December 31, 2011

How I Spent My Winter Vacation & An Itch

First, thank you for all the nice comments following Antonia's death.  I'm sure I'll get another guinea pig but not for a while or until my next visit to the pet store.  They are marvelous little critters and I would highly recommend them to anyone teacher or family.  


Also, I am just amazed at the overwhelming response to the book blog.  My email server probably thinks I'm doing something illegal like selling crack or soliciting for phone email sex.  I spent an enormous amount of yesterday answering emails and setting up contributors.  And that little blog had over 60 followers in a little over a day!  Wowzers!  I see another giveaway possibly days hours from now!  : )   I even managed to make a blog button for it, although I don't know how to make the text box shrink so it isn't so ugly.

And if you haven't read the first few posts, shame on you!  Just kidding.  But they are great, so you really should.  I am so honored all these ladies want to collaborate with me.  I am reading a great book that I can't wait to post about, but I haven't had much time.  I've had some insomnia or maybe it's just that my days and nights are mixed up right now.  I'm a night owl folks.  I sleep best between three am and noon.  Too bad they don't have night school for second graders.  I'd be teacher of the year, just saying!

Now, let's get to the reason for the title of this post:


Clutter-Free Classroom is hosting a "How I Spent My Winter Vacation" linky party, and I had to join in the fun.  My vacation technically doesn't end until Monday night when the "night before school" stuff invades the subconscious.  But I am probably going in to work on Monday.  I have this almost obsessive desire to rearrange my room and get rid of my teacher desk.

GASP!

That was for the insane need to do another major project (like leveling my class library which I'm still working on and the kids love!) during the school year. I'm sure my husband (if I gave him the opportunity to voice an opinion on this matter) would ask me why I don't feel the need to put that obsessive cleaning/organizing energy to work at home.  (You'll get some more insight into this lack of obsessiveness at home in a bit.)  But this is why I am not letting him voice an opinion.  Then, of course, he would probably complain about the used new-to-me desk that he helped me wrestle into the room and set up just this summer.  But again, no opinion was asked!  : )

I shouldn't feel this obsessive about this people.  I take meds for that.  Are they not working?  Should I be concerned?  I prefer to think that if it wasn't for all the wonderful blogs I stalk, I would be in ignorant bliss about what I want to change.  So, see, it's all YOUR fault.  Whew!  I feel much better.  Don't you?

But, still, I've got the itch.

(My coworkers already tease me about redoing my room each year when they pretty much leave theirs unchanged from year to year decade to decade.  All you-know-what will break out if I rearrange mid-year!)

Again, should I be concerned?  I prefer to think it's creative genius at work.  (I'm sure you'd agree!)

Whoa!  Have I gotten off track.  (Maybe I need to schedule an appointment for a med check.)

So how have I spent my winter vacation?  Here is a list in random order.

1.  Blogging
2.  Eating
3.  Sleeping (with and without a migraine)
4.  Visiting with friends and family
5.  Blogging
6.  Going out to lunch and dinner
7.  Shopping
8.  Cooking
9.  Playing cards
10. Blogging
11. Driving kids around
12. Watching movies
13. Eating
14. Spending time with my daughters and hubs
15. Enjoying my three fur-babies
16. Reading

Here's the best part.

Most of this I've either done in my pj's or my new fuzzy lounging pants and socks!  (Yes, even driving the kids around!)  And I assure you, I did take my meds during vacation, but didn't think to put that on my list!

You'll notice cleaning wasn't on my list.  My oldest is the best cleaner and organizer.  When she was a lot younger she cleaned and organized my teacher desk once and I couldn't find things for a week!  She also would go into a coworker/friend's classroom and clean and organize.  We still tease her about that!  She even spearheaded the holiday decorating this year.  She is amazing!  {She has also labeled my new book blog and my fellow contributors "The Nerd Herd".  I love that kid!  She actually wanted to start a blog for student council, of which she is president, but she is too busy.  Unfortunately, she doesn't write html code, or I'd probably lover her more.  HA!}

So, there it is in a nutshell.

