Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Break

I have slacked on my blogging due to Christmas break - and the busy-ness of it all. Sooooooooooo -  here is what I have been doing:

-visiting with Daniel
-enjoying Mom being home
-Christmas movies
-playing with Rhett
-wrapped presents
-Christmas movies
-Roy and Amber's wedding
-Titanic (Saturday night and Sunday morning)- sucks me in everytime
-church with the family
-Christmas movies
-lazy Sunday
-shopping with Mom
-working in classroom with Kaley
-lazy Tuesday night watching Christmas with the Kranks

So, other than working in my classroom today - all day - I have watched Christmas movies and shopped away my break - and it has been wonderful :) Tomorrow, Cole and I are going on a "date" to see a movie  - and lunch. Can't wait! then more shopping, wrapping, and of course - Christmas movies! 

These are some of my favorites:



I have a slight obsession with these movies... they make me happy :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

WARNING: This is a SUPER long post... sorry :) I combined two weekends!

Let me begin this by saying that I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Christmas - the season, the holiday, the reason for the season, everything. There is not a more fun time in the entire year :) I love to drive around and look at Christmas lights - I love to wrap presents and fluff Christmas trees... two of the things that I more often than not hear people saying they hate to do.

As of this moment, I have decorated 1. Daniel's Mom's house/large tree and two small trees, 2. Net-Net's house/10 foot tree/eight nativity scenes, 3. My house/tree 4. Daniel's house/large tree/four small trees, 5. my classroom tree... I did the math - I have personally decorated about 53 feet of tree... and yes, they all had to be fluffed :) and I have loved every minute of decorating. I have sprayed cinnamon and lit Christmasy candles any and everywhere I can think of... I love this time of year.

Even Christmas shopping - which stresses most people out - brings a joy to my heart... I love to see people buying gifts for people they love. This year, we are doing Christmas different - Morgan, Tyler, and I have decided that since (like it or not) we are adults... that we would not do presents for each other. Morgan suggested we call DHR to sponsor a child for Christmas... so that is what we did... I should also mention that earlier (in November) I was walking down the mall when the Christmas spirit overtook me and I got an Angel off of the Salvation Army Angel Tree - so I we already had one child... make it two - the more the merrier. Anyways, I did the shopping for these two precious girls and it made me have the best feeling. I am not patting myself on the back or trying to say what a good deed I did, I am simply saying that if people knew the joy it would bring to your heart, I think more people would give. So, that is my goal... I want to let people know how amazing it feels. Every toy or item of clothing I picked up brought a smile to my face. I already have big plans for next Christmas... I am so fortunate to have been raised in a family where I never wanted for anything... I hope that at least one day out of the year these children can have a reason to believe in something and not want for anything...

On a completely different (not near as depressing) note, Daniel let me have a Christmas party this year...when I say he is the best, he seriously is... I cannot imagine what I would do without him. I called him one day in November while on my way home and said, "I want to have a Christmas party at your house" - without hesitating, he said "okay, just let me know what I need to do." - and yes, it is like that with everything I ask/need. So, I went to planning (my favorite thing to do).

The first thing I did was decorate. I had already decided that we Daniel was going to have a tree in every room of his house... so I bought four three foot trees. I went to Daniel's a few weeks before Thanksgiving and decorated them. There was an Alabama/houndstooth themed tree in the office,
 a gold/brown rustic tree in the guest bedroom,
a red/gold tree in the master bedroom (which I will post a picture of later), and a flatware tree in the kitchen (complete with pot holder tree skirt)...

so I got all of those trees decorated and put up in the closet - no decorating before Thanksgiving :(
 My next project was to find a big Christmas tree and enough ornaments to fill it up... I wanted a tree that was special to us - not one that looked as if it popped out of Southern Living - that's just not my style. I already had some ornaments I got last year (when I began collecting) for 75% off... that was a good start but not enough to decorate a whole tree. There is no telling what the grand total of that tree would be if we added up all the ornaments. We bought from Wal-Mart (every time we went), DG, and everywhere else that sold ornaments... I was like a kid in a candy store. Whether or not Daniel really cared, he played along and pretended to love certain ornaments as much as I did. We ended up with enough ornaments to make the tree look full but we still had to use some filler ornaments - maybe next year : )

Once I had everything done, all I had to do was wait... for Thanksgiving... it finally came and the Saturday after, Daniel and I went back to his house bright and early to decorate... it was soooo much fun. He did his fair share - putting the tree together and helping me fluff... and I was like a little elf doing the rest. At the end of the day, I turned on all of the Christmas trees, the garland around the bar, and the fireplace DVD that his mom gave us... and relaxed. It was perfect. I added a few knick-knacks that I had bought here and there and some that I had stolen from his mom's Christmas stash... all in all, we had plenty of decor - maybe too much.

