Friday, June 15, 2012


Words are powerful. I am not sure that anyone would argue with that. They can make you soar, send you tumbling, sustain you, give hope, bring you back to reality. They can change you.

My own words spoken to others is something that I have been giving a lot of thought to. I speak to children all day. What I say does matter to them. It might make them believe in themselves a little more. My words might hurt their feelings or make them feel sad. It might spur them on to work harder or to make a difference.

Other people's words affect me as well. Some words stick with me, haunt me, heal me, remind me.

Here is a quote that I found that I have been dwelling on for the past month or so. Post it in your car, on your desk, on your mirror, and in your heart.

"All through the day we inadvertantly speak words that enter people's lives and change them in minor or major ways and we never know it." Eugene Peterson

Our words matter. I hope to make mine affect others in a positive way. The choice is yours...

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Everyone has their little habits, little secrets, little bits of joy. I have mine too. They might be normal, acceptable, weird, or unusual. I don't much care. These little tidbits are what make us who we are.

I am a lover of music. I have no talent in it at all. But I love to listen, dance, and appreciate. I have many artists and groups that speak to my soul on a regular basis. The thing is...I love "bubble gum pop" music a lot too. Every Sunday I go into school to get work done. Except sometimes it might be just an excuse to pipe Ryan Seacrest through the speakers and listen to America's Top 40 countdown!

I say that I love coffee. Sometimes I feel like a liar. I think I just really love the creamer. I get the fancy flavored kind. The coffee is really just a vehicle for the creamer. If I can, I drink Chai.

I have short hair. I like that about myself. It is because of my short hair that I can justify spending more money on "salon" shampoo and conditioner. I figure that since my hair is short, the products will last longer!

I never watch the news. It depresses me. I don't like to hear about all of the killings, fighting, and trouble with the economy and stock market. Say I am in denial. I don't really care. I like to read my news on the internet. And to be honest, my "world news" normally consists of Kim Kardashian, what actress wore what dress, and who just had a baby with their new fiance. I also consider People Magazine and US weekly reliable sources for my own brand of World News.

When I go to Target I always swing through the book and movie aisles. I like to roam the shelves looking for must-have movies that are reasonably cheap. I know I could rent them, but having them on my shelf whenever I have a whim is so much more satisfying. Oppositely, I turn over several titles on  the book shelves to deter customers from buying them. They are personal dis-likes that I don't want others to be suckered into purchasing. I am sure I have been caught on camera doing this hundreds of times over the years!

When no one else is home I like to eat incredibly unhealthy food and watch movies all by myself. I get to lay around in my sweats and live my life through the characters on the TV! (Good thing this is a rare occurrence!)

Sometimes when I am working at school on the weekends I like to roam the halls and peek in other teacher's classrooms. I never get to go in and see what they are doing in their rooms. Sometimes I get really good ideas on charts to make, new visuals, new units of study, and neat ways of organizing or managing things that have been stumping me. It's my own little personal professional development time.

Well, these are just a few little guilty pleasures that I have. They help to make me who I am! What about you?

Saturday, March 31, 2012


It began almost a year ago. A dear friend "urged" me to create my own blog and start writing. I have sliced about this before. I was unsure, nervous, and timid.

I realize now that she started me on this journey. She believed in me. She saw something. Knew I would love it and benefit from it. She probably saw that it would take many months for me to warm to the idea and open up. She was right!

Whether or not all of this scheming was in her "grand plan", the other night the prospect of it got me thinking. How can I pay it forward? Who will I "urge"? How will I nurture and encourage and push, if necessary?

It seems fitting that my last post in the month would be a reflection, but I want to think ahead. Who will join in next year, as I did this year?

I hope my eyes and ears and heart are tuned in to those around me. I hope I take the moments to encourage and support when the time comes. I hope a new writer is born.

I still have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do, especially as a writer. But I hope to share this journey with others. I hope they experience their own growth. I hope they become more comfortable with their own voice and style. I hope they find community here.

Let's all keep our senses tuned for the future slicers out there. Until Tuesday...

Slipped Away

On my drive to Ohio I thought of many thoughtful and poised posts. I wish I could remember them now...

I had a wonderful night filled with family, friends, and fun. I know my post is late, but sometimes people and the present moment are worth more than a few words on a page.

Here's to the people that make life full of joy and promise!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Home Again.

