Friday, December 30, 2011

earringproject: Merry Christmas/Happy 2012!!!

earringproject: Merry Christmas/Happy 2012!!!: Christmas Eve at my mom's house He's reading in the car & he hates having his pic made!!! Well, my break is almost over! Tomorrow ...

Merry Christmas/Happy 2012!!!

Christmas Eve at my mom's house

 He's reading in the car & he hates having his pic made!!!

Well, my break is almost over! Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and because the holiday falls on a Sunday, I get Monday off.  We go back Tuesday, but the students don’t come back until ….that’s a good thing!

delicious ham

My mom's dirty Santa game

I have had a great Christmas it has just gone by way too fast!  Besides celebrating on Christmas Eve and Christmas and dealing with children’s relationship dramas, I have been chilling around the house and working out about every day the Y has been open.  I have been very good and really stuck to my diet with the aid of my new Weight Watchers IPhone app.  I have been tracking my meals and I’ve been very good except my two “holiday days”.  I weigh in tomorrow, so we’ll see if my hard work paid off. (My fingers are crossed!!)

My family(Lucas wasn't at home last Christmas and we were glad to all be together.)

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Christmas Eve at my house (waiting for Santa Clause to come)

 My Christmas morning tradition: Country ham breakfast

passing out presents

On Sunday, it will be exactly a year since I’ve started this blog.  I have really enjoyed it, but my job has kept me busy and there’s not a lot of extra time for blogging.  I know I have some faithful readers out there so, I’ll try to put a post up every week or so

If I don’t get on here again for a while………………….don’t forget……………………………

Happy 2012!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twas three days before Christmas......

Twas three (or is it four) days before Christmas .....

The last week and a half before I got out of school was particularly long and hard.  You can’t really teach important stuff, which causes the students to become more wound up than usual.  They really weren’t too bad though.  We were able to get our presents made for their parents, have our *party and maintain a sense of normalcy right before break. 

 *A side note about our party…..I got all of the students a stocking and a small gift from the Dollar Tree.  I had asked the parents to send in small stocking stuffers.  Most of the parents did, and it made for a good time.  The children were so appreciative!!!  I heard comments like, “This was the best day of my life!” “Thank you! You are the best teacher ever!”  It was very apparent to me that these children not spoiled!!!

These were the ornaments that we made for their parents.  I got this idea from Pinterest also.  We made picture frames with their pictures also.

I also had my teacher friends over yesterday and we had finger foods.  They sampled some of my new Pinterest recipes!!!  We had a nice time and tried not to talk “shop” too much.

Who would like to come and help me take down this dated wallpaper???

Yes, I was able to get everyone into this hand-held self portrait!

I know there are some of you out there who read my blog religiously and I’m sorry I haven’t had any posts lately. I tend to not have a post unless I have taken a lot of pictures or something important has happened.  We’ll see if I can do better!  Also, when I’m teaching, I tend to be busy with that!! 

 I almost forgot....I've joined a book club. (Something I have been wanting to do for awhile!)  I joined them for a get together at Blackhorse.  It seemed a little strange to go out at night on a school night!!! :)

I will probably not have an update until after Christmas, so I want to take this time to wish you and your loved ones a safe and Merry Christmas!!!

Oh, I almost forgot…..I’ve gone back to Weight Watchers and I’m trying to get these 5+ stubborn pounds off!  Let me tell you…’s not easy when you are ______ years old, but I WILL NOT give up.  I know have an Iphone app and it has made it easy to keep my tracker.  I lost a whopping .6 pounds in my first week.  That was with me following the plan religiously and exercising!  I will keep you posted!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift HInts/Normal Annoyances of a Second Grade Teacher

 (I always like to add pictures in my blog, and I haven't been taking many pictures lately.  I guess that is why I haven't had many posts!  I'll look for some fun pics from the internet!)

If you haven’t noticed there is a full moon outside.  They can make for a crazy day!!!  My students weren’t that bad, but by the end of the day, I was the one that was crazy!!!  So, I think the full moon has affected me!!!! 

