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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015-2016 School Year

     This year Ethan is in 4th grade, Gracie is in 2nd grade, and little Lexie Rae has started Kindergarten.  Since I have the older three in school,  Eli and I are going to enjoy our time together because it won't be too long before he starts going to school too.   

     First day started pretty early, but the kids were so excited that I doubt they noticed.  Second day is when they don't look as chipper.   Anyway, Ethan handled the first day like any dude.  Barely a hug goodbye, and his mindset is pretty clear that the sooner he gets this done, the sooner he can get home to Minecraft.  He always cracks a smile when I tell him that he better give me at least a high five or I will throw him to the ground and kiss him like he's going to college.  He eventually does what he's told to spare him any embarrassment. 
     Gracie, my sweet little independent girl.  She followed us into the school, but by the time I turned around, she was gone.  After settling Ethan and Lexie in, I found here sitting at her desk already coloring on a worksheet. Apparently she was too excited to start her day that she didn't have time for any measly goodbyes. 
     Lexie's drop off was a little more complicated.  She is starting this school year in a inclusion classroom which means there are typical children as well as children who have more needs than the average child.  While I was in the process of finding her aide and getting her situated, she opened the door to the classroom and a classmate bolted in search for his mother.  As I was trying to coax the runner back into the room, who is now screaming on the floor, Lexie walks up to a random woman who was holding a baby in her arms while kneeling down and saying goodbye to her own child.  Lexie hugs both mother and baby and then proceeded to kiss the baby on the head.  Since I was trying to correct her first mistake I could only apologize and drag her away after the fact, but thankfully the other mom didn't even seem phased by it.  I later realized that she is a mother to a special needs child as well.   Finally after finding her aide, I hand Lexie over and say, "Here's a quick pamphlet that I made to help you get to know her, please call me if you have any questions or concerns and good luck!"  I kissed her goodbye and in typical Lexie fashion, she kissed me back and ran away.  I stayed outside her classroom door for about 10 minutes just too be sure, but soon left to shed a few tears in the car.  It's hard leaving any child with people you barely know, but it is even more of a gut punch leaving a non-verbal child.  Lexie thrives on social interaction so I can always count on the fact that she's upbeat and enjoys meeting new people.  

    At the end of the school day, I was greeted with huge smiles and happy faces.  Pretty much the best way to find your littles after a heavy heart kind of day! 

Teachers' gifts one and two and our yearly chocolate pencil treats! 

Catrina and I enjoyed a celebratory back to school breakfast! 
Eli was our date.   
(Third time we're stationed with this fantastic friend and her family)

     My good friend, Jenna, sent me a pin about making an All About Me book for a non verbal child on the first day of school.  I naturally love anything from Pinterest (I know.. huge surprise), but this was right up my alley.  I was really starting to freak out about making sure they knew the real Lexie.  They have her IEP and her medical forms for any emergency type incidents, but there is so much more to Lexie than her delays and diagnoses.  I needed something that didn't go too much into those topics because 1) They already have their own forms & 2) I didn't want to lose the reader's attention due to length and too many details.   This was perfect.  It makes her approachable like any other child and it shows some insight of her personality.   Here's the pin if you're interested.  How to write your child's "owner's manual" for special education teachers. 

Friday, August 07, 2015

10,520 more bath pictures to go!

While looking through photo albums, I was shocked to see that Ethan and Gracie have 10,532 bath time pictures.  Yes, that is sort of an exaggeration, but I did realize I needed to up my game when it came to Lexie and Eli.   They're much harder to capture as water is being splashed constantly and they move super fast, but I was happy with the non blurry pics that I did get.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Kona, Hawaii

My parents invited us to Hawaii and seeing how this vacation would be the first vacation Eric and I got to take without our little ones, we were hesitant but intrigued.  Thankfully we are very lucky to have such great family members that flew in to help us.  I wasn't the least bit worried about our kiddos which was great because I got to enjoy Hawaii to the fullest.     

We don't mind if we do! 

My parents welcomed us to Hawaii the traditional Hawaiian way.  Leis! 

Old volcano lava tube 

This statue of King Kamehameha has a very interesting story to it.  It was actually made on the Big Island which is his birth island, but was shipped to Honolulu to be displayed there.  The boat actually ended up sinking and it wasn't found until many years later, so the Hawaiian people believe that he wasn't happy about leaving his birth island, so they returned him and this is where he has stood since then.   I totally geek out over stuff like this.    

Polulu Lookout

Yeah, I'm probably the worst hiker.  This was taken on one of my many breaks. 

Akaka Falls

This was taken on the way to Champagne pond.  
I wish you could've seen this in real life. 
It was that gorgeous and electrifying. 

Snorkeling by the Captain Cook Monument