Sunday, March 31, 2013


Courage: (defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary),

"mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty"

 I have seen other slicers take on words that mean something to them. I have seen them declare that a word is theirs for a period of time. I never really understood. Until now. I appreciated the idea, saw that it might be valuable at some point. But I didn't feel like it was for me. There was no pull, no attachment, no word.

Until now. I started this challenge with a tribute to my grandmother and how her example of  Courage inspired me. Throughout these 31 days of writing, the theme of courage has been running through my mind. In life. In work. In relationships. In decisions. There was always Courage nagging at me, showing up, and making her presence known.

I never would have told people before that I was a person who had a lot of fears. I still wouldn't characterize myself as that way. However, maybe I have made a front for those fears. I'm not sure. Either way, the time for courage is now.

Courage to be myself- whoever that may be- despite my company.

Courage to make tough decisions.

Courage to love those around me the way they need it.

Courage to laugh at myself- even if no one else is!

Courage to live my life to the fullest.

Courage to let others be themselves and appreciate them that way.

Courage to change in myself the things that need work.

Courage to love myself the way I am.

Courage to push down the fears and take the risk.

Courage to live- and not regret.

Courage to live life with purpose.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across this quote on a fellow slicer's blog:

"A ship in port is safe,
but that's notwhat ships are built for,"

--Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

I immediately liked it. But as I ran my eyes over the words again and again, a new meaning came to me. There has to be Courage. Courage to take that ship out and let it be used for its purpose.

Courage to not always be safe.

I hope that as I continue to live my life day to day, I keep Courage. Courage in the small things and Courage in the monumental things. Courage for me. Courage for others.

This doesn't mean that I will be absent of fear- but rather not letting it stop me. Living my purpose. Living with Courage.

Love at First Sight

I spent my day traveling around the city seeing new babies. Two of my cousins welcomed new little girls into their lives this past week. I am glad to be able to visit this week and meet the next generation of family that I will get to watch grow and change. It is always exciting, and a little shocking to see the "kids" I grew up with having littles of their own!

Seeing, meeting, and holding these precious ones got me to thinking about some other special people in my life and how I fell in love. 4 times over. Sounds a little overboard, right? Like I can't commit?

Well, it's quite the opposite. These four boys each stole my heart in a different way. They each hold a piece of me: they call me "Auntie". I can still remember the first time I laid eyes and fingers and heart onto each one of them.

Kole Thomas was born when I was a Junior in college. Sister was not supposed to have him for another 6 weeks, but he had a little secret plan of his own. Mom and Stepdad had to quickly drop off my things at my dorm room endure the 4 hour drive home to meet the new little love. He was teeny. Just passing the 5 pound mark, he was in the NICU for several days after birth. Luckily, I was able to come home the very next weekend to meet this little guy who made me into an Auntie first.

I can't believe that now he is a 2nd grader. He loves Star Wars, Katie Perry, wrestling with his brothers and dad, and playing the piano. He is sweet, kind, and tender hearted.

Second to join the ranks was Reid Christopher. He was born in the fall of my Senior year of college. By then I was living in a house off campus with some friends and I got a call from mom late one night that Sis had gone to the hospital. This one was not as dramatic. He had decided to stay inside for the duration. Still, I was hours away and had to wait a day or two to visit. In fact, for this one, they were still in the hospital!
Now he is in Kindergarten. He loves magazines, books, and any type of reading material. He often takes something to "read" any time he goes in the car. He is notorious for getting motion sick! He has had to learn to stick up for himself. But, he is my cuddler. He loves to snuggle. He wears his hear ton his sleeve at all times. This year he has grown passionate about guitar. Hopefully he will continue that passion into the rest of his life.

