Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Morning Smiles

Things that made me smile today:

Finishing a good book with a happy, romantic ending.
Seeing my house of dreams
Soundtracks for walking
A mile under twenty minutes
(would have been faster, but stopped to take pictures)
Learning new things
What has made you happy today?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fountain Valley Trail....Check

I can check off another item off of my bucket list...I mean Adventure List! It was a major one for me too! I went hiking! Now, I know that doesn't sound too major, but since I haven't done much moving since April it was fantastic! I was worried about my back and how much I was going to be able to do, but I was able to do the whole hike and am still able to move today!! Praise sweet Jesus!

I am HORRIBLE at taking selfies. My sister asked why I looked
so terrified when I was excited to go hiking. *sad face*
Kris, Tracy, Carol and I headed on this adventure early in the morning, which was good, because it took us longer to get to the trail than we thought it would. That's the bad part of living so far out on the plains that it takes while to get to a mountain. We went to Roxborough State Park and did the Fountain Valley Trail.

It was a perfect day to go on a hike! Blue skies, a little bit of cloud cover and there weren't too many people there. Although towards the end there were a few groups of kids and we all four decided that we weren't ready to go back to school yet!

We headed down the trail and probably the first ten steps, the smallest fawn I had ever seen walked across the path right in front of us! I have seen fawns with spots before, but they were much bigger than this little guy. He was so small. I have seen kids and dogs bigger than he was!

This is the best picture I could get of him. I wasn't even sure if he was in the picture until I cropped it and found him. You can barely see his spots. We were a little worried and curious about where mom was at. I kept thinking we were going to reenact the scene in Tommy Boy when the buck wakes up in the car. She never came charging out of the bushes so we were good!

I am sure this one has a name, but I don't know it,
but it looks like George Washington laying down.
The nice lady at the visitor center told us about it.
She showed us a picture of it, but I didn't really see it.
I see it now though!
It was great to get out in the outdoors and to spend time with friends. The conversations, beer and burgers we had afterwards were amazing. I would recommend this hike and would do it again. It was perfect for someone who is slightly broken and is lots out of shape!

Can't wait to get out to the next hike!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It Might Be Time

October 2013 brought a bad case of summer blues for me. I couldn't wait for summer break. I didn't have a good reason. It was a mystery as to why May 16th couldn't come any faster.

Packing up my room at the end of the year was the hardest for me yet. Maybe it was the news just hours before that my dear OMM was now sitting at the feet of Jesus, but all I could do was think about next year. I kept thinking about how I was going to do things in the fall and wandering around the room. I wanted to forgo the deep clean that my classroom gets each summer and not shove everything in every open space. I had to finally get stern with myself and focus on the task at hand: finish this year first. Once I finally convinced myself to shove thoughts of next year away, I fully dove into summer. I didn't want to think about or see a student for a few days.

Now here we are, almost July and I think it might be time. It might be time to walk into a clean classroom full of potential and new beginnings. I am intimidated by all the work that has to be done, but excited at the same time. Right now, at this very moment, I am the most excited about my new classroom phone!

I think I will wait until it is officially July before I go in. A few hours here and there will satisfy my itch.

What is it time for in your life?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Meet

Today, the Book Meet Club was born!

When school ended, I knew that one thing I was going to miss was talking books with my students. When I finished reading my first children's book this summer, it made me miss them because I wanted to talk to someone about it. Today I got my chance.

Shortly after school ended a parent approached me and told me that her son wanted to do a summer book club with me. Since I too had the same thought but wasn't ready to act upon it, I figured it was fate. So I picked the three kids from my class that I was friends with their parents on Facebook and sent a message. A date was picked and a plan was made!

We met at a local restaurant armed and ready with book conversations. Since the  students are told what to read all school year, I figured I wasn't going to assign them a certain book to read and also we wouldn't have the drama of finding a copy of a book for each child. We were just going to come to the book meet and talk about what we had or were reading. You can read here about how I did something similar during the school year, but this time we weren't going to do any projects to go with the books.

For the first meeting we had two fourth graders, a seventh grader and me. I am going to share what each of us read and reported on.

Reread Holes by Louis Sacher since she didn't remember it when she read it in fourth grade and is currently reading Fault in Our Stars by John Green


The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets by Roald Dahl and is currently reading Pickle by Kim Baker.

Dalen needs to go to the library or a book store. He claims he has read all of the books he owns at least three times! He reread Dead City by James Ponti but hopes to find some new reading material soon. 

