Thursday, July 31, 2014

So it begins...

Making a very quick stop to say hey to all you lovely ladies (and maybe gentlemen)...

Monday morning I drove 2 hours meet my mom so she could take my kiddos for the week. First time they've been away this long and I MISS THEM!!

But...I've been in my classroom every day which is fabulous. Teachers go back on the 12th and students on the 19th, but I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled on the 5th. Yah, who does that right before school?!? Oh right....I do. What a dummy. 

Since I'm changing grades that means I'm changing rooms and for some reason teachers at our school love to leave behind all their crud lovely teaching resources that they no longer want. This means emptying all the cabinets and sorting through everything before putting all my stuff into the cabinets. 

This is what I'm working with folks...

Not pretty. Not pretty at all. 

I'm determined to make a dent in all this junk tomorrow because once the husband gets home we're on the road to pick up the littles.

I'm crossing my fingers for a Five for Friday with pictures of a neat and tidy (although incomplete) classroom. Say a prayer people!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five For Friday!

Hey y'all...

{can I say that as a California girl?? Oh, sure, what the heck. If spending 3 years on the Mississippi gulf coast, being baptized in that murky water, and living through the experience of Hurricane Katrina doesn't earn me some southern stripes, then I don't know what will!} 

...I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a Five for Friday Linky Par-tay!

Here we go...

Okay, this Ipsy Glam Bag was the highlight of my week! You can read more about Ipsy here. Loving the bronzer and the cherry lip and cheek stain is not as scary as I thought. 

I'm so excited to be going to first grade this year. I'm currently a little overwhelmed, but I know it's going to be a blast! I was so excited to order this book to read on the first day of school. 

Moving to first grade led to this lovely project. Going through all my files and separating out stuff that I can't use with lil firsties. I did a TON of purging...a few things are coming to first...and I'm left with one, 1, uno, yes I said ONE bankers box of 3rd grade files. I don't know how I did that people, but I did it. There was lots of squishing and smooshing involved. 

Before, during, and after the file purging and organizing my dining room has been accumulating school projects. One of those being transitioning some things into binders instead of a file cabinet. 

This is a tiny picture of the chaos going on in that room. I'm pretty sure the weeks prior to school starting is my husbands least favorite time of year. He's super, like really, really super OCD so this mess drives him bonkers. It's safe to say that we haven't had dinner at the dining table in quite some time. 

Just finished this book and it was ah-mazing!! Like total amazeballs! Blew my mind. Loved it so much I read the whole stinkin' thing in a day and a half...that's 297 pages folks!! Okay so I skimmed a few of them, but still, I was completely hooked. I'm still wrapping my mind around the whole instructional aspect of teaching writing with the traits. I'm sure some future posts will emerge from this current love affair.

Well that's all I've got. 

Enjoy the weekend you beautiful people you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First Ipsy Glam Bag

Who would not be excited about getting mail when this beauty is in there?! I mean come on people, that pink, seriously!! 

What is an Ipsy Glam Bag you ask? 

Here's the rundown: 

1. Visit to create a free account and complete a beauty quiz and get on the Glam Bag waitlist. 

2. Get off the waitlist early by sharing your referral link on Facebook and having a friend sign up for a Glam Bag subscription. 

3. Each Glam Bag is shipped in that awesome pink bubble envelope and the actual bag inside is different each month. Here is the July bag:

4. In each bag there will be 5 beauty products (some trial size, some full size) that are geared towards your beauty profile. They don't guarantee an exact match, but for $10 you can't go too wrong. Here is what came in my July bag:

1. Tint and Sass by Elizabeth Mott in cherry
2. Pur-lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30
3. Clear Clinic Laboratories Vanished Clear Spot Treatment
4. POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer
5. bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow with SPF 15

I'm pretty happy with my first bag. The moisturizer will be great for my travel bag. The bronzer and eyeshadow are both really pretty...I did a quick swatch on the back of my hand. I didn't try the spot treatment and to be honest I'm a bit scared to try the lip and cheek stain. It's pretty bright red! I'll let you know what I think once I try it. 

Like I said, I'm down with spending $10 a month to have some fun goodies delivered to my door. At the very least it gives me something to look forward to each month!

Let's get GLAM folks :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday- Wonder

Oh my gosh, you guys, I am so excited to link up today with Deanna over at Mrs. Jump's Class for a Book Talk Tuesday. 

