Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New preschool = new blog

The other day I officially announced (on facebook) that I am quitting my job at the end of the school year.  I will be starting my own preschool.  I'm not going to lie....I'm excited (well, now that I've told my boss I'm not coming back!).

We decided we'd try & finish the basement so that I could do preschool stuff down there.  $1,200 later and we had sheetrock delivered in pouring rain at 7:30 am today.  Awesome.  Travis was able to get the plumbing in the bathroom downstairs done.  Tonight my father in law & brother in law came over and helped him do some sheetrock.  They'll be back tomorrow and I anticipate every day after that while Travis is home.  The more the merrier I guess!

I will have both a three and a four year old class.  I'm only doing morning sessions so I will be done working by noon each day.  I've requested afternoon kindergarten for Caleb so I can still help at school in classes.  I'm hoping to get between six and ten kids in both classes.  We'll see how it goes.  So far I have about two kids in each class unofficially enrolled.

Tonight I got a blog for the preschool up and going.  The name of the preschool is Little Sprouts Preschool (thank you Samantha!).  You can check it out at:

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Act of Kindness #16 & #17

Act #16:
Today I was leaving the North Walmart & saw a man on the side of the road with a sign.  His sign said that he was a vet and passing through but was out of money and hungry.  So, I stopped & gave him $10 that I had on me.  I think it surprised Sam.  I told her my philosophy is "If you have a little, you give a little but if you have a lot, you give a lot.  I have a little, so, I gave a little."  We talked for a few minutes about it and I think she gets it.  If I can teach my kids that helping their fellow man is an important part of life I will consider myself a successful parent!

Act #17:
I've been trying to clean up my basement since we decided that we're going to try & finish the basement so I can do preschool down there.  Well, in an effort to minimize my collection of stuff I decided that I would give any duplicate books I own to my kids' school library.  So far, I've taken FIVE boxes up and dropped them off to their librarian.  She is thrilled!  She keeps telling me it's like Christmas for her.  The budget for the library isn't very large when you consider they have to buy the library bound books (which are a lot more money).  They don't even have an actual set of encyclopedias!  I decided that I can part with duplicate copies of my books - although it still felt like I was giving away my children!
When I had talked to the librarian about this a month or so ago I had figured I'd get the project done over Spring Break or Summer vacation.  Guess not!  After I talked to her about it the first time I was at the city library.  They were having their book sale & I noticed a set of state books for $10.  I left a msg for Katie (the librarian at the school) to go check it out.  She went down and got them & the library told her they had another set she could have as well.  Score!
And on Wednesday this past week while I was at Millville Elementary I noticed a set of encyclopedias sitting in a pile marked free.  I thought to myself "Seriously?"  So I asked the librarian at Millville if she was really getting rid of them.  They looked like they were brand new and they are Comptons.  She said she really was getting rid of them because they are 10 years old.  I told her I'd happily take them to Canyon Elementary.  She was surprised and didn't think they'd want them.  I told her they don't have an actual set of encyclopedias there so she'd be thrilled - even if they are 10 years old!  Then I told her that I have students using encyclopedias with a copyright of 1996 so 10 years old isn't that bad!  She said that if they would really use them she had another set exactly like that one that she'd send over as well.  I told her they'd love it!  So, I hauled the first set over to Canyon Elementary after school that day.  Katie couldn't believe it.  She was so excited!  I love that other people get as excited about books as I do - even if they are recycled books!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nash & Sam

Sam & Nash have been keeping me on my toes lately.  For Literacy Night at their school they get to dress up as their favorite character from a book for the school day.  I told the kids about three days before Literacy Night that I wasn't making their costumes this year (made them the last two years in a row - hence the American Girl costume & the Alice in Wonderland costume).  Sam was rather disappointed but I just couldn't do it in three days time this  year.
So, I asked Sam who she was going to go as.  She was having difficulty deciding which character to go as.  I asked her what books she's read recently & she proceeded to bring in about 2 dozen books.  She finally decided to go as Dani from "My Sister's a Pop Star."  There are three of these books (Usborne Series) and each one is about 300 pages.  She got all three of them last year and I think she's read the first two but not the third.  As she was getting ready for school Brooke was feeling left out so Sam had to give Brooke some glam too.  Little sister was thrilled to play along!
Nash could really care less if he dresses up for the Literacy Night event or not.  I told him the night before, "DUDE!  You should TOTALLY go as Captain Underpants!"  He has read the first nine books in this series.  In fact, it was this series that got Nash to like no, love, reading.  He's dying waiting for the library to get the tenth one or for me to finally break down and buy it for him.  He laughed hysterically when I suggested this but then was like, "Yea!  I'm going to do it!"  The next morning I was telling him, "Nash, go put on your underwear, pants, and underwear and get ready to go to school."  He kept telling me, "Mom.  This is so embarrassing!  I don't want to do this!"  I had to keep telling him, "Nash!  This is the coolest costume ever!  NO ONE else is going to dress up as Captain Underpants!"  To which he would reply, "Yea.  Cuz it's embarrassing mom!"  I finally convinced him he had nothing to be embarrassed about and that his costume was going to be the best costume at the school.
Later that night I took all four kids and wen went up to the school for the Literacy Night events.  Each of the kids got a free book.  Caleb & Brooke were excited they got one just like the big kids.  Caleb was bummed though because I wouldn't let him take the volcano book - it was too old for him and I know full well he wouldn't have sat through looking at it.  He picked a polar babies one instead.  Brooke got a cute one called "Baa-Choo!"  We went to my friend's "How to plot a novel in an hour" workshop, voted for the fourth grade dioramas (there were some pretty cool ones - and no, I didn't vote for Sam's.  I felt like it was cheating to vote for my own kid!  Is that bad?).  We got the kids an ice cream sandwich & filled out the quiz on The Lemonade War.  Nash's teacher (and anyone else I talked to about his costume) loved his costume!  The best part - it was SO easy!  Thanks to grandma Terri for making Caleb the flying suit for his birthday last year!
On Friday and Saturday the drama club at MC put on a workshop for all elementary school aged kids.  They went for a few hours on Friday and then went back Saturday morning for a few hours.  We went up at 11:30 to watch them put on the play & do the musical number they learned.  It was cute and the kids had fun.  I couldn't believe how many kids signed up!  There were roughly 100 kids (six of my students if you count Sam).  After their play & musical number they fed everyone pizza.  I think Sam had more fun than Nash did.  She's been singing different songs that they learned for two days now!  They also each got a certificate saying they participated in the workshop, completed the classes & performed in the play.