I'm lazy and obsessed.  Hope you still like me.
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December 30, 2011

Goodbye Antonia


Sadly, our family and classroom pet, Antonia, died last night.

She was only four and a half years old and had been fine. But suddenly, while watching a family show she began making a strange noise and we found her unable to stand. We took turns holding her in a towel (the hubs did the most since we were all blubbering) and petting her until she finally stopped breathing. Thankfully, it didn't take long.

I am so glad I spent most of the previous night on the couch working on the new blog because I got to listen to her purring and cooing noises in the quiet of the night one last time. They were such happy sounds. Ones that made all of us smile.

Ironically, I had brought home a book about a class pet dying that I was going to share on Critters in the Classroom. Give me a few days and I'll get to that. But I guess I'm going to be needing that book when I return from vacation. My kiddos will be so sad and the classroom will be quiet without her whistles.
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December 29, 2011

A New Blog & Giveaways Galore!

I've been thinking about starting a blog that is all about books. A place where people can share a little about what they are reading so that my fellow bookworms and I have a place to go for ideas for new reads.

Well last night, since I couldn't sleep (the wind was blowing about 100 miles an hour and I had slept in a little too long that morning), I decided to get up and go to work on it.

At this point, I am using free blogging stuff so it's not too hot and I don't even have a button, but if the interest is there and it takes off I will probably have Project 3 Designs create a custom blog design for it.

But to make it work, I need all of you readers to help. Anyone interested in being a contributor should leave me a comment with an email address. You can recommend any type of book or author that you want.  It is not just for teachers and children's books...so share with your fellow reader friends.

But before you decide go over and check out the first post. I guarantee you'll be impressed because I used a lot of bigger vocabulary words than I normally do on this little old new blog! HA!

It is called The Best Endings, but you have to go over to read how I came up with that catchy name.  :)

If you decide to follow this new little blog, you can go over and leave a comment for another entry in my first giveaway.  If you become a contributor too, you can leave two comments for entries!  And if you have no idea what giveaway I am talking about, you better get after it!

You should also head over to Mandy's Tips for Teachers and enter the mega giveaway that she and several other bloggers are hosting.  Yikers!  It's amazing!

So whether you have a kindle, nook, or just read the old fashioned way, I hope this new blog is something you might enjoy.

Now I'm off to read a book the old fashioned way!  
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December 28, 2011

My First Giveaway!!

I woke up Christmas morning with THE migraine from hell!  I was so sound sensitive that the humming of the fridge about killed me.  But last night I finally began to feel better human...and...jury duty was canceled!  There must be a God!  And he doesn't hate me.

So, now that things are looking up I'm ready for a giveaway.  As most of you know, I recently reached 100 followers, which I wan't sure would EVER happen!  Yee Haa!

And I promised a giveaway.  Better late than never, right!

I spent hours perusing etsy looking for something perfect.  I found a ton of things that I loved, but I wanted something different that also fit my sense of humor.

So, drumroll please...

da, da, da, da, da, dum!





One lucky winner could win this car sticker that reads "I'm a teacher!  What's your super power?" and a mystery item!  (Don't you love hate that I won't tell?)  I may give some clues over the next few days if I'm feeling generous.  ;)

It cracked me up!  I know money would be better, but decided that it's fun to get something you wouldn't normally buy for yourself too.

So here is how to enter:
1.  Follow my blog and leave a comment.
2.  Follow Mandy's Wall Candy etsy shop and leave a comment that you do here.
3.  If you want to blog about this giveaway you can, but I don't want anyone to feel pressured.  (I hate pressure, even though I work well under pressure.)  If you do, leave 2 comments with a link.

The giveaway ends on New Year's Eve at midnight!  Good luck friends.
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December 27, 2011

Giveaway & 11 in 11


Courtney at Swimming into Second is giving away a $25 gift card to TpT because she has reached 400 followers!  The giveaway ends on Sunday, January 1st, so head over there and enter.fast!



Now I'm joining in the fun by joining Hadar and Kristin's 11 in 11 linky party.

