Tag Archives: holidays

How to get ready for Christmas without the STRESS!

I know…BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

Folks..LIFE IS BUSY! Christmas time is BUSY!

Sorry to be the one to tell you that.

BUT…

30 days …from TODAY  (11.25.18)   4  SUNDAYS!   YES,  4 SUNDAYS…

Christmas will be here!

I  LOVE CHRISTMAS!

So??  

 How  to  get  ready??

PACE YOURSELF!

Think 

MARATHON…NOT  SPRINT!

 Where to start?

#1…..Make LISTS!

(I  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE   LISTS! )

List ALL ( YES ALL ) of the people you 

WOULD LIKE to give gifts to.

Now…

PUT A STAR next to the people you MUST give a gift to.

(I know that sounds weird..but..I would LOVE to give gifts to

EVERYONE…but…my bank account says I must prioritize).

It doesn’t mean I won’t give a gift…

just might be a “thoughtful”… not-as-costly gift.

Reality people!

If money grew on trees…

#2…..DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN DEBT FOR THE NEW YEAR!

 So…there is officially  1 more PAYCHECK until Christmas.

( Or figure out HOW many PAYCHECKS YOU have until DEC. 24 )

Take the number of gifts YOU MUST purchase 

and divide by EXTRA $$.

***If you have been SAVING for Christmas,  which you WILL DO for NEXT year,  add that too!

That tells you HOW many GIFTS you MUST purchase and the amount you have to spend.

That’s important because

 now you can begin looking for a gift

for the PERSON…not just a checkoff on a list.

SLOW DOWN! Not ready to buy yet!

Now….start talking, texting, asking others…

#3…..DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE!

ASK!!!!  

 What items do the people on your list WANT…NEED…LOVE?????

Add this to your LIST!

( If for kids…ASK THEIR PARENTS…sizes, likes, ages,etc )

Now…start looking…

online? Look for FREE shipping! 

(AMAZON PRIME ..I am speed dial!)

Friends & Family …FAR AWAY???  ( Sorry )

SHIP TO THEM!

Don’t ship to YOU & then pay to ship to them!

SHIP  DIRECTLY! FREE!

STOP!

YOU HAVE NOT MADE A BUDGET YET!

#4…..Figure out what you can spend..

AFTER PAYING YOUR BILLS & feeding your family.

They always come first…don’t forget to add them to your MUST list!

Your kids COME FIRST!

And NOT going into SEVERE debt!

Only charge what YOU can pay off the next month!

NO DEBT AFTER JANUARY!

OK..then..start listing whom you will purchase for.

After you purchase…keep the receipt! 

I write the name of the person I purchased it for on the back..

RETURNS?  Easy Peasy!

After you purchase…

or  it arrives from SANTA’S HELPER

 IN THE BROWN UPS TRUCK… ūüôā

WRAP IT  AND   ATTACH  A  NAME  TAG!

( This from a Santa’s Helper…who has forgotten and was wrapping WAY TOO LATE INTO CHRISTMAS EVE! )

After Thanksgiving..

#5…..I begin to look at my 

LIST of ” WANT to purchase for”

but NOT necessarily, 

 “Must Purchase For”

on my list!

 ( Yes I keep it in a little book in my purse! )

Now I have a better idea of “extras”…

Do I need to do “homemade”….giftcards…..”I thought of you- but have no $$ left” card? 

What kinds of gifts can you give for NO MONEY?

How about a picnic at the park?   A  TEA PARTY for kids?  A trip to the library to read books?  Take a young child to the ZOO???

Gifts of “ONE TO ONE” time…ARE THE BEST!  

And you can schedule them AFTER the holidays. 

The gift that keeps on giving!

Whatever fits YOU! 

RELAX!   

NO  GUILT!  

Christmas is NOT about who can GUILT YOU the MOST!

It’s about telling the people you care about..

THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU!

Enjoy the season.

Spend time with friends & family!

TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES!

Make Memories!

And when JANUARY comes around..

SMILE!

(And maybe  a mani / pedi  for  yourself?)

But…remember…

Christmas is from the HEART..not the WALLET!

Have FUN!  

Elf on the Shelf… FAILURE!

Do OVER!

What do YOU do to get ready for CHRISTMAS????

Elf on the Shelf- FAIL!

