Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yes, I am a Copycat...Five for Fraturday!

{Sunday update!  I forgot a few things, including a picture!  Additions are in green!}

Happy Saturday all! :)  How all of you can crank out your posts on Friday is beyond me, so I am copying the Amazing Kristin, A Teeny Tiny Teacher, and doing a Five for Fraturday!

First off, Congratulations to M & M Bilingual for winning everything in my store!!! Thank you for your patience.  You will also have access to the next 5 items I place into my store {I had planned to have those in before the giveaway closed, but as my life seems to go, things did NOT go as planned!}  Thank you to those who stopped by, entered or took a look at my store, no sales yet, but I WILL keep moving forward & trust God for the results.
Ahhh, 2 seems the right number for this since the last 2 weeks did not go as planned.  I have been on Cymbalta for over 2 years {another 2} and it has been a blessing in my life.  It deals with depression/anxiety {which I have battled with for a long time} & pain from Fibromyalgia.  A bonus side effect has been the disappearance of my restless leg syndrome! That eliminated another medication I had been taking. :)  

Cymbalta went generic several months ago, and I have been getting the generic for about 3 months.  I noticed at school on August 21st some weird symptoms; dizziness, light headedness, my eyes not tracking right, my head feeling strange.  I looked up Cymbalta vs. generic after school and started reading of others having difficulty with the generic.  I contacted my doctor and requested brand name only.  I had checked several times at the pharmacy, and they didn't have it phoned in yet.  When we did pick up medicine {just a few days before my last post} it wasn't brand name, but it was a different generic so I figured it would be better. 

 I finished my post LATE Sunday night, the next day was Labor Day and I did sleep a lot of that day, just figured it was from being up til' about 3:30 am.  I went into work on Tuesday & I COULD NOT FUNCTION!!  I was BEYOND fatigued!!! My eyes burned, just wanting to close, I couldn't think clearly, had a hard time communicating what I wanted to communicate...thoughts and words sometimes hard to get right, so I walked up to the office {a walk that felt like MILES} and requested a substitute.  I started the day with my students because of the late request.  I always greet my students at the door with 'Good Morning' and one of my students said, "That was a sad 'good morning.'"

Once my substitute was there I headed to the doctor and learned she took walk ins at 11:30.  I live about 20 miles outside of town, so I figured I would go to Denny's to wait {& use their free wifi}...Nope...just sat it the car messing on the ipad waiting for the minutes to go by.  When I saw my doctor she also felt it was due to the generic,  they had no samples left in the office & through my insurance I could not get more medicine until it was late September. :-(  She had me take it more frequently, hoping that would give me more of the active ingredients {generics must be 80% the same as the name brand...the other 20% who knows!} and wrote a note for me to be off work all week.  :-(  I did NOT want to be out all week, but I also knew I could not be effective the way I was!  

The next day I felt much better mentally and emotionally, but I HURT all over and felt pretty wiped out so I slept and Thursday went back to work.  I was able to purchase the Cymbalta (around $250!) with what I had in my health savings plan.

Thursday was Back to School Night, so a long day!  Friday was okay, but I was pretty wiped out for the weekend, I went to bed Friday night and got out of bed Sunday morning!!! In addition & our Internet kept going out!  This last week was busy catching up, & my daughter's Back to School night {she attends a new school in our district~STEM Academy & uses her Chromebook all day long!} here it is 2 weeks later, no posts & no new products!

Last night I decided to look up an episode of E.R. that is special to our family.  My stepson, Tyler, has a heart condition and has had 3 open heart surgeries. In 2008 he was able to go to a very special camp, Camp del Corazon that is specifically for kids with heart disease.  He was able to go to 2 different weeks of camp with them.  In the last season of E.R. they had a story line that the camp was there in Chicago and they used kids from camp in the filming of the episode.  Tyler was unable to participate in the filming, but we were so amazed when it was televised that there was a GIANT picture of him in several scenes!  Now, this was really amazing because when I had gone through HUNDREDS of pictures from camp on their website, I only spotted Tyler in about 4-5 pictures!  It was fun to watch that episode last night, purchased it on Amazon!

Once again we had our 'Flat Stanley' class for Back to School Night.

 And finally, our school was challenged to do the ice bucket challenge and raise money for MDA.  My class brought in the most so students for our class were able to soak our principal, Mr. Finch. We raised around $500 as a school, I believe.  I missed one of the teachers, but here's our principal, teachers, & one of our school board members!

