One Week Down (and a couple of birthdays)

Last week marked the first week of school and also was the time that we celebrated both my birthday and Joseph’s. Everybody had a great first week back (even though Abigail has had some days where she’s been testing the boundaries, but I was not too surprised, seeing as we’re back to structure after so many unstructured days). Paul brought in cupcakes on my birthday for me to celebrate with my class, I went out with my friends for Indian food that night, and we ended up the week with a trip to Main Event for Joseph’s party. We basically had him invite a few friends and we paid for wristbands and game cards for them. Overall it was a pretty stellar week!

Pumpkins from our pumpkin plant in graduated sizes. 🙂
I got my birthday presents early so I could use them during the first week of school: a new teacher bag which is backpack-style (which is going to be better for my back than having the unbalanced weight of shoulder bag)…
…and a totally fitting shirt (which I picked out).
First day of first grade!
Paul was able to take the day off, which was helpful since I had a meeting after school, so he got all the first day pictures for me. 🙂
First day of sixth grade! He’s been walking with a buddy to and from school and has been very accepting of that change (especially in the heat of the afternoon).
All set up at her table for the first day!
This was some time this past week. She was happy to come to my classroom after school to hang out and look at some of the graphic novels on my bookshelf (and reacquaint herself with the yellow chair) while I prepped for the next day.
I walked up to my classroom door and saw this fun surprise on Friday. 🙂 My coworkers also made me a card and we all ate lunch together, which was nice.
I came home to see this awesome set-up. This is what happens when two birthdays collide, haha.
My “birthday” balloons…
…and some cool Nightmare Before Christmas stuff…and chocolate, which is always appreciated!
I didn’t have the time nor the energy to go all out with Joseph’s cake, so I did a quick creeper and made sure we had something else to fill up the rest.
Enjoying he favorite treat breakfast: a doughnut and milk.
Before Joseph’s party, Paul spent all morning mowing, edging, weed-whacking, etc.. He also finished up the walkway along the side of the house that he’s been chipping away at a bit at a time as he’s found time here and there. I love that I’ll have a nice walkway to walk along whenever I need to put something in the compost, trash, or recycling.
We took down my banner and put up Joseph’s. 🙂
Opening up presents during his party. He got some gift cards…
…video game stuff…
…a video game…
…and Beyblades. It’s all pretty much what he’s really into right now.
The completed cake.
Blowing out the candles!
Abigail didn’t mind not getting to hang out with the big kids because there were plenty of games to keep her busy, like Mario Kart…
…and this virtual reality game.
What you can see on the screen is what she was also seeing. The chairs would vibrate, move back and forth, etc.. She had so much fun. She giggled, jumped, and said, “Woah! This is crazy!” repeatedly.
They finished out the party with a bowling game.
The black lights were a cool twist.

And So It Begins

This week was craaaaaazy. I had teacher trainings and work days all week. Paul took half-days for the entire week so that Joseph would only have to be watching Abigail in the mornings. We had Meet the Teacher, Paul and Abigail built a volcano (and did all sorts of other fun activities), and we ended the week with savoring the last moments of summer. It’s crazy to think that school starts on Monday. Here’s to a new year!!

In my spirit shirt all ready for the staff group photo.
He was very patiently letting her snuggle him.
Paul and Abigail’s volcano.
All ready for Meet the Teacher!
My welcome sign. I’m going to leave it up for the first day.
Ready for the kiddos!
I posed in front of the 4th grade sign.
Abigail posing in front of the first grade sign. She said she needed Floppy because she was feeling anxious. I think she just wanted to bring her rabbit. 🙂

She was super-excited to watch it erupt. She also insisted that she and Paul wear safety goggles. 🙂


Insert Happy Sigh Here

This past week was pretty much just as busy as last week. I had a two-day training to attend and then it was a mad dash to get my room as done as I can get it for the first day of school. I also took Joseph to his new school to pick up his schedule and find all his classes. It’s crazy to think that we have a kid in middle school! Yesterday, Paul and I got a sitter and made our way over to the McNay to see the Tim Burton exhibit before going out for dinner. Our anniversary isn’t until next week, but we’ll both be working and then it will actually be Abigail’s turn for Meet the Teacher that night…and I need to be in my classroom to meet my students and parents, so it made more sense to celebrate early. I chose the title for this post because yesterday, I finally checked off the last thing currently on my to-do list for my classroom. 🙂 It feels good to see it empty, even if it will probably start filling back up soon. I go back to work tomorrow and the kids start on the 28th. It’s getting closer!

