Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'm pretty sure this is my first time on my computer this week.  Ever since I started this new teaching job, I have felt completely disconnected from the world! Luckily, I get email on my phone so I can still email if I ever find a moment of time in my day.  My students moved to my class on Monday, followed by graduate school in Conway on Monday night.  On Tuesday I saw my students for about an lab, lunch and recess, activity, assembly, and the kids left at 2:00 since parent/teacher conferences were that afternoon from 3 until 7....yes, parent/teacher conferences on my second day of class!  I didn't have any scheduled so I got a lot of work and organization done that was desperately needed. 

I am such a horrible blog updater because I haven't even taken pictures of my classroom yet!  My mother is getting very frustrated I do believe.  I told her I'd do it this morning and well, before I could get them taken the bell rang.  So, I'm going to try tomorrow morning.  The school has ordered me more stuff for my classroom so it's still a work in progress.  This week has been a "getting to know you" week, trying to get to know my students and what level they are all on.  Next week we will hopefully be on a more consistent routine :) 

Mom did come up on Saturday to bring me some "teacher" things she had bought last week.  I was pretty much freaking out about starting school with absolutely nothing and as usual, Cathy to the rescue!  We went to the school to drop off the goodies and she snapped this picture of me in my classroom, well before being finished. The past two days she's been browsing the internet for teaching tools and has spent the past two days printing and cutting sight word cards for my students...they should love her, I do!

My first day with students was pretty nervewracking, but I survived!  These pretty smell goods from the farmer probably helped boost my confidence a little :)  They make my messy desk (yes, hard to believe my desk is messy b/c I'm an organization freeeeeak!) look a little more cheerful. 

Oh, and the painters are starting at the house tomorrow!  Tomorrow they will be puttying, cleaning, etc. and getting the walls ready for paint and I will meet with them tomorrow afterschool to go over colors.  Ahh, I'm so anxious!  Can't wait to see what Ruskin Room Green, Superior Bronze, and Whole Wheat look like on the walls :)  The names just sound so yummy!

This weekend is the big Texas A&M/Arkansas football game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.  I'm praying for an Aggie win. Also praying for rain tomorrow and Friday so the farmer can use his ticket to the game instead of cutting rice.  And can't wait to see Kim and Em :)

Beat the Hell Outta Arkansas!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

freakin' pooped.

Stopping in for a very quick hello because I am exxxxxhausted....and the kids haven't even been moved to my class yet. Call me lazy, but before I started this job I slept in until the last most possible minute in order to get to the shop to open, so, getting up at 6:15 to leave at 7:20 has been rough! On top of that I had class last night in Conway and didn't get home until 10:30ish. Yesterday the principal took me on a tour of the school and introduced me to all the teachers and staff. I observed in a 2nd grade classroom for part of the day and sat with the Literacy Specialist the rest of the day to go over some things. Today I observed a 1st grade class this morning and the other 1st grade class this afternoon. I will go back to 1st grade tomorrow morning to observe in the class that I sat with this afternoon to get a feel of their morning routine. One of the first grade teachers is my mentor this year and I love her! She is great and so sweet.

About the classroom - well - it's a story in itself :) Hazen took in the students from DuValls Bluff so naturally they are running out of room. They did build a new building to house 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, which has helped. After they first got the students they converted the old elementary cafeteria into 4 makeshift classrooms. Those classrooms now contain 2 Special Education and Resource classrooms, an In School Suspension classroom, and yep, you got it, my classroom. It is a very makeshift room with one cinder block wall, one plywood wall, and two sheetrock walls. I did get to choose a color to have it painted, which was nice. It's somewhat amusing that I am in the old cafeteria because with the old cafeteria comes the fold out tables - and two of those tables are still in my classroom! There is a board put over them so they can't be folded down and they aren't as noticeable painted and for sure won't be when I get stuff on the walls. It's not the most perfect or ideal classroom, but I'm going to make it so cute and teacher/kid friendly you'll never know it's makeshift :)

The room got painted today and tomorrow the furniture I have so far will get moved in its place. The classroom is pretty much a blank slate so most things have been ordered like computer tables, desks, shelves, etc. I have a feeling I'll be spending this weekend at an educational store buying all sorts of things that I need - plus things for my wall for sure. And cheap, cute rugs...because the carpet isn't too pretty.

