Saturday, December 28, 2013

13 in '13

Linking up with

This year, I am loving the sweater dress.  It's so easy to get dressed in the morning and comfortable!

 I was so looking forward to this movie:
It didn't disappoint.  I LOVE F. Scott Fitzgerald!  This movie was as close to the book as I have seen over the years.  Leo is my generations Robert Redford, I suppose.

Not only is the lead actor, Stephen Amell, unbelievably attractive, I actually like the flashbacks to the past.  

It's not so much my favorite as my MOST frequented restaurant, especially over summer break.

Doing a load of laundry when the basket is full. (i.e. doing a load about every day)
It sounds boring, but it's super practical.
I used to have marathon laundry sessions on the weekend.
Why waste my Saturday or Sunday doing laundry?

These are all things I got this year.  A mini pitcher, a heart shaped bowl, and the new lapis dish set.

I pin so much stuff, just one pin makes for a tough decision.
This year, I have been obsessed with trying food items I have pinned.
This Cowboy Lasagna was a big hit with my hubby.

If you want to follow my food pins click here.
My post about using thinking maps to teach math concepts has to be one of my faves!
Click image to go to the post.
I am conducting research for my graduate program using thinking maps to help kids with autism learn complex math topics.

Surviving infertility treatments.
In the spring, I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis.
Then 3 months of "menopause like" injections. (Hot flashes and mood changes would be putting it mildly.)
Then 2 months of fertility injection treatments.
With no success.
A hormonal and emotional roller coaster, and I am off the ride.
On to the next journey with the most wonderful and supportive husband.

This pic is my recent fave.  My wonderful dog wearing a sweater because I wanted him to!

Going to Charleston with my hubby has to be my top memory of the year.
Plus the food was amazing!  I must recommend The Glass Onion.

 To be more prepared for what is to come.
In my career and in my personal life.
To make my list and check it twice!

This is something I lack most of the time, but I will need it in my classroom and in my life in 2014!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Theme: Making a Difference

I know our weekly link is a Wednesday, but with the holiday we are going to post a little early!

We hope you have a great holiday week with your family!

This week's theme: One can make a difference
When we say "one" that doesn't have to be a person.

For the Love of Autumn by Patricia Polacco
Every time I think of one of my most memorable students, whose name was… Autumn.  She was in my class when I taught 3rd grade.  She loved that this book included her name.

And speaking of cats:
The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
This book was one I just picked up off the shelves of our school library and said "I have to use this!"

Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire Nivola
This is a book I bought at a Scholastic Warehouse sale.  It's so good!

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
This is a book I always read in our launching unit to teach the importance of books.  It is great to pull it back out for our discussion of theme.

The Can Man by Laura Williams
Such a good book to read when thinking about needs versus wants.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
I love the idea that she wants to see things, go home and live by the sea, and make the world a more beautiful place.

Ellington was not a Street by Ntozake Shange
This book is written in verse which is perfect for teaching to the Common Core.

What books do you use to teach kids about making a difference?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Theme: Overcoming Differences/Injustice

Can you believe 2013 is almost over?!  
I am celebrating because my grad school class is OVER!

It's Wednesday, so that means:
This week's theme: Overcoming Differences/ Injustice
When I was teaching theme earlier this year, the kids kept telling me that this theme was "very serious."  Note that they are 10, and this class really likes light hearted books.

Smoky Night by David Diaz
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco
Who doesn't LOVE Patricia Polacco?  If you don't follow her on Facebook you should!

Freedom School, Yes! by Amy Littlesugar
Fishing Day by Andrea Davis Pinkey
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
This book is a favorite for our friend and teacher, Tracy!

What books do you use to teach injustice?


Friday, December 13, 2013

Tis the Season for Christmas Linky Parties

Ok, so I going to link up with two links parties in the same post.

My House decor is first. Thanks Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for hosting this!

