Monday, August 20, 2012

What was I thinking?

With my older boys still at Grandma's house and only 1 week until school starts, I decided to take our 2 and 4 year old with me to preschool. I thought they could play with the few toys in my classroom while I hung posters, and started tidying up. Yeah Right! They tore through that room like little tornadoes, pulling things out of shelves and putting them in the floor. Needless to say, I did not get much done! However I did learn something about my room set up and I plan on adjusting accordingly. If only 2 little ones can run amok in that room, I cannot imagine 13 little ones doing the same thing. Tonight I will be making a new floor plan (after PiYo class of course)!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

All About Me!

The teacher whose spot I am moving into made all about me books for herself and her aide. I decided to make a small one. I still would like to add a few pics from my childhood, but I haven't made it to my mom's house to rummage through family pictures. I also am going to add captions, but I want my colored pens that are in a cabinet at school. I am just going to attach with 3 rings after I add a few more pages. Anything else I should add? Sorry I took Iphone pics as I worked. Note to self: get a good digital camera to leave at my house!

Age covered with a potpouri leaf! LOL

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Last Day

Tomorrow is my last day before I start back to work. The last two days I have spent savoring my time with C and D. We have went to the splash park, McDonald's, Dollar Tree, Grammy's, and watched a few baseball games on TV. 

I did not realize how much easier having just 2 children would be. While it is easier my heart aches for my other boys. I know they are having a blast, but I still worry nonstop. Did she put sunscreen on them? What if they don't like what she cooked for supper? Is she letting them stay up late? Did they wear their seat belts? I could go on and on.

Tonight I will spend making a autobiography to ready to my new class. Most of them had me last year, but I figure they will like looking at the pictures. I also have to spend time going through my curriculum book and starting on making plans for centers.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chest Hair and Maxi Pads

Today has been a blur. We have been moving nonstop since we woke up to get the older boys packed and ready for their week at Grandma's. Of course, I am completely sick to my stomach so have to occupy my time by randomly cleaning and organizing as we pack. In between the busy tidbits of our day, I have had the opportunity to listen to my 2 little ones share some of their latest quirks.

C has spent the day trying to convince me that he is developing chest hair. He has been watching himself in the mirror and rubbing her chest while telling me to rub his chest, in hopes that I would see it too. It is so hard to keep a straight face, but he is so serious that I know he would be completely devastated if I so much as cracked a grin.

This brings me to my wild maniac D who has spent the past 3 days carrying a maxi pad purse that I received as a freebie in the mail. He told me that it is his "wallet" and is not keen on replacing it anytime soon. It goes well with the naked baby doll he carries on his hip. While it drives his Dad a little nuts, I feel like he will probably be a really good father in tune with his wife's cycle.

With A and B away at Grandma's this week, I am sure I will spend the better part of my days entertaining the 2 little ones. They will for sure be lost without the big boys to follow around. Hopefully this stay goes well and I don't lose my mind and end up driving 8 hours to get them back!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lego Duplo Read and Build Party

If you are not signed up for House Party yet, then you should be. It gives you an opportunity to try new products for free with your friends. This week we were chosen for a Lego Duplo Read and Build Party. We received 4 Lego Duplo Read and Build sets, a poster, 13 magnet frames, plates, napkins, and 13 sticker sheets. The boys loved the sets! We were sent the farm sets, but I cannot wait to try out the other ones. Here is Decker checking out the animals:

I am definitely going to add a few of these to my block center and reading area. My preschoolers love Duplo anyway, but I love that there are stories and pictures to encourage dialog.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finally Made It

Left side

Right Side

In between new student orientation(enrolling in 2 separate colleges for fall-vomit), PTA board meeting, and making homemade peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies, I made it to my classroom. I also made it to the Target dollar spot and Dollar Tree on the way. So it happens to be 2 separate classrooms with an accordion wall that I will open of course. There should be more than enough room and I will have 2 sinks. The downfall is that there is no bathroom in my new room and they apparently have a Sunday school group that meets there. I am so selfish and hate that I have to share a room. No one can take care of your belongings like you do. Plus side I found a few $1 items that everyone should have:

