Friday, August 31, 2012

Nursery on my mind

Last night, for the first time, baby girl's little kicks woke me up.  It was cute last night, but I have a feeling it will get tiresome as it becomes more frequent :)  Maybe she'll learn to sleep when mommy sleeps so that when she graces us with her presence she'll automatically sleep when mommy wants to sleep.  (haha jk!)

We also bought this little girl's first outfit.  Well, first outfit from us.  It's kinda silly, I know, but it was fun to go pick out something together!!

Sunday, instead of lesson planning, I dreamed up how to decorate her nursery.  We live in a rental house, so I don't want to go crazy (considering we might be moving 6-8 months after she's born), but it's still fun to do a little something.  These are some things I liked...

These zinc letters from Anthropologie
Zinc Letters

This giraffe print (etsy).  It comes in rainbow and pink.  I can't decide :)
giraffes giclée print. 11X14. rainbow.
This paint color and crib

a mobile made from these- paint chips + heart punch!
Add caption

I found a bunch more but I can't give it all away ;)  Plus, she's not coming out for another 19 weeks, so it's not time to go crazy yet.

Seen any cute girly stuff!?!!?  Got any nursery tips!?!?

Thursday, August 30, 2012


These were both taken at 17 1/2 weeks :)

 Speaking of 17 weeks... the bottom RH corner shows 'actual size' (ish) footprints of our baby girl at 17 weeks. the cutest footprints if you ask me!

 hot date!

 right before our ultrasound... so excited!!

 20 weeks and off to work!

p.s. i thought i would be one of those people who takes a cute picture in the same outfit and location every week but the weeks have been passing so quickly! well at least it's cute when other people on pinterest do it...

Random on a Thursday

I've decided to start walking in the mornings before work.  I could jog, except that I hate jogging.  But I love walking.  And yesterday morning as I was headed into work, I thought to myself... I love these cool mornings.  It's too hot to walk after work, and my feet are so tired.  So I might as well go before work.  Plus, I miss some form of daily exercise, and even though walking is not very strenuous, it's better than sitting. 
Reading through 1 Corinthians right now.  The Lord is teaching me doctrine in a new way!  How great is this:  "God is the sources of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, and our righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written, 'let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'" (1 Cor 1:30-31)

My school district lets all teachers borrow a lap top.  They use those white macbooks.  I love having one.  It's so lightweight and convenient and it works great!  Even though it's on loan, I'd like to get a a sleeve/ case for it so it doesn't get banged up in transit every day.  I was thinking something like this...

Computer Bag Designed by YOU Tons of FABRIC choices
But i might just try making one.  Looks simple enough.

Last random thought- I like Thursdays.  Because it means tomorrow is Friday.  And I do not have one of those 'i love fridays, i hate mondays' kind of attitudes, but I do appreciate my weekends now that I'm working full time again.

Happy Thursday! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Interesting article about understanding how the Old and New Testaments work together rather than contradict each other. 

Blog post of a wedding of 2 fabulous friends of mine who recently got married.  Seriously, their pictures are GORGEOUS, even if you don't know them!

A recipe i want to try

I'm tempted by this way overpriced planner

I spent some time working at this bookstore last weekend.  (because if you work on a saturday, why not head to a cozy hipster bookstore where you can spread out at an antique table with a delicious cup a joe?)

picture update

We went and saw where Paul's new office will be :)

I spent many days setting up my classrooms

in progress

I 'lost' my iphone on top of our car only to discover where it was when it fell off the roof on the interstate 1 day later... this case is the remnants.

hung out some with this little munchkin! 

went to Denver with the hubs and forgot to take pics! These are all I have... 
a cool bookstore

me exploring at Red Rocks Amphitheater while Mr. Cook was in a conference.

what have YOU been up to? :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Ohhhh elementary school... maybe these funnies will brighten your Tuesday.

kindergartener (after not getting the instrument he wanted): "i don't want to play your instruments anyway. they're all broken and dirty."

4th grader (after waiting with his hand in the air for like 8 minutes): "i have a hole in my hand like Jesus."  he showed me the 'hole.' it was a tiny scrape in the middle of his hand... looked like it was made with a pencil.

1st grader (to me in the middle of our activity): "I like you."


Saturday, August 18, 2012


Well it's been a few days weeks since I wrote last. 
I'm sitting in Denver, slightly teary-eyed before my computer screen after reading this blog post and thinking about the sweet baby girl that will make her earthly debut 21-ish weeks from now.
oh, you didn't hear? 
yeah, baby! we're thinking pink bows and frills over here.

After much debate, we decided to find out the gender of little baby Cook at the 20 week ultrasound.  For the first 10-15 weeks, I was thinking boy, but then a little 'click' inside me went 'girl' and I knew on some level (of course one can't be completely sure) that she was a little girl.  So when the ultrasound tech told us, I can't say I was completely surprised.  But I can admit to being completely overwhelmed.  Seeing her on that screen - moving around, even waving and kicking her legs.  Wow.  The minute we walked out the door with that long strip of pictures in our hands, I was full of tears (and on my way back to work!)  Ben popped his arm around me, pulling me into his shoulder and we walked back to the car in awe.  When we got in the car, I giggled through tears and said "A little baby girl...I didn't think I would get so emotional," and we both laughed out loud.  [Because let's be honest, what doesn't get me emotional these days?! But we can save those stories for another time.]

19 weeks and counting,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

secret's out

Well, as of yesterday, the secret's out... i am not going to be perfect at this job.  I thought I was, but alas, I'm not.  Phew.  Glad I said it.  In my moments of feeling overwhelmed, God whispered to me: my grace is sufficient for you.  My power is made perfect in your weakness. 

