Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday Trio


It has been a year since my friends, Fern and Michelle began their Dynamic Duo monthly giveaways.  They have had a fun time working together and of course they love to give stuff away!

Fern recently came up with a new idea.  Each week, they  are going to make one of their normally priced packets free for one day.  This is their way of showing a little appreciation to their followers who have loyally followed their blogs.  As an added bonus, they are going to invite a different blogger friend each week to join them.  Not only will you get free stuff, you might get to "meet" someone new and want to follow his or her store, too.  How great is that?!!!  Make sure you visit their blogs every Thursday!

This week- they chose me!!! Have you met me? Yes? Well, have you met them? If the answer is yes, then you are so lucky already. If the answer is no, then you need to get over there and meet them- they are both amazing!

Today you can click here and get this great assessment tool that I made when I was still in first grade FOR FREE!!
I used it when they entered my class and I was able to have the cards ready and at hand when I needed to assess a new student on beginning skills. They also made for great interventions for some students!



Click HERE to download your freebie.

Just a reminder:  You will not be able to leave feedback after we change it back to a paid for lesson.





Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Five for Friday {April 12}


Doodle Bugs Teaching

Good Morning and happy Saturday!
You should celebrate Saturdays. You don't have to throw a big party or buy decorations or anything, but you should celebrate it.
You should also celebrate the fact that I have 27 instructional days left in my school year. I know it's sad to see the little ones go, but there is hopefully some great news on the horizon for me (that's a different post).


Let's start this off with the fact that it is absolutely GORGEOUS here! These are my two favorite trees that I see everyday on my way in and way out of the neighborhood. And when the wind blows, it's like something out of a dream....and then the little boy who lives there comes out of his house and ruins that dream yelling "Miss Squirrels! Miss Squirrels! " when I drive by- he's zoned for my school:)






Now let's move on to this little lovely Lego set that I came across while playing on my phone yesterday. It's a Squirrel! With her own private tree! And her own little collection of nuts! Um, I totally went to Toys R US last night looking for this. OK, We were also looking for a laser tag thing that Littlest Little wants to hook up to his iPod. But I also scoured the Lego Friends Section.


I'm kind of going to cheat with my last pics and mush them all into one. This is one of my favorite dinners that we had this week. It's SO easy and so delicious!
And being a teacher, I am sure that the word problem
 kitchen + easy = dinner
 makes you happy.

So simple!
Such an easy crockpot dinner. I set it up in the morning while the boys are in the bathroom fighting over who's turn it is to use the toothpaste and I am done before they both make it out.
Add the roast, fill the bottom of crockpot with Coke (don't cover the top the of the roast with Coke). Then cover the top of roast with ketchup and one packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Put the lid on, set on low, and when you get home you have a yummy roast that is not soggy and gooey. But instead it is melt in your mouth tender with this yummy, crusty flavorful top.

Easy Quick Dinner
Coke Roast
When I make this, I usually throw a bag of red new potatoes in foil bag, with butter and garlic in the oven when I get home. They cook while I am unpacking and unwinding- and before I know it, I am ready to open a package of vegetables that everyone will complain about and no one will eat and we all sit down together! Ah, dinner time. The time that brings us all together.

It is time for me to go enjoy this Saturday! There are lots of busy squirrels in the nest today and I get to be the nutty chauffeur!
Enjoy your sunshine (and cross your fingers for my good news)





Monday, March 31, 2014

Memory Lane Monday

 Hey there! The last couple of weeks, I have been all "weepy" about how neglected my blog is :( Chickadee and I were looking through old posts and rereading all the fun we used to have- believe it or not, The Littles actually get a kick out of them (the ones that aren't school related)

We came across this particular WTH, and I JUST had to rephotograph "Fat"-
He is the reason that you are here- probably because you saw his famous mug (or lack there of) somewhere else....

The one on the right is Fat today (two years after the photo taken below)


 I giggled the entire time I reread this post! Hope you enjoy it too!


Originally posted June 28, 2012

Yikes! I am cuttin' close-
but with time changes and zones-
it is still going to be Wednesday SOMEWHERE when I finish this:)

(I'm a half-full kinda gal).

Soooooo
I thought that the LTT (Lack of Teachery Thoughts)
would back off a little since we are trapped inside-

What?!?! Trapped inside?
Did something collapse?
Has there been an accident?
HOW DID THE SQUIRRELS GET TRAPPED??!?!?!

