Sunday, December 18, 2011


I’ve wanted to write about this for the last month, but I don’t know how. There aren’t enough words to explain the situation. There are not enough tears to cry. My Best Friend lost her beautiful boy just a month before he was due to come into this world. It happened in late October but I’ve been unable to wrap my mind around it. I’m not sure that I know how to talk about it now. But I’m going to try. It’s something I’ve been having a hard time with. And when I have a hard time with something I have a want, a desire to write about it. I guess it’s the English teacher in me.

She went to the hospital because she didn’t feel him moving. When they did the ultrasound they couldn’t find a heartbeat. And the tears overflow. Even seeing this ‘on paper’ hurts in a way that I can’t explain. I was able to go to the hospital the day it happened. I needed to be there. I know I’m not family but I just had to be near her somehow.

I’ve had loss in my life – but this is beyond compare. There are no words for this.

The next day I went to work. Looking back I don’t know how I made it through the day. But again – I needed to be with people. I knew if I sat at home I might just implode. I work with amazing people. They are wonderful friends to me. We were able to cry together and pray together and hold each other and cry some more.

As the hours past and the reality set in, I just kept asking why. I’m not someone who attends church – but I do believe in God. I pray to myself often. I talk to God often. But I have not talked out loud to God in a long time. Over the past six weeks, I’ve talked to God often. I’ve asked for strength. I’ve asked for guidance. I’ve prayed for healing.

I know that baby is in heaven. I know he’s with God. But I want to know why he can be here with my beautiful friend and her amazing husband. I want to know why this had to happen. Bren and I have talked a lot and we know that we’ll never be able to understand what happened. I just hope that I can find peace. I hope that My friend will have peace and healing, and that she and her husband are able to move forward in life without the devastating pain that has been placed upon them.

I know that this will be with them forever. It will be with me forever. It will be something that I think of everyday for a very long time. I know that when I am blessed with a baby of my own I’ll be afraid. I know that there is nothing I can do to stop that fear from coming – but I do know that I can find a quiet spot in my mind to get through that fear and that anxiety. I hope that when She is blessed again with a pregnancy that I can help her find a place of peace and healing.

To be honest – I’m angry with God. I know he’s okay with that. There have been some days when I have felt like I couldn’t get out of bed, and this didn’t happen to me. The strength and faith and peace that she has been able to find in this has been awe inspiring. She and I have cried together but we have also been able to be our normal selves together – laugh and joke and be us. But at the same time I hate that our normal life has been able to come back to us. I wish that her little boy was here with us while we laugh and play. Her strength of character is something that overwhelms me. I know that when I’m having a hard time I think about her strength and it gives me strength to get through whatever sadness overwhelms me.

I know that this is a long journey. I know that there are rough days ahead. She is coming back to school in January and I know that it’s going to be important for me to get strong and prepare for whatever she might need.

Sometimes I feel bad for wanting to help. I don’t want to overstep my boundaries as a friend. She has two sisters who are amazing and I would never want to push my way into somewhere I don’t belong. This is my insecurity, because when I talked to her about this issue or fear or whatever you want to call it she was amazing and said everything a best friend should. She is a source of strength for so many people and I want to be able to be that for her.

A mutual friend of ours said that she and I are “Girl Soul Mates”. I think it must be true. She and I can just look at each other and know what the other one means. There are days ahead that I know I will not see coming. It’s going to be little things that trigger sadness. It’s always that way with loss. Just when you think you aren’t going to be the woman in Target crying in the isle way – something happens and there you are blubbering like a crazy person. Those are the days that make me most nervous. Because I can’t always be there to protect her. I couldn’t protect her from this pain. When you love someone you want to protect them and there is no protection from this.

My prayer has been and will continue to be to find peace and healing, to find a quiet place in my heart for that little boy to live on. He will live a life through the memories of people who love him. I and I do love him so.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm alive I promise. I've been busy. Grading papers and spending time with friends.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baby Blankies

I was super excited to make two little blankies for my friends upcoming babies. So I googled ribbon blanket and found this AMAZING tutorial

I looked at it a few times and went for it.

