The book has finally arrived!

It’s always exciting to get your hands on a new book, but when it’s one you’ve put energy into creating yourself it’s that much more thrilling. Hope and I have been waiting patiently for the last week and so we were quite excited to finally get our hands on the book I created capturing memories from her first year in kindergarten. I thought I’d share a sneak peak of some of the book that I had so much fun creating.

The book is 140 pages and for the third time I used to publish the book. I love the quality of blurb books – because it really looks just like a book you’d purchase in a bookstore. The cover was created using one of Hope’s illustrations she made this year with her and her friends from school. Her handwriting was also used in the title of the book “Our First Year at Riverdale Elementary”. I was quite excited to hear that Blurb now prints directly on hard cover books – which is what I ordered.

Our First year at Riverdale Elementary

In designing this book, I approached the first half of the book as a scrapbook. I collected images taken by Hope’s teacher, photos I had taken myself, and drawings created by the students to incorporate into the book. So though some may consider this to be like a “yearbook” – it’s far from the typical year book. My goal was to make a memorable keepsake that Hope, her classmates and Hope’s teacher would cherish for years to come.

Here’s the first spread in the book which is the “dedication” page which includes not only my dedication and a few photos but Hope also created a special drawing for her teacher:

This book is dedicated to...

One of my favorite pages in the book is the second spread which has more photos as well as the letter written by Hope’s teacher to the students.

Showing of more pages

I feel quite fortunate to have had the opportunity this year to have visited Hope’s class on a few occasions to capture some of these memorable moments. Two of my absolute favorite classes were music and art – I definitely think some of the images help capture the fun I observed.

Music class

art class

One of the things that I felt was most important when designing this book was that I focused on giving all of Hope’s classmates equal focus within the book. I devoted two pages to each of her classmates. One page held a large image along side the student’s name which they wrote themselves. On the other page there were several images of the student as well as drawings the students made of the school and the student with their teacher.

Hope's pages

The last half of the book I featured hundreds of photos taken by both Hope’s teacher and myself. I realized how unrealistic it was to create a “scrapbook” with the nearly 1000+ images I had so this was the next best way to still ensure we had a way to keep those special moments tucked into this book. Some of my absolute favorite images I devoted an entire page to each image.

kindergarten book photo pages

kindergarten book photo pages

kindergarten photo pages

If you’re interested in seeing the first 15 pages of the book you can preview it online or of course you can always purchase your own copy through If you’re interested in seeing a few more images of the book – you can check out the ones I’ve posted in my flickr account. Hope you all enjoy!

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 10:45 pm  Comments (14)  

Goodbye Kindergarten

So we’re into the first week in June and I’m just wondering who could tell me where the time has gone? As Hope just finished Kindergarten this past week, I was reminded of Hope’s first day of school. I’ve been amazed with how much she has learned this year. She’s grown by leaps and bounds and seems to have enjoyed every moment of her first year in school.

On the last day of school, Hope’s school holds a parade for Memorial day. I thought you all might be interested in seeing Hope in this video performing with some of her kindergarten classmates. It’s not the best view – but I was battling hundreds of parents for a good view. :o)

And Hope came home from school the last day proclaiming she was “famous” after having been featured for a split second on the WESH news about her school’s parade. Of course I couldn’t resist recording it to share. She’s in the video towards the end just after the large stars & stripe hat and just before the bagpipes.

Of course, Hope had a blast in Kindergarten. She loved it and looked forward to going to school every day. She had fun learning, spending time with her friends and of course she admired her teacher. So on the last day of school she clearly started preparing for the summer break so that it was somewhat like kindergarten. She created her own mailbox like they had in class. She expressed an interest in keeping a journal so she uses her mailbox to put her journal entries in a safe place that we can find easily. I must admit I truly admired seeing her create her own behavior chart that is virtually identical to what they had in class.

Now she proudly lets us know she wants to be in the “green” all day (in other words being good).

Of course we’ll be finding ways to keep Hope busy this summer. We’ve already signed her up for gymnastics, swim lessons as well as art classes at Crealde. We’re also expecting family to visit for a bit this summer so we imagine she’s going to have a fun summer break before she starts first grade.

Most of you have heard, but in case you haven’t, I recently finished a book to commemorate Hope’s experiences in kindergarten. This book which will certainly be something we cherish for many years to come. I was fortunate to have the cooperation of her teacher and Hope and her classmates during times I was able to visit some of this year’s kindergarten events. The book ended up being 140 pages and before I’ve even received the printed copy of the book their staff has featured the book as a “staff pick”. It features various events throughout the year and highlights many moments with Hope and her classmates. If you’re interested you can get your hands on your own copy of the the book or download a 15 page preview. I’ll be sure to share a better sneak peak of the book once I get my printed copy this week. If you’re interested in seeing a few of the kindergarten photos I’ve posted in flickr you can check them out online.

So we’re proud, yet a bit sad, to finally part with her days as a Kindergartner. Goodbye Kindergarten – you’ve definitely left us with some amazing memories!

Published in: on June 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm  Comments (5)