Happy Birthday: 3 Going on 19

Heeey, Matty-roo.

I’m at a loss for words for you this year. It’s been such a fun year! But you already know that. I enjoy spending time with you. But you already know that. I’m so proud of the little man you’re becoming, and you’re a joy to everyone you meet. But as you’re quick to tell everyone, you already know that, too.

You’re becoming more adventurous–you dove headfirst (literally) into a bouncy house last weekend without a glance backwards. You’ve made it to the highest part of the play structures twice now. You rode the log flume FOUR times at Kings Island (even though I had to “hold you tight”). Heck, you’re even open to trying new foods lately. Adventure and new experiences are fun–keep that in mind.

On a parting note, you turn more and more into your father everyday. I’ll let you determine how you feel about that.

Love you bunches,


Your Year In Review

An Interview: Much Better Than Last Year

The Obligatory 1st Day of School Pic



This morning, my facebook feed was filled with cute kids with oversized backpacks, funny back to school videos, and touching accounts of kiddos off to their first days of school.  And I cried at every. single. one. Shoot me.

Although we’ve done a few activities this week, today was our first “official” day, too. With lesson plans and every thing. So yes, I made Matthew pose for the obligatory pictures (not that he minded).

“Take a picture of me jumping!”

“Take a picture of me ticklin’ you!”

“Take a picture of my butt!!”

Ok, Buddy. Whatever you want. Just keep being this agreeable–we’ve got lots of learnin’ to do.


Our Home School Room

Montessori Inspired home school room for preschool

While house shopping, one of the things we kept on our must-have list was ample space for a school room. Eventually I’d like to add a couple of kids to our routine, so it was important that we have a large, safe space. In the new house, it turns out that the perfect space is the living room. We have a separate family room, as well as a man cave/playroom in the basement, so we didn’t really need this formal space.

The walls were already painted this color, and the curtains were left by the previous owner. Both turned out to work really well, saving me a lot of time and effort! A quick “shopping trip” around the house for unused furniture and a not-so-quick trip to IKEA left me with one cute school room and one very happy little boy!

montessori home school room

Since we’re doing Montessori, I wanted to have various spaces to delineate materials (math, language arts, practical life, etc.). The bookcases we already had in our old living room and don’t fit in the new house, and they work really well to hold trays and other materials.  I still have some organizing to do because I just put every thing on the shelves as they came out of the moving boxes.

montessori home school room for preschool. ikea billy bookcase

The baskets in the Expedit Kallax hold music instruments and unused materials (and cats, apparently).

Montessori home school room for preschool

In front of the window is another small workstation for explorations. Right now he’s growing aloe vera and a cactus. Every time he gets a scrape he loves to come in and break off some aloe to wipe on.

Montessori home school room for preschool

We also have a little writing area. He has pencils and note cards in the desk drawer, along with chalk for the chalkboard. Both the desk and vintage chalkboard with garage sale finds!

montessori home school room for preschool

I wasn’t using this old scrapbooking storage anymore, so I put it here to hold craft supplies and miscellaneous stuff. And that’s exactly what it’s doing–acquiring stuff. I’m on the hunt for something better here, but it works for now.

I left the larger wall open for pocket charts, calendar, and display boards.  This is all stuff I already had from teaching, including the bulletin boards, with the exception of the cute weather set. I still have some work to do on the makeshift calendar, but I’m sure as we delve deeper into learning things will move around quite a bit anyway.

home school room

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the work table situation. I wanted to something big enough to do crafts and for possible multiple kids, but small enough to leave some floor space for sensory boxes and circle time.  The IKEA Sansad finally won out. I bought two of them and put them together. It leaves flexibility to move them around later  as well. I also like that it has additional leg pieces to extend the height as Matthew gets bigger, so this table should last a long while. It’s really, really sturdy and wipes clean well.

montessori homeschool room preschool

I love how much natural light is in the room, and the fact that it’s separate but not so far away that Matthew doesn’t want to work in there. In fact, he LOVES it in there.