The Family that Gives Back Gets Back

What are long weekends made for??? In my life-family time. That can mean a lot of things. Typically I love a getaway, but we stayed home this Memorial Day Weekend. This holiday weekend was so great because it was a four day weekend. Yes, that’s right four glorious days off that were lightly planned.

FRIDAY

My hubs had to work, but my mini me and I had off. She slept in and I started my day in quiet with coffee. So good. I knew we had to make these treats for the charity walk on Sunday, so while it was still early and calm I prepped what we needed.

This was fairly simple, but very robotic. Once all of this was done and she had breakfast it was time to assemble. These are super simple to make. I feel like they are a great combination of sweet and salty….gluten free too.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 275°

Bake for 2-3 minutes

Once out of the oven gently press a candy into the melted kiss

Let cool

ENJOY

This was a great baking project to do with my mini. Sort of relaxing and she could do everything except use the oven. We have built-ins and they are too high to risk injury.

Once they were cooled we were ready to package them up. She decided we should put 2 of each kind into these really cute and easy clear, baking bags I found on Amazon. This whole project was calm, easy and a perfect way for her to help give back.

The rest of our Friday was super fun. We went to see Aladdin with friends. We thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was funny, kept to the animated story, but had a few new elements and was a perfect way to kick off our family time. Of course we got popcorn…the big bucket and I packed the rest of the peanut mm’s in my bag.  One of my favorite things to get at the movies is a Coke ICEE. Totally unhealthy, but I love it. I used to calorie splurge on hot pretzels and cheese, but since going gluten free, I have decided to sugar myself up with a cup of slushie magic. If and when the machine is out, or not working-total let down, but the long weekend gods were on my side and I happily sucked up those empty calories.

SATURDAY

This day started like many Saturdays of recent.  I got up by myself and sat in peace and quiet with my coffee and phone. I checked out the online world while I rocked and sipped.  Then it was time for me to head off to yoga.  This new routine has become a great way to start a typical weekend.  I have really come to enjoy what yoga has opened me up to.  My class was great-totally challenged me, but my instructor informed us at the end that she was no longer going to be teaching this class.  She is moving on to her MORE in life.  I was totally devastated.  I am thrilled for her of course, but I finally feel like I have found my jam.  There is something about the way she teaches, pushes me and her energy…. that’s what got me out of the house when I’ve had a long and tiring day or it is a wet, gloomy morning ….when staying in seems like a much better idea, but I get ready and go.  No workout has ever done that. I am not easily motivated to work out. I have tried many things….our gadget filled basement is proof of my quest for the right exercise for me.  So, I am not sure what is going to happen with my Thursday and Saturday hour and fifteen minutes of me time.  I am sure her position with be filled, but never replaced.

Enough with the pity party…..so the rest of my day was spent with nature and my peeps. We found a park online.  I swear Facebook is listening or invisible aliens report to Facebook what you are going to be looking for, because I mentioned the hubs we needed to get out and do something with nature.  We all needed some vitamin D.  Winter was long and painful.  It is time to embrace the good weather, for as long as we can.  So, I hopped on my phone to send a text and then wandered over to FB. What pops up….yes an article link for a park about an hour away from us.  I click, look at the pics and he googled the directions.  This is when I love technology and spontaneity. 

Thirty minutes later we were in the car, off on a new family adventure.  The park was really nice and just at my level.  I am no woman of the woods.  My spastic, unrealistic fears of things that live in the woods or that scurry in the night restrict me from full on hiking, but this park provided us with enough visual food for the soul, as well as manicured and maintained paths for the spastic.

We hiked the trails and watched our daughter shoe away the “bugs”.  It is sort of laughable at times and then sometimes annoying, but I have no room to judge, considering there are multiple things that, live and breathe, I am afraid of.

We needed this time together. It was so nice to walk, talk and take in mother nature. Winter really does seem too long-caging  us inside. We are not snow bunnies, so the arrival of early summer is a blessing.

Loves of my life

I get teased by my hubby, but I love to take pictures. He jokes we only vacation so I can Shutterfly.  So not true, but I do love making photo books too.  I took pictures this day, but I tried to look more with my eyes and be present;  not running my to do list in my head, not thinking of what comes next.

On our drive home I spotted another waterfall.  How awesome is that?!! Two waterfalls in one day.  No one got out except me.  I needed a picture of course.  It was small, but cool.  At the top I could see a home was next to it.  I thought it very relaxing.  Could you imagine living next to that beautiful white noise?!  

