Monday, July 27, 2015


I have no idea why I have been feeling so down in the dumps lately, but it's terrible.
I put on a front for everyone....but inside I'm a complete mess.

I worry about everything and anything...even stupid things that I shouldn't be worried about.
I have absolutely no desire to do anything that I used to love to do...things that brought me pleasure and joy...they seem like such a chore now.  They don't feel fun, they feel like an obligation that I have to perform.  Things like sewing, baking, cooking, reading, crafting, blogging, hiking....they all feel like obligations that must be done.  What the hell is wrong with me?

I already take medication for depression, anxiety, and for adhd.  Maybe I need an upgrade?
I think part of me is depressed seeing all the fun and wonderful things everyone is doing this summer and I feel miserable, because we can't afford to do those things.  Looking at picture after picture of sunny skies, beaches, fabulous trips to Europe and other countries, cruises, and the like is depressing me....should I just stay away from social media? Would that make a difference or make things worse?  I'm so attached and used to using social media as an outlet, sort of like a "getting out of my head" type of thing.  I don't have to think when I'm just browsing around the websites.  The need to get out of my own head has made me want to read more fiction type books.  I have tons of non fiction, self-help type books, educational reading, religious books to read...but they almost feel like a chore to me.  I ended up grabbing some stupid mystery type books from the library to help take my mind off of things.  It has helped some.  But not much, since I still have twings of guilt from all the things that I should be doing instead of reading mindless words.

Another thing that is bothering me a lot lately is school....what are my plans when I'm done?
Yes, I know the goal is to teach and get a job, but what if that's not enough? I know that I feel happier when I'm in a classroom with little ones....but sometimes that's not even enough.  I don't want to just have a "services" degree...I want to teach.  And to teach I need to be certified.  And to be certified I need to get into the program.  And to get into the program I need to pass the exams.  And passing or failing the exams is one of my worries.  If I pass - great, fantastic....but I still have many classes to take until I graduate and can teach.  If I fail....which is what I'm really afraid of, then do I keep trying to pass or just accept that it's not meant to be? Part of the reason the test is freaking me out is that I have heard they are difficult to take and people have failed them multiple times...what if I'm one of those people? Another thing that freaks me out is the cost of the test....if I fail I have to take them again and they cost a lot of that my family doesn't necessarily have to waste.  And the math....don't even get me started on the math.  Why oh why does math freak me out so....

Part of me knows damn well that I AM smart enough to take the tests and do well...I mean after all I get really great grades in my classes...I've made the Dean's List time and time again...I was even honored with the Presidential Award recently for having great grades.  But the math thing still freaks me out.  So much so that *ahem* confession time, I have yet to take the math placement test to determine what math courses I need to take...and therefore, have not taken a single math course and I have been in school for over three years now.  Most people took them in the freshmen year and don't have to think about it anymore....but me....I've been torturing myself by not taking them or the test since I started school.  I won't graduate if I don't take at least two math classes.  And yet, I continue to put it off....for fear I will fail.  People tell me "just take the test, it's no big deal."  That's easy for them to say when they just graduated high school and math is still fresh in their heads or math isn't so scary for them because they haven't been torturing themselves for years thinking they weren't any good at it.  I know I need to take them...and for all I know it might not be so bad....but the hard part is getting past the fear and walking through that door.

Which leads me to the worst thing.....I have been so stressed and worried about all the stupid stuff that is going on in my brain that I've gained weight and my clothes don't fit right anymore....and this just makes me feel like a big fat failure or phony.  I feel like a hypocrite or something - promoting health and exercise and not being able to lose weight.  I almost feel like an idiot for being in a national magazine for losing weight and having gained it back.  Kind of like those folks that go on the Biggest Loser and gain weight back.  You know people are judging them for it.  My body is revolting.  I went back on Nutrisystem thinking that would help, but it didn't....I walked almost daily, but that didn't help.....I went to the gym and worked out, but that didn't help...nothing seems to be helping.  I ate less and moved more....and ate more and lifted more.  I drank water until I thought my insides would drown. And I feel like it just keeps getting worse.  And with each pound I gain, the harder I find it is to breathe.  Which if you have asthma you would totally understand that the harder it is to breathe - the harder it is to exercise.  It's a catch 22.

I thought maybe if I expressed myself in writing that that would help to some degree...maybe instead of acting like I'm miss merry sunshine and just be real, it would help.  And since I'm sharing my inner most thoughts, I might as well share a few pics too - along with my weight stats (in the hope that something happens and I start losing weight again).

Starting weight:

168 (7-27)

how freaking


but real

and raw.

