Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January Currently!

Happy 2014!  What a busy, busy year 2013 was for me and my family - hopefully 2014 will be even better!

I'm linking up with Farley today at Oh Boy 4th Grade to share my January Currently with you.  I always love linking up each month to share what's new and to read about some great new bloggy friends!

Listening - To the Rose Bowl Parade!  10 years ago I got to watch it in person as my brother marched in the parade and I have loved watching it ever since!  It's such a unique parade and I love the detail and beauty in each float.  It's so much cooler to see them up close and smell the flowers!  Although I don't think I'll ever miss waking up at 4:30 a.m. on New Year's Day to make it to the parade!

Loving - Need I say more? :-)  I <3 having the time to sleep in, run on my own schedule, spend time with family, and get done some projects on my school and home to-do lists.  Although I think I cram in a bit too much on my time off - but it's still more relaxing than being at school!  I don't know what I would do if I worked in a career where I didn't have a refresh button in the middle of the year.

Thinking - Of my New Year's Resolutions!  I am loving the "one word" idea that so many people are talking about/blogging about this year.  Last year I had many, many new year's resolutions that I made, and some of them I'm still looking at! :-(  This year, I'm sticking to the one word philosophy and making my resolution - IMPROVEMENT.  I love how that's so simple and yet something I can do, and be happy about at the end of 2014!  If I change one small eating habit, add a little more exercise to my schedule, spend more time with family, or free up my calendar to BLOG MORE... any of that would be an improvement and something that would make me smile.  Why clutter up 2014 with a long to do list and list of resolutions?

Wanting - A Snow Day!  Please?!  I'm watching today's winter storm warnings and listening to forecasts of up to 10 inches of snow for this week... with forecasts for NEXT week with high temps of FIVE.  I'm about ready for a snow day!  (Or a vacation to some place warm??)  Not to mention my January is CRAZY... lots of grading, report cards, OTES, mid-year benchmarks, changing my volunteer schedule... oh my! :-)

Needing - What a way to start the new year, huh?  I was cleaning this week and trying to whip my house into shape before I return to school next week, when my good ol' vacuum decided to bite the dust (instead of sweep it up... lol).  Grrrr!  It was only 3 years old!  Anyone have suggestions for a good vacuum without spending a fortune?  I'm not happy to splurge for one so soon but it's kinda a necessity - LOL.  Too bad Santa is off duty for the next 11 months...

Memory - My favorite Christmas memory from 2013 was simply the fact that I got to spend time with my family and my husband's family, and that everything worked out smoothly!  Usually the holidays are a crazy time for us, but this year everything worked out perfectly and we were able to spend time at each family without leaving in the middle and rushing to the other.  We even got to sleep in on Christmas too.  What a relaxing day!  :-)

Hope you have a wonderful 2014 and don't forget to link up with Farley to share your January Currently!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Currently

Here we go again - it's DECEMBER!  Also known as the craziest month of the school year... holiday shop, holiday concert, Christmas parties, oh my! :-)  I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade to share my December currently with you.

Listening - It's the last day of my 5 day weekend... I baked yummy treats, spent time with family, hit up the Black Friday sales (at noon, not midnight!), and now it's time to catch up with my usual Sunday routine as I prepare for a busy week.  Fun fun! :-) 

Loving - SO much right now!  I LOVE time off from school to spend time with my family and my husband's family.  I love Thanksgiving leftovers and not having to cook for a few days!  And I love my holiday decorations... my husband and I put the tree up last week and it's gotten me into the holiday spirit.  I love having the decorations up early enough to actually enjoy them. 

Thinking - December will be crazy but fun!  I am excited for the winter craftivities and writing projects that we are doing in the next few weeks.  Now to only decide what to do for my kids' gift to their parents...???  I always struggle with this and change my mind every year.  Help! Last year we did the cutest snowflake ornaments with their pictures on them, but I should have bought a lifetime supply because I can't find them anywhere! :-(  

Wanting - Yay!!  I love TPT sales.  I can't wait to stock up on some goodies for the winter months and on materials I've been using to supplement our new Wonders reading series.  I can't wait! 

Needing - Yes, I am the silly girl who is usually done by Thanksgiving break... but this year, I haven't started! What?!  Looks like December will be a bit more busy than usual. 

