Monthly Archives: May 2013

Teacher Gifts

It’s that fabulous end of the year when you have to come up with teacher gifts. At my kids’ school there is no “room mom”, which means there is no one to simply give you check to and be done. (I loved it at the preschool when the “room mom” just told me I owed 100$ and she’d take care if all the gifts– holiday, birthday, teacher appreciation, end of the year– I miss that!)

So now I am out on my own for the gifts. What to do? The teachers are with my kids all day, but I barely know their favorite color. (BTW Princess’ teacher like aubergene.) How do give a not-so-personal/personal gift, something that will not go straight to the trash? (Think no mugs, nothing with apples, no calendars.) It needs to be:

  1. Simple
  2. Heart warming
  3. Personal/Impersonal at the same time
  4. Not so Cliche
  5. Not that pricey (I am getting stuff for 7 people here– two teachers, one tutor and four assistant teachers.  Sorry music, gym, art and spanish folks!)

Lets turn to Pinterest, shall we?

  • It seems to have page after page of summer towel sets, complete with sunscreen, and a trashy magazine.  (That’s okay I guess.  But with all the sunscreen maybe I should add in a bottle of vitamin D.)
  • Lots of options of wordplay themes gifts.– I want to be a smart cookie like you! with a jar of cookies. Water bottles with bows and signs that say “Thanks for quenching our thirst of knowledge.” A basket of apples with  a “Couldn’t have picked a better teacher.”  (Clever and Goofy at the same time.)
  • The Diaper Cake grows up.  Let me say first I HATE a diaper cake and who ever came up with that should be kicked out of the country.  But it seems the diaper cake has found new life as a school supply cake with crayons and glue and pencils.  You get the idea.
  • A wreath/picture frame made of hot glued crayons.  (I already did that for Xmas damn!)

What am I left with….

For the two main teachers and the tutor, I decided to go with a goofy word-play gift!  

I started with the FREE printable gift tags here.  Thanks to the blog GigglesGalore.net  I thought these were the cutest because they have the little ruler. 

Then I needed the seeds. I found these oh so cute “Garden in a Bag” seeds a local trendy restaurant in town and snapped them up.  I wish the had the tomato seed bags left, but looks like I was too late and I got stuck with the herbs (English Thyme and Cilantro.)

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They are great because it is all in one.  You open the bag and everything you need is inside.  You spread the seed around, add water and you are basically finished!  You can grow this plant in the brown bag!  No pot required. Plus, it is organic! (If you do not happen to have a trendy, organic seed-selling restaurant down the street you can pick these little cuties online at Inhabit Shop.)

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Like I said, this is a no pot required operation.  None-the-less I thought that gift packaging was important so I got a little tin pot, added some gardening gloves and wrapped it all up in cellophane wrap!
IMG_1793To Be Continued…

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Adventures at the Library

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It was another day at our local library! This time we recruited one of Cinco’s friends to join us for Lego Club.

The topics was time machines. Cinco built a police time machine. But what I thought was very creative was the time traveler he created.

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He couldn’t find the traditional Lego legs so he made his own. I love them! Another fun day at the library.

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Devil Dog Part II

Damn this dog! Click here to view the original devil dog post.

So the pee on the grass fight continues… It seems this beast is willing to pee on the grass for everyone in the family except me. Over the holiday weekend, my parents watched the dogs and had no problem getting her onto the grass. My hubs has no problem getting her onto the grass. My kids have no problem getting her onto the grass.

For me, it’s another story… Devil Dog waddles over to the grass and than looks at me with a guilty strangeness.. What the heck does she have to be guilty about? Oh yes, just peeing in the grass!

I am going to take video of her and post it soon.

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The Book Seller of Kabul: A Voyeuristic View into Another Way of Life

The Bookseller of KabulThe Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I realize I’m a bit late to thepartyreading this book. Nonetheless, it appealed to me and I’ve finally gotten around to doing it.

I wish there was a 4 1/2 star rating. I very much enjoyed the book but it’s just not at the five-star superior level.

It’s a fascinating story that provides a snapshot into the life of one Afghan family.

The experience of women in the family is particularly startling, in comparison to our modern western way of life and values. The chapter where the author describes the women simply as Burkas going through the daily actions of their lives underscores the lack of identity provided to these women. More so even than rights, this culture truly stripes women of a sense of self.

Western European women women were subject to the laws favoring husbands, treated as chattel, and could suffer physical abuse. But they seemed to at least have more identity. They oversaw castles and manners when men were at court, as nuns they were able to escape male control, and female townspeople often engaged in their husbands trade as assistants or their own trades brewing beer or as midwives. Marriages were certainly property and status transfer arrangements but don’t seem to be nearly as identity destroying as those described in the book.

Reading, or in my case listening to the book, makes you wonder at how strange these people seem– as if they are some kind of aberration. But, the people who are really the aberration are us. Going over all the people in the world throughout history very few have really given women the sort of freedom we have now.

The book also provides an examination of some of the strange and hypocritical social dynamics that arise from this culture. Men who engage in perverse sexual relations because they take advantage of system rigged against women. The intolerance of female sexuality but a tolerance for homosexual behavior.

There is a voyeurism that captures you while reading allowing you to sneak behind the “iron Burka”.

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Wild Wendesday

Today I took Cinco and The Princess to the local library for the Dino Detective program. It started out a little slow– a few random fossils, a guy reciting facts. Then the kids dug for bones followed by making these cute little pictures!

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Best of all they received a clay, glow in the dark dino skull fossil. And, man do they glow!  Not a bad day..

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June Mom Camp Schedule

With only 16 days until the end of school, I have gotten the June Mom Camp Calendar ready!    Not every day has a Mom Camp theme, since we do have a few visits from Grandma and days of actual camp.  But, we are hard at work getting ready and buying supplies for our crafts and activities.  (Esp. our fairy houses!)  Keep watching the calendar for July and August Mom Camp dates! For a sneak peak at some of our plans, you can check out my Pinterest pages.

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Summer Reading

One of the worst days in my childhood summer was when the dreaded summer reading list arrived in the mail. It came in a manilla envelope and seemed innocent enough until my mother opened it and took out the reading list, “Optional Summer Reading List”–what a joke. About 25 years ago, the list included such acclaimed books as Hatchet and Island of the Blue Dolphins— both of which I could not stand! Let me just say that books for young readers have come a long way since my childhood. Front Cover In fact, the horrible scene with the black flies from Hatchet is still with me. Ugh…. With summer just around the corner, The Booky Mom is getting ready to make summer reading for Cinco and The Princess at little less traumatic! So here goes…

  • Let’s Start With a Bribe. The children love yummy worms. So why not turn simple yummy worms into book worms? I am going to fill a mason jar with our “book worms” and each child can have one “worm” each time we sit down for our reading time.
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  • Summer Reading Programs. Our local library, and probably yours, offers a summer reading program for kids 0- 11. Read 5 books and earn a book buck, which is good for a book at the library used book store. Barnes and Noble is offering a program as well. Read 8 books, fill out the required form, take it to the store and get a free book from a pre-selected group. Of course, I cannot forget the Scholastic Books reading challenge.
  • Using our Mom Camp Theme Days to Keep Reading Interesting. As part of our Mom Camp Theme Days, we will also be choosing books that match the theme. So, follow our theme days for ideas of coordinating books and projects that will hopefully make reading less painful.

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