Saturday, March 4, 2017


It has been awhile since I have blogged over here.  This Busy Bee has been uber busy in libraryland (well.. and 2 master classes.. Destination ImagiNation.. Girl Scouts.. and more) But, today was AWESOME! But... first up.. checkout my amazing new logo! Seriously.. Heck Awesome has taken such good care of me! I finally ordered new business cards and am planning on putting it on a jacket and bag too!
Today our district had a iLearn Digital Learning Day! Now, I won't lie when I woke up at 6am this morning my bright and cheery self was not all in for it! I LOVE learning.. but my brain has been so fried.  I knew it would be great.. but sometimes you still have to pump yourself up. 

IT WAS AMAZING!!! Yes, I am saying that much louder than I usually say things!
Of course there were a ton of people that made this amazing day possible (the whole Irving ISD Instructional Technology and Learning Resources Departments!).. but Carrie and Martiza did a great job making it happen.  there were over 40 sessions that were lead by fellow Irving ISD educators. Each session that I went to was relevant and had great information. I have added lots of Twitter links so you can go follow these awesome people.

I spent the first two sessions in the Collaboration Cafe.  It was participants choice.. sort of EdCampstyle.  I got to hang out with Luli and Dario who are both great ITS.  We talked (oh wait.. I listened and learned) about Doceri, Kahn Academy and Google Classroom.

3rd session that I was able to go to was all about BrainPOP. You guys know that I love BrainPOP! But seriously, have you seen the new updates? The Make a Movie is AMAZING! I can't wait to share this with my own teachers.  Already thinking about how I can implement this in the library!

Always love running into Arturo!

Sketchnotes from the BrainPOP session

I work with an awesome ITS (who I totally failed at getting a picture with!) and she has been using Seesaw and training teachers. I have seen her use it..and have been wanting to learn/use it more.. but you know there are ton of apps out there and there are only so many hours in a day.  I am super excited to finally sit down in a session and require myself to only pay attention to this app.  Angela and Karron had some great ideas how to use Seesaw in every type of classroom.  Y'all if you are a teacher and you are looking for the next great app.. you need to download and use Seesaw!
Ideas I had:
-Karron gave me the idea to use Seesaw during Bookfair to share books with parents.. SERIOUSLY!!!
-Angela gave some great ways to differentiate instruction for all types of learners.
-I would like to use Seesaw as exit tickets... but rather than creating separate classes for each class at school.. making a class for each grade level and the names be the classes university that they have for NEU.  
My brain is still percolating on how I can use this in the library.

My last session of the day was School Libraries: Learning Made Easy.
OMG! I have been in libraryland since August.. and let's face it.. I don't know anything! George and Kristi had so many great tips and tricks. Irving has a plethora of resources.. and I use a ton of them, but of course there are so many more.

Things I learned in this session:
-World Book has Dramatic Learning
-It is super important that when staff and student access the different digital resources.. they are doing so from the school webpage
-Sorting our resources by grade level
-Britannica ImageQuest
-Saving lists
This list could go on.. and on.. and on.  I can't wait to share some of these with my own teachers to make their life easier.
George and Kristi had so many great tips and tricks!

Cool wall where participants could add puzzle pieces with what they learned throughout the day.  (My mentor librarian Renee rocks!)

Where you could add your Twitter handle
 I know I overused amazing.. and there are too many exclamation points, but seriously it was a great day of learning! I was able to connect with other educators and take away so many ideas that I can incorporate in the library.  I love library land, but I feel that my technology has not been as great as it could be, and this gave me a chance to only think tech and collaboration today.. which I haven't had a chance to do in awhile.  Want to see what I have been doing in libraryland.. head on over to Bee In the Bookends.  Thank you to all the people that made today such a successful day or learning.  I know that I walked away brimming with ideas (and I also know that I wasn't the only one.. go check out the #iisdilearn tweets)  Thanks of course to Patricia Alvarado for continually pushing Irving to great technology and digital resource ideas. Of course thanks to Dawn, Keith and Shane for supporting all of Irving!
What a great day!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reflections and #40by40

With the start of a New Year.. means New Resolutions.  I decided several years ago to not make resolutions, but make a list of goals and dreams.  I also start each year with a word (and when I say year.. I mean school year.. that is how my life runs!) My word this year EXPLORE!
Reflecting on the past year and excited about the new year
In looking at my blog from last year, I accomplished most of it.  My biggest goal last year was Disney, but we didn't make it.  I did do lots of other things that made my heart happy!

