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!