Monday, April 30, 2012

Four kids is...

Ever want to peer in on a family with a lot of children to see what it's like?  Well, I'm going to give you a window, but, I hardly consider four kids a lot of children.  I do notice a difference though in the reaction when I tell strangers that I have four kids compared to when I used to tell them I had three.  The most comical one recently came from a girl, three years older than me whose getting married for the first time.  I was alone so when I said I had four kids her mouth dropped open and said "oh my gosh!" in a completely shocked manner.  I suspect it wasn't much of a compliment.  Whatever.  I should have told her we're expecting four more just for kicks.

2 parents (one who will consume a salad bar daily if it's in the fridge)
1 teenager
2 tweens
1 who eats like a bird and
2 who are boys = a trip for fresh produce about twice a week.

I've been keeping a running total starting Monday 4/23 to keep track of the produce coming into our house.

14 apples
4 oranges
1 lemon
20 bananas
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 head of romaine lettuce
4 artisan lettuce heads
2 lbs asparagus
2 english cucumbers
6 tomatoes
3 peppers
3 bags baby carrots
3 lbs. strawberries
1/2 lb. blueberries
3 zucchini
1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes
1 1/4 lb. celery

When we woke up this morning, Monday 4/30 we had a completely empty fruit basket, 3 zucchini (one made it's way into bread today and the other two will be grilled tomorrow night) and half the celery was still waiting to be eaten.

We can drain a roadside produce stand, for sure.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

My handsome young son turns 10 today.
How can that be true?
It seems like just yesterday he was this small baby, 
with his barely-there hair and eyes so blue.

Matthew is our most sensitive child, by far.
His heart is one of pure gold.
And although he's now ten years old,
he still reaches for this mama's hand to hold.

Matthew has the cutest dimples,
the one on the right is is somewhat deeper.
I love when he flashes his small, sly smile
and everyone around thinks "he's a keeper!"

Matthew stole my heart from the moment I saw him and it's a joy to watch him develop into his own young man.  He's a sponge of information and often educates us and those around him with his little morsels of information.  Matthew has loved anything to do with Egypt or mummies since he was small but he also had a mad love for Legos and building.  Since he was young he has told us he wants to be either an architect or an archaeologist; both professions would fit him so very well.
Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Teacher appreciation week is quickly approaching; it is usually celebrated during the first week of May.  This year I got a jump start on our easy, but thoughtful, gifts because Claire's teacher is leaving this week for her maternity leave and I wanted to make sure she got the goodies before leaving for the year.

I've made 5 small gifts, one for each day.  They aren't hard or expensive but they are very cute and I hope they bring a smile to my childrens' teachers.  Good teachers are invaluable so I want to make sure they know how much we appreciate them.

Day 1:
We need S'more teachers like you!
I followed this tutorial and she's included a free printable. I purchased the Jet Puff stacker marshmallows to fit in the bag a little better and they are made to stack on graham crackers, so I thought they would be perfect.

Day 2:

You deserve a HAND!
Trace your child's hand print and then attach it to a bottle or tube of hand lotion.

Day 3:

You are just WRITE for (child's name here).
Attach to a package of pens.

Day 4:

You were MINT to teach!
Fill a treat bag with minty things and attach a topper.  You could also attach this to a package of mint gum and skip the treat bag.

Day 5:

1. Best Teacher Bar None
Instructions and link to download template.
I worked for about 30 minutes to make my own folding box for the Hershey bar and then I realized it was worth it for me to pay the $3 to download the pre-made template.  All I had to do is put a piece of white card stock in the printer and hit print. Easy.  To simplify this, you could simply cut a piece of card stock the width of the bar and make a sleeve to slide the bar into.  You can decorate the sleeve as you choose.

I found Microsoft Word to be the easiest way to make the bag toppers.  You don't even have to make a bag topper on the computer; you could simply cut a rectangle and then decorate it by hand.  If I had more patience, I would have let my kids decorate them.  But, I'm up against a deadline with plenty on my plate so I skipped the 'needing patience' step and did it myself while the kids were at school.  I'll try harder next year.

There are so many cute ideas out there on the interwebs; it was hard to pick just five of them.  Here is a good list of cute, easy and inexpensive ideas for appreciation gifts.