  This picture is cropped from the same one as the picture above it...Mrs. Klein was enjoying Mrs. Blake getting soaked...her turn was coming soon! :)

The Progression of Principals! Mrs. Enriquez from Henderson challenged Montara, Mr. Finch, and we challenged Cameron, Mrs. May!
Have a blessed week!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Currently, Launching My Store, Freebies, & a Giveaway!!! :)

Technically, as I begin this post it is not yet September in my time zone, but Farley had the Currently up and by the time I hit the 'publish' button it will be September {& hopefully NOT October yet!}

Here is my Currently:

Listening~I have been at this computer for much of today & yesterday, so listening to the hum of the computer is nothing new.  Everyone else in my house is sound asleep but NO sleep for me until this is finished! {which for me may be in a few hours!! the blogging superstars crank out the posts is beyond me!!}

Loving~Literally for YEARS I have had the goal of getting my shop up and running.  I thought it would happen this summer, but life happened instead.  We have been in school for two weeks & two days.  I was determined that THIS would be the weekend to LAUNCH my store!!  Time to finish up so many partially finished products...right now there are 14 completed products IN the store, hopefully by the end of the week there will be at least 20-25!

Thinking~I am always amazed by those who can crank out post after post...for me post seem to take me forever...especially if I need to head to Picmonkey to edit some pictures or Lettering Delights if I need some headings...I just figure it will be several hours because I would like to explain each of my products.

Wanting~I want to stay clear minded and have a post that others will enjoy...not get exhausted and skip things that I really want to include, the way I want to include them!

Needing~Juggling everything in life seems like such a challenge for me...feel like I need to find a way to do it all...or even most of it! ;-)

Trips~I would love to go to Maui someday with my family...England has appealed to me since I was a little kid...Guatemala, well God is tugging at my heart for Guatemala...more on that in a bit!

The time has FINALLY come:

I want to share about each item that is currently up in my store and offer any one of them to you for sharing about this post, my TpT shop, or about anything in it!!

You may share in a blog post, pin something to a Pinterest board, share on Facebook, share on Instagram, Tweet about it, or even email a teacher friend or friends.  Just leave a comment here about how you shared & send me an email including what item you would like me to email to you!  Subject line: "Freebie from the Launch"  {just in case it ends up in junk mail!}  My email is  

Now, that's not all....if you share {in any way} you will get an entry to win everything that is in my store when the giveaway closes!  {a minimum of 14 items...hopefully quiet a few more!}

As I have shared before, I have A LOT of STUFF...but...somehow whenever I DO get rid of something...yep, it is the WRONG thing to get rid of!  Quite a few years ago, we were told that we would no longer be using D'Nealian for cursive.  When the school year ended I dumped my cursive alphabet that had been up above my white board.  In the fall they said we could still teach D'Nealian...there were some sets of alphabet charts at the school...they were Standard...but I didn't want to spend any money so up it went.  For years I have been telling my students that they could do either...even though I was teaching D'Nealian. room is Apple Themed so I decided this summer to make my own! :)

A good friend of mine liked mine and I offered to make an alphabet for her room.  I had her look through my graphics previews binders and choose what she though would work well in her room.  This is what she chose:

 Well, that got the creative juices flowing! :)

Those are the alphabets that I have completed right now, but I plan to have at least 5 more up by Monday night.

Several years ago I read Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer and I LOVED it!! As a matter of fact, I put together 25 quotes from the book, turned them in to posters and got them posted in my TN store.  {unfortunately, I was contacted by the publisher and so I immediately removed them...maybe this fall I will get back in communication with them to see if I can get permission to use the quotes}  Anyway, the book inspired me to encourage my students to read 40 or more books in a variety of genres.  I created this booklet:

It has a separate page for each of the following genres:
  • Realistic Fiction
  • Informational Text
  •  Fantasy
  • Biography/Autobiography
  • Mystery
  • Historical Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Traditional Literature
It also has a page for 
  • Recommendations
  • My Choice

Last year our district began moving into using the 

Common Core State Standards.  I decided that I 
wanted to have the SMPs {Standards of Mathematical 

Practice...used at EVERY grade level} So, I designed 

these posters:

Next, inspired by this pin I found on Pinterest:

 {this was a dead link...if it is your classroom, let me know & I will link to it!! :)}
I decided to create my own & instead of putting them in frames, I figured I would laminate them.  Last year they seemed too small, so this year I made them bigger...the set includes both!

It is now after 2 more product to share about...then get Rafflecopter set up...then off to bed...very thankful for a holiday tomorrow!!!! {oh yes, & share about Guatemala!}

Several years ago I was frustrated by my students not having their multiplication facts down and I searched to find what I wanted to use on a daily basis...although there were several products out there {and a TON more now} there wasn't anything just as I made this...

