Teacher Discount.....from Chevy

Thursday, October 30, 2014 No comments
I love a teacher discount as much as the next girl! Our friends at Michael's shave a little off every purchase just like my pals at Aerosoles do. It really is a nice teacher perk and I appreciate these companies for being so supportive of teachers and our not so big salaries! 

I did not know until days ago that Chevy offers a teacher discount too AND that it is pretty good! 
From now until early January, current employees in public or private schools, universities or colleges are eligible for a discount on a 2014 or 2015 purchase or lease. I feel certain rules apply, so check out their site for more info! There are lots of fuel efficient options and they really seem to have a vehicle for almost every budget. 
We just recently purchased a large Chevy SUV (with fuel saving features) and we love it. We weren't ready to be minivan people and Chevy was our best choice for space, safety and quality. N researched it for (literally) 2 years. Our next Chevy purchase just might have to be this little number though! HA!
Thanks Chevy for offering a teacher discount! We appreciate you! Friends, please share with the teachers you know!

Kindergarten Homework

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 No comments
T's teacher does monthly homework assignments and at first I was nervous. Not so much for T, but for me. I need a little more accountability in my life than once a month. (Seriously, that's why N pays the bills!) We stick to the week at a glance though and we've been ok....so far! :) 

We complete all of his assignments in this spiral notebook and turn it in each Friday (confession, we just turned it in for the first time last week~I missed skipped that part of the directions!!)

T especially liked these two activities, so I thought I'd share! For practicing sight words, I wrote them and he dabbed them if he read them correctly. He also added his own sound effects with each dab. 
 For "practice writing numerals to 10," I wrote the numbers first and he traced them with his scented yellow marker (#bestmomever.) He said it was lemonicious. He then wrote them by himself in the yellow and then AGAIN with pen across the bottom. He loved it! (Obviously he is my child!)
I know this post is random, but I'm having a mommy win moment. My kid likes doing school stuff and I like keeping it fun. Maybe those things are related. :)

3 Tips for Disney's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Monday, October 27, 2014 2 comments
We recently made our first trip to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and I think it is safe to say, we will be back! In case you do not know about this super event, the park is open to guests who purchase a separate ticket. There are trick or treat lines throughout the park (clearly marked, too,) a special fireworks show and a very cool Halloween parade. This special event was worth every penny!

3 Tips to Know Before You Go! 

1. Arrive early. The official time is 7:00 PM-12:00 AM, but you can arrive as early as 5:00. We walked through the gate at 6:00 and it was perfect! 

2. Candy bags are provided but you might want to bring your own! Let's just say, we had to replace a bag or two that night! Luckily, there were no candy losses. There are PLENTY of bags available to purchase, too.

3. Everything closes at 12:00, so if you plan on shopping, shop early. We missed the boat on that one....might be a good thing
Do you know what we are? :)
We went on a Friday night and a sold out night, so I expected a pretty big crowd. I was pleasantly surprised! I mean, there were lots of people, but the only line we waited in was for Mine Train. This was the only ride on T's MUST RIDE list. The wait was 30 minutes and he wanted to wait again. (Lots of love for the Mine Train!) The cast member kindly explained that the line moves faster because there are no fast passes at special events. It was great! We rode everything we wanted to ride and then some!

We ate at Casey's (hot dogs and fries) for dinner and watched most of the special Halloween parade. It was awesome, just like our evening. 

Another highlight, seeing people in their costumes. There were kids, parents, grandparents, couples, groups of teenagers, etc and everyone was dressed in their costume or Halloween gear. It really was one big, family party. It was well, very Disney!

Our kids are 5 and 9, but if your lovelies are a little younger, check out this post to convince yourself to take a toddler or two!

Here's a short slideshow with a few highlights of our evening! See you next October (if not sooner) Mickey!

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What We're Reading Sunday, Author's Visit!

Sunday, October 26, 2014 No comments
We had an author visit at school this week! My first graders were so excited and my son was too! 

Local authors (and fellow fab teachers) Rosalind Bunn and Kathleen Howard, shared their latest creation, The Monsters Three.
They explained how they come up with ideas, work together, make changes, and even compromise as they write. It was very encouraging for our budding writers!
Another big hit was the illustration talk. The students were all so intrigued with the process of going from sketch to full color pictures.
The big finale of their visit was the reading of the story. The kids went nuts over the Halloween story focused on using good manners. You can check out the book HERE on Amazon. 

You can check out my adorable son making his best monster face and absolutely loving his new book HERE. 
He loves the rhyme in the story and has been chanting it all evening. 

