Friday, April 27, 2012

Photo Friday

Just a few pictures of Kylie at the park for the past week as we enjoyed some wonderful mid-70's weather.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012



Kylie has been very curious about heaven.

Our conversation around heaven started on Friday 4-13 when I heard Kylie crying in her room well past bedtime.  "What is it darling?" I asked.  "What will happen to other Nana when she dies?" Kylie cried.

Kylie's Other Nana is Karen's grandmother.  She will be 100 years old in July.

After driving for 11 hours, I wasn't at the top of my game. I mumbled something like, "Don't worry sweetie. Other Nana will be in heaven when she dies and heaven is a fantastic place.  We will talk more about it in the morning."

Of course, first thing the following morning, Kylie was ready to hear all about it.

Hmmm....what does one share about death and the afterlife with a five-year old?

I told her that heaven was a wonderful place that we went when we died.  That it was filled with our family and friends.  That it was filled with love.  That there was no illness or sadness in heaven. That it could look like any of your favorite places--your home, your favorite park, the beach.

Kylie wanted to know if Other Nana would be in pain before she died. I explained about how Other Nana's body was getting tired.  That her body has been breathing and heart beating and pumping blood without ever having a break for almost 100 years (Kylie has also been very interested in internal organs and their functions due to her love of her Magic Bus Inside the Human Body book). I told her that Other Nana would simply fall asleep one day and would wake up in heaven. Easy peasy.

Kylie questioned Karen about heaven too.  Karen told Kylie about our soul/spirit and how it was the essence of who we really are.  She added that the spirit went to heaven and the empty body stayed here.  Karen added the tidbit that you could pick any age you wanted to be when you were in heaven.  So Other Nana might decide that she wanted to be 12 one day and 30 the next.  Kylie loved playing around with that idea.  That part really tickled her fancy!

Days later she wanted to know if all three of us--Karen, Kylie and Wendy--could die at the exact same minute so that we could all go to heaven together.  I assured her that we would all go together.

Kylie questioned her school mates about what they knew about heaven.  One of her chums told her that we become angels when we were in heaven.  So then Kylie and I discussed the fact that since we really didn't know exactly what heaven was like that different people had different ideas about heaven.  I told her that I didn't think everyone become an angel but that I could accept that other people believed it to be so.  I told her that even with people's different thoughts on heaven, it was pretty much agreed upon by everyone that it was a peaceful and loving place.

Kylie continues to ask questions.  We continue to calmly answer and reassure her.'s quite the experience.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


On Sunday, we made our froggy cupcakes. They don't look much like the ones in the cookbook but I have to admit they have some ugly charm.


We ended up giving 5 of the cupcakes to her teachers and one to our neighbor Lily.  For me, the best part of making them was watching the sweet tea and cupcake party Kylie had with her doll.  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Project Life Week 16

Project Life took quite a bit of my free time last week. After returning from our week-long trip to Tennessee, I put together 10 Project Life pages to showcase the week. The pages were very simple and picture-driven yet I was pleased with the amount of journaling I was able to include.

If you are interested, you can see all the TN pages by clicking here and right-clicking through them on Flickr. Two products that really help pull those pages together were Katie Pertiet's Banner Dates No 2 and Ali Edwards' Life Sentiment Cards Vol 3.

One other thing I put into place that helped put together all those pages for Week 15 was to create two Actions in Photoshop. I mostly use Photoshop to create the small 3x4 cards and to add journaling onto my 4x6 photos. I created one action to pull all the ruler/guidelines that I use and another to make the two 3x4 masks onto a 4x6 card. What a time saver! It was easier than I thought to create these actions and it really sped up my workflow.

 On to Week 16. As usual click on the photo to see the journaling and credits.

  Project Life Week 16 page 1

This first page is mainly comprised of pictures and journaling from Kylie's birthday celebration of school. I also added a picture of her cleaning out her toys. The corresponding journaling card reads: I am so proud of Kylie. We went through all her toys and she gave away 5 bags of toys and stuffed animals. We re-organized her things and we are down from 6 toy bags to 1. I thought Kylie would protest but she really got into the spirit of making room for new things. We now have room for her new board games, BOB books and chapter books that she was given for her birthday.

