Saturday, March 07, 2015

Storm Fest - Carnegie Science Center

A few weeks ago, we went to the
Storm Fest
at Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA


The Storm Fest was presented in partnership with California University of PA.

Not only did we get to enjoy the everyday exhibits of the Science Center,
but we also got to participate in lots of fun weather related activities.

Nathan made several weather related crafts

a lava bottle



a rain stick


glurch


a wind sock


He learned what type of tent would best protect him in different elements


He learned how to make a homemade thermometer


a cloud


and did a cupcake core sampling


a weather map


paper snowflake


He made a rock



and many more fun weather activities.



We also watched a show by the "Weather Dude" Nick Walker of The Weather Channel.


Nathan's name was pulled from the hat and he won a song book and CD by Nick Walker.


He also got his autograph and picture taken with him.


Then, we checked out an old retired submarine....



 

We topped off the trip with a stop at the Sports Work Center, where Nathan tried out a bunch of fun games and we took a ride through the human body.

It was a super fun day.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

there was an old lady who swallowed a rose

on friday, i subbed at a preschool.

during story time i read the little ones the book

there was an old lady who swallowed a rose



they were having a little valentines day celebration. 

after i read the story we did a little retelling of the book.

i gathered a fake rose, some lace, a small container of glitter,
some hearts, a little "jewel" ring that nathan had given to me, some glitter hearts,
a handful of sweet heart candy, and a few valentines.



the kids seemed to enjoy this little activity, as did i. 


i also used a bottle with an old lady attached to it with a hole cut out
in the middle, so the kids could see what her tummy looked like after she
swallowed everything.



i found these cards to use for sequencing activities
(can't remember where I found them)


another fun activity to do with this book,
which I did not do, yesterday, is a cut out wheel

just another way to make retelling fun.


during center time, some of the children made tissue paper hearts
in the art station.

they were so cute i couldn't resist and had to make one too.

hope you have a great valentines day!



Friday, January 09, 2015

Fat Quarter Shop $40 Gift Card Giveaway - CLOSED!!



*This note that this giveaway is now closed!




Do you love fabric as much as I do?
Here's your chance to win a 

$40 Gift Card

to 


Fat Quarter Shop is an online fabric store with a huge selection of fabrics from top manufactorers  including; Michael Miller, Moda Fabric, Riley Blake, Robert Kaufman, Timeless Treasures, Red Rooster, RJR Fabrics, Dear Stella, and many, many more.

You can choose from jelly rolls, patterns, fat quarter bundles, fabric by the yard, etc.

Who doesn't want the chance to win such fabulous quilting quality fabric?!

I would enter, if it wasn't my blog haha.

Just look at all these beautiful choices for Valentine's Day








and how about this absolutely gorgeous quilt kit by Holly Hill Designs and A Year of Love fabric.


simply gorgeous, right?

If you are a quilter or are interested in quilting, please check out 
for lots of 'how to' videos.


This giveaway contest will run until January 24, 2015 (midnight est).

To enter just follow the instructions according to Rafflecopter.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 05, 2015

DIY Flannel Board


I made myself a flannel board.

Flannel boards are a handy teacher tool.
They can be used for a multitude of things.

Retelling Stories
Sequencing
Patterns
Math Concepts
Colors
&
much, much more.

I wanted to purchase one to use for awhile now, but they can be pretty pricey.

I thought the next best thing to buying one was to make one of my own.

I went to a few local thrift stores to look for old funky picture frames that I could either use just the frame itself with a particle board attached or something similar.

I ended up finding an old cork board instead.

I bought some flannel and some colorful buttons to decorate the frame to make it more appealing.


cork board = $2
flannel = $2.47/yard
buttons = 3 packs/$1.50 each
paint and extra buttons (already had)
glue gun

for a total of less than $10 I made my very own flannel board
(which is actually two sided, so it's even more versatile) 




I spray painted both sides of the cork board frame


I cut the flannel just slightly larger than the cork board
I sprayed a thin line of glue along the edges using my glue gun
Next, I used a screw driver to push the fabric underneath the frame


I used my glue gun to attach some bright colorful buttons all around the frame.
I actually did this on both sides of the cork board - so my flannel board is actually double sided.

awesome!


I made some fish out of felt.

I also found some printables on line from various sources.

I printed them out and then laminated them.
I glued a small piece of velcro to the back of the printables so that they would stick to the flannel


Do you like my handy dandy laminator?
It was a Christmas gift from the kids.
I know I will get a ton of use out of it.


The Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear printables can be used for 
sequencing events 
or for retelling the story.


Dogs, Numbers, Colors and Bones
can be used for a multitude of lessons
colors, patterns, math, etc.

  

Just like my new fancy little laminator, I'm sure I will get plenty of use out of this 
little flannel board for many years to come.

It is such a fun way for children to incorporate with learning. 



Sunday, January 04, 2015

what's on my reading list....


