Sunday, May 10, 2015

Girl Talk Book Study WEEK THREE

Better late than never, right?! I’ve been a teensy bit busy and got behind on our book study.  I swear, once May 1st hit, it all started going downhill. Ha! 

Seriously, I love my job but the end of the year is just a killer. Meetings, testing, special activities oh my!

So, moving on…Week 3: Where have all the good people gone?  

This week was just as riveting as the previous weeks. God definitely spoke to me in so many ways. I got slapped around a bit and totally convicted.

Day 1: Unsafe People

This hit several nerves.  Real talk: I’ve dealt with mean girls my entire life. Really, it wasn’t easy being the ummm “fluffy” girl growing up.  I definitely dealt with my fair share of teasing and being left out. I think when you go through that so many times, you just make friends with anyone who will accept you. Sometimes those people are the “unsafe people”.  Jen talked about three types of unsafe people and I could identify with each.  I think during different seasons of my life, I was drawn to different forms of brokenness.

Day 2: Safe People

Praise God for great friends. Luckily I made a few amazing lifelong friends in High School. They are still my best friends today. Safe friends exist and Jen is right, they are a treasure. I also love where she talks about “a safety that only exists among believers.”  Don’t get me wrong, I have been hurt by believers. Of course I have. All people are sinners. Again, this is why my faith cannot be in people and only in God. But, my safe people are believers because they do function in forgiveness, mercy and grace…all things I need but most definitely do not always deserve.  Safe friendships are necessary because they build you up instead of tearing you down. They encourage you and push you to be accountable to God’s calling on your life. Safe friendships provide a security for your heart when you can’t find it anywhere else. I need safe friendships in my life and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I need to be around people that will draw me closer to God. I hope that my friends consider me a safe friend. This day helped me to be more thankful for the safe friends in my life.

Day 3: What Not To Do

The first sentence of this day was “Choosing the right friends to speak into our lives will make or break the journey.” Yes, yes and yes! Let’s be real friends, our journey is full of many seasons and some of those seasons are H.A.R.D.  Walking alone is the same as walking with unsafe people. Granted, we are never alone. God walks before us and with. Shoot sometimes he is carrying me or dragging me kicking and screaming. Jen talks about three poor strategies. Doing too much spoke to me the most. I am good at overextending myself. People ask me all the time how I do it all and my answer is simple, I don’t. I’m a good mom today, a good wife tomorrow, etc. Balance is SO HARD.  When I feel led to do something, I throw myself into something wholeheartedly sometimes to the point of ridiculousness.  I can get so busy or wrapped up in something that I forget to connect to people. People are the center of all things. Connections are what makes us go round.  I may be pretty cool {not really} but totally not cool enough to go on this journey alone. Connection has to be a priority. I want to know more than your name. I want to know your heart.  That was a great lesson Jen reminded me of on this day!

Recognizing my faults in using these poor strategies was eye opening.  I pray God shows me my weaknesses and gives me discernment as to how to change my relationships so I am connecting with the people because of his divine appointment.

Day 4: This Is The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship

Jen cracked me up with her opening story. I love how she compared beginning friendships is like the beginning stages of dating. This is SO true.  Both are equally awkward.  Conversation starters and getting to know you questions…awkward. Ha! Or maybe that is just me. It’s exciting. I’ve met people and thought..Ohhh, we should be best friends. That may appear a little stalkerish lol. This day gave me much encouragement. We need not be afraid to open our doors to new friendships and most importantly we need to be okay to be ourselves.  My favorite line of this day was “The Christian woman swims upstream, with the tidal waves of culture against her. We can’t leave each other to swim alone.” Oh. My. Goodness. I couldn’t agree and love this statement more. Fellowship, friendship, comradery are vital to our peace of mind, support and happiness.  Anyone who says that do not need anyone is not being honest with themselves.

Day 5: Dig In: Betrayed

Oy. This is hard. Thinking about the holes people leave in our hearts is something no one wants to deal with.  It’s easier to ignore and pretend it didn’t happen than allow yourself to feel pain.  But a hole left open is just that.  Forgiveness is not only for the person who hurt you but forgiveness is for yourself too. Let’s be honest, most of the time when we get hurt, we are the only one sitting at home in our own despair.  Betrayal Betty (no offense to all Betty’s, that my grandmother’s name and I loved her) is not losing sleep over your grief or the big hole she left in your heart when she hurt you. Forgiveness is for you in the sense that you are not allowing that person to steal your joy.  When you live in that place of hurt, you let them to continue to hurt you over and over.  They steal every moment of God’s planned joy for your life.  Forgive them and be set free. Don’t give anyone that kind of power over your life.  No one is worth losing your joy.  You can forgive the broken and God can heal your brokenness. Remember, we cannot put our faith in people because we are ALL sinners.  God calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven and even though that is so hard to do, it comes with a freedom and empowerment that lets you take back your peace.  So, buy Felicia. Ha! Seriously, you are too important to kingdom to walk around with a heart that looks like swiss cheese.

