Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet the Teacher!

T-minus 4 days and I'm back to school in my new classroom and new grade level! We start teacher meetings tomorrow, yes TOMORROW!  I have so much on my To-Do List that I'm really beginning to feel a little pressured and anxious. That being said, I have a weird love of working under pressure and against the clock. Well, the clock is ticking. It's ticking so loud I can hear it...oh wait, I think that's my heart pounding because I actually got up and worked out this morning. :)

Anyways, back to topic! Because I have so much on my To-Do List, I'm taking a break to join in on Teacher Week '13 with Blog Hoppin'. I also have a few Monday Made It items to share, but may just include that in my classroom pictures! Below is the list of topics for the week. With teacher meetings starting tomorrow, yes TOMORROW, I'm not sure when I'll link up, but hopefully it will get done. (More pressure added!)
Once you have your post all ready to go {and, it's on topic... just gotta throw that out there ;)}, add this button to the post and link it back to Blog Hoppin'!  Then you will be all set to link up!  Also, if you are an *instagramer* use the hashtag #teacherweek13 to show off your ideas! 
So, 10 things you may or may not know about ME!

10. I am teaching at the same school I attended! The teachers, principals, and buildings have changed, but the reason for our school has remained the same. We are a Catholic K-12 school, one of a very small few that are actually K-12. We go to mass 3 days a week and I love that I get to share my faith with my students EVERY DAY! (On a side note, some teachers are actually still here, too!)
9. Not only do I teach there, but I blew a whistle there as well. I began my coaching career a year after I graduated from SMC and continued in some capacity until I had my first child. I then hung up the whistle and put away the gradebook, only to go back a year later and ask for the High School Basketball position. I got it and for 8 amazing seasons watched our girls basketball program go from losing seasons to 4 time Sub-State Champions and making 4 consecutive State appearances. Three years ago I hung the whistle up again so I could spend more time with my boys and attend all of their sporting events. Coaching is really my first love, and I take my "coaching ways" in to my classroom.
8. I LOVE to color! My amazing co-teacher from last year gave me my very own, one-of-a-kind, coloring book as a gift. I LOVE sharp crayons and the relaxation I get from coloring. Unfortunately, none of my children share in this love of mine. :(

7. I'm a pretty competitive person. Like, REALLY competitive. (Just ask my boys when we go to an arcade and there is a Pop-A-Shot game.) You can be my husband, my grandma, a dear friend, or even my 4 year old, nobody is safe. I just like to say I give 110% - 100% of the time!

6. My favorite subject is History! I've been to Gettysburg, PA three times. (I even spent my 16th birthday there!) My main love is the Civil War Era. I would love to go back to the east coast and visit all of the old battle sites and even Gettysburg for a 4th time!
5.  If I could wear sweats and a hoodie every day, I'd be happy. I probably get that from all my years of coaching, but I despise "dressing up". I try to be girly, but usually fail.

4.  I met my best friend and husband in college. I had told myself I was going to date a football player, and guess what...HE WAS!!  Our first "date" was actually spent watching football. And believe it or not, I suggested that! Poor guy wanted to go to the movies and I insisted on watching the Michigan/USC game. How lucky is he? :)

 3.  This year I'm moving up to 5th Grade! I am really looking forward to it. The minute I decided I wanted to be a teacher 5th grade was THE grade I wanted. After graduation I taught 8th grade History for half a semester, after taking over for a teacher that had to retire due to illness. I was in heaven! My favorite subject and only 1 prep! Then I went back to SMC and taught 6th, moved to the high school to teach Technology the following year, began our family, came back last year after being away for 11 years and taught 3rd and will now teach 5th. This will be my 4th full year teaching a different grade level.  After another year of switching classrooms, I've told myself I'm staying put!!!

2. I absolutely love going school/office supply shopping and at least look organized.
Exhibit A: Splurging on an Erin Condren planner.

Exhibit B: My Personal planner

Exhibit C: My Fridge calendars

Exhibit D: The supplies I bought myself while Back To School Shopping for my oldest.
(Notice the crayons?)

 And, finally, #1: I LOVE my boys!!