Liam's trip and earlier 003 First I found all of my ribbons. I like to scrapbook and so I went digging through my stash to see what I could find.

Liam's trip and earlier 006

So I made sure I was clever enough to put the right sides together. It was a little hard because I am a beginner sewer. Flannel is hard to figure out people! Both sides are soft!

Liam's trip and earlier 007

Once I figured out the fabric, I made sure to set out all of the ribbons. That was the fun part. Cut the ribbons to 5” strips. Fold them in half and then pin them in the right spot. Remember to put in markers so you have a spot to flip the piece right side out.

Liam's trip and earlier 009

Here are all of the ribbons pinned in place. I put 5 ribbons on each side. So there would be an amazing 20 ribbon pieces total.

Liam's trip and earlier 010

Then I sewed and sewed until my heart was full of joy.

Liam's trip and earlier 012

I flipped it inside out – or right side in. This one is for my friend Sunny’s little girl. We don’t know the name yet. Sunny won’t tell us. I have had two dreams about the name – So far if I’m right the child’s name will be Cherry Zuzu or Concept Zoe. I’m sure whatever Sunny ends up picking – it will be wonderful (and I’m sure cooler than my weird dream names)

Liam's trip and earlier 016

Here is what the finished edging looks like. I went all the way around the blankie again so it would sit flat. It also re-enforces  the ribbons.

I can’t wait to hear how the little pumpkins enjoy their blankies.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Showered with Love

I have two wonderful friends who are having babies.

I love them so much and so I just had to throw them a shower. Because Sunny is having a girl and Nicole is having a boy I wanted to have a theme that would cover both genders. So my friends came to Fall in love with their little pumpkins.

Liam's trip and earlier 030 - Copy

We had dips for apples and veggies. and I made some of our decorations. I used an amazing Tutorial that Tasha put together over at Creation Corner. She made it so easy to get these done! And she is right – you will want to make about 100 of these. So fun. SO FUN!

Liam's trip and earlier 031 - Copy

We had chips and the amazing buffalo chicken dip that our friend Jess makes. Jess helped with the shower and I couldn’t have done it without her. Really I feel so lucky to have these kind of friends in my life. Speaking of friends this next picture is of my friends Ellen, Lesly and Andrea. Andrea now teaches at another high school in our district so we don’t get to see her that often. Boy is it a treat when we all get together. These women are so wonderful to each other. It’s so nice to have kindness come into my home and be wrapped around everyone in the room.

Liam's trip and earlier 089

Liam's trip and earlier 032 - Copy

Our friends are so generous. Sunny and Nicole were surrounded by friends who showered them with love. It’s amazing to see how my friends are going to develop into Mothers. It fills my heart to know that I’ll get to be a part of their lives and soon their children as well.

Liam's trip and earlier 041

Here are their baby bellies. It’s amazing to me that there are four people in this picture!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I still exist

I’m not like Santa Claus who only comes around once a year.

It’s just been hard not to spill the beans on all the projects I’ve been working on.

Let me share a few pictures with you and you’ll see why I’ve not posted in a while.


Liam's trip and earlier 068

Liam's trip and earlier 058

Liam's trip and earlier 062

Nicole and I worked on a baby sling for our friend Sunny.


Liam's trip and earlier 075We also made Amish Friendship Bread. It’s this crazy amazing process where you have to leave out a ‘starter’ and add flour and milk during the days leading up to the actual baking day. It’s something I’m not sure I understand but it did make very yummy bread.

Liam's trip and earlier 079This is what our directions looked like. As you can see – I was mashing the bag often.

Liam's trip and earlier 129My husband’s brother Liam was able to come and stay with us for two weeks. It was wonderful to have him here. We don’t get to see him that often so it was great to have him stay with us. We went to Disneyland and had a super fun time. I took a day off of work – I know it’s unheard of – The park was empty and we were able to get onto the new Star Tours ride 4 times!!

Liam's trip and earlier 158You can see my very excited face in this picture. I wasn’t feeling well but Disneyland has a great way of making people feel better.

