Friday, December 27, 2013

2013: My Ugly Beautiful Year

It's eerily quiet in my house.  Our company left this morning and I have been feeling melancholy over them leaving.  I just cherish our visits so much and I am so thankful to have married into such a wonderful family.  I've been sitting here catching up on my thankful journal and felt the need to write to reflect on 2013.  This year wasn't at all what I expected, but it sure was "ugly beautiful".

I'm reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp.  I've been reading this so slowly because I really just don't want to finish it.  

It is so beautifully and eloquently written.  It breaks me down and builds me up again in such a gracious way.  If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it.  She keeps a thankful journal and was dared to write down 1,000 things she was thankful for.  That's what inspired me for my thankful journal.  I have a ways to go as I'm only on 126.  The part of the book I'm reading right now is all about what she calls "ugly beautiful".  It's those hard times in a day, week, month, whatever season of life, where nothing goes as planned and you feel sadness, anxiety, anger, disappointment, etc.  But practicing the art of thanksgiving means giving thanks in ALL circumstances, regardless of your current situation.  I've been practicing thanksgiving during ugly beautiful.  At first, it was really hard, but as soon as I'd do it, my mood would automatically change and I'd often find myself laughing at the situation.  This year was an interesting year and I plan to recap month by month.

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Ringing in the new year at home
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Our 1st breakfast of 2013. :)
My grandpa turned 91
Some of our best friends got married.
My Aunt Margaret's 65th birthday.  Sadly, it was her last Earthly birthday.
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I played in a kickball tournament for our school.  We won 1st in our division.  Who knew I was actually good at kickball?!
We celebrated Easter.  It was one of the most spiritual Easters I've ever experienced.

We had a shower at my house for our friend, Rilee.
Paisley became a new family member!
Mother's Day with my beautiful, strong momma.
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School year came to an end.  I had such a special, wonderful group of students and parents who I will cherish forever.  They became my family.

Father's Day with my amazing, kind daddy.
The beach was so beautiful the whole month of June.
I celebrated my 27th birthday surrounded by A LOT of family.

My Tink (my niece) turned 4!  This same day, my sweet Aunt Margaret met Jesus.
My Meemaw turned 75!
Leo left us :(
We buried my Aunt Margaret.  We could smile because we knew she was finally at peace and no longer suffering.
I started back to what would be my most trying year of teaching.
We began our anniversary vacation get away in Seaside.  We had quiet, peaceful mornings on our patio reading our Bibles and enjoying God's awesome creation.
My best friend.

Spending all day on the beach without a care.
Mom's surprise 60th birthday party.  So thankful for the years in her life!
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Daddy's 80th birthday celebration.  So thankful for his life!
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Thanksgiving with this handsome dude.
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I finished reading the whole Bible in less than a year...cover to cover in chronological order. What a blessing it was to me.
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Ready for Christmas!
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My daddy and I teaching a lesson together on rocks and minerals in my class.
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Our dear friend Timothy's going away party.  We were so blessed to get to know him!
As I think back on all this year brought and didn't bring, I am overwhelmed with emotions.  God's grace was so evident in each moment and I cherish the time I got to spend with Him as He grew me.  I have been so humbled through each experience and just pray He continues to get glory through my life.  It is well with my soul.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Boast in my Weakness

This is a post that truthfully, I rather not be typing.  I have put it off for months and months, thinking that one day I'd post good, exciting news about a growing family and be able to leave this part of my life behind.  But as fate would have it, that's not how this has played out and frankly, God won't let me run from it anymore.  His prompting for me to write and share is far too strong to ignore.  And something crazy just happened that made me realize I better start.

This all started back in March of 2012 when Jared and I decided we wanted to start a family.  Three weeks later we found out I was pregnant.  9 1/2-10 weeks into the pregnancy, we lost the baby.  If you haven't read that story, you can find it by clicking here.  Honestly, since May 10, 2012, my life has drastically changed.  Never did I think I would have the emotions and feelings that I've had and never did I imagine that my relationship with the Lord could grow SO much.

