{Newness in the Naborshood}

Wow.  It sure has been a long time since I've written in this sweet blog.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!  To be honest, life has been crazy with teaching and so much else I haven't had an opportunity to write.  I've thought about it, but to be honest, I also haven't known what to write.  Some funny things at school have happened, but when I thought about them or wrote them down in the "notes" app on my iPhone somehow I was distracted and it didn't make it to this space.  Whatever the reason, I'm back again.  Writing from my new MacBook Air I might add!

That's right.  My wonderful husband surprised me with this bad boy on Christmas morning. :)  Needless to say I am a happy girl!  Plus, it inspired me to visit this lovely space and post something as cheerful as I have been feeling for the past several months.  Teaching has done me a world of good, and even better, so has this 2 week hiatus of Christmas Break goodness.

This ballin' computer is not the only thing that is new in the Nabors household as of late either.  Ryan and I have been wanting to "liven" up or maybe "move our house from college to adult style" and tonight we did just that!  Ry has hated our couch for quite the while now and has been wanting to get a couch cover for the past year probably.  Not that the green, white and blue plaid cushions weren't knocking our socks off, it was just time for a face lift.  Naturally, I kicked and screamed and dragged my heels in the beginning, but I have to say my man was right.  Our living room looks stellar now.  PLUS, he let me get throw pillows.  Girly throw pillows.  Boy does that man know the way to my heart.

It really does look like a brand new couch!

Ryan started this whole redecorating our living room idea when he received the bookshelf/entertainment center I gave him for Christmas.  He had also been wanting one of those for a long time too.  He set it up last night and it sure looks good!  Definitely opens up the space in the front.

Lastly, we're updating our kitchen shelving thing and putting one of the bookshelves there instead.  Since we lost the two drawers that we use to hold different things (bills, dog medicine, instructions, etc.) Ryan thought we should get some of those cloth shelving units to use instead.  I wasn't convinced, but they were pretty cute so I thought we could try it.  Plus there's this new-fangled thing called "returning" if you aren't completely satisfied with your purchase.  So, it's out with the old...

... and in with the new!

In case you wanted a better look of the fabulous new chalkboard I received from Mama McD for Christmas here is the first design to christen the board.  Sic'Em!

Ryan is trying to convince me we should hang the chalkboard where the brown artwork is above the bookshelf right now (see above).  Since his taste has proven good so far, perhaps we will. :)

I was hoping to write about the awesome Christmas gifts I received this year, but as this post has already drawn on long enough, the puppies feet need cleaning, and we have friends coming over to play games really soon, I think I'll call it a night.

Thanks for stopping by!  I am glad to be back, and promise to be better.

{Teacher Tuesday: The No Heat Week}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Time to catch up on all things 2nd grade awesomeness.  This past week, our school has had zero heat.  That's right.  I've had 15 kiddos bundled up in their heavy coats, hats, and even gloves.  I tried to abide by our school's rules of no hats, and that it's really not appropriate to wear gloves indoors, but since it's been unbearably cold I gave up on that several days ago.

We've been doings lots of dancing around, running in place, jumping jacks, stretching, moving quickly from place to place (often) to keep warm.  Today, I was convinced I was going to have to take my kids to the front of the building to work in the hallway, as it was warmer there, but they fixed the heat just in time.  Rumor has it someone stole the copper.  I can't say I'm all that surprised.  Last year, someone stole the entire fence and three trees that were planted in memorial of a teacher and two students who had passed away.  Haha, yeah, we're in that part of town. :)

Other than freezing to death in the arctic, my kids had their first sub last Friday when I went to Atlanta to celebrate my Mama Bev's 85th birthday!  Let me begin by saying, planning for a sub was almost as much work as putting together a lesson plan for an entire week.  Since I am self-contained (aka I teach every subject) I had to plan for activities for the entire day and explain how to introduce/teach them/be able to help my kids if they had questions.  Way more work than I anticipated.

As I checked in with my bestie Haley to see how the day had gone so far, and to ensure my sub had actually shown up since several had picked up and canceled through the week, I was really hoping to hear a positive report.

Instead, I heard from Haley at the end of the day saying the sub had practically left in tears, that my class was one of the worst classes she had had in her 21 years of teaching.  #fail  I don't know if she just wasn't used to the behavior problems that lie in our type of school, if my kids were particularly horrible, or cold, or a combination of all three, but the sub left vowing she'd never come back to sub at our school, or for my class.  

I'd like to think my class and I have made huge progress in the behavior management department, and maybe Friday was a testament to that, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.  We still have a long way to go.  Perhaps by May we'll be there. ;)  We had to have a talk about Friday this past Monday, and I was pretty annoyed I had gotten a report like that, but my principal told me that if it had been that bad the sub would have talked to her or our assistant principal when they checked in on her, and she didn't.

Anyway, this time next week I will be kicking up my heels and off for Thanksgiving Break!!!  I hope the exclamation points help you to understand how truly excited I am about my first loooong break.  I now understand why teachers, and students, need these breaks. :)

Have the happiest of Tuesdays, little smarties!

{Teacher Tuesday: Fair Days, Field Trips, and Funnies}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Where should I begin?  We're in the 10th week of school.  Can you believe that?  I can hardly believe it myself.  Now, let's see what 2C has been up to these days.

