Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Wienermobile

If I could go back 50-60 years, I think I would ask Mr. Oscar Mayer (or whoever began the company) to please reconsider naming his hot dog creation-- the wiener. And more pointedly, not having a contraption called the wienermobile. 
The Wienermobile, the one and only by the way, came by the Richmond Hill Kroger this week. Of course the kids wanted to go see it.
This begun an entire day of wiener jokes. "Can I touch your wiener?" was probably the most embarrassing, as it was asked of the Oscar Mayer representative who was standing by the wienermobile giving out stickers and coupons.

But seriously. If you're going to have a food called a wiener, drive a mini-coop shaped like a wiener, give out stickers that say something about seeing the you really need to also give out silly bands shaped like a wienermobile and whistles shaped like a wienermobile??
Bright side: lots of laughter, smiles, jokes and family fun--albeit not the cleanest of fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kid's Activity that's Fun, Safe and Sterile!

For this post, I am removing the hat of "mom" and putting on the hat of "music teacher". 
This classroom activity worked so well, I just had to share it.

My classes of Kindergarteners, First Graders and Second Graders, can sometimes be a little...rowdy. They really need to expend energy when they come to music class. And sometimes they can't keep their hands to themselves. So I usually have them marching around the classroom or moving to music in other ways, but even then they struggle to keep their hands to themselves.

Enter the Kleenex. 

Each student took 2 tissues, one in each hand, I turned on some awesome music and we moved to music--safely and fun-ly. (Is that even a word?)  The kids loved it. It was very similar to using scarves, but the tissues were disposable. (Can I get an Amen from all the teachers who bathe in hand sanitizer everyday?)

The biggest plus-es were:
1. keeps both hands busy
2. if they do try to hit each other with them...they don't hurt!
3. easy clean up
4. sterile

There were so many things that they discovered and learned with the tissues, I could go on and on....maybe another time.

So next time you have a group of little guys that need to get some wiggles out and keep their hands to themselves, grab a box of Puffs and go to it!
*one of my favorite classroom bulletin boards I copied from one on

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

While the cat's away...

This week, hubs is TDY to Fort Drum. You would think I was a 16 year old teenager whose parents have left her home alone for a few days! I've been eating junk food, staying up late, watching any movie I want to watch. It's really not a good thing!
Staying up past midnight and getting up at 6am is definitely starting to catch up to me...zzzz...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My camera was kid-napped again

Evidently, this time the camera was kid-napped in order to take pictures of a stuffed animal fashion show. 
I wondered why things were so quiet upstairs!

*ooh, a little lighting to set the mood!

*A very patriotic cheetah.
They are definitely getting more artistic with their photography. I especially like the staging with props. It sorta reminds me of an Olan Mills studio.


Monday, November 28, 2011

How to fill 9 days with fun!

Since the kids had 9 days off from school, I had 9 days to fill with fun. One thing that was on my agenda was going to the beach!
Hubs had to work on Mon, Tues and Wed of last week, so the kids and I went to Tybee Island all by ourselves; and this is why. My husband hates the beach. He hates sand, he doesn't like the water, he hates sand, he gets nervous with the kids in the water and he hates sand.

 #1 actually  wrote "I <3 my mom" in the sand...then the tide came in. :)

  I, however, love to play in the sand, walk in the sand, dig my feet as deep as I can in the sand, write in the sand, etc. So what better time to go then while sweet husband is busy. :)

My mom also gave us a Family Fun magazine, full of easy and fun craft projects to do together. So we tried a few of them.
Sweet #2, made this wreath from a wire hanger and box of fold over sandwich bags.
*She did an amazing jog, didn't she!!
Together with my mom and Grandma, we all made this polymer clay nativity scene and creche.

For Thanksgiving itself, we hosted at our home. So the kids were each in charge of their own dish(es) to be in charge of: locate the recipe, make the shopping list, make the dish,etc.
Kid #1-Mashed Potatoes and chocolate cream pie
Kid #2-Apple Crisp, and pie crusts for pumpkin pie and chocolate pie, and the pumpkin pie filling too.
Kid #3- relish tray and homemade french bread
Kid #4-cranberry sauces

It's amazing what kids will do when you set expectations and give them freedom to achieve and/or fail. If we don't give them opportunities to fail something under our watch and guidance (and love paired with acceptance), then when they get out in the real world and fail at something they won't have any frame of reference on how to deal with it.

