Category Archives: family

Clean up 2017

Can you hear the song?

Here’s a link to help you…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY-H2WGThc8

My NEW YEAR’S Mantra!

CLEAN UP!   CLEAN UP!

I LOVE to start the NEW YEAR with cleanliness!

NO ...I AM NOT  OCD ( quite the opposite ).

I like to start the year off with a clean slate…

doesn’t always stay that way!

So here I  go!

MY Closet! 

ICK!

Keeping these…pants together..skirts…etc

Hubby even did his shoes! 🙂

Pile to GO!
Cleaned out my closet…found my LOST slippers!

YIPPEY!

Pile of unneeded hangers!

Gave some of them away with donated clothes.

Kept some…yes..I got rid of the WIRE HANGERS!

HAHAHAHAHA

So I am DONATING 2 bags of 

“UNUSED” clothes & shoes

( Doesn’t fit, holes, haven’t worn, aren’t going to wear…)

to Goodwill.

Have you tried this COOL  closet  trick?

Take ALL of your hangers and turn them 

BACKWARDS!

As you wear something…

turn the hanger forwards.

Next year…

ANY hanger still turned backwards…

YOU HAVE NOT WORN IN ONE YEAR!

DONATE  IT to someone who will!

The Christmas Decor!

I LOVE my Christmas tree.

I turn on the lights, sit in the dark, and watch it twinkle!

But…it has been up since November.

( Yes, before THANKSGIVING!)

I didn’t have Thanksgiving at MY house..so..

UP WENT THE CHRISTMAS DECOR!

Makes me happy!

But…Time to “CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP!”

Gma loves help! Such a decorator!

It takes a LONG time to put ornaments away!

You have to touch each one…remember when or where you got it…

the memories are sometimes OVERWHELMING..

Sniff..sniff..giggle..giggle

We started this years ago…

When we travel, or have a special place…

we buy an ornament.

Check out my UPDATED post on 

“In Life…there is NO “Do OVER!”

Newest member of my snowman ornament collection.
Don’t forget the year!
Little sister got married  in HAWAII!

We were ALL there!

So FUN!

and last…

ME!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions…

I don’t need ANOTHER thing to worry about!

But..

I have changed my eating habits!

( Lost 32  pounds …so far )

YEAH!!!

My new favorite “treat”…

APPLES & Peanut Butter!

But wait!

 Isn’t Peanut Butter FATTENING??????

Here’s my SECRET..

Slice apples ( I buy mine pre packaged & sliced ). 🙂

Put them single layer on a plate.

Put 1 Tablespoon ( Yes I measure ) peanut butter in a small zip-lock bag.

Close bag. Microwave PB ( mine about 20 seconds).

Snip ( tech term) the corner off of the bottom of the PB bag.

DRIZZLE over apples!

It’s like FROSTING the cake!

* UPDATE…  You CAN use PB.

BUT…

My newest LOVE

PB2.

Powdered Peanuts…NO  FAT!

Mix 2 TBL powder with 1 TBL  water!

PRESTO!

PB  with NO  FAT!

I LOVE LOVE  LOVE  the PB2 with CHOCOLATE!

CAN YOU SAY…  REESES???

I have it on my toast in the AM.

So…I am beginning my

CLEAN UP 

mode.

I should start on the kitchen cabinets, or the bathroom…..

I think I hear 

APPLES & PB

calling me!

Happy New Year’s,  my friends!

Cookie Exchange…cheater! ME!

Each December our family has a cookie exchange.

You bring 1-2 dozen cookies.

You take home a variety of cookies…

as many cookies as you brought.

Here are some of the cookies made from years past:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AUIVybs91IafbDtkvVkRjnAtfnqJIhGchljvrBWewHyUgeExB8-nPHU/

and these

And so…

those of you who know me…

I don’t bake

well, I have..

I just don’t ENJOY it!

* I made a batch of persimmon cookies last weekend.

I felt I had to before the perimmons rotted.

YUCK!

Bad BAKER!

I gave them to the chickens!