This is going to be one of my happy places, I think. The lights make it feel so cozy! Ignore the empty bookcase in the back (which you now can’t, because I told you about it, haha)…I was not quite done filling it up.
I found the little mushroom pillow at Wal-Mart and couldn’t help but get it. It was the perfect addition to this corner of my classroom.
This is the shelving unit we bought from IKEA. It has storage for my classroom games, and a lot of storage for extra paper and whatnot. We got inserts for two of the cubes. One is partitioned so that my students have some place to turn in work. The other one is actually drawers that are quite deep. I’m planning on using that to store the kids extra pencils, crayons, markers, etc. It needed a bit of color, so I draped the blanket I got from New Mexico over it.
This is my extra-ling work station. My filing cabinet is against the wall with my printer on top. I’ve got my computer set up and then my typical desk set-up. I got matching desk pads (that are actually identical to the one I have at home…it was just so perfect), so it looks extra cozy. 🙂
This is my spot for small groups. On the whiteboard, I have a spot where I plan to display their work, our calendar, and the sticker store (the kids can earn tickets and then use those tickets to “buy” stickers). I also have my birthday wall up, but I haven’t added the birthdays yet.
This is the board where I’ll have the schedule written and then board space for writing (as well as when I need to use my projector).
The chill zone. I added positive adjectives to the area around the mirror. That way, when the kiddos look at themselves, they can see all those positive words.
The kids’ cubbies and some RLA strategies. I had someone pass along to me their laminator (which they were not using) and it has been a life-saver for little jobs like this.
This is the cart that the kids will use to charge their Chromebooks along with some fun posters I got and framed…and we can’t forget my favorite sign!
Proof I finished putting books in the bookcase, haha.
This was a sticker in a cute little pouch our secretaries personalized for each of us and filled with goodies like pens, sticky notes, etc. I added it to my laptop and it makes me laugh every time I look at it.
The goody bags for Meet the Teacher. One of my fellow fourth grade teachers gave me the idea of getting pop-its and making a sign that says “thanks for popping in”. I did that, but added some popcorn and Tootsie Pops (because the kids are going to like those just as much, if not more than the pop-its).
The sign going into the Burton exhibit.
It’s Jack! I was a little bummed they didn’t have Sally, but these were all on loan by one donor, so my guess is that he probably doesn’t have Sally.
Oogie-Boogie sans burlap covering so you can see all his bugs, haha.
The cat house.
The shoot-out guys from Oogie-Boogie’s.
Tim Burton, Jack, and Robert Tobin (the person who lent the collection).
The bed from the opening sequence of the movie.
The initial mock-up of Lock, Shock, and Barrel’s hangout.
The sign for the mock-up.
The armory itself.
The mock-up for Jack’s tower…
…with its sign…
…and then the final thing.
I think this is the guy from Oogie-Boogie’s that rolls the dice.
A very Burton-esque wreath at the front of the exhibit.
This man. Museum trips are not very high on his list of things he enjoys doing, but when I expressed a desire to go, he got it all set up. Twenty-one years has gone by in an eye-blink it seems. I’m so glad we chose each other those many years ago. 🙂
Anniversary flowers. 🙂
The necklace he got me. In the stone, if the lighting is right, you can see very small print that spells out “I love you”.
He also got me a watchband for my FitBit. I don’t have a picture of what I got him (an expansion for one of his favorite games).