Sunday, December 21, 2014

Joining In Some Fourteen in '14 Fun!

My blogging pals Traci, Hadar and Kristin are having their annual end of the year linky party, and I’m joining in with my own ‘Fourteen in ‘14’ fun.   Here's a way for each of us to look back on the year within  14  individual categories and reflect on all that happened in 2014.  

Let's get started . . .

My one little word has always been and will always be FAMILY.  I love these guys to the moon and back, and their dad's pretty awesome, too.   Everything I do and all that I am is because of these four wonderful little (and one big) boys.  

Oh I have so so so many goals for the new year.  The most important, though, one is to make more and more and more memories with these little goons before they get too big to enjoy being with their old momma anymore.

Professionally, however, I have a goal of making our home office into a REAL office so I can stop laminating on the floor of my living room and get off the coach when I'm on my computer.

 . . .and also I need to find the time to do more posts and post about things that matter the most.  It's a tall order, but I'm confident I'll give it my best shot.

There are so many memories in 2014 that I can look back on with fondness personally, but one of the highlights for me professionally, was traveling to Vegas to meet all my online friends and 'family.'  I can't tell you how wonderful it was to meet with people that I have only spoken to on the phone or online, but who I genuinely feel are some of my most precious friends.  It was so great.  

This is NOT some photographic masterpiece.  That's not why I chose it by any means.  But, it makes me happy and is so typical of the men in my life.  This was a day when my boys and I went to fill 5 gallon buckets to be sent to Haiti with a group from our parish.  It's just another time when my sons reminded me how important it is to give back and think of others, to find opportunities to spread kindness whenever we can.  . . and have a little fun while you're doing it.  They make me proud every day.

January came around last year, and I decided to make some big changes in my health.   I took a good look at my weight and what I was eating and, with the help of Arbonne's 30 Days to Fit, I was able to change some really bad habits, and I loss 20 pounds.  It might not seem like a HUGE amount, but it wasn't so much about the weight.  I mean that was great and everything don't get me wrong, but I was also able to get my blood sugar levels down, I gave up coffee and pop all together and started eating a ton of veggies.  I feel TONS better and have so much more energy.  Now to keep it off . . . 

I couldn't decide between two different posts for my favorite this year.  So here's both of them.  The first was a simple little post about how I use spinners and cd holders to differentiate instruction.  It was a fun post to write and an instrument that I use everyday in my own classroom.

By all means, please click on the picture above to read this post for yourself, and if you'd like to know more about how I use spinners in my classroom, just click on the picture below.

The other post was about using word families in your classroom.  I love using word families and this one just comes so naturally.  Go ahead and click on the picture below to see that one.

Go ahead and click on the picture to see this post as

I couldn't just pick one favorite thing that I pinned so below you will find a couple.  The first one is my own Mr. Munchie Mouth.

And then as for my favorite pins from others . . . 

From First Grade Blue Skies

And from Kinder-Craze  .  . .

Click on any of the pictures above to find their links.

The gift my husband and I gave each other and our boys this year was a week with extended family on a houseboat on the Cumberland River in Kentucky.  Granted, you couldn't wrapped it up with a bow, but the memories we made were priceless.

In all, we had three houseboats full of family for a week of frivolity and to celebrate my father-in-law's 80th birthday.  It was amazing, and if you ever are thinking of a family reunion type vacation, I would highly suggest considering it.  If you'd like to get a glimpse at all our shenanigans, my nephew, Liam, made this fun video.  Trust me, its a GREAT vacation.

By far, the best new favorite thing I have tried is Stitch Fix.  I blame Maria from Kinder-craze for hooking me up with this incredible, online shopping service.  But it's a very good thing.  For someone like me who hates to shop, getting those little boxes with the blue circle each month has been an awesome surprise.  They suggest new pieces for me and show me how to pair them up with items I already have.  If you'd like to learn more about my Stitch Fix experience, go ahead and click on the picture below.  If you'd just like to know about Stitch Fix, click HERE

First of all, I live in the middle of NO WHERE.  So any restaurants that I try you would have never had heard of anyway.  But for the sake of playing fair, I will tell you my favorite restaurant anyway.  If you're ever in Traverse City, Michigan, you have to try The Red Ginger.  It's described as being Fusion Asian Cuisine, but I just go for the sushi and martinis.

Ok, I never watch TV.  Really, I seldom ever have it on and to watch a series?  Forget it.  That's just too big of a commitment.  However, my husband was walking through the living room where I always work one night and said, 'Hey, there's some show coming on about Scotland, the Highlands and time travel.  Want me to turn it on for background noise?"  Sure whatever.  He turns it on.  I'm hooked.  Unfortunately this series only aired the first half of the first season and won't come back on until April!  WHAT!!! Seriously?  So I did the next best thing and read the 8 books in the entire Outlander Series over the last three months.  I may need an intervention.

