We celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary the way we have every year for the fifth year running: by having our official "First Day of School Celebration!"
Everything was ready (click pictures for larger image) ...
The dining room -- which has long since given up its table, but not its name -- was rearranged to make play a little more focused, into two distinct play spaces ... and now it's suddenly known as "The Playroom!"
(Don't think that didn't occur to me!)
Taz and Junie B. excitedly put on their "first day of school clothes," submitted to a few "first day of school photographs" and then we all got into the car for our traditional "First Day of School Field Trip" to Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, for Mass and an informal tour of its beautiful grounds.
The Church itself is under construction, which was a bit of a disappointment -- both of the beautiful side chapels -- The Immaculate Heart Chapel and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel -- were closed, and the church's air conditioning was turned off (making Mass something of a stifling experience, especially with little ones in tow!)
But it also provided the boys with a few unexpectedly delightful views:
I hope it's done by Christmastime -- we love coming here for the Festival of Lights!
There was still a beautiful view, and many, many gorgeous statues of all our favorite Saints.
(each one of the ball-shaped lights is a bead of the Rosary, surrounding a heart-shaped reflection pool. The 12 Apostles and St. Paul, in life-sized statues, stand guard all the way around the pool, and the approaching walkway (directly opposite to where the children are standing) is highlighted by a life-size marble crucifix.)
Among the hundreds of statues honoring many beloved Saints and the Blessed Mother, there was a statue of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, with a plaque honoring the Korean Martyrs.
At the entrance to the Church, there was a beautiful display of Our Lady of Fatima and the three children, which used to be the center of the Immaculate Heart Chapel. On the table is a basket for written prayer intentions ...
Taz drew a picture, and told me what to write. From his lips to God's ears.
(It says, "Please bless and heal Unka Nonie with short hair." That's what he affectionately calls my sister.) I wouldn't normally photograph the children's prayer intentions, of course. But this one was special.
After Mass, we had lunch together at the Shrine's cafeteria, then headed out for official "School Pictures" at a mall photography studio -- nothing too fancy, but I think they may have come out nice!
By the time we got home, it was nearly 6:00, though. The Chief stopped to pick up frozen waffles, and that's what we had for dinner!! (It was his idea. He is brilliant.) I decided that, after such a long day, I wouldn't ask the children to complete their journal entries, and put all of that off until next week.
But they were too excited about their new school supplies!
They pulled out their backpacks and got right to work. Since this was Taz's first journal entry ever, I was especially impressed! We even got in his first little calendar & weather recording lesson to go with it!
For bedtime snack, we had the ultimate "School Snack": Apples! They were especially delicious halved, topped with a tiny pat of butter, a drizzle of honey and a touch of cinnamon, and baked (450 degrees for 10 minutes). Topped with a splash of cream, they were a delightful way to end the day.