A few weeks ago, we had our second day off from school, blessed fair day.  I know it's a day for teachers to escape their children, but Haley and Lisa, my new teacher besties, decided to brave the possibility of running into our children and go to the fair on fair day.  I have to say it really wasn't that bad either, and we only saw one child we knew, who wasn't any of our students.  We ate, drank, and enjoyed the fair FOR FREE (at the ticket was free), and naturally our diets started Monday.  No really though.

After we returned from the fair Friday, Haley and I went to Half Price Books since they were doing a 20% off teacher appreciation deal or something.  Being a teacher sure has some nice perks.  I have found myself looking for kids books all over the place since becoming a teacher.  There are some gems out there I loved as a kid, a need for lower reading levels than I have in my current classroom library, and specific books teachers like to use for teaching, like Kevin Henkes books which I of course had none of.  $50 later, I have several Henkes books, 30 something phonics readers, and 1 Little Golden Book - The Tawny, Scrawny Lion & The Clever Monkey.

No, I don't have all of these, but I am the proud owner of 4 of them. :)

That's right -- 2C went on a Field Trip to the Environmental Center!  I have nothing negative to report about the experience.  Shocking, right?  Just kidding... kind of.  Anyway, we went to the Environmental Center which brought back fond memories of my days as a child heading there.  Not only did I frequent there on my own field trips during school, I actually have the joyous memory of falling into the lake one year.  I recall my teacher pushing me to try to regain his balance, but I digress...

2C, 2D and 2E all went together and my class ended up splitting in half.  Haley and her Mom, who chaperoned the field trip, ended up taking 4 of my kids, two of which were boys I normally have trouble with.  I didn't think that through when I split my kids up, but praise the LORD everyone was on their best behavior.

In the morning, we went on a nature "hike" and saw spiders, squirrels, trees, animal burrows and homes, birds, and tried to spot a fawn, but didn't have much luck other than finding fresh tracks in the dirt.  It was on that hike that my kids were fascinated by daddy long legs spiders, concerned that I would get eaten or attacked by something as I was the caboose, and I was asked, "but Mrs. Nabors, when do the squirrels start hatching from their eggs?"  Yeah... we're going to have to go back and cover life cycle, but I believe that's a spring concept.

After lunch, we swapped with the other class and fed the barnyard animals which included two baby goats, a drooling dairy cow, a longhorn bull, a pig named Sweetheart aka Schatzy, a small pig named Snowflake, and ducks and chickens.  I only fed the goats because they were adorable of course, but that was about all the feeding I really wanted to partake in, and it was for the kids... really we all know that's why I didn't feed more animals. :)

After feeding the animals we got to go catch grasshoppers and feed them to the indoor animals (i.e. lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles, fish).  I tried to scoop out a grasshopper to clear one of my student's nets so they could get another and the dang thing pooped on me.  Who knew grasshoppers would do that as a defense mechanism?  I certainly didn't.  Needless to say, my kids got a huge kick out that.  #teacherlife

I am proud of my little bears and look forward to taking them on another field trip, if the opportunity arises and the funds are available.  Despite being a little crazy on the bus because they had never been on one before, they were a joy. It was a blast to see their little eyes light up over the things they were seeing. :)

In other news, no desks have been thrown as of late, though I'm still having quite a bit of trouble with my classroom management.  My principal has been frequenting my classroom trying to help out and I am so grateful for the modeling and coaching she has provided the past couple of days.

Nothing else too terribly exciting has happened other than my second unpleasant encounter with a parent.  I don't think I've shared, but the first parent told me I wasn't doing enough to help her child.  That was fun.  So, you can imagine talking to parents isn't my favorite thing, but it's a necessity I know.  I know this is not the norm as well, and most of my students' parents are super willing to help out where they can.  That is something I am so thankful for.

Thursday afternoon I had my second encounter with a parent.  After telling her her child did absolutely nothing in my class that afternoon and that if it continued I was afraid the child would fall behind, she did close to nothing to discuss what I had just mentioned and instead switched the focus of the conversation to a time when another child put their hand in her child's face.  Cue frustration.  The conversation continued and we discussed both sides of the situation and what I had done to help correct the problem.  Initially the parent didn't feel like I had done enough, but with further explanation and additional follow up on my side, we both left mostly pleased.  You can't win 'em all, but I am proud of the way I handled myself and looked for a solution to the problem to the best of my ability.

So, that's a little recap of the past 2 weeks!  Hope you enjoyed.  Thanks for stopping by and hearing about the craziness of my first year of teaching.

{Why I Find Doing Things to my Car Unpleasant}

As I sit here waiting for my tires to be replaced, I am reminded why I dread having to do anything, and I mean anything, to my car.  I am not of the mindset that believes that because I am a woman, car places are out there to dupe me, but it definitely gets me thinking.  I have been taken advantage of more times than I can count when it comes to situations involving my car.

There is no denying I know close to nothing about anything car related, unless you count batteries as I worked in the car battery business for almost 3 years.  That being said, I still know next to nothing about even that.  (Yes, it's incredibly sad, I know.  Come on T, you worked at a freaking battery company and you know nothing.  How embarrassing.)

I have been needing to get my tires changed for far too long now, and with my longer commute it seemed like a good time to do so.  Plus, Papa McD was generous to check my tires and chip in some money for the replacement tires.  Thank goodness, because tires are EXPENSIVE!  I walked in and immediately knew I was out of my element.  I had no idea what I need to buy, what the best bang for my buck was in regards to the mileage on my car, etc., etc., etc.