Last year I shared that I planned to donate 5% of any earnings with TpT and/or TN to orphan care.  As I launch, I want to promise that again.  For at least the first 3 checks I receive {whenever that happens} 5% will go to Village of Hope in Guatemala.  It is almost 2:30 am & I am fading fast so click on the links to learn more! Thank you Amy Block for touching my life and so many more!!! {check out her blog! :)}

Here's your chance to win my store! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 8, 2014

August?!?! Really!?!? Summer is Over? Where Did it Go!!???

I am in my classroom right now, just can't believe how this summer flew by!! I will begin with my August Currently:

Here's a little more on my currently,

LISTENING~~I have been in my room since 9 am and it is currently about 11:30 am.  I have been listening to my ipod as I have been working.  I have been listening to some of my favorite music; Steven Curtis Chapman's Glorious Unfolding, Casting Crown's Thrive, Colony House's When I was Younger, & now Mercy Me's The Hurt & the Healer.  It is helping me to stay in the right frame of mind.

LOVING~~A few day's ago Amazon had the Kindle version of Mark Hall's {Lead singer of Casting Crowns} book Thrive: Digging Deep & Reaching Out for only $2.99 so I got it and then signed up for their 31 Day Thrive Challenge.  Mark talks about how many of us are 'surviving'; 'if I can just make to...' He says, "You were not made to survive life....You were not made to exist until you can get over the next hump or get to the next break...You are not living the life you were created to live if survive is your word. You were made to thrive." {emphasis his}  He describes thriving as living to know God and make Him known.  I have definitely felt {for YEARS} I have been in 'Survival Mode'  I am ready to THRIVE!!!!

THINKING~~I am not others, I am me.  I am who God created me to be & I want to THRIVE as me.  I tend to get overwhelmed with life & feel frustrated with not being able to do it all.  I see the Blogging/TpT 'Superstars' & my sister who are SUPER neat & organized and always seem to have it together.  I tend to shut down when I don't feel like I am 'good enough' and I am trusting God to use me for who I am flaws & all. Step, step, step....I decided to take pictures of what I am doing each hour to document that I AM doing a lot {trying to convince myself, not so much everyone else} I took a break about 45 minutes ago from my room to blog, & will get back at my room in 15 minutes no matter how far along this post is.

WANTING~~I live in the High Desert of Southern California & it has been HOT!!! Okay, just checked phone & it says it is only 90 degrees today, but the humidity has been higher than usual lately.   The air doesn't appear to be working very well in my classroom, but I have cooled down considerable since I wrote that above!

NEEDING & BACK TO SCHOOL~~{It is now Sunday morning!}

Yesterday I was really needed to make the most of my time because as you can see the calendar is busy.  I wrote this in my last post:

    {{{ I have shared all of the blessings of the last few days, now I have a prayer request for you.  My brother-in-law had a major stroke Saturday morning and will not recover.  I have spent much of the last few days on the phone and in prayer for him and my sister, your prayers would be greatly appreciated as well.  I hope to blog again within the next few days.}}}

    My brother in law passed away the day after that post & the following day was my sister's birthday.  My daughter & I went to her house for several days and it is part of why I have not posted like I thought I would.  Well, the yellow hearts above show that the weekend before school begins I will be out of town & focused on family.  I plan to do NOTHING school related; family must be the priority, as his service will be that weekend & there will be some other family stuff as well.  I do thank all of you who prayed and ask for continued prayer for my sister!
   I usually spend the whole weekend before school in my room & we can usually get into our rooms at the beginning of August {remember I have A LOT of stuff!!}. Well, they are painting our school {it looks the best I've every seen it BTW! :)} Keys are not being given out until tomorrow (Monday) but my principal had compassion on me since I will be out of town for the memorial next weekend so I was able to work yesterday...VERY GRATEFUL!!!!!

Here's what my room looked like when I walked in the door....

   Ah, forget it!!! If I don't hit the 'Publish' button now I never will.....don't know if I will link since it is now AUGUST 8th!!!  Hopefully get in another post about why I didn't get this one completed like I planned to!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

TpT Conference...WOW!!!