In my spare time, before my life gets overrun by textbooks again, I've been
trying to catch up on some new books.

I'm almost finished reading Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnn Johnson.
I am really enjoying this book.  It's geared more towards teaching older students, but she does provide some tips for teaching younger students as well.  She shares her classroom management plan and other ideas to make teaching and learning an enjoyable experience for both teachers and students.


Overwhelmed by Perry Noble is a book that I'm really looking forward to reading.  It deals with anxiety, stress, and feeling overwhelmed and how we can manage life and see our way through the overwhelming feelings of just trying to get by.


How Full is Your Bucket?
Since I started subbing at the pre-k's and head starts I noticed that a lot of schools have been using this bucket filling/dumping program and I wanted to read and learn more about it.  I also bought a child's version of this book to read with my children.  This is probably a program that I will utilize in the future as a teacher, so I thought it would be nice to have the children's version on hand (for my future classroom).

The First Days of School is another book about classroom management.  I read reviews that this is a really excellent source for teachers, so I thought I would read it for myself.

The Power of a Praying Wife since I am continuing on my spiritual journey, I'm embracing my role as a wife and helpmate to my husband.  Hey, I didn't get this far in my marriage without a little (ok, a lot) of help from above....and even after 22 years of marriage, there is still a lot of things that I should know and do.

In my quest to exude happiness and positivity I also plan of reading The Power of a Positive Mom and also The Power of a Positive Woman.  I really do believe that there is power in words and in emotions.  I think if you walk around feeling down in the dumps and hopeless, then you will project those feelings to those around you.  I'd much rather be known as a super, happy, almost "too happy" person, than a depressed Debbie downer....know what I mean?


I'm sure I will add other books to this list....but for now I think I'm off to a great start.

What are you reading this year? Do you have any recommendations that you think I would like?



Thursday, January 01, 2015

your life matters.



I know it's new year and all and everyone is all about new beginnings and resolutions...
I usually think of my birthday as my 'new' year.
so, I usually wait and think about what I really want to accomplish
and plan that around my day.

when I turned 40 a few years ago, I made some big, huge changes to my life.
I don't regret a single one of them.

I embarked on an incredible journey of discovering who I wanted to be.

the kind of wife
the kind of mother
the kind of person God was calling me to be
the kind of friend I needed to be

I wanted to feel like my life meant something.

I know I'm a pretty big important person to my family.
but, I needed to see that for myself.

I needed to step back and take a big ol' look at myself 

I kind of didn't like what I saw when I did.

I felt like I settled in my life.

so, I set out to make those big - huge changes.


I let go of so many, many fears that held me back in my life.

I let go of my fear of failure
I let go of my fear of fear itself.

I took a huge giant leap of faith....
I prayed that God would be there to catch me if I fell.

who knew when I jumped that I would actually fly?

certainly, not me.

I quit my job that I had for eight plus years

I went back to college, after twenty years

I started my own sewing business after re-teaching myself to sew

I lost over 30 pounds of weight

I discovered a love of nature

I got a new job that I totally love, one that makes me incredibly happy

I grabbed life by the horns and rode the ride...so to speak

I got in touch with my spirituality
I prayed that God would help me to understand how much pain and suffering my husband was going through.....and then, went through my own physical pain and endured it.
I prayed that God would help me to understand the feelings of anger, doubt, frustration and helplessness of dealing with someone who is going through a major life depression - just as my husband had done for me, many years ago in the earlier stages of our marriage and what an eye opening experience it has been.

to say that I became a stronger woman, through it all, is a drastic understatement.

No matter what life (or God) threw at me....I succeeded.

I did it.

was it always easy?

um, hell no.

did I still have feelings of doubt that I let creep in?

oh yeah.

is that fear still lingering?

um, yep, you bet.

but you know what I realized....I'm worth this life that God gave me

I'm worth the love He has shown me

I'm worth every damn, darn second.

my life may never be perfect...
and I'm totally okay with that.

but I will say this....I will never give up again
I will never let the devil beat me down and make me feel worthless
I will never, ever let fear steal anything more from me.



I'm just going to continue to climb this mountain of life that God placed before me
and know that I'm not alone
that I have nothing to fear
that I can do anything
as long as I believe in myself

Life matters,,,,
Life is worth it....
Make the most of it.


It's a gift that was hand made and planned just for you.

you can do with it what you want.

you can live in a bubble and not like it
you can live in fear and denial

or

you can take a step back and look at the big picture that was painted just for you.

that path that is just waiting to be explored


I'm planning on filling my life scrapbook with

love and grace

how about you?


and someday....when I'm old and gray and bedridden
and my children and their children and perhaps, even their children
look in my 'trunk' of life (so to speak),

I want them to see what a completely amazing person and woman I was

and be pretty darn proud of me.

and think my mom, nonna, great nonna played the game of life and 

she totally nailed it!!