Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Going to School

This will be our family's last fall that none of our children will be attending school. Next year, Ezra will be nearly five, and will likely go to preschool. Though I admit I'm not up on what age is best, and if it is best for a child to attend preschool, and all that. I'm assuming because he will be five next fall, but will not be old enough to go to kindergarden because of the date of his birthday, he will be old enough to go to preschool.

But, today Ezra and Elliot went with Brian to the school's opening activities, which involves a chapel service. Even though we don't have children in school, we enjoy participating in our local Christian schools activities, programs, and graduations. Our love of the Christian learning community comes from the influence it had on our lives, and was deepened this summer after watching the casket of an 18 year old daughter of our church be carried by young men from her 8th grade graduating class of the Christian school they attended.

At the same time, we enjoy the camaraderie of the athletic events of our local public school.  It was fun to take the three boys to watch the homecoming parade last fall, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the classes on trucks and wagons, decorated in their school colors again this fall.  I also enjoy seeing the lights from the public school football field, just across the street (and don't mind the loud, obnoxious souped-up trucks that speed away after the game is over).  There is something really special about the small-town Iowa community supporting the local school, and the kids learning in a community there.

So these photos are premature, but will be fun to compare to the day that, Lord willing, Ezra and Elliot are both in school, and attending their first chapel services..  And you could have guessed, when they got in the truck to go with Brian, Zach threw a fit, because he wasn't going too.  I'm sure that will be repeated in a few years.

Here they are making shadows in the morning sun, while waiting on Brian.  Ezra started it, Elliot follow suit, which is how it usually happens.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Family Trip to Northwest Iowa

Last week Sunday night, after finishing the evening worship service, we packed up for a much needed trip to Northwest Iowa.  This was the first trip we've taken there since moving back to Iowa 18 months ago.  We were thankful to have an Aunt and Uncle's camper to borrow, which made the trip extra exciting for the three boys, who helped make their beds in the camper before leaving.  The only downside was that the trip took 5 hours, instead of 4, because pulling a trailer required driving a little slower.

A picture of our outfit at the Five and Dime gas station (Iowa's Best Burgers Cafe) before getting on I-80.

Brian had some errands to run for my in-laws, so I took the opportunity to enjoy taking some photos on their yard.

We helped Brian's mom and dad with some landscaping projects, which turned out really nice.  I forgot to take an after picture of the sidewalk.  They finished it right after dark.  The boys loved playing in the dirt and sand, and riding in the skid loader.  I enjoyed a good work out from hauling bricks to lay the sidewalks.

We hung some Christmas lights on the camper for fun.  The weather couldn't have been more beautiful for camping - 80s in the day and 60s at night.  The full moon was beautiful over the cornfields of Northwest Iowa, along with the Union Pacific train that runs a mile east of their home.  I would have loved to have gotten pictures of the full moon and train, but we stayed busy with projects and playing with grandpa and grandma.  Swimming with the cousins at the Sioux Center Pool, and taking home Pizza Ranch pizza was probably the highlight of our trip for the boys. 

My favorite part was leaving the boys with grandpa and grandma and getting coffee with Brian and watching the Dordt football team practice near Dordt College's campus.
I wish I could have had time to take the boys to Brian's dad's shop, to see his current stained glass projects and take pictures, and also missed picking up a few Almond Patties from the local bakery, but there is always next time!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Senior Pictures at the Fair

The end of the summer is approaching, and things like cool fall days and pumpkin bread is starting to sound good.  But before then, the Iowa State Fair makes a last summer fling before school begins.

This morning I got to take pictures of Taylor at the Iowa State Fair grounds, where the food stands and campers are pulling in and setting up.  I've never taken senior pictures before, but Taylor couldn't have made it much easier for me.  In a few weeks she'll start seeing friends daily, and be cheering at football games, but today, she, I and her younger sister had a lot of fun.  (I'm sure you can imagine the conversations about pork chops on a stick, milking the cow at the dairy barn, and showing horses, of course!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ah, Summer

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."