From Dollar Tree: Perfect for holding sorting materials
Target: These have 4 slots and holes at the bottom...I am thinking water table!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nothing a Little Glitter Won't Fix

I wanted to work in my classroom today, but of course I didn't make it there. My husband took the keys to the A-team van that had the carseats in it and the minivan is having thermostat issues. This gave me an opportunity to raid my craft supplies. After seeing someone paint their Tom's with modge podge and glitter, I had to do it! I love Tom's, they take a beating.
Using the finest (size not quality lol) glitter, I mixed it with modge podge and "painted" my shoes. To my surprise, they turned out awesome! I am debating on adding some Texas Ranger T's on them, but I am not sure. This was such a quick fix for my raggidy old shoes. On the original silver sparkled Tom's, I used the same size glitter that was already on my shoes.
Original Silver Tom's with stains and holes

Old gray Tom's with holes

Like new shiny Dorothy-looking Tom's and New Silver Tom's

Total Cost:  $3.47 for fine glitter at Hobby Lobby
Total Saved:  Atleast $90


I woke up this morning and did my typical check email, check facebook, read the local headlines, scroll through pinterest. I was ecstatic to see I actually had a pin. This is the most traffic I have seen on my blog EVER. I have been so horrible at updating my blog and making resources for my boys/classroom. Now I am feeling motivated to get up to my classroom and dive in. Maybe during this one week off I will be able to post some fun ideas while I have all this blog traffic!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy New School Year!

So many changes have occurred in our house since my last post. I have started going back to college to get my Early Childhood through Sixth grade teaching certificate, we joined a fruit/vegetable coop, and I am teaching two classes of 3 year olds next year.

This summer I conquered 14 hours of college, took my first trip out of town with no husband or boys, attended the state PTA conference, and had a few great workshops. This is my only week "off" before I start my inservice and organizing my new upstairs classroom. Hopefully this blog will motivate me to be more creative and accountable this year. (or be free therapy!)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Potty Time

Decker is potty trained! He has by far been the easiest one of the four boys to master this task. I know that he is very young. I know this is not possible for most newly-turned 2 year olds. I also know that we will have ups and downs.

As a preschool teacher, I have parents constantly asking me how to potty train their child. Then there are the  parents that send their almost 4 year old to me for 2 or 3 days a week, hoping that I will be able to do it for them. I have a secret for all of these parents....

Stop buying Pull-ups and diapers! Your child knows that you will change them. They know that they can continue going about their day without having to take a break to go potty. When I was younger, I potty-trained fast. Do you know why? Answer: In the 80's we wore more cloth diapers and felt the poop and pee and thought it was nasty!

There is nothing worse than having to change a 40 pound child with a huge poop. Why are you doing this to yourself? If a 3 year old is walking up and telling you that they have a dirty diaper and need to be changed, then throw a pair of underwear on them. Who cares if your child knows the whole alphabet and can speak spanish if they can perform basic life skills, then something is wrong.

As I am finishing my potty rant, I would like to add that some children do have developmental delays that prohibit them from mastering certain tasks at such an early age.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday D-Man!

I cannot believe it has been 2 years now. Decker is growing like a weed. He is by far our most adventurous child. He climbs on everything and jumps off, he never wants to come inside the house, and he is always naked. At 2, he has endured more accidents than his three older brothers combined. He loves to talk and sing.

This year he is beginning to start having his own interest. He loves Blue's Clues because that is what is on during our morning insanity. Unfortunately this is an older show and finding toys or gifts with this character are almost impossible. Lucky for him, mom found a cake pan and greatest hits movie on Amazon.

All I have is a picture of the cake from my mom's phone!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Week at Preschool

This week is always fun at preschool because we have parties, chocolate, and tell each other how much we love them. Here is a tiny taste of what is happening in my classroom:

We are gluing foil to Hershey kiss cut-outs in honor of our chocolate day!