Today's moon and there is a lunar eclipse tonight!!!!

 I had planned to go to Zumba as usual tonight, but Nick was flying home from Nevada and I realized that he wouldn’t be home to see after the dog.  I was hurriedly getting my things ready to take home, so I could take care of Cocoa when I got an email that said that I was getting a new student Monday. 
My dog, she is wonderful, but it's worse than having a baby!

 That was just great, we have our Christmas party coming up and I always give the students a gift and a stocking.  Luckily, I had bought one extra!!!  If I get another new student, then, I’ll have to go back to the store!!!

I would love some of these.  I heard these Latin sizes run small!  :)

 Oh, and by the way, this child will be the third Michael in my class!!! (It’s the little things that send you through the roof!!)  Zumba would have eased some of the stress and tension, but a bubble bath had to suffice.  I’ll think I’ll be better after a good night sleep.

I would like this new album.

Gift Giving Advice:  I think it is very hard to buy for your spouse and vice versa, them for you.  I have figured out a way to keep both parties happy.  Find several things on the internet that you would like and then cut and paste and send them to your spouse in an email. 

Then, he/she can pick one to give you as a gift.  It will still be a surprise and you get what you wanted.  You could also make your Wish List on Pinterest.  (I think I mentioned this in a previous post.)  The email also has a link, which makes for hassel-free shopping for them.

only available in stores

You can never go wrong with one of these!
I'm excited because I have joined a Book Club. Our January book is, In the Garden of Beasts.  I've probably read a fifth of it in two days.  It's very educational!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankful November (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Pinterest)

Thankful November!!

I know it has been a while, but I’m alive and still breathing.  I have just been busy with the normal stuff…….MY JOB!!!  They are really forcing us to earn our paycheck and then some!!!  Oh well, I will skip this boring topic!!!!

Planning hands-on activities keeps me busy!

We had a nice Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful that we get three days off for Thanksgiving.  It really makes for a nice and relaxing holiday. The plan was to spend Thanksgiving Day at my mom’s, but Nick and Lucas both woke up in the middle of the night with an evil stomach virus.  They were down for the count and didn’t get to celebrate. (Lucas has actually only  just gotten better in the last day or two!

This is the day before Thanksgiving.  There was a line all the way out into the parking lot!

The break was fairly relaxing considering I procrastinated until that Saturday about putting up my Christmas decorations.  I love getting them up and enjoying them, but it’s a lot of work and I don’t get much help.  Luckily, Nick puts up the outdoor lights; he gets all of the stuff down from the attic and puts up the Christmas tree.  I spend a total of about 6 hours putting up ornaments and other decorations. My two sons have never been interested in trimming the tree. Nick asked me if I enjoyed decorating the tree.  I said that I didn’t, but it wouldn’t get done if I didn’t do it.  After all of that work, I want to be able to enjoy the decorations for a while before I have put the decorations back into storage.  Growing up, we never put up our tree early, this is just one of those things that I have decided to do.

Santa tree in the dining room

I didn’t go out at midnight on Black Friday, but I did shop later in the day and I found some good bargains!  I have also enjoyed doing some easy shopping from home. (on-line)  I also took advantage of some of the Cyber-Monday specials!!

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have become obsessed with teacher blogs.  I follow about 20 of them and I get many ideas from them.  Many of these young teachers are very tech-savvy and they develop many things that they share via the internet.  I’m really impressed by their creativity!!!

My most recent obsession is Pinterest!  Have you heard of it???  I would best describe it as an on-line visual bulletin board of collected links.  Once you download it to your computer, you can “pin” anything you find on the internet on one of your “boards”. Once it is pinned, it is also a link to that site on the internet!!!  I have found the neatest ideas for crafts, teaching, jewelry, decorating, and recipes.  You have to be invited to join.  If you are interested, give me your email address and I will invite you to join!  Happy Pinning!!! (Oh, I almost forgot!  One of my young FB friends has her Christmas wish list on Pinterest!!! Smart!)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy what??

