Friday, December 30, 2011

Loving Christmas Break

Here are the reasons I'm loving Christmas break.

1.  Sleep.  In the beginning of the break, I was sleeping close to 11 hours a day.  Not so much recently, but I fully intend to sleep in the next three days.

2.  The first week, I did pretty much NOTHING.  I sat my behind on my couch, plopped my computer on my lap, blog stalked, and watched T.V. It was glorious.

3.  Shopping.  Need I say more?!  Any long break from work equals me going shopping.  Of course one of my favorite places is Target, but I also love the outlets, the mall, and even Goodwill.

4.  Cleaning.  Ugh, y'all, our house was G-R-O-S-S.  Right now, our upstairs still is, but our downstairs looks pretty dang good.  My mom did a random drop in yesterday and I told her she could come in, only because it was clean.  Days earlier, she wouldn't have been allowed in.  We would've had some sort of mysterious virus that was totally contagious.

5.  Decluttering.  Sentimental value be darned.  I can certainly be a hoarder (aren't all teachers?!).  This is how a typical conversation between the hubsters and me can go:
H: Do we need this anymore?
M:  Well, __________ gave it to us for our wedding so yeah.
H:  But do we need it?
M:  Err....
Well, people, I am D-O-N-E.  I refuse to hang on to stuff because so and so gave it to us or X, Y, and Z. 

6.  Eating out and slowly!  I am so glad to be able to eat food that doesn't have to be microwaved and consumed in 5 minutes flat while watching a group of 8 olds eat.  'Nuff said.

7.  Visiting with friends!  Today I went to see my friend who lives about an hour and a half away.  She just had a baby (6 weeks early!) and she already has an almost two year old.  We don't talk all the time, but when we see each other, we can easily pick up where we left off. She is just SO funny and being with her is always a good time!

8.  Appointments.  OBGYN (my favorite kind of appointment ever...kidding!) & dentist.  I didn't get any cativities which I don't know how.  I consume Cherry Coke Zero like it's going out of style and I ate SO much candy at Christmas.  Gahh...

9.  Schoolwork...yeah...haven't really done too much although I brought home gobs of stuff to do.  Eh, life will go on!

So how have you spent your break?  Are you enjoying it?  I'm linking up here!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Thanks so much to all of those who entered my giveaway.  I know it wasn't much, but $10 to Target is always helpful to anyone right?!  Since my posts aren't numbered, I just counted those of you who wrote saying you followed the blog and provided your e-mail. 

Congratulations Markeeta!  I'll be contacting you via email :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Recap, New Years Resolutions, & 11 in 11

How was your Christmas?  Mine was wonderful.  The hubsters and I each went with each other to pick out our gifts, so there were really no surprises.  UNTIL, I went to Palmetto Moon.  I absolutely L-O-V-E this store.  I went in there to pick up a t-shirt for his brother who was having surgery on his head Friday and the nice worker mentioned all Clemson (yuck) and Carolina jackets were buy one get one FREE!  So, I had to pick up one for the hubsters and me.  He was so surprised!  The other things I got him were more work shirts, ties, and a new pair of shoes for only $23 from JCP.

He was super sweet this year and got me a sapphire ring and a necklace like this:
10.0mm Cultured Freshwater Pearl and White Topaz Pendant in Sterling Silver - Zales

I sat down after we opened gifts and got on the computer and then I remembered about my Holly Bloggy Christmas gift!  I can't believe I forgot since I was SUPER tempted to peek ever since I got it!  I was totally that kid that peeked at my Christmas gifts once I realized mom and dad had them all along.  Check out what I got from Meg (if you have a blog please let me know so I can follow you! )

I can't wait to put them in my classroom when I get back!  So creative and cute!  I LOVE it! :)

I enjoyed going to our parent's houses and visiting with everyone.  One of the highlights of the day, however, was finding my pen bag from high school & college.  I've been wondering where this was for quite some time and I found it at my mom's house!  I was literally jumping up and down squealing with delight.  People may have wandered back to where I was to find out what the commotion was about. 

You see those 4 that are off by themselves?  Those are the only ones that don't work.  I'm hoping I can perform surgery turn them upside down so they'll start working.  Seriously, made my day finding these.  I also found my recorder from elementary school and serenaded my family with several renditions of Mary Had a Little Lamb. 

