Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Favorite Fall Crafts with Kids

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am on Thanksgiving break and loving my time off! It is always so needed around this time. Whoever decided we get the whole week off - THANK YOU!!!

Today I thought I would share some fun Thanksgiving Crafts that I did this year (and years past) with my 1st graders and with my nieces and nephews!

This year I made these thankful turkeys with my students at school and they were so fun!

First I printed the "I am thankful for" papers and cut them into little rectangles. Each students filled in the blank for 5 things they were thankful for. I didn't really put any limits on what they could write but we talked extensively about what being thankful means and how we are thankful for lots of things like our family, friends, school, food, house, etc. Most of them did well filling in things they were thankful for without any direction.

After they filled in the blanks, I passed out the feathers (one at a time) for them to glue their thankful sentences on. I am a little OCD when it comes to crafts in my classroom so we all stay together and do it one piece at a time. I have found that is a better way, than to just release them. Its less stressful for me and less stressful for them. :) win-win!

After all our thankful sentences were glued on I passed out the body of the turkey, and the neck and face (I chose a lighter tan for the neck and face. The neck is a rectangle and the face is a little circle). I already had these cut out for them. Sometimes for crafts I cut out the pieces and sometimes they do. It just depends. On this day we were short on time so I had already cut out all the pieces for them. They drew on the eyes, beak, and gobbler with crayons. I put an example on the board for them and they glued the neck and face on. Then we glued the feathers to the back of the turkey. The only hard part here was most of them glued the feathers too far down so their writing was covered. I just went around and helped whoever needed it.

Then it was time for the fun scrunchy legs! (yes scrunchy is totally a word!) This is always their favorite - we do scrunchy legs (or arms) on a lot of our crafts. I cut out orange rectangles and they knew out to scrunch them back and forth to make the legs because we had done it multiple times. The first time I show them several times and most of them get it after a few times of trying it. They glued the legs on and bam - hello cute little thankful turkey!!!!!!! I hung them on a long string that hangs from the ceiling across our room. They turned out so cute!!!!


On Sunday, we had our family Thanksgiving and I decided it would be fun to do this turkey craft with my nieces and nephews....

I did this craft several years ago when I taught Kindergarten and pulled it back out this year to do with the kids.
First we drew a circle for the turkey's body and the kids colored it in. Yes, they are young so they totally get outside the lines but I have always thought these crafts turn out cuter when they are "messier". :)
After they drew the eyes, beak, and gobbler (is that what that red thing is called???); we drew on the legs and then were ready for the feathers! I brought some of my acrylic paint over to mom and dads and I put the paint on a paper plate. Aubrey & Levi were able to dip their fingers in the paint and do the feathers themselves after I showed them how to but Jeri and I helped Kate and Hagen do theirs.

They just dip their fingers in the paint and their fingerprints make the feathers. They loved it and I thought they turned out super cute!!!!
The main thing about crafts with kids is you have to be able to handle mess for a short period of time and you have to let go and let them do their thing. If it doesn't turn out exactly like you pictured it, who cares? Everything they make is cute in my eyes & I think their little quirks and changes they make to crafts are what makes them unique and cute!
This next craft is more of a fall craft, rather than thanksgiving but I still wanted to share it. You saw this picture on my last post.....

Meet out candy corn people!!!! I always always do this craft at the beginning of October with my kids and every class has just loved them!!!!
Years ago I found this candy corn template (I'm sure you can google one) and print one for each kid. They color the candy corn, cut it out, and glue it on orange construction paper (just to make it more sturdy). Then they cut out the candy corn on the construction paper and draw on a face at the top. I cut out orange rectangles for the arms and legs and they scrunch them (just like on the turkeys!) and then glue the arms on the side and legs on the bottom to the back of the candy corn.
How easy and cute, right????
I am such a crafter so I love doing these little projects with my students and now my nieces and nephews!!! If you do these at home with kids, you can always hang them on the fridge, or decorate with them around the house - hang them on windows, in their room, etc! Then put them away after the holiday is over and bring them back out next year!
Happy Crafting, friends. :)


Monday, November 16, 2015

Day in the Life - 11/12/15

Happy Monday! And Happy 500th post to me!!!! On one hand I can't believe I have written 500 posts, but on the other it took me how many years to do that?? 7? Ha! :)

I first want to say that I too have been glued to the tv watching the news about Paris. My heart goes out to everyone in Paris. It makes me sick that there is such cruelty in this world. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.

I am excited to do a Day in the Life post today! Do any of you follow Andrea at Momfessionals? She has 3 adorable kids & she is a teacher so I love reading her blog! She did a Day in the Life post last week (the link brings you right to the post) and I completely forgot to record one of my days last week to link up with her so I thought I would just do my own post today! I'm a little late to the party I guess. :) I absolutely LOVE these posts...does that make me nosey? I love seeing what everyday life is for everyone else. I also think it will be neat to look back and see how simple and calm life was while it was just Ty and I.