ELF on the SHELF…FAILURE!

I admit it…I failed..

I tried the ELF thing…FAILED!

I forgot to move it.

I didn’t want to spend the time moving it to who knows where.

My kiddos didn’t find it!

OH…exhausting!

I went to PINTEREST and saw ALL of these AMAZING ELF activities.

I GIVE UP! 

And so…I QUIT!  I am NOT  “ELFABLE!”  

Change..inevitable
THINK POSITIVE!

Change my mindset.  Change is good. Change is necessary!

So maybe I don’t ELF this year. Maybe I focus on a DIFFERENT type of KINDNESS. I think I might look at…

Sharing ORNAMENTS!  Or presents, or smiles!  Or handshakes, or time. 

Maybe my “LESSON” to my students isn’t about THINGS…    

So I think I will focus on content.

I will share the GOODWILL of the ELF ideals,  through lesson content.

I hope my students’ families will give them the “warm fuzzies” they deserve. I do EVERY DAY. 

But for now, we will focus on learning.

Are YOU a HELPER ELF?

( BORING I KNOW…BUT NECESSARY!)

So…next in my list…MATH!

UGH! I know. HOW CAN THE ELF HELP US IN MATH?

THIS ELF IS NOT ON THE SHELF

1 more..1 less…10 more..10 less

So…to help with my “ELF FAILURE”

AND

to maximize my math time…

This ELF is NOT on the SHELF!
This Elf is NOT on the SHELF

This can be made into a booklet, used as math centers, individual practice, assessments…

ENDLESS possibilities!

It may NOT be as EXCITING as finding the ELF each day.

BUT…my students won’t be confused or saddened because they think the ELF doesn’t care.

They know I care. And that’s better than ANY ELF!

And so my friends, I admit it. I am an ELF on the Shelf failure. 

But…my student’s did REALLY WELL on their math assessments and we 

giggled, grinned, hugged, & gave high-fives all through the year.

Now…where did I leave that ELF?   ūüôā  

Elf on the Shelf taped to classroom clock.
HELP ME!

Holiday HELPERS for YOU! ūüôā

Classroom Literacy

Data Collecting

Guided Reading

Leave me a comment…help me be an “ELF” convert. How do YOU use the “ELF”???   There must be a support group SOMEWHERE! ūüôā  Happy Holidays!

Guess What? Pigs DO Fly!

PIGS DO FLY!

Pig flying

OK…I admit it…I HATE to CLEAN!

Spring Cleaning Purging is NOT FUN!

It is a chore!

But, the Christmas dust bunnies 

are MULTIPLYING!

 Just in time for EASTER!

After my 3rd cup of coffee, this AM,

I decided to get to work!

Hubby at work for the day..so

I made a deal with myself …

NO SHOWER until DONE CLEANING!

(I LOVE MY SHOWERS!)

So, what’s a girl to do?

GET CLEANING!

I CRANKED UP THE COUNTRY MUSIC…

LOUD…

REALLY LOUD!

Tim McGraw

Luke Bryant

Kenny Chesney

I WAS LISTENING, SINGING,

 & DANCING to the music!

Thank GOD, no one could SEE me!

Anyways…

I CLEANED…AND Cleaned…

and cleaned….and cleaned.

More SPRING CLEANING

I even cleaned out my earring tree!

Didn’t know I had SO many¬†that

only had 1 earring! GOODBYE!

Closets, bookshelves, drawers, 

took BLANKETS to the LAUNDROMAT…

SPRING Clean” THEM TOO!

My house smells like PINE-SOL!

If I didn’t know any better…

I’d swear I was NESTING!

NO WAY LADIES…

This GMA is TOO OLD for that! 

Then…shower..AAAHHHHH!

SPRING CLEANING & BAKING?

No…I am NOT ill.

So then I decided that¬†because of the EB…

Easter Bunny

EASTER BUNNY

is on HIS way …I could help him!

My family LOVES

Reeses EGGS!

Reeses peanutbutter chocolate eggs

(WHO doesn’t?)

But…I AM CHEAP!¬†

I know…really cheap!

So today I decided to MAKE them!

You heard that right! MAKE THEM…ME!???

For the girl who doesn’t cook,¬†

they turned out pretty good!

 homemade chocolate eggs

 homemade chocolate eggs

 homemade chocolate eggs

Here are MY Reese’s ¬†Eggs!

