About Me

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I'm a 20-something from Georgia who has a precious baby boy and a handsome husband! I love my Jesus and all things that make the South what it is! I'm a 2nd grade teacher and feel like a lucky girl to get to spend my days with awesome 7 and 8 year olds!

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Words to live by....

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Tasty Take on Snack Time

I think you all have figured out that I LOVE linky parties! I feel like it is a great way to "meet" new people and gather new strategies and ideas to implement in my classroom or share ideas for YOU to implement if you like! Soooooo, today I've joined a linky party hosted by Mrs. Bainbridge's Class. She has posed this topic:

How do you create an efficient snack time in your classroom so that you aren't using too much time up, but still making sure tummies are full so kids can learn?
Do you send a snack calendar or do kids bring their own snack each day?
What do you do during snack time?  Do you instruct?  Do you read?  Do you just let kids have that few minutes to socialize?

And I say....
Well, I've done it a variety of ways. I have utilized a snack calendar and also just allowed the students to bring their own snack if they were hungry. My conclusion is this: snack calendar is the bomb.com! I have only had a few occasions where a mom has forgotten or just chose not to participate, and in the event that occurs, we always have leftovers or I keep choices in my cabinet. I find that if the kids are responsible for individual snack, I spend more time breaking up arguments over trades, listening to "I'm hungry" or "I forgot and I NEED one" (haha)...etc. So, snack calendar it is! Each child is assigned a day to provide for all of their friends. We have snack during our "read down, cool down" right after our afternoon recess. This gives them the opportunity to cool off, go to the restroom, grab a few (hundred) sips of water and just all around regroup! I have tried having snack on the playground during recess- that didn't work. I have also attempted having it as a "chat" time and that was just all around mass chaos! Allowing them individual time works well in my room with a snack calendar!
Can't wait to read what everyone else does!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Clutter-Free Classroom: FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES: "Do Y'all Know Jodi? Not me sillies. The other Jodi. I know. Cool name, right? I'm talking about Jodi from Fun in First . She's hosting..."

Friday, July 29, 2011


I have so much to say and yet all of my thoughts are jumbled in my exhausted brain. Pre-planning has begun and BOY! what a week! GAB started a new day care, which turned out to be an AWFUL disaster. Here's what I pictured:
Instead it was something more like this:
With a baby and 5 children thrown in the mix!

Okay, so I may exaggerate a little, but it was bad and that is that! GAB is staying home with a good friend whose good fortune and big heart couldn't have come at a better time. PTL for people you can rely on!

I'm also battling 4 impacted wisdom teeth. 1 of which is infected and keeping me awake at night. I saw an oral surgeon after an entire week of pain who said he could do the surgery immediately!!! Yayy, right? WRONG! There was a catch (like most everything) and he needed August's mortgage payment up-front to get me feeling great again. After I pulled myself off the floor from sobbing and acting like a 6 year old, I called my health insurance company who informed me they cover 100% of my surgery IF I choose a doctor in network. So, I had to think to myself for a moment...pay a few thousand dollars or change surgeons and pay cero dólares?? Hmmmm, better hit the yellow pages! 
Anyway, my room-classroom- needed a desperate overhaul. I had a hodge podge of random mismatched items with no real theme. Well, I have a theme now and I feel like my room is a great reflection of me. It's bright, bold, and fun! I chose polka dots as the theme and I think I acheived the look I was going for even on a budget. I certainly wish I had the means to just go nuts, but...that isn't the case. What I haven't accomplished between the hours of 8 and 5 in room 410, I've worked endlessly on here. At home. After GAB goes to bed. So, needless to say, I'm completely spent.(I will post pictures when the room is turn key!)

Today, I mentioned to a great friend (and colleague) that it took me almost 2 hours to format a semi-informative powerpoint for open house. This just seems ridiculous! It's not even that long. Is it that I'm getting old and slow? Maybe just too bogged in the brain. Maybe too many text boxes and shapes to format...ugh...either way. Here it is! Do you share this much "personal business" up front?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Little Linky Love

Okay, I'm sure if you've been following my posts, you know I'm finishing up an awesome linky party hosted by Clutter-Free Classroom. We were challenged by 5 different topics to blog about and then share! So, today is day 5 and the final task.

Today's writing assignment is: Letter Writing
Write a letter to the author of a blog you admire. Be sure to include a link to the blog and the reasons why you enjoy reading it.