We wrapped our day in our neighborhood at a local diner we frequent.  This is often a typical Saturday night.  My hubs likes to eat this chicken dinner they serve.  We lovingly call it his Saturday Night Special.  It is nothing mind blowing, but sometimes the simplest of things are the yummiest.  I have to say because he orders it so often it makes me question my chicken cooking skills. Hmmm????

After a day of hiking and sunshine we were kind of wiped out.  So we had an early night of watching Harry Potter on TV.   Everyone was off to bed to get their beauty sleep for Sunday.  So, all in all great day!

SUNDAY

The Vullo Boys and their Mama…The Heart and Soul behind the walk!!!!

This was our day we were going to help our closest friends kick off a new passion project.  They put together a walk to raise money for a cancer research hospital in our area.  She said this idea came to her on the treadmill. Well it was a winner.  They raised a surprising amount of money, for a first time event, and created a fun day for families to get out & support their community.  It was so awesome to see so many young families taking time out of their holiday weekend and showing their kids a way to open their hearts and support others in need.

Some people just get you in life….love this lady!

The walk was very manageable-two miles on a path in their neighborhood.  This walk is by no means a challenge, but a lot of the kiddos that were feeling it.  We let our daughter scooter.  She was happy and we heard zero complaining.  Some parents we carrying their kids.  My back is too old for that!  The weather was beautiful.  It was the perfect temperature, clear skies and a breeze.  My friend watched the weather all week.  She was so nervous it would ran.  Not a drop!  

Aww yeahhhh

The walk finished at their home with a bake sale and basket auction.  This was a very successful sale. There were so many gluten filled treats I longed for.  My friend and her mom baked  all day Friday, her in-laws must have baked for days and there were the few contributions we made.  This cause really effects so many and brings out the best in people.  For whatever reason people came out…it was awesome they did and they brought their wallets.  That might not be the thing to say, but it is true.  Our friends raised $7000!!!!

             There was a bounce house set up for the kids. I don’t think I need to explain how this is a gift that keeps on giving.  Parents are happy, kids are happy.  I think it was funny how so many were tired walking, but could bounce for days.  

He looks so happy…winning

My friends also set out corn hole.  I am not usually into playing, but the hubs and I played for a bit, after I was done selling basket auction tickets.  It was fun.  If you have read a previous post -I posted about a month ago- you might know he does not like to loose, especially to me.  I was the mini golf champion but he beat me by two  throws this day.  I am sooooo okay with it.  I am not competitive by nature…some people pout over it (hahahha), which requires the occasional winner (me) to rub it in…just a bit!  I could have asked for a rematch, but it was time to clean up.

Once everyone had left and the tents went down we had a very relaxing dinner. It was nice to just sit and chat.  Our friends parents put it together and it was delicious. I love seeing the care and effort people put into a simple meal.  I think the act of making sure people are well fed is an amazing quality.  I didn’t take a picture….kicking myself, but I was living in the moment.  Kept my phone in my belt bag. Yep a belt bag…the chic way of saying fanny pack!  I will explore this new found love in a future post.  

When they day was done we drove home full….full bellies and hearts full of friendship.  Giving back and supporting friends fills my bucket.

I can’t really explain it, but it does a soul good. 

Monday

So I typically blog and post on Sunday. Long weekends don’t really work with the schedule, so Monday it is.  I made my coffee and got to work early, because I wanted to be able to enjoy the day with my family.  We planned on going to the Memorial day parade.   Before the parade I wanted to get a few things made for dinner.  I put together a gluten free tuna mac salad and something we call green fluffy.  Both are super simple and require me tossing things together.  

Green Fluffy

Then it was time to shower and head out to the parade. We have made it an annual tradition to go to the local Memorial Day Parade. For the past couple of years we meet up with school friends. It is nice. This year we were a tiny bit late. My hubbie read online that it started at 12….I thought maybe 11, but I wasn’t in the mood to question it. So, we intended to be early and sit in our favorite spot, but we ended up being 20 minutes late and missing some of the parade. No matter our friends were set up on time and we squeezed in the shade. We watched the last half. The bag pipes are my favorite. It was nice to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a bit. Thank goodness for texting, but it is always better to chat face to face.

After the parade it was a quick stop for lunch and then home. Time to get in back to school/work mode. All of the Sunday things were happening: dinner prep, laundry, blogging, TV watching, picking up all the little things, planning and sending out texts to keep up with all the people in my tribe I needed to catch up with.

