Last day of school.

Today was the last day of Kindergarten! Her very first official year of school is done.

She grew quite a bit in a year! Photo on the left is first day of Kindergarten, and the photo on the right is today on her last day. It looks like she grew four inches or something like that!

For after school pickup, I put some balloons in the car along with a surprise. A backless booster seat! She has been in the big booster seat that has the back and everything but she’s getting so tall to get in and out of it. She was so excited to see the booster seat after school today. You can see the story on my Instagram page at @lifewithmandyjoy.

After school, a lot of her friends from class all met up at a park. I only took this one picture, but the entire playground was filled with red shirted little kids. It was so cute, and the kids were super hyper running around playing together.

When we got home from school, I had a few things at home for her! Made this sign for the front door that said “Hello Summer” with an ice cream cone and sun. It was a little hard to stick to the door since it was raining and all, but it managed to stay up until we got home.

I put a few decorations up inside the house, if you don’t know by now, I love to make things festive and fun!

Once she walked through the streamers, she came to a basket full of summer goodies! As you can tell by the look on her face, she was so excited!

Next to the basket I put some paper plates that say “More Summer Please” and some cute hand painted glasses my Mom gave me for Easter. We used them for a fancy summer dinner tonight!

Here’s a closer look at all the goodies in the basket.
– Booster Seat
– Water Balloon Blower
– Unicorn flip flops
– Pop It
– Puffy charm bracelet
– Glitter glue (for slime)
– Lip gloss
– Scented nail polish
– Loofah/Nail kit in a cup
– Wonder Woman bandaids
– Summer on my mind shirt
– Shorts to match shirt

All of these things cost very little money. You don’t need to buy super crazy expensive things for your kids. They don’t know if something is from Pottery Barn verses the dollar store, or the dollar bin at Target. It’s all about the memories you make with the things you have. I want to create happy fun loving memories for Hadley through these school years, because I know they will be over with a blink of an eye. And I don’t want to miss a thing!

End of year teacher gift.

End of the school year teacher gift idea I found on Skip to my Lou, and thought it was the cutest and easiest idea for Hadley’s teachers! Some of my friends say they only give the teachers things on teacher appreciation week, or end of the school year but not both. I just had to do something little for the end of the year too, I can’t help myself. Teachers do so much for these kiddos, and I just feel in my heart that they all deserve a little something to show my appreciation for them. I did do something a little bigger for teacher appreciation week, you can read about that here.

Isn’t this printable ice cream cone idea just adorable? All I did was go to the website, Skip to my Lou (linked above), and printed with white card stock.

Used scotch tape to tape the gift card to the pink square. The ice cream cone just folded in half, and I taped it together on the sides. Made sure the gift card fit into the paper cone okay.

After cutting out the ice cream topper, I used more tape to put the pink card on the back of the topper. Just to make sure it fits into the cone, so when the teacher opens it up, they’ll see the gift card when they slide the top of the cone off.

Here’s what the final product looked like!

I hand wrote each of the teachers names on each cone, and had Hadley write her name on the bottom. She loved these and was so excited to give it to her teachers. I always explain to her why we are giving people gifts, I want her to learn that you can give to others and not always get something in return.

So much love and appreciation to all the teachers this year, it was a first for us being in Kindergarten, and a first going through it during a pandemic. Everyone made it through just fine!

From the weekend.

Friday. We had two days just us two. We started the weekend out by playing with water balloons and relaxing in the front driveway. Water, sun, and happiness.

Friday. We grilled out steak and broccoli on the back deck.

Saturday. Surprised Hadley with a trip to the Zoo. Every kid just loves going to the Zoo, no matter how many times we go. She knows so much about the animals, and she was the map guide deciding how to get to each animal she picked out. She loves to get her face painted, unicorn for the win!

Sunday. The big kids came over in the morning, and they both got to see Hadley play her softball game. Brady helped Coach Dad by being the catcher, and Natalie and my parents were cheering her on!

It was a great weekend! Looking forward to making soo many more memories this Summer!

End of school countdown.

A week from today is Hadley’s last day of Kindergarten! We made a little countdown chain until summer starts. Summer technically doesn’t officially start until June, but in my mind summer starts when the kids are done with school. As a kid, that’s how I remember it!

The sun was made in Photoshop, and cut out by hand. And then for each of the chains, all I did was cut out strips of colored cardstock paper and wrote the number of days left.

We hung the countdown on the wall in the kitchen with some scotch tape, so we see it everyday!

School’s almost out! Yay!

Softball ribbons.

My daughter Hadley is playing her first school sport this year, softball! She played soccer in March for the Lollipop Soccer team, which had some friends from her school. Softball is through her school, and was also opened up to preschool ages!

We made bows for every player on her team! Hadley and I went to Hobby Lobby, and picked out softball and school colored ribbons. Each ribbon was measured to about 15″-17″ inches long. We tied each ribbon onto a rubber band.

