Archive for the 'School' Category


Back to School!

We’ve got a 6th grader, 4th grader, and a 2nd grader!  Everyone is at new schools this year too!  Crazy!  Rilyn is at Athlos Leadership Academy and Ella and Asher are at our new neighborhood school, Shadowglen Elementary!

First day of school!

Rilyn started school a whole day before the others, so she got her giant “6” cookie first!

Ella and Asher get to be bikers!

Almost to school!

Asher and his teacher!

Ella and her teacher!

First day after school means giant cookie time!!


last day of school 2015!

First, Third, and Fifth grade were good to us, but we are ready for summer!!

What was waiting for the kids on the porch when they got home from their last day of school!

didn’t get a picture of them running through this this year! 😦

When the kids got off the bus, I had some neighborhood kids waiting for them with water balloons! Asher was overjoyed! Ella got off the bus crying because she misses third grade already and her teacher! Rilyn ducked and covered at first, but then got into it!

it was pj day at school…

full out water balloon war!

Asher got soaked!


School awards!

End of the school year is always a fun time because you get to celebrate your children’s accomplishments.  My three worked so hard this past school year, and we are super proud of them!!

Asher got “A Honor Roll” for the whole year!

He also won a 4th place medal for Accelerated Reader points in all of first grade!

Ella won a 1st place medal for Accelerated Reader points in all of 3rd grade!

Ella also won the math and reading award in her class for getting a perfect score on STAAR reading and she missed one on STAAR math!!

Ella also got A Honor Roll all year and won the Presidents Award for Educational Excellence in her class

Ella’s teacher, Mrs. Griffin-Hamlin won best teacher in the district last year and this year won best teacher in Austin! Ella has a special bond with her and we love her too!

Rilyn won a 6th place medal for Accelerated Reader points in all of 5th grade, all A Honor Roll all year, the Presidents Award for Educational Excellence in her class, the reading and science award for her class for having commended scores in STAAR on math, reading, and science!

Rilyn also was presented a gavel for serving at Student Council president this past year! Praying big things for this girl! She is a true leader!

So proud of this girl! She was at Manor Elementary since preschool! Here she is on graduation day-7 years later!

A few days later, Rilyn was in the school talent show! She sang a duet with Eveany-A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and sang Style by Taylor Swift with a group of girls. 🙂


First day of school 2014!

Summer is over and school has started back!!  Rilyn is in 5th, Ella in 3rd, and Asher in 1st!  We pray that they would be salt and light to their friends and teachers at school!

Asher’s signature in first grade

Rilyn’s signature in fifth grade!

Ella’s signature in third grade (she is learning cursive this year.)

He was very nervous before school.

Rilyn was ready to rule the school!

Our annual first day of school pictures with the Richardsons!

matching BFFs!! This is their 7th year to dress alike on the first day of school!

Check it out!

The boys! This is Caden and Asher’s fifth year to dress alike!

Check it out!

Asher’s teacher, Mrs. Martinez!

Ready to learn!

Ella has two teachers this year. Here is her homeroom teacher!

Ella’s teacher, (and a personal friend!), Mrs. Griffin-Hamlin

Rilyn also has two teachers this year. Here is her homeroom teacher!

Rilyn and her bff, Shaliya!

coming home off the bus! They has a great day! Thumbs UP all around!

When they got home, they were greeted with presents from grandma, and cookies from me!


LAST day of Kindergarten!

While the girls were off at summer camp for a week, Asher had his last day of kindergarten on June 4th!

After Asher came home, we went to the neighborhood pool to kick off the summer!! I got to try out my new Pentax Optio WG-3 GPS purple 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Purple)
that I got for my birthday!

Asher and one of his best friends!



After the dance recital, James and I celebrated 13 years of marriage!  We got his and hers pedicures (his first one, but won’t be the last!), and some yummy Thai food!  LOL

The next week, the kids all had their grade level awards ceremonies and they each did outstanding! Asher got the boys Principal’s Award which means “most improved”. He is reading on a first grade level, and loves art and is beginning to really write!

Ella is reading on a high 3rd grade level, and won 2nd place in her whole grade level (110 students), for Accelerated Reader points! She got a trophy too!  She got “All A Honor Roll”, and she also won the “Math award” in her class for being so great at math!

