Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Great SOL

I have truly enjoyed being a part of this SOL Challenge again this school year. Even though life happened and I wasn't able to slice everyday, I still loved being able to take part in this. From doing this experience I have been able to really reflect on the day, and see what life lesson surfaced for me. Even as an adult we are still learning! We are learning how to communicate with others, how to handle day to day events, how to better ourselves, and so much more. For me I learned how I interpret the events of the day and how I let them affect me personally. I have also learned that it is almost like a release for me to write about my day. It is such a calming experience to type out the day's events and truly see just how much was accomplished. 

If you could narrow your SOL experience in 3 words what would they be? 
Mine would be...

Thank you again for this opportunity to participate in this with you all! I am excited to see a lot of you in the JH next year! Come see me!

Your Fellow Blogger, 
Mrs. Hulstine

Thursday, March 26, 2015

31 Reasons

Today I turned the big 31! The day was perfect for some many reasons!

1. My boys sang to me first time this morning!
2. Brock picked at an Ariel Princess doll because he said that I am a princess!

3. Lots of my students came in to tell me Happy Birthday!
4. 4 classes came in during 1st hour to sing to me (as Mr. Belt said once, this is not suppose to be pretty sounding)
5. My sweet aide bought me a book light! (Mr. Hulstine was excited because that means he doesn't have to keep his light on at night while I read)
6. My sweet friend made me a charm bracelet!
7. My parent pal spoiled me with chocolate and a shopping gift-card.

8. My husband sang to me multiple times (including one time with a horse mask! DON'T ASK)
9. My mom, brother, and sister-in-law all come over!
10. I ran 5 miles today!
11. Received a singing voice message from my 2nd mom (Mother-in-law).
12. My husband brought home sushi for dinner!

13. Watched the latest episode of The Voice with my boys!
14. Another sweet friend hang signs outside the library telling everyone it was my birthday!
15. My sweet dog has been by my side all evening!
16. A sweet student brought me the sweetest cute with a cute little Spiderman ball.
17. Lunch with my husband
18. Beautiful sunshine today!
19. Brock got me some Peeps!

20. I did NO housework after school!
21. Brock was able to rescue Ariel from Venom (he is the one who put her in the box)
22. Reading stories to my little man
23. Was able to finish ALL my grading at school!
24. Great conversations with some close friends!

25. Went for a ride in my brother's new truck!
26. Lots of sweet messages on Facebook from my family in England!
27. Lots of sweet messages on Facebook from friends and family!
28. How could I forgot, I received a Cadbury egg!

29. Warm blankets to snuggle with!
30. FaceTime with the family!
31. Thankful for another year of celebrating with my family!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Things Adults Tell Children

Listening to the storm blowing in tonight makes for the most relaxing and peaceful sleeping. Well, that was probably the case before we had Brock. Before his bedtime routine started, I kept noticing the lightning. Going back and forth between the lightning I could see in our dining room and looking to see if Brock noticed was making me have a sore neck. We made it to the shower, brushing his teeth, and reading his bedtime stories without him even noticing a thing. The lights go out to snuggle for a few minutes and BOOM! 
He sees it!!!! 

With my husband reassuring me MULTIPLE times (when Brock wasn't around) that it was just a thunderstorm, I can enjoy hearing the rain hit my roof and the flicker of light coming in through the curtains. Brock not so much!!!! He was freaking out (literally) and telling us that he thinks it would be best for him to sleep in our room. After multiple times of trying to reassure him that it was just some rain I remembered a story that was told me when I was a little girl afraid of the thunder and lightning. I was told that it was a sign that God was bowling. 

The thunder represents when God is throwing the bowling ball down the lane, and the lightning tells you that he got a STRIKE! Brock loved the idea of God bowling because he loves to bowl! Grant it that is with bumpers on the side, but that is beside the point right now! :) He went from freaking out to lets see how many strikes God can get. Some may disagree with me telling my son this, but I started to really think about the things that make me nervous and scared. When I am feeling a little anxious it is because I am thinking of all the negative things. Is it not true that once we see the positive our fears, anxious thoughts, and nervousness seem to disappear as well? When we can turn our fears into something positive it doesn't control us anymore. Instead, we become more powerful and willing to go forward. I think that is something that some point in our lives we want to do. There will come a time when you really want to try-out for something, apply for that dream job, but there is that little voice inside of you creating doubt or fear. Maybe that point is right now in your life. 

