Our Five Ring Circus: The Last Day(s) of School {AKA We Made It!}

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Last Day(s) of School {AKA We Made It!}

The Last Day(s) of School

We made it! Our first year of having four kids in four different schools came to an end. The last day(s) of school are behind us, and it's officially Summer Break!

The year flew by, but it wasn't always easy. The truth is, it's often incredibly difficult to keep up with the academic and extracurricular schedules of four kids, especially when they all attend different schools! More deadlines and due dates were missed, and paperwork forgotten, than I care to admit. But we did it, and we ended the year successfully, so that's ALL that matters!

So what's a school year like with four kids? I'll break it down!

400+ outfits chosen the night before.

400+ lunches packed.

360 signatures in assignment books.

180+ hours helping with homework or quizzing kids for tests.

1,440 miles driven to and from kindergarten pick up.

30 hours spent in the kindergarten pick up line (O. M. G.).

1,300 miles driven to preschool drop off and preschool pick up.

18 hours spent in the preschool building during drop off and pick up.

15 hours spent waiting at the bus stop in the morning.

Thousands of dollars spent on clothing, books, school supplies, gifts for teachers, fundraisers, pictures, yearbooks, lunches, and school activities.

1 knocked out tooth, 1 broken wrist.

A whole lot of sick days. (It was the first year we have gone through this!)

6 teachers, 3 therapists, 5 parent teacher conferences, 1 IEP meeting.

3 concerts, 2 field trips, 15 school parties, 6 book fairs, 3 open houses, 3 field days.

4 thriving kids, 1 exhausted mama.

Let me just say, I am THRILLED to get a break from all that chaos!

Here's a quick glimpse at Dylan, Lexie, Lily and Liam's last days of school!


Back To School Photos

This was a big year for Liam (and mama)! If you recall, I was very apprehensive about sending Liam to preschool so young. Much to my surprise, he thrived, and he absolutely loved school!

Liam attended a preschool for kids who have IEP's. I was also uncertain that it was the right place for him, but I don't regret my choice one bit. There were less than ten kids in his class, and his teacher was AMAZING. He received speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy at school, and he participated in so many fun activities and brought home adorable artwork and crafts almost every single day. He went to school three afternoons a week, and I felt 100% comfortable leaving him in the capable arms of his loving teacher.

Liam was the first of my kids to finish school. His last day was on May 25th, and Lily and I got to go to school with him, see him in action (he's a total ham and charmer, of course), and celebrate with his class by having an end of the school year party.

Last Day of Preschool

Nothing Down About It

It may have been his last day of the full school year, but he still has a few school days built into the Summer. Liam will attend preschool for three afternoons one week in June, one week in July, and one week in August. He will receive his therapies during each of those three weeks of school over the Summer, but he doesn't do outpatient therapy, so he will still be able to enjoy a Summer Break!

Back To School Photos

Unfortunately, at the end of the Summer, we will have to say goodbye to his amazing teacher. She is transferring to another school, and I am so upset about it! We were assured his new teacher is just as great, though. Plus, his longtime friend, Dolly, who is also rocking an extra chromosome will be in his class next year. I am relieved that he won't be the only child there who has Down syndrome, and I'm hoping for one more successful year before we make the switch to full inclusion!

Just look at how much he grew from the first day to the last!

First and Last Day of Preschool


Back To School Photos

It was a big year for Lily, too! She started Kindergarten as one of the youngest in her grade. She turned 5 just before the Kindergarten cutoff date, but we opted to send her. There were a few minor bumps in the road, mostly due to the fact that many of her classmates were almost or over a full year older than she was, but she is independent and determined.

She held her own, and even got into an infamous argument with a boy in her class who claimed he was stronger than John Cena. Of course, my very outspoken and bold daughter informed him that he was NOT stronger than John Cena because "John Cena has man muscles, and you do not have man muscles!" Gotta love her!

Lily loved all the fun, new experiences in Kindergarten. Some of her favorite things were recess, assemblies, book fairs, gym class, and field day, which was two days before school ended.

Back To School Photos

She ended the year strong, but wasn't ready to say goodbye to her friends and her teacher just yet. When I picked her up on her last day of school, she was pouting, and she told me she wasn't excited about school ending because she was really going to miss her friends and her teacher.

Back To School Photos

Next year, Lily will be heading to first grade, and half days of school will be a distant memory. For the first time ever, she will be away from me for full days, five days a week. I'm very sad about it, but she's excited, and I know she's going to love it! Lily says she's most excited about eating lunch in the cafeteria. It's the little things in life!

Kindergarten flew by, and this mama totally teared up while reading the note Lily's teacher wrote in her "Oh, the Places You'll Go" graduation edition book. My baby girl is growing up WAY too fast!

Oh The Places You'll Go

I don't feel like Lily changed too much from the first day to the last. She's a bit taller, she lost her second bottom middle tooth and got her top middle tooth knocked out, and her face looks a little bit older, but other than that, she looks very much the same! Adorable, outgoing and confident!

First Day & Last Day of Kindergarten


Last Day of School Photos

Lexie ROCKED 4th Grade! She is my incredibly kind, mature, hard-working child who always aims to please.  She tackles every task and assignment with everything she's got, and her teachers always rave about how she is the model student. I never worry about her at school.

In addition to rocking good grades, Lexie opted to join her first extracurricular school activity. Beginning in January, Lexie stayed after school every Wednesday afternoon for choir. (Add all those miles of driving and hours of waiting to my list!) She loved it, and we loved watching her perform at her end of the year chorus concert. She looked so beautiful and poised on stage. She belongs up there!