After the miscarriage in May, I had problems with my hcg levels returning to normal.  That's a whole other story in itself, but in August we were cleared to start trying again.  August, September, October, November, December all passed with big fat negatives.  Now January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November have all passed with the same fate.  I've had numerous tests and procedures run, all coming back perfectly clear and normal.  That in itself is a praise.  A frustrating one, but a praise none the less.  Jared's testing came back perfectly normal as well.  Our doctor told us that he didn't know what was wrong, scientifically it didn't make sense, and referred us to a fertility doctor.  We haven't been yet.  I don't really know what to do, other than pray about moving forward.

We've been patiently and sometimes not so patiently waiting with each passing month to see if the desire of our hearts will be filled, but that's when it started to click that maybe my desire is all wrong.  Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart."  Yes, He wants to give me the desires of my heart, but it comes from a place of delighting in Him simply because He's Lord and He's good.  He is so good.  He has so much mercy on me and covers me in grace.  He's revealed time and time again why the timing wasn't right with the first baby.  But still, my selfish arms long to hold my baby.

I'm writing this as a piece of my continuously growing testimony.  My heart HAS changed in the last 6 months or so and instead of praying FOR a baby, I find myself praying for God to use me in whichever way He wants.  Help me be okay with who I am and what He's given me.  Help me give Him glory through every tear cried.  Don't let my pain and longing for a child consume me and shape me into someone I'm not.  Make me a parent in the way that gives You the most glory.  Mold me into the woman You want me to be; one that rejoices in the calm and the storm.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 has been on my heart so much lately.  It reads, "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness"  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

What a powerful scripture.  And like I said, it's REALLY been on my heart for about 2-3 weeks now.  I mean heavily on my heart.  Today I came home, got the mail like always, and we had a letter from a man my husband is good friends with.  He had handwritten us a letter to let us know the Spirit had placed us on his heart and he was praying for us continually through all of our fertility struggles.  In it, he gave us each scriptures to meditate on that he felt like God was leading him to give us.  Want to guess what the first one was?  Yep, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.  That's when I knew I had to write this.

I have to boast in my weaknesses so God can get Glory!  Isn't that amazing?  This same man, having no idea I was about to have an HSG procedure done in October, literally texted Jared the moment we walked into the hospital just to tell him that we were heavy on his heart and he was praying over us at that very moment.  Goosebumps.  Incredible, divine presence and intervention.

Help me to let go of control
Our close family and friends know much of this and have been amazing through everything.  They've prayed over us, sent us notes of encouragement, and told us how our joy, regardless of our situation, has encouraged them.  That is all so wonderful and we are truly grateful.  I don't know what we would've done without them.  But now God has told me that my close friends and family aren't the only ones who need to know.  I need to proclaim His goodness and promises in total faith to the world.  When I am weak, He is strong in me.

If there are any of you out there reading my blog who are going through the same struggles I am right now, please know I am praying for you and please message me if you ever need someone to talk to.  I feel like a weight has been lifted from my back in sharing my struggles and weaknesses with you.  I know that no matter what, God's plan is way better than mine.  I believe it and I trust it.  We always tend to cling to Psalm 37:4, but 5 is what really gets me..."Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."  God has a reason for allowing things to happen.  We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will.  Sometimes God doesn't change our situations because He's trying to change our hearts.
We all have struggles and difficulties.  Let's pray for one another and encourage each other to boast in our weakness.  For when we are weak, HE is strong.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lessons on Faith, Trust & Thanksgiving

Warning - this will be a LONG post!

Life at work has been pretty tough lately.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm also not going to go into much detail, but please pray for me and my classroom as we deal with some tough issues this school year.  I am feeling so defeated everyday.  But I keep praying and He keeps providing.  Honestly, The Lord gives me the strength to push through and focus on the good when I just can't. 

With that being said, I've been knocked over the head by lessons of faith, trust and thanksgiving here lately.  I'll start with thanksgiving first.  After a vent session with my momma, she told me to go home and write down three things I'm thankful for.  My cup runneth over.  I have more blessings than I could count, but I will name a few.
1. My awesome, amazing, understanding, hilarious, supportive, best friend of a husband.  Think of every great adjective to describe someone and I could list that for him.  I would be lost without him, plain and simple.
2.  My incredible family, church family, and friends who listen to me, pray for me, love me, and constantly encourage me.  I would be lost without them too.
3.  My stable home.  I know where I'm going to go home to each night - it's clean, comfortable, smells good, fridge is stocked, love abounds within the walls.  It's not a house - it's a home.