 I made an impromptu chocolate play dough. 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 cups water, 2 tsp cream of tarter and 4 tbsp vegetable oil. Cook until it doesn't stick to the pan. Smells great! The picture doesn't do it justice. All I had was my iPhone. It looks more like a tootsie roll consistency.
My touch table is filled with white beans, large foam stress ball hearts, cups for scooping, and candy boxes to pour the beans into. It is very eye-catching.

We are reading:
Happy Valentine's Day Mouse by: Laura Numeroff
Roses are Pink Your Feet Really Stink by: Diane de Groat
The Biggest Valentine Ever by: Steven Kroll

My Songs are:
(sung to Mary had a little lamb)
Won't you be my valentine,
valentine, valentine?
Won't you be my valentine,
I love you!

Yes I'll be your valentine,
valentine, valentine.
Yes I'll be your valentine,
I love you!

There's a Little Wheel a Turning in my Heart by: The Lauri Berkner Band

Extreme Art

While I love for my boys to be creative and artistic, sometimes they can take it to the next level. Last night while brushing their teeth, our 4 year old "painted" the mirror. I guess I could make a big deal about it, but it is Monday morning so not worth the effort!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Beginnings

Today was a phenomenal day for my family. We finally joined a church and I feel a huge weight lifted off my chest. There has been several years where B had such a hard time being in church with the crowds and music, that we avoided it altogether. I have had few years of going alone with just the boys, a few years of visiting churches, and a few years of going when A was a baby. Today I feel complete and full. It is the first time in a long time that I don't feel a burden on my shoulders.

One thing I am still finding hard to cope with is the struggle every Sunday morning to get out the door. Church is later than school is and should not be stressful. We have been going to the same church for 4 months and I find myself so frazzled before we get there. Of course, once we are there and here Pastor, I feel a million times better, and have no regrets. I am thinking that I need to lay out clothes the night before like I do for school days as well as iron them. I also need to check Pinterest for easy overnight breakfast recipes.

What is Up With My Blogging?

As I was reading a post by Lisa Murphy (aka The Ooey Gooey Lady), I thought about my own blog. I thought about how it is a bunch of crazy ramblings. I thought about how there is really no particular topic that I stick with. Coupon blogs are a dime a dozen, early childhood blogs are here and there, and the amount of mommy blogs is off the charts.

To separate any of the items on my blog and just focus on one, just would not be me. I am here and there in my real life. I am a mommy, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a teacher, a foodie, an extreme crafter, couponer,  and organizer. To focus on one topic would only make me have 20 different blogs and burn me out. My life is a hectic mess of goals, projects, and must-do lists.

The realization is this, I love to take care of my family. I am always down to make a good meal. I thrive in an early childhood classroom. Crafting is an obsession and makes me jump from project to project. Finally, my boys are my life and they dictate the majority of my time. I love that I am able to log family events and important ideas when I can. Hopefully I will become better and possibly benefit other moms in my position.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Italian Wedding Cake=Bliss

I just polished off the last left of my Italian wedding cake. It is my absolute favorite and easily the best cake I have ever made. I will use this recipe over and over again!

Italian Wedding Cake
2 c. sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 c. shortening
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. soda in 1 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. angel coconut
5 egg whites, beaten
Cream sugar, shortening and butter. Add egg yolks; mix well. Add buttermilk; add flour and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in pecans, coconut and whites. Bake in 9x13-inch greased pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 stick butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts
Combine butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, vanilla and nuts.
Another Goal Accomplished!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

7-up Biscuits

The homemade bisquick was a success. These biscuits are just like Popeyes, which my boys loved. Here are the ingredients:

2 cups bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 melted butter

Mix the bisquick and sour cream together. Add 7-up. Put the melted butter in a 8x8 pan. Pour dough on top. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.

You could always roll the dough and use a cutter if you would rather perfect circle biscuits. I took the easy route.

Homemade Bisquick

Another project I tackled today was my homemade Bisquick. A big box at the store runs us about $7.00.
This recipe calls for:

10 c. all-purpose flour (bought a sack for $1.99)
1/3 c. baking powder (had on hand)
1/4 c. sugar ( had on hand
4 tsp. salt (had on hand)
2 c. shortening (had on hand)

Combine all ingredients except shortening in large bowl. With pastry blender cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in airtight container, up to 6 months. Use as you would any other baking mix. Makes 12 1/2 cups.

