Monday, August 20, 2012

From One Stretch to Another...

Well that time that comes every year in August has once again arrived.... back to school time.  I used to be one of those parents that was ready before the time arrived because I loved sending my oldest daughter back to school.  It started our routine back, and I didn't have to worry about bothering either grandma to watch her.  But as the kids get older, I treasure my time more and more with them.  I remember 2 years ago I was so excited because both kids were in school then.  The routine was better because both girls went to school all day and got off the bus at the same time.  That only lasted a year since Alyssa was in 5th grade and Jen was in kindergarten.  It seems like that was just yesterday, but fast forward until now and I have a 7th grader and a 2nd grader. 

Our summer consists of the girls visiting Granny most days, followed by attending a 4-H event almost every single weeknight of the summer.  It's routine for me to leave work, drive 35 minutes to where they are to sit and wait for them to get done with whatever clinic they are participating in that evening, and get home late in the evening.  I love that the girls are so involved in 4-H activities, but it can be extremely tiresome for all of us.  Alyssa is fortunate enough to show horses, sheep, goats and her dog at the fair.  Likewise, Jenna participates with her horse, a sheep and a goat.  Now that doesn't sound like much but when there are different practices 3-4 nights a week, it is alot.  And throw in the fact that I have a middle school cheerleader now - let's just say I'm lucky to sleep 6 hours a night!

Around our house, we have two main stretches of the year.  The first is the school year which runs 9 1/2 months of the year.  Then there is summer break which is the remaining 2 1/2 months of the year.  The school year takes up most of our time with school activities, practices, games, homework and then of course the normal nightly routine of dinner, bath, and bedtime.  I would love to think that when summer break comes along, it's mainly a break for us.  It is in the fact there is no daily homework but 4-H and other activities fill the void there! 

I am happy to say that most of our 4-H activities and our fair are all over for the year!  This means we start our long school stretch which I think is a good thing.  At least I'm trying to convince myself of that!  Starting back to school means early bedtimes, early to rise, and tired kids at night.  We are on day 5 of the school year and as I told my daughter this morning - 175 more days to go!  Am I ready for summer to be over?  No not really, and even though it has a few more days on the calendar, I consider summer break over the day they start back to school. 

I can say I am happy with the progress the girls made this year with their animals and well they did at the fair.  They may not have won every single class they were in, but they did come home with a few trophies, plaques, and ribbons.  And they were happy with their results.  That is what's important to me! 

As we say goodbye to summer break, daily 4-H events and the fair, we must say hello to another school year.  Now that I'm getting used to getting up super early again to get Alyssa off on the bus, I think I'm happy that the school year has begun.  I took advantage last week and cleaned house and did laundry while the house was peaceful and quiet with everyone still asleep.  It should be illegal that Alyssa's bus comes as early as it does, but on the flip side, it's also nice to get things accomplished early in the morning.  So as we end our summer stretch and begin our school stretch, we will enjoy and cherish the days.  Because in the blink of an eye, I will be writing about preparing for the fair and the end of school year again....

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