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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer linky.... Top Ten list for summer 2014

Time to join up with a blog for the top ten things I want to do this summer! Head over to Mrs. Jump's Class to read more and link up!

1. Spend time mindfully preparing for the next school year, whatever it brings. This will encompass some other choices too, like books to read! One thing I want to do is start loving the kids even before I know them, and that happens in a number of ways. One thing I can do is think ahead and not just look behind to the students I love right now, but look forward with anticipation and pray for my kids and my classroom. So that is my intention. My beliefs and prayers are private, not to be discussed in the classroom, but they live in my heart and define me day by day. I want to be intentional and use the power of prayer to change my heart.

2. Read to improve my teaching abilities. Last summer I started in a guided reading study and didn't finish it. So I am going to reread that book and finish it this time! I just saw a book study about small groups and differentiated learning, I might join that one this summer. We will just have to see. I am also interested in reading this Love and Logic book.
3. Reading for pleasure! I like mysteries and thrillers. I have been reading Patterson's women's murder mystery club stories and surely we are due for a new book soon!! I am waiting impatiently! I've also started on Sue Grafton's A-Z mysteries. I started reading these in 2003! She doesn't crank them out very quickly!
Okay, I actually think that I have not read this one yet! Yay! 

4. Projects! My living room needs painted and I'm finally okay with the idea of it. When we moved in my friend suggested I add some color but I couldn't stand the thought of changing anything because I thought our house was absolutely perfect (and it is), but we've have this house for six years this summer and it's time to add some color!

Obviously my living room isn't THIS cool, but I love the soothing colors. I want to add a mustard yellow and a green or tan and leave some ivory.

5. Crafty stuff. I want to do some things just for fun because it is good for my soul. I like mixed media drawing/painting. I love to draw. But I also hope to do some crafting for next year's classroom!
This is the tree picture I did a couple years ago for a Christmas gift. It's not awesome, but I enjoyed doing it!
6. Visit some local places with my kiddos! I can't wait to visit some sights with Punky! And hopefully see the Redhead some too. Red is going to stay with her sister and work over the summer. But one weekend I would love to go to Mushroom Rock State Park.  I also want to visit Rock City this summer. These are both within an hour of our house and since the budget is tight, the price is right!
Mushroom Rock

Rock City
 They seem somewhat similar, but I can't believe that I've lived this close to these geographical wonders for this long and haven't taken the time to visit them yet!

7. Catch up with friends. I have a couple friends who are closer than family. I really want to take the time to see them!
lifelong bestie

closer than a sister bestie
8. This sort of fits with the whole spend time with my besties thing.... I want to tie-dye!! I hope that we can squeeze it in! My friend who is a genius at crafty stuff, well, she's mostly just a genius, is starting a new job, with much less responsibility than her previous job, so I'm hoping we can actually see each other sometimes!! I'm hoping for a couple different tie-die shirts.
He's one I did last summer, it turned out pretty good.
9. Make cupcakes! Or cookies. I got decorating supplies last year for Christmas. I want to play around and figure out how to make stuff look really cool! I might even try to learn to make some gluten-free things for the Punkin!
cookies we decorated for Christmas 2013
10. Focus on our health! Find new gluten free foods for miss Punky. Walk and take care of MY health. Research healthy foods and try new recipes!

Whew! I am exhausted just thinking about it all! Happy Summer everyone!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Five for Friday on Saturday.....

Yesterday was the end of the year at our school. The place was in complete upheaval. IF the new addition is finished on time, there will be a lot of shuffling around before school starts. And if it isn't finished on time, well, yikes. Kindergarten is moving, Pre-K is moving, First grade is moving, Second grade is moving, a Fifth grade room is switching with a SPED room,Third grade is not moving but one third grade teacher is going to fifth and her replacement is coming from Kinder so they are packing up too. There will be a new/different Reading Specialist and so one teacher is packing up and moving out and the other is thinking about moving in, but it's a big mess! Total upheaval. Which you might notice a bit of in my five for Friday post this week. It has been quite a week! Here are five random things from my week! Don't forget to head over to Doodlebugs to read about everyone else's week too!

