Friday, December 19, 2014

All Good Things Come to an End

It's finally here! The last day before Christmas Break! It has been a fun filled day already. The elementary grades are showing movies throughout the day. Two grades at a time go to the auditorium, students are given a bag of popcorn and staff make a big deal out of it. One of our teachers is standing at the door reminding them to not talk, silence cell phones, not to put their feet on the seats, etc. just like a movie theatre. I LOVE it! I have been an elf all morning, delivering gifts all over campus to and from secret pals. I've sent several transcripts off to colleges and universities and am trying to think of those things scheduled for the first week we return that need attention now. We had an ugly sweater contest this morning. I'm not sure what happened, if everyone forgot, thought it was another day or just got busy and had no time, but we one had one participant (our JH/HS principal). We all got a great laugh out of his sweater, though and he still received the prize!Next year we will try to coincide with the actual Ugly Sweater Day (I didn't know there was such a day), and staff will have more time to plan. This was our first. We also have a Christmas door decorating competition. I'm posting those pictures plus a few more, just because they're all fun. The elementary winner is All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth with the pictures of the toothless kids.The JH/HS winner is Down Through the Chimney.What you can't tell with this one is that the lights under the fire flickered, making it look a little more real. The winner of the Admin./Library/Counselor door is the Frozen Let it Go door. I love the 3-D snowflakes! Just as quickly as the first semester passed, so it will be with the second. I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas Break with lots of family, food and fun, along with the true meaning of CHRISTmas. Over the break I plan on just that, plus some research and planning for the rest of the school year, how I can reach more of the student body and make a more positive impact them. I've been asked to help with setting up of a scholarship so I will be gathering information for that as well. Merry Christmas! a

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gotta love it!

Last week's elementary lessons were the last ones for the semester in the building. I was able to make it to every classroom, PK-6th, even with technical difficulties and being gone one day. The elementary building didn't get to participate in the bullying assembly we had during the month of October. There was some discussion with the classes during each classroom lesson, but it just wasn't the same, full blown, bullying lesson as they would have received in the assembly. Plus, I'm sure I wasn't nearly as exciting during the classroom lessons as the group that conducted the assembly.
I used Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as my lesson. I only pulled out certain scenes instead of showing the full movie.
Time wouldn't allow a showing of the full movie anyway. Some classes were combined and I had to put the classroom teachers to work, starting and stopping the movie, throughout the lesson. It all worked beautifully.
I found questions and worksheets that fit multiple grades. Though I didn't have them complete worksheets, I pulled questions from them so that I had something to ask the lower grades, as well as the upper grades. A couple of the sixth graders, who had never seen the 1960s version of Rudolph commented about the lameness of the movie (I was gone out of the room, but still within earshot). Everyone else commented positively.
It fit nicely for the different grades and this time of year. It also fit well with the amount of time I have with each class. I honestly didn't realize there was so much bullying going on in this movie! What a great tool for our students. I don't have time now to list the other blogs where I found the questions and scene numbers, but if you want to contact me I'll be glad to pass it along to you over Christmas break and you can plan it for next Christmas. I'm trying to think of something, now, for next Christmas. Maybe How the Grinch Stole Christmas will work! I've seen some things on Pinterest. You can bet I'll be researching that between now and then. This week we are wrapping up Winter testing sessions and the semester like everyone else. Our JH/HS is having a dress up spirit week. Each day is a different dress up day, like it would be for Homecoming week or Red Ribbon Week, though it is Christmas themed. We have a door decorating contest going on right now. The class that wins receives a pizza party upon returning to school in January. That will be judged sometime early the morning one day this week. Tomorrow, the administration (including me) will be hosting a breakfast for our entire staff at 7:30 a.m. (lots of cooking will be going on tonight in preparation for that). Friday we will have an ugly sweater contest with our teachers competing for a prize. I can't wait to get some pictures of that! Can the week be any busier? Gotta love it!

