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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Truth Monday...

Yes, I know that today is Tuesday. Well, I sort of know this. Last night at Kohl's I was looking at the hours for Saturday to find out when they closed! I guess it's because I went out on a kid-free night and so it *had* to be the weekend.

My truth Monday: One Little Word. This is the word that will define our 2014. I have thinking on this for a little while already and if you read my blog, you might know mine already.
My word is: QUIET.
I say I want to listen to God and do whatever God wants me to do. But when was the last time ever got quiet before my God instead of running headlong into life without ever even considering God and then either saying: "Thanks God" or "Why God?" depending on how things turn out. Also, I am noticing big gaps in my life that can only be filled by God and big changes I want to make, that are WAY too big for me, so I better spend some time with God to accomplish them. I need to quiet all the white noise and just listen.

Head over to Sunny Days in Second Grade and read everyone's One Little Word. Happy New Year's everyone.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Goals for 2014.... a linky about resolutions and goals

I wonder.... does it take the rest of the world as long as it takes me to type and post a blog post? Especially a linky. Even my Five for Friday posts. I type, read, edit. Type, add images, videos, links. Read, type, edit. Link. Find errors, update, post. Read again. I am in love with blogging and especially with linky parties. So even though they rob me of my time, I do it, because I love to hear the sound of my fingers on the keyboard. A little bit like "that nut from the Observer" that is Meg Ryan's boyfriend in You've Got Mail. So.... This looks like a fun little linky about goals for 2014. I am linking up with Second Grade Nest for her resolutions and goals linky.

 I have read a lot in the last few days about how "stupid" resolutions are and how people don't really *do* them. And some part of me agrees. But there is this other part that is dying to break out of the box I am stuck in and DO SOMETHING already! Some of the things that I wish and hope for in 2014 are out of my control and I have to practice the Serenity Prayer on them! There are some things I can change, but it's the knowing the difference that trips me up.

Okay.... here is the template for the resolutions. I am using a *borrowed* computer and I am not finding Power Point to use to put in my own resolutions. This could very likely be an operator error (and possibly associated with the "why" of the whole idea that blogging takes SO MUCH time)!

 Resolution #1: To develop healthier eating habits.  This might be resolutions 1-4 or so. Really. Um.... Let's start with getting more organized and shopping once a week and spending more moolah for things like: ingredients to make homemade bread and ingredients to make semi-whole foods. I saw that concept yesterday in regard to crockpot meals and it sounds more do-able and more affordable that entirely whole foods. Because let's be honest here, whole foods are more expensive and more time consuming. Part of the reason we eat highly processed foods is because this Momma doesn't have the time to make the healthiest versions and so I settle for opening a can or a box. So, resolution number one is to be more organized when it comes to planning and shopping so that I will have the ingredients for healthier foods and healthier snacks and then to implement a plan and stick with it! Part of this means planning at least 2 MEALS a week. Sounds sort of lame, right? But the big kid is gone more than not (senior in high school this year), and much of the time it is just me and the Punkin. If I make two good meals either in the crockpot or the old-fashioned way, there will be leftovers galore and I'll have lunch and probably some more meals too. Example: Last night I baked two lemon-pepper chicken breasts. There is a whole breast in the fridge to cut up for salads or wraps that is "left over."

Resolution #2: it's more of the same.  To go meat-less twice a week in the evenings. Part of getting healthier is restricting red-meat and processed meats. Like that hot dog that I had at midnight last night. So it's all-beef, do you know what all is in there? Honestly, I don't, because I love hot dogs and I don't want to know! Shhh. Don't tell me. But I resolve to eat less of this kind of food.

Resolution #3: To stimulate my mind. Last year was a "survival" year and I swore I wasn't going to read or do a lot of professional development. Since I just graduated in 2012, I thought I was "entitled" to that time off. But that got old really fast. At Spring Break I bought The Daily Five and read most of that. Over the summer, I joined a book study and bought the book How to Teach Guided Reading on my Kindle. I only made it through chapter 5. Which is too bad. Because guess what I do this year? Teach guided reading. All. Morning. Long. And part of the afternoon. Yep. So right now... short term goals, finish my unfinished business. But to keep it doable for me, I am going to resolve to spend less time messing around on the internet and more time reading for the sake of mental stimulation/education. So my goal/resolution is to read for mental health purposes for no less than 15 minutes a day! Why only 15 minutes? Because I also want to build in spiritual health time and "just for fun..." time.

