Thursday, January 31, 2013

17 Memorable Moments

One of the things I love about Savannah's preschool is that Tal and I receive a daily report that includes a memorable moment from Savannah's day. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Savannah accidentally ran into her teacher and said, "Excuse me." Such good manners!

2. Savannah lined her pets up in the window and cared for them.

3. Savannah read a book to a friend in the reading corner.

4. After talking about coffee beans, Savannah pretended to drink coffee during snack time.

5. Savannah worked as a team to clean up.

6. Savannah had so much fun playing at the sensory table. She loved squishing the goo!

7. Savannah pretended to be a doctor and asked Ms. Stephanie what hurt. She said her belly hurt, and Savannah wrote it down on her notepad.

8. Savannah and a friend used the doctor kit to make each other feel better. Savannah gave her friend shots.

9. Savannah explored the sensory table and made a delicious chocolate cake out of sand.

10. Savannah poured water in her pan to make ravioli.

11. Savannah helped set up chairs on the train to make room for her baby.

12. Savannah did well pointing to the correct letter as we sang the alphabet.

13. Savannah was so sweet! When she saw a friend by themselves, she went and asked them if they wanted her to read them a story.

14. Savannah used kind words with her friends this morning.

15. Savannah shared shells and measuring cups as she figured out how many shells fit in the cup.

16. Savannah had a blast using her hat to cover her eyes.

17. Savannah pretended to be a mommy and had her purse on her shoulder. She went to the store and filed up her stroller with things. She made sure she paid before she left.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Little Things

 Sometimes it's the little things: these new kitchen towels from Target:

...that pull together our home's color palette:

...and make our house feel like a home:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 Goals

My word for 2013 is "discipline." This year I want to be more disciplined in how I spend my time, take care of my body, and spend my (our) money:

1. Work fewer hours.
This year I'm reducing stress and making more time for family and exercise. I currently work 50 hours a week at school.With a 6 classes a day and no assistant, it's very difficult to leave when the bell rings at 2:45, especially when I have lessons to plan, books to buy, emails to answer, etc. However, in 2013, my goal is to leave at 2:45 at least 2 days a week, so I can go exercise before I pick up Savannah. In order to make that happen, I will need to maximize my planning period, utilize my parent volunteers and Junior Librarians whenever possible, and probably take some school work home.

2. Exercise.
By leaving work at 2:45 a couple days each week, I'll be able to work out at the Y for an hour, pick up Savannah, and still get home around 4:30 (which is the time I usually leave school). Plus, I'd be thrilled if I improved my cholesterol and dropped a few pounds, too. :)

3. Pay down debt.
Over the last 5.5 years, Tal and I have paid off $72,000 in debt, which consisted mostly of school and car loans. We're still paying off Tal's grad school loan. Our goal is to be debt-free (except for our mortgage) within 1.5 years when Savannah starts kindergarten in July 2014. We've been paying $1,100 a month towards our debt for the last 5.5 years. It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been fun. However, Tal and I are encouraged that our goal of financial freedom is almost a reality. In 2013, we're determined to stick to our budget and throw extra money (from tax refunds, overtime pay, etc.) towards paying down our debt faster. 

4. Scale back home improvement/decorating projects.
Tal and I have set aside some money for several big ticket purchases/projects in 2013:
  • lay new sod in our front yard
  • repair several pieces of rotten siding on the exterior of our house
  • buy new bedding for our master bedroom
  • buy new bedding for Savannah
  • buy a new recliner for Tal's man cave in time for Tal's 40th birthday (Tal's current recliner doesn't recline.)
Overall, however, Tal and I plan to do fewer/more inexpensive projects this year. That way, we'll have some extra money each month to put towards our debt payments. Plus, by doing fewer or less time consuming projects, I'll have more time for exercise, relaxation, and family...which are my top priorities this year.

Before I tackle any new projects in 2013, I intend to finish some leftover projects from 2012. I have the supplies for these projects, but I didn't get around to finishing them last year:
  • put "welcome" decal on yellow garage entry door
  • paint stripes in garage entry hallway
  • hang Savannah's wooden ruler growth chart
  • hang new ikat curtains 
Another goal is to focus more on organizing than decorating this year. Now that Tal and I have lived in our house for 2 years, we have a better idea of how we use each space. And frankly, some spaces aren't working very well. For instance, in our kitchen, all of our cups and glasses are crammed into one small cupboard. This year I'm looking forward to getting organized and staying organized. For that reason, this year my goal is to purge, simplify, and organize the following areas, so our home will be more functional:
  • Savannah's toys
  • Savannah's clothes
  • Savannah's bedroom
  • party supplies
  • craft supplies
  • kitchen cupboards and drawers
  • kitchen office and cubbies
  • coupon/junk drawer
  • my junk corner of the garage
  • upstairs loft area
  • bathroom vanity

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Last Saturday, Savannah built a birdhouse during the 
Kids Workshop at our local Home Depot:

Whenever possible, our family tries to attend the Kids Workshops, 
which are held on the first Saturday of each month:

We love that Home Depot takes care of the set-up and clean-up, 
as well as provides all of the paint and supplies for the projects:

Savannah even gets to wear a cute orange apron with her name:

Savannah helped Daddy put together her birdhouse:



Savannah's favorite part of the project was painting her birdhouse:

Savannah's Psychedelic Birdhouse

A work of art!

Christmas Cheer

On December 29, Tal and I hosted a Christmas party 
for our friends in our church choir and Sunday School class: 

Tal cooked a yummy low country boil in a large pot in our garage: 

Sausage and Potatoes



Red Beans and Rice

Variety of Chips and Dips

It was a wonderful evening filled with good food and fellowship:

For decorations, I selected a festive red, white, and green 
"Be Merry" theme with coordinating stripes and polka dots:

I filled hurricanes with fake snow and ornaments:

I dressed up the glassware with red ribbon:

On the table, I spread an artificial snow blanket 
and scattered leftover ornaments:

Candy Canes and Mints

Savannah did a great job stringing the banner together 
with white ribbon:

I tied clusters of ornaments with red bows and 
hung them from the chandelier:

Joy napkins, plates, and water bottles tied in the "Be Merry" theme:

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Breakfast in Bed

Watching Barney and eating breakfast in 
Mommy and Daddy's bed on a lazy Saturday morning:

Crazy Hair