Archive for the 'School' Category


awards time!

The school year has drawn to a close, and my kids have received all their awards.  We were so proud of them!  In preK, Asher didn’t get any “special” awards, but he really had a great year academically.  His behavior is something that we will need to watch…kindergarten should be interesting!  He loves to be the class clown and always making people laugh!

Asher’s award ceremony!

Ella’s 1st grade awards were next! She won the “writing” award for writing the best stories in her class, “All A” Honor Roll, and she got 2nd place out of the whole first grade in Accelerated Reader points, (that’s 100 students!) Her amazing teacher also gave out candy awards to her class. Ella received the “Milky Way” award for setting an example for others by having quality work that is out of this world! 🙂 Ella also got student of the month in February! She had such an awesome year! She is so smart, her reading and math scores are at a third grade level now…way to go Ella!

Ella showing off her AR medal!

Rilyn’s award ceremony was last, and she made us very proud! Rilyn also won 2nd place in Accelerated Reader points in all of 3rd grade (110 students!). She won the “Reading” award for being the best reader in her class, and got “All A” Honor Roll!  Rilyn got student of the month in January.  She is ready for 4th grade!!!

Rilyn receiving her AR medal!


field day!

Field day or rodeo?!?

James and I both were athletes growing up…so far 0 out of 3 kids have shown any desire to do so…you can imagine my sheer delight as Rilyn (field day was right after lunch), ran about 3 baton relays, threw up on the side, and then KEPT ON RUNNING the relays! It was like she was competitive or something!!!!! I see a glimmer of hope…

tug of war!!!!


Wheelbarrow races!

parachute games!

Ella the anchor!?! Using all her might!

Spin around the bat ten times and then run…

I love her look of determination. You can tell she is dizzy, but trying to focus!!


back to school 2012!

It’s a big day for mommy!  Back to school!!!!  This year will be different in that Asher is going to preschool everyday half day and at the same school as the girls.  He goes in the afternoon, so that means everyday, from 11-3 I have kid-free.  Wow!!!  I haven’t wrapped my head around this new freedom yet since today was day 1, and I, of course, was busy editing back to school pictures!  🙂   Who knows what I’ll do tomorrow afternoon!
My kids, so excited about the first day, were up and dressed at 5:45 this morning! I mistakenly started doing pictures too early, and so some of these pictures are before the sun was up, which I’m not a fan of. Oh well, it’s realistic I guess. Back to getting up soooo early! 😦

I had a little fun in photoshop!  Ella is holding a picture of her first day of prek 2009
Rilyn is holding a picture of her first day of kindergarten

My third grader!

I have them write their own name on one side of the chalk speech bubble so I can remember their signature each year!

Here is Ella and her best friend, Anna. Matching “first day of school outfits” since 2008!

our new “gymnasts!”

Ella and her first grade teacher!

she was Rilyn’s teacher too, so you know I love her!

Rilyn actually has three teachers: reading, math, and science. This is her homeroom/math teacher!

He’s an Aggie!!!!!!!! (this is very important to Rilyn!)

Asher’s turn!

his third and final year of preK…

Asher, and his best friend, Caden. These two will rule the school in no time! (back to school matching shirts since 2010)

we’re tough!
we’re strong!

The first thing the afternoon preschoolers do is march to the cafeteria where they eat lunch with all the big kids. It was so cute to watch them!

Asher discovering his pb&j!

Having two older sisters means getting to ride the school bus home with them! He’s been watching this bus drop off his sisters for his whole life…finally HE is on it!!

my kids getting off

Acting like he is all cool getting off the bus for the first time.

I’m a bus rider pro

I wanted to have a special snack for the kids when they got home, so I baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and cut them in the shape of their new grade level! It was a hit!

3rd grade!

Ella did complain that because she had a “1”, she got the least amount of cookie. We had to have a talk about being thankful!

“Next year mommy, I will have a BIG “2” cookie!!”

Asher got a “P” for preschool!


The kids all had GREAT days of school with no complaints! Thank you Lord!


end of the school year!

Quick update on our end of school festivities!

