Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Family Summer Bucket Lists

We are all very excited tonight because tomorrow is THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!  Yay!!! With Ryan and I both being teachers, (and neither of us taking classes this summer) we have an entire three months devoted to family time!  We don't waste the time either.  Our summers are always crammed full of family fun - one thing after another!  I asked the kids (and Daddy too) to tell me what was on their summer bucket list and this is what we've got.....

(The pictures were taken last summer.)

Hugh's Summer Bucket List (almost 9 years old)
Visit Octagon Barn
Church Camp (1st time ever!)
Spend Week at Grandma & Grandpa's house
Strawberry & blueberry picking
Go to Chillermania

Claire's Summer Bucket List (3 1/2 Years Old)
Tea Party with Grandma
Take dancing lessons
Strawberry & blueberry picking
Make cupcakes with mama
See fireworks

Oliver's Summer Bucket List (21 Months Old)
Boppa's Horsies (see grandpa's horses)
A-num-a-nee for Boppa's Horsies (feed grandpa's horses)
Boppa's Truck (ride in grandpa's truck...anywhere!)

Mama's Summer Bucket List (Very Old)
Learn to use my sewing machine better
Visit nearby lavender farm
Make cupcakes with Claire
Read some books
New roof
New floors in kids' rooms
Repaint/redecorate boys' room
Scrapbook get-away weekend
Go to farmer's market often
Campfires and wine with my husband after kids have gone to bed

Daddy's Summer Bucket List (Even Older)
Father/Son camping with Hugh
New roof
New floors in kids' bedrooms
Attend baseball games
Work on garden

I will miss my students but I am really looking forward to concentrating on just my own three kiddos for the next three months!  We are so blessed to have summers with everyone at home.  Stay tuned to Sister-Dipity to read about our summer adventures!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Teacher Gift Ideas

Our school year is over at the end of this week so I thought I'd share some teacher gift ideas.  Being a teacher myself, I have received lots of goodies over the years from students.  I asked some of my teacher friends and colleagues to share some of their favorite gifts from students. Here is what they had to say...

Tracey, a kindergarten teacher...
"One of my favorite gifts came from a little boy named Owen. He made a bookmark out of a piece of ribbon with a button hot glued to each end. I used it every day in my Junie B. book and thought of him when I took it out. Wish I could give you a picture but it got thrown up on last winter! I always think the best gifts are made by or picked out by the child. They are always SO excited about what they are giving and to me that's the best part!"

Amy, a high school teacher...
"The best present any student can give me is a card. I have kept every single hand written card that I have received from my students. Many come a year or so after graduation, but they are absolutely priceless to me."

Susie, a kindergarten teacher...
"One of my favorite presents was a round plastic canvas coaster that a 4 yr old girl made for me one of the first years I taught. Libby is now a freshman in high school. That coaster has sat on my desk every year since."

Cherie, a second grade teacher...
"I have received hanging plants or potted plants numerous times throughout my years of teaching.  Spring is a very busy time for a teacher and often my own interests get pushed to the back burner - planting flowers being one of them.  I usually can't even think about working on my flowers until after school is out.  I always appreciate the plants that students give me.  It gives me a head start to making my house or yard pretty for summer and each time I look at the plant I am reminded of that special student." 

Beth, a retired high school teacher...
"I remember getting a loaf of homemade banana bread that was just wonderful! I also always liked getting cards or letters from my students.  The nice things they had to say meant a lot."

Amanda, a preschool teacher...
"This year I got a gift certificate for a pedicure which I'm really excited about.  I also got wine and a margarita mix!"  (*Note to parent:  While we may really appreciate gifts like this, please take the alcohol gift to the teacher yourself.  Do not send with your child to school!)

Pinned Image
Coincidentally, I  just found this on Pinterest and had to include it!  :)
Here are some other gift ideas...
A name plate for the teacher's desk made out of Scrabble tiles. Just hot glue them on!

An insulated tumbler filled with treats.  Make flowers out of strips of paper and attach to floral wire to make it a bouquet for the teacher.

