Posted in Recipes

Weekly Menu Plan

Week of October 17, 2021


SIDE DISHES: Roasted potatoes, brown sugar carrots


MAIN DISH: Meatloaf Sheet Pan
SIDE DISHES: Mac and cheese (regular and gluten free), green beans or brussel’s sprouts


MAIN DISH: Taco skillet
SIDE DISHES: Street Corn Casserole, Salad


MAIN DISH: Loaded Baked Potato Soup


MAIN DISH: Nachos with the leftover taco skillet


MAIN DISH: Manly Men on their own – I’ve got a road trip with a friend, so they are on their own.

Posted in Random, Randomness

My newest tattoo

Two years ago, my mom passed away suddenly. My aunt made the long journey down to Ohio to help me with planning her funeral and cleaning up her apartment. One day while we were eating lunch, we began to talk about a concept for a tattoo for my mom.

I was supposed to get the tattoo on my birthday in 2020 but then Covid hit, so we put it on the back burner. Hubby didn’t know if I was going to go through with the tattoo, but I surprised him last October when I told him that I wanted to get it on the 2 year anniversary of her death.

The concept is a dandelion with the spores flying away. It was to be placed on my back on the other side of the tattoo for my sister.

Have you ever looked at a dandelion from underneath looking towards the sun? It’s magical. Absolutely magical.

I took this photo in Kentucky 2 weeks ago.

My tattoo meanings:

  1. I use music as a therapy, so there is music notes coming off the dandelion. The songs I listened to after her death were Last Song of Your Life and Scars.
  2. The bottom part of the dandelion is darker. My childhood is full of trauma. That is the darkness in me that I try to hide.
  3. My mom wasn’t always there for me when I needed her. When I was in Disney, she told me to find something to do and not call as often as I was calling her. I should have told her the truth on how that felt. It was my first time away from home.
  4. She wasn’t there for either birth of my sons. Even if she wasn’t at the hospital, she could have been at my house. My mother-in-law and MJ were the ones who helped me.
  5. I hate my birthday because my mom wouldn’t call me to wish me a happy birthday for many of my adult birthdays.
  6. I always felt insignificant in her eyes because even though I knew she was proud of me – she never told me that she was proud of me.
  7. There is the word truth hidden in the grass. There is 2 meanings for that word. One is our relationship was built on the lack of truth from both of us. It is also from a lyric in the The Last Song of Your Life. The lyric says “I don’t want the headlines. I just want the truth.”
  8. The colors are because I am rebuilding myself. I love sunrises/ sunsets, so the colors are perfect.
  9. The wind is blowing away. I need to realize that my past doesn’t define me. I need to let it go, so I can continue to rebuild myself.
  10. Finally, the dandelion is a symbol of growth, hope, and healing. Three things I’ve been working on for the past 3 years.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,

Posted in menu plan monday

What’s For Dinner – Week of October 3, 2021

Sunday – Ham, Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob, Cornbread

Monday – Smoky sausage with veggies sheet pan meal

Tuesday – Fish tacos and chicken tacos, salad

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Chicken nuggets, Tator Tots, salad, or fresh veggies

Friday – Lemon shrimp with rice, salad (greens, pecans,apples, goat cheese – balsamic dressing)

Saturday – Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork with roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts


  • Peanut butter granola bars
  • cottage cheese with blueberries, almond slices, and honey


  • Stuffed Pepper Soup -OR-
  • Hard salami and cheese
  • Yogurt


  • Pretzels with peach jalapeno jelly and cream cheese
  • Cuties

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,

Posted in teaching

Daily Phonics

I’ve changed how I teach reading foundational skills to my students. I use a combination of Reading Horizons, the science of reading, and their IEP goals.

Let’s walk through how I teach foundational skills during small group instruction:

  1. What is this word? We read the word together.
  2. How many sounds or phonemes? (Honestly I usually just say the words sounds but I need to be more diligent about using the correct vocabulary.) Have them use their fingers or a pop-it to sound out the phonemes.
  3. Write down the phonemes. Discuss any sound combinations we may have heard while we were writing them down. Do mini-lessons or reteaching during your discussion, if necessary.
  4. Mark the vowels. If they are long or short vowel sounds, then have them tell you which vowel sound they heard. If you need to do a mini-lesson on short and long vowel sounds, this is the time to do that.
    I also talk about how to mark the vowels with breves (short vowels) and macrons (long vowels). As the year continues on, I want to show them a dictionary or glossary pronunciation guide.
  5. How many syllables do you hear? Have them write those down. I either have them hum, chin drop, raise fingers, or use a pop-it to determine the syllables and syllable breaks.

