13 in '13

Has another year passed this quickly? How can it be?
I'm linking up for the "Year in Review" post that I've enjoyed now for the third year of my blogging experience. Third year linking up?? Can it be?

I really wanted to stick with the 13 prompts as specified by the post, but I think I'll stick with 13 of my favorite memories instead.  My TV favorites/ food favorites/ etc. haven't changed since last year.  I'm boring that way.

So here goes...

The year began with

In February, I was named my school's Teacher of the Year.  Little did I know at the time what that adventure would become :)  After a few months of work, I was also named my county's Teacher of the Year. 

The adventure continues because I just finished my application for the State Teacher of the Year.
It is such an honor (and one that still shocks me to this day) to represent my county.  I am truly humbled by the entire experience.  As I just recently told my principal, "I'm just a regular gal who puts her pants on one leg at a time.  I was just lucky enough to be chosen."
It was quite the year for my family, too.  My lovely daughter turned 16 in June.  This is a picture from her Spring Formal in May.  Where, oh where, does the time go?

Her 16th birthday was truly a "Sweet 16" :)

It was a fun night with her friends!

My son had a memorable year, too.  Here he is whitewater rafting with his dad in June.
While they were on this little vacation, I was enjoying some alone time at home.  My daughter was in France at the time, and I was able to just sit/rest/act like I had no responsibilities.  It was like being 20 again!  Ha!  I also traveled to North Carolina with these lovely ladies for a workshop with Laura Candler!  (Complete with a stop at South of the Border!)  We had a blast...and yes, acted like we were 20 again :)
I also enjoyed not one, but two blogger meet ups this summer:
This picture is hijacked from Ginger's blog- Ginger Snaps- She's one of my absolute favorites!! 
I got a new car!  Well, new to me.  And yes, it's a convertible.  Hey, wait....am I trying to be 20 again?  I see a pattern here.
I was able to knock something off of my "bucket list".  I've heard that I shouldn't call it a bucket list because I'm much too young to have a bucket list.  Instead, we are to call it a life's checklist.  Whatever you call it...this was a good one to check off.  Thanks to my friend Beth :)
And, what year isn't complete with out a little Josh?  Not once, but TWICE people. Magical.  And...and...the first one was the DAY.BEFORE.SCHOOL.STARTED.  What, am I 20 or something?

Not the best pictures on my iPhone, but....
The second Josh Groban concert of the year also included one of my other favorite things:
It was a magical whirlwind of a vacation.  Complete with my two favorite things (Josh and Disney).  That's my partner-in-crime, Beth, in the middle picture.
While on that trip, I conquered a major fear:
This was major.  MAJOR.
I traveled to my cousin's wedding in Denver and was able to stay with my brother and his family.  I sure miss seeing my nephews grow up since they are so far away.  (I don't have pictures of this to show...instead, I'll share with you my travel attire.)  I bought this sweater from Old Navy because my students just love the song.  Don't yours?
During Thanksgiving break, my sweet husband surprised me with a trip away for just the two of us.  We went to Atlanta and shopped, ate great food and stayed at the Intercontinental hotel in Buckhead.  It was wonderful.  Check out this drink menu at the Bourbon Bar in the lobby.  {PS...as a side note:  I just googled "Intercontinental Lenox" in Google images and my picture below showed up. Interesting.)
My son started Social Dance this year.  As one door closes for one of my kids, the same door opens up for the next child.  Sarah loved her time with this dance group (beautiful picture of her in the white dress above.)  Now, it's my son's turn.  Here he is getting ready for his first class.
And here we are at the Christmas Dance.  I'm dressed up because my husband and I are chaperons:
Here are the three of us:

This happened.
My husband I and went to a Dave Chappelle concert a few weeks ago.  It was amazing. However, what was more amazing is that we spent an hour backstage with him because my husband knew the opening act.  He went backstage (with me in tow) to congratulate him and we ended up talking to Chappelle for over an hour.  It was awesome!  He was so down-to-earth.  Great guy!
My beautiful children~I am so thankful for such wonderful kids.  I can't believe how quickly the time is passing right before my eyes.  Here's to 2014...a year of even more adventures and wonderful time with family and friends.

