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First Day of School 2013

It happened. My kids went back to school. It felt so surreal. Like…I’ve done this a few times before, it never felt so odd. My kids are at an age where we really had a fun summer. I don’t have napping babies or diapers to change, we could do whatever we wanted all day long. AND, I now have a child old enough to be in charge (life changing) when I need to run an errand or exercise, which was amazing, but I stilly tried to drag them along to other places just to get them out of the house some days. We had a good thing going. We didn’t have “electronic time” til 3pm, so they woke up and read….and played games with each other….and mostly got along. We’d take adventures, pools, outings, and part way through the summer we had a family budget constraint that they totally understood and we spent next to nothing on activities. It was a dreamy summer. I have a tendency to block out the bad–it was there–the fighting and my youngest learning she can do the blood curtling screams. But overall–dreamy. I’ve mentioned before that I battle with sending them off, but I know in my heart it’s best for them, and I also know that I wouldn’t like being their school teacher. Scholastic discipline is not in my nature, and there is too much fun to be had at school. Really, my kids will never admit it, but they love school. They love the social, learning, and activities they get to do. But don’t you worry about me….I find things to do with my quiet-er time.  Here is a snippet of my brewd as they headed to school. Back to School first day of school
schoolschool time

I suggested they dance…and they did! Then a few cars drove by, toting kids to school, and they stopped. But I captured some slick moves!


Then the oldest stayed home while the rest of us walked to the elementary school. I’m pretty pleased with the french braids I’ve been producing on my daughters hair recently. I’d never actually attempted it until a few months ago (though my mom did this many many times on my hair growing up) and happy that I’d envisioned it long enough in my head that it worked out when I went to do it!

french braid
walking to school

These two are good buddies…walking

And BOTH of them get to go upstairs every day for class–big time!

stairs at school

And after we dropped them off, we felt a little hole in our hearts…


But I’m pretty sure we will find some fun things to fill our time;)

So tell me, are you like me and have a hard time “cutting the apron strings” as my husband says, or do you celebrate when school starts? I’m a good mix of both.


Printable Kids Lunch Jokes and Brain Teasers

I’m so excited to share another batch of kids lunch jokes, plus a new set of brain teasers for the older kid crowd!  2 years ago I introduced the first set of lunch jokes, and they were so popular with readers as well as my kids,  so I made many more sets. I even mades sets with holiday themes throughout the year!  It was something that I wanted to do for my kids that I though others might enjoy, too. My fabulous friend Kim at 733 Blog whipped these up this new batch for me to share with all of you!  At the bottom of the post,  you’ll find the link for these, and to my past post with over 100 printables of more lunch jokes to last you throughout the year!

Printable Kids Lunch Jokes and Brain Teasers

It all started when I wanted to do more than just put a little note in my kids school lunches….

I wanted them to:

a) know I love them and was thinking of them (just putting anything in there does that)

b) put a smile on their face from mom

c) share something fun with their friends at the lunch table

This first set I’m sharing today can really be for any age, but geared towards the younger elementary school crowd. I’ll still cut them up for my middle schooler, though. Click on the jokes to download, or there are links at the bottom.


The second set is a bit trickier, I call them brain teasers. They are aimed for the middle school (or even high school) age group, but it would still be a fun challenge for the younger crowd (and the answer IS on the back).

lunch_brain_teasersI simply print, cut, and each morning when I place them in their lunches, I sign, “love, mom.” If I need to add something specific that day, I’ll do it then.


lunch jokes

For each set, there are two pages, one for the front and one for the back. You would ideally print on front and back from your printer.  They are lined up so that the answers are on the back of the question. If you don’t have a duplex option to flip the print and the printer feeds it through, you just have to line up the paper so it prints the right!  When I couldn’t figure out my printer to do duplex printing, I have printed them before not double sided and just cut ‘em and taped ‘em together. No biggie!  I personally will print 3 copies of each page (for my 3 kids), cut them up and put them in the drawer in the kitchen with the ziploc bags that I use for school lunch making. That way, they are all ready to go each morning. I’ve actually gone to visit them at lunch and get to see them pull out their joke, and share it with their friends. It’s fun. Their friends start to look forward to it, too!

brain teasersHope you and your kids love them as much as we do!  Click on the links below to download the printables.

 10 New Lunch Jokes

10 Brain Teasers

Old post with over 100 lunch jokes

including holidays throughout the year

HalloweenThanksgivingChristmasValentines DaySpring & Easter


So are you going to do it? Print out some jokes for your kids lunches? I’d love if you Pin It so others can benefit, too!

Flash from the past: Kids School Lunch Jokes

Since I don’t normally post on the weekends, I thought I’d at least share some of my favorite past projects on Saturdays that some of you new folks haven’t seen before. Today, I’m going to share the Lunch Jokes that may have gotten lost in the archives. I made an entire years worth of jokes to slip into your kids lunches, and I’m using them again this year! My kids love them, and it’s my way of saying “I love you” in a subtle way, that even their classmates love and look forward to each day!


Click on the picture of HERE to go to the original post introducing the lunch jokes. At the end of that post is the link to the rest (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, End of school jokes). In the future, you can always type in lunch jokes over to the right on the search button on my sidebar and it will take you to them, too. That’s how I get there each time!

