Friday, November 29, 2013

Student Teaching as Told by GIFS


I am an easy, skeezy, GIF over-user and dang proud of it. It's for that reason I can see no better way to sum up my student teaching (and basic teaching) experiences than in a series of GIFs! So, all you teachas in da cluuub, please stand up and give a holla of agreement if any of what I am about to express is at all accurate. If you are a teacher, you have probably experienced one or more of these situations:

When a student raises their hand, and then says "Never mind, it's a dumb question..." You, as their educator and cheerleader just wanna say:

Then they say the question, and you... well....

 When students get mad at you for: assigning homework, showing them they received a poor grade, trying to help them, not letting them go to the bathroom, telling them to sit down, breathing their air and heaven knows what else and they say "Hey, I thought we were friends!"

...................
Or better, when they try to friend you on facebook: 

 Whenever students quote a Youtube video, or mention Slender Man, the new Call of Duty, Minecraft, or Vines, I, in all 22 years of my prehistoric existence say:


Basically every Monday morning, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Really, Tuesdays are the only safe days of the week. OR when a student asks if "this" is ok on their artwork when it's  clear they must not know which end of the pencil was for drawing:


When you present a new lesson you have spent forever and a day preparing and think it is just has to be the greatest thing they have ever laid their eyes on since sliced bread: 

When students say "But Mrs. Stratford, it's the weekend!"

When you are grading a REALLY easy test, your reaction after every wrong question is:


Then when most of the class bombs it, you come to terms with the fact that you, in fact, have failed; not them.

When the principle asks you if you will be in charge of an after school club or extracurricular activity, or even better, take on an extra morning/afternoon duty shift. 

When you let the students choose their own seating chart, get out paint, or let them do anything involving scissors and glue:

 When you tell students to write their name on their paper:

Every time you overhear the latest middle school gossip:

When a student asks to go to the restroom right after the bell rings:

When you hear someone receive a text message during class:

 When a new student adds your class in the middle of the semester:

 When a student in the hall says "Wait, you're a teacher? I thought you were just another student. How old are you?" 

When one of your 8th grade students proposes to you... 
or says pretty much anything else you really just cannot believe left their mouth:

 When you leave the room for 30 seconds to get a new bottle of paint and come back to all sorts of what on earth have you all done?:

 When a student sasses you, and you just can't help but sass them right back (because, you know, you're a professional):


When you tell the students you are leaving, and they legitimately seem sad about it, and write you goodbye cards of tender innocent goodness:


 When you are DONE with student teaching:

Heaven knows I could go all night, but for now I think this just about sums it up! There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for this season. As for me, I'm thankful to be living with my husband again and to be done with student teaching FOREVER!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

So. Much. Hatred.

Guys. YOU GUYS. 
I am one of the single most pathetic beings on the face of the planet. It all started about a week ago when my husband sends me a random e-mail with a marathon training for novices work out plan in it. Dropping hints much? "Let's train for a marathon", He says. "It'll be easy", He says. And in my mind I'm thinking, yea! That'd be pretty bad-A, and seeing as I'm the least bad-A person, oh, ever... this is a great plan. So there I go, looking up marathons, and imagining myself checking that bad boy off my bucket list. 
I ask him when we should start and he says 2 weeks. See, when he said 2 weeks, he meant we start the program in 2 weeks, but are running up until then. When I hear 2 weeks, I'm thinking how many chocolate dipped ice cream cones do I need to eat before I feel guilty about it again? You can only imagine my surprise when my husband asks me if I've been running. HEEEEYYYAAALLLL NO, have I been running (scoff*). I still have 2 weeks until my imminent doom begins! Then there is this 3 day weekend and that little voice in my head is saying if you won't run now, when will you... yadda yadda. This is my really long way of saying that I went for a jog. A ONE mile jog. I took about ten steps when I remembered why running a marathon was in fact NEVER on my bucket list. What is on my bucket list is eating a whole bag of kit kat minis in one sitting. I've done the preparation for that! (p.s. There are 1270 calories in an entire bag. In case you were wondering.) The more I jogged, the more that little voice in my head stopped encouraging and started saying something that actually did make sense for once. It was along these lines:



