Thursday, April 26, 2012

DIY Favor Plate!

My daughter is making her First Communion on Sunday & as I mentioned in a previous post we decided to have the kids from school have a hand in making her favors. We purchased rosaries made by the Rosary Makers club at school and placed them into a pouch with a gift tag. This was a lot of fun to do together and the best part was that everyone was involved. I wanted the rosaries to be displayed in a cute way at the reception so my brain started working!
While picking up a CROSS hole puncher at Hobby Lobby (to make our own confetti), I came across their EASTER items for 90% off!! I found this GORGEOUS plate that would be PERFECT as First Communion decor and at 1.00 after the discount, I couldn't turn it down!
I wanted it to have a pedestal look, but with the plate costing only 1.00, I didn't want to spend too much money! Enter a .10 punch glass found at an Estate Sale!! I glued them together and BAM! Instant display stand!
Adding the rosaries and their pouches on the plate made me realize just how versatile this piece will be in the future! Dessert Stand, Soap holder name it, we can do it!
The end result was a nice low pedestal display plate that will sit at the entry table in the restaurant for guests to grab their favor as they sign a guest book of memories for our little one!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why I do What I do..

As my planner gets so full, that I have to add in post it notes for additional information on each day, I begin to realize how much of my time is already gone before it's actually arrived. A few weeks ago, I talked about MY CALLING and how long it took me to finally realize that I am doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. I LOVE being busy, it's exhausting, but I truly love being able to say...hmmm...I cannot get together until July near the end of the Month, because I am booked SOLID until then.  To be busy is a sign of LIFE, Vitality and LOVE! 

Creating Tags for our Rosary Favors for First Communion
While I may absolutely love helping out at Open Houses, Ice Cream Socials, Concession Stands and Bingo, there is one major downfall...FAMILY! Not my children and husband of course because they are right there pitching in, but extended family. I'm getting so frustrated having to hear complaints about how we never have time and snide remarks about how long it's been. What they don't realize is that having 3 kids in activities and in school makes for a busy schedule. They are always welcome to come to school events and the like but well....we all know how that goes right? Everything seems to need to be done on their own time or nothing at all. It's a weekly struggle, but of course I'm too busy to notice until it goes head-to-head with someone. 

Bagging Rosaries for First Communion Favors! Purchased from the School of course!
This week is First Communion and for the first time in a long time we will have families together and I'm sure ALL there (except my mother, who seems to be busier than we are!) will say at least 1 thing. My husband and I have taken bets on who will make a remark first and or what they will say and how many things will be said by the end of the event. We have learned to have fun with it, but it gets trying sometime. It has come to the point where so many people ask me WHY?!? Do I DO IT??? It's not like they pay me for all the time I give, it's not like I get rewarded for everything I do right?! So why give up precious weekend time? Why use all my gas for the carpool with no payment in return? The answer is simple...I do get paid, I do get rewarded! What? Huh? 
Yup, I get paid by them up there! My children, the children of the school and the community etc. Do you know what is worth more than gold? When my niece walks in to the cafeteria for just a simple Valentine Exchange and shouts "AUNT, YOU ARE THE BEST PERSON EVER!!!" She leaps up and hugs me, because I have transformed the lunchroom. Yes, I could have left it as is and just showed up to supervise, but it's so much for memorable for all of us when you add a little bit here and there. When a little boy in my literacy program goes from not taking the tests AT ALL, to suddenly getting 1 or 2 wrong and then eventually that 100 PERCENT! It's amazing to see children realize they really CAN DO IT ALL!If you were to add up the VOLUNTEER hours that we have put in and put a salary on them, WHAT would the school have to get RID of in order to have paid for someone to be at Bingo, to scoop ice cream, to help parents get to Open House events? There is so much that volunteers do, that people need to realize just how much they are NEEDED! Do I need a resounding THANK YOU parade? Nope, I just need the smiles and hugs of my children and their friends. At these events, children come to me, confide in me and ask me for help. This is all I need, to let them know I am always available to them no matter what. 

So why do I do it? I once read that you should PICTURE who you want your children to be and then BE THAT PERSON! It sounds so simple right? Well it's not, but it's worth it when it starts sinking in. I've gone through a major transformation this year and you know what? I'm loving it! Over Spring break as we spent it at the school gutting and scrubbing an industrial kitchen, I got my biggest check ever. My mother showed up to help and she said: "Sweetie, I am SO PROUD of you!" Tears still come to my eyes as I think of how she said it and with so much feeling. She always knew what was inside of me, because she displayed it herself. It took me awhile to catch up, but I'm not letting go!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wooden Branch Blocks!

It's time for another DIY! My kids absolutely love walking around the neighborhood and gathering branches and twigs and the like. Okay, mommy loves it too! We took the wagon out and gathered LARGE felled branches and the like for out newest project! Daddy sawed them into slices and logs etc. Next it was easy for all of us to sand them down all around. We had so much fun doing this and it was a project that required all of us to pitch in. The kids love toting them around everywhere!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Menu Monday...

Happy Monday! I truly hope that your weekend was wonderful and family filled! We had a wonderful time together at the school Ice Cream Social, Mass and the like! Now it's time to get back on schedule and talk about what's for dinner!

