Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Slice of Life: Tying Up Loose Ends!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

One of the things we do on our Christmas card is to note important events of the past year.  Author Irene Latham's visit to our middle school was listed this year along with grandson Teddy's first visit to Seattle.  

As I cleaned up a bit before the holidays, I guiltily unearthed a green banner completed by the members of our after school book club with their thoughts about Irene's visit.  My slice of life on October 4th summarized Irene's visit to the Seattle area and her stop at our middle school.   I linked to padlets created by one of our ELA teachers and promised a forthcoming padlet that would record my takeaways from both presentations and responses from the students in our after school book club.  

So that is the loose end that today's slice refers to and here's the link to the padlet with my notes and the responses from members of Books, Brownies, and Beyond (who were treated to a special session with our visiting author).  The banner was reduced to small snippets of paper that I cut off the banner and then photographed.  I hope you'll enjoy this late share of quotes from Irene's visit and student responses.  I know I'm enjoying the relief that comes from finally taking care of this obligation.  Better late than never, right? 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Celebrate This Week: Friends, Bloggers, and Finding Neverland

                             Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres. 
                                                      When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 
A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

I celebrate time with two good friends at an independent bookstore.
I touted the merits of recent middle grade books I've read in preparation for the upcoming announcement of the Newbery award.
And I snapped pics of titles that caught my eye.  






I celebrate finding new blogging friends.
This morning I read Kate Kraushaar's post on TWT.   While I don't read all the TWT posts anymore, anytime a middle school teacher is featured I'm compelled to read it.  At the end of her post, I clicked on the link to Kate's blog and scrolled through her posts, stopping to read more if something caught my eye.  And I found one I simply must share.   Check out Kate's post which provides some questions to guide students as they reflect on their progress in reaching this goal:  
"Students will be able to select and comprehend good-fit books, build their reading stamina,
and show their thinking in writing and conversation."  
If you're looking for a way to have your students write authentically about their reading lives, then this post is a great starting place.   

I celebrate that my daughter and I are headed to the theater today
to see "Finding Neverland."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Slice of Life: Transitioning from Christmas to Winter Decorations!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

I am not a woman who transitions easily from December to the New Year.  I'm never ready to put away the Christmas decorations.  So some years ago, I convinced myself to embrace snowmen and winter themed decor in January.  This decor eases my transition into the new year.  Most of the Christmas decorations are put away, but my snowmen are scattered around the house
bestowing winter cheer!






My January Cheer
(with apologies to "My Favorite Things")
When the day's gray
When the rain pours
When I'm feeling sad
I'm simply surrounded by snowman decor 
And then I don't feel so bad!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Celebrate This Week: The Helpers

                              Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres. 
                                                      When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 
A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

I'm celebrating the helpers in my life this week!

My husband helped out by cooking dinner and cleaning the kitchen several times this week.  And he listened to me as I made my way through a very busy week.  I subbed three days and then helped with a dinner for 75 missionaries on Thursday.  I so appreciated my friend Diane's instructions for food preparation and her expertise since she's done this many times before.  I had many helpers from our congregation - from the lettuce brigade who prepped all the romaine, to the brownie bakers, to my friend who made the final Costco run since I was subbing, to the servers who arrived to make sure everything was ready for the luncheon.  Thanks to all who helped!
Every week, there are two special helpers at book club.  
This is the third year that these young ladies have participated 
in our after school book club.  Whatever I need during book club - 
a trip to retrieve something from my car, help organizing book groups,  managing the drawing for a free book, or arranging the final clean up at the end of our meeting, Katie and Elsa are ready to help.  They always help me haul my stuff back to the car after book club.  Here's a fun pic I took last week of these two helpers as they patiently waited (while I chatted with Carrie, our KCLS librarian who assists at book club) to make that trip to the car at the end of the meeting.  

A few other quick celebrations:

I found my OLW and posted about it on


I finished this book which celebrated Beatrix Potter's 150th anniversary year.  Don't miss this tribute from 32 children's book authors-illustrators who reimagine characters from Potter's most beloved tales.  I finished Wolf Hollow and now I'm reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon.  Not much time left before we'll be voting for our favorites in our Mock Newbery at book club.