Then the party weekend arrived. I had been making list after list, I would add and subtract things, finally deciding on a chili supper with dips and cookies. PERFECT :) except I have no clue how to make chili... lucky for me, Momma had the Friday before off and she needed to get her hair done (in Tuscaloosa) - so she drove the extra miles to Vance and made the chili - on Saturday morning, all I had to do was put it in the crock pot on low and VOILA!
We grocery shopped and cleaned and got all ready for the party. It was so much fun. I made chicken dip, onion dip, salsa (poured straight from the jar into a festive bowl), cookies, and brownies. The chili was ready and everything went off without a hitch. We played dirty santa and I wound up with some cute earrings and a super cute pink scarf from Christy... Mama Hornsby : ) The party was perfect. Once again, Daniel is wonderful for letting me treat his house as my own... and he was super helpful!

I almost forgot... I have a confession. I am a stalker. A blog stalker. A CRAFT blog stalker. I cannot help myself. One post leads to another and two hours later, I have nothing to show but a list of things I want to try. Okay, so I found this one that was a homemade custom candle holder. It looked super easy except I needed Daniel to cut some posts for me. Long story short, he ended up cutting the boards, sanding them, drilling the holes for the tea-lights, painting them, crackle painting them, and painting them again... I, on the otherhand, used my Cricut machine) that he gave me to cut out some letters. Here is the finished product:

I think I have a handy-man... what about you?

Soooooo - you would think I would be party/planned out but no, one more for the year... the Country Club Christmas Party was last weekend and guess who is in charge? You guessed it :) I am super excited, we had a fabulous band (Mama's Mojo)... see pictures below...

My brothers - I only slightly embarrased them :)

My HOT date...

Morgan and Sara - aren't they cute?

The BEST family ever :)

 I should mention here that there are quite a few more pictures - not posed :) on the dance floor. We will keep them to ourselves and our memories! Also, if you are ever looking for a great band... Mama's Mojo is the bomb. They let me play the tambourine, Sara the drums, and I got to sing - "Ice, Ice, Baby" - I will leave you on that note :)

until next time...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Being Thankful...

I fell into the Facebook trap... the one where everyone was posting something they were thankful for during November... I should be thankful for something everyday of the year - I definitely would not run out of things but I did find it hard to come up with something everyday... I did not want to leave everyone out not did I want to be boring... This is what I came up with -I missed November 1st.

November 2-  today, I am thankful for the Lord and all that he has blessed me with.

November 3- I am thankful for the people I live with -I could not imagine a better, more loving, or more fun family.

November 4- I am thankful for Daniel- i can't begin to describe how much I love him and how good he is to me... I am very blessed :)

November 5- was going to be thankful for something else today... But yesterday as I was leaving school, I met one of my students' mom who I had never met. I said, " I am Ms. Courtney." She said, " oh Ms. Courtney, our little girl prays for you every night." - so today, I am thankful for my students and their most precious hearts.

November 6-thankful for my precious Granny- I have been blessed to have a loving, funny, let grandkids get away with anything Granny- who could ask for more? Love you Granny!!

November 7-  thankful today for my parents- celebrating 30 years today. Happy Anniversary :)

November 8- today I am thankful for Cotton and the joy he has brought our family :) I will upload pictures tomorrow but he has made me laugh a lot tonight!!

November 9- thankful today for Cole Thompson and the wonderful young man he is becoming :) He is such a joy and great part of our family!

November 10- thankful for fall weather :) what a beautiful time of year!!

November 11- thankful today for our veterans and those currently serving :) thanks for our freedom!!

November 12- thankful today for teachers... from Happy Hearts to Graduate School, I have had some of the best. I hope that I can be that for someone :)

November 13- thankful for Alabama football- and the fun times that come with it :)

November 14- thankful for weekends :)

November 15- thankful for the rain... even though it is cold and dreary- apparently we need it :)

November 16- thankful today for cold weather - I always feel like I have a new wardrobe when the seasons change : )

November 17- today I am thankful for Christmas candy :) even if it is a little early!!

