Friday, December 14, 2012

CT Tragedy...

As we all know, it is almost Christmas break. My kids checked out about 2 weeks ago, you know just as they came back from Thanksgiving break.  Since then I felt a huge sense of annoyance. I have so much to teach, they have so much to learn and they have check out, great.  I have felt as though any and everything I say or expect is completely thrown out of the door.  We have had to have several "talks" about their behavior and my expectations, even if it is almost Christmas break.  I have been thankful that this break is almost here, but aggrevated that it has gotten here faster.  I told myself mid-day today that I was going to just make the most of this next week, enjoy this fun time of year with my kids, and have fun with them.  I told myself this in an effort to hopefully get this week to fly by. 

After lunch, I received news about Newtown, CT.  All I knew was that there was a shooting at a school with almost 20 confirmed dead.  I didn't know that it in CT, I assumed it was a High School or Middle School, never would I have imagined that it was actually an Elementary school.  Knowing only the little bit that I knew, my heart ached.  My heart ached for those that lost their life, the injured, those that lost their loved ones, the children and staff who had to hear/see the horrific scene.  It wasn't until another teacher came into my room, asked if I knew and shared the details about the fact that it was actually an Elementary School. I didn't know what to say.  I was speechless.  My heart already ached at the thought of almost 20 people losing their life.  Learning that it was an elementary school made it even more realistic.  My heart sank to my feet, or at least that is what if felt like.  Now, please don't get me wrong, it is horrific and tragic no matter where this took place, High School , Middle School, Private School, Mall, etc .... but the fact that it was an elementary school, an elementary school like the one I call my second home, that is what really broke my heart.  It was even worse finding out that it was the babies of that school, the kindergarten kids, that lost their lives.
I look at this in several perspectives.  One being the annoyed teacher that I was this morning and several mornings this week.  Now I just feel plain guilty.  I look at it as if it had been my kids and this was my last feeling before something horrific happened.  I know, I am nothing near perfect, we all have our days.  However, if anything tragic like this ever happened and involved any of my kids and this was the last thing I remember of them, of how I was, I don't know that I ever be able to fully forgive myself for my feelings and my ability to not be as patient as I should be.  I would be completely devastated if anything were to happen to any of my kids. 

My child is my world, just in case any of you were unaware of that.  I could say, she would never go to public school and I would either home school her or put her in a private school (actually someone had posted that on Facebook, today) after hearing about another horrid school shooting.... but I live in a world of reality, a world where tragedy is part of everyday, unfortunately.  I know that regardless of how much I try to shelter my child, I will never  be able to prevent her from seeing/experiencing all of the evils of the world.  Looking at the events of today's tragedy from the stance of a parent is not that different than as a teacher for me though, maybe because I look at my students as though they are actually MY children.  I would be beyond devastated if anything were to happen to my child(ren).  I don't know how I would cope.  I don't know how I would go on.  I would feel as though my world had shattered into pieces that could never be put back together.

Some people may say, if there is a God, how could he allow such an awful thing to happen?  The truth is that while God is in control of a lot, many people fall to the temptation of the Devil.  I believe that is what happened today.  I do not know everything, but what I know though is that there is in fact a wonderful God who does love us, who will comfort us, who will try to help us put the pieces to our heart/life back together when tragedy strikes.  We have a God that loves us, regardless of what we've done.

As awful as I feel about being annoyed this week, I know that my rislliant children will bounce back, love me as much on Monday as they did today, yesterday, and the day before.  Teachers, remember, we are blessed, even on days we don't feel so blessed, to spend the time we have with our little ones.  We are blessed to a part of such a wonderful profession that allows us to watch children grow, to protect them from the little we can, make them believe in the good things in life, and love them when there is no one else to.  Parents, remember all of the above as well, YOU ARE your child's first teacher, you are their life long teacher.  Hug them, kiss them, snuggle with them, tell them you love them, and most of all share the story of their almighty God with them.  When there is nothing else to believe in, he is there for them (and us) to fall back on.

Needless to say, I'm praying.  Praying for the victims.  Praying for the families of the vicitims.  Praying for comfort.  Praying for peace.  Praying for answers.  Praying for understanding.   Praying for our country.
My last and final thing to share is another facebook post, one I couldn't agree with more:
"This is about mental health, not about gun control" 

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 in '12 .... Don't mind if I do!

So I just saw this new linky party and couldn't resist!! Who doesn't want to reminise throughout the year and think about all of their favorite things?!?! Well, maybe you don't, but I do!!! :)
Click on the picture to check out the Linky Party!
Here it goes, my favorite 12 in '12!

12. Favorite movie you watched: I would have to say The Vow, even though I hated the ending!  .... How pathetic is it that I actually had to google search 2012 movie releases to find out what came out this year?!  I don't make it to the movies nearly as often as I did before Baby B! 

