July Recap

Okay, I know it is August 6th and I am a bit late on this recap.  I didn’t think that this would be a good month as it is county fair time.  Two county fairs, one that my daughter competes in for 4-H and I am the co-chair of the Creative Arts open adult class so a busy two weeks and then I work at another county fair selling tickets so that is 5 days there.  Basically, that left one week free and the fairs seem to zap the energy right out of me.

So how did I do?

Goal # 1 Reading.  I only read 6 books this month, but the good news is that I have already read 6 books for August.  Hopefully, things will be getting back to normal.

  1. Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney in Shadow
  2. Ranger in Time: Escape from the Great Earthquake
  3. The Handmaid’s Tale
  4. Hidden City: Lost in the Shadows
  5. Disrupting Thinking
  6. The Blessing

I read Disrupting Thinking for the Penny Kittle Book Love Book Club.  Wow, lots to think about with this book.  The online discussion was deep and full of ideas. I can’t wait to try some of them in my classroom.

The Handmaid’s Tale was for another online book club.  I really enjoyed this book, but it had a different feel to it.  I know that this was a book club for teachers, but I am not sure if I would be willing to teach all of this book in a high school class.  My daughter saw me reading the book and informed me that she to read this for one of her classes in college.  It was fun to be able to talk about a book with her.

The author of The Blessing sent me a copy of her book to review.  You can find my review below this post on the blog.

Goal # 2 Crafting Time

Managed to get a little bit done here, but not much since I was at the fair so much.  Surprisingly this tends to pick up more once fall comes.  There are many Saturdays when I am the only one home.  I will go into my craft room and play all day, one of my cats likes to join me during this time.

Goal # 3 Decluttering

The weather decided to help that goal along a bit.  A couple of weeks ago we received somewhere between 3-7 inches which of course meant water in the basement.  Thanks to this, we had to go through and get rid of things.  We were able to salvage some things, but much of the basement has been cleaned out, items washed and either donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army, thrown away, or cleaned up and taken to the storage unit.  Just a small section in the basement to go.  I hope to start redoing the basement and turning it into a family room sometime during the next school year.

Goal # 4 Filing

I did get a bunch of stuff filed and the pile was almost nonexistent until the flood, then I found 4 boxes of things that I needed to go through.  Much was trash (why do we save some of the things that we save)? but I also found the bill from the hospital when I was born and then the bill from when my oldest daughter was born almost 24 years ago.  Those were fun to compare.  Now I have some more stuff to file.

Goal # 5  to write more

Nothing happened at all on this goal sad to say.  Someday I will be able to participate more with the Teacher’s Write.

Goal # 6 School Prep

Once again not as much as I would have liked.  Actually, I knew there wouldn’t be much in July, had hoped to get more done in June.  I did do a little bit with the Interactive Notebook and spent one day this month in my classroom trying to organize and update my classroom library.  Since we go back in a week and a half, I will probably get more done in this area for the month of August.

Overall about what I predicted for the month of July.  June is usually the month that I am most able to get things accomplished.  Once fair season hits, then there doesn’t seem to be much time or energy for anything else.  We still have one more fair to hit.  I will take Kristen out to the Iowa State Fair early tomorrow morning.  She is on the State Youth Council for 4-H and will be at the fair grounds for 2 weeks.  She gets to spend the first few days cleaning out the 4-H building and getting everything set up.  Then she will spend the rest of the time either assisting with animal shows (she is excited that she gets to help with the pig release, please don’t let her bring one home) and with many of the communications events in the 4-H building.  The last two days of the fair she will give her Educational Presentation and then her Extemporaneous speech.  Sarah and I will make a trip out to Des Moines in a week for a couple of days.  Looking forward to this time with Sarah as it has been a long time since she was able to attend the State Fair. We will pop in and check on Kristen during that time, maybe even get a picture or two of her working.  Then I will be going back out on Friday after PD so that I can be there for her two communications events and of course to bring her back home for the start of the school year.

The Blessing

Blessing

A few years back author Wanda Brunstetter wrote a short series of books about an Amish Women that decided to give quilting lessons.  (The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, The Tattered Quilt, and The Healing Quilt).  In this series, Emma Yoder decides to begin teaching quilting to anyone that would be interested in learning.  It was a story line that I enjoyed, as it was fun to see how the seemingly unrelated people all became friends and were able to help each other out.  Now Ms. Brunstetter is doing it again but this time it is Emma’s niece Heidi Troyer that has decided to offer cooking classes.  This time instead of being an older lady whose children have grown, Heidi is a young Amish woman that longs for a family.  While she has been married for many years, she and her husband have not been blessed with a child.  Heidi decides to start offering cooking classes to take her mind of off her barrenness and also to give her something to do.  The Blessing is about her second class and the students that have signed up for this class.

I enjoyed reading about this new class of students and how Heidi is able to not only teach them how to cook but also helps them deals with situations in their lives.

A side benefit of the series is that the recipes that Heidi teaches during the 6 weeks of classes are included in the back of the book.  I can’t wait to try some of these.

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  Can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Because of You by T.K.Chapin

Because of you

 

I was recently honored to be contacted by a new to me author and asked if I would review his book Because of You.  Once I picked up this book, I was unable to put it down. The only thing that made me put it down was that I knew I would have to get up and teach the next morning (and that my kindle was dying). I will be checking this author out and reading more of his work.