Don't judge me but, unless it's PG, I probably haven't seen it.  I've seen Mr. Peabody and Sherman, The Lego Movie, Planes, Dragons Of Berk II . . . basically, any kid movie that came out.  But as for adult movies . . . I'm ashamed to say, I haven't seen even one!  I had to confirm this with my husband because I couldn't believe it, but the truth is, if we go to the movies we are usually with the boys, I don't watch movies other than kids ones on Saturday night (Saturday is pizza and movie night ya know!), and if we got out for 'date night,' I usually want to go somewhere where I can actually have an adult conversation with the hubs.  Maybe this should be one of my goals for 2015, huh?  I need to watch more movies.

My absolute favorite article of clothing this year was this scarf I got from Stitch Fix.  The colors are ALL me, and there isn't much I can't or won't wear with it.  I am obsessed with find more cool wooly, Scottish crawls and scarves to add to my wardrobe, and I'm crossing my fingers I might find some in my next Stitch Fix. 

These are the two that I put up on my mirror in January of last year to guide me through 2014.  I'm not sure I'm ready to give them up for a new set.  They've served me well this year.  If you'd like a copy of these, they are free from my blogging pals, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten and Annie for The Moffatt Girls.  Just click on their names, and it will take you to the post where they offered these up to their readers.

And of course, my classroom quote . . . the one I try to remember everyday as I walk through the door of my classroom . . . 

So there's my year in a snapshot.  If you'd like to share your Fourteen in '14, just link up with Hadar, Traci, or Kristin by clicking on the button below.  


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas For the Classroom GIVEAWAY

The holiday season is about all about giving, and I can't think of a better bunch of people to spread the holiday spirit of giving to than teachers.  You are all so deserving!  So this year, a group of bloggers are getting together to give teachers the chance to win what they really want for Christmas!  

This one is HUGE, and, yes, it really is a Laser Printer.   

In fact, you could win the exact HP Laser Printer shown above. (Click on the button above for details about this awesome printer.)  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my HP laser print.    It literally prints 1000s of pages before it ever runs out of ink.  This is an AMAZING item for any teacher to win. 

But that's not all.  Because we want to spread the teacher love of the holidays to as many people as we can, each of my blogger friends will be giving away a favorite school supply item on their own blog in addition to the Grand Prize Laser Printer.  In fact, I'm so so so excited that I will be giving away one of my most favorite classroom tools  . . . a Scotch Laminator.  I actually have two of my own. I love them so much.  If you'd like more information on this laminator, just click on the picture.

Talk about a crazy number of items to win.  This giveaway is right with the spirit of giving.  There are so many amazing products that could be yours.

All you have to do is enter below to win the Laser Printer and once more below that in the second rafflecopter to win the laminator.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now head over to the other participating bloggers below for more chances to win great Christmas in the Classroom items.  You won’t want to miss any of these amazing giveaway items.  So hurry, giveaway ends midnight December 12th.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

And then there was that one day when Frosty came to school . . .

What do you remember about your early childhood school years?  I mean, really?  What are the memories from Kindergarten and 1st grade that really stick with you?  Perhaps for some of you it isn’t as far off as it is for me, but the things I remember aren’t the worksheets and the amazing math lessons.  I remember really important stuff like the fact my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Hillman, let me where a kimono when we were learning about Japan, I remember my dad bringing in our nesting hen and baby chicks, baton lessons in the gym and the fact that Craig G was gone from the first week of school because he had chicken pox.  You know, all that important stuff.

Well, this week I think I witnessed a memory that my students will carry with them far beyond kindergarten.  One of those important ones you know.  

The day that Frosty came to class.

I think, as a teacher and a mom,  I try really hard to make memories for my students.  When they think of kindergarten, I want there to be some of those warm memories.  But with Common Core and the demands that are now placed on these little ones, it's not always easy.  We are constantly working to fit in more and more instruction. Well, this week,  I think I witnessed a memory that my students might just  carry with them far beyond kindergarten.  One of those important ones, you know.  The day that Frosty came to class . . .

Who knew Frosty made school visits?  I didn't! 

But I had the distinct pleasure of having it happen.  Arriving is a flurry of song, smiles and sweet hugs for every boy and girl . . .

 this Frosty brought books and goodies for everyone.

It's a pretty difficult job to keep 25 kinder friends sitting and engaged, but Frosty came armed with a plethora of snowman books and

goodies!  (Who doesn't love goodies?)

I know as teachers, we often find it difficult to find time for guests to visit our classroom, but this week I had a great reminder that kindergarten isn't just about the lessons and learning.  It is OK to take time out to make some unplanned memories.

I so appreciate moms and dads and, in this case, really awesome Grandmas that love their kids enough to want to dress up in crazy outfits and be silly just because  they know that a 5 year old might never forget  . . .

 . . .that one day in kindergarten when Frosty came to school . . .

So what memories did you make in kindergarten this week?  I would love to hear from you.

A Special Thanks To Grandma Main.  You were AMAZING. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...