Did you kids come home from the last day of school with this?
Yep! Mine did too. What to do with it all? I’m here to help.
First, let’s talk about what to keep: Art work, journals, sample writing paper (to compare to previous years) and the LAST grade card (it has all 4 quarters on it, so no reason to keep all 4).
What not to keep: Daily work, workbooks, spelling test, cut & paste photos, folders or busy work.
Now that you know what to keep, what do you do with it?
1. A clothes line across your child’s room. Hole punch the artwork that you are keeping, put on a string or clothes line and hang across the room for a little summer decor.
2. School Days Box: Simple file box, labeled with child’s name and photo on the box and file folders with each grade and put the papers that you are keeping in the marked file. You will have a box full of school memories, without having all the tubs.
3. Go digital: Scan photos, make a book, label with grade & teacher’s name (those are things that may be forgotten over time). You have a permanent record, without all the clutter! There are also a ton of items you can make, mugs, posters and Tshirts. If you don’t want to make a book, you can still scan it and store it on a flash drive.
4. Frame the really special pieces. After seeing the art teacher frame my daughter’s work, I thought framed pieces would make wonderful playroom decor or gifts for Grandparents.
6. Shred some of the colorful things, they make great basket filler.
7. Make cards! Fold in half, cut with fancy edge scrapbook scissors and you have a free homemade card.
The key is to remember that our kids may not want tubs of school papers when they go off to college! Make sure you are saving a few memories for them, but not ever piece of paper they ever wrote on.
This App is genius! I recently got an iPhone and quickly discovered it has replaced every other camera and I use it all the time. Which of course, leads to hundreds of photos in my phone. Yes, I post to Facebook & Instagram, but there is still something great about having a printed photo and photo album.
Instead of loading them all to the computer (which I never do, they just stay on the phone) I use the GrooveBook app. Like I said at the beginning, it is GENIUS! Download in the app store, just search GROOVEBOOK , create and account (email, address & credit card) and click UPLOAD or click REVIEW to select which photos you want to upload. Once you have 100 photos uploaded, it will print & ship your Groovebook. If you need to see how to do it, check the YOUTUBE video at the bottom of this blog.
It gets better! Upload up to 100 photos a month from your phone, receive a keepsake photo book of your photos in about 5 days (just $2.99 shipping & processing). Books made with quality photo-paper and perforated edges so that you can tear out and use the photos however you please!!
It gets BEST (yes, I know bad grammar) - you get your first Groovebook for FREE (including shipping)! All you have to do it use my code: NEVERHOMESAHM1
What are you waiting for? Go, get those pics off your phone!
*Disclosure: This blog was prompted. The app is FREE to everyone. The code was given to me just for my readers & fans. I only say, what I want, opinions are ALWAYS mine!
Our school district send robot calls every week, just to tell parents of the week ahead. This Sunday’s call made me panic, when at the end the principal said,”let’s have our last 7 days of school be the best yet”! 7 days???!!!! Holy cow!
I had a minor panic attack, which included me saving the call and playing it on speaker for my husband and then calling my friend and saying, “did you realize that there are 7 days left of school”?! After, my anguish, I realized that Summer Break is coming, so I may as well stop the panic and start the planning!!
On the last day of school, my kids will be greeted with this basket of Summer Fun!
There is something in there for all of us! Some of the obvious things that you can see are bubbles, baseball glove, butterfly net, coloring books, ice cream cones, blow up pool, brownie mix.
Some of the not so obvious things, in the basket, for starters, the frog blanket is not just basket filler, but the promise of picnic lunches & forts in the living room. There are also journals for each child (the toddler will hopefully learn to do some shapes and the older 2 will record some of the fun they have), iTunes gift cards, McDonald’s gift cards for their favorite chocolate dipped cone, sticks & marshmallows for S’mores, jewelery making kit, water balloons, a science experiment book, their library cards, chalk, open gym schedule, for the basketball kid, toddler time schedule at the community center, paint fire & glaze cards for the crafty girl, zoo passes and city guide that shows all the other fun activities we can choose and do over the summer!
Just a few ideas to turn Summer Break Panic to Summer Break Fun!
I am like a lot of Moms, who give my children money to buy me a Mother’s Day gift or send them shopping with Dad. Truth is, there isn’t really anything I need. If it’s something I really like, I usually get it myself. I love the home-made cards, flowers and those thoughtful things, so I don’t need a gift.