I could go on and on, but just focusing on those three made me cry and thank God.  My devotion this morning was all about thankfulness.  I prayed that He would fill my lungs and lips with thanksgiving today.  I feel like I failed miserably.  Today was tough.  Really bad, even.  Tomorrow is a new day and I will keep on keeping on.  Some thoughts that really hit home for me from my devotional were:
*Thankfulness opens the door to God's presence.
*God has empowered us to open and close that door, but a grateful attitude is one of the most effective ways to open it.
*Thankfulness is built on a substructure of TRUST.
*I need to learn the art of giving thanks in all circumstances.

Ahhh...see that scripture at the top of my blog?  Yeah, I need to repeat that over and over.  Practicing thankfulness is hard, but it sure does put life into perspective.  I am so blessed.

The Lord has also been teaching me A LOT about faith and trust over the last year or so.  Hillsong United has a new song out called Oceans.  I really like this cover version though.

And I will call upon Your Name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace

Really listen to those lyrics.  Powerful.  Something happens to me when I hear this song.  My spirit calms and I just focus and believe the words.  All of them.  He has never failed and He won't start now.  I will continue to call upon His name and keep my eyes above the waves.  I will continue to ask for the Spirit to lead me where my trust is without borders and my faith will be made stronger.  Oh boy, is He teaching me this!
I was doing my quiet time yesterday, reading in Hebrews.  It was time for me to wrap it up and start getting ready for work, but I felt SO compelled to keep going.  I looked at the next chapter I was going to read, which was Hebrews 11, and decided it was too long and I just needed to wait until this morning to read through it and take notes.  But then the little voice, aka the Holy Spirit, told me to read it.  So I listened and did it.  Mumbling and grumbling as I turned to it.

Wow.  What a slap in the face.  The whole chapter is Luke's recount of faithful acts through the times.  By FAITH Abel's sacrifice was better than Cain's, by FAITH Noah built the ark, by FAITH, Abraham offered up Isaac, by FAITH Moses led the people to the Promised Land, by FAITH the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, by FAITH Sarah conceived.  I could go on and on, but just open it and read for yourself.  I just kept circling BY FAITH, BY FAITH, BY FAITH over and over.  It's BY FAITH that all things are made possible.  It's BY FAITH that we gain approval.  It's BY FAITH that God provides far better than what we can imagine.  Guess I needed to hear that message!

I don't know the ways in which He works, for His ways are far greater than me.  But I do know this, I must have FAITH and I must trust Him.  Along the way, I must give thanks for my many blessings to keep my eyes fixed on the good.  Otherwise, I'm totally swallowed up by the bad and defeated.  Do I fail?  YES.  Can I try again?  YES!  That's the good news.

Praise God for all He's done and all He's yet to do!

If you made it to the end of this post, you have to know that my mood when I started this was awful.  I was crying, angry, sad, all those icky emotions.  Now I feel lighthearted, joyful, peaceful.  Have any of my circumstances changed?  Not a one.  But what has changed is my mindset and attitude.  This was therapeutic for me to get these feelings and words out.  God has really been convicting my heart to share this and start posting again.  I will do my very best!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Teacher Talk: Outfits

Today (a day late, sorry!) I'm linking up with Bloom and Southern Simplicity on our 2nd Teacher Talk link up.

Today's topic might be one of my favorite things ever....CLOTHES!  I don't even know when my love for fashion started, but I can remember in high school being very picky about outfits and trying new things.  My poor husband....

I used to work in a law firm and financial institutions before becoming a teacher (learn about that here if you haven't read it yet), so I've always been very used to dressing up for work.  At my school, we are required to wear work casual everyday except for Fridays when we can wear jeans.

Dressing up is fun for me.  I've always enjoyed it.  It just makes me feel better to pull myself together in the morning and be fresh for the day.  I've made it my mission since becoming a teacher to always look nice for the kids.  The heels had to go, but I've transitioned nicely to flats if I do say so myself. ;)

Say what you will, but they way a person dresses speaks.  I try to be mindful of that for school.  It's a psychology, if you will.  I fully believe that what I wear makes a difference- to me and to those kids.  If I've had an "off" day and maybe my hair isn't in place like usual, they will comment right away.  Kids notice just like adults do and a lot of times, they're more vocal...ha!