I read Wonder by R.J. Palacio earlier this summer and it is the best book EVER! An instant classic and all time favorite for me. It was so good that I immediately started reading it again until I realized that I better get crackin' on studying for my CTEL for long, boring study sessions. 

Seriously though, I could rave about this book for days. You will meet the most amazing main character Auggie, who was born with a condition that has deformed his face...and he's going to middle school for the 1st time. 

A great story about compassion, bullying, perseverance, overcoming...aaah, you just have to read it!! I want to use a zillion exclamation marks if that would help get across what an amazing book this is. Every adult and middle schooler should read this. It's incredible. Buy it. Borrow it. Steal it*. Whatever. Just get your hands on this book and read it. 

If you don't absolutely fall in love with this book then you need to grab yourself a new heart**. See that linky button up there with the cute pink heart, yah, go get one of those! Deanna's got a big 'ol heart, I'm sure she can spare some for you.

*Disclaimer: I was totally kidding about the stealing. Please do not steal and if you do please don't say that Jessica made me do it. That would really be awful. 

**Disclaimer #2: If you don't like this book I'm sure there is nothing really wrong with your heart. I'm sure you have a very lovely heart.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Parenting Revelation

I wouldn't consider myself a helicopter parent, but I certainly have some control issues when it comes to parenting my kiddos. Let's be honest, all teachers probably have a little bit of control freak in them. It's not that I think my kids are perfect by any stretch...I'm usually the first to ask, "What did they do now??" I suppose it's more that I expect them to be. Eeew. That felt horrible to type. Bad mommy. 

My husband is much better at this than I am. He has an easier time just letting them be kids, letting them learn the hard way, and being gracious and understanding when they do just that. Ugh...I never thought parenting would be this hard. 

The other night by little man and I went on a mommy-son date. It was so sweet and we had the best time together. It was a nice reprieve from the usual battle between us. I love that kid to death, but some days we just DO.NOT. get along.

The day after we went on our date he had a sleepover birthday. I wasn't going to let him stay the night though. I just new he wouldn't be able to handle making the right choices in that kind of scenario. He's too easily influenced by his peers and I just figured I'd save us all the trouble.

Then in church yesterday during worship God revealed something to me that was such a "duh" moment, but also such a beautiful picture of His love towards us. 

God could certainly prevent us from making poor choices if he wanted to, just like I tried to prevent my little Man from making poor choices. God doesn't do that though. He gives us His Word, the Holy Spirit, and other believers in our lives to prepare us to live a life of righteousness before Him. And when we mess up he doesn't become angry and scream and shout...hmmm, I wonder who does that. {crickets}

He's just there with arms open wide waiting to shower us in his love, slap a band-aid on our boo-boos, and comfort us through the healing. This is the same kind of love that I should be showing my little loveys. 

I was almost moved to tears as I let this special revelation just sink into my soul. This was just yesterday and I've already messed up...such is life. I thank God for His grace each and every day!

Well, now that you all know my sucky mom moment (at least one of them...there are many!) let's show some mama love in the comments below. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Grab My Button Code Generator

Okay, if Fab Find Friday isn't already a linky somewhere then it totally needs to be because I have just made an incredibly fab find!!

I have spent at least 2 stinkin' hours trying to make a "Grab My Button" widget. You know, one of those little code boxes that has a blog button above it. You can copy and paste the person's button onto your blog. Well anyways, none of the code was working. The button would show up, the text box would show up, but there would be no code in the text box. Kind of defeats the purpose of people being able to grab the code if it's not there! Ugh, so frustrating. I swear I looked at at least 6 different tutorials and nada, nothing, zilch.

Then, by reading through some comments on one of the tutorials, I found this little gem.

All you do is add in your blog title, URL, and image URL, make a few color and code box selections and get all the code you need to copy into your HTML widget. Worked first time, no problems!! If only I had found that first...

I'd love to hear about your recent fab finds! Comment below.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Big Picture- Writing Long Range Plans

I don't know how on earth I didn't mention this in yesterday's post...

I'm going to first grade!!

After three years in 3rd grade, I am SO ready. I picked up my curriculum books and, woah, this is going to be a bit of an adjustment. But certainly a welcome one.

My first year teaching at my current school was quite a whirlwind. I was hired about 5 days before school started and had A LOT to do to prep. I touched on this in my first blog post you can read here

Needless to say I didn't do any long range lesson planning. Then, two summers ago as I was preparing to enter my second year I sat down and mapped out what my year would look like. 

I started by looking back over my old lesson plans so I could have somewhat of a "realistic" idea as to how the year might go. Then I started plugging away.

