Monday, August 31, 2009

I've got a list this week...

I couldn't decide what to focus on this week for Gratituesday, so I decided to make a list.

1. Our colds that started on Friday seem to be dying down already. Thank goodness for honey, hot tea, lemon, and a rest filled weekend for the little monkeys. My throat is acting up but that's probably from talking too much (not that I ever do that...) :)

2. My students do know their sounds, they just can't blend them together to sound out words! I did an extra assessment to pin point the problem, I feel so much better now! Learning to blend and decode in one year is much more reasonable than learning all the sounds plus blending and decoding. I am so grateful to be closer to having readers!

3. My home is coming together. Painting has been an issue around here, but K is finally getting the high parts of the wall finished (since I am a BIG chicken on the wouldn't want to be almost 20ft in the air either), so we will be rearranging furniture soon! I cannot wait to get things back where they belong!

4. We got our new freezer ordered. We decided on a bigger version of the Kenmore we have had for 9 years (thanks Mom and Dad). It should be here on Friday, so I think we will be having a bake fest over the three day weekend! After the almost freezer fiasco I think we made a good choice and we got an excellent price! I love sales with an extra 10% off!!!

5. I have a wonderful sons and an awesome husband! We are in such a good place right now as a family!

Well I probably could add more, but I'll stop there (I'm sure you all have other things to get to!).

Head on over to Laura's for Gratituesday to see what everyone else is grateful for today!

Until next time,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Menu Plan for the Week

On to another school week...The best part about this week is it will end with a 3 DAY WEEKEND!!! Okay, there will probably be better things but that's pretty high on the list so far!

Anyway... here's what we have planned for this week.

Breakfasts- oatmeal, cereal, french toast (freezer stash), pancakes (freezer stash), Banana Nut Muffins or Strawberry Bread (freezer stash).

Lunches- ham sandwiches, PB & J sandwiches, grapes and apples, carrots with ranch, celery with peanut butter, leftovers


Sunday- Beef and Chicken Kabobs, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, zucchini, and onions

(I wish we had smell on the computers. They are on the BBQ right now and it smells WONDERFUL!)

Monday-Poorman's Meal You have to watch Miss Clara! After I showed the boys her meal they asked if we could make it tomorrow! I just love her, she is so cute!

Tuesday- Spaghetti, Italian Sausage (called meatballs by the boys), Buttered Bread, Salad

Wednesday- Talapia, Broccoli, Pasta with butter, Salad

Thursday- Pork Chops, Steamed Red Potatoes, Asparagus

Friday- Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday- Tri Tip, Rice Pilaf, Broccoli, Salad

Well that's it... If you need more menu ideas you should head on over to Laura's at Organizing Junkie! Have a GREAT week!

Until next time,

Friday, August 28, 2009

Listening to my Monkeys

We were all sitting around yesterday after school watching a new show on the computer. K and I were cracking up listening to all our little men having conversations and analyzing the show. They are just too funny! I just kind of soaked in the moment. When school starts around here we (okay- mostly me) turn into busy people who are trying to get things done for the next day. It was a welcome break to just sit and hang out with my monkeys. I am so happy to have this time with them, before I know it they'll be off to college!

Spending time listening to my boys is definitely a finer thing! Head on over to Amy's to see what others are celebrating on the Finer Things Friday!

Until next time,

Monday, August 24, 2009


As many of you know when kids go back to school teachers go into assessment mode. We use assessments to help us figure out how best to meet the needs of our new students. Well, I started mine and all I can say is, "Oh my!" I have finished testing about half of the class and only one kiddo is at grade level in reading. Some of my poor little ones don't even know all of their letter sounds! That is insane for 2nd grade!

This is where faith comes into the picture. I have to have continual faith that the kids and I will be able to push through and get to grade level. I know there will be times I just want to scream, but I have to breathe and stay focused. I will push the kids and some will push back out of frustration, so I need to ask for help in finding the right words to encourage them to keep trying.

So today on this Gratituesday I am grateful for the wisdom of experience and the faith that I will be able to give these kids the gift of reading by the end of our school year. It might not be and easy task, but it must be done. I owe it to these munchkins to try my best, just like I ask them to do for me! I am no saint, but I am willing to give it my best shot.

I will be sure to keep you all posted as we progress through the school year!

To read more about what others are grateful for today head on over to Laura's for Gratituesday!

Until next time,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Menu Plan for the Week

We survived the first week back to school and I finally feel like I am back into my rhythm. It takes me a few days to adjust to new kiddos at school and still maintain a good momma attitude at home. Sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed with home life and school demands, but once I chill out and breathe I realize everything will be just fine!

