First Day of School 2014

I always love looking at pictures of kiddos, especially on the first day of school!  I saw so many cute ones of children that we’ve known over the years, but I didn’t get to share ours.  We had a very busy day for the kiddos and for mommy.  Here is our collection and day in review:

 

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First Day of Preschool for Little Miss and First Day of Kindergarten for Mr. Man!

 

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 Little Miss’s First Day of 3 year old Preschool

 

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 Mr. Man’s First Day of Kindergarten.  How did we get here?

 

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 Mr. Man Class of 2027.  That seems outrageous.

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 Waiting for brother’s bus to arrive.

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 I asked him to show me the cookie we bought for his bus driver.

He insisted on showing me his new Lego lunchbox too!

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One last picture with Momma before he leaves for his First Day of Kindergarten.

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First one on the bus!  I didn’t have the opportunity to cry or mourn the moment because Little Miss kept me quite busy during this time.  I walked up to the bus to say hello to the bus driver and ask her a question.  Sis took it upon herself to try to get on the bus too and I had to reach up and grab her from the top stair.  She decided it would be a great moment to throw a tantrum which also lead to kicking off her pink cowboy boots.  After I finally got a good grip on her and her boots I turned around to walk away and caught my foot in a broken piece of concrete.  I started to fall almost as if I was going to twist my ankle all while she’s still flailing in my arms.  I look up for Zac’s help and he’s videotaping Reese’s first bus experience.  Thankfully, I am alright and we watched the video and it stopped before catching any of this on tape!

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 Sis and I ended up driving to the school to drop off the large bag of supplies because no little Kindergartner should have to carry that!  The principal hosted a Tissues and Tears event in the Library for Kindergarten parents.  While there she gave us some additional insight, read us a book and answered last minute questions.  Sis snapped this picture and I think she did a great job.

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 Mr. Man’s school is also doing a new thing this year.  This cute little contraption is called a Little Free Library.  The concept is like “need a penny, take a penny, leave a penny.”  This stationary stand will be outside of his school and can be utilized by anyone in the area day or night.  It will soon be filled with books for families to take a book home and read.  Ideally, you should bring a book to leave before taking one but I’m sure not everyone will understand the concept right away.  I plan on filling it with lots and lots of books!

 

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After the Elementary we were off to Little Miss’s First Day of 3 year old Preschool.  This picture reminds me of one we  have of brother’s first day of 3 year old preschool when he was walking down the long hallway of the school with his oversized to him backpack.  I’m sure I’ll look back at this picture in a few years the same way I look at his.

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Little Miss and I went to an hour long Getting to Know You class at the preschool.  Miss Jen created this cute little “photo booth” type poster board for the kids to use for pictures.  That Miss Jen is so crafty!  It took her the WHOLE class but she finally let me take a picture of her before we walked out of the classroom.  I don’t think her smile could be any cuter.

After this we went to an ultrasound for Momma and Little Man.  My midwife wanted to check fluid levels and estimated size of the baby.  Everything checked out fine.  He’s small, but not unusual for our children.  Guessing he’s between 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 pounds right now.  We weren’t able to see his little face or features because he is getting really smushed in there.  I did, however, see lots of spikey hair on his head!  AHHHHH!  Adorable.  Once we saw the midwife, got checked and talked a bit she said she thinks he will be here any day.  Two weeks away but he is welcome to come whenever he decides!

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My girl and I were able to grab a quick lunch together before we had to go wait at the bus stop for brother.  She talked my ear off all afternoon and on our walk from home to the bus stop.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard her talk THAT much.  I wasn’t able to get any photos of Mr. Man getting off the bus because I almost had a panic attack when everyone else got off but him.  Turns out he was in the back and didn’t know it was his stop.  It was his first experience and I would have thought the bus driver would have done a better job about preparing them for stops–especially kindergartners.  I think they should run their buses like my dad’s district does.  Kindergartners in the front rows.  That would help this momma’s heart a lot.

We had a great, fun and busy day.  Mr. Man survived until bedtime and I was shocked!  I thought for sure he would be down for the count a bit after coming home from school.  Nope.  He came home, finished what was left of his lunch, watched a little Magic School Bus, played, ate dinner, learned about Jesus Feeding the 5,000 and then went to bed.  He had a great day!

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 I also hijacked pictures from Daddy’s phone that he snapped at the bus stop in the morning.  Here are my two handsome boys.

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 TWINS!

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Momma and her two school bound kiddos.

 

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My big guy.  Maybe I’ll go cry now.

