Marshmallow Mondays

Back To School
08.14.15, 7:45 AM
Filed under: School Days | Tags: , , ,

It’s official. Ryan and I are old. We have two kids in school now. On Wednesday Lily started Kindergarten, and Rydan started middle school. I’m not sure who will have the bigger adjustment – Rydan, Lily or Mommy? It is definitely strange having the house to myself. I find myself thinking about both kids and hoping that they are adjusting okay, asking questions without hesitation, making new friends, and feeling comfortable at their new schools.

Rydan has had mixed feelings about middle school, but after a few days he seems to really like it. The next few weeks will be a big transition for him as he tries to get used to having seven different teachers and classes, only four minutes between classes, learning to open his locker, and staying organized. His school has an awesome mentoring program, though, where 8th graders are assigned 6th graders to help and guide the new middle school students through the year. Having been a walker since we moved to Kentucky, Rydan is now enjoying the bus for the first time in almost three years. The middle school is just up the street from our house, so it’s a short ride, but he is enjoying the change.

Rydan's first day of middle school. He said

Rydan’s first day of middle school. He said “only one picture, Mom.” So this is it.

Lily, on the other hand, has been very much looking forward to Kindergarten. She couldn’t get out of the door fast enough on Wednesday, and had a big smile on her face from the moment we left the house until the moment I said goodbye to her in her classroom. She absolutely adores her teacher, and has had nothing but good things to say about school. When I asked what her favorite part about Kindergarten is, she said “I love when my teacher reads stories.” Her biggest challenge will be eating breakfast before school and eating as much of her lunch as she can. Being more of a grazer than a meal person, this is a bit of a struggle at the moment.




Overall, it’s been a pretty good start to the school year for both of them!


03.26.15, 8:34 AM
Filed under: School Days | Tags: , ,

For the past few weeks, Rydan and his fellow fifth grade students have been studying Economics and learning the ins and outs of becoming a business owner, in preparation for the Entrepreneur Fair. Students had to come up with a good or service to sell, and could choose to work independently or team up with a partner.

Together, Rydan and his friend, Carson, formed C&R Tags, and decided to sell Minecraft Dog Tags. Their advertising method used a famous person, Marcus “Notch” Persson, Minecraft Creator, to help promote their dog tag necklaces, which are specially “Crafted For Your Neck.”

Part of their assignment was to design a poster for their business that included their business name, slogan, product, and prices.

Part of their assignment was to design a poster for their business that included their business name, slogan, product, and prices.

The boys had to borrow money from their parents to purchase supplies to make their products, and then come up with prices that would hopefully make them a profit.

Rydan and Carson’s product line consisted of dog tag necklaces, key chains and door hangers. Most of their tags featured Minecraft characters, but they also included a Minion and Olaf tag to attract female buyers.





Door Hangers.

Door Hangers.

On Tuesday evening, the Entrepreneur Fair was open to parents and students. Each business had a booth set up with their products for sale. Then on Wednesday during school, elementary students had another opportunity to purchase items.


Lily helped out by modeling the Olaf necklace.

Lily helped out by modeling the Olaf necklace.

FullSizeRender (15)

Carson’s very talented mother made t-shirts for them to wear.

This was a great learning experience for the students, as they learned a lot about what it’s like to be a business owner. C&R Tags ended up with a profit of $46, which was something to be proud of for both boys. Rydan burst through the door yesterday afternoon proudly holding his share of their profit, and handed me an envelope with the $30 loan I had given him to buy supplies. He was so excited about being able to pay me back and also have some money for his pocket.

Way to go, boys!

A Patriotic Performance

Last week, the third grade classes at Rydan’s school put on a Veteran’s Day Musical Performance for parents to come and enjoy.  This is the first time Rydan has taken part in any type of performance, so we were anxious to go watch him.

In honor of last week’s election and Veteran’s Day, Rydan and his classmates have been learning about all of the different symbols that represent the United States, as well as all of the things that make our country special.  The performance began with all six classes singing “America” together.  They looked so prepared and excited as they marched out in their jeans, white shirts and red bandanas.  Each class then sang a different song, and in between, a few students from each class read patriotic poems or showed off posters that they had made.

Rydan’s class sang “Lady Liberty,” complete with coordinated hand movements.  I could tell without a doubt that Rydan was enjoying himself.  All of the kids did a wonderful job, but Rydan was one of the few who stood there and bounced up and down and nodded his head to the beat as he sang.  I loved that he was having such a good time and wasn’t afraid to show it.

At the end of the performance, all six classes sang together again to the tune of “All American You & Me.”  As the song finished, we saw Rydan run off to the side and come back with a bouquet of roses for one of his music teachers.  He was so proud to have this job, which of course made us even more proud of him.

The students clearly put a lot of time and hard work into making this performance a success.  It was truly something special to watch them show off the patriotism they have in their hearts.

Back To School

Summer vacation is just about over. 

It’s back to school for Rydan this coming Wednesday, and with the cooler, fall-like weather we had this past weekend, it definitely feels like school is in the air.  Last week we paid a visit to Rydan’s school to meet his third grade teacher, Mr. Sauls.  Though he’s had a lot of fun during his first summer break in Kentucky, Rydan is eager to go back to Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and begin another school year.  With six third grade classes, we weren’t sure if Rydan would be in the same class as any of his second grade friends.  However, he was happy to see a few familiar faces inside of Mr. Sauls’ classroom.  I have no doubt that he’ll make even more new friends in no time at all.  He never stops surprising me at how easily he can adjust to new environments. 

