Goodbye Summer.

Today was the first day of school.  And as such, we say goodbye to Summer as we know it.   A blog does have it’s benefits when you get to this day.  Because you know that the first day of school will be filled with questions like, “So what did you do this summer?”

And you know that no matter what you did that summer, the most common response for kids is, “I dunno.”

I know this for a fact because when I asked my kids that was their answer.  Pictures quickly revived their memories.

One thing I like about the first day of school is how the day brings out their personalities.  One child’s normal confidence level dipped and they checked and double-checked and triple-checked that they had everything.

Another child wanted to wish school away and just go back to the summer and begged to play video games right up until the moment we had to leave so they could get their mind off the impending day.

And finally, one child jumped up the minute their eyes opened and shouted, fists pumping in the air, “I’m going to kick this first day’s behind!”  Then promptly ran to get ready with a smile on their face.

Ah, the first day of school.

How to Unintentionally Freak Out Your Neighbors (While Prepping for School)!

For the last week, the alarm has been set for nice and early.  The kids groan as I gently rub their backs and whisper, “Time to wake up.”  Then, five minutes later, I bounce on their mattress and say loudly, “Seriously! Time to Get Up!”  Their eyes flicker enough that I know they’re awake and then I kiss them soundly on the cheek, which always transforms to a Zerbert.  Their is no snooze on a Zerbert by mom.

This is our school routine.

Except … it’s not school yet!  The first day we got dressed, ate breakfast, and walked to the corner of our block and back.

The next day, we biked around the block.

Yesterday, we biked all the way to the kids’ school.  They’re starting to get the groove.

Then today, today, we freaked out the neighbors.  Today, the youngest practiced riding her bike to school while wearing a backpack (filled with school supplies).  This is her first year of riding a bike to school, and her first year of operating a bike lock by herself.  So we wanted to practice before being shoulder to shoulder with 200 other kids.

Have you ever noticed kids only have one speed on a bike?  Super sonic speed!

My kids don’t joyride.  They speed ride.  So early in the morning I follow lazily behind… half a block behind.  And I wasn’t prepared for the reactions my kids zooming to school (while wearing backpacks) would have on the neighborhood.

Double-takes galore!  Panic-striken looks on parents’ faces as they were backing out of their driveways to go to work.  As in, ‘Oh no! Today’s not the first day of school, is it?!?’

Most of the time, their panicked looks turned to pity, thinking my poor children got it wrong.  And since they didn’t see me lazily coming up behind them, the whole spectacle was quite amusing.

As the kids rode onto the school lot, I observed a young couple with their toddler child on the playground.  Their smiles faded as they saw my kids speed into the bike stands.  Anabelle, timing herself, whipped out her bike lock and feverishly worked at it.

The two young parents looked at each other wide-eyed and quickly turned their gaze to the pathways leading to the playground, as if 200 kids might suddenly swarm them.  And then they saw me ride up and congratulate my daughter on the great practice run, and they relaxed.

So, while I’m sort-of sorry that I freaked out the neighborhood, it was quite funny to observe!  And besides that, the kids and I both feel ready for next week.  Although we have a practice run to the middle school planned for tomorrow.  Hee hee! I can’t wait!

And if you want to freak out your neighborhood (and cause your husband to laugh every time he sees it), let your child plant a  sunflower seed and watch it grow higher than your roof line!

Unusual Memorization Tactics

I’ve written many times on our family’s journey of reading the Bible together in a year. And then, at the beginning of the summer I announced our intention of memorizing James together. And we started off really well.

Of course, the first four verses were super easy because hubby had, years ago, written a song that made it easy to memorize. And then after that… well, summer happened. And we haven’t been consistent at our memorization plan.

So this week I decided we needed to do something drastic to get us in the memorizing groove. You know, like boot camp. Except fun. And when I decide to do something drastic, while trying to be fun… well, the results are often INTERESTING:

This was inspired by people putting verses on their mirrors.  But that easily starts to go unnoticed, so…  toilet paper verses!  Except, as you can clearly see, everyone wanted to keep reading and toilet paper went too fast.

So I decided to get more practical and make the verses themed!  Themed verses could go so many places around the house!

Did you know there are like 25 verses about vomit?  Who knew?!

Except, judging by the reactions I don’t think the family members appreciated my tactics:

I’ll spare you the 8×10 pic of me with a speech bubble reciting the honor your father and mother verse. I thought it’d go really well attached to the inside of their backpacks.  ( ;

I can tell you this – the kids certainly remember these verses!  And, as a side bonus, hubby decided to take me out to dinner.  Apparently he thought I needed to get out more.  Don’t know how he arrived at that conclusion…

And while most of this post is pure silliness, I’d really like to know your methods and tactics on memorizing as a family.  Do share!



This month is Romance Awareness Month.  So, I thought I’d make you aware that today is our 17th wedding anniversary.  I think that is pretty romantic.

Also, on the theme of awareness – this is Admit You’re Happy Month.  It’s something we all want – to be happy.  And being happy, we’ve found, is a lot about your attitude and noticing all the things you have to be thankful for.

It’s something we’re focusing on before sending the kids off to school next week.  Smiling alone helps you feel happy.  But here’s another part of the awareness thing:

Sleep.  Because in my research (and observing myself and the children) I’ve found that if you’re exhausted the number one emotion you’ll feel is tired. And that will contaminate all the happiness.  Every annoyance will seem like a crisis.  So, this week — the week before school — we’re trying to get acclimated to the school schedule.  Which means waking up when it’s practically still dark.

And we’re tired.  And grumpy.  But it’ll all be worth it because next week, when school DOES start, we’ll smile and be happy.  Right?  Please tell me I’m right…ZZZzzzzzzz