11.  Favorite movie you watched
I don't very often see new movies, and my kids definitely drive my movie choices.  So my pick has to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 





10.  Favorite TV series
Definitely The Big Bang Theory.  




9.  Favorite restaurant
Hmmm.  I'm all about food so this is a tough one.  A local haunt called CJ's Bar & Grill.


8.  Favorite new thing you've tried
Blogging and opening a Teacher's Notebook shop.  It's really putting yourself out there in a vulnerable kind of way.


7.  Favorite gift you received
My nook tablet.  




6.  Favorite thing you pinned
This is from my cooking pin board.  It is a recipe for a pie that this woman asked people to make in honor of her deceased husband Mikey.  It was his favorite.  





5.  Favorite blog post
Of mine?!?  Yikes!  Could I just pick someone else's?  No, then I pass.  You heard me.  PASS!

4.  Favorite accomplishment
Adopting my two beautiful daughters.  People always tell me (and my husband) that they are so lucky to have us, but we know the truth...we are lucky to have them, even on the days when we don't feel too lucky!

3.  Favorite picture
This is my sharpei baby lying on the top back of the couch.  She learned to do this from our little puggle who is 1/3 of the weight.  The big dummy thinks she is still little and can do this.  Hubs says it's ruining the couch.  Still cracks me up!  




2.  Favorite memory
The weekend my husband and I got engaged.  We were staying at a dive that the local high school kids obviously partied at (unbeknownst to me) and where the local homeless found shelter when the temperature dipped.  Also, where the cleaning ladies doubled as ladies of the evening in empty rooms, from the looks of them.  I booked this lovely abode and thought I'd hit the jackpot because it was cheap AND had a pool.  When we saw the pool we agreed to not swim in it without haz-mat suits.  Euwww!  But what a memory!

1.  Goal for 2012
Eat healthier, be healthier.  Tell and show people I love them more.

So that's my 11 in 11.  Now go link up to the party people.

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December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

I've got a couple last minute gifts to pick up before everyone shows up in a couple hours.  What can I say, I work well under pressure!

I couldn't let the day pass without telling everyone out there Merry Christmas!

Here is my Sharpei girl.

This is my Puggle beastie girl.  She has to wear the "cone of shame" or she beats up on the one above!

And for all of you who don't celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays!!
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December 22, 2011

I'm On Vacation & a Survey

As of this afternoon, I am officially on vacation!!  Yeeee-haaaaa!!!!

I've got to finish my shopping tonight so that I can spend tomorrow in pj's all day.  So I am going to post this survey now before the Mr. gets home and is ready to go.  And I gotta make it quick.

I saw Kristin's survey over at Teeny Tiny Teacher and thought I want to do that fun.  (BTW, Kristen has left me a few comments lately and I love it.  It makes me feel almost like a popular girl in high school!  :) )

I feel like I've actually been getting a lot of comments lately and I love it!  It really fills my bucket and all that mushy gushy stuff.  Really!  It's like a little pat on the back every time no matter what you say.  So thank you one and all!!

Okay.  Survey time.

1.  Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I don't mind gift bags at all but always feel like others want to rip the paper like it's more fun.  So I try to do paper.  But if you are one of those freaky paper openers who lifts the paper off so carefully (as if you can reuse the paper) and folds it neatly into a little square...NO paper for you!!  (picture the paper Nazi yelling that.)

2.  Real tree or artificial?
Artificial.  My brother, I think, had allergies to the real one so ours was fake growing up.  Love the smell and thrill of finding a real one, but at the same time feel really guilty killing a poor innocent living tree for a month of beauty in my living room.  Yes, I know they are grown for that purpose, but still.  And yes, I know I could get a live potted tree to plant in the spring.  But if you saw my yard full of trees you'd know that wasn't an option.  And have you ever cut down or bought a real tree with lights already on it?  Nuff said!

3  When do you put up the tree?
When I am not too tired and damn well feel like it, usually sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

4.  When do you take the tree down?
When I damn well feel like it, usually after the New Year.

5.  Do you like eggnog?
Bleck!  I'd have to be three sheets to the wind and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it even then.

