Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Floating the Basket Down The Kindergarten Hallway

Anyone what knows me knows that I was struggling with sending my baby to kindergarten this year. I have been struggling with it since pre-k graduation in May.

I read an article from another mom struggling with it. It related letting our kids complete milestones to Moses' mother. She had to trust God when she placed her baby boy in that basket and let it float down the river.

For me it's not about trusting God where my kids are going next. It's about letting go of such a sweet time in our lives. Well, I guess it is about trust. Trusting that the next chapters that will be written will have precious time and sweet, sweet memories like these. This precious time when Mommy is one of the very most important things to my kids. They will always be one of the very most important things in my life, but as they grow and mature and yes, go to kindergarten, that will start to change for them. And I know that's a good thing; they need their independence. If they did not do things like go to kindergarten and become independent it would be because something was wrong.

I had my prepartum depression about my baby going to school this year. Sunday night I cried. I was worried about both of us. Whenever I tried to pep talk him he would put his hand to my mouth and ask me to stop taking about school.
On the drive there he told the bigs there were only 5 more days of school before they got a break. That's right--before he even attended a single day he was counting the days before the weekend.

But I put on my big girl panties, I got that basket out, I placed Elijah Walker into it, and I floated him down the kindergarten hallway. I was a little teary-eyed, but Lijee did not know that. He was too busy doing big boy things like putting his backpack in his locker and finding his name tag. Which is exactly what he should be doing. Through my sadness I am praising God that I got to spend ten of the most precious years at home with my kids. And now all 3 of them are happy to go to school. That makes me happy.

(Don't be fooled. As I'm typing this all alone in the dark and I don't have to be brave for anyone else, a few tears are slipping out.)

We started the day before kindergarten gift on Sunday night.  Eli had really been wanting some army tanks. He and Daddy found some on-line and ordered them a week or so ago, so he had been waiting (im)patiently for them.

We love our teachers.
 My Biggy BooBoo walked in like he has been going up to school for the past five years. Finding his locker on Meet The Teacher was one of his favorite parts of the night, so he was ready to get his new backpack in there.
 He got to find his name tag and pick where he wanted to sit.
 He looks a little sad in this picture, but he was not. Probably sad that his mom kept taking pictures and wouldn't leave.
 Our annual tradition: ice cream after the first day of school. The only thing missing was Grannie.
3rd day of 3rd grade gift
5th day of 5th grade gift
Day 3 - Lijee did not want to be hugged and kissed when I dropped him off. My 3rd and 5th grader still indulge me, mind you. And I met them in the hallway on the way out after school. He wouldn't hold my hand because he had to wait until they were outside and he high fived his teacher good bye.
And the basket gently floats down the river.
 I trust you, God, with the future.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Meet The Teacher

I'm pretending that I will not be all alone when school starts. So much so that I didn't get this blog done for a week. I'll keep it short and simple.

Eli and Randi
Can you see how excited Lijee is to start school? Yeah. That's how I feel about it, too.
 Daisy and Michelle
Daisy looped this year so she has the same teacher and classmates.
 Zekers and his homeroom teacher Cara
 Zeke and Eric
 Zeke and Donette

Friday, August 19, 2016

Cupcake Wars

Daisy has sucked us all into watching Cupcake Wars with her. For some strange reason, and I cannot tell you why, it is interesting to watch. Making chocolate cake was on our summer bucket list. We decided cupcakes would fit this goal.

Amazing as it is, this was one of our best days of the summer. Everyone was engaged and nice and not one time did someone ask to get on a screen. 
{insert 'Hallelujah' chorus here}

After some searching on Pinterest we decided upon a vanilla cupcake (from scratch, mind you) with a chocolate chip cookie dough filling, topped with homemade chocolate frosting and decorated with a miniature chocolate chip cookie, also from scratch. Cupcake Wars is not for the weak, people. It is serious baking. 
 First step--prepping
 Cookie dough was first on the docket because it had to chill for a couple hours.

The hardest part was not eating it.
 Of course, your fingers must be cleaned at some point, so why not lick them off?
 As the dough was chilling, we began work on the vanilla cake batter.

 [Side bar - take note of the cooperation going on here]

 The chilled cookie dough balls went into the cupcakes before baking.
 Here they are straight from the oven.

 Chocolate icing time.
 Speaking of time, we were cutting it close to the wire. Our time-limit was running out very quickly!
Everyone was working on frosting and decorating as quickly as possible.

 My hands were covered in frosting, so Elijah was in charge of pics. Here a just a few randos he took. The others did not even have a subject.
(That is the dogs' Gremlin chew toy.)
 There may or may not have been some taste-testing along the way.
 A few of the cupcakes were underdone. We were just hoping the judges would not pick one of those to eat.
Now time for the presentation. The theme was Mini-opolis. So we opted for a rainbow colored tray to match the Mini-opolis background. The cupcake liners were rainbow, as well.
The babies at the table and chairs were like a scene from the movie. Of course, they matched the 'mini' theme perfectly.
 Time for the judges' reactions. 
 Judge #1
"Pleasantly surprised...you made a success out of it."
 Judge #2
"I'm a little confused with the hole in the middle...but the rest of it tastes great and looks great and I like your display."
 Judge #3
"I like that pleasantly the cookie was in the middle. I like the frosting and the rest of the pieces."
 So nerve-wracking to watch and wait!
 Overall: success! Now time for all to enjoy.
Well, almost all. No chocolate for you, Chuey.
Thank you for joining this episode of Cupcake Wars.