Then, I decided to take my mad skills to my parents' piano.  Now, keep in mind, I never actually took any sort of music lessons, aside from my recorder lessons in 4th grade.  I found a Christmas Music Book and had my family play "Name That Tune!"  How did I do this since I don't know the first thing about reading music, let alone transferring that to the piano?  Well, someone wrote down the letter names for the notes and my sister put stickers on my parents piano YEARS ago so all I had to do was see the letter F and find the letter F on the piano.  I know you're pretty jealous of that awesomeness.  I couldn't stump them during "Name That Tune!"  I'm thinking I'll try it again at Easter when they haven't been inundated with Christmas songs in a while :)
Needless to say, I'm pretty sure they were all glad when we left as I can be quite endearing annoying.

I of course went out shopping yesterday for 50% off all Christmas.  I got lots of goodies!  You can't beat 50% off, or 75% off (at Belk!). 
Now, let's move on to New Years Resolutions.  I'm usually not a resolution type of gal, but maybe typing it out for all to see will make me somewhat more accountable.  I'm linking up with Tammy at Live, Laugh, Love.  You totally should too :)  Here goes...

1.  Be more organized.  I tend to just drop things off on the kitchen table as I walk in the door and we never see our kitchen table as a result.  It's buried beneath all my junk I'm too lazy to put somewhere else.
2.  Continue with My Fitness Pal.  I found out about MFP from Diana at Life of a 20-Something Wife back in the summer.  I lost about 10 pounds, but since school has started I haven't really logged my food and exercise like I should.  I haven't really gained anything back, but I'm at a standstill.  I need to keep it going.
3.  Stop impulse buying.  I've actually really improved on this lately as I'll make myself wait and if I still want it a few weeks later, then I know it's something that I'll need or definitely want.
4.  Clean more regularly.  When the hubsters and I first moved in 2 1/2 years ago, I was so consistent in my cleaning.  The bathrooms got cleaned every week, our bedroom was cleaned (vacuumed & dusted) every other week, etc.  I'v gotten slack, mainly due to teaching and grad classes.  Well, and let's be honest, my laziness :)

1.  Be more organized (are you seeing a trend here?!).  I tend to stack stuff and just throw papers off my table to be hidden (AHH!).  January 13 is a workday so that's what I plan to do.  Okay, total side note...I always have such big hopes and dreams for teacher workdays and I feel like I never even scratch the surface of what I need to I the only one that this happens to?  Please tell me I'm not alone!
2.  Read a book about teaching.  I'm thinking of this one.
3.  TRY not to get stressed out about data, the state tests, MAP testing, etc.  Won't happen, but it's nice to dream!

1.  Blog on a more consistent basis.  I'm going to low ball it and say once a week, but hopefully more than that.  It's just hard with teaching and grad classes.
2.  Share more things that I make/that are going on in my classroom. 

Those are my resolutions, what are yours? 

Edited to add 11 in 11.  I know you're not supposed to post twice in a day, so I'm taking a page right out of Kristin (Teeny Tiny herself) and updating this post so I can participate in the 11 in 11.  Speaking of Kristin, that's who's linky this is!  Well, her and Hadar!


Here we go!
11.  Favorite movie you watched.
I loved the Help, but I also watched the all of the Steig Larson movies (in Swedish).  I'm sorry, I can't just choose one!


10.  Favorite TV Series
I have actually been so consumed with teaching and grad school that I have missed some of my favorite shows this season (Modern Family, The Middle, & DH).  I have become addicted to these though:
9.  Favorite Restaurant Los Reyes.  It is a Mexican Restaurant near us and I LOVE it.  I get the same thing every time we go, but the chips and salsa...I could live off of!

8.  Favorite New Thing You Tried
Hmm...I'm not very adventurous...I don't "try" a lot of new things.  I guess it would have to be blogging (I promise I'm not copying Kristen's answer...they just happen to be the same!).

7.  Favorite Gift You Received
My necklace and ring from the hubby for Christmas!  I love them and this chicka doesn't get jewelry often :)

6.  Favorite Thing You Pinned
Umm, I pin everything!  I'd have to say it'd be one of these...they are both delicious!

5.  Favorite Blog Post
Yeahhh, I don't really have one.  Maybe next year I'll have one :)

4.  Favorite Accomplishment
Being a finalist for Teacher of the Year :)  Oh, and of course, my perfect attendance from last school year.
3.  Favorite Picture
Hmm...I guess it would have to be Alshon Jeffrey and me!