That was good news!  So we're back on track - trusting the Lord for the big and small things in life including preparing for the first day of school (T minus 6 days) and adjusting to being the "new kid." 

On a separate note, I've put this on facebook but just in case... this is a worship CD you should get :)  all the lyrics are Jesus-elevating.  A couple in particular have been ringing through my heart the last couple days

Jesus, Faithful King, Lord with grateful hearts we sing - how great is the love of our Savior.
The weight of the cross, the curse of my shame, he carried it all and rose from the grave - how great is the love of our Savior.

Arise, for the light has come, darkness bows down to the risen Son
Arise, raise your hands and sing, to the one God 
You are the matchless king, who tore down the gates of the enemy
Make way for Christ and sing - let Your kingdom come.  
Arise for the battle's won!  Our hearts bow down to the risen Son.

That reminds me... I read Matthew 28 this morning:
"He is not here, he is risen, just as he said."

Now isn't that good news!?


Thursday, August 2, 2012

harry wong

Today we had a new teacher orientation session about what to do the first day and week of school, based on the work of educator, Harry Wong.  Part of our session was watching him present (on video) and I found him both helpful and inspiring.  Here are some of his ideas that stuck out to me the most:

“The only difference between an effective and an ineffective teacher is that the ineffective teacher isn’t doing what the effective teacher is doing.”   [sounds obvious but apparently something we're missing]

In his opinion, the number one problem in classrooms today is the lack of procedures and routines.  He specifically noted that it is not lack of discipline.  

He differentiated between discipline and procedures.  Discipline concerns how students behave and has penalties/rewards.  Procedures concern how things are done and do NOT have penalties/ rewards.

His argument for emphasizing procedures is... people learn by doing.  Procedures concern how things are done.  Procedures, therefore, are necessary for learning.  The point of teaching is getting students to DO things.  The students should be doing more work than the teacher (because the students are the ones who should be learning... and people who are working are learning), and the only way that students can learn and work successfully in a classroom is if there are routines in place.  Whew.  If you feel like I'm talking in circles, I probably am.  Reread.  It makes sense.

Procedures are good for everything including (but not limited to) turning in work, giving information to the teacher, walking in the room, walking out of the room, lining up, walking in the hall, cleaning up, sharpening pencils, getting students' attention, if a visitor walks in the room, if the phone rings, speaking inside, speaking outside, if they have to go to the bathroom or get a drink, if they come back to the room from the hall, if they are called to the office, if a message is delivered to the classroom, getting books, getting material, emergencies, if they finish work early, if they are absent, if there is a knock on the door, if they are working with groups... etc. 

In order to help procedures become routines for the students, you must clearly explain the procedure, make sure they understand it, practice it, and rehearse it over and over.  

He summarized his procedures spiel by saying some teachers complain that you don't do much learning the first day or week of class. His response is - spend the first day teaching and the rest of the year zookeeping/ chasing kids around.  Spend the first week on procedure and spend the rest of the year learning.  

If you have ever set foot in an elementary school, you can imagine how this is true.

What helpful procedure do you use?! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the gist of bist

Today I started school.
what? your jaw dropped? did you check your calendar?  yes, it's August 1.  and yes I started school.  well the new-teacher orientation part of school.

today we got laptops in the morning + 3 hours of laptop training.
i thought it would be lame... like, how to use microsoft word and the internet.
but it was actually really helpful.  they have all kinds of cool things in the district for technology.  (because they have a whole staff of people to write/ develop software and programs just for this district!) and it seems to mostly work.  this is a first in my limited school experience thus far.  we automatically get wordpress logins so i'm going to work on a classroom blog.  who knows? maybe i'll be come a wordpresser instead of a blogger :)

in the afternoon we received our BIST training.
BIST stands for Behavior Intervention Support Training.  hahaha my husband rolled his eyes when I told him that too.
I subbed in this district last year and was told the gist of BIST (rhyme!) and I was skeptical.  But after today, i realized most of what i was seeing was poor implementation.  user error, if you will.
it's actually a pretty helpful technique for dealing with kids prone to "chaos."
i'll spare you the details for now, but the highlights rolling around in my head are...
  • BIST is secondary to good classroom management.  5-10% of kids do not respond to basic classroom management and BIST is helpful for them.
  • The goal is to help kids acquire skills they're missing.  i.e. "I can do something even if I don't want to." or "I can be angry and upset and still not get in trouble." 
  • Changing lives comes from implementing grace and accountability.  No matter the situation, all kids should be held accountable for their actions.  Do not lower the standards.
  • Watch for behaviors that, when ignored, might get out of control... intervene early.  
  • When intervening, act calmly, quickly, firmly, kindly.
  • Do not engage outrageous behavior.  
At one point the trainer said, "Compliance with defiance is never okay.  The students must do what they're asked when they're asked to with a good attitude so that we can keep them safe."  I'm no parenting expert but it sounded like parenting 101 goals to me...  I'll file that one away.

She also said a teacher might be the only consistent adult in their life - the only person who means what they say and says what they mean. That's a big responsibility.  It might not be ideal but that's the way it is.   

Lots to think about.


When we lived in Chicago, I never even noticed sirens at all hours of the day (and night).

This morning at 715, sirens startled me!!  and again at 2:15, I thought to myself, 2 sirens in one day?! Life in Nebraska :) 

Also yesterday morning- beautiful rainbow. What a creative way God chooses to remind us of his faithfulness.

Lately i have grown tired of reading long blog posts so I'm going to work extra hard to keep these short and sweet. 

On that note,