Monday, December 31, 2012


Here it is New Year's Eve the biggest party night of the year and I'm not partying! I planned a get together at our house, but than my daughter came down with fever, chills and a fever. I just didn't feel right about having people over under those conditions. My groom fell asleep in his favorite chair leaving me nothing to do, so here I am partying with you! I can't think of anyone else I'd rather share New Year's with!! Happy 2013...It is going to be a great year.
I love linking up with Farley! I'd love for my students' families to do this, too! One of these days I'm going get her Currently for students from TPT!
I could and should have added lots of things to the "loving" section. I'm loving having my daughter home from  college. She has one more semester and then graduation. She loves to cook and bake, so having her home is pretty awesome. I certainly hope she finds a job in her field or is accepted into a masters program, but if not...She can come back home and take over the cooking!!  She invited some close family friends over for a party tonight and then got sick. We'll have the party this weekend...Each day is a chance to start over, so each night is a New Year's Eve...Right?!

Do I really need a longer Christmas vacation? No, probably not. I have the whole week off and don't report back until January 7th. What I really need is to get to school and put away Christmas decorations and get ready for the coming weeks. I actually miss my little Owlets and can't wait to find  out about their Christmas celebrations. One of my little guys got a baby sister for Christmas...I can't wait to meet her!

It is going to be a great year. I'm excited to see what life has in store for you and for me.

Your turn...Have you linked up, yet? I can't wait to see what you are doing...Currently!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Little Word and One Little Freebie

Earlier I think I said my word for 2013 would be "contentment"  I like that word and I feel pretty content most of the time. I love the place I am in and can't think of too many things I would change. The things I would change are pretty circumstantial. . . We won't even go there! I have some "vices" that I want to continue to work on and I feel that each day should be a day that resolutions can and should be made and broken. I'm human after all and each day I'm given a chance to do-over the day before. Each day can be a New Year celebration. If I mess up today's resolution, I'm not going to give-up...I'm going to try again tomorrow.
Tomorrow's resolution...because I didn't get it today..."balance". I don't do anything part-time. I don't have one bird feeder...I have eight, at last count. I become absorbed in different projects and everything else suffers. I need balance in my life and so do the people who love and live with me. That's why I'm changing my OLW to balance. The crazy thing is I know it means I'll be using less of my time to blog so I can spend more time being a wife, mother, teacher, friend, and sister.

I spent too much time a great deal of time today working on penguin activities. This math activity will be one of the math activities students will use next week. I think that my owlets will like it and I hope you will, too! Looking for graphics for this project I found Jennifer's art work VERY helpful and creative! Go visit her at her blog and tell her I said "hello"! You'll be glad you did!!

If you would like more penguin activities and or would like to help send my second child to college check out my recently uploaded penguin activity packet on TPT!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy 2013 Giveaway

I don't have much to say...I know shocking, isn't it?! What a great day to surf around and find someone who does have a lot to say and giveaway! The Peanut Gallery is welcoming in 2013 with a great opportunity to WIN big!! Click below to go over and enter. Don't forget to follow this awesome blog.

If I win the Giveaway I'm picking the Pats of Speech Owl Posters and  The Bite of Poetry Unit. If I don't I may just buy these!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 in 12 Linky Party!

I'm in a rather nostalgic mood, so I'm thinking it is the perfect time to reflect on the many changes that have come my way in 2012. It is also a good time to look forward to 2013 and the many changes that lay ahead. I'm happy to be linking up with Miss Kindergarten and A Teeny Tiny Teacher to share my 12 from '12!

12. Favorite Movie:
Life of Pi was a gorgeous and thought provoking movie. I am guaranteed to go to one movie a year! The day after Thanksgiving the sisters, brother, and their families who gathered together for the celebration of thanks head off to a movie the Friday following. Luckily, I hadn't read the book, so I wasn't constantly comparing or thinking how much better the book was!

11. Favorite TV series:
I'm slowly making my way through Mad Men. Being from the 60s myself I love seeing the references to the products, history, clothes and cars of the era. The characters are pretty despicable,  but there are a couple I can't help cheering for including Don Draper!

10.  Favorite restaurant:
A little Chinese place in town is where you can find our family frequently on Friday nights. The owners speak really poor English, so we smile and nod a lot! The price is just right and we all have our favorites. We usually get a box of donuts free when we leave because they like my daughter's curly hair. Last week they gave us a whole order of Spicy Chicken that was a "mistake"! They are good people who cook good food and I feel like family when I'm there!

