We're a couple of weeks behind in our blogging! This post is of the appreciation gifts we presented to the girls' schoolteachers and extra-curricular instructors at the end of the school year. We do this each year - the gifts as well as the blogging-in-arrears - but this is the first year that we've sufficiently planned ahead to thank all the teachers the girls have had in 2013/2014. And one bus driver, even! Pats on back!
In total, the girls and I prepared 22 gifts for 10 schoolteachers and helpers, 1 bus driver, 2 gym instructors, 3 swimming coaches, and 6 sunday school teachers. It sounds like a lot of work, but we spaced it out over weeks and the girls worked on a little each day as they felt like it. So it was all fun. Initially, we were only planning to make gifts for their schoolteachers but the girls kept adding teacher names to the list until we'd covered everyone who'd ever taught them anything.
Not all the gifts were the same, because that would've meant making 22 lunch buckets, which would've been slightly ridiculous, not to mention exhausting.
So we improvised.
which we'd been nurturing by the kitchen window.
And we made 19 felt baskets for everyone else.
Into the baskets and the buckets went treats of all kinds.
First, custom-theme bookmarks, which the girls painstakingly colored. We tried to find themes for each of the recipients: puzzles for the Gifted Specialist, aliens for the Science teacher, baseball and swimming for the sports coaches, books for the library instructor, for instance. Since drawing that first set of bookmarks, we've added 4 more sets, so we had a lot to choose from. Then we laminated and cut them out, all ready for packing.
Then, we baked (and ate). Oh, that part was particularly enjoyable.
Chocolate chip cookies in three varieties,
and sugar cookies in the shapes of stubby little yellow 2B pencils.
When I was a teacher years ago, I always loved the food and handmade cards and notes more than all the other gifts I'd received.
Although there was also the occasional stuffed animal that found a special place in my heart, like Bearaby, who was given to me by my last class in 2001, and who continues to live in our house, 13 years later, as Jenna's best friend.
But let's get back to the food.
So everyone baked and ate (we prefer the term "quality control") and packed.
For the sports instructors, we had bags of chocolate chip cookies and cones of nuts
because we were slightly embarrassed to give them the sugar-loaded frosted stuff,
which we shamelessly put in all the other baskets, along with the chocolate chip variants.
The girls had a blast assembling the little baskets,
writing the little tags,
and handing them out to the people who'd made their year such a rich and wonderful one.