Blessings and a Giveaway!

I have been feeling so blessed lately. When I took Sullivan for his 2 week check-up they gave me a survey to fill out, basically to check for post-partum depression. I was able to answer all of the questions positively, and its because of all the good things that are going on in my life lately:


First up - Sullivan is my absolute joy. I'll share with you that I was extremely apprehensive to be having another baby at 40. He was definitely an unplanned blessing. My pregnancy was rough, to put it mildly, and I tried not to think about his arrival because I was certain it would throw our lives all out of whack. I thought about not being able to take vacations for a while (or having to take them with an infant in tow - not fun!), sleepless nights and endless cycles of feeding, burping, and changing a crying baby. In fact, I didn't even buy anything for him until the last week of my pregnancy - and that was only when my older kids insisted that we needed to buy some clothes and blankets for him (his bassinet and carseat didn't get purchased until the day after he was born!). I knew I was going to love him, but I also thought it'd be a big adjustment. When we got to the hospital after my water broke and I realized that there was no stopping that train, I was almost in tears, thinking that this could be the biggest mistake of our lives. Starting over at 40 did not seem like the brightest idea!

Well, the instant the doctor held him up to me and I saw his funny face (he was a bit swollen since he felt it necessary to come out with his fist pressed against his nose) I fell totally in love. Yeah, I know, that's what's supposed to happen right? But, honestly, I didn't expect it. I had felt that love with my first 4, but I still wasn't prepared for that rush of absolute, total, pure love. Sullivan is absolutely the best thing in my life. Part of this is because he's such a sweet, adorable little guy, with a mass of red hair that makes him look like a little old man (seriously, we need to give him a hair cut already!) Part of it is because he has completed our family in a way that surprises me. I didn't realize he was missing until we had him. My oldest children dote on him - volunteering to change diapers, hanging around waiting for him to wake up so they get a chance to hold him, begging to be the one who assists me with his bath etc. So yeah, having a baby at 40 is the best thing that's ever happened to me (and since I just celebrated my 15th anniversary with my husband on Friday, you can safely assume that I've had a lot of good things happen to me in the last 15 years ) God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes He doesn't send us what we want necessarily, but what we need.


Alright, I'll try to refrain from waxing lyrical about Sullivan any more - although I can't promise that I won't sneak in updates and pictures now and then, just because I can't resist sharing the cuteness.

Another blessing in my life is my maternity leave substitute. Mrs. Edwards is a miracle. She helped set up my classroom (she did 95% of the work!) and has stepped up to the first weeks of class without hesitation. She comes in on the weekends to run copies and get the room ready, she presented my behavior clip chart system to the parents at Open House, she's set up conferences with parents and admin already for those students who need a little extra help/guidance and is an all around life saver. I went into school on Tuesday and spent 30 minutes in the room, just watching, wanting my kiddos to get a little bit used to me so the transition isn't such a shock, and I was so happy to see how well she's managing everything from discipline (man, I wish I had her voice - she's soft-spoken but firm and I have a tendency to be loud, even in normal conversations) to teacing the curriculum!

The third blessing came this week in the form of boxes from Amazon. I had signed up with Reddits Gifts For Teachers program and was thrilled to be matched with a lovely family. Their son did not require any school supplies this year as he's a high school senior, so they used the money that they would have spent on him to treat my class.They sent us wipes, crayons, scented markers, glue sticks, construction paper, oil pastels AND stickers! I cannot wait to bring them into the classroom this week and show the kids - I feel a special craftivity coming on!




I was also blessed this summer by Oriental Trading Company. They sent me a gift card to check out some of their products and I had a blast filling up my cart with all things cowboy! Here's some of the items I picked:
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 These precut tissue squares are fabulous for crafts, and I can't wait to use these Western beads for some pattern necklaces!

 I got some motivational Western stickers and some Western erasers to use as math manipulatives!

 We'll be using these Western stamps to make pictures to write stories about, as well as graphing with them.

 I love these dry erase sleeves - especially since my principal wants us to cut way back on paper this year!

And of course, if you know me you'll know that I am unable to resist dice - these large foam dice will be gracing our math centers this year and I bet the kids will have a blast with them!

