Looking for me? I'm knee-deep in kindergarten fun! Check it out atReadWriteSing
Keep Calm-o-matic poster generation. My creation says "Keep Calm and Remember To Sing". Click the link to check it out and make your own!
Call them what you like--resolutions, goals, plans--, a list for 2011 just seems like a good idea.
Here I go......
1. Goodbye, 'garnet/sand color combo' in the bedroom. I'm liking chocolate/sand/frost; fortunately, this change does not involve repainting the walls!
2. A tossing day for the myriad of mugs, plates, and whatnots that fill the kitchen cabinets, tentatively scheduled for my first day off.
3. Check to see if the treadmill still works. If so, I will JUST DO IT!
4. Write a letter, to BigBro & MidBro, each month. And save them until the boys leave for college.
Or, later, whatever seems prudent. Because, I cannot seem to communicate my love, fears, dreams, and memories to them without some eye-rolling taking place. On all our parts :-)
5. Make Sunday night dinner a sacred time. Everyone present and accounted for.
6. Start another scripture journal. I did this in 2007 and the process helped me to grow in my walk with God.
7. Sing more. Even if this means that I spend a bit of $$ to update my iPod component (I use a
Shuffle. There isn't a speaker dock for the silly thing!).
8. Organize the closets in the classroom one more time. And may it be the last.
9. Create the memory book for the kindergarten class. I planned to do this over the holidays, but Shutterfly is s l o w and I didn't finish before leaving town. Maybe I can combine #2 and #9 .....HaHaHaHA!
10. Remember that tomato juice counts as a serving of vegetables. And edamame is a protein.
11. Breathe. Ferris Bueller is still quoteworthy: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and
look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
Patchwork pumpkins, rolling down the hill......do you get to play with paper and glue at your job? The best part of this lesson was the lead-in literature, one of my fav books, The Runaway Pumpkin. The text is rhythmic and builds in speed, as the pumpkin's journey takes on epic proportions.
I love to teach with/from/around/through books. In my wildest dreams, I am a successful author and illustrator of children's books; I get to visit classrooms of five- and six-year-olds, taking them on a 45 minute journey of imagination. In reality, I have the privilege of guiding and nurturing a group of children through all aspects of learning, five days a week. I LOVE my job. Truly, the only thing better about my wildest dream is probably the pay. :-)
Thankfulness is on most of our minds this week. Today, I realized that I am smack in the middle of exactly where I want to be. If I were doing anything else, I'd be pondering how to get to where I now am, in the heart of kindergarten. It is the absolute center of gravity, the top of the mountain, for me.
Thanksgiving, 2010....I thank God for introducing me to the amazing children in Room K.
(Also, "Thanks!" to Michaele Sommerville for sharing the patchwork pumpkin idea!)
Children like to use cameras. I have a digital camera in my classroom and one of our daily jobs is "reporter". I usually follow the reporter and later, secretly, retake his/her photo for clarity's sake! Although some pics are priceless as they are: three pairs of shoes, a face looking through a magnifying glass, the glue bottle spillage.
When I downloaded pictures from this week, I found a few of me.....oh....my. When did my face turn to melted wax? Have I lost that much hair? And, why is it turning red/ish?! Weren't my teeth straightened long ago and why are they looking a bit crooked? Do my clothes take on a different shape when I leave the house each morning?
The bottom line is that my internal mirror is not matching the camera's lens. If you want to know why my Facebook pic hasn't changed for awhile, it's because I haven't taken a decent picture since 2008. Maybe, possibly, a student's parent has a good shot of me with their child. For sure, the five-year-old reporters need a few lessons in placement and perspective --please, children, do not point up at me from the floor :-).
Christmas Wish #1: thermage chin tightening treatment
Followed by Wish #2: a hairstyle that hides saggy chin and thinning locks
And may I have Wish #3: enough money to buy the perfect pair of eyeglasses
And, oh, add Wish #4: a bit of teeth whitening
My paycheck won't cover any of that, not if my children expect gifts of their own.
Maybe I'll avoid the mirror for awhile.....
