Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Spirit & a little Wanderlust

The holidays are upon us!  In the last couple weeks I finished some Christmas gifts as well as putting up decorations around the house.  My Pandora has been set to Christmas music since Thanksgiving... but it officially feels like the holidays when you can come home to see the lights on the house, in the windows, and the glow from the Christmas tree... ahhh, the ambiance of the Christmas decorations!  Only one week before it's Winter Break... but it's going to be a BUSY week filled with student-led conferences, our first home gymnastics meet of the season, and all the planning to prepare for January (so I don't have to, fingers crossed, take all the planning home over the break).
Here's a peek into just some of the holiday spirit around the house.  Also due to the burlap craze... I switched out the usual red ribbons for burlap.  Tied ornaments on the tree with twine instead of the traditional hooks.  Still need to complete the tree skirt in burlap... that's still on my to do list with a few other things!
Hanging Christmas cards we get...

Burlap bows
changed the decorations on the burlap wreath

REAL Christmas tree this year!  That's a first! 
Still need to finish decorating...

go figure Koda's stocking is as big as ours?!

and that Lilly's is bigger than Mishka's...

Okay... not a Christmas decoration... but SO TRUE! 

There's still so many little things to finish.... so I'll leave today with some quotes I've pinned on Pinterest about traveling.  Still not sure if we'll take our usual trip during Spring Break due to national boards.  I might need that time to finish?!  But as usual I browse through looking at what's 'out there'...

So many places to explore!  Maybe one day my journey will continue throughout the world... and not just on vacations...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Creating a signature

So I left with the intention of working on national boards 'stuff'.  And I did!  But I couldn't stay focused for long.  I wanted to figure out how to create a 'signature' for my blog.  After browsing through many how-to's I was able to figure some things out.  I also learned how to create a new font! Two for one!  I still want to take some time making it better but for now this is what I've created:

Already back

Wow.  I didn't even search yet.  Back here to post a few more things I'd worked on.  Quite a bit happens in a year?!  I'll try to keep it simple.

30th Birthday.  Created these treats for Ty's 30th.

Mother's Day tags.  Created these for a graduation/mother's day celebration.  We hooked each tag to flowers for the 'moms' to take after the graduation party.
Found the idea on Pinterest.

Volunteer Gifts.  Searched around on Pinterest and found this idea to create cups for the volunteers that helped in the classroom all year.

End of the Year Gifts.   At the end of the each gymnastics season I create booklets for the gymnasts with the season stats/info.  I decided to create a similar booklet for my students that would be a mini 'scrapbook' of their year.  I started in September and saved any 'craft' (or artsy items I figured a parent might want to keep )we worked on throughout the year.  Each booklet was put together with items from Sept to June.  All year they looked forward to receiving their 'Memory Book'.  When the last day of school arrived you would have thought I handed them a $100 bill!  They were also looking forward to receiving their framed Wordle I put together for each student.  Students filled descriptions for one another and I simply created a wordle and printed and framed them.  On the last day we all sat around and I read off the descriptions before saying who it was.  Again.  $100 bill. Their faces were beaming as they walked up to receive their frame.  They felt proud and truly enjoyed hearing what their classmates thought of them.  It was also fun to hear them all guess who I was describing!

Memory Books

Wordles for each student

Student Journals.  So I created these over the summer to use as our reflection journal.  After reflecting about the use and time of these journals they are now being used as each students' Book Club journal.  Each student was able to pick out their own and each journal is different.

State Testing treats.  I always look forward to putting together some type of treat for my students after they finish their state testing. Can you blame me?  They work almost 5 hours a day for 4 days!  And they work hard! So this year I found some cute ideas on Pinterest and make a treat for the end of each testing day.  I kept each treat a secret until the end of the test so they were always looking over to 'the basket' to see a glimpse of what they were in store for!

I don't like to do a lot of candy so I tried to keep them 'somewhat' healthy. 

Classroom Library.  Some of us had to do some shuffling between classrooms at the end of the year to make space for a new kindergarten room.  That meant I had to pack up the room and move next door.  Yes.  You read that right.  Move 20 feet down the hall... give or take.  And unless you're a teacher, you will never understand having to move.  On the bright side, I was able to re-organize EVERYTHING.  Especially my library.  For years now, okay only 4, I've wanted to level my library.  Each year would come and go and it always seemed like too much work.  It was a lot of work, but SO WORTH IT!  I packed up my car on the last day of school and books lived in our office for the summer.  I should have taken a picture of the room at home because it was filled to the brim with tubs of books.  You had to follow a careful path just to get around!    I spent the first few weeks of summer leveling my books (lexile level) then printing a label for the book that matched the label of the tub.  In my classroom the saying goes "there's a place for EVERYTHING. Make sure it's in it's place"!  Luckily the June weather was crummy and it was raining a lot.

Mishka jumped in the car as I was unloading.
Wasn't much help.

...and this was taken before I was done loading them up!

4th of July.  Last but not least I have the goodies I made for the 4th of July.  Spending most of the summer at the lake means the 4th of July is as special as say Christmas. Really.  A lot of work goes into getting ready for this holiday.  

Clockwise from top left: 
Star containers filled with candies for our parents. 
Polka dotted straws.
Glow sticks. 
Extra candies put into a jar.

  Okay.  I think that's enough.  For now.  I REALLY need to get some national boards work started.  Lets hope I'll be more successful this time around.  I still want to google how to put a 'signature' at the end of each post though.  That and learning how to have the layout look MUCH more appealing.  That might have to wait until another day...

Until then...

M.I.A. continued

Experienced some computer hiccups... so I'll continue here.

Wreath.  Burlap EVERYTHING has been the craze.  So I had to join.  Here's the wreath I made.

I was surprised how quick & easy this was! 
I look forward to switching out the
decorations for each holiday/season.

Halloween 2013.  I had to 'do my time' with Jury Duty this October and was inspired by law enforcement.  Plus it was super easy for the dogs!

Digital frame re-decorated for the classroom.  I'm trying to take more pictures this year and I thought it'd be even better to have them circulate on a digital frame.  Much cheaper than always rushing off to get them printed.  Like I tell my 'kids'.  Work smarter not harder.

Open House Goodies.  Found this idea on Pinterest and added a little more 'cuteness' to it.

Birthday Treats.  This year I had to jump on the wagon with the birthday balloon/straw idea swarming on Pinterest.  Just in time to finish before September too. 

Our Girlfriends.  Last but not least.  Enjoying our time with these three crazies!

Koda girl.



Well.  I need to get back to getting some national boards work done for tomorrow.  To be honest. Not get back to, but actually start.  Eek!  I guess I've got to bite the bullet here.  Or google some tips for blogging first.  Just for a few minutes.  Promise!
Until next time.


Seeing as I originally started this blog as a goal to journal more and now noticing the last post was from LAST summer. huge. failure. oops!  A lot has happened since then but too much for me to have the patience to write about.  So I'll pick up where I left off, posting about the 'arts & crafts' I've been working on.  The endless ideas found on Pinterest. And the occasional pictures of our animals too. Enjoy!

Decorated clipboards to use for Student Led Conferences

National Boards Organization
These materials and I are working to be BFFs.  Hence the 'working'!



Christmas gifts for our neighbors.  Brownie mix in a jar with a snowman ornament.