Third is our "little Amish boy", Will Michael. He was born during my 3rd year of teaching. By a stroke of good timing, I happened to be home in Ohio the weekend he was born. Unfortunately, I was home to celebrate the life of a good famiy friend who had recently passed away. Even though the occassion was bittersweet, I remember being exstatic at getting to see this little on the actual day of his birth- not something that I was able to do for the two previous.
He is now a rambunctious 3 year old. He tries to stick up for himself with his two older brothers. He loves to play with the dog, suck his thumb and cuddle up to his mama. He is often known to strip down and run around the house without any clothes on! He has the bluest of eyes and the hair the color of cornstalks. He is a true sweetie!
Last year presented another opportunitiy. My dear friends adopted a little boy, Josiah Tucker. They were fortunate enough to be present at his birth and were able to care for him from the moment he was born. I remember getting the text at 2:30 a.m. saying "thunder cats-a-go" which was our code word for the baby's arrival. I was all mixed up about this one. I wanted him in our lives more than anyting else, but was hesitant about the future. See, I live with these friends. This baby would change all of our lives. It didn't take more than a second for me to realize that all of my fears and worries were for not. I was meant to be his Auntie. Meant to teach him silly games, tickle him, and smother him with kisses.
He is now almost 20 months old. He loves to read "Where's Spot?", pretend to talk on the phone, play on the computer, and run around like a crazy man. He steals my heart each day as he "gets ready" with me in the bathroom, tells me 'byebye' when I leave for work, and greets me when I arrive at home. I am constantly amazed at how he grows and learns and develops. He is a true joy.

So, there you have it: my four loves. I was destined to be theirs. They were destined to be mine. Each in their own unique way. For life.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Big One

The moment
when you realize what you thought
is no longer true.

That piercing
pain that catches you off guard
and kidnaps your breath.

The feeling
of "what now?" and how will you
ever recover?

Mounting anticipation
that is swept away with an old broom
and thrown out.

Future plans
dashed and trampled and discarded
without a thought.

Feared Betrayal
staring you in the face as you
hear the reality.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Traveling Post

I spontaneously decided to take a trip to Ohio to see some family today. Here are some pics to document my travels...


It's good to be "home" again.
As an added bonus, the buckeyes won 73-70! (I'm a closet basketball fan...)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I went to the high school in town to see the play "The Fiddler on the Roof". I have always loved this story, and this production was definitely NOT a disappointment. (I contemplated going back for another viewing the following week!)

Love for this story grows in my heart each time I see it. Here, a father is tied to his ways. He is comfortable with his life. He knows what to expect. However, he has 5 daughters. Yes, 5. These daughters are growing up in a "modern" age and have differing ideals on roles for women, marriage, and want to make traditions of their own.

The father stretches and bends over the course of the story. However, the point comes where he breaks. No. No more. He will not make any more exceptions for his daughter who wants to break tradition and marry a "foreign" man. He disowns her. He claims her as dead even though you can see his heart breaking.

His resolve does not change the daughter's mind, however, and she runs away with her new husband. Major change comes about and the family has to leave their comfortable and known life. The father again has to bend and stretch. In the end, he finds a way to accept and give his blessing to the daughter's new marriage.

This play and this story got me thinking about tradition, the rules, and expectations. Sometimes they are set up for us by a people group, or our family, or even for ourselves. They can make us feel safe, comfortable, and in control. They can also limit us. They can limit our thinking, our love, and our experiences. The balance is hard to master.

How long do we hold on to tradition for tradition's sake? When and how do we bend for progress? For new ideals? For each other? How does love bend and accept new?

How do I decide which of my rules are perhaps not as applicable now as they once were? I hope I know how to bend like the father and let love conquer all uncertainty.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


As the challenge draws to near its end, I find myself weeding out ideas more and more. I thought I might have trouble having ideas near the end, but tonight I find quite the opposite. I have too many. However, none of them are quite enough.

I could write about an article that I read recently about raising daughters that understand true beauty.

I could write about how tomorrow is the first day of the beloved Spring Break and all of my plans that go along with it.

I could write about how the family is back and how the house has changed with that simple fact.

I could write about going home to see family in Ohio and all that entails.

I could write about marriage equality and the super intense discussions that ensue because of this issue.

I could write about my plans and schemes to go skydiving this summer.

I could write about the happiness I feel and the reasons for it.

I could write about community and what it means for the soul.

I could write about how I should not be left alone in the house with an almost full pan of brownies.

