Thursday, October 29, 2015


Hello there. It's been a while.

I had a great start to the school year with my second graders in August. We spent a whole week together and then our baby boy decided to show up 11 days before his due date! While I am missing my sweet second graders and can't wait to return to them in January, I am definitely soaking up every minute I have at home with my little boy. 

Here is our little Lucas on the day he was born. He weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and measured 21 inches long. 
We were in love the minute we saw his sweet face. 

We had been home a few days before we finally got a picture of us as a family of three. 
I have enjoyed spending my days snuggling with him and soaking up every precious minute.
Lucas is almost 2 months old (on 10/31) and I can't believe how much he has grown in such a short time.

1 month!

8 weeks! This smile just melts my heart. 

This is where I've been lately. 
Fingers crossed I'll get back into the swing of blogging and sharing more consistently!
I hope to share a two month update this weekend or early next week. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 3: Make your Masterpiece!

This week the TPT seller challenge was to create your masterpiece! This was a little challenging for me because I've been in a creative block since 2014 (eek!).  I am glad I finally took the time to sit down and create something new!

I created Interactive Read Aloud prompts for the book My Mouth is a Volcano! This book is a wonderful one to use at the beginning of the school year, especially if you have a class of blurters. We have 20 minutes built into our schedule everyday for interactive read alouds. I love reading to my class everyday, but sometimes it is hard to prep an interactive read aloud for each day. I enjoy using the summer to get ahead start on it! I started last summer and it definitely made the beginning of the school year a little smoother.

Check out my masterpiece here!

Do you use interactive read alouds in your classroom? What are your favorite books to read aloud to your class?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's currently! I can't believe it is already July!

Listening: The Pioneer Woman. I love watching her show and watching all the delicious foods she makes! I really need to start to trying out some of her recipes. 

Loving: These restful and relaxing summer days. This week is one of the first weeks when I don't have a lot of things scheduled and it feels amazing. I am able to accomplish things off of my giant to do list.

Thinking: I need to start preparing for my maternity sub in the fall. Last night I start organizing resources by subject and skill on a flash drive to share with my sub. Thankfully, I only have to have one week of plans for my sub and then after a week they are responsible for collaborating with my team and writing lessons. My goal is to plan out all of our first units and hopefully that will be enough. Any tips on planning for maternity leave?

Wanting: A milkshake for breakfast, this is acceptable since I'm pregnant right?

Needing: A pedicure. I can no longer reach my toes to paint them well plus with the swelling I've had in my feet and ankles the past week a pedicure would be amazing! 

All Star: I like to think I am creative with coming up with new ideas and projects to use in my classroom. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 2: Dare to Dream

I'm a little behind with the TPT Seller Challenge. Last week I worked Camp Invention at our school, which was a lot of fun but left me exhausted by the time I got home. Then on Friday, we left to visit Kentucky for my family reunion and came home yesterday! It kept this mama-to-be busy!

This week (week 2) for the TPT Seller Challenge we were asked to share our dreams for our TPT store.

1. Decrease our debt: It would be amazing if we could have just one less payment each month, especially with baby boy on his way. We are still paying on some college loans, a car, and some furniture. My hope is that TPT will be able to help us decrease the number of bills we have each month. 

2. Travel More: I enjoying traveling and visiting new places. I would love for us to be able to travel more without worrying how it will negatively impact our savings and monthly budget. My goal is to one day have visited all 50 states in the United States. 

3. Be creative: I hope my TPT store will continue to allow me to use my creative side. I've noticed that I use creativity as an outlet. I also hope it will challenge me to bring more creativity into my classroom. My students often need the creative outlet just as much as I do. 

What are some of your dreams? Can't wait to check out all the other posts for this challenge. 

Now off to work on the challenge for week 3! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness

I'm joining in on the TPT Seller Challenge! You can learn all about it here.

This weeks challenge was to makeover a product in your TPT store. With the start of school coming in August, I decided to makeover my Classroom Jobs product! 

Before I had a pretty boring product cover. This was one of the first products I made when I start TPT last year. I changed up the cover to make it more interesting and hopefully eye catching! I also added a few new jobs to the list and included suggestions of how I use these jobs in my classroom. I use library pockets to display my jobs in the classroom and it makes it so much easier to change them out each week! 

