In the Blink of an Eye…

firstlastJake firstlastTyIt is hard to believe it is already nearly JULY. And hard to see how quickly the days/months/years go by once the boys start school. Years are no longer measured solely by birthdays, but first and last days of school. In the blink of an eye…


Happy Halloween


A Home Reading Station and Literacy Journal

The one big thing Ty’s kindergarten teacher asked us to do at home with him was read. Nightly. And keep track of the books finished. I wanted to do a little something more…so, I set up a Reading Station:

The contents: books that will be rotated/changed monthly, Ty’s reading chart that is to be handed end at the end of each month, a literacy journal, and a timer: it gives a five-minute warning and turns red when time is up, it has been a lifesaver in our house. The visual cues make it easy for Tyson to do this independently if needed.

The literacy journal is made up of fun bits and pieces spied on Pinterest. I love the idea of having him draw pictures to represent major pieces of the story or serve as a synopsis of his take on what we read:

First entry. So far, so good…he LOVES explaining, in GREAT five year-old detail (read: never-ending) his pictures. I am hoping in the near future, he can write a one sentence description himself. A good goal to work towards…

We’ll keep his monthly class sheet nearby so that we don’t lose it and he can color in the train cars himself:

I found these fantastic drawing prompts online: here and plan to use them as well:

Since it is currently our one and only “homework” assignment, we’ll keep the station in our family room where the books and journal are easily accessible for Tyson and the family:

And Tyson LOVED picking out his favorite washi tape colors and prints to personalize his journal. Working on the cover…

First Day…


End of the Year Teacher Gifts

It is hard to believe that this is Tyson’s LAST YEAR OF PRESCHOOL. As of tomorrow, I will officially have a kindergartener in the house. Sigh. We are extremely grateful to have found the school we did. The staff, the grounds, and the teachers have all provided Tyson with an introduction to school that is truly priceless. I wanted to do something special for all of the teachers as a small token of our gratitude. I ordered some hand stamped necklaces for the main teachers but they haven’t yet arrived. After a sleepless night and major anxiety, I found some really nice potted plant starter kits and cute little plant a tree gift boxes:

I found the free “Thank You for Helping Me Grow” printable here. I wrapped the “Plant a Tree” boxes in a corrugated take out box, hot glued a ribbon, and voila:

For the potted plants, I found a simple kraft box. Folded in the sides and tops, hot glued a ribbon around the edges, attached the printable, and done:

Tyson hand picked the paper airplane making book for his favorite teacher and wrote a handwritten note. We also gifted the school (and garden) an apple tree planting kit:

A Birthday Letter For Ty

Dear Tyson,

I have started this letter a handful of times but quickly become overwhelmed with all that I want to say: lots of boring, cliché type sentiments, silly stories, and sappy memories.

But mostly, what I really want you to know is how extremely proud of you I am. How proud I am of the little boy you have become. How proud I am of the person you are becoming. How proud I am of the growth you’ve made in the last year.

In the last year: you found your voice, your confidence, your friends. You discovered a love of all things Transformers, Star Wars, and Lego. You can often be found lugging around a bin of your “favorite things”: your well-loved Star Wars Lego guide, your favorite transformer of the moment, and your stuffed dog “Simba”. I swoon at your love of books and marvel at your Lego building talents.

You continue to learn new words and new things everyday. And teach me just as much. The empathy and protectiveness you show for your brother touches my heart in ways I’ll never truly be able to articulate in prose. You are often the first at his side when he falls and the first to wonder what he’s doing when he’s out of sight.

Know that I may not remember THIS day in years to come, but I will always remember the day you were born. The day you opened my eyes to what it means to be a better person, a true role model, a Mom.

My hopes for you are limitless. I love you “to the city and back”.

Happy 5th Birthday!