2.  Favorite Memory
Going to the Steve Spurrier Ladies Clinic at USC.  We got to go in the locker room, meet the coaches, meet the players, and even run out to 2001!

1.  Goal for 2012
See my resolutions above!
I'm linking up here,  here and here!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!  Tomorrow is the last day!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas! (Special Videos to Share)

Whew!  I have spent the past 7 hours working my booty off in the kitchen.  I sat down and realized I'm pretty sure the fudge I made is no good and ended up throwing it all out!  Boo!

I am watching my favorite Christmas movie E.V.E.R!  Do you remember what it is?  I triple ♥ this movie:

Seriously, love this movie.  Just goes to show you what a difference you make on people without even realizing it.  Now, I'm not saying I've saved someones life, but still!

I also wanted to share this video with you.  I came across it last year and I just L.O.V.E. it!  I thought I heard all troops would be coming home by the end of this that true?  I hope so.  I so appreciate their sacrifices and this video is just so sweet.  Can you guess which reunion is my favorite?  It starts at about 20 seconds :)

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your families!  I'm hoping the pup doesn't smell what Santa has in his stocking when I let him in from barking defending our house.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Recipe Linky & A Survey!

So, if I was really on top of it last night, I could've combined this with my post last night so that it might have some point to it!  But, I saw these when I was blog stalking later on. 

Jennifer, at Rowdy in First Grade is having a Holiday Recipe Linky Party!  You know I love a good linky!  She even included a super cute template for us to use!  I am going to share 2 recipes:  one is a family recipe and the other is a Food Network recipe that I tweaked.  Okay okay, it's pretty much EXACTLY the same as the Food Network recipe except I switched out pistachios for almonds.  Here they are!

Cheese Potatoes 1

Holiday Biscotti

I make the Holiday Biscotti every year and my family LOVES it!  I also make the Cheese Potatoes for any big holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, & Easter.  They are both yum-o!  I hope you head over and link up because I'd love to see your recipes!

Now, onto this survey.  I've seen lots of you doing this, so I feel like I should be a cool kid and do it too :)

Holiday Survey
1.  Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Hmm...For Christmas, I usually wrap.  I have wrapping paper from Costco and it has lasted me 3 years and will probably last me another 3 years or so.  It's amazing.  However, I did recently learn how to make gift bags look cute.  Most of my gifts are wrapped:

2.  Real tree or artificial?
Artificial.  I remember the days of having to trek through Lowe's or Home Depot to find the "perfect tree" as a kid.  My dad, me, and anyone else who was unfortunate enough to come with us would each have two trees in our hands beside us while my mom looked for the just right one.  Our little living room isn't very big, so our fake tree fits in nicely :)

3  When do you put up the tree?
Thanksgiving weekend, usually on Saturday because I shop till I drop on Black Friday!

4.  When do you take the tree down?
After New Years.

5.  Do you like eggnog?
Never tried it and don't have a desire to.

6.  Favorite gift received as a child?
Hmm...I guess I'd have to say my bike?  Every other year I got a new bike and it was awesome.  I rode that thing everywhere!

7.  Do you have a nativity scene?

8.  Hardest person to buy for?
My husband!  Really all guys are hard to buy for!

9.  Easiest person to buy for?
Me, of course!  While looking for others, I always find something I want!  :)  I totally took Erica's answer...mine's the same!

10.  Mail or email Christmas cards?
Uhh, we have some really cute Christmas cards I bought for 50% off the day after Christmas last year.  They have, big surprise, a dog on them!  You'll get a card from us if we're giving you a gift card for Christmas!  Honestly, we'll probably send them out once we have a kid, but we don't send out official cards.  I'm a slacker, I know.

11.  Worst gift you ever received?
Well, when I was little, I unwrapped a gift from my grandparents and it was a pressure cooker box.  I started being a total brat and saying "I don't want a pressure cooker!"  They told me just open the box.  Inside was a super cute and personalized suitcase.  Insert foot in mouth now.  That was actually a good gift.  Worst gift:  When I was in college my brother's baby mama gave me a Winnie the Pooh Hot Chocolate Set.  I mean, I'm in college...I'm not a Winnie the Pooh fan...

