Monday, August 29, 2011

it’s been a while

I am most certain that my best friend Kaley and I are kindred blogging souls… we have the same post titles on the same day two times which is quite scary. Obviously we both had a whirlwind first three weeks of school…. wait, did I just say three weeks – YES! That is how long we have been in school. I can’t believe it. I feel obligated to my few readers to update you all on how my life as Ms. Courtney has been going. In a few words – fast and crazy!

In order to fully describe my first day of full time teaching… I must show you what I looked like.


Please notice the massive ulcer and huge zit – talk about scary. For the entire first two weeks of school, my lip was swollen and eating was difficult to say the least! I sent this to Kaley as a happy first day of school picture…we have a weird relationship! The first morning was, as many veteran teachers warned me, crazy. If it had not been for Abby’s Fun With Firsties Unit, I would not have made it through the first week. We made Jitter Juice which in my opinion could have used a little alcohol however the kiddos loved it and begged for the recipe (sprite and cherry kool-aid).



though this was only my 17th full day of teaching, I already know so many things I would do differently. However, if I could give advice to a new teacher for the first day of school it would be to have a helper. Had it not been for Sara, I would not have made it. So many parents were asking questions, etc. and Sara calmly put everything away and did it with a smile. I will have to find a new helper next year because by then she will have her teaching degree. She loves her first placement and I am so glad she is having a wonderful experience!

I forgot to mention that the first day of school I gave blood which was probably not the best idea in the world – talk about out of it! However, I am a firm believer in donating blood!


The past two weeks have been super busy not only with school but also with The Distinguished Young Women of Choctaw County (formerly Junior Miss) program. I am the co-director and have been so busy. the program was this past Saturday night and I was so happy it went off without a hitch. I love the program and I am so happy to help with this great program but I am also glad it is over! The seven girls worked so hard and I think we have a great representative to State with Paige Walker…


A classroom funny that happened last week… during the Lord’s prayer, I hear this “Our Father, who Art in Heaven, HOWARD be His name…” I just about lost it. Kids have no idea how funny they are. As I sit here now with one thousand things on my mind, I am slowly realizing that I can’t do it all – which is a hard pill for me to swallow. This afternoon, Momma and I are meeting with our wedding directors (Mrs. Debbie and Mrs. Trisha) and hoping they are full of wonderful ideas to get us back on the wedding track!

I haven’t mentioned mine and Daniel’s sweet little big baby… Belle is growing like a weed but still thinks she is a puppy! This is her stretched out as long as the couch at Daniel’s Parents’ house. She is precious and I wish I got to see her (and Daniel) more than I do!


I know I am all over the place… bear with me! My morning walks have been few and far between – mainly because I feel that extra hour is imperative to my daily functioning! However, one morning last week I DID make the walk and got the greatest picture of the morning sky. I really do live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.


Back to school for a minute – I am PUMPEd about our new technology. Thanks to a donation from a local Trust account, our school was able to purchase projectors, document projectors, flip cameras, Mimio notepads, and clickers! My favorite new toy is the document projector –seriously, I use it ALL the time… here is a picture of me reading a story to my kiddos on the first day. FYI – if you are not a teacher, it is a new age overhead projector!


On a completely random note – I am so impressed each time I look at my best friend Kaley’’s new photography business – If you haven’t visited yet, visit their blog!


My last random thought for the day is that in my next life I want to be Cotton – this was at 6:45 a.m. and he was already taking a nap!


I am also still aware that I owe an entire post to Josh’s graduation weekend and Rhett’s second birthday party – maybe I will get to that before my post on Labor Day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

the sweet Gordon family

The Gordons

Another contest for a good cause. When I was teaching at the UWA Campus School, I had the most precious little girl in my class. Her name was Mary Reeves Gordon and she had the curliest hair and most beautiful eyes. She was a diva to say the least… always leading the class even though she was one of the youngest ones. She was one that I could have held all day and she wanted no part of that… she was always too busy for cuddling Sad smile MR is also one of the smartest children I have ever been around… and she is a fashion trend setter – she came to the CS with some “"sparkly tennis shoes””" and soon that was all the rage among the 2-4 year olds. they lit up when you walked and I think that was the only thing I ever had to get on to MR for…. stomping her feet at nap to make her shoes light up! Anyways, MR and her sweet parents and precious little brother Murphy moved to Starkville (their original hometown). My blog obsession lead me to Meaghan’'s blog and I have kept up with them through that.

