Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Creative Christmas Gift!!!

I am continuing along with my holiday posts with posting about the Christmas gift that my 4th graders are giving their parents.  I really have a difficult time thinking of something that the parents will actually use and not just get rid of them.  So I decided to...
 Step 1:  Buy different calendars from Michael's ($1.00)

 Step 2: Take off the clear cover from the calendar.  Use a staple remover to take apart the calendar.  Remove the cover from the calendar.  Use that cover as a template to cut out white rectangles out of card stock or construction paper.  The card stock tends to hold up better.  This rectangle will now serve as the cover for your calendar.  Give the white piece to your students to have them decorate the front and back cover.

 Step 3:  On the inside left side, have the students write a letter to the person they are giving their calendar to.  I had them write in pencil first so they could edit their work, if needed.  Then they could decorate it.

 Step 4:  Put the newly decorated cover together with the calendar pages and re-staple your pages together.  Put the calendar back in the plastic sleeve.  Now your calendar is personalized and ready to be wrapped for your holiday gift!!

Tada!!!!  It is really an easy, inexpensive way to show your families that their children care for them!  I spent $30 bucks total for this gift ($1/calendar).  I plan to have the kids use white wrapping paper to wrap their calendars in.  They will get to decorate their wrapping paper too!
Feel free to use this idea OR even better...share the ideas that you are using in your classroom/personal life!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Five of My Favorite Things!

December is such a wonderful month.  It is a time for giving, making new memories, being with family, and enjoying the beautiful weather we receive.  In the midst of this joyous season, I find myself stressed and living in some kind of chaotic world.  Why is it that holidays bring a huge to-do list that never seems to get accomplished?
Just to name of few of those things on the to-do list: Class Gifts, Finish student parent gifts, student teacher gift, Biz Town jobs/preparing for the field trip on Tuesday, finish Christmas shopping for my family, etc.  The list goes on and on and on.  The funny thing is that I have 8 work days to complete my list.  It seems impossible but I know it will get done....eventually.  Needless to say, I should be working on the list rather than blogging.  However, blogging was calling my name this evening.
Because I am feeling stressed, I wanted to think about things that really made this a memorable season and reflect upon things that really made me happy during the holidays.  We all have our favorites, right?

 Favorite Thing #1: Christmas Movies!!!  I absolutely love when I flip through the channels and find one of my favorite holiday movies on.  I can't help myself even if I have seen them 100 times or more. 
 Favorite Thing #2: Baking Christmas Cookies!!!  In fact this past Friday evening, the hubby and I spent the evening baking sugar cookies from scratch and decorating them with frosting and sprinkles.  Baking cookies never gets old and the cookies always just taste so good each year.
 Favorite Thing #3: Christmas Ornaments!!!  There is something about buying new ornaments that makes me incredibly happy.  I tend to get a lot of really neat ornaments from my students (including one today).  I love it!!!  I also have a bad habit of buying a ton of ornaments after the holidays and leaving them in the packages until the following Christmas.  It makes taking out the bins of Christmas decor exciting!
 Favorite Thing #4: Giving Christmas Gifts!!!  I have to say that spending time Christmas shopping can be overwhelming, frustrating, and fun!  I always have a time buying for the men in my family (is this normal in all families?)  and of course the women are pretty easy.  I like to find unusual items to give people because watching them open the gifts is always fun!  There is something about showing the people you love, just how much you care during the holiday season that lights up my life.
 Favorite Thing #5Stockings!!!  My entire family has matching stockings that are hand stitched from one of my great aunts.  They are really cute and I have had mine since I was born.  When my husband joined our family, it was one of the first things that was brought up by a family member.  They made sure he had a stocking for his first Christmas with me.  They are one of my favorite things to take out and hang by the fireplace.  It reminds me of family, those close by and those I won't get to see during the holidays.  I know they hang their stockings up as well and that brings me great joy.
Ok...I couldn't resist doing a Favorite Thing #6!!  Christmas Cards!!!  I ordered our Christmas cards before December even hit.  Yes, I know...I just couldn't help it.  I at least waited until December hit to send them out.  Not only do I like sending a little holiday cheer to friends & family but I love opening Christmas cards in the mail.  Even though it is a simple card that hundreds of people are receiving, just knowing that someone thought enough about us to send a card, brightens my day.  So far...we haven't received any in the mail but I am hoping that we will in the days to come.

So what are you some of your favorite December things?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fun in the Mud!

Whew!  Did anyone else have a case of the Monday's?  I sure did!  I couldn't get to sleep last night so of course waking up at 5:25 this morning did not go well for me.  Although I couldn't get myself together this morning, I was excited to get home and blog!  I have missed blogging and reading all my friends blogs too.  I was also thrilled to get to share this once in a lifetime event that I did with my hubby and in-laws.  
I had never been 4-wheelin'/ATV riding before and my father in law wanted to go for his birthday.  So, I suited up and headed out with the fam for a FULL day of fun, mud, and sore muscles. (Can I say just say I was sore for a full week afterwards).  Here are some of the pictures from our day...

My in-laws found it hilarious to see me all muddy and disgusting.  Apparently, I don't get down and dirty around the in-laws that much.  Secretly, I thought it was a blast and probably played up the "pretty girl" act just a tad. Ok, who hasn't done that a time or two?  So ladies, have you been out ATV riding before?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still undecided?
I loved it!  However, because I was sore for sooooooo long I will have to prepare myself for a future adventure.  I'll probably make sure I wear gloves and warmer clothes.  I may even consider getting cute pink gear to wear for future pics.
Enjoy your Monday evening ladies!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Teacher Outing!

Happy December to you all!  I want to start off by saying that I am ready for the beginning of 2012 to get here!  This first part of the school year has been exciting, crazy, busy, exhausting, etc.  If you are already a follower then you know that I started fourth grade this year, after teaching four years of second grade.  I have learned so much thus far from my students and my coworkers.  I have made some amazing new friends, who I am proud to call my fourth grade team.  I have so many exciting things to update you all on but I will spread it out over my next couple of posts.
Just last week I was able to spend time with some of my new fabulous friends outside of school.  I don't want to say they are "new" friends per say, but now that I spend everyday with them in our school building (upper grades are in a different building), I have gotten to know them a lot better and I have loved every second of it.  Not only have I made these amazing friendships but I have learned a lot about myself in the past five months working together.
My co-workers and I went to a Mixed Media Class at the Wine Palette here in N.C.  We wanted to stretch ourselves and do something outside of the box.  We all claim we are not artistic but, I think secretly we all really wanted to do some amazing art pieces.  A parents at our school was hosting the event and we went to support her and of course to have fun!
Here are a couple of photos from the event... 

Me (with new, dark hair), Elizabeth (4th grade teacher), & Jenna (5th grade teacher)

Jenna, Elizabeth, Becky (4th grade), Kristin (5th grade), & Me!

Becky, Kristin, & other artists!

The event was planned from 7-9 and I didn't get home until 10:30ish.  We had a blast enjoying wine, snacks, and each others company.  I am thrilled beyond belief that I have gotten to know such amazing people in just a couple short months.  I am looking forward to many other outings with these ladies and getting to know them even better as the school year rolls on.