* Coldstone: As mentioned in previous posts, I pretty much am obsessed with Coldstone Creamery. I know the phrase they say as you enter (as well as the tone and pitch in which they say it)---"Hi, Welcome to Coldstone!" I know the tip songs they sing and that they won't sing unless you put in paper money, no matter how much change you put in. I know that Candy Land is the absolute best Creation. I know that if you sign up for their birthday club, you get a free Love It Creation coupon on your birthday. Basically, it's the best ice cream place you could ever go to. It beats the PANTS off of Baskin Robbins!!! AND, I have a $15 gift card!!! :)
* Kids That Bring in All of Their School Supplies: As a pretty organized teacher, I like to make a little list for the kids to look at on the first day telling them what to do with each of their school supplies. Then, I make little signs on my back table to help them put the "community" items in the right spot. Well....it is just beyond me why you would send your child to school on the first day with absolutely NO supplies! Yet, it happens EVERY year! No, your child won't need a pencil...a notebook...a folder....we just supply all of that! Anyway, this is supposed to be about my favorite things, so I'd better be a little more positive. I absolutely adore the students who have EVERYTHING on the supply list on the first day of school! It just makes it so easy on me to be able to put everything away at once and check them off. Plus, you know they have everything and you don't have to send home reminders....only to get nasty notes back from parents saying that the school asks for too much stuff...oy!
*Clix: Clix is a fairly new photography studio in Dunkirk that has taken some beautiful pictures of Caleb and our family. My mom taught the owners' daughter, so I was willing to give it a try for Caleb's one-year-old pictures. Well, they got some beautiful head shots as well as some cute ones in chairs and such. We went back this summer for some family pictures and they are also very, VERY cute. They give little referral cards with one of your pictures on it to hand out to your friends. If a friend uses it, THEY and YOU get a free portrait sheet!! I have handed out quite a few! :) They also have $9.95 deals where you get a whole bunch of one pose in lots of different sizes. There are Clix studios all over the country, so if you're looking for a good place to get pictures done, try it! http://www.clix.com/
* Fisher Price Ball Popper: I seriously don't think Caleb has played with any toy for as long as he has played with this. We started playing with it when he was just three or four months old (holding it in front of him and letting him watch the balls/feel the air) and he hasn't stopped yet! He loves the variety of music and will chase after the balls for hours. Once in a while the balls will kind of get stuck, but Caleb has even learned how to turn the popper to help the ball get out! It really was a good investment....worth all $3 I paid for it at a yard sale! :)
* Chalk Markers: I'm allergic to chalk, and my 4th grade classroom has a smaller dry erase board than my 3rd grade classroom did. Of course, the chalk board is huge! My friend Sheila (I had her son last year) got me some Chalk Markers to try. They are more or less highlighters for the chalk board. They are wet-erase and could also be used on the windows, dry-erase board, etc. They are available in lots of different colors, and the kids think it's really cool to write on the board with "markers." I am finally able to use the chalk board a little more now!
* Balloon Animals: When I went to Urban Hope in Philly as a senior in high school, we put on a street carnival. The people who ran it handed me some balloons and a pump and told me that I was in charge of making balloon animals. I'd never made a single balloon animal in my LIFE, but they replied that the kids around there had never seen one either, so it was okay! Let's just say I made a lot of snakes, swords, and hats that day! Since then, I have continued to study ballooning and love to do it when I have an opportunity. I can do flowers, humming birds, swans, mice, dogs, dogs on a leash, butterflies, cats, octopus, giraffe, a couple of different hats, light sabers, swords....probably some more too. It's basically trial and error and I am mostly self-taught with the help of some books. I am going to be ballooning at Bay Fest this weekend, so if you are in SOMD, come visit the GBC table! (There will also be puppets and face painting).
Until next time....