Saturday, August 29, 2015

To those who have gone before...

I'm up early on this Saturday morning thinking about wisdom and encouragement.  I'm thinking about those people God places in your life to help you when you don't really even know that you need help. I'm thinking about those mamas who told me about how to get a baby to learn to sleep long before my baby was breathing the same air as me.  I'm thinking about the seasoned wife who taught me about grace towards my husband before I even knew the man I would marry.  I'm thinking about the elementary school parent who explained Reading Counts to me before my kid could even read. Those are the people I'm zoned in on this morning.  Mainly because I'm just all kinds of grateful for them.  

I feel like there has been a massive amount of people to heap gobs of grace, advice, love and influence into my life.  I can point back to my early days as a teenager and then as recent as a few weeks ago when a dear lady from my church sat across from me at DeLand Fish House and helped me learn a tangible way to remember to be grateful and to combat feeling of negativity.  

I think that is the beautiful thing about this life.  We have the opportunity to learn from others and then be the person that teaches another.  We have the opportunity to speak life and to encourage.  There was a specific instance this past week where some people spoke solid words of truth and encouragement into Dan's life.  I sat and watched as those words penetrated his heart.  I saw the change it made.  I saw the difference in his demeanor.  

We all need encouragement.  We all need someone who has gone before us to show us the ropes.  We all need someone to remind us that what we believe matters.  We all need those people.  But, we all need to be those people also.  We need to be the ones to share what we know to help out another family.  We need to be the momma who explains how big school works to another momma because the paperwork just doesn't give all the information.  We need to text a momma who is struggling with something we've made it through.  

Encouragement is free.  It only takes a little time.  But, you can't measure it's effectiveness.  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dan's wedding rehearsal

Micah:  Where is Daddy?

Me: He's at a wedding rehearsal.

Jonah:  What?  He's where?

Me:  A wedding rehearsal.

Jonah:  He has to rehearse to do a wedding?  I though he would know how by now.  

Well, he has a point there.  Dan has done a lot of weddings.  :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2015 First Day of School- 4th Grade and VPK

I just sent my boys off for Day 3 of this school year so I felt it was time to probably post the photos from Day 1. That might lead you to believe that I am caught up on this blog but I still have posts from May in my draft folder that have photos but no words. I've been living life with my boys rather than writing about it. So, now that they are back in school, I'll have a couple of hours each day to get things done and hopefully this blog will be one of those things.
The couch looked just like this Sunday night when we all went to bed.  Everything was ready for the next day.  All we needed was a good night of sleep.  

We woke the boys up around 6 that day so we could have time for pictures and to get to school almost an hour early.  A dear friend gave me the fabulous hint before our K year to get there at 7:00-7:15 so you get a parking spot and not have to fight traffic.  Since then, we aim to leave home by 7 and then just hang out in the car for a few minutes or walk up and visit with friends.  This has worked great each year because we never fight traffic or for parking spots.  And, there isn't a rush or frantic pace for Jonah on the first day.  

They ate their yummy breakfast of pancakes, turkey bacon and grapes before going outside for First Day of School photos.  

I would delete the next photo but Micah's eyes kill me.  You should know that this is what he does in about 80% of all photos these days.  It doesn't make for good photos but it is funny!

Micah got to go with us to Jonah's school because his starts later.  He happily walked with his brother.  He was "really kind of excited to see all of Jonah's friends and Mrs. Leonard!"

We stood around and visited with a lot of Jonah's friends and their parents.  I couldn't help but note the apprehension on so many faces as they walked up on the first day at a new school.  I remember being that parent and so unsure.  If I had only known how well Jonah would do here and how much he would be loved and love in return.  It's been a great school and great experience for him.  

Jonah and Logan have been together since Day 1.  They have been in every class together.  They are best buddies.  

Our sweet little friend (and by sweet, I mean like dripping with sugar.  She is so precious to us!!) Meagan is a 5th grade safety patrol this year.  