6.  Favorite gift received as a child?
I think the year my parents gave me skiing lessons.  Financially it was a good year for my parents obviously. I was lucky my folks wanted us kids (my older brother and I) to do things that they never would have dreamed of.  I think I am the same way with my daughters.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

7.  Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, it is a handmade wooden one that is also a puzzle that all fits together in the stable.  My parents gave it to me years ago.  We love puzzles!  It's a hard one to get back together too!

8.  Hardest person to buy for?
My brother.  He has everything or buys it for himself.  Although he loves homemade goodies so now I usually just make him some yummy deserts, jelly, spicy pickles, etc.

9.  Easiest person to buy for?
Me, of course!  While looking for others, I always find something I want!  :)

10.  Mail or email Christmas cards?
Christmas cards, what are those??  I once had them dang buggers all done with envelopes addressed and put them on top of the fridge to mail.  I found them up there about 4 months later.  I never can get them done with the chaos of school, etc.  So I try to do a New Year's or Easter card.  And sometimes often I am not good about that either.

11.  Worst gift you ever received?
A scary, homemade Christmas vest from a little old lady who liked donating stuff to our school.  It was great for a funny gag gift later on.  (This little old lady would cut the pictures off of tissue boxes and give them to us along with styrofoam meat trays, free stickers you get in the mail from organizations that want donations, etc.  Apparently I was the only one who didn't have the heart to tell her that most of the stuff she gave us (especially the tissue box art) went in the trash.  Hence, I guess, the year I got the vest.  Or as my co-workers liked to tease...no one else would take it from her!)

12.  Favorite Christmas movie?
Christmas Vacation.  Watched it with our girls every year until we finally bought it, only to find out that the TV edited a LOT of swear words out of it.  So we've stuck to just watching it on TV.  I can relate to the tree hunting (before I began feeling guilty about killing the innocent) and finding the perfect (from a distance) tree that ends up being 20 plus feet tall.  I can relate to the hidden presents that are found too late.  (Imagine finding gifts that you children are WAY to old to play with now.  Then picture me donating them to an organization like Toys for Tots.)  I could go on and on.  Love that movie.

13.  When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When I damn well feel like it.  (pattern??)  Some I do early (remember the hidden and forgotten presents) and lots at the last minute.  Remember I need to go shopping tonight!?!

14.  Ever recycled a present?
Regifting...love it!  In fact, I have a drawer of gifts to regift.  Come on, you know everyone does it!

15.  Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Caramel corn.  My mother-in-laws is the BEST!

16.  Clear lights or colored lights on a tree?
Clear on the tree but I love me some deep blue lights outside in the snowy darkness!  Mesmerizing!

17.  Favorite Christmas song?
Sorry can't pick just one!













I'd seriously listen to Christmas music all year but my family frowns upon it.  Humbugs!


18.  Travel at Christmas or stay home?
I personally would love to travel now that my kids are older, but the hubs won't have any part of it.  He's a big family boy and all.

19.  Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Sure can.  Although one of my darlings informed me this week that Rudolph wasn't real and so I shouldn't count him or put him on the list.  I begged to differ!

20.  Angel or star on top of the tree?
Angel.  (Although she hasn't made it up there yet.  But hey, the tree is up and there are two more days until Christmas!)

21.  Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
When I was growing up we got to do one on Christmas Eve.  But when my kids were littler it had to be Christmas morning.  This year is the first year we will do Christmas Eve with one side of the family and Christmas day with the other side of the family.

22.  Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Without a doubt the traffic and crowds.  Hate em both!

23.  Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
I collect snowmen so I can leave them up through January (lazy I know) otherwise no theme or color.  My tree is a collection of ornaments from when I was growing up, from my daughters, and from students.  Best ones are by far homemade!

24.  What do you want for Christmas?
A massage.  For at least an hour and a half.  Pure bliss.  Then a long winter's nap!

Whew!  That took longer than I thought.  Good thing hubs is a bit late from work.

What kinds of things do you all get from your students for Christmas?  What's the best and worst thing you've ever gotten from a kiddo in your class?