9. Favorite New Thing You Tried:
I've tried nothing this year...NOTHING! I take that back. . . I tried blogging! Guess what? I like it! I like you for reading it, too! I've made some amazing friends from all over the WORLD!!
The one of the left is my favorite! Birds by THE Kevin Henkes!
I noticed my friend Laurie at Chickadee Jubilee had favorite book as number 9...How'd she get to do that? I'm going to interject my favorite book here. It was recommended by Laurie and I knew I had to have it. I can't wait until spring to share it with this years class.
8.  Favorite Gift I Received:
Let's keep this a secret between the two of us.  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I was amazed at the gift my daughter made for me out of Sculpey for my birthday this year.

 Isn't this awesome? She is such a wonderful talented artist. She also made this...

7. Favorite Pin:
It is kind of like my favorite book! Whatever I'm reading is my favorite! My favorite Pin is what I last pinned!!
This is perfection.

I don't have a kitty yet, but as soon as my allergic to cats child leaves for college in the fall we'll need to get one. I'm a sucker for a cute kitty picture. I torture myself regularly by going to the Saturday cat adoption center to just look!

6.  Favorite Blog Post:
It has been fun to look back and read over some of my posts. The one that comes to mind when I think of favorites is probably the one that talked about my friend who was living in Africa. She had to leave the country she and her family were living in due to social unrest. The Way of the Cross was a family project and I'm happy to say "Susan" and her family are now basking in the sun (and Son!) in a warm country frosting cookies in their bathing suits! It wasn't that popular of a post, but one that meant a lot to me!

Another favorite post is one not written by me but by Laurie! Someday I'm going to go visit her to see this...Check it out!
5. Favorite accomplishment:
Starting something and sticking with it! I've been blogging for close to a year. I still get thrilled with every new follower and every comment. It is an amazing community of educators to be a part of!

4. Favorite picture:
I love sharing nature with kids!
3. Favorite Memory:
My weekend in Chicago with my girls will long live in my heart! We had an awesome time and running a 5K with my oldest who lives in Chicago was an amazing adventure from beginning to end. I'm wowed by the independence of my daughter and how she handles herself everywhere she goes with style and confidence will never cease to amaze me.

2.  Goal for 2013:
I like to set attainable goals for myself! I will try to get out on more adventures and see more birds. I will spend more time enjoying my family. I will always try to see the good in all people.

1. One Little Word:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Philippians 4:12 
I know what the secret is...It is basing my joy on the treasures I have in my faith and not on earthly circumstances. I'm still learning...It isn't an inborn trait!

That's it, 2012! Thank you for being a year filled with more blessings and joy than sadness. Thank you for being a year of continued growth and fulfillment. Welcome 2013! You WILL be a year filled with more joys, more lessons, more blessings than I could ever imagine. I look forward to whatever comes our way!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! It has been a wonderful day! I hope that my student's  parents understood and loved their gifts when they opened them. Do you see the baby in the manger? I used plastic chargers for students to paint on to make these cookie plates. I had to spray them with a clear finish to protect them.

I'll use my hand to make a manger, a place for Jesus to Lay.
I'll use my heart for Jesus to live in, a place for Him to stay.

Though I sometimes miss the fingerprints and sticky hugs of having young children, I love the friendships my children have developed between each other and I love seeing them grow into beautiful, kind, loving and giving people. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tiny Treasures and a Freebie!

I almost threw away these stale hard marshmallows I found in my pantry. I decided I'd hold onto them and use them for counters, or game pieces. Late one night I had an idea... Today my students finished their snow-globe, marshmallow, snowman, nativity project! I was thrilled with how it turned out. My tiny treasures were able to put together their own tiny treasure to take home. Little fingers carefully glued stale old marshmallows together to produce this...

We learned about the words fragile and delicate as each child was instructed to hand carry their tiny treasure home. After being told it would not hold up to a real shake-up, as a true snow-globe would, one had to give it a try and ended up with Mary, Joseph and Jesus carelessly flung to the ground! "I like it better this way," he said!

We haven't had any significant snow here...Yet! Some of us are hoping for a good dumping Thursday night when snowstorm Draco moves into the area. This is the first year they've named snowstorms, and I like it! If Draco can create enough havoc, I'll be sitting in front of the fire reading between batches of cookies. I'll need a bookmark, so I'll use one of these...

