1001 in 1001

While reading blogs the other day I discovered Cows, Corn, & Country Girls and her 101 in 1001 challenge. I am all for a challenge. I also need some goals to point me in the direction. I want to go in. Everyone who knows me knows I adore list making. So this challenge was right up my ally.

Here are the basic details of the challenge:

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:

Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Progress Tracking:
items will be crossed through when completed

Here is my list:
  1. buy a House
  2. refinance my car
  3. raise credit score 100 points
  4. get engaged
  5. have 3 social dinners with friends
  6. start saving from every check
  7. buy a kindle fire
  8. learn to play guitar
  9. get a more polished look
  10. organize 3 friends closets
  11. find my old poems and back them up
  12. get better at corn hole
  13. host a theme party
  14. learn to sing
  15. sing in public
  16. go to the blue wisp
  17. go on vacation
  18. figure out how to keep car organized
  19. catch up on movies I want to watch
  20. try a new restaurant
  21. go camping
  22. get a new tattoo
  23. meet 3 new people
  24. read 50 books
  25. see the MUMMIES
  26. see Hayseed Dixie
  27. learn how to do simple car maintenance oil, breaks, wipers
  28. completely house train Westley
  29. go back to school
  30. become a credentialed trainer
  31. make more money
  32. make a 5 year career plan
  33. make 200 in one month selling thirty one
  34. set up a TPT account
  35. make my classroom efficient
  36. start writing a novel
  37. organize my theme, concepts & concepts for the year
  38. make my classroom more colorful
  39. write a manual for subs
  40. walk 1 mile a day for 1 month
  41. lose 10 pounds
  42. flatten my stomach
  43. get toned
  44. try zumba
  45. make my own cleaning products
  46. learn 5 new recipes
  47. make a cookbook of family favorite meals
  48. try vegetarian 1 night a week
  49. try fish
  50. eat fruit once a day
  51. quit pop
  52. drink 8 glasses of water everyday for a month
  53. use the crock pot once a week for 4 months
  54. learn how to make gravy
  55. keep a menu for 2 months
  56. grocery shop only once a week for a month
  57. have 20 followers on my blog
  58. daily page view of 50
  59. post everyday for 3 months
  60. do a link party a week
  61. get a pretty blog header
  62. write an e-book
  63. make my blog look more professional
  64. comment on 10 blogs
  65. link to blogs I follow on my blog
  66. blog about completed goals
  67. Read 1 new blog a week for 3 weeks
  68. do 1 fun activity a week kids choice
  69. be involved in ptc
  70. help children open a savings account
  71. take children to library 2 times a month
  72. help the girls start their own craft project
  73. have a girls night in/out once a month
  74. help the girls set 3 goals of their own
  75. help them develop a system for organizing their room
  76. help them work out differences without butting in
  77. ask daily how school was and listen for 3 months
  78. take girls to the zoo
  79. take girls to the circus
  80. organize storage room
  81. organize girls clothes
  82. update our daily routine
  83. make a family binder
  84. learn to extreme coupon
  85. make an emergency preparedness list/plan (5/1/12)
  86. compile 75% of items on that list
  87. develop a more efficient system for cleaning house
  88. organize external hard drive
  89. clean out junk and have a yard sale
  90. organize pics
  91. back up pics
  92. take more pics of my children
  93. learn to use photoshop
  94. take 1 new pic a day for 30 days
  95. build business up to 2 new customers a month
  96. take more pics of westley and buttercup
  97. digitize my non digital pics
  98. fill my etsy shop with 20 items
  99. try 10 craft items from my pinterest board
  100. paint a picture
  101. sew a dress

the Raven....a movie review

I saw the preview for this movie while watching The Woman in Black, on Valentines Day, with my youngest daughter. It was her choice. I knew right away I wanted to watch it. A serial Killer, killing in the fashion of Poe, that just has the makings of a fun movie. The problem is, nowhere near me was showing the movie. Total bummer there. I had to drive over 70 miles to see the movie. Thankfully, my non movie loving sweetie took me. Seriously, this was the first time we had ever been to the theater together and we've been together a year and a half.

