Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First day of Preschool

Well that week between my oldest starting school and my middle smartie starting preschool sure went by super fast...sigh.  I do have to say, I'm not an emotional wreck like I was when my Harper started preschool.  And my middle smartie did go to preschool for half a year last year, so we aren't complete newbies to this.  But it's still hard to let go of one of your babies...whether it's the first or last or any in between!  

Here's how today went for us...

Got all three smarties up and dressed, their two cousins came over and they ate breakfast together and played while I cleaned up after breakfast.  Then we loaded the van up (not without snapping a few pics first) and headed to school.  Since it was Palmer's first day, I walked her in but from now on, she will get out at the traffic circle with her sister and cousins. 
She wanted to make her own First Day sign like her big sister did last week.  And even though it's hard to read, I went with her idea...I mean how cute is that!?

More photo opportunities...
 I am so excited about the year ahead of her.  She has such an amazing teacher.  Seriously, I have heard nothing but praise, praise and more praise about Mrs. Lyon.  I know one thing for sure, she knows how to decorate, huh!?
Preschool is over at 12, so little smartie and I picked Palmer up and head home for lunch and nap before we went back to pick up the big kids at 3.  Yep, it's a crazy, hectic day with lots of rushing around getting, everyone here and there but I wouldn't trade my life for anything! 
 She got a special first day of school treat after lunch.

Now that we have a new school routine down, we get to throw in soccer practice and dancing next week to add a little more craziness...I'll take any prayers (for my single mom sanity) that you're willing to give! :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Palmer is a whole hand!

The way we have to do birthdays is different for us now...a hard to get used to kind of different.  When it hit me a couple of weeks ago that my middle smartie's birthday weekend fell on a weekend that she would be with her dad, I cried...cried my eyes out.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I wouldn't be with my child on her birthday...the birthday where she would turn a "whole hand old."

  I prayed (a lot) and finally decided I could do this, I had to do this.  I had to let go and accept that birthdays and holidays would be different for us from now on.  But I would be lying if I told you, I didn't shed tears after watching the truck pull away with my smarties all buckled in and waving to me from the back window.  

With a knot in my stomach and an ache in my heart, I walked back in the house and prayed for my girl to have a wonderful 5th birthday.  As the weekend went on and I got texts and pics and phone calls, I felt better and that knot slowly went away.  I knew my little girl was having a great time on her special day.

When my smarties came back from their weekend away, we had a small family celebration for Palmer after her cousin's gymnastics party.  I realized one huge thing after making it through the first new way we have to do birthdays/ children don't need huge over the top, Pinterest inspired celebrations to make them feel important, all they need to know is that they are loved.  And that, my friends, is enough!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day of 1st Grade

So long summer, hello new school year.  I can't believe my oldest smartie started 1st grade today.  It was so much different than last year... with kindergarten, it was hard to let go and hold back tears.  Today was excitement and smiles.  She had everything ready to go and laid out last night...first day outfit, new shoes, backpack, and lunch.  So this morning it was pretty easy and we even left in plenty of time to take pictures and say hey to friends as we walked into school.  She is beyond blessed to be able to go to the school she does and I can leave her there knowing she is surrounded by loving teachers and friends.
 Yes, we did the first day of school sign but I decided to do it different than last year, from now on.  I let Harper write it herself.  One day we can look back at pictures and see how much her writing has changed as well as how much she has grown and changed.
 After school, I picked her and her two cousins up and we went back to their house for after school treat their mom got for all the kids to enjoy.  
Little smartie was not happy when he dropped his cupcake. haha
 Now it's only one more week until I have to send my middle smartie off to preschool....

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Day of School Teacher Gift

Last year, when my oldest started kindergarten, we found such a cute first day of school gift for her to take to her teacher. (found here at one of my all-time favorite blogs!) This year she wanted to do it for her first grade teacher and her little sister wanted to make one for her preschool teacher.  

Here's what we did:

 ~Got a couple of bags of M&M's -we chose the regular ones instead of the peanut ones since there are so many people allergic to peanuts
~Poured them into a couple of half pint mason jars -I try to keep these on hand because they can be used for some many crafts and ideas 
~Printed off the little poem-you can print it off onto cardstock or use regular printer paper and glue onto a piece of scrapbook or construction paper to keep it from being too flimsy
~Punched a hole into the paper with poem and attached it to the jar using string, twine, yarn, etc.
~You can also add a piece of cute paper or fabric on the top of the jar for more decoration

 Here's the poem:

Green is for the inspiration you will give me each day
Blue is for your patience in showing me the way
Orange is for your awesome first grade style
Yellow is for the way I know you will make me smile
Red is for my life that you will touch this year
You're a very special teacher just like this jar, that's clear
You place your knowledge into our hands
and melt into our hearts.
You're a “Magnificant” and “Marvelous” teacher...
Thank you for being my “M & M”.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Fun 2013

As the school year fast approaches, the kids and I have had so much fun looking back on the many memories we got to create together this summer....from front yard lemonade stands, to splash pad fun, to the beach, to playdates with friends, to dancing in the rain, to family time, to many adventures in the mountains.  Here's to a great memory making, fun-filled, blessed summer we have had!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cookout Yumminess & Giveaway

Silly me thought summer would lead to me having more time to blog...ha!  We have been beyond busy and out of town a lot.  But this weekend, I made time for a cookout after I received a goody box in the mail from Red Gold.  If you remember this post/giveaway about using the Red Gold products before, then you will understand why I jumped at the chance to try out new recipes using Red Gold products.  Red Gold is a family owned business that started in 1942 and they strive, “To produce the freshest, best-tasting tomato products in the world.”
  Health facts about Red Gold Tomatoes:
-100% natural-no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
-The antioxident Lycopene is found naturally in tomatoes
-A fat free food
-Good source of Vitamin A
-A gluten free food 

I received several yummy recipe ideas but decided to use the Chili Ready Diced Tomatoes for the "Summer Tomato Burger" and the Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies to make the "Spicy Burgers."  They were both super easy and sounded delicious.  If you know me, I am all about simple!

I followed the three step recipes and here's what the final product looked like...

You, of course, can top your burgers with whatever pleases you and your crowd but the recipes did come with serving suggestions.  I chose to put out tomato, spring lettuce, avacado, ketchup and mustard.  The ketchup we used was Red Gold's "Mama Selita's Jalapeno Ketchup."  My brother commented that the ketchup was what made the was yum!

Enter here for a chance to win a Summer Grillin Party from Red Gold (contest ends Aug. 30, 2013)

If you want to learn more about Red Gold products, recipes, and many other things, visit the Red Gold website.

Would you like to win this box of Red Gold products (you know you would!)??  
 All you have to do is leave a comment and I'll let let pick a winner for me.  I will announce winner on My Little Smarties' Facebook page
tomorrow morning! 

Don't let summer get gone before you try Red Gold products at your next cookout!