Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Best Thing I Learned This Summer

Boy, what a busy summer it has been!! 
I've taken a little rest from creating and blogging to give some attention to my family, my home and my friends. 
The school year is so busy that I sometimes feel that my students get the best of me and I have nothing left after the bell rings.  
Summer lets me give more of myself to those I love the most :) 

These dudes for instance: 

My husband and 2 boys spent a few sun-drenched days at the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. 

During the day we read, soaked up the sun and rode the waves, and when the sun went down...
...hardcore family game night commenced.

OH!! and since we have a new baby in the house...our rescued kitty, Juni...I had to give lots of cuddles to my furbabies as well. I just know...summertime is their favorite time of the year because their mommy sits and they climb atop. 

My husband and I also jetted off to the Teachers Pay Teachers conference in VEGAS!! It was our first time there (that calls for its own separate blog post) and I got to hang out with some of my favorite SLP bloggers and TPT sellers!!  It was so much fun and soooo motivating!

Speaking of my fellow bloggers, today I am linking up with my friends, the FRENZIED SLPS, to tell you about the best thing I learned this summer....

Besides the much needed family time, I've been spending time with my little core group of friends. We really need a badass name for ourselves.  
We are a hot mess of opinionated, half-crazy-in-a-good-way women just doing the best we can, but we are there for each other through thick and thin- sort of like a marriage- through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, etc., etc.,  
Unfortunately, one of my dearest friends, Rachel, has actually put this to the test.  At age 34, she has metastatic renal cell carcinoma. 
On the cancer scale, renal cell carcinoma is as horrbile as it gets. 
It's vile and wicked, and I hate it. 
Rachel has handled it with more grace and strength and courage than I could ever muster. 
This summer she hasn't just been my friend- she's been my teacher.  

Rachel's days are numbered {so she's been told for quite a while} 
but she still lives life in the front row.  
In fact, she has already outlived her life expectancy, and she just returned from a family excursion to New Orleans. 
That girl doesn't waste a second!
Even though she's functioning with only one lung at the moment, she sucks in each morsel of life's wonder and savors it like caviar. 
Actually she always has- at least for as long as I have known her.
I think it's a rare gift. 

Cancer is taking her health, but it has not stolen anything else - not her humor or her faith or her her passion for the things she loves the most- or her general pizazz.  
I should mention she's one of the most gifted teachers I've ever had the pleasure of working alongside and she remains one my son's favorite teachers.  Well, like I said, now she is teaching me. 
Over the past year, she's schooled me (and everyone else blessed enough to know her) on how to truly live.

If you're so inclined,  follow her story on Caring Bridge (RachelBabin2). Also, please pray for her adoring husband and young sons.  If only we all had her positive outlook on life.  She inspires me, and I'm so lucky to be able to say she's my friend. 

Here is a recent post from her.  It's long, but I promise it is worth the read. 


So the best thing that I learned this summer....I learned from my friend, Rachel. 

As cliche' as it sounds, I have learned not to waste a moment. 
I hope to keep this lesson with me always as a gift from her.

I will stop waiting for the weekend, for the next school break, or for the next holiday to drink up all the goodness life has to offer.  I will stop wishing the week away just to get to Friday night. 

I will choose joy and optimism and hope over sadness and negativity and bitterness

I will notice the greatness in little moments and soak them up and swim in them.
The little moments are what make our big life.

I will tell and show people how you feel about them NOW- not on their birthday or Christmas or Thanksgiving.

I will be happy for each moment. 
They make up my life, and I only get one of those. 

I admit I have a tendency to fall into negativity, to have a pity party, to be cynical and to complain and harp on hardships. For example, today I have a pretty bad cold and I'm in the midst of moving into a closet-of-a-therapy-room- next-to-a-toilet and my house is dirty and I have to get a mammogram next week and I'm worried about my son starting his senior year and all that entails...and I wish I wasn't going back to school in two weeks.... BUT YA KNOW WHAT....I will choose to find the joy.  Bring it on, life. 