I came upon this letter, so I can’t take credit for writing it, but I did tweak it to fit my children and it is so perfect! For all of you children – young & old, here is what your Mom wants for Mother’s Day:
Mother’s Day is coming up, and I thought I should tell you what I want. This way there’s no guilty panic or last-minute purchasing of flowers at the closest gas station. So, this is what I want, this year and every year after; it’s pretty simple really.
I want… you to be a decent human being.
I want you to be who you are, but don’t be an asshole.
I want you to work hard at everything you do, because life is too short not to give it everything you’ve got.
I want you to ask for help when you need it.
I want you to help others when they need it.
I want you to learn how to cook, do your own laundry, pay your bills and know how to clean a bathroom.
When you screw up, and you will, more than once, I want you to own it, because it’s the screw-ups that make the victories sweeter.
I want you to travel, because the world is huge and you are one part of it.
I want you to know that even when we disagree with each other, I will never stop loving you.
I want you to play nicely with others.
I want you to feed your curiosity.
I want you to find a way to do what you love, and realize that it might look different from you originally thought.
I want you to respect every human being’s right to be who they are.
I want you to sometimes be more interested in someone else than in yourself.
I want you to know that you are flawed and you are extraordinary. There is no one else like you.
I want you to know that I would lay down my life for you in Lily Potter fashion any day of the week.
I want you to realize how lucky you are every once in a while even if only for an instant.
I want you to know love, even if it means getting hurt.
I want you to relax and not feel guilty about it – especially when you become a parent.
I want you to know life can be brutally hard sometimes.
I want you to know that you can choose happiness even when the dark side offers you cookies.
Let me first say how much I adore teachers! I have so much respect for any person who chooses to spend their day teaching children. Just the thought of spending 5 days a week with 30 kids, who are the same age and attention span of my daughter, makes me panic! So, hats off to all you for all you do. Your paycheck is truly not enough and that’s why there is a whole day just for you!
I did a little unofficial poll on my Facebook page and this ecard just about sums up the poll results:
I am all for a home-made, do it yourself gift, but most teachers would just love a thank you note and a gift card! It doesn’t have to break the bank, even a $5.oo gift card to Starbucks pays for a much-needed cup of coffee. If not a gift card, most teachers asked for something useful: games for the class room, snacks for the end of the school year, school supplies for the upcoming year…etc.
Just in case you have a need to be more creative and have to do something more than a gift card, here are my 2 favorite ideas!
1. Slice of Awesome! You need an empty (clean) pizza box, I asked Papa Murphy’s for an extra mini box and they gave it to me. If you need more than 1 or 2, wholesale clubs like Sam’s or Costco have them. A thank you note from your child to cover the box and a pizza gift card.
2. Relax at the Pool! You need a beach towel, sun screen, magazine and a candy bar. Tie all with a ribbon and the teacher now has everything she needs to relax at the pool!
If you are reading this and you are a teacher, you may want to treat yourself and a co-worker to lunch at Chipolte!
Thank you Teachers!!! Enjoy your day!
My effort to get organized and go green may be less about the environment and more about saving some cash! I like all my things organized, in a place you can see and if you happen to have a few left over items, you can organize them for free! Yep, free! Here’s some ideas:
1. We all have left over glass jars from sauce or pickles and they are clear and make perfect craft supply organizers. Remove the label and toss them in the dishwasher. You could use them as is, but if you want a finished look, spray paint the tops a solid color or use chalk board paint to cover the lids. Add craft supplies you will always know where you glitter is! You can use them to organize your pantry too. Fill with pasta, or baking supplies.
2. Still have the popcorn tin from Christmas? It would be perfect to store dog food, blocks or outdoor toys. Yes, you could use it as is, but I am all about the spray paint! Grab you favorite color, make sure it’s the kind that sticks to metal and spray away.
3. I bet you have a few left over egg cartons from the dying easter eggs. Don’t throw that carton out, cut off the top and use it to store small office supplies, earings or beads.
4. We all have toilet paper and paper towel rolls and they are a great place to store and organize pencils, pens and scissors. If you have an assortment, you can glue them together and tack up on a wall over a desk. You can also gather them all in a shoe box and stand your office supplies up in it.
