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!


  1. I am so sorry for your loss! I will be praying!
    I love your classroom and I am glad the year has started off well. Harbor is growing so much!!

  2. LOVE that popcorn bulletin board!!! SO CUTE! Harbor is SO BIG! We are still working on the talking too! It's coming slowly, but I know he'll do it soon!

  3. I want to be in your classroom!

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I love your classroom. It is inspiring!

  5. Your classroom is so cute!! I love how you made the popcorn bulletin board!! Harbor is adorable and getting so big!! I love the picture with him on the lawn mover and he has the flip flop dirt marks on his feet!! My boys have them all the time :) I totally agree with you--I love having boys!!

  6. Jessica, So sorry to hear of your loss. Harbor is so cute and growing fast! My daughter is in
    5th grade, wish you were in our district, your room looks so fun and a great learning enviroment.

  7. Looks like you guys are doing great! It is amazing how much Cade and Harbor are alike. Cade also spends a lot of time at my parents picking pears, grapes and helping my dad in his shop. He loves anything outside and anything chocolate:) Have a great school year!

  8. Harbor with his "big boy" does he look right there! The popcorn....SO cute. I always love looking at cute classrooms like this...I always daydreamed about being a school teacher. I am always wanting to go walk through the teacher supply stores...I just know I would spend every penny of my earnings in there, though!! I recall my favorite teachers, and how much I loved them ... you are making a bigger difference for these kids than you can probably imagine. :o)

  9. I bet you are a wonderful teacher. Harbor has grown so much. Hard to believe he will be 2 soon!

  10. Wow! Time has flown. I can't believe how big Harbor has gotten. Seems like just yesterday I was making burp cloths for him. :) Glad you all doing well.

  11. I'm so sorry about your cousin's husband. I can't even imagine what that's been like for the family. It looks like Harbor had fun at the fair (my kids did too), and I love the pig face. :)

  12. So sorry to hear about your loss! Your family willbe in our prayers.

    Your classroom looks great. I hope you have a wonderful class this year.

  13. I love all the pictures. Harbor is getting so big. :)

  14. You are so much better at decorating a classroom than I am! I need some major pointers...mine is so bare!