Friday, December 31, 2010

six hundred, a sale, & something new

I just noticed that the Blogger dashboard says this is my 600th post. Wow!

And it's New Year's Eve.

I just listed a whole bunch of stuff in my shop. Here's a sample.

Let's celebrate!

In honor of my 600th post and New Years's, I'm offering 10% off everything in the shop to you, my most favorite blog reader, for the rest of the weekend. Upon checkout, just use the code HAPPYNEWYEAR10 to receive your discount.

And here's a little sneak peak of something else I'm working on.

Now, go shopping!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

christmas craft #1

Sometime around Halloween, Greg and the kids were in Joann's with me and announced they'd like to make Christmas blankets. So we bought the holiday fleece right then and there. And then it sat in the bag while I got ready for a craft show and filled special orders from school. 

We started this craft Monday, 30 minutes before we had to leave for dance (but please note, it did not take 30 minutes to complete).

First, cut a 4-inch square from each corner. Then on all four sides, make 4-inch cuts about a ruler's length apart.

I even let the kids use my good fabric scissors, with strict instructions to not cut any carpet. I know, wonders never cease.

While they worked on their cuts, I started my own little project.

After all the cuts are made, tie a knot in each piece of fringe.

This is a great t.v. activity. Put the blanket on you and tie while you watch.

Me? Still cutting.

All done! Snuggle up with a buddy and watch some Sponge Bob quality television.

Still! The skies continue to mock me with the constant rain for the last three days. At this rate, people will be getting Christmas cards around March. Greg says this is how he knows for sure that God has a sense of humor. It n.e.v.e.r. rains here, but in the busiest delivery week of the year, it rains constantly.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Usually, seeing our mountain in the wispy embrace of old man fog on a blustery, rainy day is a welcome sight.

But not when I had planned to do an outdoor photo shoot to take pictures of the kids for our Christmas card. Hmph!

Maybe tomorrow will be the perfect overcast with no wind or rain until after we're done.

Cross your fingers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

humbug and a major award

This holiday season, Heather made her big break onto the stage as an actor in her drama club's performance of Humbug. It was a little play where the teacher, Mrs. Ebenezer, has lost her enthusiasm for teaching. There are visitations of ghosts. You get the idea.

During the dress rehearsal, Heather showed up on stage with this hat on and I busted out laughing. It's so outrageous and cute at the same time. When she is in high school, she will just wither with embarrassment!

Heather had a small part ~ one line ~ at the end of the play. Plus she had to share that line with another drama club member. Although it was not the part she dreamed of, she did a swell job.

This past week, Stephanie had her first band concert. Over 100 kids who just learned how to hold an instrument, read music, make noise on an instrument? That's quite a feat, so my expectations were low. I had been listening to Stephanie practice, so I knew how well she was playing. But everyone else? Who knew!

We were pleasantly surprised. I thought they were amazing. Each section (woodwinds, brass, etc.) played a little selection by themselves. They ended with a larger medley piece.

Just before the medley, the band director said a few words about how hard the kids have worked and how much they've had to learn in just a few months. Then she gave out a few awards. Stephanie was the first band member to get an award for being an outstanding oboe player. She mentioned how Stephanie takes her instrument home every day to practice and spends a lot of time practicing. The award was a surprise to all of us.

As always, I sit in the audience and watch my little lovlies on the verge of tears with a grapefruit-sized lump in my throat. They bring me such joy and I am so proud of them. When they choose to do something ~ dance, drama, instruments, singing ~ they also make a choice to give it their best efforts. That, alone, makes me happy. The fact that they are good at what they try makes it even better!

I don't know if I can take all this growing up!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

it was bound to happen

So last week at a school function, a mom came up to me with news about her niece, whom I taught in 4th grade during my 5th year of teaching. Turns out she's gonna be a new mommy in April.


When did this happen?

Just as I am not quite finished reeling from the shock, I sense someone else standing beside me. Another mom. I have a much longer and complicated history with this one. I taught her daughter in 3rd grade during my second year of teaching. I also taught her grandson/son (long story) three years ago. Her sister watched Stephanie the year I had her. Anyway, she tells me that Brittany, her daughter, is there and wants to say hi to me. I haven't seen her in a couple of years and excitedly turned to say hello (she was one of my favorites ~ even though teachers don't have favorites ~ ahem). She said hello and proudly presented a baby carrier for me to see. Her baby boy is seven weeks old.

A little bit dizzy and weak in the knees, I oohed and aahed over him. He's a cutie.

I am fully aware that this is my 15th year of teaching. Believe me, that business alone is something I can hardly fathom.

I am also fully aware that the tiny humans grow up.

But somehow in my mind, these girls will forever be in 3rd and 4th grade.

And I will forever not have a gray hair in my head!

But I guess it was bound to happen.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

vroom, vroom

My nephew, Gavin, turned two this week. 

I've been wanting to try to make a car roll-up for a little while. Now I had my chance!

What a great place to drive your cars!

I was a little nervous about the track. I didn't follow any instructions on that part. To up the stakes a little more, I didn't start making it until yesterday morning ~ and the party was at one. Greg smelled potential melt-down disaster. Fortunately, I pulled through on this one with only a few pin pricks and no tears.

When he's all done, he can park them in the "garage."

Gavin loved it. Wendy loved it. We even caught some of the older kids (jr. highers) playing with it.

All done? Park your cars and roll it up. Perfect storage for an on-the-go play item.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

tales from the schoolyard

1. Yesterday, as one of my students was sitting down to read with me, this conversation took place:
Student: Are  you going to stay up late tonight?

Me: Huh? (Ok, so I'm not always the best conversational example for the students!)

Student: It's Friday, are you going to stay up late?
Me: (with realization of what the heck he's talking about) Oh. Yes, I probably will.
You see, he's remembering a time when I told the students that I was excited for a Friday because I like to stay up late and I don't have to get up early on Saturdays.

Too bad he can't remember the difference between a noun and a verb with such clarity.

2. Someone has been taking food from my little fridge in the room. Not just the candy bars that happened to be in there for a little while around Halloween, but the plums and string cheese too.  It has happened about half a dozen times. I've narrowed down the suspects, but when confronted, the sticky-handed student lies brazenly to my face. Yet, when I told her I kinda already know the truth, she cannot look me in the eye. Very telling.

Yes, I'm bluffing. But I also didn't say what truth to which I was referring exactly. There are lots of truths in life that I know.

3. In light of the downturned economy, I am wondering if it might be a good idea to put a tip jar on my desk to supplement my income.

Except, I'd probably just get a couple of broken pencils.