Thursday, April 21, 2011

end of year reviews

I'm spending the afternoon typing up transcripts I've had in my notebook all year long. Anecdotal records of things kids in my class have said that show their grasp on learning in the six core areas. I'll give the notes to parents at the end of year conferences in May. I've had quite a few chuckles reliving some of the memories.

Like when one boy was upset that center time had run out and he hadn't had a chance at the writing center to make something with the craft supplies. The little girl who was there invited him to come to her house for a play date where they could use her craft supplies. "But I don't know where you live?" he said with a sad face. "That's OK! I'll just save my money and buy you a GPS. It will tell you exactly how to get to my house!"

Or when a other girl giggled to herself and said "Miss Kelly, I have a joke for you. What do you call a groundhog with a crown? A crown-hog! Get it? Ha! I just made that up!"

Love this one... I had just read a story about friendship and being kind to one another. A little girl raised her hand and said: "That makes me think about when I don't want to play with my little brother because he doesn't share. But I do because that is what Jesus wants me to do."

Being a preschool teacher is a lot more work that I ever thought it would be. But I do love my job!


Easter Cookie to try

My mom just sent me this from one of her gluten free resources.

Looks like a neat idea to try Saturday.

Easter Story Cookies

This is a great tradition to start with the family. Read from the scriptures as you spend time together baking cookies. Each step of the recipe parallels a truth from the quoted scriptures.


1 cup pecan halves we'll be using choc. chips
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
3 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 cup white sugar


Preheat oven to 300° F (150° C).

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.

Read John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.

Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.

Read Luke 23:27

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.

Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.

Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.

Read Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.

Read Matthew 27:65-66

Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20 and 22

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! Explain that on the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

Read Matthew 28:1-9


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Break ~Wednesday

Woke up and got started on the tie dye right away. They are all beautiful!! There was a lot of impatience to have them rinsed, washed and dried before wear.

The day was spent playing with friends while I caught up on some inside work.

After a late dinner, we headed out to Rita's for some frozen treats. It was "treat receipt" day, so whatever we purchased we get again for free when we bring the receipt back next Wednesday!


Sprinb Break ~Tuesday

What a day!! A great, long, day!

The girlies pronounced it as their favorite day in a long time.

We ran a few errands that included a trip to the craft store armed with a 40% off coupon to pick up a few more colors of tye dye. Then to Target for some white tank tops to dye. Also looked for newborn shirts for their American Girl dolls, but the hook was bare. Then we ventured off to meet Nana and Grandpa at Red Robin for lunch. Grandpa's B-day is the 20th, so they brought cards and a few of his favorite candies

After lunch, Nana and Grandpa had to go to a doctor appointment, so we went to the cars so they could give us some good junk they are donating to our yard sale and give the girlies Easter baskets. How cool is it that out of the entire mall parking lot, I found an empty spot relatively close (and was in a hurry to get inside so I didn't pay any attention) that was right next to mom and dad's car!! Made for an easy transfer of the junk (oops- I mean great stuff to sell!).

We made a few pit stops looking for doll sized shirts on the way home, finally finding them (on sale!) at a baby mega store.

Target is fun with new Easter animals!

Then it was time to get the tie dye all set up. What a process! I made the girls go put on their tie dye nightgowns from the last time we did this. It was at a friend's home and we just showed up and she had everything ready. Much easier. I figured if they got anything on themselves, it wouldn't matter.

When they made the nightgowns (womens tank tops) we were the last to arrive and most of the dye was diluted. They were amazed at the vibrant colors we had to use!

Wish I had more pictures of the girls in process, but I had to have rubber gloves on and do most of the rubber banding. Got messy fast, so just a few pictures from the beginning.

They each made 4 items: a tee shirt, a tank top, a doll shirt, and a nightgown/swimsuit cover up (read: $1 clearance sale of womens size small tops).

I made one girl tank too (there were 3 in the package). Fun!

They could hardly wait overnight to see the results!!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break ~Monday

Good day.

Girlies played wonderfully together 99% of the day. That's huge because there is usually a lot of bickering and fighting. Bound to happen when you are so close together in age with the exact same interests, desires and for the most part, abilities. It we pretty cool when they looked at me late this afternoon and commented "we haven't had a fight today!"

You go girls!!

They made a club. The Polka Dot Girls club. They made signs. Sign up lists. Member cards and invitations (that were promptly delivered to neighbor's mailboxes). They created stuff with play doh and water color paint. The kitchen table is still a mess with remnants of creativity. They ran around outside. Played on the swing set. Fed themselves (healthy- not so sure?).

All the while I, still in my jammies, hunkered down with my laptop and revamped my website. I edited pictures and cleaned up categories. I posted several new items and removed old ones that I had no desire to make again that hadn't been ordered in years. I prepped 3 new orders that came in and responded to two inquiries of items I listed on cr@igslist last night (there is a bite on the $300 double stroller!!).

No cleaning today. In fact, there is more mess. I'm choosing to be OK with that.

I got showered by late afternoon and joined the kids across the street in the neighbor's backyard to greet their new puppy. She is such a little doll!

