Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fancy Back to School Dinner and DAY ONE!

During the week leading up to the baptism I was busy running errands and making other preparations when it suddenly dawned on me that we needed to have our back-to-school dinner on Sunday as well. After a moment of considering pushing it to the next week, I decided we couldn't break tradition (2011 and 2010) the year Addie was starting kindergarten, so we just kept the dinner super simple instead.
Earlier in the month I had heard the little primary song "I want to be kind to everyone for that is right you see, So I say to myself remember this, Kindness begins with me." and decided kindness was the perfect theme for our year. We have talked a lot recently about being kind to one another, the importance of being kind to those who may not have as many friends and the challenge to be kind to those who are not kind to us.
After being around all white preparing for the baptism, I decided to carry it over to our dinner. And I looked on pinterest for the first time and saw a banner made of old book pages and loved it. I must admit I was pretty proud of my little banner! When Mike got home the day I made it, I had him come see it right away :-)!
For dinner we had spaghetti, always a favorite, with green beans and garlic bread and of course sparkling juice, which is a must for any fancy meal. We had leftover desserts from the day before and set our new goals.
Ella's: make a new friend (since most of hers are in the other class) and get 100 on her spelling tests
Addie's: make new friends, don't get taken out of class, and learn to read
Preston's: be a better listener and make new friends (there are 3 little girls in his preschool group that he doesn't know very well and he currently thinks he can only be friends with boys)
I took a few pictures before everyone came in to eat but then completely forgot to get a picture of us during the meal. Oh well, I am just glad we still had our fancy little dinner even though at the time it seemed like just another thing to worry about. It gets more fun to do these special things as the kids get older and I can see that they really love it. Plus, we can actually have conversations while we eat dinner :-).
The rest of the evening was spent preparing for the next day. We took baths, Ella wanted curly hair, we did extra special nails, set out our outfits for the morning, prepared the backpacks and Mike gave them their father's blessings.
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In the morning everyone was up early and ready for the day! They each chose a favorite breakfast (Ella breakfast sandwich and Addie and Preston chocolate chip waffles w/peanut butter) and I made them the chocolate milk shake they love (carnation instant breakfast, milk, spinach and ice). Grammy came over to stay with Preston so the girls and I could head over to the school. We said a prayer when we got there and off we went. I was definitely more anxious than either of them. I have been so nervous about how Addie would handle kindergarten. We had gone over appropriate ways to act and react in a variety of situations but I still was scared. I wanted so desperately for it to go well. For her to love it, for her to be able to be in the two-way immersion program, for her to really thrive and come into her own. The school was crazy but Addie seemed calm despite the chaos and we went into her room where she happily sat down and started coloring. She did bump her hip on a table when we got up to move and sit by Grace and that caused some tears, but when I left her she was in her element drawing and just excited that she was finally one of the big kids going to real school. Addie brought her teacher a picture and after talking to some friends at church on Sunday, I brought her a little note introducing Addie. It is so hard to talk to the teachers those first days when so many parents are coming in and out and I loved the idea. I ran over to Ella's room (she is in the portables this year) and gave her a quick hug because school was starting by this point and then walked back by Addie's room on my way out. I left feeling better than I had the night before, but still nervous for them.
my cute girls: Ella, 3rd grade and Addie, kindergarten
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I was trying to save Ella some embarrassment by not taking her picture right in front of the school this time :-).
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I must have said a thousand prayers through out the day. For Ella to have the confidence to make new friends and not to feel left out, for Addie to make new friends and listen to her teachers, for them both to feel safe and comforted and have fun.
The day ended up flying by and before we knew it, Preston and I were headed over to the school to pick them up. There has been some big changes with the buses this year so we decided to have them be walkers for the first day and then decide what we want to do for the rest of the year after that. They both had a great first day! Addie declared kindergarten WAAAAY better than preschool and Ella seemed more positive about the year, although the strictness in only speaking Spanish still gets her stressed. I think we are going to be ok though...whew! When we got home Nana and Hope were there waiting with their traditional first day of school treat. Hooray for school!
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