It is that kind of resourcefulness and perseverance that I am so thankful of...even thankful enough to write it on a leaf for our "Thankful Tree". (which will be converted soon to our Jesse tree)
#1 actually wrote Nutella on one of the thankful leaves. crazy kid. I must buy too much of that stuff!
After the Thanksgiving meal and 2 days playing Uno, Scrabble, Upwords, Apples to Apples, Spoons, and Trivial Pursuit with Nana, Papa and Grandma, we packed up and headed to my uncle's house for lunch and then 2 days at my sister's house. I love my sister and her family. The cousins get to hang out, we get to hang out, it's a win-win situation!
 *you can see the clay nativity scene and creche on the mantle behind our heads!
*check out the fingerless gloves #2 is wearing. Stylin'!

 *My sister and me.  Words can't express how much she means to me.
Whew! It was an absolutely fun 9 days. Now we're back to the daily grind, which is also something to be thankful for.

Thankful to look ahead

Ever have a whirlwind week? I had 2 back to back. They were amazing, fun, exciting and over!
Two weeks ago, I was featured on Naptime is My Time (it is in this post, just down a little ways). Then we had Thanksgiving break, which was 9 days long with the kiddos. That was so fun (more to come on that in just a bit), then the actual Thanksgiving Day and weekend, filled with food, my parents, my Grandma, and then my sister and her family. I have to say that as a military family, we are so blessed to finally live close to family. Only 3-4 hours from everyone! Ahhh-mazing. :)
So let's start with the Naptime is My time post:

Thanks, Emily, for letting me share with everyone today.  You have earned this well deserved vacation!

I am Audrey, from One Shoe Parenting. I am an Army wife, mom to 4 kids (5, 8, 11 and 13 years old), an elementary music teacher and run my household on a tight budget. Sometimes I am left to parent alone (due to military matters) and that always brings about interesting moments...

Like the moment we were in a Home Depot store and my then 4 year old decided to throw his shoe at me---again. We left the store, left the shoe at the store and went home. He was stuck with only the one remaining shoe for the rest of the summer vacation  (1 1/2 weeks), until he could wear his new preschool pair of shoes...hence the name, One Shoe Parenting.

With all these sweet kids, come many teachers. Since the Holidays right around the corner, there are many opportunities for giving gifts to the teachers. Here is a great gift idea that won't break the bank!

I used pillar candles from the dollar store...

Grosgrain ribbon remnants....

And leftover upholstery tacks.

Voila! Snazzy gifts, for just over $1. 

**the leaning tower of candles! :)
That makes this momma happy!

 Well that wraps it up for me, hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and feel free to drop by One Shoe parenting sometime! :)

Later today, I'll write up about our Thanksgiving break and Thanksgiving weekend. For now though, I'm off to get #3 and #4 on the school bus and then break out the Christmas Decorations!
Have a great day everyone!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My first Guest-Posting~~

Today is my very first guest posting over at  Naptime is My Time!

I was so excited to be chosen to fill in for Emily while she takes a break.  As I was preparing my post, I learned several things:

1. I am not a "nap time" crafter anymore, since all the kids are at school. *that makes me just a bit sad.
2. Since all the kids are at school (with 2 in middle school) I do not get a chance to get on the computer as much as I used to.
3. Blog Verbage (button code, html code, etc) go way, way above my head, and I have to google them all just to find out what they mean.
4. If you buy dollar store candles to use in a guest craft post and leave those candles around, your house full of boys will use them as "grenades" and throw them at each other enough to make them look like "distressed" candles.

But in the end, the post was completed on time, the candles were used carefully or replaced, the post was completed in between kids' turns on Webkins/Addicting Games/GAVS/, and best of all, it is now Thanksgiving break and time to spend time with all my family!

Hop over to Naptime is My Time and check out my spot!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Furniture plus improvements

My sister gave me this solid wood, black side table this summer. She didn't have a use for it, so she gave it to us. I couldn't find a spot for it, but knew that it was very sturdy and I didn't want to part with it.

I was reading Sew Many Ways one day a few months ago, and she was writing about one of the tables in her craft room that she raised to counter level by adding finials to the bottom of the legs.

So at roughly $3 a piece, we bough 4 fence post finials from Lowe's (with a gift card....woohoo!) and got to work.
After drilling holes in the center of each of the legs,

I screwed the finials in and spray painted them black.
This is what it looked like:

Not to bad, eh?
This isn't the finished product, though. The vision I have for this table is to create a new larger table top and eventually make it into another dining room table for our formal dining room. For now, it is a great two-seater table or project table in the front room. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Multi-kid Laundry Organization Tip

As a mom, when I sort the clean clothes into stacks for the kids, I know 99% of the time what clothes belong to which kid. 
As for Hubs...not so much. The worst part is, that was his reason for not wanting to help fold Mt. Washmore twice a week. He would say, "I don't know what belongs to whom".

So here was our solution.
We used sharpie and marked #1's clothes with a 1.

Respectively marked #2's with 11,

 #3's with 111 

and #4's with 1111.

