Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Creative Christmas Gift!!!

I am continuing along with my holiday posts with posting about the Christmas gift that my 4th graders are giving their parents.  I really have a difficult time thinking of something that the parents will actually use and not just get rid of them.  So I decided to...
 Step 1:  Buy different calendars from Michael's ($1.00)

 Step 2: Take off the clear cover from the calendar.  Use a staple remover to take apart the calendar.  Remove the cover from the calendar.  Use that cover as a template to cut out white rectangles out of card stock or construction paper.  The card stock tends to hold up better.  This rectangle will now serve as the cover for your calendar.  Give the white piece to your students to have them decorate the front and back cover.

 Step 3:  On the inside left side, have the students write a letter to the person they are giving their calendar to.  I had them write in pencil first so they could edit their work, if needed.  Then they could decorate it.

 Step 4:  Put the newly decorated cover together with the calendar pages and re-staple your pages together.  Put the calendar back in the plastic sleeve.  Now your calendar is personalized and ready to be wrapped for your holiday gift!!

Tada!!!!  It is really an easy, inexpensive way to show your families that their children care for them!  I spent $30 bucks total for this gift ($1/calendar).  I plan to have the kids use white wrapping paper to wrap their calendars in.  They will get to decorate their wrapping paper too!
Feel free to use this idea OR even better...share the ideas that you are using in your classroom/personal life!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Five of My Favorite Things!

December is such a wonderful month.  It is a time for giving, making new memories, being with family, and enjoying the beautiful weather we receive.  In the midst of this joyous season, I find myself stressed and living in some kind of chaotic world.  Why is it that holidays bring a huge to-do list that never seems to get accomplished?
Just to name of few of those things on the to-do list: Class Gifts, Finish student parent gifts, student teacher gift, Biz Town jobs/preparing for the field trip on Tuesday, finish Christmas shopping for my family, etc.  The list goes on and on and on.  The funny thing is that I have 8 work days to complete my list.  It seems impossible but I know it will get done....eventually.  Needless to say, I should be working on the list rather than blogging.  However, blogging was calling my name this evening.
Because I am feeling stressed, I wanted to think about things that really made this a memorable season and reflect upon things that really made me happy during the holidays.  We all have our favorites, right?

 Favorite Thing #1: Christmas Movies!!!  I absolutely love when I flip through the channels and find one of my favorite holiday movies on.  I can't help myself even if I have seen them 100 times or more. 
 Favorite Thing #2: Baking Christmas Cookies!!!  In fact this past Friday evening, the hubby and I spent the evening baking sugar cookies from scratch and decorating them with frosting and sprinkles.  Baking cookies never gets old and the cookies always just taste so good each year.
 Favorite Thing #3: Christmas Ornaments!!!  There is something about buying new ornaments that makes me incredibly happy.  I tend to get a lot of really neat ornaments from my students (including one today).  I love it!!!  I also have a bad habit of buying a ton of ornaments after the holidays and leaving them in the packages until the following Christmas.  It makes taking out the bins of Christmas decor exciting!
 Favorite Thing #4: Giving Christmas Gifts!!!  I have to say that spending time Christmas shopping can be overwhelming, frustrating, and fun!  I always have a time buying for the men in my family (is this normal in all families?)  and of course the women are pretty easy.  I like to find unusual items to give people because watching them open the gifts is always fun!  There is something about showing the people you love, just how much you care during the holiday season that lights up my life.
 Favorite Thing #5Stockings!!!  My entire family has matching stockings that are hand stitched from one of my great aunts.  They are really cute and I have had mine since I was born.  When my husband joined our family, it was one of the first things that was brought up by a family member.  They made sure he had a stocking for his first Christmas with me.  They are one of my favorite things to take out and hang by the fireplace.  It reminds me of family, those close by and those I won't get to see during the holidays.  I know they hang their stockings up as well and that brings me great joy.
Ok...I couldn't resist doing a Favorite Thing #6!!  Christmas Cards!!!  I ordered our Christmas cards before December even hit.  Yes, I know...I just couldn't help it.  I at least waited until December hit to send them out.  Not only do I like sending a little holiday cheer to friends & family but I love opening Christmas cards in the mail.  Even though it is a simple card that hundreds of people are receiving, just knowing that someone thought enough about us to send a card, brightens my day.  So far...we haven't received any in the mail but I am hoping that we will in the days to come.

So what are you some of your favorite December things?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fun in the Mud!

Whew!  Did anyone else have a case of the Monday's?  I sure did!  I couldn't get to sleep last night so of course waking up at 5:25 this morning did not go well for me.  Although I couldn't get myself together this morning, I was excited to get home and blog!  I have missed blogging and reading all my friends blogs too.  I was also thrilled to get to share this once in a lifetime event that I did with my hubby and in-laws.  
I had never been 4-wheelin'/ATV riding before and my father in law wanted to go for his birthday.  So, I suited up and headed out with the fam for a FULL day of fun, mud, and sore muscles. (Can I say just say I was sore for a full week afterwards).  Here are some of the pictures from our day...

