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Posts tagged ‘school’

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

DIY Teacher Gifts

The end of the school year is here for some (and fast approaching for the rest) so it’s time to think about how to tell your child’s teacher just how special they are. Here is some great inspiration from Cool Mom Picks for finding or creating that perfect gift that shows your appreciation and documents the memorable moments from this school year.

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(image courtesy Cool Mom Picks)


Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Back to School / Off to College

Change is in the air and I’m not just talking about the seasons. School is back in session and for many, myself included, that means transitioning to a new day-to-day schedule, and running a tighter ship to make it all happen. Today, our first day back, has been quiet, though honestly my full plate of work and our five month golden retriever have kept me more focused than wistful.

But I’m also thinking about all those parents out there who just recently sent a child off to college. I’m still nine years away from going through it with my own, but oh my, how fast the first nine have gone! Halfway there. I can literally make myself cry just thinking ahead to the day. And this Washington Post article, though beautifully written, didn’t help!

As Michael Gerson states, “That moment at the dorm is implied at the kindergarten door, at the gates of summer camp, at every ritual of parting and independence. But it comes as surprising as a thief, taking what you value most.”

So if you’re going through this major life change, hang in there. And pat yourself on the back for a job well done. It will get better. And if you’re still fortunate enough to have a little (or big) whirlwind come home each day, hug them, whether they welcome it or not.

“The days pass uncounted, until they end.” It’s time to take notice and savor what is fleetingly yours.

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(image courtesy Ritzy Bee Blog)


Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Back-to-School Photos

In addition to finding a fun way to celebrate going back to school, another tradition is taking the annual first day portrait. There are several great ideas on Cool Mom Picks, from simple portraits with signs to more detailed lists of your child’s favorite things at that moment in time. It’s also a great time to record a journal entry and/or record a quick “interview” to capture their unique voices and pronunciations. I always feel a little wistful on that first day when the house is empty so I write my annual letter to my daughter, which she’ll receive when she’s grown up and heading off to college or getting married.

Where does the time go?

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(images courtesy Cool Mom Picks)


Friday, August 16th, 2013

Back-to-School Traditions

It’s that time of year — back to school. Our family still has two glorious weeks of summer left but there’s no denying what’s just around the corner. Here are some fun ideas from Babble to celebrate new years and new chapters. My daughter and I always plan an all day date the day before school and do things like go to the park, get ice cream and play mini golf. And I’m a big fan of the first day portrait and lunch notes. As far as the back-to-school breakfast goes, we can only aspire to that one — we are more night owls than early birds!

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(images courtesy Babble)


Friday, August 9th, 2013

Back to School: Sandwich Bag Art

School is just around the corner and what better time to set some good intentions for getting the kids off to a good start. I’m always in need of some fresh inspiration for what to pack but graphic designer, illustrator, and Dad extraordinaire, David Laferriere, provides some awesome ideas below on HOW to pack a lunch. Check out his sandwich bag art below! No, we may not all be illustrators but a happy face, heart or simple message goes a long way too. What’s easy to find in our house is a Sharpie; what’s not so easy? An extra five minutes. Here’s to fresh starts and good intentions!

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 (courtesy David Laferriere via Twisted Sifter)


Friday, February 15th, 2013

Marshmallow Molecules

Here’s a fun way to learn about science and molecules or to simply have fun building with unusual yet edible materials! All you need is some spaghetti (pre-cooked of course!) and a bag of small and/or large marshmallows. Have fun seeing what designs you come up. How high can you go?


Thursday, June 7th, 2012

The End of the School Year Finish Line

What lies beyond these blue streamers? 76 days of summer vacation, to be exact!

Yesterday was the last day of school and just a couple of days before that, I was inspired to make a finish line. Unlike some of the other projects I get myself into, I knew I was going to be super busy through yesterday so I decided I wouldn’t sweat the details and would instead just work with whatever materials I had on hand.

I ended up having exactly one hour before the bus came to gather a roll of paper streamers and a long box from the basement. Then I quickly wrote on the box in marker and spent the majority of time tying streamers from one tree to another across the driveway.

Halfway through, my neighbor came out to see what mischief I was up to. Having lived next to each other for eight years now, she knows to expect a certain amount of outdoor craziness from us when it comes to Easter egg hunts and Livi’s birthday bash.

Livi was surprised to find the makeshift barrier and happily ran through it.

Into the wild blue yonder of summer, we go!


Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Hearty Appetites

from Jamie

A few years ago I came across a book titled, Napkins: Lunch Bag Notes from Dad, by Courtney Garton, about a dad who put rhyming notes in his daughters’ lunch bags, reflecting the ups and downs of everyday life; notes that maintained the lines of communication even when times were tough. I found it very inspiring, but I was also realistic in the idea that I probably would not be able to keep up with the daily rhymes. So I decided to take a different approach, and collect pictures that I’d cut in the shape of a heart thanks to a cookie cutter. Many were of animals, which my daughter loves and some were funny. Nothing too time intensive and nothing too sappy, but a quick, often humorous connection, nonetheless.

Lately, I’ve been seeing more products designed for this very situation, which can make the task even less daunting; you can find several on Amazon here.



Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The last day, followed by the first day.

from Jamie

The end of summer and the beginning of school is a great time to celebrate the closing of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. A couple of years ago, we started a tradition before kindergarten of devoting our last day of summer break to all things fun! Past experiences have included mini golf, the local park, the zoo and ice cream. Kids are so great at living in the moment, which is inspiring for adults to see, but in return we can help them pause to consider, even briefly, the transitions that await them.

Today, it was back to school, which included a picture at the bus stop and later, an entry for the school years journal which will capture the excitement of a freshly-minted second grader. What traditions do you honor to celebrate the end of summer and back to school?

In the past 24 hours, we celebrated several successful launches: first, the golf ball makes the jump…

…then Livi’s leap off the turf yesterday…

…and onto the bus today.


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

School’s out!

from Jamie

It’s that time of year again — the end of another school year! Do you have any traditions to celebrate the last day? I always take a picture of my daughter getting off the bus, a tradition which started with my mom. Sometimes we go for ice cream and other years we are packing to head out on a trip the next day.

How will you and your family remember the school year’s highlights? I use a keepsake book produced by Chronicle Books called School Years. It has a fun and vibrant outside cover with 13 pockets on the inside to capture memories and mementos from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Plan on fitting a few flat items in each pocket that are no bigger than 5-3/4 wide x 9″ tall. Class pictures and report cards are ideal. It makes for a great overview of the school years, just plan on having an additional storage if you and yours are hesitant to part with the piles of papers, photos and artwork that inevitably come home with children!

There’s also a place to attach the annual school photo as well as space to write about teachers, friends, subjects, activities, hobbies, honors and awards. And a special place to write about “when I grow up I want to be…” and “thoughts about the future.”

p.s. Looks like a matching keepsake box is going to be released in the near future!