This year I made a vision board that will sit right next to my bed.. not upstairs where I can't see it.  it includes:
-make a 4.0 in my Library Science Masters
-Don't feel guilty.  I am an anxious person.. and always aim to please.  My goal this year is to be okay enjoying the things that I want to do and not feel guilty for enjoying it.
-make better choices in healthy habits
-begin my #40by40
William and I also made a goal board together that includes getting to New Jersey...making some day trips and a couple of other odds and ends.

#40by40 Dream List
I am a LIST MAKER! William will often ask me what I am doing.. and I answer with Listing.  I make lists of lists sometimes.They say when you write something down and share it.. you are more likely to follow through.  So, I decided to make a list of 40 things that I wanted to accomplish by the time I am 40 (now.. some of these are fairly random).  I found this super cute book at Michaels that is part scrapbook and part photo album. Today I added the writing of the lists.. as I complete the different items, I can put pictures/information and fun items in the scrapbook.

So.. here are my 40 by 40 (I also divided them into different sections)
1. Book and pay for a vacation to Ireland
2. Take mom to New York
3. Take a trip to New Jersey
4. Tour a vineyard
5. Drive Route 66
6. Camp in a National Park
7. Go on a haunted tour
8. Go to Canyon with Elaine
9. Float the River
10. Go Skiing
11. See the Grand Canyon
12. Go on a girls weekend
13. Go fishing with my dad
14. Take a wine tasting class
15. Get 3 tattoos
16. Indoor skydive
17. Learn to drive a stickshift
18. Renew our vows
19. Have photos taken
20. Host a game night
Life Goals
21. Learn to crochet
22. Attend a New Years Even party
23. Write an article for Family Fun
24. Write a poetry book
25. Learn to make moms biscuits
26. learn to make dads gravy
27. learn to make William's Death by Chocolate Crepes
28. Learn to make bread from scratch
29. Make a photo book of my photos
30. Make a t-shirt blanket
31. Send birthday cards
32. learn to play a song on a guitar
33. meet Bill Murray
34. Watch all the Liam Neeson movies
35. Do 40 Random Acts of Kindness
36. Go to a drive in movie
37. Get new luggage
38. Watch a meteor shower
39. Be in a better place with credit
40. Purchase a groupon and use it

Here is to years of adventures! Do you have a list that you check off?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

I Believe

As children are snuggling in beds, I have a confession to make. I like Santa Claus.  I admit it.  My favorite Santa's are the almost vintage ones. Santa is so much more than a figurine.. but an idea.

My Uncle David posted this awesome video.. and it made me realize even more why I love Santa's.

But, my favorite Santa Claus is the real one. I know that I have talked about my mom and dad often, but on Christmas Eve.. I just have to talk about them again.  

I believe in Santa because my parents.  To me, Santa is so much more than the person bringing gifts on Christmas Eve. 
-is the spirit of joy.. young and old
-is the spirit of believing.. even in wondrous ideas and dreams
-is the spirit of kindness.
-is the spirit of hope.
-is the spirit of love.

When my parents come into town I love going out to eat with them (when they are not in their Texas Santa attire) and watching the faces of children both young and old doing a second take as they see my parents.  The best part.. my parents are KIND and JOYOUS at all times and share that twinkle and smile with all they meet.  Watching them interact with people reminds me of the importance of being one to give kindness, love, joy and hope in various situations.  Having Santa in the family also reminds me that we need to share this kindness, love, joy and hope year round.

Each year for the past five years, my parents have traveled to the DFW area to spend one day walking around the Fort Worth Stockyards. I love being the driver.. and trailing behind to watch people interact with them. Age disappears.. race disappears.. social status disappears.. everyone is just another important person to Santa.  Yes, I believe in Santa. I am thankful that Mr. and Mrs. Claus (aka my parents.. just one of the many great Santa's out there) taught me the importance of seeing each person as a gift.

Photo courtesy of Elaine Plybon

It is almost that time of year to begin to make our resolutions for the upcoming year.  I am of course thinking of mine.. but I know what I want one of them to be.  I want to be a Santa.  Throughout 2017 I hope to share love, hope, understanding, kindness and believing to all those that I meet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love crafting and creating, but often times I run out of time.  During the holiday season.. even if I don't have time.. I CRAFT!! My first year teaching I began an ornament tradition.  I know that I always love getting things in my box.  I also know that not all staff members get items in their box (custodians and cafeteria workers included!).  I began making ornaments for every person on campus. Does it take me awhile.. sure does.  Does everyone appreciate and like it.. of course not.  It makes my heart happy, and I have a chance to create something!

