Sunday, March 29, 2015

My First National Art Convention!

     I was super excited to be able to go to the NAEA art convention this weekend. It was in New Orleans and being this close my Principals were super awesome and paid for me to go. I have been wanting to attend an art convention for a long time now and was excited for and my first one. I have to say that it far exceeded my expectations!!! It was also great that a bunch of the sessions were about digital art, a class that we will be adding in the fall. I'm nervous, excited, and...nervous to be adding this class to our art curriculum at our school. It's an awesome opportunity for my kids to have this class offered and the going to be great that they will be able to work towards being Adobe Photoshop certified! I'm nervous because I've never taught this and I'm going to have to do a lot of prep work over the summer and I'm going to have to get certified myself....lots of work for me this summer!! But I'm going to take the words of my friend and "Embrace the Struggle."
But after these 3 days I do have to say that there were so many people that encouraged me and offered assistance and made me a little less nervous about this new adventure. So if nothing else Thanks those of you at NAEA that were so helpful and made it a great 3 days!!

So this great 3 days of amazing sessions began with an opening session with Tim Gunn!

Got to go to some interesting sessions like this one

Got to meet a few of my blog idols like 
Sands and Purtee both awesome art teachers over at the they were some of the teachers that I looked to when adding more choice to my classroom. They were so both down to earth and had a great session!

But I have to say that I was the most excited to meet Cassie!!! I love her blog and think that you really should check it out at she has such an awesome blog, a classroom I want to take art in, and by far the best art themed outfits you will ever see!! She was also super sweet and took time to chat with me and even complemented my T-Rex sweater haha! I know I was totally acting like a blogger stalker when I was all like, "I love your outfits, your cat is too cute, and I am going to be trying my hand at felting because of you!" But she played it cool, didn't look at me and weird or run the other way, and was super cool about posing for a pic!

 This was a really awesome giant sculpture made from shredded paper

I think one of the best things about the convention was all of the free stuff that I got!! 
Sketchbooks, color pencils, paint, paint sticks, pastels, spray paint, glue, and great lesson plans!!
This was from day one

Day two of free stuff and I got to make a spirit tree at the Blick Art supply much fun!!!

The last day I took a Chinese Calligraphy class and it was super cool. I did have a moment when I was really stressed at having to do something that I didn't feel confident in and not feeling like it was turning out like I wanted it to. I then had that moment when I was like, "This is how my kids feel!" 

This was our example...

This was mine... Not like his but...

So it was a great three days! I do have to day that I was wondering what my kids were up to and how my room looks after 2 days with sub...I'm praying that they remembered all of my training and feared me enough to clean up after themselves! I guess I will find out tomorrow when I go in. Yes, I'm going to work tomorrow even though its Spring Break. I have so much to get done. I have Prom to get ready for, it's the Sat of the week we go back to school. I also have a ton of grading to do, lesson plans to post, projects to prep for, and art pieces to finish for the silent auction at the Art show.
Here are some projects that my kids have recently done.

One of my Art 3 kids painting

An Art 4 kid... she was playing around when she made this

An Art 3 students painting

My Art 4 kid

One of my Art 4 kids wanted to paint with crayons

And my boys...playing with their giant paper mache weapons LOL!!! 

I have a lot more artwork of my students to photography...maybe I will get to it this week. I'm super excited to have a whole week, Spring Break, to work in my classroom and get caught up...I know, Lame! Oh well, it is what it is hahaha!!

~Till Next Time

Monday, February 9, 2015

Grateful Sundays: Week 5

Totally forgot to post yesterday! 

I'm thankful that my administration is sending me to the National Art Conference.

I'm grateful for dinners with Sammie at China Sea :)

So grateful to be named SPHS Teacher of the month.

Grateful for my sister's homemade pizza and dinner with my family.

Love Friday nights curled up on the couch with Mr. Bingley watching a movie.

So thankful for Smart Phones and love my new Note 4

Grateful for Sunday lunches and long talks around the table. 

