Ready For Kindergarten

I have a hard time believing that Abby is already old enough to start school and ready for kindergarten! It seems like yesterday I was announcing that I was finally a mom and shared the good news about finally becoming a family of three! Now I am spending my afternoons in the car rider pickup line waiting on a head full of curls to come bouncing out the front door of the school!

Our school system does a stagger start for the kindergarteners to help them adjust to the new schedule and new environment which I think is great. Her teacher was able to focus on 7 kids at a time and show them where everything goes and how everything works. God bless kindergarten teachers (and all teachers for that matter) for being able to handle the moods and drama of five year olds. I have one and I want to pull my hair out sometimes so I cannot begin to imagine dealing with 20. Especially 20 over-stimulated, over-tired five year olds the first couple weeks. When I did my student teaching (K-5 music), I had two classes of kindergarteners at a time (meaning 40-50 kids at a time) and I have no idea how I survived. I was much younger then. And a lot more healthy. Makes a difference.

Even with the migraines that have been plaguing me the last 4-6 weeks, I was determined to make the first day of school a special day. I am not an overly crafty person (creative but not crafty) so I took to Pinterest for some fun but simple ideas.

Is it just me or do you think the Pinterest era has created unrealistic expectations? That is another post for another day.

One of the things that I loved about Abby’s school is that they sent home a special card that had a poem and a little bag of confetti. The poem was about the first day of school and said that if you placed the confetti under your pillow you would have sweet dreams and great sleep to kick off the new year.

I think it worked:

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

 

Her first day started nice and early but once we got her fully awake, she was really excited about the day to come (none of the Millers are morning people). I printed off a First Day of Kindergarten chalkboard print and probably took a bazillion pictures on the front porch. I loved having the First & Last Day pictures from PreK to see how much she had grown! She picked out her first day of school outfit and chose a sparkly Twilight Sparkle skirt. The girl loves her sparkles and her Ponies (her cousin got her hooked). I also snuck out balloons to put in the backseat for her ride to school (that may have been her favorite part of the morning). John’s family had the tradition of going out for breakfast the first day of school every year so we were excited to do the same. When we got to school, she walked in like she owned the place:

Ready for Kindergarten

 

After school I had a little surprise waiting at home. We had a little “you survived the first day of kindergarten” party (maybe more like your mom and dad survived the first day of kindergarten).  I used the same picture frame from the morning pictures as the centerpiece and put a note, flashcards, and glitter on the table and attached a few streamers to the world’s most ugly chandelier (one day we will get around to replacing that horrid thing!).

Ready for Kindergarten

 

It was an absolutely memorable day and while there are tears with watching my baby girl grow up, I am also excited to see her grow into her own little person and to see what God has in store for her! Her first full week is next week so hopefully the excitement continues!

Do you have any special traditions with your children for the start of the year or did you have any special traditions growing up? Would love to hear about them!

When In Doubt, Just Add Glitter: A Fun-filled Glitter Photo Shoot

I have had my Nikon DSLR for a couple years now but I have not yet taken the leap to venture out of “auto” mode much. That is all about to change. I am determined to turn the dial to manual mode and learn to unleash the photography genius that exists outside of auto. I have built quite a Pinterest board on learning how to use my camera so I am starting to put it to use.

What better way to start than by having a glitter photo shoot with Abby and her cousins! We got the girls all decked out in their favorite princess dress and headed outside with handfuls of glitter!

 
Fun With Glitter Photo Shoot

Abby & Dorothy Anne

Fun With Glitter Photo Shoot

Queen Elsa

Fun With Glitter Photo Shoot

Rapunzel

 

Fun With Glitter Photo Shoot

Elsa Throwing Snow

 

Fun With Glitter Photo Shoot

Our little Tinkerbelle & her pixie dust! 

The girls had SO much fun! It will definitely be happening again! Maybe next time someone else can hold the camera so I can join in! Every girl wants to play in glitter!

As previously stated, I am a complete DSLR newbie and manual-mode-dummy so I had help figuring out camera settings so that the shoot would be successful! These 3 blog posts/articles were extremely helpful:

How to Photograph A Fist Full of Glitter In The Air

Capturing The New Year: How to Photograph Glitter

Glitter Portrait: How I Took It

Without the help of these posts, I definitely would not have figured out how to do it on my own but I will give these two tips:

1- Pick a sunny day but gage where the sun will be during picture time. I didn’t plan the best time and had a lot of squinting in pictures.

2- Use jumbo, iridescent glitter. I picked up both iridescent and silver at Walmart for $3 and ended up mixing the two. When I used just silver, it didn’t pick up as well.

When you need a pick-me-up,  take a moment, throw some glitter in the air, and enjoy!