12/31/12

New Year's Linky

Happy New Year's Eve!

What are you doing tonight?

I asked this on my blog last year and most of us were staying home and eating junk food.

We are going to a friend's house.  It's potluck.  But we're also having a blind taste test - in a Hell's Kitchen fashion.  I don't know anything about it because that is actually one reality TV show I don't watch.  I completely went down a notch in my friend's eyes, that's for sure.  Anyways, I'm not a fan of eating blindly.  I like to see what I'm going to eat.  

For example, if I see chocolate, I'll eat it.

If I see pasta, I'll eat it.

If I see a vegetable, I have to think about it.

If I see a sloppy joe, it's not happening.

Call me crazy, but I may just be watching this "fun" little activity unfold tonight.

Before the festivities begin, I want to link up with my good friend, Jen, at The Teacher's Cauldron



It's all about resolutions.  Personal and blogging.  And I only need to come up with one of each.

Well, obviously, my personal resolution is not to eat food blindly.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

My personal resolution is to react slower than normal.  Not with falling -- I will continue to catch myself as fast as possible so that I do not injure myself too badly, but with other things.  

I tend to react to situations very quickly.  If, for example, a friend tells me that we are having YET ANOTHER STAFF MEETING EVEN THOUGH WE JUST HAD ONE LAST WEEK, I tend to react quickly with ARE YOU KIDDING ME WE JUST HAD A STAFF MEETING LAST WEEK WHAT IN THE WORLD COULD WE EVER HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THAT WASN'T ALREADY SAID ON THE INTERCOM OR IN AN EMAIL OR IN A MEMO OR AT THE LUNCH TABLE?  And, THEN, after I have reacted so quickly and vented, it always turns out that my friend actually said LET'S GO OUT TO LUNCH TODAY BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T LIKE WHAT SHE PACKED AND COULD I POSSIBLY DRIVE BECAUSE SHE IS LOW ON PETROLEUM?

Yes, it's sort of a problem.

I need to use a Q-tip and react slower.

My blogging resolution is to figure out how in the darn world to get the whole "reply to comments" on my own blog.  I try to hop around from blog to blog and leave bloggy love whenever I have extra time . . . but I have never been able to reply to all of the wonderful comments on my own blog.  I tried once or twice to install that wonderful thing and then right before I saved it, it told me to be careful, I was going to erase all that ever existed on my blog and why in the world am I messing with it so I canceled out.  

I was afraid.

But I am determined to figure it out because I think it would be really polite of me to answer some of your questions and/or thank you for some of the things you say.

And, just for the record, I'd react sloooooowly before typing.

So that's that.

My resolutions.

Now let me read all about yours!

Link up with Jen!

And Happy New Year and All That Good Stuff, Too!

12/30/12

Thank You and Kindergarten Morning Work Winners

Oh, you people!  You friends and followers of mine!  I can't say thank you enough for all of your sweet comments and prayers and words about Sydney.  You made me want to cry and hug all of you at the same time.  Especially all of you who told me your own pet stories.  I would say let's take a moment and have a good cry session all together (BYOK - bring your own kleenex), but fourteen people in my family are about to get out of here and go to dinner.  It's not a normal dinner so I'll tell you all about it later.  

Thank you, sweet friends and followers of mine.  Really.  Truly.  Really and truly.

I'm sort of hungry so let's get on with it!  (I purposefully ate a chicken soft taco to tide me over until dinner and then I accidentally ate sixteen delicious onion rings so now I'm sort of full.)

Here are the 3 winners for the Kindergarten Morning Work pack!




Amy, Stacey, and Ronnie, check your emails!  :)

Everyone else:  it will be on sale for the rest of the day AND tomorrow!  

Thanks again, people.  You mean the world to me.  

12/29/12

Kindergarten Morning Work

Well, friends, yesterday was a hard day.  :(

We found out that Sydney has liver cancer.  There's nothing they can do . . . they gave her two weeks to two months.  We just have to watch her and assess her quality of life.  Right now, her quality of life is pretty high -- at least in my mind, it is.  Napping, eating, snuggling, going to the park, going for rides in the car, napping, eating, snuggling, etc.  Sounds pretty darn good to me (says the girl sitting in her parent's house with pajamas on).

