Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School

by Jennifer AlLee 

August is almost halfway over, and you know what that means... time to get ready for school!

My son is in college now, but I have great memories of getting ready for the new school year. Back in grade school, there was the yearly search for just the right lunch box and the perfect backpack. For about three years in a row, both of those items had Pokémon on them.

Even though I don't have a child to outfit anymore (he takes care of himself these days, and there isn't a Pokémon in sight) I still love wandering through the school supply section at Target. What's more fun than shelves and shelves of untouched notebook paper, unsharpened pencils, boxes of pristine crayons, and every kind of pen you can imagine?

Truthfully, I've always been an office supply store junky. Back in the olden days, before home computers were common place and you were lucky if you had a manual typewriter, I used to do all my writing in long hand. Then, a new spiral notebook was full of potential... the excitement of what might spill out onto those pages. There's something about the tactile experience of writing that can't be matched. The way the #2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencil lead glides smoothly across the paper, or the way a perfect ball point pen rolls.

I'm not sure if kids today get as big a thrill from seeing words pop up on their laptops as I used to get scrawling them on paper, but I hope so. There's so much you can make from a blank page, or a blank screen, or a new school year.

Your turn! What are your favorite school memories?

JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her novels include The Love of His Brother (Five Star, 11/07), The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, 2/10), The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, 4/12) and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12). She's thrilled to be working on her first historical series with the amazing Lisa Karon Richardson. Diamond in the Rough and Vanishing Act (Whitaker House) are the first two books in the Charm and Deceit series, available now. And... as if that's not enough, her novella Comfort and Joy will appear in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories (Barbour, 9/13) She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.
Visit Jennifer's website at


  1. Ooooh! I love office supplies, too!

    There's something wonderful about taking information and making it behave with paper cutters and hole punches and coil binding and all that lovely stuff.

    Thanks for making me smile!

  2. I bought supplies with the kiddos last week. Bought more today. And I'm sure we'll think of something else we forgot by Friday. We had to buy a scientific, graphing calculator this year. Yikes!

  3. I'm right there with you Jen and DeAnna. Love the office supplies. Especially when they are new. They mean potential. I don't know if my kids have the same relationship to office supplies, but my daughter might.

  4. I will always have a soft spot for a new 64 pack of Crayola Crayons!

    My favorite part of back to school was the shopping for clothes. Stressful as it was (how cool will I look?) I think those clothes are the ones I remember the best now when I think back on outfits.

    I still love to buy new binders and feel rather indulgent to get a good pen like a gel roller point rather than the old reliable cheap bics.

  5. I always loved the crayons, too, Deb, and was disappointed when I was too old to take them to school. I loved the smell when I opened the box. Then there was the smell of Elmer's glue. I'm not sure what that says about me, or if I even want to know...

  6. I took JJ school supply shopping at the end of July before I left for Ontario and he left on his mission trip.

    It was strange because I was back to shopping for 1 kid - something that hasn't happened in over 2 dozen years. Unlike other years when both boys wanted new binders, new pencil cases, new math sets, this year JJ said he only needed ruled 3-hole paper, some pens, and the odd thing or two. Yet the receipt came to over $300.

    Why so much? Because Staples had super-low prices on SD cards and flash drives for data storage and I saw the opportunity!

    I was thankful for it on the trip when I used my mobile scanner to scan all Mom's photo albums onto an SD card. I then copied all the scanned images as well as all the photos taken on the trip to an 8G flash drive and I gave it to my sister before she went home. So much easier than emailing photos.

    I love school supply shopping!


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