12.  Favorite Christmas movie?
It's a Wonderful Life!  That's actually what I wanted my blog to be, but it was taken :(  So I had to stick with Living a Wonderful Life.  I LOVE this movie!  My mom took it last year so I haven't watched it yet...but I'm feeling Christmas Eve!

13.  When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Black Friday!  I LOVE it! 

14.  Ever recycled a present?
I don't think I've ever recycled a Christmas present, but I have lots of wedding presents to regift :)

15.  Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Anything and everything.  I love my biscotti, mom's mac n' cheese, candy...ahh I can't wait (although my diet can!)

16.  Clear lights or colored lights on a tree?
We have both.  Last year we had a string of clear that didn't work so we put up some colored to take away from that!

17.  Favorite Christmas song?
Just a few...

Okay, so please excuse the picture there!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra:  Christmas Cannon

This one might be my favorite!  It's SO funny!

18.  Travel at Christmas or stay home?We're super lucky that both our parents and families live here so we just have to travel about 30 minutes!

19.  Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Sure can.  I just have to sing the song!

20.  Angel or star on top of the tree?
We have a star.

21.  Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
When I was growing up we got to do one on Christmas Eve.  It was always a gift from my parents and it was always what I was going to wear to church that night.  I'll probably carry that tradition on with my kids.  The hubsters and I open gifts Christmas morning.

22.  Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Without a doubt the traffic and crowds.  Hate em both!  Again, totally stealing Erica's answer!

23.  Favorite ornament, theme, or color?
My sister has a snowman theme.  I think I may eventually branch out and have a Santa theme.  Right now, there's no theme but I could see a Santa theme in my future!

24.  What do you want for Christmas?
I've got everything I need!
I hope you're enjoying today...only 2 more days until Christmas!  I totally forgot the chocolate for my biscotti at the store yesterday so I've gotta go to the grocery store now...ugh!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nothingness & Randomness

Hello everyone!  I SO hope you are enjoying your much needed and deserved break from work.  If any of you have to work tomorrow, just know it's only one more day!  You might would think I've been at work all week, what with my lack of posts and the crazy words I made up in the title, but I have been cool, calm, and collected all week.

I have certainly enjoyed my time off.  Y'all, I have been sleeping 10-11 hours a night!  It has been wonderful.  Additionally, I have been wasting time playing perusing the internet nonstop when I'm awake.  I about had a straight up panic attack earlier when Pinterest was messing up.  I pinned an idea a few weeks ago to help my freak hair. 

I'll be darned  if I couldn't find it anywhere!  Then, the little search box was gone!  So I went to my sister's page because she repinned it and it wasn't there either!  All seems to be fixed now.  No need to freak.  I was about 5 seconds away from asking on Facebook if anyone else was having trouble, but figured that might be slightly freakish obsessive overreacting. 
I so wish my hair could look like that, but I don't know about the no shampoo and stuff.  It says curly hair doesn't like sulfates, but my Costco Shampoo is sulfate free!  Do you have a Costco membership?  I LOVE Costco!  I am a straight up sucker for their books and clothes.

What have y'all done on  your time off?  I have done pretty much nothing.  Some last minute shopping here and there (ugh, don't even GET me started on the long lines at Wal-Mart...why do I always get behind the people who it seems is their first time out in society and they don't know how that new-fangled credit card machine works?!). 

My husband has been so sweet.  Our house has been a wreck, but have I done anything about that?  NOPE!  It's SO hard when I know I have so much time ahead of me.  Plus, he's off most of next week, so I need to enjoy the computer and TV before he commandeers them both.  My solution 2 days ago after I met a friend for lunch was to get out all of the Christmas wrapping stuff so that would take away from the fact that I'd done nothing else in the house.  It seemed to work ;)  Today though, I got my booty in gear and cleaned up the living room and scrubbed our stove top & microwave (yuk!).

Wow, rereading what I've written makes me look like I have such ADD.  I really don't.  Only when I'm at work do I feel like I have it.  Anywhos I'm going to blog stalk some more and watch I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant...this show straight up freaks me out!  Have y'all ever seen it?!  Craziness!

P.S.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Liebster Award & A Giveaway!

The super sweet and high-larious Staci over at Going Nutty was so super kind and awarded me the Liebster Award!