I could write about so many things... and yet none of them have that pull, that twinge, that spark. None of them are quite developed. They need time. They need thought. They need craft.

What could be...

Monday, March 25, 2013


My students and I are currently studying biographies, and how to write them. We have discussed the ins and outs of conveying information to an audience, what makes strong information, and how to make pictures/illustrations that match our words. This has been an involved study. I have learned some things along the way about my students and about myself!

Several students have begun checking biographies out from the library... on the Beatles, Elvis, Big Foot, and many other well known subjects.

I had to chuckle to myself when several kids started talking about Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez and the teeny-bopper realm of singers/actors.

I recently read an article about Justin Beiber being asked the leave a hotel in Paris because they couldn't handle the amount of screaming girls the hotel was taking on- it became a security risk for the Beib.

The book one of my students picked out from the library talked in length about the Beatles and their popularity with young screaming girls.

Last summer I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and there the displays on Elvis centered on his sex appeal and ability to make women faint from his dancing!

So ridiculous... or is it?

I have always rolled my eyes at these girls. Pish. Posh. No one is that amazing to scream and cry and get so worked up over.

Or is there?

Recently I realized that I too have a celebrity crush. But, would I act like that? Heavens no... Hmmm?

Even though my students wouldn't know who he is, I began to think what I would say in a biography about him.

He is super talented. He is a comedian who hosts his own late night show. He is great at dancing, singing, and acting.

He is so cute! He has a great smile with nice teeth. His hair is dark and is always styled to compliment the shape of his face.

He is a nice dresser. Granted, a team of people help with that, but nonetheless, he looks sharp!

He is nice. Now, I don't know him, but you know how you just get a vibe about a person? Well, he is always super friendly on his show and likes to make his guests feel good.

He isn't afraid to take risks. He does funny things on his show, where often times he looks silly and others make fun of him.

He is quick witted. He is good with words and has a come back for almost any joke. It's my favorite when he can't hide his laugh, and laughs at his own silly punns!

So, is it really that ridiculous that girls would scream and cry and even faint over a celebrity? Maybe I can understand it now more than I used to. Who knows... if I ever get to see or meet him, maybe I would turn into one of those girls?

I hope to find out... soon!

Sunday, March 24, 2013


The fam has been gone several days now. It's unusual for there to only be one person in the house for an extended amount of time. It feels akward, unfamiliar, and well... lonely.

Here are some things I have noticed about myself over the past few days.

When alone in the house I...

  • spend a lot more time in my room with the door closed
  • check the locks multiple times, even though I know they are secure.
  • talk to myself- more than usual
  • listen to music- more often and louder than normal
  • find excuses to call people on the phone and talk
  • eat cereal in my bed- I know, could be a recipe for disaster!
  • find silly reasons to run errands, shop, and get out
  • wonder why I don't have more friends to invite over!
  • notice cars outside more and watch them drive down the street
  • think I hear knocking at the door, but no one is there.
  • realize living alone isn't something that was meant for me...
Even as I read this list over again some of the things make me chuckle, and others make me feel pathetic. Oh well. It's the truth. I can't wait for Tuesday. They will be back. Noises. Laughter. Patterns. Habits. Family.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Today I only have questions...

Why do we have to come to a complete stop at a stop sign if no one is around?

Why do all of the best tasting foods also mean the worst for you?

Why is a day spent shopping so fulfilling sometimes?

Why is it still snowing at the end of March?

Why is an empty house so full of weird noises?

Why is it so hard to just say what you feel at times?

Why do people hurt one another?

Why are so many resources wasted?

Why do little boys think pink is a "girl color"?

Why do people say, "boys will be boys" as if it is an excuse for anything?

Why is summer so far away?

Why does the summer disappear so fast?

Why are bathingsuits and 4th of July decor out in stores already?

Why isn't there more peace in the world?


