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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scrapbook pages

I was really hoping that once both of my children were in school all day that I would have more time to scrapbook. It seems I spend plenty of time cleaning, organizing, organizing and organizing. Did I mention I want to be organized? I just can't seem to get it right. I need help in that department. Feeling defeated, I sat down at my computer this morning and searched through some old photos and found these pics of scrapbook pages. I'll just share a couple right now, but will share more as time goes on.

I love to scrapbook! Even if the style isn't what I would do now, it doesn't matter. What matters is there is a piece of paper documenting a moment in time and I love that. The kids love looking through their scrapbooks. I have completed quite a few, but need to catch up on 2010 and 2011! I better hurry because 2012 will be here before I know it!

These were done last year, but the pics were taken 3 years ago, which is forever ago to my kids, but it feels like last week to me! 

Nothing fancy. I just use what supplies I have on hand and try to make it work. I love using punches and adhesive foam squares to help give some dimension to my layouts. Hope you enjoyed seeing them!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My son's 7th birthday party

I shared the ideas I came up with for my daughter's 5th birthday, so I thought I'd better not leave out the details of my son's 7th birthday! I didn't plan anything crazy, but just wanted to share with you some pics of what it looked like.

To the left of the big 7 is a shadow box frame that I used to display his first pair of jeans along with a picture of him wearing the jeans when he was only 2 months old. 

I ordered the cake from Meijer this year. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. We didn't really have a theme, so I thought we would use the #7.

My son loves to draw (I'm sure most kids do) but, again without a theme is was hard to come  up with ideas that would flow. Since it was all about him anyway, I decided to put favors together related to art. I got the Drawing pad, which I loved the cover, at The Dollar Tree and the same for the pad of construction paper and caddy. I didn't get the crayons there. There are just some things you can't skimp on and good crayons is one of them! 

I made the tags with the 7 that I used on his invitations. 

Here are the favors we sent home with his classmates at his school party. I made round stickers and put seven pieces of his favorite candies in treat bags. 

For his school party I made these cupcakes with the #7. You probably have noticed I am not a real cake decorator, I only wish I could be. The kids ate them up, though! : ) I had to make sure the mix and icing was made where peanuts are processed b/c of a peanut allergy.

No followers yet : (

I really haven't had my blog up and running for very long. I hope to add much more interesting and helpful content in the future, but I see that I have quite a bit of traffic here and that makes me giddy! So if you're peeking at the content, don't be shy!! Become a follower! If you've always wanted to be first at something, here's your chance. I see "Be the first" under followers at the top right. Go ahead! Whatcha waitin' for? : )

Here are some ideas I'll be sharing:

Spongebob cupcakes I made for my son's 5th birthday (two years ago)! What? You don't think they look like Spongebob? Well, after making 24 of them, everything started to look like Spongebob! 

I'll also share gift ideas like clipboard gifts I've made for teachers.

This is just one of the few that I've made. 

Room Mom Journal is where I share with you my journey as a room parent (school volunteer, school classroom party organizer, etc.). 

Thanksgiving party craft:

Winter Holiday Class Party ideas - Holiday Bingo (part 1)

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am focusing most of my energy on to what to plan for the classroom parties. I came across this blog RoomMom101 and she shared a link for a free holiday bingo game at The Teacher Wife. If you're interested, you better hurry because it is only free until December 1st. I feel like I've been given my first Christmas present already!!


I'm not really in charge of anything specific for my son's 1st grade class -- just the coordinating. I am the chairperson and that's about it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind, but I really like doing the crafts or treat bags, etc. It's more fun to help plan my daughter's Kindergarten class parties because I feel I can be more involved. I'm just thankful I can be involved no matter what it is! : )

I'm in the process of writing letters to send home with the parents this week about donations for a class gift. I hope we get a good response. I can't wait to buy their gifts!! I'm also going to make each teacher something and I'll share that with you once I know what it is! : )

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas decorating - card display

I really love this time of year. Actually, my favorite time of year starts on September first and runs through February 15th. It gets a little boring after that until summer. Don't get me wrong, I love spring and decorating for Easter, but there's just something about the coziness of fall and winter with all the delicious foods and decorating and wonderful holidays to celebrate that makes the rest of the year seem kind of, well, blah.