You have two choices: 
1. You can hide under the covers nervousness waiting for that next strike of lightning OR
2. You can wait with excitement for that next strike of lightning to see if you got the STRIKE! 

The choice is yours! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Alarm What?

We all knew this day was coming, but there was still that tiny part of me that was thinking it was another day away. 

Oh how nice it had been to not have to set an alarm, could take a nap whenever, and just relax. Not so much this morning. I set my alarm for WAY TOO EARLY (at least earlier than the previous week), laid out my clothes for work, got my workout clothes ready, backpack in check, and off to dreamland for such a short amount of time. Everything was perfect in my dreamland until that dreaded ALARM went off!

What is that loud noise blaring in my ear? It was the wonderful thing that had been shut off for a week. The sound of a new day to educate the youth of America. It is the sound that another day has be given for you to share and make memories with others. Now, at first I was not thinking all those happy thoughts when I first heard that alarm. To be honest, I may have hit the snooze button a couple of times (like for another 30 minutes but that is not the point). Today was back to reality, back to the blessing of having a routine, back to not taking a nap or sleeping in till 8! 
Although the alarm was not my best friend this morning, I started thinking about just how blessed I am to have the kind of job that I do. I am able to enjoy breaks through the year that I don't have to work at a job for so long in order to get 2 weeks of vacation. I have a job that allows me the opportunity to be out of school with my son if there is a snow day and not have to worry about who can watch him. I may not have a job that makes a lot of money, but I have a job that I enjoy being at. Isn't that what we want. We want things in our lives that we love. I may not have liked getting up so early, but once I was there I rediscovered just how much I love my job! I love having the time off, but I truly enjoy doing what I do. I hope and pray that each of you are able to say that in the future! Now is off to bed as I have an alarm that will be telling me it is a start to a new day here soon!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Collection of 1st over Spring Break

1. Ran my first 8k in Branson

2. Brock roasted Marshmallows for the first time

3. Won Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt

4. Brock played BINGO

5. Planted a Garden (praying it actually grows)

6. Ate dinner outside for the 1st time this season

7. Ran 6 miles for the first time

8. We all got our first sunburn of the season

Love making memories with my family!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Last Day at Big Cedar

Today was our last day at Big Cedar, and we had a fabulous time. The day started out with breakfast and a movie at the condo. 

After that, I went to the fitness center to run. I am happy to say I was able to get 5 miles in. It is super easy to run on a treadmill that has a TV attached to it! I felt like I could have ran forever just watching What Not to Wear and Love, Lust, or Run! Not going to lie, I was starting to really question my fashion sense after watching those shows. Once I returned to the condo we had lunch, and then my son wanted to go swimming. 

Yeah! It was cold! I can say that I was not brave enough to get into the water! I was just fine in my sweats watching him splash around. After about an hour of freezing out, Brock was totally fine, we decided to head back to the condo to get ready for our next adventure of the day! BINGO!!!

We played about seven games and I can say that we never won! I discovered during this little activity just how competitive my 5-year old son is! At one point he looked at me and told me he was bored because he wasn't winning. I love his competitive side, but teaching him how to handle losing is definitely our next focus topic. That is kind of hard when you live with a football coach! Instead of cooking tonight we decided to eat out on the resort. We made reservations and had a wonderful dinner at Devil's Pool Restaurant. After dinner we walked over to the Devil's Pool Bridge where there is a beautiful waterfall. 

Now are all snuggling up watching and movie and relaxing. I have loved being away and getting to spend some much needed quality time with my family. With that said, I think I speak for all of us when I say we have enjoyed our time at Big Cedar but there is nothing like being home. It has been a wonderful Spring Break and we definitely have a lot to write down for our Memory Jar! 

Hulstine Spring Break 2015 can be marked as a SUCCESS! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

R & R Day

Today was what I would like to call a R&R kind of day! That is a rainy relaxing day! Even though we are on vacation it was nice to just hang out around the condo and relax. We all stayed in our jammies until while after lunch time. Brock watched movies, Nathan watched Dirty Jobs, and I read an amazing book by Karen Kingsbury! 

Something I have noticed as I have gotten older is that some of the most perfect vacations are those that you aren't doing something all the time. Vacation is suppose to be a time of relaxing and rejuvenating yourself. Today was the perfect day to do that! The place we are staying out is mostly known for all of the outdoor activities you can do. They do have movies you can rent and an indoor swimming pool at one building (which of course today was crazy busy!) 

