And One Last First Day

Four days without a computer makes for poor blogging, but good family time.  We ended our summer with one of our favorite family events, REACH Camp.  This camp has been a highlight our of summer for the past six years.  It has changed over time, from being a camp exclusively focused on families affected by HIV, to this year, including foster/adopt families from Youth for Christ.  They were a great addition.

Today is the first day of school for the Qualls homeschoolers.  I started the morning with the fun task of taking a picture of my three youngest on the front steps.  Eby was miserable.  He is very anxious about starting his morning class tomorrow and is sure he won’t like it. Not being one for crowds, and liking lots of space, it could be a challenge for him.  On the other hand, he might decide he loves it.  I’m glad he’ll be able to come home at lunch time, play outside, and then have homeschooling time with me.

I thought this might be the best Back-to-School picture I was going to get, but after lots of coaxing, followed by a little bribing, I got the photo at the top of this post.  I’ll spare you the crying, frowning, fussing pictures.

I’m off to read Island of the Blue Dolphins to Sunshine while the little boys have Quiet Hour.

How did you spend Labor Day weekend?

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This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Steph-Justin Smith
    September 4, 2012

    I love that book! I always checked it out of the library at school and then a few years ago I got two copies for Christmas so I read it all again.

  2. Emily
    September 4, 2012

    So. Cute.

  3. Jamey
    September 4, 2012

    I LOVED that book when I was young. I actually recently purchased it and plan on reading it again soon as an adult. 🙂

  4. Laurel
    September 4, 2012

    Do you just have the 3 at home for school? Is your high schooler at the public school full time?

    I just have 4 at home in the mornings, and 3 in the afternoons (as high schooler goes to 2 classes at the school). So different. So missing the Big Kids. But, so excited to really be able to pour into these 4 this year.

    Glad your camp was fun. Is it the Tacoma Area YFC adopt/foster group? (I don't know if other areas have the foster/adopt program.) We know the 2 men who started the program in Tacoma probably 15-20 years ago . . . and one of them still runs it. Where is your camp located?

    Labor Day weekend was pretty quiet around here. We are definitely missing all of our Big Kids. But, on Sunday we had 2 of our "Adopted Big Kids" over for a BBQ (one of whom now lives in TX, but was up for a visit). Then, yesterday, Jim and I took the 4 young ones (the only ones left at home) to the beach for a picnic dinner. It was good . . . but I am having a hard time getting used to the quiet (although I still have 2 loud boys at home).

    Laurel 🙂

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 4, 2012

      Ladybug is at the high school for three classes first thing in the morning. I still consider her homeschooled! I didn't have her in the picture since she already had a Back-to-School picture the day the high school classes started. She is loving it! She and Sunshine started art lessons today. Honeybee is loving her school too. We are so pleased. And yes, it was the Tacoma YFC group. Great folks.


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