Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Reading


Summer reading, had me a blast..
summer reading.. happens so fast
I met a book, I couldn't put down!!
All these books, don't give me a frown!

If you know what song that was too, then you're my best friend. My summer consists of two types of reading. Professional and Fun. Here's what is on my list for this summer.


Mathematical Mindset. If you have never read Carole Dweck's Growth Mindset... it will change your life. Seriously, there's even a section about relationships. But, mathematical mindset is all about how to apply a growth mindset to a math classroom. In the world of math, we fight the stereotype of "I'm not good at math" all year long. I am so interested to hear Jo Boaler's reasoning on how we can combat that with a growth mindset. If you're a math teacher, you need to read this. 

Rethinking Grading. I attempted to read this book earlier in the year, but mainly ended up skimming through it. I want to re-read this book and highlight and dig into it! I am still obsessed with all of my standards based grading, and I am happy to know that the secondary principals are reading this book this summer! 


The Pemberley Chronicles. A woman after my own heart. She was so sad Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were finished, that she wrote a book about their life after Pride and Prejudice!!! I cannot wait to get started on this one!! I can say with absolute certainty that my English accent will improve after reading this book! 

Continuing with my World War II fascination, my mom says Orphan Train is a must read. How many children were orphaned from concentration camps? I don't even want to know the number. 

What else should I add to my list? 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Room 703

In room 703, I came in as a 21 year old graduate of Baylor University. My only care was teaching math. It was my primary focus in life. I wanted to be the very best I could be.

In room 703, I have taught 611 students. I have taught 16 7th grade GT classes,  2 7th grade Pre AP classes, 6 7th grade classes, 1 7th grade remedial class and 1 8th grade class.

In room 703, I have cried. The first time was when I found out my GT students were taking the 8th grade test 3 weeks before the testing date, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Since then, I’ve cried for students, about students, and out of pure frustration!

In room 703, I have changed the arrangement of my desks every year. I have added Rangers playoff signs from 2010 and 2011. I have added a Baylor football poster from 2014 and I have added a hand that says “Love, Rusty”. I’ve changed my rules to only two expectations, and created a mindset board to instill a growth mindset in my students.

In room 703, they have called me Coach for 5 years. I’ve talked volleyball, basketball, World Cup, softball, and a whole lot of football. I’ve coached 5 A volleyball teams, 5 B basketball teams, and 5 C basketball teams. My sprint teams, open sprints, and jumpers currently hold 6 records at the school. We roughly have 115 girls in 7th grade athletics each year, and 70 in 8th grade athletics. That’s a lot of girls’ lives that I pray I have made an impact on at some point.

In room 703, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He went through surgeries, radiation, and I also received a phone call saying he was cured. I had a broken nose in 703… and a broken finger.. and this year a broken toe.

I learned life lessons in 703… like not everyone is a team player, people make dumb decisions, and to stand up for myself and my beliefs.

In room 703, I dated many boys… most were only referenced to by nicknames, and most lasted a solid 3 weeks. Until, this one came along, and I knew he was different.  In room 703, I fell in love. I lived for the passing periods so I could text him back, and I procrastinated with all of my grading to go on dates with him. I stayed up way past my 9 pm bed time to spend more time with him. And it all paid off in the end, because in room 703 I became engaged. Then, I planned a wedding…. My conference time became research time, and my inclusion teacher became my sound board for ideas. In room 703, my last name changed. I became a Mrs. instead of a Ms.

Room 703 will always be an instrumental part of my life.

But now, it’s time to make new memories in A314. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What to Eat Wednesday: Steak Arugula Salad

Today, I am bringing you a recipe from one of my go to people. Back before Pinterest was a thing, I would go to her website and print recipes off! They are some of my favorites... and she does most things "skinny"! So, they're healthy! I am so glad she's jumped on the gluten free train.. in most of her recipes she will tell you how to make it gluten free, or they already are! I will share her with you, but you have to promise to keep coming back to me too.

This recipe is fantastic, because you don't even recognize it's a "salad." So there's a little lettuce involved... it's fine because there are so many other flavors, it is divine. You have steak, onion in balsamic vinegar, and pasta.... with some salad. 

I did not change her recipe at all. I followed it down to the exact minute on the steaks. Sidenote: this was my first time to cook a steak.... Duck Dude always does it, duh! But I followed her instructions and it was delicious! 

Monday, May 23, 2016


Today, we are in Gladewater, Texas celebrating the life of Travis' Grandran. 

I am sincerely happy that Grandran was able to be at our wedding a year ago. 

Grandran and Grandmother even got out and cut a rug on the dance floor!!

