Saturday, August 31, 2013

{back to school shopping + date night

The plan for today was to run to school to drop off my pictures, and I also needed to grab some paperwork for Lilli's school that I forgot in my room. Here is what half of the pics look like in my room:

I think it adds so much. I especially love the cork board. I am able to put up a TON of pics this way.

The little frame I got on clearance at a Home Goods type store a few years ago. It was clearanced out because one of the pieces of plastic for a picture was missing. I just went into my scrapping room and found something that would work in its place:

I think it looks like it was made to be there.

After being in my classroom, Caden REALLY wanted to play at my friend Kim's house. She lives right next to the school, and Caden thinks her place is AMAZING. Luckily, she was home:

Caden practically ran to the house from the van--

He thought this was awesome--

He was pretty good, too--

Lilli was happy because Kim let her pick a baby to take care of--

And she liked this--
 Yes, she's wearing candy corn socks. She loves them... So not worth the fight:)

Look at her hair fly--

The excitement didn't end there. Katelyn came over to play with the kids. They love it when she comes over to play :)

It also gave Mama and Dada time to get some things done. Now that I have my hair all ready for school, I knew I needed a few new pieces of clothing for my wardrobe. I'm not talking all out crazy town shopping spree, just some new signature pieces that will look fresh and stand up for some time. The first thing I did was take a look at my closet to see what I needed. For example, I wore my black wedge dress shoes this week to inservice, and I realized that they needed to go. They were falling apart. I put that on my list. Yep...a list. I started a list this Tuesday of what I needed to get. I know myself too well. If I don't write it down, I will forget it. It's that simple. I also remembered some of the items I got rid of (for various reasons) when I cleaned my closet. Some of the things on my list:
*black flats with a wedge
*black boots
*brown boots
*dark brown dress pants

You know, things like that. At least those are the staples that I needed. I successfully found all accept the brown dress pants. I found A LOT more than I planned to get :)

Ryan needed to get some more reading done (Did I mention he is starting an Executive MBA program in less than two weeks?), so he planned to read while I shopped. We headed to Appleton. I have been wanting to try Carmella's for a LONG time, and tonight was the night. Here's a shot of our dinners:

Ryan and his Chilean Sea bass--

My swordfish--


Oh, I also decorated a cake today for a birthday party tomorrow. Adin's 4th birthday party is tomorrow, and he LOVES Monster's Inc. I grabbed some ideas off of Pinterest. I think it turned out okay. I still need to add the door banner from skewer to skewer. I'm doing that tomorrow:

Until later!


Friday, August 30, 2013

{back to school haircuts}

Not only is it time to do some last minute back to school supply shopping, but the kids and I also did some back to school haircuts today! The kids love getting their haircut, so going to visit Catie at Sublime Hair Studio is always a fun time :) Here are the before pics of the kiddos:

Caden Before--

Lilli before--

Caden always likes to get his hair cut first:

Then comes Lilli:

They know that a piece of candy will be waiting for them if they do a great job. This is generally always the case with them. Lilli is usually so quiet I can't believe it. This time they each took a cookie:

Here are the after pics of the kiddos:



So cute!

After the kids were done, Dada walked them to his office while I was getting my hair cut:

It was time for Mama to get her hair cut. I am a HUGE fan of letting my hair grow out in the summer so I can just quickly pull it back into a ponytail or a sloppy bun. The end of summer is here, and so it the end of my long-ish hair. Plus Ryan likes me hair when it is shorter and sassy :)

Here are my before (sans makeup) pics:

The back of my hair--

And here are my after pics:

Back view--

Side view--

I LOVE it! I just feel more put together when I have hair to style. It is just too easy for me to pull my hair back day after day if I let it get too long.

I have to leave you with a pic of the kiddos when they were playing in the sandbox Wednesday night after I got home from Open House at my school. They were digging for treasure:
 I don't know what I like more about this pic--the fact that Caden looks so darn happy he found the doubloon, or that Lilli looks like a Peanuts character dancing :)

Until later!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

{soccer hockey to soon begin}

This past Tuesday was Caden's last day of soccer :( I was back at work, so I had to miss it. Luckily he was fortunate enough to have his Grandma take him. He LOVED soccer. I think it was such a great fit for him because he is so active. He was running all of the time.