Recently, Meaghan has posted that they are adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia. If you have even known anyone who has adopted then you know it is expensive… to say the least. Meaghan and Wes know that this is a calling from God and they know that what He calls you to do, He will provide for. I say all of that to say GO READ THEIR BLOG! Meaghan is such a fantastic writer and they need all the support they can get. They are selling t-shirts that look like this….

and having a yard sale extravaganza that I may be making a trip to Starkville to check out! Please at least go read their story and support them in anyway that you can. They really are as precious as they seem!

and from Meaghan….

Helpful info:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

first day jitters

at this moment, I am sitting in my classroom imagining how tomorrow will go… and I can only say that I hope it goes off without a hitch! I am pretty sure that I have more than enough activities planned to keep us busy – that plus snack and playtime, 12 o’clock will be here before we know it.

Last week I sent my kiddos some “ready confetti” in the mail to make the first day jitters go away… let me be real honest when I say that I will have ready confetti under my pillow tonight. I am antsy… not so much about tomorrow – but about the rest of the year!!

My classroom is complete and ready for the 22 little bodies that will be here first thing in the morning.

As soon as I have time to catch my breath this week, I will post about my first day of school, Rhett’s 2nd birthday party, Josh’s graduation party, and the movie The Help – which I will be going to see on Wednesday! Until then… here are the classroom pictures I promised!

birthday chart on my closet door

birthday graph

computer area


Bulletin Board by the whiteboard

Look Who...

front door

Room 4 Door

Teachers’ Editions, Paper Sorters, etc.




desk fairy… in our classroom posters that I LOVE


LOVE these numbers I found to go around my clock!


bulletin board Morgan helped me put up to display student work!


Crayon wreath Sara made me!


Over the book shelf – Daniel put this one up all by himself!


my beautiful flowers that Momma, Daddy, Morgan, Tyler, and Cotton sent me for my first day of work!


my window that faces the quad – GO SAINTS!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

texas, back to school, and end of summer

So, one of my blogger friends who I stalk daily, Cara from The First Grade Parade has introduced me to my new favorite computer obsessions… one of them, I am using right now called Windows Live Writer – if you are interested, click on the link to her blog and check out her recent posts… it makes blogging super easy – if you are a frequent blogger, you know the frustrations of uploading numerous pictures… And my other new obsession is Pinterest which is like an online clipboard- let’s just say that you should give it a try… I have already pinned about 200 things! Lots of neat ideas in one place.

Now, back to my post about what I have been up to… whew – let’s just say I have been really busy… but it has been sooooo much fun. Momma, Sara, and I ventured South to Texas last month. Momma and I have been numerous times to visit family but it was Sara’s first trip – so we did things that we had not done in years and some that I had never done. Our first adventure was the 16 hour car ride- our GPS “Gertrude” directed us on our way with no trouble… We split up the driving and it was not a bad ride (complete with a pit stop at Target).

One of the stories that we got the most laughs out of happened at a convenience store on the way down… Three women traveling together – we all had to tee tee. We head in the restroom where we discover two stalls- one is full and one is nasty… we stand there making awkward small talk waiting on the one that was full and this is what we hear… “ya’ll waiting on the bathroom?” – really? no we were just hanging out in here – she then says the following, and I am quoting here – “well, I ‘m gone let ya’ll go ahead because I got some BIG business to do in there” as she comes out, she informs me (the first one in) that “I already padded the seat for you” – like I was going to sit on the paper she had already sat on… if you are not laughing then I guess it is one of those had to be there moments because it was hilarious to us – while I was using the potty and trying not to laugh out loud, she tells Momma and Sara that the reason she has to do BIG business is because they had eaten KFC a few miles back… Got to love people who share too much!

We made it to South Padre Island late Friday night and crashed. We slept late on Saturday and then took a ride around the Island so Sara could see the sights. Sara and I made our way to the beach to discover that the sand down there is more like sandy dirt (we know that ours in GS is not like that only because it is hauled in) – nonetheless, we decided the pool was more for us. It was the most beautiful pool and super relaxing. Everyone enjoyed fish tacos for supper and I stuck with my trusty mac and cheese! On Sunday morning, Sara woke up with a wild hair to ride horses on the beach. While this is something that has always been on my bucket list, I have never thought about doing it while at the Island. We headed out that morning and had the best time.

