Friday, December 30, 2011

New Penguin Packet Give Away and a Friday Freebie!

I just finished my new Penguin Activities packet and I'm excited to share it with you! I'm giving it away on New Year's Day to 3 lucky winners!!!

To enter to win:
1. Leave me a fabulous comment telling me a New Year's Eve tradition of yours. 
2. Follow my blog and TpT store and leave me a comment.
3. Leave me a comment telling me what state you are from (I love finding out where everyone is from!)


(These are just a few of the activities and projects.)


AND, it wouldn't be Love if I didn't include a Friday Freebie for you! So here's a fun multi-leveled math game freebie from this packet! I hope you enjoy! (And for all of you who are still reading this, you have a BONUS  entry to the give away by leaving me a comment below if you like the freebie! Whooo hooo!)



And in case you haven't been to my store, ALL of my products have been on sale this entire week at 20% off to celebrate the new year! Here's just a sample of some of the things on sale right now:









And don't forget to check out my other FREE products... Here are just 2 of the many I have posted.



There is only Love!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

11 in 11 Linking Party Connection


Yeah!! ANOTHER LINKY PARTY!!! Since I can't sleep and I'm up late, I'm doing the totally fopaux thing to do and blogging twice in one day. But technically speaking, my last post started late in the evening of Wednesday night and this post is beginning early in the morning on Thursday.......Anyway! I love linky parties, and to make up for hardly blogging at all this week, I hope it is ok to let this one double post slide.

My bloggy friends, Hadar from Miss Kindergarten and Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, have come up with a fun linking party that I hope you'll all join me in doing! 





11. Favorite Movie I Watched: Well, I didn't go to the movies much at all this past year....I did go see Breaking Dawn...but the winner by far, was The Help. I loved the book and I absolutely love it when they make the movie seem exactly how you imagined it in the book! 





10. Favorite TV Series: Definitely Modern Family! I love that show! It always gives me a great laugh and it is family oriented. Every Wednesday night I look forward to watching it!




9. Favorite Restaurant: (I can never spell restaurant correctly on the first try!! Arggh!) Well, this past year, Mimi's Cafe definitely won that competition. Although, Texas Roadhouse was a close second. I love Mimi's because of the variety of food. They even have a gluten-free menu that I can order from!







8. Favorite New Thing You Tried: Blogging and making packets for TpT. I started blogging in September and I was soooo blown away by all the teaching blogs that had already been around for years. I just hadn't tapped into the world of teaching blogs before that. Shocker!! What a rich and rewarding experience the past three months have been! I've become friends with so many of you. Your blog posts help keep me sane! Three months ago I never thought I'd get more than a few followers....I had no idea how supportive everyone is out here in bloggyland! Thanks for all the comments and support you've all given me.
Teaching First



7. Favorite Gift You Received: I would have to say having my parents drive out to visit me for a week this Fall. It was so great having them here. 

6. Favorite Thing You Pinned: You can take the girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl! I love this photo I pinned on Pinterest. I have an obsession with barns. Some day I'm going to live in a place like this.







5. Favorite Blog Post: 

















4. Best Accomplishment: Seriously, my best accomplishment was overcoming my fear of starting a new blog. I just didn't know what to expect and I was afraid I just didn't have it in me. Plus, I never thought anyone would bother reading anything I said!! I am so glad I started a teaching blog! It's been so fun getting to know everyone!

3. Favorite Picture: My favorite photo is of my niece holding my pup. The sunlight backlit her hair and she looks so angelic. 





2. Favorite Memory: My favorite memory of the last year was spending time with my nieces and nephews over the summer. 

1. Goal for 2012: Take walks, be happy, love others and do my best.....and laugh alot!

New Year's Resolutions

Live Love Laugh


Wow, I feel like I haven't blogged in FOREVER!! I've been enjoying my break from work! My blogging friend, Tammy, over at Live, Love, Laugh in Kindergarten is having a wonderful and thought-provoking linky party! In honor of the new year just around the corner, she has shared her New Year's resolutions on her blog and has asked us to link up with her.

Quite honestly, it's been a long time since I've actually written down my New Year's resolutions...the past few years I've just tried to avoid even thinking of making them for some reason! So, I appreciate the invitation to do some thinking and write down a few of my goals.

Personal Goals:
1. Exercise at the gym with my buddy Pam at least 3 times a week.
2. Continue to cut out wheat, sugar, and pop from my diet.
3. Make time to sew quilts!