I am grateful for it. 

Life is good and beautiful, and I will breathe in every little whiff of it... 
and stare at my children and memorize their young faces....
and smile at people on the street and at the grocery store and everywhere I go... 
and hug my dad a little longer and hold my mom's hand....
and dance with my husband in the kitchen and laugh really loud and hard until I cry happy tears....
and sing obnoxiously loud and proud to the car radio and go out for ice cream late at night...
and tell my friends I love them while I can. 

 I am changing my focus to joy.  
I have learned that life is too short not to live it in the front row. 
  Thanks for the lesson, Rachel." title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Louisiana Teacher Blogger MEETUP and a SWAG BAG

I have been soooo M.I.A since school let out for the summer!
Get it? 

I have been too busy living life and loving life to blog, but BOY have I been inspired!....because this past Saturday I attended the first annual Louisiana Teacher Blogger Meet Up!!

It.    was.    so.   much.   fun! 

Big shout out to Jasmine at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain who made it all happen, to Jessica at Pride and Primary who hosted us at her fabulous school in Baton Rouge, Mayfair Lab School, and Kristi from Pelicans and Pipsqueaks who also shared the load. You were all hostesses extraordinaire! 

So many community sponsors pitched in to make it a big success!! 

There was literally no detail overlooked, and everyone won a door prize! 
I scored this super cute pencil door sign from the talented Tallahassee Sunday.  
I think it will make the fact that I have to move rooms a little less painful :) 

I was blown away by everyone’s enthusiasm.  
So many die hard teachers and brilliant minds in that room. 
Not to mention that their love for what they do- and for their students- was obvious.  

Jasmine was very gracious in asking me to present to the group.  
I was like.... WHAT?  ME?  WHY? 

Slight panic and extreme procrastination set in, but I whipped up a little presentation.

Being a MAC person in a PC world, I had some technical difficulties, but my audience was so lovely that it didn’t matter.  

In the end I just shot from the hip.  
I mean, us educators are pros at winging it, right? 

I  shared about my experience with blogging, selling on TpT,   
OH, and pinterest, and facebook and instagram. 
OH MY!! 

  I hope I left them with some useful tidbits :) 
To be honest, I could talk about that stuff all day. 

Jessica from Pride and Primary also gave fun and informative presentation about blogging.  It really made me want to kick my blogging up a notch! 

The best part was just hanging out, talking and picking each others’ brains!
 I think we made some new friendships that will carry on. 
Check me out with Michelle Lendahand from Lendahand's Printables, and Darleen Chautin from First Grade Love 

That day I took away: 

1) a wonderful feeling of comradery
2) a swell of pride about being a Louisiana blogger
3) some cool new friends

I hope to get together with this fabulous group again soon! 

Before we left we exchanged gifts.  I hit the jackpot with mine.  

{Jasmine, you did NOT stick your own $5-$10 rule!} 

Then we were showered with some amazing SWAG!

Wanna be all decked out like us?
{you know you do}

Two lucky people will win all the swag pictured here! 
{That disk is from Erin Cobb, y'all! Eeeeek}
Just enter the rafflecopter below! 
 Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A springtime favorite of mine

Hey y’all!! 
It’s springtime at last!!  We've been getting ready for Earth Day tomorrow...

but today we are started bugging out in my speech room!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that we had some creepy crawly fun...all while addressing artic and language goals of course!  The You’re Bugging Me game was slightly disgusting but also FUN today during artic therapy, and it sure elicited lots of language for my language students!! 

Check it out HERE! Each child gets a Velcro armband which is loaded up with bugs.  They roll a die to see how many bugs they get to take OFF, and whoever gets all of their bugs off first, wins the game!! Besides that, I just used the Velcro bugs for reinforcing language and correct articulation during drill. 
No one could resist the bugs! 