This product will be 50% off in my store until Friday! That means it is only $1, so head on over to TPT and check it out! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tell All Tuesday: Two Truths and a Lie

I'm linking up with Teach Talk Inspire and My Day in K for their Tell All Tuesday!

This week their theme is Two Truths and a Lie! Read my three "facts" below and see if you can guess in the comments which one is the lie! Check back later this week to see if you were right. :)

1. When I was in middle school, I became a Bible Drills State Champion 3 years in a row.

2.  We don't currently have a pet, but if we did it would have to a be a puppy! They are my favorite.

3. I love traveling, especially to other countries. So far I have been to Thailand, China, and Canada. I can't wait to add more places to the list!

So, which one do you think is a lie? Make sure to share in the comments. Also check out the link up party and join in to meet other amazing bloggers!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Reading List

I'm linking up with Ciera at Adventures of Room 129 to share what is on my summer reading list!

I've decided to read at least one professional book this summer. I am going to be reading Learn Like a Pirate! I've seen so many teacher bloggers posting about it lately that it really peaked my interest. I'm a little nervous about missing part of the school year in the fall due to maternity leave and am hoping this book will give some great ideas to help us start the year off right! 

As far as reading for pleasure my list includes: 
The Heir, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, and The Scorch Trials

These books have all been on my to read list for a little while. Can't wait to have time to dive into them. Four more days! 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Five For Friday on Saturday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Yesterday was our last Friday with students! We have four more days of school left. I am extremely ready for summer break. 

I made these adorable closet dividers for our baby boy's closet. They were so easy to make and I absolutely love how they turned out. Check out my DIY post here.

A photo posted by Sarah (@mrsjoy2) on

My amazing friends and coworkers threw us a wonderful baby shower yesterday. We are extremely grateful and blessed to have these people in our lives. Can't wait for our baby boy to get here! 

This morning I watched about 40 minutes of Parks and Recreation gag reels on Youtube. It was definitely what I needed to help me perk up today! If you are a fan of the show I recommend you go watch the gag reels now. So many laughs. 

Now that summer is almost here we are starting to actually work on the nursery! Can't wait for it to be painted and to have some furniture put together so I can start organizing! I'm terrified I won't be prepared enough before our baby boy arrives. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DIY Baby Closet Dividers

As we continue to get closer to our due date I am starting to get in major nesting mode. However we decided to wait until we are on summer break to start painting and organizing the nursery (6 days!). I have been looking for a small simple project I could work on.

I've seen very cute baby closet dividers all over Pinterest and Etsy. They look like something that will be super helpful in keeping baby boy's closet organized, so I decided to make my own!

Time: 15 - 20 minutes

1 pack of foam door hangers (came in a pack of 9, I only used 6)
Wooden Decor items (one per hanger)
Hot glue
Sticker numbers

I bought everything at Michael's. I used a 40% off coupon and my teacher ID, overall everything cost me approximately a total of $15.


1. Cut a piece of the circle out so you can hang it in the closest. (If your closet has a open bar where you can just slide it on then you can skip this step). Don't cut the space too big or the hanger could fall off. 

2. Use hot glue to add the wooden decor items to the foam hangers.  Even though our nursery will not be jungle/animal themed, I couldn't resist because they were so cute! 

3. Use your stickers to label each foam hanger with the months/sizes. I actually ended up using different stickers than the ones I bought, I had some extra at home that I liked better.

Close up of the first 3 dividers

Close up of the last 3 dividers

4. Hang in the closet and keep baby's clothes organized! 

Tip: If I had really thought about it, I would have made sure the dividers were hanging the other way, where the open space was on the inside to help keep the dividers more sturdy. 

This project was very simple and didn't take very much time at all. I love how they turned out! It definitely satisfied my nesting mode until the school year is over. Let me know if you decide to make your own! I would love to see your version!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Currently: JUNE

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's currently! 

Listening: My playlist of my favorite Disney songs, it's about all I listen to these days. Also I'm tempted to buy a Disney Lullaby album for baby boy to listen to, thoughts? 

Loving: Baby boy is finally starting to move around a lot. I love to feel his little kicks and pushes. I was starting to get worried thinking it was never going to happen! 

Thinking: Is it June 11th yet? We have 7 more days of school and it's supposed to rain for a lot of them...

Wanting: To finish report cards, I'm so close to being done but my brain couldn't process any more this evening. 

