Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cruise clothes prep

Well, I finally made it to Maurice's this week to use all my Christmas gift cards!!!! I love that store. Almost all of my clothes either come from Maurice's, Old Navy, Torrid, or Kohl's. 

I must say, I got some really cute stuff for the Disney Cruise. I am going to force myself to stow them away until March so I don't wear them ahead of time. Temptation for sure. 

Anyway, I plan on bringing dresses for dinners and more casual stuff for the day. There is no formal night on this cruise, but my husband and I have reserved a night at the adults-only dining room, Palo. I am very excited about I found a really cute dress to wear! 

So here is what I have sitting out, ready to go:
Boarding the ship on Saturday afternoon (Capris: Target, Blouse: Maurice's, Shoes: Maurice's)

Saturday night dinner (Dress: Maurice's, Shrug: Cato's, Shoes: Dillards)

Sunday day on the ship (Everything here is from Maurice's)

Sunday night for our adults-only dinner (Dress: Forever 21, Shoes: Maurice's)

Monday day on the ship (Tank and shrug: Old Navy, Capris: Maurices)

Monday night dinner (everything here is from Maurice's)

Tuesday day in the Cayman Islands (Tankini: Walmart, Cover up: Old Navy, Shoes: garage sale, Hat: Stein mart, Bag: School fundraiser)

Tuesday night dinner (Dress: Maurice's, shoes: garage sale)

Wednesday in Cozumel (Swimsuit: Kohl's, Tank and shorts: Old Navy, Flip flops: Dillards)

Wednesday night dinner (Dress: Stein Mart)

For some reason, this won't turn. Thursday all day on the ship (Jeans: Maurice's, Shirt: Stein Mart, Shoes: Kohl's)

Again, the picture is wonky (Shirt and jeans: Maurice's)

And here is everything spread out by day for easy packing

I like to set everything out in advance so prepping and packing is easier and we don't forget anything. Next I have to work on all the supplies to take, setting out clothes for both boys, and packing all of our crafty creations. 

We are just so excited to get away and see a little Disney magic on the Disney Magic!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sucked into a college vortex

Last semester I took Medical Terminology online to ease back into the college lifestyle that I have been out of since 2001. I got an A in that class and felt like I was on my way to acceptance into nursing school. 

Now, because my sciences are all too old, I have to re-take each of them, in order, one per semester, before I can apply to nursing school. What at first, I thought was a ridiculous inconvenience, I now realize is absolutely necessary. 

This was my first week officially back in college...on campus, in a class, with a lab. Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS!

I signed up for Anatomy and Physiology 1 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00-12:15 and AP Lab on Wednesday mornings from 8-10:50. So I thought, I have taken this before, and I can do it again. Let's just say, no. At least I came prepared with all my materials, and tons of nervousness. 

First, there is the social aspect of school that I have just not been in for a while. I met the girl who sat next to me. Carly, an 18 year old recent high school grad looking to go to dental hygiene school. By Friday, I had met and conversed with several people and had exchanged phone numbers with many of the ladies in my SI group. 

So now the educational got the toughest professor! This wasn't really a choice, rather a necessity since this was the only time class was offered during school hours for my children. But she enjoys the trickery of test questions that no one would know. She will test over lecture, lab, text, pictures, internet sites, diagrams, you name it. You must know every detail through memorization and through function. At the end of the first class I was so overwhelmed. 

When the SI instructor came up to discuss Supplemental Instruction classes, I thought, "Who can make time for SI sessions with all this work? There are 3 sessions for lecture and 5 for lab!" So I went home Monday, cranky and overwhelmed and spent the day organizing a study system, note taking system, and a paper system for the loads of handouts and lecture notes coming my way. 

I decided to go to the second SI class, which is basically a free study session in small groups with a leader who has taken the course with the same professor and has gotten an A. Boy am I glad I went. My SI leader for the lecture offers 3 classes a week, right after our lecture on Monday and Wednesday and bright and early Friday morning. It was so helpful though. She was able to give us extra information on how the professor likes to test, extra handouts and games to help with memory, and advice on how to complete the test, starting with essays and skipping over the questions that you don't immediately know since you have roughly 30 seconds a question. YIKES!

