Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Party

It is the beginning of this wonderful season of leaves, colors, and holidays. So, to celebrate we had a fall party at school. 

I won't pretend like it wasn't complete chaos, because it was. And I won't pretend that I was sad to have it over with, because I SO wasn't. And I won't pretend that I made the cutest little snacks (see below), because I didn't.
But I will tell you that the kids had a blast!

Since not all families do the whole Halloween thing, we just made scarecrows instead. They were kind of a lot of prep work, but I had a sweet parent whole helped me prepare. They turned out pretty cute.

And then the best part of the whole party was this adorable treat made by a very talented parent. They made oranges into jack-o-lanterns and filled them with fruit. The kids and the parents alike thought they were awesome! Wish I really could have taken credit for these.

What to do on a cold Thursday night...

All of the sudden it is cold. And dark. And only 4:30.

I needed some comfort. And I was hungry. And I had chicken in the fridge.

(Which is actually the solution to many problems, in my opinion.)

Now, I can't take credit for creating the chicken or the recipe, but I will take credit for the following pictures.

And I take credit for the good feeling in my belly as well. YUMMMMM!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


My Papaw.
I'm pretty sure this was taken right after she kissed him on the cheek. And he was embarrassed. And she was apologizing, while secretly laughing at her own private joke.

Such a sweet picture. Thankfully, memories live on.


It is fall break. I know you can't read the emotion in this statement, but trust me, it's there. 

I wait in anticipation for fall break from about September 1st till October 14th. I was blessed enough to visit the beach this fall break. If you have never been to the gulf area in October, you need to GO. I mean it, now. Get in your car and DRIVE! 

Here are the reasons:

1. It is the beach, duh.
2. It is the perfect temperature for beach dwelling.
3. It is cheap to rent a condo during the fall.
4. It is an easy drive or flight. 
5. It is the BEACH!

Convinced? Here is a picture from our balcony on the 15th floor.
That is all I will say. Just linger on that view for a moment. Ahhh...

Lesson on Toilets (and don't worry, I don't literally mean while sitting ON the toilet)

Unfortunately, I have become very closely acquainted with how a toilet works. Thanks to owning my own place, I have frequented Lowe's and Home Depot to buy parts that I don't actually know the name for. Here is how these conversations usually go:

Man in the colored vest: "Hello, may I help you find something?" (because we both know I look slightly out of place here.)
Me: "No, but thank you." This might seem silly to some, but I have an aversion to being helped in most stores. I am working through the problem, kind of.
Five minutes later, Me: Why is there no one around here to help me?!? But I do actually know this is a ridiculous thought.
Another five minutes later, Me: "Um, excuse me, do you know where I can find a piece to fix a toilet? I think it is called a washer, it's rubber and it's small and it's black?" And my dad told me this much, but I don't admit to this yet.
Man in the colored vest: "Sure, it's right here." (Pointing to something approximately 10 inches from my face.)
Me: "Of course, musta looked right over it." Cue the turn and high-tail it out move.

So, here is the sought after piece. Looks pretty small huh? But my dad assures me it will cause the toilet to flush again. And I trust him with toilet issues. He has fished out many a lego from a toilet in his day.
So, he walks me through how to take apart the piece and insert the new replacement seal (because that is it's real name, I learned). I do it fairly quickly and feel pretty self-sufficient. Until the toilet refuses to fill more than once. 

Blast. So, I go to another store and get another brand that is sure to work better and fit my toilet. Same steps, same results.

Must need another piece. 

So I visit the home improvement store for the third time in 1 week. And I get this piece right here. Makes me look like I REALLY know what I'm doing, huh?  

Take three: I open up the tank and go to work. (With my dad on speaker phone, of course. You know when your dad starts answering the phone with, "Hello, this is your local plumber, what's your question?" that you've been spending too much time with your toilet.)

I digress.

I took it apart and put the new part in. Check out this piece. I never knew a toilet had so many intricate parts. 
Not that I have ANY idea HOW it works, but I do know it WORKS!

I never thought I would say it, but the sounds of a toilet flushing may be the best sound I've heard all day.

Success. Sweet success.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pandas are really that cute!

This week in writing, we attempted to do a little research. I went to the library and chose a bunch of books about all kinds of animals. On Monday when I introduced the topic, it was met with many cheers and applause. Literally. (Another great thing about young children... it truly is the little things.)

So, here is how the week went:

Day One- Browse all the books and think about what animal interests you the most. (Shockingly the insect books grossed the kids out- since when are kids scared of creepy crawly bugs?!? This new generation!)

Day Two- Research your animal and find the answers to your questions in the text using post-its. (Note that just as adults like to use post-its in all their bright glory, children get the same joy. It's SO very adult-like.) 

Day Three- Use the post-it information to complete the graphic organizer. And the kicker for 99% of my class... USE COMPLETE SENTENCES!!! As easy as reciting the pledge of allegiance backwards and as fun as plucking one's eyebrows, I assure you. 

Day Four- Asking myself why we began this project and how my class seems to have 50 students when I need to edit with each one! Exaggerating slightly, but they are so NOT ready to edit by themselves or with partners yet. So, we push through the battle. 

