Friday, May 27, 2011


Corey and I went on a little mini-getaway before school got out... to a cattle sale. You're jealous, aren't you? =)

Corey told me I needed some boots before we went. But I'm pretty sure this isn't what he had in mind... 
 But I thought I had the cutest boots on the cattle ranch. Even cuter than Miss Hereford Association's. 
(Who knew there was a Miss Hereford Association?!) 

We got there Friday evening (thank you to my awesome mom for coming to stay with our kids!) and hopped in a golf cart to go drive around and look at cows.

You read that right. Golf carts.

They take their cattle pretty seriously here...

 We skipped out on the rib dinner and open bar and headed here instead... (He's a good guy, that husband of mine.)

We checked into our hotel... did a little shopping... enjoyed some serious yumminess at Cherry Berry, Oklahoma's version of Orange Leaf... and then spent a quiet, relaxing evening at the Candlewood Suites. 

The next morning we slept late, went out for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then... I dropped Corey off at the cattle sale. (Now you can start getting jealous...) I drove back to the area right across from our hotel and managed to find a few places to keep me busy... 

I bought myself this happy little ring at Pier 1. The sales lady asked me while I was paying if green was my favorite color. No idea why she might have thought that...

I really wasn't in a mood to spend too much money (Corey was taking care of that... it's a tiny bit crazy how expensive cattle are...) so I spent my Old Navy gift card, bought my $6 ring at Pier 1 and shopped at Target for awhile. Then I went for a late lunch here...
 I spent an hour and a half with my laptop, some magazines, a yummy bagel and an even yummier smoothie. (Funny how I've changed... I used to think that eating lunch alone somewhere alone would be awful. But with my laptop (and free wi-fi), some magazines and a comfy chair... I was perfectly content.)

I had only been in Hobby Lobby about 10 minutes when Corey called and said he was finished at the sale. (And told me that I missed seeing Randy Owen, the lead singer of Alabama. Corey saw him there last year, too. He sat across from him at the auction, but Randy left after he bought a $31,000 hereford. Yep, you read that right, too. Randy's cattle budget was a bit higher than ours, apparently. But sadly, I could have sat right beside the guy, carried on an entire conversation with him and wouldn't have had the first clue about who he was. I know his music... but not him.)

Anyway... I drove back to the cattle ranch...

and picked myself up a handsome hitchhiker...

We stopped and had supper with one of my favorite aunts (thanks, Aunt Aletha!) and then headed home to our clean house and sleeping children. (Did I mention that my mom is awesome?) Who knew that a an overnight date to a cattle sale could be so delightful?!  =)  Just what I needed before summer started!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

teacher love.

I'm not sure how the end of the year/teacher gifts seems to sneak up on me every year.
I mean... I work there, for pete's sake. I'm well aware of when the last day of school is.
So once again, we were doing some last minute crafting and creating last night.
Luckily I have a nice supply of crafty goodness up in the loft...

I saw this idea on a blog awhile back: Tin Can Treats. I loved the idea and it was super cute and super easy... two of my favorite things! 

Look for little mini cans (these were peaches), open the cans from the bottom, empty, wash and dry completely. Fill them up with whatever happy treats you can think of. (We even sorted out just green ones for Jody... she says they're her favorite... see #9 and #22) Fill up the last 1/2 inch or so with tissue paper (to catch any hot glue drips). Then close the lid again and just fill in around the edges with hot glue. (It looks a little messy, but it's the bottom. No one will really notice. Or you could use one of those fancier can openers.)

Then add some cute paper, some ribbons and a happy little note...

We made one for Jessi at daycare, too...

I also made these...
 Thank you, again, eighteen25 for all your cute gift ideas! 

We have loved our teachers this year. Both of them. So very much. 
I love working with them (and bowling with them!) and I love that my kids got to spend their days with them. They are both these tiny, cute little blondes. Just adorable. 

Thank you, Heidi and Jody for all the time and energy you invested in my kids this year! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

last day.

Tomorrow I say goodbye to this crew... 

It's been quite a year.
So many personalities. So many funny stories.
I've loved this group of kids.
But I am so ready for summer...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

not so organized.

This my desk on a typical day at school. Actually this is fairly organized for me. It's amazing to me that I can love organization so much and have parts of my life that are so much in order... and then have other areas that look like this. All the time. It's kind of an organized chaos. 