And that little voice continued to say this repeatedly for all 10 bitter minutes of my jog. I want to like running. I want to like running so badly, but every fiber of my pear shaped being is totally against any form of exercise whatsoever. I used to work out all the time, and I daresay there was a point in time that jogging wasn't too bad... but that point in time has long since been replaced by New Girl and sweet Lindt Lindor truffle dreams. With that being said, in relation to my sweet husband Ryan: I love you, but you are seeeeeriously pushing those limitations if you are really set on this marathon dillusion that involves my milkshakes and Apple Bottom Jeans.


*Encouragement and cute running apparel readily accepted. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Winging it Granola Style



When the chill is in the air, I'd say its only natural to tap into your inner home maker and whip out the apron. To not desire that warm apple cinnamon smell wafting through the kitchen is simply un-american. However, Chill is NOT in the air here is Arizona... but what can you do?
When Saturday rolls around, Its like Santa just dropped off hours of available me time right on the doorstep. I used to bake all the time and lately, I've just flat out been slacking and something needs to change. In honor of this, I am endowing you with the greatest granola recipe of all time. You're welcome.






These pictures are from a previous granola experiment of mine that was ok, but not the best. I made a big no-no meaning I put the Craisins in before I baked it. Don't do it. They turn sour and straight-up nasty. Put them in after and you will be a happy camper. Thankfully, that's not the recipe I'm giving you. You are getting THE BEST one out there. (And when I say the best, I mean it!) Are you convinced yet? 




Though getting married to my sweet husband has a loooong list of perks, I'd have to say getting this granola recipe from his phenomenal Aunt Kim is easily in the top ten. This is the first granola that passed up candy to eat. It is delightful. And the sweetened condensed milk doesn't hurt either ;) 

I didn't snap photos before it was cooked because, let's be honest, I couldn't pull my fat face away from this snack long enough to find a camera. So, pay attention more to the recipe than the counterfeit photos!


I've lovingly named it "Aunt Kim's Coconut Crack Granola." Because it's just that good.
The recipe goes as follows:

4 C old-fashioned oats
1C shredded coconut
1/2 C canola oil
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 C chopped pecans (can be substituted with almonds... but come on...)
1/2 tsp salt
I added some Flax seeds to make it more filling :)

Mix all dry ingredients together, drizzle oil and milk over, stir and spread on cookie sheet. (one batch fits Costco size)

Bake at 350 for 15 mins, stir, bake for another 5-25 minutes still golden brown.. Stir as go!
Here's what it should look like after:


This is one recipe you will wonder how you've lived this long without!

Coraleeisms Part 2: Friends Can See Friends Naked.

From the mouth of babes comes the insight that we all at one time firmly believed, but have since let societal constraints and a dash of modesty overrule. This is easily one of my favorite quotes from the 3 year old expert herself, Coralee. Correction: she just turned four. Heaven knows the wisdom the ripe old age of 4 will bring! From her mouth, to my computer, I give you Coraleeisms Part 2!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Introducing: the purse pod

Raise your hand if your purse is a disaster. Ok, now put your hand down :) Let's be honest, as women we are really good at two things: being prepared, and carrying our entire lives in our Mary Poppins inspired purses. This is great, unless you are like me and spend half of your time digging through all of the randoms in your purse in pursuit of a mint or Midol. It's for that reason that I was ELATED to see the purse pod. At first it reminded me of a little bridal gift my husband's aunt gave me when I got married. Her little gift had all of my wedding day essentials in it. I LOVED it but knew it cost her a small fortune to put the lil package together. It was such a useful thing to have, but I found myself thinking, why can't we just get all of the necessities we need in one place rather than pacing the travel size items aisle ourselves? Finally, I have an answer! The purse pod. This little torpedo has all of the necessities in one compact and fashionable place! Like... WHY HAS NO ONE EVER THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE?! Don't get me wrong, I have seen bits and pieces of something attempting to be this awesome, but always lacking; or far too, oh, I don't know... ugly. Ya know what? I'll quit talking and just let you see this cutie for yourself.