I didn't read any reviews before watching the movie. I'm so glad I didn't. The website Rotten Tomatoes was not kind to it. However I disagree with all negative reviews. It was fun, yes somewhat predictable at times. For example you just KNEW that Emily would be hidden under a floor, and you just KNEW that she would be abducted at the ball. Anyone who has ever read Poe could guess what was going to happen. But don't we expect that? Wouldn't we have felt cheated if they tampered with the works of Poe? I know I would have.

My expectations for this movie was simple, entertain me. It did that.  Its a psychological/slasher movie based on famous works. How creative and fresh can you get? My sweetie who admits to only reading the cliff notes versions of the pieces required of him in high school, has been asking questions about Poe. If the movie did nothing else for the pretentious critiques I hope that they see that the movie has gotten others interested in Poe. For the record he enjoyed the movie.

Was it worth a 70 mile drive to see? Yes, and I will be watching it again when it comes out on Red Box. So if its nearby, or you don't mind driving 70 miles check out the Raven.

product review Sinful Colors nail polish

I love nail polish. I have maybe 70 bottles of various shades and brands. I discovered a new brand, Sinful Colors. I found this at Rite Aid for only 1.99. It's my new favorite brand. I have 6 different hades of this brand now and at 1.99 I am sure I will be buying more.

When I buy polish I have a list of things I look for. It has to go on in 1 coat (although I do always do a second coat). It has to be a fun color. Usually that means it is a blue, purple or green, but not necessarily. It has to hold up without chipping for several days. It also can't take forever to dry. Sinful Colors does this easily. It also has the benefit of not being 5 or 6 dollars like other brands of their quality.

I am so in love with this brand that I am tempted to throw out all of my other brands and filling my shelf with just Sinful Colors. It fits all of my criteria for the perfect polish. The colors are , it is a one coat polish that lasts and lasts and dries fast.

irony at work

Does this happen to you? You make a statement about something just to have the opposite happen? Examples from this week are.

I told Abbey she had done a great job of keeping up with her phone, after she had lost several phones. What does Abbey do?  Loses the phone.

I started thinking wow I feel great this antibiotic is working, only to wake up with an ear ache.

Its  2 weeks left until the end of school. I've had a million people in my room during this year. My Director came into my room yesterday and pointed out a misspelling in my rules. I nearly died. I didn't know whether to laugh or bury my head.  

I made a post about how I had some pageviews, instantly the page views stop.

Its kind of comical to me. maybe, I should make a post about how I have no followers and no comments lol.

I have lots of craft projects in the works I just haven't  taken pics yet. Some of the things you'll see this week are, hunger game inspired nails, a super cute, flower dry erase board for my classroom, a new system for picking songs in my classroom.


bored? guilty?

Not sure if I feel bored because my lovey is busy, or guilty for not posting because I was busy dying from infecting the world with strep. Here are some videos of my lovey's band. I adore these kids they are such a good group.

Isn't he seriously the cutest?! What do you mean you can't really see him?

how about this, its a completely craptastic pic of me, so don't even look at me ok...
ok three posts about next to nothing in a night, guess i'm done here.


Some things I just don't understand

  1. Why do people wear Pj's to Wal Mart?
  2. Why does my dog bark to go outside, stay out for an hour, scratch to come back in.....and then pee on my trash can?
  3. Why do my kids argue over everything?
  4. Why do you always get sick when its the weekend and the dr isn't in?
  5. How can I forget for a week that we need toilet paper?
  6. Is there ever really enough nail polish?
I'm sure there is more...because well, life in confusing. But, that's it for now.


People read me!? NEAT-O!!

I've had 101 page views that is exactly 101 more than I expected (so come on guys leave me some comments). I think it is soooo cool (even without the comments). I had lots of stuff planned to do this week. Make my soon to be 12 year old the coolest Hunger Games shirt ever, make same soon to be 12 year old the coolest set of Hunger Games nails ever. Can you tell someone in my house loves Hunger Games? Abbey is completely smitten. She is rereading the books for what I think is the 3rd time. She still stops to read me parts she loves.