I can tell you that this man had a personality that was infectious! We all sat at dinner on Saturday night and they were all going through his sayings:
"What are you up to?" 
"About 5"7..."
Although we did debate if that number decreased as he got older. :)

"What's one of these? (as he did something with his hand)..... "An upside down one of these!" (he'd flip his hand the other way and do the same thing! Ha! 

He is a World War II veteran who served our country in the US Navy. He has told Travis stories of sitting on the back of the ship and shooting fly fish with pistols. Travis' dad was able to take Grandran on the Honor Flight in 2012. If you aren't familiar with Honor Flight, they take World War II veterans to Washington DC so they can visit and reflect at the memorials. It was a very special time for both of them. 

They will be folding the flag and presenting it to Grandmother. It is such an honorable moment, and I know it will mean the world to Grandmother. 

I'm looking forward to having a conversation with Grandmother about the hymn "Beulah Land." Travis' dad told me it was on their list of songs they wanted to sing. My family has been singing that song for as long as I can remember and we sang it at my grandfather's funeral. I sang it in my head all day yesterday. It comforts me and reminds me that this is not our home, and now, Grandran is in his eternal home. 

I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won't matter anymore

Beulah Land, I'm longing for you
And some day on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land - Sweet Beulah Land

Friday, May 20, 2016

STEM in Denver

Y'all. This never happens in teaching. I get to go to Denver this summer for a STEM conference!!! How awesome?! My hotel reservations were just emailed to me and I feel so official and a tiny bit fancy. 

It's not until the end of July (which means baby Cambrie will be here!!!), but I am already so excited! I looked up the entire schedule already. We get there on Wednesday and get checked in. The first thing is a student panel on "the power of STEM education." How cool. Student voice is one thing I have been studying this year!! A student panel is right up that student voice alley. I am in love already.

Here's Thursday's schedule:

The keynote speaker is described as Australian - Canadian... the only thing I get from that is he better have an accent. If he's got an accent, I will listen to him a lot longer than an hour! :) If he's lucky... he will get to meet me and here my own accent. I've been told I'm good. 

So, if you need me July 27-29th... I'll be in Denver. 

Also, large side note. This is the last Friday with kids. Hallelujah. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What to Eat Wednesday: Dessert Edition

For the first time, I am bringing you a dessert! We had this discussion at a shower yesterday: A good cook vs a good baker. I love to cook. I am not a baker. When baking, you have to follow the recipe...... I prefer to throw a dash of this and a dash of that. I rarely bring a measuring cup out and I definitely never use a teaspoon or tablespoon measurement. A pour vs a little longer pour. I don't bake. 

However, for Sister Laura Pocket's shower, I said I would bring some type of strawberry something dessert. Hmph. My mind immediately went to this dessert my mom made growing up. Our Sunday lunches consisted of a full meal... including dessert. I loved this dessert and I knew I could make it for the shower! I got the recipe from my mom and gave myself plenty of time on Saturday to make it in case it did not turn out correctly. 

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert. Any dessert with cool whip is most likely on my favorites list. This recipe calls for 8 oz... I bought 16... because I knew I'd eat half of it while baking. :) Just another reason I should not bake... I don't snack on the raw onions I'm cooking with! I love it also because it uses an entire pound of strawberries!!! Yum!! It's the perfect summer dessert because it's served chilled and it is also the most perfect blend of salty and sweet there could ever be! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What to Eat Wednesday: Cheesesteak Zucchini Boats

Here's the best part of being married: 

Me: "Oh, tonight I am making a new recipe!" 
Duck Dude: "Cool! What is it?"
Me: "Philly Cheesesteak..."
Duck Dude: "Oh my gosh!! I love philly cheesesteak sandwiches!!!!! Yum!!!!!"
Me: "uhhh.. Philly Cheesesteak Zucchini Boats!!!!!"
Duck Dude: "Hmm... that's different."
Me: "Yeah! Minus the bread... add some vegetables!"
Duck Dude: "Can't wait to try it." 

So, when you tell your significant other you're making these maybe you should begin with zucchini! Either way, I promise they will not be disappointed! These are good. 

I don't cook with roast beef... um, ever? So it was a really fun change of flavor profile for me! I accidently broke a zucchini in half... (I did arm workouts one day and I am just snapping zucchini in half!)... and I ate that one straight out of the oven. It was so good without any of the cheesesteak stuff! This ended up working a lot quicker than I thought. It was very easy to get the saucepan finished while the zucchinis were cooking. Most 30 minute recipes take me an hour? This really did take me 30 minutes!

And, of course, it is definitely Duck Dude approved..... even with zucchini. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Showing Love

This post is going to be all about a dish towel. 