Since starting the private blog for my Kindergarten class, I have neglected this little corner of my world. That fact alone is a marker of what life is like at the moment! Awake at 5:30am, at work by 7:10, I breathe the crayon-scented air of a busy classroom for 9 hours/day.
80% of my students are the youngest members of their families. They like to talk and expect undivided attention! S L O W L Y, they are learning to raise their hands and wait to be recognized. But even I can admit that some of our funniest moments have sprung from unsolicited dialogue! J. spontaneously bursts into a Michael Jacks*n montage, V. wants to know if Abraham liked water from a well, C. shares that the Bible people didn't even have toilets, and A. asks M. why "she be cryin' all the time". (Good question!) One child is reading at a second-grade level and another is cutting like a two-year-old.
This week we will study apples and take a field trip. I can't wait to hear their observations of the farmer's market! Let's just hope the toilet is open for public use. ;-)
Finding art projects that are suitable for 21 kindergartners and first-graders can be challenging. This lesson produced beautiful results!
The children applied torn paper to the vase outline, then drew the flower centers with crayons. After the flowers were set, watercolors were applied. I am always amazed when no two designs look alike. I wanted to color-copy and frame one of these....can you tell which one caught my fancy?
Yesterday was our tenth day of Kindergarten and a special visitor dropped in:
Zero The Hero!
A $5. doll, red washcloth, golden castoff trousers from the Rapunzel phase, and threaded needle enabled me to create a handsome hero!
He arrived during our first Circle Time, bearing gifts of Gummy Lifesavers, to promote the numeral he represents. In ten days, he will return, to help us count to twenty. Maybe next time he will bring fruit loops.
On the 100th day of school, we will meet Zerona. The children asked if she is Zero's friend, girlfriend, wife, or sister. I told them that he hadn't shared this information with me yet. I have 52 Barbies (DollyGirl's collection) from which to choose a worthy Zerona!
He's too handsome to hide in a drawer or cabinet. I wonder if he could hang from my rear view mirror.....
Everything I planned for the weekend will probably take a backseat to journaling; I found the BEST journal pages at Grace Is Overrated! Thank you, Christie, for making these pages printable! I'm printing and binding and plotting and.......procrastinating a bit of lesson writing!
A week before school started (!!yikes!!), my classroom received the royal treatment. Each morning, I feel as if I'm stepping into the pages of a storybook.This is our circle-time rug and reading corner. The painted trees will soon become 3-D, with leaves hanging from branches and bark popping out of the wall. Hmmm....wonder how I can keep little hands away from that? I'm not sure I'll be able to resist, either! Along the right side wall, I have two large bulletin boards, a reading/math shelf and a file cabinet. When the walls were painted, it was decided that nothing could be stapled or sticky-tac-ed to the walls; I am only allowed to display things on bulletin boards. It is an understatement to say that this has cramped my teaching style, but I am making the best of an, umhm, interesting situation. Thank God for the new Post-It Charts!
This is the other side of the room. The space is actually set up with a dividing wall, complete with two separate bathrooms---teeny, tiny, totally cute toilets---and sinks. Beyond the picture border, to the right, you would see the manipulative shelf and two more closets. I've spun my desk away from the wall since this was taken last week. Because it is metal, the letter tile magnets work perfectly along the front panel! I am hoping to score more shelving, so that our tools, etc., will not have to be left in the closet during the week. I've not been given clearance to place anything against the walls, but, HOW do you teach Kindergarten in a sterile environment? The room is sweet, but I miss being surrounded by letters, and pictures, and children's work. My brain is working overtime, trying to solve this dilemma!
(I have no idea why this last paragraph is underlined!)
Compliments of Super Happy Girl!
Are human beings really so clueless that they would need to have this spelled out for them?!
Yippee! A quick search revealed that the Perseid Meteor Shower will be at its peak on August 12. I was a bit worried that it would happen in the wee hours of a school day (1st day is August 16!) and I would need to visit St*rbucks on my way to the classroom.
