Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Author's Fair Catch Up

Oh my...look at those sweet babies! I miss them so much! I cannot believe this sweet group of kiddos will be heading into 5th grade in just a few short weeks. Would it be horrible of me to say I secretly wish I could have retained them all? LOVE them!

The end of the school year was a mad rush, and this summer has not slowed down much.

But here are my sweet researchers and their Author's Fair projects.

Just a warning...this is very picture heavy, but I had to share. Just trying to get all caught up on blogging. (And enjoying reminiscing with these cutie patooties!)



We wrapped up our school year taking the time to research and reach out to some of our favorite authors. 



We then invite our parents and families to check out all our hard work.


We also invite all the lower grade levels to come and learn about all the cool authors and books out there!


Some of our authors had cool apps we could show off.

Sometimes we had to just hang out and wait for a new group to roll in.


We tried really hard to look professional!


A few of us were even lucky enough to visit with our younger siblings...


Presentations were so good...we even had a line here and there. :)

The kiddos love that their previous teachers and even our principal came to learn all about our favorite authors. 

Every year, the amount of work involved totally wears me out, and I always have a few scattered thoughts of, "Why...or whew...or not next year." Then I see my kiddos shine and have fun showing off all their hard work, and of course...we will be doing this again next year!

More posts to come soon....

Happy reading!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Totally Missing You

Whew.... don't look now, but I think summer has totally slipped by me. I cannot believe this is my first post in FOREVER.

The thought has crossed my mind many times, "Oh...you need to blog that!"

But did I do that?

Well, no...I didn't.

So I must start with I have missed all my blogging friends, and I am so glad to carve out a few minutes of this crazy busy summer to say hello.

Much of my time has been spent in tons of great professional development. This is the super fun workshop that I went to today. Just how can you go wrong with So Many Books, So Little Time?

I'll tell you....you CAN"T!

Earlier this summer, Mrs. Hitchcock and I made it to So Many Picture Books, So Little Time as well....and oh my, will I have some great picture book recommendations for you soon!

Joshua and I have spent much of our time trying to reclaim our yard from the amazingly aggressive trumpet and wisteria vines. There have been times I haven't been able to move for a couple of days after putting up a valiant fight, but slowly we have taken back some of my favorite places. It's not much but this little corner of the world makes me happy...and I could sit here for hours.

And while I am sitting there, I have plenty of time to enjoy the sounds of all the chimes I had to remove from my classroom...darn fire marshall...

I am sure my neighbors are wondering about my sudden infatuation with wind-chimes, but I had to find new homes for the dozens (upon dozens ;) of beautiful and sweet chimes given to me over the last nine years or so. As much as I moaned about removing them from my room, I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed them outside where they belong.

There have been a few interruptions to our yard work these past few weeks... this little fellow put a break on things for a bit. When we're not watching our steps for random venomous creatures, we are corralling this crazy fence climber....

Last week a pretty strong storm rolled through Vilonia, and I am pretty sure my beautiful River Birch trees were still tired from the last round of tornadoes that plowed through our little town. One of them just couldn't take the heavy storm a moment longer and gave up the good fight. I walked out after the storm to see it perched upon our neighbors fence and just barely tipping their roof. After my heart jumped in my throat for a second, I could see there was very little damage, and our sweet neighbors were very understanding. 

Joshua got out there and brought it the rest of the way down.... and we ended the whole event with an epic bonfire.

Well...ladies and gents...I do believe that catches me up, just a tiny bit.

I will have much more to post soon...including this year's class tour! (Minus chimes of course ;)

Oh...and of course I will have to share some of the great reading I have done this summer! 

Until my next post...happy reading yourselves!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I am not sure where to begin...so much has happened since my last post.

I have had much of this drafted forever now...I mean LIKE forever! And here it is Easter, and after visiting with my family on this beautiful day, I am finally able to take a few minutes to publish this.

So I will start with Happy Easter!

But goodness...what could I possibly share next...?

Hmm....how about

Parent Teacher conferences....

Spring Break...

The last mad dash of practice before for our Benchmark test...

one of my baby boys turned 19,

and last but certainly NOT least...four arduous days of testing!


Guess I will start at the beginning, and well, you know me by now I am sure...most of this catching up will be done in pictures.

We had really great conferences this semester. I have to say that these were my easiest yet.

One of my most favorite things every year during conferences is when my kiddos come back to see me. These cuties come back every time, and Mrs. Whitt and I sure do love them!

After conferences, we were headed into spring break! 

We actually had a bit of beautiful weather during our break! I managed to make it to Petit Jean with Josh and Joshua for a little hike!


While we were enjoying our hike, I managed to run into some of my kiddos! I was so excited to see these sweet girls! Such a small world!

We even managed a to drum up a craw-fish boil for the boys during our break. Derrick had been dying for this for a long while now!

After our lovely break, we had one week left before testing. Yuck!

We worked our rear ends off getting ready, and I am sure you know as well as the kiddos just how that was no fun!

Of course we had to make sure to find some fun somewhere! We squeaked out a few fun days in the sun...



Every spring the field just past our playground turns into a blanket of flowers, and the kiddos love playing in them.

I am sure that by now, most of you know my weakness for hibachi...

Justin and I managed to sneak away for a quick lunch, just the two of us, and he managed to snap this cool pic...

Now, right next to the hibachi restaurant is my second favorite book store in the world...Hastings. 

This place is the bomb because they sell not only new books but used books, too! Check out all those "used" tags! So many to choose from...

Here are some of the fun new titles I walked away with! I can't wait to share some with you soon...be on the look out.

Katie and I walked our first 5K of the season. It was a fun stroll around UCA. Sure brought back memories!

After our 5K, we stopped by the local library for a "Friends of the Library" sale! Holy Moly! Books...I am talking amazing hard back, library quality books, as far as the eye could see for $.50 a lb.  Yes....fifty cents a pound! This little lady walked out with 36 pounds of picture books! Katie Byrd finally told me she was cutting me off, and we had to leave. LOL....

During our week of testing, Justin turned 19. I cannot even express to you just how much want time to slow down. In less than a month from today, I will be watching my boy graduate, and then putting him on a plane to San Diego for basic training in the Marine Corps. Be ready for some tears that week!

Josh and I took Justin out for his birthday. This is him being totally embarrassed that we had the restaurant crew sing to him.

Here are two of our boys and their girlfriends. : )


We managed to tough it through testing. Most of us managed to keep smiling. I have NEVER been a fan of high-stakes testing and the stress it puts on my kiddos, but you just have to roll with the punches and do the best you can sometimes. I am so proud of these kids; they worked so, so hard!

Love seeing happy kiddos, no matter what!

We did manage to get some work and reading in, too!


After all that testing, we had a Benchmark celebration. The kiddos earned tickets all during testing that they could spend on an afternoon of fun and treats. 

Friday afternoon we all went home crashing from exhaustion AND sugar! 

Well, I actually have tons more to share, but this is forever long already!

Hopefully, I will be much better at keeping you posted... I will have more Critic's Corner soon and tons of great book recommendations!

Happy Reading, friends!

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