This link has tons of great teacher gift ideas!  Check it out!
09 44 1 20 Fabulous Teacher Gift Ideas

Pinned Image

One of my classroom moms made me a crayon wreath just like this.  I love it and so do all my students. I get tons of compliments on it! (Click on the picture for directions.)
 Mainstays Outdoor Wood Rocking Chair, White
Last year, I purchased a white outdoor rocking chair similar to this one pictured above.
I then (secretly) had my son Hugh and each of his classmates put their thumbprint on the rocking chair somewhere using paint.  When it dried, they each used permanent marker to make their thumbprint into a bug and they signed their name beside their bug.  I then sprayed the entire rocking chair with a protective sealant making it safe for outdoor use.  We surprised the teacher with the rocking chair as a gift from all of the children in the class.  They were so excited and so was she!  She still has her rocking chair on her porch. 

The bug thumbprints looked similar to this...

How about this with a tag that says "I'm SODA-lighted you were my teacher this year!"

Check out this link...tons of great teacher gift ideas - some handmade, some store bought!
teacher gifts 8+ End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas

My son's teacher is going to be getting a gift card to the place where she gets her nails done.  It is something I know she will use and appreciate.

Our daycare providers are receiving this...


 This is what the card says...
I made it on Microsoft Publisher.

Other great teacher gift ideas that are sure to be appreciated...
  • gift cards (iTunes, local ice cream shop, gas card, greenhouse, bookstore, restaurant, teacher store)
  • homemade cookies
  • a group picture of the class
  • a heartfelt letter written by the student and/or parents
  • summer stuff: sunscreen, beach towel, good book (or bookstore gift card), lemonade mix
  • something from the college the teacher graduated from:  pennant, t-shirt, magnet, etc.
  • grilling utensils, marinade mixes, or BBQ sauce (great for male teachers)

    Does the teacher have pets?  How about a new dog collar, dog or cat treats, I LOVE MY PET frame, or a gift card to a nearby pet store!

    What about the teacher's hobbies?  How about some pretty yarn, a scrapbook magazine, a cookbook, fishing lures, gardening gloves, or a personalized water bottle for working out?

    Is the teacher a mother or father?  Consider a gift for them to use with their kids such as water balloons, a new storybook (write a message to them in the front cover), ice cream bowls, sprinkles, and a scoop, box of popsicles, a picnic blanket, beach toys, stuff to make s'mores, tickets to a ballpark, amusement park or movie theater, a package of hot dogs and bag of chips, family photo album, museum or zoo passes, movie rental get the idea!  As a working mother, I really appreciate receiving things like this that I can share with my family!

    As a teacher, I can tell you that we do not expect to get a gift from students at the end of the year and I hope no parent ever feels they have to give the teacher something.  As you can see though in the responses from my teacher friends - a note from the student or the student's parents is gift enough and often means the most!  I, myself, have what I call a "feel good file" in my filing cabinet.  Each time I receive a card or letter like that I stick it in my feel good file.  I keep them all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We Have a Winner!

*The winner of the $20.00 Etsy credit giveaway to Miss Meliss Boutique is number #2 - mandysmoney who said...

love the damask family name sign!

If you are mandysmoney, please send me your email address!  Congratulations!

Many, many thanks to Melisssa from Miss Meliss Boutique for sponsoring this giveaway!

We will have another Sister-Dipity giveaway next week. Keep checking in! 

*Winner chosen by

Friday, May 25, 2012

Birthday Banner Tutorial

I recently made a birthday banner for my niece, Addie.  (If you missed the post about her birthday, click HERE to see what a great time we had!) This banner is intended to be reused year after year throughout the birthday girl (or boy's) childhood.  Keep reading to see why!

Materials I used...
  • 12 x 12 chipboard, white on one side
  • 12 x 12 scrapbook papers in coordinating colors
  • letters to spell "Happy Birthday" and the name
  • sticky tabs or photo safe gluestick
  • screwdriver and hammer
  • block of wood
  • variety of ribbon in coordinating colors
  • Flowers in 3 different sizes and 1 button

I purchased these 12 x 12 chipboard sheets at a scrapbook store.  These are perfect because one side is the natural cardboard color (which we will cover) and the other side is a nice smooth white surface. The white side will be the back of the banner.

I searched my scrapbook paper collection for patterned papers in pinks and purples.  I didn't worry about them matching exactly - I like the variety. I chose paper that looked little girlish but also could be big girlish too for use in future years.

 Using my paper cutter, I cut the chipboard into 4 equal parts which would be 4 squares that are 6 x 6 inches each.  I also cut the paper into 6 x 6 inch squares as well. Then using acid free glue I glued the patterned papers to the chipboard squares.

