Monday, March 30, 2009

She is the COUPON QUEEN!

Ok, maybe not Queen just yet, but surely a jester of some sort. This is like baby stepping into the world of couponing- I am getting my feet wet. My friend Amber has a couponing blog giving awesome deals and updates. So after reading said updates I went to Walgreens, met the nicest woman who wasn't even on the clock yet and she helped me venture around the store and learn a few tricks.

I partook in the showergel offer. I bought the first one originally 3.99-I used a printable $1 off coupon, got it for 2.99 and then received register rewards and got the next one for .34! Not bad for me anyhow- this is a rolling kind of deal- you could buy shower gel all week for .34-the tax. That's it!

I also got 80 Pampers Swaddlers diapers for $8.

So I didn't make out like a bandit- but I did ok- I'm sort of getting this- once I combine printables and the sunday paper coupons, ect ect. I will feel like I have more of a handle on this.

Also, a hard thing for me to get used to is that I'm used to buying the specific brand of whatever I want whenever I need/want it. I need to train my brain to stock up on sales, and use what is available. I also need to master buying food and then EATING/COOKING at home. I need to re-train my brain in this area as well.

But for now I will celebrate my small victory- baby steps...

Montessori Monday-School Update!

Well, these montessori mondays are not just about educating the world about montessori but to also report on the status of my impending Montessori School- I have officially enrolled my first student- a full-time student and I have two more in serious consideration (I don't consider them 'enrolled' until the materials desposit is paid-shows commitment) yeah!

I am hoping to have a classroom of six students per day- depending upon full-time/part time status. Six is a good dynamic between the children and I can give VERY indiviudalized attention (I am used to working in a 1/10 teacher student ratio). I am also having an Open House this summer (in our new house as soon as that gets sqaured away) and educate parents about Montessori, plans for the school, a meet and greet, a questions and answers forum, orientation, a classroom tour, sign up students ect.

I am very excited about starting this school. It is a LOT of work. Montessori materials are insanely expensive. We are moving. I am aware that there is quite a bit to do and yet when I think about it I am enthused about it, and a peaceful, calm feeling comes over me. This is what I am meant to do at this time. The Montessori method has drastically influenced my life for the better, and now I can provide a Montessori expereince for others. It's amazing.

Wish me luck- and if you or anyone you know is interested in attending a freindly Open House meet and greet in the summer, let me know and I'll send an invite!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Got ZZZZzzzz's?

Sleep- it's highly over rated right? Unless you don't get ANY sleep- and I mean next to nothing for days on end- I feel like I'm in high school again- only I have 1/2 the energy I used to have- it's my fault- not Hailyn's. My insomnia kicked up about seven notches- and I am sabatoging myself here. Anyhow, here's hoping that this will be me soon...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He who tames the teething monster...

The teething monster (Hailyn) has struck again... and after yet another rough night (there have been four rough nights in a row, with smatterings of rough nights here and there the past few weeks), I finally struggled to get out of bed at 4am... I groaned and put my head under a pillow- waiting for my usually self-soothing baby to soothe herslef to sleep. Well,my guy here got up with her and gently put her back to bed- after working a long day and everything. He just sees something that needs to be done and happily does it without being asked and without needing recognition- he is truly a partner. He truly loves being a dad, and he's a great dad, and hubby, and best friend-

Hailyn and I are super lucky to have this wonderful man in our lives! I love him!
(this pic was from his journeyman graduation dinner a few years ago... ahhh time flies! I need more current pics of us!)
*FYI Hailyn is always super sweet for her daddy- she is truly a daddy's girl- she will be cranky for me or someone else the second she is with her daddy, she's calm!
*DISCLAIMER: Hailyn has slept through the night for a long time now- so it's REALLY hard to go from a beautiful night of sleep to chaos!It hasn't always been this hairy and this too shall pass!

Monday, March 23, 2009


So, as many of you know if something doesn't come easily to me I usually become frustrated and move on- it's not a quality I am proud of, but I usually master things fairly easily.

I HAD to take Spanish IV, didn't like it but I HAD to do it- so I know I can do anything!

Therefore- I am on a quest.

I have seen several blogs with people buying $100 worth of groceries for $8 or 300 diapers for $20. I am envious. I want this. I am going to a class tomorrow to try and master this skill.

I use coupons when I have them and enjoy the occasional $3 off here and there- but I desperately want to stock up for pratically nothing.

I am aware this is going to take determination and patience. I am trying to learn from those smarter than me (Amber) and I plan on figuring this business out. So if anyone would like to share any secrets with me- puuhlease pass them on!

(My goals for the next three months: master couponing, lose 5 more lbs, finish writing and work out more- I'll keep you posted- and therefore I'll hold myself accoutnable) wish me luck!

