Wednesday, July 31, 2013

teaching mishaps.

Since summer vacation is quickly winding down, I've been doing a lot of preparing for the coming year. That means I've been reflecting on some of the things that have happened in the past. This reflection has brought up some things that I'd rather not remember, but that have ultimately made me a better teacher. For instance:

The Time I Lost a Kid
It was my first year of teaching, and I was still trying to get the hang of it. (Heck, I'm entering my THIRD year of teaching and I'm still trying to get the hang of it.) Anyway, I got my very first new student after about 4 weeks. Things were going well, and she was learning how we do things. Back then, we had recess before lunch. After the kids got their energy out, it was time for lunch. We went back inside to wash hands and get lunch boxes. I passed out all the lunch cards...and I had one extra. Guess who's? Yep...the new girl's. Because she wasn't with us. Instant terror. I lost a kid. Most likely outside. I teach on MAIN STREET. Obviously a very busy street. I grabbed another teacher to watch my class while I SPRINTED back downstairs and out to the playground. No kids in sight. More terror. Kidnapped? Hit by a car? Captured by aliens? I raced back inside, nearly in tears and dreading going to administration about it. When I got back upstairs, a first grade teacher caught me and said, "Hey, is this your new girl? She wandered in from recess with my class." Instant relief, even though the little girl was hysterically crying. I scooped her up and gave her a loving, but stern lecture about how we can't just walk with whatever grown-up we want to. I am her grown-up, and she needs to stick with me. Then I gave her one last HUGE hug and sent her off to lunch. I haven't lost a kid since then. I now make sure I constantly monitor the number of kids I have at all times. I count them constantly. The kids all know the "Magic Number" each day, which is the number of students present. And they cooperate when I count to see if we reach that magic number. And we do. Every time.

The Time I Scarred My Students' View of Ice Cream
During a unit on healthy living (also during my first year of teaching), I had shown the kids a YouTube video about eating healthy foods. After the video was over, we had about 5 extra minutes until it was time to pack up and go home. The kids asked if we could watch another video. I'm pretty flexible, so I said, "Sure...look, here's a video with dancing fruit! Let's watch that one!" I pressed play, and while the fruit began dancing, and singing about vitamins and calcium and stuff, I used the extra time to pass papers into their mailboxes. Next thing I know, the sweet song is being overshadowed by gunfire, and the kids started screaming. I whipped around, and lo and behold, a bunch of Evil Ice Cream Cones came out of the woodwork with machine guns and were shooting all the fruit! Clearly, this was incredibly inappropriate to be showing 4 and 5 year olds in school, so I raced back to my laptop and slammed it shut. Then I had 25 sets of eyes on me...and lots of silence. "Well...I guess that's just another reason why we shouldn't choose to eat ice cream. Um...why don't we read a story?" Moral of the story: PREVIEW every video before you show it to your students.

The Time There Weren't Even Words To Describe It
Also known as, The Time I Caught My Student Making Dirt Angels. This was actually about 8 weeks ago. And I'm still shaking my head.

Those are just THREE of the many many mishaps I've had in my first two years of teaching. I can think of tons more. Maybe this will have to become a series. I think back to my first class and I kinda feel bad for them. They were the guinea pigs. But I think they'll probably always be my favorites. And God bless them for turning out okay at the end of the year with a spaz of a teacher like me!

xoxo, wife.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

a produce headache.

Ty has been on a huge health kick lifestyle change since January. I think it's cool and he's gotten really healthy and lost a lot of weight doing it. However, I had a major issue with ONE aspect of the healthiness.

The mass amounts of produce.

I can overlook the fact that it's pretty expensive. You can't put a price on health, so I understand. That doesn't bother me.
What bothered me is that it took up so much counter space. And we don't have a ton of counter space to begin with. I like to keep the counters as uncluttered as possible.

Well let me tell ya, our counters have continuously looked like this since January.

Not acceptable at all.

Now, I was nice and kept my raging thoughts to myself for 7 months. SEVEN MONTHS! Every time I cleaned the kitchen and it just never looked clean...just kept my mouth shut.

Then, one day late last week I was doing my daily counter wipe-down. I got over to this produce corner, and when I ran my cloth over the counter, a huge black cloud of gnats flew up into my face. I immediately began yelling (to no one, because I was home alone) about how gross it was, and how I couldn't take it anymore. Then I noticed this...

I think it's safe to say that this is where the gnats came from. We've been ordering bananas by the case...the CASE...for several months now because we go through so many of them. In case you're wondering, a case is 40 pounds of bananas. Well since it's been so hot lately, the bananas are ripening so much more quickly, and these just split open.