Yikes, he's home.  Gotta run.  No proofreading.  Hope it's not horrible!
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December 20, 2011

Christmas Wrap Up

I always order the kiddos a book for Christmas.  (Is there a teacher that doesn't??)  Anyway, the books finally came on Monday.  I was beginning to panic, let me tell you!  So last night I came home to wrap, but was out of paper.  I don't think I've been out of paper for ten years, since my daughters sell Innisbrook gift wrap every year for a school fundraiser.  I was shocked!  But I was too tired to run out and get some so it had to wait for today.

Tonight on the way home, I stopped and bought some paper.  Actually a lot.

When I got home, I was pumped to wrap...but no tape!  What?  Come on!  The girls have been busy decorating their rooms, dressers and bedroom doors obviously.

So after going to pick up my oldest from a bowling party I stopped and got a few rolls of tape.  By this time I was a bit of a grouch.

Over the weekend, I saw a cute idea at a friend's for candy cane seeds.  Simply a handful of soft peppermint candies.  I grabbed a huge bag of these delightful mints at the store (along with my tape) and whipped up a tag. I am going to put these in a baggie with the tag folded over the top and attach to the top of each child's gift.

My printer wouldn't print the color red for some reason even though I had just put in a new color cartridge.  Big time grouch by now!  I finally put in another new color cartridge and it worked.  Arrrrgggg!!

This is the tag I made using graphics from ThistleGirl and KPM Doodles.




I know many of you are already out of school, but hopefully you can use it next year.

Two more days!!
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December 19, 2011

A Wacky Christmas Story

I grew up with Mad Libs and loved them.  My family would sit and take turns filling out those darn things and pretty much laugh ourselves senseless for hours.

As my brother and I got older some of the games even got a bit raunchy!

Years ago, I made this wacky version of The Night Before Christmas.  I know my inspiration didn't come from the internet because I didn't use it like I do now.  I believe I just took my copy of the book and took words out based on what parts of speech we had studied so far.  Anyway, I know there are similar ideas floating around out there.

I don't give any hints to the kids about what the story is so they turn out really silly.  I also tell them to try to come up with words on their list that are unique, one-of-a-kind words.  We want words that sizzle and pop, people!

So, the kiddos get the word list form to fill out first.


Then after I've checked to see that they have the correct kinds of words and we proofread for spelling, I give them the wacky story template to fill in using their word list.  There is no word changing allowed at this point!

At this point, the giggles and snickers start.  Pretty soon the whole class is in stitches and so eager to share, which I have forbidden until everyone is done.  

Finally, we have a read aloud time where each child gets to share.

Guaranteed to be a holiday favorite.
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December 18, 2011

Currently...

I wish I could say I had my shopping done.

I wish I could say I had my baking done.

I wish I could say I had my cleaning and laundry done.

I wish I could say I felt motivated to do anything but stalk blogs.

I wish I could say that I wasn't glad all the holiday parties and concerts are over.

I wish I could say that I didn't have school this week.

But I can't, so hate me if you must.  I am not Scrooge but I feel like I'm getting close.  Last week the kids were all kinds of awful so I can't imagine what this week will be like.  I'm afraid to venture a guess.  It's times like these I wish I liked to take Valium Oxycontin or drink beer Ever Clear.  Sadly, I am pretty much non-medicated other than chocolate and sadly right now that isn't helping too much.

So, since I have nothing better to do am unmotivated to do anything, I am joining up with Farley's currently linky party.



Also, if you want a serious laugh (and aren't scared by a little sarcasm or swearing) visit People I Want to Punch in the Face.  This lady is all kinds of funny and real, not perfect!  I've spent the morning on her blog after finding it on Going Nutty in Miss Squirrel's First Grade currently post.  Thank you Staci!

Here is my last "I wish".

I wish I could meet all of you IRL because it would be the best Christmas present ever!




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December 13, 2011

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good--
Yesterday, I was thrilled to find out that I had been awarded the Liebster Blog Award not once, but twice!

Thank you Stacy over at 2nd Grade Paradise and thanks Jennifer at Herding Kats in Kindergarten for the award.