And, even better, Oriental Trading Company is allowing me to pass on this blessing by giving me a $25 gift card to give away to one of you! Just fill out the rafflecopter form for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for being another blessing in my life - it makes such a difference to know that I can help other teachers and students out there - it really makes my heart happy to think that I can make even a small difference for another classroom!

 

119 Rustle Up A Response!:

Breanne said... Reply to comment

I would LOVE those dry erase sleeves!! They are perfect for center time! :)

Breanne
breannesimons@gmail.com

Mary McGough said... Reply to comment

I would love to have white bucket hats for the 100th day celebration

Lori Raines said... Reply to comment

I would get a bar graph pocket chart.

Lnabors said... Reply to comment

I would love to have the super science test tubes with trays. I turn into the mad scientist when I do science and these would be perfect for some science experiments I want to try with my kidners.

Lorena said... Reply to comment

I'd love to get my students some stuffed animals to be reading buddies.

Cheryl E. said... Reply to comment

I would love those dice!

Robin said... Reply to comment

I would love to have the dice and the dry erase sleeves from your pictures! Your son is beautiful...enjoy him!

MrsS said... Reply to comment

I'd love some new dot markers. That first photo of Sullivan is PRECIOUS!
-Andrea
alwayskindergarten@gmail.com

Tracy Kahler said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your new baby! He is absolutely adorable.
I have been eyeing many things on Oriental Trading company. I think I would get the Student Grouping Dog Tags. It is such a neat way to group the kiddos!

Tracy Kahler said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your new baby! He is absolutely adorable.
I have been eyeing many things on Oriental Trading company. I think I would get the Student Grouping Dog Tags. It is such a neat way to group the kiddos!

Tracy Kahler said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your new baby! He is absolutely adorable.
I have been eyeing many things on Oriental Trading company. I think I would get the Student Grouping Dog Tags. It is such a neat way to group the kiddos!

Andrea L. said... Reply to comment

I need new dry erase boards. My old ones are pretty beat up.

Andrea L. said... Reply to comment

I need new dry erase boards. My old ones are pretty beat up.

ldemello said... Reply to comment

i would like Classroom Organizer Book Storage Bins

Shelly Parks said... Reply to comment

Your story about Sullivan was very sweet and touching. He is a cutie!
Thank you for the opportunity for a gift card with Oriental Trading.

Shelly Parks said... Reply to comment

Your story about Sullivan was very sweet and touching. He is a cutie!
Thank you for the opportunity for a gift card with Oriental Trading.

Mrs. Brown said... Reply to comment

Sullivan is precious! My niece's little boy has wild hair too! It is so cute....

If I won I would get some things for my prize box....

Tina Wiscombe said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina Wiscombe said... Reply to comment

Congrats on your newest addition to your family! I am so glad to see that everything is going well so far! If I win I would like some of the dry erase sleeves for sure!

Cindy said... Reply to comment

I'd like to have the bar graph pocket chart!

BethS. said... Reply to comment

I like fun manipulitives for math centers. The dry erase sleeve would be great too.

BethS. said... Reply to comment

I like fun manipulitives for math centers. The dry erase sleeve would be great too.

jenbrett said... Reply to comment

I could REALLY use some fun little 'counters' for my math stations! That assorted porcupine characters would be perfect! Jennifer
jennifer.steinacher@meeker.k12.co.us

Along My Path said... Reply to comment

I would love to be able to buy some things for my prize box.

Along My Path said... Reply to comment

I would love to buy more things for my prize box.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! I was 42 *gasp* when I had my 4th...and I teared up when I read your comment about not realizing that your family was missing something until he came along... That's exactly how it was with my daughter... Hang in there throughout the sleepless nights and spit-up covered shoulders...it's so worth it! (But I don't have to tell you that do I?) ;) Thank you for sharing your story, and keep those pictures coming! (Oh and by the way, I don't need anything...I just want to send some love your way!) :)
Robin in Murrieta, CA

MaryAnn said... Reply to comment

I would buy a Buzz Lightyear Halloween costume.

Alicia M said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful post - congratulations! Your family sounds lovely!

I would love to have the large foam dice - my K's would love those!

