First Day of First Grade

So we started another school year two weeks ago.  I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks.  We got a bit of a late start due to our big trip back East (we did a LOT of traveling this summer) but it’s been good to be home and get back into the groove of things (even if the transition has been a little rough).  I just wanted to share some pictures from our first day back and our family traditions.

graduate Tshirts

I love these shirts!  We bought large ones and made the 2027 logo last year.  We are taking a picture of the girls in their shirts every year to show how they grow and change.  By the time they graduate high school in 2027 the shirts should be fitting a little better (tearing up a little thinking of them growing up so fast). 2028 Graduate

Want to make your own?  Just choose your year, download the pdf, and print it out on iron-on paper.

2026 Graduate

2027 Graduate

2028 Graduate

2029 Graduate

Need a different year?  Here it is in powerpoint so you can change the year: Graduate T-shirt adjustable year

And of course we take normal pictures too:

This is one of my favorite, just because they look so joyful

This is one of my favorite, just because they look so joyful

 

Another tradition is entering the school room.  I shut it down before we start school and work on getting everything clean and set up nicely (this was actually a huge project this year which I will blog about soon because I’m so proud of how it turned out).  This year I decorated the door a little to build up the excitement.

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And then we have all of their new school books sitting out on their desks.  In addition to the books are all kinds of special treats–scented markers, new crayons, smarties candies–just some things to make the day special and celebrate their new beginning.

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Family Plan for Summertime

It’s summertime.  If you’re anything like me you have big ideas for family fun and projects to get done but before you know it summer has sailed by.  That’s why I loved this idea of my sister’s so much.  (She also came up with the game in the last post which just proves that she provides the best ideas!)

Anyway, last summer she made this chart for her family with spaces for Work, Play, and Learn.  She called a family meeting and then everyone in the family used a different color to write their plans in each category.  Their summer was well-balanced and productive but still a lot of fun.

Summer Chart

We were doing school this summer and the girls would probably blur Work and Learn together so our chart this summer was a little different with Play, Learn, and Projects as our categories.

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This is such a quick easy way to focus your summer plans and make sure that everyone is on the same page.  I just think it’s such a great way to organize your summer!

How Well Do You Know Your Partner? Game

How well do you know your partner gameSo we recently have experienced a lot of family time with visits and vacations–one of which was celebrating Colton’s baptism.  My mom, aunt, and sister (the godmother) were all able to come out for the big event.

[If you are looking for a great game that encourages writing and laugher but don’t want my back story, click here.]

Hippity Hop Jousting

Hippity Hop Jousting

The girls loved that it was a “Sissy Weekend” since there were three sister pairs hanging out together (my other aunt who couldn’t come probably didn’t love it as much).  They made signs welcoming everyone to Sissy Land and spent the whole ride to the airport chanting “Sissy day!  Sissy day!” (It was a very long ride.)

With all the hype the girls really wanted to do special sissy activities.  They organized some such as “Dressing like your sister” day (way more fun than we thought) and the “Hippity Hop Jousting” (hilarious but dangerous).

Wearing our matching outfits

Wearing our matching outfits

But my sister organized by far the best activity–The Sissy Game! Or what groups that include more than sisters would call How Well Do you Know Your Partner?

Remember, the old Newlywed Game show?  Well, the Sissy Game is just like it.  And of course, it isn’t limited to sisters, any pairing can work–brothers, parent/child, best friends, etc.

How to Play

Everyone needs a dry erase board and dry erase markers. DSCN1892 Don’t have a board for everyone?  Just laminate a piece of paper and it instantly becomes a dry erase sheet.

Separate each pair to make two teams–one member on Side A and one on Side B.  Be sure they are not sitting near each other.

One person playing the role of “host” asks a question (they can also be a player).  Side A writes their answer and Side B writes the answer for Side A.  For example, “What is your favorite food?”  Side A would write down their favorite food and Side B would write what they think the answer is for their partner.

Then everyone holds up their boards and you see if the answers match.  If they correctly guessed their partner’s answer, their pair gets a point.

Can you tell how much fun they had?

Can you tell how much fun they had?

Alternate between the sides, so for the next question Side B would do their answers and Side A would guess their partner’s response.

Depending on their age, you can use words or pictures to answer the questions.

List of Partner Game Questions

Partner Game Question Cards

I uploaded the questions in two different formats.  You can just use the list if you have only one person playing the role of host.  If you want to spice things up, use the card format to cut up the questions and have people take turns pulling them out of a hat.  And of course, you can make up your own questions.

This was such a great game to play with a wide range of ages.  In a matter of minutes everyone was laughing and having a blast.  My daughters especially loved it.  They were so excited to keep playing.  Mia especially LOVED writing down the answers.  Zoe actually preferred drawing her responses.  And no surprise, the identical twins won the game.

