Saturday, June 30, 2012

Two BIG Annoucements!

Believe it or not, I'm keeping this one short and sweet. (I know, I've said that before, and it never happens.) But I've got two BIG announcements (Ok, one is WAY bigger than the other, at least to me!)

Announcement #1

Congratulations to Kate at To The Square Inch-she's the winner of my 100 Follower Giveaway and lots of fun goodies!


Also, make sure to check out her blog (it's one of my faves!)

Now, on to my next announcement (and my personal favorite)!

Announcement #2

Matthew proposed tonight (last night?)!!! We're officially engaged!!! I'm super excited, and let me tell you, that was a proposal for the books. SERIOUSLY awesome. But I'm tired and don't have the energy to type it all up (and that would make this a LOOONNNGGG post)-but you better believe that it's coming.

Until then, I'll leave you with a couple pictures from this evening-the BEST night ever.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crafting, tutoring, and summer shopping!

I think I have a problem.

A craft supply problem.

Yesterday I went through and cleaned out some stuff from my craft supply stashes and...well...there was A LOT of scrapbook paper in there. Except...I don't scrapbook. I haven't scrapbooked since high school. Which is why it doesn't really make sense for me to have 5 pads of scrapbook paper.

And don't get me started on all of the letter stickers that I found. Holy moly.

Here's the thing, if I walk into say, JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby, I feel an instinctive need to gather craft supplies for a project. Half of the time I don't even have a project in mine, just a rough, "This would be cool to use for something, someday."

Terrible idea.

And to top it off, none of the paper that I've collected will go with my classroom next year. So I guess my kiddos will be making super snazzy thank you notes for random stuff throughout the year.

Like for iPads if our Donors Choose project gets funded-wanna help with that? There's a link on the right.


I was so proud of myself on Monday. I had gathered all of the necessary supplies (and then some, sigh) to make my super awesome teacher toolbox (you know, the one that everyone and their cat has been making lately). AND, I just knew that for once, I was going to be able to join the Monday Made It link up party.

And then, I didn't get it finished. Because I lost misplaced my label for Sharpies.

And come on, you have to have a label for Sharpies.

So I told myself, "Tuesday, I WILL finish it Tuesday." All I have to do is reprint the label.

Except, I only had 2 pieces of the paper that I used for my labels.

And only scraps were left.

So I was going to have to figure out some complicated way of printing perfectly onto that little scrap.

"Too complicated for a Tuesday," I thought.

So I didn't finish it.

To my credit, I did print that label today, but I've decided the labels should probably be laminated before I attach them to my drawers.

And, of course, I don't have a laminator lying around the house. (Though I would happily accept donations toward the "Laura Needs a Laminator Fund")

Seriously though, it's going to knock your socks off. If you're wearing socks. I REALLY want to show it to you (because it looks AWESOME), but I can't show you something that's not done yet!

Sometimes I frustrate myself.

Anywho, I met with my future 2nd grader for the first time today. We worked on handwriting for a bit; she's a lefty with some sloppy handwriting. Our writing goal for the time being is to make her writing worthy of writing a letter to a Disney princess. Have you seen this on Pinterest? Apparently, if kids write letters to Disney characters, they get an autographed picture back from the character. Cool, right?

She wanted to know how I talked to the Princess.

Man, I wish I was good at making stuff up on the fly.

I told her I heard about it online. I should have said that I'm Tinkerbell's BFF.

After we practiced our handwriting for awhile, we went and painted ceramics at a local place.

She painted "Sparkles the Cat." She decided that she will be calling her "Sparkle-icious" instead.
(A shiny gold star to the person who can figure out how to spell Sparkleicious. That just looks silly.)

My sister met up with us and painted a caterpillar.

Me? Oh, come on now-isn't it obvious?

I'm working on a new coffee mug, of course.

Go ahead, get the "duh" out of your system.
The orange part is teeny, tiny masking tape. How cute is that?!

I'll wait.

Because I'm a perfectionist, they both finished and I'm probably not even halfway done. you think there's any chance that at 13 year old boy would want to go paint ceramics with me tomorrow? Yeah, probably not.

Here are a couple pictures of my work in progress-hopefully I don't screw it up. I have a tendency to do that with painting projects...

I'll show you the final project when I get it finished and have it fired.

Since I'm not linking up with Made It Monday, I'll link up with the Summer Shopping linky party hosted by Ladybug's Teacher Files!

I'll admit it, at the end of every school year, I say that I don't really need to get anything new for my room, but seriously, who am I kidding?

I L-O-V-E getting new stuff for my classroom.

You've already seen my new chair and my crate seats, and truthfully, I have a lot more stuff on my "to make" list, but I just haven't been horribly motivated recently.