Friday, December 5, 2014

December Fun

It has been a fast paced week! With the new month here, it is time for new bulletin boards. I debated even doing them since we're just here three weeks and by the time I figured out something to do the week was 1/2 over.
I gave in and scrambled to get something up. I searched (thank you Pinterest) and did parts at home. Finally, I had one completed by Wednesday afternoon (Elf) and the border on the second one Thursday morning to complete it (Nativity).
I have been in a computer lab literally all week giving make up tests (I am DTC). Two days I had to take my lunch with me to the lab and one day I didn't have time for lunch. It is also college week. Trivia questions were posted all over school and students have been running in and out of my office or catching me coming and going in the hallway to give me answers. It's been great, really, and our most successful college week so far! The prize yesterday was a t-shirt. I gave them all out before school even started! Those that missed a shirt received candy, which they were happy about, too. Just another confirmation that most students will do anything for chocolate. Two things this week have really made me smile, reminding me why I love it here. The first is the December dress up calendar. It's really for the elementary, though our JH/HS staff get it, too. Each day of December everyone is to wear something different (holiday scarf and mittens one day, slippers another, warm up suit still another, and so it goes the entire month). Today is a Disney birthday to today is that theme.
The JH/HS staff doesn't really participate, but I love this each year I see it. The second is the chalk board on my door. This happened last year when I had one up at another school, so it's not specific to here, but I love I the same.
I love students leaving me notes here and there throughout the year. I leave notes on their lockers periodically (see last blog post), so they will occasionally write something for me. That chalk board will be a treasure to me at the end of the school year. I'm not sure what I will do for next school year (erase notes from this year and start over).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


We have a short week this week, like most other schools, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Today is our last day this week. I am thankful for so many things. Like always, I am thankful to my Savior for the many earthly blessings He continually gives. I am thankful for my family and the support they offer, both regarding my job and with life in general. Last week I stayed home two days and kept my grandbaby due to an emergency at his regular sitter's. After the second day, my husband volunteered to make supper, though he had been sick for several days, telling me that I needed a break after being on baby duty non-stop. My daughter (grandbaby's mom), keeps me on my toes. With her there is never a dull moment. I get bogged down with doing things for school, consumed sometimes even at home, and they pick up where I leave off to run errands or get things finished. I am very thankful for all my coworkers this year. It's no secret I had a very rough year last year professionally. I returned to this school, where I was several years ago and where I began my counseling journey. I am reminded regularly how thankful those around me are at my return. This gratitude toward me causes me to have such appreciation toward everyone. Today, I am allowing students to go to the food pantry and pick out what they would like in their bags to take home. Since we are out longer than a regular weekend, most will be home more and eating/snacking around more.
I found some cute Thanksgiving notes online and managed to get them on all lockers, junior high and high school, after hours yesterday so that they were there when the students came in this morning.
I also found cute water bottle labels and candy wrappers for printing. I left those for all the staff, maintenance, cooks, teachers, aides, administration and office staff, yesterday. I was looking for something very reasonable that I could do for everyone.
I'm big on couponing. I often get cases of water for around $2.00. Two cases are enough for everyone. The bag of chocolate was $10. I have enough chocolate left over to do something another time for everyone. I plan on doing a lot of cooking, a lot of playing with my grandbaby, and a lot of resting over the break. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Veteran's Day

Last week we celebrated Veteran's Day. I'm in charge of the assembly for our school. Though there were some kinks along the way (always), everything turned out great!
Our elementary runs through sixth grade. I wanted them to be a part of our assembly even though it was for all grades PK-12th. Because of our school connections, I was able to obtain real military uniforms from every war and one from someone currently serving in the mountains of Afghanistan. I was in awe of the WWI and WWII uniforms to say the least.
We chose not to use the one from Korea, but went another way instead. I chose 6 sixth graders who usually don't get to do a lot. Those students got to dress in the uniforms. One girl dressed as a nurse in the Korean War instead of a male soldier. She and her mom got her uniform together and it was perfect! I also had two girls from the same grade read various things pertaining to Veteran's Day (the history, what a veteran is/does, a poem, and several introductions). We had the kids walk in carrying the two flags (American and state). Our MS/HS band students played the National Anthem and America the Beautiful. Besides the two girls doing all the reading, the students in uniforms went individually to the mic, introduced themselves and said, "I am a Veteran. I fought in..." Once all six had done this, the band instructor played TAPS. At the end all six students walked to the front of the stage and saluted our veterans who attended the assembly. Those in the audience held up papers to make an overhead flag across the auditorium. This was done once with the elementary kids and again with the JH/HS kids.
The person snapping this picture told me the elementary kids were better at it than the junior high/high school kids. (Go elementary!) I'm so thankful to all veterans throughout history. I have a history of servicemen in my family. I cancelled elementary classroom lessons for the week. Everyone attended the assembly and those teachers covered the day more in their classrooms. I spent the rest of the week in training to prepare for the upcoming testing season and then uploading student data to the testing site. I literally locked myself in my office Friday in order to complete the upload. While waiting on some feedback, I came out once, late in the afternoon, in order to fill pantry bags. When I returned some students had left a cute (and tastey), surprise on my desk.

