Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1st Day of Kindergarten!

I still can't believe it...my baby is in kindergarten!   He was so excited to get on the bus.  No seat belts!  That's what he's been talking about for weeks!  He's so funny.  Here are some pictures from this morning.

This seems to be our traditional first day of school spot to pose.

Showing me his backpack.

He was so excited for the bus and afraid he'd miss it that he went sprinting down the street to the bus stop.

He wanted to pose in front of the stop sign...but I chopped it off.

He was so happy!  And I love this picture!

Taking my baby off to school.

These are from last week when we went for his orientation.  He was checking things out in the classroom.

With his teacher.  He really wanted to pose with that tree!

In his classroom.

I made him stand by this tree they have in the hallway, you can see from his face that he is not happy about it. He told me he can't stand that tree.  

I already went to pick him up and he had a great time.  The best parts were "riding the bus and recess".  That's my boy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 33 ~

One thing I love about my son is his sense of humor.  What is it about 4 year olds that makes them laugh at the most ridiculous stuff?  I love that I know exactly what silly thing will make him crack up.  And without fail, taking off his shirt turns into something funny...at least to him.  Meet Shirt Monster.

I love my silly boy.

And since my mom requested this collage of my daughter and one of these photos was taken this week, I figured it still qualifies for Photo Friday.  I can't believe how much she's grown!

Close up version.  I can't believe she went from her perfect little set of baby teeth to all those big teeth in such a short amount of time!  

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

1st Day of 2nd Grade

My sweet girl went off to 2nd grade today.  I miss her.  Not in quite the same way as when she went to kindergarten and first grade though.  I guess it's because she's older, and she's not quite so dependent on me anymore and she spends a lot of time playing by herself or with her brother and they don't need me all the time.  Or she'll read a book in her room.  Or she'll ride her bike down to the cul-de-sac to play with all her neighborhood friends.  Seems I don't see as much of her these days.  I'm okay with it though.  I always wanted my kids to be free to play outside without me having to be there watching over them every second.  I know each year she will pull away a little more and I guess that's what it is to grow up.  So I'm sad that she's gone at school, but I know she will love it and will be learning so much.  The great part is that she will be getting home a whole hour and a half earlier this year so I can actually have a little time with her before I have to start cooking dinner.  That is if she isn't off down the street with her friends or getting some time with her brother.  It's okay though, I'll take what I can get!  Here are some photos I took this morning before I drove her to school.

Showing me two fingers for 2nd grade.  If you click the links above you will see how much she has grown!  By the way, I picked the outfit and she picked the shoes.

I must have said something funny!

She was just a little excited.  

Had to post this because it looks almost exactly like one of the photos from last year.

My little Richard Nixon.

So excited for 2nd grade!

My favorite!!  Love this!

With her brother.  He misses her today, but next week he'll be starting kindergarten so he'll be busy!  I can't believe how much my babies are growing up!

Hopefully she's having a great time and making lots of new friends.  I can't wait to hear about it when she gets home!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How to Make a Play Tent

You know in that movie "The Holiday" when Cameron Diaz goes to Jude Law's home and his daughters show her their tent?  It's an amazing tent and ever since I saw that movie I've been wanting to make something like that for my kids.  I looked all over the internet for ideas and how-to's but they were all too complicated, or too small for what I wanted.  So I came up with this on my own.  It's not quite as pretty as the one in the movie, but I do have a son, and it's in our playroom so I wanted it to be a little less girly.  By the way, I spent less than $5 on this project. 

It's the perfect spot for reading.

Sorry for the crappy picture quality (I took this with my broken lens that won't autofocus anymore), but here's what it looks like.  The weight of the tent is supported by a dowel rod.  I attached it to the ceiling using white hooks and then tying it to the rod with twine.

I found my stash of old fabric and went to town draping it over the rod.  No sewing for this project!  I ended up ripping some of it into longer strips so that it would come all the way to the floor.  The section in front I tied on to the front of the rod in a knot to make the doorway.

The fabric in the back is also tied on in order to make the back wall of fabric.  In this photo you can kinda see how the ceiling of the tent is draped.  I got that star light while we were on vacation and it just so happened to match the colors of all of my scrap fabric!   I also put a blue light bulb in it to add to the ambiance.  It looks great at night.

You can see the hooks and twine here.  You'll need to use a wall anchor to make sure it can hold the weight, these hooks came with them.

