An Exciting Day for the PTA

staples steal

I mentioned on my recent post, about Caleb and his ADD diagnosis,that my friend Maureen sent me a thoughtful note in the mail that also included a Staples gift card. (Thank you again, Maureen!) I thought this was so cute. She said to consider it a donation to our PTA. ūüôā

So…..tonight I cashed in. Check out these puzzles that I found for…….du du du………Woot! ¬†50 cents a piece!!!

You might say I was kind of excited about this. I bought one of each kind of puzzle, two of the US states ones, since that is something we are working on a lot, and I happen to have two boys that are both learning their states and capitals.

Receiving an unexpected gift from a friend is something that will just make your day, isn’t it? Even a note or an email–just knowing, hey, there are people out there who are thinking about you–it goes a long way. This is a good challenge to me to make sure I do thoughtful things for others too!

As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking about the ADD thing a lot lately. You can bet there will be a post soon on good teaching strategies for ADD students. In the meantime, I’m experimenting. ¬†I’ll tell you what doesn’t work: standing up at the board and talking to them…….total waste of air…..Joshua is excellent at concentrating on his work and staying on task. He just has a listening problem. Caleb, however, I’m still trying to figure out.

Today I decided to just ask him.

“Caleb, do you have trouble concentrating on what I’m saying when I’m talking to you, like at the board, in school?”

“Yeah! It just hurts, like right here. Right here (pointing to his eyebrows), when I’m trying to look up at the board it just hurts, and I can’t see it good, and I just can’t do it.”

hmmmm ¬†Now there’s another thing that I should mention here. Caleb has sinus troubles. They come and go constantly, and they are definitely aggravated right now.

I also have sinus issues, and when I do, I get a headache in my forehead, in the eyebrow/nose bridge area. So, I can relate to what Caleb is saying. I’m going to need to give that poor boy some tylenol and some Mucinex before school. Tylenol is no problem, but I don’t have any Children’s Mucinex right now. If only going to the store were easier!!

I should probably also look into getting Caleb’s vision screened. We’ve had Joshua’s done, and his is perfect. Phew!

I think that Caleb, like Joshua, learns more by doing than by listening. I’m going to have to drum up some more hands on activities for Classical Conversations. CC has a lot of memory work, and that is hard for someone who doesn’t listen. There are two things that Caleb needs help with right now: ¬†CC work (memorizing capitals, Latin, etc.) and Spelling. I switched his spelling program to It’s free, and I was able to pick a list that is right for his level. That has helped a TON. The thing is, I’ve noticed he doesn’t internalize the word spellings from writing them, only from really discussing them with me, and spelling them out loud.

Don’t discount Caleb yet, though. He has many subjects that he excels at. He aces every math assignment I give to him. Goodness knows he LOVES science, and he has caught up on reading, too. He’s also really good at puzzles, cursive writing, and art. Caleb makes very clean, straight lines. His thoughts are very organized. For example, we gave the boys these design-your-own toothbrushes. Joshua’s looks like mine would look: a mess of stickers all over the place in all directions. (I understand, Jman, I do.) Caleb’s looks like Alan’s would look: everything on it is in parallel lines–perfect–no tape that stuck to itself, no disorder at all.

Here’s a cute picture that Caleb drew this week. He drew this just for the blog. It’s a scene from his FAVORITE book series, Elephant and Piggy:

“Caleb A (as in he gave himself an A–ha!) ¬†Let’s Go for a Drive”

So far this is what I’ve learned about ADDish kids: ¬†They don’t learn from listening. They learn from doing.

If I’m at the board, they do all the reading and writing. I just tell them what to write. My part has to be pretty minimal.

I’m learning more every day about this. It’s exhausting. Some days I randomly get these mystery fevers. I have no idea what’s wrong with me. I’ve started tracking it on my calendar and have found no pattern, other than sleep deprivation. Alan’s mother said that she used to get fevers when she was sleep deprived, so I’m seriously wondering if that’s my problem. Have any of you ever dealt with this sort of thing? It’s been going on since during my pregnancy with JD, but happening more lately.

