Make A Difference NBC4 School Grant – Vote for Johnstown Big Red Band Please!

February 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Donating & Causes, Family & Friends, School

Small Town Johnstown, Ohio Big Red Band Needs Your Vote!

Johnstown Big Red Band

                                                           (photo used from NBC4 Voting contest site)

The Johnstown Big Red Band was entered into a contest with our local TV station NBC Channel 4 for a chance to win $10,000 to improve/maintain our Band.  We just need YOUR VOTES!!

The Make a Difference NBC4 School Grant consist of four different categories:

Think – Academic programs
Serve- Programs where children serve
Shine- Sports, Arts & Music
Connect- Technology

Our school is in the “Shine” Category.  You would think, by looking at the above picture with over 200 students in the band, that we have a huge school. The opposite is true. Our school is a smaller school in a small town.  Most of the bands with high schools we play sports against, have bands of around 25-50 members. Then out marches our band. We call our band “The Pride of Johnstown” – and it is too!

What makes our band so special? The kids LOVE it?  It isn’t like a band, from when I was in high school. You think of just those kids who are not “jocks” in band. The “nerds” or “kids that don’t fit in”. Isn’t that sad.. that bands so often have that reputation?  But this is not how it is here. The kids WANT to be in the band. We’ve had a few football players who are actually in the band. Yes.. they march in their football uniform and preform in the half time show.

Our band is what they call a “dance band”.  They preform popular songs and get to really perform!  I found a good video on Youtube that one of the parents took.

You can see one of the cadences (dances, I call them) they do if you go into minute 3:47 of the video.

We have had our band program threatened by levies that haven’t passed. The students have to pay to be in the band, and speaking as a parent of two who have been in the band, it isn’t very cheap!!  But it is an awesome program. They have preformed at the Chic-Filet Bowl, and last year preformed at Disney World, along with a lot of local events.

Please VOTE for our Johnstown Big Red Band!  You can vote once per day until March 7th! 

If you get onto the main page, just do a search for Johnstown Big Red Band and it will bring us up. Look for the picture above on the contest entry.

You can also help if you are on twitter or Facebook by tweeting for us!!  Thanks!

Please vote for the Johnstown Big Red Band in the NBC4 Make a Difference Contest! Vote once per day until 3/7/13.

Thanks so much!!



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Gutzy Gear Backpack Straps and Patches

December 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways, School

Kids Love Gutzy Gear Backpack Straps

I had the opportunity to have a Gutzy Gear home party and my triplets were so happy. I had a problem trying to get kids together with all the sports and sports schedules we have. It finally took a broken arm and Christmas break to get kids over here. lol

Gutzy Gear

I got all the straps ready to go. They come in single boxes, so you can purchase just one strap if that is what you’d prefer.

Gutzy Gear

The girls started out by coloring and making cards with some of the fun things that Gutzy Gear sent me.

girl party

The Gutzy gear patches come in packages of two. They have velcro on the back of them, and adhere to the straps easily.

gutzy gear patches

I opened all the rest of the packages so that they girls could pick out what they wanted. We spread them out on the table (so they wouldn’t all stick together from the velcro. lol)

gutzy gear

The straps go on easily. They just wrap around the backpack straps. They are padded and help to protect the kids straps, along with being decorative.

back packs

The littlest one, was more than eager to pick out her favorite patches. I started out by asking the girls all to pick out two patches they wanted. She quickly grabbed up six of her favorites! lol Her mom had to talk her into putting a couple back for the other girls. lol

gutzy gear

Her mom called me when they got home and told me again how excited the girls were with their Gutzy gear straps and patches. They were all very shy when they were here.

gutzy gear

Our second youngest participant, Amy’s @Happy4Deals youngest daughter was showing her mom what patches she liked, on the back of the package.

gutzy gear

After the kids decorated their book bags, we all ate some goodies!


Elise broke her arm at Basketball practice a couple weeks ago. She had her initial soft cast on with a sling. After the 2nd day with the sling on, she had a nasty red mark on the back of her neck from her sling strap. We were trying to figure out what we could do. She isn’t allowed to wear a turtle neck to school, so we were trying to figure out a way to protect her neck. I said, “Elise, I know what we can do!!  We have those Gutzy gear straps in there waiting for us to have our party. Let’s use one of those!”.

