We had a special visitor straight from the snow of Minnesota. Flat Stanley was more than willing to visit us during the most beautiful season that Arizona experiences – and thaw out for just a little bit. Like most spring visitors he frequented the pool daily, working on his base tan.
We showed Flat Stanley all the beauty of the season; oranges picked from the tree, the most sweet and fragrant orange blossoms, and beautiful blooming flowers.
We also introduced Flat Stanley to the dangers of Arizona – don’t get too close to the cac…too late! It didn’t take him long to learn that you never try to smell a cactus.
He hung around long enough to enjoy Easter egg hunts in luscious green grass – a luxury not enjoyed by most.
Sadly, our adventures with Flat Stanley had to come to an end. We bundled him up in his nice winter jacket and snowboots and sent him on his way. I’ve got a feeling he’ll come visit again!
As we tucked him away in his envelope I reminded Hunter of his Flat Stanley. He had no recollection of ever creating one or sending him off. We sent him to Colorado and my brother and his wife showed him a great time – the poem they wrote was the best. Any other Stanley’s want to come for a visit? He’ll learn to swim!
When I was searching for Hunter’s Flat Stanley pictures I came across a similar thing Steve did for our kids. It was before we knew of Flat Stanley – Steve gathered a little toy from each of the three kids (at the time) and he took those toys on the most amazing worldwide adventure and he chronicled their whole journey.
Although we live just a mile away from Steve’s parents, it was grandparents day at the school and my kids didn’t have any grandparents to go with them. Steve’s parents are out of the country and my parents are a thousand miles away which left them grandkid orphans. We’ve been in this situation before and we live in an area where so many grandparents are able to participate. Instead of watching all the other kids have fun with their grandparents – we adopt grandparents for the day.
This year, the kids chose a neighbor and good friend to be their stand-in grandma. She doesn’t have any grandkids that live close and we needed a grandma so it was a win-win. She brought lunch for them and sat for over an hour outside in the grass. Talking with the kids, watching them play and even adopting a few more kids while she was there that needed some love. Grandmas are in high demand!
My kids love their grandparents dearly – and wish they could be with them more often. But they also realize how fortunate they are to have people like Lynnette in theirs live to fill in the gaps.
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.
Our first day of school continues…
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.