Saturday, June 30, 2012

10 things I learned this week.....

Yep, even though it's summer I'm still learning!  I learned 10 things this week.....some good and some not so good.

10. I'm not afraid to stick my hand half way down a dogs throat!

Charlie loves his raw hide sticks, but he's got bad judgment when it come to how large of a piece he can swallow.  He consistently tries to swallow something that is too big and then hacks for half an hour trying to dislodge it.  I always end up reaching down his throat to get it ability to do this comes from years of cleaning up VERY nasty things from 2 children, a dog, and a classroom of 4th graders!

9. I'm in love with the exterminator!

Okay, I'm not actually in love with the man that comes to our house to spray for bugs every three months, but I am in love with the fact that he does it and keeps the creepy crawlies out of here!!!  I found a nasty bug in the house last week, called the company and he was out in 2 days to take care of the me that is equivalent to Prince Charming riding in on a white horse and rescuing me!!!

8. I'm addicted to Pinterest!

Deep down, I think I already knew this.  I know this addiction will come to a screetching halt once school starts, but for right now I'm going to ride the high and pin to my hearts content!

7. An 11 year old girl sometimes needs to have a sloppy, wet, snot dripping , soul cleaning, cry!

And after she's got it all out of her system, she needs her mom to come to her room, talk with her, hang out on her bed and watch TV with her, and hug her and tell her she's beautiful and smart.....I'm happy to do it, anytime she needs it!

6. Even great teenagers need a serious talking to on occasion.

 My son is terrific....he really is!  He's smart, honest, trustworthy, kind, and funny.  Deep down he always wants to do the right thing, but his teenage years have turned him into a slug!!!  This week I had to have a serious talk with him about his laziness, lack of motivation, commitment and follow through.....I don't really know how much good it did, but I said what needed to be said....the rest he'll have to figure out on his own.  Life was so much easier when he would just do exactly what I said, when I said to do it.....this growing up thing is really hard for me!!!

5. I spend way too much money at Target!!

Seriously, I'm thinking that investing in some of their stock might be the right plan.  I worked on our family budget this week and discovered just how much we spend and what we spend it on.....YIKES!!!  I know most of the Target purchases are groceries and household products, but honestly the amount spent seems astronomical!  Okay, now I know....time for an intervention!

4. I like cooking!

I kinda always thought I enjoyed cooking, but mostly looked at it as a chore that I had to do.  This summer I've really spent time looking thought cookbooks, browsing Pinterest (see # 8 for that issue) and planning some yummy and healthy meals!  I've enjoyed the planning AND the preparing....I hope this trend continues into the fall!

3. Kids will work for money.....I mean REALLY work!!

Both of my children are desperate to earn money this summer for various things and they are willing to work for it.  Jacob has been cleaning at the bar his Dad owns (the regular cleaning guy is out of town), and is doing a great job!  He is getting paid, and that makes getting him out of bed before noon a much easier job.  Katie needs a Vera Bradley backpack (needs people, needs) and she is desperately trying to find anyway she can to make enough money to pay for half of it.  She is so willing to clean that I can't help but smile at all the free time I am racking up!

2. I found my love for teaching again!

 It's been a rough three years as far as my teaching career goes.  I have really questioned whether this is what  I want to do.  In all honesty, I have not been happy doing it for the past two years. It's been a struggle to force myself to get excited about the last two school years, and to plan lessons.  But, this summer, my passion is back!  I am so excited about this school year.  I have been working hard at creating things for my new classroom.  I've got a million ideas floating around in my head for lesson plans, and I'm pumped about starting my Master's Degree.  I don't know where the new found love came from, but I am so very thankful it's back!!

Maybe weekly lunches with my Marlatt family has helped!

1. I'm opinionated!

 I've always liked to view myself as open-minded, but I learned this week that I'm very opinionated and little closed-minded.....and I don't like it.  This is something I'm moving to the top of the Need-To-Work-On list!!!  This ugly side of me cannot continue now that I see it so very clearly!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teacher Tuesday

I made some cuties this week and am super excited to share them!!  First I tried my hand a banners!  I made mine from paper and laminated each piece before attaching it to my cord.  My thought for laminating was that I may not want to be committed to this color combination forever, and that if I took off the blue and added a purple (in the future that is because I love the color scheme for my room this year) it would make the perfect Halloween banner!

It's hanging from the buffet in my living room because our school building is under going a renovation and we are not allowed in.  Can't wait to see how it looks hanging from my window!

I started by picking up some adorable paper at Hobby Lobby.  I found the half way point on each sheet and put a mark.  I then cut from one corner to the half way mark (it's not lined up perfectly on this pic, but you get the idea).

Then I cute from the other corner to the half way mark.....

and voila...a triangle!

I laminated them and attached them to purse strapping.  Why purse strapping???? Well it's black so it matches, and I had a ton of it (my friend and I use to own a handbag making business....we even sold my life has taken many, many paths over the years!)

I had all these little scraps leftover and didn't know what to do with them and then I thought.....collage!!!!

So I got a canvas from the craft room (my little artist/daughter always has blank canvases laying around) and some Modpodge and went to work.  I printed the quote (I found out last week that it is my daughter's favorite and it just so happens to be one of mine as well).  The glue is still wet in the picture so it looks better now that it's dry.

I then made these smart little restroom passes.  I got the idea from Stephanie over at 3rd Grade Thoughts  I laminated these as well and then attached them with packing tape.  My thought is that I can remove the label when the bottle is empty and attach the it to a new bottle....saves on paper and saves on time!

I did accomplish a couple of home Made Its.  I reorganized my pantry and put most of my dry goods in the air tight contains with lids.....I'm loving how easy it is to find was a mess before, but I forgot to get a before photo.

The top shelf is for my stock pile!  Once every couple of months I get all my coupons together and stock up on paper goods, juice, toiletries, and store them on the top shelf.  It's about that time again....look how empty that sad shelf is!

I also painted a rooster......weird, I know!

I've had this old guy forever, and when my home had a French Country theme about 10 years ago it was perfect, but it just didn't work anymore.  I loved the idea of having a rooster in the kitchen, and had seen a few ideas on Pinterest where people spray painted an old thrift store figure in high gloss white and I thought I would try it.  I went with a high gloss blue because the color perfectly matches a wall in my living room, my kitchen hand towels, and these signs.

Yes, I know, my cabinets desperately need to be painted white!!!!!  Now that all the other rooms in the house are done this is going on next summers to-do list!

I didn't love him at first...okay, at first I was this too tacky or is it chic....I'm still on the fence, but he's really growing on me.  I think I'm going to revamp a snack dish I have on another counter and add a tiny touch of this blue so it makes more sense in the kitchen.

This picture stinks!!!  I tried to photoshop it, but it just made the blue look really dark.  He looks so much cuter in person!

I'm linking up with Tara again at 4th Grade Frolics.....can't wait to see what everyone else has made!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

1 week down.....11 to go!

I did it!!!  I finished the first week of the Couch to 5K program and the first week of the 30 Day Ab Challenge (which is actually going to be every other day for me :) I am really, really sore, but in a good way!  I have to say that this morning I was actually looking forward to doing the running part.  It wasn't easy, but I wasn't dreading it either.

If I complete one month of the program I'm getting myself these as incentive to finish!

The ab challenge is over the top hard.  I found it on Pinterest and you can view it here.  I am only doing it on the days I don't run, and I was only able to complete a little over half of it the three times I did it. 

This is the hardest exercise....but I love the blog where the workout it posted because it has tons of pics like this to show you exactly how the workout should look.

It's a killer and my abs are feeling it.  The V-ups are the worst and I still can't do 25 of them, but I'm getting better!  Here's hoping all this exercise gives me more energy during the school year and helps me handle my stress in a healthier way!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's official....I've decided to add another helping to my plate!

I decided to start my Masters Degree this fall....that's if I can get admitted.  The deadline for submitting applications for the fall semester was March 1st, but I've been told I can still get in, so I'm gonna give it a try!  I filled out all the financial aid paperwork yesterday, and am waiting on a couple of recommendation letters.  I should have those by Monday and then I can submit my application (and $40 fee....KSU will find anyway to charge you a fee :)

I'm super duper excited and completely terrified about the time commitment I am about to embark on.  Our lives are so absolutely crazy, busy during the school year that I am having a hard time envisioning how I will get it all done....but I will, some how it always works out.  I am hoping to take as many classes as possible online to avoid finding time to sit in classes on campus. It's good to know that life is never dull!!!

So I haven't been doing any crafting over this past week....other than my Teacher Tuesday project, but I have been cooking up a storm!  On Monday night I made Avocado Orzo with Garlicky Grilled Shrimp

It was so delicious that I plan to make it again this summer.  I didn't butterfly my shrimp.  I took the shells off, marinated them, put them on scewers and grilled them that way.  I was the only one home Monday night so there was enough left over for dinner with the kids on Tuesday night.  They loved it too....definite repeat!

Last night we made Chicken Spaghetti.

It was so super duper easy!  I grilled chicken breasts to add to it which added more flavor.  I've never purchased canned chicken....and don't ever plan to.....yuck!  This thing is HEAVY on the dairy and calories!  I used light sour cream, and reduced sodium cream of mushroom and cream of chicken to make it just a tad bit healthier.

This is what we followed up with for dessert....

