Friday, July 4, 2014

Five Minutes for Friday

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you have fun plans with family and friends!

Happy Five for Friday, too!

I've missed four Fridays in a row because of a huge apron project I've taken on.
I'm busy, busy, busy.


So tired
So, this is going to be my Five Minutes for Friday!
I've got lots to do.

...whatca think he is thinking?
I keep asking God to send me a clear sign as to whether I should continue with my aprons. He sent me some signs alright, but I can't decide what they mean. Here are some of the things that have happened since my prayer:

My washing machine broke.
(I've been making lots of new friends at our local laundromat)
We've lived in our house for 12 years and that's typically when appliances start to fall apart.
We like to follow schedules, so we're right on time.
My dryer is fine, but they don't make our washing machine anymore and they're stacked.
Major problem;
you can't stack different machines.

Owls <3
They have to match and they want us to buy an new washer AND dryer.
Does that mean I need to stop spending money on aprons and buy a washing machine?

My dish washer sprung a leak.
Yep. Apparently it's on the 12 year appliance plan as well.
I came downstairs and found a huge puddle of water on my beautiful hardwood floors.
Does that mean I need to stop spending money on aprons and buy a dishwasher and a washing machine and dryer?

The microwave broke.
Not much left to say.
I think God may be speaking LOUDLY.
I'm choosing to go with a positive look at this situation.

So happy!
Maybe the message is that I need to move forward with the aprons so that I can earn extra money to buy a new washer and dryer and dishwasher and microwave!

don't quit your day dream
In the meantime, I'll be the lady wearing clothes that haven't seen the light of day in years because I'm avoiding the laundromat, I'll have dishpan hands from washing dishes in the sink, and I'll be staying out of the frozen food isle because I can't use the microwave!
The unfortunate things aside, I've also had some very heartwarming things happen. Several amazing people have stepped forward to help and asked nothing in return. These sweet people spent hours and hours helping me through of some very discouraging moments. I am so touched by their kindness and encouragement. My heart is full and I'm inspired to be of help to others in return.

Here's what all the fuss is about!

My apron.
It's really just a walking pocket chart.
We're almost ready to post them in my TPT store!
The decision to go ahead with this project was pretty much decided when one of my sons said, "Buck up, Welch. Own it!"
It's been in the works for over 2 years now and it hasn't been easy!
stand up
It has kept me up at night and caused an amazing amount of stress eating.

We all have those days.
 It actually all started because I got a D in 8th grade sewing (the teacher didn't appreciate my social skills). I haven't sewn in 30 years but had it on my bucket list, along with running a marathon and a few other lofty goals.
I finally got around to signing up for an apron class at our local sewing school. Perfect. How hard could an apron be? My enemies, the zipper and dreaded darts, wouldn't be a part of the project, so I decided to take it on. I was all over it. I couldn't wait and even bought my pattern and material way ahead of time.
Turns out I was the only 54 year old to sign up. Class canceled. I could join the youth class but thought that might be a little humiliating.
I opted to fly solo.
I'm not much for directions which, as I found out, is an important part of sewing. The apron was a disaster. Here's a picture of my creation. Can you see my plastic pockets?
That was 2 years ago.

One of my friends who sews beautifully took one look at it and whisked it off for much needed revision. It couldn't be saved so she decided to sew an improved version for me.
That's how it began and then...

I'm an apron person and wear one every, single day! Besides saving my wardrobe, it now serves another purpose. The other reason the apron came about was because I lose everything! On a typical morning, I start by leaving papers in the lounge, then I leave my keys by the copy machine, my pen in the office as I say good morning to all my buddies and my lesson plans when I grab a cup of coffee. Oh, and then I go by my friend Beth's room to say hello and leave my glasses. My aide knows to follow my footsteps before she comes to my classroom and pick up everything I've left behind.

Once everything is back in my vicinity, we're ready for class. My classroom door is painted with chalkboard paint and every day I have our sight word or some other "password" written for all to see. But sometimes I would want to present more than just one word, so I would bring my pile of pocket chart cards to the door and, as my Kinders came in, they'd read a word from the card. The problem was, I would misplace a card or one would fall out of my hands, or someone would hand me papers and maybe (always) there would be some problem (fighting) in line.

