Currently July

Hey hey!  It's almost July.  Besides the death of Google Reader, this also means it's time for Oh' Boy 4th Grades Currently Linky.

Okay major surviving summer with kids tip.  Maybe you can get some blogging/creating down while your kids are busy.  Right??  Last summer I read this post on Beneath My Heart (one of my most loved home blogs).  It rocked my world.
We only do it for an hour, and not everyday, but jeez Louise, I need some structure.  Otherwise, it's the first day of school, and you realize you never made your kid practice her math facts because there was always time later to do it.

p.s. Recognize her desk?

Totally copycatted it in my own office:
That's my husband's former desk.  It's now been cleared off for my own craft sewing area.  Woohoo!

Want to see what everybody else is up to?  Head on over to Oh' Boy Fourth Grade to check out the currently linky!

Monday Made It

My first Monday Made It of the summer! Woohoo! I am loving summer-time to do my projects and time for sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee and Law & Order playing on my iPad.  (Thank you Netflix Streaming!)

I wrote last week about my big plans for kicking my husband out.  Of our office that is.  It was a long winded story that ended up with him deciding to move his office into our guest room closet.  It's pretty much the only way he can block out our kids, Sponge Bob, and two barking dogs.  He only uses it when he's not traveling or in the evenings, so it's not like he's spending 40 hours a week there.

We worked our booties of getting this done.  It doesn't look like much, but yikes!  It started off by emptying out a closet and then reorganizing two other closets to make room for the junk that was hanging out in there.  I shared a before picture earlier, but I'm not going to repeat that embarrassment.

I emptied it out and my husband painted it.  There was a mega trip to Ikea for organizational stuff and a trip to Home Depot for supplies.

I stained the wood.  This is not a professional job here.

My husband put supports on the walls and then attached the boards.  He added some more support with metal braces underneath and put an opening in for cords.
I wanted to take the doors off so he wouldn't be scrunched, but he liked the idea of being able to close all of it off.

I still have to figure out something for lighting.  We had planned on putting a lamp on the desk, but there's no space left.  An electrician is putting a plug in, so I'm thinking we'll just put a light at the top.

Now I get to use his old desk area to set up my sewing and craft things.  I may have bought a few organizational tidbits at Ikea for that, too.  ; )  I want to get my area settled this week, so I can whip out some more Monday Made Its.

Now go check out what everybody else has gotten accomplished!

Kicking My Hubby Out

Ha! Not what you think.  This is a long and winding road made of a post on a home blog, an embroidery machine, a loud husband who makes a lot of phone calls, barking dogs, a junked up room, and sock puppets.  Try to follow along.  Warning!  Graphic pictures of disorganization ahead.  View at your own risk.

I wish I had a Monday Made It, but I just got out of school Friday.  That was followed up by a busy weekend.  I did manage some awesome scheming.

It started with this sewing room tour at Maple & Magnolia:

Plus, I've been in love with this little baby.  I need it like a hole in the head, but whatever.  Summer's here, and I actually have time for projects, but nowhere to do them.

I've been spending a lot of time in our guest room trying to organize all the junk I brought home from school.  I promise this room looked perfectly nice two weeks ago.

I started thinking about trying to squeeze a little extra space out of guest room and how poorly used this closet is.  So embarrassed right now.  Don't you dare pin this one to your "Shameful Closets" Pinterest board.  We moved in four years ago and just threw some of his things in here.  We've just let it stay our messy little secret.
I was excitedly telling my husband about all of my crafty organization plans when I noticed his grim "this is going to end up requiring a massive amount effort on my part somehow" face.  I flippantly told him if he didn't like it, he could move out of the office and into the closet.

And he said yes.  Say what?  We have a nice, sunny, happy office.  See:

Not, however, ideal for working from home during the summer.  Turns out the reason that I love our downstairs (all separate rooms, but all open to each other), does not make the best business environment.  Throw in a couple of kids home for the summer, two dogs that bark at the ringing in their ears, and a wife that likes to work on the computer and watch Law and Order on the iPad, and you've got one unhappy fancy pants business man.  It is perfect for sock puppet shows.

So, he jumped at the chance to work in the closet.  The guest room is upstairs.  It has a door that closes and actually blocks out noise.  We spend most of our time downstairs, so it gives him a tiny bit more privacy for his constant stream of phone calls.  Feeling sorry for my closet worker?  Check out these pins:

I'd move into any of those in a heartbeat.  However, if I did, my girls would just camp out in the guest room and talk to me all day long, and I still wouldn't get anything done.  My mister works from home usually when he's worn out from traveling.  It may not be a perfect solution, but it is one that solves most of our problems.

So, (yes, this randomness is almost over) I don't have a Monday Made It post, but I do have giant plans for the new few weeks that will result in some Monday Made Its and my very favorite thing in the world--well organized spaces.  Swoon.

Anybody else got a closet office?  Any tips for me?

My Last Last Day

Today was my last last day of school.  For a while, anyway.  I think.

