Monday, August 26, 2013

first day of school

what we LOVE about this school year:

it is the only year all three of my girls will be at the same school on the same schedule!
(could this REALLY be Ellie's last year in elementary school????)
their teachers!
a wonderful school community!
(feel so lucky to be there!)
Ellie loves having the same teacher for homeroom, math and literacy!
Kate loves chasing boys!
Sophie loves staying all day!
(she was REALLY nervous about this before school started...but feels so grown up now!  two recesses!  woohoo!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

choose ye this day

Early in our marriage, Danny and I established a yearly theme.
a few of my favorites ~from the early years~ were:

"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." 
D&C 88:119

(I think we did this a few is my favorite word!)

One of my very favorites...which I would LOVE to do again was from Benjamin Franklin's "thirteen virtues."  We chose 12 and focused on a new one each month.  I think we tried this two years in a row. I need to find it again.

At this point in our family---the school year seems much more significant than the calendar year, we have decided for that last few years to launch a family theme before the start of school.  This year we have chosen~

We hope to focus as a family, I think I need it more than anyone, to live more purposefully.  We hope to plan more---recognizing that little every day choices add up to the people we become.  Everything that we choose to do...or not to do is a choice.

I love to be motivated by new goals and themes...but it is much harder for me to implement it and remember it all year long (which is obviously the idea!...right!?).  This year I decided to make a sign so that we can see it all year long!  I found chalkboard fabric at the craft store...bought some dowels to hang it.  I tried to free hand a design and didn't like it so I created it on photoshop, projected it on the wall and traced it.

To help this make sense to the girls we gave them each a gift.  I chose a book from our collection and wrote them a letter.  Each letter expressed how much we love them and what we hope they CHOOSE in this school year.

by Berry Smith

"If there was only one tree like that in the world, 
you would think it was beautiful...but because there are so many, 
you just can't see how beautiful it really is."

With so many opportunities we are is easy to see them as ordinary.  Remember that they are a gift and

by Eleanor H. Porter

"Just breathing isn't living."

In every situation we hope that you will see the good-
see the good in...
your family, teachers, friends
see the good in...
learning, challenges & even struggles

There can be goodness found in everything you experience in your life...

by Munro Leaf

"Manners can be fun"

Manners help you and those around you  to be happy.
We hope in this school year you 

respect for yourself, your family, your friends, your home.

(We LOVE this series of books.  This copy was the first one I found at a thrift store...since then I have purchased the recent release of these books at Amazon or Anthropolgie!)

 We ended the evening with their outfits laid out.  Kate and Sophie tried to go to bed with pink foam curlers in their hair (they found them in the bathroom when they were brushing their teeth) and special father priesthood blessings.  It is going to be a wonderful year!!!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

back to school bash

Cousins, aunts+uncles, and grandparents gathered to celebrate going back to school!  Inspired by this family---we decided to have a "cafeteria fear factor."  Although I can't imagine any of these items being served in a school cafeteria, my girls and I roamed the grocery store filling our cart with what we imagined the most difficult things to swallow---

dragon fruit and spiny melon
chicken+waffles potato chips
seaweed biscuits
shrimp chips
goats milk (unflavored)
pork rinds
chicken, rice + vegetable baby food
marinated mushrooms
green olives
smoked oysters
pickled okra
marinated spicy bean curd
marinated cactus
creamed corn
sardines (in water +louisanna hot sauce)

Grandma Sally, Cameron, Dede and Randy!!!!

 THE WINNERS!!!!!!!!!
(looks like it will be just kids next year!)

a back to school white elephant gift exchange!
loved this!

LOVE all of these kids even more!!!!!!!
I hope they have a FABULOUS school year!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

edge of sleep

"We can write down, and act upon, more of those accumulating resolutions for self improvement that we so often leave, unrecovered, at the edge of sleep."  -Neal A. Maxwell

There is so much that I want to do, learn, read, organize and experience.  Sunday I decided (for the 1,000,000 time) I was going to rise early this week (month....year) and begin my day.  I was motivated by books, goals and a desire for greater order in my life.  Yet, when my head hits the pillow at 12 or 1, instead of the 10 p.m. I had planned, I choose not to set the alarm.  Instead, I wake up with the sun...and my day begins.  I am studying the New Testament right now, and this message from Neal A. Maxwell was referenced (I love Citation Index from BYU).   So here it goes (the 1,000,001 time) I am setting my alarm tonight.