November 18- thankful today for my wonderful brother Tyler and his 25 years of life... Happy Birthday, Tyler :)

November 19-  can't be thankful for one without the other so today I am thankful for Morgan who is also one of the best brothers and friends ever :)

November 20- thankful today for Kaley Hayden :) and all the laughs, books, clothes, and memories we have shared! And for Tam- her Mexican Mama!

November 21- thankful for my sweet nephew Rhett- we spent the day with him yesterday and he is getting so grown acting :) love that kid!!

November 22- thankful for my wonderful cousin Rachael :) so excited about seeing her this week!!

November 23- thankful for all of my wonderful friends including (but not limited to Katie Linder)- friends really are the family we choose :)

November 24- thankful today for Daniel- happy, happy birthday :)

November 25- simply thankful today :) Happy Thanksgiving !

And this list could go on and on ... seriously, I am blessed beyond measure :) and I am thankful everyday of every month, not just November.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Daniel!

I am on time for this week's birthday since I am on vacation - Happy 29th birthday Daniel. This makes the third birthday we have celebrated together - they keep getting better and better. I cannot begin to explain how you have changed my life... you bring a smile to my face and a joy to my heart on a daily basis. You are truly a drop anything, shirt off your back, do anything kind of guy - and I love you for that more and more each day.

Although this is your birthday, it is also another milestone - on this day last year, you bought your first house - and made it one year and tons of remodeling. Congrats - the house looks wonderful...

The top TEN reasons I love YOU:
1. You are kind, caring, loving, and truly the man of my dreams.

2. You have a wonderful family - I cannot imagine my life without your family. They are so special to me and I love all of them very much.

3. You really do listen and care - not just in one ear and out the other - you really take stuff in like when I say I want to buy something, suddenly I have it the next week or next holiday because you remember  :) 

4. You are a hard worker - not such a hard worker that you let your job come before anything but to the point where you care about your job and how well it is done.

5. You love kids as much as I do - as much as I hate fighting over Rhett with you (and we know he loves Aunt Favorite the most) - I love the fact that you want to fight because you love him as much as I do... and kids love you... : ) what's not to love?

6. You are fun and energetic - as much as I love to go and do, I need someone who can keep up. No matter the long hours you work or how little sleep you get, you are always willing to get up and shop or do anything I want. I don't say it enough but thank you!

7. Even though I am certain you could not care less about which tree/color scheme goes where for Christmas, you pretend to care to make me happy - and I love Christmas... and I love you for letting me "Griswold" up your house for the holidays.

8. You have the best girlfriend in the world... see, even you think so!

9. I could not have asked for a more supportive boyfriend over the past few years- anything I even think about accomplishing, you assure me that I can and push me until I do it... I would not have made near as many As if it weren't for you (and Kaley) pushing me a little!

10. drum roll, please  - the final reason (for this list anyways) is that this list could go on to infinity - you are giving, supportive, compassionate, and more than I could ever have dreamt of. You are a kind soul with a sweet spirit. I really could not ask for more :)

Happy Birthday - you deserve  a wonderful and happy birthday more than anyone. I love you so much - here's to many, many more!

and number 11 - (I can't stop at ten) - you eat my cooking and act like it was whipped up by Betty Crocker - and it has not killed you yet and that which does not kill you... well, you know! I love you!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A day late and a dollar short...

For those of you who know me - the day late part is almost never the case... however, the dollar short is more often than not the case! Anyways, my sweet brother Tyler's 25th birthday was yesterday and I had intentions of posting then but... anyways, here I am :) Happy Birthday Tyler!

The top 10 reason I love you....
1. You have the most kind spirit in the world. You are compassionate, loving, and giving!

2. You are one of the funniest people I know - and you never even try. Your laugh is contagious to most!

3. You have the best little sister in the world...

See - even you think so!
 4. Who needs the government to bail them out when they have a brother like you? Really, thanks - I will never be able to repay you short of giving you my first born...


5. You have always been more like a friend than an older brother - we have shared the same friends and many of the same memories through our years.

6. You are the only one who appreciates my hair style after a fun night...

7. You let me sleep on your bedroom floor until I was not scared anymore - like a few years ago :)

8. You have fixed my computer on numerous occasions that I have broken it because I was too cheap (see number 4) to buy the protective software... : /

9. You are a great role model - even though it has been a tough year, you have stood strong :) and I love you the most for that!

