And although sometimes I think I'll never catch up or I'll never be able to upload all 471 of the pictures I've taken with my real camera (ok, it's probably more like 4 pictures; phones are the new DSLR's, right?) I am so thankful for this time with my kids when they are little like this. Mary Ella being in kindergarten has opened my eyes to the reality of one child being away every day and then coming home with homework every night. The carefree nights of endless play and go-to-bed-whenever and its-ok-you-havent-had-a-bath-since-Monday are few and far between with my oldest now, and she's only in kindergarten! I know it'll get even crazier so I'm just trying to enjoy these times while I can. That being said... an update:
Mary Ella is LOVING kindergarten. She loves it. Her teacher is Ms. Michelle and she loves our kids and loves to teach. Here are few pictures of the classroom:
Since this was her first year of "real school," I decided (at 11:38pm the night before) to decorate the table with a few things I had in the craft room. No, I did not plan this well in advance and go out and buy all the supplies needed. I am an admitted craft supplies/dollar aisle goodie hoarder and I really did have all this on hand. My craft supplies motto: If it's cute and it's $1 and it's something I think I might could use today or tomorrow or next year, I will buy it. The end.
I did buy her some pencils, a pencil bag and a card at the Walmarts.
I hope we can make this first-day-of-school breakfast a tradition around here. It was fun for her to see everything set up when she walked into the kitchen, and it just made the day that much more exciting and memorable for us both.
I printed off her previous Back-To-School photos on card stock and put them on my little yellow picture holders (which also came in a pack from Hobby Lobby long ago.)
Do you see those pencils below? If you have a child in school, go and get these pencils NOW! They probably don't allow them at school - I didn't ask because we keep them here at home - but they are SO great. My mom introduced them to me. They are PaperMate brand and can be found at Walmart; they're mechanical but they are fat and sort of have a triangular shape so they are easy to hold. And because they are fat, the lead is fatter too, so it doesn't break like a normal mechanical pencil would. I've loved them for her homework because the regular fat kindergarten pencils are almost too big for her hands and they don't sharpen up as well.
We made pancakes and bacon for breakfast and she ate it up.
But before you go and think I cook breakfast every morning, allow me to add a picture of day 2 of kindergarten:
Pop Tart and a chocolate milk in the car.
And to be honest, that is how we roll most mornings, because who wants to eat at 6:45am ? No one.
I'm glad if I can get half a granola bar in her!
We've actually just moved all the breakfast items to the fridge in our garage, so now we just grab and go. I deal with the crumbs later. :)
The first day of school also came with some new school shoes. Mary Ella has worn the same white Keds the last 2 years to school (Yes, 2 years. Crazy. But hey, if the shoe fits... right?) So this year I decided to get her some NEW ONES! As in, these shoes are not from consignment or a friend. Go ahead and faint. I never pay full price for shoes (with the exception for Keens for my son if I can't find them at the aforementioned places). I will say that I did go to Pam's Shoe Store in Rogersville which is cheaper than anywhere else. (If you ever drive through Rogersville, Pam's is worth the stop for shoes and they have a small selection of name brand children's clothing as well - smocked and other cute brands - for less than retail. Rogersville is between Athens and Florence.)
I was able to go read to her class one day too, which was fun.
And for all of you that are unaware of this, kindergarten is the new first grade.
Yep, we went straight into sight words and reading from the very beginning. Every day Mary Ella comes home with a new character backpack. (Yes, every day! Her teacher has tons of these!)
The backpack contains a book, a stuffed animal character, crayons, a pencil and a writing journal. We read the book, and then Mary Ella has to circle all the sight words she finds within the book. Then she has to write who the main characters are and her favorite part of the story as well as draw a picture. She's had fun doing this and finding out which character will get to come home with her each day.
One night (a few weeks into the school year) I asked her to write down all of the words she knew. She's done pretty well with her sight words so I thought I'd have an entire page of "the, of, for, at, this, that, they, etc" Turns out she's got better things to write than sight words. Including BINGO, BAR-B-Q, and my monogram. Girl's got her mama's photographic memory, that's for sure. We got a good laugh out of this.
A couple weeks ago we had our first field trip to the Children's Theater here in Birmingham to see "City Mouse, Country Mouse." The show was so cute and kept the kids attention so well.
I bought this frame at the thrift store and I love it. Perfect for my 3 back-to-school babies' pics.
My younger two have also enjoyed preschool and Mother's Day Out. Emma Kate didn't cry at all the first day, but now she kind of wimpers a bit but still just walks on in like she knows she has to stay but doesn't approve. :( It's pitiful but sweet at the same time.
Here's a picture of the two of them on the first day.
I love taking pictures of them walking in together.
This school bus is in the lobby and they always stop to play for a few minutes before heading down the hall.
They both have gotten a pretty good feel for their classrooms and could probably walk in by themselves.
Emma Kate is lucky to have her sweet friend Charlotte in class with her. So thankful these two can be friends like their mamas!
Emma Kate brought home her first piece of art a couple weeks ago: a red apple.
This is Ms. Celeste who is also a teacher at our school. She's a huge Bama fan and her birthday was last month so we made her a bama t-shirt! Here's the whole Roll Tide gang after school.
Most nights our kitchen table is strewn about with crayons and pencils and books, and Emma Kate wants to do her homework just like big sis.
We've had a great start to the school year, and I hope you have too!
I have more updates to come. Hopefully sooner than later. :)