Five for Friday: Back in Action!

Hello! It has been too long--really, since summer--since I last posted, and a lot has been going on. So here's a bit of what's been going on in my life this week, which will give you an idea of what's been going on these past few months.

Those are granite, backsplash tile, and grout color options. This story takes us back to September, just a couple of weeks after school started. We'd been somewhat casually (but carefully) looking for houses for quite some time--since about March, really. We had settled on and looked quite a bit in an area west of Boston (and of my school district), thinking we'd like to be out there. Around August, we shifted our search to a different area (south of Boston, and south and east of my district) based on it being a better train line for my husband's commute. In September, a house we'd favorited on Redfin dropped in price...and it went very quickly after that!

We sold our condo very quickly, and closed on both places in November. We lived with my in-laws for 5 weeks while floors got refinished and painting happened in the new house, and moved in a bit before Christmas (just in time for the slightly crazy yours truly to host Christmas Eve dinner!). The move has been a wonderful blessing for so many reasons, and we're thrilled to be in our new home.

That said, we're now embarking on phase 2 of the renovation, in which we renovate the kitchen/dining room/entry, and hopefully at least one bathroom. Ahh! So, I've spent a good chunk of my February vacation choosing appliances, lighting, and backsplash tile, which has been very productive (just maybe not as relaxing as being on a beach somewhere warm).

In other news, we're expecting a little bundle of joy in early May! We knew in August that we were expecting, and that made for a beginning of the school year that was even more exhausting than usual. Despite the first trimester tiredness, I've been very lucky to have a smooth and fairly easy pregnancy thus far. We aren't finding out whether it's a girl or boy, so that news will have to wait until May!

This is a photo of one of our Craigslist nursery finds! I've never been a big Craigslist person, but gave it a shot for the first time when looking for some nursery items. Thus far, we've gotten this beautiful glider (my mom recovered the cushions for me this week), a convertible crib, a Rock 'n Play, and a deep freezer for our basement. It's been a huge moneysaver!

This is also a photo in our nursery--please excuse the mess, it's for a good cause. Our nursery is small, and especially now that we've got more of the necessary furniture in there, we've realized that there's just not room for a bureau. Fortunately, there is a good-sized closet in the room, and my plan for maximizing that space was inspired by this photo:

Eclectic Kids

Luckily, my saint of a husband has indulged my organization compulsions and we purchased the closet system pictured above at Home Depot. He's upstairs repainting the interior of the closet right now, and hopefully I'll have a finished product picture to share sometime soon!

I do teach, and therefore figure something in this post should be related to that! Last Friday, we did one of my favorite STEAM challenges of the year. We started out by reading Snowflake Bentley during our reading block, where we were practicing asking questions and inferencing as we read. Since this is a skill we'd been previously working on in fiction stories, this is a perfect book to bridge the gap as we prepare to transfer those skills to nonfiction texts next week.

Later, during our Math block, we looked at real pictures of Wilson Bentley's, and used those snowflakes to inspire our own works of art and engineering! We started by building the 6-branched structure of the snowflake, and the students were free to choose how to decorate from there. However, they were required to apply what they'd learned about the construction of snowflakes; namely, that each branch is the same (cue a quick discussion about symmetry). They were even more adventurous than my kiddos were last year, and the finished products are just beautiful!

Last but definitely not least, this is my class' last week running the Cafe! This is our menu. Each year, each of the second grade classes at my school spends 3 weeks running a cafe out of our school's lobby. The unit teaches economics, and the hands-on nature of it is so engaging for students. We design the menu, bake and prepare the items on Wednesday, and sell them for a little while on Thursday morning to parents and teachers. It is a huge undertaking and super time-consuming, but the kids are so into it that it's totally worth it. That said, I'm looking forward to wrapping things up this week and passing the baton to the next class!

Hope you had a fantastic week, vacation or not! Don't forget to check out what others have been up to this week back over at Doodle Bugs!


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