Summer’s Here – End of the School Year gift

I used to not like summer.  As a child I never looked forward to several months away from my school friends staying home and being bored.  Sure, I loved the break from homework and classes, but that would wear off quickly.

When I was a 6th grade teacher, summer break was such a welcome sight!  Months and months of LONG days and weekends spent grading papers were gone and the new school year was several weeks in the future.  As a mommy now that is homeschooling one child and driving another to preschool 3 days a week, can I just say I have been counting the days until summer break!  {Anyone else???}

Teachers work hard and they NEED their summers off to relax just as much as the students (and us mommies) need too!  You know me, I love to spoil my boys’ teachers since I know first hand how hard they work.  So when I saw this idea for an end of the year gift, I knew it was perfect!

To cut down on expenses (and use up some of the junk items I have saved in the garage for repurposing into something creative), I decided to use these babies:
drink carrier

A while ago, after a run to Sonic for Happy Hour, I received one of these fabulous drink carriers.  That prompted another trip to Sonic for a second one a few weeks later.  Today, however, I was bummed when I asked my hubby to pick me up just one more and he brought home a much smaller version :(

The goodies

Here is the run down on what I got to fill the drink carrier.  Overall it was only $23 at Target!!!  Since I have 3 teachers to buy for that was a bargain – plus I had 2 of my friends with children in the same classes split the cost with me so that made it even better!

Reuseable cup $3.99 (Ross)

Towel $6.99

Candy $1 each

Flip-Flops $2.50 – gotta love the dollar spot!

Lays Chips $1 – on sale

Magazine $3.99

Crystal Light Lemonade $2.04 (used half the package in one and the other half in the other)

 

Now onto how I decorated the drink carrier:

Cover with paper

First I cut some scrapbook paper to fit each side of the carrier

mine was 8 1/2″ by 5″

tacky spray

Have you used this Tacky Spray?  I LOVE this stuff!

So easy for adhering paper and it was perfect for this project.

tags

Then I typed up some simple and quick tags (thanks to Skip to my Lou for the cute rhyme!)

finished gift

And here is the finished product!  Can’t wait to spoil some teachers over the next couple of days with these.

Mother Son Dinner 2012

A couple of years ago, the mommy group I was a part of was having a Mother Daughter Tea.  Now as a lady that loves to throw a party, I was a bit sad to not have a daughter.  So I thought up the Mother Son dinner.  Having 4 boys doesn’t mean we can’t dress up and have a fabulous time together.  My husband jumped on board wanting to help teach the boys how to be gentlemen.  To do this, all gentlemen need to know some basics- how to date properly.  Who better to practice on than your mama?  So the Mother Son dinner began.  First Mother Son Dinner

The first year it was a small crowd – myself and my 2 oldest boys (Boy #3 was an infant  and #4 wasn’t even a glimmer), and two other mamas.  It was a sweet time!

Then last year the numbers grew. We filled up my front room with 2 full tables of mommies and their sons.  {My poor hubby got a gold star for doing all the serving and pampering for us by himself!}  I can’t find my picture with all my boys so here is one of my sweet Chris (He LOVES to dress up and look handsome so this kind of event is right up his alley!)

Mommy and Chris

This year, it was time to plan it again and my husband and myself wanted to bless even more mamas.  So we opened it up to many of our friends and family.  Nine mamas and 19 boys were able to attend and it was better than ever.  Thanks to several fathers, friends, and a couple older daughters Bryan was able to organize getting us all served and fed quickly!

Set up and ready

While searching Pinterest I found a link to Amanda’s Parties To Go and I was so thankful for her FREE printables for Mother’s Day.  To get it all you have to do it LIKE her page on Facebook.  So I did and my printer got busy!  She had EVERYTHING in this download from a banner to water bottle wraps and place cards.

banner

Once I had that, I knew the colors for the dinner.  Off to Target I went and I was blessed to find green tablecloths on clearance in a 2 pack for $2.08!  And the pink table runners- clearance wrapping paper!  A pack of tissue paper for Poms and I was set!

menu

tables

When the mama’s arrived a picture was taken of them and their baby boys.

Mother Son picture

Then the boys were taken aside by my husband to receive their lesson on being a gentleman.  This included instructions on asking mom to be your date, showing her to the table, pulling out her chair, ordering for her, and then thanking her for a wonderful date night!  Too cute!  One of the son’s came in and asked his mom “Will you be my HOT date tonight?”  So precious!

placing orders

Mommies having fun

And a HUGE thank you to all those that helped!  Bryan couldn’t have done it without help this year and we were so blessed by the daddies, sisters, and friends that came to help serve and bless the mamas and their boys!

Helpers

Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Teacher Appreciation Week!

I am not sure who thought it would be a good idea to have Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation week at the same time of the year, but alas they are.  That means lots crafting and gift giving is in my near future.  Since Teacher Appreciation week is coming up next week, I thought I would give you a look at what I am planning on giving to my boys’ teacher this year.

