Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy halloween-ween.

Happy Halloween from Mr. B, Lucy and me.  May you eat lots of candy, and not get sick.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

mammal strike at the zoo!

My school is awesome--we use an integrated curriculum approach to learning to tie everything together and give the kiddos concrete meaning to the concepts we are studying.  In first grade, this largely looks like our monthly unit and me trying to tie everything to it as best as I can--which sometimes is tough, but most of the time, really fun.

During October, my class has been studying mammals.  We studied the characteristics of mammals, learned about the rule breakers that lay eggs, learned about their different habitats and read SO MANY books about mammals (my class loved Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type). 

More Space to Race!Cut the Vines!
First grade spent most of the month learning about different kinds of sentences--and like most six year olds (and their teacher), they LOVED exclamations!  To get ready for our field trip to the zoo tomorrow, we read Animal Strike at the Zoo.  It's True! and then created strike posters for their favorite mammals.  I was so impressed with the creativity my class showed when we made these today!

I want my mommy!Back to the Wild!
I quit!
After reading the story, as a class, we came up with different slogans that the mammals may want to put on their signs--the only requirement was that they needed to be exclamations.  I wrote all of our ideas on the board, and then set the class free with construction paper and markers to create their own.  I gave them the choice of using one of our slogans or they could create their own.  Check out some of the signs my kiddos made!

This zoo stinks! I'm frooe with the zoo!  We want rootbeer!  More peanuts!  That's it!No more grass, more mud!

Monday, October 15, 2012

christmas in the woods!

Yesterday, I went to Christmas in the Woods along with my mom, grandma, gram, aunts, cousins, sister, in-laws and some family friends.  Last year, my mom, gram, my cousin, Sara, and I went for the first time.  We talked it up so much to the rest of our family that, this year, we took a group of more than twenty people to celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday.  Our large group had a grand adventure, and I would love to share some of that grand adventure with you.

My cousin, Sara, and I really went to Christmas in the Woods just to go shopping at Berries in the Meadow's booth.  We spent a good deal of our budgeted money there last year, and this year, since I had an idea of what I could find, I budgeted more money to spend there.  I am so excited about my purchases--I can't wait until all this painting madness is done at our house so I can hang up my new things!  Check out these pictures of all of the goodies Berries in the Meadow has to offer.

On our adventure, I bought a few things--but my favorite was definitely this giant block to hang on the wall in our entry way (above our red Target cabinet).  I also bought (and quickly consumed) a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.  Next year, Christmas in the Woods runs October 12-13 and 19-20.  I'm already planning our trip for next year!

And, for good measure, a picture of my grandma and my gram unwrapping birthday presents and enjoying their lunches.

Friday, October 12, 2012

i take such delight in being organized.

I am loving this "getting ready for Christmas" early thing.  I feel like I am so on top of things--and it's only October!  This week's tasks included:  compile card list, compile a list of people who will be given gifts and putting them all together in my Holiday Planner.

I also may have had too much fun with my photo editor on my phone...I am so proud of my Holiday Planner.   I love having everything organized, and I love having a binder that is specifically dedicated to everything. (Side note:  Did you see last night's episode of 30 Rock?  Liz Lemon is turned on by organization and office supplies.  At one point, Mr. B just glared at me with a stare that was nothing if not accusing me of something.)  It's fairly empty now, but as the holiday season gets closer (and closer, and closer), it will bulk up and I will have everything I need all in one place.

My planner is split into seven sections--October, November, December, Cookie Party, Card List, Gift List and Recipes.  Right now, the October, November, and December sections only have calendars in them. 

The Cookie Party section is for my annual cookie exchange I host.  In this section, I have a page protector for old invitations and a print out with a list of last years invited guests, with those who were able to attend highlighted.  There's room for this year's list...  and next year's...  and even 2014's.  The card list has my complete list of people who will get cards this year, with their addresses.  I am so proud of myself for having this part done and ready right now!

My gift list is what I am particularly proud of right now.  This section starts out with a simple check list of the people we intend to give gifts to so I can check them off after purchasing them.  After that, I created some print outs to organize my thoughts on gift ideas, the working budget for each gift and a checklist for when it is bought, wrapped, packed and given away.  I might have to add to it a "where it is hidden" part, though.  I have this section separated into "Family" and "Friends."

