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June 29, 2013

CURRENTLY JULY & Houston Blogger Meet-Up

This is the part of summer I usually dread. It always seems that after my birthday summer picks up steam and barrels full steam ahead into Back-to-School season.When I saw Farley and all of her blogging buddies putting up their July Currently posts, I wanted to scream out, "NO!" Instead, I joined the bandwagon. 

Like many of you, I am addicted to Law & Order SVU. Every time we watch it, I go "bum bum". My husband records them off of the CLOO channel, then we play the game of "Have we seen this one before?". Sadly, we are usually 10-15 minutes into the show before we realize that we have seen it.

Good Times with Diane, Jennifer, Kelly, Lindsay, Barbara, Sandy, Juan, Me, and Megan. This is the second meet-up I've attended. It is so nice to meet other bloggers in real life. I highly recommend attending one in your area. Big thanks to Diane & Megan for hosting!

Meeting with other bloggers always makes me think I need to do more. I have a couple of ideas for my TPT store. I need to stop blogging and start creating them.

Listening and reading about everyone else's vacations to Disney, various beaches, and cooler places makes me want to go. We aren't going anywhere this summer due to my husband's health, so I'll just live vicariously through your posts and pictures. Sigh!

UGH! I need my new permanent crown. I've had two temporary crowns. The second just popped off at 10:00 last night. Today I got to go buy my first tube of denture cream. What's next my AARP card?

My advice...learn from other bloggers. If they have a help section like Megan's "Blog Baby Blog" or Jivey's "Techy Tips", read their tutorials. They've been there and done that. Don't be afraid to ask for help! I know I've emailed them both. 

Also, don't be afraid to break the rules! In particular, I don't like the two blog posts in one day rule. Who made up that one? Is there some blog police that is going to issue me a citation? I don't do it often, but every once in awhile I just can't wait to blog.

Don't forget my $25 Starbucks giveaway ends Sunday night!


OCD Reorganization

I've been reading the posts on this linky party for weeks, but I was not organized enough to join. But now... 

This is the way my garage looked after I brought home all of my 4th grade STUFF. The Math boxes have been sitting there for the past 7 years. The LA boxes just joined the party in May.

This past week, I started bringing in a box at a time. I was able to sell 1 box of books to Half Price Books.  3 smaller boxes will be donated to a friend, who is moving to a new school. Finally, I filled 2 boxes with 4th grade Math centers to take to my former partner. Now, my garage looks more like this...

and this...

I still have a lot to do, but I am making progress.

One reason cleaning the garage is taking so long is due to my OCD Reorganization. As I went through my Math boxes, I took inventory. When I finished a box, I printed out the inventory and taped it to the lid. 

My cat, Skunky Funky, LOVES boxes and jumped up on this one to inspect my progress.

I'm hoping having the inventory on the lid will make it easier when I unpack in my new classroom and find things in boxes that don't make it to school. 

Back out to the garage while it is still cool! Have a good day!

June 28, 2013

Five for Friday - June 28th

LOL - My fortune!

It may just be me, but I nearly wet myself when I read my fortune. Visions of someone sitting in the fortune cookie factory typing this one and putting it in my cookie ran through my head. I imagined this someone then falling out of their chair laughing at the prospect of me opening said cookie, then I laughed even harder.

Lamp love!

Happy Birthday to me! It is not much, but it made me happy as the Pilsbury dough boy going through security. (I love those commericals! He he!)

My new classroom is DARK, like a cave, dark. There are NO exterior windows. The only windows are at the top of the hallway wall. The door is a wooden door with a slender window, not unlike a prison door without the slamming lock or permanency.

Walking through Target, I didn't know I was looking for a lamp, but when I saw this one I knew it had to come home with me. Not to mention, it reminds me of an 80's Izod shirt. In fact, I turned it around to see if there was an alligator on it. I think I am going to get or make cute little clothespins, so I can clip pictures or notes to the base.

Polka dots and stripes...file bands and binder clips AND on clearance = Happy camper!

