Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Cyber Monday & 3 New Units!

Okay, so as much as I love shopping in the stores on Black Friday, I *almost* love Cyber Monday even more!!! Shopping from the comfort of my living room…pj’s and junk food A MUST…LOVE it! By now I know you guys are FULLY aware that a whole bunch of fabulous bloggers are throwing big sales in their TpT shops. Today TpT is offering an additional 10% off using the coupon code CMS28. I’ve got several things in my shopping cart and I’m about to stock up!

If you’re looking for some fun Christmas related activities to keep your kiddos busy and engaged, I just posted three new units to my little shop! Here’s a little preview…

A little Mooseltoe Mini Unit


15 Math Tub Activites & 20 Word Problems


12 Literacy Activities


For more details you can check them out here:

Mooseltoe Mini Unit, Merry & Bright Math Tub Activies, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Literacy Activities

You can grab everything in my little shop today for 30% off!! Don’t forget to use the TpT coupon code CMS28.

I’ll be back later this week with lots of freebies and some fun ideas!! Christmas Break countdown is ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jingle Jingle & Ho, Ho, Ho!

I’m teaming up with my sweet friends Abby {The Inspired Apple} and Kelly & Diane {Made for 1st Grade} to bring you a fabulous sale to kick start the Christmas season! Starting at midnight tonight, you can grab all of the items in our stores for 20% off the regular price! On Monday, you can combine that discount with the TpT coupon code {CMS28} for even more savings!! Happy cyber shopping :)

Quick links to our TpT stores:

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! I know we certainly did! There’s nothing I love more than spending time with my sweet family :) Hope you were all able to be with the ones you love. I’m thankful for all of you guys…your sweet emails and comments and all of your support. THANK YOU!! And thank you SO much to all of you sweet bloggers who awarded me with the Sunshine Award…y’all made me smile :) I promise I’ll participate, but I’m off to snuggle with my boys!
Happy Black Friday, sweet friends!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brain Potpourri and Christmas at my House

I’m sure there’s lots of teaching related items I could blog about tonight, but I’m just not feelin’ it. So here’s just a little brain potpourri for the night…

1. I went and had my hair done today. First time in TWO years. For real. Actually, 2 years and 3 weeks, but who’s counting?! It was LONG overdue. I even got some color. First time my hair has ever been colored! I’ve got a nice crop of gray hair that I color in each morning with dark eyeshadow & a brush :) I figured it was time to get something a little more “permanent”…or at least something that doesn’t brush off by noon. I LOVE IT.


I know the difference isn’t TOO noticeable, but my LAWD. I can tell a difference and I guess that’s really all that matters?! But now that I’m looking at a side by side, I’m wishin’ I would’ve gone about a shade or two darker…with some light brown mixed in. I’m thinkin’ that coloring your hair is like the tattoo effect. When you get one tattoo, all of a sudden you want about 5 more. When you get your hair colored, you want to go about 5 shades darker…or lighter…the next time you visit. Does that even make any sense?!

2. I had two little photo shoots scheduled for yesterday and today. I was rained out BOTH times. Did I mention that it NEVER rains here?! As in, we’re in a Stage 3 water restriction right now. Serious drought. And then both of my sweet families were totally rained out as we were shooting! Thanks Texas.

3. I started the South Beach diet about 2 weeks ago. Not necessarily to lose weight, just to make more room in my Thanksgiving pants :) Actually, I’m hypoglycemic and I’ve been suffering from serious dizziness and bouts of lightheadedness in the last few months. Scary. The South Beach diet is a low glycemic diet and I swear it’s cured me. Symptom free for the last few weeks and I haven’t felt this good in forever!! An added bonus is that I’ve lost a few nagging pounds of baby weight that wouldn’t go away since baby #2 was born. {By the way, can I technically call it ‘baby weight’ if my “baby” is already 2 1/2???} I’m ready to gain it all back on Thursday…CAN’T.WAIT.

4. Does anybody else brave the crowds on Black Friday?? My mom and I do every year. It’s a tradition. We wake up late, go eat lunch, shop around, go eat again, shop a little more, and eat another late night “snack”. Can you see a little pattern here?! Our Black Friday is all about eating and getting good deals, but we don’t necessarily get any Christmas shopping done :)

5. I used to be one of those people who liked to celebrate one holiday at a time. And I swear I still am. But I’ve now turned into the person who takes down Halloween on November 1st and immediately puts up Christmas {Christmas music included}. My house is officially…and *almost* completely decorated for Christmas. And it has been for the last two weeks. Annoying, I know. But we don’t have any lights put up outside, so it doesn’t make me feel as bad.

6. Mr. Spouse made me put up a “fun” tree this year. He said our living room tree is too formal and the boys needed something for themselves. I didn’t argue. I’ve had this “extra” tree since college and I like to call it my Charlie Brown tree. It looks pretty scary right now…still got some work to do!! HA!


