Elves in the Classroom 2014

This year our classroom welcomed two elves from the North Pole, Jingle and Tink!  We had a blast!  Here is a review in pictures!

Day 1 Jingle and Tink arrived!

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Day 2 They found another spot in the classroom to observe the boys and girls!

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Day 3 They found their way back to the classroom Christmas trees but decided to decorate them with Dum Dums from our treat jar!

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Day 4  They enjoyed a Christmas tea with a blue teddybear!

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Day 5  Jingle was trapped in the pop tab bucket while Tink was dangling from the stocking on the white board!

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Day 6  The elves used my phone to take selfies and posted them in the classroom!  They also came in with new clothes!

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Day 7  The elves decided to set up a “drive in movie theater” using the Book Twas the Night Bfore Christmas in Georgia.  They must have found some sprinkles because they were scattered about the classroom.

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Day 8  Marshmallow fun making snow angels and hanging with Minion Peeps!

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Day 9  Hanging out fishing for Goldfish!

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Day 10  Those sneaky elves decided to give the students a break from Spelling for the week!  Who knew they had so much power?  They seemed to have a little too much fun with the gifting wrapping paper.  Seems they trapped themselves the in the door too!

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Day 11 Trench Warfare!  The students had learned about trench warfare in World War I and the elves decided to create their won reenactment!

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Day 12  It appears the teacher’s have been placed on the NAUGHTY LIST!  What?  Those elves must not be telling Santa the truth!

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Day 13  They had some fun with the teacher’s stash of M&M’s!

Day 14  Looks like the soldiers got revenge on the elves for putting the teachers on the NAUGHTY LIST!

Day 15  Finally, the elves had some fun building snowmen!

Are you a teacher?  Did an elf or elves visit your classroom this year?  I would love to hear about what they did!

New Year’s Eve 2014

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New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and there are so many exciting things that you and your family can be apart of.
NETFLIX
This year Netflix is offering an early countdown for families!   Netflix surveyed parents and found that a third of parents (34%) admitted they either had or planned to start the party early and fool their kids into thinking its midnight long before the ball drops. So…what did Netflix decide to do?  They created a 3 minute countdown with King Julien!
Are you looking for some family friendly ideas in and around Atlanta!
Family Events
11:00 AM – 4:00 AM (FREE)
11:30 AM ($12.75 for kids and adults)
Noon’s Year Eve
10:00 PM- CLOSE ($20.00 for kids and adults, purchase online for $15.00)
Noon Year’s Eve Celebration
10:00 AM- 2:00 PM ($18 adults, $17 students and seniors, $16 for ages 3-12, Under 2 Free with paying adult)
11:30am to 1:00pm ($35)
9:30 PM show ($69.95 adults, $35.95 12 and under)
Want some ideas for celebrating at home with family?  Check out my Pinterest board for some great ideas!

First Day Hike GA State Parks 2015

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Start the New Year with an Inspiring “First-Day Hike”
State Parks get Georgians moving in 2015

ATLANTA, December 4, 2014 — Since New Year’s resolutions often include exercise, Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites are offering ways to make the goal more fun. Those wishing to increase their metabolism and decrease their waistline are invited to start 2015 with a healthy walk in the woods. Dozens of parks have planned ranger-led hikes as part of the national “First Day Hikes” movement sponsored by America’s State Parks.

From easy family-friendly strolls to more challenging treks, Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of choices for “First Day Hikes.” Some focus on history, such as walks through Civil War camps or to ancient Indian mounds. Others highlight geologic wonders, such as Tallulah Gorge. A list of all hikes can be found on GeorgiaStateParks.org/events and a map of all locations can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org/map.

Those who want to celebrate a peaceful New Year’s Eve in nature can reserve one of Georgia State Parks’ cozy cabins, heated yurts, lodge rooms, or modern campsites with hot showers. For reservations, call 1-800-864-7275 or book online at GeorgiaStateParks.org/reservations.

First-Day Hikes in Georgia


Metro Atlanta

Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This 6-mile guided hike is the perfect winter outing for the first day of the new year. Enjoy meandering creeks cascading over rocks, and bring a light lunch to enjoy on the way. For children older than 10 and adults in good walking shape. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Fort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA
2 p.m.
Bring in the New Year with a brisk walk and afternoon viewing of beautiful Marbury Creek watershed. Hikers will meet at the Nature Center for the 1/2-mile hike around Bird Berry Trail. No minimum age. ADA Accessible. Pre-registration required. $5 parking. 770-867-3489.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Start the New Year off right with a brisk hike up our beautiful mountain. Join us on a journey that begins by writing, then burning, last year’s burdens. Hike to the top of the mountain to symbolize all the great things you will accomplish in 2015. Finish with s’mores and hot chocolate around a campfire. Register in advance. Ages 6 and up. $7 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs, GA
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Bring your four-legged companion on this moderate mile-long hike to the rapids of Sweetwater Creek and to the five-story Civil War-era New Manchester Mill ruins. Ages 6 and older. Sturdy, closed toe shoes required. Reservations recommended. $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.


