Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Brave Preschoolers

Dropping my two, brave preschoolers off on their first day of preschool gave me a small insight into how it may feel in 13 or 14 years from now when I drop off my missionary sons at the MTC. Okay, clearly I'm being a little overly dramatic, but just the idea of the similarity between the two scenarios still makes my heart hurt just a little bit: preparing my two boys for their big day with a stylish outfit, a sharp hairdo, and lots of encouragement, saying a family prayer (and keeping a constant prayer in my heart) that they will be safe and feel secure, and then giving them a giant hug and walking away, hoping, hoping, that they will be okay and knowing that even though it's a little bit hard to say goodbye, it's necessary. So, maybe a lot a bit dramatic. If their first day of preschool is causing me this much heartache, I'm going to be a sloppy mess when that special day comes to send my boys off for two years to serve the Lord.

But, back to the first day....luckily, Max made the drop off experience easy on me. With a year of preschool already under his belt (Max just barely misses the Kindergarten cut-off, so he gets to go to one more year of preschool....poor guy! He's already the size of an average first grader!), Max wasn't nervous one bit. After I walked him to his class at school, he just turned, smiled, waved, and blew me a kiss. Love that sweetheart! After school, Max told me that preschool was great! He loves that he gets to have snacks and recess every day.

Ben, on the other hand, took it a bit harder when it was time to go to school. As we drove to his school (Ben goes to a special preschool a few miles away), Ben was very nervous and asked where everyone was...Dad? Hank? Max? Joey? When we turned at the stoplight near his school, he lost it and started to cry and repeat, "" I've been stressed about Ben's transition back to school so his sweet little protest was literally breaking my heart. When we pulled up to the curb in front of the school, we were met by his teacher, who greeted Ben with excitement. I picked Ben up to give him a hug, and he just laid his head on my shoulder--he was trying so hard to be brave, and didn't fight me at all, but was super nervous and scared. I gave him a big hug and kiss and told him he could do it and that I'd see him as soon as school was over. He walked with his teacher to his class....and I just cried like a baby. That little boy is my heart and it just pains me to see him be sad or scared. With Ben, changes take some getting used to, but I know he is going to grow so much at school and I can't wait to see all of the new things he learns.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Day of 2nd Grade!

My little Hanky-boy is in 2nd Grade! While it's hard to believe that he is growing up so quickly, Hank is such a natural at school, that I feel more excitement than sadness to send him back to school. I asked if he needed me to walk him to his class, just in case, but I knew what he would say. Nope! He wasn't the least bit nervous. He waved to me as I dropped him off at the front doors and I watched him run to catch up with some buddies he was excited to see after a long summer break. Hank is such a quick-learner, makes friends so easily, and is so eager to please the teacher that I didn't have any worries at all about him on his first day. I am a teeny-tiny bit sad for me to lose my buddy and helper while he is away at school, but I'm excited for him and all the fun and adventures that await him in 2nd grade.


1st Grade

My big 2nd Grader!

I just had to throw in these pictures of Hank that I took on the morning of his first day...if you look closely you can see little brothers crying/waving/yelling in the background windows of every single picture. Doesn't that just seem fitting? Hank is dearly missed by his little brothers at home.

Utah's Beach!

For all it's mountainous beauty, Utah is a dry, tree-barren, brown-ish desert....which explains why I was so excited when I discovered a beach just a few miles away! Okay, it's not exactly the North Shore, it's more like a sandy, man-made reservoir, but if you set up your umbrella, bring your buckets and shovels, and wade in the cool water you get a beach-like experience. Our first visit was a little rough--Joey was sick and only wanted to be held, and Ben got stung by a pesky bee lurking at the playground. I'm glad we returned a few days later with our cousins because it was such a great way to cap off our summer! Hank splashed around in the water, Max dug tunnels and rivers in the sand, Joey was loving his bucket and shovel, and Ben...well, he was happy eating his crackers. Three out of four is pretty good for us. I wish I would have discovered this fun spot earlier in the summer. It will definitely be on our bucket list next year.

Lemonade for Sale!

It seems like every kid in Utah is an entrepreneur. In fact, I remember living in our little apartment in Provo and answering a knock at the door to find a group of kids going door-to-door the day after Halloween, selling back their trick-or-treat goods at a hefty margin. In our neighborhood, it's common to find baked goods and popsicles sold by young hustlers on the street corner. So, it's with no exception, that Hank, Max, and their good buddies decided to set up shop and sell lemonade and chocolate chip cookies in hopes of striking it rich. I will say, I will think twice about driving by a lemonade stand without stopping to buy a watered down cup of lemon-flavored kool-ade after watching how excited the kids would become, holding up their homemade signs and waving their arms, at every single passing car only to watch the car speed by without so much as a look in their direction. I felt like hugging those few, sweet neighbors who were kind enough to stop and buy a cookie or two--earning that quarter just made the kids' day! While the kids were very enthusiastic, I think we'll need to have a lesson on business/sales skills next time we open shop. At one point, the kids argued with their customer, who had paid for 4 cookies ($.25/each) with a dollar, that they had been underpaid since she did not give them 4 quarters. When a happy customer returned for a second visit to buy more cookies, Hank informed her that she couldn't have any more because she had already had 8! To him, it was rude of the woman to take (nevermind that she paid a fair price) so many cookies without any consideration for other future customers. When the register was tallied at the end of the evening, the team netted just over $9....split 7 ways, they felt pretty successful to walk away with a buck and a half in each of their pockets.

Last Hurrah

I feel mixed emotions about this summer coming to an end. It's hard to trade in our lazy pajama mornings, laid-back afternoons of hanging out with the neighborhood crew and frequenting the parks and lakes, and long evenings playing outside for an early(er) wake-up call, everyday responsibilities, homework, routine, and school-night bedtimes. Although it doesn't seem like we tackled half of the items on our bucket list--the boys couldn't seem to get enough of just plain old bike riding and playing with their buddies--I feel like it really was the perfect childhood summer. Simple fun, lots of outdoors and sunshine, and free roam of the neighborhood. I'm glad we had the chance to squeeze in a few more summer memories, like our day at Liberty Park, before it was time to change gears and get back into the swing of school mode.