Ms. Wilson
I read Doll Bones by Holly Black and I Funny by James Patterson. I hope to start some of the Winnie-the-Pooh books here soon.

The Book Meet was a great success and a date for the second one has been set. So if you are in the Wiggins area on the 16th of July, stop on by and have a book chat with us!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Naps Are Boring

"So....are you going to take a nap today?" I ask the four year old sitting across the table from me.
"Nope. Naps are boring," he answers grabbing another chicken nugget off of his plate. I look at him dumbfounded. If he only knew how delectable naps really were.
"I would have to disagree with you on that one bud."
"I am not going to take a nap!" he lets me know the discussion is now closed.
 I shake my head and finish my burrito. I was hoping that he would take a nap so I could get a little cat nap in. Wasn't looking promising. Four year old 1, Sarah 0

Fast forward about thirty minutes later.

"I will help you sweep your garage," he exclaims grabbing the snow shovel. I look at him confused, but let him do his thing. Oh yes, the snow shovel is now a dust pan! I sweep up small piles of months worth of sand and then into the waiting "dust pan." I decided that I will try again on the nap issue.
"You still standing strong on not taking a nap?"
"I am not taking a nap," he nonchalantly answers as he walks out of the garage to dump the dirt. I sigh and continue to sweep. Four year old 2, Sarah 0

Fast forward another thirty minutes later and a cleaner garage.

"What would you like to watch?" I ask as we sit down on the couch.
"Looney Tunes!"
I flip through hundreds of channels looking for one kid friendly channel. Of course I am going too slow for his taste. "Why are you taking so long?" he snaps.
"Don't you be sassy with me, or I will turn on music and we will take a nap!"
"I am not going to take a nap, naps are boring." Four year old 3, Sarah still 0.
"There, not Looney Tunes, but still fun."
"I am going to cuddle with you!" he grumps at me flopping down next to me. He squawks at me because my legs are in the wrong place for him to fit comfortably into. He gets settled and leans his head on my shoulder. I have little interest in whatever children's show I found, so I open my current book.

Fast forward about fifteen minutes.

Four year old 3, Sarah Nap Success!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Guest *Heart Flutters*

I don't know why I don't think of doing guest *heart flutters* more often! I mean it gives me material for my blog, and it gives others the chance to practice their writing and share their hearts.

Dawnelle is a new friend in my life, but has become a fast friend. We work together at the school and she has been a huge help to me in many areas of my life. From grading papers for me, helping me with my house and feeding me more than she should. I have enjoyed her friendship and was very excited when she sent me a text this morning saying she had a *heart flutter*

Without further ado here is Dawnelle's *heart flutter*

Oh, what a beautiful Tuesday morning; I had been awoken by my darling 4 year old son saying good morning mommy and greeted by the laughter of my two young nephews. We made our usual routine of breakfast, dressing, my cup of coffee, gathering our school bag and brushing our teeth, said our goodbyes to the boys and Aunt Sydney and made our way to preschool. I dropped Keason off and was greeted with many other smiles and good mornings from the lively group of summer preschool goers. As I headed home, I received a text from a dear friend that no longer lives in the area asking if we could have lunch, which meant her car was being serviced at the local Toyota Dealership and she could use some company; which I was more than excited except I had already planned on going to Greeley to run some last minute errands before our busy week and family vacation. I was bummed at first, but after a few minutes of back and forth messaging I found she was on her way and would be in town shortly, and would like to go to Greeley to run my errands with me.
Overjoyed, I quickly gathered what I needed and headed for the door, I was going to meet her in Fort Morgan and needed to gas the car. As I inserted the pump into my car, a gentleman walked over to my car with the windshield washer doo-dad and said “Let me clean your windshield for you real quick, ma'am.” I was very taken by this man and his generosity and kindness in wanting to clean my windshield. I even stumbled over my words at first, saying “oh, please don’t, you don’t have to” he paused and looked at me with confusion but continues. I then picked up with my gratitude and got my tongue straight to say, “Thank you that is very kind of you to do that.” He smiled and returned, “Well call it my good deed for the day”. We of course made a bit more small chat before saying our goodbyes and both making our way on with our day. To say this gentleman’s kindness gave me *Heart Flutters* is a slight understatement. His kindness forced me to realize how wonderful our world still is, and that there are truly wonderful people out there. My cup ran over today with joy, kindness, gratitude and pure happiness.

Thank you Dawnelle. It truly is all about the small things in life.