I'll drag a blanket to our driveway around midnight, hoping a few children will join me. MidBro usually hangs in there and is rewarded by the "shooting stars" that streak overhead. Last year, we were treated to an amazing show as the meteors seemed to land just across our valley.
Twenty-eight years ago, standing next to someone I thought I'd never forget, it seemed that the stars fell all around us as we anticipated a long goodbye. It's been almost that many years since I saw that boy, but the Perseid's arrive every summer, reminding me to check in with the starry-eyed eighteen-year-old girl who still resides in a corner of my heart.
When she sees the blue-eyed children snuggled up with me, she smiles.
"Learning to act in a new way requires... being drawn toward something you want..."
I will miss the amazing women who teach at the preschool. In the Kindergarten room, I will be flying solo. Another change is the fact that my new students will be the youngest children in the school, not the oldest. When gathering my PreK kiddos from carpool, admiring the two-year-olds was a job perk! Their lilting speech, chubby legs, and warm hands always made me smile. But I met most of the Kindergartners last week and, wow, they are incredible! One little guy wore a suit jacket and tie, to "impress the teacher". Awwww......:-) The next two weeks will be crazy busy, but I am excited to embark on a new adventure.
If you have a minute, could you share a memory from your Kindergarten days, or perhaps a memory of your child/ren on the first day of K? My K teacher is the reason that I hold a teaching degree today. See, that year in the 'garden of children' really can influence a life! Even The New York Times has something to say about the far-reaching effects of a great Kindergarten teacher!
Once upon a time, I sat in a rocking chair and lulled you to sleep. You always snuggled in, grasping a lock of my hair and fluttering eyelashes that were oh, so long.
Now, you have a bedtime routine that doesn't involve me. Hey, I think that means I've done something right! You've even started reading before lights-out, a kindred spirit :-). We hug, kiss, pray. Your eyes close quickly, lashes still enviable.
In a few years, I will not know what time you choose to visit dreamland. Your nightly rituals will, no doubt, vary by the weight of your responsibilities and the exhaustion of your day. The room down the hall might still be pink, but the twinkle lights will be long gone. Just know, I will still be talking to God about you, as we gaze upon the same moon.
You were born in the wee hours of a new day, greeted by lullaby songs and soft lighting....you are a funny, friendly, determined, focused, loving, talented, child of God....you are above and beyond anything I could have wished for.
You will always be my little girl.
"This Is life, huh...? We lose something here, we get something there.
The trick is to stop looking in the old place to find the new thing."
Something was lost to me this week. Something that I really, truly, very much wanted. When the above quote crossed my path, I felt the words like an arrow in the heart. I've puzzled over these sentences, picking up the phrases and looking at them from different directions.
For five days, questions have danced through my mind, keeping me awake in the wee hours. Questions like, "Have I lost this dream? Should I lay it down? Am I looking in an 'old place'? Is there a 'new thing' to be done in a present place or is a new thing waiting in an unsearched corner? Why does it hurt so much?"
Why does it hurt? Really, that's the question that haunts me the most. I wish I could have this experience and come through with a stronger fighting spirit, a desire to passionately improve upon my strengths, a willingness to correct my weaknesses. Perhaps I am too emotionally involved, carrying responsibility for family needs that I can't possibly meet. Maybe I'm just tired and need a real vacation.
Maybe I need to stop....looking.
I've spent the afternoon blog surfing and found some yummy stuff to share!
Check out the "Mom's Got A Latte Do Today!" pdf for list-making organization.
Need a plan for building character with your children (or, hey, yourself!)? There are 27 character traits with scripture at Sarah's Sweeties.
If no one manages to claim the computer, I'll be tweaking the Noteworthy Page on the sidebar. Check back for updated links and goodies!
She was gorgeous, he looked truly fine.
My car made it home, sans ding or bang.
For their relationship, I can't say the same.
Only she knows what he said to make it end.
I'm just the financier, not a trusted friend.
(I love you, BigBro!!