My in-laws found it hilarious to see me all muddy and disgusting.  Apparently, I don't get down and dirty around the in-laws that much.  Secretly, I thought it was a blast and probably played up the "pretty girl" act just a tad. Ok, who hasn't done that a time or two?  So ladies, have you been out ATV riding before?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still undecided?
I loved it!  However, because I was sore for sooooooo long I will have to prepare myself for a future adventure.  I'll probably make sure I wear gloves and warmer clothes.  I may even consider getting cute pink gear to wear for future pics.
Enjoy your Monday evening ladies!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Teacher Outing!

Happy December to you all!  I want to start off by saying that I am ready for the beginning of 2012 to get here!  This first part of the school year has been exciting, crazy, busy, exhausting, etc.  If you are already a follower then you know that I started fourth grade this year, after teaching four years of second grade.  I have learned so much thus far from my students and my coworkers.  I have made some amazing new friends, who I am proud to call my fourth grade team.  I have so many exciting things to update you all on but I will spread it out over my next couple of posts.
Just last week I was able to spend time with some of my new fabulous friends outside of school.  I don't want to say they are "new" friends per say, but now that I spend everyday with them in our school building (upper grades are in a different building), I have gotten to know them a lot better and I have loved every second of it.  Not only have I made these amazing friendships but I have learned a lot about myself in the past five months working together.
My co-workers and I went to a Mixed Media Class at the Wine Palette here in N.C.  We wanted to stretch ourselves and do something outside of the box.  We all claim we are not artistic but, I think secretly we all really wanted to do some amazing art pieces.  A parents at our school was hosting the event and we went to support her and of course to have fun!
Here are a couple of photos from the event... 

Me (with new, dark hair), Elizabeth (4th grade teacher), & Jenna (5th grade teacher)

Jenna, Elizabeth, Becky (4th grade), Kristin (5th grade), & Me!

Becky, Kristin, & other artists!

The event was planned from 7-9 and I didn't get home until 10:30ish.  We had a blast enjoying wine, snacks, and each others company.  I am thrilled beyond belief that I have gotten to know such amazing people in just a couple short months.  I am looking forward to many other outings with these ladies and getting to know them even better as the school year rolls on.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Peek into my Classroom

I promise I haven't disappeared!  We have gone back to school for our Teacher Workdays and I have been busy busy busy! For all my teacher readers, we all know how stressful those days can be and how many hours it takes to fulfill your duties.  I wanted to give a few peeks into my new 4th grade classroom! :)

 Bulletin Board for Classroom Jobs
 Busy Wall!  A wall for the student's to show off their work.
 Close up of student's brag wall!
 Close up of student's desk!  The tootsie roll bag says, "Here's something to help you ROLL into 4th grade!"
 Helping Hands - Teacher wishlist for Meet the Teacher day tomorrow
 Writing and math shelves
 A view of the room
 View of the room from a different point of view
 Sign in table
A gift for the parents! (Thanks for "popping" by!) and then a little message from me!

Tomorrow is the big day!  Tomorrow is when I meet my new 28 4th graders! :)  I am excited, nervous, and thrilled to be starting a new year with a new class!
Until later,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Toasting to Daytime TV

Welp.  This is the last evening before I head back to work in the morning.  It's a Teacher Workday and we have a morning staff meeting, PTA Lunch, and team meetings in the afternoon.  It's a day of catching up with our fellow teacher friends, looking at class lists, and not getting a whole lot done.  I would love to find a teacher that actually gets a lot of work done on the first day back.  I usually going home feeling unaccomplished but I am determined to get at least one thing done tomorrow. (or so I say)
So what have I done today?  I woke up to watch a couple episodes of Saved By The Bell, had a massage (amen!), and then came home to do laundry and do a little crafting.  Of course I had to watch all my daytime today that I will not get to do after today.
I had to watch...

 The View!  I have to give all my "View" love to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  If she were not on this show then I probably wouldn't watch it.  I have to admit I am not a huge Whoopi fan and I think that she likes to take control of every conversation. (apologies to Whoopi fans!)  I have recently found this show...
The Talk!  This is the perfect cast (in my opinion)  How can you not just fall in love with Leah, Holly, Sharon, Julie, & Sarah?  I seriously LOVE watching all five of them interact and talk amongst each other.  They have different opinions and they respect each other.  They have a quality that you can't find on a lot of talk shows.
Have you watched either one?  Which one is your fave?
I am going to vote with THE TALK and send love to all of their fabulous hosts!
Let me leave by toasting to the ladies who have occupied my summer and kept me entertained for days on end.  You will be missed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let me introduce you to....& share my number one problem!

