And it begins... The first day of school, new memories, old friends, and what an adventure it is going to be this year.

Basil has her permit to drive now. She is really enjoying being that cool kid that can drive to school and wants to drive around as much as she can. On day two, another kid saw her getting out of the driver's seat and said "You drove???" and she had the perfect response "Yeah, I'm that kind of cool!"

I saw she had a smile a mile wide and it was priceless <3

Leander joins his friends in Kindergarten and in a brand new school! They just finished building it and laying down the grass sod a few weeks before school started. The playground is amazing at 3 levels high! On day one, Leander was brave enough to go down the tallest slide on the playground he shared too. He is so brave!

Theodore also gets to join on the school adventure this year with his first year of Preschool. He is going to be going two days a week to start. He starts a week after his two older siblings and this week of being home by himself with us has been interesting, to say the least.

Theodore's first day with just himself to play toys with was great! He used his imagination and just got to play with such stories! In the following days, he was really feeling the weight of not having his brother and sister at home during the waking part of the day... and he was acting out a bit. We worked our best to make sure to give him enough attention throughout the day.

Next week will be the first time in over 2 years that everyone will be off at school or work and I will continue to work from home, alone. It will be just a few hours a week but its still an adventure.

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Just a few short weeks left to go and Basil will begin her sophomore year of High School, and Leander will begin Kindergarten. The following week, Theodore begins his very first year of preschool!

Theodore picked out his first school backpack already. The list of supplies is easy to find, even after most stores have been picked through. Crayons, pencils, pens, markers, and more... hand sanitizer. I will admit though, that watching the kids pick out their own supplies makes it so much more enjoyable because I remember what it was like for me to pick them out myself too... <3

Next, we will be going clothes shopping for our three kids. I always loved picking out new clothes each year for school. A new outfit for a new year. Not of course forgetting the annual tradition of new socks and underwear! That is always a great feeling.

I'm going to make sure to take the day off on all of the first days of school because I'm going to be emotional watching them all go off to school and wait for them to be done so I can pick them up again.


Our oldest, Riley, now having moved out, has decided he doesn't want to go to college just yet. And, we're ok with that. He can do his own thing and we support him every step of the way. And continued education doesn't have to be a part of everyone's plan and that's ok.

We always make sure to tell our kids that they are not required to go to college after High School is done. You can make a great living with or without a college degree. Our goal, give our kids the opportunity to be successful, make their own big decisions, and let them make their happy places. Even if a job or career isn't to perfect or the highest paying if you really enjoy what you do then it's still worth it. And, you can make anything work.

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Just last weekend we celebrated Riley graduating High School with a party at the local Eagles Club. The preparation leading up to the party was pretty interesting.

Riley's mother, Brittany, had purchased a lot of really nice decorations, including balloons and table items. There were lots of photos that were on display. A long dog with a grad cap was signed by everyone who showed up. Candy and treats and Green and Yellow Donuts were a hit! She was able to also secure several bean bag toss games, giant checkers, and giant Jenga! There wasn't much time they were not in use...

Brittany had also prepped lots of boneless wings in different sauces for the meal. The Plum Chili sauce was excellent in my own opinion. Buffalo wings were spot on! Suddenly Salad pasta is always good too.

Eston and I made little flip books out of the slideshow I created of Riley's entire life. It was a project years in the making finally coming to an end. Bittersweet a little bit but the memory books can always have more added to them. It was awesome though, 18 years spread across 32 slides, growing up on loop, in a matter of 15 minutes on screen. I'm going to put some finishing touches on the pages that go into the memory book before that is technically done. He won't get that until he is older though.

We also brought more table items, I printed a photo for every year and cut out photo frames saying either the age or grade using our Cricut. They looked pretty awesome on display too.

We had bought and prepped all fixings to have a taco bar, softshell, hard shell and little dorito bags along side a fruit and veggie mix - probably the biggest hit of the whole meal!

Even though there was quite a bit of leftovers, We all celebrated Riley and I genuinely think it was rather succesful. The people who showed up cared about him and were happy to be there and socialize. And now his school career is done, he's got a great job but of course could be on the search for something better he said. The future is right ahead of him and he is at the wheel.

Riley also moved out of our home shortly after graduating, just before the party. It wasn't done in the best fashion but luckily he came around and we were able to discuss things in an adult way. The real world can be hard, don't cash scam checks, make sure you visit and always keep your phone with you. You will be alright.

But in this case our oldest moving out opened up room for movement in the three younger kids! Basil took over Riley's old room. I painted it one week when she was off at her mom's house and it looks great! Som LED lights and boom, atmosphere, lol.

Basi's old room has now become Leander's new room. Watching my 5 year old get ready to sleep in his new room tonight was so wonderful and a little sad, just a little bit. He was so excited he couldn't stop smiling and then it hit him. "Who's gonna sleep in my room?"

Leander and Theodore have shared a room ever since Theodore was about 8 months old. They've always had their best friend right next to them. In fact, both of them were kind of confused that they had their very own bedroom. No one else's. Its that slightly choked up feeling in the lump in my throat of just absolute wonder and amazement of the new feelings and the little pit of I don't want you to be lonely my little boys. But still, you're gonna be alright.

3 more years and we will have another graduate walking out the doors on to the big world. I know a lot more now of what to expect and more of what to prepare. That, I am very thankful for.

We love you, Riley! Congratulations and Good Luck in all you do!

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