First Fort

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oh, fort building.  All good childhoods are filled with epic forts made of sheets and pillows and whatever else you can get your hands on.  In the boys' playroom one day I found a makeshift fort.  I'm sure it was made by Talon and made his best friend (our across-the-street-neighbor) or his cousins (whose house is also within sight of ours).  Talon was visiting with his mother and there was no way I was fitting into his fort with Gabriel.

I'm not even sure that Gabe really wanted to play in the fort.  However, remembering how much fun I'd had building forts, I was thrilled to build a fort with him.  Gabriel watched in awe as I whizzed around his room and up and down the stairs with various fort building materials (blankets, chairs, pillows, etc). I think I might have been even more excited than he was!

After it was done, it was pretty epic, if I must say so myself. I crawled in and there was plenty of room for both of us. We called Daddy up and "hid" from him. Gabe was tickled pink. It was a lot of fun. What are your fondest childhood memories? What silly, inexpensive/free games and activities do you share with your children from your childhood?

Accidental Teacher

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In October I shared that I had started a new job as a substitute teacher at a local preschool.  Ever since elementary school, two professions have drawn me to them.  No matter how I tried to fight my desires or reroute my life plans, I've always ended back where I started.  It's like, I can't fight what I'm suppose to do or who I'm suppose to be.

I've always been passionate about writing, though I often have to kick myself in the butt for my lack of effort anymore.  I rarely write the things I used to (and still do) love to explore in print.  Fiction, especially fantasy, has always been appealing to me.  Every time I read an amazing novel, I am a little pained by the fact that I haven't took it upon myself to explore such wonderful things.  I mean, it could've been my mind that thought of such great things.

Other than writing, I have always had an unexplainable desire to be a teacher.  I seek out knowledge on my own and truly love learning.  However, over the years I've had influential teachers of my childhood tell me it wasn't worth it or I could do better.  As a waitress, I also served several retired teachers' reunions and was always told the same thing:  don't do it.  This was a little sad to me.  I can't lie; it crushed my spirits a little.  I had intended to redirect my career path, though I'm not even sure to what now...I had considered so many options (massage therapist, photographer, computer programmer, web design, etc).

My job at the preschool was, in all honesty, a complete accident.  I was not seeking work in the field, though I was desperately seeking work in general.  I stumbled across the job posting online and couldn't think of a reason not to apply (you'd think the forty minute drive would have been reason enough, right?).  After applying for the job, I called a lot.  I was pretty sure I had it, but I needed to be offered the job before I could have any rest.

Obviously, we know I was offered the job.  At the end of December, I was working full-time (more or less) at a newly opened gas station and subbing at the preschool.  Lucky for me, I had been hounding the assistant director and director about my desire to be full time.  When the assistant Pre-K teacher accepted a new job, guess who was the first to find out?  Me!  You're so smart.  How did you know?  I, literally, knew first.

I never expected to love my job as much as I have.  Even before I accepted the full time job, I was loving it so much more than I had thought I would.  I came into a classroom that was struggling in more ways that I can explain, but the root was behavioral issues and lack of respect for the head teacher.  I have been very aggressive in my attempts to help turn the class around and (not to toot my own horn or anything but) I think it's be a success.  Is my classroom perfect?  No.  Am I always happy with the way situations are handled?  No.

At the end of the day though, I know that I have come into my class giving 110% and left satisfied that I did my best that day.  Expect to hear about some of the trials of day to day life as a Pre-K teacher.

Valentines Worth Giving

Crayola Heart Valentines @ Whipperberry
Valentine Ombre Specimen @ Lolly Jane
Valentine Pretzels & More @ Pint Sized Baker
Love Bugs @ If I Had a Million Hours
Cream Cheese Mint Conversation Hearts @ Twigg Studios
Rice Krispie Love Letter Mailboxes @ Hoopla Palooza
My "gifts" to you, considering I'm seriously lacking time to make anything super awesome myself.

Obsessed Reader

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

So it's been awhile, as I suppose always happens when I start a blog.  Of course, I'm really trying this time (not that it's evident).  Yesterday, I was struck by just how badly I wanted to write about the book series I was reading.  I really, really wanted to share my love (and possible obsession) with this particular series and the characters in it.

Last year or maybe before that, I discovered The Iron Fey, a books series about a new race of fey that threaten the Oldbloods (original fey of Winter and Summer). The books are written by Julie Kagawa, and I've added her other books to my mental list of must-reads (I should make that an actual list, to be honest).

My favorite book is probably the third, The Iron Queen, for reasons I'm not going to as not to spoil some of the story for you.  I was surprised at how riveted I was by this story because this was the second time I'd read it and I could not put it down.  My husband and co-workers can attest to my obsessive reading, whenever possible.  I started the first book, The Iron King, on Monday last week.  I just finished the fourth book, The Iron Knight, last night and read the final enovella today.

I love the world and characters that Julie has created.  Even though she writes in a PG-13 format (although the romance could likely be G rated), I am deeply affected by the love, friendships, battles, etc. of this series.  I am very in love with the characters (especially a certain Winter prince), and loved reimmersing myself in Julie's world.

This is my small, but heartfelt tribute to her.  Even the second time, I loved this series.   Also, it's inspired me.  It makes me want to write, not just blog, but I haven't done in a long time.  Thank you Julie!  I can't wait to read The Lost Prince!
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