Welcome bags....mustache style!

Monday, July 28, 2014 2 comments
My friend Julie is an amazing 4th grade teacher in our County! We met a few years ago during grad school and I feel so lucky to keep in touch thanks to Facebook! (Though we really should have a grad school reunion!) 

She posted a picture of her welcome bags on Facebook and I asked if I could please share them here! After much begging and negotiating, she said yes. :)
I mustache you a question.....are you excited about 4th grade?
Enjoy your "stash" of goodies! 
 I'm so happy you are in my class! 

How cute are these?!?! 

Here's what Julie used! 
*a template from TPT, but revised and edited to meet her needs
*bookmarks from Really Good Stuff
*pencil, eraser, sucker, other little goodies from Dollar Tree or school store
*personalized magnet with her contact info from Vistaprint
*mustache mints and little mustaches from Hobby Lobby
*mustache tape from Walmart

Are you planning a little something special for your new students? Do tell! 

Two Stars and a Wish for Back to School!

Sunday, July 27, 2014 1 comment

Where did summer go? I head back to school TOMORROW!! That's right, tomorrow, as in yes, it is still July! Of course, I've been thinking about back to school here and there all summer! 
I'm excited to be a part of the Two Stars and Wish blog hop and would like to share a couple of back to school themed ideas! These are all perfect for any grade level!
Get rid of the email monsters!
I know this sounds silly, but if your County's email system is anything like ours, there is not much storage! I save time before school starts by weeding out the unwanted emails and archiving the ones I need to keep! I like to start the year with very few emails in the box! 

Start a Remind account for your class! I LOVE REMIND! It is an absolutely free app (you can also use online) that allows you to text the parents in your class. It is a one way text and parents are not able to reply. I am no way affiliated with Remind, just happen to be their number one fan!
Here's why I LOVE it~
1. You can preschedule texts ahead of time! I type in reminders of dates I know months ahead of time! You can do it in your jammies!
2. You can send a text to the whole class or just certain parents. 
3. You can send photos! I attach pictures of classroom anchor charts, kid's projects, and sometimes just fun pictures of my firsties!
4. You can attach documents! Newsletter? Sure! School bulletin?  Yep!
5. It is free. Did I mention it is free?!?
Hmmmm....my wish for back to school. As mom to the cutest kindergartener EVER, my goal for back to school is to be mommy. Mommy is my very most important job! Everything else will fall into place! 

I hope you all have an amazing back to school season! 

For more star ideas from more than 40 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you.

Thanks for visiting!

What We're Reading Sunday

We are on a summer hiatus from our weekly posts! Instead we are participating in Donalyn Miller's #bookaday! 

Here is what we are reading!
T is in love with Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Shane Prigmore. We have read it 38 times.....so far. It has been our bedtime story night after night. This book is ABSOLUTELY perfect for my guy and I feel like maybe, just maybe, it was written just for him. I love the rich vocabulary and comparison between outer space and the classroom. Seriously-one of our best reads this summer!
As for my mommy, I am reading Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action. While the book is written for K-12 (usually not my kind of read as I prefer K-2, K-5 at the most!) it really has something for everyone. I am learning a lot with this book and appreciate the teacher friendly format!
Do you see the bunny ears??? Kid is nuts!

What are YOU reading?

IKEA Day....in Pictures!

Thursday, July 24, 2014 4 comments
I love IKEA Day!!! 

IKEA Day is when I head to IKEA right before school starts! This year, I ditched the family (love you N and T) and went with one of my best friends! 

Best friend also happens to be a teacher, so it really works out perfectly! Look at all these goodies that are absolutely MADE to be in a classroom!
I can think of 245 things to do with these!
Rugs, rugs, and more rugs!
These baskets were everywhere and kept speaking to me. I didn't buy them, but even looking at the picture now, I want them!
Um....this price? I could.not.believe.it!
In a perfect world, I would have one of these in my room with fabulous labels!

These storage benches were FABULOUS! They came in several colors, too! Plenty of room for two first graders and loads of pillows or books! 

And these? Well, they were just too cool and bigger than they look here!
I heard music when I saw these two storage pieces. Literally, beautiful music filled my ears. Oh the possibilities! 

Last but not least, the main reason behind my trip to Ikea, stools. I bought three of these stackables last year and wanted three more. They are perfect in every way! For around $5, they take up very little space, hold even the wiggliest first grader, and a year later still look brand new! 

I love IKEA and I love back to school shopping! If you do not have an IKEA near you, check out the catalog online

What is on your back to school list?