Shopping, however, has been another story.

So without further ado, my recent Summer Shopping finds!

First off, the black body pillow that I have in my reading area attracts lint and fuzz like crazy. Which of course drives me crazy.

Solution: Super cute zebra pillow case (and it's nice and soft!)

Then (because I have a SERIOUS Target addiction), I was wandering through the home decor section and found this awesome thought bubble white board. But here's the kicker-it lights up!!!

I know. Try not to squeal too much.

I'm usually a clearance shopper when it comes to school stuff, but for $15, I couldn't pass it up. And you've all seen that awesome Pinterest idea about using a touch light to remind students that you aren't available while you're working in small groups. How perfect will this be?! I can even add a little message!

Off | On
I'm pretty excited about that one. Obviously.

Then, while I was at JoAnn's (looking for scrapbook paper, sigh), I found these bad boys.

Those Command hooks aren't cheap, but they are oh so very useful.

Get this: Not only were they $1.98 on clearance, but clearance was marked an additional 50% off.

Yup, you did that math right-I got them for a buck each. Naturally, I stocked up.

But I have BIG plans for those little hooks. Big plans, I say.

But that's a topic for another day.

Then I hit Dollar Tree.

Dollar Tree is awesome. Seriously.

I spent $20 and got a TON of stuff for next year. (You know, because everything's $1)

Check it out.

That's 6 stacking bins, 5 locker style bins, 4 fun pens, an expandable file (because I promised Matthew I would keep my receipts for school stuff for my taxes this year), a roll of masking tape, and a pack of foam paint rollers (for another project).

Not bad, right?

Whew. That's a lot. And I just realized that I need to get some math practice together for my former student to work on tomorrow. Bummer.

But I'm planning on taking him geocaching tomorrow. Wish me luck. I've never done it before.

I'm getting sleepy, so I'm going to wrap this up, but don't forget--only a couple more days left to enter my 100 Follower Giveaway!

And at the rate things are going, it looks like I'm going to hit 200 followers before this one ends-which is seriously AMAZING!

I never thought that my little blog would reach 100 followers, so seeing all of this growth the last week has been super awesome-you guys are the best!

You know what, I'll make a deal with you.


If I hit 200 followers before the giveaway ends, I'll make myself make one of the projects on my "Future Teachers Pay Teachers Product List" and give it to you guys FOR FREE. Yup, everyone will get it! But that's only if I hit 200 followers before the giveaway is up.

So if you haven't entered the giveaway yet-what are you waiting for?!

And make sure that you get those extra entries by blogging about the giveaway!

Matthew just got back from his late night ice cream cone run, so I should probably go and actually spend some time with him! :)


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Isn't summer supposed to be relaxing?!

Holy moly.

I've been sooo busy this week!

Ok, maybe not THAT busy, but in terms if this teacher's summer vacation, I was running myself ragged.

Monday and Tuesday were spent at school with my 6th grade partner in crime. (I'm relatively certain she is blog stalking me this summer. Hi Teri!) We spent two full days working out details of our brand new Student Ambassador program

What is the Student Ambassador Program, you ask?

Excellent question.

We're still not entirely sure.

It's at least going to be a combination of safety patrol, student council, PBIS training buddies for new students, peer mentoring/tutoring, school store running (Oh, yeah-we're also starting a school store next year. No biggie.), school event assisting, and probably some other stuff that I'm forgetting.

Easy peasie.


I'm really excited about starting this next year, but I'd be lying if I said that there isn't a teeny tiny part of me that wonders if we've bit off more than we can chew.

But clearly we both have superhuman abilities (I mean, I pried myself out of bed two mornings in a row during the summer-that HAS to be a super power!), so this should be a cake walk.

Please remind me of that if I have a mid-year meltdown. (Not that that would ever happen.)

I was supposed to meet with my kiddos on Wednesday and Thursday. Due to some scheduling conflicts, it didn't work out to meet with either of them this week. Honestly, as much as I love them, it was nice to have a mini-break (I know, I know, it's summer and I really don't have THAT much going on).

So instead of tutoring and whatnot, I did some antiquing with my mom and sister Wednesday afternoon. And then we made a trip to PetSmart because my sister's 200 6 hamsters needed more bedding.

Ummm...we may have left PetSmart with more than just hamster bedding. sister has been trying to talk me into getting a class pet since I moved into my classroom. And I've been putting it off because I've just had soo many kids in my room with above average volume levels.

But as of right now, our class sizes are looking pretty small for next year. (WOOT!)

And well, there was this gerbil...

Clearly, you can see where this story is headed, so without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Walter.

Walter, meet my blogging amigos. Blogging amigos, meet Walter.