This is the last day of preschool for Asher.  We celebrated at school with a teddy bear lunch!  He had a great year, and is a super smart boy!  He did have a remark on his report card that said “easily distracted by friends” and we definitely know this to be true!  😉  Next year, he will go to preschool everyday half-day!!

At Ella’s kindergarten awards, she received the “writing award”! She had an awesome year, with an awesome teacher! We are very proud of her!!

Rilyn had a wonderful year too in 2nd grade. Here she is at her awards ceremony!

Ella had a field trip to a bounce house to celebrate the end of school!

jumping in the foam pit!

Rilyn got 4th place out of 120 2nd grade students in the spelling bee! We were so proud of her! She got out on the word “fought”. She spelled it “faught”.


Valentines parties!

Today my girls had their Valentine parties at school (school policy:  parties are only to be held on Fridays).  I had to drag Asher around the school “party hopping.”  You would think he would love all the goodies and juice boxes he gets (not to mention the attention!), but no, this boy does NOT like to go to his sisters’ events!  This picture is very telling of how Asher felt about being at school for 2 hours this afternoon…

Rilyn’s party:

Rilyn’s starting to get embarrassed of all the pictures I take…

At Ella’s party, the teacher wouldn’t let them “read” their Valentines until they got home (think of 22 kindergartners opening 22 pieces of paper each…ugh). This is Ella opening her cards at home and relishing each one…

Yes, I will be your Valentine!

sample work

Asher:  He drew his first family portrait today.  Of course I had to bribe him with a piece of candy, but he did it!  🙂  You can see he did draw five faces. I’m not sure when he will decide that bodies are important. 🙂 This boy loves letters and numbers!  He knows all of them, upper and lower case, and about half of his sounds, but writing/drawing?!?  No way, not for him!!!

Asher’s first family portrait-3.9 years old

Ella: Her teacher’s aide came up to me yesterday when I was at school volunteering and told me that Ella made her day when she told her, “I don’t believe in luck, only blessings.” 🙂

Here is Ella’s first “book report” in kindergarten. At least she’s honest! 🙂

“Because it was short and it was boring.”

Rilyn: She wrote us a chore list recently because she wants to save money to help buy an iPad for her birthday in June. (I guess 8 year olds have iPads these days!) Anyway, so she wants a regular weekly allowance, (currently we pay her by the chore.) We decided that we would pay her $7 a week because she is 7 and we told her to write down some chores that would be good for her to do each week. This is what she gave us:  (of course my favorite is #8!)  😉


musings from a 7 year old

Rilyn has a writing prompt each morning at school and every Tuesday afternoon she brings home all her writings from the week.  I always enjoy reading her musings, and thought I would compile some of my favorites into one post and keep record!  It brings much joy to my heart to read that she tries to include her faith whenever possible!  I know her teacher knows that this girl loves Jesus!  🙂

Writing prompt:  What rules do you have to follow at your house?  “I have to do the laundry and the dishes.  Boring!  I also have to do my homework right away.  We can not murder.  I can not be guilty of adultery.  I can not steal.”  (This one cracks me up!  She knows her Ten Commandments, doesn’t she?  I wonder what her teacher was thinking when he read this?!)

Writing prompt:  What do you like about your style?  “I like my style because I think I look cool.  I have a lot of make-up at home.  But there’s something else more important, my belief in God.  Now that’s important.”

Writing prompt:  What do you like best about your appearance?  “I like my appearance.  I think I look good.  But God cares about the inside of your heart.”

A Christmas Poem by Rilyn

“Under this tree are presents you know

But the real Christmas is real without a doubt

It’s about a little boy you see that came down from heaven

He’s the King of Kings

See the star up top?

That represents Jesus.

There’s a clue.”

Love this girl’s heart for Jesus!

And just because it’s cute to remember:

I was checking her spelling homework and one of her words was “recall”. The sentence she wrote was “We called him and he didn’t answer, so we recalled him.”  🙂

She had to write a sentence for “focus”, her sentence was, “I focus on my testes.” That extra “e” can really change things, dear…


swimming lessons

(Going Public part 3)

One of the biggest obstacles Julie and I face as we continue to wade through the issue of our children’s education is trying to determine how much influence we allow the world to have on each child and when.  Of course when it comes to the world ‘out there’ it is really a matter of trust and timing; eventually they will have to swim.  We want our kids to be able to swim and navigate through the waves…that is, not to drown in the waters of the world around them.