I do not know for sure which students I will have yet. We are still in the process of figuring that out, but I need to get my classroom in order before I even think of having students! Did I mention I'm exhausted? Oh yes.

I went by the house today afterschool and was so happy to see Matt's man room cedar wall done! One complete wall in his man room is cedar where he will hang all his lovely animal wall mounts. I didn't get a very good picture with my phone, but you get the drift. He's yet to see it...he's going to LOVE it!

My very quick update is now over. I smell chili ready for me to eat and am on a couch that wants me back on it soon. Even if I am doing homework. And maybe watching Dancing with the Stars :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

life is full of change

Happy Saturday morning :) Hope you like the new look...I love it! Thanks to The Design Girl for making me look cute.

Big news! This girl has a new job. I start Monday as a teacher at Hazen Elementary in Hazen, Arkansas, about 6 miles east of Carlisle. They called me on Monday as I was driving home from market, I interviewed Tuesday at 9 AM, and by 1:00 on Wednesday I had a job! Truly an answer to prayer. I've been so stressed with the whole job search. Some schools don't want to hire someone that has never taught before. I have a bachelor's degree and a semester away from having a master's and have passed all my certification tests - so it's been frustrating considering I can't graduate from graduate school until I have some teaching under my belt. Hazen is giving me the chance to get my teaching career started and I am really excited about the opportunity. I love the teachers that I have met so far and love the principal. I don't know a lot about the job, but do know I will be teaching 2nd and 3rd graders who may have learning disabilities and not learning at the speed of their peers. I may be teaching them Kindergarten and 1st grade concepts. I will have 12-14 students and will have an aide. I know the job may be challenging, but the end of the year will hopefully bring a sense of accomplishment. And I'm sure I'll bawl when they leave my class!

I've always known God had a plan - he would not let me start this graduate program if he didn't have a plan for me to teach and we wouldn't be building this new house without him providing a way for us to make the payments a little easier.

Speaking of the house, lots of progress this week! We have cabinets and the trim guy is there now working on all the shelves and trim work. Since these pictures we have the door fronts and drawer fronts on the cabinets. Trim should be done by Wednesday or Thursday and then the paint will go up!

the farmer standing in our new bathroom
one side of the kitchen
our desk area
other side of the kitchen, minus the refrigerator cabinet
backdoor hallway cabinet - our catchall :) (we found the cutest fabric in Dallas last weekend to make the cushion!)
annnnnd we have doors!
looking into the laundry room
Matt and I finished picking out our lighting on Wednesday as well as all the door hardware. Mom is here for the day today to help me do backsplash tile for the kitchen. So many decisions!!
If you are wondering, the shop will still be open. We will probably change our hours to only be open a few days a week. My mother-in-law is going to work the shop for now and my mom will come work when Janet needs some time off. I'll probably find myself there a lot after school and on Saturdays...I can't stay away from my little shop :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ohhh deer

Greetings fellow earthly beings. I had to do a journal writing last night in grad school where we acted like we were aliens - strange - but today I've been calling people "earthly beings". I'm weird.

Life has been crazy since my last post. Last week I got the sad news that my bestie, Allison, lost her father unexpectantly. My heart has been so heartbroken for her the past week. I have experienced death in my life, but none have them as been as tragic as losing a father. I was scheduled to go to market this weekend and was so torn between what to do. I ended up heading to Little Rock early on my way to market and spend some time with her and take the family some yummy food trays from Jason's Deli. The Craigs were crazy about those food trays! Friday afternoon we visited for about an hour and a half and I was sad to leave her, but knew she was in good hands with Megan and Katie who were coming in town on Saturday. Shug is a pretty strong person and I know she will get through this loss. We know he is in a better place and is at peace.

As I left Allison she summoned me to get a picture of Ashley, my sister-in-law, and her pregnant belly. You would think being a photographer I would already have pictures, but there hasn't been a good opportunity to get any and she is so tiny that she hasn't been showing long! On my way to Dallas I stopped for a little while at Amy's to drop off some things she bought from the shop and to visit and I was summoned again! So I knew I better get a picture! Mom and I didn't get in to Dallas until 11 PM Saturday night and by the time we got to Ashley's after market on Saturday she was already in sweats so we finally snapped a picture at a fabric store on Sunday...random I know! I needed some fabric for some cushions for the new house and Ash needed some for her new remodeled upstairs. She chose the blue and tan fabrics as her backdrop. This is Ash and my sweet nephew at 25 weeks :)

Earlier today Matt was up here at the shop to check out the pictures on his deer cameras he has in the woods - getting ready for hunting season already! He always gets excited when he sees a big buck on the camera and today this is what we found....he's a monster....and there is still some growing to take place before hunting season starts! Dad and Matt will be fighting over this one!

