Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Darkness Surrounded By Bright Stars

Everyone on Facebook is posting their screen shots of their weather bug, and I was starting to feel left out! It has warmed up a good twenty degrees from their pictures to mine. It is a cold one. Timehop tells me that on this day last year I was in the car with the a.c on and threatening to pull out the Chacos! Not so much today! I have on my new homemade socks from my doggie boyfriends!
I am cuddled up on the couch with 80's and 90's country, my clocking ticking away and a new soup recipe in the crock pot.
I had my cup of chai with of A.J and Maya and then filled out my new calendars! It isn't too bad of a way to end the year!

I didn't really want to do an end of the year/new year post, but there are just too many thoughts about the two.

While filling out my calendar and my day planner, I was reminded of all the things that have happened this past year. I can't really say that it was a good one. I had several big events that changed my world and have caused lots of adjustments.

I struggled greatly during the second semester of the school year.
My dear friends from the ranch moved, taking my biggest comfort zone with them.
My OMM left us here to navigate the waters without her wisdom, insight, love and patience.
My summer was stolen from me by my back.
My best friend and teaching partner announced her departure from the dynamic duo of fourth grade.

Each of these things have and still do bring me to tears from time to time and I am still dealing/struggling with them.

Yet, I can't just look at the bad/painful events of the year. While looking at these events, I notice the good that surround them.

During the school year, I was touched by several students who have forever impacted my life.
I was honored to give the speech at the 5th grade graduation.
I now have a place to go and visit and explore in Wyoming. I am reminded that distance doesn't always destroy a friendship and social media is helpful!
In the time before and after OMM passed, I got to show her love and how much she meant to me. The love and support that was given to me during this time was heart warming. I have been blessed with memories and lessons that will be with me always.
My back issues, showed me the friends that take care of me when needed and will take care of me. I am never in need of a mother figure! Also, my chiropractor and his receptionist are pretty much the coolest ever and I love seeing them!

And finally, the one with more to still come. Kris Shutts. 
I can't imagine teaching without you. I am going to be lost. I don't even know my own Teachers Pay Teachers log in and password! I only know yours. I realized yesterday that it will be like losing a spouse. I will be reminded next fall of all the little things that you took care of. The best thing about the past seven years with you is the friendship/bond that we have formed. I am going to burn through lots of Audible books (from you account) on my trips back and forth to visit.

I have made new friends, spent time with old, laughed with family, gained new family and truly been blessed by those around me. It would be impossible to mention everyone and everything, but know that each time my *heart fluttered*

No matter how horrible things may seem, there are always bright stars shining all around.

Happy New Year and may 2015 be filled with bright stars and *heart flutters* all around you!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Books I Read in 2014

Another year in the books. Speaking of books, let's look at the books I enjoyed this past year shall we?

56 books total this year. That also puts my total for my 1,000 book challenge up to 397 in the last 9 years. I look forward to the upcoming year's book adventures.

What were some of your favorite books this past year?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 Calendar

About the middle of December I start looking forward to one Christmas present in general. I have a tradition with my sister of getting each other a calendar for the upcoming year. Molly ALWAYS does such a good job of picking one out for me.

2014 I got to hang out with Jess and the gang from the show New Girl.

This year each month I will be inspired by the work of Kelly Rae Roberts!

Here is the calendar I got her for 2015

Do you have any Christmas traditions you do with your family?
What kind of calendar do you get each year?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Remember the Christmas We...

This last week during writing I wrote a story about a memorable holiday and we wrote about the Christmas where Molly and I opened all the presents without our parents. Here's what we wrote:

Christmas is a very memorable holiday for many people. One Christmas stands out to my family and my that most. I was eight years old, and my sister, Molly, was five years old. Our house was decorated with all the Christmas decorations a little kid could imagine, and we couldn't wait for Santa to arrive bearing presents.
We put out cookies and mile for Santa to munch on when he arrived and went to bed. I was so excited I almost exploded with anticipation! Finally, I fell asleep and dreamed of polar bears, Santa and presents galore.
Around four o'clock in the morning, Molly came into my room and woke me up. Santa had come! We quickly ran to the living room to explore the Winter Wonderland of Presents! Once we looked at everything, we ventured into our parents' room to see if we could open presents yet. They said that it was too early and that we needed to go back to bed. Molly and I misunderstood and thought they said we could go ahead and open them. (Go back to bed, go ahead, you hear it too right?)
So we did. In probably three minutes flat. My parents were so disappointed that they didn't get to see our joy when opening the gifts that were so carefully wrapped in love. I don't remember them being mad exactly, but we never did it again.

We laugh about it now and it still comes up every Christmas.

I enjoyed writing this essay with the students and getting their help. I can't wait to read their holiday stories this week!

Have you ever done this as a child or had one of your children do this?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fictional Man Meat

This is me.
This is also me!
I guess I am pretty vocal about fictional characters that I love, because two separate people sent me these. Tonight, Cassie commented on my book wish list from Santa and that sparked a conversation for a blog post. I actually came up with a list of ten fictional characters that I wouldn't mind sitting on the porch swing watching the sun go down or meeting under the mistletoe.

