My First Temple Trip



Back in July I took my first temple trip with my friend Cristy. I had been wanting to photograph a couple at the temple before/after their sealing. So I asked on Facebook if there was a couple that  needed a photographer for their wedding. Luckily there is a sweet sweet family in our ward who had a son who was going to be getting married at the Kansas City Temple. Josh and Jaden were going to be sealed on July 25th. Cristy and I made the nearly four hour drive up to Kansas City for a “girls trip” and for the sealing.



As I took steps inside the temple I experienced such a peaceful feeling.










Those are just a few of the words that come to mind when I try to describe the feeling. It truly is a House of the Lord. If you stepped inside, you would feel it too. Isabell25

It was a wonderful trip! Cristy and I did baptisms one night and then went out shopping for good deals. Then we also visited Liberty Jail where I learned more about church history. And not to mention that the pictures turned out pretty good I think! :)

Organization, Lesson Plans, Bulletin Boards, OH MY!!


School has been a WHIRLWIND. I felt so good about this school year but now I feel like I’m starting to slowly sink. At least my desk is organized MOST of the time.

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Lesson plans. So I seriously tried the cute lesson plan books from the teacher stores but it drove me crazy that the days went across instead of down. Silly I know. Then I tried to just type them. I love how nicely things look typed BUT I felt like things change from day to day so hand-written it is. I also designed my own layout and had our print shop do the work to make it into a lesson plan book.

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We’ve been working on CAFÉ strategies in Literacy and Number Talks in Math. I love number talks because it increases their mental math! AH-MAZING!photo (11)



This is what it looks like and what we have been working on. It seems so simple but requires students to actually work through it in their head an come up with different strategies.image


So after we did a few of these together and shared our thinking, we made an anchor chart of different strategies we could use to solve problems.image (3)


We finished going over our class rules. We made a large anchor sized contract. We all signed too. ;)photo (12)


In my classroom reveal pictures I never did show my board straight on. It’s a blurry iPhone picture but at least you see it. I just write the topics that the kids can understand. I love having hand signals for their needs. Makes things run so much smoother. :)image (4)


I also forgot to include the outside of my classroom décor. See below. :) Crabs, starfish and pennants are from Schoolgirl Style’s By the Sea theme. Love it. image (7)image (8)image (5)image (6)

My Journey to Becoming a Mormon (Part 3)


***If you are just joining, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.***

So, you see, Heavenly Father had given me many wonderful influences in my life. One day a student of mine earned a reward and chose to have lunch with me in the classroom. She began to tell me about her church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She seemed very confident in speaking to me about it. Remember, this is an 8 year old girl we are talking about. I continued to think about her words she shared with me that day and night.

The next day she brought me a Book of Mormon. She wasn’t as confident about this as she was the day before. (I later found out from her mom that she wasn’t sure if she was allowed to give her teacher a book of scriptures.) I started that night researching everything I could on the Mormon church at home. I even asked some of those dear friends of mine questions but was quickly given the “I’ll send the missionaries to tell you all about it.” answer. I was getting frustrated. I didn’t want to sit down with what I thought were well-trained missionaries. I wanted to just hear about the gospel from my friends.

Behind the scenes my sweet high school friend Adrienne had contacted an old friend of hers (Cristy). She mentioned to Cristy that I wanted to learn more and since we live in the same area maybe she could reach out to me.

The life-changer.

I had remembered meeting Cristy those couple of times I went to church with Adrienne but we never really talked outside of church. She sent me a message on Facebook (on Feb. 26th):

Hey Katie!

I don't know if you remember me or not but I am a friend of Adrienne's that grew up in Berryville and went to church with her. I think we met a few times when you visited with her.

Adrienne told me that you live in C…….. which is where I live as well. She said that you may be interested in visiting our church but don't know anyone. I would love to have you come with me to an activity or to a Sunday meeting if you want!

She also mentioned that we both have daughters that are close in age. It would be fun to have another mom to do play dates with!!

Talk to you soon,

Cristy Pearson


I responded to her immediately and started asking questions. There were so many things I had read online and learned about the church but wanted to talk to her about them. I needed bible verses that proved the things that I read to be true. I need confirmation but I wasn’t seeking a spiritual confirmation. Not yet anyway.