Teaching Goals:
1. Get my desk drawers organized (again!)
2. Re-vamp my Volunteer Tub
3. Focus on the little ways to show love to my co-workers and students.

TPT and Blogging Goals:
1. Finish watching all of Charity Preston's AMAZING videos on Teaching Blog Traffic School
2. Create a Friday Freebie each week
3. Do at least one give away a month with my bloggy buddies
4. Spotlight new blogs every week


Ok! That should get me off to a good start....there's so much more I wanted to add to the list but I think I'd better pace myself!

What is everyone planning to do to celebrate New Year's Eve? We have fireworks here that I think I'll go to. Then of course, there's always the count down with the ball in Times Square and drinking eggnog that has always been a tradition in my family. Please leave me a comment and share your plans!
There is only Love,
Rebecca

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, to all my dear blogging friends! I hope all of you had a peaceful day and felt love from your family and friends. I was very blessed to be able to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing at their annual Christmas program this year. There is absolutely nothing compared to hearing the choir sing in person. If you ever get the chance to see one of their free performances (Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings at the Tabernacle) you have to go! I leave you this Christmas night with my love for you and hoping that you have all felt loved this holiday season.


Friday, December 23, 2011

New Year's Resolution Anyone?

So, this is totally off the beaten path of talking about teaching....it's about my real life battle with poor health! I was recently told by my doctor that I am pre-diabetic and I need to lose weight. The past several years all I've had to do is look at a cookie and five pounds went on! The book The Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D was recommended to me to read, along with the recommendation to start exercising 20-30 minutes daily, and cut out the soda pop and sugar.

Well, I went with the path of least resistance and bought the book for $15.00 at amazon.com! After reading the first few pages, it had my attention. I won't go into everything the book talks about, I recommend your reading the first few pages at amazon.com. BUT, I will say, I started an experiment almost a month ago now, and started getting rid of wheat in my diet. I haven't changed anything else (YET) so I could see if any weight loss was really attributed to getting rid of the wheat, and I will say that I've lost 10 pounds so far. My pant size has dropped as well!

Now, I'm just at the beginning of this little experiment...I want to go at least three months to see how I feel. But so far, I'm intrigued. If you are looking for an interesting read over the holidays, maybe this might peak your interest:

 If any of you do decide to try going off of wheat, I'd love for you to leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes for you! I'd much rather do this with friends than by myself! 
There is only Love,
Rebecca



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Recipe Linking Party

My BFF in bloggy world, Jennifer from Rowdy in First Grade, is having a fabulous Holiday Recipe Linking Party! She has some YUMMY recipes posted over at her blog site so hop on over and take a look! Here's one of my favorite recipes for the holidays. (It is one of my top ten Christmas cookies listed on my baking blog.)


 Thumbprint Cookies
My sister gave me this recipe several years ago and I've been addicted to them ever since! I make the butter cookie recipe, roll it into little balls and push a thumbprint in each, then fill with my favorite preserves (I like apricot pineapple or raspberry preserves the best!) Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until just lightly brown and cool! Drizzle with icing or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yummm!

You can view the complete recipe online at: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/108915

BASIC BUTTER COOKIES
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 with a handheld. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Form dough into a 12-inch log (2 inches in diameter) on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll up dough in plastic wrap. Chill dough on a baking sheet until firm, at least 4 hours. (To roll cookies into balls, see cooks' note, below.)

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut enough 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices from log with a heavy knife to fill 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging slices about 1 inch apart (chill remainder of log, wrapped in plastic wrap). If garnishing with coarse sugar, sprinkle slices with it.

Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes total. Cool on sheets 3 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies with remaining dough on cooled baking sheets.

Cooks' notes:
• Dough log can be chilled up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, 1 month. If frozen, thaw dough in refrigerator just until it can be sliced.
• Instead of forming dough into a log and chilling, you can roll tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls, then roll balls in finely chopped nuts (about 1 cup) and coarse sugar. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until bottoms are browned, about 15 minutes total.
• To garnish cookies with chocolate, melt 3 1/2 oz chocolate and cool slightly. Transfer to a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag and snip a 1/16-inch opening in 1 corner. Pipe chocolate evenly back and forth over cookies. Let chocolate set before storing cookies.
• Cookies keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.


Gourmet
December 2003

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Feel Very Blessed!