Random Cuteness..

Ok, I know, I have an obsession with my daughter- but can you blame me?

I tried to 'spike'her hair-yeah that worked well (Hailyn and Ryan have a 'hair growing contest since they have the same 'hair style'- so far it's neck and neck)

Chubby legs!

Hailyn stole my seat on the couch- she was just chillin'

Montessori Monday

So it is a dunting task to educate the world about Montessori! I went to training for two years and had a one year internship to learn all the intricacies to this very expansive philosophy and cirriculum.

I have also noticed my posts on Montessori Monday are extremely long. So I'm going to TRY and condense so it's an easier read on everyone.

I remember walking into a Montessori classroomand seeing a tower of beautiful pink blocks stacked nicely on top of each other and thought 'what the heck do these kids do all day?'

The 'Pink Tower' is found in the sensorial section (where all five senses are isolated and expereinced) of the classroom and it's purpose to to establish the base of ten (used in the mathematics system) as well as to differentiate size. There are ten pink blocks, painted a beautiful pink for visual interest. It is preparation for math and teaches the child spatial quantities.

It is so much more than 'blocks'. (but kids still want to 'play' with them-learning is fun! Isn't that inspirational?)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm a quaker!

So Ryan always comes up with 'creative hats' for Hailyn- here's the latest...

She doesn't seem so happy in this one...

Pretty sure she's going to hate us later in life...

A Perfect Storm...

Wind, storm clouds, latitude, temperature, they can all coincide together to make the perfect storm, a storm that destroys everything in sight. Then after the storm there is a calm- well the events in my life are definately creating the perfect storm right now- and I am certainly looking forward to the calm...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blast From the Past...

Ok, remember the good ol' days? Watching Saturday monring cartoons (usually Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ect.) Remember going to computer class and playing Oregon Trail?

I am just thinking about these things now, as I have my daughter and wonder if she is going to have any special memories like that for her. She will probably build a computer in elementary school- cartoons are now all Japanese animae and I just wonder what sort of world she is going to grow up in.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Monday, March 16, 2009

A fresh new look...

Ms. Lacie's Montessori site has a fresh new look! (thank you Ashley!) Check it out!

Montessori Monday...

Ask Ms. Lacie...
Question Forum...
I was recently asked, what is the difference between a Montessori school and a traditional school?

The differences are vast. One main difference is that Montessori serves the child. The child recieves lessons given individually by the teacher until the child has mastered a specific task. Say Suzy is learning her sounds, but Johnny has mastered his sounds. Johnny is ready to start blending those sounds together to form words, and Suzy is still mastering learning all of her sounds. They are both working on language but they are each individually doing work that is challenging to them respectively. In a traditional classroom, they move on, maybe even if Suzy isn't ready or Johnny is 'bored' with his work waiting for everyone to catch up. Instead, each child is presented lessons according to his/her cognitive ability. When a child has mastered that work, then a firm foundation is set and further appropriately challenging lessons can be given.
Keep in mind that while each child is given lessons on an individual basis, they can and do work together in small groups or in partners. Montessori does value social interactions and builind relationships.

I then recieve the question after explaining this asking if there is any structure within Montessori.

The answer is best explained by a response from my trainers: Montessori is freedom within structure. There certainly is structure. Children are respectful of themselves, each other and thier environment. They are taught to care for themselves and others in a respecful manner. As a teacher, I respect them as people, they inturn respect me as well. Children learn thier are consequences for thier actions. If their is a dispute, the children resolve the conflict using thier words. Because they are given the tools to resolve conflicts on thier own, they do. Children just want the tools to learn how to function in the world. That's what Montessori provides.

I then recieve various other questions. The main one is how do Montessori adapt to a tradtional school after being in a Montessori environment?

The answer is VERY WELL. These children have all the tools they need to 'survive in the world'. They make friends easily and they addapt to any situation like a duck to water. I have had several students make the switch to a traditional school when it was time to enter first grade and they mde friends easily, they worked hard (and yes, when it came to testing, these children did score higher on the test than many of thier peers). The reason why is these children were given the tools they needed to suceed and they then built a strong foundation for learning, and they fostered a life long love of learning. They will carry this with them throughout thier lives, in any situation they are in. Because learning was introduced to them as fun exploration, they will always associated learning in a positive way.

I hope my posts are not too long or too boring! I am SO very passionate about teaching young children (I call them young sponges because they are in the absorbant stage of life- they soak everything up like a sponge- why this age is CRUCIAL to learning!) if you have any questions about Montessori or teaching please let me know- I am ALWAYS happy to answer any questions. It took me two years to fully understand all the intricites of Montessori, so I will try and aswer your question directly and concisely.)

