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New Pals and New Pencils!

Hey Friends!
First of all, THANK YOU for all the kind words about my mojo! You all are just too funny, sweet and kind, especially you, Louise for lighting a candle for me!! As a good Catholic girl, I've lit many candles in my day and just to know that someone thinks enough of me to light a candle? Well, that about melted my heart. And good news: my mojo seems to be back! Keep reading past my rambling travel log below for my last freebie of 2011! 2012's first freebie is also in the works ;0)

So, I've just returned from a few days away with the hubs. First we traveled up to Orlando to see Ice at the Gaylord Palms. If you ever have the chance to see it, don't pass it up. Carvers turn huge blocks of colored ice into amazing scenery and sculptures. They keep it at nine degrees inside, which for this flip-flop girl was a bit too much to take by the the end. I couldn't even bring myself to take my hands out of my pockets to take a picture!  It was all Shrek-tacular this year. It was awesome as usual, but I think I liked the regular Christmasy themes better. This year it seemed like every room was pretty similar, still glad we saw it though. That hotel beautiful, really. Everything was so perfect...until the morning of check-out when there was NO WATER! To the entire hotel!! So, no water = no flushing, tooth brushing, hand washing, showering, coffee making, pill taking. I didn't realize what a major inconvenience being without water would be for two stinkin little hours! The worst part was that it delayed checkout as we kept thinking the water would be back on any minute, then we spent some time listening to other people bitching at talking to the concierge before we had our turn. What can you do though? It's not like they planned for it to happen. Still, it put us a little behind on our drive to Ft. Meyers for our big date with Charity Preston and Tamara Chilver! Surely, you know these ladies. Charity is the author of The Organized Classroom Blog and Tamara is the founder of Teaching Blog Addict! It was so cool to meet them in person! Charity is just as funny and real as I knew she'd be and Tamara was just so sweet, warm and genuine. It really, really made me wish we all lived closer. We were also met by three other fans who made the trip to hang with us. Here we are - my hubs took the pic for us:

After we said good-bye at the restaurant, I got to hang with Charity for a bit longer at the SWEET beach house she rented and party for just a big longer. Such a great night that stretched out into an impromptu hotel stay halfway through the two hour drive home. Better safe than sorry. It worked out well - we ended up spending most of today exploring parts of Fort Meyers we hadn't seen before. Can you tell I love winter break? Love my job and all, but enjoying time off like this makes me the well-rounded, rested and energized teacher my kids deserve...right?

And now, your reward for reading all that ~ a cute lil' freebie for you! There is hardly anything my kids love more than a sharp, new pencil. It could be the way that I guard the sharpener like it was made of gold and encrusted with diamonds. You should see the way my head whips around if I hear the sharpener buzz. Heaven help the poor child who "accidentally" uses the sharpener. What can I say? I'm tired of spending money on those dang sharpeners. This sharpener is the best one I've found by far, and as long as I'm the sole pencil patrolman it will last twice as long as usual. Man, am I rambly today or what? So, here's what the flags look like attached to a shiny new pencil. Just cut them apart and glue-stick up the back, wrap it around the pencil, stick it together and you'll have these lovely little welcome back pencils to help your nuggets get off to a fresh start in 2012:


Click {HERE} to download your flags from Google Docs.

In case I don't post again before the big ball drop - have a great, safe and very, very happy New Year! 


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29 comments:

  1. So cute!! Thanks for sharing!! Who doesn't love a new pencil!!

    Happy New Year!!

    Ali

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  2. Where were you 3 days ago when I hand wrote 28 notes?!??!

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  3. Our school gives us the cheapest sharpeners that break about once a week. The pencils with the cutesy paper coverings that the kids love the best are the worst at giving the sharpener fits, of course. Thanks for the freebie pencil flags.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

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  4. These are adorable! I hear you about the pencil sharpener - I have the only electric one on my end of the building and it is constantly being "borrowed", it's kind of funny when I have to go searching room to room to use my own sharpener! But, at least it's adults and not kids using it :) I will have to pick up some pencils at Staples on Sunday morning - I will be there bright and early buying the dry erase markers and Sharpies they have on sale - so I will have new writing implements as well - maybe I will stick a flag on my Sharpie too :P

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

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  5. Thank you Denise! My kiddos will love their new pencils. What a great idea!
    Camille
    An Open Door

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  6. Fun! Thanks for the advice on pencil sharpeners. I just purchased it! Do you think the brand of pencils matter too? I've been told Ticonderoga is the only way to go!
    Thanks for the flags!
    Caroline

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  7. Love the flags for the pencils!! Thanks for the idea! As far as pencil sharpeners go, I've used the one from Classroom Friendly Supplies (classroomfriendlysupplies.com) & LOVE it!! It's an "old fashioned" hand crank type, but oh-so-quiet & super efficient!! You can see a video clip of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIjoe4Z3GzI

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  8. SO jealous!!! I know you ladies had a blast!!! And thanks for the freebie!

    Dana
    3rd Grade Gridiron

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  9. Ugggg! I'm in Florida and got so busy I totally spaced the get together!!!! I am so sorry I missed it!!! Looks like you all had fun:) Maybe another time? Love the pencil flags:) Happy New Year!!

    4th Grade Frolics

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  10. Love the pencil tags!! What a great way to start off fresh on Monday. Thanks :)

    Jodi
    fun-in-first.blogspot.com

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  11. Thanks for the pencil flags! I guard my pencil sharpener as well! So glad you have fun at Ice! I live in Orlando and still have never been to see it. They had a discount this year for teachers but since it was Shrek and it is still kinda pricey I decided to wait for another year when it was more traditional. Sounds like you had an awesome winter break! Best of luck in the New Year!
    Rambling About Reading

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  12. Happy New Year Denise! Those pencil flags are as cute as can be! It sounds like you all had a blast at the meet up at that restaurant. :-) I also got to say I'm with you and the flip flops. Other than for work, that's about all I wear!

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  13. Whoooo hoo! Super cute idea as usual girl! Glad you made it home safe and sound!

    Charity

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  14. I had such a wonderful time Denise! You and your husband are such a wonderful couple and I look forward to spending even more time with you in the future- look out NYC- here come the Floridians in flip-flops!

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  15. I needed this! I posted an entire post about my misery in going back Monday (Arghhh!) I know it's sad but I am SO not ready.

    Anyways, these cute little tags turned my frown upside down...for a few minutes!!

    Great Idea & Happy New Year!
    2nd Grade Paradise

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  16. Love your pencil flags!! I can't wait to use them. Happy New Year!

    Jennifer

    The First Grade Dream

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  17. Awww...thanks! I have to say that I also have the exact same pencil sharpener. I have a student with pencil sharpener as job so it won't be destroyed. Alas, someone must have borrowed my sharpener over the summer. When I returned from summer break, it made this grinding noise it's never made before. Our school secretary's hubby takes them apart when they break and usually picks out all the plastic from those "pretty pencils" (glittery, etc.). SO...it's a new rule in my class that your "pretty pencils" must be sharpened by a hand sharpener. My sharpener still works, but grinds occasionally. My sharpener student knows what to do and so far, we still have the sharpener working. I have a small one behind my desk to sharpen my pencils that students aren't allowed to touch. So...all that said to say: be careful of the "pretty pencils" because the plastic that surrounds them wrecks the plastic gears in these new sharpeners! :(

    Melly<><

    Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin' Second Graders!

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  18. Thank you for sharing! My kiddos went nuts over Elf on the Shelf pencil flags before Christmas, so I know they'll just LOVE these ones! :)

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  19. I loved the pic from the meet up!!!!!!!
    -Rachelle
    whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com

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  20. Great idea!
    clporter24@hotmail.com

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  22. I just wanted to let you know that I introduced my students to your 'Bump It' game before Christmas Break, and let me tell ya, they couldn't get enough of it! I will definitely be using your new January ones :) Thanks for sharing your creativity!

    A Chocoholic Teacher

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  23. I talked about your pencils on my blog! I love the idea!!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

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  24. Denise,
    I am so sorry, but I completely forgot where I got the wonderful pencil flags from. I finally remembered!!! So now I am FINALLY telling you how wonderful it was to give students pencils with such an inspirational message!!! I made extras and left one on the secretary's desk. She figured out it was from me and with tears in her eyes told me how much it meant to her. Then my principal told me the same thing! WOW! THANK YOU for sharing!!!!
    Camille
    An Open Door

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  25. Oh my gosh, that's awesome Camille!
    Thanks for sharing the story :)

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  26. I would love it if you would link up to my New Year Linky Party at http://teachingisagift.blogspot.ca/2012/12/2013-new-year-linky-party.html. Let's ring in the new year with lots of great ideas to share and celebrate!

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  27. love the pencil flag. I always give out new pencils when we go back and these flags will welcome them back beautifully.

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