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Showing posts from 2011

SOLS: This Christmas

Slice of Life Stories hosted by the Two Writing Teachers


This Christmas our family enjoyed time together celebrating the joy of Jesus' birth.
     Yet this Christmas was a little different than in years past.
This Christmas was also about our two one-and-a-half year old daughters.

This Christmas we cherished the magic of Santa Claus.
      Letters written, cookies shared, reindeer food sprinkled outside.
This Christmas we continued old traditions shared from our families,
      and began new traditions that will continue for Christmases to come.
This Christmas we delighted in observing the excitement and wonder of our girls,
     memories of pure happiness and joy captured in our hearts and minds forever.

However, this Christmas there was one little surprise for me under the tree.
     This Christmas I was in awe and in absolute disbelief.

This Christmas I unwrapped a gift just for me with no expectations.
     I opened the plain brown box and inside was a book.
This Christmas I…

SOLS: I am Lucky

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers



Me.
I won.
I am lucky.

Actually, I've thought about this a lot this weekend after winning a whopping $500 gift card to a local bookstore from Walden Pond Press on Twitter.  (That's another slice!)

I always used to say, "I'm not lucky."  But after winning such a glorious, fantastic, stupendous prize, I realized I am lucky in more ways than one.

I don't need to "win" to be lucky.

I have a wonderful husband that adores and supports me (and now is encouraging my "Twitter" use after winning).

I have beautiful, smart, and funny twin daughters who I love and adore more and more each and every day.

I have a loving family and supportive friends who I know I can always count on to be there for me to help out or just listen.

I have my health, my heart, my mind, and my spirit all in a good place.

I don't need to "win" to be lucky.

I am lucky.
I won.
Me.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~…

SOLS: Another New Year

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers



It's that time of year again.  But, how can it be?  Where do the daysweeks months go?
Almost the middle of December with 2012 hiding around the corner.  It's . . .

Another new year . . .

A new year of hopes and dreams.
     A new year of making a difference.
          A new year of breathing in the joy of life.

A new year of putting myself first.
     A new year of committing to exercise.
          A new year of eating right.


A new year of learning more.      A new year of writing more.
          A new year of reading more.

A new year of treasuring time.
     A new year of time with my husband.
          A new year of time with my daughters.

A fresh start.
     A clean slate.
          A new beginning.

It's another new year . . .


What are your new year hopes and dreams?

SOLS: Letter to a Lonely Friend

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers




Dearest Friend,

I just have to say it:  I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry.  It's been too long.

I haven't been there for you and I can give you a million-and-one excuses as to why . . . but do you really want to hear about it now?  I'm thinking it's too late.

I'm sure you don't want to hear about how busy I am a school: Teaching kids. Encouraging them to read.  Wanting them to L.O.V.E. reading.  Searching for books they will adore and recommend.  Solving problems.  Planning targeted interventions to meet the needs of struggling readers.  Wanting more time for the students to write and blog. Laughing and learning together every day. Enjoying each and every student.

There are so many stories to tell, but why would you want to hear about them now?

I'm also loving being a mom.  It's still crazy to say that.  Yes, I'm a mom . . . of twins.  It's the hardest job in the world, b…

New Reader Button!

I love stumbling upon new techy what-cha-ma-call-its. Ok.  It may not be new to the world, but it's new to me!  I hope you find it helpful as well!

I read many blogs.  Thank you to GoogleReader for sharing new posts every day! (Another great creation!)  There are probably hundreds of blogs that I've retracted from reading because the blog page itself wasn't visually pleasing to my eyes.

Too much.
Busy, busy.
Buttons all over.
Advertisements.
Hate the font.
Small print.
Dreadful colors.

I'm sure I missed out on valuable learning and thinking because I didn't read the blog.

Guess what?  No more!

I discovered the "Reader" button in the address bar in Safari. (Click to enlarge. See purple Reader button.)



Click on the link to the blog.  Click on the "Reader" button and it's easy on the eyes!  It brings forward just the blog post, darkens the background noise, and is perfect for your reading pleasure! You can also zoom in, zoom out, email, and p…

SOLS: Comments Matter

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers



Yesterday, Ruth asked a very important question: What fuels writers?

Feedback is important in the writing process.  Someone to open your eyes.  Someone to challenge your thinking.  Someone to question.  Someone to help you change and rearrange your words to let them flow.  Someone to encourage you to try something new.  Someone to help open your heart and mind to grow in the writing process.  Comments matter. 

In my busy life, I don't have the opportunity to read all the Slice of Life posts, but I do try and read as many as I can . . . especially those writers that I know and love to read each week.  As I read a Slice of Life Story, I try and connect with the author, learn a little bit more, listen a little bit deeper, understand why the writer wanted to share the slice of life.  And so, from there, I leave a comment . . . most of the time.  Comments matter. 

There are many that comment. Readers that provide such ins…

SOLS: To Live is to Laugh

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers


Over the weekend, I took my two girls to Costco.  It's one of those wholesale warehouse stores with huge carts with room for two up front - perfect for a mom with twins!  We arrived as it opened, before the Saturday crowd scurried in to fill up the aisles.  I plopped the girls in the cart and we were ready to shop.

