Wednesday, December 31, 2014

First Currently of 2015!

Ahhh!! Tomorrow will be 2015! Crazy y'all! I will have graduated high school 11 YEARS ago. Old. That's what I feel. But also slightly wiser! I've learned so much about the word and myself in 11 years and especially in 2014. Lots of ups and down, as I'm sure everyone has had. But it's like Dolly said...

There were some big thunderstorms this year but even better were all the rainbows that were put into my life afterwards! Everything happens for a reason (God's) and I'm thankful for the experiences, as hard as they were. I grew from them and that's what matters.

Ok, this wasn't meant to be a sappy post! It's a Currently post and Currently posts are HAPPY!! :) So here's my happy January Currently.

I needed to use a free Redbox code and this movie had Mark Ruffalo in it (who doesn't think Mark Ruffalo is adorable?) so I tried it out. So glad I did! It was a great movie with some really good music. Go watch it! If you don't watch, look up "Lost Stars" on YouTube--Adam Levine sings it. That should be all I need to say. (I'm honestly not one of those gals who thinks he such a hottie, but I do think he's a talented musician.) ;-)

I got one of those wax warmers on Black Friday and it's awesome! I use the Better Homes and Gardens wax from Wal-Mart (so much cheaper than Scentsy) and my apartment smells delish now. 

I'm in this really positive state of mind right now, personally and professionally. I credit it to my church and reading my Bible consistently (which can be stressful for me at times because I don't know if I'm "getting" the message it's trying to send--anyone else feel that way?). And it's a new year, new semester at school- I think it's hard NOT to be all "Ok, kids, we're back at school now and are going to ROCK all these assessments we have to do!" Haha! Seriously, though, I hope I can keep feeling this way even when things start getting all hectic and such.

Funny story. My "wanting" from December's Currently is the same as this Currently. We're having another get together in H-town and I can't wait to see all my new friends again (and totally beat you gals at Apples to Apples!). 

This is the boring/not-so-happy part of my Currently. I went to school yesterday with the intention of working for a couple hours. Guess how long I stayed? 45 minutes. Totally not ready for "not having to wash my hair for 3 days, getting dressed in real clothes, 5AM alarm" life again.... How many days until spring break???

Yes, Maybe, Wish
Yes, I will be starting grad school (wreck 'em) and am simultaneously feeling excited to see what I'll learn AND freaking out. Maybe I might create and sell more on TpT/ write more original blog posts but I'm NOT going to compare myself to those insanely successful bloggers that aren't human at all (Cara Carroll, Rachelle Smith, Reagan Tunstall-- I'm talking to you!) if I don't... I wish to travel. I will be going to Vegas this summer (I have $45.92 saved in my electronic piggy bank so far lol). So it's Vegas for sure, hopefully NYC too.

Yay for happy Currently posts! I want to read YOURS, so go link up!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Goals

I was going to link up with my bloggy BFF Stephanie from Mrs. D's Corner today to share my goals for 2015, until I realized it was already closed! Super sad face. I'm stealing her template anyways (I hope she doesn't mind).  

I'll admit, I'm one of the thousands of people guilty of making goals this time of year and failing miserably at actually meeting them. So this year, instead of making some grandiose ones, I've decided to set some that I've already started trying to attain. That way, this time next year I can hopefully (< -- key word) say I've accomplished them!

As you can see, I have three personal goals for 2015. I want to read the entire Bible. I've tried this before and obviously it didn't work. I don't necessarily want to read it from Genesis to Revelations- just want to actually read every book. And not just read them, but comprehend the meaning better and apply it to my life. I just ordered this book to help me get started.

