Tag Archives: School

Pumpkin Patch

Another October, another trip to the pumpkin patch. Thank GOD the kids get to go with their classes because taking six children to a muddy pumpkin patch and having to tell them a million times that one is too big or rotten isn’t fun. But being a chaperone with a teacher and her class is awesome.

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[I seem to have the ability to create bad weather for any event, so of course it was wet and muddy]

Charlotte is pleased as punch when any routine gets interrupted, so this was just a perfect day for her.

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One of the farmers, Joe, showed the kids around. And while Joe was very nice I think perhaps this should be his last time manning a group of 5 year olds around a site that has lots of hard rules to follow.

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It’s hard to listen when there are puddles to jump in and worms to wrangle.

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But finally the tours were over and it was pumpkin hunting time: the best time of all.

They tasted some farm-made cider, ate some apples and pears, and in 45 minutes the field trip was over. Perfect.

Before I left, I snuck into the store and got some apples and caramel – you can guess what I’m doing today.

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The Longest School Year in the Entire History of the Universe

 

This year was simultaneously the hardest and the best year we’ve had yet with the kids. We had lots and lots of rough patches when it came to school but we figured it out and the day we did, the year turned into something wonderful. We had great times during those rough patches – family getaways and playing with friends. Fun school outings and lovely get-togethers. Each great period of time has hard times, too, but we have learned that sometimes hard changes are necessary to discover what’s really best for us.

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Our school year is over today and here’s what’s happened:

  • Alice learned to read! She loves reading and the pride that washes over her face when she finishes a sentence and an entire book is the best.
  • Jamie has spent time with an aide at school and has been so busy with different projects. His creativity has been encouraged and he comes home with stories and hilarious crafts he’s made. His time in the classroom is good and we’ve seen great things happening for him.
  • Maria has made some really great friends at Asotin and that time of ‘mean girl’ stuff seems to be over thank goodness! She has pointe shoes and in her life, that’s the best thing that could ever happen – EVER.
  • Charlotte is gearing up for Kindergarten and is trying to keep up with Alice when it comes to reading and math. She’s pretty good at spelling “play-doh” on Youtube….Lord help us.
  • Ollie continues to be the happy sprite.
  • Franci has turned into the sassiest sass monster you could ever imagine.

So what have we learned? When things are really hard, that doesn’t mean they weren’t worth it. Our time at the old school was absolutely worth the time spent. We made friends there and so did the kids. They got to do fun activities and their education got a really great start. We learned, too, that change is necessary sometimes to keep kids on that path where they thrive. Jamie was finding it hard to keep his curiosity sparked and his brain busy.. It took lots of sleepless nights and tears until we discovered that maybe changing things up was what we needed to do. We left our comfortable bubble and did it and now we have a new comfortable bubble. Funny how that works sometimes, yeah?

This summer we have huge things planned.

Just kidding. It’ll probably just be full of lemonade stands and slip n slides and swimming and bike rides and escaping the heat with inside TV time. No shame in my game.

Happy Summer!

 

Read Across America

Have I mentioned before how nervous I was to send my kids to a *gasp* public school?

Oh, does that sound super stupid? Yeah, because it is. But when I’m being stupid and ridiculous I’m okay admitting it.

I’m only admitting this part because honesty is probably one of my best traits and it’s dumb to have a blog and then only tell about the best things you say or do. So here’s my confession: I was afraid that the kids wouldn’t experience any of the fun ‘extras’ they did at CHMS. The polar express day was my favorite part of the year at CHMS. The staff went above and beyond in making it a fun day, doing things out of the ordinary and creating an experience. I have friends who teach at public schools and I know how much they love their jobs and how much effort is put into it — I must have thought I only knew the very best teachers. Don’t worry, I’m covering my face right now in shame. To be precise, I look like that monkey emoji. This one:

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I learned the very first week at Asotin that the teachers there absolutely love their jobs. They love the kids and they absolutely go above and beyond to give them experiences. The communication between staff and parents is incredible and the support staff has done more than I would have ever expected they would do to make our transition smooth and enjoyable. I’ve been living in this ridiculous bubble and while it’s completely dumb, in my defense, I’ve never had any experience with public elementary school. Like…at all. I went to All Saints and my kids went to Children’s House. This is our first time. So I’m hoping I’m a bit forgiven because of it.

This week was “Read Across America” week where Dr. Seuss is celebrated in a variety of ways. They made it somewhat of a spirit week with each day being something fun: hat day, crazy sock day, pajama day, etc. Parents have been invited to come eat donuts and read with their kids, there was a book swap, and tomorrow they’re serving cake for lunch and parents are invited to that as well. The teachers have put in so much effort to this week and so have other staff members. What better way to thank them than with cake pops?

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Obviously decorated like a Dr. Seuss character or something similar.

How thankful am I for Asotin Elementary and their staff? Cake-Pop making thankful. And that’s a lot.

How does one make the most delicious dessert on a stick? For really good instructions, head over to Bakerella. She’s the master. She teaches you how to make really adorable characters and shapes and she just rocks. Below is my very easy and not-as-cute way:

Bake a box cake as directed. Let it cool for an hour.

Crumble it up and mix (with your hands) with 3/4 a can of frosting.

Refrigerate the mixture for 1/2 hour or so then roll into balls (whatever size you want). Freeze for an hour.

Melt “candy melts” (you can find them at JoAnns or Walmart) in 30 second increments in a microwave safe mug.

Dip the end of a candy stick into the melted candy melts and stick it in the semi-frozen balls 3/4 of the way in and dip it completely into the mug of melted candy melts.

Tap it against the rim of the mug a few times to let the excess drip off and then stick in an empty mug until it hardens. (Before it hardens, of course, you can put sprinkles on it).