It was a perfect vacation day for all of us! Do you keep your schedule crazy busy with all the to-dos of life, or do you sometimes let the rain control your day! It is comes down slow and steady with little noise! should be a word in all of our vocabulary!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Well it has been awhile since I was able to write my blog. Last Thursday night I was up till midnight packing for our upcoming Spring Break trip. Friday, we left and were at a place that didn't have wifi! We are finally at a place that has wifi connection. 

I am not going to lie, it was a little hard at first to not be able to get on my Instagram or Twitter till last night. I even caught myself almost freaking out a little bit because I wasn't able to do my blog! That is the perfectionist side of me, but then I started thinking about how people use to communicate before Wifi! I remember when dial-up internet was the cool thing, and you had to wait till you were home to MSN Messenger your friends. Now with just a click of a button we can communicate with just about anyone. 

I will say I enjoyed not spending my spare time checking my twitter or instagram all day long, and I am sure my cell phone battery appreciated the time off. I am very grateful for the change of times too. To be able to share good news, prayer requests, and pictures with others that can't be there with just a couple clicks of a button is awesome! I am glad to be back blogging and sharing my day with all of you! 

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I am so in love with the amazing temperatures we have been having the last couple of days! I use to think it was silly when people would talk about having spring fever! 

Holy Moly! It is NO joke! The beautiful sun shining and amazing temperatures makes it hard to focus. Knowing that in only 2 days I get to experience a week of sleeping in, soaking in the sun, and spending time with my family is only making the Spring Fever worse!!! I can't seem to remember what I am doing at work, I can't remember where things are, and all I want to do is BE OUTSIDE! 

Two more days! Two more days! That is what I am telling myself as we start packing for Spring Break! WE CAN DO THIS!!! WE CAN MAKE IT TWO MORE DAYS! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

School Fundraisers!

Tonight Brock brought home a paper to purchase his artwork for a fundraiser for his school from Art To Remember. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen! Grant it, I think this about everything that Brock creates. Still, the fact that I could have his artwork on a garden flag, magnet, flower pot, notepad, mouse pad, etc was beyond cool to me. 

Of course I did the most normal thing and called the Grandparents to have them go online and look at this stuff too! I mean one it is there grandson, and two it is a school fundraiser! I am pretty sure that is part of the Grandparents handbook to purchase things from their grandson. 

This is probably one of the coolest fundraisers I have been seen. Trust me, I use to be a HS cheerleading coach so I have seen A LOT of fundraisers. For the first time though it is something that different represents your child, grandchild, etc. I also love the fact that this isn't your purchase some chocolates or extremely overpriced wrapping paper. This is something that has meaning, represents my son at this age, and that the fundraiser represents what it is for, the art department! I am so excited to have helped out my son's school, and at the same time I will have something that I will cherish forever! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Truman Party

Today I had my 2nd Truman Reader party for 26 of the qualifying 7th and 8th graders. In order to be a part of this you have to read 4 of the 12 Truman Nominee Books. These are books that have a copyright date of 2 years ago, and are known to be the best books for JH students in the state of Missouri. All the students have to do is read these books and answer a few questions about the books. It is a lot like the Mark Twain books that are offered to the middle school students. 

I had 2 students that read all 12 of the books, and 8 students that read more than 4. Every student that qualified received a bag full of treats, pencils, bookmarks, certificates for free food, a Truman book, and a book of their choice. The students who read more than 4 received an additional prize of a poster of their choice. Finally, the students who read all of them received a $10 gift certificate to Books-A-Million. 

I loved being able to party with these kiddos and recognize them for achieving this. On top of all of that the students get to vote for their favorite and I turn those votes into the state. I love having this program be a part of the library because it is something that focuses on the students and their interests. I am super excited to share this experience with all your upcoming JH students next year! 

Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

List of Activities from Sunday!

1. Church


3. Grocery Shopping for this week & Spring Break! 

4. Put groceries away!


6. Eat lunch and snuggle with my little man!

7. Dishes


9. Straighten up the house

10. Play catch with my little man


12. Played Legos with my little man!

13. Make Dinner


15. Clean up from Dinner

16. Jumped on the trampoline with the family

17. Get little man ready for bed


19. Blog

Happy Sunday Evening!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Challenge Yourself!

