mess is still fresh is working much better.
Briggs was a trooper most the day. He wasn’t quite sure what happened when the tornado of excitement left the house in the morning, but it made for a quiet day for him. He stayed close to me and even when the kids got home from school I found him playing at the edge of the photo backdrop as I shot away. Each day is getting a little better for him.
I love taking my kids the first day of school because the playground is a flurry of hugs and nervousness as kids reconnect from a long summer away and they anxiously wait in their teacher line to see who else will be in the class this year (they usually know a few friends in their class which makes it a little easier). I’m not sure how all three of my kids lucked out with their best friends in their classes. Sadly, we’ve taken a first day of school picture with Hallie’s friends every year and this year the bus didn’t show up on time to get a picture. We snagged one with one of her friends after school amidst the crazy cousin photo shoot.
Cannon had a little back to school event two days before class actually started where he got to meet his teacher and check out the classroom that his brothers had told him every detail about. He got to decorate and eat a cookie which he promptly started to eat and then talked about it the whole day. He’s going to love preschool. His excitement is through the roof.
A first day of school tradition that my kids love is when the cousins come over in the afternoon to take pictures. The backdrop is already set up so family stops by for a little photo booth moment. Which means we get to see everyone and ask them about their first day. It’s fun and I’m always amazed how many people we can fit in my small office.
As you will see – there is a lot of personality in this group of cousins. Each one funnier than the next and sitting for an afternoon taking pictures of them is always a kick.
On the morning of the first day of school its always a little chaotic. Although the kids are ready bright and early (and I mean early) there is still the routine of school mornings that takes some rhythm. This morning Steve was whipping up pancakes and I was directing the lunch making. This is a job our kids manage on their own, but once again when they’re out of practice is takes some retraining. Then it’s pictures and out the door. We take them on the first day partly for us, partly for them. Its nice to get them settled in the right line when the bell rings. I found two boys in tears who had come off the bus and didn’t know where they were supposed to be. We got them in the right line. When you’re a mother to one, you’re a mother to everyone!
We got the kids in the right lines and walking with their teachers into their classrooms and then rushed off to get Cannon to his first day of preschool. He was 100% excited and 0% concerned. He walked right in and waved goodbye. Which left me at home with Briggs for the morning. It’s going to take some adjusting all the way around for that kid. I’m hoping for less screaming, more playing. Fingers crossed.
The kids all reported amazing days and only Hallie came home with homework, much to her chagrin. We’re in for a good year with these goofballs!
We had our back to school dinner tonight in preparation for the first day of school tomorrow. Hallie and Hunter were gone most the day, so Bennett was my right hand man and he was more than excited to take the coveted role.
Our theme this year was “Go the extra mile”. The kids enjoyed seeing their new school shoes on the table to represent each of them going the extra mile. (It was convenient that the nike outlet was having a great sale, but when I placed them on the table I realized all of my children chose black shoes! How original! And since we bought them on our road trip they’ve been sitting in their closets waiting for school to start and I’m pretty sure 5 times a week one of them asked me if they could wear them. Tomorrow will be a happy day when they finally get to put them on their feet.)
Back to the dinner – We picked up food from one of their favorite restaurants – Panda Express – with a little sweet treat from the Soda Shop. We created our own soda bar and the kids were elated to have soda with dinner. We talked about our theme and each of the kids interpreted it in their own way. Bennett took it quite literal. His idea was if you’re already running 5 miles, you could just run 6. I think by the end of our discussion he caught on to the idea of it. Each kid talked of applications in their school life and if they even do one of the things they discussed they’ll make a difference. And that’s what we’re hoping for.
Here’s to another school year – may the buses be hot and the lunch rooms be loud. Grateful for everyone who chooses to teach and work with children.