After we are finished with looking at the word, I often have them do a phonological awareness exercise. They need to be able to hear and manipulate sounds. My students love completing the phonological awareness exercises.

These are the sheets I have created as a template for my teaching.

Happy teaching,


Posted in Writing Workshop

Pandemic teaching is not for the faint of heart

A year and a half of learning at home or partially at school has students has forgotten how to do school. They’ve forgotten the basic rules of walking in the hall, staying in class, and teachers giving them directives to follow. They believe they can call home whenever they want because the teacher told them the word no or asked them to do work.

So if you ask me, how has the pandemic changed the world? The teaching I knew for 20 years has dramatically changed on March 12, 2020.

I’m back in the resource room working with students one on one or in a small group. For a year and a half prior to the pandemic, my job assignment was the resource room. Last year, I did the resource room for writing and the students on my caseload plus inclusion in a classroom. This year I’m back to doing the resource room. What is different is the way I teach the students in my room. Maybe it’s the same but I see it as different. Maybe it’s because I know how precious the time is teaching those students face-to-face. I had lost that drive and passion last year.

So what can I say about how the pandemic changed my life? It changed my teaching. Perhaps it’s made me a better teacher because I know how hard it’s to give special education services over Zoom. I made connections with my students last year even through Zoom., but it’s different sitting with the students and interacting with them while teaching.

Now I’m struggling with teaching phonics or as we know them as a reading foundational skills while wearing a mask because the students don’t see my mouth as I’m saying the sounds or hear me as well as they could. However, we are working through that barrier as best as we can.

Now here’s to hoping we don’t have to go back to virtual teaching. I would be sad if that happened.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,

Posted in Random, Randomness

Yearly Calendar (Freebie)

Today I created a calendar for August 2021 to July 2022. The calendar also includes weekly views, so you can plan out the week.

You will get a Google Drive folder with the yearly calendar and the weekly views. There is a sheet for each month of the year. In order to use the calendar, you need to make a copy for yourself.

You can also change up the aesthetic to your liking if you don’t like the colors I used. If you want to add bitmojis for each month, that would be a great way to customize your calendar. Also you can change up the font to your liking.

I’ve done the hard work of creating the calendar. Now you can do the fun part which is customizing it. Or you can leave it be. It’s all up to you.

Yearly Calendar

Posted in photograph, photographs, Photography, travel, West Virginia

Epic Trip #7 – June 14 – 18, 2021 – Harpers Ferry

Our first outing of our Epic Trip was to Harpers Ferry, a place that is underrated in my opinion. It’s an absolute beautiful place where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge. Three trails cross through the town. One of which is the Appalachian trail. History oozes out of the buildings: George Washington, Meriwether Lewis, John Brown, Fredrick Douglas, and Stonewall Jackson are a few men who once walked on the land within the borders of Harpers Ferry.

Continue reading “Epic Trip #7 – June 14 – 18, 2021 – Harpers Ferry”
Posted in photograph, photographs, Photography, travel

My West Virginia October 2020 Trip Videos Part 3 of 3

This is a collection of videos from Hubby and my trip to Elkins, WV. During the 3 day excursion, we visited the West Virginia Wildlife Center, traveled around the Monongahela National Forest, explored our “cabin” and backyard river, visited Buckhannon, and rode on a train to see fall foliage.

We traveled there because it was the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. Buckhannon was her favorite place to visit, so this was a way of remembering her legacy she left for me. Her favorite time to visit was during the fall.

Continue reading “My West Virginia October 2020 Trip Videos Part 3 of 3”
Posted in Podcasts

Believe in the Magic Podcast Episode 1

A little known place that is a must see in Dayton, Ohio. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/traci-gasho/message
  1. Packed Museum
  2. The Bronze Snake
  3. Welcome – First Podcast

Walking tour of the Historic Neighborhoods of Dayton