So feel free to ASK!
Have a beautiul Monday...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Crazy Eights

For fun...:)
1. Post rules on your blog
2. Answer the six '8' items

8 Favorite TV show.....(These are not in order)
1. How I Met Your Mother
2. The Office
3. 30 Rock
4. Flight of the Conchords
5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
6. Top Chef
7. Grey's Anatomy
8. Damages

8 Things I did yesterday...
1. Went to Target- woohoo!
2. wrote, and re-wrote and edited more writing
3. did even more writing
4. and wrote some more (I wrote for over ten hours yesterday)
5. hopped on the eliptical
6. did yoga
7. made brownies
8. watched Grey's Anatomy, the Office and 30 Rock

8 Things I am looking forward too...
1. Opening my own school and educating people on the amazingness of the Montessori Method!
2. getting rid of this house-and moving!
3. Ryan being done with school!
4. finish my writing- I'm sooooo close!
5. watching our amazing daughter continue to grow and learn- it's amazing!
6. dropping the last fifteen lbs!
7. my five year anniversary (it's in April)
8. taking a trip with my hubby someday...

8 Favorite Restaurants...
1. Outback
2. Fuddruckers
3. pasta/pizza factory (st. george)
4. cafe rio
5. firehouse subs
6. maggianos
7. strip burger
8. red robin

8 Things on my wish list...
1. to have things 'settled'
2. travel the world
3. my classroom to be set up and students to be enrolled
4. Hailyn's college fund to be funded
5. enjoy every moment
6. some new shoes (and purses and sunglasses and wardrobe and...)
7. to star in a major motion picture-lol
8. to have magical 'elves' that take care of cleaning my house (more importantly putting the laundry away...)

8 Favorite Foods:
1. my chocolate chip cookies
2. steaks
3. cheeseburgers (and you wonder why I can't drop the last fifteen lbs)
4. Cheesecake Facotry's Anniversary cheesecake... yum
5. pizza
6. chicken tortilla soup
7. tacos
8. ben and jerry's phish food ice cream

8 Favorite Movies:
1. Dan in Real Life
2.Pride and Prejudice (A&E version)
3. Just Friends
4. Just Married
5. The Sound of Music (no laughing!)
6. Wedding Singer
7. Dumb and Dumber (these two classics- I always think of you Laura!)
8.Billy Madison

8 Places I want to travel:
1. London
2. Paris
3.Italy (rome, florence and venice)
5.New York
7. Great Wall of China

I tag everyone! He he!

Dust Bunny Hunt...

I've posted about my feelings on spring cleaning before... I'd rather do all my organizing/cleaning inside in the winter when I don't want to be outside and enjoy this glorious weather we are having now by spending it outdoors (before it gets too hot)

Country Living magazine has a list of twenty things to do on your spring cleaning list- six of those things actually apply to me... which brings me to my next point...
what do you do to prepare for spring cleaning? As I am looking around my house which could use some straghtening up and the laundry folded (it's always about the laundry) I realize I simply don't care to spring clean this year- I have zero motivation- in my defense let me explain why...
I'm lucky I had a mother who taught me how to deep clean... I mean really deep clean. A house wasn't clean unless you mopped the floor on your hands and knees (haven't done that one in years-whoops!) and self-clean your oven and take apart your fridge every six months- I cleaned the baseboards in our house once a month- yep yep. I washed pillows and comforters every three months at least- this is all along with the weekly vacuuming, dusting, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, and taking care of the yard work- she taught me to wash curtains and blinds every six months as well- including windowsills. My Saturdays were very busy...

So spring cleaning at my house sort of happened all year round- which is why that now, when I'm an adult, it's nice to sort of 'slack' a bit. I'm a grown up after all- this is MY house- it's ok if I only get to the baseboards every three months-it's ok if I only deep clean my oven once a year (gasp!) it's not like I use it that much anyway-

so my list for spring cleaning is small- very small-I've pared it down over the years but can't imagine doing nothing- not yet-so what is on your list? what are you dreading doing? does anyone ENJOY spring cleaning? or are you skipping it altogether? Of all the cleaning my least favorite job is still putting laundry away...go figure...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Then and Now...

Hailyn is five months old today- explain to me how she went from this tiny little bundle...

to this beutiful big girl- it happened in the blink of an eye

It has been an amazing five months...

Montessori Monday...

I know I said I would talk about each section of the classroom and I promise I will. But yesterday I started reminicing about my amazing students from years past.I started teaching nearly five years ago, and my oldest students are now eleven- ELEVEN! I have taught so long and have seen my students grow into extraordinary young people. I was reminded of this when I saw a student recently from two years ago- he was in kindergarten and is now eight years old- and he still remembered me. He still had the same dimpled smile, the same bright eyes. He was always happy, and I still remembered little quirks about him, and how his favorite work was 'the snake game'- subtraction style.

