Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Funnies: Haircuts, French Fries, and Family

The end of the school year is coming quickly. We only have 8 days of Preschool left!  I can hardly believe it, and at the same time I'm totally ready for the break.  My kids have been just as funny as ever, though.  Here's what they've said lately....

C: My mom cut my hair last night.
Me: Oh yeah?
C: Yeah. I had a 'nob' in my hair. A really big 'nob' so my mom cut it out.
It took me a minute, but I finally figured out she was saying a knot!


We were talking about who in our class is 5 and going to be in kindergarten next year, when one student said, "Wanna know where I'm gonna go to school? High school!"


I was working on some papers when one student asked me "Do you want the stample-er?" (aka. "stapler")


A student was playing in the toy kitchen and said, "When I grow up, I'm gonna work at a rest-or-not!"


One student was telling me about the fun he had with his uncles over the weekend.  Then he told me, "I have lots of uncles. Uncle Joe is my uncle. Aunt Kim is my uncle. Grandma Mary is my Uncle."


B: Mrs. Alyssa! What does 'weak' mean?
Me: It means 'not strong'.
B: Oh! Like if you eat french fries.
Yep. Just like that.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pinterest Flower Ring {DIY}

I know I am not very good at this blogging thing, but I actually have an excuse this time. My trusty laptop has finally quit on me. Being a newly wed and teacher, doesn't leave a lot of money just laying around for a new laptop. :)  We are using my husband's net-book as our home computer, but it is super small and a little slow, so blogging hasn't sounded like fun.  

My husband brought home a laptop from work this weekend, so I thought I'd share with you my latest craft project. I had some scrap fabric and an old ring just laying around, so I thought I'd make a little "Pinterest Inspired" ring from this {flower tutorial Pin}

I cut out a 1" flowers from black chiffon fabric (8 total), 1" circles from black tulle (5 total), and a 1/2" circle from felt.

 I folded the flowers into quarters and hot glued them to the the middle of the felt square. I did 2 layers of the chiffon and then a layer of the tulle and finished with a couple of the chiffon pieces on top. 

When I was done, I glued the felt circle to the ring. 

When I was finished, I thought it needed a little something, so I glued an old button to the center. 


Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Funnies: fast or slow?

The latest funny sayings from my students...

Student: "What color is this?" as if she were quizzing me. I paused and she started saying "tip-top tip-top tip-top"


Student: "Giraffes have hoobs"
Me: "You mean hooves?"


Me: "Are you pulling my leg?"
Student looks under the table."No, I'm not. See? My hands were on the table."


Student: "Let's clap fingers!"
Me: "You mean high five?"


One student was coloring a paper with a blank tv screen on it.  He colored it pink and said "Look! it's a girl show".  Then he colored it black. "Now it's a scary show".  Then he put some red on it. "Now it's a shooting show."


Student: "Last night we made punkin pie and apple criss. Mmmm... Does that make your tummy feel good?"


The kids were arguing over whose dad is the fastest, and I heard one student pipe up "My mom and dad are SLOW! I always beat them!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weather... you like it or not!

I am so looking forward to warmer weather.  I know I don't really have much to complain about this winter since it has been so mild, but that doesn't change the fact that I can't wait to pull out my capris and summer dresses!

A couple weeks ago, there was snow on the ground and it was perfect for snowman building.  My husband has been waiting all winter to build a snowman family {he's calling it a new family tradition}.  So here is this year's snowman family.

Mr & Mrs Snowman and us!

Don't you love that the snowman and wife are holding hands! :)

Then today, there was a glimmer of hope that spring is coming!  The temperature in my car on the way home said...

And it's supposed to be just a little bit warmer tomorrow! 

Today, I was thanking God for the little things... like driving with the windows down :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make a Difference Monday: Playing "catch-up"

I'm sorry that I haven't posted much lately, but can I be honest with you? Writing on my blog is not a priority for me.  It's fun, but there are other things in life that are more important like teaching preschool, spending time with my wonderful husband, spending time with friends, etc.  :)  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sharing my heart and life with you, but sometimes there are just more important things to do.