I hope you had a fun filled long weekend! Feel free to comment, drop a question or follow me.

Feeling blessed!!!

~Rose

Advertisements

Thursday Night Book Club

Ten plus years ago I was very fortunate to have been invited to a book club. My work bestie had a book at a staff meeting and I asked her about it. She told me she was reading it for book club. I instantly thought how fun. I was really hoping she would invite me…..and she did. I have always been a reader. I was that kid under the covers with a flashlight, but I had never been in a book club. It seemed like an awesome way to do something I love and meet new people. I call this the nerd girl cocktail…1 part books, 1 part future friends and a dash of you can do this.

The first book I ever read for book club was The Kite Runner. Not my favorite book, but I read it and went to my first meeting. I had no idea what this was going to be like. I felt like the new kid on the first day of school. Everyone was super sweet and welcoming. The woman who hosted did a beautiful job. There were yummy treats and she provided the discussion questions. I had no idea what to expect and was happy to see structured questions….that tiny slip of paper somehow grounded me on the love seat.

I remember my question was not one I could really answer…truth be told I sort of skimmed the book. Not because I was in a rush, because I didn’t love the story, but I answered as best I could. Thank goodness this wasn’t a graded assignment! I remember sitting there listening and watching. I was thinking I like these ladies. It was and still is a group of women spanning a couple of generations. A few of them are related and related by marriage. So, I guess it would have been easy to feel on the outside of the circle, but I felt like I could do it again. Show up and share. Show up and give my thoughts and feelings about a book.

Making Memories and Friends

That’s what I did for about 8 years. Every 8 weeks or so we met. A different house, a different book and a different conversation. In the beginning I didn’t over share about my life. Who does that? New kids typically play it safe….well at least I did. I remember the first time I hosted I was a complete spaz. My house had to be perfect, my food had to be perfect and the book questions had to be perfect. I have no idea why I stressed, they were all very sweet and kind sitting in my tiny living room.

That’s why I think I kept showing up or offering to host, because no matter what your house is like or what you serve they are appreciative and lovely. Everyone offers something different. I love hearing a different perspective. Each reader comes with their own personal experiences and this view makes for a diverse and stimulating conversation. As we grew as a group our perspectives changed. Sometimes new people came in and out. A lot of us had babies or got married, which really changed the dynamics of our group.

Some meetings were totally on point with the book and others were a total mishmash of mini conversations. Momversations! We talked about it all…and some of us with a potty mouth! I learned a lot from these women. Being a new mom it was awesome to share and relate. As a working mom it was so good to know I wasn’t alone in my hectic balancing act. Being a wife can also be a struggle at times and I definitely took amazing advice from these smart, compassionate and quirky women.

Turning Pages and Swiping

We read books that were often a book we might no pick pick on our own. A book we might pass by…judging it by its cover. Our group lets the host pick. I think this is the best way. No voting, no drama. This format is how I read many, many books out of my comfort zone or preferred genres. If there was a book that I did not like-oh well. I most likely learned something about myself from reading it. Being pushed past my emotional limits is never comfortable, but it is a book….it can’t hurt me. The paperback boogie man isn’t going to get me. I can read and think about hard things. I can let fictional or real characters touch me, anger me or make me think.

I have to add this tiny bit in. I started book club reading physical books. Then I moved on to a Kindle. I like both. Each as its upside and drawback. I can say that I do love passing a good book along to a friend, I like to feel & see pages turn, and like a nonhorder (hahaha) see my collection….sort of reflect as I dust them. An electronic version gives me none of those good feels but it does make for a tidier house and put a book at my fingertips in a second….enough of that, back to it.

At a certain point I think it was becoming difficult for people to meet. Life was getting very busy for working moms. The love of meeting wasn’t enough- it became a struggle for many. I know I was trying my best. I really hated missing a meeting, but at times I struggled to get the full read in or find time to attend. I think some felt guilty if they missed. I know I did, but life happens and book club should be enjoyed not a guilt trip.

The End of an Era

So here we come to the point in my story where the book club fell apart. I completely understand why it wasn’t working, why the person who founded the group wanted it to stop and why it did. I was very sad it was ending. I think there were a handful of us who were hoping it wasn’t true. Going to the last meeting I was hoping it wasn’t-that someone would want to drive the train. Lead us in a new direction. Nope! Didn’t happen. It was a very bitter sweet meeting. It felt weird saying goodbye to this wonderful group of ladies who brought so much to my life. Sometimes change needs to happen in order for a new something to happen.