Jennifer has noticed I like to leave comments. Yes, I do! I only wish people would disable that word verification thingie cause it really slows me down. Dang it!

So now I get to nominate five blogs that have less than 200 followers. Hmmmm! Here they are in no particular order.

Number 1:
Patricia has just recently gotten into the blogging world, but I already love her ideas.

Number 2:
Amy has great things on her blog and at her TpT store.


Number 3:
Leanne makes, shares, and sells great stuff on her blog and her TpT store.

(Leanne and Amy may notice my paychecks sent directly to their TpT stores after the holidays! I love TpT and just recently found their stores. Happy dance!!)

Number 4:
Rachel has a cute blog (Project 3 Designs - same as mine), we both have guinea pigs, and we both contribute to Critters in the Classroom. Great minds think alike. What's not to love?!


Number 5:
Staci aka Miss Squirrels is funny and I love the name of her blog. I hear there is a funny story about why she is Miss Squirrels, but I can't find it on her blog. Maybe she'll share it with me now that I've given her an award!


Number 6:
Lauren and I may have been separated at birth (even though I'm probably old enough to be her mother! HA!) We do a lot of the same things in our classrooms. And although she no longer has a bee theme, I still like her. Go check her blog out. You'll love her Venn snowmen!


Uhhmmm. Okay that was six, but it could have been ten (or more). There are so many great new blogs out there. It really wasn't easy to pick. Luckily for me a lot of you have a gazillion followers.

The Bad--
Today our shelf elf, Bluey, brought a letter to our class from Santa. Apparently Santa is worried he will have to put some of my kiddos on the naughty list if they don't change their ways. Some of my kids were all big-eyed and very concerned. Not the one two three five I'd really hoped would be. But throughout the day I heard a few darlings reminding the others to make good choices so Santa doesn't bring them coal. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

The Ugly--
I felt rather bad about all my complaining yesterday after reading most of the comments that were left. Thank you for putting things in perspective for me!

But...

Let me just share how my day ended.

I got the dreaded jury duty letter in the mail. And instead of being called up for the last few days of school before the vacation begins...which I was secretly wishing as I opened the envelope...qsz

(yes, it would stink getting ready for a sub this time of year, but...I could do it to avoid the madness and mayhem that is rearing its ugly head.)

The Christmas gods obviously should have been appeased with a few sacrifices yesterday because...

I have jury duty OVER my vacation.

The.Week.between.Christmas.and.New.Years.

What?! Do these insane people not know I am a teacher and seriously need a break from all things? Like lay in my pajamas all day and mumble and drool all day week!

So I crawl into bed sad depressed only to find that one of my fur babies who doesn't like the cold decided to piddle on my side of the bed.

All I can say is that I was feeling the love yesterday!

Not to shirk my civic duty, but I seriously hope this case gets canceled, settled, or I immediately say something stupid to get myself dismissed. Because I need to sleep, drool, and mumble for a few days.

Keep your fingers crossed!
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December 12, 2011

Crazy, Giveaway, & a Question

Okay, let me just start off by saying I don't want anyone to take offense by what I am about to say.

That said, here goes.

As someone who has nine, count them . . . NINE more days with insane kiddos until Christmas break, I may be forced to leave hateful comments to the next person who posts about being done with school this week or in the next few days.

Okay-dokay. Glad we got that clear.

I have a great class this year (as opposed to last year) but people they were nutso today!

We had our Christmas program yesterday. Yes, on a Sunday afternoon! So they were wound up today.

I hope I get some serious sympathy comments about that Sunday program from all my dear friends out there! It was bad. But since it is for the parents, people, we can't complain. Remember, it isn't about us at all.

Anyhow, the kids were awful today. Oh, did I already say that. Yes? And do you remember I have NINE more days of this?

I seriously thought I needed to make a sacrificial offering to the Christmas gods today to appease them so that Christmas wouldn't be canceled or something. I even was willing to sacrifice more than one! Hey, don't tell me I wasn't willing to take one for the team!

