Do you Smilebox?

Saturday, February 25, 2012 No comments
I use Smilebox ALL THE TIME! I use it for my first grade classroom and I use it for my many, many pictures and videos of T!

Smilebox quickly loads pictures into a slideshow with super cute designs. It allows you to add music-their tunes or your own! It even, for free, allows you to share the slideshow, add it to your site, etc.

This is not a paid spot, Smilebox did not ask me to do this--I am just a HUGE FAN!

 Click HERE to see it in action...and it is FREE! :)

                     (Click pic to see a Smilebox of T!)

Do you already use Smilebox? Do you have another favorite photo/video site you love? Share!

If you would like the web address for my class site, please leave a comment w/your email address or email me at and I'll share it that way. Thanks! 

Shot at Story Time! Giveaway!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8 comments
I love children. I love my kid. I love my niece and I love the 14 little monkeys I teach each day. I also happen to love our cousins in India and their friends. I have friends from Mexico, Brazil, Africa, etc and I love THEIR kids and their cousins, too! I love kids. I even love kids I don't know....except for those noisy ones at restaurants....oh wait-that is MY kid!

With this love comes the hope that all children have access to the necessary vaccines for a healthy life. I know we can not protect all children from everything, though I wish I could. What I also know is there is NO reason we can't protect them from preventable diseases! For $20 we can vaccinate a child in a third world country from the very worst diseases-the number one killers!

$20! I spend $20 on T once a week! I spend $20 on my classroom all the time! I spend $20 on books.....well, let me stop here because N might be reading this!

I am not asking you for $20, but I am asking you to sign the United Nation Foundation's Shot At Life pledge. Let's get the word out about global vaccinations!

Click HERE to visit the site, learn more and join the movement!

Now, if you do want to donate a dollar or two....visit my Crowdrise site!

Haven't spoken with your congressman in awhile? Click HERE to tell them you think global vaccinations deserve funding!

I want all kids to have a Shot At Story Time! Comment below with your email address or on our FB page for a chance to win books for your own spring time story time! Contest ends Friday, 2/24! Winners chosen by

Up for grabs.......3 awesome spring reads! (RTV $20-coincidence? I think not!) 
 Math Start's Earth Day, Hooray! Math AND Science in one fab book!
Happy Easter, Little Critter-We love the Little Critters! 
Five Little Ducks, by Ivan Bates

That's WRADical Dude!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 No comments
World Read Aloud Day is coming soon! Do you have big plans? We do! On the home front, T and I will be donating books to his preschool AND a preschool serving a low socioeconomic community. T and I will also be Skyping with his big sister cousin-A! Aunt P and I will take turns reading aloud to our two favorite people!
(Click pic for link.)
On the professional front, we will be holding a WRADical contest! What is WRAD? World Read Aloud Advocate....and that is ME! Children should be read to each and every day--NO MATTER WHAT! Reading is life and it must be a priority worldwide!

Here is what this totally WRAD teacher has planned:
*How many books in the library contest? Oh yeah! Kids may take a guess for the low, low cost of 4/$1.00! All money raised will be donated to LitWorld! 
*Read Aloud Buddies! Book buddies in our school will join together and read, read, read! Each cross grade level group will receive a very special World Read Day bookmark and a few bookworms...I mean..gummy worms to enjoy while they read! 
(click pic for Pinterest link.)
*Celebrity Guests! We will be having 3-count them 3 authors visiting the school between March 2 and March 7! 

I know what you are thinking! WHAT CAN YOU DO? Does it cost money? DOES IT TAKE UP A LOT OF TIME?  Here are a few ideas. Choose one or all!

1. Visit and take the pledge to celebrate reading aloud! 
2. Read to a class, senior citizen, neighbor, etc!
3. Send a book to your child's class with a special note thanking your child's teacher for reading aloud!
4. Make a $5 donation to help spread the book love!
5. Pass this along! Tell your friends! 

How will you celebrate? Do you have an idea to share? I would love it if you do!

The New and Improved Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012 No comments
I will be the first to admit that Valentine's Day is not my favorite day. My brother passed away seven years ago and we laid him to rest on Valentine's Day. Until we had T three years ago, I had stopped celebrating. I put on the happy face for my firsties, but that was pretty much it. My husband would still give me a card, but that is just because he is so awesome.  Even with my T, it took a little while for me to cross over to the world of V Day again. What did the trick? Last year, I looked into T's big brown eyes and saw a little of my brother. There he was-acting a fool and telling me how good he looked-J that is, not T. I decided that V Day was an opportunity to share the love I have for my brother with T. I can now officially say, I am ok with Valentine's Day. (I still don't love it, but I am ok with it!)

With that being said, here are the books T and I will be reading this year......
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! (If You Give...)We gave this treasure to T's teacher this week. You just can't go wrong with Laura Numeroff! The little mouse creating his sweet card reminds me of my little guy (and the mess he makes!)

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (paperback)MY FAVORITE Valentine story! If you have not read this story, go to the library and check it out! Then go straight to the bookstore and buy it! Eileen Spinelli will leave an impression on your heart. Mr. Hatch is a rather a grump until one day he receives a mystery box of chocolates. His whole world turns around! He makes friends, smiles a lot, etc! Then Mr. Hatch comes to find that the box was not meant for him. Your heart break will break for Mr. Hatch! Will there be a happy ending? Read to find out!

