Bucket List

I have been thinking lately about creating a bucket list.  Making a list of places I would love to visit or things I would love to do and or experience.  It just seems like when you are in the midwest there just isn’t the proximity to different things.  Maybe if I actually take the time to make a list I will have a better chance of accomplishing at least a few of these items. The start of my lists….

Places I want to Visit

  1. Alaska
  2. Grand Canyon
  3. Yellowstone National Park
  4. Germany
  5. New York, both the city and the state
  6. Washington D.C.
  7. I would love to go back to Portland Oregan and take the time to explore the area more


Things I would like to do?

  1. Thinking I might want to run (okay walk) in a town run.
  2. Either get a second Masters or get my PhD.


Leaving the lists open so that I can continue to add to them.

So what is on your Bucket list?







Simple Sentence or not

I know I have lamented on this before, but really we need to bring back grammar instruction.  I usually have the students write their answers in complete sentences for assignments and tests.  They usually complain and of course, a few of them forget to write a complete sentence.  Or at least in the past, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that they were forgetting. Now, however, I am not so sure. The other day one of my students tried to argue with me. This student kept insisting that all that was necessary to make a group of words a sentence was if there was a capital letter and a period.  (Notice that they didn’t say punctuation, just that it needed a period).  Now today the same thing happened with a few more of my students. At this point, I am seriously considering starting next year with a back to basics unit.  Taking a couple of weeks to review a sentence, parts of speech, how to write a paragraph, and whatever else I decide that they still don’t know how to do even though it was taught at a much younger age.

So how about you?  Do your students have problems with carry over and remembering how to do the basics?


When I first started this blog, last March, so that I could enter a challenge for teachers to write more, I had lots of ideas and was ready to go.  I wrote faithfully for that entire month.  I then entered another challenge for April and wrote faithfully during that month also.  I figured how can I expect my students to write daily (or at least when we have class) if I can’t write also.  Then summer came and at first I wrote faithfully, but as the summer wanned on and the school year began, my writing has dwindled down to almost nothing.

I wish I could say that I have been busy going here and there, or making memories with one of my daughters, but sadly that isn’t the truth.  Yes, during the school day I feel like there is never enough minutes to accomplish all that I need to get done, but then I get home from school and for the most part I am home alone for the most part until around 6:00 or later.  My youngest is involved in her school and I am glad that she is, band, volleyball, basketball, choir, NHS, Student Senate, speech, drama, wrestling, pep band, marching band, student ambassador and the list goes on.  She is also involved in many community activities, because of this and my husband’s work schedule I spend much of my after school time by myself.  Now this would be a wonderful time for many activities, I could work out, read, craft, sew, write my blog posts, but sadly nothing happens. I come home, sit down to read the mail and check my email/facebook accounts and then I crash.  Nothing gets accomplished unless I have to get it done.  I have plans every day and I say that I will get this done, or that done, but sadly it doesn’t happen.  Looks like I might need someone to check in with every couple of days, hey did you get (blank) done?  What did you accomplish last night?  I know that I am definitely a morning person and can get lots done when I first get up.  Now I need to find a way to make me an evening person also, because I refuse to get up any earlier than 5:30.

So what do you do to keep going in the evening?  How do you stay motivated? Any advice to get me moving?

Top 3

Author #Juliette Duncan sent out an email this morning asking what your favorite three books were. She then broke it down into 3 categories, Childhood, Young Adult Years and Currently.  After she talks about her 3 favorite, she then asked what are your three favorite books. This got me to thinking so I am going to try and come up with some of my favorite books over the years.

Childhood: I remember a childhood filled with books.  Every summer we would sign up and then complete the summer reading program at the local library. I remember the librarian telling me that I wouldn’t be able to read books from a section that was a tad bit harder reading than where I should have been at age why.  At the time, I thought she was trying to make sure that I read books for my level, but looking back, she was really pushing me to read up a level.  Everytime she told me that I couldn’t read that section yet, I had to prove her wrong.   I remember being so excited to learn to read in 1st grade, and yes the Dick and Jane books were apart of that experience. So much a beloved memory that I purchased a compilation book years later. Other memories include not only having a fully stocked school library, but the public library had a book mobile and they would come to the elementary school every so often.  Each class would go out to the book mobile and we could check out one or two books from the book mobile.  One of the books I remember reading over and over was Especially Sisters by Fern Powell. I also remember reading as many of the Nancy Drew books as I could get my hands on.

