Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Classroom 2012-13

Whew!  I have been hard at work in my classroom (and my poor kiddos have been along for the ride!).  Last year, I didn't have much time to put together a theme since I got hired after school started, so I really wanted to do it up this year.

Our school is doing a music theme in the halls so our 2nd grade team decided to go with a fifties theme.  However, I decided to do a jungle theme in my classroom, so it's rock 'n roll in the halls and jungle in the class! 

I still have some work to do but for the most part, things are how I want them.  Come take a look! (WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY!)

Classroom door welcoming my 2nd graders.  You can see my zebra print curtain!  Told you it's a jungle in there! ;)

Hallway display.  I love the record theme and found the big plastic records at a local party supply store.

More wall space for student work. 

My door tag. Every teacher gets the same design.

Now that you've seen the hall, let's look at the actual classroom!!

Entry area.  This is where students will place their daily folders and store their writing portfolios.  The zebra pockets are to store notes and work to be sent home.

Close up of the notes posted.  I found them on Pinterest and hope they will encourage and motivate my students!

My SmartBoard!  Yay!  Every classroom in our school got one. 

Classroom library.  Still working on it and need another bookshelf to store more books but it is coming along.  My math focus bulletin board is right above. 

Close up of book bins.  I found the cute zebra book labels for free on Teacher's Notebook

Hard to see with the flash, but this is my Jungle Jobs area.  Each student will have a job to do and will rotate each week.

Writing focus board.  Still have a few more things to add but will do it as we learn about each concept.

How fun is my little stool that I painted and embellished! 

I am trying out a new math station program called BUILD this year, so I have my buckets ready to fill with games, books, manipulatives and activities. 

My leader board based on The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  I'm so excited to incorporate this into my classroom to help encourage community and responsibility.

Word Wall.  I took this picture before I was completely finished.  I added more leaves in the corner and posters above it but you get the general idea.

Flash again!  This is the "What We're Reading" area.  I put pictures, characters, book jackets, etc... of our current chapter book.

Hard to see (had to keep the lights down so my kiddos could watch a show) but this is my organizer, pencils, and my Tattling Turtle.

My area.  Cute sign a friend from church made, my bulletin board, and lots of organization!

My teacher's toolbox, another Pinterest-inspired idea.  I will probably go back and embellish to cover my double stick tape! ;)

My nice clean desk.  Now if I can only keep it that way all year!  NO stacks or piles this year!

A final view of the desk arrangement (can't see all of them).  Since we have a jungle theme, each table is a different jungle animal- tigers, macaws, monkeys, etc...(I ever put zebras in there- now I know that zebras do not live in the jungle but it just sounded better than snakes or other reptiles!) 

Well, that's it for now.  Once I get everything else finished I will post an update.  Looking forward to this year but need to live up the rest of my summer.  My 2nd grade team is presenting at staff development this year so I need get my presentation ready.  But for now, I'm heading to Lake Fryer for some lake time with the family!  A little R&R is called for!

Have a blessed day, friends!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Well, I finally took another step towards social media and joined Facebook!  It was kind of by accident.  I had inadvertedly set up an account in order to link to my Pinterest account and didn't realize that I had done it.  I was a little confused when people kept telling me they had added me as a friend on FB!  Anyway, I think Casey and I were the only two people on the planet not on FB so I guess Casey is the last of his kind now. ;)  My user info is here if you want to find me so we can be blog friends and FB friends!

Have a fabulous day!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Abby's Sleepover Party

Keeping in the birthday spirit, Abby just celebrated her 8th birthday with a sleepover! (I told Casey to shake some sense into me if I ever suggest a big sleepover again, lol!)  It was fun, loud, and wild!

My sweet girl!

I seriously don't know what is up with the dark pictures.  My flash never seems to work over in this area of the house!  (Have I mentioned that I am not a photographer?)

When the girls showed up, they got to take a guess at how many skittles were in the jar.  Closest vote wins a prize.  I did not give the jar of skittles away as a prize but I really wish that I would have just to have them out of my house!  (FYI:there were 293 skittles in the jar and the winner guessed 290!)

I love the way that Wyatt snuck into the mix!  Casey took him out for the evening but they stayed for dinner and presents.  He was just being one of the girls!

I didn't get many pictures of the games we played simply  because I was busy helping the girls but we had some fun!  They played freeze dance, the beach ball question game, spider/fly, and had a clothes relay.  After the games, it was craft time.  I found a fun American Girl cootie catchers kit and the girls loved making them! 

We got her a Nintendo DSi and she loved it! 

Just had to throw this one in since Wyatt found his way in again!

They stayed up LATE...I finally gave up and went to bed but they were still going strong until the wee hours of the morning, watching movies and playing with their laser pop projectors.  So glad Abby got to have fun with her friends!

Happy birthday to my sweet girl!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wyatt's Spiderman Party

Whew, we are been in full party mode here at the Tolliver casa.  Abby and Wyatt just happen to have birthdays 5 days apart so we always party down in June.  Try as I might, they never want a joint party or can't agree on a theme.  Maybe next year! 

Wyatt just turned 4 and is crazy about Spiderman, so we did it up in true superhero fashion. 

Wyatt wore his beloved Spiderman shirt and even had a blue faux hawk to mark the occasion!

The flash on my camera has been messing up (or more likely, I'll messing up the camera!) so some of these pictures turned out dark. 

I usually make the cakes but this year I decided just to order one to save time.  I did make the marshamllow pops!

Um, no Wyatt, you aren't 3 anymore!!

