Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missionary Kid Monday (on Wednesday!): Dorm Life

{For more on this series, click here}

As you may remember from last time, I packed up and went to a boarding school in Germany during my high school years. In ninth grade, I stayed with a lovely family. In tenth grade, I lived in a dorm.

Specifically this dorm:

None of the dorms were on campus - they were in the surrounding villages. My dorm was named "Storchenblick", which means "stork views". Can you tell why?

There was actually a little stork farm within walking distance, and the birds liked to make their nests in tall perches:

And in case you're curious, none of these storks ever delivered any babies to us.... the school's rules were MUCH too strict for that :)

There were between 20 and 30 girls from 7th to 12th grade living at "Stork". We had three RA's and a set of dorm parents to cook for us, help us with our laundry, be a listening ear, and generally keep us in line. There was a set routine/schedule and each of us girls had a weekly chore we were responsible for. But within those constraints there was actually quite a bit of freedom.

We watched chick flicks in the living room, chatted late into the night, got competitive with cards, had picnics in the backyard, and plotted the best prank to pull on the guys' dorm down the road.

(Literally) hanging out at the nearby field

Waiting for the school bus. (Why yes, I am wearing Birkenstocks with SOCKS!)

Getting "creeked" in the local horse trough on my birthday

I know there was some drama to go around. You can't live in a house full of girls without at least some cattiness and hurt feelings. But those aren't the memories that stand out. I look back on this year fondly. I formed some deep and long lasting friendships there, and I'm so thankful I was able to have that experience.

PS: The winner of the Snugly Duckling giveaway is Heather Vogler!
and the winner of the Fancy Designs giveaway is Shooting Stars Mag! Congrats!

PPS: I still have a few spots open for March sponsorship. Details here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tickle Me Tuesdays, 58th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Tickle Me Tuesdays, where we all share what's been tickling our fancy!

If you'd like to participate (and you know you do!!), here are the rules:
1. Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

2. Make sure to link back to the party in your blog post (you can grab the button or include a text link)

3. Come back here and link up your blog post!  

4. Visit some other links and HAVE FUN!

Now it's your turn! What's been tickling your fancy lately?

SHINE Project Recap

(If you're looking for Missionary Kid Monday, tune in on Wednesday!)

On Saturday, I had the chance to go to A Little Artsy (Casey's art studio) to help make blankets for the homeless of Dallas as a part of SHINE. I had a blast!!! Here's a quick little picture recap.

We made A LOT of blankets!

I chatted it up with Caroline!!

I loved meeting Sarah and Ashley for the first time!

The pizzeria next door donated LOTS of specially made heart-shaped pizza for us. Yum!

A big thanks to Casey and Ashley who organized this whole wonderful event! 
I do hope more SHINE  projects come to Dallas :)

At the end of our time there, we all got Pass it Forward cards!! 
I'm excited to think up fun ways to bless other people.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Calling All March Sponsors

If you're looking for an economical way to spread the word about your shop or blog, look no further!

Some quick stats:

- Over 4,000 page views a month
- Over 125 Facebook followers
- Over 1,150 Twitter followers

Options start as low as $5.00. 
Check out all the options here and shoot me an email! I'd love to have you!
sarah [at] yesteachercrafts [dot] com

Friday, February 24, 2012

SHINE in Dallas

I have a pretty exciting day to look forward to tomorrow....


I'm so excited to see Casey again, and to meet up with KristyAshley, Sarah, Mallorie, (and other bloggers!)... not to mention the SHINE girl herself!

We'll be making blankets for the Dallas LIFE Foundation to benefit the homeless of Dallas. It's a worthy cause, plus it will be fun to be doing it with bloggy friends :)

..... And I'm only a little really nervous to be meeting everyone in person.

What are your weekend plans?

PS: Did you see the two fun giveaways on my blog this week? Click here and here to win!

