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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Love for Sandy Hook

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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently in December

I know I've been slacking on blogging and I am sorry. I am hoping that this post will get me back on track.

 Just a quick update on my friend, Drew, who is fighting leukemia ....  he is doing OK, he is about to go through his third round of chemo.  Both Drew and his wife are still debating if they want to go through the stem cell transplant.  His brother was only a 5 out of 10 match and it looks like he will have to go through the national registry.  Please continue sending prayers their way.

Another dear friend and co-worker was diagnosed with breast cancer recently.  She is a mom of two adorable young kids.  I am amazed by her strength and positive attitude!!! She is incredible.  Please include my friend Lisa in your prayers as well.  She is going to kick cancers butt and do it in style!

I have been off this entire past week for Thanksgiving..... Holy smokes, did I enjoy spending time with my family.  I don't know if its because I am older now and my kids are older but appreciate my time off with them so much more.  I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving and enjoyed your time with family and friends.

Now time to grade papers and get ready for the week ahead.  Only 3 weeks until I have my next vacation, but who's counting?  :)

I am linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade's Currently linky party....come join the fun!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Peace, Love, and a Giveaway!

If you are anything like me, I know you love stamps! How can a teacher not love them?  In one simple "press" we can bring a smile to our students.  Seth from www.rubberstamps.com contacted me to ask if I wanted to try out some  stamps.  O.M.G.!  Did I just get asked to try out rubber stamps?  I can even pick out which ones I want to try out?  Of course I said yes!   And of course I picked a frog stamp...

I decided to pick the stamps from the Motivational category on  the Teacher Stamps page, however there are tons of stamps to choose from.  In fact, I am planning on ordering a "Parent Signature Required" stamp, a "Please Re Do" stamp, and a few more.
 These stamps are awesome!  They don't bleed, they are small enough to not take up too much room, they're self inking and they make kids smile!

You must go to www.rubberstamps.com and check out all their stamps!  Besides an incredible selection of all kinds of stamps they offer free shipping!  WOWZA!

Here's your chance to win 4 stamps just like mine!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My truth Monday... on a Tuesday!

So I am a day late for My Truth Monday... story of life lately.  A day late and a dollar short but I have to be positive and think at least I have the day and a dollar :)  

Denise  from Sunny Days in Second is doing a 12 part series called My Truth Monday.  This is a great way for all of us to get to know each other better!  

This week is short and sweet MY TRUTH ABOUT CREEPY STUFF!  

Monday, October 21, 2013

My truth Monday...

My super duper awesome friend Duh-neese (or Denise as most people call her) from Sunny Days in Second is doing a 12 part series called My Truth Monday.  This is a great way for all of us to get to know each other better!  This series will take us right up to the beginning of the year!  I can't believe the end of the year is in sight! YIKES!

I am going to be honest!  I hate the first "my truth"..... almost as much as I hate exercising!  I need to exercise more than anyone I know and I don't. :(

What are your thoughts on exercising or fitness?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Currently, Thank you very much!

LOVING.... all the wonderful support I have received since I learned my friend Drew has leukemia. I raised a lot of money during my Thiry-One Gifts online party and even received some generous monetary donations from some of my awesome blogging buddies.  

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! My friends Drew and Jane are overwhelmed with all your kindness. They are feeling the love! The prayers and positive thoughts are working.  Drew finished his first round of chemo and had a bone marrow biopsy yesterday........<insert drum roll here>.........  I am pleased to announce that it looks like the chemo killed all the cancer!  YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!   The prognosis is looking up.   Keep up the prayers and positive thoughts for my friends the Castings!  

Lastly for my treat... Pumpkin Poop!  

You can find find the directions and a printable by clicking on the picture above or clicking  here.

Come back soon!  I have a couple of awesome giveaways just waiting to be posted.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cancer sux!

That's right, I said CANCER SUX! I hate it!

I received a phone call this past Sunday that sent shivers up my spine.  I learned that a good friend, a co-worker's husband, had leukemia.  He went in to a clinic because he thought he had strep throat and an hour after he got home he got a phone call from the clinic saying that he has to get to the emergency room now, because he had cancer!  What the ??????  How could this be?  My friend is only in his mid thirties, has an incredible wife, two awesome kids (9 year old twins), and is one of the nicest guys I know.  He started chemo on Monday....   wait, he went in for strep throat?  How does this happen?   Oh I failed to tell you he is a teacher and so is his wife (She's the team leader of our 4th grade team). Even if he does get out of the hospital he can't go back to work for about a year.  A year!!!!!!!!  It's hard enough to make ends meat on a teacher's salary but then to be sick enough not to be able to teach for a year! OMG!  No salary? What?