Check out my little guy all covered in them!  
Lots of squeals and tons of requests for "more,"  "on," "off," "green one," "bugs please,"  "my turn," etc.!  We also looked at them through a tiny magnifying glass. 
Ooohs and ahhhs followed :)

This little girl below wanted all the bugs to be twins (since she is one and thinks they all need a sister).  She earned the twin insects with lots of articulation drill! 

The last 2 days have been TOO beautiful here in the deep south to NOT do some fun spring activities!! I'm so excited for the fun Spring and Summer activities I've got lined up in these last few weeks of school! 

Of course, if you're an SLP, you know allllllll about that "go-to" springtime know.... the one about the caterpillar and his binge eating....but I wanted to share with you one of my very favorite storybooks for spring that I suspect you've never heard of...

Ladybug on the Move
 by Richard Fowler

By the way, I should clarify that I am not associated with the author or any affiliates in any way. 
I just happen to love this book! 

This is NOT your ordinary storybook.  It’s hands-on!! I LOVE that it’s interactive, and it’s a clever way to introduce print awareness and tracking to our young students! 

As soon as I take the ladybug out of the little clear pocket on the front cover and show how she can glide along the print as I read the first page, my students are just itching for their turn to move the ladybug, too. 

It’s the perfect opportunity to explain that the ladybug moves along the words because the words that are the best part of the book;  they tell the story! If my kiddos want to be "in charge" of the ladybug, they must move her along the words while I read.  It’s a sneaky way to get my preschoolers and kindergartners to attend to print.  For my higher kindergartners, first graders, and so on, it’s a cool way to get them pumped about tracking print. 

You can see that my ladybug has been beat up and repaired many times over the years. I think my book is almost 20 years old, but it’s still in bookstores. 
You can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but it goes for a pretty penny these days!  Oh, by the way, don't worry about losing the ladybug; the book includes a pattern for making another one should that happen! 

Richard Fowler has similar interactive books with the same concept that are a little easier on the pocketbook.  In fact, today I ordered Honeybee’s Busy Day  and There's a Mouse about the House for a steal.  (Same concept!)
So as I read, or as the students read (if they are readers), the children get to push the ladybug over the print. It’s not rocket science, but it’s hugely motivating to them!  It also keeps their eyes glued to the page. I don’t know about you, but with my kids that’s a major accomplishment!

We keep reading, and the ladybug keeps moving. She slips under objects (with slits) on each page. That part is a little tricky. I always tell my kids to only slip her halfway through so that we can turn the page and she doesn’t fall down.   

It really is a beautiful book with a fun storyline.  Ladybug is looking for a home, but none of the other critters want her invading their space (except these oogey slugs above and she wants no part of that).

My little ones need a little help opening the slit to move the ladybug through, but I tell you, they’re giddy with excitement and would read this book again and again. 
Check out one my favorite little people moving that ladybug like a boss!! 


What's YOUR favorite spring themed book for therapy? 
I would really love to know! 

Hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods! 


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My fib REVEALED...{and a couple of truths}

I hope you had fun playing along with our 2 truths and a Lie Blog Hop.  
Big thanks to my friend, Kelly, at Speech2U for making it happen and for inviting me!  

Did you spot my fib?  

A. While filming the movie Breaking Dawn here in the Baton Rouge area, I hit the jackpot and got to meet the crew of Cullen vampires including Robert Pattinson!!


Breaking Dawn did film here in Baton Rouge, and the Cullen vampires were seen gallivanting all over the city.  Although a few of my friends did actually score some vampire sightings (and hugs!)from Renesmee, Emmett, Jasper, Carlisle, Alice, etc.,  I was not one of the lucky ones. :(  No one I knew hit the jackpot with any Edward, Jacob or Bella sightings. What a bummer.  Still, while they were in town, it was thrilling to think I could... perhaps...just maybe...randomly run into them at the local Starbucks or Whole Foods.

B. For as long as I can remember, I have had a life altering phobia of frogs. Just typing the word gives me the heebie-jeebies!


