life changing day

my oldest started kindergarten on monday and it is hitting me in so many different ways. i actually did not shed a single tear, although i fought it hard and many welled up despite that. she couldn’t have been more excited, no nervousness or apprehension.

so, i realized that this day was the mark of a new era not only for grace, but for me and my family. no longer are the days when we can skip school if we really don’t feel like going, showing up late wasn’t a big deal, leaving for a trip whenever we want, letting the kids stay up late, never living by much of a schedule. now we have to rush in the morning, have things prepared the night before, always look at the schedule and calendar. these are HUGE changes! they don’t seem to be too big of a deal, but now i realize that this is never going to change, at least not for another 18 years or so. i stepped out of a life of relative laziness and relaxation (as far as a schedule goes), and now i have to live by my calendar.

to ease the pain on my part a bit, one of my very best friends is gracie’s teacher. it couldn’t be a better fit!
here’s gracie with her best friend, first day of kindergarten 2008

and here they are on their first day of preschool, 2006. so cute!

and of course i had to do a little something to her old backpack. it was in perfect shape, so there was no sense in buying a new one just to have a new one, so i thought i’d change up the old one a bit. i tied strips of scrap fabric to the handle (for “flair”, as my husband calls it), and tacked down some scrappy petals to the pocket. a little better.

we also started homeschool on tuesday. remember, we go to a school where they meet in class on mondays and wednesdays, but homeschool the other days. it did not go as i had hoped, but i’m not too disappointed because i know i need to leave room for lots of failure and learning (on my part, too). i found it is really hard to try to give gracie all my attention while also “doing school” with my 2 1/2 year old, and trying to entertain a 1 year old. he was definitely my biggest struggle. i really need to figure out how to work better around his naps, and schedule the things gracie really needs my attention on at nap times. lily is also so into this whole process, which is great and fun, but more of my attention really needs to be on gracie, so i just need to find a balance. my first day i was a bit discouraged, but not terribly, then we went to school on wednesday and i hear from all the other moms how great their homeschooling day was, how quickly they finished, and how much fun it was. uh…. yeah… me too. i’ll get there, just slower than the rest. i just need to be ok with that.

i also am having to find a balance between working and teaching and momming and sleeping. definitely not doing enough of the sleeping. i’m staying up waaaay too late sewing or cutting or gluing (or a myriad of other things i do not need to be doing), only to be woken up right after i lay down by a poor baby who is teething terribly. but he only has a few more teeth to go. yay!

we’re up at my parents’ house again for the rest of the week and weekend with a bunch of family and friends (i think we’ll max out at 26 of us!), so i hope to come back with some great pictures for you.

also, i’ve been updating the pleated poppy like crazy, and plan to add more over the next day or so. and my in-laws are going to be slave labor for me this weekend, too! he he! more to come…



  1. 1
    Jacquelyn says:

    just a suggestion, I don’t know what breakfast is like at your house but all the kids loved it when I read the FIAR story over breakfast, gave the younger ones crayons and sat around the table to complete whatever went along with the story. It was the kid’s best time and Eliot really picked up on a lot. I always saved more challenging subjects for when the younger ones napped and I felt like everyone did a better job than I did last year until I sat down and talked to them about my own insecurities and heard some of theirs. There is a learning curve here for both of you so – no worries!

  2. 2
    Penny Malley says:

    Lindsey, thank you for your honesty. I have a feeling that more moms than you know struggled this week. (I know I did!)It’ll come together and be wonderful.Eventually. I smiled as I read how you’ll have to live by your calendar. That is very true, but racing around 2 mornings a week is soooo much better than racing around all 5, right? And you’ll always know what’s going on Gracie’s class, and your whole family will benefit from what you’re doing with Gracie.3 more words for you-
    “You go, Girl!”

  3. 3
    Brianna Heldt says:

    so exciting lindsey! gracie looks SO adorable, loved the pic of her and sean! what a big girl!

    i keep thinking how this is our last year schedule-free. crazy! i’m trying to cherish it.

    you’re such a great mom to your kids, and i know the homeschooling will be no different!!! i hope you continue posting about it from time to time. i remain somewhat undecided about next year, and it’s great to see how moms do it.