11. Favorite TV series: Duck Dynasty... This is a new favorite.  I seriously only began watching it about a week ago and no lie, even though it's slightly ridiculous, I love it.  Maybe because in a way it reminds me so much of the craziness of my family!
10. Favorite restaurant: Without hesitation, McAlister's Deli.... It's so difficult to go out to eat with a little one, but when I do this is usually top on our list!  Yummy food, reasonably priced, and a good atmosphere!

9. Favorite new thing you tried: Hands down, blogging!  Sometimes I feel like blogging is my therapy... haha, no joke!

8. Favorite gift you got: My Silhouette!  It is technically a Christmas gift from my dad, but he said I could just order it and ship it to my house and have it early!!! I have only made one things so far, but that is only because it is hard to work with the machine and keep my (almost 18 month old) toddler from getting the big middle of it all!  My to-do list  want to accomplish/try list is super long!  C'mon Christmas Break!

7. Favorite thing you pinned: Ok, so I didn't technically pin this... I actually found it on Facebook, but I totally would have pinned it if I saw in on Pinterest!
6. Favorite blog post:  When I read this, my first thought was my post about Writer's Workshop, also titled I admit it, I'm a teacher nerd, not only was learning about writer's workshop an awesome experience, I had a blast blogging and sharing about it, too! :)

5. Best accomplishment: Surviving the first year of motherhood as a single mommy! 
This was taken at Sea World, Berklee's first real vacation in honor of her birthday this summer!
4. Favorite picture: I love that this picture perfectly depicts our relationship!
3. Favorite memory: The first time Berklee came up to me and gave me a kiss on her own, just because! :) Melts my heart every single time!

2. Goal for 2013: Become more consistent with my blogging

1. One Little Word:  Faith  ... Without this I don't know where I would be today.  Faith that the Lord knows what he is doing and has a plan much bigger than I could ever imagine for me and my little one.  Faith that everything is just as it should be for now.  Faith that no matter what I've been handed, I can handle it. :) Ok.... So one word turned into about 30.... But I was just explaining my one word! ;) 

Until next time..... 8.5 days and counting! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bloggy Award?!?!

So on my last blog post, too long ago, I got a comment from a new reader, Brooke, over at Whoooo's in Second?  She mentioned that she had nominated my blog for an award, cool huh?!?!  Ok, well I thought so.  I mean seriously, I haven't been doing this for long and I'm still trying to learn how to manage the blog, being a teacher, and most importantly being a MOMMY!
Basically the nomination is given to bloggers who have under 200 followers.  Well me, yes, I have well under 200 followers.... I'm trying to build on that, but I'm only at a puny 12 followers as of now.  I can tell I have lots of readers due to the page count views, but followers not so much.  SO if you're reading this and you read it consistently, follow!! ;) haha   Seriously though, thank you so much to my readers and my followers, it makes sharing this journey even more rewarding knowing that you enjoy reading! :)

Here are the rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

So let me get started.....

11 Randoms....
1. I am the oldest of eight kids, yes eight.  My family is blended, so out of the other seven only one is considered my full blooded sibling.  However, I would be lost without all of them, they are all my "real" siblings! 
2. In high school, my senior year I was the mascot.  GO TIGERS!
3. My favorite Disney movie is Cinderella, I still find myself wanting to watch ocassionally.
4. Even though my little one is old enough to pull ornaments off the tree to play with, I braved it and have put glass ornaments on the tree this year!
5. I have believed ever since I was a child that I would be a teacher, but when I first entered college I had the crazy idea that I might should be a nurse.  Needless to say, that idea lasted less than two years before I came to the realization that I could NEVER be a nurse!
6. I love my MAC and would truly be lost without it.  
7. Creating fun things to do in my classroom, using my mac, is a serious stress reliever for me.  I get so lost in what I'm doing that I completely forget about all the stressors!
8.  I'm not a neat freak, but I hate messes and am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to things that I do.
9.  I love washing laundry, seriously I do.  It's the folding and putting it away part that I loathe. 
10. I would much rather be cold than hot.  I love wearing sweatshirts and layering on the covers!
11. Christmas time is my favorite time of year, I love giving gifts, hearing the music, seeing the beautiful decorations and lights, but most of all I love my mantle being full of different nativity scenes.  I seriously was thinking that maybe I need to keep those out year around because I love seeing them so much! 

Questions from Brooke
1.  What grade is your favorite, and are you currently teaching it? My favorite grade is second and am currently teaching it.  Actually to be honest it's the only grade I've taught other than when I taught first in student teaching.  I couldn't imagine a better grade level to teach though, I love it!
2.  What's your secret stash at school - you know, post-it's, tape, or colored pencils? SHARPIES! I'm absolutely obsessed with sharpies and makers in general.  Oh and twistable crayons, I love those, too!
3.  If you have a favorite subject, what is it and why? I would have to say that my favorite subject is writing, this is a recent development.  After several workshops with Melissa Leach over the summer, I have fallen in love with teaching writing!  I love seeing the kids grow and watching the lightbulb flicker when they have ideas they want to share!
4.  How are you implementing the CCSS standards in your classroom? Honestly, I'm in Texas and we don't have to follow Common Core so...... I just follow my TEKS. :)
5.  Post a picture of your room for us to see - I know, not a question, but the question is, what's it look like where you teach your babies?
Forgive me, I don't really have any recent pictures of just the classroom.  This was taken just before meet the teacher this year! 

