Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back to school goal setting poster - school rules!



I wrapped some white wrapping paper around our craft table and wrote "School Rules" (with a ruler taped to the table). 

Always a sucker for puns, I am.

My boys added their school goals for this year, and what they were looking forward to most. 

Of course lunch and recess were written first. 
So was fire drills...not sure what they meant by that, and I decided not to ask.

My preschooler a.k.a. Spiderman drew pictures instead of writing his goals.



We are going to hang the poster in our basement -
a reminder to check up on our progress.



"You can’t hit a home run
unless you step up to the plate.
You can’t catch a fish
unless you put your line in the water.
You can’t reach your goals
if you don’t try."
(Kathy Seligman)



Melanie




Lunchbox prep - back to school countdown



Found these great lunchboxes a year ago, and they've been a HIT!
We use them for school lunches, road trips, picnics, and as snack holders for family movie nights.  Get your own here:  http://www.easylunchboxes.com/

This week my two oldest are brainstorming new ideas for lunches, and reminding me of their favorites.  These containers are great for about anything - the only thing I don't use them for is soup.

I like sending lunchbox notes on sticky notes and notecards, but also bought some here:  http://sayplease.com/

Click here for my post about sending homemade notes.

Great containers, and sturdy...or my rough & tough guys would have broken them by now.



A quote I plan to share with my boys in a lunchbox note next week:

"Twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
(Mark Twain)



Melanie







Monday, August 6, 2012

The Sneetches - clique discussion



Our back-to-school countdown is on, and we're trying to enjoy every last day of summer vacation!  

We're heading to swimming pools, sandy beaches, peach orchards, and the public library before our flexible schedule ends and school begins.

There are several great "back to school" themed books that we're reading, but our favorite this week was a book great for any day of the year: The Sneetches.  Dr. Seuss books rock serious topics in such a poetic way, and we had a great discussion...even with no stars on our bellies:)!

Just a few of the topics that came up: 
~name-brand clothing (paying more for a label)
~cliques
~conforming 
~individuality
~excluding others
~exterior vs. interior motives
~drama/conflict
~friendship

Gave my guys some food for thought.  Gave me insight into what my guys were thinking.  Great book for any age, but especially for tweens/teens. 



"Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all."
(from The Sneetches)


Melanie




  

Friday, August 3, 2012

12 x 12 Heritage Makers digital scrapbook pages - gift album



I gave my muscle man a photo album filled with Heritage Makers digital scrapbook pages as a 15th wedding anniversary gift.  

Creating Heritage Makers digital pages is easy.  I designed the page pictured above, and the one below.  But, most of the time I use their super cute pre-designed templates.

  

We renewed our wedding vows (click HERE for that post) in my hometown church with family, and by ourselves at the top of Mt. Evans, Colorado.  I used those pictures for the album and plan to add anniversary pages each year.

For our 10-year anniversary I made my husband a traditional scrapbook.  This digital album was much faster to create!

I love three-ring albums - so easy to move pages around:



Love the pre-designed templates! 
These pages took about 15 minutes to make:





 


Check out other digital project ideas at:
http://www.heritagemakers.com




“Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.”
(Rumi)


Melanie



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Renewing wedding vows - church & mountaintop

15th wedding anniversary with my rockin' muscle man last week.
Love him every day, every year...
but there is just something cool about celebrating a milestone.

We decided to renew our wedding vows:
first in front of family in my hometown church,
then by ourselves at the top of Mt. Evans in Colorado. 

Surviving the drive to the top was something to be celebrated as well. 
You might be able to see the goosebumps on my legs in the picture:
from the dramatic drive and the drop in temperature:




We had written our wedding vows ourselves 15 years ago, not a shocker as we were both English teachers at the time.  Before we wrote our renewal vows, we spent some time reading our vows and looking over our wedding journal (in all honesty, I spent a little more time on this than my man). 

We both took a look at our favorite songs/poems/quotes to get ideas. 
Then we wrote our vows: some lines the same, some a little different.  We brought these note cards with us to the church, and Mt. Evans, in case we forgot and needed a cheat sheet.  The coolest thing about writing the vows:  talking about what we mean to each other.  Sounds mushy, but I highly recommend it!

Our kids were excited to be part of our small ceremony at the church.  Our oldest read a poem, our second a scripture, and our two youngest led a dance out of the sanctuary (Crazy Train).

Wedding pics:





Loved our castle cake:



Vow renewal:
(lots has happened in 15 years!)



I loved wearing my wedding dress again.
(my princess dress, as my sons call it):



We loved sharing what our marriage means to us...
and had fun doing it:



My sweet grandmas:




Can't forget the kiss!






"The world, for me, and all the world can hold
Is circled in your arms; for me there lies
Within the lights and shadows of your eyes,
 the only beauty that is never old."
(from "Beauty That Is Never Old", by James Weldon Johnson)



Melanie

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Personalized Table Talk conversation cards - gift idea


Made these cards for my fam using a template at Heritage Makers, my favorite online photo gift company.

Love hearing my kids & my man share thoughts and dreams.

Love being surprised at what they're thinking.

Love sitting around the dinner table, or the living room, with these cards.

The reality is sometimes we need a theme...
or the conversation ends up about poop, toots, and other not-so-great dinner topics.

Anyone else just mutter an AMEN?



So easy!  I selected a template and used the majority of questions already on the cards.  I deleted a few and added some of my own.  I give these cards to my school boys as journaling topics.

We've used these with our family, friends, and at reunions.  They make great ice breakers for people getting to know each other...and for people who know each other well.  They can also break up the monotony of long road trips.  Let the bonding begin:)!



Want to make some?  Leave me a comment, and check out:
http://www.heritagemakers.com/
All playing cards are 10% off for the month of July
Use the cards now, or save them for a birthday/Christmas gift.  These cards would be great for office ice breakers!






Check out the two other sets I've made:
~Personalized Playing Cards (poker, pitch, blackjack, etc...)
~UNO (a family favorite for us)



“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.
When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.
The people we trust with that important talk
can help us know that we are not alone.”
(Fred Rogers) 

Melanie 

Personalized UNO playing cards - family gift idea

A family that plays together, stays together...agreed! 

With the temperatures here registering at HOT HOT HOT (100 plus degrees), we are staying inside a little more and having some game time!



I gave these personalized UNO playing cards to my four kids last winter.



I used a template from Heritage Makers, my favorite online photo gift company.  

So easy:  I just selected the template, uploaded pictures, and ordered my UNO playing cards. 



In less than one week, I had a personalized gift for my family that gives us hours of fun!  The kids love looking at the pics while they play UNO.



Check out the other sets of Heritage Makers cards I made:
~deck of cards for my man with just pics of us for our Poker date nights
~table talk cards:  good for sharing our thoughts & for family/friend reunions

Interested in learning more about Heritage Makers?  Leave me a comment and check out:  http://www.heritagemakers.com
All playing cards are 10% off during the month of July - whoo hoo!

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."
(Victor Borge)


Melanie