Thursday, September 23, 2010

First day of school! First day of school!!!

Posing for the 1st day of school photo out in the courtyard.

Rob letting the boys in the front door, welcoming them for their 1st day of school.

Boys walking out in the back yard on their way to the front door so we can kick off our school year.

Box day! The boys open the box with our new homeschool curriculum. It is always exciting to see the new books we will be reading and studying from--Box Day generally happens a couple of weeks or so before our official start date.

August 25 marked the official start to our new school year. Although we had been doing school off-and-on all summer long, we decided to have the official new year kick-off date be the same day that Rob started teaching classes at UTPA. To celebrate, I fixed an Italian breakfast casserole for breakfast (that truly only Rob, Aidan and I appreciated--David complained quite loudly about the fact that there were tomatoes and olives in it!), then Rob sent the boys out the back door with their backpacks so we could greet them at the front door to welcome in the new school year. We had purchased a model airplane for each of the boys that was tucked into their backpacks. My initial intent was to have them build their planes after they completed all of their schoolwork; however, they were so excited to have the planes that I allowed them to build them before we started the day's lessons. Even with building their planes, they still had their assignments for the day completed by 11:00 a.m. It was so nice to begin our year on a good note!

Last year, I read somewhere (either on a blog, or in a homeschooling newsletter that I subscribe to) about different traditions people have to kick off the new school year. Homeschooling is unique in the sense that many of us, intentionally or unintentionally, school year-round, so there is no real "first day" to prepare for like our private and public school counterparts have. So, I wanted to make the first day of what I considered our new year to be meaningful and exciting.

Sending the kids out the back door and welcoming them at the front was one of the traditions I read about and started for our family last year. This year, I added the "surprise" of the model airplanes in their backpacks to celebrate the special occasion. Next year, I will probably tweak things a bit, or will add something else as well to help make that first day special, memorable and meaningful for each of my boys.

A Happy Birthday and Celebration of Fall.

My 3 guys in Gruene, TX - 2010

Glimpse of Fall - Taken in Virginia, 2005

First off, I want to wish my husband a very happy birthday today--may your 33rd year of life bring with it many blessings and much happiness. Thank you for being such an amazing husband, my best friend, and an awesome father to our 2 boys. I love your servant's heart--how much you want to serve God and serve others. I love your sense of humor and how you bring immeasurable joy to our household each and every day. I cannot imagine my life without you, Dr. Cubmaster, Ph.D. You have enriched it more than I could have ever thought possible. God definitely knew what he was doing when he had our paths cross 11 1/2 years ago. :)

P.S. You don't look a day over 25!

Secondly, yesterday ushered in the first day of my favorite season--autumn. Sadly enough though, it's a season that I don't really get to experience where I currently live. So, I'll bring out photographs of fall scenes I have experienced in years past, bake my favorite fall treats, light fall-scented candles and will imagine the sights, smells and the feel of autumns of years past. That, and I'll excitedly wait for my trip to Boston next month--guess that the quote from the VeggieTales song The Pirates Who Don't do Anything where they sing "...and I've never been to Boston in the fall" will no longer ring true for me. ;-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Vacation Photos...

You know you're loved when Grams bakes your favorite pies for you! Huckleberry for me, banana cream for Robbie! Gramma Royleen baked my other favorite pie for me when we were in Idaho, peach. Yum!!!

D with the little sunfish that he caught out at Waitts Lake

Boys playing in the Puget Sound (Whidbey Island in the background)

Life is never dull with these two crazies around. :)

Family photo just outside Leavenworth, WA