Here are my rules for my teaching outfits: have at least one statement piece, wear bright colors, try to wear comfortable shoes (but they all become uncomfortable after being on your feet for 10 hours!), dress in clothing that's comfortable, always dress modestly, have interchangable/versatile pieces, and spend just a little time on deciding what to wear.

My hubs was a great sport as we played "teacher fashion show"- taking pictures of me in some of my clothes I wear to work.  He was CRACKING me up. As you'll be able to tell, I LOVE bright colors.  They make me happy.

Dress-The Loft; Shoes-Dillards (on clearance last Winter); Jewelery-Dillards (on clearance last Winter)

Top & Pants-The Loft; Necklace-Etsy; Shoes-Target; Earrings-Wal-Mart

Piko Top-Shop The Rage; Pants-either The Loft or New York & Co (can't remember! I have a pair from both places); Necklace-Steinmart; Shoes-Target

Piko Top-Shop the Rage; Pants-Steinmart; Shoes-Target; Jewelery-Roccoco

Top-The Loft; Pencil Skirt-New York & Co; Shoes-Target; Jewelry-The Limited

Top-Traget; Maxi-Dillards; Earrings were from my mom; Bracelet-Francesca's

Top & Pants-The Loft; Shoes-Target
I didn't realize how much of my wardrobe came from The Loft until I took these pictures.  I'm lucky enough to live close to two different outfits and a regular store, so I get some really good deals.  I used to shop at The Limited for almost everything, but the quality just wasn't there.  I also buy a lot from Target, various boutiques, Dillards (when they have a sale), and I hit up Steinmart/TJ Maxx/Ross every once in awhile.  I don't discriminate. ;)

Thanks for taking the time to read my silly outfit post! :)  I hope you have a great finish to your week!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teacher Talk, Vol. 1 - Introducing ME!

I signed up for Teacher Talk thinking this would be a fun way to reach out and connect with my fellow teachers in blogland!  I'm trying to be better about blogging.  I kind of let it go since I started teaching two years ago and thought this might hold me accountable...PLUS I'll get to meet some really great people who share a calling with me.

A Little About Me
I think it's important to first off say that I am a Christ follower and Jesus comes #1 in my life.  He is in all that I do and is constantly guiding me and extending his never ending grace when I fall short.  He is THE reason why I teach.  Let me explain.

I come from a long line of teachers.  My mom and dad are both teachers as well.  I guess you could say it's in my blood.  I always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was 4 years old.  My mom would bring home old teacher textbooks and me and my friends would play school.  I was ALWAYS the teacher, or so they like to recall. ;)  When I graduated high school, I began college as an Elementary Education major.  After my first year, my love of math drove me to change to a Business major.  My parents told me all about the politics of being a teacher and the money is not good at all.  I need to add that I was living way outside of the Lord's Will for my life at this time and I never once prayerfully considered any decision I made.  Nor did I give Him a second thought.  So, on that whim, I changed my major to Business Administration with a minor in Industrial Psychology.  I graduated and the economy collapsed.  I couldn't find a job in my career field anywhere locally.  Now this is another story for another post in how God weaved EVERYTHING together, but I'll keep it focused on teaching for this one.

I found myself working at a law firm in a job where I had never even applied.  I was there for a year and a half and finally a position opened up in a company I had dreamed of working for.  It was my "dream job".  During this time, I started getting back to Christ.  I met my now husband, we found a church home, and God was slowly pruning me and shaping me into the woman He desired me to be.  I started to feel the tug in my heart to teach.  But it was impossible (I thought).  I was a single girl, living on my own, broke as a joke, and going back to college was out of the question.  I was almost done with my MBA too.  Was I just going to let all of that money go down the drain?  Eventually, yes.

So, I took this "dream job" and it was a NIGHTMARE.  I had the worst possible experience and I cried everyday.  I worked horrible hours, for the first time experienced harassment, and was just genuinely miserable.  One day, as I was walking back to my cubicle from the Starbucks on this corporation's campus, I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to teach.  I hadn't thought about teaching in months.  I stored it in the back of my head, knowing it would be impossible with all that this job required of me for me to ever go back to school.

Lo and behold, the law firm where I first worked was in need of an assistant for the senior partner and they were willing to take me back.  I put in my notice and I was out of there faster than a fart in a fan factory.  I never looked back.  I truly believe that God allowed me to work there and He opened that door for me to prove to me that it wasn't what I really wanted.  He had something better in store.