I’ll leave you with this photo of Caleb, hard at work. I make them do all of their most consuming, not fun, work first thing in the morning, while they are still fresh. That has worked really well. They do their math worksheet, writing, spelling, and character lessons during the 9-10am block, every day. I’m starting to find ways to ease some CC memory work into their writing assignments.

Of course, Daniel finishes anything I give him, crafts included, in 15 minutes and then asks me for more work. This kid will be starting his K4 books in January. I don’t care if he is still 3. He is ready. Don’t you love his war paint? It’s just part of the package, ya’ll!

Okay. Now I really must go do this:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8

How To Make a School Supply Cake



Yes, I actually made this. ¬†Nope, it wasn’t hard.

I’m always saying I’m not a crafty person, but then I do have so much fun putting stuff like this together. ¬†I’m beginning to wonder if I actually DO enjoy crafts after all….


Next week is Staff Appreciation Week at the boys’ school, and I am “room mom” for Caleb’s class.

Don’t be impressed. ¬†I am never ‘room mom.’ ¬†This is simply what happens when you are the last parent to leave Open House, and you realize that no one signed up for that position. ¬†Thankfully, the position really hasn’t required that much of my time. ¬†I’m not able to volunteer during school hours, as I have two babies at home, but I can organize class events from right here at home.

Now, let’s talk about this ‘supply cake.’

That term sounds goofy to me, so let’s call it a tower here. ¬†I found this idea on my favorite idea zone, Pinterest! ¬†I found several towers like this, read about them, and none of them were exactly what I wanted, but this particular one served as my inspiration because it is just so darn cute:

Shout out to and to for the inspiration on this!!

I wasn’t able to come up with exactly the same supplies that were used here, so I decided to just ‘wing it’ a bit.

Like it?? ¬†You can totally make this. ¬†If I can do it, anyone can!! I’m including directions here for exactly how I made this, to make it as easy as possible for you!!

¬†To print the directions: click here¬†(Page 1 comes last on the printable. But don’t worry. It is there.)

how-to-make a school supply cake

First, buy this:

scrapbook paper

paper plate

a pretty color masking tape to match the scrapbook paper

16 boxes 24 count crayon boxes

10 bottles Elmer’s glue

26 glue sticks

1 paper towel roll

1 full size Dixie cup

2 boxes 24 count #2 pencils

2 packs of 100 count index cards

5 rubber bands

4 jumbo paper clips

alternative: ¬†You can also use packs of glue sticks instead of glue sticks, and that’s a little cheaper and easier. ¬†If you do the packs of glue sticks, you will need 7 packs of glue sticks. ¬†Each pack has two glue sticks.

Here’s a photo of what the glue stick pack version looks like. ¬†I made this one for Joshua’s teacher. Families from the class chipped in and paid for these. ¬†I just put them together. ¬†: )




1. Take a sturdy paper plate, turn it upside down, and tape the scrapbook paper to the plate.

2. Don’t stick the paper towel roll to the plate until you have secured layer 1 to the paper towel roll. ¬†Trust me. ¬†It’s easier to do layer one ¬†if it’s not stuck down to the plate yet.

Layer 1:

3. Line 6 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons around the paper towel roll. Secure with a rubber band.

4. Line 8 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons around the other boxes of crayons.  Secure with a rubber band.  Wrap the masking tape around the rubber band.  You could also use ribbon.  In the middle, clamp on a jumbo paper clip.

5. Now put tape all over the bottom of the paper towel roll and stick it to the prepped paper plate with scrapbook paper.

Layer 2:

6. Take 9 or 10 bottles of Elmer’s glue to form a ring around the paper towels, sitting on top of the inner ring of crayon boxes. Secure with a rubber band. ¬†Wrap the tape around the rubber band. ¬†Fasten in the center with a jumbo paper clip.

Layer 3:

7. ¬†This is the trickiest part, though none of it was hard. ¬†The glue doesn’t make a shelf, so you have to tape the glue sticks to the paper towel roll. ¬†I just lined up multiple little bundles of masking tape, and stuck the glue sticks to it.