Do you have a spooktacular read to share? Please do!

The Power of Sending a Card!

Friday, October 24, 2014 2 comments
You know that day, the couple of days before your birthday, when you open the mailbox and see the envelope? You smile inside and out because you know it is a birthday card. I love that feeling. I love receiving cards in the mail. 

Recently, our family lost two very special people and when I checked the mail, I smiled and cried a little inside each time. Day after day there were cards. There were cards from near and far away, cards from people I worked with ten years ago, cards from folks we went to college with, cards from people we work with now, cards from friends and neighbors, and parents of students I've taught. It was overwhelming and it never got old. N and I sat and read every card, occasionally rubbing our fingers over the fronts of the cards, almost like they were pictures of our loved ones.

So here we are with our piles of cards. I have decided to place them carefully in a box right near our wedding cards and baby cards. I know it sounds silly, but these cards, these words written to us by the amazing people in our lives are treasures. I will likely not revisit them, but I'll know they are there and something about that makes me feel happy, loved, peaceful even. 

Are you a cardkeeper, too? If so, maybe we could start a club! 

Twitter for Teachers

Thursday, October 23, 2014 6 comments
The Fall issue of Scholastic's Instructor Magazine is all about technology! As a HUGE fan of Twitter, I was thrilled to contribute to the "Powerful PD--in 140 Characters (or Fewer)" article! 
Read the article HERE
There are lots of great articles this month, too! I learned a lot about flipped classrooms and discovered several apps that I want to try!! 

If you do not subscribe to Instructor, you totally should! It is a great, quick read with many resources for grades K-8! It is also FREE if you are a red apple teacher through Scholastic book clubs. 

If you are on Twitter, follow me @lyssareads and I'll follow back! My favorite educators to follow are in the article, too! 

Tweet you later! #suchageek


Wednesday, October 22, 2014 4 comments
We have big news at My Mommy Reads
A sweet baby boy will be joining our family at the end of January! 

Art by T

What Should I Do With All These Apples??

Monday, October 13, 2014 3 comments
We made our annual trip to Mercier Orchards over the weekend. It is about an hour drive from our house and we look forward to it every year! We go with a few other families and it has kind of become a tradition. This year was a bit different as we were missing one of our favorite families and because for the first time ever, it rained on us! Don't worry, we smiled through the soaking wet denim and totally gross wet orchard smells. :)

We picked Fuji, Cameo, and a few other kinds before the bottom fell out. My favorites...golden delicious were no longer available for picking. I cried a little....then I had a tall glass of cherry apple cider and all was right in the world! 
 If you can't beat him, join him! Silly faces!
We filled two bags and our bellies with delicious, fresh apples!
So....what should I do with them this year? 

What We're Reading Sunday

Sunday, October 12, 2014 No comments
Here's what we are reading this week around the S household! 
Every family should read this book. It's the story of Wilma Rudolph who was paralyzed by polio as a child. She vowed to one day not only walk, but run. She did, too. She ran all the way to the Olympics. LOVE this book and the beautiful artwork. 
T and I also read a classic, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. There is nothing better than acting that one out at bedtime! 

I'm also kind of loving how he into the biography thing right now. He said he "just wants to know more and more about some people." Swoon. He chose this Acorn First Biography about Abraham Lincoln. We knew most of the information from previous reads, but we still really enjoyed the pictures. 

What are you reading??

A Big Kid Review of Disney's Alexander

Saturday, October 11, 2014 2 comments
I sent my very best big kid reporter to see a preview screening of Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. She warned me that it was "honest and started with a warning." Let's see what she thought about it....

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
By G
Warning!  If you make a birthday wish be careful because in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Alexander makes a birthday wish that his family would understand him better and their day ends up getting all messed up!
There are a lot of funny, crazy situations each person in Alexander’s family gets into.  I was even surprised by some of them.  I liked this movie because it was funny and just when you think the day couldn’t get any worse…

You should definitely go see this movie!  I’m going to see it again 

Well, there you have it! G's mom said that the movie is not really like the book (we knew it would be a stretch.) She also reports that there was nothing that made her cringe during the movie and that the lesson of the movie is a valuable one. She enjoyed it as much as G! Thanks G for the review and mom for accompanying her! 

If you are looking for a Terrific, Wonderful, Awesome, Very Good Night, check out the Mattress Firm contest! You could win a $5,000 queen mattress set! Woo hoo!
Check out the movie and here's hoping you have the kind of day Alexander dreams of having! 

Our Crop!!

