Sunday, April 26, 2015

$100 Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

I can finally spill the beans!!!!  All of the bloggers over at iTeach Second have teamed up to honor teachers this week!  We are giving away 4 $25 gift cards to four of your favorite places!!!!

First, Target.  What can you not love about Target?!   Just think of the things you can purchase for your classroom!  What about some candy for your candy jar or some new organizers? I always needs pens and post its too!!  

Then, there is Starbucks.  Grab a yummy treat to jump start your day.  Or, sneak in a quick snack for the road!

Who can live without Amazon?  I know I can’t for sure!  As teachers, we don’t have time to shop!  I don’t know about you, but I order 50% of my classroom things using my Amazon Prime account.  I about freaked when I found out my husband got Prime, but now I am SO glad he did!  It is WELL worth it!  Just think of all the books you could purchase!

And last, but surely not least, a TPT gift card.  What is there not to love about free teacher stuff?  Head on over to check out some things in my store that you could purchase with your TPT card if you are the winner.  A Mother's Day Crafty, an amazing Last Day of School Summer Fun Packet, or a great set of Summer Fun Math and Literacy worksheets to get through those last few weeks of school!  

Head on over NOW to enter to win!  Hurry, giveaway ends May 2nd!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Time to Reward Ourselves

As a teacher myself, I really know that teachers have one of the hardest jobs.  Not only do we teach our precious kiddos all day, but we also spend hours preparing, creating, grading, and so much more.  So, don’t you think it would be fitting to reward ourselves?  A blog that I am a part of, iTeach Second, is doing just that!  They are going to reward all of our hard work.  Here is a sneak peak of what is coming.  I can’t say much else (it’s a secret), but stay tuned!   

iTeach Second Blogger

I was quite surprised, shocked actually, to be invited to become a blogger on the iTeach Second blog.  

The first question I asked myself was, “Why me?  Why would they pick me?”  I had a blog a while back, but didn’t keep up with it.  
Literally, a month or so before I was invited to join the blog, I was thinking that I should start blogging again.  So, once I joined the iTeach Second team and learned that I was the only one without a blog, I panicked.  EEEKKK!  The ONLY one?!  So, I got to researching.  I looked around for someone who could design my blog quickly and professionally.  That is when I found Kreated By Kelsey.  She was AMAZING!  I had a vision, but she turned it into a reality! She litterally finished the blog design in a couple of days since she knew I was in a hurry.  I am still new to this whole blogging thing, but I want to learn!  So, my blog may not be as amazing as most of the others, but I hope that it will be one day.  For now, I plan on just posting as I feel led (and have time for), but I hope to get on a schedule one day.  Right now, I am just trying to manage family, teaching, creating, blogging, and life, one day at a time!  I know it will get easier as the days go on (at least I hope), but with kids growing up, I have a feeling that things will just be getting more hectic.  I can only do what I can do, that is my motto.  I love giving 100% to anything that I am involved in, but I also know I have to prioritize.  My family is first and everything else comes after that.  So, I tell myself, yet again, I can only do what I can do. 

Some people ask me, “How do you have time to do all of this stuff?”  Well, as soon as I put the kids to be around 8 or 8:15, I retreat to my room, work on my laptop creating things for school and TPT, and watching my shows at the same time!  Then, it is lights off around 10:30 to 11.  My husband is a fire fighter and works a shift schedule, so when it is just me and the kids, I can work away.  When Luke is here, we either work together (as he does a lot of stuff on his laptop too), relax in the bath, or spend time together!  We love hanging out, even if we are not interacting, just in the same room together!  There are some nights where I am just too tired to do anything!  Some nights I just lay in bed and watch TV.  This is rare, but it does happen.  Weekend are different though.  We spend time hanging out with the kids, neighbors, or friends.  We are at church every Sunday and catch up on housework and laundry. 

We also like doing projects as a family.  Here is one of our latest projects. 

Kids' bookshelf made with plastic rain gutters.

