It is officially summer vacation.  77 glorious days until I start back to school again.  These days are filled with so much potential and promise.  77 days staring at me, I want (need) to make these 77 days important.  I want to accomplish so much during this time.  Granted several of the days are already blocked and committed to some activity.  Next week will involve two days of travel from Eastern Iowa to the Clover Woods Camp and Retreat Center (the former Iowa 4-H Center) as my daughter was selected to be on the state 4-H council and they will begin their training during this time.  Then there is the trip to Houston with my husband.  He has meetings and training, I will go to play and relax.  Let me know if you have any suggestions of things to do or places to eat in the Houston area, but will be without transportation as we are flying.  Does Houston have a good public transportation system?  I would think so.  And then in July, it is county fair time, always a busy week in the Flathers household.  August creeps in with it’s Iowa State Fair, one last chance at summertime before it’s time to start the next school year.

So what are some of my goals for this summer?

  1.  Read, I have several books that I want to read plus I have signed up for a couple of different book clubs for teachers.  Anxious to get those books and begin the study.
  2. Crafting Time- I want to finish a couple of scrapbook albums, I also have several challenges that I need to finish. (ok, start)
  3. DeClutter my house, this is a goal every year and while I manage to get a bit done on this, never enough and by the next summer you would never know I had decluttered.
  4. Filing.  I hate to file and tend to put it off.  Every summer it takes me about 1 day to get caught up on the filing.
  5. Write More- this will be the third summer that I have signed up for the Teachers Write camp hosted by Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, Jen Vincent, and Jo Knowles.  Maybe this year I will actually finish it.
  6. School Related- I also have a couple of goals related to the new school year.  I want to get my classes set up and first units ready to go on Canvas, I am also trying to develop an interactive Notebook for my language arts classes.  If you have any suggestions or links to places I can go for ideas and information on this project I would be grateful.  So much of what I have looked at looks like it is geared more to elementary age and not high school aged students.

And my most important goal at least to start this summer vacation with is to get rid of this stupid cold.  It started last Wednesday the night before the final day of classes and quickly became much worse ending in a visit to urgent care on Monday and now it is slowly getting better.   So hard to do much of anything when you can’t breathe.



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


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


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


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


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.



Today, I had a few different ideas of what to write about.

1. Family time

2. My eye, something is in it and it hurts.  When the eye hurts, I just don’t feel right.

3. Homework and Late policy

4. Finding a way to motivate my freshman

5. Reflecting on the process this month.

I require my students to write for 10 minutes at the beginning of class.  We call this time Sacred Writing Time.  I even purchased some really cool slides. Many of my students look forward to the information on these slides.  Participating in the SOL 17 helps me to understand and appreciate what my students struggle with often.  Most days I had something to write about, but yes there were a few days when I had trouble coming up with a topic.  Usually, once I started typing something would come to me.  There were a few days, however, where writing truly was a chore.  Hopefully, now I will be able to understand when my students are struggling with this process.  I also found however that writing became a way to reduce my stress, a way to gather my thoughts and in some cases realize that what was bothering my wasn’t all that bad.

Because of this, I plan on writing more often.  I am trying to decide if I want to shot for one or two days a week at least.  Maybe more, when I have something to say.  At least for the next month, I will be writing 6 days a week as I plan on participating in the A-Z blogging challenge #AtoZChallenge.  

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