Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shedding Summer Skin

School has started off nicely and I am back in full swing teaching 5th grade Reading and Language Arts again this year. This is my 6th year to teach and my very first group of kiddos are sophomores in high school now. It makes me feel old- and proud- to have been a part of literally hundreds and hundreds of students. I generally teach 70 students a year, and after only six short years, going to Wal-Mart unseen in this small town in next to impossible. I love my families.They are my heart. That being said, I have been busy serving them, starting pre-assessments, and getting to know what makes them tick. I am also teaching a full block of special needs children, many who are autistic and have aspergers. They are very sweet and I am really pushing myself to make this year a successful one for all of my kids.

As the summer has come to a close, we have really enjoyed being with my parents at their home. They live on a few acres and have a huge garden every year, a small apple orchard, grape vines, kiwi vines, and live in the middle of cows and horses. Harbor has enjoyed being big enough to pull apples from the trees and carry them to feed the horses. Summertime in the country is really magical. It is the heartbeat of the South- just to be outside and experience a country summer.

He loves chocolate anything.. Pudding is a favorite treat on hot days.

One of Harbor's favorite activites this summer was to go out to Poppy's shop to "help" him with projects. My dad's shop is really a hodge-podge of our our stuff, much of which wouldn't fit into our many storage buildings while we wait to find a new place to call home. We keep our vehicles parked out there, as well as our lawn mower, washer, etc.... For Harbor, it is most definitely a little boy wonderland!

We live in Razorback country and this time of year is very exciting for us. My cousin, Rachel, is marching with her piccolo in the UofA band again this year, and her sweet roommate, Ashley, is one of the mascots for this year, Sue E. We are so proud of Ashley for beating out so many other hopefuls to secure such a fun, coveted spot! Harbor does what he can to support his two favorite girls!

Tonight, we had our first game of the season. Here are Rachel and Ashley having a friendly Hog kiss before the game. We are so tickled to see Ashely in her mascot uniform as Sue E.

And Rachel warming up before taking the field...

We have spent lots of time coloring the driveway with sidewalk chalk and waiting for daddy to come home. Daddy always lets Harbor help him park our cars when he gets home from work and Harbor looks forward to it all day.

Gigi and Harbor take lots of pictures through the day while i'm working so I can see what fun they have had. Lately, they have been playing trucks and Harbor has been destroying her house by throwing off all the cushions to make tent forts. I love having a little boy!

We recently visited Rachel and her two roommates to deliver a tile my mom painted. All three girls have hand painted tiles from my mom for their doors in their apartment. They look cute hanging up- they have a really nice apartment with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached garage. We try to visit often, but they are all in school at the Univeristy of Arkansas and keep busy schedules.

Harbor started Mother's Day Out last week and is attending very close to where my parents live. Since my mom keeps Harbor during the day for us, we feel so lucky to have her drop Harbor off two days a week for a little socialization. He did great- no tears or anxiety at all. His teachers said he loved playing outside the best. He attends chapel and learns a Christian curriculum for a few hours on Monday and Wednesday. Since he tends to be very quiet and reserved, we hope this will help him develop a more full vocabulary.
David and I attended open house and all the other pictures are of his first day- thanks, mom, for bringing the camera!  : )

Today, we took Harbor to our local County Fair to see the livestock and to ride the carousel. We also enjoyed seeing the fair competitions- the tractor-pull, bake-off for the pies, and the beautiful canned-goods. Harbor loved the sheep, which he calls, "Baa baa's", and the pigs. He uses sign language for almost everything he wants to communicate and is still talking very little. After riding on the rabbit on the carousel, he signed for "more" for almost 30 minutes. Bless his heart. He loves a good fair.

When I asked Harbor what a pig says, this is the face he made!  : )

Last night, I needed to work in my classroom a bit, so Harbor and mom tagged along. This year, as a 5th grade, we decorated our hallway with a "Hollywood" theme. It was fun making the popcorn bulletin board and hanging all of the "VIP" memorabilia from the ceiling. I kept a few things in my classroom from last year and tossed some things in lieu of something else. Over the summer I made lots of big, tissue paper flowers and hung them with my book jackets from the ceiling. They were easy and cheap to make. It makes the room feel very colorful and fun, which is much needed on those cold, wintry teaching days. 

The weather seems to be cooling off and Harbor turns two in November. I'm thinking an outdoor party may be in his future. I hope you and your family are doing well. This month has been a tough one at our house. My cousin lost her husband very tragically and without warning only two weeks before her daughter started kindergarten. It has been a tough month and one that I am not sad to see go. With fall coming, I pray the change of seasons will bring a peacefulness and a fresh start to a trying time. I am thankful for the great comforter, my sustainer, Jesus Christ. I depend on Him minute by minute.

We love you, friends and family. Keep in touch!