Saturday, September 1, 2012

First things first!

I am so unbelievably behind on posts.

But so many very monumental events have passed that I don't want to forget anything that went on or how I was feeling.

So first I'm going to catch up on a few things that happened more recently and then (whenever I finally get to it) catch up on things like Fourth of July, Family Camp, Brooklyn's 2nd birthday, and other fun things from our summer!

And speaking of FIRST my baby girl has started FIRST grade!!  What?!?!  I'm also starting this because it is way less daunting than going through the hundreds of pictures that I have from camp and Brooklyn's party!

First grade is the grade I taught back in my teaching years and it is just mind blowing to me that I have my own first grader.

As the summer was drawing to an end I found my heart just getting heavy.  I am sending my baby girl off into the arms of strangers for more amount of time than she is with me.  This was WAY tougher than kindergarten.

Although I feel like God really called for us to put our children in a public school, it still brings such fear in to my heart.  I taught and am product of the public school system and came out just fine (I hope).    And although my control freak nature is racked with fear, we truly believe it is an awesome opportunity  for us and our children to be lights unto their school and the new families we meet.    So I just hand her off into the hands of the Lord every day and pray a blanket of protection over her and pray that she makes an impact on the people who lives she crosses during her day!

Something that was very important to me was making sure to fill her with the word of God and just help educate and arm her for situations and hardships she may encounter.  Since she's still young I felt like this was probably best done through prayer right now.  So I've started a little tradition.  I pick a new verse every week that the hubs reads with her (since he is wonderful enough to get up with her in the morning) and then he prays with her.  Here was her first week's verse:
I am also trying to make an effort to really talk with her as we walk home from the bus and check in with her on how her days are going.

Her big event for the week was buying milk for the first time and of course she was thrilled to get chocolate. :)  And after she felt confident enough she decided to go for hot lunch later in the week.

*side note: her hot lunch meal that she chose to get came with a salad, that she believed did not come with dressing. So I told her she could bring our small bottle of spray ranch dressing.  She was so worried they would not let her bring her lunch box (containing the dressing from home) because she was getting hot lunch.  I assured her they would not mind if she brought it, but she still insisted I contact her teacher to make sure it was ok.  So I did, and of course it was fine, and it turned out they did have dressing to offer after all.  I just love my little rule follower!*

Anyway, sending Bella off to first grade was bittersweet for me.  She loves school and just loves learning new things to show us.  But on the other hand its very scary to send your baby away all day.  Although the Lord definitely calmed my fears by answering 2 very big prayers for me.  At the end of last year Bella's school gives you the chance to make requests for the following year.  They ask that you don't use specific teacher's names but to share if there is a certain personality that would be a good fit for your child.  So first and most importantly we requested that Bella be with her friend Kaitlyn.  They've been together since their first year in preschool.  And just knowing that Bella had a close Christian friend with her every day was so reassuring.  With Kindergarten there were only 2 classes so we were thrilled when Kaitlyn and Bella ended up together.  So this year, with 4 classes, we were much more nervous.  We both requested one another and just prayed and prayed.  We were all OVER joyed when we got the news they were in class together (and even at the same table group this year)!!  We were also SO thankful when we heard we got one of the best (although I was told we couldn't go wrong with any of the 1st grade teachers) and most loving first grade teachers.  Kaitlyn and Bella are both sweet, sensitive, rule followers and their teacher couldn't be more perfect for them!

Going in knowing Bella had been blessed with an awesome teacher and was with her closest school friend made this transition SO much easier.  Right before school started the hub's parents had been in town and they and the hubs (on a business trip) left the day before her first day.  On top of that I was also planning and preparing for Brooklyn's birthday party the next day.  So I was so busy and preoccupied it was a blessing it distracted me from thinking too much about the sadness of how fast Bella is growing up.

Even still fear, worry, and sadness will creep up but the Lord has been faithful at calming those feelings and lifting her up in prayer every day has been so much more proactive and calming than constantly allowing my emotions to consume me.  He is going to do amazing things through this sweet precious blondie and I need to trust and look forward to that!

Bella tells me her favorite things about school so far are:  Being with Kaitlyn, getting chocolate milk, having music and art class for the first time, and making new friends!

And now for pics!
(unfortunately unedited (except phone pics) because I'm anxious to get caught up!)

Everything we need for the first day:
backpack/lunch, first day sign, an apple gift for teacher, framed picture (teacher asked for), and my camera of course!

 Cutest first grader EVER!

 (I got her adorable outfit at My Bella Bums on FB)

 Sisters even got up to see their big sister off!

 I quickly zoomed to school and beat her there. :)
 Found her class!
 One of her besties at school!
 Is it me or is she the tiniest first grader ever?
 Caught the eye of her kindergarten teacher!
 Waiting for sissy's bus!
 Had a great first day!

Here she is on her second day, but first FULL day of school.  One sissy (the birthday girl) was up to see her off. :)

Sadly Bella came home from her first full day and that night was throwing up (it had been going though our family but hadn't gotten Bella or the hubs yet, but finally got them :( ).  So she had to stay home that Friday and miss her second full day.  Also randomly this last Thursday night, just once and was fine the next day, she threw up again so I kept her home just in case.  SO not sure what that was about but apparently she's allergic to Fridays.  We'll make it through a full week of school soon I hope! :)

Thanks for putting up with the world's longest post!

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    I used to be an elementary teacher but am now a stay-at-home mommy with three sweet baby girls. Bella is 6, Brynn is 4, and Brooklyn is 1. We also have a sweet Golden Retriever named Beckham. I have been married to the love of my life, Vincent, for almost 12 years. Although I hate the cold I am a Chicago girl through and through. And thats about all I've got!

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