Thursday, May 31, 2012

Throwback Thursday

In honor of Lana completing kindergarten tomorrow,
here is my kindergarten graduation picture.

They don't do a kindergarten graduation at her school,
but here she is in cap and gown at her preschool graduation.

Library Re-organization

One of my "before summer gets here" projects was to reorganize the books on the shelves in our library.  I can't stand bookshelves.

The problems:
*Books are difficult to look at.
*Books fall down.
*Books get crammed back on the shelves.
*We have a hard time finding favorite books.
*We have a hard time finding new books.

But.  Bookshelves we have.
So I cleared them off:

In the bottom left corner, you can see the black wire mesh boxes I bought.
They were on clearance at walmart.
I liked that they were black and would "disappear" on the shelves.
They were roomy enough for all sizes of books,
and they were sturdy enough to withstand handling by my avid readers.
I decided I'd give them a try,
but I left the tags on, just in case.

I used my lovely tabletop laminator to make labels.

After stacking and sorting and organizing,
this is the finished product:
I like that the baskets help organize some of our favorites:
I made baskets for our favorite books, for nonfiction, for leveled readers, etc.
I like that the baskets also act as bookends for the books that are just standing on the shelves.
I like that books are turned different ways - 
some with the spines showing, some with the covers facing out.
It just adds visual interest to me.

I made a basket for Tucker's favorites, Lana's favorites, and Mommy's favorites.
That's the best part.

We'll see how long this stays organized.
In hindsight, I much prefer cubbies for book storage.  
I've never had an easier time in my life keeping our books neat 
than when I had them stored in cubbies.
However, I didn't like how the cubbies looked in this room,
and I bought the shelves,
so I'm hopeful this is a good organizational compromise.

Kindergarten teacher gifts

Lana was so excited about taking gifts to her teachers today.

Here's the one for Ms. Fine, along with a gift card to her favorite restaurant tucked in:
inspired by this post

And here are the gifts for her "extra" teachers:
Mrs. Mack in Computer, Ms. Driver in Music, Mrs. Miller in Art, and Coach Menser in PE

inspired by this pin

These are just small tokens of thanks for teachers who have made a BIG impact on my girl this year.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lana's class party

Today Lana's class had a sweet celebration of how much growing they've done this year:

This little face makes me lose my breath I love her so much.

Tucker was so pleased that Ms. Fine invited him to join the celebration -
and, as you can see, he enjoyed a treat, too!

After their special snack, we all headed outside for some water games:

Ms. Fine giving directions:
She is too adorable for words!




I love this picture of Tucker, right in the middle of the game.
He has no idea that he is not actually in this class.

They had so much fun throwing water-soaked balls at each other.

Celebrating the victory of the first round:

This picture of Lana & Zack playing so hard makes me smile:

After several rounds of fun,
we headed inside to a special "awards ceremony" that Ms. Fine planned.

Each child received an award that correlated to a particular kind of candy bar.
Lana got the "3 Musketeers" Award.
Click here to watch Ms. Fine presenting Lana with her award.
If you listen carefully, you'll hear the last thing Ms. Fine says -
the thing that made this mama cry.  She said
"That means you always include everybody else."
There is nothing more important to me,
and nothing could make me prouder.  This is why we send her to school.

Ms. Fine had several gifts for her students:

and tomorrow, they'll get a CD of a slideshow of their year in pictures.
Can you believe how thoughtful?!

Ms. Fine had a gift for her parent helpers:
We will always treasure this picture!
It is such a blessing to have Lana in a school that values parental involvement.

Just to give you a glimpse into one of the things I admire most about Lana:
her generosity.

Remember that 3 Musketeers candy bar she got at school?
As soon as she got home,
she asked if she could share it with her brother.
Not only did she break it in half for them to share,
but she let him choose which half he wanted.

She did all of this totally unprompted.
She is not a perfect little girl by any means -
she's just a sinner, being raised by parents who are sinners.
That causes us to rejoice all the more in moments like this,
when she chooses to love others so well.
I could not be more proud of her today.

Kindergarten Memory Book

My favorite thing about my teacher is she is a caring teacher.  She plans fun things for us.

My favorite color is pink.  My favorite subject is science.  
My favorite thing to eat for lunch is carrots and ranch.

At recess I like to do the monkey bars because you can swing on them.

The best thing that happened all year was going to the bowling alley where I got two strikes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chuck E. Cheese with Mrs. Chasity

Lana's teacher on Wednesday nights is Ms. Chasity:
We love Ms. Chasity!
Not only did she make our transition to Heritage so easy and happy for Lana,
but she continually pours her heart and soul into teaching her class every single Wednesday night.  I don't know that I've ever seen a volunteer put so much of their heart into their ministry.  Mrs. Chasity doesn't just show up and teach them - she invests in each of these little lives in ways that will impact them for eternity.  Her husband and son join right in with her, so it becomes a family ministry for them in many ways.  The way Chasity serves our church body sharpens me - makes me want to be more like Jesus.  Every child should be so blessed to have a Mrs. Chasity in their life.

Every year she has an End of the Year party for her students
at Chuck E. Cheese!

Look at all these happy faces!

 Lana and Savannah are best buddies - 
they had a wonderful time playing together all night long!
Here are just a few pictures of their fun.

Tucker came along, too - 
this was his first time at Chuck E. Cheese since he was a tiny baby.
He started off slow...
 but his daddy showed him the ropes

 and it didn't take him long to figure out that he loved tickets!
And then he was off!

 Halfway through the night, though,
he found this football game.
He didn't leave this spot for the rest of the evening!
 Dan didn't mind too terribly much.  :)

 They loved feeding their tickets to the machine:

And they really loved the bags of cotton candy and SweeTarts they chose!

Lana was thrilled that we were the last to leave!
A couple of weeks ago,
she told me that she doesn't like always being the first to go.
And while we're not always the first to leave,
we usually do head out of gatherings earlier than most.
What can I say?  I love that our kids go to sleep at 7 p.m.
But tonight, I let them shut the place down, 
and we were really and truly the last ones of our group to walk out the door.
Gotta live a little sometimes, right?!