Monday, June 30, 2014

Video - What am I thinking?

I'm kind of putting myself out there with this post...literally. It is a little scary.

Up until now I've been a virtual stranger...words on the computer screen. Thinking that you will now hear my voice and how I talk. There is just something weird about that. 

Not to mention you'll be able to make fun of all my mistakes. And believe me there are some...I had to leave my perfectionism at the door for this video. 

Well, after take 25.

Okay, not 25...but probably 5 at least.

Anyway, let's get on with it. This idea sprang from Kristi making the transition from creating in Word to PowerPoint and asking a lot of questions. It is something I had started doing awhile ago - back when I was on a quest to learn how to make a document editable. 

By the way, there are a lot of great tutorials and videos online about using PowerPoint and creating things for TPT and TN. I'm certainly not claiming to share something new, but maybe for another audience.

Kristi is always asking how I am able to work so quickly on a project. I don't really know the answer because I just do it. Maybe it is because before I became a teacher I was in business/accounting so I became very familiar with computers and lots of software. I don't know...but I decided that maybe I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that might be helpful to others.

This is my first video (and maybe the last if rotten tomatoes are thrown - LOL). It is how I get started when I'm making a project along with a few tips about organizing graphics and giving credit. If this video is well received, I will share more tips and tricks in other videos. How will I know it is well received? Comments, of course. Hint. Hint.

One last TPT and TN thoughts. 

Most of my products are created for use in my classroom first (robots may be the exception because our school had already decided on Seuss for next year, but I just love them - maybe next year...). Our position has always been if we can make a little extra money selling things we are making anyway, why not?  I have also made things that were requested (the reason we have so many I Have...Who Has..? games). I love I Have...Who Has...? but I could never use ALL of our games in one year! :-) 

We don't want our blog to turn into an ad page, but we feel occasionally sharing our creations is okay. I don't even follow some of the first teacher blogs I found anymore because it feels like I am being bombarded with advertisements disguised as blog posts. 

I'd love to hear what you think of the video...just don't judge this first-timer too harshly! Ha!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Scrapbook Owls

I'm changing from frogs to owls this coming year in my classroom.  So, I found this cute owl pattern by Ilsse Mills on TPT.  Here are the ones that she showed as an example of what she made out of her pattern:

I thought they were cute and it is cool because you can use whatever colors you want to make them.  I used a variety of scrapbook paper to make mine and plan on using them on the doors to the bathrooms that are in my classroomroom.  Here they are:

The best part about it is that the pattern is easy to use.  Although, I have a hard time cutting on the line, so it took me longer to do than it probably should have.  :-)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday - Fretting

Hi there! I almost forgot it was my turn for the wisdom post (Kristi and I take turns). Too much unstructured summer relaxation, I guess. No worries...I had the perfect quote in mind. Take a look:
I don't know about you, but I had to read that again...and again. Then I had to admit how true it is! Ouch!
Fretting (or worrying) really does stem from me wanting to get my own way. For example, the last thing I was "fretting" about was our horse, Cosmo. My way was that the horse would be fine, and we would not have to tell Harley it was time to put him down. Thankfully, that is how it ended up (for now), but fretting about it certainly didn't help anything.
I don't think I am a 'worry-wart,' but there are times when I start to worry. After reading this quote, I can see that those times are fueled by my determination to get my way. When I worry about my family, it is always because I want them to be fine and everything to turn out okay. As for school, I will sometimes worry about getting things done so that all will run smoothly. Or maybe I will worry about a situation with parents because in the end, I want them to like me and feel like I'm doing what is best for their child.
The reality of it is that things are not always going to go my way and fretting doesn't help my situation. It only causes me to feel anxious and perhaps lose sleep! Please tell me I'm not alone here.
But what good is that? Why not leave it with the Lord?
Here's one of my favorite verses...and I think I need to remember it even more after realizing what causes me to worry and fret!
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I Peter 5:8
Thanks for stopping by for:

Have a blessed day!

P.S. I'm super excited!! Just ordered a planner from Plum Paper Designs...and I'm loving Jamberry nails (and I only have one sample nail done on each hand)! I'll show off both sometime, I'm sure. :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two for Tuesday Means Lucky You!

