I need an app that tells me what's happening next

In which I pretend I know what to do with 20ish kindergartners (I so do not)

I am volunteering in Jack's class tomorrow. For the first time. Worse: I am not volunteering so much as GIVING THE LESSON. This particular lesson is called Make A Present For Your Teacher Who's Having A Baby In Two Months!

I made the mistake of asking my mother for baby present suggestions. I was thinking she'd give me appropriate parent-teacher gift ideas: a nice blanket maybe, an outfit, a card from Jack, I DON'T KNOW. Instead, my mother, who is nothing if not ambitious, creative, and full of Can Do Spirit! said, "YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE REALLY COOL?" And proceeded to tell me that I should get all the kids to think about "what makes a good mom?" and then write down what they think and draw a picture and MAKE A BOOK.

Me! Who has no contacts within the school OR the parent community! WHO HAS ABSOLUTELY NO GUIDING SMALL CHILDREN IN SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. 

I am, however, nothing if not wanting to get an A+ in everything, especially gift giving and mom approval, SO. After approximately nine bazillion emails with my partner in crime (aka the teacher across the hall I unceremoniously roped into arranging things for me) we found a time for me to come in and attempt book pages. As I type I am printing out card stock with a big box and lines underneath for the pages. Draw your picture in the box! I will help you write your Good Mom Advice! And then I will somehow (??????) fix these pages into a nice keepsakey book that the teacher can pull out years from now and say to her husband, "Oh yeah, I remember that Jackson kid, he was in my class that year I had [BABY NAME], remember? He's the one who nearly died of mortification when I had to tell him to be nice that one time?"

(DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THAT? I think that was one of those things that I decided were Not Blog Appropriate. On my kid's behalf. Good story, though.)

Anyway. I'm not exactly NERVOUS, but I guess I am a little APPREHENSIVE. I can barely get my own children to follow directions let alone another 25 kids belonging to OTHER people. So we'll see how this goes. If all else fails I can go purchase a nice blanket. 

In other news: Phillip's cousin's kid is flying out here tonight and staying with us so he can attend some College Weekend thing for prospective freshmen. Then his dad is flying in tomorrow? And maybe staying with us? And maybe I am making dinner for all these people, but maybe I'm not? I'm repeating the Cheung Family Motto to myself - "We'll just play it by ear!" - but it's not really working this time. In case you haven't figured it out, I am terrified of AND bad at making dinner. Anyone got any Easy No Fail Dinners? We'll probably go with our standard salmon/rice/broccoli it being a Friday during Lent and all, but if you have suggestions I'm sure I can make use of them in the future. Like the week AFTERWARDS when Phillip's brother and his family comes to visit. GAK.




Your mom's baby gift idea for Jack's teacher is THE.BEST!!!! I'll say a few extra Hail Marys in the hopes that the kiddos had hold it together for you.

I will be vigilantly reading the comments on this post because I don't have an Easy No Fail Dinner (unless you count BBQ Pulled Pork in a crockpot). Which is why I invite friends for brunch at our house instead of dinner.


One of the best and easiest company meals I have ever done was a quesadilla dinner for Beastie's second birthday. He requested quesadillas, which I made in bulk as people were milling about -- large tortilla folded in half, stuffed with cheese and toasted on a griddle. I kept them warm in a low oven as I went and when I was all done cooking, set them out with a bunch of toppings: sour cream, avocado or guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, etc. I also did a side of black beans and rice. Everyone put together their own plate. Easy peasy.


Kids usually listen better to people that aren't their parents, so you should be just fine! And I love the idea and I am sure the teacher will too!


Yes, Do something in a crockpot. I think you can do salmon packets in the crockpot. We also do brinner (breakfast for dinner) a lot on Fridays in Lent. Eggs! Toast! Pancakes!


I have a few books like this from students and LOVE them. Especially the silly entries (e.g. for a wedding book - "Be sure to carry your wife in the front door every day.") It'll be great!


This IS such a great gift idea! And YOU are SO sweet to do it! I think the students will be behaved, because 5 year olds love special, top-secret missions, and this is clearly a special, top-secret mission!

Food? Spaghetti and meatballs? Chili in the crockpot? Hmm... buy a rotisserie chicken, make a salad, and pop some biscuits (the premade ones!) in the oven?


Casseroles are great for crowds. You can do vegetarian lasagna or taco pie. Salad and bread. Works when we have people for dinner because all the cooking is done earlier in the day.


Wow, what a great idea!

My daughter's preschool teacher made a photo book of the children with their artwork. Along with a description of what they created. It was so freaking cute.

It might be an easy way to arrange them all, and have actual pictures of the class that created such a thoughtful project.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Oh Maggie, what a GREAT gift idea! While I am not a teacher, just the THOUGHT of getting that kind of gift makes me feel all teary.

You can get the book bound at a copy center (Office Max or something) by the way - they should be able to do it for you pretty quickly and easily (and cheaply).

And this is my go-to easy, no-fail dinner: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/01/salsa-verde-chicken-tacos-in-the-crockpot/ It's also a crowd pleaser - my in-laws loved it the time we made it for them.

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