Kindergarten Take-Home Buddies from Payson’s Teacher

Payson’s kindergarten teacher is AMAZING. I could not have asked for a better teacher for Payson. I knew exactly the type of person Payson needed for a teacher she is everything I hoped for.
Coming from Arizona where his teacher was a horrid first teacher for Payson, a huge weight was off my shoulders knowing he was being nurtured and guided in school. I seriously just can’t say enough what a relief and blessing it’s been having her. I need to do something to really let her know how much she means to us. I’ve told her a few times but I hope she knows how serious I am about what a huge blessing she’s been in Payson’s life!
Anyway, I can’t seem to talk about anything kindergarten related without going off about his awesome teacher first ! haha
She sends home these cute little stuffed animals often. Different animals each with their own book filled with pages for the students to fill out. Sometimes it’s a page with research on animals and sometimes the student needs to just talk about something they like or what they did for a holiday… stuff like that. It’s different each week.

This week the stuffed animals were penguins and the assignment was to research any animal you wanted and talk about how they live in the winter.
Payson chose elephants, of course, and we found out that they don’t live in cold climates at all.  photo 172ecropresized_zpsb661cf09.jpg

I adore Payson’s writing, spelling, and drawings. I adore everything Payson does. haha  photo 176eresized_zps0122ab93.jpg

The Book Fair

Overpriced. But it’s all for the experience, right?
I let each kid pick something out. I tell them under $5. I make an exception for *Sierra who gets a pack of 6 unicorn books for $19.99.
*Brooke gets new books more often than everyone else so that’s why Sierra got “more” this time 🙂  photo 016eresized_zps200ccb88.jpg

Sierra’s School Performance

Sierra had a school performance a week ago. She was told by her music teacher to dress silly.

My first reaction to these types of things (anything extra in life) is to panic. Where am I going to find extra time for this? I’m already too busy!!!

So here is Sierra on her performance day. I have video but it’s not good quality since we were in the VERY back and my zoom isn’t very good.

Before we left I took some quick pictures with my iPod in case things got crazy and I forgot to take more pictures at school.  photo IMG_2378e2resized_zps658c9724.jpg

She was in a really good mood, feeling awesome because she looked so silly!  photo IMG_2381eresized_zps08aee0a8.jpg

But I did remember to take some of her outside the school before going in 🙂  photo 119eresized_zps97d40197.jpg photo 121eresized_zps6270efb7.jpg photo 128eresized_zps6d0ba6e4.jpg

Watching from the back.  photo 133e2resized_zps7ec6340a.jpg

Up on stage after the performance.  photo 142eresized_zps8a976726.jpg

Family picture before going home!  photo 193eresized_zpsae67093c.jpg

Taking Pictures While On The Go!

How do I easily take so many pictures while out and about? The only trick I have is that I carry a huge diaper bag (or a huge purse when my babies get bigger) so that I can grab my camera to snap a picture and then toss it back in the bag when I’m done!

It helps if you have a child who loves having their photo taken 😉  photo 023eresized_zps45b0dbe5.jpg photo 026eresized_zpsb4baf998.jpg

I took a picture of my diaper bag to show how enormous it is. Ember sees me with my camera and comes sprinting over and striking poses.
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And then Payson is calling from the recliner, “Mom, take a picture of me! Take a picture of me!!”  photo 089eresized_zps1372eb16.jpg

And the only other pictures I took this week are below. I have been on a video recording kick lately so I have probably an hour of home video footage from this week but barely any photos!

Pajama day for Sierra’s class.
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Allan went to the lake with his brother to go ice fishing again this last Saturday. When he got home and was unloading the SUV the kids climbed in the back for a five foot drive into the garage, from the driveway. haha  photo 008eresized_zps39f838a6.jpg

Payson got to read the scripture in primary Sunday and was scared to death.
We stayed in the primary room with him to give him courage. Allan went up there when it was Payson’s turn and helped him read the scripture!
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Sierra was excited that we were in there.  photo 021eresized_zpsb86fc2ce.jpg

You can’t really understand him in this clip (you couldn’t even if you were there) but here it is anyway.

