Welcome to Kindergarten!

From August 5 – 9…..

Every year our church has a special part of the service at the beginning of the school year dedicated to prayers of safety for students and they hand out Bibles for each new kindergartner.  And this year we had a kindergartner!

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She was mighty proud of her new Adventure Bible!

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I ran some errands and took the girls with me – they were handing out M&M fanny packs outside Kroger and they were all in.

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The following week was “Kindergarten Phase In” – a terrible week in our county where the big kids are back in school full time and the kindergarten kids go off and on – a total of two half days and a one hour entrance test.  They can’t ride the bus and there’s no extended care for them – a working families worst nightmare since all the summer camps have ended all over town.

On Monday we went for Abbi’s entrance test.  She got to meet her teacher – Ms Oland – see where she sits, see the classroom and the teacher gets to ask a few questions to see what types of things she already knows.  We got to walk around the classroom and see all the kids names in her class.  She didn’t end up with any of her best friends from preschool or church, but she did end up having a LOT of church kids in her class.  Her class started with just 16 kids (they’re up to 18 now) and 6 of them (including Abbi) go to church with her.  Three of those kids are in her same small group so she knows them pretty well and was glad to at least have several familiar faces.

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Proud to be a Lipscomb Bear!

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They’ve even started giving out these fun yard signs to all the new kindergarten kids and she was so proud of this sign. Such a cute way to celebrate the fun start of a school career.

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The girls started their new dance classes.  Abbi’s class was half Tap and half Ballet.  As much as she likes to dance she didn’t know anyone in class and she missed her old teacher from PreK – so she didn’t enjoy it.

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On the other hand, Lilli was all in to her new class – a mix of Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary.

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I did find a Drop In Mother’s Day Out program Abbi went to two days during her phase in week.  Their gymnastics studio runs a Mothers Day Out during the day and you can drop in twice per week for most of the work day.  A few of her old preschool friends also went and she had a blast.  After I picked her up one day we stopped in at Starbucks for a special treat.

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And finally it was time for her first half day of Bear Camp! On this day just the girls in her class went and spent the morning in kindergarten.  She was SO excited to finally have her own sign and asked if we could keep her sign forever.

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And she was very proud of her fancy new outfit from Justice.

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Posing with her kindergarten backpack before we left.  The kindergarten kids have to take these awful tote bags all year – I can’t wait for her to have something that zips!

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They all got to bring their favorite stuffed animal for the first day to help them feel more comfortable.

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That day Mrs Becca picked up Abbi – she was one of her old PreK teachers who does something else now and had that day free.  She picked her up from school and took her out to the movies and they had the best time.

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After the movie they went to the mall and played around in Ulta.  She even bought her this bright lipstick.  Abbi had a great time with her and loves Mrs Becca so much!

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We’d had a cat on our porch lately that we were trying to feed – and all of a sudden we started having this tiny little possum.  He was so adorable! We named him Charlie Puth and fed him for a few weeks before deciding it probably wasn’t great to have a possum hanging around.

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He really didn’t mind us watching him.

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And he didn’t mind us reading to him either.

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Welcome to 4th Grade

From Aug 5 – 10…..

The girls went for their traditional last few days of summer at Granny Camp.  Like usual it kicked off with a trip to Walmart to get all the junk food and sweets we won’t buy them at home.

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They had a great time at Granny Camp playing baby dolls and relaxing before the school year kicked off.

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And just like that summer break was over – for Lilli anyway – and it was time to get back to school.  Her year started with a half day on Friday.  She picked out a more casual look for her first day – one of the cold shoulder tops and some cute shorts from Justice.  She had me straighten her hair and of course we had to get several first day of school pictures.

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Such a big change from her first day of kindergarten! Just two more years and it’s off to middle school.

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Meeting her teacher for the year – Mrs Duncan.  She has Mrs Duncan for Math and Science, and swaps to Mrs Hintz for English and Social Studies.

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There are 28 kids in her class this year which just seems nuts.  Instead of 5 sections they only have 4 sections for 4th grading taking her class size from usually around 22 or so up to 28.

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But the most exciting thing was being reunited with her BFF Reese – they’re back in the same class again this year and so thrilled.  At the beginning of the year their desks were pretty close to each other.  She has a good group of girls in her class this year and has made a lot of new friends, too.  And the little boy who lives on our street is also in her class again, they haven’t been together since kindergarten.

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Since kindergarten didn’t start for several more days and Abbi didn’t have anywhere to be she came with me to take Lilli on her first day and help her get settled in and unpacked.  Abbi found it all very exciting – I think Lilli was ready for us to go.

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When we picked up Lilli from her half day we surprised them both with a trip to Above All to celebrate the new school year.  They have tons of ninja courses, trampolines and all kinds of aerial fun.  The girls love it.

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It wasn’t too horribly crowded so the girls were able to jump and flip and bounce pretty wide open in the larger spaces.

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This was the first time we’ve taken Abbi and she took right to it – we all love the trapeze – the girls make it looks so easy but it’s definitely a workout playing at Above All!

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The ninja area is always a big favorite for us all.

