We thought it would be a nice gesture to start the school year off with a gift for the teacher. Unfortunately, I started thinking about what it would be a little too late, so I didn’t do what I really wanted to. We did buy a bottle of hand sanitizer and decided to add the teacher’s initial and Little Monkey picked out a flower to add to it. A little bit of cutting on the Cricut and the gift was done. Nice and quick and we know it will get used! The teacher was grateful for the gift and surprised at the personal touch.
This week, Little Monkey headed back to school for his first day of first grade. He was very excited to go to his new class. We discovered that he doesn’t have any friends from his last class in his class this year but he says he will make new friends.
After getting Little Monkey to his class, Little Monkette didn’t want to leave him! She’s been begging all summer for him to go back to school but then wouldn’t leave him there. She wanted to color a picture like all the other kids were doing. Once I got her back home, she was okay with him being at school until we were at the gym. He was only gone three hours and she was ready to have him back home again! She does love her brother!
When we were back at the house, I thought it would be fun to do a line up of the first day of school for the past three years. It is amazing to see how much he has grown!
I am excited to line up 13 years of first days for him! So far he likes first grade but says they eat lunch really late. He is glad that they get to have a snack in class.
Little Monkey has asked many times to go to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and climb all the way to the top! I have told him before that he would need Big Monkey to take him because I wasn’t planning on climbing up there. I don’t really like being high up, so the lighthouse was not at all appealing to me. Lucky for Little Monkey, his Grammy decided we should go last week while we were staying at the beach. Big Monkey was out of the country on a mission trip, so he wasn’t available to climb the lighthouse. Bad news for me because Grammy’s knee wasn’t going to allow her to climb all the way to the top.
Once Little Monkey and I made it all the way to the top, I took a picture of us up against the Lighthouse. I then decided that no one would care to see the black paint of the Lighthouse, so we took another one with the beach in the background.
While we were up there, we tried to grab a picture of Little Monkette and Grammy waiting for us down at the bottom. I hadn’t thought about it until after they had taken our picture so they were already on the move.
The climb up wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It is 203 steps to the top. The biggest issue is how hot it is in the lighthouse. At some of the windows there would be a small breeze but that was it. I was sweating before making it all the way up (And we weren’t charging up the stairs like we do at the gym!) The climb back down was a little more difficult but not too bad. As I stood close to the inside edge, but not too close, I stretched my arms out and took a picture of the staircase with my phone.
Overall, it was a fun experience and I’m glad Little Monkey finally got his wish! I don’t think I’ll need to climb up there any more but at least now I can say that I have done it. If you are ever in the Ponce Inlet area, you might want to check out the Lighthouse too!
Every year I think, we should really dress up and get free food at Chick-fil-a for Cow Appreciation Day. And then it comes along every year and we don’t go. This year I decided we were going to make it happen! I printed the first page of Chick-fil-a’s costume kit which included ears and noses/mouths. I taped the ears to hair clips for easy use. Next we cut out black spots from construction paper. We taped those onto white shirts. I also made Little Monkey and Little Monkette each a sign similar to the Chick-fil-a cow’s sign.
Since Little Monkey can’t eat chicken, I made him a special PKU friendly sign for fries and fruit. Who knows, maybe we’ll help Chick-fil-a start a new PKU friendly marketing campaign!
Shortly after we sat down to eat our food, the Chick-fil-a cow came out. The kids were SO excited. They hopped right up from the table to meet him. They got hugs, high fives and a photo op! The cow hung around for awhile, greeting people outside, going through the drive thru line, sneaking up on people eating or waiting in line, taking orders, handing out orders in the drive thru and sitting with other people who were eating. Every time Little Monkette saw the cow she would wave and often he would wave back (except when he was outside and she swore he did see her though!)
There were a few people eating in the restaurant (we got there about 4:15 to avoid the dinner crowd-turned out to be a great idea!) that were not aware of Cow Appreciation Day. One guy even asked me if something special was happening today. I told him about the event and assured him that we didn’t regularly dress like cows (Yes I was dressed like a cow too! Hello! It was FREE food!)
I would say dressing up for Cow Appreciation Day is worth it. We had fun and got to have great food for free. We didn’t spend any money on our costumes. Everything we used was stuff we had on hand. I’ve entered the kids picture into Chick-fil-a’s Cow Appreciation Day photo contest. Once I know the link of where to vote, I’ll post it here so you can go vote for them!
