Sunday, January 31, 2016

Not Public School...Tot School

I've never taught a grade lower than 3rd grade until now.  Meet my 18 month old daughter and newest student, "Sweet Pea'.

Before I took Sweet Pea to her 18 month old check up, I had to fill out a questionnaire on her development.  Sweet Pea LOVES to read and she can answer all sorts of questions about "where is the ____? or which one is the _______?"  But asking if she uses objects to push and pull things to where she can get them... not so much. Pour puffs from a bottle turning it upside down? Not without me showing how to first.  There were quite a few of these instances.  Filling out this questionnaire made me feel like I wasn't giving Sweet Pea enough opportunities to try and learn different things, However, I had NO IDEA on what to do or even where to begin with an 18 month old.

So I googled.

And the Lord blessed me with Carisa from  Tot Trays.... Sensory Bins....Invitations to Play.... and FREE Resources to help me grow my little one from regular school like stuff to teaching her Biblical principles, values and stories!  I totally feel like I have hit the jackpot with Carisa's website! She is just simply amazing!  So I stalked...and read... and pinned...and clicked on links... and made my computer go into Tot School overload.  I have read so much in the past 2-3 weeks, but I feel like I have only scratched the surface!

I am so excited to do some of these things with Sweet Pea--- it takes all my strength to not go wake her up so we can play :)  I can't wait to see her face tomorrow morning as she walks into her playroom and sees all the different things set up.

Here is a sneak peak (I'll blog more about these activities later this week)
sensory bin with cheerios and valentines stuff from Dollar Tree

Sensory bin on top of our DIY less than $5 light box

What will Sweet Pea do first?!

I can not wait to see if she will take those pink sparkly puffs and put them through the tube to fall into the trash! Simple pleasures.

A book from the Valentine Tot Pack 

I got my teacher fix in and even laminated this book with contact paper.
All these will stay up throughout the week, if not longer.  Each Sunday night I will switch things up some, for instance, changing her little woven trays or putting toys away she really isn't into and switching it with some I have stored away.  This way, when the toy comes back out, she will be surprised and excited to see it again.

Look for upcoming adventures in Tot School... it's my newest 'Trade!'

Friday, January 29, 2016

Making Art in My Bible.

I always wanted to be an Art Teacher.  I knew in high school that that was what "I wanted to be when I grew up."  I went to college and graduated with my Art Teaching Degree in 2004, but I could never find that art position until 2008.  For those 4 years, I was in a dry spell.  I crafted every now and then, but actually making art... nope.  When I taught art in 2008-09 and in 2013-14, I could brush up on my art skills, but when I taught other subjects, I just didn't have time to "make art."

But I don't want to go through that dry spell again.  Making art is a gift from God, and it is something I need to keep practicing.  Its something I love to do and can inspire others with.  I need to make time for it.

So how does a SAH Mom, part time Children's Pastor, and school volunteer make time for art?  Well I combine things that I love...reading God's Word, my daughter, and art. 

My husband bought me this Bible (ESV double column journaling Bible) for Mother's Day in 2015. It was also the same day that we dedicated our daughter to the Lord in church... aka Parent/Baby Dedication day.  It was such a beautiful book! I didn't want to just fill it with things for myself.  I honestly felt selfish doing that.  So I decided that I would journal to my little girl.  I would draw pictures for her and write to her in the margins what I wanted her to understand from God's Word.

There is a huge Bible Journaling community.  If you are interested, you should just google it, but that is seriously overwhelming.  Or check out the Illustrated Faith site.... Ahhhhhmazing!

The above picture is what I journaled to my girl today. It's from Exodus 15, and the first5 app is what inspired my writing. In Exodus 15, the Israelites immediately praise God for saving them from the Egyptians, only to immediately grumble about Him and His lack of provision in the desert.  When I first read this, I thought "Wow, they forget so quickly!"  But that's me too!  So many times God has provided for me, and when a tough time comes about, I grumble and wonder if God is going to/wants to/will provide.  This passage is a reflection of me.  

God always provides.  It may not be how I imagined it or desired it, but He always provides. He is a good, good Father.  

I am sharing this post on Tara's awesome blog 4th Grade Frolics.  I'm sure you may have seen her site, but if you haven't head on over there!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Starting Over.

I thought about starting over.  Starting a new blog with where I am now.  I thought about different names, titles, and what my new blog would be about.  Then I thought about the title "Jack of All Trades."  I love that title.  It can allow this blog to be about anything I want it to be. Jack of All Trades...Master of None.  Why is the Jack never a Master? Because a "Jack" is always learning, willing to try something new I don't want to become a master at something and become so comfortable, that I am not willing to push myself to try something new.  I want to always be a Jack of All Trades.

I know I have been MIA.  For a long time... like 3 years long time.  I don't have excuses, but I'd love to share where I have been and where I am heading.

There have been MONSTEROUS changes in my life in the last 3 years.  It's pretty amazing to look back and see God in it all.  He is so good.

What had happened was....
  • In the spring of 2013, my former high school principal called me out of the blue the week after Spring Break wanting to know if I wanted to come back.  (this was 4 years to the week when I lost my art teaching job, and you can read more of that here
  • After much deliberating, I took the art position at the high school, and taught ART I again in the 2013-2014 school year (Awesome!!! Living the dream again!)
  • For 3+ years (39 months to be exact) my husband and I had battled with infertility.  I never really shared about it on this blog, mainly because I wanted to hide it.   There is a lot of shame that goes with infertility, especially when the doctors can give you NO rhyme or reason as to why you have to endure it.  But even though I never shared with blogland, I did share with my church, friends, and family, who all prayed and carried this burden with us for that long of a time.
  • I found out I was pregnant on Nov 14, 2013 (my brother's birthday) and I will write a post on infertility and how GOD PROVIED EVEN IN MY DECLARING DOUBT!! The Children's Pastor, declaring her doubt that God would perform the miracle... not that He couldn't, but that He wouldn't.  Yep.... I did that in my weakness, and God brought me to my knees and my face to the ground. 
  • After completing that 1 year back at the high school, I resigned from teaching professionally to be a Stay-at-Home Mom!  After the battle with infertility, and witnessing God's gift of grace, I could not pass the opportunity to be the mom I always wanted to be.
  • I am still working part-time for my church as the Children's Pastor, so I still get my teaching fix 2x's a week, which I need.
  • My little girl is 18 months now.  I have been looking forward to teaching her at home.  I have come across some ideas called "Tot School" that I am still researching into. 

Teaching is a gift that I absolutely love.  I know it is a gift God has given me.  He has instilled the passion within me to strive and teach whatever it is that He guides me to.  Teaching continues to evolve for me.  From elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to church, and now as a mother, God has gifted me with so many ways to touch lives through the investment of teaching. 

This blog was meant for teachers,  but now I am not a professional teacher in the field.  However, in the end,  WE ALL ARE TEACHERS.  We all have the opportunity to teach someone, to invest in another human being, to help them become better than they were when you met them.

So I will stay and continue to let God teach me how to be a Jack of All Trades.

(and I am hoping to post bi-montly! small steps friends, small steps.)