Friday, May 27, 2011

Wild World of Insects!!!

 Yesterday was Open House at my school and I have to admit it...I LOVE Open House. Granted, it is a TON of work...but I love having an excuse/reason to spend a month studying a subject and letting my creativity run wild. The second grade teachers at my school always do insects. So this 1 was transformed into the Wild World of Insects!

Our Very Hungry Caterpillar facts
 Each student wrote their own paragraph of caterpillar facts, typed them up, and created their body segment...complete with custom sneakers!
Another Eric Carle classic...The Very Grouchy Ladybug!

 Each student wrote about why they thought the ladybug was grouchy...
The students created thir own "riddle" and parents had to guess what insect was in their jar:

Our Icky Bug Alphabet

We created our own "buggy garden" using our fingerprints to create a garden full of bugs.
 Then each student had to write about what fraction of their garden was bees, ladybugs, butterflies, and caterpillars.
They made tissue paper butterflies..
 Ladybug life cycles...
 Bee facts...and Georgia O'Keefe inspired flowers adorned the ceiling!
Our team also did an art rotation. The students went to each class, learned about a specific artist, and recreated a well known piece of work.
We had VanGogh,
 and Seurat pointilism.

This was the first eight years of teaching...yes, 8...but that's another story...that I had EVERY SINGLE family come to Open House. It was a great evening spent with families that have had such an impact on my life. We had a great time celebrating all of the hard work of the "Spectacular Second Graders in Room 1!"

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Day

Each year, the parents at our school go above and beyond to show us how much they appreciate our hard work. Each group of room moms works together to create a poster that is displayed outside of each room. We always look forward to seeing what the class has created and every year they get more and more creative. This year, my FABULOUS team of room moms really went the extra mile. They created a poster that brought me to tears, captured the awe of everyone who passed by...which is everyone at our school since I am the first class in the hallway, and has put a smile on my face every time I enter my classroom. A little bakcground info on this poster...about two weeks ago, one of the room moms asked for a photo of myself. Since I didn't have any photos of just any of you have a photo of just yourself...I had to send her a wedding was either that or a "belly" shot. The next day she asked if I could e-mail her a picture of Landry and I. Ha...I only have a few hundred of those! So, I sent the pictures...thinking that my head would be photshopped onto someone else's body. I never, in my wildest dreams imagined this...
 Isn't it amazing? One of my room moms created the entire thing herself...I told you...FABULOUS! Did I mention that it is huge...3 feet by 4 feet...huge! This poster, all on its own made my day...then, the team of moms came in and presented me with this...
 a beautiful arrangment of my favorite flowers and gift cards galore.
 Here is my favorite part...each student created their own "fingerprint bug" adorable! Along with this, they gave me a basket of cards from each student. Their kind words once again brought tears to my eyes. The students wanted me to read each card aloud...but I chickened out. I knew that if I read them aloud then I would be a big, blubbery mess. So, instead, I read them to myself during recess...and was a big, blubbery mess. :o)
 Here is a card that was in the arrangement.
When I went into teaching I knew that I would make some amazing relationships with the students I came into contact with. What I was not prepared for was the parents. I will be honest and say, that there have been a few that have stomped on my heart and said things to me that can never be forgiven. But, there is another...much larger group...that has supported, loved, comforted, inspired, and befriended me in ways that they will never know. I have been so blessed to make so many relationships with families that continue on after the school year, after their child moves on to the next grade level, or even on to the next school. From the bottom of my heart...thank you! Thank you for knowing that I love your child like my own and thank you for making my job so will never know the impact you have had on me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Yup...I typed it...I'm a slacker! I know, that isn't a word that is normally associated with me...but it is true. My child has been 12 months old for almost 2 weeks and I still haven't posted his monthly pics with Lion. Every month leading up to this one, the latest I ever was was 1-2, for the "grand finale" I am 2 weeks late. Like I wrote...S-L-A-C-K-E-R. Late as I may is his monthly picture with Lion.
 Landry is such a bundle of joy. He is full of squeals, screams, "ma-ma," "da-da," "why," "uh-oh," and many other "words." Don't get too excited...yes, he says ma-ma and da-da...but it is not aimed towards us. Some of his new favorite things are crawling on all fours...yes, he finally decided to do that...dancing to music, opening the cabinet doors, chasing the cats, chewing on his crib, throwing anything he can get his hands on, banging things, and of course...eating!
 Here are his stats from his 12 month check-up
weight: 22 pounds, 13 ounces - 50th percentile
length: 28 inches - top of the 5th percentile...whatever that means :o)
He is up to four and a half hasn't come in all the way. He loves to pull himself up ad walk around anything, push his cars around...but still, no desire to take any steps or even stand up on his own. Have I mentioned that he is very "independent"...yes, that is code for "he does things his own way, the way HE wants to, when HE wants to"...wonder where he got that from? No matter what...he has brought us more happiness then we could have ever imagined and we love him more than he will ever know!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How the West was 1!

