What's Up Wednesday

Hello there!

I'm linking up with Shay over at Mix and Match Family to bring you What's Up Wednesday!

1.  What We're Eating This Week:

Well . . . nothing healthy, that's for sure.  When I'm on summer vacation, any kind of normalcy goes out the window and we don't do our usual make a weekly menu/grocery shop on Sundays/stick to to the menu for the first half of the week and fall off the bandwagon the second half of the week.

Personally, I've been eating a lot of Chick Fil A and cereal.

2.  What I'm Reminiscing About:

This one is hard for me because I have no clue.  So then I start thinking of things that make me happy and now I'm reminiscing about summertime as a kid, Disneyland with my family, that yummy dinner Steve made last weekend, and last night's sleep.

3.  What I'm Loving:

I had breakfast with my mom this morning!  Loved the bagel, the latte, and the conversation!  I also randomly ran into Hadar there so it was a stellar morning! 

I did not love the pigeons that kept flying near us and walking by our feet under the table.

At one point, one flew so close to me I could swear it whispered, I just want one sesame seed from your bagel, just give me one, surely you can spare one little sesame? and we had to go.  The look on my mom's face when that pigeon flew by my head made me shriek a little.  I mean, my hair blew.  As if it was windy.  But it was a pigeon.

4.  What We've Been Up To:

I've been working on school stuff and Steve has been working in the garage.  Really.  That's been our life.  And we drink wine while we do it.

5.  What I'm Dreading:

Setting the alarm a week from tomorrow for our first staff meeting. It actually makes me feel a little ill . . . seriously. 

6.  What I'm Working On:

I'm working on all things school.  Planning.  Prepping.  Creating.  Making.  Laminating.  Cutting.  And getting other people to do these things for me.  

I have five more Welcome post cards to write and then I will have finished my stack of 32.

7.  What I'm Excited About:

See #11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8.  What I'm Watching/Reading:

Let's just say how happy I am that Kaitlyn chose Shawn and not Nick.  

But I feel like I need to run my body through the car wash after watching this season.  Either that, or watch Bachelor in Paradise.

Steve and I are watching Big Brother.  We are addicted.

And I'm reading The Luckiest Girl Alive which is taking me forever so I don't recommend it because I'm obviously able to put it down.  And I only like to recommend books that you can't put down.

9.  What I'm Listening To:

Currently, I'm listening to Teen Mom in the background.

Yes, I have issues.  We have been over this.

And, as far as music goes . . . the Taylor Swift station on Pandora.  I love it all.  ALL.  

I really do believe I am a teenage girl.

10.  What I'm Wearing:

Earlier I had on white jeans, a Loft top, and Toms.  But that's just because I had breakfast with my mom.  

When I got home at noon, I promptly put my pjs back on.  It's a thing.  

11.  What I'm Doing This Weekend:

Steve and I are meeting my twin, Kerry, and her husband, Robert, in NEW YORK CITY!!!

We have a ton planned and tickets to all kinds of things, plus a show . . . it's going to be a busy whirlwind of a weekend, but I can't wait!  WOOHOO!

12.  What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month:

Um . . . feeling comfortable with the class that I haven't even met yet and feeling like the first day was a distant memory and I'm already in a routine and everything is just normal and fine and not this anxious feeling of who will be in my class and what will it be like and I am so nervous I could pee.

13.  What Else Is New:

Not a whole heck of a lot.  I'm doing laundry and packing today.

What's Up Wednesday with you?


BTS Sale!

Happy Sunday!

I wouldn't necessarily say that I have the Back to School blues.  But I have a bad case of holy cow I report back in less than two weeks and the kids come two weeks from Tuesday and how did I get here, it was just summer, I know it was just summer, I remember it!

Slowly but surely, I'm getting back into school mode as I prep and laminate and cut, and get others to prep and laminate and cut for me.  My team is getting together on Monday for some planning, too.


In the meantime, I've also been filling up my cart on TpT for things I want/need/must have for back to school.

So, if you're like me, and you're trying to get ahead of the game, several of us at Freebielicious are having a two day sale to help you out with that.

I'm not going to have a commercial.

I hate commercials.

But I just wanted to say really quickly that I was able to finish a back to school pack of Reader's Theater for Kinder Kids and Advanced Readers (featuring Murphie and Milo).  And I updated my back to school Beginning Readers pack with new fonts and borders and I made sure to put the word under the picture clue this go around (it really really really bothered me for some time now that the word was next to the picture).  I recently prepped and laminated all mine and some former students are cutting them out for me.  