Don’t worry. ¬†Here are some photos to help:


3/4 of the way done


the tricky part

Once all the glue sticks are on, secure layer 3 with a rubber band, cover with the masking tape, and clip on your jumbo paper clip.


8. I folded some more tape onto the top of the roll, covering most of the hole.  Then I pushed the cup onto the top.


not overly sophisticated, but it will do



Stick on the Dixie cup. Then I added 24 pre-sharpened #2 pencils.

Stick on the Dixie cup. Then I added 24 pre-sharpened #2 pencils.

9. I put a crayon box on the north and south sides and index card packs on the east and west.  Our class also chipped in for some gift cards, so I stuck those in there too.  This would also be great as a Christmas or end of the year gift for your teacher.  It was surprisingly easy to make!




Thanks for stopping by! I hope you will follow me on Facebook for more fun ideas. ūüôā

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Just clicking on the banner is voting. Click and done. Thanks!!


Charitable Chicken and Other Little Tales


Lots of little things are going on here in the House of Many Little Men….

This is the thing I’m most excited about: ¬†JD is getting ready to take off. ¬†Each day he finds his way onto his hands and knees just a little bit more.

He is also SERIOUS about his “standing practice.” ¬†He just loves to be on his feet. ¬†He’s extremely unsteady when you walk him, and yet the boy will randomly just let go of your hands. ¬†Gutsy, this one.

Do you think we’ll have to hang gates before we move? ¬†Right now he moves at the speed of sleeping turtles, so we’re good, but we have around seven weeks left in this house, and a lot can happen in that amount of time!


This is hands down the most stressful thing going on with me right now. ¬†Here’s the deal: ¬†we are a military family. ¬†That means we can’t even book movers (set a moving date) until we have official orders in hand.

Alan has to report to his new duty station on June 30.

We have no orders.  This is April 24!!!

We keep calling. ¬†It turns out that the EFMP is what’s holding us up. ¬†What’s an EFMP, you ask? ¬†Exceptional Family Member Program: ¬†a PCS nightmare. ¬†(PCS = Permanent Change of Station= Moving) Pray for us! ¬†We can’t move until the EFMP people decide this is a good place for Caleb to live and get treatment. ¬†Caleb has epilepsy. ¬†I will be doing a post on epilepsy soon: ¬†yes, another one, because I’m always amazed at the misconceptions that people have of it.

So that’s that. ¬†Moving stresses me out to talk about, so let’s move on…

My #2 stressor right now is that I’m the room mom for Caleb’s class, and Staff Appreciation Week is coming up. ¬†I volunteered to make this:

only with less Elmer’s and more pencils. ¬†Plus, we’re adding a couple of fun gift cards for the teacher.

Do you think I can do it? ¬†Let’s go with yes. ¬†After all, I did make this last year:

and by ‘this’, I’m referring to the diaper cake to the right of my friend Betsy! ¬†I forgot to take a close-up picture of it!! How do you create a masterpiece like that and forget to take a picture? ¬†; )

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the ‘supply cake’!


Funny things I’ve seen/heard lately:

–I was going over my bank records, and I noticed a transaction that read ¬†“Church. ¬†$23: ¬†charitable giving”

(Our bank categorizes our purchases.)

Alan was sitting beside me, and I thought this was an odd amount, and at a different location than our church. ¬†I asked Alan, “Did you give $23 to a church?”

“No. ¬†What’s the address? ¬†Hmmm. ¬†Let me see it. ¬†Oh! ¬†Ha! ¬†Church’s chicken!”

So there you have it, folks!  If you eat fried chicken, it may or may not help you on your tax return!

One more:

Daniel was sitting down the other day, making his feet talk to each other.  Apparently they were having an argument of some sort:

“Your turn,” said the left

“Noooo,” replied the right, and it kind of just went on along those lines. ¬†But then doesn’t everyone’s feet talk to each other?


1 2