Friday, November 7, 2014

RRW is over

What a great week it has been. I had lessons in the elementary building using some of the worksheets from my previous post. I separated the dot-to-dot worksheet for the Pre-K and K students so they would just have to complete the one prescription bottle. The other classes we either used a different worksheet or none at all. The lower elementary grades we played a game I saw on another counselor's blog or on pinterest. I'm not sure if it has a name but it used two pumpkins and a variety of products.I showed each product to the students, asking about them and then discussing the product.
After the discussion I asked the classes in which bucket each item should be placed, the orange (STOP) bucket/pumpkin or the green (GO) bucket/pumpkin. For the upper elementary, JH and HS, I put together a slide show about the history of RRW along with slides showing various types of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. I wanted the theme to catch the students' eyes so I put that on each slide with some movement. I gave information on what a natural high was and many, many examples of it. While the slides that pertained to drugs were showing the song, "This Is Your Life" by Switchfoot played. Once it switched over to the natural high slides the song switched to "Because I'm Happy" by Pherrell Williams. We then played the pills vs. candy game online. The JH/HS got to play all three levels of the game. We also saw the youtube video "To This Day". All week we dressed up to show how much fun we could have without drugs. My goodness though, taking down all the posters, banners and ribbons is just like taking down Christmas decorations after Christmas is over. While all this was going on I also helped with scholarship searches in the high school, transcript sending and delivering for seniors, EXPLORE and PLAN make ups and state reporting as part of my administrative duties.
Somehow I managed to put up a bulletin board in the JH/HS hallway, too. I think I'm going to do the iHELP board on my door, but go through Staples to make it permanent.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Red Ribbon Week Prepping

I spent my week making up some lessons in the elementary that I had to skip last week due to administrative duties. I go into elementsry classrooms every other week, some on Tues. and some Thurs. The teachers are wonderful. They have been very encouraging with the feedback on my lessons and flexible when I've had to make up time in order to keep everyone "on the same page" with lessons. We had a short week due to fall break and an extra day from P/T conferences. One of my principals was out, first his step mother was having surgery, then his brother went to the ER followed by ICU due to heart issues. There was a lot of drama with kids while he was out. Some I felt comfortable handling, some I didn't and had to put on hold as far as a decision in discipline until he returns, which I hope is this next week. Red Ribbom Week, as you all know, started Thursday and carries through to the end of next week. We chose to just celebrate one week. Thursday after school we put ribbons on the outside of the school and red cups in the fence so those driving by out school would see something was going on. Inside we hung banners throughout the HS/JH and elementary. The kids are dressing up and elementary is getting stickers. The HS/JH is getting an assembly. I'm stepping away from my lessons out of the Seven Habits for Happy Kids book that I've been doing in the elementary. This week I'm doing RRW lessons. The following link,

leads you to many lessons at a variety of levels for students.

This link: will take you to a fun little interactive game for the smart board. It's a game where students chose which picture shows candy and which picture shows drugs. I'm using this game for the lower elementary classes.

I still have some administrative things to take care of this week (state reports), some scholarships to pass out to seniors, essay competition forms for 6-12 grades and I'm already working on our Veterans Day assembly.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 26, 2014

What a crazy week!

It has been a crazy weekend! A couple of weeks ago our school decided to start a secret pal program with our entire staff from bus drivers to maintenance to office staff, teachers and administration. I chose to remain neutral since I already have some things planned for the entire staff for most of the year (gifts and encouraging things here and there). It has been fun to read everyone's information sheet, but a lot of work, too, organizing the information and making sure everyone turns in a sheet. Our superintendent wants everyone to participate. I ran around today handing out sheets personally to those who had not yet turned one in (though I put them in their mail box last week). There are some who are grumbling, but most everyone is cooperating. It helps that I tell them it is coming from the top dog not me. I started working a little more diligently on gathering my information for career cafe and lunch bunch.
I still have some students who list an 'I don't know' for a career. I solicited the help of the computer teachers to allow them to complete the interest inventory I suggested and get me the information so I could plug them in. I also gathered the names of all the new students so I could have a couple of lunch bunch groups next week to make sure students are getting plugged in with classes, teachers and students. We don't have many new students this year so I will have less than a handful of sessions for this objective then I'll move on to another type of lunch bunch.
I got a surprise visit from a college representative this week. She brought we some swag to give out as prizes for our college week that is yet to come for her university. We typically have many students attend that particular university and so I was excited when she brought in the prizes and told me she'd be here on Friday of that week to meet with students so they'd get first hand information! Today, in just a little while, I will go with the administration and help get ready for the school carnival, which is tomorrow. I help the administration run the bingo game. The bingo games cost, but have great prizes. Each class Pre-K through 12th is assigned a theme (holidays, golf, pet care, chocolate, movie night, family game night, etc.) Everything is collected into laundry sized baskets along with some gift cards and donations/services the administration has also collected. There are multiple games and styles of bingo. Each winner picks a basket as their prize. The final game is a black out game and I believe the prize is a $500 gift card! It's always a lot of fun and serves as a wonderful fund raiser for our school.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Girls Night Out

