Thursday, July 2, 2015

Currently- July

     Greetings from Myrtle Beach, SC! We are on vacay and it's wrapping up! The kidlings are in bed and so is my Mr. M! What better time to update this lonely blog!?

     Listening: Beat Bobby Flay...Admittedly, I've never seen this show because we don't have anything beyond Netflix or Hulu at home. It was a cost-cutting measure we implemented when we started our adoption.

     Loving: Our vacation! We are all having an AMAZING time! It's been such a good trip for our souls... And one of the only big trips we've made as just us 4!

     Thinking: Summer is basically over. Does anyone else feel like once July hits, summer is over!? Just me!? Fooey. I'm taking a class where I have to log 75 hours before Aug. 1 and I have 4 hours in so far. Yikes! And I'd REALLY like to take my last course for my principal's license too...because it's being offered this summer semester. Boo. No time.

     Wanting: To finish our home study! We're down to the last 10 items on our 40+ item checklist! Wahoo!

     Needing: To get healthy! So I've been sick Headaches. Cough. Dizziness. Not all at the same time...but sometimes. Just kinda weird stuff. Anywho, I went to the doctor after a super-bad coughing spell and found out my sinus cavities are like MAJOR infected! Like so could need surgery. What!? I've never had sinus problems before so this was a bit of a shock. But my doctor thinks she can help me avoid surgery...meaning I'm on major meds for a month. Hopefully my next X-ray shows improvement!

     All ⭐:  Thoughtfulness. I love doing things for people. I love thinking about others.  I feel like I'm pretty good at being least, I hope I am!

     Check out the other super sweet Currently posts over on Farley's blog below!

Hopefully this post looks OK because I did it from my very pathetic and broken non-Apple phone! Ha! Enjoy summer, friends!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Currently- March

     Sadly, I'm only back for my monthly blog link-up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade! Thank goodness for that girl! Excited to connect with the blogging world again and read everyone's Currently posts!

Listening: Broken Vessels from Hillsong Worship. We had an AMAZING service on forgiveness this morning at church where we heard a powerful testimony by our pastor's wife. This song is equally as powerful. If you haven't heard it, you need to take a listen!

Loving: Our church family. We are SO BLESSED by an amazing church community. Today, our small group kicked off a fundraiser for our family to support our international adoption journey. On top of this fundraiser, we were gifted $1800 in the last 24 hours by a few friends within our church. God has truly humbled us in this process. We can't wait to get this home study done so we can begin the match process. Our little one is loved by so many already!

Thinking: About all the packing we have to do! WE SOLD OUR HOUSE! Speaking of God...HE showed up and showed off with selling our house. I'd love to share the entire story, but a Currently post just isn't the place. Ha! TOO LONG! If you're interested, hop on over to my personal blog and I've started a two-part post on the entire story. It truly is a testimony to His perfect plan and perfect timing. We move at the end of April! Ahhh! Praising Him!

Wanting: A full week of school! We've blown through 3 blizzard bags and we're already making up 2 days. Yikes. Northwest Ohio is no joke with winter. :-( I NEED A FULL WEEK WITH MY KIDDOS! There, I said it. Ha!

Needing: Some exercise! The last few months have been nothing but unhealthy eating habits and stress. I really need to start taking care of myself. Hoping to make some progress towards this goal....sooner than later. :-)

Spring Break Plans: Yeah...we don't have a Spring Break. With school construction, we began after Labor Day so it just isn't in the cards for us. But, I can tell you that any weekend or other "free" day will be spent packing and moving between now and May 1. And even if we did have a spring break, that's still what we'd be doing. We're thankful for that "plan" though!

Have a super March, friends!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently- February

Linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly Currently favorite!

Snow is falling, falling, much so that church was canceled this morning! I'm not sure we would have made it anyway. Our oldest was up in the night with the pukes. Thankfully, it was an isolated incident and she hasn't done it more than that one time. However, she's just not feeling the greatest...and her brother is right behind her. Coughing up some yuckies. So our current situation is a lot of rest and relaxation...and a little TV.