This year during Thanksgiving I turned our upstairs guest bedroom into a craft room (of course.. it had to be clean and ready when Texas Santa and Mrs. Claus came into town!

Not only is it the most wonderful time for crafting, but also for busy fun schedules that include family and friends!
Just a few of the items needed for all the crafting this year.
This year for ornaments I upcycled books.  I took regular ornaments and mod podged pieces of book around them.. sprayed them with a bit of glitter dust and added a ribbon (thanks to the help of Viola and Amelia!)
125 ornaments 

To celebrate the season in the library, I made my first book tree.  My awesome hubby came and added the fireplace and lights to my tree.

I also crafted my first ugly sweater and headband.  I have a confession.. I LOVE Christmas sweaters. Many of the sweaters and shirts I have for Christmas are probably considered ugly Christmas sweaters.. but I still love them! (Did you see this awesome backdrop in this picture.. Mrs. Gamez made it!)

 I no longer have a Daisy Troop.. but a BROWNIE Troop! I love these girls and it was so great helping them cross the bridge to become Brownies.  Oh how they have grown this year.

I couldn't do troop 1810 without this woman right here!
 Of course my favorite part of this time of year is seeing family.  I know I have mentioned it several places.. but I truly have the coolest parents ever! My parents come down in December and spend one day walking around the Fort Worth Stockyards dressed as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.  This year Elaine Plybon captured some family pictures before we headed to the Stockyards. There were SO many good ones, but I LOVE these 2!

How fun to have some family photos.

Texas Santa visited the library for our Late Night in the Library as our guest reader! Upcoming blog over at Bee in the Bookends about all the fun things that went on during Late Night in the Library December and upcoming events in January!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Not the Chef

Today is my husband's birthday. I am super lucky that he is an amazing and talented man.  I am even more lucky that he is a Classically Trained Executive Chef, because..let it be known.. I can't (well.. maybe more of don't) cook. Now, I can microwave really well.. and drive thru I have down! I also enjoy watching him work in the kitchen and I get to stir items occasionally.
Chef William and Chef Gonzo at their last catering gig. Check out his Facebook page for more information
With it being the beginning of the year, and my first Girl Scout meeting happened last week.. there are a couple of treats that I am totally capable of making!

Last year I became the leader for Troop 1810 and oh my goodness.. I just LOVE those girls! But our first meeting last year, I realized that there was no one to bring snacks.  When talking to my mom, she reminded me that Nuglet (my troop leader Nancy) used to make the best snacks ever! Remember how I said I don't cook.. well this was right up my alley! Graham crackers with chocolate icing! I have now made this first meeting tradition of having graham crackers with chocolate icing.  The girls seem to enjoy it (and no real cooking involved)

Each girl got one graham cracker and a half of spoon of chocolate to make their own graham cracker cookie

But, there is an item that I LOVE TO COOK/BAKE.  Cakies! Cakies are that treat that we used to make at my house for family events, Christmas, Girl Scouts or anytime that we needed to bring a snack.  Super easy to make and so very yummy.

Throw back to my sister and I helping clean the bowl after we had made a batch of cakies

Favorite thing about cakies- they are easy to make (don't worry.. I am going to share the recipe!) Not only are they easy, but they are so yummy as well. I love that I can make these treats as a thank you to staff and leave them in the lounge or take them with me to meetings.

Put these out at the beginning of the year for staff

I said I would share the recipe!
1 egg
½ cup of brown sugar
1 stick of butter (softened)
½ cup of oil
2 cups of oats
1 box of cake mix
¼ cup of water as needed
-Preheat oven to 375
-grease an 8x12 glass casserole dish
-mix egg, brown sugar, butter, oil
-add 1 cup of oats and ½ of cake box mix
-mix together
-add 1 cup of oats and ½ of cake box mix
-mix well add water if needed
-spread mixture in casserole dish
-bake for 20-25 minutes
-let cool

Side note: When I was younger.. I even made macaroni and cheese that the dog (that ate EVERYTHING) wouldn't even eat.. my cooking skills have grown a little since then :)

Next up on the agenda- EdCampDallas.. and I have been blogging about Library Land over at Bee in the Bookends AND.. did you see my awesome new blog design? My friend Carrie (aka Heck Awesome) did an AMAZING job redesigning this blog and my Bee in the Bookends! I mean seriously- go check her out @HeckAwesome and her website.  I am in LOVE with it!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Different Kind of Mother- National Infertility Week 2016

Mother's Day is quickly approaching, but this week (April 24th-30th, 2016) is National Infertility Awareness Week 2016 
I have posted about our journey in several places: Here-2014 and Here-2015

This quote sums up so greatly how this year has been.  I began this year finishing up my #summerofcreating you can find that blog here I was in my great little backyard pool and was contemplating all that I had done that summer, my life where it is, and what I want my next adventure to look like. I realized all the things I have and I also thought about how I could get the things I want.  I have a wonderful husband who is on this crazy wild ride with me and we are always up for an adventure!