Even though I know she can't live forever, my heart is heavy.  (And my eyes are sore)

I decided a trip to Ruby's and a chocolate banana shake was in order.  But then my niece, Madison, (visiting from TX) ended up with a fever . . . so we all just stayed home.  This meant I was able to finish working on the Kindergarten Morning Work.

(Don't be sad.  I got Ruby's today.  Now I am too full and can barely move.)

SO!!!  Brushing myself off and picking myself up . . . 

Actually, wait.

That just reminded me that I fell pretty hard today.  I was wearing an old pair of pajama bottoms and they are too long.

TOO LONG.  Unusual, huh?

So, over time, they have frayed and torn, and have inadvertently become quite popular by today's standards because I have made them into stirrup pajama pants.

And as I came down the stairs (with Kerry watching), my foot got caught in one of the stirrups and I couldn't bring my leg forward and so I stumbled/ran/lunged forward until I ended up on the first floor of the house in a stop/drop/and roll position on my right hand which caught me from hitting my face and breaking my teeth and glasses   gracefully leaped and danced onto the first floor like a gazelle in flight.

Kerry and I died laughing.  Mainly because I wasn't seriously injured.  And, also, mainly because everyone else was asleep and it's hard to laugh quietly when you have a bad case of the giggles brought on by people falling.  

I crack up when people fall.

Is that just me?

Okay, let's get back on topic.  My ADHD is particularly bad today.  It has nothing to do with the See's candy for breakfast and chocolate banana shake for lunch.  None.

I finished the Kindergarten Morning Work.  

So if you're one of the several  many  two or three people who asked for it, here you go!






Click on any of the pics above to download your 3 page freebie!



You can check it out {HERE}.  It's on sale right now!   

We are on day 3 of home movie watching . . . my hair no longer has a perm and I have contacts now . . . but my bangs are GIGANTIC and I have all manner of scrunchies . . . oh my.

12/27/12

Post Christmas

Hey people!

How was your holiday?

Mine . . . well . . . I mean, don't get me wrong.  It was great.  Really, really great.  

We just had a bit of a hiccup in the morning.

Sydney had some trouble.  We weren't really sure what was happening . . . just lots of fluid coming out of her that was not urine . . . but might have been . . . but it wasn't . . . it was weird . . .

She seemed "out of sorts".  

For example, she wasn't eating her treats.

That's a BIG SIGN that something is wrong because her diet basically consists of treats and hot dogs and, as a last resort, dog food.

Anyways, because the hubby and I do not have kids of our own, we are unnaturally attached to our dog.  When we say we adopted her, we mean it.  

So . . . to be on the safe side, the hubs elected to stay home and keep an eye on her while I went to my parent's.

Christmas at the parent's house was fun and loud and happy.  We opened presents and ate chips and dip, and See's candy, and fudge.  Then we had a big ole dinner.

We ended the night with home movies.  

Of this variety:



Ours was broken so we all chipped in and rented one all special-like for the holiday.

We have the projector for the whole week so we are watching a few movies each night.  This does not date me at all, I'm sure.  Everyone has their life (birth to 15 years old or so) on one of these reels, correct?  And you also showed which birthday you were celebrating by holding up fingers, right?

I really wish I could show you some.  

I keep yelling at the screen white sheet, "Somebody help that poor girl!  Get her some contacts!  Relax the perm!!"  

It took me awhile to grow into the beauty that I am today.  Wink wink.

In the meantime, Sydney has since had some blood work and is going for an ultrasound in the morning . . . it doesn't look too good since she is over 13 years old . . . so think good thoughts for me and then let's not talk about it anymore, okay?  Okay.

In the other meantime, I've been working on some Kindergarten Morning Work.  This is because several  many  two or three people have sort of requested it.

This is the format for January:


This is the format for February:


And this is the format for March:


You can check it out {HERE} or click on any of the pics.  :)

It's so hard to work when my family is here . . . and we have fudge, and See's candy, and Elf, and home movies . . . 