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33 weeks

I realize not much has been said about this pregnancy. It’s not that he’s not wanted. It’s just that we’ve been so busy raising his 5 year old brother and 2 1/2 year old sister that I haven’t had a lot of time to talk about him. I saw a friend post a cute little pregnancy questionnaire, so I figured that would be a great place for me to pick up.

How far along: 33 weeks

How big is baby? Average babies at this point are 4 pounds and around 17 inches long–the weight of a pineapple. Since we are petite people and make petite babies, I’m expecting he’s a tad smaller than this right now.

Gender: It’s a Boy!


Weight gain: 5 pounds {lost over 15 in my first trimester}

Maternity clothes: Blah. Maternity clothes are overrated. I wear a lot of leggings and long tank tops. Thrifting is the best for it. I just buy shirts a size larger than normal and call it good. Summer has been great because I can wear a lot of sundresses too.

Stretch marks: None really.  Just a little flesh colored on at my belly button that I can see when I move directions in the mirror.

Belly button in or out: Working it’s way to stretching out.

Sleep: I had been having a hard time sleeping a few weeks ago even though it really wasn’t the size or weight of my belly. I was sleeping on the right side of our bed but needing to sleep on the left side of my body. Once little ones started climbing in during the night and piling in line in front of me I wasn’t getting much room to move nor was I feeling the fan. My husband graciously switched me sides of the bed and now I’m all the way on the left side of the bed, sleeping on my left side, with a fan blowing right on me and little ones climbing in behind me in bed now!


Best moment this week: Having a night out to dinner with husband to celebrate our 8th anniversary and being able to wear a cute dress.

Worst moment this week: Having the energy to start projects/cleaning one day and being down for the count the next. Wishing I could check things off my list sooner so our household runs smoothly while we are in the hospital and after.

Miss anything: Taco Bell! Just two bites of most foods these days gives me heartburn. The last time I ate TB I felt really sick. Just being cautious now.

Movement: TONS of movement. Some nights Zac can even feel the bed moving because Little Man has kicked me so hard. He’s a mover for sure. Day or night. It doesn’t matter. He slithers more than his siblings. And he gets the hiccups a lot too. So cute.

Cravings: I’ve never really been one for cravings during pregnancy. Sometimes I just prefer colder things like Slurpees or Ice Cream over dinner but that’s mostly because I don’t want to induce heartburn.


Queasy or sick: Nope. Just tired.


Wedding rings on or off?:  My official wedding rings off–because my prongs are loose and I don’t want to lose my diamond. I’m wearing a cheap fake ring from the store just to take it’s place. No swelling in hands. Just trying to save that precious diamond my husband picked just for me over 8 years ago.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but tired. It’s hard being in the middle of summer, with a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old with not many plans. A school routine would be great to keep us busy.

Looking forward to: The beauty of delivery once again {I love all things babies and birthing!} and learning what this Little Man’s name is. We still don’t have a clue. Ideas, lists, discussions, but nothing official.

Have you bought anything for baby yet?: Absolutely. I’m a planner. Lots of newborn and 0-3 months onesies and pants, but seriously lacking in sleepers or preemie clothes. Neither baby so far was a preemie but they were so small they wore preemie for the first few months. Next needed purchase: car seat.

Funny Sibling Moment?: While driving past his new elementary school, Mr. Man says from the backseat, “Mom, if brother wants to be born when I am at school tell him to just wait until I am done and Papa and Grandma can bring me up to the hospital. I don’t want to miss anything. Sister was born when I was sleeping. I just don’t want to miss it again.” So sweet, but it doesn’t work that way, kiddo.

And Little Miss always tells me, “I can’t right now. My back hurts.” I wonder where she heard that from?!?!?

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Library Card for the WIN!

Today was a monumental day and will be recorded in the Holmes family history books.  It was the day Mr. Man got his first library card.  You can see his excitement here…

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This morning was a rough one for me.  After a long night of very little sleep due to a heavy, wheezing chest I was running a little slower than usual.  Getting ready for school seemed to take longer than usual.  I even contemplated keeping him home from school just because I didn’t want to venture out.  I knew better.  We finally made it to school a few minutes late and then Little Miss and I headed off to the store to buy diapers.  It was a dreary, rainy morning and all I wanted was for 11:30am to roll around on the clock faster so we could go home, get in our pajamas and watch classic Disney movies all day.  Somewhere along the morning I realized that I would have to either lay on the floor in their room all day or move their TV into our room so we could watch all the VHS tapes we wanted.  Since I didn’t really feel like doing either of those I remembered that you could check movies out at the library!