Once I got back to the law firm, I was able to have more free time and I started doing my research.  I found out that in Florida, if you have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university, then you can apply for a Temporary Certificate to teach.  Well, it's much more complicated than that with lots of testing and classes, but I had the information I needed.  I registered for the first test I needed, passed, then submitted my life to the state of Florida to obtain my temporary certificate.  This was in April of 2011.  I got cleared and received my temporary certificate in late May.  I applied for every job under the sun in my county and all surrounding counties.  I received about 70 rejection emails.  No one would even interview me because I did not have a degree in education.  I had given up hope and I remember driving home one night and having a full out conversation with God.  I was in the car alone and literally talking out loud.  I kept saying over and over, "God, why did you tell me to do this when you're not going to let me?  I give up!  I'm never going to get a job.  Why God, why?  This isn't fair."  I felt His voice deep inside my heart telling me "patience".  Through all my other struggles, I have definitely heard "patience" over and over again!  He is always at work.

I had written it off.  It was now August and school was about to start.  My mom called me one evening right as I was getting off work and told me there was going to be a position open the next day and I needed to apply.  I told her no, I was done and tired of the rejection emails.  And I really thought I was done...until I couldn't shake the feeling and that voice again kept telling me to do it.  So I did it.  I received a call, got an interview, rocked the interview, and was offered the job the Friday before preschool started.  STRESS!  I was thrown to the wolves and it was sink or swim.  I loved every second of it.  I have never not wanted to go to work since becoming a teacher.  I'm still at the same school and have formed incredible bonds with my students, parents, co-workers, and principal.  I love them all so much.  This has been the 2nd biggest blessing in my life other than marrying my husband.  I love, love, love what I do.  It truly is my passion.  I also have obtained my permanent certificate.  I met all of my requirements, testing, and courses and I could not have done it without God's hand leading me every step of the way.  He truly, truly, truly causes all things to work together for good. (Romans 8:28)

Where I Live
I live in the good ole Sunshine State - Florida!  And that means the dreaded FCAT!  But only one more year!!  Then we move on to the PARCC or whatever else the state decides.

What I Teach
I teach 4th grade.  What that means for me being a Florida teacher is I teach Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, and Science.  Writing, Math, and Reading are the big tested areas in 4th grade here.  I also coach our school's Sunshine Math Team where we compete with all the other schools in the county.  I still get to use my love of math. :)  And let me just tell you - My degree in Business and Industrial Psych comes in handy every single day.

Why I Teach
I teach because God told me to.  Plain and simple.  I am living out His Will for my life and I have 100% peace in my heart.  I am exactly where He wants me.  I teach because I love every single thing about it; even the stuff that gets on my nerves.  I love it all.  I teach to be the light in the darkness for some of these kids.  I teach to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  I teach to extend the same love and grace that my Father has given me.  I teach to instill confidence and reassurance in the hearts and minds of children.  I teach to encourage kids.  I teach to be their biggest fan.  I teach because I love those kids.  I teach because there's nothing else that I rather do.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Meal Plan Monday!

So I definitely didn't do Meal Plan Monday last week...please forgive me.  It was our 1st day of school (with the kids) and it was all I could do just to put dinner on the table for us.  I was spent!  That first week always gets me.  I have to get used to using my teacher voice again, being on my feet all day, etc.  And let me tell ya...when your feet hurt, it makes everything hurt!  We had some tasty suppers last week, but nothing fancy.  Here's what's on our plates this week!

Monday: Chicken Pesto Bake with Steamed Asparagus and Salad.  Recipe here.  I've never made it before, but it was super easy and quick.  It's in the oven right now as I type and it smells divine.  I used my homemade pesto recipe.  If it's good, I'll post the recipe for y'all!
Tuesday: Leftovers for me.  We have meetings and such after work so I'm fending for myself!
Wednesday: Church
Thursday: Pan Grilled Pork Chops and Sauteed Squash.  Trusty ole favorite.  Works everytime.
Friday: Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken over Pasta and Salad.  I'm trying to do crockpot recipes on Fridays because the last thing I want to do is work when I get off on Friday! ;)
Saturday: Barbeque Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Okra.  I use this as my ribs recipe guide and I make my own BBQ sauce, similar to what they suggest.
Sunday: Chuck Roast with Roasted Broccoli.  Chuck Roast may be one of our favorite meals.  It is SO good and savory.  But this one's a family secret. ;)  Just kidding...maybe.  My brother gave me this recipe so I'd ask before sharing it.