When we left there were 4 or 5 of us who were lingering….we sort of were looking at each other….I know I was thinking maybe one of them would say I will start a new group, but it didn’t happen. I think people felt awkward. No one wanted to hurt anyone feelings or make anyone feel guilty for being OK for letting it go. I love that about these ladies….the consideration…the recognition and respect of different perspectives.

So, times goes by and I really missed the group. I had contact with a few members which was nice, but I loved the eclectic dozen. My reading slacked for a while. I didn’t have anyone to chat with about the ins and outs of a story. Huge boo. Kinda strange because I was an avid reader before the group. I never needed to chat about a book before. In college I actually didn’t enjoy dissecting a novel or text in public.

More time went by and I started thinking and talking to the universe. I was hoping someone might want to get the group back together. You might be asking-why not me? Why didn’t I reach out. Why didn’t I start a new/different group if I missed it so much. The answer is I just don’t have that confidence. I thought maybe everyone would say no. I have this saying that “my brand isn’t for everyone”. I honestly believe and accept that. Maybe there is a book out there to help that?!

The Band is Back Together

Thankfully someone was brave enough to reach out. She reached out to all of the members from the original group. Some of us were pumped and some are still in a place where it isn’t something they can or want to do and that is OK. I think that is a huge take away. Know your limits and do what fills you up…..do that. Do what fills you up.

We have only gotten together a handful of times so far. I love it of course. I missed a meeting. Yep. Life was to much to balance and I had to miss (and I tried this particular book using Audible….Where the Crawdads Sing). We are a smaller group this time around. I think everyone gets it. This last meeting the host had her sister on Facetime! I showed up late from yoga and was introduced to her via the phone! How fun is that?! It was a great meeting. Lots of stimulating talk about the book. It was an easy read with many different aspects/characters. Feelings were mixed and everyone had some perspective or idea I hadn’t thought of while reading. That is why I love going. It is a judgement free learning zone… a space where I can grow as a reader and an individual.

Our new pick looks good. I have ordered it, but have not even cracked the binding. I am looking forward to reading it closer to our next meeting date. I used to read a new selection as soon as I could. I find I enjoy book club much more if I read the book closer to the meeting date, less time for me to forget details and I think I digest the text differently.

My Take Away

I am truly thankful to be doing something that fills me up. I think this is essential for all humans. Finding things and doing things that are just for yourself. I am equally thankful that I know brave people who can do things I can’t. Without that confidence I would still be missing part of my tribe, missing something I loved….missing a part of myself.

I am going to keep on reading, sharing, pushing myself and supporting this awesome group of ladies.

If you check out my The Buffet page you can always see new books I am reading. I have one that isn’t for club, but something new for me. I am going to write about it once I finish…so stay tuned for that. If you liked this post and wanna read more, follow me. You can like this post, you can send me a message. Let’s talk books or whatever!

Meetings and Annual Reviews

I love this point in my year. Annual reviews are over. I don’t know why they still cause me so much angst. I have been going to them for 15 years!!! And I have never had one that was terrible or mentally scarring. This has been another great year….smooth sailing. Which makes me think am I a total nutter?! Do you stress out before a big meeting?

The Prep

Every year I try to think about how I can make my experience better. When I first started I would write out talking points to help me , especially helpful when I started to feel the dry mouth setting in. I understand how important these meetings are. We are essentially forecasting the next year for a student. This is kind of huge. I always want to make sure I say it all without generating a novel. I want to be fair and clear, so now I really focus on a few statements from each plep and my relationship with my student.

I also love to hear and understand my parents or families. I try to remember this is their baby…5 years old or 18 years old. No matter what the situation is, it is their child and I am here to serve them. I have developed different forms over the years to glean feedback from them. I think I have finally made something that is simple and eye catching. I wanted it to stand out for the parents or teachers. So many times I have sent items home that “get lost” or misplaced because people are unsure. This new handout is not hard to miss.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ParentTeacher-Annual-Review-Feedback-Form-4366167

The Pleps

How much is too much. I have seen IEPs that are pages and pages. I never want to be that teacher that makes it overwhelming for parents or teachers, but I also don’t want to be so brief, my student isn’t presented in the best way possible. When I was a first or second year teacher I think I was either very basic in my statements or to wordy. Finding the balance comes with time and practice.

