Monday, July 21, 2014

Easy Word Wall

Good Evening!
It is Monday!
I wish that meant something super special, but it doesn't.
No special dates on the calendar- not counting down to anything.
It's just Monday.

I have been "watching" everyone begin to get their rooms ready for the year! I even had to run up to my "old school" (that sounds weird) today to pick something up and there was a parking lot full of teachers who could not wait to get into their rooms and start getting them ready for the new school year. We start here on the 6th of August- so that is right around the corner!

It sort-of -(I stress sort of) kinda -almost -in -a- way made me sad that I do not have a room to prepare decorate this year.
As stressful as that part is, I think it is one of my favorites! Not always the fave of The Mr. though because sometimes it involved ALL NEW decorating- like new colors, more fabric, new containers..... I actually got put on "fabric restriction" once.

I thought that if I couldn't share new ideas, that I might be able to share a few things that have worked for me in the past- and maybe, just maybe, it might be something that will help you out while you are trying to get your room ready for the year.

When I switched to pink/green/black my last year in first grade, I had to recover my Word Wall. And since I was documenting yard by yard what I was doing with all of the fabric, I shared how I was changing it.{ I will link the original post at the bottom of this one. }

There was never really  a place that I could make a my word wall home when I was in my first room (nine years ago) I had a huge blank wall, but I didn't want to have to fool with tape or Velcro.
So instead, I purchased a sheet of foam insulation. And I covered it with (what now looks like Day Glow) green fabric. I used my staple gun to get the fabric on, and then I used a little hot glue on the back.
Now, had it been free "hanging"' it would never have stayed on the wall with just the hot glue- but there was a counter top right below that held most of the weight. So the hot glue was just sort of tacking it into place.

When I moved to my new room, there was an air conditioner right below that space that I wanted my Word Wall to live. Instead of hot glue this time though, I used six command strips. Yep, just six.
When words moved from the easel to the board, I just used my stapler. And they stayed.
The board even moved with me when I made my move to fourth. I just added a few more strips!

Super easy to do! And it doesn't necessarily have to be a word wall, it could be any type of bulletin board. The main thing for me was the fact that it stayed in place and all the cards that I put on it did, too!
This was originally posted as Word Wall Woes Wiped Away back in August of 2012. (Seems like it wasn't that long ago!)
Check back over the next week to see other projects that  might help you out!
Happy Monday!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday {July 18}

Hello, Friday. Nice to see you again. Although I would be happier to see you if you hadn't shown up the way you did. I mean, you sneak up on all of us, and then you have the nerve to waltz in at only 77 degrees just covered in clouds. You do know that it is July 18th, right Friday?
Just checking.
Let's just try to get your crap together before next week rolls around, 'cause two Fridays without the pool are unacceptable.

I am linking up today with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday- even if there wasn't any sun to take pics in.

I did take advantage of the cool weather and opened up the windows to get some fresh air blowing through here. I stayed in bed for a bit and finished Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. I discovered her after I read all of Gillian Flynn's novels and asked for recommendations. Courtney from Swimming into Second recommended her- so I ran out- bought the first two, read one of them in ONE DAY! I am starting Always Watching when I finish this post.

Let's see, Pic #2 is from dinner. We made "Elvis" sandwiches.
There was a 'friendly" sandwich competition while we were at the beach with our family this summer. Even though my entry was delicious, and the others put a lot of hard work into theirs, this was the one that ALL the children declared the WINNER.
I personally don't think it is fair to intro peanut butter AND bacon on the same entry where children are involved. She may as well have covered it in chocolate syrup and sprinkles!!!!
{wait, there's an idea}
I would show you an end result, beautifully crafted sandwich- but there aren't any to speak of! They didn't last long at all. I even drove a nice warm sandwich up to Chickadee because she was at work. She was giddy when she came to the car and squealed "I'm gonna see if I can go on break RIGHT NOW!" {she had been at work for an hour}
{And yes, she works at a restaurant, and yes, I take her food. I know- it's weird.

I don't have many more exciting things that I photographed today.  After I got some time to relax reading, I had to play chauffeur for a bit.
Some of you may have seen who watches me leave and return all day.
This is new to him. The piece of furniture that used to be in front of this Little's window has been moved. So now Barkley has prime-people-stalking-property right up there in front of the house.

He has also discovered that his little behind actually fits on the window sill! He currently is the new neighborhood watch!

I did have a little in between time to start a new project today. I can't read with any background noise. (I am THAT teacher at PDs who WAITS for everyone to stop talking so that I can read what we are supposed to be reading. I swear, I take NOTHING in if I hear other stuff while I am reading)
So when The Mr. is watching baseball or soccer or something else that I am not interested in, I can crochet. This keeps me in the room with him vs. leaving to read in another room.
Crocheting has saved our marriage- not really- but it sure makes me look interested in what he is watching. {brownie points}

Reading back over this, it seems my cloudy Friday was a little fuller than I had originally thought. Here's to hoping that yours was great and that the sun returns tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WTH Wednesday Returns!