Celebrating Past Birthdays

I am pretty sure that I haven't participated in Slice of Life since March  February. I thought about it several times, does that count? Hop on over to Two Writing Teachers to check it out.
Recently I started the third book of the Wings of Glory series by Sarah Sundin. You can read more about that here. They are WWII historical romance books and I have enjoyed all three thus far. If I stay up until five A.M reading again it won't be long until I finish it!

At the beginning of each chapter there is a date and the location of the character. In about the middle of the second book I found this date.

This particular date was my grandmother's 31st birthday. She would be about the same age as the characters in the book. It got me to thinking what was she doing during this time? How did she celebrate her birthday that year. Probably not with a cake, unless everyone saved their sugar rations and brought them together to make her one. I picture her now often while finishing the series and as if she was going through some of the same things herself.

I really don't know anything about her during this time. I think she was married about this time and assuming living in the North Fork Valley area. Was she working? What was she doing to help the war effort? Were any of her friends and family fighting in the war?

Why don't I know any of this? *sigh* Either I wasn't listening when I was told, or I never asked. Guess the plan now is to find someone who does know her story. My heart tugs that I am not able to ask her these questions. Thankfully I will see my dad this weekend and if he doesn't know the answers, maybe it is time for a coffee date with my aunt!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sweet Summer Fling Break-Up

Dear Sweet Summer Fling,
I really did want this to work. I was very excited about you until about two weeks ago. Maybe it is due to the fact that I fell behind and am afraid that I am not going to make it until the end. Or maybe it is me just giving up too early.
I am so torn. I want to make this work, but I also want to make book club work. I want to offer suggestions to my students in the fall. I hope that you can see where I am coming from. I am not giving up on you totally, I just am not giving it my whole heart. We'll see where we end up, but Goodreads  has the upper hand on you.

Please forgive me.

                              Love Always,

*Heart Flutter*

This last weekend I had the pleasure of escorting the Girl Scouts to the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. The girls worked hard this spring selling cookies to pay for this trip. We only took five girls, which meant that we needed to take two cars. I only had one rider, Morgan.

My McGillicuddy 

I have known Morgan for eight years now. She was in my first grade class my second year of teaching and I then got the adventure of teaching her again in fourth grade.

We have always had a special relationship and her mother often tells me that I need to take her home with me! Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the time with her.

Really the whole weekend ended up being Morgan and I with the other five sprinkled in. We went to the library at the YMCA and each got a book. I love sitting and reading with friends. Each of us reading our own book.

We also met a new friend together. His name was Jonah and he had to be the cutest kid ever. We were at the playground and he just waltzed up to us and asked if we wanted some ice cream. For the next twenty minutes we played ice cream shop with Jonah and his dad. It made my *heart flutter* to see her play along with him. It wasn't that long ago that I had played such games with Morgan herself! She was his age when I met her.

We went to a cute little coffee shop and sat next to the river. We were even daring enough to try a Chicken Fried Latte! Mind blowing!

She was even the one to discover that we had a visitor outside our bedroom window. I did not believe her at first since she had played a similar joke earlier in the weekend.

This is the second closest my car and myself have been to a bear.
You can read THAT story here.

Saturday night we all went down into town to walk around and do a little shopping. While doing so I was in the market for a new lanyard for school. I was unsuccessful in my search.

Tonight I get a text from her mom asking if I was home and could they drop something by for me. In walks Morgan with a new lanyard for me! It was such a thoughtful gift that she knew I needed.

Again, I am so thankful for the fact that friends come in all ages. I have several friends that are a good 15 to 20 years younger than I am. I never imagined that as a teacher I would make life long friends.

Do you have any friends that are a significant age difference?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thinking Out Loud Late At Night

Well hello! It has been a little over a week since I have shared some randomness! Well, tonight is not going to be any different! I just got home from a random grocery shopping trip at 9:30 at night. When the urge hits, sometimes you have to take it!

Tonight's theme: Thinking Out Loud. I stole the idea from Cassie and I don't have a clue where she got the idea. (How's that for siting my sources?)

Bucket List Vs. ?????
While visiting Jane and Henry in WY, Jane brought up a thought that she had been having for some time about my Bucket List. The name was just not sitting with her. Most people use a bucket list to do things before they die. As far as I know, I am not dying. (Although this back pain makes me think otherwise!) So, we came up with a new name, Adventure List! Most things on it are adventures to have!

Speaking of Adventure List...

