Sunday, January 27, 2013

Groundhog Love

I am obsessed with Punxsutawney Phil! I love this groundhog!

If I had a bucket list, meeting him would be on it! =)

So, I am totally bummed this year that Groundhog's Day is on a Saturday. We are also having Art Day on our campus this Friday. I am not sure when I am going to squeeze in all of our Groundhog's Day Fun but I WILL!!!!!!

Last year, Phil sent us a package that we had to open on February 1st. We read this non-fiction book about groundhogs.

Check out this book here.
I was able to grab this book several years ago for $5. =)

In the package, we also had groundhog riddle puzzles, materials for our prediction craftivity, goodies for a groundhog snack, and many, many more things.

Here are some songs and videos we will be checking out this week. =)

Here is a prediction chart we will make.

a cute poem and craft

Here are some groundhog math *freebies* from me. =)

If you already grabbed this, download it again. There was a boo boo! =)

And nothing makes learning more fun than a snack! =)

Good Golly Groundhogs...I am so excited!!! =)

If you have time, I would love for you to leave me a heart note. =)

From My Heart to Yours,

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What to Say....

Do you ever feel as if you have to have just the right thing to blog about and post?

I have been struggling about what to share this past week or so. I cannot believe it has been 2 weeks since my last post. I have written about 10 posts in my head and even started a post on tattling that I want to share but....

We have been testing. Listening to a few kiddos that read a page long passage at 16 words per minute is lots of fun. Right as they are about to reach the 3 second miscue rule, they say the word. BUT, I am beyond proud of how they did. =)

We have done some fun math activities but I forgot to take pictures.

Grades and report cards have happened....I hate grading papers.

I have several packets for TpT that I cannot seem to finish.

I found out another loved one has cancer.

The weather in Texas goes from 75 to a high of 32 in in about 2 days....I have a desire to hibernate when it is cold.

I just seem to be in a funk.

Then, I saw this:

I think I feel as if I still have a hard time trusting myself about what to blog about. There have been times I know God placed a message on my heart to share. There are still times I have worried about what I have shared.

Today our message in church was about our words. It is always amazing how God puts us where He needs us when He also knows what we need to hear.

I was reminded today to not forget the power of our words.

At the beginning of school one year, we did a team building activity as a campus. We were told to remember something hurtful that someone said to us. When then thought of something, we wished we had heard. We then got in 2 inner and outer one. The person standing behind us whispered those wishful words in our ear. We then moved around the circle until each person had whispered those words in each person's ear and we then switched the inner and outer circles.

It seems we all had longed to hear similar words and almost none of those words had anything to do with our outer appearance or how smart we were. We had wanted to be told we were important, cherished, valued, and worthwhile. We also realized how it was easier to remember those negative and hurtful words.

Have you ever heard what might be considered kind and sweet words delivered in a sarcastic tone or even by someone you are so used to hearing speak in a mean, bully voice? It is easy in that moment to be judgmental and think to ourselves that we would never speak to a child that way. But you have to remember and think about how you are only hearing a snippet of their conversation but in that moment impressions are made and conclusions are drawn.

I know there have been times I wish I could not only take back what I said but take back the tone of voice I used. I try and apologize to my kiddos when that happens but I know there are times I might not even realize I have hurt their heart.

Our words can be mirrors. They not only reflect our hearts but the can also be the ever present image of God in our lives...a reflection and light for others.

It is easy to let the pain of hurtful words cause us to not respond in kindness and patience. How we react to our kiddos teaches them how to react to others.

When you walk onto your campus, you are a mirror that others are looking into. What do they see? 

From My Heart to Yours,

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Bloggy Heart

I am not here today to share with you expert advice or wonderful bloggy tips. To be honest, I still do not really know what I am doing after reading the blog posts from Erica and Christina. When I read those posts, my brain was saying RUH ROH....and then I felt like throwing up!!!! We will get to my mistakes in another post. =)

Here is where I think problems are coming from...just my little ol' opinion, so please keep that in mind. =)

99% of us are here because we love our job and want to do what is best for our kiddos. We then hope that we can somehow touch someone else and help them out too.

For many of us, blogging is fun but also scary. Put us in a room full of little kiddos and we are at ease. Put us in a room of peers and colleagues that we think might be judging us and it is almost like high school all over again. A 6 year old will be honest and tell you that you look pregnant or that your hair looks weird BUT at the end of the day that still love you and think you hung the moon.

As new blogs pop up on the radar every day and new and creative activities are added to TpT stores hourly, we can start to see things as a competition. It is easy to have our focus shift and we sometimes forget why we started blogging. Everyone has their reasons and I think it is good to remind ourselves of that often.

