I figured though, that since professors, researchers, etc. can go on sabbatical to rest and come up with new material and ideas, I can too. After all, I am also a teacher and a science teacher at that, so I do my fair share of research trying to keep up with the educational field, the scientific field, and just life as a young teacher. So, I call the last month "my sabbatical." It's been an eventful, fun-filled month. As busy as my body has been, my mind has been also. Today marks the end of Summer Session 1, so I get about a week off before the next session. I've come to accept that the last few weeks of each class are going to be jam-packed because, of course, God likes to test me and make sure I can juggle all my priorities appropriately. For the last 2 1/2 weeks, I've been in New York State visiting my Mom and Dad's family, and enjoying spending as much time as I can with my little cousins. Since I would be shocked and apalled if my little brothers gave me nieces and nephews, I treat my 7, 4, and 3 year old cousins as my nieces and nephews.
I've gotten to spend lots of one-on-one time with the oldest, as I've been homeschooling him while I'm here. It's been a trip, although it's certainly not convincing me to move to teaching 1st grade. I mean, I love the kid to pieces, but first grade just isn't my favorite. He hasn't really learned how to learn new things that don't come up naturally in conversation and incorporate them into his existing knowledge, and this results in a lot of frustration and tears for both of us. I mean, it's just so stinkin' sad when he gets upset! I have a hard time standing my ground when I see how hard it is for him. But y'all? He's gotta learn the basics. Luckily, we can do things our own way because it's homeschool. So if I spend 4 hours on social studies one day because that's the only subject that doesn't give us both fits, it's fine, as long as I make up the other subjects another day. It's like only eating the food on your plate in a certain order.
Other than that, I've gotten to spend some quality time with the family I don't often get to see. I love it. My Memaw and I made a trip up to Niagara Falls (where she and my PawPaw were born and raised, and where I often visited as a child). It was my first time having to use my passport to cross the Border to Canada, and I still haven't gotten used to seeing border patrol cars roving through New York and Pennsylvania. Without fail, my first thought is... but we're so far from Mexico! On the flip side, we're only an hour and a half or two hours from Canada. I guess that's close enough for Border Patrol to be visible.
And I get to play with and learn with and watch three absolutely amazing kids grow every day! How cool (exhausting) is that?!?!
I figure the best (least verbose) way to tell you guys about how awesome this time with family has been is to show you in pictures. I can't document it all, but here are some of the highlights: