Thursday, August 30, 2012

Planning my Mom's Party

In September, my Mom will turn 60! In honor of this momentous occasion, we are throwing her a big 60th birthday bash. Don't worry, she knows about the party, so I'm not ruining any surprises since she does read my blog (hi Momma Bear!) but what she doesn't know about is the decor so I can't tell you about that yet!

Growing up my Mom always threw these really great birthday parties for my brother and I. Now, they weren't the huge crazy parties you see on TV with castle shaped bouncy houses and petting zoos. They were even better though because they were planned with lots of love and DIY details by my Momma. I can remember cute place settings at tables, games outside, fun favors, and awesome handmade cakes. My Momma's cakes are one of my fondest childhood memories. She could come up with anything for the themes we asked for.

So, now, throwing this party for my Mom is so special to me. I'm putting lots of heart into it because it's my little way of saying thank you for years of fun parties and memories to accompany them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Football Team Pride Wreath

Are you ready for some football? 
J and Noah are! And my front door is! 
I guess I am. I wrote last year about how I've come to enjoy football as an adult but mainly because of the social activities that football season brings. Well, let's add crafting to another reason of why I like football, hehe.

So, what better way to show guests exactly which team you root for than to greet them with a team pride wreath as they enter the front door?

It's easy peasy. Let's get started!

You will need:
wreath form
purple and orange yarn (or in your team colors)
wooden letters
football embellishment
glue (I used E-6000 but hot glue would work too.)
straight pins

1. Begin by pinning one color of your yarn in a starting point on your wreath form and then wrap. I wrapped mine around 25 times then I cut the yarn, pinned it and switched colors, wrapped that 25 times and kept going that way until my wreath was completely wrapped.

2. Lay out your letters and figure out exactly where you want them to go and then glue them down.

3. Add your football embellishment with glue. Originally, I had planned to use one of the wooden footballs from Michael's but after two trips where they were out of them both times, I brainstormed for an alternative. I thought of just using a clip art football that I printed out but I wasn't sure how to make it weather proof until I stumbled upon this post at The Crafty Scientist where Mel used some Modge Podge Dimensional Magic on a printed image to help it withstand weather so that's what I did.

4. Cut some additional yarn to hang your wreath with. I just did about three loops of each color of yarn and then I double pinned them in the back to insure it holds up.

5. Hang on your front door and cheer your team on! 

(Linking to the parties listed in my sidebar)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Quote of the Week: Creativity

"Creativity is God's gift to you. 
What you do with it is your gift to God."
- Unknown

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Working on the Computer

At the Open House last week at Noah's school, he had the opportunity to try out the new big screens. He's so funny - you can NOT say he is "playing on the computer." If you use the word playing, you are in big trouble! You must say he is "working on the computer" just like Granddaddy.

Working, playing; whatever you call it, I was proud watching him drag the shapes where they needed to go.

Linked to Special Exposure Wednesday at  5 Minutes for Special Needs
 Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Moms

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of 10th Grade

Despite our concerns, Noah's first day was pretty good and he came home saying he loved Mrs. H. Apparently once he realized his new class had a computer and all the same things his old class had, all was well in Noah's world again and he's looking forward to his new job of recycling. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quote of the Week: Time

"Time is the most beautiful thing a man can spend." 
- Diogenes

Friday, August 17, 2012

You Rock

A sweet friend made me this adorable little "you rock" banner. We all need reminders like this from time to time. don't we? Every time I see it, I smile.

Happy Weekend! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Open House

School starts on Monday (yay!) and today was the annual Open House at Noah's school. The classrooms are ready and open, the kids are excited to be back, and the Moms fill out a zillion forms.

Noah has had the same teacher (Mrs.F) and been in the same classroom for the past three years now. It's odd to most for that to happen because most kids get new teachers each year but sometimes that's how things work at schools for children with special needs. We just assumed that Noah would have the same teacher and be in the same class again this year so we were surprised when we checked in and found out Noah was going to be in a new class and have a new teacher, (Mrs. H) new aides, and new classmates.

We walked down to the room quietly. The new class is right by his old class, in fact they are connected by a bathroom. His old teacher was actually in there at the moment talking to Mrs. H and he was so excited to see her. I tyhink she could tell that we all looked a little disoriented and she asked if we realized that this move was a promotion. We did not! She said that it was indeed a promotion, moving him to a class where he'd have more responsibilities and opportunities.

Noah's school is big on giving all the high school age kids "jobs" in the school to teach them life and work skills they can use in the future since most of these kids will not be going on to pursue higher education. For example, one of Noah's jobs in the past was attendance taker - he would go to all the classrooms and gather the attendance cards and then go to the front office and turn them in to the secretary. Last year, he began working a little bit with his new class on recycling. He really enjoyed it and they said he did really well with it and so that is what led them to the new class. He'll be learning more about how to recycle, collecting recyclable materials through out the school, and educating other students about recycling. This is the kid who gets mad if I leave the room and leave the lights on so I think this is right up his alley!

Right now, though, he's not really happy about the change. He has been asking every ten minutes or so since we got home to go back to Mrs. F's class. The first week or so is probably going to be a challenge for all involved but I really think once Noah gets used to it, he is going to love it. He really thrives on having responsibilities and I think he's going to enjoy this year!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Post It Note Holders

I have seen some really cute post it note holders on other paper crafting blogs (like these) and decided to create my own version.

This is what I came up with....... 

It has velcro to close it. 

And it holds a package of post it notes. 

And is decorated with a cute little tag. 