I totally enjoyed reading this book by a new to me author.  Samantha is madly in love with her military husband Dakota.  While expecting their second child Dakota is deployed.  Sadly he never makes it home.  Samantha has to learn to go on with her life and be a single mother at the same time.  It seems that she has more than the usual share of troubles, but through it all, she keeps her Christian Faith.  This is a nice, clean romance book, one that I would have no problems handing to my young daughter or nieces.  It is refreshing to read a clean romance that doesn’t have the couple shacking up in bed before getting married, or go into detail about their sexual experience.

D = Drama

D

Wednesday’s topic was D and the letter I chose to discuss was Drama.

When you teach high school students and have a high school daughter, you will be dealing with Drama quite often.  Especially when your high school aged daughter is also involved in the Drama program. I love watching my daughter on the stage.  She is so at home on the stage. This past year, she had the privilege of being involved in two productions outside of school.  She had one of the lead roles last summer in the Missoula Children’s theater and she was a supporting actress in the first “On the Edge” production Midsummer Jersey. In my opinion, she is good.  I am glad that she has fun with drama and has found a way to participate even after she is out of high school. This kind of drama I can handle and actually enjoy.

Sadly, with a teenage daughter, I also get to experience another form of drama.  This form is not as exciting.  Why is it, that girls can’t seem to be nice to each other?  Why do they always need to find ways to hurt others?  It seems to me that at times, girls spend more time trying to get to each other or to cause problems and fight.

Soon she will be in college and hopefully, the drama will quickly come to an end.

C stands for Courage

C

I fell behind by a couple of days.  I had the topic for each day chosen, but then never got around to writing for that day.  Going to try and play catch up tonight.

Tuesday, April 4th was the day for letter C.  I had decided that C stands for Courage this week and wanted to write about my daughters.

Both of them have shown courage in the past few years.  Sarah left home to attend college even though she didn’t want to and was worried about being away from home.  While she had a rough start, she didn’t give up, ending up finding her own way in college and is graduating in just a month and a half.  Once she finishes her internship this summer she will be looking for a job and moving on to the next stage of her life.  Yes, she showed courage to deal with life changes and move on to the next step.  I know from conversations that we have had, that she is more than ready to move on again.  Courage helped her grow into the wonderful young women that she is today.

Kristen has been demonstrating courage this week.  High school life is full of drama and sadly life isn’t always full of good times and things, but sometimes the bad seems to come and at times the kids feel like the bad will never go away.  Kristen has continued doing what she needs to do and has not asked to stay home, she is still struggling with a few personal situations and it breaks my heart to see her facing these problems, handling them well and knowing that sometimes you have to go through the fire to become a better more refined person.  Courage is helping her grow to the fine young lady she is on her way to becoming.

 

B stands for Bullying

B

Today’s word of the day is Bullying.  As a high school teacher and a mother of two girls, this is something that I see the way too often.  I am really tired of seeing people think it is okay to bully others.  For some reason, people seem to think that they must demand their own way instead of learning to share or cooperate with others.  People seem to think that it is okay to make fun of others, call people names, or otherwise make someone’s life miserable. I have seen people in power, demand that someone do something way outside of their job description just because that person in power doesn’t like the other person.  I have seen college roommates lock their roommate out of the dorm room just because the other person attended church and they don’t agree with it.  I have seen college roommates take up all the shelves in the refrigerator and leave the other two roommates the door and vegetable drawers just because they thought that they needed more room for their food and meals than the other two combined. I have seen boys asking girls to a school dance and then not following through with it, I have seen boys standing girls up just because someone dared them to do it.  I have seen girls calling other girls names, just because the one girl said hi to a boy that the other girl liked.  I have seen girls harass each other for so many stupid reasons.  I have seen high school kids and some younger kill themselves because they couldn’t take the bullying anymore. When I complain about the bullying and say that something needs to be done, I have a person look at me and say, but it has been going on since my dad was a kid.

When I complain about the bullying and say that something needs to be done, I have a person look at me and say, but it has been going on since my dad was a kid.  Yes, it has, but just because it has been happening since the beginning of time doesn’t mean we have to sit back and watch it happen.  Since when is it okay to allow children to make other children feel bad?  When did we stop carrying about others? Sadly, our kids are watching us and some of them are discovering that it is okay to bully just because they see adults doing treating others badly.  We need to start standing up for people, we need to demand that people treat others the way they want to be treated.

While I realize that we will never totally eradicate bullying, we can reduce it and make sure that at least our kids do not contribute to the problem.  Let’s make sure that our kids join together to find the solution.  I for one will do my part, because I am tired of watching my daughters or my students struggle with the effect of someone bullying them.  Will you join me in this fight?

 

Ames #AtoZChallenge

A

Decided to change my theme up and go with NO theme.  Instead of quotes for each letter of the alphabet, I am going to write about something from the day that has to do with the letter. Today’s theme is Ames.  As in Ames, Iowa.  Kristen had an interview today for State 4-H Council.  We decided to all go out and enjoy a night away.  So while Kristen was on the Campus interviewing, Kurt, Sarah, and I spent some time wandering around among several unique shops on Main Street.  We really weren’t looking for anything in particular except for a chance to escape and have some down time with family.  The best part of the trip (we were only gone for about 28 hours) was just getting away from everything, relaxing, and spending time together.  We had planned on eating supper at Hickory Park so headed over there after checking into the hotel.  Ended up seeing many different people from Clinton and DeWitt while we were there.

And now we are home, rested, well fed and ready for another week.