Not that I don't trust the car guys, but... well scratch that.  I don't trust the car guys.  While I think I got the best deal going with a buy 3, get 1 free, and would not allow them to even think I was interested in the additional bonus money back if I opened a credit card, I was totally at a loss for what I truly needed.  Besides that, it wasn't just tires I had to buy.  I then had to get alignment, and installation, and on and on.  How's a girl to know what is really necessary in these situations?

Now, I know I could solve this problem by YouTubing a video, reading a for Dummies book, or actually getting under the hood and having my hubby explain things to me, but frankly, I don't want to.  I don't have any interest in doing that.

So, really this post was pointless since I'm basically just saying I feel like I'm getting duped into buying more things I don't need.  But, you will be proud...  There was something wrong with something, let's go with a Friends moment and call it the tire's outer phalange, making it slightly wobble and not give a true alignment, and for another $300 something I could have it give me a true outer alignment, but come on yo, I just dropped quite a chunk of change on these new tires o' mine, and I realllllly don't want to spend any more money on them.  So what if they wobble a teeny bit?  Is that bad?  Probably.

Then again, I've been driving around on nearly bald tires for the last several months.  What's the worst that could happen?  *Knock on wood.*

{Teacher Tuesday: 1st 6 Weeks Recap}

Welcome to another exciting edition of Teacher Tuesday!  Though this is still pretty new, I'd like to recap my very first six weeks as a teacher!

Y'all, I genuinely cannot believe I have been a teacher for 7 weeks now!  This week marks the start of our 8th week.  Some Most days I don't know what the heck happened with our 7 hours of school time.  Some days I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water.  Other days it's a 50/50 split with smooth sailing in the morning and disaster in the afternoon.  Always I am grateful that I switched into this new profession.

Since beginning life as a teacher almost all of my purchases are for school, at least one of my weekend days is dedicated to prepping for school, my mornings are early, my sleeping in is severely hindered because of my new routine, I am an old woman and go to bed pretty early, my husband listens to me talk about my kids and sister wives (aka my new teacher friends) incessantly and is a good sport about it, and most of my dreams are about teaching, my students, or my brain subliminally firing off my to-do list while I slumber.

I think teacher life is slowly seeping into my veins and my core.

Some days I like this fact, but other days I have to do a double take to remind myself that I also need a life outside of school.  Ryan has been beyond supportive of my new career and supported us on the home front during my first few weeks and even the two weeks before school began.  I am so grateful to have a husband that I can depend on, that I can feel the love and support oozing from him, and that he is by my side as we embark on this adventure.

I say we because when I became a teacher, I think Ryan can also list part-time teacher on his resume.  He has cut out lamination, helped grade papers, carried books to and from my car, purchased supplies, hung things up in my classroom, taped, learned about my kids, and on and on.  :)  What a wonderful man!

While I feel like the first six weeks was mostly successful, I am looking forward to these next 6 weeks.  They are flying by, and I am loving it more and more.  It's easy to get caught up in the negative things, as with any job, but there are so many more things I am happy and content with through teaching.  Some days I feel like I am making a huge difference.  Some days I feel like I am helping mold their little hearts into people that are kind and care about more than themselves.  Some days I totally fail.  Each day is an adventure and the ride of a lifetime!  I'll have to blog about my top 10 things about being a teacher another time.

Until then, let's recap:
The 1st 6 Weeks of School had:
- 1 school holiday (Labor Day) AKA NO SCHOOL!!! :)
- Lots of crying kids
- Lots of laughing kids
- 3 overturned desks
- 5 tantrums
- 5 classroom walk out attempts
- Easily 500 sheets of notebook paper used
- Easily 500 sheets of printer paper used
- Hundreds of laminated and copied papers
- 6 weeks of lesson plans
- 3 weeks of lesson plans turned in on time
- Nearly 60 student drawings like these:
{These are me with a princess tiara, of course!}
- 5 student notes
- 1 "I like you" letter passed, and taken up, in my class
- 6 breakfast mats thrown away
- Hundreds of Dum Dums eaten
- 30 prizes given away
- Hundreds of tickets passed out and collected
- Thousands of reprimands given
- Tens of thousands of praises given
- 6 weeks of silent prayers said during the morning "moment of silence"
- 5-7 days left crying (that's good I hear!)
- 3 fabulous new girl friends
- 1 new bestie
- Thousands upon thousands of smile and warm, fuzzy memories
- 6 weeks worth of seeing the sun rise
- 6 weeks of seeing the downtown skyline creep into the horizon
- Several attempts at learning to speak accountably to one another (I agree/disagree with ____ because...)
- Several attempts at learning to edify one another
- 1 science experiment
- Created 16 new Baylor fans (they even say Sic'Em Bears!)

We Learned:
- Addition
- Subtraction
- Place Value
- Order of Events/Sequencing
- Fables/Legends/Myths
- Compare/Contrast fairy tales
- Prefixes/Suffixes
- Months of the Year/Days of the Week
- Cardinal directions
- Respecting one another
- Classroom rules
- Brainstorming ideas
- Matter
- Science Lab Procedures
- Science Safety
- 5 senses
- Etc.

Favorite Moment from the 1st 6 Weeks: At our school, each class is encouraged to participate in Rachel's Challenge.  If you're not familiar with what that is, I encourage you to check it out, but the premise is to start a chain reaction of kindness.  One small act of kindness could start a chain reaction of kindness and wouldn't the world be a kinder place to live?  Anyway, my heart is so joyful when my class wants to write the kind acts they've done for one another.  I stapled our paper chain pieces together today and we easily have 25.