They need hours for community service.

And I'm the community.

And I'm in need of service.


And besides all of that (I mean, how busy can I be?), I was able to bundle these up!  Several people have left questions in my store asking me to bundle my Reader's Theater and I wasn't able to due to technical difficulties . . . but I finally got those issues fixed (meaning several of my besties kept telling me to send my packs to them saying they would do it for me which is kind of embarrassing and makes me look like I am technologically ridiculous so I had to buy Adobe Pro in order to look smart and do it on my own) so hooray!  

I'm not all that great with math, but I'm already offering the bundle at a 20% discount, and then you get another 20% off with the sale . . . so I'm thinking you can get 3 packs of plays for well, subtract the zero   borrow from the something  You can get 3 packs of plays for dirt cheap.


Have a happy Sunday!!


Freebielicious Mega BTS Giveaway!

Happy Saturday!!

I'm not doing my usual Five for Fraturday post because the girls and I at Freebielicious are having a giveaway instead!

Freebielicious would like to thank you for joining us for a week of linkies!  We had so much fun and appreciate you taking a few moments to pop in and see what we had to say!  We also have a bit of a surprise to share with you! How about a chance to win some money to spend at TeachersPayTeachers?  It won't take away any or all of your back to school blues, but it is sure to sweeten it! 

Head over to the Freebielicious blog to enter!  And hurry!  You will have to be quick because it's not going to last long!  You'll want to be sure to head back early tomorrow to see if you are one of the lucky winners!

Good luck, everyone!!!! 



Fun Friday

Happy Friday!!

Today is the last day to link up with Freebielicious . . . and let's all take a moment to notice that I blogged every single day this week, as well as did an abs workout every single day this week.

Oh, yes I did.

Once again, I found myself thinking very hard about this topic of having fun in the classroom, and not just on Fridays.

And I thought of a couple of things right off the bat.

1.  Music

I use music all day long in my classroom.  I use an old iPhone as if it was an iPod and it is loaded with playlists.  I am constantly adding new playlists as I find new songs.

I am a *HUGE* HeidiSongs fan.  HUGE.  Not to mention, I know Heidi in real life and she knows me so that makes me special.


The sight word songs keep getting better and better and better!  They work great for transitions because a) we are singing which cuts down on talking and b) we are learning and c) they're short enough that they don't take up a lot of time.  

I also have songs from Jack HartmannIntelli-Tunes, Dr. Jean, Have Fun Teaching, Harry Kindergarten, etc etc etc. 

If you aren't using music in your classroom, I highly recommend it!  It's hard not to smile and have fun when music is playing.  Besides livening up the atmosphere and making our classroom a fun place to be, we are also LEARNING.

Sometimes, I just sing on my own.  With no accompaniment.  That's called a cappella if you didn't know.  And I know because back in the eighth grade, I auditioned for Show Choir (think Glee) and I made it.

I was an alto.

One of my favorite songs to sing a cappella (which I recently learned is actually on a Dr. Jean cd that I do not have) is Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree.  Not to be confused with the ones that are always jumping on the bed.

Click {HERE} to find out how I use this song as a transition trick.
You can also download your own copy.

2.  Loosen up.

I want to say that I run a tight ship in my classroom.  

And by that, I mean that I have routines and structure and I teach rules and respect, etc, etc, etc.  I would say I have good classroom management . . . if someone asked.  I wouldn't just say it for the sake of saying it.  

Once, a parent volunteer said she loved the way I ran my classroom, and she said I should teach a class on classroom management.

To which I replied, "Did you not just see me have to send everyone back to their seats so we could try coming back to the carpet correctly?"

And she said it was the way that I did it, the way that I spoke to my kids, the way they responded to me, etc.

So I don't know.

But in saying that I run a tight ship, I also want to say it's a loose tight ship.

I have fun.  My kids are six and seven years old.  They're kids.  I want them to have fun every single day.  I want to make them laugh.  I strive to make them laugh.

So . . . if my class is working quietly, and you could hear a pin drop, and I feel bored by it all . . . because it's just too quiet, I might  yell out:


And ruin the quiet classroom environment.

Because that's how I am.

Everyone cracks up, they say, Mrs. Oldham, you scared me!  Mrs. Oldham!!!  Stop doing that!  Mrs. Oldham, you're so funny! and I just laugh and laugh and say I wanted to make sure everyone was awake.