Anyway... here's what we have planned for this week.

Breakfasts- oatmeal, cereal, french toast (freezer stash), pancakes (freezer stash), Banana Nut or Strawberry Bread (freezer stash), leftover Frittata.

Lunches- ham sandwiches, PB & J sandwiches, fruit, carrots with ranch, celery with peanut butter, leftovers


Sunday- Leftovers (YOYO Night)

Monday-Chicken Pot Pie (the second one from Z's last cooking adventure)

Tuesday- Tri Tip, Corn on the Cob (frozen from my 10 for $1 deal at Target!), broccoli

Wednesday- Beef and Chicken Quesedilla, K's Refried Beans

Thursday- Hamburgers, Fries, Salad

Friday- Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday- Tacos, K's Refried Beans, Salad

Well that's it... If you need more menu ideas you should head on over to Laura's at Organizing Junkie! Have a GREAT week!

Until next time,

Yard Sale Bust!

Be prepared, little rant ahead-

I was so bummed this weekend. I went out with my list and found nothing! I mean I actually came home with NOTHING! I was hopeful when I stopped at one sale, but the lady shooed me away. She said they would start at 8am. I looked at my watch it was 7:45 or so. Um okay, well it looked to me like they had everything out, but who am I? Nope, I did not go back. My thought was if you don't want people to come and buy your stuff until a certain time then don't put out signs everywhere leading to your house. Am I wrong? I just really couldn't believe someone would send people away. Did she really think people would come back? Okay, enough of my little rant. :)

Anyway I wanted to share some pictures of what I found at a local thrift store later Saturday morning. I found these 5 beautiful golden yellow plates for $9. They're J. C. Penney Home and I love them!

I found a platter a month or so back in the same pattern and put it back. I am so kicking myself now! I am thinking they will look great displayed against my formal dining room accent wall. I am hoping to find a hutch to go there too, so these would take up the space above it!

Since I didn't find much this weekend I wanted to share a few great finds from before my blogging days. K and I headed over to a "yard sale" at some model homes a few months ago. Apparently with the slowdown in building the models had been closed up, but some hoodlums started breaking in a stealing the appliances and furniture. The realtors decided to cut their losses and empty the houses for the time being.

We brought home this beautiful coffee table for a mere $25. It is Thomasville and not a cheaply made piece. I love the inlay pattern on the top and the detail around the side.

We also scored two chairs to go with it, they were only $20! I went on the website for the manufacturer and the cheapest chair I could find in that style was $140! Paired with the coffee table I have the beginning of my "library" area.

I was also able to get this adorable little metal table for my garden. It was only $5.

I am soooo hoping next weekend will be better, we'll just have to wait and see! Now head on over to Rhoda's at Southern Hospitality and see what everyone else found this weekend!

Until next time,

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Classroom

I don't think I'm speaking out of turn when I say one of the finer things in a teacher's life is when her classroom is ready for school to begin! I. LOVE. MY. CLASSROOM. I feel calm and organized and happy in this space. I have tried to make it a place where my kids want to come in and get to the business of learning! So I decided to give you all a tour of where I spend my day.

This is our "mat" area. Each of the kids sit in one of the square that I call their "houses". (Try to ignore the boxes, a bookshelf is on the way to clear up that clutter!)

This is the front of the room. The board on the right is my Promethean Board. It is like a giant touch screen computer monitor. I. LOVE. IT!!!!!

This is my computer station and encouragement bulletin board. I am hoping I win a drawing at school and get another computer. (Keep your fingers crossed for me.) The bulletin board is one we do the first day of school. Each child feels out a little card that says, "I am a star because...". They are soooo cute filling out their answers!

This is our math meeting area. This year I decided to use less of my pre-made posters and more student made posters. So far it is working out great!

This is where I do a lot of my small group instruction. I love the little white board that K fixed for me this summer!

This bulletin board is for displaying the final copies of writing the kids have completed. I put name labels on the blue paper, so I can see at a glance who hasn't completed the assignment yet.

This is our information bulletin board. I have our behavior chart, class list, rules, student of the month, newsletters, lunch menu, and "mailboxes" right here by the classroom door. the little stars you see hanging on the right are my hall passes.

Star of the Week spot! (That's a picture of me in 2nd grade)

The library area with a little love seat (Thanks MA!) for curling up with a good book.

My writing station and color printer/copier (thanks K!) area. All of our writing supplies are kept here.

