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Monday, January 2, 2017

One Little Word

One Little Word. 
So many of us choose a word each year that will help us define our thoughts and our actions.  Each year I try to choose a word that helps me work on something that I have lacked over the years.  As we grow older, we sometimes find that we become less of who we want to be and more of who others want us to be.  I admit, I have fallen victim to these exact circumstances.  Be focused, be brave, be confident, be smart, be anything other than who you feel you should be.
I have been pretty good when choosing a word.  Last year my word was pray and I was conscious of praying each and every day.  I learned that praying isn't always reciting a prayer from our youth with meaningless effort.  Prayer is being one with God, talking to Him, reading scripture and learning from it, and even watching Him through the eyes of others.  I prayed.  I read scripture everyday and it changed me.  My word completed my thoughts and actions.
In the light of being in a prayerful year, I wanted a word that would really help me become more of a thinker.  I want to be one with myself this year. I want to step back and relish in all that others have to offer the world.  I want to be silent.

Silent.  My one little word,  I will listen more and talk less.  I will hear what is being said without the intention of always giving an answer.  I will work on my heart.  I will sit in the light and hear every little sound.  I will be silent.
I think this will be my loudest year yet!  It is in the silence that we can truly see who we are meant to be.
What word are you choosing this year? 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Haven't Blogged in Almost a Year

I am hoping that I still have followers who are patiently waiting for me!  I can't even begin to tell you what I have been up to this past year, but know that even though I did let life get in the way, blog posts were finding their way into my head!  I figured my first post back would give you the fun facts of what has kept me from you all these months.  I hope you have fun reading what ended up being a really long post.

Reason 10:

I transferred to a new school last year and with that came 2 new grade levels and two new subjects.  I had to take off my primary teacher hat and make the move to 4th and 5th grade.  If that wasn't scary enough, I no longer teach Reading!  I am now a Math and Science Teacher!  Ladies and Gentleman, I had to learn how to do upper elementary math!  Have you seen this stuff?  I was so scared and thought I could never master this stuff, but you know what?  I did it and I did it so well that my principal has decided I am staying in 5th and will be a math and science teacher again. 

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Reason 9:

Not only did I become a math and science teacher, but my new principal thought I should also be the math coach.  Um, didn't you hear me in my interview when I said I really don't know anything about math?  All I can say is this helped me so much because like most of you, I am up to any and all teaching challenges.  Being a math coach only helped me because I learned so much and I was able to bring that to my classroom.  By training other teachers in things that I had to learn, I became stronger in my content knowledge.

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Reason 8:

I became an Everglades Literacy Curriculum Trainer.  Sounds important, right?  Well, those who know me know that I hate the outdoors and if I would have known that is what this meant, I would have graciously declined the offer.  Really, I thought Everglades Literacy was about reading about the Everglades!  Apparently, you need to immerse yourself in the actual Everglades in order to become literate about what goes on there!  It ends up that I LOVE this part of my life now and even though I refused to walk through the slough, I did get in a canoe!  I now train teachers all over Miami-Dade County on bringing this curriculum into their classrooms.  If you are in the state of Florida and are interested, please comment below and I will get you the information on how your school can become an Everglades Literacy School.

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Reason 7:

My Big Miss graduated from UCF last May and she was finally home from college!  Well, closer to home. She lives 20 minutes away.  We have spent some quality time together over the past year and have more than made up for the 4 years she was away.  It is so fun having her back and I am so blessed to have a new friend!  She left a baby, but came back an adult.  

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Reason 6:

My house needed some tender loving care.  I don't know about you, but I find that I just don't have the time or the energy to clean anymore!  I guess I do have some time, but I like Netflix!  I had to get things under control!  Even though I still have a lot to take care of here, at least I started and it may take another year to finish!

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Reason 5:

My mother has gone downhill since my grandmother passed away.  For some reason, she has aged tremendously in the 3 years since grandma left us and my sister and I are just going nuts.  Mom fell and was on the ground for about a day before we found her.  Long story short, she ended up in the hospital and then rehab and now she requires us to do things for her that we never expected to have to do, at least not yet.  I ask for prayers for mom and for my sister and I to have the strength to continue on with her care.  

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Reason 4:

I started my Jamberry journey last year and it took up some of my life for a few months.  I am not as obsessed at this point!  I love my nails and I love sharing with others.  It pays for the nail sheets that I want for myself, so that's really why I continue with the business.  I have also met some great people over the course of the year!  If you need some Jams, check out my page at https://pinksmyink.jamberrry.com.

