Wood Backgrounds

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Awaiting the New Year

So I was thinking...that this new year is going to bring fun times ahead.  I am also excited about 2012 because:
1. I get to spread the word of the Lord in the Philippines this summer for two weeks!
2. I hear the second half of the year is the best time for teaching!
3. Two of my best friends are getting married this summer!
Follow Cat's journey at Southern Sweetness.  
But before the New Year commences and my Auburn Tigers play the Virginia Cavaliers I thought I would remember the past couple of weeks. I apologize that my blogging has been sporadic but, December is a very hectic time in a teacher's life. So here is a life review and teaching review. 
I don't know what I would have done without Cara from The First Grade Parade this year. She has shared so many amazing ideas that have brought smiles to my kids faces. We made some 3D snowmen for our parent's Christmas gifts. Here are our snowmen before we added scarves and hats. We also wrote across the top "There's Snow Place Like Home."
We wrote about what would happen if Santa got stuck in the chimney and also What would make a Grinch smile. My favorite Santa chimney said that If Santa got stuck he would try to jump on his feet and then he would call the plumbers! We also made these cute reindeer books!
We then had a Christmas Craft rotations where we made: Rudolph the candy cane reindeer, handy Santa ornaments, and elf-sized snow globes. 
And who can not read The Polar Express during December! It's one of my favorites!

I then got to go home for the holidays and celebrate with my family!
We started Christmas with a great church service and were reminded the reason we were celebrating. 
Then we came home to exchange some gifts.
We surprised my mom with a nativity that she wanted and I made my dad this Auburn fight song canvas. 
Then my mom surprised my sister and I with 
a trip to NEW YORK to see NEWSIES on BROADWAY!
She wrapped up newspapers for the gift since tickets haven't gone on sale yet. 
(It took us a few guesses to figure it out, but it was a cute idea)

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and celebrated your blessings with family!

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm blogging elsewhere

Today I am in North Carolina with family, however, I'm also guest blogging over at the sister's blog... Come check out the gift I made her at A Step in the Journey.
Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Special Memory Ornaments

     So I was thinking... what did people do before Pinterest. It is such a great way to find crafts to make. This fall I was blessed with a small group Bible study. Three other girls and myself study God's word in the book of Daniel. We had a blast working through each chapter and challenged ourselves to memorize one of the prayers that Daniel prayed to the Lord. We finished the last chapter right before Christmas and so with the help of Pinterest I created these Memory Verse Ornaments.
Glass ornaments
Scrapbook Paper

1. Measure off the lines on scrapbook paper. My lines were about 4 cm in height. You can decide who big or small you would like them, just make sure they will fit in the whole of the ornament. 
 2. The girls in my bible study each had a different version of the Bible, so I used the BibleGateway to make sure that the verse was in their version.(NIV, NAS, and ESV)
 3. I wrote out the verse on the lines. Daniel 2:20-23

Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. 21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. 

22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. 23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

 4. I cut the strips apart and added them to the ornament. You can roll them around a pencil to place them in the ornament but I ended up just sliding them in and letting them curl around themselves.
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Best Year Yet

So I was thinking...about getting another year older and how much has changed since I was little. I just got back from the Muppet movie. Yes, you heard me right, my friend and I just went to see it. (Yes we are 23, but sometimes its more fun to live in the good old days of Kermit and Miss Piggy!) This past weekend I turned another year older and hopefully getting another year wiser. 22 was a big year for me: graduating college, getting a job, and embarking on this life we like to call adulthood, but I know God has more in store for me as I step forward to year 23, which my sister keeps telling me is going to be the "BEST YEAR YET!" and I hope that it continues to go up here from here!