I'm half-serious. I found this dish towel when I was out shopping with bridesmaid Kristen. We were at Anthropologie and having a grand 'ol time. I have my own little obsession with dish towels, but that's another post for another time. This one caught my eye and I just had to have it. Look at it!! It's beautiful!

Since then, it's been hanging on my oven (except for the 5 minutes it was hanging on the fence for this picture). It has served as an excellent reminder of my purpose this school year: to show love. 

More than any other school year in the past, I have not felt like an educator. While I, of course, taught my students how to find the volume of a triangular prism and that a negative fraction times a negative number is a positive, I feel that this year was more about showing my kids love. I spent time investing in the ones who needed it most. I wrote hand written cards to give to a couple who I felt just needed to hear that I... that someone.. believed in them. 

After going to Game Changers in Feb of 2013, I have made it a habit to tell my kids every Friday that I love them. I really do not know if that is the only time they hear it. This year, I feel it has mattered more than ever. I do not know if they recognize all of the effort I have poured into them, but I am hoping one day that they can look back and know that I cared. I want them to know that I want the best for them, and I want them to know I loved them. 

I want to do my best to show them I love them through my actions.. by having patience when they have zero, by having empathy when they have none, and by being kind when they are so often not. 

So, while this dish towel is really, really stinkin' pretty... it is also a daily reminder to show my kids love when it is the hardest. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Aunt x2

That is right! TWO baby posts in a ROW... because my life is changing. Not only am I going to be an aunt to a for sure baby girl in July/end of June.... I am going to be an aunt AGAIN!!!! 

I've been keeping another secret!!! My red head is pregnant!!!!! 

So, back when the red head got engaged.. the blonde and I were a little excited. We photobombed their announcement because we just had to be involved. This pregnancy announcement is no different... but the red head is in North Carolina. Thanks to the interwebs... Caroline and I were still able to able to photobomb through facebook. Here's our original photobomb with the pregnancy one right after!!

I am DYING to know if she's having a girl or boy. If it's a GIRL it will be SO much fun!!! Two nieces?! I can buy them matching bibs, shoes, bows, etc!! If it's a BOY, I will have one of both!!! It's the best of both worlds!! A niece and a nephew!!! The red head will be in Texas from July 1 - 10 and she is going to do a gender reveal party then! It's sooooooo far away.. and I am going to be an impatient monster until then. 

Here's the biggest question: WHO is going to have the RED HEAD?!!?

Fun fact: Duck Dude's dad was a red head! Crazy, right? I asked Shop Mama for a picture, but to be fair, I only gave her 1 days notice.. she said, "We did not have digital in those days." So Laura could definitely have a recessive red head gene. Then she married Naked Nick...  he has some red in his hair..and definitely in his beard! See? 

Then, Hannah is obviously a red head.. most people don't even know her as Hannah, they know her as the red head. And my grandfather, D-Daddy, had red hair like Hannah! So, between the two babies... at least one of them has to have red hair, right?! Maybe both?! 

Bring on the babies... and bring on the red heads... because Aunt Mollie is here!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Baby Cam's Shower

Who is a baby shower technically showering? I've sat here for 5 minutes trying to decide if the title should be "Laura's Baby Shower" or "Cam's Shower".... is it both? Technically they are one person right now... so Laura and Cam's Shower? All I know is I'm thankful they didn't ask me to write the list of gifts... uhh baby thing. I don't know what that's used for. Cute clothes. Snot sucker outer - ew gross. More clothes. What is that? 

Even though I am not a pro at the baby stuff.... I had a marvelous time at the shower! It was beautiful, my sister Laura looked beautiful, and baby Cambrie received more fantastic things than I know what to do with! 

There is one thing I know, the sign in the middle of that table is SO true. She is so loved, already.  

I made a dessert for the first time, and it was not a disaster! Pretty good for this not so dessert person. My mom did tell me I didn't crush the pretzels on the bottom enough, so i'll change that for next time!

My friend, Sal Pal, showed me the coolest thing ever when I was over at her house. It's a baby Keurig. No, it doesn't make coffee... it makes formula!! And she swears at 2 am it is the best thing in the world. So, Duck Dude and I chose to get that for Sister Laura and Naked Nick. I so hope it comes in handy!! 

My mom was there and gave Laura the cutest little burp cloth that said "Little Firecracker Cambrie." She definitely got a large amount of monogrammed items... which only proves we definitely live in Texas and everything is cuter when it says "Cambrie" on it!!! 

I loved the shower and I love my family. 55 days to go. (It's really 60... but Sister Laura is thinking she's gonna come early.. so 55 it is!) What momma wants, momma gets.. or at least that's how I am imagining it!!! :)