I basically do this kind of stuff all day long . . . I tend to ruin a perfectly quiet classroom.  I just can't take it for very long.  I'd rather hear the buzzing going on . . . and I know I might be in the minority, but it's true.

I try to put myself in the kids' shoes.  So, for example, let's say I'm in a staff meeting.  And I've been quiet for twenty minutes or so, just listening.

And then our principal says to break up into groups and do the task at hand (whatever that might be).

We, as a staff, start buzzing.  It gets a little loud.  Not out of control, but busy.  I'm so happy to be with whoever is at my table, and I'm so happy to be moving and talking and working because I'm not sitting still and having to be quiet anymore.  

And I'm a grown up!

I think.

So I try to think of that when I send my six and seven year old kids back to their table groups to work on an assignment.  

And yes, I get that some kids need a quiet learning environment or they become easily distracted.  I get that.  I take that into consideration, believe me.

I'm just saying . . . if you come visit my classroom, it's probably only going to be so super quiet during a test of some sort.

And I might yell Boo! during the middle of it.

Because it's fun.

And that's just how I am.

And it works for me.


Throwback Thursday

Well . . . today's linky with the Freebielicious girls is Throwback Thursday.  

And, um, well, I accidentally did three Throwback Thursdays yesterday.  When it was Wednesday.

Aren't you glad I know my days of the week?

So . . . I thought really really really hard and I found a Throwback post that happened to be part of a different linky and it has a freebie!

It's a linky within a linky.  I sure hope I'm not breaking any blogging rules with this.  

Oh, what am I saying?  Wait just a gosh darn minute.  I was on a blogging panel, for heaven's sake!  I make the blogging rules, don't ya know.  I'm the judge and the jury and I say a linky within linky goes!

As you can see, I've definitely let the fact that I was on a blogging panel go to my head.  Look what happens when you give me a microphone and sit me on a stage behind a table .  . . 


Without further ado . . . 

It's all about how I use Table Captains in my classroom.  I will most likely start this the second week of school because it is a huge time saver.

Click {HERE} to read more about it!  

I have to put on real clothes again today.

I have a marathon of a day happening.

1.  I'm going to the dentist.

2.  Then I'm meeting another friend for lunch (I'm all about lunching on summer vacation).  We are going to a place called The Melt and it's all about grilled cheese sandwiches with fries which is also what I'm all about so today is all about what I'm about.

3.  After that, I'm going to my parents' house, hanging out, and then going to dinner with my family for my mom's birthday.

Obviously, I think it's very important to have your teeth cleaned when you're going to be eating out twice in one day.

Consider that my little Public Service Announcement for the day.


Wonderful Idea Wednesday

Today's linky topic with my Freebielicious girls is . . . 

Three ideas came to mind right away . . . but I've already blogged about them.

So then I tried to think of something new.

And I couldn't.  Because I'm still in summer vacation mode and any thinking beyond should I have another cup of coffee or turn the channel is just too much.

So I'm going to show you some pictures of my "wonderful" ideas and then link it to past posts so you can re-read them or . . . if you're new here (I have no idea why I keep thinking new people might be here - are there?  are you new here?), then maybe you'll get a new idea!

I love the Quiet Creature.
And so do my kids.
Every year.
Read about this idea {HERE}. 

Save your voice.
I actually got new wind chimes as a gift from a student
at the end of last year and they match my color scheme!
But I didn't take a picture of them.  
Anyways, read more about this idea {HERE}.

I know there are a million and one ways to organize centers.  I know.  But this has made my life so much easier.  I can't even explain how much easier my life is.

Okay, I'll try.

The fact that I have not made any new center labels for any new centers, or looked for new clipart to match the new center, or tried to find an unused tub or basket, or tried to find space for all my tubs and baskets that are not in use is so unbelievably freeing that I could do a dance right now.

Except dancing would take too much energy so I'll just smile on the inside.

Read about this idea {HERE}.

Today I am going to shower.

I am meeting one of my besties for lunch.

So now I have to shower and wear real clothes.  I know she wouldn't care, but the public might, so here I go.

Wish me luck.


Tell Us About You Tuesday

I'm linking up with my girls at Freebielicious again today . . . and talking about one of my favorite subjects . . . 


But what in the world do you not already know about me?  


I'm just going to act like some of you are new here and know nothing about me . . . and for those of you who already know everything about me, we'll just pretend that you've forgotten and you'll think Oh, that sounds familiar, yeah - maybe, well it doesn't matter, I'm just so glad she told us again because that is a fun fact or very important to know.

