Early this morning our little family of four ventured out on a walk to school. That's right. . . my little man Seth started Kindergarten today! Can you believe how fast he is growing up? We (Seth and I) were excited and a little anxious for this day to come. Mommy was not looking forward to waking up so early (since we have been spoiled by sleeping in, to the late hours of 7:30 a.m.), but somehow I managed to crawl out of bed, scramble some eggs and make some toast. While Seth ate a droopy-eyed breakfast, I made his lunch and talked to him about his expectations for the day. This quickly got his juices flowing and it was easy to see he was looking forward to his new adventure. Before we left, we sat in a circle and had a family prayer, asking for God to bless and protect Seth as he goes to school each day. Then the long 2.5 block walk began. . . I was not sure how I would feel walking away from the classroom and leaving my little sweetie there with a perfect stranger. Would he enjoy school? Would he have a good teacher? Will she love to teach and love her students? That is still to be determined, but since I taught Kinder when Seth was a baby, I know and remember how I felt when parents lingered on and on. . . so, we walked him to his classroom, helped him put up his back pack, took a "first day" picture with his teacher, gave one last kiss and hug and then said good bye. We were in and out in about 5 minutes. Drew kept asking how I was doing as we walked home and I would answer, "fine." I think I surprised him with NO tears all day long.

What Seth had to report about his first day of Kindergarten: "I drew this picture of a new friend I made today. In my picture we were playing and Mammaw was about to take a picture. Then it started to sprinkle and we just kept playing in the sprinkles. And then one minute later it started pouring rain on us and we just played in the rain too."

Drawing from left to right: Mommy holding Karsyn, Alexis (new school friend), Seth, and Daddy

[I just think his streaks of "rain" are so cute. - true words of a Mommy]

If any of you have kids in school and you ask the typical after school parent question: "What did you do today?" you know that your child is likely to respond, "I don't know. Nothing!" Knowing this, I tried to ask specific questions after school. . . three new friends he met, a center he tried, and a book they read. This is what Seth had to say about one of the read-alouds today: "I don't remember what it was called, but it was about a little raccoon that was nervous. He kept asking his mom, 'What are you going to do? What am I going to do? And finally, she kissed his hand and to him it felt like his mom was in his heart and with him all day long at school." This excellent back to school book is The Kissing Hand. I read it to my kinder kids the first day when I taught too. We would go on a scavenger hunt of the school... discovering all the places we "needed to know" (i.e. nurses office, library, gym, principal, etc.) We baked handprint cookies and put hershey's kisses in the palms of the cookies... those were some great memories! Makes me a little home-sick for my classroom and Ms. Ripley! Hope you have a great first day too Rip & an outstanding bunch of kids!

Tonight as I tucked Seth in for bed he smiled and said, "Isn't school lovely." I'm so glad he enjoyed his first day!


Summer Fun

What a busy summer this has been! It seemed like we were on the road traveling and visiting and playing & having fun 80% of the time. . . we were seldom home as most of you know. We did so many fun things, I don't know that I can blog about them all, so we'll hit some of the kids favorites. SEA WORLD was a big one! Seth loved the sea lions (so funny), the Rock'n Ski Show (super talent), the acrobats & dolphins (flipper in action), and of course the killer whales - SHAMU! I have to admit, as this was my first time to visit Sea World, the animals and their trainers were pretty impressive. I cannot even fathom the patience that the trainers must have to work with animals that are so large and possibly not always agreeable to the requests of those silly humans on land. They develop relationships with the animals and they each learn to trust and love each other. After one of the shows, we hung around in the Killer Whale stadium watching the trainers try tricks that were not part of the show. The whale known as "Shamu" did a full flip and the trainer were so excited. . . she nearly jumped into the water to hug him, but Shamu beat her to it. You could see how proud she was of him and how much she cared for him (brought tears to my eyes). I think the best part of Sea World is watching the shows, but there is also a mini-water park & Seth made sure to spend some time in the wave pool. There are a few roller coasters for the thrill seekers (I recommend the inverted one called Great White - good times to be had there!). Seth really didn't want to try the kiddie-Shamu coaster, but after some coaxing, he gave it a shot. I could hear him yelling as he got off the ride, "That was stinking fun dude!" And again he went. . . hands in the air, loving every minute of it. (You can see him in the last car on the coaster.) So, yes, Sea World was a blast and I highly recommend taking a visit with your kids. We went 4 times in August!

When we went to see Gran and Grandpa, Karsyn was able to ride her first carousel - a two story carousel. It was a bit of a love-hate experience. . . meaning at moments she loved it, and at others she couldn't get off that horse fast enough. Seth, as always, had a good time and was ready to ride again! While there, we made a trip out to South Padre. . . spent some time at the beach & then ate at Dirty Al's. Karsyn loved the water and the sand. We have no idea how much of it she was able to eat when we weren't looking - YUCK!