Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer Passports

School started a few days ago, which was a big deal for us this year. Louisa is off to Kindergarten and little Leo started preschool. Sadly, my sewing machine spent almost the entire summer in its case with the kids at home, between ballet and swim lessons, beach trips, AJ's long hours as a new intern, my seasonal workload, and our building a new house.

But, we did find time to document a little bit of all our adventures and routines, with summer passports!

This ingenious project comes from elsie marley. Louisa absolutely loved it.

We found navy blue Moleskine Cahiers at a local art supply store.
I was afraid we would have trouble decorating the dark covers, but my Prismacolors actually showed up really well (and they look more like real U.S. Passports). Prismacolors are a joy to use, by the way. Indulge.

We came up with a list of things and got to work illustrating. Louisa really got into it and would color a few new pages every day. She was still adding things even last week. Leo was a bit too young, but I made a few pages for him and he enjoyed "decorating" it. I had a good time making my own, too.

The idea is to stamp the passport with a date stamp when you do the activity or event on that page.  Or, you could just use stickers or some other kind of mark or tally. I found a $3 "Received" date stamp at our local office supply store and easily peeled off the "received" box. I like having the date recorded, and the kids thought it was very official. :)

Meg suggests that older kids could journal about the events on the facing page, which I think Louisa would enjoy doing if we make passports again next year.

Some pages got many stamps... Louisa's ballet and swim lessons, and my running page, which was fun to fill.

The kids ran with me in all three Charlottesville Track Club All Comers' Track Meets this year. Here Leo is tagging off to Sis in the sibling 2 x 200.

...And some pages never got their stamp:

(Our New York City trip will be this fall (yay!), and hopefully I will get to sew something before too long, too.)

For Leo's birthday, we took a special train ride past our own house.

The thrill has not been forgotten—even months later he is still talking about it.

The "break ground" page was one of the first I made in mine, back in June. Louisa copied my page, right down to the fire hydrant. Then when the digger showed up one morning, I was excited to see our drawings were pretty accurate.

Earning her "catching fireflies" stamp on the fourth of July was a highlight of the entire summer.

And the kids got to stay up late again a couple days later for the Crozet Fireworks.

We also made it twice to the beach—first the Outer Banks with friends in June before A.J. started work.

Then just the kids and I spent a couple days with my family at Virginia Beach before school started.

The last page Louisa did was her "Start Kindergarten" page. I love the abstract-style school bus she drew. Fitting, because it truly was a surreal experience to watch her climb those bus stairs and ride away from me that first day.

Little Louisa out into the world!

Here's to many days and years of happy learning for her and my new little preschooler. Happy Back-to-School!

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