Thursday, 5 September 2013

Back To School Teacher's Gift

    It's here, that dreaded back to school time.  Honestly I have to say that I approach back to school with mixed emotions.  Part of me is glad to see the little backs of their heads and regain my delicious freedom, but the most part of me misses them (until they all come home in the afternoon and fight, and talk over top of each other).  I like how fluid the summer is, the bohemian lifestyle it affords me.  Summer is so relaxed for us, there are bedtimes "ish".  There is no set schedule, it's more like just let it flow ( I feel like I should be wearing hemp clothing right now and saying "man").  September changes all of that.  September throws the bohemian lifestyle out the window (a window with bars I may add), and replaces it with the drill sergeant.  

    Not only does September signal the end of relaxed, it also brings with it hurricane force the germs!  By next week I can guarantee that at least Elly will be boogers to the eyebrows.  Last year there was not a week, literally that one of my kids was not sick.  I was beginning to feel like the worst mother in the world until I began to speak to other mothers and some of the teachers.  According to everyone that I spoke to, last year was the worst year for sickness that anyone can remember.  Towards the middle/ end of the year I finally wised up and bought an industrial sized bottle of hand sanitizer for each of the kid's classrooms.  The teachers were most grateful, and one of them really encouraged her class to use it.

    I usually try to begin the school year with a gift for the kid's teacher.  It's usually more of a gift for the class than just for the teacher.  I usually make up a gift basket with stickers and pencils and bulletin board decorations.  I feel like this lets the teacher know that I care about my child(ren)'s education, and I want to do my part to contribute.  It also lets that teacher know that I care about what goes on in my child(ren)'s class.  This year with the cost of Christopher and my wedding renewal, our finances were pretty petered out (I promise I will do a one week blog about the renewal, you just have to wait a little longer).  This year I decided that I still wanted to be thoughtful, but I would also be practical.

    This year's beginning of the school year teacher's gift was "up-cycled".  This is the fun new term for recycling something to make it even better!  I decided to try making one of those really pretty mason jar soap dispensers.  They are so pretty, and pricey to buy in the store.  This would not be a soap dispenser, but rather a hand sanitizer dispenser.  I saved my used liquid soap containers.  I throughly washed the plunger and recycled the bottom.  I then tested the plunger with water to make sure that it would bring up hand sanitizer... it did.  I generally refill my soap dispensers, so I know that the plunger will last almost indefinitely.

    Next I took a brand new mason jar lid (I'm making preserves, so I had a few on hand).  I asked Christopher to drill a hole in the top of the mason jar lid.  As usual in my head it was stunning and neat and clean.  In my head Christopher had the perfect sized drill bit that I needed.  The reality as you can see was something very different that my imagination!  Having said that, it was still workable.  I needed the hole to be large enough to fit the entire plunger in.
    I put hot glue on the top of the hole, and then slid the pump in.  When the pump was secured I turned it upside down and went to work making it waterproof (aka making it so the the hand sanitizer would not leak everywhere).  I worked my hot glue magic on the bottom, making sure to leave no holes for hand sanitizer to leak through.  It did not look beautiful, but it also did not leak!

    I poured the hand sanitizer into a clean mason jar, screwed on the lid and added a little raffia bow (mainly to disguise the terrible hot glue job on the top).  I asked the teachers not to examine their gift to thoroughly.  I'm sure with a little more practice Christopher and I could get pretty good at this.  
    The kids felt important giving their teacher a gift, and I felt better knowing that my kid's would have readily available hand sanitizer in their classroom!  Now let's cross our fingers and toes that this is a much better year for sickness than last year.

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