I'm a first year teacher. I know, I know. I need to write a post explaining how all that came about. I'll put that on my to-blog list. Back to this post - I am a first year teacher and I started in the middle of the school year so my classroom was/is full of stuff and I am doing my best to make it my own a little bit at a time. This podium doesn't get a whole lot of use in my classroom but it has been a bit of an eye sore for me and I knew it needed some kind of makeover. This is how it started out looking - yellow and black with a poor spray paint job. So I loaded it up one day after school and brought it home where it sat for a week or two while I was deciding on colors.
I really wanted to give it a pop of color but ultimately I decided to go with white. It took several coats of spray paint to cover up the black. Fun Fact: As my husband and I were spray painting the podium we noticed a name with class of '66 carved into it. I knew this thing was old but wowzers! I added some vinyl to it and it looks like a totally different podium. I am very happy with the end product and can't wait to take it to school tomorrow. It will be making a little trip to the Engineering class first so they can fix the bottom of it - after all it is OLD! :)
Here's how these things usually go down. I spend weeks thinking of what I want to do for a gift. I spend lots of nights pinning away while my husband sleeps beside me. I get ideas, I plan for them. I usually even start them weeks in advance. And then.........I stop. I think about how much time I have and I tell myself I'll finish it up in a couple of days. And then........I don't. And then I spend the day (or night) before stressing to finish everything! That's just the way I operate with pretty much everything and it works for me, most of the time! :)
Finding a gift for my sons' teachers followed this suit as well. I decided about a month before Valentine's Day that I wanted to give their teachers flowers. There's just something about little boys turning into gentlemen and giving out flowers that melts my heart. So I headed straight to Pinterest and checked out my "One Day Projects" board and decided to make vases out of jars I had around the house. I used Prego Spaghetti Sauce jars but you can use any jars. I used Goo Gone to get all the sticky glue left after peeling the label off. I washed the jars and dried them really well. I wanted a super pale pink so I mixed lots of white into an already light pink to create the color I wanted and then I started painting. I used a foam brush but quickly decided that a paint brush would be much better and it really was better. I painted the outside of the jars, let them dry, and then put on a second coat. I left the jars alone to dry overnight and after 24 hours I lightly sanded them until I was happy with how distressed they looked. I sprayed them with a protective coating. I only had a gloss protective spray on hand. I recommend using a Matte spray over the gloss. The gloss made the jars too shiny and that took away from the shabby look a bit. I let them dry overnight outside to get rid of the strong smell. As you can see, patience is key in this project! Once the smell had diminished and I was able to bring the jars inside I wrapped burlap around the jars and tied a bow. I added some beautiful flowers, a yummy chocolate cupcake, and voila! A beautiful, homemade, Valentine gift that anyone would love to receive! I had all the supplies on hand to create the jars - jars, paint, sandpaper, protective coating, paintbrushes - so the only thing I had to buy for this project was the flowers and cupcakes. Simple, easy, and beautiful! I will be making myself some of these beautiful jars just as soon as I can collect more.
I absolutely love doing things like this for Walker and Wyatt's class and I have been looking for the perfect Valentines since last year. I was so proud of the Valentines I did last year since I came up with that idea all on my own but this year I relied on Pinterest and that's where I found this idea. I am a big fan of the candy-less Valentines since my little ones usually come home with bags full of candy that get added to the uneaten Halloween stash. This was a cheap and easy project that I am sure the kids will love and more importantly, use.
Walker turned four years old today. It feels like yesterday that he was born and at the same time I cannot remember life before that moment. He changed our lives forever and we are so thankful that God has allowed us to borrow him and be his parents. He is the smartest, sweetest, most independent and strong-willed little boy that I know. He challenges me daily, gives me the best hugs, and always forgives. We celebrate him every day but especially today - Happy 4th Birthday, Walker!
