Being Brave

Oh friends, it has been awhile. Too long in fact. I've been busy. I've been really busy. 

I survived back to school, fell hard for my awesome new class, rocked fall break, dove headfirst into conference week then wrapped it up with a quick trip to Disney World. Then I looked up from life to see that November is coming to a close. 

I do feel like time is going too fast, but I do not think I am missing anything. You know what I mean? I've put a few things on the back burner (mainly housework and the blog) and tried hard to be present, be myself, be the person I want to be. Wait, I think that is called being brave. I'm trying more of that these days. I am being more brave. It's true. Just call me brave brave mcbravey pants. I'm the Queen of Brave. Braverita. Brave on the rocks with a dash of sparkly something! I'm brave! 
It's brave when you forget balance and deal with what comes head on. Juggling mom, wife, teacher is no joke. I thought about taking a year off. I thought about doing something else. I thought about what I could always be doing better as a mom, wife, teacher, daughter, sister, etc. I thought  and thought myself into more worry and strife than I deserve. It's brave to be trusting and here I am. 
Brave presents itself in funny ways. When you have to stand up for what is right, it is brave. It is uncomfortable sometimes especially when you are standing against the norm, whatever that norm might be. I am not shy and I am passionate about a few things. While I have always been brave in talking education, I've upped my brave game for my other passions, too. It feels good. I want my own children to be brave in this way maybe more than all the other ways. I want this type of bravery for my students, too. Brave is no joke. 
It's brave when you try new things and put yourself out there. I did it though. Order my brave shirt and put that puppy in the mail! Later when I am feeling a little more brave than tired, I'll give you the details! 

Brave is admitting that you can't do it all. I.can't.do.it.all. Even though I really, really want to. I can't. and that's ok. I'm going to rock (or at least attempt to rock) this mom, wife, teacher thing and see how far it gets me. :)

What We're Reading Sunday

Summer means extra reading time. Wait, summer should mean extra reading time. That obviously does not apply to moms! I have read maybe, MAYBE 1/4 of the books on my summer reading list! 

T on the other hand, has been reading. He has finished The Dragon Masters series by Scholastic and anxiously awaits the next book. We also read The BFG by Roald Dahl together. He's diving into some nonfiction about spies at the moment and has another Branches read lined up after that one. 
We have also been reading to M. He is going through a phase where he doesn't listen at all, takes the book, blabs for a few minutes and throws it on the ground. So sweet. So, very sweet. We are hoping he will fall in love with Eric Carle's Have You Seen My Cat? as T once did. Let's just say, we are going to keep hoping. :)

I am reading and rereading these books. Mindset and it's classroom buddy are great (the book more than the resource guide) and they deserve revisiting. The chapter books are new to me and I wanted to read at least one in each series before putting them in my library. I always read the first in the series. No pressure first book, but it is pretty serious. I enjoyed both.
But....time, I just need more time. That's something I usually say during the school year, but it is even more true in the summer. I need more time to read. I need more time to read to the boys. I need more time to pretend I'm reading but really sleep. 

Here's to making time, finding time, and reading time! What are you reading this summer?

Washed Ashore: Georgia Aquarium's Newest Exhibit AND Giveaway!

Our little scientist really keeps us on our toes. He is the first to remind me to put the paper in recycle and sometimes he even lets me know he turned out of the lights as he left my room. Hint hint, mom.

T loves nature, animals, and all things outdoors. At Dauphin Island last spring, he collected shells but also picked up litter as we walked along the shore. I love him. I just love him. 

As you might imagine, he was THRILLED when I told him our family is renewing our dedication to reducing waste by partnering with Georgia Aquarium. After our recent trip, he declared "I love that the aquarium is not just about the shows mommy." He's right. There's so much more!

Through September, the Aquarium is hosting a very special exhibit-Washed Ashore:Art To Save the Sea. The exhibit offers an artsy twist on the global problem of ocean pollution featuring 13 larger than life pieces all created from ocean debris. Now T loves art almost as much as he loves nature, so he is very excited about this exhibit! 

Since June is World Oceans month and this awesome exhibit is so close to home, we decided to create our own piece of art using a few recycled materials.
T and "Elephant's Dream"
Now N and I have no idea where he found all of these bottle caps (obviously our neighbors,) but we were so happy he found a good use for them! He painted his cardboard with watercolor, placed his caps into just the right elephant shape, then added a newspaper scrap tail. 
This masterpiece is now proudly displayed on our mantle. I can't even tell you how much we love it. It shows his creativity and passion for animals. I have no doubt the Washed Ashore exhibit will leave me feeling the same way! 

Would you like to see for yourself by winning 4 tickets to the Georgia Aquarium
(Admission to Washed Ashore exhibit is included with general admission!) 
1. Use at least 3 items that you would normally throw away or recycle and turn them into art! 
2. Post a picture of your creation on Facebook or Instagram! 
3. Tag @mymommyreads, @georgiaaquarium, and tag #TrashtoTreasure and #SavetheSea.
4. Proclaim your family's commitment to reducing ocean debris!

One winner will be randomly chosen by midnight Friday, July 8th. 

Looking forward to seeing your art! 

The BFG Freebies!

Have you read The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl? I'm going to be really honest and tell you that we have had the book on our shelf for maybe three years and I had no idea what it was about. When I read the blurb, it gave me the hivvy jivvies. (I am such a wimp!) 

When T saw the preview for the upcoming movie, he said, "Hey, don't we have that book?" Yes, yes we do. I tried to change the subject, but he went to look for it and then he said, "Can we read it?" 

I think we know what happened next! While I still got the hivvy jivvies a few times, we both enjoyed the book. The language is amazing and the silly words from BFG are fun to read and play around with. "Am I left or am I right?" has become a common phrase in our house. 

Will I be reading it to my first graders? Nope. Am I so glad I read this with my son? You bet! 

I know older grades read the book in class and I know others read it just for fun. Maybe you are going straight to the movie though! That's cool, too! No matter how you choose to enjoy The BFG, I have something to share! Our friends at Disney have given us a couple of very cool FREEBIES! Click on the picture below to download several BFG coloring pages and some totally awesome two sided bookmarks! 

Disney's The BFG hits theaters July 1st! Click here to follow the fun on FB

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