Shine Bright

The world is in a place of uncertainty due to the pandemic. America is definitely in a place of uncertainty and civil unrest today. This blog was never intended to be something to express political concerns or opinions….and with this post I am staying true to myself. So, no matter where you live or what political affiliations you have I hope you read on with an open mind and accepting heart.

I above all things promote positivity and compassion….love and peace….kindness and respect for all things living, so with my voice I am hoping and praying that people can come together, because what is happening in the streets is so far from anything I believe in. I have words, but at this moment I don’t have the words about what I am seeing and feeling, if that makes any sense. Violence is always difficult for me to process.

With this I say……

Choose to live in the light.

Be the light for others who are struggling.

Use your voice for the good.

Speak up for the oppressed and the powerless.

Educate, reflect and reevaluate how you participate as a citizen of the world.

To me everything here is just human….basic life foundations. These foundations need to be taught, promoted and internalized inorder to make real change. As a teacher I think I am doing ok at teaching and supporting my students. I need to do even more….we all can do more…be better. As a mother I know I do a solid job at teaching and instilling these basic fundamental principles, but I know I can do more, explain more and expose my child to more realities of the world. We always want to protect the children in our life, but age appropriate exposure to reality might help educate and foster a deeper understanding of real issues and struggles.

With the light comes the dark…we can not close our eyes and hope that everything will be ok. Let’s open ourselves up to being that bright light…and know there will be dark days where we need to shine our light a little more for others. It may be difficult, all the more reason to press on. It will be worth it. How could it not?

Be Well. Be Brave. Be the Light.

Little Lovie

During everything that has been happening…or better yet not been happening, we decided to add a new level of happiness to our family. We were ready to move forward and let the pint sized chaos begin.

There has been a lot of conversation going on for the last couple of months. Do we? Don’t we? Are we ready? How will this change us?

That was Then

We used to have dogs. After last spring and the passing of our second dog we were in no rush to get a new dog. There was no replacing him. It was very hard watching our 13 almost 14 year old pet pass- it was life changing. We needed a bit of time to ourselves, to just be pet free for a while. If you have a dog you know it is almost like having a child and there is a level of responsibility that is your normal.

We needed to embrace a bit of emotional freedom-get a new normal. In the end he was a little aging grandpa and he took up alot of mental space, but with time we mourned and moved into a level of freedom we hadn’t had in a decade plus. We went on vacation without a dog sitter plan. We just became people with fish.

While we have been home and taking daily walks it became apparently obvious that we were ready. We were missing something….four paws. So, with a bit of reaching out to friends and online looking we found a little girl(from a litter that was living a home) that seemed to be a perfect fit for our family, especially now with plenty of time to train.

This is Now

This tiny little girl has completely adjusted our daily routine in a blink of an eye. We are puppy people! We are doing all of the things…..it’s almost like having an infant. We maybe sleep deprived, but it will all be worth it once she is house trained and acclimated to our family.

We are embracing this new normal with gusto and coffee. I will definitely be sharing more of our journey and plenty of pics! This is our unofficial kick off to a summer of puppy love.

Shopping Local: Supporting Small Businesses

I think now more ever it is very important to shop local. Supporting small businesses in the community is essential.

Essential Items

Every Saturday we do a local produce box. I order it Monday and we grab it Saturday. Well, we don’t actually grab it, someone who is gloved and masked puts it in the back of our vehicle. It is a you get what you get kinda of situation. Every week is different and no substitutions. I like it. I have been getting creative with the weekly selections.

Essential for the Soul

When life gives you lemons….well or when you buy the two little cuties! These were a happy little must. A local store has really been using Instagram to promote their merchandise. These two caught my eye and I knew they needed a home.

The online ordering and curbside pick up was easy, germ free and stress free. They have made a home on a shelf that we all see everyday. Super cute visual reminder that we got this and there will be an upside.

Essential for a Sweet Tooth

These are heavenly. If you read my posts you know I am celiac. This gluten free bakery makes me happy. They had a promotion I jumped on. These little beauties were wrapped in plastic wrap and popped into our freezer.

I recently took one out for Mother’s Day and it was very good. So happy this store was able to stay open and provide GF options. I love baking, but I also love easy, so this fits the bill!

I ordered this cookie kit from another local bakery. These were not for me…sadly, because they were made with regular flour, but my people had fun decorating and munching a sweet treat. Cookies for days!

Essential Self Care

I ordered this really great facial kit from a local spa. Everything was labeled with complete and simple instructions. I love how I was able to order and she dropped it off on my porch. So many small businesses are going the extra mile to keep customers or get new customers.

Essential Messages

This is a tee I ordered from a local boutique. I think this message is very important right now. So many people are trying their best. The owner of the shop had these designed by a local tee shirt maker and then she posted them in her store.

I love this message….and I truly believe miracles can happen everyday!

