First Day of School

Clara started preschool last week. Who took our baby and replaced her with this little girl?

After some debate, we decided to enroll Clara in a local 2-day per week preschool. It’s just the mornings, so she’s there for three hours on each of those two days. She loves being around other kids so we thought it was the right time for her… but we still held our breaths a bit on the first day. Would she cry? Would we cry? Would we get called half-way through to come pick her up because she was having an all-consuming sobbing fit?

Nope. There were dry eyes all around. Heck, Clara was so excited when she arrived that this is the only photo we managed to snag before she disappeared into the classroom. Seriously, she sprinted in without a look back in our direction.

When we picked her up three hours later she was all smiles and kept telling us how they sang and painted and played on the playground. Her teacher even reported that it was “the best first day of school” in all of her years of teaching. Apparently there were no tears from any of the twelve kids in her class, which has never happened before. So she is really excited about what the year ahead holds. And so are we.

Since her first day, she has gone four times, and she still loves it. In fact almost every morning that she wakes up she says “I go to school today?” with a big hopeful grin. We almost feel bad saying “not today, Clara” when it’s not a school day. But we’re so glad that she’s having such a good time.

As for the all important first day of school photo, we decided to take them in front of our front door with Clara and her school bag (a sweet handmade gift that we got from our friend Abby).

As usual, she was a ham.

Apparently the “hand in the air” is her new favorite pose.

This was her watching the elementary school bus roll by our house. Just a few more years ’til she’ll be on it. Crazy.

As you saw from the first image in the post, we chose to Photoshop the information about what grade she’s in right onto the door itself (the font is called Raleway in case you’re interested). We broke the words up and spaced them that way intentionally so we can keep things somewhat consistent for all future years – like when this occasion rolls around in 2016 (although hopefully she’ll be a bit taller by then)…

How’d the first day of school go for your household? Any big milestones? Any “emotions” from you or your kids? Sherry got a little “misty” but no tears actually fell, so she’s saying it doesn’t count as crying.

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Dear Clara

Hi guys, Clara here. This is a fun monthly letter about my life that I share with my pen pal who is also named Clara and lives all the way in Germany! Each time, my friend Clara also shares a letter with me, so I get to read all about the life of a little girl with the same name in Germany. I think it’s really cool – and hope you guys do too!

Oh and I get a little help from mommy when it comes to writing my letter, and my friend Clara’s mommy helps to translate my letter at the bottom of this post into German so my friend Clara can read it. And you can drop in on her letter to me right here (which is translated into English at the bottom of her post).

Hi Clara!

I’m excited to write to to you again. This time since we’ll both be sharing what a summer’s day might be like for us, I wanted to tell you about some fun things I have done this summer. Sometimes it can get really hot here in Richmond, like 95 degrees! I usually like to wear little dresses with my favorite rubber shoes (called Crocs) to stay cool, and my favorite thing on a hot day is a fruit smoothie.

I mentioned in my last letter how I love to swim in the river near my house, and I also love going to the beach with my family. My Grammy and TomTom (those are what I call my grandparents) have a beach house in Delaware, so we usually drive up there a few times during the summer for a long weekend or two and I get to make a bunch of sand castles and play in the water. My favorite thing is actually when my mom and dad set up a baby pool in the sand for me and my cousins to play in since we can dump sand into it and splash water out of it. And since the sand is so soft under the bottom of the pool, I can jump into it over and over again.

There’s also an amusement park near our house called King’s Dominion that is lots of fun to go to. They have a big water park and fun rides and even a giant Snoopy that I can hug.

Sometimes I just like to hang out around the house and play in my rock box or out on the new deck that my parents made. If it’s not too hot we’ll sometimes have lunch and dinner out on the deck too, just for fun. A few things that I love to do on the deck are to drive my cars along the boards, pull my wooden alligator around behind me, play with my big pink ball, and use a cup full of water and a paint brush to “paint” the deck. I also like to carry my measuring tape around with me so I can measure things like mommy and daddy. When I grow up I want to be a “handy big girl.” I can’t wait until I’m allowed to use the hammer!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week in Germany and I miss you a lot! School has started for me, so it certainly doesn’t feel as much like summer as it did a few weeks ago!



Here’s our Clara’s letter translated in German for her pen pal:

Hi Clara,

ich bin so aufgeregt, dir nun bereits zum zweiten Mal zu schreiben. Die Zeit ist verflogen und nun möchte ich dir gerne davon berichten, was ich alles Aufregendes in den vergangenen Sommertagen erlebt habe. Manchmal kann es sehr heiß werden hier in Richmond. Dann haben wir fast 40 Grad an besonders heißen Sommertagen. Ich trage bei dieser Hitze am Liebsten kurze Kleidchen und meine pinkfarbenen Crocs, um etwas Abkühlung zu erfahren. Mein Lieblingsgetränk bei großer Hitze sind Smoothies …

In meinem letzten Brief an dich, liebe Clara, habe ich dir davon erzählt, wie gerne ich im Fluss in der Nähe unseres Hauses schwimmen gehe. Ich liebe es auch sehr, mit meiner Familie am Strand baden zu gehen. Meine Grammy und mein TomTom (so nenne ich Omi und Opi, musst du wissen) haben ein Sommerhaus in Delaware. Dort fahren wir im Sommer gerne für ein Wochenende oder auch zwei hin, und ich kann gar nicht genug davon bekommen, Sandburgen zu bauen und im Wasser zu spielen. Am Allerliebsten mag ich es, wenn Mama und Papa einen Mini-Pool am Strand für uns aufbauen und ich mit meinen Cousins und Cousinen Wasser hinaus spritze und Sand hinein werfe. Und da der Sand unter dem Pool so schön weich ist, kann ich immer und immer wieder in den Pool hineinspringen, ohne mir wehzutun.

Auch ein Vergnügungspark ist in der Nähe des Hauses. Das ist ein Spaß dort hinzugehen, sage ich dir. Dort gibt es einen riesigen Wasserpark und tolle Rutschen und einen Snoopy, den ich umarmen und küssen kann. Manchmal spiele ich zu Hause aber auch gerne in meinem Sandkasten, diesen nenne ich Rockbox. Auch die neue Terrasse, die meine Eltern gebaut haben, liebe ich bei großer Hitze besonders. Wenn es nicht zu heiß ist, essen wir dort auch gerne unser Mittag- oder Abendessen. Ich liebe es, auf der kleinen Terrasse meine Autos zu fahren, mein Holzkrokodil hinter mir herzuziehen, mit meinem pinkfarbenen Ball zu spielen oder mit einer Tasse Wasser ein wenig die Terrasse anzumalen. Und weißt du, was mir besonders viel Spaß macht: mit meinem Maßband durch die Gegend zu ziehen und solche „Dinge“, wie Mama und Papa zu vermessen. Wenn ich alt genug bin, werde ich eine Handwerkerin! Ich kann es kaum abwarten, endlich den richtigen Hammer benutzen zu dürfen!

Ich hoffe, du hattest eine wundervolle Woche in Deutschland. Schule hat nun auch für mich begonnen, und so fühlt sich der Sommer auf einmal ganz anders an als noch vor ein paar Wochen.


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