Best Friends Forever

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 No comments
I am not even sure where to begin this post. See, it all started in high school (gasp...almost 20 years ago.) I was lucky enough to meet this amazing group of girls. We became the best of friends and not much has changed in that department.


What has changed? Babies. We have kids now. In fact, we have EIGHT kids between the five us. They range from a year and a half to almost 16 years old! I'm not sure how this happened. I mean, I know how this happened, I just can't believe it. We're all grown up and raising our own little versions of ourselves. 
We've been through thick and thin this group. We've survived breakups and makeups. We've graduated and moved away and moved back and moved away. We've changed jobs and married the loves of our lives. We've bought cars and homes and cribs. We've helped each other through the loss of too many loved ones. We've seen each laugh and cry. We've made each other laugh and cry. We've seen each other blissfully happy and we've seen each other scared to death. We've shared advice on everything from undergarments to life changing decisions. (Not that undergarments aren't life changing!) 

We live in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina but we are closer than close. 

We are rarely in the same room together but when we are, it's like the old days. Not like the old days as in that is all we have to talk about. It's like the old days, because we talk and talk and talk and laugh. We ask about each other's families and catch on up all the drama of life. 

I am often told how lucky I am to have this group of women and I can't agree more. They like me no matter what, these best friends of mine and I hope  our children are just as lucky as we are! #BFF

Big Hero 6

Saturday, July 19, 2014 No comments
Heard the buzz about Disney's new animated movie? 
Big Hero 6 hits theaters in November and I.can't.wait!

Voice cast includes greats like Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr, and more! 

Check out the trailer! 

Keep up with Disney's Big Hero 6 by liking them on FB

100's Chart Fun and a GIVEAWAY!

Friday, July 18, 2014 76 comments
While I love teaching reading to the moon and back, I also like teaching math and all the other stuff, too! I really do, I promise! 

A fab teacher in our County, Kathleen, shared this teacher easy 100's chart idea with us last year and my kids loved it! They needed to familiarize themselves with the 100's chart and this is a fun way to do it! It is also just one of the ways I #colorize!

All you need is a copy of a 100's chart (you could always do 50 or 120 too) and card stock. Copy the 100s chart onto brightly colored card stock. I use Astrobrights of course!  I use colored card stock for a few reasons. 
1. It grabs the kids' attention. 
2. It does not show dirt and wear as much as plain, old white!
3. Color makes me happy!

Be sure to laminate your copies before cutting! Then trim the 100s chart edges and cut away! 
I cut this one by tens, going horizontally! Cut strips until you have 10! (Cosmic Orange)
I love putting the U shape puzzle on Astrobrights Sunburst Yellow because they look like smiles! It is always a big hit and is a bit tricky!
One more way to cut is in strips vertically. I love this cut because it draws attention to the ones! (Terra Green)
Last but not least, and on the very beautiful Fireball Fuschia, is the zig zag cut. By far the toughest of the puzzles, my first graders love working up to this one! 

I put all of the mixed puzzles in one ziplock for easy storage. I have eight sets for students to use! They work on them as a warmup, can take them home for practice, or complete them as an independent activity. For students who need support, I include a 100s chart for them to reference. 

Now, I know what you are thinking! You are thinking that you are almost out of card stock and that your best colors were the first to go last year! Well today is your lucky day! Astrobrights is all about teachers and they are sponsoring a giveaway for My Mommy Reads so you can #colorizeyourclassroom! 
Enter below to win your very own Astrobrights Paper Sampler including ALL 26 colors AND a $50 gift card to Office Depot! I love the Depot because they have the best selection of Astrobrights paper AND awesome back to school deals! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

US only. Must be 18 to enter. Prize shipped from Astrobrights. All entries verified.

Be sure to enter Astrobrights' HUGE teacher giveaway, too! Click HEREThere will be one winner in every state! Let's celebrate color during back to school and #colorize!

Great Nonfiction Find!

Monday, July 14, 2014 1 comment
We hit Costco maybe once a month and when we do, we always swing by the book tables! We usually find a few fun things, but this weekend we found a nonfiction treasure! 
I am a fan of single Spectrum Readers, but honestly the binding falls apart pretty easily in the hands of first graders. At around $4 each, it stings when they fall to pieces! So imagine my surprise when I found this book of books! For $7.99, this book has EIGHT, that's 8 Spectrum stories in one and the binding is quite sturdy!  (I found the same book on Amazon for around $12 and the sticker price on the book is $12.99.)
I bought the Level One book, but Level Two and Three were available, too. Level One has eight fantastic nonfiction stories ranging from levels E to I. (They are leveled for you, though I think after reading them that they are really F to J.) 
At the end of each book, there are a few comprehension questions, too. Bonus~especially if you are sending this for at home reading.