Meet my three fur babies...

& Amber

These three dogs are seriously like my children.  They are spoiled and seriously run the house.  I really love them all and they are all rescue dogs!  There is only one problem...SHEDDING!
Please tell me someone else out there has dogs that shed crazily.  I mean these dogs shed and shed and shed.  We will sweep up what looks like another dog in just fur, just to have more the very next day.  It is seriously driving me insane.  The hubby and I spent a good hour cleaning today and then we even brushed the dogs and I already see hair. What is up with that?
We need HELP!  I am hoping there is someone out there that can give us the cure or share a secret that keeps your house fur free!  I am desperate and have even started browsing online for "As Seen On T.V" products that are supposed to keeping shedding to a minimum. All I know is I am ready for the shedding to stop and for my house to be hair free. 
Until next fur animal is swept up,

Monday, August 15, 2011


I have probably eaten ice cream more in the past week than in a long time.  Oops!  My body is not like it was five years ago.  I can see the change when I eat unhealthy foods. Yuck!  I need to head back to the gym as often as I used to and get this whole thing worked out. 
So I know you are wondering what my favorite ice cream place is...

 I absolutely love Marble Slab!! I have gotten the same ice cream and mix every single time I have gone there for probably ten years. And to think that I claim I like change.  I always get cheesecake mixed with butterfinger.  Does that not sound delish?  What are your favorite flavors?
I went to The Creamery last night with my sister and friend, Jessica.  While checking out I asked the cashier how they kept the marble cold enough to not melt the ice cream while they were mixing it.  I honestly was curious.  Then I found out a SECRET that will HAUNT me the rest of my LIFE.
You know the slab?  The famous "marble slab"????
IT IS NOT ACTUALLY MARBLE!!!  I know, insert your shocked face right now, I couldn't believe my ears.  The slab that the entire dessert franchise is based on is not marble.  It is granite. Does Granite Slab Creamery sound ok to you?  I don't think so.  
Alright, let me have it....are you as shocked as I was?
Until next lie unveiled,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Weather

This weather is CRAZY here in N.C!  This summer has brought on all sorts of craziness around where we live.  In fact it is a little scary.  We have had the hottest days that NC has seen in years, more storms that I think I have seen in years, and even a random cool day here and there.  The weather just doesn't make any sense.  Coming from an old second grade teacher who studied weather intensely for quite some time, the patterns just don't seem normal.  (I think I am starting to sound like a meteorologist, my bad.)
This morning I headed to my parents house (that is up for sale *enter sad face*) to wait for an appointment they had set up.  Since they no longer live in NC, I agreed to do this for them.  Fabulous daughter?  I think so.  I pulled into the driveway only to see...

 oh wait, there is more...
What in the world?  I live less than fifteen minutes away from their home and our neighborhood looks nothing like this.  I'm trying to even remember what storm this is all from?  How can it be this bad just a few miles away?  All I can hear are the sounds chainsaws running and people gathering wood at the curb. Seriously?  Not to mention that one of the trees fell onto a neighbors car. Oops! 
Has the weather been this random everywhere?
Until the next tree falls,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My New Obsession

I have a new obsession...

 Have you tried this stuff yet?  I was shopping at Target recently and went through the grocery aisles ( I love their food prices!) I ran across this Organic Sweet Tea and I thought I would give it a try.  Let me just tell you it is AH-Mazing!  I have already gone through almost two containers of it and it has only been a couple days. Oops!
What drink obsessions do you have?  Where do you buy them?  Please share!!
Until next refill,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


If you read my last post, you know that I am in a positive mindset and I really want to bring positivity to my coworkers, students, and friends.  In a world where it is extremely hard to stay positive (myself included), I want to make a conscious effort to put my best foot forward and to attempt to make a difference.
I have been debating about what to do in my library area in my classroom for about a week or so now.  I used to have a big school bus to keep up with their reading for each quarter.  I wanted to do something different and a little bit more mature for my fabulous future students.  Since I am on this positive kick, I decided to put some quotes in frames and I am going to line the top of my book shelves with them.  Again, I apologize at the crappy quality of my camera phone. :(

 " A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."
 " It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
 "Just for today, no matter where I am going, or what I am doing, or who I am doing it with, It is my intention to focus on the positive."
I hope that my students know and remember these quotes as the year progresses.  I will probably add more to my bookshelves, especially for mini lessons that we may or may not need to build character.  
When I am out in public I constantly notice the number of children that don't show kindness to their parents, friends, sales people, etc.  If I can only reach a class of 25+, then I need to reach them well and really teach them how important kindness is in the real world.
Can you think of any other quotes that are great mini life lessons that I could share with my kids?
Until next life lesson,