Tomorrow I am making the 4 hour trek home to see my family. I cannot wait. I cannot wait to see the familiar street signs and let my car take over the driving. It is always so good to pull into the driveway and sigh a big sigh of comfort and relief. I made it. These are my people. They love me. They wish good for me. They comfort me and rejoice with me.

I know when I walk through the door the carpet will be vacuumed and the pillows on the couch fluffed and straightened. These things don't really matter to me. But it means that someone was excited enough about my arrival to take extra measures. I know special treats will be waiting in the fridge and cupboard. Hugs and kisses and "I love you's" will be aplenty throughout the weekend. Time cuddling on the couch and laughs will fill the night until it is almost morning and eyes are rimmed with tiredness.

My heart will be filled with comfort and love. I will be relaxed, filled, and renewed.

I can't wait to be home again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Know Your No.

I never thought saying no would be hard for me. We joke at my house the J can never tell anyone "no" and is always over-extended. We tease. We prod. We shake our heads. But is it really as easy as we make it seem?

"Just tell them you are busy."
"Can't anyone else do it?"
"What about your family?"
"Make up an excuse."
"Just tell them you don't want to."

Seems easy. (Maybe harsh, but easy). Right?

Last week I was asked to take on a major responsibility next year: a student teacher. This is only my fifth year teaching, so I consider it to be a huge honor. At first when I saw the email, I was dumfounded. Me? Did they get the right person? Really? Really!
But after a few minutes the shock wore off...

Oh no. Mentoring. First Grade. Master's classes. My own life? Too. Much. Stuff. The list of other things consuming my mind and keeping me at school at all hours of the evening and weekend piled up. Could I do it? Do I want to?

I was afraid to talk about it with anyone at first. I wanted to know what I thought before I heard the thoughts of others.

I just couldn't get over the mountain of other things already piled high. Then my thoughts shifted from me to her. Will I be able to devote enough time to her? Explain things to her? Listen to her? Support her? Encourage her? Lead her? Prepare her?

It was through this searching and thinking that two things became apparent. First, I really really really wanted to do it. It would be fun! A new experience for me (selfishly). A huge honor. A way to stretch myself as an educator. A way to give back. Second: I just didn't have the time. She deserves someone who can devote themselves to her future. She will need someone with patience. She might not get the full experience she deserves if I am over-extended.

So, when the phone call came. I had to "know my no". I didn't feel it in my heart, but I knew it in my head. It just wasn't right. Even after the flattery and little lines of guilt were dropped. I had to stand firm. "I am sorry, but I have to say no."

Hard words to choke out when your heart is screaming... "Maybe I can do it...?"

Let your "no" be "no" and your "yes" be "yes". (Matthew 5:37). I hope I did...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Lots of things are relative terms. Whether you agree or not, time is marching on and I am getting older. Many people disagree with me when I say that I am "old". I know I am not really old, but 26 soon to be 27 seems old to me. On many days I cannot believe I have graduated from college, moved 250 miles away from my family, orchestrate a classroom full of children, and lead a life of my own.

Here is a list of things I have never done but hope to...

*Drive across the country
*Visit all 7 continents (I can check three off of my list so far...)
*Teach an intermediate grade.
*Be a leader of teachers
*Own a dog of my own. (I could be persuaded on the dog part, mainly its about having a pet).
*Attend the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show (I not so secretly am in love with him!)
*Learn to speak Spanish fluently.
*Live in another country for at least a year.
*Own my own home (and decorate it too!)
*Attend a Major League Baseball game.
*Take a Photography class
*Run in the Race for the Cure
*Learn to sew.

I am sure there are and will be many others in the years to come. I hope I never lose the urge to strive for more, dream, and make those dreams become a reality.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Laughs and Snickers

On most Sundays I talk to my mom on the phone. We chat about the week, what we did, and what the week to come holds for us. I always look forward to these times. We laugh, sigh, snicker, and (occassionally) cry.

Last night was a night of snickers and laughs. I was eager to talk to my mom about the upcoming weekend and my soon-to-be trip to Ohio. We solidified plans, talked time-tables, and confirmed intentions.

I was sitting on my bed, tucked under the covers, with one hand resting on my new book. My good friend, Ruth, (you can read her slices here) lent me a trilogy many people are reading lately, The Hunger Games.  I was excited to talk to my mom, but also eager to embark on the new journey of an unopened book.

