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Friday, September 18, 2015

School Days, School Days, Good Old Golden Rule Days

On Saturday, August 15th, we had Meet the Teacher at Richmond Drive. The kids and I prepared a few a little back-to-school survival kit for their teachers. Each item corresponded with a pun in a poem that we gave them. If you know anything about me at all, you know these are some of my favorite gifts to give! 



 Riley is on the Green Team which means he is in Senora Notaro's homeroom. He and Maggie had a good time finding names on the poster outside the classroom. We knew several of his classmates already which was a special blessing. Several of my Bunco friends have children in the Immersion program (McCord, Stella, Miriam); Isabella is a friend in our neighborhood; and Sophia was on Riley's soccer team last fall. Riley received a special candy treat (a roll of Smarties) from his teacher that night and couldn't wait to dig into them! 

 Senora Notaro only speaks in Spanish in the children's presence. She is responsible for teaching Riley math, science, and Spanish literacy. She had her daughter with her at Meet the Teacher to help interpret for us. 



 Riley and Maggie couldn't wait to check out the playground that is right outside his classroom door. He's been in school for about a month now as I write this post and recess is still his favorite highlight of the day to tell me about. I love hearing his stories about playing chase, Power Rangers, and superheroes.

  
 One of the best features about Mrs. Smith's classroom (who teaches Riley reading, writing, and social studies) is the green bathtub that is used as a special reading spot for kids. Riley has also been super excited about sitting in the Author's Chair in the classroom and even came home this week begging to write a story. He went and got 4 sheets of white printer paper, used a stapler to staple them into a book, and drew pictures for his very own Riley Hunter text. He took it to school and added labels to all his pictures by sounding out words like flying bear (fliy ber) and giant hunting sack (jgiyint hutne sac). This is the second book Riley has written this year. Inspired by a David Shannon author study using No, David  books, Riley and I co-wrote a book titled No, Carl that is dedicated to his future son and contains some sound advice and rules for how he needs to act as a young child.








 At Meet the Teacher, Senora Notaro and Mrs. Smith sent home a Sweet Dreams gift that was only to be opened the night before the first day of school. Inside was some colorful confetti to sprinkle under his pillow to help him sleep well. Little touches like this add so much magic to childhood--I love it!! 


 I don't think Riley could have been more excited for his first day of school on Tuesday, August 18th. He was beaming all morning long and ready to jump in the truck with Chris way before it was time. He always gets a kick out of breakfast when I make foods into silly faces, so this time I made him a "Snake Breakfast S-S-S-Sandwich" since he recently has been fascinated with reading and learning about snakes. We've got our morning routine pretty much down pat now--eat breakfast, read Bible story if he wants it, get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, get shoes on, and maybe play for a few minutes if there is any extra time (which there usually is).

Maggie and I tagged along since it was the first day and we all walked him into school and took a few pictures. The day was made even more special by his teachers planning a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt around the school that showed them some important places like the nurse's office, cafeteria, library, etc. and ended up leading right back to their classroom complete with a gingerbread snack surprise.






 Check out Riley's favorite things board that I made this year at a Do-It-Yourself store in Fort Mill. Riley walked right into class with no hesitation at all and sat down to start the sorting activity that Senora Notaro had put out for the students. We had to ask him to give us a hug and kiss goodbye! :)



 Love this sign in the main entrance to the school that talks about all the different traits that make Richmond Drive so unique! Senora Notaro is pictured in the top left corner. 
 Isn't this just the most joyful picture of sibling love you've seen!!?? I'm a little biased, but I captured this sweet moment coming home from church and just adore the bond that these two little angels share!
 We made a thank you card for his teachers after the first day of school to let them know how much we appreciate them making Riley's Kindergarten experience so memorable and fun! 


 Maggie, of course, wanted to make a card as well! :) 

 Here are just a few other cute pics of the kids. 

 Maggie had her Meet the Teacher event on Wednesday, August 26th. Mrs. Cranford (in stripes) is her teacher and Ms. Morris (in black) is the assistant in the classroom. These two ladies have such a sweet passion for kids that has been evident since our first encounter! Maggie may not look too confident that day, but she really is LOVING preschool! And when she heard her teachers' names, she was so excited about Ms. Morris because it "sounds just like s'mores!" 

 She loved finding her name on the sign outside her classroom door and she also knew a few friends in her class before starting on the first day as well (Isla is a friend who shares a common adoption bond and Leo is a 3-year-old boy down the street from us). 

  Check out Maggie's Favorite Things board (I especially love her favorite food and her BFF (best friend forever)! 


 Isn't this too stinkin' cute!!?? I love that little coy smile and dimple in her cheek! So precious!




Maggie also went right into her classroom on the first day of school (Monday, August 31st) and didn't fuss or cry at all. I guess the positive is that we are raising some very independent, confident kids. The downside is, I wouldn't mind being missed a little more! :) Just kidding! I get sweet, tight hugs from Maggie everyday when I drop her off at school and big smiles when I pick her up. Her favorite thing to tell me about each day is what they had for snack! She also will tell me what book Mrs. Cranford read, if they did a craft, and if she played outside or in the gym. She says that she plays by herself, but according to other folks I'm not sure that's entirely true. Maggie stopped doing naps about age 2 1/2, but I am requiring her to do about 30-45 minutes of "Room Time" (quiet playtime) each day before we go and pick up Riley from school. The other day this is how I found our precious princess! And some days she takes a quick catnap in the car as we wait in the line to get brother. Most days though this little trooper doesn't slow down a single bit until finally at bed around 7 or so.  

 I had one week before I had to start teaching my music classes at Goddard and Oakland, so on Sunday night and Monday, I was able to prepare 21 freezer meals. It was a plan online that used ingredients from Aldi and said you could buy most everything you needed for $150. That seemed like a pretty great deal to me! We've had  quite a few of the meals so far and I think they've been decent. It's definitely been nice not to have to think about preparing meals every single night. I'll have to keep this in mind for when I return to teaching. 

 One last thing that has been going on recently that I thought I would mention is that our old QCP gang has been getting together on Thursday afternoons (all four moms and 10 kids). We've been rotating houses or parks around the area and letting the kids play from the time we pick them up from school until about 4:30 or 5. This has become one of Maggie and Riley's favorite days. I love this picture of Jackson, Riley, and Callahan all dressed up in different costumes ready to take on the world. I hosted everyone at my house on the 27th of August and loved being able to have both some adult conversations and hear lots of childhood giggling and playing going on at the same time. Now it's never easy to finish a conversation (at some point one of the ten little ones needs us), but at least we try! :) 





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