June 09, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation

I can say that I had a much harder time with the girls finishing Kindergarten than starting it. When they began way back in August I was so excited for them. They were ready for their next big adventure. The one thing I had to adjust to was having them away from me for an entire day but I managed and they flourished. As we found ourselves getting closer and closer to June I began struggling knowing that the girls' days in Kindergarten were coming to an end. One of the main reasons I was so sad is because I loved their teacher. When you think of a Kindergarten teacher they had exactly that. She had songs for everything, she had the most calm voice even when you knew inside she was not so 'cheery', she greeted the kids each day with a handshake and ended each day with a hug.

The natural light did not help our family picture but it is the only one I got the entire day.

This girl refuses to smile for me when I pull out my camera when she is in class.
Impossible to get 23 people to look in the same direction with all of us moms trying to capture the moment.

The kids were encouraged to do so many things by themselves. You know the things as parents that we know we should let our kids do but because of the mess we just do it ourselves or it is just so much faster if we, the parents, do it. In class they got to do all these things. They poured tea from real teapots with real china cups. They made pretzels and stone soup. They hatched chicks and raised salmon eggs into fish that could be released. They weeded the garden, made compost, planted seeds and kept them watered to then enjoy the fruits of their hard work.

The last week I just couldn't believe that our first year of primary school was done. I made sure I dragged all 7 kids into school each morning so I could watch the girls go into class a couple more times rather than using the much more convenient drive thru. I picked them up from their class at the completion of school because their is just nothing better than seeing two girls who get such a smile on their face when they see you waiting for them. I pray that as first graders they still come running with arms open wide because I am not ready to give that up yet. And I was so proud when we were picking out end of year gifts for their teachers that they were the ones who wanted to get the principal and the secretary (I have been trying to figure out what the right word to use is because secretary does not seem like the right word; maybe personal question answerer for new families would better suit her!) a gift too. My girls love their school. As soon as we get there I hardly have the door open and they are yelling 'hi' to someone. What always amazes me is this person could be a fellow kindergartner, a 5th grader, an 8th grader or even a teacher. It makes this mom proud to know her children learned the value of being friendly with anyone.

Packing school lunches I will not miss. I will not miss making sure I have uniforms washed. Being at the pool by 8 is much easier than being at school at the same time because all they need is teeth brushed, breakfast and a swim suit on. No socks. No hair done. No backpack. No items for share or letter of the day. No glasses. No lunches. We are all ready for a little less structure.

And in case I have made you think our summer vacation is rainbows and gums drops let me tell you first hand it is far from. Drew, the babies and I have had a routine for the last 9 months. Drew knows that after we drop the girls off at school he gets hot chocolate and I get coffee when we get home. We go for our walk and then the babies have quiet time. Drew watches the ipad while I get ready and then it is time to get the babies up so we can continue our day until school pickup. Our day is planned for the six of us. Now we are throwing in 2 more kids to our everyday routine and it takes us all time to adjust. We play hard in the summer which tends to give us cranky kids because they are tired. Take graduation day last Friday for example. The girls were so excited for their last day of school. They had a growing ceremony for all of the parents and then a party at an indoor play center. We all had a great time and then we came home. It got ugly super fast around here because the girls were coming down from the excitement they had been preparing for all week. The rest of the day did not get better. If you have ever read the book 'Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day' you know the kind of day we had. If you haven't read the book I am sure the title can give you a pretty good picture of what kind of fun we were having. This will unfortunately not be the only day like this. Thankfully the days do always come to an end and we can start again the next day.

Even though I can not believe my little girls are going to be 1st graders in just a couple of months I know they are ready for it. Last August they recognized most of the abc's but not all of them. They could write their first name but not their last. They could probably count to 30. Now they are reading and writing. They can spell their last name along with all members of their family. They understand that they live in a city and also a state. They can count by 5's and 10's. It simply amazes me how much they learned in 9 months. I don't think I have learned that much new stuff in the last 5 years.

Auntie who is 3 months along with her own little munchkin. She decided to just have one at a time. Not sure why?!? None the less we are soooo excited!!

We are going to enjoy summer and I know by August (maybe even mid-July!) I will be oh so ready to take that first day of school picture once again and a new routine will be made as I send two 1st graders and a preschooler off to school. There will be three days a week when I only have 4 kiddos at home and as funny as it sounds that is a break for this mom!

Natalie and Aubrey, mommy is so very proud of who you each are becoming. You are friendly. You put your best work into so many aspects of your day. You love your brothers and sisters. You have no fear of getting up in front of a whole church and singing. You can be seen more minutes of a day with a smile on your face than not. Mom and Dad love you but so do so many other people. I enjoyed watching you be kindergartners and I know next year I will enjoy seeing you as first graders just as much. As you continue to learn who you are please remember mom and dad will always love you, God is always with and your siblings will always be your brothers and sisters.

August 2013- First Day of Kindergarten
June 2014- Last Day of Kindergarten

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