Alicia M said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful post - congratulations! Your family sounds lovely!

I would love to have the large foam dice - my K's would love those!

Cindy said... Reply to comment

I love the under the sea tent.

Tiffany said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! I love all the western supplies!

TheresaB said... Reply to comment

I love my pocket chart from them.

Cindy Calenti said... Reply to comment

Beautiful pictures of your adorable blessing!

I am keeping my fingers crossed. If I win I would get some of the Treasure Chests that can be used for classroom incentives.

Cindy
Granny Goes to School

Katie Nussbaum said... Reply to comment

I would love the dry erase sleeves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MikesMom said... Reply to comment

I would love to try the dry erase sleeves. Thank you for the opportunity. Your little one is precious!

Nessa said... Reply to comment

I would purchase toys for my reading program like the Religious Novelty Assortment.

Tomi Hammons said... Reply to comment

Congrats on your new little one! I was 43 when I had my last little one, who was also a surprise! I would love the dry erase sleeves.

aclark said... Reply to comment

I would buy a set of the 240 3D shapes!

Ashley
arclark2012@gmail.com

aclark said... Reply to comment

I would buy the 240 3D shapes!

Ashley
arclark2012@gmail.com

Karyn said... Reply to comment

Sullivan is just too cute! I would love to order some of their cloth bags to use as book bags for my kiddos (to keep their just right books in).

œKaryn
A is for Apple B is for Blog
Kideducator@comcast.net

Jennifer McClimans said... Reply to comment

I would buy the double sided dry erase paddles. My kinders would love them.

Thanks
Jennifer
jemcclimans@lakeland.k12.mo.us

Jennifer McClimans said... Reply to comment

I would buy the double sided dry erase paddles. My kinders would love them.

Thanks
Jennifer
jemcclimans@lakeland.k12.mo.us

KarlaJ said... Reply to comment

Congrats on your surprise!!! With our Harvest Party just around the corner, and the addition of another Kindergarten class, I would LOVE to win the Oriental Trading gift card. We order our supplies from them for our party and could really use the extra $$ to cover the cost of our third class.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your new baby! When do you go back to work? I need some things for Halloween...:)
Amy
ammmyyy1@yahoo.com

horsenut said... Reply to comment

You rock keeping life in balance. :) I would love the dice.

horsenut said... Reply to comment

Thanks for a great treats for the classroom. The kids would love the dice.

Laura W. said... Reply to comment

I'm thinking the Word Family Readers would be nice.

Marie Madden said... Reply to comment

This is weird, but I would like a pirate costume to match my pirate theme this year.. Also any small toys to use as rewards for when my students cash in their warm fuzzies!

Amber Prince said... Reply to comment

@horsenut

My kids would love the dice, too! So quiet & fun!

Pspetralia said... Reply to comment

One of the things I would get is the Turkey Craft kit. The craft kits are really great to use in my special ed. class!

Bronwen Thornton said... Reply to comment

Sullivan is precious!
If I won I would get some things for my prize box....
jbsothornton@comcast.net

Markisha said... Reply to comment

Your baby is precious!! I would buy some treasure chest goodies.

R.Smith said... Reply to comment

Your baby is beautiful! What a blessing he is. I would love the giant dice and the dry erase covers. They would be very helpful.

1stgradefireworks said... Reply to comment

LArge FOAM DICE! YES!!!! wendy 1stgradefireworks@gmail.com

Cherie said... Reply to comment

Stack It High Pegs And Peg Boards

618mom said... Reply to comment

Halloween Glow Assortment

Katie Mense said... Reply to comment

I would LOVE those dice and I'm sure a million other things once I got on their site and looked around! ;) Sully is just totally adorable!!!
Little Warriors

D. Keller said... Reply to comment

If I won I'd get the Easy Clean Flat Trays! Thanks for the giveaway and congratulations on baby Sullivan!

dbednars said... Reply to comment

There are many things I'd like. The magnetic desktop dry erase whiteboard would be good. dbednarsk@yahoo.com

Deanna Jump said... Reply to comment

Your little guy is absolutely adorable! Congratulations!