When they call it a purse pod, they really mean it! I was pleasantly surprised by the itty bitty nature of this baby bullet. It is only 5X5 inches!


To give you a better idea of my chaos that is a purse, this is but half of the crapola (excuse my french) I've managed to stuff inside. Yes, that IS a roll of duct tape (because you just never know...). I've got mints, random pills, and wires coming out my ears. Thanks to the purse pod, I can fill my little pill box and finally contain half of my random clutter right there! All I'm saying is, freak yea. And check out all the cute designs here! Double freak yea. 

With the this adorable tiny clutch comes the following items:

And with Christmas just around the corner, would this not be the best gift for just about anyone with two X chromosomes?! I think I'm officially addicted. The only thing that would make me happier is if I had a bridal pod, baby bag pod, church pod, school pod, and car pod too! Until then, this happily suffices :) For more info and updates, be sure to check out and like their Facebook page here!

You're welcome for making your Christmas's and purses a little bit more convenient. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Coraleeisms Part 1

So apparently when you student teach you are busy writing lessons, planning units, sucking at blogging, and teaching kids and stuff. Who knew?! There is, however, something I have found I always have time for: Coraleeisms. What's that you say? They are the funny statements that one of the little ladies I live with comes up with. 3-year-olds have the deepest insights. Seriously though. Anywho, I've coined the term "Coraleeisms" after the sveet leetle jeenius herself, Coralee. 

Theeeeere she is :)


In order to better represent them, I've began illustrating them in a way of my own inspired by Roy Lichtenstein. So with much satisfaction, I present to you Coraleeisms Part 1:




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Because It Doesn't Hurt to Be Reminded

"You are always enough. You are worth more than the numbers on the scale; more than how many girls wish they were you, more than how many guys wish they had you. you are worth more followers than you have on twitter.." And for us bloggers... worth more followers than you have on bloglovin or blogger :)

You want... no... need to watch this.
THIS IS WHO YOU ARE.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

10 things I've learned Since Moving To Arizona

You guys. I did it. I've moved! Okay, so really I've been here for about a month already, but I've been so busy molding the young and artistic minds of 7th and 8th graders, that I've hardly had time to blog at all! If you read this post, you remember that I've been placed in the Mesa School District for my student teaching assignment at the 7th and 8th grade level. Awesome? Yes... though things about this whole experience do have their up sides and down sides.

1. Upside numero uno- I get to live with family. Really, It's my husband aunt and her family, but the longer I'm here, the more I have to remind myself that their children are not really my children, and Ryan's aunt is my aunt (in law), not my sister in law! It's funny because there's really only a 5 year difference between us, so we get along great! And just look at these girls:





Halley (6), Coralee (3), Aidalyn (10 mo.) and I have the best of times. We like to dance, play dress up and beauty shop, have photo shoots, and drive mom crazy. 
The only downside is that I live about an hours drive away from my school! That, in addition to an 9 hour school day makes for a big, napless, adult kind of day. Fortunately, a few good audio based books and scriptures make it quite a nice little break. Good thing gas only a $1.25/gallon! .... oh wait. It's not.

2. Need I even mention the whether? They say Arizona is hot, but forgot to mention HELL is cooler than this place! The sun isn't hot, the very AIR is hot! Never have I ever lived in a place where I intentionally turn the faucet to it's coldest setting to take a shower! You will get used to it, they said! Just stay inside, they said! Last week was exceptionally cool at a plummeting 96 degrees. This is no joke. 

Most importantly, I've learned that apparently you CANNOT leave the following items in a hot car:
-Chocolate
-Make up
-Plastic ANYTHING
-Gummy Candy
-Acrylic Nail Supplies
-Apples (unless you leave it sprinkled with butter, brown sugar, and a cobbler crumble on top!)
-And Children.

(Just kidding about the children. I mean, Yes, don't leave them in cars; no, I don't know that from experience.)
 I'm actually proud of how innovative and ghetto this is! Momma needed her crackolate.


