Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trip to Buffalo Video

Here is a very short snapshot of some of my time in Buffalo. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SOLSC - Breathe

I had finally collapsed onto the mat after our hard workout at kickboxing. I was sweating in places that didn't know how to sweat. I left rings of sweat on the mats. It was disgusting! Heading out to the car, I turned on the air conditioning full blast and decided to take a different route home.

The only thing on my mind, other than a hot shower, was what I was going to eat. Avocado, salsa, corn, black beans...yum! The road traveling home was not the normal interstate* , but I thought I could get away with 60 mph in a 55. I coasted through the countryside. I neared the country club, which lets my brain know, I'm approaching civilization and a new speed limit. The new limit was 40. Was I traveling that? Honestly, I don't really know what my right foot was doing. I just wanted a shower.

I rounded the corner and to my surprise saw one of the town's cops coming towards me. Immediately, my heart was in my throat and I slammed on the brakes. He lit up his lights and I knew I was busted. He had to keep traveling away from me to turn around and he slowed down to make the turn. During this time, I had slowed down to a respectable five below the speed limit. I kept my eyes mainly in the rearview mirror...waiting to see the red and blue to come towards me. As I kept watching, he didn't turn around. It felt like an eternity watching and waiting for him to come back. I had to say a silent thank you to the officer who decided it wasn't worth his while. Thanks for telling me I was going too fast, which I knew and thanks for not turning around to come get me!

Lesson of the story - I'll stick with my interstate and leave the country roads for my biking. (*Added note...what is 30 considered? Maybe just a highway...I don't know...It's a US route.)

And for those of you who know where I can guess which town it was that blinked their lights at me! I guess they don't always ticket people.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Comments galore

Most days I just love reading his blog...but today the comments are what got me. Feel free to take a look at Stuff Christians Like. I truly enjoy this blog and would highly encourage you to visit his others as well. And for those who might be offended simply by the title of the blog, I truly enjoy his take on life and he often pushes my thinking as well as deepens my relationship with Christ by his obedience to the gift of writing that he has. Hope you have a few days to read all of his posts...they're worth it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Assessing Writers

I just finished the book, Assessing Writers, by Carl Anderson. The following are my thoughts and comments after reading it.

I enjoyed the bullet points in each chapter that gave me tips on guiding the conferences as well as what to do as I'm assessing their writing. I have several pages that I am planning on copying and posting in my conferencing notebook.

One big idea that jumped out (because this has happened in years past) is that when a child struggles with the question, What do I write about, needs to figure out WHY they should write. I want to make sure the purpose of writing is pushed in my classroom this year. I feel more of a writer myself now and will be able to say to the students, when I write, I do this. I will hopefully be able to give them a more purposeful use for their writing this year.

I want to make sure that the meaning behind my students' writing is also what they are trying to say. Rather than just a retelling, asking them what's important. Why did you include this section? How are you letting your readers know what the most important parts are?

Students can miss errors because they don't know they are errors. This makes so much sense! It's my job then to point out (not all) but an error and explain why and show them how to correct it.

I want to change and go back to how I use to have my conference notes. I keep a two column page where I write down what I notice and then on the other side what I teach and their future goals. This past year I kept their reading and writing notes together because I dived them up into groups (not based on ability - I tried to spread them out). What I found hard was if I had an impromptu conference or if I gathered a group of students based on the same need or if I had taken home their work to read and then taken notes. I wasn't able to put all of this information into their notes and then it looked as if I hadn't gathered as much knowledge as I had. I also couldn't carry all of the touchstones with me all of the time. I had left them behind or in another notebook. This year, they will all be at my fingertips in this binder. ***What are your thoughts, teachers? How do you organize your notes for your classes? What should I do for their reading notes? Same thing?

Some other questions I want to pose to the class or in conferences in general: Why do I conference with you? What do you mean by...? Why are you writing this? What does this piece need?

Overall, I am glad I read the book. I am going to start Lucy Calkins book, The Art of Teaching Reading, next.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My online friends...

I received a phone call yesterday that one of the ladies whose blog I read regularly was going to be in town. I was so excited that I quickly changed plans that I had with my small group girls. There was a group of six of us that got together for dinner last night. Out of the group, I have the pleasure of working in the same corporation as two of them and was able to meet two others (who live about an hour away) last summer at a brunch. What I admire most about these ladies is the passion they have for what they do. On dreary days of being an educator, they are a reminder to me to continue to push myself to be the very best educator I can be. They are encouraging, supportive, and have been very kind to me when it comes to my blog and my own learning. In the days of technology, it's still nice to know that there are real people out there who genuinely care about others and about me. I'm so blessed to know them and call them friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


While I was in Buffalo, my friend, Deanna, played a cd that had many worship songs on it for children. Her son requested a song...because he loved it. Here is a two year old warmed my heart! I hope it does yours too!

Sorry...turn your head...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I had to laugh...

Enjoy! I think it's really funny! Feel free to link if you want to tell others about it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What an amazing Artist!

A picture of the American Falls. I have more photos that I will upload later about my trip to Buffalo, NY, but here's one just to take in.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Random Tagging

Another fun round of tag is making its way through the blogging world! I've been tagged by my friend, Deanna. The rules are that I have to share 6 random things about me and then tag 6 others....

First, for my randomness...

1) Every time I go to the dentist, I get happy gas (even if it's a cleaning).
2) I schedule one of my dentist appointments on my birthday (or as close to as I can). It's my relaxing treat to myself.
3) I was in 4-H for 10 years and NEVER was in any of the animal projects. I did personality, cooking, library, etc...that's why I am the way I am... :)
4) My hair looks better if I take my shower at night and then run a curling iron through it in the morning...bed head :)
5) I take an annual photo (okay 2) down in Panama City Beach. It shows my weight loss.
6) I can be so anal about recycling that I take others' trash and take it home to that horrible?