My boys pick out their own ornaments every year {I want to have a collection to give them when they get older}. This is one of the ornaments my oldest picked out this year…


Ummmm. Really?! Trust me when I tell you that he had a great reason. The dang donut in the middle. Little stinker.

This is my living room tree. Nothing fancy, but I loves. And I tried a spray on the top this year instead of a star. Does it look wretched?? Too much?? Tell me, please. I *think* I like it, but I could just have my mommy goggles on :)


7. I have a serious Santa obsession. I can’t stop collecting. I’m like the crazy cat lady, only with Santas.



Speaking of Santa, this is my FAVORITE picture of all time. This was my boys with Santa two years ago. BEST.PICTURE.EVER. I totally made this into our Christmas card that year. I still have it hanging on the fridge :)


8. My favorite Christmas decoration is this nativity. This is NOT Mr. Spouse’s favorite. Not because it’s a nativity, but the Willow Tree figurines creep him out because they’re faceless. Bless him. I think he’s slowly warming up to it a little bit more every year.


9. My favorite Christmas song of all time is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Leon Redbone & Zoey Deschanel. It has to be THAT version though. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” ranks a VERY close 2nd. I’ve recently discovered Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe” and let’s just say that it’s quickly climbing the charts. Mr. Spouse is NOT impressed.

10. My favorite Christmas movie is Elf. Ohmiword. Absolute favorite. It makes me cry EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I watch it. Let me also tell you that I can’t start the season withouth Miracle on 34th Street {the newer version}, Family Man, and Home Alone. Oh, how I LOVE Home Alone. My sister is obsessed with A Christmas Story. Can I tell y’all that I’ve NEVER watched that movie the whole way through?!?!? Am I really missing out?!?!?!

I’m sure this is more than you ever wanted to know. Kudos to you if you made it this far! HA!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I could go on for days and days all about the things for which I’m thankful, but for your sake, I’ll keep it simple. Sweet Rachelle & Natalie over at What the Teacher Wants are having a little “I’m Thankful” linky party so I thought I’d link up and say my thanks :)


1. What are you most thankful for in your classroom?

My student teacher!!! She’s AMAZING. If something happened to me and I wasn’t able to make it in, I’d have NO doubt in my mind that she’d know just what to do and my kids would be in great hands. She’s helped me SO much these last 6 weeks and I swear I don’t know what I’ll do when she leaves me!!!!

2. Who are you most thankful for?

I’m thankful for EVERYONE in my life…past and present…because I genuinely feel like each person has had a little hand in making me the person that I am today. I’m most thankful for my sweet boys…all THREE of them {husband included ;)} God has blessed me beyond measure. These boys are my everything :)


3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for??

Ummm…IMpossible to narrow it to three because I’m genuinely thankful for so many! I’m super thankful for these blogs because they’ve all directly impacted my teaching and the way I approach instruction and creating fun & meaningful activities for my classroom. They’ve changed the way I look at curriculum and inspired me to become a better teacher in so many different ways. I’m blessed to “know” them!!

Of course, I’m so thankful for my dear friend, Abby, over at The Inspired Apple. We virtually met around this time last year and we became fast friends. When we finally met for real, we couldn’t.stop.talking. I knew we’d be forever friends. I’m sure our husbands are grateful we don’t live closer ;) So grateful for her friendship, her sweet personality, and her DARLING ideas!!! Love ya, girl!

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Of course, sweet Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants. We started blogging around the same time last year and I remember that she was one of the first bloggers I ever “met”. If we lived closer, I know we’d be great friends…I feel like I know her! I love her sweet & giving spirit!!


The ladies at Made for 1st Grade….Kelly & Diane…have been LIFESAVERS. Truly. I’ve emailed them a GOBzillion times with endless questions and am so very thankful for their time and advice. They’ve been such an inspiration to me and their ideas and activities are out of this world!!!!


Sweet Michelle at Fabulous in First has the kindest, most giving heart. I just adore her darling personality and ALL of her adorable ideas!!!! I’ve learned SO much from her and am so grateful to call her my “friend”!!! I’m sure we’ll meet soon, right?!?!


The fabulous Sarah Cooley over at First Grader…At Last! was the reason I started blogging. She’s innovative and original and I LOVE her ideas. I found her at a time when I really needed inspiration and I’ve been hooked ever since. She’s an endless source of cuteness and inspiration.

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Of course, Deanna Jump was one of the first blogs I followed and TpT sellers I bought from and I swear her ideas totally changed the way I look at curriculum and classroom activities. She’s inspired me and taught me so much this last year!

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And sweet Kathleen at Growing Kinders. She’s such a darling person and has such a sweet heart. Her activities and ideas are amazing. I wish I would’ve known her when I taught Kindergarten!!! I’m so grateful to call her a “friend” :)


I’m thankful for ALL of the wonderful blogs out there that inspire me everyday!!!! I’d love to highlight each and everyone of you!

4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?

Would y’all think any less of me if I said Rap and R&B? Because that’s the troof. The other guilty pleasure Mr. Spouse wishes I’d forget about is Pinterest. I’m sickeningly addicted.

