June 28, 2015

TpT Sellers Challenge Week 2: Dream Big!!

Hey y'all!! I am so behind this week, as I was busy with VBS and visiting my parents! Plus, I'm still in the middle of graduate school so I'm just now getting to post! I thought I'd better hurry up before the next challenge was announced. ;) This week we were challenged to dream big, and share what we wanted our TpT store to accomplish. I'm not gonna lie, this challenge was a bit scary for me. I don't like to put my personal goals out there. I almost didn't. But, then I read some of the most amazing stories, and personal goals of the other teachers, and I thought if they can do it...so can I. So, thank you all for pushing me out of my comfort zone a bit. :)

I'm linking up with Emily at Third in Hollywood, Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zesty Teacherista ,and Sparkling in Second. :)



1. This one probably resonates with most of you too. :) We have various forms of debt, mostly student loans, and it would be so nice to only have to worry about our day to day living expenses.


2. My youngest first cousin is graduating from high school next May. They live in Indiana, and I don't get to see them often. My family is wanting to go on a big trip to celebrate his graduation, and to spend time together somewhere out of the country. Right now that is off the table for my family, but I would love if my TpT store could fund that trip.

3. Fueling my classroom is what my earnings have been doing. Every dime has been spent on resources for my kids. Granted, it's not much, but every little bit helps, and I will continue to use this money for my kids.

4. Giving back is very important to me. When I first started teaching I was excited to have my own classroom, but mad that I couldn't stay home with my daughter like I had always dreamed. For us, it wasn't a matter of just cutting back what we were spending to make it work, we absolutely would not be able to pay all of our bills if I didn't work so I felt stuck. Until I walked into my first classroom, and I saw 20 pairs of eyes looking to me. Until I heard 20 different stories, from kids with 20 different backgrounds. Some good, some not so good, and some heartbreaking. Then I decided since I couldn't afford to stay home, teaching would not only be my job, but my ministry. To guide the students in my classroom, to give them everything that I could, and to show the love of Christ through my teaching. I knew I could still be a good mother while being a teacher, and now that my youngest is going into the pre-school at my district I know I am exactly where I should be. My personal children are flourishing, and I get such immense satisfaction from teaching. I truly have the best two jobs in the entire world. :) So, my longest term goal, my dream is to be able to get to a point where all of my earnings can go to helping those who need it more than I do. Where I can afford to not only take care of the kids in my classroom, but also give to their families. To be able to give, and give freely, and bless others.

June 17, 2015

Work It Wednesday!



Hey hey! I'm here linking up with Katie King at Queen of the First Grade Jungle for Work It Wednesday! I'm just all about the linky's this summer. ;) I've been following Katie for a little over a year, and I actually found her through one of her fitness hashtags on Instagram, and THEN realized that she taught 2nd grade! :) I was so inspired by her fitness journey, but I never got around to get really serious about my own. Ever since I've had my kids I've felt so guilty taking time out to take care of myself. Like ridiculously guilty. I suffered from postpartum depression after both of my kids. I didn't even realize what it was until it was over. But I used to think "Why would I spend an hour working out when I could spend that hour cleaning, or holding my baby, or...." The excuses would go on and on, and so did the weight gain.  Last year I realized I wasn't as good as I could be, as I needed to be. I wasn't all that happy, and quite frankly things were suffering and getting forgotten left and right. I finally realized it was because I was taking zero time for myself. I wasn't as healthy as I wanted to be, I was tired, depressed, and felt constantly overwhelmed. So, I decided to start doing little things just for me. It was hard at first, and it was as simple as leaving the kids with my husband to go grocery shopping, or buying myself a new shirt. This year, I decided to focus on my health, and getting my body back in shape so that I can be a better mommy, and wife. So..school was crazy this year, and I never really found time to get started but I promised myself I would start this summer. And, so far I have! So here's what I'm doing this week.I hope blogging about it will help keep me accountable....

Drinking a ton of water, and I've found SPARK!! A friend of mine from college sells Advocare, and I was talking to her about how I needed to give up diet soda in a serious way. She promptly sent me some samples of Spark, and I ordered more right away. I get great energy, and my mind is clear all morning, AND when I drink Spark in the morning I don't even crave a diet soda the whole day!And this is a girl that could drink 6 cokes a day...easily. I've always been a bit leery about "weight loss companies", like what are they not telling me is in here?????  BUT, I realized the spark is probably way, way, way more healthy than the cokes I'm drinking so I'm leaving my paranoid brain behind on this one. ;)







I am also walk/jogging. Ha! I've always hated running. I played sports in high school, and even ran track because my basketball coach made me, but I've always hated it. It was the first thing to go when I went to college, and man do I wish I had stayed in shape. I'm not doing much, but it's a start. I'm walking 1.25 miles per day. Last week I did 1 mile a day. I'm hoping to increase the amount by a quarter of a mile per week until I'm up to 2 miles a day. Like I said it's not much, but it's 1.25 miles per day more than I've been doing :). Plus, I'm also having a lot of outside summer time fun with my kids! :)






I am also eating better. It's summer and the farmers market's are open, and we are LOVING all of the fresh produce. I've always told my husband we need to live somewhere the farmer's markets are open year round. I'd eat so much better more consistently ;).