Meatloaf....Check times 2
I have actually checked this one off twice. While in WY we made a meatloaf and then this week, Cassie and I had a date and made meatloaf for dinner. I have NEVER made a meatloaf. I know, weird. I think I was kind of scared to make one. It seems like no one really has a recipe and I don't have confidence to make one without. Then I realized the other reason I may not have made one yet is that it takes an hour to cook. I tend to want
Well I learned that you don't really have to have a recipe. You can throw whatever you want in the pan! I like that! I still need to make one for myself, but all fears have been cured! Thanks ladies!

Back Pain
Still struggling with back pain and it seems to be traveling down. Will probably go back to the doctor again this week. It is keeping me from getting things accomplished and I have stuff to do, adventures to have!

New Friends
I have a confession to make. I am a stalker. I stalk on the Internet. There are three people that I stalk on a regular basis. I want Tim, Em and Natalie to be my friends. I am still trying to figure out a plan on how to make this happen! Wish me luck!

Ok, that was rather random, but you get what you get. Hopefully soon I will have more material with substance. Just wanted to let ya all know that I am still here!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sarah in Sara(h)toga Vol. 2

My adventures in WY continue today with Jane while Henry works hard. After a breakfast of waffles and chocolate gravy we made our way to Sweet Marie's Bakeshop. I fell in love! It was such a cute little shop and had a good variety of tasty treats and coffee.

I had a Snickers Mocha Latte and a coconut cake donut and Jane feasted on Mexican Wedding cookies and coffee.

Cupcake display

Customers can write on small cupcake liners and put them up on cute little boards on the walls. Ideas were running on how to adapt it to the classroom.

We then made our way to Encampment which is about 20 miles south of Saratoga. We went to the museum there and then made our way to the campground near the river for a picnic. My country/mountain roots were watered here.

 And finally, for possibly the most exciting news of the day! We stopped by a thrift store before heading out of town, and to be honest, I wasn't thinking I was going to find anything. WRONG! I found this:

And it works! I am going to put it in my classroom this fall. The kids aren't going to know what to do with it! It is going to be so much fun! 

Did you have one of these phones when you were younger or do you still have one?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sarah In Sara(h)toga

Hello from Windy Wyoming! I have finally been able to travel to visit my dear friends Jane and Henry. They moved to WY about a month ago and have finally settled in enough for some visitors.

So Garth and I loaded up Titan Ted with gas and headed down the road.

We were like fourth grade girls the closer we got. Little did we know, Jane, Henry and the dogs were just as excited to see us and were waiting in the drive way for us!

We chowed down on  hamburgers and floats outside until the sky filled with electricity and water.

So we played a rowdy game of dominoes until the mantel clock chimed one time.

Then I got to cuddle with this little guy. I didn't realize how much I missed him until we got here.

The next morning we were spoiled with waffles and some of the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted. 

Once we were satisfied we went for a drive to explore the area. Hobbs was a good little companion.

We stopped to look at the VERY full North Platte River and threw some rocks in. This one caught our eye since it was shaped like a heart.

I played Hey Cow

Garth showed off his rock skipping skills. This isn't even the river, it is a part that has flooded. 

We also spent some time looking for shapes in the clouds.

It was a lovely day filled with *heart flutters* all over the place. I took lots of pictures to document the day, but to also play around with my photography and picture editing skills. I am pleased with what came out of it!

Book Thief...Check

We have another check off! Molly and I have been trying to watch The Book Thief for A. Long. Time. First, we would have to be in the same place at the same time and second, we would have to get our hands on a copy of the movie. Finally the stars aligned and we were in the same place at the same time with the movie!

Molly hasn't been much of a reader in the past, but she finally read The Book Thief and loved it. I still have the message on my phone from when she finished the book. I really enjoyed sharing this experience with her, both book and movie.

My dear friend, Dawnelle, invited us over for dinner and then to watch the movie. She made AMAZING spaghetti and pretty sure I ate my weight in pasta that night! Then it was time for movie and popcorn!

Josh, Dawnelle, Molly and Me
Molly and I have a hard time taking pictures together sometimes. Dawnelle was having fun just snapping and got these "fun" shots. Truthfully, these pictures are pretty accurate of who we are.

I enjoyed the movie and was glad that I hadn't just read the book. I could sit and enjoy the movie without comparing the two the whole time.

The best part of the whole movie was this:

 When Molly came in the next morning and "snuggled" next to me. She is pretty nice to have around.