Thursday, June 28

Adventures in Being a Nanny: The Crayon Edition

Hey Everybody,

For those who didn't know, I am nannying three adorable little girls, Leila (8), Kiana (4), and Alana (1)! (And mom said sure you can brag about them on the blog!) I get to watch them for the entire summer! I'm loving it thus far! The kids are a lot of fun to be around and they make my life more active and interesting!

One day, the girls and I decided to make some crayons! I got the idea from one of my Facebook friends as well as looking on Pinterest.  In all honesty, I'm not sure what us nannys did before Pinterest... it really is a life savor!

First of all, we bought a bunch of crayons and peeled off the paper.  The girls put the paper into a dish for easy clean up:) 

 Then we put them into a muffin tin.  (We greased the muffin tin before we put the crayons in.) The girls put in a variety of different colors.  We each had a row.  Kiana's is the far left, then mine, then Leila's and then Ella's.  (Ella is Leila's friend.) 

  Leila put in all blue, while I put in random colors.  Kiana put in lots of pink and bright colors and Ella added lots of complementary colors.   This process took us a little while...because tiny fingers take sometime to work. 

Then I threw the crayons in the oven for 8 minutes on 250 degrees.  Afterwards, we took them out and noticed that the crayons were all melted. 

To make things interesting, I mixed some of the colors so they swirled around!

I let them dry for about 15 minutes.  Once they were done, I tipped over the muffin tray and the crayons fell out naturally! This is what they looked like!

This set was mine! 

Here they all are in a row!

And we had awesome crayons!

The kids loved this project! It was very easy to do.  It doesn't cost much (for us it did because we bought the big crayon pack for 6.00)  We talked about the states of matter and how when something becomes warm it melts and when something cools off it becomes hard.  A great lesson for a kindergartener! For Leila (who's in 4th grade), we talked about monotone and complementary colors and how different colors combine make different arrangements.  Since she's interested in art, I thought it was a great way to introduce her to art vocabulary! 

The only downside about the crayons is they tend to shed and are they are a little difficult to write with.  However, get past those two things, and they are awesome crayons!



Tuesday, June 26

The Decorations Keep on Coming!

 Hey Followers!

My mother is a SAINT! She fixed up the basement for me.  Remember when it flooded and looked like crap? Well...she got things neatly packed and ready to go! Isn't she the greatest?

I'm getting closer to being ready for VBS...all this work for ONE WEEK...wait until I have an entire classroom to work! I'm collecting toilet paper tubes so the kids can make sea creatures! If you have any to spare, please let me know!

Our fish are finished! Here's a final look at them!

A better view of them... we are going to hang them up in the classroom!

Here's the octopus...which is the VBS main mascot.  Although ours does not look like the actual mascot...we still have an octopus in our classroom.  We made it out of felt (eyes) and ribbon (legs.) Thanks Resurrection for lending us the bean bag (it might not come back...I really like this bean bag...)

Thanks to Mary Kay...I have a little center activity the kids can play with when they arrive at VBS! It's extremely cute! I was caught playing with it for a long period of time;) Thanks Mary Kay for letting me borrow this!

Mom made clouds for the sky.  I'm so proud of her...she went for a drive and looked at the shading.  Then she experimented with the shading and made these awesome clouds! Go mom!

Meanwhile, I've been working on my felt boards.  I'm getting closer! I have only 3 more animals to cut out and then I can work on the people.  If you know anybody with generic people I can use please let me know! Otherwise, I'm going to be cutting them up by hand.   This is one of the scenes we will be looking at: Jesus helping the fishermen catch fish! (Not finished yet...they will have clothes on!)

Here are some of the animals I cut... the lions are awesome! book came in! I'm so excited! I'll be reading this book to my kids.  We will be talking about the importance of sharing and so forth.  We will be making our own Rainbow Fish too!

See you soon!



Sunday, June 24

What Will We Do in VBS? (An Ocean in a Bottle!)

Greetings Friends!

The days to VBS are beginning to get closer and closer...only about three weeks left before we transform OSJ into an ocean!! My mother has finished her work.  I will be posting the final pictures of her decorations later in the week.  I thank everybody who has helped my mom and I prep for the decorations. 

But is my turn to show you what I am planning on doing with the kids during the week of VBS!  I am going to show you one of the science projects: making an ocean in a soda bottle.  The purpose of this project is to get the kids to think about what an ocean looks like, as well as what goes into the ocean, waves in the ocean and more!