Resolution #4: To move it! In October I took part in a 30 day challenge to move for 30 minutes every day. I felt better and got back some energy and lost a little of the depression. Exercising EVERY DAY is not realistic for me, but it's reasonable to try for 5 out of 7 days a week. That is my goal. To walk outside or on the treadmill 5 times a week. And to get to a place where I can run part of the time as well! I would like to do a 5K in 35 minutes this next year! That is a goal my friends.

Resolution #5: Pray more, talk less. Less talk about prayer or requests or whatever is "wrong" and more time focusing on "real" change, placing it in God's hands. I have a million more ideas... like yell less and be a better example and blah, blah, blah.... but I think that if I do these five, I might be pleasantly surprised by the influence I have on the lives around me.... you know, those people who I am in charge of everyday that call me Mom? I hope I have a good and godly influence on them this year.  And I resolve to do that by focusing on myself and becoming more calm, and listening to God more in the QUIET that I will seek this year.


 A professional goal.  Well, I want to say: get a job. And that is DEFINITELY a goal. It was also a goal last year and I got A job, just not THE job. So I think that goal is really to be more prepared for the interview process and to continue to develop my teaching skills in ways that are tangible and can be "seen" by those in the position to hire me. One of my goals is get more training in Quantum Learning.  This is used by our district and helps use visual, auditory and kinesthetic methods to enhance learning.  This is every teacher's dream, to learn to incorporate these three things into as many teaching strategies as possible for the good of the class. This will improve learning for your entire class, not JUST those struggling students! But guess what, it WILL help those struggling students, whether they are ELL students, below grade level, just learn differently from other students, or have some other learning situation going on. Yikes. That was more than one. A professional goal: be the most employable me that I can be! Then we are supposed to list another professional goal and I already did that with the Quantum part. I want to learn more about Quantum Learning and incorporate this as much as possible into my teaching (and thankfully, I have a little start on this due to Whole Brain Teaching).

To become more spiritually fit. And the ways to do that are in my resolutions. Spend at least 15 minutes a day reading something spiritually edifying and then spending that quiet time with God learning how to LISTEN.

To become more social and "put myself out there." (Yikes! Did I say that outloud?!) I am not really looking for love, because I am busy, and happy and life is full. But I am as ready I am ever going to be. I am still going to be a bit on the crazy side in ten years and I am not as crazy as I used to be, so... why not? Right? But my "soul mate" is not going to come knocking on my door and asking me for my hand in marriage. I have to get up and off the couch and move into socially awkward situations and just have fun.  I mean, how can I lose if I do this? I will (hopefully) meet new and fun people, get to know those friends that I just haven't taken time to get to really know yet, have fun in process and get out more. If love should happen, or even a date, hee-hee, it wouldn't be a bad thing, right?

Negative self-talk and road-rage type behaviors. I keep telling my children to tell themselves good things and I need to practice what I preach! I want to cut out some negative language and ways I talk to my children as well. So maybe I want to give up the negative practices that I hold onto each year.

 Volunteering. Ever notice that when you are down and life is going all wrong, if you just focus on helping someone else for a minute your troubles become smaller? I want to volunteer my time to help others and one organization I strongly believe in is: Habitat for Humanity. I want to volunteer to help our local area Habitat just like people in Habitat helped me. I want to do some volunteering in a more anonymous way as well.... more along to the RAK line of thinking. I want to practice at least one random, anonymous act a week.

I want to write. Blog, write, purge, entertain, tell stories, express gratitude. I want to write a book of short stories or encouraging words. I want to share my experience, strength and hope.  I want to join a writing community and I want to "be discovered." Yeah, I know there are a billion aspiring writers out there, but it's time for me to put it into action and see where this writer's heart will take me. 

I would like to visit about a million places here in the lower 48. But I would also like to visit any place outside the good ole USA. I would like to go on a cruise and visit a tropical climate.  That is not a realistic goal for 2014. Because of my current financial situation, I will set my goals much lower this year.... I would like to visit some Kansas attractions this year. I would like to visit Mushroom Rock state park, Rock City, and explore the flint hills a little more.

A food I would like to try is.... salmon. Increasing omega 3's and 4's can only be good for me. And I don't really eat fish. But I am intrigued by salmon and really want to try to learn to fix it. 