All 5 of them. There are days I wish I had a little girl that I could watch play volleyball, color with, plan a wedding with, someone that wanted to grow up to be "just like Mom", and to take my side in this house full of boys. On the flip side, I know I have 4 boys that will grow up to be amazing men, just like their Dad. I have 4 boys that will (hopefully) protect me if need be, or stand up for me if they hear a "Your Momma's so..." joke. They are my life. I'm their biggest cheerleader and always will be!

Well, that's just a little bit about me. Now back to my LIST that has now grown, and my time to conquer it, slipping away.  Be sure to hop on over to Blog Hoppin' if you have a free minute.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Currently've got to be kidding me!

Yep, it's August. And not just August 1st, oh no, it's August 7th! Where did July go? I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her August Currently. I know I'm 7 days late, but better late than never.
I'm sure most of my currently topics are the same as everyone else's. It's that time of year, and I know a lot of us are in the same boat. We're trying to get in to our classrooms, buying school supplies, planning, and wishing for a few more weeks of summer vacation! Am I right?? :)

LISTENING: Right now I'm listening to my "Lovey Dovey" playlist on Spotify. I am a true romantic at heart. I LOVE chick flicks, and I also LOVE a good love song! I'm not sure it gets me in the mood to knock out lesson plans and bulletin board designs, but it's a good start to my morning.

LOVING: My new blog design. Megan with A Bird In Hand Blog Designs did an amazing job on my blog. I love the colors and how she incorporated school with sports, which with my coaching background, was important to me. Is it sad I'm crazy excited to have a cute signature and blog button?

THINKING: I have a HUGE To-Do list and it doesn't include just school things. I have to finish my classroom, start planning, take my oldest school supply shopping, buy shoes for everyone, clean my house, have a birthday party for my going-to-be 8 year old, go birthday shopping...the list goes on and on. I think I really need more hours in the day!

WANTING: Is it selfish of me to wish for another month of vacation?? It seems like every year the summer flys by. But I also know that as fast as our summer has come and gone, so will the school year. And now that I have a son in junior high, I realize high school will be here before you know it and then graduation. I also know that as much as I want more summer, I can't wait for FALL. The cooler temps, hoodies, fall decor, and football games makes me smile. So maybe I don't want more summer after all.  I'll just take some snow days. :)

NEEDING: I really need to finish up my classroom today/tomorrow morning. Tomorrow our PTO holds an all school cleaning. The parents and kids come up to help give the school one really good last clean before the school year starts. It's amazing the turn out we have and I always appreciate the parental support. 

B2S MUST HAVES: I know my list seems boring, but I have a crazy love for school supplies and school supply shopping. I have 4 boys who do not share in my love for walking the school supply isles. I've even threatened them with Justin Bieber folders or My Little Ponies, but they don't care. So I go, by myself. And even before I went back to teaching I would buy me some crayons and markers. My top 3 must haves are:
1. A PLANNER....with 4 boys, 4 different football practice schedules, plus a husband that travels for work a lot, I need something to keep me organized!
2. NOTEBOOKS...I have to have a new notebook for monthly meeting notes, we have weekly meetings, and to keep all of my Professional Development info!
3. PENS/PENCILS...I'm one of those people that have to have a certain pen and pencil. Yep, I'm weird like that. 

  8 days of "vacation" left. I guess I better go tackle my list and make the most of the time remaining. Happy Hump Day everyone!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Make Over Monday!

Well, I don't have anything to link up to a Monday Made It, but I do want to show off the new blog design! Just wanted to thank Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs for creating my super cute and very "ME" blog! I actually have a button now and a cute little signature!!!

I can't believe that school begins in less than 2 weeks. Our wonderful Home and School schedules a school cleaning where the parents come in and help get the classrooms and building ready for the new year. Our cleaning is Thursday which means I need my room pretty much ready to go in the next two days. YIKES!!! I haven't been blogging much because the scrapbooker in me is making all sorts of my own letters for bulletin boards and things. I really need to stop!! I hope to be back to blogging and participating in all the different linky parties by next week.

