A little faith and a lot of love go a long way…

Fake it Friday!

Well, well, well…we meet again. It’s been a bit of a….hectic week, to say the least. But never fear, Fake It Friday is here.

Brought to you by the largest can I’ve ever seen…a 1 pt 8 oz Heineken can!
*Heineken does not necessarily support or endorse the opinions expressed in this blog. No one does really.


As I participated in a grade level meeting this week, it occurred to me that one of the best ways to fake it is to use big words. Actually, the key is to use them correctly or at least say them with enough confidence that everyone who hears you thinks you know what you’re talking about. Thankfully I’m a nerd who loves words and vocabulary.  I’m not at the level that one of my dearest friends is, but I can usually hold my own if I have too. The words or phrases don’t necessarily have to be ridiculously long or hard to pronouce, but just words that sound smart.

Just drop a few big ones into a conversation like, “impeccable,” “I concur,” “but I digress,” integrated,” “imperative,” and as I type I just realized that I apparently enjoy words that begin with the letter “i.” But I digress. HA. Gotchya. Thought I was with it, eh? I don’t even know what that means for sure.  In fact, most times I have no idea what I’m saying. But I talk fast and use semi-educated sounding words. Bring on the fake.

The second tip I have for faking it tonight is so obvious but of course it took me 3 weeks to figure out. Are you ready? Use Pinterest. DUH. Make stuff that looks cool and makes you look like you’re really with it but it was never your idea to begin with.

Exhibit A: “App”lying Academic Choice : Choice board to use in the classroom

I have to give credit where credit is due. A very helpful colleague who is open to sharing and lets me steal lots of her great ideas gave me this idea (and graciously supplied most of the supplies as well!).  The whole idea of creating an i-pad lookalike has been on Pinterest a lot though I think inspired many of the teachers that I work with.  With that being said though, I sometimes struggle with turning an idea into reality because 1.) I’m lazy and 2.) I’m a very linear thinker and it’s hard for me to put it all together without having visual models. My colleague made her choice board and allowed me to put mine together using hers so I could look at it while I worked. She probably doesn’t know it, bu just having that visual made a HUGE difference for me in terms of being able to get a finished product. Amen!

Soooooo…use Pinterest, get lots of wonderful, creative ideas, then do them and let everyone think you’re a rock star! For example, someone in the building saw me carrying my choice board as I was finishing up and was super impressed with me. The one thing about faking it that I’m bad at though is that I don’t feel comfortable lying to fake things. So if I get caught faking it, I’ll be the first to tell you. Which is what I did in this particular situation – I laughed and let the person know that I was flattered they thought it was my idea, but I couldn’t take credit, C. (my colleague) had given me the idea and helped me put it together. So much for faking it. Ya win some, ya lose some! 😉



Wherefore art thou Fake It Friday?

Sorry to disappoint but I had to take a hiatus from Fake It Friday because it turned out that this past Friday was actually DATE NIGHT FRIDAY! They are few and far between as it is so when the chance for a date night arose, I had to snap it up.  Thankfully I did because it was super fun.

We and 2 other couples had dinner together at Carrabas, a yummy Italian restaurant. Then we met up with another friend and kicked it old school by going BOWLING. Big Daddy Byron just had to watch because they didn’t have shoes big enough to fit his gargantuan feet, but he had fun anyways because he got have dessert there – buffalo chicken pizza, hahahahaha!  We all came back to our house afterwards for an hour or so where I promptly fell asleep on the floor in front of everyone. Obviously, as an exhausted mama I am WINNING. HA.

One of life’s rarities….date night!

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I’ll have my Tuesday with a side of PINTEREST!

AMEN for an awesome student teacher. While she’s busy learning all about what it’s like to be a real, live teacher I’ve had some downtime to implement some super ideas from…cue the music…PINTEREST!

***I should note that my student teacher, or apprentice as Big Daddy Byron insists on referring to her as, is looking mighty exhausted. I took a picture of her plugging away at her desk but I won’t post it since I don’t have her express permission (Sarah, give me permission). I remember being exhausted as a student teacher and thinking I’d never make it as a teacher. Kind of like how I was exhausted right after I had the Gorilla and thought I would die from sleep deprivation but it turns out you just adjust and make it work. I think they call that survival.

