Family Life, Homeschooling

First Day Back to School with a Free Cut File

Monday was actually our first day back to school.  This is a day that I was actually really excited about this year for a few reasons:

  1. Its Bradley’s first day of Kindergarten.
  2. We have a new school room at our new house.

It being Bradley’s first day of Kindergarten is actually bittersweet.  I am so proud of how far he has come, but its a reminder that he isn’t a baby anymore.  His baby years were so hard with all his health problems and developmental delays so now that he is doing great I want to hold on to him being little for as long as I possibly can.  I am sure Alyssa turning 13 this year doesn’t help my Mommy need to hold on to the being little for a little bit longer.

But we have been preparing for this day for some time now.  I had several books we have read over the last few weeks to help get him ready for the first day of school.  We have read “Watch Out Kindergarten, Here I Come”, “Curious George First Day of School” and “Berenstain Bears Go Back to School”.  Bradley has really enjoyed reading each of these books and it has definitely set the stage for him as to what was to be expected with school.  Now of course his day is different because of us homeschooling, but the books really did help prepare him.  Although I did cry the night before his first day reading “Watch Out Kindergarten, Here I Come”.

First Day of School-1

Another thing I did this year to prepare for the first day of school was I made each of the children personalized shirts.  I wanted a shirt that they could all wear and matching when we go on a field trip, but if they don’t outgrow it before next school year (I did go up a size for the big kids) I wanted them to still be able to wear it next year too.  So I didn’t put their grade on it.

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All of their shirts are the same color, but I let each child pick out his/her writing color.  Yes, Bradley picked out pink.  It is his favorite color for those of you who didn’t know that.

The front of their shirts say “My School is So Private You have to be Born into It”.  I designed this cut file in silhouette studio.  Today I am sharing my free cut file with you that you can download here.  This is a silhouette studio file and I am not sure about converting it to work with a cricut.  Please remember all file downloads and printables are free FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.  No commercial use or redistribution is permitted.  This means that you can use the files to make things for yourself or as gifts but you are NOT permitted to sell any items you create with the files.  You also may not sell or share the files themselves.

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The back of their shirts say “Class Of” then the year they graduate.  This is where each shirt is rather different, but still the same and personalized.

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Finally, I am pretty much done with our school room!!  I am so excited to show it to you so make sure to come back tomorrow to see it!!

First Day of School-2

Family Life

What is your Why??

I read this book called “Start with Why“.  Its been on my list of books to read for a long time now.  I really can’t remember where I first heard about it, that caused me to be interested in reading.  But I am so glad I did finally read it.  I read this book for business purposes, but came away from it with so much more.

Start with Why

Everyone has a why.  Every company has a why.  But the question is are you living your why?  Is the companies why clear by the way the operate?

After reading this book I got to really thinking about my “why” in life.  You see for some time now I have been less than lovin’ life.  So many times I have said I like the song “That Don’t Song Like You” by Lee Brice because I relate to that song so much.  But after reading this book I realized I can relate to it because I forgot my “why”.  Life get so complicated and so busy that we seem to forget about what is important.

After reading “Start with Why” and thinking about my life, I realize what makes me happy in life are the simpler things.  If you have ever asked me what my favorite gift is that my husband gave me it would be the CD of songs he gave me our first Valentine’s together that are how he feels about me.  Its probably one of the simplest gifts he could ever give me, but it has so much mean.  What are some of my favorite memories in life??  Saturday breakfast at my Mamaw and Papaw’s house with all my family, going on walks at 2 a.m. and just enjoying nature, going mud riding and getting stuck, waiting forever on the fishing line to sink so I could catch that huge fish with my grandfather, playing Mexican Train after dinner, hanging out at the play ground or the pool and watching the children play, listening to my Dad talk about his childhood, watching my Dad build a chicken coop, trying to drive the gator, waking up to the sunrise over looking the water.  Not all of those things are from my childhood, a lot of them are from adulthood.  But so many times we forget to slow down and enjoy those things.

My new why is “a simpler life”.  Less stuff, a smaller house and more experiences.  What makes life simple??  Over the next months and years you are going to see a lot more of making my life simpler.  You are going to see my sharing a simpler life with everyone and enjoying more of lives little moments with my husband, kids, parents, parents in love, dogs and siblings.

I didn’t expect to get so much out of this book that would relate to my blog, but what I was really looking to learn more about was how to grow Anderson Puppy Palace.  I may share my why for my business over there too.  =)

Family Life

Alyssa Turned 13

Happy 13th Birthday to my baby girl!!  How did that happen??  I am telling you that I just brought her home from the hospital yesterday, how is she already 13??  Don’t blink because they grow up way too fast.

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For Alyssa’s birthday this year she wanted a Harry Potter themed party and she wanted to have it at the beach (you know since we just moved to a private lake, and we have our own private beach).  So I searched Pinterest to find all the prefect stuff.  I even put together a board on Pinterest that is Harry Pottery inspired.  So if you are planning a Harry Potter birthday party, make sure and check it out.

The first thing that I found that was very helpful (and free) was Harry Potter inspired fonts.  I didn’t use all of them, but I did use several of them in making my invitations and my menu which was inspired by the menu at Kara’s Party Ideas.

