Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#SOL15 Day 24 :: March 24, 2015 :: The One with 100 Club

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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100 Club

I've been a little MIA from SOL from a few days. I started Spring Break and just kind of fell of the face of the Earth. It's been a good thing because I've been able to have some quality family time and even though it kind of bothers me that I can't say that I wrote for EVERY single day of March, I think I needed to unplug completely and now I feel ready to finish the rest of the month.

Friday, March 20, 2015

#SOL15 Day 20 :: March 20, 2015 :: The One with TGIF

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Thank God it's Friday. 

Thank God that Spring Break is finally here!

Thank God for my McMillin family that I get to work with each day.

Thank God for my students who challenge me each day, in both good and bad ways.

Thank God for my husband who puts up with his stressed out wife and sees her at her ugliest moments, but loves her nonetheless.

Thank God for my baby girls who give the best cuddles and snuggles that brighten my day.

Thank God for caffeine to pick me up when I have no more energy.

Thank God for Pure Barre to help me de-stress when the day's burdens weigh me down.

Thank God for my Bible Study family who provide fellowship, prayer, and friendship on a weekly basis.

Thank God for longer days, which means more time to play in the backyard and evening walks.

Thank God for my work wifey who always knows when I need a hug.

Thank God for time to replenish my spirit, spend time with family, work on projects, finish some books, and rejuvenate my soul.

Thank God it's Friday.


Thank you God, for everything.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#SOL15 Day 19 :: March 19, 2015 :: The One with Color Wheels

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Color Wheels

"This is so much fun!"

"Mrs. Ko, you should be an art teacher. You're so good at art."

"Look at my colors! I really like my red-violet color."

We are finally winding down from the quarter and we are now officially just one day away from Spring Break. The weeks leading up to break always feel like three times longer and I am just happy that the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine brightly now.

We decided to do some artwork with our kids, using what we learned from the art training over the weekend, to wrap up our almost year-long read-aloud on the book Wonder

Just like many teachers, art is definitely become something that we do less and less of in the classroom. Unfortunately, with so many things to do, it's pretty much nonexistent in our day to day schedule. Whenever, I get the chance to do art with my students, I am always pleasantly reminded of how much they just LOVE it. They are so quiet and alert. (I wish they were like that for all of my lessons!) 

I mentioned to them that we would be doing an art activity in the morning and they tried so hard to be super well-behaved throughout the morning, so that we could hurry up and finish our "must-do's" to get to our FUN! I had so many kids stay in from recess to help set up materials and clean up after-school. I felt a little bad that we haven't given our students many of these opportunities to just sit back and enjoy art. I

We mixed colors today and tomorrow, we will be working on our self-portraits. I can't wait to see how they turn out. 

It was so much fun to let loose and have FUN with my kids today. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

#SOL15 Day 18 :: March 18, 2015 :: The One with Wings and Things

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Wings and Things

Whoever says that beer and wings are just for boys is so wrong.

I just came back from a great night with my girls and we had so much fun. It was much-needed and I'm so glad we made time for it.

One of the best things about our bible study group is that we've become a family away from home. It is really hard to raise kids without family around and I'm so thankful that we have our bible study family to be around and help us raise our girls.

Every quarter or so, we do a men's night and a women's night. This time we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. We ate, watched some March Madness, talked about motherhood, shared about how hard military life is... True fellowship.

I am so thankful for these women.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#SOL15 Day 17 :: March 17, 2015 :: The One Where I Kiss Adam Levine

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Kissing Adam Levine

I usually have really bad dreams. Like the awful, wake up crying kind of dreams that take awhile for me to snap out of. They usually involve me running away from something, being chased by someone, or trying to figure out where my husband is.

Very rarely do I ever have a dream where something pleasant happens. I actually don't remember the last time I had a pleasant dream. 

So last night/this morning, I had a dream that someone told me where Maroon 5 was practicing, so I decided to go. I thought a lot of people were going to be there, but no one showed up.  It ended up being me and a few of my friends hanging out with the band at this random beach house in Orange County.

Not sure what happened in between, but apparently one thing led to another and I ended up kissing Adam Levine! 

Talk about dream come true! I've had a crush on him for so long now, ever since Songs About Jane came out way back in college. 

I don't remember what happened afterwards, but then I found out later that he also made out with one of my closest friends. Apparently, Adam gave them something for their car as a gift. Surprisingly, I wasn't upset about it. 

When I woke up, I was so shocked that I actually had a happy dream that I was super eager to share with my husband (who is very much aware of my crush on Adam Levine). 

"Honey! I dreamt I kissed Adam Levine!" 

"Oh yeah? What happened?"

"I don't know, but we made out. Then I found out that he also made out with (my friend) and he gave them a rooftop storage thing for their car as a gift." 