I love that she is almost 12 and still thinks I'm cool enough to tell her life too. That she wants me to know what interests her. She is at such a rough age. There is so much peer pressure hatefulness among kids her age. I feel so blessed that I have her. She is such a sweet girl. She is so witty and smart and goofy.Now if I could just do something about her constantly losing her phone lol.

Sadly though, getting strep has ruined all my plans. Dang strep. When my girlies were little, they would lay on me when they had strep. I didn't get it any then. I was even going to post a video of Abbey's band concert but i forgot to put the sd card back in the camera. My lovey recorded it for me, but he had to leave right after she performed to load drums.

 Yesterday was take the soon to be kindergarteners on a field trip to their school day. I picked up lots of cute ideas to use in my classroom next year, like how to display birthdays,  a potty bear, how to display art work, and a new idea for covering bulletin boards. I am going to miss my cutie pies. I wish I could keep both my classes another year. They have been so wonderful.

They are ready to go though. They were so excited yesterday. Every little sight and sound would make them giggle and point and ooh and ahhh. That is why I enjoy teaching preschool. Every single school experience is new and watching them soak it is a privilege I am so happy I get.  

to work or not to work..outside the home that is

A mom on my facebook posted a link to this article and mentioned that she pays 700 a month in preschool tuition. My first thought was damn if I could get just 3 kids willing to pay that a month for me to teach them I could retire from my current job and make money. My second thought was, WOW!! I could never afford that. My third thought was, there has to be options.

When my oldest was not even born yet, I had visions of going right back to work after she was born. I was working in a very upscale church based child care center. My plans were to take her right to work with me and leave her just a few doors down in the infant room. When she was born and I was informed I only got a 10% discount and literally did not even make enough working to pay tuition to bring her to work with me. I had to rethink my plan. Little did I know that my choice would impact the rest of my life. But it is a decision I haven't really regretted.

Whats a recent college graduate with a husband still in school and a newborn baby gonna do.  I took as many months off as I could. My husband (ex now) finally looked at me and asked me, "Do you like to eat?" I responded "yeah", he then said some very truthful words, "well, unless you want to break that habit you need to get a job" OUCH!!! So, I did what any mom would do. I started looking for a job that allowed me to spend as much time with my child as possible.

I had some things going against me. I opted for a degree I found fun and engaging not one that pays well. I have a BS in Early Childhood Development. At the time it did not come with a teaching certificate. If I had continued working post baby, I could have taken a few classes and obtained the certification. However, I didn't know this until YEARS too late. I stupidly thought marriage is forever and any problems could be fixed and that I would have the financial security to do what I enjoyed (teaching preschool) and not worry about chasing a paycheck. Reality check came years later on that too.....

Another thing against me was that we were POOR. As I mentioned before my husband was still in school, but was also working on the weekends. We made too much money for government help. How we managed that I will never know, because honestly some months paying our 250 a month, all inclusive rent, felt like too much. I also wanted to spend as much time with my baby as I could, babies are only little once.

With this in mind I read the newspaper religiously looking for anything. Finally I found it. The nursing home was looking for someone they could send to school to get their CNA (certified nursing assistant) certification. I got hired and worked nights, he went to school during the day and neither one of us slept that entire year (at least it felt like we didn't). But, Abbey didn't have to go to daycare (mommy didn't have to pay for day care). Its a small price to pay. After the sleepless year we moved. He made more money and we decided it would still be best if I stayed home.

When I did go back to work I worked weekends while he was home so we didn't have to pay for daily child care.  Child number 2 came along and we kept up this arrangement until moving again. I begin teaching preschool again and realized in a hurry that I hit a wall with my career. I needed something extra that I didn't know I needed and didn't know was at my finger tips.