Walker is so interested in space. He loves singing songs about the planets and can name all the planets and tell you facts about every one of them. He was an astronaut for Halloween and he has stopped strangers in a store just to share his knowledge of planets with them. It was only fitting that we had a space party for him and made his wish of being an astronaut come true. We were worried that we would not have many people come to the party because today was a HUGE football day in the state of Alabama - Alabama vs. Auburn! I thought the game would be an evening game so I scheduled his party at 1 pm and shortly after the invitations had been mailed it was announced that the game would start at 2:30 pm. I was so surprised and thankful for the great turn out and it made him so happy to see his friends and family come to his house and celebrate with him. Every year I say, "This party was my favorite!" but this party was definitely my favorite! :)
I just love going to the thrift store. I can spend hours in there looking and hunting for treasures. The other day, for the first time in a long time, we had nothing to do so the boys and I decided to head on over to the thrift store and see what we could find. We ended up scoring big time - especially in the book section. I have two little boys who absolutely love books. I am so thankful they do but books can be very expensive. I try to find cheap books at yard sales and even at stores like TJ Maxx but they are starting to get expensive even at those stores. The thrift store is a great place to find books. I always look through them to make sure there are no torn pages or coloring. We usually end up with quite a pile and narrow down our choices to a few great ones. Here's what we ended up with on this trip:
Dora Storytime Collection, Chicka Chicka 123 (My boys love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom), Toy Story book, a book about Shapes, Thomas-Sauras Rex (Thomas the train AND dinosaurs? Score!), Thomas the train sticker book, and a brand new Buzz Lightyear Color Wonder set - my boys love these. We keep them in the van and they are great for keeping them busy with no mess.
I also found some great clothes. I found two pairs of Old Navy jeans in excellent condition, an Old Navy vest that is just begging for a monogram, an Old Navy hooded shirt, and a Santa shirt that will be cute this holiday season. I found Walker some great deals too including shirts from The Children's Place and Gap.
My grand total was $36.51. The two pairs of Old Navy jeans would have been more than that. Not too bad for a fun trip to the thrift store. :)
One of our favorite traditions is getting Halloween pictures made of our boys. It started when we were celebrating Walker's first Halloween and we have just continued it every year. It is something we look forward to and signals the beginning of Fall for our family. Living in Alabama, the first day of Fall does not always feel like the first day of Fall but we know when it is Halloween picture time, it is officially fall!
As I have mentioned before I do not dress the boys in the same outfits, ever really. If they are the same I try to do different colors. It's just personal preference, really, but I do like for them to coordinate. They are not twins although Wyatt is catching up fast to Walker in size. I had their costumes picked out in my mind for quite some time but we were in TJ Maxx and spotted this astronaut costume and those plans were quickly changed. Walker is obsessed with space right now - the planets, rockets, the whole shebang. He can recite all of the planets AND give you facts about each one. Just the other day he stopped two different ladies in the store and told them all about the planets. They asked him about Pluto and he quickly corrected them that Pluto is not a planet. So we had the astronaut costume and we figured what could be better than a monkey to go with an astronaut? Space monkey, get it?! : )
Here's a look back at our previous years costumes...
Side note: I know a pirate and Frankenstein do not coordinate but I could not help myself with either of these costumes. I just loved them! Walker was super into pirates last year and ended up having a pirate birthday party and we used pictures from this session to create custom photo stamps for his party invitations. It worked out perfectly!
This was Walker's second Halloween. We actually planned for him to be a train conductor but the costume was too big when we received it and we had our session booked and had to find something QUICK. That's why the shoes do not coordinate. :)
Walker's first Halloween. This is still my favorite costume and I plan to put it in a shadow box and hang it up with this picture.
I have loved every one of our costumes. I know the days of sweet and cute costumes are coming to an end. I know it's only a matter of time before we trade in these sweet costumes for super hero capes and whatever else they want as they get older but I am cherishing the sweetness for now. I have kept every single costume and I am trying to decide what to do with them. I just can't bring myself to get rid of them. We are looking forward to Halloween!