"Well, you should have asked him for a minivan!" 
(We've had minivan "fever" for about a year now. Sexy, right?) 

On a side note, I want to make it clear that I love my husband, Adam Ko. He's truly the best Adam of them all. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

#SOL15 Day 16 :: March 16, 2015 :: The One with Prayers

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Our faith in God is one of the cornerstones of our family. Raising our children to know and love God is something we strive to do as parents. 

One of the things that we've been doing since they were babies is praying with them on a regular basis.

We just started a few months ago to do a nightly Bible study/prayer time before bed on a regular basis together. Each person gets to pray and it's been so sweet to hear their prayers. So young, pure, but sincere. 

Audrey's prayer
(my younger daughter)

Hai. (Hello)
Geez-sus (Jesus)
Tay-too (Thank you)
MMmmennn. (Amen)

Lily's prayer
(my older daughter)

Dear Lord,
Thank you for this great day.
Thank you for seatwork and that we have no school on Saturday and Sunday.
Thank you for Audrey.
Thank you for breakfasts, lunch, and dinner... and for dessert, if we finish our dinner.
Thank you for Mommy and Daddy.
Thank you for this beautiful day.
In Jesus' name

Thank you for our beautiful girls, Lord. We praise you for blessing us with them. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

#SOL15 Day 15 :: March 15, 2015 :: The One with Mornings with Mommy

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Mornings with Mommy

I am not a morning person. 

I am not even good at faking it, being a morning person.

I am grouchy. Pouty. Whiny. It's not pretty. 

I am a night owl, through and through. I get tired around 4-7pm, but I often find myself getting a second wind around 9pm. When I didn't have kids, I'd happily get my own stuff done in the quiet hours of the night. 

But now I have two kids. Two kids that always wake up early. One is a natural early-bird, who wakes up BEFORE the sun rises. She's always been that way. It's definitely how she's wired. The little one doesn't always wake up super early, but I think she's been trained to because of her sister. 

On a good weekend, my husband and I usually take turns on who gets to sleep in. Just like I LOVE being a night owl, I LOVE sleeping in. I think my natural biorhythms is actually to wake up around 8-9am. I secretly look forward to my morning of sleeping in all week long. 

When it's my turn to wake up, I try to make a point to not just turn on the TV or hand over the iPads to the girls. NOTE: I am definitely not perfect and it is often easier to flip a switch and turn the TV on to PBS or Disney Junior. Technology can be an easy babysitter. Sometimes, too easy. 

This past Saturday, I got some quiet time with my youngest, Audrey. I made a point to not turn on the TV and my oldest actually slept in for once. I think the week had caught up to her too. 

Audrey and I sat and read many books. We cuddled up and spent about an hour together alone. We stacked the blocks and played with the puzzles. On other days, I will craft and she will color in her coloring books. It was perfect "Mommy and me" time. 

There's something peaceful about being with just one of your kids alone. For whatever reason, they are just calmer and not focused on competing with the other for attention or something. It's definitely a different energy. 

So, even though I am not a morning person, I have to admit that I do enjoy my mornings with my babies. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

#SOL15 Day 14 :: March 14, 2014 :: The One about Color

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For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to color. 

When I was a kid, if I wasn't reading, I was probably doing some kind of art project. You'd find me making a pop-up book that I learned how to do from a book that I had checked out from the library. Or you'd find me adding notes into my various notebooks about ideas I wanted to remember and drawings I wanted to keep. Often times, you'd find me filling up coloring books. 

I participated in day 2 of an Art Training today put on by my school district and the California Arts Project. I'm kind of a "professional development junkie" because it fuels my love of learning. Plus, I don't think my district has ever offered training in art, so this was perfect for me. I am excited about finding ways to integrate art more into my instruction because I know that they don't get it enough and when they do, they just LOVE it. 

Today, we got to paint and explore color. I don't remember the last time I painted anything. It was so soothing to my soul. I think I realize that whenever I do find time to use my creative juices, I feel more whole, more complete, more like the person I was meant to be.

Here's to remembering to carve out creative time for myself. Spring break, I have so many plans for you! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

#SOL15 Day 13 :: March 13, 2015 :: The One with Scholastic Book Orders

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Book Orders

I have a confession. 

I think one of the reasons I became a teacher is because I wanted to pass out book orders to my kids. (And have access to all the book orders all.the.time as a teacher.) 

When I was a kid, my parents did not have a lot of money. We didn't have tons of toys, but my mom would buy me books. It didn't happen all the time, but whenever I would get a book order from school, I'd circle the ones that I wanted and then beg, and plead, with my mom to get them for me. Usually she'd get me one or two. Other times, I'd go searching in the couch for the loose change to scrounge together or try to do extra chores to earn allowance from my grandparents to buy a book. Having a new book, growing up, was a luxury for me and I cherished them. I used to reread books all the time in my little collection. (It's probably why I am a big re-reader now as an adult.)

