Sunday, August 24, 2008

New School Year, New Journeys

Because we live in Gainesville, our life really revolves around the academic calendar year - new school starts, new projects start with the fall semester, 4-H starts, church ramps up with the students back, and, of course, football is back. This year, more than usual, we seem to have a lot of big changes in store for us. I've got a lot of projects going on and Will is starting big kid school.

I can't believe Will is starting kindergarten. He doesn't seem that old to me and then at other times, he seems a lot older. He's been helping around the house a lot more without being asked. He seems to have gotten over his new school jitters even though he hasn't even started (thanks Fay). He was wound really tight and is just so excited to get started. We've got his clothes picked out and his lunch packed. He cleaned his room up today and his backpack is ready to go. He's just ready to start at this point. I've been helping teach his Sunday School class (another new project this fall), so I actually get to see where he is compared to other kids. His coloring skills seem to have really taken off. He's also showing a lot of interest in letters and what letters start words. I haven't really pushed this so far. He knows his ABCs, but this is a big step for him. I think he's going to do great in his new class and new school.

On to my projects - I mentioned that I'm teaching Will's Sunday School. It's actually Pre-K and K and usually has 10-20 kids in it. They're all very good kids, but it's exhausting. I'm not the lead teacher in the class. I'm just helping with signing in and out, disruptions, materials, and things like that. It's been really fun so far, but it also means I'm committed to being at church every Sunday, so no more being heathens for us (or at least me).

4-H is also getting ready to gear up for the fall. I'm expecting six or so 8-12 year olds and a whole passel of 5-7 year olds, plus some tagalongs (younger than 5). We've got an exciting year planned. The Cloverbuds (5-7) are mostly going to be doing gardening activities with some small animal stuff thrown in. The older 4-Hers are going to work on learning large animal stuff and leadership skills. I'm really excited for the year that's been planned and very, very excited that Will can actually be a member this year. I have some cool projects picked out for him and I to do together.

Another project (which I'm actually being paid for) is my first endeavor into undergraduate teaching. This fall, I'm teaching campaign strategies for ag and natural resources. It's a 4000 level course in ag communications. I took it as an undergrad, TA'd it as a grad student, and have been a guest speaker the last couple years. I'm really nervous, but very excited. It's Tuesday and Thursday mornings and it starts THIS Tuesday. I thought I would have a week to get Will settled at Micanopy before I started teaching, but thanks to Fay, it's all happening at once.

And, speaking of Fay, we survived just fine. We did lose a tree, a rooster, and our yard is a sopping mess, but power hardly went out. We estimated getting 7+ inches of rain (our rain guage was full and it takes 7 inches), but it did allow for some quality cabin fever time and crafting time. The kids were crazy and played a lot of dress up, swords, damsel in distress, and blocks. And, we have a bucket load of drawings from being inside. But, it also allowed me to get some of my crafting done. I've been working on a dress for Kaity for a couple months. I was using Dora (John's nanny) old sewing machine. It works really well, but I've been having a lot of problems with the thread tension. So, I borrowed Alli's to finish this project. I've got the dress all done except for the button holes. I couldn't figure out how to get the buttonholer to work. I also made a scarf for her. It's really cute, so I'm sure she won't wear it.

I also started a new afghan this weekend. I've had pink yarn (three different shades) for several years that I've been trying to figure out what to do with it. I taught myself to make granny squares this weekend and I'm going to make a new afghan out of the pink granny squares. I don't know how to attach them together yet, but I'll figure that out in the process.

I've been working on a really pretty red afghan which will be my fall/Christmas afghan. It's a beautiful deep crimson color. It's worked with two strands of yarn together. So far, I've gotten through four skeins of yarn. I wanted to work on it this weekend (maybe even finish it!), but I could only find a fifth skein of yarn under the bed. I need another one to be able to have two strands. I know I bought six, but apparently I've stored it somewhere that I can't find it. Here's a picture of it anyways so you can see what it looks like so far.

Now, on to John's favorite part of fall - FOOTBALL! Games start next Saturday. We don't have tickets, which I actually prefer. I like being able to watch games in the AC, on my couch, using my own potty, and not worrying about food poisoning or heat stroke. The UF-Hawaii game is this weekend. Usually, it's an easy game for the first one, but this one should be fun. Hawaii was ranked last year. We're having some friends over to eat and watch the game, so the goal is to keep the house clean all week.

Check for a post tomorrow for Will's third first day of school. I'll have more pictures of it. We'll keep you posted on how the transition goes for the newest Micanopy Manatee.

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