Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas with Grand-kids, 2013

Christmas is a special time for lots of activities, especially for children. Here's some highlights of special memories with our six grand-kids during the Christmas season of 2013...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas - All Through the House!

I love to decorate, especially for Christmas! For the past 2 years, I have ended up with a total of 7 decorated Christmas trees and festive decorations in every room of my home. Enjoy the tour!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hard Candy "Rocks"!

This Hard Candy is delicious and easy to make by following this recipe, my tips, and photos. Making Hard Candy brings back such fond memories of family gatherings, getting together with friends, and church fund raisers. This candy also makes great gifts! Make a memory with your family and friends!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mom's "Old Fashioned" Fruitcake

This delicious fruitcake is very moist and full of flavor. The cinnamon, candied fruits, and nuts are the perfect blend that make this fruitcake a family all-time favorite!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mary's Peanut Butter Fudge

This delicious, creamy, melt-in-the-mouth, Peanut Butter Fudge Candy is easy to make by following these directions and photos. Make this delicious fudge for your family!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Honeycomb Ribbon Angel Ornament

Need a quick and easy, low-cost, ornament for your Christmas tree? This "Honeycomb Ribbon Angel Ornament" is beautiful year after year, and also works as a decoration or attached to a package. I first made this ornament at a ski resort craft class, and I have taught this craft to countless others - from First Grade to adults!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Upcycle: Over-sized Top to Shirred Tunic

Since I am always a bargain hunter, I found a rather plain, over-sized knit top on a clearance rack for $4.00. Abracadabra! Now it has been upcycled into a stylish shirred tunic! Follow my quick and easy directions and photos to create your own. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tips for Defrosting a Freezer

Do you have a freezer? I hope it is "Frost-Free"! If not, follow my "tested and approved" tips to make this dreaded but necessary job a littler easier and faster!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Substitute Teaching - Early Experiences

A former teacher once told me about early teaching experiences when she road a horse to school, and I remember thinking how "Little House In the Prairie" that sounded. Here's my memories of my first substitute teaching experience...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to Make a Native American Indian Shirt

Here's the directions for a low-cost Native American Indian Shirt for my granddaughter's Pre-K Pow-Wow. I used decaf tea bags to dye the shirt and added Native American Indian symbols and colorful beads. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fishing in the Gulf!

It's 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and the alarm clock goes off. We jump out of bed, get dressed, and rush to get ready. No makeup is needed today! We grab our hats, snacks, sunscreen, and a cooler filled with lots of bottled water. Why? Well, to go fishing, of course!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cornucopia Snacks

My Cornucopia Snacks are super quick and easy, and they make great Thanksgiving Table decorations and/or place cards. This is also a "delicious" kids' classroom activity culminating a study of the First Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 11, 2013

We're out of gas!

Have you ever run out of gas? Probably, most of us have been driving or a passenger in a vehicle when this unpleasant event occurred! When my daughter-in-law Heejin recently ran out of gas, she jokingly said that her punishment would be that I could write about it on my blog. That started me thinking...

Friday, November 8, 2013

How-To: Canopy for a Girl's Bed

Do you know a little "aspiring princess" who needs a special place to dream? Follow my easy directions with photos to create a low-cost tulle canopy that easily transitions from a baby's crib to any size bed! This canopy can be personalized according to the nursery and/or room theme and makes a great one-of-a-kind shower gift!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teacher Tips - Restroom Time Activities

The dreaded “Restroom Time” – how do teachers get through it every day and maintain their sanity?? They don't teach you that in college! Try my "teacher tested" tips for incorporating "Real-life Math" learning activities into Restroom Time while decreasing inappropriate behavior!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Upcycled Braided T-Shirt, Tunic, or Nightshirt

Too many T-Shirts? Upcycle them into something useful! Here's my no-sew quick and easy how-to for altering an over-sized sports t-shirt into a Girl's Braided T-Shirt, Tunic, or Nightshirt. Since no sewing is required, this is a great craft to do on long car trips!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - Treats & Terrors

It's Halloween! It's a time to dress up in costume and go Trick or Treating! Here are some of my favorite and/or often-remembered Halloween recollections. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Quick and Easy Halloween Crafts: Part 1, Jack & Boo

Are you looking for some quick and easy Halloween Crafts? These simple but cute paper crafts are perfect for last-minute kid projects, and can also be used for home and/or school decorations!