The first boy I remember falling in love with was Travis Coates from Old Yeller. My fourth grade teacher read us Old Yeller and my friend Erik and I played Old Yeller at the park many times. I can't fully remember why I love him, I just knew that I did!

Shiloh still my beating heart! A knight in shinning armor 100%. I know that I fell in love with Shiloh because he was always protecting Cheney Duvall. Tall, blonde and blue eyes and full of manlyness! I know he is the reason I kept reading the whole series and plan to reread it during Reread 2015.

James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. Oh wow. So strong. So handsome. So EVERYTHING!  He fights for what he believes in and for what he loves. He too is a knight in shining armor and saves the day. I would love to have him whisper sweet nothings in my year every day of his life.

Peter Pevensie from Chronicles of Narnia. Peter is the leader. The one in charge of making sure his brother and sisters are safe. Does he screw up. Yeah, he does. He lets his responsibility go to his head (like all older siblings do. Sorry Molly) and he doesn't treat Edmund very well, which leads them all on their adventure. So without his power struggle, there wouldn't be a story. In the end, they unit as one and defeat the witch.

Donnigan Harrison is a lonely farmer/rancher who simply doesn't want to be alone. He orders a bride and then learns to love her after she arrives. He is a kind, gentle man but strong when he needs to be. It has been awhile since I have spent time with Donnigan, so I can't give too much reason as why I fell in love with him, just know that I did.
Michael Hosea. Oh Michael Hosea, you may take the prize for the most amazing man in fictional history. The love that Michael has for Sarah/Angel just melts your heart. Like the other men, he rescues his love, even when she doesn't want to be rescued. No matter how nasty she is to him, Michael keeps on loving her.
John Tyree from Dear John. Now, let it be known that I loved John before Channing Tatum played him in the movie. Although it didn't hurt his case any! Writing letter is something that I enjoy tremendously and I love to get letters. A man who writes letters? Yes please!
Elliot Stabler from Law and Order: SVU. Ok, he isn't from a book, but I love him just the same. He is angry, he is dedicated and he can take down a perp like a boss! I don't call the show Law and Order, I call it Elliot. My heart broke when he didn't return to the show a few years ago, but I still have hope for his return.
Nick Miller from New Girl. I. Love. Nick. Miller. I can't really tell you why on this one. I just do. He makes me laugh. I don't care if he is sometimes angry, makes a turtle face and can have the ambition of a wet mop. He has some real wisdom when it is needed and he loves Jess. 
Saved my best for last!
Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables.

Anne Shirley is a darn fool for taking so long to let Gilbert love her! He is the classic guy that your parents told you that if they tease you they like you kind of guy. Sadly, for him, he picked to tease Anne about her hair and she didn't talk to him for a long time, even after he said he was sorry. Yet, he didn't give up on her. He showed her true love when he gave up his teaching job so she could take it and be with Marilla. Some day, I will find my Gilbert and live in our house of dreams!

Wow! That was a lot harder than I thought it would be to write! I knew all the men, just writing the reasons was a struggle. I find it hard to say why I like something or dislike something. I just like it! Anyway, check some of these men out and let me know what you think!

Monday, December 15, 2014

*Hello Monday*

Hello Monday!  Here is what all I said hello to today!
Hello Snow Day
Yep, our first of the year! I got the call at 5:25 this morning. Funny thing was, I didn't think anything of it when the phone started ringing. I guess I didn't have much hope/faith it was going to happen. When I saw who it was, I knew right away!
This was taken from my front door. The snow is about half way up my door and the drift to the left is probably up to my hip. TED had to work hard to get out of the drive way!
Hello Massage
I don't care what the reason is, I love getting a massage! I find it amazing how well I feel when it is over. It cuts down my colds in half, makes me feel better and doggone it, it feels so good! I went this time because with all this coughing I have been doing, my back and neck were sore and out of place. That woman's hands have been blessed by God himself!
Hello Russian Tea
Probably one of my favorite drinks when I am not feeling well. It has such a soothing affect on my throat and the doctor said to drink warm stuff. I can do that! I bought this from a student who is selling them for her 4-H club.

Did you get a snow day today? What do you say hello to?

Monday, December 8, 2014

*Hello Monday*

Well hello Monday! Hard to believe that we meet again! The idea of "Hello Monday" seems to be helping with my attitude when it comes to Monday. Maybe that is the point.

This week I am saying hello to:

Secret Santa
This probably has to be one of my favorite weeks of school! My favorite part is seeing what everyone gets from their Secret Santa. We have some pretty creative people on staff and all the gifts are always so fun and cute! I like the secretive element also! I can never guess correctly who has me.

Trip to the salon
Since my mother gave me her gray hair gene, I visit my beauty magician about once a month. I always look forward to my time in the chair. Kendra and I spend the whole time laughing and I always walk out looking great with all my gray hairs gone!

