Category Archives: May

Teacher Appreciation Ideas for a Theme – YOU are INCREDIBLE!!!

Bulletin Board PDF File

(Pre-note: All the files I created, I printed through Alphagraphics in Bountiful.  Grant, the owner, was exceptional to work with and I never print anywhere else.   Also, I will include all the PDF’s later today after I work on this year’s Teacher Appreciation, I am in charge of, that comes in just under 2 weeks.  A different theme with loads of fun that I will  post about next year.  Lots of files to finish making and details to go over.  Each picture you see on here will have a PDF file to go along with it.  Each file is press quality.  None of that grainy stuff.  I am a print snob.)

Eagle Bay Elementary Teachers and Staff are INCREDIBLE!!!!  They really are.  Back in 2009, because of circumstances beyond the person’s control, and with less than 2 weeks to the event, Teacher/Staff Appreciation had no one in charge of it.  I decided that being PTA Treasurer was a cushy job (LOL!!!) and that I could head up this event with no problem.  I wanted to create a theme that was fun, easy to work with, and had endless possibilities.  Somewhere on the internet, (I don’t remember as it was 3 years ago) I found someone’s post on a blog that showed they had used The Incredibles when they decorated their Teacher’s Door.  As soon as I saw that, the ideas started flying and what you see is the result of my imagination and love for the Teachers and Staff.

This is a sample of what the door kits I made looked like.  I made sure to make the kits ahead of time, so that it was a simple task of just hanging them up.  It is easier to get people to volunteer to hang up door kits than it is to get them to volunteer to come up with an idea all by themselves and then put it up.

Instructions PDF File

Isn’t it cool that we can find just about any font we want on the internet now?  The have an Incredibles font which I used to make these signs.  There are some that I made specific to individuals, all the rest had this.

Our Teacher is Incredible PDF

This is the Pow that was used to put behind the teachers to get the more super hero affect.  It was cute.

Pows PDF file

I created a special poem to the teachers and used it for their doors.  These are my true feelings of how much I love teachers.  Growing up in a divorced family, I stayed after school a lot and was the teacher’s helper.  In Elementary, I would stay after school and go around to the different teachers to see if they needed my help.  I grew to love them and their kindness towards me influenced my decision that I wanted to be a teacher someday.  This poem is from my viewpoint of what I saw growing up from Elementary through High School.  My favorite High School teacher, Mrs. Thompson, became a really great mentor to me and even gave me her clothes she didn’t want anymore, which I LOVED!!!  You have to understand that all the girls in high school, even the popular ones, which I was NOT a part of, envied her.  The reason?  She NEVER wore the same outfit to school twice.  EVER!!!  They even kept track of it one year, which I thought was hilarious.  That is how many cute and stylish clothes she had.  Then you had me, whose mother didn’t have a lot of money and we did our shopping at the D.I., which didn’t bother me at all but I got teased incessantly about it from those popular girls.  I think I had even purchased one of their outfits one time and they knew it. (I realize this is becoming a extrememly long side note, but it’s important to my feelings on teachers. )  So, back to the story, my Senior year, Mrs. Thompson approached me and asked if I would like to have her clothes she wasn’t using anymore.  Imagine, if you possibly can, my thrill and excitement that I would get her clothes and that I would get to wear them at school, AND that those same girls who teased me, who wanted her clothes, would KNOW they were Mrs. Thompsons!!!!  The irony was beyond my wildest imagination.  She was an AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, kind hearted, and caring teacher, whom I love and I am still in contact with today.  Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for your kindness towards one girl, and for making my life a little bit better my Senior year because of your thoughtful act of charity towards me.

Teacher Poem PDF file

I made this sign for the bottom of the door as a signature that this was from the students in their class.

Dashes and Violets PDF file

For each Teacher/Staff person I made them into either a Mrs. Incredible or a Mr. Incredible.  All the women loved that they looked skinny and tall . . .

. . . and all the guys loved that they looked buff and super strong.

We had a number of teachers who were pregnant or who had just had a baby, so on their doors I included a little Jack Jack.  All the rest of the doors had just the teacher or teachers who were in that classroom.

Jack Jack PDF file

For the Principal, Vice Principal, Secretaries, Custodians, Lunch Ladies, and all Specialist, I made their signs more individualized.

I thought it would be cute and appropriate to have our Principal, Mrs. Wade be the lady who seemed to be in charge of all the Super Heros, well, at least their clothing for sure.  Mrs. Wade LOVED it!