The corners...this is the hardest part.  Once you get all of your fabric draped over your rod, you'll need to make the four corners of your tent.  You can make it as big or small as you like.  I got these smaller hooks and put four of them into the ceiling first.  Then you will need to take a large safety pin and put it through all of your layers of fabric and pull it up.  Then string fishing line (make sure it's pretty sturdy, I've had mine break a couple of times and had to re-do it) between the safety pin and the ceiling hook.  Note:  I used a large paperclip because I didn't have any safety pins and I was too lazy to go buy some.  They are working fine, but I had to jam it through my fabric and I'm sure a pin would work better.

The fishing line will be invisible when standing back.  

My mom happened to be getting rid of an old feather bed so I snatched it up for the bottom of the tent.  It's for a queen sized bed and I folded it in half and covered it with a fitted sheet.  

My kids wanted the doors of the tent to be open, so I found some old curtain tie backs and tied them to the front fabric and attached them to my fishing line to create the open doorway.

And there you have it!  The perfect nook for reading, napping, and even the occasional sleepover!  I love it and so do they.  And the best part is that it was mostly free!

If you have made a tent or end up making one, link to it in the comments of this post, I'd love to see it!

The Lettered Cottage

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 32 ~

My little boy, my baby, has learned to climb our tree in our front yard.  He wanted me to take his picture yesterday so he led me outside and showed me how he can climb it all by himself.  I didn't even know he could do it...which probably makes me sound like a terrible mother, but as far as I knew his sister was always giving him a boost to get up there and then he would climb the rest of the way on his own.  So, I'm not exactly sure when he figured out how to do it for himself, but I'm proud of him.  Although, most of the time, I have to look away and bite my tongue because my instinct is to be scared to death that he's going to fall and break an arm and I want to give him all kinds of warnings.  I did do that the first few times, but he's got the hang of it now, and one of the things I love about my boy is his fearless, adventurous, determined personality so I just let him be.  I can't believe how much he is growing up lately.  It seems every time I look around he is doing something else to remind me how fleeting this time is.  Oh, and I asked him the other day, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" and he said completely seriously, "A grownup."  I love him so much.

Little show off.

He loves that he is a big kid.  Look at his proud little face.

No hands!  My little daredevil.  

Love this!!!  I caught a rare 'real' smile.  And I love his little freckles and his blue eyes.

Last one.  I caught two good smiles, which trust me are very rare with him.  He is always hamming it up and making weird faces.  I love this though.

We are off to Kings Island one last time before school starts next week!  Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life with Boys

Boys.  Gotta love 'em.  They just have their own style. Their own vision of what looks good.  My son will rearrange my picture frames and my little decorative things around the house for me sometimes.  Or he will spruce up the staircase in his own special way.


I do like how he coordinated all the vehicles to be some sort of police / fire / rescue theme.  He's got potential.

Have a great day!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Great Private School Debate ~ Update

You may remember that a few months back I was struggling with some decisions regarding schooling for our daughter.  You can read my post about it here.  Now that school is starting up here next week (yikes!) I've had a lot of people asking me what we decided.  So...here's my big update...we are not sending our daughter to private school this year.  She'll be at the same public school that she went to last year only in a different building due to the way they have the grades divided.  I still want her to attend a private school eventually, but thanks to a lot of support from friends and family I've realized that it's okay to take it on a year by year basis.  And this year, it didn't work out.  We will definitely be looking into ways to make it happen next year, but for now, I am at peace.  I can't say that I felt that way last week, but today I feel great about it, I really do.  Here's the thing...I kept thinking that if I had faith then everything would work out the way I had planned.  Only thing is, it worked out the way He had planned...you know?   So how can I not feel good about that?  Who am I to say that this school isn't the right place for her when everything is pointing to the fact that it is.  I had a moment (okay, like an hour) this week when I went back to my old ways of thinking that I was right when I got her class list and saw that there were 3 girls in her class with the same first name as her.  Granted it's a common name, but she was the only one in her entire grade last year at her old building.  So, I had a little freak out where I thought, "what the heck?  Why is this happening, it's not perfect like I planned!"  But I have heard from a couple of people now what a great teacher she has and I realize that in the scheme of things this name thing is completely insignificant.  Just another way where I was thinking all wrong.  I mean, she could be in class with these other girls for a reason.  I mean, she is in class with them for a reason.  See, I have control issues...I'm working on it though!  I really am looking forward to having her at this school this year.  I know she will do great, and I hope she makes some sweet little friends.

