I laugh daily at the posts I am seeing on social media from  friends, showing them like this..


or this….


or even this….


when their kids head off to school.

(If you’re the mamma in the last pic, wow, man, you have my sympathies…)

Some people get all worked up about those pics, and harp on those parents and tell them that they should appreciate their children, etc. I personally think its funny, not because they really mean it (because seriously, most do it out of fun), but because the summer is hard on everyone. Kids and parents alike. Believe, me 12 years of teaching piano and seeing those poor parents at the end of the summer, you KNEW they were glad routine was back. <3

In our own family, I always try to take pics of my kids throughout the school year, as you can see from the many on my Instagram account….but I thought this year would be a little more fun instead.

So on our first day of REAL school (yes peeps, we home school if you are just joining us for the first time) I made them go out in exactly what they were in to the front yard and asked them how the first day of school made them feel.

I laughed when this was the response….

first day of school 2016-2017 www.thewelcominghouseblog.com

I have an 11th grader, and two 1st graders this year, which is challenging but certainly fun. 😀 I am so proud of my big kid as she continues to persevere despite all the challenges that she has faced in the last 3 years…still scoring in the top 1% despite weeks down with surgeries, and thriving at home.

how fast she is growing up

I have also been blessed to watch her grow in grace, kindness, and character during these years….watching her change into an independent, driven, successful, and kind young lady. That, in all honesty, is more of a reason to homeschool in my opinion than even the educational aspects, which are pretty hefty ones to begin with. I remember very very clearly the kind of teenager I was at her age, I remember the relationship I had with my mother, the times I got myself in huge trouble due to disrespect and defiance…and how those choices and behaviors impacted my life years down the road. Watching my daughter become the amazing young woman she is, being privileged to teach her from Kindergarten on up, just has been a blessing.

Meanwhile those rambunctious toddlers I used to tell you about…you know, the ones who tried to wash the cat, who grazed through the garden at will, who chose to color on every freshly painted wall in the house when they were three, and escape out their bedroom window from the second story when they were four (no, I DIDNT blog about it!)...yeah those little monsters are now in FIRST GRADE.


rat cat splat


And talking about their new rabbits, and their cat who will soon have kittens, their dog who is a “knucklehead” (I am looking straight at YOU, Handy Hubby, for that gem). They color in the lines, and sing like little birds, and bring such joy to our home daily.

Yeah, time moves on. At the speed of light. I am afraid to blink or one of them will be getting married, and I won’t remember where the years in-between went, like my baby sister this last weekend. Sheesh.

Someone just got married

So how are things in your neck of the woods? Got kids in school? Got a new job? New homestead? New beginning? And to all you awesome amazing parents and teachers, who put their kids on a bus and sent them off in the last few weeks….for the grandma’s  and childcare workers doing after school care so that parents can work…hugs. Lets get this party started, right?

Here is to a wonderful new year ahead of us!

I am glad to be back, and glad to visit with you again.

Blessings to you and yours,

Heather <3

19 years