I decided to tell Mr. Man all about my plans and see what he thought.  I was hoping he would think it was cool–and he did!  I told him that he would get his own library card and he could borrow books and movies for a few days then we would have to bring them back and get some more.  I reminded him that we did the same thing with life jackets from our friends Miss “Mannie” (Annie) and Mr. Joe this summer.  We didn’t have any life jackets so we asked them if we could borrow theirs, used them on the boat up north and then gave them back when he and daddy got their hair cut a few weeks ago.  That little story didn’t help as much as I hoped because all he took from it was that he was upset that I took them back and he didn’t.  Oh how the specifics can tear at his little heart strings sometimes!

We drove to the library as he asked lots of questions about what they had, why he needed to use an indoor voice, what movie he could pick, if his picture would be on his card, etc.  After a quick diaper change for sis in the parking lot we ventured inside.  The librarian wasn’t as cordial as I had imagined her to be.  I thought it would be a joyous moment filled with lots of pictures of her handing over a card to him while they both smile and give me a thumbs up.  DID. NOT. HAPPEN.  Mom expectations!  In fact, he almost didn’t get a card.  She said that they don’t issue library cards until a child can sign their own name.  She asked if he could.  Dude, he’s 4 1/2 years old–of course he can write his own name but he would need a dinosaur sized box to do it in…not a little mousey box.  There is no spacial sense in a 4 1/2 year olds world.  Seriously, for hoping to cultivate a love in children for reading and discovery I think the library needs to make it a little more user-friendly for their smallest of book worms.

Since I learned there is no limit on books or movies you can check out at one time I decided just to get one for myself and use it as a family.  Mr. Man begged me for a card and I distractedly told him we’d see about it on the way out.  Being as it was our first time at the library I walked right up to the librarian and asked her if she had a list of book recommendations by age for the children {mommy expectation #2 for the day}.  She said they did not.  I casually mentioned that the Rochester Hills Public Library had a list on their website called 100 Books Every Child Should Experience {I heard of this list from a high school friend who has completed the list {maybe even twice now} with her children.} and then the kids and I walked away. We ventured into the unknown library by ourselves.  I was a bit overwhelmed.  I knew that I wanted my children to grow to love reading, walking through stories just by looking at pictures, take adventures and using their imagination.  I just didn’t know where to start.  I stood there thinking “Amy, you were a preschool teacher.  You know the good books.  You used to read them everyday to your class.  Think of the good books in your head and check a couple of them out.”  I just couldn’t think in that moment what MY children would like.  I didn’t really have a starting point since we already have our own little library at home and have read the “basics”.  Soon the librarian walked over to us and handed me the list of 100 books from the Rochester Hills library and said she just printed it off for me.  Score.  {and yet kind of embarrassing for them to have to use a different library’s resource instead of having their own.}

I tried to find several books on the list that I knew we didn’t have at home and I really struggled to find them.  Many were not there.  It made me wonder just how good our local library was going to be for us.  Finally, we settled on 3 books for each child and made our way over to the movies.  Again, disappointment.  I am thoroughly saddened by their lack of movies for children.  Remember I said I was in the mood for classic Disney movies?  Yeah.  Didn’t find them.  In fact, about the only “Classic Disney” I found was Peter Pan.  I also decided on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood since Mr. Man has been loving him some Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and I realized he had NO IDEA where the character originally came from or who Mister Rogers was.

After choosing those two DVD’s  we checked out.  I let Mr. Man do the process himself and he loved it since it was all digital and “express”.  We turned to say goodbye to the ladies at the front desk and he quietly pleaded again for his own library card.  I didn’t know what to do.  The ladies could sense that I had a little debacle on my hands and asked how they could help.  I told them he wanted his own card and they suggested we tried.  There is a space for your “printed name” and a space for your “signature”.  They said I could print his name and he could sign it.  They led us to a table where he could try his hand at signing it.  After a few unsuccessful strokes of the pen I realized that he needed my help holding the pen upright to even produce pen lines on his card.  He’s so used to using crayons and markers that will write no matter what angle you held them at.  He had no idea how to use this pen correctly.  I held the top of the pen and he looked at me and asked what he was supposed to do.  I told him to write his name just like he does at school and I would just guide his pen so he could see the lines.  After at least 3-4 minutes we finally finished and he “signed” his first library card!  No picture with the librarian.  No picture on it.  No thumbs up for a new adventure for him.  Nope. just a handing off of the pen, followed by a picture in the parking lot in the drizzling rain, standing in front of the library with his “loot” and official card in hand.

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Overly excited smile!

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The official look of the card.

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All of our loot.

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Sis showing me a “bug” in the book.