The goal of the award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are:
  1. copy and paste the award on your blog
  2. thank the giver and link back to them
  3. reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
  4. hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers
I have been stalking using Farley's Currently December to find even more teaching blogs to follow.  Oh My Word, Y'all, I'm pretty sure I have an addiction.  At one point yesterday, I was clicking to follow so many blogs that those stupid "captcha phrases" popped up that I had to type each time to prove I wasn't a computer!  Here are some of my picks, in no particular order!

I saw this activity on pinterest, but Elizabeth posted about it!  It's all about nice words and what happens when we're mean!  Check it out!

This blog is super cute.  She is a teacher and can I just say, her outfits are adorable!  I wish I could pull them off!  She has recipes and blogs about her life.  Check out her Reindeer Bars...filing this idea away for next year!

3. Loose Shoelaces.  Heather is a relatively new blogger and right now only has 10 followers!  Let's get that number up!  I really love this post on Math Benchmarks.  Gotta love that testing right?!  I love the goal setting sheet she created!

4. Teaching and Life at the Beach.  I love reading all of Allyce's posts!  I feel like we could totally be BFF's in real life!

5.  Paper, Pencils, & Pizzaz.  Natalie's blog is adorable!  Right now she only has 25 followers so you must go and check her out.  I love her bag and also love that she likes to teach Fundations.  I taught that last year and it was such a helpful phonics program. 

Go check these ladies out!  I'm sure you won't be disappointed!  Also, there are lots of blogs on Farley's Currently post to see!

Now, on to the giveaway!  I had 41 followers for quite some time and I am now officially over the 50 mark!  Whoop whoop!  So, I am offering a $10 Gift Card to....where else?

Here's how to enter!
  1. Follow my blog.  Leave me a comment telling me you follow it & leave your email address.
That's it!  Pretty simple.  The giveaway will close on Wednesday, December 28 at midnight.  Winner will be announced and contacted on Thursday, December 29.

P.S.  I'm pretty sure the pictures above will not work as links, but I am over it!  I've gotta go meet a friend and wrap some presents, so I'm all outta care!  Use the links I provided in my descriptions :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How I Know Christmas Is Near

Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is having a linky party about the top 10 reasons you know Christmas is near.  Now, I'm already out, but I'll be thinking back to my last few weeks for inspiration.  I don't really have a top 10, but here's what I've got!

Everyone is sick.  I've had a kid who has been hacking up a lung for weeks.  I blamed him for my strep. 

The debates about whether Santa Clause is real or not are rampant.  The verdict:  "He is real, you just gotta believe"

When I tell them how many days of school we have left, they cheer.  Then, when I tell them we've got a lot of work to do, they groan.

The only time they were "in control" at our party was when The Polar Express was on.  We only caught the last 10 minutes and when that went off, I thought I was going to lose it.  Luckily, someone hit play and all was good again.

The rudeness and behaviors started.  Luckily, Friday was a somewhat decent day.

Santa visited!  Literally.  I was Dominie testing a kid and another teacher knocked on my door.  I sent another kid to open it and she said hi to us, then just walked away. Strange, I thought.  Then, 2 seconds later, Santa was at our door.  Of course, questions ensued, about his reindeer, elves, and sleigh.  Christmas requests were made:  dirt bikes and PlayStation 360 among the ones I remember. 

The lies about Christmas Break plans began.  I asked who was traveling out of town and two students quickly raised their hands.  After I asked what they were doing, suddenly three more students were miraculously going out of town...just for fun to Florida they said.

Mine are not nearly as great and funny as everyone elses, but oh well!  I hope you head over and link up!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Currently

I am in a mad dash to type this post before someone else posts that they're stalking the same person!  If you have no clue what I'm talking about, head over to Farley's and check out her December Currently, but make sure you read the rules :)  Here's what I'm currently up to:

Can't wait to see what you're up to!  I'm already enjoying the break :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Perfect Attendance

Does your school give out an award to kiddos with perfect attendance?  We do at our quarterly awards ceremony.  Last year, at the end of the  year, we had a big faculty luncheon on one of our early release days.  They gave out presents to all of the teachers who were leaving, and then, they gave out presents to those who had perfect attendance.  I was secretly SO excited!  I had been there every day, never missed!  But then, yep...they forgot about me!  It wasn't really a big deal, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.  Well, some of my sweet teacher friends mentioned it to the office staff, and it was corrected the next morning on the morning news and I got a great Tervis Tumbler with a lid (not the exact same one, but it did have peace sings and a yellow lid).

