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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Classroom Makeover

Hello there strangers!! Just thought I'd write a quick update for the first time in two months... no big deal. I have survived my first four weeks as a kindergarten teacher and MAN oh MAN am I exhausted when Friday rolls around. It's going to be an adventurous year with plenty of ups and downs but I can tell it's going to be a good one. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now and even though some days are going to be tough, I'm going to keep a positive outlook and be the best teacher to these 21 little kiddos that I can be!

Because of that, my blogging may continue to suffer. I worked 8 to 12 hours a day on school stuff from the time I found out that I got the job back in June until the day school started. Talk about burnout. I'm trying to get to a point where I can have SOMEWHAT of a life, but I also realize that the first year of teaching is going to be extremely time-consuming.

Most of the hours that I put in this summer revolved around coming up with the most fun, creative environment that I could think of for these sweet little 5 year olds. I showed you the lovely empty room that I had to work with in my last post. I'm not much of a theme person because I get bored of things easily so I decided to just stick with a bright colors meet owls meet rainbows meet other fun outdoorsy things type of vibe. 99% of classrooms that I've seen over the years have been decorated with primary colors so I decided to try something a little different!

Here are the "afters":
...Just ignore the awful light blue 50's tiling. Unfortunately I couldn't give the hallway a makeover.
I had a TON of leftover border so I dreamed up this idea in the middle of the night one night. It sounded like it would be so simple. Four hours into the project and not even done with one side of the door, I was really hating my brilliant idea. I powered through though and really like how it turned out!
 Magnetic "Word Wall".
 The mat was the first purchase that I made and was the inspiration for the rest of the room.
 I made the pennant banners out of scrapbook paper and modge-podge.
 I found this random archway at the furniture distribution center, covered it in hula skirts, and made it part of the reading corner. The kids absolutely love it!
I had some leftover party poms so I decided to only open them halfway so I could attach them to the wall and create flowers.
 I bought an enormous package of lime green tissue paper and decided to make a tree out of it! This project only took about 30 minutes but really makes a statement in the room!
I created this behavior chart with InDesign and uploaded it to Vistaprint (I stole the idea from here). I absolutely love how it turned out!

...And that's about it! Hopefully this will be a place where valuable learning can happen each and every day. And HOPEFULLY I won't grow to hate bright colors before May. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And it's back to the classroom I go!


So I know I've been MIA lately... and I might continue to be that way for the next few weeks. Since we have last spoken, I've learned that I'm going to be teaching KINDERGARTEN next year!!! It's been a lifelong dream of mine! Even though I taught a couple of years ago, I wasn't a homeroom teacher so I never really felt like I had accomplished my goal!

I had pretty much given up on the dream considering how difficult it's been for me to get a teaching job in Lubbock during the 4 years that I've been trying. I went to a couple of interviews this summer but assumed they would choose someone with more experience as usual. Much to my amazement, I ended up getting offered two jobs in one day! It wasn't even a contest - I took the kindergarten position. I was and still am so ecstatic!!

I know some people probably think I'm insane for switching jobs THREE times in the past year, but I've always considered the jobs that I've had since college "temporary jobs" until I could finally land a job as a classroom teacher. Naturally, I've never done this before (and I feel so far removed from the things that I learned in college) so I've been spending every free minute planning. I have absolutely no idea where to even begin. I sure hope I can figure it out somehow because I want my future kinder babies to have the most amazing experience during their first year of school!

I will be teaching at one of the oldest Elementary Schools in town. This is actually the last year that the building will be used because they're in the process of building a brand new school. I'm trying to keep the idea of only being in this classroom for one year in mind since I tend to go overboard sometimes.

Here is my overwhelmingly blank slate. I don't even have furniture yet!


Yep. I've got a longggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg way to go. And that doesn't even include planning the things that have to do with actual learning!

Due to insurance reasons I'm keeping my current job all the way through August 1st, so it's going to be a mad dash to the finish line after that! Who said teachers get summers off?? I'll show you the "after" pictures if I can ever get there. :)

Hope everyone has a very happy 4th!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This summer, I'm all about...


Obsessing over the flower beds.


Eating as many fudgesicles as possible.

Comfy dresses.

Long walks on campus with Jake.


Cooking meals several nights in a row and then getting burned out and taking two or three weeks off.

Planning weekend getaways that I will not actually take.

Gold jewelry. Gold sandals.

The Bachelorette even though it's my least favorite season ever. 

Also, I cannot WAIT for the premiere of Dallas tonight.


Sprinklers under my lounge chair so I don't have to fight the crowds at the pool.

Neon nail polish and neon tanks.

Trips to the lake.


Disconnecting as much as possible from Pinterest, blog reading, and blog writing.

Getting lost in nature and new books instead.

And trying as hard as I possibly can to make sure that I get the most out of summer even though I don't get a summer break this year. 

I can't wait to see what the next two months will hold!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who'd wanna live down there?



As I was driving home from work yesterday, “Fly Over States” by Jason Aldean came on the radio and I found myself thinking about how much I love this city. Yes, the drivers are insane. Yes, the climate is ridiculous. No, we don’t have the most beautiful views in the world.

But there’s just something about this place that I have really grown to love.

And then I started thinking about how true the statement is about how you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Exactly two years ago, I was dying to get out of this town. To go ANYWHERE but here. I remember telling everyone how sick of Lubbock I was and how I couldn’t stand to spend another minute of my life out here in this forsaken town. I applied for jobs in Abilene and all over the hill country. Before I even knew whether or not I was going to get a job, I quit my job in Lubbock and we moved to Abilene. Thank goodness I got a teaching job the day we moved because that was a pretty insane thing to do!

