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Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't miss an opportunity!

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So, earlier tonight I gathered with some of my friends to catch up on everthing that's been going on since Christmas.  Most of us are back in Miami to bring in the new year!  We love bringing in the new year in Miami!

Well, I have to tell you that we laughed at one of my friends and his missed opportunity because we all told him it was going to happen and he didn't want to listen to us.  He should have listened!

You see, sometime around the end of November/beginning of December he confessed to having a crush on a girl he knows that none of us have met yet.  He said that she got divorced about a year ago and around the time he admitted his crush to us, she announced that she was ready to give dating a try again.

We all encouraged him to ask her out, but he listed his reasons for waiting until after the new year.  Now, you have to keep in mind that while we all laughed at him; he was completely serious.

He said that asking someone out for the first time that close to Christmas was a bad idea because if it works out you're stuck with a new relationship for Christmas.  That means you're faced with deciding what kind of present to give the person ~ You don't want to buy something that says you're too serious but you also don't want to buy something that says it's just casual when you don't really know where you stand because it's a new relationship.

Then you're also forced to decide how much of the holidays you spend together.  It's too soon to take someone home to meet the family, but do you really want to just ignore them for a week or so.  And what happens if they invite you to their family gathering?  If you go or don't go, you may be sending a message about how you feel when you really don't know how you feel cause you've really only had a couple of date.

Then, if you survive Christmas, you're stuck with new years eve a week later.  Do you bring in the new year with this person?  If you spend Christmas together do you have to spend new years eve together?  And since it's a new relationship do you really want to bring in the new year together and what kind of message are you sending if you do or if you don't?

Seriously, we tried to tell him that it was just a dinner invitation, but this is where his mind went.

Well, now it turns out that the girl will be at the same new years eve get together that he's going to attend and she will be with a date.  A date that asked her out for the first time around the end of November/beginning of December.

lol!  We shouldn't have laughed, but we did and I'm kind of still laughing!

Let this be a lesson to all of you guys ~ (Even though I seriously don't think I have many guy readers) ! Don't miss an opportunity!  If you're crushing on someone, ask them out!  Especially if you have to be rich and/or good looking and I'm the someone you're crushing on!  lol!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Midnight Kiss by The Kit Cart

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Are you ready to ring in the new year?  Is your camera battery all charged up so you can snap embarrassing photos of your friends?  lol!

Well, Jamie from The Kit Cart Designs has the perfect kit for you to scrap those pictures!  It's called Midnight Kiss.  Take a look...


Midnight Kiss has 73 elements, 17 papers and an alpha.  It's also on sale!!!

I made some candy bar wrappers so I could give my friends their annual new years candy bar...



I've also got a layout to share with you...



I really love this kit!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I've missed you guys!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Mine was awesome, but I am glad to be back in Miami!

I'll catch you guys up on things later, but for right now I want to share a picture that I didn't have time to share before Christmas...

Yes, that's the fabulous Sebastian!  Take a good look at that arm because even though it's in a cast it's bent for the first time in his life.  Sebastian's mom says that he is doing wonderfully!

I am so proud of him!

I've gotten emails from some of you wondering if your cards arrived.  There were a few that came on the last day of school before Christmas break, but I didn't have a chance to update the list. 

I have a feeling that more cards will be waiting when we get back to school.  Don't worry, I promise to update the list and get the cards to Sebastian.

Again, I just can't thank you guys enough for everything you've done.  You're the best!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sebastian!!!!!

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You guys!!!!!  It's so exciting!!!!!

Sebastian was just out of surgery when we went to the hospital today with a total of 155 cards/packages and 4 stuffed animals that have arrived from all over the world.  He hadn't even gotten moved into a room yet, but we were still allowed to see him.

He was still very sleepy from the anesthesia, but woke up long enough to say, "Hey, Ms. Brown!"  before falling right back to sleep.

The surgery took about an hour and a half.  The surgeon said that the surgery went well and that his arm looked fine.

