Tuesday, December 31, 2013

*Heart Flutter* Funnies

Ok these commercials CRACK. ME. UP! I love how real they are! This one might be my favorite because it reminds me of one of my *heart flutter* students that I had last year.

I love teaching fourth grade, but they just aren't as funny as the first graders I taught my first two years. They try to be funny, and think they are funny, but....sometimes the miss the mark. First graders don't try and are often serious and then you get in trouble for laughing!

Thankfully I have some friends who have little kids who can keep me in the laughing world. I have two stories to share about one of my friend's four year old son.

Before Christmas I was talking to his mom about our up coming book club white elephant Christmas party. I was telling her that she needed to bring a white elephant gift and he very concerned cried out, "But we don't have a white elephant!"

Today we met for lunch and I asked the kids what they were going to do to ring in the new year. I was greeted with blank stares, here is our conversation:

Me: Today is 2013 and tomorrow will be 2014 and people stay up until midnight and count down then yell "Happy New Year!"
Boy: That sounds like a good idea. Mom, we should do that!

It just cracked us up! (It may have to been one of those things that you had to be there to fully understand the beauty of the conversation.)

Do you have any "kids say the darndest things" moments? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, December 30, 2013

TTT~ Books I Read in 2013

Brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish

Last Top Ten Tuesday of the year! Crazy that the year is over but I am looking forward to 2014!
Looking back over my year of books, I was a little disappointed. It started at our book club Christmas party where we vote on our favorite book of the year and the person who picks it wins a present. No one really liked many of the books we read. Sadly, looking back at my list, I had the same thoughts. There were a few that I enjoyed, but some that I don't ever even want to admit that I read! Many of the ones that I did end up liking were jFic books that I read with my students or read in hopes to recommend them to my students.

Here is how things shook out for the year:

  • Dragonfly in Amber/Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
  • Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maude Montgomery 
  • The Dark Zone/ Cosmic Storm by Dom Testa
  • A Year Down Yonder/ A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
  • So B. It by Sarah Weeks
  • Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech
  • Dead End in Norvel by Jack Gantos
  • Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Soup on Ice by Robert Newton Peck
The books that I really did not like were:
  • Forever by Judy Blume 
  • Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingsglover
  • State of Wonder by Ann Pachett
I really like how Goodreads keeps track of books that I have read and they did a handy "Books of 2013."

What were a few of the books you read in 2013? Favorite? Worst?

New Year's Resolution

It is that time of year again, the time when you reflect on the past year and look forward to the upcoming year. Although I sometimes think that New Year’s Eve is a rather pointless thing to celebrate (all depends if I have plans or not.) I do enjoy the excitement of starting a new year. Ok let’s face it, I like the beginning of a new month too!

As many people do, they make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know anyone who actually keeps theirs the whole year. Is that even possible? I am not exempt from this group of people. I have made them, and have given up on them just as quickly.

This year I want to say it is going to be different, but I do have that small fear that it isn’t going to happen. The difference this year, I REALLY want to keep my resolution.

I have thought and searched Pintrest and the Internet for some creative resolutions, but most of them are healthy/weight loss and even though I do need to get some work done in these areas, I didn’t want to have that as a resolution. I wanted something more *heart fluttery*

I kept coming across this quote every time I searched:
I took the quote and made my own "picture" of it.

So I got to thinking that maybe I wanted this to be my resolution.  What does this look like? How do I “measure” if I am still keeping up with my resolution? I suppose this can be shown in loads of ways, but I have picked one way that I want to focus on. Random Acts of Kindness.

Earlier this year I made big plans to do RAOKs every month and even wrote out a plan with ideas. Didn’t happen.

2014 is going to be different. On the 14th of every month, I am going to perform one RAOK, NO MATTER WHAT! There isn’t any good reason or excuse of why I couldn’t accomplish this task.

So please join me and hold me accountable to this resolution. Some the recipients will know that it was me, and others they will not. I will most likely blog about each one, unless it is to be anonymous and that person may read my blog.

