Celebrating a Lazy Saturday

I’m making it a lazy Saturday today, since there is a freezing rain advisory. It’s a perfect day to do nothing, or at least do just what you choose to do. For writing, it seems like a list kind of day. So here’s my random list of celebrations, some from the weekdays, some from today, and some to look forward to.

* a call from my daughter, excited about her supervisor praising her for her work

* spending time with a kindergarten student (doing the WIDA ACCESS assessment)who said, “I love to learn things and read books” and enthusiastically hugged her big brother when we passed his classroom on the way back to hers and the sixth graders just happened to be walking out to go to their special

* discussing the possibility of a teacher book club with a focus on children’s literature- and blogs about children’s books

* viewing the “Brave Spelling” video, being inspired and having the chance to share it with a colleague

* working with two newcomer ELLs- different personalities, but both a delight with their determination to learn

* sleeping in for a change

* a bon voyage to my sister for her cruise to the Bahamas- a much deserved break

* PBS cooking shows as background to my lazy Saturday, with accents ranging from Spanish to French to British to Italian to Chinese to a Southern drawl, and mouth-watering dishes (with no calories, since I am only watching)

* writing

* one month anniversary of my daughter’s wedding

* finding a grown-up sticker art book for my nephew who adored stickers when he was a little guy (he’s a “grown-up” fifth grader now)

* a hospital visit with a friend who is battling cancer but staying strong, and sharing both giggles and teary moments

* a book I am reading that is written by a cancer survivor- the words she writes are beautiful, funny, heart-wrenching, true

* graceful presidential farewell, touching tributes to family and friends

* collaboration with colleagues at an all-day PD

* thin, crispy chips with creamy avocado

* new books coming in the mail

* a clean house (if I mix a little busyness in with my laziness)

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River of Life

I spent the evening last night with friends, and I will be with friends tonight welcoming the new year. I think about all this last year has held, and all that the new year will bring in all of our lives. We have experienced wonderful, joyful days- weddings, births, honors, victories. We have weathered loss, disappointment, disease. When we are together, we talk about it all. We laugh, we remember, we resolve, we do life together. Today I celebrate friends (including family). I am so grateful to have them. Here is a short poem to celebrate:

River of Life

Conversation flows freely among friends
Punctuated with bursts of laughter,
Paused by moments of reflection…
A river of life.

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She’s Married!


Love calls forth beauty
Bride and groom softly glowing
Joy will light their way

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Reflections on Peace

I am writing with sixth graders, reflections on peace.
I shared stanzas from Longfellow’s poem “Christmas Bells”
(inspiration for the hymn “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

And my mentor acrostic poem:

People must remember we are
Equally human and worthy of respect
And then maybe, just maybe, we
Could live in peace on this
Earth we all share.

And the beginning of a poem:(inspired by today’s snowfall)

There is peace in snow falling
So soft, so quiet, so bright-

We talked about differences between hope and reality. We talked about how the few lines of an acrostic could put forth a big idea. We talked about different directions the poem could take from that beginning.

And now we are writing.

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Daddy’s Little Girl


Daddy’s little girl is getting married
Mommy will be there
as she walks down the aisle
In her lovely white dress
And she will smile at their girl
Through happy tears
And Daddy will be smiling, too
From heaven above…

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Celebrating Baby’s First Thanksgiving

My great-nephew was the star of our Thanksgiving, providing endless entertainment.

His bright smile lights up your heart when it beams on you. When he glares at you with a “grumpy cat” face, you know it won’t last. His eyes grow wide and bright with wonder at simple joys- watching a silly toy dog that spins, hearing his daddy’s voice in the next room, peering past everyone and everything else to smile at his mommy, playing with an empty cup. His happy laugh and squeaks and squeals make everyone join in with big smiles and laughter, too.


How blessed a family is to share special days with a baby in the midst of it all.

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Thankful Heart

It’s our last day before Thanksgiving. Inspired by Georgia Heard and her BEAUTIFUL book Heart Maps Here is my mentor text (my own heart map this Thanksgiving) for today’s activity with my students:


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