Thursday, August 25, 2016

2nd & 6th Grade ~ Back-To-School Photos!

Hello, hello! I am excited to share with you the "back-to-school" photos that I captured of the kids.  I never thought that last year's photos could be topped.  The kids' looked so cute and were so cooperative.  I didn't think I would get that lucky two years in a row.  Of course, so many of you may be wondering HOW in the world I managed to take such cute photos during one of the most stressful days of the year: THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Let me let you in a little secret... I DO NOT take many photos on the first day of school.  I learned long ago that that morning is filled with too much excitement, too many nervous thoughts, possibly even a little bit of puffy or baggy eyes going on.  I want to send the kids off happy and not stressed out because mom has the camera in their faces.  SO... I take back-to-school pics several days BEFORE day 1.  It's TRULY genius.  I discovered this idea, when the kids entered Kindergarten, on my own, and carried out the "tradition" last year, after doing a test run of a hair style I wanted Lilah to sport on the first day of first grade.  And I will never turn back.  Of course, in order to get the kids to cooperate and do this with JOY, it doesn't come cheap.  LOL!  They were promised a dessert of their choice (Bahama Ice Shack) and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.  
On the day I chose to take photos, it wasn't brutally or miserably hot, but the sun was bright and I was having a very hard time finding shade at 2:00 pm.  The twins and I drove around Salem for a few minutes, but noting was striking my fancy, so I decided to take them to my favorite spot (my secret).  LOL!
I snagged a few ideas from pinterest that I thought were adorable.  Writing on the hands was taken from a graduate's photo idea board, but I thought it was PERFECT for second grade too, since "2" represents second grade.
Lilah was a great helper and actually insisted on posing Jax.  She did a great job.  
I cannot take the photos of the TWO of them.  Completely flawless in my opinion  #biasedmommy
He melts my heart.  Simply beautiful.
Doubly blessed.  The below pose was THEIR idea.  I love that they were getting into it.
Our photo session was coming to a QUICK end because our oven repair man called and said he was on his way.  Lilah was bummed and said, "Man! I wanted to take more."  Can you tell she was really LOVING this model shoot.  Hehe,
I love these ideas that SHE and JAX came up with.  Look at how cute she is making a heart with her hands.
I would have NEVER asked for twins, but I am BEYOND GRATEFUL that Darren and I got to experience this BEAUTIFUL blessing.  People say all the time, "Man! You are so lucky.  I have always wanted twins!!"  Yes.. yes I am.
I purchased these outfits on our beach vacation.  They are from a company called Mustard Pie.  I am obsessed with their company.  My friend Jody even said, "Lilah looks like she was made for mustard pie clothing!"  And I agree completely.  This line is called "True Blue".  
Gentle kisses and hand holding! #wombmates
Then came my goofball, 6th grader who was pretty much anything but cooperative and serious.
He thought juggling and sniffing a pencil hard enough to keep it under his nose made for a much better photo op than just smiling pretty. #eyeroll
Really?!?! I was in no mood to play peek-a-boo with an 11 year old.  LOL!
It just keeps getting worse and worse and I was getting slightly aggravated EVEN THOUGH it is funny looking back on it NOW.
I was about to give up.
AND THEN, he finally gave me the sweetest smiles and poses.  These kids make me so proud.
Well... there you have it! If taking photos a few days in advanced is considered cheating, than just call me a cheater. I will take it!! I don't care one bit.  These photos are priceless and precious and I will cherish them forever. AND as long as time permits, I will take back-to-school photos this way, EVEN IF it means I have to endure Chuck E. DISEASE!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back-To-School Night! ~ 2016/2017

And there you have it... another Summer bites the dust.  POOF! You blink and 81 days passes before your very own eyes. Guess what? I not only survived, as my first Summer ever without A LICK of childcare, but I enjoyed it too!!! God is continually growing me and teaching me to take deep breaths and at least TRY to value/cherish every single moment - those hard and those easy.  
Tonight was back-to-school night.  I must admit, not having Ty there gave our visit a very different feel.  It will most certainly be weird having my three children divided up amongst two schools.  Lilah and Jax were excited to meet their second grade teacher, Mrs. Green.  She is NEW to Fort Lewis Elementary, but I did some snooping and I heard she was Ah-mazing, by both FLES teachers and the guidance counselor.  
Mrs. Green greeted each of her students at the door.  As we approached her, I said, "Tell Mrs. Green your name!"  Lilah exclaimed, "I'm Lilah!" And immediately, Mrs. Green exclaimed back, "Then you must be JAX?! Right?  That is what you like to go by isn't it?"  Jax very quietly, but politely nodded his head "Yes!".  He is my shy guy.  I was impressed that Mrs. Green already started getting the low down on her students and made certain to know some of the more important things, like nick names.  Of course, being that Lilah and Jax are twins, they were probably the EASIEST two to identify.  We greeted Mrs. Green with a small bucket, filled up with every piece of green candy, we could find, from the Candy Store, in downtown Roanoke.  
The twins and I began unloading their book bags, immediately, which were filled with all of their school supplies.  
Although the twins are in the same class, they do not sit directly next to each other, but they do sit a lot closer than I would have thought a teacher would put siblings together.  Mrs. Green said, "I have heard that they get along beautifully, in class, and that there is no arguing." Shew... that's great to hear, because that is not always the case at home.  
My children are VERY particular about the way their belongings are to be organized.  Hmmmm, is that a surprise?  We were the LAST ONES left in the classroom, it took that long.  LOL!
(Above): Their class schedule.  Snack will be at 9:00 a.m. and lunch is at 11:15 a.m.  AND PRAISE YOU JESUS... there are NO PEANUT ALLERGIES, so my kids can eat WHATEVER!! (Below): The class list.  It appears as if Mrs. Green will be responsible for 24 students: 12 boys and 12 girls.  
On the way home, I said, "Do you like your teacher?"  Lilah said, "I don't like her.  I LOVE HER!" After dinner she said, "I think this is going to be the best year of my life."  LOLOLOLOLOL!

Mrs. Green seems refreshed, joyful, excited, fun, funny, and very lovable.  EVERY kid enjoys all of those attributes.  I am thanking God for many things about this school year already.  Thank you Jesus that you have seen fit to keep Lilah and Jax in the same class together.  Thank you Jesus that Mrs. Green is a believer.  That her husband is a preacher and her father was a preacher.  That she LOVES Jesus.  I am also thinking this will be a fabulous year at Fort Lewis Elementary School.  One day and counting... sniff, sniff...