Some of you might be thinking – But don’t you homeschool?  What do you mean teachers? Isn’t that you?  Well, yes I am my oldest son’s teacher for the most part but he does have a supervising teacher that we turn all his work into.  So she deserves a treat for putting up with my emails and questions all year long ;)  As for my preschooler, he attends preschool 3 days a week so I like to give a smaller gift each day instead of just one gift.  I was a teacher so I know all the hard work that goes into teaching and how nice it was to receive little treats! My older son also has a piano teacher so I might just throw in a little something for her as well!

I have been pinning ideas for a while now on my Teacher Appreciation board on Pinterest.  Here are the ones I am going to be using this year!

Gift #1 – PICKED  basket of treats(courtesy of Eighteen25)

Couldn't have Picked

You can find the blog post here detailing what you need to make your own, as well as the link to print your very own tag for your gift basket!

Gift #2 – Supplies 4 Teacher (courtesy of Less Cake, More Frosting)

LCMF-Supplies-4-Teacher

Here you can also download the free printable tag.  Instead of filling it up with necessary classroom supplies as she suggests, my plan is to load up a cute little gift bag with a light duty staple gun and staples since I constantly see my son’s preschool teachers doing the whole “wack the opened up stapler against the wall” thing when they are changing up the classroom decorations.  The best tip I EVER got as a teacher was to use a light duty staple gun!  Saved me so much time when putting up bulletin boards. I am hoping to find a staple remover that slips right under the staples too (not the pinching kind that looks like it has vampire teeth) to include as well.

Gift #3 – Can’t live on Apples alone… (courtesy of Little Pumpkin Grace)

Apples and Hugs

This is a a nice and easy gift to give – I mean, come on, who doesn’t like some chocolate!  I will need to create my own tag since I  think a printed one looks nicer than a handwritten one.  So now I am hunting for just the right container to put the hugs in!

Of course you could always create a personalized gift for your child’s teacher too!  A couple years ago I made these adorable crayon letter frames that the teacher’s just loved!  In fact they are still proudly displayed in their classroom (I know because those teachers are my preschooler’s teachers this year – bummer, no reusing gift ideas for me!).

Crayon initial

Let me know what you are planning on doing for your child(s) teachers this year!  I love getting new ideas for appreciating teachers!

Women’s Tea Table

This past weekend, my church held a women’s tea.  Over the past several years the women’s ministry has put on a few of these and I have had the privilege of attended all but one of them.  These are special times of fellowship and teaching with my fellow sisters in Christ and I am always so blessed by what God has to teach me while I am there.

I was honored this year to be asked to host a table.  That means I got to decorate and bring all the tea necessities to set up a table for myself and 7 other ladies.  Having hosted a table in the past for a Christmas tea using my Christmas dishes, I knew a bit of what was expected, but this time I got to use my china pattern which hardly ever gets removed from my china hutch in the dining room.

Tea table

The china in and of itself was a blessing as it was given to me by a sister in Christ at my previous church just a few years after Bryan and I got married.  You see, like many couples now a days, we didn’t register for a china pattern.  I knew that 1) I probably wouldn’t have many people that would buy it for us and 2) it wasn’t really something I would use often enough to justify storing.  Plus, I already had my Christmas china being collected (thanks to my wonderful mother and eBay) so I didn’t really feel the need for “regular” china as well.  But this sweet woman was getting ready to be given a set of dishes from an estate sale and she already had 2 sets at home.  So when she heard that I didn’t have a set of china, she offered me what I have now!  The set included a very random assortment of pieces – 17 dinner plates, 19 tea cups, 18 saucers and I believe that was all.  Again, my wonderful mom has searched and found me salad plates, bread plates, bowls, coffee mugs and a variety of serving dishes to round out my set.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to have a chance to pull out my dishes and put them on display along with the decorations for my table.  Being that my  china is mostly blue (NOT my favorite) I decided to pull out the less obvious pink and grey colors from the design to work with on my table.  Maybe the grey stood out after working so many weeks on the grey crib bedding but I LOVE the color now!

A few quick searches on Pinterest revealed that there wasn’t too much out there for tea tables.  Searching on Pinterest can be a difficult thing if you don’t know the right key words! So I just began searching for table cloth ideas.  Knowing it can be difficult to find round table cloths I had made up my mind I was going to make my own.  This pin was the inspiration for my table cover. Since I made it all in one LONG, LATE night I didn’t take pictures of the process.  It wasn’t hard but it took quite a bit of time.

Ruffled Tablecover

The chargers I found at Party City.  I love the girly charm they bring (heck, with a houseful of boys any time I can do something girly and pink I am all over it!).

Place setting

There were so many beautiful tables at the tea! Here are just a few for you to see.

table 2Table 3table 4table 5table 6table 1