Friday, March 22, 2013


from the nights of tossing and turning
from the late nights
and from the early mornings

from the ideas running wild in my head
from the upcoming plans
and from lists of tasks before leaving

of sounding like a skipping record
of having good intentions
and of seeing them slip away

of feeling scared
of letting myself be powerless
and of feeling powerless

for a good night's sleep
for peace and contentment
for sure footing and control
for courage and patience

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This One's For You, Ruth

I have always been the kind of person to have a smattering of really good friends, instead of a lot of just so so friends. I feel lucky to be this way. The friends I do have are "seasoned". Many of us have been through oceans, deserts, springs, and fields of plenty. We have lived life together. Over time.

One such friend is one that I don't get to see too often anymore, even though she lives just over a mile from my house. She teaches in the same corporation, and I pass her school every day when I drive to my own.

This friend nurtured me as a beginning teacher. She saw something in me and took time to answer my millions of questions, encourage me, support me, and give me the confidence I needed.

In the 6 years I have known her, she has carved time out in her busy life for me. We have created blogs, written resumes, talked about books, lounged by the pool, shopped for shoes, and shared many a laugh or good story.

This lady, she works hard. She has a BIG job. She is also an amazing mother. (You should meet her kids!) She is a patient and caring wife. She sees the needs of others and takes them on as her priority.

Considering her busy life, I feel special to get to call her my "friend". For me, those aren't flippant words. I can trust that she will tell me like it is. She won't tell the world about my embarrassing stories. She is caring. She is safe. She is friend.

Life gets in the way and time spent together is far and few between. Nevertheless, next time we chat or text or spend time, I can be assured we will fall back into step.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ghost Sounds

So many sounds. Right now I am trying to cram them all into my brain.

The sound of his giggle when I tickle him.
The sound of his "uh- oh" when he drops a toy.
Even the sound of the annoying toys that sing the same songs over and over.
The sound of his hitting my door wanting to come in for a visit.
The sound of his quick little steps up and down the hallway.

For tomorrow the rest of my household leaves. 5 days. 5 days I will be alone in the house.

5 days is a long time. 1 or 2 days is a little reprieve, a time to recharge and enjoy. But 5 days leans towards hermit-like tendencies, extreme loneliness, and "hearing" things.

So even now as I type these words, I hear his little "bark" and "howl" from the tub. I envision him pointing to the letter o and saying "oooohhhh" over and over.

These are the sounds I will have to carry with me over the next 5 days. They will keep me company. They will remind me. They will comfort me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Little Wiggle (Hopefully Part 1)

Have you ever pulled out the tooth of a little 7 year old?

I haven't. But it's something I would like to do-- seriously.

Given the fact that I have been a first grade teacher for the past 6 years, it surprises many that I haven't had the opportunity to assist with a loose tooth! Oh, I encourage, test, and wiggle those teeth, but never have I had the priviledge of actually pulling one out!

Today, a little guy, came up to me with a wide gap-ish grin. He pointed to one of his front teeth with his tongue and said, "It's looths". I gave him a smile and a wink and went about testing to see if it was ready for the Great Pull.

Nope. Still too attached.

I told him, "Keep wiggling with that tongue. Come and see me first thing in the morning!"

I sure do hope little A gets to wiggling that tooth tonight-- but not too much!

I sure do hope little A has a tooth ripe for the plucking tomorrow morning!

I sure do hope I get to help pull my first little tooth tomorrow!

I will keep you posted...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Get Up and Dance!

Every teacher knows that each class has its own "personality". This year I feel like I have to be the enforcer. If I give them an inch, they might never come back! So, for the past 136 days, I have monitored, discussed, enforced, and praised. It has been exhausting!

I feel like I haven't been able to be silly or funny or spontaneous with these kiddoes! It makes me sad most days, but I have been afraid of the repercussions.

Today there was a small window of opportunity. Students were eagerly writing infromational texts at their desks and a student requested to have some music on in the background. I have done this with other classes, but like I said, I wasn't sure if this particular class could handle it.

The music started and the kids continued working. A few hummed along. I was able to confer, the music played, and working maintained. After a few minutes, I had forgotten about the music being on. So had many of the students. All of a sudden a favorite song of mine came on... "The Silly Dance Contest".

I was at a crossroads. I could turn it up, dance a little, and have fun with my class. Or, let the song pass by and wonder.