This year, I've had perfect attendance as well.  That is, until today.  I've been sick for a little over a week and was hacking up a lung at work yesterday.  I knew I needed to go to the doctor...not so much because I felt super sick, but I knew something wasn't right.  This is pretty much how I've been since Friday:

Friday:  Sore throat.  I decide if it still hurts on Saturday, I'll go to the doctor.
Saturday:  Throat feels pretty good!  I don't!  I stayed in bed ALL DAY LONG and only got up to...well, let's not go there.  Let's just say, I was pretty hungry because I couldn't keep anything down. (tmi?).  If I still feel like this on Sunday, I'll go to the doctor.
Sunday:  Feel decent.  I'm a little achy, but I chalk that up to being in bed all day on Saturday.  I am coughing a lot though...hmm.  If this continues on Monday, I need to go to the doctor.
Monday: Still coughing. My throat hurts more in the morning and in the afternoon, but I'm able to teach all day.  I've decided though that since I'm still coughing, I need to go to the doctor.

Soooooo, off to the doctor I went after school.  My principal asked if I though I had strep and I just knew I didn't because I've had strep before, and it didn't feel like it.  I was also quite confident I was not contagious.  Well, I'm sure you've guessed it.  I have strep and am contagious until tonight.  SO, I had to stay home, mainly because I don't want to contaminate anyone else.  I could probably teach, but alas, my hopes and dreams of perfect attendance are out the door. 

That's sick, isn't it?!  I know, I know, I need to take care of myself, but I just had to make it 4 more days!  Plus, I break out into hives ANYTIME my kids have a sub.  They (in the past) just do NOT behave!  But, I heard from my associate teacher that they split my kiddos, because we really don't have subs this year unless you're out for at least 3 consecutive days.  But, that also makes me feel bad, because there's no work for my babies to do in the other teachers' rooms. 

Oh, and let me just add, today at my school, a local church is bringing shoes for every student that signed up for them (New Balance) and I think the teachers got gift cards.  I hope someone grabbed one for me!  We're also having lots of goodies for the teachers to eat at lunch and a white elephant gift exchange after school.  This reminds me of 4th grade.  When I was in 4th grade, I was absent the first day back from Christmas Break because I was sick.  Well, when I came back the next day, all excited to tell everyone about my Christmas and the great gifts I got, they had been there, done that.  I never got to share...wahh. 

Haha, okay, I'm clearly whiny today so sorry! 

I hope your week is going well and I can't imagine that some of you have to go to work next week.  Say what?!  When do you have to go back after the holidays?  I'm stoked that we get Monday January 2 off!  That's a whole extra day than we normally get!  Whoop Whoop!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Random Ramblings

Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post!  I really appreciate your support :)

Here's what's on my mind today.

1.  There are only 6 more days until Christmas Break.  I think I can, I think I can!

2.  In my 4 years of teaching, this is the first year I've done a holiday related activity.  Does that make me a total grinch?  I love the holidays, don't get me wrong, but I just never feel like there is time with all of the insane standards we have to fit in.  That is, until I saw this on Pinterest:

So, what we did is incorporated Math & Science into this.  We've been talking about pitch and how different length strings or bars will produce a higher or lower pitch.  When I first gave them their bars, I told them to arrange them by pitch.  Then, I had them center it so it would look more like a tree.  They glued it down and then measured them.  They loved it and got to decorate it and I don't feel like a grinch anymore.  They've gotten lots of compliments on our hall :)  Here are a few of my kiddos:

3.  This is another activity we did for science.  They also have to know how thickness will affect pitch.  I normally keep small papers in this holder, so I took them out, and added different sized rubber bands and we plucked away.  SUPER easy.

I should point out that the plastic was not bent from the rubber bands, but was designed that way :)

4.  My kids crack me up.  The other day, we were reading about the year 1982 and while I was writing on the board, the group I was working with was debating whether or not you would be alive if you were born in 1982.  The consensus:  NO.  I told them I was born in 1986 and their jaws literally dropped.  I asked them if I only had about 4 years left to live and they emphatically agreed.

5.  I found this note in my tattle box today.  It made me smile, mainly because this kid is so sweet, and I love how he refers to the kid as a number!