My mom and I traveled over to Atlanta this past weekend to celebrate the anniversary of my birth. It was low key, but perfect and relaxing (just what this teacher needed(minus the cold that also came with it)). After a great dinner and taking in the Atlanta Christmas lights we laid low on Saturday, creating some delicious cake ball ornaments for my sister's Sunday School party on Saturday. I was blessed with some very thoughtful presents that I should share: an adorable camera strap cover from the sis and bro-in-law and this beautiful heart necklace that was my grandmother's. Needless to say there were tears shed but for everyones sake I will only show the necklace and not my tearful shots.
And what teacher's birthday would be complete without a children's book to 
add to the growing collection. 
After another great meal, mom and I went off to see New Year's Eve, pretty cute movie, and ended the weekend with a great church service and Montgomery's Live Christmas Tree. It was a great weekend to hang out with the family. 
Here is a quick self-portrait for the photography challenge finale and to show 
off the sister's craftiness on my adorable camera strap. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

From a distance
My senior year I had the privilege of going to New York twice in three months. Once with my uncle as a graduation gift and another on my senior class trip. This gorgeous cathedral caught my eye both times. Here is the beautiful structure from a distance.   Oh how I wish I could go back to NYC soon! Newsies, one of my favorite movies, is going on Broadway and I would love to see it!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

After Thanksgiving break my class came back already ready for Christmas. On Monday they were talking about their elves on the shelves and I told them that we couldn't talk about Christmas until December 1st! Please don't think I was squelching their dreams I just needed to make sure that we stayed on task until Dibels testing was over. Dibels came and went, and on Thursday like promised Christmas came to our classroom! We played Christmas music during work time and I displayed all of my Christmas books and even previewed a few. I impressed my little ones with my memorization of Twas the Night Before Christmas. (Thanks 10th grade English)

We created cute reindeer this week and were able to give each little reindeer a shiny, glittery red nose. It is amazing how fascinated kids are with glitter. I think they could have watched me pour glitter on those noses for hours! 

The month of December we are taking a break from SF and so I was able to allow my top groups to read Amelia Bedila. It was quite funny to see how they comprehended the book and hysterical to watch them bend over laughing at her literal interpretation of things. Their favorite was when she "dressed the turkey!" 

I rearranged my room on Friday and meant to take pictures but forgot, so come back early next week to see the changes. I didn't want a desk anymore so I am going to use my small group table as my 'desk.' I pushed the clunky desk across the room and turned it around. I brought out the magnet word strips and I am going to use it as a sentence making station! 

I was able to talk about the Lord with my kids which excited me. I was telling them that I understood why we celebrated Thanksgiving because of the Pilgrims and Native Americans, but why did we celebrate Christmas. I was blessed to have some hands pop up. One little boy said that it was because it was Jesus' birthday. So I dug a little deeper and asked "Who is Jesus?" Another little boy told us that he was the Son of God. I told them how proud I was that they knew and we moved on to review long a. I love seeing what they know and getting to share some encouraging words with some of my friends that are just now learning about our Savior. 

A funny story happened last week. The word pray came up when we were learning about how ay also makes the long a sound. So I asked what is prayer. A little girl told us it is where you talk to God. Then the little boy who told us why we celebrate Christmas raised his hand. TM said "Guess what? I go to Sunday School and I even know who the first person was!" Me: "Really" TM: "Yea, Adam, well and then Eve, but he was first!" 

~Miss Anderson 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Childhood Memory

So I was thinking... how happy Christmas makes me! It brings some of the greatest things together: the celebration of Christ's birth and the reminder of what He did for us, the joy of giving to others, and being surrounded by all my family.  When spurred by the topic of "Childhood Memory" from my sister's photography challenge I immediately thought of the angel that we put on our Christmas tree every year. This was a huge tradition for us. When we were little every year LB, Z and myself would all beg to be the one that would get to put the angel on top of the tree. It was fantastic getting to climb on top of our dad's shoulders and complete our lovely tree with the angel on top. We shared this responsibility, having to take turns, so my chance came around every three years. To this day I still get excited when topping off the tree with the same angel we have used for the past 27 years. I was excited when I went home for Thanksgiving because this was my chance to capture this great childhood memory. However, our tree did go up, but our lights have yet to adorn the tree and so the angel and ornaments were still boxed up when I left to return to my AU home. Realizing this fact mid-drive home I started to think what else was a great memory.

We all know how much Santa loves cookies and our crew should be credited for some of the lb's that Santa puts on on that all night flight. When we were little we would 'decorate' these cookies: well pour as many sprinkles on as we could before they were taken away from us. As we got older we started to be more meticulous in our decorating sessions. For the past 8 or so years when cookie decorating time commences LB and I pull out the rolling pin and our tweezers. (Yes I said tweezers, and yes I promised that they are clean!) We very carefully decorate our cookies to make them as real-life as possible. Here are a few pics from two years ago at our decorating session.