My brain hurt reading those horribly written directions, but it’s really very simple.

Enjoy!

 

The Last First Day

…of the year. We will have lots more first days and I’m really thankful for that. But today, the last of our school kids for this year had her first day of school. Charlotte was dressed to impress.

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I have no idea where that necklace came from. Lala? Bellamy? No clue.

With her deedee in hand, a smile on her face, and a chapstick in her fist which was later confiscated, Charlotte started preschool at CHMS.

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[inside shoes are the most genius thing and my favorite part of our morning routine. the kids know exactly what to do when they go inside the school and it’s so cute to watch them change out of their outside, playtime shoes and into their inside shoes]

I have a small list of apologies and promises for CHMS teachers, among them:

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(1) toddler wedges. I’m sorry. But look at them. They are hilarious and adorable and, really, I’m doing you a favor by not allowing her the foot freedom of running amok. I suppose you’re welcome.

(2) I’m sorry in advance for forgetting snack. I’ll make it up, I promise.

(3) I’m sorry for asking what time things are, even after you’ve sent home a handout or calendar of events. But I’ll be there, I promise.

(4) I’m sorry about deedee. That damn blanket, no doubt, carries up to 15 individual and unique diseases and at least 4 parasites. But she loves it. I promise to wash it once a week.

(5) I’m sorry for the puppy dog eyes she has down to a science.

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I promise to try not to give in at home. I’ll stay strong for you.

Happy First Day of School to all of our CHMS preschool friends! xoxo

The Middles Start School

I’m not sure I could be more creative in a title, do you?

But it’s straightforward and to the point: the middle kids started school today. Middle kids being Alice and Jamie. I mean, I have four middle kids. I could be more specific I suppose. But today was Jamie and Alice’s day.

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I don’t worry about Alice when it comes to things like this. She is outgoing and fun and polite and sweet and even if she might be a little lazy (“Mom, I don’t think I’m gonna learn to read yet.”) I know she’ll eventually get it. She loves everything about school: seeing her friends, choosing works, PE, show and tell, recess, and most of all, lunch.

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[oh, those? no big deal…i only spent forever and a day making and decorating the cutest apple and pencil cookies…]

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After school she told me how she wants to do Amazing Athletes and how Alex and her did a really challenging puzzle map work. She loved her lunch and at recess she played. She was really glad Ms. Megan was still her teacher and she still likes all her friends.

Alice has this year in the bag.

But I’ll be very honest with you (honesty might be one of my strongest qualities, and that it both very good and very bad): I worry about Jamie. Jamie is not outgoing most of the time. He likes to read in his room alone or sit on the sidelines and watch. He is sometimes polite (he can be the most polite child in the world at times) but he’s sometimes just awful. He sometimes hisses at you and cries and screams when things don’t go as planned. He goes from 0-10 on the anger scale in the blink of an eye and he doesn’t eat lunch or snack which sometimes leads to a grumpy afternoon. Each morning I drop him off and silently beg for a wonderful day. Most of it is out of his control, we are learning this more and more, which makes it even more difficult and heartbreaking.

But luckily there’s a pretty ace team behind him at Children’s House to see him through.

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I think grade 3 will be a good year.

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After school, he said, “School was great. I wrote stories with my friends. Except…was my lunch a joke? Was it a test? Because….I didn’t eat a thing and I think you knew I wouldn’t.”

Classic Jamie.

Happy First Day of School, CHMS students!

The Polar Express

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I bet you were starting to wonder if I had given her away.  Nope, I didn’t.  We’re keeping her . Not sure we could find a girl as sweet and wonderful as Maria.  Thursday we dropped her off at school before taking the other kids to their own spots.

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There she goes.  Like a big girl.  *sigh*

 

Then we dropped this silly thing off at her “school.”

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And then it was time for Jamie to go to school.  On Thursday, Jamie and his friends took a ride on the Polar Express.

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They read the book and then re-enacted it.  It might have been the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen in my children’s (very short) school careers.

 

The kids ate it up.

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One by one, Ms. Megan woke them up with a sweet pat on the back and an outstretched hand…leading them each to the train.

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Look at his face.

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They rode across the snow, seeing polar bears and snowflakes and lots of fun things outside.  But then it was time to get off the train, so with a little help from the conductor, Jamie stepped over the gap.

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At the North Pole, Jamie was Santa’s helper.  He very sweetly took the hand of each of his friends, “Would you like to tell Santa what you want for Christmas?”

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And after a visit with Santa, their snack of hot cocoa, an orange and a gingerbread cookie was waiting for them.

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And outside?

 

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Snow.

 

This was a good lesson for me, this Polar Express re-enactment.

It took a while for Ms. Megan to wake each child up separately and lead them, on their own, to their spot on the train.

 

Know what would have been easier?  Saying, “Okay, everyone wake up and get in a line!  Follow me and find a spot on the train!”

But know what is more magical and fun?  Ms. Megan’s way.  The kids loved it.  They were all so good and so fun and so in the spirit of it all.  There are 3 year olds and there are 6 year olds in the class.  None of them thought it was silly or dumb.  Because it totally wasn’t.

It pays off to do things slowly.  To make time for things and make experiences a little more magical, even if it’s more work for you.  They will remember it.

Watching them all hold hands like it was no big thing was the best.  Watching Jamie lead his friends by hand to greet Santa and all of them taking his hand very willingly was the sweetest.  They all played along and I’m pretty sure it was Jamie’s favorite day yet.

 

I didn’t have time yesterday to do my Friday Favorites, but I will this week.  Right now I’m taking a break from creating a cityscape for Jamie’s birthday party that is in 4 short days.  Stay tuned.  There will be pictures.