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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

combining my love of education with my love of planning...

another thing that keeps me pretty busy in life is my work in the public school's been a long and bumpy road with LOTS of changes and since I never know what's going to be around the next corner, I take every opportunity that presents itself to me...that opportunity (last summer) was teaching summer the middle school...most of you who know me know that i am much better suited to young ones...but i was up for the challenge...and i was delightfully surprised...i was scheduled to help with the summer reading program called Read 180 and got to work with some very special middle schoolers...part of the plan for their summer schooling included a few planned events and well, you know that was right up my alley...about midway through we created what we like to call The Bayou Book Bistro...

There is nothing better than seeing excitement for learning in the eyes of a junior high kid and we pulled out all the stops from the minute they walked into the door.

This is all done with plastic tablecloths and Mardi Gras decor off the clearance rack at Party City.  One of the teachers had also happened upon a garage sale where they had a box full of Mardi Gras party stuff for a couple bucks.

We placed "menus" at each set of tables which gave the kids a set of "appetizer" questions, "main course" questions, and "dessert" questions to discuss about their particular book.  Then they would rotate to the next set of tables and discuss some more.

We also fed them, which didn't hurt any :)

The other two teachers (Tesha & Charmika) had some down-home experience with cajun cooking...

A good time was had by all!!

way back at the end of May ~ where it all begins again

So in May as Summer was fast approaching, that's when I always get the itch to grow my event planning revenues.  During the year I'm a teacher and that keeps me busily occupied, but when summer is approaching and I know that paycheck is going to end for a few months, well, something about that just re-motivates me.

One of my good friends at school was going to be leaving our building to go to another and so we decided to throw her a small goodbye bash.  I put my thinking hat on and volunteered to make the favors and a banner.  I had been most recently seeing some darling party banners online and wanted to try my hand at one.  Here's what I came up with:

I hadn't gotten my fancier camera yet and so I was having a hard time getting it all in one shot, but it said Goodbye Kelly!

I was also having trouble with the sun cooperating with my picture taking.  This was my first attempt at a banner and I was pleased.  I used alot of different scrapbooking paper and some pre-cut circles from Archivers.  We have one very close to my home and I love visiting there and seeing all of their new products.

I also made some water bottle labels using Publisher and added some ribbon.  This was my first attempt here too!  I think they are OK.  I could do better now!  :)  I love adding the multi-colored ribbons.  They dress everything up!

All in all, she was pleased and we are all going to miss her bunches!! :)  Miss you Kels!

big things coming :)

over the next few days, couple of weeks, watch closely for some serious updating to take place...i haven't updated my events since last summer, starting with a Puppy Party in goal is to get these all posted over  the stay tuned :)

Teaching Heart Mom: T'was the Night Before Christmas Teacher Style

Teaching Heart Mom: T'was the Night Before Christmas Teacher Style

Monday, December 6, 2010

A New Take on an Old Tradition

Every year since the girls were born, we have been giving them a nice hardbound book every Christmas and every birthday.  Now with 4 girls, the oldest being 20, that's alot of books.  This year I borrowed an idea from Colleen over at teachingheartmom that sounded interesting to me.  In order to keep the interest in books going from year to year she wraps her children's seasonal books and only brings them out during that season/holiday.  After digging the mounds of CHRISTmas "stuff" out this weekend, I thought I would give it a try.  Here's just a portion of all of the Christmas books that we own...

I wasn't sure how the "youngers" would react to this idea.  They are 9 and 11 and I was hoping hadn't outgrown all the mystery :).  So I brought Sadie over and had her see what she thought:

She was a little suspicious...

"I don't want to ruin the surprise but I think I know what's in here."

Well, she was partially right ~ the books from the basement.  But what she didn't know is that it is their Christmas books from all the years going way back.  I told them that each night they could unwrap one for their before-bed-reading and they thought it was a great idea!

This would also be a great way to add some mystery AND the love of reading to your Advent calendar for the year.  A teacher could even use this in her classroom to count down the days till Christmas break...after all we all need a little more excitement this time of year right? ;)

notsoshabbyCHICevents: Christmas 2009 revisited......

Christmas 2009 revisited......

Well as I mentioned before, last year I put up TEN trees.  I know, what was I thinking?  Here's a look back for all of you who want to see how truly CRAZY I really am...

Marshall Fields Glass Ornaments - all Santa's and Snowmen

9 foot Snowman Tree

Funky 12 Days of Christmas Tree, I got this on clearance the year Marshall Fields closed and carried it all the way to the train station to get it home :)

The Baby Ornament Tree - all in pink and ribbons ~ these ornaments are all the ones from the girls first few years...precious memories

The Molly Tree ~ her collection and her favorite Santa hat :)

The Sadie & Annsley Tree ~ see it could have been worse, there could have been one for each of them...AND there isn't a McKensie tree, she had just moved home from college and her room was too cluttered.

The Santa Claus Tree

The Fall Fruits Tree

This one reminds me of God's provision in my life. The cardinals right outside my patio doors inspired this tree made out of clay pots and grapevines.

Swedish wreath full of folksy farm animals

The Christmas Mantle........

Pink & Brown Snowflake Tree

My Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that we cut down with mostly handmade ornaments and my favorite stars made by my friend, little Annie C. :)

And there you have it!!  I'm not doing 10 trees this year...but I did happen to rescue a white feather tree at Michaels yesterday........