Anyway... I have been really bad about sharing the "Make a Difference Monday" challenges with you.  I will try to do better, but you are welcome to follow my friend here so that you don't miss out! :)   

The last couple weeks have been...

*Send a valentine to someone who isn't expecting one.

*Turn off the radio in your car and spend your drive time praying.

*Write a letter to someone you admire, letting them know that you appreciate them.

You are more than welcome to go back and do one that you've missed!  Or you could even do them more than once! :)  

I especially enjoyed the challenge to turn off the radio. I love music. I love to sing, play and listen to music, so turning off the radio was not easy.  As challenging as it was, it was a week that I really needed to spend that time talking to God.  Some big things came up and it was great to be reminded to talk to Him about my troubles. 

This week's challenge requires a little bit of work and planning... "Bag up some clothes and donate them."  This means you'll actually have to go through your dresser and closet to find the things that you don't wear, but for some reason are still hanging on to.  Then you'll have to take them somewhere to donate them.  If you're anything like me or my friend, you will realize in doing this, that we live a life of excess.  We have more than we really need, or can use. Take some time also to thank God for blessing you with enough clothes that you can have things to donate.  Think about the other ways that God has blessed you.  I know He has blessed me!  

My Story...

The last couple weeks in church (I guess it was technically Sunday School), Pastor Dan has been challenging us to write out our "story".  The story of how we each came to have a relationship with God.  

So I started thinking...

The point of writing down your story is so that you can more comfortably share it with others... My blog is the perfect place to share that because I can accomplish both at once!  Writing my story, and sharing it with others {meaning the two or three people that read this} ;)

Without further ado...



I was born into a Christian family... not only are my parents Christians, but my grandparents too... AND my dad is "in the ministry" (from Youth Pastor to Children's Evangelist to Camp Director to Children's Pastor).  This being the case, we went to church every Sunday (morning and evening) and every Wednesday.  I learned all the stories about David and Goliath, Noah, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego {there is video evidence of me teaching this story to my imaginary Sunday School class. I was born to teach. HA!}, Abraham and Isaac, Daniel, and of course Jesus from birth to death to resurrection! 

That was my childhood and I loved it all.  I loved the years of traveling around the country with my family as my Dad taught thousands of different children about God's love. I loved the summers we spent at camp. I loved being a part of Children's ministry with my parents and learning from them exactly what it means to show God's love to children.  

My personal journey began in April of 1997 {almost 15 years ago!}.  That is a day that I don't think I'll ever forget.  I can't remember the whole day, but I do remember sitting in a children's church service and hearing the gospel once again {the good news of Jesus death and resurrection that paid the penalty for my sin-and yours- so that I can spend eternity with Him in Heaven} from whoever was teaching the class.  I sat there and realized that even though, I had heard that story probably a hundred times, I had never made the choice to follow Him for myself.  I had never asked Jesus, the Son of God, to forgive me for my sin and become a part of my life.  Well, sure, He was a part of my life because I was in church all the time and my parents and grandparents loved him, but I had not made that commitment personally.  I knew that if I would have died that day, I would have spent eternity separated from God forever in Hell.  That was a scary thought for a 7 yr old.  Right there in my chair, I closed my eyes and prayed that Jesus Christ would forgive me of my sins and save me from eternal punishment in Hell.  I knew that I wanted Jesus to be a part of my life forever, and I wanted to spend eternity with Him in heaven {and I still do!}.  

From there, my life didn't change very dramatically.  Yes, I now had Jesus as my Savior, but I still occasionally disobeyed my parents, was mean  sometimes unkind to my brothers and sister.  I went to church just as I had before, and I knew all the right things to say and do at church {including pasting a smile on my face as soon as we walking in the door of the church, pretending I wasn't mad at my brother or sister or parents because I knew - from the dozens of times my parents reminded us- that everyone there had their eyes on the "pastor's kid"}.  I can't say I'm proud of the ways I put on the "Christian facade", when I felt {and was acting} the opposite.  No matter how much I "faked it" in front of people at church, God knew what was really going on in my heart. He knew the dramatic change that He was about to bring into my life.  

My 8th grade through 10th grade years were a turning point in my relationship with Christ. Sure, I was "saved" before that.  I was going to heaven, but I had taken for granted the fact that the creator of the universe loved me and wanted to have a personal relationship with me.  

