Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What does the Fox say?

My kiddos are always asking me that now that they all know the song. I just tell them that a Library Fox says, "Shhhhh!"

But today, I got the CUTEST ever email from the mama of one of my 2nd grade boys:

Well, I just have to share!

We are getting ready for school this morning, and I hear it - again. That most annoying song (but in the sweetest voice ever) "What Does the Fox Say?!" It has been pretty constant at our house.

But, this time, the song catches my attention...he is just singing away....

"What does the Crystal Fox say? Ring a ling a ling a ling a ling..... What does the Crystal Fox say?"

Is that not the cutest?! Let me tell ya... It made my day! :-)

Oh yeah! I got so excited to tell you my story that I almost forgot to tell you about my new clip art set. It's some cute little rotten kids (boys & girls). Perfect for the bullies or bad kids in your stories! These were originally a custom set for my buddy, Nicole Shelby, to use for the Herdman kids in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. They are even named after those kids. ;-)

Please forgive me for ugly links & stuff. I'm posting this on my iPad & I really don't like this version of Blogger. Anyone else feel that way? Maybe I'm missing something, but I hate not being able to add links to images! Oh well, happy hump day! :-)

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Clip Art Sets

Hey!  I finally had a chance to post a couple of new clip art sets!  Yay! 

Back before school started, I had a chance to make some clip art for a teacher in Moore, OK.  If that name sounds familiar, there's a reason.  That's where the terrible tornado hit and destroyed an elementary school.  A teacher there contacted me to make her some clip art of kiddos in army uniforms lifting weights.  This set is what she got.
She sent me a picture of her finished bulletin board.  I think it turned out really cute!


The other set was a request, too!  A friend contacted me to make her some setting clip art.  Well, here it is!  I can see this being used with writing prompts! I'm sure there's other ideas of things to use it for, but that's the only place my brain will go right now.  lol...  I admit it.  I'm a little brain dead.  ;-)
Well, I'm gonna go try to find something warm to wear tomorrow.  It looks like we're gonna have our coldest day yet.  Boo!  I hate cold weather.  Oh well, I guess I'll live.  :-)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crafty Like a Fox!

Heads up! This post has nothing to do with TpT or even school!  (Well, unless you count the fact that I wore my craftiness to school today.)

I LOVE wearing boots in the fall and winter.  I have a pair of sweater UGGS that I got for a steal a couple of years ago.  (Did I mention that I'm cheap frugal?) I won't even tell you how cheap they were because you'll be mad at me for getting so lucky.  They were a returned item... and the only thing wrong with them was a little tiny pull in the stitching on one boot.  They are soooo comfy, and they go with EVERYTHING... when they wear out, I might have to break down and buy another pair... but I will cry if I have to pay full price!  ;-P

Anyhoo... on to my craftastic creation.  lol

Ok, seriously... I am such a dork!  I mean... just look at that face!  lol

It was "orange" day today. (For Red Ribbon Week... it's one of our school colors, so it's kinda like spirit day.) I didn't have enough orange in my outfit.  I was wishing that I had some orange boot socks.  I love boot socks.  I think it's because they remind me of slouch socks and leg warmers from the '80's and I am an '80's child! I have a few pairs of boot socks, but no orange ones.  Darn.  What's a girl to do?  I didn't have much time to come up with anything... but I knew I had an old orange t-shirt that I had already cut the arm out of to use for a headband. (See the picture of my fox sweater from last week.) So.... I cut the bottom out of it.  The whole deal seriously took less than 5 minutes.  (After all, I get up at 6:30 and am usually at school by 7:30. That's including the time it takes to stop and get my smoothie from Dairy Queen... and I did this all when I woke up this morning.)

Here.... I'll just draw you a diagram of what I did.  :-) 

I couldn't believe how many compliments I got on them today!  Believe me, I will be making more.  After all, who doesn't have tons of old school shirts laying around?  ;-)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's Fall!

I think I'm a complainer... it always seems like I'm complaining.  I don't want to be like that!  I want to be positive...

But.... Fall is NOT my favorite season.  I love the colors, I love the cool days, but I HATE winter... and when fall comes, it's hard to enjoy it because I know that winter isn't far behind.  The days are shorter and sometimes the skies are so cloudy.... Some afternoons I just want to come home and go to bed, but I can't!  I have too much to do!!! 

