Stop Assigning Homework

Dear fellow teachers,

Do you enjoy that you have to spend unpaid overtime grading and lesson planning?  Time that takes away from your family, your friends, your overall quality of life?

Students spend all day at school.  ALL DAY LONG.  Then you send them home with homework.  Do you like the work you have to bring home?  I don’t.  So I will NEVER send it home.  Students spend enough time in the day working on the various subjects.  Let them have time to regroup, to play, to hangout with their families, God forbid to play on the electronics that are forbidden or discouraged at school when they get home.  It is a disservice to families to send home homework.

If I never had to bring home work again, that would be awesome.  In the mean time, I won’t do it to my students and I pray you consider not doing it to yours.

~a high school Spanish teacher and a mom

Teacher Confession: I care if my students like me


I love my students!  I LOVE them!  I care if my students like me or not.  I care a lot.  And I am honest about that with them.

When I first began teaching, the “right” thing to say was, “I don’t care if my students like me, but they will respect me.”  Here’s the deal, I never actually felt that way.  I said it, but it was a lie.  A big, fat lie.

When people heard I was teaching level 2 at the Senior High Level, I got many warnings about how the level 2 kids as juniors and seniors are not the same as the level 2 kids as freshmen and sophomores.  I was warned that they were unmotivated and did not care.  I’m only 2 weeks in, but I am here to tell you that that statement is FASLE.  Sure, many may not have aspirations to become fluent Spanish speakers or Spanish teachers, but they want to be successful.  At this point, many of them need to be successful to graduate on time.

I spent an ENTIRE week getting to know my students, letting them get to know me, showing them that I care about them.  I start each year ready to love my students.  To love every single one of them.  Not all of them come to my classroom with an open heart and mind.  Not all of them arrive ready to love me–and I know there are some who will take some time to trust me.  For many, life has already taught them that people disappoint us and they don’t want to risk caring in the chance they may get hurt.  I feel it is my job to be real, to be me.  Yes, there will still be issues, conflict, etc.  That’s part of life and perfection does not exist.  I simply have to make sure that I model how to appropriately handle conflict when it happens in my classroom and demonstrate that we can all choose to move on rather than dwell or hold a grudge.  So that’s why I start my year with a team building week.  I want it to be public knowledge that I genuinely care about my students and want them to succeed.  It is important that they know it and that I show it.

Guess who’s back!


Yes, it’s true! I’m headed back to the classroom, to the place I feel most confident to hopefully help another year of students be successful. This time around I will be at Plano East Senior High in Plano, TX teaching Spanish 2 on level and Spanish 4 IB. I readily admit that 4 IB intimidates me to no end, but if you’ve followed this blog for long, you know I seize every chance to step outside my comfort zone. So here’s to the 2015-2016 school year!

The Explosive Child Part 1

I am very open with the struggles I face on a day to day basis.  In most cases, it has allowed me to connect with others who have faced or who are facing similar struggles.  I am forever grateful for these types of connections as it often makes life more bearable though frustrating.  My openness has also opened me up to criticism and funny comments that jokingly suggest I am not an adequate parent, that perhaps I’m too lenient, inattentive or whatever else one who feels s/he is a successful parent might think.  Let’s stop the mom-shaming and if you have not had to deal with the struggles I have, count your blessings and recognize that perhaps you are not the person to offer advice or judgement.

One of the biggest struggles we are dealing with these days is getting our children to behave.  I realized the other day that I feel like it’s sheer luck whether they behave or not in every situation.  Despite our attempts to raise respectful children who behave, that’s become our reality.  Let me tell you, “a good whipping” and “grounding” and “taking away all their toys” has not helped at all.  In fact, all of those things seem to make it worse.


A friend introduced me to the book, The Explosive Child that I’m about one third of the way through as of today.  SO MUCH IS MAKING SENSE.  First of all, I identify with some of the difficult children described and feel my mother would have greatly benefitted from this book while raising me, if nothing else to assure her she did her best.  Second of all, I recognize many characteristics of my own children.  Thus far, it’s about identifying the struggle, not the behavior.  We can easily figure out the behavior–hitting, screaming, freaking out, being rude, talking back, ignoring, etc.  However, It’s the struggle that’s more important.  For example, my children like to yell and bicker in the morning.  Those behaviors are easy to identify.  The struggles are: they have difficulty waking up in the morning, they have difficulty getting dressed in the morning, they have difficulty eating breakfast in the morning, they have difficulty walking to the car in the morning, they have difficulty riding in the car on the way to school.