12/24/12

2012 Bloggy Best and Brightest Linky

Merry Christmas Eve to you!  

I'm still in my pjs.  I also just got a text from my older sister, Lisa, asking if I'm wearing pjs to my mom's tomorrow.  

I had to take a moment and think about it for a second.

Ha ha!  Yeah, right!

If she is, I am.  The End.  And if we end up taking a family photo, and we are the only two in pajamas, at least we'll be comfortable.

Tonight, I am off to church followed by a Mexican feast with the hubby's family.  It's tradition.  Tacos, enchiladas, tamales, chips and salsa, guacamole, and apple pie.

My twin and her kids arrive tomorrow!  I can't wait!  Her hubby is staying home to work so I feel a little bit bad for my hubby . . . I am trying to think of a toy that I can get him to keep him busy . . . 

As for right now, I'm linking up with Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for a fun little linky.




My 3 most viewed posts in 2012 were:

1.  I Don't Use a Clipchart.  Please Don't Throw Rotten Tomatoes.


No one threw a tomato, thank goodness.  The only way I'd appreciate that, ever, is if you whipped it up into salsa or bruschetta first.  And then, also, you'd need to throw a chip or a slice of toasted baguette my way.

I was really happy that a lot of teachers were interested in this "gold tags" behavior system and adapted it to fit their needs.  If you're trying it out, is it working for you?  Or are you ready to throw a tomato?



Well, seeing as how I just re-ran this post last week, I'd say we're all a little sick of it.  Not to mention, the hubs was super excited because they just released a new game or version or points or birds or towers or who knows and he won't stop playing it.  

It's another post on a management tool that I use in my classroom.

I'm beginning to wonder if you think I have control issues?


This post was all about having a Mystery Student to maintain order in your classroom.

Um, yes, it's official, I have control issues.

Or I am super concerned about control and management in my classroom rather than curriculum . . . 


Do you think this has anything to do with the dreams I have in which I have lost all control of my class, and an administrator or curriculum cop comes in at exactly that moment, and I start crying because my first graders have revolted, and I can't find the pause button on the remote control?

Or is that a normal dream for a teacher?

One of my coolest blog things this year was that I hit over 1 million page views on my blog.  

WOW.

I'm sure I account for 500,000 or so and my family accounts for about 250,000 or so, but STILL.  

Insert beaming face and puffed out chest (which has nothing to do with my actual chest size) here.

I always thank God for this blog.  I am so thankful for all of my followers and new (and old) bloggy friends and just the whole dang experience all together.  God is good.

So . . . with that being said, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with family and friends!

12/22/12

No More Vacay

Mini vacay is over.

Now I just want a Mini Cooper.

Anywho, we had a fabulous time.  How can you not have a fabulous time when you're on a mini vacay?

My favorite part was having lunch on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach.  This is the view from our "table":




This was our "table" (our very own firepit):





I could have stayed all day.  But the waitress kept looking at me funny every time I dozed off.

It was empty in Monterey and Carmel.  EMPTY.  Especially compared to all the people here doing all the last minute shopping.  I don't get it.  I thought I was the only one who waited until the last minute . . . but I just went to Best Buy and the line was out of control.  OUT OF CONTROL.  And I contemplated getting in it because I could read blogs and FB and look on Pinterest while standing in the line, but seeing as how I wasn't in my PJs, I just couldn't do it.

My family will be fine with IOU's.  

At least, I think so.

So then the hubby and I thought we could stop by Ulta (beauty supply store) for some fancy shampoo/body wash that the hubby likes, and THAT line was insane, too.  So see ya.  Hubs has to use Head and Shoulders and Zest and call it a day.  I said I'd mix it up for him.

Seriously, though, Monterey was amazing.  We'd like to make it an annual trip.  We'll see.

I slept two nights in a row for 12 hours while we were there.

I watched an $18 movie from the hotel bed because it said it wasn't out yet and still in theaters.  (That's a lie.  I just saw it listed on my Pay Per View for $5)

We did the 17 Mile Drive, the aquarium, (which was also empty so I didn't have to push little kids out of my way to get up to the glass) Carmel, the Wharf, and Clint Eastwood's old restaurant which I loved for the Artichoke soup and the fact that we were sitting next to a fireplace in this atmosphere:


On the way home, we went to Hearst's Castle.  That was a little Ho-Hum.  

