Saturday, September 27, 2008


I am totally procrastinating by being here on blogger. I just finished my seatwork, center 1, and whole group lesson plans for reading (with a brand-new reading series this year, that's a lot more time consuming than in previous years!), and I thought I'd take a little break before I delve into center 2 and small group instruction (aren't my Saturdays just fascinating??). ;)

I digress... I wanted to share that I actually got to SEW last night! I can't tell you how good it felt to sit down at that machine (Stella has been so patiently waiting for a bit of my attention) and CREATE something. Oh how my heart needed that, I discovered. All I made was a simple oven mitt that is part of a gift for someone. But I used some new fabric, and I really like how the colors and patterns go together. I also used my deeper understanding of bias tape to make a more finished looking edge for the cuff. Sigh of relief. Yes, I needed some sewing time. Now it's on to a few other projects, as time and energy allow (both have been harder to come by lately).

What are my other projects? Well, one goes with the oven mitt. I'll have to wait until they're mailed to the recipient before I post. I've also had bits and pieces of a wedding gift stashed for someone, using the excuse that she and her husband were moving at the end of the summer anyway. I figured I'd just save them the hassle of unpacking and repacking by holding out on finishing their gift. ;) But they are settled now, and it's time for me to wrap it up (literally and figuratively) and send it on its way! I've also been perusing sites for ideas of things I could make to sell. A c0worker sold 3 university themed picture frames tailgating a couple weeks ago. Then my mom mentioned an easy project to me. I've decided that I just might venture into the world of Etsy and try to sell a few of my wares there. Maybe some aprons, probably some university themed items. We are located such that there are 3 predominant teams people root for around here (UGA, UF, and FSU), plus there's a certain other orange that's quite popular back home (UT). I think I might try to take advantage of that and whip a few things up. We'll see... and I'll let you know how it all turns out!

Alright, enough procrastinating from me. I might as well get a move on, because I'll have to decide what's for dinner after this! :)

Have a great weekend. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Itching for Stitching

Thanks for all the comments lately. :) It was a SUPER busy week, so I appreciate the encouragement. :) Combine two 12 hour days, a 13 hour day, and a day with a migraine, and you have a teacher who was ready for the weekend! Unfortunately, the weekend has included work, too. And I cannot believe September is half over tomorrow. EEEK! But we're keeping at it all, one day at a time. Despite the grading and lesson planning that had to be done this weekend, we celebrated 2 special events at church this morning: the ceremonial ground-breaking for our building and ordaining deacons (including my hubby!). We are so thankful for our church family here in FL, and we are so excited and feel blessed to be a part of the ways God is growing, stretching, and leading the body here in a time of great change.

Now, the title of this post. I AM DYING TO SEW! I have been so busy, I haven't sat at my machine since my 2 days off for Tropical Storm Fay. That was the first week of school. That was 3 weeks ago! The more I craft, the more I realize I NEED crafting as an outlet. A way to explore, decompress, and think. Thankfully, I have a couple projects that need to be completed. I say thankfully, not because they're incomplete, but because I know EXACTLY what I will get to work on as soon as I have time. :) I also used a gift card from a student to purchase 2 handbag patterns I'll be excited to try. I can't wait to get started on everything and share them with you! :)

Lastly, before I head to the bed that is loudly calling my name, I would love some ideas for a birthday party coming up. Friends of our have 11 month old twin boys, and they are having a rubber ducky themed birthday party next month. Any ideas for something I could sew or make for them? I'm okay at ideas for baby showers/newborns... but 1 year old boys?? Help!! :)

Thanks, and hope you had a great weekend!

p.s. I have 2 blog awards I need to pass along.. stay tuned (and thanks to those who recognized me). :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stamping Challenge

There's a paper crafting challenge over at Stampin' When I Can that is HOME themed. That sounded like fun, so I thought I'd post this as my entry. :) Tomorrow is the deadline, so I'm posting it just in time. :) Check out the comments on her post for more home-themed inspiration!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I'm at work late (again)... waiting for the Fall open house to begin so I can talk, talk, talk, answer lots of questions, and then GET HOME!

I was here at school til 6 on Tuesday and 6:30 on Wednesday. I know that other teachers stay later or will continue to keep those hours even after open house week is behind us. I must confess that I am a homebody, though. Being gone 12+ hours (today) and then still needing to figure out dinner, clean up from dinner, prepare for the next day, and such wears a person out!