OMG.. it worked perfect!! No more red neck, she was so happy because it felt so much better.

broken arm

Of course we had to get a couple patches to decorate it! This was SOOOO perfect for this.

gutzy gear

Here are the party girls with all their decorated backpack straps.  Alex and Zach had them on their back packs, but I think in 6th grade they were just a little too conscious of their friends. One of the brothers of the other girls who came did bring his back pack too… and took two straps and patches, but didn’t join in the party.

I did see the Gutzy gear products in Target, last time I was there. They were in the aisle with luggage and back packs. You can also find them online on their Gutzy gear site. 

Gutzy Gear

Thank you Gutzy gear for providing all the backpack straps and patches for our party. I was not compensated in any other way.

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Do it Yourself Easy Desk Storage Set

Easy To Make – Do it Yourself Desk Set

do it yourself desk storage set

Some of the plastic containers you get products in are really nice, and I decided to make a diy (do it yourself) desk storage set out of three different ones.

I do not normally keep storage containers like these, unless I have a specific use for them.  I love do it yourself projects, but I see too many people keep SO many things like this… with the intention of “some day” getting to it.  Only keep enough containers for the specific do it yourself project you want to accomplish. It will decrease the clutter… and you will be able to save up new containers when you are ready for your next DIY project. But I thought I could make a nice little set for my daughter’s desk by recycling plastic storage containers and some decorative tape.

I kept two different tea mix containers and took the labels off.

do it yourself desk set

I then took the labels off the two tea containers. Both of these labels came right off… easy peasy.

diy desk set

I then had two naked containers, like this one!

do it yourself

I then took my decorative tape.  This is duck tape that I got at Target or Joanne’s. (I can’t remember which)  You can decide how you want to place your decorative tape on the container. You can cover it completely, or make stripes up and down or a single one around…. like this one.

do it yourself

Here is the other container.

do it yourself

I also kept this larger round nut mix container. The label for this container was glued on.

do it yourself

I could have spent a lot of time and soaked it off… peeled  and gotten it sparkly clean first… but heck – I’m covering it with tape.  So I just taped over the label.

diy desk set

Here is the finished product. You can use the lids on your containers if you want.

do it yourself

Here is the finished product that you can put pencils in.

do it yourself

do it yourself


do it yourself desk set

There are so many things you can use something like this for.  This do DIY desk set is going on my daughter’s desk in her room – but I could also see something like this being really cute in a craft room. you could store beads, or any kind of craft supplies in these.  Ideas are endless.

diy desk set


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Middle School

August 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, School

The Triplets First Day Of Middle School

The kids went to middle school for their first day on Monday.  They were both excited, nervous and trying to act “cool” about it.  They picked out which uniform they wanted to wear the night before (I didn’t even have to tell them) and I had no problem waking them up at 5:55am!

middle school

They have a lot of big changes going into 6th grade.

Uniforms: This is a public school, but they introduced uniforms about five years ago, starting with the high school.  It moved down to the middle school two years ago (I think), but the elementary school students can still wear street clothes. They are not any too excited about the uniforms, and I was less excited about the cost of outfitting three kids for 5 days of school… even going to Old Navy and getting $5 polos and $8 shorts/pants. We are thankful that Zach is bigger than Alex, he can already fit into some of the uniforms that Tim and Drew wore in high school.

Earlier Time: They have to be there much earlier than elementary school! Actually about an hour and half earlier. In order for us to have a non – crazy kind of morning. We aren’t going to have “running around with their head’s chopped off” kinds of mornings. They get their own breakfast, make their own lunches, do their 20 minutes of reading, make their beds and clean their rooms… before they go. If they have any time left (they like to make their lunches the night before) then they get some computer time. Our mornings normally aren’t hectic.

Walk To School:  The middle school is closer, so they are able to walk to and from school.  They will only be doing this part time. We only have them every other week, and their mom doesn’t live within walking distance from the school. Of course when it’s raining or too cold… I’ll be driving them. There are a couple other kids from the neighborhood that will probably be walking with them also, so I’m not worried for them.  Plus the fact that they are all only one belt away from being black belts in karate!

Changing Classes:  In 5th grade, they had a couple class changes to get them ready for middle school, but it won’t be like it will be in 6th grade. They had orientation last week and received their schedules and we all navigated the hot narrow halls of this super old building (that needs major renovations. It’s the worse of all our schools needing actual rebuilding…but no money to do it… that’s another whole post. lol) and trying to find out which rooms for which classes were theirs.

I’m bummed because I cut off Elise’s shoes. They are kind of a lime green color. They aren allowed to have any color shoes and socks.  middle school


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