I am pretty excited about my new motto and also for the fun of blessing others.

Two questions for you today:
  •   Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, what do you do and how do you do?
  •   Any ideas of RAOK I could do? I would love some creative fun ones.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weekly Plans

It's me again! Eager to blog and say something, but slightly lacking a topic. I decided that not only do teachers and students take two weeks off for the holiday season, so does the blog world! I have missed "Finish the Sentence Friday" and reading other people's blogs that appear to be either busy or taking it easy. Thankfully Top Ten Tuesday is still up and running!

I have enjoyed my first week of break thus far and am looking forward to the second half. I seem to have been pretty busy the first week getting ready for Christmas, traveling and Christmas itself. Thankfully the second half is still pretty open.

Here are a few things I plan to do in the up coming week:

This year I have had a lot of my classroom books fall completely apart (sadly some of them have been my favorite books!) and while I am sad about this, it gives me some crafting supplies that I would feel really bad about throwing away! I am going to cover an old coffee table with said book pages and put it in my classroom in the reading area. Thanks to Mod Podge Rocks for the constant inspiration.

Get started on my Sweet Summer Fling with the first book of the year followed by the movie. It has been torture for me to not get started already, but I am holding strong and waiting for January 1st!

Host the first book club of the year! Book club is probably one of my all time favorite things I have in my life! It was the first social thing I did when I moved to this little town on the plains! I have been the youngest member of this club for the past six years and have learned so much! I hold all of the people in the club close to my heart and look forward to seeing them all each month! Hosting it  at my house is a great reason to get my house cleaned!

How about you? Are you off this week? Are you working? What are your plans?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have to Write

I have an urge to blog and had a topic to blog about, but can't get the pictures off of my phone, so that will just have to wait. I couldn't think of anything to blog about so I made my way over to one of my favorite writing prompt sites that I use in class and picked a random number. So here it is.

Write a mini-story (100-250 words) that begins with, "They had nothing to say to each other."

They had nothing to say to each other, everything had already been said. He turned to leave as the snow softly drifted down upon them. It was so silent except the faint, almost non-audible sound of snow falling. She knew that this is what was best for both of them. She loved him and knew that he loved her, but the cycle was unhealthy for both of them. She finally had to be strong and make the choice for both of them.
 His footsteps in the snow were almost deafening as he walked away with his head hung. She watched him climb into his truck, drive away and herself turned and walked away. Knowing that the pain would eventually subside, she let the cleansing tears run down her cheeks. It was all part of the process.

 Once she arrived home, she put the tea kettle on the stove and waited for it to sing. The house was almost as quiet as outside, but this silence she found comfortable. Grabbing her well loved Bible, she sat down at the kitchen table with her cup of tea and opened her heart asking to be held by her Heavenly Father. She knew that He truly was the only one who could bring her comfort. He wasn’t going to take away the pain instantly, but she knew that He wouldn’t leave her alone. He loved her and would hold her until the pain went away.

Just a random quick write without any pre-thought or plan, but got my writing bug out. I think it would be fun to revisit this prompt again another time and see what comes out! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday~ Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Dear Santa,
     I feel that I have been fairly good this year. There were a few times that I wasn't, but I hope that you can turn a blind eye just this once. I don't ask for much, but this year, I hope you might place some of these top ten books into your big, red sack.

From Norvelt to Nowhere by Jack Gantos

I really enjoyed the first book and have high hopes for the second one. Our school library doesn't have this one yet, which is why it is on my list.

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE Sharon Creech. It is my goal to read all of her books.

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

See note above.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Gilmore Girls fan? I know that there were writers that wrote Lorelai Gilmore's humor, but I am hoping that there is some of that humor in this book.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

I have enjoyed every book of Kate DiCamillo's that I have read. My students really enjoyed "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" and hopefully this one doesn't disappoint!

More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Liza Palmer cracks me up! "Conversations with a Fat Girl" and" Seeing Me Naked" made me giggle and "Field Guide to Burying Your Parents" made me think. I don't even know what this book is about, but it has Liza's name on it so I am sold!

