Jar of Teenage Love

I think everything a teenager says should be bottled up and then given back to them in 30 years.

Just open up that jar of love and say, “Enjoy!”

Am I talking about my own kids?

Nope. Not yet.

I’ve still got 2 weeks to go before I officially have a teenager.

Nope. I’m talking about the lovely young receptionist at the swim lesson place my daughter goes.

The other day was a lazy morning for my daughter and I since we didn’t have to be anywhere bright and early. Granted, I had eaten, was showered and dressed in jeans a t-shirt by 8:30 but it was still all done at a leisure pace.

We showed up at the swim lesson shop about 8:56 for her 9 AM lesson. I took her clothes from her, grabbed her progress card, and gave Caroline her goggles.

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After she was called into her class I walked over to the receptionist to schedule a make up class.

The young girl at the front desk told me there were two times available next week for a make up – a 9 AM lesson and a 10 AM lesson.

I hummed and hawed for a minute to myself, thinking about what I already had scheduled for that day.

I eventually said, “I’ll take the 10:00.”

To which she said, “Yay, that’s what I was thinking. You look like it was pretty rough for you to get here for 9.”

Just ponder that for a moment.

I looked at her and thought, “Did you really just say that to me?”

Oh yes she did.

I just walked away. It wasn’t worth it to get into it with her. After all, with those amazing people skills I’m not sure she’s going to be sitting at that receptionist desk too long. Just wait for some sleep deprived mom who’s hanging on by a string to come in their and get greeted with that.

Now if I could only figure out her last name, track her down in thirty years after she’s had a couple of kids, and open up that jar of love for her. Wouldn’t that be the best?

Posted in caroline, music, swimming | 2 Comments

April Fools’ Day Jokes for Your Kids

I’m always leery of playing practical jokes because I’m always afraid of what will then be done to me in retaliation.

I hate surprises so I don’t do well with surprise parties, things jumping out at me, or anything of that nature.

On the other hand my kids are kids and would love some April Fools’ jokes.

So I looked around and found some ideas here.

I thinking about:

#6 – Baked pan of “Brown E’s”

#8 – Toilet paper in their shoes

#15 – Broccoli lollipops – okay this one could cause tears from my youngest

and #21 – Surprise in the mailbox

Any jokes you are planning on playing today?

Posted in family, jokes | 1 Comment

My Potential According to a 4th Grader

I am working again this year as a part time tutor to elementary school kids.

Over the past 17 years I’ve been a special education teacher, a math support teacher, and finally a tutor.

I actually love the tutoring job because it’s so flexible – let’s me be at home and at work.

But I love it even more because of the kids.

I work with kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth graders and they all say the funniest things.

Edward, one of my regular 4th graders, and I were working on division together. One of the methods the kids are taught now is something called “Big 7.” It’s basically a way to regroup using groups of a certain number. Here’s an example I found of what it looks like:

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Anyway, I love to teach this to kids. It always looks like such a nightmare of numbers and they give up pretty quick since teachers always jump in too far too quick. Start by dividing by 8? Not yet I always want to scream. Start with the 5’s, those are easy numbers for kids.

The whole point of the strategy is that kids are using friendly numbers TO THEM. Not my friendly numbers but their friendly numbers.

x10, x100, x5, x2, x1 – that’s how we start

And let me clarify for all those parents who are about to yell at me that they didn’t learn it that way, or its dumb, or but I don’t understand, or but kids just need to learn the right way….they will eventually learn the traditional method. This is about understanding the concept of division.

So back to Edward and I.

We were working in his classroom working on Big 7 and he was getting it!

It’s at about this point that he turned to me and said, “Mrs. Mac, do you think when you grow up you are going to be a teacher? Because you are a really good helper.”

Made my day.

First, that he thinks I’m a good helper and second, that he thinks I look like I have several more years ahead of me in the job market.

To be honest, when the kindergarteners ask how old I am, I always have them guess. Their top answer choice is always…teenager. When I tell them to guess again they usually say 50. I’ve learned to stop asking them once they say teenager.

To Edward I said, “Thanks Edward. I think that might be a good idea. Maybe I’ll work on that. Now amaze me with your division skills on the next problem.”

Posted in observations | 2 Comments

Ruthless – Mom Observation

Inviting people over to dinner always seems like a good idea until you look around your house the day of the event….And once it’s under an hour before their expected arrival it’s amazing how unsentimental you can suddenly become toward your children’ school work which has sat on the countertop for the last two weeks.

Traced hands to make flowers…thrown out without another thought

a perfect 100 on a spelling test…straight to the recycle bin

Self portrait of daughter and her dad…saved thankfully by a moment of restraint

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Posted in caroline, family, observations | 2 Comments

Mermaid Shelf using a Pallet

Last time I shared my daughter’s bathroom with you and today I’m sharing the pallet shelving unit my husband made.

IMG_9028When we completed this project 3 years ago pallet projects were all the rage. At the time I was able to go to our local Habitat store and ask if I could have a pallet. They said sure and I got it for free. Nowadays they charge you for them.

I brought the pallet home and asked my husband to make a shelf for Caroline’s bathroom. After shaking his head and possibly rolling his eyes he got to work.

This was the only picture I could find of it in the building stages – a frame was built and then the wooden boards were attached onto it after being sanded.

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We then used scrap wood for the shelves and bought wooden brackets to place underneath the shelves to hold them up. After that I painted on a mermaid using pink paint.

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I then sanded the mermaid and pallets to add a little character to them.

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And voila, the world’s heaviest shelf is made!

