That 5:30am alarm came early on Monday morning. But everyone got up, showered, dressed, packed lunches, and even practiced the piano without any nagging by Scott or I. They fell right back into the routine very nicely and that makes me very happy.
Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. A chapter of the scriptures. And pictures outside the front door before it was time for the middle school run.
When we stepped outside the sun was just coming up, directly down the street. The golden light silhouetting the palm trees was just beautiful! It was a sign that this was going to be a great day.
Even though this photo is super blurry I still love it.
The 8th grader. The big man on campus. At least until next year.
He knows the drill so I barely gave him a second thought in all the back-to-school hoopla. And my lack of concern was well-founded as he came home from the first day of school just as chill as ever. Been there. Done that.
English, though, has always been a thorn in his side and while I encouraged him to have a good attitude on the first day & an open mind, he came home with this report, "Payton's English teacher greeted him with a smile. Mine greeted me with 10 vocabulary words and 10 latin and greek roots that I had to look up in the dictionary."
Day 2 he left and came home from school tired and droopy. So we sent him to bed earlier.
And on Day 3 he was a much more peppy version of himself and attacked his Algebra homework as soon as he got home.
His classes: Honors Algebra, Acc World Geography, Acc English, Acc Science, Advanced Choir, and Health/P.E.
The 6th grader. He's only 54 1/2 inches tall and I'm sending him off to middle school?! What he lacks in height he more than makes up for in confidence.
I have to say that I was the most nervous about Payton on the first day. It's a BIG school. 1700 students. There are 6 classes to navigate to and don't forget about lockers. And while he can be a confident kid, happy, and sure of himself . . . he can also get frustrated easily. If there is a situation that is new or difficult, and he doesn't catch on immediately he can go the panic route pretty quickly.
So . . . when he bounded into the car at the end of the day and exclaimed, "This is the best school ever!! I love it!!" I was incredibly relieved and over-joyed! That was the best news this mom could hear.
He loved his English teacher (a man). He thought he was so funny. And he was excited to see a good friend in art class. They don't sit by each other (assigned seats) but Payton said that when he sits down he can look across the room and has a clear view of his face. It sounds like all the kids from 5th grade sit together at lunch - table 7. He has Art for 1st quarter and it must be inspiring him because everyday he has come home and drawn something -- this is totally new for him.
Day 3 and he is still loving it.
His classes: Acc English, Acc Reading, Acc Math, Acc Science, Computers (1st semester) / P.E. (2nd semester), and Explorations (he has Art 1st quarter, and each subsequent quarter will "explore" a different topic - it could be Spanish, Brainology, Greek & Latin roots, etc.)
The 3rd grader. Who actually looks like a 5th grader. Sheesh! We keep telling Anna thank you for being in elementary school so we can still feel young.
The most exciting thing about going back to school for this girl was getting to check out the new field! 2/3 of the way through the year they closed down the field, killed the grass, and turned it all to dirt. Anna suffered through those last few months of school without soccer as a recess option. It was crushing. But the field is back and each morning she races to play with all the boys.
We don't know how this keeps happening, but this is the 2nd year in a row that she has not had any friends in her class. Kind of odd to me. Being the outgoing girl she is, she took matters into her own hands on the first day of school and made friends with the girl who sits next to her. She is new to the school and now they eat lunch together everyday.
This year she gets to use an agenda book to record her daily assignments. She also has a binder with divider tabs for each subject. That made her feel very grown up. She says that her classroom is freezing. Her classroom also has a water cooler which she loves -- she has always complained that the water from the school water fountains tastes like blood.
So far she has just been eating up the school routine, classroom procedures & incentives, and assignments. I don't hear a peep from her as she dutifully goes through her papers and homework at the end of the day. I think that 3rd grade feels a bit older to her and she is loving the extra bits of responsibility and expectation. So far.
Skills to master this year: multiplication facts and cursive.
Just look at those cute kids. At the end of the first day I welcomed them home with giant frosted sugar cookies from Great Harvest Bread. We went through all of the papers (mom homework) and had lasagna for dinner.
As crazy as I know the school year is going to get . . . I'm enjoying this moment, this week and setting them off on a new year of learning & growing. I know that I won't be in this phase forever (10 year plan) so I am thankful for the chance to be in the thick of it -- the schedules, the projects, the pull your hair out moments, the applauding straight A moments, the drop-offs and pick-ups, the walks to school, the laughter at the homework table, the missing mechanical pencil freak-out, the lunchboxes, the bedtimes, the early mornings, the family prayers -- all of it, right now. (Note to self: read this paragraph again in mid-February. And in May.)