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech again! This one I have read. You can read my review here. I want to add this book to my collection since it is one that I will read again.

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

I read this book years ago and enjoyed it. I recommend it to everyone (even though NO ONE has ever taken my suggestion.) This makes me wonder if it really is all I remembered it to be. I worry that if I read it again, it might not be good. I mean there has to be a reason no one picks it up after I tell them about it. I enjoyed the movie and have seen that a few times, so I think I might be safe!

4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone by Barbra Ann Kipfer

Super random book. Found it at a cute little shop but didn't want to spend the money to get it. I think it would be fun to use with friends and family but I also feel that I could use it in my classroom.

Wolf Story by William McCleery

It has been YEARS since I have read this book. I was thinking today that I am pretty sure that this is the one and only book that my dad has ever given me. We (mainly he and my sister) have a wolf thing going on and he gave me this book. I recently found a copy (no idea where mine is) but gave it to him. I have only seen it in the stores the one time. Also one that would be reread and put on the to keep pile.

What books would you like to have Santa leave under the tree for you? Have you been naughty or nice?

Top Ten Tuesdays brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pomegranates and Roller Derby

This time of year I sometimes have to look really hard for *heart flutters* to keep me going. This year seems to be especially tough for some reason. So I am making it a point to blog more this week in hopes of pushing me through to the other side!

This last weekend was full of firsts for me and I had a blast experiencing each one! This is just Saturday with Sunday to come soon.

I celebrated Christmas with my sisters (minus one since she had to work, and we missed her tons), dad and the nephews. I love to see those little guys and see how much they have grown since the last time I saw them. The oldest one is about to turn six and I just can't believe how big he is getting! Anyway...I like to bring him a little something each time I see him and this time I brought him a pomegranate. He was excited to get a gift but wasn't sure what to do with it once I handed it to him. I remember my Grandmother teaching me how to open one up and how to peel it apart to get the juicy ruby like seeds from the inside. So Grandpa and I taught Marcus how to do just that!

I think he enjoyed pulling it apart but he didn't eat too much of it. I think part of it was his attention was more on the presents in the other room other than the strange fruit in the kitchen. It was also a good thing that he had on an old undershirt since I forgot how juicy it can be and that it does stain! I don't care if he enjoyed it or not, I did and I opened his world just a little bit more!

That night we went to see Ali in her roller derby bout. OH. MY. GOODNESS! I want to go back!! It was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I knew NOTHING about roller derby walking in to it and still don't know much, but loved every minute of it!

Ali was on team Ho Ho Hos and rocked the number 714 (for her mom and my step-mom) and her name was "Mistle Toes." I loved the names of the girls and some of their outfits. Sadly the Grinches slaughtered the Ho Ho Hos but they never gave up and rolled hard!

I am very proud of Ali for getting out there and trying new things. Of all four girls, she would be the last one you would think to participate in roller derby but she rocked it! I can't wait for the next bout this spring!

How was your weekend? Did you try anything new?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

I should be sleeping, but I am too excited about Top Ten Tuesday to make myself go to bed. I am sure that this post could wait until tomorrow and will I grumble about being tired at some point tomorrow? Probably.

I figure that this is going to be a long week. The kids know that Christmas break is so close they can taste it. They know that there are three days of school left. Down fall of teaching them how to read a calendar. So why not find something that makes my *heart flutter* and have that little moment, even if it is past my bedtime.
Brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish

I have been waiting for this Top Ten topic for three weeks now! It is "Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013" and I had a pretty good list! Some I will read more books from, and others...not so much.  

  •  Kathrine Applegate – The One and Only Ivan (could any sweeter book be written?)
  • Claire Vanderpool – Navigating Early
  •  Diana Gabaldon – Outlander
  • Ivan Doig – Whistling Season
  •  Ann Patchett- State of Wonder
  •   Stephen Chbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  •   Jack Gantos - Dead End in Norvelt (Please put my name on the hold list for book two)
  •   Richard Newton Peck – Soup on Ice (Dear Publishing Company, start printing these books again!)
  •  Robert Peck – The Grandma Dowdell Series (would LOVE some more adventures with Grandma)
  • John Boyne – Boy in the Striped Pajamas 
just realized that 50% of my list are YA/Jfic authors and that excites me. I am then able to share with my students books that I think they should read!