Something I'm really looking forward to:
Mardi Gras Break and my cruise in 10 days!

What were you grateful for this Week??

~Till Next Time

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Grateful Sundays

     I love love Flow magazine! It is by far my favorite magazine. One of the things that I love about it is all the beautiful images, ideas and the fact that each edition comes with a few little surprises. This past edition came with this great little Gratefulness Diary. Now I'm not saying Flow is a God thing but I had just picked my word for the year, Joy, and said that I was going to be more positive and grateful when I got I'm calling it a God wink. 
This is the little description in the front cover and it was just what I needed just when I needed it.
"It's the little things that mean a lot," sang Sonny and Cher in the 1967 movie Good Times. "It's what you are, not what you got." And weren't they right. If you go searching for happiness in the big things, most likely you'll overlook it. Yet that is often exactly what we do. We focus on our big plans for the future, the house we'd like to have, that better job, a new love... while thru happiness is right here in the present, and we forget to notice it. That's why we made this Little Gratefulness Diary. Its aim is to help you focus on the beautiful, positive moments happening in your life right now. For each day for the next 29 weeks, you can use these pages to jot down all the things that make you smile. We've also included some questions you can answer to highlight other things that make your day so nice. And if it's true what the experts say, you'll soon notice a change in the way you think.
     So I'm I just finished up week 4 and I'm loving that it's making me really think about what I have to be grateful for each day. Here's what I was grateful for this week:

I'm so grateful for sick days, even when I hate the fact I have to use them.

Thankful for all the kids that DO want to be in art class...and hoping to turn the ones that don't :)

Thankful for Ibuprofen and acces to medication when I need it. Not feeling so great today.

Thankful for those kids that crack me up and make me laugh!

So grateful for good friends, fun Birthday dinners at the Melting Pot, and great gifts like my new Mantra Band from Lydia!

I'm so grateful for 35 years, and Saturdays...definitely Saturdays!

Grateful for Sunday dinners with my family!

So what were you grateful for this week?

~Till Next Time

35 Years & 35 Life Lesson

Yep, Happy Birthday to me! I turned 35 today! I know...I still look 25 ;) Well except those few darn gray hairs that seem to want to make their selves home on my head...Curse you gray hairs Curse You!!!

So yeah besides the few gray hairs, which I blame on teaching high school, I have picked up a few life lessons. Here are my 35 life lessons. Enjoy!

1. Life doesn't turn out like we think, plan, or sometimes want. Roll with it and trust that God's plans are better than yours.

 2. Yep I've learned that not everyone is going to be a fan and I'm ok with that.  

3. I can be my own worst enemy and thats not cool. I have learned that I have to stop being so critical of myself and that it's ok if I mess up just learn from it.

4. This one took some time but I'm ok with my crazy...heck I've learned to embrace it. I'm different and thats ok :)

5. Get things in writing!

6. Don't steal and never go through a mirror to a man in a mask. Thanks Fine Arts Survey for those lessons

7. Make sure that you go straight to bed after taking Ambien. No texting, FB, or calling. And you still may wake up and find an empty bag of chips in the middle of your living room (and not recall ever getting out of bed!)

8. I would rather do one thing really great then a bunch of things crappy. Sometimes it just has to be about quality over quantity. 

9. No matter what happens your family will always be there for you, will help you move, again and again, tell you what you need to hear, remind you to lower your freak flag just a bit, love you when you're not being so lovable, cheer you up when you are down.  

 10. Don't compare my life, job, situations, experiences, past, future, relationships, or adventures to anyone else's.

11. Just because you wish for it doesn't mean it will come true. You have to go after what you want and in most cases it's going to take time, energy, and work.

 12. At least I have learned to laugh at myself...I will never cease to be amused!

13. Stop waiting on your prince charming to come and whisk you off to his castle. Sometimes you just have to jump on your own house and chase your own adventure.