PPS: If you're interested in becoming a Star Sponsor for the month of March, get details here. Rates as low as $5.00!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In da' Crib

Am I the only person who is absolutely shocked at the price of crib bedding!? It's just as expensive as grown-up bedding sets (sometimes more!).

I've been thinking about decorating the nursery and I'd like to start with the crib bedding. I don't want anything too boyish-looking in case we have a daughter later, so I've been striving for pretty gender-neutral bedding. But the price tag!! It makes me cringe. If you know of any affordable options out there for crib bedding (maybe secondhand?), I'm all ears!

In the meantime, here are some of the ones I've been drooling over lately:

1. 2. 3. 4. 

PS: Don't forget to enter the two giveaways we have going on right now! Click here and here to win!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Garage Sale Score

My elementary school put on a garage sale last week to raise money for our students. I was so thrilled to find this little pillow with the word "joie" on it (meaning "joy" in French):

A few years ago, my mom gave me the other pillow "bonheur" (meaning happiness in French). I like these subtle reminders of my life in France... makes it feel more home-y!

Above this cozy chair are two of my favorite pictures of my husband and me:

What about you? Have you found any second-hand treasures lately?

PS: Have you entered the two giveaways yet? Click here and here to win!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tickle Me Tuesday, 57th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Tickle Me Tuesdays, where we all share what's been tickling our fancy!

If you'd like to participate (and you know you do!!), here are the rules:
1. Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

2. Make sure to link back to the party in your blog post (you can grab the button or include a text link)

3. Come back here and link up your blog post!  

4. Visit some other links and HAVE FUN!

Now it's your turn! What's been tickling your fancy lately?

Fabulous Star Sponsors

((I'm so blessed to be partnering with such TALENTED sponsors! I hope you'll show them some love :) If you'd like to be a Star Sponsor for the month of March, you can get more info here.))

I'm Erika of the shop and blog Rouge & Whimsy. I live in Seattle with my husband and pup and love pursuing a creative life-- sewing, cooking, fashion, crafting and thrifting. I make the best guacamole and love to laugh-- often and loudly. 
**COUPON: TEACHERSPET = 15% off your order!

  Blog // Shop // Twitter // Facebook

Hi, My name is Alissa and I blog over at Rags to Stitches. I'm am a wife of one, a mom of two and when I'm not shuttling my littles to and from preschool, gymnastics, dance or swim lessons, you'll find me in my craft room sewing adorable Snuggies for your favorite electronics. I love meeting new people and I hope you'll pop by the blog and say hello sometime.

Blog // Shop // Facebook // Twitter

Hi there! I'm Laura and I'm along for the ride. No really, I am.
Along For the Ride isn't just the name of my handmade shop and my blog, but it's how I see my walk with the Lord. I am along for the ride He has planned for me, and what a glorious ride it is!
During the day (and lots of times at night) I spend my time running a residence hall on a college campus. My husband and I live in the hall and our neighbors are 400 loud, silly, messy, wonderful college students. We have a kitty baby named Jupiter that shares our little apartment.
When I'm not working in the hall, I spend my time with a glue gun in hand, making lovely things for my shop. My motto is "keep is simple" and I try to make simple accessories that aren't too dramatic or fussy, but add just a pretty touch of whimsy to an already beautiful you.
"Keep it simple" is my motto for my life as well and I blog a lot about the simple, little, imperfect things that make life sweet.

Star Sponsor and Giveaway: Fancy Designs

You're going to love my next sponsor, Ashley from Fancy Designs! She has an amazingly awesome product collection!

I'm Ashley and I'm a paper addict. What is a paper addict? Someone who buys 15 notebooks, 3 notepads, 12 sets of stationery, and 6 sets of sticky notes, not because she specifically needs them but because they are cute and will look good on her desk. This addiction and my deep love of digital design inspired me to open an online paper goods shop in 2010, Fancy Designs. I specialize in invitations and stationery but also design business cards, photo cards, notepads, mugs, and various customizable gifts. Since opening shop in 2010 Fancy Designs has grown by leaps and bounds. One of our iPhone 4 cases was displayed at GBK Productions' 2011 Emmy Awards Gift Lounge and 100 celebrities received our stationery in their swag bags:

Get 25% off  Invitations, Cards, Photo Cards & Post Cards with coupon code CARDSINSTYLE (Expires 3/31) Happy Shopping!