It costs about $8 on Amazon if there is no bookstore within driving distance! T and I read it online at Story Line Online. This free site is AWESOME! If you are looking for another free online read, visit We Give Books

Olive, My LoveYou can't go wrong with this one! Olive receives a mystery Valentine and his friends help him discover who sent it. The play on words with "all of my love" is fun and it gets me giggling every time! My firsties read and reread this one every year. It is about $10.

(Click on any picture to view book on Amazon.)

I wish you and yours a very Happy Valentine's Day! Celebrate the ones you love. Make it a day to share the love you have for others with our own little Valentines. 

Now for the big question....will you be making or purchasing Valentines this year? 

Bath Time Predicament

Saturday, February 11, 2012 6 comments
Mommy friends, I need help! T does not like bath time! We have tried toys, bath fizzies, etc! Please send some advice my way! Seriously, this daily ritual has got to get easier!

Burning a Hole in my Pocket!

Sunday, February 5, 2012 29 comments
Ok Donors Choose friends! In honor of my fabulous little sister's birthday, I have $50 to spend on your fabulous projects!! I am thinking I will do $20, $20, and $10-so that is three chances!

How to enter-follow the blog and leave a comment (with your email address) saying you did. If you already follow, leave an email address and comment saying you already follow. That's it!

Three winners will be chosen using No jumping through hoops here!

Share the love! Tell your friends! Oh-leave the link to your project, too. You never know! :)

Good luck! Winners will be chosen Tuesday, February 7th!


Take A Shot!

Saturday, February 4, 2012 1 comment
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

This quote has been finding me. That's right-finding me. In grad school, in my classroom, in Washington DC. It surrounds me. It is flashing brightly almost screaming at the top of its lungs, "HEY YOU! I AM OVER HERE! DO IT!" and so I shall!

I spent the beginning of last week in Washington D.C. with a group of passionate women and men talking about my favorite topic.....children! There were mommies, teachers, doctors, professors, business leaders, bloggers, Mom Congress friends, and more.
What brought us to the nation's capital? The United Nations Foundation. UNF is launching their latest initiative-Shot At Life. I think of myself as a fairly educated global citizen, but this experience has opened my eyes. Did you know...a child dies every 20 seconds from a preventable disease? In 2012, how can this be?
About Shot@Life
Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.  A national call to action for this global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines.  By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate vaccines, the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign will decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give children a shot at a healthy life. 

My Takeaway
How lucky are we to live in a country where we have access to the vaccines needed to protect our children? How lucky are we to live in a country with clean drinking water, doctors on every corner, and emergency help that is just a phone call away?

How will I help? I am going to host a Shot@life party and invite my friends to learn more! We will be taking shots (of yummy food!) and toasting a few glasses of wine! N and I are also going to host a "The Perfect Shot" photo playdate with our friends and their little ones. Erin Sonderman Photography will be taking pictures of our kiddos at the park. The photos will then be emailed to our friends. Pictures for a cause-I like it! After all, children need a shot at....playdates and making memories! Look for future posts with all the details! 

I will fight this fight. I will help to vaccinate children in developing countries. I understand the ripple effect this will have on me and the future for T and his friends! I want to give all children a shot at 
........going to school, 
........fighting over homework,
........learning to read, 
........playing with friends, boos,
........hugs and kisses from their mommies,
and so much more! 

Learn more about Shot@Life and pledge to join the fight! Sign up on the bottom right hand side. Be the voice! Follow them on FB, too! 

Leave me a comment answering this-What do you want all children to have a shot at

Dental Health and Your Average Preschooler

Thursday, February 2, 2012 13 comments
Wait....please change that to above average! Ha! 

February is Dental Health month, at least it was the last time I checked! T and I are celebrating by reading a few tooth friendly stories. If you have a preschooler, you know that brushing one's teeth is not always a favored chore! We sing songs, have fancy toothpaste, do spit dances and use the brush as a wand, but nothing seems to work. He either really wants to brush his teeth or he really doesn't. (That is how I feel about a few things, too!)  This book is, by far, his favorite brushing book! 
Does a Lion Brush?: Early Experiences
The story is short, perfect for our newly 3 years old attention span. It gives directions on brushing your teeth and I did a little ad-libbing there! The pictures are great! Does a Lion Brush? is about $7 on Amazon, but if purchased at a local bookstore, it comes with a free smile! 

As for me, I love  Wibble Wobble!  William loses his tooth and celebrates with a messy treat that causes another tooth to loosen. This book was meant for 7 and under. It is a fun and silly read that is very relatable! 

Wibble Wobble
February is also the month of love! We are going to share a few love books soon, but I had to share the craft I saw on Pinterest! We stopped at Dollar Tree on the way home from school and bought a pack of red plates. The first one was a dud, but the 2nd was a huge success. Next time, I will buy white and let him decorate like crazy! 

If you are looking for more preschool and first grade fun, follow me on Pinterest or Facebook!


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