We're estimated to get more than a foot of snow before tomorrow so school may be a no-go, especially if there's any sort of drifting or blowing. We've missed quite a bit of school already due to being such a rural school district. Our buses have to go out quite a way in all directions to service our families. As a result of our missed school days, we've changed the date for our 100th day of school a lot! And we may not be done changing it yet! Yikes!

The kids are itching to get out in the snow...we spent our snow day last week searching for a pair of boy's snow boots. We were a little late to the party...and didn't have any luck until our sixth store! Luckily, they had ONE pair in our bub's size and they were 50% off. Phew! I think we'll get out and shovel before this next 8 inches falls. We're projected to get an inch per hour for the next several hours. Snow. Snow. Snow.

I updated my personal blog Our Glorious Unfolding with some exciting news about our international adoption journey! We were approved by South Korea (in record timing) to begin our home study. Wahoo! Exciting and scary all at the same time. 

I know the title of "Miss Busy Bee" could be given to probably every single teacher (or non teacher wife or mom) out there! But I'm feeling slightly more busy than usual this season with our approaching home study...and my coaching basketball right now...and teaching...and being a mommy to 2. We're also in the midst of selling our house and things have been moving in that area (lots of showings and getting ready for showings- yuck) so we're praying a sale will happen soon...which means finding a house and moving in the future would need to happen sooner than later as well! 

Thanks again to Farley for such a fun linky party. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL February!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Resolutions for 2015

     I thought it'd be fun to link up with Erica over at Erica's Ed-Ventures and talk about my goals for 2015. It's a brand new year so participating in more than one linky party (consecutive days in a row) is acceptable, right?

     My biggest financial goal for 2015 is to budget more and spend less on things we don't need. This goal includes my spending on TPT. Yikes! Perhaps if I actually get to a point where I have products to sell in my TPT store, I could justify spending the money I do on TPT. But that isn't the case (yet) so this is an area where I need to cut back. We have also had a lot of things happen recently to dictate our finances (primarily two house payments and our adoption process) and we want to be committed to a tighter budget. In the past several months, we've made some cuts in our monthly budget which have helped of which was getting rid of our DirectTV. We now only have access to Hulu and Netflix. Due to our geographic location, we don't even get regular cable channels. Talk about different! My husband has made the biggest sacrifice with not getting sports channels. Bless him!

     I have a few professional goals I'd like to work on in 2015. First, I'd love to work on my TPT store and create some products to sell. But I know that takes time and money. With coaching basketball right now and with my financial goal in mind, this particular goal may not be achievable just yet. I also need to take some professional development classes to renew my license next year so I want to take a couple of courses this summer...perhaps something that focuses on using technology inside of the classroom. Being an Ohio teacher also has me thinking more about short-term and long-term goals in the classroom (thanks OTES!). What a to-do list for one year! Thankfully I have 12 months!

     This is short and sweet. I drink WAY too much pop and my eating habits are less than healthy. I want to improve in both of those areas...THE END.

     For Christmas, I asked my mom for 3 books...Interrupted, The Best Yes, and The Hands Free Mama. I want to read more this year. Ironically enough, unless it's a children's book, I really don't care to read. So you can imagine my mother almost fell over dead when I requested books this year! HA! My mom and sisters LOVE to read. They knock out books in a few hours. I am definitely the ugly duckling when it comes to my goal is to improve in that area! We are also starting a new bible study on Francis Chan's Forgotten God so I am looking forward to reading (and finishing) his book as we work through it.

What are your resolutions for 2015? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently January

     This poor little blog has been neglected as the craziness of December in Kindergarten took over...and I've been focusing more on our adoption blog recently. But I am SO excited to participate in Farley's Currently Series. By the is it January!?

Listening: to anyone else?! We'll probably head over to my mom's later for our annual sauerkraut and sausage meal while we watch the Buckeyes play. We're Michigan fans...but the rest of my family roots for OSU. So we oblige and cheer on our fellow Big 10 team.

Loving: the feel of a New Year. A New Year means new things. I'll probably make resolutions that won't stick...but I do want to make some attainable goals for this year...both personally and professionally. One of reading some new books that I got- The Best Yes, Hands Free Mama, and Interrupted.

