School started last week! The kids were excited, I was faking like I was excited too -- but, deep down I was anxious. A new town means a lot of unknowns about our day to day life. School is a major part of our daily routine. I want this to be a positive experience for them.
The girls go to three different schools this year. Dave drives the two older girls to school on his way to work. I load Rex into the stroller and walk Kinley and Paisley to their classrooms each morning. I love that we are once again close enough to the school building to be able to do this. I have heard that by the end of October this town gets hit with rain that doesn't stop until March. We may have to readjust our morning stroller ride when the wetness sets in.
Alexa on the 1st day of school (4th grade)! She is the only Zarkou at her school. She has already made some great friends. Friends are important to this kid. It makes me happy to know she is making connections with new friends that are kind and helpful.
Because our town has so many low income families living here, every kid at the school (including ours) get free breakfast and lunch available to them if they would like it. Alexa is thrilled about eating hot lunch this year. After a few days of school, She asked if she could have breakfast too. Apparently that day they were serving pancakes and she wanted one bad! Her eyes lit up when I told her she was welcome to get a school breakfast any day she would like.
When the afternoon arrives, Alexa is the 1st girl on my route for me to pick up. She is one of the 1st kids out of the building and heading towards the crosswalk. I love seeing the excitement in her eyes when she spots my yukon. Each day she runs to the car and hops in. I ask her how her day went and she always says the same thing -- "Really good, actually!" is her response.
She loves "dressing up" for school. We joke pretty often about how some students and staff are going to mistake her for a substitute teacher because of her fancy style.
Zoey started middle school this year (6th grade)... middle school!!! I was pretty nervous about sending my baby off into the big world of lockers, rotating classes, changing in the gym room, and hanging out with 8th graders but, she has handled this intimidating pressure like a champ. After week one, she loves middle school! Her favorite class is band. She has been having high schoolers and 8th graders help the new band students learn the different instruments and find the best fit for them. She looks forward to band class everyday.
Language arts and Spanish are also up near the top of her list of favorite classes for the semester. Even gym class (which she had decided would be her least favorite) has been a good experience. She is not a fan of sports and was convinced they would be playing sports all semester. So far it was been running and yoga -- which makes her happy. Her favorite thing about gym is her outfit (ha ha -- such a Zoey thing to say). We bought some adorable yoga capris this summer for her. They are perfect for her gym clothes. She feels beautiful and confident during that class hour, which makes her lack of sports skills a little less valuable in her eyes. ;)
She is loving her teachers, the classes, and making some good friends.
On our 1st day of school along the Oregon coast, it was very fitting that the rain was out during our morning. It lacked consistency in its amount of rainfall. One minute it would be a light mist over the air and the next second it was coming down fast and heavy enough to pull out the umbrella. Alexa's pictures were 1st (not too much rain), Zoey was next (too wet to be outside -- opted for indoor shots), Kinley was last (back to a light mist).
Kinley was excited for the 1st day but, cautious. She asked if I would walk her to her classroom and wait by her desk until she felt comfortable enough for me to leave. She is a quiet little thing. We walked to school together and I waited by her desk while she put away he backpack. She quickly sat at he desk and began coloring her pages set out by the teacher. I introduced myself and her to the rest of the students at her table. I then went on to tell the table what a kind and smart kid Kinley is and how lucky they were to be sitting next to her. She didn't look up from her paper during the entire conversation. She was nervous about this new setting. I was proud of Kinley for putting on her brave face and gave her one last hug before heading home.
I couldn't wait to pick her up from school the afternoon! After she climbed into the car and buckled in, she told me that she loved it. Yay! She likes her teacher a lot and was so excited to hear they have an art class at her school. So far, I think she is having the most fun in her math class. She comes home each night talking about this new math computer game they have been playing during the day. Each day she is getting more comfortable with saying good-bye and entering her classroom with confidence. I love walking by her classroom after dropping off Paisley and peeking inside one last time to see her working hard at her desk on my way out to the parking lot. She is a sweetie.
She loves walking to school with me each morning.
Rex thought he needed a 1st day of school picture too (love the pose in the picture above).
Before we knew it, it was already Friday. The 1st week of school was complete.
Paisley's 1st day was Friday. I wanted to get a picture of all my school girls together. I wasn't able to finish Paisley's hair before my older two needed to head out the door (school starts 30 minutes later for Kinley and Paisley). So we said a morning prayer together, snapped a few pictures and hugged my older 2 (and handsome husband) as they walked out the door before finishing up my little one's hair.
Alexa's school has special "school spirit" Friday shirts they get to wear. She was excited to put it on for the 1st Friday of the year to show her pride in the new school. This school is already so different from the school we just moved from! Free lunch, school shirts for free, art classes, 3 different schools to drop the kids off at, and lots of Spanish being spoken when you step onto each campus. 40% of the school (according to the intranet, in my observation I think it is closer to 50%) is hispanic. Zoey has a kid in one of her classes that doesn't speak any english, and the teacher speaks no Spanish. How stressful for these kids. So far, this cultural diversity makes me happy. The hispanic culture is rich in family centered living and these are nice kids my girls are surrounded by.
Kinley, Rex, and Paisley getting ready for Paisley's 1st day.
We are going to have some quiet mornings with just me and the little guy at home. We will miss my Paisley girl.
Paisley was so ready to step into this new adventure. She could not wait for the day to begin. Earlier that week I brought her over for a small group assessment the teacher had arranged. She loved it! They rode the bus around town, beaded necklaces, and got to know the classroom. When I picked her up that afternoon, I asked if she missed me. She said "No" and told me it was because she was having too much fun and could not wait to go back.
On Friday when I picked her up, she climbed into the car and said "That was super fun mom!"
She loves her new backpack and boo eyed leopord key chain on the back... and she really loves the sparkly hand sanitizer attached to the back. She puts it on multiple times a day and told me all the kids in her class like using it too. So, she shares with them. I am glad she is working to single handedly keep her classroom germ free! I sounds like I will need to be restocking my cupboard with extra sanitizer bottles ;).
Kinley and Paisley stick together these days, as they are the only ones in the family at their school. I love watching them hold hands as we walk over to the school in the morning. Listening to their conversation, it is fun to see Kinley taking on the protective, older sister role and Paisley eagerly following her lead. Kinley hugs the three of us as we say good-bye outside her classroom door each morning. Then, onto Paisley's classroom. It's cute to see her search for her name along the coat rack and hang her pack up after finding her spot.
Paisley watching the birds off our deck.
We are looking forward to a great school year!