The kids are back at school and enjoying it so far. The night before their first day they all packed their lunches so they'd be prepared. Annabelle packed half her lunch but she's not a sandwich fan so I warmed up some black beans for her in the morning and stuck them in a thermos. Now we have a fifth grader, a third grader and a first grader!
We went to Walmart to get our school supplies and I told them they could each pick out one new outfit if their outfit totaled around $10-15 each (Walmart is cheap, so I wasn't too worried). They even got their outfits to match; I knew the girls had planned for matching outfits but Charles just picked a shirt out he liked and it went well with the girls.
Annabelle did really well on her first full day of school. She enjoyed having two recesses, going to PE and eating lunch at school. Though when she got home she said she was starving so I think we'll need to pack her a bigger lunch!
I like this picture below: Charles is trying to stick out his chest and sit up very straight in order to document that he's taller than his older fifth grade sister :).
Jane and Nora miss them during the day but they're also learning to play together which is nice. And even though it's only been a couple of days since they started back to school, we're already seeing a noticeable difference in Nora's behavior which is great! When Nora naps I get to have some one-on-one school time with Jane which is nice too.
When I dropped them off at school the first day, I told them I brought my camera because I wanted to have a picture of them actually at the school, and they protested, not wanting to be embarrassed at school, that sort of thing, but I quickly and quietly said, "If you look at the camera and smile then I will only take one picture." So they did and we got a good one on the first shot!
I have been joking with friends that now that I only have two kids at home with me all day that I have so much freedom which makes it sound like having the children in school is wonderful! But in all honesty, I really miss having them home with me. I like being with them. I like not having to worry about what their school and peers might be teaching them about morality and right vs wrong and things of that nature. But that being said, I also know that we're here, on earth, to be tested. I know that we're here so that we can learn to choose the good from the bad and prove to ourselves where we stand and what kind of life we will live now and in the hereafter and that in order to do that, the kids need to live in and be a part of our community. And so Scott and I do our best to continue to teach them at home; when they ask questions we answer. We have family home evening lessons every week where we talk about values and principals and we talk about current issues and possible solutions. We pray each day and we teach them to pray. We read scriptures together and individually and we teach them to go to the scriptures and to the Lord in prayer for answers. He knows us best and loves us best so we hope to instill in them early on in life that He should be their guide. Being a parent gives me a small glimpse into what it must be like to be our Heavenly Father, sending our children out into the world to learn these valuable and critical lessons about life and agency, giving them their freedom and yet always being there when they turn to us for questions or help. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's important.
Below are a few pictures I found of our three oldest when they were a bit younger, about 5 years ago. I thought it'd be fun to post these along with their school-aged pictures above. Love these kiddos!!