adorable teacher appreciation doors

Saturday, April 28, 2012
Check out these adorable doors....our room moms are so awesome - I'll add more photos later.

coffee themed

fortune cookies
Dr. Seuss themed door
Ice cream treat door


proud sister and * FREEBIE*

Thursday, April 26, 2012
I'm having a very proud sister moment.  I am the only girl and the youngest of 4.  I have 3 wonderful older brothers.  I just found out that my brother John was voted teacher of the year not just for his school but for the ENTIRE district.  I'm so proud and my mom would be too...I know she is smiling down from heaven.  Here is a photo of the sign they hung by his room.

He got his doctorate in Education in 2010.  He is so loved by his students.

Thanks for letting me share now here's a math freebie
if you download it please leave feedback for me. :o)


Greater Than Less Than Center

Saturday, April 21, 2012
Hi everyone!  I feel like I've been out of the loop for some reason :o(  Anyway I just made a fun greater than less than activity pack/center and my kiddos love it.  I know the alligator is super cute and has been used for years but I was trying to figure out how I could use donuts for the center...anyway I made little donut munchers and they kids have to put the correct sign in the donut hole.  They had a great time!  I love to put a twist on things when I can.  I am gearing up for Open House and our annual field trip to the Wild Animal Park then SUMMER!!!  I'm so excited for summer this year --- I was just saying to some friends how some years we EARN our paychecks more than other years.....well this year I have definitely earned mine. 
We are going from 23 students in a class though  to 30 yes I said 30 next year.  I had 32 in 1995 but that was a LONG time ago and I had an aide until noon.  It was my first year in first in a rough neighborhood and it was a bilingual classroom.  I was hired late in the get the picture.  Things are very different where I am now I teach where I live in a great area but still 30 first graders in my small classroom without WITHOUT an aide -- YIKES!!!  Thank goodness for parent helpers and a job.  Our district gave out 100 pink slips so I want to be thankful and appreciative that I have a job when I know others don't.  We are losing a lot of really great teachers. 
Not sure how I ended up on this soapbox but I hope you like the pictures of my donut center.  Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.
Here they can either use the donut muncher on the end of the tongue depressor or I wrote some signs on the plates too...

Here is the link if you are interested in the center.


Giveaway Winners!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Hi everyone!  Thanks for joining in on the fun for the 500 giveaway!  I have my first lucky winner:
It is  # 3 which is   :  
Enter a lower limit: 
Enter an upper limit: 
Random Number:
  KELLY over at :

Congrats!!  So happy for you.  I will be in touch about the banner and email you the file you chose. 
There are 2 other winners of items they chose they are:

Enter a lower limit: 
Enter an upper limit: 
Random Number:

which is:
and our last winner:
Enter a lower limit: 
Enter an upper limit: 
Random Number:

is Dana over at:

I will look at the items you decided on and get those out to you tonight or tomorrow...CONGRATS and thanks for supporting my blog. :o)

Items listed and GIvEawAy reminder

Monday, April 16, 2012
I've been busy -- 5 new items posted to both stores. :o)


/ai/ and /ay/ unit/pack

weather unit/pack

teaching /or/ unit/pack -- this is a partial view of this unit.
CHECK them out in my stores... Have a great Monday everyone and don't forget to enter my giveaway!!
This is what you could win... a name banner made by me
and 1 of my units.  Don't miss out!!

Thanks for playing along...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Hi everyone!  It's raining here in Southern Cal...we haven't had much rain this year.  It sounds nice but... I always kinda dread the work day.  Since it's so uncommon the kiddos get rainy weird/hyper if that makes sense. :o/
Anyway the answer to the question is: SWIMMER!  I was a competitive swimmer and had the opportunity to travel all over the country growing up.  Some of my claims to fame were: beating Janet Evans a few times and breaking a record of Dara Torres.  Now I lap swim with a bunch of washed up older people.. totally kidding...people just like me.  LOL and I still love it very much.  I loved all your guesses though.
Here's our winner:
congrats Lori - good guess!
I hope you all had fun playing's fun getting to know each other better.  Some of your guesses were so creative. :o)

Jelly fish art project - - fun y as a vowel unit posted....and sorta GIVEAWAY

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
We are finishing our ocean unit and heading into our rainforest busy.  Here are some cute jelly fish we made.  I asked parents for packing bubbles and I got a huge donation.  Never be afraid to ask parents for anything - - you never know what they might have.  Anyway I thought it would look cute hanging down because it's kinda see through...get it?

jellyfish craft

jellyfish craft

jellyfish craft
We had fun and I added tissue paper to make it a bit more colorful.

Here's my Y as a vowel unit I just finished up....