And so…  What to take to the family cookie exchange?

Make it…..don’t BAKE it!

TA DA!

Enter..

NUTTER  BUTTER  REINDEER!

Check out my COOKIE Pinterest board for MORE ideas!

And so…

Will it be a Pinterest SUCCESS?

or

A Pinterest FAIL?

Here we go!

Supplies.

Lay out the Nutter Butters.

Break the pretzels into antlers.

Mix powdered sugar into

ROYAL  FROSTING.

(It dries like CEMENT…it holds everything!)

I think ..

PINTEREST  SUCCESS!

The grandkids LOVE them!

So was I a COOKIE EXCHANGE cheater?

Maybe. But you know what?

The smiles & hugs made it ALL worth while!

Merry Christmas!

In LIFE…there is NO “DO OVER”

In LIFE…there is NO “DO OVER”

Happy Holidays, my friends!

I just spent 2 1/2 HOURS…yes, hours…
putting up our
CHIRSTMAS  TREE!

Wendy….
WHY SO LONG?
Because.
My Christmas tree is NOT a
MARTHA STEWART tree.
It doesn’t match.
It doesn’t have a “theme”.
It is MY  family’s legacy.
It is a timeline of our life.
AND I CHERISH EVERY MOMENT!
I cried.
I giggled.
I remembered moments from years past.
My hubby kept coming into the living room
wondering what was taking so long.
Then…he would look an an ornament and say..
“Do you remember…?”
Yes!  I DO!
As I look through the ornament box,
my heart swells with happiness.
THAT, my friends, is what
CHRISTMAS is ALL about.
I collect ornaments!
I search them out EVERYWHERE we go!
I buy them for MY kids and MY grandkids!
ALWAYS…date the back!
Doesn’t seem important now…IT WILL BE LATER!
If you can’t find ornaments…key chains work fantastic!
Scavenge the “AFTER CHRISTMAS” sales!
Christmas boutiques, & craft sales!
It’s about a memory.
I never want to FORGET!
IN  LIFE…there is NO “DO OVER”.
There are “second chances”…but they are
DIFFERENT!
Here is a little “smattering” of my
Christmas Tree!
A cruise hubby & I took to the Caribbean.
The first ship I had ever been on!
After 10 months on fertility drugs…BABY on the way!
This was the first ornament I ever bought with a baby on it!
We didn’t know if it was a boy or girl.
Ended up being twin boys!
32 years ago & still cry at this one!
Happy tears!
Yes…I have the first 5 years for ALL of my kids!
We are blessed with 4 kids & 5 grandchildren.
Hubby’s FAVORITE!
JAWS FAN!
A trip to EUROPE with my mom & sisters!
4 California girls to England, Ireland, & Scotland!
We found our ancestor’s farm!
My auntie ( now 90 ) made this for me
when I was 5. ( 48 yrs ago ).
Very precious.
At the TOP of our tree.
The last remaining ornament HANDMADE by my grandmother.
My parents house burned to the ground 30 years ago.
In the attic were ALL of my MOM’s Christmas ornaments!
GONE!  Luckily, I had one from MY grandma.
Sniff…sniff…memories!
You think those little strings of popcorn won’t last?
Hubby’s from PRESCHOOL!
1965!
(It used to be much longer…I wrap it in tissue every year!)
For your kids…
If they play sports…get them a sports ornament
EVERY  YEAR!
There will come a day…when they won’t play!
Remember all the fun times!
KEY  CHAINS   MAKE  ORNAMENTS!
My little sis got remarried on the beach in HAWAII!
The WHOLE family went!
We went snorkeling and saw the SEA TURTLES!
FUN TIMES!
My son’s favorite sport ( He wrote this when he was 10 ).
He is now in the US NAVY!
I wonder if ALL the practices & games helped him get ready for LIFE?
YES!
My first trip to the EAST COAST!
We toured from NEW YORK to NEW HAMPSHIRE.
Stayed at the BEST B&B in Plymouth BAY!
TEACHERS!!!!
Yes…those  “SILLY”  classroom ornaments
DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
AND…GLITTER  MATTERS!
A plastic lid…some glitter…and  a picture!
Circa  1992.
So here is a “SMATTERING”
of
MY LIFE!
It’s  PERFECT for ME!
Remember..
IN LIFE…there is NO “DO OVER!”
Live, LAUGH, Love!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays
from
1stgradefireworks

It’s ALMOST HERE! CYBER MONDAY is ALMOST Here!!!