This was a video I shot of him at practice from last week:

Here is a picture my mother-in-law sent to me from his last practice. He was so excited to get another medal:
How cute is he?

He also got a little certificate:
Every day we would walk into soccer practice, we would have to walk past the entrance to the ice rink. Every day he would peer in that direction as we past the door. Three weeks ago he started asking about ice hockey. Am I old enough to play it? Can I try it? He's only 4 (5 at the end of October), so I thought the fascination would pass. It didn't. I think of ice hockey and certain images pop into my head. Like this one:
A young boy shows off his missing teeth while in his hockey gear. - stock photo
I think it's pretty rough. I worry about Caden getting pushed around...but I know that I shouldn't worry. Because he is so physical, I am sure he will love it. It just seems to be such a "big kid" sport. I guess it's time to realize he isn't so little :) When I told him I signed him up, he was SO excited. We still need to go and get him a helmet because his first class Sept. 9th. I had to make him understand he won't even touch a stick in his lessons. The first session of ice hockey is just getting the kids to be able to skate. Should be fun! I'm thinking Bambi on ice :)

Until later!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

{my new hobby...sewing}

Lilli's party encouraged me to get out the old sewing machine that my mom gave me MANY years ago. It was her old one. It is not fancy. I am even missing the party that holds the thread. Luckily my father in law fashioned this for me while I live in Chicago. That was the only other time I had used this machine. Ryan and I wanted a new cover for our futon, so we made it. I remember there was a lot of frustration, and I am sure some choice words were used while we attempted to figure out how to thread the darn machine. But we did it. I then promptly forgot about sewing. It wasn't a good experience.

Flash forward about 10 years. Peter Pan hats. The template made it look so easy. In fact, it was pretty easy. But again there was that darn problem of threading the machine. Have I mentioned how much I HATE the bobbin. I did make 8 Peter Pan hats:

...but they were not pretty if you looked at the inside. I accomplished making the hats somehow even though I was still incorrectly threading the bobbin. This sewing experience was different. I LOVED it. I didn't even get upset after trying TIME after TIME after TIME to thread the bobbin. I guess with age comes patience. After finished the hats, I decided that I don't want to pack up and forget about my sewing machine. I want to keep using it. I thought I would start with some easy projects. And that is where my CRAFTY SUNDAY comes into play. As I mentioned before, I am going to take some time every Sunday to do some sort of craft. I need that time. My list of Things To Do is going to be put on hold.

This Sunday I started with a craft for the kids...of course :) They came with my to JoAnn Fabrics, and each kiddo picked out fabric for a pillow case. I figured that would be a relatively easy project. I think I ended up being pretty success. Okay, I made Caden's first, so his isn't perfect. He picked out Batman fabric:

But do you know what? He LOVES it. It doesn't matter that the inside looks horrible. My grandma would cringe. I know I will only get better from here on out. Here is how I made the pillowcase--

The first thing I did was grab another pillowcase to examine. I flipped it inside out and measured it:

Then I made a HUGE mistake (but only on Caden's). I did measure the fabric that was flapped over, but somehow I didn't put the extra 3 3/4" in the final measurements I wrote down. So I cute the material too short on one side. Oh well, I still made it work. It just added a few extra steps. I took an extra piece I had cut off and made it work.

After compiling my (incorrect) measurements, I measured the fabric and chalked lines where I needed to cut:

I cute the piece apart, and then I realized my mistake. Measure twice, cut once. I will always repeat this when sewing from now on...

Here is the extra piece I measured and then ironed to prepare for sewing:

Here is the final product for Caden's Batman Pillowcase:

He LOVED it.

Miss Lilli wanted her own pillowcase as well, and this is the fabric she picked out:

Retro Barbie!

