Thursday, August 30, 2012

back to school

School started Monday. The girlie is off to 2nd grade this year, and my boy is in his second year of preschool, now going MWF from 9-2. They both had great first days! The little guy has the same teacher at preschool as last year, which is wonderful. And my girl is loving her new teacher, Mrs. P., and is enjoying lots of her good friends in her class as well as making lots of new friends! I have a really good feeling about this year.

The traditional front porch photo. 2nd grade and 4yr pre-K.
This was last years! 1st grade and 3yr pre-K

 I could make all the typical expressions of "where has time gone?" and "look how big they've gotten" and "I can't believe school is here already". And they'd all be true. There is something nice about getting back into a routine, though. We had a really wonderful summer, with lots of vacationing and day trips and pool time and play. But I love fall and back to school time for the sense of regularity that it imposes. Restarting kids activities in a few weeks, restarting my women's Bible study at church next week, renewing my weight-loss goals. Getting back to regular morning wake-up times, regular quiet times for my daily Bible reading and study. And a little more time to myself during the week, so hopefully some more sewing/knitting/creating than I've been getting done. It's good to be "back to school"!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

summer wrap-up, part 3

Our last big outing of this summer vacation was on Thursday, when we went into D.C. with some of our best friends. These kids have been friends since they were tiny, and I love that they are just as close today as ever:
These are our "stair steps": ages 4, 5, 6, and 7!

We went to the Native American museum, which our friends hadn't seen. They have such a fabulous kids area, I think that they would have been happy to play there all day!
on a buffalo skin rug at storytime...

 Enjoying rainbow light from prisms, drumming, and a great view of the U.S. Capitol dome from the 3rd floor windows...

 We had lunch over at Air and Space, and saw some of their exhibits. There was a great new exhibit of art depicting U.S. Marine Corps Aviation, celebrating 100 years this year. And the kids always enjoy looking at the rockets and the Wright Brothers airplane. The pictures all came out a little too dark, though. So you will just have to use your imagination.
 And of course we made time for ice-cream treats before we headed home on the Metro:

One of my favorite days all summer. Nice to spend it with such wonderful friends!

summer wrap-up, part 2

 After we got back from the lake it has been one thing and another, crossing activities off our summer bucket list one by one. On the 16th, the kids and I took a day-trip to Cunningham Falls State Park. I hadn't been there since I was a kid, so it was a "new" experience for all of us. We took the fairly easy 1 mile round-trip hike to the falls and back, including toes dipped in chilly water, and followed by a picnic lunch:
 This is my kids striking their "rock star" poses on the big rock. Pretty funny if you are 4. Or 7. Or 37. Rock. Star. Ha!
chilly toes...
 After lunch, we drove to Larriland Farms, a pick-your-own farm that is about halfway from the park to home. We picked blackberries...
 And peaches...

 ...and even some Gala apples. Here's all our bounty:
The next few days were full of baking (peach cake and blackberry cobbler), freezing (peach slices and premixed pie-filling), and of ice-cream making (blackberry). The apples are in the refrigerator, for munching, and I'm sure we will go pick more soon!
blackberry frozen yogurt (with chocolate sauce!)

We've also been painting, and swimming, and playing outside. And making homemade pizza as a family, for the very first (but definitely not last!) time.
 And then on the 22nd, we crossed off of the list "have a breakfast picnic at a park/beach" by picking up doughnuts and heading for one of our county parks (which also has a little beach...bonus!).
 We even spotted some raccoon tracks:
 And did some "treasure hunting":
There has been a lot going on around here! I have one more post's worth of activities, so stay tuned...

summer wrap-up, part 1

 The summer has gotten away from me. Or, I should say, the summer has gotten me away from the computer. So there will be a few posts here to sum up the past 3 weeks as we have tried to squeeze in as much summer fun as possible. The week of August 7-12 we went back to Kerr Lake for the second time this summer, and invited friends of ours to join us for a few days.

It was a week of stormy afternoons and spectacular sunsets:
 Of lots of tubing and waterskiing...


...even waterskiing in the rain!
 It was a week of friendships and fun, s'mores and smiles...
 And digging pirate treasure on the beach.
 My (brave) little guy went waterskiing with his (even braver) Papa...
 And there is even proof that I was there!
 All in all, it was a great week. Friends make it even more fun.
Best lake trip ever...until next year!