If you've read any of my most recent posts, you know that I cannot cook to save my life. Here's a story that illustrates my luck in the kitchen. Just last night I was frying up some deer meat I got for Christmas. Well, I went to open my *brand-new* pepper grinder (because every legit cook uses freshly ground pepper right?) and the lid came off. What happened next you ask? Whole peppercorns went EVERYWHERE! After which I exclaimed to my dog, "This is why I don't cook!!!" (Chip then ran out of the kitchen in fear.) Anyways, if you hop over to Stephanie's blog, cooking is one of her goals too. Our lack of cooking ability is one of the many things we have in common. But we WILL be chefs by the end of the year, darnit! ;-)

I'm a notorious worrier. I worry about everything there is to worry about. My family. My friends. My dog. What other people think of me. If I'm a good teacher. My purpose in life. You name it, I probably worry about it. So I'm going to print these out, put them on my fridge, the front door, my car, my help remind myself not to worry so much. That God is in control and who better to be in control of my life? 

I'll be starting grad school at Texas Tech in the spring. My most immediate goal is just to FINISH grad school. (Remember that worrying habit of mine? Balancing school with school is on that list too.) I've only had one conversation with my advisor about what I can do with my degree and it's opened my eyes to other careers I could have. At this moment, I don't see myself leaving the classroom because I feel it's where I have the most impact. I'm keeping an open mind though. 

I haven't traveled much in my life. Anytime I hear travel stories from other people I get super sad since I've only been to Florida three times (twice to Disney World, the other a 13 hour drive to see George Strait) and Arizona. I don't even own a passport. So this year I want to add to my list of "I've been there." Vegas, hopefully for TpT, and a co-worker wants to go to NYC (which has been a dream of mine since forever). I'm going to be realistic for my travel plans because of my other planning goal.

Many people set financial goals for the new year. I'm proud of myself in that I actually have money in my savings account. I've been very intentional in putting an extra deposit in it every month besides what gets automatically taken out each time I get paid. I use to say it was for a house, and it still could be for that, but I'm not sure I want to buy a house anytime soon because I don't know where I'll end up once I finish my master's. I just like the idea of having cash on hand in case I need it. 

It's shameful to admit that I sill have a couple of unpacked boxes in my apartment (I moved in August). It's all my craft supplies and important documents I need to file. The crafts are still in the box because my apartment is tiny and I'm having trouble finding a place for them. I haven't filed the papers because I need to clean out old ones from my filing cabinet first. Ugh! This is one of those not-fun-at-all jobs that I don't want to do but really should do.

I'm pretty organized at school except for my huge supply closet. I've been getting into the bad habit lately of just throwing stuff in there, not in the proper place. That "out of sight, out of mind" mentality and it must stop. Just thinking about that mess now is making me cringe. 

Anytime I tell someone what part of Austin I teach in, I get the same reaction. That "Oh. Sorry." look. And it's sad but true. I'm in the rough part. Therefore, my students are rough. You may be saying, "How rough can a kindergartner be?" These kids have home lives that I will never be able to fully understand, and they bring their experiences to school with them. This is completely new for me, since this is my first year teaching in this type of demographic. So I pray for patience every day. Patience in my reactions to their behavior and patience with their attitudes toward school. Which leads to my next goal, which is doing everything I can to get them to the level they need to be at by the end of the year. Most of my students get zero help from home, so it really and truly is up to me. I want them to be successful, not only so they're ready for first grade, but so they can see that they CAN be successful. Many of them, even at only 5 years old, don't think they have much of a future. Which is heartbreaking and why even though there are days when I feel I've accomplished nothing, I still wake up every morning thinking "I will be patient, I will make an impact, we will accomplish something today, even if it's a little something." 
This pretty much says it all.

Whew, that was a long post! Hope I didn't bore you entirely and that it inspired you in some way or another. 

If you want to read what others have planned for 2015, click the button below.

Happy New Year y'all, and best of luck with your goals!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Conversations {Linky}

Abby over at The Inspired Apple has started a cute little linky for us to take a little time from the hecticness that is the holiday season. I may or may not be using this linky as an excuse to step away from report cards...

Easy, peasy! Go link up!

We're almost there y'all, hang in there!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Houston Blogger Meetup!

I went to my third blogger meetup in Houston yesterday and let me tell you--it was a TON of fun! I love the friendships that I'm making through this little blog and can't wait to make more memories with these wonderful ladies!