So here we go!

1.  I like to number things.

2.  I have taught first grade for eighteen years which makes me sound old . . . because I am.  But I still feel like I am sixteen years old inside my head and I often wonder how I got here in this place where I have a career and a car and a mortgage and I don't live with my parents.  

That was a little tangent.  I often take tangents, too.

I have never taught anything besides first grade.  I know.  That makes me lucky or crazy.  I have only taught in two schools and I've been in my current school for fourteen years.  I love it!  I work with some of my best friends and really feel like my school is my second family.

3.  I am a Believer.  I love the Lord and He loves me.  He loves you, too!

4.  I've been married to Steve for almost 18 years, but we've been together for almost 24 years.  He is very very very good to me.  You can read about him {HERE}.

Yes, this picture is grainy.
That's because it's from the olden days.
We had to sit for it while our portrait was painted.
I joke.
I kid.
But it was taken with a camera in which you had
to go to the photo place and drop off the film
and then hope and pray that when you got your 
pictures back your eyes were open.

We haven't changed a bit.

5.  We have one fur baby, Murphie.  She's a girl, but most people think she's a boy because of her name.  I had the name before I had the dog so there you go.  Murphy became Murphie.  She's a rescue and now a popular character in my Reader's Theater for Advanced Readers packs.

Being a celebrity is hard work, don't ya know.

My girl.

Truth be told, I didn't want a girl because our other two dogs (Foster and Sydney) had two very distinct personalities.  Foster, the boy, was just a gentle giant and loved everyone.  And Sydney, the girl, only had eyes for Steve.  Which made me feel left out.  If Steve wasn't around, Sydney had time for me, but even that was kind of pushing it.

I was afraid if we got another girl dog, she would just be Steve's.  And I knew I didn't want two dogs this time because it's a lot of work and I'm old, as I said before.

But then we got Murphie.  And she became my dog, somehow.  And now Steve is the jealous one.

Life is funny.

6.  My parents just celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary!!!!!  I love them both so much.

7.  I have an older sister, a twin sister, and a younger brother.  I love having siblings!  Here's almost all of us (nieces, nephews, etc) a couple of years ago. My twin is standing next to me (we're fraternal) and my older sister is directly behind her and my younger brother is standing next to my dad.

It was Christmas and, apparently, I'm the only one who got
in the spirit.  Either that, or I was the only one in my pajamas.

8.  I love to read and  I love to write.  I'm putting those two together because I found out I loved to write through my love of reading. When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, my mom and I would go to the library together and I would check out seven books, read one book per day, and then start all over the next week.  

I wrote a whole book in the seventh grade.  In pencil.  

9.  I am a reality TV junkie.  It is horrible and I should be ashamed.  I kind of am, but not enough to stop watching.  It's a personal problem.

10.  I was born in California, but did most of my growing up in Texas and Oklahoma.  I love Texas and Oklahoma.  A lot.  I say I'm a Sooners fan but, let's be real, I don't understand football and never watch it.

11.  I am not athletic.  In any way, shape, or form.  I am not athletic.

12.  I am not a fan of country music.  Don't kill me!!  I'll listen to some of it, but it's not my favorite.  

13.  I like my printing, but not my cursive.  

14.  I hate grocery shopping.

15.  I am 4 feet 11 inches.  Or 4 feet 10 3/4 inches.  Give or take.  Here or there.  My driver's license says 5 feet.  It's not like I'm ever driving around barefoot.  Hardly ever.  So.  Anywho.  

Like I said, I'm five foot even.

16.  I pee a lot.  A lot a lot.  I can't make it through the night without getting up to go.  I have never been able to make it through the night.  I love hearing when other people also suffer from this.  It's a syndrome.  It's called Teeny Tiny Bladder Syndrome.  

17.  I do not like my food to touch.  I especially can't stand it at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner when my roll gets into green bean juice or gravy.  

18.  I love wine.  Any kind.  Sip sip.

19.  Beetles, specifically June Bugs, freak me out!  They're out in full force right now and I cannot relax when we take Murphie to the park.  Once, while eating lunch outside at a Subway, I hit one with my purse when it got too close.  I nailed it.  POP!  And then I had to go finish eating inside.

20.  I like to talk and laugh a lot.  A lot a lot.

Okay, I think twenty things is good enough and you probably stopped reading by now anyway.

So goodbye.


Let's also pretend that I couldn't find any more pictures to go with any more of my facts rather than I just got tired and didn't want to look anymore.