What’s In Your Lunch Box?

Oh the Lunch Box! It’s only three weeks in, and the lunchbox struggle is real! My son has been digging some PB&J sandwiches on Ezekiel bread, but I have to encourage him to think outside of the box.

Every day I try to include one veggie, one fruit, one protein, and one snack. We really try to limit our kiddos intake of processed food, and have some healthier suggestions listed below. What kid doesn’t like a good snack?

Fruits: Whatever fruit our kiddos are currently digging, but preferably something not too messy. Grapes, apples, blueberries, strawberries, and frozen mango are the current favorites at our house.

Veggies: Kale salad, quinoa salad, leftover sweet potato fries, roasted brussel sprouts, or broccoli.

Proteins: PB&J on Ezekiel bread, kidney beans, hummus and crackers. For the PB&J, I use Trader Joe’s organic PB and organic jelly from Costco.

Snacks: Annie’s bunnies or cheddar squares, Yum Earth gummies, Lara bars, home made date balls, Trader Joes peanut butter crackers, and stove top popcorn.

As a child, I have fond memories of my mom and dad writing me notes in my lunchbox. I try to always include a bit of encouragement for my son on his napkin.

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What’s in your kiddos’ lunchbox, Mama? I’d love to swap some ideas!

Back to School Rhythm

The back to school rhythm is a wayyyyy different than our summer mornings where we would take our time to play and make big breakfasts. It’s been an adjustment even from VPK that started at 9 am, to kindergarten where Aiden can be dropped off as early as 7:45 but not one minute later than 8 am.

Here’s some tips that we have implemented to make our mornings run smoother and help with our transition back to school:

  1. Uniforms prepped and ready for the week. I wash all my son’s uniforms on the weekend and then my husband irons them on Sunday night. My husband has also taken on ironing his clothes for the week. This helps save time in the mornings-the five to ten minutes to let the iron heat up, open the ironing board, and iron the clothes daily.
  2. Prepping lunch. I try to have most of my son’s foods packed the night before. I simply have to transfer it to his lunchbox and we are ready for the day.
  3. Backpack ready. Homework and folder check are done each night before the school day. His backpack hangs on the door handle of the downstairs closet to make for an easy grab and go.
  4. Meal plan/Grocery shop/Meal prep on the weekend. I’ll write a whole post about this in the future. This is a strategy we implemented a few years ago that has changed our meal times for the better. I try to plan our meals for the week and my husband does grocery shopping for us on Friday nights while I teach. Sunday is meal prep day. I try to prep our salad dressings, baked goods, and one meal to make the week flow a little smoother. I also plan for very simple breakfasts and dinners during the week and am more apt to try new recipes on the weekends.

How’s your family transitioning to the back to school rhythm, Mama? What tips can you share? I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below!

School of Choice

My first baby just wrapped up his first week in kindergarten. I predicted I would be sobbing as we dropped him off on his first day, but somehow I refrained. My little man barely glanced back at me as his teacher brought him to class. His demeanor helped stabilize my emotions.

My thoughts were another story…

Would he remember to use the bathroom and how to wipe his coolie when he poops? Will he drink enough water? Will he be kind towards his classmates? What color will he be on for behavior at the end of the day?”

The first day of school is filled with photo ops and lots of excitement. A new year and new beginnings.

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Deciding where your child goes to school is a big decision that requires research and prayer. There are so many choices. Public? Charter? Private? Home? Montessori? Waldorf?

We decided when my son turned 4 that he would attend VPK and see how he did before committing to a decision for kindergarten. I felt pressured to homeschool because a lot of my close friends were doing it, and with my background in elementary education, I felt almost obligated. Every time I thought about the homeschooling possibility I would get super anxious and have a strong sense of resistance.

I’ll never forget one night when cleaning up from dinner I was in tears. My Babes gently wiped my face and told me I don’t have to homeschool, and released me from that pressure.

I realized, “I don’t have to be super mom.” I can be confident in the things I do well and it’s ok for me to send my child to school and go back to teaching full time one day.  

So, we began to think and research schools. I preferred to send him to private school, but figured that was way out of our budget. I’m so thankful for our friends who told us about Step Up, this awesome grant that offers scholarships to people who qualify based on family size and income. I’ll share more details about the application process in another post.

The cool thing was, we didn’t have to look very far. One of the schools that accepted Step Up is relatively close to our house. I sensed the Lord leading us to this school. We only toured one school, only filled out one application, and only paid one registration fee. In fact, I put down the deposit of $300 to reserve Aiden’s spot prior to receiving the confirmation of the scholarship. I felt strongly that I needed to take that step of faith.

A few thoughts when making the school choice:

1. Freedom to choose. There is freedom in choice, mama. You don’t have to answer or convince your other mommy friends or family of your decision. What works best for your family? For your child?

2. Take it year by year. When we chose the school my son is at for kindergarten, we didn’t have to make a commitment that he would graduate from high school there. If down the road we decide to switch to a different school, we can do that. One year at a time.

3. Peace and unity. Be at peace with your decision, Mama. I think it’s very important for parents to be united in their decision making process as well.

What is your school of choice for your kiddos? How was their first day of school? Answer in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you!

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