We have done the back to school shopping list, bought the uniforms, picked out a new backpack and lunchbox and met our teachers. My 2nd grader (gasp!) is very excited about starting school this week. He's been jumping out of bed by 6:30 every morning this week practicing getting ready for school. At orientation he met his teachers and heard about all the awesome science projects they would be doing this year - robots, building animals out of trash, etc. This was the most exciting part for him. I could just see is ears perk up at the mention of science projects and he got a little twinkle in his eye. It made the part about spelling homework and handwriting books kind of fade into the background. He is ready. We even put command hooks on the inside of the kids closet doors to lay out their school clothes for the week so there will be no mid-week "I can't find my____" because all the clothes are already laid out at the beginning of the week (pending mom's ironing day gets done - yikes!) Our PreK-4 son is fickle about going to "real" school. We did home school for PreK-3 and it went very well. We thought he needed to learn to follow the rules of the classroom before kindergarten. His school doesn't start until Sept. when he will go 1/2 days. I think he will be more excited about it when he realizes some of his church friends will be there.
While the kids are ready to go, I as their mom and fighting the urge to just keep them both home with me. There's always a nervous feeling in my momma heart when I have to send my sweet boys off into the real world. The real world is scarier than it was when I was a 2nd grader. Today's kids still face bullies at school but always have to wonder if they have a gun with them. They face so much more violence and drugs and temptation. That's why it so important to teach them to clothe themselves with the Armor of God. I have to let go a little bit and trust that they have learned enough from us to handle it, and that the Lord is watching over them wherever they are (Matthew 28:20). Even though the kids are starting school we have to keep teaching them. We as parents are still their #1 teachers. We try to prepare them the best we can and then walk beside them and support them along the way.
I hope my boys have made some good memories this summer. We have had many adventures in travel from Georgia to North Carolina as you can see in the previous posts. We've also done some pretty cool stuff at home. We made hot car crayons... and lava lamps... and sponge balls...and bookworm bookmarks...a rug out of old t-shirts....lots of pudding pops....cards for kids in the hospital....food for construction workers at church...homemade fruit snacks...Brain Games....gone to the bounce house and bowling. It has been a full summer.
Church has taken up a lot of our summer too. We had Vacation Bible School the first week of June which was awesome to see over 300 kids there everyday excited to learn about our Awesome God and His Amazing Power. We helped with the 5th and 6th grade local missions trip the last week of June. Then we did Drama camp for a week in July. My 2nd grader was thrilled to get to do puppets this year. He was "baldy" in the middle. He did a great job. Additionally, we have been in renovation mode all summer. Our church is currently in the process of completing a new building for youth and renovating the old FLC for the children. It looks like a completely new space upstairs. I can't wait for it to be finished. Much blood, sweat and tears have gone into that children's area. While I can't say I've enjoyed the building process, it does excite me to think about the ministry that will move into that space and have room to grow and flourish.
Now if we could just get my pastor husband's fractured knee healed up and him off of crutches we would be even better able to rock n' roll with the move. All in the Lord's timing.... Maybe God allowed this injury during this time to bring forth the volunteers that are needed to make the move happen that otherwise would not have felt like they were needed. They are needed - greatly!
Speaking of growing and flourishing, we also attempted to grow our own watermelon patch this summer. We got help tilling up the concrete dry ground and added organic fertilizer (AKA cow poop) we made the mounds and planted the seeds and watered, and watered, and watered. The weeds got a little bit away from us but nevertheless we had 19 watermelons! Just last week the vines were dying and had apparently become infected with some sort of mildew fungus or something. So we picked the watermelons all 3-6 lbs. and surprisingly they were ripe! They were the cutest little things! We ate one and the kids said they didn't like seeds and the oldest said it was hard to keep the juice in his mouth with two front teeth missing! We gave the rest away to friends and neighbors and the garden was mowed down last weekend. Not quite the lesson on patience being rewarded that I had hoped for but the boys did get a lesson on generosity as they went with us to deliver the melons to unsuspecting friends. All in all, a good summer (just not long enough).