Teaching Heart Mom

Just a Mom With a Teaching Heart. Find fun activities to do with your kiddos and students (infant to age 10). www.teachingheart.net blog

Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Gave All and All Gave Some!

If you haven't listened to this song, you need to today! 

Happy Memorial Day to All Who Have Served and To Those that Gave Some and Some who Gave All!  I was a Navy wife for the first six years of my marriage and I know what a hard life it can be on the families of those that serve.  Here's picture of my husband serviing on The US Alabama 731's 50th patrol.  He is somewhere in the 5 of the 50.  I am very proud of his service and proud of all who serve to protect our country and keep us free!!!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moo... It's Monday!

Moo… It’s Monday! (1 day early!!!!)

Sorry, life has gotten busy with the end of the school year around the corner. The kids’ sports combined with getting exercise in and doing Teaching Heart keeps me busy. Therefore, it has been a bit since I posted a Moo… It is Monday post. I am back this week.

Diet – Ugh! I have hit a plateau over the past two weeks. No weight gained or lost… Well, I did gain 2 pounds and lost it… putting me back at 20lbs lost. I know why, I am not writing it down. I started doing that again today. I really need to write it all down so I get enough calories or so that I do not get too many. Still eating clean and staying away from sugar as much as possible. I did cheat and have a piece of cake at a party on Saturday. It was all good until we went for a four mile run right after the party. I bet my husband before it that I could get it done in 43 minutes… O, man… Mile 1 my stomach was feeling the cake. Really, you feel like what you eat. If you eat clean, you feel good and ready for exercise. If you eat crap, you feel like crap when you exercise. I am pretty sure you won’t see cake listed as a good pre-run meal on this list: http://www.runtheplanet.com/trainingracing/nutrition/enduranceeating.asp

Exercise – Still doing it 6x a week once or twice a day. That is the part I find very easy. On Saturday I am running a 5K race with my husband for his work. My goal for that is to get under 30 min. That will be hard for me as I have yet to break 30 min. on the treadmill at the gym. So, next week I will let you know how that goes. I am doing boot camp. I have two more weeks left in this free session and then I have 2 more free ones left. Over the summer months the camps are shorter and if I do those, I will be paying for them and not using my free ones.

Mon – Boot Camp

Tues – Guessing 2 miles through my hilly neighborhood… Pouring sweat from body after this.

Wed. – Boot Camp

Thurs, Four Mile Run on Treadmill and 1 Mile Walk

Friday – Three mile run and 2 mile walk on Treadmill. Also did 60 min. Boot camp in the AM

Sat. – Four miles… I was 44 min. So I did not win the bet. I felt like a dog.

Sun – Rest.

I ordered a shirt I have been wanting since I set eyes on it… but I am not allowed to wear it until I hit seven more pounds lost. That would put me at 27 pounds lost and lighter than I was before I got pregnant with my second child four years ago. The saying is the graphic I used in this post.  The shirt is so cool. It is from WOOHA GEAR at http://www.whoohagear.com/  If you haven’t checked this site out it has T-Shirts and other athletic apparel that inspire through motivational sayings and designs. I fell in love with a running shirt I saw on the site. You can see it here. http://shop.whoohagear.com/product.sc?productId=73&categoryId=3  I love the colors and the words on it!!! When you see me in it, I will be down 27 pounds! It’s hanging in my closet now.

Quotes for me to  Think About:

Failure is only a fact when you give up. Everyone gets knocked down, the question is: Will you get back up?

When you stop trying to change others and work on changing yourself, your world changes for the better.
When the sun comes up each day, be up and out with it.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Is that a Broccoli book or Twinkie Book on Your Summer Reading List?

So what do you prefer to read??? Do you like Broccoli books or Twinkie Books the best? Or do you like a mixture of the two? Ok, you may be going, “huh?” Let me explain: back when I first started teaching one of the veteran teachers (Mrs. Boyton – Silver Ridge) made a comment that stuck with me forever. She said she was tired of reading Broccoli books and needed to open a Twinkie Book. She defined a Broccoli book as a book you read to gain new knowledge or learning something from; like, a teaching theory book, a self-help book, or a parenting book. These books are good for your brain, like broccoli is good for your body. The Twinkie book is a book that is a story you read for pure enjoyment, you don’t gain any new knowledge from it, you just enjoy it. Like a Twinkie, it is yummy and not necessarily good for you. It is an indulgence for your mind. I just loved this way of explaining books!