I want to learn to step out of my comfort zone and do those DIY projects.  A few on my list are: laying a patio, staining wood work, putting up sheetrock, and painting/decorating. I look at this stuff and think... oh, I can do this! And then I usually sit back and wait for someone else to do the work! 

Okay. I think I covered it all. And I am exhausted! My immediate goal is to copy these and put them somewhere that I will see them often and to organize my home and my TIME to make it more likely to succeed at some of this stuff!!! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

13 in '13.... a linky party

I couldn't miss the opportunity to link up, I love a good linky!!

Here are the "rules." But sounds like maybe they are a pirate code~ more like guidelines.... ARrr. Okay, that was lame, but it can be any 13 memories, or you can follow the guidelines. Read. Link. Enjoy.

You can use these prompts if you'd like, or just list your top 13 best memories {like me}! 
13. Favorite article of clothing:
12. Favorite movie you watched:
11. Favorite TV series:
10. Favorite restaurant:
9. Favorite new thing you tried:
8. Favorite gift you got:
7. Favorite thing you pinned:
6. Favorite blog post:
5. Best accomplishment:
4. Favorite picture:
3. Favorite memory:
2. Goal for 2014:
1. One Little Word:

How to link up:
Create a blog post sharing your favorite 13 things in 2013. Add the button to your post and link it to this blog post. Then link up below, making sure to link directly to your post, not just your blog.

I linked up through Miss Kindergarten.  There are several sites to link through, it's an effort of three friends bloggers friends.... and they set it up together! 

Thirteen: favorite article of clothing.  Hmmmm.... I just got a new green sweater that goes with my blacks and dark colors that I can wear to school. It's very "me".... comfy/casual and it still says professional.  I only have one sorta crappy photo, but here goes. 

Twelve: Favorite movie you watched. The Heat. I say that with a chuckle as my head is hung low. Not a family friendly flick... for sure, but I did laugh, I really enjoyed the irreverent pairing of Sandra Bullock with Melissa McCarthy.

Eleven. Favorite TV series. Parenthood. They just keep keepin' it real. I cry more than I laugh, but I feel like I KNOW these people. 

Ten. Favorite Restaurant. Hard to say. Just before we moved, I found a really good mexican restaurant in Guymon, and I can't remember the name anymore, but since we've been home again, hmmmm.... probably Tres Amigos. Judging by the frequency of our visits, that would be the favorite. One place I love, that I haven't been to since we've been home, is Martinelli's Little Italy.  Love that place. It doesn't matter what you order, it is tasty. They have great steaks. But it's usually served up with a good dose of friendship, so the food is then secondary. 

Nine. Favorite New Thing you tried. HA! My first thought was that the answer to this post is a year off.... Because last year (12-13) I uprooted my children and my pets and we moved to the OK panhandle, four and half hours away from everyone and everything that we know! I did this just because I wanted to teach more than I wanted those familiar comforts around me! So.... although I learned so much and there are many favorites hidden there: discovering the great people in the town we lived in, teaching in a diverse classroom, learning to stand on my own without my friends and family holding my hand.... maybe the other "new thing" was moving back home, in faith, even though I did not have a job secured. And I tried another something new... working with small groups as a reading tutor this year. It was a huge shift in mindset. And I struggled. But now I have found a groove. Now... now, I love it. And something new also.... I am spreading my wings just a little. I started the year off following plans written by someone else, and am now writing plans for several groups on my own, delving into project-based learning, digging deeper in Bloom's taxonomy and asking those deeper questions, and teaching students how to THINK, how to research, how to peel apart the information they discover and get to the heart of the issue. These are the things we are encouraged to do in college, the incredible ways of teaching I was exposed to as an intern and student teacher, and I am gathering my courage and putting them into practice. Yay!! 
home again, home again....

Eight. Favorite Gift I got. World Peace. Okay... not quite. The holidays are a very stressful time for me. There are several reasons for this. One is that I have what I call: foot-in-mouth-disease. I always open my big mouth and say the wrong thing, or maybe not the wrong thing, but I say it in a way that hurts someone and it doesn't come out the way I intended at all.  So there's that. And then there is the dreaded word: expectations. I have these crazy-perfect-high-unachievable expectations that I can't meet and no one else can either. So I am always in search of the perfect gift, the best treats, the most meaningful words in a card, etc. Yuck. It's exhausting. This year, I got sick. I had to just be okay with the fact that all the treats didn't get made and all the gifts didn't get completed. And I had the most harmonious, joyous and peaceful family Christmas I have had in years. That was the best gift ever. Enjoying my family. 

