{ Our First Week Back to School }

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Every year when school starts up again, my heart almost bursts with gratitude for my kid’s teachers. I just love all the work they do, and  I am always so thankful when we get those teachers that just seem to gel well with my kids personalities. A few days before school officially started, on verification day we got to go to the kids schools and meet their teachers for the year. I took the three little girls to their school first on Wednesday night. As we looked at the class lists they had posted out on the windows in the front of the school, the girls quickly perused the lists for names of their friends or kids they knew from last year. Erika got a good friend from church in her class, and both Brooke and Abby had kids they knew from last year. We picked up our bus passes and car rider number from the Media Center, then headed to each of their classrooms to take a peak at what this year would bring. I think I get almost as excited as the kids do as I walk into their classrooms. They have all these fun posters and stations and activities all set up and ready for the first day of school. Their teachers greet them with smiling faces, and I secretly say a little prayer of thanks in my mind for such awesome teachers. Really, they are the best teachers! You can tell they thoroughly love what they do, and that makes the kids love it too. I knew immediately that this year was going to be great.

Austin and I made a trip the next morning to get his schedule for the year. Can I just say how much I love the non-stressfulness of 7th grade compared to 6th grade? Love it. I am all about a little less stress in my life, and this time our middle school experience is a piece of cake. We picked up his schedule, and got to meet two of his teachers for the year. They are awesome! Austin is pretty paid back, but still needs that special kind of teacher that shares his sense of humor, but is motivating enough to keep him on track. He got a great mix of teachers that do all of that for him.

Brianna’s verification was that night in a whole orientation presentation for the parents and students. Man, am I ever excited for high school! Her school is so fun, and there are so many opportunities. Yes, I am secretly weeping inside that she is growing up a little too fast for me, but when I see all of the exciting things in store for her in life, I almost can’t contain myself. I just love having teenagers! They make our home so fun! Stressful at times, for sure, but SO much fun! They had all the students go to their homerooms, and all the parents to the auditorium for a slideshow presentation on what to expect from their school. They are a liberal arts school, which I used to think meant a lot of “arts” type things (which is awesome), but evidently I was wrong, and not the only one who thought that. It for sure does include those, but the phrase liberal arts actually means “skills of freedom” I love that! That is exactly what I want my kids to have for their life is the skills they need to be responsible and “free”. They also gave us the rundown on service hours they have to have each year (yes, service hours for school, not just church-I LOVE it), the manners and etiquette courses they take and the lunches and dinners they have each year to practice, and a list of the field trips for the year.

Brianna got her schedule, and then they armed them with a map of the school and let them loose to find all of their classes. Her school is this two story school built in 1920, that I like to call the “movie school”. It’s like every old school you see featured in a movie, with big stairs at the front, and outside courtyards in the middle. It’s so cool-and so big. Brianna was nervous (just like ALL the other freshman there we reminded her), but after finding all of her classes she felt much better. They let the kids out before the parents, and so we had quite a time trying to find her in the school. We would wander down some hallway, and she would be on another floor at the other end of the school. We were sure we would find her with someone she knew having found all of their classes, or in a hallway somewhere sobbing. We were glad when we finally found her smiling, and having found all her classes. She was sure to remind us though, that if she had a cell phone, she could have been able to find us a lot easier. All in time-we’re working up to it. My mom-heart can only take so much at a time. I need to adjust to the whole high school thing for at least a week or so, then a phone.

As school has been in session now for a whole week, I can say with confidence that we are in for an amazing year. I was a little worried with how our new earlier rising time would work out since we were on such a bad waking/sleeping schedule this summer. Seriously, I am embarrassed to even mention how late we would let the kids stay up, which in turn led to waking up a lot later too. Let’s just say we had a lot of brunches this summer. With Brianna in seminary this year, we decided on having family scripture time at 6:00am-30 minutes earlier than last year. I was fully prepared for grumps and groans from everyone-myself especially, but we have had some of the best attitudes all week long. This family is just so awesome! My kids great attitude definitely helped to smooth over my tired attitude as well. Early rising is not a specialty of mine.

I feel like we have entered this school year with great attitudes, lots of first’s for some of our kids, and we are confident this is going to be one of our best years ever. I just love having all the fun activities of my elementary kids, the confidence of my middle schooler who is an old pro at the middle school thing now, and all the fun of having a high schooler.

There are some years that the first day of school sneaks up on me-I feel like I blinked and the end of one school year suddenly turned into the beginning of another. This year we had such a full and fun summer, but we somehow managed to actually be ready when school rolled around this time. And so far I feel like we have kept up on the mass of papers that are already flowing in, are on board with all the classroom procedures for each of the girls classes, and are ready to be a lot more involved this year. Their teachers are so great to work with, and our kids just love them already.

Abby, Brooke, and Erika on the first day of school.

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Abby in 1st Grade

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Loving that new space she has right in front-she has had one front tooth that has been hanging on for weeks now, and it decided to pop out the night before school started.

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Erika 2nd Grade

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Erika was obsessed with finding a “wing shirt” on her back to school date with me. We found one for Brooke on her date, and Erika was determined she would have one too. When we went back to the store they had one left in a different color than Brooke’s, but in Erika’s size. She was thrilled to say the least. She is demonstrating flying like and eagle-her school mascot.