So back to Pinterest. These may seem like “duh” types of things that I’m implementing, but the truth is, I lack a gene for creativity and one for common sense. I was probably distracted by something sparkly when God was handing those out and so the things that everyone else easily understand to make sense and be logical are the hardest for me to grasp. For example, let me show you my knew Substitute Information binder.

Look, it’s a sub BINDER…you know how awesome I think BINDERS are! 😉 (

There are colorful dividers with labeled tabs…I know those tabs make you wish you could be my substitute already, but if not…check out the next pic…

BOOM! Insert pictures into notes for substitute about your classroom procedures, routines, where to find things, etc. THANK YOU PINTEREST!

I’ll give you a minute to pick yourself up off the floor. I know you have to be completely blown away by my immaculate substitute binder complete with pictures. (Or you’ve fallen to the floor in a fit of laughter since apparently everyone but me has been doing this kind of thing for years. Whatev. I finally caught on and am trying to be one of the cool kids. Like that will ever happen.)

So next up I got the idea to create anchor chart binders. Obviously I love binders. And I think they serve several purposes, the most important being one of the most effective accessories for faking it. So while my exhausted student teacher is slaving away, I spent a few minutes flitting around my room snapping photos of all of our anchor charts.  Then I printed them, snapped them in a binder (complete with dividers of course) so that students can refer back to the anchor charts throughout the year, even after the charts have come down off the walls/ceiling.

Our expectation anchor chart folder

Impressed yet?

Look at those dividers and that anchor chart! You ROCK Pinterest!

That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned though, there are still millions of pins I haven’t seen yet but I’m determined to at least glance at them all. 😉


Fake It Friday!

Well, hello there! It’s time for another heart-warming rendition of FAKE IT FRIDAY!! This week’s Fake It Friday is brought to you by…

Alpine Spice wine…tastes like adult apple cider…just what the doctor ordered on this FAKE IT FRIDAY!

Before I go on, I have a disclaimer.  Last week’s Fake It Friday post was very well received in my opinion. I must make my readers, followers, die-hard fans, stalkers, and haters aware of one thing though…”faking it” is a fine art that takes time to develop.  If you feel like you’re not faking it well yet….just keep at it. In good time it will happen young grasshopper.

On to tonight’s lesson…faking it is all about looking like you have it all together even when you don’t.  It’s about perception.  So my top tip for faking it is to be genuinely friendly. Why? Easy.

1.)  The number one reason is that jerks suck. There really is no actual need for you to be miserable. Suck it up and deal like the rest of us. Try spreading a little love and positivity. Your life will change in ways you never imagined.
2.)  People like those who are genuinely friendly. When you’re liked, people tend to think the best of you…like how you have it together (even when you don’t.) Oh, and for those rare times when you might get caught faking it…people are more likely to forgive and move on if you’ve got a good rapport and are liked. So be genuine. Life’s too short to be a jerk.

Hi, I’m so friendly. I must have have it all together.

Tonight’s second tip for faking it and faking it well is to save all e-mails.  I have over 2,500 e-mails for work and probably close to 4,096,038,084 in my personal e-mails. (Yeah, I have e-mailS…gotta have more than one so I can be on the DL when I need to be…)

(Oh, DL is code for “down low” for all you oldheads, like me, out there who aren’t always up to date with the hip lingo of today’s whippersnappers.) Let’s just go ahead and be honest though. I actually have multiple e-mail addresses because I continuously forget the passwords of each of them so I create new ones. I don’t actually need to be on the DL for anything because I am an loser on the fast track to senior citizen status who is lucky she can remember her own name at this point. 😉

But back to the e-mails…save everything. That way when someone mentions a date you’re supposed to know about you can just nod and smile (and of course be genuinely friendly) and then run to your desk the second they leave and search for the e-mail they claim to have sent 3 months (or 3 minutes) ago with this date.  Read through the e-mail once found and refresh your memory on what it is you’re actually supposed to be doing on that date. Panic on the inside for a few seconds, (because typically this scenario is only going to occur on the date that happens to be the one you were supposed to know about beforehand), then go take care of business when you realize that you’ve faked it by at least looking like you knew what was going on…all because you knew you could get the info from your e-mails since you never delete them. WINNING! (Maybe that should be, FAKING!)

You’ve got mail! Lots and lots of mail!

