Getting the Boot

I have a tidying up update! I went through my shoes and movies.

I think I got rid of about five pairs of shoes and made a space for my shoes in my closet. Before I went through my shoes, they were all in a bin mixed together. It was super frustrating trying to find matching shoes when I was in a rush. Now, I can see all of my shoes and they are paired together in my closet.

In the process of looking for all the shoes that I own, I came across more t-shirts! Oops! That is definitely a no-no according to Marie Kondo. According to her, I should have gotten rid of all of those clothes that I didn’t gather to begin with. I’m trying not to be super legalistic here, so I went through those shirts and only added four to my closet and got rid of the rest. After I was finished with my shoes and the shirts, I had an empty basket and an empty bin! Yay for extra space!!

I also went through our movies. I didn’t get rid of many movies, but I was able to clean them up and empty a drawer and a half in the dresser in our living room. Confession, I’m getting rid of The OC season one. If you know me, this is a big deal!

Did you catch the title? Get it? I was kicking out some shoes…they were getting the boot… Don’t hate on my cheesiness!



Book #6

When I went to write this post, I was so excited because I thought I finished book #7. I definitely didn’t, I’m only on six. Last year, I only finished nine books. I’m on my way to doing better than last year with reaching my goal of reading fifteen books this year.

I just finished reading Looking for Lovely by Annie Downs. I wrote a post about her a couple days ago and a talk she gave at Liberty University. If you missed it, check it out here. Her book is nothing short of awesome. I love how honest she is with herself and how far she has come to be the person she wants to be. She shares how she has found lovely in the difficult times in her life. I love how she shares her journey from being a quitter to a finisher. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

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On another note…

Happy Birthday, America!

My First Stages of Tidying Up

I started! I grabbed all of my shirts and then all of my pants and put them in the middle of my bed. After that, I took all the rest of my clothes and did the same thing. When we moved to Florida, we literally got rid of like ten garbage bags of clothes. So, filling up a whole one with just my clothes even after that is a pretty big deal.

I am already seeing a difference in my closet! I look at my closet and it went from everything shoved in there to neatly folded and hung up clothes. I am really excited to continue with this process!

Do you think Josh would be upset if I went through his clothes? ( I wouldn’t dare…)

Next up: hats, scarves, and shoes

No One Knows the End

Yesterday I told you that I would explain my love for Annie Downs, the author of Looking for Lovely. Just watch:

This talk has been on my mind for the past month. First, I think she is hilarious. Last, I love her point here. We don’t know the end of our story. The point is that we need to be brave. Annie talks about how we know that the big fish pukes up Jonah, but Jonah didn’t know that. We know that the rain stops eventually while Noah is in the ark. He didn’t know that. For all he knew, the rain may never stop. “Rad”, “Shack”, and “Benny” didn’t know that God would keep them alive in the fiery furnace. Through this talk, I have been loving the verses in Daniel 3:17-18.

17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

This is after the King tells them that if they don’t bow down and worship his god, then he will throw them into the furnace. How brave and inspiring is this? They knew that whatever God chose to do in this situation that he was still God and that doesn’t change. We can’t give up just because our ending MIGHT not turn out the way we want.

I do this all the time. Well, I’m not going to hang out with that new group of people because I don’t fit in with them. Ok, I might not fit in and they might not like me, but what if they did? What if I miss out on this chance of making new friends? What if these are my new best friends? I could miss out on that opportunity by giving up and not being brave just because I don’t know what the ending of that story is. The reality is that we don’t know the end of our stories. Maybe they don’t turn out so hot, but what if they turn out WAY better than we could ever imagine? I think I want to live bravely, knowing that whatever happens that God is still God and His character is good.

I pose Annie’s question at the end of her talk:
“What does it look like for you to be brave at the life you already have, even if you don’t know the end of your story?”

Two Summer Obsessions

There are two things that I can not get my  mind off of this summer, so obviously I need to write about them.

1. Big Brother
I watched the very first season and had absolutely no interest in it after that, until two seasons ago. My friend, Brooke, was super excited about it and I thought I would give it another shot. Derrick and Cody renewed my Big Brother interest and added another show to my reality TV obsession. Although Big Brother is on three nights a week, I am tempted to get CBS All Access to watch Big Brother After Dark. Is this a problem?
Also, how good would Josh (my husband) be at this show? I think $500,000 good!
Who are your favorites this season? I am loving the returners, Nicole and James.