I've put a sticky tab on the first page of each new book so it will be easier for students to really see there are 8 books inside! 

I think these are going to be a BIG hit with my nonfiction fans and those readers just looking for a  "big book!" You know the ones, right?

T and I have read the stories and he loves them. His favorite is Shhh! Night Animals. It teaches what animals do during the day and at night.

Have you found any book deals lately? Please share! We LOVE a book deal!

What We're Reading Sunday

Sunday, July 13, 2014 No comments
We are on a summer hiatus from our weekly posts! Instead we are participating in Donalyn Miller's #Bookaday
This week's choices include his very favorite books~National Geo Kids, a treasured book from Mrs. Kit (I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew,) and two classics~The Three Bears and A House is a House For Me. 

What are you reading?!?! 

It's All About Light!

Saturday, July 12, 2014 No comments
Thank you Uncle Milton for providing us with this wall friend to review. All opinions are my own, as always!

Bedtime is not always a breeze around here. Little guy would much rather stay up late than be tucked in early! So when given the opportunity to review one of Uncle Milton's Wild Wall sets, I said YES!

Have you seen these? 
You apply the (easily removable) wall stickers above the (included) night light. Then the magic happens! The light shines on the creatures and even has really cool sound effects!

We chose the ocean scene, but there are SO many choices! Uncle Milton has everything from cute puppies, to Marvel superheroes to Disney's Frozen! 
T loves his new wall display and night light. I love that the batteries were included! Click here to visit Uncle Milton to see all of the choices and to order yours! They are also available from Target! 

Click HERE to like Uncle Milton on FB so you can stay connected! 

Which one would you pick for your kiddo or classroom? 

Adios Comfort Zone!

Friday, July 11, 2014 10 comments
A few months ago, I lived one of my bravest moments. No--make that SEVERAL of my bravest moments. Here's how it played out...

Wrote a very personal story about my sister

Auditioned with said story for Listen To Your Mother Atlanta 

Made the cut! Rehearsed with some of the finest storytellers in Atlanta

Performed on stage in front of lots of people on April 26th
Photo courtesy of the best husband ever. :)
Two months later, I sit here on the couch feeling almost as nervous as I did on every single one of the above occasions. Today, I am being brave AGAIN and sharing my LTYM video. Let me add that to my list.

Sharing my video, my story, my personal moment in time, my writing, my life with the world

Now the real question is....will I watch the video? I don't know yet. I started twice. Maybe I'll watch it this weekend or next month or today or never. Doesn't matter really. It is there waiting for me when I am ready. 

I really do hope you will watch and I hope you will feel the love I have for my sister and the love she had for us. I hope it makes you smile even though it will likely also make you cry.  
I also hope you will watch the videos of my fellow cast members. Their pieces are all beautiful, just like their authors. 

Since I'm already in tears, thanks for reading My Mommy Reads. Thanks for sharing in our moments. 

Thank you T Rowe Price for sponsoring the videos. Thank you Jana and Miranda for being amazing, supportive producers who encourage and live BRAVE. 

Share your own brave moment with us!

Sheriff Callie's Wild West Party

Thursday, July 10, 2014 2 comments
Do all kids think about their birthday months and months in advance? Like, in June, is it normal to be planning your January soiree? That is what T is doing! 

All this talk of birthdays reminded me of my best friend Michele's birthday party of the century for her daughter. Seriously-it looked like Pinterest and Etsy got married and had a Sheriff Callie lovechild. (That's a compliment!) Her four year old cowgirl was thrilled! 
The Vittles
Mixed cereal in jars. How stinkin' cute! (tags from Etsy)
Watering Hole
Quick and easy photo booth Michele and her husband made!  Cute kid is her niece, I!
the Bestie and her posse
All photos by Michele's fab sister, Ashley! 
While I know this seems like an elaborate scene (and it was!) my best friend is just like you and me! I'm serious! She's no Martha Stewart! (Wondering if she will read this! Ha!) She looked around and found ideas and put them together and it worked! J had the perfect day! 

I'm inspired! I think T is onto something! I need to start planning thinking about his birthday. I mean, you only turn 6 once, right? 

What themes have you done for your child's birthday? 


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