Batman and Optimus Prime

Dinosaur Birthday for Two

The boys’ birthdays are two weeks apart. Two weeks after Christmas. Last year, we threw a joint birthday party for both boys and it seemed to be the perfect solution. We timed it the weekend following Jake’s actual birthday…which happened to be Superbowl Sunday. Oops. So, this year, I planned the party after Jake’s birthday and Superbowl Sunday. Putting the party almost a full month after Ty’s actual birthday. Not sure I’ll be doing this again. Not sure I’ll be able to get away with a joint party again either as Ty had a most definite opinion regarding his guest list this year. Both boys are on a major dinosaur loving kick. My mom offered to make the cake and/or cupcakes. And the cupcake toppers. She absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent outdid herself. LOVED the way everything came out and so did the boys. The toppers:
Tyson loved the googly eyes. And promptly recalled the names of each dinosaur:
The entire spread:

Dinosaur themed cupcakes complete with a volcano:

And lava:

Party table:

Birthday collages:

Tyson’s favorite part of the party place:

Jake had his air hockey:

Tyson tried to figure out the skeeball:

Rare “mommy and kiddo” photo moment:

Cupcake time. Ty tried to block out his brother, hence Jake’s face:

Blowing out the candle like a pro:

Blowing out the candle…with mouth closed. We’ll work on this:

Fun family photo. It only took about fifty attempts:

It was a really fun and special day. Loved seeing my boys surrounded by such love and support. We have the most awesome family and friends.


No need to tell me. I know. Our boys are very spoiled. I did some shopping. The husband did some shopping. Tyson had a very Thomas Christmas:
Jake had a puzzle, Little People Christmas:
The aftermath… toy manufacturers take security precautions to the next level. Those dang wire twisty things are no joke. My fingers were numb and my nerves frayed after unwrapping/untangling all the toys:
Tyson LOVED his Thomas set. He had been wanting (read: asking a million times for the last month for Thumper, Rocky and the boulder):

Jake’s Christmas Morning favorite was a super cool hide and seek puzzle. You lift the doors of the puzzle and there are animal magnets under each one. He loved having me move them around and then asking him to find each one:

Tyson has always loved puzzles. This Thomas set was no exception:

Then we had to wrangle the kids out the door to make the drive to Nana’s and Papa’s House. Jake was excited to pack his new pak-pak. He picked his Buzz Lightyear (which had no off switch. The was made extra special with his musings: “The universe needs our help. Let’s go. Zooooooooom.”):

The whole.entire.rain.and.traffic.filled.THREE.HOUR drive:

Despite the long drive, we all had an amazing time visiting with family. The boys were entirely too spoiled. It was a two day Christmas extravaganza. Lots of love, family, and laughter. The boys are at the perfect age to make the holiday truly magical. Their excitement, their smiles, their laughter…priceless. Pure magic.

Christmas Eve

We hosted Christmas Eve this year. The Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma, Uncle and Auntie made the trek out for the afternoon. Tyson was beside himself with excitement: more so for Grandma’s arrival than the impending visit from Santa Claus. After waiting so very patiently for everyone to eat, the boys ripped into their gifts. Tyson was a present opening tornado of mass paper destruction:
Jake was much more laid back about it all…
And done after the first present: a set of Handy Manny tools. Tornado Ty happily opened the rest of Jake’s gifts for him. And everyone else.

When I was little my mom used to take my brother and I to the fabric store, let us pick out our own fabric and made us each a blanket. Mine was always double stuffed because I ran cold and I still have my very loved Strawberry Shortcake blanket. This year, Jakey got his very own double stuffed blanket. I am way jealous.

Uncle D had just as much fun with the toys as the boys did:

Tyson was so in love with his new construction site set that we literally didn’t hear a peep out of him all night:

He played and played and played and played…

And eventually suckered his Uncle into a game of Candy Land. I can’t play with him anymore. He wins. All.the.time. And cheats. I can’t take it.

Jake LOVES his tools. He carries them around. Sings. Dances. Does this little move:

Dancing with his Chuck Truck:

Grandma, Uncle D, and Tanya made Santa his cookies. The boys were very spoiled. Very much loved on. And had an amazing night. Tyson and Jake each picked out a cookie for Santa and celery for the reindeer. And quickly zonked out for the night…