Monday, December 31, 2012

It's a Wrap - Good-bye 2012!

Happy New Year’s Eve!  I am so excited to say that we are not doing anything special tonight.  Whew – we had a wonderful whirlwind trip and I am glad to be staying home with Mr. Realistic, Realistic Sons and Realistic Girlfriend.

I quickly whipped up lesson plans this morning after arriving home late last night so snuggling in with some homemade goodies (thanks to the girlfriend – remember, I don’t cook or bake) and a glass of wine for the Mr. and I sounds like a perfect night!

I sharing a few linky parties today (after being away – there are a ton I want to share, but here are a few highlights).

Jenn at The Teachers Cauldron is having a New Year’s Resolution Linky – maybe this will help me stay focused this year.  The task is to share one personal and one blog resolution.  This is easy – make sure to head over to her blog to share yours.

My personal resolution is to take better care of myself this year – physically and emotionally.  Yes, that means I’ll be at the gym, but it also means I am going to spend some time this year doing some self-reflecting.

My blog resolution this year is to host my own linky parties!  I tried my first in December and I can’t wait to host another!

Michelle at Making it as a Middle School Teacher is also hosting a linky…13 things that you’re looking forward to or taking part in during 2013. 

Here is my list of 13…

and finally...

I am joining Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies First 12 in the Last of 12 linky party.  What a great way to reflect on the year – especially, after making all these resolutions and commitments!  My firsts didn't occur until I started my blog in September, but wow - what a ride!

9/16/12 - I've Taken the Blog Plunge
9/16/12 (Part 2) - Monthly Featured Author Post
9/17/12 - Whole Brain Teaching Rule 6
9/18/12 - Nifty Thrifty Cart
9/19/12 - Talking Chain Success
9/22/12 - Busy Saturday
9/23/12 - Thematic Paper
9/29/12 - A Little of This and a Little of That
9/30/12 - Snapshot Sunday
10/7/12 - Just Let Me Rant!
10/13/12 - My Week in Pictures, a Fantastic Field trip, and a Cinderella Conclusion
10/13/12 (Part 2) - You've Been Boo'd Party

Make sure you link up with Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies blog and show me what you were doing last year!

Happy New Year all!  I hope that you have a wonderful evening!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surprise - I'm on Vacation!!

Surprise!! I arrived in my “secluded” destination last Saturday morning and surprised my family!! It is not going to be a long post tonight because, honestly, I am exhausted.

We journeyed north about 900 miles in the middle of the night, weathering some snow in Virginia and West Virginia to surprise my mitten family.  Only Realistic Mom knew we were coming – I had to stop her from sending gifts! 

Since being here we have been on the road nonstop and catching up with friends and family here in the white north. Mr. Realistic and both Realistic boys have banned me from working… while I appreciate this gesture; I am having severe teaching, planning, and creativity withdrawals!!

However, I can say that I am truly enjoying time with my family (especially my new nephew who inspired our trip).

See you in 2013!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tell Me Something Good

I’m linking up with Rowdy in First and sharing the good things that have happened this week. I thought we could all use a little positive right now. So, here goes…

Something good from school: My kids did a fantastic job making their parent gifts this week!! I am so happy with the way they turned out, and I know that parents will love them. Just need to add the tag “Have a sweet holiday. Love, your little cupcake.” have them sign the back of the tag, decorate their “wrapping paper” (lunch sack) and we’re done! They have done an amazing job on their North Pole maps and their Diary of a… projects. They can’t wait to take them home and read to their families on Christmas Eve. My kiddos have really warmed my heart this week!!

Something good at home: I am so happy to have Oldest Realistic home from school. It is so nice to know that he is tucked in his bed, and on the phone with Realistic Girlfriend at night. I scheme is still out on the horizon and I can’t wait to share it with you all soon, but I can’t write about it yet…drats! I will give you a hint… the Mitten! :)

Gifts purchased in the past: For my sons – x-box video games, and gift cards to American Eagle, Old Navy (yes, Oldest Realistic has listened to his girlfriend and is trying to live on a college budget – yessss!!) For my husband… well, that is part of the scheme so I can’t reveal yet. For my dad – well, let’s be honest – wine is a great gift (and one I prefer he shares).

How fun! Make sure to head over to Rowdy in First to link up!! I can’t wait to see the great things you’ve got going on right now!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Teachers Love Winter Break

Oh, how I love the week before winter break!! If you’re like me, you’re a list maker, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a Top 10 List of Reasons Teachers Love Winter Break.

Top 10 Button

Consider it a Linky Express Day. Please don’t let the train pull out of the station without you!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to your blog post listing the top 10 reasons you love winter break. 
  2. When you link up, please be sure to place my Top 10 Reasons button or a link to my site somewhere in your post. 
  3. Comment on two other links before you (if you’re the first to join, please leave me a comment) and let others know how you found them. 
  4. Stop back in and see why other teachers love winter break (optional – but I’d love you to stop back in!) 