In the afternoon the kids looked at their scrapbooks.  photo 007eresized_zps154bda6d.jpg

All of Sunday afternoon was spent looking at scrapbooks and watching home movies. It takes a good two hours (sometimes more) to keep up with scrapbooking and burning DVDs of our home movies every single week. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much work to spend the very little free time I have on that but when we’re all sitting together in the family room laughing and remembering things together… I realize it’s one of the most important things I do.  photo 007eresized_zps154bda6d.jpg photo 013eresized_zpsfaa01e2b.jpg

That leads us to today! St. Patrick’s Day. I’m the type of mom who forgets the smaller holidays! We don’t own anything green so I put green eye shadow on the girls with green hair ties and drew a (crappy) clover on their cheeks and sent them off to school! Pretty much a fail in my opinion but the girls were happy!  photo 039eresized_zps8cc75fd0.jpg photo 044eresized_zpsa81cf722.jpg photo 033eresized_zps9a3b0745.jpg

Brooke and Sierra wanted to be photographed separately so I took pictures of the littler three once we got home from dropping them off at school. And you’ll see, Everett was really, really happy about it! 🙂  photo 098eresized_zps65fe9d5d.jpg photo 114eresized_zps43bf1604.jpg photo 135eresized_zps3db8d875.jpg

It was really hard for me to narrow down these pictures because Everett was smiling (or laughing) in all of them. Ack, sooo cute!!  photo 146eresized_zps7294c47d.jpg photo 155eresized_zps70e2a652.jpg photo 167eresized_zps9893d7a8.jpg

Valentine’s Celebrations!

My kids’ school had a lunch where parents could come and eat with their kids!
Because each of my three older kids has a different lunchtime it meant that I was at their school for two hours. That wasn’t my favorite (with a baby) but it was worth it because each one of the older kids felt so special! It was awesome sitting with them each separately and talking with them.
I bought them lunchables to make it extra special (we saw a lot of happy meals that day, which I think my kids would’ve preferred) and… that’s about it.  photo 330eeresized_zps6e28d4f2.jpg

Ember was super excited about being at the kids’ school. She always wants to stay at school when we drop the kids off. On the kids’ first day of school she cried when we went home. She said through her tears that day, “I want to see my class and meet my teacher!”  photo 332eresized_zps9e112dbe.jpg photo 337eresized_zpsa42415c5.jpg photo 339eresized_zps66347913.jpg
I didn’t take any pictures with Brooke because she is at that age where she feels embarrassed by photos when her friends are around!

Once home, Ember fell asleep. It’d been a super busy morning!  photo 347eresized_zps9e5d6c63.jpg

And Everett was just waking up from the nap he’d taken during lunchtime!  photo 361eresized_zps2a66fb86.jpg

Valentine’s Day is a good excuse for wearing red with pink.  photo 015eresized_zpsb97a8124.jpg photo 021eresized_zpsa2cc0b8b.jpg

I’ve heard really good things about the movie Frozen from everyone I know with kids so I finally took my kids to see it!  photo 026eresized_zpseeb58885.jpg photo 031eresized_zps4baa2d03.jpg

Lately everywhere I go people see me taking a picture of my kids and ask if I want to get in the picture and they’ll snap it for me. I always say yes and I always appreciate it. You’d think I’d be embarrassed but because I value these pictures so much I’m not at all!  photo 032eresized_zps3a4edf0b.jpg

The guy that took these was a dad and he snapped like 5 photos. Usually people take one and call it good. This guy took a couple, then squatted down, told Ember to smile, and took a few more! I was like, thanks for all the effort! lol  photo 033eresized_zpsd80a8081.jpg

My kids loved Frozen! They’ve been singing the songs ever since we left the theater. Payson cried so many times during the movie. He’s my most sensitive child and anytime something sad happened he’d be in tears and I’d have to comfort him. I told him a lot, “It’s okay honey, she’ll live, she’ll be fine…”  photo 036eresized_zps2fb97655.jpg

I’m going to throw these last two pictures in here… Payson and I made a bunch of gluten-free treats for him for his class party. And then, guys, when I got to the school and handed his teacher the bag of stuff (that’s what I’ve always done, in Arizona they don’t make any special treats for Payson and I had to provide regular treats for the rest of the class once a month! haha) his teacher here in Colorado told me that she’d had the parent volunteers making class treats to make everything gluten free! I stood there speechless. First of all… that’s just amazing. Second of all… I felt sorry for the other parents having to go through the trouble. But Payson, he’s never felt so included before so it was just amazing.  photo 317eresized_zpscc18ea27.jpg

Next class party I’ll just make one batch of treats to send in and that’s going to be awesome!  photo 319eresized_zps4f96e4c8.jpg

Payson’s First Day of School!