They are ready for Easter Baskets!

So, my friends…

Guess what?  

Pigs DO Fly!

pig flying

Happy  Weekend!

If YOU need more Easter Goodies…

1stgradefireworks logo picture

CLICK HERE!

Clean up 2017

Can you hear the song?

Here’s a link to help you…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY-H2WGThc8

My NEW YEAR’S Mantra!

CLEAN UP!   CLEAN UP!

I LOVE to start the NEW YEAR with cleanliness!

NO ...I AM NOT  OCD ( quite the opposite ).

I like to start the year off with a clean slate…

doesn’t always stay that way!

So here I  go!

MY Closet! 

ICK!

Keeping these…pants together..skirts…etc

Hubby even did his shoes! ūüôā

Pile to GO!
Cleaned out my closet…found my LOST slippers!

YIPPEY!

Pile of unneeded hangers!

Gave some of them away with donated clothes.

Kept some…yes..I got rid of the WIRE HANGERS!

HAHAHAHAHA

So I am DONATING 2 bags of 

“UNUSED” clothes & shoes

( Doesn’t fit, holes, haven’t worn, aren’t going to wear…)

to Goodwill.

Have you tried this COOL  closet  trick?

Take ALL of your hangers and turn them 

BACKWARDS!

As you wear something…

turn the hanger forwards.

Next year…

ANY hanger still turned backwards…

YOU HAVE NOT WORN IN ONE YEAR!

DONATE  IT to someone who will!

The Christmas Decor!

I LOVE my Christmas tree.

I turn on the lights, sit in the dark, and watch it twinkle!

But…it has been up since November.

( Yes, before THANKSGIVING!)

I didn’t have Thanksgiving at MY house..so..

UP WENT THE CHRISTMAS DECOR!

Makes me happy!

But…Time to “CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP!”

Gma loves help! Such a decorator!

It takes a LONG time to put ornaments away!

You have to touch each one…remember when or where you got it…

the memories are sometimes OVERWHELMING..

Sniff..sniff..giggle..giggle

We started this years ago…

When we travel, or have a special place…

we buy an ornament.

Check out my UPDATED post on 

“In Life…there is NO “Do OVER!”

Newest member of my snowman ornament collection.
Don’t forget the year!
Little sister got married  in HAWAII!

We were ALL there!

So FUN!

and last…

ME!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions…

I don’t need ANOTHER thing to worry about!

But..

I have changed my eating habits!

( Lost 32 ¬†pounds …so far )

YEAH!!!

My new favorite “treat”…

APPLES & Peanut Butter!

But wait!

¬†Isn’t Peanut Butter FATTENING??????

Here’s my SECRET..

Slice apples ( I buy mine pre packaged & sliced ). ūüôā

Put them single layer on a plate.

Put 1 Tablespoon ( Yes I measure ) peanut butter in a small zip-lock bag.

Close bag. Microwave PB ( mine about 20 seconds).

Snip ( tech term) the corner off of the bottom of the PB bag.

DRIZZLE over apples!

It’s like FROSTING the cake!

* UPDATE… ¬†You CAN use PB.

BUT…

My newest LOVE

PB2.

Powdered Peanuts…NO ¬†FAT!

Mix 2 TBL powder with 1 TBL  water!

PRESTO!

PB  with NO  FAT!

I LOVE LOVE  LOVE  the PB2 with CHOCOLATE!

CAN YOU SAY… ¬†REESES???

I have it on my toast in the AM.

So…I am beginning my

CLEAN UP 

mode.

I should start on the kitchen cabinets, or the bathroom…..

I think I hear 

APPLES & PB

calling me!

Happy New Year’s, ¬†my friends!

YOU want to…P.P.Paint ????

Just hearing the 

“P A I N T”

word.

Sends shivers down my back!

I have nightmares of 

spilled water, ruined paintings,

our janitor YELLING ,

“NO! ¬†STOP! NOT ON THE NEW CARPET!”

¬†Ok…NOT yelling…but ¬†you know…”NO!”

So, I guess

24 … ¬† 6-year-olds

sitting at desks, 

painting beautiful pictures

was NOT was I thinking about!

AND

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

I admit…it was ALL about ME!