 14. Really learned this after Katrina, collect things that cannot be taken, Memories, Moments, and Experiences!

15. If the devil can't make you bad he will make you busy. Never become to busy for God!

16. A cup of good coffee or tea, good sheets, matching bra and underwear, cupcakes, manis and pedis, a good book, and a furry cat purring in your lap all make your life way more enjoyable!!!

 17. Don't borrow trouble. Don't except other's mess.

 18. I had no idea! Bills, decisions, jobs, stress, and other adults makes you sometimes think that it's not all the fun and games you thought. But I still don't want to be 15 again.

19. Haha...this is how I sometimes feel. Thanks Honey Boo Boo!!!
I'm not going to be a size 2 (well unless Im really really sick and taking meds for migraines) and I'm ok with that. Maybe I'm a tad vain, but I also don't want to be bigger than my size 6.

 20. Teaching art and doing prom has taught me this well. I will never get rid of the glitter in my car and seems to get on me every day.

21. People will eventually let you down in some way. Remember they are human just like you.

 22. A min. on the treadmill can seem like the longest hour of your life.

23. Pack for a trip and then take out half. Never fails, I always over pack!

24. A Netflix marathon will suck you in and you will blink and realize you haven't moved from your couch for the whole day!

 25. Coffee will pretty much fix anything, or make me happy enough to overlook it.

Well that escalated quickly!
26. Stay away from never turns out good. 

27. It's all fun and games until the fun and games portion stops...and boy can it turn quickly!

28. I didn't realize that life would give me so many moments when a Monte Python quote could so easily be inserted.

29.  I've learned that life is about the journey. I will have moments in the valley and those on the mountain top. I have to keep my joy in both, enjoy the journey, and learn to find the positive in every moment!

30. Being single and without kids has many positives! Learn to love the different seasons of my life!

31. There is always worse jobs than mine, even on my worse day!  

32. Never make big life decisions when I'm emotional or PMSing!

33. I will have moments of restlessness, it doesn't mean I'm not where I should be, or that I'm unhappy. It's just a moment...sometimes I just need a little adventure to settle the restlessness.

34. Never settle or lower your standards! Hold true to your convictions and stand firm on your beliefs.

35. You are only as good as those around make sure to surround yourself with greatness. 

So here's to hoping that this is my best year yet! I made a wish that I would love to see come about but if nothing else the past 35 years have taught me that life doesn't really go by my plans LOL! 
But no matter what I'm sure it will be an awesome year!

I gave myself a nice Birthday gift 

A 7 day cruise on the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas

I leave on Feb. 14th LOL

~Till Next Time

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just Keeping It Real

     So this is me just being real about some things that I went through in the fall. I don't write any of this to reflect badly on my profession, place of work, or people I work with. I'm pretty sure we all have "Been there and done that," when it comes to being in a place where we are not sure about the path we are on. If not then I envy your total grasp on this crazy thing called life that we have no instruction book for, GPS, Siri, or Google search to help us with. 

     So I'm still not even sure why... but with the start of the new school year this past fall semester came a lot of changes and a lot of negative feelings about where I work and what I do. It was like I was in such a funk and couldn't get out of it. It then got really negative, or better yet, I got really Really negative, and it just seemed to snowball from there. One thing that I've found is that if you're going to be negative you will find a lot of people that will happily join in on your negativity party, heck they even seem to show up with streamers! But really I can't (and won't) blame anyone else but myself because when it came to the Negativity Party I was it's planner, host, Dj, and caterer, and I threw quite a Bang up party!!! 

     I found EVERYTHING to be unhappy about, everything to complain about, and everything that was, is, or ever will be wrong with teaching and the education world. So I got this great idea that I needed to do something else and I signed up for nursing classes. I've always been someone that needed to be in control and I felt that this would give it back to me. I would have something to work towards and it would get me out of a job that I had convinced myself I hated and blamed for my unhappy feelings. It would give me a backup plan for when I couldn't stay down here any more and be the fix for all I felt was wrong. Now I knew that nursing wasn't going to be fix-all, but it was me doing something. My kids knew I wasn't happy, heck everyone around me knew. I guess looking back this is what I'm the most disappointed in myself for, that I set this tone of negativity in my classroom for a semester :( 
(Last week one of my kids even made the comment that I had been in such a great mood and seemed to be having fun like I use to. That really hit me and made me realize how much my attitude sets the tone in my class.)

