March 30, 2013

Five for Friday (Only a Day Late This Time!)

Woot woot! I'm only a day behind this week! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky party (Spring Break edition).


1. Know what true love is? It's when your husband downloads "Les Miserables" for you...and then watches it with you! Sweetest. Man. Ever.

I know there have been mixed reviews, but personally, I loved the movie. The cinematography was nuts, and the singing wasn't half bad, either (not a huge fan of Russell Crowe as Javert, but he was definitely intimidating!). 

2. Every year, our PTO gives each teacher a generous amount of money to spend on classroom enhancements. Before I left for Spring Break, our school manager told me that I still had $75 to spend. I bought some great products on TPT, including this adorable polka dot classroom decor set:

Thank you, First Class Teacher Resources! Now, my room will be even more matchy-matchy than it was before!

3. Is it odd that my three year-old's favorite song is "We Are Young," by Fun? 

That boy loves to sing! You should hear him rock out to Adele.

4. Speaking of Deedle, his fourth (seriously???) birthday is coming up next month. I've been wracking my brain, trying to figure out what to do for his party. I always stress way too much over the kids' birthdays, and it all ends up being very anti-climactic. So, KShaf and I decided to have his birthday party at the local park with some Jojo's cupcakes, a few balloons, and lots of fun! I made some cute and simple invitations for him to give out to his friends, as well as gift tags to attach to his goody bags. What do you think?

5. We took the kids to the Strand in Oxford today for the first time this season. They had a blast, throwing rocks and oyster shells into the water and digging in the sand. Even McKinley had fun (although, he would have been much happier if KShaf had let him off his leash!). 

I love the silver sparkle boots paired with a light windbreaker. What an ensemble!

I'm off to whip up a strawberry cheesecake for Easter dinner tomorrow (Deedle has decided that he is a huge fan of cheesecake...that kid has expensive taste in food!). I'll be back later this weekend with pics of the kids' Easter egg hunt with Gram, Pop-Pop, and the rest of the fam.

March 27, 2013

Hellooooo, Spring Break!

Hallelujah! Spring Break has finally arrived! Funny that we're on Spring Break, considering that this is what we woke up to on Monday morning:

It started snowing around 3:00 in the morning, and it didn't let up until 6:00 Monday evening. I love a snow day as much as the next gal, but even I was a little frustrated by the crummy weather. 

While the snow was coming down outside, Deedle created a train track masterpiece in the family room, using the new engine house and drawbridge that Pop-Pop bought him at the train show last weekend.

Really, he was just killing time until I would let him go outside and play in the snow. I made him wait until the sun had come up. He's paying the price, though: he is running a fever and has croup.

After a snow day and a delayed opening, my students were chomping at the bit to have their Easter egg hunt yesterday afternoon. It went off without a hitch, but we ended up with tons of leftover eggs. Rather than count them all myself (and risk losing what's left of my mind!), I put my firsties to work this morning.

These cuties grouped and counted their eggs by fives.

This crafty crew sorted them by color and then into groups of ten. Genius!

While I was supposed to be paying attention during our afternoon inservice today, I uploaded a pack of Craft Plus writing posters that I created to TPT. If anyone out there is still using Craft Plus, head on over to my TPT store to pick up the posters!

Warning: random segue ahead! Have you met my new BFF? I don't know how I have lived this long without this miraculous invention.

 With two boys in my house (and one little princess who sometimes gets scared by bubbles in the potty and accidentally pees on the bathroom floor), this little blue bottle comes in very handy!

I hope you all have a very "hoppy" Spring Break! 

Have you ever seen a cuter blue-eared bunny?

March 24, 2013

Five For Friday (Sunday Edition)

I'm always a little late linking up with Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday. I just can't seem to accomplish much of anything on a Friday evening! To be fair, I did have an excuse this past Friday. My friend, Kelly, had a fundraiser at our local Chili's to support her March of Dimes team, Trevor's Angel Walkers. There was a great turnout, and Kelly has already surpassed her $1,000 fundraising goal!

1. We read Me on the Map in Language Arts this past week. I had seen some really cute projects to accompany the book, floating around on Pinterest. I pooled some ideas together and created this:

A little crooked, but you get the point.

The kids had a blast, and the project really helped them understand their place in the world.

2. Our fifth grade friends came to visit us on Friday afternoon, and they helped us make these adorable bunny cups!

My little guys really enjoy the time that they get to spend with their "big kid" friends in fifth grade.

3. My dad, Deedle, and I drove to Hartley, Delaware yesterday to take in a train and toy show at the local fire hall. Deedle was in model train heaven!