Listening station. I have little cassette players in the bags for the kids to read along as they listen to a book. It is so funny teaching them how to use a cassette!

The final view...all the desks ready for little people!

Thanks for coming on a tour with me. Head on over to Amy's to see what everyone else is sharing today on Finer Things Friday!

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Commando Child

This is why we're not suppose to commando roll into our bedroom. Metal bunkbeds and heads don't mix! One butterfly stitch later and he was back in business! Thank goodness this kid heals FAST! He has scars all over is handsome face!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I start back to school Tuesday. Every year is full of excitement for me as I meet my new little people for the year. Everything is so fresh and new and I am also refreshed with hope after my summer break. I love the beginning of the school year!

Since I began teaching I have developed a "knack" for teaching children with special challenges. Sometimes I wonder about this reputation I am gaining in this little community, but I know the kids with those needs are placed with me for a reason. I know some people would pull their hair out, but for some reason I just understand what I need to do to get through to these kids. I am thankful to have these little ones in my care for the school year. I learn a lot about patience and my creativity is pushed to the limits sometimes, but I also know it makes me a better teacher to the "regular" kids.

So today on this Gratituesday I am thankful for the parents, administrators, and coaches that entrust me with these kids. I am also grateful for the wisdom given to me to know what to do when I need to do it. I never was one to say I had patience when I was younger, but I am sure thankful I have it now.

Now you should head on over to Laura's to see what everyone else is grateful for today on this Gratituesday.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finishing Projects

K and I love doing projects around the house. Our problem is that we both get distracted by the million other things we want to do, so sometimes (ok...often) projects don't get finished in a timely manner. Well I think we are recovering from our ADD behaviors because we finished a bunch of projects over the past couple of weeks! YAY for us! So today I want to share some finished projects.

I showed you all the great shelves K built for me, well now they are fully stocked and being put to use! Everything I wanted in the storage room has a place. I. LOVE. IT!!!

Next I was able to redo a SA find to make a towel rack for the monkeys since a towel bar DOES NOT WORK for 3 boys! It went from this-

to this!

Cool Huh?!? They like it MUCH better! My littlest interior designer (N) asked for the openings to both be chalkboard. Our boys are not shy with their opinions on my changes to their spaces. I just need to remember to bring home some chalk and decide on what color to paint their bathroom!

My last completed project for today has actually been redone before, but it needed it again since we moved into the new house. This little side table was a yard sale find by my mom years ago. I shabbied it up back then so it would go with my bedroom. Well in it's new spot in the breakfast nook it did not fit with my black finishes. I FINALLY decided to change it up! I love how it turned out, right down to the new little knob!



So there you have it! I promised I would share when I was done! I am pretty happy with how the changes turned out!

Head on over to Metamorphosis Monday to see how everyone else is changing things up!

Until next time,

Menu Plan for the Week

Our first full week back to school! UGH! Where did the summer go?!? This season is exactly why I am such a firm believer in menu planning. It takes so much stress away if we have our meals planned out AHEAD of time instead of being worn out and trying to figure out what to make any given night. I also love that my boys all know where the menu is posted in the kitchen and refer to it often!

I keep the monthly menu taped to one of the kitchen cabinet doors along with a great quote I found about dinner time!

... here's what we have planned for this week.

Breakfasts- oatmeal, cereal, french toast (freezer stash- and I mean a STASH!), pancakes (freezer stash)

Lunches- ham sandwiches, PB & J sandwiches, fruit, carrots with ranch, celery with peanut butter, leftovers


Sunday- Breakfast for dinner- K's omelets and french toast (I made a GIGANTIC batch for the freezer)

Monday-Nacho Night with Dad (I have meet the teacher night at school)

Tuesday- Pork Chops, red potatoes, asparagus

Wednesday- Corn Dogs, Fries, Raw veggies and fruit

Thursday- Pasta with red sauce, Italian Sausage, french bread, Salad

Friday- Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday- Chicken Kiev, Squash, Noodles

Well that's it... If you need more menu ideas head on over to Laura's at Organizing Junkie!

Until next time,

Yard Sale Finds

All I have to say about this weekend is BOOKS! I am in back to school mode, but I wanted to take a break from prepping my classroom and hit some sales Saturday morning. There weren't many advertised, so I really wasn't expecting much. I didn't find anything for the house, but I did find a lot of books for my classroom or so I thought.

I told the boys to look through the books and see which ones they wanted to keep and which ones could go to school. Fast forward a few minutes...I come back in the room and they made two piles-one to keep and one for school. Guess how many books they put in the school pile...3 yup only 3. I had to override them on that decision, I know they love to read, but really only 3 for school?!? They are silly little guys!