I turned it up. We danced. We laughed. We had fun!

Then I was amazed at how they went right back to their work. They knew how to focus, transition, and amaze me!

Every class has a "personality". Maybe this particular class is getting the balance of work and fun. I am sure glad they have!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vantage Point


This has been my view this weekend. It has been a working weekend for me in my classroom. If you had asked me on Friday my feelings about this, I probably would have rolled my eyes and given you a semi-grumpy response. I had report cards to fill out, comments to complete, general planning to do, and a list of odds and ends that could have competed with the Berlin Wall.
Saturday morning started with a leadership meeting at 8am. Hours were spent reading, deliberating, searching, printing and organizing. The time together was pleasant and somewhat fruitful. The meeting ended and my time in my classroom began. Soon the hours had zoomed past and somehow the work had not been finished. You know what they say about rabbits multiplying? Well, that reminds me of my work load...
My heart sank as I realized that I would have to return today. 7 days! 7 days in a row I would be in this room- working. 7 days plus the 5 ahead. Ouch. My heart sank. No rest. No spurr of the moment walk to the park. No afternoon lunch with a friend or movie in the basement. Just work.
I hauled myself out of bed this morning and decided to go in and get things finished. This way, I wouldn't feel panicked and I could come home Laundry to be done. Furniture to dust. Meals to cook. Homework to be started. The list at home grows too!
My morning was productive and even provided a little different vantage point. I still had the same view as above, but I started to notice some details.
A parent made this for me last year. I remember being so touched by her thoughtfulness and the quote itself. She took time to make something for me that expressed her gratitude. She saw the work and effort it takes to be an educator. It is a 7 day a week job (sometimes). What a great reminder. All this work has a purpose. The kids.


Just a little farther to the left brought me to this drawing. Sweet little K gave it to me last week. I love artwork from students. I regularly rotate through the things they make for me on my wall. I even have a file where I keep them to pull them out later and remember. Yep, that's me on the left. I am dressed like a giraffe- because they are my favorite animal after all. What a great reminder. All this work has a purpose. The kids.
Even farther to the left is a quote from some colleagues a couple years ago. For some reason this has stuck with me and I framed it to remind myself of how powerful it is. This was just the perspective I needed. I work because they deserve it. They deserve my best. They deserve a bright and hopeful and passionate future. And Regie is right... I can do it! What a great reminder. All this work has a purpose. The kids.
So, even though my stance on Friday was understandable, I sure am glad that these reminders brought me back to this view. I am a teacher. An educator. A helper. They deserve my best. I am happy that tomorrow I can talk with them, watch them, and help them knowing that I am giving them the best I have to offer.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Anticipation, Fear, and a Goal

Those little red bubbles that pop up. You know the ones, on your iphone. They tell you that you have missed a call, have a voicemail, have notifications on Facebook, tell you a text has arrived and the like. I get those on my phone from time to time.
Don't get me wrong. I like having a cell phone that is "smart" and all, but sometimes I like to choose to be unavailable. Just because I can respond right away doesn't mean that I have to. But I like seeing those little red bubbles nonetheless.

In the past 15 or so days, those little bubbles have begun to hold more anticipation. Especially when they hover over the email symbol. Will it be someone commenting on my slice? Will they think it was silly? A waste of time? Rushed? Well written? Amusing? Insightful? The possibilities are endless.

Last year at this time I was almost paralyzed with fear about linking my very secret blog to a place where a plethora of other people could read and give feedback. This year I am so much more comfortable in my own writing skin and voice. I don't feel the hesitation of words. I think. I choose. I write. (Perhaps I should re-read more...)

The feedback that I have received here has been priceless. The tones are always supportive, encouraging, and more than understanding. I appreciate how others have taken the time to invest in my work. In me. In my learning.

This leads me to the flip side. I have been utterly lousy at reading, investing and encouraging others on the same journey. It feels selfish and unworthy to take the support but not pass it on. I know that is part of the challenge, and to that end, I have failed so far.

My new goal for the rest of the challenge is to post earlier in the day so that I have (and make) more time to read and encourage others.