We had our first (and hopefully annual) Girls' Night Out last night. It was a huge success. I took my cues from Scrapbook of a School Counselor - She had so many wonderful resources! I tweaked the signs and the power point just a bit to meet our needs. Other than that, what she has posted on her blog as resources made it so easy! After discussing it with the elementary principal, I decided to make it an event just for the sixth grade girls. Every girl but two from that grade attended! One said her mom was going to something else she'd bought tickets for several months ahead of time and her grandmother also had something to go to so she couldn't make it. The other little girl I don't think had a way to get back to our school for the event. I took a picture of the empty tables, but failed to get one with everyone present. Our PTO supplied the pizza and pop. Our elementary had table decorations for us to use. They have a large variety so next year we can decorate differently if we choose. We watched the American Girl movie and it was perfect. The girls loved it. A few had already seen it, but said they didn't care, they loved it anyway. I invited the elementary principal and the classroom teacher as well. We went quickly over the discussion points after the movie. Then everyone went home with a goody bag. I bought the cookies for dessert and the contents of the goody bags. I'm a huge couponer, so I'd been doing this little by little for quite a while. Some girls received a leather wrap bracelet, others elastic head bands, still others some bright nail polish. I spoke to the classroom teacher today who told me there was a lot of positive chatter about the evening. I heard from several moms, too, about how much they enjoyed the evening. Included in the resources on the other blog was an information sheet for the parents to take home. It is full of discussion points for home and ways moms can help their daughters with social situations. Again, I tweaked it just a little to meet our needs, but it was, for the most part, complete upon downloading. I'm relieved the event is over and that it was such a success. Several moms stayed after to help clean up so I was able to get home a little earlier than expected. The next big thing I have on the agenda is junior/senior parent night where we have various college representatives come in to meet with our students along with their parents, on a more individual basis. That event is done annually here and I've done it before, so I'm not nearly as nervous about it though it is a lot of work behind the scenes. After that night will come Red Ribbon Week. I am planning a Boys' Night Out for the sixth grade boys, too, just so they don't feel left out. I've already purchased and previewed the movie. That one will have to wait until second semester.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Elementary Lessons

After struggling for a while about what to do for my elementary lessons, I remembered I had the book, "7 Habits for Happy Kids". I read the first story and discussion questions and skimmed the rest. This weekend I have spent a great deal of time online searching for various grade level activities to go with each habit.
I think I've gotten a pretty good grasp on my 7 Habits journey with the kids now. This is a great book that teaches so many things that seem to have fallen by the wayside. I have the book, "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens", but have never made it through the whole thing. I love it when I can use a story book to teach a lesson. I think the kids remember more.

I also previewed a movie for our Boys' Night Out. I found it and a free discussion guide to go with it online. It's the movie, "Hoot". There are so many great lessons in this story. The one we're going to focus on is bullying.

My first college week is this coming week. I have one planned every month for the next few months. This month it is the same week as homecoming week. Unfortunately, this couldn't be prevented as the week coincides with the day and time that particular college representative could be at our school. Our first set of activities are as follows: MONDAY, bring in a mascot representation; TUESDAY, do a website scavenger hunt; WEDNESDAY, find the eight staff in our MS/HS that attended the university and THURSDAY, tell how the mascot got his name. There are no activities for Friday because the representative will be at our school.
All students participating in activities MON-THURS get their name in a drawing and while at our school on Friday, the rep. will draw a student name and that person will receive a larger prize from the university. Some weeks we'll have different activities. Some weeks a few of the activities will be the same as listed above. Activities will all be Mon-Thurs and Friday the university rep. will be at our school and conduct a student drawing for a larger prize.

I love my job and impacting so many students in so many ways!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Missing Pictures

Here are some pictures that have been missing on my blog lately.

I used Mrs. Potatohead along with a coloring sheet as my introductory lesson in the lower elementary grades. For the upper grades I just printed off some pictures of me and my family/interests as a way to introduce myself and then spoke to the kids about my job and what they could expect.