I am mostly a Broccoli book kinda gal! I read some Twinkie books here and there, but Broccoli books are my kind of book. I have been getting together a few books I want to read this summer and guess what, they are all Broccoli books. They happen to be parenting books and one Teacher knowledge type of book. My choices are:

No one suggested this one...  Mom’s Everything Book for Daughters.

It just looked like my kind of book and one I can keep around for the years.  I just read the first chapter and really enjoyed it.  Here is what the back of the book tells us:
"From the whimsical to the heart-to-heart, here is a potpourri of the best, most usable, fun ways to connect with your daughter as you face the issues that concern her together. From helping her enjoy her appearance, to dealing with physical changes and sex, to becoming a lifelong learner, this book is full of frank advice as well as great ideas for

· Chick Chats: Conversations that draw you closer and help her think through an issue · Just for Fun: Whimsical ideas that’ll make you the coolest mom in the universe! · Rave Reviews: Recommended reading your daughter will love (really!) · God, Mom, and Me: Discussions over Scripture that will help you both keep God in the center of the picture · And a whole lot more! "

This next one my girlfriend is reading the girl version of and it sounded really great... sooooo   I decided to get Bringing Up Boys!

If you read the review of this book on Amazon, you will see that he has some very conservative views of things.  It will be interesting to read this and share it with my husband (one of the world's biggest conservatives) as I read. 

This next one has been on my shelf for a few months and I have cracked it and it looks great...  Plus an added bonus is that I know the author.  She was one of my college professors who taught an awesome class called Teaching Literature.  I do believe that her class is one of the classes I learned a great deal from while in college. 

Many of her approaches and suggestions I used in my classroom and use with my son.  I actually saved my notes from this class and used them in my real classroom.  This book is Toolkit for Teachers of Literacy!

So that's my summer reading list...  What kind of books do you like?  Are you a Twinkie kind-a reader or a Broccoli Lov-a?

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Busy Fighting Cancer!

Lance Armstrong once said, “If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.” Lance Armstrong obviously didn’t give up. He fought with vigor and unstoppable belief in his recovery. Thank you to all who came to the Peters Relay for Life 2010 and showed your HOPE! Whatever part you played, if you were there or made a donation to the event you made a difference and should be proud of yourself!
I know that I haven't posted in a bit.  If you are a Moo.....  It's Monday Fan, you may think I gave up on diet and exercise.  I didn't!  After only four hours of sleep Saturday night, I still got up for Katie Page Boot Camp at Relay.  It was awesome and those inch worm abs & the millions of squats Katie had us do have me hurting today!  I should be back with Moo....  It's Monday regular posts next week.  I have just been busy being the Committee Online/Technology Chair for the Peters Township Relay for Life that finally happened this weekend.  We start planing this in December of 2009 and have meetings all through 2010 until the day of the event in May.  It's time consuming all year; but, in May especially... but worth it when your event goes off without a glitch!  So far our community has raised over $77,000+ total.  I also was a team member of an AWESOME team that raised about $3,000 so far.  Online we have raised about $13,000 which I am extremely happy with and beats out any other online years for any Peters Township Relay for Life.   Whhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopppppppppp!!!!!!!!
The weather couldn't have been more perfect for this event.  You can see in the first picture above (taken by my friend Kristi), the weather was AWESOME.  God definitely shined his light down on our fight!  If you haven't been to a Relay to just walk the track, you NEED to find one in your area and go out with the family. 
 "The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated." 
Teams walk or run the track for 24 hours.  The goal of each team is to have at least one team member on the track for a 24 hour period.  This signifies that those with cancer fight it 24 hours a day!  However, you do not need to have a team to come to a Relay event.  It's a family fun day filled with games, food, prizes, and entertainment all to support the American Cancer Society.  Bring your family out to check one out!  You can learn more about Relay here!
Thank you to KT Photography for the use of these photos.  Please visit KT Photography here to see more!  If you are local to the Pittsburgh area, Kristi is an affordable photographer.  Her pictures are unique and always amazing!