Nicole Rios said... Reply to comment

Pencils and other motivators would be on my list. Thanks for a chance to win.

Nicole

Kaci Hoffer said... Reply to comment

I would love ANYTHING from OT!

Cecile said... Reply to comment

I would like to get some of the write and erase sleeves to put papers in.

Laura Martinez said... Reply to comment

I love everything from OT. I really love the big sticker rolls they have!

Cathy Irwin said... Reply to comment

I would definitely buy some multicultural crayons!

Cathy I.
mrsirwinsclass@gmail.com

Laura said... Reply to comment

I love the dot markers or crafts or beads or anything :) I would LOVE more art supplies for my kindergarteners - they deserve it :)

Thank you so much!

lorena said... Reply to comment

Your son is precious! Thanks for the giveaway! I would love some foam dice and anything I could use for math counting manips, craft and art supplies and a ton of other stuff! ;)
lorepuckett at verizon dot net

teachrmama said... Reply to comment

I would get personalized award pencils for my students......naming the feat they accomplished, such as "I know all my letters" or "i can count to 100." What a beautiful baby you have!! teachrmama@gmail.com

Christine said... Reply to comment

I would get supplies for my treasure chest =) Congrats on your handsome lil' man.

Carol-Ann said... Reply to comment

Love Oriental Trading! So many great things I don't know where to begin!

Allee Ellen said... Reply to comment

I'd like to buy a big lot of reward pencils for my kiddos!

Special Teacher for Special Kids said... Reply to comment

Your little dude is so precious! Enjoy!

I would buy EVERYTHING I could get my hands on in that catalog. Thanks for the chance to win.

Beki Moore said... Reply to comment

I would buy things for my prize drawer.

Sarah said... Reply to comment

I'm a big fan of the dry erase sleeves and large foam dice. :-)

Blessings to you with your little one!

Teachweaver said... Reply to comment

Very cute little guy and I would order test tubes and a lot of crafts. I do love craft time!

LindsayD said... Reply to comment

Your son is ADORABLE! Look at that hair!!!! :-) Enjoy your time with him, it'll be over before you know it!

Julie Davis said... Reply to comment

What a great giveaway!!!! I would definitely stock up and get ready for the 100th day!
Julie
DDgirl4ever@yahoo.com

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Lot of stuff...pattern & sort chart, dry erase sleeves, the build a scene stickers for the writing center, etc!!! :)

carolyn k said... Reply to comment

Those tissue paper squares would come in so handy!!

teacherfirst64 said... Reply to comment

Haven't been to Oriental Trading in a long time! This would be a blessing to get some "treasures" for my 27 little treasures this year. :) rwrench64@yahoo.com

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Your son is beautiful, enjoy every moment.

Jeanne Bergeron said... Reply to comment

Congrats on your precious gift of a son.

I would love to get those dry erase sleeves and the jumbo sand timer.

Emily said... Reply to comment

I LOVE Oriental Trading! I think my next purchase from them will be the foam dice! Love it!

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Your baby boy is precious! We are hoping to start the adoption process this summer. My kindergarteners could really use the dry erase sleeves. We are using a lot less paper this year and we would use them in our centers.

Jessica said... Reply to comment

Oriental Trading is a teacher's best friend! Having pre-cut tissue paper squares would be SUCH a time saver!

Jessica
The Littlest Scholars

Jennifer Hiers said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on that sweet baby boy! I have 3 red-headed little girls...I know how cute little red-heads can be. I could really use some birthday treats for my students. Maybe the Happy Birthday swirl pops?

Raevers said... Reply to comment

Good gracious I could spend thousands! I'm liking the Terrific Tempera Bingo Bottles for a first purchase :) thanks so much. You're little angel is absolutely beautiful!!

Raevers said... Reply to comment

@RaeversThat should be "YOUR" not "you're" ugh!

Valerie Gulig said... Reply to comment

I would buy the ice cream bowl and spoons for my ice cream shop in my dramatic play center.

Diane Walter said... Reply to comment

Loved your story about your family. Such love. Enjoy

Jennifer White said... Reply to comment

I need those foam dice!
Jennifer
First Grade Blue SKies

Jessica said... Reply to comment

The dice....I need the dice! Super cute family by the way :o)

Stacy Murphy said... Reply to comment

I think I would buy a parachute for my classroom.