I kept my planning pretty simple. I only included months down the side and subjects across the top. The only info I plugged into each box was a chapter number and title or topic. This was put into a plastic sleeve and kept in my teacher binder that you can see more about here.  

As the year progressed I tried to refer back to this sheet and make myself little notes. As you can see in the pic below, anything I checked in blue was finished before Christmas break. 

I circled things in green that I wanted to remember to rethink. For some reason those items didn't work as planned. As I began my long range planning for this upcoming year I was able to look back at these plans and make changes accordingly.

The most difficult thing for me to plug in is history and science. We don't overlap so I try to do my best to split each 9 weeks evenly between the two, but it's hard to show on this particular type of planning sheet. But for the purpose I use it for---to give me a "big picture" idea of the year it words great! 

Now that I'm moving to first grade, I'll have to go through this process again with my new curriculum. I've got some work ahead of me! 

What's your best planning tool/idea/system for looking towards this new school year? 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

3 B's for Healthy Blogging

Longest. Blog. Hiatus. Ever.

Don't ask. You really don't want to know. Well maybe you do, but then I'd be here typing my little fingers off until the wee hours of the night. Oooops. Too late. It already is the wee hours of the night. Guess I can fill you in.

In the words of my very wise and witty Mister...well what happened was...

I started a teaching blog. I loved my teaching blog. No, I adored my teaching blog. I had so much fun posting, creating, sharing, collaborating, and learning. I would eat, breathe, and sleep my lovely little teaching blog. Every brain cell focused on teaching and blogging.

I started to forget that I had other responsibilities outside of my classroom and away from my computer screen. I started to forget that there were two little hearts and one quite bigger heart that needed me too...and needed me more!  Like my pal Scooby would say, "ruh roh!"

So being the crazy "all-in or nothin'" girl that I am...I walked away from my little space on the web and threw in the towel. But that made me sad. I missed posting, creating, sharing, collaborating, and learning. I felt like a better teacher when I was doing those things.

And here's what I learned over those 10 (yah, that was painful to type) blogless months.

Boundaries. Gotta have them and actually respect them. I cannot spend a gazillion hours a week on the computer blogging which means I have to learn to say no. This means I can't join every linky party on earth or participate in every last giveaway. Ugh. That's a hard one.

Balance. I cannot be in teacher mode 100% of the time. After all, I'm not just a teacher. I'm a Christ follower, a wife, a mother, a friend, and yes I am a teacher, but it's all of those things together that contribute to who I am.

>>Side note: This lesson is where my new blog name comes from: Little In Betweens. It's actually the same as a personal blog I had briefly many years ago. I came up with the name from the idea that in the midst of doing all the BIG stuff in life, we have all these amazing little moments in between and it's usually in those small moments where we find the most joy.

I hope to continue posting about all the fun teaching stuff I'm doing, but I also hope to include a lot more about my journey finding joy in those little moments. Right now I'm totally finding buckets full of joy in watching nail, hair, and makeup tutorials on YouTube. It's currently a sick obsession and it's a pricy one too! I mean, come one, who can watch a beautiful 20 year old do this fab makeup and then not go buy all of it. I'm ridiculous, I know. Let's just set up a no judging zone and we'll all be fine...ha!

Be me. Whew, that took me a really long time to come up with something that started with a B. Did y'all catch that...boundaries, balance, be me. Oh yah, so clever.

Okay, so, be me. There are a lot of fancy blogs out there, a lot of amazing folks on TpT, and it piles on the pressure. Well, for me it does. Remember the crazy "all-in or nothin'" girl. I have a hard time keeping things reigned in. I can be a (excuse the expression) balls to the walls kind of person...I start something and it rapidly takes over my life, I jump in to the nth degree. Hence the whole purpose of this- I'm just now realizing- extremely long post.

If I can remember to just be me: no pressure, no ridiculous expectations, no beating myself up over the little things. If I can just  have fun and find joy in the journey then I think I'll be just fine.

If you're still reading, you have some amazing endurance. Thanks for sticking in with me. Just one last quick thing then I'm outta here:

My URL for my blog will change tomorrow night...well technically tonight (Thursday) I guess. I think that means if you've been a follower of you will need to RE-FOLLOW me once the URL changes (should be something along the lines of my fingers it will be available just like that). Pretty sure this is like blog suicide for most people, but I'm just looking at it as a fresh start.

I hope you'll continue to join me in the journey.