I got to accompany my little "punkins" on their first field trip today. (All the feels!!! But I'll try to minimize the sap.) We arrived and gathered for the first group photo which would have made for a great time-lapse video: kids in, kids out, standing, sitting, random hand-raising, kids moving... We're so thankful for their sweetest teachers.
Next we took a hayride to the pumpkin patch! Gabe later said this was his favorite part. He watched the tractor pulling us the whole time.
We didn't have to hunt very hard to find round, plump, orange pumpkins! Gabe picked up the first one he saw and declared true love. Then he proceeded to fall in love with every pumpkin he encountered. Choosing only two was hard. Zeke was not as concerned with the pumpkins as with the incline we were on. (There were quite a few run-away pumpkins!) But in the end he agreed with Gabe's pumpkin selections.
After we left the pumpkin patch, we saw one of our friends from church! She told the class about all the different kinds of pumpkins.
Mommy's favorite moments: watching the boys stand close to their buddies, or the random brotherly holding of hands on trips here or there...
We headed to the barn for a visit with the animals, and then to the straw maze where preschoolers mostly want to walk on the hay bales, or roll around on them.
I LOVE this one, which would make a very nice album cover:
And finally, we snacked and adjourned our official trip. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day to spend outside, or for a sweeter group of kids, families, and teachers.
It's hard not to look at these tots, personalities budding, and wonder what God has in store for them. For example...
One of my favorites from today. Just look at that little finger in the air!! Natural leader. We love and expect great
things from that little girl someday, and I appreciate the help I might get keeping
my boys in line in the meantime. <3
And when we can't make the day any better than it's already been, we "bring it in" for the group hug.
A documentation of what Z and G are learning before they start school.
THIS is my organization center. A year ago I felt I had too many ideas to keep up with, to communicate to Cary in the evenings, and to be consistent on. For Christmas, I asked for this chalk board, dolled it up a bit, and voila! This visual keeps the adult team on the same page, and the boys look forward to checking off practice days, changing our letter/number of the week, etc.
Here's an update of our board just before school started:
At breakfast (and whenever the boys choose), we work on our memory verses:
"Then Jesus said to them, 'I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life!'"
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your might."
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
1 John 4:7
"Dear friends, love one another, for love comes from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
"And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
1 John 4:19
"We love because He first loved us."
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever."
And just in case you're starting to think all we do is sit around quoting scripture, check out Cary's latest teaching accomplishment... (Their first bar joke.) Zeke is his Mama's son - he starts with the punchline. Gabe's about got it down, but he likes to contribute endings more consistent with toddler humor - it's all about knowing your audience, I guess.
The boys have been taking lessons on the instruments of their choice for about a year now. In the past, when parents asked me when they should start their children on music lessons, the earliest I've ever recommended was age five. However, the boys started indicating at age two that they wanted -- really wanted -- to play the cello and the guitar. (We're talking, outside in the yard, picking up sticks and pretending it's a cello bow. Turning regular toddler toys into pretend guitars and asking Mommy and Daddy for a pick.) Cary and I desperately want them to have every opportunity to pursue the callings God has placed on their hearts, so... (after 6+ months of them asking), we began lessons. We have great teachers who are giving the boys enough material to practice every day, and this has meant a lot of discipline... for Mommy!! (Who herself was never an A+ practicer. Sorry, Mama.) Thank the Lord that these children remain motivated to practice every day. Another perk is that as the boys get older, practicing with them gets easier as they become more and more independent, developing new abilities almost every week! Here's a look into our practice routine, formerly mornings, but now that preschool and Bible study have started, immediately following their naps.
Here, Gabe is at the end of his practice... He's obviously tired and his attention span is about shot, but I love that he finishes it out.
Meanwhile, Zeke practices writing in his pre-writing notebook, and then colors.
Zeke's turn to practice! (Mom forgot to take video.)
Gabe's turn to practice writing and color - this is one of my favorite pages he's ever colored.
LEARNING IS EVERYWHERE
The boys take the learning everywhere - recently I got this new free screensaver (love it!) but it has been the best number practice for the boys! They walk into my room and yell, "Mommy!!! Mommy! 11! That's 12!"
And with all of God's glory right at our fingertips, what's not to love about being outside?
ON THE FARM
Zeke and Gabe, God has blessed you with sharp minds and big hearts, and I'm so glad to get to be a part of your discovery of His awesome creation! Looking forward to so much more, my big preschoolers. Love you so much,
Signs of fall have begun to appear outside, so we've started making the transition around the house.
As I was digging through the attic for last year's wreath, I realized we've now called this place home for a full year, since we moved in late last summer. (That's a gift for these former nomads.) And THEN I remembered a project my better, more-ambitious-self began way back then: A stop motion video of the transformation of our living room - the smallest, darkest, space to conquer as we moved in. SO I FINISHED IT! #whaaaaa #finishedit #markthisday #onlytookme1yr
So there you have it: One more stop-motion video for the Hill Family Archives.