(And I hope a little more blogging, too.)  I know I've been a little scarce lately, but I have been trying follow what my One Little Word would be if I had followed the original prompts:  BALANCE.  I'm trying to find balance in my life and one thing had to go on the back burner and that was blogging.  Here's hoping that in 2014, I can get back into the swing of things and blog a little more.  Thanks for everyone for sticking around during my little "blogging slump".  Anyone with me on this one?

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year!

Remembering Every Day

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School.  We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children.  We honor their memory with our service.  Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

All during this week, please promote the RAK on social media.  Use the hashtag:  #love4SH

Five for Friday {On a Friday!}

I'm here on a Friday night watching some TV with my family, and ready for some Christmas activities and fun plans for the weekend.  Joining Doodle Bug's again for this fun linky:

If you keep up with me on Instagram, you might know what I've been up to lately.  And if you don't follow me there, please do!  It's easy to upload and share a photo...and a lot more to actually sit down in front of a computer for a blog post.  Follow me {here} on Instagram.

Anyway...here's my break down of my week.

Last weekend, my husband and I drove over to Atlanta for the weekend.  We spent two nights at the Intercontinental at Lenox Station.  This above picture is from the restaurant in the hotel, Southern Art.  I felt so *fancy* finding my drink on an iPad!

I've been printing up some cute little station activities for my kiddos for December.  I love this little game from my good friend, Tara.  Head on over to her blog to read more about it!  My kids are going to love this game next week!
Our elf arrived this week!  She's watching out and making sure we are doing what we need to be doing these last few weeks before break.  I love how she helps with motivation in the classroom. This note was left to tell the students that we were spending our math time creating some cool Gingerbread glyphs.  I found the gingerbread glyph from Sunny Days in Second Grade last year.  Check it out, {here}.  I'll share pictures of our glyphs soon.
Yesterday was a pretty scary day.  I got a call over the intercom at around 12:45 that I had a call from my son's school.  When I answered the phone, I was told that he had fallen and hit his head.  He wasn't acting right and they would feel better if I would come and get him.  Well, of course!!  I called the pediatrician on the way and they told me to go straight to the ER.  Long story short, he suffered a minor concussion.  He was acting so weird and it really scared me.  He couldn't remember what had happened. Then, as the afternoon progressed, he could tell me a little bit more and then a little bit more, etc.  Not fun...as you can see in the picture.  He is fine now.  But, we stayed home today so that I could keep an eye on him and look for signs of getting worse.  Praise the Lord that he didn't get worse.
Finally, I just finished my application for State Teacher of the Year.  I can not tell you how humbled I am from this entire experience.  I really am just a normal girl who puts her pants on one leg at a time. This honor could go to a million other people in my county who are exceptional.  I was the lucky one chosen.  And, I am so incredibly thankful.  I posted this picture above on Instagram with the following comment:

"Feeling blessed that I can even post this picture.  All of my #teachersfollowteachers and #teachersofinstagram are inspirations on a daily basis.  Thank you for making me worthy of the application.  It is because of blogging and sharing ideas that I have become the teacher I am today.  Thank you!"

I know I've said this before, but you totally make me a better teacher.  Thank you to each and every one of you who spend time reading this blog, commenting and sharing your teaching experiences.  I am a better teacher because of you.

Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and read all about everyone's week!

Thanksgiving and a Sale :)

First off, I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!  I have so many things to be thankful for this year and every year.  I am very thankful for your friendship and for the inspiration you all give me each and every day.  Thank you for being a part of my blogging community :)

Are you a Black Friday or a Cyber Monday fan?  I love both.  Last night, we braved the crowd at Target.  Today, we are headed to the mall for even more fun....