2. Books!
I seriously have a problem. I am not by any means a fast reader. My list of books is longer than the speed or time that I am able to spend reading. I’m not all about reading multiple books at one time, but I am too excited to not do that this summer. Right now, I am reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Looking for Lovely. I have only heard good things about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It is all about resetting a mindset of how you live. Kondo talks about how you should only live around things you love. Looking for Lovely is by a woman that I am loving right now. She is amazingly funny, but deep at the same time (watch out on my blog tomorrow for one of the many reasons why I am loving her!). She writes about how she finds lovely things in her life despite all the struggle. In addition to those books, I will be starting to read Battle Books. These are books that fourth graders in Florida are challenged to read for a competition later in the school year. I’ve heard the books this year are great and I should be getting my first, Serafina’s Promise, in the mail tomorrow!

I am also looking for more relevant books for my classroom library. Any suggestions on where I can find some cheap ones? I’ll be going back to the public library to check out their store again soon.


St. Augustine Update/Book #5

As some of you know, my fourth grade team raised money so that our students could go on a field trip to St. Augustine, the United States first permanent settlement. We had a blast.

We went to Memorial Presbyterian Church, which is the church that Henry Flagler built. This church was beautiful and the students asked a ton of questions! Below are some pictures of the church (the front, the organ with 5100 pipes, and Henry Flagler’s casket)

Next, we went to the fort. Honestly, the fort was my favorite part. We got to go inside and actually see people shoot a cannon. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a cannonball in the cannon, but it was still really fun to see.


After we explored the fort, we went to Colonial Quarters where the kids got to go in the watch tower and also learn a musket drill. This is the drill soldiers would use to shoot their guns in a battle. They had a lot of fun with that. When we were done, we got ice cream and dinner and headed home.

Not only was the city a great experience, but so was the ride home. I really got to connect and bond with a student that I was having a hard time with earlier in the year. I found out that the ride home was this student’s favorite part of the trip! I think this kid likes me now.

Thanks to all of you who generously donated money so these kids could have a once in a lifetime (for them) opportunity to see a piece of Florida history. They truly had a blast and learned a ton!

On another note, I finished my fifth book of the year. I read Teach like a Pirate. Pretty much every teacher has read this, but it’s a really great book on ways to get your students engaged and motivated in the classroom. It also gave reasons for why it is important to keep students engaged and motivated. I highly recommend this book for any teacher! Ten more books to go in order to meet my goal!

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“Just Another Manic Monday”

Six more Mondays left until school is over. Technically, I think I have to go to school the next Monday after school is out, but there will not be any kids. Also, we can take away Memorial Day and the Monday I will be in the Dominican Republic. Four more Mondays for me. Seven weeks minus one day of school! All of that to say, I’m not counting down…

I realized today how much work there is left to do at least to be successful in staying up to date this week. I had an important behavior meeting for a student today. They said I did a great job, but I’m pretty sure that it was like…”Great job (for a first-year teacher)”. There are extra things that I could have done for this student, like reward the student for good behavior rather than just tracking the data of his behavior. It’s so much to keep up with when almost all of your students need to have some sort of behavior chart to track how they are doing in class! Anyways, we have taken a step forward. Practice means progress.

Mondays are always pretty laid back because it’s an early release day. The students leave an hour early every Monday. It’s nice because it gives me an extra hour in my room. Today I had to leave early to get my blood drawn. Yay! It finally happened. Instead of writing this blog, I should be preparing all the paperwork for my meeting before school tomorrow, my lessons for tomorrow and the rest of the week, parent-teacher conferences on Thursday, report card awards on Thursday, and a Bible study I will be going to on Wednesday. I also have an online training I need to complete before it disappears forever. Instead of doing all of that, I am procrastinating and telling you all of the things that I should be doing. Paralysis by analysis…the story of my life.

Tonight I will be working…

To all the other teachers out there, you can do it! Keep up the great work! If we start to fade, so will our students. They feed off of us. They can tell when we have given up. Push through it for seven more weeks! Take it one day at a time…