I personally do not enjoy data, I do not enjoy reading data I have generated or data other therapists and teachers collect. I understand it is necessary, but I feel there is more to a student’s year than data. The highlights of my student’s year have become my talking points at a meeting. Everyone involved in the process can read my data at a later date.

I make sure I write in all three major areas and try to not repeat myself. Which I find can be a struggle.

Goals

I find that I have “go to” goals I like. Ones I find semi universal and attainable. Sometimes I think I like a goal that I feel I can really do, especially when I see a student at a lower weekly frequency. I tweak my “go to” goals for each student…obviously. When I was younger I struggled more. I think with time and experience it becomes easier and easier, but I think I need to be aware if I am sinking into the deep hole of teacher burn out….you know -that slippery slope of taking the boring and easy way out. I am kinda scared that one step down that rabbit hole and this Alice will never leave wonderland…..I’ll become this dull and robotic teacher.

So, my goal for myself is to keep it spicy, but realistic.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Data-Collection-and-Progress-Monitoring-Sticky-Note-Bundle-4337356

The Meeting

I typically try to think of all of the things I need to have and do a couple of days before.

  • Cancel students- if there is a time conflict
  • Copy notes
  • Highlight my sections of focus
  • Student work samples (if I need to support my recommendations)
  • Copy of draft
  • A pen and highlighter

I have a better routine than I did years ago. You might think it odd to check list a pen, but it is never good to need one. No Anastasia Steel moments here.

When it is my turn to share I always try to limit myself. I have a tendency to ramble…or derail, so I try to be mindful of this awful habit. Peoples time is valuable. I have gotten much better at eye contact. This is a skill I teach my students, but a life skill I am constantly working on with adults. I focus on the parents mostly. They are all so wonderful and that’s really why I am there…for their child. I find this to be a sense of calm for me. Administrators still make me a wee bit nervous.

Reflecting

I always like to gather all my drafts. And have a look at them one more time before I place them in my students permanent files. I find I need to wrap my head around where they are going for the next year. I know what I have written, but I like to reread everything. I do not have access to the files over the summer, so I like to have mental or physical notes that I can refer to over the summer months. People think teachers are off over the summer, but not really. I think about my upcoming year, new ideas, new materials and new resources I can generate for a fresh and fabulous year.

What do you work on over the summer? How do you prepare for September? Drop me a line! I would love to have a conversation.

Giving Back

In my post “This is How I Sunday” I mentioned my amazing bestie who is putting together a charity walk. She wanted to teach her boys about giving back. I love this. She is doing a great job raising money for her walk and bake sale. I am impressed with her planning and efforts. All of the proceeds are going to a local hospital that specializes in cancer treatment.

So many of us know someone in our past or present who have been touched by this disease. I have family that have passed from cancer and I keep a close watch on my lady bits & my general health.

Cancer comes in many shapes, sizes and colored ribbons (which I think is great how people represent specifically). I can understand why my friend was motivated to support this hospital. It does amazing work and we are very lucky to live in a community that plays such an important role in peoples lives.

When I was a very small child I spent alot of time in the waiting areas of the hospital this walk is supporting. My grandmother had a brain tumor. She went in and out of treatment and procedures there. I thankfully have beautiful memories of her that are not tarnished by my last memories of her. My parents tried their best to protect my brother and I from the harsh reality. Cancer can alter everything.

I’m not a dweller. It doesn’t serve me to stay stuck in a negative space. As I type that I have to be honest- I do have monents where feel sorry for myself. I have lived most of my life without one of my favorite people, but I have lived and that is the importance take away. Keep growing and moving forward.

When I was younger, elementary school, I always signed up to walk in the annual cancer walk. I think those miles are some of my favorite memories from elementary school. My friends and I had so much fun walking and talking. I think, as we were tweens and teens, there might have even been some flirting. So, when my friend told me about her upcoming walk I immediately started to think about how I could help or add something.

My mini me and I decided to craft something. We wanted to make something cute, colorful and easy. We decided on hair ties. What girl doesn’t need more hair ties?! We knew how to make then, but getting the materials was our immediate challenge. We went to two local craft stores and could not find the elastic we needed. Thankfully Amazon was at my finger tips. We ordered 4 different looks. At the store we did get lucky and find the cutest charms to add.

The elastic arrived a couple of days later! Making the ties was very easy: measure and tie. I did heat the ends so the elastic wouldn’t fray.