If you have a child for whom traditional consequences or reward systems do not help improve his/her behavior or who is easily frustrated and inflexible, you might want to read this too.  Basically, it is about identifying struggles and helping our children cope appropriately with their struggles rather than prevent a behavior.  Too often we focus on the behavior we don’t want rather than the reason behind said behavior.  Most children who struggle with behavior problems genuinely want to behave but struggle to do so appropriately and cannot help it. (And for the record, not getting enough attention is only 1 reason children misbehave.  I have read the Love Languages of Children and have made great efforts to fill my children’s love tanks in the way they need and still we have these behavior issues.)

Now, back to my reading!  I’m ready to learn what to do next as I continue to compile my list of struggles.

It’s my Plexiversary! #GloryToGod #PlexusFreedom

A year ago, I thought my Aunt Kristi had gone crazy. She had gotten involved in one of those pyramid schemes with some crazy all-natural products that I knew were basically placebos–because come on, you gotta have man-made chemicals added to something to make it work, right? Oh how wrong I was! She made me try the pink drink and I lost 4 pounds in 4 days. Sure you can say it was water weight, but water weight comes back and it didn’t. I signed up a year ago today, after trying my sample, and began to learn all the health benefits of the products. Within 2 weeks of starting Slim, I had to decrease my insulin basal rates by 15% and my boluses by 50%. My fast food cravings disappeared, my caffeine needs seemed to decrease daily and I had more energy than I had had in years. I decided I better try some of the other products that did not come in my Welcome Pack, so I started with the ProBio5 because I had heard probiotics are important for health from multiple non-Plexus sources. I read up on candida overgrowth and leaky gut and figured I probably have this issues–I eat a high carb diet, lots of preservatives, and artificial sweeteners plus I have no choice but to treat low blood sugar with sugar. I slowly increased to 4 ProBio5 before bed and guess what happened. I lost 6 more pounds, my psoriasis almost completely disappeared, and my at least once a week tummy aches disappeared. I next added Bio Cleanse and X Factor and decided to see if I could stop by glucosamine chondroitin and turmeric supplements. I did and my joint pain did not return. The combination of Plexus products seemed to help significantly with this.
I was the biggest skeptic. I was convinced these products would not work. I was honest when I first starting sharing. I said to the people I encountered, “Look, I’m trying this pink drink. I don’t know if it’s going to do anything. I do know I have more energy and we’ll see if I lose weight or have any other benefits.” I obviously did :).

My children take ProBio5 and I already know that candida is an issue in Kailee’s body. She has experienced die off in the form of her eczema coming back full force. Gavin has had relief of his tummy problems that have plagued him since he was 1 year old. He also seems to be focusing better in school which to me proves there might just be a link between leaky gut and ADD/ADHD.

I haven’t even mentioned the business. My first month ended with 20+ customers. My 2nd month ended with even more, plus 7 teammates, a promotion and a nice bonus! My 3rd month ended with a team of over 20 and even more customers. My 4th month ended with even more of each and a promotion for me. My 5th month, I resigned from my teaching job to work from home. My 7th month ended with another promotion… You get the idea. There are not enough words to express how blessed my family has been by Plexus. I haven’t even mentioned the countless friends and family who have experienced similar and even better results. God put me on this journey to improve me, my family and the lives of others. I am blessed to change lives with Plexus.

Thank you to every single customer who has bought from me. Every purchase you make from me helps me work from home and have more time for my family. My family needed a change and as my husband has said, me being home has improved the atmosphere of the entire household–not just because I am happier, but because all 4 of us are benefitting from me having such flexible hours. #GloryToGod #PlexusFreedom


Workouts 1,2,3,4 #200in2015

Seeing as how it’s January 2nd and I’ve already completed 4 workouts–I like workout 2-a-days–I figure I’ll save time and post them all here.

Workout 1 – 1/1/15, Chris Freytag’s 10 Pound Slimdown: Core.  Let me just say, my abs are super-sore today.

Workout 2 – 1/1/15, ExerciseTV’s Crunch: Dance Rhythms: Global Groove.  I have to admit that I was thankful Brady did not walk in on this one as I felt quite silly.  It was super-fun so I am sure I will do it again for cardio.

Workout 3 – 1/2/14, 1-mile run in 11:11 minutes at an 11:11-minute/mile pace.  I didn’t even make that up!  I felt great, like I could have probably done another mile, but I’m trying to ease my way back in without injury.  My feet are fond of stress fractures when I increase my running too quickly or for too long distances.



Workout 4 – Total Body Pilates. This is one of those ExerciseTV workouts that I got when they used to be available on iTunes.  It’s a relatively easy workout but does a number on the legs and abs so I LOVE it.



If you followed my old workout blog, Commit to Be Fit, you know I did 100 workouts in 2011 and 200 workouts in 2012.  Well, I’m bringing it back and am going for #200in2015.  As mentioned in a previous post, I don’t make strict guidelines for what qualifies as a workout.  Some of my activities are 40 minute videos, some are 10 minutes.  I count them all, though in order to make my body stronger, I tend to stick to 20+ minute workouts.