"Uh oh," P said as she showed me half of the buckle.  Somehow we picked a cart that did not have two functioning buckles. I didn't think they would notice.

I easily forgot that they are my husband's daughters.  We must follow the rules and obey all safety procedures.  How do they know this at 18 months?

"It's okay. It's broken. I'll be right here. You'll be fine."

"Uh oh," P repeated, knowing this response wasn't good enough.

"Oh, look at the lights!" I said, doing my best to distract her.

We first browsed the Christmas trees and decoratio…

SOLS: Threads of Life

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers



Threads of life intertwining,  but pull one thread like a string on a sweater and watch me unravel.  I'm incomplete.
Balancing
              precious time with
              my beautiful, silly 18 month old girls,
              my adoringly sensitive husband,
              and my other full time job with
              27 students and numerous colleagues asking thoughtful questions
              searching for answers, possibilities, opportunities

Praying
              that I can create harmony in my life fulfilling all those needs,
              including my own.

Reading
               all the latest and greatest picture books my library has in stock,
               the YA that I missed out on years ago
               including "reading" audio books in the car,
               professional reading, journals, articles, books,
               Twitter, Google Reader, blogs, blogs, more blogs,
Goodreads updates, email, and…

SOLS: One Reason To Read This Book

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers




Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One reason to read this book: It was a great "listen"! Every time I got in my car, I listened. I made trips around town longer to listen. I sat in the school parking lot an additional 15 minutes to listen to the end this morning!  I had to listen.

First of all, I love how this book was written and how Jay Asher thought of the idea -- brilliant!

An issue like suicide is never simple or easy to understand. So many unanswered questions. So many unknowns. Reaching out for help. Subtle clues that can be missed because life is too busy. Everyone has a story to tell. And Hannah told her story. Just listen to the tapes.


This week I received this email and thought it was worth sharing. A simple, yet powerful example of how delicate we all are, especially our children:

A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following …

SOLS: Do You Ever Get the Feeling?

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers


Do you ever get the feeling of being pulled this way and that? S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d t     h    i     n in all directions? Trying your best to please them all? Agreeing to help out whenever you can? Giving 110% while trying to Balance this delicate life of home and school?

But everyone needs you  NOW?

I need me now.   I need me time.  I need me back.
I need  ME now.

SOLS: Why I Write

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers




Why write? Wow! Such a simple question  with so many possible answers. 
I write for me.  I write to capture a moment.  I write to struggle through the process  so that I can teach my students and  help them find their voice.


Why do you write?  Here's what a couple of friends said:

Lucky for me!  I won this poster from the  Stenhouse Blog!

SOLS: Making Connections?

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers

As I sat down to read next to a second grader, I was surprised by his initial thoughts of the photograph on the cover of the book:



"This reminds me of my grandma," Brian said pointing to the crocodile head.

"Oh.  Really?  Tell me more."  I had to hear more of his thinking!  I'm thinking he's going to tell me about her dry, wrinkly skin or the yellow, gnarly teeth.

"Well, she's kinda grouchy," he stated matter-of-factly.


We are learning about making connections.  Not the type of connection that is going to help us better understand the text, but I have to give Brian credit:  He's thinking about his reading . . . and he made me smile!



SOLS: Just Do It

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers

It's only thirty minutes and it gives me time
To think To write in my head To plan my to-do list To be by myself.
It's only thirty minutes and it is worth it
To get up a little early To start the day off right To be energized To just breathe.
It's only thirty minutes and I just need to do it
To relieve stress To get my heart pumping To feel healthier To feel alive.
It's only thirty minutes and it's time to exercise.

SOLS: Almost . . . a Celebration

Check out more Slice of Life Stories  at the Two Writing Teachers


Last week was a celebration!  The BIG 100 blog posts!
          (Hands in the air! Wave 'em like I just don't care!)

Well, almost.
          (Arms down. Smile to a frown.)

Ok.  So, I thought I was celebrating my 100th blog post last week.  As I read the glorious congratulatory comments, my eyes drifted to the left-hand side of my blog.  A huge

2011 (95)

screamed out at me.
          (Bug eyes in total surprise!)

Apparently, I have written 100 posts, but only published 95.  I'm kinda, like, short of that 100 mark.
          (Shaking head in disappointment.)

Yep, celebrated prematurely.  Hope that's not bad luck or anything . . .

But . . . now, I've got myself wondering about those five secret posts that I wrote, but never published.
          (A Secret Slice of Life?)



SOLS: Happy 100!

Check out more Slices of Life  at the Two Writing Teachers

After starting this blog one cold and dreary day in February while my girls were napping, I have made it to 100 posts!  Yes, this right here, that you are now reading, that is freshly written, is absolutely, positively post number one hundred!  So, I thought I'd share some of my reflections about writing and blogging:
I'm a writer!  I'm not trying for book deals here . . . yet. I'm just trying to share my thinking and grow as a reader, writer, and teacher of both.I enjoy writing poetry.  Not form or structured poems, just free verse.  I've written more poetry over the last couple months than I have ever written in my entire life.  I've fallen in love with poetry.I loved participating in the March challenge.  Ruth challenged me to start a blog and to just start writing.  I was motivated.  I was actively searching for ideas to capture.  Currently, my writer's notebook is whispering to me, baring its'…