Ok, come on now, you can't blame me for not wanting to leave that cute little face in the pet store.

And teacher that had my classroom before me had rats. At least I didn't get a rat, right? Those naked tails creep me out. Walter's tail is completely covered in fur. No bald spots.

He just moved out of his temporary home yesterday into his new gerbil condo. No more spare wire hamster cage for him, no sir.

He's living large, now.

By the way, those tubes? Not as easy to put together as you would think. It took Matthew and I at least half an hour to put that bad boy together.

Then my sister looked at it and told me that I put the lid on backward. Oops. And apparently the set up in the picture (which is how I set it up) makes it super top heavy. So she fixed it. Oops again.

I'll get the hang of this gerbil stuff sooner or later. Hopefully sooner.

Thursday afternoon I spent with one of my friends. She lives about half an hour away, but her in-laws have this awesome pool that she gets to use. We decided it would be great to just lounge around the pool. I needed gas before I left town, and wouldn't you know, as soon as I paid for my gas, it started raining. And it rained the whole way there. And for at least an hour after I got there.


But it did finally stop raining, it was about 75 degrees instead of 90, and we finally made it to the pool.

And then it rained again. Urgh.

This pasty girl needs some sun! Especially to help cancel out my bizarre tan lines from our canoe trip.

Please note that my tan vanished from the knee down.

Because that's not weird or anything.

And finally, I had a two part photo shoot to do, plus I had to get my awesome 100 Follower Giveaway up and going (you did enter, right?)!

The weather was MUCH cooler than it was originally supposed to be, which was awesome for my shoot--and from what I've edited so far, I'm quite pleased with the results!

But I'm sure you don't want to see those.

Do you?

Ok, I haven't even edited this one yet, but I LOVE it. Like a lot.

And because I really like the two that I went ahead and edited so that the couple could get a sneak peek at their pictures, I'll just go ahead and share those with you, too.

Cute, right?!

Today I (finally) finished editing some pictures from a concert that I shot toward the end of May so that I wouldn't have to feel guilty about editing yesterday's shoot.

 And quite honestly, other than watering my flowers and blog stalking, that's pretty much all that I've done today.

I know, I know, I'm not REALLY busy.

But compared to last summer when I didn't crawl out of bed or get dressed until 4:00, this is busy.

Don't judge me. You know you're guilty of it, too.

Before I go polish off the last of the chocolate chip cookies I just made (thank you Tollhouse for your break apart cookie dough), have you joined in my 100 Follower Giveaway yet?!

If you haven't you should! SO MANY awesome prizes! (It would be wrong if I entered, right? I thought so.)

Because you were kind enough to read this far into my ramblings, here is a fun font that I finished up this afternoon that you can download for FREE!

Just click HERE to download it! If you make anything with it, can you show it to me? I LOVE seeing all of the cool stuff you guys make!

Since I know you've missed Charlie here are a couple pictures from this afternoon. I've now given you your cute dog fix for the day. You're welcome.

Oh! Quick shout out to all of my new followers! Hi guys!!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Time for a GIVEAWAY!!!!

So. I promised a giveaway when I reached 100 followers, and the time has come.

It's time for...

Drumroll, please.

I've teamed up with some AWESOME ladies to give away a ton of goodies!

Are you ready?

One lucky winner will get:

$10 Starbucks gift card (I'm jealous!)
from Kim

Farley is donating her AMAZINGLY CUTE new parent communication pack

Elizabeth is donating her Poetry and Figurative Language Lapbook kit (which looks awesome!)

Katie donated her set of Problem Solving Task Cards (which I have and LOVE)-they come with directions and an answer recording sheet, too!

Lauren in pitching in with her super-awesome Literature Circles Information Guide (which I also have and happen to find AWESOME!)

Whew! That's a total of $33 worth of goodies! And heck, I may even throw in something new that I'll announce along with the winner!

I'll be back (hopefully tomorrow!) with a normal update-y type post (because it has been a CRAZY week), but until then, get busy entering the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Almost to 100 and a Giveaway on the Way!

This is going to be short and sweet because I'm supposed to be at school to work on some stuff for next year in approximately...27 minutes. And I'm not dressed and haven't made my required coffee yet.

But, I am SERIOUSLY close to having 100 followers-and I'm SO EXCITED!

That's where you come in.

I'd LOVE to do a big 100 followers giveaway-would any of you be interested in donating some of your AMAZING resources?

I'm a little late on getting this going (since I'm sitting at 95 followers right now), but if you would like to join in, leave me a comment or email me at and we'll get everything all set!

I can't believe that my little old blog has almost 100 followers already!

I'll try to post a legit post later, but now it's time to get ready, make some coffee, and get my behind to school as fast as I can!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Projects, Canoeing, Awards, etc....

