Grace started kindergarten this week.  We set our schedules, alarm clocks, put on real clothes in the morning and started our new homeschooling/ fall routine. I knew that homeschool was going to be the best option for us this year and we are praying through every minute of it.  I am not a teacher.  I don’t have an extensive amount of patience. In fact, I am short fused, but I am excited to see how God is going to work in my life and in the life of my children through this season. He is the one who gives us wisdom, patience and strength and you better believe I am leaning on Him for all of those things and more.

Monday started with a walk at the park, to ensure that all the wiggles were out, followed by Cheerios and circle time.  We sang about father Abraham, practiced our bible verses and dove right into reading and writing.  Grace was really excited and I am all about structure, so I’m thinking that this is going to do us all a great deal of good.

Haddon asked to do school a million times and Emory is working on being patient, bless her heart. I too am working on my patience and on being present more than anything else.  So far, we’ve read a few stories, brushed up on our math and are looking forward to exploring new subjects together.

I will be working on a post later on with pictures and tips on how we’re structuring our day and sharing my thoughts on homeschooling. So, stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, I thought I’d document this day and this little lady who is growing up so quickly.  The other day I asked her when did she grow up, and her answer was “mom, I grew up as fast as I could”  Girlfriend sure did!

I’ll tuck her in this week and hold her extra tight because I know these days are going to pass us by, and although they are so tough and the days get longer and longer, I only have a short amount of time with her.

Here’s to our babies. To the ones that grow up as fast as they possibly can and to the ones who ask for one more hug, before they go to bed.

Happy first day of school sweet girl!

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PackWithLove #CollectiveBias
Last week, during my fourth target run of the week, I looked up and saw the back to school section and was immediately filled with so much excitement. Back to school season always reminds me of my high school days, the excitement of seeing my friends again, the smell of fresh sharpened pencils and the opportunity that comes with a blank slate.  Oh man.. I could write about this for days. When I was in high school, my friends and I would always meet up at the same spot and walk around campus until the bell rung.  I love back-to-school season!
Grace is starting kindergarten this year and I want to instill the same love for school that I had. I want her to know that every year comes with a fresh opportunity for growth and learning. I want her to know that every grade and every subject will leave an imprint on her life and open doors to experience life in new ways.
One of the best things that I can do for her is encourage her through every step of her schooling journey. Today I’m sharing something fun that I have done in the past and that I will continue to do throughout her school year.
I am packing her lunch and sharing with her little love notes for her to save in a folder or a zippy bag.  When the school year is over, I know we’ll have fun looking back at these.
I am tweaking these based on what we’re learning in school, and today I’m sharing two FREE printables. The first one is my first week of cards for the school year and the second is a blank one, so you can customize them for your little ones!

Click here to download your FREE printable

We usually work though our schoolwork in the morning and are done by lunchtime.  Having a lunch bag, keeps us motivated to get our school assignments done and gives us a nice break in the afternoon. Here’s how I pack her school lunch:
  1. Brown paper bag – This is a fun way to get excited about lunch. When I pack it up in a classic brown paper lunch bag, Grace feels like she’s actually in school and it’s more fun than whipping up mac and cheese or leftovers from the night before.
  2. Add a personal touch – You can add your own personal touch to your school lunch by printing these out.  I like to tweak them to reflect a topic or encourage her based on what we’re covering in school that week.  She’s getting really good at reading and is always trying to figure out my puns, so that’s fun too.
  3. Easy lunch – I like packing a sandwich and some sort of boxed juice.  No need for plates, forks, spoons a or mess! She also likes eating with her hands so it’s fun for both of us.
  4. Fun snack – I add fun snacks to Grace’s brown lunch bags. She likes Lance Sandwich Crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and the Snack Better Variety Pack of chips. I stock up at my local Walmart and keep them on hand to pack for her throughout the week. Having a variety of snacks keeps lunchtime fun, they are conveniently packaged and we all really like them.
So, that’s how I pack my brown bag lunches to make us all feel a little more structured during our homeschooling days.

Click here to download your FREE printable

Here’s a “Packed with Love Sweepstakes” that’s running from 7/15/17 – 8/28/17 where you can win the following:

  • Custom Lunchbox “packed with love”
  • (6) $2,500 scholarships
  • (6) Years Supply of Snyder’s-Lance snacks
  • (6) iPad/Tablets
  • (12) $50 gift cards for school supplies
  • (60) Swag kits – include robot keychain, chip clips, can cooler, thermos

You can purchase these snacks at your local Walmart 

 Don’t forget to download your FREE blank printable for you to customize 

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappierFirstMoments #ForBetterBeginnings #CollectiveBias

One of the hardest things when I was pregnant with Grace was creating my baby registry. I had every desire to go into a store and register, but I was quickly bombarded with every single baby item known to man. I walked in, hyperventilated and walked right out of the store. It was so overwhelming to think that a tiny baby could need so many things. We just celebrated Emory’s first birthday (our third child) and finally feel like we have a grasp on the products that are really necessary during the first year and the ones that take up room in our home.


So today I’m sharing with you a FREE PRINTABLE just for you, highlighting what you really need for your first-year so you can stay focused and stress free while you register.  Also, if you’re pregnant and are in need of some encouragement, you can find it here. 

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I’ve been too hesitant to write this post for so many reasons. Everything in me wants to document this moment in time, but I haven’t been able to put my thoughts into words. Maybe it’s something about the way I was raised or my defense mechanism but I feel like if you don’t talk about it, then it’s not really happening. So, that’s where I am. I didn’t address this little lady’s birthday because I wasn’t ready for it. I’m still not ready for it. She’s no longer a tiny baby. No more sweet breastmilk breath, no more wrapping her little hand around my finger. No more tiny baby whimper. She’s ONE and ready to take on the world.

Oh Emmy.

You are a sweet sweet girl. You have three teeth poking out and a full set ready to make their way out. You smile bigger than my heart can handle and your curly hair is everything to me. According to your latest checkup, you are one tall girl. Which will come in handy when you’re playing sports. You are getting ready to take your first step but we all know you are taking your time and will do things at your own pace.

You are adventurous and are a climber (ahem… we can’t keep you in your crib anymore) I’m pretty sure you may have a future in gymnastics. You love sweet potatoes and these days I am sneaking in a hardboiled egg in your smoothie and you are all about it!

You can find all the tiny pieces of paper all over the house and somehow they end up in your mouth. But we all see you and you can’t keep a straight face when you’ve done something naughty. You love your brother and sister and will never turn down a hug from your brother Haddy. You are speedy when you’re crawling and we just can’t keep up with you when you’re on a mission to get somewhere.

You still haven’t figured out your relationship to Bauer. You guys had a bad encounter a few weeks ago and since then you’ve kept your distance. He’s still very protective of you and is always there to pick up your food scraps. Your grandparents love you to pieces and that thumb of yours puts you to sleep in a matter of minutes.

Sweet girl.

I want to remember every little detail of your face and how you crinkle your nose when you smile. I want to remember how you call out “mama” when you really need me and smile from ear to ear when daddy walks in the door. I want to remember how warm your little body gets when you drift off to sleep and the way you grab your ear when you’re really relaxed.

Oh mimi.

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