OK I promise I didn't start it this was McKensie (my oldest who is following in my creative footsteps).  I came into her bathroom and there was the purple tree.  I swore I wasn't putting up 10 trees this year but when I walked around the corner and saw this, something in my snapped, the creative gene went into overdrive.  I told everyone I was going to the pharmacy to get some cough medicine so I could sleep last night but I had an ulterior motive...purple hand soap, purple candle, decorative tissue box, and tree skirt (it's a scarf).  Now I'm afraid I won't be able to stop...someone help me :)

Last year I put up 10 trees ~ all themed.  This year I just feel like keeping it simple.  Everyone agreed (miraculously) to put up our artificial pre-lit tree instead of cutting one down.  So I thought "OK I'm good with tree and more relaxation this year."  I'll let you know how that works out!! ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

getting back in the blogging swing...

ok i'm all for fresh starts and i need one...i was very busy with several events/parties this summer and got way behind on my blogging...then i started back to work for the school year and here we, i thought it would be fun to make a fresh start and tell you a little about me...i was recently tagged with one of those "all about me" sort of questionnaires and here it is...

1. Do you like blue cheese? Yes I LOVE it!

2. Have you ever smoked? No, I started to try a cigarette in highschool but couldn't bring myself to it.

3. Do you own a gun? No, I'd be scared to have one in the house.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Cherry limeade all the way baby, although now that you mentioned it we don't have a Sonic around here and it makes me crazy!

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Somewhat, depending on what the appointment is for.  My blood pressure has raised during a routine check before and the doctor said it was "white coat syndrome".

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I like them but ONLY if they are ALL beef, if they aren't I can tell immediately.  Chicago Dogs Rock!!

7. Favorite movie? Little Women (the more recent one) it reminds me of my four girls.  I also LOVE Legends of the Fall although it makes me cry my eyes out.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Starbucks 4-EVER

9. Can you do push ups? if there is a really good reward afterwards :/

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? at present, the little teacup charm necklace I got to commemorate Sadie playing Chip in CYT's Beauty and the Beast.

11. Favorite hobby? Don't have just one -- decorating, scrapbooking, party planning, gardening, and reading.

12. Do you have A.D.D.?  Not ever diagnosed but sometimes I have to wonder.  Can we re-phrase that and say that I'm a great multi-tasker? :)

13. What's one trait you like about yourselfI am a huge dreamer and am always looking onto the next project to be conquered.  I have HUGE determination and don't give up easily!!

14. Middle name: Marie

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact momentI'm excited to catch up on my blog. Reading my favorite blog tonight has moved me closer to getting psyched up to decorate for the holidays.  I wish I wasn't getting a cold :(.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday50 bids on Quibids (gotta get those electronics for XMAS presents); I think that's all and it was even Cyber Monday :)

17. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink? Water, sweet tea, Pepsi, and a frozen margarita (although not regularly enough :).

18. Current worry? Will I ever be hired as more than just a para?

19. Current hate right now: My cold and the fact that the government has ruined the teaching profession as we knew it.

20. Favorite place to be? Somewhere warm and sunny where I can sleep with the sliding door open and hear the ocean.

21. How did you bring in the New Year? With wonderful long-time friends and then we left for Disney World the next day.

22. Where would you like to go? Somewhere warm and sunny where I can sleep with the sliding door open and hear the ocean.

23. Name two people who will complete this: I think McKensie (unless her finals are keeping her too busy and my friend Sharon Clark).

24. Do you own slippers? Yes, but I never wear them.  I'm at an age where I get hot quite suddenly.

25. What shirt are you wearing? A burnt orange sweater that went with my work clothes today and my fuzzy fleece jacket :).

26. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Probably not, I don't like things that have the potential of making me sweat. 

27. Can you whistle? Only if I blow out, not in.

28. Favorite colorRed and yellow, especially together (sorry that's two).

29. Would you be a pirate? That's kind of like asking me if I like to go camping.  In a fully equipped, furnished, state of the art RV ~ YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Although maybe if Johnny Depp was on the set. ;)

30. What songs do you sing in the shower? if I sing anything it's usually the worship song from Sunday that keeps going around in my head OR if my kids are in a CYT show at the moment, those songs are stuck in my head for weeks.

31. Favorite girl's name? if I had had another girl it would have been Sophie.

32. Favorite boy's name? I always wanted a Jake.

33. What's in your pocket right now? $5 that someone gave me today to pay for their lost library book.

34. Last thing that made you laugh? a blogpost I read about a mom transporting her 3 children to a school outing and getting pulled over by a police officer ~ you sorta had to be there!

35. Favorite bed sheets as a childmy blue and yellow flowery ones.

36. Worst injury you've ever had? A broken arm and stitches in my head from a sledding accident.

37. Do you love where you live? I LOVE my neighborhood, best ever (Country Lane at Wadsworth Lake) BUT I find the weather here quite distasteful (trying not to use the word 'hate').

38. How many TV's do you have in your house? 4 - I hardly ever watch them.

39. Who is your loudest friend? I don't have loud friends just loud children :) but I LOVE 'em.

40. How many dogs do you haveat the moment 2 ~ my Sophie (for 8 years) and my oldest daughter's padiddle, Abby.

41. Does someone have a crush on you? Absolutely! All of my students :)!

42. What is your favorite book? That's a super hard, really difficult question as one of my passions is reading.  Favorite that I've read lately is a series by Joel Rosenberg, The Last Jihad and I'm reading School of Fear with my youngest and it's REALLY good.

43. What is your favorite candy? Reese's, hands down.
44. Favorite Sports Team? not a HUGE fan of sports but I like the Bears.

45. What song do you want played at your funeral? Celebrate Good Times; and TONS of Great Worship music to point others to God; oh and a super-primo slide show of my life with great music playing along. I'm just sayin' :)

46. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Sound asleep.

47. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke upYuck, morning already?  And Dear Lord, please don't let Annsley get a headache today and It's supposed to snow today, Yuck!!
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