You know you are an online shopper when….

The  UPS  man  comes to your house daily.

You check the “package” spot on your porch, before you get out your front door key.

Your laptop automatically goes to AMAZON.

You look in the spare room, and YOU have more boxes than AMAZON!

OK.

I GIVE!

I shop. I shop well.

So…

CYBER MONDAY

is almost here!

I know there will be 

LOTS

of sales.

I am offering to help!

I am giving away a

$10

giftcard

to 

TPT!

You can spend it

ANYWHERE

you want…

might want to check out

1stgradefireworks     🙂

Short & sweet!

Nov. 26 & Nov. 27

Give from the…HEART!

Teachers  are  givers.

Kids are TOO!

We want EVERYONE  to  have 

ALL of their WISHES come true!

BUT….

So how?

How can we teach curriculum,  maintain  sanity,

and MAKE WISHES COME TRUE?

Give!

GIVE  FROM  THE  HEART!

In our classroom we  make ornaments.

NOT all of the ornaments are for CHRISTMAS.

Some of my kiddos don’t celebrate Christmas.

BUT…

They  create.  They  inspire.  They  give.

From the  Heart.

My  favorite things are HANDMADE.

( Sniff… from the heart)  🙂

Where do we get our  ” inspirations” ?

PINTEREST!

(You can follow me here…)

No stress…pictures…some directions…Ahhhhh.

My  happy  place!

Here are some of MY  favorite  ideas!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AauKHq04s3VIDuE8bceSrLCmvzxEHKxLIV9dfmZwn2y-Qrg2qgtIP88/

Popsicle  sticks! 

Glue! Paint!  Decor!

Let the imagination go!

NOT ALL OF MY KIDS MAKE THE SAME ORNAMENTS!

Let them have choice!

I show them the pictures.

 I share the BASICS.

I let them GO!

MY  choices and their choices MAY BE DIFFERENT!

Different is good! 

Give from YOUR heart!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/101260691599483836/

SALT  DOUGH!

Who doesn’t  like  DOUGH?

Squishy, squeezy  balls of  FUN?

I  LOVE  handprint ornaments.

(GMA  HERE)  🙂

Our kiddos are small for such a short time.

Make those MEMORIES!

I  bring out ALL the cookie cutters I can find, borrow, beg for.

SUGGESTIONS…

Don’t let them be too THICK.

Let them dry FOR A LONG TIME ( 3-4 days ) 

before PAINTING!

Hot glue string on the back after dry,

OR

Poke a hole on the dough with a straw BEFORE drying.

MY newest LOVE!

HANDPRINT   SNOWMEN!

ALL of MY kiddos make this one!

I make these in small groups

( I can only do 3-4 kiddos at a time)

If you have a PARENT HELPER…

this is a PERFECT craft for them!)

Paint on day 1.

DRY  day 2.

Faces ( I suggest  BLACK SHARPIES )  Day 3

Scarves  (  felt, material/ paper scraps…srapbook paper works great!)   Day  4

Let EVERYTHING DRY 

& then 

add  a  string  for  a  hanger!

BE SUPER CAREFUL when sending these home!

( No dropping )

Place in a gift bag

 ( we use hand decorated lunch bags)

with LOTS, LOTS, LOTS

of tissue !

So…we  GIVE FROM THE HEART!

It’s not about the $$ amount 

when giving.

It’s about the thought, the effort, and the LOVE

that goes into it!

Here is another gift I do FOR my kiddos.

See the blog POST here.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL Holiday SEASON!

Make memories.

Share the LOVE.

And

Give From the HEART!