Day Five- Finally made it through the editing and ready to put those sentences into a final draft. Would seem very easy, but 5 sentences in 1 paragraph is a lot of work for these kiddos. Then make a picture of your researched animal (I LOVE to see there pictures, kid art is amazing!) 

Exhibit A: Sweet little girl's finished project. She studied and researched pandas. This picture just makes me happy. Very happy.

Wonder what those panda bears are thinking about??? Bamboo, bamboo, bamboo!
Here's to learning some science!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Second Grade Love

Who knew that second graders know about love?!? But I stand corrected. This was turned in as a writing assignment by one of my little boys. 
It says, "First I went to met my Girul friend. Next I went to the fer with my Girul friend. Last I went to mec donald with my Girul friend and back home."

Oh. My. Goodness. All I can say is that is one GOOD date.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What is this?!?

Sometimes you just run across things or pictures that make you smile. Well, back in the winter, when it was freezing cold and we were eternally trapped in the house... we found some ways to keep ourselves occupied. 

And I must say as well, that Betsy's Nanna helps up in this area. The following pictures are a gift from Nanna. Introducing the "Snap-uggy" (combination Snuggy blanket with snaps) 

Betsy getting snapped into the Snap-uggy.  

 Trying to figure our all the snaps on the Snap-uggy.   
TA-DA!!! Got it snapped!

 "See you suckers later, I'm off to flaunt my new threads."

And I didn't have to be too jealous, 
because Betsy is good at sharing.
I call this pose my "T-Rex" arms. Rooooaaaarrrr!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Movin' on up

Ringin' in the new year, school year that is. Finally got all my junk... I mean stuff, moved to my new classroom and all set up! I am officially swimming in the second grade sea now.

Since I am looping with my kiddos from first grade, I tried really hard to make it look different than last year. Here are some pictures of our new "home, sweet, home".

Here's the new library station. This is always my favorite part of the classroom. I want it to be super inviting, as if it were a cozy corner in a living room. So I used the old rug from my actual living room. It just happened to match pretty well.
Here is our calendar wall. This year we are trying something different. The students all have their own calendar journals. The pages match the one in the picture backed by blue. It is still a work in progress, but eventually the kids will do calendar with a partner and little assistance from me. (In my dreams, of course.)

This area is the beginnings of the poetry station. The kids each have a poetry journal to illustrate poems or create their own. Also, many Shel Silverstein books, whom I LOVE! And the kids think his picture are hilarious!
And of course, our listening station. I'm digging the shower caddies from Target that just happen to hold everything perfectly! And this time I added a bulletin board to post "I Can..." list (thank you, Debbie Diller) and future listening response sheets to be proud of.
And of course I had a little bit of free time this summer, so I created these cute little animal pictures. I do love decoupage! And I can't turn down lanterns... ever.
And last, but not least, check out our door! I am learning quickly that second grade is indeed a roar.
(And please pardon the rhyme, it just happens these days.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Miss Hannah is Bananas!

Not too long ago, I was at school checking my school mail. Inside my box I have received some odd things. Mostly things cleared from the shelf at Kroger. Christmas cards in March, Valentine's cards in April, Easter stick-ons in May... you get the idea. But this day it was something non-Kroger-ish. It was a book. A children's chapter book. A lovely pink color. With a post-it on the front which read: I saw this book and thought you might enjoy it. No signature. Here is a picture.
My first reaction was to laugh, cause that is pretty stinkin' funny. My second reaction was that the title is all too true. My third reaction was to ask myself, "Who ELSE knows that this title is true?"

Well, I figured I should share the laugh with my students and co-workers, so I flashed it around asking, "Did YOU put this in my box?" No one was confessing. It was so thoughtful and amusing, I NEEDED to find out who delivered this laugh to me.

After some investigating I found out that one of our lovely kindergarten teachers had seen it at the book store with her girls and felt I needed it. So, thank you, Mrs. Bell, for not only making me smile, but making my class roar with delight and beg that the book be read aloud.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Okay, I know that I am probably the ten thousandth person to blog about cicadas, but I just HAVE TO! They are everywhere. They are loud. They have scary looking eyes. They are the size of a small mouse. With wings. And sadly, I am only exaggerating a little.

Last week, one landed on my neck.

On Friday, one came in my classroom and terrorized my student.

Yesterday, one got stuck in my roommate's hair.

Today, one hit me in the forehead.

I mean, can they not see that I am not a tree?!? What good are their scary eyes, after all???
This is excessive! It makes me want to wear a helmet with a face shield on it.

What if I happen to yawn and one flies right in?

What if one accidentally wedges itself in my ear? Or my nose?

I wonder if it is possible to stay inside or fully covered for the next 3-4 weeks?

You might think I am overreacting to these harmless insects, but it brings back too many memories of 8th grade. Picture with me, if you will...