Alyssa Turns 13-10

Now one of the next things I searched for was free printables for all of my decorating and goody bags.  I found these awesome free printables over at The Quiet Grove.  I tried to get the link from their site and it was giving an error message.  But hopefully it will be back up and working again soon.  I used the letters for the “Welcome Muggles” banner, the school flags on the tables and the goody bags.

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Now as far as the table set up, I got this cute idea from this picture.

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The food we severed was mostly inspired by the menu I found at Kara’s Party Ideas, with a few changes.  I also added Polyjuice Potion Punch and Butter Beer.  I wanted everyone to know exactly what was in the drinks before they made a decision about what they wanted to drink.  I don’t have a link to the butter beer recipe someone gave me, but it was a butterscotch disk, butterscotch syrup and cream soda.  It was a big hit with the kids!!

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Of course we had to have golden snitches!!

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The cupcakes were made following Sweetest Kitchen’s cupcakes for her Harry Potter themed party.

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I made quills for all the guest.  I just used black pens that we picked up at Wal-Mart and some feathers that I already had in my craft supplies and some black electrical tape to attach the feathers to the pens.  The goody bags included magic wands, levitating lemon heads and jelly slugs which was all ideas I had found on different Pinterest round ups.

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For Alyssa’s outfit, she asked for a red and gold swimsuit.  I looked everywhere for one.  I looked for a solid red swimsuit and I would add gold heat transfer vinyl to the swimsuit and I couldn’t find any.  So finally I decided I would sew her a swimsuit.  I used Create Kid’s Couture’s pattern Ursula.  I didn’t make the skirt.  Then for the shirt I used the free fonts I had downloaded to cut out the wording Alyssa wanted on the front and back of the shirt.

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I made the photo set up from this idea.  I didn’t get pictures of everyone like I wanted, but I did get one of the birthday girl and a few others.  Keeping everyone out of the water was not easy.

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One gift I really want to share with everyone is this Stampy Cat stuffed animal I got her.  I have been asked where I got it so I want to make I share that with everyone.  Alyssa is a huge Stampy Cat fan and has been for years.  I searched everywhere for a Stampy Cat stuffed animal and I finally found one on Etsy.  I got it from Tina Bee and you can find it here.  She absolutely loved it!!  I wish I had a video of her opening it because she screamed when she saw it she was so excited.

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Then here are a few other pictures I took of family with Alyssa!!  I meant to get more, but that would have meant getting everyone out of the water and that was not an easy task!!

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Family Life

We Moved!!

Sorry I haven’t been around in a while, we moved and it has been a nightmare!! I think life is ((hopefully)) going to quit kick my booty soon. Well really this house has been kicking my booty.

We Moved

It all started when we got an offer on our previous house and it was exactly what we need except for one thing…we needed to put an offer in on a new house ASAP and we had been looking for months without any luck. We would find houses we “liked”, but nothing we “loved”.

We finally were able to work out a deal on a house. It had the room we wanted, was in the area we wanted to be in and was in our budget. That was really about it. We really didn’t realize how much this house was lacking that we wanted till after we moved in. Closing was a nightmare!!! We were homeless for about a week, but I’ll tell you more about that later. But we finally moved it!! At like midnight in the middle of the week.
The week we moved in everything went wrong. One of our air units broke (that was 3 months ago and we are STILL fighting to replace it). We have had to gut a closet, build all new duck work and cut new vents in the ceiling. Luckily we do have a unit that is cooling one end of our house and we have window unit in the other end, but it’s still hot on that end!! A window unit doesn’t cool a room with a 350* heat press going!!

Our water pressure is a joke!! If someone is using water in one room no one can use water in the rest of the house. Don’t flush the toilet or there goes everyone’s water pressure. Of course, this is really the least of our problems.

We HAD three bathrooms! My master bathroom is nice, other than the fact we need to run another outlet to use the jetted bathtub because the breaker trips every time I use it. The girls’ bathroom needs a new toilet. It was running all the time and it really doesn’t flush well. The boys’ bathroom needs to be gutted (next big project). The toilet is the same at the girls’ toilet, but the bad part was the shower. It is leaking and we are not completely sure where. Turning the water to the shower off didn’t work, we had to cut those lines and cap them. So everyone takes a shower in my bathroom and it takes FFOORREEVVEERR!!! Don’t even get me started on everyone needing to potty.

We need to paint!! When we worked out the contract on the house our plan was to paint as soon as we were out of school for the summer. However, air in 90* Alabama heat is ranking higher than painting. The walls in this house are closing in on me though. Someone who suffers from depression does NOT paint walls dark chocolate and crimson red and every other dark color you can find. It’s bad!! I’ll show you with my house tour.

But we did finish our school year!! Being settled in our house with all our stuff really has helped me with school a lot. Public school is no longer a thought. We enjoyed the end of our school year and as soon as our dining room/school room is painted I will be setting it up for our next school year!!

But now that we have moved I am back!! I have a house tour coming up for y’all and I am going to start weekly menu planning and weekly to do post.

Oh there is one big plus to this house…we live on a private lake with our own beach!!