Step 1...CHECK!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The application is officially in the mail and it will arrive tomorrow!!! Step two...we wait for a phone call from the agency to set up an interview.

Getting Ready For The 4th Of July

Sunday, June 26, 2011
I have a small metal ornament tree that I keep on my large buffet cabinet and I have slowly been collecting/making ornaments for each of the different seasons. I love that I can decorate with a hint of the changing seasons throughout the year. I don't have to wait until Christmas to decorate a tree....I can decorate a tree all year long!!

It's a little hard to see in this picture, but I have different colored Easter eggs on the tree. I got them from JoAnnes. Some are glittery, others are iridescent. 

 I found these stars recently at Pier 1 Imports. I added white and red ribbon to them so that I could hang them on the tree. I am so excited because July 4th was one of the seasons that I didn't have ornaments for.
Don't mind my dogs butt in this shot. LOL

I Was So Close!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Arrggghhhh!!!!!! I had the paperwork ALL TOGETHER!! I finally finished the one dreaded piece of paperwork from the adoption application. I made copies of our driver's licenses. I copied our tax returns and W-2's. I picked up a family photo from Walgreens, and printed two huge credit reports (one for each of us)...I wrapped it all together and I was SO SO excited to send it off in the mail today...and then I found out that the post office closes three hours AFTER their Monday through Friday hours!!! DANG YOU USPS!!!

Class of 2015

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today was my last day with students...and I can barely contain my excitement!!! This has been quite an interesting year for me, full of "firsts". This was the first year that I taught 7th grade science. This was the first year that I taught 7th grade math, and this was the first year that I had a full time student teacher from the first day of school to practically the last day of school.

Aside from all of the "firsts", our school district went through some pretty drastic changes this year as well. We extended our school day from 7:25-2:20, 1/3 of our plan time was taken away, we had one full class added to our daily schedule, and we added an hour long advisory class to our Wednesday schedule. I tell you truth...if I didn't have my AMAZING student teacher this year I would have lost my mind!!