Here's why:  two summers ago, I went to the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.  When you go to the Biltmore, you get to wear a headset, make your own jokes, go at your own pace, and partake in wine tasting if you feel like it.  (Yes, we felt like it.)

At Hearst Castle, you have to go with a guide who makes her own terrible jokes, walks super slow for only a 45 minute tour, and there is NO WINE.  Even though you're practically in wine country!  I am currently drafting a complaint letter.

When we finally got home, I slept for another 12 hours.

I wonder how long I'd sleep if I went on a Major Vacay? 

12/20/12

Firebirds Re-run

People, I'm still on my mini vacay.

I'm sure I'm having an amazing time.

Who am I kidding?  I have no idea what I'll be doing because I'm writing this on a Monday from my bed . . . as you can tell, I'm not good at scheduling posts.  I tend to write in the moment so I'm sorry if this all just sounds cheesy.  I can't do it.

Yuck.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the Angry Birds re-run.  In looking through my old posts, I found the next re-run for you because it mentions Angry Birds in it, and I had forgotten all about it.

The title is Firebirds and I think you might like it.  I actually enjoyed re-reading it.  But that's just me.

Click {HERE} to read it or re-read it.

I'll be back live on Saturday.  I think.  It's in my plans, anyway.

Have a great day!

12/18/12

Mini Vacay

As you all know, I'm off for three weeks.

The hubby and I are taking a mini vacay before the holidays hit (and before my twin and her family come because when they get here, I will ignore him pretty much 99% of the time).

We will be staying here.


I know!!!!

Let's all jump up and down for me!!!

It's in Monterey.  By the time this post goes live, we will almost be there.  We only have plans to eat, drink, sleep, and repeat.  Everyone says they hope the weather will be okay for us (there's lots of talk of rain) and we keep saying that we don't care.  We're not going so that we can get a tan (although that actually would be nice).  We're going so that I can get a massage.  Duh.

We will be gone until late Friday so I have cheated scheduled a couple of re-run posts for your reading pleasure.

I looked through my archives and I have located the first one for you.

The title is Angry Birds and I'm going to get it going in my classroom after winter break.

Click {HERE} to read it or re-read it.  :)

Hope your day is going as good as mine!  :)

12/17/12

Christmas Cards

I'm out for my three week vacation.

Ordinarily, I would be jumping for joy.  Well, first, I'd be sleeping in, rolling out of bed at my leisure, having some coffee, watching some reality re-runs, and then I'd be jumping for joy.

But . . . with everything that happened in Connecticut on Friday, I almost feel . . . bereft at not going back to school today.  That's the only word that's coming to mind.  

I then wondered if I had the right word so I looked it up, just to be on the safe side.  

Bereft:  deprived of something; lacking something needed or expected

That about sums it up.

But I'm constantly reminding myself that it's not about me.  It's not.  

However, I take solace in the fact that, if you're reading this, then you are most likely a teacher, or you actually know the real me, in which case, you know why I can't stop thinking about those twenty first graders and six adults.

Rather than try to explain it, talk about it, say something more eloquently than another, or impart some words of wisdom of which I have none, I'm just going to do what I try to do best on here.  

I do so with the understanding that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm not trying to minimize Friday or act as if nothing has happened.  I am sad.  I am praying almost constantly for God's comfort upon those families.  And all of us.  And for every teacher and child that went to school today, and for every parent that had to let their child walk through the doors without them.

I'm just going to do what I try to do best on here.

________________________________________________

Over Thanksgiving break, I wrote out our Christmas cards.  Last year, I took a picture of Sydney and had photo cards made.  She looked really, really, really cute.  Dog-Of-The-Year-Cute.

I didn't think I should do another photo card of our dog this year.  I thought people might think I'm a little over the top when it comes to my fur baby.  Is it so wrong to take your dog to Rome with you on your 10th wedding anniversary?  That's what I thought.

Instead, I bought some cards from Target.  Just to be on the safe side.