You won't get to see every single activity until after VBS has finished.  However, I needed to experiment with this particular project because I wanted to make sure it worked. 

This particular project was from the creative juices of Kristina Hacker---thanks for the inspiration!

1 clear bottle
food coloring
olive oil
glitter (several colors)
hot glue gun

First, gather all of the supplies!

Fill a little over half of the bottle up with water.  Dye it blue.

Add sea rocks and glitter! (It is important to do this step before the olive oil goes in, otherwise it won't mix.) Shake it up!

Add the olive oil to make...

Hot glue the bottle cap onto the bottle.  (Obviously the kids will not do this step.  I will do it during my prep time!) Then rotate sideways to see the end result! Here's my mom holding up the final product! You can't see the glitter too well in this photo, but believe can in real life! I will have my actual camera charged so you can see the kids work this July! (Oh darn- you have to come visit my blog again in a few weeks!)

Then you can tilt it to make waves.  We can have so many great discussions about the ocean, gravity, mixing chemicals and more!!!

I am happy with the final product.  Now that I did it, I can make a few modifications so the kids can be successful with this project too! I will have funnels for the kids to use when pouring water and oil.  I will also have glitter in salt and pepper shakers.

Thanks for viewing! See you soon!



Tuesday, June 19

More VBS Planning!

Hey Gang,

The past two days have been HORRIBLE! Our basement flooded! We had about an inch of water in my craft room and a good portion in my mom's area.  I lost some, scrapbook paper...but the nearest and dearest were the things I made for Holy Family School.  This is sad because I put 8 weeks into those things and now they are result... my craft room is a MESS!  Today we (aka my mom and I) pulled out all of the carpet.  My wrists hurt like mad, but at least the smelly carpet is gone! For now, everything is up high and away from the ground!

but thankfully... the ark survived!  Here is the finished piece!


Yes the ark...the one for SNC VBS!  Mom and I finished it and put it in the basement for safe keeping! Thank God we had it on the pool table and not on the ground like we originally planned...

We also have been die-cutting like mad! We went through 3 different mats creating fish die-cuts for the VBS program.  Here are some pictures of what we created! All of these fish will be hung up in my classroom.  (We also made some other die-cuts for the main room at OSJ too, but these are specifically mine because I am going to laminate them!) They will be posted on bright blue paper! 

Fish from "Life's a Beach"

a closer look.  To make these, I have to cut the yellow and pink parts by themselves.  Then I have to glue them on! You can see my crappy glue job if you look closely enough.  Don't blame me--blame Michael Weston, as I was watching the best season of Burn Notice on DVD at the time! (BTW-that is Season 5!)

Crabs and Lobsters, from the cartridge "From Ma's Kitchen" 

A sea turtle from "Stretch Your Imagination"

Sea Horses from "Life's a Beach."

The "Jesus Fish" from "The New Testament." Mom added the eyes to them!

Shark from "Life's a Beach."

Fish from "Ocean of Words." (Mom put the eyes on with gems found in the basement! I'm not sure what project Resurrection needed the gems for, but they helped make this fish look AWESOME!)

Mom made these by herself...she blew balloons, did some paper mache and then painted them!  To pop the balloons inside she added feathers, which also serve as nice fins! Add some eyes to the front and you got yourself a pretty sweet looking fish! She's very proud of them! I'm not sure how we are going to hang them up yet, but we shall see!

We have a few more in progress...

The lonely pink one...

I'm going to find a spot to cool AC=hot house:(


Saturday, June 16

Vacation Bible School Preperation Part 1,000

Greetings Friends!

Now that I am done with student teaching (I'm still really excited about this ordeal), I have been having my sights on the summer. 

This summer, I have successfully managed to implement myself into Old Saint Joe's VBS program.  I say it that way because from the sounds of what I was able to talk to with Kerry, nobody really knew what was going on with replacing Peg.  And since nobody was there yet to replace Peg, nobody knew if there was going to be a VBS this up coming summer.  Therefore, my mom and I figured that whoever was new would probably not want the two ladies responsible for having the church parlor repainted on the crew again.   We totally understood if that was the case.  I mean, we did manage to successfully destroy the parlor's paint with our awesome cafe awing.