Liam's trip and earlier 320ohh and this little guy showed up in our back yard the night before Liam had to go home. Yes friends, that is a rattle snake. Tonka was out in the backyard barking her brains out and I went to see what she was going on about. I went a little mental when I saw how close she was to this very scary snake. Lucky for us she did not get bit. Bren and Liam killed it and made sure it was very dead.

I have a few more things to share with you but I’m off to go grade thesis statements.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Playing on Pintrist

So I'm super new to Pintrist. But I'm already in love.

Check out what I'm up too.

Please ignore the fact that I currently only have 5 pins. I'm sure that will change soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I have some interest

in Pinterest.

So the craft world has a new place to play. And I'm thinking that I would enjoy sitting in this sandbox a while.

I'm in love with a good tutorial. I enjoy the fact there are people out there who are willing to put their intellectual property out there for others to enjoy. I think part of it is because I'm a teacher and so I believe in sharing knowledge.

I'm not sure how it works, and I'm worried that it will cause me to spend more hours on the computer and less time grading papers... but the crafts... THE CRAFTS!!


We shall see my friends.. we shall see...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

So much going on

So my Brother-in-Law Liam arrived this week from the land down under. My Husband is thrilled to have his brother here and the two of them are staying up late playing video games and enjoying this visit together. I am very lucky that I love my in-laws. They are awesome, very funny people. And the fact that we have been able to see them frequently (at least once a year) makes it a lot easier for Bren to be away from them.

I've also been quiet the crafty little bee around here. My dear friend Nicole (who's having a baby boy) came over last weekend and we decided to get our craft on. We make something for her and something for our other dear friend Sunny who is having a baby girl. I wish I could show you the tutorial we made. BUT I can't. Our friend Sunny will be having her baby shower in a week and she knows about my blog and I don't want to ruin the surprise.

And for those who don't know. I'm bad with a secret. When I get excited about something I want to share it with people. Especially with the people I love the most. But sadly the tutorial will have to wait a little while to ensure that we don't let the cat out of the bag.

But as soon as Sunny gets her present I'll show you what we made.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Pumpkins are coming!

Fall is here.

Or at least September is here. After all it was a very cool 98 degrees out today. And MUGGY as all get out.

Two of my VERY dear friends are having babies. Three weeks apart. So I am going to throw them a joint shower.

One is having a Boy and one is having a Girl. So I can’t go mental with one particular color. So I was googleing baby shower ideas and one of the ideas for a fall shower is to talk about the mommy’s lil’ pumpkin.

So Cute! And this Blog has amazing ideas. I stumbled upon it when I put Pumpkin Baby showers into the search engine.

It looks like we are going to have it on a Friday night. I’m going to think about some ‘non game’ games to play. As there are a lot of people who don’t like baby shower games. I love a game, but I want to make sure everyone has fun.

I cant wait to celebrate these two awesome mommas!

You can be sure there will be pictures of all the crafts I get up to!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday, I’m in love!

Why is it that Friday can always make everything better?

Friday and a Sonic Cranberry-Limeade - That makes it ten times better. Especially when I'm sitting in the 100+ heat with one of my best girl friends talking about her upcoming baby shower.

Now I won't talk too much about the MILLIONS of craft ideas that I have floating around in my head. I know that she sometimes stumbles onto my blog and I don't want to ruin any surprises. But I can tell you that I want to make almost everything that comes from Creation Corner.

There is nothing like a good craft that can't lift my spirits. I am going to attempt to arrange my craft room a little better because right now it's a pig sty  a little unorganized. I am very lucky that my mom is letting me borrow her sewing machine.

A couple of weekends ago Joann’s had a major sale and I got some items that will help me create wonderful little treats for Nicole’s little boy. They also had patterns on sale. I had no idea how much patterns cost. Holy Cow! I am so glad that I live in the time of the internet tutorial. But thinking about it for a moment, I think 50 years ago I would have taken a home ec. class and learned how to make my own patterns.

I also have some very clever friends who make their own patterns. I’m telling you – AMAZING stuff is just within my reach.