Next, I needed to add them to the cardstock cards I cut. We decided on four hair ties per card. We think they look cute. I am excited to show them to my friend. I sent her a picture, but they are cuter in person.

I sort if forgot to process my cart for a day or two….I was starting to curse Amazon, but it was me who was delayed. Mentally delayed! Once the bags were actually ordered I got to work making a sticker for the bags.

Once I had all of the pieces it was time to put everything together. I am very happy with the results. I enjoyed every part of this project. The short amounts of time I spent on each aspect was like me time. I know the end result is going for a cause, but it was nice to focus on something enjoyable. I am happy that when I hand these over to my friend I am truly giving her a mini labor of love.

My hope is we sell out! My mini wants to sell them. She thinks her adorable face will be a selling point. This girl!!! I hope she is right. Who could tell a sweet and polite child no!? It is for a worthy cause. I love that she wants to help give back! I think it is awesome how one idea, started in one persons heart, has had this wonderful ripple effect.

As you can see I didn’t make hundreds. We started with 25. It sounded like a good number….25 people who can also give back when they make their donation. I hope we brighten the hair and hearts of 25 people.

The walk isn’t for a couple of weeks. I will post our day of walking and talking. Crossing fingers for beautiful weather and amazing company. I’ll be sure to share what we bake and take too.

You can always send me a comment or question. You can also follow me. I would love to hear from you. How do you give back? What fills you up?

I Tiny Bit of Kindness

This is teacher appreciation week. I being a teacher know how a small thank you can go far. I put these together tonight. These are for all of the special area teachers: art, music, lessons, library, tech, religion, PE and anyone else my mini me wants to appreciate.

This has been a weird school year for us. She switched schools. Sometimes a smaller, more peaceful environment is needed. I really can’t say more than that. It wasn’t a crazy dramatic reason. She just needed it-so it happened and all the staff at our new school have been beyond accepting, supportive and KIND.

So, this is just a tiny thank you to express how much we LOVE who they are. Teachers are in or have been in all of our lives and I know that most everyone can tell a story about one teacher that was not so bright and shiny, but for all of the teachers that showed up and show up everyday…maybe remember to thank them this week or at the end of the year.

And not just the teachers…how about bus drivers, cafeteria staff, front office staff, guidance counselors….all of the amazing people who work behind the scenes to make a child’s day a success. Most people like a small thank you, kind word or acknowledgment that they are doing a good job. I have been very blessed to travel to alot of schools and meet awesome people. As you might have read in a recent post I say thank you to my peers every June. I want to teach my child whatever you can do….do it. Say Thank You, Show Gratitude.

If this post doesn’t apply to you-maybe think about doing a tiny thank you for someone who is making your life easier, better…more positive. How about just to lift them up and make a Monday feel like Friday!

These were super easy and fast to pop together. I designed the tag (it is in my tpt store), bought the KIND bars from Target, dollar tree bags and about 30 minutes, with Alexa spinning some tunes in the background.

I printed and laminated….excuse the glare. I cut and punched the hole. Next, I put treats in each bag.

I used one of each. My hope is they like!

You could do this. I know you can. I didnt even use fancy ribbon. I usually do, but I was keeping it simple! Put anything yummy or practical in the bag. I just loved this fruity heart clip art. I think the artist who designed it is going to be my new obsession….might add to the Buffet! So pretty. I can’t even!!! These were fun and spoke to me.

So my little will be delivering these to her new tribe!!! I just wanted to share. I had fun putting it together. Zero stress. I love to give back in whatever way I can.

Let’s all spread a tiny kindness this week.

This is How I Sunday

Added to my Instagram this morning….brought me to writing this post

Sunday can be relaxing, fun, busy, full of chores, or a family day. No matter what Sunday brings there are always a few things I need to, have to….however I justify it…do on Sunday. I am trying to be more positive about this day of the week, not dread it because I know Monday is coming. See the “sun”day. The older I get I feel like I really need to stop and take a minute to stop myself from wandering down the path to Complaintville. I need to turn on my internal GPS and head for Happy Valley! What path did you take this weekend? What were your “to do’s” ? Did you have your best ”sun”day?