Buying just a few things from local places or even online etsy shops has made me feel like I am helping out a small business. It is very easy to shop from bigger online retailers….and don’t get me wrong I do, sometimes that’s needed, but don’t forget about the little retailers and entrepreneurs. Buying small and local has made me feel good and hopefully helped those businesses during this very odd time are living in.

May The 4th Be With Us

Since things are a bit different now, I wanted to write a quick post today about our most recent visit to Star Wars Galaxies Edge in Disney World. It was a fun experience-as usual and we are very blessed that we visit Disney annually. Not sure how a 2021 trip will look like if any, but is was fun to do a little look back this morning and how perfect on May 4th.

He did not like my tee.

I love how this calendar day is now connected to a little bit of fun and fantasy. I have been a lover of Star Wars since I was a wee person. I am not an over the top fan, but it is enjoyable and I have good memories watching the movies with my brother. I even had those blue star wars sheets as a kid. Not exactly sure where they are now….my Mom’s linen closet or long gone, funny how that works.

On our trip my hubs and I had fun looking at all of the details and what Disney Imaginers create. This isn’t a Disney review, so I won’t overshare what we saw. You can see from out pics that is was well done, fun and crowed. We enjoy Star Wars, but our little lady tolerates it….or so she says. I think she secretly loves it, but it is fun being oppositional sometimes. Jedi mind tricks for sure.

We stood in the hour long line….it was worth it to “fly” in the Millennium Falcon.

Just needed to add some whimsy to this day as I work from home and attempt to do some 5th grade math!

I feel a family movie night in our future! In these quarantined times I am glad we have eachother.

May the 4th Be With You…..and all of us!

Boom Cards & Distance Learning for Deaf /HH Students

I don’t know about you, but since life has changed a bit, I am trying to keep up and keep going. Teaching is definitely not what it looked like months ago and because it is such a drastic change I have had mixed feelings about everything.

Trying to to the best I can for my students has been a driving force. I am obviously not seeing them face to face. Being one to one with my students is vital and because of where we are…home, I can not deliver the same level of instruction.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Home-E-learning-Suggestions-and-Resources-for-Family-Support-5326320

Meeting goals and keeping my kiddos engaged has been a focus. In the beginning I was sending home paper based activities. I also had website suggestions and app ideas for my students and parents to support my goals and what the classroom teachers are doing. It has been wonderful that many online companies offered free subscriptions.

After a few weeks of teaching I started to settle in and so did my students. This is a great thing, but I still felt like I needed to do more. A good friend dipped her toe in the Boom Cards pond and I was intrigued and inspired by her process, so I decided to look into making some.

https://wow.boomlearning.com/store/authorId/WNNmzcKExv4npGZAd/1

My objective is to make materials that will help my students grow, practice skills and have fun. I focus on listening in a typical session, this is something that is not happening with distance, so I wanted to create decks that focused on listening-hearing my voice.

I decided to jump in with both feet. I needed to figure it out, which thankfully Boom is easy to navigate and I am blessed I have a friend who is willing to answer my calls for help. Putting my decks together was fun and got me pumped for distance learning. With this platform I feel I am spicing it up, meeting IEP goals, offering variety and providing interaction.

https://wow.boomlearning.com/store/authorId/WNNmzcKExv4npGZAd/1

I created my classroom, made the activities and BOOM….learning is happening. I love that there are options to track progress and assign decks for specific students. It is very customizable.

If you are looking for something to enhance what you are doing from home I recommend looking into Boom Cards. I created a store once I had a handful of activities made. My store is under my blog name and my TpT store. There are lots of resources out there to support you as you are trying to support your distance learners.

I know this can be hard and sometimes frustrating. We are teaching in unprecedented times. None of us are perfectly getting this right, but my hope is as a community we can support and share what is working for us!

Bring On The Spring

I haven’t been super motivated to write this past week. Times are strange, I miss my typical routine and the weather has been iffy. However today is looking up!

The weather is beautiful and it was easy to head outside for fresh air and sunshine.

I have some ideas I am working on for school. Distance teaching has been very interesting. It has been an adjustment, but I am trying to roll with it! My hope is this week I will post my new resources and strategies for distance teaching and itinerants.

Until the words hit the page…I am wishing you a week of peace, positive vibes and productivity. Remember we are in this together and there is strength in numbers!

Sunshine and Crafting

The sun is out! Thought I would try to motivate myself and finish a project I started….well purchased a while ago. These are organizational bins for a little crafter I know. My mini and I shopped for the items in February, when we could push a cart in peace and safety.

Today we finally added the vinyl labels. She picked the font and colors. I used my Cricut to cut them. That might be one of my favorite techie items.

Now that these are packed and ready they just need to be dropped off!!! Seeing that we can still do drive bys and leave something on a porch, I figure it is now or….June when we can take them over.

These should help keep him organized and busy!!! Finding things to do can be a struggle these days. Kids need things that are not screen time.

I hope you are finding ways to fill all of the home time.