Thursday, August 26, 2010


So, Grace is STILL not loving kindergarten. She cries every day -expcept yesterday but that was an early release day. She's even taken to crying some the night before and starts crying the second I wake her in the morning. It's the same thing every day. She says she's bored, that she only likes specials (P.E., music, art and computer), that she doesn't like recess (I know!) because it's hot. She seems to have made friends ok. There are several kids she talks about. I was even approached by a mom yesterday who's kid is not even in Grace's class who wants to arrange a play date. She says they play together on the playground, yep, at recess.
I am at my wits end here. I'm torn between wanting to cry with her, hug her and tell her she can stay home with me as long as she wants, and being angry with her for doing this EVERY stinkin day!
I'm pretty sure it's all about attitude. She needs to try to not be bored, to engage and to have a good attitude. I know that's a lot easier said than done, especially for a 5 year old.
Paul and I start and end each day, praying for our little girl, that she would not only not cry, but that she would really enjoy and look forward to school. We've been spoiled with Kristin. She has always loved school and was even sad when school was cancelled last year for our flood days and snow.
Would it be bad if I just pulled her out of school? Is that coddling her? She's so cute and sweet and loving. I think she's the most like me of the 3 (not the cute, sweet, loving part of her. She's definitely surpassed me in those areas). I can empathize with her homesickness, but at the same time, I want her to be tough and NOT CRY!
Anyway, that's it. That's what's been going on around here lately. A lot of crying. Not fun.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Heart Faces Beach Fun

Beach Fun is this week's challenge at I Heart Faces. This is a pic I took of my brother in law the last time we were all at the beach together, back in 09.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And then there were none

I feel I've been remiss in posting much about Elliott and her first day of pre-k. It's actually a pretty big deal, if not for her, then especially for me. You see, since she has started school, this is the first time EVER that I have had any child-free days. Since we first began multiplying, 7-1/2 years ago, I have always had at least one kid to keep me company (or to drive me crazy, depends on which way you look at it). Actually, today will be my real first child-free day. Even though Tuesday was Elliott's first day, after I dropped her off, I had to go pick Grace up from school for a dentist appointment. So I was alone for about 10 minutes that day. Today I have no plans. My husband asked me what was I going to do today. I can tell you what I should do; laundry, laundry, laundry (I have 3 baskets to fold and put away, hence the repetition), sweeping, vacuuming... However, I know my precious 2 days a week (3-1/2 hours a day) of no kids will most likely soon be filled with volunteering at the older kids' school, meetings, working on my photography business, and of course housework, but today, I think I might not do any of that. I just might go to Starbucks, get me a WAY over priced coffee and read-a-book. I will say though, even as I write that, I feel a little guilty for not using my time wisely. That laundry really needs to be folded and put away. And the least I can do is straighten the house.

And Elliott. She's been great. She even decided yesterday, of her own volition, to throw away her passy! So we ran right out and got a really big lolly pop as a reward. She has done amazingly well too. She has asked for her passy a few times, but after I remind her that she threw it away, she says nothing else. All my babies are growing up! "Yeah" and "Boo Hoo" at the same time! We've finally reached a level of independence with our kids that has allowed us to actually enjoy things we haven't in the past. We really don't have any babies any more. But then, we really don't have any babies anymore. (note the difference happy and is a good thing, one sad that they are growing up so fast!).

It is a little sad to not have any babies anymore. Maybe.....

I could keep writing on my woman feelings on how I feel about all my kids leaving me and the good and bad things about it, but I think I'm going to try to fold a basket or 2 before I have to take Elliott to school.

*side note.... Grace didn't cry today!!! Her teacher immediately emailed me this morning to let me know she did great! Love email.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another first day of school

I can't let today go by without posting about our youngest and her first day of preschool. Elliott started 3 year old preschool today. She'll go 2 days a week. She's been very excited about it. She has the same teacher Grace had when she was 3 so she knows her a bit. She just wants to be like her big sisters and go to school too. She seemed to have a real good day.

An update on Grace and her recent lack of desire for school...

I have resorted to bribery. I told her if she does well all week and does not cry, then we'll go get a toy on Friday. She loves new toys. I told her anytime she feels like crying, to first stop and pray and ask God to help her to be happy and then to think about what new toy she wants to get. I know. I know. I'm just trying to do what works. It helped Kristin when she went through a similar thing.

Today she did great. Of course, she was only there a couple hours today because I had to pick her up for a dentist appointment. She had 2 cavities. That's another post for another time. Lets just say (and oddly enough) after having been on the laughing gas, she wants MORE cavities. Weird kid. Can't figure her out. Scared to go play at kindergarten, loves the dentist's drill.

Tomorrow will be the test to see if she can get all the way to school without any tears. I'm hopeful she can do it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kindergarten Woes

Well, Grace's enthusiasm for kindergarten has waned. I knew it would. She's always been the homebody of the 3 girls. As an infant, I was paged EVERY Sunday for the whole first year of her life to come and get her from the nursery because she wouldn't stop crying. The nursery workers were always amazed that the second I picked her up, she would stop. For a long time as a baby, she wouldn't let anyone else hold her. At the grocery store, if a bag boy/girl looked at her too long, she would break into a wail.

She did completely fine for two years of pre school. Didn't cry once. I reminded her of this. She says she's just used to being with me and her blanket all day and misses us (me and the blanket). She cries every morning now and sometimes at night. It's heart breaking for me to see her so sad. I do take some comfort though, in knowing that Kristin is there and can at least walk her to class. I remind myself, that even Kristin who is my social bug, never afraid of a new situation as long as there are other kids to play with kid, had some adjustment issues in kindergarten. It took almost the whole first semester for Kristin to completely adjust. But once she did, she never looked back. This year, I only got to walk her to class once. After that, it was, "moooommm. I can go by myself!" For her, one thing I did was to print out a picture of me and one of her very favorite, stuffed cat, Chi Chi, to keep in her lunch box. If she got sad, she could look at our picture. That seemed to help her a bit. I tried that with Grace. She said she did not want a picture because if she looked at it at school, it would just make her miss us (again, me and the blankie) even more. Makes sense to me. I can identify with Grace. I very much like my comfort zones. I remember being that way as a kid.