I will not even lie – I was sore the next day. I have always loved horses but never quite learned how to take the bounce out of my ride! Monday was spent by Sara and I at Schlitterbahn Water Park and let me tell you, whoever had the idea to wait in line for a water slide in a lazy river is a genius. It was a blast, we acted like five year olds and giggled all day!

On Tuesday, we traveled to the Harlingen area to visit some more family, eat at our favorite Mexican place – authentic Mexican place- and wander as close to the border as we could get. I am still saddened by the fact that it is not safe to cross the Mexican border anymore. The drug wars are too dangerous to travel over. However, I wish I had one more trip I could make. It is such an experience to see that type of culture. However, it is not such a great experience that I am willing to risk my life… That afternoon, we headed North to San Antonio. We made a pit stop by Kingsville, Texas to visit the King Ranch museum – this was cooked up by Momma and Sara. I had never heard of King Ranch. It was a neat museum and a fun pit stop. We made it to our hotel and got checked in. We attempted to make our way on the River Walk to the restaurant area only to discover we had no clue where we were headed… luckily, we ran into a nice jogger who pointed us in the right direction – two miles up the river. We opted to eat at Hard Rock Café which was delicious… we stopped by a few shops and headed home to rest for the busy next day.

Wednesday was packed full with the Alamo and Sea World. The Alamo was the same as always (Momma insists we go every time)- but still interesting to see that part of history. Last time I went to Sea World was in Orlando when I was babysitting – long story short, it was hot and miserable… however, this time it was possibly my favorite part of our trip. We arrived just in time to see a sea lion show; we also saw the Shamoo show, a trick Ski Show, and a Beluga Whale/birds/water acrobats show… by far my favorites were the killer whales and the trick ski show.

We then visited the dolphins for feeding time, the sharks, and the water park.

We also talked Momma into riding with us – we waited in line entirely too long but it was fun! The day ended with showers, a seconds rest, and the Riverwalk again. This time, we decided to wait on a water taxi which was much easier than the two mile hike.

We chose the Rainforest Café for supper and it was amazing. I had never eaten at one and I was amazed by the décor. The manager came to our table and entertained us with card tricks while we waited on our food. He was funny and the wait was quick. He also gave us a free dessert called a Volcano – delish!

We took a real Taxi back to our hotel and packed up. Sara and I were both a little homesick so we chose to drive early and left at 6 a.m. We were home by about 7 that night and pooped. I had missed all of my boys – Daniel, Daddy, Mo, Tyler, Rhett, and Cole…

All of that happened almost a month ago… and since then, lots more has happened :) After coming home on Thursday, I packed up and headed North to Daniel’s for the weekend. It had been a while since I visited and was due for a lazy weekend. The weekend turned out to not be so lazy when Daniel found Miss Belle on Saturday. He found this dog on Craig’s List and it turns out she was about two miles from his house. Other than tee-teeing on the floor, she is a great puppy who provides lots of company to Daniel.

That Sunday, I made a running trip back home in time to teach VBS for the week. The theme was Big Apple Adventure – and it was definitely and adventure. I am always amazed at the VBS songs and how they teach the kids – if you have never heard John 3:16, the rap version, then you should. I love VBS, it is such a fun/busy time. I was so absolutely worn out by Thursday that I threw my Costas in the trash can at the church… needless to say, Friday morning I was digging in the dumpster :( but I found them :) with no scratches (that weren’t there before) and just fine. It was a lesson that I need to rest more and not try to do much!

That weekend, we took another river trip to Demopolis. Although we got in a little rain, the trip was a blast – as always!!

This past week was busier than most with preparing my classroom which will be filled with 22 kiddos in 6 days and getting ready for our big three man scramble. The tournament is one of my favorite weekends of the year. There are 52 teams and 156 golfers that come into town once a year. Most of them have been coming for years so it’s like a reunion all weekend. Another fun thing about this year was that Kaley came to visit. It was nice to have her here to enjoy the fun and we made some GREAT memories – some we will never live down!!

This week will be spent in the classroom. It is coming along so nicely and I am so close but there is so much more to do. There will be a back to school post complete with pictures before school starts. Tomorrow is my favorite nephew's second birthday - he doesn't know it yet but Aunt Curt will be surprising him with a yummy birthday biscuit and balloon - having him across the street makes him easier to spoil (as if I ever had a problem)... birthday and back to school in the next post! Until then....