July 2017

Kindergarten ~ That’s a Wrap!

In seemingly the blink of an eye, Liam completed his first year of elementary school and is now a Kindergarten graduate. This was such a fun year and filled with so many new experiences.

It feels like only yesterday that I was putting THIS post up about the beginning of Kindergarten, and now, here we are. Enjoying the sweet simplicity of summer & gearing up for FIRST GRADE! Really?!?! — If I’m honest, there are so many times that I look at his sweet face & still see our toddler with his big brown eyes and favorite green paci in his mouth (*insert mama tears here*).


Just like with the 1st day of school, when we did that interview with him, I also wanted to do a fun wrap up interview to grab some memories on how he was feeling. I found these fun free printables online & plan to continue them through the years! This time, he even asked to write his own answers ๐Ÿ™‚

On the last day of school, several items were sent home. By far, these two drawings were my favorite. Liam had to draw himself back on the 1st day of school, and then again on the last day of school. While we knew he was making tremendous growth over the year with his learning & development, to see the difference in these two pictures literally brought tears to my eyes. The little blobby with stick legs & no arms under the sun on the 1st day picture was how he drew himself (and people) back in August. To see how he draws full-figure people now is so cool! We are so proud of him! Not to mention his creativity and imagination โค

Officially official ๐Ÿ™‚

In the last few weeks before the school year ended, we gave a few things to Liam’s teacher, Mrs. Juarez, to show our appreciation for all she had done this year. He loved her, which means we did too, and he thrived in her room. I wanted one of her gifts to be something personal from Liam, so I found this cute thank you note for him to fill out & color. He loved it! I loved that he filled in all the answers himself. He had just asked for help with spelling some of the words.

Here’s a few of our….

Favorite Takeaway’s From Kindergarten:

Last Day Smiles!! ๐Ÿ™‚

When I compare this pic of the last day of school to his 1st day of school pic, I think he honestly looks tired. LOL! It was a fun year for him but it was also hard work. Stephen and I joked many times that Kindergarten should be called “Kindercollege” …seriously, he did far more this year than we ever did at that age. He had actual subjects that he studied — reading, math, social studies, geography, science. He regularly worked on the computer, and we had really never let him touch a computer before school started. He learned addition, subtraction, all about about the planets, animals, and he was reading chapter books with us by the end of the year. His level of learning far surpassed anything we had expected. He was recognized as one of the top readers in his grade by the end of the year! We are SO SO PROUD of all his hardwork! โค

We are enjoying a super fun summer with this lovable kiddo and giving him a much needed rest. Soon enough, school will start up again, and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings as we embark on FIRST GRADE!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Until next time, friends,

 

November 2016

Welcome to Kindergarten!

To say that the last few months have flown by is an understatement for sure. I started this post so long ago, and it just kept getting pushed back. We are in a good season of life right now, but it sure is a busy one. A few of our friends told us over the summer….’just wait until Liam starts Kindergarten, your schedules are going to be so crazy.‘ I honestly think I laughed at them….Well, folks, they’re laughing now because they were so right.

It’s November, and the majority of this mama is still in denial that we’re here — Kindergarten. How did we get here already? I still remember dropping him off for his 1st day at daycare โค

I know this year is going to continue to fly by, so I’ve been trying to soak up the highlights. Here is a little BTS Interview that I did with little man after he got home on his 1st day. The last bit? ….He literally came running up to me when I picked him up & said that! It was a GREAT 1st day ๐Ÿ™‚

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We had ‘Meet the Teacher’ on the Friday morning before school started that following Monday. The three of us went together. We found his classroom, met Mrs. Juarez, and dropped off all his classroom supplies. Stephen & I were cracking up because we had assumed we would drop off the bag of supplies we had to buy, but there was actually a page of instructions we had to follow for how to put them away. It was very efficient for the teacher ….but we immediately felt like we were the ones back in school ๐Ÿ˜‰

Liam’s room is a jungle theme & is super cute! He loved exploring & checking it out while we put everything away.

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ย The night before the 1st day, I got his backpack ready to go. He has a purple folder that goes back & forth between school & home each day. We already had forms from Meet the Teacher that we had to send back. I had picked up a cute Clifford book at Kohls to send as a welcome gift for Mrs. Juarez. This was also her 1st year at Liam’s elementary school.

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Little Dude woke up full of excitement on his first day!! — August 15th

I think I was the nervous one for us…lol! He picked out his own outfit and was ready to go. All smiles โค

He was just THE cutest!!