He reminded me (EVEN MORE) of how much I MISS teaching! I started to think about ALL my students from years passed, and honestly, I remembered each one of them, thier unique personalities, and how much joy it has brought me in my life to see them learn and grow- and what amazing young people they are turning into- and how I had a small part in that. I became a little emotional when I realized how my influence affected each of them in some small way. The fact my little eight year old (who is so big now!) remembered me just melted my heart. I then saw a little girl who I got when she was two and a half. She too remembered me, and I had her all three years. She is now seven. I am truly amazed.

Each of my students has influenced me and taught me in some way. I know this is one of my callings in life (along with being a wife and mother). I am grateful I was able to teach them, and for them to teach me. What a blessing.

Now I'd like to shift over to a more general topic (thanks for bearing with me while I got a little sentimental) I'd like to discuss this week the Montessori child. (I promise I will get to each area of the classroom and its signifigance) but I just feel I need to write about children, as I had this experience and I thought about my amazing, amazing students.

A child at about the age 2 1/2 is trying to determine how to function in the real world. He is striving for independence so he can function on his own in the world (isn't that the goal of parenting, to teach children to function without us? It is also refreshing to learn you don't have to put thier shoes, coat, hat, ect.anymore)The job as the Montessori teacher is to prepare the environment so the child can easily explore and learn. Yo may see a child working on a lacing frame, preparing him for shoe tying- a button frame to practice buttoning shirts. Practical skills he needs to learn at this age.

Another unique quality about the Montessori child is that he works at his own pace. Many schools (sadly) underestimate how much a child can do. We as Montessori teachers give the child the tools he needs to suceed at his own pace. Usually, this is above and beyond traditional teaching methods. Many Montessori children surpass the 'marks' made by traditional schools. Because teaching is concrete, the child learns with manipulatives he can actually touch- a child may hold a single bead and know that it is 'one' (item) eventually he works into the abstract, where he can write the number 1 and know what the quantity is associated with the symbol. Children can point to a map of the United States and point and say "this is Nevada, this is California" as opposed to just reciting states. Names have concrete meaning in the Montessori world, and a child learns best when he can use all five senses to absorb knowlege. (Kids are naturally curious for a reason!)

Children work at thier own pace, and while I said they hit the mark (usually above) according to traditional guidlines, they also learn how to socialize and communicate what they are feeling. Children learn to identify thier feelings, are given the vocabulary to communicate. Children learn to use thier words to resolve conflicts, rather than use physical means.

Montessori children enter the world as competent, well socialized, life long learners. They adjust very well to any situation they are in. I have had people comment to me (on field trips ect.) how well behaved my students are, how polite they are, how well versed they are. It's simple. Give children the tools and they will succeed to the best of thier ability. Simple. Just like Montessori.

I love teaching. I love Montessori. I am so eager to provide an environment for children to experience the same wonderful world of learning my previosu students experienced.
* Disclaimer: I have had appx. forty students each year- but a lot of them were full days and I had for multiple years- there were over 100 students- I love and miss them all!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pretty Pretty Princess

On our way to stake conference...

She's even crossing her legs...:)

I am OBSESSED with this outfit (thank you Jade:) and this bow (thank you Keri!) It is by far my favorite little outfit for her! She looks just so lady like- I LOVE IT!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Disney Princessess...

I am doing a little research (for fun!) and just want to know- who is your favorite Disney Princess and why? Do you even like Disney Princesses? Please share...

Addiction starts early...

Originally uploaded by lacie_tidwell
Ryan is already getting her hooked on Diet Coke- we are definatley 'in for it'

Captain cutie pants...

Originally uploaded by lacie_tidwell
Ryan was changing Hailyn's diaper and to prevent her pants from getting dirty, he found a clever place to store them- I was laughing so hard!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hailyn loves..

I've been bad about uploading pictures- really bad- here are a few- check out my flickr account for more pics!
Ryan's grandparents came to town a couple weekends ago- here is Papa and Hailyn

Nana and Hailyn... she LOVES Nana and Papa(and i'm pretty sure they were hooked on her too!)

Cupid brought Hailyn an excersaucer for Valentine's day... she sure LOVES it...

Monday, March 2, 2009


An introduction to the classroom...
As I pondered over what should be the topic for this weeks Montesori Monday, I marveled over the genius behind the Montessori materials. I decided to give a brief overview of the Montessori classroom, and then discuss each area in more detail in the following weeks.

There are four main areas of a classroom and other smaller areas.
The four main areas are: practical life, sensorial, language and math
The other areas are: cultural, science, geography, and peace (there is also a library area)
These areas of the classroom each serve specific purposes, and they all connect and support each other.

Here is a brief introduction from the American Montessori Society... I'll post more on each specific area later... enjoy!