I am so very very appreciative and can I say, SUPER EXCITED, to have received an invitation to be a blogging writer for one of the first teaching blogs I ever found, Me and My Gang 1!  My jaw hit the floor when I opened the email and I'm quite frankly still in shock! Did I say how EXCITED I am??!! I hope you'll come check out my first post!



To add to that wonderful gift, this weekend I received a comment from my friend Tammy over at Klinger Cafe' giving my blog the LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD!! There's just nothing like that feeling of receiving an award from one of your respected peers. It is the best "warm fuzzy" feeling! But even better than receiving an award is getting the opportunity to pass it on!

The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is to spotlight 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

Here are a few a my blogging buddies that I just love! I hope you will show each of them some blogging LOVE by following them!
Teachin' First



The Teachers' Cauldron






Thank you so much to all of my blogging buddies out there for supporting and following me. Your comments cheer me up and the post you write on your own blogs inspire me and make me smile. There's just nothing like being a part of this amazing team of teachers out here in cyber space. I hope someday soon there will be a conference for teaching bloggers so we can all meet in person and swap ideas.

Happy Monday, and remember, there is only LOVE....
Rebecca



Sunday, December 11, 2011

So Much to Do, So Little Time! (And a FREEBIE you won't want to miss!)

My sweet niece holding Bella (Chewbacca The Wookie)

Ok, so the past week was CR-AAAZZY and I didn't get to post all that I was thinking about because I was so busy running around like a chicken with its head cut off!! I don't know if I've mentioned my lovely little pup, Bella, to you before or not.... I should have named her Chewy or Chewbacca the Wookie or something because she LOVES to chew things up. But not your "normal" dog chewing stuff. Not shoes, or socks...she prefers pens and WIRES! So far I've replaced who knows how many cable wires, and she's gone through two MacBook wires to my laptop (at $80 bucks a pop, that's so not happy!) I have managed to keep doors shut and her right with me when she is out of her crate, but sooner or later, I get distracted and she finds something to destroy. This week she chewed through the wire of my expensive flat iron!!! (Luckily it was unplugged!) What the crap!!! SOOO not a happy thing for me and my wild mane of partly curly, partly frizzy hair! (I've been compared to the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz when I wake up!) My hair is soooo not tame without my flat iron! Even with a round brush and hairdryer it still puffs up by the end of the day. The past few days I've had to throw it up into a ponytail. So, I've LOOKED like a chicken with its head cut off at work all week! Who wants to go out in public looking like this!!?




I've finally plopped myself down on the couch to type up all that has been on my mind the past few days!!! First, this last week I had my students write letters to Santa. They wrote a letter to Santa telling him what they would like him to bring their family and friends and another letter telling Santa why they would make a good elf. Their letters turned out super cute! I posted them in the hallway with a elf portrait! (And no, that letter does not match the elf....for privacy reasons.)



Our fabulous kindergarten teacher, Linda, did something similar and I thought it turned out super cute! She had her kids write in a speech bubble why they would make a good elf. 



I thought my paper that I used for the letters was ok, but then I found THIS at What the Teacher Wants!! (Awesome blog to follow, if you aren't already!) Her elf application and letter to Santa paper is soooo cute!! (Love the creativity you all have!!) I am going to use her's next year!




Here's my paper and Elf pattern. I can't remember who gave me the pattern years ago, but I am thinking it is my dear friend and fellow teacher, (who hung up her cute teaching shoes to be a new mommy! Yeah for her!), Ally. (Who, by the way, was soooo creative! I miss her!!)

    




Lastly, it has been my goal to reach 100 followers on my TpT site by the end of the year. Right now I am at 96! Oh, so close! To encourage everyone to follow me at TpT I put all my holiday and winter packets on sale 20%! I am also offering one of my top sellers, Addition 0-12 Timed Tests for FREE! This sale lasts only until Tuesday so hurry and get your items! (And don't forget, if you like your freebie, I always love to hear your comments below!)






I'll leave you with a video I saw on Facebook this morning that totally cracked me up and made me smile!!  Have a wonderful week! Only 7 and 1/2 days left for me and counting!




Ahhh, and I almost forgot! I managed to get my blog on Facebook this weekend!!! Yeah! So, please add me on Facebook!

There is Only Love,
Rebecca

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I hope Santa has a sense of humor!