Happy Summer, Ya'll!
It has been over a month since my last post- so much has been going on!
I'm not complaining- we were gone for a week of that month at the beach in OBX.
HOLY RELAXING! This is our second year to meet family there.
Why the heck have we not gone EVERY year??? Oh Wait, I remember!
Cause the Littles were still little! We currently travel "kid paraphernalia" free! They even pack their own bags!
 This is the house that the MIL rented for the week- that's our room. We slept with our door open most nights just so we could hear the ocean all night. {and then it rained really horribly one evening and the floor got kind of wet...} I digress...

It was a week long adventure that I wouldn't trade for the world! We got to hang out with cousins that we don't see too often. We did a little ghost crab hunting. We watched the sun set. I swam past the first break- I know WHAT THE HECK was I thinking??
And we played games and had food competitions- 
{my egg salad was a hit}
Only 339 days until we return.
It was time for the 4th when we returned. So we headed to a neighboring state fair for fun and fireworks. 
I was kind if dreading it because of all of my healthy choices lately. 
And wouldn't you know it, you can smell funnel cakes and corn dogs from MILES away! At least I can- I may have been part bloodhound in a previous life.
I thought this pic was funny because he was hesitant to ride and then when he got on, the ride got stuck! 
(I really DIDN'T think it was funny. In fact, I think I may have had a for reals anxiety attack. And for the rest of the night, I could "feel" rides that they weren't even on! It was just an overwhelming sense of tense and jittery combined)
We did make it all better by heading over to the wrestling event that was at the fair. 
Where the heck have these been all my life!?!?
We had a blast!

By the time fireworks came around we were too tired to go sit and watch, so we "ooed and awed" as we walked back to the van!! 

So that takes us from when I last blogged to the fourth. 
Hmmmmm- there's two weeks from the fourth til now.

Somewhere in between there- some BIG decisions were made.
Like life changing ones.

It has been coming for awhile- change, that is. I needed to make a choice about my next steps, OUR next steps as a family.

WHAT THE HECK are you doing, Squirrels?!?!?

Well, with a clear head and plan in place, I resigned from my classroom position on July 8th.
{I know, right! Is she crazy?}


On that same day, I was hired by my system as  a substitute teacher. And I am currently working on the paperwork to get back in school and finish my Masters.

I have the support of all the Littles and The Mr. Littlest Little is sad that I won't be in his school full time- but I will be there often enough.

I just felt like the time was right- they are all  big enough that I can do this.
I hope I am big enough that I can do this! Me in the classroom? Yikes! I'm a teacher's worst nightmare- at least I am mine!!! Ha! Seriously though, I am excited about getting into all these classrooms! I can go to high schools, middle schools, different elementary schools. I have only taught in this one for the last 10 years- so it will be cool to see what's going on out there!

For now though, they have three weeks of summer of left. So we have it on our calendar to make sure that we are soaking up all the sun we can, pool days, water park days, bike rides, etc.The Lazy River attendant KNOWS that when Squirrels floats around to the beginning, she is NOT trying to get out- just push her back into the current and let her float!

Hope that everyone is having a great summer, too!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Squirrels on the Move

Is it safe to say that we are finished? Are we out?
The Littles have already been out for two whole weeks; I am right behind them!
It has been a whirlwind of activity since the day they got out.

I had envisioned naps and sleeping in- who knew that that I would be taking such a different direction?
Squirrels is still working on that getting healthy thing!
I have been following some very inspirational people. People who made the decision to make their lives better and they have done it!
I am very grateful for all the "visuals"! I get tons of support from my IRL friends and online friends.
Very motivational, indeed.

I am at 3 weeks with no soda (or sweet tea.....Lord help me)!
I am 19 consecutive days working out. (There were others before- but not in a row)
I own workout clothes.
I have cooked and eaten fish.

{These are milestones, people. You should be applauding.}

I know it sounds like I'm being typical Squirrels and being silly- but this is for realsies!!!

All of this should have happened a long time ago-
Three years ago on June 3rd, I made the decision to quit smoking. Cold Turkey. And I stuck with it.
Two years ago, I said "One year ago,  I quit smoking- now I need to quit making excuses about losing weight and getting healthy"(That didn't happen)
One year ago, I said "Two years ago, I quit smoking - now I HAVE to quit with these darned excuses and DO SOMETHING!" (Are you seeing a pattern?)

With that being said, I hope there is a lot less of me to tell you about my June milestone next June!!

It might be a little easier this time around. There is quite a bit of activity. Both of the boys got new bikes, so Littlest Little and I have been doing lots of rides together.
We are at the pool almost everyday! {How many calories does "floating" burn}?
I have been sharing the yard work with Mini Mr. So that in addition to the actual planned workouts makes a good routine.