Now as an adult, I have collected tons of books over the years. It's an illness, really. My poor husband is surrounded in almost every single room in our house by my books, and now our kids' books. Being able to own books still delights the little girl inside my heart. Plus, according a study that I read, the number of books in your house apparently positively correlates to your children's success in school. I like to remind my husband every time he finds new books in our house that each book is just making our kids smarter. *wink*

One of my biggest pleasures as a teacher is sharing my love of reading with my kids and Scholastic Reading Club is so perfect for that. I have given out about $500 worth of books each year in coupons to my students for the last three years and I have paid almost nothing out of pocket to do it. Bonus Points, ROCK! Plus, I like to think that I have a knack for "selling" books to my kids. Just call me, Mrs. Book Pusher. 

I find pride that my Book Box is almost always the biggest one and I think I still get excited whenever they arrive. It's like I get to relive my childhood over and over again each month as a teacher. Thank you, Scholastic Reading Club. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

#SOL15 Day 12 :: March 12, 2015 :: The One Where I Leave it at the Barre

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Leave it at the Barre

To say that it's been a stressful week would probably be an understatement. I've worked myself to the bone for about a week and a half now... and I'm tired. 

Working through my lunches. Staying up late to finishing grading. Carrying around never-ending to-do lists that seem to grow faster than they get checked out. From the moment I've opened my eyes, it's been nonstop until my head hits the pillow. I don't even remember the last thing I watched on TV because it's been THAT long since I've even had time to do anything not work-related, or kid-related for myself. 

It's definitely the madness that engulfs March each year. March Madness, indeed.

On a more positive note, I am thankful that my husband watches the girls on his own about 2-3 times a week so that I can get away and go work out at Pure Barre.

I love Pure Barre (especially my home studio, Pure Barre Eastlake). I work my whole body from top to bottom in an hour long workout. My body is being sculpted in ways I never thought possible. For the first time in my life, I am able to do a full push-up. It's not pretty, but it's also not on my knees either. Holding a 90 second plank is becoming easier and easier each time. I find myself pushing myself physically and mentally in ways that I've never thought I was strong enough for. I love the people at my studio. They are always encouraging and it's nice to know that we are all one big family helping each other live happier and healthier lives. 

So this week, the stress and burdens I've been carrying on my shoulders feel a little lighter after tonight's class. It's definitely heavier than usual, but here's to leaving it at the barre. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

#SOL15 Day 11 :: March 11, 2015 :: The One with the Open Love Letter to my Work Wifey

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
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An Open Love Letter to My Work Wifey

Dear Work Wifey, 
I am so thankful for you. 

I just wanted you to know that I am so glad that you're around to talk me down from the "cliff" and keep me sane whenever I just want to throw a huge pity party. You listen to me gripe each day, about the same things most of the time, and still find ways to encourage me to be better and to be more positive. When stupid things make me cry and I feel like everything is falling apart, you're there to help pick up the pieces. When I doubt myself, you remind me of my self-worth. You're there to give me a hug when I need one. A true blue friend. 

I love that our students are so close and that both of our classes are just one big ol' family because you and I get along so well. It is so much fun to share kids with you because they get the more-relaxed (aka young and fun) teacher in you, and the more-serious (aka party-pooper) teacher in me. It's a nice balance. Plus, I think they know us so well at this point of the year that when we get all goofy and dorky, they can't help but roll their eyes and laugh with (or at?) us. Haha! 

Speaking of, thank you for inspiring me and pushing me to be a better teacher. I love that our perfectionism and quest to learn more and more just rubs off on each other. That we are on our journey of becoming the best teacher we can be, together. Plus, it's nice to have a familiar face (and someone to pass notes with) at the professional development trainings. The best part is that it never feels like a competition between us. We are each other's biggest fans because it's true when they say that a rising tide lifts all boats. I appreciate that we don't feel threatened by each other's success and get into all that "girl drama" with each other. 

I love that we share a love of teaching, reading, crafts, Pure Barre, blogging... and many other things. Plus, who else would I want to text with all night? It's a good thing we have unlimited texts. *wink* 

It warms my heart when Lily is spelling names that start with J, she lists her friends and adds "Auntie Jenny" to her list. Whenever she hears your name, she asks if you're coming over to play. It's like you're a part of our family. 

You're the JT to my Jimmy Fallon. You make me laugh with all the #thingsJennydoes. Thank you for your friendship. I hope you know how much you mean to me. 

My dear work wifey, I love you! Here's to finishing this quarter strong! 


P.S. I'm glad we're doing this SOL challenge together this month. :) 

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