1. This "little" girl graduated. I am so proud of her and so happy for her. I know she will go on to do great things. She is headed of to a Community college in fall to get her basics and figure out what the next step should be.

2. I went across town to a neighboring school, OUR neighborhood school, and ate lunch with my Punky (on the left) and her best friend (on the right) for their all school BBQ lunch. I am so grateful I work with such a great team and was able to break away and do this.

3. One of the many teachers who will be in a new job and location next year got rid of her fish and all the supplies! So the tank and filter and gravel and shells and, well, all of it, were donate to us. The little orange blurb in front of the filter is Steve, he forgot to be still for the photo. Punky named him Steve. The Redhead and I wanted to name him "Gill" after the fish in the movie, What About Bob?

4. Lots and lots of materials were being given away this week. Teachers did not want to move them. Here is one stack of big books. I got so many resources this week, it isn't even funny!! I am going to Walmart today to get more shelves! After awhile, teachers didn't take their big books down to the give away tables, they just brought them to my corner of the reading room. Really. I got tons of books that will be great to read to students this summer and in a classroom! But I also got some great book for emergent readers! Maybe you are not super excited, but sometimes all it takes is that ONE thing to excite a student and a big book just might be the key! Whoot! 

I don't have a photo and I am not sure which of the many exciting things to insert here. I will be working at Kids Kampus daycare center this summer in a 3/4 combined room. We will do preschool whole group activities, craft activities/fine motor skills, swim lessons, centers, and so much more. I am looking forward to a busy and rewarding summer! 

Also, I will be working one on one with a student who improved dramatically in reading this school year and was reading on grade level at the end of the year. His mom is a colleague and friend and we decided it would benefit him to do some summer tutoring/reading so he keeps those gains! I can't wait! 

So, technically, that was six because I crammed two into that last one. And emotionally it was like 12.5 since I am feeling very emotional about a child graduating and leaving the nest and the end of the school year and leaving the people I see every day and some uncertainty about the future. 

Lastly, I want to thank you all for your constant support and prayers. "THE" job has not appeared yet, but I have grown much more confident in my ability to present the real me in interviews and I have not been blanking out nearly so much. I can't sell something I don't have, but it is really a shame when my mind goes blank and I can't show off the teacher that I AM in the interview process. So thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts. I can tell they are working! Happy Summer everyone! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Currently.... Is it really May already?

A new month means it is time for Currently! And there's a new feature, so surprise! What a fun link-up.

Listening.... silence is golden. As I enjoy the lack of noise, I hear the dog and cat snoring contentedly.  It is a peaceful sound.

Loving.... well, I love the fact that I have a choice about what kind of day I have today. I can have a great day whether everything goes the way I want it to or not. Today I also have a "free" day. I took a personal day and then my plans didn't work out, so I have no agenda. I love it when we have Springtime weather and the sun shines and the temperature is mild and I can't wait to participate in this day!

Thinking.... Life is full of possibilities. Well, that is true. I don't know what the future holds, but there are oh-so-many possibilities! My daughter is going off to college! I am searching for a teaching job. My youngest is exploring new dietary guidelines which may ease her pain and suffering. I have hope. Some days I still want to crawl in a hole and mope, but let's face it, it's just not that much fun.

Wanting.... financial stability. I don't even know what to say/think about this. I go back to the part where I just want a salaried teaching position, but now it runs deeper than that. In our state, you can be let go from your teaching position for no reason at all. Constitutional? I don't think so. What it is is heart-breaking and a real morale killer. I don't feel valued for teaching your child.  It feels like an abusive relationship. Bummer.

Needing... everything and nothing. I "need" a job. I need peace. I need to know what the future holds. And yet. I don't. I am rich in blessings in ways that cannot put into words and especially cannot be translated into $$. I live in the richest nation in the world. My poverty is riches by comparison. And for whatever reason, I have not given up on the American dream. I believe that I can achieve my dreams whatever they may be.

Surprise! Please give my friend Alyce a visit at Mrs. Bartel's School Family! She has the privilege of working at a charter school in the teeny, tiny town of Walton, Kansas. They are an Agriculture Charter school and have livestock and tend to a garden and incorporate ag into the classroom on a regular basis.

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