I don’t know how or when it started, but I really do have a serious phobia of frogs ~ little green ones, squishy toads, and of course the grotesque monster bullfrogs!  I know, I know....they can’t hurt me. Some lunatics even tell me they’re cute. (GAH!)  It doesn’t matter how harmless they are. To me, they are pure horror.  Even worse, living in south Louisiana, they’re pretty hard to escape. I swear, they’re everywhere!!! Not to mention, they haunt me in my dreams, too! For a while as a teenager, I quit going out after dark (the froggie hours)due to pure fear.  When my Honors Biology teacher whipped out the jars of formaldehyde with frogs floating in them, I went into complete hysteria, fetal position and all.  Needless to say, I was excused. As the phobia persisted in interfering with my life, my mom sent me to a therapist. In fact, on my second date - with my now husband - I had to leave early, “Uhhh, sorry I have to go. I have an appointment with my shrink so he can fix my fear of frogs.”  Lucky for me that didn’t scare him away.  Even now, my sons and husband are forever on the look out for the green nasties.  Frogs may have even prevented me from becoming an SLP.  Knowing I wanted to be a speech therapist (and also knowing that I couldn’t be if I had to take Biology and dissect a frog) I requested a catalog from the Louisiana universities to see if Biology was required for my major.  Fortunately, at a few universities, it was not! Whew.  The fear lives on... ie. the therapy was a massive failure. I can’t even look at picture of the little devils.  My speech room is a no frog zone- that includes storybooks.

C. Country star Hunter Hayes is a family friend, and we even received an invitation to his high school graduation! 


Being from a small town hailed as the Cajun Music Capital of the World, just a hop, skip and jump from Hunter Hayes’ hometown of Breaux Bridge, Hunter was a regular in our town. Did you know he started out playing the Cajun accordion and only later learned to play guitar?  In fact, he was a bit of a child prodigy in our neck of the woods.  Since my dad coordinated our town’s parades, he would often call Hunter’s Dad to have him come to town to be the Grand Marshall of our little parades.  A relationship was born. Back then, Hunter was just a cute kid to me, albeit full of talent. WOW! He really hit the big time now, but his family is so gown to Earth.  We even received graduation announcement from him when he got his high school diploma in Nashville. My dad is still convinced he can pick up the phone and ask Hunter to come play in my small hometown of 3,000.  Check out this old signed autograph that still hangs in my Dad’s store. 

Did you guess it?? 
Sorry about the whole lying to you thing :)  
Hope you had as much fun reading the truths (and lies) as I did! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2 Facts and a Fib Blog Hop

Whew! This is your 9th stop on our blog hop! We’re all a bunch of sneaky fibbers. 
How are you doing figuring out my friends’ lies? 
Well, you know the drill....check out my 3 statements and find the fib. 
Then keep hopping until you’ve sniffed them all out.  
The person with the most correct wins .....

  I’m serious!! 
Would I lie?  

Amazon = the best stuff!  

You can see the complete rules at

Here are three cool/weird/fascinating things about me: 

A.    While filming the movie Breaking Dawn here in the Baton Rouge area, I hit the jackpot and 
        got to meet the crew of Cullen vampires including Robert Pattinson!! 

B.    For as long as I can remember, I have had a life altering phobia of frogs. Just typing the 
       word gives me the heebie-jeebies! 

C.   Country star Hunter Hayes is a family friend, and we even received an invitation to his high  
       school graduation! 

Which one is the fib?  Follow me on social media for some possible hints! 

Happy April Fools’Day, y’all,
and good luck! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

#lucky2BEanSLP and a techy tip!

March is upon us!!! 

My students and I have been reading about lucky charms from all around the world in preparation for the fun (and weird) holiday of St. Patrick’s day, and it’s really got me thinking about how lucky I am to be an SLP.  
I’m so proud to say I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist.  

Not anyone can achieve such a hard-earned title.  You have to work harder and be smarter than the average bear.... and be a jack of many, many trades!!  Once you reach the work place, you have to constantly be on your toes and on top of trends and changes in our field.  Heck, almost every new child that I see leads me to do google google google and learn more, more more!  
No speech or language disorder or delay is exactly alike.  
We aren’t your average professional, y’all! 