Y as a vowel, sneaky y


Bloggy Meet up

Monday, April 9, 2012

Oh my goodness --- what a great bunch of ladies I had the chance to officially meet in person.  We had so much fun!  I feel badly though because I was SOOO late that I missed all the intros and I didn't get to meet everyone. :o(  But it was an honor and a delight to sit and talk to these lovely ladies.  What a treat it was to meet Rachelle --- on a trip here from UT.  Thank you for organizing it Hadar / Kristin/ Rachelle -- we must do it again in the summer for sure!  Here are a couple photos.
Me and my sweet friend Traci from Dragonflies in First -- It was so fun to meet her after corresponding so many times about my recent giveaway. :o)

Here's a bigger group shot -- but I was very late so many friends had already gone home.

Mommy tip for nursing moms

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Nursing Box

My sweet children are growing up way too fast...I'm thankful that the Lord gave me the opportunity to spend so much time with them.  I job shared only 2 days a week when they were young and have worked at their school throughout their elementary ages. 
 My daughter just moved on to middle school - - sniff, sniff.  But my son is still with me at elementary.  
Anyway I have a tip for younger mom's with a baby and a toddler.  When my son arrived I created a nursing box and whenever I was feeding him I would pull it down off the shelf and let her play with those special toys only when I was feeding him.  When he was all done the nursing box went right back up in the nursery closet.  She would get so excited and say, " Is it time to feed Josh yet?"  It really helped so she was busy and felt special during that time.  
I don't still have the box I decorated for her ( it's been 10 years ) but here is an could use a cute Easter basket, decorate a tub with cricut letters, etc.  This is actually a babysitting basket my daughter made in girl scouts for when she babysits -- I just wanted to give you an example. :o)

tips for new moms, nursing box idea
I remember her favorite thing in the box was a Clifford magnetic book where you could move the magnets of Clifford and his friends around on the different pages, there was also coloring, crayons and stuffed animals.  You pick special things you know your child would enjoy.  You really have to be clear though that it only comes out when you are feeding the baby so there are no behavior issues.  Luckily I never had any behavior problems, she understood that it was only for that time - she was almost 2 1/2 though.
Hope that helps and you can have some sanity while you are trying to nurse your new sweet baby and keep your other precious one entertained.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Hi friends - today I am guest blogging over at Lori's blog :
Preschool Teacher
I was so honored and excited that she asked me.  She has a great blog with some fantastic ideas and is very creative with her posts as well.  For instance today I'm guest posting on her weekly topic:  Wishlist Wednesday - how fun is that?!?  I got to blog about what I wish I had for my classroom.  Head on over and visit and if you aren't a follower of hers yet become a follower and see what fun things she is up to over there.  Have a great Wednesday everyone! xoxox

Also a freebie for all my friends out there:  If you use the Step Up to Writing program your kids will love these bookmarks.

Click on link to pick it up at my Teacher's Notebook store. :o)

New items posted and an AMAZING giveaway

Monday, April 2, 2012
I have been busy over break teaching myself how to do lots of fun things and I can't believe I'm learning just through trial and error.  I love learning something new.  I have posted several new products but here is my newest:
as you can see it is /er/ , /ur/ and /ir/ ( I have a pirate themed /ar/ one separately )  Anyway it includes poems/word sorts, read write draw and a fun center  It has 15 pages total this is just a small glimpse.  Check it out sometime. :o)  I just taught myself how to do a screen shot so it's not perfect but hopefully you get the idea.
Oh my goodness:
TEACHING BLOG ADDICT is having a wonderful birthday giveaway with TONS and I mean TONS of cool stuff...head on over and check it out.


Honoring my precious mom today 4/1/12

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Traditions are a big part of my family life -- that's one of the reasons my blog got it's name.  One of our many traditions is to honor my mom.  I lost her to a deadly cancer called Bile Duct cancer 5 years ago today.  It was brutal....there's a song that I listen to on christian radio that says we are all 1 phone call from our knees and I so believe that.  That one phone call I got changed my life forever and gave me only 6 more months with my best friend - my mom.  I miss her everyday and whenever someone tells me I'm so like her I want to cry --- it's the best compliment I could ever receive.
My mom didn't want to be buried -- she wanted to be cremated and have her organs donated to research and her healthy ones donated to others.  She wanted us to wear color NOT BLACK at her memorial and she wanted us to celebrate that she was with Jesus.  So we don't go to a gravesight and cry over her grave.  We head to the beach - her favorite one and write messages to her in the sand and we write messages on balloons and release them to heaven for her to 'catch and read' as my son said the first year we did this.  I hope you can enjoy these pictures I share with you...I still can't believe this is my 5th year without her.  Love you ( more ) mom!!!

here they are writing messages in the sand - NANA and I love you nana.  I always draw a heart with a cross in it because that was the way she signed all her notes to anyone she wrote you can tell her relationship with the Lord was most important.
Here the kids are writing their messages to her before sending it up to heaven.

 Mandy releasing one.

Mandy added a message from our dog Bella :o)