Somewhere amidst the conversation I brought up the book. Here is how the conversation went...
Me: Have you read The Hunger Games?
Mom: (very long pause) Why?
Me: Just wondering, so have you?
Mom: Why? Have you?
Me: Not yet. Why won't you tell me if you have read them?
Mom: Well... I am reading the first one now. Why, have you read them?
Me: Not yet. I have the first one in my hand now. I am going to start after I get off the phone with you.
Mom: What?! You are?! Really!
Me: What is going on??? Why are you being weird about this?
Mom: Well, the copy I am reading is actually for you. I bought it to put in your Easter basket. I wanted to just read the first page or so to see what it was like and then I got hooked. I bought it last night and am almost finished. I have been trying to be so careful. Careful not to bend any pages or crease the spine. It looks like it has never been read!
Me: (laughing). That is too funny! Maybe you should finish and return it. They will never know someone read it already!

For some reason, this conversation struck me as particularly funny. I guess I could just picture my mom gingerly turning each page and being careful not to cause any blemishes on the book. She later described how she even used one sheet of paper as her bookmark and would set a larger book on top of it to keep the cover from curling up.

Well, now I know I am getting a book in my Easter basket, but I am guessing it won't be The Hunger Games... wonder what she will find to replace it?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just 5 more

Just five more school days until...

*a week of vacation
*days to sleep in
*fun in the sun
*nights to stay up late
*days to craft and read and enjoy
*mornings to celebrate with coffee and a book
*afternoons to spend with baby J
*Spring Break!

But who's counting, right?

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Busy busy busy.

busy busy busy.
baby nap.
baby eat.
baby play.
baby diapers.

busy busy busy.

busy busy busy.

busy busy busy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Personal Challenge

It has been one of those weeks...err, couple of weeks. (See post from yesterday). I have not done laundry in what may be close to 3 or 4 weeks. I honestly have lost count completely. I know I did it when I got back from Texas at the end of February. The beginning of March I struggled with strep throat. The next week I was being evaluated at school. This past week I had to perform an evaluation on a colleague. My Master's homework was in there somewhere too. A research paper, discussion board, chapter reading and the like have been done, graded, and are somehow due again.
Needless to say, the thing everyone runs out of first when dirty clothes pile up is: underwear. In my drawer there is a "reserve pile". They are nice. They are pretty. They have lace. But they have a flaw. They. slip. down. ever. so. slowly.
This week, I think it was Monday... I had to resort to one of these pairs. I remember thinking it was going to be a long day. Then Tuesday came. Oops. No clean laundry. Again and again and again I had to take from the dreaded extras.
Tonight we went out with some friends who are moving away in a couple of weeks. We were celebrating new jobs, new apartment, new start, exciting futures, and the end of casual hang-outs. It was bitter sweet.
After a few adult beverages at the local bar we headed out for dinner. On the way to the restaurant I made a comment about the blasted underwear and there being no point to them if they were just going to slip down all of the time. My friend gave me a coy look and said, "Just take them off."
Everyone in the car snickered. This was particularly funny because I am the least likely of all my friends to talk about or share very personal issues. (I can't believe I am sharing about it here, too! I must be desperate for a slice idea, right?).
Anyway, tonight I discovered what it is like to go sans underwear while out in public. I took the dare. I met the challenge. I threw them away.
 It was such a relief!
I wonder if there will be time for laundry tomorrow...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Look For The Signs

The signs of life are often seen in the birds, the wind, the bloom of spring, and the hatching of baby chicks.
Today, I noticed life in a new way. The busy life. The full life.
Dishes spread out across the counter with the dishwasher still full of clean dishes from the night before. Blankets and pillows disheveled from an evening of Survivor and good discussion. Shoes piled by the door waiting to be reunited with their homes. Mail opened and left on the entry-way table to be remembered at a better time. Baby blankets and toys spread out for times of independent play. Computer cords and laptops spread out across the coffee table, kitchen counter, and dining room table. Cups of dishsoap and water left from an experiment with homeade bubbles. Cameras and books and waterglasses on the coffee table reminding me of laughs and filling conversation.
Down the hallway leads to more life. Covers thrown back and pajamas waiting on the edge of the bed. More shoes strewn about and mixed between socks and sandals. The laundry basket overflows with items in dire need of a good washing and sorting. The dust bunnies crowd around the corners of furniture and rugs. They hide in fear of the coming tasks.
Some might see this as a sign of messy people. I see it as a sign of life. Day to day life. Life where things aren't always as you want them to be, but there is the hope of tomorrow. Life where sometimes responsibilities and to-do lists are pushed aside for a long walk. Where a last minute run to the store for ice cream outweighs tidying and dusting. Times when an evening of laughter, talk, and togetherness push the clutter and dirt away in a different way.
The signs are there. Can you see them?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Worth it