However, my mama always says that every cloud has a silver lining.  My silver lining came in the mail today in the form of my new "LibraryFox" uniform, thanks to a fabulous sale (don't they always have fabulous sales at Old Navy?) and the most perfect sweater... it might as well have been custom made for me... and since it's fall and the weather is cooler, Imma gonna wear it tomorrow! 

I think I'm gonna rock it with my skinny dark brown cords (I really have an issue calling anything that I put on MY butt skinny... How can the jeans be skinny? I'm not! lol), pink boot socks and light brown boots.  Would a statement necklace be too much?  Nah... there's no such thing as too much!  ;-) Ok... yeah... there is, but I think it will be cute.  We shall see.  (Maybe I can remember to take a picture to post here... lol... I wouldn't count on it though!)

You know those days when you're soooo tired... guess what, the right message just always seems to come along to remind you why you need to keep going.  Here is the message I received in my inbox not too long ago:
I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much your lesson plans are helping me though this school year. I will be retiring at the end of this school year and yet I knew I needed new ideas and a new format to meet the needs of students. Your creativity has done this and more. I am excited too and look forward seeing what you are doing each week. Thank you for making year 35 a blast for me and my students."
You know what? I realized that my library lesson plans might be a help to those who are just starting out.  I know how I felt as new librarian... lost as a goose with no idea where to start.  There's no core content for library... there's no library curriculum in most school systems.  You kind of have to create a program from thin air... but to help someone who's been doing this for 35 years?!?!  Let me just say how wonderful that made me feel!  I feel privileged that someone so experienced thinks that my lesson plans are worthy of use in her library.  :-) All I can say is thank you.  In so many ways, TpT and the experiences it has allowed me to have are such a blessing. 

We're up to week 11 in the library.  I CANNOT believe that we have been in school for 11 weeks.  Time flies when you're having fun!!!  (I'm ready for time to slow down a little bit!)

Do you get to celebrate Halloween at your school?  What are your favorite Halloween books?  Here's a few of mine in case you're looking for a Halloween Read-Aloud for your class.  Some are just "Halloween-ish" in case you can't actually do Halloween stuff.  I linked them all to their descriptions on Amazon so that you can read about them, if you like.  :-)

  1. Creepy Carrots
  2. I Need My Monster
  3. Leonardo the Terrible Monster (by my favorite author, Mo Willems!)
  4. Froggy's Halloween (You've just got to love saying "Undervear" in your best vampire voice!)
  5. Scaredy-Cat, Splat!
  6. The Hallo-Weiner (Has a great underlying theme about bullying!)
  7. Hoodwinked (A sweet story about finding just the right pet.)
  8. The Bones of Fred McPhee
  9. Bone Dog (I absolutely adore this book, but I haven't been brave enough to use it for a read-aloud yet! I'm afraid I'll cry. If you are a dog lover, you have to read this one.)
  10. Wanda's Monster (This one doesn't have much info about it on Amazon, but after looking it up, I'm thinking I might need to list mine for sale on there... two used ones listed at over $4,000!?!?!?  Holy Cow! lol)
And before I go, I want to mention some new clip art I'm working on.  I had a request for some trees.  Not just any trees, but trees that represent each season... AND can even represent those seasons without being in color.  Anyone interested?  What else would you like to see in a set like that? I'm looking for ideas of other things to include in the set.  :-)  Thanks for your help!!! 

Have a great rest of the week! :-)

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm lazy and I don't want to go back to work...

Hello… it’s your absentee blogger here.  Ok…so I went on Fall Break last week and I’ve been lazy, but who really wants to drag out the laptop when they’re on the beach? 
I went to Orange Beach, AL to stay with some friends. Lucky dogs… they get to live there year round!  We had a blast just doing the normal things.  My only regret about the whole trip was that I didn’t get to see the turtles hatch.  Let me explain.  My friends that live there are part of a program called, “Share the Beach.” They help assure that the sea turtle hatchlings make it to the water after they emerge from their eggs.  I knew that they had two nests that were ready to hatch.  I was hoping that they’d hold out until I got there on Saturday, but both nests hatched on Friday night before I got there.  L Oh well, at least I got to go out and help with getting another nest ready for the eggs to hatch.  I just wish I could have seen those adorable little turtles... and you'll see why that makes me sad even though I had a great time when you see the picture below.
Anyhoo... on to other news and happenings.  My friend Deb (who happens to have a mini-me right on the header of her blog!) is having a giveaway to celebrate 1,000 TpT followers.  You'll love the stuff she's giving away and it includes any resource priced up to $8 from me!  Yay!  I love giving stuff away to my friends! :-)
I've also posted a few new things in my store this week.  Of course, I've posted my lesson plans for week 10. I don't think I ever even blogged about week 9.  Aggghhh.... it's so easy to get so far behind!
Week 9 was all about reviewing what we had learned and doing centers.  We had a blast.  Here's the evidence written on the faces of a couple of my cutie pies.   
I also posted a power point that we will be using this week as we learn and review information about GENRES.  I hope you'll find it useful! It goes right along with our genre bingo that can also be found in my store. 