Alone Time

I was up not crazy early, but before my people. I had my coffee and was doing all the phone things: email, Instagram, Pinterest, checking my blog stats and thinking about the endless to do list in my head. I checked Facebook. Now Facebook is kinda new for me. Yes, I was living under a huge rock. I really didn’t want it or want to get tangled up in it or add one more thing to check on my phone- which I already have a love hate relationship with, but I have an account now and I sort of like it. I can find the positive value in it as a way of keeping connected to people I do enjoy. I checked all my email accounts and deleted all of the things that entice my shopaholic heart. Everything looked happy out in cyber world.

Once, I was satisfied with all of the social media I needed to use my phone for what I love about it. I looked back at last nights pictures. We attended a charity event with friends, so it was date night and fun friends night. We won a bid on 2 American Girl dolls. Our incredibly blessed child does not need them, but it was for charity, so it feels good to give them to her. I think a full circle moment of charity will be if they do not add to the mess in her playroom. She is a beautiful soul that sees no reason why Mommy and Daddy can’t stand a mess.

Next, I got to text messages. I needed to send a thank you out to our friends who invited us out last night. I really spent time thinking about how awesome they are, how blessed we are to have them in our lives and how much fun it is to connect with new people too. My beautiful friend is putting together a charity walk that is happening Memorial Day weekend. I found this to be inspiring-so I of course want to help in any way I can. I started to think what could I add or do. I got and idea, but I needed to recruit my mini partner in crime. Once I proposed my idea she was in! She loves to give back. I hope that means we are going a good job raising her….fingers and toes crossed. We are going to craft something up….you will have to check it out in a future blog post. I will share pictures.

Laundry

This is a dreaded event for me any day of the week. It is not just a Sunday thing. I want to tell you I am smiling, as I hang dry all of the things I fear the dryer will shrink to fit Barbie, but I can’t. I didn’t smile, but I didn’t pout either…I hate wrinkles more! 2 loads done….more to go. I wish there was a laundry fairy.

Errands

So now that this philanthropic plan has been concocted, it needed some action. We headed out to purchase supplies. Two stores later we found some of what we needed and then Amazon to the rescue. The crafting can begin in 2 days. I often think about how awesome it is that I can order up what I need and see it 2 days later on my porch. That is another check in the love column for my phone. We could have completed a couple of other errands, but we needed to feel the “sun”day, so there is always tomorrow. A bit of fresh air, sunshine and scooter time was needed.

Planning

If you look closely you can see my little Wonder Woman…I try to be just as flexible.

This is the part of my Sunday that I have come to love and embrace. It focuses me. I need this hour to stick stickers, play with colored pens & markers, and feel like I have some control….hahaha. I look back at the week and see what needs to roll to the week ahead. I thankfully didn’t see anything that didn’t get accomplished. I used to do my planning on the couch, but now that I have my new, beautiful work space I sat with all my colorful things that make me happy and started to dominate my upcoming weeks! Don’t ask me why the stickers and colors make me happy-they just do. While we were out at the craft store, I bought the 11 ring punch for my planner. Yes-it was on sale. I have wanted it for a bit. I think it would be nice to punch pages to add to a week, school stuff and mom stuff. I feel better once I have a handle on the week-on paper. The phone calendar gives me zero satisfaction. Do you paper plan? Or just use your phone?

Full disclosure…I am adding this paragraph in my editing phase of this post. I LOVE my paper planner for my home life, but this year for school I started to use an web planner, digital planner-whatever you call it. It has made my teaching life amaze balls. I love it. I didn’t want to share my love of paper today and then post in the future about the web planner I embraced-to make my gingerbread lifestyle lighter and at my finger tips. I will share in an future post. How I handled paper and paperwork this school year is its own story.

Dinner

This is going be a very simple task – thank you crock pot. I sometimes meal prep for the week, but not this Sunday. Like I mentioned before there are some errands that can be done tomorrow, food shopping will be one of them. I am not that great at the whole Sunday food prep thing. I go in spurts. I have a friend that is great at it. I will admire her efforts this week from her daily posts to her Instagram account. I say bravo. I think the hard part for me is knowing what we should even eat for dinner. Sometimes I am perfectly happy with cereal. I am very fortunate that my people are easy going. Are you a planner and prepper OR an eat what your heart is telling you kind of person???

A Delivery

Oh how I love the sound of the delivery truck. I was super happy to get my package today. I saw that Maven Thread put out new headbands this week. Of course I needed them. I truly love these headbands and I can admit I am starting to have a bit of a collection. I try to justify it by sharing with my mini me. I even hung up a new set of hooks to see all of these pretties!

