Teaching Heart Mom

Just a Mom With a Teaching Heart. Find fun activities to do with your kiddos and students (infant to age 10). www.teachingheart.net blog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Teaching Heart Posts of 2009

Happy New Years Eve! It's the last day of 2009. Here are my favorite posts from 2009! I would love for you to comment and tell me what your favorite 2009 post at Teaching Heart was! If you have a blog, what was your top three favorite posts on your blog.

Top 18 from 2009!!!! I stared my three faves!


Got an Award and Giving It Out!

I got an award from
Find great crafts for your child complete with photos and instructions of the many art projects. You will also find great playgroup/birthday party ideas, fun activities to do with your toddler, learning themes such as letters, mommy tips, tricks, and secrets, fun kid-friendly websites, and great parent resources. Hop over and visit this fun site!
Thanks for the bloggy love!

and it looks like this
The Lemonade Stand Award is awarded for being a blogger who shows great attitude and gratitude. The rules for accepting this award:
- Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
- Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I have chosen the following blogs to pass along this award to ~ they are all creative, crafty, and inspirational .... Maybe you will find a fun one to add to your reading list! Happy Browsing!
13 of my favorite reads!!!

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Christmas Show & Tell at Tip Junkie

Tip Junkie is one of my favorite blogs. It was one of the first blogs I started reading when I first got interested in Blogs. Laurie does an amazing job of showing off her stuff and the stuff of other bloggers. I have been lucky to be featured on her site a few times. Right now over at Tip Junkie is a very nice list of Christmas posts. It definitely is a bookmark to look at next year for inspiration. Click here to check it out!

Here are my faves from the list...

A Candy Cane Chandelier

I love hanging this from my chandelier. This is cute, creative, and pretty simple... Bonus, inexpensive if you buy those candy canes on sale now.

Tidy Mom (Dollar Store Holiday Decorating)

Keeping with inexpensive, check out how well this Tidy Mom used dollar store goodies to decorate. Lovely!

Santa Inspired Crafts - Somedaycrafts - Lots of very cute ideas here.

Another great Mr. Linky with Christmas Ideas Galore cane be found here at Ramblings of a Crazy Women.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recipe for a Snowy Picnic...

Make up a pot of hot chocolate... pour it in a few Starbucks coffee cups to keep it warm. Bring along some whip cream for extra smiles. Bundle up your kiddos. Call a friend to join you. Go sledding or just play at the park (it's another world in the snow)! When the fun is about over, share some warm yummy for the tummy and enjoy a snowy picnic.

The kids will be so tired after they are done that you will have time to blog!

Click here for a recipe for homemade hot chocolate!!!

Looking for a quiet activity to complete after a day of sledding? Have your kiddos color this and this.
Cut out the pictures.
Have the kiddos write about their adventure.

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Let's Talk Snowmen

Let's start with some snow... Add a carrot for the nose and a magic hat! Here are a few ideas for fun with your snowman!

Snowman Song: (Tune: I'm a Little Teapot)
I'm a little snowman,
round and fat.
Here are my mittens,
Here is my hat.
When the sun comes out I melt away.
See you next year On a snowy day. ~ Author Unknown

Free Printables

***Sorting Gingerbread & Snow Friends – The student cuts out various pictures of snowmen and then sorts them on a sorting sheet (k-2). The student answers question independently (1-2) about their sorting sheet. This comes from Teaching Heart's Snowman packet. Click here to learn more...

Create Snowman, Snowman Book with the free printables and ideas from Teaching Heart

Need some board games for the winter months? Teaching Heart's Board Game CDROM comes with many themes that can be used with any skill you would like your child to work on... Just print and you are set. Click here to learn more.

Here is a picture of part of a reproducible book from pur CDROM. You may try to make your own or click here to learn about the CDROM.
Each page in the book has a snowman in it. The student choses a color to write in the blank and then colors that part of the snowman.
I like your _______ hat.
I like your ________ scarf.
I like your ________ nose.
I like your _______ eyes.
and so on...

Read There was a Cold Lady and use the ideas found here to match the book!!!

Recipes and Crafts
Snowman on stick http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/snowman-on-a-stick-699309/

Try Deforsty the Snowman from Family Fun!

Taste of Home has a recipe for Cauliflower Snowman

DLTK has some great craft ideas!

Color, cut, and glue to make this easy snowman craft!

Paper Plate Snowman Patterns

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Party Table Setting Idea & Christmas Sharing...

Did you have a Merry Christmas? I surely hope all my Teaching Heart visitors and blog readers had a Merry Christmas filled with friends, family, faith, love, and good eats and drinks! I sure did. We go away every other year to Vermont and stay home every other year. I enjoy going to Vermont but nothing will ever beat being in your own home Christmas AM. It was a wonderful Christmas in our house. I am very thankful to God for my families many blessings. I pray in 2010 we will continued to be blessed and that God will show us how we can share our blessings we have been given with others.