Thinking: about everything I haven't done for school. I went into my room a couple of times this week only to realize that it's a disaster and it will have to be handled at a later date. Well since we go back on Monday...I can't push it back any longer! Here's to the next day or two getting things under control in there!

Wanting: our house to sell. We put our house on the market in August...and are waiting patiently for it to sell. We want to move to the town where I's also where we both grew up and where we go to church. It will also be where our oldest starts Kindergarten next year!! Yikes! We had a really positive showing on Tuesday so we're praying for God's timing on this whole situation.

Needing: to take down our Christmas stuff. Blah. I LOVE leaving the tree lights on past Christmas. It makes for such a nice ambience. But alas, the Christmas season is over and it needs to come down. Maybe that will be a Sunday thing.

Yes: We will match this year! We have started our international adoption journey...and will hopefully begin our home study within the next couple of months...and once that is (hopefully) approved and completed...we are told we will match quickly! We are praying for His will and the peace that comes with it's been a rough couple of years.

Maybe: create some TPT stuff to sell. I've started so many products...and then just don't make the time to finish them. I know that won't be done anytime soon either with our adoption process and with me coaching basketball. But it is something I'd really like to accomplish this year! I have some freebies in my store...but nothing to purchase.

I wish: to travel outside of the country. My husband and I have never been...and I know eventually that will be untrue when we go to bring our son or daughter home. However, we have an anniversary two days after Christmas and it rarely gets celebrated. I think we both need to recharge a bit after these last couple of years. But I would settle for a family vacation to Florida too...which is probably slated for June or July.

Thanks to Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for hosting this linky party! I always love to participate in it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Currently December Edition

Quick post so I can sneak in this Currently on the first day of December!

Listening: I downloaded all of Lauren Daigle's How Can It Be- EP this weekend...check her out on iTunes! I love her song on my local Christian radio station How Can It Be and the other four songs she has are equally fabulous!

Loving: Our Advent calendar...ok so it isn't hung on our fireplace (yet) but the kiddos and I wrote down all the activities we wanted to do this month! Check out the freebie by Lauren's super simple and CUTE! My two littles came home from school today quite sickly...but luckily our Advent activity (new Christmas puzzles) was a quick remedy. I love doing this special activity each year with them. Oh and Jingle (our Elf) brought us new pjs this morning!

Thinking: About our Christmas party this weekend that we've hosted for our small group the past couple of years...think Minute to Win It games!! We look forward to this day with our friends SO MUCH! I still need to put some finishing touches on our games for this year though. Stay tuned.

Wanting: A cleaning elf. Anyone else? Between my Kindergarten Christmas program, my own kiddos' preschool Christmas program, and basketball starting this week (I coach 7th grade girls' basketball)...I'm struggling to find time to clean my house for our weekend festivities! EEK!

Needing: More time in the day. Self-explanatory. I think I put this every month! Ooops!

Giving: Snail mail and MudLOVE. Every time I run in to TJs...I pick up a little box of notecards. I've really tried to be more intentional with snail mail the last couple of months. I sat down last night and spent some time sealing up personal prayers for a few of my friends. This is such a wonderful time of year, but it's also a busy one where stress can creep in to the daily grind! I wanted to send out a little note of encouragement for the fellow mamas and wives in my life. And MudLOVE...ever heard of it?  Check it out! My husband and I are actually using this company to fundraise for our international adoption by selling bracelets. But I've also really felt the need to gift some of these bracelets too...and especially people I hardly know! How about that for a RAK!?

Have a great week, friends!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Talk Points and Math Workshop

     Well OTES has consumed my life for the last 2 weeks...hence why this little blog has been a little quiet! BUT I'm back with a fun post about how I used these Talk Points made by Learning Resources! Confession: I've had these little doodads for a couple of years tucked away inside my desk drawer waiting to be used. Oops!

     This week, my principal came to do my observation during our Math Workshop time. We're working our way through Unit 3 of the Guiding Kinders Resource by DeeDee and Deanna. (You can find it here). This particular lesson was on teen numbers. It was a great lesson packed with lots of fun! EXCEPT...I still have 4 littles who have not been able to get their numbers to 10 yet...and are also still struggling with counting. So how was I going to make this lesson appropriate for these certain students? Enter: talk points.