What's a teacher meetup without margaritas?? I got to meet this sweet gal, Katie, from Mrs. Decatur's Little Gators. We discovered we are both die-hard Cowboys fans...more about that a little later!

I love this girl! I swear Stephanie (Mrs. D's Corner) and I are the same person in different bodies. Keep reading to see what she got for her Secret Santa gift!

Actually, all three of us are huge Cowboys fans. Stephanie was even brave enough to root for them when she went home for Thanksgiving...she's from Pennsylvania. Eagles territory. That's a true fan there, y'all. Can't wait for that road trip to Arlington next season girls! :)

This was a Secret Santa meetup too! It was so fun picking out a gift and watching everyone open theirs. It was luck of the draw and I happened to get Stephanie! We have so much in common, including being terrible cooks. So when I saw this cookbook I HAD to get it for her! 

It was so perfect I had to get one for myself too. Maybe we'll be blogging about our culinary adventures...

My Secret Santa was Donna from Math Coach's Corner. What a sweet, sweet lady, y'all! She gave me a candle and gift card, and she even got Chip some dog treats! I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason- I'll be starting grad school in the spring (Guns up!) and want to specialize in STEM education. How crazy is it that my Secret Santa is a math curriculum genius?! I'll be picking her brain now for sure! 

If you don't know  Megan from I Teach. What's Your Superpower? you've been living under a rock. What an amazingly talented woman. I wish I had a smidgen of her creativity. Her blog designs are gorgeous-- I'll soon be requesting one of my own. And some Cowboys digital paper for Katie, Stephanie and me while you're at it Megan?? ;-)

This meetup wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for this hilarious gal, Sandy, from ELA Everyday. She loves football too (seriously, if you live in Texas, it's kind of a requirement that you like football). Even though she's a Texans fan...and a Baylor Bear... and I'm a Cowboys fan and a new Red Raider...I still love her! Does that top photo not crack you up!? 

I think this picture takes the prize for the day! I was trying to "steal" her Cowboys cup she got for her gift. If it had been a white elephant exchange, this may have gone down for reals. ;-)

Truly, what a blast this was. After the week I had I needed those two hours of laughter with some amazing women/educators who understand 100% what each of us goes through on a daily basis. Even though teaching is one of THE toughest jobs, it's one of the most REWARDING ones as well. Not just when your students "get it," but the support system you have with your colleagues. I don't think there's any other career that creates bonds as special as those between teacher friends! Love you ladies!!

With that said...9 instructional days until Christmas break!

Monday, December 1, 2014

December {Currently}

Wasn't it just November? September? 2012?? I feel as I get older time starts going by faster. I'm going to go the positive route and tell myself, "I'm not just getting older, I'm getting WISER!" Haha :)

Life's been sorta uneventful lately, but here's what I'm *currently* up to!

If you don't have Michael Buble's Christmas CD, go buy it/download it NOW! It's sooo good! One of my favorite Christmas CDs. Yup, you read that right. I own it on CD. Remember what I said above?? About getting older? The fact that I still listen to CDs makes me feel a tad old...

I'm slowly but surely getting my apartment decorated just the way I want it. It's in the rustic/country/shabby chic style. But of course since I'm a teacher I can't just take a picture I found on Pinterest and go buy it ALL at once. So a throw pillow here, wall plaque here and it's getting there. Here's the style I'm going for. 

Grad school has been on my mind a lot lately but I'm not sure what exactly I would want to do once I get my Master's...been thinking along the lines of campus math coach or district math strategist. Or stay in the classroom??? Ahhh, I don't know!!

I'm going to my third blogger meetup in Houston on Saturday and I CAN'T WAIT! I'm so excited to meet more new friends and see those I've met at previous meetups again! Plus, we're having Secret Santa exchange! I've got my present for my recipient all ready to go and I must say, it's PERFECT for her! I hope she likes it and gets the humor from it as much as I do!