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's a Mickey Mouse Party!

My grandson Lucas loves Mickey Mouse, so of course it had to be a Mickey Mouse Party for his 2nd birthday! Many of these ideas can easily be adapted to a Minnie Mouse Party. "Oh Toodles..."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Double Chocolate Bar Cookies

My Mom used this quick and easy recipe with only 4 ingredients to bake Chocolate Cookies, and I modified her recipe to create these delicious bar cookies. Placing the chocolate chips on top makes my Double Chocolate Bar Cookies absolutely irresistible!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Walk in the Woods - Loftridge Park

Who would believe it? Just 8 miles from the hustle and bustle of our nation's Capital, historic Washington, D.C., there exists picturesque Loftridge Park in Alexandria, Virginia, complete with a paved walking trail. I hope you enjoy your walk...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sausage Balls

I first sampled Sausage Balls made with a baking mix at a reception years ago. They were good, but I experimented in my kitchen until I came up with this easy recipe for what my family agrees are the "most delicious Sausage Balls ever"! So now the "Secret Family Recipe" is out! Enjoy!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Oh, My Aching Neck!

Have you ever had a car accident with neck and back injuries? How about unexplained headaches and other body pain that is almost unbearable? If so, you can identify with my story... 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vacation 2013 Part 2: Washington D.C.

In Part 2 of Vacation, 2013, it is on to Washington, D.C.! The great thing about having family in different areas of the country is "Quality Time" visiting and lots of sight-seeing! Our son Joshua and his family live about 20 minutes from Washington, D.C., and there's always a different place to visit!

Monday, October 7, 2013

From One Tiny Leaf...

Matthew 17:20  "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed..."
Sometimes impossibilities can become possible!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

This family-favorite, delicious recipe for Microwave Chicken Broccoli Casserole is easy to make and super quick if you cook the chicken ahead of time. This dish also works well with leftover turkey or deli rotisserie chicken. I have modified this casserole from a recipe originally given to me by my sister-in-law, Jayne. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"GROW" This Shirt! DIY

Do you have a shirt that you really like, but it is too short? Layering works but adds extra bulk and often unwanted warmth. Follow my directions and photos for a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution for altering your shirts. It's "SEW" Easy!

Monday, September 30, 2013

TARZAN! - or - What a Fall!

Sometimes a hike in the woods can become more than what you bargained for! Everything was going great until my boys spotted the grapevine swing...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kitchen Tips - Popcorn & Stale Foods

Popcorn won't pop? Stale bread, chips, or cereal? Hard cookies? Don't throw them out! Instead, follow these tips from my "test kitchen"!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vacation 2013, Part 1: Country Roads, Take Me Home!

Country Roads, Take Me Home! 

When you grow up in the mountains of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia as I did, there's always a yearning to go back home!  Living in the South has its advantages: flat terrain, wide, straight roads, mild winters with flowers blooming most if not all year, and having a palm tree and orange tree in my back yard. Unfortunately, however, there are disadvantages, especially in the summer: HEAT and HUMIDITY!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homemade Barbecued "Pulled Pork" Sandwiches

In West Virginia, these sandwiches are called "Barbecues", and they are usually served with Sweet Cole Slaw. In the South, most refer to this as "Pulled Pork", but I think all will agree that these appetizing sandwiches with the homemade Barbecue Sauce are the best around! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th - My Story!!

Are you superstitious? I do not consider myself superstitious, but Friday the 13th can be a little frightening, especially when it's your birthday!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Got Cucumbers?? Make "Ice-Box" Pickles!

I fondly remember my Mom making these delicious pickles, and I quickly learned to make them, too, because the preparation is so easy! They taste great on a sandwich and are also scrumptious on their own! These pickles go fast, so be prepared to make extra batches!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let's Paint a T-shirt!

Welcome to Ms. Nancy's Art Class!

"Painting" a T-shirt with fabric markers is a fun and easy way to be creative while personalizing clothing. When closely supervised, this project is great for all ages!

Friday, September 6, 2013

God Grant Me the Serenity....