Ashley is giving away one of her new notepad designs (see the collection here) to one lucky reader! Winner's choice!! Here's just a sampling of her many designs:


Leave a comment telling me your favorite notepad design! Make sure to include your email address so I can notify you if you win.

EXTRA ENTRIES (if you really wanna win!):

+1 Follow Ashley's blog
+1 Follow Ashley on Twitter
+1 Like Ashley on Facebook
+1 EACH: Spread the word about this giveaway on twitter/facebook/blog.

Sample tweet: "Pretty up your desk with a notepad of your choice from @fancydesigns over on @yes_teacher 's blog! "

This giveaway ends Tuesday 2/28 at 11:59 PM. Open to US residents only. Winner will be notified by email as well as announced on my blog. GOOD LUCK!

Star Sponsor and Giveaway:The Snugly Duckling

I'm excited to introduce today's first sponsor: Kara from The Snugly Duckling. She's a newbie to the blogging world, so go show her some love!!

Hello! My name is Kara and I blog over at The Snugly Duckling. I'm extremely new to the blogging world and I feel like my blog is always changing. From designs to the actual content, we're a mess! I mainly try to post DIYs. I almost always link up with Sarah here for Tickle Me Tuesdays (check it out!). I like trying new recipes and trying them out on you. I'm hoping to make a few close friends through my blog as so many of you have!

Kara is giving away a $15 gift certificate to the movie theater of your choice!! (Hello, date night!!)


Follow Kara's blog
(Then leave a comment here with your email address so I can contact you if you win!)

EXTRA ENTRIES: (if you really wanna win!)

+1 Follow Kara on Twitter
+1 Follow me on Twitter
+1 Follow my blog
+1 Spread the word about this giveaway on twitter/facebook/blog (+1 each):

Sample tweet: "Need a fun night out? @snugly_duckling is giving away a $15 movie theater gift card over on @yes_teacher 's blog! "

This giveaway will end on Tuesday 2/28 at 11:59 PM. Winners will be notified via email and announced on my blog. Open to US residents only. GOOD LUCK!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Week 20

I'll be honest: I'm pretty self-conscious when I pose for these things. I've never been into self-portraits or outfit posts so these are always a bit out of my comfort zone! But I do it for sentimental reasons... I know one day I'll want to look back and remember this first pregnancy :)

This weekend, I'll be shopping at a local maternity clothes consignment event so I can stop fretting over WHAT STILL FITS?! I'll also be attempting to make the nursing cover from this post. (Wish me luck!!)

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lovely Lust-Haves: Vases

There's just something about a vase full of fresh flowers that livens up any room! I especially covet cheerful blooms in the winter, don't you? Below, a few vases that I wish were sitting in my house right now:

Which one is your favorite? I think I'm leaning towards number 5!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When Teaching Goes Right

I could tell you a lot of stories about teaching gone wrong, my friends. But every once in while it just all comes together, and when it does it's simply magical!

Last week, I was introducing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" as a poem/song to my small group of Kindergartners (I teach K-1 students with hearing loss - no sign language involved, just a lot of oral language remediation.) We had just finished "singing" the song and learning the gestures when I happened to turn the page in the teacher's manual.

It was a page I hadn't seen before, and it suggested making spider snacks as an extension activity. With a start, I realized that I had ALL of the ingredients on hand! So I made a split-second spontaneous decision and decided to go for it... we ditched the worksheet and had some good ol' fashioned Kindergarten FUN instead!

