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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Teacher Appreciation 2014

It's that time of year again.  The kids came home with the note from the PTO with this year's agenda for Teacher Appreciation Week.  They follow the same schedule every year, which may get a little boring, but now that I know how it works I can plan ahead.  For three of the days during Teacher Appreciation week the PTO asks the students to bring in a little something for the teacher - a card, chocolate, and a flower.  Easy enough right?
It is me we're talking about here, so I do try to personalize it a little bit. 

I found the owl printable card first (Printable found here) and decided to go with that as the theme.

 The flowers are tiny pot/seed kits.  I'm sure the intention is that the kids bring in a cut flower or two so that when all are combined the teachers have a big bouquet, but I didn't want something perishable so I could get it ahead of time.

I modified the printable water bottle labels found here and used that for the tags on the rest of the items.  The tag on the flowers reads "Thanks for helping me grow.  Love, ___ "

 The chocolate:  The tag reads "you deserve chocolate! Love,  ___"

And finally, a more personal gift from the kids.  I like to get a little creative with these, not only to give the teachers a little variety but hopefully they also get the message that we participate in Teacher Appreciation week not just because we are asked to, but because we really do appreciate their contribution as teachers to the lives of our children.
Last year I did End of School/Back to School countdown sets, but I've been getting so many orders for pregnancy countdown blocks the process just didn't sound like fun.  So I went with altered clipboards and turned some plain old clipboards
 into something fun, pretty, and personal.

 The tag reads "You're just write, teacher.  Love, ____"
Hope they like it!
Now if I can get the kids to sit down and sing cards for teachers and the Grandmas I will be all set for the one-two punch of having Teacher Appreciation back to back with Mother's Day next week.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

DIY Corn Hole

Hi!  Thanks for visiting!  I now have a new and improved tutorial for the Corn Hole Boards up on my new blog.  Please check them out HERE.
Take a look at the new blog and see what else is new.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Master Bedroom - Complete!

Guess what?!  For the first time in my adult life I have a completely pulled-together, fully decorated bedroom!  Yay!
I really only had finishing touches left - something decorative above the bed.  I had run across the unfinished wooden scroll frame (in the center) at the craft store months ago, brought it home and painted it white with the intention of putting a quote or something inside it on the wall.  Then at my last big trip to Hobby Lobby (I think my friend and I spent 90 minutes just wandering lol) I ran across these big monogram letters 50% off.
I love that they are already embellished for me and the paint even matched my room.  I did have to find and paint the "&" sign to finish it off.
I even hung everything up all by myself last weekend while the husband was working.  They're all centered and straight and everything! ;)
So here's a look at the room all put together.  The wall décor (on the right) I made a while back.
The lamps I picked up at Target a month or so ago.  And look - some of my photos are out on display!
My newly reupholstered chair and the console table Sam built.
I don't think I've shown that off yet.  The shelves were kind of an "oops" when he was building the console table for the living room.  He had the upper part all together and called me out to the garage to check it out and I had to tell him "um, honey...I didn't want the DVD player in the middle I wanted it hidden behind the shutters on the side."  We were eventually going to put something there anyway so - bonus!  I just need a couple more accessories or books on those shelves.  I'm sure I will run across the perfect thing eventually, but it doesn't detract from the room as is.

So one more time - this is the Before photo taken December 2010 when we had just purchased the house and our furniture hadn't even arrived.
And After!
 And in case you were wondering - yes, this is the ONE room in the house that stays this clean almost all the time.  I even make my bed every morning  ;)
Linking to:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