Happy week before Thanksgiving!  I have all of my family home for the week and I’m thankful.  I also only have students one and a half days this week.  (Tuesday is a half day of some kind of training!)

Well, can you believe it? I’m still alive and kicking.  I have just been extremely busy with life, which, right now, happens to be teaching.  Teaching is now not just a full time job, but a life job.  It consumes your life!!!  I have wonderful class of good strong second graders, but, it isn’t about just teaching anymore.  Here is a short list of some things that have been added to my teaching plate:

Differentiated instruction training

BAS (reading assessment) training

2 days of giving the BAS (I didn’t finish.)

CSC meeting on a new student

Calling parent about a child’s progress

Giving a jewelry making class on a Wellness Day (this is a good thing!)

A special Thanksgiving dinner where all of the parents were invited (We had so many people that it took up our Gym time.)

I’m also currently obsessed with reading teacher blogs and Pinterest.  There are so many neat teaching ideas out there that it is overwhelming.  I’ve found lots of cool things that I’ve used in my classroom.  I just wished I had fewer constraints so that I could use more of the ideas that I find.

This is from Ireland and it makes me happy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Minister's Tree house/Cumberland Mt. State Park

I'm ready to hike. I'm not a hat person, but it was cold!

Hi everyone!  I knows it’s been a long time, but school has been very busy. (I had my observation on Thursday.) Last weekend was the last Clarksville Downtown Market for the season.  I had a good day, but it will be nice to have my Saturdays open for a while!
This is from last weekend when we went to see Wicked in Nashville for my birthday.

  This weekend Nick got us a room (with travel points) for us in Crossville, TN.  You have probably gone by it on the interstate when you were headed to Knoxville or Gatlinburg.  It may not look like much from the highway, but it is on the Cumberland Plateau and very pretty.

Our main plan was to go hiking in the Cumberland Mountain State Park.  Last night, I did a simple search of things to do in the area and I came across something called the Minister’s Tree house.  I had never heard of it, but there were lots of positive comments left on the travel site. We decided that it would be worth a look.

When you are used to getting up every day at 5 am it’s hard to sleep in.  We had stayed up late and luckily we were able to sleep in till around 7:30.  We ate our free breakfast in the hotel and then took off in search of this tree house.

Some of the steps are a little rickety.  It gives you a disconcerting feeling.  I wouldn't take little kids there.  It would be dangerous.

There are lots of religious carvings in the tree house.

 This large room is the chapel.

It was really amazing.  The builder supposedly had a vision about building this tree house and he started building it in 1993 and has continued for 17 more years. It is totally free also, but there is place to leave a donation if you felt so inclined.  Here we were at the dead end on a country lane and there was probably 20 cars in the field with license plates from all over.  There was even one from Massachusetts.  The tree house is full of religious themes and peoples’ signatures written everywhere.  It’s hard to describe in words, but I would recommend it to anyone.  I hope the pictures do it justice.

The view from the top!  Jesus!

View from another level

After that, we headed to the park for hiking.  We had several choices, but we chose a trail that was a little over 2 miles.  The day was perfect, sunny and in the 50s. Our hike was nice and we rewarded ourselves with fajitas at the local Mexican restaurant afterwards.  We drove around, saw the sights and came back to the hotel early.  We just finished watching “The Runaway Jury” and now Nick is watching UT football.  I’m not sure what tomorrow has in store.

This suspension bridge was very bouncy!!!

Earring News:  I have had two co-workers ask me to bring my jewelry to school.  I took them, and as always the teachers loved them and bought many things.  I have just started making feather earrings and they are very popular.  One of my friends that goes on Torch trips saw a picture of them on FB and wanted me to send her some.  Who knows??? Maybe I’ll start selling them on the internet.  I don’t know….I’m already busy and I don’t want to get too big.