Elaina and Gabriella’s First Day of School (2020 Edition)

Today was Elaina and Gabriella’s first day of school.  Elaina started 1st grade and Gabriella started Kindergarten, and it was the first day that they would both be going to the same (real) school together, Colonel Johnston Elementary School.  While it is certainly sad seeing my little girls grow up, I could not be more proud of them.  Thankfully, the months and months they spent waiting for this day were definitely worth it.

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten…

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Looking Back on Last Year’s First Day of School

So tomorrow is the girls’ first day of school.  Elaina will be starting 1st Grade and Gabriella will be starting Kindergarten.  While I certainly will be posting about how the day went, when I went back to look over how I felt during Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten a year ago, I realized that I had not even posted about it.  Given that it was an extremely stressful day that also brought out the best in my being a parent, I figured I would share that today.

This feels like it happened a lot longer than a year ago…

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And Coronavirus Promoted Me to Teacher…

While kids worldwide are ecstatic about school being cancelled for the rest of the year, parents quickly found out that they were not quite off the hook.  Instead of just helping their kids with their homework and reading to them at bedtime, we became their primary teachers overnight (Note: This is in no way a slight to actual teachers, as they still have to assign and grade the coursework.  They also miss their kids like crazy).  It was a little difficult at first, but like all things with single parenting, you eventually get the hang of it.

Gotta get that “G” right, otherwise all hope is lost

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Read Across America Week – Fox in Socks Day

Here is another short post from our support of Read Across America Week earlier in March at Elaina’s school.  They had a Fox in Socks Day, where every child was encouraged to wear crazy socks to school.  Elaina, being the perpetual overachiever that she is (so proud), wanted to wear socks on her hands as well.  Done.

The Eiffel Tower socks are due to her love of Fancy Nancy

This meant that we had to take a trip to Hobby Lobby (Yes, I will take any excuse!) to find her some new pairs of crazy socks.  As luck would have it, they had a three-pair set of French-themed socks covered in Eiffel Towers, macarons, and birds for Elaina, while Gabriella went with the more traditional mermaid-themed socks (Gabriella, of course, wants to participate in any activity that Elaina is a part of; as much as they fight, and they do, Gabriella loves her sister and wants to be just like her).  Not much to it other than that, but any activity that gets my girls excited about school is a win.  And now they have a ready supply of fancy socks, so double-win, I guess.

Yep, we do matching hair ties as well in our family

Thanks for checking in on us.

Cheers!

Read Across America Week – Guest Reader

As part of Read Across America Week earlier this month, Elaina’s teacher asked parents to volunteer as guest readers for her class.  As busy as I am at work (even pre-COVID-19), there is always time to support Elaina and her school, so I volunteered to read two books to her class.

Elaina’s Book Choices (her teacher denied me reading The Dresden Files or Game of Thrones)

The hardest part of this was determining what books we were going to bring.  Elaina ended up choosing The Sneetches and Fancy Nancy, but Dragons Love Tacos and Fox in Socks were definitely considered.  After that, it was easy:  Show up to Elaina’s class at the right time, read both books (with the voices, of course), and answer a dozen questions from inquisitive kindergarteners (Child: “Why does Nancy want to be so fancy?”; Me: “She watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s one too many times.  Next question please.”).  It is always a great idea to volunteer to support your child’s class when available.  It makes your child very proud that their Dad is participating in a school activity, and a plus is that they get to see you during the school day.  It also lets the teacher know that you are an active participant in your child’s education while being supportive of her program and activities.  Improving my daughter’s education and putting a smile on both of our faces… yes, please!  So, if you get the opportunity, volunteer to support your child’s class as a guest reader, chaperone, or by making or donating something to support their activities; you will not regret it.

Elaina’s Words to Live by: Volunteer for your daughter!

Thanks for checking in on us.

Cheers!

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (Character Day)

March 2-6 was Read Across America Week at COL Johnston Elementary School.  Elaina was pretty pumped for it, with every day having a special theme.  And of course, Gabriella, always wanting to be like her big sister, got in on the fun too.  Dr. Seuss’ birthday was that Monday and the school celebrated by having a Dr. Seuss Character Day.  While we are certainly not the greatest at arts & crafts or DIY, events like these keep us smiling while improving on our skills.

Both with Stars upon thars

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Long Time No Update

I think it is pretty safe to say that the last month has been a little rough for all of us.  I am certainly no different.  With a new job, the girls being gone for Spring Break, and the military preparation for COVID-19, the last two weeks in particular have been extremely difficult.  I just wanted to give a quick update to let everyone know that we are doing okay.  If there is anything that the Calkins Family does well, we endure, and tend to make the best of any situation.

Yep, they upgraded to a real trampoline.

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Valentine’s Day Card Boxes for School

It is that time of year again to receive candy from others… no, not Halloween… not Easter… we do seem to have a lot of these…  it is Valentine’s Day!  Which comes with the annual card exchange at Elaina and Gabriella’s schools.  Elaina had to make a box at home to receive all her cards, and while none of us are particularly amazing at arts & crafts, we managed to get our projects completed on time and in style.

Take that, Chip and Joanna!

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Elaina’s “Gingerbread” House

Prior to the winter break, Elaina’s class had a “gingerbread” house decorating activity, of which parents were invited.  While Elaina begged me to go, it was all in vain; as I have stated before, I would not have missed it for the world.

Note: If you have not noticed, I am playing a little bit of catch-up on my writing.  The girls are visiting their mother and great-grandmother over the holiday weekend, so it might finally give me a chance to get to some of the bigger events, such as their soccer season, Christmas,  New Year’s.

“Honey, please make sure it is built up to code.”

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More Fundraisers!

After Elaina returned to Colonel Johnston Elementary School after the winter break, the fundraisers started back up again.  And considering that these events are directly helping Elaina’s teacher purchase items for her classroom and that it was at the girls’ favorite pizza parlor, you know that we were going to be there.

And the event was just a Big Red Dog ride away (Dad Joke!)

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