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Exploring our new finds.

{By the way: I really hope that after a visit to the library alone some day I can learn more about the children’s section and grow to love what they have to offer.  I’m holding out hope that there are some treasures in there somewhere, but has anyone else felt the way I do when they’ve visited this location?}

Nail Polish: Pretty AND Educational

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I never realized just how different raising girls vs. boys was.  Our Little Miss is almost a complete opposite as Mr. Man in so many ways and yet they are so similar too.  She has definitely given us a run for our money in child safety with her climbing on top of the kitchen counters to rearrange the cabinets and sippy cups, unrolling toilet paper more times than I can count, or climbing out of her crib five times in a row at 1:30am and creeping by your bedside.  She can be the sweetest, most loving little girl one minute then the cause of major frustration the next.

This morning as the hubs left to take his dad out for a cup of coffee at his favorite coffee shop (shameless plug to Great Lakes Coffee) I was enjoying a few moments of silence until I heard the pitter patter of little foot steps.  It was my girl.  Awake for the day and ready to conquer.  Last night daddy suggested that I paint her nails green and yellow for our nephew’s John Deere party this afternoon.  I decided that the quiet, rainy morning we had upon us was the perfect time to do so.

We sat on the floor in the bathroom and I got out my {very} old purple “STUFFers” box that my nail polish has been stored in for years.  Seriously, like almost 20 years I assume.  That’s crazy.  When did I get this old?  I’m also seriously wondering how much of it is good anymore or if I need to research “expiration dates” or “harmful chemicals” in them now!  YIKES.

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Anywho, I found a light green nail polish and a yellow nail polish.  Perfect!  I wasn’t sure how the green would look so I decided to use yellow on three of her nails and green on two.  Patterned of course.  The yellow was a bit older and gloppier to put on.  The green looked amazing.  She’s had her nails painted enough in her lifetime that she knows the next step: BLOW.  When I was little my Aunt Sandy would paint my nails for me and then I would turn to Uncle Randy and say “blow”.  Now my girl is doing the same thing!  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the generational legacy that little moment brings.  Little Miss isn’t the most patient one yet so it doesn’t last long but a few blows on each hand and she’s done and on to the next thing.  Then the perfectionist in me cringes in the fact that her nails will soon be smudged or missing polish.

Then, just like her momma who enjoys order she uttered, “Toes.”  So onto the toes I went.  This time I did the opposite pattern and she has three green toes and two yellow toes.  As I was painting them I noticed her admiring her nails and she said, “Pretty.”  A girl who appreciates taking care of herself!  Ahh!  After we blew on her toes {and her fingernails some more} she picked up the polishes and said, “Momma, pretty.”  So guess who has John Deere nails today too!

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Since brother was still asleep at this point I decided to let her continue what she was doing at this point–playing with the nail polishes.  It was during this time that I realized that there was no need to rush anything because I could turn this into a teaching moment.  For the next 20 minutes or so we learned color names, sorted by color, {tried to} stack polishes on top of each other, counted, etc.

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Who knew that raising girls would be different than boys?  I never thought that I could teach colors and counting and sorting by using nail polish.  In college when we learned about manipulatives I’m pretty sure that nail polish bottles were not an option.  Never stop finding new ways to teach children whether in a classroom or at home.  You don’t always have to go by the basics of flashcards, buttons or counting bears.  Look around and see what you have right at your hands.  I’m pretty sure that Mr. Man actually learned all of his alphabet and numbers from Super Why! back in the day.  Little Miss is different and needs my help.  Any day that I get to spend painting our nails and learning colors or numbers is a great day in my book!

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I think I’ll paint my nails more often now that I have a mani/pedi buddy!

{And for those of you wondering how momma handled the smudges and missing paint a few minutes later, know this: When momma was helping pick up and put the polishes back in the box my nails smudged like crazy too.  Darn that old yellow polish!  You win some, you lose some.  I’m pretty sure God is trying to teach me to see the beauty in disaster!}

First day of school

The day has arrived: the first day of the last year of preschool.  I’m actually going to call it Pre-K because that’s really what it will be for him.  It’s the last session of classes for him before Kindergarten.  How can we be at this point already?  Wasn’t it just a few months ago that we were bringing home that little 7 pound 4 ounce boy who could only wear preemie clothes even though he wasn’t a preemie?  Wasn’t it just a few months ago that we were rushing to Urgent Care an hour before his birthday party because he busted his chin open on the stairs trying to get to the bathroom to go potty?  Wasn’t it just last week that he asked to ‘nuggle mommy and watch Toy Story?  How could we be on a Kindergarten countdown these days?