You don’t actually have to have it all together at all times. You just need to look like you do.  You can and will if you just keep faking it. Happy Fake It Friday!


To Pin or Not to Pin…

DUH. To pin.

Just because I’ve been working like a maniac does not mean I’ve gone cold turkey on Pinterest.  Oh no, my friends. Quite the opposite. I’m still unstoppable.  In fact, I even organized and hosted a collaboration meeting of the minds with my colleagues focused on using Pinterest for education. WINNING!

Don’t worry…we don’t actually drink at the Pinterest collaboration. Image:

We had a great meeting on Monday and I’m super pumped about the ideas everyone shared. Besides the Pinterest-focused collaboration, I also got brave and attempted to make a recipe I saw on Pinterest.  Baked oatmeal. (Check out for the DELICIOUS recipe.)

From this…


…to THIS! Someone get me my own cooking show.

These are super tasty and can be frozen and eaten later. Bonus since I don’t have time to sit down and eat breakfast in the morning. I’m a grab and go kinda girl

Additionally, my student teacher is earning herself some bonus points in my book….she has figured out that the way to my heart is through my stomach and delivered delicious PINTEREST-inspired strawberry cupcakes to me.

She did not give me cupcakes with holes in them…the tops got a little stuck on the lid of the container. They were still super tasty. YUM.

Do I still look like I have it all together? Am I faking it well? I hope so. Just in case I’m not though…I’m going to go Pin some more things that will help me get my life in order. 😉

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Exhausted Mama

I think it’s time I cleared something up.  There is a misconception about me (and other teachers) floating around out there in the universe and frankly, the world needs to know the truth. Yes, I am a teacher. No, I do not get to “play” for 7 hours a day then go home and live my life while plotting how to spend my “3 month vacation” while rolling around in the mountains of taxpayers’ dollars that I allegedly make for being a “glorified babysitter.”

This past week alone I put in well over 40 hours. In fact, I logged nearly…hold on, let me get my calculator…43.5 hours…and that was for a 4 day week and did not include the 5 hours of work from home that I did on Monday, (it was Labor day…so I labored), or the time I spent yesterday which ended this lovely week. I make thousands of decisions daily. Decisions that can make or break a kid sometimes. I’m not perfect but I do the best I can with what I have at the time when I’m in charge of meeting the diverse and unique needs of the 24 kiddos in my care each day, usually all at the same time. And that takes time. A. Lot. Of. Time.

Which is why I feel like such an exhausted mama right now. Oh yeah, I also feel like when it comes to being a wife & mama, I’m just a big, fat, epic FAIL.

Exhibit A: The place is wrecked and we are in full-force TV mode with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang. Mama’s too busy trying to stay awake to care at the moment.

Oh, and yes those are indeed stones on the end table…my son collects stones every time he goes to the mailbox with Big Daddy Byron. I’m just waiting for it to click with Big Daddy B that this is not a good idea. The Gorilla + stones + lil sister Binxy = imminent disaster + unplanned trip to the hospital.  Go ahead, do the math…it’s a balanced equation no matter how you look at it.

Exhibit B: The Gorilla is zoned out, glued to the TV while he snacks on some yogurt. Keep viewing the boob tube lil man, mama’s ready for a nap!

Exhibit C: “Hi, I’m the cute baby…if I just keep sitting here, looking cute, no one will notice that I’m about to swallow my big brother’s train. It’s a good thing my mommy’s too exhausted to stop me!”

We are only 12 days in and I’m already exhausted.  Not only am I exhausted though, I miss my family too. And I feel like the world’s worst mom because I spend more time with and thinking about other people’s kids most days than my own.  It’s like I’ve got nothing left for my babies when I get home because I’ve given it all and then some to everyone else at work.

Thanks for coming to my pity party. It was just one of those weeks.  You know what made me feel better though? Big Daddy Byron and I went and did some random acts of kindness while we ran errands today.  I don’t really want to post what they are because I’m not looking for credit, but one of the things we did we’ve never done before.  The opportunity presented itself out of nowhere though and we took it and hopefully made a difference. Amen for that!

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Blogger Idol 2012? Yes, please!

