Thursday, March 31, 2016

Things in my News Feed Thursday ~Good Nutrition Goes a Long Way

We see evidence of this in school every..single..day...
Parents, take charge of what's on your child's plate.
It will be a win-win situation for all involved.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Blessings to all Family and Friends...Near and Far ~~And More Photos from Easters Past

Vintage Holiday Crafts
Here's wishing all of you a Blessed Easter.

I know, I've posted these before. 
But, I had so much fun on my trip down memory lane, 
I wanted to share them with you again.

Here, Amy is four years old. 
Her baby sister was born in the middle of March.
Emily was probably less than a month old here.

And one year later, both sporting an Easter Bonnet.
Their grandpa was always so thoughtful with flowers.
He bought a spring corsage for each of us.

Don't you just love when the weather is nice 
and you can have your Easter Egg hunt outdoors?!

I imagine you have noticed our Easter Attire.
It is traditional to wear something new,
something fresh on Easter Sunday.

And of course, 
I always constructed all of the holiday attire.
A new dress for both of our daughters,
and one for myself.

Also, I often made a new dress for my mom.
How in the world did I have time to sew four new dresses
 while working full time and taking care of our family?

Perhaps that is why we had "store-bought" dresses this year.
Or maybe, because it was too embarassing to wear dresses that their mother had made?

A year didn't go by without dying eggs.

Even our exchange students enjoyed our tradition.

Jake is the master of creativity. 
He always takes Easter Egg Dying to the next level!
I can't wait to see what they have done this year.

Best wishes to you and yours 
for a wonderful Easter Holiday.

Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Eve ~Easter Eggs ~Easter Basket Sweet Surprises on my Doorstep ~~and Sweet Memories of Easters Past

When your nest is empty, the holidays are different.
Quiet and uneventful.

Last year, we did not dye any eggs... I actually missed it.
So this year I told Callie, "we are going to dye eggs."
She was there for me.

1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vinegar
20 drops of food coloring

Success!
Such pretty colors.

There are a couple of awesome mommies in our neighborhood.
These two mommies know that our daughters live far away
and we do not get to spend our holidays together.

Today, this darling basket appeared on our doorstep.

It was filled with lots of sweet treats...

And this cute little note.

Thank you so much!
Secret friend, I think I may know who you are?
You left a pretty good clue!

And last weekend, this pretty basket was on our doorstep.

Treats for our cats and a special treat for me!
Thank you, Kelly and your darling girls.

Both of these baskets may seem like a small gesture to some,
but were a special touch of kindness for me.

It was just what I needed this weekend.
I have been missing these four more than words can express.
Most of you know that they live too far away 
for us to spend holidays together.

And of course, we are missing my mom and grammy
this holiday weekend.  

Keep in mind, when you are out tomorrow,
whether it is Easter Worship Services or Easter Brunch,
pay attention to those around you.

A smile or a nod may mean the world to someone who is lonesome 
and missing their loved ones during the holiday season.

Take care,
~Natalie

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday? Overcoming the "Too Pretty to Use" Syndrome

You all remember that three weeks ago, 
we attended a benefit for our Domestic Abuse Center.


For her first week at home,
she just sat on my dining room table...
Sealed in her Coach plastic baggie.

Was she too pretty to use?
Her leather is as soft as a new baby's skin,
plus she smells like the interior of a new luxurious car.

This problem is genetic.
I inherited it from my mother...she had it bad.
When I helped her move from her townhouse to the assisted living facility,
I discovered a cedar chest full of tissue wrapped gifts that were
"too pretty to use".

So, here she is....
with beautiful purple lining.

Loaded with the bare necessities...

For two weeks now has been
enjoying the good life!

Remember, you are worthy...
You deserve the pretty things that come your way.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy First Day of Spring ~Another Spring Break is in the Books ~~Congratulations to our State Champion Golden Eagles Girls Basketball Team

google image

Spring has sprung!  
Despite the light dusting of snow in the mornings, 
our afternoon sunshine is warm and gives promise of better days to come.
 
Spring Break provides a much needed reprieve for students...
 and especially the staff!

I was most excited to have time to do some spring cleaning
 in my kitchen and my closet...

...and some relaxation time on the couch with my furry friends.

