Why I Advocate for Valentine’s, Holiday, and Birthday Parties at School

Valentines Party treats

I know a lot of you are cursing the decorated shoeboxes on your tables right now. Your kids might be out cold, napping their Valentine’s parties off. Or, maybe, they’re outside running laps around the dog, spazzing from all the sugar and artificial dyes, tunneling their way through the snow to China, who knows. I [...]

School Holiday Performances 2013

Eighth grade holiday performance 2013

Yesterday we had quite the busy day with holiday performances. My first grader’s performance was at 6:30pm, and I had to have my eighth grader back at his school five minutes away at 6:50pm for his 7:10 band performance at the junior high. While that was happening, my husband, first grader, and a couple kids [...]

Storybook Character Dress-Up Day at School

Brother Bear costume

When I was a child, we used to be able to dress up on Halloween. I specifically recall in 5th or 6th grade dressing up and “trick or treating” to the classes in a parade like fashion. Over the years, though, it’s changed. Dramatically. Heck, there are hardly Halloween parties in school anymore, let alone [...]

Fun at the Bike Rodeo

zig-zag cones

Every year the elementary school puts on a “Bike Rodeo” to help ensure the kids are safe when riding their bikes. They ensure their tires are inflated properly, and look good, that their helmets fit well, and that they ride safely, teaching hand signals and testing their abilities. It is so sweet and adorable to [...]

My Trick to Ending Backpack Clutter

End Backpack Clutter

After getting SO TIRED of seeing my kids’ backpacks and stuff sprawled all over my front entry way area, like this: I tried using a storage ottoman at the front. While it hid the kids’ backpacks nicely, it took up way too much room, as it was too wide and stuck out pretty far from [...]

Tips on How to Take Your Own School Pictures (and Have Fun Doing It)

Baby Sis new fall 2013 picture

We’ve hardly wiped the sleep from our eyes from the summer yet, and we’re already hip-deep in three school fundraisers, and school pictures were yesterday. What. I mean, holy cow, people. The school’s not messin’ around anymore. No dilly-dallying anymore, it’s game ON, people. Game-freaking-on. Yet again this year, in the flurry and over-abundance of [...]

New School Year Celebration Printable for Nervous Jitters

new school year printable with glitter

Even if your child is well-seasoned in going off to school, whether they’re in fourth or twelfth, there’s bound to be some first day of school jitters. (I remember them well.) Will they like their teacher/s? Will school be much harder this year? Will their friends be in their classes? Even my outgoing fourth grader [...]

Back to School Reading with Tony Baloney School Rules

reading a book with her brother

This post is sponsored by Scholastic. This year is my daughter’s second year of school. She’s gotten her initial paranoia out of the way last year with kindergarten (I hope, gulp!), but this mom is still borderline (cue Madonna song here). New teacher, new class, new grade.. will she be okay? Will it start like [...]

Fun Owl Themed Teacher Gifts

owl themed teacher gift

The second we learned my daughter was enrolled into the “Owl Class” for kindergarten, I immediately started bookmarking cool, owl themed things to do and make for her class, especially some fun owl themed teacher gifts. Because OMG how cute are owls!? And HOLY COW, there are SO many owl things everywhere! Who knew how [...]

Happiness is ______ {Week Twenty-Three} #happinessis

new family portrait

2013 is going to be a fantastic year – a year where we collectively focus on the happy and the joy in our lives. What makes you happy? What is it that you do that you can’t get enough of? What makes your soul shine, your eyes beam, and your insides sparkle? Happiness is so [...]

Happiness is ______ {Week Twenty-Two} #happinessis

britax b-ready baby

2013 is going to be a fantastic year – a year where we collectively focus on the happy and the joy in our lives. What makes you happy? What is it that you do that you can’t get enough of? What makes your soul shine, your eyes beam, and your insides sparkle? Happiness is so [...]

Happiness is ______ {Week Five} #happinessis

being owl leader

2013 is going to be a fantastic year – a year where we collectively focus on the happy and the joy in our lives. What makes you happy? What is it that you do that you can’t get enough of? What makes your soul shine, your eyes beam, and your insides sparkle? Happiness is so [...]

DIY School Paper Holder and Glittery Clipboard

diy school paper holder

Paper clutter is taking over my life! It’s mind-blowing just how much paper the kids bring home to me daily, on top of the junk mail and all the other crazy stuff kicking around. I knew I needed a solution, particularly for the mounds of school-related paperwork that get placed onto surfaces and then scattered [...]

