Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday: Road Trip Edition

We just got back Wednesday from an almost 3000 mile road trip! Over the last two weeks I have been totally absent from the blogging world and my computer in general, but it was a great way to recharge and reconnect with lots of family and friends! 
In the 2800 miles we went to 5 states so this Five for Friday will be a quick recap of how we started our summer!
Let me just say these boys are amazing travelers! Alex stayed so busy with a variety of activity books and Liam did a great job spreading it all over the car.  By the end of the two weeks Liam did much better too! :)

It was supposed to be a 15 hour trip but it took a LOT longer with all the stops. We went to meet the boys newest cousin! My brother and his wife moved up there towards the beginning of the year. The boys loved baby Donald! 

We loved being with family, and pretty much froze in Wisconsin weather. It rained a lot so my brother took us to the Kohler's Design Center. The boys thought it was the most amazing place ever! 
I mean really. Who knew cool shower heads and tubs could be so interesting. ;)

Next up was Chicago for a dear college friend's wedding. 
We stayed with some friends in Chicago who have a boy a couple years older than Alex. 
Alex LOVED playing with him!

We spent Saturday afternoon downtown with Will's brother who also lives in the city. The boys had a blast at the new Maggie Daley Park! 

Of course Paul would know a great Italian cafe so the boys had gelato for lunch! 

 Then we dressed up for the wedding and had a great time seeing friends and catching up!

We drove up to Grand Rapids to meet up with a friend I have known since middle school in Japan! We have stayed in touch throughout the years, even though it has usually meant traveling long distances to do so! I loved seeing our boys play so well together! Alex had such a hard time leaving! 
He hates goodbyes as much as I do! After a busy couple of days, we had such a fun time hanging out with them.

 We finally parked in Ohio for almost a week. My family met up at Lake Hope for our vacation. 
We are very spread out so its difficult to get us all in one place, but this was a great week to spend time together and watch the kiddos run around! When you have littles it definitely becomes more about making life easier for them and the lake was perfect for that! 

Also. Family pictures with 8 littles. 
It's not for the fainthearted!

The last stop was Pennsylvania for my Dad's family reunion. My grandpa passed away in October, and it was the first time we had all gathered together since then. Lots of cousins couldn't make it, but it was good to catch up and hear about all the interesting things everyone is doing!
The kids called it the castle! It was a beautiful building and the grounds were amazing!

One day Will, the boys and I got away to visit another dear friend from high school. Actually, all the way from elementary! She has kids who are both about 3 months older than our boys. They had a great evening together. 

We had such a wonderful time, but it was just as great to finally be home too! I'm ready to get started on some new TPT ideas that have been going on in my head, so we will see how far I get on those! ;) I have some planning for next year to do too!

Well sorry for the really long post! Be sure to check out everyone else's Five for Friday post too! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Five for Friday: Last day of school!

Today is bittersweet. It's the last day of school. 
I'm linking up with Kacey's Five For Friday to share some of the fun things that have been going on this week!

Wednesday we had our class celebration. I passed out awards and their summer packets! It was a fun celebration and they loved their awards and prizes from Fabulous in First!

Okay. This is the sweetest book! I love the author/illustrator team, and they put together a precious book. I read it to the kids and could not keep the tears away!

I used this fun build a teacher bundle from Melonheadz (its like paper dolls on the computer! so fun!) to make teacher presents for my teammates! Our literacy coach kindly did some detective work and gave each of my teammates a little break and asked the kiddos to describe their teacher. The kids did a great job keeping it a secret! Then I typed them up, added a picture of each teacher, and decoupaged it onto a 8X10 canvas! With all the changes our team is going through this year, I thought it would be a special way to remember this year. 
and a bonus, they were a hit! ;)

Is it bad I am so shocked that stuff is actually growing? On the edges are the massive sunflowers, in the middle are lima beans, and to the side is some watermelon! I wish we had more time to watch them keep growing and enjoy the produce! 

7 years, close to 140 students, 20 different teammates, 1 grade, 1 classroom, 1 school.
I know lots of people have spent a lot longer in one place. 
In the grand scheme 7 years of teaching is not that long, but it has been very special. 
Lots of challenges and joys. 

But now its time to say good bye to Room 105, and say hello to new adventures!
Hope you all have a great summer!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Just a rocking chair

My car is cleaned out so I was going to go ahead and take my rocking chair home. 
But I couldn't. Taking it home makes it real. 
Countless read alouds, morning meetings, heart to heart talks, author's spotlights and student reading has happened in that chair. 
Seven years of learning, sharing, teaching. It's hard to realize that is over.
For some reason, I couldn't take that chair home today. There is still one day left. One more morning meeting. One more read aloud. One more closing circle. Seven years of a story that is coming to an end.
Even in happy endings there is still sorrow because it is over. 
But is a story really ever over? Within every ending there is a new beginning. New adventures. 

To someone else it is just a rocking chair. But oh the stories that rocking chair holds. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Currently June!

It's definitely the end of the school year! I am having trouble keeping up. :) 
But, I'm only 3 days late for Farley's Currently! Here is what is going on...

silence is golden right now. School day is done, kids are in bed, and I am learning to enjoy the sound of silence more and more!

last year the format of our end of year awards changed and it went from being a grade level assembly to a classroom celebration. I love the change because it has become a lot more special to our class. I used the awards from Fabulous in First and The Sweetest Thing. I made a slide show for the class using and then read the sweetest book, I Wish You More, at the end. If you don't already own it, you HAVE to get it! I had quite a few parents, so it was special. It was especially bittersweet because they are my last group of first graders to celebrate for a while!

2 more days! Half days with kiddos at that! The last days will be filled with some fun times and cleaning up the classroom! 

Our spare room is filled to the brim with stuff I have been bringing home from school. It is a serious mess and I am really wanting to start sorting through everything, but its not a project I have time to start right now! 

I usually live by lists, but have not been able to keep up with everything that is going on! I know I will forget something if I don't take time to sit down and write out what I need to do... If I accomplish anything tonight I guess it should be that!

{summer lovin}
June is busy with a wedding and two family reunions in Illinois, Ohio and PA. We have one more wedding in July and then I fully intend to make sure we have some DO NOTHING time! I am so wiped out I know I am going to need to make sure we take it easy and don't take time to get caught up on rest. Ending out the school year is never very restful! 

Well that is what is going on! Be sure to check out what others are up to as well! :)