Other favorite (because you know I couldn't just pick one): rapping and singing with my kids.  I try to find as many songs and raps for my kids to sing to help them remember things.  So far I've found some for addition, respect, science lab procedures, synonyms/antonyms, days of the week, months of the year, and well too many to name.  I've even made up a few of my own. :)

Funniest Moment: Every other Friday at school is college t-shirt day and they highlight a college.  Baylor was the 3rd school to be highlighted and, naturally, I had been teaching my kids all about Baylor since Day 1.  They had heard the fight song at least a dozen times, heard about Joy and Lady, and everything else Baylor!  We even SIC'EM BEARS in class as an attention getter.  They looooove to Sic'Em too! :)

Anyway, I showed my class the cheer/dance to the fight song because I tried out for Baylor Cheerleading back in the day.  I didn't make the team, and they knew that, but mostly I chuck that up to having had knee surgery the fall before tryouts and not being totally ready or able to do my standing back tuck.  So, Baylor Friday rolls around and my kids wanted to see the fight song dance so I did it when they played the song over the announcements.  When we get outside and are waiting for carpool, one of my students wants me to show her older sister the fight song dance.  As I am, one of my other students walks over to Ms. Wilson and whispers, "She didn't make the team."  Ms. Wilson erupted in laughter, I stopped and asked what was going on and learned that.  I asked my student to justify why I didn't make it to which she responded, "you weren't good enough".  She later said the real reason, but I about died laughing.  Gooood times.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

{Teacher Tuesday: It's All Fun & Games Until Someone Throws a Desk}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Welcome to another exciting edition of Teacher Tuesday.  Today's post goes out to all those who've ever had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  That's right, taking a chapter out of good ole' Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, because I had one of those days.  Let's be honest and call it what it was... it was one of those weeks.

Last week was just crummy.  My angel baby kiddos would turn into hellions each afternoon.  I felt like I was genuinely living a real life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!  Our morning routines would go as planned, and then BAM! out of nowhere, in exchange for the sweet angel babies, small, 7 year old demons would come back to my class from lunch.

I know what you're thinking... well, did you take them to recess after lunch?  Did they come back hyped up on candy and energy from lunch?  Did you give them red bulls instead of milk?  The answer would be no, no, and no.  I tried taking them to recess when they earned it, because come on they already have to earn four stickers to go outside, and since that didn't happen frequently I felt like I owed it to them to go outside, and they only get to play for 15 minutes, so really what's the harm?  Since we only went outside one day last week, and they came back from lunch/recess hellions I'm not going to blame the recess as the culprit for the out of control behavior I experienced last week.

Things got so bad last week, one of my students got so angry because I was having to discipline them for everything (and he totally has some anger issues), that he THREW a desk in my classroom, kicked the wall and stormed out my classroom and down the hallway.  Yes, you read correctly... that'd be threw a desk.

Between the desk throwing that day and all the running around, acting like fools, screaming, hollering and carrying on, I had had ENOUGH!  It's really hard to think let alone keep your cool when 16 7 year olds are past the point of no return.  I spoke to my principal and assistant principal, with another teacher who's having similar problems in the afternoon, and they decided neither of our classes would have recess at all anymore and that we would start a chapter book and read to them to calm them down instead.

[Note: Our class goes to specials for an hour, then comes back to class for 30 minutes, then goes to lunch for 30 minutes.  My principal explained to us that even though they have 30 minutes of instruction in between specials and lunch, they are essentially on recess for about 2 hours, which makes coming back to class and focusing incredibly hard for them.]

So, we tried it Friday.  After the initial whining that they weren't allowed to go to recess anymore subsided, my kids were actually more calm in the afternoon.  That is until we went into group work, the two instructional coaches were in my room, my kids began talking - not about math mind you - and desk throwing kid got angry about a consequence he received from making a bad decision.

You guessed it... he threw yet another desk and stormed out of my classroom in a rage.  Yes folks, that's two - count 'em TWO - days in a row of the desk throwing chaos.  Out. Of. Control.

Needless to say, I left for the weekend in tears, exhausted and ready to relax.  Thankfully I have some awesome teacher friends, the two coaches that witnessed the chaos, the school counselor who knows about said child's anger problems, and a wonderful husband who were all very supportive and encouraging.

If I have learned anything from last week, it is that being a teacher really does mean wiping the slate clean and not holding any grudges on your kids as a result of their behavior.  I was also reminded that the time these kiddos are in my classroom may be the only structure and good thing that happens to them all day.  That was definitely a reminder I needed, and yes, Monday morning was really hard.  I was still frustrated and annoyed at feeling like a babysitter last week, but being frustrated with my kids wasn't going to start us off on the right foot for the week.

I prayed to strengthen my patience and I am definitely learning to be more patient each day.  My only saving grace is that my slate is wiped clean each day too.

Next week is my very first 6 weeks recap!  Be sure to check in next week to see the top things I've learned this 6 weeks, some hilarious moments, and other notables.  For now, I'll leave you with this gem:

This afternoon I brought out my very first Halloween decoration for the classroom, a jaguar print spider.  I asked my kiddos what we should name him or her.  Here were the current names suggested: Ryan, Rocky II, and Brian.  Needless to say, I asked them to go home and think of some awesome names for our new spidery friend. :)

Welcome to 2nd grade, y'all!