Well, well, well…I thought I’d go ahead and make everyone’s day by auditioning for Blogger Idol 2012. Besides the imminent fame, (did I use imminent correctly? Ah well, at least I sound smart.), I (and you if you so desire to audition) could win one of the following prizes:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Blog2Print
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Edition
  • Newman’s Own Organics
  • DaVinci Gourmet
  • Sogno Coffee Company
  • Freetail Therapy
  • Healthy To Go
  • Snack Taxi
  • Small Concept
  • Tyler’s Coffee
  • GIANTMicrobes
  • Boogie Wipes

YES, PLEASE! Count me in. So I auditioned.  Here is my audition entry…


Good news – I can read directions.  I don’t have the best track record for following them, but I’m going to give it the ol’ college try.

Hi, I’m awesome Kari and I’d like to tell you a little about myself. By day I spend my time educating the youth of America and changing lives through my riveting lessons and obviously entertaining sense of humor in a 5th grade classroom in Pennsylvania. By evening I morph into Super Mom and attempt to stay awake raise my babies with my partner in crime and husband, Big Daddy Byron. One of my babies happens to be the devil an adorable 2 ½ year old toddler who never fails to make each day interesting. The other is an 11 month old fair-haired angel who is starting to learn a little too much from her older brother. Side note:  Big Daddy Byron and I better have a meeting about how we’re going to squash the inevitable uprising from the youngsters.

When I’m not pretending to have it all together as a working mama, I spend time doing one of the following activities:  Pinning, blogging, spreading the love.  Perhaps I should explain.

I hope you’re sitting down because I’m about to blow your mind. (I’ll give you some time…I know some of you judges have to get your minds up out of the gutter after that one.) I am the self-proclaimed reigning Queen of Pinterest. I love all things Pinterest. I am not crafty, cannot cook, and lack a gene for creativity in any sense however I’m all about the art of faking it.  Pinterest gives me that outlet to snap up great ideas from other people and pretend that one day I’ll be just as organized, crafty, or whatever as they are. WINNING.

I’m also a blogger. I haven’t been for long, but I’m pretty sure I’m on my way to world renowned fame as a blogger and author. The book deals will be rolling in, probably as soon as I’m dubbed the Blogger Idol of 2012.

I also spread the love. (Perhaps you need another minute to climb back out of the gutter?) I’m not a hippie but I fully believe in positivity and random acts of kindness.  I do them often and hope that I’m starting a movement to change the world into a kinder place.

So why should I be the Blogger Idol of 2012? Well, I’m over 400 words now so I guess I better make it short and sweet. It’s simple. I’m real. I’m just like everyone else out there trying to get by, taking it day by day, hoping everyone thinks I have it all together when really I have no idea what’s going on.  I just pray, teach, and love and hope for the best.


So be sure to follow this fun on Facebook and Twitter.  Most all though, be sure to leave the love in the forms of comments (maybe even a bribe or 2!) on the Blogger Idol 2012 page so they know that the next Blogger Idol of 2012 can be found right here at PrayTeachLove!

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Fake It Friday

It’s time for….FAKE IT FRIDAY!

So, there are all these organized, awesome teachers who have beautiful blogs and they write posts for “Make it Monday” where they show these wonderful things they’ve created and then share them with others. Well, I’m not that teacher.

I’m the teacher who blogs for FAKE IT FRIDAY! This is where I’ll teach you the art of faking it.

Fake It Fridays are brought to you by Franzia, the classiest boxed wine in the world!

So for my first Fake It Friday post, I’m going to explain how to fake looking like you’re organized in the classroom.  Here we go!

1.)  Spend 7 years writing notes on post-its and scraps of paper that will be lost withing 1.2 seconds of you setting your pen down.  Finally purchase a set of notecards that are bound together like a notebook.  Continue to take notes and make to-do lists (to-do during the day on the front of the card, to-do for the evening on the back) and no longer lose them…but still get nothing done because you never do what’s on your list anyway.

You can keep all your notes in one place and still not get anything done by doing everything you can think of except the things on the list you made in the book you haven’t lost…yet.

2.)  Get a binder.  Everyone thinks people with binders are organized. Pssshhh…Not true. I have so many binders and organized is not a word you would use to describe me if you really know me. However, you can fake it if you carry a binder around.  Oh, and if you make an official looking cover for it and snap in a pencil case and some fancy dividers, (be sure to put that on your to-do list on your new bound index card to-do notebook), then carry it to and from your house in front of people, they’ll think you’re organized.  Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to open the binder.

