I am horrified to see that it has been nearly two months since I posted on here. It is not intentional...it is just because the days keep rolling along, often without much time to get the "hafta"s done, let alone the "wanna"s. Our weekdays are busy with school, music lessons, and appointments, our weekends busy with catching up on everything we can't do during the week as well as being at church. In the midst of this busyness of life, though, we are thoroughly enjoying every moment of togetherness. These are sweet days that I wouldn't miss for all of the leisure in the world!
'Tis the season for apples! Today Karen and I took our kids and made our annual pilgrimage to North Georgia to get our apples for this year. I never did take any pictures of our apples, but I have some of the kids...and they're more fun to look at anyway!
The kids watched fried pies being made...
...and then enjoyed one for dessert after our picnic lunch. Noah had blueberry -- can you see his purple goatee?! :)
Karen and I got to sit in the sun and chat while the kids ran around being busy.
Look at that kissable face!!!
Noah likes the fact that he can now keep up with "Dadid" and Abigail.
I think we wore him out!
Stay tuned for applesaucing day, coming soon!
And just for a memory-lane moment, here are my two babies back in 2008. They've grown up soooo much in three years...
Today we went on our first family field trip of this school year...we especially love these field trips because Bruce (Daddy!) comes along and that always makes it even more special! We went to the Atlanta History Center's Fall Folklife Festival and had a wonderful day. Here are some of the highlights...
The kids LOVED the petting zoo.
Just as I snapped this picture (below), this Scottish Highlander cow leaned into David's hug and squashed his arm against the bench. I had to include this picture because of David's expression of surprise and "ow"!
We thoroughly enjoyed listening to a very talented bluegrass band. They sang folk songs and played their instruments with such talent that we couldn't help but smile and sit transfixed...and clap a bit, too. All three of us violin newbies dreamed of being able to play like that someday...!
On the way out, we had to stop and visit the Civil War cannon (it's a tradition).
Although most of us were tired and dragging a bit by this point, David was still running around in circles...and he doesn't stop until we put him to bed!
Wow, how are we into September already?! We just completed our sixth week of school and are very much enjoying our days full of learning. In history, we are studying the early-mid 1800s, so for a hands-on project, the kids built log cabins like the pioneers...
...and in some not-so-pleasant history, we have also been learning about the Trail of Tears. The county we live in here in Georgia is named Cherokee County; about 15,000 Cherokee Indians were removed from this area back in 1838 and thereabouts. This week, we visited a small local museum to learn some more 'personal' history from that time period. Although the subject matter was solemn, we enjoyed the museum and the time together.
On Mondays we always have a special clothing assignment. The kids love to check the school table all weekend long, waiting to see what they're supposed to wear to school on Monday morning. This week was a special treat -- it was "wear your pajamas to school" day! The rule is that we come to school dressed and ready to go, so for my pj-loving kids, this was cause for celebration. It came in handy for some unexpected lounging around we had to do Monday afternoon when Tropical Storm Lee hurled off some tornadoes in our area! We headed down to the basement, where we laid around playing cards, cutting up old wallpaper sample books, eating treats, and sharing laughs.
We started the week off with weather-related excitement, and we ended the week with excitement of a much more positive sort -- both kids and I started violin lessons! We are super-excited about this new adventure. The kids have asked for years (and I have wanted to try for as long as I can remember), so when this great opportunity came up right down the road from us, we jumped on it. Hopefully we will be playing well enough to share a video in the next few months!
If you're not a cat person, then you are excused from reading this post (although on a side note, there must be something wrong with you)...I want to share a little Mindy-love.
The week before school started, the kids were gifted some big boxes, so they went to work making things from them. Abigail decided to make a fort/home for Mindy. I am fully convinced that this cat understands exactly what the kids say...no sooner had Abigail declared it ready than Mindy went in and did all of the things she was supposed to do. She played with the feather dangling from the ceiling...
...she went to the window and looked out...
...and then she settled down inside it for a long nap.