Thanks for sticking with me! Feel free to click on the cute buttons to follow me on Bloglovin' and Pinterest. (I am a pinning fool!) I also enrolled in Twitter and hope to send out some mad tweets once the school year starts! Right now though, I'm off to my classroom so I can finish up. I can't wait to share my finished room with you!

Happy Monday,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It!

WOW, I just realized how long it's been since I've posted. But once you read on, you'll see why. I've been really busy making different things for my classroom.  Believe it or not, it's getting closer to completion. (It may not look like it when you walk in, but it's waaaayyyy better than it was 2 weeks ago!) So I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made It linky.  (My first!)

 A lot of these are Pinterest-inspired! I found this last year and immediately made it for my 3rd grade classroom. In 3rd grade they are given planners for the first time and I wanted my kiddos to be super organized. I'm not sure how organized they were, BUT the board turned out cute. AND I brought it on over to 5th!

The next thing I just HAD to do was the Teacher Toolbox that is all around Pinterest. I am actually going to give my kids access to this so they don't grab things off my desk. I'm pretty partial to sharp pencils and specific pens, and rather than them constantly asking for rubber bands and paper clips, they can go here. The toolbox was already gray, and since blue/white/gray are our school colors, I decided to paint the chevron stripes white and then add some blue! I really like how it turned out.

I also just HAD to make a Homeworkopoly Board. What better motivation to turn your work in? And basically I'm rewarding those kids that always do their work! Sometimes I feel like we forget the kids that do what they're supposed to do all of the time.  I used pictures and places from around our hometown, and was pleasantly pleased with the final product.
Finally, for now anyways, I wanted a new alphabet. I'm pretty sure that by the time kids hit 5th grade they know their letters, but I still wanted something. And then I came across this website while blog browsing and found this: Crayons to College. I absolutely LOVED this idea and wanted to incorporate it in my own classroom. Basically, it's an alphabet focusing on different characteristics kids need to work on as they grow from crayons to college. She was gracious enough to offer it as a freebie and I made my own sport-themed alphabet. All of the letters are made out of various sport-themed paper. I apologize for the glare from the lamination and lighting. When school starts we'll discuss each characteristic and brainstorm ways that we can be better leaders, work on attitude, or become more organized. This is probably my most favorite thing in the room! (so far)

Whew! I feel like I've gotten some things accomplished. I also wrapped (with the help of my Mom) my teacher desk with blue/white chevron. I'm just debating if I should add to it or not. I am so mad I didn't take a before and after picture, but hopefully when I post my final classroom pics, you'll be able to appreciate the change. 

On my list for this week is to paint a bookshelf, finish some bulletin boards, and create a backdrop for my prayer corner in my room. I'd also LOVE to find a teacher's podium. I'm doing some looking and pricing for having one built! Lots to do in the few weeks we have left, but I love working under pressure. :)

Have a wonderful, and productive, week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What is it? It's a MAJOR award!

Now when you read the title of this blog post, you need to read it with The Christmas Story in mind. (You know when he's showing off his prized leg lamp to the neighbors outside.) No, I didn't win a lamp for my crazy mad crossword puzzle skills. It's even better! I received an email from Wendy saying she nominated me for the Liebster Award. Wendy was one of my very first followers and such a help when I was setting up my blog! You should check her blog out at: Read With Me ABC.

Just a little background about the Liebster Award:
Award Background

Liebster is a german word that means "dearest," "lovely," or "cute." The purpose of this award is to recognize new blogs that are worth a look. 

The 'rules' to accept this award...