10. Time does not exist in your world... this is really one of the things I dislike about you BUT it makes you who you are so I am learning to love it... sorta :)

and number 11 - (did you really think I could stop at ten?) - you are one fifth of the greatest family in the world :) lucky you, right?

circa 1993 - aren't we cute?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roll Tide Roll!

This past weekend, I made my last tailgating venture for the season...

This picture is me and Daniel - he says we walk way too much during game days... but we have to see everyone. He also thinks it is crazy that we scurry around to see people from Butler that I see on a weekly basis - but it 's different...

Also, another reason this tailgate was fun was that Morgan and his girlfriend Sara came up - you have to understand how big of a deal it is for Mo to leave Choctaw County for something other than work...

Daniel, Me, Morgan, and Sara on the Quad

I must say that I am very sad that I have made my last tailgate for the year. Alabama does have two more games  - one tomorrow night against Georgia State which I will not be attending (one because it is on a Thursday and two because it is Tyler's 25th birthday - and we do not miss birthdays in my house). And the final game-  the Iron Bowl is the day after Thanksgiving - Tuscaloosa is busy enough on game day without throwing in Black Friday traffic... no thanks, I will be at home decorating while watching and cheering on the Tide, of course :)

On a different note... we had our school Christmas program this past Monday - we sang a few songs, had hot chocolate and cookies, and we are all done. Even though it was early, it is nice to be all done.

This is a picture of me, the other teachers, and our sweet angels :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Whoo hoo! My last ED 505 post... and the biggest headache. When beginning this assignment, I did not know that it was a two-fold lesson. Researching and creating the presentation on Infographics was the easy part. The hard part was adding it to my blog. If you have not posted your presentation to blogger and need some instructions, click here (courtesy of Dr. Fowler). When you upload the file and it tells you to copy and paste the "embed" information to your blogger site, it fails to mention you must post it to the "Edit HTML" tab and not the "compose" tab- I mean come on, I am a new blogger here :) Anyways, made the post and I am done... happy blogging :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans' Day

Today is Veterans' Day - and I am thankful - this song gives me chills EVERY time I hear it. Thank you Veterans and those currently serving. We enjoy freedom because you serve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cotton Sparrow Reynolds

Let me start this post by saying - we are not dog people at my house...we have only had two dogs at home my entire life - Rusty lived outside and ended up having to be returned to the sender... Shank lived with us (mostly roaming the neighborhood) until he was run over- may he rest in peace- he is buried in his favorite spot at the Country Club. In the years since Shank, Morgan has had a few hunting dogs... they have all lived on the tennis court (work place) at the Country Club... Blackie was a black lab who we all loved until he had to be put to sleep :( Morgan also had  Star (some kind of pointing dog). He now has Gauner (a  German wirehair) and Rosie (a short hair pointer)- I say all of this to say that Morgan has had the dogs... they listen to him, they mind him, and they run rampant for the rest of us... Last year at Christmas I bought Gauner some reindeer antlers to wear- Mo would not let him :(

Now, for the story- Cotton was a gift to my Granny for her 82nd birthday. She loved him... she loved him so much that she fed him banana pudding, black eyed peas, and anything else he wanted... needless to say, he had to come live with us. Let me also say that Momma has never liked dogs- growing up, her mom (Granny) and dad took in stray dogs left and right (she says they loved some of them like children).  Anyways, mom was totally against Cotton living at the house - now, he sleeps in their bed, has doggie stairs, his own room, and they call to check on him when they go out of town... Also, no one has a choice but to let me dress Cotton up. He has an Alabama jersey (roll tide), a Christmas sweater, a pig costume (for ButlerFest contest that we were robbed in), Thanksgiving/Fall sweaters, summer outfits, etc. (he needs a wardrobe). I am a thrifty shopper- if it says sale and I think I might possibly need it in the next five years, its mine... while in Target the other day, they had Halloween costumes on sale (75% off) - so  I got this little number

for only $2.50 - let's just say we got our money out of it last night laughing... he hated it - he tried to eat the antlers, and he acted like he was possessed. On a more serious note, as much as we laugh at him, he has changed our lives (all for the better) - he has brought us more joy than I ever thought a dog could.  So, here's to Cotton- the cutest darn "moose mounted dog" ever : )

Friday, November 5, 2010

ED 505 - Blog Reviews

For this assignment, I reviewed four classroom blogs. The blogs were found using the site http://theedublogger.com/check-out-these-class-blogs/.