So that's it for me this week! Now on to get my kiddos down for a nap/quiet time. :)

June 16, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge!!

Hey guys! I am participating in the TpT seller challenge over the next 4 weeks, and I finally had time to sit down and complete my first challenge!! We were suppose to pick one product in our store, and give it a face lift. I totally knew I was going to grab the first product I ever made, (and my all time best seller!) and change the cover page. Boy, was it ugly!! :) I just had no idea what colors/papers to use or how to position clip art for a cover page. So here is my before and after!!


BEFORE:





Things I didn't like: Too much white space
                                              Random placement of clipart
                                                      Not the best background or border
                                         So...pretty much all of it ;)
                                                             (And sorry about the terrible picture...)

After:

I am just in LOVE with this cute cover!! I am going to be changing all of the independent cover pages for these products as well! My bundle set is on SALE until Friday! So if you're looking for an adorable room decor set snag it while it's cheap!! :) You can find it HERE.

June 15, 2015

Monday Made It!

Hey guys! I'm back again!! Can y'all believe it, because I barely can ;). I'm linking up with Tara from 4th grade frolics for Monday Made It! Today has NOT gone as planned, and it was a busy day anyway so I'm a little late to the party, but I'm here. My made it this week is not original at all, but since I'm switching grades and have fewer subject areas I needed these.



I made myself some READ letters! I will be teaching literacy, and social studies next year so I thought I would integrate the two into my decor some. 
 I started with some basic letters from Wal-Mart. They were $1.97 each. I already had the acrylic paint, glue, and I was given a map of Georgia from my father-in-law. I didn't realize I was out of Modge Podge so I'm going to have to go to the store tomorrow and finish these up! :)
 First I squirted some turquoise acrylic paint onto the back of the letter. This step isn't really necessary I guess, but it will make your edges look more finished. I rubbed the paint around with a paper towel, because I can't remember to get more brushes!!

 Then I dabbed this glue on the front of the letters, cut out a chunk of map, and laid the letter face down on the back of the map. Then I let the glue mostly dry, and trimmed around the letters with an x-acto knife, and Whaaa Laa!!!


I just LOVE them!!! They are going to look precious over my reading corner. Now all I have left to do is slap a layer of Modge Podge on them, and hot glue some orange ribbon to the back to hang them!!

June 14, 2015

Summer Bucket List Linky!!

Hey y'all!! I have officially been on summer break for 1 week, and it has been a fun one! I thought I'd join Natalie at What the Teacher Wants, and share my summer bucket list!




School:

So, I have quite a long list for school this summer. My first thing to do is redecorate my classroom next year. I am moving from kindergarten to 4th and 5th grade literacy and social studies. It is a HUGE change, but one I am excited for! However, I don't think my 4th and 5th graders will really appreciate my current decor, and I had to move rooms too so what better reason for a classroom overhaul!! 

Pacing guides will be next on my list, and I have actually already started them. The teacher before didn't use pacing guides??? And my principal only had one based on TLI....which we don't do....SOOOO.... I will be working these up for myself next year along with, of course, my scope and sequence.

I'm excited to start making TpT products for upper elementary, and will be starting my first creation next week! 

And, I'm also starting to make anchor charts, and other things that I need to update for older grades. I typically make the "bones" of the anchor chart at home, and then fill them in with the kiddos. I'm finding tons of great inspiration on Pintrest, and I'll be sharing some of those with you soon! 



Personal:

I am using this summer to refocus my mind, and get busy working off all of this baby weight. Especially since my "baby" is 3!!! ;/ But it's better late than never, and I have run out of excuses. So, I've started running and focusing on my eating last week, and I am starting to feel great!


I began remodeling my kid's bathroom in April. I have re-done their cabinet, counter, sink, removed a mirror, painted the ceiling, trim, and walls, and added some new decor. I still have to put in a new toilet, redo the floor, re-trim the door, and add baseboards!! It's looking so cute, and I am ready to have it finished!

AND I need to finish up grad school!!! Woohoo!! I graduate in August, and these next 2 classes can't go by fast enough! 


Fun:

I promised my kids the month of June would be for fun playtime. I promised not to do any work, except for maybe grad school work, while they were awake for the month of June. And, so far I have kept my promise, which has sometimes been hard since I'm now switching grades and I have so much more to do than previous years where I've taught the same grade from year to year, But, it has been so worth it! Last Monday my daughter had gymnastics, and then we went out for lunch. Tuesday we went shopping. Wednesday we went to visit my parents because my mom recently had surgery. Thursday we went to our local splash pad. Friday we went to the zoo on our way to my son's well child check up. Yesterday, we took a little road trip and went to the Memphis Zoo. Which we get into 50% off because we are members of the Little Rock Zoo! So that was a great deal! Today...we are exhausted and spending the day watching movies in our pj's!! 