Northern Georgia

Don Carter State Park – Gainesville, GA
2 p.m.
Join a ranger as we explore a beautiful backcountry area of the park before the trail is built. Our 2-mile cross-country adventure will follow old road beds, ridges, hills and valleys. Moderate to strenuous. Call the Visitor Center to reserve a spot. Limited to 15 hikers. $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.

James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville, GA
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Start your New Year off right with a 1.5-mile hike around the lower lake. This easy hike is good for all ages. $5 parking. 706-857-0826.

Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen, GA
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Hike a moderate 1.3 miles on flat roadway to Smithgall’s beautiful cottage facility where hot cider will be waiting. Learn more about Charlie Smithgall whose generosity made the park possible. All ages are welcome. No pets please. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join a ranger on a moderate 3.5-mile hike along the rim and through the woods. Children must be 8 or older. Bring water and snacks. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia, GA
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Welcome the New Year with a 1.2 mile moderate hike on the Muscadine Trail. We will meet in the Day Use Parking Area. We will finish the hike at the beach pavilion where hikers can add a little “luck and wealth” to their year. Come enjoy a sampling of black eye peas and collard greens to your New Year. Register in advance by calling 706-356-4362 by December 30. $5 parking. 706-356-4362.

Victoria Bryant State Park – Royston, GA
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Meet at the office for a ranger led hike on our scenic Victoria’s Path trail. This trail follows along Rice Creek which runs through the middle of the park. This trail is fairly easy walking but closed toe shoes are recommended. $5 parking. 706-245-6270.

Vogel State Park – Blairsville, GA
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ring in the new year by joining us for a hike along the Bear Hair Gap Trail. This is a moderately rocky, four-mile hike led by Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. Please meet at the Visitors Center Parking lot. Closed toe shoes required. It is recommended that hikers bring water and a snack. $5 parking. 706-745-2628.


Coastal Georgia

Crooked River State Park – St. Marys, GA
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Greet the New Year with a hike on the Bay Boardwalk trail. Vistas include wetland habitats plus our unique longleaf pine/saw palmetto ecosystem. Enjoy the great outdoors, camaraderie on the trail, cookies, and party hats. $2 plus $5 parking. 912-882-5256.

Fort King George Historic Site – Darien, GA
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
As the sun sets on the first day of the new year, enjoy a hike into the past. Visitors will be guided through the half mile nature trail as they encounter various historic figures of Fort King George. $7.50 for adults, $7.00 for seniors, $4.50 for youth. 912-437-4770.

Fort McAllister State Park – Richmond Hill, GA
10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Join us for a 3-mile nature hike on the Redbird Creek Trail. This hike is medium difficulty and requires sturdy shoes and water. At 1:00 there will be a history hike around the fort. An Interpretative Ranger will walk you through the past and tell you about the daily life at Fort McAllister during the Civil War. $3. Children under 5 free. $5 parking. 912-727-2339.

Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway, GA
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. interpreters will present soldier talks, musket demonstrations and a guided walk around the historic remains of the Revolutionary War fort. $3- $5. 912-884-5999.

Laura S. Walker State Park – Waycross, GA
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Join us for a 1.3 mile ranger-led nature hike along our beautiful Big Creek Nature Trail. We will see and discuss flora and fauna that are native to our area while getting fit for the New Year. The trail is an easy hike for almost all ages. $5 parking. 912-287-4900.

Skidaway Island State Park – Savannah, GA
1 p.m.
Enjoy an afternoon hike through the marsh. This guided hike will discuss the history of Skidaway Island, marsh plants and local animals. $5 parking. 912-598-2300.

Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo, GA
9 a.m.
Meet at the park office for a hike on our 3/4 mile Trembling Earth Nature Trail. This hike will take you on our boardwalk through a mixed cypress and blackgum forest. On the way we will be on the lookout for the wildlife that inhabit the area, as well as unique plant life. $2 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site – Brunswick, GA
11 a.m.
Come to a compass-orienteering event where participants learn how to use a compass in finding information about this old antebellum plantation. $4.50 – $7.50. 912-264-7333.

Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah, GA
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Hike to the Civil War earthworks of Battery Wimberly. Wear comfortable shoes suitable for hiking, no open toe shoes. $4.50-$10. 912-353-3023.


Middle & South Georgia

A.H. Stephens State Park – Crawfordville, GA
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Get started with your New Year’s resolutions by joining us on a pet-friendly ranger-led hike. We will identify plants, animals and historic structures. $5 parking. 706-456-2602.

Elijah Clark State Park – Lincolnton, GA
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Bring in the New Year with a revitalizing lead hike on our three-mile trail that includes a beautiful outlook to rest and gaze upon the serene Clark Hill Lake. $5 parking. 706-359-3458.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain, GA
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Join this 3.4-mile, easy to moderate hike on the Pine Mountain Trail. Geared towards ages 8 and older. Bring water and snacks. Dress for the weather. Meet at the Trading Post in the campground. $5 parking. 706-663-4858.

General Coffee State Park – Nicholls, GA
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Take a ranger-guided birding hike on the 1.5 mile Gopher Loop Trail. We will also discuss resource management and longleaf pine re-introduction. $5 parking. 912-384-7082.

George L. Smith State Park – Twin City, GA
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Come join us New Year’s Day for a hike down our 3-mile nature trail behind the Mill House. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring your own water and snacks. Dog welcome but must be kept on leash. $5 parking. 478-763-2759.

High Falls State Park – Jackson, GA
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This 1.5 mile moderate hike will take you past several scenic and historic sites including the falls, the old powerhouse, and through a mixed pine/hardwood forest. You will learn about the park history and the local ecology. Meet at the park office, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water and a snack. $5 parking. 478-993-3053.

Indian Springs State Park – Flovilla, GA
10 a.m.
Join a park ranger for a journey through time. Discover the history of Indian Springs State Park, sample the famous spring water, and tour the park museum. This moderate hike will involve some steps and hills. Participants meet at the park museum. $5 parking. 770-504-2277.

Mistletoe State Park – Appling, GA
10 a.m.
Come start the new year off the right foot. This ranger led hike will allow guests to discover nature’s winter wonder along the Cliatt Creek nature trail. We will meet at the nature center. $5 parking. 706-541-0321.

Reed Bingham State Park – Adel, GA
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Time to wind down the first day of the new year, so why not wind down with a relaxing night hike on the Upland loop Trail followed by a bon-fire with s’mores next to campsite 14. Meet at trailhead. $1 s’more and $5 parking. 229-896-3551.

Seminole State Park – Donalsonville, GA
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Kick off the New Year with Seminole’s First Day Fitness Challenge. Purchase your First Day fitness game board in the park office for $5. Complete each of the four tasks and receive 25% off your next camping trip at Seminole State Park. $5 plus $5 parking. 229-861-3137.

Wisdomantics

As a teacher, I know that the best way to learn anything is to make it fun!  When you are engaged, the learning is easier! That is why I was so excited when I was given the opportunity to review Wisdomantics!

My family enjoyed playing this interactive DVD board game based on the New King James Version.  Recommended for ages 12 and up,  we found that 5 and up can play.   It honestly depends on the level of engagement your child has and knowledge of Scripture.  The questions are taken from the book of Proverbs and are presented as fill in the blank answers with multiple choice answers. When you answer a question correctly King Solomon announces “Hallelujah!”  Wrong answers–well you get two more tries before it moves onto the next person.  If you do answer correctly you pick up an Advancement Card. This card lets the player know how many places to move  on the gameboard.  The game is won when the first person build King Solomon’s Temple.

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Wisdomantics is an interactive DVD board game based on King Solomon’s proverbs. The game consists of  2 DVDs that contain 400 multiple-choice questions/proverbs. 
The game board is beautiful!  The illustrations chronicle Solomon’s life! “They begin with his most notable acts and achievements and end with a divided kingdom through disobedience and rebellion. Hear King Solomon quote his wise biblical truths. The audio-visual element is a huge plus and adds greater depth to the game. Players may also strategize with specialty cards, which can skip or detain opponents, recover lost assets, and provide protection from adverse scenarios. To replicate Solomon’s temple, players receive colored tiles (gold, cypress and cedar) as they navigate the game board. The first player to complete their Solomon’s temple scorecard wins!”
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Official Website for Wisdomantics

Do you want to win a WISDOMANTICS board game for you and your family? Giveaway Over

Winner Nancy of FL

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Coastal Georgia Kayaking Family Camp

Coastal Georgia Kayaking Family Camp

January 2 – 6, 2015

Crooked River State Park

6222 Charlie Smith Sr. Highway
St. Marys, GA 31558

Paddlers of all ages are welcome on this kayaking adventure that includes freshwater swamp and saltmarsh, plus four nights of camping and meals. Join park rangers to explore Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp, Crooked River State Park, Sapelo Island and the Reynolds Mansion. Some paddling experience is helpful but not required. Register in advance by calling 912-882-5256.

