Friday, August 29, 2014

Power Outage Delay


Oh my goodness!  Friday has snuck up on me.  How does a week fly by so quickly?  It has been another busy week here in the Crawford household.  I didn't even get to blog at all this past week.  So here's a random update via a 5 for Friday!

Our week started with a back to school pool party last Saturday.  All the American kiddos and their parents gathered and partied at the pool.  Even the Marines joined in the fun, which Suri thought was very cool.  There were cannon ball contests, pizza, treats galore, and lots of fun times shared.  

My newest project.... starting a lending library for kiddos in grades Kindergarten through Third grade.  I came up with this idea while we were home for a month and my two kids couldn't get enough of the local public library.  We don't have a public library here on the island and not all the schools have a library.  When our kids are learning to read they read through the books and then end up memorizing them.  Young readers need lots of books and a variety of books.  We are starting by asking people to donate books and after we see how many we get we will look into funding and fundraising to buy for books.  I'm excited to get some books and get them leveled and ready to be checked out.  Anyone out there have experience with QR codes?  I have this crazy idea that maybe we could check out books using QR codes and have it link to that kid's name/account?  Anyone know if that will work?  I welcome any feedback or ideas!

I had planned to share about an awesome service opportunity we participated in this week.  Our church collected money for school supplies and backpacks for children who live at a local orphanage.  We were all excited to go and deliver the backpacks filled with school supplies with some people from church on Wednesday night.  Well....  the thing is...  I left the directions to my husband.  And to not completely throw him under the bus... there are very few street signs here on the island.  So we never found it.  That is one of the huge frustrations of living here on the island.  I guess most people grow up here and grow up knowing where things are.  No need for a lot of street signs.  So we are going to call them and hopefully go visit and start volunteering there within a couple of weeks.

What's for dinner?  Something amazing!  Something my whole family devoured, even my picky eaters!  What is it you asked?  Spaghetti Casserole!  One of my favorite food blogs is 100 days of real food.  Do you know it?  I discovered it almost 2 years ago now.  I would say that back home in the states we were 90% real food eaters.  Here in the Bahamas we are probably more like 75%.  Most of the foods are available, it's the cost that keeps me from buying everything "real food".  Here's a picture of the casserole.  Click the picture to head to the website to check it out. 
Spaghetti Casserole on 100 Days of #RealFood

Power outages...yup, power outages.  Believe it or not I started this blog post this morning around 8am and then had to stop around 9 when the power went out.  Grrrrr!  A fact of life here.  They do rolling brown-outs since everyone is using their ac right now.  So now it's 4:30pm and I'm back home from our day and get to finish up my Five for Friday.  A lot has happened today but that's a post coming this weekend or on Monday as everything should resolve itself by then.  Let's just say there's a chance I'll be putting back on my teacher hat...but more on Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone!  My hubby and I are headed to the Paradise Island Country Music Festival on Sunday.  We are going to get to see The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts.  I've seen Rascal Flatts before but it will be our first time seeing The Band Perry.  Tune in next week to hear all about it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five for Friday


Yay!  It's Friday!  That means it's time for 5 for Friday!  I have to that I'm a stay-at-home momma the days seem to blend together and I'm not always very good at keeping track of what day it is.  It's especially bad in the summer.  I'm looking forward to school starting and getting back into my routine. :)

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It was all things FROZEN at our house last Saturday evening.  We had the girls from Suri's class over to celebrate her birthday.  (We were in Wisconsin for her actual birthday)  The party was a huge success.  We played FROZEN Bingo, pin the nose on Olaf, tie-dyed t-shirts in FROZEN colors, and ate pizza, snowman snack mix, Sven's fruit salad, and Olaf noses.  We drank FROZEN punch.  We decorated cupcakes and opened presents.  All in the span of 2 hours!  PHEW!!!  As a teacher I always over planned.  I think I probably over planned her party too.  :) 

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Suri had her first stand-up paddle boarding lesson Saturday morning.  She really enjoyed it and insists she wants to teach mom and dad how to do it.

