Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Back to School We Go!

When I was a kid it seemed that summertime always flew by way too fast. Now that I'm a grown-up I think they go by even faster! I love it when school gets out. I love having my kids back home with me. I love being able to create my own schedule a little bit. I always have a big list of cool activities we will do together, terrific projects and chores we will get done. I love those warm, muggy summer evenings when it is way past the kids' bedtimes but we are all hanging out in the back yard goofing around and it isn't even dark yet.

But I blink once and it is time to heave a sigh and send them back to school. Now I also have to admit that there is something exciting about the newness of a new school year. A few new outfits, new shoes, new teachers, old and new friends, etc. Even the return to an imposed schedule feels nice. I can't help but catch the enthusiasm my kids feel. And we couldn't do without the age-old tradition of first- day- of- school- pictures.

Jayden tried to act like he despised the whole idea of starting school again, but I could tell he really did look forward to it. I could also sense the slight apprehension and remembered what it was like in middle school. Jayden is starting seventh grade. It's a tough age, but he's a good kid and he's handling it okay. (Although I wish he'd slow down the growth spurt. At the moment I'm posting this in late September I've already had to buy him new jeans because the ones I got him in July in preparation for school have become high-waters!)

Makenna is starting fourth grade! She was nervous because she had a male teacher for the first time. I shared with her that in fourth grade I also had my first male teacher and it turned out to be my favorite year of elementary school. She seems to be having the same experience. It is fun to see the very big-kid stuff she is learning.

Kyler is off to first grade. The jump to all-day school hasn't phased him a bit. His enthusiasm for each new day is contagious. He loves reading, loves P.E., loves music, loves computers, loves riding the bus...

Miss Shaylie had her own first day of school because of the crazy schedule the kindergarteners are on. Our school district is trying out an all day kindergarten program on alternating days. Just look at that little face! New backpack, new lunchsack, she's so excited to start this new adventure. I've never had any worries about how Shaylie would do - I knew she'd love school. She automatically loves everyone, so everyone loves her back. But I do hate to see my babies growing up! Here are a couple more pictures of Shaylie's big day.

I love this one of her grinning at me over the seat on her first bus ride.

The all day school schedule has been an adjustment for my little girl. On her second day of school she came home and immediately lost her temper with her brother, whacking him with her backpack. I sent her to her room, and then called up the stairs a few minutes later for her to come apologize. This is what I found:

And even little Brennan had a first day of preschool!

I'm participating in a preschool co-op with some friends. Brennan is loving it! He has his paint and scissors and he's ready to go. What a little cutie. It is fun to see his pride in his accomplishments when he brings home some neat little project he made himself.

So we're off and running. I am personally thankful for the wonderful teachers who care for my babies and who do such terrific jobs teaching them each day. And what a blessing to live in a place where my kids can receive a great education!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Summer + Family = Fun

We had a terrific little family reunion this summer which was a nice "staycation" for two of the three families involved. We are so thankful Amy and Todd were willing to make the trek from Nevada so we could all be together! We loved seeing them. We spent one day at Eagle Island Park. It was one of those completely perfect summer days. We swam, we played, we ate great picnic food, and we made some terrific memories!

Bob was enjoying a quiet moment in the shade.

Here's one memory, for example. This is Carter and Todd trying to flip the burgers with a paper plate and a melted plastic fork because I forgot the spatula. Sorry about the singed armhair and eyebrows, guys. The burgers were great.

The cousins had a blast swimming and playing.

I love this shot of my handsome son!

One day we went to the Discovery Center. Mom and Todd were chillin' with the puzzles.

I think Amy was the only one who could get the stinkin' legs pedaling forward. It's harder than you'd think!

We had a lot of fun with this... There is a camera and a green screen set up in the back of the Discovery Center. The kids draped themselves in the green blankets and got a kick out of watching their heads float in space on the moon. Jayden, Makenna, and Kyler were floating here with Anachel.

Our theatrical special effects abilities might leave something to be desired, but we had fun setting up this shot, too. We told Brennan, "Look at your feet and SCREAM!" It made it easy to explain how they do lots of the cool stuff we see in movies, stuff I'm always trying to help them realize is not real.

We love the Discovery Center, and we love our awesome family!

This is Shaylie and Lanay very guilty because we were getting ready to go somewhere and they were told to run out and get in the van. They were NOT supposed to run through the sprinklers on the way. But they were so darn cute I just took a picture anyway.

Quality Entertainment at our House

This is what happens when you don't have cable. (J.K.)

For family home evening recently we acted out the story of Naaman, the Syrian nobleman who contracted leprosy. Here is his adorable servant, played by Brennan.

Jayden took his part seriously. Leprosy is obviously not fun. Personally, I think the dredlocks and the Rosta hat made the whole look. We stuck pieces of masking tape all over his face and arms.

The beautiful servant who encouraged Naaman to go to Israel...

Carter narrated the dramatic performance.

Here we have the King of Israel and the Queen of Syria.

The insightful servant who talked Naaman out of being offended by the Prophet Elisha's instructions to bathe in the river.

A bit more drama...

This is Naaman dipping himself in the river Jordan. Sorry, I didn't manage to catch on the film the miraculous healing, but you can imagine, it was dramatic.

We're a goofy bunch, I know. But these type of FHE lessons seem to be the ones that stick in their minds. In any case, it was lots of fun!