My point is, that it isn't black and white stay at home or work. And just because you stay at home doesn't mean you aren't doing anything. I did just as much as a stay at home mom as I do now. We had "home preschool" we learned, we had fun, we grew. There are options if you are able to work a creative schedule. It may take sacrificing your career, it may take sleepless nights. It may take not having a new car, or the house of your dreams. I wish I was in a position where my income was more, especially now that they are older and want to do extra activities. But, I wouldn't trade those sleepless years, those days of dancing and singing and playing, because that was important to me. I need to just remind myself of that when I look at my rental that isn't exactly where I thought I'd be today.

Anyway, to make a long post short. Don't just assume that you have to either work or stay at home, there are options like part time, flex hours, and seriously creative hours, that make seeing your spouse nearly impossible. 


strep sucks

Sorry to be MIA for a few days, I was busy spreading strep to my class, my co-workers, all the kiddies registering for next year, an entire band competition, and my sweetie and both my girlies. I didn't realize I was sick until it was too late. I am always cold natured. I blame that on my hysterectomy. I say I am a 35 year old trapped in an 80 year old body lol.

I blamed the achy feeling to sitting in one chair all day testing the kids as they come through. While at the band competition I was freezing cold and achy. It was chilly out but I didn't realize I was waaay colder than anyone else. By the time I got home, I fell apart. I  couldn't get off the couch. I couldn't get warm even with 4 blankets on me and then and only then did my throat start hurting. Shew so I apologize for infecting three counties with this crud. It sucks big time.

I (heart) Head Start

I spent all day, testing 3-4 year olds for preschool and head start for next school year. It seems some of the parents were not happy about sending their children to head start. I just don't understand why. I heart Head Start. Not just because I work there, but because I believe in it.

I want to clarify some of the misconceptions I have heard today.

Head Start teachers don't have degrees
actually, I have a BS  the same degree as the public preschool. I know this because several of them were in class with me at college.

I also want to add that I  have taught at 2 different preschools. Parents paid a tuition for me to teach their children.

They do more at preschool
As I mentioned before, they are my friends. We talk and share ideas. I assure you we are all teaching the same concepts

Head Start Kids have behavioral problems
I love each of my cutie pies. I teach a double session and both of my classes have awesome kids. Kids are kids wherever you go. You will have some that have bad days. We all have bad days. Its how you react to the bad days that matter.

The Kids are dumb
I believe I have bright students. Low income does not mean dumb. It just means low income. They are just as capable as any other group of kids.

I feel lucky and blessed to be in my students lives. They are treasures. I would love the opportunity to teach your child too.


One proud momma

So my oldest came home from school today to share with me her big news. She had straight A's on her mid terms (although that really isn't new) and that she wants to do marching band next year. Yippeee!!!!! I'm super excited for her. Marching band was the highlight of my high school years. I am still close friends with many of the kids I was in band with. I want her to have the same fun experience that I had.

Fashion advice for everyone

Before What not to Wear or Fashion Police there was me, leaving notes in people's lockers with style tips.  I do not claim to be the most stylish person ever. I don't even claim to be on par with Stacy London. I like to leave the house in a pony tail and tee shirt. But I would give advice on the big things, like mixing patterns and colors that  don't match.

Flash forward to today and  nearly everyday I have a Dear People of Walmart post on my personal fb page addressing some fashion catastrophe.  Let me lay down the rules I go by. I do not mention people who are disabled, visible sick, or hurting, have some mental disability or are old. I also rule out those that appear to have financial hardship. My target audience is teens to mid life. They are your average, everyday folk.

Here is list of my most common or best fashion advice for a typical shopping day.