I'm also going to do something really fun for my birthday and anniversary this year! Both events always seem to get pushed off to the back burner because they are both in August, and right before school starts. My anniversary is the 12th, and my birthday is the 16th. Sooo, we usually go out to eat and grab a movie or something basic. This year, however I'm not sure what we are doing we are going to take time out of our crazy schedules at that time to celebrate!

AND I'm getting a blog design!! I can't really call it new because I've never had one made for me, and I'm EXCITED about it. 

That's it for me! Stop by What the Teacher Wants to grab your template, and link up! 


June 12, 2015

Teach Inspired

Teach inspired. That is my mantra for the new year. I hit kinda a valley if you will last year. I just felt, for lack of a better term, uninspired. I needed inspiration, I needed to fill my own teacher cup. It can sometimes be hard where I work to feel full all the time. I guess you could say that for every teacher everywhere at some point, but it was true for me last year. I work at a school that has one teacher per grade level. Collaboration, even though it can and should be, is not our building's forte. Teachers tend to keep to themselves and since we don't have a team to bounce off of weekly, or even daily it's hard to get that inspiration you need during those hard days, weeks, and let's face it...months.

And then a group of teacher bloggers,( I follow most of them and they have truly kept me going with some of their blog posts,) went to the Ron Clark Academy. And, their posts about their trip truly inspired me. I had heard of Ron Clark before, but that was about it. After I read about their experiences I watched The Ron Clark Story, and read every one of his books in a week. I am rereading them again this summer, slower, so that I can let it all sink in, and get the most from it, but then I couldn't get enough of them. One of the biggest things I took away from him is that he teaches inspired. Everyday. Even, when he worked with a less than inspiring colleagues, in less than inspiring situations. When people told him no, he still taught inspired. And, he changed lives of his students, and is continuing to not only change his student's future, but he reaches out to teachers and inspires them as well.

So...all that to say this summer I am seeking out ways to inspire my students. Little things that I don't necessarily talk about, but they are just there. Inspiration in every corner for them, and for me. So,  I decided to turn my boring old, drawn on, brown, clipboards into a small source of inspiration. My kids use clipboards all them time, and I have a class set of them. I thought it would be fun, and inspiring to write a quote on each of the clipboards. Now, I am no artist, and I have no skills with hand lettering so don't expect these to be eye catching :). Here are a couple that I have done already.




Now this is a super complex craft y'all. :) I took the .97 brown basic clipboards from Wal-Mart. Then I grabbed some black acrylic paint (because that is the color I had the most of on hand), and a paper towel. I squirted (that's the technical term by the way) the black paint on the clipboard and rubbed it around with the paper towel to coat the whole board. Because, I didn't have any paint sponges or brushes on hand, and then I really liked the way it looked once it was done. I had to do 3 coats of the black paint. Then, when they dried, which was very quickly I might add, I took a white paint pen, googled inspirational quotes, picked one out, and wrote it on the clipboard. Whaa La! They are not perfect, but they are perfectly mine! I love them, and I hope my kids do too, and just maybe they will read the right quote on the right day and it will give them the little intrinsic push they need to do their best that day! :)

Teach Inspired Friends! It's the best way to be. :)

June 1, 2015

June Currently

I love this linky, and I seem to really love it in the summer! Ha! It's such a fun way to get to know other teachers. So without further adieu here's mine!





* Every single blessed person, and animal is snoozing. Except my cat. And me. I can't sleep because kindergarten graduation is tomorrow so I thought I would get some work done! :) I am so proud of these kiddos, and I am going to miss them terribly. 

* I am still in school. STILL!!! The snow really got us this year, and we are not used to this much snow and ice living in the south and all. So needless to say, I have been so jealous of all the teachers I see on summer break already, but it's only 3 more days!! :)

* Even though I am so ready for a break I can't help but think about all the work that lies ahead of me. I am changing grade levels next year, and while I'm excited I'm also feeling the need to get busy so I'm not drowning the first few weeks of school. 

* Yeah...but first I really need a break. ;0)

* I'm also moving classrooms so I've been poaching all of the printer paper cartons I can find. 

* I feel, like many of us, that I have been stretching myself too thin. I'm doing a ton of things okay instead of the things that really matter to me very well. So my summer goals are to have lots of family time. I told my kids that June is their's. We will only have fun. Mommy will not work (at least while the kids are awake) at all. I am also renovating our home so I have a lot of projects that I am working on around the house. June will be my time for all of that. Then to go along with stretching myself too thin I am simplifying things. My kids are getting older, and we aren't having any more so I am going to start cleaning out all the baby stuff, and making sure that I preserve the things I really want to keep for my kids. I am also putting a few projects on the back burner for a while. I made a list of things I'm going to focus on, and that's all I'm worrying about. It's time, past time, to get my life back. And, we are also saving.We are going to visit my aunt and uncle in New York next year so we are going to start saving up for that trip, and we might be able to sneak away for a few days to the beach and that will aide in saving my sanity! ;)

Well, that's it for me! If you would like to join in link up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for your template! :)