     Have you read any new-to-you authors this year?

Friday, December 13, 2013


I love traditions! I want more of them in my life and can't wait to start some that are on the horizon. Christmas is full of traditions (even if you don't realize it!) Some die out as you get older and move on into adulthood and some stick around and are passed on to your own.

Here are a few that are done in our family.

This is probably the oldest tradition that we have. I am guessing that my mom started it, but every year we got a "fang scraper" in our stockings. I remember mom asking me what I got in my stocking, and I always seemed to leave the toothbrush out in my excitement of reciting what I got from Santa. She also would ask if I got a fang scraper. Should have been my clue on who really brought it to me.

New pajamas every year. Last year Molly and I decided to skip this one and get each other pjs for Easter. My reason behind the switch was that I had more winter jammies than I did summer and needed to stock up. I don't think either of us really liked this because pjs are back on the gift list!

I am not sure how this tradition got started, but it is one that is just between my sister and myself, although she is cooler than I am and have gotten others calendars also. Each year we buy each other a new calendar. I love this one, because it makes me think of her so often! She always does a good job on choosing a calendar for me and I get excited to see what she picked!

And finally, we watch Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas. We are a Muppets family and love Kermit. The story is such a sweet one and a good reminder what friends and family really are.

As I was looking for a picture, just learned that
this is a book! 
What are some of your Christmas traditions? I'd love to hear them and maybe steal some ideas! ;0)

P.S Were you too singing "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof?

This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “My favorite Christmas tradition is…” brought to you by Finding Ninee.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish

I get to participate this week!  Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR is the topic for this still very cold December Tuesday.  Cold weather makes me want to curl up with a book, blanket and cup of warm liquid.

Let's see what I have stacked up! (Sorry I don't have pictures of the books. Maybe when I am older.)
  1. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  2. The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
  3. Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah
  4. In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman #1)  by Judith McCoy Miller
  5. Whispers Along the Rails (Postcards from Pullman #2) by Judith McCoy Miller
  6. An Uncertain Dream (Pos cards from Pullman #3) by Judith McCoy Miller
  7. A Distant Melody (Wings of Glory #1) by Sarah Sundin
  8. A Memory Between Us (Wings of Glory #2)
  9. Blue Skies Tomorrow (Wings of Glory #3)
  10. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
What are a few titles on your Winter TBR pile?

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Official

It has happened. I am finally into the Christmas spirit.

Here is what pushed me over the edge...

Christmas concert with the girls.

Secret Santa Day #1
First ever Ugly Sweater Party
How about you?
Are you like this guy?
Or are you more like this guy?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

*Snapshot Saturday*

Happy Saturday! It is still pretty chilly here and seems to be sticking around for awhile. I feel that if it is going to be this cold, it at least needs to snow. No one asked me though ;0)

Anyway, my *snapshot saturday* is a picture from earlier this week. A few weeks ago I had made a bet with a student on the outcome of the Bronco game and gained myself some tasty cookies. It became a class discussion and I am sure I said some flippant comment about students bringing me cookies. Well they don't take me serious when I try to teach them how to do two-by-two digit multiplication, but they take me serious when I am far from serious.

My sweet little student comes up to me a few days later and asks me if I like raisins. I tell her sort of and her face falls. (Wrong answer!) She then tells me that she got me oatmeal raisin cookies! I quickly told her that I do in fact like oatmeal raisin cookies and her face lite up! This sweet little package is what she handed me!

THEN, I talked to mom last night and get the back story of the cookies. The family was at the store and each child was told that they could have a dollar to get something that they would like. The younger brother quickly picked out his choice and she thought for a second and said, "I don't want anything, just the cookies for Ms.Wilson." Be still my fluttering heart!

