My heart melted

1. The last time my heart melted was because…

On the first day of school last year, I was doing breakfast duty.  I met R.  She is a walking miracle with all of her health issues.

As she sat at the table, she kept mumbling about students who were in her class.  However she did not really communicate with me.

What I forgot to say is she is the self-contained classroom because of her health issues.  Even though she talks, she does not always communicate with adults she does not interact with on a day to day basis.

During the past year and a half, she has grown leaps and bounds.

I make sure I say hi to her when I see her.  I called Ariel when she was going through a Disney Princess stage.  I’ve tried to teach her my name.

Yesterday, I asked her if she remembered my name.  She stopped the rest of her classmates and would not allow them to move.  Even though once again she could not recall my name, what she said next took my breath away.

“You are the nicest teacher.”

Maybe one day she will remember my name.

Even if she never does remember my name, I will take her kind words to heart.

Have a magical day,
Traci

A Review of 2017 and Goals of 2018

This year I changed the focus of my blog from recipes to more of a diary.

As I looked at my stats from last year, I noticed one thing.  One of the blog posts that got the most hits was a recipe from long ago.  During Thanksgiving and Christmas, I get a lot of hits on this simple recipe – honey glazed carrots in the slow cooker.

Today I am going to share my top blog posts from this year.  These are the ones that got the most hits.  However, I get a lot of likes from the WordPress Reader.  However people do not always actually go to the blog post so it does not register as having visitors which is frustrating.

 

My Recipes that Got the Most Hits

Pressure Cooker Chicken Pot Pie – I posted this recipe about a week before going gluten free.  It’s the blog post from this year that got the most hits.

Forgotten Chicken – This is another recipe that I posted before going gluten free.

Diary Type Blog Posts

Gerry Brooks and Findlay Market – Hubby and I went on a date for his birthday to see one of my favorite Youtube stars and then went to a farmer’s market.

The Night My Life Changed FOREVER – This is a raw blog post about the night my sister died.

2017 Summer Bucket List – I blogged about what I wanted to accomplish during the summer of 2017.

Writer’s Workshop Blog Posts

An Unforgettable Experience – In this blog post, I wrote about the time I had an up close and personal encounter with a flamingo.

So What Did I Do This Week – I wrote a finished to do list of what I accomplished during the week.

Romance, Ghosts, and Mystery – This was a book review about The House on Tradd Street such a good book.  In the book, you’ll meet Melanie who has inherited a house.  This house comes with a mystery and a ghost.

All Because It was Humid – This is a combination writer’s workshop blog post and travel blog post.

Travel Blog Posts

Port Orleans – French Quarter – While we were down in Walt Disney World in 2016, we visited Port Orleans, one of the moderate resorts.  Such a beautiful resorts.

As I said, these are the blog posts with the most hits.  I wish I could have a way to track the posts with the most likes.

Most of my likes this year were from my travel blog posts with lots of photographs.

My favorite blog posts to write this year were my travel blog posts.  I’m known by the family as being a shutterbug.  I love to take photographs especially when I am traveling .

My two recent travel series are the ones from our family’s trip to Folly Beach and my trip to western New York.  I also wrote a series about our trip to Orlando, Florida; Holland, Michigan; and Berea, Kentucky this year.

During 2018, I’m going to complete the Folly Beach and Western New York blog posts.  I need to also write about my trips to Hershey, PA and Pittsburgh, PA.  I may also share photos from our 2016 trip to Niagara Falls.  I have only shared bits and pieces about the trip not the whole trip.

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Seeing Steven Tyler was the highlight of my trip to Niagara Falls.

I am also going to continue to share menu plans because those attracted a lot of attention.  My work is going to have a fitness/ weight loss challenge that runs from January 5 until mid March so I will be sharing my progress with the challenge.  It may be on this blog or on My Food Journey.  If I do it on My Food Journey, I’ll put a link to the blog posts in the sidebar so you can visit the blog posts.

During 2017, I crushed my Goodreads reading challenge.  If you have not heard about the challenge, you basically decide how many books you want to read during the year.  You can edit the amount of books during the year to increase or decrease the amount.  I believe I started with wanting to read 20 books and then edited it to be 35 books.  During 2017, I read/ listened to 41 books which is 117% of my goal.  In 2018, I need to share more of the books I have read or listened to through Hoopla.

Happy New Year,
Traci

 

Clifton Mill’s Twinkling Lights

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Wait, I’m not talking about stars in the sky.

Today I’m going to be talking about Christmas tree lights that twinkle merrily.

About 20 minutes from my house is a working water mill called Clifton Mill.  Each Christmas season, they decorate the mill.  People come from all over to see the lights. Continue reading “Clifton Mill’s Twinkling Lights”

Trip to the ER

I could not get over a stomach virus so I ended up in the ER. Was it just a stomach virus or was there something more serious going on?