I called Ty and told him that something had to be done about this problem. I couldn't have all that crap sitting all over the counter anymore. I got on my trusty Pinterest sight and looked at ideas for storing produce. They were nice, but mostly expensive. Then I happened to look over at the baker's rack we have in the corner of the dining room.

We've never used it for anything practical...we just keep decorations and stuff on it. So I decided to go and get some nice baskets from TJMaxx and put the produce in them on the shelves. Look at how fabulous the corner of the counter looks now!!

Huge difference, right? I told Ty that he could keep that little bowl of cherry tomatoes on the counter, and he can stick one bunch of bananas on top of that wire rack, but that's it. The rest of it stays off the counters and either in the baskets or the fridge.

Ahhhh. The counters are clean. The baskets are full. The gnats are gone. And I think my blood pressure went down 20 points. Thank you, baskets (and Ty, for going along with this new system.)

xoxo, wife.

Monday, July 29, 2013

the unwanted monday helper.

This morning I sat down with my piles of stuff to cut out for work.

It was all going smoothly, until...

Someone thought that playing with his milk ring was much more important.

Needless to say, my stuff is STILL not cut out.
Thanks a lot, Bubba.

xoxo, wife.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

what my iphone says about my life lately.

I took an old baby formula can (thanks to my sis-in-law) and used some washi tape to cutesy it up.
I'll be storing sight word popsicle sticks in it.

Speaking of sight words, I've adopted a whole new list for this year. Lord help me, I'm going to attempt to teach the kids 100 sight words by the end of the year. In case you don't know, sight words are words that kids need to be able to recognize instantly by sight. They are all words that appear very often in print, and more often than not, cannot be sounded out phonetically. Hence the reason that it's going to be difficult to teach 100 of them, on top of all the other words we learn to read. I've taught 75 a year in the past, but I think I can push them to get to 100!

I scored this super cute ottoman for my reading area at school ON CLEARANCE! Whoop Whoop!

I'm a storage container Queen. I stopped by the Dollar Store to pick up these containers in my classroom colors. The buckets will be used to store math centers, and the smaller containers will hold game pieces, dominoes, dice, etc. All of this was less than $20.

Ty brought me flowers the other day, because he thought I seemed a little sad the night before and thought I could use a pick-me-up.

I got a notification on my phone that informed me I sold my first product on Teachers Pay Teachers! It's a website where teachers can create and sell resources for other teachers. I created and put up some things before school was out for the summer, and have been waiting patiently for something to sell. The other teachers have been at it awhile, and have learned how to make really awesome stuff with all this cool clip art and font stuff, but I'm still learning. I was happy that I finally sold something, though. Unfortunately, it was only a $1 item, and I made a whopping 30 cents on it! I'm raking in the big bucks now!

I made some flower magnets. I also made some with buttons in my classroom colors, but I didn't take a picture of them.

I made this upper/lower case matching game with plastic spoons. Seems silly, but the kids will get a kick out of playing a game with spoons.

I know this is blurry, but I had to capture this one. I spent over an hour laminating the other day. We never hang out in the office, so Bubba was intrigued and spent the entire time with me in there. He even curled up and laid in ABBY'S spot! This is where we keep Abby sometimes when we leave for the day, so she's got her own little bed area.

And last but not least, these are the name tags I picked for my kids this year. I think they're soooooo cute! I also got bulletin board borders to match!!

And that's pretty much what my iphone has to say about my life lately.

xoxo, wife.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Last night, we headed out to the county fair.

I got super excited about this when I saw it because I thought it was the world's largest pear.
Turns out it was just a gourd. 
But it would be pretty dang awesome if it WAS a pear.

We got some food and went to an elephant show! It was so cool. We learned a lot about the only two species of elephants that are left on Earth, and got to see them do lots of cool tricks.

These piglets were born 4 days ago! They were so stinking cute!

This was the runt...and I immediately wanted him. The poor thing couldn't get any food, and kept wandering over to his mommy's face like, "Help Mom, I don't know what to do!"

Then I was secretly scared that I breathed in some Swine Flu.

This baby goat was born two days ago. So cute.

Then my husband had a conversation with a goat.

And these goats were wearing Snuggies. Too cool!

I tried to get this miniature donkey's attention for about 10 minutes inside the barn. He was only interested in eating poop. So I finally got to pet him outside.

And clearly, a trip to the fair wouldn't be complete without an elephant ear. After an earlier trip to the Dairy Bar, I wasn't even hungry. But I had to suck it up for the goodness of the fried-dough-with-cinnamon.

And I shared. For the first time in my life.

Until next year, Country Fair.

xoxo, wife.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

tying it all together.

