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New toys

Anne Kolb Nature Center

We got a new computer and I finally got a digital camera! Now, to figure them out...the computer is set up, I'm typing on it - still trying to figure out the action on the keyboard, but I'm getting there. As for the camera, that's another story completely. I have absolutely no idea how to do 1/2 of the wonderful things it promises. Tomorrow I'll work on changing the sizes of pictures once they're on the computer. I'm sure I'll call my sister about 50 times (though that's our normal # w/her living 1500 miles away).

Wish me luck :)

The day every teacher waits for

It's Sunday. I don't have to wake up at 5:30am, get dressed, make 3 lunches, get my kids up, get them dressed, drop one off at pre-k, get to school and start my today. Tomorrow is Monday and I can sleep in.

Been a busy few weeks, been checking in, been writing some...really like my new wip.

Entered the Disco Mermaid contest. Why? Because somebody has to win, right?!

Going to NH for 3 weeks during break, then, if I have my way (which I usually do), we'll be visiting Hershey Park in July. Chocolate and roller coasters, what could be better?

I give myself until the end of June before I start counting down the days to school again...I always miss my kids.

At a loss...

This is one of those days that really bums my out, as a teacher. I taught middle school in Massachusetts for 5 years before moving to FL in an urban school system with a hugely diverse population which included numerous gangs. I was reading my old city newspaper last night and saw that there had been a murder. No big deal...it's a city...things like that happen...but then I looked at the picture of the kid who'd been charged. Funny, looks like a kid I had in school...hmmm...same name. Let's see, that was nine years ago...sixth grade - about 11 years old. Wow...this kids only 21...has the same name (first, middle & last). Man, this is one of the kids I had in my class, my first year as a teacher. I can't believe it, same kid-looking face, just has a tattoo on his neck now.

He's the 2nd kid I've taught in 9 years who has died.

How is it that we, as intelligent people, aren't outraged at the violence we see in our everyday world? Are we so apathetic to the destruction around us that it doesn't move us to do something? I try to instill good morals, values, judgment on the kids I teach. Not in the name of grownups, not in the name of religion, not in the name of society. I try to do this because kids need to know that they are just as responsible for our planet as we are.

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. I'm just a little jaded today. Time to play w/my kids, they'll bring me back to my reality.


'07 looks great, better in '08!

Wow...seems like eons. My computer's been acting up, needed a few adjustments, but it's set now.

Chomping at the bit - ready to start the mag stories. But now there's more excitement!

Ok, let me preface this next piece of crazy news by saying that I'm a history NUT! - and always manage to read lots of historic fiction with my classes. I'm the one visiting museums and historic houses/locations before I hit the beach or mall or pretty much anyplace else.

So, I applied for a Summer Institute offered by The Center for Civic Education because it's a James Madison University in VA and you get to go to Montpelier, Madison's house, and you get to study the Constitution with Constitutional Scholars and they teach you how to do Constitution-based mock trials (whew - that's a lot of ands!). It also includes airfare, room and board, all meals, all transfers, etc...Well, I complete the application, essay, ref letters and rest of the paperwork and found out that although I wasn't accepted into 2007, they've guaranteed me a spot for 2008. That's not even the best part - they only accept 36 TEACHERS A YEAR!!! And they picked me. I'm amazed & flattered. I can't wait for the 2008 calendars to arrive in stores :-).

And then - Yesterday, I got to meet Eric Kimmel and David Diaz and Antonio Sacre, three amazing people in the world of children's literature and story telling. My girls even got to take an illustrating mini class with David Diaz today! More signed books for our sagging bookshelves - boy is it worth it!

Life is good.

Right idea, wrong words

This morning my 6 yr old woke up and I told her I'd gotten a phone call that our spring break was cancelled. Her jaw dropped and she stared at me in absolute shock...then I looked down at her and said "April Fools!" I swear I thought she'd kill me!

We ended up explaining the whole concept of April Fools Day to my 4 (almost 5!) yr old and she just didn't seem to get it.

As the girls, my husband and I sat at the table having lunch today, my 4 yr old said "why do you and daddy fight so much?" Huh? I was stunned, we really don't fight (and NEVER would in front of our kids...). I was totally bummed out. I said "L, I don't get it, Daddy and I don't fight." She said "I saw you crying in the kitchen and daddy was yelling at you." Now I was cmopletely at a loss, trying to think back if this could possibly be true. She looked up at me with her beautiful bright blue eyes and said "Trick or treat!" She cracked me up beyond belief, she meant to say "April Fools!"

I'll admit it, I was totally taken by a 4 yr old. How amusingly perfect. Whether you have kids or not, like kids or not, you have to admit, they certainly have a way with words!


Suddenly it hit me. Last night I was sitting on the couch, heard an expression on tv, and now it's a picture book. After I finished my first draft of a historic pb, I really was having a hard time thinking of anything that hasn't been done a thousand times already. But then I heard a wacky, but lovely phrase, and voila, it's a story. Now to take a second look, rearrange and reread!

Keep on keepin' on...

Look out below!

drawing personality

What does your drawing say about YOU?

Ohh...this was fun...I really needed a mindless bit of coloring, this was lovely. Went to Mara Lago for a cocktail party last night - man do those Trump's know how to live! If I only had a couple hundred million dollars!

Round 1 complete!

I finished the first draft of my historic pb. I love to learn new pieces of the American history puzzle and this was such an interesting part. Now, to let it sit for a few days. When I go back to it, I wonder if it'll make as much sense as it does right now. If nothing, it was a nice treasure hunt.

I finally have all my kids back after 2 weeks of testing. I can't believe that the powers that be think it's "normal" and "okay" to test 5th graders for 7 days out of 10 - does anyone seriously think they're still working their hardest after day - idunno - day 4? I'd like to see any grownup take tests for that amount of time and still be putting 100% effort into them. Especially when kids can be promoted or retained based on the results. And don't even get me started on the idea that I might or might not be eligible for a bonus based on how well these kids do - man, sometimes I think I'm in the wrong profession. Then I see my 36 wonderfully intelligent avid learners with whom I spend my days and I remember why I'm there...

Ok, off my soapbox now...


Still working on a nf historic pb, really interesting topic. I went fishing in the Everglades this morning at 7am. Early for a non-school-day, but amazingly worth it. I'm always amazed when I go out there, it's so beautiful. I caught a mudcat on my first cast and a while later caught a bass. We hear tons of alligators and saw two, one of them was about 10 feet!

Now the girls are trying to decide what they'd like to do for the rest of the day - the didn't like my suggesting of a nap...don't know why?!

no ideas to new idea

I've walked by my computer for a few weeks now, not knowing exactly what to do w/it. There was nothing, I mean NOTHING in my head that I cared to write about. Then I was reading through a paper I had tucked into my classroom closet and there it was. A rather obscure, but very interesting person who played an odd role in history. So, it begins. A historic pb about a man who was part of a major undertaking. I've started to map out his life & journey. I've only got 2 paragraphs typed, but I know where it's going and I know how it ends.

I love history, so this is going to be a good fit, I think!