...and finally, I posted some new clip art.  It isn't much, but it's more than I've had time to complete in quite a while. 

Sooo to sum it all up, I guess I'm not really all THAT lazy... but I really don't want to go back to work.  :-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

All I can say is Nooooooo!

I was just talking to a teacher friend of mine online the other day.  I was asking a question in a Facebook group about how I was planning to do centers and how I should try to make them work in our 1 hour library time.  She was totally surprised that I would have my students for a whole hour.  I couldn't understand it at first, but then she explained that in her school, the students have 15 minutes in the library to pick out their books and they HAVE to checkout the FIRST book they touch!

WHAT?!?!?!?!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?

Can you tell that this was upsetting to me?  Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of a million reasons that you should NOT have an aide or para-professional running the library without a Library Media Specialist to guide them! 

Among those reasons is this...  I teach!  I don't just sit behind a desk and check out students when they need a new book. (But I somehow find time to do that when I do manage to sit down for a minute!)  I teach ELA skills, information skills, 21st century learning skills, research, literature appreciation, genres, drama skills.... well, you get the picture. 

It has become common practice to relieve librarians of their duties only to replace them with an aide.  I have so much respect for para-professionals...  Don't misunderstand that.  They do most of the things we do with MUCH less of the pay, BUT...  they aren't teachers or librarians.  There's a reason we all go to college to do our jobs.  If we let this kind of thing slide, how long will it be before schools, with all of their budget crunches these days, start putting para-pro's in charge of classes instead of teachers?  I know it might sound far fetched, but if certified librarians can be let go to be replaced by aides, it could happen eventually. 

Here's more food for thought.  If we don't teach these students to love the library and books, how long before our local government is run by former students who see no need for our public libraries?  I know that many think e-books are going to take over, but I still feel that there will be a need for libraries... and if we teach the love of books, well, an e-reader will NEVER replace the printed word.  Do you really want books to go out of style?  I can't imagine never feeling the pages of a book under my fingers again... that satisfying thump that a book makes when you've read the last page and you close it for the final time.  You just don't get that same feeling from finishing an e-book. 

Don't get me wrong... I love e-books, too.  They have their place.  I read on my iPad often... but it just isn't the same. 

Love books, love libraries and love your librarians.  Without all of those things, I certainly wouldn't be who I am today. 

What do you think?  Why do schools need librarians?  Or if you think schools would be ok without one, please tell me why... I want to know even if it does break my heart. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Giveaway and a Busy Week!

Oh me... I just finished up my book fair.  If you don't happen to be a librarian and you are reading this, that is Librarian (yes, that's a language... really!) for "OMG, I'm exhausted." I totally meant to take pictures of the madness, but I forgot because of all of the madness! Everything else in life has to go on standby while the book fair is on.  I figured it up and I spent a minimum of 60 hours actually at school this week.  That doesn't include the time spent at home working on stuff for school.  lol... so...  I'm thinking I have a right to be tired. 
In other words, if you are waiting for me to finish a mini me... it didn't get done this week.  ;-)
Ok... So on to the good stuff... 
My friend, Tammy, over at Dots of Fun is having a giveaway. 

There's some super cute clip art available from some great artists in the giveaway! You need to go over there and enter!  Oh and there's a set from me in there too!  It's this one.  :-)

I hope you had a great week & have a restful weekend!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Classroom

I am always seeing everyone's cute pictures of their classroom.  Well... I decided that I'm going to post pictures of my classroom even though my classroom happens to be a library. :-) There's still a lot of things that I would change after 10 years, but overall, I love my library and I think my kiddos do, too!  I certainly hope so.  That's what I strive for all of the time.  After all, if we don't teach them how fun reading can be when they are in elementary school, when are they going to learn? 