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Reflecting on Motherhood...

Happy Mother’s Day One Day Late! I hope you had a great day. My day and weekend was fabulous. I feel refreshed and loved! Perfect-o Day-o!

One thing about Mother’s Day that I love is that it reminds me to reflect on my life as a Mommy. Am I the mom, I want to be? How can I improve at being a Mom? What blessings are in my mommy life? I think it is good to reflect often on these questions and I would love to read your answers…

Am I the Mom I want to be?

I am always pretty hard on myself and have high expectations for my kids and for me. This can be a positive and negative quality at the same time. I think I am a good mom… but there is always room for improvement. Still, let’s stop and pat ourselves on the back… what do we do right? Here are my areas of mommy shine:

I try my best to make sure my kids know that I love them and some days that means stopping and just cuddling them or watching the do something and giving them a genuine compliment. I believe that high self-esteem is the single most important gift that a parent can give their kids. A person with a high self-esteem values himself and will not get into, or stay in, an poor relationship. A person with high self-esteem is more likely to be happy and to reach his or her full potential. I teach my kids self-esteem: by showing them that I value them, by spending time with them, and by talking with them and listening to them.

I know how to have fun… Let’s face it, kids grow fast. I even notice with my son that the days of lying on the floor with him and just rolling around tickling him are pretty much over (wipe tear from my eye). Yeah I can give him a little tickle here and there… but I get “O, mom!” now. My daughter and I can spend a good 20 minutes rolling around the living room floor tickling, playing airplane, and making silly faces. I find as a mom it is too easy to become a robot… Take Charley here and there, get homework done, make dinner, bath, bed, and repeat! Moms become so absorbed in the daily ho-hum that they forget to be silly and laugh with the kids. I try my best to just let go at the right times. I have been know to jump in puddles, squirt my kids with a hose when they are fully dressed, talk in a silly voice all day, and just let loose and be a kid with them for a little bit now and then. Kick the soccer ball, play catch, go for a bike ride, and make a moment with your child! Before you know it they will be packing those bags and heading to college.

I know that I am the Mom, not the friend… Hopefully I will continue to realize that as my kids grow. Families have changed over the years. It seems like now a days families are more democratic in their child raising believes. Let’s listen to our kids and hear them out! That is all good and well but kids still need us to be their parents and set clear limits. We should listen to them and respect them – but I have to remind myself that I am not their friend and God certainly did not put me on Earth to be a friend to my child (hopefully that will come when they are adults). When I was a younger and a teenager, I would get so mad at mom and dad for things and say stuff like, “I’m not going to be your friend anymore! Or I (gasp) hate you!” My parents would look at me calmly and respond, “We aren’t supposed to be friends, We are your parents and you are our daughter”. It used to drive me nuts, but they were right (imagine that – parents know best??). Our job is to be our kids’ mothers – not their friends. I think so far, I’ve got that down…
One thing I am getting better at is just letting go and letting my kids solve their problems. I have a good friend who I met when my son was about 18 months and I was always amazed at how she just let her kids experience things on their own without stepping in. If the kids were fighting over a toy… She would just sit back and watch. Me I jumped in and scolded my son. As the kids got to be older (say 4ish) and would fight. My girlfriend would put them together in the same timeout chair to work out their problems. Funny, how this method worked. I was learning at the time and still being a helicopter mommy. I am getting better of letting go and letting my kids figure it out themselves. I question rather than offer the answer and try to let them come to their own conclusions about things. I still drive them often to a conclusion… but I am better at going about it. The sense of accomplishment that comes with being independent is immensely important for a child. As much as I like to feel needed, I try to let my kids be as independent and self-sufficient as they possibly can.

Ways I would like to improve?