Our biggest news is the State AA Basketball Tournament.
Both our boys and girls basketball teams earned a trip to the competition.
It was fun to watch the games...
I was so proud of our student athletes and fans.

Congratulations to our girls team for 
winning the State Championship.
It is the first in our school's history!
(Both of our daughters served as student managers for girls basketball. 
While we enjoyed trips to the state tournament, our best finish was second place.)

Spring cleaning isn't limitied to just household chores.
I spent some time this weekend in both of my Etsy shops...
We are all looking forward  to a new look on April 5.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Happy Birthday to our Emily

Our baby girl is having a birthday...
she is 27 years old.

When she came into the world, our family was complete.
Dad, Mom, Big Sister Amy, and Baby Emily.

You always bring so much joy and sunshine to our lives.
I hope you had a beautiful birthday.

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, March 10, 2016

So, I've Been Struggling to Find the "Blog Worthy" in my Life ~I Think I Just Found an Answer ~~Thank you, Julia Roberts

I haven't posted to my blog for 10 days. 
Perhaps everyone feels this way at this time of the year?

Work...work...work...

The grass is brown.
The trees are bare.
Winter...is there no end?

This post came across my Facebook News Feed this afternoon...

If Julia Roberts wasn't an actress, she would be a Family and Consumer Science teacher.
I've always liked her..and now I love, love, love her!

Here's what she says...
"What do family and consumer sciences teachers do?  They make a difference teaching life lessons and interesting topics. They teach content that solves practical perennial problems. FACS teachers teach about obesity prevention, balancing work and family-workforce development,  personal financial literacy, parenting education and meeting human needs. FACS content is about relevance and uses critical thinking skills"

Ummm...Yes!!
While my young men and women are learning to press a dress shirt,
the students in the background are writing checks for their bills 
and balancing their checkbooks.

We also research careers,
and compare colleges.

Roberts is passionate about improving the quality of life for others. Her work for UNICEF and other charities reveals her dedication to meaningful education. And that’s what Family and Consumer Science (FACS) is all about. It’s the one secondary school subject that is focused on gaining essential knowledge and skills in the fields of nutrition, child development, home finances, and other areas that directly affect an individual’s and a family’s quality of life.
Roberts understands the importance of family. She’s a dedicated mother of three and focuses much of her charitable work on improving the lives of families. Families are the cornerstone of every society, yet only FACS classrooms directly deal with the issues crucial to developing and maintaining healthy families. Can you imagine a thriving household in which no one knew about nutrition, caring for young children, or managing money? Can you think of an academic area besides FACS where these things are directly taught?

Students learn about nutrition,
that men can cook,
and not all cops are out to get you.

Roberts strives for excellence. She didn’t win an Academy Award or become one of America’s highest-paid actresses by sitting on the sidelines. The best teachers challenge themselves and their students to achieve excellence, and FACS teachers are no exception. A FACS teacher sets the bar high and teaches towards students’ biggest test: life. FACS students learn about the latest research in child psychology, MyPlate nutrition, Farm to Fork food preparation, career education, problem solving, and critical thinking skills and other life lessons.


Why Family and Consumer Sciences Education?
Numerous articles, editorials and radio discussions have been asking “Where is Home Economics?” individuals leading the discussion have ranged from medical doctors, cardiologists, entrepreneurs, dietitians, and financial planners. The motivation for such a request comes from the evidence that our society is faced with many perennial issues that negatively impact individuals, families and communities. Each issue (obesity, financial literacy, career preparation, work-life balance, to name a few) can be addressed through family and sciences education curriculum and courses. Family and Consumer sciences education is vital through family and consumer sciences education curriculum and courses. Family and consumer sciences education is vital to the improvement of the quality of life. Family and consumer sciences curriculum brings to life academic disciples such as sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and connects students to real world applications of such content.
Hospitality, tourism and travel industries are growing in many states across the national resulting in an increased demand for managers of hotels, restaurant and spas. Food manufacturing companies seek FACS graduates to work in product development, consumer affairs, public policy, strategic planning, marketing and research. Counselors are needed to work with individuals faced with alcohol/ drug abuse and in family crisis careers. The beginning of coursework includes learning about family, child development and that is FACS courses.

Thank you, Julia, for reminding me 
why my alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m.

Take care,
~Natalie

credit to Minnesota FCCLA  for the well written article