Starting Your School Day Off Right: 4 Quick Tips

starting your school day off right Starting Your School Day Off Right: 4 Quick Tips

Since I promised 4 Quick Tips to starting your school day off right, let me just quench the suspense and give those to you right away:

1. Lay out your priorities

2. Develop a schedule

3. Set their minds

4. Communicate your expectations

Now if you want to learn the detailed how and why behind making each of these tips a reality, you’ll have to read my full article on How to Start Your School Day Off Right on FaithGateway.com. But suffice it to say, this advice comes from personal need and experience.

I have one child who gets out of bed quite easily in the morning and another who…does not.

However, everything changed a few months ago after making only one change.

What that made me realize was that as parents, more often than not, we grossly underestimate our kids. And worse than that, I wasn’t giving them the room to prove me wrong.

Our kids are capable. Give them something to look forward to. Challenge them. Allow them the opportunity to rise above the mundane of the everyday and see a glimpse of the extraordinary God designed for us!

So if you’re like me and find yourself hurrying your kids into the car each morning with a cup of dried cereal, praying no-one forgot homework or a lunch box, I challenge you re-think your morning routine by digging deeper into the 4 tips above.

Then come back and let me know how they worked for you icon wink Starting Your School Day Off Right: 4 Quick Tips

For more tips on how to re-prioritize your year, check out my series on How to Live a Prioritized Life.

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Never Underestimate Your Kids

Never underestimate your kids:

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How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook

disney cruise kids sail free 300x94 How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook
Are you wondering how to make a Disney Cruise Lapbook?

Perhaps you’re wondering what a Lapbook is in the first place?

Our family is taking a 6 night Disney Cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Disney Magic (leaving out of one of their new ports – Galveston, TX where kids sail free right now!). While we’re super excited, we also realize that means the kids are going to miss a lot of school.

So I went to their teachers to ask how we can maximize their learning AND fun while onboard the Disney Cruise; their answer: a Disney Cruise Lapbook!

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I searched the web and couldn’t find anyone who had made a Disney Cruise Lapbook, so for any of you who want to try something similar, I thought I’d share two videos on the topic:
1. How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook (which you can watch below)
2. How to Fill your Disney Cruise Lapbook (coming soon)

We’re making three Lapbooks to take aboard our Disney Magic Cruise:
1. At Sea (the biggest of our Lapbooks since that’s where we’ll be spending the majority of our time)
2. Cozumel (our first Port of Call)
3. Grand Cayman (our second Port of Call)

Before embarking (pun intended!) on making your Disney Cruise Lapbooks, make sure to gather all the necessary supplies (easy to find at most office supply stores or around the house):
*Colored 3-Tab File Folders
*Glue Sticks
*Scissors (adult & kid size)
*Tape (Invisible & Packing Tape)
*Pencils
*A clean, flat surface to fold and glue on

The decorative elements like stickers and mini-books will come in the next lesson, so don’t worry about those now.

This how-to video will walk you through how to make & fold a basic lapbook, as well as how to add pages to your lapbook, how to add a folder to your lapbook and how to make a multi-folder lap book:

(I know it’s long, but I wanted to be thorough for any of you who have never done it before. It’s also broken down into segments, so you can fast forward to special sections of interest if you like)

Make sure to stay tuned for more tips on how to prepare for a Disney Cruise, as well as reports from our Disney Cruise Line adventure!

 

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Snowflake Donations for Sandy Hook Elementary School Closed

1356804016 banner snowflakes 300x112 Snowflake Donations for Sandy Hook Elementary School Closed
Friends, I originally started writing this in hopes that you could help me help a friend who wants to help the students and families from Sandy Hook Elementary School in a unique way this New Year…by making and sending them snowflakes.

The Sandy Hook PTA wanted to create a winter wonderland for the kids when they return back to school they needed a lot of snowflakes. However, as I was just about to send this plea to you, I found this on their website:

“…with regret we must close the snowflake project to further donations. Please take this idea and your snowflakes and create a winter wonderland of your own in your community as a show of solidarity for our Newtown families. Please share your winter wonderlands with us. We would love to share your pictures with the families of Sandy Hook and all the other participating communities. Also please read the message below from the PTA of the Sandy Hook Elementary School for another wonderful way to help. Thank you for your heartfelt and amazing creations and for all of your magnificent notes and kind wishes for the Newtown community.

