Saturday, August 24, 2013

Teacher's Favorite Things Printable

I guess by now most everyone is back into the school routine! I know this can be the most exhausting time for parents and teachers, so I hope everyone's transition is going as smoothly as possible. 

My kids don't start school until the week after Labor Day, so I'm basically feeling a lot like Jen Hatmaker these days (and my kids are practically babies! So I can't imagine what you parents of older children are feeling!) If you're a parent and need a good laugh, please read her blog posts here and here. She is beyond hilarious and I love how she just says it like it is. I'm definitely feeling the end-of-summer craziness, especially seeing everyone's back to school pictures and knowing my kids don't start for 11 more days (well, 10 days and 11 hours, to be exact.) Hurrrrryyy back routine!!! Pleeeeaassse. 
(Although I still don't think I've wrapped my head around the fact that I have a KINDERGARTNER now and will have to get up every.single.morning. Yeah, I might not be that ready.) 

All this to say, we are gearing up for the school year and part of that is meeting teachers and visiting our classrooms and signing papers and filling our calendars with the various field trips and parties and activities. I really am super excited about having one child in "real school," and I'm also excited to have the opportunity to be room mom for Mary Ella's class. Since the other two will be in MDO 2 days a week I think it will be fun to have that time to help out at the school and plan. Right up my alley!

One thing I had seen on Pinterest that I thought was such a great idea was the "Teacher's Favorite Things" printables; I love knowing ahead of time what our teachers like and love and where they like to shop. This helps so much at gift-giving time or just whenever you want to drop off a little "happy" to brighten a teacher's day! I found several free printables available online, but none of them included everything that I wanted to include, so I made my own. It is a longer list, but I wanted to have lots of options! You should be able to right click and save this one below to your computer. If it doesn't work, leave a comment or shoot me an email at and I will be happy to email you the document! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!
More Back to School posts coming soon!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Golden Child Turned Stinker.

This face really says it all.

My sweet and innocent Emma Kate, who we referred to as our easy going "golden child" for the first 12 months of her life, has become a sassy, sneaky, steal-your-snacks-or-drink-while-you're-not-looking, dog food eating, cabinet climbing, mattress diving, garbage can raiding little stinker.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

"What? What'd I do?"

Love my girl. Wouldn't have it any other way. :) 

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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Meal Planning Planner

I've had several people contact me about the planner I use for the meal planning. Apparently they are selling out FAST at the Target stores and so they aren't being found anymore. If you still plan to look at your local Target, I found them in the regular office supplies section (near the greeting cards) and both times I found them, they were on an end cap. They were NOT in the school supplies section, just so you don't go on a wild goose chase.

But I wanted to provide you with the Amazon links just in case your local Target is sold out - and apparently a lot of them are!

Go HERE to find a 5x8 size.
Go HERE to find the larger 10x8 size.

I'm sorry I didn't clear up exact location in Target in my last post! Should've known they'd be cute enough to sell quickly! Hope this helps!

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Rewind: Mary Ella's 5th Birthday

This girl. She is 5 years old. I cannot for the life of me figure out where time has gone nor can I stand the fact that she starts kindergarten - KINDERGARTEN! - in just a few short weeks. My Mary Ella - my sassy, spunky, imaginative, independent, big eyed, curly headed Mary Ella - is 5 years old. 

She wanted a fairy party this year so we did just that. We went the simple route - used stuff we had on hand and the rest we bought at the Dolla Tree or on the Dolla aisle - I'm a little party tired, if you can't tell. :)  
Mary Ella provided the backdrop for the party - I drew a "fairy garden land" as she called it and she colored it. It included all of her favorite things - fairies, unicorns, butterflies and a rainbow. 
We decorated with a Walmart party banner, some balloons, some pictures of my girl and used some funky wrapping paper to cover the tables.

Lucky for me, Mary Ella is a lot like her momma, in that she plans in advance. After her Under the Sea Party last year, she immediately began thinking about her next birthday party and knew she wanted a fairy party. So right before Christmas we found these fairy petal tutu skirts, along with wings, wands and flower petal crowns on the dollar aisle at Target. We snatched them up and brought them home. 
On the day of the party, we hung the skirts from the mantle and used our Ikea cart for the wings, wands and head bands. The girls loved dressing up when they came in.

As for food, we provided a small fairy feast - twigs, acorns, berries and grapes, and cake of course.

We cut the flowers out of foam paper from Hobby Lobby and just poked a small hole in them and inserted the straws.

The fairy toothpicks are actually a cupcake topper set from TJ Maxx. We used them for our cheese.

And literally, as luck would have it, on the DAY OF the party I went to Walmart for cupcake ingredients and this was sitting there in the bakery just waiting to be purchased. Walmart saved the day! I did add the Tinkerbell candles (also from Walmart, in the party section), but hey - could it be more perfect for our party? No.

We made the acorns using Hershey kisses, mini Nutter Butters and chocolate chips. Used a little chocolate icing from a squeeze tube to hold them together.

I love this picture of my girl waiting on her fairy friends to arrive.

And arrive they did! We were so blessed to have such a sweet group of school friends join us for the afternoon.

And Miss Khloe, a friend that we'd never met in person, came all the way from New Orleans. She walked in like she'd known Mary Ella all her life and joined right in with the rest of them!

It was such a fun day celebrating and seeing her have fun with her buddies. I hate that most all of them will be at different schools next year but we are going to try to keep in touch with everyone!

On her actual birthday we invited family over for cookie cake and ice cream. Mary Ella wanted to have a "yogurt mountain" style ice cream buffet so we did our best to accommodate her wishes. :)

My ice cream set was a Home Goods clearance score. Love it.

And once again, Walmart for the WIN on the cake. I added the Aurora figurine and a number 5 candle and we were good to go. (Walmart may save me from ever baking again...eek!)

I love Sam's face here; so happy for his sister. He loves her so much.

And I love her face as we were singing Happy Birthday...

... and as she made her wish...

Her cousins and brother helped her open her gift from me.

She couldn't believe it and I love her reaction.

Her first real American Girl Doll.
We chose the classic Molly doll, for a few reasons... she is being retired this year so they won't have her at the store anymore. And my sister and I had her when we were younger. She's also the American Girl I think about when I think of the 4th of July because of her stories (which take place in the 1940's during the war) and because of her "Miss Victory" red, white and blue tap dancing outfit; I always think of Mary Ella as my '4th of July baby' because she was born around then and because I remember so vividly hearing and watching the fireworks while I was in the hospital with her.
So I was proud to introduce her to Miss Molly.

Her daddy also surprised her with a gift (on his own)

A new bicycle (her first!)

He figured it was high time she learn to ride a real bike. She's been pedaling her teeny Minnie Mouse trike up and down the street for so long. Daddy said "Time to upgrade." Maybe by next year those training wheels will be gone!

We are so thankful that God has given us 5 sweet years with this girl. She definitely keeps us on our toes. Happy 5th Birthday, Mary Ella! We love you so much!

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