I am using this tonight for my 7-Up biscuits to test it out. I wrote on the side of the container the directions for biscuits and pancakes, so I can easily put them together without running to my computer

Biscuits- 2 cups of mix and 1/2 cup of milk
Pancakes- 2 cups of mix, 2 eggs (beaten), and 1 cup of milk

Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been meaning to do this for some time and finally went on my scavenger hunt for the ingredients.

6 bars of Ivory Soap - $1.30 after coupons
6 cups of Borax- $2.99 for the box
6 cups Washing Soda (the whole box)-$3.24

Total cost $7.53

I grated up the soap, and then mixed it with the Borax and Washing Soda. Each load uses 1-2 tbsp. I am hoping that because the ingredients are hypoallergenic, it will help B with his dermatological issues. Also it will be interesting to see how long this last in comparison to a jug of soap.

Best Surprise

Baseball season is the highlight of my year. I look forward to the games, the excitement, the atmosphere, and the other die-hard fans. Naturally the Texas Rangers are my favorite team. Afterall my very first ball game was a Nolan Ryan one in the old ballpark. I did receive an autograph ball from Hall-of-Famer Kenny Rogers that same game. Of course I was hooked after that!

Yesterday my husband called to tell me that starting pitchers Matt Harrison and Derek Holland would be at the Community Center on the base. As a surprise to my own boys, I picked them up early and took them. We were in and out in under 30 minutes and they thought it was amazing. To top if off, both players were very kind and took time with each fan to chat. Although we didn't have time to wait around for pictures, the opportunity to meet them and have them sign our baseballs was worth it. Go Rangers!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simple Homemade Goals for February

I love to make and create different things. I jump from activity to activity and craft to craft usually every other month. I spend my money on what interest me at the time and then am left with a bunch of things I will no longer use. I am hoping that if I lay out a game plan for my insanity, then I will have time to work on a few things at a time without overwhelming myself.

1. Homemade laundry soap-my husband is not impressed about this and has begged me to not do it...silly man.

2.  Homemade Italian Wedding Cake- my all time favorite cake and I have never made it. What's up with that?

3.  Homemade Bisquick- We love pancakes in waffles in this house! It would be nice to just have a canister to use every Saturday and Sunday morning.

4.  Garden Box- I tried a garden last year and it was an epic fail. I think I nice 4 x 6 wooden garden box would be perfect for my tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

5.  Cornish Game Hens- They look so awesome...why have I not eaten one before?

6.  Chocolate Playdough- This looks awesome for a Valentine center.

7.  Grape Nut Ice Cream-I have had this a few times and it is my absolute favorite. I need to dig up a recipe for it somewhere. Thank goodness for the internet.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sick Kids Rant and Rave

 In the wake of my insane 2 weeks of battling the stomach flu with all of my boys. I have washed sheets, scrubbed carpets, and bleached all surfaces multiple times. While I realize that parents have to work to pay their tuition. I also realize that a sick child will not participate in daily activities, not enjoy time with their friends, and contaminate the whole room. I have 4 children, when we get sick, it is an epidemic. We infect my parents, my brother and his wife, and then we all pass it back to each other. Come on folks, use some common sense when we drop off children in the morning. Here is my checklist:

1.  Have they thrown up today? If yes, STAY HOME!
2.  Do they have a fever? If yes, STAY HOME!
3.  Were you in the emergency room last night? If yes, STAY HOME!
4.  Have you been prescribed an antibiotic less than 24 hours ago? If yes, STAY HOME!
5.  Does your child have diarrhea? If yes, STAY HOME!
6.  Are your child's eyes full of green gunk and you had to pry them open? If yes, STAY HOME!

I am the world's worst about hating my children having to miss school. Sometimes that one day is very important. It is not worth the health of the rest of the class, the teacher, or the class' families.

