Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Tuesday Giveaway!!!


Today is Tuesday!
That means a few things if you live in the "Nuthouse" (get it? cause we're Squirrels) 
Anyway- you know it's Tuesday here because one out of three Littles will come home and tell me that it is Taco Tuesday Fundraising night for our cluster of schools at the taco joint down the road. 
We also know it's Tuesday because I will tell that Little "No." 
It is Taco Tuesday for all 3 schools and they have 4 parking spaces in front of the  building. 
Nope.

You can also tell it's Tuesday because two out of three Littles will get off the bus with two things in mind.
1.) I have to get a snack before I die.
And
2.) I have to remind Littlest Little that it's Towel Tuesday! 
I swear, if they worried more about what they were responsible for instead of what the others were.....you know where that's going, right?
Littlest Little has limited chores. Cause he's little. (Duh?) He's getting bigger though- so along with trash, we gave him another chore which is to wash, dry, fold, and put away the towels in their bathroom- on Tuesdays.
It's a pretty big deal- to him. It may be a BIGGER deal to the other two, cause they feel like they're supervisors now! (We know my thoughts on "supervisors")
"Don't forget the towels! It's Tuesday! Did you get the towels out of the dryer? Remember to fold them in thirds"
(Hmmm- they sound like someone else I .....nevermind)

You also know it's Tuesday around here cause We The People get the TV back tonight!!! There is nothing but football on the tube Sat- Mon!!! Ugh. It is a small celebration when you realize that you get to use the remote!! 
I am gonna watch the crap outta some Dateline and 20/20 and maybe some Snapped! (He hates those shows..... Cause he thinks I'm taking notes!)

Watching football over the weekend though DID give me the opportunity to play around with some yarn ! At the urging of Mrs. Wheeler- I started making  pumpkins. And they turned out pretty cute! 
While I listened to him go on and on about this player and that coach, I just crocheted away.
Here's the result:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/207704930/super-cute-pumpkin-coffee-cozy?ref=shop_home_active_1


https://www.etsy.com/listing/207704930/super-cute-pumpkin-coffee-cozy?ref=shop_home_active_1
I added them to my Etsy, too this weekend.
 
And then turned my kitchen table into mailing station!!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/207704930/super-cute-pumpkin-coffee-cozy?ref=shop_home_active_1

Even though Halloween is only a couple weeks away, it will be Fall for a while still!

I plan on adding several more styles and colors....maybe even some turkeys and trees!  You can follow my Etsy to see when they are added.

To share  all this pumpkin  cuteness a little quicker- I'm going to send one to one of my Etsy followers, one to a FB fan page for my Etsy shop, and one to a Pinner! Check out the Rafflecopter below to see how you can enter!



 
I'll announce the winners as soon as the contest ends!
 
So now this hasn't turned out to be such a bad thing that he had the remote all weekend!!
I can't wait to come back and announce the winners!
Have a Terrific Tuesday!




Friday, October 17, 2014

Interview with A Squirrel

This evening finds the Squirrel household in the middle of Fall Break.
Do you get a "Fall Break"? I know there are a lot of schools that are out just for the Columbus three day weekend.
Not us- they give us a whole week.
That is one weekend + a school week + another weekend = 9 days.
Nine days that we are home together.
This time last year,  I was singing the praises of this break. I couldn't wait to have the time off after the nine weeks to recuperate. And the Littles were uber excited, too.
 
This year has proved to be the same- for them. They could not wait to get off the bus Friday so they could have these nine days to sleep in, stay up late, and hang out. And they have done exactly that.
They sleep pretty late. They stay up way too late. (And I am also up late- so that is some super quality time that we are having together (insert sarcastic face here)).  And they are hanging out. At home. In the house. 
It is chilly and drizzlely and cloudy and drab. So no one comes to the door to invite them to go OUTSIDE and play. Boo. I mean, I am all about friendship and bonding time. And I am sorry that they are not getting it because of this wretched weather on this nine day break that we are having together.
Do you see where this is going? I'll just end that with, It's been a long break so far.
 
I have made use of this time at home looking around online for jobs that are available in my area. I have gotten my resume all pretty and professional. I've even uploaded it to a few openings. I even got a "first round interview" for a state job that looked pretty good.
Have you looked for a job lately? Whether it's a teaching or non teaching position? Have you put yourself out there? It has been a long time since I have - and it is a little different.
 
For example, this "first round interview" that I speak of is what they call it. What it really is though is a list of 20 questions that enable you to shoot yourself in the foot and disqualify yourself from the position immediately so that they don't have to meet with you.
Some of them were your run of the mill things I remember hearing while sitting across from a real live person a million years ago like "What do you think your best quality is ?"
I thought that was easy enough.
I am a brutally honest person. (I left out brutally). But that's a pretty good quality to have  in an employee, right? I threw in few other descriptors so that it sounded cool.
And then I was stopped in my tracks by some of these other questions.
 
