Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First Day of School 2015

For the first time ever all my children are at school. Sniff Sniff.
After 14 years - what will I do with myself?

Miss A received a camera for Christmas and using a tripod took care of all our back to school photos!
What a champ. She did a great job.

I had a first time highschooler and a first time Preppy.
I'm not sure who was more nervous!

Exciting times!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back to School Dinner 2015

It was hot and I was tired and feeling a bit unwell
but the kids and The Mr pulled off our annual back to school dinner.

It's so nice when the kids get on board and excited and do your traditions for you!

Miss K even got up and offered to make dessert.
None of my kids love cooking or food prep so this made me so so happy.
Plus the crème Brulee was delish.

I read out the list of ideas I had for themes here and the girls decided that the first one sounded best.


So they set off to work making little signs and I made some tiny banners that read

He that seeketh findeth {Matt 7:8}

They chose blue and green tablecloths which represent their school colours.

We got out the crystal goblets.

We had some old school books of mine to look through.

We discussed our favourite and not so favourite things about school, memories, teachers, playground games.

Each girl received a Fathers Blessing and we encouraged them in their education for this year.

It was fun and relaxed evening. It was great to reminisce about my school and to hear my kids speak about theirs. We talked about being lucky to have free education, that school is an option.

We are blessed.

And everything is better with drinks umbrella's.

{thanks grandma - Miss G's item she took from Grandmas put to great use}

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Myth: Kids at school= Clean House?

After 14 years of parenting, ALL my children will finally be off to school next week. All of them!
 I might cry, I might click my heels together in joy skipping out the school gate.....
While I gather my thoughts, here's some past back to school posts...

Back in 2008 I wrote this:

So this post is for all you mums at home with small children - I will be squashing your dreams that once they are at school you will have a clean house - it is a Complete Fallacy!

Okay so all those times at home with 3 young children - dreaming of the far off day when they will be out of your house and off to school. Dreams of sparkling counter tops in the kitchen, pristine floors, made beds, dinner on time, clean clothes, morning teas with friends, baking dainty treats, trips to the movies - ALONE, catching up on TV, participating in crafts, doing SOMETHING/ANYTHING for yourself!

Then the day finally happens. The new school year rolls around, you drop them off at their room, pretending to be sad, but clicking your heels as you bound out the school gate - HOORAY! The first week I barely accomplish anything - Actually with all this running around and coaxing little ones to get dressed, pack your bag, put your shoes on, chasing them around the house to get them to sit still long enough to do their hair (lucky if you have sons!) leaves the house more dishevelled than ever.

I go through the weeks telling myself, it is a new thing for us, we are just getting used to our schedule - once we get used to it, there will be plenty of time for ME and stuff that I want to do - but for now- there are breakfast to be had, lunch to make, there are 6 people in this house, so of course the kitchen will be in a HUGE mess after all this.

We are also on a no TV before school rule now. They actually didn't protest as much as I thought they would. It was a good idea - for their young little brains - (though I am sure the 7 hours perday of tv they were watching before 5 years old has taken most of it ) but now we have another problem - Children that rise at 6am and PLAY for two hours!! They have done painting, doll houses, animals, cutting, pasting, and today - playdough!! Generally they leave a bit of a mess even if I ordered them to clean it, I still have to clean the cleanup.

Then I return home from our one hour walk (there and back for me) to that mentioned above. I clean the kitchen, loungeroom, bedrooms, varandah, backyard from the mornings "activities". Once the kitchen is presentable I mess it up by cooking dinner. Gabrielle has a sleep where I collapse in a heap and watch some Dr Phil or Oprah (usually while folding, washing, cooking, general cleaning) and then it is time for the walk back to school.

B.S (Before School) we visited friends and family - we had no need to rush back or leave at 1:30- in time to get back for school. We walked to Southbank and went swimming at 8am - we didn't have to be anywhere by 9am. Sleepover at Grandmas on weekdays, holidays whenever we pleased. Life was quite simple back then.

Now we are run by the calendar - it actually means something now. Volunteering at school, things to make/bake/take/fake. Gabrielle will grow up in a different atmosphere - no tv, constant trips to school, a timetable, without her sisters for 6 hours a day, and with her mummy seemingly consumed with cleaning - I don't recall having this much to do before!

School = Clean House and more leisure time - Myth BUSTED!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

FHE Lesson {Back to School}

It's one week till the kiddies are back at school. We've held back to school dinners for a few years now (2016 2015 2013 2012  2011 2010 ) and I thought this tradition might make a good activity for FHE.

Opening Song:

Opening Prayer:


We usually start with a special dinner. Feel free to include this or not :)

Choose a theme for your Back to School Dinner.
We usually print out the theme and place on the table.
Here are some of our past ideas:

I will go and do....
I thought this a lovely theme for our schooling year. Go and Do! Go and Do!
scripture: 1 Nephi 3:7
Choose the Right
We spoke about how this could be applied at school. We talked of many situations. 

Love One Another
Showing love to siblings, teachers, students at school.
John 13:34  Mosiah 4:15

Seek Learning
Even by Study also by faith
D&C 88:118

This year I have bookmarked scriptures to do with education. See a list HERE
Here are some I'm leaning to for our Theme for 2015

He that seeketh findeth: Matt. 7:8 .
Learn wisdom in thy youth: Alma 37:35 .
Seek learning, even by study and also by faith: D&C 88:118 .
Wise man will hear, and will increase learning: Prov. 1:5
Take fast hold of instruction: Prov. 4:13 .

Whatever your theme of choice discuss how this has to do with education.
Share how proud you are of the children's desire for learning.
State even though it can be hard it is worth it.

We have each child receive a Fathers Blessing.
Discuss what a Fathers Blessing is (SEE HERE )
why you want to help them in this new year, and in this new schooling year.
That you desire the best for them and you want to spirit of the Lord behind them too.

We spoke of education and its importance and that we are blessed to have access to it
We spoke of their favourite moments from the last school year.
We spoke of goals for the coming year.
Each Child received a Fathers Blessing for the coming year.
Then we sent them to bed early. Getting prepared for the new routine ;)

Closing Song:

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Maybe a special back to school gift {new pencils, erasers, pencil case.. anything}

Monday, January 5, 2015

FHE Lesson {Family Mission Statement}

Opening Song:
Opening Prayer:
Scripture: Proverbs 29:18
The New year is a good time to write a family mission statement.
If you have one already spend sometime reviewing it.
Example on how to write a Family Mission Statement HERE
:: Use a big piece of paper to make a banner that represents your family.
Children can draw things that make your family unique and describe your family
{how many people, where you live, school, temple, church, scriptures, extended family, favourite foods, talents, things you like to do, faith in Jesus, favourite things - flowers, weather etc}

 :: Families with older children could sit and write out a family mission statement.
{Or revisit it if you already have one}  Ours {below} is now 10 years old!!
You could print it out nice and laminate it and display in a central area {ours is on top the piano}
Love at Home

Follow Christ * Humbly Pray * Actively Listen * Seek Knowledge
Encourage Others * Respect Self * Search Scriptures
Speak Softly * Have Fun * Find Humour
Seek Wisdom * Accept Responsiblity
Do Good * Speak Kindly
It can be as long or short or simple as your family decides. It can be funny, or serious or sweet.
Give examples of what you would like included, but ensure the kids get a say too.
Explain your family is the most important thing to you, and uniting our family together creates strong bonds. Our family mission  statement will remind us what is most important to us. Let's read it often!
Closing Song:
Closing Prayer:
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