I always like to include the Officer who works with our school when I do these things.  Officer Winkleman thought this was the neatest thing he had ever seen and couldn’t recall a time he was ever included in the Teacher/Staff Appreciation week.  Don’t forget your Officer who works so closely with the kids!!

Attached to the thank you gift of movie tickets to the Kaysville Theatre, we had the little thank you note as seen below.

Thank you notes PDF file

On the Wednesday, while the teachers were off having some free time to themselves, I had a helper in each room come in and help the students fill out a paper telling the Teachers and Staff why the students thought they were Incredible.  We put them together and gave them to the teachers and staff the next day.  A copy of it will be pictured below.

Our Teacher is Incredible Student Notes PDF

PLEASE REMEMBER that I worked hard on these and to direct people back to my blog.  Please do not re-post onto your own. Thank you for respecting the creativity and copyright.

Teaching Children About Memorial Day FHE Lesson

Until this year, our family has never really discussed the real purpose of Memorial Day and just enjoy the day off work and school. We don’t have many family members that have passed on with graves close by, so we don’t usually visit a cemetery. My son asked me this year what is the purpose of Memorial Day, and he wasn’t the youngest one either.  This prompted me to create a FHE specifically about exactly where Memorial Day came from.  I have pooled from various resources in my home and on the internet to create this.  I want my children to understand why we celebrate Memorial Day, instead of it just being another vacation from school.

For many kids today, the real meaning behind Memorial Day is lost. They know that they get a three day weekend, they may know about all the huge sales going on during this time, and they also know that school is about over when this holiday rolls around. However, Memorial Day is a lot more than just a day off from school and kids need to be taught about this day and the meaning behind it. Finding ways to teach kids about the significance of Memorial Day and how important it is to honor those who have protected the freedom of this country is important.

Teaching Children About Memorial Day FHE Lesson PDF

Opening Song: I Have a Family Tree – PS 199 or Faith of our Fathers – Hymn 84

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Exodus 12:14

Lesson: Teach Your Child the History of Memorial Day

Many kids do not know the history behind the day, and you may even be rusty on the history that led to this day becoming a national holiday.

The history of Memorial Day goes all the way back to 1866, right after the nation was recovering from the Civil war. Both the North and the South saw soldiers coming home with serious injuries and many towns had lost friends and loved ones to this war. In Waterloo, New York, a drugstore owner named Henry Welles came up with the idea that on one day all the shops would close down to honor those who had been killed during the war. It was May 5th that everyone in the town went to the graves of those in the local cemetery and put out flowers and crosses on their graves. A similar ceremony was planned by Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan, which was for soldiers that had survived the Civil War. He took veterans through town to decorate the graves of comrades with flags. It was a memorial, not a celebration, and it was called Decoration Day.

Decoration Day was proclaimed by Logan to be a day for decorating the graves of those who had died defending the country. These two ceremonies were joined together to be one in 1868. ON these days songs were sung, veterans would wear their uniforms and medals, veterans would go to cemeteries to remember the fallen, and town people would decorate graves with flags, flowers, and photos.

It was not until 1882 that the name Memorial Day was actually used and the day was made to be a remembrance to all soldiers who had died fighting for this country. President Nixon would then declare it a federal holiday in 1971, to be on the very last Monday in the month of May. Still today though, Waterloo, New York is considered to be the birthplace of this holiday.

Remind Kids that This is a Time to Remember

After you teach your children the history behind Memorial Day, you also need to remind kids that this is a time to remember. It is a time to remember all those Americans who have fought in the past to keep this country safe and free. It is a day to honor and respect the armed forces, those who have already died, and those who continue to serve our country still today. Of course, remember to teach children that this day isn’t just limited to honoring and remembering those in the armed forces. It is a wonderful time for personal remembrance as well, remembering family members and friends that have been lost. It is a day to reflect upon the losses of those who have made our lives better.

Encourage a Moment of Remembrance

As you are teaching your kids about Memorial Day, it’s a good idea to encourage a moment of remembrance on this holiday. Consider finding ways that you can celebrate this holiday in your community or join the rest of America at 3pm on this day to have a moment of remembrance. Kids can pick out a way for them to spend this moment. Ideas include having a moment of silence, taking a moment to say a prayer, or perhaps ringing a bell in remembrance of those who have done so much for this country.