I picked last Thursday (and was hoping to post this on Friday - oops), which was a normal Thursday around here.

5:21am - Up and out of bed! Last week I had morning duty at school which means I have to set my alarm for about 10 minutes earlier so I can make sure I get to school on time! I usually hit my snooze about a dozen times but Ty was restless and I felt bad for keeping him up with the alarm so I went ahead and got up.


This girl has an expensive dog bed in our room but chooses to sleep on the couch every night because she's no longer allowed on our bed.


She usually does not even get up and greet me in the morning when I head to the bathroom but on this morning, she did. :) She hung out with me the whole time I was getting ready. Sweet baby!
 6:20am - Hair done, Make up done, Dressed and ready - Now I need my coffee. :)

This pumpkin spice creamer is my FAV!!!!

6:22am - In my car and pulling out of my driveway....ready for my 50ish minutes trek to work! I am not a morning person at all but I don't mind my morning commute (the afternoon is a different story). I love to drink my coffee and sing along to the radio and just think. Lately I've been extra happy in the mornings because I've been listening to Christmas music!!!!!!! YAY!!!

7:10am - 48 minutes later, I arrive at work ready for a room full of 1st graders! 

Hello home away from home! The calm before the day. :) On the weeks I have morning duty, I keep all the 1st graders from 7:15 - 7:30 and then they go to their own classrooms & our day gets started.

Thought I'd snap a picture of these adorable candy corn people we made in October. This week they will be replaced with little turkeys!

8:10am - My kids go to PE and specials at 8:00 & 8:30 most days so I usually eat my breakfast while running around the school making copies, laminating, unjamming our brand new copier (UGH!!), writing lesson plans, etc. Lately my breakfast has looked like this - 2 rice cakes with PB&J on top. :) One of my sweet babies gave me some homemade muscadine jelly and it is heavenly!
9:00am - 10:15am - I teach math. We were reviewing on Thursday so we played some math games, & I did some assessments!

10:15am - 11:10am - I teach writing. On Thursday we wrote about what we think our principal does all day. They were super funny! I always love this writing activity but it is so funny what most of them think she does al day! We ended up making a book out of our writing today and I hung the book in the hallway. I wish I would have taken a picture of one of the completed ones. "She watches us on the cameras" was a common response (think I use that line a lot???).
11:15am - 11:45am - Lunch. This week my lunch consisted of 1 boiled egg, cottage cheese, some pretzels, and a banana or granola bar! I usually eat bites in between opening milks, ketchup, salad dressing, telling 6 year olds to sit down 10 times, etc. ;)
11:50am - 1:50pm - I teach reading. I took no pictures because well, for 2 hours I teach my little heart out trying to get those babies to learn to read. :)
2:00pm - 2:30pm - Kona Ice/Recess. This is normally our science time but every Thursday the shaved ice truck comes and our kids can buy one. We take it and our snack outside and have an extended recess.
3:20pm - I'm out the door and headed home! I normally have a meeting every Thursday after school til about 4:00 or so but it was canceled last Thursday! Score!

4:35pm - I am pulling into my driveway. I stopped at CVS to get some pictures - which they told me they didn't have - but don't worry, they did. I went back Saturday & reprinted them...only to find out that the original ones were listed under my maiden name & were there the whole time! So frustrating. Apparently when you type in your name for the order, it doesn't matter because whatever your phone number is linked to is what name they print it under.
Time to let Emma out! Ty was out working all day (some days he works from home) so she was cooped up all day & needed to release some energy!

Immediately when I got back in from letting Emma out, my comfy clothes went on. Most days I try to go to the gym or walk after school then I cook dinner and shower and put my PJs on but Thursdays are a little different! Ty and I eat leftovers and I put on my comfy clothes and go to bible study.
Emma joined me on the couch before bible study. This girl loves to SNUGGLE!

I watched Chopped until it was time to go to bible study. I wrote about my recent obsession with Chopped in a post a few weeks ago and my obsession continues. Now there is a Chopped JR and these kids are like 12 years old and better cooks than me. #epicfailure
I went to bible study and had a great tie fellowshipping with my small group girls! We have enjoyed studying Esther this Fall with Beth Moore. :) 

8:30pm - It was back on the couch for me!!!

One of my sweet friends from home started texting me around 9 and we chatted for awhile and caught up with each other since it had been awhile since we had talked. She got married this Spring so we are both newlyweds (I can still be a newlywed, right??). She told me she was reading this book and said it was great so it is on my list!!!! Can't wait!

10pm - I took a shower and got ready for bed. I snapped this screenshot before I went to bed! It was kind of a late night for me, which happens alot on Thursdays! I have been trying really hard to go to bed at a decent hour lately. I usually go to bed at a really unreasonably hour so I am really trying to work on it!