This is a note I found earlier in the week.  I think he meant drama queen...what do you think?

Yes, I said he.  A boy wrote this.

6.  Okay, I have to know...what is your lunchtime like?  I know a lot of you have assistants or aides or watchers or whatever.  Do you have to eat with your kids?  I do, which I don't mind.  However, they recently moved our microwaves out of the cafeteria and into the workroom.  So, in order to eat, I have to go to the workroom to heat up my food.  So, this is what 3B does:  My kids sit down (once everyone is at the table...we have to wait for our family to eat!) and I remind them that my class monitor (a job one of my kiddos has) is watching them and if they talk, they don't get a raffle ticket.  Oh My'd think I was giving away gold!  They are evidently very well behaved when I'm gone.  I've gotten compliments from other adults the past two days on them.  The other 3rd grade teacher tried to ask them if the tacos were good and she said they wouldn't even talk to her!  So, I'm just curious what your lunch situation is.  If you have it off from your kids, I'm extremely pretty jealous.

7.  That is all.  I am REALLY going to regret staying up this late tomorrow (and it's only 8:30).

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Sad Start to My Day

I just got home from PTA so to say it has been a long day would be an understatement.  Okay, so those of you who are frequent visitors to my blog have probably guessed that I'm borderline out of control freaskishly  slightly obsessed with dogs.  Not only do I love my dog Gizmo, but I love all dogs in general.  This year, my husband and I keep seeing these random dogs out and about.  The first one we saw was near a local high school back in February.  The dog was really malnourished and we called Animal Control and left a message.  In other words, we didn't do enough.  Looking back, we should have done more. 

Next animal we see is in our travels to Georgia this summer.  We were on his way to his grandparents house and we saw this little dog.  We were actually stopped at a railroad track and the dog was literally running towards the tracks.  It reminds me of that show "What Would You Do?"  The dog did NOT get hit and we continued on our way.  As we continued driving, we really felt bad, like we should have done more.  We should have stopped and at least given it water. 

This past Saturday, we were driving down a road near our house and saw a dog running on the side of the road.  We turned around and saw him, but by the time we parked and got out, he had disappeared.  We should've turned around sooner, but we knew we were getting closer to "doing the right thing."

This morning, I was on my way to work around 6:10 and I was stopped at a very busy 6 lane highway.  Luckily, it was early in the morning.  As the light turns green, I notice these two dogs IN THE ROAD.  I pulled over and didn't really know what to do.  Who do I call this early?  I eventually decided to dial 911.  I told them my location and what was happenening.  The dogs were heading towards the interstate so this was bad news.  I told her I would try to follow the dogs and she said dispatch would be on it's way and to call if anything happened.  So I follow the dogs who thankfully head away from the interstate.  I'm sitting in the median, when all of a sudden, they run out into 3 lanes of traffic.  I felt like the Matrix.  Slow motion...what can I do?  Y'all...a car in the left lane slammed on brakes and luckily didn't hit them.  A car in the middle lane, slowed down I guess, and hit the smaller dog.  I could hear the yelps from in my car.  It was TERRIBLE.  I finally get out of my shock and call 911 back to tell her one of the dogs was hit.  The dog managed to make it to the side of the road and he just laid there.  He was alive, and would look around, but would not more.  I stayed with him on the side of the road until a cop came.  Of course after I got off the phone with 911, I called my hubby balling telling him I just saw a dog got hit.  I don't know what happened to the other one. 

It was awful my friends.  All day today was like this Brady Bunch episode.  I remember that "Oh My Nose" scene repeating over and over in Marcia's head.  That's what it was like for me.  It was terrible. 

I'm getting better at doing the right thing.  What is the universe trying to tell me?!  So that was my day.  How was your day?  Only 8 more days until Christmas Break!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday Deals

Okay, so let me preface this by saying these start times for the Black Friday sales are starting to get a little ridonculous.  I left with my mom, sister, and aunt at 8:45 on Thanksgiving night.  Here we are, ready to go!

In all honesty, the main reason I go is for socialization.  I can't imagine how many calories I burned, just from laughing.  P.S.  Don't you just love that my sister and I showed up in pretty much the same sweaters!

We first went to Toys R' Us, which opened at 9.  There is only one Toys R Us where we live, and to say it was packed would be an understatement.  The line was about 12 stores long outside.  It was so funny because when we pulled in, my mom commented on how it looked good that a lot of cars were leaving.  Needless to say, we were one of those cars because we were NOT staying in that line!