All I wanted to do was sleep but I did not have a pillow.  Plus my right arm was hooked up to an IV.  My left arm was hooked up to a heart monitor that checked my blood pressure periodically.

Last Wednesday, I woke up with a gut retching stomach ache.  The Wee One and the Imaginative One just had a stomach virus so I thought that was the reason for the stomach ache.

Continue reading “Trip to the ER”

My Current Favorite Foods

Today I’m going to share some of my favorite foods that I’ve been liking lately.

Fresh Thyme Grocery Store

Fresh Thyme brand creamy ranch dressing – It’s a little more expensive than Hidden Valley Ranch but so worth it.  I can dip chips in the dip because it is that thick.
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Continue reading “My Current Favorite Foods”

RAK and What’s in My Gluten Free Pantry? – Blog Post #19

writer's workshop

Today’s prompt is to write about something nice you’ve done.

Last week, my work decided to have a contest.  We were divided into teams. Each team was assigned a country.  One of our assignments was to do Random Acts of Kindness.

My team was late to the game. We did some of RAK but not as much as one of the teams.

My team was confused about the rules of the game so we did not know what we were supposed to do.

The country we were given was China. On Friday at the end of the game, We finally decided to get cups of blessing; aka pudding, for the staff.

Here is the photo of the sign we wrote up with the pudding cups

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It’s not much; however, it made people’s day.

Please continue to the next page to see what’s in my Gluten Free Baking Pantry.

September 27, 2017 in photos and a PSA

If you roll over the photos, there will be a caption.

6:00-7:10 Getting ready for work

7:15 – 7:45 Commute to work

7:45 – 3:45 Work. No photos will be taken of students.

My day consists of planning time, breakfast club, inclusion, lunch duty, and dismissal duty.

Breakfast club is when I pull students for intervention during their breakfast time. Two of my students thrive on breakfast club.

3:45 to 4:30 – Commute home

4:30 – 6:30 – Dinner and Relaxing

6:30 – 9:10 – Taking the Imaginative One to an evening activity – The Wee One was with his grandma.

9:10 And so the adventure is over . . . Tomorrow is a new day!

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Pajamas

Now onto my PSA for the night. As we were driving home from the next town over, it was pitch black. Luckily I had on my brights because there were two people walking along side/on the road. They were walking on my side of the road with their backs to me. One was wearing a black shirt. If I had not had my brights on, I would not have seen them. Please be careful when walking at night.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Mama’s Losin’ It

Celebrating Tanya’s 40th birthday

We didn’t think about where we were going to release the balloons. If we had only moved to the other end of the deck, we would have been okay.

3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: rise.

Continue reading “Celebrating Tanya’s 40th birthday”

Excuse Me, Ms. Jackson

3. Write a post that begins and ends with the same sentence.

I’m always saying I could write a book of stories from my teaching career.

Today I was listening to Todrick Hall’s 4 the 2000’s when I heard some songs that remind me of my first couple of years of teaching.

One of those songs was “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast.

15 years, my office was in this little hallway with other offices and the teacher’s lounge.  It was a quiet out of the way room.  The heating unit did not work in that room but that did not matter to me since I was pregnant with the Imaginative One.  It was comfortable to me.

The problem with my room was on the other side of the wall was the assistant principal’s office.  The table where we worked was against that wall since it was the only place where the table fit in the room.  (It was not very big since it had originally an office.)

Whenever the students accidentally knocked that table against the wall, they would say “Excuse Ms. Jackson.  I’m for real.”

I should have told you the assistant principal’s name was “Ms. Jackson.”

Such a sweet story of a group of students who were like family.  I had taught the majority of them for two or three years by that point of time.  This is one of many stories from this group of students.

This story is why I always say I could write a book of stories from my teaching career.

Have a magical day,
Traci

August 2007 . . . A blast from the past

1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from August 10 years ago and write a poem or a blog post.

I went on a mission this week to find photos from August 2007.  I finally found them tonight!

10 years ago, the boys were 2 and 4 and as cute as can be.

The Imaginative One started preschool.

I moved school buildings once again.

Now to the photos I’ve chosen from August 2007.

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This is the Wee One dressed as Goliath from the Playhouse Disney’s show Jo Jo’s Circus.

The Imaginative One was obsessed with the show.  I bought him this Halloween costume one year.  It was on sale so it was cheap.  Both boys wore it non stop for years.  Best money spent.

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The boys were outside underneath our maple tree.  The Wee One was eating a yogurt and apple.  I love his eyes in this photo.

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We went to Krispy Kreme for donuts and to watch the donuts being made.  I think they were excited to eat some delicious treats.

