Sunday, August 31, 2014

Elijah's 4th Birthday: Construction Theme

It's official! I'm the worst blogger EVER! It's now been close to two months since Elijah's party and I haven't documented it yet!

Elijah is a typical four year old boy and is obsessed with all things cars, trucks and dirt! He is especially fond of construction type vehicles, thanks to all of the road construction going on in our area. So a construction themed party was perfect!

Per the usual, I began searching Pinterest for as many DIY decor projects as I could find. I ended up making his cake based on a tutorial I had found. I was thrilled with how it turned out!

One of my favorite parts of the decor was the food table. Each food item had a corresponding construction term. This table was a huge hit at the party! The kids loved the yummy food and the adults loved the clever match-ups between the food and the construction theme. 

We created several stations for the kiddos making sure to stick with the construction theme. We had a station where the kids hammered golf tees into foam blocks that I had wrapped in construction themed paper. 

Other stations included a "construction site" where kiddos used giant bricks to build their masterpieces. Also, we used a baby pool to create a sand pit filled with miniature tractors, dump trucks and bulldozers. 

Elijah was thrilled to see his load of presents as well! He ended up with every construction toy that exists, I'm certain! He was beyond excited and still plays with these toys daily!

What's a construction party without TRACTORS?? This was by far Elijah's favorite part of the party! My uncle was kind enough to supply two tractors for the kiddos to sit on and take pictures with. They were a huge it all around!

I had a great time planning Elijah's 4th birthday! All of the hard work always pays off when I see how excited he his during the party! I'm already dreaming up and pinning away for his next party! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Teacher's Toolbox and a New Classroom Theme

I have been scouring Pinterest for some classroom organization tips! I came across many amazing ideas, but one was so fabulous that I had to make it immediately!

Introducing the teacher's toolbox...

Haha! I know it doesn't look like much now, but wait until you see the finished product! I bought this 22 compartment storage masterpiece at Lowes. The navy color didn't work well with my classroom color scheme so I opted to spray paint it black! I LOVE the black, however the spray painting didn't go as well as I had hoped! I've read that you can find the same product in gray at Home Depot, so that may be a better option! I removed all of the drawers and spray painted the entire organizer black! While it was drying I began printing and cutting my labels. I purchased my labels off of Teachers Pay Teachers and followed this fabulous tutorial. The total project took me about an hour! I am in love with the finished product and cannot wait to use it in my classroom next year!

My hubby had a day off yesterday so we decided to let the boys go to daycare and have a very rare date day! We started the day off at IHOP, which was delicious! I highly recommend the cinnamon pancakes! 

Despite my best efforts, we didn't go to IKEA, but I did manage to convince him to take me shopping for my classroom! For the past six years, I have had a jungle theme in my classroom. This year, I decided it was time for a change! I decided to go with BRIGHT colors and chevron with a splash of elephants! Weird combination, I know! However, I'm obsessed with elephants and thanks to my friend, Sara, I've found a fabulous classroom decor pack that perfectly integrates my love of chevron and my obsession with elephants! We stopped by the Dollar Tree where I scored loads of book baskets that matched my color scheme perfectly! Next, we headed to Walmart in hopes of finding a coordinating rug! I lucked up and got the last chevron rug they had and it was perfect!! On the way to checkout we passed my favorite find of the elephant beanbag!!!! I am beyond thrilled about this purchase!! Since I was unable to find a chevron chair (every chevron themed classroom has to have a chevron chair, right??), I ordered one online and can't wait for it to arrive! Overall, I am ecstatic about the progress I am making towards redecorating my classroom! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

6th Anniversary

Brian and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on May 31st. I can't believe that we have been married for six years!! We have an amazing life together and I can't imagine my life anymore perfect that it is now! I am so thankful for the life we have together and our precious baby boys. I can't wait to see what the next sixty years brings!

Before the anniversary celebrations began, we headed to Elijah's blastball game. I just love watching Elijah play this game and having Brian out on the field with him. So precious! After Elijah's game we came home to change clothes and then headed to Brian's parents' house so that we could drop the boys off. I don't love the idea of the boys spending the night away from home, but I know they are in good hands with their Nanny and Poppy. After dropping the boys off, we headed out to celebrate our anniversary.

Brian planned a day full of surprises. I'm not really a fan of surprises so I was a bit nervous, but I was pleasantly surprised! We started the day with a lunch date at McAlister's Deli. This doesn't seem too exciting, however, it's where we had our first date! 

Next, we headed to the next surprise....Mad Platter! This is such a fun place that I love to go but Brian isn't always excited to join me. We decided to make a celebration plate that we could use during all of our future celebrations. We had such a great time, maybe I can't get him to come with me more often! 

After Mad Platter we had time to kill before the next surprise so we went SHOPPING! Yay! We headed to Marshalls, of course, and I scored two new shirts! We stopped at a few more shops and picked up a few items for Elijah's upcoming birthday party. After several stops, we were on our way to the next surprise on the agenda.

I had no idea where we were headed and was pleasantly surprised when we pulled in front of the Balanced Day Spa! Brian had scheduled a couples massage. The massage was wonderful and such an amazingly relaxing time!

Next, we were off to dinner. I had mentioned in prior conversations that I would like to try The Melting Pot at some point. Little did I know, Brian actually listened and surprised me once again with dinner reservations at The Melting Pot! When we arrived, there was a rose and a sweet note from Brian waiting for me at the table! So sweet! Dinner was delicious but a lot of work! We both agreed that we would go back for dessert only, seeing as that was our favorite part of the meal.

