Category Archives: Co-op preschool

The Big Stage

Standing on the big stage in our sanctuary at church while peering out at the faces of some extremely proud parents must seem a little intimidating for a three-year old.  For this particular event in May, Jude stayed at home with our babysitter while Jake and I spent a special evening with Ben at the end of year program for his 2’s preschool class!  Dressed in his required red shirt, we dropped Ben off at his classroom so that he could prep for the show!  Ben seemed a little nervous and after giving him a quick kiss on the forehead, we assured him that we’d wave really really big from our seats to make sure he could see us. 

We made our way into the sanctuary only to find that it was already quite crowded.  We did find what we thought were decent seats in the middle section about midway back.  My plan was to walk up close enough to get Ben’s attention when he walked out on the stage and then head back to my seat.  However, right before the ceremony began we were asked to remain in our seats.  Bummer.  Every part of me wanted to get up anyway.  Afterall, I had told Ben I’d make sure he could find us in the crowd.  But I also didn’t want to be “that parent”.  And I certainly didn’t want to break the rules.  So as hard as we tried…we waved and called out Ben’s name…we could not get his attention.  I could tell he was searching for us the entire time he was on stage.  Thankfully, the show did go on and he did great!!!

Ben’s musical debut included two tunes…Jesus Loves Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children.  After the last song was sung Ben exited stage right where I finally got to meet up with him!!  The first words out of his mouth were, “Mommy, where were you?!?”  When we arrived back at our seats where Jake was waiting, all seemed well in the world again!!

We wanted to end the night with a special dinner of Ben’s choice…McDonald’s!

It was his second happy meal ever and he loved. every. bite!  And we loved. every. moment. with. him!!!


I just had to add one last picture.  Toward the end of the school year we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week.  There was a theme for each day of the week and on one particular day each child was supposed to write a note to his/her teacher about what makes her so great!  I interviewed Ben and loved his response for Ms. Hale, his home room teacher.  “Ms. Hale is a great teacher because God made her!”  Heart melting.

[The first three photos in this post are courtesy of Mike & Ann Visual Storytellers.  Thank you!!]


Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Orlando

Loads of Cuteness on St. Patrick’s Day!

I just so happened to save Ben’s little t-shirt from the St. Patty’s Day right after he turned one.  As luck would have it (it is St. Patrick’s Day after all), it was the perfect fit (size 12-18 months) for Jude to wear today!  I couldn’t resist putting Jude in the back of the same dump truck and snapping a few pictures.  Love love LOVE the comparison shots…so cute that they are both waving! 


Staff Appreciation.  This year Ben’s preschool implemented a new monthly Staff Appreciation.  Ben’s class was responsible for hosting one day during the month of March…we picked today!  All of the parents signed up to bring lots of yummy “green” treats!  We had such a great time putting this together…everything turned out super cute!  It was a fun way to honor all of the wonderful people who make a difference in the lives of our children each day!  

The Spread.  We served muffins adorned with green shamrocks, cupcakes with green frosting, fruit salad, mini quiches from Panera Bread, munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts, sweet tea and green punch.  If you’re looking for a green punch recipe check out this one.  I made it for the first time today and it turned out great!  A couple of recommendations…don’t add any of the sugar it calls for (it’s already sweet enough) and add some lime sherbet.  You won’t be disappointed!  A few other favs from the day…the round paper decor hanging from the ceiling, the green flower bouquet and a “pot of gold” for each staff member (little black pots filled with Hershey’s kisses)!!

Leftovers.  While the mommies cleaned up at the end of the day, the kiddos did a little “clean-up” of their own.  They sipped on punch and ate cupcakes, and they enjoyed every. second. of. it!  (I snapped this pic on my phone.  I know, the quality is terrible, but the pic is too cute not to post.  From left to right:  Anabella, Will, Miles, Madison and Ben.)  They are all classmates!  They are also the usual suspects that make it out on all the class play dates so it’s been fun to get to know them and their mommies outside of the classroom.  We love our friends!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Food, Friends, Holiday, Jude, Orlando

My Heart REVS For You!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ben’s preschool class celebrated Valentine’s Day last Thursday by exchanging cards and small goodie bags.  This year we opted for homemade Valentine’s Day gifts.  We took our inspiration from a car show that Jake and Ben stumbled upon while out running errands one Saturday afternoon.  Jake just so happened to snap some cute shots of Ben standing by various cars and trucks and I thought they’d make great Valentine’s Day cards!  So, I let Ben pick out three of his favorite photos, we printed them, glued them to colored card stock and then wrote some catchy little Valentine’s Day phrases on them. 

Here are the photos and phrases we used… 

“My heart REVS for you!”

“Have a MONSTER sized Valentine’s Day!”

“Glad you DROVE into my life, Valentine!”

