Tuesday, May 15, 2012

mother's day and teacher appreciation

I am getting so far behind on keeping up with recording what's going on around here...life is just flying by before my eyes and the days of school are dwindling quick.

(Not that I'm counting...)

The end can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned....it's been a great school year but I'm craving summer and summer goals and being in charge of our own schedule again.  My children are signed up for nothing this summer (just how I like it) and I have high hopes that this will be our "summer of reading."

I'll have to report on how many eye-rolls we get when I make that little announcement.

I had a little epiphany on Mother's Day: I need to find a better balance between recording life around here and being right in the middle of it.

I choose right in the middle of it.

So this blog may be a little more sporadic for a while until I can find an intern (translated as a child...preferably one of my own) to help me keep up.   I have so much backed up so we'll see if I can find a quick way to post the latest adventures before too many of the new ones pass us by...they may all come in one day so watch out.

And the emails?  If anyone has sent me one lately please do not be offended if I don't get back to you.  I am losing a valiant battle against those pesky things and I am opting to choose my family rather than being behind a computer all day.  I'm going to let go of the guilt factor on those.

Mother's Day was great, but the day after: not so much.  I was in such a grumpy mood feeling like life was caving in on me.  Plus Lucy has developed this high pitched whine that was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  I needed someone to come write things on my fingertips that I was doing ok on instead of basking in my shortcomings.

But even better I realized all I needed to do was glance at this beauty that Max gave me the day before to get my spirits up again: That is probably my most favorite Mother's Day gift.  Ever.  He obviously worked hard on it and knew it would mean a lot to me that he would take the time to draw something so sweet and kind.  (He will probably also keel over in embarrassment that I'm posting it, but I can't help it...Elle did specifically write on her note not to post it on this blog so hers is tucked away safely :)

Oh man I love that boy who now towers over me:
On Mother's Day I write a note to each of my children in my own handwriting.  I write all about what they are up to and how I admire and adore them.  I hope some day they will read them with their own children near and finally understand how much a mother (parent) can love.

On Mother's Day I also draw a picture of our whole family (all my siblings and their families) for my Mom (see it up there?)  It's still a work in progress (my Mom knows how I run as far as being prompt is concerned), but at least I got the outline done.

Today I sent the "medium-girls" off to school armed with teacher gifts:I'm trying to be a little more on-the-ball this year instead of scrambling to get something to them on the last day.  I know they deserve so much more than a Target gift card, but hey, some years there is a serious lack of creativity coming from this brain of mine.

Last year I used one of the ideas in the comments from creative blog readers at the end of this post to make this contraption for each teacher:

I hope that this year the teachers will feel of our love from the heart-felt notes my girls wrote for them to go with their gift cards.  Seriously, how do you thank someone who has had so much positive influence on your child for a whole school year?  I was actually at the school in tears yesterday talking to the nice ladies in the office about Lucy's future teacher next year.  Teachers have such an important role in the lives of my children and I can never, ever thank them enough for that.

Ok, enough babbling.  But I'll end with this:  I am not loving this new blogspot posting layout stuff.  Is anyone else having trouble with that?


  1. Oh I love that idea of writing a note to your children each Mother's Day. What a wonderful idea and a special gift to them! I'm going to have to start that tradition with my son. Thanks for sharing. :-) Hope you had a special Mother's Day with your family.

  2. I actually found your blog via pinterest a while back via the post that you mention your Mother's Day letters, lunch dates, and movie night. I fell in love with your blog then and have stuck around. I stole your idea this year and just loved it. My kids are little 4,2, and 1 so I wrote them and then read them to them for FHE the next night. It was wonderful and I'm so excited to keep this going and to have started while they are so young. Do you have any idea where you kids keep them? Do you keep them in a special place for them? I'm nervous they won't make it though childhood... Thanks so much. M.

  3. I taught school for 10 years and loved the gift cards. Don't feel guilty about it. Teachers just love being appreciated.

  4. i hate the new blogger. its hard to navigate!