Seven. Favorite thing I pinned. Oh boy. Somewhere along the way between discovering this crazy wonderful world of blogging and the goodies on TpT, pinning fell by the wayside. I will have to see what I have pinned in not too distant history that might qualify. 
From my quotes and sayings board. Lots of wisdom on that board. :)

Six. Favorite Blog Post. Well, I don't have a favorite. But I have a lot of favorites. I went back and read  a bunch. And this one just made me smile a lot. There is a lot of love wrapped up in this little Five for Friday post. So I will share it again. It's from May, the end of school and all that anticipation of moving back home is hidden there somewhere. 

Five. Best Accomplishment. Well, that is open for interpretation as well. I completed my first year of teaching and then did the fraidy-cat brave thing and decided to leave that job and move back to my community where I love the town, the schools, and am close to my family. I didn't accomplish that by myself. I had help. My family and friends poured their hearts and souls into getting me home. But finishing my first year of teaching with grace and enthusiasm might be my biggest accomplishment and moving back home might be a big accomplishment as well. 

We had a field day at the end of the year and this last photo is my own little Third grader who became a better reader in Oklahoma.  There may be a lot of things she didn't like about the year, but her Momma is so happy she got better at reading. And so my accomplishment.... the photos are of wrapping up that first year of teaching. Because as most of you remember, that first year is something else! 

Four. Favorite picture.

This could be my fave. My girls, ready for the Christmas season!
Happy 2013 holidays, and ready to take on 2014! 
Three. Favorite Memory. yeah. I don't have a favorite. I am not going to try to drum one up. Um... a GOOD memory.  The going-away dinner that my teaching partner gave us before we left Guymon. I didn't even take one photo. Wow. I am slipping. 

Two. Goal for 2014. Wow. I have several. And I am going to list two. They are part of one goal and they are polar opposites. All wrapped up together. Ultimate goal: be content with whatever comes my way. Immediate goal: get a J.O.B. !!! Love teaching reading, but I would love it even more if I could actually pay my bills. Being a single mom is hard. And I am not complaining. I made the choices that led to being a single mom.  I love my children. But I went back to school and busted my butt to get that piece of paper that says that I am qualified to teach your children and both the state of Kansas and the state of Oklahoma say that I am qualified and issued me a license. So my goal is to get that salaried position that teachers have, however small that salary may be, it is better than an hourly job that doesn't pay when there's no school. I have a better chance of this when I remember who I am what my God has done for me. I might be "poor" and yet, I have SO MUCH! My goal is to practice contentment every day in 2014. 
I just love this picture. It shows primary/early primary students engaged on the carpet
 and the teacher is teaching. Miss this part.
One. One little word. I could say contentment, right? But I am going to QUIET.  The bible says, "be still and know  that I am God." Quieting my mind and listening has a peaceful quality. And I need that. This year's word is QUIET. That great and vast quiet that envelopes you as snow falls softly all around muffling the outside world and magnifying the stillness.  That level of quiet.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Five for Friday on Saturday.... Christmas style (bah humbug)

Sadly, my laptop bit the dust last weekend.  Amazingly enough, my friend is lending me his desktop.  I haven't figured it all out yet and I emailed all my photos from my phone to myself this week so I could still post my five! Five for Friday (which often happens on Saturday for me), a weekly linky hosted by Doodlebugs. Read about everyone's week!

1. Holidays. I am just going to take a minute to be honest here. The holidays invoke in me all sorts of things, the least or which are peace or joy.  It wakes the "keeping up with the Jones's" beast, the perfectionistic (it has to be perfect or my "fill in the blank.... friends, children, students, colleagues" won't like anymore) beast, the "grass is greener" beast, and the general selfish, greed-monger that says that I need more, more, moRE, MORE. I need more gifts to give, more goodies to share, more projects to do, more. And holiday blues run rampant as well.  Mostly it's a guilt-filled thing because I snapped at my child when I should have, could have shown love and kindness and patience. I could have shown her the path to serenity but I didn't. Then there's that illusional (disillusional?) perfect relationship that is portrayed on the radio, in Christmas carols, Christmas movies, COMMERCIALS, and everywhere in-between. Every year, I want to hang some mistletoe and just see what happens. Kind of strange because there are no prospects on the horizon! I will pull it together and it will all work out, but this is the "usual" start to my holiday season. And the instant the majority of my kids leave to visit other families I will cave in to the lonesome Christmas blues (so if you wanna see an ugly sight there's one that will commence around here on Christmas Day in the afternoon). Sorry, but I am blurter, and it carries over to my blog and this has been a real battle this week. So now that it's no longer hidden and lurking, maybe it will lose its power.