$649 per adult and $549 per child (12 and younger) includes camping fees, kayak rental, meals and guides.

912-882-5256

http://gastateparks.org/CrookedRiver

Detailed Schedule:

Friday, January 2, 2015
Please have lunch before you arrive or bring a sack lunch for the trip.
11:30 a.m. – Meet at Crooked River State Park and load up gear.
2:00 p.m. – Arrive at Stephen C. Foster State Park
3:00 p.m. – Kayak around the swamp with the final destination of Mixon’s Hammock
6:30 p.m. – Dinner: Cook in the swamp
8:30 p.m. – Astronomy Program
Spend the night at Mixon’s Hammock in the Okefenokee Swamp

Saturday, January 3, 2015
8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – Kayak back to Stephen C. Foster State Park
12:00 p.m. – Lunch: Picnic at Stephen C. Foster State Park
1:00 p.m. – Load up vans to head to Crooked River
3:30 p.m. – Arrive at Crooked River and set up camp
6:00 p.m. – Dinner: BBQ
8:30 p.m. – Night Hike at Crooked River State Park
Spend the night at Crooked River State Park

Sunday, January 4, 2015
6:30 a.m. – Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – Sunrise paddle on Crooked River
12:30 p.m. – Lunch: Picnic at Crooked River State Park
2:30 a.m. – Woodstork and wading bird rookery tour
6:30 p.m. – Dinner: Hot dogs
7:30 p.m. – Campfire Program
Spend the night at Crooked River State Park

Monday, January 5, 2015
6:00 a.m. – Breakfast and pack up gear for drive to Sapelo Island
8:00 a.m. – Ferry ride to Sapelo Island
10:30 a.m. – Kayak Sapelo Island from Post Office Creek to Lighthouse Creek
Lunch: box lunches on the water
2:00 p.m. – Set up camp and relax
7:00 p.m. – Dinner: Low-Country Boil
8:30 p.m. – Walk on beach
Spend the night at Cabretta Campground on Sapelo Island

Tuesday, January 6, 2015
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – Free time to explore the beach
10:30 a.m. – Tour of the Island and Reynolds Mansion
2:00 p.m. – Ferry ride back to Meridian
3:00 p.m. – Van ride back to Crooked River State Park
5:00 p.m. – Unload gear and participants depart

Give the Gift of Your Presence this Holiday

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Check out this blog by Chickfila!

“The holidays are a joyous time of year, but let’s be honest, they can also be the busiest time of year. Whether we are raising children full-time, balancing careers and family at the same time, working part-time, entering the workforce for the first time, or venturing out on our own—we are all trying to make our households run smoothly while meeting everyone’s expectations.

Living in the new era of Pinterest—where DIY has escalated to a whole new level— I realize there’s a lot of pressure on us … especially during the holidays. It’s hard not feel guilty when there is so much to do and celebrate, and just not enough time to get it done.

So this holiday, instead of doing it all yourself, we’ll take some of that work for you. We have time-saving tips, gifts on the go, inspiration and games for fun family activities (think long car ride distractions), and recipes for DIY nuggets—for clarification, that’s “Dress It Yourself” not “Do It Yourself.”

We hope our holiday site will serve as your go-to resource over the next several weeks and enable you to be part of the fun, feel crafty, and enjoy all that you’ve worked so hard to create this season.”

Chickfila Give the Gift of your Presence this holiday season blog

‪#‎GiftOfPresence‬ #‎ChickfilAMoms‬

Gotta love Target Cartwheel and Purex!

I just love shopping at Target!  You can really find some awesome deals if you take the time to look in all the places you need to prior to shopping!  Between using manufacturer coupons, Target coupons, and the Target #Carthwheel app, you can really find some amazing deals!

One of my favorite laundry products is Purex!  I love the variety they offer and the scents.  Right now you can save 25% with the Target #Cartwheel app on Purex Detergent now through Dec. 27th.  Partner that with a manufacturer coupon and the deal is even sweeter!

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Have not downloaded the Target #Carthweel app, you need to do so now!  Click here to access the 25% off coupon.