This life is such a crazy concept, isn't it?  There are so many pointless "to do" items that I write on post its (partner teacher can verify my obsession with post its) hoping to accomplish throughout the week or day.  I am not a very good "stop and smell the roses" person...at least not naturally.  Once in a while it occurs to me that I should do so. It just did.  In the midst of finalizing my last two weeks of lesson plans, grading the mass amount of papers, cleaning an attic so I can bring my school room home, and entertaining a dog who is 2 days from removing the cone on her head......it occurred to me that three years ago I was in a very different place....

Will you roll back a few years with me?  If you don't want to...just stop reading and wait for the next blog post.  This one will have very little to do with teaching....but a whole lot about loving.

May 10 - June 6, 2009
Location: Peitionville, Haiti (outside of Port Au, Prince)
God's Littlest Angels Haitian Baby Ministry

I loved eight babies.  For four weeks.  I held them.  I talked to them.  I changed them.  I took them on walks.  I cuddled with them.  I cried with them and for them.  I colored with them.  I watched them.  I saw them take their first steps.  I put lotion on their dry little feet.  Oh, did I love them.  

There we are.  Eight babies and I :)  Do you see why they captured my heart?  They still have it...and probably always will.  They were my first brown babies!  Nothing ever changes that.

My loving parents put their 19 year old white female on an airplane and left her follow a calling that God had placed on her heart a few years prior.  They were nervous, and rightly so, but they trusted in our amazing God....knowing He created me with a passion for babies. Four weeks later, I came home with a very broken heart.  One that still has a missing piece.  Or rather, eight little ones :)

Once in a while, this life gets so crazy....I forget about my time in Haiti.  Every once in a while, on my horrible days, when I don't understand this world, my mind drifts back and my heart remembers pieces of my time that are frozen in photo memories.  Do you want to see some of my favorite moments?


 There is not a country more poor or beautiful.  There are not babies more precious than the ones I have held.  There are many many problems in Haiti...MANY.  But beyond the problems, there is a simplicity, a joyfullness, and kindness that does not exist in the United States.  You won't understand it until you go and experience it.

These moments...this experience...I know has made me a better teacher.  I learned how to love (freely and completely) children I would not be allowed to keep.  I was not allowed to bring these babies home with me; I am not allowed to keep my fifth grade ducklings (some of them laugh when I call them that; others roll their eyes!) who I have come to cherish just as much as I cherish my brown babies.

In the midst of this crazy busy, planning filled life I live....I am beyond thankful for the time I had in Haiti.  I am beyond thankful for the time I had in fifth grade.  I have 26 growing babies...scattered in eight different countries :)  What a lucky lady I am :)

2 weeks to go?

Really?! REALLY?!  That's all there is!  Two four day weeks and we're onto summer vacation...or for me...summer employment :)  So what I have come to realize in the last month is that...

...I am a horrid blogger when life gets busy!
...I still put sleep ahead of almost everything (blogging, laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.)
...the last month of school is a full blown roller coaster ride of emotions
...the last month of school is the least "follow a schedule" month EVER
...the last month of school gets to be very warm in our non-AC building :)

I am a morning person through and through!  Passionate about seeing the sunrise :)  I used to be able to watch it come up from inside my classroom...those days are gone; not because I arrive later but because it keeps coming up earlier and earlier!  I now enjoy the rise during my commute!

I enjoy using the hour and a half I have before students arrive (and an hour+ before most other teachers arrive) to ready the room, organize my desk (which somehow, EVERY DAY faithfully ends up with massive piles and messes!), put yesterday away :)  Partner teacher comes in somewhere around my "I've been here for over an hour" mark and laughs because rarely are my desks in straight rows, my tables perfectly cleaned off, or my hair completely dry!  I should have pushed my students harder at the beginning to clean up their space and straighten their desks.  Like I said, I'm a morning person.  Come dismissal time....my fight is minimal and "straighten your desks" isn't on the top of my priority list!

Anyways, all of that to say....I have so cool photos coming...probably after 2 weeks :(  I'm staying afloat and I feel as though photo uploading would cause me to sink!

Photos will include Civil War Posters, Field Trip, Dance, Geo Scenes, and maybe a few of my favorites :) Also coming...how I set up my lit circles, why they didn't work, and how I fixed it half way through!

Until then....Happy Teaching!! Soak up every moment of your last two weeks...all too soon you'll send them on and you'll get a new bunch!! Enjoy the bunch you have right now!!!



No, not the state kind :) I recently got an iPad and wanted to try out the blogger app. Just seeing what this will look like on a computer tomorrow!

Happy Teaching!


...little seeds

Showcase night was a brand new experience for me.  All of the teachers (and students!) are crazy tape donut creators the afternoon prior.  Masking tape is ordered in bulk, and projects are hung throughout all the halls.  It looks SO cool to walk into the building and be surrounded by students' work!  This year partner teacher and I (though it was 99.9% partner teacher's idea) created a gigantic tree which we titled "Little seeds grow into mighty trees!".  Our kids brought in their baby picture (which by the way, I have the CUTEST group of babies growing up in my room!) and we used their fifth grade photo to show how they've grown.  We took the book "Oh, the Places You Will Go!" by Dr. Seuss and had each student write part of the story.  All of this was plastered on the large tree.....do you want to see a picture?  I knew you would! :) Enjoy!!!

And yes, the leaves do go up onto the ceiling! :)

Happy Teaching!


...review in photos

So for about the past month I have been taking and storing photos of my kids and classroom :)  I finally remembered to bring my camera home, download the photos and now I'm going to post them :-D  Lucky you, dear bloggy friends!!!!!  Enjoy the photos :)

Partner teacher had been telling me for about three weeks "Wait until
the trees outside your window bloom - they are fantastic"....Yippee I thought.
He was right :)  They were beautiful!!
We had a "showcase" night a few weeks back, and we cover
our hallways with the students work.  I decided to cover our door,
and had the students write what their favorite part of fifth grade was.
I now get to start my day by seeing this first....pretty positive eh?

Contraction Caterpillars!  The initial idea came from Pinterest.
I created my own template and requirements...and even my fifth
graders had a good time creating contractions!
This is another partner teacher idea - He has a bowl FULL
of miniature letter pasta.  I didn't realize letter pasta existed
outside of Spaghettios.  haha I found the bowl digging through
one of his various cupboards and pulled the activity out for spelling.
My kids LOVED it!!  Hands on, Kinestetic spelling practice!

I will be starting my literature circles in two weeks.  I knew before anything
else that I needed some way to be organized with it.  Thank goodness for Dollar
General and my Cricut :-D  I rearranged a few shelves in my room so that I could
clear this cart off.  Each basket will hold the book, folders, and comprehension
cards (I'll post photos soon!) for each group!  I'm excited and fully nervous about these!
Hopefully my early planning and OCD organization will pay off :-D

 Not bad for the last month huh??  There are more photos, but I must have downloaded them from partner teacher's camera...so they are still at school....hang tight for another review in photos!

Happy Teaching!