Looks official! She must be organized!

Ooooohhhh…a pencil case! She must be so organized!

Short, sweet, simple.  This is how you fake organization.  Get lots of items that are made for organization, carry them around, promise yourself you will use them and use them well, then let the world think you’re an efficient, well-oiled organizating machine. No one has to know the truth…your secret is safe with me. 😉

Tune in next Friday for the another edition of…FAKE IT FRIDAY!


Psalm 38

Psalm 38: 13 – 22 (NLT) – A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.

“But I am deaf to all their threats.
I am silent before them as one who cannot speak.
I chooseto hear nothing,
and I make no reply.
For I am waiting for you,O Lord.
You must answer for me, O Lord my God
I prayed, ‘Don’t let my enemies gloat over me
or rejoice at my downfall.’

I am on the verge of collapse,
facing constant pain.
But I confess my sins;
I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
I have many aggressive enemies;
they hate me without reason.
They repay me evil for good
and oppose me for pursuing good.
Do not abandon me, O Lord.
Do not stand at a distance, my God.
Come quickly to help me,
O Lord my savior.”

This day can go suck it.

“Just one of them days…

UGH. I just had a post about the not so wonderful but not so horrible day I had and wordpress LOST it.

UGH. That does not help my day. I am too tired to repost it. It was good too.


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My Toddler is the Devil

Once upon a time I didn’t have kids and I judged everyone who did.  “I’ll never do that” I said so long ago in a far away land. “My kids will eat organic, healthy meals loaded with veggies and fruits for every meal.”  “My kids won’t act like that in public.”  Blah, blah, blah. Then I pushed two humans out into this world.

Look at me, I push babies out like I’m gettin’ paid to do it!

Well, one of those humans is headed towards 3. As in 3 years. As in that might be as far as he makes it.

Don’t let this adorable face fool you…he is the King of Darkness right now.

Everyone talks about the terrible twos…how awful these little two year old tornadoes are. What no one (usually) tells you is how horrible the threes are.  Thankfully I have a good friend who did. I just wish I had believed her earlier.

This is the same friend who consoled me as I cried in the bathtub, (and here’s where I should clarify that we were on the phone), right after giving birth to the Gorilla when the raging hormones had me convinced that I was not cut out to be a mother and who the hell at the hospital thought it was ok to send a baby human home with me and how the hell was I supposed to keep him alive and love him all at the same time? She calmly told me that it was normal to feel that way and that my bond with my son would come in time andto  just take it minute by minute at that point. Just survive for now and everything will be ok.  She promised. She was right.

Sometimes great advice comes in unexpected places…
Oh and I wish I had a bathtub/bathroom like this…

She was also right that 3 is worse than 2. And my little devil isn’t even 3 yet. He’s currently 2 years 7 months. He must be advanced though because it’s like his pudgy little toddler hands opened up the gates of Hell themselves and he is the King of Darkness. He has always been a strong-willed child, since birth, but he’s taking it to a whole new level recently.

Last year’s Christmas photo…he wasn’t even 2 yet…he’s always been…”strong-willed.”

When he needed a time out before, my little man would walk to the time-out step and sit quietly, maybe pout a bit with his adorable bottom lip stuck out, but he’d take his consequence like a man and then move on. Now? Oh no. No, no, no. When he’s told it’s time to take a break, an ungodly sound erupts from his little body….”NOOOOOOOOOOOO MAMA! NO! NO! NO! NO TIME OUT!” and then he throws himself to the floor, completely rigid and unmoving.

Cut to me trying to lift a screaming, stiff-as-a-board 2 1/2 year old who is as big as a 4 year old. He also happens to be stronger than me.  (Hindsight is 20/20 – this is what happens when you marry and multiply with a man who is 6’6, 300 pounds. You get a monstrous toddler son who can overpower you in seconds. It’s why Daddy takes him for hair cuts, not me.)

Everyday, every hour, this kid is testing us. No, he will not share with his nearly 1-year old sister. No, he will not stop throwing things across the room. No, he will not wear pants. No, he will not eat anything other than fruit snacks, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and chicken nuggets. No, no, no. Everything is NO. And he’s not even 3 yet.

Someone tell me that 4 is better. Please. For the love of all that is holy, for my sanity, tell me that 4 is better.