  • If you are wearing leggings please do NOT wear full butt lace underwear. 
  • Actually just don't wear leggings without a shirt that covers your ass.
  • If you forget the above to rules don't add fuel to the flame by also wearing a pad.
  • Please leave your PJ's at home. Please!! I really am so sick of seeing jammies in public. 
  • If you are wearing white pants do not wear white (or any colored undies) Anything other than nude will be clearly visible. Trust me Its Clearly visible.
  • Don't mix animal print
  • Don't wear head to toe animal print
  • For the Love of all that is holy and good in the world, Please do not wear animal print and fur
  • Stripped pants make you look like a pirate or a circus tent....or a pirate circus tent
  • Hats can be a fun accessory but there is a age when animal fave toboggans are not cute anymore.
  • Dog collars and leashes belong on dogs not people
  • Please do not wear any outfit you are falling out of, either the top or the bottom. I should not see your nipple or your ass.
  • Please wear under wear that means bras and panties. Yes, we can tell when you don't
Feel free to comment and leave a piece of  fashion advice.

How to organize your closet

 Of course organizing your closet would be a breeze if you had a custom closet organizing system. But that is not always possible. I live in a rental, so installing anything is out of the question. As much as I would LOVE  one, a nice system is not an option. That leaves me with a basic bar and a shelf above it. If you know me at all, you know I am absolutely obsessed with closets. In grade school when all of my friends would doodle hearts and flowers, I was drawing closets. Yeah, I know I'm a complete dork. To me, there is something therapeutic about seeing an organized and beautiful closet. It helps me sleep better, saves me time in the morning, and just looking at it boosts my mood. So what to do?

Here is how I turned my closet from this
(For the record this is NOT my actual closet. I could never live with this EVER)
 image taken from Clutterbugs

This is what you do. Closet organizing in 6 easy steps, 7 if you are married or sharing your closet.
  1. Get rid of wire hangers. Joan Crawford had that one right "no more wire hangers" The only positive thing about a wire hanger is it takes up minimal room. It also distorts the shape of your clothes, looks ugly, and isn't very sturdy. So step 1 is get rid of all the ugly, useless wire hangers. I personally use plastic hangers because they come in different colors and I can color code my closets. My closet is white, my oldest daughter is blue and my youngest is pink. Everyone has their own color hangers. I would love to have all wooden hangers but the closet  for a single mom is just a little too steep right now :( but one day I will have all wooden hangers AND my fancy closet organizing system. In the mean time I make due with what I have and just adapt. Another plus to plastic hangers is that they are fairly cheap. 
  2. Get rid of everything you don't wear. Some say only keep items you have worn in the last 6 months I say that isn't necessary if you still love the item and you just haven't had an occasion to wear it again.  Why get rid of something because you haven't worn it only to replace it a year down the road. That is a waste of money. My philosophy is, if you don't really like it or if it doesn't fit go ahead and ditch it. There is someone that may love it. 
  3. If your closet is really small like mine is you may need to pack away your out of season clothes. I always leave a few of my favorite most versatile pieces out because if you live in a place like I do the weather is seriously unpredictable for most of the year.
  4. Now that you have only the items that you love and think you will wear you are ready to begin. Group like items together. I like to sort my clothes by categories. all my work clothes are together and then all my casual items are together. (tee shirts and non dressy tanks are kept separate)  If you are really fired up, you can sort them within the groups, by color :) but its not necessary. 
  5. I mentioned that my tee shirts and tanks are separate. All of my tee shirts are folded with the logo facing out so at a glance I know what I am looking at, and it is placed in a drawer. My tanks are rolled up and placed in their own separate drawer.
  6. I mentioned in my about me, that I am really in love with Nine West purses. I keep all of them placed neatly on top of the shelf above my clothes. 
  7. I am single and don't have to share my closet with anyone, however if you do  have to share, you can always add an extra bar to the closet underneath the main bar for the shorter clothes. In my case that was my clothes. Then I would sort my husbands clothes the same as I sorted mine, by grouping like items. 

Doesn't this closet look so much better?

I wish that I was able to take a picture of my closet for you, however it is laid out in a way that getting a picture, at least one with the quality to post, is appearing impossible. 



I can see the dirty in your hair...and other Grassisms

Anyone who knows my sister and I knows that we are smart, sweet, lovable, nutty as a fruitcake.  I mean that in the best possible way. We are really fun  mostly because you never know what we will say. Below is some of our most famous Grassisms.

