Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day of School

First I want to apologize for neglecting my blog lately... life has been so busy these last few weeks of summer. I have been preparing the girls for school... opened up my daycare four full days with an assistant AND began working on an amazing project with an amazing teacher but it's been hard to pull it off in time... so everything else has been placed on the back burner. Until we get into the swing of things, I may not be doing my weekly challenges and posting as often but please check back because I will be making announcements soon on what we've been working on and posting blog updates when I can squeeze it in.

After much debate, worry and going back and forth.. we decided to give public school a try for this year. Everyone was REALLY excited and the first day of school was yesterday.

Dee has always been in public school and has done amazing. Her morning starts so super early though - the poor girl has to get up at 5 a.m. Luckily she is home early as well but often studying and field hockey take up most of her afternoon and evening time. She is a peer counselor which means that she is part of a group of kids who were selected to represent the school and help the new students starting the high school. I am so proud of her for all she does. (I wish she would let me post more photos of her... I promise it is not for lack of trying!)

Maia surprised me with her enthusiasm. She was the one I was most concerned about because last year she had been so shy and would often get very worried or cry at school. Well... THIS year she must have been ready. She was SO excited to go on the bus to her new school. I was so happy to see her excitement.

Keira has been in this school before two years back so she knew what to expect. She was able to see a few old friends on the bus ride there and this year the busing system was set up so the girls' buses were right behind each other in the morning. It was nice not having to wait for a second bus.
Brianna loves waiting with me to send the girls off to school. We also have a daycare child who has been coming early so we meet her on the front porch and the kids enjoy a good 20 minutes of free play outdoors in the morning. When possible, I try to get my own girls outside a little early in the morning because I know their outdoor time is limited on school days.

They decided to pick a flower from our garden for their new teachers.

Played a marching game and burned some energy...

And off they went!

Bittersweet. I'm so excited for them and hopeful for a wonderful year full of adventures and new friends. Sad because I do miss them so much while they are at school but it allows for me to focus on working and taking care of our home.

When they returned home, they were full of exciting stories to share. Luckily they didn't have homework - so again after a warm snack, we went outside for an hour to reconnect. The daycare children love it when the school bus arrives home and there is always a full house for my girls to play with when they get back.

I hope everyone else had a good start to the new school year.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camp Banquet

The girls finished up another awesome summer of camp at the Lake Club. Brianna started for a week but then missed home too much so she decided to stay home with Mommy one more summer instead. It was actually very funny... I said to her "mommy is just doing boring things at home, Bree" and she goes "I want to be boring with you, Mommy." So cute!

Maia on the other hand loved it this year... she really picked up her swimming and had a lot of fun at the beach and doing all of the activities.
She made some sweet friends and it seems like she became a lot more comfortable in her own body these last few weeks... We went on a field trip to the Dinosaur Museum and did so many crafts.
Keira has been a camp pro for a few years now. Her group this year only had one boy in it! What a lucky guy! We went to Lake Compounce on a field trip and made so many different types of friendship bracelets we lost track!

Each year at the end of camp they hold a banquet for the children... the kids go early and enjoy a formal event with dinner and dessert. Then family comes to watch the award ceremony. The counselors think up each award based on the child's personality, strengths and temperament.

This year, just like every year ... Keira received an award for extreme kindness and her talents in arts & crafts :)
And Maia *ALSO* received the Arts & Crafts award! It must be all of our waldorf crafting activities at home rubbing off on them :)~

At the end of the evening, the children bring the boat they made at camp down to the lake - add a candle - make a special wish and send it off into the night.

It's such a special way to symbolize the end of their summer journey in a positive way.

Off went so many fresh, beautiful, pure wishes... into the night...

It leaves me with a lot of hope and faith in our future generation.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maia's 6th Birthday!!

