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Monday, January 30, 2012

Box Tops for Education

Being a SAHM, I really want to be involved as much as possible  -- even if I worked, I would be. Anyway, I have volunteered to help out the PTO (parent teacher organization). I signed up to help count the box tops donations.

So, this is what I did this morning:

I picked up the Box Tops donations at school:

Laid them out on the floor with my notebook for keeping track for the contest our school has going on; also a pen and scissors:

Here's my recycling bag with all the clippings from trimming the box tops:

I had no idea how many people just tear out the box tops and don't trim them -- but, hey, I'm not complaining. I'm super happy they take the time to take them off, put them in baggies and send to school with their kiddos. So, keep up the good work!

Occasionally, we'll get the Campbells soup labels. We're not collecting them this year because of the low response, so the ones we do get, we take to a local preschool. I have to say, though, I think we're getting more and more. The PTO may want to rethink that one, but it is nice to help out the other school.

So parents, if your school takes Box Tops, please save them and participate! They really do add up! I think they're worth 10 cents each. If you look at each one like it's a dime, then it'll be easier to clip and save!

Where do you save your children's school papers?

I have a really bad habit of not wanting to throw away anything my kids write or draw on, really, it's bad. I needed a place to keep all their papers from school, especially. I had started with a binder, but some of their projects were too bulky for that. So, I came up with this after seeing a couple ideas on the Internet:

Each grade level has it's own hanging file:

K-1 is taking up a lot of space, but I'm sure as the years go on, they'll do less and less cute little things that I feel I need to keep, right?:

Have fun with the crates! I got mine at Walmart for like $3! Add some ribbon and a glittery name, and you're good to go:

Nothing to really write home about, but it works for me and maybe it'll work for you, too!

Family History Project

How many of you have a collection of photos from earlier generations? How many of you know who those people are and where they fall or what branch they take place on your family tree?

Well, I was lucky enough to be reminded that my parents have several old photos from my grandparents on both sides of the family. I'm also very lucky to have a sis-in-law who majored in geneology! She had put together a pedigree chart a few years ago. It was just sitting in a file cabinet waiting for me to rescue it and bring it to life!

Well, I'm working on that part anyway.

I'm including some pictures of my process. I have a lot of pictures to go through, but have done a good amounting of sorting. My goal is to sort and label everything so future generations don't have to. I'm putting many of the black and white photos in protective sheet protector sleeves. I'm putting them in binders. One binder for my mom's side of the family and one for my father's side.

Having a binder for each side of the family will help with my research. I labeled pictures by putting label stickers on the outside of the sheet protectors. If I didn't have a name for the person or people in the photo, I just labeled it "unknown" for now because I may be able to discover who they are later - which did actually happen once already. That was very exciting!

Next thing I'm doing is using the information from the pedigree chart my SIL put together and adding pictures to the names -- therefore, giving it life and even more meaning when you can have a face with the name! I started this in Photoshop. Then, my plan is to lay out a booklet in InDesign using Blurb. They have a program for us InDesign users. They also have templates like Shutterfly and Snapfish. Those are really nice, but I don't like to be too restricted with my design. I have more things to include and I think it's hard to stay within their parameters for this project. So Blurb it is!

Here are a few pictures. This is a project that will take some time to complete. I'm going to be asking family members to include stories or bits of information, such as a favorite dessert our grandmas made or a sentimental item in our home growing up, etc. I want this book to give my children and future generation an insight into our lives and who we are/were.

If you're thinking about starting a family history album/book/scrapbook a good book to help you get started and one that I'm using along the way is Family History Scrapbooking by Becky Higgins. I got mine from our local library and it has been incredibly helpful!!

Here's my mess that I'm very blessed to have: 

My computer area will never be the same - at least for a while anyway!

Here is just a small group of photos for sorting:

Here are some of the photos I organized by person into a photo box (I used envelopes for the smaller pictures like school pics to keep them all together):

Here's one of the binders with old photos. I used page protectors for 8.5 x 11 sheets and sheets for 
4x6 photos: 

More organizing:

Can't wait to show you more as my project gets on it way! 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do you know Pinterest?

