Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Busy Life Is Never Boring!

Haven't blogged a bit since August 16th...yep, school must be back in session LOL!  

It is true that we are BUSY in the Bryant house, but it is true that our busy life is never boring!  


The older my children get, the more they are blessed to be involved with.  So off we go to football games and practices, cheerleading clinics, lego meetings, youth group, Awana, lacrosse playoffs, the list goes on and on.  Making happy memories...that's how I like to think of it!

I pinned a quote from Socrates on Pinterest this week, though, that has me doing a bit of reflection...  
I think I know what Socrates meant...see, at one point my life was just as busy as it is now, but it wasn't enjoyable...it was frantic and barren!  I was doing too many things, and sadly, none of them very well.  

Last year I read Primal by Mark Batterson. In it, he highlights the Scripture, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength"  Matthew 22:37.  I realized I wasn't loving God with my entire mind because it was literally too cluttered to allow Him in. 

Honestly, there was no secret recipe to getting my life back in order, but I will give you a few steps that I was able to do to declutter and find balance again:
1) Pray! 
(Pray and pray and pray some more!)
2) Purge! 
(The garage, the master bedroom closet, my classroom, my mind...the cobwebs had to be cleared from all of it!  And some areas required more deep cleaning than others!)
3) Make intentional time for quiet! 
(For me, it was taking 15-20 minutes to do a daily quiet time while my daughter played in the bathtub.  Seek out those little moments and take advantage.)
4) Stop resisting change so hard! 
(I had so many things so tightly gripped in my hands that I couldn't take hold of any of the good or even better things God held for me.  Letting go finally cleared my hands and heart to receive new and different!)
5) Be intentional!  
(Seasons of life come and go, but I still have to remind myself of what that frantic time in my life felt like and that I don't want to go back there.  So now I make better choices, and my husband and children and mother and sister LOL all help me to stay accountable.)
6) Lend a hand to others who are stuck in the spin cycle! 
(I discovered that God can use you to bless others when you are less wound up in your own knots!  Reach out!  There is a mom or friend or coworker nearby who could use some encouragement!)

I hope this post is a blessing to someone who is reading...Life is a balancing act, a blessing, a sacred trust...I am still daily learning how to thrive in my life, not just survive it!  Praying that for you as well!!!

Lots of love, Shannon :-) 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Let's Learn about Landforms!" It's Here...

My newest resource is here!  Perfect for use with both Science and Social Studies instruction!




"Let's Learn about Landforms" may be just what you've been looking for!  202 pages of interdisciplinary learning fun, higher order thinking, vocabulary development, and literature connections!!!!  Stop by my teacher stores listed above to check it out for yourself.  

Hope you are having a terrific weekend!!!  Shannon :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Butterflies and the BIG DAY!

Well, it's that time again...back to school for me tomorrow!  I am so excited to reconnect with my teacher friends and finalize details for my students who will be coming next week!  Butterflies of excitement and anticipation, for sure!!! 

In preparation for what this year has in store, I have started reading my copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren again.  
http://www.amazon.com/The-Purpose-Driven-Life-Earth/dp/031033750X
In yesterday's reading was this poem by Russell Kelfer that I wanted to share with you:
"You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design, 
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose,
And no matter how you may feel, 
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so; 
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into His likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!"

I know how busy the school year is, but I am committed to maintain my daily quiet time this year.  Feel free to hold me accountable on this!  It is so easy to make time to read, pray, and reflect over the summer when days are lazy and down time is plentiful.  It is definitely more challenging during the school year!  In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some more of my favorite books with you, in case you too are hoping to stay more grounded and connected this year or if you are just interested in hearing about some inspirational lit!  Lots of love, Shannon :-)     

Sunday, August 3, 2014

To Decorate or Not to Decorate?


No peeking behind this door yet!!!  LOL As you can see, I am still busy working on my classroom for this coming school year, but have you seen these adorable ideas???!!! 

I love #13-the burlap bunting and #27-the ribbon hula hoop!!! 

A happy, organized classroom makes me feel so much better and productive as a teacher, and I hope it feels homey and welcoming to my little learners and their families as well!!!  Every year, I feel like my classroom is a new work in progress, but I love the chance to start fresh!!!  19 years in to teaching and still new notebooks, sharpened pencils, and scrubbed cubbies bring me a little bit of back to school nervousness and excitement!!!  

Blessings on this Sunday, Shannon :-) 


Isaiah 43:19--Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Back to School SALE News!!!


Click the image above to visit my TpT store for tons of back to school savings!!!  I have my shopping list ready to take advantage of these great deals!!!  Lots of goodies from tons of teacher sellers to make your teaching year run a little more smoothly!!!  Hope you are having a great weekend!  Shannon :-)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Where in the World Is...

If you grew up in the 80's/90's like me, you might want to answer the title of today's blog post with the response...CARMEN SAN DIEGO!   
LOL that show brings back such great memories!  Geography wasn't just important back in the day...it is still critical for students to develop global understandings and cultural literacy today.  

I am excited to share that I just posted a brand new geography resource to my online teacher stores.  

With 138 pages of learning activities, I hope this interdisciplinary unit will be a great supplement to your Social Studies instruction!!!  

Happy Friday!  Shannon :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Talk Linky...Road Trip, Round Trip!

I am busy finishing up my Making Sense of Maps and Globes unit which I hope will be available in just a few days in my TpT store!  In the spirit of this upcoming, new goodie, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite travel books...Round Trip by Ann Jonas.  
http://www.amazon.com/Round-Trip-Ann-Jonas/dp/0688099866/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
While the story certainly keeps students engaged, it is not the story that I love the most...it's the illustrations.  The illustrations--done completely in black and white--completely transform when the book is turned upside down...when the reader takes a "round trip!"  


This book is a favorite to supplement studies of art, geography, transportation, antonyms, etc.  I love the resulting artwork that it always inspires my students to create, the critical and creative thinking it encourages, and the surprised gasps I get as I turn the story from top to bottom...amazing!  Happy reading!  Shannon :-)

PS--See even more great books by viewing the entire linky at http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-very-ugly-bug-book-talk-tuesday.html.