Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 for '13 - Happy New Year!

I can't believe that 2013 is almost over. It's been quite a year! I am excited to link up with Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten and Traci from Dragonflies in First for their annual year in review. :-)


This year, my favorite new piece of clothing is something I thought I would NEVER EVER EVER NOT EVEN ONCE try on, let alone purchase.

This person is skinny...but I am not and I LOVE skinny jeans.
Did you know you don't have to be SKINNY to wear SKINNY jeans?? I think I am behind the times because my friends kept saying that I would love them but I thought they were crazy. But...I LOVE them. They are so comfortable. And pretty cute.

I know this is one that a bunch of people have said, but I have to agree:


I thought this one was the far better of the two movies...


I loved this show so much and I was so glad to have Netflix to watch it! I learned some things.

1. I would NOT do well in prison. Not. At. All.
2. See number 1.

This is not the restaurant that we go to the most, but they just reopened after moving locations and being closed for about a year! They have the BEST homemade spaghetti and meatballs. And garlic knots. And spicy marinara. And garlic bread. Shall I go on? 

Scuba diving!!! Best experience of the year, for sure. :-) I know it's cliche, but I think diving may have changed my life.

'Nuff said.

Recipe for Chicken With Creamy Mushrooms
I LOVE this recipe. I would eat it every night if I could. We like to cut the chicken up into chunks and then mix it up with some mini bowtie noodles - because how cute are mini bowtie noodles?

My post with the most views is this one:


This was the first product I posted in my TPT store...I love doing this activity with my kiddos. Hopefully, I can make it work for the third graders this year!

My favorite post is this one:


Can I say the same thing twice? Because learning how to dive was a pretty big accomplishment. So that's my number one.

My number two accomplishment is going to my very first professional conference out of state! My good teaching friend and I went to New Orleans for an NCTM Interactive Institute...it was such a blast! I learned a lot and I can't wait to go to another one.

Wow. This is a tough one for me! I have a terrible memory. My husband cannot believe all the things I can't remember.

But I think this is my favorite. I don't have a picture of it, so I hope I can describe it well enough.

Getting ready for our first dive in Cozumel was exciting, but I was super nervous. My stomach was in knots and I thought I might have a little panic attack coming on. The boat ride was smooth, but I felt like I was going to throw up. Even though the dive master explained everything, I was sure I wouldn't be able to remember it all when we got in the water. I also was sure that I wouldn't get my gear together right. Even so, we were getting closer to the dive spot, and I knew I was going in the water. When we got to the spot, I took a giant stride off the back of the boat and stated hyperventilating - but just a little and I got myself back together pretty quick.  We had a beautiful dive. We worked through all the hiccups and saw tons of underwater life. Pretty soon, we were low on air and ready to ascend to the surface.

As I pulled myself onto the boat, emotion took over and all the fear, excitement, panic and awe took over. Once I got seated, the tears started to fall. This is my favorite moment. The enormity of what we had just done completely overwhelmed me and I couldn't be in control of the moment. That doesn't happen to me very often. It was a moment I will never forget - and I will remember it each time we dive!

My goal for 2014 sounds simple when you say it, but I know it will be difficult.

I want to focus on what's important, and let all the little, insignificant, won't-matter-in-20-minutes-let-alone-20-years yuckiness GO. This goes for the classroom and my personal life. Life is far too short to worry about those little things! (I'm looking at you peer evaluators and end of year evaluations!)


WHEW! There you have it. Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Teachers of Instagram Linky!

I'm going to just come right out and say it.


It is my favorite social media place. So many pictures and SO easy to upload AND see what everyone is up to. I think my poor blog has suffered a little because of IG. I will try to be better - but IG is a pretty harsh mistress, people.

I knew I needed to link up when I saw (on Instagram of course) a Teachers of Instagram linky party hosted by Elizabeth at Kickin' It In Kindergarten! Because I love Instagram...did you forget???


So...here are my top 3 favorite Instagram pics!

Number 3 clip art

Doesn't it look like I was working so hard??? I totally was. Doing math. In the summer. Loved every minute of it. ;-)

Number 2 clip art


Sometimes, the littlest things make you super happy. Like this picture of my new shoes...love them.

Number 1 clip art

I love this guy so very much. Any picture with him makes me happy! Plus, he doesn't let me put him on IG very much, so this was a win!

If you aren't on Instagram, you better get over there and sign up! If you are, you can follow me if you want! My name is @craftofteaching.

Go link up and share your name and your pics so I can find some more great pics to see!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Year's Resolution Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I hope you are enjoying this lovely day-after-Christmas!

Hubby got to work from home today so I'm sitting here blog stalking and internet surfing while he works away...I'm also wearing my new monkey hat. How can you possibly go wrong with a monkey hat?

The Mr. looks pretty good in it too...

He's a good sport. A very good sport.
I'm not too good at sharing though, so the hat is back on my head.

I really just wanted to do a quick post about a fun giveaway that's going on over at Tailor-made Teaching! You might have seen my post on Facebook as well.


Britney has over 40 bloggers participating in this giveaway! Besides being able to win fabulous prizes (like Starbucks giftcards and amazing TPT products) you can read over all the participants' New Year's resolutions. She has it broken into grade level categories, and my part is in the 3rd grade section.


Head on over and check it out! Have a great day-after-Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Questionnaire!

I can't believe that Christmas is over! It kind of snuck up on me this year (read: I finished my shopping yesterday morning) and now it's gone in a flash. We had a great holiday!

