Friday, September 15, 2017

Back To School 2017

I know I'm probably the last person you're hearing this from, but we're finally back to school! We actually started on the 5th, but I wanted to wait until Jake started preschool (he started Tuesday) so I could share all of our pictures together. It's been a great couple of weeks getting back into the swing of things!

Leading up to the first days of school, I put up some simple back to school decor (see my post from Tuesday!), and we tried to finish up our Summer with some fun outings. This summer felt like it disappeared on us - way, way too quickly!

On the morning of their first day, after we had breakfast, took first day pictures, and gathered their many-many things, we drove to school together.

(Ignore all the squinting, we had lighting problems!)

Lukas is in third grade this year (somehow? how? no idea) and is thrilled to get to use a Chromebook and learn cursive. He was lucky enough to be placed in a class with 3 of his most wonderful friends, plus a bunch of other friendly familiar faces.

Henry is in first grade, and while I was initially disappointed that we didn't get placed with Luke's first grade teacher, I am totally happy with his teacher this year. She is very similar to the teacher Luke had - wildly sweet, a mother of littles herself, patient and kind and all of the other lovely things you'd want in a teacher.

Three friends from his class last year are also in his class this year, and a friend he made all on his own by being friendly on the playground is in his class, too (which he is thrilled about!)

When we got to school, we dropped H off first. Though he seemed just a little overwhelmed with all the action and not being totally sure where things went or what he should be doing, he settled in pretty quickly. We snapped a picture, gave him one last kiss, and took off for Luke's new classroom.

Luke's room was pretty busy, too (as you can see!), and he had kind of a deer in the headlights look going on. His teacher greeted him warmly, though, and he was happy to be seated near a couple friends. We heard later that night at open house that usually on the first day of school, everyone is very quiet and no one talks to each other for the first hour. That was not the case with this class! Everyone is already so close that it was just a big post-summer reunion! I love that for them!!

I always like to give the boys a treat after making it through their first days. In the past, I'd take them to Starbucks (before we were gluten free), or we'd grab ice cream somewhere. I wanted to make them something a little extra-special that would still fit their diet, so I baked a batch of GF chocolate chip cookies, and turned them into ice cream sandwiches with big scoops of chocolate ice cream. They were a huuuuge hit (and ridiculously delicious!)

The first week of school was a good one - everyone adjusted really well, and though we were all very tired, our first four days gave us all a lot of hope that it will be a great year!

Jake had one more week of summer before his school started, and I am SO thankful for that! It's so much work getting the big boys ready with everything they need, and helping them back into the swing of things (they're still just little guys, really!), so having some time to get them settled was awesome. It made it so much easier to focus on Jake's first ever school experience!

His teachers sent him a picture of an apple tree and some apple stickers to use as a countdown. He'd add one every day, and the day the tree was complete was his first day. He was SO excited!

Matt met us at school so he could be there to send Jake off. He was pumped about getting to use his backpack for real this time, so he was alllll smiles on the way in!

He has such a goofy little smile, I can't get enough of him! :)

There was a 20-second moment of nervousness that morning (he'd just said, "I think I might be scared"), but there was no evidence of it at all once we were there. He'd had so much fun at open house the week before that he was excited to get back to playing with all the cool toys. I gave him a hug, we coaxed high fives out of him, and then he walked off with one of his teachers and never looked back! This boy was ready! (More than either of his brothers were, for sure!)

The school days were cut short this week to help these little ones get used to the idea, so I only had an hour and a half to burn. I had some stops to make, though, and I couldn't believe how quickly I got through them on my own! It felt surreal...being alone during the day!

When I picked him up, all these little ones were flying out of the classroom, flying into their moms' arms as quickly as possible. When it was Jake's turn, he just casually walked up to me and said, "Hey Mom," and that was it. Ha!

I asked him about it when we got to the van and he told me he loved everything, and that he wanted to do another three year old class tomorrow. Too funny.

To celebrate his first day ever, the two of us went to Panera for a treat. I asked him to show me what he thought of preschool so I could send his Dad a picture...guess he's a big fan! He was pretty excited about his Strawberry juice, too.

And now...we settle into this school year's normal.

Thankfully, the big boys have light homework loads so far. First grade's homework (and curriculum) is a little overwhelming since it covers A LOT of foundation, and it was a struggle with Luke. Henry is such a natural reader, and he doesn't have the same anxieties that Luke does, so it's been a breeze so far. I was fully prepared for Luke's workload to get a little crazy this year, too, but his daily homework is only math facts and reading. His teacher even told us they did away with book reports this year! AMEN!

Here's to an amazing school year! Hope all of your littles are doing just as well! xo

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