Click HERE if you want a set for yourself...Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All I Want For Christmas Linky

Here are the "rules"!
Tell what you would like for Christmas from these people:
1. Students
2. Children
3. Significant Other
4. Parent/Family
5. BFF
6. Santa

I used to tell students they didn't need to get me anything...and they don't need to. However, I have learned that students do need to find a way to show kindness. We have to allow our students to express their love for us. Gift giving is a wonderful way to show love. I love getting gifts for others. I want my students to develop a love for giving. The world will be a better place when we all get more joy from giving than receiving. From my students I love to get owl things, homemade ornaments, and dark chocolate! 

My own children give me a gift every time I catch them hanging out together. They like to listen and make music together. They like each others company... sometimes. Those "sometimes" are a gift to me. It fills me with joy when I see them finding joy in the best gift I ever game them...each other! One night I caught them reading one of my blog posts. They were very upset with me. I said they were "no longer believers"! They are believers. They believe in a God who was so loving He sent His one and only Son to be born on Christmas...The very best gift of all!
They were believers then and they are now, too!

My husband always comes up with a way to surprise and delight me at Christmas. I can't wait to see what it is. I really want a heated birdbath. I would love an iPad to use with my students. I've been looking at some new flannel sheets...Something with owls would be nice!

My brother and sisters know what I like. Children's books and socks usually top my list of wants. You can never have too many of either! 

I would like to get more time from my BFF! I'd like to spend more time drinking coffee and talking. We can talk about anything. Time and a giftcard to our favorite coffee place is what I want.

Dear Santa, I would really like to have an all inclusive trip somewhere warm. I want to sit on a beach and read for five hours and then go eat some amazing food. If you throw in a couple of massages and long walks I would be even better this year! Somewhere with lots of interesting birds is preferable! 

Look! There is a spot for both of us! Do you want to come, too?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Imagine It!

I am so excited about this book...

This book allows children to think outside the box. They have a prompt to generate an illustration.  The only limits this books puts on a child is their own creativity. I have been sending this book home at the end of the day with one child. The next day they bring the book back and share their illustrations. Their ideas are amazing!
The Gingerbread Man is running away from school. Maybe it is his Christmas  vacation, too!

Make these lizards look different.

Finish the tracks.

Decorate this hat for a silly clown.

What creatures are hiding in the tree?

I love Carson Dellosa...They love bloggers! As long as I've been teaching (25 years!) they have been at the top of my list for great products that help students learn the basics and beyond! There web-site has great things to buy and share. Be sure you check it out!

Thank you, Carson Dellosa, for giving me the opportunity to review such a great resource. I love the quality paper this book is printed on. All 256 pages provide opportunities for children to be creative and are a great generator for discussions.

Here is some more good news...Right now this book is available from the Carson Dellosa Website dirt cheap at a very reasonable price! Order one now for your own children, or order now to start using it in your own classroom after our CHRISTMAS VACATION!! Can you tell I'm a little excited about those two words?!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Do you use Touch Math? If you do you may enjoy these three touch number sets. They can be printed and displayed in your room or at a math center. They are, of course, Christmas themed. Click HERE to view them! The graphics are by The Digital Bakeshop.

Talking about being touched, I have been touched by this voice. Listen to this singer and tell me that it is not the most beautiful joy filled voice you have ever heard. I dare you! I had a front row seat to this Christmas concert and loved every moment of it. I watched this little one go from being a little reluctant to exploding with joy.

In the midst of the pain, shock, fear and sadness of the tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut we must look for joy, hope, and light to take away the darkness, so that evil does not win. Love came down at Christmas to bring us a light for our path. That Light doesn't answer all of my whys, but it does bring me comfort in times of loss and hope in times of darkness.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Joyful Noise

You are about to see rare never before seen footage. This video clip will prove that angels exist and perform in bands! Yes these angels will convince you that their time here is to bring good tidings of great joy...

I had no intention of my students making guitars! I thought they would make harps. A project that was to take about 15 minutes took close to an hour! One had the idea of turning their "harp" into a "guitar" and soon they all wanted "catars"! We did make a joyful, if not musical, noise to the Lord.

We also brainstormed other things that could make a Christmas band. Each student took one of the items, wrote it into the frame and then illustrated it. Now I only have to laminate and bind it together for a class book. Here is a sampling...

10 little snowflakes
10 little elves
10 little angels

10 little snowmen
Here is the frame I used to have my owlets do their illustrations on. Click HERE if you would like a copy!
Today with my 7/8 book club we celebrated 12-12-12 day as the first graders did the day before. These middle school students acted very much like my first graders and I must say had as much fun decorating and eating their trees as them, too! The love making guest appearances, so here they are...