Visit again to continue reading on this journey to becoming a Mormon. :)

Flower Hair Clip GIVEAWAY

My sweet friend Anna is giving away some of her super cute flower hair clips. They are adorable! Just click this picture below to go enter the giveaway! Good Luck!

My Baby Boy is a Kindergartner!


I'm linking up with Miss Nelson, she blogs at Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera  and has a "Saturday Snapshots" linky party!


I’m sharing my sweet baby boy who just started Kindergarten two days ago! I couldn’t be more proud of him and how well he did on his first day. Maybe it was because I have been prepping him for months. Maybe it was because I was so excited for him instead of sappy about it. Maybe it was because he is just an awesome little guy who loves to learn new things! :)


He didn’t cry or whine at all. In fact, he was so eager to get started on his work! “Hankie” went and saw him at lunch time to check on him. Hank later came and told me that Tryp said he was ready to go home and watch super heroes. (Super Hero day is Thursday.) He also seemed sad when Hank left. He didn’t cry though and stayed strong. :)


I love having my little cutie in the same building as me and being good friends with his teacher(s). Marin Hamilton (his teacher) emailed me at lunch time to share with me some funnies.

Marin’s email said this…

“He is cracking me up!! He keeps saying the cutest things.

Tryp: “Can I see your name tag? Awww, that’s a cute smile you did for your picture.”

Tryp: “I’m going to do something to you.” (He gave me a hug)

Tryp: “Where am I going to put my briefcase while I get a drink? I don’t want my briefcase to get wet.” (Talking about his lunch box.)

Also, we did a sheet where they told me how they feel on their first day of school. His response- sad. I asked why he felt sad and he said, “because mommy won’t be here to help me if I fall and then I’ll cry and she’ll take me to the hospital.” Pitiful!! But still adorable!!

Overall, he really is having a great day. He is just too cute.”




Isn’t his teacher gorgeous?! I adore her! I’m so thankful that Tryp has a wonderful Kinder teacher! All the staff keep telling me how cute he is and I say I know! ;)  I’m biased though. I will say that Tryp had a wonderful day but a rough evening after his first day. I kept hearing how tired the kids will be after the first day but I really didn’t think much about it. Well, let me tell you, Tryp had a very rough evening. Arguing, refusing to eat, and crying. It was so sad and it was all because he was EXHAUSTED. He was in bed by 7 an asleep no later than 7:30. No joke. Poor little booger.


I can’t wait to see how much he learns this year in Kindergarten!


2013-2014 Classroom Pictures (and Open House)


**Scroll down to go straight to classroom pictures!**

Open House was on Tuesday July 30th this year. This year was different than last year. My baby started Kindergarten, thank goodness his open house was during the day so I didn’t have to miss it while I had my open house in the evening. Here are a few pictures of Tryp at open house…

We went down to his classroom and sorted out his supplies where they needed to go.IMG_4642

He went around looking for his name. :) Isn't his classroom cute?


He finally found his name at the red table!


He had an assignment to draw a picture of himself in school.


I was so proud of him and how he took charge like a big boy! He didn’t cry one bit! I’ll be posting his first day of Kinder pictures soon! :)

On the other side of the building I was making sure that my classroom was prepared for my 3rd grade parents! So I saw several great ideas online about how to make Open House/Meet the Teacher Night successful. I found a post by Reagan at Tunstall Times about having Meet the Teacher stations. I also saw another blog post about folders and I thought that was a great and organized way to do things! I wish I could remember who posted about that! Anyway, here are my folders and my student gift (They say, “You are just –write- for our class!” with a cute pencil.)

FAQ- "What did you use to write the names on the desks?"

I used a broad tip Sharpie marker to write their names and numbers. I love it because they don't tear up, pull up, write on and ruin the name plates that we spend so much time making look good! You can remove the names with rubbing alcohol and Mr.Clean Magic Erasers. The names actually start to wear off as the year goes on when you clean the desks for germs. :)

I created my own sign that match my By the Sea theme. (If you are interested in these files please let me know.)

The first station was the sign in and I threw in my little donations area with requests on apple sticky notes.

Station 2 basically just told the parents to find the folders and then drop them off completed in the bin.

Station 3 was the bins for school supplies. I had the students do that if they brought their supplies in.