The great part is they can use pictures and/or words

The great part is they can use pictures and/or words

Since I mentioned Colton’s baptism, it’s really only fitting that I include at least one picture from it…

San antonio (2)

 

My grandmother

My grandmother, Anna Marie Williams, img_1177passed away a few days ago.  I wanted to just take a moment to share some memories to celebrate the life of someone who meant so very much to me.

My Grammy was spunky and loved to laugh.  She loved young people and often complained about all the old people around her being “BORING!!!” (I wish you could hear the high pitched ringing way she used to say this, never once acknowledging that she herself was one of those old people).  When our family would go to the beach, she used to body surf with the older grandkids and play in the sand and water with us younger ones.  She even used to play Atari with my brother and sister which made her pretty darn cool.

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My Grammy was a huge part of my life.  We shared a birthday–something I didn’t really appreciate as a kid but cherished as an adult.

Grammy was the one who taught me how to sew and together we made an ugly blue jumper I wore with pride on my eighth birthday.  She was the one who gave me back my “blue blanky” when my parents took it away to get me to stop sucking my thumb.  She was the one who made me soup and cottage cheese every single day even in the summer because that’s what I loved to eat for lunch.  And she was the one who played Sorry! with me in the afternoons and didn’t let me win just because I was a kid.

Grammy bday pic
bday

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I know that she had a life beyond being my grandma.  She was born on an orange farm and lost her mother when she was young.  She was a writer and went to junior college.  She had adventures and worries and troubles.  But to me she was just Grammy.  She was the one who took care of me and who loved me.

Grammy Child
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Grammy is in the center canoeing with her friends

Grammy is in the center canoeing with her friends

 

Grammy & GrampyYou really can’t talk about Grammy without talking about my Grampy.  They were married in Georgia while he was in boot camp getting ready to head off to World War II.  It’s the stuff family legends are made of–her train trip out with her soon to be mother-in-law, the few days they had before he headed off to war, never knowing if they would see each other again.  Luckily my grandpa survived being shot and came home so that they could have my mom and two aunts who went on to have all of us.  They were a so incredibly in love and so much a part of one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My grandparents babysat me img082every single weekday while my parents worked for the first 10 years of my life.  They took me on outings and chaperoned school fieldtrips.  We did crafts and grew tomatoes together. One summer my grandpa even helped me build a giant tent house in their backyard with dropcloths and my grandma would bring my lunch out to it.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

 

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My grandparents taught us all how to live with integrity and joy.  Grampy passed away 19 years ago and yet he is still very much a part of our family’s life.  As my grandma was dying she talked about dancing with my grandpa–I have no doubt that they are dancing now together again.

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The woman my daughters have come to know as Great Grammy isn’t quite the woman I have described. But I am glad they knew and loved her. Great Grammy didn’t go places and build things the way my Grammy did. But she listened to the girls, watched their “shows” they did for her, took them to lunch at her nursing home, and showed them her cat. She even helped make them hats out of the cloth napkins the last time we visited her.

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I can’t wait until my children are older and I can tell them these stories and they can appreciate who she was to me as much as they appreciate who she was to them. And as I look back through pictures of her with the girls I am touched by the big smile and look of utter joy I see on Grammy’s face in every single picture.  She loved her family.

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Towards the end of her life, Grammy used to love to say, “It’s all because of me.  Well, and Thurman.  If it wasn’t for us none of you would be here.  It’s all because of the two of us that you are all alive. I just love thinking about how we made all of this.”

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I loved my Grammy very much!  I am so grateful of all that she did for me and all the happy times we shared.  Until we meet again Grammy, good bye!

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My Little Pony Printable Cut-outs

Our family LOVES My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!  I am sure at some point there will even be a blog post professing our love in more detail.  I’m actually surprised there hasn’t already been one…  Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  Season 5 is FINALLY starting and so to celebrate here are some MLP printables for the kiddos to color and cut out.

My Little Pony Color and Cut

He originally designed these back when the girls were practicing their cutting.  (Now we are wishing they would use the scissors a little less often.)

Twilight Sparkle

We usually add a craft stick to the back and turn them into puppets.

My Little Pony Puppets

You can also glue them to a background.

Cutie Mark Crusaders

Or even add them to a bag to make goody bags for your MLP birthday party.

My Little Pony Treat Bags

We have all the mane six–Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy–as well as all kinds of other characters–Spike, Discord, Zecora, Shining Armor, Princess Cadence, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, the Cutie Crusaders, Big Mac, and Queen Crysalis.

Download My Little Pony Cut Outs

Mane Six Coloring

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