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Reason 3:

I also became a Beachbody Coach and this has made a difference in my life!  I am loving my Shakeology every morning (this is why I joined, I wanted to get my Shakeology at a discount) and I am helping others who want to follow a healthy lifestyle.  I have learned that being healthy is a mindset and until that mindset changes, you can forget trying.  So, if you want to come along for the fit and healthy journey, you can find us on Facebook at Let's Get Fit and Healthy.  If you want to know more about Shakeology or any of the programs (I LOVE the 21 Day Fix and 22 Minute Hard Corps) then you can go here:  www.beachbodycoach.com/pinksmyink and I will help you find what works for you!

Reason 2:

Out of sight, out of mind.  I just fell off the social media platform.  I want to say that my mind just needed a break.  I had to rethink my goals and priorities.  Now that I had the time, I realize that blogging was very important to me and it filled a niche that I need.  I miss all of you so much and I need that interaction from like-minded people.  I hope you are all still here!

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And the number one reason why I haven't blogged in a year:

My Little Miss decided to go away to college after vowing not to leave! This hit me hard folks, really hard.  It is her senior year for goodness sakes!  I thought I was home free!  Around October, she came home from visiting friends at FSU and decided that she wanted to finish off her college career in Tallahassee.  I can't blame her and I reminded her that she was supposed to go as a Freshman, but decided to stay home.  Anyway, we moved her up a few weeks ago, but I spent this past year breathing her in every moment that she would let me.  So now it's just me and the hubs, in this house, alone.  It's our time, I know.  We both miss her tremendously and even though we are having fun, it was better with her laughter!  It's only a year....

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That's it folks.  I am back and I have so much to share with you!  Stay tuned and I hope you come back for more!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

TA DA! New Blog, New Look, New School Year! (A Freebie For All)

Can you see all of the pink polka dot goodness?  I am totally in love with my new blog name and my beautiful poppin new look!  I will miss my old blog name (Faithful in First) because it was my first go at blogging and we had many good years together.  Then my grade level changed last year...and again this year... which meant I wasn't too faithful to first, was I, lol.  I remember someone saying that when you choose your blog name, try to stick to something that will follow you for a lifetime, so I chose my two favorite things:  Pink and Polka Dots, and the new blog name was born.  So farewell Faithful in First, you were so good to me.  It's where I met all of the blogging greats!  It is also where I started following Christi Fultz and fell in love with her awesomeness!

Christi was the first person I shared my new blog name with and she verified that is was the perfect fit for me and my mission.  Her blog design process was pain free and she was oh so helpful and understanding!  It was as if she knew me all along and was able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted, even when I didn't know what I wanted!

I decided to get all matchy matchy and now my FB page and business cards match my blog design.  I am in pink polka dot heaven!  So, if you are in the market for a new blog or anything else that you want to update, please head on over to my new blogging bestie, Christi, and check out her Design by Christi page!

With a new school year fast approaching, I know many of us are in preparation mode.  To celebrate my new name, my new look, and the new school year, I want to share one of my favorite products with you for free.  It will be free all day today and will go back to being only $1.00 tomorrow.

This is my "Tweets to Repeat" board.  They work like exit slips.  Students fill out the speech bubbles using 130 characters or less to tell about something that you have chosen for them to tell.  It helps students summarize and stay on point, and it also helps you see if they got it! Students also love the social media aspect.  I keep the "tweets" up all year so students can see how much they learned. Once you download, please leave feedback.

Thanks for following and I look forward to a great school year with great students!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Name Change: Please READ

You heard it here first, ladies and gents!  I have finally decided to change my blog name and although the big reveal won't be ready for a few weeks, I have to create a post so the blog can be moved over on Bloglovin.  This means that if you are already following, you will continue to be my follower and if you have friends who want to be new followers, they will be able to find me on Bloglovin.  

My new blog name is:  Pink Ink and Polka Dots

It fits me perfectly.  I love pink, I love polka dots, and I am fun, fun, fun all rolled up into one little lady!  

So that is it for now.  I will have a few blog posts going up that will renew your outlook on some resources out there, some fun stuff about Everglades Literacy, STEMposium outtakes, and just anything else that I can think of to end this summer on a happy note.