The kids were so delighted. Have I mentioned how awesome this cat is?!
She does have an annoying habit or two...like insisting on getting drinks from any flower vase I have in the house. But she's so cute about it that we can't stay annoyed for long!
When working on a project with wood glue and a chair, who needs clamps when you have a cat?!
Here she is getting her birthday treat. Not tuna, or meat, or even a cat treat...no, her favorite treat in the world is homemade spaghetti sauce. She closes her eyes and eats it in a happy coma-like state. Crazy cat!
We are thankful for our sweet cat! She lives as though the whole world was put here just for her joy and delight and yet she is mild-mannered, patient, sweet, and very laidback. She loves Nerf guns and she doesn't mind loud noise, children jumping over and around her, or visiting babies who are still learning to be gentle. She loves to be in the middle of our family, always a part of the action. The Lord gave our family a wonderful gift when He gave us our sweet Mindy!
We have finished our first week of school! I am pleased to report that it went very well, and we already felt 'in the swing of things' only a few days into the new year. We start our school days at eight o'clock and are usually done around two o'clock, and for the most part, our school day is structured and orderly. Surprisingly, the one who had the most trouble adjusting to the new routine was Mindy! She had gotten used to following the kids around all summer while they ran around and played busily, so this holding-still idea threw her a little bit. After a few days, though, she settled back into last year's routine...first, lie in the middle of the table and wait patiently for us to pay attention to her.
When we just ignore her and keep on working, she bats pencils, tries to chew erasers, and then walks around on top of the kids' papers so that they can't do their work.
After I intervene, she usually tries an attention-getting stunt...sometimes she brings one of her 'mousies' and waits for someone to play fetch with her; sometimes she gets up on top of the kitchen cabinets and tightrope-walks all the way around, and the more the kids giggle, the more she shows off.
Finally, quite satisfied with herself and convinced that no, indeed, we are not going to leave the school table anytime soon, she settles in on her window seat (which is right next to our school table) and naps for most of the morning. Every class has its clown!
Neither of the kids are allowed to clown in class, but one of my students doesn't hold still in the traditional sense. This is his current favorite reading/thinking/studying pose. (And as long as he's not disturbing anyone else, I let him 'sit still' just like that...because although it often seems he's not paying attention at all, he usually has a complete grasp on whatever we're studying!)
For those of you who have wondered why we start school at the beginning of August, here's part of the answer...
Add in the humidity and other 'extras' to figure out the heat index, and it becomes clear that August is HOT down here. Since we'd rather be inside with the A/C when the weather is like this anyway, we do school during August...and then, when the weather is nearly perfect in May/June, we're done with school and outside playing.
We are done with 3% of our school year -- nice work, guys! After a successful first week of school, a little R & R is in order!
Today is the last day of our summer break! Monday we start our new school year; David will be in fourth grade and Abigail will be in second grade (where does the time go?!). We have enjoyed a busy but wonderful summer break, and here are some of the highlights.
Pool time (even once as an impromptu stop when I let the kids swim in their street clothes -- they thought it was very daring and exciting!)
A visit from my parents, complete with 4th of July fireworks in the middle of rain, thunder, and lightning
(As is typical, my mom did much better than I about taking pictures and blogging them...go to her blog during the first week of July to see them!)
Playing on the slip-n-slide
(Abigail inherited her daddy's horror of water on the face...hence the look of pain...she really is having fun!)
Playing at the playground
(and, of course, jumping the stream to get in instead of taking the bridge)
...even Abigail tried it -- and did it!
A week at summer camp
(Abigail enjoyed a week at Camp Grandparents-McKee, but I wasn't there to take pictures...she reports that she had a fabulous time!)
David thoroughly enjoyed his first time at camp, Bruce and I had a wonderful week of fellowship, learning, and getting to know our teens better, and I hogged my friends' baby a lot, which was great fun!)
Blueberry picking with friends
I wasn't very good about taking a lot of pictures this summer, so this is only a snippet of our summer days...but I treasured every together-moment! On to the new school year!