What type of supervision do you like? What frustrates you most with a supervisor ? How do you handle it? What type of person is the hardest to work with? Why do you think that is? How do you stay organized? How do you feel about deadlines? What is your working style? And then the dreaded- What do you consider to be your two biggest weaknesses?
 
What the what?
 
Let's take this from the top.
 
What type of supervision do you like?
Well, honestly, (I already said that I was honest) I kind of like to be unsupervised. And is it really going to matter? If I say I don't like them, will they go away?
 
What frustrates you the most with a supervisor?
Um, the part where they are supervising me- we established that, right? I mean, tell me what you want me to do, then let me be and if I do it- we'll be happy together.
 
What type of person is the hardest to work with?
The one that's always hanging around- you know, the supervisor guy.
 
Why do you think that is?
Cause he's creeping me out.
 
How do you stay organized?
Depends, what am I organizing? Seriously, are we talking writing down appointments, or am I sorting beads? Am I taking notes? Writing a grocery list? Or organizing my thoughts? Cause I can write a hell of grocery list- the kind that takes The Mr. down every single aisle and the items seem to fall into the cart because I have organized this list so flawlessly. On the flipside, I can  forget what I am saying 12 times in the same dinner conversation because there a million thoughts in my head and I cannot express one coherently.
 
How do you feel about deadlines?
Well I'd rather they not be so concrete. I like a little leeway in my deadline. I like terms like "around 12:00" and "near the 16th" and "some time tomorrow". Those are all perfectly good deadlines.
 
What is your working style?
Um, I'd say I am "Glitzy Transitional". I figure it's MY style and I can call it what I want.
 
And then comes the question that ensures you will receive the "While we thank you for your application....." email....
 
Your weaknesses.
I HATE this part! I have always hated it!
It never fails that I would sit across from admin during an eval and throw myself under the bus!
"What do you think your weakness was for this lesson?"
And then I would INEVITABLY say something that she hadn't noticed!!! (Way to go, Squirrels!)
 
It's the worst to have to think of things that are wrong with you and then tell them to other people who do not know you.
I should have put something like "I have a need to become closely attached to my supervisor". Maybe that would help me out in that department. Because no one is going to write "I have a tendency to be late three or four times a week and I like to steal post it notes for my collection in my junk drawer at home." Ugh.
 
I am very curious to see what the "second round interview" is like. Will I have to get out of my "kajamas" for it? That would be pretty sweet if I didn't. I also can't wait to find out how many rounds there are! And is there a bonus round? A speed round? If so I will just yell BIG MONEY! NO WHAMMIES!!! That should make me a shoe in, huh?
 
 
Who knows? It's a crap shoot.
We'll see what they all say when they write me back and thank me for being so honest!
 
Well it's time to start thinking about how the Squirrels are going to spend DAY SEVEN of our WONDERFUL Fall Break together! Hope you have a great weekend coming up!!
 
 
 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Squirrel-a-versary

So here it is - three years since my very first blog post! It doesn't seem like that long. 
Maybe because my blog has been so dusty and neglected as of late. I totally blame social media ( blame shifter)- seriously! 
I think of something and then BAM! I can post it on Instagram- or BOOM! I can put it on FB. And it's so quick and easy.
Technically, the blog is easy, too. It all comes from my phone. But my mind is more likely to throw out a random quick thought vs a long commentary. And for those of you who know me, quick and random are the way my brain usually works! 

It has been an adventure of sorts being out of the classroom this year. It was a hard decision to make- but I'm very confident I did the right thing. I was reminded of just "how right" I was when I was putting away a few things in my room today and opened a drawer of my jewelry armoire. 
What I saw was a little alarming. (Don't worry, it's not anything bad or inappropriate). I opened the drawer to put away a bracelet and here it was. Boom.
My One Little Word card that I made three years ago when I did the OLW project with my first grade class. I made each person, including myself, a card to carry to remind us of the word we chose. 
The word we chose that would make a change in our lives.
My word was Prioritize. It was my goal to change some things in my personal and professional life to ensure that I was putting all the right people and projects first.
Just sitting down and making that list back then was such an eye opener! I "let go" of sooooo much drama! I realized that much of the hard work I was doing was SELF INDUCED! While there is definitely a set of standards I was expected to meet- I was piling on even more. 
So I fixed it back then.
I made changes.
I left bags of school work AT SCHOOL. And I opened my eyes and realized that what I sometimes thought was my worst, was someone else's best- and that was ok! 
I was (and still am) happier for taking a breath and working through all of that. 

My OLW card popped up a year later when I switched purses. And then again on the dryer one time. Once I found it in the junk drawer in the kitchen. 
I'm glad it doesn't have a "formal home". If it did, then I wouldn't get these great reminders every once in a while.

