A Gently Rolling Start

Our school year is up and running, and three days in, it feels pretty good.  Dimples was happy to get back to school early Monday morning.  Wednesday morning, Ladybug and Honeybee joined the “back to school” party.

Honeybee is riding the bus, a new experience for us, so we walked together to the bottom of the driveway and waited. The bus stopped on the highway and the driver motioned for her to cross in front of the stopped traffic.  As she walked across the normally treacherous road, it felt like I was sending her into a great unknown, until I saw another child wave and knew she saw a familiar face.  This morning she asked me to wait with her again, and it occurs to me that this may be a good time to connect with her each day.

Russ dropped Ladybug off downtown, within a few blocks of the high school, and then headed to Dimples’ school.  Next week Eby and Little Man will begin their class (three mornings a week), and the drop off plan will grow more complicated.  It’s a good thing we live in a small town.

Honeybee came home all smiles, saying she likes her new school and sharing stories from her day.  Ladybug called after her three classes to tell me that she loved it and had a great time.  Dimples is off to a good start and enjoys her classmates.

I am making a gentle start to our homeschool year, gathering Sunshine, Eby, and Little Man for Bible, nature study, and literature.  We’ll jump in full force next week.  This morning they found a field mouse which they placed in a small box with food, water, and supplies for a nest – namely, scraps of curly hair from recent haircuts.  I pulled the Handbook of Nature Study off the shelf and we had a spontaneous lesson on the front porch. They plan to observe it for an hour and then release the mouse in the pasture.  I keep reminding them that it is wild animal and they can’t touch it with their hands; I honestly don’t like things like this!

We are packing for one of the highlights of  our year – REACH Camp!  It is our sixth year attending this camp for families affected by HIV/AIDS.  We are excited to see many special friends.  Even Mimi is joining us, and since we don’t get much time with her, I am very happy.  With Hannah in Minneapolis, she won’t make it, but she is planning a trip home the first week of December.

I’ve been gathering supplies, sorting books, and yesterday I ordered more of my favorite pencils to go with our electric pencil sharpener.  Having a good sharpener and good quality pencils these past few years has been exceptionally helpful.  The sharpener I have isn’t made anymore, but the one below is similar. It is worth every penny I spent on it.  Sunshine is finishing up an exciting book, 100 Cupboards, and can’t put it down.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

What is your favorite back-to-school purchase?

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

20 Comments

  1. Paula Miles Spears
    August 30, 2012

    1) I love the choice of nesting materials for the little mouse; 2) I would be the one picking up the mouse and carrying it around at our house; 3) Is is mean that it makes me laugh that you have a favorite brand of pencil?

    Hope you have a great day!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      Paula, I'm not an animal person at all! Although I make an exception for dogs. Laugh all you want – you'll just have to get some Ticonderoga pencils and experience the beauty yourself! We need to talk soon – I'm booking flights to Omaha today.

      Reply
  2. sleighs79
    August 30, 2012

    Did I miss the pencil sharpener link? We're in the market for one right now, so I'm eager for recommendations.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      It should be the second box in the series. Sometimes they will show up if you refresh the page. You will love having a good sharpener!

      Reply
      1. sleighs79
        August 31, 2012

        I can't get them to appear at all using Firefox. When I used explorer instead, there they were at the bottom! 🙂

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          August 31, 2012

          Maybe you have something set to block ads on Firefox. I should embed links in the text when I mention an item, and not only put them at the bottom of the page. It's a good reminder.

          Reply
  3. MRK
    August 30, 2012

    I am in complete agreement on the Ticonderoga pencils and a good quality sharpener. I bought too many $5 to $10 sharpeners over the years and learned my lesson. I bought a nice Panasonic one on Amazon about 4 years ago, and it is still a workhorse and has an auto-stop feature that I love. Given that books are among my favorite school supplies, here is a website with recommendations that a friend turned me onto last night – the friend once worked in a children's independent bookshop, and her recommendation for this website was quickly seconded by another friend who is a librarian. I had a little time to glance at the list and saw some old favorites, some that have been on my list for a while, and some new ones that will be fun to consider trying. http://www.amightygirl.com/mighty-girl-picks/top-

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      Thanks – I'll take a look! Aren't Ticonderoga's the best? They're the only kind I buy.