2. Okay, since you've just read my confessional about frazzled-mom syndrome, you will completely "get" that it didn't matter HOW LATE I was up, my daughter's classroom treats were going to be amazing! Or pretty darn close! We made these same cupcakes 2 years ago, but they turned out oh-so-cute this time and I have to say, my cream cheese frosting had a large portion of awesome in it! 
I couldn't get a great picture, they really are not all mis-shapen and elongated and such.
They really were pretty awesome. 

3. Go with the flow. So much easier said than done. But there comes a point in all the holiday buzz when I say, these students don't need one more person telling them to crack down and get serious so how can I have some fun with them and still incorporate some learning? We had a snowball fight in second grade guided reading and also in Kindergarten guided reading. Second graders have been reading and learning about snow in my group for about a week and so I put questions or directions on their snowballs.  It worked like this: we numbered off, split up, and everybody got a snowball. Then I said go and they started throwing! Then I said, "freeze!" and we sat down with some popcorn and juice, opened our snowballs and answered them. I also read them my favorite snow story of all time, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. We discussed the images that the words bring to mind and then how the illustrations are so captivating and draw the reader in. Then we wrapped up our session with one last round of throwing snowballs. One of our reading assistant's left early on her trip to Texas for the holidays and I absorbed her guided reading group, making my group a whopping 10 students on Friday morning. So... I made snowballs with Kindergarten sight words that they have already learned.  We threw, read the snowballs and then colored a snowman color-by-sight-word freebie from the Moffat Girls! They have some awesome stuff. 

Below are pictures of the second grade groups experience! 

Here are what the snowballs looked like before they were crumpled and thrown.
Here is my all time favorite snow book. Check it out for yourself if you are not like me and have it memorized from your own childhood! 

4. Christmas joy. My 17 year old hung out before a Dr. appointment so I could finish my planning.  Here is what happened to the white board! Which also begs me to say, "have you seen Frozen yet?" We went as a family and we all loved it. My own kids visiting me at school = joy.

Student love = teacher joy. One of my second graders wrote a poem last weekend and couldn't wait to show it to me on Tuesday (I was home with a sick kid on Monday).

 Here is the note that a student brought me this week! This is from a second-grade guided reading student! I have a happy teacher-heart when I receive gifts like this!

More student love. One of my students gave me this JOY ornament which I added to the special ornament wall in the hallway.  It brings me joy to teach students to read. I brings me even more when they get how important it is and that I truly want good things for them!

5. My little choir kid. This girl is learning so much in the McPherson Arts Council Children's Choir.  One thing she is learning is perseverance. She doesn't like memorizing words and learning the songs, but she is getting SO MUCH better at it. And since she has been working so much harder and achieving this, she likes choir more. Loves it. They performed a Christmas Cantata with the adult choir at the First Christian Church last weekend. It was lovely. And can I just brag a little bit? She has raised nearly all her funds for her Choir trip over Spring Break! We entered this last fund-raiser owing $411 and she now owes $34. I think we will be able to get this last little bit donated no problem! I am so proud of her! 

Sunday morning was not a "required" performance, so not all the Children's
Choir was present. I didn't get a picture in the evening when all were there and
they wore their uniforms.
Random things from a random week (or is the proper term for that week before Christmas "chaotic week"?). I crammed a lot into my five. I am going to try to break this habit and blog more often.  Wish me luck! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five for Friday, Friday the 13th style

Oh. my. goodness. I have been waiting for Friday to post my five since, well, just about forever. I suppose I could have made a separate post about all the good this week, but I've struggled a little this year to find academic material to post since I don't have my own classroom and I am sometimes often embarrassed to post my Friday five. But I do it. Because it is good for me to stay in the practice. And to be in a blogging community.You all have no idea how much you helped me through my first year of teaching! So here are my five for the week! Don't forget to head over to Doodlebugs and read about everyone else's Five random things from today or from the week.