We had a pinata...turning preschoolers loose with a plastic bat is always fun!  I had to remind Wyatt to make sure the coast was clear everytime he hit it!

Spiderman (the mini version) even made an appearance after the party!  It was a great time with fun, friends, games, and lots of sweets.  I love my little Spiderman!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dallas, Part 2

I was so excited to write this post and insert some great pictures....until I went to download my camera and realized that I was missing over 300 pictures from our trip.  I have no idea what happened.  I went into panic mode and downloaded a recovery manager to try and recover the lost pictures but haven't had any luck.  Does anyone have any tips for getting these pictures back?  I remember looking through them on my camera, just recently, but when I downloaded them to my computer they aren't there.  So sad. :(


Anyway, I'll try to explain what we did and use some pics from google images.  Abby loves American Girl dolls so I made reservations for she and I to have brunch at the store/bistro.  It was perfect!  It is the neatest store with a bistro upstairs.  We dressed up and were treated to a special time.  It was decorated in pink, apple green, and black and had the neatest flower sculpture on the ceiling.  The table was set so nicely and there was a little box of conversation starters.  Neat!  The best part was the little doll booster seat that attaches to the table for Abby's doll.  They even brought her doll out a little cup of tea!  She was in heaven.  The food was delicious too!  The server brought us out some little mini cinnamon buns with our beverages.  Abby had apple cinnamon french toast with maple bacon and I had a roasted vegetable frittata.  I wasn't sure what to expect at this little bistro but it was actually really high quality.  Loved every minute of it!

After eating we went downstairs to shop!  We thought about taking her doll to the salon but the line was really long and she decided she would rather use her spending money on something else.  The store is just a little girly girl's dream come true.  I would have loved this when I was little, and I could just see how much Abby enjoyed it!  She has one of the dolls that is customized to look like her as well as a couple of the historical dolls, Kit and Molly.  She bought a couple of outfits, a pair of glasses for her doll, and the healthy smiles kit.  I have no idea why she wanted her doll to have glasses and braces, since she has neither but she insisted. :) 


I hope that Abby and I can go back very soon.  She is growing up so fast, and will turn 8 in a week.  Many of her friends are starting to grow out of the doll stage so I am holding on with everything I have.  Kids grow up too fast these days. 

Since the American Girl store is at the Dallas Galleria, we hit the mall and did some shopping.  I had to go because they have some stores that we don't have here in Amarillo.  One of my first stops was LUSH.  Wow!  I have looked at the online store for the longest time and couldn't wait to go in.  It smelled so good!  All of the cosmetics and bath products and handmade and many are vegan/organic.  I found some great body butters and bath washes for the kids since they both have allergies and eczema.  I also picked up some bath bombs and solid shampoo.  I might have to do a seperate post on these soon. 

After hitting the Clinique counter, Macy's, and a few other stores, I went to the Dooney and Bourke store.  I knew I would leave with something!  I got a large Dooney sac purse in saddle for my birthday and love it but was looking for something smaller and in a fun color.  I found just the bag and it was 45% off so it was perfect!  The color is seafoam green and the size is perfect.  It has helped me scale back and only carry what I need instead of everything plus the kitchen sink. 

I will finish the Dallas trip tomorrow.  Birthday parties are coming up and Father's Day (Wyatt's this weekend, Abby's sleepover next weekend) so there is lots to do.  Plus, I still need to post about our new house!  I have lots of pictures that I am editing so it is coming up soon.  I am still trying to get everything where I want it and am in the process finding a new accent chair.  Too many choices!

I'm off to see if I can recover my lost pictures.  I am just sick about it.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dallas, Part 1

Wow, I just can't believe how little I've blogged this year.  My intentions have always been to get on and update but I have been so swamped this past year that blogging has been pushed to the back burner.  My main purpose for blogging is to have a place to record my sweet family and all the memories we have made through the years.  I love looking back at old posts and reliving those wonderful moments.  Anyway, I am considering making my blog private so if you want to continue to follow, let me know!

School got out June 1.  YAY!!!!  I was so ready for the break.  I have been enjoying every moment of it- spending time with the kids, sleeping in, nice leisurely dinners, all of it.  We have still been super busy, but it's just so nice to be busy with my own personal stuff for a change.  Over Memorial Day weekend, we took a quick, 4 day trip to Dallas for some family fun.  It was great!  I always love visiting big cities and think (for just a tiny moment) that I might like living in one, but I know that I would probably not like it for long.  The traffic!  Sheesh.  Amarillo is around 200,000 and is enough for me. 

We stayed at the Renaissance hotel.  Casey and I stayed here over a decade ago and remembered it being nice, so we stayed again.  It has a pool and hot tub on top of the roof!  The kids loved that.  We were on the 24th floor and had some amazing views of the Dallas skyline.  It was awesome to see at night!

We got to Dallas early Friday and after eating and swimming for a while, we got ready for the Rangers game.  It was a blast!  We ended up leaving early (well, it was after 10:00pm) because the kids were so tired- we got there around 4:30 that afternoon so with traveling, it was a really long day!  Oh, and the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 14-3!

No pictures of me- I was hot, sweaty, and I had a busted lip.  Yes, you read that right!  At one point, Wyatt was sitting on my lap and the music came blaring over the speakers after a hit, and well, he got excited and accidentally head-butted me.  It was a mess.  Bloody, busted lips and baseball aren't a good mix but I got it cleaned up and still had fun. 

I'll post more about our trip tomorrow- something special that Abby and I did, a fun trip to the mall, and some great restaurants.  I'm off to finish up some preparations for Wyatt's Spiderman birthday party on Saturday!

Have a fabulous day!!!