Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thirteen in '13 and a SALE!!

I saw this link up a little while back and thought it would be fun to participate. I think I did it last year, too!

 I think it's safe to say I love my skinny jeans! I would wear them every day once the weather gets a little cooler and I'm not in dresses anymore. Plus I love my boots (a close second), and the jeans are some of the few pants I can wear them with!
 Steven and I almost never go to the movies because they're so expensive, so we've only been once all year (although I really want to see Catching Fire).


I know this book was assigned when I was in high school, but I honestly couldn't remember ANYTHING about it except that it was set during the 20's and they liked to party. Thinking I didn't actually read it...but I really enjoyed the movie. And the music was really fun!

Still Big Bang Theory. We don't watch a lot of tv, especially now that we've gotten rid of cable/satellite. This show probably won't get old to me for a while!

We have this local restaurant that Steven and I discovered and LOVE! It's a little pricey but not terrible, so we go when we can. It's called Mint, and now their new chef is from The Next Food Network Star a few seasons ago (when we still had cable and were addicted to Food Network), so we really need to go again!

Malcolm Mitchell, chef
This year, I did two of those painting classes at this local shop. It was so much fun, and you get to bring home a piece of art! If you have one at home, you really should try it out.

My brother bought me the cutest leopard print shoes from Target! They're really comfortable, and my boots have been able to take a little bit of a break. Plus they're WAY cheaper than the adorable Tieks that I've been seeing around the blogging world but will probably never be able to afford.

I really haven't done a whole lot of pinning this year, but I did decide to go DIY for some Christmas presents, so I will share that idea - chalkboard coasters! They were so easy, and my aunts loved them!

Crazy Wonderful: chalkboard coasters - tutorial

Back in the summer, I participated in a VA blog hop that was so much fun! Even though I haven't had the chance to meet most of these ladies yet, I have enjoyed getting to know them online through the blogging community. We put together some great freebies for you to have (and I may be adding a new page to mine so this could be a reflection on the year as well).

I had a goal with my TPT store to make enough for a check in the first quarter (before they went to monthly payouts), and I made it! Going to premium seller was scary, but it has definitely been worth it. Thank you to all of my wonderful followers that love my stuff enough to buy it! You've already paid for my ticket to see my sister and her new baby in the spring!

That's a tough choice, but I think I have to go with this one. I like that it kind of shows how we're watching our little boy grow into something amazing!

Anything with Keagan is a great memory, but I would have to say this Christmas! He has really had a blast learning about the traditions, the food, and he had fun meeting some of my family for the first time.

I want to be more organized with my time so that I can focus more on my family. This may mean that I blog less (or at least only during scheduled times), but it's important that I take time away from the computer to make more memories!


Alright, we just got in from flying with a toddler who wouldn't let his mommy put him down, so I'm going to take a nap. You can stop by my store and treat yourself to something nice because I am having a sale!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This is just a quick post while my boys are taking naps (the hubs, dogs, AND son - it's gloriously peaceful!) to say Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

I plan on spending a lot of time with the family, so I probably won't post very much until school starts back on January 6. I hope all of my wonderful friends and followers have a wonderful and relaxing time away from school, and I pray that God showers you with his blessings!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Some Giveaways to Check Out

How many of you were awake early this morning even though it's the beginning of break? I could have slept for a while, but little goober was screaming for his mommy by 7:30. Oh well, that's still some extra sleep, and it's not like we rushed to put on real clothes and do anything! We've been taking it easy and playing with all of his new toys from his birthday. Then I had to go and upset him for a haircut, but that meant he was more worn out for his nap.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know about two fabulous giveaways that you don't want to miss! Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties are celebrating one year with two great prizes that any teacher would love to have!

Then be sure you head over to Andrea's blog for her Christmas giveaway where you can get winner's choice from a great selection of stores (mine included)!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Five for Friday: I'm off for Christmas break!!!

Last Saturday, we celebrated Keagan's 2nd birthday! I can't even believe two years have passed since my little goober was born. He has grown into such a handsome, sweet little boy!

Sunday ended up being a GORGEOUS day, so we headed down to Colonial Williamsburg after church to try and get our Christmas card picture. So glad we did! I didn't love the family pictures, but we got some great ones of Keagan. And what better backdrop than beautiful colonial decor?


His favorite part was watching the horses (even though they never moved).

Monday ended up being a half day for me so I could take Keagan to his yearly check-up, so I had to postpone some of my plans (I thought the appointment was at 3 and was just planning on leaving early). Still, we made time for me to read one of my favorite Christmas books, and I was able to update my packet to go along with it!

Create your own Night Before Christmas

On Wednesday, we got to reveal our secret pals. A little secret: I found out who mine was last week because I happened to see her taking my gift to the office. BUT I had no idea until then and was very excited to "officially" find out and thank her! She brought me some yummy Milano cookies (which was perfect because I had just finished the last ones), peppermint M&M's, and some cute snowmen thank you cards that I was able to use for my sweet students' gifts yesterday and today!

I know this is REALLY late, but I left out the word "Christmas" so you could technically use it before any long break. We did this with my fifth graders yesterday, and I was SO thrilled that they got this one! Last year, my group of 5th grade students really struggled, so I'm not sure if this went better because I made it easier or if the kids were just better at it. I'm sticking with the latter!