Here’s what the final product looked like!

Hand wrote each girls name on the softball ribbon with a sharpie marker.

Here’s what they all looked like once they were finished! Super colorful!

As a good luck gift for the first game, I got each team player a Tummie Yummie red drink to match their team colors, and put the hair ribbon inside a clear plastic bag. I printed a good luck tag of their team mascot and colors also. On each drink, I put each of the girls’ name on a piece of washi tape so they could all keep track of their drink for the game. All of the girls loved it!

It’s so fun and exciting to experience all of these first with our sweet Hadley! My hopes are to make everything she encounters in life so much fun! Go Bulldogs!

From the weekend.

Friday. Started out the morning with a braided pony tail for Field Day! She was so excited to be out of uniform two days in a row last week. Go team purple!

Friday morning. Worked out with my daily routine, went out on the back deck for some fresh air.

Friday evening. After I did a huge Clicklist order, still had to go into Kroger for the essentials for a party that serves hamburgers. Ketchup and mustard. Oh, and vodka.

Saturday morning. Hadley had her first softball game on Saturday! It’s very interesting to watch these little ones trying to figure out a softball game. Figuring out what helmets fit each girl is the most stressful part! haha Even big sis Natalie helped out and did a little catching for Coach Dad.

Saturday afternoon. We celebrated Natalie turning 14 a little early, her birthday isn’t until the end of the month but she’s been wanting a party with family for so long, we finally made it work!

The birthday girl had a few requests:

  • Cake pops
  • Oatmeal raisin cookies
  • Red velvet cupcakes
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Popcorn bark
  • Lemonade

Our Natalie is going to be 14 years old, and I just can’t believe it. She has the best smile, and had a great birthday celebration with the family. I hope she knows how much we all love her and love to celebrate her! Cheers to Natalie and turning fourteen!

From the weekend.

Friday. Started off the weekend by picking out the annuals for our yard! We bought lots of perennials, but I wanted some that I could plant every year because I enjoy planting so much! Hadley was super excited to go to the garden center after school. They had everything I wanted! Once everything is planted, I can’t wait to share all the different kinds of plants we picked out.

Friday. Hadley brought home the sweetest card from school, she wrote the little sayings all by herself, misspelled and all. “You are special. I love you. You are my Mom. I thank you.” THE sweetest.

Saturday morning. Hadley had her very first softball game, but it got cancelled due to super wet fields. She was super bummed. Grandma & Grandad came to watch her play too. So we had brunch earlier than planned, but it was still a great morning. Mimosas with Mama Gail for an early Mothers Day!

Saturday evening. Met my in-laws for dinner on the river at the boathouse for Mothers Day.

Sunday. We started off Mothers Day by relaxing at home. Well, pretty much for the entire day we were home. Hadley took a nice, long, much needed nap. It’s been a weekend or two since she’s napped, and she was about due for one. After her nap, Kevin and Hadley ventured out to get last minute Mothers Day things. We had my favorite dinner, steak and asparagus with pretty red roses as the centerpiece. Hadley picked out her own Mothers Day card, and Kev let her pick out my gift. Gift card to Target! Six years old, and she knows her Mama so well!

It was a great weekend with the family. My bonus kiddos were with their Mom, and Natalie sent me a sweet text that made me smile. =)

“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”
– Linda Wooten

Cinco de Mayo.

Started out the day with a note for Hadley’s lunch and a festive napkin!

Finally had a reason to wear my “Mama Cita” shirt for Cinco de Mayo!

We went to our favorite Mexican joint, Cancun to celebrate the day!

Cheers everyone!

Teacher Appreciation Gift.

Happy Teacher Appreciation week! The first full week of May is when we celebrate these amazing people that teach our children. An entire week devoted to teachers to show them how much they are valued.

I found this cute saying on Play Party Plan, “Orange you glad you teach my kid?” I added each teachers names on the note myself. Hadley has four teachers in Kindergarten, one in the morning and three in the afternoon.

Items in each bag:
– Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
– Trident gum
– Tic Tacs
– Kinder Joy
– Orange post it pads
– Orange hand soap

We originally were going to put an Amazon gift card in each bag also, but I ran into a little dilemma at Kroger. All four gift cards were not in the bags when I got home! After I paid for them and everything! Needless to say, the teachers aren’t getting gift cards because I wasn’t going to pay double. Kroger wouldn’t do anything other than advised me to file a police report because no one had turned the gift cards in. =(

Hadley decorated each bag for her teachers, how sweet is that?

Teacher appreciation gifts don’t have to be anything major, just simple small little things so they know they are appreciated. And most importantly after the past year we’ve had with COVID, every teacher deserves some kind of acknowledgement. So share your appreciation and gratitude to the teachers in your life!