  Project Life Week 16 page 2 and insert front

Page 2 has a few things that didn't make it onto the blog.
So read on faithful blog readers!

The Giggles and Smiles card reads: After school on Tuesday we surprised Kylie with one more birthday present, a Puss In Boots costume. At 4:00 we picked Lily up from school so she could enjoy birthday cupcakes with us. It was a wonderful birthday finale.

The 2nd small picture shows Kylie brushing her teeth at her dentist office. She had her second dentist appointment on Wednesday 4/18. She did very well and her teeth are fine. They gave her that small star that says "Great Patient" on a necklace. She wasn't very interested in it so I put the star into the scrapbook.

The flower journal card on the far right states:  For over a year now, Kylie has wished for her best friend from school last year, Katherine, to return from New Jersey. Kylie's wish came true! She had a playdate with Katherine on Thursday at her house. It was wonderful to see the girls playing together again.

The bottom left picture shows Kylie holding up one of her Animal Antics books. The journaling reads: Kylie read every day this week and completed all ten of her Animal Antics Level 1 books. She got a sticker in each book when she completed it. Way to go Kylie!

The bottom right picture shows Kylie playing with blue goo in the bathtub. The Awesome card reads: Aunt Amy got you this stuff called "Squishy Baff" for your birthday. You were so excited to try it out! It turns bath water into goo. You played in it for 15 minutes, then fortunately, you were done. Even better, it didn't turn the bathtub blue!

I included a few more pictures from Kylie's school birthday celebration in an insert that hold 3 4x6 photos.

Here is the back of that insert.
  Project Life Week 16 insert back and schoolwork.jpg

I also included an Addition book Kylie completed at school. She was so proud of the 10 pages of addition and of her poking work.

Week 16 Project Life artwork.jpg

So that's it for another week!
If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
Ali Edwards blog
Big Picture Classes Gallery
The Mom Creative

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day and Ladybugs

Saturday was Kylie's school Earth Day celebration. Kylie made a crafty fish, a necklace and a potted plant while hanging out with her school buddies in the school's soccer field. Her favorite part was the ladybug release. She would catch a ladybug and then take it to the nearby flower garden. Last year her school did the same for the ladybugs and Kylie didn't want any part of it. This year, she enjoyed helping the ladybugs to their new home. 042112_003.jpg 042112_004.jpg 042112_005.jpg

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Last cupcakes

On Tuesday afternoon, we had Kylie's last birthday celebration.

We had held one present--this Puss in Boots costume-- for Kylie to open on her actual birthday. She loved it!

She and I had to duel with her foam sword for quite a while. Somehow dueling turned into wrestling and jumping onto Mommy.

Kylie's is getting really good at hitting my ticklish points. But right now, I can usually flip her and "win". Not sure how much longer she and I will be able to do this. Kylie is getting really big and strong!

We had our neighbor and friend Lily over after school for cupcakes.

And yes, I devoured that delicious chocolate cupcake that is sitting next to Kylie. It was wonderful!

Kylie's birthday season is at a close. Can I please go rest now?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kylie's celebration of life ceremony at school

This morning, Kylie's official birthday, we celebrated Kylie's birthday at school.

Once the children came into their classroom and got settled, one of their teachers read them a story. Kylie couldn't help from mugging for the camera. And on the right side of the photo, you can see where Karen and I were preparing juice boxes and plating up the treats we brought to share.

And then it was time for Kylie's celebration. I'm not sure if all Montessori classes use this specific activity but it was the same one we had last year. A lit candle is placed in the middle of the circle and this represents the sun. There are months of the year written and placed in the circle. Kylie held a globe of the Earth. The teacher explains how a year passes as the Earth orbits the sun.

The teacher would hold up a picture of Kylie and Karen would read what happened in Kylie's life for that year. Then Kylie would walk around the circle and the children would chant the months of the year until Kylie returned to April. Kylie made 5 laps around the circle.

At the end, the children all sang "Happy Birthday" to Kylie.