Don’t allow your children to go on thinking that Memorial Day is just another day off school or just another holiday. This is an important day that kids need to know about. Teach your kids the history and importance of Memorial Day and remember past American heroes together.

 For Teenagers:

I LOVE the History Channel and so does my oldest son.  What better resources to use than this?  They have a wonderful video you can use as part of your lesson.  It’s called “History of Memorial Day”.  You can view it on our website below, or go directly to the History Channel on the internet.

Relating the Lesson to your family:

Ask if your children know of any family member who has fought in a war.  If not be prepared to teach them who it was and what war they fought in.  If possible, obtain a picture of each person and display it for the week as a reminder of this lesson.

Fun Activities you can do with your family:

Make an annual family flag to fly outside your home on Memorial Day, in addition to the American Flag.  (We have a video on Family flags you can resource for ideas.)

Travel with your extended family to all the places where your ancestors are buried.

Visit a cemetery as a family. The other day I realized we had never taken our children to the Salt Lake City cemetery where all our past prophets are buried.  This is a beautiful place and filled with so much history.

Visit a Family History Library in your area.  Take a tour and learn how to use the sources available to research and find the members of your family. You may even find someone “famous” to whom you are related.

Take a Memorial Day hike to somewhere that is rich in U.S. History.  I was recently able to take a walk with my friends in South Carolina at The Battle of the Cow Pens war site.  It was fascinating to learn more about areas that were key points in the Revolutionary War.

Closing Prayer:

Treats:

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Memorial Day – Rememberance Hearts

REMEMBRANCE HEARTS

Honor the life well spent of your loved one with this new tradition idea!

Six years ago, Carrie’s family experienced the loss of a loved one.  Out of that time in her life, she came up with the Remembrance Hearts.  I have loved them and used them ever since.  She wanted to leave something at the grave site that was personal and would show her love and respect for her grandpa.  Below is a picture of what she did.

Such a simple idea that speaks volumes to those we have loved and miss deeply in our lives.  You can use this heart separate on it’s own or put it into a planter or flowers that you are leaving at the grave site.

Remembrance Hearts PDF

Cut and paste a photo of your family, your loved one, or you in the white box.  With a black marker, write who you are giving this to under the words “We Love You”.  For example, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, etc.  Laminating the heart will help the planter last throughout the year.

Cut out the heart with scissors, or use scrapbook scissors to make a decorated edge.  Tape a bamboo skewer to the back with pointed edge down.  Stick in a pot of flowers or place directly on grave site.

Our heart is perfect for placing in flowers for a funeral or decorating the grave of your loved ones as well as on Memorial Day.  Each heart is 8×10 and has a special space reserved for a family picture or a picture of your loved one

Family Fun – Teacher Appreciation

Is it the end of the school year already???  It’s time to think about thank you gifts for your child’s teacher.  I usually do something simple.  However, last week I had to go into my 1st grader’s class and do a thank you for their teacher for teacher appreciation week.  Parents watch the students and do a thank you for the teacher so that the teachers can all have lunch together.  I needed something that would keep the kids busy for a little while and something that would be fun for their teacher to receive.   I decided to use the flowers that we gave you for Mother’s Day to create a thank you flower pot for their teacher.

 

I bought a pot at Walmart for $2.50, some craft sticks (about $1.99), and some rocks to put in the bottom of the pot (these were the most expensive – you could probably get more creative and find something less expensive – they were about $3.00 a package and I needed 2).  I printed enough flowers for each child in the class to have one.  I also printed some extras that I put “Thanks a bunch” and “Thanks for helping us grow this year” on.  We have a small photo printer that will print passport size photos.  I took each child’s picture and then had them cut out their flower, tape it to a craft stick, and glue their picture on.  It only took about 15 minutes to make and it turned out really cute.  If you don’t have a photo printer, you can always just take the photos and print them at home.  That way it will be a surprise for your teacher on the last day of school.  If you want to make it less complicated, you can buy a small potted plant or flower and add a few sticks to it.  One with your child’s photo, one that says “Thanks a Bunch”, and one that says “Thanks for helping me grow this year”.  Get creative and add whatever you would like.  Your child’s teacher will love how thoughtful you were! 🙂  This is a great project for you and your child to do together.

Family Fun – Mother’s Day Ideas!!!!