{Welcoming Fall}

Let me just preface by saying I know us Texans don't truly get to experience the entire beauty of fall.  We take what bits and pieces we can get in the city, and try to sneak off the beaten path to engulf ourselves in burnt orange, rust, and gold.  Regardless, I too am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

As we welcomed the first day of fall today, and delighted in the slightly cooler weather, I was reminded why I love fall so much.  Like any season, there are things to look forward to, but I can't help and be excited for this fall.  I just have a feeling it's going to be a good one.

I have already indulged in my first fall run, and took both border collies on a separate 1.20 mile run tonight.  I'm sure people on the trail had to do a double take as I trotted along with two different dogs and passed several familiar faces as we ran.

Among other things, fall feels like a wonderful settling in time of the year.  Things are certainly changing, like the weather and trees, but people seem lighthearted and cheerful this time of year.  Fall, for me, is a time of refreshment, and not in the renewal type feeling Spring has, but more of a comforting rhythm of life.  With so much loss and heartache the past month, I am eager for a comforting, cozy place to rest our busy lives, and hungry for a time to be renewed by the LORD and reminded of what I am most thankful for, a God who loves greatly and never fails.

Here are a few things I am looking forward to this fall:

Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Dallas 1/2 Marathon Training
Running with Border Collies (and hopefully my handsome husband!) - there is nothing better than running with a dog!
Patio enjoying
Fireplace making
Leaves falling
Baylor Football
Baylor Homecoming
Chi Omega Besties Reunited
The start of Christmas shopping
Pumpkin Carving
Halloween Partying
Community Group Joining
Quiet times in the crisp, cool air
Wine on the patio
Lakeside sunsets
The State Fair of Texas
... and so much more!

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Happy Monday!

{Teacher Tuesday}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Today I am excited to launch "Teacher Tuesday"!  My hope is that more teachers want to share their funny stories, teacher moments, lessons learned, melt your heart moments and we can get a link up going! :)

Anyway, yesterday marked the first day of my third week of teaching.  I know, I know, I can't believe it either.  Y'all, I have never been so tired from something so awesome.  I love every moment of teaching, though I wish the behavior problems would become very minimal... they are really draining.

My new schedule looks a little like this:
5:00 am - Alarm 1 - immediate snooze
5:15 am - Up and at 'em
6:30-6:45 am - Out the door to school (I like to leave by 6:30 so I get to school at 7:00)
7:00 am - Arrive at school/get last minute items ready
7:55 am - Bell rings - pick up 2C Little Bears in the auditorium
8:00 am - Eat Breakfast in the classroom - Yay & Nay - Lose all track of time
10:5% am - Thank Goodness - Planning Period - kids at Specials (PE, Art, Music, Computer) - Take a short breather and lesson plan - GO TO RESTROOM!
11:50 am - Kids back - time to finish science or social studies
12:30 - 1:00 pm - I never knew 30 minute lunches could go by so quickly.  Sit, eat, laugh/cry/lament/encourage with/other teachers.
2:55 pm - See ya 2C!
3:00 - 5:00 pm (sometimes 7:30 or 8:00 pm) - I've never left at 3:00 pm.  In fact, I've never left before 5:00 pm.  What the heck was I thinking that I'd get home early?  Maybe some day!

By the time 2:55 pm rolls around, I get back into my classroom, which is completely trashed by this point (although my kids are getting better at keeping things clean), I can hardly remember what day it is, let alone what happened that morning.  Days are long, but I haven't felt this alive in quite a while.

I love the challenges like figuring each kiddo out, getting to know them, understanding where they're coming from, and how to motivate them.  I like having to work hard to think of new ways to get my point across to kids, or teach them another way.  I don't want to be the teacher that stands in front of them and says the same thing over and over and over and wonders why they don't understand.  I also love learning new ways to do things I wish I had known in school.  Did you know you can do subtraction by breaking numbers apart and never have to regroup and somehow adding mixed in there too?  Yeah, I don't really understand that... YET!

I love calling home and bragging about my kids to their parents, even if it takes turning a talkative girl into a "social butterfly".  Yes, that's the kind way to say your child is super chatty.

I love dancing with my kids.  They let me indulge in my dance party dreams and will dance to "Shake It Out" by T Swift (my current fav song) over and over.

I love when they "get it"!  I have never felt like a proud mama bear until I became a teacher.  My smile grows wide and I high five and celebrate the heck out of my kids when they have that ah-ha moment and understand.  My kids are smart too.  They are cray-cray, but definitely smart.

I love getting to be a goofball when teaching.  Teaching is the one profession, other than acting (and is that really a profession?), where you get to be 100% yourself and it works.  Unless you're dull... then maybe teaching isn't for you. ;)  The other day we talked in accents because one of the three little pigs had a British accent.  Another day we flexed our muscles to help us remember contrast goes on the outside of the venn diagram and put our arms together to remember compare went in the middle of the venn diagram.  We also sing a lot, and rap a lot.  You know I'm in heaven.  Teaching has allowed me to really put a lot of myself into my lessons.

Do I like having to deal with discipline though?  Heck no.  It's the worst!!

Last week, a student got so angry that I took his tickets away, BECAUSE HE STOLE TWO FROM MY TICKET BIN and we DO NOT steal in Mrs. Nabors' class, he drug his desk across my classroom and started chunking pencils.  I wish I was kidding.  The next day, two of my students pushed each other, and some other kids are the playground, all while another child was so mad he grabbed his backpack and started walking out of school.  Most of this happened in the afternoon and the culprits were my boys.  Out. Of. Control.  Needless to say, we're working on behavior management in the afternoons, AND my kiddos have to EARN their recess.  I'm not taking them to recess if they can't behave in the afternoons. && trust me... we both need that recess.