Now, we are all trying to stop eating junk (cookies, candy, large meals, eggnog, beer...). It's hard work, but I am starting to feel a little bigger than I was a week ago and that's not good. I guess it's time for my annual New Years resolution of losing my almost four year old pregnancy weight... Maybe this will be the year I do it!?!? O-my! Enough of that!

Just a few things to share about Holiday fun in our home.
I will start with my Christmas Eve table setting. I showed you how to do the napkin rings here. They were loved by all and it made it easy for everyone to find their seats after they filled their plates with appetizers (I did an all appetizer dinner).

Also, at each seat was a small gift bag. On the gift bag was the name of the person and words that described the person. I had each family member email me one word to describe each family member. I then typed the describing words above each person's name. I printed out tags and put them on gift bags. Inside the bags was a Christmas wish for the person. The Christmas wish was a wish from the person who was buying for that person in the gift exchange. My kiddos also colored tiny Christmas icons that were inside each bag.

It was a cute conversation starter. Once everyone was seated I had everyone go around and read the words family had used to describe each other. There was lots of laughs. You can see my bag above... Goof-ball is the word I am most proud of.

Then each person found their wish in the bag and we each went around and read those. You can see an example wish above. My kiddos even enjoyed these bags. Now that my son can read he was really into this. It was a fun way to start a fun night...

If you are still hungry... here was the food set-up. I forgot to take a picture until it was half way ATE.

Thirsty? This wasn't my idea... It was my Aunt's. Great Christmas gift for a beer drinker. Get a bunch of their favorite random beers and place in the shape of a tree outside in the Christmas snow and when they awake they can see what Santa left them outside.

The menu:
Baked Brie En Croquet and crackers, Shrimp Tray, Mini Crab Cakes and sauce,
Mini Hot Dogs, Mini Potato, Bear Bread – Cucumber Dip, Onion Blossom Dip and Fritos/Celery,
Veggie Pizza, Greek layered Dip With Pita Chips, Curry glazed meatballs, Strawberries and Bailey’s Dip, Spiked Eggnog

-Oreo Truffles -Chocolate Cheery Cheesecake - -Mint Cake - cookies of course

Happy New Year!!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Eggnog Post

I am writing this after consuming some eggnog I have mixed together for Christmas Eve. An awesome recipe that my neighbor gave me... It is so smooth, Yes... I had a second glass... Best part is I can hear my hubby pounding along on the treadmill while I enjoy my fattening dink. Even better, i don't feel guilty...

Here is the recipe... IT IS GOOD and you can't taste the alcohol...

Three Rivers Cookbook 1

2 qts. Egg nog
1 fifth blended whiskey
1 fifth rum
1 fifth brandy


I only use half of each fifth. Believe me it is plenty and it doesn’t have an alcohol taste. I have had it with all the alcohol and it is way to strong.

Make it several days ahead and refrigerate. Can last in fridge for 2 weeks!


I think I need this shirt:

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Elf Family Napkin Rings Place Holders...

I am a busy elf... Getting ready for a Christmas Eve Celebration at my home. Christmas Eve is so much fun to plan. I am having 12 for dinner. It will be an appetizer dinner. I am working on a few surprises for my family. I thought I would share one surprise before the event (most I will post after Christmas)... But this one was so easy and so much fun, I had to share it in hopes someone reading my blog could copy the idea and use it too.
I made these cute little Napkin Ring Place Holders... The two above are samples of the 12 I made (one is my brother and one is my cousin). All you need is a picture of a family members head. Cut it out and glue this little elf hat on top:
Then get an empty paper towel roll, a knife, tape, glue, and wrapping paper.
Cut the paper towel roll with the knife.
Wrap each mini roll with paper and you have a ring...
Now glue your elf head on the ring and stuff a napkin inside and you have a cute festive napkin ring that may make some of your guests giggle. This took me 45 min. to complete 12 rings start to finish.
If you use the idea, please let me know. What fun crafty things do you do to make the holidays fun and festive at your home?

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Fun Online...

I know I am busy... There isn't much time left before the big day. There is still so much to do at my house. One of the most difficult things to do is keep the kids busy while you do your to-do list. Here are a few sites that may help with that...

http://www.noradsanta.org/en/index.html - This has a little Santa Village and each day they add a new game. My seven year old loves the games. I lost track of how long he was on this site yesterday and I am sure it was over an hour - bad mommy! Anyhow on Christmas Eve they will start tracking Santa's team. Here is the direct link to the village with the games http://www.noradsanta.org/en/countdown.html

http://www.northpole.com/ - You can get printables here, send santa a letter (and he will write back), do crafts, and lots more. There is even a place for teachers and homeschoolers.