So, God lovingly brought me to my knees...

First, my dad was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. His first battle with cancer was when I was 4 so I don't remember it at all.  As an 8th grader I was scared. I wasn't sure what lay ahead. I had no idea if this awful disease would take my dad away from our family or not.  It was not fun seeing my dad, the strongest, funniest, smartest guy in the world to me, sick.  And there was nothing I could do about it.  And my story could end there, but it doesn't. 

My favorite passage of the Bible during that time became Psalm 46...  

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah"

These verses gave me peace.  I knew that even though I felt like my whole world was falling apart, God was my refuge and strength.  I had no reason to be afraid.  My mom also introduced me to 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  I also began to pray hard.  I had never prayed like that before.  I prayed that God would heal my dad of his cancer.  As I prayed and looked to God for answers and comfort, I grew leaps and bounds in my relationship with Him because I learned to trust Him with everything.  After months of praying, God answered my prayers.

My dad was and is cancer FREE!  Even his doctor called it a miracle.  It was an amazing thing to see God answer my prayers {and that of hundreds of others praying for my dad} in such a big way.  I had never experienced that kind of answered prayer before.  But God wasn't done with teaching me to trust him... As my Dad's battle finished, my Grandpa's battle began.  He was also diagnosed with cancer.  This was another big blow in my life to that point.  I loved my grandpa.  He was the Music pastor at the church where my Dad was the Children's pastor {How cool is that? My dad got to work with his dad!} He was the reason I loved music and singing so much, and he taught me and encouraged me through every performance.   I was blessed to be a kid who grew up in the same town as both sets of grandparents {I might be a little bias, but I also have the best grandparents in the world}  Again, this was scary, to have another man that I loved dearly, facing this awful disease.  Why would God do this to my family?  Didn't he remember we already fought cancer in our family?  

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 ESV)

There was more we needed to learn.  I guess I wasn't quite done learning how to completely depend on God {I don't think I'll ever be done learning this}.  At the end of His first round of surgeries and treatment the doctors said my Grandpa was in remission.  Again, I was overjoyed to see God answer my prayers with a yes.  

But a few months later, the battle began, and this time there was nothing more the doctors could do.  I remember the night my mom gathered me and my siblings together to tell us the news.  It was the hardest words I've ever had to listen to.  I also remember praying together as a family that night.  We prayed that God would choose to do a miracle and heal our Grandpa, but we also prayed that if God chose to take him home to heaven that he would give us the strength and peace.  That became my prayer over the next few months.  Prayer for strength and peace.  My heart was broken, and there were many nights where I cried and prayed myself to sleep.  It was not easy, but I learned so much about trusting God through that time.  I remember the last time Grandpa was able to speak and told me that he loved me. I remember the last time I saw his eyes open, looking for Jesus to come take him home {away from the neighbors "yapping dogs"}.  In April of 2006, we said "see ya later" to my Grandpa.  It was the week before Easter {His favorite holiday}, and it made for a bittersweet holiday.  We were missing him, but glad that he was able to spend Easter with Jesus. 

I cannot say that this time in my life was fun or easy, but because of the things that I learned and the way it brought me closer to God, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I wish I could say that life has been a cake walk ever since, but life rarely ever is a cake walk.  I also don't want you to think that having a relationship with God has made my life terrible.  Actually, I hope you think the opposite.  My relationship with God has given me hope and life.  It has even brought joy even in the midst of trouble.  God has used the more difficult times to help me to grow, but he has also blessed me beyond what I deserve {maybe a "blessings" post is in order for the near future}. God is still teaching me many things, including how to trust Him.  He is still using circumstances in my life to give me a stronger relationship with Him.  

My story isn't over, and I don't think it ever will be as long as I'm here on this earth.  God has more to teach me, and the more I learn... the more I become and echo of Him, my Creator and Savior.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Funnies: Valentines Day

I didn't get a chance to post any "funnies" last Friday, but I'll just combine them with the funnies from this week. Enjoy!

Me:"C brought us special birthday treats today"
Me:"No, not pancakes"
C:"Oh! It's a surprise!"