Next week is The Gift Of Gab. Oh, I have this one in the bag. Ha! I hope she doesn’t try to tell me that I talk too much. I could be in trouble here. I kinda love words. Clearly this is not new information. I’ll be back later this week with Week Four. I hope you are enjoying this ride. It’s okay not to comment about your reflections because all of this is so personal.  Clearly, I am an open book to fault.  I just think that it’s important to be transparent so people know how real my life is and that it’s okay to be a hot mess because God still loves me. Thanks for reading this long post. Praying God blesses you this week with great discernment about your friendships in your life. I pray you find safe friends and I pray that you are open to meeting the people that God places in your path to help you walk this journey.

I’ll leave you with this sweet picture of my daughter and I. Grace is 18 and for Mother’s Day she scheduled a Mommy & Me photo shoot. How sweet is that? We asked if we could do a picture of us praying because really God is the glue in our life. Our family is highly dysfunctional but God helps us keep it together. This is our only sneak peak and I can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures. We took some pretty funny ones…because that’s how we role! Ha! This was taken by the amazing Twenty Toes Photography. If you live in Central Texas, Trilby is AMAZING!!

Love and virtual hugs!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Social Studies Can Be So FUN!

Are you looking for a great social studies unit that your students will love? Scaredy Squirrel books are my go to books for loads of learning fun! I posted this freebie last year but if you are new around here, you should totally grab it!  I use SS to teach all sorts of social studies and literacy concepts. 

Last year, I had never heard of Scaredy Squirrel. One of my students checked out one of the books from the library and asked if I would read it to the class. We were immediately hooked! The next day I checked out three more books and we decided that we would do a book study on Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. I cannot tell you enough how much FUN this was! 

We focused our unit on four books: Scaredy Squirrel, Scaredy Squirrel makes a friend, Scaredy Squirrel goes camping, & Scaredy Squirrel at the beach.  There are several more that I intend to purchase and create resources for in the future too. 

This funny character covers so many areas of learning. Each book includes great examples of maps, lists, timelines, charts, etc.  Scaredy Squirrel books are also great examples of being afraid, scared, and worried.  This funny little squirrel overcomes many fears in a comical way. 

I really let my students guide the learning for this book study and they chose what we wanted to create. Here are some examples of our work. 

 I asked my students to write to Scaredy Squirrel and tell him what they would do if he would be brave enough to go on an adventure with them. 

Scaredy Squirrel is famous for timelines. We decided to create a timeline of our day so SS would know what to expect if he visited our classroom. 

 In one of the books, SS makes a pros and cons chart. We had just made kites for our wind study. I asked the kids what we could create a pros and cons chart on and THEY came up with flying a kite. I was so impressed with the conversations we had. 

We created a map of our school. Our goal was to create a map that would get Scaredy Squirrel from the cafeteria door (where students are dropped off in the morning) to our classroom. Each student had a part in drawing something for our map. 

If you are looking for a fun book study chalk full of literacy and social study lessons, then Scaredy Squirrel should visit your classroom soon!  Here is a preview of the whole unit. You can click on the pictures to see more. It's over 80 pages of fun.

Click the picture below to grab this freebie. Scaredy Squirrel always has a plan. It usually doesn't go his way, but it's fun to watch it unveil. 

I hope you love this unit as much as we do. If anything, check out a Scaredy Squirrel book and read it to your students. I promise fun and engagement on this one. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

End of Year Resources

I can't believe that I only have a little over FIVE WEEKS of SCHOOL LEFT!! Sorry, I didn't mean to scream, ehem. I am just a teensy bit excited to go on a few adventures this summer, sleep, read, write, sing, dance. get the point. 

I wanted to share a few of my favorite resources that will be my go-to's as I wrap up my school year.  

 You can grab them together (SAVE 20%) in my Peace Out Kindergarten bundle. Click the pictures below to see more.

How many days do you have left? I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. I'm already in next year mode thinking about things I need to work on this summer and changes I want to make. Isn't it funny how our minds never turn off?!  Teachers gonna teach 24/7, 365 days, in school or out. It's a blessing and a curse. Onward and upward peeps!

Love and virtual hugs!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

End of Year FAVORITES!

Just a quick note before I head to bed. :) 

I have put my favorite MAY/End of Year products on a BIG SALE for the last day of April.  That means as of midnight tomorrow, they turn back into precious little pumpkins. Ha! You can locate them in my store by clicking here. Happy Thursday! I can't believe it's already MAY. 

Love and virtual hugs!