I know she'll be fine. I just hope that it's sooner than later. I hate seeing her sad. It makes me think crazy, like I might want to home school or something!

This picture is the one we took so she could have it to take to school. You can tell she'd been crying, but she put on a brave face for about a second and a half for the picture.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This is Elliott waiting for Nana (my hus' mom) to arrive from AL. It was 9:30 AM in these pics. Nana wasn't to arrive until 5 PM.

ummmm.....Rum Runners for me and the kids. Nothing like it to cool you down on a hot day! And NO, they are not alcoholic.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mission Accomplished

We did it. We got them both off on their first day of school without a hitch. Even better, they came home happy and excited to go again. Grace really seemed to like her first day of kindergarten. She made a friend who's name she thinks may be Isabella and met a boy named Hawke (what the??) She didn't even come home exhausted like I thought she would. I'm still waiting for that to hit as I'm sure it will. By supper time though, it was obvious she was feeling the effects of her long, busy day.

Kristin was Kristin. She has always loved school and never been afraid to go even when she was just starting out and didn't know anyone. Last year when we had a few snow days (odd in these parts) she was the one kid that was sad when school was cancelled. She missed 16 days of school last year, 10 for sickness and 6 for family related activities. 5 of those were to go to Disney World. As excited as she was to go to WDW, if you can believe it, this kid was a little sad to be missing school and her friends. (again, what the??) As it turned out, our kids liked Epcot the best, the most educational of the 4 parks. What can I say? Really, what can I say?
Kristin's only hiccup yesterday was when she left the class to go to the restroom and then inadvertently returned to her old first grade class instead of the new 2nd grade one. She got as far as opening the door before she realized, "This isn't right. Why is Mrs. Stoner in here?" She'd gone to a completely different hall. Nevertheless, she recovered and made it back to the appropriate class unfazed and no one the wiser.

It is a little fun for both girls to be at the same school for the first time ever. In past schooling experiences (pre-K) we only had one kid in at a time. They were never there together. It's nice for me to know that Kristin, the pro, is there to take care of Grace if needed.

Elliott and I had a nice time at home. I had laundry to do and errands to run. She graciously joined me without complaining (much). Her pre-K does not start for another 2 weeks but I decided to let her go ahead and wear her new school shoes since her sisters got to wear theirs. She hasn't taken them off except to sleep. She woke up this morning so we could take Kristin and Grace to school and just had to have on her new shoes right away (and her new Alabama socks courtesy of Nana. Roll Tide). She's a trooper. She seems ready to start school too and keeps asking when does she get to go.

I took some pictures but still plan on doing an actual back to school photoshoot because I missed my opportunity yesterday. Too much excitement going on when they got home and so I didn't want to force them (which is usually what I have to do to get my over-photographed children to stop for a minute so mommy can "practice.") into a photoshoot. I guess that means I'll either have to wash their first day of school clothes or pull them out of the dirty clothes basket in order to get the full effect. Most likely it will be the latter. Should I have just admitted that? So here's what I got on the actual first day.

Elliott waiting for the girls to come home on the bus. The bus comes right to our house!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The End is Here

This is it. Today is the last day of summer vacation. I'm sad. Is it really over, already??? This is the time of year, the only time of year, that I contemplate homeschooling. I like having my kids home.

To make it all worse for me this year, my sweet Grace is leaving me to start Kindergarten. Fortunately, she is excited about it. That helps. If she were not, I don't know what I would do. I might make the rash decision to just keep her home and do some schoolin' myself. I am a little worried about her though. She has always been more of the home body/mama's girl than the others. I just hope her excitement for school lasts the next 175 days.

Kristin, I'm not worried about. She'll be in 2nd grade this year. She has always loved school. She loves learning and loves her friends. She's also become quite the evangelist. As many of you know, we are public school folk. Since starting school, our mission field has really opened up, whereas before, we didn't really know any non-Christians. Kristin is not shy about asking her friends where/if they go to church and do they love Jesus or if they read the Bible. She even tried to witness to her little Jewish friend. You go girl! (yes, I did just say that).

I'll still have Elliott for a little while longer though. She will start a 2 day a week pre-K but will still be home with me for the remaining 3 days. I hope she's ok with that. I usually rely on all 3 girls to entertain each other that I may have to take a different approach with just one kid.

We have had a great summer though. It was short, but good. We did a lot of stuff. We camped, visited the sunshine state, went to the mountains, hit the pool any day we were home that was free of rain, had a week of VBS at our church. That's a lot for such a short summer. We were busy, but in a good way. I may be sad a little while once school starts, but I feel confident I'll get over it. With the new "balanced" calender our county has adopted, they'll get a whole week off come mid-September. Family fun plans are already in the works for that week.

Hey Maybe I'll have more time to blog once schools in! I know! You must be SO excited! :)

I've included some random summer fun pictures.

Elliott enjoying some chocolate ice cream at Mr. T's in Chattanooga, TN.

Grace got her face painted at a local farmers market we like to frequent on Saturdays.

The girls on their way to our neighborhood pool, something we did a lot of this hot, hot summer.

Kristin with a blackberry we picked while in the mountains in Helen, GA

The girls at Downtown Disney on a visit to my parents' house in FL.

Elliott turned 3 in June. She was very excited about it being her day!