     So I took a pre-req class, changed my major, and signed up for another pre-req for the spring semester. Everyone couldn't believe that I would leave teaching and art. I can't say I did either. But I felt that I was unhappy, wanted some type of control, and felt that change was the only way to do it. I felt that one day I wouldn't be able to stay where I am and that I wouldn't be able to find another art teaching job, and that things in the education world would only get worse. I felt that the only way to fix it all (to be happy again) was to get in front of it all and make a change. I kept thinking that I needed to have things in place for when I couldn't take it all anymore and had to, or needed to, leave education. I know, I'm the queen of borrowing trouble and worrying about days that have yet to me 34 years and it's something I'm still working on!! I was just wallowing in my negativity and what I like to call my "Valley Moment." You see I've always known that I'm a mountain top or valley person. I tend to have those moments where I'm so positive and can take on the world, embracing life and enjoying every minute of it. But I also have those valley moments where I want to crawl under the covers and lament all of the things I could have done, should have done, or worry about what will happen. I see now that I battle moments of depression. 
I know... thats hard for me to admit but I said battle, meaning that it's something I'm not giving into! It's hard for me to even admit to myself that this is something I struggle with. I mean I'm a very blessed person, from a great family, serve the Lord, and am saved by grace. Really what do I have to be depressed about? Should't I just be able to give it to God and deal with it. Yep, I I always do it? Nope... But like I said its something I battle and I'm learning to recognize that it's ok to have valley moments but just don't stay there.

     While in the midst of my valley moment negativity party I realized that I had to change this and I had to change me. The only way to be Happy and have Joy was to change me, myself, my attitude, not my job or what or where I do it. I started to pray that God would show me what to do. My greatest fear in life is to not be in God's will. I felt like He had released me from teaching and if I wanted to do something else He would bless it. But I also needed to realize that not a job, person, situation, or place was going to make me happy. That would only come when I decided to choose Joy, seek God, look for the positive, and find inner peace. I love teaching and I'm not saying this to brag because I know its God, but I'm really good at it. I knew deep down that I would miss it and that making a decision while leading the negativity conga line in my valley moment would not fix anything! 

     The whole time I was throwing my tremendous negativity party I kept on saying that I would be happy if they would just let me teach! If they would get rid of all the PLCs, school scores, SLTs and teacher blaming crap...come on all my teacher friends out there, you know what I'm talking about. I kept on saying if only they would just let us do our jobs and support us, appreciate us more, and pay us more then things would be great and I wouldn't want to leave. But I had to come to grips with the fact that I was the one that needed to change. I had to choose Joy, look for and focus on the positive, and be grateful for all that I did have and not what I didn't. I had to be the change that I wanted to see (seems someone pretty smart once gave that great advice). Yes, things in education will never be perfect. We deal with mini people that are trying their best to figure out how to so this thing we call life, and lets be honest I can certainly cut them some slack since I totally get that it's not always easy to figure it all out. Plus, school is the only other place besides jail that you're required to go even if you don't want to. haha!! There will always be bad days, things I want to change, things I can't change, and the fact that I can't do it all. But thats ok, I will be ok. I just have to remember to focus on the good and let the bad be a lesson while letting it roll off my back. Also that I can choose to be happy and to have Joy while living this crazy thing called life. I can be happy doing what I love, teaching, and know that no matter if I'm in a valley or singing on a mountain top (You know we all just had a Sound of Music image flash in our minds haha!) that I make the choice about how I react. And I may have to remind myself over and over till hopefully I don't have to remind myself, that I choose Joy and to be grateful. 