Oh, yeah, and did I mention music was in my room today because PE was in the multi-purpose room because of the cold weather? (More sympathy please.)

So, even though I had things to do, I left the room. If I hadn't the sacrifices would have started.

I ended up in the lounge where there was NO chocolate! (Can I get some more sympathy?)

But the school nurse was there working and I started blabbing about sacrifices and, OMgoodness, then I laughed like a mad scientist.

Think the bug scientist on Monsters vs Aliens.



I seriously scared myself!

I did some deep breathing before heading back to class.

Hopefully the gods won't need any offerings tomorrow . . .

So, now that I am home and in my happy place, I want to tell you about the giveaway at Dreamlike Magic Designs. You can win a $25 gift card to anything in their shop. So finish reading this post, leave me some sympathy, help with the upcoming question (if you can) and then go enter. Good luck!

Okay, here is the question.

I have a Teacher's Notebook shop and I just received an email from someone saying they purchased an item but couldn't download it. Has this happened to anyone else? If so, what did you do? I've not had this happen before and am baffled.

Stay tuned for my 100 followers giveaway!
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December 10, 2011

Woo Hoo!!!

It's been a few days since I visited my blog because I've been lost in a nook book. I have to say I LOVE it!

I read after lights out last night and no one knew it! I felt like I was 10 and under the blankets with a flashlight all over again. The family was wondering why I was so tired today. Shhhhh!

It's too bad you have to pay for the books. I was surprised they cost so much even though there is no paper. I'll get over though...I think!

Woo hoo!!! I've reached one hundred followers! I have to have a giveaway now so I am heading over to etsy to find something just right!

Stay tuned. And if you see a little light in the middle of the night...
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December 08, 2011

Elf Photo Op

So yesterday I forgot to get the elf photos on my laptop before going home. Silly girl! Sometimes I'm lucky my head is attached or I'd probably forget that, too!

Here are the first few photos.


One of my little darlings did a gymnastics move (back bend kind of like thing) to get a peek at the title of the book Bluey was reading. It was Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus!


Foam math tiles are fun and the perfect size for an elf. My kiddos love building with these when we are stuck inside for recess too! Another little darling obviously added to Bluey's creation while we were at recess because there were an extra handful when we returned. I'm pretty sure I know who the culprit was.


We've been painting. Remember the art project I mentioned in yesterday's post. Who can resist watercolor painting? Certainly not Bluey.  Best of all, watercolor painting is all kinds of calming.  Do you think anyone would notice if all we did was paint until vacation starts.

BTW, I thought our last day of school before vacay was the Wednesday before Christmas.  Oh, no!  At our staff meeting this morning, it was rudely brought to my attention that THURSDAY is our last day of school!  I.am.so.depressed!  Sob, sob!  Boo hoo!  Ruined my whole day...almost.

When the kiddos come in tomorrow they will find Bluey hugging up with the Grinch! If anyone can melt the Grinch's heart, it would be an elf for sure.

On a side note, I got my Nook tablet last night and am all kinds of excited to download my first book and settle in to read this weekend.

It isn't going to happen tonight though because I've got a date with my favorite nerds from the Big Bang Theory. I LOVE those guys (and girls too)! Then Person of Interest is on and I have to say that Jim Caviezel is pretty easy on the eyes. (Much more so in this show than as Jesus although that was an awesome and heart-wrenching movie.) Interestingly enough I saw him on a TV show and he is really a man of faith. Makes me like him even more. Sorry hubs!

TGI(almost)F people!

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December 07, 2011

95 & Counting

I can't believe I am at 95 followers! Stacy over at 2nd Grade Paradise was talking about reaching 100 followers by Christmas. I thought as I was reading that, yeah, wouldn't that be fan-tab-u-lous!? Now I am soooo close.

Did I just jinx myself?

Probably!

Monday our elf on the shelf showed up. The class was ecstatic! The kids each picked a name and I drew one from a hat. Its name is Bluey.

Over the weekend I purchased Sunny Days Elf on a Shelf Classroom Resource Pack. It is amazing! If you have an elf, you need to check it out.