Every day I mull around about what to write for my daily slice. I have been quite proud of myself for taking the challenge head on and devoting myself to it. Last year at this time I didn't even have a blog of my own.
A dear friend (ahem) convinced (or forced) me to make my own blog. We sat on the couch and in the coffee shop debating over titles, backgrounds, and font colors and sizes. After several days of making sure things were just so, I began to write... tentatively.

Last summer I challenged myself to write every day for a month. I remember thinking one thing, "This is harder than I thought!" And to think that I require my first graders to put pencil to paper every day. Now, some days they are drawing pictures or making sketches or planning. Nonetheless, they have some type of writing they are refining or adding to or thinking about daily. It's exhausting!

Last summer I learned that I need to be more patient with them and include more mini-lessons on thinking and brainstorming. It isn't all that easy to just come up with a worthy idea in a snap (or just because your teacher says so...).

I have done my best this year to develop thinkers, dreamers, and brainstormers. It may have worked.

But March 1st started a new challenge. One where I not only have to write every day, but now I have to link my own (semi personal) blog to another blog where multiples of people are "invited" to read. Wow. That has been really terrifying! What will they think? Will they criticize my sentence structure? My feeble thoughts? My inexperience at writing? (I have always been more of a research writer than a creative writer). Will they think I am boring?

I have been shocked, overwhelmed, blessed, and encouraged by the feedback I have received throughout the challenge. I have learned that it is worth it. Take the leap. Link the blog. Open up. Let go. You just might be surprised and awed. I know I have been.

So now I take these morsels and see how they might fit into the realm of 6 and 7 year olds. More ways to share writing. More ways to have writers talk and discuss and share ideas. More ways to group and re-group. More ways to inspire and critique (nicely) and challenge eachother.

Thanks to all of you who have helped me to see that the challenge has been worth it. I wouldn't have known without you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an affinity for shoes. Like many women. I have tall ones, short ones, shiney ones, ones with sparkles, buttons, bows, and muliple colors. Some are for exercise, yard work, fancy occassions, lazy summer days, and tromping through snow. Shoes can be like moods. They change, fade, and can re-appear when the time is needed.

Today I chose a new pair of shoes to wear. Seeing as how it has been unusually warm for the month of March, my toes were tired of being covered and were begging for some air and sunshine. I was pleased with my choice this morning. My new sandals with clear sparkles helping to reflect the sunshine and joy in my heart.

But soon after I got to school I remembered... new shoes can mean pain. New shoes can mean rubbing in tender spots. New shoes can mean cuts and blisters. New shoes can mean regret.

By the end of the day I felt like a coin: with two sides. I love my new shoes. So cute. So versatile. So fashion-forward. But I detested my new shoes. So painful. So stiff. So uncomfortable.

So here I sit, with my feet up and my little toes stinging! Ah... new shoes. I love to put them on in the morning and today I am surely glad to take them OFF!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I have two or three ideas for my post today. But I just can't get one thing out of my mind: the book I am reading.

So, I am posting this quick sot hat I can get to reading my book! Yes, I have my priorities... (maybe mixed up).

This book is:

and totally has me hooked!
Goodbye, now I have to go read!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cow Tongue

Today, I ate cow tongue. I was a little nervous. But, you know what. It was pretty good. I even got to help cut it up into little pieces. It had already been cooked (boiled) but it definitely looked and felt like a tongue!

But when I put it into a corn tortilla, added cilantro onion and chili verde salsa, and a little lime it was delicious. I hope I am never too old to try new things!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Sometimes I start to feel sad, lonely, or wanting more. Yes, believe it or not, I have not accomplished all of the things I have set out to do in life. Someday I want a husband, kids, a house of my own, family errands, basketball games, concerts, family vacations and the like. I don't like to admit these things to myself, let alone a cyber world of people I may or may not know. I have probably always been the independent, make life your own, defy the odds, break the mold, shake things up kind of Woman. (Yes, that's a capital W...on purpose).

