Teacher Gift Tags + Free All About Me Printable Book – UPDATED

We started our first day of homeschooling here this week, which has led to a few VERY busy days, but also very blessed days.

Our first day was pretty rough, but yesterday was really a great day, and I’m looking forward to this adventure God has in store for us.

A friend’s mom, and awesome woman of God, reminded me this week that “God doesn’t call the prepared, He prepares the called.” It brings tears to my eyes to just type it, because I can’t think of a better way to describe this journey we’re on. I felt anything but prepared Monday morning, but had no doubt that this was where He was calling me to be. I know it won’t be easy, but He promises we can do all things through Him. Praise God.

My little one (who is still doing a few mornings of preschool this year) summed up my emotions pretty well on Monday morning…

A little of “I’m really freakin’ excited”

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A little of “What the heck am I doing?!”

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And, thankfully, a little “Phew, we made it through the first day.”

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And here’s a sweet picture of my big girl on her “first day of school”

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And by the way, I should mention that she’s loving school. At one point I asked her if she was bored and she answered “No mama, I LOVE this!” That certainly makes it all worth while.

Now for the free printable! I know it’s nothing pretty, but I wanted to keep it simple so my girls could color it in themselves. This is an “All About Me” book that I hope to have the girls fill out at the start of every year. Whether you homeschool or not, you can use this as a fun keepsake for your kiddos as well (and it makes a great first day of school activity)!

Print each page, cut along the dotted lines, and use a tape runner or double-sided tape to secure the pages together, back-to-back. We then punched 3 holes on the left edge of each page and used book rings to put it all together!

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Our book in process:

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Lastly, if you’re looking for a gift idea for any teachers this year, I just put these fun lotion and nail polish tags up in my shop:

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And don’t forget the clipboard idea…there are instructions in my May Inspiration post. Here are the ones we made for our preschool teachers this year:

Clipboard

UPDATE 5/27/15 – I have these fun new candle tags up in my shop now too!!

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Hope you enjoy!

Hugs to you this week ~ Sara

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A Baby Shower

It’s been quiet here the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been working on a baby shower for my best friend.

The shower was Sunday, so I thought I’d share some snapshots with you for this week’s post.

First, a little background…

Marcia and I met in junior high…back when we were awesome enough to wear tube socks with: sandals and black tennis shoes…

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roller blades, swimsuits, and awesomely high-waisted jean shorts…

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and matching overalls…

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I am an only child, so when we met, Marcia quickly became the sister I’d always hoped for. We were inseparable for years.

Time, distance, and different seasons of life have changed our friendship over the last 18 years, but we always pick up right where we left off, and she remains the one friend who knows every detail about me, and is always the first to hear of any big news.

She’s the kind of friend who never judges, always forgives and forgets, loves no matter what, and is always there. In fact, she’s unknowingly taught me a lot about the love of Jesus over the years, by the patient, enduring love she’s always given.

I’m so thankful to have her in my life, and for all the years of memories we’ve had…here are some of our newest:

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the sweet mama…her dress matched the shower theme and baby’s room 🙂
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two of our other long-time friends, and shower planners
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love that smile
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we planned the party theme around the nursery: yellow, blue, gray, and chevron
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paper bag and fabric pennant banner inspired by one from Blue Cricket Design

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canvases to hang in the nursery

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game cards

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Marcia’s sweet mama and nieces
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more sweet family and friends

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Thanks Marsh, for always being the kind of friend I could ever only hope to be. A forever friend.

It was a privilege to help celebrate with you this weekend, and I can’t wait to meet that sweet little boy.

Hugs ~ Sara

May Inspiration

Thanks a latte for all you do...can be given to teachers for an end-of-year gift, with a Starbuck's gift card. Instruction, and free printable can be found here, at Skip to my Lou (love this site). :)
“Thanks a latte for all you do”…can be given to teachers for an end-of-year gift, with a Starbuck’s gift card. Instructions and free printable can be found here at Skip to my Lou (love this site).

We’re half-way through April, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite craft and gift ideas for the month of May 🙂

I love to do crafts with my girls, but I have to tell ya that it can also be a huge struggle for me. I constantly battle with perfectionism, impatience, and control, and none of these things are very helpful when you’re crafting with a 3 and 5-year-old. Thankfully, God is teaching me more and more everyday how to release these sins to Him, and focus on what brings glory to Him alone. Do our neighbors care or notice if their May Day baskets are perfectly cut out by a control freak mom? Do the girls’ grandmas want me to be the one making their Mother’s Day gifts? How about the kids’ teachers – do they want gifts made by me? No. Gifts from the kids are much more special if they’re actually from the kids. More importantly, whether or not every piece of paper is precisely cut into a perfect shape does NOT matter for eternity. Things like this do not glorify God, and so they simply should not matter to me. So this year I am resolving to let my kids help, to praise them for their hard work…and most importantly to enjoy their creations, and our time spent together…time that will all too quickly be gone.

