Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thirteen in '13

I'm linking up with some of my blogging friends to bring you my....
What a fun-filled... and FAST year it has been!   I think I could list 1300 things that happened in 2013 if I had time...but "time" is definitely one of those things that I'm ALWAYS short on.... so I'll stick to the first 13 that pop into my head!  In no particular order, here they are...

#1  Being Awarded "Lutheran Teacher of the Year!"
So humbled and honored to have been presented this award.  I LOVE my job!  I feel so very blessed to have the opportunity to work with these little ones each day and share the love of Jesus with them all! I also loved that my family was able to join me in Wisconsin at the National LEA convention to be with me when receiving the award.  {After the convention, we celebrated by spending the rest of the weekend in Wisconsin Dells with some of our best friends.  So fun!}

#2  "I Teach K" in Vegas

How can I even put this experience into words?!  UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE!  The professional development was great...but the friendship building was AMAZING!  Already planning my 2014 trip!

#3  Family Vacation:  Washington D.C.

We packed up and headed out on an awesome road trip to D.C. with our best friends.  My kids were the perfect age to visit D.C., having just learned all about American history.  And to my surprise, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I had my own "celebrity sighting!"  THE Kim Adsit! LOL!   I kid you not... Kim just happened to be visiting at the same place/time I was!   So weird!  We now laugh about me being her stalker-fan!

#4  Summer!!!  
Ahhh.. Nothing "special" to note on this one, just time to relax with the family.  I love spending time with my kiddos.  Love having the opportunity to be a full-time "Mommy" each summer.  We fill our days with CrAzY adventures! 

#5  Watching my kiddos grow up...{Bittersweet!}
 My twins turned 12. (Alexa and Hunter are the twins.)  My "baby" Colton turned 9.  My nephew (semi-adopted "son") went off to college. (Thank goodness it's not too far away! We suffer withdraw weekly, even though he comes "home" to us almost every weekend!)  My niece, 20, also regularly a staple in our home, has been ultra busy this year with college, then working 2 jobs!  I gotta make that girl slow down and spend more time with us!

(Yes... Garrett is making a goofy face!  That's how we roll!)

#6  Blogging Buddies

Oh, how blogging has changed my life... and teaching!  I have met the BEST friends through blogging.  Friends who are "in the trenches" just like me!  I LOVE having kinder-blogging-buddies to share ideas with and bounce ideas around with! Blogging Meet-Ups have been so much fun too!  Meeting up with the ladies (and gents) that challenge me to be a better teacher is just THE BEST!

#7  Kings Island with our "Best-ies"
For my twins' birthday, we invited all of our best friends to make the road trip to Kings Island with us!  It was so much fun!  We spent the day making some incredible memories!  Love these people!!!

#8 Kindergarten Art Show

 At the end of the 2012-2013 school year my K-Team held our own "Kinder-Gallery" Art Show. It was our year-end celebration of our self-made "Artist of the Month" program.  It was awesome.  The kiddos each chose their favorite artist from the year and in small groups made their own artist mini-movies on the iPads. Take a peek HERE.  We served grapes, cheese and sparkling grape juice in "fancy" glasses.  We invited friends, family, and upper-classmen (our school goes to 8th grade) to view our artist mini-movies, then our k kiddos hosted tours of all the master artist inspired art.  What an experience for the kiddos!  {And me too! A local philanthropic organization is currently considering funding an all expense paid trip for me to go to Paris this summer with my instructional assistant to learn more about the master artists...and therefore improve our program!  Wish me luck!!!)

#9 Under Construction: Prepping my classroom in 24 hours!  Ugh!
 Our school was undergoing a renovation project this summer, and let's just say things "got delayed."  I ended up having about 24 hours to prep my room for parent/child visitation visits.  Talk about an all-nighter.  When my co-workers and I ordered pizza and had it delivered to our classroom window, the pizza man said it was the strangest delivery he had ever made!  LOL!  But God is good!  We finished "enough" to welcome the kiddos!  Did I mention I have 37 little kinders this year?!

#10 Sponsoring Adonis
As my son said in our family Christmas letter, we don't have everything we "WANT"...but we have everything we "NEED."  For that, I am so very thankful.  God has given us enough to help others as well, and my family receives so much joy from being able to sponsor our sweet Adonis who lives in the Dominican Republic.  For $35/month, we are able to provide Adonis with the opportunity to go to school, have food to eat, receive medical care, and most importantly learn about God.  If you want to help your children understand how blessed they truly are and want them to learn how NOT to take what they have for granted, considering sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  We exchange letters and photos regularly and now can even email Adonis whenever we want.  It is a life-changing experience.  Check out the video below, made by Christian musician, Jeremy Camp.
Jeremy Camp & Compassion International Sponsor a Child! from Compassion International on Vimeo.

#11 Knowing Evil Didn't Win
My twins, who are 12, wrote to some of the families who lost children in the Sandy Hook school shootings last year.  They sent them pictures they had drawn and also wrote to tell them that our family, our school, and our church were all praying for them.  Hunter received a letter back from one of the victim's family. Such a life changing experience for us, reminding us how important our faith is to us...and reminding us of the power of God's love and prayer.  There is much evil in the world, it's true.  But if we keep God first in our lives, and share His love... Evil DOES NOT win.

#12  What does the fox say??  
Ok... Everyone knows this song, right?  Well... this year I have had the opportunity to watch my daughter further develop her hobby of movie making.  Check out my favorite of the year!  (She is 12...and made this absolutely completely on her own.)  Cracks. Me. Up.

What does the fox say? By Lexi from holly ehle on Vimeo.

#13  Christmas "Jay All Day" Day
This year we invited my family over on Christmas morning for our family get-together.  It was at my I made the rules.  The rules MUST wear FOOTED pajamas... and bring food.  LOL! {Ok.. In all honesty, the PJs were my sister's idea!} After we made it over the hurdle of finding enough adult footed PJs, the rest was cake!  We had a great time! Every one was happy, festive...and COMFORTABLE!  I LOVE "Jay All Day" Christmas Day! It's my new tradition!   {The pics above are my 3 kiddos...then me, hubby, Garrett & Erin (my niece and nephew), and my kiddos.}

Whew!  What a whirlwind year!  
I'm sooo looking forward to finding out what 
adventures 2014 will bring!  
I'd love to know what your 2013 was "link up" using the "Thirteen in '13" logo at the top of the post!


  1. Wow! What a fantastic year you had!
    Here's to a wonderful 2014!
    I smiled your whole post through!

  2. Love this post. I am especially inspired by your one day classroom set up since I am about to have one day to transform an existing kindergarten room into my style.

  3. Love your post! Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  4. Wow Holly! You had one incredible year!! I especially loved the PJs! You are blessed with such a beautiful family! Wish I was going to Nashville but too many trips to the states did me in this year! Send hugs to Elizabeth for me!

  5. What a a year!!! I hope you get to go to Paris AND Las Vegas!! Thank you for sharing all the happiness! Have a great time with Elizabeth!