Payson was really excited to start his new school! He walked in the class and looked around and I could see the happiness in his eyes! His new class is pretty darn awesome!! His new teacher was super nice, too! I really like her from what I’ve seen so far!
So Payson was happy right up until the minute I told him to give me a hug and kiss. We’d spent a good ten minutes in his class with his teacher (we got to school early) and I thought he was feeling pretty comfortable. But when he realized I was leaving he broke down crying. I wasn’t expecting that reaction since he’d done so well at the other school but he was sobbing pretty hard and nothing would calm him down. I maybe told him a little white lie, more like stretching the truth, about me going to take Sierra to class (true) and him playing games and reading books (true) and me coming back after. Technically that was all true but you know, I kinda implied I would be right back and not back in 7 hours! I know Payson and once he’s into his school day he is just fine. And that’s the truth because after school he said he loved school so much and had the best day ever and he’s never said that about school yet! His new teacher and classroom really are super awesome! I’m glad he’s finally loving school!  photo 178eresized_zps616321a0.jpg photo 186eresized_zps02443b0c.jpg(You know what’s so sweet is his teacher realized she’d spelled his name wrong when she saw his name on his backpack and told him she’d fix it right away for him. She asked his favorite color and when he said red she said, “I’ll make you a new red bear with your name spelled right!” Such a sweet teacher!)

And then it was just me and the youngest two.  photo 196eresized_zps9a9642bc.jpg photo 201eresized_zps051741e0.jpg

Brooke and Sierra’s First Day of School!

They were nervous. Mostly Sierra.
I wisely had them start on a Monday so that Payson would start the next day and I could focus on the older two and not worry about Payson going to kindergarten just yet. Sierra really needs my full attention on her first day. Brooke is awesome and will walk to her class without fear (she does like me to walk her to class!) but Sierra gets fairly traumatized by it all.
It takes her a while to warm up to a new class/teacher. She cries for quite a while and it’s really heartbreakingly sad. I know she will love school once she’s stopped crying but seeing her devastation at my walking away brings me directly back to my childhood and the dozens of times that happened to me. I was as shy as Sierra and I know how she feels. It’s consuming, the fear and anxiety of a brand new school! Even though most teachers probably prefer I scattle out of the class right away I remember being a kid and how having my mom there for just an extra minute or two while I got seated and looked around would’ve given me immense comfort. So I stuck around for about five minutes! After I’d caused enough chaos in the class (sorry teacher!) but Sierra had calmed down and felt a bit more secure in her new surroundings, I left.
I happened to look back down the hall before turning the corner and Sierra had walked into the hall after me! She was crying and waving and blew me a kiss. It was so sweet and sad. Poor girl. I blew her a kiss and said, “I love you Seece, just give it a couple minutes. Remember, a couple minutes and all the scariness will be totally gone!” (we’d talked the day before about how starting a new school is scary but after like two minutes, five minutes tops, everything feels fine! She’d just experienced that two weeks before with the other school they’d gone to, so that really helped)  photo 003eresized_zps2e0d92ee.jpg photo 004eresized_zpsffa1b2be.jpg

Brooke was easy peasy when we went to her class. She was feeling apprehensive mostly because two new schools in two weeks! That was intense! But she went into her class and met all the other kids and didn’t look back. Her teacher was nice enough to say hi in the hall and ask Brooke a few questions with me there before taking her into class. Having that minute to adjust to the new teacher before meeting an entire class helped that little bit of nervousness settle down.  photo 007eresized_zpsfb91693e.jpg

And then there were three left! It’s amusing that I can take two kids to school and leave with three. The number of kids I have is crazy. lol  photo 019eresized_zps02b66326.jpg photo 020eresized_zps110578aa.jpg photo 022eresized_zps963d2c38.jpg photo 025eresized_zps313979ff.jpg

It was cold that day and like every single place we go, Ember cried until I agreed to carry her to the car. She wants to be held almost 100% of the time these days. It’s a relief in stores when she agrees to walk!  photo 041eresized_zpsea672088.jpg photo 045eresized_zpse653d247.jpg

We had a mellow day at home that day. The little kids played together and whenever Everett was happy I’d unpack. The little kids also spent some time admiring our snowy yard.  photo 063eresized_zps6cbc3b7f.jpg photo 067eresized_zpsc4c771ed.jpg photo 068eresized_zps6792e558.jpg

We went and played on the snow-covered deck for a few minutes before going and getting the older girls from school.  photo 079eresized_zps5b821b9c.jpg

How was school?  photo 104eresized_zps61b03cbe.jpg

I didn’t get a picture of Sierra because she was in the furthest back seat but she said it was the best day of her life and she liked her new school even better than the last one! Yay.