First set are pictures from my sidewalk drawings and writings for the first day of school.

These are the treats I prepared for teachers and staff for the first day with students.

This is the movie we're getting ready to show for Girls' Night Out.

Below are a couple of bulletin boards I've made. The Bee board is in the elementary and the SWAG board is in the high school. I missed getting a picture of the board from the beginning of the year in both locations.

This is the location of our new pantry. It is just a closet with shelves. The food shown is our first month's delivery. The boxes contain pasta, cereal, juice, apple sauce, various canned vegetables, soup, raman style noodles, pancake mix, jelly, crackers, peanut butter, tuna and some bath products. It will grow each month as I order new things and replace what has been used. I'm very grateful to the food bank in our state who makes this possible to our school and many others. It is completely free. We just provide the space and gather information to provide the food for our students in need.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Up and Going

I have been burning up my keyboard lately emailing college representatives left and right. I have decided to host a college week each month. A different college will be promoted each time. I've been contacting college representatives to see if they would like to come to our school on the Friday their school is represented. Many contact me and want to meet with seniors and/or juniors anyway. I've also requested, for those possible, to provide us some small prizes (pencils, pens, stickers, etc.) so that I could conduct some activities throughout the week and participants receive a prize along with their name going into a "hat". At the end of the week a name is drawn from the "hat" and the winner is given a larger prize (mug, pennant, t-shirt, just something bigger than the previous prizes). Since it will be on Friday, the representative will potentially be at our school to do the final drawing and award the prize. I hope this is something that grows with each passing month. I've scheduled at least seven college reps already along with their school's week on the calendar!

The second thing I've been woring on is an assembly for our school. Since the cost is significantly more than our school can afford, we're going to coop with two other schools. The assembly group will meet with the individual schools, but all in one day since we are so close together. We are all quite a long distance from their home base. By cooping they are only traveling the distance one time.

In less than two weeks we will conduct our first Girls' Night Out. We chose to only include 6th grade girls and a significant adult female for each girl. I handed out the invitations for students to take home today. While in that class the boys started asking about a boys'night out. It's already in the works. I ordered the movie Hoot and will preview it this weekend to see if it is useable. I think I can adapt the power point from the girls program to fit the boys' movie.

As of today I have been to every class and grade in the elementary. I used the Mrs. Potato Head lesson for grades P-K through 2nd. I found a plain Mrs. Potato Head color sheet to use with it. For grades 3-6 I copied off pictures about my interests and family and integrated my job duties along with what to expect into that.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Swimming with the tide

Today has been quite a busy day! I've been working in my office at the desk most of the day. I'm glad it's Friday because I need to move a little more. I have an assembly for Red Ribbon week potentially booked. This is in part thanks to another school up the road that is going to partner with us. We will have the assembly in the morning and they will host it in the afternoon, or vise versa. That way the cost is significantly better due to less travel time and expenses. We might be able to partner with a third, depending on the distance between the schools. I also contacted one of our military branches today. The recruiter for our National Guard came by earlier this week. I contacted him today about doing a Veteran's Day assembly for us. He agreed and I am so glad! That is yet another thing that is mostly off my plate now. I am leaving it up to him as to whether he wants to go to the elementary classrooms or do one full assembly for them and another for our MS/HS combined. Whatever he wants to do will be greatly appreciated. Now I just have to find something for Constitution Week. I didn't know I had to do something for that week, but...SURPRISE, I do! I was also able to get all sophomores and eighth graders loaded up into a document and sent in to ACT for our EXPLORE and PLAN tests later. There will probably be some mistakes in the upload, there always are, but, for the most part it is finished. I found mistakes in two girls' (seniors) transcripts from the previous school year and I have the information being sent to me by our career tech school so corrections can be made early next week. I started gathering elementary teachers' preference for a time when can go to their classrooms for lessons. I am going to try for every other week. I'm also going to try to keep them all on Tues./Thurs. I'm feeling pretty accomplished today! It's Friday, after all, and it's been a very busy week. Right now, I feel as though I'm swimming with the tide instead of already swimming against it. I was able to encourage a fellow counselor in the area. She is new to her district and a first year counselor. I let her know she could call me any time and how friendly the other counselors were in the area. We will meet in a couple of weeks at an area counselors' breakfast. Looking back I remember how I stumbled around so much with so many things I was already aware of in my role as counselor but, not quite sure how to go about completing them (technicalities). After four years I still fumble with some things here and there. I'm glad to help someone else any way I can. I hope you all have a wonderful, restful weekend. I know I will, when I'm not searching for something to do for Constitution Day/Week. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kick off to 2014-15