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We dropped him off for his 1st day. Again, I was anticipating the standard tears & maybe even being scared….I mean, this was the 1st time we were leaving him at a different place in the morning. He had always only ever been at the same daycare. So, when the bell rang and the teacher opened the classroom door, he walked in …there was still only all smiles. He then looked back over his shoulder and waved good-bye to us……THIS.MAMA.LOST.IT

You see, he was fine. He was better than fine. He was great. He felt safe and happy, and I knew we had done our job. And so….I felt relieved and just lost it for a moment. I walked away, so he never saw my tears, but there were a few โค

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His 1st week of school was awesome. He brought home the cutest projects that they did during the 1st few days. The Kissing Hand Story is one that helps kiddos who are feeling sad about missing their parents while being away from home. So so cute…..

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Love it!…

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We celebrated the end of a fantastic 1st week of school with our fav….sparklers!!!

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Right after the beginning of the school year, Liam went in for his 5 year check up with his pediatrician. He grew 3 inches since last year and gained 9 pounds! He had a great & healthy check-up …and for sure, he is keeping us on our toes with the growth spurts. Little man’s gonna be taller than me in no time {not hard to do, I know}….and then, I will cry. LOL!

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In the middle of September, we got to go back to the his classroom for Open House. It was nice to check in with his teacher & get an update on all that been’s happening, as well as take a peak around the school. Liam was super excited to show us where he sits each day in his room. We also got to see the Mangrove seedlings that his class planted outside with the help of a UCF professor ๐Ÿ™‚

We actually do hear from his teacher almost daily, as she emails updates on classroom activity, homework info, etc. That honestly was an aspect I didn’t realize until school started. Everything is SO electronic now. You even log online to add money to his lunch money account. I love it, but I had just not realized it. Things have definitely changed since we were in school!

During the school days, Liam participates in Gym class (PE — Physical Education), Art & Music. For Open House, we also got to visit these room and meet with his teachers for these ‘special’ areas.

Since school starts after we go to work and ends before we get out work, Liam does before/after care with the daycare/summer camp he had attended. So, we don’t actually ever go to the school. We drop him off & he rides the bus. He LOVES riding the bus, and we trust them so it’s a win-win. The times like this night for Open House, then, are nice to be able to catch up with what’s physically happening there. Sometimes, though, it does feel weird to me that I’m not dropping and picking him up from there daily, but it’s just not our routine.

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This note below was in the packet we took home from Open House & I just loved it. Such a thoughtful reminder…..

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At the end of September, he took his very 1st official school pictures. We’ve done pictures with the daycare the last few years, but these were special. Kindergarten pictures, people! ….There were tons of backgrounds we could select from, but Stephen & I thought this one was cool. When we showed it to him, he said…”how did a castle get behind me?” ๐Ÿ™‚

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Most recently, at the end of October, it was the end of the 1st grading period, and he received his very 1st report card. At his school, the kiddos don’t receive letter grades until 2nd grade. Thus, his marks are Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or W — which is for ‘working on it’, since they are just newbies in school and learning all these skills.

During progress reports in September, he had a few W’s, but mostly all S’s. For his report card, he earned all S’s and one W. We are so proud of how hard he is working, and you really could tell how proud he was of himself, as well. We also think that it helps that he had such an excellent Pre-K program last year that gave him a strong foundation going into this year.

I have to say that it’s really incredible the curriculum that these children learn in Kindergarten now. It is completely different that when Stephen and I were in school. He is learning things that I know we didn’t even begin to touch on until grade school.

They are already teaching him beginning reading skills, math that includes comparisons and less than & greater than signs. They have language arts, science, social studies….my mind is blown away repeatedly by the things he comes home and tells us. He also uses computer programs….we never even let him touch the computer before school began! What we are most grateful for is that he has a love for learning. He truly enjoys school and is excited about what he is learning about.

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On the day he received his report card, he was also honored with the Principal’s Award for making good choices. He was beyond excited to receive this, and he had his name called out over the loud speaker for the whole school by his principal. So cool!

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We are off to a fantastic start to the school year, and are eager to see what else Kindergarten has in store for this sweet boy โค

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ย schooldayz_casademurphy

Until next time!

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July 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Happy 5th Birthday, Liam!

Today, we celebrate our kiddo’s 5th birthday! It is definitely a magical time for all of us, as the excitement on his behalf can barely be contained. Stephen & I have just been watching him grow in astonishment…..1st, we seriously can’t believe we made such an amazing little man. 2nd, he is growing way too fast!

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Here is the latest teddy bear pic โค

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If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics & updatesย HERE.ย 


We continued our tradition of a BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. The free printable of this can be found HERE.

As with last year’s interview, some of his answers were both quite surprising & hilarious!