Patience – I know most moms want more of it… Raising kids is hard work. How many times have you started to get work done to be interrupted by a temper tantrum or a little voice saying “I have nuthin to do!” Don’t you have a play room of toys child??? Or when you know the kids are bored and they decide to bother their brother or sister for something to do and crying usually follows by one of the children involved? UGH!!! Here comes mom with her head about ready to pop-off!!!

I need to stop pulling out my hair and take a deep breath, pray, and be calm. It seems like when I do accomplish the breathing/praying approach the outcome is always better and both the kids and I are happier.

Push my Kids – But Not So Hard

My parents pushed me… but sometimes I think they should have given me a bigger push. I think I was a bit of a slacker because they were pretty democratic in the way they raised me. But that is probably just me reflecting my issues on to them. I turned out pretty good in the long run...  Still, I push and push my kids too much sometimes. They are 4 and 7 and I am already thinking about their future. I definitely know that I need to figure out a balance to how hard I push. My son does very well in school and the only bad grade he has gotten in his little school career is a P in handwriting. I freaked out and started making him practice everyday. Then one time about a week ago I got upset because he had a perfect spelling record and he missed one thus bring his 100% average for the year to a 98%. O-God, yes I am one of those parents. I was totally bothered by it and he is a first grader. Unfortunately, I see him pushing himself to perfection in academics and even in sports and piano. Sometimes my always happy little guy just looses it and breaks down and I know that a lot of that comes from the bar I set for him. I most need to work on teaching him it is ok to miss a few; it isn’t the end of the world. It is ok if you aren’t the best at something. As long as you tried your best, that is what matters.

What a Blessing Being a Mom is:
I always tell me kids that they were a present from God to me and their Daddy. It was the greatest present that God could ever give us. I thank God everyday for them, sometimes I thank God multiple times a day (especially on the days they are being really good – lol!) The best is when you are doing nothing exciting and you catch a glimpse of your child in a moment to themselves and you just feel an incredible sense of love for them. It’s better than any drug! I love that when my daughter is asked how she got so pretty she will reply, God made me that way. If she sees a picture of me before kids and then asks where she was and I tell her she wasn’t born yet she says, “I was just a dream that God was making.” My son doesn’t pass a soul without giving them a smile… If I had a nickel for all the times people tell me how he is always smiling or always happy, I would seriously be rich! “Is he always happy? Does he ever stop smiling?” I am blessed in more ways than words can say as a mother. Being a mother is the hardest job that only lasts a few short years… It is the greatest gift and my only true hope is that I can raise my kids with a great love of God. If I can do that, I pretty much feel the rest will fall into place. 

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your mommy tips, what you need to improve, and how you are blessed as a mom.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teacher Appreciation - Teacher's Rock!!!

For a printables similar to this one:
Check out our Teacher Appreciation Packet at
Here's a fun idea for an end of the year gift or a Teacher Appreciation treat.  Collect a list of songs that have the word teacher in them, are about teaching, inspirational, or about children.  Burn those songs on to a CD.  Make a label and insert for the CD and you have a great gift.  I use the CD Stomper System for creating my labels.  I have used it for years and think it is a great program.  Very easy to use.  Below are some links to items I use to make my CD's.  Also I listed some song ideas for a teacher CD.  I also love to make CD's each year for my kiddos birthdays, they become a great favor.  Yes, I was one of those people that made mix tapes in college and high school!

Here are some ideas of songs.  I posted on Facebook and people sent me these;
"Time of your life" by Green Day
Hot For Teacher.  Christina Aguilara's Beautiful. Oh, and Jeremy by Pearl Jam.
Average White Bands "School Boy Crush".
Hero - Mariah Carey ... See More

Be True To Your School - Beach Boys

Reach - Gloria Estefan

I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelley

Schools Out for Summer - Alice Cooper

Teach Your Children---Crosby Stills Nash

What A Wonderful World This Would Be - Sam Cooke

ABC - Jackson Five

Ring Ring Goes the Bell - Chuck Berry
Here is what I ended up with when making my CD.  I did not want to spend extra money buying songs, so I used what I already had.  Also, this is for a catholic school.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Moooo.... It's Monday! - THE RACE IS OVER - NOW WHAT?