  4. 4
    Lisa Leonard says:

    well i guess there are summers to look forward to, but i agree, i will miss these pre-school days!! love gracie’s backpack.

  5. 5

    Dear Lindsey,

    Your honesty is so refreshing. My heart goes out to you as you talk about changes and timing and to-do lists AND juggling younger sibling needs. That’s a biggie.

    I taught 2nd grade for 4 1/2 years and never felt like I got it all done! Twice I came close…those were good times. Lesson plans became a two week framework, so to speak.

    Thing is, there’s our goals on paper, and our students in real life. They are oblivious to our written goals, could care less, and some days it seems like they do their best to actually SABOTAGE us! I’m kidding. But they are on their own agenda with their own priorites, that’s for sure.

    Enjoy this time of being so central to your children’s lives, and give yourself a pat on the back and a girls’ night out for taking on such worthy endeavors.

    You will accomplish so much more than the education of your children. You have the opportunity to shape so many more of their values this way, as well as staying close with them. Priceless.

    P.S. I add flair to my girls’ backpacks too. It’s just more fun to have it personalized!

    P.S.S. Jacquelyn’s idea sounds like a real lifesaver!

  6. 6

    i personally was very surprised at how the homeschooling went for us this week, but i totally am anticipating it will get harder. i think the work load is due to increase, the novelty will wear off for eli and esther will just get busier! i love to hear other seasoned homeschool moms refer to the hard homeschool days because it reminds that there will be the days where stuff just doesn’t get done the way i’d like (uh, wait that sounds like life!). you are an amazing person and mother, so i know that this is going to be a great journey for you and your family. plus, you’re super creative, so i know we’re going to sign up for art classes at your house! :) and you’re going to be a great classroom liason! just kidding. i’ll stop kidding you about that. i hear you about the schedule. that’s why i was yelling so much this week! have fun at the lake and use that slave labor! the journal covers are really cute.

  7. 7
    Penny Malley says:

    Art classes at Lindsey’s house?? Yay!

  8. 8
    Stephanie says:

    She looked DARLING on her first day. Too cute!

    I’m sure you’ll get into a groove with the homeschooling. I don’t know how you do it! More power to you :) Can you try doing it during nap time?

  9. 9
    Midnight Oil says:

    I have found one of the keys to homeschooling is to get everyone (mommy too) dressed and hair done before attempting school. PJ’s seem to indicate to kids the breakdown of social order. Also, the great evil seeking to destroy your efforts is the TELEVISION. Just say no! even to videos.
    When I have assignments to get done, even if I plan on spreading them throughout the day, I don’t let the TV or videos play.

    Good luck! You can do it…You’ve taught them most of what they know already…

  10. 10
    Jennifer Partin says:

    Have you heard of Terri Maxwell’s Manager’s of their Homes?

    It has lots of great tips for homeschooling and schedules.

    I am a homeschooling mom of 6—-lots of little ones. I like to rotate toys around to keep my baby occupied. Or I have the older one “play” with the baby while I work phonics with another one and then swap out again etc.

    Just remember it’s a season! She’ll be okay and so will you! :)

  11. 11

    gracie looks so grown up in those pictures – and so much like her daddy :o)

    love love love her back pack – adorable!

    homeschooling is a journey… each year, each day are so different. there are different challenges no matter what the ages of your children – you are busy with little ones or you are trying to school all 3 kids in their subjects during the day. just remember each day is fresh, forget the frustrations of the days past and move on. I agree with Jennifer – Managers of Their Homes (and a chore book for kids) is very helpful. I didn’t agree with everything and I did not (do not) follow it perfectly but the concepts are great and can be adjusted to the needs of your family. It helped me just to wrap my mind around trying to schedule and balance.

    You are a wonderful mother and woman and you balance so much already – I don’t know how you do it! Homeschooling will be a blessing to your entire family.

  12. 12
    Laurel MacD says:

    You are one of my favorite blogs and I’ve been lurking for almost a year. It’s time to post and let you know I love every post.

  13. 13

    I hope it’s okay if I link to this post tomorrow. I “borrowed” you darling backpack idea, and I want to give credit where credit is due!

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