Top Secret Valentine!

These were our TOP SECRET Valentines from last year!!

Mason had so much fun searching for and making all sorts of detective style goodies for his classmates.  We stuffed all the TOP SECRET treasures into a treat bag and sealed it was a CLASSIFIED VALENTINE INSIDE banner…  copyright-katherine-marie-012815 The “Top Secret” card has teeny tiny Valentine jokes for kids to read with a magnifying glass.  We used the crayon resist technique (write message with white crayon then color over with dark crayon to reveal words) on the “Secret Message” card.

If you’d like to add a bit of detective fun to your treat bags this year here are the printables I used (FREE for personal use only!):

Bag Toppers:  HERE

Top Secret (Use magnifying glass to reveal):  HERE

Secret Message:  HERE

  I recommend printing on heavy weight card-stock so you can easily attach crayons and magnifying class with glue or tape!   (Personal use only please!)


I ordered the mini magnifying glasses and “Operation Cupid” cards with a secret decoder from Oriental Trading Company.  The little red striped box of crayons is from Target.  You could also tape individual crayons (use a dark color for the message to show up clearly) onto that card!



New Years Eve Bash

katherine-marie-011415a katherine-marie-011415 katherine-marie-011415b katherine-marie-011415c katherine-marie-011415e katherine-marie-011415d katherine-marie-011415b1For the past several years we’ve had a STAY-A-HOME New Years Eve bash!  Each kid sets up their own special games, treats and activities.  They each have a small party budget to buy their favorite foods and games.  It’s really fun to rotate from station to station (party to party).  We end the night with a movie, watching the ball drop and redeeming prize tickets for goodies (see prizes above).  This year Mason started planning his party station the day after Christmas!  He’s just like his mama… he thinks the planning and anticipation is the best part!

I hope your New Year is off to a sensational start!


Ten millions reasons I love Christmas!

Last holiday post until December 2015, I promise!!

WE only have 500,237 until next CHRISTMAS!!  :)katherine-marie-122914d katherine-marie-122914w katherine-marie-122914o katherine-marie-122914ykatherine-marie-122914n katherine-marie-122914r katherine-marie-122914u katherine-marie-122914q katherine-marie-122914t katherine-marie-122914e katherine-marie-122914s katherine-marie-122914b katherine-marie-122914x katherine-marie-122914c katherine-marie-122914             xoxoxo!!!

Christmas Fun Days!

We started “12 DAYS of CHRISTMAS FUN” a couple years ago!

It’s been a wonderful way to celebrate some of our favorite themes of the season.

See this post for details!



katherine-marie-010315ekatherine-marie-010315a katherine-marie-010315f


katherine-marie-010315i katherine-marie-010315h katherine-marie-010315g


katherine-marie-010315d katherine-marie-010315c katherine-marie-010315bSee this Grinch post for printable links and more ideas!

katherine-marie-010315j1. The Fun Boxes!  2.  After a visit to Santa’s salon!   3.  Reindeer Readers  4.  Gingerbread Day!


Christmas Kindness Day! HOORAY!!!

copyright-katherine-marie-123014fChristmas Kindness day is our favorite day of the year!  There is something so magical about giving and helping others during this glorious season.  We usually brainstorm, as a family, before the big day.  Its fun to dream and conspire about how we will serve and surprise others.  As you can see Blaise (with his clipboard) was in charge this year!

copyright-katherine-marie-123014d copyright-katherine-marie-123014e copyright-katherine-marie-123014hcopyright-katherine-marie-123014c copyright-katherine-marie-123014a copyright-katherine-marie-123014 kindness-dayOver the years we have discovered that this day connects us with the real miracle of Christmas like no other.  God gave us the most precious gift.  As we give and serve His kids we are celebrating that precious gift.  This day blesses us and fills our hearts with  the best Christmas gift of all…


Christmas Around the World!

I hope you’ll celebrate Christmas with me just a little bit longer!  I still have so much to share with you.

Just think…

only 511,629 minutes until Christmas 2015!   katherine-marie-123014Here is a quick peek at our CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD celebration!  We traveled to nine countries in about one hour!  JET LAG!? LONG LINES?!  Nope!  :):)  The teacher in me absolutely loved this activity.

katherine-marie-123014gAfter the kids visited each country they added a stamp, pictures and/or written facts in their passports.

katherine-marie-123014dEach country had a simple treat or activity for the kids to enjoy.

katherine-marie-123014eAs a “pre-travel” activity we made construction paper maps for each country.

katherine-marie-123014a katherine-marie-123014bHere are a few of the countries we visited!!   We kept the information about each destination ultra simple and relevant for kiddos ages 3-10.  You are welcome to use our notes… but beware these just basic NOTES (not facts!)  I’m sure some of these aren’t accurate!

Next year I’d like to really plan ahead and have a food to sample from each country.  My dear friend Ana sent us a a beautiful array of Spanish desserts for us to enjoy!!!  Thank you FF!

katherine-marie-123014cKids put handouts and favors from each country into their file folder “luggage.”  We used google translate to hear MERRY CHRISTMAS in each country’s native language.

katherine-marie-123014fI’ve seen this activity done school wide… what a celebration it would be to have each classroom host a country!  Inspiration and ideas via Reindeer Land Christmas Traditions, The Controlled Chaos Classroom, and Teachers Pay Teachers



2014 Christmas Cards

katherine-marie-christmas-card-akatherine-marie-christmas-card katherine-marie-christmas-card-bOne day, in late November, I yelled to the kiddos, “Put something Christmasy on and meet me on the porch!  It’s time for our Christmas card photo!”  I think I also added a little bribe too… “Anyone who joins in doesn’t haven’t to do chores!”

We all met on the porch.

Just as I started to take my first picture…

it started to SNOW.

Big white gorgeous snowflakes came tumbling out of the sky.

And that’s exactly how Christmas went for us this year… full of unexpected, mostly fun and beautiful surprises.  It’s hasn’t been easy.  We’ve dealing with some heart-wrenching stuff too.  But through it all, over and over, we are feeling God’s love.  We are embracing the surprises.

I still have a million pictures to share with you.  I might get to some more.

I hope you’ve had the merriest Christmas!


Tis the season to be COZY!

katherine-marie-122914 katherine-marie-122914a katherine-marie-122914c katherine-marie-122914f katherine-marie-122914g katherine-marie-122914dkatherine-marie-122914bxoxoxox!!!