 I then used my Cricut to cut out the lettering I wanted.  I used a solid color for the lettering so it would stand out and match well with the patterned papers.  I cut out the letters at the 4 1/2 inch setting.  The letters spelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADDIE."

Using the acid free glue stick I glued all the letters onto the squares.

My husband then laid each square on a block of wood and hammered a screwdriver into the top two corners of each square to make a hole for the ribbon.  (See his cast?  He broke his wrist but still did this for me! What a man!)

I then tied each square together with a ribbon. I used a variety of ribbons in coordinating colors.  Some of the ribbon was wide, some narrow.  Some of the ribbon had flowers, some had polka-dots, some stripes...etc.  I like the different ribbons with the different patterned paper.  It reminds me of a quilt.  Here it is...

I used an extra square to put between the Y in HAPPY and the B in BIRTHDAY to separate the words.  I layered on 3 different size flowers and used a glue dot to put a button in the middle of the flower.  In other birthday banners I have made, I have made this space a balloon or a cupcake.


 The back of the squares are then a nice white surface.  I did it this way with the plan to put a picture of the birthday girl on the back of each square for each birthday.  With the banner saying "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADDIE" and with the flower square in the middle, there are 19 squares. Photos can be collected for birthdays 1-19.  Won't that be fun to see a picture from each year all together on her 19th birthday?

This is the back of the banner and can be used like this...


Have you entered the giveaway?  We have a giveaway going on right now for a $20.00 shop credit to the Etsy shop, Miss Meliss Boutique.  Click HERE to see her products and sign up to win!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pink John Deere 1st Birthday Party

We celebrated my niece's first birthday this past weekend with a pink John Deere party at Grandma & Boppa's house.  The theme colors were adorable: pink, green, and yellow. The party supplies came from Birthday Express.  To read Addie's exciting birth story, click HERE!

Having four boy cousins who are little farmers themselves, Addie knows all about John Deere.
They all wanted to pose on Boppa's lawn mower!  This was much easier and safer than a picture on the big tractor at the barn! 

Not easy getting a good photo with six little ones!

Oh, dear!  Well you know how the song goes "It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want to..."

The kid's table with the guest of honor at the "head" of the table!

She loved her birthday dinner including two of her favorites - macaroni and cheese and baked beans!

Addie's daddy - her biggest fan!

I LOVE this picture.  It looks so 1 year old-ish!  The perfect 1st birthday picture!

Addie was truly delighted with her gifts - the wrapping and the gifts themselves.

Her mommy and daddy helped her open her gifts. 

Claire was so excited to show Baby Addie that she got her a dress that matches hers!

See this precious pillowcase dress?  Addie's mama ordered it from this Etsy shop.  Pink and green John Deere with polka dots - what could be better?

Aunt Cherie, Uncle Danny, and cousins Jake and Nicky got her this adorable pink and yellow John Deere rider.  She can't make it go quite yet but she LOVED sitting on it!

Addie's mama (my sister, Julie) made her cake.  Isn't it adorable?

Happy Birthday, Dear Addie!

Look at the inside of the cake.  Isn't that cool? 

Addie loved her birthday cake. 

Grandma Beth made these huge tissue paper flowers and hung them from the trees in the yard where we had the party.  The pink of the flowers with the green leaves as a backdrop worked perfect for the green and pink party color scheme!

All the cousins (L to R) Hugh (almost 9), Jake (7), Nicholas (almost 4), Claire (3 1/2), Oliver (1 1/2)and Addie (1) - Aren't they great?  We are so blessed! Not easy to get a shot like this.  I took about 47 pictures and this was the closest I could get to all of them looking and smiling.

Notice the pink and purple birthday banner behind them?  I made it and will show you how! I will post a tutorial tomorrow. 

Oliver and Addie enjoyed comparing their John Deere rides. 

"How many cylinders you got in that tractor?"

What is it about balloons?  They are always the highlight of the party!

I used a black picture frame with a white mat and then included pink polka dot paper, a smaller white mat, and part of Addie's birthday invitation to create this picture for everyone to sign.  I also put a John Deere tractor cut-out on the corner for an added embellishment!

Addie with her mama and daddy! Isn't she a dolly?


Be sure to check out our giveaway going on now for a $20.00 store credit to Miss Meliss Boutique's Etsy Shop. 

Click HERE to enter!