First Day of School- Kinder & PK3

This summer has been full of excitement and change for our little family. All in all our boys have been such troopers. Their whole lives have changed and they’ve really done great adjusting to all the newness (they are practically pros at it at this point.)

One of the biggest changes for any kid that moves is starting a new school. Brady was going to be starting a new school regardless with entering Kindergarten, but Nolan was quite happy at his old pre-school and not at all wanting to change what took months for him to become comfortable with. We were not sure how the first day of school would go for either kiddo, but they both did super well.

Brady has been excited about Kindergarten for months. He was all smiles and energy until the moment he walked into the classroom. He quickly turned around, ran back out and had tears in his eyes. He told me he “was a little bit worried.” A few hugs, kisses, and reassurances later, he walked back in and never looked back. He came home from school on the bus and reported that he had a great first day. He is loving it!

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Patiently waiting for brother’s bus that was SUPER late!

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Big boy getting off the bus for the first time (bus driver carrying his lunchbox that he has forgotten every single day.)

 

Nolan’s first day was so much more nerve racking for me. He is so social and outgoing in some ways, and so painfully shy in others. Historically he does NOT like being away from me and took his sweet time getting used to preschool drop off last year. I was anticipating the worst. Thankfully, he was quite brave on his first day. There were a couple whiny moments of not wanting me to go, but ultimately after about 10 or 12 hug/kiss/fist bump/high five routines, he said good-bye to me and let me walk away (with no tears.) We survived! Now, I’m not getting cocky just yet. I know 2nd and 3rd days can often be way tougher, but we at least had a great start.

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He was a hot, sweaty mess when I picked him up!

Overall, we are super proud of how these boys have handled so much change in their lives recently. We’re so excited to see how much they grow and learn this year!

The End of the School Year 2016

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Recently the Smith family made the big decision to move back to Florida for a new job opportunity and to be closer to family (more on all that soon!). While we are excited for this new adventure, unfortunately it means saying good-bye to many of the things we love about North Carolina. One of the harder things for us to leave is the boy’s pre-school. For the last 2 years it has been such a wonderful, safe, and loving place that our boys have grown and learned so much from. While Brady will be starting Kindergarten in a new school either way, I was still looking forward to two more years of Nolan attending First Baptist Pre-School. While we’re confident we will love the new schools in Florida, the end of the school year here in North Carolina was very bittersweet.

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I can’t say enough fantastic things about Nolan’s teacher this year. This was his first experience in school and Miss Beverley made it so memorable. He was not an easy kid to transition into school (a whole lot of separation anxiety in the beginning!) but her patience and loving nature was life changing for all of us. I am forever grateful for all that Miss Beverley taught Nolan and I even gained a little knowledge myself on how to handle pre-schoolers! By the end of the year, Nolan had so much confidence and grew to love school!

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Brady has absolutely loved school this year! The 4 year old class was so much more like “big kid school” and he thrived. I am so pleased with how his pre-reading and math skills have come along. He also had a teacher who encouraged his love of building structures and engaged him with open ended science activities. It was so fun to see how Brady’s little personality developed this year as he began to foster new friendships and become more outgoing.

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Brady’s graduation ceremony was a perfect example of how much his confidence has grown as he was chosen to be one of the flag holders during the pledge of allegiance and stand in front of all his peers. I wouldn’t have ever imagined he’d have been that brave before!

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We’re so proud of both boys and how far they’ve come this year. While we are sad to say good-bye to First Baptist Church of Garner Pre-school, we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our little men!

Here’s a little beginning to end comparison!

 

 

Dr. Seuss Day- Kids Cook Monday

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! On March 2, people across the country come together to celebrate “Read Across America Day” in honor of Dr. Seuss. This is a day to not only recognize one of our most amazing authors, but also a great opportunity to for teachers, students, parents and children to come together to read and take part in literacy related activities. I always loved celebrating this day with my students when I was teaching, and now it is a day I look forward to enjoying with my own kiddos as a stay at home mom.

This year Dr. Seuss’s birthday falls on a Monday, so we made some tasty treats for “Kids Cook Monday” to go along with some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books.

We started by reading the most classic Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. It’s funny. It’s silly. And, it’s always a crowd pleaser. We made some easy little fruit kabobs to go along with our lunch and story.

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Then we read my favorite Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hatches the Egg. It’s the sweetest story about an elephant who promises to take care of an egg and goes through terrible circumstances but never leaves the egg. I just adore Horton’s selflessness and love. I always loved reading this book to my first graders and will never forget reading it to my Brady when he was just a tiny baby. Seriously, my favorite.

We made these cute little haystacks that look like a bird’s nest with blueberries to represent the egg that Horton was protecting. These are the easiest and tastiest treats.

Nest and Egg Ingredients

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1 cup Butterscotch Chips
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
2 cups Chow Mein Noodles
1 cup of blueberries

Here’s how we made our nests…

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Melt the peanut butter and butterscotch chips together in the microwave. (About 1 minute)

 

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Stir the mixture until smooth.

 

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Add the chow Mein noodles.

 

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Stir until all the chow mein is coated with the peanut butter mixture.

 

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Scoop spoonfuls of the chow mein mixture onto a greased cookie sheet.

 

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Add blueberries to the tops and put into the refrigerator for at least a half hour.

While the nests are cooling and hardening in the fridge, let your littlest helper lick the bowl.

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These little guys are sweet, salty, crunchy and the blueberries are surprisingly necessary!

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If you don’t have many Dr. Seuss books at your house, or you can’t make it to the library to check some out, look on Youtube for some awesome readings of some of his most popular books. This is one of my favorites too!

Hope you and your little one get to spend some time in the kitchen and with a great Dr. Seuss book!

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If you would like any more information about “Read Across America Day” or ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss, check out this website!

http://www.seussville.com/parents/

Brady’s First Day of Pre-School

Today was Brady’s first day of 3 year old Pre-School. This year he will go Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:15-1:15. He was so excited about playing with new friends and seeing his teacher, “Miss Cwad-yah” (Miss Claudia.) He specifically requested a special lunch for his lunch box…a bologna sandwich, grapes, and a muffin (a cupcake.) He couldn’t wait to wear his new Gator backpack and his “Vroom Vroom” shirt. I love that he was so brave and ready to take on a new school year!

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Breakfast with Nolan on the 1st day of school

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A little first day gift for “Miss Cwad-yah.”

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His first lunch box!!

I couldn’t help but think how cool it was that over 11 years ago Chris and I met at UF and now, here we are with a 3 year old going to school with his Gator backpack and an Orange and Blue cupcake in his lunchbox!!!

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Nolan fit right in…and couldn’t quite understand why he couldn’t stay and play!

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Had to sneak one picture after we walked away!

Yay for our big boy!

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Drop a Beet!

Recently, I bought a whole bunch of beets for a recipe that Brady and I made for Food Revolution Day. I’ve never been a beet girl, per se, but they were pretty tasty in the Rainbow Salad Wrap we made. Nonetheless, we had a whole lot of leftover beets. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but after seeing how amazingly vibrant and purplely-red the juice was, I thought, this would make a fabulous paint color!

I sliced the beets in different directions so they would all have a different shape. Then, we went outside and used the beet chunks like big stamps. This was easy, and not nearly as messy as I would have anticipated. If you ever have a leftover beet or happen to find them at a farmer’s market for a really cheap price, give this activity a try with your little one!

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