Sebastian was so out of it that it didn't seem right to take a picture, but I'll try to get one from his mom soon.  His arm was in a cast, but for the first time in his short little life his arm was bent at the elbow!  As sad as it was to see him lying there in the hospital bed, it was still a beautiful sight.  His arm was bent at the elbow!!!!!

Starting next week, the doctors want him to start flexing his arm to work on the range of motion.  Can you just imagine what that's going to be like for him ~ to bend and then straighten his arm for the first time ever?  Just thinking about it makes me tear up!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Time for Sebastian's surgery!

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Sebastian will be at the hospital at 5 AM for his surgery.  Please send up good thoughts, prayers and wishes.

I'll update you with info as I can.

Now, it's time to give away the prizes my neighbor has donated.  If you're a winner, please email me your address!

The winner of the plastic stamps is Karen Ladd!

The rubber stamps go to Jessi Fogan!

The glitter goes to wendipooh13!

Suze and Beate each get a $10 gift certificate to Whimsy Stamps!

I really can't thank you guys enough for all the cards!  I've been trying to keep up with the list as the cards arrive and hope I haven't missed anyone. 

I've gotten emails and messages from people who are afraid that their card hasn't or won't arrive in time and that's ok!  He's a 6 year old boy who will be excited to get mail whenever it arrives.  I mean, who doesn't get excited about receiving cards?!?!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

And then Friday happened....


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OK, so I had a very busy and crazy week and I was saving up all the stories so I could tell you about them and my miserable life and you could laugh and help me to remember that my life really isn't miserable after all.  And then Friday happened...

I was going to tell you how my neighbors teased and tortured me with the stupid gingerbread man ornament until it sort of ~ kind of ~ got "accidentally" broken.  And how I insisted that it had to be thrown away in multiple trash bags so that the parts couldn't  grow back together.

I was going to tell you about how thanks to a busted heat valve I had no hot water for two days and how if you smelled something ~ it was probably me cause I was only washing the essentials.

I was going to tell you about how Orange Croc Guy flew out of town one day and how What If Guy guy flew in the next.

I was going to tell you about my stupid email account and how I really need to cancel it and set up another one because this one has gone crazy and won't let me delete anything.  And how I probably won't cancel it and set up another one because of the time and effort that goes into changing my email address everywhere and letting people know that it's been changed.  And how I would rather just deal with the undeleted deleted emails than go through all of that.

I was going to tell you about how I put together 18 "Snowman Soup" gifts for my class with these special candy canes that are shaped like spoons. And how those stupid spoons cost me over $20, but that it's OK because I think I'm in love with them.  And do you think that I'm weird because I'm in love with a candy cane spoon?  I mean...I don't want to marry it or anything.  I just love it.

I was going to tell you about how there is this one girl in my class who sings the Star Spangled Banner every morning as it's played over the morning announcements.  And how she sings VERY loudly to a beat that only she can hear.  And how none of the words she sings are actually in the Star Spangled Banner. And how some mornings it's almost more than I can take and I want to tell her that, "It's OK, you don't have to sing."  And how I don't actually tell her that because, who knows, she may grow up and become a famous singer someday. And how I don't want to be sitting in an island tiki hut or an old folks home or wherever I end up, watching her on TV and listening as she talks about the Kindergarten teacher who told her not to sing and know that I'm THAT Kindergarten teacher.

I was going to tell you about the little girl who brought in chocolate coins and dreidles to teach us how to play the dreidle game.  And how every time the dreidle stopped spinning and I asked her, "OK, what does that mean?" she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know."

I was going to tell you about how making lessons plans for this week consisted of figuring out how much fun we could have while tricking the principal into thinking that we were actually working.

I was going to tell you about the little boy who announced that he didn't like Santa Claus.  And how I tried to figure out if he celebrated Christmas by naming every religion and place of worship I could think of.  And how he said that he wasn't any of those things and didn't go to any of those places.  And how I was pretty sure I knew what religion he was based on his home country and the traditional attire his mother wears, but how I was afraid to make assumptions.  And how I asked his older sister about what holiday they celebrated and how after looking around to see who was near by she whispered, "Have you ever heard of Muslim?"  And how sad it made me that she felt the need to whisper about her family's religion when we live in a country where we are supposed to know and have freedom of religion.

