Monday, September 8, 2008

Catching Up on the Last Couple of Weeks

Has school really been in for two whole weeks? Actually, now that I think about it, NO. You see we didn't start school till the last Tuesday in August and then had the first Monday in September off for celebration of communism, I mean Labor Day. That means that this is the 1st Monday of school and the first full week.

My Feelings on the School Year so Far:

  • It is like night and day, comparing this school to their old one. When we first moved to CT, the older kids dreaded going to school. It was a rough school and they had a hard time making friends. Hard to fit in when people are constantly threatening to beat you up . . .But this year they are excited about school again and already feel like they belong.
  • Ryan has a male teacher this year. I'm excited to see if this makes a difference in teaching style. Already he comes home with stories. (For instance) "If my teacher asks for volunteers and kids raise their hands before he says what he wants, he tells them they just volunteered for 20 push ups." This may be just the sort of teaching style Ryan has needed, plus he will be getting strong. (You have to know that a favorite punishment of Ryan's parents is to make the kids do push ups)
  • This is our first year utilizing buses. It has been wonderful! I love it!! How did I ever survive without buses? No more dragging the preschoolers out of bed to drive everyone to school. Elise leaves 45 minutes before the other kids and gets home 30 minutes earlier. This means (theoretically) I don't have to be home to greet the kids, she is old enough to watch the oldest 4. I have used the extra time, once spent waiting in line to pick up kids, making after school snacks (part of which I set aside for lunch the next day).
  • I have decided to try to make lunch everyday. In past years the kids bought once a week and last year (due to the fact that it was free to everyone at the school) they bought almost everyday. I'm trying to be more creative with lunches. I have yet to find a thermos type container I like for soups (any ideas would be appreciated).

What Else We Have Been Doing:

  • I am almost done tweaking my pre/post school time routines. I made a new chore chart for the new school year. We'll see how it works out. The kids have one major responsibility they are in charge of all the time (in addition to bedrooms, laundry, dishes, and toys). I have also added scripture reading onto their charts in the hope that they will be better at remembering than I am.
  • The oldest 2 are starting piano again this month. I can hear them trying to play Primary songs all the time so that should be exciting for them.
  • I have put Joseph in a preschool. I know, the first 4 were preschool free, but this one is run by a high school class and only meets 1 1/2 hours twice a week. I was worried that since I am also his primary teacher, that he needed to begin dealing with someone else before we threw him to the public system.
  • Peter went to the BYU football game in Seattle last Saturday with all his brothers (and most of the male in-laws). He had a lot of fun catching up with family. I had a lot of fun with all the kids back in Connecticut.
  • We went to the school picnic (the kids and I). At first I didn't really want to go, but I decided it was important to start to get to know the people we live around. It turned out a lot of fun. We rode in a fire truck, ate some good food, played at the playground, and I witnessed the beautiful site of my children dancing in public. No really, it was beautiful. In an Elaine Benes sort of way (remember that Seinfeld episode?). OK, it was really more funny than beautiful. Someday maybe I will get around to posting video of my children dancing.

  • I downloaded a lot of applications on my iphone. Being the genius I am, I decided to make it even more tempting for my children to walk around with my expensive cell phone. I know, if only everyone could be as bright as me. I have only lost it three times since then. At least that's my story.


  1. Loved the bit about Ryan's teacher making them do pushups. Too funny.

    I used to absolutely love it when I would open my lunch box on a cold day and find a thermos of my mom's delicious chili waiting for me... Ah, the memories. Good luck, I never appreciated my mom making my lunch everyday until I was in high school and she stopped. Hopefully your kids will be more grateful than I was. Let me know if you come up with any fun/creative/different/good lunch ideas, will ya?

  2. I bought my kids a thermos for home lunch. It is a "Thermos Thermax" and it is stainless steel. I think we got it at Target. Both my older kids swear that by lunch time the food I put in there is still nice and warm.

    I do have to share a link to what I discovered about 2 years ago. It is a great program. I only had purchased the book when I was visiting Utah and after reading it, I decided I could put together the program myself. So one boring Saturday, we made boards with the children's names on them and then I downloaded all sorts of images for their chores and we did this system. It worked a very long time- like 6 months before we had to take our first break from it. We still use it on and off. I find that with pretty much any parenting system I use I can use it for a while and then I have to take a break so it can be more effective. Anyway, the website is:

    My oldest 2 were also preschool free (unless you count a few months of joy school with 3 kids in the ward.) And then Caleb came along and I just felt like for the sake of both of us he should go to preschool. He's a great kid, but from the age of about 2 1/2 until 4 I didn't know if we were going to make it with all the melt downs. School helped him a lot to get his head out of the ground and realize that there are other people on the planet. It also helped me see some really great things about him, as his teachers raved all the time about how good he was and he surprised me by making friends easily (I had supposed that it would be hard to make friends when you are having catastrophic melt downs every hour or so, but since he only had the melt downs at home, he was a fun kid to be around at school.)

  3. Sounds busy, fun, but busy ;-)

    I just started to make my kids lunch, I had, for the last 3 years bought it, but with three in school full time now it costs 90$ a month. I have to be able to do better than that! And really, it isn't that much work.

    I like the push-up idea...I may have to try that one.

  4. your seinfeld reference and video made me smile! love that show!

  5. I have still never given my kids a "hot" cold lunch. I have been having trouble with them eating anything I give them. I guess they only get 10 minutes for lunch (is that normal?)

  6. Ten minutes for lunch? That is terrible. Can't wait for the video of the kids dancing. Surly no one really dance like Eliane in Seinfeld. The BYU game was great. I watched them win on TV in person would have been great.

  7. PLease tell me the Later family dance made a public debut...that is so freakin sweet. I do take credit for a lot of your kids amazing dancing abilities. One of my student's moms used to buy those single serve jiffy peanut butter containers and send all sorts of things to dip in peanut butter (bananas, crackers, celery, marshmellows, apples, etc) it was always a big hit in the cafeteria.