28 December 2010

Happy bday, Mom...

Today is my mother's birthday...There's lots to thank her for, but most recent on the list is the wonderful meal she put together, the cozy house decorated to welcome us all and the myriad gifts she and my dad gave us on Christmas in Rogers. Hope she's out enjoying her special day and that we see her again soon...


The holidays were just lovely...I'm left with lots to catch up on around the house and on the blog. I don't know when I'll take my decorations down--they're not bothering me yet--but thought I'd capture some of the look here. Last year I did a similar arrangement but used some vintage blue touches. This year I kept the dining room simple, with only glittery gold and greenery.

We're home today savoring our time off school, trying to avoid makeup and showers and the outside world for a day...

12 December 2010

Seasonal sparkle, shopping, snow

This little silver tree ($8 @ Walmart) sparkles in my office/craft room, which is currently Gift Wrap Central. Ryan and I had several hours to ourselves yesterday and we were able to finish up almost all of our Christmas shopping, so I'll spend much of today packaging all we found. Black and white may not seem all that Christmasy, but I'm in love with the polka dot paper and ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. We've got a thin dusting of snow on the ground this morning, which leaves me itching for a snow day or two from school. Highly improbable. The wind is piercing out there today but we'll probably venture out for lunch and maybe Santa pictures and a few other gifts before the 49ers play at 3.

05 December 2010

{Pool} Party Time

Macauley turned 8 (!) on Friday, and we celebrated BIG time at Chesterfield Family Center with a pool party and then pizza and cake in one of their activity rooms. This is the first year I can really remember Macauley being into his birthday so much, totally into the planning of the party and what was going to happen and, clearly, into choosing the theme: Over-the-Top SpongeBob.

Thank goodness for Megan's mom, Melissa, who took all these pictures for me. Not only is my camera MIA after Macauley borrowed it to take pictures of a bunch of stuff last weekend, but also because I was too busy.

The kids swam for about an hour while some of the parents and Ryan supervised below and the rest of us adults watched from the activity room above.

Things got wild when the party moved upstairs...the pizza went fast and my calm went faster--lots of excited, hungry kids.

We went with these delicious "cakepops" this year, made by a girl I play bunco with (yes--I have recently joined a neighborhood bunco group that meets one Monday a month). I managed to salvage only a few for us to bring home--they are so good. So good.

Things hit maximum rowdiness when Macauley opened his gifts. What a lucky boy to have so many, but he got pretty stressed out when the crowd kept mobbing him for a closer look and to get their hands on everything no matter how many times I asked them to stay in their seats.

Overall I think it was a success despite wearing us all out, but I did learn some key lessons for the future from this party:
  1. Don't invite the whole class next year. They might all show up! Last year, only 4 of the 22 kids in class did but this year almost all of them did, and combined with the kids from our neighborhood we invited, I had a room full. Plus some of the kids seemed to be there for the party rather than for Macauley, which maybe is okay. Or maybe not.
  2. Don' t put the take home favor cups I arranged so neatly out at the place settings. They were all dumped and rooted through and then who knows what actually ended up going home with the kids.
  3. Order more pizza and/or bring side items as reinforcement. Most second grade boys plow through much more food than mine does.
  4. Open the gifts at home later and send really nice thank you notes to avoid the chaos...or invite less people to hold back.
  5. Don't leave a handful of balloons to float around the room as decor unless I want 3-4 larger boys who can reach the strings to pull them down and chase each other around the room, ask if they can have them and wrap the strings around each other's necks.
  6. And finally, an affirmation of what I was already quite aware of: I am so glad I teach high school and not elementary.
I really wanted to give my sweet boy a great party. 8 just seems so big...

04 December 2010


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