Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back to School

I have really looked forward to school this year.  I've anticipated having four children who are bused to school and Johnny starting preschool.  One thing I hadn't considered is I have children coming every 1.5 - 2 hours all day long!  Caleb's school starts at 7:30 AM and his bus comes at 6:40!! If you know how we like to sleep in you can see how this is a little scary for me.  Cara, Andy and Ali leave 1.5 hours later at 8:20.  Johnny's preschool is 1.5 hours later at 10.  Then I have a wapping 2 hours before kids start coming home.  Johnny is done with school at noon and Ali arrives home at 12:30.  Caleb comes home next at 2:30 and then Cara and Andy get home at 3:40.  That doesn't count all of the chasing in the evenings, but my time isn't going to be freed up as much as I've hoped.

Back to school night was a little crazy with four kids starting school!  There is always a ton of paper work for the mom so as soon as we got home I started going through papers, discarding many.  I handed Josh a stack of papers to throw in the garbage.  He glanced down and said, "that's Caleb's t-shirt design!!" Apparently Caleb had won the PTA t-shirt design contest, but he'd never been notified.  Needless to say we kept the paper and ordered some t-shirts!

Caleb is LOVING Spring Creek Middle School.  It is one of the best middle schools in Utah and I'm so happy he is going there.  He comes home happy and seems to be thriving.  He is doing well getting up in the mornings, and Josh and I have started an earlier routine as well.  It is serving us well.  His friend, Carter's, dad picked him up for the first day of school in his classic convertible.  That was a fun way to start the year!

Caleb has had some rookie moments.  Monday was the first time they had "power up" a special class they usually have to start the day.  He was having locker trouble so ended up at his first hour class late.  He didn't realize he was supposed to be in a different room at that time for power up.  At 5 PM Josh and I received a text that Caleb had missed one of his classes.  I must admit that I was concerned that we were only three days into middle school and he was already sloughing.  We had a good laugh.

Tuesday he had an even bigger rookie moment.  I'll write the story because I think it could make a funny children's book.  It reminds me a little of the "If you give a Moose a Muffin" books. It all started when he chose to ride his bike to school.  He was ready in time to ride the bus, and Josh was also willing to take him because he wanted to get some Oreo cookies for his science class moon project, but he decided to take the down hill bike ride to the school.  The plan was for us pick up his bike later in the evening.  I think he was also planning to go to his friends house, but that wasn't discussed. When he passed the school on his way to the grocery store he noticed that kids were arriving so he decided to go straight to school.  (Probably not wanting to repeat Monday's experience.) At the end of the day he called to beg me to go to his friends house.  After getting a "no" answer he went to find his bus (it was the 4th day of school but he hadn't rode the bus morning or evening yet).  He couldn't find the bus so he sprinted back into the school to ask the secretary and learned that his bus was in the shop so there was a different number, but the bus he needed had just left.  Luckily he had the cell phone on him and he called me.  He informed me that he had missed the bus and proceed to beg me, once again, to go to his friends house.  I felt he shouldn't be rewarded for missing the bus, and I knew his friend was busy. Ironically my car was at the shop getting detailed so I had no way to go and get him even if I wanted to.  Over the next three hours he called me 28 times!!  (About 12 of them I didn't answer because I was making RS visits. I had told him I was busy.) I never had to wonder where he was!!  A few of the times he called he was sobbing because he was sure he would physically die if he was forced to ride his bike home in the heat.  He was only 2.5 miles away, but the idea of riding up hill in the heat was almost more than he could bare.  He had some money burning a hole in his pocket so he went on a funny journey.  He started by going to his friends house and reading a book in front of the house for a while.  Finally he decided to disobey and knock on his friends door.  He was devastated that they were leaving.  The friends mom called me very concerned, but I assured her that Caleb as okay he was just learning a hard lesson about not missing the bus.  His next stop was Zeppes.  He bought TWO large desserts.  Next he headed to Walmart to shop for some action figures and pick up those cookies he intended to get before school.  Ironically he had forgotten that they no longer needed them. After shopping he decided maybe he could ride to my mom's house, but stopped and called me when he got to the elementary school because he couldn't make it any further.  At the school he went in to find the principle and enquire about a prize that was due to him for winning the school t-shirt contest.  By the time he made it to my mom's he had been on his journey for 2.5 hours.  She wasn't home either so he spent some time in her air conditioning while he waited for Josh to pick him up on his way home from work.  Hopefully he learned his lesson and won't be missing the bus any time soon, again!!

Cara has an amazing teacher once again, Mrs. Flukiger.  She is already adapting for Cara's dyslexia and trying to help her be successful in the classroom.  Cara has a gift at staying positive and persistence even though school is so difficult for her.  I am having our neighbor Jenna do homework with Cara again this year and that SAVES me!  I am grateful for all of the support we receive.

Andy has a very exciting year because he is starting the French dual emersion program.  Half of his classroom time is 100% french.  They say it will take about six weeks for them to understand what is being spoken, but they are learning through emersion.  By the time he is in four grade he should speak as well as a return missionary.  I'm so excited for this opportunity that has been presented to him, and will be offered to Ali and Johnny as well. 

Andy is a great little student.  He is motivated to get out and play with his friends so he comes home and gets his reading, homework, and piano done so he can disappear outside until dinner.  I am so grateful for his independence.

Ali is SO EXCITED to start kindergarden.  She has a fantastic teacher as well, Miss Sharp.  At orientation I was so happy Ali has her that I almost wanted to cry.  She is young and single, but mature and runs her classroom with love and respect.  The children would do anything for her.  Ali is going to have a great year!!

Johnny gets to start Joy School this year. We do have one major hang up - potty training!!  He is so STUBBORN!!  I put him in under ware May 1.  For eight weeks he pooped in his underwear all but two or three times when I caught him at the perfect moment.  During those eight weeks I tried EVERY trick in the book.  Of course there were celebrations and prizes for success as well as a bag of prizes waiting to be enjoyed.  There were also negative consequences including cold showers for the first six weeks and then spankings for the next two.  NONE of it worked so we went back to pull-ups in August.  The prize box is still waiting and we constantly talk about going in the toilet.  This week I started using the hose to spray him off outside when he poops in his pull-up.  The only thing that seems to be helping at all is his desire to go to school.  The first time he woke up and everyone was gone. I told him "you can go to school when you start pooping in the potty."  He promptly took of his pants and pooped in the toilet.  No coaching, no begging, no help.  He knows how to do it he is just choosing not to!  What a kid.  Good thing there is one week between the elementary kids starting and Johnny starting.  It will give us some time to hang the "do you want to go to school" question over his head.  He can't wait to get started!

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