Long story short, he is sick with AML Leukemia!  So besides donating my time and the little money I have,  I am having a fundraiser to help with medical bills and other expenses.

Once again, my friend Blair (my Thrirty-One Gifts consultant) is stepping up to the plate!  I am extending my Thirty-One party date until September 30th and ALL the proceeds go straight to the Castings Family.  Blair is also donating some awesome products for prizes too!   

For every item you order your name will be put in the drawing for one of these fabulous prizes!

Click here to place an order, get a chance to win a fabulous prize, and most importantly help someone in need.

Look at the great September Specials on this video:

Check out these new items!

Thanks in advance for your support and prayers for my friends!
God Bless you

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Currently, Back to School....

I survived the first week of school!  I have a good bunch of students and so far the team teaching is working out A.O.K.  Every year I forget how "young" the kids are coming to me.  They leave us knowing all the procedures and routines and come to us not knowing any of them. LOL!  They are tadpoles waiting to turn into Vasquez Frogs.

Here is this year's 4th grade team!   I love them all!  It's awesome when you actually like your team, huh?  I'm in the solid blue shirt.  I'm like the little teapot.... short and stout (well without the handle and without the spout) LOL! If you look all the way to the right of the pic you will see Princess Blair, my Thirty-One Gifts consultant, and dear friend.   It's September 1st and you know what that means.... Yes, Currently by Farley is right. However, I meant time to treat yourself to a new lunch bag, school bag, or even a new lanyard.  It's also a great time to start your holiday shopping.  I just bought a new purse, a new lunch bag, and a new book bag for my daughter as she heads off to college.
The pictures are awful and don't do my bags justice!  I love all my new stuff! The purse is the perfect size.  It's not too big but big enough to fit my erin condren life planner, and all the other goodies I carry around.

Needless to say I am having a Back To School Thirty One Party....... I need want a new school bag and will probably need a new leash for my darling puppy to match. :)

Click here to go shopping at my virtual party!  For every item you purchase from my party your name will go in a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card.

The September specials are AWESOME!  Click on the party link to see all the fabulous patterns these bags come in!

Here is a video clip of this month's specials:
Here are some new products I am planning on getting for gifts!  And when I say gifts, I am not excluding myself from treat or two! :)

My virtual party lasts until September 13, 2013.  Don't forget.... for every item you order, your name will go in a drawing for a $20 gift card from Amazon.com.  Go shopping now! Order here

Now for my currently with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade:

Thanks! Have a FABULOUS school year!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More Must Haves and a Giveaway!

Have you started school yet?  I can't believe summer is about over!  It went fast, fast, fast but it was fabulous!  Like I promised in my last post, Back to School Must Haves, I have two more "must haves" to blog about with a giveaway for each!  

image03A definite MUST HAVE for any teacher, but especially those in state testing grades, is a membership to Fisher Reyna Education!  I met Lois Fisher and Rachel Reyna a couple of summers ago when I attended one of their FABULOUS workshops at Region 20 here in San Antonio. It was a Reading Writing Connection workshop (can't remember the exact name - heck, I can't remember what I ate for lunch today) and it was fabulous!  I sat there in awe of all their knowledge.  I remember thinking I wish I had teachers like them when I was a kid.  At the end of the workshop they gave all the participants a years membership to their website.  

Even though their workshop was incredible (and I am not exaggerating when I say that) I thought, "why would they give away a whole year membership to everyone at their workshop if their resources were that good?  I assumed there were not a whole lot of resources or their resources weren't that great (If you are reading this Rachel and Lois, sorry! But its the truth)...... welllllll buddy, let me tell ya, I was wrong!  www.fisherreyna.com is beyond fabulous!  I've used it so much in the last couple of years and it only continues to get better and better.  

At the end of this July I was privledged to go to another Fisher-Reyna workshop about Reading.  OMG! It was great!  Both Rachel and Lois are so knowledgable and personable.  It's not the type of workshop that you sit there and they lecture.  They share their knowledge and the participants participate!  LOVE THEM!  Here are some pictures that I took during that workshop.  We looked at how to refine the way we teach reading comprehension.  
Rachel Reyna, Me, & Lois Fisher

I can go on and on but I will stop and let you watch this video straight from their website so you can see how awesome their lessons are!

