I started my weekend photographing the most gorgeous little girl for our Changing the Face of Beauty campaign.  The type of girl who just lights up a room.  Wouldn’t you agree!  She just made my day!

Changing the face of beauty Model - Alina

Changing the face of beauty model - Alina

Changing the face of beauty model - Alina

We packed the weekend full of family, and outings knowing that this weekend would be it for the summer!  This week my kids go back to school.  We were able to dip out toes in the sand and water one last time and we celebrated the announcement of my sister in laws 8th child!  A boy!  Yes she is blessed with 7 boys and 1 precious girl and add my brother in laws children and it makes a nice round number of 10!  Needless to say our kids look forward to family dinners!

Family: Celebrating the 8th child for my sister in law

Family: Celebrating the 8th child for my sister in law

Today we surprised the 4 oldest with a trip to six flags!  It rained and it rained but they had a fantastic time!  We left the 2 youngest at home and took off early this morning.  We were able to do things we would not have been able to do with the younger kids along.  It was great to see the older boys have their time to shine without any distractions.  It was a great crescendo to our summer and although my heart is sad to see them go back to a regular schedule I know they are ready.  They are ready to learn and spend time with their friends.  I can’t wait to see how much they grow this year.

Family time: Six flags trip before school starts

Family time: Six flags trip before school starts

Family time: Six flags trip before school starts

Family time: Six flags trip before school starts

I found a letter on facebook written by another Mama blogger.  A letter that she reads to her children at the beginning of every year.  It made me cry and it reminded me of what is really important.  What we really want our children to get out of school.  We want them to learn….of coarse we do.  We want a foundation that they can build on but my husband and I want our children to care.  To love others as they love themselves.  We want them to look out for each other and their classmates.  We want them to be good people.  I hope you get as much out of this letter as I did when I read it to my sons this past Friday around the fire.

Family time: Six flags trip before school starts

Family time: Six flags trip before school starts

I share this letter from Glennen to her son you can find her post at Momastery.

Dear Chase,

Hey, baby.

Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade – wow.

Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.

Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.

And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.

I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.

I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.

So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.

Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.

Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.

Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.

Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’s team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.

When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.

Chase – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.

We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.

We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.

Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.

Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.

Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.

Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.

Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.

I love you so much that my heart might explode.

Enjoy and cherish your gifts.

And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.



As Glennen says in her post.  Have the talk, explain what is important to you.  These are life skills they will remember and carry with them forever.  I thank this Mama for reminding me.

Happy Monday….