This way, when #1 out grows a shirt/shorts/pants, all that must be changed is adding another 1.
It makes it sooo much easier to sort the laundry!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Daddy Day Care

Since my kids were little, most interesting stories began with the phrase, "well, their dad was watching them and..."  Sometimes that phrase ended with a story about an injury, sometimes an unbalanced meal, sometimes a misplaced child, (just kidding.)   :)  .   

On Friday, #3 had to go have an endoscopy early in the morning in Savannah. (Everything was fine, he did great, I was a wreck.) So Hubs had to get #4 up, fed and on the school bus. 

After #3 and I got home, and he was resting, I checked my email. This is the email I received from #4's teacher:

Mrs. Ayers,
Matthew is wearing rain boots today…with spurs (I have taken the spurs off and put them in his book bag), no socks, and  both boots are right footers. I thought you’d like to know.  
                                    Mrs. Leahy 

I put this on facebook and the funniest reply was from someone who wrote:

Did you say, "at least he had shoes. I have been known 
to punish my children by not letting them wear a shoe." hehehehe  

I just had to laugh!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Facebook and tweens

Less than 1 month. That's all he had to wait.

 Our family rule for facebook is that kids have to be 13 before they are allowed their own facebook account. That rule stems from facebook's question of: Are you 13 or older, while setting up the account.  We don't want to condone lying on this question. Plus, it gives them something to wait for.

So #1 was 1 month out from turning 13 and lo and behold I happened upon his fb account. Evidently he had set it up while at a sleepover at a friend's house and had already had it for several weeks.
What's a mom and dad to do?

We understand alot of things:
1. he has no phone (he has a phone line, but has left 2 phones in his clothes and they have been put through the washing machine and no longer work) so there is no calling or txting friends.
2. we don't live near any of his friends
3. fb is the main communication between his soccer team mates and the coach regarding practice schedules, game info, etc
4. he's new to the school, church, etc and wants to find his niche and fit in
5. he's in 8th grade and that's what 8th graders do
6. he is a military kid who has moved each summer for the past 2 summers and wants to keep in contact with his friends from the last several states.
7. I could go on and on.

There's a heart issue here that runs way deeper than just setting up a fb account. It's an issue of disobedience and sneakiness.
So we sat him down tonight and here are the consequences.
1. Because he openend the account 1 month and 13 days b4 his birthday, he may not get back on the account until 1 month and 13 days after his bday....which will be a fabulous Christmas present for him! He also has to give us his login, password and know that we have authority to remove any tags from pics that are inappropriate, read any and all messages, posts etc. In exchange, we will not make him close out his account.

2, Because it is a trust issue regarding the computer, he is restricted to only his virtual school website. Nothing else.

Our hope and prayer is that not only will he learn not to disobey and try to hide things from us, but also that we do want to understand what he is going through and truly love him and want what's best for him. One day at a time. And thankfully God has granted us another day together.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gifts on the Cheap

I'm a mom of 4. My husband is in the Army. We just bought a house. Did I mention we have 4 kids? What I'm trying to say is, we're broke. Not the kind of broke that we can't pay our bills, or go out to eat once a week, (because I've already disclosed our love of Thursday night BBQ). But the kind of broke where I just can't afford to buy all of our children's teachers huge Christmas gifts. I would love to be able to give them all gift cards to their favorite restaurant or store, but we just can't afford it.
So the other day I began making the list of recipients, I checked it twice (and whittled it down), and began making some gifts to give to prospective recipients. 

~Hand made stationary: have your child draw a simple drawing at the top of simple printer paper, print the teacher's name at the top, cut into fourths and wrap with ribbon
~Pencil bunch: head over to the dollar store, buy a couple packs of pencils (either seasonal colors or just plain yellow), bunch them together, tie with a ribbon and write a note of thanks for being such a sharp teacher
~Pen bunch: same thing-head to dollar store, buy a couple packs of pens, tie together with a ribbon and write a note of thanks for making a permanent impact on your child's life
~Same with permanent marker--buy a Sharpie, and attach the same note with a ribbon
From the kitchen: mix together the dry ingredients for:
~beer bread
place in a bag, tie off with a ribbon and the recipe--highlighting what still needs to be added--

These are just some ideas, as more come to mind, I'll add them!
The good news is, we can show our appreciation to all these people, without tons of cash...we just have to get creative!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whittle down the Gift Recipient List...

Yesterday, I brainstormed my list of gift recipients for Christmas. It was a staggering 62 people! The question is, will I actually give a gift to everyone on that list? Am I insane? --as Leslie from cherry bubbins so lovingly put it :)--
Yes, insane. No, I won't actually give to everyone on the list. The Smokin' Pig may make awesome BBQ, but I'll refrain from giving them a gift other than my money every Thursday night for dinner. 