Favorite Tradition - Christmas Breakfast at my Mom's house.  Since the holidays are so busy and we usually have to be in 5 places at one time, my family started doing a Christmas breakfast so that we could still find time to get together.  I'm not usually one to make time for breakfast on a normal day, so I get really excited to have the whole breakfast buffet of choices.  Then we relax and open presents before our busy day begins. 

Make sure you link up with Farley and share your December currently!  Hope you have a happy holiday season! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Truth Monday

Boy... it's been a long time since I've gotten the chance to sit down and blog!  This school year has been busy, busy, busy.  I am definitely looking forward to some time to relax on Thanksgiving break later this week!

Speaking of vacation (or stay-cation in my case), I'm linking up with Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade to share my favorite vacation spot with you.  It was a no-brainer... I have been in love with Hawaii since the moment I first visited!

 Here are a few of my favorite Hawaii pics to cheer you up on a snowy Monday...

Tropical flowers - So pretty!

My favorite part of the honeymoon - we woke up at 2 a.m, drove up the mountain and waited for the sun to rise.  You're literally in the clouds!  It was a sight like I had never seen before. 

Sunset from our balcony

And seriously... best. pool. ever.  <3
Can I have this in my backyard?? 

Happy almost Thanksgiving to all of you!  Hope you get to enjoy a fun vacation - or at least a stay-cation!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Currently!

It's that time again... time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade to share my November currently with you!  I know everybody says it EVERY time... but seriously, how does each month get here so quickly?  I really am bewildered because I feel like I just began a brand new year with my kiddos and then overnight they pick up on your new routines and they're off and rolling into a busy year!!

Listening - Well... it WAS silence!  Now it's my dog who has decided to declare her own dinner time since it's dark an hour earlier today and how dare mom be on her computer instead of paying attention to her... LOL!  Told you silence doesn't happen often. :-)

Loving - I follow all of my favorite bloggers on Bloglovin but each time I link up with Farley, I find new blogs that I've never heard of and add them to my favorites!!  (Maybe I'll be your new favorite, hehe!)  It's so awesome to chat with such a great group of teachers and share ideas with each other, especially last year when I was brand new to 2nd grade and definitely needed the ideas.

Thinking - How early is too early to start the countdown to a long weekend/vacation from school?  I vote for never... especially when you've survived/are surviving report cards, class parties, and conference nights!  I'm looking forward to time off at home to spend with family, time to catch up on school work, yummy food to eat, and decorating for Christmas!

Wanting - Seriously... do they make houses that clean themselves?  I wish I had time to catch up on some organization!

Needing - It suddenly went from 70 to 50... and when I pulled out my fall clothes I started thinking how that's ALL I will wear until like May and how I needed some fun new things to mix and match!  Where is your favorite place to shop for work clothes?  I am a khaki's girl and am super bummed because my American-Eagle-have-them-in-every-color-khaki's no longer come in boot cut so I need a new love!  :-(

A yummy pin - Oooh, so many to choose from!  I am constantly pinning yummy recipes to try. I'll have to go with these cool ranch tacos though from Plain Chicken (one of my favorite blogs to find recipes!).

                           Cool Ranch Chicken Tacos {Slow Cooker} | Plain Chickend  I'm a taco-a-holic, LOL!  I made them in the crockpot last weekend and both my husband and I liked them! They were super easy and made enough to not only have leftovers but to freeze some too for another night.  Yum!  Click here to check out this and other great recipes at Plain Chicken!

Speaking of yummy... I'm off to get dinner with my husband before another busy week begins!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Truth Monday

I'm linking up with Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade for her My Truth Monday.  If you haven't read her blog yet, stop by to check it out!  She has great ideas and TPT products that I've used in second grade.


This week's theme is all about what creeps you out!  

Hehe!  Perfect little break from report cards, conference week, meetings AND a party this week.  Ahh! That alone creeps me out when I think about what a long week that will be!!!

Make sure you head over to Denise's blog and link up to share what creeps you out! :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Currently

Whoa - can't believe it is OCTOBER!  The first month (or month and a half) of school always kicks my butt, no matter how many years I've been teaching!  By the time you blink it's already fall and I can't believe how fast it's gone.