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Lots of good sweaty fun!

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That evening we had signed up to help break the World Record for simultaneous Smores Making.  The Girl Scouts in our area were having a big event to try and break a world record.  It was a heavily monitored event – tons of rules about when you could enter the area and exactly how it all had to be done.  The Guinness Book team was there and watching over everything to make sure it followed rules, so it ended up being a long event for a very short attempt.  We still don’t know if we broke the record.  The attempt was for everyone to be making it at the same time, so we spent about 2 hours getting ready for a less than one minute event to actually make only 1 smore each.

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By the time all the fires were lit they were all starting to go out all over the place.  The whole thing was kind of a mess.

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But we all finally got to make one Smore – and then eat it.

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Well, everyone except one person.  There was a minimum age requirement – that Abbi didn’t meet.  So she couldn’t make one or participate – which we didn’t know about before hand.  So, the agony of defeat was real.  And she wouldn’t even entertain eating one of ours.  But now that she’s a big Daisy herself if we ever do this again it should be a very different story!

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Fair Day!

From August 4 –

Going to the Williamson County Fair every year is always one of our very favorite things to do.  We usually go with friends, but this year with the way school started and the way the fair fell we had to go on a Saturday instead of one evening.  We got there as soon as it opened and bought the pass for rides for the first half of the day thinking it might be less busy (and it was).  We were all really excited to ride some rides, even if we knew they wouldn’t be quite to the Hershey Park level from earlier in the summer.

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There was no line at all for the Cyclops so I jumped on.  And ended up riding it completely alone which was so strange! And it’s really strange to want to scream when you’re the only person on a ride.  Definitely more fun with friends!

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Lilli and I rode the giant swings.

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And Lilli and Brent did the Ferris Wheel – I’ve never been a big fan of the open Ferris Wheel!

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Even though Abbi is definitely not a short girl there’s still quite a few things she wasn’t quite tall enough to ride.  So she would stand and sadly watch nearby…..

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It was just so, so hot – which is quite normal for the middle of the day in August in the South.  We wanted to ride nonstop but had to take breaks inside and would enjoy the farm stuff and other exhibits.  We hated missing out on the short lines but it was just blistering hot with no shade.

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We enjoyed all the animals and seeing all the different award winning chickens, pigs and more.  And these baby pigs were too stinking cute.

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The girls wanted to ride this little enclosed spinning ride.  It was so insanely hot inside it – it was basically like sitting inside an oven.

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One last picture in case we all passed out from heat stroke.

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Brent and the girls rode the slide – the slide is one of very few things I won’t ride.  I’m there for all the spinning and flipping – but not a bumpy slide.

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Once our ride passes expired we let the girls each play a game so they can win some major prizes.

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We went in and watched a horse show for a bit – but it was also like sitting inside a hot oven.

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And we spent some time inside the expo center and did some of the kid crafts and other games they had set up before we headed out for the day.  It was really nice to have an entire day to spend there, so often when we go at night we don’t see any of the exhibits or get to see as many of the animals as we did that day.  It was another great day at the fair and we can’t wait to go again next August.

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Pony Camp

From August 3rd –

They always have a parent show on the final afternoon of Camp Widji but we’ve never gone because it’s typically camp songs/chants and not really something where the kids get to show you what they did.  But, with them both doing things at the Ranch side of the camp this year the girls were getting to show off things they’d learned – which for Abbi meant showing up her new pony riding skills.  The camp isn’t horribly far from Brent’s work so he went to see them.

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Their showcases were at the same time so the nice counselors let Abbi skip so Brent could see both of them before the showcases were over.  I mean – how adorable!

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This picture made me want to get her a pony immediately.  I think we have enough yard for a cute little pony.  I’m so glad she had a great time.  This summer she’s doing the same Pony Camp again and several of her preschool and school friends are also going the same week so she’ll have a lot of friends to ride the bus with and be in the same group as.

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Over at Farm Camp Lilli got to show them everything she’d learned about working on the farm and the various animals she got to take care of – pigs, chicken, goats and more.

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And she got to walk him around the garden and show him the things they’d planted and worked on.

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And Lilli got THE big award – the Purple Pony goes to one boy and one girl in the entire Ranch camp and is voted on by the counselors for the person who is the kindest to all the animals and all the other campers.  It’s a huge award and Abbi was really jealous – not so much of the award and what it signified – but because it also came with a lollipop.

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Their end of week counselor notes:

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And Abbi’s from Pony Camp:

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We went to Kroger that night to see if we could get Abbi a lollipop.  This one had the cute little buggies so of course they each had to push one.

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We also ran in to At Home and Abbi found some chainsaws decor she could really get into.

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Camp Widji

From July 28 – Aug 2

On Saturday morning after we ate breakfast we headed to pick up the girls from Granny Camp, but stopped at Devil’s Backbone to do another hike from our local TN hiking book.  It was a really primitive area – no restrooms and the trail itself was obviously not traveled very much.

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It was covered in spider webs and Brent had to keep clearing it as we walked so we wouldn’t be covered in spiders.