And that was my Thursday!!! I hope I didn't bore yall to death!!! ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Baby Grant

First of all, I want to say Happy Veterans Day to all past and present soldiers! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sacrifice you and your family make for our country! You are all heroes in my eyes.

I hope everyone had a great day. I had the day off and spent it cleaning, cooking, and visiting Kirklands because they were having a 15% off sale! Score! I am slowly trying to gather decor for Christmas. I am still trying to find the direction I want to go with my decorations but I keep going back to the old cozy country Christmas look. I have bought something with gold sparkles on it but I just couldn't resist that. I'm loving the old red & green along with some neutrals and burlap. I love all the Christmas decor when I'm wandering up and down aisles but the old Christmas look keeps jumping out at me so I think I'm going to go with it! Our house is nice and little so I shouldn't need too much to decorate but I LOVE Christmas so I definitely want to decorate as much as I can!

Ok now that I've gone off on a tangent, let me gather my thoughts for this original post! Ha! I realized I never posted about my new sweet nephew, Grant! He was born on October 20th and I was smitten at first sight of course! He was born right around the time school started so I had to wait over 8 hours to go see him and then got in a little fender bender while I was right in front of the hospital! Sheesh. I just wanted to hold that baby. ;)

Here we are...Aunt Kat and Grant. Love this sweet little one! 

Oh I could just eat him up! Isn't he a doll? We think he looks like my sister, which is a change from her other kids because most of them look like my brother in law! :)

And just because she's cute and she LOVES to snuggle...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Favorite Fall Meal - Dessert Edition

Well, I almost made it last week didn't I? Hey, 3 post in one week - I was on a roll. It was bound to go downhill after that..ha!!!

Today is all about my favorite Fall dessert!!! We will pretend I posted it last week like I was supposed to.

So this describes my thoughts about dessert pretty well...

And yes, that is hanging proudly in my kitchen.
Everything in moderation people.

When I was thinking about what recipe I wanted to share for my favorite Fall dessert, my mind immediately went to my friend Rachel's pumpkin bars. I'm sure she got the recipe from someone else or a cookbook but around here, they are hers because I got the recipe from her. :)

For my birthday last year, she gave me a complete recipe book FULL of ALL of her recipes and this one was included. It was such a sweet gesture and I will forever be grateful to her!

I have made these pumpkin bars SEVERAL times over last Fall and this Fall and they are such a hit. I made them a few weeks ago and had plans to give them to my neighbors but because of getting home late, rain, etc...Ty and I ended up keeping that batch and I had plans to bring some to a few coworkers but when I went to get them that morning to bring to school, this is what I saw...

Ty Latham had finished them off before I got to give some away to my coworkers. ha! That's how much we like them. :)
And no, I don't have a pretty picture of them right out of the oven, because I always forget to take one and they never last long, clearly.
Just trust me, they are amazing. divine. so yummy. delicious. etc. etc. etc.
Pumpkin Bars
2 cups all purpose flour (I have also used whole wheat flour and they are still yummy!)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1 16oz can of pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil (I have always used vegetable oil in this recipe)
1 tsp salt
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.
Add flour mixture & beat well.
Spread in ungreased baking pan. (I think mine is a 9x12. Obviously if you go smaller, they will be thick, if you go bigger, they will be thin. I think the 9x12 is a good size.)
Bake on 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. I always stick a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, they are done. :)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 3oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
In a mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
Gradually add sifted powdered sugar.
Beat until smooth.
Spread on cooled pumpkin bars, cut into bars & enjoy!!!
Side note: I recently made these for my bible study group and didn't have time to let them cool before I put the icing on so I poked holes in the warm pumpkin bars with a straw. Then I poured the frosting over the pumpkin bars and it seeped through the holes. Then I cut them like I normally do into bars. They were so good this way too! Hot out of the oven makes them melt in your mouth!
The cream cheese frosting really makes them so so so good. I cannot say enough good things about this dessert (or breakfast...yes I eat them for breakfast sometimes with my coffee). You just have to try them!!! I always bake them in a pan that has a top and just leave them out on the counter for a few days (covered) and they are good for 3-4 days.
Hope you have time to try these this holiday season! You won't regret it. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Favorite Fall Meal - Dinner Edition

Hump Day!!!! Oh Yes!!!

I really feel like its my Friday Eve because tomorrow is my Friday!!! I am taking the day off on Friday so tomorrow is my Friday. :)

I'm back today for my favorite Fall dinner meal. When I started to think about what recipe I wanted to share I immediately thought of my favorite favorite favorite meal when its cold outside...

My Mama's Chili.

