Posted in Positive Life

Halloween Pics

Just pics!!! Wanted to share.

80’s Vibe
Ummmm freaky
First Halloween
This guy visited at dinnertime.
Full moon
Driveway fire
Among Us costume
Boo
Played with Snapchat!
Happy Halloween 2020
Posted in Family Life, Positive Life

Boo to You

This is for sure the strangest Halloween I have ever had. Instead of thinking about all the things that aren’t or won’t….I am wishing you a spooktacular weekend!!

I hope you find ways to celebrate- if that is your thing. I wish you a batty good time. Throw on a scary movie, eat some candy and sip some cider.

I put a costume together for my mini me. I am usually making a scary something, but this year she wanted a game character. She plays a game called Among Us. I have no clue, but momma tries to deliver. I made a mask that she can wear with the costume…which is a cyan hoodie and pants. Pure comfort for a covid Halloween at school.

There is no way she can survive a day with this mask, but in spurts she can character up. She will supplement with a typical mask. We are just trying to make the most of things.

I am still loving my yoga skeletons. These will totally be put away in a few days, but they are totally fun. I think I need to find some yoga Santas or reindeer.

So thankful Halloween is on a Saturday. This is every teacher or parents dream. Last year I remember dragging myself and child to school. Sunday will be filled with football and naps!

We are ready to hand out some candy….at a proper distance and watch the jack-o-lanterns glow under a full moon. 2020 has been proven to be very tricky, hopefully we coast into November with only leftover treats!

Happy Halloween

Posted in Gluten Free Life, Positive Life, Teaching Life

Fall 2020 Vibes

October is almost over and things have been smooth. We all are in good health, school has been manageable and I have been able to enjoy some of the typical Fall things that bring joy. I know so many of us are over all the things that have been weighing us down, so this post is a hodgepodge of positivity.

Getting the pumpkins for the porch was very important. I love pulling up to my house after an exhausting day at school and seeing the colors of Fall. Fall is my favorite season, so I am soaking up all of its beauty.

I had to get all the colors this year. Typically I go with a couple of mums, but this year I felt the more the better. I thankfully found ones reasonably priced. I may love the look, but I am still going to be thrifty.

We are taking full advantage of the cooler temps. Walks are still important for our mental and physical health. It has been fun getting out and seeing what our neighbors have done to celebrate Fall or Halloween.

I have turned into a two cups of coffee a day person. I have only had a morning cup for years, but with the challenges this school year has brought….I need an afternoon pick me up. Of course I am going to enjoy my liquid sunshine in a festive and seasonal mug. Finding the joy in simple things.

Baking is something that brings me joy, relaxation and sadly unwanted calories. This was an apple crisp I made, gluten free of course. I think this one was a total success. I did what I always do for the apple mixture, but the topping is where I got creative and think was a total win. I used gluten free pancake mix! I substituted the flour for the mix. I would love to post a full recipe, but I am a toss stuff together kinda gal, so I apologize, but if I make this again…which looks very likely, I will post the process.

When I think of all of the changes I have had to make this Fall, how I am teaching, what I am teaching and who I am teaching….I have needed to stop and smell the leaves. I was taking the dog out and took a moment to take in the simple beauty of my side yard. Taking in these tiny moments have helped my head and heart. Being overwhelmed seems to happen daily-for some reason or another, but remembering to give myself grace and stop to enjoy all the things that are around me has helped with my anxiety and my focus.

There are so many things out of my control right now. I think this is true for so many of us. Making healthy choices is getting me through my masked up, sanitized days.

These are fun to use….I just divide up the boards and leave a few on my students carts. The game is spread out, so I am not spreading germs.

Pacing myself with what I am teaching and not forgetting the fun has been something I have been thinking about quite frequently. Remembering I am not able to use materials the same way was a but of a downer when I started in September, but in the last couple of weeks I have had to make a shift and bring on the fun. Books make me happy, so fee nee titles to read to my littles has be a simple solution to things I felt were beyond me.

My littles love Splat!!!

I am also shopping my TpT store. Being so overwhelmed and I forgot about an activity I made last year. Someone purchased it and it jogged my memory to print ant use with my kiddos. Looking at resources I used to take from school to school…out of my bag…is no more, now I am looking at how I can repurpose, adjust and reinvent myself. All the while keeping it fun for the kids and myself.

Halloween fun throughout the house also helps elevate some of the outside world stressors. I hope that as you read this it gets your wheels moving and grooving in a positive direction. Find the joy in what you can, wherever you are.

Posted in Family Life

Falling Into The Past

I don’t know about you, but I have been looking forward to this long weekend.  The start of school has had so many mixed emotions.  I am so glad to be back, but I have needed some family time and fall foliage.  Fall is my favorite season and we definitely enjoyed what nature had to offer.

Normally we take the October weekend and go somewhere, but with things being less than normal we decided a short car trip was manageable. The drive was a cornucopia of colors.  We took a drive out to a museum and Colonial/Victorian  village.  We are a bit nerdy, so we like a little bit of history and since my mini me has never been we thought- why not!

It was incredibly therapeutic to be out and about enjoying some beautiful fall finds. We still had to be masked at points, but in moderation. It is sort of strange to think about how much has changed in a year. 