Stacey said... Reply to comment

I love the dry erase sleeves and the 3D shapes!

paelly said... Reply to comment

Just moved up to first grade and I really need help decorating the board outside my room. I have always had a paraprofessional to do that for me. I really like the DIY Giant Pumpkin Photo Bulletin Board Puzzle. I can add a few touches and it will make a cute bulletin board display. I also love their fall decorations. The scarecrow glass block lamp is hard to resist. Too many choices!!!

Margot Owen said... Reply to comment

I am teaching students with autism, who have not learned how to write yet. I would love a set of the Easy To Grip Lowercase Abc Stamps, which would help them have a tactile way to see, use and sound out the letters. Love them!

Amanda Applegate said... Reply to comment

Oh my goodness your son is ADORABLE! I love his lil' cheeks! :c)

I would totally buy these owl erasers for my kidlets as they match our owl covered classroom perfectly. Thanks so much for the chance to win!
http://www.orientaltrading.com/owl-erasers-a2-13606381-12-1.fltr?Ntt=owl

Amanda said... Reply to comment

I could use some new foam dice. I only have a couple and would love to give them away at my family math night too!

Amanda
A Very Curious Class

Angel Garrett said... Reply to comment

I would love the 3 minutes sand timers. I can think of so many different ways to use them! By the way, what a sweet special boy!

Angel

Mrs. Garrett's Groovy Kindergarten said... Reply to comment

I would love the 3 minute sand timers! I have so many ideas on how to use them! Love this post by the way! What a special boy!

Pabyrd2 said... Reply to comment

I would love “What’s The Answer?” Dry Erase Paddles! I have so many uses for them!

Lishelle said... Reply to comment

I would buy my star of the week items that I give the kiddos!

Unknown said... Reply to comment

I would love some new dobbers!!!

Myriam Serrano said... Reply to comment

I would love the dice and dry erase paddles.

Michelle McNew said... Reply to comment

I would love to buy some dry erase pockets!!! It would save so many copies and my kids love doing their work with markers!!

marti said... Reply to comment

I would love the dry erase pockets or stuffed animals for buddy reading.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Awesome!

Brianne said... Reply to comment

I would love the geometric shape bean bags!

Yvette Springler said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your baby boy!! Sometimes, God's plan for us is better than the one we envisioned. I really like the dry erase sleeves--I'd never seen them before. Great giveaway!

Miss Tucker said... Reply to comment

Congratulations on your little joy! I, like many others, like the dry erase sleeves :)

teachmegrace said... Reply to comment

Congratulations and God's blessings on your family!! He is faithful and so good to us. I would love to get some dry erase sleeves. Also some foam shapes. Thanks

Ashley Karlsson said... Reply to comment

The magnetic sentence strips would be at the top of my list! The dry erase sleeves and dice set look fantastic as well!

Olivia King said... Reply to comment

I would love the dr seuss number posters from oriental trading. My room is all dr seuss!!

Kathy Nelson said... Reply to comment

I would love the Alphabet Stampers...we had such a problem last year keeping our fingers out of the stamp pads that I am very hesitant to bring them out this year. I have been looking for stamps like these and didn't think about Oriental!

haileysmeme said... Reply to comment

Thanks for the chance to win such a wonderful gift. Your baby is adorable! God knew that he would be a wonderful addition to your sweet family.

Dawn Bright said... Reply to comment

Aww, what a sweetie your baby is, and what a touching story. Thanks for sharing! If I won, I'd definitely take a look at the dry erase paddles or sleeves. :)

Stems of Happiness said... Reply to comment

I would put the gift card towards the 250 pc. Mega Pencil Assortment! Always useful for classroom pencils, birthday gifts, prize boxes, etc.

Kristie Buckland said... Reply to comment

Thank you for sharing your sweet baby story! I too am starting again at 40 and am freaking out about a new baby! I hope my experience is as wonderful as yours!

Sue said... Reply to comment

I love the title of this blog!!! I have 15 boys and 6 girls this year. Aye aye aye.

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