Thanks for following and please make sure your bookmark the new url:  pinkinkandpolkadots.blogspot.com so you don't miss out on the new blog coming in a few weeks!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

South Florida Teacher Blogger Meet Up and GIVEAWAY!

Last weekend I posted a sneak peek into the fun we had at our South Florida Teacher Blogger meet-up. I left our luncheon with a feeling of exhilaration for t=our profession.  It was so heartwarming to meet with some wonderful teachers who have the same passion and pride for teaching, that I still have after all these years.  I enjoyed the stories from the trenches about our daily woes and tribulations. I loved hearing about families and hobbies and of course, was just a little jealous to hear that a few of our group are heading to Vegas (next year, I am there!).

If you want to read more about that day, please click HERE and find out more!
Christy from Your Thrifty Co-Teacher Elizabeth Polo from First Grade Stripes, and I we were able to beg ask some of our favorite companies and bloggers for help with some goodies for this day. The best part about this is that THREE LUCKY WINNERS will be able to win a goodie bag just like ours, PLUS a gift certificate to one of stores.

A special thank you to Soy Delicious Candles, a soy candle business based right here in South Florida by two former teachers, Georgette Hoyo and Maggie Maceiras. They have about 29 different tin scents, and we were able to sample quite a few. These tins are wonderful because you can take them with you on vacation, or order them as keepsakes for baptisms, showers or communions. They can even personalize them for you. They are amazing! I have personally used Soy Delicious Candles at my home, and I must say that their 'delicious' scents fill the entire room.

KindergartenSmorgasboard was more than generous in donating wonderful reusable bags, pens, and lanyards for each of us. As a teacher, you know you can never have enough of these items. If you haven’t checked out his blog, you should head on over. It’s no coincidence he has over 10,000 followers on Instagram. He has some wonderful ideas, and is an extremely enthusiastic teacher. Thank you Greg Smedley-Warren for supporting our meet up!

Melissa Yglesias from More Time 2 Teach was unable to attend our luncheon, but came through as a donor of ClassDojo  reusable bags.  I’m sure many of you have heard of ClassDojo. It’s an online positive classroom management program that encourages positive classroom behavior. You can learn more about it by checking out their website.

I was able to donate some of my stash that I have hanging around from my Jamberry business.  Jamberry wraps are a type of vinyl that you place on your nails to easily add designs and personality to manicures. They are quick and easy to apply and come in a large variety of designs.  Check out more here:  Janine's Jams

Bridget of Lovely Little Leaders donated some beautiful notepads to help us stay organized. Not only is Bridget a sweet heart, but she is an expert at staying organized. You can find some beautiful designs and organizational items by visiting her store.  She also has an AMAZING Teacher Life Binder that you have to check out!  I am definitely purchasing one this summer to not only get my teacher life in check, but my home, businesses, blog, and finances on track!  I am so happy to have met an organized woman who gets me!

Sheila JaneTeaching donated some wonderful inspirational messages. Her website states that her goal is add value to our busy teacher lives with helpful tools, videos, podcasts, newsletters and resources. I absolutely loved visiting her site. It’s both beautiful and inspiring.

GoNoodle, a free brain breaks website, donated some cute stickers for each of us.

We had a raffle giving away gift certificates from Lessons with Mrs. LabrascianoThe Daily AlphabetFirst Grade Blue SkiesKindergarten SmorgasboardL. Paull DesignsMiss Johnston's JourneyBuzzin Bees of Learning, and Kindergarten Boom Boom.  We received so many great donations from these sponsors that EACH of the attendees walked away with a gift certificate.

So now, for the fun part! We are sending a gift bag with goodies received at our luncheon to THREE lucky winners. 

The lucky winners will receive the following:

Soy Delicious tin candle
Kindergarten Smorgasboard bag/pen/lanyard
ClassDojo bag
Jamberry Nail Art
Sheila Jane Teaching inspirational message
GoNoodle stickers

a $10 gift certificate to one of our stores
Just complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to enter and win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On behalf of Christy from Your Thrifty Co-Teacher, Elizabeth Polo from First Grade Stripes, and myself, we would like to thank ALL of the teachers that attended our FIRST South Florida Teacher Blogger Meet Up and ALL of our wonderful sponsors whose generosity made this luncheon a great success! We look forward to our next meet up. 

Good luck to those entering our giveaway and thanks for visiting! 

Faithfully yours,