Nicole is going to be a wonderful mother. She has been a fantastic friend to me over the last 7 years and I feel so blessed to have such a friend in my life. I can’t wait to meet her little man. I know that the fun we have had over the years will only continue – we’ll just have her baby in tow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Time management

As I sit here avoiding those papers sitting on my kitchen table, I am thinking about time management. How do I use my time? Am I happy with all of the things I can get done in a day?

The answer is most often - I haven't done enough. There is not enough time to do everything I want. I want to be able to spend time on my lesson plans. Spend time grading papers and getting assignments into the gradebook. Clean the kitchen, take the dog for a walk, write in my blog, do some laundry. All of the things I would like to be great at.

But how do you find the time to be perfect? I always feel the need to be the best wife, friend, teacher, daughter, granddaughter, all around great gal.

But alas it's not to be.

Recently I have felt overwhelmed with all of the little things I need to do during the day. Verses the things I would like to be able to get done. I would like to be able to go and visit with my gramma. I would like to sit with her and take care of her so my mom can have a break.

But there are papers to grade. lessons to write and so many other 'things' that need to be done.

The school year has started out well. I like all of my classes so far. I have a lot of students that I had last year. So that makes it a little easier to remember names. I have almost everyone down, except a few girls that always seem to look a like.

We will be gearing up soon for homecoming and various other events during the school year. So the train of work will keep on chugging along.

I'm lucky that I have a wonderful husband and good friends to keep me afloat.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby Shower Mobile

My dear friend Nicole has a sister who is having a little girl this fall. For her upcoming shower Nicole and I did a craft that will double as a decoration and then as a hanging mobile in the baby’s room. Here is a simple idea anyone can recreate. AND the great thing is that it’s budget minded. The whole thing was around 10$. But I bet you could do it cheaper if you had a curly-willow (or equally cool tree) in your yard.

As all good crafters do – we looked to the wonderful Martha Stewart for inspiration. Her Bird Mobile was so cute – and we wanted something similar.


Here is what we ended up doing. At Joann's they have these large bunches of twigs. We bought one bunch and some fake flowers – manned ourselves with glue guns and hit the ground running.


I was able to undo the wire that held the large bunch together and divided them into two bunches. Used the wire to regroup the twigs and began to glue on our flowers.


Nicole’s sister’s shower is pink, yellow, and peachy orange – so we bought a sprig of yellow hydrangea and a sprig of cherry blossom. We also got a branch of green leaves as the flowers didn’t have much greenery to them.  After taking them off of the plastic branches we began to glue them down.


We tried not to over do it because we liked the simplicity of the branch Martha had created. We also tried to glue the flowers at every angle that way if Nicole’s Sister decides that she wants to hang it above the crib the baby won’t be looking at the boring side of the branches.


Here is the finished branch before we put the birds on them. We got fishing line at Walmart to use in order to hang the birds. Because the shower was still a few weeks away we didn’t put the birdies on. Last year when we had a polka-dot themed shower for our friend Kristine we made polka-dot garland. Well – if you aren’t super careful it will get all tangled – so we decided to error on the side of caution so the birdies won’t be flying until the day before.

We printed the birds from Martha’s website on purple and pink card stock. I’m sure if you are crafty enough you could cut them out by hand but who doesn’t love an easy cut out! I know I do.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

School Dreams.

So yesterday two of my good friends and I went down to Ikea to enjoy some Swedish goodness.

We didn't have any meatballs. But we did act like goofballs.

Last weekend I went with Nicole to the salvation army store in town. I got a lamp for 5 dollars. Because it was half off!!! AMAZING! But it didn't have a lamp shade. So when we were in the lighting section Nicole pointed out a very cool lamp shade.

I got this lovely shade and it's very happy sitting on my bedside table.

While we were enjoying a wonderful Mediterranean meal we were talking about school. My friend Jess mentioned that she had a school dream and then I said "watch - now we're all going to have school dreams."

- Sure enough last night I had a dream about school. It was the first day of school but I didn't know what classes I was teaching and was also late getting to work so when I walked in my classroom they kids were already there. It was awful.

