New Year, New Look.


*Note: not only is Philippians misspelled, it is also incorrectly cited. The verse comes from 2:3, not 12:16. I got it confused with a different verse I was memorizing. My bad!*

I confess to be NO genius about organization and tidiness and just general together-ness. This last year has been a whirl-wind! So many people and places, so many victories and mistakes, so, so many memories. Life gets better the older you get, but time passes quicker.

As we all head into a new year, it’s a fun time to reflect and assess what worked and what didn’t. I’ve cut out for myself this workspace on the dining room table (because let’s face it, what millennial doesn’t have a super cool dining set that never gets used for dining?!) Today, I’ll be giving a few of my favorite ways to keep up with life, as well as some new year’s revolutions.

This last year I felt fairly productive, and I have an entirely used-up Day Designer to prove it. I love what Whitney English (Oklahoma native, y’all!) is doing to keep us all organized. This year, I purchased a design that came out from Kayce Hughes. Love the floral. This year’s pages are a bit more card-stockier, which is great! They’ve also redesigned the weekend pages AND the full-month pages. Love it! My biggest issue with planners is the to-do lists. My day is already scheduled according to time (thanks, school!), but I do need a bit more help keeping track of my lengthy to-do lists. The Day Designer is perfectly designed for that. I’ll be revealing how I used each section of the pages some time soon!

My planner wouldn’t be complete without color-coding. Everyone knows that I’m a bit OCD when it comes to color coding (see my school scheduling, grading folders, turn-in bins, as well as my entire personal library and my closet as well…). I love my Staedtler pens. I have the set of 10 with some help from a smaller set that gave me purple and gray. Each color means something different. Blue is for school activities and pink is for church/Bible activities. It looks like a gender reveal party on each monthly page.

In the big blue box are the true essentials to a peaceful, organized life: my Bible study materials. I’ll be talking about them more in the months to come, but for now my journaling Bible and my fox journal as well as this 2 Year Bible Reading plan have kept this ship from sinking. Without that, the designed daily life would be absolutely incomplete. (The Philippians reference, which is misspelled, is part of an ongoing memorization project I’ve been doing the last six months, again, more on that later!).

I have some surprises from the classroom and from my little workspace that I hope to be revealing on the blog. I don’t usually get gushy about New Years (it’s another day!), but I am choosing to take this fresh start in ALL areas of my life.

What fresh starts are you venturing into this year?



Today has been so crazy. Crazy awesome. I have 5 stories.

Story #1

For starters, it’s Decade Day for Spirit Week. The sophomores are the 70s so I thought I’d go with the flow. I wore mostly normal clothes (apparently): olive green skinny jeans, brown boots, a dusty blue and green plaid baby-doll, a cream sweater and then a blue and brown patterned scarf tied around my head in 70s hippie fashion (don’t forget Shere Khan). I even had on liquid liner to give an edgy tripped out feel.

I went to reheat my coffee cup halfway through 1st period when the yearbook staff caught me and forced me to take a photo.

I’ve gotten many raised eyebrows, a few squints, and then my favorite, “Are you dressed up? The only thing that isn’t normal is the headband. You always dress like this.” So apparently I’m a hipster now and my weird clothing has become a norm. I’d say mission accomplished.

Toward the end of 3rd period one of my less talkative students approached me and asked where I got my necklace from. I told him and he replied, “Oh. Was it a dare? Cause it’s kind of…fierce.” Yes, my child, it was a dare.

Story #2

I have a student who has been suspended since December. He came back this week and to be honest: I was a bit worried. When he gets wound up, it’s not a good situation. But since he came back yesterday we’ve handled things calmly and he seems legitimately eager to make up some of his points. He has to know that I’m not giving him any of those points for free… but if he works: he’ll move on to English III.

He’s quite… social… so when everyone finished their tests today, I knew I was in for a treat. I don’t think he understands how his voice carries. He told the most ridiculous stories. The whole dynamic of the class has changed. There some students who are afraid of him, others are just waiting for him to do something ridiculous, but for the most part: they all laugh at his stupid stories. I am really praying he continues to be a good kid — at least from 10:40 to 12:15. He’s such a smart kid. I hope he proves himself as such.

Story #3

Get the image of my outfit back in your head. Now imagine me sitting at the front of the classroom, head downish, grading essays as students finish their tests. Three quarters of the way through 3rd hour, my principal walks in. Nods. Heads to sit at the back. He looked at the kids, who were sitting very quietly, some sleeping because they were done, others playing on their phones. He squinted. He looked at me, scarf in my hair, hands busy with grading. To a principal, it must have looked like I’m the stupidest teacher ever. I told him we were taking a test and he could come back tomorrow to observe me because our lesson is way more exciting. But meanwhile, I hope he soon forgets how dumb my class must have looked. I know we weren’t doing anything wrong, I was just giving a test. But still…

Story #4

A previous student walked into my class before the bell rang (I let my students out 5 minutes til the bell so they can get to the caf). I was listening to Songza‘s “Indie Roots Rock” channel. My favorite as of late. It’s rocky, it’s hipstery, it’s awesome. The student stood by the speakers for a second and said, “Ms. K, I don’t really miss English II so much, but I really miss the music. No one else plays music and when they do, it’s not this awesome.” Looks like I made at least one convert last semester. I am always listening to music in class (when I’m not talking). I feel like it keeps people awake and keeps the classroom cheery. I’m glad the student enjoyed it.

Story #5

I promised I would share some of my student’s autobiographical stories. So far I’ve read a story about how a girl cut her sister’s finger off with scissors — on accident. I’ve read a story about a kid crashing into a tree with a go-kart and breaking his forehead. One kid had just gotten home from having ankle surgery and he fell off his crutches and broke his right hand and arm. A few of the girls broke their middle fingers from jamming them into waterpark floors or catching a football wrong. I’m only halfway through but boy-howdy… These kids have done some pretty crazy things. I love it.

This afternoon I workout and then head to Line Dancing class — because I’m that cool. Tomorrow is the pep assembly where I will wear a 70s dress and sing “Proud Mary” in front of the entire school.

I love my life and my job.


Challenge Accepted

Check out Wellie’s blog about our challenge: Challenge Accepted.

The Challenge, unlike the Tiger Necklace and Cardboard Cutout challenges, is triple pronged:

1. We are working out 3 days a week at the RAWC, training for a 5k in April.

2. We are eating healthy healthy healthy! (which we have a great start too, but unfortunately I still, perhaps even more so now, have the appetite of a voracious tweenage boy. It’s more of a curse than blessing, really.)

3. QUIET TIMES. We aren’t allowed to go workout or really talk about our challenge unless our hearts are right. So each morning we are sacrificing sleep (and GMM) to spend at least a half hour with God every morning.

Being healthy is all about mind, body, and soul. Instead of picking one facet of our lives, or trying to take on too much at one time, we’re approaching it with care and calm.

It’s nice to have the accountability of your flatmate/BFFL (which is what I put on my RAWC application. NBD)

The Hipster in me thinks it’s cliche to go on a diet and exercise at the beginning of the year… But you know what: I don’t care. And working out allows me to eat at least twice my normal intake of calories so… I’m diggin’ it.


Visit Noelle’s blog and LIKE THAT SUCKER.