Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I am a few hours late so happy belated v-day! Today was such a pretty day outside. When I came home I found some sweetness waiting for me...

A card, a Dr. Pepper (yes!) and a little monster from my son and husband.

Plus, some very beautiful pink roses.

It really was a surprise because my husband had bought me a netbook about a week ago and told me to consider it an early Valentine's gift. 

My son Harrison is 8 years old and in second grade. He is really getting into pranks. He loves to watch this YouTube family prank each other:

Earlier today he tried to prank my husband by writing this and hiding!

What a silly boy I have!

So for my grad class I was setting up our wiki web site (you can see it HERE), and doing a search for pictures of kids taking a test.
Google images of course has the most *random* stuff come up instead. Like this...
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What??!? No...Just no!
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That poor twinkie!!!
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Shaking my head so hard right now!
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This reminds me of my middle school doodles.
Saving the best for last!!

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The moral? Be careful what you Google for, you may end up with more than you wished for! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Buddy Reading Works

We use a strategy known as A/B Reading. During guided reading, I had them read with an assigned partner. They sit EEKK! style--elbow to elbow, and knee to knee. Both children have the same text. One child reads while the other follows along. The reader asks the follower a question related to the story to make sure the follower was listening. I have an anchor chart with prompts on it for A/B Reading like:

Who are the main characters?

What is the problem?
What is the setting?
What do you predict will happen?

Would you read this book again? Why or why not?

What was the solution to the problem?
What can you infer from the title?
What was your favorite/least favorite part?

Then the students switch roles and partner B reads while partner A listens and answers questions. Sometimes they choose a prompt from the chart and sometimes they make up their own questions. They really enjoy trying to trick the listener to make sure he/she was following along.

I do use the A/B strategy about twice a week. The technique can be used with first through fifth graders. They really enjoy it when they are able to spread out around the room to read with their partner. I like to use paired reading because some struggling readers are not confident to read independently or in front of a whole or small group. This also gives them the opportunity to learn from their reading partner and to pick up good skills. I like the fact that the two students are learning together to clarify and decode words.

So you've had a bad day

Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around...

Remember that overplayed song?!?!? This was my day. Just one of those Charlie Brown, Lucy keeps moving the football kinda days. We all have them. Then on the drive home something happened. I was thinking about my bad day when I drove by a fatality accident. Seeing the person slumped over the wheel, wiped my bad day away and made me think about how important my family is. Sadly, a few minutes after witnessing the aftermath the radio DJ announced it was a fatality. So I am sharing this with you to remind you to take time for yourself, take time for your family, when someone gives you hate give them love three-fold back, when you have had a bad day realize someone else has had a worse day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reaching the limit

I think successful teachers use non-verbal management without even realizing it. This would include "wait time," the teacher stare, moving around the room, hand on the shoulder, a quiet sign, ringing a bell, or a type of movement. I use it daily in my teaching. I even made signs that have clip art with the word of the behavior I want and hold them up. 

My "I've reached the limit" signal would be turning off the classroom lights. All my students know this means a class time out with voices off, heads down. Then we talk about the expected behaviors. Non-verbal signals can also be positive like a pat on the back, nod of the head, thumbs up.

I think it would interesting to film yourself teach and see if there are any unintentional non-verbal signals you make like hands on the hips, arms crossed or snapping fingers. I know I do snap my fingers sometimes when I am in the middle of reading aloud. I think I use wait time the most. How about you?

Teaching Beginning, Middle and End with a Snowman!!

I want to share a lesson I modeled today in second grade.
I shared about this with my grad class, but this post has pics!

It was about beginning, middle and end using "The Mitten". I started by stating the objectives "According to Common Core today I will learn..." I started out with anticipation by getting out three different sized boxes I covered with white butcher paper. I taped them together, not speaking. Then I added details, a nose, a scarf, etc. I said, "raise you hand if you have ever built a snowman before." All hands went up. "Building a snowman is like building a good story." I pointed to the three snowman sections--head (beginning) midsection (middle) and bottom (end). I wrote those on there and said the details added to the snowman were like details in a story.

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I saw the chart above on Pinterest and created my version.

