To all my sweet followers. I have not fallen of the face of the earth. I've simply fallen into my classroom and can't get up. Seriously. I've been working non-stop in there and I can't wait to show you pictures when it's complete. :) I'll return soon...

Newest Creations and Classroom Preparation


Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my classroom and how I will have students in just 20 short days and I can’t even get into the school yet! AHHHHH! :) So I’ve been doing little things here and there. My newest creations are the absent student folders…

Absent Student Folders


During my first year of teaching (6th grade Social Studies and Reading), my mentor teacher used a lot of Kagan strategies and one of the many things she gave me was a copy of a “We Missed You” sheet. I loved it so much that I used it all the time. During my second year of teaching (4th grade) I kind of forgot about that awesome “We Missed You” sheet and only used folders to keep up with assignments during the day while they were gone.

This year is a combination of the two. I made a very cute We Missed You sheet that you can download for FREE here. Why? Because I love y’all!

I finished laminating and cutting my schedule signs. Aren’t they SO cute!


I got these from Ladybugs Teacher Files. Kristen is AMAZING! She even customized them for me (for extra $ of course!) and they now match my theme. I LOVE them so much!

I’m trying not to pay too close attention to the calendar but my baby girl turns 1 tomorrow. New teacher training starts in a week. Students in my classroom in 21 days. Oh my. Oh my.

Meal Planning, Healthy Eating, and Smart Spending


Recently I decided that we are going to try the whole envelope budgeting system. I am an out of control debit card user. I have the numbers memorized if that tells you anything. I could use it even if it wasn’t in front of me! :) So to get serious about paying off more debt I figured that I better buckle down! *Note, I have NEVER overdrawn our account for out of control spending. I’ve just never been proactive about paying off debt.*

One thing that has always been a toughie for me is eating healthy vs. saving money. Healthy and cheap are usually not things that you can pull off. Right? I mean, usually the healthiest foods are pretty expensive. Fresh veggies, organic this, organic that, lots of meat and dairy. So because I want to get my spending in check we are trying to eat as healthy as we can but on a budget. Which means that our meals probably have more carbs. Anyone have a solution?! All the recipes can be found on my pinterest food board. Anyway, here is our meal plan for this week:


So our grocery budget this week was $120. We spent $82.43 at Wal-Mart for our weekly grocery trip. Which left us with $37.57. My husband wanted Fire House Subs on the way home so we stopped and got him some lunch which totaled to $10.65. That left us with 26.92. We buy fresh farm eggs from our friends at $2 a dozen. So we set aside $4 for that which then leaves us with 22.92. My husband put the .92 in the kids’ piggy banks which then left us with $22. We will be eating out at Mad Pizza Thursday night for Audrey’s 1st birthday (holy heck where did that year go?!) so I assumed that it will be $8 each for an adult and $6 for Tryp which comes to $22 exactly. :) I’ll let you know if we go over.

So far this system is working out well. What do you have in place to eat healthy and save money?

Curriculum in the Classroom


Here is what we will be using this year at my new school. Almost all of it is new to me. I’m posting this because I would like to know your (teachers) thoughts about them!

First up is Lucy Calkins. To be honest, I haven’t heard anything good about her and her programs BUT I am going to see for myself. We are doing the Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop Units of Study. I haven’t quite seen any differences between her workshops and the Readers Workshops by Fountas and Pinnell. (which I think is MUCH easier to read)

LucyCalkinsNext up is Words Their Way. I used this last year in my 4th grade classroom. Although, I didn’t have the main book (the picture below) and this book is SO helpful! :) I am excited to implement this again but have a better understanding of the program. 


This year, Arkansas will be implementing Common Core Standards in grades 3-5. The district that I am in started implementing CGI Math in the past year or so. Basically, this math is based on questioning and exploration. The teacher does not give strategies, only asks questions to further students’ thinking. The students use manipulatives to find different ways to solve the problems given. I’m excited to start this! :) CGI

So, what programs do you use? Any of these? Any advice?! :)

As of late…


How quickly a week passes when I realize, holy smokes, I haven’t blogged! Well we have been super duper busy around here. My friend Erin posted this 100 Things to Do This Summer list on facebook and I HAD to get busy on it. My summer is seriously dwindling down and I wanted to get some more fun activities in while I can. So I made it into a 50 Things List because some of those things just weren’t realistic for a four year old and our local area.

50ThingsWe visited a new restaurant called Five Guys (this was NOT on the list). It was delicious and even Audrey liked it. AudreyTryp and mommy did lots of running around together. :)MeandTrypI worked on this Reading Binder (which is not quite complete). A post to come soon.ReadingBinderI spent some much needed time laying out by the pool and ended up with this…a sunburn. I should have known better! SunburntWe went to the farmers market and this WAS on the list. Yummy!FarmersmarketJuicy watermelon with a little salt. MY FAVORITE! WatermelonWe also went swimming with a NEW float. Tryp can swim out in the water on his own now.July6d

Audrey was very festive for the 4th but we didn’t do much. Just saw a parade in downtown Springdale BUT it was scorching hot and Audrey didn’t care too much for the fire truck sirens.July6e

We went on a family bike ride. Early mornings are the best. It’s still cool out!

July6hAudrey was ready to rock n roll! July6fAfter our bike ride we spent $1.00 on some bread and went to feed the ducks. July6jTryp really enjoyed this. I thought he would be scared of the ducks but he wasn’t! :)July1cOnce the ducks realized we were tossing bread, they all came running our direction!July6gAudrey wasn’t too sure about the ducks but she was able to give me a toothy grin! Look at those new top teeth!July6iMy first picture of me and both of my kids. Seriously. I’m usually the one behind the camera.July1bSo sweet. Audrey loves to give out kisses. Mainly to daddy and mommy is okay with that. July6a