{oh hey Friday!}

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Happy Friday:) I’m linking up with Karli and Amy for oh hey Friday! I can’t believe it’s already August!

{one} I recently discovered a huge wealth of kids’ consignment clothes on Instagram! I happened upon Jenny Collier’s Instagram resale shop and bought a few cute clothes for Harper. Do you have any favorite Instagram shops where you buy used kids’ clothes? I’d love to hear what they are!
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{two} Miss Harper…this girl is so particular about her shoes. She absolutely hates these adorable sandals and throws a fit when we put them on her. She would rather wear her Crocs or rain boots. No kidding-as soon as we got back home, she took off these sandals and put on her red cupcake boots! Silly girl:)20140727-115415-42855597.jpg{three} I completed my last summer teacher workday this week, yahoo! Now I have one more full week off before school starts. It always feels so much better to have my room all unpacked and ready to go! Here’s the before:20140727-115416-42856394.jpgAnd after! Much better. Those piles of boxes everywhere were driving me crazy!20140727-115416-42856906.jpg{four} We’ve been enjoying some cooler temps here in Virginia this week-low 70s and down in the 50s at night! It seems like fall is coming soon! The kiddos requested to eat lunch outside the other day, which was great for me, since it means less of a mess to clean up:)20140727-115415-42855991.jpg{five} Summer grilling! We grilled a delicious meal of pesto scallops and zucchini. I love the nights we grill since that means I just do the prep work (cutting up the zucchini, etc) and my husband does the rest! I could get used to this, ha!20140727-115417-42857728.jpgWe cooked the corn in the microwave with the husk still on, which turned out great! This method made it so easy to remove the husk and silk!20140727-115417-42857291.jpgI hope you have a great summer weekend:)

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{ice cream fun // It’s the Little Things}

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Happy Wednesday! I’m linking up with Jess and Ashley for “It’s the Little Things.”

A few weeks ago, we headed to our friend’s house for a fun ice cream party. My friends and I used to get together once a month for dinner at each other’s houses. We rotated between the six families each month, and whoever hosted made the entire meal.  It was a lot of work when it was your turn, but worth it! We had great conversations and food. I’m sad that we no longer get together as frequently, but now everyone is so busy with their kiddos.

We (all six of us) started out teaching at the same middle school, which is how we got to know each other. Originally, five out of the six were all special education teachers. The sixth one was a gen ed math teacher, but we considered her an honorary special education teacher since she was so great with the special education students.  We started the dinner group back in 2005, and at that point, there were seven kiddos. These monthly dinners continued until 2011 (and there were eleven kids).  We’ve tried to get together periodically but it’s difficult with everyone’s busy schedule (and now with 16 kiddos!). However, we managed to get 5 out of the 6 of us together for ice cream, which was a blast! My friend provided the ice cream and everyone brought a few toppings. I made my homemade magic shell and bought some salted caramel sauce.  If you haven’t tried the homemade magic shell, you should! It’s so easy and yummy!

Below are scenes from our ice cream party.  We ended up getting home around ten that night! It was a blast catching up with everyone! In our group, we now have a part time career coach for a high school/stay at home mama, two intervention specialists at local elementary schools, one math remediation teacher for a middle school, one middle school language arts teacher, and one children’s church assistant. It’s so interesting to see how much has changed in all of our lives over the past nine years. However, though it’s been a while since we’ve been together, we pick right back up where we left off:)

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A Day in the Life…

I absolutely love reading “A Day in the Life” posts by other bloggers.  It’s so fun to see what other people’s daily lives are like. I have wanted to do a day in the life post for a while now, and a few weeks ago, I decided to finally capture pictures of our day.  I plan on doing another day in the life post this summer when I’m home with the kiddos.

May 22, 2014-a day in the life…

5:48am-my alarm goes off.  I typically get up at 6:00am but this morning, I have several additional tasks I need to do before heading out the door.  I wake up, read a few blog posts quickly on my phone and then hop in the shower.

6:20am-showered, dressed, downstairs making coffee.  I drink my coffee iced (year round!) with 3/4 milk, 1/4 coffee (with some sugar).  Yum! I pack our bags (grab our lunches from the fridge) and put them in the car.

20140523-173950-63590096.jpg6:35am: I wake up Will (he is usually so excited to go to Nana’s each day that he wakes up before 6:45am) and remind him that it’s his last day of his 3 year old preschool program.  I get him dressed and we quickly rush outside to take some “Last day of Preschool” pictures.  He is fairly cooperative, considering it is early in the morning! Harper is still sleeping.20140523-173950-63590417.jpg6:45am-Will and I head inside to get Harper up and dressed.  She is not a happy camper this morning:(  She is a grouch and kicks and screams while I change her diaper and clothes.  20140523-173950-63590786.jpg6:50am- I rush to put together these cute flowers for Will’s preschool teachers as a thank you for all that they’ve done this year.  Will picked out the flowers the previous evening (he really wanted to buy them orange flowers since that’s his favorite color!). 20140523-173949-63589786.jpg6:58am-After giving the kids a few cheerios for the car ride to Nana’s (the babysitter), I get the kiddos in the car. We drive the seven minutes up the road to Nana’s. Since we’re running late, I only stay a minute or two at Nana’s.  I give her the run-down on how the kiddos are doing and let her know that my husband will be picking up Will and Harper today.  20140523-173951-63591136.jpg7:11am-I give the kiddos a kiss and tell them that I will see them later in the day.  The drive to work from Nana’s is 25 minutes, so I listen to music and think about my huge to-do list.

