Monthly Archives: January 2015

It Didn’t Stay Away

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I guess it was bound to happen. Snow.  About 6 inches of it.  Enough to need to be shoveled, but not enough to keep us home bound. Despite how much I complain about it, it is beautiful.  Today is the wet, heavy, snowball making kind of snow.  Fun snow.  Plus, it is not too cold out there so it wasn’t miserable to be out shoveling. With all four of us and our neighbor working together we got our enormous driveway completely done within an hour.  That driveway – no exaggeration, can fit about 16 cars parked side by side in it! We share it with the neighbor so there are six cars parked on it daily and still plenty of room for more.  A great driveway for the kids playing sports out there, but not so great when it comes to shoveling.

One storm down.  One due overnight on Sunday.  Hoping that’s the worst of it this winter….but there are still two months to go.

Photo prompt today, “Who and What” so the “who” in this photo are the four of us working together to get the job done.  The “what” the kids basketball net filled with snow which made for a great shot even on this gray day.

Light Overpowers Darkness

Following along with yesterday’s blog about MLK and our white egg/brown egg experiment, today, my class met with their 4th grade reading buddies.  Once a week we meet and the children read to each other.  This week we changed things up a bit and I read a book to the two classes about Martin Luther King and then they worked with their buddies to come up with a way that they could create something great in our world.  Every pair of buddies came up with wonderful answers, but this one made my heart melt.

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“Even though there’s darkness in the world, light can overcome it.”

It really could not be more clear.  If only everyone could think the way children do.  The world could be a pretty amazing place.

As soon as I read this, I knew it would be my blog for today.  The photo prompt was “On the Third.”  The only way I can relate the topic to my blog is this…today is the 3rd Friday of January.  There was no way I was skipping this beautiful message so it will have to do 🙂

Color

I didn’t follow the photo prompt exactly today. It was Color Blocking but I thought that since “color” was the idea behind the lesson, I would make it work this way instead.

I write about this every year this week.  My favorite lesson to teach.  “The White Egg Brown Egg Experiment.”  I have been teaching this for years and it never gets old.

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One of the greatest lessons to teach diversity to young children.  After talking all week long about Dr. Martin Luther King and how he changed our world, is it a great way to tie it all together.

I show the students one white egg and one brown egg and we talk about how different they look on the outside.  For the most part, it is just the color that they notice but we also talk about how they are the same.  They are both oval shaped, they roll, they are fragile.  Then they relate it to themselves.  They are all Kindergarteners.  They are all children.  The answers go on and on.

I crack the eggs into a clear bowl and we look at the insides – which of course are exactly the same.  Just like us.  Even the children realize this.  Inside, there is no difference.  One child even said that if we held up an x-ray, we wouldn’t be able to tell if it was from a child with brown skin or a child with peach skin.

Exactly.  Lesson learned. 🙂

Where’s the Snow?

Meal or Play

The dreaded “S” word.  Snow.  It was expected today.  Right around dismissal of school.  I wasn’t looking forward to it.  The Kindergarteners were though!  Everyday we track the weather and graph it on our calendar and this morning as we added another “cloudy” to the board, they asked me if it started to snow during the day could we change it!?? It never happened and I can’t say that I am disappointed.  We might still get some overnight but I don’t think it is expected to be so bad.  This weekend is another story – a Nor’Easter they just announced on the news.  I hope it doesn’t happen.

Today’s photo prompt was “Meal or Play?” I had no idea how to go about this one.  Our dinner, albeit a delicious one, wasn’t really one that was worthy of photographing.  I decided to go on the “play” side of the prompt and build my own snowman.  Not out of the snow we never received, but out of fruit from the refrigerator instead.  A snowman much more to my liking.

Tolerance

This is one of my favorite weeks of teaching as a Kindergarten teacher.  We focus all week on Martin Luther King Jr.  Many of the students don’t know much about him and when they learn that there was a time that we could not all be together because of the color of our skin, they are shocked.  This is something most of them cannot comprehend because they know of no other way.  To hear that they could not go to school with children who are different colors than they are is bewildering.