They are pretty easy to make. I created a cut file in my Silhouette Studio Software so it cuts and scores it for me but you could also cut them by hand if you don't have a Silhouette machine. You are essentially just cutting and folding the paper around the package of post its. 

I think these would make great little gifts for friends, family, co-workers, and teachers. 

(Linking up to the parties listed in my sidebar)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quote of the Week: Peace

"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." 
- Uknown

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Wonders: Back to School Printables

In last week's Weekend Wonders, I shared back to school teacher gifts with you. This week, I'm sharing back to school printables you can use with your kiddos! 

I love these notes from Frugal Coupon Living because the pictures/graphics on them help convey the message if your child isn't reading well yet. 

Tip Junkie shares cute free printable photo props perfect for first day of school photos. 

Print this cute back to school countdown page from Crafty Confessions, pop it in a frame, and let the kids use a dry erase marker to count down the days until school starts! 

Alpha Mom shares this adorable printable bag perfect for a sandwich or a treat for the first day of school. 
Dress up plain lunch bags with these cute Martha Stewart lunch bag labels and stickers. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Scrapping Saturday: Noah the Artist

I love how this page turned out. My favorite part is the easel. If you look closely, that's one of Noah's paintings on the easel. 

Template #57 by MJ-AJ Designs

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Mail

Don't you just love "happy mail?" I do!
Recently I received some very happy mail from a friend.....

It's a box full of foam brushes! 200 of them to be exact! 
She found them on sale for a great price and thought of me. 
I am blessed to have great friends.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Raiding the Fridge

Noah was playing in his room the other day and got rather quiet so I went to look for him and found this.....

 Raiding the fridge just like a typical teen boy!

Linked to Special Exposure Wednesday at  5 Minutes for Special Needs
 Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Moms

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back to School Photography Tips

Since summer is quickly winding to a close and the kids will soon be boarding the bus and heading back to school, I thought I’d share some back to school photography tips and suggestions so you can preserve these fleeting moments for a lifetime. Hopefully, with these suggestions, you’ll look back at these photos years from now and give yourself an “A plus.”  

Be Prepared
The first day of school always brings about nervous jitters and excited butterflies causing for some anxious kids so being prepared on the first day is important.
  • If first day photos are a must for you, add a little extra time into your schedule that morning so you have time to do everything without feeling completely rushed.
  • Make sure your camera batteries are charged and ready to go.
  • Lay out as much as you can the night before like your camera bag, your child’s clothes, etc. The more that is ready when you wake up, hopefully the smoother things will go.  

Shot Suggestions
I always think about what shots are important to me prior to anytime I am going to be taking photographs and then I jot down a top five on a post it and keep it with me so I am sure to get what is most important to me.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just shooting on the morning of school. Have your kids try on their first day out fits a couple of days before the big day to make sure they fit and snap photos of each of them during this little fashion show. 
  • Take photos while shopping for back to school supplies. Too chaotic to actually take photos while shopping? Then take some photos of all the new loot when you get back home. There is just something magical about piles of unused school supplies waiting for the learning to take place and fill those notebook pages. 

  • I always take some photos the night before the first day of school, it’s kind of a “quiet before the storm” type photo of my son’s clothes neatly laid out, backpacked packed, etc. 
  • On the first day, document the whole morning through your photos. Take photos of sleepy children not ready wake. Snap away as they are eating their breakfast of champions, styling their hair, etc. 
(collage made in Pic Monkey)

  • Take some posed photo of each child in their new outfit. I love using props in these types of photos. Print a free grade card for your child's grade from this collection at How Does She? and have your child hold them in the photo. (My son is holding one in the above photos.) Be sure and get a close up of the signs too! 
  • Take some shots of siblings together. And if you have smaller children who aren't school age, be sure and get a shot or two with them as well. 
  • If your children ride the bus, take photos of them waiting for the bus, getting on the bus, and the bus pulling away. If your children walk or ride a bike to school, stand behind just a bit and take some shots of them walking/riding off. If you drive your kids to school, get a photo of the school sign, preferably with your child with it! 
  • Get out the camera again and capture their sweet faces as they come home from school excitedly telling you all about the first day. 
  • Are you homeschooling family? You can still capture first day moments like Monica at Daily Dwelling did!
Ok, Mommarazzis, get those battery charged and capture the moment!

(Post originally written for and shared as a guest post at My Favorite Finds)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quote of the Week: Why Fit In

"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
- Dr. Seuss

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend Wonders: First Day Teacher Gifts

My BFF's son starts school on Monday so I was looking for a particular first day of school teacher gift idea that I had seen awhile back. While searching for that one, I found lots of others. Below are some of my faves.

Detail Oriented Diva shares a free printable to create this cute and playful gift with Kit Kat bars.

Beth-a-Palooza shares this cute teacher's gift featuring a soda and a snack with a tag that says "Soda delighted you're going to my teacher."

Teacher's Survival Kit
Home Confetti shares this adorable teacher's survival kit complete with free printable label.

Then She Made shares this cute pencil vase. Add some flowers and you have a perfect first day gift!

Elise Family Nest shares this cute idea of chocolate complete with Tylenol for those first day headaches packaged in a pencil box. 

Gluesticks shares a cute way to give your child's teacher some homemade cookies for the first day complete with an adorable tag that reads, "With you as my teacher, I'll be one smart cookie." 

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Honestly, it doesn't really change anything for you my dear readers because I just re-directed the blog, but it's exciting to me so I thought I'd share: 
Coley's Corner is now on its own domain. 

You can access it anytime at 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Paisley!

Our sweet puppy celebrates her 3rd birthday today! Noah got her a couple of toys and even made her a card - such a sweet boy!
Happy Birthday Paisley!!