Hope you have an awesome week and eat good food - life's too short not to!  Be blessed!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School

This was our first week back to school (without the kids).  It was a slow week in a weird way.  My to-do list was a mile long, which made me think that my week should go by fast. But it just drug by.  I guess there's just so much anticipation!  There was SO much to do and if I'm being honest, I feel a little overwhelmed.  I'm not really sure why.  Lesson plans are complete, every copy that needed to be made for the 1st week has been done, all students have a desk and books.  I have all my ducks in a row. It might have something to do with 26 students on a roster and more possibly being added on Monday.  Six were added just hours before orientation, so I was scrambling to get desks, name tags, supplies, etc.  But it all came together in time. 

The beginning of the year is such a strange time for me.  I wonder if I'll be able to love these kids like I loved the kids the year before.  I just got them where I wanted them and now I have to start all over, ha!  Is this normal?  Because it happens to me every year.  And every year I end up loving my students and getting so attached.  I just care about them as people and they're so much more to me than a test score.    I'm remembering this year though to lower my expectations to save myself frustration and tears.  I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I'm so blessed to be able to do what I love.  I have an awesome grade level and great co-workers all around.  It really is a privilege to work with such wonderful people!

A big part of getting everything ready is getting your room prepared for those little bodies that will soon fill it up.  I don't think anyone, but teachers, truly understand what it means to "get my room ready".  You have to think about EVERYTHING.  I mean, this is where we'll spend the majority of our time for the next 9 months.  So much will happen in here - awakenings, reality checks, vast amounts of learning, loving, relationships developed, some fights (but hopefully not many), and incredible memories made.  There's so much energy and care that goes into every single thing I do to prepare my room.  It's pretty much how I wanted it, but I honestly didn't plan on that many desks being in there. ;)  Rule number one of being a teacher: FLEXIBILITY.  I'm praying for wisdom, perseverance, to see these kids through God's eyes, and simply to be a light in their worlds.

They were supposed to paint our rooms over the summer.  Before we left, we had to take everything down and put it in the center of our room.  Well, lo and behold the painting didn't happen.  They'll now do it one day during the school year.  Joy!  So, there was much work to be done and still yet to do.  Here's how my room turned out.

 The "before"...a complete disaster!

 Got my office and files all nice and organized!

 Orientation Day...desks are all set-up...everything's done!  This is the view from the door.

 Another view from my desk.  I'm soooooo thankful for a big classroom.

 View from the outside door.

 Their first stop every morning.  Our calendar area.

 I love all of my storage space!  And you better believe it is all used!  We'll do many, many science projects utilizing this counter space back here.  I can't wait!

 Reading Board all ready to go!  There are some bean bags right below it that will be a favorite of some students, I'm sure!

 Writing Board finished.  It won't be bare for long!

 Math Board!  It looks so empty.  I am so excited for another year of Number of the Day!

 Computer area and Science/Social Studies Boards.

 My awesome built in shelves....TONS of books and my science experiment loot.  I put the chairs over here this year for easy access to the class library...we'll see how it goes.

 View from the back of my room looking at the board.

 My classroom door and office door.  Citizenship chart is all ready to go!  I really love my punctuation people on the door.  They are one of my most favorite creations. ;)

 My area - my teacher table and OODLES of supplies behind me!

Word Wall and Cubbies are so clean and neat...let's see how long that lasts!  Ha!

I had a parent tell me at orientation that he could tell that I loved to teach.  I said, "Oh yeah?  How can you tell?"  He replied, "Your classroom.  You can just tell you put a lot of thought into the layout and items you have for the kids."  Thank you so much, sir, for noticing.  Not everyone does.  What an awesome compliment.  It totally made my day!

I am so ready for this year - for the challenges, struggles, and victories.  It's going to be great as long as I keep my eyes on Him and pray everyday over my room.  I am so exhausted and school hasn't even officially started.  I'm off to enjoy a relaxing weekend...and I may or may not eat brownies for supper tonight.