On the one hand, it is easy when our eyes are fixated on the world to become overwhelmed and perhaps over-protective of our little ones to the point that home schooling is the only option.   (Note: we definitely see a place for homeschooling, but the question for us is whether that is for our family…not whether it is right or wrong.)

On the other hand, we fully trust that God is Sovereignly in control of our children’s future and that it would take more faith for us to send them out, and thus, for our family (at least for Rilyn….this is a year by year issue), public school is the answer.

Through time in the Word, prayer, and discussion with each other we are convinced that the answer is not black and white.  We know that we are called and given the responsibility to train our children (Prov. 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.).  From this truth, we feel the weight of a responsibility to influence each child in a way that will draw them closer to their heavenly Father.

We also know that ultimately God is in control and has the Ultimate influence on everyone and everything (Romans 11:36, “From him, through him, and to him are all things, to Him be glory forever Amen!”)  From this, we are able to draw a peace and courage that God never calls us to do anything apart from him.

So what is our calling?  What is God telling Julie and I?  Something that helped us is the analogy below:

None of us who have children want them to drown.

But how can we prevent it?

One way is to keep them away from bodies of water deeper than two feet.  It works.  Kids won’t drown if they don’t get into deep water.

But we can also guard them from drowning by another method:  teaching them to swim.  Though it isn’t foolproof, it works rather well and provides more freedom.

In the same way, we should teach our kids to “swim” against the currents of the world.  Avoidance of the world is ineffective-children eventually go away to college or start their lives and encounter all the things we guarded them from.

They will be more ready to face worldly currents if we have taught them to swim. (Dennis McCallum, “The Postmodern Puzzle”, The Real Issue March 1998)

Public school is an excellent pool in which to train our young sons and daughters.  Yes, it’s deep and noisy and the water’s cold and sometimes the chlorine gets in your eyes.  Sometimes you get splashed by other swimmers.  But this is preparation for even bigger bodies of waters to come.  Someday they’ll have to swim in Lake Michigan.  (David & Kelly Pritchard, “Going Public”, pg. 27)

Obviously, none of us want our kids to drown… but even more so, we desire our kids to do more than stay afloat…we desire for them flourish, to live life to the fullest….to swim like Michael Phelps and win the race…(1 Cor 9:24).

We didn’t throw Rilyn into the pool as a baby…it wasn’t even until age 3 that she took her first lesson…Julie and I both know that one day she will dive head first into the the waters of this world…so we start today with the swimming lessons. For each parent, this will look different.  Have you ever been to a 3-5 year old class learning to swim?  It is often obvious which kids are ready to learn and which kids are still afraid of the water.  In the same way, each child will  learn to swim at a different age…but we mustn’t let their first lesson be the first time they go into the pool by themselves!

Rilyn’s swimming lessons              From May 2008

Going Public Part 1
Going Public Part 2


Ella’s first day

Ella had her first day of preschool today.  She was so excited to go since sister has already been going now for 2 weeks.

From September 2008

Anna Richardson, Ella’s best friend, is in her class (Miss Misty’s Monkeys!), so we thought it would be cute to dress them alike!  Here they are at the donut store this morning.

From September 2008

School days

Rilyn is officially a bus rider this week and both mommy and Rilyn couldn’t be happier!  (I don’t have to load up 2 crying kiddos in the car to drop off and pick up Rilyn from school and Rilyn gets to be ‘a big kid’ and ride the bus!  She feels so cool.)

From September 2008

One of her first assignments at preschool was to draw a self portrait. Of course, that is Rilyn’s favorite thing to do! Here is her masterpiece!

From September 2008

(that is a ‘4’ next to her name because she is 4 years old of course! And the orange dot on her pink shirt is her belly button.  She insists on putting one on every person she draws!)

My photography business!

June 2023