Then I showed several Jan Brett books and stated, 

"Give me a thumbs up if you've read this one..." at the very end I showed The Mitten and said this is the book we are studying today. "It takes place in the Ukraine." I showed them on the map how if I got in an airplane how I would fly from Oklahoma to the Ukraine and I taught them to say hi in Ukrainian (pri-vit).I incorporated technology by showing the book on the Smart Board and using the read aloud video from YouTube. 
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Then we reviewed the sequence of the animals. I handed out story character cards. I had ordinal numbers on my chart paper and they had to hold up the card if they thought it was their animal's turn in the sequence, if the class agreed they made that number with their fingers raised.There was an interesting dilemma that came up with the charting--we had 11 characters but one student had a mitten card. This was how we were able to quickly discuss living and non-living things and characters vs. objects.

We also exercised by touching our heads for beginning, hands on hips for middle and squatting for end.

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I had three giant circles on butcher paper and we did an interactive writing on B,M, and E. 

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Then the kids made their own circle B,M,E snowmen! It turned out so cool!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How can I make this intimidating aspect of language and grammar into something exciting? I think teachers still struggle with that. My opinion is that if you are teaching and the students are not only actively engaged, but also discussing, teaching each other, and moving around the room, there will be learning taking place.

Teaching students about base words, morphemes, graphemes, prefixes and suffixes cannot be done correctly by just handing them a worksheet. Give students tiny mirrors from the craft store or the dollar store. Have them hold them while saying words slowly or making the sounds. Do "duck lips" where they purse their lips shut while saying the word and feeling the syllables or have them touch their throats to measure the syllables. Give them index cards cut up and have them write the word out the way they hear the divisions ex. mis-con-duct on 3 cards. Give them counters and have them move one up each time they hear a division. These are the skills that will help them decode words, not a worksheet or a textbook. I feel strongly about getting students doing and not just listening to the "sage on the stage." I think I feel so passionate about it because I struggled with reading as a child and had teachers give up on me. It just took one to believe me and then reading and writing came easily.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

5 Major Components of Reading

The five major components of reading are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. According to the Reading Rockets web site (2013), "When using any teaching strategy, teachers should (1) help students to understand why a strategy is useful, and (2) describe explicitly how the strategy should be used. Teacher demonstration, modeling, and follow-up independent practice are critical factors for success. Student discussion following strategy instruction is also helpful." These components are interrelated because you just cannot have one without the other. When a student become proficient in these areas they become successful readers.
Phonemic awareness is when students identify sounds and are able to utilize those sounds to make words. Today during my PLC meeting with PreK I showed them how to use elkonin or sound boxes. These are simple boxes on a piece of paper usually accompanying an illustration.There is a box for each phoneme--not for ea. letter. The students push a counter up into the boxes as they say the sound. Here is an illustration of one I found on Google Images:

This is a quick and easy activity that would be good to introduce during small group and then put at a literacy center.
Phonics is when students identify letter sounds and the letter itself. Making words with magnetic letters or using poetry or alphabet chants are easy ways to practice phonics.
Fluency starts with letter sounds, moving to sight words and then onto reading text. You are considered fluent if you can automatically do it. A great fluency activity isthe A/B partner reading. I am such a fan of this technique! During guided reading, I have them read with a partner. They sit EEKK! style--elbow to elbow, and knee to knee. Both children have the same text. One child reads while the other follows along. The reader asks the follower a question related to the story to make sure the follower was listening.
Vocabulary is fundamental to reading. Vocabulary words help us to build background knowledge and associations of words in order to communicate effectively. While reading an article by Ruddell and Shearer (2002), a students says, "I used to only think about vocabulary in school. The whole world is vocabulary." That statement resonates with me because we must have the foundation of vocabulary in order to be successful readers and writers. A wonderful way to tie vocabulary into a lesson is to keep index cards or sentence strips with a Sharpie nearby and as the class learns vocabulary in a whole group setting, add the word to the word wall, and question them about its definition.
Comprehension is when students make meaning and connections from the text. To help with comprehension graphic organizers, especially that compare and contrast two different texts, are easy to implement to help with this area.

Works Cited
Reading Rockets.Org. (2013)Classroom strategies. Accessed on January 30, 2013 from: . Ruddell, M.& Brenda A. (2002). Extraordinary," "tremendous," "exhilarating," "magnificent": middle school at-risk students become avid word learners with the Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS): asking students to choose their own vocabulary words maintains interest and builds connections with content areas. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 45(5).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Money vacuum

If you have not been to the web site Very Jane
, go. Go now! Well, after reading this post. This site is my money vacuum. I am addicted to this site. I think it would be worse if I had a little girl, but thankfully, I keep myself in check when I say, "What am I going to do with a tutu?" and delete it from my cart. 

but I do have this coming my way in orange. And I am thinking of adding this:

but not sure on a color yet. And look at this!!!