As many times as I've made it already this Fall, I couldn't find a picture of it. I just made it Saturday night for my family and forgot to snap a picture! My sister Anna sent us this picture the other night when she made it so this will have to do! Clearly, its a family favorite if we send pictures of mom's chili to each other! ;)

There is literally nothing better. It makes me think of the home I grew up in. It makes me think of Halloween (my mom always made it Halloween night). It makes me think of a fire in the fireplace and my family in the living room. It makes me think of cold nights and my childhood.

I am hoping my mom won't mind me sharing her recipe. ;) If my memory serves me correctly, she recently told me she got it from a coworker many years ago when they had just moved from Birmingham to Atlanta.

It is seriously good. I never order chili anywhere because no bowl of chili can compare to my mama's!

Here is the recipe (there are a lot of ingredients but the end product is SO WORTH IT!!!):


1 onion - chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb ground beef (chuck)
1 lb sausage
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
salt to taste (we use about 2 tsp)
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 16oz can of diced tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2-3 cups of hot water
1 16oz pork n beans (or pinto or kidney beans -- we use pork n beans)


Brown ground chuck and sausage with chopped onion. Drain and add all ingredients EXCEPT beans. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add beans and cook another 30 minutes with lid on.


We eat it with grated cheddar cheese and saltines.

You can also freeze it!

If anyone tries it I would love to hear if you enjoyed it!!

What is your favorite fall meal for dinner?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Favorite Fall Meal - Breakfast Edition

Happy Tuesday! I can't believe I'm actually back like I said I would be. :) That never happens! I'm usually a total slacker.

Ok, so can we re-name this post to "A fall breakfast I've had my eyes on and I want to make really bad?"

Ok, great..that's settled. I haven't actually made this but my mouth waters when I think about it. So I think I need to make it ASAP!

Of course I stole this recipe from Pinterest, because where else do you get your recipes?

I am really good about pinning recipes and trying them. If we like them then they go into our rotation, and if not, we don't make them again. However, this is one recipe I've had my eye on but haven't made yet.

So here we go...the fall breakfast that The Latham's are trying STAT.

Pumpkin Oat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
^^ that is the link to the original post by Cooking Classy! :)

Your mouth just watered reading that didn't it? It's ok, mine is watering too.

I have made many many renditions of pancakes over the years. Ty is a health nut so pancakes aren't his favorite but I grew up eating my moms pancakes every single Saturday morning so most Saturdays when I think about what I want to cook for breakfast, my mind turns to pancakes. Since Ty (and I do too!) likes things a little healthier, I have tried lots of different healthier versions of pancakes. I like that this recipe has oats in it and you could leave out the chocolate chips if you wanted but then they would just be called Pumpkin Oat Pancakes. :)

And my goodness as soon as Fall hits, I am whipping up ANYTHING with pumpkin in it. I just love it! Nothing says Fall more than pumpkin everything.

And it has cinnamon.

And nutmeg.


So here is the recipe...

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (did yall know you can make your own buttermilk??? google it. I've done it before and it works!!!)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
3 TBSP canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients and make a well in the center. Set aside.
Mix all wet ingredients and pour into the well of your dry ingredients.
Whisk until blended and then fold in chocolate chips.
Pour 1/3 batter onto a buttered griddle & cook each side until golden brown.
Enjoy with your favorite syrup.

Ok, now I need these in my belly!

Do you have a favorite Fall breakfast?

Monday, November 2, 2015


Happy November Friends!!!

I know you have probably already seen these, but they were too funny not to share!!!

hahahaha those made me laugh.
But for real, I'm that girl that starts to listen to Christmas music the first week in November. I would totally start decorating if my husband would let me. Why only enjoy the twinkling lights for 1 month when you can enjoy them for 2?
It's our first Christmas in our new house and I am SOOO excited to decorate and enjoy all our "firsts" in our home.

No worries though, I already put out some Thanksgiving décor so it is not being forgotten!!!

I thought for the month of November I would do a little challenge. I have never blogged on a regular basis so that is going to be my goal this month. I know doing a post every single day is not going to happen because well, LIFE. But I am going to try my hardest to post during the week 3 or 4 days. Let's hope my next post isn't on December 1st. ha! :)

Join along if you'd like!

Here's what this week looks like...and guess what? It's all about food...what could be better!?!

Tuesday - Favorite Fall Meal - Breakfast Edition
Wednesday - Favorite Fall Meal - Dinner Edition
Thursday - Favorite Fall Meal - Dessert Edition

Friday my best friend Melissa is coming in from out of town so I will be enjoying my time with her! It is officially Christmas Village week here in Birmingham and I could NOT be any more excited. For all my non local friends, its just about the best thing ever. It totally gets you in the spirit! It is basically a gigantic arts and crafts show that includes food, clothes, crafts, home décor, etc. Its so fun! If you live in Birmingham, you need to go. It's awesome!

See yall back here tomorrow!