I wanted to make Sunday a little special for them, but really for me to remember that we did have fun and live up summer until the very last day. In the afternoon Thomas and Annie helped to make a special dessert for after dinner. Peach cobbler. Oh, my.
I had planned a little scavenger hunt for them using clues from some of the things we did that summer. The garden, piano lessons, summer with the saints, swimming lessons, taking the boat out, camping trip, the books on tape we listened to, the Robin's nest we had in our hanging baskets....
It was fun to watch Bev run five steps behind them, only to catch up with them and watch them take off again. Poor thing.
At the end of the hunt they found a basket with squirt guns and some candy. We then had a family squirt gun fight... simple, but fun.
I wonder if they will remember these first days of school. I must have a terrible memory because I can't recall any one of my first days of school. I do remember my outfit I wore on my first day of first grade, but only because my mom took a picture of me standing outside in front of our house.
I hope they don't remember that we were late the first day of school. I had good intentions of being early, mind you, but then Thomas and I went to confession at 6:30 at the Pink Sisters together before starting the new year. It was a wonderful thing to do together, and I know he'll remember waking up early and driving in the dark to get there. And I'm sure he'll remember that we stopped to get doughnuts on the way home, however, that made us late. I hope they erase from their memory the fact that I had to just pull up to school, open the door and say, "good-by" have a great first day, Thomas help your sister find the second grade classroom..." No pictures of them standing all shy like with their new classmates. Just a get in there and good luck. At least when we were at Mass I made sure to see both of them with their right teachers! Monsignor gave a wonderful homily about the feast of the Queenship of Mary which was being celebrated in the church that day. He spoke about Mary sharing in Jesus' crown of glory in heaven and that we too will have a crown of glory when we get to heaven. My friend Lindsay posted about this a while back. She had a brilliant idea of making this visual for her children by having them each get a crown to put a jewel on when they make a sacrifice, do something joyfully, or put others first. It was the perfect thing for us to do to celebrate the Queenship of Mary, as well as begin our school year really trying to focus on others and joyfully doing what someone asks of you.
We ended the day by making a crown cake for dessert. Another reminder that our Blessed Mother is Queen of Heaven and Earth.
I wanted to make the kids their lunches this year instead of having them get hot lunch every day. Throughout the summer some friends and I had brainstormed ideas of good, healthy, fun foods to pack in their lunches. I had thought of making the kids cloth napkins but in lieu of my non-sewing skills, never got it done. Until, I had a brilliant idea! Why not ask my sister who had just spent four days entertaining my children, caring for her 16month old, and being 35 weeks pregnant....if she would make them for me. Brilliant, I tell you. She so willingly agreed to come to the fabric store with me, pick out different fabrics, and then stay up until 12:30am sewing them together. I cut, while she sewed. I love them. I am so grateful to her for making them. Thomas and Annie thought they were pretty cool, Thomas especially loving the Husker and fish prints!
There is a special little zipper in the front of their lunch boxes that I told them to check because you'll never know what you may find in there...A fun fact about rivers, a tiny bag of skittles, and special note with a star burst is my idea of giving them my special love when I can't physically be there at school with them. A good friend of mine once told me that she prays to the Blessed Virgin every day she sends her children to school. She asks for Mary's motherly protection for her children since she can't be with them. I thought that was a beautiful prayer and so I too pray, asking Mary to protect and love Thomas and Annie while I am not with them.
And so, we begin again. A new school year. Many adventures to be had, I'm sure.