The kids were all jumping on the trampoline, so I got a few pictures.

Then I had Piper model for me. I'll be adding a new product line this week- stretch elastic hair ties that double as bracelets. Anthropologie makes some for way too much $$. I use the same elastic for infant/toddler headbands, so I made a few for personal use and we all love them. I dyed one for Piper last week and she has loved wearing it on her wrist and in her hair. I figured I could get a few decent pictures while we were outside. Tomorrow we have plans to tie dye a boatload of elastic, and some shirts for the girls and their dolls- after meeting my parents for lunch. They will be in the area for doctor's appointments. Fun!

I'm feeling better.

It's turning into a good break.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Break ~Sunday

No pictures today.

Momma is sick.

I'm not so sure anymore it's just allergies getting the better of me.

When the crew got home from church we got into cleaning gear for the day. The girlies emptied out the cabinets and sorted out the plastics, utensils, cookware. We recycled a lot of old mismatched pieces and gathered and stored cups that were too babyish. Sounds simple, but it was a lot of work! We went through a lot of accumulated kitchen gadgets that we don't use and set them aside to try to sell.

Paul was in the garage sorting through the big piles of yardsale-ables donated by my parents and the "good" stuff that didn't sell at the fall sale. I photographed the old stroller and deluxe double stroller and a few higher end items and listed them tonight on cr@isglist.

The girlies came asking for their fun activity of the day. Hmmm? I wasn't up to anything. Paul volunteered to take them to the park and to McD's for ice cream sundaes.

And that is where they are (w/o a camera) while I have some quiet time.

Hopefully I'll feel better for day #3.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Break ~Saturday

The girlies are little disappointed that, unlike the majority of their friends, they will be staying home and not taking a vacation this spring break. Not that we have ever taken a vacation over spring break, but disappointed none the less.

"Mom," said Piper yesterday, "I think I'm the only kid in second grade staying home and spring cleaning over spring break. What am I going to write about in my journal? Ugh! We are doing nothing fun!"

I completely understood her frustration. Friends were globetrotting and would have adventures to write about in their homework journals to be shared upon returning to school. And we were just staying home, cleaning the house and preparing for the huge community yard sale April 30.

Yes, there will be a lot of spring cleaning taking place but I decided that we'll do something fun each day. And I'll blog about it.


It would be Friday before I knew it and we'd have a cleaner home but nothing "fun."

So here it is... Day 1

The cleaning today:

The closet/drawer changeover. I had the girlies take every piece of clothing out of their drawers and sort out what still fit and could be saved for next fall/winter. They have only gained 2-3 pounds a year and many of their clothes still fit fine. I'm buying size 7-8 tops now, but the 6s still look just fine. Some stuff they have worn for the past two years and were just sick of seeing. Those items and the too small stuff went into the "sell" pile.

Then we got out the tubs of saved spring/summer clothes from last year and sorted out what still fit and what they would want to wear again this year. The good stuff went into the drawers and another "sell" pile was formed. I had also purchased a few new summer items on clearance this winter, so we got out the bags- tried things on and took off tags. We decided who loved an item and who didn't care. And if both loved it, who got it first. Girlies are wearing the same size now.

That took most of the afternoon. Now I have organized drawers and closets ready for warm weather. And two huge piles for me to deal with. A "keep" pile to fold and pack up and the "sell" pile I'll wash, iron and photograph to upload to ebay this week.



So how about the fun?

After dinner, the tremendous rain storms of the day had passed. We piled in the car and headed to Sweet Frog. The girlies love it! It's a fix your own frozen yogurt with every known to man topping available. The place was packed. They made quite the concoctions.

After our yogurt, we headed to LifeWay to browse the books (or sit in the beanbag chairs and watch Veggie Tales if you are a kid). We were the last out the door as they closed at 9.

Car dancing ensued on the way home. {sugar high?}

Not a tropical vacation. But I think we are off to a good start.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Break

It's officially spring break.

Just got the girlies from the bus stop. They ran home and put on flip flops to go outside and play with friends.

We had a fun day at school. 6 of our butterflies hatched, so we let them go at playground time. We has a fun egg hunt and a special cupcake treat. It was a nice, easy last day. I hugged my little friends goodbye. They are ready for a break.

No big plans. No special trips. There is much to be done on the home front. I plan on cleaning the house and de-cluttering and prepping for the huge yard sale our neighborhood has each May. To make it fun for the girls, I have a few art projects planned and we'll take a daily jaunt for a treat. I just bought tickets to the circus for next Saturday.

A break from the regular routine will be nice. I hope I get as much accomplished as I have set out in my mind.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's all yellow

Dang pollen is everywhere.

My red car is yellow. After a brief rain the puddles in the store parking lot looked like oil slicks with swirls of yellow green nastiness.

I have sinus pressure and an awful sore throat.

