First Year of Preschool

Preschool before and after

If seeing her finish 2K is any indication, we are going to be a mess when she graduates kindergarten and goodness I can’t either fathom high school or college…

Chickadee wrapped up her first year of preschool this year. We debated a lot whether to go ahead and send her at 2 (almost 3) and I am so glad we did. She absolutely LOVED it. Jumped out of the car EVERYDAY ready to go! She made friends, gained even more independence, practiced being respectful to both her peers and teachers, and transformed from a toddler to a little girl.

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At their end of they year program they sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Chickadee didn’t move her mouth for a single word, but she did participate in the hand motions, so we will take what we can get! The teachers handed out diplomas and gave a short little speech about each child. I loved how personal it all was. They said Chickadee is the most detail oriented child they’d ever seen. She was always the last to finish art projects because she took her time and wanted it just right. The said she was always kind to everyone and loved playing with the other girls, but could keep up with the boys too. All words that warm a mama’s heart. It’s funny they said she was detailed oriented, not at all surprising. The same was said about me as a child. She has a crazy memory and it’s because she is so perceptive I think…sometimes I wish she was a little more forgetful :) More than anything though we loved hearing she is kind and caring and we pray that her heart for Jesus becomes even more prevalent as the years go by!

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We are thankful for her first year and how she was loved on by her teachers and supported by the church that houses the preschool.

Preschool Collage

She is already looking forward to August and her new class as well as hearing about her old Bunny class from her little brother who follows her footsteps into 2K when preschool starts back in a few short months.

Preschool Collage 2

For now we are soaking in these summer days, practicing the new skills she learned, and counting down the days until baby sister arrives!

 

We Planted a Garden

Gardening Success from a black thumb

We planted a garden. I must admit I’m not really the gardening type, probably because I have a black thumb. However, III grew up on 11 acres and has grown a pepper or two in his day. I knew the kids would be all over it, and so of course I was in. III used some 6×6’s leftover from the play set install that he used to create a garden bed of sorts. He tilled and weeded the dirt and added fertilizer. Then we headed to Home Depot to pick up some plants. We settled on tomatoes, okra, jalapenos, bell peppers, strawberries and some herbs (oregano & basil).

I found the cutest gardening tools in Target’s Dollar section and the kids were ready to go! 

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They helped III plant and they help me water every day.

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It is incredible how fast those plants are growing. There are lots of little green tomatoes taking shape and the peppers are starting to blooms along with the okra. Check out this bad boy…just waiting for him to turn yellow.

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The kids are obsessed with looking for new blooms and we all can’t wait to eat from the garden. The herbs are doing great and we’ve already used them several times with dinner.

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So whether you have a spot in your backyard or you want to grow a planter/pot garden on your porch, I’m here to tell you, you can do it! Give it a go! And even if it fails, your kids will have fun!

Our FAVORITE Books Right Now

Toddlers Favorite Books

April has been true to it’s form around here. Hopefully the showers will be bringing May flowers! With lots of rainy days inside we have been crafting, playing with EVERYTHING in the playroom, and reading tons and tons of books. We have been reading to our little ones since they were in the womb. We are both book lovers (although I haven’t made time for grownup books lately), and we have passed that love on to our children. I was fortunate to bring a pretty big children’s book library home from my classroom when I “retired” from teaching before Chickadee was born. And I’ve been adding to it ever since!

We read at night, in the car, waiting at the doctor’s office, rolling around the grocery store, and in the floor of the playroom. I’m convinced you can’t read enough to your children. It’s amazing how it builds their vocabulary, imagination, and attention span! 

Right now Chickadee is 3 1/2 and Sprout just turned 2. I thought I would share some of our favorite books right now with you in case you are looking to expand your home library! You can find them all on Amazon (aff links). But I also suggest saving some money and search for them at Goodwill or rent them from your local library!