Hopefully someone else out there gets excited about the little red bubble above their email symbol. Maybe, just maybe, my comment will be what awaits them.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Under the Wire

Too late to really slice. It was a great day. It was Friday after all.

A little memento from the day...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Not for the Faint of Heart

This week I started a new writing unit on biographies with my first graders. Previously we have been working on just general information texts like: "All about Snakes" or "All about NFL teams" or "All about Lacross". We have talked at length and studied mentor texts to help us with how to convey good information, make the best pictures we can for our readers, and include non-fiction features that can help the reader to understand the information (ie, labels, maps, headings, table of contents, etc). It has been an exciting journey and they were more than excited to learn about a "new" type of book on Monday.

Sometimes kids set you up for just what you were hoping. A couple of students had begun planning a book about a person last week. I was able to capitalize on that in my intro to biographies. After making lists of potential subjects for our book, we then set about brainstorming what kind of information would be important and interesting to note in our books about other people. The conversation and ideas from these 6 and 7 year olds astounded me! (Now I wish I had taken pictures of our charts and web of ideas...)

Given the theme of biographies and the fact that today will mark my 100th post, I think I will attempt to document 100 "interesting" (okay, that's pretty subjective) facts about myself. After all, you may want to know more about me... (maybe).

Here goes...

1. I was born in Ohio, but have lived in Indiana for the past 10 years.

2. I have been a teacher for the past 6 years, all of them in first grade.

3. I have a degree in Special Education and Elementary Education.

4. My “first love” is students with special needs. I still hope to one day play the role as a special education teacher.

5. I live with the best friends a girl could ask for (4 years, and still strong!)

6. My mom and I talk every Sunday (at least). I look forward to it every week. Sometimes I can’t wait and have to call her on Saturday!

7. I am allergic to toothpaste and cinnamon gum.

8. I have never broken a major bone. (Does a toe count?)

9. When I was in first grade I was in a ballet class. I was so nervous about the recital, I made myself sick to get out of it. I never took another dance class.

10. My parents were divorced when I was 5. As a result, I have two wonderful step-parents in my life!

11. As a kid, we mainly had cats growing up. I can remember only one dog: Ubu- like the commercial “Sit Ubu, sit”.

12. I graduated high school in a class of 91 students. I currently only keep in touch with two of them.

13. My ten year high school reunion is this summer. I am still contemplating going or not.

14. I failed my driver’s license test the first time I took it. I cried on the couch for hours afterwards!

15. I don’t like coconut.

16. My favorite book is My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, but I am always looking for new titles to love.

17. I played volleyball in high school but was never really good enough to pursue it later in life.

18. I have a serious weakness for ice cream.

19. Number 18 is why I had to give ice cream up for Lent.

20. Within one year I went to Cambodia, France/Spain, and Thailand. I loved them all!

21. In college, I actively pursued the option of becoming a missionary overseas.

22. I always tell my students that my favorite animals are giraffes and elephants. That is true, but also I say this because I can draw them when I have to model writing in writing workshop.

23. I didn’t learn to love non-fiction texts until I became a teacher.

24. South America and Africa are two continents I would still like to visit.

25. I got my nose pierced 4 years ago. I love it. No regrets!

26. I have short hair. I am a short hair advocate! I don’t think I will ever go back to long locks.

27. I started “running” this past summer. I ran in two 5k races and dressed up like a turtle in one. 28. I plan to run at least 3 more races this upcoming summer.

29. I have never considered myself an athlete or a runner. Still don’t.

30. I went to a Christian school from grades 5-12 and a Christian college. I loved my experiences at both!

31. Although, I have always wondered what it would have been like to go to a major university.

32. I wish I had had the courage to apply to an Ivy League school when I was looking at colleges. I probably wouldn’t have gotten in, but trying would have been the first step.

33. I have an amazing sister. She is 7 years older than I am, and now that we are both adults, we have a lot of fun together. Growing up was mainly one fight after another!

