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Sunday, January 1, 2012

NYE 2012: A great start

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone had the opportunity to ring in the New Year surrounded by family and friends and if you enjoyed yourself a little too much...hopefully you're recovering from your hangover!

I spent my NYE with my sweet friend Laura, who drove in from Houston, Stacy (a co-worker from 3+ years who has become one of my closest friends) and Krystle H (co-worker for one year that I rarely get to see and need to spend more time with).  Laura and I sat and talked for hours and caught up and then met the girls at Houlihan's for dinner and drinks.  We enjoyed some amazing food together and then hung out by the fire on the patio.  We were very low key and we rang in the New Year with the Carson Daily countdown.

The next Laura and I took a walk/hike on a trail that it just 2 minutes from my house (who knew!).  It was beautiful weather and such a peaceful way to welcome 2012.

Laura and I had lunch with beautiful Miss Casey who will be celebrating a wedding in 2012 (so excited) and In-n-Out Burger (yum)!

I was sad to see Laura go, but so glad she came.  It was a much overdo and needed visit!

I also kicked of Resolution #1 and here is my first Pinterest post!
In order to start off right I made black eye peas for dinner and the recipe I used is found here at

I went to 3 different stores and could NOT find frozen black eye peas, so I made the recipe work with canned.  I can never follow a recipe fully so here are the adaptations I made:
-I do not own a dutch oven, so I just used a big stew pot
-Used Hillshire smoke sausage instead of andouille
-Only used 26 oz of stock since the beans were already cooked
-used canned peas by adding the chicken stock bringing it to a boil and THEN adding the peas

It was delicious, quick and easy to make. 

I'm ending my first day of 2012 with a glass of wine, a fire in the fireplace that is finally successful, watching the Cowboys lose terrible (as usual) with my babies at my feet.  Couldn't get any better.

How did you spend your New Year's?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolution: The Pinterest Challenge

New Year's defines it as "a goal you propose then forget the next day."  I have found this to be very true for myself over the years, the no fast food, a weekly work out routine, follow a strict budget, read the whole Bible, keep a clean house, organize my house/classroom/office/kitchen and keep it organized...and the list goes on.  This year that is going to change.  Of course this is not the first time I've said these infamous words, but really, it is going to change...because all of you are going to help hold me accountable!

So here are my three New Year's Resolution...

1. I am going to "Pin my way through 2012."--I am sure many of you have caught the Pinterest bug and if you are like most 'pinners' you pin many things, but rarely complete any of the projects/ideas!  I am going to complete at least one "pin" a week during 2012 and share it here with you.  This can be a craft, recipe, sewing project, cleaning or organization tip, lesson idea for the classroom, decor idea...anything that I've pinned on Pinterest.

2. Actually read the whole Bible

3. Follow a work out routine (hey I had to have one failed resolution or I would jinx the other 2...though maybe with resolution #1 I will be able to accomplish this)

Why the Pinterest Challenge?

2010 and 2011 were filled with many challenges in which I made some of the hardest decisions in my life.  2010 and 2011 also revealed to me those who I can truly count on...the ones that no matter what time of day I know I can call up and they will be there, but most importantly those who don't need a phone call from me to know that I need help or a girl's night.  Those who know me, know that I am very stubborn and determined to solve it all on my own.  God has shown me I'm stronger than I ever could have ever imagined and that this strength comes from the support of my family and friends. 

I will be ringing in the New Year with a dear friend from college, Laura, someone who truly knows my heart and was with me when my faith was at it's strongest.  I feel it so appropriate that I will be starting the new year and this new challenge with someone who I look to for strength. I learned a lot in 2011 and have no regrets, but am ready to say good-bye and good riddance to 2011.  I am looking forward to a new start in 2012 with my Pinterest Challenge in hopes that it will help transform me into a better person.

Besides, isn't that what New Year's is all about?

