January 22, 2016

#IG2016GOALS - January

Back at the beginning of the month, some amazing "instagrammers" that I follow suggested making monthly goals rather than just a few BIG resolutions. This was perfect for me. Usually I set the same resolutions each year. You know the ones: lose weight, eat right, spend time with family, don't take work home, organize the house, etc. Well, I tend to do really well for about a month and then I become the biggest slacker! So, the idea of monthly goals was exactly what I needed to get my butt in gear. And posting those goals publicly on Instagram was a good way to really commit to them.

Today I officially completed my January list of goals!
Yay me!
So I thought I would share a bit about this journey with my bloggy friends.
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.

FAMILY GOAL: Visit Mom & Stan at their new house
Back in November, my mom and step-dad moved to Hilliard, OH to semi-retire. My totally awesome hubby made a quick overnight trip to help them get settled, but I hadn't had the chance to visit. Since last weekend was a three day weekend, I jumped at the opportunity to make the drive.

Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
It was so nice to just RELAX and visit for a few days. I even got to teach Mom what a "selfie" is. Pretty cute, huh?
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
It was so darn cold, though. I guess I've been living in the south for too long. I didn't even have a proper coat! My poor little car got "frosted". So we had to find things to do indoors.
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
My sweet daughter, Sammy, made the trip with me, so we decided to celebrate her 19th birthday a little early. Mom took us (and my sister and niece) out to lunch at Red Robin. How cool is this super tall order of onion rings?!? We fully intended on ordering their chocolate ice cream pie, but got WAY too full on all the other yummies.

TPT GOAL: Update my ecosystem resources
Have you jumped on the interactive notebook train yet? I have. I'm the conductor on my team - pushing others to include more interactive notes in student journals. So one of the things I did to update my unit was to add more interactive notebook activities. These were activities that I have always done but just never got around to putting together to post online.
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
I even "tortured" my son and made him do one of the Quick Write Journal Prompts so I could take a picture for this post. To be fair, he IS in my second period STEM class, and it WAS a snow day, and he DID do a great job answering the question. So, I paid him a buck. Yep - $1.00. Cheap labor. Lol.
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
I am so excited about what I've accomplished. When I lost all of my "newest" files a couple months ago, these were some of the things I lost. It took a lot of motivation to recreate the files so I could share them on TpT. (To be honest, I've got a couple more ideas I plan to add too, but I wanted to upload it ASAP.)

EDUCATIONAL GOAL: Get my plans done early
I'm not actually sure if this category was supposed to be about school or me continuing my education, but for January I made a goal to get my "official-to-be-checked-by-administration" lesson plans typed and printed out early. And by early, I originally meant by Friday night so I could enjoy the weekends. 

Are you required to submit lesson plans in a specific format? We are, but I admit that it isn't too terrible. I actually helped develop the planning grid that the whole school uses. It helped me to plan this way and administration liked it. 

If you're interested, you can grab my planning grid for FREE. 
Just click on the image below. 
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9MJ-dNhg2ARYnhKNzY2Ujk5Vkk
It's in a Word document that is fully editable so you can make changes as needed. 

I truly believe that lesson plans should not be so involved that you spend HOURS upon HOURS typing them up. This grid helps me organize my thoughts quickly. And I ended up finding that when I sat down to plan it was actually easier to plan the entire unit out. So why not go ahead and type it up into the proper format and be done with it?!? What a HUGE relief it was to know that until the last week of January, I didn't have to write up any lesson plans.

Um, I realize it is now time to do my plans for the next week. I promise I will get them done. In fact, I've decided to plan out the whole next unit again. I might carry this goal out for the whole year. Wouldn't THAT be amazing?!?

PERSONAL GOAL: Finish Sammy's afghan
So, LAST DECEMBER I started crocheting an afghan for my daughter. For a while I was really going strong. Then I hit a wall. The stitch is not difficult to do, but it is time consuming. And the repeating pattern that seemed awesome at first got very boring.

While I was at Mom's house, we spent a little while crocheting together. She made granny squares and I worked on the afghan. It was fun to see her using the monster yarn bowl I had made for her to hold her ball of yarn and crochet hook. Aren't those yarns pretty, too?
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
My afghan is a totally different set of colors. Sammy LOVES all things rainbow, so I chose bright, cheery colors and used a harlequin stitch to make this lap-sized afghan. I love how it turned out. 
Are New Year's Resolutions something that you struggle with? Try this strategy for goal setting. It's motivational and realistic.
Good thing I got it done today, because her birthday is tomorrow and I had envisioned giving it to her as one of her gifts. Whew! Just in time.

Now I'm thinking ahead to what my goals for February might be. It really seemed manageable to focus on four specific areas that I wanted to accomplish something. And better yet, to actually ACHIEVE those goals!

January 3, 2016

Currently January 2016

One of my New Years Resolutions is to blog at least once a month. I wish I could promise each post will be well thought out and incredibly inspiring, but we all know how busy life gets. So I'm starting small and getting myself back into the groove of blogging regularly.

For my (first) January post, I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade to share my CURRENTLY.

LISTENING
It's quiet at my house right now. VERY quiet. Which is kind of amazing since I have 4 kids, 2 puppies, and a very loud husband. But I'm alone with the dogs right now and they are napping under my feet. So it's quiet. I don't even have Netflix on for a change. And I'm just listening to the peace and quiet for a while!

LOVING
It's been a pretty weird winter break ,weather-wise. It started out rainy and nasty. My back yard was a giant mud puddle. Then it got super warm. I'm talking "over 70 degrees out" warm. Which was wonderful, except the sun was struggling to stay out. Now it's back to colder temperatures, but the sun is out shining brightly. And I'm loving it!

THINKING
Every break is the same for me. I have grand plans. So many things I want to do. Then I spend time as a lazy (but very relaxed) blob on the couch for several days. My husband and kids have been out of town for a week and they get back today. Which has me frantically trying to prepare for their return. Somehow when everyone is here I just don't get as much done. Gee, I wonder why. So I have a million things running through my mind that need to be added to my to-do list. And I'm thinking it needs to be a productive day!

WANTING
Usually ice cream is my summertime vice. But with this warm weather I can't seem to stop craving it. My favorite ice cream treat is the cookie dough blast from Sonic. Speaking of Sonic, it's less than five minutes from my house. And I'm wanting to treat myself!

NEEDING
I always feel this way at the end of a long break. Like if I only had just one more day I could really feel ready to go back to "real life" (a.k.a. the classroom). But that to-do list keeps getting longer. And there are so many little projects I meant to get done. And I suddenly have about 17 great ideas for TpT products. And I'm needing time to stop for at least one more day!

ONE LITTLE WORD
I wish my word was more inspiring. Something like "motivation" or "accomplishments" or "resolutions". But all that keeps running through my head is "hurry, hurry, hurry". Hurry up and type this post. Hurry up and finish the laundry. Hurry up and enter grades. Hurry up and finish lesson plans. Hurry up and take a shower. Hurry up and finish a sewing project. Hurry up and drop things off at Goodwill. Hurry up and make a new seating chart. Hurry up and hang that shelf in the bathroom. Hurry up and drive to Sonic and get that cookie dough blast!

What are you doing currently?
Link up and share!