I did find some clothes for me too! I found a cute teal long sleeve and this great Rusty brand brown and pink hoodie sweater! I love sweaters for casual days around here in the fall.

I also found this great chunky sage green scarf for $1. I need scarves for yard duty days during the winter, it gets mighty chilly some days!

At the next sale I found a this cute skirt and 2 shirts. I think the green one will go with one of the skirts I found a few weeks ago! The black one is long sleeved and perfect for layering.

So that's about it for me this at yard sales weekend! I did get some projects finished so I'll post about those in a couple of days! Head on over to Rhoda's at Southern Hospitality and see what everyone else scored this weekend.

Until next time,

Friday, August 14, 2009

First Day of School

We have been dreading going back to school. Not because the boys and I don't like school, but because we have enjoyed being home with each other so much this summer. That all settled down Wednesday afternoon at back to school open house. I was so excited for the boys when we met their teachers, really great ladies with the right personalities for my monkeys!

Yesterday was their first official day back to school and they were so excited! All reports were excellent when they came home. K told me L said 3rd grade is the BEST! N quickly jumped in and said 2nd grade was too! Z had a good day with his sixth grade class and really likes his teacher.

So today on this Finer Things Friday I am happy to have raised boys that love school! Valuing your education, your teachers, and your school is definitely a finer thing!

Join Amy for more Finer Things Friday to see what everyone else is celebrating today!

Until next time,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting Lunches Ready

A lot of kids are heading back to school, so many of you know about the morning chaos that ensues! One way I have taken some of the stress off of the morning routine is with a night before routine. I get everyone's lunch bags ready the night before. I get the snacks and juices loaded into the bags and take the "orders" for the sandwiches. It makes my life so much easier to have one less thing to worry about has everyone gets ready for their day. I can have their bags completely ready by the time they wake up, so I can just concentrate on them. I love it!

This is what my counters look like the night before school.

So that is my mom tip of the day to make life easier during those busy school mornings! Head on over to Jenny's at Zack's Gang for more mom tips!

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to Work Today!

Well I survived my first official day back to school. No kids yet just meetings and training sessions which were actually pretty interesting. If you're a teacher or know a teacher I'm sure you've heard of in-services with a less than loving tone :) I was pleasantly surprised, but I still just wanted to be in my classroom getting everything ready.

Hopefully tomorrow we will have time to just work in our rooms! I am lucky that I've learned to work pretty efficiently so my room is pretty much ready to go. Just waiting on practice books and supplies to be delivered. I hope we have everything before school starts this year, last year we had issues so things showed up after school started. We managed, but it wasn't exactly fun! I love back to school because everything is fresh and new, including my hope for the new bunch of munchkins I will be guiding this year.

I also got to take the boys to go meet their teachers this afternoon! N has L's teacher from last year, so we already know her and she already knows us. L's teacher is new to us, but seems like a very nice lady. Z's teacher seems pretty laid back, but it was different to be in a room for sixth graders. His class seems so grown up! I am excited for them as they start their new year! We are all going to have a great time in school, I just have a feeling about it!

Well that's my life for the day!

Until next time,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Handy Hubby

I am so very lucky to have a husband that likes to build things! After we moved the Lego Room to another room I was able to take over the closet space under our stair case. K helped me move an old bookcase in there so I would have a place for all my small appliances. It was working ok, but I really wanted to find another bookcase to fit in there for more storage space. It is an awkward space, so finding something ready made was turning out to be a real challenge!

This is what the space looked like empty. There are 3 different ceiling heights!

K decided the best solution would be to build something himself. Now let me tell you when he gets to building he is a wee bit of a perfectionist. He measured my flour buckets and appliances to get the shelves just right. Not that I mind since I'm just a little OCD too. So now I have custom shelves that look like they were part of the house from the beginning! K is the master builder and I am the master clean-up and painting crew. So here's what my sweet husband did to help out his frustrated wife!

After the build and during the priming. I have turned into a real blogger- I stopped painting to get a before picture! Shhh-quit your laughing, you know you've done it too!

The final product! I don't want to put anything on the shelves until the paint has cured for couple days! I can't wait to use them! I'll post pictures when I get everything in place...

Don't I just have the best hubby! I know I am lucky! So today for the Gratituesday I am grateful for a husband with the skills to make our home a nicer place for all of us!

Join Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers to see what everyone else is grateful for today!

Until next time,