As I am proofreading, I realize that I am a tad bit dramatic. I must say that this does not apply to my classroom this year as my children have not came to school sick at all. In fact, I have yet to call a parent to pick one up for illness. Maybe because I have so many health professional families this year?

Skin Doctor

The dreaded trip to the dermatologist has been looming over my head for weeks. B started out with a small rash on his stomach and it has begun to spread all over his body. He has the immune system of an advanced HIV patient is what we were told once. I am going to have to agree with it, as he gets dreadfully sick whenever anything strikes our house. He has now contaminated his older brother so I luckily got to bring 2 children yesterday afternoon.

This appointment started out as a disaster. I have been unbelievably stressed with the hospital visit C, stomach virus for 2 weeks, veterinary appointments, work engagements, developmental issues with children at preschool, and the thought that the state of Texas is eating my house (foundation cracks!). As soon as we arrive at the doctor, A asked the nurse if she could "pencil me in because she has a few pimples on her face that should be looked at" Imagine my mortified look as a room of strangers glance to my cheek to see Mount Vesuvius greeting them.

Of course he means well, but A has to talk to everyone we meet, everywhere we go, at anytime of the day. As soon as the doctor comes in A shows him his rash as well as every mole, freckle and imperfection on his little body along with a story. The doctor of course shows more interest in a mole and now we will have to monitor it and go for a biopsy if it gets any larger. I guess it is a good thing that he has something to say all the time or I never would have known that moles should only be one continuous color.

As I am dealing with the copay and insurance woes, of course B would be having a panic attack about his shoe laces coming untied. I quickly ask A to help him out to which he responded "You have never taught us how to tie our shoes, I can't help him" UGGGHHHH! Although I know I have sat several afternoons making bunny ears and untying knots from laces, these strangers don't know that!

Luckily the boys are scheduled for a surgical procedure next week that should only cost a month and a half of my salary.

I left yesterday feeling insecure about myself, questioning my parenting, worried about moles, and stressing about finances. Now I know why I never take my children to the doctor.
Silly boys in their hospital gowns waiting on the doctor. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Puppy Woes

As our dog is quickly approaching the end, James, has really started eyeing puppies. We just happened to have a puppy land in our lap. Her name is Bailey, and she is a 6 month old Blue Heeler. She eats everything, digs craters in the yard, jumps on my children, and sheds. Unfortunately my boys LOVE her. Today while I was taking apart the baby crib (he is climbing in anc out on his own), she helped herself to the ground hamburger I was thawing out on the stove. So long sloppy joes! Hello pizza!

Sick! Sick! Sick!

Last week was definately no bueno for my household. During a routine well-child check-up, C was admitted into the hospital for dehydration. We just happened to have an appointment the same day he had the stomach flu. Lucky for the rest of us, we knew what to expect and when our turn came, we stayed attached to the electrolyte beverages. It was an awful week to be out of work/school as it was our first week back from winter break. Thankfully I have an awesome aide at home and at school. I have decided not to jinx myself and say "I'm back!" because then I always get sidetracked and forget to blog.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 Goals for 2012

1. Minimize my caffeine intake. Coffee and Coke Zero are my weakness.
2. Run atleast 3 5ks.
3. Visit my grandparents atleast twice. They are getting older and my children need to be around them to build memories.
4. Reconnect with atleast 2 friends I have lost touch with. My life has been so busy for so long. I miss having friends.
5. Save more money! We waste too much money on eating out, clothes, and running around.
6. Lose my holiday 10. It has been 6 weeks since I had a great run (before yesterday). I feel like a blob.
7. Stick to my family meal plan. I have really slacked off on my meal plans.
8. Read more to my boys. We read lots of books, but there are nights that are busy and it is not made a priority like it should be.
9. Get D out of diapers. He runs naked while he is at home. He will only potty if he has a diaper on.
10. Work on my relationships with my inlaws.
11. Go back to college! Who goes to college for 3 years and stops?(insert sarcasm)
12. Run 1000 miles. I hope to pass this by a bunch, but I needed a starting point.