  • I can see the dirty in your hair
  • What are we having for dinner, something burnt?
  • early tomorrow morning we will be waking up late
  • Its sneeting and slowing out (instead of sleeting and snowing)
  • We can't get arrested we aren't wearing our jail clothes (for the record we have never been arrested or even close to being arrested. In fact my sister is a former deputy.)
  •  Smorked poked chops is what we are having for dinner
And of course I am having a complete mental block. Check back later for more additions to the list

Clothes Calander

I am sure by now everyone has heard of planning out your meals a week or even a month in advance. When my oldest daughter was in Kindergarten I noticed that she had a closet over flowing with clothes and nothing to wear. Does that sound familiar?

What I did was complete empty out her closet and sort through every item. I had a keep, donate and store for sister pile. The keep pile got inventoried and put back into the closet. Every item we were keeping got written down on a piece of paper. Then I printed off  a blank calendar template, wrote in the month and then for every day she had school I wrote in a different outfit.

We live in Kentucky and the weather is unpredictable so I also wrote a list of warmer or cooler clothes on the side that could be substituted. Here is a copy of a sample inventory. But feel free to use whatever works for you. At first I just used a piece of college ruled paper. Here is a short sample of a calendar just to give you an idea.

I just look at the calendar and lay the chosen clothes out the night before. It really makes getting ready easy. I don't have to worry about what they are going to wear if we are running late, or if I don't get to pick something the night before, because of a late ballgame.

You can do one for yourself and even include what jewelery you are going to wear.

Product Review Maybelline Eraser

Product: Maybelline Instant age rewind eraser (for dark circles under eyes)
Cost: 8.00 after tax

I borrowed this product from my sister today while we got ready for a wedding. I could not believe how well it worked. It really did instantly make me look about 5 years younger. All the dark circles were gone. I looked well rested, you'd never guess I was up until about 4am. It goes on easy and doesn't clump. I have currently had it on for several hours and I still look just as refreshed as I did when I first applied it.


Here comes the Bride

I attended a wedding today of two dear friends. The bride is my children's "other mom" they love her that much. The couple are so in love as all newlyweds are. They are beautiful, caring, sweet, and fantastic people who deserve for their marriage to last.

I had fun at the wedding. It was absolutely stunning, and hilariously funny. But, weddings aren't easy for me. Its hard to imagine that I was there myself twice.....almost three. My first engagement ended three months before the wedding day. The two marriages obviously ended in divorce. I look at all the hope, promise and love that they have and then step back and look at my life almost 14 years after I first said "I do" and I think WOW I am a serious failure.

I never wanted to end up where I am. I honestly wanted to be a role model for my girls, showing them what a loving, healthy, and supportive marriage and family looks like. I wanted a modern day Walton's or Brady Bunch. Yes, I expected ups and downs, but in the end I wanted it to be about US as a unit. Instead I have taught them how to have a friendly, supportive, flexible relationship with the ex. I guess in all honesty that is the modern day Walton's and Brady Bunch. 

Here's to the bride and groom. I hope your love endures.


how to make a mockingjay pin

I'm pretty sure everyone I know is completely immersed in the Hunger Games craze. I know my daughter is Katniss's biggest fan. She sports a I love Peeta shirt, she has her sights on a Tribute tee for her birthday, and she has been lusting after a mockingjay pin like that worn by Katniss. We live in a small town so getting to any store that has them for sale is an effort. Does my industrious almost 12 year old let that bother her? Nope, She sits down with a ball of Sculpey clay and makes her own. Below is her step by step method of making your very own mockingjay pin. All materials can be found at your local walmart.  

materials needed:
White Sculpey Clay
Rolling pin (she used a can of peach nehi)
Bottle of Delta Ceramcoat GLEAMS acrylic paint in Metallic gold
xacto knife or other sculpting tool
and a pin backing
again all materials were found at walmart

oops I forgot the pic of the mockingjay was NOT found at walmart. 