But every once in a while that little voice spreads a seed in my head and my heart. It leaves me wondering, waiting, wishing. I have to be careful or that little tiny speck will sprout and grow without guidance. I have to catch it quick and not let it become overgrown. I have to nurture it and prune it on occassion. I don't want the weeds to thwart its possibility and its pureness.

Tonight could have been one of those nights. Sitting at a coffee joint with 5 chairs around the table. Yes, five is an odd number. That means two and two... and one more. As I glanced around all I could see were twos. There were some threes or fours, but those included littles.

Then I had a different thought. Wait. Remember. Enjoy. I spent the day with loved ones, laughing, smiling, cherishing. The afternoon was filled with fun at school for the Family Fun Fair. I got to chat, hold babies, hug first graders, and help spread joy. I get to come home each night to friends who love me and want what's best for me. My family (even though far away) call, write, and visit often. I have a job that I love and am good at. All of a sudden there were blessings flooding through me.

When I looked around this time, I didn't see twos. I saw blessings. The baby in front of me smiling, reminding me of innocence. The couple holding hands showing me that commitment does still exist. The band illustrating the joy in tune, rhthm, and good ol' fashioned f-u-n. The coffee sitting before me telling me to enjoy the simple pleasures.

So, raise a glass and join me on the journey of pushing aside the woeful feelings and giving way to the blessings before us!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reunited (and it feels so good...)


"Swipe. Swipe."



"Woosh. Woosh. Woosh."

I am not sure how familiar you are with these sounds. I sure am. Today, I was reunited with a good friend. My bike.
I kicked back the kick stand. Then swiping down the bike with the rag to rid my friend of old dust and spider webs. Next came the gruelling task of pumping up the tires with the hand pump. Ugh. Slowly but steadily I started to ride, changing gears and finding my stride. Finally, I felt my legs find their rhythm and woosh I was off! I am glad to be back with my shiney blue friend again!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I routinely remind my first graders to "worry about yourself." They oftentimes want to boss each other around. They tell who to sit where. They "shh" and give looks. They worry about someone else not doing their work.

Today I wished I had taken my own advice. I should have listened to my inner self, "Worry about yourself, Lauren."

I wish I would have. I should have.

I didn't.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just Can't Wait

I can't help myself. I have the fever. The fever of the future summer ahead. I am already thinking about my free months and what they might hold for me...

  • I can't wait for long days full of sun.
  • I can't wait for no alarm clocks to wake me.
  • I can't wait for trips to the pool.
  • I can't wait for chances to walk barefoot in the grass.
  • I can't wait for casual clothes thrown on with haste.
  • I can't wait for afternoons spent reading and sipping lemonade.
  • I can't wait for trips in the car with the windows down and the music turned up.
  • I can't wait for late nights at the campfire.
  • I can't wait for picking vegetables from the garden.
  • I can't wait for trips to the beach and a touch of sunburn.
Summer, please come with urgency. The rest and kindness you offer are much needed. I know I shouldn't be counting days until your arrival, I just can't help myself!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sweet Relief

Swept through me.

The pounding in my head

The waiting is

is mine!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Some people have a special way with words. They can craft an epic poem, a murder mystery, or an intellectual thesis on sociology and mankind. They make pen and ink come to life in our minds. Others of us marvel at this gift. We study it. Notice it. Appreciate it.

There are many famous writers who possess the gift of words. Charlotte Bronte. James Patterson. Chris Cleave. Martin Luther King Jr. Chaim Potok. Anne Frank. The list goes on. Somehow their words became their career. The wrote. They spoke. They inspired.

There are others though, who use their words to inspire, lift up, and rejuvenate. Others who have nine-to-five jobs. Families. Chores. Errands. Stress. Heartache. Joys. Triumps. Struggles. Dreams. Thoughts.

These people are like you and like me. Somehow they go about their daily lives and have these beautiful, fluid words running around inside them. How do they craft them? Do they sit and ponder, or do they just appear on their lips? Somehow they muster up the courage to put their words to paper or screen. They share their thoughts, ideas, dreams, hopes, sorrows, and joys.

I know many such people who hold the gift. Some of them know it and use the gift. Some are still unaware. One such person who uses the gift inspires me constantly. Yes, her words are beautifully crafted and make interesting images in my mind when I read. But, moreso her words inspire me. She has thoughts and ideas that constantly point me back to Life. Love. Hope. Her words are inspired by Scripture, songs, quotes, and Humanity.