 Our cousin B, came up to join. I mentioned that we spend lots of family time, but 
did I mention it is because they live two houses down?
 Taking a try at Good St. Nick.
The sis, trying out icing instead of sprinkles, a new addition to our decorating session. 

Hope you are getting excited about celebrating the reason for the season with your family and childhood memories.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sailing, Sailing on the Ocean Blue

I promise I will start getting better at posting weekly updates so I can be true to the name of this school series, the weekly review.  
Our Mayflower voyage went well and we sailed right into the learning about the pilgrims daily life. 
We created suitcases that displayed what we would bring on the Mayflower and even created our own Mayflower ships that listed our newly learned facts. 

When polled: Most children decided that they did not want to ride on the Mayflower. One interesting fact we learned was that the Mayflower was not meant to carry passengers. 
As you can tell we learned many more facts about the pilgrims and their voyage. Their favorite fact: When the water went bad, everyone, children too, had to drink beer.(Maybe I'll leave that out next year ha!)
 I chose to include five things in my suitcases hoping that they would at least fill in the same amount.
This little guy went above and beyond listing 12 things he would want to bring. If you notice #11 it will bring a giggle. 11. and evrethig ellts (translated: and everything else!)

They also loved learning that little boys had to wear dresses until they were six years old! We took the two days before Thanksgiving break off from Scott Foresman to review before our Unit 2 test so we had time for some fun activities. The media center showed the Mouse and the Mayflower which allowed us to further our Pilgrim journey. I have to admit this movie is cheesy and very poorly made but my kids were enthralled with it as they always are when we get a chance to watch a movie. During the movie they quoted some Psalms which I loved and hope took root in my little guys hearts. This lead to the Pilgrims talking about the Holy Bible. One of my little boys(SJ) came up to me right after and said, "Miss Anderson, they just talked said the Holy Bible, guess what? My mom has that book!" Me: "Really, I have it to, its a really good one!" This was a great reminder that I am a teacher to not only teach them about curriculum but to spread His word and love by my actions and words. 

This touching moment was followed by a hilarious one. Two seconds after the first mention of the Bible, little MM comes up and says " Miss Anderson, they just mentioned the Holy Bible and that reminded mom's name is Holley." 

As we were waiting on the bell to ring, we discussed all the things we were thankful for and I was shown God's work in my little ones again, when two of them said that they were thankful for God and Jesus. These were followed by a precious little guy saying that he was thankful for old people. At that comment the bell rang and they were off to their homes to celebrate Thanksgiving. Oh, how they make me smile! I hope you were able to count your blessings yesterday with great food, friends, and family. We have so much to be thankful for!
~Miss Anderson

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Someone I Love

So I was blessed I am to grow up in a two parent home. Being surrounded by teaching and school systems my whole life, I am sadly realizing how common it is for children to come from a divorced home. My sister's photography challenge this week was: Someone You Love. I had many choices that I could choose from, however living two hours from family it was hard to take one this week, so I went to my albums to search for someone I love. Here is what I found:
This is my dad, taken on a mission trip that we went on together after my senior year in high school. For this challenge, we had a trailer that was tilted (visibly uneven) well with a lot of hard work we were able to completely level it and added some insulation siding on the bottom.
Pretty proud of our results!

But back to the topic, of someone I love. My dad is a pretty quiet person, well compared to my mom, sister and me who can talk enough for all of us; but when he talks, you listen and learn. There are many things that I have learned from this incredible person. 

1. Family is important. Be there for them in whatever way you can.
2. Follow the Lord, he will direct your path. Spend time in His Word and make sure your decisions and actions reflect this. 
3. Give with everything you have: your time, money, prayers, and love. My dad is one of the most giving people that I know. Giving most of his vacation days to go on mission trips and help out in literally WHATEVER needs to be done, he is the first one there and the last one to leave.
4. Do your best in everything, don't leave a project if you can do it better. (If you know me, this is where I get the perfectionist gene)
5. Love for the Auburn Tigers, War Eagle!
And so much more! 

I am continually shown how blessed I am and I am thankful to the Lord, my heavenly Father, who has blessed my family in the tough times and the celebration times, all glory and praise to Him. 

