One week of first grade.

Today marks the first full week of First grade for our sweet Hadley. All of last week, her school went half days only because of the heat. This week has been a little on the cooler temperatures compared to the high humidity of last week. I feel so bad for all the kids having to wear masks in this heat, just hate it. But like most kids, they all get used to everything.

Soccer practice was indoors last week due to the heat, again! The girls loved practicing inside and kicking the ball in the gym.

The first week of school is always a little rough, super tired and early bed times when we we’re not having sports or things to do.

Just like last year, she is still doing so great with homework. At the first grade level, they don’t have too much but she has gotten into an awesome routine with it. She comes home after school, washes her hands, sometimes changes her clothes, and does homework right away. Then she has the rest of the night to chill, watch TV, sports practices, etc.

She was such a trooper for her first week of school.  She loves not being the youngest in the school anymore, and helps some kindergartners find their way around school. We are so proud of our big first grader!

Happy end of August. I’m ready for a new month!

First grader.

We have an official first grader! She started school this past Tuesday. I just love back to school photos, and seeing all the kids in their uniforms, new school clothes, fresh gym shoes, crisp backpacks, just love it all!

Last week was meet the teacher night! We just love her teacher for first grade, super young and very on top of it with everything so far. I can appreciate all the little details that goes into setting up a classroom, and getting everything ready for the kids. I always make a point to notice the little details, since that is something I enjoy doing so much as well.

The night before school, we got all of her new things together. One thing that is super convenient about meet the teacher night, is you can drop off all of the school supplies then so the kids don’t have to carry so much stuff with them on the first day.

Fun little things for her first morning of school. Kroger was out of her favorite donut, chocolate with sprinkles so Dad got plain glazed. She’s usually too nervous to eat breakfast on the first day, but it’s always there as an option in case she feels like eating a little something.

Traditional back to school photo on the front porch!

No tears this year yay! She was a little nervous like most kiddos are, but no tears just all the feels!

While she was at school, Dad put up this board with hooks for her bookbag and things. It will help so much with the clutter that ends up on the kitchen table all school year. If their’s a place for things, it helps so much!

After school pickup, and all smiles from this little lady! I hope she continues to love school so much. She comes home and does her homework, then has all the free time until bed. Crossing fingers this routine sticks for the next ten plus years!

Happy school year to all the kiddos! You will do great things.

DIY softball treat bags.

Hadley’s softball season ended last week, and I made these easy and fun treat bags for all the girls on the team. These would be great for an end of season gift or team mom gift for softball girls. Since my husband was the coach, I wanted to do a little something for their first softball season!

All of the supplies and items were all purchased at the Dollar Store. Yellow paper bags, bag of mini suckers, temporary tattoos, fun pens, and rainbow nail polish.

For each bag, I used a half circle stencil I cut out from a plain piece of paper, traced it onto each bag with a red sharpie and then drew lines down each side. And then wrote each of the girls’ names with a black sharpie in the middle and that’s it!

Also made a small gift for the assistant coaches that helped out. Sunflower seeds, a slim jim, and a mini bottle of fireball. I used the same yellow paper bags as the girls, and created a little tag in Photoshop.

I tied them all together with a red/white piece of twine before placing them in the yellow paper bags.

Something super simple, but also meaningful to let them know we appreciated their help this season!

I was very happy with how these treat bags turned out! You can always use any colored paper bag for your team color, etc. I hope you loved these treat bags, and would love to know what other softball / baseball ideas you have too! Feel free to comment below to share your idea.

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!

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!


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!

Lollipop Soccer Recap.

Hadley finished her very first grade school sport soccer this past weekend! Kindergarten lollipops! She played two sessions with a team from her school, all in kindergarten. She enjoyed it so much. The above photos were from the first session, and it was a big learning curve for most of the girls. Even her big brother and sister got to see her play one of her games. With the pandemic going on, spectators have been limited. She loved wearing soccer shoes, the shin guards, socks, the whole get up.

By the second session, all of the girls improved tremendously! Kevin helped coach for this session, and Hadley loved every minute of it. With his firefighter schedule, he only missed two games! By the last game, it seemed like the team was finally getting the hang of how the game is played and then the season was over. It was such a great time for Hadley, and I hope she continues to try out different sports as she grows up.

The whole team! Well, two girls were missing, but most of them are pictured above. I can’t wait to watch these girls grow together through the school age years. Most of them are playing softball together in a few weeks. I just love this time in our lives. I’ve been waiting for twelve years to experience all of this, and it’s finally here, and I’m enjoying every second of it. I know it’s going to be over before I know it, she’ll be graduating high school and I’ll wish for these kindergarten years back again. Just love watching our kiddo grow up!