25 Miles
I am working on my next badge with my fitbit, which is 500 miles. I am hoping to get 25 miles this week. Thanks to one special student, I get about a mile in each day during recess. One day I wasn't going to walk, but she made me. That's my kind of workout buddy!

And last, but not least...
Christmas Break Countdown Continued
Nine days to go! Still lots to do during those nine days, but fun will be had!

Happy new week my friends! What are you saying hello to this week? See what others are saying hello to at Lisa Leonard Designs

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Santa Clause Might Be Coming to Visit

I think I heard a rumor that Santa might be coming to town soon. If this is the case, I would like to tell him again the top ten books I wouldn't mind him dropping off on his way over Wiggins (or where ever I will be sleeping that night!)
 Last year, I feel I gave him my list too late and none of them came to live in my house. You can check out that list here. I did manage to get my hands on A Painted Veil not too long ago through Paperback Swap and have it on my Reread 2015 book list.

This is the only one that is making the list again from last year. I kind of forgot about it until I reread last year's list. Still think it would be fun to have and useful for writing.
This happens to be one of my favorite movies EVER! Seeing it at Red Rocks was outstanding! (You can read about that here.) So of course I would want to read this book!
My dad gave me this book when I was young and I don't know where my copy is anymore. It still could be at my childhood home, but until it is found, I wouldn't mind a second copy.
Charles Martin is writing books faster than I can get them read! I have enjoyed all of the ones that I have read by him. Need to finish out my collection.
Meg Cabot cracks me up! I enjoyed her "Boy" series and will most likely like this one too!
Read about this one on a blog awhile ago and would like to read it. Hope to share it with my students also.
I love James Patterson's murder mystery books best, but I do like his romance ones also. It has been awhile since I have read one of his, so it might be time!
Have I mentioned that I am in love with Gilbert Blythe?

I think that is a pretty good list. I don't want Santa's bag to get too heavy! 
What book do you hope Santa brings you this year?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Got Crafty!

I made this!
Friday night found me at a friend's house and we made two of these fun Christmas card holder wreaths. Both turned out super cute and we had a lot of fun making them. Making crafts with a friend is much better than alone!

I also got my first Christmas card! I mean, she had to give me mine so we could test out the wreath! Can't wait to get more in the mail to fill it out!

The tree is up, the wreath is made and up and I think I am getting into the Christmas spirit!

P.S. I love my random gnome in the bottom of the picture! :0)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello Monday

Getting back into the blogging world after my break has been harder than I thought it was going to be. In fact I have sat here (instead of grading papers) for awhile thinking, searching, reading and planning on what to do with my blog and what to write about. Some of the reasons I took a break have come crashing back into my memory.

Anyway....thanks to good ol' Pintrest (you can find just about EVERYTHING on there!) I came across this blog through another blog and then a wild goose chase, and have decided to play along.

Hello Countdown to Christmas Break!
We have 14 days of school left until Christmas break. It seems weird to be writing that since we just finished up our Thanksgiving break. It seems like the time between the two holidays is getting shorter and shorter as the years go by! There are lots of things going on during those 14 days so we will be busy!

Hello to homemade Christmas gifts.
This year I am going to make several of my Christmas gifts for friends and family, which means I need to get busy! I can't tell you much more at this point, but once the gifts have been given, check back in! I am pretty excited. Thanks to my dear friend Jane for the ideas!

Hello to December
It's here! It will be gone before we know it and ringing in the new year. I always enjoy the beginning of a new month!

Hello to Book Club Christmas Party
I love this "meeting" every year! We normally do a white elephant gift exchange, but this year we are doing a container party. Simply bring some sort of container (socks, bag, tin, box etc.) with a treat in it. We also vote for the best book of the year and the person who picked the winner gets a prize. More on that later!

What are you saying hello to this week? 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hot Drink Crossroads

Recently I realized that I was down to my last can of Mystic Chai. A frantic text was sent to my dad hoping that he would fix this soon to be disaster. We have only been able to find this glorious drink mix at Sam's Club, to which I am not a member but my father is.
So naturally when he was headed to Sam's I made my plea for another can.
He came home with his arms full and I started to help bring in the purchases. I made the comment that I don't like Sam's because there isn't a bag/box to carry your purchases. To this he responded with,
"Well, you are going to hate Sam's even more."
I knew instantly! NOOOOOO!
"I couldn't find your chai anywhere."
I am going to have to ration my last can. I am going to have to find another drink to take its place. I don't want to. I want my chai. I was in the depths of despair!

The next day, the dark clouds drifted away and the sun began to shine again when I got this text

I guess it was just the Sam's he went to that day that didn't have it! Crisis over!

And now, I am going to drink my cup of chai and sit down to learn something from the Sunday Morning Show on CBS.

P.S I discovered while looking for the website for Mystic Chai that I can order a can from Amazon, so it was a slight case of over reaction.