Secret Valentines

One of my favorite times at school is the week leading up to Valentines Day. We draw names and secretly leave little treats in the days before the big day, then have a big reveal in a quick after school meeting on the day. I have fun thinking of what my valentine would like. This year’s treats for my friend who likes cheesy and salty snacks, Legos, and cooking included a can of Pringles, Goldfish crackers, a mini set of Legos, and the newest issue of Food Network magazine. But the most fun was collecting these ingredients for Italian cooking…

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I love this week of giving and the way it brings us together and strengthens friendships.

At the same time this year, we are celebrating Random Acts of Kindness with a hallway board for write-ups and photos of kids caught being kind and a workroom board for staff.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone.

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One Minute till Bedtime

My third copy of this book of poems arrived today. A third family will be getting it as a baby gift. Each one was for a special and cherished baby. The first was for my niece and her husband’s first baby, a sweet boy! The second was for another niece and her husband’s baby- number 6, a sweet girl joining her big sister and four brothers! This third one will be for another first baby- an adopted daughter of my church’s worship pastor and his wife.

It is so joyful to think of these families sharing time together with love and poems! This is my new favorite baby gift.

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Celebrating Kelly

I just arrived at Butler University for a day with Kelly Gallagher sponsored by Indiana Partnership for Young Writers. Scholarships are provided for teachers from my district to attend. Teachers are filling the room, chatting, getting coffee and pastries, and settling in around the tables, anticipating the day of learning. And here we go!!!

Oh! Gotta love a speaker who shows his 85 year old mom (who taught 4th grade 112 years!) in his introduction.

Ok… now I’ve got to concentrate…

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Look to the Sky

When I left school yesterday, I was treated to a welcome sight. The sun was shining! It was a clear, cold winter day. It felt so uplifting to see the sun and the blue sky. I could feel my spirit brightening and getting lighter.

This morning as I headed to school, another celestial show was happening. The sky was not clear like yesterday, but still, through the clouds, the moon was shining through. The light was brilliant and white, and I could see the outline of the eclipsing moon. As I drove, the cloud cover got thicker, and the light softened to just a glow, then a blur, and finally disappeared before it reached the blood moon. It was enough to give the beginning of the day a boost, though. The creation we live in is beautiful and full of wonders! Look to the sky and take it in.

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Celebrating Saturday Morning Rain

I woke to the sound of rain
Softly falling and
Since it was Saturday
I indulged in the luxury and
Let the lullaby lull me
Right back to sleep

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Winter’s Obstacle Course

Driving down the street
With my fellow commuters
On the way to work-

Almost there
No big slow-downs
This morning

Then I see it
Huge and gaping
A tire-hungry pothole

Cars in front
Behind and beside
Nowhere to escape

Clunk! Bang!!
It’s so jarring
When I hit it

But I keep going
Whew!! No little flat tire light
I am lucky this time

Hope my luck holds
As I daily challenge
Winter’s Obstacle Course

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Celebrating Two Essays

This week I read two essays that moved me. Maybe you have read them, too. The first by Matt de laPena and the second, a response by Kate DiCamillo.

De la Pena wrote “Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children From Darkness” and shared personal experiences as a parent and as an author. He talked about being pressured (along with illustrator Loren Long) to change a “dark” scene in the new book, Love and how they came to the decision to fight for it to remain.

DiCamillo’s response to some questions he asked is “Why Children’s Books Should Be a Little Sad.” Both essays address the issue of how honest we should be with kids.

I celebrate that as parents, family members, friends teachers, and caregivers of children, we have poignant, heartfelt and wise words from authors like these to help us think through big questions like this. And we have their books to share with kids.

 

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