Friday, October 3, 2014

How's The 2014 School Year Going?

So many people have asked about how our 2014 school year is going.  Depending on the day, a different answer could be given, but overall it has been busy, yet smooth sailing.  We have our Fall, school routine in place, down to the minute, we could give you a list of our morning and afternoon routine.  Every family works differently, but our family thrives and succeeds on structure, routine, and consistency.  Neither Darren, the kids, nor myself functions well on spontaneity, disorganization, or pressure.  We are much more happier knowing what our next moves are...

The first day of school, our kids hopped right off the bus, all smiley, and ready to tackle their homework.  So, after discussing their day with me (which I didn't get much out of them) we did our homework on the hammock. I figured that would be a nice break from being indoors all day.  
The twins survived the first week of Kindergarten and are still managing well.  By Thursday, they both just want the school week to be over and I don't blame them. They go full speed from 6:15 am until 7:15 pm, and I mean full speed.  Where as, in the Summer, they were able to enjoy a good 2 hour nap.  My favorite story, to date, of their first week of Kindergarten, actually took place on a Thursday.  After the twins arrived home from school, I could tell, as the week was coming to a close, so were the twins' energy and self-control.  I had to send them to their room because they were bickering, screaming, and hurting each other physically, which honestly rarely happens with them.  I sent them to their room at 3:45 pm.  I went up to their rooms to talk to them at 3:50 pm and both Lilah and Jax were dead asleep.  OH NO!!!!!!  What do I do?  I allowed them to sleep until 5:15 pm.  I tried, desperately to wake them up.  Lilah said she wanted to get up, but fell back asleep immediately.  Jax started crying when I tried to wake him up, so I said, "No way! I'm not touching that!".  Still in their school clothes, no dinner, no bath, and no teeth brushed, they stayed asleep from Thursday at 3:50 pm until Friday at 6:00 am.  Incredible. 
This is how I found them after I sent them to their room.
Part of the reason I look so forward to the weekend is because I get a nice break from packing lunches.  My alarm goes off at 4:30 am and I start packing snack bags and lunch boxes.  To keep it from feeling like groundhog day, I have done my best to get creative in the kitchen.  Here are a few of the lunches that I have been able to capture on camera.  Sorry...most of these photos, in this post, are from my iPhone, so the quality is poor.

With so many germs going around, I have been creating fun food picks, with adorable stickers. The kids use the picks instead of their fingers to eat their fruit.
"Sandwich" skewers: I was so tired of the kids eating pb and j everyday, so I made them cheese, pepperoni, and salami skewers for lunch one day.  
If your children love lettuce and tomato, you could actually use cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and small pieces of bread to put onto the skewers as well.  Then it really will be a sandwich skewer.  I used Ritz crackers.
Funny faces: pb and j
 I love Lilah's sandwich.  The hair bow makes it.
Heart-shaped pb and j sandwiches + love notes written on bananas.  
"Mommy is bananas 4 you!"
Love is fuel for the soul AND so is food!
PB and J sandwiches made into smiley faces Because everyone needs a little happy in their day! If you don't have "foodwriter" markers, you must get some.  It's edible ink!
Raise the roof, it's FRIDAY! This was a little clementine dressed up for the celebration of it being Friday!
 Everyone has their way of doing things.  We are no exception.  Our typical, after school routine, when the kids get off the bus, is as follows:
  • Jax runs, as fast as he can, to his room, to get out of his "fancy" clothes.
  • Lilah either runs to see her hamster or to put on a television show.
  • Ty starts figuring out his snack! One day, I told Ty he couldn't eat his snack until he spelled something with his Cheese-Itz.  I love what he spelled.
  • I unload snack and lunch bags, cleaning ALL of the tubberware and throwing away all of the trash.
We do a little bit of talking before the television gets turned on, but usually I just allow them the curtsey of relaxing and digressing from their busy day.  I find that allowing them to just "veg" for a little while, provides them with a bigger desire to share their day with me after relaxing. Usually I receive the best information about their day, in detail, while we are playing, eating dinner, or reading books at night.  Besides, do you or your husband enjoy being grilled after a long hard day's work? I don't. I want to relax and doing something brainless. The televise is only allowed on for 45 minutes, then we all go outside together.