He could have stood and watched the model trains for hours...he was mesmerized!

The trains that made "smoke" and noises were a big hit with Deedle.

Pop Pop is thrilled that Deedle enjoys trains just as much as he does! I adore this picture.

4. Is this really the forecast for tomorrow?

What the heck, groundhog? You lied to us!

5. I am so excited to make this craftivity with my firsties this week!

Thanks, Teri, at A Cupcake for the Teacher!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

March 19, 2013

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I just had to share how stinkin' cute my kiddos' leprechauns turned out. The little boy who made the leprechaun second from the right informed me that he made his leprechaun's eyebrows look mad because he's angry that someone stole his pot of gold. I love his logic!

I've been slacking in the running department lately. Work has just been so nuts these past few weeks that at the end of the day, I have just wanted to watch brainless television (Bravo, anyone?). Since I have (verbally) committed myself to run the 10K at the St. Michaels Running Festival in May, I figure I'd better get myself in gear! I ran 2.2 miles on Sunday in effort to ease myself back into it, and this afternoon, I ran 5.3 miles...through a cold front!

Check out those dark clouds behind me!

As I was finishing the last mile, I spotted a rainbow over our house.

After my run, I came home and was tucking the kiddos into bed. Deedle leaned in close to me and said, "Ew, Mommy! You smell like poop!" So I guess I should stop blogging and go take a shower.

March 16, 2013

Top O' The Mornin' To Ye!

I don't know what got into me, but I took St. Patrick's Day to an extreme this year! I don't usually enjoy messy, crafty, involved projects, but since I am through with my formal observations for the year, I decided to have a little fun.

Femster and I had way too much fun, painting leprechaun footprints all over SpurDog's classroom.

When the kiddos came in on Friday morning, they found that the leprechaun had left footprints in the classroom, along with gold glitter and green cupcakes! I must have been feeling crazy nice because I let them eat their cupcakes at nine o'clock in the morning.

In Language Arts, we learned a little bit about the history of St. Patrick's Day, followed by St. Patrick's Day rotations. I got all of the activities for free from Mel's Find the Gold Blog Hop.

The kidlets are playing Lucky Shamrock Digraph Hunt. Super cute, plus it provided them with some much needed digraph practice!

This little one's shirt cracked me up!

My guys had a blast with Teach With Laughter's I Spy St. Patrick's Day Words! The magnifying glasses were a huge hit.

The best part of the day was our Leapin' Leprechauns writing lesson. I used Mary's writing craftivity as the basis for the lesson, but I created my own Smart Board lesson, brainstorming paper, and graphic organizer. Head over to Google Docs to grab your own copy!

The leprechauns were so adorable when they were finished, and I was really impressed by the kids' writing! I have some great writers in my class this year.

On an unrelated note, Princess A and Deedle begged to make a fire last night in our fire pit in the backyard, so after dinner, we all bundled up and sat around the fire as the sun set. We had such a good time! As Princess A noted, the only thing that could have made the evening even better was marshmallows.

Have a great weekend!

March 13, 2013

Spring Fever!

It was a balmy 65 degrees here in Maryland last weekend. The kids spent the entire weekend, playing outside. They even helped KShaf build a brand new sandbox in the backyard! We used to have one of the Little Tykes green turtle sandboxes, but the kids outgrew it last summer, so, KShaf decided it was time to build them a bigger one.

Princess A helping to move and break up the dirt. I think she really just enjoyed getting her hands filthy.

The finished product! And, yes, Deedle is face down in the sand. Sometimes, I worry about him...

While the kids and KShaf were being productive outside, I tackled the inside of the house. I've had the hardest time finding a way to organize the kids' toys so that our (already smallish) house doesn't seem cluttered. I had been storing their toys in stackable laundry baskets, which worked for awhile, but now that the kids' toys are getting bigger and more cumbersome, I realized that it was time to upgrade. So, I bought this from Target:

If I'm being honest, I'd love to have the one in shades of pinks and purples for Princess A...but that may be a bit much for our family room.

I had my final observation last week and my conference with my principal this morning. I am so glad that's over for the year! After talking to her, I got some ideas for next year, as well as some ways to organize this year's data. So, while everyone else in my house is sleeping soundly, I'm sitting at my desk, drinking tea and developing a template for tracking our grade level IRI data for the year. It could have waited until this summer, but I figured I'd jump on it while the idea is fresh in my mind. My "to do" list for the summer, however, is growing daily!

Happy Hump Day!