Within three or four months of living in Abilene, I found myself missing Lubbock like CRAZY. And exactly one year after moving to Abilene (and proclaiming my hatred for Lubbock), we moved back. I’ve been in love ever since. Sure, sometimes I think about how fun it would be to live somewhere that was closer to other cities that have a plethora of fun attractions so I could get away every once in a while. Sure, I miss trees and think it might be nice to live near a few bodies of water. 

But then I remember how much I missed Lubbock when I was gone, and I don’t ever want to have to miss it again.

Nope. I will be just fine if I get to spend the rest of my life in this dusty old town in the middle of nowhere. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 iPhone covers that you should buy since I probably won't.

Why are there soooo many adorable iPhone cases in this world? Lately I've been perusing the web trying to find the perfect summery cover. Actually, scratch that, I've already found the perfect cover. Five of them.

But I'm a person who drops my phone somewhere around 5 times a day (don't ever let me babysit your phone). Every time it happens I reach down as quickly as I can while holding my breath, pick it up, and see if the screen will still light up when I press the button. It's a rush I tell you. Seeing as my budget would not allow me to purchase a new phone at full price, it would basically be a huge tragedy if I were to ever drop my phone and actually damage it.

So, I only buy covers that are proven a hundred and fifty bazillion times over to be one of the most protective styles. Aka not the cutest ever. I hate bulky covers though, so I swear by the iSkin solo.

But oh my goodness gracious, how I wish I had the guts to swap the old trusty iSkin out for one of these babies:

{via}
To die for right here. It makes me want to grab a pair of my favorite shorty shorts and jump on a sailboat.


{via}
Leave it to J.Crew to completely steal my heart with a phone case. And it's only $25.00! Only problem is the description says it "prevents minor scrapes." How about 4 foot plunges from my car to the pavement?


{via}
I'm not usually a chevron fan but this one nailed it.


{via}
How do these Etsy sellers do it? I want to know how to design phone covers, too!


{via}
This website includes adorable ready-mades or you upload any image you want to create a custom design!


While the rest of you are out there purchasing the cute covers of my dreams, I'll just be over here reading and over-thinking product reviews with my plain jane looking (but very well-protected!) phone.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Currently...


Planning:
  • to make a new wreath for the front door since I took the winter one down 2 months ago and have had a boring front door ever since.
  • to paint the shutters a lovely shade of green.
Wishing:
  • that I could spend every single day at the pool like I did last summer. Oh wait, that's not how real life works?
  • that a magical email fairy would fly down and reply to the 28 emails in my inbox for me.
Reading:
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
Watching:
  • Gossip Girl (team Chuck & Blair... get outta the picture already Lonely Boy)
  • and of course I'm in great anticipation of The Bachelorette in ONE WEEK!
Eating:

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni. Oh my goodness. I could have it for every meal.
  • and peaches. 
  • and Starburst.
  • and drinking too many vanilla cokes.
Wearing:
  • racer back tanks like they're going out of style
Obsessing over:
  • The flower beds. I only allow myself to plant one or two things per weekend... when really I just want to go buy up the entire store and get them finished RIGHT NOW. I'm also a very impatient gardener. Why do the flowers have to start out soooo small?
Looking forward to:
  • seeing my BFF and her sweet baby this weekend.
  • September so I can be on a cruise ship. It's been too, too long.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Storm Panic


I love a good summer thunderstorm, but I can't stand cloud to ground lightening or even worse... tornado warnings. I thought I would show you a quick peek of my evening last night. An hour spent huddled in the closet with my laptop, a dog, and two cats. Hubs and dog #2 were too brave for such escapades.


 Being someone who always has a plan for any morbid situation, I typically kick it in high-gear as soon as I hear that there's a tornado warning anywhere within about 30 miles. In the midst of a mini panic attack, I start gathering all necessities crucial to survival as well as any important belongings that will be a pain in the rear to replace should this inevitable tornado (that will definitely be an F5) show its face and choose to flatten my house. 

Luckily, we all scraped by unharmed this time. Come on over next time there's a tornado warning. I'm a super calm, nonchalant person to be around. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mottephobia


Lubbock has had an absolutely DISGUSTING, full-blown moth infestation over the past couple of weeks. Something to do with mild winter temps and/or migration. It's something straight out of a horror film. I really don't care what the reason is, I just want them to get the blankety blank OUT OF HERE! I tried to be a good sport about it at first but they just keep getting worse and worse. I've been using the vacuum wand to kill them in the house and the garage and last night I had to chase down 13 of them in the living room within a 30 minute period. I don't even know how they keep getting in the house!! A few minutes later I noticed that the light in the kitchen had about 10 of them crawling around. I nearly hurled.

Yep. Living in filth.

Whenever I see one I'm unable to function until it's dead. I kill them when I get home from work. I kill them in the middle of doing crunches. I kill them past my bedtime. I kill them in the morning when I'm trying to get ready for work.

Come inside this house and you shall surely die.

This whole experience has definitely left me with a phobia of moths that is sure to stick around for many, many years. This cannot  continue for much longer. Little boogers are stealing my sunshine.

Hear that moths? GET.OUT.OF.MY.FREAKING.HOUSE and TOWN.

Sincerely,
Moth Hater #90,567