Good morning! It is bright and early here in sunny Kansas and I have no idea why I am awake. After staying up entirely too late just to finish posting my Robot pack for Monday Made-It, I should still be enjoying the comfort of my bed!

Lucky for you, I'm not though. :-)

As I sat down to enjoy my coffee drink, I started blog stalking and was reading about all the great 50% off deals in the Two for Tuesday linky. 

Then I had an amazing (and crazy) idea...

Why not put our new Robot pack on sale for 50% off?
If you don't like robots, don't worry. There is another item 1/2 off too!

Well, to be honest I can think of a lot of reasons why I shouldn't slash the price on this pack by that much...and so began the following internal battle:

It is definitely one of the most time-consuming projects I have undertaken. 

But it could be a small token of appreciation for our followers.

It is a huge pack. 

But it could be a reward for our followers who actually see the sale and like robots.

It is editable.

But it could make someone's day.

Fine. Just do it!

So here's the scoop, our Robot Theme Pack is 50% off today only. Hop on over to our TPT or TN store and snatch it up!

Now for those who haven't fallen in love with those little robot faces, we have something for you too. 

Our most wish-listed item!

It is an I Have...Who Has..? game.

Are you surprised?

Yeah, me either since we have a ton of them.

Anyway, head on over to TPT or TN and grab the vowel diphthong (ou, ow) game for only $1. 


Only $1!

Don't forget to check out the other great deals at The Teaching Tribune.

Happy shopping!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Made-It - Robot Cuteness (FREEBIE)!!!

Several months ago, I purchased this cute robot pack from Graphics From the Pond. I fell in love with those little robots, but at the time I really didn't know what I planned to do with them. Sadly, they sat in my graphics folder...lonely and dejected. Every time I thought of creating something, the robots were calling, "Pick us! Pick us!" 

Okay, not really...but that is what it felt like!

Last week as Kristi started talking about her plans for all the owl cuteness she was making, I decided to give a robot theme pack a try. If you've followed us very long, you know we have made some mini-theme packs before - baseball, football, sports, frogs, and a more general colorful pack. We kept them know? 

Well, these robots sort of took over my life last week and I came up with a not so mini-theme pack. Take a look:

I may have gotten a little carried away, but I was enjoying it! I made the full-color version, then decided some people might not want to use all that colored ink so I made a less-color option. Then I decided editable was the way to go and made almost the entire pack editable too! Call me crazy...I know. Anyway if you're interested in the robot theme pack, you can hop on over to our TPT or TN store.

What theme pack would be complete without a cute calendar to go along with it? You can grab this 2014-2015 calendar here for FREE (TPT) or HERE (TN)!

Next up...I'll be tackling the music room I ignored all last year. Some of you know I moved schools last year, and I worked really hard to make my 2nd grade classroom my own. By the time I finished that, I had no "want-to" left for the sad little music room. I'll post some before pictures soon...

Be sure to link up with Tara. I can't wait to check out all the Monday Made-Its!

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop-Assigned Line

We have linked up with Fabulously First:  Bright Ideas Blog:

I remember my first year of teaching first grade and how it seemed like every time we lined up to go somewhere there would be an issue of cutting etc.   So, I decided that it was time to make an assigned line.  I made an order for the kids to line up every time they lined up and that was it!  No more cutting etc.  It took a little while for the kids to remember where to stand in line, but eventually they got it and it became one of those routines.  Since then, I have always done an assigned line and love it.  I love the fact that it was so simple to do.  

If you haven't checked out the Bright Ideas Blog hop, make sure you get over there to check it out because there are some awesome ideas on it!  

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday-God's Will

Welcome to another week of:

Oh boy do I have a bad habit of worrying about things and trying to plan for stuff.  If I would just let go and remember that God has it all under control and he knows what is best for me, then things would be so much easier.  So, I am trying to remember this quote and every time I begin to worry or feel like I need to plan something in my life, I'm stopping to pray for God to do his will in my life.  That sounds a lot less stressful to me.  

Hope you have a great day!

There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.  Proverbs 19:21

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hurting for Cosmo, Church Camp, and VBS (here we come)!

This is Cosmo. 

