Recent Favorites

Wow...I glanced down at the date of my last post, and it was in FEBRUARY!! How did March fly by so fast?? Well, I guess it didn't, I just haven't blogged in a while! But I'm officially on spring break (insert mega cheers here), and I plan on catching up and getting some posts ready for you! Today, I decided to share some recent favorites. Not all of these are from the month of March, but these are what I've been loving lately!

Favorite Event- Kilimanjaro Marathon
The Kilimanjaro Marathon is a well-known marathon across the world, and people come from all over to run in the full and half marathons. There is also a 5k fun run! Since we are raising money for our new school campus at Hope International School, one of the fundraisers we did was to RUN FOR HOPE! We had a giving campaign online; and we also sold t-shirts and wristbands in Moshi. On March 1st, I, along with several others from my organization, walked in the 5k fun run. But the really exciting part was that over seven people in our group ran the half-marathon that day! It was fun to cheer them on to the finish line, after finishing our morning walk. I love how this encouraged community, and brought us together to #runforhope! I love the awesome people in my "family" here!!
Our group of 5k Walkers for Hope!
Missionary Must-Have: Polar Insulated Water Bottle
This water bottle is my favorite! After trying a few (Camelbak, regular twist cap/plastic bottle, one with a straw), I hadn't really found a favorite. I ordered this one off of Amazon when I was home for Christmas, and fell in love! My parents have used the Polar Bottles for years, but I never thought to get one of my own!
Top 5 reasons why I love it:
1. It's double-walled, with a insulated panel in between. That means less sweating, and keeping my water cool longer (even in the Tanzanian heat!).
2. It's squeezable. I love that it is a soft plastic, to easily squeeze and not get broken.
3. No hands on the spout! The drink spout can pop up and down without having to get my hands that have been who-knows-where on it. I only wish there was some sort of attachable cap on it so the spout wouldn't be out in the open.
4. 24 ounces- I can't stand small water bottles! Here, you don't know when the next time you'll be able to fill up your water bottle will be, especially when we're shopping in town or out in a village church. 24 oz. is a great size to keep me hydrated and my thirst quenched for a while.
5. IT'S CUTE!!! I love that they are making them know with a cute design on the insulated panel! The one I got is blue with whimsical flowers on it. It means I can still have a very practical water bottle, without sacrificing for a boring design.

Favorite Student Spelling
I love looking at my students' writing and see their inventive spelling! I did a mini-lesson a couple weeks ago about how we don't have to ask for the spelling of every word. Instead, we can stretch out the word we want to write, like we stretch out our bubblegum to blow a bubble! We can make mistakes when we are writing and working hard, because we are learning! I gave them each a small piece of bubblegum, and we stretched out the word beautiful together as a class- and spelled it butiful. We also did "jiraf" (giraffe) and a few others. I got the idea from Joyful Learning in KC! Then, we went back to our desks and did a few more words with individual whiteboards! It was a super easy lesson that really stuck (pun intended)!!
Some students do really well with inventive spelling, others not so much (until that lesson!!). I was going through some measurement papers we did, and I saw this spelling of centimeters! Isn't it awesome?! I laughed, but also thought he did a great job of using what he knew sounded like the word and stretching the sounds out. I just had to share!

Favorite Kili Sighting
Mount Kilimanjaro never ceases to take my breath away. It's majesty points straight to heaven, and I still can't believe how close I am to it! One particular evening (it always is seen better in the mornings and evenings), myself and my roommates were in town getting dinner. I saw this beauty as we were pulling up and had to stop for a picture. I'm so blessed to live in a place with the most beautiful views!
Favorite OOPS Moment
I try to do as many hands-on learning and crafts that I can in my classroom. One of those crafts that was made up on a late-night whim was to make cirrus clouds out of cornstarch and glue on a blue background. I have a whole cloud-related post coming up more about that, but let's get to the oops moment! We were all cleaning up (we had done the activity outside for easy cleanup), and there was quite a bit of cornstarch on the ground outside that we weren't doing anything with. I turned my back to go put things away for a second, and before I knew it, one of my students was COVERED in cornstarch!!! He wanted to be "messy", and was doing facedown cornstarch angels! I didn't know whether to laugh or be upset. It was quite the funny sight!! They always keep me on my toes!! This is a memory that will not soon be forgotten, that is for sure!!

A Missionary Lifesaver: Jockery Portable Charger
Last week was the first time I experienced almost two full days without power. It was CRAZY....enough for this conversation to happen at our dinner table on day two of no power:

My Roommate Taylor: Remember Ladies...we have the Light inside of us!
Me: I wish I could plug my computer into that!

Fun times! Anyways, I got the charger for Christmas, and it has become a necessity! I absolutely LOVE that I can charge my devices, even when I'm without an outlet or power. I feel like this is definitely a must-have for missionaries! It carries a good charge (think at least two full iPhone charges), and it has two USB ports, if you're really needing to power up two devices at the same time. It also has a small LED flashlight, just in case.
It might look a little big (it's about the size of my iPhone, maybe a bit heavier), but it's so worth getting a bigger one! I put it, along with it's charger, my iPhone charger, ear buds, and any other USB charging cords in a small makeup bag, and it all fits perfectly! It can hold a charge well, and is just so handy!

Favorite Blog: A Day in First Grade
I just love when you stumble upon a blog perfectly designed for your needs! I've been following Kristen for a while, but now that I have my first grade class, her blog has been a LIFE-SAVER! I first used her ideas in November for Volcano Day, and now her blog pops up as one of my most-visited web pages! I am using her weather unit right now, which is awesome, and I just love her blog! She has really creative, hands-on ideas that my students LOVE and is just so awesome!! If you are a first grade (or kindergarten) teacher, you must check out her blog!

Favorite Skincare Products
I've been using these products for a few months now. These are great to hydrate my skin and keep it fresh even through the dust and sweat! My newest find are the Cetaphil Cleansing Cloths. I grabbed these when I was home for Christmas!! I really like the packaging, with the plastic snap lid to keep in the moisture. They are not irritating, and are great for removing makeup or just for an easy way to clean your face on the go!! The Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray is awesome! It's very refreshing and hydrating to my dry skin. As is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. This is a great, lightweight face and body cream that is very moisturizing and perfect as an all-in-one product! And my Rosebud Salve is a holy grail product for me. It's texture is similar to Vaseline, and it can be an awesome lip balm, or help treat very dry and irritated areas of skin. My hands can get really dry and cracked sometimes, and this stuff is a miracle worker on them! It doesn't sting them, but helps hydrate and repair the dry and cracked skin. Plus, it's tinted a slight bit pink and smells like roses. SO GOOD

Favorite Moments with my Firsties
I could probably choose a favorite moment DAILY that I've had with my first graders! I love them so much, and am so blessed to be their teacher! Last week, especially was so fun! We...
...won the school-wide coin war, which earned us an ice cream party!

...went on a field trip to learn more about money! (Separate blog post coming soon!)

...had some fun on April Fool's Day, as I pranked them with some brown E's! Their reaction was PRICELESS!!

Please make sure you are following my Facebook page for more fun moments with my students and first grade teaching ideas!!

I think that's enough favorites for today! I will be trying to get on some sort of a regular schedule soon, though I'm not promising anything, as we will be in the homestretch of the school year starting next week, and, boy, do I have my work cut out for me!! What has been a favorite for you recently? Let me know down in the comments!!

Much Love, Allie

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