Going through their daily paperwork is definitely a chore and I am still in the process of designing a paperwork organization system.  Debbie/Carlene, I am halfway there, so hang tight ;) I took the below photo, this past Tuesday.  I almost cried when they arrived home with 33 sheets of paper for me to look through. The kids' arrival is always bitter-sweet.  I am excited to see them and hear about their day, but on Tuesdays, especially, I dread the crazy amount of paperwork that comes home in their Tuesday folders.
On Tuesday, I receive all of the paperwork that teachers need to administer to each parent.  In this stash, it was field trip information, school work, returned test grades, lunch calendar, Book-It information, reading calendars, and Christmas Needs for families in need. Ty had four tests last week and he received an A on every one. Lilah and Jax, also came home with their second "test". They received a 6/6.  I have smarties.  

Occasionally, but not often, someone or sometwo drop their apples.  On the third week of school, Lilah and Jax dropped their apples, on the same day. Both Lilah and Jax's apple dropped for goofing off during the fire drill.  It happens, they are human, but thankfully they know we take this seriously and it doesn't happen as often, as it would, if we had the apple system in our home.  LOL!
And then there has been ONE time where the teacher called home. The incident was easier to explain over the phone than to explain on their daily calendar. Basically, Miss Dixon's class has a board that contains tacks. Miss Dixon shared her concerns with the children about the ways tacks could harm friends and asked the students if they found a tack to please return it to her. Lilah found a tack and decided to hold on to it.  While carrying it around, Lilah says, she bent down to pick something up and the tack pricked a classmate. Miss Dixon said, the classmate was pricked in the chest. Miss Dixon asked Lilah to drop her apple and Lilah began to cry immediately. Later, Miss Dixon pulled her aside and spoke to her about the incident and Lilah said, "Well, I picked myself with the tack to make it fair!" Both her teacher and I got a chuckle out of that part, but it was sad that a friend got pricked.  No skin was broken and there was no blood, but it did hurt and startled the little girl. I used this as a teachable moment. Lilah and I talked about how sharing blood is dangerous.  We talked about following the classroom guidelines.  We talked about what to do the next time a tack is found.  AND THEN, I had Lilah write Miss Dixon and the classmate a letter of apology! 
I also enclosed a box of googly eye tacks with a handwritten note to Miss Dixon which read, 
"Miss Dixon, "EYE'M so sorry that Lilah used a tack to hurt a classmate. Please accept these new tacks as a small token of our sincere apologies!"
That night I saw Miss Dixon at Chipolte and she said she got the biggest laugh out of the tacks and giggled the whole day through.  LOL!  Yes, a slightly warped sense of humor considering the topic, but I couldn't resist.  Laughing cures all!
A few other things to report on: 
  • 2/3 children have come home early, from school, with bellyaches.  
  • Tyson had his first SCA meeting yesterday.  
  • Jax is struggling, a little bit, with playing with others on the playground. He either plays with Lilah or enjoys watching what his big brother is doing on the playground. I am blessed this year to have all three kids on the same "encore" and they also have recess at the same time. I think Jax is just a little bashful, that's all.
  • Lilah is known as the social butterfly of her class and the principal told me that she can't wait for Lilah to get off the bus every morning because she LOVES her adorable clothes and hairstyles.  
  • Lilah came off the bus in hysterics on Wednesday.  Apparently, in the early am, a little boy kissed her cheek.  We take kisses from boys/girls very seriously and are trying to instill in our children lives, that kisses are to be saved for ONE special boy or ONE special girl. Lilah politely rebuked the little boy.  I am hoping that does NOT happen again.  
  • I am enjoying my time away from the kids.  I believe I am doing what God has called me to do while my children learn and my husband works.  I don't waste ONE minute of this freedom, working for my family. THEN, I am ready for them and enjoy their arrival home. 
There is a "little" recap of how our school year is going.  If you stuck around to read ALL of this, thanks and you are truly a lover of our children/family!  If not, I don't blame you. LOL!  It's a little lengthy and possibly of no interest to you. Either way, it felt great to unload those photos off of my iPhone, document real details of their 2014 school year, that I know I will forget in the next week, and share with those who are interested.