I was in middle school (bangs, perm, the works) and unfortunately it was the year of the cicadas. But I didn't remember this from before, I would have been 1 after all. I didn't have a clue what to expect. A loud noise? I can handle that. A few extra bugs? I will stay inside.
Oh no, it isn't that easy to avoid.
We had to go outside to get from one building to the next, and of course before and after school where there were many trees and undisturbed ground. One day, as I was walking out, arms full, backpack on, they swarmed me! It was like they had formed a coup and I couldn't have avoided it!
They were on my backpack, in my hair (remember, perm and bangs here), they were on my clothes, EVERYWHERE!!! Little did I know, this would be life for the next 2 months...
Another day, walking across campus, hadn't been hit yet when the boys decide to shake the trees! Who decided that middle school boys should be let out of the house during the year of the cicadas?!? Once again, attacked! Like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, but with cicadas!
And then, just when I thought it was safe to venture outdoors again, they have all died. YAY, you might think, but no. Gross is a more appropriate word because every step is a *CRUNCH*. The remains are EVERYWHERE!!!

Okay, back to 2011. These memories still haunt me. I know what comes next. And I WILL wrap my shoes is plastic bags, don't doubt it!

But for now I will stay inside and watch these little devils fly around outside my window.

Next time I see you guys, I will be forty!
I don't know which part of that sentence is scarier!!! Yikes!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's in Your Backseat?

I, like most people, tend to have some random junk in my car. You can just throw it in the trunk or the back seat where it's "out of the way".

You can actually tell a lot about a person by the stuff in their car. For example, in college, I was waiting in a friend's car for an inordinate amount of time, and found some interesting items. Some, I won't mention, but she did have a least 3 pairs of sunglasses. Some broken, some scratched, some new... and also some hats and some magazines...

However, my favorite find in a car recently was in my roommate's car. She had been home for Christmas, so I knew there would be something funny left over. And alas, this is what I found.
Two lovely teddy bears with homemade clothes made specially by Nanna. Amazing! They really are something, and not only were the clothes specially made for the bears, but they were glued to the cutesy bears. Nice resourcefulness.

And the best part of this for me was picturing little Betsy playing with her beloved teddy bears. Classic. Thanks for being a good sport, Betsy.

Money Bags

Because we have had lots of snow lately...
Because the snow has provided lots of home time...
Because I needed to feel domestic...

I made some money bags. My class is learning about money this week, and I will be giving out play money as incentives. Since I would hate for the money to get lost, I decided they could each use a personalized money bag.

When a child accumulates 5 pennies, trade it in for a nickel and k
eep saving, OR chose a prize from the 5 cent bin. And the same for 10 cents and 25 cents. They were actually very fun to make and turned out pretty cute.
What is odd to me is that I had almost ALL of the materials already. Makes it even more fun, since it was cheap.

Here is how they turned out. Still have a few more to finish...
Hope the kids enjoy their gift!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Becoming a REAL adult...

I have been in my own home now for about 5 years, I recently realized, which pretty much makes me a real adult. Don't you agree? Along with being an adult comes inviting people into my home. So, last week I had the honor of all four grandparents and my own two parents coming to my house for dinner.
The real challenge here is always making food that is near the realm of amazingness compared to all of them. No easy task, I tell you. So this is the menu I decided on: fried pork tenderloin (because everything is better fried) with baked potatoes, rolls and green beans. (Note please that I have no idea how to actually make green beans appetizing, seeing as how you could dip them in chocolate and they would STILL seem unappealing to me. Don't fret, I figured it out with some help.) And to top the meal, which was rather tasty, was the dessert that my mom brought. She made a delicious pineapple cake with vanilla ice cream as well as a strawberry shortcake. Nice choices. Throw coffee into the mix, and I am beginning to salivate all over again. (Can't have that, might get messy on the keyboard... sleeves are great help for this problem.)

Anyways, we had a lovely time enjoying each other's company, eating entirely too much, and discussing all the very much un-dinner topics (religious opinions, politics, the new health plan, and of course my marital status). But overall, a very fun time. Here are some pictures from the
night (because the first thing that happens as the door opens is incessant flashing).

I'm very thankful to have such wonderful people in my life, and especially blessed to have had them visit.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weather and more weather

While I realize that it is February, I am getting a little bit tired of the "severe weather". First snow of the season actually came before the first day of winter... that's just wrong, right!?! And I am the first one to breathe a sigh of relief when I get to sleep in, but 10 snow days later and the sigh has turned into a groan.

And then this past weekend, a break in the storm clouds; it was in the 60's! UH-MA-ZING! I actually spent some time outside.

Side note: It is amazing how much a body can miss the out-of-doors when you are trapped inside.

Another side note: While on my walk, I pulled out my teacher voice on a dog. Yes, that's right, a dog. Headphones in, arms pumping, and a dog comes out of nowhere barking like mad. What do I do? I point my finger at him sternly and say, "No! You're FINE!" Then I realized he had a zapper on his collar and couldn't come after me. And I also noticed that the front door was open. I could imagine the reaction of the person inside the door. "Stupid girl." Indeed.

Anyways, back to my rant on the weather. The weekend was a tease! And when the weather is nice in June, where will I be, you ask? In-of-doors. It is a raw deal, Mother Nature.
Here's hoping that Mr. Groundhog was right and the winter end is in sight.