I've been writing this post in my head for a long time.  It's a long one, so brace yourselves.  I'm a map out your life forever kind of gal, not a go with the wind kind of person.  I have a wonderful life.  A really, really, aren't you lucky girl kind of life.  I just have a little too much of it.

When we adopted this sweet doggy girl in October, I joked with my husband that she needed a home mom.

This off the cuff joke started a few whisperings in my heart of, What if?  What if I did stay home?  What would that look like?  How would it change our family?  Our marriage?  Over this year, I've prayed for signs.  I had little whisperings in my heart.  I'm just not that good at listening to them, so I naively prayed for God to hit me over the head with a sign.

Turns out getting knocked in the head can hurt.  If you are not going to take the time to listen and instead are looking for clear as a bell signs from above, be prepared for a few concussions.  Every time I started doubting this decision,  God clearly reminded me of why it was the right one.  And it wasn't always pretty.

While I knew where my heart was leading, I struggled with the idea of staying home.  God was supposed to make the current life I had planned out easier, not change it.  The nerve.  I had a long list of reasons.  Here are just a few:

1.  Um, that's a lot of money to give up.

2.  I really, really love my job.  I love teaching.  I love being with kids.  I love creating lessons.  I love teaching those lessons.

3.  I didn't stay home with my kids when they were younger, so I don't "deserve" to stay at home with them now.

4.  I am perfectly capable of working, so there is no reason I shouldn't.

5.  I prayed long and hard for this job when we moved four years ago.  How can I give it up now?

6.  I'm a wimp and need to toughen up.  A lot of people have lives a million times more stressful than mine, and they make it work.

But, in the end, I decided to take a leap and just do it.  Every decision does not have to be a forever decision, a novel concept for me.  My husband travels a ton now for work, and we need to make some breathing room and add some flexibility in our lives.  This is a way to do that.  In a way that is the complete opposite of my OCD, plan out the rest of your life nature, I'm just going with it.  No long term plan.  No I will go back on this date, after this much time.  For now, I'm rolling with it.  Which is crazy because I am not a roll with kind of gal.  I'm trying it out though, and it feels okay.
                                                                       Source: Uploaded by user via Megan on Pinterest

So, what happens with this blog?

I don't know.  Remember, I'm rolling with it.  I'll figure it out along the way.  I do know that I will be subbing next year.  That will fill my "I love kids and teaching" fix.  Plus, it helps with the oh my gosh we're down a salary freak out.  Also, no one should be sitting alone in their house alone all day long.

I'll keep designing blogs and other things which I love doing and will have more time for now.   I have a my little Etsy shop.  And, I don't know.  I have learned this year that if you fill up your life too much, there's no room for God to surprise you.  I'm sure that I'll end up right back in the classroom at some point.  I'll just have to see what happens along the way.  Yikes.

5 on the 5th

It's the fifth, which can only mean one thing on this blog.  It's time for . . .

If you're new around here, these posts show off the heart of teaching blogs-the sharing of really great ideas.  Five on the Fifth even has its very own Pinterest board.  You can follow it here.

I love having kids art or work in the hallway.  This is not the same as loving hanging their work in the hallway.  Adventures in Third Grade shared a smart and cute solution.  Now why didn't I think of this?

This week my kids needed this.  I needed this.  Let's be honest, I probably needed to bath in this.  Hop on over to Mrs. Bartel's School Family and read about Cranky Cream.

Built in white boards?????? Crazy smart.  Visit Melissa at Fashion Craze Learning Daze to read about them and how well they held up this school year.

We have PAWS binders.  Other schools have MOOSE binders.  The Polka Dotted Teacher has a DOT Binder.  If you don't have a system, hop on over to read about her student organizers.  This summer would be the perfect time to get your ideas in order!

And this last idea is an entire linky devoted to my very favorite subject in the world: Organization.  Sigh.  Thank you to Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files and Elizabeth from Fun in Room 4B for organizing this gold mine.

And now it's a weekly linky.  Seriously???????  

Heaven if you're an OCD gal like me.

Now, if you're in a pinning mood, be kind and pin either from the 5 on the 5th board or directly from these ladies' sites so they can get the credit they deserve!

Survival Part 2

I wrote about the first part of my survival plan for the end of the year on Tuesday.  The other half of my plan involves this main idea project:

And, I wrote about it here.   You can read the full run down on the original post, but here's the condensed version:

Day 1: I shared my main idea bag with the kids.  They planned their bags.

Day 2: The kids "built" their bags.  They brought some things in from home, drew pictures, made things out of construction paper, and printed pictures off the Internet (love Kid Rex!)

Day 3: They practiced in their groups.

Day 4: They presented their lesson to second graders.  The second graders rotated through the groups.  They loved it, and my kiddos were invested in this lesson because they had a real purpose.

I am a bad blogger and didn't take new pictures this year.  They're are four days left, and I'm pooped!  I have to say, the kids loved these two activities.  They're fun, educational, and gives me an opportunity to make a dent in that mountain of end of the year paperwork.  How is that not a win?

Happy surviving!