Back to school fun

The first weeks of school are a busy time.

First come the ice cream socials. Then the back to school picnics. Then the fundraising events. Then the back-to-school viruses that make their way around the entire family at least once. Now that I think we’ve survived relatively unscathed and with just a few less days of paid time off to take to do something fun, I can update you on what we’ve been up to.

Back to school picnic
Duncan and Berry enjoyed the back-to-school picnic at his elementary school. There was playground playing, swinging, climbing and sliding. And sliding down the hill on empty pizza boxes. It’s apparently a school tradition.

Duncan is really enjoying Kindergarten. Surprisingly, he likes the school with more kids in the classroom than the smaller one. Which is good, as that’s the public school he’ll keep going to in future years.

I think a lot of it is that he loves his Kindergarten teacher. She reminds me a lot of his Aunt Karen — just very similar in physical appearance and mannerisms. How she manages with 28 kids in a class, I don’t know. Bless her.

Berry loves her school. We get great reports about how wonderful, helpful, sweet, polite and kind she is at school. I only wish they would send that child home and not her alter-ego, Princess Berry. 😉 Her favorite phrase lately seems to be, “I’m going to do what I want to do!”

Surviving the back-to-school bug
At some point after the beginning of back to school time, we all came down with something, one by one. This is what I looked like (photo courtesy of Duncan):

Family outings
Working full-time, I feel like I don’t get to spend as much quality time with the kids as I’d like. Fortunately, they play together really well, especially when Emma is with us and she can dress up Berry in full princess regalia.

So every weekend, we try to get out and do something as a family. A lot of the time, that ends up being a park somewhere.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Mt. Pisgah. I think Duncan got a blister on his foot and so ended up being carried. He’s still perfecting the clutching-at-the-head piggy back technique.

There was also paddling in shallow waters by the edge of one of our rivers:

And climbing into a tree stump together:

Emma discovered Duncan’s Minnie Mouse dress-up dress and decided to try it on for the day. I bought a large size, so it fits her quite well.

Back at home, the kids spend lots of time playing in the back yard. Once devoid of play things, we have added two swings, a rope ladder and a tire swing. There’s a climbing wall on the shed, too. Added to the entertainment of nearby chickens, a sand box and raised garden beds (should they want a snack), it’s become quite the play place.

Berry, fearless as ever, has mastered standing on the tire swing.

In fact, both kids are really progressing in their ability to climb and jump and run and play and do all those fun things that kids so easily do. Duncan is getting more and more confident in his body, which is great to see. Although, of course, as his mum I worry that he’ll break something.

Berry adores her princess dress from Kevin. She wears it at every possible moment. It’s been washed a lot and mended many times. I don’t think it was quite made for being quite so well loved.

She also has a white “wedding dress” that she wears often. Duncan snapped this photo of Berry and Nanny in the hammock.

That completes our adventures through the end of September. Duncan has been taking photos with my camera which I’ll upload into a photo gallery all his own. His perspective is interesting. I need to find out about photo shows for 5-year-olds and enter him. 🙂