Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Another year...

And here we are again. Another First-Day-Of-School. Truth be told, I wasn't overly excited about school starting back up again. This summer was really low key. And it was meant to be. After mine and Julianne's NYC trip in early June, we didn't have anything else going on really. And after our crazy and emotional spring, this was a good thing! Brandon would continue with gymnastics 30+ hours a week with some extra morning workouts along with the normal evening ones. Lilian was signed up for odds and end little neighborhood cooking classes, swimming lessons and a crafts class. Julianne had evening rehearsals for "Guys and Dolls" at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre. But no vacations, camping trips or other big adventures. So I had hoped to throw in some hiking. And a few trips to Cherry Hill and Lagoon. I wanted to keep up on the yard really well and eat dinner on our back patio more frequently. I wanted to bike in the mornings. And read a lot of books....

But then I unexpectedly scheduled surgery. And although it was the perfect time to do it solely because we didn't have any vacations, camping trips or other big adventures turned our summer into even more low key of an event than I had originally expected. So some of those other little family activities I was hoping to enjoy didn't really happen. Well, except for reading a lot of books. Having a sedentary summer worked out well for reading and not only did I get through quite a few books on my own, we read through a lot of the Harry Potter series out loud as a family as well.

So I watched from the comfort of my bed and couch while all my neighbors and friends posted pictures on social media of boating and trips to the museum, camping and fishing, swimming and Lagoon. And I had to talk myself out of feeling somehow like I had failed my summer. Which is silly. Because a low key, relaxing, sedentary summer frankly is exactly what I needed. And though I wish for a few more weeks now that I'm actually up and moving again....the district planners unfortunately do not consult with me when they plan their school calendars each year, so here we are. The-First-Day-Of-School.


Because of the block schedule, at the high school they get two First-Days. Which is maybe good for Julianne seeing as the first one didn't go quite as smoothly as she had hoped and when I insisted on taking a picture I got a look that more or less said, "Oh fine...but hurry it up please, I'm late!" She was much more cool and collected on the second First-Day.

She's a senior this year. Thank heavens, because junior year (generally accepted as the hardest of the high school years) about did us both in! All the same, she has her senior year jam packed with a bunch of AP and CE classes and an elementary education internship. So far, she still seems to be super excited about them all...but we are only a week and a half in to the semester. She's also thrilled to be on the Seminary Council this year. And is already in rehearsals for the school musical, Les Miserables.

1. AP Art History
2. Internship
3. Internship
4. Seminary
5. CE English 1010
6. Physics
7. AP Psychology
8. U.S. Government and Citizenship

Second semester she'll swap up some classes to add CE Communications, CE College Algebra 1050, Child Development and switch CE English for regular English Literature. She may decide to audition for a Children's Theatre class or for the Moonlight Singers her second semester in which case she would drop Child Development....she's still debating. Her counselor is absolutely thrilled that she's still on track to get the very hard to earn Regents Scholarship which would be worth a hefty chunk of college money. Here's hoping we've dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's! And then of course, senior I learned the hard way two years ago with Rebekah....will mean graduation and the accompanying emotions as I lose another daughter to college and adult hood!

BRANDON....9th grade (aka Freshman)
Brandon is in 9th grade this year...a freshman in high school officially, so grades and classes now count towards graduation...but still over at the Junior High school. Because he is busy with gymnastics workouts every day of the week except Sunday, he isn't involved in any school extracurriculars. But being the big fish in the pond is nice and Rebekah and Julianne both really enjoyed their 9th grade years, and he expects to as well.

1. English
2. Earth Science
3. Computer Technology
4. Geography
5. P.E.
6. Math
7. Seminary

Second semester he'll trade out P.E. and Computer Tech for Photography and Advanced Art. I think after this year ends he will have taken every art class the school offers! The art and science teachers all know him extremely well...those two subjects being his favorite. This is the first year for Seminary and he's really been enjoying that class as well. Though we have a carpool...the same one we've had all three years of junior high, he's been trying to take advantage of the nice weather before winter sets in to ride his scooter to and from school as often as he can.

We get asked often how he is able to keep up with seven classes worth of homework along with his demanding gymnastics schedule. Interestingly he continues to get great grades and have no problem getting his homework done. Last week all the school counselors were visiting the english classes to talk to the kids about homework skills, time management, focus and priorities. Brandon's counselor randomly happened to be the one that visited Brandon's class and he was surprised (and probably a bit embarrassingly pleased) to hear her use him as an example. "There is a boy in this school that is an elite gymnast. He's in this class, in fact. He goes to the gym after school every single day. And yet he still gets really good grades. How do you suppose he manages that?" And then she asked Brandon questions about how he finds the time to do his homework and he talked about working hard during class rather than talking to his neighbors, and using that one hour he has right after school before he leaves for gym or sometimes working on homework during the drive to Bountiful, etc. Brandon has a great counselor who is super helpful and seems extremely proud of the kid.

LILIAN....3rd grade
Lilian is in the 3rd grade this year with Mrs. Williams as her teacher. And though she doesn't have any of her closest besties in her class with her (for the third year in a row..she was so incredibly irritated and railed for many long moments about the unfairness of it all) she claims that the her first day of school and her new teacher was the best one yet! Granted, she says that every year.

She's hugely excited to start learning cursive...despite the fact that it isn't really required for anything and very few people actually use it. A large chunk of her back to school clothes are cheetah print in one way or another. And she insists on me packing extra dessert in her home lunch every day so she can share with Luke....a boy from the neighborhood who is a year older than her but who now shares the same lunch period seeing as the 3rd and 4th graders eat together.

Extracurriculars for Lilian continue to include piano lessons (in which we tend to fail every week when it comes to practicing). A new season of soccer has started up with a new coach, more advanced rules, and a new field closer to home to play their games on Saturdays. With four girls from our ward on the neighborhood, we've started a carpool which helps tremendously getting them to and from their twice a week practices. CentreStage Theatre starts up again this week and rumor has it that among other things, they will be putting together a production of The Jungle Book. And then this year for the first time Lilian joined Singers Company...a little girls singing group run by a woman in our stake. We're newbies but from what I can tell, Singers Company is a national group with local affiliates. A lot of Lilian's little friends from outside the neighborhood are in this group. (See? You make lots of new friends when you don't have your traditional besties in your school I keep trying to explain to Lilian when she complains.) I think she's going to have a good year.

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