It feels like Christmas is over...  You know how you work so hard for the holiday and then it's over in 24 hours.  In running, you train for at least 8 weeks and then you run for less than 2 hours and it is over.  This article kinda sums it up!  Still, with that said, it was worth it!!!

One more time I would like to thank my friends and family for such great support as I trained to run the 10!  I am not lucky, just blessed!!! 

So I am already signed up for my next race.  It is in September and it is ONLY six miles (after running 10 - six seems like heaven).  Want to run it???  My goal right now is to finish in an hour.  So right now I am just working on getting quicker feet....  I know one thing that will make me quicker is, less weight.  So I move on with the hard part - DIET!  Stupid DIET!!!  Hate how food has to make us grow out.  I think if you eat clean foods you should not have to count calories... sadly that is my thoughts and our bodies don't work that way. 

I told you that this week I would report on total weight loss thus far.  Well, I am down 20 lbs total since I started and that is five pounds less than when last reported.  I am taking it slow on the weight loss.  Hopefully I can keep it off once I am done.  I guess I was hoping that all those 7, 9, 9, and 10 mile runs would do magic and make me shed more...  but the trick is, I need to not eat like a wolf gone wild after a long run.  Still, I feel so HUNGRY after long runs and I reward myself with food.  It may be clean food, but it is too much food.  So new goal:  Write it down, everyday...  Keep calories on target!

One cool thing is that when I pulled out the summer clothes...  Things that were very tight last summer, I can pull down without unbuttoning.  My hubby (He likes to butter me up) told me I looked 1 demensional the other day.  Isn't he grand???

Exercise (taking easy after Sunday!):
Sunday - 10 Miles
Tuesday - BOOT CAMP
FRI - 3 Miles
Sat - 0 :(
Sun - 0 :(

Any goals for you this week in health? 

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Teacher Appreciation - Make her say YUMMMY!

Personalize a Candy Bar just for your Teacher!  Here is one I did for a few  Teachers:
You can use a Teacher's Name or just the quote, "Thanks for all you do!"

I forgot to take a picture of the back, but you can view a similar backing below. 
You can make your own by finding a candy bar template online and designing it to what you wish it to be.  Or click here order the back to school warpper and send in your custom print asking to change the sweet success to your Teacher's name or anything else you wish.  The file is sent to you in 48 hours or less after you send in your custom print. 
You can use any large candy bar.  I buy the ones that come in packs of 12.  You just print the wrapper on regular paper and use a glue stick to make it stick!  I am using the cookie pieces kind for this wrapper.

For a printables similar to this one:
Check out our Teacher Appreciation Packet at

For Other End of The Year Gifts of Teacher Appreciation, click here!

For End of the Year Ideas, click here!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Teacher Appreciation - Lucky Teacher Wins Lottery!

Well, you can hope that happens when you give this treat to a teacher!  All you need is to purchase a lottery scratch ticket and attach it to a note that reads; "Sammy is Lucky to Have you For a Teacher!" or "The Students at William Penn are so Lucky you are Their Teacher!" 
I am sure you can come up with a saying or two.  Here is my finished product!!!
Good Luck to Your Teacher!
For a printables similar to this one:
Check out our Teacher Appreciation Packet at


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Teacher Appreciation - Nuts Over My Teacher!

Here's a super easy and a little Nutty treat!  Get some emerald 100 calorie pack cocoa roast nuts (if you haven't tried these, they are YUM!)
All you do for this one is print out a little note that says,  "We are Nuts about Our Teacher!" or "I'm Nuts over my Teacher." or "It's Not Nutty to Think Your Teacher is the Best Nut in the Bag!" - I am sure you can come up with a few more quotes! 
Glue the note to the little baggie and it will look something like this....  Aint it nutty?
For a printables similar to this one:
Check out our Teacher Appreciation Packet at

Need End of The Year Ideas - Please Click Here!
Remember Teaching Heart CDROMs make great End of the Year Gifts for the Best of the Best.  Click Here to learn more! 
Below are a few more treats you can purchase via Amazon.com