Thomas & Friends: Railway Rhymes

Thomas

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night

diggers

The Napping House

The Napping House

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Oh, The Places You'll Go

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible

Storybook Bible

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See

(This ins one of Chickadee’s Favorite because she can “read” it to Sprout)

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Any Look and Find Books

Look and Find Books

Owl at Home

Owl at Home

Pinkalicious

PInkalicious

My First Bible Stories – 12 Pack

 My First Bible Stories

Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat

This is just a short list, but I’m pretty sure most of these I can read from memory. I am sure as parents/care takers we get tired of reading the same books over and over, but the repetition is really great for you kids! What books would you put on a favorite’s list for your toddler?

Here are a few more MUST HAVES

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Cupcake Liner Flowers

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EVERY day Chickadee asks me if we can do an art project. The girl gets her love of crafting honestly and she acts on that love every day! Sometimes we just color, paint, or draw with chalk. Other days we do something elaborate and most days it’s somewhere in the middle. These cupcake liner flowers are definitely something in the middle. Requires more than coloring in a coloring book but SUPER easy.

I happened to have everything on hand, and my guess is you would too. 

Supplies: Empty water bottle, ribbon, straws, mini cupcake liners, pom poms and glue

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As most crafts with 3 year olds are, this one is pretty self explanatory but I’ll still share a little. Chickadee did a lot of cutting which game her some fine motor/scissor skill practice. On the back of each of the liners I drew lines with a crayon where I wanted her to cut and she created the petals.

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I used hot glue to attach both the pom pom and straw. Chickadee has had some practice placing things on dobs of hot glue, but if you aren’t comfortable Elmer’s old faithful will work too! Just make sure you give it plenty of time to dry before placing in your “vase.” The vase is simply an empty water bottle with a ribbon around the top. I cut my straws at different lengths to add some different heights.

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These flowers turned out SUPER cute and we used them to help decorate the plate, cup, utensil table when we had some friends over last weekend for an early Easter brunch and egg hunt. Gotta practice hunting those eggs before the big time church hunt! I made two pretty tasty breakfast casseroles that I’ll share soon!

Boredom Buster: Scavenger Hunt

Boredom Buster DIY Scavenger Hunt Idea

Did Daylight Saving Time hit you like a ton of bricks? I was a little excited because the kids have been waking up a little too early for me the past few weeks and I thought “now when they way up at “6:45″ the clock will now read 7:45.” Nope, Sunday morning they woke when the clock said 7:15. Even earlier! DST is, however the perfect example of short term pain=long term gain. There isn’t much better than daylight lasting until 7:30 and those long after dinner walks before it gets dark! So I will suffer through these early mornings for the reward of evening walks!

It was warm weather around here last week (Thursday hit 76!). We have been spending lots of time outside on the swing set and going on neighborhood walks to wear the kids out in hopes they take great naps! Chickadee usually prefers to ride her “wiggle” (aka plasma car) or balance bike and Sprout likes his Red Flyer tricycle. However, sometimes I have them walk. We are so lucky that our neighborhood had great sidewalks and slow driving neighbors so the kids can run up and down with only the worry of a scraped knee. 

Scavenger Hunt List

I decided to jazz up one of our walks last week, by having Chickadee bring along a scavenger hunt. She LOVES scavenger hunts when we are on long car trips. I usually find them on a blog, print them off, and attach to a clipboard to keep in our car activity bag. Now that she is forward facing she loves spotting all the items on the BINGO board, so I knew she would love hunting on our afternoon walk.

Going on a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Chickadee helped me come up with the items we were looking for. I wrote both the word and drew a picture so it was easy for her to “read” (she is 3). She grabbed a crayon and checked items off her scavenger hunt list as I pushed Sprout in the stroller. It was fun adding a little extra something to our walk and I have a feeling it will become one of her favorite warm afternoon activities. Afternoon walks are the perfect boredom buster and with the scavenger hunt added on, it’s fun for everyone!