Monday, October 12, 2020

Fall Scrapbook Pages

 It's been a long while since I've linked up for Inspire Me Monday, hosted by Create With Joy. It's a fun linkup, because people share so many different types of inspiration.

I was asked to be on the Guest Creative Team at Katie Pertiet Designs, so I've had lots of GORGEOUS digital scrapbooking goodies to play with. I'm here to share a few of my creations.

I started traditional scrapbooking in 1999. I have LOTS of scrapbooks from when the kids were little. I still like paper scrapping, but it involves hauling out all my stuff and taking over the kitchen table. Digi scrapping has supplies I can use over and over again.

Thanks for visiting!  Head over to Create With Joy to see other Monday inspiration.

If you are interested in trying digital scrapbooking, Katie Pertiet Designs has tutorials and freebies to get you started. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge Coffee Hour

Happy Wednesday! In case you were wondering, I've disappeared because I went back to school! I'm so busy! And tired! 

I have 11 students who come to school and 9 full-time distance learners. I feel as if I'm doing 2 jobs at once, and I have been logging the hours to prove it. But having real, live students in the room is SO GREAT. 

This week I am joining up with Joyce from At This Side of the Pond for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. She is amazing at coming up with questions for us. Click over to her blog if you'd like to join in the linky fun. 

 1. When is the last time you experienced nostalgia? 

I just experienced nostalgia on Saturday. My family and & I were out for a drive. Damion & I bought some sugar pumpkins and garlic. At the shop, sitting out on a shelf, there were some Hubbard squash. Near them was a sign that said, "Perfect for Pies". My dad ALWAYS bought Hubbard squash. I don't really remember for sure, but I'm fairly certain he used Hubbard squash in the squash pies he made each fall. I went through my old photos to see if I had a picture of a Hubbard squash, and I came across this gem from 2011. Seth is pointing at the Hubbard squash (the large gray one). 😊

 2. September 29th is National Coffee Day. Do we need this? Ha! So are you a coffee drinker? If so how many cups per day, and tell us how you like it. Is there a recipe you enjoy that calls for coffee as one of the ingredients? 
I am a big fan of coffee. Last Christmas, my husband bought me a coffee pot. I make between 24 and 40 ounces in the morning, and I don't share it either. When I typed the amount of coffee I brew, it sure looked like A LOT when written out in black and white.  I drink my coffee with 1% milk and no sugar. 

A friend of ours makes a coffee cake that actually has brewed coffee in it. He brings it to church potlucks. Here is a photo of our friend showing Gabrielle how to make the recipe. 

 3. Do you find praise or criticism to be more motivating? Explain. 
Both I think. I may smart a little under constructive criticism, but I do appreciate it. Even harsh criticism has its uses. If someone is right, then I try to learn from what that person has said (even if I might not like the way the person expressed himself/herself). 

Praise is motivating too, of course. It's always nice to be appreciated.

 4.  What's a television series you keep coming back to and re-watching? 
Reba!  I've recently started watching it again. My husband and I have also watched the seasons of Leverage more than once. 

 5. As the month of September draws to a close give us three words to describe your mood. 
Productive (I'm learning to teach in a brand-new less-than-ideal way. It is going okay.)

Thankful -- God is very, very good. I have far more than I need. And my family and friends are such gifts. My students seem eager to learn and to see me, even when it is only over a computer screen. 

Weary of things being weird in 2020. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I have a few memes to share that sum up my current reality! I'm not sure if non-teachers will find them as hilarious as I.  My colleagues and I have a 20-person group chat going most nights, and someone always shares something that makes me giggle!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Saturday Sum Up

Happy weekend! Thank you for visiting to read about my week. 

This week I went back to work! We had LOTS of training and did LOTS of prep so everything will be ready when students start Tuesday.

Next week, my students will show up. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I'll have ONLY virtual classes. On Thursday and Friday, I'll have my "cohort B" students. There are 11 of them. I also have 9 full-time distance learners in my class.

At home, I spent time washing all my work clothes. The crayon wreath was a gift from a student in June. I keep forgetting to bring it to my classroom! I also laminated new schedule cards. This is the first year that I've needed mask break cards. And hopefully it will be the LAST year I'll need them.

