Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Day of Kindergarten

(Please click to enlarge so you can read it!)

I'm not sure if I dropped the ball on the whole kid-holding-a-sign-that-says "First Day of (grade)" or "Last Day of (grade)" thing, or if I was just never that into it.  But when I stumbled upon this idea on Pinterest some 6 months ago, I knew I wanted to do something similar for sure.  It was way too late to do one for the 1st day of kindergarten, but here's our boy as a rising first grader.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Owl Miss You!

With the last day of kindergarten fast approaching, I had an easy, last minute idea for a little something to give all of Joseph's classmates to remember their first year at Janney Elementary - photos of the project that we worked on together for the school auction.  I uploaded some pics I had taken to and had them printed in a snap.  We gave each kid a print of the finished project, a print of the panel they stamped and signed, and a few pics of some of the close up details, like the teacher fingerprints that were turned into owls.  Joseph was so excited to run around and pass the envelopes out to each of his friends (and teachers too!) at drop off last week, and everyone seemed so genuinely touched to have them as keepsakes.

Since this was the Owls class, it was impossible for me not to sneak in one final craft project for the year that was on theme, especially when I randomly came across these treat bags on Pinterest.  I made my own template and I think they're ridiculously cute!

You know how some things seem like really great ideas at first, and then you realize, maybe not so much but it's too late to turn back?  That would be 30 owl faces, each with 2 eyes, each eye with 3 separate circles to punch out and glue together, 120 Tootsie rolls to stuff into mini treat bags, a lot of signatures (which shockingly Joseph quite enjoyed doing), and a ton of stapling, taping, hole punching, and ribbon tying before reaching the final product.  Which the kids probably tore apart in 4 seconds flat.

But in the end, they were so freaking adorable and so totally worth the effort!  And as they say to our friends, "owl" miss you, indeed. Kindergarten was a hoot!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bloo Moo

I typically think that summer birthday kids get the shaft (hence sending in a treat in January for Joseph's half-birthday), but Miss Rockwell did right by my boy for organizing a field trip to the neighborhood fro-yo joint, Bloo Moo, for a celebration on the next-to-last day of school.  All we had to do was leave the school, herd the kids across the street and past the Metro station, and there it was, just a bock away.  City living is so cool!

Back at school everyone sang to the summer birthday honorees pictured above: Rosie, Edison, Joe Joe, Zara, and Ms. Haley.  And then there was time to kill, so there was an impromptu dance party.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Water Balloons!

Continuing on with the kindergarten Alphabet Countdown, Tuesday was supposed to be "W" for water balloon fun.  I found 100 leftover birthday party balloons that I was going to donate to the cause, but Miss R had already bought her own.  Some of the other parents and I spent an hour filling them all up, only to have a massive downpour cancel the plan.  But by the end of the day it had cleared up, so at home we tried out a few balloons from the stash I was going to contribute........turns out they're not designed to pop very easily, as you can see.

Never fear, the weather was a dream on Wednesday, so the kids got their water balloon fun after all.  Thanks to Jocelyn for forwarding the following video and picture of the firing squad line up!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Class of 2025

Many, many things to catch up from last week, the last week of kindergarten!  How did that happen?!?

Tuesday was the very last open house, and Miss Rockwell had a special surprise in store for the kids, a makeshift photo booth setup in the reading corner with a "Class of 2025" backdrop and lots of props.  The kids were having fun in little groups until *someone* herded them all in there at once for a class pic.

We had a surprise in store for the teachers as well, thinking it was the perfect opportunity to give them their end-of-year gifts.  Here is Ms. Haley with hers, a flowerpot saying "Thanks for helping us grow," with the kids' yearbook photos in the centers of flowers, and a gift card stashed in the pot.  Ms. Haley told us she was leaving Janney to finish up her Master's Degree in special education, so we were so lucky to have her during her last year.

The Great Zucchini

Yet another encounter with "The Great Zucchini," children's birthday party entertainer extraordinaire.  Thankfully it's been a while, as Joseph was scared to death of him the first two times he saw him.  But nearing 6 years old, he finally appreciates silly jokes, gags, simple magic tricks, and above all else, potty humor.  Joe Joe was laughing so hard that Mr. Zucchini had to stop at one point and promise to the other parents that he did not plant him in the audience.  Joseph even got a chance to volunteer, and you can see him in hysterics at the sight of a grown man with underwear on his head.

Combined with a bunch of outdoor games, plus arts and crafts, and a lot of cake, it was all around a great birthday party.  And conveniently located right next door, so we got rock star parking ;)

Happy 5th birthday,  Abby and Sam!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Product Placement

There's something special to a guy who grew up in the 80's when his son asks for the 1st time if we can make his hair spiky.  I could have done better, but it was a last minute request as we were running out the door.  JT has the straightest, flattest hair around, so he clearly needed some product in it.  Which did not survive 2 crazy, active birthday parties, the latter of which involved dumping water on his head.

That paled in comparison to what happened to his hair at "Rumpus Day," one of the end of year celebrations for the kindergarteners last week.  Four colors of hair chalk.  Four!  Is this a flashback, or a premonition of his teenage years?

Sunday, June 16, 2013


JT and I got a little crafty and made a special present for Papa to celebrate Father's Day this year.  A friend did a somewhat similar project with her kids last year and I thought it was just precious.

There were actually too many adorable pics to choose from, and even the "outtakes" were pretty darned cute.

It could not have been easier!  I bought these "wooden" (particle board?) letters at the craft store for about $1.50 each, pasted them with glue stick onto to the back of some scrapbooking paper, then used an X-acto knife to cut around the edges.  Voila!  Then I used a basic "Print Artist" program to make the collage, which I then printed and framed.  I actually bought 2 sets of letters to spell out P-A-P-A, so we have an extra set to do something even more creative with next year!

There's nothing that Joseph loves more than his Papa, and we had great fun working on this project together.  Hope we made it an extra special Father's Day for you, Brent!

My 3 Fathers

I could not have been more thrilled when Joseph randomly decided to draw a picture of his birthmother around Mother's Day.  So with Father's Day nearing, I asked him if he would draw pictures of all of his fathers.  

I'm not sure why he started writing the majority of his letters backwards these days, but you get the drift.  The blonde haired, blue eyed guy at the bottom is his idea of what he thinks his birthfather looks like (please excuse the blue smudge in the picture - it's where Joseph wrote his name).  One thing is clear:  we all look pretty happy on this special day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alphabet Countdown

Super cute idea to wind down the school year, an alphabet countdown up to the last day of school.  We already did "I" for insect day, and here is:

"M" for mismatch day

"P" for pajama day

"T" for team shirt day (Who Dat?!)

We are most certainly looking forward to "W" for water ballon day next week!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pen Pals

Of course they have to get creative to keep the kids interested in practicing their writing skills at school.  The pen pal worksheet serves that purpose, but they could have picked someone a little further away than the other side of the table.

The translation:
Dear Ronan, Do you want to have a sleepover?  Yes or no.
Dear Joseph, I may be able to have a playdate but I will not be able to have a sleepover.

Actually, both Joseph and Ronan's parents think a sleepover is a great idea.  They should have written to us!

Buried Treasure

Among the random sticks, rocks, beads, feathers, and scraps of paper, sometimes there's a real treasure buried at the bottom of that backpack Joseph carts to and from school everyday.

And the fact that he wrote dade and qaqaq for Daddy and Papa makes it even more valuable.