This process of choosing joy over frustration, patience over perfection, and grace over control is not easy for me. I continue to take two steps forward, and one step back…but over time, God is leading me up an ever slow hill, that keeps bringing me closer and closer to Him. We made cookies this weekend. I started out with a great attitude, but as soon as I lost focus on just enjoying time with my kids, my patience began to quickly fade. Allison was licking flour off the counter, Kate spilled a 4 1/2 pound bag of chocolate chips, and I was giving in to my strangely irrational fear of raw eggs. I wish I would have taken pictures of these now funny and sweet moments, but instead I chose to feel frustrated and out of control. If I would have chosen instead to focus on glorifying God by extending grace to my kids, I could have created a time for all of us to just laugh and have fun, and for my kids to see Jesus in me. Next time, I’m going to start out with my camera, and just go into it knowing it might be a bumpy ride, but one that I want to end by taking two steps froward instead of that one step back.

Do you struggle with any of these issues? Take heart my friend, you are not alone. And praise God that His love is higher than any mountains that we face…it never fails, gives up, or runs out on us. Amen!

I’m excited to do some of these crafts over the next month with my kiddos, and I hope you might enjoy some of them too. 🙂 These are our photos from last year (when I was still hung up on cutting perfectly shaped flower petals).

May Day

Have fond memories of May Day from when I was a kid, and loved doing these baskets with my girls last year. I stapled the cone and the handle after we glued them, and I used glue dots for the Hershey kisses. There's also room for more candy inside the cone, or a little note for your neighbors...I think we're going to stick a little bible verse in this year :)
I have fond memories of May Day from when I was a kid, and loved doing these baskets with my girls last year. I stapled the cone and the handle after we glued them, and I used glue dots for the Hershey kisses. There’s also room for more candy inside the cone, or a little note…I think we’re going to stick a little bible verse in this year.
Hang the baskets on your neighbors' doors, ring the doorbell, and RUN! :)
Hang the baskets on your neighbors’ doors, ring the doorbell, and RUN!

Mother’s Day

For Mother's Day...roll paint inside a mason jar until the inside is completely covered. Unless you use waterproof glass paint, this will only work if you slip a vase inside to fill with water, or if you use artificial flowers. We used silver paint for the hand prints on the outside, and a Sharpie paint pen for the name on top.
For Mother’s Day…roll paint inside a mason jar until the inside is completely covered. Unless you use waterproof glass paint, this will only work if you slip a vase inside to fill with water, or if you use artificial flowers. We used silver paint for the hand prints on the outside, and a Sharpie paint pen for the name on top.
Cute photo blocks. These were way more work than I expected, but still fun :)
Cute photo blocks. These were way more work than I expected, but still fun. You can cut your own 4×4 down into these blocks (just ask my husband how fun that was), OR buy them somewhere online.

End-of-year Teacher Gifts

"Thank you for helping Allison bloom!" Again, instructions and free printable can be found at Skip to my Lou :)
“Thank you for helping Allison bloom!” Again, instructions and free printable can be found at Skip to my Lou.
How about a cute clipboard? You can do different sizes, colors, and bling. Modge Podge scrapbook paper on a plain clipboard...2/3 on top, 1/3 on bottom. Sand all the edges down, and go over top with Modge Podge (after completely dry). Add a flower to the top (I use a glue dot and string to secure it onto the clip). Finally, add some decorative tape where the two papers meet. Easy, cute and functional! :)
How about a cute clipboard? You can do different sizes, colors, and bling. Modge Podge scrapbook paper on a plain clipboard…2/3 on top, 1/3 on bottom. Sand all the edges down, and go over top with Modge Podge (after completely dry). Add a flower to the top (I use a glue dot and string to secure it onto the clip). Finally, add some decorative tape where the two papers meet. Easy, cute and functional!
Here's one with jewels instead of a flower on the clip.
Here’s one with jewels instead of a flower on the clip.

Hope you enjoyed some of these ideas 🙂

Hugs ~ Sara