7:36am-I arrive at school and head down to my classroom.  Our school is a pod style school, which is great when the weather is nice.  However, in winter, it’s not so fun:(

20140523-173951-63591557.jpgI am an intervention specialist and work with students who are at risk in reading and/or math.  In my role, I also serve as our school testing coordinator, 504 chairperson, Teacher Assistant chairperson, and in several other capacities.  During the month of May, my daily role is the testing coordinator for our end of year state assessments.  Today, I spend my time monitoring online testing sessions and competing with our school nurse to see who gets the most calls on the walkie for the day, ha! Our school nurse told me she loves the month of May since I get more calls on the walkie than she does.  Throughout the day, I hear my name on the walkie a zillion times.  I have to go assist with computer issues, sick students, and other technical difficulties.  It makes the day fly by, though!

I have a meeting after school at 3:30 that I am responsible for leading.  At 4:35pm, I head home to see my kiddos and hubby.

5:00-I arrive home to hear my kiddos shout with excitement that mommy is home! We eat dinner (leftovers) and I throw a load of laundry in the washer.  20140523-173952-63592005.jpg6:30pm-We head out the door for Will’s closing preschool program.  His preschool is about 15 minutes away and we want to get there a little early.

20140523-173952-63592425.jpg7:00-8:00pm-We enjoy Will’s year end preschool program. His first year at preschool flew by! His program was very cute-the kiddos sang songs and there was a slideshow documenting the year of fun at preschool.  It also showed each of the kids when they were babies.  I started tearing up during the slideshow…happy tears but sad at the same time at how fast Will is growing up.  20140523-173952-63592795.jpg8:30pm- We arrive home and get the kids ready for bed. I typically help Will get his teeth brushed and put his pajamas on.  We read a book together and talk about the day.  My husband gets Harper ready for bed and hands her off to me after I’m finished reading to Will.  I read a book to Harper and rock her to sleep while listening to Rockabye Baby on Pandora.

20140523-173953-63593138.jpg9:10pm-I put a sleeping Harper in her crib but as I leave the room, she wakes up and screams.  I head downstairs and she goes back to sleep within a few minutes.

9:20pm-I make a Greek pasta salad for a Memorial Day weekend picnic and clean up the kitchen.

20140523-173954-63594715.jpg10:00-10:45pm-Finally some me time! I read blogs and visit with my husband before heading to bed and starting all over again the next day:)

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Christina and several other bloggers for 5 on Friday:)

{one} Spring is here! I’m loving the beautiful flowers that are popping up outside in our flower gardens. I picked a few daffodils the other day and put them in a pretty blue mason jar.  They  smell wonderful!

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{two} Iced vanilla coffee!  Hmm….I’m seeing a mason jar trend here, ha! It’s just all the mason jars from Harper’s second birthday party.  I only like my coffee with a lot of milk and some sugar (and not much coffee!).  Also leftover from Harper’s birthday are those adorable pink chevron straws. I love how fun they make my iced coffee look (but I don’t like that they eventually get soggy-boo).

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{three} I hate taking pictures of myself (and especially if there are no kids in the picture), but I snapped this last week before heading to work. I’m loving maxi skirts this spring! So comfy and cute! So far, I have this blue and white striped one and a gray one.  I’m looking to add more to my collection.  Any recommendations on where to purchase another one?

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{four} Playing outside in the sand! We’re soaking up all the nice weather this week!

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{five} Last week at school, we had a fun career fair day. As part of it, every teacher contributes food for a yummy lunch for the staff as well as the presenters. I opted to make a super easy chocolate trifle with layers of Ghirardelli brownies, chocolate pudding, and whipped topping.  It was delicious!

Edited-I have had several requests to share this recipe, so here it is!

Chocolate trifle

1 package brownie mix

1 (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 c water

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (1.5 oz) bar chocolate candy (I actually used 3 Heath bars).

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely.  Cut into 1 inch squares.  In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping.

In a trifle bowl, layer half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture, and half of the 12 ounces frozen whipped topping.  Repeat layers.  Chop candy bar and sprinkle onto top layer.  Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

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I hope y’all have a fabulous Friday and weekend! I’m at school for a half day and then have a reading training in the afternoon.  It should be fun!

Around Here Lately…

It’s been a little busy around here lately! On Sunday, my college roommate and her family visited for part of the afternoon. They travel to Tennessee to visit family and occasionally have time to visit on their way through. We hadn’t seen them since Harper was a few months old, so it had been a while! My roommate’s youngest daughter is one month older than Harper, so it was lots of fun to watch them play together!

