Friday, September 30, 2011

Teaching Resources

Here are some resources; check back in the future for more info on how I use each resource!!

Check out some great websites:
Pinterest (just search for classroom management, reading, etc and see many great ideas and resources!)
Classroom Freebies (great free things for the classroom!)
Teacher Pay Teachers (teacher made items for free or really cheap!)
Teacher's Notebook (another website with teacher made items for free or really cheap!)
Whole Brain Teaching (classroom management ideas that all teachers use at our school)
Clip Chart (this is what I use in my classroom for behavior management)
Teacher Tipster (hillarious and practical tools to use in your classroom)
The Cornerstone for Teachers (classroom management/organization ideas)
Teaching Resources  (organization ideas)
Mrs. Meacham's Classroom Snapshots (an amazing teacher website)

Here are some great teaching supply websites:
Teaching Supply Store (really CUTE stuff for cheaper than anywhere else that I've seen!)
Really Good Stuff (mainly great because you can pay over 3 months!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Fall!!!

It's officially fall!  My favorite time of year!   

I'm at my parents' this weekend, and my dad was wondering why I haven't updated my blog... so I decided to go ahead and take advantage of my parents watching the kids and blog! 

Honestly, I'm rarely on the computer anymore unless I'm working... and we're not allowed to get on blogger or facebook with our work computers anymore (even at home), so I just don't get on much :).  Also, I feel as though everything I have to say is just repeat of what I've said before :).

But, since it's been so long... I'll just update about the kids an life in general!  I will be showing a bunch of pics, and just know now that they are all from my phone so the picture quality isn't great!

It seems as though the kids have grown up so much just in the past month or two.  It's crazy how fast life moves.  

She has been learning so much in school and is very passionate about it!  BUT, she was getting in trouble quite a bit for a while (constant talking!)... we had to figure out how to nip that in the bud immediately.  One night (when she had a rough day at school), I made it clear that she would be getting a consequence if she made bad choices at school and she would get a reward with good choices... she has been coming home with a good report ever since!!  I hope it continues!  I think the biggest struggle is that when she was at daycare, it was very laid back and they were allowed to talk whenever... and now that she's in SCHOOL, they have a lot to get accomplished and she's just not used to that!  But, I'm excited about the amount that she has learned just in 5 weeks.  I guess it's good that she has been able to take in what has been taught even though she has been talking a lot :).  I have tried to have "girl nights" with her often and we play games and things.  I love having a game playing buddy!  We play skip-bo, checkers, UNO, etc.  It's so fun that I can play "actual" games with my daughter! 
Here is a picture of Karis on our "girl night" at Cafe Brazil! 

Here's a pic of Karis in her school uniform:

And another of Karis playing Skip-Bo :)

He has LOVED being at the preschool that Karis was at last year.  He has lots of friends and his teachers adore him.  In fact, one of the teachers in another classroom does anything she can to be in his room to play with him.  He's a charmer for sure.  His behavior has improved greatly!!  The routine has been so good for him.  And the fact that the boys are so close to home is so nice.  Either Robert or I can pick them up.  He goes to bed so much better at night because we started letting him take books to bed... just that little thing has made all the difference.  We read, sing, and pray together as a family and he takes books to bed.  He lays in bed and looks through them for a little bit (enough to calm his body), and then he's asleep in no time! 
He's a sweet boy who still wants his mommy to love on and hold him, and he tells me he loves me and misses me when he hasn't seen me as much.  He's a loving kid! 
One night last month he had an "asthma" attack.  It was so bad that we took him to the ER and they admitted him for almost 24 hours.  It was super scary!  They did probably 20 albuterol treatments on him.  They sent him home with an inhaler and I took him to his pediatrician the next week.  She said if he has to use the inhaler more than a few times that we need to put him on a regular asthma medication.  So far he has used it once since he's been out of the hospital... So it looks like he's probably developing actual asthma.  We'll see what happens.  It is definitely allergy induced, so we may end up having to get him allergy tested too.  One day at a time! 
Here's a picture of him in the hospital :(

Here's a picture of a messy Ethan:

He has grown up SO much in the past few months!  It is obvious that being in a structured environment ("school") has also been good for him.  Also, being away from siblings that always talk for him has been good too.  He is really starting to talk and have his own personality.  He and another toddler have been biting each other, so that's been interesting, but I guess that's part of being a toddler.  He has a little temper that we're going to have to nip in the bud!  I think it's mostly because he can't communicate very well and he gets frustrated.  The more we understand what he needs the less frustrated he is, so I'm sure that's what it is.  We recently cut his hair (it was SUPER long!), and he looks like his brother!  He looks so much older!  It is definitely easier to take care of!  It was getting so long that I had to wet and brush his hair every morning because it was a huge mess... and by the time I picked him up it was a mess again. 
He is SO tall for his age!  He is in the 50th percentile for his weight but the 95th percentile for his height!  I think he'll pass his brother up!  It's crazy! 

Here's are a few pics of Levi with his new hair cut!

A New Me
Since I haven't been online (reading up on what everyone else says to do and feeling as though every move I make is shared with everyone), I have really figured out what it is that I think is important AND I've just become more realistic about life in general.  It has definitely helped my stress level/anxiety!  I feel like a whole new person.  The things that RAN my life in the past just don't anymore.  My complete focus in life used to be "natural living," and now my focus is Jesus, following His plan, my family, and school.  It's amazing how much the internet affected me!  It almost brainwashed me into thinking that I had to do things a certain way to be a good mom... and I've realized that every family looks different and needs different things.  I've become much more laid back!  We went to Costco the other day and I actually bought a huge bag of frozen chicken nuggets (what?!).  They were at least made from natural ingredients :).  And I bought a huge bag of frozen, organic broccoli too... It's all about balance!  At this point we do anything that we need to do to make life less stressful and maximize our time together. 

Very Organized/Working As a Team
Something else that we have had to do is become more organized and Robert & I work very well together as a team.  If one person cooks, the other person cleans up.  If we work together to cook, we work together to clean up.  We make sure to plan all of our meals for the week, we get lunches and clothes ready the night before, etc.  I'm still trying to figure out the best way to get my work done at school in a way in which I'm not at work so much... I think I'll get there.  I LOVE fourth grade... it's a perfect fit for me.  My team is amazing and works so well together.  We are in the process of trying to figure out a way to work together to work smarter not harder :).  Right now, the plan for me is to work late on Mondays and Thursdays and try to get everything done those two nights so that I don't have to work on the weekends (well, I'll still have to grade papers, but hopefully that'll be it!).  Karis goes to afterschool on those days because I have tutoring and training/faculty meetings, so Robert can pick all the kids up those days.  We have also decided to make Friday nights our family night... playing games, watching movies, going to the park, etc.  I will NOT work Friday nights!  Sundays we have church, and every other week we have Bible study at church with our small group of families (we're studying Crazy Love!).  Things are going well... and once I figure out how to not work so much, things will be GREAT! 

New (to us) Car
Our Expedition finally bit the dust last month, so we decided it was time to get another vehicle.  We desperately did everything we could to avoid another car payment, but we couldn't... so we officially have two car payments :(.  But, they are both pretty low, and they aren't long notes, so hopefully we won't have them for long.  We bought a 2004 Ford Explorer with third row and we LOVE it!  It is so much easier to get around than driving our HUGE Expedition. Here is a pic:

Hopefully I'll be able to update more often; we'll see :).  It's not a huge priority lately, so who knows!