So much has changed in the last few years. And I can attribute that to prioritizing AND to that sweet reminder charm that was under my card- 

HA HA!!! Gotta love a squirrel! 

I'm sure I said it at the one year mark and then again at the second- this little blog had made such a change in my life! I've learned so much from so many and have made some lifelong friends! Love you ladies!!

Hope this day finds you right where you want to be, my friends!! 



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WTH Wednesday or Save the Hot Pocket!!!

Yep- WTH Wednesday!
(Most of the events in this post actually took place on a Tuesday- but I was too tired and too busy to get on here!) So I am declaring this a WTH Wednesday post! 

I have been watching all the posts on {insert social media name here} about going back to school and I love it! I love seeing all the rooms and decor! And I love seeing how excited everyone is to go back. I have been in a few rooms that look like they are straight off of Pinterest and one that could have been on a iFunny. Yikes.
 
Needless to say we are in full swing here at the Squirrels household! 
With my schedule being very different this year, I have had to set new and more stringent guidelines for getting out of the house in the morning.
WTH? 
WHY, WHY, WHY is it so hard to get them to understand that they have to move at a reasonable pace?
Why the heck are there fifty-eleven alarms set? For three people?? 
The halls start sounding like some jerk set every alarm at Radio Shack 1 minute apart around 5:30am! There are iphone alarms, iPad alarms, iPod alarms, oh- and a few ALARM CLOCK alarms, too! 
Hopefully the routine will set in quickly.
 
I've got the Littlest Little showing me what he is going to wear the night before so that I can be sure they are at least clothes that are suitable for outside wear.
I've had him place his "Deo for the B.O." next to his toothbrush-
 
"Dear Lord, please make sure he remembers to brush each day. And if not everyday, then at least M-F, cause I used to work at his school and I don't want people talking about my smelly kid with the butter teeth.
Amen."

We are all walking out the door right at the same time most mornings. I have told them that there is absolutely NO FIGHTING in the a.m.!! They can pummel the crap out of each other when they get off the bus, but if any one of them makes us late in the morning, they are ALL grounded! So they need to form a bond. Quickly.

I guess I shouldn't give so much leniency for after school- for it is in the mere minutes of After School Bliss that the story I am about to share takes place. (Also the inspiration for bringing back my WTH Wednesday)! 

I was at a high school yesterday, so I was home fairly early. I got here right before they got off of the bus.  So I did the obligatory "How was your day? Let me see your planner spiel" with all of them. (When it's time for stuff like that, it feels like I have 37 Littles and not just 3!)
It's right around this time that they all start squawking like little birds that they are starving. All of them choose something different, of course, and that is when I inform them that they are all on their own.
I'm chatting it up at the table with the boys and Chickadee (who at this point has made her after school snack - a hot pocket- and then retreated to her den) comes up to get something to drink. We are all laughing and joking around- being silly- (imagine that) when she takes off through the living room and down the hall.

(Insert slow motion footage)

There was a laugh, a screech, and then a THUD!

The laugh was when she realized that our sweet little Barkley might be in her room enjoying her hot pocket that she left unattended to come get her drink.
The screech was the noise she made when she tripped WHILE RUNNING down the hall. Her speed was too great and she was not able to stop as she rounded the corner- so she stopped herself with her body.
That was the "Thud".
Her hand slammed into the corner of the wall.

(Resume regular speed).

So this is where we are now.
 
Yes, that's right, Chickadee, look away. Look away.

Yep. One Urgent Care Clinic visit, a few xrays, and a thumb splint later, this is where we are.

WTH?! Have I not been telling you for the last 17 years to NOT run in the house? Has this not ALWAYS been a rule? And why would you leave your hot pocket on your bed?? That makes it fair game for Barkley!
We are in the little room at the Dr.'s office and here my beautiful, seemingly intelligent daughter is telling the Dr that she thinks she broke her hand.
 "How did it happen?" (I always hate it when they talk directly to the kids- I am always afraid they are going to say some "buzz word" that will trigger the Dr. to push a panic button and send in the DHS SWAT)!
But I dodged that scenario when my ding dong doodle daddy of a daughter replied:
"I was trying to save my hot pocket."

The good news is - no fractures. We go BACK to the Dr on Friday. They think she may have torn ligaments. I don't even know what that means. One of my friends said it might involve physical therapy for rehab. ?!?!?!?!
Are you kidding me?
Because of a hot pocket?

I told her I was going to make a poster that said NO RUNNING and put her on it then tack it to the end of the hall. Who would have thought that I was still going to have to remind them all of that rule this far into the game?

I think we must all take a moment to acknowledge that, while it was originally thought that this guy was a Guilty Gus and up to no good with his hot pocket thievery antics, he was in no way charged with any crime in this matter. He continues to roam freely through the bedrooms, scavenging for hot pocket crumbs.

