Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jack's 3rd Birthday

We have had a great time celebrating Jack's 3rd birthday the last 2 days. Yesterday was his actual birthday.

We started the day with a donut from Smith's.

Next, we gave Jack the gift he had been asking for for ages; "Big Giant Minn Missile!"

Then we were off to church for the last day of VBS. That evening, Lorie invited us over for dinner (which was fantastic) and cake.

Today, after many weeks of pinning monster ideas on pinterest, we got to have Jack's monster party.

I found this cake on pinterest and recreated it with cake pop eye balls and shaved orange candy melts for fur.

My mom made the monster towel for Jack and I made the little orange monster from an orange dusting mitt.

Monster treat bags.

The treats inside. (Thanks mom!)

Monster cups

Monster cake pops. I am no master of these and kind of hate making them. I figured they were supposed to be monstrous to keep with the theme of the party.

My mom made the monster fruit salad.

Here is a better shot of the little monster stuffed animal.

My mom made Monster Juice and "Eyes Tea". I made monster cups for the kids.

My mom also made the centerpieces.

Jack was very pleased to hear "Happy Birthday to Jack." Jack got some wonderful birthday gifts that he is so excited about. I think these three homemade gifts are darling.

Laura made this cute robot art kit.

Lorie made this darling monster pillow.

My mom made this awesome monster towel for Jack.

Everything turned out really cute and we had a great time. Now to rest a little and enjoy some summer vacation!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

End of the Year

Every end of the school year leaves me feeling drained both physically and mentally.  I daydream about easier career paths and vacations and traveling.  My whole family feels the affects of my  mental absence at the end of the year and are probably as thankful as I am for me to have a break.  Jack has particularly needed mommy this weekend, which is strange for him since he is so independent.  I even napped this afternoon and I never nap unless I am running a fever.  After my nap, my head started to clear and I started to see the piles of clutter in my house, reminders of the frantic pace of the last couple of weeks.  I didn't want to tackle them, but I really hate clutter.  One pile on my counter was thank you cards. Some were from Cubbies, some were from teacher appreciation week, and others were from the last day of school.  I had barely glanced at them as I received them since I was preoccupied with other things.  Before throwing out the pile of them, I sat down and started to carefully read through each one.  The words were so kind and complimentary of me and the work that I have done over the passed year.  Some of the words really stood out to me.

You are appreciated much more than you know!

I can honestly say _____ loves you two (my partner teacher and me).

Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing God's love each week with these little ones.

Thank you for teaching with your heart and expecting only the best from your students.

It's so nice to have a place where ______ looks forward to going to, and where he comes home singing all the songs he's learned and sharing his craft and story with us.

I will miss you.  I had a "grate" year.

I got choked up as I read all of these kind words and my heart was full.  I needed this encouragement today.  I needed the reminder that what I do is so important to these little ones and that my teaching affects all of these kids.  I loved hearing that my little Cubbies went home and sang the songs and could retell the stories.  Our crafts that we took the time to plan out were important to them.  I swelled with pride as I read about the growth the parents noticed in their students and that they appreciated all that I did at work each day.  These kind words meant the world to me today and reinvigorated me to keep going and to keep teaching at school and at church.  I love all the little lives that I've been able to touch this year and I'm so glad that I have made a difference for them and their families.  I put all of these sweet notes back in a basket so that whenever I'm feeling down about teaching again, I can read through them and remember why I'm doing this.