Here's our card display from last year. Maybe it will give you an idea if you're looking for that sort of thing. I like to see how other people display their cards so I thought I would share how I do.

I purchased the card holder from  Willow House. I'm not sure if they still offer it, it's a couple years old now, but last year, Christmas 2010, was my first year using it. I liked it so much, I'm using it again this year. Can't wait to start getting those Christmas cards!

That reminds me, I need to get started making ours! I handmake my cards every year. It's getting harder and harder to come up with ideas, but it's so much fun thinking how to top the year before! I may share some of them with all of you.

Room Mom Journal - Thanksgiving celebration

Well, the much anticipated Thanksgiving craft at school is now over and so is Thanksgiving -- nothing like posting a couple days late. Anyway, I was so excited when another room mom had asked if I wanted to do a Thanksgiving craft with her for our Kindergarteners. I introduced her to Pinterest and as you can see in a previous post, we found many ideas. We adjusted them slightly to fit our time and skill for the kids.

Doing crafts and coming up with ideas is one of my favorite things and why I really wanted to be a room parent. Being able to be there and see my daughter working along side her classmates is something I'm very thankful for!

We ended up deciding on these ideas:

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And they ended up like this:

Paper cone cornicopias for popcorn (gluten and dairy free due to allergies in the classroom) instead of ice cream waffle cones with peanuts and candy corn, accompanied by 100% juice:

When the students were finished with the library, they came back to their classrooms to see their desks looking like this:

Here is the handprint project that we changed up a bit. Instead of paint, we had the students trace their hands (some needed help and some did not); then we had them color it however they like as long as they tried to make it like a turkey. : )

The other project was set up to do like our original idea. The other room mom painted all the clothespins for the class. The students traced their hands on cardstock, cut them out and glued the feathers, googly eye and gobble onto the turkey. They wrote their names on the back as well. They really liked this project! 

Hope you liked it! The students seemed to enjoy it and so did I. After it was over, the teachers asked if I would read a book to the class. Another one of my favorite things!! Thanks to our teacher for letting us invade her classroom for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A little Christmas Cheer

I really wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving to start talking about Christmas -- even though it is on my mind all year long! I couldn't wait, though, after seeing some of my other favorite blogs talking about it. So let me start off the season by sharing a picture of my favorite sugar cookie cut-outs I made for my daughter's preschool class last year.

My daughter loves babies and anything tiny, so I knew I came up with a homerun with her when I made these.

Meet Gingerbread Mama and her baby (awwww...)

I used a large cookie cutter and a really tiny one that I found at Hobby Lobby. 

Ok, so she doesn't look entirely Christmas-y, but she does have on a green glitter dress and pink pearls. And pink is red at like 20%, right? It may be obvious that I'm not a baker, but my kids don't know any better yet and I want to keep it that way for a long time!! : ) The smiles on their faces when they saw these was absolutely priceless! I'm going to give them another try this year! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Room Mom Journal - choosing a classroom craft for Thanksgiving

I'm very excited to have the task of coming up with a craft to do with my daughter's Kindergarten class for Thanksgiving. Another mother who also volunteers suggested we do something for Thanksgiving even though we don't have an actual party where volunteers can come and share with the children. Of course, I loved the idea!! She and I are just going to pick a craft and share with the class. The teacher gave us permission to do so, and now we can come up with some really cute ideas. Of course, I have to check out Pinterest. It never seems to disappoint. We like the following ideas:

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Pinned from Pinterest for iPhone

I may have mentioned before that we need to be aware of gluten, dairy and peanut allergies, but I could find something safe using the idea below. I may even just use paper to make cornucopias and fill with Chex Mix or something. I saw that they are gluten free. I'd like to add candy corn. I'll double check with the school to be sure.
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 That's just a small sample of what we found, but we liked these the best as far as difficulty level being pretty low, with the exception of the paint on the plate due to the mess that could be involved, but kids love that!

Stay tuned to see what we decide and to see how it all turns out!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day! 11th hour on November 11, 2011

Today is a special day to thank those who have served and are still serving our country! Without them, I wouldn't be enjoying the life we have today, I'm sure of it!

I had the honor of making poppies for our school's primary building Veterans Day program. Grades K-2 will sing to a group of 70+ veterans as a way of thanking them for their service to our country.