I am giving away a membership for their website so one of you can have access to all their incredible resources!  Enter the giveaway on the bottom of this post.

My second MUST HAVE is a new product that I learned about this summer.  Katie from Wise Decor Wall Lettering contacted me asking me if I wanted to do a giveaway.  I almost said no thank you without looking because I often get request to blog about products that I am not interested in or my readers wouldn't be interested in............  I am glad I didn't and you will be too!

WiseDecor - Wall Decals, Wall Letters, Quotes & Words
This is a family owned business that has been operating since 2003. They have incredible wall decor for your home, office, school or any wall for that matter.  Each wall quote is customized to your liking.  You pick the design, the color,  and even the font.  I chose to get the Classroom Rules wall lettering (in green and turquoise) and a couple of pink frogs for my 4th grade classroom. I had all intentions of putting them straight on my wall until I recieved the package.  I was so thrilled with the quality and the look of the product that I had to make it portable incase I had to move rooms in the future.   Here are pictures of my design.......  yes, it looks FAB if I say so myself! 

Check out all the awesome quotes/designs they have for the classroom here but they also have awesome quotes/designs for your home as well.   In fact they have a beautiful tree that I am thinking of getting for our house.   Wise Decor Wall Lettering is giving away a $75 gift certificate to use on the design of your choice!

Enter to win a membership to Fisher-Reyna Education and  $75 worth of Wise Decor merchandise here:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School Must Haves!

I am so thrilled to be a part of this awesome Back to School Must Haves E-Magazine! I am even more thrilled to be able to share it with you!  This super cool emagazine has everything from fashion to professional books to grade specific must haves (PreK- Middle School).  All contributors are incredible teacher bloggers who have terrific recommendations for all sorts of must haves!

Besides all the awesome must haves in the e-magazine I want to share some other goodies that I am starting my year with.  One academic must have is The Continuum of Learning Literacy by Fountas and Pinnel.  It's a bit pricey but something you will use EVERY DAY year after year for when teaching ELA!  Another thing that I can't won't teach without is a laminator.  I've had mine (the one picture below) for about 4-5 years and it still works perfectly.
Now this may sound silly but another must have for my school year is frog clip art!  Yes, I said it..... I MUST HAVE frog clip art, actually I'm a bit obsessed with all clip art but frogs are a must have.  Here is one of Scrappin' Doodles newest sets.  Click on the pick below to go check it out.....The are on sale for only $2.00 plus if you use the code AUG152013 for 15% off of your total!  I bought the 4 new frog seasonal sets plus a few more :)

I have another couple  of super fabulous must haves that I will tell you about but I am not including it in this post becasue I haven't put it in my classroom yet.  I plan on putting one of them up on Friday and taking pictures and then blogging about it  and the other must have over the weekend.  Don't forget to check back because I may or may not be having a BTS giveaway along with the post. :)

I am going to start unpacking and putting my classroom back tomorrow.  I have a few meetings/workshops here and there but I officially go back on August 19th, students start August 26th. When does your year start?
Have a super year!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently in August....

Can you believe it's August already?   Holy Guacamole!  School officially starts for me on August 19th and the students on the 26th but we are aloud to get into our classrooms on August 5th so I will start unpacking on Monday!!!!!  I still have a ton of things to do.  Why do I always wait until the last minute?  
A great way to start the month of August is with Farley's Currently!  Join in on the fun by visiting Oh Boy 4th Grade.

I have loved spending time and hanging out with my family this summer but I would still like a family trip to the beach.  I want to take our new puppy, Daisy to the lake or beach to see how much she loves the water.  

My "Back to School must haves" are all things that make me happy happy happy! Farley only asked for 3 back to school must have but if she asked for 4 I would have added a Bubba Mug!  I have this adorable pink one.  It keeps my cold drinks cold for the entire work day!

I am off to start on my to do list that I should have started last month! LOL!  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My students need your help (Donors Choose)

Hi Friends,

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed. So I've created a classroom project request at DonorsChoose.org, an award-winning charity.

I'm asking for donations of any size to help my kids. For the next four days, any donation you make to my project will be doubled! If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students' school year, and you'll get photos and thank yous from our class.

Here's my classroom request:


To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the match code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through August 3.
My students and I greatly appreciate your support.