So I have basically reworked my schedule to make sure that I am able to go to each SI for the lecture, and 2 of the 5 SI's for the lab a week. I need all the help I can get. I must get an A, and I must understand how everything functionally works. The more I know now, the easier it will be later. And if I can be a really good student, I can hopefully get a really good recommendation from my two professors. Those are requirements to get into the nursing program....and they look at your grades first. I could possibly get early admission based on excellent grades and recommendations. 

My head hurts from all this swirling around in my head. I will definitely be spending this entire semester submerged in A&P. Add to it my last semester as the PTO President. Add to it my children, husband, and home. Add to it my part time job. I may be sacrificing my sanity a bit over the next few years to make this happen...but I am in it to win it. Pray for me..... :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A great option for Valentines for boys!!!

As my boys are getting older, they are less interested in all the red and pink, hearts and flowers, lovey dovey Valentines "stuff". 

And I am a big fan of not handing out candy or food to the kiddos in their glass...last year sending cute glowsticks for their classes. If you missed that post, you can find it HERE. This year, after a google search, we decided on the bouncy ball valentines for both boys' classes. 

They chose from the several free printables and decided on THIS.

Each class has 24 students and the boys chose a package of 48 multicolored smile bouncy balls at Oriental Trading company for $6.25. 

Here is how they turned out:

I printed out the toppers, the kid's names are on the back, dropped a ball into some extra clear gift bags we had left over from Christmas bags (I did have to cut them down to be smaller), and stapled the topper to the top. They are really cute and the kids were happy that it wasn't too pink or "girly".

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Houston Texans birthday goody bags....

Jansen's 8th birthday is in May and he is asking for a swimming party with a Houston Texans football theme. Now this, I can do. 

We have two options. We can have the party at our outdoor pool...with up to 70 kids (yikes!), and I can set up a cute tablescape under the covered area. But if it rains that day, we are out of luck. OR, we can have the party at our local rec center. With that rental comes a party room where I could set everything up, and the pool is indoors, so if it rains, it really isn't a big deal. The only problem is the party would have to be much smaller. Like only 10 kids small. So while we are still working out those details, I am starting the official party planning. 

Since I got many of Caleb's things online from Oriental Trading, I checked to see what kind of goodies they had for a football themed party. I found some GREAT stuff. 

In a similar fashion to Caleb's, I found some blue treat bags for $4.25 and then I googled a Texans image. Cut and paste and you get some cute Houston Texans goody bags. 

Oriental Trading also had these ADORABLE foam finger lollipops in a variety of colors for $5.25. I chose dark blue because that is one of the Texans colors and I thought they turned out super perfect. 

I also bought a football variety grab bag for $12.50. It has slinkies, tattooes, necklaces, pencils, noisemakers, foam footballs, etc in it so every bag will have something football related but different. 

To finish the bags off, Jansen wanted M&M's, so each bag gets a fun size bag of M&M's and they are finished. 

Easy enough! I have grand plans for the decorations and food for this party. With his choice of venue, I am able to decorate much more than for Caleb's party. So on my list is to make some uprights, a name banner out of pennants, a football field tablecloth, a Texans football cake for the birthday boy, football cupcakes for everyone, football snacks, football water bottle's going to be a fun party!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ninjago birthday goody bags....

Caleb's 10th birthday is in March and this year he wants a Ninjago themed party. We are going to have it at our local skating rink, so he is really excited about that. He is still learning to skate and is anxious to be a much better skater by the time his birthday rolls around. That gives us 2 months to go practice!

Anyway, preparations have begun. I don't know how much longer he will let me do cute stuff for his birthday, but I have a feeling this may be the last year. So, while I am not allowed to bring in outside food (other than a cake) to the skating rink, and the area is not conducive for decorations (banners, set ups, tables etc since it is just a little area of booths) I will be making him a little Ninjago cake, cupcakes for his friends, and Ninjago goody bags to hand out. 