We have been in school two days (with students) and so far it has been great. Prior to students coming back I decorated the sidewalks and entrances with chalk. Even the high school/middle school students enjoyed seeing it! My goal this year is to help make everyone feel appreciated. Our school lost three teachers (retirement or moving out of state) and no replacements were hired. That means teachers left here had to absorb those classes (English and Science at the high school level and remediation at high school and middle school levels). Instead of teaching some of the electives they've taught for years or subjects they love teaching, they had to be moved into core areas as their certification permitted. Many are unhappy, but chose to come back here anyway. I'm told our budget is tight, tight, tight. So, my goal is to show appreciation and be some encouragement to everyone, staff and students alike. Due to this new avenue I decided to make tiny cupcakes for the entire staff, (bus drivers, maintenance, teachers, secretaries, aides, and administration), and put labels on water bottles. I put notes on everyone's door before I left the day before school. When I got to school the next day, I put the cupcakes and water in the lounge for everyone to pick up as they signed or checked in. It was so much fun! I got the cupcake toppers and the water bottle labels on She did something similar for her staff last year. She was kind enough to update everything and make them available for download (free) this year. I am looking forward to the year and how I make an impact (again) here. I already have Career Cafe in the works and will introduce Lunch Bunch in addition to that. I have a Girls' Night Out planned for one of the elementary grades. When the weather turns colder and students are sitting in the cafeteria (high school and middle school) I plan on breaking out my dry erase boards and hosting some trivia games where tables compete for a small prize (candy). I'm not sure what else I'll be able to squeeze in to the year. I still have a lot of administrative duties on top of any counseling, college and career planning and student services.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Friday, Friday, Friday!

I am now less than a week away from starting back to school. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love my job, but I'm always sad to see breaks come to an end (just like weekends). Something that I have come to realize this summer, more than any other, is that I sort of fall apart without a routine. I mean, our daughter is grown, there is no one here on a regular basis through the day but me. While I do get things done that are necessary, I fall behind on other things or they completely are non existent during the summer. I have no schedule. Shame on me! For that reason I am ready to get back to school and to a routine! I have been watching the three or four Facebook counseling groups and they are such a great resources! It's amazing to me how many counselors are working throughout the summer. I save documents I find online and pin things on Pinterest. I may order a book or resource, but that's pretty much it. A couple of years ago I wanted to do a Girls' Night Out: show a movie, eat, give away some door prizes and just have some fun. I ordered a movie and began gathering door prizes. That's a far as it got, until now. Today I previewed the movie and plan on hosting a Girls' Night Out this year. The movie is amazing and so well done. I saw a post by Danielle Shultz on her School Counselor blog and plan do to something similar. The movie is age approriate, there is no violence, nudity or foul language in it. It is very well done, but then it IS an American Girl movie. I can't wait to schedule that event! I highly recommend you looking at Danielle's blog to see what she did, or just wait until mine is complete and go from there. I have a busy last week before Friday's work day is here. Everything from car to doctor to funeral and completion of a couple more projects is ahead this week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good-bye June

June is almost over. Wow, hasn't it passed quickly? I have made a few trips to school this summer. I went down a couple of times to help with some testing data which had to be finalized during the month of June. My next couple of trips were to work on my office. My husband and I went down last Saturday to paint it. I sure appreciated him spending his day off tackling that with me. I made two trips this week to put thing in place and things on the wall. The paperwork that had accumulated needed to be sorted and/or discarded as well. I worked on the desk and it's contents along with the credenza and hutch. It is all almost finished. I had hopes of getting it comopletely ready for my return on August 1st before this month was over. I'm very close. I think one more trip and I'm there. That trip may be Saturday morning. It looks very different already than it did a week ago. The previous counselor was there two years, she took my place when I left after being there two years. She passed away from an inoperable brain tumor. We had become friends before I left and it has all been very sad and trying. I wanted to make a change in the office so that it looked really different. I thought this might help students and staff as well. I think I've succeeded. The walls have gone from an off white to a bold green. The windows now have a pretty yellow, floral topper and I've moved in an extra file cabinet and some furniture. I can't wait to get it finished and pictures posted.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Break

Summer break has begun. Last week was spent with my daughter and grandson. We were together nearly everyday. During the evening I had VBS. I got to help in the 3rd-4th grade boys classroom. They were all really great! The week before that was my actual first week off. I spent some time with family, enjoyed the holiday weekend and lounged around a lot in hopes I'd get rested up and be ready to jump in again this week. It worked! I have done some decluttering around the house. It's amazing how quickly the general clutter grows throughout the school year. I cleaned out my closet. It's not completely organized, but clothes I've been hanging on to for way too long are now gone. Today I worked on my craftroom. The leftovers of many projects were scattered here and there, many scraps of fabric and office supplies were just everywhere.