     This day's activity used a spinner (with numbers 11-15) and 2 ten frames. Students were to spin and count out that many objects into the ten frames. Take a look (below) at these ADORABLE Minions one of our substitute teachers made. She actually used to be my 3rd grade teacher, but she took time off for her family. Now that her children are older, she's been subbing in our building. Lucky for us, she's also been cleaning out her goodies at home and gifted me these packing peanuts turned Minions. Novelty level? RAISED! The kids couldn't even handle their excitement.

    Back to my four cuties...I took the spinner and used 5 different colored Smiley face stickers. These stickers were also the same colors as my Talk Points. 

     I recorded myself saying each number and how to make it on all 5 Talk Points. For example, if a student landed on the number 14, he/she saw it had a blue sticker so he/she pressed the blue Talk Point. A (scary) voice came on and said "14 is a 1 and a 4." This format is SUPER familiar to my kiddos because we warm up to Harry Kindergarten's Numbers in the Teens (They Start with a 1) song every day with number posters. The kiddos LOVE holding up their numbers as we sing the song. This video is a great way to get kiddos up and moving. I've also used it to quickly assess kiddos on number recognition. They receive a different number every day and have to tell me the number I give them.

    I also numbered my little cuties' ten frames with the numbers. This allowed them to work during our exploration time with little help from me. It was AMAZING! I was able to step away from this group and walk around to see that my other kiddos were on task and also counting on from 10...which was one of our objectives for this lesson. Double bonus! I even had one of my kiddos (who was using the Talk Points) tell me that 15 was a 1 and a 5. It's sticking, folks. That was today...after his second day of using the Talk Points. Wahoo!

     Now my wheels are turning about all the ways I can use these little gadgets. I know there are some reviews out there that complain about the sound. I found that if I hold the Talk Point closely, my voice comes out loudly and clearly. Also, keep in mind that these Talk Points were used during our explore time which means all students were scattered around and working with their Milk & Cookie partners. There is definitely noise during this part of our day. For me personally, these Talk Points allowed me to make this a fun AND effective lesson for every one of my Kinders. 

     Have you used these Talk Points for something special? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Currently- November Edition

I'm excited to be linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for her "Currently" linky party!

Listening: to my hubby breathing. We just got home from a pajama party with our small group...So fun! But my hubby is already sleeping and well, I'm blogging on my the dark.

Loving: that it's Fall Back tonight! Wahoo! Here's hoping our kiddos get the memo and don't get up too early. Maybe we can all be in a good mood for church tomorrow.

Thinking: about our next 2 weeks. My husband has a crazy work schedule with out of town (and state) meetings, late nights, early name it! It also happens to be OTES time for me...gradecard time, and parent-teacher conferences. Yuck! Praying we make it out alive these next couple of weeks!

Wanting: family pictures. This works out perfectly because we're getting them taken on Thursday! My super talented friend takes the most beautiful pictures and I'm so excited to capture some new shots. We also have a little surprise up our sleeves for Thursday! Eek!

Needing: grade cards to start and finish themselves. The end. Amen.

Reading: Adopted for Life. My husband and kiddos and I are beginning our adoption journey to bring home the next piece to our family puzzle! This particular book is one I'm going through with a group at church on Wednesday nights. A great read for anyone and everyone.

Head on over to see what great Currently editions are up on Oh Boy Fourth Grade!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday- Halloween Edition!

Linking up again for a Five for Friday post with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching! What a FUN week in Kindergarten. I must say that today was my best Halloween party to date! The kids were AMAZING! Here are a few snippets from our week.

Candy corn mosaics are always a fun little project to exercise our fine motor muscles! We make mosaic spiders in the spring when we do an author study on Eric Carle. I LOVE the way these projects turn out each year.

On Wednesday, our oldest turned 5! Her birthday also happened to fall on the same day as her preschool Harvest I took a half day and spent it with her! And see that little chef? He's our little guy too! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, he and his sister are BOTH in the same preschool class (at ages 5 and 3). But we look at the situation as a total BLESSING and their preschool teacher is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Here our cuties are helping to act out the Soup Opera. So fun!

We read the story Where's My Mummy? and worked on text to self connections. We added a fun little mummy project to our writing too. We're getting better at turning a square into a circle with our scissors! 