Contrary to popular belief, it does rain here!  But when it rains, it pours! It's really not rain at all; its a monsoon. This is the soccer field. Case closed.


3. Kids are funny. I teach 7th and 8th grade daily, and rotate 4th, 5th, and 6th for one hour every day. Because of this, I've learned that A. I can wait to have children of my own. Like, maybe when I'm 30. And if someone switches my birth control with tic tacs without telling me. And B. You have to have a sense of humor if you think you want to be a teacher. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE teaching, but if I didn't remind myself 12 times a day that kids are soooo funny... I just don't know :)


It's images like the one below that... well.... you get the idea. Funny. 


4. I learned that being poor is the worst. Shocker right?! I don't know how people do it long term. Ok, Obviously no one chooses that, but there are times where you find yourself scraping by until the next opportunity arrives, and that blows! Let's say hypothetically you are moving, and both you and your husband leave your jobs, and still only have one car due to repairs. Now say, hypothetically, that your one running car needs a sudden $600 repair, and then you must pay for a 3 days travel of gas, and your electricity bills come knocking at your door, with the phone bill, and rent, and prior car expenses and next thing you know you have $7.09 to your name and are paying for gas in change. Hypothetically, that would be the worst. However, for us, the end was in sight. I started teaching 2 weeks before Ryan, except only he is being paid. Even so, we knew that once he got his first pay check, we would be OK. It was humbling and I was so grateful for how blessed we were and still are. I was really starting to relate to Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness. But man, I've learned that I never want to be that poor again!!! 


5. Arizona has wonderful whether in the winter, this I know, but dang. This is not the Northwest that I am used to. This desert is toe-up. 


I left my husband in California for this?
I need grass in the yard, white picket fences, and lilac trees. Arizona does however have the LARGEST beverages I have ever seen, for under a dollar.


Here's to proudly looking white trash for the small price of refreshment, yo!

6. Just when you think your've seen it all, you're wrong! I've heard that AZ had bugs, and, ya know, that's cool and whatever. Thankfully, Ryan's aunt's house has been sprayed so I had yet to see anything too scarring... until I went to get gas at 10:00 pm. I found where all the bugs (if you can even call them that!) are partying. 


I have seen things that cannot be unseen. Never before have I felt so much that Will Smith in Men In Black. I kept my cool, but mark my words, the first time a scorpion charges at me, imma unleash crazy like aint nobody seen!



7. Apparently I relate a lot of my life to Will Smith movies. Here's to hoping I never feel the need to commit suicide and donate my organs in order to clear my conscience of killing 7 people in a car accident. Or finding myself as the last surviving member of the human race after a plague. Or becoming a temperamental superhero ... or saving the world from aliens on multiple accounts. I do think I could be a stellar match maker, and dating coach ;) Man, that dude has quite the track record.

8. Everything sounds like so much more fun when you add the word "Fairy" to the beginning of it. Who wants to take a fairy bath!? Fairy carrot sticks anyone? It's fairy bedtime! Yea, let's raise a glass to little girls.


9. I am an internet window shop-oholic. Is that even a thing? It means I like to shop online, but don't actually buy anything. I just have a million shopping carts chalked full of random stuff :) Maybe it was due to my recent constraint of not being able to purchase anything, but I dig it. It's like eating cake without the calories... right? or the cake for that matter. Anywho I've got my pinterest wish list for Christmas, my amazon account, Simons Jeans shopping cart.... need I say more?


10. I really love my husband. We try to see each other every other week since he is in California for an internship and I am here, but man, there is never enough time. I cry like a baby with every goodbye, and miss him like crazy in between. Long distance when dating is hard; long distance while married is harder. I have a limitless amount of respect and empathy for army wives. 
He's my dream boat!

There is still so much Arizona has yet to teach my naive mind, but I think all this can hold us over for now :)


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Image Issues.

Pretty sure that if blog images (as seen on my sidebar) could have a period, it's happening. There are some serious issues up in here. I'm trying to get the kinks worked out, but in the meantime: Patience is a virtue! I'll just be over here trying to fix this shiz and acting like a totally mature adult :)