Here is to a blessed start to the new year for all of you and I will see you all back here the first week of January for the Pinterest Challenge!


Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm Back!--Felt Scarf link and tips!

Hello blogging blogging career seemed short lived, but I'm back!
I've had a few people ask about the felt scarf that I made this week so here is the tutorial and my tips!

I originally found the Felt Flower Scarf on pinterest and the tutorial can be found on this blog, Watch Me Daddy.  Her blog is fantastic with many other fun projects!

Here are my tips:

1. Cut your circles out on posterboard to use as a guide.  As she says in the blog it does not have to be exact as you will be scalloping the ends later. I found items around my house with different diameters, but here are the sizes:
5in, 4.5in, 4in, 3.5in, 3in, 2in--these are all approximates, as I just found items with diameters close to this.

2. After you cut out the long piece for the scarf, fold the remaining felt in half.  Now start your tracing bonanza (soon to followed by a cutting bonanza and a sewing bonanza).  Trace all the circles on the felt.  I was making 2 scarves so I traced all 13 of each circle, but if you are doing just one you only have to trace half, which will cut your cutting time in half.

3. Now secure each circle with a pin to avoid movement while cutting ALL those circles out.  I also kept them pinned until after I scalloped the ends of the circles.

Once you get a hang of the stiching for the flowers it goes quickly...I did it all with two very needy dogs that kept putting their noses in the way for attention.  A good movie playing is a must!!  I'll post pictures computer is not working with me!

Hope this is all helpful and thanks again to Watch Me Daddy for the tutorial!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Perfect end to the week...

I was nearly brought to tears this afternoon....

My ED (emotionally disturbed) kiddo and usually MAJOR behavior problem had a PERFECT day!!
Chris* is a 5th grader that has daily tantrums, crying like a baby, melt downs...everything imaginable.  He has a BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan) and checks in with me every morning and every evening.  We've only have him for 2 weeks and have already seen improvements in behavior (Mindy and Stephanie may disagree with me...but compared to how he's been good girls!)  He came to my room this afternoon with his behavior chart COVERED in checks  and smiley faces!!  Not a single bad comment! I squealed...literally squealed in the hallway and gave him a huge hug!  I went crazy! I let him pick out several prizes from my box, and then proceeded to "show him off" to everyone in the teammate, his teachers, the principal, the bus duty staff (who dealt with a meltdown yesterday)!! I mean I was marching down the hallway with his paper in my hand! By the  time I finally got him to his bus line I was near tears!!

Poor Mindy and Stephanie have been doing such a great job handling his melt downs, tantrums, crying, throwing shout out to them!  They are such an amazing 5th grade team! Amazing classroom management and ability to work with students of all types!  I have LOVED working with them this last year and am excited for another! I love watching them teach and interact with the students!

The troublemakers in our school tend to be my favorite...I think it's because when they DO make progress it is always SO big! And to be able to deliver positive to a kid that is used to always hearing the negative and how terrible they are is so rewarding! I have some wonderful kiddos that I feel like I've gotten through to and the hardest part is always when they have to leave me.  These kids are usually the ones who move in and out of schools just never think anyone can do as good of a job as you.  No one will love them or invest in them as much as you.  I had a family come through our school last year.  5th grade girl who has been on anti-depressants since she was in 2nd grade and was supposed to be in 6th.  A 3rd grader with what is currently just labeled as ADHD (but needs a psych eval).  They were taken from their mom by CPS and have been living with the same woman for the last several years.  I think they have now been to 12 different schools!  They are never in a school long enough for anyone to get to know their situation and work with them. I poured so much into them, especially the 3rd grade boy.  When his new school called for his records the first week of school I volunteered to hand deliver.  I spoke to the school about him and then got to see him!! Another tearful moment!  He was soo excited to see me and gave me the biggest hug!  I think of those two often. 