Needing: Lots of rest and relaxation this summer to help prepare for baby boy's arrival in September!! 

Summer Lovin: Hopefully hubby and I will be able to take a quick baby moon trip this summer. 

Make sure you head on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to join in the fun! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

24 Weeks!

How far along? 24 weeks or 6 months! I can't not believe we are more than halfway there!
Total weight gain:  approx. 10  pounds  
Size of baby: A cantaloupe! 10.5 to 11.8 inches (that's almost a whole foot!)
Maternity clothes?  Trying to work with what I have now and rotate through the same 10 dresses and skirts. I did invest in some maternity tank tops from Target because  recess at 2:30 in the south  is very hot! 
Sleep:  I usually sleep from 9 pm until about 5:45 am (on workdays), I wake up a few times during the night. A couple of times I've woken up because baby has been moving around
Best moment this week: Having a day off from work to relax and mentally rest. 
Worst Moment this week:  I am still trying to get over a cough/cold that I've had since last week. That has been challenging and exhausting but I think it is finally going away.
Miss Anything? Chicken caesar salad
Cravings:  ICEES, Ice cream, Milkshakes (mostly anything that is cold)
Symptoms: Trouble sleeping and swollen ankles (ick)
Looking forward to: Finally starting to paint the nursery and put the furniture together! I think we finally picked out a color for our baby boy! I've been in nesting mode but haven't been able to do much. Ready for summer vacation so we can get started!  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Craft Obsession: Card Making

If you have been following me on instagram (@mrsjoy2) you know I am completely obsessed with card making. It is definitely my new favorite craft. There are so many different ideas and techniques you can use with card making. 

I wanted to share a handful of cards I have made in the past few months and tell you a little bit about my favorite things to use when making cards! 

These are just a handful of cards I've made recently.

I definitely love texture embossing! Have you tried it? I love using the embossing folders to add texture to cards. There are so many different folders you can buy and use, plus they are super easy to use! I think embossing folders might be my new craft addiction.

I also enjoy heating embossing. However I am still practicing it because it can be challenging sometimes. I can't tell you how many pieces I've tossed because it got too hot or was too messy looking. If you have any tips or tricks please send them my way! 

As you can tell from the pictures above, I'm also obsessed with squares and circles. :)

Do you make cards? If so. what are your favorite things to use? 

Now that the school year is starting to wind down some, I hope to post more consistently here. Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

17 Weeks

How far along? 17 weeks
Total weight gain:  about 6  pounds  
Size of baby: The size of a sweet potato! (5.6 inches long)   
Maternity clothes?  Had to finally buy some maternity clothes. Added a few dresses and linen pants to my wardrobe. Hopefully this summer won't be too hot. 
Sleep:  Still trying to fit in naps when I can. Recently I have had a hard time sleeping through the night, I either wake up hungry or because I have to use the restroom. 
Best moment this week: We took a mini vacation to the river. We had a lot of fun relaxing and escaping reality for a few days. I also beat hubby at mini-golf! :)
Worst Moment this week:  Not  sleeping through the night and headaches.
Miss Anything? Still missing caffeine.
Cravings:  Reese's Cup Ice Cream
Symptoms: Trouble sleeping and headaches along with a few cramps or uterus growing pains. 
Looking forward to: Finding out if our sweet baby is a boy or girl on April 15th! Cannot wait. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

15 Weeks

How far along? 15 weeks
Total weight gain:  3 -4  pounds still 
Size of baby: A navel orange (about 4 inches)    
Maternity clothes?  Still trying to get away with my regular clothes, stretchy skirts and dresses. It's probably time to start investing in more maternity pieces. 
Sleep:  I am not taking as many naps now they are more every other day instead of every day. I'm also having some pretty crazy dreams not sure if that is related to baby or not
Best moment this week: We had a doctors appointment today! We got to hear our sweet baby's heartbeat for the first time. Baby's heartbeat was beating 148 bpm! I was so happy I got a case of the giggles and shed a few happy tears. 
Worst Moment this week:  Feeling overwhelmed with work.
Miss Anything?  Still missing Diet Dr. Pepper and caesar salad dressing.      
Cravings:  White cheddar popcorn and all the breakfast foods (muffins, fruits, waffles, french toast).
Symptoms: Using the restroom a lot and food aversions. It takes forever for me to decide on what sounds yummy enough to eat.  
Looking forward to: Our spring break! 6 work days to go! We are taking a much needed 3 day vacation to relax and I can't wait. We also get to find out the gender of  baby on April 15th! :) 