I am going back to my previous school this next year. The school where I began as a school counselor. That is where I was when I started this blog. The administration is very supportive, encouraging and kind as are most of the staff from maintenance, secretaries, cafeteria and teachers. I'm excited to be returning. Last September, we were at a flea market/trade days. I found an amazing deal on some coffee cups. I bought a whole big box! I thought for the price they'd make great Christmas gifts. I have a Silhouette and thought they would be perfect to put initials on in favorite or school colors along with some hot cocoa/coffee/tea or save for teacher appreciation week to do the same and fill with candy. However, the year came and went, teachers at the school weren't close, though there were no rifts between them. It's just how the atmosphere was. As hard as I tried I couldn't change anything. The way things went with my office and the school in general, I chose to just leave the cups at home and save them for another time and group of coworkers. I knew I was going to be leaving by December. I turned my resignation in the first part of January, after returning from Christmas break. Now that I'm going back to were I started as a counselor, I can't wait to decorate the cups and give them out! Now it's just a matter of when. My husband came home today, took one look at the newly cleaned craft room and the box of cups. His words were, "Maybe you'll get to actually give those out this year." I replied, "You can count on it!"

I've not only been working on things related to home, but also things related to work. I've been plugging things into my calendar so it's already there when I report (August 1st). I've been looking at ways to improve things such as my testing routine (organization, training of staff and volunteers, timelines, etc). I've been researching organizations for assemblies in an effort to promote a positive environment at school. There is always so much to do. Summer will pass by oh, so quickly, I'm sure. Enjoy everyone!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Break Blues

In this area, we have been on Spring Break this week. Our school paired this week with a snow day so we were out Friday last week, too. It has been a good week, with lots of time to rest early on. As the week went by I realized more and more projects I wanted to finish before returning to school. I even realized there were some things I really wanted to tackle in the cleaning, organizing or tidying up department. I managed to get some of every category done. I'm ok with that. I spent time with my grand baby, which is a high priority these days. I hung around the house in my pjs some and went without hair and make up fixed and on at least two days. Many years I go on trips over spring break. Years like this I'm thankful to just stay home. This week I read blogs, researched programs and curriculums, and watched several videos, all in an effort to improve what I do. All in all, it was a great break from the routine. Tomorrow starts the beginning of the last quarter of the year. It, too, will pass very quickly.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


We are in a slump here. It's partly due to the long, cold winter we've had. We've missed so much school we now have two days to make up. We started school late this year so that means we're already going a little later than usual. The end of next week, March 14th, we start our Spring Break. After that we will be on a down hill slide sort to speak. We will be in the last quarter of the 2013-14 school year. It has been a long, trying year for me. I ran across the TEDtalks video by Diana Nyad last week. She is inspiring in so many ways. Her age, gender, strength, record and probably friends and family all said she couldn't accomplish her life long goal of swimming from Cuba to Florida. Yet, she made it, finally, after many years of trying. She didn't give up. She didn't lose her motivation. She didn't lose sight of her dream. I like what she says about following dreams, staying motivated and going against the odds. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me. I may have to watch it again!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I almost forgot to post this! I found these cute notes online and thought the students would enjoy them as much as I did. I cut them out and put one on every locker in our HS/MS the morning of Valentine's Day. I'm sharing a link where the actual notes can be found. They're free, which is even better.

She has several other free downloadable notes, too. Our tables were filled with lots of candy, stuffed animals, pop and flowers on this day as I'm sure your offices, hallways, and/or classrooms were as well. However, there were some students who received nothing. To them, I believe, this little locker note meant a lot. I received quite a bit of feedback from the students. There are three hallways in our building. One hallway decided that one or two students needed more love than the rest and they collected their notes and placed them all together on one locker. I didn't get a picture of it, but I thought it was really cute when I walked down that hallway and saw it for the first time. It is now a week since I did this and two hallways still have their notes on the lockers. By the way, I signed every single one of them myself, too. Enjoy!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Today was great. Not only was it Friday AND Valentine's Day, but I was able to do something that will impact our students in a huge way. I got our pantry set up for our MS/HS students! I worked with our Regional Food Bank, filled out many forms, asked lots of questions, sent many emails and phone calls went back and forth. I surveyed nearly every student, teacher and cafeteria
worker in the school to find out who might be going hungry or who might be going without food at various times each month (between parents' pay days, etc.). I went to an amazing training, submitted my order and stood outside, unsheltered on the coldest day of the year (wind chill -4) for over an hour to unload and load our food last week. Today, I had time to break open boxes and get the food to students! It may not look like much, but our school, MS/HS, serves less than 250 students. This is our first shipment. I'm thrilled to be able to serve the students in our school this way!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