  • Link back to the blogs that nominated me
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
  • Answer the questions posted for us by my nominator
  • Share 11 random facts about me
  • Create 11 questions for my nominees
  • Contact my nominees and let them know of their nomination 
About Me! (Featuring questions from Wendy)
1.  Tell us about your family.
I am married to my best friend and we have four very sweet, very active, boys! Nope, not trying for that girl, just in case someone was going to ask a follow-up question.
2.  Where did you go on your last vacation? last vacation was to Dallas back around Spring Break. But next weekend my husband and I are going for a little R&R to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Just the two of us, NO KIDS!! I can't wait!
3.  Coke or Pepsi?
Definitely Pepsi! Although I prefer Cherry Coke over Cherry Pepsi. Weird.
4.  What's the last movie you watched?
We took the boys to Monsters University and it was really cute. I loved Monsters Inc, so I was hoping Monsters University would match my expectations!
5.  Favorite store to shop in?
Oh wow, this is a tough one. I LOVE Target, I just wish I lived closer to one. But I also love Hobby Lobby and could spend hours in there.
6.  What would you pick as your last meal?
Easy, my last meal would be my mom's lasagna! I love her lasagna with cauliflower/broccoli salad, orange tapioca salad, and rolls. May just have to make that for dinner tomorrow.
7.  Top three blogs you read?
Wow, this is also a hard one. Ever since finding out about Bloglovin' and then picking up the blogging myself, I've found a lot of good ones. I'd say the Top 3 I read every day are:
 8.  Share a quote that is meaningful to you.
I LOVE quotes!! For 8 seasons I coached high school basketball and years before that I coached junior high sports. Before every practice I'd begin with a quote. I'm planning on doing this in my classroom and displaying a quote of some kind for the kids to reflect on. My most favorite quote was painted in our locker room. "Today's Champions are built by yesterday's efforts."
9.  What super power would you like to possess?
I think if I could have a super power it would be speed. If I had super speed I could have a clean house, dinner made, laundry done, and papers graded before heading out to the next sporting event. I'd also be able to race from one kid's game to the next kid's game! Yep, it would definitely speed. 
10. Name one item you can't live without.
The one thing I couldn't live without would probably be my contacts. I really don't like wearing glasses unless I just HAVE to. And I've been wearing glasses/contacts since 1st grade. 
11.  Tell us a funny school story.
Well, I've only taught for a year so I don't have a TON of stories to choose from. A funny moment in my classroom was when we were all working on a project and I decided to let the kiddos listen to Pandora. It was on a Kid's Bop station and all of a sudden, as they're working, they all begin singing and then breaking down in dance. They were actually pretty good. It almost looked like our own High School Musical. :)

11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I graduated college in 3 and half years.
2. My favorite TV show is Scandal.
3. Strawberries are my favorite fruit.  
4. My favorite movie is You've Got Mail and I will stop everything to 
    watch it whenever I find it on TV!  Not sure what I'd do if I was 
    flipping channels during Scandal and found it on.
5. My favorite part of history is the Civil War Era.
6. I coached a high school basketball game 3 days after having my 4th 
    c-section! (Like huddled up - walking the sidelines yelling at refs 
    coaching. I'm pretty proud of that.) 
7. I really want to visit Boston, Charleston, Pearl Harbor, and London.
8. I'm scared of getting sick, snakes, flying, and dying young. 
    (Although I'm getting older, so my idea of  "young" keeps changing 
9. I LOVE to color! Seriously...LOVE it!
10. I used to play the piano, and kinda wish I still could.

My nominations:
1. Ms. Leslie Ann - Life In Fifth Grade
2. Meredith - Ramblings of a fifth and sixth grade teacher...
3. Chanty - The Teaching Bug
4. Mrs. P - The Polka Dot Owl
5. Miss Marsolek - Miss Marsolek's Classroom

My questions for them:
1. What is your favorite school supply?
2.  What is the last DIY project you did?

3.  What is your favorite sport and sports team?
4.  How do you come up with blogging topics?
5.  What is your favorite holiday?
6. Who would play you in a movie about your life story?
7.  What is your favorite cookie?
8.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
9.  Do you have a classroom theme, and if you do, what is it?
10. What color best describes you and why?
11. If you could invite someone famous (living/dead) to dinner, who would it be?

Thanks again Wendy for nominating me! I hope you were able to learn a little more about me and will check back often to see what I'm up to in the classroom. I'm also excited to announce that my blog is going to be getting a facelift in a few weeks! I'm so excited to finally have a cute signature and button! :) Be sure to check out all of the other wonderful blogs nominated.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Get to Know Me...Tic-Tac-Toe Style

Happy Saturday!!! This morning I'm linking up with Latoya over at Flying into First Grade for a fun "Let's Get Acquainted" Linky.  Since I'm fairly new to blogging and I'm getting more and more visitors, I thought this would be a fun way to get to know me a little better.