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We took the kids to the Aquaventure water park at Atlantis.  We had a blast!  Hard to believe we've been here 9 months and it was the first time we went.  Since our kids are little we couldn't go on any of the big water slides but we enjoyed all the pools, the rapids river, and the kids play areas.  We weren't able to take any pictures but here's the brochure picture.  :)
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This week has required a LOT of grace on my part when it comes to parenting.  One of my favorite and go-to verses in the Bible for encouragement is this... it has seen me through a lot!
grace quotes | God's Grace and Mercy Quotes 

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My newest product... one very near and dear to my heart.  It stemmed from my own daughter's difficulties with learning and remembering her sight words.  I started telling stories using her FRY words.  It helped her a lot!  She not only remembers the words, but also the stories!  I created this pack of activities for the first 100 FRY words and included my very popular FRY Words KABOOM game.  Have you ever played KABOOM with your kids?  My first and second graders loved to play it in guided reading groups and in pairs.  You put the words into any container that isn't see-through. 
First player draws a word and reads it.  If they read it correctly, they get to keep it.  If they read it incorrectly, they have to put it back.  Play continues this way.  But...Uh Oh!  If you draw a KABOOM card, YOU HAVE TO PUT ALL OF YOUR CARDS BACK!  OH NO!  :)  The player with the most words after all the word cards are gone is the winner.  Super fun!  The activities include coloring in the targeted FRY words, highlighting the FRY words in the story, writing the FRY words, finding the words in a word search, and a roll and write.  Use these for struggling learners, RTI groups, early finishers, in guided reading groups, as a literacy center, or as homework.  They are very versatile!

Happy Friday Everyone!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Memories

It's hard to believe that summer is nearly over!  Here in the Bahamas some schools start next week.  The rest, including my daughter's school, start September 1.  As I was thinking about this and everything I need to do to get her ready for school I was reflecting on our summer....

School ended June 20 for Suri.  It was quite a year for her.  Started first grade in Washington, left in early November, started in the Bahamas in late November, and she finished June 20.  Here are her first and last day pictures...

We spent the entire month of July in Wisconsin visiting friends and family.  I grew up in Milwaukee and so my family is still there.  Lots of time with my 2 sisters, parents, extended family, and cousins!
My hometown has a great 4th of July parade and celebration.  This is my son Levi.  Such a cheese ball!
I got to go to Vegas for the TpT conference.  Best part was seeing my best friends from back in Seattle who I miss more than words can say.  We taught together for 5 years before I moved.  Lindsey and her mom went to the TpT conference with me.  My other friend Alicia brought her hubby and they did Vegas stuff while we were in the conference and met up with us after.  We had the BEST time together.  Also got my picture taken with my friend Lindsey and AMY LEMONS!!!  We have almost all of her products and used them with our second graders.  Lindsey and her mom started their own TpT shop and blog.  They are 2Literacy Teachers...check them out!  Great resources from 2 amazing teachers!

Then it was family time.  My family grew up 2 miles from our cousins.  We had so many fun times together.  Most of us have our own kiddos now.  We all traveled to Milwaukee and had some fun park play dates for the little cousins while us big cousins got to catch up.  My husband got a 4 day weekend and was able to join us for this special weekend.  Here's a group photo.

My daughter Suri turned 7 while we were in Milwaukee.  She got to celebrate her birthday surrounded by family.  Previous to living in the Bahamas we lived in the Seattle area so we were still far from family.  This was a special birthday for her.

To top the visit off my dad and I took Suri to a Milwaukee Brewer's game.  She has been to a couple Seattle Mariner games with her dad so this was fun to get to go with Pa and her mom.

It truly was a great visit.  I got in several visits with my Nanny.  She is my grandma on my mom's side of the family.  She is my last remaining grandparent.  Every visit with her is special.  Here's a pic from when Levi and I went to visit her.
I can honestly say that my kids and I had a great summer.  One we will never forget.  While we meant to do so much more, looking back, I can say we did a lot!