We started with our convocation on Monday morning. Usually, all three schools meet in the high school auditorium after a continental breakfast. This year...our meeting was in Google Meets. NOT the same, but it was nice to be in my classroom. A silver lining was that I could prep writing folders during the meeting.

The school has been readied. There are tents set up outside for mask breaks and outdoor lessons. Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and a few desk shields have been delivered to each classroom. There are social distancing spots all over the floors to help kids know where to stand. There are sanitizing wipes near all the copiers. My principal bought lots of cute signs to make all this craziness a little easier to handle. Our PE teacher dropped off recess supplies for JUST my class. My class is a cohort, and they are not allowed to mix with the other classes at recess. 

I got lots of odd looks at our local grocery store this week (Big Y). I stood in line with 12 reusable bags and nothing else. I used the bags to pack up many many materials for my full-time distance learners.  

I wrote plans for the first week. It was weird. Trying to plan for teaching in-person kids and distance learning kids at the same time was tricky. I figured it out though. (I think so anyway.... Next week will be the real test.) This image that my friend sent me sums up my feelings!
This hilarious video probably sums up how the PARENTS  are feeling. This year is super confusing!

My cat missed me this week! She is always glad when I get home.

Thank you for visiting! How was your week?

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge SECONDS

Happy Hodgepodge day!  Each Wednesday, Joyce at From This Side of the Pond shares creative questions to answer. Check out her blog if you'd like to join in the fun.

1. The Hodgepodge lands on the second day of a brand new month. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in September.
School for my students starts next week!  I'll be teaching remotely Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday I'll have 11 LIVE IN-PERSON kids plus 10 distance learners. 

Here are a few photos of the classroom. My kids came to help last week. The desks will be sanitized before students arrive next week. 

2. Do you enjoy browsing second-hand shops? Last thing you bought or 'inherited' second hand?
The only second-hand shops I enjoy are bookstores. There is one in our town that we visit. There is another about 45 miles away that we hit a couple times per year. We usually leave with PILES of books.

Here's a photo from 2017. 

3. Something you had second thoughts about after committing to, purchasing, or posting/commenting  online?
I tend to be very careful about what I post online. I rarely purchase items online, because I prefer stores. I have regretted setting up an Instagram account. For me, it's just too much. I've set up Instagram accounts 3 or 4 different times, and each time I deleted the account. Eventually I'll learn NOT TO GO THERE.

4. What's a product or service you use that you'd rate as second to none?
I have been loving Audible! I have a 40 minute commute, and I listen to audiobooks going and coming. One thing I love is that if I pick a book and find it inappropriate or boring, I can return it. 

Right now, I'm listening to this.
It's the sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop, which I loved. 

5. Something you do so often or that comes so naturally to you it's second nature ?
During the school year, I almost always get my clothes ready for the next day as soon as I get home. Then I can relax. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
I got up every day this week to exercise before work. Three days is not much of a streak, but I am trying to make it a habit. This morning, Herbie the cat was meowing loudly at me because he found it VERY odd that I was in the living room MOVING at 5:30 a.m. He isn't a fan of change. I had to cuddle him for minute after my workout to soothe his feelings. 

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Dog Days of Summer Wednesday Hodgepodge

 Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge, which is hosted by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. Joyce is a master at coming up with great questions. I encourage you to join the fun by hopping over to her blog

1. The Hodgepodge lands on National Dog Day this year (August 26th). Do you own a dog? Did you have a dog when you were growing up, or maybe some other kind of pet? Would you say you're more of a dog person or a cat person? Neither is okay too.) 😊

We do not have a dog. We all like dogs, but they require a lot of work and a lot of attention. We have 2 cats. They come with their own set of challenges. (Cat hair everywhere!) We probably like dogs MORE, but cats are easier. Our cats are quite lovable. Herbie (the gray and white) is also pretty quirky.
When I was a kid, I had a dog named Scruffy. He was just the best. 
This was taken in 1989. I was 18. Do you like my big poofy 80s hair, my rolled jeans, and my snazzy sandals? That's my first car, a 1984 maroon Ford Escort station wagon.
I was SO THANKFUL to have it. It was an excellent first car.