I think when we blog about what is happening in our classrooms we often feel vulnerable because our classroom is where our heart is. Inviting someone to come in and take a peek around is what we do each time we share a blog post. I am not sure about you but I HATE having people come watch me teach. I know I am VERY hard on myself and then I start worrying about what others think...we are talking about passing out, ulcers, and vomit!!! I need to consider hanging this at home and in my classroom. =)

For a long time, I was scared to show my heart when I blogged. I played it safe by sharing *freebies*. Although *freebies* are great, I know that is not what I work to bring and put into my classroom each day. I know I will never be the blog that shares cute anchor charts. I'll leave that to Cara and Abby...and many more other fabulous artists. =)

I had to stop and ask myself Why am I blogging? How do I want God to use my blog? and What glimpses of my heart can I share?

I started thinking of my blog as a heart map. What are the parts about my classroom and teaching that I love the most?

I think when you find those parts you are ready to take that risk and start blogging from the heart. We fall in love with the funny hearts, the creative hearts, the crafty hearts, the inspiring hearts, the smorgasbord hearts....there are all kinds of bloggy hearts out there. Be courageous and share YOUR heart.

Think of this with all people God brings into your life...

I am honored and humbled each time you stop by. 
I am blessed and touched by each heart note that you leave.

God has put YOU where He needs you.

From My Heart to Yours,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Calming the Storms

I went up to school today hoping the Room Fairy had performed miracles and gotten everything cleaned and ready for me. She must have gone back to the North Pole with Jingles our elf.

I actually think my room was dirtier than before I left...

But that could be because too many days in my pajamas has made me a little slow to process what reality looks like when I leave the house.

I am sad to say that I am not sure what all I acomplished??!!??!!

On my drive home, all of the tears I have been holding back came flowing out. This is not good for a 25 minute drive home when it is getting dark outside. I thought at one point I might have to pull over because I was crying so hard.

2 people I love very much are dying. My heart is breaking. When I see my 3 nieces beginning to understand what it is like to lose someone you love, it makes my heart break even harder.

Although I have a sense of peace because they are believers, that doesn't make things any easier.

I love my kiddos and our sweet School Family. I have tons of ideas and activities I am ready to do with them...but then a memory pops into my mind and my heart breaks and the tears come then becomes not where my mind or heart is.

My grief and hurting hurt will go with me on Monday morning. It is not something I can leave in the car before I go inside. Our kiddos are like this too. They cannot leave their problems at home. They follow them into our classrooms each day. These problems often are not shared with us in big heart to heart talks. These problems and worries show up in other ways. We have to be ready to listen. One of my favorite thoughts from Conscious Discipline is Our children are either extending love or asking for love.

We don't understand and will never understand tragedies and sad times. God calls us to lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Him.

God hears our prayers...He might just have a different answer to them than the one we want. In the broken times, God is working on our hearts...when we lean on Him, we can have the strength to make it through the storms.

When I am going through hard times or I am praying for others going through a hard time, I always think of this song. I think God uses us at times to help Him calm the storms.

Remember, we all have storms we face...especially our kiddos who won't have their raincoats and umbrellas to tell us to look out. We don't have to pretend to be strong for them. They need to know that regardless of what they think we don't have superpowers...our hearts break too.

Treasure your little ones on Monday. Hug tight and hold on to your loved ones. Be there for others through the storms of life...wipe the tears and the rain. Remember God's promise of the rainbow.

From My Heart to Yours,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year...No More Chicken...and a Sale

Where did 2012 go? As I get older, the years just seem to blend together. When I think of all of the ways God blessed me in 2012, I have no words.

I am linking up with Farley. I think this might be my 4th linky party...I am really not sure. Linky Parties scare me. I LOVE to stalk them but talking about myself scares me to death. I HATE any attention that is put on me. I will never be a bubbly, out-going teacher. Calm and quiet seems to sum me up.

BUT this year, I am going to try and not be such a chicken!!!

I am going to TRY  and put myself out there more CHICKEN!!! =)

I am sure I will be back SQAUWKING and BAWKING in a month but I will try better to not be afraid to share more about me and what God has called me to do. =)

I want to give a special shout out to Cheryl at Crayons and Curls. Sweet, sweet Cheryl has been a friend of mine since the bloggy beginning. She was a winner of my very first give away last December when I still had less than 150 followers. She is such a blessing to me. She helped me today not be such a chicken and helped push me out of my comfort zone. If you have not stopped by her blog, hop over there as soon as you can. She is such a sweet, Texas blessing. I know you will love her too! =)

I am holding my breath as I post this Currently....

How can you not resist this???

He is so cute! He hops around my feet in circles until I pick him up. =)

One of my New Year's resolutions is to not be a chicken to post more on TpT.
I feel like throwing up just typing that!!!
I am very excited about what I am working on right now.
I hope they capture the magic I love to bring into my classroom. =)

I think the last time I did a Currently there was an OLW...and I think I did FROG then also. FROG will always be perfect for me. I love frogs because frog stands for Fully Rely On God.

I meant to post this earlier.
Since I didn't, I have extended the sale in my store until Friday. =)

Thank you friends for being such a blessing to me in 2012. I hope you have taken something from my blog back to your classroom that has been helpful. I love when I hear my kiddos talk to each other about being a helpful heart. I have always tried to blog from my heart. I hope God continues to put on my heart what He needs me to share.

From My Heart to Yours,