November 27, 2013

A Surprise Visit from Santa!!

Hi ya sweet friends!  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and boy oh boy do I have a lot to be thankful for!  I am especially thankful this year for my sweet family.  I am so blessed to have them in my life.  I am even more blessed that I get to wake each morning and snuggle with this precious girl...
This year I am more thankful than ever for my health and being able to spend the holidays with the people that mean the most to me!  My heart is so so heavy this holiday season though.  The sweet family that I created the "Home for the Holidays" fundraiser for received devastating news this past week.  Unfortunately the momma has taken a turn for the worst.  I am so heartbroken that this very well may be her last holiday with her precious family.  I can not begin to fathom the pain that they are experiencing.  My heart is overjoyed however at the abundance of support that I have received from each of you!  OH.MY.STARS...y'all simply blew me away with your generosity!  I can not believe how much this fundraiser has already made!!
This sweet momma had one last wish to spend the holidays with her family.  Because of the news that she received last week, our school decided to bring this precious family Christmas a bit early this year.  Upon hearing the news on Thursday, our rockin' school pulled together and yesterday we were able to provide this family with an unforgettable Christmas.  While the kiddos were away at school, a few little "elves" snuck into their house with decorations, Christmas dinner and an abundance of gifts were placed under their tree!  At this time, I was also able to tell the dad about the fundraiser and how much had been raised so far.  To say the least, he was blown away as were the kids when they got off the bus that afternoon and saw that Santa had come early this year. 
I hope and pray that this family can find comfort this holiday season as they deal with this devastating nightmare.  I want to make one last go at this fundraiser before it ends.  We are so close to meeting the goal I set and I so hope that we are able to meet it soon!!  This bundle of products is packed with amazing units that you won't want to pass up!  For $15 you will receive over $90 worth of products from a few of the most amazing sellers around!  If you would like, please feel free to share the image below on your blog, facebook page or instagram page.  Y'all rock for everything you have already done for this family and I am so thankful for each of you!!
Click the pic above to check out this amazing bundle of products!!
I hope y'all have the best Thanksgiving and if you have a sec, please say an extra prayer for this wonderful family.  I pray everyday for a miracle!!
P.S.  Stay tuned for my first ever Kinder unit!!  I am so excited about it!!  It will be packed with 5 math and 5 ELA activities that are common core aligned!!
Have a blessed day sweet friends!!

November 26, 2013

Take Me Back Tuesday!!

Hi ya friends!!
I needed a quick and easy post to get me back in the groove of blogging so I'm linking up with the sweet Hope from Second Grade Shenanigans for a little "Take Me Back Tuesday".  I have been spending the last couple of weeks preparing to go back to work and soaking up every second of snuggling with my precious girl.  I can't believe that my maternity leave will officially be over next week!!  My baby girl is getting so big and it makes this momma's heart a little sad thinking about it!  I have to say though that I am loving watching her grow...she is getting so stinkin' big!!  She is smiling lots and cooing like simply MELTS.MY.HEART!!
Let me take you back to...December 1, 2012
Hi there sweet friends!! 
Check out the handsome "men" that I have gotten to spend my weekend with so far!!
Boy am I one lucky girl to wake up next to this handsome face every morning!!
How precious is he?!!  Our sweet friends welcomed him into the world a week ago tomorrow!!  What a blessing he already is!!

I have to admit...I am so excited about the next two weeks but they are going to be jam packed to say the least! Trying to fit in Gingerbread week, Grinch day and Polar Express day all in two weeks is going to be a bit of a struggle but I am confident I can pull it off....right?!  Did I mention that our brand new little school is busting at the seams and we are in the process of hiring a new first grade teacher to help with the overage...before Christmas break!!!?  We spent 5 long hours after school last Wednesday interviewing and we still have more to go!  Holy moly!!