It's time to link up again with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade to share my October Currently with you!  It will give me something fun to do as I sit here recovering from having minor surgery this week. :-(

Listening - I don't really have much time in the evening to watch TV, but I do usually get to watch Wheel of Fortune during dinner.  Maybe someday I'll win it big on there... haha!

Loving - The weather!  My favorite season is SUMMER and my second favorite is when summer sneaks into fall and tries to stick around.  It's so nice to see the leaves changing color and go buy pumpkins for my porch while enjoying the warm sunshine and breeze.  It's also nice to sneak in an extra recess now and then to help my wiggly second graders!

Thinking - Oh the craziness... I was out 3 days for minor surgery and just went back today!  I had amazing subs but it's crazy how much there is to catch up on in just a few short days!  Not to mention report cards and conferences will be here before you know it.... ahh!!!  Can't wait for NEOEA day in a few weeks...

Wanting - Go Tribe!  The Wild Card game is tonight and it's HUGE because we haven't been in the playoffs for like 7 years I think?  I'm crossing my fingers and waiting to watch the game tonight!  My husband and I are huge baseball fans and I even had Slider (the Indians' mascot) make an appearance at my wedding. :-)

Needing - I feel silly saying this, but should I take an online class for fun?  I wanted to take an online class on teaching students with ADHD, which I think would be useful for my classroom!  I got a discount voucher with a workshop I took this summer and as much as I think I'd enjoy learning new things for my classroom, I wonder if it's too crazy of a time of year??

Trick - I just learned last year that you can remove permanent marker off nametags, center signs, etc. by scribbling over it with DRY ERASE marker and then wiping it clean with a tissue!  Who knew??  It makes flexible grouping easy breezy because I can change my center signs and ability groups at a moment's notice and they hold up pretty well!

Hope you are enjoying fall!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Organization Love!

Now that our school year is off and rolling, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ways to keep myself organized at work.  Nothing is worse than slowing down your work day working on plans or forgetting your schedule!!  Warning... I'm about to reveal my secret nerdy self that loves everything color coded... though I believe I'm not alone.  :-) 

One of my FAVORITE things to help me stay organized is my new planner I bought from Target this fall.  LOVE!  I always struggle to find the planner that is totally ME, because either it is too small to write much or it is gigantic and I can't fit it in my bag.  Mine is yellow chevron, but it looks just like this one.


I love it because not only is it super cute, but it has both a monthly calendar page and then weekly pages. On the monthly pages I put everything school related - student birthdays, assemblies, conferences, etc. in a color code to help me quickly glance at what is happening for the week.  It saves time because I can look at a name on the calendar and instantly know it's a meeting because it's in red, or a birthday because it's in blue! I can slip my planner in my bag each night so I can refer to it at home too.  I used to put all of this on my desk calendar, but obviously that does not travel well. :-)  

My favorite part though is the weekly pages because each day of the week has a long, skinny section, perfect for my To-Do lists!  I always used to be a Post-it girl, which works great for quick notes but anytime I would stick a to-do on my calendar I tended to lose them!  I mean where am I supposed to put those little colorful squares as I am working... on my purse?  My phone?  LOL.  Plus I can write down quick to-do's that are coming up soon on the day that they need to be completed.  It helps me plan ahead and it's also really motivating to see things being crossed off that list.  

Of course - my planner wouldn't be complete without my Ink Joy pens.  I have them in my zipper pouch so that they can travel back and forth to school too!  I was never really a fan of colored pens since they usually didn't write well, but I love how these are colorful but still write really smoothly - and last a long time!  If you haven't tried them you are missing out. 


In addition to organizing the ME part of teaching, I always try to leave my daily plans and materials organized on my desk too in case I am out unexpectedly as those back to school germs hit!  (Or in my case, that have currently hit me!)  Here's a picture of my desk as I am leaving on a normal night so that anyone can find my plans, copies and manuals in a pinch.  I've learned to always expect the unexpected in teaching! :-) 


And here's a picture of my sub set up when I know for sure I'm going to be out.  It's organized with sticky notes on each subject's materials throughout the day.  

And that's how I survive the craziness of my day... :-)  How do you stay organized at work??  Be sure to leave me your best tips in your comments! 

Oh and last but not least... THANKS for all the birthday wishes on my last post!  I celebrated my 30th with a yummy birthday dinner out at the Cheesecake Factory with my family and my husband.  We had a great time!  Yum!