      Reply
  4. Mary
    August 30, 2012

    My favorite school supply right now is plastic sheet protectors :). Handwriting? Geography? Numbers? Activity pages from kid magazines? Hours of tracing, learning, redoing and everyone can pick their favorite color pen :). My middle one just traces. My older one traces, then I put in a blank paper so he can see what he just did and I ask if he can redo it without tracing just below. He loves this "game."

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      Oh yes, I do like those too – but I haven't used them in that way. Great idea!

      Reply
  5. Laura
    August 30, 2012

    We love Dixon Ticonderoga pencils too. We always bought the kids brand new ones before they took the SAT—just as important as calculator batteries in our house! Guess good pencils run in the family.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      I agree – no mechanical pencils for me, although I know our engineer husbands and sons have a special type of mechanical pencil they use.

      Reply
      1. Laura
        August 30, 2012

        Yes…I hear the P205 is the best.

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          August 30, 2012

          That's what I hear too 🙂

          Reply
  6. Laurel
    August 30, 2012

    Ladybug is going to school part time? Have your other kids taken classes at the high school?

    My oldest son did his Senior year at the high school (10 years ago), and last year, Ben took a science class at the high school (as a Senior). But, I dropped Hosanna off at the high school yesterday and it was so weird. She is just a Sophomore, but is taking Algebra and Journalism every afternoon. None of my other kids have gone to high school. It is so weird.

    With the little guys going to preschool 3 mornings/week, does that mean that you and Sunshine have 3 mornings just to yourselves? What a concept! I don't know what to do with myself with only 3 kids home every afternoon. Last year I was homeschooling 6, and now I'm down to 3 (plus Hosanna in the mornings).

    I'm actually really looking forward to some focused time with the younger 3 that are still at home.

    Glad that your school year has started off fairly smooth.

    Laurel 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      Yes, Ladybug is taking classes 1st – 3rd periods. Isaiah took two classes last year. It's still a new thing, although Ladybug has played sports with the public school since 7th grade. Three mornings I will be home with Sunshine and hope to do a much better job homeschooling her! I also have a book proposal I'm supposed to be writing… Life is so different now, sometimes it is hard to believe.

      Reply
  7. Jennie
    August 30, 2012

    Had to laugh when I saw the Ticonderoga pencils! Yes, those are a must around here too! And I will be sad when my current pencil sharpener breaks, but she's holding on for now. 🙂 We brought home a turtle from a nearby pond today (I know probably should have left it there, but you should have seen my boys smile when I said, "Yes"). We do have a little pond in our backyard. We'll have to pull out our Handbook of Nature Study to learn more about our newest backyard resident. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 30, 2012

      Another Ticonderoga fan! Just as the kids released the field mouse, they caught a praying mantis. They are determined to have a pet.

      Reply
  8. amy
    September 1, 2012

    Lisa,
    I had to post and tell you that some of the comments on your postings have really been weighing heavily on me. There have been a couple of very unkind things said in recent comments (not on the specific post) that I just wanted to say 3 things about this. 1) Most of us who read you for the long term and daily can clearly see your heart for your whole family and the grief you feel with and for your children. (I believe I can speak for several of your readers, as they are either friends or have posted similar comments). We also see how you sacrifice for your children in ways that are difficult and stretching for you. We honor and respect that we see Jesus through you (way to go!!). 2) I don't know if these comments hurt you (hope not!) but I know they would hurt me. I want to encourage you to hear all the support you have over the few and far between negative comments. 3) I want to thank you for responding so kindly to such unkind comments. I want to respond in ways that are much less loving and I love both the example you are setting and the great beauty in being kind when others are not. Thank you so much. Praying for you.

    Reply
    1. Sadee
      September 11, 2012

      I agree with Amy!!! All of it!! And I fear that somehow you wouldn't feel as free to share so honestly when you are so misunderstood…..Thank you for sharing your life with us. Jesus is loving us and caring for us as you share your journey. Thank you for being so brave to share. Your vulnerability is life-giving to us. Thank you!!

      Reply

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