5. What are you most thankful for?

I’m thankful God has blessed me with two HEALTHY boys. I’m thankful for my sweet church family and our pastor…he inspires me, challenges me, and encourages me to live in God’s word every day. I’m thankful for ALL 22 of my firsties and my sweet school family. I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and my sweet husband….I swear I don’t deserve that man. I’m thankful for this blog and all the opportunities that have come my way because of it. I’m thankful for the blogging community and all of the sweet people I’ve met…both virtually & in real life…and I’m thankful for endless sources of inspiration and ideas. I’m thankful for TpT and everyone who’s supported me along the way. I’m thankful that I serve a God who shows me mercy when I least deserve it and for blessing me beyond measure. And I can’t forget to mention that I’m thankful for Sonic cokes, Starbuck’s red cups, the kindness of strangers, Chick Fil A, and my favorite sports radio station, 1310 The Ticket.

I know I said I’d keep it brief, but dang. That was hard. Now go on and link up with Rachelle!!!

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying a weeklong Thanksgiving vacation :) Not that I’m tryin’ to rub it in or anything, but y’all…I couldn’t be happier :) I’m waking up early to get my hair done. I haven’t been to the salon in TWO YEARS people. TWO.YEARS. Who does that?! Let’s not talk about the split ends. I’m getting’ a little chop…as in taking of the split ends and maybe adding some layers…and I’m getting some color, too!! I’ve NEVER had my hair colored!!! I told Mr. Spouse I needed to get my “edge” back. HA. As if I ever had any to begin with. If you don’t hear from me for a while, please just assume that I’m mourning over my new ‘do. Eeeeks…SO nervous!!!!

Have a GREAT week, y’all!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Threw Up in My Classroom

OH.MY. Pretty much sums up how I feel when I walk into my classroom. I’m greeted by dangling turkeys, pilgrims galore, and kid work all over the place…and I LOVE IT. Y’all…this last month…3 weeks, I guess…have been a total whirlwind. I didn’t get a chance to do half the things I wanted to, but I’m okay with it because the kids got JUST what they needed! We’ve been furiously preparing ourselves for our annual Grandparent’s/VIP day tomorrow. It’s our biggest event of the year! The kids get to invite the special people in their lives to come watch them perform the most darling little musical routine. This year the theme is 50’s. LOVE. After the performance, all the families are invited back to the classrooms to browse around and take a look at all the fun things the kids are learning. We’ve been learning SO much and we’re so excited to show it off! Here’s a little peek at what our V.I.P’s will see tomorrow….

This past week we read the story, “I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie”, by Allison Jackson. Of course, the kids loved it and there was SO much we could do with it!! We created a little reader’s response writing craftivity to go along with the story. LOVED the way these turned out!!!


Their writing prompt was, ‘If I were the old lady, I would swallow a…’. They had to write their choice of Thanksgiving fare :) I got pumpkin rolls, turkeys, yellow cake?!, green beans, mashed ‘butatoes’, rolls, etc. SO fun! After they wrote their sentence, they made a little old lady with googly eyes and a hand drawn picture of the food of their choice.


Last week we read “The Amazing Turkey Race!” and did this little craftivity for a readers response…


Loving the one that says, “Eat more loins.” Of course, it’s supposed to say “lions”. Makes me chuckle every time I walk in the room :)

Of course, we’ve also been talking a lot about being thankful and what that means. We created these little pilgrims to hold our ‘thankful writing’ {inspired by First Grade Blue Skies :)}. The kids were thankful for the funniest things…corn dogs, Christmas, biscuits?!…TOO cute!



I noticed that this poor little pilgrim lost his head :( Oooops!


We did our “How to Catch a Turkey” writing {printable from Deanna Jump’s Thanksgiving Math & Literacy Unit}. We read “Run, Turkey, Run!” before our writing and I LOVED the way the kids made the connection between this how-to and the how-to we wrote when we made root beer floats on the 50th day!


The kids get to take home their placemats tomorrow before they leave for the break. We had our Thanksgiving feast the other day and it was PRECIOUS. A whole buncha pilgrims and Indians just feastin’ away :)


SO…the room’s all ready for our VIPS…


And I’m SO excited for my kids to show off ALL their hard work!!!! It’s been a BUSY 3 weeks!!!


**I get lots of questions asking, “How do you fit EVERYTHING in?!?!?”. Ummm…LOTS of planning! HA! Seriously…most of the writing you see is either completed during our Writer’s Workshop block {followed by draft book} OR they complete it at the writing station during our Daily 5/literacy block. All the craftivities are pre-cut {BLESS my sweet student teacher!!!!}, so all the kids have to do is assemble the parts. This usually takes a total of maybe 10-12{ish} minutes. We can fit that in while they’re eating snack or when we get back in the room from lunch. It’s just a matter of planning it and making sure that it all fits with our objectives. We made our placemats during our Social Studies block of time because that took a lot longer!!!Hope that answers your questions!!**

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