A special card just for his teachers…

“You make life SWEET!”  (This is a photo from Ben’s Christmas party in December.  That’s his teacher Mrs. H on the left and the assistant Mrs. B on the right.  We absolutely LOVE them both!  They are really REALLY wonderful!)

Ben decorated the back of each card with Valentine’s stickers and we attached each one to a bag of homemade chocolate dipped pretzels with heart sprinkles.

Ben had so much fun acting as the “sprinkler”.  His philosophy…some for me, some for you.  Each time he sprinkled a chocolate covered pretzel, he sprinkled his mouth!  I got the pretzel inspiration from my sister-in-law.  She made these for Christmas and Ben loved them!  Thanks, Candice!

The finished products!  Ben was really excited to hand these out to his friends!


Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Food, Hobbies, Holiday, Orlando, Projects

An Important Health Message From Dr. Ben*

Meet Dr. Ben…

Today concluded a two-week stent involving community helpers at Ben’s preschool.  Last week involved visits from local fire fighters and police officers and this week involved visitors from the medical community.  A dental hygienist visited Ben’s class today.  His teacher reported to me that the hygienist taught the kids the correct way to brush their teeth by demonstrating on a friendly alligator that just so happened to have very large  teeth.  Apparently, the hygienist also talked to them about the importance of good nutrition and the effects a poor diet can have on their teeth as reported to me by Ben. 

[Walking down the hallway leaving Ben’s preschool classroom.  Stuff Ben’s unusually full backpack in basket of stroller while pushing Jude, dodging parent and toddler traffic and occasionally calling out verbal commands to ensure Ben is walking not running.]  

Ben:  Mommy, Do you eat pizza and coke?  [Calling out over his shoulder as he walks a few steps ahead]

Me:  Yes.

Ben:  That’s bad for your teeth.

Me:  Oh?  What is good for my teeth?

Ben:  Milk.

[Load both boys back in the vehicle, drive 25 minutes home and unload both boys from vehicle.  Set them up with lots of fun toys to play with while finally eating lunch.  Finish lunch and sit down to play with boys for a few minutes before nap time routine begins.]

Ben:  [Leans in close and wrinkles his nose while attempting to smell my breath]  Mommy, Are you chewing gum? 

Me:  No, I just finished my lunch.

Ben:  Your candy lunch?

Me:  [Stifling a laugh]  No, I just ate a cookie after lunch.  Would you like one?  

Ben:  Yes, please.

Me:  Are cookies good for your teeth?

Ben:  Yes!


An interview later that same day with Dr. Ben…

Who knew that milk AND sausage are both good for one’s teeth!?!  But beware of the bad popcorn-soda and milk-soda!


I thought this whole dental hygiene lesson from Ben was very timely.  It just so happens that I had a dentist appointment yesterday for my first cleaning of the year.  And as luck would have it…I have a cavity!!  😦  I was really surprised!  The last time I had a cavity was about six or seven years ago.  Ugh!  Maybe Ben’s on to something…maybe all that pizza and coke I enjoy really is the culprit!   

*Dr. Ben is not a real doctor.  He is two.  Statements contained in this message have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.  Please consult your health care provider before beginning a new diet routine.


Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Orlando

Green Meadows Farm

Hello again.  No, we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  Yes, like the rest of you, we’ve been crazy busy.  And somehow busy has won versus the blog lately.  The latest…Jude is recovering from croup.  Sweet little thing has not been feeling well.  Our normally happy easy-going guy has been miserable with a capital M…melting down into a heap of sobs anytime he was not in his mommy’s arms.  During the middle of all of that Ben woke up one morning with what appeared to be a spider bite on his ankle.  The ankle continued to grow larger and LARGER until finally we decided it was time to take him to the doctor.  Thankfully, the doctor assured us that the bite wasn’t infected.  We’re learning that with a little cortisone cream and a whole lot of TLC, the bite and Ben are both doing much better.  So, all that to say, I’m happy to report we are alive and (almost) well! 

Over the past several months we’ve shared lots of fun times with our friends and family.  So please, bear with me as I play a little catch-up on the blog…first up, Ben’s first field trip!  At the end of October last year my friend Christy S. watched Jude (thank you, Christy!!) while Ben and I met up with some friends from his preschool at a place called Green Meadows Farm.  We spent the majority of the day with Ben’s buddy Will, his mommy Jen and little brother Alex.  From corralling ducks, playing with pigs, riding the train, trotting on a pony, milking a cow to cruising on a tractor drawn hayride, we had a blast and we. were. exhausted!  For the first 30 minutes of the hour-long drive home Ben rambled on and on about complete nonsense before giving in to the exhaustion and finally falling asleep.  Here’s a little visual recap of the day…

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Filed under Ben, Co-op preschool, Orlando