NBC process

I don't know if this came through on my Facebook feed or my Twitter feed. But, I read a post from another blog about future changes in the NBC process. I thought about becoming a NBC special education teacher while I was still teaching in that field and then I became a counselor. I've thought about going through the process as a school counselor. I've printed out some information from the official website and some blogs that I follow, but I've not been serious enough about it to take even another step in this direction. After reading the information contained in the blog that came across my social media page today though, I thought others might find it interesting, beneficial and even motivational to start the process. For that reason I'm choosing to post a link to the blog. Changes in the process are on the horizon. The process will go from taking one year to taking three. That is significant when you think about various portions having to be approved or passed and reworked if they're not. That takes time in and of itself. Then taking the final test and potentially retaking it if it isn't passed. So, something that originally took 1-1 1/2 years might now take 4-5! Here is the link: The blog is a great one to follow as well!

Door Decorating

I'm a little late in getting this post together. At the beginning of December the STUCO (which I am in charge of) sponsored a Christmas Door Decorating Contest. I mentioned it earlier. The school I was previously at did this every year and they really got in to it with some elaborate and creative doors. It was the first year to do such a th
ing with this staff and students. I think they did a job!

The doors were so cute and it was fun to walk down the hallways for the remainder of the month and see them! The winning door (Grinch), with lights on every point of the star at the top and an actual recording of the song, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." It had a Christmas tree made from students' hands. The Grinch was "inside" the tree with only his legs poking out (lime green tights). A leg lamp door, of course, from the movie "A Christmas Story." It was all three dimensional with real fishnets! A brown box top on the bottom said, "Fragile." There was a snowman door which was made of cups and was created by a freshman class. There was a santa door, just the mid-section including belt, white fur and buttons. the door said, "It's a Claus-on Christmas." the teacher's name in that room is Clawson, so she made a play on that with the Santa Clause theme. I didn't show a door decorated with Rudolph. It was made with a light up nose, nor the Griswold door with a ton of lights. There was also a redneck door with an actual deer mount w/rope on it and shot gun shell lights on a tree with muddy boots sitting next to it. The winning class received a pizza/pop lunch.

Monday, January 27, 2014

To This Day Project - Shane Koyczan

I had forgotten about this video until today when it came up on my FB feed from the counseling group. It is intense without being graphic or using inappropriate words. It is a great video for students (I believe) 7th through 12th grade.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Break

Christmas break is almost over. It has been a very restful break for me. Most of my shopping was done online (Amazon prime is a wonderful thing) ahead of time. It was so nice coming home to a package waiting on the front porch nearly every day in the weeks leading up to break. The first Monday out of school I did have to make a trip to the local Wal Mart. It was also my only trip for the entire holiday season. I made a trip to the mall the weekend before this, and it, too, was my only trip there for the entire season. Can you tell I loved shopping online from my recliner or couch, in my pjs? We put our Christmas decorations up a little late this year since we were out of town for Thanksgiving and that was a little later than usual. Because of this we left a few things tucked away until next year. Since everything was put up later, we left it up a little longer. I often start taking the decorations down Christmas night or the day after. It is past January 1st and everything just came down today. Today was a pajamas day. I stayed in them literally all day. Days like today are rare. Christmas breaks like this one are unusual, too, so much time at home to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate. I had many days at home, though they weren't pajama days. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas our garage broke, nearly falling off the track onto my car inside the garage. Our kitchen range also gave out. So, my husband and I bought each other a new garage door, complete with new tracks and springs and also a new kitchen range for Christmas.

I took a break from thinking about or doing any work during this break. The time disconnected has been much needed. Today I posted a scholarship on the school's website, a notification on the Facebook page and will have something else posted on the school site tomorrow. I return to school Monday and that day brings many changes. Some I'm looking forward to and some I'm not.

Tomorrow we leave for a quick trip out of town. It's just a short trip to a place we enjoy going. Instead of just going over night in order to be back for church on Sunday, we're staying until Sunday this time and attending church there. We both just need this quick get away, the change of scenery, to disconnect a little more before we hit it hard next week. I have pictures from the door decorating contest to post. However, those will have to wait until next time.