I told myself the purpose of posting this is to share - so many people are depressed and they go about it on their own....they think they don't need medicine or that if only "whatever" happens they will feel better....but I'm here to say that depression is real.

sometimes you just need to put it all out there for people to understand and appreciate what those of us with depression struggle with.  The feelings and emotions are real....they aren't just made up thoughts in our heads.  there are millions of people who go through depression and never seek help.  If you are one of them, please seek a professional's help.  One of the best gifts I have ever given to myself was seeing a therapist and a doctor.  the medicine does help (could you imagine what I would be going through, if I didn't take anything???).  I'm just thinking that if I share my feelings and pictures then maybe I can take a step in the process of healing.

I don't want to keep gaining weight.  I don't want to be afraid that I will make my asthma worse or get diabetes from being overweight.  I don't want to feel like a failure in math or other things.

I will not let fear steal anything more from me.

I'm on my way to a better, healthier, new and improved me.

I won't give up, not without a fight.

Please feel free to follow along on my journey ... I'm sure it will be a long one, but a much more pleasant one with a few friends cheering me on my way.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

how cute are these little critters.....

I made these little critters thinking they would be a great
teacher tool for preschoolers.

Kids will have fun matching the different patterns together.
They can also use them for sorting, grouping, and forming patterns.

All you need to make these little guys is:
clear garden stones (you can buy them at the dollar store)
several different sheets of scrapbook paper
mod podge
google eyes

First, trace the stone onto the paper and cut the circle out.

Next, using mod podge glue the paper to the stone.
You want the pattern of the paper to go on the flat side of the stone,
so that when you turn it over you will see the paper.

To make it easier, I actually mod podged the stones to the paper
and then cut them out, skipping the tracing step.

Once the mod podge dries, brush a small amount over the paper
and around the stone to seal the paper to the stone.

If you like, you can leave them so

Or you could add some fun google eyes to this

A few people even suggested gluing magnet to the backs
to hang on the fridge.

But you could also use the magnet and still sort, match, and make patterns in school as well
by making a magnet board.

Some ideas are to spray paint an old cookie tray a fun color for an instant magnet board
or use a metal lunch box (like the kind they sell at Five Below), then you can store
the magnet and use the metal on the box to play.  This would be a really great idea
for road trips (as long as children are old enough to not need supervised with small objects).

They were so easy to make (although a bit time consuming, waiting for the glue to dry).

I love them and kids will too.

I think I'm going to make some more....very, very soon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

the day the crayons quit

the day the crayons quit by drew daywalt is one of my recent favorite children's book.

the book is taken from the crayons' perspective and is quite clever and cute.
the book is about a young boy named duncan, who goes to school one day expecting to use his crayons.  what he finds inside his crayon box is a bunch of letters from the crayons.
one by one duncan reads the letters from his crayons only to find out that they have all quit.
the crayons no longer want to work or color for duncan.  in each letter they all explain the various reasons why they don't want to work anymore.

"hey duncan, it's me, red crayon.  we need to talk.  
you make me work harder than any of your other
crayons.  all year long i wear myself out coloring
fire engines, apples, strawberries, and everything
else that's red.  i even work on holidays........."

"dear duncan, it has been great being your favorite
color this past year.  and the year before.  and the
year before that! i have really enjoyed all those
oceans, lakes, rivers, raindrops, rain clouds,and
clear skies.  but the bad news is......."

"duncan, okay listen here, kid! you have not used
me once in the past year.  it's because you think i
am a girls' color, isn't it? speaking of which, please
tell your little sister i said thank you for using me
to color in her 'little princess' coloring book.........."

in the end, duncan comes up with a clever plan to get his crayons to start coloring again.
and gets an a+ from his teacher for his creativity.

seriously, you have to get this book...your kids will love it.

i read this to a group of first grade students a few months ago 
and did a few activities with them as well.
the students loved the book.  i wanted to work on reading comprehension.
so one of the activities that i chose to do with the students was print out little bits of each crayon's letter and tape them to a craft stick.

i purposely did not color the crayons to make the game more fun.
i read the cards out loud to the students and had them guess which crayon wrote the letter.
i found this activity and many other fun ones on teachers pay teachers.

to help the students make a personal connection to the story, i had them each write down
what their favorite crayon color was and how they used it the most.

some of their answers were:
"red for harts"
"pink for artwork"
"blue for the sky"

i also had them get out their crayon boxes and draw a picture
using all the crayons in their boxes.

(i chose to do this activity because in the end duncan uses all of his crayons in a fun, creative way).

here some of the results.....

it was fun watching the kids try to be creative and use all the crayons in their crayon boxes.
a perfect way for the students to connect to the story.