I sewed a clear plastic pocket on the front of my apron and put my sight words in the pocket!
Problem solved.
Now the cards couldn't get away from me! Or them!
I've got the sight words (or whatever I want to reinforce) everywhere we go; at the bottom of the slide, in the sandbox, pushing kids on the swings, lining up for recess or lunch. It's in their sweet faces and minds all day.
Kids come up to me during recess and read the words (and I get poked in the tummy a lot).

I've got a whole slew of cards now; colored vowels, blends, numbers, even a bossy e!
I've got special word family cards that allow me to rotate in new initial consonants (sit, hit, bit, lit, etc) and picture cards for verbs and nouns.
It has been a great success (except for the inappropriate word that slipped in there one day).
I use it for jumbled sentences with sight words. They have to unscramble and use a dry erase pen to write capitals or punctuation on top of the plastic.

We made two kid-sized aprons. We want to know what you think!
Should we make more?
 Cards can be made for everything common core!
Story sequencing, number order, alphabetizing and on and on!

One of the most fun things has been that kids from all grades take the time to read whatever words I have in the apron.
At the end of this year, the kids were learning a song and had to know how to spell "I Love You." I had the words in my apron and got a record number of hugs from all ages of kids and adults. Even people in the grocery store!

We're giving some of the aprons away at the conference so I had a great excuse to make some gift  bags!
Each of the giveaway aprons will come with a set of almost 300 cut and laminated cards.
I display my slew of cards in my standing pocket chart for the kids to make words and sentences with during journal or reading.

I'm headed to Vegas to test the market! I have a small booth at the I Teach K conference with aprons for people to check out. I'm going to be busy attending all the wonderful teacher presentations, but will visit the booth in between.  Look for this banner. We want to know if we have a reason to move forward! I hope you'll come by to say hello. I'll be the exhausted lady in the apron.

Not only will I be having an apron booth, but I foolishly asked if I could display some kindergarten art!

What was I thinking?
I hope I have all my duckies in a row!

Please leave a comment. I need encouragement!
One thing checked off of my bucket list...
Does this mean I have to run a marathon?


  1. Sandy- I HAVE MISSED YOUR POSTS! I have been thinking about you so much- and was just about to email you. I'm so sorry about your appliances- but OF COURSE it means, earn that extra money with your aprons and buy top of the line! :) Right?! I am so excited for you because your aprons are fabulous. FABULOUS. Please tell me every detail of the trip. Every detail. XOX And your Kindergarten art is just gorgeous.
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    1. I can't believe you're not going to be in Las Vegas! You will be missed, for sure! I need a buddy to hold my hand; I'm already starting to sweat. I'm walking around the house humming, "My bags are packed, I'm ready to go..." Thanks so much for helping me with the aprons. It means the world to me. Here we go!

  2. Oh I wish I could go to the conference. I want very much to be one of the first to see and use your aprons! I have been watching your blog closely for their debut. Even for those who don't wear aprons the cards will be wonderful to have and use in pocket charts. Yes - I believe you should go forward with your project. Good luck! Enjoy the conference. Maria

    1. Thank you, Maria. I'm a nervous wreck! Go get the freebie cards for making words in my store. It's called Basic Word Kit. It's the upper and lower case letters, vowels are a different color and numbers. We thought we should have free cards to start the apron! Or, just to start a collection for your pocket chart. We'll have the other cards up soon: blends, word families, and on and on! Thanks again for visiting!

  3. Don't worry Sandy! I'll come find you and your aprons. They were such a huge hit in my class this year and I'm sure when people see them in action they'll love them too!
    See you in a few days!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

    1. I'll be looking for you! Safe journeys to Vegas, my dear! I'm going to need support!

  4. Sandy!!! These look amazing!!! I'm totally blogging about you!! You will do great in Vegas...I'm wishing I could go...maybe next year! Blessings!! ~Sarah

    1. Thanks Sarah! I'm the absolute WORST salesperson and I've been banned from the booth! I want to give them away to everyone! HA! I'm glad you like them-you made my day!

  5. I L.O.V.E. my new apron, and cannot wait to use it. It's brilliant; and I too put stuff down 'strategically' so this will so help me keep it together!! I got the lime and hot pink one. WHOOT!! Thanks for Bucking up, : ),

  6. LOVE your aprons! I will be buying one (or two!) when you post them in your store! :)


  7. I love the idea! You have mind a whirling! I'm digging through my scrap box looking to see what I can come up with! I'm even going to look to see if I can't come up with enough to create a fireman, policeman, construction worker, cowboy for my gents( and gals.). Thanks so much! I can't wait to get them done and use them!