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Brooke 4th Grade

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Brooke’s perfectly picked out outfit-with matching earrings and all. Story about this outfit that I know someday she will be able to laugh about. She was so concerned about having a white shirt to wear under this pink shirt-and we bought two white shirts on her back to school date because we go through white shirts like nothing else. I had washed this shirt several times trying to get out a small stain in the front. I couldn’t get it out, but assured her she could still wear it because the pink shirt covered it up. There was some heated debate about that, with promises from me that I would wash her other shirt in time. Fast forward to Sunday night, I forgot to wash her shirt-you see where this is going? Not a happy girl. I tried to reassure her that no  one was going to lift up her pink shirt and see if she had a stain on her white shirt. Insert some huffy breathes from both of us, and a few tears from one of us. She managed okay, but must have been making a big deal about it out of my ear shot too, because Austin had heard about her fussing and had asked her after school if anyone noticed her spot. She smiled sneakily and said,”no”. I tell you, if anyone can keep me true to my “promises” this girl can. Love you Brooke!

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Austin ready on the first day of 7th grade.

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Austin 7th Grade

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I love those blue eyes, and dimple!

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My beautiful high schooler, after school on her first day.

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Brianna 9th Grade

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Monday morning we got up bright and early at 6:00am for scripture time. Aaron took Brianna for her first day of seminary at 6:45am. Seminary here is early morning, but the last few years since school has started later, they pushed it back to go from 7-7:45am instead of starting at 6am. Brianna still had to get up at 5:30am to get ready, but we realize it could be much worse. I am so glad we live somewhere where she has the opportunity to go to seminary. I loved seminary, and she was just as excited as I was for it to start. This picture is of her before she left, dark outside and everything.

After seminary one of her friends in our ward takes her and 3 others to school. Her school starts at 8:25am, so she got there in plenty of time to find her first class and not be worried she would be late. She was SO nervous about going, but after the first day felt totally at ease. I was relieved that her nerves settled down, and she was able to take it all in and fully enjoy her first day.

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With Brianna off, the three little girls got ready like champs and we left and were to school early-yeah for us! We are always late going places-almost always! On Brooke’s report card last year she had over 40 days that she was tardy. Yeah, we’re late people. I am already loving our earlier wake time-it just makes everything go so much smoother.

We dropped off Abby at her class first. She was a little nervous, but her sweet teacher instantly made her comfortable. She is such an awesome teacher-so fun and gentle with the kids. She has so many positive activities to make the day fun, and it constantly telling the kids how great they are. I owe my life to amazing teachers like this.Back to School 2012 blog-15

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Here she is looking at the assistant principle who stopped in to meet all of the kids. Her teacher was bragging about how they were the best class in the school. All the kids were smiling about that. Ahh, great teachers. I love ‘em.

Erika was next to be dropped off. She has a temporary sub for now, who will probably end up being her teacher, and she loves her! She is new to the school, and has just taught for a few years. She spent a year teaching at an all boy’s school in Thailand, and now here. Erika was telling me how she used to get to ride on an elephant that would pick her up by the trunk and lift her up to his back. Her teacher reminds me of what Erika would be like when she grows up. She has blond curly hair, and is petite but has these big cheeks like Erika-so cute, and she is so happy and bubbly. She is just all fun with these kids. They have a Olympic theme in their classroom that they use to help promote good behavior. She just loves teaching, and it shows big time. Erika already thinks she is the prettiest, nicest teacher ever.

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Brooke was at the end of hall, and by the time we got there, most of her class was already there. I guess in fourth grade, most kid’s parents don’t walk them in. Her teacher is super sweet, but fourth grade is all business. We let her quietly sneak in, and watched from the window. Her teacher is nice, and doesn’t like a lot of worksheets and unnecessary paperwork-I love her already!

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Austin was the last to go to school, and for this first day we took him. He was calm and cool, and was probably the least nervous of anyone. He was an old pro at this middle school thing, and was just excited to meet all of his teachers, and see his friends again. He already has plans with his other buddies to “own the school bus” whatever that means. I think pretty much, you get to sit in the back, and everyone thinks you’re cool.=)

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The girls get dropped off practically right outside our front door, and walk across the lawn home. They love riding the bus-and I LOVE them riding the bus. I get to keep the little boys sleeping for their nap for a little while longer before we go to pick up Brianna from school.

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Our afterschool snack on the first day.

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Brianna’s “movie” school. Back to School 2012 blog-27

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We picked up Brianna from school after the girls had time to have a snack and chat with me. Her school is about 20 minutes away, and I love getting to pick up her each day. Why? Because the whole drive back she does this…Back to School 2012 blog-29She tells me everything about her day. I love it! All the details about everything! Her first day could be summed up by this…Back to School 2012 blog-30

..okay, lots of excitement! Have I mentioned that this is going to be a great year? We are all so excited! Austin rode the bus home after school and we caught up with him on his day as he and the other kids organized binders and handed over mountains of forms for me to fill out.

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On the last day of the week we had these cute pencil treats for an afterschool snack-thank you Pinterest. The kids asked me a while back-“Remember when we used to have after school snacks?”


I guess I have dropping the ball on that one a bit, and yes, they noticed. I am all vamped up for this year though-after school snacks all ready-nothing too fancy, just there, and time to talk about all the amazing things that are happening at school x 5.

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