34. My step sister gave me three fantastic nephews: Kole, Reid, and Will. I wish I could see them more often.

35. I love to ride my bike. In the summers we like to ride and get ice cream!

36. Jimmy Fallon is quite possibly my dream man. I mean, he is funny, adorable, and SO talented. I wish I could stay up late and watch his show every night.

37. My mom DVR’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for me. So, when I go home to Ohio, I have a ton of old episodes to pick from!

38. I have never bungee jumped or been sky diving, but I would like to try both!

39. I was once offered a teaching job in Korea. I seriously considered it until telling my family. Then I turned the job down.

40. From the age 16 until I was out of college I worked in a library. I loved it!

41. When I was young I wanted to be the first woman President. Now I don’t even have an interest in politics.

42. I can’t handle the idea of veins, or a pulse, or blood pressure. Talking, thinking, and even knowing about them sometimes make me feel like passing out.

43. I love spicy food!

44. I was pulled over twice last week.

45. I got a warning both times! J

46. I grew up in church, and believe that church and community in a church can be a powerful thing, but I haven’t regularly attended a church in a year and a half.

47. I wish I could find a church.

48. My first boyfriend was a twin.

49. My idea of “world news” is to read Yahoo! news articles or US weekly.

50. I hate to wear socks- even in the winter!

51. I have a small tattoo on my right foot.

52. Last summer my aunt taught me how to make jell-o shots.

53. I have taken several pottery classes and loved “throwing” on the wheel.

54. I can be a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to organization.

55. I am afraid of horses. They have such big teeth!

56. I never had a nickname growing up. I always wanted one.

57. My senior year of college I lived off campus with friends. It was one of the best experiences of my life!

58. I won a teaching award in college.

59. I once spelled the word spaghetti wrong while my principal was evaluating me. Oops.

60. For my 16th birthday my dad gave me a Roth IRA. I thought it was going to be a car. I ran out of the room crying in front of everyone.

61. I wish I hadn’t started this list.

62. I am beginning to wonder if anyone will actually read all of these ridiculous things!

63. I have a pet Tarantula in my classroom. His name is Chester.

64. No, I don’t take him out and hold him. Gross.

65. When I was little I was playing house and decided to “iron” the bedspread. I ended up putting large iron marks in the carpet of my dad’s apartment. Years later I learned that because of me, he didn’t get his deposit back on that apartment.

66. I want to learn to sew. I am afraid that it is a dying art. Who will hem pants for the younger generation?

67. I used to think that the Classics were the only books worth my time. Rubbish. Now, I can’t remember the last time I read a Classic!

68. I love to travel. I am already having a hard time fitting all of my trips in for the summer.

69. I started my Master’s degree almost two years ago.

70. I will graduate this July! J

71. In high school I fell on risers in front of my entire choir class.

72. I didn’t start wearing glasses until I was a freshman in high school.

73. I didn’t start wearing contacts until I was a freshman in college.

74. I never used to wear dangly earrings. I was afraid it would rip my ear on accident.

75. Now I hardly go a day without a pair of big dangly earrings!

76. I started this blog because a friend made me create one. I kept it a secret for a long time.

77. I once saw a man get shot.

78. I used to have a rabbit when I was a little girl. I can’t remember his name at all. Neither can my mom or my sister.

79. I had twin baby dolls as a little girl. I named them Andy and Amy.

80. The password that I use for most things is a made up word from 7th grade.

81. I have had the same email address since 6th grade.

82. I have always wanted to adopt children someday.

83. Chap stick is my biggest addiction.

84. Two years ago I started going to a Zumba class. I still feel ridiculous, but it is exercise that puts a smile on your face!

85. I save tons of artwork from my students every year. In the summer time I get it out and look at all of it. It makes me happy.

