Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Our Back to School Traditions

You'd think since I've gone through so many First Day of School's I might be kind of tired of them. Nope. It's such an exciting time of year. I don't know if it's the teacher heart in me, or just because I have such happy memories from my childhood of going back each fall, but to me, nothing beats brand new school supplies and shopping for shoes and first day outfits.

I feel like I need a second job to pay for it all since everyone has gotten so big, but still. I love it all.

Anyhoo. Here are our traditions. Some have changed a bit over the years, of course, as we all grow and change as well. And others we added along the way, and I find myself looking forward to them year after year now. I've also learned that it's okay when things change, which was kind of a hard lesson for me to learn. And it doesn't diminish the beauty of the older things, it just means that they are now wonderful memories. There may be some mourning on my part, yes, but it's okay, and we find new things that fit our needs and enjoy them. Truly enjoy them.

My husband takes the day off from work and we have an Us Day

We did not start doing this until Isabelle started school five years ago, when I suddenly found myself with an empty house for several hours each day. And since our anniversary is around this time, it became a great way for us to have a day to ourselves. We always seem to end up near water, ha. Our love language.

The two and a half years we homeschooled, this special day did not happen. I'm really looking forward to putting it into practice again!

We take one last summer trip to the beach or mountains the week or weekend before school starts back up

While I have my complaints about living here, on of the things that I try not to take for granted is the fact that we are within an hour's drive of both the mountains and the beach. We love it.

Homemade waffles for breakfast and reading the special verse of the year

Well, you know what? Sometimes it's pancakes or French Toast, and once or twice it was something straight out of the freezer and into the toaster. One year, when we were still stranded in Guatemala, I wasn't even home for the first day of school! That was a hard one. But mostly, it's my Mom's recipe for homemade waffles. :)

I have to admit that I have intended- and failed at- reading scripture and praying on the first day back. Most of our prayer time and reading happens in the evenings, and if I'm being totally honest, then it's still somewhat lame at best. It actually absolutely breaks my heart. The best intentions and the worst follow-through. I am not giving up, though!

Of course there are first day photos

I've got literally dozens and dozens of these photos, so these are the cute ones from when they were little. They make my heart so happy.

And of course, last year's were pretty special too...

 Look how tiny baby Levi was!!! Ugh, lump in my throat now.
And then later, I looked over and witnessed Caleb wishing her a wonderful first day. No prompting or anything from me, and it was just the sweetest moment.

Special Mommy and Me Day (when Isabelle was little)

I had waited so long for my little girl, and then for her adoption to be completed, so we had several years in a row where we had a special day just the two of us. Usually shopping (all those clearance sales!!!!) and a treat out, and I still remember each one of them. So special.

Chocolate chip cookies after school

This has changed a bit also. Somewhere along the line, Cookie Friday came into existence, and since our schools always start back on a Wednesday, this became their you-survived-the-first-three-days-back treat. 

And now this year, we've got this cute firecracker. Since he doesn't go with anyone but us, I have a feeling he'll be a third wheel come August 30th, but that's okay. I miss him too much when I'm not with him. Being blessed with a baby after facing so many devastating losses has completely changed my perspective.

Meal Plan & Scheduling

Many don't find this fun, but I love it. After loose schedules and throw-together dinners because there's no rush in the summer, I need to get it together once school (and sports) starts. I also plan out a few individual activities with each child and put them on the calendar just as I do our appointments. That's important to me.

Sharing with Erica and Shay for Workin' it Wednesday. I know I'm a day late to the party, and I have read some of the posts that are linked up. While they all have the same common theme- cute kids, duh- I love reading about everyone's fun and creative spin on things. Happy early weekend. :)

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