I don't have to go back to work until August 9th but I'm already having dreams. This isn't a good sign for my sleep habits.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mini Vacation

So this past weekend I drove out to see my best friend Casey. She lives in Phoenix. So I packed up my little honda and got on the road. I enjoy spending time driving. It's about a five and a half hour drive and I rocked out to some mixed cds I made, and looked around at the beautiful, dry scenery.

We have been friends for over ten years. We met while going to NAU. She works in marketing, and so when I got to town I was able to meet her in her office. I don't work in an office, and have never been in that kind of work environment. It was fun to see her in her element. Casey is really good at what she does and that company is lucky to have her.

After the office we went and got some yummy Thai food for dinner and visited her community garden plot. She has sun flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and some herbs. A man in her mom's neighborhood gave the community land (when he passed away) and requested that a garden be created. Each person pays a yearly fee for up keep and water. There is a food bank plot and a box for extra food that others have that would be given to the food bank. It's a really awesome program. Who doesn't love fresh fruits and veggies?!

Saturday we did some shopping and then watched My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. That was part of plan for me to go out and see her in the first place. Casey had DVR-ed the six episodes and so we had a mini marathon. It was great.

Then we went to Bingo After Dark (BAD Bingo). It was soooo much fun. Eight Dollars got us 11 rounds of bingo and a lot of glow sticks. Half way through the sessions they stop and have a dance party. There had to be 500 people in the room. AND on the last game of bingo - I GOT A BINGO! I won 150$ It was awesome.

Sunday we enjoyed some samples at Costco and a trip to the pool. The high on Sunday was 111 - soooo hot!

Monday I packed up my bags and headed home. It was a great weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Housewife

Why is it that when I am on summer vacation I want to be a housewife. Like full on butcher, baker, candle sick maker.

I really want to get a sewing machine this summer. I have two very dear friends that are both pregnant and I want to make almost everything from Creation Corner!

I also really want to try and bake bread. My grandmother is a wonderful baker and every year on major holidays she bakes these amazing bread loaves. Her best are her egg breads. I'm not sure of the official name but they are light and fluffy and wonderful. I really want to try these rolls. My friend Carly is an amazing woman and mother. I pretty much want to be her when I grow up. Always have.

So I'm off to attempt a few of these house wifey projects of mine.

Here are a list of things I would like to tackle this summer:

Clean out and organize the garage
Bake bread
Bake a cake from scratch
More crock pot cooking
Clean out my closet
Organize the Pantry
Craft various craft things

It's going to be a great summer!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Alive and tired

It's been a few weeks. I know.

A lot has been going on around here. I'm now down to 19 days until the end of the school year.

I'm tired and stressed. And have a few hundred papers to grade and enter. Two books two finish teaching.

It's all insane really.

But - I'm going to be crafting up a storm this summer. I am interested in investing in a cheap but reliable sewing machine. My Gramma has two amazing machines that she payed big bucks for in the 80's when she was making wonderful dresses for me as a petite little girl. I go over to her house for bigger projects - like when I made some friends aprons for Christmas. But an old friend of mine Tasha over at Creation Corner has so many amazing little projects that I think I could tackle if I had my own little machine.

But who am I kidding. Who wouldn't want to hang out with Gram, and use her sewing machines. Which she says are the equivalent of Cadillacs in the sewing world.

All I know is - I need to get to June 8th.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Don't Worry I know when I'll be back. Friday Night!

Today - well tonight really. I am going to Georgia to visit my dear friend Cuirstaun. She and I have been friends for over 15 years. She was a brides made in my wedding and really just an all around amazing person.

Here were are when she visited at Christmas time. You see Cuirstaun lives in Georgia now because she picked up her stuff and moved there almost two years ago in order to make her dream of getting her masters in public health happen. She will be graduating on May 7th. I won't be able to be there for her graduation but because I am on spring break - and we got a good tax return this year I am flying out to see her.

When she moved to GA we all joked that she would finally fall in love with a Strong Black Man. As you see from the picture below - she fell in love, but with a dorky white guy. We all adore Calvin and I hope that some day soon we will be toasting to their happy future.

