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a favorite tree we like to check out during our walks in the neighborhood

I’m big on traditions. D.Brooks finds it rather interesting that I’ll decree at a moment’s notice a new Julius Household tradition. Little Brooks and I will shout with glee at the thought of a new tradition whilst D.Brooks will look at me in that way that makes me smile, conveying with one penetrating stare that he believes traditions are born out of a longer, time tested passage of time. Ah, TomaTO, ToMAHto!

With that being said, and with D.Brooks in another time zone pursuing those hard sought after promotion points, I find myself blogging away again, in the wee dark of night. Though I will admit that this blogging feels better as a deployment does not even begin to compare to D.Brooks attending school. We miss him entirely too much, in all we do, but knowing he’s safe, and in the good ol’ USA does something to one’s spirit.

So with all that being said we faced B’s first day of school with Brooks gone, yet again. We’re beginning a bit earlier this year due to my deteriorating health due to my congenital heart defect and the fact that we are hoping to come down on orders soon. The thought of moving is quite daunting, since even menial tasks like sweeping the driveway cause me to lose my breath and my chest to hurt, and so with all that in mind we felt an early start would buy us time in case we do move and need to take off some time from schooling.

Thankfully Little B was eager to start as well. Probably because I promised the first two months would be a bit lax, and that we’d still include lots of summer fun. I loved every moment of our day, and loved that we took it slow to enjoy the day and all the traditions.

Enjoy the pictures and explanations that follow:

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The Boy asked if I could possibly make him Cream of Wheat instead of my planned German pancake. He loves his Cream of Wheat. True story. To make breakfast a bit more special we placed a blanket on the floor, indoor picnic style, and watched cartoons while we ate our breakfast. Brooks loved both ideas and was all smiles.

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Little B is a bit of a ham. I asked him to finished getting ready for our day and he came out like this; plus, he had placed a balloon under his shirt because he thought it was hilarious that he looked preggers. So this is his official first day of school picture. Just in case anyone’s wondering!

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We headed out after breakfast for a bike ride (myself on foot, with Little Man on his Little Leash). Brooks walked back to me to have his picture taken with the Little Guy.

 

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Sometime between the first part of homeschool and our delicious banana rotis the shirt came off. I’m sure this is a bad habit, though I tend to hope he’ll understand shirts aren’t really optional in life.

 

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I try to include some hands on projects, games, or activities each day to add a little zest to the day, but also to reinforce key concepts. It makes for a more fulfilling day for both of us. Little B enjoys the activities as much as I do. Little B has biology for science this semester and we are learning all about cells so i thought this jello candy thing would be great. The idea was fantastic and we had fun putting it together. Though B realized he wasn’t crazy about the jello and we both got a bit creeped out at the changes in the candy as the jello was poured over them. I’m not quite sure either one of us will eat this, but boy was it fun!

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I try to include an art project each day, even if it’s a repeat loved piece, or something as simple and fun like printing. We both loved this project that we found on a few websites. We’ll finish it up over the next day or two.

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Being silly showing off his creation thus far.

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Several websites listed a time capsule as a great first day tradition. Between decorating the house for my new fourth grader, a special breakfast, our bike ride (or his, better said), a special snack, and a fun dessert after dinner, I thought including this would be great. We have done the survey, sheet questionnaire thing over the years. But I LOVE the idea of a time capsule, except that I’d like to take it a step further. I printed out a sheet for us to fill out with the usual age, weight, favorite slots. But I also included fun questions like what he’d like to learn this year (more about his ancestors way back when), who he’d love to meet (President Lincoln), or how he’d spend 50 dollars (new video games of course). We folded it up and placed it in this plastic bin. I’m leaving it accessible so that over his fourth grade year he can fill it with things, pictures from different outings, ticket stubs, rocks or sticks or other things from hikes, the list is endless. I’ll leave it up to him to decide what treasures he’ll add to it and at the end of the year we’ll redo the questionnaire and look over all the things he’s added and seal that bad boy up for when he’s much older and curious about Fourth Grade Me.

 

So in a nut shell, we loved our first day of school: loved the pace, loved the day, loved it, loved it. Tomorrow holds new adventures and memories ready to be made, I just know it!

 

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