4th Grade Chorus Concert

School Days

School Days

Lexie, too, was upset about the school year ending. (Nerds rule the world, right?!?) When she came home, she was in tears. The last day of school was the last day Lexie would be a student at the elementary school. Lexie had to say goodbye to the elementary school that has been her home for the past three years, and will be heading to the 5th and 6th grade school in the Fall. She said she was going to miss her teachers, her classmates, seeing her best friend (who was in her class) at school everyday, and Mr. Bob, the school janitor. Poor kid is not excited about this transition. Change can be tough!

Last Day of School Photos

Lexie didn't change much from the first day to the last, either. She just got a little bit taller!

First Day & Last Day of 4th Grade


Last Day of School Photos

As a 6th Grader, this was Dylan's last year in elementary school. (I seriously can't believe it!) Dylan juggled a lot this year between school, band, orchestra, chorus and basketball. He also TESTED us this year by not turning in some homework assignments or studying for some tests, but he learned his lesson quickly!

Once he got the hang of juggling school work, school activities and extracurricular activities, he did great! I will say that 6th grade was the most challenging year Dylan has ever had. He always breezed through school by getting good grades with no effort and he got along with everyone, but as all parents of tweens know, things change at this age. Although Dylan says his teacher this year was his favorite teacher ever, I was not a fan of 6th grade in general! 

BUT...there were great things! Like watching Dylan perform with the 6th grade choir (mandatory, but they were awesome), play trumpet in band (optional), and play violin in orchestra for the first time (also optional).  The band sounded amazing at their end of the year concert!

6th Grade Band, Orchestra & Chorus Concert

Big Family

School Days

Dylan also had the sweetest girlfriend since the beginning of the year. They had a few (very) supervised dates, and it's evident that they really care for each other! My sweet boy is growing up way too quickly!

The year ended with a fun field day, and a picture of the graduating class. (Cue tears! I remember most of those kids when they were adorable Kindergarteners!)

Class Photo Ideas

They concluded their year with a field trip to PNC Park to watch a Pirates game, and Dylan and the rest of the 6th Grade band performed the national anthem. Oh, how I wish I would have seen it in person!

In the Fall, Dylan will be heading to middle school! He will be starting school an hour earlier and arriving home an hour earlier. He needed to give up a few things so he could really focus on school work and what he truly loved, so he decided to give up band and orchestra. We are making him take a music class as one of his classes instead of study hall, so he opted for chorus.

I am bummed that he isn't playing trumpet and violin anymore, but it really wasn't his thing. I'm so glad he tried something new and played for two years, but basketball is what he truly loves!

Last Day of School Photos

This past year was a big year of change for Dylan. He really started to look like a teenager by the end of the year. I truly can't believe Dylan is heading to middle school and will become a teenager a few months later. Time needs to slow down!

First Day & Last Day of 6th Grade

Although it was challenging at times, it was a good year! My kids learned and grew so much. It was a year of change for all of us, and next Fall will bring even more change. Before I worry too much about what lies ahead, I plan to enjoy the NOW with my tribe. Their sadness over the year ending will fade, and there will be so many wonderful moments we can enjoy together! We have a fun Summer ahead of us!

Last Day of School Photos

The Last Day(s) of School


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  1. Wow!! They have all grown and changed so much this year. Love this recap. You are one lucky momma!

  2. Wow, just wow. The miles and hours that you log alone is nothing short of amazing. I feel like I should congratulate you as well as them! Great job gang, enjoy your summer off!

    1. I was shocked when I did the math for the hours in the Kindergarten pick up line. OUCH!

  3. As always, such awesome pictures!! And so awesome that Liam thrived at preschool! I can't believe Dylan has a girlfriend! I don't know how I'm going to handle that stuff when the time comes!

    1. It's very innocent! They've had a few supervised dates and it's obviously nothing serious, but they really care about each other. I definitely am not ready for the serious dating!

  4. I think my oldest changed the most too, like Dylan. They are in the same grade and Zachary is in the same grade as Lexie! Congrats on finishing out the school year!

    1. I think it's definitely the hormones kicking in that caused it! I knew our kids were around the same age, but that's awesome that they are in the same grades!

  5. I think they all grew a couple of inches this year! Happy Summer!!

  6. Such gorgeous kids! Wow, you and your kiddos certainly had a busy year! I can't believe how grown up your oldest looks from the beginning of the year until now!

  7. Four different schools? Wow! How chaotic was your mornings? Mason goes to school in a very small town and there are 5 schools (PreK & Kinder, 1st through 3rd, Intermediate, Middle and High school) and they have to stagger the start and end times so that the little town isn’t too crowded at once! I love how you broke down the year. I can relate, but with only one child. Waiting in that pick-up line…ugh!! Love this post, reading about their year and all of the pictures! Happy summer!!!

    1. Mornings weren't so bad this year, because the three older kids rode the same busy! Next year, Dylan will leave an hour earlier and come home an hour earlier, the girls will leave and come home at the same time, and Liam will need dropped off and picked up in the afternoon. No more Kindergarten pickup, but next year will be more chaotic!

  8. Oh my goodness! I can't believe everything you have juggled over the last school year! I read your list of what it looked like to my husband this morning and we were both just amazed. You must be proud of your kids doing so well in school and growing! Love the sweet pictures. Glad you guys are looking forward to summer! You have all definitely earned a break!

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I had to double check my math on a few of the things because I was so surprised by the numbers. It was definitely a busy year!

  9. OK lets start with the list of all the things the past year with four school kids presented. Wow! I am exhausted from just reading it. ;-) The pictures are beautiful and I love that you always have the little chalk board signs. It is really cute! :-) The family photo is beautiful my friend. Happy summer to you and the kids! :-)
    Mama Hen

  10. 4 different schools?! I'm stressed out just thinking about it! I have no idea what I will do when Finn starts school (over a year from now) and I'll have two separate schools to deal with. It's so hard with how long kids are in car seats these days!


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