Just like Tic Tac Toe, you post about 3 of the topics that can make a tic tac toe. I'm going to do mine diagonally.

I went to college at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg (without the "h"), Kansas! We are the home of the Gorillas, the ONLY college in the country that has a Gorilla as a mascot. I was born and raised in Pittsburg and just love living in this town, especially during football season!  My favorite college memory is meeting my husband! I'm a pretty shy person, but it was either sit by him, or some annoying lady and I got up the courage to sit by him. I'm sure glad I did. We met our junior year, graduated together in the fall of '98, and were married in 2000. The icing on the cake...he played football at PSU! I'm a sucker for football players.

My favorite school memory, and this will probably show you the type of competitive person I am was when I was in 4th grade and I was the fastest in the class. I remember having to do the President's fitness test and I won the shuttle run. I was also the quarterback during recess. Needless to say I am not a very girly-girl. Most of my great memories of school involve sports somehow. Like winning basketball tournaments in junior high, going to State in basketball and volleyball, and cheering at State football. (Yep, I was girl enough to cheer in junior high and one year of high school.) I always enjoyed school and have many wonderful memories of my teachers and classmates. I'm sure that's why I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up! The best part, I teach at the school I attended growing up. And this year, all 4 of my boys will be enrolled as Panthers!

My favorite hobbies are watching chick flicks, crafting, baking (NOT COOKING), and playing/watching sports. I enjoy reading history books and love traveling back east to the old cities and battle grounds. If I could, I'd visit different cities just to hit every Open House possible. I LOVE looking at houses and had I not gone in to education, probably should have been a real estate agent. Blogging is now becoming another hobby of mine and I hope you'll continue to check in as I grow in it!

Now you know a little about me. Be sure to check in with Mrs. Reed at Flying into First Grade and learn a little more about some other great bloggers.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July....currently!

Happy 4th of July and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to all of the men and women serving in our military. You and your families will especially be in my thoughts and prayers today! I appreciate your dedication and sacrifice. My cousin entered the Naval Academy last week. Our family is very proud of him and we know he'll do great. Doesn't he look handsome?
Since it's only July 4th, I thought I'd link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her July Currently linky. There are over 500 bloggers that have linked up, so be sure to head on over. It's pretty much a guarantee you are going to find some amazing blogs!

LISTENING: Since I woke up at 4:40 this morning and couldn't fall back to sleep, I decided to come on down and hop on the computer. Right now the computer is in the dining room and it looks like the three younger boys decided to veg out in the living room last night. So, I'm blog hopping while listening to them all snore. I like looking over at them though. They sure are angels when they are asleep.

LOVING: I am totally loving this weather. It's not too hot and it's not too cold. Although my ideal weather is jeans and a sweatshirt, I'll GLADLY take this in crazy-humid Kansas on July 4th! Tonight should be a wonderful night to watch the fireworks.

THINKING: 14 years ago today Eric asked me to marry him. I remember it was a Sunday and I just got back from church and had a meltdown because I just knew he was NEVER going to ask. Part of me thought he would because the 4th is one of his most favorite holidays, and ladies, you know how we put so much thought in to things. :)  Little did I know that before we went to watch the city fireworks, he was asking my dad for my hand! All I remember is seeing fireworks and then a sparkling ring! So glad I said "YES!"

WANTING: A vacation with the hubby! I don't care where we go, I just want it to be him and I. 14 years and 4 kids later, we need a little reconnecting time.

NEEDING: We are having a neighborhood block party tonight and I really need to come up with something to take to it. Dessert, dip, salad...I can't decide. 

TIPS,TRICKS, or HINTS: Take it one day at a time. I think sometimes I get so caught up in everything, I just forget to breathe. I need to relax a little more and just enjoy life. My classroom will get up and going, the laundry will eventually get done, and the house will some day be clean. I just want to slow down and enjoy the little things!

I hope you and your family has a wonderful, and safe, 4th of July! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!