Dang these seasonal allergies. I have to dig out the medications and see what concoction will work for me this go round. It's never the same. I'm seriously suffering.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Not Bad

(I forgot my camera, so the only pictures are from my ipod)

That's how I'd sum up Saturday. Not Bad. It wasn't a stellar day, but I took in average for a 1 day event, even though this one was a few hours longer than average and the booth fee was a bit higher.

The weather just didn't cooperate. When I arrived at 7:15 AM the electronic sign at the entrance to the campus read 50 degrees. It was quite a hike from the parking lot to the vendor area, so they had about 6 small flat bed tractors transporting vendors and all our inventory and set up. I parked in the only open spot on the circle where I was directed and unloaded my car contents onto the curb. The tractors loaded up all the people on the far side of the circle. More vendors arrived and filled in those curbside spaces, and the tractors came back and picked up a new load... of the new people! The woman who was just ahead of me and I were starting to get frustrated. We finally got one to come over to us and she was loaded up first since she arrived a few minuted before me. It took 3 loads to get her transported. She promised to send the men back to get me, but they came back and settled once again on the far side. I had been waiting for 45 minutes by this point and began yelling and furiously waving my hands to get their attention: "Hey- over here, please!" They drove over my way just as Paul was arriving with my second load of stuff in his car. They drove me down to my space and Paul moved the cars to the parking lot, which turned out to be down a very steep hill from my space, which made for easy loading up at the end of the day without having to wait for the tractor again.

It was supposed to warm up, but the high was only 55, and it took until about 4PM to hit that whopping 55. The crowds just were not there. I was freezing, cloudy and grey. It was a very well organized event with a TON of free stuff for the kids to do. The girlies had a blast in the science exploratory tent. They also loved running up and down the big hill behind my tent. Paul did an amazing job as my "barker" bringing people into my tent to view my wares closer. I sold more key fobs and bottle cap necklaces than anything else. I never know what will be a "hot' item. Neither of those moved really well at the last show a few weeks ago. After fees, it was a $600 day. I had hoped for closer to $1000.

Not bad.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Big Day

I'm shaking, I'm so physically exhausted, and here is still work left to be done.

The car just got packed. A few hours late, but there was rain. A few more inventory items need to be completed and then the final check of the set up and supplies and I can call it a night. I'll be up at 5:30. Paul is taking the girlies to a dear friend's house super early so he can meet me at the venue and help me pitch my tent and set up shop. Many of the "professional" crafters set up their tents today, but mine isn't top grade and I was worried about the storm. Better to be safe and do it all in the morning.

After an extra dance practice with the same sweet friend carpooling the girlies around (SO great to have friends!!), she'll bring them over to the event. It's open to the public 10-5. Long day. Rain should be moved out by early morning. I'm hopefully expectant for a great day. I felt under attack yesterday when my car broke down. No way we could get everything transported with the other small car. Thankfully with Dad's phone consult, we got it running and I should be able to make it there and back. It seems to always be something. Last crazy attack right before a show (allergic reaction to who knows what and I woke that morning completely covered in hives and almost wasn't able to make it there)- well that was an amazing event. I've worked way too hard for this one!!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Ribbon overload!

Not my space, but I feel like my crafting chaos is just as bad!

The spring isn't usually a crazy season for me. I'm glad to be busy. That means I'm getting orders and having shows. I just don't like feeling constantly overwhelmed. And I have been the past two weeks.

I had a 2 day expo out of town a little over a week ago. It went fabulously well. Great sales, good connections, and a few amazing blessings God had up His sleeve I didn't see coming. I had a lot of inventory, but I also sold a ton. Which leaves me needing to make more for my big show on Saturday.

I have always done small craft shows (think community centers, churches, schools). But there is a HUGE event near me that I have attended for a few years as an observer and I decided it was time to apply for a crafter booth space. It was my first time sending in a juried application. I sent it in on the last day applications were being accepted. It was a lot to send in- all the pictures of my previous booth spaces and close up images of my work, and an artist statement. Didn't really think I'd get in. But I did!!! Most of the 80 vendors are what I'd consider "fine art." I really want to do well, have a good looking set up and not feel out of my league. Did I mention that it's on Saturday?

So, my home is a disorganized mess and I work on orders and make new inventory. There are components everywhere. I have night obligations everynight this week and my job has a scheduled in service Friday afternoon that I'll have to fly out of just to make it to the bus stop in time for the girlies. I'm nervous about how I'll get everything accomplished that I want/need to have done.

In the mix, I was thrilled to set up two packages of my handiwork to donate to a dear bloggy friend who will be starting a fundraiser for a most amazing cause. I am so happy that I get to play a small part in what she has been led by God to do. Can't wait for it to be up and running so I can share.

I'll get it all done- and what isn't completed, we'll I have to let it go. Darn that there are only 24 hours in a day!

Where I'll be...

Look at the amazing artists I'll be surrounded by!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Just gotta say...

Go Rams!!!

It's VCU fever around Richmond these days. While our family isn't really into sports, it's hard not to get excited about the Cinderella home town team. And I do have VCU ties. I completed 30 masters level credits toward my second masters degree at VCU's amazing art school.

Wishing them luck in the final 4 game tomorrow!!