Dear Amber, (As in Life on the Rox)

       I am writing to tell you that you are my FAVORITE blog to read! Reading a new post guarantees a laugh and most definitely some southern charm! (Which means you're already so my style!) I appreciate that you can take a simple, everyday scenario and blog about it and make it interesting. For example, while browsing around I LOLed at posts regarding butter, Diet Coke, soap, doughnuts, simple town folk.... etc. In addition to your southern charm and wit, you are a Christian momma doing whatever it takes to raise 'em right! Little GA is a lucky lady and I feel like you are on of my very best (bloggie) friends! Thanks for keeping it all short and sweet and definitely keepin' it real!

A blogger admirer,

Check her out HERE!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Linky Recipe Anyone?

Hi again!

Yes, I'm still catching up in this 5 days of linky hosted by Clutter-Free Classroom. This is really fun! I am enjoying reading what others are saying and I'm gaining some new followers! It is a win-win. I recommed joining if you like to teach, need ideas, and want some awesome teacher blogger buddies!
Today the question is:
Share a recipe that you often make during the school year. Bonus points will be awarded if your recipe freezes well or can be made in a crockpot.

Well, in addition to being a 2nd grade teacher, a wife, and a mother to a baby, I LOVE cooking! That is one of my things! I love trying new recipes and making them "budget friendly" and "time friendly" as I adore those precious moments with GAB while he's still so small. Anyway, the recipe I'm going to share is a household fav! We eat this for breakfast or dinner. It's hearty and delish!

Grits Casserole
1 cup of uncooked quick grits
1 lb. ground sausage
1 small onion, chopped
two 4 1/2oz. cans diced green chilies
1 stick of butter
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
10 dashes of Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook grits in 4 cups of salted water. Saute sausage and onion; drain fat. Add butter, eggs, 2 cups cheese, and Tabasco to grits. Mix well. Combine grits mixture with sausage and green chilies. Pour all into a 9 x 13" glass dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 1 hour.

**Great thing about this, it does freeze well and can be prepped ahead of time and baked just before serving. It really is delicious and a hit with all of our house guests!**

Happy Cooking!

Really? Three years already?

I feel incredibly honored to be able to say I married my high school sweetheart, (not right out of highschool) and we are celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary! My husband is a phenominal man. We, like all married couples, have our times of good and bad. Greg and I have faced some very difficult situations that I hope none of my readers, friends or family will ever face in their lifetime, let alone their first 3 years of marriage. Needless to say, what hasn't killed us has only made us stronger! We are blessed beyond measure and we know we serve a mighty God!
Anyway, I'm going to take you back to that special day three years ago  when I said, "I do!"
I had an amazing support system that day! My very best friends, my sisters, and my mother all assisted in getting me dressed and down the aisle. This is my favorite "dress shot" because it captures the detail of my dress. I knew I wanted a-line and said initially very simple. That changed when I slipped on this Casablanca. It was mine and I knew it!

Our venue of choice! It was beautiful, but it was HOTT! I live in the South, so you would think Greg and I would've considered this. We did...we provided these...

 Unfortunately, these didn't provide much A.C. for our guests or my groom who was SUPER sweaty by the time I arrived to greet him. It was fine with me though, because he was mine! ALL mine!
(Isn't he just gorgeous?) I know..I digress...
So, we were married in the heat at the park and it was great! Everything went exactlly as we planned!

We were Mr. and Mrs. GAB at last!!! Our nuptials were followed up by a nice dinner party just around the corner in the coolest place. It was a restored train station. Check it out!

Entry room. We had a photo guest book..hence the crowd waiting. There was a bar directly to the right of the crowd and then the entrance into the ballroom.

Ballroom and our first dance. As I mentioned in my profile, I'm an old music buff. We shared our first dance to John Lennon's version of "Stand By Me" and I think it was a great pick! There was plenty of dancing to follow and there was plenty of fare! We selected a "Low Country Boil" theme as it was perfect for summer and perfect for our southern tastes.

When the evening was done, we headed for The Marshall House to share our first night as Man and Wife. We then celebrated our honeymoon in the Bahamas for a week. Incredible!

All of that to say, I'm so glad I made that commitment 3 years ago! I'm VERY happy to be his Mrs.
Happy Anniversary, babe!

More Linky!

Clutter-Free Classroom has sucked me into this (very addicting) linky party! It is so much fun to "spill" on a pre-determined topic. I am enjoying visiting childhood memories, summer memories, favorite books, and today my favorite author! Link up and make some new friends!
The next writing prompt I will respond to is:

Open Response
Respond to this prompt in a complete sentence. Who is your favorite children’s author? Add details to support your answer.
I know this may seem a bit strange, but I teach second grade so it's allowed! My favorite author is.....
Image source
Any of you that are early elementary teachers are sure to know who she is. Of course, she's the author of all of those hilarious books that begin with the title, Junie B. Jones. She is the brilliant mastermind behind the 5-7 year old little girl who is confident, charming, and sometimes a little on the naughty side. I, as an adult, enjoy reading her books because I read them aloud to my children and I can be as animated as I assume Barbara Park intended Junie B. Jones to be in the story. Just for fun, I'm going to show my favorite Junie B. Jones book cover. :0)
Image source

I, of course, highly recommend (child or adult) go out and get this book! My students love it year, after year!