I was going to tell you about the group of fifth grade girls who visit my room every morning even though I constantly remind them that they aren't in Kindergarten and shouldn't be in our building.  And how it secretly makes me happy that they visit.

I was going to tell you about the visit I got from Sebastian and how he once again proudly asked, "Do you know how old I am?" because he forgets that he reminds me that he turned 6 in June every time I see him.  And how when I asked about his surgery he said, "I'm not scared.  I'm not even a little bit scared."  And how I teared up at his bravery and wished I could have just an ounce of his courage.

I was going to tell you about The Mangrove Man who came to school and how I know he has a real name, but I can't remember it so he will always be The Mangrove Man to me.  And how my students watched him without making a single sound as he set up the seeds we'll observe and take care of for the next three months.  And how he cleaned the windows in my room and how we watched him lick the back of several suction cups and place them on the cleaned windows before someone actually thought to offer him a cup of water so he wouldn't have to lick them any more.  And how I invited him to stay for the rest of the day and to visit any time he wanted because he washed windows and my students were quiet when he was in the room.

I was going to tell you about the teacher who came to my room to borrow a book and how I had to ask my students where I left it because I couldn't remember.  And how they told me I had let another teacher borrow it and laughed because I couldn't remember.  And how the teacher who wanted to borrow the book said that she wasn't going to waste her time asking me questions any more since my kids know more than I do.

I was going to tell you about the Christmas presents my students are making for their parents and how they're a pain in the neck to make and how they're all lopsided and barely held together with Elmer's glue, but they are still beautiful.

I was going to tell you about the boy who gave me a rhinestone necklace and about the smile that covered his face as I wore it and showed off the "diamond" he had given me.

I was going to tell you about how every time I'm with my class and we see a picture or decoration of Santa Claus I tell it that, "I've been good!"  And about the little girl in my class who constantly says, "Ms. Brown, you need to stop because Santa Claus knows that you aren't really six!"

I was going to tell you about how happy I am that I've made it this far into December and for the first time in more years than I can remember haven't had to deal with that one cynical kid who announces that there is no Santa Claus.

I was going to tell you about how my principal came bounding down the hall and declared, "Ms. Brown, I have something to show you and it's going to make you like me....at least for a couple days."  And how I assured him that, "It's Friday.  I always like you on the weekends...you know, when I don't actually have to see you."  And how he and I must have looked like children ourselves as we stood by the sink and added water to this "magic powder" in order to make snow.  And how he then ran back to his office to order enough "magic powder" for every child in Kindergarten to make some snow of their own.

I was going to tell you about all of these things and more.  I was even planning the posts in my mind, but then Friday happened and we were still at school as we slowly started getting bits of information about Connecticut and the school and the shooting and the children and the teachers and the families and the rescuers and even the shooter himself.

The information we received mostly came from someone who heard something from someone else and not everything we heard was accurate.  Each new report brought a higher casualty rate and as teachers we all fought back tears.  We fought back tears and wondered , "What if..."

What if it happened here?  What if it happened to us? 

What if there were no more visits from former students?  No more dreidle games?  No more rhinestone necklaces?  No more out of tune songs?  No more presents that are made mostly of glue?  No more candy cane shaped spoons?  What if...

After school I talked to parents who came to pick up their children and listened as they said it was hard not to pick up their children early because all day long they had just wanted to hug them.  I listened and held back the tears because there were no words.

Friday night, after going out to dinner, What If Guy and I joined my neighbors for drinks.  The guys separated into one corner of the room to discuss sports and other guy things.  The girls settled around the TV to watch 48 hours and learn the latest news.  It wasn't until the guys slowly and silently rejoined us and placed arms around our shoulders or over our hands that I realized most of us were silently crying as we watched the names of the children who had been killed flash across the TV screen.  We were all silent because there were no words.