1. My lesson plan book. 
2. My morning coffee. (or my morning cream with coffee) =)
3. The cute polka dot water glass that I drink out of the rest of the day. 
4. A notebook full of notes from when my mentee and I observed another teacher across town. 
5. The reflection pages we filled out as part of the mentor program. (They may or may not have been turned in a couple days late.) 
6. Franklin video (that Sophie and Lawson watched after school one day.) 
7. My id badge/key
8. A book that needs returned to another teacher. 
9. A super cute (and detailed) ceramic box that my mother-in-law made me when I first started teaching. 
10. Math assessment notebook. 
11. Funny glasses that Lawson got from somewhere. 
12. Hand sanitizer. (that I use all the time)
13. Stories written by my students. 
14. Bracelet that I wore to school that day. 
15. An extra Scholastic News (my class worked on this with the sub while I went to Author's Tea) 
16. Plastic cup full of tongue depressors with my student's names on them. 
17. Another cute polka dot glass (it used to be my daily Diet DP glass. Now it only gets used occasionally.)
18. A Spongebob glasses case that belongs to either Fernando or Misael. I'm not sure which. The other case is buried in here somewhere, too. 
19. Books about US symbols (because I rememebered a couple weeks ago that I was supposed to teach my students about them.) 
20. The three cutest kids around. 
21. Random number assessment (that needs to be put away in my assessment kit) 
22. Read aloud books to teach about the author's purpose/lesson. A hard concept for 1st graders! (but one that is assessed.) 
23. Part of our new math curriculum (no comment.) 
24. Math papers that need graded and/or recycled. (I think I recycled them) 
25. A note from 2 years ago: Mrs. Jones she is my faborite techer. 
26. Phone. (That I have to check every time someone asks me what my room number is. I still can't remember. I was in 144 for 10 years, and 191 is just hard to remember.) 

In 3 more days, though, the top of my desk will be empty. (pretty much)
So, so excited for that day!! =) 


My students spent the last few weeks working on animal stories. We started with an extended sentence graphic organizer that I learned about at the CCIRA conference in February. Then we used that as the main idea for our stories.

They wrote and wrote and wrote... we edited (so thankful for the ELL para that I have in my room during that time and for a very faithful community helper that came twice a week during our writing time. I could not have done this without them!) then they recopied on special paper... and illustrated them. With the exception of a couple super un-motivated students, most of my kids had 3-4 pages. (One had 14!) I was so impressed with their creativity! "The Upset Penguin" had to be my favorite story. This kid has been like no other student I've had before. He has given me more than a few gray hairs this year. But when he chooses to... he can do some really great work...

The Upset Penguin

One cold winter day a white and black penguin named Gonzalez was swimming with his friends Joey, Ms. Lupita and Medina deep in the Artic Ocean. The four friends were looking for food. Gonzalez came up and saw his upset wife standing beside the ice sofa with her fins crossed. She wanted to go to a party and she was very late. The wife said in a mad voice "Hurry up. It's your turn to babysit. I am late for my party."

Some of the other titles...

The Crying Penguin
Monkeys Playing at the Park
The Sneaky Monkey
The Tired Prairie Dog
The Monkey Who Wanted a Friend
The Bad Mean Lion
The Dinosaurs Who Became Friends
The Zebras Who Got Married
The Mad Snake

and my favorite... The Tarantulas vs. the Spider Monkeys 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

author's tea.

Our 2nd grade teachers host an "Author's Tea" every year for their students. Parents are invited to come and see some of the stories their kids have written in class and a couple special projects they have been working on. They work hard to make it a fun and special time for the kids and parents. (And our staff works hard to make sure that all the kids have someone to share with... even if their family can't come.)

Sophie had been talking about it for days... reminding Daddy what time he needed to leave work so he could come. (One of our paras covered my class so that I could go, too!) 

She went through a big panda phase earlier this year...

Now she's into horses and unicorns. This was her "How to Draw a Unicorn" book...

They do a big mammal unit in 2nd grade... they do research and create a Powerpoint presentation...

Sophie chose cats...

This was my favorite line... "House cats do not enjoy swimming."

We also loved the page about what cats eat. It was supposed to say milk, water, lizards, but Sophie forgot a couple commas. So we had lots of giggles about cats eating milk water lizards. The little girl beside her didn't have any family coming, so we were listening to some of her stories and watching her Powerpoint about polar bears. We asked her if polar bears eat milk water lizards, too.  =)

The kids had all created their mammals out of clay during art and then made habitats for them...

Sophie's cat had been eating lots of fish out of the farm pond and was really fat...

Days like this I love being at my kids' school. I loved being able to share this with my little author/artist.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

so happy.

This is why I love daisies... these are from Mother's Day... two weeks ago. They still look fresh and pretty. 
They are just so happy to look at... 

They really are the friendliest flower.

Monday, May 16, 2011

betsy kate.

Do you remember Miss Betsy
Someone asked yesterday if I could do an update on her. 
Medically... I can't tell you much. I'll let Betsy's momma do that. You can read Sarajane's blog and get updates on Betsy (and hear about the funny things Ella Kate and Max do. Seriously, Sara... you are one of the best storytellers I know!)  =) 

But non-medically, I can tell you this... Betsy is one of the cutest little things I've seen... 

That pouty lip is my favorite!

Betsy is headed back to KC tomorrow and will be heading into surgery again on Wednesday.
I'm sure Sarajane will be posting some updates.
Pray for this sweet girl... and her mommy and daddy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


8 more days of school. We are so ready for summer!! 

Corey's been working hard on my birthday present! I can't wait to show it to you! 

Sophie was making Hazelnut stew... we've watched "Tangled" a few times since they got it in their Easter bucket. =)

She's gonna be a climber... just like her brother...

Only 8 more days...