Friday, December 23, 2016

Elf on the Shelf for the ESL Classroom

Mrs. Woodbury and I thought it would be fun for our ESL students to experience Elf on the Shelf. Here are a few pics of the mischief that our elf, named by the children, got into this December...

Using Candy Canes to Rappel from the Bookshelf

Climbing the Coconut Tree to Leave a Message

This note is self explanatory. (Sigh)
Mrs. Woodbury was very creative in using the classroom materials for props. 

Christmas Pencils from Frosty the Elf

We couldn't think of a better place for our elf to take a bath than on top of the water cooler.

The towels and bath mat were cut from a felt Christmas stocking. :)


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Name Brand Favorites 2

Six years ago, I wrote a short post revealing a few of my name brand favorites. Since then, I have discovered more products that I enjoy and wish to share. Here are a few of them...

This stuff is fabulous! I use a generous amount on my thick, color-treated, over-heated hair and it does a wonderful job taming frizz, smoothing and hydrating.

Good ol' Blistex has come a long way over the years.  I love this
particular flavor/scent and it comes with SPF 15 to boot!

Better Homes and Gardens brand scented wax is every bit as good as the Scentsy brand and so much cheaper. You can buy these at Walmart, but don't be confused with the Walmart brand right beside it. You'll be sorely disappointed. I have made that mistake.

Famous Dave's is THE only brand of BBQ sauce I will buy and Sweet and Zesty is, by far, my favorite. You don't have to go to their restaurant to purchase it, because Walmart carries this as well. You'll find Famous Dave's BBQ Sauce with all the other condiments.

I just discovered these yeast rolls within the last month and I love them. You can take them out of your freezer at the last minute, because you heat them from frozen! Buttered while warm, these rolls taste as good as homemade and are much easier (and better than Rhodes, in my opinion).

Lastly, Mr. Clean with Gain scent smells amazing and gets the job done. I'm a Tide person when it comes to laundry detergent, but I love the smell of Gain. It makes me happy that other products, including Mr. Clean, are using their scent. If you haven't already, give this product a try.

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Beginnings

My house went on the market today and it is bitter/sweet. 

Since the year 2000, Loblolly Circle has been home-sweet-home. If walls could talk, they would tell you about sixteen different Christmases, complete with uniquely decorated trees and the makings of yummy traditional foods in the kitchen. They would mention the carefully selected (and always cute) wrapping paper that covered the floor as gifts were opened one by one. The walls would explain that listening to Aerosmith or TFF or Weird Al Yankovic at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning was the norm for this family, thanks to Cody's unique requests to Santa Claus each year.

The walls of 1039 Loblolly Circle would express the feeling they got while watching Cody, Chase, Casey and Katelyn grow up, eventually moving out (with the exception of Cody) and leaving a void within. They might mention different friends these children brought  home over the years, each one carving a special mark on our hearts.

They would speak of the pain they witnessed with the removal of wisdom teeth, appendectomies and other various surgeries, as well as illnesses such as the much dreaded Swine Flu.

If this house could talk, it would tell you about Cody's victories and trials. You'd hear about the time he locked himself in the bathroom with the tub running and how he always had to unload the dishwasher (and by "unload", I mean open the dishwasher after it's cycle and feel steam on his face).

The walls would tell which family members were present when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. They would tell you about heartaches felt as loved ones passed away and of the joy experienced when new life came into the family. These walls would be thrilled to express witness of pure delight when each grandson was introduced and loved and coddled over.

From our awesome kitchen remodel to the loss of my beloved palm tree, there are so many stories to be told and remembered. For that, I am thankful to have photographs and journals. 

AS FOR THE SWEET~ I am excited for new beginnings! God has opened doors, removed roadblocks and helped me overcome obstacles and I am certain that He has a watchful eye over me and Cody. 

Soooo...THAT said... bring on the buyers! I'm ready to let go of my home. My motto going forward will be the words of Thomas S. Monson... 

"Be of good cheer. Your future is as bright as your faith!"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

My daughter will call or text me at least twice a week to ask questions she is convinced only I can answer. Questions like, “Is raw chicken still good if it’s been in my fridge for 3 days?” or “What are soda crackers and where do I find them at Walmart?” or “Is it really necessary to dry clean something that says ‘dry clean only’?” Each time she requests expert advice from me, I smile and think about all of the times I have required tutelage from my own mom.

Throughout my twenties, I lived 1,200 miles away from my mother, but it didn’t stop me from making long-distance phone calls to ask her what must have seemed like trivial questions. “What kind of chilies should I put in my homemade salsa?” and “How do you make gravy?” and “When should I start giving my baby cereal?” are just a few of the many questions I had for the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO COULD POSSIBLY give me a trusted answer.

Like most mothers and daughters, the relationship between my mom and I has progressed through all stages of life. As a child, I was the first to wake her up on Christmas morning (which was usually waaaay before 6:00 a.m.) and she was the one who ran alongside me as I was learning to ride a bicycle. My mom was kindhearted enough to eat what I called “the yucky chocolate” off the outside of my ice cream bars, so I could enjoy the delicious vanilla ice cream underneath and I was really, really good at asking her if my friends could spend the night or stay for dinner while they were standing right beside me. As a self-centered teenager, I lamented her rules while at the same time benefited from her unwavering support and constant care. It wasn’t until I was married that I realized how much I missed her warm, after-school chocolate chip cookies, daily laundry service and clean toilets.

As my own children grew, my mom was continually there for me. She was by my side as I gave birth to my first child. She taught me how to change his diaper, give him a bath and swaddle him in a blanket.  A couple of years later, she sobbed as I took my two toddlers and moved to another state and, many years after that, she dropped everything and flew to Oregon-twice- to take care of my three youngest children while I moved into the Ronald McDonald House two hours away and watched my oldest son fight for his life in PICU. 

When my family finally moved a little closer to home, mom was quick to deliver food and Popsicles and medicine to my children and me when we all came down with a horrible case of the flu. My mom has taken the grandkids on overnighters and whisked me away for weekend retreats at a spa. She has loaned me money and given me advice and sacrificed so much, all because of the four-letter word- LOVE.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I pause to reflect on one of the greatest blessings in my life- my mother. For the most part, her example has become my habit and her voice has become my own. I look in the mirror and I see her. I open my mouth and my mother comes out. She is my rock and I hope that someday, when my daughter becomes a mom, she will hold the same feelings about me in her heart that I do for my mother. 

I love you mom!

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