So, I want to reflect on this past year. I want to share with you some of my success this year and also some things I would like to tweak for the upcoming year (I can't believe I'm already thinking about that).
  • I tried multiple reward systems throughout the year. I tried to place stickers on their assignments and if they filled up a "sticker" sheet then they could pick out of my prize box. The only problem with that was that I had a really hard time keeping up with it and consistently placing stickers on various assignments. So it got to the point where the idea accidentally fell off the face of the Earth and students were left with a half filled in "sticker sheet". After that, I moved on to my "Den Dollar" system (our school mascot is the wolf). This was great because I was able to use it for so many things. Students earned den dollars for:
    • High test scores
    • Coming in after school to work
    • Completing a weeks worth of a classroom job (another success)
    • Participating
    • Winning review games
    • Good attendance
          Once students earned money, they could use it for so many things. Here are just a few ideas:
    • Pay for a hall pass
    • Full credit on a late assignment
    • Candy
    • Sitting in the teacher's chair
    • Spinning my wheel of fortune board
    • Getting an extra copy of an assignment they lost
    • Homework pass
  • Another success was assigning classroom jobs. I am such a control freak that I never thought of classroom jobs as a good idea. It was my student teacher that finally convinced me to try it...and I LOVE IT!! We came up with a long list of jobs, but I think that for next year, I won't have as many...only because a lot of the jobs were not a "daily" thing, so they lost their value. Some of my favorite jobs were:
    • Attendance 
    • Homework Checker
    • Captain Planet (They were responsible for placing our recycle bin out on certain days of the week
    • Paper passer outer
    • Teacher's assistant
  • I found the BEST blog for science teachers!!! This blog was so SO so helpful. The teacher of the blog was amazingly organized, he shared all of his assignments, and many of them were redesigned to specifically fit into our composition books (just a little glue stick action...and waa-laa...instant organization. The name of the blog is: My Science Lessons. And I am so excited because he just posted that he is assigned a Life Science class next year, so I can't wait to see what lesson plans/assignments he will be using!!
  • For Christmas, this year, my husband surprised me with making two of the COOLEST things for my classroom: a Wheel of Fortune and a Plinko board!! They were such a hit in the classroom. I just couldn't believe how much the kids were into it...and boy did they want to save their money up to give the wheel a spin. Craig colored each section a variety of colors so that I could use it for my "probability" lessons in math. I laminated different amounts of "den dollars" so they could lose money OR gain money depending on where the spin ended. I even had a bankrupt and a jackpot section. This was such a huge success. I could envision using it as a review game. I used velcro to place the money on the different sections so they could easily come off and I could come up with different questions. As I'm writing this, I just thought of using it as an entry task somehow. Having a variety of questions/tasks that they had to complete...I could even have it become a "job". One student, at the beginning of class, would have to spin the wheel to see what their entry task would have to be for the day. YEA!!! I amaze myself sometimes. I'll be thinking more about that this summer and I'll get back with you!
  • Towards the end of the year, I came up with a new table arrangements and I couldn't be happier. Basically, I have taken two tables and created multiple L's around the room. That way they are sort of zig-zagged around the room. I like it because there really isn't a "front" section of the classroom, or a back section. One student isn't the highlight of the rest of the tables, essentially taking the spot light off of the class clown. I also placed the desks in such a way that it has created a divider between each of the lab stations around my counters so that the groups are well separated and staying on task.
  • One of my favorite things I did, was use this itty-bitty tape (I actually think it is called white-board tape) and I created a M-F calendar on my white board. I love to plan ahead at least two weeks in advance. For each class, I used a different color pen, and then tests were always written in red so that they stood out. This was so much fun to fill out (for the obsessively organized person), but I also loved it because the students would go right up to the calendar to see what we were doing each day, they new when tests were coming...and it, for the most part, alleviated me from getting 30 questions from the class, "What are we doing today?" 
So, for next year...I have a few ideas up my sleeve. They just need to be perfected.
  • I have never truly found a hugely successful system on what to do with absent student's work. I get so annoyed with different students coming to me every single day asking me, "Did I miss anything". Then I have to figure out how many days they were absent, and what assignments they missed. It would be so WONDERFUL if I had a system in place where they could be responsible for getting their own assignments. Last year, when I taught one prep (8th grade science), I created three different binders (labs, notes, classwork) and placed all of the extra assignments in the binders. If a student was absent, then they could go to the binders themselves and get what they needed. It was great...for the most part. Unfortunately, this year I moved to three preps...and I just didn't want to keep up a bunch of binders for each class. Hmm...I'm thinking I'm going to have to suck it up next year because it worked pretty well. In trying to find another system, I found the idea of using my extra filing cabinet in the same way as I used my binders. I'm not exactly sure how I would make it work, but I would name the folders M-F instead of by the name of each assignment...that way I would be able to reuse the folders each semester. I am envisioning hanging a large sign above the filing cabinet "Were You Absent?" Then the students would go straight to the cabinet and find the day that they were absent and take out each assignment for that day of the week. Hmm...I'll think more about this!
  • My student teacher had a great idea for my pencil dilemma. I can't tell you how many students would come to class without a pencil. I ended up charging them "den dollars" every time they needed my pencils...but it got so bad, that I didn't like that I had to actually pay real money for their lack of supplies. I will get two can for pencils that are sharpened and one can for pencils that need to be sharpened. Students could earn "den dollars" for sharpening the pencils...but now that I'm thinking about it, I need to come  up with a system that would make sure that my pencils actually get returned at the end of each class. More brainstorming!!!
There you have it. If you have some more ideas, or systems that were successful for you, I would love for you to share it with me!!

What Was I Thinking???

Monday, June 20, 2011
Things have been a little stressful lately...
  • Filling out adoption paperwork
  • School year coming to an end (grading papers, report cards, students that are already ready for summer, etc)
  • Remodeling the house
It is at this time that I decided to go off of sugar for one week! What was I thinking? I'm crazy I tell you, CRAZY!! I'll tell you...I was getting out of control eating sugar. Just look at all of the stressful events surrounding me...and my hands gained a mind of their own...feeding my mouth peanut butter cup after peanut butter cup (mini's of that makes it any better). I was so out of control that I just felt gross at the end of each day!! So, to heck with you sugar!! I vowed myself off of it for one week...and I FEEL GREAT!!

In regards to my stress...
I am so close to finishing the first set of adoption paperwork...I can almost taste it. The paperwork, itself, is pretty much finished...there is just one page that I am dreading filling out. Other than that, I just have some copies to make of different licenses (marriage, drivers, etc) and then we need to get our fingerprints done.
With school...GET ME OUT OF THERE!!! I don't know who's more excited about the summer, me or the students. I feel like I started the countdown long before my students did. What I wouldn't give to be a stay at home mom. Summers are great, but they are so hard towards the end because I become so spoiled being with Emily. It always brings me to tears at the end of summer.
And finally, remodeling the house. Craig and I have been at a stand-still for quite some time now...and if the past is any sort of an indicator for the future...we will be butting heads when I start bringing up ideas, to-do's, etc for what I would like to accomplish this summer. I never look forward to the process...just the end result.

Just a couple more days of no sugar...I feel good, but boy do I miss a good butterfinger at the end of the day...who am I kidding...I love a good butterfinger at the beginning of the day, in the middle of the day, AND at the end of the day!!!

Summer Goals

Saturday, June 18, 2011
    Whenever I have a break from school, my husband gets very concerned. Why, you ask? Because I tend to create lists of things that "I" want to do, that include a lot of hard work from "him". It is usually around that time...that a slight disagreement ensues. Let me give you an example...there have been times where I have wanted to rearrange/re-purpose a room, but I would need his help putting up shelves. There have been times where I want to rearrange the items in the kitchen cabinets. This one has always stumped Craig (yes, that means this has occurred more than once) because I really don't use the kitchen, I rarely ever cook, and it frustrates him to no end because he can't find anything. There are time where I want to go through closets and gather stuff for the goodwill, which means that I want him to find the time to go through all of his clothes too. Craig has learned to run and hide about a week, or so, before my breaks and to not appear again until the break is over. Well, summer break makes that extremely difficult for him to do.
    This evening, after dinner, I did my best to ease into the conversation of what I wanted to do this summer. I was naive enough to start off by asking him what goals he had for this summer. He was quick to catch on, and replied with, "Not do what you want me to do!" DANG IT!!! He's on to me....abort mission...abort mission!!! I made a quick recovery and just explained that, "Yes, I do have things that I want to get done around that house...and yes, I do completely understand your response to my question, but I most all of my goals this summer do not include you...however there are just a couple of things where I will need your help." Craig was much more susceptible to listening after that.
    So, with that long are my goals of things that I want to accomplish this summer. I look forwarding to sharing each of them with you here:



1.  I recently bought a sewing machine at the Fair this past year and haven't used it like I wanted to. This summer, I want to SEW!!! I want to sew dresses for Emily. I want to sew tops for myself. I want to sew baby gifts, toys, blankets, etc. I want to sew!!! I have found a handful of blogs that give great tutorials, so I will share those blogs, and do my best to document my sewing projects with you this summer.
2.  I have been running a little bit lately...and by that I mean about two times. It's that second run that allows me to pluralize this word run to runs!! My goal this summer is to run in the morning, three times a week...the Ruston Way Waterfront...down and back. I used to do it all the time in high school, so it shouldn't be that bad, right?

3.  With as much as I love to cook (that statement is FULL of sarcasm), I really don't have an excuse NOT to do it when I have the summer off. I would really look bad if I still expected Craig to cook dinners, when I'm home all day long, for the most part. So, I bought all of the materials to make this menu planning board...which I found from "A Girl And A Glue Gun" blog. I plan on making this within the next week or so, so that it will hopefully help me to get organized with having to cook. We eat out WAY too much. If I can get the hang of cooking different recipes and find ones that are easy enough for me...then I want to keep it up when I go back to work in September. So, my goal this summer is to find those recipes that are DELICIOUS...but are also super easy and quick to make. I just don't want to spend my evenings stuck in the kitchen.
4. This goal kind of goes along with #2 and #3. I really need to work on changing my eating habits. I feel like, since Craig and I are always on the go...that eating at home just isn't our first option. We tend to look for quick and easy...and relaxing, since we have both had a hard day at isn't at the top of our priority list to cook a healthy meal. Well, that has to change now!!! Along with my running goal and cooking goal, I think it is obvious that I'm looking to drop a few pounds...tighten things up a bit if  you know what I mean. So, for the world to see...I want to lose 10 pounds this summer...more would be wonderful, but I will count my blessings with 10.
5. My last goal this summer is to put our home updates back into motion. We worked super hard at updating our living room, dining room, and kitchen. All three of those rooms still have a little finishing touches to be done. I would like to finish those small details and then move into a couple other rooms in our house. The three rooms that I want to focus on are my itty bitty craft area, the soon-to-be office in the back, and our spare bedroom on the main floor. This is where Craig comes in...which is what he was all worried about with our conversation that I shared earlier. I need the man to hang a couple of shelves and move a couple pieces of large furniture with me. I'm sure he will be happy to do both of those!