86. I have never been water skiing.

87. I had to cheat on my Ohio Boating License. It took 4 of us and three computers (using Google) for me to pass!

88. I am new to twitter. I don’t entirely get it. I haven’t “tweeted” yet.

89. I learned how to play Angry Birds from a 2 year old.

90. Singing has never been one of my talents, but I was once in a Winnie the Pooh musical. I played Eeyore.

91. One of my collections as a little girl was of miniature tea sets. I think I still have them all.

92. This list took a lot longer than I expected.

93. My favorite movie is “Shawshank Redemption”.

94. I tell my first graders that my favorite color changes. I just don’t want to commit.

95. Retirement and understanding my finances is something that I worry about. A lot. (I am 27 years old currently).

96. If I ever get married, I am not sure I would have the traditional wedding.

97. I once put salad dressing all over an old boyfriend’s brand new car.

98. In first grade, I stole a mini stapler from my teacher. Later I lied to her about stealing it.

99. I hate diet pop.

100. The Slice of Life group is such a great community. I feel lucky to be a part of it!


Are you still there?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Today after school I rushed home. L and I had a list of things to do, and time was of the essence.

While I was getting ready for a quick "run", baby j was in my room playing with my phone. Now, he is quite smitten with it. It cheers him instantly, he smiles at it, dances to its music, and even cries when he has to tell it "bye bye" and give it a kiss. But for just a split second today he was all snuggled in my covers, gazing at the phone with affection, and holding it up to his face. I just happened to glance over. I immediately ran for my camera...

I got a new camera last summer and spent the better part of the summer and fall taking a class and experimenting with my skills. I am not a great photographer, but it is something I am interested in and would like to pursue more.

Of course, when I grabbed the camera the battery was dead. And the kid had my phone, so what was I to do? I decided to just stand and observe. Capture the moment with my memory. Sure, I might not be able to pull up the picture later on my computer, or share it with others, but when I close my eyes, I can see him.

I can see the little toes wiggling back and forth on my yellow blanket. I can see the slight curls in his hair against my pillow. I can see the stubby little fingers trying to manuever the touch screen. And I can see the wide smile of a boy in love with technology.

This got me thinking. When I close my eyes, what other pictures do I see? What other events or places or people do I hold dear in my mind's eye?

Sometimes, just sometimes I have all of my witts about me and can actually click the camera. Here are a couple that are etched within my heart...

(My sister, Raeal and her fiance, Nick this past summer).

(Almafi Coast, Italy. Summer 2009)

(A Kindred Spirit, Carmen. Honduras 2010).

(A little Mardi Gras fun with mom and sis. New Orleans. 2011)

(Clown fish? Taken at aquarium in New Orleans 2011)

(The Bayou. Aren't these trees fantastic. New Orleans. 2011)

(Josiah Tucker Damien Shue. Summer Fun. 2012)

(Kayaking in Bar Harbor, Maine. July 2010).

(Ok. I didn't capture this one. But, I love that it was captured! Lake Tahoe. July 2012).

(The Girl with Personality. Honduras 2011).

(Dad, Sis and me. Athens, Greece. 2009).

So, whether you have a camera or not. It's always a good idea to capture the moment.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It Has Started

Today was a pretty ordinary day. I went about my classroom as I entered, clicking on lamps, pressing computer buttons to awaken the beasts, checking schedules and materials and plans. I even started to prepare and plan for next week. As I was getting some materials out of a drawer, I realized that it was in desperate need of re-organizing.

That's when it started. The film was lifted. The fog cleared. The rose glasses snatched away. The need was clear- a list was to be made!

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I function purely because of lists and the need to cross things off of them. I make lists for groceries, plans, things to do, things to buy, things I wish I could do, things to accomplish by a certain age, things I wish, and things I don't want to do, but need to. I put them on my bathroom mirror, on sticky notes, in my car, on my phone, in my plan book at school, on the calendar and any other cutesy type of paper I have handy.

Once a friend even made fun of me for putting "read books" on my vacation list. I had to explain that if it isn't on the list, then I feel guilty doing it, so oftentimes I will put fun things on the list so that they get crossed of too! (I know I'm not crazy, I know there are others out there like me, right?)

 After realizing some things were in serious disarray, I dropped...err, placed everything neatly down and ran over to my desk to start before I forgot. Today started my Summer 2013 list. Before too long, the list had several more tasks at the end.

I already feel a sense of calm about the summer. Sure, I will make other lists for the summer, but my list for things to accomplish in my classroom has started.

Who knows, maybe I will even get to cross a few off before school even ends!