Here I am with Scruffy in 1980 or 1981. I was 9 or 10. 

2. Last time you felt 'dog tired'?
I'm not sure, but probably I last felt 'dog tired' about a year ago! The first week of school with students KICKS MY BUTT every year.  It's wonderful, exciting, and interesting but it requires SO MUCH talking and a great deal of mental energy.  Another problem is that I stink at staying on a normal schedule during the summer. I stay up too late during the summer. So when school resumes it's hard to start going to bed on time and getting up early.

I was also dog tired when Gabrielle was a newborn! That girl didn't sleep at night until she was 3 months old. She'd sleep all day and stay up ALL night. Seth was in kindergarten at the time.

3. It's said you can't teach an old dog new tricks. When did you last prove this idiom true or prove it wrong?
Well... I'm proud to announce that THIS old dog is learning a few new tricks. They aren't super impressive tricks, but I'm pleased. I've never been a video-game player, but lately I've been racing in Mario Kart 8 with my family. I learned to DRIFT AROUND CORNERS. And I hardly ever fly off the track now. 😁

4. A favorite book, television show, or movie featuring a dog. Why did you love it?
The book by Willie Morris is so well-written. I enjoyed the movie too, but not as much as the book. Amazon says it's a "classic story of a boy, a dog, and small-town America". That about sums it up! The setting is a small town on the banks of the Yazoo River in Mississippi, and the language and storytelling are beautiful. 

5. Last time you had reason to (literally or figuratively) exclaim 'hot diggity dog'?
I'm pretty sure I've never literally exclaimed "hot diggity dog".  I think I said it figuratively when I found out that I will be able to eat in the teacher's lounge this year! I thought I'd be eating in the classroom with the kids. I love my students, but a little break for lunch will be nice!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
We've had very little rain this summer, and my husband and I were saying that a week of rain would probably be a good thing.  Well, we didn't get a week of rain. We DID however, get a downpour just as my husband started grilling the other night! Right after he finished, the sun came out. I did NOT take a photo of my husband dripping wet. I didn't think he'd appreciate me snapping photos while he tried to save our dinner with water in his eyes.

Thank you for visiting! 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Saturday Sum Up

Welcome! Thanks for visiting today to read about what we've been doing lately. 

We continue to have outdoor, socially-distanced worship services. Here, my friend Janet and I got a bit closer than 6 feet so we could get a photo of the two of us with our matching masks. 

Speaking of masks, here are some new ones that I bought from my friend. School starts soon, and my classroom will probably be very hot and humid for at least the first couple weeks. I want to have enough masks so that I can switch out the sweaty one midday! (Too much information?  Sorry about that. 😏)

My friend and I have been praying together for a couple of decades. For the past several years, we've prayed over the phone. Now we sometimes use Zoom.  In the photo above, you can see lights in the background. My friend hung them up for our prayer date, since we usually would've been camping this month. Those lights NORMALLY hang in the shelter at our campsite. 

Last week we also had a get together on my friend's porch. She teaches elementary school music, and we spent some of our time sharing books we plan to use this year in our classrooms. 

I spent quite a lot of time in my classroom. I needed to pack away many, many books since there just isn't room for them this year. Currently, the plan is that I'll have 11 students in the room Thursday & Friday. I'll also be supporting 10 distance learners who will be learning from home full time. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays all 21 of my students will be participating in distance learning.  I'm still a bit fuzzy on how to support distance learners while simultaneously teaching the kids in front of me. I guess I'll learn as I go. This is uncharted territory! I feel a little bit like a first-year teacher, even though this is will actually be my 23rd year of teaching.  
I drafted some letters for my students and their families. I'm waiting to send them, because things may change again before school starts.  School was supposed to start for students on August 31st. Now that date has been pushed back to September 8th. (I'm not entirely clear on they whys of that decision. I'm just rolling with it!) 

My friend sent me this. It made me smile and say "yep" at the same time. 😁
I'll be back soon with more classroom photos. My room still needs some love. Right now, it's a little austere in there. 

Thank you for visiting!