I don't think either one of these kids plans on slowing down any time soon.  Nash wanted to play spring soccer but I missed registration.  Sam has about a million dance competitions/performances coming up too.  We're also about to hit Relay season full swing.  I'm planning to put them in swimming lessons for at least one session this summer again.  They loved that last summer even if it did require them to wake up early!

Cakes for Cakes

My niece, Sunny, turned two yesterday!  She's so stinking cute.  My sister asked if I'd do cupcakes for her to take to daycare and her birthday cake.  I said sure (cuz you know, I don't have anything else going on right now).  My sister never lets me down when it comes to finding an appropriate challenge for me.

Here's what we created this go round:
These were the cupcakes we made to take to daycare (thank you pinterest - you fantastically evil invention you).  Apparently Sunny quite liked these.  She insisted Cassidy bring them in the house Wednesday night & let her eat one!  I told her her daycare lady probably would want to kill us since they were 1-cupcakes, 2-had frosting, and 3-20 m&m's a piece on each one!

My sister wanted me to create a mermaid cake for her birthday cake.  Then she found gelatin bubbles (thanks again pinterest).  I have never done gelatin bubbles before but happily accepted this challenge.  I'm always looking for ways to improve my skills :)  The gelatin bubbles weren't as bad as I thought they'd be.  The worst thing about them was that once I opened the water balloons I then had four kids blowing up water balloons & drawing faces on them with sharpies (which Brookelyn found & proceeded to color on her own arms!)  The sponge, coral, starfish & sea weed are all marshmallow fondant.

I think the cake turned out really cute.  I wish I would have done an 8 inch on the top layer instead of a nine inch.  Then there would have been more of a ledge for me to put stuff on between the cake layers.  The original picture my sister found also had purple fondant flowers & sea shells, pink sea shells & some grey rocks.  Had I had a bit more time I would have done the rocks.  I didn't have the right cookie cutter to do the flower & I'm not sure how they did the sea shell and made it look so real.  Next time!

In sad news, my mixer died today.  I've had it five years or less (I didn't get it until after we moved into our house and we've been here six years this April).  At least I finished Sunny's cake & cupcakes before it died.  Now to find a new one...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Act of Kindness #15

This week is teacher appreciation week at the kids' school.  This year I decided I was going to do what I could for them because I've really appreciated all the work they've done with my kids.  Sam has struggled with math this year and her teacher has really tried to help her.  Nash's teacher is a first year teacher and she's worked her tail off.  We just love Caleb's teacher too so we've included her as well.  I bought a variety of items for each teacher.

 For Sam & Nash's teacher I bought several different playground toys they could keep for their class.  I know that when I was teaching I was always looking for deals on good playground toys for the kids.  One day the kids took a dodge ball.  One day the kids took a football & a Frisbee.  One day they took 3 jump ropes.  These weren't the cheap dollar jump ropes either.  These are the long jump ropes that the tall kids can use & not get hit in the head with.  The ones you can play double dutch with if you know how. 

For all three teachers I made a fleece blanket.  I got 2 yards of a plain anti pill fleece and 2 yards of a printed fleece (micro fleece for two and an anti pill for one).  These turned out super cute.  I tied both layers together so each side is a different design/color.

I also made a cute little thing I found on pinterest for all three teachers.  These turned out really cute.   The crayons were a beast to peel.  Note to self - the cheap crayons peel super easy.  Crayola Crayons are a monster to get the wrappers off of!  I could have put them in really hot water and let them soak until the wrappers fell off, but I didn't want to wait for the crayons to dry.  I got thinking after I did Caleb's teacher (Mrs. Beddes) that I should have done an S for Miss Shannon instead of Mrs. Beddes because he calls her Miss Shannon.  I was excited when I found a three pack of the shadow boxes at Michael's for $12.  That made it nice!  They were a weird size though because they weren't as big as an 8x10 but they were bigger than a 5x7.  I have seen these done with the wrappers left on and used brand new crayons and just cut the crayons in half.  I liked using the crayons we had at home better.  It gives the letter more character (I think).

I also donated $10 to the room mom teacher appreciation gift fund.  No idea what was purchased with those funds.  I think Sam said her teacher got movie tickets.  I just hope the kids' teachers feel appreciated because we really do appreciate how much they've done for our kids this year!