I've spent the weekend listening as my wonderful, close-knit and yet totally eclectic group of friends started to divide into two groups  ~ those that believe we need more gun laws to prevent these things and those that believe we need more guns so that innocent people can protect themselves.  I've listened while wanting to simultaneously slap them for turning this into a political argument and hug them just because they are my friends and I can.

I've listened as people have declared the need for prayer in school.  As a teacher, I can promise you that there was plenty of prayer in schools all across the country on Friday.  They may have been whispered quietly, but quiet prayers are powerful too.  Quiet prayers are still heard by The One who needs to hear them.

I've read the Facebook posts and Twitter feeds and I've commented on very few of them and "liked" even less.  I haven't commented much because there are just no words. 

I have asked myself repeatedly, "What can I do?"  and sadly no answer has been forthcoming.

I did manage to get out of bed in time to go to church today.  If you knew me better and how I like to sleep in on Sunday mornings and how I am often referred to as a C & E Christian ~ one who goes to church on Christmas and Easter ~ you would have a better understanding of how deeply effected I am by all of this.  From the number of people present today, it was obvious that I am far from the only one who felt the need to attend services.

Perhaps 1 Corinthian 12:26 says it best, "If one member suffers, all suffer together..."

Friday happened and we have all felt the pain and there are no words...

It is almost midnight now and in about 20 hours I will gather with my friends for one more Christmas get together before more of us head out of town.  There will be dinner and drinks and present exchanges and I am sure there will be more discussion about Friday and prayer and gun laws.  I am sure that my friends will all still stand firmly to their different beliefs, but it won't matter.  It won't matter because we are all alive and well and together.

It is almost midnight now and in about 8 hours I will greet my Kindergarten students for the final week of school before winter break.  Many of them will have been spared from the news of Friday, but others will have seen or heard things that no Kindergarten student should ever have to see or hear.  I will do my best to continue to shield the ones that have been spared and comfort and reassure the others.  I promise you, that there will be more quietly whispered prayers in school on Monday.

It is almost midnight and in about 8 hours I will also be faced with parents who are concerned about their children and their safety.  I hope that I find the words to tell them that I will continue to wear the rhinestone necklaces and listen to their singing and praise the lopsided glued together presents they make and accept their different beliefs and insist that I am six years old and have been very good this year.  But most importantly, I hope I find the words to let them know that with everything I have and everything I am; I will protect their children.







Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blue Rhapsody by Nibbles Skribbles, Designs by Brigit and Aimee Harrison Designs

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OK, seriously, there are so many beautiful Christmas kits out right now that it's scary!  I'm really having a hard time deciding on my favorite, but Blue Rhapsody is right up there at the top of the list!  Just take a look...

Have I mentioned that blue is my favorite color?  lol!

Blue Rhapsody has 24 papers and 81 elements and right now it's on sale at The Studio.

Here are a couple of layouts that I've put together, but I know that I'm going to be revisiting this gorgeous kit every chance I get...




All I want by Nibbles Skribbles

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This adorable mini kit is the Nibbles Skribbles contribution to theStudio blog hop...

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There are 18 elements and 6 papers. You'll even find a gorgeous set of matching solid papers on the Nibbles Skribbles Facebook page!

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Here's my layout...

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Now, it's time for you to head over to the Nibbles Skribbles blog and Facebook page to grab your goodies!

Merry Christ-Moose Darlin' by Two Moose Designs

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Check out this adorable kit that Two Moose Designs put together for theStudio Christmas Carol Blog Hop...

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Isn't it adorable? There are 14 elements and 6 papers.

Here's a layout I made...

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Head over to the Two Moose Designs blog to pick this up and find out where are the other wonderful blog hop stops are.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Fun by Two Moose Designs

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I know some of you have gotten a little bit of snow lately ---OK, some of you have gotten LOTS of snow lately.  lol! 

I have to admit that I don't really miss snow.  I miss waking up and to a ground covered in snow with the sun glistening off of it and finding out that school is canceled.  I miss making snow cream.  I miss sitting on the sofa with the curtins and blinds opened and watching the snow fall while a fire burns in the fireplace.  I miss having people laugh at me because I am the absolute worst at building snowmen.  I miss having snowball fights.