A Message from the PTA of Sandy Hook Elementary School

On behalf of the Sandy Hook Elementary School PTA, we would like to thank everyone for their contributions of snowflakes. These wonderfully artistic and heartfelt creations will be used to decorate the halls of Sandy Hook School at Chalk Hill, as well as other community locations around Newtown.

For those of you who would like to do more to honor the memory of our students and staff, we encourage schools to consider adopting Sandy Hook Elementary School’s Project Eagle community service effort and adapting it locally.

Project Eagle is a group that was formed in 2011 under the direction of Principal Dawn Hochsprung. (You can read more about Project Eagle on the Sandy Hook Elementary School website.)

OTHER WAYS TO HELP SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Coins for Sandy Hook:
Students can collect spare change to support their peers at Sandy Hook. Other fundraising ideas include Walk- A -Thons, Spirit Days, Pajamas Days, etc. Please send contributions to “Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund” by February 14, 2013.

Ongoing Fundraising Efforts.
Additional fundraising ideas include Walk- A -Thons, Spirit Days, Pajamas Days, etc. Donations unrelated to specific events are also being accepted for the “Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund”. Checks should be payable to CT PTSA Sandy Hook Fund and mailed to Connecticut PTSA, 3000 Whitney Avenue, Suite 121, Hamden, CT 06518. These funds are air marked for longer term needs to be determined.

Mail donations to: Connecticut PTSA, 3000 Whitney Avenue, Suite 121, Hamden, CT 06518 . Phone: 203-281-6617

My friend Julie, who originally sent me the request for snowflake help, made a really interesting comment:It may not be what we would want to do to help the community heal from their loss, but at least they families and children will see that people do care and want to help.

This struck me in a powerful way. If this is what they actually want, then who am I to do something else? While of course money and prayers are appreciated and necessary, it’s important that we meet their actual request and not simply do what makes us feel better.

I hope this will not only help encourage discussions & actions within your own family, but will also help keep the memory alive of those who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook tragedy.

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Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy

PinExt Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy
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pin it button Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy
I just had to share this girls Indian costume that was homemade by her daddy for her school’s colonial days this week.

When we saw the emails about needing colonial costumes for our kids, I immediately panicked. I’m not exactly what you’d call “crafty”, so to be honest, I ignored it initially. But after constant questions from my type-A first born about all the necessary requirements for her to be a historically correct Natchez Indian (and my Kindergartener’s adamant insisting that he wanted to be George Washington), I couldn’t sit back any longer.

I was comforted by her 2nd grade teacher yesterday after school who assured us we didn’t have to spend money on an actual costume. And I also figured that Britton’s old Captain Hook costume could adequately double as a George Washington costume (though it’s a 2-3 and we’ll have to cover up the pirate icon with an American flag icon wink Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy

So we armed ourselves with the 20% off Michaels coupon this week and invested about $5 in a large white adult t-shirt and some wooden beads.

My handy husband took the shirt and notched all around the collar (being careful not to cut through the seam) and did the same with the sleeves to create fringe.

He also cut about 3 inches up all along the bottom hem to create larger trim. He then took the wooden beads and alternated colors and which fringe he chose to decorate, simply tying a knot at the bottom of the fringe he threaded the beads through.

We paired it with a fake leather belt I bought at H&M years ago and we’ll stick her hair in braids and VOILA! instant Indian princess!

Here is the final result!
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20120413 074858 Girls Indian Costume Homemade by DaddyPinExt Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy

UPDATE: It’s been a year, but Kariss wanted to dress like an Indian for a Thanksgiving party at church, and I love how she paired it with jeggings, moccasin boots and a feather in her hair:

IMG 7548 178x300 Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy
PinExt Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy

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PinExt Girls Indian Costume Homemade by Daddy


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Office Depot Back to School Penny Saver Deals: July 22-28, 2012

 office depot logo Office Depot Back to School Penny Saver Deals: July 22 28, 2012The Office Depot Back to School Deals continue this week with some more penny saver deals. These Office Depot supplies run for the week of July 22- 28, 2012.