Here's how:
WHEN THE HECK did I move to the desert?!?!?!
I live in TN! It shouldn't be this hot!
I can't even let the Littles out of the house for fear that they
will spontaneously combust
(and I watch Myth Busters- it can happen) :)

We are trapped in this house...
no rain
no wind
no motivation
(and increasingly)
no patience.

Why?
Oh, you KNOW I'll explain:
WHO THE HECK knocked this over and left it???

I don't even know what the original plan was for these anymore?!?!?




(ok, I had a little something to do with why it spilled- but it wasn't this bad)

More ranting-
WHEN THE HECK did these start tasting so good?

You should NOT be able to see through his head already- he hasn't been here long enough-
but I think they are fat free (like I care).

WHO THE HECK was the evil GENIUS who came up with Skylanders???



Have any of you other moms been affected by these?
They are like weird little creatures who play this weird little game that is on the Wii.
See that stage (portal)? When you put the character there- it shows up on the television-

great right? buy a few. play the game.
NOT SO MY FRIEND.
Because the genius who created this game, has made it to where the characters get "tired" and have to
go rest, so in order to finish a level, you have to change them out.....in other words-
YOU NEED MORE CHARACTERS!!!!
No one told Santa this and he brought the "starter" pack- which he thought was all you needed.
TWENTY characters LATER..........


WHO THE HECK is loving the Pinterest idea to use the holes in the sterlite container for ribbon?
ME, THAT's who!!
I am using it to keep my yarn separated- so easy- so smart-
why don't I think of these things? (on my own)






WHEN THE HECK did the Middle Little get his doctor's degree???

This past Friday, I am awakened by the sniffles and cries of the Littlest Little.
He crawls into bed beside me and cuddles up and says,
Mommy, I woke up and I just don't feel right (sniffle sniffle) and my head just hurts really bad. It's like a really bad one.
(so I was going to do that feel the forehead, take temp thing and see where we were at)
but he says
No, mommy, don't worry- I already took medicine- brother gave it to me.

WHAT!?!?!?
So after running to the front with him and making him show me which bottle and how much, I was relieved to find that it was the right dose and right medicine- whew-
but brother and I had a talk, regardless...

And lastly this evening-

WHO THE HECK loves something- THIS MUCH???

Short background story-
When Chickadee was a baby- her room was done in Winnie the Pooh.
We went to the disney store and bought all of the plush characters
so they could live on her bookshelf.
As she grew a little, she wanted to play with them.
She took a liking to Rabbit.
He was her favorite!
She was only 18 months old and could not say rabbitt,
so she called him "Fat".

Over the years, Fat has had many "surgeries".
There have been attempts to replace- she was not having it!
I even found an identical one on eBay, and when it came in the mail
I told her it was Fat's sister who had come to live with us....
Fat's sister was quickly lost in the bottom of her closet.

We have actually had bday parties for Fat.
I have gone to the bakery and asked for them to write
Happy Birthday Fat on a cake.
Fat had his own car seat for awhile-
imagine strapping in everyone else and having to make sure that
%(#&$ rabbit was safe too!

This first picture is what Fat looked like when he was purchased (this is actually his sister who is in very decent condition because she lives in the top of a closet now)







This is Fat today.
Warning: The following photo is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.







Told ya!
Have you ever seen Donnie Darko???

She will be 16 in October- and he sleeps with her every night.
We go out of town, he goes.
When she was in the hospital- he was right there with her.

One day, he will probably live in one of those glass display cases that Woody from Toy Story almost ended up in- but I don't think it will be anytime soon and I don't think there will be much of him left to put in there!!!


Have a great Thursday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The $64,000 Question- What's for Dinner?

Holy buckets ! It's been awhile! I would like to tell you it has been because I am so busy with amazing, wonderful adventures.
I would like to say that I am going to have a million exciting stories to share with you because of the above mentioned adventures.
But that ain't gonna happen! 
I have been on spring break. This year's spring break has consisted of netflix and my pajamas. I seriously have left the house long enough to take Chickadee to work and I went to the grocery store today. That's it. Other than that, I have traveled no farther than my mailbox.
It has been Wonder-mous! (I just made a new word) :)

From scrolling down, I noticed that I haven't written a post since Valentine's Day! That's like a month and a half ago.
When I was in my first grade room, it seemed like I never had a spare moment- yet I was taking pictures of all the great centers from my friends, I shared their writings, and I couldn't wait to get home to write about it and share with you.

I still want to share- but I am seriously on robot mode all day long! I don't see how middle school bloggers have time to document their day. One group comes in, we do our lesson, they leave and another one comes and I start over (and I'm not even middle school -yet).