I wanted a bookshelf, as the kids’ books were just stuffed in a toy box and were driving me crazy!  So, I started researching cheap and easy ways to store books and this is what we came up with. We already have a bright and colorful upstairs, so it just seemed fitting to create something similar (and fun)!  We love the way it turned out, and the kids loved helping us create it.  Overall, it cost about $40 because we just had to pay for the gutters and the plastic ends.  We already had the paint left over.  Right now, we are working on our flower beds.  We don’t let the kids use technology during the school week, so they have plenty of time to help us out with projects such as this one!  It’s a win/win!  Ha!  Mainly a win for Luke and I since we get free manual labor!  

Maddie helping pour out mulch!

Logan helping out too!

I love my “Busy Me Plus Three” life and feel honored to be invited to blog on iTeach Second.  Please be sure and pop over to check it out.  There are so many tips, tricks, and great information on there.  Be sure to follow us!  Here is my first blog post on the iTeach Second site.  I can’t wait until the next one!



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Beyond Brave

We have had a sad couple of weeks.  It was a Thursday afternoon when I got a call in my classroom that my daughter’s favorite dog (her grandma’s) was going to have to be put to sleep.  It happed rather quickly.  Tuesday she had gotten sick and needed a blood transfusion. My sister is a vet tech and was able to get her in very quickly to see a specialist.  She had her procedure and was doing better that night and the next day.  However, Thursday she took a turn for the worse.

This dog, Sandy, meant everything to my daughter, Madison.  When I asked Madison what she wanted for Christmas, she said, “All I want is Sandy.”  When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, “I just want Sandy,” she would say.  See, Sandy was my grandpa’s dog, but my grandpa passed away in August.  Since my grandpa lived with my mom, she kept Sandy once he passed away.  Maddie thought that maybe there was a chance that we could keep Sandy.  Sandy shed so badly.  She also barked like crazy and would run away.  I told Madison that Sandy was happy at Grammy’s house, but we could go visit her often!  And we did.  Any time we would go to Grammy’s, the first thing Maddie would do is run over to Sandy and pick her up like a big baby!  She would cuddle with her, rock her, and even take selfies with her!  She loved that dog like crazy.

Maddie and Sandy at Grammy's house

When I got the call, it stopped me dead in my tracks because I knew Madison would be heart broken.  My sister had gone to pick up Sandy at the specialist's office and was taking her back to the veterinary clinic that she worked for to be put down.  I asked my sister if she could bring Sandy by our school to let Maddie say her goodbyes.  I then called her teacher and told her what was going on.  I told Maddie too.  When my sister got there, we walked out and met her and Sandy at the car.
Maddie saying her goodbyes
We were both crying and when we opened the door, there was Sandy, lying there in her little dog bed.  The tears streamed down both of our faces.  My heart ached for my little girl.  Something so precious was about to be taken from her.  She was forced to have to say goodbye.  She wasn’t ready to say goodbye, but she had to.  And, she had to do it at school.  I couldn’t believe she was having to go through this.  We stood there at the car for about 5 minutes just petting Sandy and crying.  I told Maddie that we had to say our last goodbyes.  We walked into the planning room and cried some more together, and I hugged the mess out of her.  I told her that she was so brave.  I knew it was so hard for her, but she was so courageous.  We prayed for her and for Sandy.  I asked the Lord to comfort her and thanked Him for giving me such a strong and brave daughter.  How amazing.  How can I be blessed with such an amazing daughter?  I am beyond proud of her.  I had to get back to class (I had my door partner covering for me) and told Madison that I wished I could stay in there and hug her forever.  She told me that she was ready to go back to class.  I told her she could go into the restroom and clean up and go back when she was ready.  All I could think about is how brave she was.  She had to go back to class and function.  She had to go back and work.  My heart just hurt.  That night and over the last couple of weeks, we have spent time crying, reminiscing, and praying.  Prayers for strength and comfort.  Tears of sadness and loss.  And smiles of good times that were shared with Sandy.  We will miss Sandy for sure.  Maddie will never forget her and will always cherish the time she had with her.  She will keep her little clay paw print that my sister made for her in a safe place and will cherish the sweet note that her class made for her.  And, I hope that she will always remember that she can get through anything.  She is a strong girl.  She is courageous.  She is amazing.  She is loved and cherished. She is beyond brave.