Clean Friends are the Best Friends!

I’d like to introduce you to a new blogging friend I have. What’s so great about this blogging friend is she not only blogs, she lives right here in my hometown AND her son attends our school (and I may be lucky enough to get him next yearfingers crossed). I am so excited about her blog because I have a hard enough time finding blogger friends in Oklahoma let alone my own hometown. You can find her at Liz4fitness.
Now you may be saying Wait? What? She’s not a teacher blogger. Nope she is a nurse, fitness trainer, wife, mother, and she blogs beautifully about all of these things, so in a sense, yes she is a teacher. She has taught me so much already.
I came to know Liz better through Hadley. Hadley went to her for help with nutrition and her weight. Hadley came home so excited and encouraged I just had to know more. We spoke a little and then a light bulb went off. Professional Development! Liz was just what we were looking for! So I asked. She agreed. And wham! I am now looking forward to the dreaded PD days before school.
Today I was perusing Pinterest (that’s fun to say) and I came across a yummy looking recipe, but as yummy as it looked, even to my novice eye I could tell it was LOADED with calories. 
Doesn't it look scrumptious?! You can find the original recipe here

So I asked Liz”how can you make this healthier?” and BAM in no time flat she had swept it "clean"- rehealthified the recipe and made it sound even yummier because she got rid of the pastawhich I don’t really like (I should have told her that about the peas too, but I think I can just leave them out and be ok) and she replaced it with cauliflower! Who’d have thought! She shaved like 1400 calories off of the recipe! I am amazed! you can find Liz's new and improved version here
So now she’s posting a challenge called "Clean Sweep of the Week" send her a recipe and she will do what she can to sweep it clean and rehealthify yours! I think Hadley is already getting ready to chime in about gravy!

While you're visiting Liz's blog  read how she lived "clean" for a month feeding a family of three on food stamp funds. It is possible to eat healthy on a budget. 

What's Your Semicolon?

Have you heard of the Semicolon Project? It is a project that has been started to raise awareness for mental health, depression, addiction, and suicide. I love, love, love the premise of this movement. Of course as a teacher and lover of writing I see it on a whole different level than what it is intended, but the feeling ofmore is the same!

The semicolon represents just that; more. There is still so much more to write, more to say, more to live, more to be, more to you. That is what this project is trying to instill in the hearts of people. That just because there may be an addiction, there may be depression, there may be mental health, physical health, and things you can’t determine or see there is always more! More to these people- more to these feelings and thoughts, more to their lives than just the “label.”
I have had people with addiction and mental illness in my life. I often see others write them off because of it. As if they are not worthy of their time. I feel sorry for these people. They miss out on some wonderful conversations and friendships. I think they are afraid these “symptoms” will somehow reflect on their character or social standing. It does not.
What I see is; more.
The other great thing about the semicolon and this project is the possibilities I see for greatness in my classroom!! A vessel for lessons and MORE!
I have been searching for my inspiration for this school year and I believe this is it.
A semicolon on my door leads to discussion the very first day for students and parents alike. They are all “more” than what they enter with. I will expect “more,” they will leave being and knowing “more.”
A semicolon drawn on their hand helps them to remember the rules for writing and that their stories need “more” (this is where I have to confess I am seriously considering a tattoo! Yes me at the age of 50!!).
Semicolons placed strategically throughout the room serves as a reminder that there is always “more” to be done!
And of course a semicolon above the teacher’s reading table lets them know I believe in their greatness and that they all mean “more” to mean than what they know.  
This sentence from the Semicolon Project is what has given me such great inspiration “A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you.”- Project Semicolon.  Love! Love! Love! This quote will be my bulletin board!
What will your semicolon lead to? 

It's All About The Planning

 Are you a planner? I am a planner. I plan everything from parties to lessons. I think I was born to be a teacher because of my planning. Now do all my plans always work out? Wellllll no. Not always. But that’s ok. I just keep on planning. So since this is the first of a new month (the last full one of summer! Yikes!) I thought I’d share a few of my July plans with you.
June is always my month of rest. I try not to do anything too schoolish (I said try). Then in July I dive in, and the first few weeks of August I back off again for a breather before school starts. Of course this is always “my plan.” I did say they don’t always work out

For July I want to read some new professional books and reread a few of my favorites. I always like to reread Debbie Miller and Katy Woods Ray. They make me remember why I teach and I somehow always seem to find something I’ve forgotten or have missed. I am also looking to find a good math book. I am always wanting to improve on my math teaching, and haven’t found just the right recipe yet that works really well for me.
I am also planning to blog more faithfully. I PLAN to make it a priority. Maybe I’ll blog about me reading!

In June I got a cute new yellow bike from my mom and kids and I have been riding it at least three mornings a week, and so I really plan on continuing that throughout July. The PLAN is to be able to ride it to school on nice morningsand the days I don’t wear dresses!

I also plan on revamping a couple of my TpT items. I made
family involvement journals a few years ago, and I just really think it is time for them to have a facelift and maybe add to them. I also want to add a couple of new items to my store. I have a few that I have been planning so we’ll see!
In the middle of July I am cooking for a large rodeo around here called Calvacade.
It is a ranch rodeo, concert, and dance. My good friend talked me into cooking lunch for the people that work the Rodeo. It’s 100 people a day for 4 daysThe PLAN is to make it through the week without collapsing! I have been planning food for a while I hope it goes over well.