So I thought to myself, "Self, there has got to be something I can share!"
And there is.
It just isn't school related.
But that's okay, right? (I think if we were to scroll through all the Squirrel posts we would see that the non school related out number the others!)

Anyway, I was doing a little Spring Cleaning....
(not really, the broom slid too far between the fridge and the wall and I had to really lean back there) and I found a magnetic holder with these "dinner cards" that we used to use when the Littles were "little-er" and there were less of them.

First I will show them to you:


Now I will throw in the disclaimers-
These were made FOREVER ago- long before I  was trying to make stuff pretty with fonts and printing stuff out on cute paper! I had  laminate badge cards because when Mr. Little used to pretend to "be something" we would make him a"worker badge"- I had never even heard of TPT or printing my own centers- these were for a 3 year old's amusement! (I will have to dig out his "worker guy badge" from his construction worker phase)! There, that explains the ugliness- but I promise to make up for it in usefulness!

Here's what I did.
We started getting in a "rut" with dinners. Ugh- the Dinner Rut. You know, when you add leftovers to the fridge and there are still leftovers in there that were of the same thing- but they are still recognizable??  So I wrote down all the dinners I could think of that we normally had at home, with the help of a 3 year old and an 8 year old. Now this was not counting any new recipes that a friend might share, a page I may have ripped out of magazine at the Dr's office (yes, I am that person), or something that I totally made up on the fly.

On each little card, I wrote what the dinner was and what the basic ingredients were. Before I went grocery shopping, I would get the cards out and the Littles would each choose one, the Mr. would choose two and I would choose two. It was very easy to check and see if I had the ingredients or if I needed to add it to the grocery list. I would add the the "dinners" to the regular calendar on the fridge, and then place those cards "face down" in the magnetic holder that was next to the calendar. When it was time to go shopping again, I would not include the ones that were "face down" when I let the Littles choose. This way we avoided having the same meals all the time! When we got through the stack, we turned them around and started over.

I had a flashback when I found these of all the time I used to have. Which is ridic! Cause back then I had younger kiddos, one on the way, and I was with Kindergarten. I guess I was more organized back then because I HAD to be. They were creatures of habit. We were on a schedule.
And now- not so much. I do plan (a lot less) when I shop- but not like I did. We may have to jazz these up (make completely new ones) and start using them again- they did make life a little easier!

The Mr. also passes the grocery store on his way home from work now. So it is very easy to have him stop to get something that I may need to complete a meal. (Sometimes he picks up the whole meal) We like to think of it as "Living European" because of all the fresh food and semi-daily trips. We like to think that, but it's not true. It's more like "Bad Planning".

And I swear, they wake up in the morning asking me "What's for dinner?" Littlest Little is still at the school with me, so he will ask between classes- "What's for dinner?" And I can always count on a text from the other two before I make it home with that all too familiar question....you guessed it, "What's for dinner?" The Mr. has learned not to ask.... he just comes to the table when I call them.

I have to tell you that I feel better because I have shared something- I mean seriously- when I started this post, Blogger opened with little box that said "Click Here to Remove Cobwebs"!

I am going to add it to my List of Things That Are Super Duper Important to make sure that I am here more often!

Hope you are enjoying your Spring Break (or are getting ready to)! 




Friday, February 14, 2014

Mystery Valentine and The Name Game

HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY!

All the lovey dovey stuff is great but when it all boils down to it- it's the sweets for the sweet that make this holiday tolerable!

The Mr. and I used to make a big deal about valentines for each other ! But then we got older and became parents. Which led to all the frantic shopping on the evening of the 13th and the sitting at the table for hours over the years trying to get a 5 year old to write his name IN THE LITTLE BITTY SPACES.....22 TIMES!!!
After that it just kind of became okay for us to say "I love you" on the morning of .....and enjoy the calm...until we had to shop for Easter!!!


Speaking of writing names- I thought I would share with you the just a few variations of MY name- that came from children who have been in my class for 103 days.

The correct spelling is QUARLES.









This one was rocking it with the name....lost it  on the Squirrels.


I am not supposed to have favorites- but this one has moved up in the ranks...


In the mood for a great joke.....



I am grateful for every sweet treat that came my way today.... whether it was a heart full of chocolate, an index card with a hand drawn heart, or my favorite- a hug! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that they cared enough to give me any of those! I thanked them all just the same:)

However there is one friend who couldn't be thanked...




Happy Valentine's Day!
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