Raising independent kids by sending them to school

I feel strongly about raising my children to be independent thinkers. I also believe that sending them off to school is the best way (for us) to do that. I don’t need to get into a big public school/home school debate, but I’ll admit–homeschooling is very tempting. I LOVE having my kids around, I’m sad to have them away from me, after having them around so much over the summer. But I also know that I can’t provide for them at home what I want for them fully in life. Do I want to protect them from all of the evils of the world? Absolutely! Do I think I can best do that by keeping them at my side at all times? No way. Here is a snapshot of our first day of school picture on the front door. If you haven’t already read my “what I believe” post over on my sidebar, we are quite religious people. We have gospel discussions in our home on a regular basis. We have daily prayer and scripture study as a family, and encourage our children to do the same on their own. I hear people who don’t know about my faith in the news say that we strive to brainwash our children, but really…I want my children to know the difference about how we live, and how some others may live, and to choose on their own to believe what we try to teach.  I want to teach them to live IN the world, but not necessarily OF the world. The world is a crazy, scary place.  I feel the best way to teach that is to arm them with love and tools and little by little…choose the right path on their own.

When my oldest started kindergarten, I was afraid of what the kids with older siblings would be spreading to him…I was sure he’d be informed on his first day about how babies were made, and where to find the nearest weed. What was I thinking? I loved him too much to send him away…how could I do this to him…and to myself? But I had faith in the process, and always told myself that I could easily pull him out and home school him if I ever wanted to. But it was wonderful, it was amazing…elementary school is a happy place…rainbows and unicorns seemed to pop out in every direction…his teachers were kind…and loving…and welcomed me and my 2 small children (at the time). I got involved, memorized all of the kids names in his class that first week of school. And I felt that feeling of comfort…of peace…that this was the right thing to do for our family.  I hated that everything changed. My second son lost his playmate, his best friend, and I mourned the way things used to be. But then I delighted in watching my #2 start to play with his little sister and become buddies with her…and that melted my heart in a whole new way. It became apparent to me that this is what I wanted for my children, as much as it pained me, it wasn’t about me…it was about them. I made decisions that I was going to tell my kids about “all those things” that I didn’t want them to hear from others. I wanted them to hear it all from me first, not from the kids on the playground with older siblings (now I have a daughter with older brothers that I’m sure some of her friends parents don’t love).

So once again, we make the trek to school.  Last year I walked 3 to school, now we just walk two.  Looking at this picture below, I feel a bit broken all over again. My kids are now split up at 2 different schools. I dropped the littles off at the rainbow land of elementary school, then drove my 6th grader off to the scariest place on earth–middle school.
But guess what? As nerve wracked as I am about middle school–when I toured there last week (and last May), and walked to all of the classrooms with my son, I felt that peace all over again that I so desperately needed. This, too, will be ok. It is an amazing school, I felt peace when hearing the assistant principal reassure all of us parents that we can come on campus whenever (have to hold myself back from that for my sons sake), they have video surveillance cameras (yes, a spoiled fact), an anonymous hot line for kids to report anything suspicious, and so many other things that made me feel ok about all of this. I’ve talked with my son about the “craziness” in the world, and what to expect from the halls of middle school, or the locker room. He knows what is inappropriate, and though I don’t hope that he’ll run into it, I know he will, and I hope we have taught him well enough that he will CHOOSE to shy away from it, and then be stronger than he was before. I have faith that he will…because I remember being there. I was taught, tempted, and chose the path that I am on now. And if not, I have faith in the process of “coming back” after making mistakes.

My 4th grader went up the stairs to his class, and I walked my 2nd grader into hers. She sits right by a classmate from last year, and neighbor.
They were fine, and happily waved goodbye to me. I’m grateful I’ve never had a child cry and beg me not to leave them, because I don’t know if I’d be strong enough…
I drove my middle schooler, gave him a big pep talk, had him write a “cheat sheet” of his schedule to put in his pocket, encourage him to smile at others in the hall (he tends to keep to himself), and he was off. All day, I wondered and fretted.

I was home with my youngest by 8:30 and just stared at her as she ate her breakfast. Once again, just the two of us.  In two years, I’ll be all alone.
Now I’m not going to lie and say that the quiet was kinda nice and mellow, I don’t have much opposition from my littlest about the schedule of our day. I do look forward to getting organized, grocery shopping easier, etc. It is more relaxing, but I’ve got just 2 more years of my baby at home, and I want to make the best of it.

Luckily, we had a lunch with friends planned. We call it tears & cheers. Some are tearing, some are cheering. There was a handful of them there, and we all told stories of our first day. One friend dropped off her oldest to kindergarten with tears in both of their eyes, but as I told her before this day, you just gotta rip the band aid off. I cried a little for her. I remember all too well that day. Then I had a friend tell how she dropped off her youngest to kindergarten and went home and wept…and I cried a little for her too…because that day will come all too soon for me.


I’ll admit, it was fun to chat with my friends with only one little helper…but she played with her friend.  I won’t lie and say I also don’t enjoy the slower pace, more quiet, more time while the kids are playing at school, and I don’t mope around waiting for them…I just miss them. It was fun to see my daughter running to me with arms outstretched that let me know she had a great day.

My son also had a great day in 4th grade…

…and when my 6th grader walked out with a big smile, I felt so so happy (the half smile on his face below is nothing to the smile I saw…but it is etched in my mind).

So once again, I tell myself…it’s going to be ok. This is what I feel in my heart is best for them (though I know others don’t agree, this is not a bashing home school post, just how I feel… I won’t say I’d never do it if I felt it was right for us), and I must do my part at home to fill them with love and goodness, so they will be armed with confidence and make choices, hopefully in the right direction.  Though my husband often jokingly says I need to loosen the apron strings, I can’t help but fully invest my heart into my children.  As my favorite mommy blogger, Shawni says on her blog, 71toes, this is the life I chose, to be their mother–whole heartedly. Especially love THIS post of hers.

Lastly, here are a few pics of my daughter who indulges me in all of the poses and handful of pictures I like to take.