Only 5.99!!
I like that most of their stuff is under $20...mainly under $10. And no, I am not getting paid or freebies for talking about this site. I actually found out about it on Mrs. Lemon's 2nd Grade Blog!
Last week, I got a confirmation from Reading Horizons to be a guest blogger on February 5th. Exciting!! We utilize their program at our school especially with our ELL students. They always have really great free webinars and free online training. Check it out!!
So we are painting over our son's old murals in his bedroom. His nursery was Classic Pooh...I have always had a thing for Winnie the Pooh even as a child. Then when he was about two we made his room Eric Carle theme. Don't get me started on my Eric Carle obsession!!! Let's just say this lady has several autographed books (even big books) of his! They are all made out to my old Kindergarten teacher lol but who cares that I bought them at her retirement garage sale.

Eric Carle rocks!!

So bye bye Grouchy Ladybug and Brown Bear and Hungry Caterpillar...the room is now a classic blue. And guess what theme the murals will be??? Super Mario! Itsa gonna be spaghetti-o! Yes, it is fun to type in a Mario accent.
I will post pics as soon as we are done. He has the biggest room in the house so the painting it blue is still going on. Ben has been hard at work! My husband Ben is an artist and a former art teacher (he is taking a life break from that but works part-time at Target). Sooooo he does all the awesome mural work. We also painted my old Kindergarten room at my school with murals from book characters...but I think they are all covered up except one.
Anyway, my little boy is now 8 and growing so fast. He needs to stop! He tells me all the time he will care for me and feed me applesauce when I am old. :) Love being a mom!
I am in my last grad class!! Eeek. Then I have my practicum, graduate, take my test and am an official "Reading Specialist." Is it weird that I have a feeling of "what next?" I tease with the notion of getting my doctorate but my mother-in-law says I am a glutton for punishment and Ben says I would be paying $50,000 to a university to write a book over three years. :) He knows I will do what I want anyway because he married a hard head. Last night we had the debate about how long we had been married! He shaved a year off. I was like, "How could you not know our 11th anniversary is coming up?" He was like--

P.S. Update-he ended up being right!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Even my blog is OLD

Even my blog is OLD!!! My first post on here was 1-11-2007. Six years baby!!! Oh my gosh. Harrison was two years old when I started blogging. I was a stay-at-home mom who really just wanted to keep a journal of life at its best. I am still an insomnia queen. Oh, and a drama queen!! For the record, princess Granny looks totally fierce and yes I will be rockin' a tiara in my old age!!!!

My passion is for teaching

Thinking about the key to good teaching when it comes to breaking down words...

How can I make this intimidating aspect of language and grammar into something exciting? I think teachers still struggle with that. My opinion is that if you are teaching and the students are not only actively engaged, but also discussing, teaching each other, and moving around the room, there will be learning taking place.

Teaching students about base words, morphemes, graphemes, prefixes and suffixes cannot be done correctly by just handing them a worksheet. Give students tiny mirrors from the craft store or the dollar store. Have them hold them while saying words slowly or making the sounds. Do "duck lips" where they purse their lips shut while saying the word and feeling the syllables or have them touch their throats to measure the syllables. Give them index cards cut up and have them write the word out the way they hear the divisions ex. mis-con-duct on 3 cards. Give them counters and have them move one up each time they hear a division. These are the skills that will help them decode words, not a worksheet or a textbook. I feel strongly about getting students doing and not just listening to the "sage on the stage." I think I feel so passionate about it because I struggled with reading as a child and had teachers give up on me. It just took one to believe me and then reading and writing came easily.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Parental Involvement

I was thinking about parental involvement and the effect on literacy skills. I read an article that had this interesting nugget on research related to this topic : "A study conducted last spring in over 27 countries and over 20 years confirmed that having over 500 books in ones’ home is more important to a child’s projected academic success than a parent’s education" (Stewart, 2011). So exposing a child to literature is more of an indicator than whether the parents had higher education or multiple degrees. On a personal note, my mom had her GED and my father had a sixth grade education because of the poverty in his country. Every night they read to me. They indulged my love of books. They took me to the library once a week. I think this greatly influenced the path I went down. Books are a wonderful bonding tool but also a good way for parents to give us wings.


Stewart, D. J. (November 2011). Parent involvement in early literacy is the key to academic success. From the Teach Preschool web site accessed on October 27,
                2012 from: .

Let's get rich and buy everyone nice sweaters

Don't you worry there my honey
We might not have any money
But we've got our love to pay the bills...