If you are anything like me, you have shopping cart full over at Teachers Pay Teachers.  But, what about the items you need for Monday?

Save 20% at Fun in Room 4B
Thanks Kinder-Craze for the button :)
I'm loading up on a few items I need for Monday right now.  Luckily many shops are having this same sale early. I'm actually having mine all weekend long.  Then, joining the fun on Monday and Tuesday for this sale!

Thanks Creative Clips for the button :)

Monday, you get even more savings with the added discount from TpT!

Happy Shopping :)

Five for Friday...I'm Finally Back!

Hi, everyone. It's been a rough couple of weeks.  Too much to do and not nearly enough time.  Is anyone with me?

I'm finally rejoining the Five for Friday posts.  It's been a gazillion years since I was able to link up. Well, maybe I exaggerate a little.

If you keep up with me on Instagram, you might know what I've been up to lately.  And if you don't follow me, why not?  It seems like that's about the only thing that's *somewhat* consistent in my life right now.  It's easy to upload and share a photo...and a lot more to actually sit down in front of a computer for a blog post.  Follow me {here} on Instagram.

Anyway...here's my break down of my week.

Last Saturday, my Josh Groban and Disney Partner-in-Crime (Beth) and I drove to Orlando to see Josh Groban and then go on a marathon Park Hopper excursion across The World.  {Our trip was hijacked by two other friends, too.  They didn't do Josh, but joined us at Disney World.}  Beth and I combined our two favorite things into one trip and our heads didn't explode.  We survived and the memories are amazing!  This makes **ehem** concert #8, we think.  We've lost count.

Disney!  18 hours of non-stop excitement.  It was amazing.  This picture is one of my favorites.  The castle is so beautiful this time of year with the extra lights.
We are working on division concepts this week.  Long division stinks.  Who's with me?  We are plugging along working so hard.  I'm so proud of how hard all of my students are working.  We broke up in partners today to review.  These girls were working so hard they didn't even notice me snap a picture.

I just love listening in on the conversations between my students.  When they are helping each other, they are so cute.  I also love the way they describe the math to each other.  We've been using some of the flipbooks that I created last year that was in my Division Lapbook Pack.
My girls really loved the chevron division symbol from Ashley Hughes @ The School Supply Addict :)

A few weeks ago, I signed my class up on the Adopt A Classroom website.  It's a lot like Donors Choose, except that I didn't have to submit a project.  I simply signed my class up and was going to explore how to get donations later.  This week, I received an email from Adopt A Classroom that JCPenny had awarded my classroom $100.  That's awesome considering I didn't really do ANY work at all.  Have you signed up for Adopt A Classroom yet?  What's stopping you?  It's so easy.  It literally took me about 15 minutes.  That's a lot of money for only 15 minutes, don't you think?
Finally, I just love the way my Dum Dum Tree looks on a Friday afternoon.  It totally cracks me up.  Well, actually it doesn't.  It's an eye-sore.  My students love it, though, and that's what matters.  My students earn fuzzies for good behavior, answering questions, participation, etc.  At the end of the week, they can trade in two to go to the Dum Dum Tree.  I don't call it that, just so you know.  I also have other rewards (passes, treat box, etc.), but my students just LOVE this tree.  About 15 of the Dum Dums have a color on the end of the stick.  If they pull one with a color, they earn a bonus trip to our treat box.  The reason all of the Dum Dums are on my desk is because I don't let them eat these.  They have shorter sticks so that they will fit in the Styrofoam ball that creates the tree.  They pull their Dum Dum, see if it has a color, then pick a different Dum Dum from a box.

If you'd like to read more about my reward system, you can read {here} or {here}.  

Well, that's it for this week.  I hope that I will stay more current with this blog.  It's so tough this year for some reason.  How about you?  How's your year going?  Are you busier or less hectic than last year?

Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and read more link ups!