And I know we are friends :-})
My 300th post....I'm glad that it has landed on a worthy cause! MS arrived in my life like a tornado, with little warning, in 2001. Since then, I have had few symptoms that interfere with my daily life; I give credit to the disease-modifying drug, Avonex, and a reliance on God. (Um, God first :-)) Because of research and development, I have access to a medication that is keeping MS in check for me.
THANK YOU to everyone who works for or with MS patients, to everyone who cares for and loves someone living with MS.
May this desease be but a blip on our radar as my children grow into adulthood.
I made a Wordle about my PreK class and plan to create "goodbye cards" for each child.
If you'd like to use it for your preschool class, click the picture or the link!
I want to show you this door. (Camera, why aren't you working?) Placed in the lower left quadrant of the paper, the door is rectangular in shape, without a bottom line. Gazing at those three black lines, I told M. that I would find the story inside of myself and write about the door.
I have an adventure to ponder. BBL...
For no solid reason, I have always viewed my 46th birthday as being the halfway point. Seems as if I expected to live at least 92 years! Today, as the minutes ticked by, I decided that I don't want the next half of my life to be "downhill". First, this past year has most definitely not been a mountain top experience! Second, I don't enjoy the downhill drop; my favorite part of a roller coaster ride is the race to top each hill, the powerful rush after the screamin'.
I'd like for a portion of my upcoming days to be a gentle, rolling stroll. Not a flat track....that would be mind-numbing. I just need to get off the thrill ride for awhile. My family has navigated the twists and turns of chronic illness, job uncertainty, and income loss. Each of those alone is intense, but put them all together and you have a recipe for serious stress.
In her book "Symphony Of Secrets", Sharon Hinck headed a chapter with these words:
"Verismo: A term meaning 'realism', applied to Romantic works, especially operas,
of the late 19th century that have to do with unpleasant realities of life."
Hhmmm, this has been the pace of my life since the turn of the 21st century.
My birthday wish is for life's music to become softer and sweeter, for the ride to move at a slower pace.
Sing me a lullaby, ok?
A copy can be yours! Leave your contact info in a comment/winner chosen at random!
"Award-winning author Cheri Fuller and her daughter, Ali Plum, have been there and have discovered the keys to a healthy relationship. In Mother-Daughter Duet they share their story—each from her own perspective—in which they have experienced distance and tension, growth and challenge, and, ultimately, acceptance and harmony. Filled with personal anecdotes and based on several basic principles (letting go; listening; respect; setting boundaries; and more), Mother-Daughter Duet helps moms repair the breach so that daughters want to draw close."
My life is beyond the place where Ali finds herself, and I have not yet reached the blessing of grandchildren like Cheri. But this book resonated with me. My mom still calls to warn me about the weather---and I am 45 years-old! Upon its arrival, I immediately jumped to the chapter of navigating new motherhood. Cheri's candor about 'saying the wrong things' and Ali's honesty regarding the postpartum period were refreshing.
Each generation wants the appreciation, understanding, and empathy of the other. Misunderstandings occur, I believe, when we fail to appreciate the differences that time has brought to our world. My mom might not understand why my car isn't in pristine condition, but she didn't ferry four children around to numerous activities while carpooling their pals, too. And I, unfortunately, do not have the amazing gift of hospitality that my mother possesses. I am a bit envious of her ability to prepare a feast with ease. We have different talents and interests, but have celebrated them in each other.
"Mother Daughter Duet" begins with the letting-go process of the graduating teen. Thinking of my eleven-year-old little girl, I read these pages with misty eyes. When my daughter reaches the age when I need to let her fly, I hope I will remember to let her go with an open hand.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
The view from my kitchen window....
by John and Stasi Eldredge
For a chance to win my copy, leave a comment!
What the Eldredge bestsellers Wild at Heart did for men, and Captivating did for women, LOVE & WAR will do for married couples everywhere. John and Stasi Eldredge have contributed the quintessential works on Christian spirituality through the experience of men and the experience of women and now they turn their focus to the incredible dynamic between those two forces.With refreshing openness that will grab readers from the first page, the Eldredges candidly discuss their own marriage and the insights they’ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what they’ve learned, giving their guidance personal immediacy and a balance between the male and female perspectives that has been absent from all previous books on this topic. They begin LOVE & WAR with an obvious but necessary acknowledgement: Marriage is fabulously hard. They advise that the sooner we get the shame and confusion off our backs, the sooner we'll find our way through.