There’s so many reasons I’m #lucky2BEanSLP!
It’s such a kick butt profession!! We literally change the course of people’s lives.  Communication is power, and we have the power to give that to others. 
I mean, COME ON!! THAT’s COOL!!    
That's why I am #lucky2BEanSLP: 

I’ve always worked in pedatrics, and I think all the what other job would I ever score so many genuine little hugs on a daily basis?? 

In what other job would I be surrounded by giggles and milestone moments? 

Sure, there’s a little spit and snot involved (LOL) Sometimes there’s biting and chasing events, but hey, every job has its hazards :) 

Mostly, we make communicators. 
We give others a voice. 
We build crucial skills that last a lifetime.  
Pretty.      darn.     awesome.  

Did I mention there’s never a dull moment?  
Never.  Not one day.  

SLPs are the ultimate problem solving, disorder diagnosing, toddler wrangling, sentence scaffolding, fluency facilitating, speech shaping, technology toting, language building, report typing, esteem building, data taking, bubble blowing, skill drilling, storybook reading, prop playing, multi-tasking professional!  

      Join me and my fellow frenzied SLPs to proclaim why YOU are #lucky2BEanSLP

Post WHY YOU feel #lucky2BEanSLPfor the world to see-  
 on facebook, twitter or instagram!


 Here is the graphic:  

Now here is my favorite way to add text to any graphic: 
{*believe me once you learn this quick techy skill you’ll be stoked!}

1) Right Click on the Image and to download it or save it to your computer! 

2) Get a FREE ACCOUNT on PICMONKEY! It's my favorite image editing website!!     
    Seriously, it's amazing and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it! By the way,  
    I'm in no way affiliated with that website nor do I get anything for saying how fab   
    it is.  I'm just a shameless fan. 

3) Once you have an account, click on EDIT on the picmonkey website! 

4) When you click edit, it will prompt you to choose the image on your computer that you want to edit, and it will plop that image right on the screen like this: 

See? There it is!!  TADA!!

6) Click the "Tt" to add text. 

7) Pick your font!!   There are so many to choose from! 
   (Later you'll definitely want to play around with the other fun features!) The ones    
   with the crown next to them cost $$.  I happily pay $4.99 monthly for the extras. 

 8) After you pick your font, click on ADD TEXT.  A text box will appear on your image.    
     You can move it wherever you would like and it will adjust automatically to '
     accommodate your text.  I chose the Chelsea Market text. 

9) Use the text options to customize your text however you like.  You can change the  
    color, size, justification, and more!  Then just click SAVE and save it to your   


You just learned a new skill that will help you customize any image for personal use! 

I hope you will "hastag up" with me and my Frenzied SLP friends to share why YOU are #lucky2BEanSLP
Tag me or another SLP to spread the luck!

Wanna know another reason I'm lucky? 
I'm lucky I've gotten to know so many fellow SLPs like you...
even if it is just through this little blog, my TpT store, or social media! 
Since you're here, I'd love nothing more than to read your comments! 


Monday, February 9, 2015

Groundhogs and Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras, OH MY!!

It’s an exciting time of year here in Louisiana!! 
We have Valentine’s Day and Louisiana’s biggest holiday, Mardi Gras, coming up in the next 8 days!! 
It's hard to squeeze it all in!

Oh, and Punxsutawney Phil says there’s 6 more weeks of winter.  I’m fine with that because while most of the U.S. has been pounded with snow, I’m still waiting for winter.  It’s a nice 73 degrees here which is lovely.  The bad part is that I have lots of cozy winter wear waiting to be worn! (#southerngirlproblems). 

In any case, I LOVE teaching and talking about LOVE! Love is definitely in the air in my speech room :) 

Come on in and see what's going on! 

With these two fun holidays coming up, we've been having lots of fun in therapy.  Here’s a peek of what we have been doing and what’s going down this week....