While I stress over the behavior management problems, I have to give myself a break too and remind myself it's only the third week of school, though it feels like the 100th.  Our time flies, but it sure is fun each day with these sweet kiddos.  I can't wait to see how the LORD uses me in their little lives and how He uses them in mine. :)

Sorry for the randomness of this post, but in the future I hope Teacher Tuesday for me will be a little more structured.  Sometimes you just have to write and see what comes out! :)  'Night y'all!

{2 Years of Wedded Bliss - Meet the Husband of Newly Nabors}

Today, my hunk of a husband and I celebrate 2 years of wedded bliss.  The only words I can think of to describe the past two years is, "WOW"!  Though we celebrate only 2 years of marriage today, we have been together 7 years total on this very day.  Blows my mind.

Being back on the Baylor campus yesterday reminded me of where it all started, walking around campus, loving on kiddos at WyldLife together, and more laughter than you can imagine.  So many of my favorite Baylor memories have Ryan in them, and I am grateful that when we are on campus now we're still making new memories together.

Our wedding was easily the best day I have ever experienced.  There was so much joy, so much laughter, and so much love.  I love to go through pictures and relive that day.  It was pure bliss.  So, today I want to take a moment for you to get to know the man I love so dearly and share in our happy day together.

Interview with the Husband in Newly Nabors

1 // What's the name of my blog?
Newly Nabors

2 // What do I typically write about?
Current events in your life

3 // What do you and I like to do together?
Go to the lake, play with the doggies.

4 // Am I good at staying on our budget?
Are you?  When you want to be, and sometimes "oops" you spent $300...

5 // What do I do when I'm home alone?
Take a nap.

6 // What do you do when you're home alone?
Watch TV or play video games

7 // What's my favorite accessory?
Your wedding rings

8 // What's an acceptable amount of money to spend on a makeup item?
*Furrowed brow* $20

9 // What's my favorite TV show?
Pretty Little Liars

10 // What's one thing I couldn't live without?
Ry: Nutella.
Me: Really?
Ry: Yeah, you hoard that crap!  Also, coffee.

[Sidenote: This is the first month I have had Nutella in our house in several months, but yes, I might have hoarded it.]

11 // What's been your favorite thing about our 2nd year of marriage?
More stability. It's nice to know how to live together and not be figuring everything out.

12 // What's your secret to a successful marriage?

Special thanks to Ry for completing this silly survey.

Ry, I love you more than words can describe.  Thank you for being a support, a confidante, my love, a good father to our puppies, for pointing me to Christ, and for being my best friend.  I look forward to spending more anniversaries with you, to serving you, to growing with you more each year.  I love you!

{Wednesday's Words - Lessons}

Happy (late) Wednesday, friends!

I am happy to report I have officially survived my first three days of school and even happier to report today that I left school well before 8:00 pm tonight.  I know, I know, ridiculous, but I'm celebrating small victories these days. :)  They are encouragement for the larger haul.

I was invited to participate in a link-up with Martha Kate and Jenni that happens to be starting today!  Please join us and share your thoughts about things the Lord is teaching you.  I can't wait to see what this community of believers develops into.
Wednesday's Words
I was raised in the church, went through Confirmation in 7th grade, the whole shabang, but truly believe I took ownership of, and responsibility for, my relationship with Christ the summer after my freshman year of high school with the beautiful Colorado mountains in the background and a sky packed with stars at Young Life camp.  I wouldn't trade any of that for the world.

If you want to know a little more about me personally, check out the about me tab (which I hope to revamp soon)!

Today, I'd like to talk about what the Lord has been teaching me, especially in my new career.  I can't tell you how long I have prayed for patience.  I have often struggled with being more patient with total strangers than my own loved ones.  Sometimes I feel like I don't have to be as patient with my friends, spouse, or husband because they know the real me and don't always have to have my best, or some lie like that.

Well, that prayer for opportunities to grow and develop my patience has been answered to the tune of 14 7 and 8 year olds Monday-Friday.  With three full days under my belt, one of which was down right awful, I have had a plethora of times to demonstrate patience.  Though my days have been long, and I've been sleeping like a rock at night, I really do feel like I come home and have a little more patience to share with the border collies and Ryan each day.  If the Lord can help me demonstrate patience with 14 2nd graders, he's clearly telling me there's no excuse for not carrying that level of excellence home with me.

What a wake up call!

I'm also learning to love kids, and people, for who they are.  I can't control what goes on in my student's home, but I can control what happens in our classroom.  In fact, I'm solely in control of what my classroom behavior, structure, layout, and feel are like.  It's pretty neat to be in control of my room and my kids, but it's a lot of pressure, and I don't take it lightly.  My kids, like every child in our school, deserve the best.  I am honored to strive for nothing for excellence for them, and to spend 7 hours each day getting to know them, helping them become better students and individuals, and helping mold them into contributing members of society.

Though each one has undoubtedly tested me, and my patience, I am loving the little personalities these babes have.  Looks like my kids aren't the only ones learning lessons these days.

What has the Lord been teaching you lately?  Have any of your long time prayer requests been answered?

{The Start of Something New}

Anyone singing High School Musical's "Start of Something New" now too because of the title?  Yeah, sorry.

Tomorrow is the first day of my first school year as a teacher.  Over the past week I have gone from being extremely excited, to overly terrified, to my brain firing off in 8 different directions thinking about all the things I've needed to prepare for my sweet kiddos.