This deer was on another camera. He is one deformed deer...look at that right side! Do you think his head is heavy on the right side?

Never imagined I'd be looking at deer cameras and criticizing deer or much less getting excited over a big buck. What has happened to me! I guess Matt happened to me. He is OBSESSED!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

happy anniversary to me

September 8 marks a day in history. For on September 8 it was marked that there was someone out there who was able to put up with Matt Kelly....ok, maybe someone out there to put up with me! Either way, it's been two years! Crazy!

A wise woman once told me, "may the only ups and downs you have in your marriage be in the bedroom" and well, we have had our fair share of ups and downs outside of the bedroom, but still find a way to work through them...and may end up in the bedroom, haha.

I have always known that there is no guarantee that a marriage would be easy, but I have always promised myself to never give up. I love my farmer, but wish sometimes he didn't have to work so sometimes puts a strain on things and I get frustrated, but in the end I can only respect his dedication and motivation to his business. Sun up to sun down working during harvest is not always the ideal situation, but poor boy has got to take care of his crops.

This anniversary we have both decided to not do gifts - that our new house is our gift to each other. We are going to Little Rock tonight for dinner and a movie and a little furniture shopping. I found a loveseat for Matt's man room and a new coffee table for the living room yesterday so we may be giving each other romantic!

Just because I'm mushy and sentimental I decided to take a blast to the past with some wedding pictures. I loveeed this day and had more fun at my reception then I think I have ever had! I was on the dance floor the entire time with my mouth wide open as you can see below. It was like this huge wedding planning weight was lifted off my shoulders and I had not a care in the was just marvelous!

Here's to many more years with the farmer!

Friday, September 4, 2009

in shock

Yesterday started off as just a normal day. I was going about my business when our newspaper ad sales woman came in. That's pretty normal - she always comes in to drop off a newspaper and let us know about the advertising specials going on and she always buys a little gift. Well, yesterday she had another agenda - to present a Stephens Media 2009 Lonoke County Reader's Choice Readership Poll award. I got all excited that the shop had won Best Gift Shop until she informed me that it was for my photography business. WHAT?!?! I laughed in her face and told her she had to be joking. She said "Nope, you won! We tallied the votes and you had the most!" Whitney Kelly Photography had been voted Best Photographer in the Stephens Media 2009 Lonoke County Reader's Choice Readership Poll. Now, don't get me wrong, I was estatic, just in complete shock! In the time I have lived in Carlisle I haven't done too much advertising - a few ads every now and then - and I do have my blog that several people know about - and hand out business cards at the shop where my work is displayed - but I do not make a living or have a full time job of photography. I keep telling myself that "surely not many people voted...just about 5 and 3 of those voted for me"! I guess I feel like there is much improving to be done when it comes to my photography business and I don't even reach the greatness of other photographers in the area. I will be featured in the Lonoke County Best issue in two weeks and will have an ad in the paper as well. I'm hoping this will only help my business and give me some more exposure. I am very grateful for the award!

Well, I was still in complete shock from receiving that news when I got an email that I had been asked to be in Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society for educators based on my 'academic success' as a graduate student at UCA. I haven't really gotten many details of the organization yet, but it seems like it will be a good resource for me in the future.

And, on top of that! Today was a BUMPER day at the shop! I have been so busy with customers! The past two weeks have been a little slow for us, but last Friday and today have just been insane :) I LOVE IT! We were contemplating whether or not to go to market next weekend, but I think we will be going. It's so fun to have a job where I can just shop, shop, shop!

Labor Day weekend brings no big plans for the Kelly crew. The farmer is harvesting corn and is pretty exhausted. He is praying for rain so he can hibernate for a while and get some sleep. I have decided to re-paint my bed that will be going in the guest bedroom at the new house and our bedroom entertainment center. The bed is a cherry bed, white washed, and I am going to paint it chocolate brown and sand it down to make it look antiqued. The entertainment center is really light natural wood and it will soon be (the plan so far) a pumpkin color crackled with chocolate brown. We'll see how it turns out!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


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