Now...on to the freebie!  Our school has taken on the 6 traits program for writing and we have attended a bazillion webinars by Smekens.  They are absolutely fabulous!! If you are using the 6 traits program in your classroom, you have to check out this resource book.  It is absolutely amazing and gives step by step plans for implenting the 6 traits in your classroom.  It seriously has been a life saver this year!!  After lots of note-taking at the webinars, I created this writing journal to use in my classroom as I implemented each of the traits.
 Smekens suggests having students first work on creating pictures for each idea trait making sure to add oodles of details!  Once students have mastered this technique, they suggest moving on to labeling the same pictures that they had previously created.  Last, they suggest using the same pictures with the labels and adding words.  All the while, there are mini-lessons to incorporate to teach students the 6 traits of writing.  The book I tagged above also has lessons for each of the stages of drawing, labeling and writing.  I'm not sure if any of this makes sense or not so PLEASE let me know if I need to clarify more!!  I created this journal that can be used for this process of writing.  At the bottom of each page, I date when my students create their picture, label and write about the picture.  Clear as mud right?!

Click here to snag yourself a copy of this journal! 
{This is a black and white copy...I have my darlin's using their fabulous coloring skills to decorate the cover!  If you would rather have the color version, just give me a shout!!}

Mr. Husband is on his way home from his men's league {doesn't that sound so grown up?!} game with dinner...yummy!!  Spending the night with him watching Hallmark Christmas movies sounds absolutely perfect right about now!!  Have a fantastic night sweet friends!!
Have a great holiday break friends!! 
Be sure to stop back in tomorrow for an update on the "Home for the Holidays" Fundraiser!!

November 8, 2013

Home for the Holidays! {Fundraiser}

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.  I adore everything about, friends, snow, laughter, hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas lights, carols...absolutely everything!  Above all, I love this season because it is the birthday of our Lord and Savior.  During this season, we celebrate all that He has done for us and what better way to celebrate than through the act of giving!

This holiday season will mean just a little bit more to one special family.

I was blessed last year to have one of these sweet boys in my class.  I was even more blessed to meet his mommy and now be able to call her my friend!  This mommy is not a normal mommy...she is a super mommy...a hero and inspiration to all who meet her.
Here is her story...
Shannon was diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) in June 2012.  In August she had  70% of her liver removed. She recovered well and the doctors seemed very confident that they got it all. All follow-up CT's and even a PET scan at the end of April 2013 showed all clear. Mother's Day weekend of 2013 she was admitted to the hospital for some dehydration.  They performed a CT while there and the awful truth revealed itself...the cancer was back not only in the liver but it had now spread to the lungs.  At this point there was nothing else the doctors could do...they gave her 6 months to a year to live...ON MOTHER’S DAY!!! With being a mother of 4 small children this was unacceptable so she traveled to Minnesota Mayo clinic for a second opinion, which unfortunately she received the same news.
Last week, Shannon wrote the following message...
As we come upon the Holidays I know these are going to be the hardest times for me to get through. I hope to begin dual chemo therapy in the upcoming weeks. I know it’s not going to be easy and yes I’m terrified to death as far as the outcome. I know this is something that has to be done to extend my time with my family. I’m not ready to give up nor will I go without a fight.

Although the Dr. hasn’t come out and given me a definitive time frame, we know time isn’t on my side. The biggest thing for me on my list was to make it to the holidays. Share the time I can with my family and make everlasting memories that my kids will remember for years to come. I look forward to these next few months and making more memories with those I love! I’m not going down without fighting every day searching for a cure for this and being an inspiration for those around me.

I ask that you take the time to spend extra time with your family this holiday season. Time is precious and we all can be gone in an instant. Sure it’s easy to get sidetracked with the day to day grinds of our lives with work, kid’s school activities, dinner and bedtime. Just remember tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us.

We will update this in the upcoming weeks with more information regarding my journey!! Once again thank you all and god bless!!!!

Shannon Marks
{Click here to check out this fab resource!}
This is where I need your help to make this Christmas the most amazing Christmas for Shannon and her sweet family.  I have put together a fundraiser with some of my best blogging friends that will hopefully bring financial relief to this inspiring family.  For $15 you can purchase 16 holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, St. Patrick's Day) units from a few of the best sellers.  The pack is valued at over $90!!
Please make this purchase and not only save you some planning time during this crazy and hectic time of year but more importantly, make this purchase so this family can have a Christmas they will never forget!! 
Check out the amazing products you will receive!!
{Click any of the pics to check out more details about each product!}
So what are you waiting for?!  Click here to make a purchase that will last a lifetime!!
Blessings sweet friends!!