Our little Maia has turned six years old. Maia-Apple-Pie-A.... Our "pickle". When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she told me a "Barbie House"... Oh Boy. For those of you who know me... not EXACTLY my style to say the least. I was so lucky to come across this alternative dollhouse. It will fit all sorts of dolls (even the stray Barbie) and at least has a little class and is made out of wood. She really loves it.

It just so happens her top tooth got VERY loose on the same day as her party. You can see in the photos that it is hanging on by a thread and she won't let us touch it. :) I guess it will be there for awhile longer until she is ready to let it go.

To celebrate Maia's birthday we decided to have a pool party for her and also for her cousin Colin who is turning 3 years old. One of my daycare moms creates beautiful cakes on the side and she did this awesome pool party cake for the kids.

They loved it!

We had perfect weather and spent it with good friends and family. Dee invited her best friend over to hang out. I'm so happy she found someone special to connect with... the girls are so close and it just means so much that she has such sweet, kind friends in her life.

Maia wanted to make sure she got the piece with her girl on it... and Colin got the boy piece.


I was so busy running around I didn't feel like I really had a chance to sit and enjoy everyone. That's the one thing about hosting a big party - its so much fun but its hard to really enjoy all of the company while preparing, setting up and serving.

Grandma Nohe is my husband's grandmother and she is 98 years old!!! She's still sharp as a tack and going strong. It is just so amazing what a full, long and wonderful life she has had. She was born the same year as my grandma who passed away in 1995... I was so very close with her and I find myself connecting with Grandma Nohe just like she is my own. I wish she was here to see the birth of all of my children and spend time at my home celebrating their special days with us too.

We never have a family party without a pinata... its our little tradition and the kids really look forward to it.


and Keira...
Giving it all they've got.
Happy Birthday Sweet Maia!! We love you so very much.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

((Truthful Tuesday))

A little late in the day but here at last!

The truth I'm sharing today is how much I worry for my children. It consumes me. In particular, this plays out quite a bit in my decision making with their education. The fact that I am unable to offer them a Waldorf education outside of home saddens me. But, even more so, I am sad that they must go into the world and deal with so many of the same things I had to deal with... that I can't keep them safe all of the time.

My fears of how they will cope with peer pressure, potential social issues and decision-making as they go through school and life scares me. I've seen my amazing teenager work through it all... its hasn't been easy... she's excelled academically and her grades are phenomenal... she's made wonderful friends - and she has lost a friend which shattered us all to our core... she continues to navigate through this world and all that comes with it and it's hard. And all I can do is hope - pray - that she takes with her all that I've tried to teach... that she won't make the same mistakes that I did... that somehow she will be spared pain, heartache, difficult decisions and wrong turns.

But the truth is, I cannot protect her from all of those things. I cannot protect any of my children from life or the way our world is either. As a matter of fact, maybe my job must be to prepare them to be able to live in this world - hopefully change it - rather than protect them from it all.

This fear and desire to protect my children keeps me up at night. I toss and I turn and I analyze each choice I make and each potential path we can take to get us all out at the end...safely ...together. I stress out about the school they should attend... or if they should attend school at all. We've gone from public school to private and now likely back to public school and 'Waldorf Afterschooling' - all the while with me wondering what on earth is the best path to take.

This sickness of mine has consumed me.... if I was given only one thing that I could choose to do right during my time here on earth - I would choose to be a good mother - to give my girls all that they need to live a full, beautiful and long life. If I could spare them heartache, mistakes, pain and suffering - I would give anything. But, I can't. And it makes me sad... and afraid.

But, I want my daughters to see the beauty of life... the magic... the good. So, I must model the behavior myself. Because even if my children do not see my worry - I know they feel it.

So I have made myself a promise this week as school approaches. A promise to let go... to let God. Leaving fear behind us all. I am choosing to ride the waves with my girls... the ups, the downs and the in-betweens. We will turn back when we get it wrong and move forward when it feels right. And when we fall, I know we will all be there to help each other back up again.

And THAT is something to be very hopeful of.