We left Jonah's school and drove a few miles down the road to Micah' school.  He was so excited for a new year.  He doesn't always handle new experiences so well so I was a bit worried.  I shouldn't have been worried at all.  He was so happy and walked right in like he was a rock star.  He waved to his friends, gave his teachers their gifts and took his place in the circle.  Whew!

Overall, it was a perfect first day!  Both boys love their school.  Both boys love their teachers.  That makes this momma happy!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Meet The Teacher 2015 (4th Grade and VPK)

That was Jonah just minutes before leaving to meet his teacher.  He was sprawled out in the chair reading like crazy.  He certainly has not done that over the summer but finding a good book he loves last week has drawn him right back in.  
 We got to school and went to get in line to "find out" who his teacher is.  I've known for a while now but I didn't tell him.  We usually get there towards the end in order to avoid the lines and the parking nightmares.  But, Jonah was so excited to see his friends this year that we had to get there at the normal time.  We got in a long line and were surprised to see our beloved Mrs. Hoover at the front of our line.  She was Jonah's first grade teacher but moved to an ESE position this year.  So, rather than being in the classroom, she was helping with the movement of students.  
 Our sweet Meagan is a safety patrol this year.  She is a year older than Jonah and has shown him the ropes each year.  He "totally" wanted Mrs. Evans as a teacher "because Meagan says she is so fun and awesome and even stands on the table to teach about writing!"  
 We walked into his classroom and immediately spotted a few old friends.  This little crew of 4th grade kiddos have had a strong bond since Kindergarten (and a few since preschool!!!) They have moved through the ranks together.  It's been fun to watch them grow up.  
 Logan is Jonah's best friend!  He and Jonah have been in every class since Kindergarten together.  They are the best of buddies.  And, the both have little brothers so they "get" what it is like to have a little guy around when trying to play together.  

 We were so blessed to get Mrs. Evans as Jonah's teacher this year.  She wins the award across campus at the most organized, highly Pinterest-ed, coordinating, neat classroom.  It was amazing.  One teacher said "It takes me until October to work up the nerve to walk in there for fear of hating myself!"  

 When this group of boys heard they were all in the same class, the started jumping and hugging and screaming. It was so fun to watch.  

 We couldn't leave campus without visiting all of our prior teachers.  (we had already seen Mrs. Hoover in the MPR!)  As you can see, these two love each other a lot!  

 And, just for kicks, I did a little comparison of Jonah with his Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Myers on his first Meet the Teacher with her and then again today while visiting with her and Riley.  I think she has changed more than him.  We have so much love for this lady and the things she taught Jonah that gave him a solid educational foundation.  She's the best of the best!

Later today, we took Micah to meet his teacher.  He was so excited to go and never once hid behind me or put his head down and finger in his mouth.  I was so proud of him!

 He was so excited to find out he would be in class with Grayson.  I've been telling him he would but he didn't quite believe me until he saw Grayson walk through the door.  They are 2 of 6 kids from Micah's school who will transition to Kindergarten together.  After seeing Jonah do that with his group of buddies and the trajectory they have taken, I'm so thrilled with our decision to leave him here for another year.  
 We knew his teacher from the last few years of being at his school but we've never had her.  We're excited to be in her class this year.  (And, can we take a moment to point out the tan line on Micah's head that revealed itself after his haircut today!?!?)

 Micah's school is a Montessori based educational program with the majority of learning being hands on.  You won't find the traditional toys in his class.  Instead, you find a lot of hands on activities and different things to develop different skill sets.  

 We all love the science porch and garden.  At age 2, he started doing science experiments and working in the garden.  I'm so grateful he has done that for several years.  It has taught him responsibility, how to follow instructions and has allowed him to grow things he can eat!

 We are excited for a fun year of 4 year old Preschool (VPK) and 4th Grade.  We have great teachers and great schools.  I just hope they are ready for us!


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