the first day, a recap

Tuesday marked the first day back to school for BK, she’s moved up to the three-year-old class, and things look a little different this year. We learned at Open House that it would be a little more like school, learning letters and having calendar time, and even bringing home a behavior chart in her daily folder.

When I uploaded these pictures to the computer, I couldn’t believe how much she has grown over the summer. I feel like she must be a foot taller!

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Last night we worked on this fun little project. Each of her classmates did one too, and they’ll get to share them at school. She picked out the flower stickers and markers at Wal-Mart, but when it really came down to it, Allen and I were the ones finishing this project.

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My hope for this year is that she continues to be the social butterfly we know and love. That she makes new friends, and keeps old friends. That her heart is kind and understanding. That she shares and loves like we know she can. But, most importantly that learning remains fun for her, that her love for school and her excitement each morning never waver.

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And because you know I’m a fan of adorable toddler lunches, here’s look at what she took for the first day. That pencil is just a FlatOut foldover cut into the shape of a pencil, with cheddar and provolone melted on top (so that it would stay put), and pink marshmallows as the eraser. You can follow me on Instagram (@jenniferggreen) and check the hashtag #bkslunch to peek inside her lunch box.

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And the obligatory comparison picture, I can hardly believe how much she has grown in this short year.

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First Day of School

This is it! The first day of school and she looks pretty grown up:

firstdayofschool2I’ll be back with a full recap tonight.

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The progression of time is such a difficult concept for me to wrap my mind around. I don’t know if that’s because it’s one of those things that we have absolutely no control over, or because it moves at such an alarming rate. This past Monday marked the beginning of the school year, and I watched as parents left their children in my classroom with tear filled eyes. My heart ached a bit for them as I put myself in their place. In just two short years, I’ll be standing in their shoes, leaving my own bright eyed five-year-old in an unfamiliar classroom. I watched this week as the same group of children entered my classroom a little more confident each morning. As that same group of parents dwindled down, and on Friday each and every student walked down the long hall to my classroom, solo.

It was if I had blinked and those first-dayers had suddenly mastered a full week in kindergarten. It was such a strange feeling to me, as I glanced around the classroom Friday afternoon. Time moved, it continued on without hesitation.

Despite the tears.

Despite the reservations.

And I don’t have a kindergartener, but I know the feeling of willing time to stand still. I’ve known it for what seems like such a long time. This forward progression is at times overwhelming to me. I don’t mind the growing up, I love watching her grow, but sometimes I think of what I may be forgetting.

I think of how quickly this time is passing and I wonder how I’ll ever manage to get it just right.

Sometimes I think about how fast the past three years have gone by, and I can’t help but think about the next three, and the three after those.

And those are the times I feel overwhelmed in these simple, fleeting moments. In those times, I’ve learned to pray, it’s what gives my heart a little peace. When I’m overwhelmed I whisper the words that pull my heart in a million different directions, in a prayer that only the one who understands my heart can understand. Each and every question is always met with the same answer.

How will I have time to teach her how to handle life with grace?

Show her.

How will I make her understand the greatness of your love?

Show her. 

How will I ensure that she keeps a kind heart and this sweet spirit?

Show her. 

How will she know how to handle tough situations?

Show her. 

How will her precious heart stay humble and forgiving?

Show her.

And when I finish, I take a deep breath and the ground doesn’t feel quite as shaky.

There are times it feels like there are a million different things pulling me in a million different directions, and I worry so much that the moments are going to pass me by while I’m busy. The truth is, life is busy, Life is busy and beautiful, because we are living, we are soaking up the moments and enjoying the days, even when they aren’t perfect, they are still ours.

And over and over in my head, I hear those words, show her. 

When time seems to be stuck in fast forward.

When the days feel shorter, because they are busy.

When I’m not ready for another school year to begin.

Because I can’t change the fact that she’s growing up and time is continually marching forward at a rate that doesn’t always make me comfortable. But, I can try my best to ensure that she grows with grace and a heart full of love.

By showing her.

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swim lessons, a recap

BK had her first round of swim lessons this summer. I foresee this being an every summer event, until she decides otherwise. But, if the swim lessons in the future go as smoothly as these, I think we’ll be taking them for a while. I couldn’t believe the progress she made in a few short weeks. She went from being unsure when it came to putting her head under the water, to swimming by herself under water. She gained confidence, and her love for the water grew by leaps and bounds.

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I wasn’t prepared for the shock I would feel when I watched her tiny body swim without any support. My heart just about stopped, I held by breath, each and every time. I knew she was okay, and if she couldn’t swim or struggled in the least, her instructor was right there to give her support. Even by the last class, I never quite got used to that sight.

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She practiced floating on her back and jumping off the side. The learned the basics of stream line and even practiced diving off the side. And while I’m not letting her go swimming by herself anytime soon, she made huge strides. She likes to swim with her head under water, but when she runs out of breath, she panics a bit and starts to sink. She isn’t afraid to jump from the side of the pool or try to swim to us in the pool. I love her confidence in the water, and I hope her love for swimming only grows as her technique improves.

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Here’s a video I took at her last lesson.

And apparently, after one set of lessons, she feels confident in teaching others to swim. She was playing Miss Laylee (her swim instructor) at the pool last week. She kept making them do it over and over. She would even say funny things like, Make sure you keep your head under, I’m watching to see if you got it right. 

 

graduation Thursday

Today was a busy day! My day started off at school with kindergarten graduation. The kiddo’s did an amazing job sharing what they’ve learned about the 7 Habits (we’re a Leader In Me school and trying our best to implement the program into every facet of the school). I’m going to miss this group as they move on to first grade, we’ve had a fun year. I did pick up a cute new dress, that I’d love to have in every pattern they make. You can find the dress here and the shoes here.

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After our graduation was over, I headed to BK’s school to see her end of the year program. She and I should probably have a real talk about how to stand on stage and not pull up her dress the whole time. That comes with age, right? Right?

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At least she gave everyone a good laugh. Three is such a fun and unpredictable age, and when I say that I mean, she’ll always be having fun, we just don’t always know how she’ll be doing it. I was just incredibly thankful that I laid a pair of shorts out for her to wear under the dress.

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This year has flown by, but I’m positive we made a great choice by enrolling her for two days a week. She’s had a great time making new friends and really fallen in love with her teachers. She actually keeps telling us that this isn’t her last day. We have really seen her blossom over the past year and I adore that spunky little personality that always manages to find herself front and center. IMG_6983

Here’s a little look at how much she’s grown.

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We had Cheesecake Factory for lunch, it’s my favorite and I ordered my go-to dish, White Bean Chicken Chili. I have a half-piece of White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and Caramel Cheesecake waiting in my fridge, I didn’t want to indulge until after I went shopping for a new swim suit. It didn’t help, by the way. 
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I also bought my Mother’s Day gifts. Well, I asked for a little retail therapy for Mother’s Day, so I actually spent that money on a few things. Like Chaco’s for our upcoming Disney trip and a new swim suit. I have plenty of one-piece choices from over the years and I’m basically my pre-pregnancy size. The problem is, I need something that I can chase a toddler in and not worry about making adjustments or giving anyone more than they bargained for, I think this sea foam crochet one-piece is the perfect option. Also, it is super flattering, I couldn’t pass it up.

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I’ve had the best day with my sweet family, now I’m off to eat that cheesecake. :)