Picture     So, those are the things that I will be blogging about this summer. I feel like I am creating my New Year's Resolution...which I never ever do because I am confident enough to know that I will never follow through with it. Well, here's to trying...wish me luck and stay posted! I will do my best to keep you updated.

Adoption Class

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Well, this weekend Craig and I attended the intro class with the agency that we have chosen to work with. The meeting wasn't what I expected at all...and that's a good thing. I was fully expecting to be given scary statistics in hopes of weeding those couples out who were on the fence with adoption. Instead, our presenter provided very encouraging data AS WELL as his own personal experience of going through the adoption process with the agency itself.
At the end of class, if we wanted to move forward with the adoption process, we were told to highlight our name on the sign-in sheet and they would email us our application. To my surprise, Craig went ahead and highlighted our name. Why was I surprised?? Because Craig is a processor. He needs time...time to think about what he just heard, time to talk about his thoughts/ideas with me, time to just let it all sink in. So...yes, I was surprised when he went ahead and highlighted our name...without even giving me a wink or a nod. That was super encouraging to me...just to know that I'm not dragging him through the process kicking and screaming.
After the meeting, Craig and I had some time to talk. Our feelings were not what I imagined them to be. I was expecting to be overwhelmed with joy about moving forward...but instead, I found myself moving forward in obedience. Now, hear me out...because there are a TON of dimensions to my emotions after this meeting. My first overwhelming feeling came in the middle of the class...and I was overwhelmed with passion for the agency's mission. I found myself thinking of how I could be a part of their ministry. Whether through adopting, volunteering, teaming up with my church...I was just searching for a way that I could be a partner with them. As for the adoption process's a lot to take in. All of these thoughts started running through my mind: How old is our child going to be? What will they have seen and been a part of? What will they be bringing to our home? How will this affect Emily? Can this hurt Emily in any way, shape, or form? It is all just a lot to think about and take into consideration. It's not just Craig and Heather anymore...we have to think about Emily and make sure that she is protected physically and mentally through this. just helps to talk about these things out loud, because as Craig and I were sharing our thoughts/worries with each other...I felt led to say, "You know, it's not as though this is a random process. Whatever child is placed in our home...God already knows. God already has that child chosen for us and that child needs us." Craig and I both felt a sense of peace with that being said. It's so true...we have nothing to worry about at all. This entire process is a God thing, and I am encouraged and honored to be a part of God's plan. James 1:27

James 1:27 ~ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Picture I was recently emailing a friend, who told me how excited she was about us attending the adoption class and how she couldn't wait to hear about it. I remember replying to her email saying that I was excited too...but still a bit frustrated with God...thinking that my battle of infertility was over once we had Emily, and how upsetting it is to continue to struggle with it. I thought that I had paid my dues...I had a strong testimony, I was sharing with others, encouraging others...why do I have to keep struggling with infertility. BUT, as I was replying to my friend, literally as I was dawned on me...this could, maybe...just possibly, be God placing his hand on the direction that He needs Craig and I to move in. Maybe, just maybe, there is a child out there that needs Craig and I...that God has chosen to become a part of our family...and if I were to get pregnant as easily as I would have like to have gotten would just continue to postpone that calling in our lives. I don't know...I may never know, BUT I do know that I want to be obedient to God. I know for a fact that Craig and I have a calling in this direction, and I am honored to continue to be used by God.

Diapers VS Little Swimmers

Friday, June 3, 2011 I picked up Emily from a friends house and she shared a pretty cute story with me...not so much about Emily as it is about Craig.

Last night I had an evening event at work, so Craig took the evening shift with Emily all by himself...and it happened to fall on a night that she had swimming lessons. So, fast forward to me picking up Emily, the following day, from my friends house. She told me that when she held Emily this morning, as Craig was transferring the car seat into her car...she noticed that Emily was SUPER wet. As soon as Craig left, she went to go and change Emily's diaper...and LOW AND BEHOLD...Emily still had a little swimmer on!!! HA HA!!!
I called Craig so that I could have a good laugh at his expense, and he actually put her to bed, the night before with her "little swimmer" on...poor Emily!! She really has never been the one to complain about dirty diapers...but that is just sad! I guess Craig figured that the "little swimmers" were super water holders..."why else would you use them in the swimming pool?" I love it!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top