Because I know I will get more I bought a second set of hooks (look of shame)! Do you have a thing that you have multiples of-even though 1 or 2 would suffice?

Fun Work

So, right now I am doing the fun work. Writing this blog post is fun. I do not feel stressed or pressured to get it done. My goal is one post a week. I might do more, but baby steps with momma’s side hustle. I kinda love that I take the time to sit and get thoughts out of my head. I for years have had mini conversations going in my head as I drive from school to school. Maybe later I will work on a new TpT resource….when my early birds head to their nests and this night owl is alone again.

I made something new Friday night. Yep-exciting Friday night!! The hubs worked late and my mini wanted to get lost in Netflix. So, momma made something. I had a sale and it inspired me to push harder and create something that connects to what a a buyer wanted. I was pumped that this person purchased all three resources that went together. I am super new to TpT and I thought if I connected with one buyer, maybe a similar resource will connect with her and others. Right there another reason to love my phone. That sale alert was inspiring. That is my ultimate goal for even making resources. I figure if I would use it teaching my kids-then maybe someone else out there needs it too.

Finding Insipration

I think that is very important for my Sunday. I need to find inspiration to push forward, to maybe lift someone else up and recharge myself for the week. I had a different post planned and I will save it for a rainy day. That pin I posted to Instagram really spoke to me and kind of drove my whole day. Looking for bits of inspiration in print or in people, moments to reflect and slowing my day down… to a point that I felt like I got “all the things” done-but not so much where I felt busy and like a crazy lady! I hope you found some of that today….even if you are reading this on a Wednesday. And if you didn’t maybe you could try tomorrow. I know I will be looking for my inspiration tomorrow.

How stinkin’ cute is this. It totally made my day when I saw it in my Bitmoji pics!!!

If you are interested in the resources I made this week, here are the links.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Metaphor-Worksheets-4549312

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Metaphor-Matching-Game-4549305

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Metaphor-Posters-4549298

End of the Year Teacher Thank You Treats

Question: Do you gift to the teachers you work with?

This has been a hot topic within my tribe. Some people do and some people don’t. I think what ever side you are on you have to do what you feel is right.I personally gift. This looks different every June. Some years I have more time and get creative. Some years I have a little more to spend. Some years I feel more giving; which seems kinda gross to say, but I am super honest and some years I am just over a school year-not over the people, but that feeling has a ripple effect. Summer can’t come fast enough.

Giving something small to a teacher who has been a rock star all year is a no brainer for me. I love saying thank you. Thank you for wearing the FM all year. Thank you for going above and beyond for our student. Thank you for putting up with me showing up in a flurry of distraction. I know that classroom teachers have to follow the IEP-so this is where I see people in my tribe divide. They feel it is not above and beyond. They are doing their job. They are, but I feel like my student might be the only student they ever teach with hearing needs. And this doesn’t grant them an automatic reward, but in my decade plus of teaching I find that most classroom teachers do go above and beyond, it is a new experience and they are my foundation for a great year.

I know people say gift cards are great. They are….I guess. I have to do something more than just the card. I feel like just the card is cold and a easy way out. So, if I give a gift card it has to be prettied up! I have a Cricut and I am not scared to use it. I do not claim to be the queen of crafting, but I give it my best. One year I made these cute paper coffee cups and attached the card to the back. Cricut to the rescue. I also love that I can design, print and cut stickers to add to simple items. I made these stickers to attach to microwave popcorn and a box of candy.

I have also done a basket of fruit or treats with a beautiful note thanking a whole team. I was inspired to do a group gift by one of my former parents. She put all these yummy treats in a basket and wanted the team to take one of everything or maybe just one item. I loved that. Calorie counters took what they wanted and some of us said yes please to all the delicious goodness.

I try not to go crazy. I don’t want people to feel awkward or look like a nutter, that is going overboard. So my goal is to say thank you, I appreciate you, with everyday simplicity. Something sweet, chocolate, a new cup, or something I find in a dollar bin at Target to inspire me.

All gifts need a tag. The berry tags above I found on Teacher Pay Teachers. I needed new tags this year, so I made new ones and put the resource in my store to help others snazz-up whatever has inspired them to say thank you.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Thank-You-Tags-4535329

The hunt is on! I am looking for this years “thing” that says thank you. You are awesome. You made my job so much easier. I see a red cart in my near future. The final weeks are here and I need to giddy up. I wish you luck putting together something special and fabulous. If you want to share or comment I would love to hear from you.