I celebrate that Sunday morning began with FaceTime
with a couple of my favorite guys - Teddy and his dad!
And here's my favorite holiday pic
from Teddy's first Christmas in Utah!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Spiritual Journey First Thursday: One Little Word for 2017


Thank you, Irene Latham at Live Your Poem, for getting this group back together.  I look forward to our year together as we explore spiritual topics. Carol at Beyond Literacy Link is hosting our first Spiritual Journey First Thursday of 2017.  I loved these words from Carol about choosing a OLW:  “Each year instead of creating resolutions, millions choose one word to guide their journey. Why? One, meaningful word becomes a focal point, a reminder, and a guide throughout the year. It makes its way into your life, tugs at your heart, snuggles into your being, connects with your lifestyle, and accompanies you on your journey. It can be your mantra, your go to word, your star to follow.” 

This is my 5th year to choose a word to tug at my heart and snuggle into my being.  Here are the words that have guided my journey for the past four years.

Listen
Savor
Stretch
Abide and
Drum roll, please . . . 
My One Little Word for 2017 -   
Nourish!

This scripture in Psalms 107:9 spoke to me in December:  "For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."  I considered the words satisfied and filled, but decided that nourished was the perfect word.  

There are so many ways that I want to experience being nourished in this new year:
Nourished by immersing myself in the good word of God
Nourished by extending love to family and friends
Nourished by choosing to exercise
Nourished by making healthy food choices
Nourished by observing beauty in the world
Nourished by embracing quiet time
Nourished by sharing my writing 
Nourished by reading the words of favorite writers
Nourished by stilling the demands that crowd my heart so I can
listen to the stillness,
savor the present moment,
stretch to grow, and always
abide in His love to 
nourish my soul and reach out in love. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Slice of Life: Book Spine Poem

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, and Melanie
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Always reluctant to pack away the Christmas decorations, I arranged some of my Christmas picture books to create a book spine poem that reflects on our biggest blessings of 2016!

Little One We Knew You'd Come
(that would be Teddy)!
A Dozen Silk Diapers,
A Christmas Memory 
(Teddy's first snow),
The Third Gift:  Bartholomew's Blessing -
Room For A Little One
(Grandson #2 - Arriving in February)!

I love how two births bookend this poem - one in June and one soon to come.  Those births and the joy they bring remind us
of how blessed we are by the birth of the Savior.  
And I must put in a plug for Bartholomew's Blessing, one of my favorite Christmas picture books.  I was so excited when it was picked by the Lundell girls to be read at our Christmas story hour last week.   If you don't know this book, you should.  It's a precious story of the mouse Bartholomew's search for a perfect gift when he's invited by an angel to be blessed by the newborn prince.  You'll be mesmerized by Margie Moore's beautiful illustrations and captivated by 
Stephanie Tolan's story of Bartholomew's journey.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Celebrate This Week: A Sunday Morning Surprise!

                            Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres. 
                                                      When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 
A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

A sprinkling of snow greeted me at 4:30 this morning. 
I was hopeful that we might have enough snow to cancel church. 
 I had a lesson to teach and hoped I might get to sleep in instead.  
My husband said my prayer should have been more specific.  
"Don't just ask for snow, ask for enough snow to cancel church."

But before I worked on my lesson, I penned a haiku to honor our snow:
A snowy Sabbath
A new year's soft beginning
Wintry white frosting!

It was lovely to share a discussion with
a group of women I love around the topic:  
"How do we feel the love of the Lord in our lives?" 
I came away enriched from our discussion
and so happy to worship and learn weekly
with these women whose examples inspire me.
I introduced the idea of One Little Word to them.  
We searched our scriptures for words and phrases that are
meaningful to our lives as women of faith.  
Here are some of the responses that were shared:
Light
Living water
Strength and honor
Real intent
Satisfied
Remember
Good word
Patience in afflictions
Receive
Trust in the Lord
Encircled in the arms of His love
Rejoice

This has been a full week of celebrations:
A visit from our dear friends, the Grahams 
A stop by the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum
Christmas story hour and treats with the Lundell girls and a friend

Pics and FaceTime and videos from Stefi and Blake of sweet Teddy
Teddy with Great Grandma
 
Family pic
Teddy's first snow!

I finished Ghost by Jason Reynolds and am now reading 
Wolf Hollow by Lauren WolkGhost was a great read. 
I wish I'd picked it for our Mock Newbery list.

I luxuriated in a pajama and movie day at home with daughter Sara. 
(Thanks, Allison, for introducing us to pajama days.)