Thursday, September 30, 2021

Wrapping Up Summer and Jumping into Fall!

So much has happened in the past month as we finished up our summer and jumped into school and fall activities!    I'll start this post by writing about our time at the State Fair, which is our favorite way to celebrate the end of summer!  Then I will jump into some back to school and fall activity pictures. 

State Fair

It was especially exciting to get back to the state fair after it was cancelled last year due to Covid.  Paul and I had a date day to the state fair while the kids were at school (I had the day off from teacher workshops!) and then we took the kids for a family date the following Friday when we all had school off heading into Labor Day weekend.  Our family trip  was rainy, but still so fun!  I personally enjoyed that we spent a large portion of time at "math on a stick" haha!  All of the kids really got into solving the puzzles.  Larkyn broke a record for one, and the other two found new patterns that hadn't yet been found and saw their names alongside their pictures of patterns they had found in previous years in the book at the table!  They were all pretty excited!  We ended the evening by watching the talent show which included a friend in Colton's Sunday school class on the fiddle.  She did great!

Bake Sale

We all were deeply saddened to hear of the recent pain in Afghanistan, and wanted to do something to help!  Summer decided she wanted to do a bake sale!  Grandma and Grandpa came over to help and we baked a ton of goodies.  Then the kids walked around the neighborhood selling, and were able to raise quite a bit which we sent to Arrive Ministries to help Afghanistan refugees.

Back to School!

This year, what began as a search to find a middle school that would encourage Summer to grow in her faith during the stereotypically "tough years", led to us following God's call to put all three kids in Christian school!  United Christian Academy has already been such a blessing, as we get to watch the kids learn more about Jesus every day through fantastic teachers, chapel, and more.  Summer started 6th grade, Colton started 4th grade, and Larkyn started 2nd grade.  I went back to teaching at Eastview High School in the most perfect part-time arrangement where I work only while the kids are in school, and can get them off to school in the morning as well as pick them up.  God has been so faithful to direct our schooling paths each year, and I am so grateful that he continued to do so this year.  We are so blessed.

At Open House.....

Colton and Teacher, Mrs. Johnson

Larkyn and teacher Mrs. Otterblad

Summer switches classes, and has an 8 period day.  This is her locker.

She received a school chrome book to complete assignments on.

At UCA, students start band in 4th grade.  Colton followed in Daddy's footsteps and chose the trumpet.  He LOVES it and practices without having to be told, including even practicing in the car on the way to school, lol!  This was him trying instruments at open house before he chose the trumpet.

First day of school!

There is a bus that picks up kids from south of the metro to bring them the 20 minute drive to UCA.  It works out amazing 4 days a week for us to meet the bus at 7:38, and then have me head into work or finish chores at home.  On Mondays I drive the kids to attend the Mom's 8:15 prayer meeting.  I always pick them up from school and love our 20 minute ride home to hear all about their days!

School pictures

Colton's teacher will send us pictures sometimes!  Here he is learning Chinese and practicing making characters out of play dough.  UCA has kids learn Chinese the first half of the year and Spanish the second half.

One of Summer's teacher's brings her bird Ollie to school!  The kids love Ollie and Summer loves this teacher (who teaches geography and history!)

The following pictures are from Spirit Week.  They are assortments of students from each of the kid's classes as they dressed up for various days including USA day, UCA day,  class color day, costume day, and pajama day.

The following pics are from Eastview where I teach.  Summer came in one day and helped me with my classroom!

Our family enjoyed a Friday Family Fun night at Eastview's football game.  The marching band and dance team at half time were also highlights!

Random Fun

Colton is learning about building stuff and tools in Grandpa's workshop!

Colton practicing trumpet anywhere and everywhere....he will even ask to practice in the garage if Larkyn is sleeping!

Family Geocaching went trip ended in 4 bee stings for Colton (and one for Larkyn and one for Daddy!)

Loons Game

Back to school shopping with Summer!  We found so many deals at Once Upon a Child (resale shop) and the girls asked me to take pictures during their fashion show :)!

Happy 1/2 birthday Teddy!  The cousins met us at a park after soccer practice to eat ice cream and play!

We had a great weekend visit with the Tommerdahl's including Friday night bonfire time, Saturday soccer, Settlers of Catan and Loons game, jump-roping and more!

Summer went to see Music Man with Grandma and Grandpa as a belated birthday present!


Colton has been playing with Salvo this fall, a "new to us" soccer club.  The coaches are absolutely fantastic!  He started the year on a team with a few of his best buddies from church, and then part way through the season they moved him up to the next team.  The players on his new team are so, so good - Colton has jumped right into this HUGE learning curve and is often out practicing soccer drills in the backyard on days he doesn't have soccer because he is so motivated to improve.  The team has had a great season so far, and is undefeated!  However, Colton told me this weekend that they play the best team in the league this weekend, so we will see if that stays!  He has been blessed with lots of soccer fans coming to his games including both sets of Grandparents, GeeGee Sandy, and our Pastor and his wife!  The pictures of Colton playing below come from our Pastor's wife who is an amazing photographer :).  

This picture makes me smile!  As I am sure many of you know, a soccer schedule makes life pretty busy - squeezing in practice before Trail Life, church night, after piano lessons, etc etc.  Here is Colton getting sustenance between piano lessons and a game!

While the schedule is crazy, he sure loves soccer! I am grateful he gets this opportunity and its fun for me to watch him be so internally motivated and have so much fun!  The next post will include a special decision Colton recently made.  I wanted to give it it's own post, so stay tuned :-)


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