This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.
Tell a group of four- and five-year-olds to mix a few crayon colors.
Ask them to name their new shades.
Delight in the pure joy of the moment.
Wish you had a liason at Crayola.
Cotton Candy Swirl
If you mixed a few, what color would you create?
I'm reading Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg. The main character is a writer who finds herself without words to share. A few minutes ago, I was overcome with the need to write something; a Google search produced many excellent sites for writing prompts and I clicked, copied, created.
Share the first phrase that comes to your mind!
I like New Year's Eve. We've never gotten all decked out and celebrated in style, but we do have our own...mmHmm...traditions. For the most part, we play games with the children, watch movies and crack open the sparkling cider at 11:59pm. Even without a fancy wardrobe, the moment glitters with its own kind of promise, another chance to put hope in action.
Before the fun begins, I'd like to look ahead to 2010 by sharing a few of the sites that I'm bookmarking as my categorized resolutions.
Spirit.....Evotional contains golden nuggets of wisdom, Jon at StuffChristiansLike makes me smile/think/laugh/ponder, and I plan to camp out at Faith Imagined on a regular basis. Music is vital to my spiritual growth; "It Is Well" by Kutless will take me through the winter.
Soul......I'll be taking my book addiction to the next level by participating in these challenges at BookJourney. If you want to expand your knowledge of young adult literature and children's books, check out Jen Robinson's Book Page. Her recommendations have enriched my teaching. Readergirlz is a unique site, promoting Operation TBA while showcasing authors and new YA Lit.
Body......The Amazing Adventures Of DietGirl is the most inspiring health memoir I've read. Shauna is honest about her journey and her blog is fun!
Passion.....Teachers never stop learning. We look for ideas to keep us fresh, to motivate our students and to make the learning process relevant. Mrs. McGowan's 1st grade site is amazing. If her school was anywhere near me, I'd volunteer to sit at her feet! Mrs. Cassidy's blog is interactive and child-centered, making me wish I had a child in her class.
Self......Got a Blog? Make a book! The Cutest Blog On The Block offers the opportunity to print your blog! I'm not sure if they can operate with a Typepad blog, but the idea intrigues me (I love the paper trail.). The site also offers many blog templates, designs and freebies, like the one that is blinking in this post! SickerdoodleDesigns introduced me to the world of digital scrapbooking--but, I have yet to actually do anything in this media. Maybe 2010 will show that I've mastered a new hobby.
Happy New Year!!
Thank you, hubby, for giving me grace when I presented you with my own gift.
Ingredients : 4 & 1/2 cups sugar, 1 stick butter, 1 can evaporated milk
Melt these items over medium heat in a 3qt. pot. Bring to a boil. When the mixture begins to boil, set a timer for 8 minutes. Stir constantly!
More Ingredients: 12 oz. Hershey's chocolate bar (it really must be Hershey's), 12 oz. chocolate chips (vary the flavors for interesting fudge), 1pt. (I use 14 oz.) marshmallow creme
When the timer dings, remove the pot from burner. Add the chocolate bar pieces, chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. STIR. The fudge will be creamy, sliding out of the pot. (Grab a spoonful; warm and gooey, it is the best!) Pour the fudge into glass dishes, prepared previously with a slick of butter (the stick paper works great in this case).
This recipe will fill a 9x13 inch pan and an 8x8 inch pan. To store, cover the dishes tightly. Fudge may be cut before gift wrapping.
According to the Global Language Monitor, Twitter snagged the #1 spot in a list of the top words in 2009.
The top fifteen words included Obama, H1N1 (no vowels...is that a word?), Stimulus, Healthcare, Unemployed, and Vampire. Truly, a snapshot of our culture at the end of this decade.