Step 1: She did a google search for mockingjay, clicked images and traced one of the images that came up. She just placed her paper right to her laptop screen and traced it. The light on the computer makes the image stand out so its easy to trace. Then she placed the image on a flat table and made the lines darker using a pencil

Step 2: Roll a piece of sculpey out so it is even and flat.

Step 3: Place the sculpey on top of the picture, making sure it is flat, and then roll again.

Step 4: Lift the sculpey up and the pencil marking should be on the sculpey. Then take a sculping tool (She used an xacto knife) and cut around all the pencil lines.

 Step 5: very carefully poke out all the shapes you just made, add some details like lines in the wings to make the feathers and indent an area for an eyeball.

Step 6: Bake at 130 degrees for 15 minutes.
 Sorry, not sure how my pic got turned side ways. 

Step 7: let cool and then paint with Delta Cermacoat GLEAMS acrylic paint in Metallic Gold.
Step 8: Let dry again and then attach backing. She used a hot glue gun.

My little crafter sporting her Katniss mockingjay Pin and Katniss side braid 
Can you tell I am a super proud momma? I really am. She is visiting with her dad right now, but she promised when she returns we will do a video tutorial....how cool will that be? Pretty darn I assure you. 
Until next time, 

My Preschool calendar time routine (circle time)

As I may have mentioned I teach Head Start. I had taught private church run preschools in the past, but had taken several years off to work in healthcare. I started with Head Start at the end of last school year. Boy was I out of practice. I had lost what "flow" I had for doing circle time (calendar time) and the children could tell. They were unengaged, uninterested and unimpressed with this new teacher that stepped into their room. I vowed that this year would be better.

We are at the end of our school year....again. This time I do not have the feelings of hopelessness that I had this time last year. I have a class full of energetic, engaged, interested and most of the time, impressed children. Since I do a double session, I believe that is pretty impressive. I want to share with you my circle time routine. I hope it works for you as well as it as me. I had some help from some amazing printable I found FREE (and everyone loves free) at homeschoolcreations.com. I loved that I could print them in black and white, because I don't have access to a color printer at work. I printed it on card stock, colored it in, and laminated it. The month long weather graph came from Mrs. Meacham's classroom snapshot

Our routine goes like this...

The kids come in and sit down at the carpet (each child has their own letter they sit on) We start with Weather and the weather person song I am not sure what the tune is to this song (sorry)
Whats the weather like today? (repeat)
Will it rain or will it shine? 
Whats the weather like today. 

The weather person tells me what the weather is and as they are adding the appropriate pic to our weekly graph I chart the monthly graph and we sing.
(to the tune of "Bingo")
Today the sun is in the sky,
And sunny is the weather.
S-U-N-N-Y, S-U-N-N-Y, S-U-N-N-Y
And sunny is the weather.

Other verses:
Today the rain falls from the sky... R-A-I-N-Y
Today the clouds are in the sky... C-L-OUD-Y
Today the fog hangs in the sky... F-O-G-G-Y
Today the snow falls from the sky... S-N-O-W-Y
Today we have to wear a coat.. C-O-L-D 

I think I got this from CanTeach  If I really got it from you, I apologize. Please let me know so I can credit it to you.

This is what the weather graphing area looks like. I have the picture cards stored in envelopes with a picture of whats inside on the outside. I have 2 of everything, because I have a morning and afternoon class. I do the same routine everyday...twice a day.
 Here is a close up of the monthly weather graph.
This is a close up of our weekly weather graph.

Next we move on to Letter  of the week. They tell me what the letter is and we try to tie it back to our theme. An example is, this week's letter is V and we talked about Veterinarians. Then the number, we clap it and also talk about something related to our theme. This weeks was the number 2 and we talked about pets with only 2 legs. Then its Shape of the week. I like to name the shape and the describe it.  This week was a square. Everyone pointed out the 4 sides, but I mentioned a rectangle also has 4 sides.  This lead to a discussion about the word equal.  Color of the week is Black and we counted how many of us are wearing black and then we graph it. The above picture was taken last week, just so you don't think I don't know the difference between a u and a V.