Finally, It’s GARDEN time!

I hear it’s snowing on the East Coast.

(Sorry GUYS!)

Here in Northern  California…

San Joaquin Valley

GRAPE & WINE COUNRTY

We have had rain!

Finally!

If you don’t know…we are in a drought!

BUT…

It has rained ONLY ON THE WEEKENDS!

COME ON!

REALLY???

So.. FINALLY

It’s WARM!

The sun is out on  SATURDAY!

WAHOOO!!!

For hubby and I

It’s time to GARDEN!

Now every year

we start our own seeds.

Here is our newest hothouse.

(Last year we made our own…too  big!)

This year we went for a smaller version.

This way we can start seeds,

when they become seedlings we can plant the seedlings, and then,

we can start MORE!

Can you see the upside-down water bottle?

Cut off the bottom & fill..

Keep it full…humidifies the hothouse.

My own little “rainforest” 🙂

Each little “pod” has seeds ready to grow!

This year we have

tomatoes,

sunflowers,

melons,

lettuce,

cilantro,

green beans,

peppers,

watermelon,

and

nasturiums ( need flowers for BEES!)

BEES are a gardner’s friend!

We already have a few tomatoes ready, some zucchini squash, and yellow squash.

NOW WHAT?

Here are my BEFORE garden pics.

Don’t judge! 🙂

Wait until you see them LATER!

Onions are doing well…BUT the rest?

WOW! Let’s get to work!

Ick! Needs some HELP!

WAIT! That’s NOT a garden..it’s a bale of STRAW!

We are trying something new this year.

GOOGLE  “STRAW GARDEN”..

Hmm…you “condition” bales of straw for about 2 weeks

and then

PLANT RIGHT IN THE BALES!

The conditioning makes “STERILE” SOIL for the plants!

Bigger & Better yields!

We shall see.

If it works? We get more.

If NOT?  We have A LOT of compost!

Either way…we are OK!

I will let you know how it goes!

Here is some of our produce from LAST YEAR..

We shall see…

If you need some help teaching your class about

GARDENS…

Here is some help.

Available HERE.

Don’t let GMA go to the EASTER STORE!

What?

Yeah!

TRY TO STOP ME!

It’s EASTER WEEK folks!

The grandkids are coming!

I have food to make, pictures to take, baskets to prepare.

EB will do his own baskets.

These are from GMA & GPA!

I MUST GET ON PINTEREST!

Ok…BREATHE…

I started my day with coffee…relaxing…no stress!

BUT, then…

THE KIDS WILL BE HERE IN 3 DAYS!

OMG!  I Am NOT ready!

RUN!!!

So I ran screetched the wheels of the car as I drove  to the store.

Only need to..

PICK UP A “FEW” things. 🙂

( I really didn’t know what I NEEDED..until I got there!)

I got my “GOODIES” and headed home.

A few more hours until hubby gets home…

how many PINTEREST “crafts” can I do before dinner?

MANY!

So I began…

First up:

GoldFish CARROTS!

I saw these..so  cute!

So..Here I GO!

* disclaimer…Though I know carrots should be triangular..

WALLY WORLD DOESN’T HAVE

TRIANGULAR CLEAR BAGS!

so.. be flexible!

Started with “Pretzel Rod” bags..

Long & skinny for “little” hands.

I “MacGyvered” it.

(If you are too young to know who MacGyver is…GOOGLE IT!)

The toilet paper roll was too wide to be a funnel.

So I slit it down the side to shrink it.

Worked like a charm!

I can fill baggies with the rest of them!

Baggies DONE.

Added some green ribbon..

VIOLA!

Goldfish Carrots ALA GMA!

Next…

EGGS!

Filled & NAMES on them!

These are from GMA & GPA.

The EB hides his OWN!

and  LAST…

Shhhhh…Don’t tell ANYONE.

I went a “LITTLE” overboard!

Oh well!

HIPPITY, HOPPITY… EASTER’S ON IT’S WAY!

Have a Wonderful EASTER!

I know I will!

🙂