Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for all the kiddos.  They were all excited to finally get to start.  It is a new school this year.  Instead of sending them to Hendricks here where we live, we decided, in the best interest of our children, to send them to another school.  So most of the faces will be new for them.  There were some nerves going on but mostly it was excitement.

The BackPack Fairy came as usual and left the kids new clothes to wear for the first day and a treat for after school.

Here's my baby girl all ready for kindergarten!  I can't believe she is getting so big!
Zeke was so excited for first grade that I only had to tell him once to get up!  We'll see what tomorrow morning brings :)
Dillon is in 3rd grade this year.  He is really excited to get to play football and basketball!
Zane is in 4th grade this year.  He, too, is excited for football and basketball.  He was also excited to see some of his friends from baseball in his class!
Makenna was a little nervous to start 5th grade but she made some new friends and came home happy :)
Maddi is in 6th grade this year and seems to have a class full of really nice girls.  They all waited around last night at open house until we got there so they could meet her. 
Here they all are, oldest to youngest.  I can't believe how fast time has gone and how quickly they have grown.  It was so fun to listen to them chatter on and on about their first day!

I also reached a first today.  This is the first time I have ever dropped my kids off and not had some still with me on the way home!  It was kind of a strange feeling.  It's been a long time since I have had this much time alone.  I think I will be able to stay busy though!  Today I went on a walk with a friend, did laundry, went shopping by myself, baked cookies, cleaned some and went to cross country practice.  Time sure flies!  I am so thankful for the time I do get to spend with my kids but I am also thankful for the time we spend apart.  We get to grow and learn on our own and then come home and share with each other.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Picture Update

I finally downloaded pictures to my computer!  Now I get to post all the fun we have had this summer.

We started out with baseball in Green River.

We enjoyed a lot of time outdoors playing in the yard.  Olivia loved playing frisbee with who ever would play with her.

They  also loved playing in our big red ball

For the 4th of July we went to our friends' house, the Feslers, and spent the eveing with them. 

The kids loved the sparklers and fire works at the end!
Once in Hendricks we played more baseball and softball

The girls were in the talent show with some of their friends over the 4th of July weekend.  They did a dance/gymnastics routine and won!

The four oldest kids joined the Buffalo Ridge Youth Chorale.  They put on a performance after a week of practicing and will do another one in October sometime.

We bought a house at the end of July.  This is a view from the edge of our side yard.  It is a great yard with lots of shade and a fire pit.  The house is very nice too and we have really enjoyed our time in it so far.

The two older boys started football last week. They are so excited to get to play.  Dillon is #12.

Zane is #7

We have also been in parades, gone to the horse races and Mall of America.  We have ridden horses with friends, rendered lard, had sleepovers and lots of camp fires.  It has been a fun but busy summer.  School starts tomorrow and the kids are all excited to get back to school.  It will be a new school this year so they will be meeting new friends and teachers.  It is exciting to watch them grow and learn.  It will be my first year with all my kids in school so I will be growing and learning too - just in a different way :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thought for the Day

Today I was reading through some of the quotes I had pinned on pinterest (yes, I love pinterest and am addicted to it).  It is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.  It really struck home with the situation we are in now.  We are doing what we feel will be best for our family.  We are being questioned, talked about, and prodded for why's and how come's.  This is what it said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway."  How true is that?  As a family, we have made a choice that we feel is best for our family - now and for the future.  No amount of prodding, promising or questioning will change that.  We are being criticized and I'm sure we will continue to be for quite some time but that decision will not change.  We will protect our children and do all that we can to help them.  That is our job as parents.  I am a parent first, everything else follows.  If there are feelings that we have hurt, that was not the intent.  However, I will stand by my decision.  I will not try to explain or justify why we chose what we chose.  I will not ask for forgiveness nor will I apologize.   We have done what we feel in our hearts is best.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Being a Parent...

Sometimes it is really hard.  There are decisions that have to be made that are hard.  We are facing that right now.  We moved back to this wonderful community that we loved so much.  The families here are great and the community is such a great place to raise a family.  We bought a little house on the edge of town that we love and feel very blessed to have.  Our kids have gone to school here in the past and we loved it.  We have great friends here, our kids have great friends.  Yet, there are things that are missing.  We have needs that can not be met here so we have to go elsewhere to find what we need.  Our kids were so excited to get to go back to school with their friends.  They were already signing up for sports and getting geared up for the school year.  We had done our school shopping and we were ready to go.  Then I could ignore it no longer.  I thought maybe things would just go away or get better.  I didn't want to have to make a decision like this.  But I knew I had to.  I made the phone call to the neighboring school.  They were able to offer us the things that we needed.  There was no pushing or persuading - just informing.  After the conversation I knew what we needed to do.  I texted Michael to see if we could go out for a while that evening to talk about it without little ears listening in.  After I filled him in, he felt the same. 

We went home and broke the news to the kids that they would not be Hendricks Grizzlies.  They would be Deubrook Dolphins.  It broke my heart as I watched my oldest break down and sob.  She was so looking forward to a school year with her best friend.  I was so glad to see them back together again and able to pick up right where they left off.  Yet, I knew this was what was right for our family.  Michael knew it was what was best.  How could we do anything else? 

This morning we went and had a tour of the new school with the principal.  She is a wonderful person and a family friend.  She was very good with the kids and very understanding of the situation - her kids had gone through it too a few years earlier.  I left still feeling good about the decision yet still heart broken that it had to be made.  I called Hendricks and let them know of our situation and took the kids to Walmart to go school shopping again with their new supply list.

When I got home their was a message to call the principal about our decision.  I hesitated.  I am not good with confrontation or emotions.  He was very nice and understanding as I explained our situation.  My kids feel better after having visited the school but some are still quite upset.  It is a very touchy subject.  I know the coming days will be hard for them as their friends find out and question them.  It will be hard for me as my friends find out and question me!  This is the part of parenting that I so dislike.  We know it will be best in the long run but the present doesn't necessarily show that, especially in the eyes of a child.  It is hard for them to understand and to see that far into the future. 

While I was checking my emails this afternoon, I read one that brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my soul.  It said:  "Fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks ..., for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of the Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament--the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name's glory, saith the Lord."

I have been praying for my children, especially the needs of one.  I have been praying for the strength to do what I know is right.  It is hard to face some of our friends and let them know our decision.  I feel at times that it may seem like a betrayal to our friendship (school is a big issue here).  My stomach has been in knots as I have begun to make the phone calls and let people know.  I dread the response of some.  I hate that my kids may be subjected to pressure and comments that they don't need to be subjected to.  Yet, here in answer to prayers, was this scripture.  My prayers have been heard, all things will work together for our good.  It will be okay.

Being a parent is hard, but it is also rewarding and a huge blessing.  Decisions like this bring pain and sadness but strengthen us in the long run.  It allows us to trust and show faith.  It prepares us for future decisions and it enables us to see the blessings in our lives.