Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

This is a much needed list of my favorite things of the year!

1. Tom's Shoes.
 Not only are these shoes comfortable, but they are flat so I can wear them to work and not worry about squishing little fingers. This is the pair I received for Christmas and I cannot wait to show them to my preschoolers next Tuesday. Tom's also donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that is purchased and that rocks.
2. Crayola Dry Erase Markers
I love these crayons because they write so smooth and they are easy for little people to wipe off. My preschoolers spend all day on the dry erase boards when I pull these out.

3. Gold Bond Baby Powder
We swear by this stuff in my house. At first sight of redness, we throw a few sprinkles on D and he is good to go.
4. Pinterest
Although other craft bloggers hate this site. I love searching for inspiration and ideas on making my life just a little more simple.

5.Coffeemate Peppermint Mocha Creamer
As with other mommies, I wake up hours before my family to ensure they are ready for the rest of the day. This creamer makes my 5 hours of sleep seem not as devastating.

6.Huggies Slip-On Diapers
D has been taking his diapers off since he was able to take a few steps. While I allow him to roam freely in the nude at our house, other places it is not acceptable. These are awesome for quick changes and he is beginning to pull them up in down as he prepares for the potty.

7. Boogie Wipes
These are soft saline wipes for baby's nose. D does not run from me when he sees me coming anymore. Also they smell delicious. 

8. Moon Dough
Moon Sand is so messy and play dough is great, but sometimes overdone. I love the soft texture of moon dough and the fact that it never dries out. It is a good alternative to playdough and you will not have to worry about someone putting the lid on it when you go to recess.

9. Thirty-One Large Utility Tote
My friend Shauna started selling Thirty-One and I knew I wanted this bag when I saw it. It is huge and helps me tote things back and forth from school. It is collapsable and holds a ton. I lucked out and got one for Christmas after I had already ordered one for myself. Click Here for a link to her site.

10. Mom's Weekly Planner I live out of this thing. It literally has something scribbled on everyday throughout the school year. This is my second year buying it.

11. Purex Laundry Sheets
I love being able to buy one item to take care of all my laundry needs. We go through about 12-20 loads of laundry a week and this one little item buys me an extra minute.

I really enjoyed writing up this list. I had to make sure I only put things on there that were totally awesome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ornament Attempt #1

In an attempt to add ornaments to my child magnet, I mean Christmas Tree, I picked up a 6 pack of clear glass ornaments from Michael's for $2. I found 3 different acrylic paints from my craft cabinet and gave a few squirts inside the glass. I shook the irnament around, allowing the paint to spread. They ended up being one of my favorite crafts for the year. They match my Christmas colors and my house. Tomorrow I will try to snap a pic in the light.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Crafting Tonight

I painted a flower pot Christmas tree with acrylic paint. Then I found a cheap star at Michaels and hot glued it to the top.

Next I used a foam wreath and 3 different rolls if tulle cut into 20 inch strips to make a wreath. I just tied the tulle to the wreath. I bought the bow to put on it, but the colors are not a match. I might try to pick up some ornaments to glue around it instead. My husband said I need to slow down on the wreath making. He just doesn't understand!

Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

Gingerbread Playdough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix together on medium low heat until it starts to unstick from the pan. Put it on wax paper and continue to knead it until it forms a big ball. Store in an airtight container.

Run, Run, Fast as you can...

Today I had a gingerbread day. We read The Gingerbread Man, glue misc. pieces to make a gingerbread man, had gingerbread shape sorter sets and patterned gingerbread people. I also picked up a bag of gingerbread cookie mix. I usually have the children add the ingredients, but I really wanted them to dig in and get messy. They were each given a glob of gingerbread to shape and mold as they please. Most of it ended up looking like feces. This apparently was the straw that broke the camel's back for my aide. She was recovering from the stomach flu she had all weekend and ended up leaving for the day during the activity. Solo cooking with 2 and 3 year olds was busy and messy, but totally worth it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cinnamon Stick Candles

Due to my lack of Christmas spirit this year, I have not been crafting as much as usual. Yesterday while organizing my craft supplies in search of scotch tape, I found some things to keep me busy. I found some pillar candles from Dollar Tree ($1 each) and 2 bags of cinnamon sticks (also $1 each). I hotglued the sticks to the candles and they made a nice filler for the middle of my table centerpiece. Cheap and easy and they smell delicious!

Tough Cowboy

Even though C was born in South Carolina, his heart belongs to Texas. After having his 4th birthday last month, he had a velcro wallet stuffed with 30 crumbled dollars. We have tried on and surfed the internet for a reasonable pair. While I want decent shoes for him to wear, I do not want to spend a ton of money on shoes he will trash.(shoes are not one of the items that usually qualify for hand-me-down status.) We finally found a pair at Academy for $20 so we snatched them up. He has decided they make him look like a tough cowboy. My brother and sister-in-law came over while the big boys were gone and picked him up for a surprise evening. They then took him to get a cowboy hat and ride a horse. He might not be in the hospitality field afterall. I am now hoping for a future ranch owner or farmer.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Future Hospitality Worker

Every year we are fortunate enough to have each class reenact the Christmas Story. This year C has reprised his role as the Innkeeper. He has been practicing every night telling us he has "No rooms here, but you can sleep in the barn." I cannot wait to see it again this year. Here is last year's picture:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back Again

The holidays bring out the worst in me. My tree is up. House is decorates with all the gifts wrapped and assigned. I know it is a time to reflect on our many blessings, but it brings tension and chaos to our family.

Whose Christmas is it this year? How long do we have to stay? Who is going to visit? Will we have a place to sleep? Every year I think it will get easier and every year brings the same added insanity and I feel a mental breakdown slowly approaching. I am so blessed to have healthy family members and for the most part, understanding relatives, but I as Christmas nears I feel overwhelmed and anxious. It is Jesus' birthday, not mine.

 I have made an early resolution to push through this month with a smile and take a step back from the craziness. I am going to try to stay positive and not hold a grudge this year. Hopefully next week I will have some cute ideas posted and loose the scrooge attitude.