Cupcakes...pancakes... She was close, right?


Child:"You have holes in your jeans."
Me:"Yes, I know."
Child:"You have to buy some more. You can get them at... Do you have a birthday?"
Me:"Yes, I have a birthday."
Child:"Well, you should get some for your birthday. Three of them."
Me:"oh really?"
Child:"Maybe we can buy you some!"
Me:"You want to buy me some?!?!"
Child:"My mom can."

How sweet :)


We were walking outside when...
Child:"What's that?"
Me:"A snow blower. It blows the snow."
Child:"It blows the snow away?... Is it magic?"


I stopped a child headed to the bathroom without permission and told her she needed to ask first so she said...
"Mrs. Alyssa! I need to go to the bathroom!" 
Me:"ok, go ahead"
Then she stopped again and said...
"Mrs. Alyssa! I need to not say that!" 

Too bad :)


And of course the classic...
"Happy 'Valentimes' Day Mrs. Alyssa!" 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Make a Difference Monday: Week Two!

Last week, a friend of mine {Her blog is here} started posting "Make a Difference Monday" challenges.  I am doing my best to take her challenge and I am passing it along to you!  

So, without further ado...

Week two's challenge!
"Write three (or more) notes of encouragement and leave them one of two places: tucked conspicuously between books at your local bookstore, or on windsheild wipers in a parking lot.  The choice is up to you! OR... you could do both. :)"

Have fun being an echo of the Creator! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Funnies: Groundhog Day

The funny things my kids said this week...

Child 1: "I watched Peter Pan!"
Child 2: "I watch Justin Beiber!" 
Never thought I'd hear that one from a 3 yr old!


"I like the Pirate Larry song where he says 'You look like Hunkin Crunch'!" 


I gave the kids yo-yos for the letter Y. One student likes to call it a "Rodeo" :)


The kids were running around during play time, and I heard the "popular" boy in the class say "Whoever's a girl GETS to follow ME!"


A girl at AWANA this week told me she didn't want to go home.  I asked her why and she said "Because I don't want to brush my teeth."  


One of my favorites this week was...
"The police don't let you watch Phineas and Ferb.  They'll jail your mom and dad...and you!  In jail, you'll have nothing. No computer. No TV. No friends..." 


The best one of all this week, was a student who showed his groundhog day project to his mom.  He told her it was a "Warthog" :)

Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Make a Difference Monday...

A dear friend of mine {and fellow blogger} started something new on her blog today.  She's doing "Make a Difference Monday" {check out her post if you like!} She is challenging her readers to join her in trying to make a difference in the world with simple little things that can easily be done in the midst of busy schedule.

I decided, not only to join her challenge, but to pass it along to all of my readers as well.  Every Monday she will post a new challenge, and I will do my best to pass it along to you {Be sure to follow my blog so you don't miss a challenge!}.  I would love it if you would join the challenge too and leave a comment telling me what you do each week and how it goes! 

Challenge #1: Take a dollar bill. or if you're feeling really crazy, more than one or a five... or ten... or twenty!  Stick a post-it note to it with something encouraging written on it.  Then drop it in a public place!  

Her note said "You are worth dying for. In fact, someone already did. Romans 5:8... But God showed His love to us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

What a great challenge!  And a great way I can be an echo of my Creator in a world that so desperately needs HIM!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Funnies

"Kids Say the Darnedest Things"

Anyone ever seen this show? I remember watching this show with my mom several times and it always made me laugh.  Well, the kids I know also say the "darnedest things".  As a teacher and having a husband as a children's ministry director, I am around kids a lot and hear some pretty funny things. 

On Fridays, I will share with you all the funny things I hear throughout the week. I'm going to call them my "Friday Funnies". :)

Here goes nothin'!


One of my girls was telling me about her video games, and I asked what she plays them on.  
She told me her "xbox 350" which sounds alot like xbox "free fit tee" coming from a 3 yr old.