Have you ever bought something for someone else then decided you loved it too much to give it to them? Me! I started looking at the dragonfly collection at Hobby Lobby this spring. My mom loves dragonflies, so I bought her the tea towels and rubber gloves. (She loves funny gifts.) Then I went to a different Hobby Lobby , not in my neighborhood, and I saw this dry erase canvas. I decided I needed it for my classroom. It is going to be a reminder board posted either right inside my classroom or outside my door. 

Wednesday was my birthday!
Do you like my husband's fancy gift wrap?
I was so excited for multiple reasons, not just because I get to turn another year older, but I finally got my very own laminator, actually two. [My husband and step-daughter both looked at my Pinterest board, but didn't talk to each other.] I have been coveting everyone else's for a year. Now, I won't have to wait in August or lose an item or have it accidentally destroyed. I can destroy it myself. 

If you can't tell, I had a MUCH better week this week. My ankle is pretty shades of purple and yellow.
Don't forget to give us some bloglovin and enter everyone's giveaways! The winner of my $25 Starbucks gift card will be announced on Monday.


June 26, 2013

Bloglovin! Giveaway, Birthday & PMA Wednesday - 3rd Edition

Buckle up! Hang on! This is going to be a long post, because a lot is going on today. First up...Bloglovin' Giveaway linky. The awesome Amanda and Stacia, better known as the Collaboration Cuties and Holly, who we all flip for @ Fourth Grade Flipper, contacted me with an idea for an amazing giveaway. I was already planning on doing a birthday giveaway today, so here we go...

Hi fabulous followers!!

You have probably heard by now that Google Reader is going away on July 1st.  Well, Google Reader may be going away, but we don't want YOU to go away, so we hope that you will consider following our blog through bloglovin!  We know that change is hard...so we thought we might sweeten it up for you a little bit!

We are doing a giveaway for all of our fabulous followers that take the leap and switch over to bloglovin.  You may have already switched over!  In that case, this will be an easy entry!

If you have not yet switched or are not following our blog through bloglovin, then there are a few easy steps to follow.  You can go to our sidebar (that's the column on the right over there that shows our followers) and you can click the button that says Follow this Blog with bloglovin.  Or, you can go into the Rafflecopter below and click the link in the first entry, and that will take you to our blog on bloglovin.

You will need to set up an account with bloglovin so that you can follow us.  Please be sure to leave your bloglovin username in the Rafflecopter entry.

If you want to go ahead and move all of the blogs you follow from Google over, you can go to this link and it will take you through the super easy steps.  BUT, please go to our bloglovin link and make sure that you are following us through bloglovin.  To be sure, make sure that the blue button at the top of our bloglovin page has been clicked (it should be gray with the word following- if it's blue, please click it to follow!)

So, if you follow me by bloglovin, please enter my giveaway!!  ONE WINNER will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

get the InLinkz code

Have I mentioned...?

So you say it's your birthday! It's my birthday too! That's right! Today is MY birthday! I don't know about you, but I look forward to this day EVERY year! I am not biased or anything, but if you know anyone else with a June 26th birthday, they have the BEST. BIRTHDATE. EVER. Why? It is 6 months until Christmas. At Christmas, it is 6 months until your birthday. Granted, June 25th would be slightly better.

As a kid, my mom used to hold back one Christmas present to open on my half birthday. So much fun!

Last, but not least...Today is also PMA Wednesday. Time to share some positivity.

Every night before I go to sleep, I try to remember this quote. When I pray, I always begin by thanking God for the day, but I need to include the things that I am thankful. To quickly, I jump into my prayer requests. Today, I am thankful for my journey this past year, my new bloggin' buddies, and all of the lessons I've learned. 

Now, it is your turn to link up and share your PMA for today.


June 25, 2013

Tried It Tuesday - Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

It's Tuesday, and I tried it!

Yesterday, I posted that I made Corn Chip Crack. Today, I made Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars. You can get the recipe here.

You might notice a trend or a pattern here. Both are desserts made with peanut butter and chocolate. Because I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER and CHOCOLATE. I think they are the BEST. IDEA. EVER. In fact, I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to PB and C recipes

Check back tomorrow for a BIG SURPRISE! Tomorrow's post will also help explain WHY I made two desserts this week.