I know lots of you are pressed for time. Slicing daily is not easy. Please, please, please. Take the time. Make the time. Carve out the time to check out Becoming. Her gift of words and meaning within may change your heart. Attitude. Life.

Soak up the words. Let them transform you. Allow their meaning to wash over you and make you refreshed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I love it and I hate it.

I can't wait for the ending.
I put off other things.
I turn each page with haste.

I am sad when it is finished.
I wish the end had not come.
I sit and hold and remember.

I finished reading another book today.

What now?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A World Away

In June of 2010 I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Honduras for the first time. It was here that I think I truly fell in love for the first time. No, not with a man, but with humanity.

During my first ten-day stay in Honduras I fell in love with Carmen, Maria, Luis, Marlon, Caitlin, and many many other little faces. Hearts. Minds. Futures.

We played with play-dough, bubbles, go-fish, and tried our best at conversing as much as we could in English or Spanish.

I left that first time with a heart full of hope. We had a plan to return with books, bikes, and more love!

In February of 2011 a small group of us returned with exactly that. We took several bikes, almost 300 books and plenty of love for the 38 orphans.      

Just this past week, I got an email updating supporters on the status of the kids and the orphanage. Unfortunately, difficult circumstances have surfaced. The children have been removed by the government and have been split up. The people who have been caring for and providing for these precious children are not being permitted the knowledge of their new whereabouts.

A few nights ago, after I read and mulled over this email, I could not sleep. I could not get the tiny faces, little giggles, and eyes of wonder out of my mind. How can it be that this really happens to human lives? How can these children be abandoned by their blood and left for dead, then swept up in the arms of Love once again to be torn away? It seems cruel. No, it is cruel. 

I don't know the entire circumstances surrounding their removal. And I won't pretend to. I just know this. No child deserves such upheaval and uncertaintly once, let alone twice in their little lifetime.

My heart breaks today for these faces, hearts, and futures. I pray that they hold fast to the Love that God has instilled in their hearts. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Meet the Author Night... (an idea in the making)

Last night I spent an hour or so perusing some fellow slicers' work.

One piece struck me, and made me want to jump into action.

A secondary teacher posted about publishing kids writing and celebrating their work. In my five years as a first grade teacher, this is something that I have tried to work on. We write different genres and types of narrative, information text, persuasive, and even a bit of poetry (yet to come) throughout the year. We do our own little cheers and celebrate with eachother when a piece is finished or is being revised. We even go next door to the other first grades and share ideas, techniques, and lessons. We often get inspired then too.

But, the celebrating I have yet to set up or accomplish is different. I want to involve families, parents, loved ones. I want parents and guardians to know how really proud the kids and I are of their work.

A couple of years ago, second grade had a night where they invited families to come to school and look at all of their kids writing from the year. I want to do something simliar.

I am dreaming of books and writing notebooks spread across desks, parents and siblings perusing works of my precious 6 and 7 year olds. I see a spring-ish table cloth with cookies, punch, and maybe even some flowers! Dare I dream that interactive writing lines the hallway, leading parents to our room. Here I hope to see eager almost second graders showing their family their internal voice put to paper.
These are my dreams. How can I make them a reality? Has anyone done something similar in a primary classroom? Do you have any advice for me? Are there details I should start dreaming about? Is this even a good idea?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Too early?

It's March. I know, I am stating the obvious. But something weird has already started happening to me. Last week I had an out of body experience where I saw myself take out a little piece of paper and write "Summer" on the top. I then made a (for now) short list of things to do in my classroom over the summer. Things like:
*research phonics lessons
* organize word study sorts
* clean out files

None of these are earth shattering things to do, but I am sure the list will grow in the months to come.
I don't know what made me do it. I had no plan to do it. It just happened.

This past weekend I caught myself again. This time I didn't get out a piece of paper. I just started thinking about things to do this summer- but at home, and for fun!
* work on sewing- make L.O.V.E. t-shirt
* make more bobby-pins with buttons
* read, of course
*take baby J to the park and the pool
*visit family and friends at the lake
* find new recipes and cook new foods.
* ride bikes!

