Sunday, May 13, 2012


My mom told me that I must post soon, because she cannot look at the photo of the fried pie any longer. It was her own mother who taught us all to love a fried pie. Her specialty was apricot. Yum and a half.

This is my Last Day of School - First Day of Summer Break post. As you can see from the above photo, my children had quite gone mad by the time we actually reached their final day.

They are hilarious. And not one of them is mad. In truth, I'm very proud of them. Each has worked so hard this academic year. A couple of them started out with unique challenges and I'm happy and thankful to be able to say that they have soared! Praise God!

It was a bittersweet week, celebrating the end of a season, rejoicing in the girls' hard work and progress, processing a big transition - from five days a week full of assignments, to poof: a rather empty-seeming string of weeks stretched out before us; there was the sadness of saying goodbye to teachers and friends; and for me, that surreal sense of What?! It's over?! You mean we've finished 5th, 5th, 4th, and 2nd grades, just like that? and We did it! We made it! It was a long, challenging year and we all came so far as a family - from drowning and total chaos, to much more order and peacefulness in the areas of schoolwork and daily routines in the home. Thanks be God!

Oh, and I'll add: the kids' hard work was not at all limited to academics. Part of our emergence out of serious survival mode has been because they now carry more responsibility around the house. Following a schedule we created, they tidy, do laundry, empty the dishwasher (we pretty much do two loads a day), sweep the kitchen and living room, wipe the table after meals, help with meal preparation, and all year long they've made their own lunches for school (as well as teaming up by two's on homeschool days to make lunch for the family, so that I could keep teaching LC, who needed lots of hands-on-mama-help this year). These are some hard-working little girls, who are growing in their home-making skills and blessing our family greatly.

To commemorate the Last and the First, I gave the girls a mini-party after school, with salami sandwiches (a special something around here, loved by all, not often had), cheese puffs (same), and our first watermelon of the season.

After our post-school happy lunch, I showed the girls a few things I'd gotten so that they could decorate a journal for the summer. Mrs. M put the idea of a summer journal in my mind, and then I decided to make it (are you sitting down?) a craft. I know, I know, I 'm am THE not-crafty mom, but it was a day for celebrating, a day for beginning a transition. I got some cheap (ugly!) composition books and several inexpensive packs of pretty paper and stickers. My job was to cover the books in brown paper. I did this with a very grumpy toddler in my lap for a good part of the work...

I give you our School's Out Mini-Party (most crafting photos courtesy of EG):


  1. Fun mama, you are! I love the decorated summer journals. What a perfect project for your crew.

  2. haha, I'm really not a crafty-mama either! I think the kids come up with better stuff than I do. I sometimes get them to make the cards that I want to give as a family, but if they drag their feet too much, I use a commercial card.

    Seeing your grouchy toddler totally brought back memories of that fuss, that endless endless fuss from babies that sometimes drove me crazy. You seem very patient with it!

    I'm so impressed with your girls and their hard work. It's what I always imagined a big family has to do to have a good life together.