The view from what I call "the Non-Fiction side" of the library.
Notice the center column?  It's a neat design element, but boy does it get in the way sometimes.  My predecessor built "tree house" out of foam around it.  It's cute, but I so wish I could have a reading loft around the column.  I've been trying to find someone to con into building it for years, but alas, I have had no luck.

Our Non-fiction section

Our puppet curtain and storytime area. 

Our 5 computers... complete with their antique monitors.  :-)
In the background you can see the back side of my picture window decorations. 

The slightly messy biography section.

My extremely messy circulation desk. :-( Oh well, it's messy because I'm hard at work!

The fiction section and a great view of my wooden tables.  They've held up pretty well for 21 years.

The picture book section.  My favorite.  Notice all of my stuffed animals?  Oh how I love my book character stuffed animals.  :-)
Up until last year, all of the walls in the library were gray.  I'm NOT a gray kind of girl... so I begged and pleaded for several years to paint my walls.  I finally got permission.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  I love the change it's made.
Back to my picture window that I mentioned.  I redecorate that window several times per year for seasons, book fairs and other special events. I meant to take a picture of it, but I forgot.  Maybe I'll remember to do that tomorrow and have more than one blog post per week for a change! 
I was just contacted by a librarian in the same state as me and she thanked me for my lesson plans that I have been posting.  I won't say that I don't enjoy making some extra money, but helping others out... that's the best part!  I am so glad I started this adventure! :-) It makes my heart happy to know that I might be making life just a little bit easier for others!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New stuff posted to TpT and Custom Art

Did you miss me? ;-) You probably haven't had anyone to talk your leg off lately, so you might have!

Seems like the weeks are flying by! We're already over 5 weeks into school! My kiddos are learning all about using the library. This week we're learning how to use the library catalog in 3rd through 5th. (For those of you who aren't librarians, that's the computerized version of the card catalog.) My 2nd graders are learning about biography. K & 1st are learning about settings & characters. It's a busy week, but that's normal & the way I like it! That's why the time flies by! Anyway, for the librarians out there... Here's the new things in my TpT store for you this week. Check them out & see what you think! As I have every week since school started, I'm posting my lesson plans on TpT to save you valuable time to spend with your family and my lesson plans are editable in case something I'm doing doesn't fit your resources or needs.  ;-)

Library Lesson Plans Week 6
Don't be lost like an Easter Egg, Learn to Search the Library Catalog!
Learning about Biography and Autobiography
Freebie- After Reading Worksheet- Draw the Setting and Characters

Now for the second part of my post: Custom Art.  You guys probably already know about my Mini-Me's.  They are my most popular clip art item in my store.  The picture below is from Renee's blog Mrs. Mathis' Homeroom.  I totally love the adorable cards she made with her Mini's! :-) It makes me so happy to see these popping up everywhere! :-)

If you've blogged about your Mini-Me and how you are using it, please send me a link! I'd love to post it here for others to see!
I've also been collaborating with Christi over at Ms. Fultz's Corner on a few of her blog designs.  Here's a couple of screen shots of the latest ones! Christi does a fabulous job, so if you are in need of a new design for a blog, hit her up! (She did mine!) 

This is my favorite custom art that I have done!  I love this header!  The colors, the car, the sunset... I love it all!  I'm so proud of this one! :-)

I hope you are having a fabulous week!  It's flying by.... I can't believe tomorrow is Hummmmmp Dayyyyyyyyyyyy!  (I love that commercial!)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

So glad we are out of school tomorrow...

Phew... maybe I can get some clip art done since I have an extra day off!  I have been so busy working on mini-me orders, doing stuff for school and trying to keep up with lesson plans that I haven't finished a clip art set in what seems like FOREVER... I've also been somewhat non-existent here on my blog and I have a million things to do here at home.  I'm tired of feeling like I complain all of the time... I don't mean to!  I'm totally blessed by everything that's happened since I started blogging, but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!  If you have the secret for making it all work, would you please share it with me?!?!? 

At least we had fun in the library this week!  I handed out call numbers and had the kiddos running all over the library in order to find their place on the shelf.  Their favorite part was the app I have on my iPad that I used during the whole thing.  It's called Schoolbell... and it was only .99! When they found the correct spot, I let them push the green button... and it would make positive sounds. (My personal favorite is when it plays part of the hallelujah chorus. lol) If they weren't right, they had to push the red button... and it would make sounds like a foghorn.  They seriously thought it was hilarious!  :-)  Since I allowed them to correct themselves there was also very little room for much embarrassment.  It wasn't about being perfect, it was about being able to use the library effectively!  They really did pretty darn good! (I've got to remember to take pictures of this stuff!)