Next up the calendar helper tells me the month, date and day. Shew finally time to talk about the lesson of the week. I sit in the floor with them and we have a discussion about the topic. Lots of what if's, why, and how come, gets asked in my room.

All in all this takes maybe 10-15 minutes.

My new calendar time is inspired by Mama Jenn. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my calendar time routine. -Holly

car insurance (a love/hate relationship)

I had a long list of possible first topics...because I am freaky anal that way. They ranged from funny things I've read and seen, and stuff from my classroom. Bet you are thinking "shut up, get on with the show, Holly, lets read the first official post" Well here ya go.

I know I mentioned that I am a single mom. As a single mom I am always asking around for ways to save money. Lets be honest there are more important things to spend my money on rather than bills. I'd rather do something fun with my favorite girlies. So today I was asking around about car insurance. Bet you're wondering what I discovered? Apparently insurance companies are biased against singles. I'm going on a limb and saying not just singles but single women. I say this because my boyfriend pays for 2 cars what I pay for 1. in fact my married friends pay considerably less for 2 cars than I do for 1. I know that some of that can account for a multi car discount. Explain how a couple of friends pays only 42 dollars for their car. Just 1 car so you can't add a multi car discount to that. They are married. That's the difference between us. Well, that and the fact that they live in another state.

Someone suggested that it could also be because of the number of un insured motorist in my area. I ask you, HOW THE HELL is someone suppose to keep car insurance if they jack the price so high that you have to chose between that and gas, or insurance and food? I do not feel that I am being treated fairly. wouldn't it make sense to keep it low so you don't have un insured motorist?  

It really makes me mad that they assume that women drivers are not as safe as men. That just because a woman is single that she doesn't deserve a decent rate. That she is going to be driving down the road applying makeup (for the record I do  not) I have precious cargo in my car. I wouldn't jeopardize that  for anything. I just want an opportunity to balance my checkbook and not cringe.

I love driving down the road knowing that if there is an accident that I am covered. That I can have my car fixed or replaced. I really do love my little Focus. You couldn't force me to trade it in....well with enough force you could....but I assure you I'd pout and throw a tantrum the way only a redhead can.  I just don't want to have to spend hundreds more than my friends for the same right. I don't want to be treated like I am about to take out an entire barn full of pygmy goats, or side swipe a bus full of children. I am not a dangerous driver. I should not be punished for not having a ring on my finger....to be fair I have a ring on my finger, but not THAT kind of ring.



Welcome to my world

Hi! After asking all the girls I work with, my children, and even my dog, I have come up with the conclusion that I am boring and should NOT have a blog. However, since you are here and expect to see SOMETHING about me, I'll give it a try.
 *disclaimer* My boyfriend said he would describe me as smart, funny, exciting and HOTT!!! I think he is biased.

Ok so on with the All about Holly. My name is Holly Grass. yes, that is really my last name. My 3rd great grandfather was a Sioux chief (John Grass) I was raised next door to Loretta Lynn's birth place I literally grew up thinking that every kid had tourists hanging out in their neighborhood. Id love to know how many random family pics I am in. See a totally boring, average life so far...right?

I am a single mom to two of the most amazing, beautiful, awesome girly girls ever. I'm also the mom of a lovable Shih Tzu named Westley, and a Garfield look-a-like named Tiger. My loves are the color blue, nail polish, especially blue nail polish and the Sally Hansen instant Dry brand. Lets me be honest I'm a single mom I really don't have time to wait for nails to dry. I have roughly 70 bottles of polish. I love cows so much I have a tattoo of one. 
I only carry Nine West purses. I detest shoes, unless they are flip flops. I am border line OCD about closet organization. Mismatched hangers make me have anxiety attacks. I teach a double session Head Start. I have the cutest, smartest kids of any other class. They are my cutie pies.

Thank you for taking the time to visit me. I hope you come back and visit again. -Holly
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