broke teachers

I've been working on my classroom already, getting it set up for next year. Usually, I would wait until the week or two before school starts, but we'll be out of town on vacation and I do NOT want that trip to be spoiled thinking about my bare walls and empty classroom.

So I'm being proactive about it! I went to the teacher store last week and handed over my soul  an arm and a leg lots of money and got some much needed supplies. All in froggy theme!! My door is going to say: "Hop in to Kindergarten and First grade". Cuteness! I'll show you pictures when it's all said and done.

I'm really sweating it in terms of using my own money for my classroom this year. Because of the budget crisis, they took away our $250 stipend for materials! Sadness. But at least I still have a job!

If you're hard up for cash too (and who isn't?), go check out Erica's Elementary Excitement. She's giving away a $50 gift card to Lakeshore and a $25 gift card to Target!

Learning the hard way

It was the first night of our mini-vacation in Michigan. We were all still in the living room at ten o'clock but we were thinking about heading to bed.

We decided to let our dog Barney out one more time to pee before bedtime. I opened the back door to the deck and he sprinted around the corner. It was pretty dark, and I followed, calling his name.

Just then I saw him out by the barn, jumping, leaping and frolicking with what seems to be a black cat with a white tail. As he heard me calling his name, though, he ran towards me.

And as he was running towards me, I realized a few things instantly:

1. Barney was blinking a lot.
2. He was trying to paw his own face.
3. An invisible cloud of powerful, concentrated stink was following him.

Poor doggy had just been sprayed in the FACE by a skunk! And in my panic at his distress, I foolishly picked him up and carried him toward the house. I cracked open the back door and yelled for help!

And if you're wondering, 1 quart peroxide mixed with 1 quarter cup baking soda and 1 spoonful of soap got most of the stink out of his fur.

Lesson(s) learned: Barney now knows that not every creature is friendly. And I now know not to pick up the dog when he's covered in overwhelming stink.

Collagical vacation

We spent a too-short week with my in-laws in Michigan. It was heavenly! It was great being with family again, plus, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) beats Michigan in the summertime. It's simply gorgeous.

Here's a recap, collage-style:

We played mini golf!

We hung out with my nephew!

We played in the pond behind the house!

And, of course, we went out to dinner!

Hope you're having a lovely summer as well :)

I got a boo-boo

Kids want band-aids for everything. Every bump, scrape, bruise, or imaginary injury needs a band-aid STAT. I can't count the number of times a student will come up to me to show me their boo-boo... I often have to get out the magnifying glass.

Most students wear their band-aids proudly, a testament to conquered monkey bars, or imaginary enemies defeated. Sometimes the reason behind a band-aid is a little embarrassing: tripped over shoe laces, perhaps, or even walked into a door.

I found the PERFECT conversation piece at Urban Outfitters:

No explanation necessary. "Dance-off" says it all!

home is where the hearts are

We're in Michigan this week for a mini-vacation with my husband's family! We've been having a lovely time, and I can't wait to show you pictures later on. But for now I thought I'd share a crafty little project I did to spruce up our dining area:

I cut out silhouettes of all the places we've lived, then glued down hearts in our specific cities:

Then I framed them in a display!

Now, when someone asks me where I'm from, I can just point to the wall!

making my mouth water

There are a gazillion recipes I'd like to try and make this summer. I made this chocolate chip cookie dough dip recently and I was happy with the way it turned out!

Next on the list:

Have you made anything delicious lately?

Summer reading

Besides crafting, I have a list of books I'd like to read this summer.

I recently finished Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore (LOVED it!), and next up:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland
Bossypants by Tina Fey

Anything I should add to the list? What are you reading this summer?

My summer to-do list

I'm a list-maker, even in the summer time. I can't help it! Here are some crafty projects I've been meaning to sink my teeth into:

who let the cat out of the bag?

What's a teacher-blogger to do when school is out for the summer?! I'm forced to blog about my cats!

I was going through some pictures the other day, and I realized that Mrs. Hufflepuff has a soft spot for tight places:

If I had any creative energy in me right now, I'd caption these for LOLcatz!

Forced amnesia

On Wednesday of last week, while we were still in school, I had a really hard time falling asleep. I was worried about next school year. I was stressing over being paired two general education teachers that I don't get along with. (One who doesn't pull her weight in the classroom, the other one who talks nonstop.) I was worried about teaching Kindergarten for the first time. I was dreading the fall.

I woke up so groggy and so tired. When I told Max why I didn't sleep well, he said:

"You had better enjoy your summer vacation because you've been talking about nothing else for the last 8 months!"

I'm pretty sure that was a slight exaggeration on his part, but whatever. Message received.

And I'm happy to say that I've crammed a lot of enjoyment into my summer break and it hasn't even been a full week yet!

STOMP was mind-blowingly awesome! I have no pictures (against the rules at the concert hall) so you'll just have to take my word for it! Those performers are crazy talented - the show was so cool and surprisingly funny too! Go see it if you can. Trust me!

Then yesterday we went to see the Rangers play the Tigers with some friends. Sadly the Tigers lost, but at least I got some hotdogs and a frozen lemonade out of the deal! Nothing says summer like a warm night at a baseball game, right? I feel so American.

Today I'll be crafting away for my little store, and tomorrow I'll be meeting up with some bloggy friends at a local Mexican restaurant! Ahhhhh the life of a teacher....

Stomping the summer off to a great start!

Today is Tuesday. It is also the Best Day Ever.


Because today I'm crossing the number one item off of my life list: I'm going to see STOMP!

Last week, Max randomly surprised me with really good tickets to see the show. I didn't know they were going to be in town. I didn't know Max was planning to do anything special! But he wanted to celebrate the beginning of my summer! Isn't that sweet?

I've only been talking about seeing STOMP for, I don't know, like the last ten years! I can't wait to get all dressed up for it tonight! Hopefully I'll have some pictures for you later this week!

Are you doing anything special to kick off the summer?

No tomorrow

Yesterday (Thursday) was the last day of school for the kids. (The teachers will be back today to clean out our rooms and such).

It was Picnic Day, which is really like Field Day but with less supervision. The kids were running around outside, eating their hot dogs, dripping their popsicles, and riding ponies. YES! I'm not even kidding: I looked up at one point and the older sibling of one of our children had brought in two ponies for the kids to ride. A happy chaos ensued.

It was getting to be in the high nineties after lunch so we brought them in for a movie. It ended just as it was time to line up for the bus (for the final time - yay!).

I stood at the head of the line, and one of my first graders asked me, looking pensive, who was going to be the leader tomorrow. No doubt he was hoping that it was his turn to be at the head of the line next.

I smiled. "Nobody! School is over for the year -- there is no tomorrow!"

I can't tell if he looked disappointed or happy!
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