Her AR trophy

Ella and her 1st and 2nd grade teacher! We will miss her SO MUCH!

Unfortunately, Rilyn had to miss her actual 4th grade ceremony, and so her sweet teacher gave her a personal one in class on her last day of school. Rilyn won 1st place in her whole grade level for Accelerated Reader points and won the “History Award” in her class because she is always so curious, and wants to learn about everything history! She got “All A Honor Roll” too!

Rilyn and her teacher!


after school!

The first day of school is under their belt and they all came home to a yummy after school treat!

4th grade, 2nd grade, and kindergarten cookies! Congratulations on your first day back kiddos!


new beginnings!

Well, after 9 years…the day has finally come!  All three of my babies are now in elementary school!  It is pretty surreal, and *slightly* exciting!  Can you tell?!?  😉

So maybe they’re not too thrilled…but mommy is!

Rilyn started fourth grade today. She came into our room this morning at 5:30 a.m. all dressed and ready to go! I sent her back to bed, but she couldn’t sleep because she was so excited!

She has only two teachers this year (last year she had three!)

Her home room teacher! I tried my best to crop out the t.u. flag on the wall behind her! 🙂

Ella started 2nd grade today. Her highlight is having the same teacher as she did in 1st grade. We LOVE Mrs. Stein!

Asher started kindergarten today. He was so nervous and wouldn’t even eat his special breakfast this morning-a poptart! As soon as he got into his classroom though, his nerves settled and he told me he was hungry! :/

Have a great day!


I love sharpening pencils! (and here is why!)

Do I really LOVE sharpening pencils?  Nope.  I mean, really, is there anyone that truly loves to stand around an annoyingly, loud machine and grind pencil after pencil?  (Besides students who just don’t want to do their class work, and happen to “break” their pencil, and therefore disrupt the entire class.)  🙂

But I LOVE to sharpen them, you know why?  Because I’m serving the ones who invest 7 hours a day in my children.  There are perks to being a teacher, (summers off!), but sharpening pencils is NOT one of them.  It’s a necessary evil, and I would rather bless my kid’s teachers with the time they would of had to use after school sharpening pencils, to browse Pinterest, or read a good book-(whatever helps them relax!)

Service is not without sacrifice, and if  “sacrificing” means sharpening hundreds of pencils every month, that is a small price to pay for all the work my kid’s teachers do to pour into their lives each day!

Being intentional with my children’s teachers is something I’m passionate about.  I want them to know that I’m intentional in sending them to public school.  This is not the easy way out for our family, this is the way God has willed for our family, and for us, public school requires even more intentionality.

School starts August 27th.  This past week I learned who our kids teachers were, (because I went to a PTO meeting-again-intentionality), and I e-mailed them this:

Dear _______ ,  We are so excited that _____ has you as a teacher this year!  He/She is super excited to be back in school.  We want you to know that we are here to support you and help you this year.  We would love to volunteer in your classroom or whatever else you need, just let us know.  We would be happy to help you with projects or field trips as well.  We want to support you in your efforts this year as you teach our children each day!

We also want you to know that we will be praying for you as you give yourself to our kids and all their classmates each day of the school year.  We are thankful for all you do and know that teaching is not an easy job, so we commit to praying for you throughout the year.

We also want to be a blessing to you in any way that we can.  If you could answer these questions for me sometime this week I would appreciate it.

  1. What magazine do you love that you don’t currently subscribe to?
  2. What are your favorite breakfast drinks?
  3. What are your favorite snack items?
  4. If you could get any breakfast on your way to school what would it be?
  5. Do you have any hobbies?
  6. Do you need any craft items from our house?  Toilet paper rolls?  Old magazines?  Buttons?  Fabric scraps?
  7. What is your favorite restaurant?
  8. What is your favorite drink from Sonic?
  9. Do you enjoy reading?  If so, what kind of books?
  10. What is your favorite splurge?

All their teachers have e-mailed me back already, and because of that, I now have small ways that I can bless them throughout the year, and I was able to make “Back to school” baskets with some of their favorites that my kids can bring them on their first day!

back to school baskets!