Now it's time to look forward and get ready for back to school.  I have been busy ordering school supplies, a new backpack and water bottle, and looking for nut-free lunch ideas.  We order pretty much everything non-perishable.  It's cheaper than buying stuff here on the island.  It just takes 1-2 weeks for our orders to arrive so I always need to be thinking ahead.  :)

Happy Back-to-School Everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Five for Friday!

 Hello Everyone!
It's hard to believe another week has passed.  Where is summer going??  Today I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for another 5 for Friday linky party.  Here are my 5....
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We have a new family who arrived on the island last weekend.  They have a 3 year old and he and my son Levi are instant best buds.  It's so sweet to see the two of them playing together and getting in trouble together.  :)  Meeting the new family brought back all the memories of when we moved here in November.  My poor husband!  We arrived on a Sunday night at 8pm and he had to be at work the next morning at 9am.  Meanwhile we were in a hotel in a new country with no car and two little kids.  Oh...and it was my birthday that next day!  He came home those first weeks to me experiencing so many emotional ups and downs.  We were in a hotel for a month before our home was ready.  Things improved a lot for us once we got in our house and our belongings arrived.  While I miss my friends back home I am grateful for the friendships I've made here.  They have made the Bahamas feel like home to me.  You know who you are ladies...thanks from the bottom of my heart!
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Night swimming!  Our new favorite bedtime routine.  We eat dinner around 5:30 in our house so we are done shortly after 6.  We head to the pool around 6:30 or 7 and swim until 8pm.  The water is warm, the sun is almost down, and it feels amazing.  It's great for wearing our kids out for bedtime too.  No bedtime battles in this house!  Here's a pic of my hubby and kiddos last night in the pool.

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Car trouble!  Did you read my post last week about what an ordeal it is for us to get mail?  Well, today was the mother of all mail ordeals.  I've been going to get our mail almost every day this week.  My daughter's birthday party is Saturday and we have been waiting for all the party supplies we ordered to arrive.  Today as we were nearing the embassy I noticed the battery meter falling a bit towards low.  I wasn't too worried.  I figured it would be fine to get us home.  (I had both my kiddos with me)  We got to the embassy, got our 6 boxes, and loaded back up in the truck.  Only to find that my truck wouldn't start!  Well, for all the places for this to happen, this was the safest place I could be.  So I went inside and asked the Marine if he could help me find someone with jumper cables to jump my truck.  He was busy calling people when I saw two neighbors of mine.  I asked if they had cables and they didn't but they were able to find the person who did.  We jumped the truck and I started following them home.  Only for the truck to completely die in the middle of Bay St. and be frozen in park.  We couldn't even push it out of the way.  Thank goodness for a passerby with cables.  We jumped it again, hooked it up to one of my neighbor's cars for him to tow to a nearby parking lot, and headed there.  Once in the parking lot we switched out batteries between trucks and between all of us, got all 3 vehicles, adults, and kids safely home.  Talk about friends being in the right place at the right time.  I'm not sure how I would've done on my own.  To top it off, one of these neighbors has family arriving from the states tomorrow and they are bringing us a new alternator.  WOW!   
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I've been busy updating my products in my store all week.  Many of my products needed clip art and design upgrades.  I bundled some of my products too.  Stop by and take a peek when you have the chance.

Click the image

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A sneak peek... this is my newest product I'm working on.  I'm really excited about it.  I hope to have it posted this weekend.  It's a word work bundle of the first 100 FRY words with fun engaging activities for students to practice their FRY words.  Best of all... NO PREP!
Well we have a busy weekend ahead of us... Suri has her first stand-up paddle boarding class and her Frozen theme birthday party on Saturday.  Sunday we are off to Atlantis to finally check out their waterpark for a couple of days.  Check in next week to hear all the details.  :)