5. Use cereal boxes to organize magazines and books. Full instructions on how to are in my previous blog found here: http://wp.me/p2U7a4-2A
As you could probably guess, I am not a fan of the typical Easter basket. The pastel colors, uncalled for large basket handle, easter grass that has to be vacuumed, more candy than any kid should have in a year and a basket that serves zero purpose after the holiday. Instead, here’s what I do. I buy 2 large things of candy eggs with Skittles, M & M’s or gum (all things that I don’t like and won’t eat)!
The only other candy in their baskets is edible easter grass!! This is the first year that I’ve seen it, I got it at Target.
I fill the basket with activities (chalk, jump rope, craft, balls, chap stick, coloring books, bath stuff and movies). There is absolutely NO plastic grass that has to be vacuumed, trust me, the kids won’t miss it. If you need to put something in the bottom of the baskets, use colored tissue paper, some places even have eater themed tissue paper. The basket is full of sanity saving activities, especially for Easter day, when the whole family is at your house! The jump rope and chalk are perfect for playing outside and if the weather isn’t so great; the crafts, movie and soft indoor balls can be used for that.
Instead of the useless traditional baskets, I use functional containers for the kids. This year I opted for buckets with handles that match their rooms. That way, the buckets can be used to store small toys, homework supplies or even act as small trash cans. Previous years, I’ve used plastic colored shoe boxes, photo boxes that hold dvds/video games, purses, back packs and hats. Every basket I pick, can be functional and useful after the holiday and don’t have to be stored to use next Easter.
Happy Easter, without the candy overload!
It’s not my birthday and my birthday rarely sucks, but the next time a friend has a birthday, it could! I made this cute, super inexpensive gift for my niece’s 30th birthday. Everything came from the Dollar Tree and it cost under $10! Of course, you could add a gift card to the box to make it more expensive.
What you need: happy birthday box, crinkle paper filler, suckers, small balloon, windmill and a typed sign. The birthday box that I used was small enough that I didn’t need styrofoam in the bottom of the box. If you use a bigger box, you may want to stuff a block of styrofoam and then cover with filler paper so the suckers stand up. Type a simple sign that says the birthday person’s name and their age….and that it sucks!
Fun, cute, easy; BUT make sure your birthday person has a good sense of humor!
Spring Break is here and your kids are bored! Even with all the toys, electronics and siblings to play with, they are still bored! I came up with a few ideas to keep some of the boredom away! Most of the ideas are under $20.00!!!
1. Salt Dough: So many things to do with it and it’s so easy to make! Equal parts salt and flour and 1/2 as much water, food color if you choose. For example, I use 2 cups salt, 2 cups flour and 1 cup water. Depending on what we are making, sometimes I use food color if we are just going to mold and play with it like play dough. If we are making ornaments, Easter eggs or letters to be colored, then I just leave it plain.
2. Free the Toys from Ice Age: Take small toys like plastic dinos, princess rings…you know all those happy meal toys or party favors and freeze them in a plastic bowl. Once the toys have entered the ‘ice age” put the block of ice in the sink or better yet, outside and have the kids use shovels, toothbrushes and their hands to free the toys!
3. Click, click! Give the kids a camera…you will be amazed to see spring break through their eyes. I love the kid camera from Nabi. It’s totally kid proof!
4. New Apps! We all have a smart phone, tablet…etc. A new app for less than $3.99 can buy you some major time! No, you don’t want your kids to spend the whole week playing games, but at the end of day 4 of spring break, this just may be a life saver =0)
5. Skip it from Twister: My kids have seen the commercial and I found it at Wal-Mart for less than $15! Great way to be active and have some fun.
6. Jacks, good old fashion jacks! I tried pick up sticks, cards and some other games from my child hood and jacks was the favorite! Try a game that you loved from your childhood, I bet your kids will love it too!
7. I hesitate to tell you my secret, but I will. Everyone knows that Chic-fil-a has a great play area and everyone also knows that at lunch time it’s supper packed! Guess what? They are open for breakfast! Most fast food places with play areas are, so why not take the kids there for breakfast and play…it will be empty and your kids will be supper excited to get to play during breakfast!
Those are just a few of the phone things I will be doing with my kids on our spring break and if all those fail…Call Grand Ma!!