Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you! This means that for the next 3 months everything I write the date on will most likely have a funny looking 13 from where I try to camouflage the 12 that I will write by mistake!

My Christmas break has wonderful and I have been blessed much more than I deserve! The break has been so wonderful in fact that when I got to the dentist office this afternoon for a cleaning, I realized I had forgotten to finish putting on my makeup and fixing my hair! I guess the jeans were squeezing the oxygen to my brain after spending the last week in pajamas and yoga pants. The weather has been so gloomy and rainy here that the very thought of getting dressed up and leaving the house has had absolutely no appeal to me. My boys have been content to stay home and play their new board games, video games, and have Ping Pong battles so it was an easy choice to stay home and be lazy productiveI have officially watched EVERY Hallmark Channel Christmas movie multiple times, cleaned out and organized closets and cabinets (the garage sale pile is taking over the garage), redecorated my bedroom and bathroom, read a few books, and did tons of work on my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I finally feel like I am catching up on "life"! I am sure I will be ready to go full force when we get back to school on January 7th!

We are planning to do a unit on Jan Brett books when we get back from break. Here is a picture of the story masks that I printed out years ago from the Jan Brett website and attached to paint stir sticks.  Aren't they adorable?! Click the link above to visit her website or click on the picture below to go directly to the story masks/puppets.
 We will use them to retell The Mitten....that reminds me that I need to buy a new white sheet and cut it into the shape of a mitten for the kids to crawl into when retelling the story. The kids always love this activity and they always fight over who gets to be the bear because they want to be the one to let out a very big "sneeze" and blow all of the animals out of the mitten.  

In my home living center, the kids will "sew" mittens like Matti's Grandma (from the book) using plastic canvas that has been cut into mitten shapes and these very dull, plastic needles with yarn attached to them. I have had these for about 15 years and only paid 75 cents for 3 sheets of plastic canvas and $1 for 12 of the large plastic safety needles....a $1.75 well spent!

Some of the kids get quite creative and "sew" letters, shapes, or  other designs in their mittens

while others just practice outlining the mitten 

and then there is the "talented" child that leaves you wondering how did they do that?!?!  The good news is that yarn is so inexpensive that you can just cut it off and not worry about untangling the mess!