And then, I sat on the couch and wrote meaningful messages inside each one.

Okay, not so much meaningful as much as quick and easy.   

I pretty much wrote a variation of, "Wishing you all the best this season and in 2013."  And then I signed it, "Love, Hubby and Kristin".  Although, I actually wrote the hubby's name because he has an actual name, but I'm just not saying it on the blog.  I have no idea why.  It has nothing to do with the fact that he tells me every now and again not to talk about him on my blog.  He prefers his life to be private.  

Obviously, opposites attract, right?  (And nobody tell him I've put a few pics of us on here, either . . . )

So, anywho, I stuffed all the envelopes, stuck on the address labels with the cute font, and licked them all shut.  For real.  I washed each one down with a sip of wine.  I felt that was warranted.  Plus, if you ever watched Seinfeld, you know George's fiance died that way so I felt that the alcohol might kill any poison on the envelope.  I'm careful like that.  It had to be done.

Well . . . I couldn't put the cards in the mail because I had no stamps.  

And, people, there's no way I'm going to the post office for any reason.  NOT HAPPENING.  I'm lazy.  Now, if the post office also sold candy or chips or wine or dog treats or coffee creamer or clipart, I'd think about it.

The next few times at the grocery store, I forgot to ask for stamps at the check-out because even though they were on the list, who ever remembers to ask for them at the check-out?  Especially when they have candy and tabloid magazines there to distract you?

I finally remembered them a few days ago and finally got my cards sent out.

Crossed it off the list.  DONE.

AND THEN.

One of my non-teaching friends texted me.

This was her text:  We just got your Christmas card . . . Thx "Mrs. Oldham".

I was about to reply, "You're welcome" when I tilted my head.  Squinted my eyes.  Re-read her text.

Wait just a cotton pickin' second . . . 

Waaaait . . .

Slow motion in action . . . mouth opened wide . . . big gasp . . . intake of air . . . 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

I texted back:  Please tell me I did not sign it Love, Mrs. Oldham!!!!  PLEASE!!!

She replied:  LOL.  You did.  It gave me a chuckle.

Yep.  That'd be me.  A teacher through and through.

What are the chances that the rest of my cards are signed the same way????

12/12/12

12-12-12

Hey there!  I'm linking up with Simpson's Superstars today because of the whole 12-12-12 thing. 



Now, this is not in place of MY linky party with Hadar called 12 IN 12.  Our linky party is about the top twelve things in the entire year of 2012.

By the way, if you linked up to our party, I'm trying very hard to visit each and every one of you to say thanks, and read about all of your favorites.  It's just that every time I thank one person, 20 more link up.  So I'm a bit behind, as you can imagine.

I'm TRYING, though.  I promise!

Today's linky is about 12 pictures from today.


Here are mine.                             1.
Coffee, granola bar, bible, and prayer


2.
 
Staff Breakfast
Our administration and office staff do this for us every year before we go on break.  It was eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and fruit.  I had some bacon.  And a lot of conversation.  But as you can tell from the picture, our staff CAN EAT.


3.
The Lost and Found on Display
This cracked me up.  This is right outside my classroom.  One of our aides took the lost and found items out of the bin and hung them up so that all the kids could see the clothing on the way to lunch.  The aide said she made a lot of sales!  :)


 4.
Sports Day 
Go Dodgers!
(Thanks to my partner for taking the pic 
in her classroom during our lunch time)
It appears as if I have no eyebrows.
Do not fret.  I do.
I'm going to chalk it up to the lighting.
Or me slapping myself in the forehead because my 
kids won't stop talking already.
Anyways, please feel free to darken them in
with a crayon if you're worried.


5.
Reindeer Art Project
I have made these as cats before . . . 
First time as reindeer.
Super cute and fun and easy.


6.
 
Making S'Mores on the Patio for PTT
Yes.  We had a Staff Breakfast this morning and then we had a S'Mores party in the afternoon.  It's how we roll.  We like to eat at my school.  In fact, it was one of my interview questions.  Do you enjoy eating sugar and carbs and all manner of junk food?  I think we all know the answer to that.