His name is actually Dusty Doc Jack on the paperwork, so I have no idea where Cosmo came from. He is 28 years old. A friend gave him to my daughter two years ago.

Harley on her first ride after we brought Cosmo home.

Me and Cosmo
When we first got Cosmo, he was a strong and healthy horse. Everyone was amazed when they found out how old he was because he certainly didn't look or act his age. Our goal in letting Harley have him was so she could learn to care for a horse, and Cosmo is the perfect learning horse. Nothing spooks him. He is patient with her (and us). He also has quite a fun personality...playful and always talking to us when we're outside.

Last summer Cosmo foundered. If you're not a horse person (that would be us before researching it), let's just say it is not good. He seemed to "bounce back" though not completely back to normal...meaning we weren't likely to see him running around the pasture. About a month ago, he had another "episode." Again, he seemed to bounce back. A couple of weeks ago, he was back to his old self...playing in the water with Harley, "griping" at her to feed him, etc. It was such a relief to see him on the mend again.

Now the old guy has hurt his hip. The vet seems to think he is going to be okay. He likely slipped in the mud and pulled a muscle. I was thankful for that diagnosis. We're all preparing ourselves for the day we are told...well, you know... I never dreamed I would become so attached to a horse!

Okay, enough about Cosmo...

We spent the last week in the mountains of Colorado with our church youth group. I'm happy to report that the egg crate thingy helped - I slept much better this year (aside from being cold the first couple nights). It was nice to be away from distractions and focus on the Lord!

We got home around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday. I slept until 3 in the afternoon trying to catch up on my sleep. Thankfully, my mountain of laundry is almost done. 

Now this evening we kick off Vacation Bible School! That will make this week go by quickly too. I'm trying not to think about how June will be over before I know it!!! 

Have a great week!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Too much excitement for me!

Well, I'm pretty proud of myself because I have been working on my summer bucket list.  I have had my garage sale, visited family, and attempted working on the backyard landscape.  By attempted, I mean I began but had a little bit of an emergency during that time.  I was all ready to tackle that backyard and my cat (who is an indoor cat), but loves to go outside with us at times really wanted to go out.  So, I brought him with me to the backyard.  As I'm working he is supervising me as you can see in the photo below (please ignore the disaster of a backyard-remember I'm trying to work on it).  

I continue to work checking on him now and then.  Then I see him walking off so I go to see what he is doing.  He goes over to the fence and climbs over it into the neighbor's yard before I can grab him.  The problem with that is that the neighbor has a big dog that is very nice but hasn't been around cats.  UGGGHHH!!!  

Neighbor's dog

I panicked as I was trying to decide what I should do.  You see my cat is used to being around our 2 lovely Siberian Husky dogs shown below.  They have been trained to be nice to him, so he thinks that all dogs are kind and nice.  

Our Siberian Husky dogs that my cat is used to being around and has this idea that all dogs are like them.  

I looked into the backyard of my neighbors and my cat was just walking around the yard like no big deal and I see the dog off to the side sleeping.  I knew that my neighbor wasn't home, so I went back to her backyard to try and distract the dog.  I was playing with him and trying to get him distracted with a toy while I thought I would be able to swoop over and gradually grab my cat.  Not the case, he spotted my cat before I could get to him and off he went chasing my cat.  My cat ran and tried to get out of the fence (instead he hit the fence and bounced back), hissed at the dog and ran way way way way up in the tree.  My cat has never climbed a tree in his life so I guess his instincts just kicked in (which I was glad that they did).  

High in the tree-didn't get the full picture of the tree, but it is over 16 feet high because when I got our 16 ft. high extension ladder out it wouldn't reach him.  He was probably another 10 feet higher.