Yesterday we had a blast celebrating our little man's 1st birthday!

Here is the invie that was sent to our closest friends and family. Thank you, Kristine Schroeder, for your amazing talent...she is AH-MAZING...seriously! Let me know if you want her info...she can do anything!
 The "lootin'" table...cowboy cookie mix for the adults, cowboy hats and stick ponies for the kids...thank you, Natasha!

 Cowboy cookie mix with the rubberband guns that were in the "L.T. Lofgren Shootin; Range"...unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the shooting range I set up. :o(
 The centerpieces...thank you Trader Joe's for all of the FREE sunflowers...yes, there is a story behind that!
 Good ol' drinking water...I made the labels myself, using Microsoft easy!
 Around our patio I hung photos of Landry's first year, using twine from the Dollar Tree, clothespins I already had, and scrapbook paper I had as well.
 Landry's birthday banner...with the help of my wonderful Silhouette machine, I was able to transform paper lunch sacks and old scrapbook paper into this...
 The grub...we had "Tumbleweed tri-tip," "chuckwagon chili," stampedin' strawberries," "buckaroo broccoli slaw," and "rawhide rolls."
 The "sweet stuff"...Landry's cake is on top, then cupcakes from Vons...thank you Vons for rescuing me from my cupcake crisis..."Landry's Lassos" - a.k.a. red ropes, and "brandin' irons" - a.k.a. chocolate covered pretzels. All of the food labels and cupcake toppers I also made using Microsoft word and my stash of scarpbook paper!
 The birthday boy's cake...cowboy hat cake topper I ordered off of Etsy!
 The "wanted" gallery! I created a wanted poster for every guest at the party. For example, "WANTED: Dale "Nawnie" Kruser...crime: spoiling the birthday boy!" It was a huge hit. Everyone loved reading what their "crime" much that most of them took their poster with them! :o)
 The sign on our front door...
 and the sign on the door as our guests were on their way out...again, both were created using Microsoft Word and my scrapbook stash!
 Our sweet, little family!
 Sheriff Daddy...I made our shirts with iron on transfers...mine said Sheriff Mommy...duh!
 Daddy and the birthday boy
 My mom, sister, dad, aunt, and uncle
 The Donovans
 Troy and Tommy
 Smile...never mind...cry! He was not very happy that we wouldn't let him have his cake until after we took a picture. :o)
 Nothing like a cake topper on your head to show that it was a good party!

 Do you think someone loves cake?

 Can you find the dimple hidden under all the cake?
 Poppie, Landry, and G.G. (Chad's parents)
 Papa, Landry, and Nawnie (my parents)
 Landry and Auntie Kaitlin
 Landry and Great Papa (Chad's grandpa)
 This is how real cowboys eat cake!
 Gettin' cleaned even got to wear some cake!
 Getting ready to open presents
 Don't you even think about stealin' my loot!
 Enough with the gifts already...I'm outta here!
All in all, it was a wonderful day spent with those that mean so much to us. Thank you everyone, for all of your love, care, and support. This has definitely been the mot amazing year of our life and you have all helped to make it enjoyable.
Special thanks to:
Our parents for all of your help
Kaitlin - partyware items
Jake-cooking the tri-tip
Brian-helping get the yard in order
Sheri-taking over as photographer so that I could enjoy the time with my special man