A Little Late!

So, I committed to this "5 Days of Linky Partying" and then my life took over and I've missed a few days. I'm going to catch up today if it kills me! (Not really, of course.) Clutter-Free Classroom is the awesome host of this linky! The prompt that I'll be replying to is....
Today's writing assignment is: Personal Narrative
Complete this sentence, “Based on the illustrations alone, my favorite picture book is _________.” Use photos or additional sentences to support your choice.

I'm sure many, if not all of us, can think back to our childhood and books that were personal preferences and why. Fortunately for me, my family read to me on a daily basis. My Nana tells me how I soaked up every word and wanted to saturate in all of the illustrations of my favorites. Being that the prompt said, "based on pictures alone" I won't go into all of my favorites and talk just about my favorite BASED ON PICTURES! First, I must say, I read this story to my 2nd graders every year and tell them that this is my absolute favorite illustrator. I explain how I use to pretend I was the little boy in this book. The are all intrigued and want to know WHAT the main character does throughout the story. (Aren't you interested in what book captured me solely on pictures???) I think my students love the book before I ever read a word out of it, because it is a highly requested one after my personal experience. 
The book is called, Quick as a Cricket and it is written by Audrey Wood. (If you are not familiar with her works, get familiar! They are excellent books...yet...I digress!) Anyway, here are some of the illustrations from this book:
(Image source)

(Image source)
On these pages it says, "I'm as brave as a tiger. I'm as strong as an ox."
I love how the little boy is always posing with the animal described, and his behavior matches the animals behavior. In the story, the child visits many emotions. Happy, sad, brave, strong, small, big, wild, tame..etc. It is a great book for children in teaching self-awareness. By far, these images captured my interest and my heart.

Monday, July 18, 2011

5 Days of Partying!!!

Linky Partying, that is! Clutter-Free Classroom is hosting a 5 day linky party. Being that I'm so new to this blogging business, I'm in! I think it sounds like a lot of fun and seems exactly like something I would do in my own classroom. So, this is me "modeling" except I don't have 25 students following me.

Day 1: Assignment
Write a paragraph titled, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” I will also accept the alternative title, “How I’m Spending my Summer Vacation.” Feel free to include photographs, but they are not required.

I love summer! I think all teachers love summer, young, old, new, veteran, it is a much needed break that we look forward to each year. That being said, this is a particularly special summer for me. This is my first summer as a mommy! Exciting! My baby boy was born in September, so now he is at an age where we are exploring and learning so much daily. This summer we have traveled a lot! We have family in many different places and luckily for us, all of my grandparents- GAB's great-grandparents are still living. We are soaking up the moments we can spend with them. One of the first trips we took was to Tybee Island. We weren't visiting any family, but allowing GAB to get a taste (literally) of the warm sand, cool waters, and salty air.
He really liked the sand...

And the water! He was a trooper! We left the beach after a few hours and had lunch at a little cafe. He even enjoyed the fare Tybee offered!
Our next trip of the summer was to Orlando, Florida. My precious baby sister graduated, so we loaded up and headed south! After hours of driving, we finally made it for her ceremony that began at 7:30pm. That's pretty late for Mr. GAB, but he hung tough. He even kept his eyes open for a shot with his Aunt, The Graduate!!!
Like I said before, we are so blessed to have all of our grandparents still living. Griffin is getting to meet all of his great grands! Not many people get that blessing. So, in June, we loaded up and headed north to Lancaster, Pennsylvania! My husband's grandparents reside in the same house they purchased in the 1960's. Which I find extremely fasinating. I had a great time seeing the Amish community and enjoying snapshots of my husband's early childhood. Here's a picture of GAB relaxing with his great grandfather, Gordon.

 While we were in Pennsylvania, we did make time to visit Harrisburg for GAB's first trip to a Gander Mountain. While there, we had to purchase these...
Sunglasses! GAB wants to be just like his daddy. Or at least,I want him to be! After the long trip to PA, we took a break for a few weeks and enjoyed our new house. Yeap, in the midst of all of this, we moved! GAB has adjusted just fine, though. Here he is having a little play time with daddy...
Couldn't be home for too long though! We were off again to St. Mary's, Georgia for a visit with my grandparents! GAB and I did a lot of shopping because the boys were doing a lot of deep-sea fishing.
This is GAB's great grandfather, Von, his Uncle Drew, GAB, and then daddy.