Hmm. I voted for a different candidate, H1N1 hit 30% of our family, we didn't see any money from the stimulus, our healthcare costs are over $1000/month, one of us may soon be unemployed, and, *cringe*, I saw New Moon by myself and enjoyed every minute. At first glance, I thought the list was far removed from my life, but I guess I was wrong.
Hindsight provides better adjectives and nouns, by which to remember my '09: Wicked~the musical, competition trophies, sixteenth birthday, first job, baseball, tournaments, dance team, New York, family vacation, cousins, movies via books, teaching, friends & concerts, Psalms, songs, reconciliation, love...
What words describe your life experience in 2009?
PS: I Twitter, do you?!
When I unwrapped "Treasured...Knowing God by the Things He Keeps", I knew this book was going to impact me on a personal level. I tend to 'save' things in random boxes: my children's newborn clothes, high school yearbooks (I need to prove to myself that I was once that thin!), letters from former students, books that have shaped my life. These things are part of my story, my truth. As I read "Treasured...", I was captivated by the way Ms. McLeroy wove her memories together with treasures from God's word. She is a master story-teller, creating teachable moments from ordinary life. "Treasured..." brought many things into focus for me while wrapping me in the warmth of God's love. This book would be a wonderful gift! I suggest pairing it with a cozy blanket, or a treasure box; the perfect present for the thoughtful reader.
Leigh McLeroy provided a Facebook link where you can share what is in your box of treasures!
This book was provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
Winners will be chosen on Friday, November 6!
Due to H1N1 in our family, I was not able to provide a personal review. If you'd like to be considered for these giveaways, in comments, note the book you'd like to receive. Please provide an email where you can be reached.
"Wisdom Hunter" Summary:
Propelled into a quest for the granddaughter no one wants him to find, Jason Faircloth discovers that knowing it all could cost him everything he has. A fast-paced suspense novel, Wisdom Hunter explores what it means to break free of Christian legalism—and why grace can mean the difference between life and death.
Randall Arthur is the of Jordan’s Crossing and Brotherhood of Betrayal. He and his wife have served as missionaries to Europe for over . From 1976 till 1998, he lived in Norway andGermany as a church planter. Since 2000, he has taken numerous missions teams from the United States on trips all over Europe . Arthur is also the founder of the AOK () Bikers’ Fellowship, a group of men who enjoy the sport of motorcycling. He and his family live in Atlanta , Georgia .
Grant Jeffrey reveals biblical prophecies that describe Satan’s work at the end of the age, as the evil one installs the Antichrist as the world’s unrivaled leader. will use technology to record the beliefs and loyalties of every person alive, in order to force their allegiance upon penalty of death.
is the internationally known prophecy researcher, Mideast expert, and author of Countdown to the Apocalypse, The New Temple and the Second Coming, The Next World War, and twenty other best-selling books. He is also the editor of the Prophecy Study Bible. His popular television program, Bible Prophecy Revealed, airs weekly on TBN. Jeffrey earned his master’s and PhD degrees from Louisiana Baptist University . He and his wife, Kaye, live in Toronto .
These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
Congratulations to Shelly, who won (with the help of a random number generator) the copy of "The Sound Of Sleigh Bells"!
I'll be giving away more books from Waterbrook Press; keep reading!
In "The Sound Of Sleigh Bells", Cindy Woodsmall carefully carves a story that warms the heart. Beth Hertzler is a young Amish woman, hiding a hurt that she feels is beyond anyone's understanding. When she encounters Jonah, a gifted wood carver, something in his eyes touches her soul.
The traditions of the Amish are woven throughout the plot, allowing the intimacy of old-fashioned letter writing to play a major role. I found myself racing through the pages, eager to read Beth's words, hoping that she would share the truth of her pain. And in Jonah, the author has given us a character worthy of affection. As Beth wrestles with her past and ponders her future, readers will hope for a happy ending.
This Christmas, I will be decking my halls with sleigh bells!
I have a complimentary copy to give away from Multnomah Press! If you'd like to enter (chosen at random), please tell me what will deck your halls this season....and leave an email address where you can be reached! This giveaway will end on Friday, Oct. 23, at midnight.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group