     {{{I'm off to bed, but maybe I can do another quick post in the morning! Tomorrow's agenda: VBS, lunch, get stuff ready for Vegas, drive to Vegas {about 2 1/2 hours for me! :)}, get checked in...pick up name tag & check in for TpT Conference!!!!!}}}
    This is what I wrote Wednesday's how the next day really went: No quick post in the morning...too busy getting stuff done around the house, off to VBS {Vacation Bible School} which runs from 9-12...

a little before 10:30 I get a call from my doctor's office.  I had done a mammogram on Monday & they wanted to take a closer look at something on my left side.  They wanted me to come in as soon as I could.  Well...I was planning to leave town right after I had lunch & a quick stop at Walmart, & a stop at the house to get all my stuff for the trip... I had arranged to meet another attendee at 5:00 in Vegas {2-2 1/2 hour drive from home}...I called the hospital to see if they could get me in SOON...they scheduled me for 12:20.  I thought, "This will work out, I will just leave early so that I could get checked in and maybe they just might be ahead of schedule."  I spoke with those who would be affected by my leaving early and got the green light!  So, I looked for my car keys {I planned to leave at 11:30}...oops...where were my keys??? hmmm...this is me...
     Every year my students get to hear this at least once; yes, my mother did tell me that, and boy am I glad it is fastened on!!!.......COULD NOT FIND MY KEYS!!!  10 minutes into my search all over our church for my keys, my parents call.  {Praying how to shorten this next part down} My brother-in-law has been sick for the last few weeks and in and out of the hospital in the last week, it has been a major roller coaster especially for my sister, at times looking not so bad, to pretty bad, back up to not so bad. My parents let me know that my sister had called them and wanted them to come to the hospital {about an hour away for them} IMMEDIATELY! It sounded like things were dire for my I kept looking for my keys I ask friends at my church pray.  I found the keys around 11:55 and took off for the hospital.  After I left the hospital I headed to Walmart to find a big red bag to take to the conference....
     I was so pleased that the one I found looks exactly like what I had envisioned it to the night before in bed! :)  
     I got the 'go ahead' from my parents to head to Vegas and it sounded not so bad for my brother-in-law.  Traffic made me later than I wanted to be, but I was able to meet and have dinner with Kelly Malloy of An Apple for the Teacher.  I do love The Cheesecake Factory!

     I feel like we really connected and I have a new friend!   She is a 'Rock Star' in the teacher 'Tweeting' world!! She has 5 1/2 THOUSAND followers!!  I am going to have to learn a thing or two from her about Twitter!  Also, when I checked out her blog I felt even more connected {check it out & I think you will see why!}
     Friday morning I was so I am ready to leave the hotel...
When I walked into the main conference room for breakfast & the Keynote Session I just whispered, "Wow!" repeatedly!

At the Keynote session we heard several speakers; Amy Berner Head of Community and Editorial for Teachers, Paul the Founder of TpT, and Deanna Jump TpT's number 1 seller were among those who spoke.  I am glad that Paul chose to do what many told him would never work!!
It was wonderful to visit with sellers I had previously met, some I had only met online, & one who couldn't be there in 3D had a picture with her 2D!
L to R, T to B...Mel from Graphics from the Pond & Frog Spot, Kristin from A Teeny, Tiny Teacher, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten, Amanda from One Extra Degree, Erin from I'm Lovin Lit, & Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class.

   I learned so many things Friday, some of which I have already started focusing on!

    One more thing I would like to share in this post about the conference {hopefully more in future posts} is about Deanna Jump {Mrs. Jump's Class}  She is TpT's first millionaire and is now a multimillionaire!!!  But, that is not what is so amazing about her, in my opinion what is so amazing is who she is and her story.  Several years ago I did a blog post titled, "Teaching Blogs Making the World a Better Place" in which I referenced the part of her story that I knew because of this post of hers, "Thank You for What You Have Done" At the Keynote Session she shared more of her story and how her family was struggling financially, how she prayed nightly {forgive me Deanna if I get your wording wrong, hopefully I get the gist of the prayer right, please correct me if I am wrong!} "Please, Lord I will do the work if you will provide a way!" She tried applying at a Junior/Community College as a teacher, but that never worked out, and several other directions.  Her first year she made a total of $300 and almost did renew her membership with TpT.  When her sales took off and suddenly jumped to $27,000, not knowing if it would ever happen again she & her husband made the decision to spend it on...go to her blog post to read her telling of it, if you don't already know.
     Last year I had the privilege of meeting her and this year when I spoke to her I asked if she was familiar with Casting Crown's song Dream for You.  She was, but said she would have to go back & listen to it again to see herself in the song...boy did God have an amazing dream for her!! Consider letting God dream for you as well!!
     My husband & daughter joined me in Vegas after the conference.  We enjoyed a great seafood buffet at the Fremont.  Saturday & Sunday we visited with my stepdaughter & her family...they just moved back to Vegas so we had a great time being grandparents. 
     I have shared all of the blessings of the last few days, now I have a prayer request for you.  My brother-in-law had a major stroke Saturday morning and will not recover.  I have spent much of the last few days on the phone and in prayer for him and my sister, your prayers would be greatly appreciated as well.  I hope to blog again within the next few days.

***Just added this post to A Burst of First's Vegas Linky!
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