When friends and family are upset and/or confused, I often say, "Remember the Serenity Prayer!" I have repeated these familiar words numerous times when I am going through a tough time, or just when I am dealing with a daily situation that life suddenly "throws at me". 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teacher Tips - Early Finishers

Imagine this teacher nightmare:

The school day was off to an okay start, and students are at the end of a lesson. Suddenly, you hear a knock at the door. While you talk with the visitors at the door (the school superintendent and principal), the students start talking and yelling, some are throwing paper wads, and 4 students get out of their seats unnecessarily. Of course, you feel embarrassed and humiliated as you try to regain control of your class, and the principal and superintendent do not look pleased. Afterward, when you talk to the class and ask why they had behaved this way, their answer is:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Weekend, 2013 - Texas Road Trip!!

Labor Day Weekend, 2013, let's go on a road trip!  This would be a great opportunity to visit our son Jacob's family in Texas. Growing up, my family always did something special on Labor Day - usually attending a local Labor Day Celebration with abundant friends, food, music, and fun! I was excited that our family would be doing something special again this year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Come to a Minnie Mouse Party!

Come to a Minnie Mouse Party!

Want a fun and easy theme for a girl’s party? Try these low-cost ideas for a Minnie Mouse Party.  Most of these ideas can easily be adapted to a Mickey Mouse Party.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kinder Mat Cover

When my granddaughter needed a Kinder-Mat and cover for Preschool, my daughter bought a cover for $30.00 plus tax. I was shocked at the price! I told her to return the cover, and I quickly made a cover out of leftover cotton-blend fabric! My cost = $0.00!! The look on my granddaughter's face when she viewed the finished cover - PRICELESS!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Crayon Etching

Welcome to Ms. Nancy's Art Class!

Crayon Etching is an easy and fun art project for kids of all ages and requires few materials: only crayons, paper, and something to "etch" the design! It's almost "magical" when the design appears! This is a great "Rainy Day" activity!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our Wedding Anniversary - 40 Fabulous Years

Today we are celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary! Isn't that amazing? Our marriage has survived dealing with deaths of loved ones, accidents, major illnesses, surgeries, loss of job, job changes, and a major move of over 1,000 miles!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This quick, easy, and delicious recipe for Macaroni and Cheese is the result of "trial and error" in my own "Test Kitchen", and my family thinks it is the ideal recipe for the perfect comfort food! Even my daughter-in-law Heejin loves it, and she normally doesn't like cheese! Thanks, Cindy, for your ingredient list.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Upcycled Blanket/Towel for a Kinder Mat


Here's how I up-cycled a stained white terry cloth beach robe into a towel/blanket for my Pre-K grand-daughter. The other materials were leftovers from other projects, making the cost $0!! This was a great "rainy-day" project!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Bars with Peanut Butter Icing

This family favorite recipe for Peanut Butter Bars was another specialty of my mother-in-law. These delicious bars were always a very popular item at our church fundraisers. The Peanut Butter Icing closely resembles Peanut Butter Fudge! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Altered Beach T-Shirt

Do you have a bunch of beach t-shirts lying around taking up valuable space? Upcycle them into "one of a kind" unique creations! "Sew-Easy" and "No-Sew" directions included!

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Day of School - My Lesson Plans

Even for an experienced teacher, the beginning of the school year is hectic! I have found it is best to "over plan" the day as you get acquainted and establish routines. Have pencils, Black Sharpie Markers, black pens, and highlighters available! (Times are approximate and may vary depending on your school schedule.)   

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Going On a "Toy Hunt"!


Okay, here we go again!  It's Cleaning Day, and you've already fussed at the kids twice because they did not pick up all of their toys when told. You send them back to finish this task, and they insist they picked up all of their toys this time. You go in the room, get down on your hands and knees crawling around, and find 5 Lego blocks, 2 super hero figures, 1 green truck, and 2 small balls. You are tired of fussing, so you pick these toys up and resume cleaning.  You start to vacuum the floor when "HMMMMPPP" - you hear a strange sound indicating that you just vacuumed something other than dirt! The kids scream, "Was that my Lego?"

Does the above scenario sound familiar?  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Glasses - Who Needs Them?

Do you have vision problems? Do you wear glasses? Contacts? Bifocals? Enjoy this account of my "Vision Miracle"!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Super Hero, "Justice League", Classroom

"What can my classroom theme be next year?"  

I always liked to pick a theme early so I could work on getting posters made and items collected over the summer.  One spring, I was thinking about how kids always seem to like Super Heroes, and I decided that "Super Heroes" would be a great theme for my fourth grade classroom. Next was a major brain storm - since my last name is "Justice", the class would be the "Justice League"!!  Decision made!