Also, in case you missed it, I just posted some cute little FREE goldfish the other day!  I made them for a bloggy friend and I thought I'd give them away hoping to make you smile with the snack that smiles back.  lol

For all of you librarians out there... I also posted Week 5 of my lesson plans.  It's all about Patriot Day and talking about 9/11 in non-scary ways as much as possible.  I hope it will be of use to you! 
I also plan to have a 500 follower giveaway soon.  I just passed that mark this week on TpT, but I haven't had time to set up a rafflecopter yet.  If you've hung in there with me and you're still reading, comment below and let me know what you'd like to see me giveaway!  I will take all comments into consideration!  :-)
I hope you're having a GREAT looooooooong weekend!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday Linky Party... and new stuff in the store!

My 5 for Friday is all about my blessings.  I'm tired, and sometimes its hard to get out of the bed in the morning, but I need to count them.  There's way more than 5, but I'm going to start there.  :-)
Sorry there aren't any pictures!
1. I love my kiddos.  It has been so great this week to have them back in my life.  I'm so lucky that I get to have ALL of the students at our school and develop a relationship with them over the 6 years that they are there!  What a blessing those sweeties are!
2. I am a huge Chicago Bears fan even though I live in KY.  Strangely enough, our school nurse is too!  She had on the most awesome pair of bears flip flops the other day.  I told her how much I loved them and she mentioned that she had bought another pair thinking she might want another pair if this pair broke. (As we all know, flip flops are pretty likely to do that!) Anyway I told her I'd buy them from her.  She brought them the next day and wouldn't let me pay her for them.  Seriously... how sweet is that?  What a blessing!
3. My pooches... always a blessing.  There's just nothing like coming home to someone who is always happy to see you! Love is a wonderful thing... but there's no love any truer than the love of a dog. I witnessed a very nice thing this week.  A fella from my neighborhood that I had never met came to my house the other day with his wife.  When he knocked on my door, he asked me if I knew of anyone in the area who was missing a dog.  He had the dog in the truck with him.  I asked him if I could go out to see it, hoping I might recognize the pooch. I went out, he opened the door and the sweetest looking blue eyed mutt stuck his head out to greet me. I put my hands on each side of his face just like I do with my dogs & he gave me a big wet kiss.  :-) I didn't recognize him, but I felt so blessed to have someone in the area that cared enough to try find the four-legged fella's family. Believe me, I've thought a lot about how I would feel if one of my babies went missing. I'd be in horrible shape.  I hope he finds his home.  :-)
4. Tomorrow is the Founder's Day celebration in my hometown.  I look forward to it every year even though there isn't much to it.  ;-) I usually get to see a bunch of people that I haven't seen in forever! Every year, there's a street dance after dark.  The average age of people in the audience has to be above 50, but I'm usually there... and there's a good reason.  My daddy loves to dance and I always have to go and dance at least one slow dance with him.  We've done it for years.  It makes me smile. :-)
5. TpT... wow! Let me just say how much of a blessing this month has been!  The sale and all of the other things I've sold throughout the month... well, I'm not rich, but I sure don't have to worry about money as much as I used to.  It's such a blessing to have that extra income when you are a single person trying to pay for a house, etc.  Life is expensive.  TpT helps so much... and without you, none of it would happen.  I want to thank all of you so much for your purchases, shout outs, and everything else that you've done to help me in this adventure! You are a blessing!
On with the show...
This week I've posted several things, and I have several more products in the works.  Most of my products are clip art, but I decided to go ahead and give posting more of my library stuff a try. So... I posted my lesson plans for the first 3 weeks of school, hoping that it might save someone out there a little bit of time... or maybe there's a new librarian out there who is overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start.  Believe me, I remember those days! (Almost exactly 10 years ago!) My lesson plans for the library include "I can" statements, core content and 21st Century Learning Standards. I have also posted an activity that I used this week called, The Dewey Races and a new clip art set for rules and classroom helpers.

Classroom Jobs and Rules Clip Art Set :-)
I hope y'all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ready for a FUN giveaway?!?! Come take a look!

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??


                                              ....Play a game?


                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 


The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....

That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!

Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post,,,