Online Coloring: Color this picture of Mary and the manger online and print or print the page and color with crayons. (Flash)

Here are two games my three year old enjoyed:

Christmas Bells: Make music with the Christmas bellsDress Up Elves: Two little elves to dress up for Christmas. (Flash)

SHHHH....This is one for your eyes only...
You can take a picture of your living room, upload it to the site, and then add a santa. Show it to your kids Christmas AM so they know Santa was there. This one is not free... but for 9.95

http://portablenorthpole.tv/ This site asks you a few questions about your child and then produces an adorable video where Santa personally welcomes your child, congratulates him/her for being well behaved and hints at what special treat might be under the tree Christmas morning. It's the personalized Santa Claus letter for the digital generation. I just did one for my kids and it turned out so cute. Make sure you upload a picture of your child.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spread Some Cheer! Quickly and Inexpensively...

In my opinion, the best part of Christmas is the feeling you get when you give a little and make someone smile. I guess we should try to do that all year... but for some reason on the Holidays we make an extra effort.

Here is an inexpensive gift idea for friends and neighbors who are tired of hearing the kids whine; but like a little wine. Just buy the little packs of wine. The bottles are cute. They come in four miniature wine bottles. I wrote a little poem you can attach:

Click here to print the poem "mommy style" or here for "teacher style"!!!

Attach the poem and start spreading your cheer!

My girlfriend spread some cheer my way... she gave me this cute dip plate with a dip mix and crackers. The card says, "Dip into the Holidays and have a healthy New Year. Now I am ready to serve a quick appetizer, wana come over? I have wine, dip, crackers, and a big smile!!!
Hey, all of you looking for a gift to give a teacher... Let me let you in on a secret (that teachers are too nice to admit)... sssshhhhh... Teachers would perfer gift cards (and Teaching Heart CDROM's), not mugs, candles, pins, or apples. Here is a cute way to give a gift card. Purchase small bags at Michael's, place a few holiday candies in the bag with the gift card.

Tip Junkie one of my fave blogs just featured me here... Check out all the great Christmas craft ideas Laurie has listed. My craft is #5.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yet again, Cookie Talk - Quick Gift Idea

I think I am ALMOST done making Christmas cookie. My kids still have to make their special ones and I have to make my hubby oatmeal butterscotch (his one request)... But besides that, I am done.

I give my cookies away as gifts. Better my neighbors be fat than me. Did I just say that?

Anyhow... Here is a quick way to make a pretty tray that won't cost you a thing and it's pretty.

All you need is some wrapping paper, a peice of cardboard, clear wrap, ribbon, and cookies (of course)!!!

Wrap that cardboard.

Put some cookies on it... Wrap and ta-da, you have a beautiful tray to give to a friend.

Cookies = Love, don't ya think???

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

It isn't Christmas Without Cookies!!!

Do you make cookies over the Holidays? Do you let the kids help or do you tell them to stay away?

Me.... I make sugar cookies every year and a few other kinds too. I try my best not to eat them and just let them fatten up my guests. I don't let the kids help with the Christmas cookies... I like doing them and it is stress relief for me over the holidays... I think it may have something to do with the Baker's blood I inherited. I just love icing a cookie and seeing a finished product. Plus, sugar cookies look and taste beautiful. It wouldn't be Christmas without them... Here are a few samples from this years collections of sugar cookies.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Clash of the Christmas Ornaments

Two loves in our house...
#1.) we all love Disney and the movies and characters that go along with Disney.
#2.) My husband (and my son) LOVE Star Wars. So our tree gets to share our love...
So here's the things: I like Star Wars, but Star Wars doesn't make a cute ornament. We have large Darth Vader Ornaments that say things like, "I'm your father!" and "You are not a Jedi yet!"every time you plug in our tree. Not exactly getting me in the Christmas Spirit!
We have tons of Star Wars Ornaments because my husband collected them when he was younger and before we were married. We have tons of Disney, because I collected those before kiddos. My husbands mom STILL buys her 35+ year old Star Wars Ornaments every year (So we have at least one Star Wars ornament from 1985 on)... Before kids I could get away with hiding all the Star Wars Ornaments behind the tree. Then something bad happened... My son got deep into Star Wars and started to insist the ornaments be placed where all could see. Better yet, he likes to have certain ships fly with certain ships.

How I dream of having a pretty tree... but we have a Star Wars/Disney Tree. The weird thing is at night I think the Star Wars ornaments come to life and attack my poor little Disney ornaments.... It's just not pretty! So all you bloggers out there that have shared your beautiful trees decorated like they belong in a magazine, I envy you!!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

O Christmas Sweater, O Christmas Sweater!!!

You either wear them or you don't. I am proud to admit, I wear them.... Started wearing them when I taught and collected quite a few over the years. They scream TEACHER... I bet that 70% of the people who wear these work with children in some capacity, none are under 30, and most are over 40.

Anyhow, I have a problem... I have about 12 of these sweaters and for some reason each year they call to me: "Hey look at me I light up, Hey you don't have one like me!" The shiny little bells chime my name, they look so awesome under the Target store lighting, and it's my excuse to get bedazzled. I have to say to myself, STOP. YOU HAVE MANY OF THESE. WALK AWAY!!! YOU REALLY DON'T LOOK GOOD IN THOSE, NO ONE DOES!!!

Come on, confess, you secretly like them too. You have one. What is it like?

Be sure to check out: