Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Power=No Fun?

I'm glad to say that this week looks like we will have power
the whole week. Last week, as I briefly wrote about, we were without
power. We ended up being without power from Monday at 12:30am to
Wednesday at about 4:00pm. It was cold!
Luckily, my parents got power on Monday night, so we were able
to warm up at their house. It's funny how appreciative you are
to have power after you have gone without it for a few days.
Wednesday night we were giddy as we were able to open the
garage door and turn on lights when it got dark.
We blasted the heat and turned on the TV much to our delight.


What do you do with no power?

Admire the beautiful ice and snow that is causing the power outage

Comfort your skitterish, cold, confused dog

Of course, play Playmobile Vet Hospital with your 5 year old nephew

Cuddle up by the fireplace

Friday, February 25, 2011

Roarrrrr... A Dinosaur Birthday

Someone had a BIRTHDAY!

A DINOSAUR birthday!

This special Birthday Boy turned 5 this week!

Love the 5 year old smile. :)

The Dinosaur Bean Bag Toss was a hit-
isn't my sister a talented dinosaur drawer?

We played games, ate dinner (too slowly if you ask the Birthday Boy),
opened some fun presents, sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes.
A great way to celebrate my nephew, Tommy's, birthday!

He was quite excited about his presents!

Happy Birthday, Tommy!

I can't believe it was five years ago that we
drove excitedly to the hospital to meet you!

We love you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow Day

Snow Days are WAY more fun when you have heat and electricity.

The power went out at 12:30 am
and hasn't come back on yet.

Our house is 45 degrees right now.

I forgot how cold it gets without heat.
And how boring it is without electricity.
The combination of the two made for a strange and rather long day.

Luckily, my parents' power came back on tonight,
so I'm nice and warm (and on-line) at their house.

Hopefully tomorrow's snow day will be warmer! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teacher Talk- Management

I'm linking up today with Abby's Teacher Talk Thursday.
Today is all about management.

I don't consider myself an expert in this area at all,
but I can tell you what I do in my classroom. :)

I have a chart in my room that looks like this:

Each student has 5 red Velcro squares next to their name.
The 5 squares represent tickets that they will receive at the end of the week.
If they misbehave, they have to remove one of their squares
from the board. At the end of the week, I pass out their tickets.

They can buy all sorts of things with their tickets.
Pens, Lifesavers, plastic animals, stickers,
passes for no homework, sit by a friend, hot chocolate,
sit at the teacher's desk for a day and much more.

If they lose all of their tickets in one week, they have to write
a note home to their parents. This rarely happens.

My first year I tried passing out tickets when I saw
good behavior, but I had a hard time with it.
I don't know- it just didn't work for me.
And, you have to do what works for you.
That's probably one of the best pieces of advice that
I have received. Make your management plan yours.
This one works for me. It's simple, which I love.

I also have a marble jar in my classroom for whole class behavior.
When they fill it up we vote on what reward they would like.
I love planning their rewards! But I'll save that for another post.

In other exciting news...
I have a teacher blog!

School Day Love

I started it a little bit ago, but wanted to wait until
I had a few posts up to tell you about it.

And since those of you who aren't teachers are probably
a bit tired of reading (or ignoring) my teacher posts,
I can move them over there.
(Although, I'll probably still post some here too!)

I hope you'll come follow along!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Past, Past Weekend

This past weekend, I did pretty much nothing.
I ate pizza.
I watched two chick flicks.
I graded papers.
I cleaned our closet.
I went to church.
Pretty much nothing exciting.
And I loved it.
But it doesn't leave too much to blog about.

So, I'll go back a weekend.
Because it was much more exciting.

On Saturday night, we surprised this lovely lady with a birthday party!
It was well planned and she jumped just a bit when we shouted SURPRISE at her!

We ate cake, played Scategories and went bowling.
I had a picture of bowling, but it didn't really turn out.
So you'll have to trust me- we went bowling.

Here are all the girls from the party (minus Al who came later!)

Hope you had a great birthday EMILY!

On Sunday, we celebrated another birthday- my Grandpa's!

He had some help blowing out the candles.

And isn't this just the sweetest picture?

This weekend will bring more birthday celebrations as the
little boy in the picture above will be turning FIVE!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I think I have mentioned before that my husband
refuses to celebrate Valentine's Day.
He doesn't think it actually counts as a real holiday.

So I picked out this card from Tinyprints to give him.
(Just because he doesn't celebrate it, doesn't mean that I don't!)
I think it is perfect!

But, I also liked this card, so he is getting two of them. :)

Although, let's be honest.
Dancing probably shouldn't be on there.
Since dancing can be added to the list of things he refuses to do.

However, I think he is softening...

When I came home from work on Friday, he had a treat for me.

Not for Valentine's Day.

For February.
And it just happened to be Valentine's Weekend.

A new charm for my Pandora bracelet!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating!
Whether it be Valentine's Day
just the fact that it is February! :)

(photos are from and

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Treats

I am so happy with how my mailbox Valentine treats turned out for my niece and nephews. And from my nephew's reaction this afternoon, he liked them too!

I used a little mailbox from the Target Dollar Spot, put their names on it with vinyl and my Cricut. I’ve been wanting to try cutting vinyl on it for a while- it was actually very easy to do!

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I mailed the pink one before I had to to photograph it, but it was just as cute!

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Then, I filled them full of Valentine treats!

Heart shaped chalk, Slinkys, stickers, crazy windy toys…

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

South Africa

My senior year of college, I went to South Africa for 3 weeks.
I fell in LOVE with South Africa.

The country is beautiful and amazingly diverse.

We visited an African village, spent time hiking waterfalls and mountains,
saw animals closer than I could ever imagine and talked with
wonderful people who had precious stories.

3 weeks in South Africa is not enough time.

I think this song by the Paul Coleman Trio sums it up nicely.
What a beautiful song!

(I should mention that the photos in this video from
YouTube are not mine nor are they actually
from South Africa. I just love the song!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Allyson's Baby Shower

Last weekend was my friend Allyson's baby shower.
Emily, Kari, Kim, Gwen and I had fun planning the shower together for her.

The night before we met up for some last minute shopping, creating decorations, and making cake balls- yum!!

The morning of we got the place all decorated!

Cupcakes- pink of course!

Flowers in baby bottle vases. Last minute inspirations are the best! :)

Can you believe how small the little clothes are? Adorable!

Kari was in charge of the games...

First, the anticipated Poppy Diaper Game.

And then matching celebrities with their kid's names.
I wasn't very good at this game.
Guess I need to get back to reading more US Weekly magazines.

Then we were able to shower Al with gifts!
Look at that cute tennis outfit! Perfect for the tennis girls shower!

All of us girls that were able to come to the shower.
They are all awesome friends!

Me with the lovely mom-to-be!

We can't wait to meet her precious little one!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Win got a haricut!

Winston got a haircut last week. A much needed haircut.

Here he is just a little bit shaggy!

And here he is with his new do...

Just look at that face!

He always looks about 30 lbs lighter and like a different dog when he gets his hair groomed.

We love him shaggy or not!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snowy Lunches (Teacher Talk)

Here is my post just a few days late for Teacher Talk Thursdays
with Abby from Snyder Stories.

This week we could share basically anything we wanted

Since this is what I happen to be working on, I'll share about Snowy Lunches.

Snow is here! The winter blues are also here. :(
So, enter in Snowy lunches to erase a few of those blues away.

It always sounds very simple and border line silly when I explain it.
But the one thing that I can't explain to you is how excited my students always get for this.
It's ridiculous actually. You are going to thing, "That's it! That's all there is to it." and yet some of my students have told me that it was the highlight of their year.

First, I split my class into groups. Usually I have about 4-5 kids in each group, depending on how big my class is. I always find something similar about all of their names, like- they all start with an "A" or they end in a vowel or they all have five letters in them. This some how makes it more special and creates a sense of fairness for the kids.

Then I send out invites to the kids. Nothing fancy. You can see and hopefully download my invite at the end of this post. No promises on the download though- I don't really know what I'm doing with google docs yet. But, I tried.
I always put them in envelopes and decorate them with stickers and make them look lovely.

The day of...
Throw a plastic tablecloth over a table in your room. Put a bag of chex mix in a bowl (a snowman bowl if you have one). Place the plate of snowball cookies that you made from pre-made sugar cookie dough and gobs of white frosting. Put place cards or placemats and a paper plate at each seat. Then, you are ready!

I've made place cards out of construction paper in past years.
But, this year I found some awesome paper placemats at Michaels on sale this summer.
So, a few letter stickers and ta-da. A place card and a place mat.

Aren't they cute!?

I love them! And I realize that they don't really fit into the whole snowy theme, but they are too adorable for me to care.

I wish I had more pictures of the cookies and table set-up. I'll post some next week or so when we start the lunches in my room.

I should also mention that the kids eat lunch with me in our room everyday. Which probably isn't true for most of you. But, that might make it even more special if they get to stay in your room with you during lunch instead of going to the cafeteria!

And here is the invite that you may or may not be able to click on! :)

Meet the Teacher- Link-Up Party

The next two posts are going to be teacher posts, tomorrow
I'll be back with a non-teacher post. :)

The First Grade Parade is hosting a "Meet the Teacher Party." I love reading teacher blogs- it is so fun to see what everyone is doing in their classrooms.

First, here is a bit about me.

I've been married for 2.5 years.
We have an almost 2 year old dog named Winston.

This is my fifth year of teaching. All the years in fourth grade. I can't believe that I have now been teaching longer than I went to college for. I don't know why that seems crazy to me, but it does!

I have 2 sisters- one older, one younger. Love them!
Here we are at my little sister's wedding this past New Year's Eve.

Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?
A: If I became talented enough...a photographer.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Crafts, reading, tennis, teaching (yes, I do think that counts as a hobby!)

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I was one of those kids that always wanted to a teacher. It made choosing classes in college super easy.

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?
A: Diet Coke, Vanilla Lattes, trips to Target, watching the Bachelor

Q: What is your biggest fear?!
A: That someone will choke when they are eating with me...I jump when one of my students starts to cough when they are eating their lunch!

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?
A: Anywhere WARM...where you can lay in the sun!

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: Put God first in your life.

Q: What do you value most in others?
A: Hmmm, today I'll pick kindness and humility.

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?
A: Patience. Not that I'm always patient, but a bit of it has come in handy more times than I can count.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?
A: My family. I love having lunch (or dinner) with them.

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
I love roller coasters, purple skittles, and stars.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No School- Wahoo!

My apologies to those who have jobs where they don't have any snow days...

The BIG storm is here!!! There is already 3.2 inches of snow on the ground as I type this and the worse of it is to come.

While I am totally ready for spring, I'll be happy with the snow as long as it gives me snow days.

Tomorrow will be snow day #2 for us. There should always be at least 2 snow days a year...or so I say.

So 2 minutes before school got out, the secretary came on the loudspeaker to announce that school had been canceled for tomorrow. (Insert obnoxious cheers and yells from 4th graders here.)
As I was about dismiss the students, I said something like, "Enjoy your snow day tomorrow! Yea for snow days!" Or something to that effect.
All of a sudden I got a lot of questions.
"Why are you excited for a snow day?"
"Don't you have to work tomorrow?"
"I thought you always have to work and never have fun."

Um, yeah, I plan on sleeping in tomorrow, watching TV, drinking hot chocolate and having TONS of fun. :)
Perhaps by noon I'll be ready to do a bit of grading papers- but we'll see, we'll see...
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