I know I need to stay focused. I have given myself some pep talks on the matter. I still have March, April, and May to teach, learn, guide, and grow. But I can't help myself from looking toward the summer. Is it too early to start dreaming, scheming, and yearning?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The ol' Tube

I grew up watching television. Everything from care bears to Blossom to The Real World. You see, I was a "latch key kid". My parents worked and my big sis was in charge. That meant we got home from school, shoved our shoes and bags out of the way and headed for the TV.
Through high school and college I continued to enjoy watching TV, even though I knew how reading was better for me. I was a great student and even spent many an hour and weekend consummed in a book. However, TV always got the better of me.
I can honestly say I am different now. I have learned in the past three years that oftentimes there is somethign else I could be doing with my time. I have learned to craft a little, write cards to friends, read more, even blog!
Now, before I get up on my high horse about how I don't watch TV that much anymore. There is one TV show that my psuedo-family watches every week: SURVIVOR! That's right. I love watching Jeff Probst in his blue shirt grill the contestants and make them squirm while on the hot seat. It is a ridicuously complicated sociological game. They want to make friends, win challenges, find the idol, and yet stay on top. Those who are in "power" first better watch out, lest they be marked as a threat. And those who don't do much also better look over their shoulder or they will be labeled weak. It is a fine line on Survivor.
So, you better believe tonight at 8pm, my friends and I will be sitting on the couches with the lights turned low, ready and smiling for our hour of the lazy-man's special: TV!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A new idea?

Education is evolving. New schedules. New rules. New mindsets. New curriculum. New teacher practices.

Those of us who are in it daily understand this. We see it, plan it, practice it, think about it, and do it on a daily basis.

Last summer I enrolled in a Master's program. Since that time I have immersed myself in teaching and learning. I have tried to look at both sides of the coin. I even challenged myself to write every day (blog) in the month of July last summer! It was eye-opening!

So, here I sit, trying to write a paper for one of my graduate classes. And I had to think to myself, "If education is changing, why do I have to write all of these papers?!" Surely, I was skilled at writing papers by high school, if not by the end of my undergraduate. But again, in my Master's? Really? In this age of new technology, isn't there any other way to assess my learning and reflection? I wish the professor would set up an individual chat session with each of us where he could ask questions and we could have a dialogue about the subject. That would probably be less time than reading and grading my paper. I would surely be more interested in that kind of assessment than a 3-5 reaction/research paper!

All I'm saying is, if education is changing, then why are research papers still the "go to" assessment for higher education?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sickbed Guilty Pleasures

sleeping late.
only pajamas.

watching movies.
drinking sprite.

cozy blankets.
fluffly pillows.

new meds.
renewed energy.

good bye.
strep throat.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Sore throat.
Can't swallow.

No talking.
No teaching.

In bed.
Under covers.

Making plans.
Typing directions.

Need doctor.
Get meds.

Feel better?
Not sick?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's Bathtime, Baby!

Saturday is bath day at our house. Josiah loves it!
I won't tell you about it... I will let you see for yourself...

Clean baby. Happy baby. Proud Auntie. Great Saturday!

Friday, March 2, 2012


When were you last caught off guard by someones kindness?

It is so easy to dwell on the hardships of the day or the frustrations that surface when it is most inconvenient. Does that really serve us well, though? Does dwelling on it really bring us out of the muck and the mire?

Today an unexpected gesture of kindness was tossed my way. I was so shocked that I almost failed to catch it. I had forgotten that importance lies in the simple things. The small words. The thoughts. The smiles.

I hope to savor that little nugget. I hope to pin it to my heart. To keep it as a reminder. To let it be a challenge.

What kindness will you let fill the creases and divots of your heart?

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I was going to post about the mean lady at the grocery store. I had eloquent words planned out about her animosity, tone, and rudeness that ignited fire in my heart. Somehow I managed to dim the flames and "keep my cool."

I was going to slice about inspirational in particular. This writer has a gift with words. Her phrasing and visual images continue to astound me. The meaning behind her words often help my soul to soar.

I was going to write about my recent time in Texas. Family can be so refreshing and fun. We toured Austin, visited the Alamo, and laughed like little kids on the playground.

Alas, I spent my entire evening working, thinking, typing (for school).

I just moments ago straightened my covers, turned on my nook, took off my socks and tucked my tired body into my snuggly bed. Then I remembered.... It's March 1st!

I hope it is worth it to yank my body out of bed at 10:02 and share these measely words!

Here's to 30 more slices. Hope I remember before 10pm!