I was looking back at pics in my phone this week and I almost gave into the covid crankies. It started with looking for a cute fall pic for my work desktop.  I wanted to fire up my computer and see something uplifting.  I found many great pics and it got me thinking how this Columbus Day weekend was doing to be lack luster if I or we didn’t think of something to do. Something relaxing, new and manageable.

Luckily we settled on visiting the museum and had a very blessed day. Blessed with good weather. Blessed with low crowds.  Blessed with beautiful scenery.

We loved walking the lanes of the village. I think in better times there is more to be seen and more to do, but it was satisfying to explore something new as a family. We didn’t look at everything because we want to go back and we didn’t feel the pressure to see it all…like we do when we explore farther from home.

The gardens were so picturesque.  I can see why this is a popular wedding destination. It was very peaceful and there are multiple vignettes for a beautiful background. 

The staff was incredibly friendly. My hope is when we visit again there will be more staff to learn from and watch “living life” in the past.

The man inside was making real leather shoes.

Being out in the sunshine, no schedule, with my favorite people…perfect way to spend a October Saturday. We stopped in a house and in the kitchen was a woman dressed in period clothing  baking.  We found out that they make the bake good in the confectionery.  Of course we had to get something. I am not going to be able to sample it, but the maple bread looked delicious. I think it is cool that they aren’t just acting the part, the staff that is dressed in garb circa 1800 something, they are really doing functional jobs that sustain the museum.

Trying to be normal is some days harder than others. I am very thankful for this simple day. Being in nature with my favorite people checked the box for a fun holiday weekend.

This village visit also inspired a family movie night.  We watched M. Night Shymalan’s The Village. It’s October, gotta get a spooky movie or two in!

Posted in Book Life, Family Life

How We Have Raised A Reader

Today while I was at Barnes and Noble, enjoying a Sunday browse with my mini me, I saw a book that caught my eye and really inspired this post. I am sure this book could be incredibly helpful for some parents, but I honestly didn’t crack the cover. I sort of said to myself “thank God I don’t need this, but it has been hours since I was in the store and I am coming back to this title.

We have always been very thankful our daughter has always loved books. We have never forced her or even had to mildly encourage her to turn some pages. As a teacher I am aware that many children do not love to read.  Maybe they have legitimate difficulties.  Maybe they just don’t find joy on the page.

As a reader myself I can not relate to people, children or students that do not enjoy reading for pleasure.  I myself was a rabid reader.  The kid with a flashlight under the covers. I now have that child.  I lovingly kid that if we allowed her to get every book she wanted we would live in a shack. She tells us it would be a shack made of books. Maybe we could be the fourth Little Pig house…do you think a house made of books would withstand the Big Bad Wolf???

I started to think what did we do to foster her love of reading?

We started reading to her when she was a baby. We started with cute little board books.  She enjoyed books that were interactive and tactile.

We had books in the bathroom, in the car and in her tote bag. We made books more accessible than toys at times. This was not intentional. We are readers and we find value in books. We now share our fabulous finds. She manages our lending library.

We made trips to the book store and library very common. She must have showed everyone in our family her library card. For her birthday she is always pumped to get a Barnes and Noble gift card. She is also very blessed to have a great aunt, a former librarian, send her books.

Reading is a family affair.

We read to her at night. This seems like something most parents do. However we also made up stories and she in turn made up her own stories. They could have been totally original or variations on stories we had read.

We have always been positive and sort of braggy that she is a reader. Maybe that makes us annoying or obnoxious, but I’ll take a bit of criticism, because we don’t have to nag her to get summer reading completed.

We have made being a reader part of her identity. She is confident and proud that she is a reader. This confidence with reading has naturally helped school work and she has become confident with public speaking. Being able to confidently read aloud built up her self esteem and when asked to read to a crowd at an assembly or church, she has done a spectacular job.

We have allowed her to explore genres. Fairytales and books about families were popular when she was three. Then she moved on to popular characters like Pig and Pete the cat. Once she started school and grabbed on to simple chapter books she really took off as an independent reader.

We now encourage her to explore new authors and titles. She loves fantasy and mystery, but I also like her to dabble in stories about feelings, growing up, and classics. Getting her to branch out is getting easier….thankfully. We have a solid selection of magic and mystery.

We also watch “the movie”. We will watch popular titles that have gone from the page to the big screen. I love how she will comment and critique the two mediums. She loves to find the differences and share her opinions. She is finding the book is usually better than the movie.

She recently was out of her own books and was desperate, so she tried to read off my shelves. If you follow me, you know there aren’t many titles on my shelves a tween could read, so it was a stretch. She dipped her toe into the Twilight pond. Well, she was hooked. She read the entire series. She has asked for Midnight Sun to be put on her Christmas list.

We are incredibly lucky to have a child that finds joy from all sorts of books. I am sure that the book I saw today is well written and helpful. I am just very thankful that we are readers and have parented a reader. I hope she never loses her love of reading. I know when I was in college I did for a bit. When something becomes a chore or just an overwhelming necessity it is hard to find the joy, but thankfully once I was done reading textbooks and required readings, I found happiness in characters and plots again.

Here’s to a lifetime of reading for pleasure and entertainment. May our bank account always be able to support her healthy habit!