The Top 10 Reasons this Teacher Loves Winter Break… 

10. I can snuggle up and finish a good book.

9. No extra morning meetings!!

8. I can rest my voice. Issuing reminders all day is really hard work on a girl’s vocal chords.

7. No runny noses and boogers all over the place (seriously!)

6. I can climb out of bed in the morning without a list of to-do’s popping in to my head.

5. I love using my gift cards (coffee, Target, Chick-fil-a, Barnes & Nobel? Yes, please!)

4. Spending time with my boys!!

3. Sleep – good God Almighty, sleep!!

2. No need to cook (not that I do) because there is always a ton of holiday goodies to snack on!

1. Pajamas are considered a staple in your wardrobe!

Make sure you link up!  I can't wait to see all of your reasons!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's a Monday 5 for Five & Manic Monday Freebie Time

Welcome back to another Monday 5 for Five thanks to Jenn & Jessica!!


Oh my gosh – my 5 for Five results are horrible!! Good thing I don’t let it determine what kind of person I am or I would be the flea on the poop in the hair of the smelly dog! Seriously, no one wants to be that low!

1. Gym three times this week – seriously?! Yes, I really have good excuses this week... I got there Monday, but...

Tuesday was a rough day (pour me another please)

Wednesday I was at Best Buy for 2 hours getting my new iPhone (poor hubby had to listen to me whine because the battery on my old phone died and I was, I played with his phone for awhile, and then he sent me to play with the iPad they had there instead! I really NEED one of those!!!)

Thursday Oldest Realistic finally got home for break

Friday... just pour me another please; it’s been a rough week!

2. Start decorating for Christmas – ugh! Thank God Oldest & Girlfriend Realistic are home. They are going to be responsible for putting up the pretty things this year!

3. Work on some of my January school projects – ugh, another goal that I didn’t get to. But report cards got done so that should count for bonus points or something!!

4. Schedule that massage appointment – nope, not this week either! I need to call them this week, no excuses since I’ve added it to the reminder list on my phone!

But… I did schedule that doctor’s appointment I’ve been procrastinating so, I’m going to count that as double points!

5. Stop and take time to eat lunches – sweet!! Something I can actually say I accomplished!

Yep! Holy Toledo – it was a bad week! I can’t even begin to explain it…nor, would you want to listen.

But I did get a new my new iPhone which I absolutely adore!! I got the 5 with a cute Otter Box protector. I’m waiting until after Christmas to get a super cute monogrammed case… or at least until Mr. Realistic overlooks a Visa charge or two!!

But I do have a special stupendous secret in store!!! You’ll have to wait until next week to see what I have planned. Just sayin’ - in-cred-ible!! Even Mr. Realistic was in shock and awe of my scheme!! Yes!!!!

So, I’m moving on and making a new list of to-do’s that I plan on actually accomplishing this week… not that I didn’t plan on meeting my goals last week but so many other things sprung up!

I’m not even adding the gym to my list this week. Yes, I plan on getting there, but I don’t want it to possibly be on the ~almost~ list next week.

1. Gather all of the materials and supplies I need to make gingerbread stations, nutcracker activities, and parent gifts BEFORE I actually need them in my classroom.

2. Schedule that dang massage appointment – the beginning of January would be a great time to go!

3. Start Christmas shopping (yes, I am hanging my head in shame). But, (in my whiniest voice) no one has gotten me their lists. Those dang teenage boys!

4. Check out and read a non-teaching book… a no-brainer novel for winter break sounds about right!!

5. Make sure I take care of my health this week by eat breakfast & lunch!!

And, of course, I couldn't have you stopping by without giving you a Manic Monday freebie!!  Here is one that should get you through the week...

That is all I have to share with you this Monday!

Have a wonderful day – make sure to tell the people you care about that you love them and be thankful for the little things you have in your life. Please keep the families and community members of Sandy Hook Elementary in your thoughts and prayers.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Heavy Hearted Today

Today I was going to post about the exciting plans I have for my second graders next week, but I just can’t get my heart into my blog today. It is heavy with thoughts of those from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I cannot express my disbelief, shock and confusion about such events. I cannot rationalize killing, let alone killing precious children and teachers. It really leaves me questioning the world we live in. There are so many amazing teachers, who really would give their lives for their students and that is again reflected in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Please remember to thank your coworkers and treat them with kindness and compassion. Those are the people that are truly in the front lines and the one who would protect you if the case (God forbid) ever arose.

So, tomorrow, I am following Farley’s lead and posting a day of Silence in honor of those at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is very easy – head over to Oh’ Boy 4th Grade and get the graphic to post on your blog. Only post the graphic, nothing else.

Heavy hearted, but optimistic…

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 in '12

Today I’m joining A Teeny Tiny Teacher & Miss Kindergarten for their second annual linky party - 12 in ’12. What a great idea – genius ladies!!

12. Favorite movie you watched

The Hunger Games.