  5. Funny how you mentioned the new blog layout thing... I absolutely HATE it! You aren't the first to mention something about it either -- I wish I could go back to the old way!

  6. I had the same situation here: Mother's Day was wonderful. Monday, not so much. I too was grumpy all day and feeling completely overwhelmed by life and all my responsibilities. Today I'm trying something new: instead of looking at a to-do list all day, I have decided to write down everything I have DONE. I'm feeling a lot more productive! :)

  7. Shawni - the new post editor has had me frustrated too! The spacing is way funky and not at all consistent with what's on the editing page. So I finally converted back to the old post editor. You can do that by going into Settings and Post Formatting then clicking around (I kinda found it by accident because it wasn't at all intuitive) and going back to the "Old" version. From what I've read they are doing away with the old version in a few months. But it might buy you a few more months of blogger sanity. I'm considering a conversion to Word Press. Anyhow - hope that's helpful!

    And I love your mother's day traditions. xo

  8. i'm telling you - windows live writer. it will change your life.

    i want to email you about helping you with your email, but then that's just another email...i will text you.

    love you lots.

  9. You are an artist too! Amazing!

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  11. As a teacher, I value the heart-felt hand-written notes so much. I appreciate my children's teachers too and have also been moved to tears when trying to thank them. I amd so grateful though. We have had teachers that have literally changed our children's lives for the better. You can't put that kind of gratitude into words -- when someone cares about your kid to help them in a way you cannot. It's very special. I kept individual journals for my kids through the years, but misplaced them when we moved, found them again after three of the four had grown up and moved out. Maybe they will like them someday. Thanks for this post.

  12. first of all...i think a rose and a Target gift card is EXACTLY what teachers want! Who doesn't love a free excuse to go buy yourself a treat at a fun store that has so many options to choose from? Don't ya dare feel like that's a lazy gift!!

    Secondly...oh my. i wish you would sell those drawings! That's AMAZING! What a super cool gift and soooo stinking cute and artistic. I would LOVE one of those in our home of our family. That is so, so cool Shawni.

  13. Sorry to see you take a break but totally understand. I was so overwhelmed with the number of emails I need to sort. Hope to have you back soon. Have a fun end of year and start to summer vacation. We have one more month in NJ. I hope Max isn't mad! That is the sweetest thing!! I love your pictures too and your notes to your kids. Thanks for teaching me to be a better mom.

  14. Don't be so hard on yourself! You acknowledge your children's educators! That's wonderful! I taught for 7 years, and let's just say the parents there didn't acknowledge anything.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your summer goals ideas!! Thank you immensely for sharing.

  15. so glad to know you have days like me!

    as my brother in law said about watching my kids this weekend, "staying up with them at night was horrible and i told my wife we could not have any more kids. but the next morning was awesome and then i said, lets have 12 more."

    seriously, those mornings are timely, and rare! :)

    happy mothers day to you!! and yes, the new layout thing is not my favorite.

  16. You are an incredible mom! You do so much! Don't be too hard on yourself.

    I think it's wonderful that you teach your kids to be grateful and give notes/gifts to teachers! So many kids don't say thank you these days. The art of gratitude and thank you notes is becoming a lost art.

    I love how your family does summer goals and reads a lot in the summer time!

    Most of all - hats off to you for choosing to be right in the middle of family life.

    I thought this was a good article on "how to miss childhood":


    It's important to put people (especially family) first over the many distractions from cellphones/laptops/electronics, etc.

    Have a wonderful summer and soak up lots of quality time with your cute family!

  17. I'm the daughter of a teacher and the fiancee of a teacher. They love gift cards, especially because they end up spending their own money on their classrooms quite often.

    Also, how cute it is that you draw a picture for your Mom and Max drew one for you?

  18. I hate the new layout too... But I love everything else I just read :) We are going the gift card route this year too. I feel like teachers collect so many little nick nacks over the years that it can all get lost in the "pile."

    Max's picture was fantastic. I hope you didn't get in too much trouble for posting it.

  19. Can't wait to hear more about your summer goal! I love organizational things.


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