Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Today I have cried.. I have cried because I lost a beautiful friend.  Now.. although I have cried.. I have had a chance to share some stories about her.

As I was going through school, one of my classes I had to do observations.  I was going to school to be a special education and of course I had to do alot of observations.. but this one was different.   I had to observe a student outside of school.  It is one thing to work with students in school, but it is another thing to see how life in the real world works.  I was lucky enough to begin working with the Hiners. The Hiners allowed me into their homes and lives.  I met Kylie when she was 8 (at least.. I think she was 8.. I could be off) That semester was the BEST semester.. I mean how can you not love hanging out with an amazing family!  After the semester..I was able to still hang out with them and Kylie and I began making plans.  Even after I  moved to Dallas we had plans at least 2 times a year (okay.. so I usually scheduled with her before I scheduled with my own family)

So, enjoy the photos and memories (of course.. these are only a few!) Lauren, Mary, and Mark I am forever grateful for you opening your home and heart to me.. and making me a better teacher and person!

One of my first (and one of my FAVORITE memories) was taking the girls to the museum.  As we walked through the museum, we were able to touch all the hands on exhibits. However, Kylie had to be reminded several times not to touch the walls.  She would walk by a wall and say I want this one and this one.  We finally got to the 3rd floor where she asked to buy a vowel.

Going to the library was one of our favorite places to be.  It always amazed me that even though we got together about every 6 months she was able to greet the people at the library by name.  I LOVED when she read to me! She was super interactive and would ask questions while reading.  Now, Kylie had a great memory.. so often times she wouldn't even be looking at the book as she read, but could read it word for word.
I had the privilege of attending a fun Christmas party with these girls. (okay.. okay.. I know I am tech savy and here I am taking photos of photographs)

As Kylie grew older our adventures grew too.  We began to go out to eat, go shopping, swimming and so much more!

When we first started planning lunches, Wendy's was usually our go to place.  I learned quickly that Kylie LOVED french fries (okay.. so she usually stole a few of mine.. I started ordering larger fries.. sorry Mary it was twice a year) Kylie began to outgrow Wendy's and Mexican food became the go to place.  Sometimes... I would get to choose and I would choose Wendy's.  Misty and I visited one year and on the way to Canyon we had Mexican food for dinner, for breakfast the next morning we had breakfast burritos, and for lunch we had Mexican food. We had plans for dinner with Kylie that night.. and I just KNEW we could convince her to grab Wendy's or something different (Misty and I were tired of Mexican food!) The convincing didn't work.. and we got seated at Pepito's. We shared chips and salsa.. and Kylie ordered chicken strips :) I LOVED that girl!

Thanksgiving lunch at school with Kylie and Misty
You know I never pass up the option of a selfie.  Kylie had already left us :)
I loved Kylie's text messages.  They were always short and to the point, but I knew that she was thinking about me.  I loved our phone calls (even if sometimes they were too late)  I loved that when she was done with a conversation she would say bye and hang up.. no need to drag on.  I loved when she called and the first thing she would do was ask where William was or  what was William doing.  I loved on my birthday when she called me and sang me Happy Birthday.

Kylie was also the crafter and we spent many hours picking out the perfect project to do next. We would go shopping together at Target or Hobby Lobby.. and we would walk in together.. and walk out together.

Kylie was beautiful inside and out.  These are only a few of my stories. As I have posted in many of my blogs.. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people and families.  I would not be the educator I am today without families like the Hiners.  Kylie might be gone, but I know that smile will last forever.  Thank you Mary, Mark and Lauren for allowing me to be a part of your lives.. and I hope that you know that you are still stuck with me! I am thankful for your friendship and love.. and I am so thankful that Kylie was my friend.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Teacher Appreciation 2017

Oh my goodness, I can't believe that we just finished the first week of May.  The first week of May is also Teacher Appreciation Week.  I have helped plan a Seuss theme, 80's theme (still my favorite I think) and a 50's.  This year the theme was Hollywood Stars! Each day had a little goody for the whole staff.  I got a TON of the ideas from this great blog.

Easy peasy decorations!

The VIP entrance to the staff lunch room

There was even a red carpet!

Did you know that Fodey makes clapper boards!  Printed off these for each door
Personalized popcorn bar.
PTA provided a yummy breakfast (there was lots of cream cheese and other goodies, just didn't get a picture of it!) 

Since the teachers were the VIP's our amazing admin was our "chauffeur" to Sonic during planning periods

The Mason's take such good c are of us! They grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for the staff.

You can't go wrong with homemade dessert

 One of the best part of Teacher Appreciation week was celebrating our Teacher of the Year! I am SO PROUD that Emily Roberson is representing Elliott Elementary.  She is a rock-star LIFE teacher. She is always so kind and calm.  Her students are so lucky to have such an advocate in their corner!

Loved this end gift from admin! Every Star needs some SWAG.. and our SWAG was a portable charger!

Felt so appreciated this week with all the different goodies!

As you know my word this year is Explore and I LOVE Globes! I walked into the door today and found this beauty with a note "You are my whole world"
It has been a crazy semester! I have a final to finish and then a little bit of time off before the next 2 classes start up. Guys.. I only have 2 more semesters! I already know the theme for Teacher Appreciation next year.  What have been your favorite goodies or ideas? I am always looking for ideas :)
Next up..  appreciating some awesome Girl Scout Leaders (thankful I have had LOTS of help in this area)  I also have started checking off items of my #40by40 list.. another blog coming soon!