Not your typical box of Cheerios

She’s a silly girl

Ok, so technically I did turn this photo upside down. But I couldn’t resist! Her little eyes and nose hide so well in the little “O’s”!

Pulled this one out from my 2008 drafts. Bekah was 6. Ah, the days of playing with a cereal box.

What a day!

It was the end of an era today and, therefore, the start of another.

After more than 15 years of spending all day every day at home caring for, educating, and leading my kiddos, today marked a considerable change. Today, all 3 of my kids went to school.

Jordan & Bekah ready to go climb on the bus together

Just one week ago Willie and I made the decision that it was time for Bekah to start at public school, and following a 5 day weekend, she started. She joins Jordan at Hazelwood where she’s in Mrs. Johnson’s 3rd grade class of 23 students. She was welcomed by teachers and classmates, and then the entire school. Jordan was previously scheduled to do morning announcements on the intercom and was also permitted to welcome new student Rebekah Bodger to Hazelwood. So cute.

The new student had just 2 questions: “What do I do if I have to go to the bathroom?” and “When’s lunch?”

After a little video taping (couldn’t resist!) in Bekah’s classroom and overseeing the transition, Bekah asked me ‘When are you going to go?’ I think “now” is the correct answer. I took the hint, and headed out the door.

And I didn’t even cry!

3 kids in school.

I waited all day for the phone’s caller i.d. to register “Edmonds School District”. It never happened!

Five and a half hours kid-free. Felt like Bekah was at a playdate or something. It doesn’t seem possible that it will occur day after day. No more arguments. No more battles of the will. No more trying to motivate Bekah to do her work with a good attitude. Strange.

And then the kicker.

Ashley came home at 2:12. She complained her belly hurt, took some medicine, did a couple other things, and as I re-opened the front door to take out some recycling she says “Oh, I was going to grab that!” What? The garbage? A bag of dirty cat litter? What?

She bolted past me and grabbed a pink vase from the porch table complete with red rose, greens, and a ribbon, and announced in a shocked sort of way, “I got asked out today!”

WHAT?!

I couldn’t do anything but laugh; and laugh; and laugh. Willie was upstairs and came down to see what the raucous was. And there was Ashley standing there holding her flower. She then pulled out the previously attached card which said, “Will you go out with me?” and was signed by a BOY! He’d drawn a little flower on it and everything. Apparently, he came over to her while she was eating lunch with her friends and placed the flower in front of her on the lunch table.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to burst my romantic bubble and discover that she wasn’t exactly excited about this boy. Bummer.

But still, sooooo romantic!

Ahhhh....

Not that she’d be allowed to date yet, anyway, but still…

Now she just has to deal with telling him ‘No thanks’. (I told her a note was fine and she could just blame it on us.)

Meanwhile, I am left to reel from these firsts: my youngest went to school and my oldest got asked out. All in the same day.

What a day.

Bekah heads to overnight camp for the 1st time – ever

Who had to fight tears? Yep, the mom who’s never had to send her baby away. Yep, I home school her, spend most moments with her, never parted to send her to kindergarten, and am now dealing with the tears of my youngest child growing enough to head to the 2nd – 5th grade, one night away, in Issaquah, camp experience. Wow. How time flies. Our pastor put it best the other day when he referred to time passing by saying “Trust me, I’m sending my preschooler to college in the fall!”

Getting checked in with Ms. Kim

Jordan and Bekah say good bye

Love, love, love

"Bye" some more

Sitting on the bus with friends brought smiles

Alderwood Community Church bus - hopefully it doesn't break down...

Carolina, Bekah, and Bella - roomies!

When Bekah returned she said she missed me lots, but others reported that she did just fine.

In the notebook she brought, I found the following:

“It was so fun. the chaple was lowd [loud] we sang the bannana song on and we sang a tatet atutetu the song was a holy god song and I loved it so much”

Don’t recall what the song was, but she sure loved it.