I just finished labeling all the envelopes for the gingerbread exchange my class is participating in (hosted by Pawsitively Teaching). Just have to mail them all tomorrow. Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute!

Random Acts of (Christmas) Kindess! I remember the first time the person in front of me in the Starbucks drive-thru paid for my drink. It was such a nice feeling. So of course I paid it forward and paid for the person behind me. And that was an even BETTER feeling! So I'm going to start RACKing (that is probably not even CLOSE to being grammatically correct and may even sound a little inappropriate but oh well) my co-workers this week! Here's an easy list if you'd like to participate in RACK too.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas this year! 

14 days until break!!

Don't forget to go link up with Farley!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

1000 IG Followers Giveaway!!!

When I started this blog back in April I had NO IDEA how it would affect my life. I honestly didn't think it would affect it at all! Who would want to read MY blog anyway? There are so many teaching blogs out there and 99.99% of them are way better than mine! I'm still honing my actual blogging skills and I know I'll get better in time and with experience.

However...I'm pretty good at taking pictures! I started an Instagram account to go along with my blog and I remember how excited I was when I got my first non-friend follower...someone who didn't know me AT ALL, just found me on there and thought my pictures were interesting enough to follow. 

Can y'all imagine how stoked I am that I have over 1,000 followers now on IG?! And I have no shame when I admit I take screenshots when a *famous* blogger follows me or likes/comments on one of my posts. Like that time when one of my absolute FAVORITE teacher bloggers Vickie Plant commented with hearts and proceeded to follow me...I know these amazing people get tagged all the time and comment on so many posts and it's just so darn cool when they do!!! 

But my absolute favorite part about this IG milestone is all the new friends I have made along the way. Some I've gotten the pleasure of actually meeting, thanks to meetups in Austin and Dallas. Others are "virtual" friends, but I know if I ever had questions about teaching/blogging/Stitch Fix/whatever I can always turn to them (I know I'll meet them in person someday--perhaps Vegas 2015??). 

Ok, ok, I hear ya, enough with all the mushy gushy stuff already! Get to the GIVEAWAY! These fabulous bloggers have generously donated some of their creations to make this prize pack an AWESOME one! Keep reading to see what you can win!

I'm throwing in my Number Posters!

This prize pack has a value of over $65...but can be yours FREE! Just complete the Rafflecopter below- the more you enter the better your chances of winning! The winner will be randomly selected on November 29th. Be sure to check back here to see if you've won!

Thank you to all my followers who've made this a reality and to my blogger buddies for helping me celebrate! 

Good luck y'all!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

{My first} Five for Friday!

This is my first time linking up with the adorable Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky. Kinda crazy, I know. Here goes nothing!

We started decomposing numbers (up to 5) this week. The kids used dot stickers and this freebie from Rowdy in Room 300 to show different combinations for 3, 4 and 5. They loved it!

I'm in the process of revamping my block/construction center. This is the first year I've worked in a district where play is actually encouraged so I'm learning as I go when it comes to these types of centers. A few of my girls built this wall for their animals. I asked one what the ramp was for and she said "It's for the penguins to slide down, duh!" :)

School pictures came in this week...I'm actually happy with mine! The photographer (a cute little man around 60) immediately started primping me when I sat down. When I told him thank you he responded with "I've been doing this for 20 years, I know how you ladies are about your pictures!" He meant in a nice way--and he was totally right!

My class is participating in a gingerbread man exchange organized by PAWSitively Teaching. We decorated ours this week. I don't know who is more excited about getting the gingerbread men in the mail- me or the kids!

And last but not least...I'm only a few months into the TpT creating business. It is HARD! Well, for me it is because I have lots of ideas in my head but struggle with getting them onto the screen. I did post a freebie recently and got this sweet feedback. Y'all, these 11 little words may not seem like much but they made my day!

Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday (on a Thursday no less!) -- check! Now it's your turn. Click the button to go link up! 


Thanksgiving is right around the corner y'all, we can do this! Have a happy Friday!