Ok, when I say I  LOVE Christmas, I really mean it!
Every room in my house has some kind of Christmas decor.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

The most festive thing at my house!  Can't wait for my dog to wear this on Christmas Day!

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.
The red stockings are new!  (Kohl's)
I am big on nostalgia.
Ceramic tree was my grandma's, before she downsized.
Wood block letters were my mom's until I had my own home.
The pre lit tree is close to my heart.
The kitchen:

The living room:
The bathroom:
The little red tree was purchased at Target 2 years ago.    
Our trees:

Last, our outdoor lights:

Now the Christmas questionnaire.  Thanks Fabulous in First for hosting!

Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog?
Neither!  I am not a fan of hot beverages.  I do love cold Starbucks drinks, though!

Does Santa wrap gifts or just place them under the tree?
It depends on size.  99% of the time Santa wraps gifts, but a couple times the gifts were just too large.

Colored lights or white?
I am totally into colored lights (see above).

When do you decorate?
I usually decorate the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  One holiday at a time!

Real or fake tree?
Fake tree!  Allergies are rampant in my house.  Plus I hate to vacuum more than necessary!

What tops your tree?
I have been searching for the perfect tree topper and I still haven't found it, so for now it's a basic star.  

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
Shaving razors in my stocking!  (Since I was 13, every year they have been in my stocking.  My mom, sister, and I all laugh about it. It confuses my husband.)

Also, my hubby and I are from St. Joseph, MO.  Our parents still live there, so we go back "home" each year during December.  The local park is all lit up this time of year.  We love driving through to see the lights.  They collect donations for charity at the end.  (My father in law volunteers there during this time of year.) 
AND the best part is they give you a Cherry Mash (St. Joe's locally manufactured candy) for visiting. LOL… Cherry Mash are yucky!

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
There were two, I LOVED Barbie as a kid.  The first year my parents were divorced, Christmas was very different.  I wasn't at my house for Christmas but at my grandma's instead.  Did Santa even know where I was?  Yes, he left me a note saying my gifts were at my house.  
When I got home Santa had given me the Barbie Winnebago.  (Insert little girl scream of glee!)
The other is when I was 13, one of my great aunts gave me her treasured jewelry box.  She didn't have kids of her own and she said she knew out of all the great nieces I would take great care of it.  (I still have it today!)

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving!  I love shopping… and it's fun to shop for others!

What is your favorite Christmas song?
This is tough… but I have always loved the "Carol of the Bells."  
I played violin as a kid and it was one of my favorites.

Also, if you haven't heard the song "Deck the Rooftops", you might want to give it a listen.  
The 8th grade choir came and sang for our 4th and 5th graders.  
They did Beyonce choreography.  It was cute!  
(I might be biased as 7 of my former students were in the choir.)
Candy Canes.  Yuck or yum?
Tiny ones, yum.  Large ones, yuck.  It's too much peppermint!

Favorite Christmas movie?
"Charlie Brown Christmas."  Enough said.

Do you shop online or in stores?
This year online more than in stores, which is strange because this time last year I was on crutches and went and shopped in stores for everything.  What was I thinking?  

Photo card, letter, or store bought card?
I don't have children, so I haven't sent a card since I got married.

I would love to see your holiday decor and hear about your holiday traditions!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Theme: Perseverance

It's time for another week of our Theme linky!

This week's theme: Perseverance
There are a lot of books that might fit this theme.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Akiak by Robert Blake
Every kid loves a story about dogs!

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
I know this book is usually used with the younger kids, but it is a great book to start teaching this theme.  Plus I love when a character can exceed other character's expectations.

Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting
Who doesn't love Eve Bunting?

The Champ by Tonya Bolden
This book is written in verse, which is great where Common Core is concerned.

Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree by William Miller
John Henry by Julius Lester
You know we are Aimee Buckner, so how could we not include one of her favorite books in this theme.

Is there a book you like to use when teaching perseverance?