Sorry I know we missed weeks 13 and 14! We are going to try to be consistent from here on out. Life just got a little crazy. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

12 Weeks

How far along? 12 weeks
Total weight gain:  3 -4  pounds    
Maternity clothes?  Wearing lots of leggings, dresses and skirts. Ready for some warmer weather so I can break out the maxi dresses again. 
Sleep:  All the time. I usually come home from work and fall asleep on the couch, wake up to eat dinner and then I'm in bed between 8 and 9. On the weekends I am averaging at least 12 hours of sleep a night. 
Best moment this week: I went to the doctor on Wednesday and got to see our sweet baby on the ultrasound. Our baby has changed so much in the past 6 weeks already. I was able to see baby moving around. Our little one definitely enjoyed moving it's arms and legs! 
Worst Moment this week:  Smells. My sense of smell has gotten really really strong lately. It's been challenging to go into public places especially a restaurant because I never know which smell is going to make me feel sick. 
Miss Anything?  Caffeine.  I've completely cut out caffeine (except for the occasional piece of chocolate) and there are some work days where I feel I really need it to survive the day.         
Cravings:  Ice cream. Please give me all the ice cream, specifically Snickers ice cream bars.  
Symptoms: Exhausted. I've been pretty fortunate where I only got sick once during the first trimester. I just felt nauseous all the time. This week I've noticed the nausea is slowly starting to ease away unless I get a strong whiff of something smelly.     
Looking forward to: Starting to really plan for baby. I've begun to get rid of some things here and there, trying to make space in our home for baby. We still have a long way to go. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guess What!

We are expecting our first bundle of joy in September 2015! We are very excited. It has been a long journey for us to get to this point and we could not be happier! 

We are twelve weeks today. I had a doctors appointment yesterday and everything looked wonderful! I was able to see the baby's head, body, arms and legs. Our baby is active and is very healthy with a strong heartbeat! Seeing our sweet baby yesterday brought me tears of happiness.

We had so much fun with these pictures as well. We are thrilled to finally be able to share them! We are terrible secret keepers.

This is one of my favorites. 

Thanks to my awesome sister in law for these amazing pictures!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

One Little Word for 2015

I have seen several people sharing their one little word for 2015 instead of making resolutions. I love this idea! I think this is a great way to keep me motivated and encouraged throughout the year.

This year my word is:

I want to work on being brave this year. I sometimes feel like I have allowed my self to get walked all over mainly because I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy all the time. I would still love everyone to be happy all the time, but I am realizing it's not always my responsibility if they aren't.

I want to be brave enough to try new things (different activities, new foods, new adventures, etc.) On my birthday I actually tried shrimp for the first time ever! This was huge because for the longest time I swore off eating anything that lives in the sea.

I want to be brave enough to say no. I am realizing I can't do everything all the time and I definitely can't do everything all the time well. I need to learn to say no to other things so I can focus on what is important to me. I recently said no to something that was causing me to spend less time focusing on my students. While I had doubts at first as well as second guesses, I am glad I said no. It was the right thing for me, my family and my students.

I want to be brave enough to accept who I am. Over the years I have struggled with insecurity more than I care to admit. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful husband and amazing family and friends that already accept who I am. This year I want to work on being brave enough to stand up to those annoying insecure voices in my brain.

Thanks for reading! :)

Do you have one little word for 2015? If so, what is it and why did you pick that word?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Organizing Most Used Resources

I am linking up with The Elementary Entourage today to share one way I stayed organized in my classroom!

They are having a few different link ups to share ideas throughout January! Make sure you head over to their blog and check it out!

In my classroom and school, we have a 40 minute no new teaching block. This is a time for students to practice and reinforce skills we've already learned. My students usually have a choice board based on the Daily 5 to work on during this time.

Since students get to pick which activity they want to work on, they all might need a lot of different materials and resources each day. This is where my rainbow cart comes in!

This cart has 10 drawers that I can fill with the materials students might need. I use this cart to store notebook paper, white paper, construction paper, National Geographic magazines, storyboard mats, reading task cards, word work activities. My students can go and grab what materials they need instead of asking me for it. They know where the materials is and I labeled most of the drawers to help them out! This allows me to focus more on working with small groups instead of managing materials. I also have a clear cart by my desk that helps me organize all the materials I need for the week (copies, books, etc). 