Too bad the thing I do most doesn't burn any calories.
Guess what that is...
{I'll wait}

I swear, I am driving like all day long!
The other day I told The Mr. that I was waiting for the FEDS to start tracking my activity in the van because there's so much movement. I pull in the driveway and within 20 mins I am pulling back out.
I leave with 3 kids, come back with 1. I leave with 1, come back with 4. And I am always getting out of the van with bags.
I flinch if I hear a helicopter when I'm driving!

Need a reference? It's from Goodfellas (best mob movie ever)

Henry starts getting paranoid that he's being followed by helicopter because he keeps making trips back and forth from his house to deals and dealers.

While there is no illegal activity going on with the Squirrels Mob, they definitely cannot stay in one place too long.
Can you take me to {insert friend's name here} house?
Can you take us to the mall?
Can you pick us up?
I'm out of {insert name of ANYTHING} can you pick it up at the store?
I have to go to work.
I need to be picked up from work.
I need to get more contacts.
I need to get my hair cut.
Can we go to the pool?
His mom said she'll bring us home if you take us.
So I have started looking out the windshield for that helicopter!

I guess I shouldn't complain. (that won't stop me from doing it, though)

By the time there is "down time" around here, I am down for the count. And then I wake up and we do it all over again.

I hope that wherever you are in your summer adventure that you are enjoying it!!
Gotta Go! It's time to leave again!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

Well only two more days and I am officially done with school for the summer (minus any PD that I sign up for ).

Hard to believe that there is another one in the books! And one in fourth grade to boot! 
I have to admit that I was a little scared to take on fourth graders after having been with K and 1 for all of my teaching time. Something happened though that made me fall in love!
I loved the (semi) independence! I loved being able to read and write and create on a level that I had never been on before.

I did miss so many things- but there was a trade off of sorts :)

I even put in for transfers to four middle schools for ELA positions (I know, what is that crazy squirrel thinking- but hey, you've known me long enough to know that I'm NUTS!!!)

It is district policy that they contact you by June 15th to let you know either way. I am beginning to get the feeling that these  middle schools have already made their teams for next year.

So I am not putting all my nuts into one nest. I am considering our neighboring state- there are three counties with middle schools, all less than a half hour from where I live. 

Scary, eh? 

I watch the Jobs Posted section religiously- and I wince each time the phone rings- we'll see what they think before summer's end!

While I am playing the "waiting game" with next year's assignment, I am not waiting around for other changes.

These are just a few "changes" that have happened for me:

1. Out of the last 10 days, I have exercised (on purpose) for 9 of them.
2. I have gone 9 days with NO SODA.
3. I made a concerted effort to make healthier shopping and cooking choices for ALL of us!

Let's go through these changes one at a time

#1- My exercise includes walking. (And a "fitness hoop" that I am trying to master) I walk out my door, turn left, and follow the road and all the cul de sacs until I am back home. If I stay on track, it's about 5 miles. This is NOT my first time to say I was going to stick with this. I WANT to stick with it. I PLAN to stick with it.
The app I use says that I burn (depending on how fast I go) around 600 calories on each walk. This is what has lead to and helped with the #2.

#2 I have said for awhile that I was going to give up soda. My beloved soda. We had a "thing". I would send Littlest Little to the break room with $ to buy my soda before I was ever even thirsty in the morning!! And I would drink it all day long. Then if we went somewhere where they served it, I drank it. If I got it in a cup, I would refill it so that I would be sure to have some when I came home.

And then I looked at the calories.
That one soda is about 1/5 of the calories I am burning. It's about 15 minutes of walking. 15 minutes of sweating- profusely.
My time is valuable. And I AM NOT going to waste it! The way I think about it now is, if I drink that soda, then I have WASTED 15 minutes of walking!!!
So soda is OUT THE DOOR! As The Mr. and I grocery shopped today, I looked at the Nutrition Facts and did lots of mental math- "That's 10 minutes. That's 25 minutes. That's only 3 minutes! Get in the cart!!"

#3 We have been drinking a lot of fruit infused water for the last few months. Lots of lemon and oranges. Recently, we have been experimenting with other fruits. I even bought the Littles their own pitcher because they don't always like what I make for myself.

And we have purged the pantry, discussed the importance of eating meals at meal time and "snacks aren't supposed to fill your belly" (they hate that lecture), and I've replaced all the junk with much healthier choices. It's a transition for us all. And I am sure that we will be a household full of angry squirrels as our bodies begin getting used to not having CRAP snacks - but we will trudge through it together. The Mr. said that as long as I don't become the Food Nazi, we will be okay.

So there are a lot of changes. Hopefully a lot more to come. And hopefully all good ones. (I look forward to being able to post great news) As soon as everyone gets over the "grouchies"!

If you aren't out yet, here's to a speedy week!!
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