Meanwhile, you could imagine my panic as I'm running around in the backyard trying to catch my cat and keep him safe.  Now, another problem, my cat was way up in the tree.  I got ahold of my neighbor to see if I could get her dog out of the backyard so that maybe my cat would come down (there was no way he would come down with the dog there).  Luckily, we have nice neighbors and she was fine with it.  So, I got the dog out of the backyard and tried to coax my cat down.  He wasn't budging.  I called my husband at work still panicking and wondering if the fire department would come get him down (I figured he had never climbed a tree before and probably wouldn't be able to get down by himself).  My husband tried to calm me down and tell me that he would probably come down when he was calmed down and to just stay and wait by the tree.  So, I waited and waited......3 1/2 hours cat began to meow like he wanted to come down but didn't know how to get down.   Finally, he climbed down halfway and then stopped where he was at and of course I still couldn't reach him.  When my husband got home, he got the extension ladder out and climbed up to rescue him.  So a total of 4 hours he spent up in the tree and I spent waiting for him to come down.  Needless to say, I didn't get my backyard done, but I was so glad that my cat stayed safe.   I believe he got a little stressed as well and was relieved when it was all said and done, can you tell? 

Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wisdom for Wednesday - Encouragement

Well, hello there. So glad you stopped by for a little...

This week's quote comes from Rest Stops for Teachers compiled by Susan Titus Osborn. I actually had a story published in her similar book, Rest Stops for Busy Moms (years ago). Both are designed to give you a short, inspirational and uplifting read.

Anyway, take a look:

This quote was included in the book alongside a story about how one teacher taking the time to be an encouragement to an at-risk student completely changed the course of that young man's life. As teachers, we have that same opportunity each and every year, student after student. Let's be sure we are not too busy with the "stuff" of teaching that we miss out on giving the gift of encouragement to our students.

Now let's think about encouraging others...beyond our students.

If you read my summer bucket list, you may remember I've been working hard to finish a devotional book. The latest chapter is on being a willing servant to others--you could even say being willing to encourage others. 

Yesterday as I was writing, the Lord really worked on my heart as I considered who I am most willing to serve (or encourage). Too often I will stay in my comfort zone of family and friends. I'm quick to reach out to them when they are in need or to find little ways that I can brighten their day.

But what about the people outside my circle of family and friends? Do I look for ways to be a blessing to them?

Jesus certainly ministered to all people when he walked on this Earth, even spending much of his time reaching out to those who had been rejected by others. 

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men...
Galatians 6:10

Just a little something the Lord is making me think about...

Have a blessed day!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Made-It - Mesh Wreath, Seasoning Mixes, and Chicken Flautas!!!

Good morning! I'm so excited to share the fun Kristi and I had at our Pinterest party last week! 

We invited some of our teaching buddies and tried some things we've seen on Pinterest. I thought linking up for Tara's Monday Made-It would be the perfect way to share the things we made! Check out her new buttons (if you haven't already) as you scroll along. Too cute!

First we got a little crafty and made some wreaths (inspired by this pin and tutorial):

It was a lot of fun (once I got past the perfectionist in me)! Here's how our wreaths came out:

Kristi is still going to paint her T, but other than that hers is complete. She is actually switching from frogs to owls in her classroom this year. I'm excited to see the cuteness she comes up with for her new room (a little envious...)!

And then there is mine...which was supposed to look Dr. Suess-ish. I need some more embellishments that we didn't have available. I'm hoping for something for like this:
This PIN just links to the picture so I have no idea who to give credit to...
When I get it finished, I will post another picture. Kristi insisted that I had to share mine even though it wasn't complete! ;-)

The next thing we did was make some seasoning mixes. I'm sorry I forgot to take pictures of this part! It was a mess, I can tell you that! Ha! Our recipes came from One Good Thing by Jillee. Everyone went home with S.O.S mix, taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, and onion soup mix. I can't wait to try them all out!

It was a little crazy and pricey getting enough spices for all of us...if you try this at a Pinterest party, I'd suggest maybe not making so many kinds of mixes. Even with everyone bringing a spice to share, we still had to get quite a few on our own.

Everyone also brought a Pinterest inspired dish to share. I made these baked chicken flautas from Spoon Fork Bacon. Yummy! I doubled the batch and had some for supper too. I would definitely make these again--would make a good lunch even when school starts up again!

There was a lot of great food (sorry I don't have all the pins and links)! We had watermelon cake, goat cheese grapes (delicious--who knew?), apple dumplings (made with mountain dew), Smores dip, garlic hummus and chips, layered chocolate chip cookie cheesecake, and a broccoli cauliflower cheese salad.

If you haven't tried a Pinterest party yet, I say go for it! We all had a great time! ;-) 

Have a blessed week! 

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