Native Texan Livin': End of Year Luau, Dessert Ideas & Teacher Gifts

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

End of Year Luau, Dessert Ideas & Teacher Gifts

The end of year is here now!  Like an hour & a half ago!  Izzy walked out of school so sad that the year was over!  :-(

To celebrate the end of the year, we had Izzy's 2nd grade End of Year luau yesterday.  The kids ate pizza & dessert, played games & we were able to present her teacher with her end of year gift.

This year, we decided to give a teacher exactly what most teachers want...CASH!

Along w/ the cold-hard-cash, we gave her sweet gifts as well.  This was Izzy's teacher's first year back to teaching after taking a hiatus.  And whether she wants to remember the whole year or not, we were her first class back & we wanted her to remember us.  ;-)

For the first "sentimental gift," the kids filled out a questionnaire saying things they will remember about our class & our teacher.  Then, I took a picture of the kids holding up a chalkboard showing what they want to be when they grow up & pasted the picture on each child's sheet.  I found our teacher's initial in burlap material & hot glued it on a super cute scrapbook paper.  Then I 3-hole-punched the entire book & bound it with twine.  I think it turned out really cute!  (Click {HERE} for a free printable of the questionnaire I used.)

For the next gift, I painted a tree trunk & branches on a canvas & had the kids place their thumbprint anywhere they wanted on the tree.  After those dried, I added the green leaves to fill it in a bit, added some beaks, wings & little feet and their thumbprints they were turned into birds.  I added the words, "Thank You for helping us grow  2014-2015" at the bottom in the grass.

The final gift was a kleenex box full of the cash we had collected for her gift!  It actually worked out that our teacher started to cry a little after reading & seeing the first 2 gifts, so I handed her the kleenex box to dry her tears.  She lifted the lid & found 130 reasons to smile!

For the party, I made a cookie cake & decorated it with a summer scene.  Making your own cookie cake is so much cheaper than buying & is so easy!  For the frosting, I just used tubs of frosting, tinted it the color I wanted, filled sandwich ziplock bags & added an icing tip.  Easy peasy.  I got this recipe from a friend a few years ago & have been using it since. (recipe below)

Next, I made dipped marshmallows.  These were really easy to make but there's no starting & taking a break to finish the last steps later.  You have to do it all at once because you have to add the graham cracker crumbs, goldfish & sprinkles while the coating is still wet.
(recipe below)
The kids really liked these & I think they turned out really cute (if I do say so myself!) ;-)

Today is a half day & then Izzy will officially be a 3rd grader.  We've had an amazing year in 2nd grade with this amazing teacher!

Cookie Cake
2 sticks butter; softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1/2 sheet cake aluminum pan
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375F
Spray aluminum pan with cooking spray
Cream butter & sugars
Add eggs (1 at a time, mixing after each one)
Add vanilla
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda & salt
Add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix fully
Fold in the chocolate chips
Spread cookie dough into the cake pan (use back of spoon to spread easily to all edges)
Bake 20 minutes (+/-) until done
Cool & Decorate

Goldfish in the Sea Dipped Marshmallows
large marshmallows
meltable candy coating
graham crackers (crushed)
Goldfish (any flavor)
Pearl sprinkles
blue coloring
Lollipop sticks

Pierce each marshmallow with a lollipop stick.
Melt the candy coating or chocolate according to package directions.
Working in an assembly line, dip a marshmallow in the chocolate until fully covered; shake off excess.
Dip wet marshmallow into the crushed graham crackers, coming up 1/3 of the sides.
Add the Goldfish & candy pearls.
Let fully dry & enjoy!!!

Happy Summer everyone!

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