Monday: Beef Stroganoff served with fresh baked bread
Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans and Rice
Wednesday: Sandwich bar with Cucumber & Tomato Salad and Pretzels
Thursday: Jambalaya
Friday: Italian Wedding Soup served with Fresh Baked Bread

Saturday will be dinner out, since we are working at the school & then Roman (our youngest) is a helper at the Special Olympics.

Sunday is dinner out for our daughter's First Communion! Busy Busy again!


Friday, April 20, 2012

DIY Jumbo Dominoes!

The kids absolutely adore checking out what Daddy has going on in the garage and usually end up with some fun little things that he gives them to play with.  One time it was scraps of wood and sandpaper! It took awhile of the kids sanding them down to come up with an idea. Jumbo Dominoes!

This project was so simple that I HIGHLY encourage you to try this one out! My husband cut down the pieces to size for us and we sanded them down. We rubbed on the dots from our craft stash and then protected the entire lot with mod podge! The youngest was a pro at the mod podge, since all it took was a foam brush and painting it on in any direction. You can see the size of them in my 4 year olds hand!

These are so much fun and when stashed away in a handled Lock & Lock box, they are portable and can join us anywhere! We love playing with them on the sandy beaches and taking them with us on picnics! They hold up well and even if they don't, it's easy to make new ones!
Here is one in comparison to a standard domino. I can honestly say, we do not have a problem losing these!! Enjoy!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Scrabble Day!

Today is Scrabble Day
April 13th, 2012
The official game of rainy days spent stuck in the hotel during a beach vacation, Scrabble is sold in 121 countries, with 29 different language versions. The highest recorded single word score was 365 points for quixotry. Coincidentally, quixotry is a word that describes Don Quixote-like impractical quests, like the one you'd be on if you ever tried to beat that score.

We love to use games in so many ways, not just the way they were intended for. This allows us so much more creativity. Scrabble is more difficult for my younger two still, so we make it easier. Add in sight word cards and it allows everyone to join in. The older people play as normal and then the younger guys pull a car, find the tiles they need from a tile bowl and put them on the card to match them up. NEXT, they find a spot to put their word. The scoring remains the same and it becomes a game that everyone can play. For our version, we use  the Scrabble Tiles from 3 games, this way the little ones can always find what they need out of 2 games worth of tiles and the older people use 1 set and pull 5 blindly as required.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Our Easter Weekend was Relaxing & Wonderful! Hope yours was the same!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quiet Blocks

A sick little one napping often, has us thinking up some fun and quiet games! I ran down to our pool supplies and gathered some foam noodles. Cutting them in slices, we now have blocks! We've had contests on who could stack them the highest before falling, who could string them on rope the fastest and even tossed them in the water table to watch them float! Once they were all floating, we took turns tossing bouncy balls at them and the person that could get their ball to sit in the center holes won! 2.00 in noodles has turned in to hours of fun!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday!

It's Monday! This is our Spring Break week, so we will be taking it easy on the meals and most will be simple enough that I can have 3 sets of hands in the kitchen! I am absolutely loving having them home and it really makes me realize the Summer is just around the corner!

Menu Plan:
Monday: Chicken Piccata
Tuesday: Quesadilla Bar
Wednesday: Pasta Primavera served with Bruschetta
Thursday: Beef & Veggie Stir Fry served over noodles 
Friday: Stuffed Porkchops and Green Beans


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Summer Reading!

Can you believe that Summer Break is Upon Us already?! It's had me thinking that it's time to get a plan in order! Last Summer had us travelling Around the World and it was an absolute blast! I have something in the works for this Summer, but wanted something else to fill in the gaps.

When I came across this Summer Reading Program at Barnes & Noble, I knew I had found just the thing! Your child can read ANY 8 books and they earn a FREE BOOK in store! How cool is that? No cost to enter and you just have to read to win! They have a downloadable journal on their site and some activities for parents to do with them as well!

I of course had to get to work printing right away and the Littles and I had so much fun taking the journals one step further! We made covers that were personalized and then added in blank pages that they could use to draw on or even cut and paste pictures of the books they read. Whatever they want, as long as it keeps them writing and reading!
Join us on our adventure and we can chat once a week about the books our children read! I will keep a master list of all the books, so that we can get ideas from one another! In the Master List I will put the title, author, photo of the cover and the age of the child who read it along with a YES or NO recommendation! Want to make your own journal? HEAD OVER TO B&N , download one and then use the image above for the cover! You can leave it plain or edit it with your child's name using any kind of editing program!
Let's READ!!
How about the Mommies?! Join me over on GOODREADS and we can share just what we are reading this Summer and our opinions! Add me as a friend and let's talk books! I update it daily & have just started up a Summer Reading Group where we just chat books in general with no specific title in mind. Join me!!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday!

Happy April!! Oh my how this year has certainly been flying by! I keep telling my husband that I feel like I am still in Back-To-School mood! Oh dear, before I know it, it will be time for Summer Break Schedule! Oh well, for now it's time for Menu Plan Monday:
Monday: Tempera Shrimp over Brown Rice with stir fry vegetables.
Tuesday: Veal served with asparagus and a garden salad.
Wednesday: Egg Salad sandwiches with chips and soup
Thursday: Taco Bar Night
Friday: Shrimp Linguini with fresh baked bread and a garden salad

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