Daily Bits of a Temporary Life Routine

It’s funny the routine we have here. We have one and in a week it’ll all change completely. Where we live, where we shop, the route to school, the school, everything! So this three week period of our life will have been temporary.

Here are some very tiny, non-thrilling parts of our daily temporary-life routine:  photo 093eresized_zps5d782276.jpg

Mornings in the hotel are rough. Kids who get ready on time have to sit waiting for the siblings to finish getting ready before going downstairs to eat breakfast. Usually kids that finish getting ready get to start eating breakfast and kids who dawdle might miss breakfast. It works as a natural consequence and good motivator for the dawdling kids. But here in the hotel that threat is gone because we all head down to breakfast together. So, certain kids need me on their heels the entire morning.

And Everett thinks I should hold him aaaall morning even though I’ve been up since 4 or 5am holding/nursing/rocking him. Sometimes Brooklyn holds him in the mornings and once in a while he doesn’t cry the whole time. Those are good mornings. Those happen one out of ten times.
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Making sack lunches in a hotel won’t be missed. I’m looking forward to more kitchen space 🙂  photo 099eresized_zps20ae833b.jpg

Happy Payson at breakfast.  photo 109eresized_zps05fcfb24.jpg photo 121eresized_zpsd530fdbb.jpg

“Bye kids, have a good day at school. I love you!” *blow kiss* *blow kiss* *wave an extra time to Sierra who has teared up*  photo 148eresized_zps939e7fe9.jpg

Oh it’s snowing this morning!  photo 154eresized_zps5f8fa5f3.jpg photo 169eresized_zps48010cea.jpg photo 185eresized_zps3560f1b4.jpg

Driving into another town every day (the kids’ school is in the neighborhood we bought the house in) uses up a lot of gas. So I fill the tank up at Sam’s Club and watch the snow falling and think, how was I just living in the desert less than a month ago and now I’m in a snowy climate and it feels normal? Hmm.  photo 194eresized_zps22f4aa9f.jpg photo 195eresized_zpsaa23d212.jpg photo 197eresized_zps81d9f328.jpg photo 200e3resized_zps2cd127b3.jpg

Riding the elevator with the little girl who wants to be held all the time.  photo 207eresized_zps403d1c56.jpg

Organic peanut butter cups. Love those.  photo 214eresized_zpsbe7093c1.jpg

Puzzle time!
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Taking a quick trip to Sam’s Club to get the baby girl pizza for lunch. And then reading books together while brother napped. (Because there was a fire alarm test in the hotel for a long time and our eardrums were about to blow!) photo 011eresized_zpsca8695ae.jpg

Back home in the hotel Ember raids her big sisters’ toys while Everett cries and cries and cries.  photo 020eresized_zpsc23fe7ad.jpg

First Day of School! I Took ONE Picture!

The kids’ first day of school in their new school was freaking nuts! It did not go smoothly at all. I took one picture.  photo 090eresized_zps50d5293d.jpg
haha! It’s a LONG story, which is only ever going to make it to my personal journal because I’m way too lazy to type it out for other people to read. You know how in your journal you can ramble on and on and go back and forth in your story and it doesn’t have to read well? It’s just for you so you can write however you want… well, long stories lately are going in my journal because I don’t have time to think enough to type a story well.
I will say, there were lots of tears but by the end of the day the kids, all three, claimed it, “The best day of my life!”

Vsiting The Kids’ BRAND NEW SCHOOL!!!

A new school! The kids have been talking about this for so long! Sierra has shed many tears over this! We’ve had hours of conversations about it. I can relate to her because going to a new school terrified me each and every time when I was a kid. (And I have a freaking lot of experience with new schools as I went to about 15 when I was a child!!)

When we actually got to the school and walked in Brooklyn and Sierra felt intimidated because this new school is WAY bigger than their old school. Their old school was pretty small (smaller than any school I went to as a child) and their new one is giant! After walking around for thirty minutes looking at everything, though, they were EXCITED! Sierra told me, “I’m not nervous at all anymore! I’m excited!” Because she got to peek in at her class, see her teacher, and felt excited about how cool this new school is. The library and PE room look majorly fun, the music room is huge, there are STAIRS that she gets to use. lol. So much fun!  photo 004eresized_zps23432096.jpg photo 005eresized_zps7252f42a.jpg photo 012eresized_zps1c120de3.jpg photo 014eresized_zps0005a9ac.jpg
They start tomorrow. It’s going to be a glorious, glorious day with only two at home! lol!