The Imaginative One no longer believes in smiling so it’s great to find a photo of him smiling.

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This is the Wee One’s first day of preschool.  He was at the preschool for two years.  Now he is getting ready to go to 8th grade which is crazy.

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That’s not how you play corn hole, the Wee One.

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Playing in the park.  The Wee One has lost one of his sandals.  This is nothing new because he still loses shoes ALL the time.

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The Imaginative One took gymnastics for a few years because of his lack of coordination.  This was taken on his last day of gymnastics.

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Playing in the water.  So much fun!

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He got to meet this giant frog while he was playing in the water.

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Playing in the rain – One is in his diaper while the other put on his rain coat.  Such a difference in personalities.

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The Imaginative One got to pose with this cool car.  The Newport Aquarium is located just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.

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The Wee One got a hair cut.  He was so mad about that.  Tears and a tantrum followed the decision to cut off his baby hair.

It looks as though he had just had some yogurt or cotton candy ice cream before the clippers were brought out.

These two are now going to be middle schoolers.  They say those are the most difficult years.  It has been so bad with the Imaginative One.  I hope it’s not that bad with the Wee One.

I hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Mama’s Losin’ It

Grandpa’s Favorite

6. Share a favorite quote (or group of quotes) that you enjoy and describe what they mean to you.

I’m actually going to share a hymn not a quote.

This summer I had a chance to visit many places.  One of those places was Letchworth State Park in Castile, New York.  It’s been rated as the number one state park.  The park has been described as the Grand Canyon of the East.

We stopped throughout the park so I could admire the views.  Lots of photos were taken during our time during the time we were in the park.

The lyrics from “How Great Thou Art” haunted my mind during our visit to the park. Is though the lyrics were written about Letchworth.

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This was taken at the bottom of the Helena Trail.  So beautiful and peaceful.

“How Great Thou Art” was my grandpa’s favorite hymn so anytime I hear the words I think of him.  He was a father figure of mind who was one of my heroes.  I was fortunately to have him in my life for 28.5 years.

Have a magical day,
Traci

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

All because it was humid

It was Friday morning of our vacation.

I got early to walk the beach.

All of the sudden my camera was not working.  The photos were hazy.

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What was wrong with my camera?  (Insert some not nice words.)

I tried wiping my lens because it could have been condensation.  Maybe it was the other end of the end of the lens.  Still nothing worked.  Everything was still hazy.

I sat down on the rocks trying to figure out what was wrong with my camera.IMAG3103

Sitting down on the rocks gave me clarity because I was almost ready to walk back to the beach house in a fury.  Or I might have tossed the camera in the ocean.

Once I had a  clear head, I decided to see if it was the sensor that was fogged up.  Once I cleaned the sensor, my photos became clearer.  No more hazy photos – My day was saved.

So why did my camera fog up so bad.

It was humid.

Now that my camera was defogged, I was able to continue on my walk.  That morning I walked for 2 hours.

Life was great once I figured out why my camera was not working.

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Later that morning, it began to rain for two or three hours.  I’m glad I got out and walked before the rain.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Mama’s Losin’ It

They Really Do Like Each Other (Throwback Thursday)

1. Throwback Thursday: Share an old photo and let it inspire your blog post.

I could share a photo of a summer sunset.  However, I shared one a month ago and will share more with my Folly Beach blog posts.

Another prompt I could have written about what was your child’s favorite part of the summer.  So last night, I asked the Wee One what has been his favorite part of summer 2017.  His response was simple and to the point “I’m not in school.”  The reason is because school is boring.  He then responded the beach was his favorite part.  He didn’t want to talk any more because he wanted to listen to Harry Potter and his brother did not so he was upset.  (We were driving when I asked him the questions.)

Since neither prompts were going to work, I’ve decided to find an old photo and tell more about the photo.

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Three years ago, I reconnected with one of my friends from the Disney College Program.  We decided to meet up in Cleveland.  When Molly and I made plans to meet up, I decided to make it a road trip.  The boys and I visited Cedar Point, the Cleveland Metro Zoo, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Children’s Museum of Cleveland, and the Wilds.

Today’s photo is from our visit to the Cleveland Metro Zoo.

As we were walking through the zoo, I witnessed the boys holding hands which rarely if ever happens.

This photo is one of my favorites of both boys together.

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This is another photo from the zoo.  I love the Wee One’s innocence in this photo.

Here are some other photos that I took while we were at the Cleveland Metro Zoo.

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I really enjoyed the Cleveland Metro Zoo.  If you were to visit the zoo, make sure it is not a hot day because there is a LOT of walking.  Plus make sure you are wearing shoes that will hold up to all of the walking.

Since there is a lot of trees in the park, I bet it will be beautiful in the fall.