March 10, 2013

Five for Friday (on Sunday)

Whew! What a week! Between interims, observations, and regular ol' teaching, I was completely wiped by the time Friday rolled around. That's why I'm just now getting to joining the Five for Friday linky fun over at Doodle Bugs.
So, here we go.

1. I stumbled upon this fabulous setup the other morning. Who wouldn't want to be invited to this pirate/princess tea party? (Please ignore the mayhem in the background. The kids have developed the habit of getting out every single toy that they own when they play, and the clutter/chaos is driving me bananas!)


2. We introduced the concept of bridge to ten in math last week. For a lot of kids, this seems to be a really tricky concept. To get them thinking about making sets of ten, we presented them with the following problem on the Smart Board:

The kiddos could use any of the manipulatives in the basket on their table (colored chips, hundreds chart, Unifix cubes, etc.) to help them find as many solutions to the problem as possible. I had them use their cooperative learning roles, and I was so impressed by how quietly and diligently they worked!

3. Princess A's Pre K teacher sent home an umbrella pattern for each child to decorate for a class bulletin board display. The teacher in me had a million cutesy ideas for how Princess A could fancy up her umbrella, but the parent in me had to let go and let Princess A do it her way.

Pigs, glitter, and foam stars...oh, my!

4. Princess A hates (and I mean, really, really hates) to brush her hair after her bath. So, for weeks, KShaf and I have been threatening to cut her hair if she doesn't stop making such a scene at bed time. She called our bluff.

So cute!

5. A few weeks ago, we noticed that "someone" had been slowly chipping the paint on Deedle's bedroom wall. Nothing seemed to deter Deedle from picking at the paint. Then, I went to make his bed the other morning, and I found this:

So, at 5:30 in the morning, I single-handedly rearranged the furniture in Deedle's room, so he wouldn't be able to pick at the wall anymore. When I called KShaf in to see my handiwork, he said, "You don't hide the problem. You fix the problem." Thanks, Confucius. I, for one, am not going to bother fixing the problem until I'm good and doggone sure that the boy child can't reach the wall to pick the paint anymore!

That was my week in a nutshell. Hopefully, I'll have more time to share this week, now that things have settled down a bit. Have a great week, and don't forget to link up (better late than never!)!

March 2, 2013


Can you see what I'm pointing to in this picture?

That's right. It's a white hair. A big, thick, curly white hair. Now, I'm on the hunt for the rest, because where there's one, there are bound to be a million. I can't decide who/what to blame for this recent traumatic development: my kids, my husband, or my job.

Five for Friday (Saturday Edition)

I do love Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday linky party! Here are five random things from my week.

1. We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday yesterday in my classroom. I planned a day's worth of language arts and math rotations for my kids to enjoy, but I was out all afternoon for professional development! Bummer. While I was there, however, I was able to snap a pic of my kiddos playing Tricky Word Bingo.

My favorite part of Dr. Seuss' birthday was reading Oh, the Places You'll Go! to Princess A's Pre-K class. Princess A had a goofy little smile on her face the whole time; I hope she'll have good memories of me visiting her classroom (I know I certainly will!).

2. This morning, Deedle complained that his belly hurt. Assuming that he was just hungry, we made our weekly trek here to have breakfast (they have the most amazing coconut cake I have ever had in my life!). Deedle picked at his food, but he seemed to be feeling better. My parents stopped by the drop off a stuffed animal that my mom had fixed for Princess A, and while they were here, Deedle said that he felt like he was going to throw up (my parents hightailed it out of here...they both just got over the crud and didn't want to risk getting it again). He didn't, but he did settle down for a two-hour nap (very uncharacteristic these days). Fifteen minutes after he woke up, he got sick. Afterward, I settled him onto the couch with a pillow and blanket and took these pics:

 This is his "I-feel-like-crap-but-I'm-going-to-slap-on-this-cheesy-smile-anyway" face.

This is his "I'm-so-so-sick" face.

3. A few minutes ago, I heard Princess A cry, "Mama! It's snowing! It's really snowing!" I glanced out the window, and it was, indeed, snowing (OK, fine, it was flurrying). 

Clearly, it wasn't snowing enough for the camera to even pick it up!

4. For the next two weeks, we'll be administering the MSA at our school (oh, how everyone loves standardized testing!). None of the primary teachers will be proctoring this year, but our schedules will definitely be affected. SpurDog and I spent the other morning, trying to create a schedule for our kiddos for the next two weeks. It was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together!

5. I know that I mentioned the Walk for Babies in my last post, but I am going to make another shameless plug. If you're able to make a donation (in any amount), I will send you any item of your choice from my TPT store, FREE!! Just click on the picture below to visit my personal fundraising page. 

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to link up!