Finally I’ve been planning a weekend getaway for all of us, but that’s not until the end of the month and I’m not sure it’s going to work out because as all good plans go there have been a few unexpected things pop up that just may impede our fun

Those are my PLANS so far for the month of July. Are you a planner? What are your July plans? 

So, Who is Your Teacher BFF?

Have you been reading the Facebook posts lately about the different types of teachers, and if you have a “teacher bff?” I have to say I’ve never given much thought as to what type of teaching personality I have or my fellow teachers have. But I do know that after reading the articles I can see myself and others in the A or B traits and most especially the introverts.
It’s the teacher “bff’s” that has sparked the most interest with me. I knew when I started teaching I would forge relationships with my students, and even thought that I’d probably get close to a few of my special parents. But I have to say I never dreamed how enriched my life would become from the friendships I have reaped while working with these amazing women; my teacher bff’s.
I am so blessed to have more than one go to gal in my school. We are not only there for each other on school days, but these are people I genuinely enjoy sharing my life with outside of school.
If I’m having a down day there is always at least one there to pick me up. If I am exploding with ideas and excitement someone is always there to cheer with me (or listen to my crazy ideas and thoughts). If I’m having a sad mom moment they are there to wipe my tears or cry along with me. Annoying hubby day, they chime in with their best “mines annoying too” stories.  The list is endless and the gratitude I feel toward them is eternal.
I am blogging today because of one such friend. She asks me about my blog and when I tell her I feel no one reads or cares what I write, she simply says “I do.” She lifts me up when she’s the one that should be lifted.
To say these women are amazing and our relationships cherished is an understatement. They make me want to be a better teacher, friend, and person. They are who I laugh with, cry with, and feel the need to be a part of their lives and them mine.
I started teaching because of the kids- what keeps me teaching are the relationships. Do you have a teacher bff? I am so blessed to have a few.    

All About the Bass...Base SOL#16/31

I have that song running through my head. You know the one sticks and plays over and over. But not the whole song, just the part I can remember. Over and Over.
Because you know I'm all about that bass,
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass
Now that’s not the normal type of song that runs through my head. I’m more of a I’ve had the time of my lifeOr a Blue skies looking at me, nothing but blue skies do I seetype of gal.
But that Bass song just really has me hooked. And it got me to thinkingThat’s what writing is all aboutthe basswell the base.
It’s the base for everything we do, and it’s the base of all I teach. In the rawest of forms writing is the base. It’s where we begin in Kindergarten. It’s where we begin our children long before that. From the first moment we place a marker, crayon, or pencil in our child’s hands we have started that base.
As a teacher I start the school year finding what type of base my students have, then use my knowledge and input to help them build on that base, stretching and pulling, prodding and uplifting until the base is stronger and everything stacked on top of it is a solid structure.
My base is my love of writing. That is the structure I hope to pile on each and every one of students’ writing lives.  
Sometimes the base seems too hide or crumble if not tended to each day. That is what happened this year. Not only through this challenge, but in my writing life in general. But as I reflect on the whys. Look deeply to the how comes, I can’t help but hear that it’s “all about the base.”
And so here I am at the end looking back to the beginning, the very beginning and finding my base is still intact. Now it’s up to me to start building my writing life once again.
Thank you Slice of Life for letting me leave, reflect, and return once again. 

All About the Bass

Sometimes SOL #16 of 30

We started our month long unit on poetry today...just a few days early. Tonight poetry slice of what we all might feel like from time to time. 
Sometimes you feel like you’re standing alone
But I am there.
Sometimes you feel like it’s not enough
But it is a something.
Sometimes you feel like no one is listening
But I hear.
Sometimes you feel like you’re the only one that sees
But I have you in my sight.
Sometimes you feel like a broken record stuck on the same song playing again and again
But I know the next verse, your verse.
Sometimes you will cry and want to give up
But I will dry your eyes and cheer you on.
You’ve got this! 

I Am Back SOL 15 on Day 29 2015

What I have learned from my month of Slicingor lack thereof. I have sliced a total of fourteen days this month. Fourteen. That is a record for me, and not necessarily a good record. For the past five years I have happily joined in this challenge, and waited keenly for March to come.
This year was no differentuntil about halfway through the month. It was then that I lost the spark. I lost my desire or want to write. I felt my writing was not fresh or worthy enough to be put out there.
My husband asked the other day about my slicing and I told him “ehhhh I have lost the want to.” He seemed surprised and maybe a little worried.
My good friend asked me tonight how the slicing was going. I felt like a failure saying I’d given up, saying I wasn’t doing it any more.
I don’t know why I let it go to the wayside. I could say I was busy, or there were too many distractions. But I feel it was something more.  I felt.repetitive and repetitious. I heard in my writing a tiresome writer and monotonous voice. I felt to be writing the same things I had written in the past, and I didn’t want to be that writer.
But I don’t want to be the writer that doesn’t write either. I find myself comparing my angst to my students and I wonder what I would tell them. And I thinkI’d’s okjust keep writing.
And so here I am almost too late, writing once again. I need to remember to write through the tough days, to write through the boringness, to write through the guilt of writing noneducational writing on here, and write through the not writing.
I am almost too late. But I am back and writing thanks to the kick in the pants from a husband and my friend.