Monday, July 28, 2014

Last Monday Made It of my Summer Break

It is a sad day here. As my boys keep reminding me, it is my last day of summer. Yes, I am sad. The summer flew by and it is odd saying that my summer is over since it is still July. 
What is on my agenda for today? Slowing the day down as much as possible. 
I already have the butterfly feeling in my stomach about all that I have to do to be ready for Open House on Thursday morning. 
I will be fine. All will be well. (Yes, I am repeating this to myself so that I can relax about the fact that my room is not ready and I am NOT spending my last day of the summer at work.)
I have had fun over the last week with all sorts of made its and crafts. The boys joined me on getting crafty too, they have been making rainbow loom bracelets and painting signs. 
I am excited to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for this week's Monday Made Its

I have a very special niece and wanted to make something for her to express how much we love her. Here is the final project which pretty much sums up Jessica.
My sister loved this sign, and I was pleased with how it turned out, my first vinyl canvas project, made with my Cameo. Not sure if you can tell, but it has a layer of spray glitter over the letters, making it sparkle like Jessica!  
I also made some canvases for my classroom. 
This one was made with one of my favorite lines from Wonder, and I think it sums up my attitude about behavior choices. I say it constantly to my sons and said it a lot to my students last year. 
Yes, it shines with that glitter spray paint. 
Can you guess what our school mascot is? Yes, it has glitter spray paint over the top too! Maybe a little over the top, that is ok!
I made a little gift for my teammates to let them know that this year will be great! 
I cut the tags out with my Cameo, it says, "It is worth noting that this will be a great year!" 
I tied some blank notecards and envelopes together with the tag. I will add a pretty pen to the stack as a welcome back gift. 
I bought the notecards at Michael's, there were 80 in the set and had such bright patterns. Half the set was solid and the other half cute patterns. 
I also spent some time creating things for my classroom. Now, I need to spent time printing and laminating. I am waiting on my name tags though, I have not gone in to to pick up my class list yet and want to type in the names before laminating.
These are the ones I made in melon and lime, I am going to change mine to be teal and aqua. I just love this color combination from Collaboration Cuties and couldn't resist making them. 
I also added some freebies to my store, check them out - click on the pictures. 

You definitely need to check out the links, there are some awesome projects on there.
Seriously, Jivey posted some things from her classroom and has a great organization freebie.  If you want a teacher toolkit storage bin you can also check out The Teacher's Desk 6 for more images and using spray paint. Oh and some adorable brag tags by Ginger Snaps. You will adore the birthday tags shared by Funky in Fourth. Looking for another birthday idea, check out Projects and Polkadots In First
Teachers really are amazing crafters and uber talented! 
In case you were not aware, Diane at Fifth in The Middle is hosting an awesome giveaway celebrating 2,000 followers. 
It is a great blog and a great giveaway, check it out! 
Well friends, it is time for me to get moving! I have a few little ones who need some attention and some errands that need some completing. 
Hope you have a fantastic Monday and enjoy all the moments left in your summer break!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday! 7/18

Happy Friday friends! 

As you are reading this, I am enjoying some time relaxing, chatting, and bonding with my co-workers at the most beautiful lake house I have ever seen. 
Not the exact house, these are the neighbors. 
This is a working retreat for the leadership team at my school and we will work on some items a little bit. Mostly we will laugh and enjoy some time together before we all return to the craziness of the school year. 
Last year, I was nervous about spending a weekend with my principal. This year, I have been counting down the days. It will be nice to have a complete adult conversation without being interrupted by my boys. I love them dearly, but I am in some serious need of time with friends and adults! 
This week I spent a lot of time at the park with my boys. After each outing,I walk away thinking, we really live in a great place. We do. 
We have 3 parks in less than a 5 mile radius, one is in walking distance. The other night we visited the newest extension of the one across the street, and I was reminded how beautiful our county park system 
The newest extension includes an official disc golf course that is built in to the terrain and woods of the park. They added a playground and a beautiful pavilion. Guess where we will be having future birthday parties? 

The boys and I explored the disc golf course and attempted to figure out how to play - the boys really loved the game.

I think we will be spending a lot of time on the course. 
My oldest has been bit by he baseball bug. 
I could have kissed the coach at his skills session. He told the kids something I have been saying FOREVER - you only get better by practicing. 
It is great when someone else confirms what you have been trying to teach your children. At least now my son might actually believe it, since I wasn't the one who said it! 
The lessons were so much fun, that he is going back for 2 sessions next week. Because he had so much fun, my youngest decided he wanted to try it out too. I am so excited that my middle is going to give something new a try! 
While my oldest was at baseball camp, the other 2 joined me for a little bit of sorting things out in my classroom. They actually asked to go - shocker! Since the school is next to the park, it made sense to stop in.
The AC was not on in the building and it was so HOT we only made it for a little while. 
I did not move any furniture, but I did sort through some books and organized my bookshelves. I have a lot of inherited items and am in the process of purging things that I have never used or have forgotten about. 
My teacher desk was moved to clean the carpets and I am considering getting rid of it. 
I find that it is a clutter collector and perhaps without it, I might have a tidier work space. 
The boys loved playing in the open space and entertained each other playing ball, puppy, and reading together. 
The AC will be on next week, so my youngest and I will go back to do some set-up while the oldest two are playing baseball. 
Every little bit I can tackle before the official return date will make the week of pre-planning more productive. So hard to believe that I go back in a little over a week!
My youngest and my middle son joined me and a friend on a trip to a local farm to go blueberry and blackberry picking. YUMMY! I love fresh fruit and really love fresh blackberries. They were super sweet and lots of fun to pick. 
I am so glad we made it out there early because it was HOT!
We brought home enough to nibble on them during the week and I have bags of them frozen to enjoy in some pancakes, smoothies, and baked goods. 