I look forward to our late night trips to Walmart, picking peaches in the orchards, a day in Atlanta, and eating at Paula Dean's Restaurant.

The last time we went on an adventure to my friend Michele's wedding. We ended up having one wild adventure. From trying to find cheep parking and then subsequently being terrified by walking in a creepy parking structure - to being sung to by a homeless man. We are quiet the pair and I can't imagine what we will get up to.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two Down!

So I finished The Glass Castle I have to say that it was not my very favorite book. And as far as my book club books have gone, it's way better than Three Cups of Tea*. But it was certainly no Book Thief! the biggest hurdle I had to get over with this book was that it was really about how horrible her early life was and then in the last 60 pages she was able to tell how she was able to get away from her family. It's one of those books where you have to keep asking "How could it get worse?!" And then it does.

Before I finished The Glass Castle - I plowed through The Hunger Games. WINNER WINNER WINNER!!! Wow was this good. It's written for a younger reader and so the first 50 pages do a lot of the traditional exposition strategies that a younger reader would need. A few words are defined that an experienced reader might not need. But please do not let that deter you from reading this amazing book. It is a book that I keep thinking about. It's the first in a three part series. I loaned the first book to a friend of mine and she said that she already bought the second book, and said I could read it after she is done! So excited. It's a post-apocalyptic tale of a young girl who goes into fight for her life in "The Hunger Games". It has everything you would want in a good quick read. Romance, Bad Guys, Intrigue, Honor and Glory. I can not say enough. It's 384 pages of edge of your seat storytelling. So Glad I picked it up, and I think you should too!

Happy Reading to you!

*This is a great story. Don't get me wrong - I am all for giving back to the world. But the writing was just too dry for me. Mountain Mountain Mountain - Oh yea - I also built a school.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring break books!

MMMMmmmmm books.

Here is my list I would like to finish over spring break

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Even though I should have had this book finished on Friday for book club - I have about 60 pages to go)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I have heard people rave about this book and I got it today at Marshall's of all places. Who doesn't love a cheep book!

Ordinary People by Judith Guest - I have this on my supplemental reading list for my juniors.

Bossypants by Tina Fay - Bren just picked up this one at Target. Also on sale!

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - our next book club book.

Cheers to two weeks off and a whole lot of reading to enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What if there wasn't a spring break?

Today one of my very favorite mentors and I were talking.

He asked me how my week was going and I said - I am looking forward to spring break.

He said "What would happen if there was no spring break? We have to remember that there are a lot of people out there who won't get spring break, so we have to be thankful."

It made me think about how lucky I am that I have a job that allows me to take a break every couple of months. I know that I am waiting to get to Friday. I know that I am looking around my classroom and thinking that I may end up being more snappy at a child who may not need it. But it happens. No matter what kind of teacher you are, spring break is what keeps you sane. And summer is what keeps us coming back for more.

I know that tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. We have late start - so I will be working with my 10th grade group on some things in the morning, and then getting ready for our big prom ticket reveal at lunch, then the prom fashion show tomorrow night. Even though I have all of this to encounter I still enjoy the teaching of it all. I like the moments that allow me to connect with students. Even in my most desperate moment - I want my lessons to be good, I want them to mean something. I want to have my students remember what they learned in my classroom.

I got a wonderful idea from Facing History
- If you have not taken a look at this site - you should head on over. It ROCKS! I love all of the ideas that they give and resources that they offer (FREE). So tomorrow we are going to do the alphabet brainstorm for where hate comes from.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

two more weeks


We don't go on spring break for another two weeks. And I have the beginnings of a cold. Yuck.

I am very glad that we have two weeks off. But it will not get here soon enough.

The count down is on!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What was that you said?

Poetry is fun?!

Poetry in a Bag.

Topic: School

Directions -
Have students take out a piece of paper and cut it into strips. Each student needs one strip of paper. Each student will write one line about the subject. It should be the first thing that comes to mind. It can be one word or a whole sentence. When they are done writing they will fold up their strip of paper and put it in the bag that the teacher is holding. The teacher will then mix up the 30+ pieces of paper and hand them back to the groups. (I have my students in table groups of 5 or 6 so each group becomes a stanza) The groups will receive tape so they can tape their stanza together. Teacher will collect their stanzas and the whole class will decide what order the stanzas will go in.