The kids were well behaved and loved every second of it (especially the eating part!). And I felt more happy and fulfilled as a teacher than I had felt in a long time. So, win-win!

Have you had any victories lately?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tickle Me Tuesday, 56th edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Tickle Me Tuesdays, where we all share what's been tickling our fancy!

If you'd like to participate (and you know you do!!), here are the rules:
1. Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

2. Make sure to link back to the party in your blog post (you can grab the button or include a text link)

3. Come back here and link up your blog post!  

4. Visit some other links and HAVE FUN!

Now it's your turn! What's been tickling your fancy lately?

Missionary Kid Monday: A Whole New World

{For more on this series, click here}

And so it was that in September of 1996, I left my awful French middle school behind and started high school at Black Forest Academy. BFA is in the small town of Kandern, Germany:

BFA had many dorms situated in the villages surrounding the school. But my ninth grade year, I was a "home student" since the dorms were full: I lived with a family in town whose children were also students at the school.

They were a Dutch family who spoke English flawlessly (although they did revert to Dutch when arguing, haha!) - they were very nice and took really good care of me. I had a roommate whom they were also housing; her name was Rachel and she was a year older than me. Here we are all dolled up for the Christmas banquet. 

(I'm the awkward one on the left...)

When I was in 8th grade, I thought BFA would be like a real American high school - And I was pretty sure that what I saw on Saved by the Bell was typical of American high schools everywhere. (Ahem.... pardon my ignorance!)

Although it was nothing like Bayside High school, BFA was (and still is!) a tight-knit little community. It was a small school back then - only 30 students in my freshman class (although by 12th grade, we had grown to 75!)

We had our own traditions: like "creeking" someone on their birthday by throwing them in the shallow creek. We had a Friday Night Activity planned for us every week - sometimes it was a school-wide scavenger hunt, or a movie in the auditorium, or a dorm vs. dorm competition of some kind.

When I look back at my diary that year, it was all about who was friends with who, who wasn't friends anymore, and who was crushing on who. In this respect I imagine my 9th grade experience was like many of my American peers (correct me if I'm wrong?!) However, there were no diary references to kissing, sex, drinking, or drugs, because we had VERY strict rules; even hand holding and dancing was forbidden!

And here's how it was different than American high schools:

- The teachers often ate dinner with us in the dorms.
- The students did chores to keep the school clean since we had no custodial staff.
- We had to figure out how to buy school supplies in town without knowing any German.
- Private conversations among friends would often be in other languages.
- All the girls borrowed each others' clothes.
- Senior Skip Day was planned and chaperoned by our teachers (boo!)
-We had Monday morning matins and Friday chapel every week.
- We went on field trips to see the Roman ruins, the WW1 trenches, and a WW2 concentration camp.
- We went on class trips to Dijon (France), to the beaches of Normandy, and we took a senior class trip to Rome for a week.
- We took dorm retreats to the Swiss Alps.

And as fun and cool as all of that stuff was, do you know what the BEST PART was about BFA? Being surrounded by hundreds of kids just like me, who knew what it felt like to be a Missionary Kid. It meant an instant connection and forged the way for long-lasting, deep friendships to happen overnight.

It was my paradise. 

What about you? Do you have fond memories of high school?

Friday, February 10, 2012

We're Having a ......


I went to the doctor on Wednesday but Max wasn't able to be there. So I told the doctor to write down the sex of the baby on a card and seal it in an envelope. That way, Max and I could open it and find out together that evening. (Ummmm, I was a bit distracted while I was teaching in the afternoon, thinking about that sealed envelope....)

Based on the blog poll I had going, most of you thought I was having a girl:

We are both overjoyed!! (We BOTH secretly were hoping for a boy....) And sooooo thankful that baby is healthy. In fact, our little one was taking it easy in there, chillin' with his ankles crossed. (Haha, definitely our kid!)

Now comes the fun part -- now that we know what we're having, I can start planning the nursery! Yay!!!