Another classroom decoration craft. Hopefully this isn't getting too boring. Anyway, I've been seeing all these fun fabric garlands all over the internet. I thought they looked really cute, and could add a fun touch to my classroom.

I went to Hobby Lobby and chose 5 different fabrics that matched the colors in my room, and some twine. That's all you need! (And scissors and hands, I suppose.) I got 8 inches of each fabric.

Then I cut the fabric into one-inch(ish) strips. There's no need to measure or be exact, which is the excellent part for me.

I thought it would be easiest to put the fabric on the twine if it was actually strung up to something, rather than just lying loose on the table, so I tied it to two of our kitchen chairs. Bubba was not pleased.

Then I loop-tied (does that even make sense?) the fabric strips onto the garland in a pattern. This is how it turned out.

I made a long one (above) and a shorter one (below.) I'm not quite sure where they'll go in my classroom, but I picture the longer one up by the board somewhere. And I'll probably put the shorter one over by my desk somewhere.

This had to be the cheapest project I've ever done. All the fabric was on sale, and since I only got 8 inches of each, they were only about $1 a piece. Then I paid about $3 for the twine. So the whole thing cost me about $8, and I have TONS of twine left.

I'm thinking about making one to hang up on our curtain rod in the living room. I'd use burlap strips in it, because EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BURLAP! I'm starting to think that's my motto.

If you'd like to commission me to make you one of these, let me know. It was so fun, I think I'm going to open a shop haha!

xoxo, wife.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

he's full of it.

Last night around 10pm Ty started having some bad stomach pains. Pains to the point where he couldn't stand up straight...he had to be hunched over. He played his video game to try to keep his mind off it, and we went to bed a little after midnight. Around 2:15 he woke me up to tell me that he was miserable and that if it didn't get better soon, I'd need to take him to the ER. Around 4, I heard him vomiting in the bathroom. I got up to get him some water, and he said he hadn't slept at all yet, and that he was in the worst pain he'd ever been in. Since he'd just thrown up, I suggested we wait an hour to see if that helped, and if it didn't I'd take him to Urgent Care. I figured that would be way cheaper than the ER, and if it was something really serious, we could always go to the hospital after.

He laid in bed tossing, turning, and moaning. Then the poor guy was in the bathroom again with dry heaves. He came back to the bedroom and said that he needed to go to the Urgent Care center. So at 5am, we got in the car and I drove to the office. Ty sat hunched over the entire ride.

The doctor came in, did his thing, and then got some lab work started to see what was going on.

His lab work came back normal, which was good news. But they still didn't quite know what was wrong, so they sent him back for x-rays. The x-rays told the doctor what the rest of the world has known all along: Ty is full of crap.

He was totally backed up, and that was why he was in so much pain. He'd most likely thrown up because of how much it hurt. The doc wrote a prescription for pain and nausea medications, and gave us some instructions for some laxatives and stool softener. Since it was still only 7am, none of the pharmacies were open yet. I took him home to try to get some sleep, and I ran out later to get his stuff.

He slept for about 6 hours, which was good. Now he's taking it easy, and trying to poo.

I'm glad it didn't end up being a more serious problem, but I do feel bad that he's been in so much pain. Hopefully he'll feel all better soon.

xoxo, wife.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

weekend shenanigans.

Yesterday I posted about Lohmar's wedding that we went to Sunday, so now I'll go back to Saturday. Sometimes it's okay to go backwards. 

I heard about a "Free Teacher Store" that a local organization was doing. All I had to do was take my ID, and I was able to get all this stuff for my classroom for FREE! Those are 3 brand new backpacks I'm holding. Still in the plastic...FREE! Pencils, crayons, colored pencils, binders, folders, notebooks, pens, tape, etc...ALL FREE! Free is my favorite number.

We had gotten tickets to see South Pacific at a local theater. We got there and realized that there were two different productions of the show. One was the All Adult production, and the other was an All Children's production. Guess which one we accidentally got tickets to. Yep...the kid's one. So all the actors were 14 and under. We decided to stay, and it was actually pretty good.

Ty used some of his money from selling his motorcycle to get this 4-Wheeler to help with all the work he and his dad do in the woods. I had never seen it (or the woods, really), so he took me for a ride, and then took Caleb (who is staying with Ty's parents for the week) for a quick spin. I got hit in the head with thorny sticks. Caleb did not.

 Then we had some dinner and hung out for awhile. Ty and Caleb wrestled, and I tried to protect myself from the occasional flying leg or elbow

 We also went to Red Lobster with them after church on Sunday. Caleb ordered an ADULT portion of crab legs. He's 7. No one at the table knew how to crack them open effectively, and we were schooled by the waitress. It was all very funny.

Thank you Weekend. For your fun-ness. It was well received.

xoxo, wife.