We’ve been rocking the EET to describe Valentine’s day and now Mardi Gras

There will be many-a-bead thrown in the speech room this week anytime my students gimme some good communication.  

On the Valentine’s Day front, you know, we’ve been doing some quick drill!! 
(continuing my life long quest to rid the world of the word "Valentime.")

The kids all get grossed out when they pick the card that says “You got kissed” or “You’re in love!” LOL 

I’ve used and abused my Love Letters for articulation and this week we will be mailing love letters again- this time the EET activity for describing that goes along with this one. 

It’s amazing how tickled kids can get just by slipping a card into a make-believe mailbox.  I hope they never lose that - that thing that lets them get so much happiness from something so simple. 

The book, The Valentine Grump, went so well with these activities. It's about how getting a valentine in the mail even makes the grumpiest of grumps happy. 

Today I laminated my newest Valentine's Day product, Valentine Basic Concepts Fun! I made this especially for a preschooler and kindergartener that’s struggling with basic concepts . 
It’s hot off the press in my TPT store :) 

This is prepped and ready to go for tomorrow.

We’ve been doing lots of articulation homework from my Valentine’s Day Fun Pack... 

...AND some listening/following directions practice from the same packet.  

Oh my, this was so hard for them :( 

I’ve been using a Valentine Sticker scene for artic and language with my little ones. If you haven’t discovered the sticker scenes from Oriental Trading, you must check them out. My artic kids earn stickers to put on their scene with correct productions and my language kids earn stickers by labeling or describing them  (they aren’t allowed to point) and by telling me where in the picture they plan to put them. Them we use the scene to make up a story, answer questions and so on. I have them for every holiday and they keep little hands and brains busy.  

We started making foldable Valentine cards today for the peeps we love, and we will be doing that all week!  These are also from the Valentine Fun Pack. There's plenty of space inside to write sweet messages or draw a picture for mom. 

In honor of all the love going on, I made the trek to Target yesterday to gather up some Valentine treats for one and all! 

Last week. Mardi Gras king and queen crowns were made my one and all!! 

I love the peel-and-stick gems from Lake Shore and the Foam beads from Oriental Trading.  They make craft projects easy and mess-free.

I knew my girls would be ecstatic about making these. A couple of crowns ended up being Valentine crowns....

....but I had no idea how much the BOYS would love it, too. 

It just goes to show you everyone loves a good crown! {hahaha}

We’ve played some Mardi Gras Old Maid and some “Who’s got the baby.” 
We have also been learning from Mardi Gras vocabulary from that same packet.

                                         We’ll be doing some dot art, as usual,

and some art with some of my favorite big foam stamps

During the last 2 weeks of therapy with my older kids (both in the classroom and my room) we have been reading about the history of Mardi Gras and discussing Mardi Gras traditions throughout our state (as well as some fun facts and interesting tidbits). 

We are continuing it this week. So many kids celebrate Mardi Gras but don’t know the reasons for the Mardi Gras traditions we practice (the parades, the beads, the feasting, etc)... even though they live here!  It's an absolute MUST that they learn about it- it’s their culture! 

On Friday- just before we leave for our 4 day Mardi Gras break- I will be sharing  my personal photos from Mardi Gras, playing some traditional Mardi Gras music, sharing videos of my family's traditions, and showing them my husband's traditional Cajun Mardi Gras costume, mask and capichon (hat).

You can see my hubby decked out in his costume HERE

In case you're interested in our old Cajun Mardi Gras traditions, here is the short version:

The week AFTER Mardi Gras we will be doing some silly Mardi Gras Stamp-A-Stories while the kids tell all about their fun Mardi Gras adventures! You can read about those stamp stories HERE, and download that freebie HERE

Whew, I need to rest up for another jampacked day of therapy tomorrow.  

I hope your speech room is filled with LOVE, too! 

Happy Valentine's Day 


Happy Mardi Gras, y'all! 


Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget