Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Canvas Give Away

Lately I have been getting several emails asking me to review different products.  I have no idea what I'm suddenly being bombarded with these request, but I could not have been more excited to receive one from Easy Canvas Prints.  

Photo on Canvas We have a long hallway in the new house where I want to do a photo gallery.  A 16x20 canvas is a great place to start.

Agreeing to review their product was the easy part.  The hard part was choosing a picture.

I have been unsure about using a photo of Andrew and me.  Seems a little strange to order a huge canvas of myself.  But we don't have any kids and I didn't want a huge canvas of our dogs.  They are my babies but I refuse to be that person. 

There is currently a beautiful painting of the house hanging inside our new home.  I would love to keep it, but the family will be taking it with them.  It gave me the idea of doing something similar.  That is part of the reason I chose to take pictures of downtown.  I thought about using one of those pictures from this post.  

I finally came back around to the idea of using a picture of Andrew & me.  After some facebook encouragement I decided to do it.

I chose one of my all time favorite photos.  It is from our Christmas card photo shoot back in 2007.  That was my favorite photo shoot EVER!  Uncle Kevin captured some great shots.  I remember just wanting to capture our love for one another in a photo.  It was a success.  Several of those pictures have become my favorites.

Including this one that is now a huge canvas print.

As if getting a free canvas for myself wasn't exciting enough I get to offer one of you a free canvas as well.

This company was great to work with.  They were very patient with me as I tried to decide what photo I wanted to use.  

Though I didn't choose to go this route, I was very excited to see that you can use an instagram photo.  How many of have a favorite picture on our phone that just doesn't print well?  
Easy Canvas Print can put it on a canvas for you.

 I cannot wait to hang my canvas in my new home.  And I cannot wait to give one of you a free canvas for your home.

The giveaway will run until September 10

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teacher Talk Volume 1

Change is hard for me.  Even good change.  Even change that I believe lines up with God's will for my life.

I am excited to have "met" Nicole through her blog and twitter.  I don't even remember now how I stumbled onto her blog, but I know it was a God thing.  Nicole has such a beautiful heart.  I read her blog and walk away feeling a strong desire to spend more time with the Lord.  Her love for our heavenly father shines through every word.

That's why I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of the Teacher talk link up.  Nicole has organized a way for teachers from all over to encourage each other.

This could not have come at a more perfect time for me.  Though I only have good things to say about my new school and new coworkers, I'm really struggling with being there.

Some days I just want to pack up and quit.  I want to go back to HG where I felt like I knew what I was doing.

I'm being pushed outside of my comfort zone.  And yet I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

I believe this monthly link up is one way God is going to encourage me and help me not only survive this school year but thrive in it.

Today is the first day to link up with other teachers and share a little bit about ourselves.

So here it goes...

I'm Elaina.  I'm married to my best friend and biggest supporter.

We have two furbabies, Liberty Belle & Lincoln Baxter, and are praying God will bless us with children someday soon.

I have always wanted to teach.  I was the little girl who pretended my stuffed animals were my students.  I received a chalkboard easel one year for Christmas and it quickly became my most favorite gift ever!

When I graduated high school there was never any question about my next step.  I would go to college and get my degree so that I could teach.

One of my most memorable teachers was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Russell.  I can still remember her class like it was yesterday.  Because she made such an impact on my I always thought I wanted to teach 4th grade.

My first internship in college was in a self contained 4th grade classroom and I hated it.  I was miserable.  It really confused me.  I believed with everything in me that God had called me to teach, but it was nothing like I had expected.  I spoke with one of my professors about it and she told me to wait until the next semester and see how I felt.  The next semester was to be sent teaching an older grade and one content area.  It ended up being 6th grade English for me.

I loved it!!

After graduating college, I taught one year at a private school, and then was hired on at HG where I taught every subject at the 7th grade level.

I learned that I LOVE 7th graders!!  And I loved teaching science, which is something I never thought I would say.

My husband took a new job at the beginning of this year that required us to move.

I had to leave HG, a school that had become family to me.

I'm now teaching 5th and 6th grade Math.

I'm not even two weeks into the school year so it is a little early to make a judgement on this new grade level.  I think I will learn to love it, but right now I'm struggling with all the change.

This year is my 8th year to teach and I honestly can't imagine myself doing anything else.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Last Weekend of Summer

I went back to work this past week.  It was a long and exhausting week full of meetings. They were great and I learned a lot, but man am I tired.  

It was a week of ups and downs.  

I'm loving my new school.  My coworkers are incredibly nice and helpful.  The administration is amazing and they go all out for their new teachers.  We all received new MacBook Pros this week!!  They fed us breakfast and lunch every day.  

We prayed over every meal.

There have been several times over the past week where I was brought to tears of thanksgiving.  I have felt incredibly blessed.

But there have also been days where I have been brought to tears of frustration and stress.  This past week has been a week of change.  I'm in a new school with new people and with new rules and procedures.  It has been a lot to take in.  Especially for someone who doesn't like change.

At one point I just wanted to go back to HG where I knew what I was doing.  

It will just take time.  

And a few more fun moments like this...

Andrew's brother, Cary, and his fam came over Thursday night to stay a few days with us.  

We had a lot of fun this weekend.  I'm so glad I was able to relax and spend time with them instead of spending those days stressing about Monday.

Some great memories were made on this last weekend of summer.

We hiked to Collins Creek.  I use the term hiked loosely.

It was beautiful and the kids absolutely loved it!

We visited the hatchery.

Homemade pizzas were made.

Naps were taken.

Lots of swimming and fun on the boat happened.

Jackson swam all over the lake like this.

 Andrew and Jackson swimming back from the buoy.  Jackson wasn't real sure about this idea.  He told Andrew "When we get there lets go back to the boat immediately."  Haha!

 This little guy cracked me up waddling around the boat.

 Driving lessons for everyone.

 Miss Millie did not want to get in the lake.  We finally just put her in and she loved it!

 He had the time of his life until a "baby snake licked him" and then he was DONE!

 Can't go out on The Liberty Belle without a little lake basketball.

Loved having you guys here!  Looking forward to your next visit.