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Three things I've learned this summer

It is almost the end of July...and for me, that means the start of the school year is right around the corner! Today, I'm hosting a linky party to blog about three things I've learned this summer. If you are a blogger, feel free to link up; just read the directions at the end of this post. Here goes!

Three things I learned this summer: includes year plan tutorial and link to music education podcast!

#1: Doing home makeovers isn't as easy as it looks on HGTV!
So we moved on the last day of school and have been settling into our house ever since. The house is definitely a fixer-upper (but the ten acres made it worth the work!) This summer, we've been working hard just to get contractors in to do the work. Who knew it was so difficult to get a contractor just to get back with an estimate, let alone to do the work!?!? (OK, maybe everyone else knew that but me!) Our biggest project this summer was to remove the glittery popcorn ceiling (yes, you read that right, glittery popcorn ceiling!) Here is a before and after picture (thanks to Sassy Designs and RebeccaB Designs for the graphics!):

It's kind of hard to tell how horrible the popcorn ceiling was, but trust me...and it was throughout almost the whole house! We still have lots of work to do, but it's already looking quite a bit better. We just have to take one project at a time...not quite as easy as HGTV makes it look!

#2: I made the right decision to focus on family this summer
Every summer for the past several years, I have spent at least two weeks teaching graduate courses. This summer, though, I decided to not teach and instead focus on family. I made this decision before we got an offer on our condo (it wasn't even on the market when we got our offer!) so I was feeling very grateful that I had the summer free when I realized we would be moving this summer! I also have really, really appreciated the time with my girls and husband, especially being able to work one-on-one with my daughter Macy to help her speech development. I've really been able to focus on helping her improve her speech (see my other blog with more stories about that) and am VERY happy to say that her speech has vastly improved. She is still behind, but is catching up so much better. My favorite Macyisms lately are when she gets right up into my face and yells "Hi, Mama!" with a huge smile, and when she says "I do do do do bye-bye," which means, "I do want to go bye-bye." :)

#3: I can share ideas in new ways
My husband Scott and I took a trip to Vegas this summer, not only to relax, but so I could attend the TpT conference. It was a GREAT time, with lots of informational and engaging sessions. My favorite session was presented by Angela Watson, from The Cornerstone for Teachers, and I was so grateful for the underlying message of her session, that the reason we are doing what we are doing (by blogging, creating products, etc.) is to help teachers out and make their lives easier. She encouraged us to try podcasts and YouTube videos to share ideas, so I've done just that!

Click here to see another blog post with videos about creating song lists and song indexes.

Click the picture below to listen to my podcast; I've just published my third one, about preparing for the school year!

Mrs. Miracle's Music Room Podcast: Great music education podcast with tips on teaching, how to prepare for the new school year, and more!

And here is a video detailing how to create a year plan:

It has been a busy but great summer, and I'm so thankful for what I've learned!

If you are a blogger and would like to link up to blog about what you've learned this summer, here are the directions:
  • Copy the picture at the beginning of this post (that says "Three things I've learned this summer") and include it in your blog post, with a link to this blog post.
  • Blog about three things you've learned this summer.
  • Submit your blog post by clicking the button below!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!


  1. I could watch HGTV and the DIY network any time of the day! I have lots of great ideas, but no time to do them.

  2. GREAT post Aileen!!! I'm so glad you took the family time this summer, that little girl of yours is a cutie!!! And I hear you about DIY!!!
    Here's to a GREAT year!

  3. Wow, thank you so much for that video of your year long plans, I really like how you set it up. It's kind of what I've been looking for; I purchased your concept starter plans for all the grades and your planning with purpose files...wish I would have seen this video 2 days ago, I would have purchased it during the sale:(