Our work in this house has hit a stand still--Mr. B is still trying to get that wall fixed up.  My dad came down to work with him the other night.  After completing a deep clean of our living room, I have been working on my planner and getting my unit for this month and next month together for school.
I can't wait for this weekend's fun--on Sunday, we're going to Christmas in the Woods in Columbiana, OH.  I am so excited.  I will probably showcase some pictures after the trip.  We also have a furry house guest for at least the next few weeks.  Meet Lucy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

one step forward... and seventeen steps back.

Mr. B has officially banned me from the everything room.  The wall with a little water damage?  Tonight when he was working, all of the paint peeled off.  I got sad.  He told me I'm not allowed in anymore.  He said it got worse.

My desk won't be ready this weekend.  Sad face.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

some progress.

After working every evening this past week on different things around the house--Mr. B in the "everything" room and I in the kitchen...  we have a little to show for it.  Very little.  But progress is progress.

I concentrated on getting the kitchen organized.  I wish I would have taken pictures before...  it would appear to be a much more miraculous transformation then.  Lesson learned.  Our cabinets around the stove were a hot mess--storage containers just thrown in, spices literally falling out of the cabinet when you open the door, and while sorting everything out, I encounter not one, not two, but three (opened) bags of brown sugar and two (opened) bags of powdered sugar.  I let Mr. B unpack the kitchen when we moved, and trusted his memory when making grocery lists when I went to get ingredients for wedding cookies (lesson learned).

Now, things are a little better.  I got some clear plastic boxes from Dollar Tree and sorted things out--ingredients for cookies, sweets and baked goods in one bin, more savory seasonings and the like into two others.  It is going to be SO much easier to find things now.  Someday, I'll make cute labels to go on the bins, but for now, this will do.  I cleaned out one of my favorite pots that I thought Mr. B had ruined burning homemade barbecue sauce--I boiled white vinegar in it for a really long time, and added some baking soda for the extra bubbles.  The house smelled like Easter eggs for a bit, but once I scrubbed the floors and the top of the fridge, it smelled delicious, like lemons and lavender.

Isn't the grey color wonderful?  I love it even more with the second coat.While I was doing that, Mr. B was upstairs working in the everything room.  He finished adding a second coat to the walls, and began sanding down the trim to get it ready for a fresh coat of paint.  But then, he thought wood was splintering off the trim as he sanded.  Luckily, that was not the case--it was just A LOT of old paint.  He also came across some water damage under the paint in the corner near my washer.  So he had to fix that up.  We're waiting for that whole mess to try so he can touch up the wall, and then repaint the trim.  Joe Schmoe (the old owner of our place) was surely a delight.

But!  My dad brought our filing cabinets down from my parents' house.  They're sitting in our dining area right now, waiting until they can be moved upstairs.  Seeing them when I come downstairs in the morning just makes me smile.  The turquoise color is just ridiculous.

I'm working on my holiday planner--I'll post about it soon!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

october = almost christmas. really?!

Oh my stars.  It is October already.  It's hard to believe--I feel like I'm just beginning to feel fully recovered from the insanity that was my August.  It's already been two months since we were in Roanoke for my pseudo-brother's wedding and all the family crazy started (two more weddings, Gram's 75th birthday, my Pap Pap's 90th birthday, my family of Danes coming to visit, hosting two picnics within two weeks at our house, I'm sure there was more, too).  And, I have been at my new school officially for over a month now.  Things should be settling down soon, right?  (Good joke.)

Now that I have settled into a sort of rhythm and routine at school, it's time for me to take a little care of our house.  Things have certainly gotten away from me while I was getting into the school year.  I have piles of scrapbook paper and other school supplies tossed around everywhere.  Goal:  Deep clean the house.

My husband and I bought our first house (a townhouse, really) and moved in at the beginning of April.  It took us until the beginning of July to get settled in--we painted a fresh coat of paint in most of the rooms, unpacked box after box, and bought some new furniture to fill in some of the empty spots.  Now that we've been able to actually live in it for a few months, we're beginning some new projects.

Our first "big" project is our everything room.  Right now, Mr. B's getting ready to paint a second coat of the gorgeous grey we chose.  After that, we will be constructing our new desk.  We sold his old desk on Craigslist and got it moved out last night (and an extra $85 in our pocket)--it was a fairly nice, IKEA corner desk.  Mr. B had owned it before we got married, though...  and it did not function as a shared desk very well.  We repainted some old filing cabinets and bought an IKEA butcher block counter top and will be creating a shared desk area out of that.  I can't wait until it's all ready to go.

While he's doing the painting, I'm doing some reorganizing, deep cleaning and getting a headstart on the holidays.  (Yes.  I told you I am a Christmas Queen.  I already bought a few Christmas presents.  I think about these things in July.)