I was helping a student open a juice box and told her she needed to say thank you before I would give it to her.  
She told me, "my mom doesn't let me say thank you"


To a 3 yr old Chocoate pudding is called "chocolate 'ogurt" :)


At AWANA we will be doing a food drive.  The leader announcing it was telling the kids who we are donating to.
leader: "it's called the Baptist Children's..."
kids: "church!"
leader: "no, not church. The Baptist Children's Home.  Who do you think lives there?"
kids: "JESUS!" 


I could probably go on and on with all the funny things I hear, but this is enough for now {I have to get dinner started soon ;)}  Hope it can put a smile on your face.  

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Photo Update

Here are a few things to keep you updated on my life...

Passion 2012 in Atlanta, GA

My new bulletin board 
The snow flakes say "{Child's name} loves _____"  They had the best answers when I asked them what they loved about preschool. :)

My husband and his {very} early birthday present... our first TV!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites

So I was in the mood to bake something tonight, and I just happened to have two wonderful things on hand.
1. A bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (a christmas gift of course because I'm 
too cheap to buy them)

2. A box of brownie mix (Aldi brand. Seriously the best brownies in the world.)

I also have mini muffin tins and a working oven. :)  Here's what you do. 

Mix up the brownies according to package directions. Preheat your oven to 350.  Spray the mini muffin tins with non-stick spray.  Fill the cups 2/3 full with brownie batter (my small cookie scoop was the perfect amount).  Gently push an unwrapped peanut butter cup into each cup.  Bake them for 10-14 min.  

They are delicious and bite size!

And a picture of mine fresh out of the oven...MMMMmmmm!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An underestimated letter...

Letters... I have been teaching through the alphabet with my students and we've done some pretty fun things so far.  When I realized that yesterday was going to be the letter V I thought "oh great. Worst letter ever! What in the world can you do with that letter?" 

As a first year teacher, I am always searching for ideas and this day was no different.  I began my search thinking about how "un-fun" I expected this day to be.  But, Praise the LORD there are some wonderful websites and blogs out there that help keep my classroom fun!  One of my favorite sites for ideas is the Preschool Express (especially the "individual letter activities" in "Alphabet Station").  

Anyway, after looking through several different sites, blogs, and pinterest (of course) I came up with a plan.  

We made Vampire Bats (we use Zoo Phonics and this is the animal for this letter)

We talked about Volcanoes and how they "erupt".  We made a big volcano out of play dough and (with some baking soda and vinegar) witnessed an eruption!  

We also talked about Vegetables. We played a game where one student would look at the picture of a vegetable and describe it to the class trying to get them to guess it.  

It turned out to be one of my favorite days!  The kids had a BLAST! 
Now I know, I LOVE the letter V! :)

You'll have to forgive my pictures... I forgot my camera and had to take them on my phone and I don't have a fancy phone with a nice camera. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

An Award?!?! for me?

It is Christmas break for me, and I am loving every minute of it.  I have also been out of town for most of it! My husband and I visited my parents for Christmas (in Normal, IL... Believe it. I really grew up there.) Then we headed down to Atlanta, Georgia for the Passion 2012.  It's a HUGE christian conference for 18-25 year olds and I felt so refreshed afterward! 

So anyway, this brings me back to today.  I was checking through all my emails and things (since I haven't in a while) and found out I have been nominated for an award... TWICE!  

Apparently there are some lovely ladies out there, who found my blog and think it's worth reading.

There are 3 things that I am supposed to do since I have accepted this award.

#1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link back to them. 
Well, I am so very thankful to Julie at Loving and Learning in Pre-K and Tessa at Spotlight on Kindergarten. They have some great stuff on their blogs, so please check them out!

#2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
Here goes nothing...
1. I have been married for almost 8 months now... and yes, I love married life.
2. We moved to Michigan last May. I was a little nervous about Michigan winters, but have yet to see much snow. :) Can't complain.
3. I teach pre-k to my small but wonderful group of 7! Love them.
4. My husband is the Children's Ministry Director at our church which means I get to work with kids on Sundays and Wednesdays too!  I love it!
5. I love ice cream and there is always room for it in my stomach.
6. I am a HUGE fan of dark chocolate.
7. I love my new Cricut and sewing machine and wish I could craft all the time!

#3. Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they've received an award!
Wow!  15?!?!  hmmmm.... how about some new and then some of my old favorites.