Have you heard of Pinterest? If you've ready my blog before you'll know that I get great ideas from it. I happen to love Pinterest! If you haven't heard of Pinterest, maybe it's time you check it out. If you love ideas, inspiration, planning parties, planning family portraits, coming up with treats for your classroom, ideas for teacher gifts and should definitely check. it. out!

If you'd like to follow me, my Pinterest account is I follow several people that I share similar interests with and it's a good way to stay connected to what is "pin worthy."

So check it out and enjoy!!

Here are a few items I spotted today:

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love ideas with a jar!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Fun treats for school

Here are some fun treats I made for my daughter's preschool class last year. I got the idea from Family Fun magazine.

The magazine showed the same snacks on both sides of the snack bag, but I took the opportunity to provide a salty snack on one side (Goldfish) and a sweet snack on the other side (S'mores Goldfish). I also used strips of paper for the antennae and just used a Sharpie to decorate the clothes pin. I glued on googly eyes and that was it!

I suppose you could use Valentine's M&M's or other pink and red candies for Valentine's treats. Decorate the clothespin with hearts. I think that would be very cute!

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Valentine's ideas

I'm still on a search for inspiring Valentine's ideas but while I was searching, I found a few pictures of what I have done in the past. 


I'm still really liking the pom poms! I hung them above our kitchen table last year and will probably do again this year. 

Here is our centerpiece from last year -- a little Valentine's take-out box filled with candies on top of a sweet little white plate filled with candies. 

Some treat bags we made for the preschool teachers. We melted chocolates in heart molds and just wrapped in plastic wrap, added a ribbon and a homemade tag.

Here's another cupcake I did. Very easy to just decorate with a conversation heart. 

Scrapbooking - chipboard book

This year, I'd like to play catch up and finish my 2010 (yes, 2010) scrapbooks. Then, I'd like to move onto and complete 2011. I do have the kids' first days of school pages done for 2011, but that's about it.

I'd like to share a scrapbook project I did last year. It's a chipboard album I did for my little girl. When reading to her at bedtime one evening, she said "I'd like to Blue Skidoo into that page, Mommy." So, I thought, 'I can make that happen.' That's when I came up with this idea.

The cover has her in the picture with Little Red Riding Hood. I wrote the rest of the book about Claire meeting Little Red Riding Hood. She loves the book and I'm so glad I was able to put it together. It was my first attempt at a chipboard album.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Searching for Valentine's ideas

First of all, Happy 2012 everyone! I've taken some time this past week to take down Christmas decorations and do a little "spring" cleaning early. I can't believe how much dust is left behind once the Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations are put away. Does anyone else have that problem? I love putting up decorations and I always think I want them to stay up forever, but something inevitable happens -- the holiday becomes the past and I'm always ready to take the decorations down. The house seems bare, but less cluttered. It's funny how it doesn't seem cluttered when it's up! Anyway, now the the house is sort of back in order, my next focus is onto Valentine's Day!

I want to come up with a special dinner or treats for my kids. My husband will be working that night, so we'll have to celebrate another day. I'm also wanting to come up with some fun ideas for my daughter's classroom party!

Yes!! It's time to plan another party! So happy about that because life, to me anyway, is boring when there's no party to plan or look forward to. I'd love to make it grand! Just ridiculously beautiful with pinks and reds and whites, but that's just not reasonable. So, I'll think of something doable and fun for the kids and still make it fun!

I also will be thinking about gifts for the teachers. Last year, I gave out these mini chocolates I wrapped with custom made wrappers (by yours truly) and put in cute little red pails. I will probably do that again this year. I also gave the kids bus driver  a regular sized Hershey bar with this saying: "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, We get to school safely because of you" -- another saying I came up with by myself (just like the recylced crayon poem). I like to pat myself on the back when I come up with something original. : ) It's hard to do with so many creative people out there!!

I also made these cupcakes for my daughter's class last year. That's supposed to be a heart in the middle. 

It'll be fun come up with something for this year! Stay tuned! Any ideas? Please leave a comment and, of course, I'll be checking out Pinterest!