Hmmm, I just looked around my room and realized I never posted pictures of my classroom for this year. I must take care of that. :) I've put in too many hours and spend too many hours here not to show off some of my favorite little parts. :) Currently there are 19 cereal boxes hanging from the ceiling, each decorated for a different country. The kids' excitement this morning when they realized I took their projects and hung them for ALL to see (over their desks, nonetheless) was worth all the time it took to hang the boxes. :) They are a great group of kids. :)

Teaching is such an amazing and challenging and sometimes odd way to spend the day/year. Today's "hats" included earring remover, scalp inspector (one child was pretty convinced she had lice... I was pretty sure she had dry skin, and the nurse agreed with me ;)), cheerleader, encourager, prodder (finish up, please! ), corrector (I asked you to put that away a moment ago), oh yeah, and educator. ;) Sometimes I feel like such a taskmaster, especially at the beginning of the year when our kiddos are adjusting to the pace of the magnet program and such. And then there are glimpses in a day when I want to thank my students for the opportunities they give me. Today we planted seeds (we're studying life science and beginning with plants). You would have thought I gave them an Xbox 360. SEVERAL children THANKED me for giving them the seeds, dirt, cup, etc. I really do have a great group of kids (have I mentioned that?). Today one of them said, "You provide for us well." Wow (yes, these are 8-9 year olds, and yes, they blow me away at times).

I have to stop and think. So often I'm directing and correcting, especially at the beginning of the year, that I wonder if my acceptance of them comes through as much as I want. When you have some tender hearts, it's oh-so-hard to strike that balance, at the beginning of a new year, of the child KNOWING without a doubt you think they're great, but also being able to correct when needed (without the child taking that on as, "the teacher hates me."). Wanting to earn their trust. I think they're getting it. I think after 4 weeks, they see that they can mess up, and I'll still be cheering from the sidelines for them to make the right choice. I won't give up. I don't expect perfection. When we fall, we just get right back up and learn from our mistakes.

And what about God? Isn't He so often directing and correcting me? May I keep the perspective of so many of my students. "You provide well for us." They are learning to see through the rules and routines and discipline to the heart. May I keep my eyes on His heart, even when the things He allows or has to accomplish in me hurt at the time. My students have known me 4 weeks. They already trust me. I've known God 2o years, and sometimes it's really hard to trust.

But just like I tell my kiddos, try again. Do it right the next time. Let's fix that mistake. And am I ever thankful for a Savior who paid the price for me to be able to try again, do it right the next time, and fix that mistake. Lastly, may I ever increasingly seek to do it right the FIRST time, not just the next time. Only by His grace...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Meet Isabella

We drove up to SC after work on Friday and arrived around 1:45 AM. After catching up with Matt's parents, we went to bed! On Saturday, we got to go over and spend the day with Matt's sister and her family.... including ISABELLA! :) She is happy and healthy, and Lakey is doing such a great job!

Without further ado, here some pictures...

Lakey and Isabella (isn't Lakey's smile wonderful??)

Isabella with her mommy and daddy

Uncle Matt with Isabella!

Me holding Isabella for the first time and getting a good look at her :)

I was just a little bit in heaven... just a little ;)

You just have to love these (not so!) little feet :)

We did eventually see both her eyes WIDE open, but here was our first peek at one (after the bath where she peed on me and shortly before she spit up all over me :))

Friday, September 5, 2008

She's Here!!

Isabella Rose


Wednesday, September 3rd

9 lbs., 5 oz.

21.5" long

And this auntie and uncle are on their way to meet her!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Teacher Tools

If you are a teacher, I have to tell you about an amazing new tool my team mate told me about! It's called Engrade (I think it's supposed to be a play on words of "en garde"), and it's an online gradebook. Not only is it an online gradebook, but it's SUPER simple and user-friendly, highly customizable (in my opinion), and you can choose to give parents a password to access their child's grades online.
There's a clear tutorial you can watch on the site, and then it's easy to get started. I have to admit, I have not used any other grading software. I have always made my own Excel spreadsheets and entered my own formulas and such for them (thanks for teaching me that, honey!). Our school system just went live with a fancy-schmancy system that's supposed to do EVERYthing you could dream up. But when I log in and choose gradebook there, all I get is a red x. So much for that. Lots of us are having trouble with it and encountering bugs. I didn't want to wait for that to get sorted out, so I jumped on this new program when it was introduced to me. :) I appreciate being able to access it anywhere I have internet access (you can print it out too, though), instead of taking my jump drive with my Excel files back and forth between home and school.

One of my favorite features is the various reports that can be printed. You can print a student's report in any subject or all subjects. You can also print a missing assignments report (!!!). I am really excited, in case you couldn't tell. :)

And lastly, the blessing in disguise of not being allowed to have personal computers on campus this year and having a school CPU hooked up to my Smart Board is that now my laptop lives at home. I am so much more productive in the evening! Entering grades, answering emails, blogging. ;) I can multi-task where my hubby is while he himself slaves away on his work laptop. We are such geeks. :) Our side-by-side laptop days go all the way back to grad school and dating. :)

Alright, I need to go grade some writing prompts. Sorry this isn't too exciting, but I just had to share for any fellow teachers out there. :)

Hope you had a happy Labor Day! We already had burgers twice this week (once here and once at a friend's--both times very yummy), so tonight we had chicken alfredo. Super festive, huh? :)