Right now I am in the middle of Jillian Michaels’ Total Body Revolution.  I am working at my own pace and following my own schedule.  I am still in Phase 1 but plan to complete the program on April 1st.  I am also working to build back up mileage to running a 5K.  While in the past I have down the couch-to-5K program, this time I am starting at 1 mile twice weekly, adding .25 to each workout each week.  I plan to reach 3.1 miles on February 24th, just in time for prime 5K weather.  Once I reach that achievement, I plan to work up to 4 miles so that 5Ks are easier than practice :).

I also plan to document my workouts here, so know that almost daily there will be at least 1 short post documenting my workouts.  If I do two workouts, there may be two.  Hopefully this inspires others to be active–let me tell you, I am trying to become an endorphin addict again.  There is NOTHING like endorphins.  Endorphins and caffeine got me through the last deployment. :)

Agua, an unintentional experiment


For years, I was completely dedicated to consistently drinking between 80 and 100 ounces of water every single day.  Until this summer… I became inconsistent, and I would have to honestly say that I drank on average 30-50 ounces of water daily if you counted my cup or two of coffee.

To be fair, you need to know that I was not drinking unhealthy options instead of water, I wasn’t drinking much of anything besides my pink drink and coffee.  Do you know what is absolutely necessary while taking the pink drink?  Drinking half your body weight in water.  I don’t weigh between 60 and 100 pounds, which means I have been living dehydrated for about 6 months.

I have been back on the 80-100 ounces of water for a couple of weeks now and can tell some differences.  1st of all, I have more stamina in my workouts.  2nd of all, I get full faster and seem to need less food despite working out more.  3rd, I feel hydrated.  I don’t know how to explain that feeling, but it’s noticeable when you haven’t had that feeling in awhile.

The moral of the story is to not discount the importance of hydration in overall health, wellness, weight loss, etc.  If you are reading this, I challenge you to start by logging how much water you are drinking each day.  If it is less than half your body weight in ounces of water, then increase that amount and expect to feel a huge difference.


Resolutions? Bah Humbug!


I hate the term “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Because so many people fail at these every year, I feel it has more to do with the term itself than the people.  I make those dreadful things every year, and for a few years, actually kept them, but my mindset was different.  I was focused on achieving a goal not waiting until the new year to make a change.

So, of course I have some of these goals this year.  Here is what I hope to achieve that should continue to fit in my lifestyle:

1. Start each day with a quiet time.  This can include reading a Christian self-help book, the Bible, my Bible study homework, Jesus Calling, devotionals, prayer journaling, etc.  I am not going to set anything specific for this time other than I want to spend it with God, focused on Him, building my relationship with Him.  When we get too specific, we set ourselves up to failure. This is a flexible but important goal that I began today when I got out of bed at about 9 or 10.

2. Complete 200 workouts in 2015.  I did this in 2012 after completing 100 in 2011.  I don’t care if this take several 2-a-days, 3-a-days, etc.  I am not picky.  I am not going to say a certain length makes a workout a workout–I have a couple of great yoga and pilates workouts that are 10 minutes long.  I am being flexible again to make sure I stick with it and do not feel like I cannot do it.  The underlying goal is to keep me motivated to workout all year long and set a positive example of love for exercise to my children.

3. Read 25 new books this year.  In 2011 I read 50, 2012-58, 2013-25, and 2014-50.  I am lowering it to 25 so I can go back and reread some favorites this year.  Once again, I do not stipulate length or anything.  Every book counts towards this. I recently happened upon this 2015 reading challenge that I am hoping fits into this 25 book plan–I feel like there will be some books that meet multiple criteria to take care of it.  If not, I’ll likely exceed 25 because I am eager to complete the list.


4. Continue to work our Dave Ramsey Budget.  I wasn’t going to list this as an official goal as we have already been implementing it; however, I like even numbers and would rather end on a 4th than a 3rd :).

So these are my goals.  I have been spending time with God daily–just not always first thing–and working out all December so these goals should not be difficult to maintain.  I’ve been an avid reader and we have been working the Dave Ramsey plan since starting Financial Peace University this past fall so those should not be hard to achieve as well.

What are your goals for 2015?

I’m on acid–Ascorbic Acid ;)


Did you know that Ascorbic Acid is just a fancy term for Vitamin C?  I didn’t either until recently!  Obviously Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for our health—hello immune system—and also provides great perks for our hair and skin.  Ascorbic Acid is one of the main ingredients in Plexus Bio Cleanse—167% of our daily value.  So… Maybe now would be a good time to add this awesome supplement to your regimen?

Get yours at


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