*LOVE* this song by Ingrid Michaelson, "You and I".

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What is comprehension??

Good link to share!

Working with ELLs

My experience with ELL students is that you definitely need to
activate prior knowledge. We cannot assume they know certain vocabulary words, and so it always helps to have a visual with a word. Also, it is helpful for the teacher to check for understanding throughout the lesson. Modeling is a big factor in teaching ELL students literacy strategies. Also, if you have them do independent work it may be best for them to practice the skill(s) with a partner first. Today in my reading groups I had them do A/B reading where they sit elbow to elbow and knee to knee (known as EEKK!). Both children have the same text. One child reads while the other follows along. The reader asks the follower a question related to the story to make sure the follower was listening. Then they switch. 

I have also found picture dictionaries to be good resources so my ELL students can look up a word.

One way to assist ELL students with writing is the use of visuals as writing prompts. I found some good ones here:

It is very easy as an educator to get photos from magazines or online and use those, too. Sometimes just using the photo and not even giving a certain writing prompt but using the visual alone is thought-provoking. You also have to take into consideration are they ready to learn this particular concept? You have to remember that Zone of Proximal Development. The more a teacher knows about a student's background and interests, the easier it is to provide appropriate instruction for that student. What is of interest to the student? If the topic is something that interests the student, they will be more likely to produce a higher quality writing product. You also have to consider all of the different learning styles and have a way to tweak the lesson based on those. I think also providing multiple ways to assess the writing helps to ensure students are able to show you what they know.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elmer's Holiday Pin and Win!

So I just checked my email and heard about this contest!! As a teacher, scrapbooker/crafter, and mommy I would be so excited if I won! I see painter's pens and x-acto knives and adhesive runners! JOY!
I pinned some wonderful ideas I found on the web site.

Like this Best Buddy Ball!

In the classroom this would be great to put sight words or spelling words for students to take home and review or make at a center!

And here's some things I made myself using Elmer's products!

Halloween garland using Elmer's clear glue to stick the felt pieces together!
And a snazzy clear card using the clear glue again!!!
My students made monsters using Elmer's glue sticks.
Get sticky! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Old Blog, New Blog

~originally posted 1/29/11~ 

Welcome to my first official Kindergarten blog post. My name is Mrs.Winkle. I have been teaching for seven years now although everyday is a new experience! 
I feel like I am always evolving and learning with my students. 

I think this will be useful for communication with parents and also it will be a good place for us to share ideas and plans with my peers. So let's get caught up on the year so far!

 I moved into my classroom in July. Sometimes it felt like the paintbrush was glued to our hands. My mom and I painted the giant room and my mom and husband made murals to cover the mirrors. 

It was an effort to get things ready for our students but so worth creating a positive learning atmosphere. I wanted our classroom to feel like a safe, comfortable place.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lock 'em up!!!

I am so ready for back to school time! As a teacher and mother I am pumped! Yesterday we had a teaching conference and they asked us to pick which cat picture described us--I picked Party Cat! I am ready to make learning fun.
I am in need of a lock for my storage area--you know so the kids don't play with my teacher stuff when they are supposed to be on a bathroom break or something. I saw these cute new locks from Master Lock.

Totally cute, so I think it will work! 
The Master Lock facebook page is here...
in case you wanna check out other colors/models.
Do you remember using a lock in middle school (back in my day it was junior high school) on your locker? The worst was when it would stick and the bell had already rung!!!!
The best advice I can give parents and students for surviving the school year is to make sure to make time for relaxation. Take time as a family to spend time playing board games, seeing a movie,etc...Since I am a teacher, I make sure to leave my school aka work at the building and put on my mommy hat at home. :)
So I am sending everyone happy back to school wishes!!! :)
P.S. I am entering a contest  for a Master Lock back-to-school prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Living Outside the Box!

We were recently sent a fun toy by Ebeanstalk!

It's called Connect-a-Straws.

My five year old son Harrison had a blast with them.
You can make cool things like...

glasses to wear!

flowers! :)


And so much headbands, belts, buildings,etc. I like the toy because it encourages creativity and outside the box thinking!
With so many toys to choose from, it's hard to pick out the perfect ones for your children. Ebeanstalk wants to make sure they have the best toys around and they could really use your help. Head on over to ebeanstalk and tell them what your favorite baby toys and kids toys are! It's important to them to provide great toys by age and the only way they can make sure they have the right ones is to get feedback from moms like you and me!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Much needed update time!

What time is it? Adventure time! (Love that show...)
This summer is flying by too fast for me! We celebrated the 4th in our tiny town--hopefully I'll post some pictures soon.

I have been working in my classroom and on professional development with co-workers.
Our garden is growing like crazy.
Ben and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. :)

Our cat Angry ran away when a window was left open and the screen fell out of it. :( It has been 3 days now.

(Here she is with her baby Glitz-he was born on Mother's Day 2008!)
I keep dreaming at night that I find her. I am keeping the hope alive in my ♥.

My goal today is to sort things in my office. My teacher files are a mess! Oh, and to go swimming today.

Okay so I started thinking about my Christmas shopping list (yes, I start in July!) I have lots of nieces and nephews and of course, my little Harrison to buy for. Ebeanstalk to the rescue! lol I love, love to peruse their site.
We would get toys from them when Harrison was a baby and they were always good quality, and developmentally appropriate.

So now I am off to clean!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spammers are gone!

thank you debbie :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


So much has come to pass since my last post!!
I neglected my online diary aka this blog for a year almost because I started teaching Prek in two different locations. Getting back into the swing of things after being a stay-at-home mom for four years was tough! I had sold/donated some of my teaching stuff--never really sure if I would return. Then I did and I had to collect/make new stuff! So it was like having my first year all over again!!
And I got re-exposed to cooties so I was sick A LOT. :)
But I realized that A)I was born to teach. This is what God instilled in me. and B)I am flexible and strong for being able to manage two different locations (inside daycares--my public school does PreK now inside daycares) plus two different elementary schools (where I filled out paperwork, copied, laminated,etc).
I really think every teacher has a grade or two that is close to their heart ♥. For me it has always been Kindergarten. Always. And for some reason it seems to always be the most competitive grade to get hired in--I guess Kindergarten is in the hearts of many. :) Plus, here in Oklahoma there are so many budget cuts and so many teachers without jobs.
I am blessed to have been hired so very early in a different school, different district and having my sweet, sweet Kindergarten again. I am excited!!!!
I kept hearing, "When God closes one door he opens another." And honestly, I kind of was not sure if the door was locked or going to open lol. I am so blessed and I want to give readers/friends hugs. ~***~
So I am in the process of organizing my home office...going through my teaching stuff and also sorting scrapbook stuff. Honestly, scrapbooking and art have not been a huge priority in my life. But I have that yearning inside to still create! I am sure once I settle into this school year I will start again.
Speaking of creativity!! My online friend Debbie Chavers is having an art challenge!!! Woohoo!!!!

If you want to do it, you can have until the end of the month, June 30th. The deadline is going to be the 25th (starting after this month).That's all for now...gotta go work in my office some more. :) P.S. Anyone know how to get rid of my spammers in my comments sections?!?!?

Thursday, May 6, 2010



Old friend. I've missed you!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Let it snow?!?

Merry Christmas friends!
I wished for a white Christmas and my prayers were answered...and then some!
I have lived in Oklahoma my whole life. I remember a blizzard when I was 5. Twenty six years later, we have a major blizzard!!
The weather man on Wednesday night said it would be a blizzard warning. Everyone was like, "yeah right. we will be lucky to get snow."
My husband Ben kept saying it would all melt before Friday lol.
He was so wrong...
This morning there was the plink, plink of ice coming down.
We kicked our own butts for realizing we had no isomelt/salt in the house. We only had a 1/2 a cup of kitchen salt and a little bit of car de-icer. I was really worried about the treacherous sidewalk to our mailbox.
We tried to clear it. And then the snow started!
And it snowed all day until 9pm.
So we had plans to see my husband's family in Yukon to eat dinner and exchange gifts. Then my dh's mom calls at like 11am to say they were heading out to my sister-in-law's to do it early. We debated about whether to go or not...
Ben had made an emergency grocery store run (*cannot* run out of chocolate milk in this house!) up the street about two hours before and it was slick but no biggie.
At noon we start to take things to the car. The snow is about 4 inches at this point.
The wind was horrible!!
It was blowing snow so you would be blind and my face still has freezer burn from just walking to the car. They said on tv the wind was making it sub zero in areas.
Harrison has his snow bib and boots on and is bundled up. I had all my winter gear on except a hat.
We start walking to the car...Harrison's snow boot gets stuck in the snow and his sock gets covered with snow! So I go back in to grab a hat for me and new socks/boots for H. I also grab some bottled water bottles, wrapped rice krispy treats and two blankets out of concern.
We start driving down the road...not too bad...then once we get on a main street it is terrible!!! The wipers would get stuck to the windshield even with defrost on high. The snow was blinding. You could not see the car in front of you. If you rolled down your window in an attempt to see, the window would get stuck, snow would blow in your face and you still could not see anyway.
Ben was yelling at people because so many would drive by with no lights on. Some people had hazards flashing. Ambulances/fire department trucks would drive by. People were getting stranded. Some were trying to wait it out in parking lots.
It got bad fast.
I knew there was no way we could make it on the highway.
We got about 4 blocks away from the house and decided to turn around. Honestly, we should have never left the house!!
It took us like 45 minutes of an ordeal to get home!!!!
We saw a major accident and turned off to avoid seeing someone hurt/dead (help was already on the way--we could hear the sirens).
I saw people trying to walk in it!!
We argued in the car--Ben was like, "the best thing to do is leave the car and walk." I was like, "No, the only way to survive is stay in the car, crack a window a tiny bit to let CO out, and run the car on/off for heat." I was sooo thankful that I had nagged him into filling up the tank the night before!
Then we argued over bad grandma/good grandma because Ben's mom was so insistent we try to go to Yukon just to exchange gifts and I said my mom kept calling to tell me NOT to take her grand son out in it.
It got so bad I thought we would be stranded. I started crying about two blocks from our house. I was sooooo relieved when we pulled in our driveway!!!!
The wind made huge snow drifts! I went and measured some in our backyard and they were 1 1/2-3 feet!!!! What?!?!
So about 20 mins. after being home and drying my poor baby boy off, the phone rings. Ben's mom saying not to come out, and that they were home already and Ben's brother was stuck in his SUV about 9 blocks away from us. She wanted to know if Ben could pull him out. Ben starts out the door and I am like, " need kitty litter, salt, bleach, a rope,etc". I think he was just in a rush to help his brother but he grabbed the stuff after I said that.
His brother called as Ben was pulling out the driveway to say he got unstuck. Thank God!!!!
I have been keeping up with the live feed from Channel 5 KOCO. There are people having to sleep in their cars tonight.
KOCO quotes--
Stuck @ work for 24 hours! The sun better burn a hole in the ice and get me home!!! So tired!!! Can Rick or Rusty make this happen?"
"Tony McCarty from EMSA says they've been busy overnight taking care of folks who can't get to the hospital. Tony stresses not to call EMSA if you're stuck in the snow. EMSA is keeping busy right now with medical emergencies."
"I have heard about Fire Trucks being stuck and they are just leaving them."
"Please..anyone.. Husband never made it home yesterday and still no word...was traveling on 152 in Mustang..need any information thats available"

"Mark Opgrande reporting that lots of folks probably had to spend the night in their cars along I-35 in Norman."
They closed highways/turnpikes and declared it a state of emergency around 3pm. Snow finally stopped at 9pm.
This is sooo crazy and sad. I know this is going on in the North but think about snows heavy there all the time so they are prepared/used to it---we are not.
So the lesson of the story is be careful what you wish for when it comes to white Christmases!!!
***Video and pics coming soon from the blizzard. Since I had my camera with me the one thing to keep my mind off us crashing/getting stuck was to take pics/vid.******

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Massive posting ahead. Just saying.

Merry Christmas luvs!

A whole month went by. Did you miss me? LOL
I got so busy with family stuff (my dad had some problems) and work stuff that my poor blog went neglected for a bit, but guess what?!? I have two weeks of no work for Christmas Break! Yay!!!

And I so needed it! Those kids, God Bless 'em, were driving me a little insane. Along with the demands and all the PAPERWORK that comes with the job. I teach at-risk kids so dealing with the parents can be tough,too. I really think next year will be a smoother year for me...
here's hoping!

So today I debated about getting a turtle! I saw one locally for free, and it was just so adorable. Then I realized it would live to be 100+ and get huge (this was like the big ones from the zoo). So I said no thanks to my turtle pet. I really worry I am trying to make my own house into a zoo!

I scored some free MegaBlocks for my classroom from freecycle. I love freecycle!!
Today I took H to McDonald's. He is on an Avatar toy kick and what can I say, I am an enabler...and I treated myself to a small hot chocolate. Never had one from McD's before. Oh my lambs!!! It was soooo good. I was licking the inside of the cup!

I got my hands on some Zhu Zhu pets (thank u Craigslist!) a few weeks back and now I am looking for some accessories for these guys. I would love to get a car and one of the exercise balls. I know the carrier/blanket would be a no go for H because I honestly could not see him using those. I feel a little naughty--like I feel lame for following the trend and being "one of those parents." BUT you know what?

I remember the Cabbage Patch Doll and when I unwrapped my PollyAnna. Still have her. *BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD*!!! So that is why I turn into sucker mom on a mad hunt for Zhu Zhu stuff.

Christmas came early for me...I got to see my gift ahead of time! LOL DH bought me a stunning necklace but was not sure on chain size so I got to peek at the pic of it online. I cannot wait to have it around my neck. I like shiny stuff!

So yesterday we made my favorite Christmas recipe...Christmas Wreaths. And then I ate a lot of them and got burned out on eating anymore. Which is good.
Here is the recipe:

Christmas Wreaths
1/2 cup butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows (or 40 large marshmallows)
1 teaspoon green food color
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups corn flakes
Red hot candies/m&m's (we use red icing)
  1. In 2-quart saucepan melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat,stirring nonstop. Mix in food coloring, vanilla extracts, then corn flakes.
  2. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper.Quickly with buttered fingers, shape into wreaths and decorate. We make dots with the icing and a bow out of icing or you could use m and m's/red hots.
  3. Cool completely. Store in air tight container.

This is such a bad sign...when you are at work and you think all day long about reuniting with your favorite Mexican restaurant. Love. I am in love with a Mexican restaurant. Not just any fling, true love!

The view from the main entrance...

When I was a young girl my parents would take me to Laredo's. I had my high school graduation party on their patio. Tasted my first *real* Margarita there.
I really think they sprinkle their food with crack. This is my theory anyway. Amazing stuffed poblano peppers, real fat tortillas, real salsa, and the most amazing sour cream chicken enchiladas I ever had. A sopapilla the size of a baby's head.


Ben met my outer family members there when we got engaged. :)
We went there frequently (like every weekend) when we were newlyweds. We would eat on the patio on summer nights...sometimes while Edgar Cruz would strum his guitar.
We announced to my family our pregnancy there.
Then after having baby H we went a few times but taking care of a newborn leaves you little opportunity to get out and about.

One day the worst thing happened...they closed. Not just closed, the building was gone!
I remember being so excited and pulling up to the empty parking lot. Crushed.
Fast forward a few months later...I see an elegant building with a huge dome from the by and it says "future site of Laredo's". Could it be?? My prayers were answered? Was I hallucinating?!?

I waited long. And hard. Finally they opened. Harrison--4 now--enjoyed it just as much as I did. He ordered the molten lava cake for dessert. Let me tell you...their dessert is like something Chuck Norris would make if he was a chef--pure perfection. I had the arroz con leche--a treat my mother no longer makes ("I ain't no cook! Eat a bag of potato chips.").


So I knew this past weekend we were going to eat there to meet my brother Aaron's girlfriend Dawn. All week I thought about the restaurant. I seriously envisioned the plates. It got me through my week!!!! And on Saturday when I was reunited with my restaurant I ate for like 4 maybe 5 people. I had two margaritas (heaven) and so want to try their Millionaire Mojito next time. We had guacamole made fresh by Felipe, our waiter (with flourish and pizazz) at the table.
So Laredo's I love you. Never,ever leave me again!
Oh yeah, and I totally approve of Dawn!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Okay, forget Thanksgiving. Seriously,with my family all we do is eat to the point we can't move, and fight. I'm a Halloween straight to Christmas kinda girl. Christmas decorations up? Check! And even if people think I am looney oh well. I would rather stare at my glittering tree than some cornucopia horn on my table. :)
So I am in the mood for Christmas, how about you??
I have been hoarding Christmas ideas and inspirations everywhere!
My son and little brother are really into funky dolls.
Like this one I found at Things I've Made.
BW Bush
Love it!! I love to make dolls so this one goes on my to-do list for Christmas.
Look at these homemade travel mugs!
Harrison is totally going to make a set for his grandparents! Can you believe you can get these babies at Dollar Tree? I love how you can personalize them. I have tons of scrapbook stuff we could use on them,too.
I think it would be fun to decorate a bag like this,too:
Look at these adorable Martha Stewart santa treat boxes! I think these would be really cute for the kids to make in my PreK class, and then we could fill with some candy. :)

So what kinda Christmas-y crafting/decorating/shopping have you been up to? I would love to know.
Oh, and one of my favorite vintage arts-y sites is having an Artsgiving Sale!!!