I spend days talking about MLK, reading about him and just talking about tolerance. Today’s photo prompt, Trio worked perfectly in today’s lesson.  Three “flesh” colored markers and an innocent drawing from one little girl in my class says it all – in her very own “kindergarten spelling,” with three children who are different colors…

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“Be nice to everyone”

If only everyone could think like a five year old. ❤

The Liebster Award

The photo prompt for today is Space and I really wasn’t sure how to approach it today.  I decided to go with a very messy picture of my writing space. The place I sit everyday as I write my blog.  It is cluttered and it is crowded but I know where everything is, (usually.) Since I chose to show my writing space, I decided to share the blog I have been working on for a few days now.

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I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award.  What is a Liebster Award you might ask????

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The Liebster Award is given from one blogger to another in appreciation of what they offer to readers and the blogging community. If the blogger has less than 200 followers, they fit the criteria. It’s a great way to discover new blogs and give your favorite bloggers a virtual hug.

Here are some background and rules.

Step One: You’re nominated.

Step Two: You decide whether or not you’d like to accept the award.

Step Three: You follow the nomination rules.

Step Four: Enjoy your victory! It’s so nice to be acknowledged!

Here are the Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you so much, MaryBeth at Maple Brown Sugar, for the award! It’s  a wonderful way to start my 2015 blog.)

Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.

List 11 Random Facts about yourself.

Nominate up to 11 bloggers if possible.

Provide your nominees with a list of 11 questions.

Remember to check with the nominees first to make sure they would like to participate. (Some are pending and will be added if necessary.)

All of these blogs are ones I read and enjoy regularly. I think you will, too! Please give them a try and a big round of cyber applause.

And here are the questions that were posed to me:

1. What kind of music do you listen to? I like all sorts of music.  Pretty much everything except heavy metal.  I have a soft spot for Barry Manilow (and right after I wrote this, I saw that he is coming to our area in June!!!)
2. What books and/or movies have stuck with you and affected you personally? I am not sure if I would say that it affected my personally, but I read “The Help” before seeing the movie and it was one of those books that i never wanted to end.  “Sarah’s Key” was another.
3. Why did you decide to start blogging? I started blogging January 1, 2013 with the goal to spread kindness by writing every single day for a year.  Shortly after, my mom and sister both died unexpectedly within 4 weeks of each other and my blog changed becoming more of a personal journey for me. I still write every single day – two years later.
4. What activities, besides blogging, do you participate in? I am a pretty busy person. I am a mom and wife. I teach Kindergarten full time, do photography part time, (very part time) and have just begun a new business as a merchandiser for Chloe and Isabel Jewelry – shop with me!! http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/clairesinclair   Their jewelry is gorgeous and you don’t even have to live nearby since we can do it all online 🙂
5. What would your 16-year old self say about what your life is like now? Well, since I met my husband at the age of 17, I am going to cheat a bit on this one and use that age instead.  I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was in the 4th grade so that is not a surprise.  Dave, (my husband) became my best friend as soon as we met, so I could not have imagined my life without him.  I did expect to have more than two children – and never the mom to two boys.  I was always such a girly girl! I wanted to live in the same town I grew up in and teach there too and I do, so, really, I didn’t expect it to be much different than it actually is.
6. What’s a typical day in your life like?  Wake up 6 am.  Leave for my 3 minute drive to work at 7:15. Teach until 3:30 stay at school till 4:30 then home.  Usually an exercise class 2 or 3 days a week, dinner with the family, television, write my blog and bed by 10pm only to start all over the next day.
7. What celebrity, athlete and/or cultural figure, dead or alive, famous or infamous, would you want to invite over for dinner and talk to? Tough one.  So many but I think I would like to spend time with Prince William and Duchess Kate.  They have such a wonderful perspective on life and their charitable endeavors make me wish that I could do so much more.
8. If you could change one thing about your life, what would that be? To be a bit more financially stable.  I  wish we didn’t have to worry about money but we do, but we still do things we love with the people we love and that is what is most important.
9. What dreams do you plan to conquer next? I don’t have a lot of “dreams.” I have a great husband, terrific kids, amazing friends.  I love my job, love working with children.  I am pretty content with the way things are. I guess if I am going to ‘conquer’ something, it would be to rock my new business with chloe + isabel.
10. Name five pet peeves. 1. Hearing people eat/chew/slurp.  2. Wet socks. 3. Wet sleeves. 4. The “R” word 5. Selfies with “fish lips.”
11. What place would you most like to travel to? I would like to go back to Italy and spend more time there.  Dave and I were there on a cruise before our kids were born and I’d love to choose a few of the favorite places that we visited and go back – especially Venice!