I guess it’s true.  Time passed so quickly and here we are taking first day of school pictures, bringing the teachers gifts and meeting new friends.  Today was Mr. Man’s first day of school.  It was an abbreviated class that is used to introduce the children to the teachers, the classroom and the activities and routines that will be utilized.  For an hour the kids were able to test out the new toys, decorate a picture frame, enjoy a snack, explore the playground, learn a few songs and meet their new friends.  Parents and siblings were invited to stay and partake in the activities too.  Friday will be the first full day for them–running from 9:00am-11:30am.  We’ve done it before but I now find myself wondering what it is I am supposed to do during that time?  Maybe Little Miss and I will do breakfast dates, walks at the mall or visits to daddy at work.

And now…..without further ado….here are the obligatory “First Day Of School” pictures.  In succession, of course, because they are funnier that way!

 

Watching a neighbor drive by {and waving at him between takes}

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So handsome.  And somehow seems so grown up now.

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Funny faces {his choice}

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Mommy’s choice: A list of current favorites

ImageReese’s Preschool Favorites 2013:

TV Show: Doctor Who
Movie: Toy Story
Song: “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” by Five Iron Frenzy
Color: Pink and green and blue and brown
Food: Egg noodles, gravy and pepper rings
Candy: M&M’s
Toy: Jake and the Neverland Pirate Ship with the alligator
and bird
Activity:  Watch tv and do stuff
Superhero:  Well, I like all the Avengers the most
Shoes:  My tennis shoes, the black and white ones

When I grow up:
I want to be Captain America, Batman and Ironman!

Height: 3’0”   Weight: 29lbs.

And then sister insisted on joining him for pictures too.

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More “funny faces”

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Pictures with his teachers, Ms. Jen and Ms. Michele

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And he wanted to show everyone his BLUE tongue from the Ring Pop they gave him!

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Have a great year, buddy!  We are so proud of who you are and what you do.

Let’s do this thing!

‘Twas the night before Preschool

‘Twas the night before Preschool
When all through the Holmes house
Everyone was sleeping except one very tired spouse.
The clothing was hung on the closet with care
In hopes that the morning soon would be there.

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Reese was all nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of sight words danced in his head
Emery in her jammies and Reese in his too
Had just settled down for a long evening snooze.

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When inside their room there arose such a clatter
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.

Away to their room we flew in a flash
Tore open the door and found a bedtime bash.

The moon’s reflection on the window inside
Gave peace to our hearts as we looked on with pride
When what to our wondering eyes should appear
But two siblings sleeping in one bed so dear.

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When the morning had come so fast and so quick
We were all ready but Mommy’s nerves made her sick.
More rapid than ever we gathered our things
And drove down the road as we started to sing.

Yay Pencils!  Yay Paper!  Yay Crayons galore!
And stencils and books and a pretend store!
To the front of the class!  To the Calendar wall!
Mark away days to the beginning of fall!

As Mommy’s and Daddy’s wanted one more hug
They met with their kids on the Circle Time rug.
Then out the door they left with some tears
As they watched their babies face some of their fears.

And it seemed in a twinkling they grew up so fast
And we all reminisced about the time in the past.
As the days of no sleep and food on the floor
Had all been forgotten once they walked through that door.

They are big kids now from their heads to their feet
With new friends and teachers they are ready to meet.
And new tasks and skills to learn all this year
You’ll be so excited about all that is here.

Their eyes how they twinkle!  Their smiles so big!
They’ll learn the difference between a cow and a pig.
With words and numbers and alphabet sounds
Their reading and learning will grow leaps and bounds!

They might even learn how to tie their own shoes
And soon they’ll be trying to teach little siblings too.
Their looks will change and they might lose a tooth
But they’ll always be your baby, that is the truth.

They’ll dream big dreams and imaginations run wild
But through it all you will still see your child.
For they will need your help in school and in life
To show them the way and protect them from strife.

So, God we thank you for your protection this year
Over all the sweet kids around the world we hold dear.
Guide them, love them, and show them your grace
As we leave them in schools and give them their space.

And just like that the year will fly by
And you won’t even remember the moments you cried.
But before it comes to the end of the year ball
Happy start to a new school year, to one and to all!

Written by:
Amy Holmes
September 2013

Go Fish

OH MY GOODNESS!

The funniest thing just happened.

I am a firm believer that my children should be comedians.

I just bought a bag of Goldfish “Baby” crackers today.  Em’s first time ever having them.

Reese just had one in his hand, said “Hey Emmy, Go Fish” and then threw it on the ground!

Is this real life?