Friday, October 10, 2014 No comments
We (and by we I mean T and N) planted a small garden this year. They planted several types of herbs, some kind of pepper, a small type of carrot, and radishes. 

T checks his garden often and was quite disappointed that the dill had dried while we were out of town. "I guess we won't be making dill pickles any time soon." (I love my kid.) 

He and Daddy went to check the garden over the weekend and I heard screaming. I put down my tea (yes, I was relaxing on the porch) and walked over. T was ecstatic! His largest crop of the season was ready! 
He plucked the carrots and looked at each one and then asked me to pull some so he could watch. He was dancing around like a little maniac! 

We rinsed them off and asked T how we should prepare them. He decided to go with a "sweet baby carrot" recipe we found online. He and Daddy cooked their crop and enjoyed every last bite! 

That's us~a farm to table family! Ha! I wish! We are trying though! 

Do you have a garden?

Khan Academy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 No comments
Have you seen this video from Khan Academy? It is called #youcanlearnanything and I have watched it a dozen times. Take the minute and half to watch it and remind yourself that you can learn anything and so can your child and your students!
Happy Wednesday! 

Label Loving!

Monday, October 6, 2014 No comments
My friends at Kidecals provided me with product in order to share a review with you! Thanks Kidecals! All opinions are my own, as always!

At will be quick to admit that I had not heard of Kidecals before a friend recommended them a few months ago. I am a BIG fan of labels, but this company was new to me. 
I went to the website and really liked how user friendly it is. I clicked on bestsellers and knew right away that I wanted to try the mega set of address labels. *Disclosure-I love to send mail. I love sending cards, packages, notes, etc. Yep, snail mail. It's true. I wish I had more time to do it! 

The biggest decision was deciding on the design. I finally settled on the dots because well, you can't go wrong with dots!
I was worried our last name would not fit or that it would look funny, but the site lets you see exactly what the final design will look like! Celebrate with me long name friends! Woo hoo! 

The mega set includes 24 two inch labels and 48 one inch labels for $28. Right now though, Kidecals is having a 15% off promotion. Shipping on every order is free, too. Want to know what else? They arrived TWO days later. I was seriously shocked! 

If you are looking for labels for the holidays or just because, check out Kidecals! LOOK at this selection!
 In the meantime, maybe you'll get lucky and receive a little something from me in your mailbox with my super cool new labels!

What We're Reading Sunday

Sunday, October 5, 2014 No comments
Forgive me for not posting these last few Sundays (or more than few really, but who's counting!) 

Here's what what we're reading this week! 
National Geographic Kids has a little phonics box set with 12 books and a couple of little activity books, too. These are perfect for early readers like T, especially early readers who happen to LOVE all things animals!
There are bears, birds, fish, tigers, and more! 
There are repeated phrases and the focus is on short and long vowels. Readers are working on words while their interest level is super high. They are great and T goes back to them again and again!

We chose these from our Scholastic book order last month. I checked my usual places so I could tell you where to find them, but no luck! Ah! Sorry! Check with your child's teacher or teacher friends, logon and order! 

What are YOU reading?

My Granny

Thursday, October 2, 2014 3 comments
I wasn't sure if I would be writing about my grandmother here. I've thought about it several times because writing always makes me feel better. I honestly just did not know if I could do it. She just means the world to me and today is her birthday. 
We lost N's dad the Wednesday after Labor Day and my grandmother had a massive stroke the following Thursday. She passed away the next Friday. T and I both lost a grandparent in a three week time period. It feels unbelievable.

My granny, who would have been 95 today, was super healthy. She was completely self sufficient and on the morning of her stroke, had made up her bed and was reading her devotional. The day before the stroke, she had her hair permed in the morning and was requesting prayers for N's family at church that night. The woman ran circles around the rest of us and I thought she would out live us all. In fact, that really was my plan. Sure, she was in her 90's and yes, she lived a wonderful, full life, but she is GRANNY! 
My Granny was made of steel. We would complain about the thousand degree heat of Mobile and she would say "it don't bother me." We would say the kids were driving us nuts and she would say, "they're doing no such thing." We would talk about travel and she would tell us to go. She told us that when she gets invited she goes....and she did. Granny and I both love to go. She had slowed down a bit in the last couple of years but she was still Granny.

She lived a long, happy life. She said goodbye to her parents, husband, brothers and sisters, children, grandchildren, and numerous friends all way too soon. After each loss, she woke up the next day, said her prayers and moved one. She thought about all of them often, but she held her head high and lived for the rest of us. That's the route I'm choosing to take though it hurts just as much as I thought it would. 

(Some of my favorite Granny posts are here and here.)


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