I got the recipe from Alli and Sons. I used frozen blueberries instead of peaches because that is what we had on hand.  I even made whipped cream from scratch because we are out of ice cream, and I had some heavy whipping cream left over from the Tiramisu I made last week.  These were SO easy and SO yummy!  There are just enough left over for breakfast this morning with a little fresh fruit, no whipped cream, and perhaps a slice of bacon (because Katie is the biggest bacon fan on the planet).

What have you been cooking?  I'm always looking for new recipes!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Last night Katie was mumbling something as we were setting up a board game, and I asked her what she was saying.....

this is what she repeated.  She said "It's my favorite quote.".....two things in that statement made me smile from ear to ear:

1. My amazing 11 year old daughter already has a favorite quote, and has it memorized.
2. It happens to be on of my all time favorite quotes as well.

Sometimes I am in awe of how lucky I am to know so many wonderful individuals!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teacher Tuesday

It's time to link up with Tara's Monday Made It at 4th Grade Frolics!!!

Well, I crafted my little tush off this weekend to complete my Teacher Tuesday projects!  First I made these amazing little community supply holders.  It took me an eternity to decide on labels and find the right size bins, but I finally finished them!

My inspiration came from Ladybug's Teacher Files.  I changed mine up a bit to fit our needs.  My bin includes: pencils, colored pencils, erasers and a sharpener, Expos, scissors, rulers, and glue. I apologize for the sloppy looking supplies....had to pull them out of my daughter's pencil bag from last year.  They will look much nicer with shiny new supplies at the beginning of the year :) 

I love the way  Dandelions and Dragonflies organized her student seating, and am planning to use this method for my classroom set up this fall. These little bins will sit on top of each bookcase.  Since we departmentalize I teach 3 sections of reading, and have around 70ish little 4th graders in my room throughout the day.  I am hoping to use the bookcase so that each class can keep their reading folders, and reading notebooks on the book shelf along with a set of reading text books for the group.  I also plan to have dictionaries and thesaurus there as well.  I think having those little 4th graders carry less across the hall, and always have what they need when they get to my classroom will eliminate the wasted time of running back and forth between rooms to retrieve the things they are missing

I am also planning to purchase magazine holders (probably plain cardboard and cover in a fabric that matches) to make this whiteboard/paper holders for the top of their bookcases as well. Another inspiration from Ladybug's Teacher Files . One less thing they have to roam around the room to retrieve.....think of all the on-task-time I just created!!!!

I also made new number sticks for calling on students during group discussions.  I got my inspiration from A Cupcake for the Teacher.  Since my student's chairs are blue, their desks are black, and I have a big Garfield collection in my room, I decided to go with a black, blue, orange, and lime green color scheme (the lime green is just because I love it).  I made my sticks to match my supply bins.

Finally, I found these adorable little instruction helpers at First Grade Glitter and Giggles.  I love how they already have a blue polka dot border to match what I made!  I also love the way Marisa uses them, and hope it really helps in reducing the number of times I have to repeat instructions.  Is it just me, or are all teachers sick of listening to the sound of their own voice by the end of the day.....I feel like a broken record some days!

Well, heading on over to Tara's blog to check out what everyone else made....can't wait to see all the cute creations!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stupendous weekend....and I'm not even a Dad!

I'm not sure what we did to get so lucky, but the kids and I had a fantastic weekend!  I finished the master bedroom...well mostly!  I've still got to cover the green chair (which was a freebie I rescued from an old neighbors trash...)I absolutely love the lines of it and when it's covered in a blue/tan/white stripe fabric, it is going to be adorable!  I'm also saving up for this amazing wicker headboard I have my eye on, but other than that it's done!  Prepare yourself for picture overload!!!

The kids made these DELISH brownies for their Dad for Father's Day.  The pic is from the website where I found the recipe.  You can get it from Chef in Training.

This is what my kitchen looked like after...

but at least they cleaned up...

and this is what the bowl looked like after they licked it clean!

They also got him a couple of gift cards to places he likes and we put the brownies in this cute little gift can, and the gift cards in the little pocket on the the idea on Pinterest.  You can find the can directions at Bargain Hoot, and the free printables at AliLily.

I got to spend the evening with these amazing ladies!  I don't know how I got so lucky to find such awesome friends, but they really are the best.....and they've been willing to put up with me for almost a decade!

Sunday the kids went to KC with their Dad and I got to nap, work on my Teacher Tuesday project, read, and make a super yummy salad for dinner.  Another fabulous recipe from Chef in Training.

This morning I started the Couch to 5K program, and tomorrow begins the ab challenge!  It feels great to know that at 7:15 a.m. I've already worked out and have the whole day ahead of me to enjoy!

Overall it was about as perfect as a weekend can be.  I am so loving summer!  It's amazing how much stress has lifted in the past 3 weeks, and how I've become more myself....crazy to think that a job can add that much stress to your life.  I am grateful beyond words to have the summers to savor and truly does make me a better mom, teacher, friend, sister, daughter....all of it!