 7.
Gifts for my 4th Grade Helpers
They test kids on sight words and math facts.
They file papers into the cubbies.
They sharpen pencils.
They staple.
They sort.
They organize.
They make me lunch.
They ask for more.
All for one starburst each day.


8.
I had to go to the grocery store after school for coffee creamer and that's all.  I hate going for just one item.  So I also picked up chocolate milk.  And Mike and Ike's.  And some pretzel chips.
They did not have the Cinnabon creamer.  
AGAIN.
I am going to need rehab soon.
I've got the shakes, people.


 9.
Package on the Doorstep
But it wasn't for me.  :(
Otherwise known as Big Let Down.


10.
Sydney waiting for me!
LOVE.


11.
A big ole storm is coming.
The forecast also says:  Precipitation 100%
I think we're having inside recess tomorrow.
Pretty sure.
But anything can change, right?
I mean, 100% could mean scattered showers.
Or sprinkles.
Or 100% for when we're in the classroom 
and then nothing at all for when it's recess time.
Right?


12.
The hubby went all the way up!
I usually have to convince him, but he surprised me.
Now, if only I could get him to outline the windows.
And the driveway.
And the yard.
And the trees.
And get three reindeer.
And a polar bear.
And a star.
And Santa.
And get it all timed to music so that we could be
 on the news and/or YouTube.
It's a dream of mine.

So there you have it.  My 12 pics on 12-12-12.  




12/11/12

Call me Grandma

Hey people!  I only have three days left until my three week vacation.  

Yes.  That's right.

We get out this Friday.  At 3:00.  Well, after the winter party.  And after all the sugar that we're technically not allowed to have so we have to bag it all up (or saran wrap it) and send it home, but in the meantime, all the kids have licked the icing anyway, and eaten the candy, and picked stuff up off the floor, so our no sugar rule is actually a technicality.

But I shall survive.  And then I shall be free. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to pretend that it's just a normal week.

Yep.

Also, I'm afraid of the Curriculum Cops.  You would be, too.


So today, we worked on contractions. 

This is the song I sing for contractions.  I don't know where I got it.  It's to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb.  I don't have it typed.  It's in my head.

I'm the first word, don't change me
Don't change me
Don't change me
I'm the first word, don't change me
No!  Leave me alone!

It's hard to sing the second part because it has too many words so you have to sing fast and don't take a breath, or it won't work.

In the second word
Certain letters are taken out
Taken out
Taken out
Certain letters are taken out
An apostrophe remains!

Please don't hold me accountable if it doesn't come out right in your classroom.  I do a combination of singing/talking/yelling/theatrics.  It's sort of a gift.

Then I pulled out the FREE contraction puzzles that Heather from Heather's Heart showcased last year.  


Click {HERE} to check them out.

And I'm pretty sure that I already talked about these before, too.  So we may be having a re-run post today and I don't even know it.

Yesterday, I was told that a student teacher in upper grade needed to come down to the jungle a primary classroom for some observation hours . . . and sure enough, I was chosen as a room for her to visit.

So I pulled out these contraction puzzles, and we played a game in which we had to find our partners, and then we played the game three times in a row.  IN A ROW.  

And I said, "Stop checking to see if your puzzles fit.  Start looking AT THE WORDS!" sixteen times in a row or something like that.  That's just a ball park figure.

And the student teacher never came.

Even though it was awesome.  And engaging.  And the room was buzzing.  

I shrugged my shoulders.  Oh well.  Whatevs.

I passed out the curriculum worksheet on contractions, and sent the kids back to their seats for independent practice, and guess what?

Yep.

In walked the student teacher.

She stayed about ten minutes and left.

I'm trying not to take it personally.

But then one of my girls had two things to say to me on the way to recess.

1.  "I'm almost as tall as you!"

(No - she's not, actually.  She has AT LEAST two inches to go.)

2.  "I think you're about the same age as my GRANDMA.  Yep.  Probably EX-actly."  Then she nodded her head and skipped off to recess.

I'm trying not to take that personally, either.

I mean, it's not my fault it was CRAZY HAIR DAY and I tried something different, is it???  I mean, is it???