WHAT WILL ¬†I ¬†HAVE ¬†TO “Deal With”?

And you know what?

NOTHING.

Everytime we paint

(and I try to do it once a month)

THEY AMAZE  ME!

Clean, quiet, detailed, HAPPY!

They worked for about 45 minutes…

TOTALLY  ENGAGED!

(I wish some of MY lessons were SO ENGAGING!)

I start with¬†my BFF…

PINTEREST!

I have some GREAT pins on my boards.

Check them out!

This months “painting inspiration”came from

Elyse 

@

PROUD to BE PRIMARY

And now we are…

ALL ready for JANUARY!

Here’s a few of ours!

They are   sooooo   cute!

AND

NO   SPILLS!

I think they are getting the HANG OF IT!

Duh… ¬† you mean with

PRACTICE

we get BETTER!?

I wonder what wonderful teacher gave them that ADVICE???

Anyways…

we will PAINT!

And we will PAINT..a  LOT!

Next month…¬†

I’m thinking SNOW, and Penguins, and Nature Scenes.

Maybe some “still life”… ¬† ¬†Hmmmm.

MONET!     DEGAS! 

Watch out WORLD OF ART…

HERE  WE  COME!

Check out pinterest for more ideas!

Give from the…HEART!

Teachers  are  givers.

Kids are TOO!

We want EVERYONE  to  have 

ALL of their WISHES come true!

BUT….

So how?

How can we teach curriculum,  maintain  sanity,

and MAKE WISHES COME TRUE?

Give!

GIVE  FROM  THE  HEART!

In our classroom we  make ornaments.

NOT all of the ornaments are for CHRISTMAS.

Some of my kiddos don’t celebrate Christmas.

BUT…

They  create.  They  inspire.  They  give.

From the  Heart.

My  favorite things are HANDMADE.

( Sniff… from the heart) ¬†ūüôā

Where do we get our ¬†” inspirations” ?

PINTEREST!

(You can follow me here…)

No stress…pictures…some directions…Ahhhhh.

My  happy  place!

Here are some of MY  favorite  ideas!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AauKHq04s3VIDuE8bceSrLCmvzxEHKxLIV9dfmZwn2y-Qrg2qgtIP88/

Popsicle  sticks! 

Glue! Paint!  Decor!

Let the imagination go!

NOT ALL OF MY KIDS MAKE THE SAME ORNAMENTS!

Let them have choice!

I show them the pictures.

 I share the BASICS.

I let them GO!

MY  choices and their choices MAY BE DIFFERENT!

Different is good! 

Give from YOUR heart!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/101260691599483836/

SALT  DOUGH!

Who doesn’t ¬†like ¬†DOUGH?

Squishy, squeezy  balls of  FUN?

I  LOVE  handprint ornaments.

(GMA ¬†HERE) ¬†ūüôā

Our kiddos are small for such a short time.

Make those MEMORIES!

I  bring out ALL the cookie cutters I can find, borrow, beg for.

SUGGESTIONS…

Don’t let them be too THICK.

Let them dry FOR A LONG TIME ( 3-4 days ) 

before PAINTING!

Hot glue string on the back after dry,

OR

Poke a hole on the dough with a straw BEFORE drying.

MY newest LOVE!

HANDPRINT   SNOWMEN!

ALL of MY kiddos make this one!

I make these in small groups

( I can only do 3-4 kiddos at a time)

If you have a PARENT HELPER…

this is a PERFECT craft for them!)

Paint on day 1.

DRY  day 2.

Faces ( I suggest  BLACK SHARPIES )  Day 3

Scarves ¬†( ¬†felt, material/ paper scraps…srapbook paper works great!) ¬† Day ¬†4

Let EVERYTHING DRY 

& then 

add  a  string  for  a  hanger!

BE SUPER CAREFUL when sending these home!

( No dropping )

Place in a gift bag

 ( we use hand decorated lunch bags)

with LOTS, LOTS, LOTS

of tissue !

So…we ¬†GIVE FROM THE HEART!

It’s not about the $$ amount¬†

when giving.

It’s about the thought, the effort, and the LOVE

that goes into it!

Here is another gift I do FOR my kiddos.

See the blog POST here.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL Holiday SEASON!

Make memories.

Share the LOVE.

And

Give From the HEART!