Some of you may also know that along with our great private school debate went the debate on whether or not to send our son to kindergarten this year.  I know, I usually don't talk about it because people are so opinionated on the subject and can't seem to keep their opinions to themselves!   Our son has a September birthday.  He will most likely be the youngest kid in his class.  He is my baby.  I want him to succeed.  Of course this is a big decision!  But, here's the thing...it's just kindergarten!  It's not life or death.  If he's not ready for first grade at the end of this year he can repeat kindergarten.  Gasp!  Seriously people, our school district is so big and it's so common now that I'm not even worried about it.  The thing I was worried about?  What you guys would think.  How stupid is that?  I mean, here I am an adult making my own decisions that make sense for my family and my children and I'm thinking about what other people are going to say...I'm right back in junior high.  Not a good place to put yourself.  So, I'm putting it out there.  I know some of you will think we are crazy.  That we are harming our son somehow, but I know him and I am completely at peace about the fact that he is ready.  He is.  He went to preschool, he knows how to make friends, follow directions, count, write his name, say and recognize his abc's, and most of all he's so excited about school.  Why would I not send him?  What does he have to lose?  Another year at preschool doing the same exact things only I'd be paying a huge chunk of money for it?  I am fully prepared to pull him out of school if it doesn't work out.  And I'm prepared to hold him back next year so that he'll be on track with his peers.  But if there's one thing I've learned from all of this...it's not to plan too far ahead.  Everything can change in the course of a year, so I'm taking it one day at a time.  I literally have no idea where my kids will be going to school after this year, and I'm okay with that.  It's not my plan that I'm trying to follow anyway.  Oh, and just this weekend I found out that my son will only have 17 students in his class (unheard of around our district) and a little girl that he randomly met at the park the other day just so happens to be in his class.  I don't think God could have made it any more clear to me that this is where my son is supposed to be.

I hope this clarifies things for anyone that was wondering what the heck we were doing!  I had my moments this summer where I was feeling that way too!  We are really happy about the way things ended up and I'm excited to go meet their teachers next week.  I'm not excited about summer being over though.  How did it go by so fast?!?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Friday 2011 ~ 31 ~

This week the weather was gorgeous.  I can sit and imagine that I live someplace like this all year long rather than here where it's like this maybe 2 weeks out of the entire year.  But I'm not complaining, I'm enjoying it.  I took a ton of photos this week but I just have a few that I'll share.  If you checked here yesterday you saw the photo shoot I did with my daughter with her hair curled.  In order to get it that way she had to wear little sponge curlers for almost an entire day.  I've tried other methods to curl her hair (hot rollers, curling irons) but none of them work.  She looked like my grandma with curlers in her hair so I took some pictures of her being silly.

She looks like a little frog in this picture.  

Cutie Pie.

She is constantly acting crazy in front of the camera but for some reason she almost always gets too close to the camera and then I can't get it to focus and half her face is cut off.  This one is one of the rare ones that she was standing far enough away.  I love my silly girl.

One of my cousins got married over the weekend and we took the kids to part of it.  I can't believe I got a picture of both of them together, with real smiles, and wearing outfits I like!  I did find out while trying to dress my son for it that he has outgrown all of his long pants except one pair and all of his sleeves are too short which is why his sleeves are rolled up.  I see a lot of shopping in my future!

I love that he has a real smile and you can see his freckles and his little dimple.  He is looking so old lately (partly my fault for cutting his hair so short) and it's making me sad.  Can you believe he will be going to kindergarten in a couple of weeks?!?  I don't know if I can handle it!  

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sunflower Fields ~ A Photo Shoot ~

There is this beautiful field of sunflowers very close to our house that a local nursery plants every year.  I've been wanting to do a photo shoot there for a couple years now, and so the other evening I planned a shoot with my daughter.  I even curled her hair (a very rare occurrence) and so of course it ended up storming that evening!  Luckily the next evening was perfect and her hair even still had some curls left in it!  She had a great time exploring the fields and all the little paths in them.  I did have to bribe her with ice cream however, because the boys decided to spend the evening at Kings Island while we were doing our photo shoot.  I made up for it last night by taking just us girls to Kings Island though.  I asked her if she was sick of doing stuff with just me and her and she said with shock, "Mommy, I could never get sick of you!  Your my mommy!  I love you so much!".  Sweetest thing ever.  I wish I had a recording of it.  Here are my favorite photos of my favorite girl.

Love, love, love.

She's so cute with her supermodel poses!

I love her hair like this...doesn't it figure that she is now dying to get a haircut...

Had to get a few shots of just the flowers.  They were beautiful!

I like her jawline in this one.

She was collecting these little purple flowers which reminds me that I put them in my camera bag and they are probably all disintegrated in there now.

There were a lot of bees, but they were too busy with the flowers to notice us.  I love this!

She just had to pick some and we now have a nice little bouquet on our kitchen table.

Some of them were closed up like this.  Just beautiful!

My favorite.

Love the pink sky and her hair blowing in this one.

I like her curls flying in this one.

If anyone is interested in a photo shoot at this location let me know soon!!!


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