Have you ever really challenged yourself? Have you ever really focused your mind on something that you would like to do? 

I have had many moments like this before in my life, but for the first time I really set my mind to do something. In November of 2014, I decided that I was going to run a 10k (6.2 miles) within the next year. I have ran a handful of 5k's, but never really enjoyed the whole running craze. Dealing with different things in my life, I decided that challenging myself to do something I had never done before would be a great place to focus my thoughts and energy. I looked up different workouts online until I found the perfect one. When I say the perfect one I mean the training that was for BEGINNERS!!! Remember a couple of sentences before I stated that I didn't really enjoy this whole running thing. Running a mile was BRUTAL! At the beginning of my training I could not see myself running for more than 20 minutes on the treadmill!

Five months later, I ran 5 miles, at one time, for the first time this week! To be exact, by the end of today I ran a total of 15 miles this week! This is huge for the girl who thought running on a treadmill for more than 20 minutes was too long. Today I was outside running for an HOUR!!!! A challenge that I set for myself five months ago doesn't seem that out of reach now! I still haven't picked the 10k race I am going to run, and trust me I am not running to win 1st place. I am running to challenge myself, and show myself that I really can do anything I set my mind to. So I am going to ask you this again.....

Have you ever really challenged yourself? Have you ever really focused your mind on something that you would like to do? 

Focus your mind on something and challenge yourself! You will never know what you can accomplish until you do! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Top 10 Things You Should Know About JH Dances

10. It is a great excuse to get a new outfit. (This goes for girls AND boys!)

9. You do not have to have rhythm to participate.

8. Teachers secretly enjoy chaperoning because they get to see a different side of their students.

7. Selfies are a MUST, even in the dark!

6. Always have money for Mt. Dew

5. Try not to break yourself when break dancing!

4. It is a lot like recess but with really loud music!

3. Don't challenge teachers to a dance off because they might accept and make you look bad! 

2. Having "Just Dance" playing gets more students to dancing instead of hugging the walls.

1. When the teachers kick you outside it is so they can have their chance to bust a move without any kiddos taking videos and putting them on YouTube!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


So I know that I am a day behind on watching the recap of The Voice! That is one reason why I am so thankful for the snow day today. I am ABSOLUTELY obsessed with this show!  

There is something to be said about really judging someone by their talent and NOT their appearance. I remember discovering this show when it first started a few years ago. Mr. Hulstine was at a track meet, and I had just put Brock to bed. I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. We didn't have Netflix at the time so it was really hard to find something to watch. That was when I discovered the 1st season winner, Javien Colon singing. It was literally something that stopped me immediately. It was the first night of blind auditions, and I was completely blown away with how different this was from American Idol. I was immediately in love with the process, and the stories these people had to share. 

Since the first season I have been amazed with all the talent that is out there. It is hard to believe that this show is going into its 8th season, and that there are versions of this show all over the world. As an educator I always try to teach that you should never judge a person by their outside, but by what is in the inside. Finally, there is a reality TV show that is doing the same thing! Some many people out in this world are too afraid to display their talents because they lack self-confidence in their physical appearance. 

What is your talent? Are you willing to let the world see it? 
You never know you could be a life changer! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Emotional Momma

Tonight was another first for us as we took Brock to get his first bat for tee-ball. Last year when I was working on this Slice of Life journey, my readers were able to embrace my craziness as "that mom" when he started soccer. I have attached the link below, Man Down, for your reading pleasure. 

After reading that you probably get a better picture of how I am as a mom when it comes to this kind of stuff. I can't help it. He is our only child and that is just how I am. I am sure some of you are feeling extremely sorry for Brock. Until the day he tells me I am embarrassing him, I will not stop. I may not even be able to stop then because I sometimes can't control my excitement! I am all of the following:

1. Cheerer (I don't speak English during this time)
2. Competitive (that side came out in yesterday's blog)
3. Supportive (colored bling)

So here we are getting ready to approach his first year of tee-ball. To top that off, Mr. Hulstine is going to be one of his coaches. As we are standing in the baseball aisle, I am catching myself already picturing his in his little baseball pants ready to hit a GRAND SLAM. Ok, so I am pretty sure that won't  happen in tee-ball because they hit off of a tee. Still it was like all this excitement was building up in me. Here we are, another chapter in our lives, experiencing another first with our son. With soccer, his father and I knew NOTHING about it, but with baseball we have a little experience. I sure hope so since Mr. Hulstine is coaching! :) 

Even though we may not have a schedule yet, or I don't have his team colors to start shopping for my colored bling, we still have something to mark in our books as a first. The thing with firsts is that you only get to experience them once. Even as little as going to Wal-Mart to pick out a bat. I am sure we will be picking out more bats in our future, but not like today. His FIRST bat, his FIRST tee-ball, another FIRST! Took all your firsts and embrace them to see how BIG they really are! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Just Some Hoops!

First, I would like to say that today was a MUCH better day than yesterday at work! I was able to get all the Truman Reader Club invites finished! (I can't wait to share what that is with all the upcoming 7th graders!) The internet was working like a CHAMP, and we started moving some of our new bookcases! 

Tonight I discovered that my MS basketball skills are still FRESH! I think that is the "cool" term for good. Who knows, you kids change your lingo all the time. Anyways, Mr. Hulstine, Brock, and myself had to run to the JH tonight to get some things ready for FCA in the morning. (Another great thing I can't wait to share with the upcoming 7th graders!) Mr. Hulstine got the brilliant idea that we could shot some hoops. Brock was super pumped about it! That lasted a HOT second as he discovered it was a lot more fun to slide across the gym floor in his house shoes then shot a ball that he can't even get close the hoop. Mr. Hulstine and I decided to play a game of "Horse" and "Pig." I was hitting the corner of the square and getting that ball in the hoop. Mr. Hulstine discovered my weakness. That is if I can't aim for the square the ball is not going in. I am not for sure why we think playing a game against each other is every a good idea because it always turns into WAR! We are two competitive people that will do just about anything to beat the other person. He made a basket from HALF COURT! My little stub for arms can barely get the ball near the hoop from the 3-pt line. 

In the end, I was a Horse and he was a Pig! The good news is that I beat him on a one-to-one game. Grant it, I only had to score one basket on him to his five against me. Based on the fact that my basketball abilities have not changed since MS, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit! I will take that W and not complain! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Not So Fun Day!

Monday Not-So Fun Day

Have you ever had a day that you thought was going to be awesome, and quickly that disappeared? That is exactly how my day was today. I know there is that saying about "Oh What A Monday!" Today that was just my motto. Brock didn't want to finish his cereal this morning because he was so into his cartoons. 

Once I finally made it to work, I realized I had a meeting to attend. I realized this because the meeting was in the library. Next, none of my computers were connecting to the WiFi. This isn't a good thing when you teach 2 technology classes first thing in the morning. I tried to print some things off that needed to be printed by tomorrow, and of course that wasn't happening. I was starting to think that I should have just stayed in bed. 

That is when I started to realize that I wasn't going to let a few little hiccups ruin the rest of my day. Not everyday is going to be a picture perfect day. Some days are going to make you feel like the picture above, and others you wish may never end. It is about how you handle those days whenever they come to you. Put on your smile that can make any day brighter, and remember that at the end of the day you can be a lazy bones and have a fresh start when you wake. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Little About Me

March 1st!

I am so excited to be apart of this Slice of Life Challenge again this year. Last year, was my first time to EVER blog. At first it was hard to get started, but once I started typing it was amazing how much I enjoyed reflecting on the day. I am super excited to share in the experience with you all and learn more about you!

For this blog I am going to tell you little about me. I have been in education for eight years now. My first four years I taught 5th grade Science, Language Arts, and Math at Carl Junction Intermediate. My next two years I was a 5th grade teacher at Webb City Middle School in Pod 1. Now, I am currently the JH Librarian and LOVING it! I have been married for 9 years, in May, to Mr. Nathan Hulstine. He has been a Special Education at the JH for the last seven years, and is also an Assistant Coach for the WCHS football team. We have a five year old little boy, Brock, who attends pre-school at Madge T. James. Finally, we have an eight year old, 56 in dog years, boxer named Rocky. 

I love spending time with my family, reading, exercising, going on vacations, shopping, and watching football and baseball. I have recently discovered a new hobby of mine which is running.  I am currently training to run a 10k sometime in May. 

I am going to try REALLY hard to blog everyday! If I forget one night, please don't yell at me too much! HAHAHA  Anyways, I would love to know more about you and some of the things you like to do. 

Here is to another great Slice of Life Challenge!