 Summer is almost over fr me and I know planning is really on my mind , as it may be for many others. I am posting some items on sale as part of stock up summer sale series, hope these might be of some help to you with your planning. 

Fraction Task Cards with a winter theme
Out of this World Fraction Task Cards

 I hope that you have had a great week and enjoy a very relaxing weekend! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monday Made It - A little late!

I cannot help but think of my high school literature teacher explaining the adage from Of Mice and Men, that best laid plans often go astray. Well, that would pretty much sum up my attempt to posting Monday Made It. I had the best intentions, great plans, and then "wack," life, reality, and computer woes smacked me in the face. 
Nothing tragic, nothing major, just a reminder that one can only do so much and that trying to do too many things at once will always result in a back fire!  
So I am late to the party. 
I was excited about having something planned out. I was excited about trying something new and being able to share it. I wasn't excited that the kids stood in my way of being able to concentrate and complete my tasks. 
But, then it made me stop and think, was I being fair to them? Afterall I spent a load of time on the computer, telling them, in a  minute. 
My son kindly informed me that my version of a minute is extremely inaccurate, and it really means an hour. He was little right. 
After honestly pausing to think about it, I realized I had to stop and give them the attention they desired otherwise it would be a bigger disaster and all of us would be frustrated. Yes, as I said before, having kids means you learn new lessons all of the time
I might be late, but I am still joining the party! 
I have been itching to sew something for myself. I have a complicated project I started and never finished, but did not have the time or attention to finish it. My wheels were spinning and I decided to give a try at something new using some of the fabric I had collecting dust. 
I also really wanted a maxi skirt. I saw this great post on do it yourself Divas, for a maxi skirt with a yoga waistband. Sounded perfect and I had just enough knit fabric to give it a try. 

My lessons learned:

  • Not all fabric is equal. The fabric I had on hand was a knit, but was  more of an athletic polyester, does not fit as well as a knit fabric, it is too baggy in the waist. 
  • When trying to do a zig-zag on the fabric it kept getting caught in my machine. Making a straight stitch and then adding the zig-zag made it easier and made the seams stronger. 
  • Be honest with your measurements. I am not a 28 inch waist girl like the original blogger and need to accept that without feeling bad about myself. 
  • Don't give wiggle room in the waist measurement of this skirt with this fabric, it will not fit right. The skirt hangs in a weird way. 
  • I either need to give this away or add an elastic band to the waist so I can feel comfortable and not worry about losing my skirt! 
  • Maxi skirts may not be for me, even thought I love the way they look on everyone else.
  • Don't sew when your kids are full of energy!  

The directions are easy to follow, so if you have some knit fabric on hand or want to try your hand at making your own maxi skirt, give it a try. 
While shopping for notebooks at Wal-Mart last week, I picked up some of the empty boxes on the shelf. They are a perfect fit to hold the notebooks, and I think will make a great place for me to collect my daily writing notebooks from my students. 
They were ugly the way they were, so I added some cute craft paper to make them cuter. 

Notice my photobomber?
All I did was cut the paper to fit the sides, spray some adhesive and voila you have prettier boxes! It took 3 sheets per box so that the patterns lined up. 
The craft paper was only $5 at Wal-Mart for 30 sheets. The papers are really cute. 
I love zucchini and summer is perfect for grilling zucchini. I also love zucchini chips but don't love the extra calories of fried chips. I baked them instead. They were delicious and even my sons enjoyed them, that is a huge feat!
Step 1 - Slice the zucchini and coat in olive oil (I poured some oil in the baking dish and tossed them in that pan - the pan should be greased when you cook them - tossing them in the pan before coating them saves on using extra oil and having a dish to wash.)
Step 2 - Mix bread crumbs, italian herbs, salt, and garlic powder in a bag. 

 Step 3 - Toss the oil coated sliced zucchini in the bread crumbs. Then spread out in a single layer in the baking dish - I stood the extras along the sides and that worked well!

Step 4 - Bake for 15-25 minutes in an oven at 400 degrees. 
My favorite step: Enjoy!
Because I have only 2 weeks left before summer ends, I am in crunch mode. Time to plan out some decor for the classroom. I of course could have planned out units of instructions, but making banners is more fun!
I love banners, but don't love to cut them out, so I was determined to find a way to use my Silhouette to cut them out for me. Is that because I am resourceful or lazy? 
Want the homework banners? Lucky for you I made a whole set and posted them for free on my TPT. 
I plan to use the teal ones in my room but really enjoyed playing around with combinations of digital papers, and made a bunch of different color banners. 
I am not a "pink" girl, but I love the colors in this watermelon set by Collaboration Cuties.  
I converted the teal homework banner to a file using Silhouette. If you have a Silhouette and like the teal homework banner, click here for the link to the file. 
If you prefer the melon and lime banner, click here for the file. 
If you use the Silhouette files, all you have to do is print it from the Silhouette program, then line up your paper on the board and send it to be cut. When I cut it the black borders were sometimes trimmed off, but that was a small price to pay for straight lines! 
I tried to cut out a laminated set, but ones the banner pieces were cut they got caught up under the bar. If you know how some tips for cutting out laminated pages please share. 
If you really like the melon colored set, I made a packet with the same patterns. Check it out here, it is also free. 
I hit some bumps in the road {kids!} trying to finish out a similar teal packet, but that is coming soon. 

I am really hoping to figure out how to get the Silhouette to cut the months out for me. Don't forget to check out Tara's blog for the other awesome links. She made some really cute speech bubbles, that are worth checking out and my friend Alison made some cute flowers! 
Thanks for forgiving me for being tardy!