Young Adult: It will be harder to narrow down choices for this time period in my life. I don’t remember reading any specific book, I do remember reading and reading and reading.  We were required to keep a reading log during the high school years with a minimum of 1500 pages (if I remember right) read each quarter.  I usually hit the required number of pages for the year every quarter.  I do remember reading more by genre’s.  I guess, I can say that I honestly do not remember any specific books from this time period in my life.

Currently:  I am reading a wide variety of books.  I am into reading most of the Amish Fiction books, I am still reading Young Adult lit (part of the job I guess, but I do really enjoy books from this category), I love reading Historical Fiction, I also read quite a few books that have been suggested by my students. I would say at the moment however, my favorites are more by author.  I will read anything published by Joanna Campbell Slan and Laura Bradford (Elizabeth Lynn Casey).  Their books are usually pre-ordered the minute that I see that the next book is coming out.

So what are your favorite books of all time?  Can you chose or are you more like me and have a hard time narrowing the list down?  I am not even sure if I could pick my favorites from the books I read in 2016.

The Goblin Crown


I was recently sent a review copy of this book for an advanced reader’s team.  Poor Billy, he was moved across the country, his dad has cancer and may be dying, and to make it even better today is his first day of high school.  Not just any high school of course, the exclusive Francis Drake Prep.  Billy is so nervous about everything that is going on his life, that within the first few minutes of school he not only manages to embarrass himself in front of the beautiful Lexi, but also makes an instant enemy of the school’s star quarterback. His day can’t get any worse correct?  Wrong, somehow he manages to get himself, Lexi, and Kurt into another world.  This world is full of goblins that don’t speak English.  The goblins are currently fighting a war with humans in their world.  The humans have but one goal, to completely wipe out the goblins.

I enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to introducing it to my reluctant readers. The Goblin Crown includes war, friendship, and magical worlds, in other words a book sure to please many different readers.  I am eagerly looking forward to the second book in the serious.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book, however the reactions to the book are my own.

The Friday 56


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


“Billy gulped in awe. He was soaring through the heart of the mountain, surrounded on all sides by the swarming goblin city. He could see tens of thousands of goblins on hundreds of streets on dozens of levels, bustling about their business.” The Goblin Crown by Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

Goodbye Summer

While I will admit that I am not a very  big fan of summer, there are a few things about it that I have always enjoyed.  Summer always seemed so long and a chance to get things done around the house, have plenty of time to rest and relax and also to get ready for the upcoming school year.  I always have high hopes of having a productive summer and feeling so accomplished.  Here I am on the eve of the first day of the new school year and once again I didn’t even get half of the things accomplished that I wanted to get done.

I started off strong, made a schedule and did my best to stick with it.  Yes, that good intention lasted all of about 7 days.  I did manage to get caught up on my filing (a chore that I absolutely detest).  Or at least I was caught up on my filing two months ago.  Needless to say, I am no longer caught up.  I did get some scrapbooking done, but not even close to my goal of one page a day.  I think maybe a total of 15 pages for the entire summer.  I also didn’t come close to reading the number of books that I wanted to read.  Actually, when it comes to reading, I started the summer ahead of my reading goal according to Goodreads.  Now I am 7 books behind schedule.  Looks like I need to get reading again.  It certainly isn’t because I don’t have enough books, I have about 4 To Be Read piles that are each a foot high, plus the 100’s of books that I have downloaded to my Kindle that still need to be read.  I did manage to get a little bit done on a couple of classes in canvas.

So the question remains exactly what did I get done this summer?  Did I get much done for me or for school or for the family?

  1. I did take a class on writer’s notebook.
  2. I went on a trip to Des Moines twice, once with my husband at the beginning of the summer and then just this past weekend with my youngest daughter.
  3. Took my daughter to the 4-H Awardrobe event in Ames.
  4. Turned around and a week later took her to the state fair for Communications events.

I will admit that the state fair was fun, but tiring.  Kristen had an educational presentation, a dance for share the fun, and did extemporaneous speaking. She was excited to get a seal of excellence on her educational presentation. We were a bit worried when the judge for her room gave the first girl a certificate or recognition.  Share the Fun is not judged, but evaluated.  By the comments the judge seemed to like her dance.  Finally Sunday morning came around and the extemporaneous speaking.  This was the first time that Kristen had done this at the state fair and she was a tad bit nervous.  Her goal was to get a seal of Merit and that it exactly what she did receive.  I am really proud of her for doing this event.  She has never had any coaching or teaching in the area.  This area is completely self taught.

I will need to write more about the state fair, but that is a topic for another day.

In the meantime.  Happy first day of school.  8:15 start time will be here before I know it.