The result is a wonderful poem that is sometimes funny, poignant, sincere, and always impressive.

Then what I do is tape all of the stanzas together and then hang the whole thing from the ceiling. The students love seeing their work dripping from the roof. It inspires many of them that might not think that they can write beautiful poetry.

Their next adventure is with a 40 line poem about a goal.

I'm excited to see what they come up with!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Live Forever!"

There have only been a few students in my six years of teaching that will stand out for the rest of my life.

J is one of them.

He is the kind of kid that you don't meet everyday.

He is a remarkable writer, and all around wonderful person.

Seniors at our school have to put together a senior portfolio. One of the tasks for this project is to write a letter to a teacher who has been an important roll model in their life.

J wrote his letter to me. It was three and a half pages long.

Needless to say I cried when I read it.

He also got me a book titled Listen to the Echos: The Ray Bradbury Interviews.

In the letter he explains that because of my class and the way that I taught Fahrenheit 451 changed his view of literature and ultimately, life. He explained that prior to his junior year he had felt a bit lost. Then he came into my classroom. I always hope that this will be the case. That because a student was in my classroom their life is better. I want to inspire students, and there are always days when I think that it's working. And there are always days when I feel like it's not. But to have someone look back almost a year later and say that I was a part of a life shift. I can't tell you how powerful that is.

His note in the book that he gifted to me he told me to read a story about Bradbury's childhood. The story of Mr. Electrico. Bradbury was a small child and went to the circus and saw a man called Mr. Electrico - and he looked at Bradbury as a young kid and pointed to him in the crowd and yelled "Live Forever!". Bradbury's lust for life has always drawn me to his work. His essays, novels, everything about him is full of love. I have hoped that this is also something that people - particularly my students - think about me.

I feel very lucky that I get to do what I do everyday. And feel very blessed that a student took the time to tell me that it mattered.

Monday, February 21, 2011

6:45 am

I typically leave the house at 6:40 - If I'm running late it will be 6:45.

Friday I woke up at 6:45.


Typically I would be freaked out but know that it would be okay.

Friday I was being observed by my principal. Blerg.

Thank goodness I have a wonderful husband. While I was in and out of the shower, blow drying my hair and brushing my teeth, he was getting together shoes socks and clothing out of the dryer.

I made it out of the house in 11 minutes. When I gave my hubby a kiss goodbye he reminded me that the principal was not going to be looking at my hair, but watching my teaching.


While I was driving to work I looked in the rear view mirror. To add to the wonderful morning my mascara had smeared all over my face when I put my sweatshirt on.


I got to school with 10 mintues before the 7:30 start time. A Christmas Miracle!

The funnies part of this whole thing was that my lesson he was coming to watch was part of the Autobiographical Narrative. And the narrative prompt I was giving was to have students 'write about their morning'.

Ahh the irony.

At least I had a great story to tell my students. And the lesson went really well. I was pleased with how it went. And the principal smiled a few times. That is always a good sign.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Here in no particular order are some things I'm currently in love with.

- Today is a school holiday. So I'll be spending some quality time with a fat stack of papers. But I'll also spend some time at TJMax with my dear friend Nicole.

- My friend Kristine (Of Blog stalking fame) has started her own blog. Go check her out. She's witty and a bit sassy. You will be able to tell that from the fact that she started a swear jar to help her cut down on her wide vocabulary.

-The crockpot dinner that is currently basking in some amazing saucy goodness. Asian chicken is happening in my life tonight, and tomorrow for lunch!

- Girl Scout cookie time. I have had a thin mint and it was just as good as I remember. I currently have a little purple box sitting on my kitchen table. Yes friends you know what they are, Samoas. None of this Carmel Delight bologna. Yes, I know, it is slighly politically incorrect to call them Samoas. But when I was a girl scout* they were Samoas and therefore what they will be called.