I could easily take home several of the kids that have crossed my path over the last few years.  One of the most important lessons I learned during student teaching is that you have to leave it all at work.  I can only control what happens during the 8 hours they are in school...I can not change anything in their home environment, I just have to make those 8 hours an escape and a place of comfort.  I work very hard to separate my personal and work life.  Always a challenge, but prayer and wine help! ;)

Speaking of...looking forward to spending an evening out with Miss Katie tonight.  I normally pass out by 8 on Friday nights, but this week has been soo great! I somehow still have lots of energy! God has just pointed out so many blessings to me this week and revealed that this is in fact where I need to be.  He has control...I just need to let Him take it!

Ok...gotta stop...I'm getting teary-eyed!

I hope everyone has a blessed week!

*Names changed for confidentiality

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Blessings

New addiction! I saw the commercial this week and did an impulse buy at Wal-mart.

I sure did polish off the rest of that box of Wheat Thins and will probably go buy more tomorrow just so I can finish off the cheese! haha!

And what goes best with cheese and crackers?!?

Wine of course!!

 So the one on the left is from the Naked Winery near Portland.  What is it about new/special wines that we wait forever to drink them?  I brought 4 bottles of wine back with me from Portland and have yet to drink any of them! I think it's because I spent more than $10 on them...makes me feel like it needs to be a special occasion!  The wine on the right however is what I actually opened...$8 at Sam's and another new addiction! It's delish!

Several years ago my sister and I took a road trip to Hot Springs, Ak (don't go to the bath houses unless you want to be bathed by Shaniqua!) and I bought my first red bottle of wine that I liked.  I didn't open it until this last year, and it had spoiled.  We can't keep waiting around for special occasions, we have to make them.  I have decided that I am going to make a reason to open those bottles this weekend.  I have so much to celebrate and be thankful for....why wait around for a special occasion when every day is a gift worth celebrating!  So with that said...who wants to join me for some fantastic wine this weekend?  I will cook and provide spirits!

So my day...after hearing about it, you will wonder why I am wanting to celebrate! haha!
Wanted to beat my head against a wall as I watched some of my 6th graders bomb an open book reading test! I mean I can't teach common sense and we've been working on problem solving skills for 4 years...I then watched my 5th graders bomb a place value test...I mean can it get any easier?! Oh and to top it all off...One of my 6th graders that I have had for 4 years came into my class and
"Can I go get a drink?"
"No" (continue teaching dividing with decimals)
"Can I go see the nurse? My head hurts again?"
"No, you'll be fine."
"Can I go to the nurse, I think I'm going to throw up?"
"No, you'll be fine" (pause for a moment...this all sounds like deja vu...this kid DID throw up in my room last year...but I think he is just trying to get out of work).
"Uh...You're in 6th grade now, if you feel sick you can make it to the trashcan"
(I was pretty sure he would just go to the bathroom, fake throw up so he can go home...they have all tried it with me)
About 10 minutes later...runs for the trashcan.
I am quite proud of myself...I did not skip a beat and kept teaching my lesson...mid sentence without looking away from the board told him to carry the trashcan with him to the nurse.

This is the sign of a truly seasoned teacher...correction truly seasoned SPECIAL ED teacher.  I've been drooled on, peed on, cleaned up poo, changed a 17 year old's's a glamorous life, be jealous!

PS For all of you well seasoned Bloggers...I have advertisements on my blog now, does this mean I can expect a check soon?!? haha! that would be wonderful!

I hope everyone has a fabulous evening and rest of the week...I'm serious about celebrating with friends this weekend!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just a good day

Today was a terrific day...and for no apparent reason.  I guess it's that feeling of peace about where you are in your journey and contentment with your life.

I walked into school this morning carrying WAY more than I can hold (but I refuse to make two trips) and spilled my water all over the hallway in front of my room and there was an ear piercing alarm going on and off for about an hour. You would have thought it would have been a "case of the Mondays" but instead I just laughed it off and cleaned it up. I only had one group to finish planning for the entire week! I also left school today knowing that I was done planning and had all my materials for the rest of week.  It is just such a great feeling to finally feel like I am ahead of the game. I have become super organized and so I am able to do so much more with my lessons and be better prepared.