Is transportation a big deal at your school? We have to find out how they are getting home the first day and then the normal transportation route. So I made that Station 4.


That concludes my Meet the Teacher Night pictures but below you find pictures of my classroom at the end of today. Which was the first day of school I might add. Craziness.

My goal for my room this year (as always) it’s to be clean, fresh, organized, and cute! I’m not a big fan of clutter so sometimes my room may look bare but I thrive off of cleanliness at school. (not to mention our fire code says only 20% of the walls can be covered and we use the workshop model which uses TONS of anchor charts.) I also love simplicity, it keeps me happy. Enjoy looking at my classroom pictures!

I found the idea to post 7 different posters on Pinterest of questions that will help gain insight into student thinking. :) My kiddos had some great answers too!

So this is looking into my room to the right. Cubbies right away. I always wanted really cute cubby labels but I had this great idea to just use premade calendar numbers. Great idea right?! Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this but it saved me on time and I was definitely short on time. I’m sure you can relate. ;)


So along here you will see our Brownie Points board from What the Teacher Wants. Hand Signals for easier transitions. Agenda. The black shelves house the math materials that we will use frequently, along with drawers for groups word work sorts. I also keep hand sanitizer and morning work on the top part of this shelf. Students come in and can grab morning work right off the top. :) The long black shelf houses the book bins.


My desk area is straight ahead. I did not take any close ups. I spared you. I promise. It’s a HUGE mess over there right now and I hate it! I love to be clean and organized so it’s driving me crazy right now!


Classroom shot! You will see Schoolgirl Style’s ‘By the Sea’ pennants all over my room! LOVE! I sent the pdf file off to our district print shop and requested 2 sets of color copies cardstock. I picked them up, cut them out, took them to a local education supplies store to have them laminated then cut them out again. Finally I added grommets to each corner to create holes and then I strung them on twine. Quite the process but oh so worth it. Everyone that walks in my room always notices the pennants first! See my cute chevron curtains! I can’t wait to get the post up about those. Super easy and super cute! My dear friend Sally helped me make them!


Here are the other cubbies for the students.


I love this board. It’s such an organizational tool. It makes my heart happy. I manage student lunch choices, student helpers, monthly calendar and daily schedule over here. It’s not in plain sight for students which sort of stinks but I love that it’s a go to area for management type things. :)


Here is a close up of my Lunch Count area. My coworker Rissa has a Cricut, so I used it to cut out vinyl for the What’s for Lunch part and then used it to cut glitter paper for the numbers and lunch box letters. Electrical tape for the rest. Those are magnets with numbers on them over there.


My calendar is new this year. I definitely want my students to be able to keep up with what’s going on. I feel like this is a great tool and can’t wait to use it more with my kiddos. I purchased this HUGE dry erase adhesive calendar from Amazon here.


I’m making a sort of huge change this year. I got rid of my small group table. Yikes. I know. So hear me out…How many of you just piled more crud on top of that small group table? Come on, admit it! I always had copies to stack somewhere and they always ended up on that table. Well, here is my new small group area. We will meet on the rug. It’s cozy, comfortable, and fun. I have my word work pocket charts up (these are the mini charts from the dollar section at Target) and I bought the cute little stool chair thingy at Wal Mart. I am storing clipboards inside of it for when we work in small groups and need to be writing for whatever reason. I think it’s a grand idea! :)IMG_4957

Here is my lovely library. I’m still working on getting my labels matching but that’s not a thing that HAD to be done for the first day of school.

Here is the supplies shelf for the students. This is right in front of my desk (ignore those computer cords) but I love that I found bins that fit side by side so I could get all the supplies there together. It makes me soooo happy!


So I told you know close ups of the desk but I love my grass skirting to help tie in my By the Sea theme.IMG_4961

Assignment turn in area hasn’t changed much. Drawers for each subject an the white bucket is for important things. Like lunch money, notes from home, etc..

A close up of the pennants. My  mom had this great idea to tie raffia there at the end. It’s super cute. Thanks mom! ;)


I can’t wait to share with you my outside bulletin board and cute things outside my room. :) That will just have to wait for another day. I’m going to go spend some time with my family and REST because I have one more day in this week until the weekend. Yahoooo! Thanks for stopping by!