Each day we are journaling about where Bluey is found and what we think he did during the night (besides going to the North Pole and reporting to Santa if we were naughty or nice). They are SO into it.

Because of how busy we are with practices for our upcoming (Sunday afternoon :( ) Christmas program and all the other crazy things this time of year, I am taking a photo of Bluey each morning to paste onto the day's journal page instead of having the kids draw a picture. As soon as they find him, I grab the camera and we are good to go! The kids are thrilled to know they will have a little book about our elf to keep forever.

So far, Bluey has been found reading Christmas books, building with foam blocks, and painting a picture! The kiddos are even brainstorming where they think Bluey will end up next and what he'll be doing. I love it! My 12 year old daughter is having fun helping me after school each day set things up.

All my pictures are on my school computer, but I will post a few soon.

I also want to share a really neat Christmas art project with you all.

Off to bed. Goodnight!
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December 05, 2011

Critters in the Classroom


I am so excited to be a contributor on Erica Bohrer's new blog Critters in the Classroom. This is right up my alley!

But, I am feeling the pressure now! I mean it's Erica Bohrer...THE Erica Bohrer! Enough said.

Come over and check out my first post. (Hopefully not my last!!) ;)
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December 04, 2011

My Grafico Giveaway


My Grafico is giving away a Silhouette Cameo machine away for their December giveaway!  The giveaway includes adhesive vinyl rolls package, 3 SVG cutting templates, Sure Cuts A Lot Software, and more.  A winner will be randomly drawn on December 31st and announced on New Year's Day.

If you don't head over there and register, you are plum crazy!  Either that or you already have a Silhouette.  (I don't have a Silhouette or a Cricut and I NEED one after seeing all the wonderful things you people use them for!)  However, if you don't have one and you aren't crazy, please tell them I sent you in your comment...puh-leez!  I will get an extra entry for every ten people that head over from my blog.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  (And good luck!)
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December 03, 2011

Money & a Hip Website

I love teaching my kiddos about money. Although we've been doing coins all year, we are "formally" doing money in math towards the end of the upcoming week. This year I've been using the "Honey Bunny" song from Teacher Tipster. At first I thought my second graders would think it too babyish, but I was wrong . . . they LOVE it! We do hand motions with it to show the amounts as we sing and jump around.

This is the printout I made of the song to use in my calendar flip chart for my Promethean board and to put in the kiddos poetry/song notebooks and math journals.  Click on the picture if you'd like a copy.

This week we are adding in the half-dollar "officially", so I adapted the song a bit to include the half-dollar. Here is the new version we will use this week.  Click the picture to grab a copy.

We had a parent a few years ago complain that we teach the kids how to make change. Yes, complain!! Because cash registers do it for you, dummy. So why bother to teach it. I was shocked to say the least.

Why do we teach spelling? Spellcheck does it for you, stupid. Why do we teach adding or subtracting? A calculator can do that, idiot. Heck, we don't even need to know how to back up a car because now the sensor thing beeps if you are too close to something. So let's just dumb our society down even more people.

Okay, I think I'm done ranting. I'd love to know your thoughts on teaching this senseless crap garbage.

This year I am also going to use some ideas from this website created just for kids by the United States Mint  called H.I.P Pocket Change.


The site has animated games, coin-related cartoons, and informational features. It connects coins to our history and culture. Here is what H.I.P. stands for:
I love that! There are more than 500 free cross-curricular lesson plans for teachers. The activities range in length from quick and easy to full-length plans. Teachers are encouraged to share ideas on how they use coins in the classroom and can contact the Mint with ideas and questions.

We have our students bring real coins as part of their school supplies so that when we are learning about money they don't just have to use plastic coins, although we use those for a lot of things.  Each child brings a baggie with about $2 worth of coins that they keep in their pencil box.  We specify on our supply list what coins to bring.  At the end of the year, they take the money home.

Teacher's Clubhouse has lot of great money resources such as PowerPoints about coins and counting coins, coin signs, coin booklets, and coin games galore.

Don't forget to let me know what you think about teaching kids how to make change or any other stupid thing you've been teaching!  :)
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