She chose this over princess fabric! I couldn't believe it. I love the retro look. Her pillowcase was much easier to sew. I had completely figured out my machine by then, plus I knew to avoid the measuring error from Caden's. After measuring, ironing, and pinning, Lilli's pillowcase only took about 10 minutes for me to sew.

Here's her finished product:

I didn't pay attention to the direction of the pattern when I purchased the fabric. Next time I would buy two yards in order to flip it so that it would run horizontally on the pillow versus vertically.

My next project is going to be for me. I am going to try to make a knit skirt. We will see how that goes :)

I will leave you with a pic of Caden from last night at his Peter Pan 4K Open House. It is hard to believe my little guy isn't so little anymore... But he is still so darn cute!

Until later!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

{a tour of my classroom}

Because I spend so much time in my classroom, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a little tour of it. Today was the first official day of school for all district staff, so it meant a lot of meetings...and sitting...but it was great to see all the faces of friends I haven't seen (in some cases) since June.

I am a huge fan of color in my classroom. For some students, I think the extra color just helps to wake them up a little. One way I do this is with my ACT prep words I display throughout the room. They are the green pieces of paper on the wall in this shot:

I have found that these words do sometimes appear in my students' writing assignments, so I think that having the words displayed is working.

I also like to only put half of my overhead lights on. I put the lights on in the front half of the room. Then along the back of the room I have lamps. Yes, I even have a lava lamp. This is my lava lamp that I got in high school :) --

I picked up the lamps at Goodwill on the half-off days. The lamps seem to have a calming effect for the students. Not so calming that they fall asleep, but calming enough that they are (for the most part) quiet when they should be and also on-task. Students will walk in sometimes and breath a sigh of relief. I think they are comfortable in my room.

Now keep in mind, they are teenagers. And some of them are teenagers who are coming to my room after gym class. Sometime they smell are not so fresh :) That is why I LOVE air fresheners. I stay away from really strong scents. I love things like Fresh Cotton. I keep a plug-in at the front of the room, and this year I added a Scentsy warmer (This is okay to use because it heats the scented wax with a low wattage light bulb). I am lucky that I have the hook-up with Nicole. Not only does it smell great, but I think it looks super cute on my back shelf.

Table set-up:

I started putting the tables in this configuration last year. It is more of a pod set-up. Some people asked if it promoted more off-task talking, but I didn't find that to be the case. I also put a bucket in the middle of the tables with a couple pencils in case students need to use one for the class period.

My desk area that is still pretty bare at this point--

I will show you more about this after I get my desk area completely set up. I still need to print off new pics. I love to have pics of my family everywhere to see during the day. I need to send the pics to get printed at Walgreens.That cork board will be filled with pics, and the little picture frame on top of my filing cabinet needs new pics. If you see that green thing under the lamp all the way to the right of the pic, that is my mini-microwave. There is also a little refrigerator under that. I keep snacks under the little table with the green table cloth. Mostly popcorn and rice cakes.

I love my classroom. I am very comfortable in there. So are my kiddos, as you may remember from this post. They love being able to go to my classroom at any time. I also love the little fun things I have all over. My William Shakes"bear," William Shakespeare doll, and my William Shakespeare action figure--

My Edgar Allan Poe action figure and the crafty "The Raven" that my mother-in-law made for me--

Above them is my "Harry Potter" movie poster. I used to have it at home, but Caden didn't like it. He said they look "angry" --
I love this sign I have on my door. It's new this year--

My rack of books for the students. I have MANY others on the bookshelf in the room--

This table is where I keep supplies for the students to use. The three baskets in the front are where the students will turn in their papers for: English 9, Creative Writing, and Senior Writing. The basket in the back will have loose leaf paper in it--

I keep the lesson plans for each class posted online, but also right up on this board for students to see. And yes, those are already my lesson plans for next week. You can never be too organized, right?

Lovely, huh? It works for me.

I will leave you with a pic of the kids from tonight. There were patches of clouds passing over with huge rain drops that would only last for a minute or two. They kids decided they wanted to catch them in their mouths--


Until later!