We had a wonderful anniversary and I absolutely can't believe we have been married for 6 years and are the parents to two amazing little fellas!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Family Fun Day

This morning we woke up with our typical Sunday morning routine...cuddles in bed, homemade breakfast, and getting ready for church. On the way to church Elijah announced that he wanted to go see the animals at the Science Center today. So we quickly made the impromptu decision to head The Natural Science Center after church.

In typical Griffin fashion, he fell asleep on the way home from church. I quickly learned the rule, "never wake a sleeping baby" when Elijah was small and this was going to be no exception. Brian and I decided we would take turns coming inside to change clothes so that Griffin could finish his nap in the car. We had high hopes that he would be well rested and happy while we are at the science center. Our plan was successful! Griffin slept through the wardrobe changes at home and was a happy camper for the rest of the day! Mommy and Daddy success!

Upon arrival to The Natural Science Center we decided to begin our adventure with a picnic lunch. This lead to a very exciting activity of feeding the geese!  This was Elijah's favorite part of the day! 

After our exciting lunch, we headed out to the Animal Discovery Zoo. Elijah's favorite moment while touring the animal exhibits was definitely hearing the tiger ROAR!! It scared me to death but he thought it was hilarious! 

Our next stop was inside to the SciQuarium! My favorite stop is the Penguins! I am in love with these adorable creatures! Griffin loved sitting in front of each aquarium and watching the fish swim by and trying to grab them!

We had such a fun family day! I so I wish I could freeze time and live forever in moments like these! 

If you live near Greensboro, NC you should definitely check out The Natural Science Center for a great family day out!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Officially entered the world of team sports!

Elijah had his first blastball game this weekend. If you're like I was, you have absolutely no clue what blastball is! Blastball is basically a step below tee ball. The children hit the ball off of a tee and run to the one and only base. The base sounds a loud "BLAST" when the child jumps on it! This is by far the most exciting part of the entire game for Elijah! The kiddos in the outfield try to pick up the ball after it is hit and yell BLAST! The yelling of "blast" signifies an "out", although we didn't keep score at all! Blastball is such a fun game and a great introduction to the fundamentals of baseball

The game was bright and early Saturday morning, but it couldn't get here fast enough for this cutie! He was so excited on the ride to the game.

Seeing as most of our family lives relatively close, Elijah had a quite the fan club at his first game! 

Elijah was able to bat twice and I am extremely proud to report that he hit the ball both times! Yay!

Unlike most of the kiddos playing in the first game, Elijah actually ran to the base rather than after the ball! Go Elijah!

And now for the cuteness...

 Despite being pretty sleepy, Griffin managed with watch big brother's first game. No matter what he was doing, when people started clapping he always joined in!

  Showing off his muscles!

 Celebrating a successful first game with cousin Kyleigh. 

We are so proud of this little man!

We are thrilled that Elijah's first game went so well and we can't wait to see how the rest of the season goes!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Learning Lots

As a teacher, I realize the importance of early education. When Elijah started to show interest in learning, I began searching Pinterest to find activities appropriate for his age. I realized that although he had a desire for learning his attention span was lacking. Enter the handy dandy busy bag! These are small "bags" of single activities that can be completed rather quickly, thus avoiding the lack of attention issue. Yay! Here are a few of the busy bags I have created.

*Lot 1*
Elijah loves puzzles but isn't always patient enough for the traditional puzzle pieces. These popsicle puzzles are definitely a better option for him.I created one puzzle using a family picture taken by my amazingly talented cousin, Anna. Check out for an awesome photographer! The other puzzle is simply Elijah's name...problem solving and name recognition in one activity!!

*Lot 2*
What kid doesn't love beads? I used chenille stems to avoid the frustration of trying to put beads on the typical string. I have used these several ways...he enjoys making his own patterns and I have also made patterns that he had to replicate. 

*Lot 3*
We have also been working on one-to-one correspondence. The first activity shows Elijah counting out the correct number of beans for each card. The second activity adds some fine motor skills practice through the use of tongs. Elijah uses the tongs to place the correct number of pom poms on the card. I also color coded the circles on each card so that he reviews color matching as well.

*Lot 4*

This next activity is by far Elijah's favorite! I created a fishing activity using a magnetic fishing pole. He fishes for numbers as well as letters. Fun!

*Lot 5*

Although Elijah recognizes all of his letters, he needed a bit of practice matching up the lowercase and capital letters. This spoon matching activity is a simple, yet fun solution.

*Lot 6*

Now that he can recognize his letters it is time to practice writing them. I used a photo album to create a portable way for him to practice writing his letters. I created cards with each letter of the alphabet along with lines for him to write on. He uses a dry erase maker that wipes right off for repeated practice. This activity is great for an "on the go" activity!

*Lot 7*

Number matching is much more fun with monkeys and bananas! I added stars to the bananas and Elijah finds the corresponding monkey.

*Lot 8*
This next activity creates an opportunity for Elijah to practice letter recognition and fine motor skills. I wrote the capital letter on the sentence strip and the lower case letter on the clothespin.

I am constantly thinking of new activities to create for Elijah. I want to take advantage of this precious time where my little man is like a sponge...soaking up knowledge so quickly! I will post more busy bags as I create them.