Small disclaimer: I know that everyone is on their own journey.  Although I will get sad during Mother's Day, I am extremely happy for all the families and parents I know.  I am lucky to be surrounded about amazing families and parents.

Well, the title of this blog is a Different Kind of Mother:
I realize that I am not actually a "mother" to any of these great things, NOR do I want to replace their wonderful mothers! This is only a list of how I am hopefully making a small difference in lives that I am able to surround myself with.
-I am a different kind of Mother to 2 great puppies
-I am a different kind of Mother to all of the Destination ImagiNation teams I manage
-I am a different kind of Mother to the now freshman that I was a nanny for
-I am a different kind of Mother to the different students I have had a chance to work with
-I am a different kind of Mother to the Daisy Troop that I now lead

I am a different kind of Mother.  The Hashtag for NIAW is #startasking and for me I started asking myself how I am changing others lives.  That is what being a mother is.. right? A mother is one who shows love, affection, strength and so much more. You don't have to be biological.  I hope that I am able to make a difference in the lives that I come in contact with.  I am okay being a Different kind of Mother and pretty proud of that as well. I am still on an infertility journey.  I am back on birth control pills to help with my PCOS.  This summer I had the realization and calmness to know that I am not going to be a biological mother.  I am at peace with this, but there are times that I still get sad (I am human) But, I look back at that first quote and see all that I have.  I am able to get what I want in a different form.  I will continue to #startasking how I can be a different kind of Mother.

Today was my first meeting as Daisy troop leader..and how lucky am I to have such a great group of girls! I brought one of my favorite snacks that my troop leader used to make. Graham crackers with chocolate frosting. I think they went over well. Thank you to all the families that have allowed me in their lives..and I can't wait to start this new adventure! #happyheart #girlscouts #gs1810#memories #nuglet #blessed

What a fantastic Monday! Ended it on our first outing as a Girl Scout troop. Yes.. my bear has 9 hearts...representing each girl in my troop. The name.. Warm Lace.. which is the first letter of each of the girls name. Blessed doesn't even begin to describe my love for this troop and their families!#gsnetx #gs1810 #girlscouts

To those that might be on their own infertility journey, I wish you luck.. I wish you peace.. and I wish you LOTS of love!  It is a tough journey, but then so is life.  Good luck on whatever journey you might be on.

#librarianintraining #TxLA16

WOW! My brain is so full.  I always learn ideas from different conferences and connections made to conferences, but #TxLA16 was AMAZING! I drove down Tuesday morning (after all of the terrible rain! The conference was in Houston and the weather on Monday was unbelievable, my heart and thoughts are still with that community)  I did have a chance to swing by Navasota ISD and get a tour of Webb Elementary from my friend Todd (if you don't follow @techninjatodd you need to!) I got into Houston and checked in and got ready for some great sessions.  BEST part of the whole week.. I got to spend some super valuable time with Skye!  I got to pick her brain the WHOLE week.
Here are a few of my notes: (now.. this is a picture heavy blog.. but who doesn't love pictures!)
If you don't want to check out all the pictures, here are my favorite takeaways (but, I learned SO much) Be sure to check out #txla16

-Ramp up Bluebonnet reading with a Bluebonnet Bash
-Have Battle of the Books
-Shelfie pictures of favorite books with Genres
-Be involved in Planning
-EVERYTHING from Mellissa Sanchez's session!
-Hosts contest throughout the year

I was able to connect with so many people, but I was SO excited to finally meet Matthew Winner. His kickball session was HILARIOUS!  I have just started this journey to becoming a librarian, but I felt so at home with all of this librarians.  I am excited to use my technology background and infuse that into a library.  I know that I have so much to learn and so much that I want to do. I also know that a blog can not even cover how awesome this week was and all that I learned.

This woman right here inspires me daily.  When I grow up, I want to be just like Skye!

Max got to watch the Wild Rumpus

Meeting Matthew Winner!

My selfie with the AWESOME panel