 
{No hot pockets were harmed in the making of this post.}

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ready or Not BTS Blog Hop

 
 

Good Morning and welcome- It's my turn to share something great for our
 It's time for Back to School Blog Hop.
I went back and forth about what I should share.
And I decided to share something that worked like a DREAM for the last two years I was in first grade.
It was when I made the choice to go to COMMUNITY SUPPLIES. Just the mention of it used to make me worry what the kiddos would say and the fit the parents would throw because "Those were mine!" .....but I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find that with some great organization and a fool-proof routine, they would catch on to this system quickly!
Below are the pictures from when I made that transition, along with some excerpts from the blog post that shared this wonderful way of keeping up with supplies!

I do not have the tables I wanted, so I used my desks to make "tables".

They are in groups of 5.
There are 4 "tables" so far this year.
They use these table #s for various things, I will share those.

At each table there is an A,B, C, D, E.
It is on your nametag  to help you remember.
I might say "I need the Es to go get your table bin".

So the Es would go get the bin (only four people up).

 Let's pretend we are coloring something.

I keep the crayons in these little travel soap containers. They fit perfectly. They will actually hold all 24, but I take out all but the main 12.

The red violets, blue greens, and dandelions are saved for other projects.

Those little "crayon boxes" live in a table bin.
 
The table bins live on a cart.



So now we will pretend that the Es have gotten the bins and taken them to the table.
Whoever takes it to the table, passes them out.
I might call the Ds to put them away. (again, only four people are up).
If you are the person putting them away, you make sure you get one from everybody at your table.
5 friends. 5 boxes.

What if someone is missing a color?
They can go to the crayons and get the color they need to put inside of the little box.
I painted them, but am not loving them, because they are too "yellowy".
Notice how two very distinct colors live in the same drawer.
Also if you find a crayon on the floor, you can just put it in the correct drawer.

Now let's pretend we are working on something that needs scissors.
I have learned my lesson.
Scissors used to live at their desks (first 5.5 years of teaching).

I can't take it anymore.
The cutting of the clothes. The hair. The paper that WASN'T supposed to be cut.
Not to mention my aversion to metal- I can't handle that noise when they
open/close
open/close
open....AGHHHHH!

So the scissors live in a separate bin.
They are in the four little bins on top of the shelf. Each contains the # of scissors to match the # at the table.
If what we are working on needs scissors, I will put that little bin in the table bin before we start.
That way when the Ds come get their bin, they have what they need.
The same with glue. It isn't in the bin, unless we are going to use it.

What about pencils?
We can't be up ALL the time taking pencils and putting them back!

Pencils live........




in the CUPS! See the cups? Cups are good.
There are only three things that can be in your cup.
A pencil.
A dry erase marker.
The coins from behavior system (that's another post).

What about keeping that cup from falling off?
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH VELCRO!

The cups take up a tiny little space. Pencils don't roll off onto the floor.
NO ONE has to "dig" in a pencil box to find anything.

We only use yellow pencils- because they are community.
See how nicely they stick up out of the cup?
At the end of our day a friend just takes 'em right out, puts them in the
please sharpen me can, and then another friend puts one sharpened pencil in the cups
each morning. If you need a new one during the day, you just trade out at the cans.

This is how nice it looked while they were at lunch.
When we are finished, someone  from that table will put all those boxes in the table bin and then the table bin will go back to the cart.
And all will be right with the world.

Whooo is coloring so nicely???



A few questions I have gotten from fellow teachers

What about the pencil boxes they brought in?
Those are in the closet with a set of markers in them.
We do not use them that often, so they don't need to be in the way.
.
What about the books and notebooks?
Notebooks are in a literature stacker (which I am considering a bin for each table)
Books live in cubbies when not being used.

What if they need supplies for a center?
If crayons, scissors, or glue is needed for any activity- it will be in the center box.

So, now you all think I am this crazy Hitler Teacher who doesn't let anyone use anything EVER.
I promise I am tons of fun- we do a lot of fun things- I promise:)

I have just based this system on my previous experiences.
They cannot interrupt your instruction with noise from supplies that are not in their hands. (They will find other ways to do it, but now they must get creative) :)
The less distraction, the better.
They all have to take ownership of our room. We want our room to reflect the type of students we are:
Neat
Careful
Organized

It really did work so well- and it did away with all the distractions that came from things being in front of them all the time. When I taught K, I tried right away to do community supplies, but it all just ended up being a bunch of broken crayons in a crappy caddy in the middle of the table! It only took me 6 years to get it all together!

Hope you have found lots of great ideas and freebies to help you on your Back to School Adventure!


Your next stop will be with Jennifer from The Teacher's Open House- Click on her Button below to head over and see what she has for you!
 

 

http://teachersopenhouse.blogspot.com/
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