So now it’s back to the “Mommy and Lily Show” Monday through Friday.  I am looking forward to getting back on track with our weekly story times at the library, more fall weather, which means pumpkin spice lattes and caramel apple spice at Starbucks.  Next month we plan to take a “Mommy and Me” Dance Class at the Lexington Dance Factory, so I’m sure that will be deserving of a Monday blog post.  In the meantime, stay tuned for a full report on Rydan’s first day of third grade!

A Star Moment, A Crazy Hair-Do & A Hayride

Last week at school Rydan enjoyed a proud moment, flaunted a crazy hair-do and had some fun on his very first hay ride.

Early in the week, he came home with a special “Star Student” certificate.  Rydan was very anxious to tell us about being awarded the certificate for doing exceptionally well in computer class that day. 

That was just the beginning of his excitement for the week.  With crazy hair day approaching on Friday, Rydan made sure to remind us every day that he needed to come up with a crazy hair idea.  So on Friday morning, Ryan and I sprayed half of his head red and the other half green.  When he came home from school that day, he said that everyone wanted to touch his colored hair, and that no one else had a crazy hair-do like his.

We then bundled up Lily and went to the Fall Festival at Rydan’s school, where he enjoyed some time on the playground with his friends, painted a pumpkin and played a few games.  The night ended with a hayride around the school’s yard, a first for both Rydan and Lily.

Books are twice as enjoyable when kids can make a personal connection to the storyline, so for this week’s post we found three books about each of these fun times that Rydan had at school. 

Stanley Birdbaum is one happy hamster. It’s his turn to be Star of the Week at school! He’s ready to share his favorite food, his favorite toy, and, most of all, his favorite thing to do. Unfortunately, the week doesn’t quite go as planned. His favorite food is, well . . . unusual. His favorite toy? It seems to be on the fritz. And sharing his favorite thing to do is scary, what with everyone staring and that bratty Polly Seedeater making mean remarks. But with a little encouragement from a good friend, Stanley summons his courage and gets his creative juices flowing. Now that’s star power! An earnest hamster’s moment in the spotlight is less than stellar – until a squiggly little line and a big burst of imagination let his true talents shine.

Stanley Birdbaum couldn’t be more excited–he has rolled and wrapped and dyed his hair. He has dipped it and sprayed it and made it, well, perfect. He’s ready to celebrate Crazy Hair Day at school. But When Stanley marches proudly into the classroom, he discovers, to his horror, that Crazy Hair Day is…next week. Poor Stanley. To make matters worse, today is School Picture Day–he’s expected to line up with his classmates for the class photo! What’s a young hamster to do? In this uplifting story of friendship and kindness, what starts out as a worst-ever experience takes a surprising turn as Stanley’s best friend, and classmate, concoct a creative show of solidarity.


The cubs want to hold a Halloween Festival to raise money to help save Farmer Ben’s floundering farm, but he’s reluctant. After all, no self-respecting farmer would turn his place into a theme park! Things get spooky when Ben’s long-dead ancestors show up. Will Ben’s farm go bust, or will the ghostly forbears come to the rescue?  

Marshmallow Report
11.16.09, 12:57 PM
Filed under: School Days | Tags: ,

Last week, Ryan and I had our first experience with a parent-teacher conference.  It was amazing to see the progress that Rydan has made in just under three months at school.  With only a three-and-a-half-hour day of kindergarten, it puzzles me as to how much he can truly learn in such a short amount of time each day.  However, as Ryan and I sat down in those teeny tiny chairs to talk with Mrs. Schwebel, the proof was on paper.

It was remarkable to see how Rydan wrote his name in September compared to how he writes his name now.  His writing is less shaky, and his letters are now recognizable.  We also saw self-portraits that Rydan drew each month.  In September, he was a pencil stick figure with a splash of red crayon.  In October, he was still a stick figure, but with a round green belly.  Now in November, he is a colorful vision with an entire body, facial features and clothing.  Comparing the three drawings was really interesting and made me smile.

It’s very easy to see that Rydan loves school.  He has many friends and countless stories to tell at the end of each day.  He barely has his foot in the door before he’s sitting at the kitchen table writing his letters and singing new songs.  He can write and read the words to, and, the, it, is, a, he, his, I, like, up, see, me, and my.  It seems like just yesterday that Ryan and I were searching for a lost “binky,” and now we’re searching for his favorite red pencil so that he can practice writing his “star words.”

Seeing how much Rydan has learned at school so far makes me very proud of him.  My little Marshmallow is not so little anymore.  Sometimes I like to go back and look at the photos from our “Marshmallow Mondays” to see how much Rydan has grown – physically, mentally and creatively.   Take a look at some of my favorite moments. 

When naptime still existed.


He could always make a costume out of anything.


I can still hear him giggling in this one.


She loves me, she loves me not.




Today, those chubby cheeks are gone.  His smile is even bigger.  He plays twice as hard.  He hugs a bit tighter.  His appetite is stronger.  But what I am most proud of him for, is his eagerness to learn and to share everything with the people he loves.

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