So off to Wal-Mart we went!  I got smart this year and brought my book with me.  There's a lot of waiting around, particularly by yourself so I got some reading done.  I actually have very little to show for Wal-Mart.  I mainly got gifts for little ones in my family.  I did score a soccer ball for my kiddos for only $4.97.

After Wal-Mart, we went to Target.  I picked up two sweaters and a PJ set for a total of about $35.  You'll notice, I shopped mainly for myself :)  The joys of being 'childless'

Then we went to Kohls.  I really didn't need anything, but I had a coupon so I picked up a scarf and a necklace set.  The line was ridonculous!

Then, we hit up Starbucks.  I am really not a coffee person and this is the one day I drink it.  My husband's aunt suggested cafe mocha and it is really good.  Here's a pic of us at Starbucks.  I'm sure we looked like morons posing at the back of my mom's van, waiting for the self timer to go off.  This was about 4 in the morning. 

We then returned back to Toys R Us, only to discover my aunt left her purse at Starbucks...doh!  After Toys R Us, we went back to my parents house, around 6ish, to drop off our loot and head back out.  Here we are, refreshed and ready to go!

I scored a freezer for us to have in our garage!  I'm pretty stoked about that.  I also picked up these two shirts for $5 each.

I also got some sweet soap from Bath & Body Works.  They all smell soooo good!  I especially love the Christmas scents :)

My best deal of the day was at JCP.  I'm a gold card member, so I periodically get $10 off a $10 or more purchase.  I got these socks and necklace for under $3!  LOVE!

If you have made it to the bottom of this post, kudos to you!  I still think I am behind on my sleep, even though I slept for 14 1/2 hours the next day.  I am off to eat dinner and have an early bed time :)  Happy Monday!  Only 14 more school days until Christmas Break!  Whoop whoop!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cheese Potatoes (Recipe)

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a fantabulous Thanksgiving!  Do any of y'all go Black Friday shopping?  I go every year with my mom and sister and my aunt (when she's in town).  I just love it.  However, they are really getting out of hand with these start times!  In years past, we at least got a little bit of sleep, but this year we got none!  I made up for it though...I slept 14 1/2 hours last night!  I was asleep by 6 last night and didn't wake up until about 8:30ish.  Whew, I got off on a tangent there, huh?  I'll post tomorrow with all the deals I got!

Today I'm going to share with you a recipe for Cheese Potatoes.  I make these every year for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I actually don't really eat them anymore because I have grown to love my mom's mac & cheese, but it is quite delish.  Warning:  This is NOT a low fat dish!  But, it's for special occasions, so it's totally okay to partake. :)

Excuse the photos...I took almost all of them with my phone!

Cheese Potatoes (serves a lot!)
1 pint half and half
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 lb. Velveeta
2 sticks of butter or margarine
2 bags of hash browns

Here are the stars of the party!  I strongly recommend letting anything that is cold (basically everything except the Velveeta) sit out and get room temperature.  It won't take as long to melt.  You can see I used margarine, but butter would be fine. This was the last of my margarine, as I've recently switched to all butter.

First, grate your cheese.  I usually use already grated since I'm not quite as tempted to grab a fistful of the stuff.

Add everything except the hash browns to your pot.  I would definitely cut up the Velveeta and butter into small pieces.  I am all about not standing over the stove for long and I'm sure you peeps are too :)  Plus, the less time you spend over the stove is just more time to work out in preparation for eating this.  I'm thinking ahead people!  Stir regularly over medium to low heat.  I had mine over low, but it was on my "power burner" so it was probably a 'regular' burners medium to high heat.  You want to melt until it looks like this:

There should be no chunks of Velveeta left (that usually seems to take the longest to melt).

Put the hash browns into a large bowl.  Poor the melted cheese mixture on top and stir until well incorporated.  Turn your oven on to 325 degrees.  I don't know about you, but I never turn my oven on at the beginning of the recipe like they all seem to state. 

Pour into a 9x13 pan.  You don't have to grease or spray with Pam or anything...I never have.

Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbly.

That's it!  Easy peezy!  My family loves this dish, and I hope you do too if you try it!  I'm off to finish getting ready for the USC/Clemson game.  Super excited!  Go Cocks!
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