Cosmic or Divine Intervention? Take Two


Good gravy, people. Yesterday, something happened that gave me chills. Something that practically mirrored what happened almost two years ago, when I wrote a story about a chain of events that happened that made me question my beliefs on whether or not something else is truly “out there.” Divine intervention, if you will. This story begins [...]

Grief-Stricken, Helping Newtown, and Saying Thank You


Today’s alarm was a cruel one. Monday mornings are always particularly tougher than any other day of the week, specifically because it comes on the heels of two straight days of a little freedom and some extra shut-eye. The routine is back in session, work will commence, kids will go back to class and have [...]

The Day After

brothers sisters

I peered across the street at the gaggle of excited-to-go-home elementary schoolers skip-walking on the sidewalk with teacher aides to navigate safely. Among them was a child who resembled my daughter, but with pink leggings instead of the bedazzled skirt I had sent her in. She skipped similarly, appeared to have the same hair bow [...]

Parents, Please Read: Your Kids Are Going Hungry

are school kids hungry at lunch

I’m not even sure where to begin with this post, so bear with me while I battle to get this all out. I began this school year like any other, with excited kids and coffee-propelled abilities to orchestrate my children out the door on time in their shiny new duds. I promised this year I’d stay on top [...]

I Said the F Word Eighteen Times, and Daylight Savings Can Suck It


My texts to husband-type-person this morning were not happy ones. Eigh. Teen. Times. I said the F word to him in texts. I know, what a potty mouth, that’s sooo bad. But look, when I, myself, get up ON TIME and go to fix my beloved coffee, realizing that it’s still dark upstairs, that means my [...]

When Parents are Like Umbrellas


The past week has been a flurry of activity, swirling around us like a dust cloud. I haven’t been as faithful to our family walks and staying active, and I have generally felt bogged down, burdened with the weight of the world seemingly pressing down onto me. Despite the overcast day and cool temperatures, today [...]

Operation Awesome School Lunch, Week 4

enchiladas corn bread

Week four was quite the exciting one! We had LOTS of cool, different goodies for the kids to feast on this week. Take a look at our menu this week: Lots of tasty, tasty things there, eh? After having tortilla soup for dinner on a cold, rainy Sunday, warm baked cheeseburger wraps were easy enough to [...]

Back to School, Back to Me

prettied me

I will readily admit I was vehemently against sending the kids back to school. I loved our lazy summer mornings, unlimited in-bed tickling wars chock-filled with wet bathing suits everywhere, squealing happy and tanned-skin kids, and a momma without a crazy, schedule-filled calendar of extra curriculars. I dreaded the 5:45am alarm for this year with [...]

Operation Awesome School Lunch, Week 3

pizza grilled cheese sandwich

This was a weird week, friends. This was my first week NOT posting everyday what we did, and somehow that screwed up SO MUCH for me. I completely forgot to take pictures of Thursday’s “Taco Macaroni” school lunch, and Monday’s pictures were craptastic. What the hey? The good news is, we started using new lunchboxes [...]

Operation Awesome School Lunch, Day 9

homemade pizza and vegetables for school lunch

**Important!** Question for those of you following along with my lunch-making series: Do you find posting everyday is beneficial to you? Or do you choose to check the main page instead at your leisure? I enjoy posting these for you everyday, giving you the updates, etc., but I’m concerned that maybe it’s clogging up my [...]

Today, I Broke Down and Gave In


The past two weeks of “back-to-school” have been particularly tough for me, watching my kindergartner go off the first time, my oldest son practicing at 6:15am for (TEXAS!!) tackle football for his new-to-him junior high, getting used to the 5:45am alarm clock, 18-hour days, cooking spectacular lunches, all with a teething infant and a smidgeon [...]

Operation Awesome School Lunch, Day 7

beef ravioli and meatball lunch

Woo! We’ve been at this a full seven days! One week of awesome school lunches, wahoo! Day 6 went over mostly well. The kids loved partaking in chicken bacon ranch quesadillas for lunch, but my kindergartner barely ate her lunch, spending too much time using the restroom and not enough time eating, even if I [...]

Operation Awesome School Lunch, Day 6

chicken bacon ranch quesadillas bento lunch

Today was a rough one, folks. As much as we looked forward to the Labor Day holiday weekend, we knew after three days of remembering how it felt to sleep in, getting up for school would suck. And oh, did it ever suck. Thankfully, we planned accordingly for this week’s menu, and scheduled dinners to [...]

Operation Awesome School Lunch, Day 5

sub sandwich bento

Day 4 may have been my kids’ favorite yet. I’m not 100% sure, I didn’t come right out and ask which was their favorite yet (planned to tonight after they got home), but each and every one of them could not stop raving about their Pizzadillas and how cool they were. Recall, we had to switch [...]