~Hope you are finding many things to be thankful for in this season of Thanksgiving. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A month full of thanks

So I was many things we have to be thankful for. 
I made this little fellow as a craft for my class; however, it was a great reminder to how many things I have to be thankful for. My turkey could have had a full flock of feathers, but to a six/seven year old this could of been overwhelming, so I stuck with the basics.

Last week was a great reminder of how thankful I am for my faith and ability to worship God. On Friday night I got to spend six hours in the Lord's word. I attended David Platt's Secret Church. It was an intense six hours but definitely a great rejuvenation for my walk with the Lord. While there, we learned about the persecution of our fellow believers in Egypt.

The information we learned makes my heart break for these people who are trying to follow God's will. Please join me in praying for these people and to thank God for all of your blessings, He is the giver of all our blessings.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Native Americans

As I mentioned last week, we have started our November social studies unit with Native Americans. This past Friday, I told my class that we were going to get to be historians and go back in time to the first Thanksgiving. We were excited! Our adventure began with learning about Native Americans and how they respected nature, used all of the natural resources and were part of a culture group. After reading some great books throughout the week we were ready to become part of the First Grade Tribe. As I mentioned before, my Native American name was Winnataska, after my beloved camp. Well camp friends, guess what I taught my sweet students?
"We are the Red Men"
We began Friday by also talking about how Native Americans earned their feathers in their headdresses. We earned ours by working hard, being respectful, and following directions. By the time we created our headdresses we all had three feathers for our great decisions. My kids had been working hard all week creating their own Native American names. Here are a few of our tribe's names:

Little Gopher decided later in the day that he had earned the 
upgrade and changed his name to Big Gopher ha!

We had tons of fun with our headdresses, here were a few of my favorite moments. 
Before teaching our lesson, I had pulled my hair into pig tails and put on my headdress,
 my precious little MM immediately pulled her hair into pig tails and then asked if we could 
get a picture because we were twins!

SJ's game on the playground:
(yes, we wore our headdresses everywhere, even recess) 
Guys! Let's chase after all of the non-head dressed people! This lead to a game 
of Native Americans vs. Pilgrims. 

Well, we are off to learn about the Mayflower next week, wish us luck as we sail away!
~Miss Anderson 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh the places your go and the shoes that go too

So I was thinking...about Dr. Seuss's wonderful book Oh the Places You'll Go and it reminded me of my family. We are the kind that will drop everything, get in the car, drive through the night to make it to an event or special occasion. Ten hour drives are nothing for our crew. This past weekend was one of those memorable events however, the drive was a nice and quick two hour one.
Our destination: Atlanta
Event: Brother's(in-law) first and possibly last MARATHON!
Reason: to be his paparazzi and cheering squad. 
So Saturday morning I headed that way to the big city to meet up with the fam. My parents and III's parents were meeting us there for some weekend fun. Luckily for III he was able to sleep peacefully the night before because our beloved Auburn Tigers pulled out a victory. 

Race Day
Early Sunday morning we all rose and bundled up to go and face the 30 degree weather. We met Trey at mile 6 and he was looking at a champ!

High Fives all around!                                                                        Off he goes, 6 down, 20 more to go
Ugh, the first hill!
Our mission was not complete, so we hopped back in the van & navigated our way to mile 15, where he was still holding up strong. Impressive! We were very proud. We also met some friends along the way. 

Birthday marathoner

                  Star Wars Marathoner?
Yes, he ran the whole way with  the light saber!

He came and went. 15 miles down, 11 more to go. Back into the car we went, we were off to mile 21!

Mama G proud of her son! Everyone love LB's awesome sign!

LB cheering on III w/ my Forest Gump inspired sign.              LB waiting to spot III coming at mile 20. 
Look at his spirit, high-fiving the crowd!

The final stride to the finish line!

 Guys, I'm not moving from here!

 The lovely couple, LB checking on her man.
 Christmas card?!
 Marathon finisher!
We were so proud of III and his success in checking off a goal on his list! 

In other news, I was super excited when I was able to buy three pairs of shoes for only $36! That's $12 a piece, which is great for my teacher budget! These are a little summery, but at $9 I could not pass them up. Linking up for the sis's photography challenge!