Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NC TRIP: PLAY DAY

Okay, I'm going to try and get caught up on vacay fun now that school is in session.  After so much Beach Fun, we needed to spend a little less time in the sun, so we decided to hit up a light house and do mini-golf.

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The weather turned out to be unexpectedly gorgeous after more rain in the night and morning.  I loved being in such a different part of the country surrounded by scenery that was just stunning.

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We did have an incident where William needed to use the bathroom, and the FOIL (Friends of the Oak Island Lighthouse) staff told us to go around the back of the lighthouse. 😳🤣

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We got to the mini-golf place and quickly realized we would get no less sun mini-golfing than we would on the beach.  So, we bought cups full of tokens for each kid and enjoyed the air-conditioned, indoor arcade instead.  You would have thought we handed them each their own moon.  When followed up by ice cream, this was definitely a win for us all.

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Can you tell I'm really enjoying the Portrait feature of my new iPhone?

Since we knew we were going to change the kids for family beach pictures anyway, we went ahead and did a water balloon fight.  Thanks to the Eppley family for bringing all the balloons - the kids (and adults) loved this activity!

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We stayed in a VRBO place that I was late to the game to claim.  My pickings were slim, and I ended up finding this new listing with no reviews that was large and on an intercostal waterway.  It was one of the strangest rentals we have ever stayed in.  It was beautiful, but even at the end, I was finding rooms that I hadn't known were hidden within its 5,400 sq ft.  We adults mostly spent time around the kitchen island eating.

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View from the waterside. 

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We were very comfortable, even though when the trash can closed, it sounded like one of the aliens from The Quiet Place.  

All in all, this was a great way to spend a day, and I'll next share the funniest (most disastrous) family photo shoot we've ever had.

Monday, August 13, 2018

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

With Meet the Teacher under our belts and lunches packed and uniforms laid out and alarms set, all we had left was to actually go to school.  We can walk our kids in the first couple of days, so John and I backwards planned on the time we would need to park and get all kids tucked into their classes. Amazingly, this process went mostly smoothly.  Mostly.

I really did have an excited bunch!

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Violet walked into school like a boss but turned shy and apprehensive in the classroom.  Lily's former kindergarten teacher (who is now retired) was there helping out Violet's current teacher, and she helped Violet transition into the classroom.  😭🙌🏻

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William acted like he had always been there, and the girls walked in to lots of greetings from old and new friends.  When given the opportunity to write a hashtag that described how she felt about going into 4th grade, Lily chose #excited.

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We left each teacher with their own set of Back to School cookies, because I am better at cookies than I am at checking folders.

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I stopped by the nurses office to drop off inhalers and epipens, so that was a new experience at the elementary level, but it was so easy thanks to the labeling from our old school.

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Then, John and I drove home, and I cried a bunch.  I skipped the Boo-Hoo breakfast, because I learned 4 years ago that attending the Boo-Hoo/YaHoo Breakfast while actually crying is not the kind of theming I enjoy.  It is a very awkward way to meet people. 😳😬🤦🏻‍♀️  So I cried at home, because there is so much new with the twins there, and I want so badly for it to go well and only get to influence a small part of that.  I am still working to relinquish that to the Lord.

I did thoroughly enjoy being able to complete thoughts and have time to myself.  I polished off most of a season of Sugar Rush on Netflix while organizing our pictures from this summer.  And, I took a long walk in the sprinkling rain, which turned out to be quite refreshing.  I am pretty fried from spending all day every day with children, and I am looking forward to recovering from constant kids now that they are back in school.

A couple of years ago, there was quite a mixup on the bus on the first day of school, so I was concerned about all 4 making it - but they all hopped out in a row!

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It was good reports all around for as much intel as I could gather.  I can hardly believe that we are doing it all again tomorrow with fewer pictures and less fanfare but everything else.  It's just the beginning, and I am going to continue to hope and pray for the best and try my darnedest to check the red folders.  Thankful for a great start!

{FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2017}
{FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2016}
{FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2015} {& HERE}
{FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2014} {& HERE}
{FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2013}
{FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2012}

Sunday, August 12, 2018

MEET ALL THE TEACHERS

I interrupt this vacation programming to bring up to date family news about school starting.  Gah.  I just went back and read through last year's beginning of the school blog post, and I found such a calm version of myself that is hard to recognize looking through this year's lens.  We are upending everything again, and the twins are headed to Kindergarten!  In many ways, they feel ready.  In other ways, I am panicking a little about how tomorrow will go for them.  And, I'm praying in advance for all of my kids' teachers.

We headed to the school Friday night, and this year, we had to figure out four different class rooms within the allotted hour.  Thankfully, this was not our first rodeo, and with a little moxie and movement, we made it to every class, unloaded the pre-ordered 🙌🏻 supplies and snapped a quick pic with the new teacher.  (and apparently had time to lounge in a beanbag)

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I really am thrilled with each kids' teacher and thankful knowing they are in fantastic hands.

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Nothing says start of school like a bunch of hand sanitizer and neatly organized books.

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My "helper" husband (Enneagram 2), made sure we picked up handfuls of "helping hands" to get extra supplies for the classrooms.  When this is multiplied over four kids, it means we will be taking a wagon into school tomorrow to distribute them all. 🤣

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Tonight everyone helped with lunches which meant that I kept having to replenish what the twins ate out of theirs, but we got there in the end.  I am thinking about paying the girls to help the twins with lunches so I can continue to live my outsourced lunch life the way I like it.

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Tomorrow is a whole new adventure.  It feels like the stakes get higher when we are all in regular school, and I would be lying to say that I'm not a bit anxious.  I've actually woken in the night with concern which is hugely out of character for me.  There are so many unknowns, and frankly, I know there will be many challenges that we haven't had so far.  I'm hoping and praying that we are up for them, all while knowing this is what God has for us right now.

William and Violet are excited and very much looking forward to being at the "sisters' school."  They are also dying to ride the bus, so we can all be praying that works out for the best. 😳  I will be doing my best to adjust quickly to new information and working closely with the teachers to help ensure they have the best possible experience in this new environment.

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Also, I'm trying to prepare myself for the exhaustion of this week.  I am ready for them all to be in school again, but it is a whole different animal, and it definitely takes some re-adjustment after summer break.  Here goes nothing!