Why poppies you might ask? Well, maybe you're not asking, but I didn't know why and now I'm glad I do. People would wear poppies in honor of those who died in war.

Here's what I found when I googled it:


Poppies, which are a bright red flower, became a symbol of Veterans Day after the bloody WWI battle in Flanders Field, in Belgium. The soil in the battle fields became scattered with rubble, making the soil rich with lime (the mineral, not the fruit). Poppies thrived in the fertile soil. Many soldiers were buried in Flanders field, creating a contrast of white crosses and vibrant red poppies


In 1918, World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The entire world celebrated. An armistice (a truce) was signed declaring the "war to end all wars" was finally over. The next year, on November 11th, the US called the day "Armistice Dayin memory of all the men and women involved in WWI. On Armistice Day, surviving soldiers marched in parades through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and had ceremonies in thanks for the peace that had been won.

Veterans Day ceremonies occur all over the world with veterans laying wreaths at war memorials and speaking to the public. At the 11th hour, everyone, including school children, take a moment of silence to remember those who died. 

The poppies will be handed out to each veteran as the children sing. It will be very moving. 

It is now the 11th hour and I am sitting in silence with chills up and down my arms. I am very moved by all the sacrifice the men and women who served our country have made. Today is extra special because it, too, is 11/11. 

Thank you Veterans!

Here are the poppies I made. I added a thank-you tag to them. I wanted each one who has one to know how truly thankful we are. I'm so proud of our school for acknowledging them the way they do and teaching our children about them. 

To make: cut 4 inch circles in tissue paper (3 layers each) and do the same with a one-inch black circle. Punch two holes in center, layer a tag with a hole punch over one of the holes and insert a green pipe cleaner from the bottom up through the hole punch and down again through the other. Wrap the pipe cleaner around itself under the petals. 

Be sure to thank a veteran today. 

Kissing Hand Jelly Sandwich

My daughter enjoys opening her lunch and seeing a new shape to her jelly sandwich everyday. This week, I've put the same one in everyday. I use a hand shaped cookie cutter, then I cut the shape of a heart on top with a knife to look like the hand from the book Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Both of my children have been read the book since preschool. I would put one in my son's lunch, but he doesn't like sandwiches; just soup and it's a little hard to shape that into anything very fun. : )

I wanted to share this with you because I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with something she loves and she knows exactly what it means when she sees it. Maybe your children will like it too if you decide to try it. If you haven't read the book yet, I would recommend getting a copy at the library. We bought one through the Scholastic Book Fair for like $3.99 or something -- very reasonable for a book with lots of meaning for little ones!

Room Mom Journal - Carnival

Last week was our school's carnival where all the proceeds go to the teachers' fund to help pay for extra supplies and such. The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes all in one day to make it happen is amazing! I would never have known if I wasn't able to volunteer. I'm so glad I could help this year!

There were baskets of donated items. Each room had a theme and most people donated which made the carnival a huge success. Everything from food items for a cake walk and concession stand, items for baskets, large items for other auction items was donated. The baskets and auction items were set on tables so people could buy raffle tickets and place their raffle in the appropriate box of the items they hoped to win. It was fun. My kids wanted to win a Crayola explosion basket! It was pretty cool! But, not this time.

Anyway, it was a blast. Here are pictures of the basket from my daughter's class - the theme was family fun night. Her teacher gave the items to me and put them together for her. I actually had enough to make two baskets. : )

How does your school make money for the teachers' fund?

Room Mom Journal - Math Facts

I'm signed up to help my son's first grade class and my assignment is to help with math facts. Last week was my first week to do it. I just love the kids! We sit one to one and I hold up flash cards, they answer, I check it on a paper to show they know the correct answer and they go back to the class to let the next child know to come back. I tell each one they're a math wizard and they just light up!! We did all 0+ facts: i.e;  0+1, 0+2, all the way to 0+10. They all knew them without having to think too much.

Being at the school and working with the kids makes me feel so, for a lack of a better word here, useful. You know? I feel like I'm actually helping practice something that they'll use forever! I can't imagine what it has to feel like to be a teacher -- knowing the impact you have on all those little lives has to be incredible. It's the same feeling I have as a parent, but multiplied by 24! : )

No pics for this one....sorry : (