This morning, I worked on his goody bags. They are not all finished but I did get a pretty good head start on them. Caleb was very excited. 

Since his favorite Ninjago character is the green ninja, Lloyd, I went to online to check out Oriental Trading and see what type of ninja goodies they had. I found 2 packages of small green treat bags for $4.25 and knew they would be perfect to make a green ninja face out of. Then I did a google search for the ninjago eyes and printed of a sheet of the smaller ones.

Next, I cut out the eyes, and glued them to the green bags using a glue stick. Easy enough, right?!

I also found on Oriental Trading, an assortment of ninja action figures for $8 (2 figures per bag)....

And an assortment of Happy Birthday fortune cookies in super bright colors for $8.50.....

Throw some of those in the bags. 

Then Caleb asked for Kit Kat bars, so I grabbed a package of fun sized Kit Kat bars to put in each goody bag and they are done! 

I can make 24 goody bags at roughly a cost of $1 a bag. They turned out cute, and Caleb loved all the stuff in the inside. Jansen kept asking if he was going to get a bag as well...just to make sure he wasn't going to miss out on the candy and ninja action figures. 

Mark the goody bags off the list. Yay for early planning!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Personalized Disney name plaques...

I am in major planning mode. It is the New Year, after all, and as soon as January  pops up on the calendar I start planning birthday parties for my kiddos. 

This year, I get to plan more goodies for the Disney Cruise. I have made our fish extender, some fish extender gifts like Mickey glow sticks and Mickey lanyards, personalized water bottles, a shirt for Jansen and a headband for me. Now it is time to think about working on the stateroom door. Because every door looks exactly the same, it is customary on the Disney Cruise to decorate your stateroom door with magnets, stickers, Mickey decorations, Disney themed pictures, you name it! Here are some examples that I found when I did a Google search...

Courtesy of blog HERE

Courtesy of John and Sigrid's blog found HERE

So, I have begun with making a few name plates for us to stick on our cabin door once we get there. I have already printed out a couple of simple mouse ears to go around the circle with the stateroom numbers...but you really can't see that until we get there and decorate it. 

Anyway, this is a free way I came up with to personalize our door. Please remember this is shown on our black refrigerator so it will look different once on the white door.


I just printed out our names in a font I liked (not a Disney font) and then created a little mouse ear hat to go on each name. Then I just glued it onto a piece of heavy card stock and they are done. I want to stick with the whole black, red, and yellow theme of the classic Mickey colors so that is why they are printed in red and mounted on black.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Angry Birds at Space Center Houston....

Having gotten the flu in essence, twice over the holidays, I was still running fever until Wednesday of last week. I missed Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day, but I was determined to get out and do something fun with my kids before they return to school on the 8th. 

It just so happens that Space Center Houston, about an hour drive away, was having the country's first Angry Birds exhibit. My kids, like most, are mega Angry Birds fans, and what could be a better combination of fun and education? Angry Birds Space!

Word to the wise, buy your tickets online! I saved $15 by purchasing the tickets online, which is essentially getting one child in for free. Tickets are not all that cheap. It was a Saturday afternoon, it was packed, but the kids had a good time. It was a great way to get out, have some fun, and stay out of the yucky cold and rainy weather of the day. 

The kids' favorite experiment was to see how much they each weighed on other planets. That was probably the highlight of their trip! They also had some neat experiments like using algebra to create a laser show, teaching gravity through Angry Bird games, how much weight could you lift on other planets, using algebra to create electronic music, as well as just some fun computer games. 

Here are some pictures of my kiddos, living it up at Space Center Houston...

learning about gear ratios vs output

computer games

Angry Birds Space Playground

checking out some cool skateboard decks

creating electronic drum solos

waiting for a space show to start

Lego free play

Angry Birds brain teasers

Jansen and I enjoying our time

pumping some iron

checking out the plush selection

Caleb pumping some iron

Caleb would weigh 106.5 pounds on Jupiter

goofing around

Jansen solved his Angry Birds brain teaser game