The best part about receiving this little gift was the fact that I was having a slight pity party on the side of low self esteem and she changed my day around. Something so simple as a package of cookies with a beautiful green bow tied around it.

What are you going to do today to change someone's day around?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Forbidden Fruit

One of my favorite childhood memories is…ok more than one, would be the time that I spent in the mountains with my family. There are so many stories that I am not sure that I can just pick one, or even remember all the details.

This is what we hoped the mountains would look like!
The moment that the snow was no longer on Lamborn and Landsend, we could head for the hills. Whenever I asked dad when we could go he always told me to look at the mountains, when the snow was gone, then we could go. Then every weekend from that point until the last second we would go to the hills, leaving Friday night after work and coming home Sunday evening.

We were lucky enough to leave our slide-in-camper on private property and this is where we grew up camping until sadly that property was sold.

I learned how to start a fire, was dishes while camping, how to squat behind a bush, that coyotes were more scared of you than you are of them, that rocks can look like bears, not to climb on gates, that it is easier for guys to pee on a fire than it is for girls, what stinging needle is, rotten-meat-dog-farts are the worst, the difference between an elk and a cow, and how amazing it is to just sit and be while in the mountains.

Not THE red gate, but a relative.
Probably the most favorite memory that we get a laugh out of the most is the time that my sister and I climbed on the gate when we were told not to do so. The owner of the property had just replaced and painted the gate that went across the road that lead to his personal cabin. We were told not to climb on it, and I am convinced that if Dad hadn't said anything, we wouldn't have even thought about such a thing. Can you say forbidden fruit? We were like moths to a flame and went for a "walk." This walk ended up down at the gate, which we promptly climbed on. Little did we know and forget that my dad has been paid to stalk and hunt prey. He too went on a little walk of his own through the trees and watched us do the exact thing he had told us not to do.

Once we got our fill of being a rebel, we headed back to camp. Dad was sitting in a chair just chillin. We thought we were in the clear. Wrong again. We were totally busted. That was the last time that my dad spanked me.

Molly or I never climbed on a gate again.

This has been a Finish The Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “One of my favorite childhood memories is…” brought to you by Finding Ninee.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Lists make my *heart flutter* and Top Ten Tuesday is just the thing for me! I found The Broke and the Bookish while I was looking around at other's blogs that are participating in the TBR Challenge 2013. It is book related and strangely enough, I can't really participate this week. The topic this week is "Top Ten 2014 Release I'm Dying To Read." I thought about this long and hard, but I think that I am just in the dark because I don't know any books that will be coming out in the year 2014! I only know of "old" books that I want to read.
So I thought that I would still do a top ten list of my own for this week.

Top Ten Things I Am Looking Forward to in December
  • Winter/Christmas flavored lattes
  • Time with friends and family
  • Secret Santa at school
  • Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
  • Celebrating the birth of our Savior
  • Christmas break
  • Reading cuddled in a blanket over Christmas break
  • Ugly Sweater Party
  • Morgan County Chorales Christmas Concert
  • Getting Christmas cards in the mail
What are you looking forward to in December?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

*Snapshot Saturday*

*Happy Sigh* It is the end of Thanksgiving break and we start back to school tomorrow. It has been a good break and I got in some much needed R & R.

This weekend I did some "moving" at my house and also helped a friend move. My friend, Sarah Joy, and her husband recently moved in with her mom, so I helped them on Saturday and then a little bit today.

Since they were moving, they found that they had an extra bed. Well I needed a new bed and was slightly stressing about the bill that comes along with a new bed. Put these two together, and this girl gets a new bed!

New bed for *snapshot saturday*
I had to do a little rearranging to make room for the new bed and now my house is a little turned upside down. This is also a good time to sort through things and get rid of a few things. Still lots to do which makes me a little sad that we are going back to school, but gives me something to do during Christmas break if need be. Plus I have BIG plans for a crafty headboard!

I hope you all had a relaxing time with friends and family this holiday weekend. Now let the countdown to Christmas begin!