The Case of the Cookie Thief - an activity for drawing con

I hope everyone was/is able to rush out the door as soon as the day is over, and try to avoid working on too much school work over the break. Take some time to relax and enjoy your family. Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Teacher Fitness Thursday: Favorite Workouts

Only one more morning to wake up for school, then just a few more days until Christmas. I'm hanging in there, but my motivation is almost gone. Today my post has absolutely nothing to do with school, though. It's time for my fourth link-up, and I'm going to actually leave this one open until the next one begins (so you have until January 15 to link up). We're going to begin talking about what will be on a lot of people's minds after the holidays - getting back in shape.

You know...we all overindulge on that yummy candy, especially as elementary teachers who have such sweeties bringing in lots of chocolates and goodies that would just be rude to ignore, right? I've been doing alright pacing myself so far, but I know it's the toughest time to eat well. I'm going to share my two personal favorites for staying in shape today, and I can't wait to hear what you enjoy!

I really like to dance, and Zumba is such a blast if you've never tried it! It's kind of Latin inspired, but you will break quite a sweat and get in a REALLY good workout. I bought a DVD to use at home last year, and that's okay, but I would strongly recommend getting plugged into a Zumba class instead. I know you may feel silly dancing in front of people, but it's even sillier to dance alone in your living room at 5 in the morning. The workouts usually last about an hour, but even doing it once a week is great! One of my friends and co-workers teaches a class after school every once in a while, and another one started up a few weeks ago. I missed the first few classes, but I plan on jumping in again after the holidays!

 photo jillian-michaesl-30-day-shred-review_zpsd5ea6a13.jpg

Since Zumba really wasn't working for me to use on a regular basis with the amount of time it takes, I found this great DVD over the summer and began it. I will be honest with you. It hasn't been opened the entire month, BUT it works and I need to get off my lazy butt! Jillian is fantastic, and this workout is only 20-25 minutes which is perfect for a busy teacher/mom. She breaks the workout into three sections (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs) and then has a quick cool down. Plus there are three different levels, so you can work your way up!

What do you like to do? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Sleighful of Christmas Lessons AND a giveaway

We have been busy, busy, busy with Christmas activities, but I have to say that I've been enjoying them for the most part! Unfortunately I don't have ANY pictures, but I thought I would share some a lot of the things that we've been doing in case you still need ideas to get you through the last few days. Only TWO more mornings to get up and go to school!

Last week, I spent a lot of time using Silver Packages which is my new favorite Christmas book and I wish it wasn't out of print and costing over $100 when I looked it up because I REALLY want my own copy!

I used some great resources from Carla at Comprehension Connection. She's another reading specialist from VA that I met through Andrea, and she also works with older kids. I snagged this for free, but I probably would have bought it if I needed to. It has enough activities to last at least a few days, and they are very well put together!
Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant Guided Reading Unit

Actually, I liked Carla's things so much that I ended up also using her Gingerbread Friends unit this week with my third graders. It worked out perfectly because there is a great sequencing activity, and my little group is REALLY struggling with that right now. Any practice we can do is perfect!

Gingerbread Friends Guided Reading Unit by Jan Brett

Actually, we have been practicing sequencing with Christmas-y stories since last week. 

I found this really fun book that you may not have heard of last year after meeting the author when she came for an author visit at our school. She's SUPER sweet and actually bought the packet that I created (even though I had already sent it to her for free). Anyway, this packet includes an elf writing craft, sequencing cards from the story, and a little game to review sight words from the book.

The Great Christmas Crisis - Elf Writing Craftivity and more

Today, we will be reading The Polar Express and using my sequencing cards that are part of my entire Christmas Literacy Centers pack. I almost wish I could stay in their room all day and enjoy the other Polar Express activities. Especially if they have yummy hot chocolate!

Christmas Literacy Centers - Comprehension and Word Knowledge

Yesterday was Grinch Day in fourth grade, so I whipped up a cute little sheet with the lyrics to You're A Mean One so we could do some close reading. This is really new to me, but it's the second Christmas song we've done (One Horse Open Sleigh with my 5th graders last week along with Erin's unit I mentioned here and here). Funny story? Both songs mention drunkenness (a sot is a drunkard, FYI). That is bound to get the attention of a 4th or 5th grade student, right? I can't post the lyrics I put together because Dr. Seuss's clipart is all copyrighted, but there are lots of great resources on TPT or you can just print out the lyrics from online if you're strapped for money right now from all the Christmas shopping like me and want to go that route.

In 5th grade yesterday, I got to read one of my favorite Christmas books from childhood:

I decided my packet needed a little facelift, so I also worked on that. It just wasn't quite up to my new standards for products, and I have more resources now to make it prettier. The kids were starting their new versions as I left, and I will have to peak in today to see what they came up with!
Create your own Night Before Christmas

I hope you're still reading (or at least skimmed through to the bottom) because my BBB, Andrea, is having a giveaway over at her blog where you can win a lot of great literacy resources. Best part? It's all winner's choice, so you get to go SHOPPING!!

Hang in there! Only 7 more days until Christmas!