Now, my room is ready and waiting for kids to fill the chairs and occupy desks, to experience a love for reading in our reading tent, to laugh and maybe cry, to learn.  I. am. so. nervous.

Our school had some serious behavior problems last year, some I can't even comprehend being real, and others I am praying don't happen in my classroom.  I feel prepared for the worst, but am hoping for the best and hoping my classroom management system is strong enough to sustain throughout the year.

Our kids need improvement in their scores, primarily in reading.  Many kids are reading two grade levels behind where they should be.  Do I really have what it takes to help bring them up to speed?  I sure hope so!

I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids.  I want to love on them, to be a support system, to be a cheerleader and a confidant.  I want to teach them that there's much more to life than the here and now and what is tangible.  I want to teach them to dream, to be problem solvers and critical thinkers, and to never quit believing in themselves.  I want to model Christ's love to them.

Our school's theme this year is "Oh, the places you'll go!"  I am particularly fond of this Dr. Seuss story because my parents gave it to me when I graduated high school.  As I read the pages of the book now, I remember the fire it lit within me to do great things.  I hope to do that for my kids - to light a fire, spark, anything that keeps them dreaming.

So, tonight as I soak in a bath letting my worries drift away, I pray for every kid that walks into our school, every teacher anxiously awaiting students, our principal, assistant principal, and school staff eagerly awaiting laughter and young voices that will fill our halls.  We're here to stay, and we came ready to play.  Fear the roar.

{When Life Disappoints}

This weekend my sweet friend lost her Dad and her brother in a plane crash.  Talk about devastating.  That's about the only word I can use to describe such a tragic loss.  In the midst of her loss, I started thinking that this is one of those times when life disappoints.  It has the capacity to ruin your plans and leave you standing in the wake of disappointment.

While I have no idea what that type of loss feels like, and my heart aches deeply for her and her family, I am so grateful that as a believer in Christ there is hope.  There is hope that one day that pain will subside, that the hurt gets easier, and that there is a time when you will see the ones you have loved and lost again.

I like to think that the LORD shows us our loved ones in things that reminded us of them.  For my grandmother, that was butterflies.  She loved butterflies and has "shown up" several times in the form of a fluttery butterfly.  I believe that our God deeply hurts when we hurt, and these little signs remind us that he too hurt like we do when His son hung on the cross.

I am, by no means, trying to say that these signs replace the hurt that we feel, but I do think it's a comfort from the LORD when we hurt.  He lets us know, in that small way, that our loved ones are with Him and they're looking out for us.

So, whatever disappointment you're facing today, be it a small tragedy or a large one, look for comfort from the LORD in your surroundings.  The love from your family and friends, the sun beaming in the sky, a rainbow, a butterfly, our LORD sends hope when we don't think there's any left to fill us.

I am grateful for abounding promises of unfailing love.

Today I'd like to ask for prayers for my sweet friend LM and her family.  Please pray that the LORD would comfort them, grant them peace and rest during this time.  My heart aches for their loss.

What comforts you when life disappoints?

{Running With Oakley Mae}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I have been wanting to run with Oakley Mae for quite the while now.  See, Oakley loves to bark.  Like a lot.  Which can be both cute and frustrating at times.  More often it's the latter.  (Remember:  Oakley Mae has Marley & Me like tendencies.  See here, here and here.)

Lo told me a while back that she was running with Ashbi, and that running might help calm Oakley down a little bit.  So, tonight, after months of anticipation, it happened, and y'all...


We only ran 1.14 miles because I wanted to take it easy on her first run.  She kept up with me, and we only stopped really briefly early on when she tried to smell something I was about to run over in the middle of the sidewalk.  Needless to say, I accidentally stepped on/kicked her, so I wanted to make sure she was okay.  She was, and wouldn't you know she didn't try to do anything like that again.

I think taking her on our first run at night was pretty advantageous for a few reasons:

1) The weather was much cooler than the lovely 100 degree temps we've been seeing here in sweet southern Texas.

2) There weren't as many people out.  Oakley gets pretty antsy with other dogs around and sometimes people.  There were only 2 or 3 people out and about, one of which had a dog which she had to mildly freak out about, but the non-dog walkers didn't bother her too badly.

3) There aren't as many dogs outside.  Kind of following up point 2, the dogs in our neighborhood are pretty chatty.  Oakley, again, gets pretty antsy when dogs bark at her (wouldn't you if people just started yelling at you?).  Tonight we passed the same two dogs, that barked/howled at her twice, when we went there and back.

My little border baby did so well.  I am so proud of her!

After our run, she ran straight in to claim her bone.  She's panting, but holding tightly to that bone.  Goofy girl.

[For those of you interested in what gear we used, Oakley wears a gentle leader collar and a traditional, non-retractible leash.  When we first walked her she would pull and pull and pull.  A PetSmart employee encouraged the gentle leader, and after trying it once, we're believers.  She rarely pulls at all now because she doesn't like her face being tugged on.]

I'm looking forward to our next run together, and increasing the mileage as we go.  Plus, I feel a little safer running at night with a furbaby by my side. :)  If you have any suggestions or tips for running with a puppy lemme know!  I can't wait to see how she progresses!

[Note: For those of you that think Jetta Belle is getting totally dissed in this situation here's the deal.  She and I used to run together before Oakley Mae came into the picture.  She would do pretty good and we could generally get a good mile or two in, but homegirl LOVES to smell everything.  Who can blame her, right?  She's a dog.  It's in their nature.  Yes, she was incredibly sad I didn't take her tonight, but I did walk her when we finished.  I'd like to work with both Jetta and Oakley so eventually the three of us can go for a run each day.  I think they'd like that.  Do you have any tips for running with a dog who loves to stop, smell, and tinkle on everything??  Let me know in the comments below!]