Have a magical day,
Traci
Mama’s Losin’ It

A mission trip to Sumter, South Carolina

6. Share a Summer Camp memory.

My sons just came home from Boy Scouts Camp.  Hubby and I went down on Friday for family night.  The Imaginative One and his buddies wanted to tell me of some of their exploits during the week.  It reminded me of my youth.

I never went to a real summer camp while growing up.  Instead I went on Mission Trips with my church’s youth group or Grand Assembly when I was in Rainbow.

So many stories and memories came from the mission trips and Grand Assembly.

Today’s memory is from one of the mission trips.

It was 1991.   I was 16 years old.  Boys were on the brain since I was a typical teenage girl.

My youth group decided to travel to Sumter, South Carolina that year.  No was ready for us when we arrived at the church.  (I googled United Methodist churches in the area.  I’m thinking it was Trinity United Methodist Church in Sumter.)

Since they did not have any real jobs for us to complete, we found ways to help the church.  I remember wearing a New Kids on the Block fanny pack with permed hair pulling weeds.

So many memories were created that week.

#1  We created Ambo, the train traveling hobo.  Supposedly he visited us while we were in Sumter.

#2  The electricity went out in the building for a few hours.  We were left in the dark with no way to cook up any dinner so it was decided we were going to go to Chinese for dinner.  I threw a temper tantrum saying “I don’t like Chinese food.”  I ended up eating three or four plates full of food.

#3  The boys’ room was ransacked during the week.  I don’t remember if anything was taken.  It shook us up though.

#4  One of the other youth decided he was going to be my sister’s pretend boyfriend during that week.  (I mentioned it in the letter I wrote to Tanya after she died.)

#5  There was a Jesus standing poster or something like that.  One of the youth decided he wanted to pretend it was a guitar.  I know sacrilegious especially for a church youth group.

#6  We decided to give the boys make-up makeovers.

This photo is of me getting ready to put make up on one of the boys.Me at 16

#7  There were I believe ten of us – three girls and seven boys – with two chaperones.  At the end of the week, we went to an alligator park and Myrtle Beach.

The youth group decided that the male chaperone was our father and the female chaperone was our mother.

While we were at Myrtle Beach, we kept calling them mom and dad.  So much fun and so funny.  (I think this is my favorite memory of the week.)

Twenty-six years later, these memories are so precious because they are memories of the time I spent with my sister.

What is your favorite memories from a summer camp?

Thanks for reading.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Rolls in His Sleep

3. The last thing that made you laugh.

Last week, I wrote my Writer’s Workshop post on my phone.  This week I’m back to using my PC.  So much easier.

While we were on vacation last week, we had so many laughs.  When you are in a house with a 12 year old, an almost 14 year old, a 14 year old, and a 15 year old, there is sure to be some laughs.

I think the moments that made me laugh the most was the time the Imaginative One decided to call me Madam Gasho with a French accent.  He supposedly worked at the hotels in both Greensboro and Charlotte, NC leaving chocolate on pillows.  Since it was so hot outside, the only chocolate he could leave was tootsie rolls.

His payment for the job was buckets of snot.  I know gross but he’s almost 14 and a boy so we hear a lot about farts, snot, and poop at our house.  Sorry.

He told us that he should not have signed that contract.

Fortunately I took a video of him talking about the contract.

During the first night, he ended up sleeping on the floor of the hotel room because he did not want to sleep in the same bed as his brother.

The second night, he did sleep in the same bed as his brother.  He hated it.

If you sleep in the same bed as the Wee One, he will poke at you through out the night.  He also moves around in his sleep – A LOT.  The Imaginative One was not too happy about sharing a bed with his brother.

Here is a video of him explaining why he did not enjoy sleeping in the same bed with him.

Those were only some of their antics last week.  I wish I had a video of them running the hotel as though they were a T-Rex or the dinner time conversations at the beach house.  Those were hilarious.

I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything.

Just so you know, I’ve started writing posts about our trip.  They will begin on July 29.  A new post will be posted every Saturday.  It’ll take at least 6 months or more to get through all of our trip because of all we had done during the 10 days we were gone.  I only took 3,500 photos.

Have a magical day,
Traci

P.S.  Laugh a little every day.
Mama’s Losin’ It

Morning Beach Walk 

Today’s Writer’s Workshop is perfect. I have chosen to write about the last time I wore a bathing suit.

We are currently at Folly Beach, South Carolina.

This morning I took a walk on the beach down to the fishing pier and then back to the house via the road so I could look at the houses.

The whole walk was about 2.8 miles. It took me about 90 minutes because I was stopping to take photos.

After the walk, I decided to get into the hot tub before eating breakfast.

When I got into the hot tub, I wore my bathing suit.

Here are some photos of my beach walk.


Mama’s Losin’ It