But even if I was to give everyone a gift, if I start early enough and plan ahead, it is totally doable. So that's what I shall do. That way, the last month of insane shopping and Christmas season can be spent on and with family and being thankful for the real meaning of Christmas.

So here we go...

I've begun  making these awesome doorstops~
  These are great as gifts to teachers or adult leaders

Also, I'll be making lots of bean bags!

Last year I gave bags of bean bags along with lists of games and activities, with which to use the bean bags, to #4's preschool teacher and #3's classroom teacher. In Kansas, we discovered that for much of the winter, there is no outside recess and the teachers were in need of some new inside activities to keep the kiddos busy.
**They are also great fabric stash busters and very cheap!** 

I believe those 2 projects will keep me busy for a little while until I figure out what to do with the rest of the people on my list.
Linking up to Ginger Snap Crafts

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

List of Gift Recipients for the Holidays. Oh. My. Word. Someone stop me!

So after my last post, it dawned on me that there really isn't that much time before Christmas and the season of giving. So it's time to brainstorm. First, a brainstorm list of all the people in our family's lives to whom I would LIKE to give a token of appreciation:
School teachers:
#1 has 6 teachers
#2 has 6 teachers--none of which overlap with #1's
#3 has 1 classroom teacher, 1 music teacher, 1 piano lab teacher, 1 art teacher, 1 p.e. teacher
#4 has 1 classroom teacher, 1 classroom t.a., 1 music teacher, 1 art teacher, 1 p.e. teacher and shares a bus driver with #3
Sports Coaches:
#1 has a soccer coach, and a soccer team manager
#2 has nothing! Yay for mono!
#3 has 1 soccer coach
#4 has 1 soccer coach
Sunday School, Small Group Leaders:
#1 has 2 small group leaders
#2 has 2 small group leaders
#3 has 2 small group leaders
#4 has 2 small group leaders
My school:
vice principal
9 classroom teachers
office worker
My Volunteering:
3 media center workers at the middle school
Yard Waste Collectors---you have no idea how much they have worked this year just because of us!
8 Neighbors-
The workers at The Smokin' Pig BBQ Restaurant--because they provide yummy smoked pig for us every Thursday night between soccer games! ---ok, they don't "provide" it, but they do make it and we buy it!
All in all that is........62 people. Oh My Word.
Next Post---ideas for all (okay not all) these people!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Teacher Gift

Last year, about this time, I started making Christmas gifts for all our kids' teachers. Including school teachers, Sunday School teachers, Awana leaders, small group leaders, etc, that added up to 44! I stumbled across this blog with a great tutorial on how to make a fabric block. I added a handle and turned it into a door stop and knew that this was the idea for me!

Once I made a couple, the rest of the 44 were a breeze to whip up. I filled them with a ziploc baggie of rice, and added a cute note saying:
"Ask and you will receive, Seek and you will find, 
Knock and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7
Thank you for being the doorstop that holds that door open for our children!"
Needless to say, I'm making them again this year! And the best part is, we've moved this year, so it's  a new gift! No one will get the same gift two years in a row! Yay for moving! :) There's always a silver lining to every cloud!
Linking to Craftomaniac!
Linking to Polly want  a crafter!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Soccer, Music, Wallpaper and Love

I've been busy. Driving to multiple soccer games and practices--Go Fire-Dragons and Raiders!
 #3 in action
 (My mom and dad came to cheer on #1 at his Atlanta games this weekend)

 Keep that back foot planted!

Making many, many instruments for my classes--
 Christmas is in the air--time to make jingle bell sticks!

Egg shakers. Easy as rice to make, and soft on the ears!

Tearing down even more wallpaper---no pics of this. It's too depressing....

And coming across the sweetest love notes ever.

Oh, to be in 3rd grade again. <3

Friday, September 23, 2011

Soccer weekend!

This is our first season of travel team soccer. Ever. We have been living in this safe bubble of CYS (rec) soccer for many years, and now the bubble is gone. Now #1 is on a Premiere or Select Soccer Team and they travel, sometimes 4 hours to play a game.
I don't really mind the driving.  We checked out a great book on CD to listen to--Half Moon by Eoin Colfer. We got a chance to talk about things that we don't usually talk about with the younger 2 kids.
We laughed at silly things, sang to the radio, complained about how long it was taking us, etc. :)

The only thing that really gets me is that we lose a weekend. We lose the opportunity to sleep in, chill in our pj's on Sunday, possible miss church if we get back too late for the Sat night service. By the time we get home on Sunday night, we are ready for the weekend to begin!!
This was us last weekend. Thankfully hubs could stay home with #3 and #4, so it was only #1, #2 and myself driving for the 14 hours.
We have two more travel games this weekend. But this time they're in Atlanta, so that means we get to go to my parents' house and stay with them! It's like a two-fer!

Go Raiders!