 I prefer mine covered in glitter or stuffed with chocolate! ;)
Easter is almost here!  Which means that about 10 minutes ago I realized that (again) and thought, "if I don't blog about something Easter-related right now it's not going to get done." ;)
 It was a little over a week ago that it truly hit me that, once again, time is barreling by faster than ever.  Then I realized I had yet to put away the stack of Valentines and St Pat's Day decorations stacked on my craft table, let alone put out any of the Spring/Easter stuff.  Don't worry - I took the time that day to not only fix it, but got myself completely dust covered and spent a good three hours or so going through not only my holiday décor totes in the garage, but my craft and party ones too (and happily emptied three of them in the process!).  Then I recruited my 7 year old, who was the only one home with me at the time, to help me decorate the ledge by the stairs.
 Yup I know - I need something on the left side of the shutters.  I had intended to make something, but's not going to happen right now.  But the rest of it is cute, right?
 The front yard also got some much-needed attention with new flowers, new mulch, and moving some things around.  More on that later, when I have finished up what amounts to WAY too much yard work.
 What I really wanted to focus on today is the Eggs.  And the baskets!  My favorite things about Easter ;)  And once again, I went entirely overboard.  Though to be fair, my husband goes right along with me - he's the one that let my daughter try on the ridiculously-overpriced rollerblades weeks ago, then agreed to buy them.  So this year from us, Kaitlyn is getting the much-anticipated rollerblades, a glow in the dark soccer ball (because the dog has officially claimed Kate's old ball), and a couple of Ever After High dolls because I know she wanted that set and I spotted them on super duper sale at Target this week.
 Tyler was harder this year, mostly because he is fixed on technology (Ipods, music, and video games) right now and I like to concentrate on getting the kids set up for all kinds of outdoor fun at Easter.  The only thing he truly requested was a glow in the dark football.
A couple years back I invested in two sets of extra-large eggs.  This year I stuffed them with pool toys and goggles.
Then the really fun part - the small eggs.  I did stock up on everyone's favorite candy - Peeps, Cadbury mini eggs, jelly beans, Reese's eggs, and chocolate bunnies.  But I also try to get a little creative with what goes inside most of the eggs - and to steer away from sugar a little bit.  Previous years I've done things like stickers, toy cars, sidewalk chalk, etc.  This year I am splitting up a Lego set for Tyler and Kaitlyn gets Nerf Rebelle darts and strechy bands (they never seem to get enough of those, do they?).
And I also found these fun water bottle mix-ins.  My kids love that kind of thing.

I spent an hour stuffing eggs on Thursday - slid it in just in time before the kids hit Spring Break.  Yay!

So...what do you like in your eggs? ;)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Bank of Mom and Dad

Kids and money - it's another one of those areas where we, as parents, want to pass along all our knowledge as quickly and as easily as possible.  We do the allowance thing.  And chores.  We show them how much things cost and make them save for big items.  We take them shopping and let them pay for things themselves.  But I guess we forgot to tell the little guy "don't take your money to school" because he did.  The whole $161 dollars from the last few months of allowance, Christmas, and birthday money.  I'm still not sure what he was thinking taking it all to school but luckily his teacher caught it pretty early in the day and gave me a call.  I couldn't run up to the school right then but asked her to give it to Kaitlyn and knew my super-responsible child would get it back home safely.  However, I still spent much of the day shaking my head at the thought of my child taking all of his money to school and wondering what to do about it.
I have been thinking about taking the kids to open savings accounts at the bank, but right now they are currently working hard to earn enough money to cooperatively buy themselves an Ipad.  They even went online and looked up the price for one all by themselves.  It's kind of fun to see them pull their money out and sit down and count it all then figure out how much more they need.  I really hate to take all that away from them - the fun of counting the money and holding it in their hands.  And I don't want to undo any of their hopes/expectations by declaring that we are putting X amount in the bank and that it can't be used toward the tablet.   It's too late in the game for that, right?  Then inspiration struck - why not create our own little savings account for them here at home?
So we created the Bank of Mom and Dad.  I hunted up some old checkbook registers and a couple of manila envelopes then printed out labels to make them look more official.  The check registers will be for the kids to track their deposits and withdrawals.  The envelopes are for me to use while I keep the cash safe (I also put another copy of the check registers in there - you know, just in case).  The only rule I have so far is that they cannot hang onto any more than $20 in their own wallets.  The rest needs to be deposited in our "bank" until they are ready to buy something, then they can withdraw the cash just before we head to the store.  The rest will evolve as we go.  I'm sure at some point we will all sit down and discuss long term savings and setting up real bank accounts.  For now, I'm just relieved I won't have to worry about the little guy deciding he wants to lose all his cash at the park next time.

PS - it is really warm this week and Tyler put on a pair of shorts today for the first time this year.  And what did we find in the pocket?  Nine dollars!  Ahahahaha...