Sunday, August 19, 2007

School has Started

First Day of School

Well, we're back into packing lunches and doing chore charts and running carpools and getting out the door on time in the mornings - and it's good. Ashton and Isaac have had three days of school and it looks like its going to be a great year! Both kids have great teachers. Isaac has Ashton's teachers from last year (Ms Cahill for English and Ms Bosworth for Spanish) and he's really liking them so far - they're wonderful ladies with lots of experience. Ashton is excited to have a boy teacher for the first time (Mr. Garcia for Spanish) and has a very nice English teacher (Ms. Hammond). Everything's so much better this year - the kinks in the bilingual program seem to have been largely worked out as they launch into year II and so far the new parent participation program I've been working on seems to be off to a good start - it's been very gratifying for me to see a lot of parents in the classrooms right off the bat.

Here's what Ashton likes about school so far: "seeing my friends again"
And Isaac: "staying on green" (If you're not good in class, you get off green and onto yellow, then red, then they call home. Last year, Ike got on yellow a lot - especially at the beginning of the school year - so he's been SO excited to tell me every day that he stayed on green!)

Eliza's SO excited to start at her new preschool on Tuesday - she'll be going with her best friend Olivia and most of the other Sunbeams at church to this cute new preschool in a lady's house near here - plus she'll be doing one day a week of Joy School with the same group as last year - it was such a fun, cute group that we decided to keep it going. Liza's been such a great helper with the twins while the big boys are at school, "reading" them books that she's memorized, helping them play fun games. It's remarkable how much easier things have seemed with the boys in school - two less kids to feed lunch to, two less kids to be contributing to the bickering - and Eliza's delighting in being the big kid for much of the day. We all miss the boys though and the twins have been especially excited to see them when they get home from school.

And I've started a little playgroup of moms from the ward so the twins will have something fun to look forward to each week. These little guys get SO excited to go to church or do anything involving going out and being around other people - poor guys, they really don't get out much. They are talking a ton and it's so cute to hear them saying everything from "OK mommy" to "Aston, Izik, Whyza, time for dinner!" They still LOVE Bob the Builder and they use phrases from the show as they push their cars and trucks around - "come on team, let's go!" They've learned to climb up the shelves in the pantry and help themselves to random food when they're hungry - when the pantry door's closed, there's a good chance they're in there munching away on something, sitting in a mess of crumbs and wrappers. But for the most part, they aren't so much the "masters of disasters" anymore - they're full of cute comments and sweet hugs and kisses and it's more and more fun to tell them stories and play games with them as they understand more and more. My favorite thing is seeing them pat, kiss and hug each other when someone is hurt or sad.

Our Dixie Downs Boys

So my big training for all the teachers that I was so stressed out about a while back ended up going really well. I spent 3 hours discussing and doing activities with all the teachers at Dixie Downs to get them all trained on how to effectively involve parents. They seemed very receptive and the principal told them on no uncertain terms that Dixie Downs is now a parent participation school and although it might be hard for them to really involve parents if they're not used to it, they'd better get used to it! I've got a staff person at the school who will be tracking all the volunteer hours and I was totally blessed to find two ladies (one for K-2 and one for 3-5 grades) to help recruit and train volunteers so that I can focus more on the big picture). After working so hard on the training, I was really worried about how to move this whole thing forward - wanted to keep the momentum going but couldn't do all the legwork on my own. So these two great ladies fell into my lap and I see once again how the Lord always provides a way to make good things happen! Monday night is Back to School Night when all the teachers are supposed to really do some serious parent recruiting and training so we'll see how that works. But there's a great energy at Dixie Downs this year and it's been so nice to see things really coming together and some people really catching the vision of what Dixie Downs can be.

While juggling the start up of the parent program at school and trying to get the kids ready for school and doing end of the summer swim parties and school shopping and all that, I somehow ended up signing on to be the designer on a $2 million spec house that some friends are building. It's been really fun helping with floor plans, meeting with the architect and thinking about the exciting possibilities on this house - even in the midst of so many other things going on. I've realized that design is a really good creative outlet for me. This should be a nice project where I can just give suggestions and ideas but I don't have to make final decisions or stress about subcontractors or anything like that. The house is in the development right next door so it'll be convenient and I'll get paid enough to cover babysitting and a cleaning lady and then some so this will provide me with a much-needed get-away here and there as well as a chance to work on a house from the ground up and really help make it gorgeous.

Jared went up to Provo this week to check out a new devise he and one of his partners are working on that will cool the truck cabs at night without the expense of keeping the trucks running to keep the A/C on. It's been fun for Jared to use some of his engineering knowledge to help design this thing and after they try it out on their own trucks, they can market it to other trucking companies. Never a dull moment in Jared's career... MG Trucklines is going well with all the new trucks bringing down the price of gas - but there's always a break down or a new driver needed to keep everyone on their toes!

The biggest news, other than school starting, according to the kids, is that Ashton's front tooth that has been loose forever finally fell out today in church. Yeah! He had this "Nanny McPhee" look going for a while with that wiggly tooth. And now he's got a brand new smile.

1 comment:

shawni said...

fun times, Sar. I'm so glad the school year's started out great. I sure love you.

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