I do my best to start each school day with a hot breakfast for the kids. They love cold cereal, but it doesn’t seem to satisfy them for long. It’s also expensive, so we save that for Saturday. During the week, I like to prepare them something a little more substantial. I’ve started a meal rotation that really seems to be working for us.

We have hot cocoa on Mondays. It’s our special thing. Cocoa Monday! I make french toast and bacon and serve it with fresh fruit. I can whip it up quick while the kids make their drinks.

Tuesdays, it’s a breakfast bake. I assemble it the night before and toss it in the oven when I wake up. Easy!

We have pancake muffins on Wednesdays and baked oatmeal on Thursdays. We vary them by adding different fruits. I love these meals because they are delicious! And I can get up and get them in the oven, take a shower, and they’re ready when I wake everyone else up.

On Friday, we have some version of bacon, eggs, and bread. Usually breakfast sandwiches with english muffins.

I used to think that having the same meals over and again would get boring, but the kids seem to like it better when they know what to expect. They’re not asking for four different breakfasts anymore. I do best when I have a routine. This one allows me extra time to focus on the kids instead of the kitchen and I love that!

He rolls the cube.

What's the weather? Game cube

If it comes up snowy, we toss some cotton balls around. Windy? Switch on the fan! Our camping lantern provides sunny conditions. A spray bottle makes the rain.

It's raining!

His favorite weather is stormy. We crank up the fan, flicker the light, bang a cookie sheet with a spatula, and go crazy with the spray bottle.

He loves this game!

He also had fun jumping over and on construction paper puddles today. Since we’re working on name recognition and spelling, I added our pictures and names to each puddle.

All set for a rain game

He put on his rain boots and I gave him an umbrella.

Jumping on construction paper puddles

He’d shout the name on the puddle and then jump!

Can you find the puddle with your name?



And we’d sing J-A-C-K-S-O-N to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb every time he jumped on his name.

I’ve really been missing my Phoebe while she’s at school, but I am grateful for this time with Jack. So far, so fun – for everyone.

I cried when Julia started preschool. When Lucy started preschool, she cried. Today, Phoebe started preschool without a hint of drama.

Phoebe on her first day of preschool

She woke up on time, ate a good breakfast, and happily posed for her official First Day of School photo. She held my hand as we walked in to school and kissed it gently before letting it go, calling goodbye over her shoulder, but never looking back. I left with Jack, feeling content that she was exactly where she should be. When I picked her up, her cheeks scarcely held her grin. “It was amazing,” she said with a gleeful hop. Then she told me about her day.

It was just so…easy. I almost felt guilty about it.

Her sisters were so proud of and excited for her and they did their best to show it. Julia combed her hair for her and gave her a spritz of perfume. Lucy offered advice and a huge “I’m so proud of you” squeeze. I was thankful for that because all it takes is a “meh” from a big sister to crush a kid’s heart.

Sisterly support

But Bee’s heart has never been fuller.

School at Home

by Leslie

Phoebe will begin preschool one week from today.

Phoebe's going to preschool!

(That’s the picture we sent to school to label her mailbox and cubby.)

Once that happens, Jack and I will be on the go a lot, shuttling the bigger kids around. Our day will be fragmented into small chunks of time that are easy to waste if I’m not intentional about how we use it. So, I wrote up a little plan for some “School at Home.”

We’re celebrating a theme each school week. For example, this week’s is Family. We’re reading books, singing songs, playing games and doing activities about the theme.

Family Tree

Yesterday, we made a family tree. We stuck our photos on some apples, labeled the leaves and stuck them on there.

Then we made paper versions of ourselves from this paper doll template from Tim’s Printables. The rest of the family saw them and decided to make theirs, too.

Paper Family

That’s been one of the fun things, so far – the way everyone else adds to it. Last week, the little kids went fishing for letters.

Fishing for letters

(We printed them from Kiz Club.)

We named each letter as they caught the fish. Later, when Lucy came home from school, we used them for her spelling practice. Then, she and Phoebe started a game where the mommy fish (the uppercase letters) were searching for their baby fish (the lowercase letters). Lucy turned out to be an excellent teacher.

Alphabet maze

Today, our alphabet maze (from Hands On As We Grow) became an alphabet town.

Alphabet town

“Jack, your house is on XYZ lane!” Cool, right?

In addition to our theme, we’ll work on a letter, number, and color or shape each week. I wanted our letters to coincide with Phoebe’s letters of the week at school, so we’re starting with a few weeks of general alphabet introduction until she begins.

We’ve played the Alphabet Monster Game from Little Family Fun.

Feeding the alphabet monster

And we did some Magic Letter Learning (again, from Hands On As We Grow).

Finding hidden letters

And we’re building a book for our letters, numbers, and colors/shapes all year, adding a page to each of them every week.

Our color/shape book is a picture book. Last week’s shape was a circle. We went on a circle hunt, taking pictures of all we could find. Our favorite circle was spotted by Jack – the eyelet on his shoe.

Jack found a circle

That’s the one that went in the book.

I’m pretty excited about what we have going on. I think we’re going to have a fun school year.

Summer was sweet.

by Leslie

Jack and the blue popsicle.

Grimmershot kids.

Absolute adorableness.

Total cuteness.

The girls.

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