GAB did let us grab him up long enough for a BIG CHEESER with Papa. (Excuse the drool as he's cutting teeth and momma didn't strap a bib on.)
And our final trip was to Hutchinson Island, South Carolina for the 4th of July! We enjoyed delicious pizza, great fireworks and beautiful weather!!!!

I don't believe GAB missed a single firework. He was mesmorized by the beautiful colors and the sounds.
Now, when I ask Griffin what's next on the list?

He tells me, "Nothing, momma. I'm too sleepy!"

Good thing I go back to work in a week then!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mexican food+friends/family=GREAT TIME

I always love the weekends, but it makes it especially wonderful when you can spend it with people you love. I feel extremely blessed that some of our very best friends are relatives! This weekend we had a very causal Mexican dinner at home. We served steak fajitas with all the fixings imaginable and mexican cheese rice...yes, homemade. Yes, insanely easy. No, not totally wiped out, because instead of using green chilies as the recipe calls for, I accidentally used jalapenos...WHOOPS! Kind of a big whoops, but it happens. Anyway, dinner was great, but the company was even better. My niece, MLB, is an absolute doll! She and my sweet baby, GAB, are 3 months apart and seem to really love one another's company. We could spend hours hanging out because the babies are content to be together. It makes it very easy for the adults when the babies entertain themselves-sorta. Now that GAB and MLB are mobile, they keep each other company and us busy chasing after them. At one point both MLB and GAB were leaned into our (never been used, not even set up) fireplace giggling hysterically because they had both been told not to. Of course, I didn't get a picture or a movie, but it was a classic moment. A great time was had by all!
(No photos from this particular occasion, but some of the above mentioned!)
 Some of our favorite people!

 Precious MLB

Easter...no smiles from these 2!

My whole world! GAB


I LOVE free stuff! Who doesn't? Especially when you are a teacher who already spends 1/3 (or more) of your pay on your classroom and your students! Wellll......Peace, Love and Learning is giving away an awesome BIRTHDAY SET! Cards, graph, ideas, calendar pieces...etc. I am forever greatful to those who are creative and then share! So...THANK YOU Donna! This will be a great resource in my classroom. :0)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Awesome Giveaway!

I love it when these talented people share their "gifts" with those of us (ME) who are much less crafty! Mrs. Kacy at Doodle Bugs Teaching is giving away a personalized portfolio! Check out all of her talents with the other creations she has posted too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blog Mixer Linky Party!

Blog Mixer Linky

Oh the Places You'll Go with the blogs you know!  I'm having a seek and find Blog Mixer Linky party. Let's have some fun spotlighting each other.

In your link up find the following:

1.  A blogger who is a "New Kid on the Blog"
(Let's say someone who has blogged 2 months or less and has less than 200 followers)

2.  Post a blogger in your same grade level

3.  Post a blogger in a different grade level

4.  It's all about the button. Find a cute blog button and post it.

Okay, so here goes!!
1. My "NKOTB" blogger is http://www.frugalteacher.com/ because aren't we ALL looking for a great buy?
2. A GREAT 2nd grade teacher is http://brennalangham.blogspot.com/ because of her ways of utilizing technology and the awesome tips she gives!
3.Another grade level blogger I follow is http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-mixer-linky-my-link.html simply because I LOVE her background!
4. Cutest button contest winner (in my book anyway...)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Steps

Wow! Just as my 9 1/2 month old is taking actual baby steps, I'm taking "baby steps" into this blogging business. It seems a tad overwhelming. I love, love, love reading other people's thoughts and taking ideas from other creative teachers, but to actually sit and type my thoughts and my ideas is quite difficult. It definitely is an eye opener for someone who teaches seven and eight year olds how to write about random things on the fly! Guess I should start simply! Here goes...
A teacher friend once mentioned how she is growing into the professional she is because she relies so heavily on blogs and ideas seen on the internet. It sparked my interest as I find it extremely mundane to simply hand out work sheets all day long. I begin by reading cooking blogs. In addition to teaching and being a mother and wife, I adore cooking. It is like a release! (I also enjoy eating, but I'm working on that!)Anyway, after finding some awesome "chef" bloggers, I began searching for teacher bloggers and found some GREAT ones! These women that pour their hearts and souls into their blogs inspire me. Therefore, I'd like the opportunity to pay it forward! My blog my not be fantastic yet, but I'm still taking....baby steps!