Oh how I've missed you, my blogging buddies!

I promise, I will try to start posting more than ONCE a week. I've just been so busy this past week-but not  busy at all (if that makes any sense).

Whew. So much to cover. Prepare yourselves for (yet another) long post. 'Cause that's how I roll.

For starters, I'm pretty sure that I told you about my seating project in my last post (not the chair, the crate seats!). Since I screwed up with the dimensions that I gave the nice man at Lowes who cut my wood, I had to have my grandpa re-cut the wood for me. (As an FYI-if you buy the cute Sterilite crates from Target and want to have Lowes cut your wood for you, the correct dimensions should be 14 3/4"x 12 3/4")

After a little play time with the foam, fabric, and a terrifying staple gun, I now have these beauties for my classroom next year! And, because my grandpa is awesome, I'm going to have a custom made table that will be just the right height for my super cute crate seating-WOOT!

(P.S. I really tried to make these pictures all fit together in a nice little area like I have in the past, but Blogger is NOT having it tonight. Grrr.)

While I LOVE how these seats turned out, they were a little more expensive than I had originally thought they would be.

To total it up:

Crates-$3.50 each x 6 = $21
Fabric-$7.00/yard x 3 = $21
Particle Board = $10
Foam-$40 X 50% off = $20

Approximate Total for 6 Seats = $72


Not what I had planned.

Granted, I couldn't have bought 6 seats for $72, and I could have gotten cheaper fabric (like the $1 clearance stuff).

Just be warned, these little boogers are cute, but can get pricey very quickly! 

This last week has also been a week of about a bajillion firsts. 

Ok. Maybe not a bajillion. But AT LEAST half a bajillion. 

For starters, Matthew and I went canoeing with some friends last weekend. This may not seem like that much of an accomplishment to you outdoorsy types, but here's the thing-Matthew's a computer guy and I'm more of a surf the web/make stuff/blog kind of girl.

Neither of us do I put it...built for the outdoors? 

But, nonetheless, we survived a 10 mile canoe trip  down Sugar Creek at Turkey Run State Park. But of course, the creek was a little low on water, so there was a fair share of getting stuck on sandbars and in rocks, and a few sunburns to top it off.

So I can now say that I survived a 10 mile canoe trip.


We also did a bit of hiking at the park on Sunday. Am I the only one who wouldn't have considered climbing down a ladder part of the hiking experience? 

I am not a big fan of ladders, especially when they're the way off of a rock face. That one took a bit of coaxing. I'm kind of a chicken.

On Monday, a few friends and I decided to try out a yoga class. Again, this girl=lacking athletic ability. 

It probably would have helped to know that we were going to a hot yoga class. News flash: It's called hot for a reason. 

Why is it called hot yoga, you ask? Because all of the lights in the room are replaced with heat lamps, and the doorways are sealed off, and it reaches 100 degrees in that room.


I have never sweat as much as I did that night. So much sweat. And it turns out that I have ZERO flexibility.

I've also got a couple more firsts lined up for the next week:
-First time meeting with one of my former students in a tutor/mentor role
-First time tutoring a 2nd grader
-First time shooting wedding pictures (but not the wedding itself-whew!)
-First meeting with my principal about our plans to start student council next year (Did I mention that I'm doing student council next year? And that I know NOTHING about student council?)

I'm taking suggestions for the 12 year old boy and the 7 year old girl. The plan is basically to spend about half of my time working on skills, and the other half doing something fun. I'm planning on taking advantage of our library's summer reading programs for the little girl, but for my 12 year old, I'm wanting to think a little more outside of the box. I'm thinking about doing some geocaching with him, walking Charlie in the park, maybe painting some pottery at a local place, but I am totally open to ideas!

I'm really excited about working with this kid; he and I had a great teacher-student relationship this last year, and I really don't want to see him fall between the cracks, so Matthew and I are going to do a sort of Big Brothers/ Big Sisters type deal with him. And I'm going to give him some extra academic help to better prepare him for 7th grade in the fall. I'm SUPER excited!

Ok, only one more thing (I promise-more frequent posts so I'm not cramming SO much in!). 

I have been giving my first blog award!


Thanks to Allie at The Gypsy Teacher for giving my first award! I feel so cool right now!
I'll post my list of bloggers that I'm passing the award along to in my next post!

I'm going to have to do some serious list making for this one!

Time for some ice cream, my bloggy buddies. (And some peanuts, and whipped cream, and chocolate syrup, and whipped cream, and sprinkles...)

Have a fabulous Thursday!

P.S. I only need 13 more followers to reach 100! Hmmm..perhaps that will warrant another freebie...