Today is also my brother's birthday. There was a party at his house last night and we had an excellent meal of fondue fun. He is now a quarter of a century old. 25 was a good year for me, I hope it is good to him too!

*My troop had 32 girls in it. We sold so many cookies that we went to Catalina Island.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tap into what you know.

Here is what I have discovered about teaching. I know that teachers across this country know the information I am about to present. But I think it's good enough to share again.

Tap into what a student knows about.

C comes to me and needs help with his writing. He is a very dedicated student, but his writing lacks structure. He can explain what he wants to say to me, but when he puts it down on paper there is just a disconnect.

C: Mrs. Parsons will you look at this revision I've done on my persuasive essay.
Me: Sure C, (He patiently waits for me to pick a part his essay) well. There are a few things you need to fix. I think your biggest problem is that there is no flow to what you have written. You need to take a look at your syntax and your diction choices.
C: I'm not sure how to do that.
Me: Okay. What I'm about to say may change the way your write. You love music correct
C: More Than Life. *He is in the band and is a section leader.
Me: You know how in music you have a crescendo or a decrescendo so that there is a reaction from the audience.
C: Yeahhhhhhh
Me: I want you to make your writing do that.
C: OH My Gosh. Oh my gosh. I get it. I know how to do that. I get it.

He then told me thank you about a hundred times. It made my day to know that I could help a kid look at his writing in a different way.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boring Blogger

So it's been a few weeks since my last post. It's not that I don't want to blog. I do.

But I just feel like there has been nothing exciting going on to blog about.

We're back at school and I've been doing well at keeping up with all of the things I'm supposed to.

Just nothing big to report.

So I'll continue to Keep Calm and Carry On!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Do you know about these little pockets of delight?

If not – You should. They are amazing. My friend Jess brought over the pan for Ebelskivers (Dutch pancakes). We had a blast putting our little pancakes together.

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Here are Nicole and Jess having a Ebelskiver battle!

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Don’t try and steal hers our she might fight you!

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Here is a close up of our little friends. It’s a light and fluffy batter and then you get to add a filling of your choice. We filled ours with savory breakfast meats and cheese. And after our dinner of stuffed shells we added sweet fillings like chocolate chips to the middle. Mmmmmm so yummy!

The only problem is that the pan is expensive. So I’m on a hunt to find one at a bargain price.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

She's Crafty...

She's Just my type.

I made a baking dish for my friend Ellen. She is a rock star. She's down to earth and just an all around great girl. I pulled her for our Christmas Gift exchange that we do every year in my English department. I was super excited to pull her name because I knew she would enjoy a great craft.

My friend Tasha over at Creation Corner hosted a wonderful tutorial session and I saw this and new it would be perfect for Ellen.

I didn't take wonderful pictures.

But here is the before and after.

oooOOOoooo aaaAAAaaahhhHhh Wow!

She loved it and told me she would have it for the rest of her life!

May she live to be an old wrinkly lady with a house full of love and grandbabies!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Blond Ambition

So I have a fabulous new hair cut. And my wonderful hairdresser put some brown in so I feel like I look like a whole different person.

While I have been on school vacation, I saw a documentary on Locks for Love and got inspired. Here is my one problem. They don't take died hair.

I have been dying my hair for close to 15 years. And have recently come to the conclusion that I'm okay with having my natural hair color come back*. You see, I have always wanted to donate hair to Locks for Love - but have been a bit too vain in the hair department to give up the bottle. So I'm going to see how it goes. Is there a 12 step program for people who have this problem?

Hi My Name is Kelly Parsons and I am a hair-dye-aholic, the last time I used the bottle was January 3rd 2011.

My hair also grows very quickly so I would only have to be bothered with long hair for about a year or so. I would have to donate a minimum of 10 inches.

Another part of this decision is based on the fact that Clarol has changed their chemicals and it burned my scalp and has left scabs. It was kind of intense. I could hear it sizzling on my scalp. But I pushed on and thought - pain is beauty.

Or maybe it wasn't my scalp burning it was my brain cells dying. We may never know.

* I say this now - but when I grow it out and start finding gray hairs I may have a completely different mind set.
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