Mrs. Poulin’s Blog – Kindergarten - http://poulingail.edublogs.org/
I chose this blog because it was from a classroom in the United States and because it was a Kindergarten classroom. I found this blog to be very interesting. She uploads her weekly newsletter and lots of pictures and articles to the blog. While looking at her blog, it was clear to see that she posts almost daily. By posting all the time, it keeps parents informed and it makes them want to look at the page everyday. I thought this was a very helpful model. By using blogs in the classroom, you can cut down on paper usage, contact parents more frequently, and send mass information.
The above link will take you to the class newsletter for the week. A weekly newsletter is uploaded every Friday. This is a great way to keep everyone well informed. This particular newsletter was discussing a Skype call the class had made to another kindergarten class in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Mrs. Patterson’s Pack – 1st Grade - http://mrspatterson.edublogs.org/
The second blog I chose to review was Mrs. Patterson’s first grade blog. This class is located in Virginia. I thought first grade would be interesting because they are learning so many new things. While viewing this blog, I found a link to the class Wiki page. What a great teacher- the kids seem to be very involved in the posting. She posted lots of videos. This particular post (http://mrspatterson.edublogs.org/2010/10/11/the-pumpkin-life-cycle-by-pattersons-pack/) includes a video on the life cycle of a pumpkin.

2KM @ Leopold Primary School – Australia – Grade 2 http://2kmblog.globalstudent.org.au/
I chose this blog because I wanted to see what students in other countries were blogging about. Wow! This teacher/class blogs every day almost. They blog about art work, class projects, random information, and they include tons of links and videos. This post (http://2kmblog.globalstudent.org.au/2010/11/05/miss-mcgeadys-birthday/) is about their teacher’s birthday party the class threw her. It is interesting to see the technology used in that project.
Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog – 3rd Grade - http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com/
This blog is from a class located in California. The first post on this blog (http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/where-is-nonno-cisternino-puglia-italy.html) was a post by one of the students’ grandfather. The grandfather is located in Italy. He included pictures, facts, and even some discussion questions for the students. One thing I liked about this blog was that the students were able to “earn” their own blog by using quality writing. The teacher also posts pictures with discussion questions. This would be a great partner blog for a classroom somewhere else in the world!

ED 505 - Early Childhood Education: Fractions Lesson

This video is one from a student majoring in Early Childhood Education. This video shows a lesson completed by that student using play dough as a manipulative to teach fractions. By using manipulatives, one can help students gain visual insight into the lesson at hand.

Do you think play dough would be a suitable manipulative for a student so young? Do you think the student would be tempted to roll the play dough up and not maintain the shapes? Do you think using different colors to represent halves, thirds, and fourths next time would affect the student?

ED 505 - Teaching In the 21st Century

This video explains how students are now able to use Google to search - therefore, teachers are no longer the main source of information. Teachers have to be a filter, the video explains. Though this video is somewhat lengthy, it is very interesting. One point the video makes is that teachers no longer have to teach students how to find information, they must teach students how to use what they find in a productive way.

Do you think technology has entirely changed the teaching profession? How do you feel teachers have adapted to the 21st century methods of teaching? Do you think students will embrace a teachers help with technology or reject it?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A few years ago our neighborhood began a get together during Halloween. The get together is one that is open to all of the  "country  club" kids - whether they live in the neighborhood or not. Since I am the only one who likes to plan  (and has no kids - therefore  has the time to plan),  I began planning a little late. I sent flyers and a facebook message. Not expecting  many kids, I arrived at the country club - and much to my surprise- lots of kids :) about 25 (some are not pictured)
The trick-or-treating on golfcarts was led (as always) by the Moore's (David, Madge, Mary London, and Ellen). David drives but I am pretty sure Madge is the one who makes sure we stay on track, do not miss a house, and do not stay too long at one house. The neighbors are great to give candy (good candy) to all of these kids. After the trick-or-treating was  complete, we enjoyed hot dogs and cupcakes at the Country Club. Let's just say that Ridge  Russell enjoyed the cupcakes more than most :)

I mean, they were good :) After the hot dogs, cupcakes, and  clean-up, Daddy was sweet enough to take all of the kids on a hay ride. Let me mention here that the "hay" was actually pine straw. The ride was complete with the kids howling - but no scares, maybe next year.

 I can't finish this post without two pictures... one of my sweet  nephew Rhett - I mean what girl doesn't love a cowboy?

And last but not least, Cotton  - in his Halloween "jammies" - enjoyed the hay ride, too :)