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  Did it sneak up on you like it did me?  In lieu of flowers for all our wonderful friends who visit our blog everyday, or at least every time we post, we are giving you some of our Mother’s Day ideas that you used to have to purchase from us.  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

The first one is our famous Mother’s Day Purse, which is a great idea to do, especially for those Mom’s who just LOVE purses.  I did this with my Mom last year and she loved seeing more and more goodies inside the purse, instead of just the purse.  There is a cute little note card to go along with the different items to put in the purse.

The second one is an idea I did for my grandmother, mother, mother-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, and aunts.  Yes, I WAS very ambitious in 2008.  They all loved it, so it was worth it.  I bought super various sizes of  clay pots, printed out my flowers, cut them out, and taped them on to shish kabob sticks.  In the center of each flower I put a round picture of each of the children, grandchildren, and great-grand children, depending on who I was giving it to.   (You’ll find the PDF file at the end of the post.)  We would love to see pictures of how your’s turned out.  Send it to us and we will add them to our blog.  myheartandhome@gmail.com

Look What’s Blooming

Having a hard time find those holiday games and ideas?

Since today is an organizing tip.  I wanted to share one of my favorites with you.  I LOVE our Holiday Organizer.  Not only does it come with fantastic pages to help you organize your holidays better, there is a place for everything you have related to your holidays.  Not including your decorations of course.  But there is a place to help you organize your decorations as well in our Holiday Organizer.  I am talking about all those Bingo games, Tom the Turkeys, Halloween Scavenger Hunts, Valentine’s Love Notes, St. Patrick’s day Neighborhood Lucky Leprechaun game, and the list goes on with our products.  Then if you have additional stuff besides that, you have a lot to keep track of.  I found a way to utilize our Holiday Organizer even better by keeping everything together.  Doesn’t that sound familiar?  After dividing my organizer into two binders, January through June and July through December, I have taken ordinary photo holders, page protectors and page pockets and turned them into my storage of holiday ideas and games.  I then placed each of my holiday games and ideas in front of the cooresponding month folder for that particular holiday.  It’s the perfect way to keep everything organized and keep it handy in one place.  I love being able to go to that month and see all my fun games and ideas without having to search endlessly for where I put them last.  Even they can get lost or even forgotten in a tote full of decorations.  To give you a better idea, I took some pictures of how I put mine together.  However, make it work for you and your personality.  Feel free to comment about what has worked for you or you are always welcome to ask questions in the comment section and we will answer them for you.

 

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Simple Summer Salads

I don’t know what is about the warm weather that always makes me think of throwing something on the barbecue or making a salad for a family get together. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them too!


Broccoli Salad
4 c. fresh broccoli – chopped into small pieces
1/2 c. red onion – chopped
1/2 c. cheddar cheese – grated
8 slices bacon – chopped
Dressing:
1 c. Miracle Whip
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vinegar
Cook bacon until crisp and drain well. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, cheese and bacon. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat well. Chill.


Perfect Potato Salad
6 medium potatoes
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. vinegar
1 c. celery – sliced
2/3 c. onion – finely chopped
1/2 c. sweet pickle – chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. celery seed
1 1 /2 c. Miracle Whip
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
Cook whole potatoes in boiling salted water for 25-30 minutes. Peel warm potatoes. Quarter and slice potatoes and put in large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and vinegar. Add celery, onion, sweet pickle, salt and celery seed. Stir well. Fold salad dressing into potatoes. Carefully fold in sliced eggs. Sprinkle top of salad with paprika. Cover and chill thoroughly.


Simple Jell-O Salad
1 (12oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
2 (8oz.) yogurt, use same flavor to match fruit
1 pkg (30z.) Jell-O, same flavor as fruit
1 (16oz.) frozen mixed berries, thawed
(may also use blackberries, strawberries, or peaches)
Combine Cool Whip, yogurt and Jell-O until mixed well and Jell-O has dissolved.  Fold in fruit.  Chill.

A Tribute to All Mothers!

With Mother’s Day coming up, I searched the internet a few days ago for an idea that would make a great gift for the primary children in my ward to give to their mothers.  I came across this darling story that ended up putting tears in my eyes.  I have a toddler that is trying my patience right now and we had a very bad day together when I found this story.  It was the perfect way to make me laugh, cry, and remember how great it is to be a mother.  It’s my wish for all women to feel loved and appreciated this mother’s day.  We are simply amazing!

                Mothers Day Story.pdf