Posted in art work, bathroom, budget, house projects, husbands | Comments Off

A Little Girl Bathroom – Under the Sea

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This is the bathroom that took 3 years to complete – did we do any major repairs? did we take out the tub and sink? Did we redo the floor?

No. No. And no.

We painted, hung a shelf, and made some art.

3 years people. 3 years.

It’s totally my fault, I hit a wall on the project so it just stopped.

Let me explain.

When we started this project my daughter was three and wanted a Little Mermaid themed bathroom. I knew she would quickly grow out of that so I decided on a whimsy ocean theme.

The plan was to make stripes on the back wall alternating between white and light blue.

My sweet husband worked on this for a couple of days.

IMG_2296 When it was finished I liked it but the pencil lines going across the wall really bothered me as did the raised paint lines. I’m normally not so picky but this for some reason really irked me.

As the painting was wrapping up I was laying out random frames we had – soon after I spray painted them bright yellow.

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I used light weight denim material and covered pieces of cardboard which were the sizes of the frames.

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I found some walls decals on etsy and just printed out the pictures from the listing to create an outline of the sea creature I wanted to use.

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I completed almost all of the art when I came across a problem with the turtle art above – this was the only piece where I used the actual back of the frame to glue the denim to and now the art would not fit back into the frame. I did not have any left over denim fabric since it was left over from another project.

So the project stalled.

For two years.

The stripes stayed and the wall art sat on my bedroom floor.

And there it sat until Christmas time this year and I wanted to get this project -DONE.  I ended up tossing the turtle art and not using him and my husband sanded down the wall and we just put a coat of white paint on the wall. The art wall is white while all the other walls are light blue.

Here’s the final product. I love it.

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Some of the pieces received a little yellow bow.

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IMG_9033I glued on some yellow rick rack to create jellyfish tentacles and some stripes on the fish.

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Next time, I’ll show you how we (read: my husband) made this mermaid shelving unit.

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And to my husband – Thank you for everything you did to make this bathroom so special for our daughter!

 

Posted in animals, art work, bathroom, beach, caroline, crafts, decorations, husbands | 4 Comments

LEGO Minifigures Scavenger Hunt download

Caroline wanted a lego party for her 6 year old party so I decided to make this LEGO Minifigure Scavenger Hunt. She sat with me and chose all of the figured she wanted on the board.

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page 2 of the download is shown below along with the directions.

MINIFIGURES*Download this LEGO Minifigures cavenger hunt here*

Hope your kids enjoy this game!

*Check out the Bad Guys scavenger hunt here

*Check out the Sesame Street scavenger hunt here*

And remember you can always print out 2 copies of the board and use them as cards for a memory game.

Posted in caroline, games, Legos, party, printables | Comments Off

Love Has No Labels – Video

This film will make you tear up.

I watched with my kids and it was such a good talking point.

It’s a great visual for what we believe about families and love.

Enjoy!

 

Posted in family, movies | 2 Comments

A “Bench” of Personality

The longer I am married the more I have come to realize that I am the big thinker in the marriage. Let’s build a house! Let’s go to Disney World! Let’s paint the piano!

All of these big ideas stress out my detailed oriented thinking husband. I never have a plan of how we are going to accomplish these things, I just always say let’s do it. My husband, ever the detail man, begins to lay down the no’s. I promptly ignore him and say we can do it! Whatever it is, I have faith in us. Whatever it is, he sees the obstacles. He’s an engineer and it shows.

I’m fairly sure it’s what makes our marriage work almost 18 years later. One of us is the gas, one of us is the brakes. Without my husband, I would surely be in debt, live in a fully decked out house, and keep up with the Jones’. (OK, I’m actually not that bad – I’m the one who cut cable to cut costs.) Without me, my husband would surely live in a house with only a mattress and a tv, drive a car from the early 90’s, and die as a lonely miser who would have prepaid his own funeral at cost. (Ok, he’s actually not that bad either – he would live with a mattress, tv, cable, and pizza delivery).

My very long and convoluted point being….I wanted to paint the piano.

“Come on…let’s paint the piano!”

My husband has not been impressed each time I have mentioned this for the past two years.

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In an effort to reach those 18 years of marriage and then move onto 19 I decided this was one of those things that I am just going to let drop. It’s really not that important and is a huge task.

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So instead we recovered the piano bench in 10 minutes on one of the snow days.

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Here’s how the project went down:

Me – “Here’s a piece of fabric to cover the piano bench with.”

My husband – “Is it big enough? Are we going to staple it in? Do we need to take the leather off first? Will we have to replace the hinges?

Me: “I don’t know…let’s just do it.”

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I believe all sides are happy with the result and thrilled that this project has come to an end.

But don’t you worry dear…I’m dreaming up all sorts of projects that you will love.

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Because we can do it!

Posted in house projects, husbands, observations, piano | 2 Comments

SNOW DAYS

My kids have been waiting and waiting for some snow days this year. Unlike the north we just need some ice and SCHOOL IS CANCELLED! Yippee!

I’m not going to lie. When we got that call last week that the first day of school was cancelled due to the ice I was thrilled. And then to get another call the next night? Eureka!

What did we do? Cleaned out closets, baked, played games, watched tv, and stayed in our pajamas all day long.

And then 3 days later it started snowing! We got about 4 inches of snow and once again everything in Texas shut down. All our weekend plans (about 8 sporting events) were cancelled and we stayed in our pajamas. Just the best.

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Forecast is calling for more snow on Thursday….and possibly a delay in school start times….to dream the impossible dream.

Posted in Alex, Andrew, caroline, family | 2 Comments