Monday, August 12, 2019

back to school essentials ✏️

it's that time of year again: time to get ready to send the kids back to school. (cue the tears over here- this mama doesn't want school to start!! 😢)

in addition to notebook paper, backpacks, and freshly sharpened number two pencils, oh, and Clorox wipes and Kleenexes are always on the lists, too, here are a few of my back to school essentials. these things might not be as common as pink erasers and Expo markers, but they are MUST HAVES in our home every back to school season!

// PRAYERS & SCRIPTURE just like we wouldn't go into a battle unarmed, we don't go into the school year without prayer. prayer is our weapon of choice and scripture is our strategy. i love what Priscilla Shirer said: "Prayer is what opens up the floodgates for God to come down and be involved in our everyday circumstances." click here for a printable school year declaration/prayer. some of my favorite resources for growing your children's faith and praying for your children can be found HERE. tips from others on what/how to pray for your children HERE.

// DAILY DEVOTIONS i don't know about you but during the school year especially i feel like my kids and i spend a LOT of time together in the car. i'm all about making the most of every moment, so this year, we'll use drive time to listen to audible daily devotions. i downloaded The Purpose Driven Life Devotional for Kids audio book. every day when we're in the car together, we will listen to a 5 minute devotional and prayer. i think this will be a great way to set our focus and our hearts on Jesus on our way to wherever we're going.  

// ROUTINES & EXPECTATIONS i heard once that disappointment is caused by unmet, unspoken expectations. and disappointment manifests itself in frustration, anger, anxiety, sadness, and resentment. to get ahead of that, i think it's important to make it very clear now- at the beginning of the school year - everyone's expectations. i also think it's important to establish routines. kids thrive with routines! and quite honestly, adults probably do, too! why? because we know what to expect. we know what time we need to wake up and be out the door, we know when it's time to work and time to play, we know where we're going and when we're supposed to be there. routines and rhythms set us up for success.

// LUNCHBOX NOTES i've only been packing my kids lunchboxes regularly for a couple of years now, but i love tucking little notes inside to make them smile or laugh or maybe even get a little bit embarrassed ;) i found cute lunchbox note notepads at Hallmark and Hobby Lobby for this year. Amazon has lunch box notes, and you can search for free printable lunchbox notes online, or just write your own notes on your kids' napkins like this dad hilariously did.

// FUN NAPKINS all year long i stockpile decorative party paper napkins to put in my kids' lunchboxes. my stash includes Lego, Harry Potter, floral, birthday, stripes, and napkins for all holidays. it's just a little fun thing again, to make my kids smile in the middle of their school day!

// THIEVES HAND SANITIZER SPRAY ok actually we use this year-round to keep our hands and surfaces germ-free. i put a spray bottle in their lunchboxes and backpacks, i keep a bottle in my purse, and a bottle in the car. i like that it's a spray, it dries/absorbs quickly, and smells like cinnamon/cloves- but it's not perfume or artificially scented - it's made with 100% essential oils. most hand sanitizers are made with harsh chemicals that irritate our skin, make our hands really dry, and/or have a strong alcohol odor. not this stuff! everyone's always asking what smells so good?! it's our hand sanitizer spray :) check out Thieves Sanitizing Spray here:
other essential oils we stock up on this time of year: Lemon (mental clarity), Frankincense (emotional support/anti-anxiety), Stress Away, Peppermint (alertness), Valor (courage), Thieves (sickness prevention), PanAway (growing pains), and Lavender (peace and rest). see more at

// CUSTOM NAME LABELS parents know this: everything has to be labeled. bags, water bottles, sweaters, shoes, binders, books, pencil bags, ALL OF IT. if it isn't labeled, it might as well be lost forever. i like custom name labels that are safe to use in the dishwasher, washing machine, microwave, and are basically indestructible. there are several online custom name label shops- i like Minted, Mabels Labels, and Bright Star Kids.

what other "uncommon essentials" would you add to the list? it's going to be a GREAT school year! i hope you & your family have a wonderful back to school season! xo

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. 
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7