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

Not to much is a secret – especially after writing this blog, but here goes…

1. My first car out of college was a Toyota Celica convertible, light blue with a dark blue top.  My dad finally sold that car last year! TWENTY years later!

2. My father, brother, sister and I, all went to American University in Washington, DC.

3. I am terrified of horror films especially Nightmare on Elm Street and the first day of college, my roommate had a life size poster of Freddy Kreuger hanging over my bed when I got there!

4. My mother-in-law gave me an Ab-Roller for my birthday THE DAY AFTER I gave birth to my first child.

5. One of my guilty pleasures is mixing movie theater, buttered popcorn with a box of Snowcaps.

6. I hate being cold and will often sleep with my sweatpants tucked into my socks – not the most attractive look but functional and warm in our cold house!

7. I have more than one tattoo.

8. I was not chosen for the cheerleading team in high-school because I was told I “was not peppy enough” which is quite ironic if you know me today!!

9. I had Lasik eye surgery almost 10 years ago and still have 20/20 vision, although I need to wear reading glasses since I turned 40.

10. I take 14 vitamins and supplements every single day.

11. Once, while at a Best Buddies of America fundraiser, I tripped over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foot, (totally my fault) but he did help me up. 🙂

And finally….questions for my nominees:

1. What do you rant most over?

2. Why did you start blogging?

3. Do you have an idol, who is it and why?

4. What is the best advice you have ever received?

5. Where is the farthest you have traveled?

6. If you could be living anywhere in the world, where would it be?

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

8. What are your pet peeves?

9. What are your favorite television shows?

10. Do you have any tattoos and if so, what are they?

11. Do you have any regrets?

Thanks again to MaryBeth for nominating me.  I can’t wait to hear from my own nominees.  And here they are….more will be added as I get permission from them.

1. Life Stories, by Tammy Palazzo Dandino

2. How to Overthink Almost Everything by Kim Miller

3. Five Plus Banana Splits by Julia Jones

Have fun!

Balance – Or Lack Thereof….

Balance – What a perfect word for today’s photo prompt.  I woke early this morning to rain hitting the windows in my bedroom.  I had taken Emmy Lou for a late walk last night and she slept downstairs.  Her usual place at the bottom of my bed was empty and I actually wound up sleeping until 7 am! Late for me.  Since Em was still sleeping downstairs on her pillow, I was able to shower and get dressed before she needed her morning walk.

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Around 8, I got her bundled into her raincoat and we headed out the front door.  One step onto the slate steps and down we both tumbled, losing our balance on the sheet of ice that deceived us as we stepped out the door.  I had definitely chosen the wrong boots for the day choosing style over practical!  I had no idea that the rain had created a layer of ice coating absolutely everything.  We both picked ourselves up and attempted to walk down the sidewalk, making it about ten steps before we were both down on the ground again.  Her little paws couldn’t get a grip on the ground.  We even attempted walking on the grass which wasn’t much better.  She wanted to get back inside even more than I did but she couldn’t get herself back up the icy steps.  Her little paws had no traction and I had to kneel on the bottom step in order to lift her to the top before crawling up the rest myself.

I changed into safer boots, got the pet safe ice melt and sprinkled it all over the front steps and sidewalk before coming back inside to turn on the news to see how long this unexpected freeze was going to last.  Road closures, accidents, reports of dangerous conditions are all the top stories. All over Facebook friends are reporting how dangerous the roads are and how many of them are stranded, leaving their cars parked while attempting to walk home which was not much safer.

I am supposed to have my first chloe + isabel party at my best friend’s house today.  I had been looking forward to this for weeks.  She had invited so many people, it was bound to be a huge success.  So far, we have postponed it just until later in the day when temperatures are supposed to rise significantly.  Fingers crossed that it works out and we can still have it, but better to be safe so we will see how it goes in the next few hours.

Stay safe out there.