Happy Back to School, Well Almost

Happy Back to School to all my friends and teacher buddies. 

I just wanted to remind you of all the amazing free ideas that are circulating on blogs, Facebook and pinterest. 

I'm collecting some of my favorites and finding some new amazing ones to add to the list. 

We are planning together as a grade level tomorrow and I'm so excited to see what this new year has in store.  This will be my second year in fourth and I couldn't be more pumped! 

Remember to check out my freebies on TPT, just follow the link. There are some great ones.

Excuses for my HIATUS

Oh Boy,
What a YEAR!!!
It's been a fabulous year, but man-o-man, let me tell you... my patience has been tried. First of all, let me re-introduce myself. My name is Tara Paige and I absolutely love my family, teaching, kids everywhere and everything Jesus. I have been on a hiatus from the blog world because, well... life decided to throw a couple curve balls. SOOOOOOO, I'll sum it all up in my grammatically incorrect blog world you have accidentally dropped in on (I'm sure) and help you feel better about your current situation.

Well let's see...
In west philidelphia, born and raised...
No, that's not right... hehehe

You know I love a list:

1. Decided I wanted a change of scenery.
2. Applied for a transfer.
3. Found out I was pregnant prior to interview.
4. Interview.
5. Got the new gig.
6. Had to move all my classroom stuff. (Boy-oh-boy did I collect a lot over the years)
7. Unpack.
8. My new class was 1/3 the size of my old classroom.
9. New grade level.
10. New Baby.
11. Husband had major neck surgery 3 weeks later.
12. Back to work.
13. Getting ready for the big end of the year Hoorah.
14...... HOUSE BURNS DOWN.......

So those are all my excuses. I thought they were pretty good, right?

You heard me. My house was struck by lightening on Friday, May 13th while we were all at work, school, etc.

Short story shorter. Everything was consumed. We lost it all.

I got back to work quickly. Well because EOGs were just a week or two away. My own personal girls needed to have a normal life. I mean, we can't just sit around a cry for a month right?

Well, there were tears. So many tears. But through those tears we have had such an outpouring of love and care from our friends, family and community. Tupac said it best... Life goes on. And it does.

I cannot even express what it feels like to lose everything to fire. Let me rephrase that, I didn't lose everything. My family, my girls, myself... we are all okay. I lost all the things to the fire. And with all that, I picked myself up and moved on.

We had the most amazing friends and family that helped us immediately. A place to stay, clean underwear (for the love of all good things) I didn't even realize we all needed underwear! All those little things... deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brush, shoes, underwear, pants, shirts, undergarments, lotions, all those necessities and small comforts of life in a first world. Yes I said first world.

Our friends set up relief funds for us at our workplaces and in the community to help with everyday things. After two weeks and we found a place to rent, donations pour into our new residence. Hand me down clothing, towels, electronics, books, toys, baby items, people brought dinner, bought groceries. (Let me just tell you... It's insane trying to start a new kitchen from scratch)

These past few months I have been thinking about all my friends I have met in different countries and how little they have in the way of things. But I'm always amazed at how happy they are. We have had the best and most difficult summer ever.  Difficult because all those things that we used to fill our time with were gone. Difficult because special newborn shadow boxes with hospital tags gone. Original old pictures, original recipes hand written by grandmothers, heirloom guns, etc. all gone.

The best summer because it has been a summer of friends and family more than I have ever had my whole life. We have met friends at the pool or beach on an almost every other day basis. Moved into a neighborhood with close friends and got to enjoy their conversations, walks and kids more. We have helped our community in different ways, visited elderly friends, shut-ins, retired friends. Friends, friends, and more friends. Oh... and let's not forget two amazing weeks in Florida with my Dad and Step-mom. They enjoyed getting their hands on the three girls and I'll admit we simply didn't want to leave.

But don't worry.

We are great! Getting back on our feet. One day at a time.

Let's not forget, school is around the corner and we have an abundance of ideas to share.

So as I find a new norm, thanks for hanging in there. Let's have a GREAT NEW SCHOOL YEAR!!!!!

~ Tara