Back to School Deals

· 10 cent protractor

· 10 cent ruler

· 50 cent glue sticks

· 50 cent BIC correction tape

· 50 cent poly binder

Plus, if you shop online through Ebates, you’ll get an extra 2% cash back!

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There’s no crying in car line!

Just dropped my kids off for school, barely on time, and now I’m pulled over in the parking lot sobbing like a baby.

It could be because I had to drive like a banshee to get there and then broke the rules somehow and didn’t drop them off in the right place, which led me to be reprimanded by the headmaster who is helping outside. It brought me back to that junior high, called into the principals office kind of feeling, but I never got called into the principals office, so could it even be that?

Is it just a release of emotions that is long overdue? Even as I just wrote those words the tears started flowing again, so maybe that’s it.

There has been so much going on for the past few weeks, trying to get back into a normal routine, while still not really understanding what normal is at this point.

In recent days, a lot of things that we have taken for granted as being a part of our lives have come into question, and perhaps I have not paused long enough to reflect on the impact that has had on my emotions and my family.

So here I sit, with a stuffed up nose and red eyes, desperately trying to pull myself together before I show up at the radio station, yet crying more every time I think about trying to stop.

I realize I cry more easily than most, but it’s not often that I cannot even tell you why I’m crying. In fact I’m thinking about deleting this post altogether, but that wouldn’t be very authentic now, would it?

So if you actually took the time to read this, please don’t feel sorry for me, just know that I needed to talk to someone, but didn’t think I could actually collect myself for long enough to carry on a conversation, so instead I decided to have one with you.

Am I alone here, or has anyone else ever felt this way too???

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The Last First Day of Kindergarten: Tommy Nelson Blog Sept

I’m back on the Tommy Nelson blog in September with my newest post, “The Last First Day of Kindergarten“!

Every month, us “Tommy Mommies” will share around a different topic that’s important to us at that time; this month we’re each discussing …Back to School! Whether you’ve just sent your last child off to college, put a child in pre-school for the first time, or are still at this moment debating whether public, private or homeschool is the right choice for you, I think you’ll learn a lot from what everyone has to share in the coming days…
246 225x300 The Last First Day of Kindergarten: Tommy Nelson Blog SeptToday marked the last FIRST day of Kindergarten for me.

Huh?

I know – I was a little confused when I heard it too. But as I was driving both my kids to their first day of school, I received a call from one of my closest friends here in Nashville. As I was debating whether or not to rush meet her at the gym after dropping my kids off at school, she chimed in and said, “Take the day off and take your time with them. After all, this is your last first day of Kindergarten.” Continue reading

Tommy Mommy yellow The Last First Day of Kindergarten: Tommy Nelson Blog Sept

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Office Depot Back to School Deals: Week of August 28

 

office depot logo Office Depot Back to School Deals: Week of August 28The Office Depot Back to School Deals continue this week with some more penny saver deals. These Office Depot supplies run for the week of August 28, 2011.

Penny Deal

·         Slider Pencil Box

Other Back to School Deals

  • Fiskars Student Scissor (1 dollar)
  • Mechanical Pencil (1 dollar)
  • 2PK Paper Towel (1 dollar)

I’m still working with some of my favorite frugal bloggers to bring you all the best Back to School Deals for every store, so keep checking back!

Plus, if you shop online through ShopatHome.com, you’ll get an extra 7% cash back.

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Office Depot Back to School Deals August 21-27

 

office depot logo Office Depot Back to School Deals August 21 27The Office Depot Back to School Deals continue this week with some more penny saver deals. These Office Depot supplies run from August 14-20, 2011.

Penny Deals

·         1 subject note books (1 cent)

·         Office Depot Eraser Caps (1 cent)

Other Back to School Deals

·         Scholastic glue sticks (50 cents)

·         Ream of paper (50 Cents) After MIR

·         Vinyl binder (50 cents)

·         Purell (50 cents)

·         3pk High Lighter (50 cents)

 

I’m still working with some of my favorite frugal bloggers to bring you all the best Back to School Deals for every store, so keep checking back!

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