We had rice krispie treats and apple juice boxes for the children. I was so tickled when Kylie changed her mind from her first choice of blueberry muffins with cream cheese icing to Rice Krispie treats. She helped me make the treats on Sunday night and was tickled how the marshmallows melted into a consistency like glue. Kylie picked out the "Max and Ruby" plates, napkins and cupcake rings.

Kylie and I spent several hours deciding which photos she wanted to represent her at different years. She took the choosing process very seriously. She was delighted with her photos taped up onto the classroom doors.

Kylie was so happy during her Celebration of Life ceremony. Karen and I beamed with happiness with her.

This is the written history that Karen read:
Kylie was born in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, April 17th 2007. She weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. She was a happy, healthy baby. She learned to eat baby food and started playing at Gymboree. She took her first plane ride to visit her family in Tennessee when she was six months old. Her first words were “mama, bye-bye and baby”. This year Kylie learned to sit up, crawl, stand, walk, give hugs and kisses, play with her toys and turn pages in her books.

This year Kylie learned to clap, wave, point, finger paint, draw, swing and twirl in a circle. She learned how to gently pet her two cats. She learned to use a fork and spoon and drink from a sippy cup instead of a bottle. She learned over 100 words. She learned to count to ten. Kylie started swimming lessons. Her favorite things were her nature walks where she loved to pick up rocks and leaves and playing with her dolls.

Kylie learned to climb stairs, kick and throw balls, go down slides, and ride a tricycle. She learned how to set the table, brush her teeth and use the potty. She loved her music, art and Gymboree classes. She had her first haircut, first trip to the zoo and her first carousel ride. “Little Einsteins” was her favorite tv show and “The Little Mermaid” was her favorite movie. Kylie and her family moved from Portland, Oregon to Burke, Virginia where Kylie experienced her first week-long blizzard.

Kylie and her family moved from Burke, Virginia to Atlantic Beach, Florida. Kylie started preschool at Discovery. She learned her ABCs, how to count, and how to use scissors. Kylie learned to hop, skip, do forward rolls, slide down a fireman’s pole, ride a bike and run really fast. She had her first trip to the dentist, her first horseback ride and her first trip to Sea World and Disney World.

She loves to skip and do headstands. She loves to play on playgrounds, swim at the pool and play at the beach. She knows her numbers to 100 and can count to 100 in tens, fives and twos. She is learning addition and how to read. She loves all kinds of art projects. She rode her first roller coaster named “Blazing Fury” at Dollywood last week.

Happy Birthday Kylie!

Today our darling Kylie is five years old!




Monday, April 16, 2012

Birthday party #2

On Thursday, we spent the day with my mom, Kylie's Granna.


Kylie was tickled to start her visit by opening her presents and was delighted to receive some pretty clothes for her doll, some books, some clothes for herself and Candyland game.

Karen and Kylie played several rounds of Candyland while I chatted with Mom as she made us a scrumptious lunch. For dessert, Granna had some beautifully decorated cookies for Kylie.


After lunch we drove to Ijams Nature Center. There are over ten letterboxes hidden there. We had a false start looking for some near the rock quarry but soon found two near the visitor's center. It was fun to take Granna on a letterboxing adventure.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More letterboxing

In all the years I lived in Knoxville, I never walked through the lovely UT Gardens. We found two letterboxes there yesterday. One at this beautiful heart statue...

and another at this grasshopper statue.

The gardens were beautifully in bloom.


After some lunch and a little time at the arcade, we found our third letterbox of the day at Campbell Station Park.


I love how Kylie's cousins mug for the camera and love how much it tickles Kylie when they make funny faces.


Mostly I love how letter boxing gets us all outside enjoying the Spring weather in TN.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Zoo and park with Grandpa

On Monday, we met my Dad and Margarita for a morning of fun at the Knoxville Zoo. We were particularly interested in the red pandas, the 2 marmoset babies (born in February), the red wolf, and the zebras.






After the zoo, we had a wonderful lunch together and Kylie received some awesome birthday presents. Then we went to Fountain City Park.

I went to this park as a child and played in this same stream. Somehow it seemed exactly the same yet also a bit smaller than it did to me as a child.

It was great to see my Dad and Kylie playing together.


It was another wonderful day in Kylie's birthday season.