Update! I got the link to vote for the kids!! Please go give them your vote! Click Here! Thanks.
A while back, I pinned this idea of Jolly Rancher Lollipops on Pinterest. I thought they would be a fun summer activity because they are phe-free, making them perfect for Little Monkey.
The directions said to put the Jolly Ranchers on parchment paper and cook at 200 degrees for 5 minutes.
We put the Jolly Ranchers in sets of three onto the parchment paper.
Then we put them into the oven for 5 minutes at 200 degrees. Only problem, they didn’t melt. So we put them in longer. We ended up cooking them for about 12 minutes. As soon as they came out of the oven, we put the lollipop sticks into them.
We probably could have cooked them a little bit longer but it worked out. I would also recommend using smaller lollipop sticks. We used these because we already had them on hand.
Little Monkey liked the project and it was quick and easy. Little Monkey was even more excited about the project when he found out that not only could he have the lollipops, but they are also phe free! Yay for a fun summer project for my little pku-er!
I’d seen this idea on Pinterest and thought it could be fun to make with Little Monkey. This weekend he will be having two friends spend the night so I thought it would be the perfect time to try it out. We decided a test run was in order to make sure we had it figured out. I looked at two different tutorials and then we did what worked best for us. I did find 12 packs of sponges at Walgreens for $2.99. The scissors and twine we had on hand. I’m also thinking fishing line might work well but I couldn’t find any tonight.
First we cut the sponges in half long ways and then in half again, making four pieces out of each sponge. One blog had used 16 pieces of sponge to make their ball and the other used just 8. I thought we’d try with 12 to start.
When we went to tie the twine around them, it didn’t really work out very well. So we decided to back down to 8 pieces.
The next step is to take a little bit of twine and tie a super tight knot right around the center of the stack. Make a double knot (or heck even a triple knot if you want) and then check out your new sponge ball.
You can move the sponge pieces around a little bit to make the ball shape a little better. We took the sponge ball out to the pool and filled it up with water. To show Little Monkey how it worked, we tossed it over to the deck where water came gushing out. Little Monkey thought it was great! I can’t wait to make more when the boys come over this weekend. I think we’ll play with them in the pool and see if we can make up some crazy games to play too!
For Friday, it was suggested that you send in anything special for the teacher that you wanted to. Little Monkey’s class was going on a field trip so I thought a nice refreshing treat after the field trip would be great. Thanks to sending in our teacher questionnaire at the beginning of school, we knew that Little Monkey’s teacher’s favorite drink was a Slurpee! Not an answer I was expecting to see on the paper, but a fun one for sure! We picked up a $5 gift card to 7-11 and attached it to the straw of an empty Slurpee cup. Little Monkey also picked out some flowers for his teacher to put in her pencil vase from the first day of school. (She has kept it at school all year and we have sent in flowers three times now to fill it.)
Once again I forgot to get a picture of Little Monkey with his presents. He had to be at school an hour early to go on the field trip, so we were a little pressed for time! The week after Teacher Appreciation Week, Little Monkey received a very nice handwritten letter from his teacher thanking him for all of his very thoughtful gifts during the week.
For Day 4, it was suggested that we send in a candy bar for the teacher. Little Monkey’s teacher’s favorite candy bar is just plain chocolate. We picked up a Hershey bar for her at the store and found the printable below to wrap around it (Nothing But Country). Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of Little Monkey with the candy bar.
For Day 3 of Teacher Appreciation week, it was suggested that we bring in some sort of baked good, either homemade or store bought. Since we had been going to the gym a lot, doing the 24 day challenge, we were trying to keep baked goods out of the house. We picked up some small chocolate chip cookies (Little Monkey’s teacher’s favorite cookies) from Target’s bakery and put them into a ziploc bag. I found some clip art of a chocolate chip cookie and added the sentence, “Thanks for making me into a smart cookie.” We printed the label on card stock and stapled it to the top of the ziploc bag.
Tuesday’s Teacher Appreciation idea was to send in flowers, either real or fake. Little Monkey and I decided to make his teacher some flower pens. I was able to get the supplies I needed at the Dollar Tree. We picked out some pretty lilies, Little Monkey’s teacher’s favorite flower. A little bit of floral tape and wrapping around the pens and they were ready for a pot of soil, or in our case, pinto beans.
We added a little circle printable to the front of the flower pot. I found the printable (FREE!) at Skip To My Lou. She has it so that you can change the name to your student and then print it out! It says, ‘Thank you for helping XXXX grow.’