This is a close up of three labeled drawers! I would also recommend investing in a label maker, it will be your best friend I promise! 

I bought my rainbow cart at Michaels, they had a storage sale and I used my teacher id to get 15% off! I know you can also find them at Sams and maybe other craft stores. Click here to see one on Amazon but I know you can find it cheaper than that. 

This cart is also wonderful since I am very limited on space in my mobile classroom. 

How do you stay organized?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Teaching Math Through Reading

Math is probably one of my favorite subjects to teach mostly because it is more black and white than reading and writing. I love to watch my students when their lightbulb goes off and they finally get a math concept!

One way that I love to teach math is by using books! This has really helped me the past few years because I had students that loved to read and hated math. We started to read about math and they began to enjoy it more! We would use math reading books during our read alouds or before starting a new concept in math! (click on each picture to take you to that resource)

We recently used Even Steven and Odd Todd as a read aloud when we reviewed even and odd numbers! My students love this book, not only does it make them laugh but it really makes them pay attention to the characters and their actions! Reviewing math concepts and practicing reading strategies all at the same time? Yes please! 

Have you read Actual Size? If not you should check it out! The pictures of the animals in the book are the actual size of the animal! My students love to compare the size of their hand to the gorilla's. This book is the perfect way to incorporate measurement! We are actually going to do this in 2 weeks as we finish up our measurement unit. Students go outside and use chalk to measure the different sizes of the animals. Then they used the worksheet included to compare the different lengths! My students last year loved this activity. Can't wait to do it again this year! 

We also used the book How Big is a Foot? before starting our measurement unit. This book really makes students think about why it is important that we have standard units of measure. This book also makes them giggle a lot. 

Do you use literature to teach math? What are some of your favorite books or resources to use? 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Craft Room Pegboard

For my birthday this year (I guess technically last year) instead of a gift, I asked hubby to help me out with creating a pegboard for my craft room! If you follow me on Instagram (@mrsjoy2) you saw the project as I was working on it. Let's just say I am officially obsessed and loving the new pegboard. It helps encourage creativity!

I bought a pegboard at Lowes (about $8) and had them cut it to 2.5x4. Then came home and spray painted it! It was raining so I actually spray painted it on our front porch and now part of our porch is green (oops!). I was too excited to wait for the rain to stop.

I patiently waited for the pegboard to dry so we could hang it on the wall. Hubby did most of the hard work here. We used spacers to have the pegboard stick out from the wall. Once it was hung, the only thing I could put on it was my scissors and a hole punch. 

Looking at this picture now, it looks pretty sad and pitiful. At the time I was really excited! My mom and I went shopping at Ikea, Lowes, and Target so that I could hang more supplies up!

Now my pegboard looks like this: 

I love it! I am excited to use craft supplies now since I don't have to dig through tubs and drawers to find what I am looking for. This also makes clean up much easier as well! I love being able to see all my washi tape on display (I'm addicted). I have really enjoyed my craft space the past few days and using a lot of new craft tools that I will share later this week! 

What do you put in your work space to help encourage and inspire you?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently January 2015

I am linking up with the wonderful Farley to get a start on blogging in 2015! 

Listening: I am listening to Spotify on shuffle. I can usually find great playlists to match every mood and to increase motivation! 

Loving: I am loving my new Erin Condren teacher planner! I now know why everyone is obsessed. I am also loving my updated craft room, for my birthday hubby helped me put up a pegboard to keep all my supplies organized (hope to share it on here soon). It is definitely inspiring me to be creative!

Thinking: Do we really have to go back to school? This winter break has made me excited for summer to get here. I'm really good at being lazy. :)

Wanting: Another week of break! We are also hoping to buy our first set of living room furniture soon (no more hand-me downs).

Needing: To get organized for school as well as cleaning our home and putting away all of the Christmas decorations. 

Yes to being brave and trying new things this year. This includes being brave enough to say no as well as stand up for myself. 

Maybe we will have some fun new adventures this year! 

I wish for 2015 to be a wonderful year. 2014 brought on it's fair share of challenges, especially during the last few months. Here's to hoping this year will be better! 

Make sure you link up with Oh Boy 4th Grade!