Monday, June 11, 2012

Teachers' Gifts 2012

This year's edition of Teachers Gifts are adorable nest necklaces.  I made one for myself a few months ago. (I was procrastinating cleaning the house and decided, instead, to sit on my kitchen floor and make a necklace.)

In the past few months, I have gotten a lot of compliments on my necklace, so I decided to make them in bulk. A friend's birthday, Mother's Day, and birthday gifts for my three sisters. So far they are a huge hit. (I personalized theirs using pink and blue pearls reflecting their children and families.)

So it was no surprise when I decided to make them for the teachers this year. I saved up all my 40% Michaels coupons (and made Joe load the Michaels app onto his phone for more savings -- he must really love me).
I made twelve necklaces in all.  I was able to make four necklaces from each pack of wire and each pack of chain.


To package them, I put them in small, fushcia organza bags (from Michaels) and placed them in zebra-striped bags (from the gift bag section at Michaels) with some paper shred (from the dollar store) and a few Hershey's Kisses.

Can I tell you that I received the loveliest of thank you notes from the teachers? And, better yet, the teachers wore them to school and to Jackson's 5th grade promotion on Thursday night.

(In July we will be teaching a class at church for these necklaces. I think I've finally mastered them!)

Friday, June 01, 2012

My Little Graduate

My little graduate.
Today Sawyer graduated from preschool.
I. did. not. cry.
But will someone tell him he needs to stop growing up?

It was a bittersweet day today. Sawyer graduated from preschool. The same preschool all of my children attended and graduated from. When I pulled out the cap and gown last night, I noticed the inscription inside of the hat read that Taylor graduated on Friday, June 1, 2001, exactly 11 years ago to the day. I felt a little nostalgic and I thought back to his graduation and how young he was.

Six children. Eleven years of paid preschool and one year of "joy school" later. It's hard to believe this chapter of my life is over. No more tuition bills. (Can I get a "woot!" ?) I will only have children in three schools next year, instead of four.

At graduation this morning, I received an honorary diploma. I was not expecting it. When we walked into the auditorium (it was held at a local private college), the director/owner of the preschool greeted us as the "famous family." After handing out all the children's diplomas, the director said she had an honorary diploma to award. She said that a family had six children who graduated from preschool and that it was a new record. And then she called my name. I had to walk up on stage and receive my preschool diploma. I finally graduated from preschool! I almost cried.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Taylor at the Zombie 5K

Taylor dodges his first zombies.

Taylor crosses finish line with both flags.

Taylor receiving his medal.

Taylor - the Ultimate Survivor

Friday, May 11, 2012

Better Than White Chocolate Chips

The younger children had a half-day of school today. I was trying to think of something to do to make it special. (Since Taylor and Carter had a full day.) I thought some one-on-one time with my girl would be just what we needed.

I had been eyeing a cookie recipe for some time. And, oooh, I could almost taste those white chocolate chips melting in my mouth.

As I pulled the ingredients out of the cupboard, a look of dismay appeared on Spenser's face and she adamantly stated that she hates white chocolate.

What?!? But I could almost taste those cookies.

At first, I am ashamed to say, I bargained with her. I tried to convince her that she really would like them, if she just tried them. And, it didn't work. I begged her. And, just as soon as she gave in, it hit me like a bullet.

It wasn't about the white chocolate chips. It was about spending time together. It was our special time together. And Spenser is better than white chocolate chips.

And then my attitude changed gears. We added milk chocolate chips instead.

One day I hope she realizes my love for her. It may not be until she has children of her own. And she may, or may not, remember that she is always better than white chocolate chips.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sisters' Gifts 2011

Here is the 2011 edition of homemade "Sisters' Gifts." Crocheted snowflakes. I made snowflake #20 from 99 Snowflakes. While the priority is to make them for my mother, three sisters, three sisters-in-law and my sister-in-law's sister (who has no other family in the area), I always make enough to spread the love to teachers and close friends.

I think I made 30. Or 30 was my goal. I may have made more. Once I memorized the pattern, they were flying off the hook. I took my hook, crochet thread and scissors everywhere I went. I crocheted at the boys' basketball games, track meets, in the car while waiting for preschool to let out. Every.where. I'm almost sad I've finished. (Not quite sad enough to continue making them, though. The very worst part was pinning and starching those suckers. The pins killed my fingertips and the starch dried out my hands beyond recognition.)

Of course I added a bar of my handmade chocolate-mint soap with each gift.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas + Happy New Year

This year's Christmas card photo. We had it taken in October, right after Joe retired. (It's been hard to keep in secret since then.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Man I Married

The man I married unofficially retired from the U.S. Army on September 30, 2011.

The man I married will officially retire from the U.S. Army on January 1, 2012.

The man I married is currently on "leave" from the U.S. Army and is still considered active duty.

The man I married served more than 25 years for the U.S. military. (He had a few years of National Guard duty while earning his undergrad.)

The man I married started a new job today at the National Institute of Health (NIH).

The man I married is also celebrating his birthday today.

Happy birthday, Joe. Thank you for serving our country, our family, and the Lord.