6.  What holiday tradition is most important to you?I would say Christmas Eve and Morning.  We always go to church on Christmas Eve and then spend the night together before we head to bed and the elves get to work. ;)  Christmas morning, we always have our sausage balls and cinnamon rolls and then watch my younger siblings empty stockings and open presents.  I love the excitement and joy of this, not to mention that I am with my amazing family!
7.  Does your school have clubs, and if so, what and when are they? My school has a couple different clubs, we have chess club and just created a science olympiad club.  In addition to those, we also have what we call "Enrichment Groups" where ALL of the students PRE-K through 5th get to go to an interest group (crafts, basketball, archery, board games, photography, etc.) once a week on Friday mornings.  When you think about it, it's a really awesome opportunity for our kiddos, although it can be mad chaos at times!
8.  How do you teach guided reading?  I teach guided reading during my literacy centers time.  I have groups leveled by ability and try to get to each group a minimum on once a week.  With the range of readers that I have within my classroom sometimes it's hard to reach each group at least twice.
9.  What blogger was your inspiration for beginning your own blog?  My biggest inspiration was my co-worker, Gwen.  She has her own blog about her family, life, classroom, etc.  She encouraged me to share my story and journey with others!
10. Be honest, we won't tell your husband - how much do you spend on school stuff? More than I should, I usually try to limit myself to no more than $50 a month... This includes art supplies, books, fun stuff, decorations............
11. What is your most memorable moment as a teacher?  So this should probably be one of those "teachable moments" that is most memorable.... well to be honest, the first memorable moment that comes to mind is more of an embarressing moment.  It was my first year of teaching, meet the teacher night.... I remember carefully reviewing my roster, color coding things for boys vs. girls.  I have had about half of my kiddos arrive and then comes in another one.  I will never forget my first impression with this family.  The name of the student was one that could go either way, boy or girl.  My roster said girl, but when they arrived I knew immediately the roster must have been wrong.  After I introduce myself and greet the student and the family, I tell the family that they can go find "his" cubby and put his supplies inside... Well turns out "he" was a "she" and Dad was quick to correct me, making me feel about an inch tall... needless to say, I will never assume again and always go off of what my roster says!! Yeesh!

Nominations-As I was going through blogs, it seemed as though every blog I cam upon had well over 200 followers OR they have already been nominated for this award.  So here are a few that I follow that I have nominated. :)
Simply Skilled in Second   
Teaching with Moxie
The Learning Effect
Special Hearts, Special Smarts
Learning with Mrs. Leeby

Nominee Questions:
1. As a teacher, what is your most embarrassing moment? 
2. On your days off, especially those 3 day weekends, what is your favorite things to do?
3. What was your favorite show as a child?
4. How long have you been teaching and what grades have you taught?

5. Who was your inspiration to become a teacher?
6. What is your all time favorite book to read aloud to your kids?
7.  What do you like most about the school you teach at?
8.  What or who was your biggest inspiration to start your blog?
9. Do you use social media in your classroom?  If so what do you use?
10. If you hit the lottery, what would you do?  Would you still teach?
11. How do you celebrate the holidays?

I am excited for these next two weeks, only because I'm ready for them to be over! ;) 9.5 school days... This week will be jammed pack getting the last few things taught and assessed.  The last week will be all kinds of fun and art to do with different cultures and how they celebrate their holidays!  My next post will include some examples of the AWESOME poetry that my students have written over the past two weeks.  Seriously, talk about one impressed teacher!! Makes me want to teach poetry everyday!  The kids loved it just as much as I did. 

I will leave you with a picture of our elf... He arrived on Monday specially packaged.  The kids were beyond thrilled when their special package arrived.  Jingles, that's the name the students came up with, was well behaved most of the week until Friday... He stole my Peppermint M&M's and apparently decided to share with all of the other stuffed animals in the room, too! Mischievous little guy!

Oh and of course I can't share all of these and not share one more of my little one! :)
Blowing Kisses

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I am so happy that it is December, this is one of my favorite times of year.  I love the decorations, the music, lights, movies, and Christmas sweaters (YES, I am proud to say that I am one of those teachers that L-O-V-E-S to wear Christmas sweaters, I get it from my mom!)  The only thing that I wish I could count on was the cooler weather, but unfortunately, Texas has a mind of it's own.  Apparently 80 degrees weather in December is perfectly acceptable!?!?!?  Anywho, this is going to be short and sweet, since I STILL have lesson plans to finish!  I guess you could call me a  procrastinator.

I decided to link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her December currently!  Check it out! :)
Wishing everyone a wonderful week!!! :)  Only three more until our next break!