Now we are sitting here in our cozy loft, having some adult beverages and watching reruns of some of our favorite shows. I thought it would be the perfect time to link up to this fun Christmas Questionnaire from Fabulous in First!


Hot Chocolate or Eggnog?
I'm definitely more of a hot chocolate kind of girl! Really, I prefer a mocha from Starbucks, but hot chocolate can be pretty great too. Eggnog is not my favorite holiday drink!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree?
When I was little, Santa always left the presents under the tree unwrapped. He still does that for my niece at my parents' house!

Colored lights or white?
Both!! I love them all! This year our outside lights are all different colors and the ones on the tree are white and purple. They make me SO happy!

When do you decorate?
Can I tell you a secret? No judging now... We don't usually decorate much, if at all. Most years, we are out of town for Christmas or spending it at other people's houses. But this year, we did decorate! The weekend after Thanksgiving, to be exact. We even set up the tree - from up above! My husband doesn't usually get into the spirit, but he knows how much it means to me, so he made extra special effort this year to have some Christmas cheer going on. I have been a happy girl! :-)

Real or fake tree?
We just bought our new fake tree this year. I love it! It's a little one, but it fits our house perfectly. And it was prelit with white lights!

What tops your tree?
Hmmmm. When we have set up a tree in the past, we put a silver star on the top. With our awesome new tree though, the star was too heavy. It was a little hilarious...every time we would try to put it on, it would bend the top of the tree down. So funny! We just decided to look for one while we were shopping around, but no dice this year. Keeping my eyes open!

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
My favorite Christmas tradition is actually when we decorate the tree at my parents' house. We always have my mom's cheese soup (delicious!) and then we listen to Christmas music while we put the ornaments on. The best part is seeing all the ornaments from over the years...we can talk about ones that have special meaning and which ones we remember making and receiving. I love it!

Disclaimer: I wanted to post a pic here, but I was threatened not to by my family members. So, you'll just have to imagine it.

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
I think my favorite gift was when I got a bike! It was cold and snowy outside, so my parents let me try it out in our basement. It was awesome!

Do you prefer giving or receiving? 
I absolutely prefer giving. I always wish I had unlimited money so I could get everyone that one thing they would love but will never buy for themselves. I inherited this from my mom...she's such a giving person! Every year, my parents' church donates Christmas baskets with food and gifts to several families at my school. It's a great program and so many kiddos benefit...one of my favorite days of the year.

 What is your favorite Christmas song?
I love Christmas songs!! It's really hard to pick a favorite, and from the minute Christmas songs start playing on the radio, I may or may not sit in the garage until whatever song is on finishes (and I finish singing along). But I would have to say my FAVORITE is "O Holy Night." Martina McBride has a beautiful version that makes me so happy!

Candy Canes. Yuck or yum?
YUM!!!! Have you seen these???

Ok, ok. These aren't my favorite, but WOWZA, I bet they pack a punch!

Favorite Christmas Movie?
Does "The Sound of Music" count as a Christmas movie? I'm saying yes. So that's my favorite. As you can imagine, there is lots of singing along. LOTS.

Do you shop online or in stores?
Both. But I always kick myself for not doing more online. Especially during that aforementioned Christmas Eve shopping trip...

Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card?
I guess I'm indifferent...I just like hearing from people around the holidays!

Sliding in just under the wire....Christmas Day is almost over!! Head over and link up...QUICK!

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's Friday...YAY!

Ever since Wednesday, I have been waking up and thinking it's Friday. So every day, I would wake up and think things like, "YAY, jeans!" or "Treats in the lounge today!" and then be utterly disappointed when it was only Wednesday. (This possibly also happened on Tuesday...)

But today it was REAL! Friday! So, to celebrate, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for


Dotty One Clip Art 

If you are a football fan (like me), you saw the horrible, horrible game that was played on Thursday night. My Broncos lost to the San Diego Chargers. To make it even worse, I. was. there.

 Freezing my butt off, but loving every minute. Except when they lost. I did not enjoy that.
In school related news, some awesome freebies saved me (and my third graders) this week!

Denise from Sunny Days in Second Grade has this amazing freebie in her TPT store! It's a fun (and education) filled packet all about winter/holiday words. They have to sort them into groups by syllable and vowel sound, alphabetize them, match them to their definition and even do a word search! They had a blast completing it.

Another great freebie came from Megan at I Teach. What's Your Superpower? Check out her blog post for a fun freebie. The kids make as many words as they can from different holiday words. They were so excited to make as many words as they could!

Let me tell you, these two ladies saved my word working bacon this week!
So...this happened.

I'm not really sure what else to say. This post is about random things, remember??? (Yes. I had one of these drinks.)

Balloons and confetti Number 4

Who else has been working on subtraction? This week we worked on comparing problems. We had to figure out the difference in the lengths of two different snakes. I loved the work these two did!

They used the cubes and then showed their work and wrote a complete sentence with their answer! They make my heart happy.

Number 5 Stand Up

Are you looking for some last minute activities before Winter Break? One of my newest products might be just what you need. Check it out in my store!


This one is a fun new freebie that would be perfect for the first couple of days back after break!
This one is a fun freebie for AFTER winter break!
There you have it -  a last minute activity AND one for planning ahead! :-)

Don't forget to go link up with your Five for Friday! Happy (actually) Friday!