I actually didn’t see too many movies this year…I know, odd; but I spent the majority of the year with my nose in a book. However, I look a break from reading The Hunger Games series to watch the movie – ah-maz-ing!!! Loved it!!Of course, I have a long list of other movies I can’t wait to see. I’m hoping to catch up during winter break!!

11. Favorite TV Series

2 Broke Girls.

The funniest series on TV this year! It is raunchy and funny – a great combination!! Mr. Realistic and I love to watch each week!

10. Favorite Restaurant

I’m a cheap date – my favorite – by far is Chick-fil-a.

My thighs and butt hate it, but my taste buds love it!Same thing every time – an eight count nugget with lots of sauce & a cookies and cream milkshake. Don’t forget the whipped cream and cherry!!

9. Favorite new thing you tried

This is kinda’ a combo pack for me – I rekindled my TpT relationship, started Pinterest, and then began blogging.Each came with its own rush!!

The more followers I had, the more I blogged.

The more people repined my pins the bigger the smile on my face!I am always so amazed that people purchase the materials I make. For the first time I am earning an actual paper check (yes, I’ve joined the $500 & over club).

Seriously, TpT has helped pay some doctors bills this year. Oldest Realistic is also known as the bionic man thanks to the metal plate and rods in his hand.

So, if you've purchased anything from me, thank you!!

8. Favorite gift you received

My husband always amazes me! He got me a Kindle Fire just out of the blue this year. It wasn’t my birthday, it wasn’t our anniversary, it wasn’t Valentine’s day, it wasn’t Christmas, it was just a Tuesday.

I am looking forward to getting my iPhone later this month though!!

7. Favorite thing you pinned

Oh my gosh – I have so many pins that I love!! I am making an executive decision to “categorize” my favorite pins.

I have not “done” all of the great things I’ve pinned, but I want to make sure I have them in case one day I have a creative surge! My favorite crafty pin is

I so want to make this for our family reunion this summer!

There is nothing like a beautiful storm. My favorite weather pin is

And inspiration is…

Humor…ah, this one was tough! But, because I live with boys…

6. Favorite blog post

Definitely my Nutcracker post – seriously…I love the Nutcracker!!!

5. Favorite accomplishment

I am so proud of the fact that I started paying attention to my health and fitness this year! I am now a Zumba junkie and so proud of it!! I haven’t lost a ton of weight (5 pounds) but I am proud of the fact that I have started eating better and taking better care of myself.

I have never worked out – and I mean never – unless you consider reading a sport, which I would!

4. Favorite picture
My babies first weekend away at school!!


3. Favorite memory

As crazy as this sounds, dropping my son off at college. We had a great good-bye weekend and it hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be. I mean, I miss him a TON, but I know that he is moving on to the next stage of his life and I am so proud of him!!

2. Goal for 2013

Wow – I have so many goals for 2013. I am going to continue my healthy lifestyle so it is not a new goal, but a continuation.

Next year I really, really, really want to spend the whole month of July with my parents in Michigan. I miss home…

1. One little word (ala Farley)

My word for 2013 is grateful. I am hoping for big things in 2013 – great things!! We’ll just have to wait and see what is in store but for now I am just going to be grateful for the things that I have.

I am grateful to have a great job with amazing coworkers. I have incredible friends. I have an inspirational and wonderful family and so many things to be grateful for!!Sometimes it is really hard to look at the glass as half full, but that is my goal for 2013.

And that's my 12 in 12.

Make sure you head over to A Teeny Tiny Teacher and link up your top 12 of 2012. I can’t wait to see what you have to say!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday and a Sale!!

If you’re like me, you are a Pinterest fanatic!! I love searching through Pinterest and finding great ideas, reading inspirational quotes, a joke or two (or a million more). Yes, I am also an e-card addict!!!

I am so obsessed that have a “personal” Pinterest account, and a "teacher" Pinterest account. All this pinning drives Mr. Realistic crazy and he says I’m obsessed – of course, he’s right! Shhh…don’t let him know I said that :)

Anywho – I am linking up with The Vintage Apple again for some of my favorite pins this week!

Here are a few holiday favorites:

And a few funnies:

A glimpse of how I sometimes feel in my classroom:

And one cool picture:

I'm also linking up with First Grade and Fabulous (along with some other great bloggers) and having a sale.  My store will be 20% off through Friday.

Have a great Wednesday!  Smooches!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Let's Read...Book of the Month Linky

I am so excited – I have a great linky to share today!! 1…2…3…Teach with Me is having a Book of the Month linky. What a great idea to gather new holiday book ideas for your classroom. 

 Here are a few of my favorite books for December… 

I use these with my Nutcracker unit

And, no one could resist the Grinch! I love using this with To Make the Grinch Grin I Would (Class Book) by Mel at Suesstastic Classroom Inspirations. Get it free at TpT


I use these with my gingerbread unit

 Happy Tuesday friends!! Hope you’ve had a fantastic week so far!