Next year ought to be easier…

(While Bekah was gone, the remaining family members watched Avatar. Liked it!)

Sleepover for Bekah

Following the Home schooling Easter party today Bekah was begging for Genna to come over for the night. Despite some illness this past week, I obliged. Apparently, the girls think they’re visiting the spa. Nails, bubble bath, lounging in jammies and watching Pippi Longstocking. Wow, the life of a kid is pretty good.

Two little swimsuit-clad girls enjoying their bubble bath with snacks behind them.

Meanwhile, Ashley is at a birthday party sleepover, which means Jordan – odd man out – is asking for a sleepover with Mom and Dad. He was hanging with Willie tonight when Jordan says “Dad, I like you… And you know, I like you two.” Willie and I. How sweet is that?

Locks of Love donation

Hoping to add more pictures later which were taken by the salon and should go up on their website in the next couple weeks.

Bekah and I hadn’t had our hair cut since early March of last year. No doubt, we were DUE for cuts! Having found that our original appointments on Friday conflicted with the home schooling Easter party, I called Tuesday to see if we could find another time. They were wide open – that day!

Neither Bekah nor I had any real clear idea of what we wanted to do with our hair and told our gals (simultaneous cuts at neighboring ‘stations’) we were open for suggestions. Bekah gave two ideas, either shoulder length or even it up with the growing out bangs – a difference of 2-3 inches. The ‘let’s try it at your shoulders and then see if we like it’ quickly turned to “What about donating to Locks of Love?” as Bekah’s stylist ooh’d and ahh’d over her amazing hair color. Bekah had the required 10″ to give if she went with the ‘evening up’ cut. Yeah, let’s do it! Then, my stylist started trying to figure out how much I wanted my length brought up. Before long, 10″ of my hair was marked off and the cutting of my donation began! Mother and daughter donations by a family who’d been touched personally by cancer. Powerful stuff. Was enough to drive Bekah’s stylist to make it her Facebook status (turns out she and I have mutual friends!).

Here are the drastic results:

Bekah's new look after having 10" cut off.

My new cut, blown as straight as it would go. The decreased weight really allowed the curl to come through. Now someone else gets to determine whether my hair is straight or curly. Hint: Don't add water if you like straight hair.

Bekah learns to sew

Frequently, Bekah’s tolerance level is low and learning new things quickly leads to frustrated outbursts. This evening, however, she is quickly learning to sew. We started this morning with sleeping bags for the American Girl dolls which she measured out and I sewed. Later in the afternoon, we moved to pillows (stuffing? who needs it! apparently the dolls like the sound of crinkly, plastic grocery bags in their pillows), and a little while later she was designing clothing!

How strange it is to sit and LISTEN to the sewing machine when it’s not under my control. “I’m doing so much better at this, Mama,” she tells me. We have raided the fabric bin that I’ve kept ever since Willie and I were first married. Old curtains, pajama fabrics, and so many scraps from dresses of days’ past. So many memories. Who’d have thought I’d be keeping them so my 8 year old could sew clothes for her dolls? Ah, so nostalgic…

Beginning to sew on her own for the first time.

She laid her dolls’ clothes out on a piece of paper, traced around them leaving some extra space for seam allowance, pinned the ‘pattern’ to the cloth, cut it out and stitched away. So far, she hasn’t even stitched a neck hole or leg hole closed! You can see in this picture that she did stitch the wrong sides together, but she was happy with trimming the seam allowances and calling it good. What a kid! 😉

Finished project, complete with art on the nightgown

Sisters

As the time for Ashley to head off for Winter Retreat grew nearer so did Bekah’s tears. Although Ashley has spent back to back nights at friends’ houses, there has been something unique about putting Sissy on a bus that puts Bekah on edge. We avoided a complete meltdown while at the church but by the time we drove away the tears were flowing.

Ashley & Bekah share some love before Ash boards the bus. They swapped stuffed animals for the weekend and Bekah has been given permission to sleep in her sister's room as well!

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