Then one day, I was looking for Jennifer, and I met Eileen.  She is in charge of the VBS program.  We hit it off and I found myself telling my mom we were doing VBS again.  Mom's pretty excited.   We were even more excited about doing VBS when we discovered that we are doing the same layout again: I have preschoolers and get the parlor (which looks so much better with it's beautiful tan paint--no thanks to us!)

I created the program for the Preschoolers and mom did the decorations.  This is what we have so far:

Part of the program is telling the bible stories.  Since I don't have books about all of the bible stories they are looking for, I am making a felt board.   I bought the board, but I HAND MADE the rest of the little items.  I did this by drawing (or tracing) an object onto a piece of felt.  Then I cut it out extremely carefully.   This is only some of the things I have made thus far.  I have also made a cow, pig, dark clouds, lighting, land and a horse.  Can you tell what story I am going to tell by looking at this picture?

Since our adventure is underwater, mom and I bought 9 table cloths.  We are going to put them up around the room, so it looks like water.  We are going to die-cut fish and other underwater creatures with our Cricuts. (Those are die-cut machines, in case you were wondering!)

To make seaweed, we are going to cut these up!

This is our octopus.  Thanks to Resurrection for lending us the bean bag.  Mom's going to make eyes and legs with felt pieces.  She will then pin them to this awesome bean bag.  We also bought a 1.00 inflatable to put in the classroom as well!

Here are some more supplies.  The kids are going to make a dove, so that's what the feathers are going to be used for! 

My friend Kristina suggested for the kids to go fishing, just like James and John do in one of the Bible stories.  Therefore, we picked up a pool (that we are going to fill up with water!) 

Then we had to make fish.  We bought two types of balls: waffle and ping pong balls.  Mom spray painted them so they were colorful.  The kids will practice fishing them out of water for our drama time!

 My friend Leah came up with this idea: create Angel Fish Sand Art.   Sand is a great tool to use and I can't wait for the kids to use it! We bought salt and pepper shakers to limit how much sand comes out of the bottle and onto the paper too! This way, Facilities isn't down my back for having "too much fun" at VBS!

 To store some free choice activities, mom picked me up a treasure chest.  Originally, she wanted me to sit on this thing.  I said I was too fat to do such a task.  (It's pure plastic, a 3 year old would break it!) Therefore Resurrection is lending us a more suited treasure chest to do the job.  

Last, but not least, our greatest idea is the ark.  I dreamed it; mom built it.  We are going to put this in the corner of the classroom.  The kids can sit in the "ark area" to do their free choice activities once they are done with their projects.  We have currently finished the big ark.  Now we have to built a third wall and transport it!  It is hard to appreciate the fullness of how awesome this idea us, but believe will look EPIC in the classroom!

VBS is in less than a month... it's going to be a very exciting and creative adventure for all of us!  During VBS week, I will be posting almost daily to show what the kids are doing each day! I can't wait to show you! I've worked very hard developing a creative program and want to share it with others! Be jealous you aren't 3 years old and signed up for Vacation Bible School! ....OSJ won't know what hit them:)


Sunday, June 10

Good Bye Hemlock Creek Hello...

Hello Everybody!

I am so excited to say good-bye to Hemlock Creek.  I finished my time there on a high note.  I'll miss the kids and the school, but I am looking forward to my new adventures.

The new adventure is me going to my new job...a 3-5K position in Janesville, WI!

Yes that's right, Janesville, WI! I am aware it is a very long commute from Resurrection, my piano studio, St. Joe's... but you know, a girls' gotta do what a girl's gotta do to get a job!  I'm very excited to start!

As to prepare for my move to Janesville, I went apartment shopping with Meredith and Leah.  We visited a few places.  One place I was banking on: they were kind and helpful, but it wasn't the most secure place in town, however this was the place that "felt right." The landlord is very nice, Pickles is welcomed with open arms, and it is very close to the school! Plus...I get TWO bedrooms for the price of ONE!

Here are some photos of where I will be living in the upcoming months...:) 


My future studio for crafting!

 My kitchen! I get a stove and fridge!

More of the beautiful view! does NOT do justice! I get an old fashioned tub!

The hallway... photo is taken in the living room!

And here's the exterior!

It's perfect for me! My lease starts on July 1st, however I will not be moving in right away! However, I will start the moving process July 1st, 2012. I will be needing everybody's help in finding cheap and reasonable furniture! Please add a comment or email me if you have anything you are willing to give up! I'm looking for lots of things! I'll be posting a wish list soon!

Much <3