Okay, now I am tagging: Sarah, Jen, Gail, Kathy, Teachermom, and I can't come up with a sixth...

Here are the rules:
-Link to the person who tagged you.
- Post the rules on your blog.
- Write six random things about yourself.
- Tag six people at the end of your post.
- Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
- Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Treat

These are the flowers that I treated myself to because I have eaten every meal at my table since Sunday. This does not include snacks. But what I do notice and know about myself is that I eat slower while at the table. I eat less at the table. I feel fuller after eating at the table. And I know that all of those things combined will help me with not relying on food to comfort me. Am I cured yet from eating in front of the tv? No, but I am trying to take one meal at a time and eat it at the many days does it take to make a habit? I am hoping 21 meals is the case, which would be Saturday/Sundayish...So, today is halfway and a treat was needed to keep me going! This is one area of my life where I want to honor God and bring Him glory through it. Living alone sometimes can get hard and the tv is great at keeping empty company. And when I eat in front of the tv, I eat mindlessly.

And for those who are brave - a new snack to try...

Roasted Chickpeas (think healthy corn nuts)
Rinse a can of chickpeas (it gets the juice and sodium off). Then cook them in the oven at 400 (on a pan)...stir every 15 minutes until they are the desired crunchiness you want (between 45 - 60 minutes). Then spray lightly with non-stick spray and put whatever seasonings on them. Eat and enjoy...yum!!! And feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you tried them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Big Stuf Processing

So while planning would be beneficial for this post...I am going to let the Spirit lead and allow myself to process a bit more of what I learned and am incorporating from our high school church camp. Some background...we take our high school church youth group down to Panama City Beach, FL for five days where we are encouraged, led in worship and taught in the Word by some amazing speakers. This year proved to be no different...We arrived and spent a few hours on the beach before heading into worship and our evening service. The theme this year was Broadcast. Each session began with Live...The following is a brief recap from myself and the big lesson I took from it.

Live Loud - My life is broadcasting some message speaks louder than my words. I will not change who I am until I love...Do I love God enough to change? I broadcast the loudest and most clearly what I desire the most (I am still processing that one...)

Live Clear - Are my actions and beliefs matched? What is the reason that I broadcast what I do? A man's deepest question is do I have what it takes? A woman's deepest desire is to know she's beautiful (as a result I am reading Do You Think I'm Beautiful by Angela Thomas). My Creator paid the ultimate price...therefore I am worth something. I am of highest value.

Live True - I may struggle still with sin, but I am NOT enslaved to it anymore. I am free. We've been designed to hear God's voice and I have to choose between the sensitivity of the Spirit or sensuality. It takes an active participation on my part with the Holy Spirit to transform. So looking back at my frustrations with last week, I must be an active participant. I can say that today, Sunday, I was an active participant. I feel better about how I honored God with my food and choices. Also with this message - it's not necessarily what I'm doing, but what I'm NOT doing because of the sin that I am committing. What else could I be doing with my life?

Live Connected - With Jesus being our teacher..embracing His teachings is difficult. Gossip is the easy way out. Our minds are capable of crazy out the truth. Issues are always bigger in my head than in real life.

Live Louder (surprise speaking from Louie Giglio) - Suffering is a megaphone and God said it the loudest when Christ was crucified. In the long run, I will be happy about the way that God led my life. Suffering can be used to shine God and His glory...I need to get beyond myself and shine for God's glory, no matter what that is in my life - singleness, honoring God with my food and workout habits, being an example to people I work with, and other things in my life.

Live Larger - What am I doing to make an eternal difference? Where is God working? - Then get there... God's heart is for widows and orphans, the broken and the oppressed...What am I doing to change the world?

Live Loved - God has always been pursuing His people...He had the power at any moment to wipe us all out...and He didn't. He continually pursued when we drift, run, and turn. He loves with a love that is unfailing and outdoes everything. He loves with a love that is far reaching and completely filling. I gain my purpose and significance because God has placed His image on me.

I know that that is a lot...maybe you can understand how amazing this camp is...maybe it doesn't make a lot of sense to you. I just needed an outlet to help explain a bit of what I was able to take in during Big Stuf. It sure is big stuff and I am so thankful that I get a chance to go. I'll post some pictures later to show you where I was and what else went on.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I'm just frustrated with myself. I had a wart removed from the top of my left foot. It was almost 3 weeks ago. Since then, I haven't been able to run. Or even really do cardio. And what do I do? I feel like I sabotage myself with my eating habits. I know I don't eat horrible, but I know that I eat beyond full and when I'm not hungry. I guess this lack of running right now has truly forced me to re-evaluate how I view my workout habits and look at the eating habits since that is almost more important than the working out. You need both...but the eating is huge.

I was at our high school church camp last week and the worship was amazing and the messages were fantastic. Many of the songs and messages spoke right to my heart about how I am no longer chained to what I was. I am free and I need to start acting like it. I may struggle but I am no longer enslaved.

Sometimes it's hard living by myself because there's no one physically here in the house to tell me not to eat...not that the roommate I have right now does that (she's gone for a few days). I am posting this here simply because this blog has always been designed for me to share the process of who I am becoming. I don't expect comments of advice or encouragement...I just wanted to spew it out and maybe I'll feel better.

P.S. - I'll have future posts about our Big Stuf trip as well as information as to what I'm reading.