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More from the previous year’s questionnaire that we used:

What is your name?: Liam

How old are you?: holds up 5 fingers

What is your favorite food?: (taps cheek as he’s thinking) pizza

What makes you laugh?: When Daddy makes funny faces

What are you afraid of?: bears

What is the best time of the day?: summer

Where do you like to go?: the beach

What do you like to do with your family?: the zoo


Other notable things these days …

He still refers to both me & Stephen as ‘guys’ , or as ‘hey guys’ …I pointed this out in last year’s update & that has not changed. It’s hilarious!

He is still a whiz with the iPad.

Dancing and Music are his passions. At any moment, he will break out with his latest moves or sing his heart out.

We have seen a tremendous amount of growth in the last 6 months. Both physically {as in we had to move him into size XS/S clothes after spending this last year in 4T/5T and we’re about to go shoe shoppi g again} and also emotionally/mentally. I know I have always said how easy going his personality is, and yes, that still holds true. However, in recent months, he has also began to assert himself more and test his boundaries. I think part of it is being in summer camp and being around older kids. He sees more now and is trying his limits at times.

He officially gave up naps in June.

We are officially not in daycare anymore as of last month. This summer, he has been enrolled in a Junior Summer Camp with kiddos Kindergarten age through 2nd grade.

He will start Kindergarten next month!!!

He has been taking a soccer class with camp this summer & really likes it.

He has also recently taken an interest in basketball.

He definitely has his own sense of style & is excellent at matching his outfits each day. Gone are the days when I can buy just about any cute clothes that I like. He is VERY picky about his shirts/tops & most days, they have to be character shirts {superheroes, star wars, disney, etc}.


Here is a look back at the last 5 year’s of birthday pics….

1st Birthday

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2nd Birthday

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Happy 5th Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!!

Words cannot express how much love fills our hearts for this kiddo. He is a blessing to us each & every day โค

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July 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Splashing Good Birthday Fun!

Last weekend, we had a splashing good time celebrating Liam’s 5th birthday with family & friends. While his actual birthDAY is not until this weekend, we opted to hold his party a week early due to venue scheduling. We had such a great time at the Oviedo Splash Zoneย last year for his party, that we held it it there again this year. It definitely did NOT disappoint!

Little Man selected STAR WARS for his theme this year. I found these clever invitations on Etsy:

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The quiet before the storm of kiddos. The weather was already hot at 9:00 am, but we were thankful for gorgeous FL sunshine! Wee-man was ready to get his 5th birthday par-tay on ๐Ÿ˜‰

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ย This place is seriously amazing. It wasn’t even a question to not come here again this year. It’s literally a playground in the water โค

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Since we are surrounded by water and everyone is playing, we keep the decorations simple. We decided to go with cake pops this year in lieu of cupcakes, and they were THE BEST. Ms. Lauren from Little Boy Blue Bakery in Oviedo completely outdid herself with these fantastic Star Wars themed pops. Be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@littleboybluebakery) and see all of her amazing creations!

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What kiddos doesn’t love a good party favor? Keeping with the simple, yet fun, theme, I found THISย idea online and was thrilled with the result! The TAGSย were another find from Etsy ๐Ÿ™‚

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One of my fav shots of the R2-D2 cake pop! // photo credit: Little Boy Blue Bakery

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I really have to brag about these pops because all I told Lauren was the theme and she completely delivered. We had Darth Vader, the Death Star, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and Stormtroopers. And, of course they ALL were SO delish!!

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Here’s a snap of 4 of the 5 masterpieces ….all of the Death Star pops were eaten by the time I thought to take this…lol!

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Jase & Liam ๐Ÿ™‚

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Liam & James….

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Trying to get these boys to stop playing for 5 seconds and say cheese was IMPOSSIBLE…hahaha! // Brandon, Bryce, Liam & Jase

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Love these girls! They always have my back โค

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And this lady has had my back since birth ๐Ÿ˜› …my momma! So happy she’s back in the sunshine state with us!

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Sillies….

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Liam & Matthias…

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double trouble ๐Ÿ™‚ ….Liam & Kenadie

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My heartstrings….my boys โค

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We had ordered a Darth Vader cupcake from Sweet! here in town so we could put a candle in it & sing to him. As cute as they made this for him…..he loved Ms. Lauren’s pops so much that he never ate this ๐Ÿ˜› …he later declared that he “loves loves loves cake pops” ….so, I believe we have a new fav around here!

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Love this family of mine….

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Munchin’ on a Darth Vader cake pop!

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….and, back in the water to play some more! All the kiddos had a great time & played ’till the facility literally turned the water off on the playground equipment to signal the party was done. Then, all of us parents had to pry them out of the pool ๐Ÿ™‚

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One VERY happy & blessed boy!

{who shockingly did not fall asleep even on the drive home from the splash park}

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Thanks to everyone who came out to splash around with us! It really was such a great day & a super fun time to celebrate this sweet boy turning 5.

Hugs!

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