Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kid's father day crafts!!

I have been trying to brainstorm about how I could combine a kids craft with a fathers day gift. We have 1 daddy, 3 grandfathers and 2 great grandfathers. That's alot of gifts! I was making coffee one morning when in my non coffee groggy state, I had a wonderful idea. (Maybe I was still half asleep and it was a dream.. not sure)

Coffee comes in such nice containers these days, I just can't bear to throw them away! The idea is that these are really handy containers for dads to keep all those screws, nails, nuts and bolts. It will keep their garages (aka: man space) cleaner and the container has a handy lid to keep every thing in its place.

I took the containers and spray painted them black. You can totally use any color, especially if your hubby has a certain sports team that he loves. (I got my spray paint at JoAnn's because they have 50% off coupons right now! )

I then dug out some of my "manly" tool scrap booking stickers and paints that I had. You can also print off stencils or make your own sponge stamps. Use anything that your imagination comes up with... or better off let your kiddos come up with some ideas!
I then let my little guy apply the tool stickers to the paint cans and go crazy with the paint.

Big mama then painted on "FROM DADDY'S LITTLE NUTS" and super glued some metal nuts around the letters. (You may want to superglue the stickers so they are not removable.) If you have older kids they can paint the words on themselves! I also put the kids names and ages along the back.

You can fill yours with little boxes of screws, nuts and bolts. Or you can really surprise daddy with a cordless tool or some new screwdrivers / wrenches.

The kids had a ball and I am sure daddy will be thrilled with a little cleaner work space!

No bargain meals this week!!

Hey guys! I am not going to be posting my bargain recipes this week. I am just having too much fun with my kidlets!! We are trying to get ready for fathers day. ( Its a task when you have 1 dad, 3 grandfathers, and 2 great grandfathers.... all to see in one day! ) I won't even get into trying to not break the bank! Tune in later today to see the kids craft for fathers day!!

I will be back full force next week with some delicious meals.....I promise!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Teachers View - Choosing a preschool!

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones. If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

Preschool Part 2: Choosing a Preschool

So you’re ready to send junior off to the wonderful world of education. But which preschool should you choose??

Preschools, like kids, come is all kinds of shapes, sizes, and configurations. If you know what you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it. If you’re not, keep reading.

The Basics:

- Do you want a “traditional preschool” where kids go 2-3 hours 2-3 days a week or are you looking for more of a daycare, all day, everyday?

- Would you like a center that is church affiliated? School based?

- Are you looking for a lot of options such as kindergarten classes?

- Would your child do well in a classroom with child with special needs?

Questions Every Parent Should Ask:

- What is your staff training like?

- Are you NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited?

- How often are the rooms cleaned/toys disinfected?

- Is a snack served? Do parents need to provide? What about food allergies or medical concerns?
- For an all day program – is lunch provided or do parents need to pack one? What is the rest time policy? Are mats provided? How often are they cleaned?

- What kind of academic program do you follow?

- Do the teachers keep portfolios? Behavior logs?

- What is your center’s discipline plan?

- What makes your center special?

When you have your choices narrowed down, visit the center. The first time, you may want to make an appointment to talk to the center’s director and take a tour. Take the tour and use that time to observe, observe, observe. (You may also want to stop by at a later date unannounced for another observation).

Things to keep in mind while you are observing:

- Does the room appear to be clean and organized? Are appropriate things within reach of the children?

- Is there enough space to everyone?

- Are the spaces defined? i.e. the dramatic play area, an art center, library/quiet area

- Is the staff interacting with the students? Is there enough staff?

- Is there evidence of parent-teacher communication? i.e. a parent bulletin board or copies of newsletters

- Is the staff consistent in their discipline? Do you like the interactions you are seeing?

- Does it appear that safety concerns have been met?

- If you can do so without intruding, ask the staff any questions you might have.

I happen to really like the school-based special education preschools where 4-5 typically developing children are in a classroom with 6-8 special needs children. The “typical” kids are peer models for the other kids, modeling things like using words, taking turns, and skills special education students may not have yet. In turn, the special needs children teach the peer models love, empathy, and patience. These types of settings are not right for all children and the waiting lists are usually a little long, but having taught in these schools I am a big advocate for them.

The Bottom Line: Choose the preschool that is right for your child and your family.

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday !!! I am using my leftover chicken from my tater crisp chicken to later make chicken pot pie. I am hoping to make 2 of them ( if I have enough chicken) and freeze one for later. (( Less cookin, means happy mama!! )) Happy Eating Y'all!

Monday: Ground beef BBQ on buns, corn on the cob, coleslaw

Tuesday: Herb and garlic pork chops on the grill, tomato and cucumber salad, green beans

Wednesday: Homemade chicken Fettuccine, salad, garlic bread

Thursday: Tater Crisp Chicken, butter noodles, asparagus

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Leftover night...if its not movin, you can eat it!

Sunday: Chicken pot pie with mixed veggies, crescent rolls