On each note, I typed up this:
Welcome Back to School!
Paper Clips: To help you hold everything together this year!
Goldfish: We hope this year will be O’fish-ally the best year!
Notepad: A note to say we think you are the best!
Pens: Thank you for helping our child write the future!
Extra gum: You are an extra special teacher!
Mints: I’m glad you were “mint” to be my teacher!
(Favorite candy/drink): We’re looking forward to a “sweet” year with you!
The Paquettes

*I’m not a big “let’s spend hours making cute stuff for gifts” type person.  If you’re like me, take heart!  Teachers love gift cards best!  I know this because I used to be a teacher!  🙂


the day my daughter got punched in the face

It was 3 weeks before 3rd grade was ending when I got the dreaded phone call no one wants.  The vice principal called to tell me that Rilyn, almost 9 years old, got punched in the nose by a boy on purpose.   When we decided to enroll in public school, we didn’t just enroll our kids, but our family.  I am very active in the school, and go up there at least twice a week to help in the classrooms.  Rilyn is well-liked at school, and most of the kids know me, having seen me for the past 5 years at the school.  Who could of done this?!?

All this to say, initially I was shocked she got punched.  Then I remembered that  this world we live in is not our home, and many things here are dark and scary.

First thought:  “How could someone possibly punch my daughter?”  (selfish and angry)

Second thought:  tears streamed down my face.  I was sad for Rilyn, but I was even sadder when the vice principal asked Rilyn if she wanted to talk to me on the phone and she said no.  Rilyn was embarrassed and emotionally hurt.

The VP told me that Rilyn was not badly hurt, no swelling or blood.  The incident occurred in the cafeteria, (they sit next to the person who was next to them in the cafeteria line at the tables.)  Rilyn was next to this boy (who was a new kid this year, and I had not met him personally yet), and Rilyn was “shushing” him, (she put her finger over her mouth and leaned in to the boy) because lunch was over, and they are to be quiet as they are waiting for their teacher to come pick them up.  This boy felt like Rilyn was invading his personal space, so he punched her.  The VP told me that this boy would have consequences, his parents would be called, and he wouldn’t be able to participate in any of the end of the year activities.

I hung up knowing Rilyn was safe, and called James to discuss how we were going to handle it when she got home.  You feel so hurt for your child, but on the other hand, you don’t know this boy’s situation and what he goes home to each day.    We didn’t want Rilyn to play victim when she got home, because I knew she would be getting a lot of that “poor me” treatment from her classmates and teachers.  It’s nice to have people that stand up for you, and want to protect you, but it can easily go too far, and we don’t want our kids feeling that false sense of security.

Rilyn got off the bus that afternoon, and I brought her into her room alone.  I told her, with compassion, that I was so sorry that happened to her, and asked her if she was feeling any pain.  She recounted the whole story again, and told me she was okay, but she was scared.  The boy is on her bus, and she was scared that without the protection of teachers, he would strike again.    I told Rilyn that Satan wants us to live in fear.  He wants her to be scared to come back to school and see him.  We prayed through a verse that we had memorized during the school year:

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (Proverbs 56:3-4)   “Lord, help my child not live in fear.  You are her protection!”

Then we talked about how she feels about the boy.   We talked about how Jesus feels about that boy. We talked about Jesus, who lived a perfect life and did nothing wrong, was nailed to the cross and how He was beaten, spit on, persecuted for Rilyn’s sin, my sin…our sin.  And what were some of His last words?  Luke 23:34:  “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

I ended our time telling her that “Jesus came to rescue us so that we can live in peace…peace with our creator and peace with each other.  This peace with each other requires forgiveness; a forgiveness He gave us on the cross to share with each other.  Jesus wants us to forgive the boy who punched you.  It’s okay if you don’t feel like it right now.  God knows your heart, and you can’t fake forgiveness with Him anyway.  But dad and I will pray for you that you will be filled with God’s love and forgiveness, and in turn be moved to share it and forgive him.”

And she did.  (And there was no reaction from him she said.  He was just quiet, staring at her when she told him she forgave him.  Sometimes life isn’t like the movies.)

Thank you Lord for parenting moments like these, although they are hard, they are GOOD because they lift Your name higher!

My photography business!

June 2023