Will had music class on Sunday and Monday, which wrapped up his Musikgarten classes until the fall.  His teacher offers a short spring session but things are way too busy at school in May for me to take him and Harper to class.  Here’s a pic of Will, one  of his music friends, and Ms. Sarah, the teacher.

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Friends of ours came over Sunday evening right after music class to visit.  They are building a house right up the road from us and are using the same contractor we used.  They wanted to talk house stuff! I had to go back through our old house files to get more specific info for them…it’s been seven years since we built! My how time flies by! My friend has four children, so Will and Harper got to play with them. Her youngest daughter is two days younger than Will.  We were both in the hospital at the same time! I first met her back in the early 2000s when we were getting our master’s degree in education.  I ended up teaching middle school special education with her for several years.  She now works at a high school and I work at an elementary school, so we don’t see each other as much.  It was great to catch up with them!

Today, I had an eye doctor and dentist appointment.  Such fun! Not! However, it meant that I took the day off work and was able to take Will to preschool.  Since I work full time, my babysitter takes Will to preschool twice a week.  I have only taken him once this year, and that was when I went on his pumpkin patch field trip.  He showed me the whole preschool drop-off routine, where to park, how to sign in, etc. It was so fun! I brought Harper along as well.  She wanted to stay with the rest of the kiddos!

At preschool…

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After picking up Will at preschool and dropping him off at Nana’s, I headed to the dentist. Fun, fun! While I was there, I scheduled Will’s first dentist appointment for the summer! He’s looking forward to going to the dentist and actually wanted to go with me today.  I had a little time in between my dentist appointment and my eye doctor’s appointment, so I stopped by Panera for a quick bite to eat.  I hate eating out by myself (and rarely do), but it wasn’t too bad at Panera. I ate a yummy chicken apple salad and read blogs…it was actually quite enjoyable! I stopped by Target and Michaels to get some party items for Will’s upcoming 4th Lego birthday party.  Then off to the eye doctor.

I have had some vision concerns lately and on Friday, I noticed some weird things happening with my vision. I immediately called my eye doctor and they recommended that I come in. At my appointment, they determined that I had an ocular migraine last week.  Not a big deal  but I need to continue to monitor and see how often they occur.  It initially scared me because of a recent eye diagnosis and some vision issues I need to monitor on a daily  basis.

After the eye appointment, I took Harper to  her last music class. We rushed home so we could enjoy the beautiful spring weather! We went with our neighbors to see Shadow and Isaac, a horse and donkey that live up the road.

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Here’s to a more relaxing day tomorrow (but it’s back to work, boo).

Taking the Kiddos to Work // It’s the Little Things Link-Up

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I’m linking up with Jess and Ashley for their link-up!

Last week, we were out of school Monday through Wednesday as a result of snow/ice (we’ve had 12 snow days and many 2 hour delay days this school year!).  I had some paperwork that was due for an upcoming meeting, so I decided to take Will and Harper with me for a little while.  Plus, we needed to get out of the house! I packed lots of snacks and figured I would have plenty of new, interesting things in my classroom for them to play with, right?!

We lasted about an hour and a half and I got about 20 minutes of work done, ha!  It was very difficult to get tasks accomplished when they were bouncing around the room, coming up to me every few minutes and asking me what this was or how this worked.  They played with my Unifix cubes, colored on my whiteboard, ate tons of snacks, fiddled with the pencil sharpener, hid under the tables, and tore my room apart! However, they had a great time and I was able to get the paperwork submitted.  I don’t know how people do it who work at home with their kiddos in tow.  How do you get any work accomplished?!

Will keeps asking when we’re going back to “Mommy’s school” again.  Maybe next snow day:)

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Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 17-Cake Batter and Snickers Dip

For my weekly Pinterest project, I decided to make some dessert dips! Once a month at school, a different grade level is responsible for providing snacks and yummy treats. It was my month so I opted to make two super easy dessert dips, among a few other things. Last year, I made a chocolate chip cookie dough dip and a brownie batter dip (both very yummy). This year, I wanted to try a few new recipes. After browsing Pinterest, I decided on this cake batter dip from Six Sisters Stuff. Their blog has many delicious recipes I’ve tried, so I figured the dip would be good! Will and Harper decided to help me:) They love standing on their stools in the kitchen and helping mommy cook! So sweet!

Anyway, for the cake batter dip, I mixed together two cups of fat free Greek yogurt, a box of funfetti cake mix, one jar of sprinkles, and 8 ounces of cool whip. That’s it! So simple but yummy. The Greek yogurt gives it a tang, but it goes well with the flavor of cake batter. I brought vanilla wafers to dip into the cake batter dip, but you could also use graham crackers (or eat it by the spoonful!).

I also made a Snickers dip with cream cheese, cool whip, brown sugar, and chopped snickers from this blog. The Snickers dip was a big hit! (I don’t have any pics of it because our computer is still not working and my phone camera decided to freeze up).

What are some of your favorite dips?

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