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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you roll over the photos, there will be a caption.
6:00-7:10 Getting ready for work
My dog thinks I speak whiny dog.
Mixed Butter and Apple Cider Jam Sammie
The apple that ended up being left at home
Mixed berry green smoothie
7:15 – 7:45 Commute to work
Sky heading out of my neighborhood
Boys heading to their bus stop.
More coffee and my smoothie
My book on tape
Sky at 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.
My room needs straightened up.
View from my window
Getting ready for Breakfast Club
My classroom on wheels! – LOL!
Planning with coffee and water
3:45 to 4:30 – Commute home
Music for the ride home
Music for the ride home
Why is it 86 degrees? Tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the 60s.
Mom, what’s for dinner? Greeting me at the car door.
4:30 – 6:30 – Dinner and Relaxing
Dinner – Homemade chicken nuggets, French fries, pickles, and celery
I cleared 11 boards!
Planning out my Write 31
6:30 – 9:10 – Taking the Imaginative One to an evening activity – The Wee One was with his grandma.
Made a quick stop at Aldi
Next up was Rite Aid
Look at the healthish junk food at Rite Aid
The County Courthouse at dusk
I need my Dole Whip
Today’s Polar Water
Coloring (Not all of that was done tonight.)
Waiting on his shake
My basket of fun
9:10 And so the adventure is over . . . Tomorrow is a new day!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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?
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.