Jetta Belle snuggles after our walk.

{Oh Hey, Friday - 5 Things I'll Miss}

FIRST, I am so excited to be teaming up with the lovely Rachel at Oh Simple Thoughts for her blog's 2nd birthday giveaway!  We're giving away these three awesome gifts: one year subscription to the lovely printable library of Elle & Co. Design, a motivational coffee mug, and a retro camper headband!  Want to win them?  Just enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SECOND, it's time for Oh Hey, Friday with September Farm, and The Farmer's Wife!  Today, I wanted to dedicate my Oh Hey, Friday to the 5 things I'll miss most about my current job!

1 // Friends
Like I mentioned last week, I have made some seriously great friends here.  It makes me super sad to think that I won't be seeing them every day, but I do know the friendships I've made here will carry over past our time spent in this building.  The people, especially in my department, are some of the kindest and most genuine people I have had the opportunity to share life with the past (almost) three years.  I have laughed, cried with, been consoled by, shared life's exciting moment's with so many of these people that they have become so much more than just friends.  They are family.  How cool is it to say that about people you work with?  I feel very fortunate to have that outlook on my friends here.

2 // Boss
I'm not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but I 100% guarantee my boss is better than yours.  I have been the luckiest girl in the boss department working here, I must say.  I have laughed more times than I can count, vented to, been challenged by, shared life with, prayed for, had thought-provoking discussions with, been encouraged by, and served as the encourager for this man and for that I am so grateful.  So many people I know don't care for their bosses and would probably never say they were friends.  For me, this could not be further from the truth.  I have afforded the opportunity to get to know his family (one of his grandsons is our Wish Kid!!) and adore them.  They are one cool family.  I am grateful for the great boss he was here, but am happy to know our friendship will continue outside of these walls.

3 // Mom
It's been super fun to get to work at the same place as my Mom for the past (almost) three years!  Even better that she sat on the same floor I did, and was only 2 minutes away.  When I got married and moved out I was sad I wouldn't see her all the time, but working together has been the perfect way to see each other daily!  It has been fun to decorate her pod for special occasions, have her there to console me in my work struggles and vent to one another, eat lunch with, and participate in work events together.  My mom is one of my best friends and it will be sad not being able to message her over office communicator, or to have lunch with her, but she's super excited for me and will be looking for ways to help out and be at the school however she can!  Love you Mama McD.

4 // Christian Workplace
This is probably one of the coolest things about my current job.  I am going from a job where it's perfectly fine to pray before meetings, to express your faith openly and to even participate in office Bible studies to a job where I am not really supposed to talk about my faith.  While I know this gives me an opportunity to show my faith through my actions, I have been blessed to work in a place where I could grow spiritually as well as professionally.  I will really miss this aspect!

5 // Activities
Our office is FUN!  In fact, it's one of our values.  I've participated in more happy hours, team buildings, company wide field days, holiday parties, sports teams, and employee appreciation days than anywhere else I've worked.  People here know how to get down!!  I was even on the team that got to plan a lot of them, and am sad to leave that too.  I know elementary school will be fun too, but will it hand me a $100 bill when I leave from employee appreciation day?  Probably not.  (This was not the norm by the way... it was once a year... insanely awesome though!!!!)

Old job, you hold a special place in my heart.  I am grateful for the ways I've grown here, the friends I've made, the person I've worked for, the opportunity to share work with my Mom, a safe work environment to share my faith in, and the awesome activities that left me smiling from ear to ear.  I will miss you dearly, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to provide value here.  I will make you proud. :)

Was it hard to leave your last job?  Let me know below!

{There's Nothing Wrong With That}

Remember that one time I was a contributing member of the blogging world?  Yeah, me too.  I feel like I keep saying this, but life is cray cray... especially this week!  I am wrapping up my last week of work at my current job, wrapping up my last day of teacher school class tonight, finishing my mandatory video observation hours, and cutting out a thousand pieces of paper/laminating/getting everything in line to set up my classroom next Tuesday and Wednesday with Mama McD!

Busy is an understatement.

However, I've accepted my fate as slacker blogger (this week) and decided there's nothing wrong with that.  It is what it is.  This week, that's just the way it's got to be.  Next will be a little better, and I'll have less plates spinning.

It's funny to me that the last segment of our bible study on Hebrews ,that we met on and discussed, was about rest and how it's essential to take rest.  The LORD intended that we worked our butts off Monday-Saturday, but enjoyed a day of pure rest and contentment in Him on Sunday.  How rare it is that I actually do that.

So, Jasmine and I have challenged each other to rest in the LORD.  To rest physically, to fully trust and rest in His assurance, and to work hard this week and rest on Sunday.  How do you fully rest?

Other things I think there's nothing wrong with:
- random dance parties
- puppy snuggles
- singing at the top of your lungs in the shower, in your car, anywhere
- crying (sometimes you just gotta let it out)
- being overly excited about things
- really enjoying your food
- painting your nails crazy colors
- cool piercings
- keeping the newlywed mindset for life
- dating and pursuing your spouse continually
- camping in your backyard
- making s'mores in the microwave because you're too lazy to make a fire or don't have access to one
- being honest in a loving way
- chasing your dreams
- never fully growing up

What about you?

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