1. Kindergarten. My little Kinders are starting to learn sight words, getting familiar with concepts about print, learning about their color words, and more. This week we re-enforced those skills with a freebie from the Moffatt girls (check them out, they have a LOT of wonderful primary practice!)! We did this as a little bit of a guided coloring exercise. I set out the colors I wanted them to use (you know, the true colors), and then we read them on the paper, next we chose the crayon we thought was right and found the color word on the crayon.  If the color name on the crayon matched the color word on the paper, then we colored the ball with that crayon. We talked about colors, color words, and resources that help us check ourselves (like the word on the crayon paper).

2. I am currently working with a really high group in First grade. So I am trying to stretch them and help them work on Comprehension and still not go crazy myself since it IS December and if you have set foot in a school building in December you have some idea what I am talking about.  So... they read Froggy's Day with Dad and it is about Father's Day.  I am really sensitive to parental holidays, because I have a daughter who doesn't see her dad.  So they had to write a sentence about a special time with a family member (Dad, grandpa, uncle, Mom, grandma, aunt....).  They did great. They also had to illustrate their sentence.

This one might be my favorite. This little learner just bumped up from Kinder into
First grade. It's a huge step and she was not happy to have to write and draw, but she
did it! 

"Me and my Dad wint to arkanso."
When they were in Arkansas, they went to a cave, hence the steps. 

I wonder if it is just fun when she colors with her Dad? Or is it
VERY fun?! Love it! 
3. Look who came to our school?! Yes, I do believe in Santa Clause!

4. More bragging on First grade! We are studying snow this week in guided reading. We read Snow Bears by Martin Waddell.  Then we talked about snow, and playing in snow, and snowflakes. We learned some facts about snowflakes. Then they had to write a sentence about snow.  We also made snowflakes! I almost forgot to preserve this project in photos, so I went to the classroom and took a picture of the ones that were still out on desktops. The snowflake is on one sheet of construction paper and the sentence is on a different piece of paper.  We were going to attach them like a mobile with string or yarn. Guess what Ms. Horn forgot?  Yep. So we improvised. Paper clips DO work to make mobiles in school.

Snowflakes melt when its hot out.

Snowflakes melt in the spring.
5. Second grade! Whoot! These kiddos have are in the "beyond level" group. They need challenged. They need comprehension exercises. They need the reading/writing connection.  We researched some countries that they are not currently studying for "Christmas Around the World."  They read books, wrote facts, searched online, wrote facts, and then wrote a report. Next they revised. Then they rewrote, and continued research. Then they were edited again. Then they re-wrote again. They are all learning so much about how to research, how to put technical jargon into Second grade words, and how to write sentences. It's a little scary how their sentences look! But they are starting to catch on that they have to have uppercase letters at the beginning and proper punctuation. This young presenter has come SO FAR! (But then, so has her teacher... the best way to learn how to give clear directions.... give unclear directions and muddle through the results). Last time, one of our presenters was so nervous that the class had to close their eyes and I held her poster in front of her so she couldn't see her classmates. This time, students wrote reports on a separate piece of paper instead of trying to make it fit on their poster and their posters focus on pictures that correspond with their facts!

I said I would hold her poster so she could focus on her report.
BONUS!! The staff in our school were invited to "breakfast" by the principal and his family today. We were told that it would be up by 7:30 this morning. Then came the announcement... "and will be available all day." Well, I forgot my camera (aka phone) this morning, so I snapped a few photos of the "leftovers" at the end of the day. Seriously, this is what didn't get eaten after a full day of being under attack by a people who love food.  Can you imagine how much there was to begin with? And can I just say... "wow!" I felt appreciated, I enjoyed the food and felt so blessed to part of the school family that is Lincoln.  
This table was FULL of fruits and veggies.

At the front is a tray of cream cheese and raspberry pepper jam, and there was
another one of these left over, not to mention the mounds and mounds
of crackers that had already been put away or consumed. 

Coffeecake. Delicious.

 Thanks Rierson family for the wonderful treat! And thanks LES for being such a great community to teach in.

P.S. My Friday the 13th was not the superstitious unlucky kind today. If anything, it was full of good luck, but it looks a lot more like those unexplained things that I know happen on purpose and for a reason.

P.P.S. The jewel of the week might be that I told my second grade groups that I was going to blog about all the hard work they are doing and one of them said.... "Whoa! We are going to be famous!"