Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Chore Chart

We used several different chore charts over the years to try and get the kids to do what they need to do. We used paper and stickers, we used an on-line chart, we found an app for the iPad. But nothing seems to work. It's partly our faults. We don't in force them to do it. Since it's summer, I thought I'd try another one. I search pinterest for different ideas, but none were exactly what I wanted. I combined several different versions for one that I hope will work for my bunch. Louba doesn't have one yet. She is the bi kid's helper and gets to use the new zebra dust mop, which is fine for her.

Here's our version

Jule's New duffle

I took another sewing class today at my all time favorite sewing shop, Stitcher's Playhouse. Jule's was needed a new overnight duffle, and I just couldn't find one I loved for the price I wanted to pay. The ladies at the shop ALWAYS do a great job helping find the perfect fabric and help so much with teaching you tricks and tips to make a difficult job easier. Jules picked out the fabric a few weeks ago, some pre-quilted floral fabric (which made putting the bag together much easier), and today, we constructed it in the class.

Mary, at the shop, came up with the pattern. It's pretty easy, pockets on each side, and zipper closure. If you want to learn how to sew, or sew better, Stitcher's is the place to visit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Something I Wish I Would Have Done

For those of you in the process of adopting, or planning on adopting, here is a big tip for you when tracking your expenses.

We're finalizing our taxes, or the request for more information part. We kept all the receipts from travel and adoption expenses, but not in a neat and organized way. This part would have been so much easier if I hadn't had to deal with this:

This is the folder I kept everything adoption related in, and I've still lost things. If I were to do it all again, which we may one day, I would start a spread sheet and number each receipt, each dollar I spent on ANYTHING adoption related. I'd organize it by date, and then by what the receipt was for. I'd put it all in a nice binder with clear pockets for each month. And, when in country, I'd write on the receipt or on a sheet attached to the receipt what it is and what it is for. I've translated several receipts today only to still not know what it is. I could kick myself for not being organized this past year. But, when you're throw twelve receipts in Russian, are jet-lagged, and missing your family, the last thing you want to do is work on a spreadsheet and get organized.

Hope this helps...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

100th POST!!!

 Some of my post have been just random thoughts, some planned out, some just pictures of my three kiddos. I had thought my 100th post would be something grand and well-thoughtout, but instead, I leave you with some our latest pictures. Enjoy...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Perfect School Planner

I've been teaching for about 13 years now, and I'm always on the lookout for a planner that will make school and home life easier to manage. I've used on-line programs, I've created my own templates, I tried using those little bitty teacher planner books (once, like for a week). Last year, I did a combination of my own template and the school's student agenda. It worked, but not as well as I wanted. I use for our family life and any big school holidays or events. But, I've been scouring Pinterest and the internet for a planner that I could customize to fit my schedule, and I think I've finally found one!!!

Jenny at Lucky Frog's Lilypad created this one for her blog. It was what I was looking for (with a little modifying). I added a cover page, changed the class periods since I teach a split block schedule, and have a pretty set schedule with planning and remediation classes. Here's my version that you can edit as well (Jenny has the original). I made it fit our nine week schedule, and will print every nine weeks front/back to save copies and have it so I can see a whole week at a time when it's printed. I had put a cute font on it, but it switched when I put it on here--but it's editable. I found the owl clip are here.

This will be part of my teacher binder that I'll start this fall. I've had a teacher binder in the past, but I want one that looks better and is easier to use than before. The following is what I plan on putting in the binder:
1. Lesson plans (see above)
2. Book and locker list (coming soon)
3. Attendance (we take attendance online, but I print it out each month)
4. discipline log
5. Parent contact list
6. Remediation list
7. Grade book
8. Standards (SPi's and Common Core checklists)

Now to find the perfect binder!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Six Months

Six months ago, I was sitting in a hotel in Moscow with a scared little girl who spoke no English and I understood very little Russian. We spent the next couple of days learning about each other. She was funny and loving, (and still is).

Today, we're at home six months with a sweet little girl who has stolen our hearts. She's even more enjoyable and now speaks with a southern accent with a faint Russian accent added in. She still remembers a few words in Russian, but talks non-stop in English. She loves to paint, color, and cut with scissors. She enjoyed Vacation Bible School for the first time ever and wants to go back. She wants to play baseball or softball like her brother and sister. She eats chicken nuggets, french fries, chips, lasagna, milk, cheerios, donuts, and ice cream. We still fight the eating issues and there's not a great variety there. But, she has gained about 3 pounds since coming home. She loves swinging outside and riding her bike.

Our referral picture (Louba about 2 1/2):

Louba today (4 years old):