I had my students write a letter to Santa telling him what they would do if they were chosen as one of his elves....One of my boys wrote the following:

Dear Santa,
If I were one of your elves, I would help you gain weight so you can toot and toot and toot your way back into space.
From,
Isaac
P.S.  I made you some cookies.

Oh brother!!! I hope Santa has a sense of humor! ha ha ha!

Pics of elves and letters along with a downloadable copy will be up tomorrow!
;) Rebecca

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winner of the Holiday Cheer Give Away!

Wowy! I just got home from work and just walking outside in this 20 degree weather was enough to chill me to the bone! Time for a warm cup of hot chocolate, a hot bath and relaxing in my p.j.s! I hope everyone had a great Monday! I had to threaten to text Santa on a couple of my little ones today to let Santa know they were being a little on the naughty side! They shaped up really fast! (Nothing like having Santa on speed dial!)

Anyhoo, the real reason I'm posting tonight is to announce the WINNER of our Holiday Cheer Give Away!!! I was so excited that this is the first thing I've done since pealing off my coat and dumping my bag inside the front door! My poor pups haven't even been fed yet!! I had to get to the Random Generator a.s.a.p so we could announce our winner!!!

Drum roll please!!! (Drrrrrrrrrrrrr....)
The winner is:                      


Tammy from Klinger Cafe'!



Congratulations Tammy!!

And a huge thank you to everyone who entered for a chance to win! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

For the Love of Penguins!

If you love penguins, or any animal actually, you'll love this peaceful little video. It was sent to me this morning on email, and it was so beautiful I wanted to share it with you.  I would love to be able to go to Antarctica some day to see them up close...I hope your Sunday is full of love!
Rebecca

Listen To Your Heart (youtube)




And here is another that I found that is just as beautiful....

Antarctica's Beautiful Nature


Saturday, December 3, 2011

iPad Apps




I have two iPads in my classroom as well as a cable to hook my iPad to the Promethean board so I can project it for the class to see. There are so many wonderful apps out there for the students to use. I was looking for an app that I can use for my Making Words center and came across this app. It looks pretty good, and you can add your own word lists. Has anyone used this before? My kiddos love the iPads. I have found them really handy for taking AR tests because it is so kid friendly. The AR program actually shows a picture of the front cover of the book so it is easy for the kids to choose the one they need to take a test on.
 Sorry for multiple posts today!
There is only love!
Rebecca

Tomorrow's The Last Day for Our Holiday Cheer Give Away!

Fa! La! La! La! Tomorrow is the last day to enter our Holiday Cheer Give Away! Make sure to check it out and leave your comments!








Ho! Ho! Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

Wowy!! Is it just me or is there just soooo much excitement in the air this week at school?? My kiddos were soooo excited that this was the first day of December! The energy level has been getting higher and higher all week....You'd think Christmas was this weekend! My mornings are manageable but after they come in from their late lunch and recess at 1:00 it's all I can do to keep them quieted down and focussed until the bell rings at 3:20. Is it just me, or is everyone else experiencing something similar?? I kind of gave in a bit today and put some Christmas songs on while they worked away at their December calendar. Everyone was working pretty quietly until Jingle Bells came on and then suddenly the ENTIRE class broke out singing at the top of their lungs!! Holy cow!! It caught me so off guard that I had to just laugh! (Needless to say...I hurried and closed the door! I had to turn off the music as soon as Jingle Bells was over just to maintain some sort of working order!)

And WOWY WOWY!!! Thank you soooo much for all the amazing winter ideas that everyone has been posting in the comment area of our give away!!! You guys are A-MAZING! I think we should all band together and open up our own school and all teach together!! Wouldn't that be so fun!! If you haven't seen our fun give away, check it out here! (Winner will be announced Monday, December 5th, so hurry and enter!)

And....in celebration of the new month and getting even CLOSER to the holiday break, (we get out on Dec. 21st...hmmmm...that seems a bit late....)I have put my holiday math activities (all four of them!!) on sale for 20% off at my TpT store until Sunday! (Just click on the pictures below to go to the TpT page.) I'm just curious, when does everyone get out of school for the holidays? Leave me a comment below!

Whew! I'm tired! I'm sooo excited that tomorrow is FRIDAY!!! (AND Friday is my one day of the week I don't teach the before school kiddos so I GET TO SLEEP IN one extra hour!!! WHoo Hooo!!) Has it really been a week since Thanksgiving???





  

 There is only Love,
Rebecca

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