June 24, 2013

Monday Made It & Eating, Drinking & Linking Oh My!

Monday, Monday! Time to link up with Tara @ 4th Grade Frolics.

Last week, I didn't make anything for school. This week, I made 2 Science centers to be used during our animal unit. One focuses on animal body coverings and the other one focuses on camouflage. 
Both are FREE in my TPT store.

I am also linking up with Christy @ Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road.

Peanut Butter and Corn Chip No Bake Cookies 
or Kookie Cookies or Corn Chip Crack

Whatever you want to call these, I call them delicious. They were super easy to make. Only 4 ingredients: 
1 bag of Fritos corn chips
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1 cup of creamy peanut butter

Grease a 15 X 10 inch pan. Spread out Fritos corn chps. Mix the sugar and corn syrup together in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Stir frequently. Heat to boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and stir until smooth. Pour mixture over Fritos. Cool. Optional: Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. 

They remind me a lot of the following recipe. My friend and former teammate, TK, made Special K cookies. She got the recipe while in college at Indiana University. Apparently, they made them in the dorm a lot.

5 cups Special K cereal
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla

Bring sugar and syrup to boil. Boil 1 min, then add peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Add cereal, 1 cup at a time. Drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper. Cookies freeze well.

June 23, 2013

A Paradise Called Texas - Social Studies Mentor Text

If it is Sunday, then it is Collaboration Cuties Must Read Mentor Texts linky or the weekly meeting of Bookaholics Non-Anonymous. This week, the focus is on Social Studies mentor texts. My fav!

I am super excited about getting to teach 2nd grade Math & Science next year, but I am super sad about not getting to teach 4th grade Social Studies. One of my favorite read alouds is was A Paradise Called Texas by Janice Jordan Shefelman.

Summary: A Paradise Called Texas is the story of young Mina, who immigrated with her parents from Germany in 1845 - the year the Republic of Texas became a state of the United States.

The book is based on the author's ancestry. The first few chapters tell the family's life in Germany before their voyage to Texas begins.

At first, Mina's experiences upon her arrival in Texas seemed far from the paradise that she had expected. However, after enduring tragedy, hardship and adventure, Mina and her father settled happily in the emerging village of Fredericksburg.

The entire text of the book is available online here. Even if you don't live in Texas, this is a great story of the hardships immigrants face settling in a new world.


June 21, 2013

Five for Friday - June 21st

    Hubby and I celebrated our 17th Anniversary.
(For those that read my Monday Made It post, he loved his love letters.)

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Surprise!

Thanks to the Mythbusters for the duct tape survival tips!

Lesson learned...
You've probably seen a video at some point of a dog walking happily on a treadmill, maybe you even own one of those dogs. I do NOT. I put my dog on the treadmill with it off, and then turned it on. He took a step, then rode the belt to the end of the treadmill. I tried again with him on his leash. This time, he freaked out. As I was reaching to grab him, I slipped on the moving conveyor belt and injured my ankle. It immediately swelled and turned blue. The good news...it isn't broken. The bad news...it is painful and ugly, and I will still have to walk the dog in the heat (once my ankle is better). 

I try (really hard) to be a positive person, but it is getting harder and harder. Here is a brief recap of my summer vacation. The first 3 days, I had severe tooth pain. I went to the dentist and got a temporary crown. The pain from the shots lasted another 2 days. Then, I woke up with a pinched nerve in my back. That lasted 3 days, then this past Tuesday I injured my ankle (see #3). Thursday, it was bruised, but I was able to put weight on it and walk (even ran a few errands). Thursday night, I broke my temporary crown eating a cornbread muffin. REALLY, Summer? Next week, I turn 43. I was just thinking to myself this morning, I don't feel older, but apparently my body is getting older. Thanks for indulging me while I have a mini pity party. I promise I will get my positive mental attitude back. 

To supplement one of the centers that I made last week at my district Make N' Take inservice, I made this...

 Students sort the different animal covering pictures into one of four categories. 
Please visit my TPT store to download it.

Have a good weekend!