     When I thought about what my word for this year was going to be (This Link will explain more about my Word for the Year) I thought about Contentment, Happy, or Happiness. Then I looked up those words and one thing that I found that helped me choose Joy for my Word for the Year was I found that Contentment, Happy, or Happiness are all based on outer factors, they can wavier and be altered by things and situations. But Joy, thats something that you choose and comes from within and isn't contingent on others, jobs, money, or situations. Thats what I want! I want and need to have Joy in both the mountain tops and valleys. I found this on Pinterest and loved it.

 The Viking Runes - Joy reminds me of a mountain top and valley and that I should have joy in both.

This blog was all first just an entry in my journal but felt the need to share. In my journal I drew this based on what I had found above.

     So I decided that I would miss teaching and that I wanted to be a teacher not a nurse. I love my job and what I do and the difference that I know I make there even if it's small. I love the kids that God allows me to be apart of their lives and that in many cases I even learn a little from them. I love that I have a job that sometimes makes a difference and allows me to do something that is sometimes fun and different. I still don't like all the crap that comes with the job I do, I really wish we got paid more (who doesn't haha!), and I know that I will still have some bad days or weeks (I do teach High School!). But I have more Good things to dwell on then the bad stuff. I'm have some really great people that I work with, I have a great administration that really tries to do whats required of them while still being understanding of all that we as teachers and trying their very hardest to support us. I have some really really great kids, some that make the day worth showing up, and I have decided that I'm going to look for the positive even if some days the only good is that I have a chair that swivels :)

    So chalk up my brief moment as a nursing student to: me exploring my options, seeing I do indeed have them (I got a B in my Micro Bio class), and venturing out to see if the grass is greener only to finally realize that my grass may have some weeds in it but it is green and greener yet when I water it with positivity.

~Till Next Time :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Should Have Known Better...

 So have you ever decided to make a change and the moment you do you find that you are tested in that area? Yeah, seems it happens every time and I should have know better but I was still surprised when low and behold after I chose the word Joy as my word for the year, and vow that I'm going to be positive at work, I get tested....and Big Time! 
As a part of embracing my word Joy I am finding things to be grateful for, and it just so happened in the new Flow there was this awesome Gratefulness Diary.

 I reported to work on Monday and found out that there was some changes happening to our schedule and that I was now not only the art teacher but the Study Hall teacher...I have to say that I was happy about this assignment since some teachers ended up with test prep during that extra period. So I was still holding on to my positive attitude and pretty excited about the start of a new semester. It just so happens that I love the Spring semester, there are breaks spaced out nicely through the semester and it just always seems to fly by. 
This was me on Monday rearing to Go!

So every teacher knows that the first day outfit is very important! This was I mean business outfit and I was ready for Tue. and the first day with students. 

So this is were the test part comes in...I know short story long and all haha!
I get to school on Tue. knowing that I have 22 kids in a class that only seats 20, but was told by the counselor that it would be taken care of. I find out at the end of my planning 1st period that I don't have 22 kids, no I have 24 and no place for those kids to sit. I was told that i could deal with it. At this moment I wanted to lose it, I wanted to go off, I wanted to get my feathers ruffled...But I didn't. I ran to my classroom, found a table and 4 stools, rearranged my classroom and try to get everything to accommodate these extra kids. I reminded myself that a lot of teachers have way more kids and that I wasn't going to let this hiccup steal my joy. Yeah it was tight in the class and felt a little like an ant pile but we rolled with it and made it work. I wasn't the first and only change to my schedule today and there were moments that I wasn't happy about it but I was determined to stay positive!  
So in my gratefulness diary I wrote that I was grateful for the extra table and when I left at the end of the day I found out that I don't have 24 kids...nope I've got 26.
It's going to be a fun semester!!!
But no matter what I have so much to be thankful for and I may not always be happy about things that happen but I'm not going to let it steal my joy.

~Till Next Time