Through Dec 1, get 50% off everything in Artella’s Vintage General Store…plus bonus Gift Certificates and a whole bundle of free artsy eBooks. Check it out, here!
P.S. I am so glad I still have blog readers and friends. Thank u all for the nice comments and support! :) Hugs!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hi old friend

Hey there! Long time no blog. Sorry to leave you in the lurch. To say I have been overwhelmed is an understatement. I got sick on my birthday and over Fall Break--the one time I planned to have some down time! Grrr! Then my baby Harrison came down with H1N1. UGH!
And I am really have trouble balancing work and life. I have never had to teach two different groups of 20 kids. That's a heckuva lot of report cards to fill out (they were due recently).
So I am not here to lay all my burdens on you.
I last scrapped in August (a layout about my H). I plan on picking up my scissors again soon. In the mean time I have been hanging out in the Tip Junkie Community to get some inspiration. I have also started work on a new card kit club for my friend Jen, called Scrappin Goodies. Links coming soon, luvs!

Thank you all for the well wishes for my birthday and for me to get well.
Thanksgiving Break is coming up and I plan to visit all my friend's blogs soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Can I just tell you how much I have missed my little online community of bloggers and friends? Seriously.
Work is um, work. I had to stay late until 9pm Tuesday and until 7pm Thursday--my day starts at 6am. And there have been so many adjustments. My husband is now stay-at-home dad. He is a much better housekeeper than I ever was! Harrison has had to adjust to mommy working full-time. Sometimes its hard when he is crying at the glass door as I leave the driveway. Sometimes I come home and he's asleep and I feel like bad mom for not being able to spend time with him that day.
My dog Keely has turned into super-stalker! He waits for me and whines at the door all day. When I come home and take my shower, he jumps in and sits.
It feels good to know I am missed.
It also feels good to be back on my feet and into the work force. I think for me personally it has made me a little more independent. I find myself doing so much more on my own whereas before I really always made Ben and Harrison go with me--like when we went to the store, etc. I know it isn't like that with everyone. But I was losing a bit of myself. This is something I had to work through for myself.
One thing I have learned is whether you are a working mom or stay-at-home mom, it does not matter because we are ALL working moms. Seriously, I have been on both sides of the coin now.

So I have 40 students in two different locations. This has been a learning experience! I have to make two sets of everything. I have been living in my car. My feet hate high heels after having baby. I had to buy new clothes and jewelry because I was so year one (behind the times). I eat in my car (sandwich is the easiest). I am losing a lot of weight because I move more (dancing in PreK) and also sometimes I don't have time to eat lunch. I am not losing weight where I want to (my boobies). LOL.

Harrison started soccer. Ben volunteered to be the coach because they could not find a coach.

I have the little boy who kind of wanders around the field. "Hey,look it's a mushroom!" or he picks up grass and throws it in the air to watch it fall.

I know he would listen better if dad was not the coach but he just thinks its fun time with dad. We have a great team of 7 kids. It is co-ed and non-competitive (no score-keeping). The parents are all really nice,too. Soccer started the same day as my first work day. Yeah, we found that out the night before. That was CRAZY!
Then I lost my voice in the classroom for a week. FUN.
Last weekend we took Harrison to the Orr Family Farm.

We do this every Fall. So much fun!

They have pony rides, train rides, hay ride to get your pumpkin from the patch,fishing, giant corn maze, man-made maze, gem mining, campfire, petting zoo, milking a cow, go carts, carousel, free fudge! We spent the whole three hours there. We did it all.

The most funnest thing of all was the addition of something called Jumping Pillows. It is like a giant plastic pillow with air underneath it. Way better than a trampoline! You feel like you are flying in space. Seriously you can jump so high. And all of us as a family were on it, jumping away. My husband turned into a four year old. He was bouncing and falling all over the place. He kept falling off the side of the pillow into the sand pit. LOL
We came home with a pound and a half of fudge. They have so many tasty varieties.
Harrison bought an old-fashioned pop rifle and some sprinkled-covered gummy bears.

We found some small rubies and emeralds while mining. We found tons of crystals. So pretty.
Ben has been really good about taking Harrison to do a daily activity during the day like the park, library, Chuck E Cheese, zoo, etc. He was supposed to write a blog post but he forgot his password.
Today is my day off! Normally I work Mon-Fri but I had to stay late for Parent Teacher conferences (yeah my second week in the classroom) to have Friday off. Yay! We are going to Day Out with Thomas today. I asked Harrison "What are you going to say to Sir Topham Hatt?" "Hello!"