And, they’re off!

Clark started school today.  Grant starts tomorrow.  Natalie starts next week.  I tried really hard to be as organized and ready as possible, and so far, so good.  Look how grown up my sweet Clark is.  He lost his front tooth just in time to start 2nd grade.

So I turned over lunch-making responsibilities to the boys for their own school lunches.  I made these boxes of different food categories.  They take one of each, make their own sandwich, and put in the fridge for the morning.  Then I don’t have to worry about it.  It’s part of their evening routine, along with laying out clothes for the next day.  They’re excited, I’m excited.  Hope it works.

And our new schedule/routine is up.  Thanks to Allison for her cool, free people clipart.

Also, about the backtalk problem we’ve had around here, I’m moving forward on a suggestion by my dad while he was visiting.  We just give them a hard-labor job when they are disrespectful.  Today Natalie had a sassy-fit and ended up outside in the yard with a hat and some gloves and was told she could come in for dinner when the bucket was full of weeds.  Just seeing her out there in the yard picking weeds kept the boys on their best behavior for the rest of the night.

I just want to say that, despite my expressions of deep frustration in the past, we have had several weeks in a row of really nice Family Home Evenings.  We still do a lot of policing (“Sit down.”  “Don’t touch each other.”), but we’ve had good gospel discussions, we’ve shared testimonies and experiences, and we’ve felt the Spirit.  I don’t say this to rub it in; I was hoping it might give people some hope that there is life after death-by-Family-Home-Evening.  I’m guessing we’re in a temporary “moments of joy” stage that Elder Ballard testified would come amid the frustrations.

In other news, I had the opportunity to speak at my ward’s youth Standards Night fireside last night.  A couple thoughts about the experience:  1) When you plead with the Lord to help you do something that feels a little overwhelming, He does.  Help you, I mean. 2) While I was studying For the Strength of Youth’s guidelines about Entertainment & Media, I felt the Spirit telling me that he’s been trying to tell me for quite a while that a couple of my favorite shows have gone downhill, and maybe it’s time to let them go.  So I am.  Yes, I’ll miss them, but my life won’t be empty without them.  I only had 2 or 3 shows I followed anyway, so maybe I’ll have time to work on some more important stuff now.  Since I committed to drop them, I already feel something different.

Anyway,  have a great week.  And best wishes to all you back-to-school moms.  We will survive.  Right?