Today was our Halloween party! We paraded around the school for the older students. Our Middle School principal always passes out a sucker to each of our kiddos too. Back in the classroom, we played BINGO with our lowercase letters by using one of the Smartboard alphabet dice. The kiddos also enjoyed "Freeze" dancing to the Monster Mash and seeing who could "wrap the mummy" the fastest with white crepe paper. The kiddos were wrapping EXPERTS and worked so well with each other. Proud teacher moment. It was by far the best behaved classroom party I've ever had!

Our Kindergarten team dressed up as Pete the Cat. It was SO MUCH FUN! We've got a Superhero-themed Right to Read Week in November...and ideas are already brewing! I am so blessed with a job I love and equally amazing coworkers! 

It's 3:00! WE SURVIVED!

Rocking in our SCHOOL shoes!

Every cat needs a tail.

My mom snapped this picture for me. Did you know that I work with my mom?! She's an elementary music teacher. Although she doesn't have my class this year, she's been our music teacher in the past! I try not to take this for granted because it is a blessing to see my mama every day!

I hope you have an amazing weekend, friends! After all, you deserve it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday

     This week flew by...and it's probably because we have a BUSY weekend planned! Our oldest turns 5 next week and we're celebrating with family tomorrow. (Sidenote: I'm having a hard time dealing with her being so old already...there have been tears today!) It was a great week in Kindergarten though. Sometimes I think Common Core and following (yucky) district curriculum can really bog a teacher this week we worked extra hard to do stuff that was meaningful AND fun.

     Excuse my boots in the next two pictures...oops! I love these spiders. And my kiddos did SO well doing our "accordion" folds for the first time. I had a few students who were folding experts and finished 8 legs quicker than I could say "easy peasy lemon squeezy." It was so sweet to watch these few kiddos walk around and willingly TEACH their classmates one-on-one...without me asking or prompting. Bless my soul. These arachnids were a great project to help us prepare for the cute Frankensteins we're making next week!

     Again with the boots. My apologies. I'm currently laying in bed about to fall asleep so picture cropping isn't a priority, ha! I love these little cupcake liner owls though. The kids did such a great job on following directions...and those eyes? We did the ole "turn a square into a circle" trick...on a Friday...for the first time. We were brave and it was a success! Our bravery was the perfect, albeit accidental, extension to the story we read The Brave Little Owl.

     A giant spider graph made for an exciting morning in Kindergarten. The kiddos loved creating this "big" graph and answering the question "Are you afraid of spiders?" Then we used our math talk words "more" and "fewer" to describe our data. Proud teacher moment! They came up with some amazing conclusions about our data!

     We continued our Unit 2 in Guiding Kinders Math (by Deanna Jump and DeeDee Wills). The above picture is of our number trains with pumpkins. I'll be honest, I thought this activity was going to be a lot easier (and a lot shorter). We had just completed a similar activity the day before with leaf pictures so today's pumpkin activity only built upon what we had just done! Eek. I must have done a subpar job of explaining directions because this activity was difficult lol. Anyone ever had a lesson like that? Maybe it's just me. After 25 minutes of my kiddos attempting to complete these pumpkins trains (with no end in sight), I actually had a little sweetheart say, "Mrs. Murray, I'm sorry we're so behind!" HAHA! I assured her it was not a problem, but we did want to try and move on to something else that day. ;-)

     Today I received the SWEETEST package from an Etsy sale I participated in earlier this week. If you haven't checked out The Adopt Shoppe on must go now. Kate is the creative genius behind this little account. And by little, I mean big. Can you believe the detail in this packaging?! Kate has the most giving heart and her little creations bring such joy to others! This is my second TAS necklace. I purchased my first necklace in an adoption fundraiser this summer. Anywho, these necklaces are little billboards for your heart and make great gifts too! Check Kate's IG account out! I'm warning you though...these items are HOT commodities and are in high demand. You can't just order them or ask for custom designs. Also, if you check out her Etsy store, you'll notice it's empty. She only holds little sales here and there. I encourage you to read more about the way she works things. It's pretty fun (and potentially stressful!) Haha!

Have a great weekend, friends! You deserve it!