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Overall it was really just a narrow wooded trail, there wasn’t really all that much of anything to look at.  And when we got back to the parking lot we discovered we were COVERED in small seed ticks.  As soon as we got to the Spears’ house we took showers to get them off – it was that bad!

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It was tax free weekend so on our way back we stopped at the mall for two brand new back to school outfits.  Both girls got a few cute things at Justice and some new tennis shoes.

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We saw a new Dragon’s kiosk in the mall – it’s these puff balls that have nitrogen on them so it looks like a dragon breathing when you eat it.  They’re crazy expensive and we didn’t want to pay for it – but Lilli wanted it bad enough she pitched in some money to try it.

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You have to blow on it first so it doesn’t freeze your throat (really) and then as you first chew on it smoke comes out your nostrils and mouth.  It really doesn’t taste all that good but it was fun an entertaining.  If you ate it too fast your mouth was definitely cold.

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It was a lot of fun and I’m glad we tried it once.  Since then it’s been deemed unsafe so I don’t think you can get it anywhere.  Ha!

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Abbi had her kindergarten social at the park.  Mostly she just played with her preschool and church friends, so I’m not sure how much socializing happened.  At that point we didn’t even know who her teacher was going to be much less who would be in her class.

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She and Piper played in the creek.  Lilli didn’t really see any older siblings there that she knew.

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And then it was time for their final camp of the summer – the one and only Widji! I was a little nervous if Abbi would like it or not – they board a bus near our house and ride about 45 minutes out to Percy Priest Lake to camp.  It’s a very large camp with kids coming from all over town on a lot of buses – so I was nervous it would overwhelm her after some of our unsuccessful experiences earlier in the summer.  She and Lilli were both signed up to be on the Ranch side – Lilli wanted to do Farm Camp and Abbi was signed up for Pony Camp.

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And she LOVED it! This is how she looked after Day 1 when the bus came back.  A big, hot, campy mess.  She made a sweet friend from California and had a great time riding tiny ponies.  Every afternoon they’d also do other camp activities like swimming, fishing, arts/crafts, boating and all kinds of other fun stuff.  You know you had a great day when there’s dirt all over your face and your hair is a mess!

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Summer Life

From July 21 – 27….

I took the girls out to register them for dance class and we had a fun little morning out.  I had finally found a studio where they could both take dance class at the same time.  I signed Lilli up for a Jazz/Contemporary class and a Ballet/Tap class for Abbi.  We ran by and got new dance shoes for both of them and some Starbucks treats at Barnes and Noble.

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Poor Brent was stuck at home working on the fence, making progress with the posts.

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That night we took both girls to Carmax for a little fun.  It’s pretty much their favorite thing to do for fun.

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I think Lilli was fond of this one.

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The following week the girls went to Granny Camp for the week.  For the most part we just go to work, cook dinner at home, and then we’ll head out and take a walk on the greenway.

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Meanwhile, Carolyn was getting quite a makeover.

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My old building was a big pile of rubble.

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The girls had a good time playing around with all the big “toys”.

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And of course lots of Sonic was had!

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We headed out to try Hattie B’s one night.  They’re one of the most popular hot chicken places in town and it was our first time to go there.

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It was really good and we even ran into one of Lilli’s old preschool teachers from when she was just a little two year old.

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Getting Artsy

From July 15-20….

One night we decided to relax and have a family movie night.  We don’t watch much TV, and especially in the summer, but we thought it would be fun. Until I chose Turner and Hooch, and old 90s movie that I remembered as just being a funny movie about a cop and his huge dog who drooled a lot – and it did end up being that – but in the end the dog also got shot and died.  This led to a lot of crying – and even though we tried to convince Abbi the dog is just an actor and was fine – she didn’t believe us.  We even showed her videos online of the dog alive – but nothing worked.  Except Benadryl a few hours later.

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A game of Headbandz is a much better idea…..

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That week the girls went to an art camp at Vanderbilt.  It was our first time to do that camp and they both loved it.  During drop off they were able to go in together and play, then split off to their age groups.  It was so easy – I’d drop them off in the morning and they were brought back out to my car in the afternoon.  They also got to eat lunch together and have some outdoor playtime together.

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He’s pretty comfortable around us.

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They were covering up the last of the Lifeway building for implosion that week.  This was one where I’d worked for five of my ten years there.

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One night we packed a picnic and headed to the park to eat and play.

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Little sis is getting really good on the monkey bars!

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We got a new game where you can bounce the balls into the tubs – which is much more difficult when a sister is in a tub.

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We only got one peach off our tree this year, but we definitely enjoyed the one we got.

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Their last day of art camp.  Lilli wanted to wear her Vandy shirt and decided that week she loved campus there and wants to go to Vandy.  We’ll see!

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That afternoon they brought home a ton of work they’d made.  Their theme that week was Africa – so they’d made all sorts of African themed crafts.  Lilli did larger projects that took more time, while Abbi made a ton of smaller crafts.

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From drawing to pottery and crafts – they did a little bit of everything.  They’re excited to go back this summer with several of their friends.

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