OK, so maybe I miss snow afterall! lol! 

Or, maybe it's just this super cute kit from Two Moose Designs that is making me think I miss snow.



Winter Fun has 15 papers, 54 elements and 2 alphas.  It's also on sale!

Here's a layout I made using Winter Fun...





Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Such a fun weekend!

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OK, I admit that I wasn't sure how this weekend was going to turn out after I received an early Christmas present Saturday.  It was a freaking Gingerbread Man ornament!  We all know how I feel about gingerbread men!  I don't like them!  They're evil and I'm scared of them!

I played nice and thanked the person who gave it to me.  Mostly because she was paying for lunch.  lol!  I tried to explain my theory about gingerbread men being evil and responsible for most of the unsolved crimes in the world, but she laughed and thought I was joking.  I wasn't joking!

She didn't pick up on my subtle clues of not wanting the ornament so I took iy with me when I left the restaurant.  On my way home from the restaurant I considered throwing the thing out the window, but decided not to cause there's already enough unsolved crime in Miami.  I didn't want to be responsible for unleashing another evil gingerbread man on the unsuspecting city.  I decided to just regift the thing.  Yes, I admit to being a regifter-----especially when there's an evil gingerbread man involved!

When I got home, I headed right for my neighbors and very happily said, "Look what I've got for you!"  Without even looking at the stupid thing her husband, "We don't want it."  (When did he get so smart?!)

Since they already know how gingerbread men freak me out I didn't have to go through the whole story and even though they're my friends they weren't very considerate.  They laughed at me!  They always laugh at me!

After a very long and exhausting conversation when they laughed and I didn't; they finally agreed to babysit the gingerbread man until I could find it a permanent home. I would let them keep it, but I really don't like the thought of it being so close to me.

Saturday night I went with OCG to a Christmas party.  It was lots of fun and the home we were at was absolutely beautiful!  It was decorated for Christmas and there wasn't a gingerbread man in sight!

We stayed out way too late and my feet hurt by the end of the night.  I am such a flip flop/sneaker kind of girl that I don't like wearing grown up shoes.  lol!









Sunday, December 9, 2012

Home for the Holidays by FlowerScraps

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Here's a beautiful Christmas kit from FlowerScraps called Home for the Holidays.  It's perfect for scrapping pictures of your favorite family Holiday traditions!


This kit has 13 papers, 38 elements and 2 alphas and they are all beautiful!  Here are a couple of layouts that I've made...




You can find Home for the Hoidays in the FlowerScraps store at Stuff to Scrap.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

November Love by Nibbles Skribbles and Manu Scraps

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OK, I know November is over, but since it's the best month ever I think we can continue to celebrate!  This beautiful kit from Nibbles Skribbles and Manu Scraps is perfect for that celebration!

Isn't it gorgeous?  November Love has 20 papers and 72 elements and best of all.....it's on sale!

Here are a couple of layouts I've made using November Love...

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Friends and neighbors

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The guys decided to cook tonight and we decided to let them cause we're nice like that.  lol!

After dinner we walked to Lincoln Road for some people watching and a couple of drinks.

OCG is heading out of town for Christmas later this week and I've got to hang around until the 23rd.  I really hope I can survive two more weeks of school!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's about time!

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It's about time Friday got here!  This has been a long week and I think the next two are going to be even longer!

I had to hit up the mall after school to find a new outfit for a Christmas party I'm going to this weekend.  The mall was horrible!  Way too many people and not enough parking or room to move inside the stores.  This is why I like online Christmas shopping!  lol!

I did manage to find something though.  So, I'm happy and now plan to avoid the mall as much as I can until Christmas is over!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I have good news!

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I called the doctor's office today to see if they had any news for me and they did!  The second procedure seems to have done the trick!

I go in Monday for my post-op check up and after that it's every six months for awhile, but I'm good to go!

I am so happy!!!!!

Now, for even more good news....I turned one of the layouts I made with Thankful It's Fall into a quickpage and you can pick it up for free!

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