Therapy with Jake* went wonderful as well!  My supervisor came to go through files and observe and I had the opportunity to show off all the cute things he's learned.  I love doing therapy with Jake because it doesn't feel like another 2 hours of work at all. He absorbs everything so quickly and is so stinkin cute so I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I leave. 

The simple joys in a teacher's day:
Alice* my kindergartner with AU had ZERO meltdowns today! yay!
I got to use the bathroom....more than once!
I got to eat lunch sitting at my desk, not walking down the hallway
My lessons went without a hitch

Things are just going right for the first time in a long time, and I only have God's timing to credit it....not some guy,  I finally feel freedom from the need to be with someone, to take care of.  On pintrest today I saw a quote: "Having faith in God is having faith in his timing"  This is so very true...nothing happens by coincidence, it is all a part of a plan much bigger than us.  God has shown me this time after time.

I know I rambled a lot tonight, but that's kind of where my thoughts are...all over the place.  I am ending my great day with a glass of wine outside in this gorgeous 80 degree weather with the puppies. The distant sound of other families outside in their backyard and kids being called to come in as the sun goes down.

Life doesn't get much better than this.

*Names are changed for confidentiality

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fail...or not?

I did not do anything with the pallet except remove it from the back of my car (an accomplishment all in it's own). I did however run "errands" for 4 hours.  I found many Goodwill and Thrift store finds.  I then made a trip to Micheal's, which was another mistake for my wallet!  I found sooo many great finds and can't wait to complete some of them!  Needless to say I won't be getting any lesson plans done tomorrow! haha!

Goodwill purchases:
Chandelier $9.99
Silver "frame" missing the backboard $3.99--mount on the purple wall in my room so the color shows through or scrapbook paper/pictures in the holes and hang in the bathroom
Jewelry box with missing knobs $5.99--sand, repaint/stain, new lining, new knobs
Block shelves $5.99--Sand and repaint
A&M metal sign $9.99 WHOOP!--Hang it outside with my other one (duh)
Men's shirt $2.99--try the skirt made out of a men's shirt project I found on pintrest

Thrift Store purchases:
Wall hook (for my flags outside) $1.99--to hang the Aggie sign!
Mason jar $2.99--make into a soap dispenser for the kitchen (I love the worn metal lid)
2 children's books (not pictured) $2--for my kiddos!

Sandpaper, new foam brushes, spray paint, and chalkboard paint...oh my!
I have been wanting to play around chalkboard paint so I'm excited!! The flowers are for barrettes and/or headbands (yellow for school!)
Breast cancer awareness flag--walking in the 3-day in November!

I have been eyeing a pile of stuff next to this house for a week...I finally got the guts to knock on the door and ask about it (my sudden motivation came from the Picker Sisters, which I am completely addicted to now!)

My car full of my finds from the day! (There's wine somewhere under there...made my monthly trip to Sam's for dog food, coffee and wine)

This is what I got at the yellow house
There were 2 of these, but the 2nd one is in pieces (on top) I figure I can do something with these!
Bench or box out of the broken drawers, maybe a chair...who knows!!
In the back there is what I am guessing used to be a shoe rack--I'm going to paint it and hang in the laundry room as a drying rack

There are some cheap plastic molded pieces I found that are not pictured...they are a terrible faux gold color.  They should be great as wall scones after a little paint.

I can't wait to complete each of these projects and share them with all of you!
One man's trash is soon to be my treasure!!

I am off to get sushi with Katie...we've gone 2 whole weeks without seeing eachother and I am going through withdraw.  Pretty sure it will be a late night with her and then I'm coming home to get started!!

Hope you have enjoyed your weekend...we still get one more day...whoo-hoo!