Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's the Little Things

It's the 'little' things in life that tend to make such a BIG difference! From quarks (the smallest elements of matter that we know of today) to a kind deed; it's the 'little' things that I want to remember in this coming year! On that note, I better start here I go.

It was one rain drop that led to another to produce this great storm that just left today. It was perfectly delightful to hunker down and stay inside on a very rainy yesterday. We read a 'little', I crafted a 'little', cleaned a very 'little' and watched a 'little' football. It was the perfect storm!! Rich also put up a 'little' bit of plastic on the roof of his 'castle' (read "workshop") and it weathered the storm well. Now if we could say the same for the broken window that is still a
waiting repairs!!

It will be 1 'little' degree that can make the difference if our lettuce freezes tonight as well!! I have loved the rain but I still want salad!! I t
hink I'll go harvest right now.

Rich and I had a great time being Santa's 'little' elves on Christmas Eve. We visited a friend in the hospital, dropped off goodies to more special friends and made sure that all the gifts were wrapped and ready to go to for Christmas day!! You know, being on e of the Big-Guy's 'little' helpers was great fun.

It was the 'little' gem in the middle of this 'little' hat I crocheted that really adds the bling! Hero, our 'little'-est granddaughter loved the sparkle. Thanks, Jennie, for recommending the 'little' touch.

It was one 'lit
tle' rocker arm in the 2nd cylinder of our car's engine that caused our rough ride and need for the car doctors!! The awesome car doctors were able to fix it with a very 'little' HeliCoil. Gosh, one 'little' thing out of whack sure did undermine our mighty carriage!! We love our car and are so glad that she's back in great shape and that the repair, although major, still came in a 'little' less than OUCH! Can you believe how the 'little' things can make such a big difference?!?

The power of letters!! They are the 'little' things that make up the words in the books I read and 1 letter makes all the difference!

Because I have small-type ones that may read the blog I did the unforgivable and edited this cover. It's just one 'little' letter, but it makes all the difference when you know those of impressionable ages - AND you're a teacher - AND you're someone they watch!! But gosh-darn-it, this was one funny book. I read it in 2 days. Snarky, acerbic, and much more of a dishy take on Alison Arngrim's experiences on Little House on the Prairie. I enjoyed Melissa Gilbert's memoir back in the early fall, but I do believe that this is a 'little' better. (No, not a 'little' a LOT better!) Ms. Arngrim portrayed the girl everyone hated - Nellie Oleson. Ms. Arngrim loved her experience playing Nellie, she loved the cast members she worked with, and this book left me with such a positive feeling for appreciating what we have. Ms. Arngrim did not have an idyllic childhood but she's not one to sit and mope, NOPE! She has met her adversities with a terrific sense of humor. She has lost herself in volunteer work and causes. She believes that it is the 'little' things that make all the difference. And so do I!!

(Please forgive me, Book-police, for taking the liberty of editing for my audience ....ME!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Group Choices 2011

This doesn't look like much but it is actually the annual Book Group yearly choice night!! (Those little scraps of paper are titles or GoodReads lists!)

Book Group Selection Night feels like a beauty pageant as we parade our nominations...even the swimsuit competition comes into play as we show off covers and artwork! But fun it is!! You can see people writing down rejected titles too - they appealed to some, not all, I guess! It is all in good spirits and it is one of my favorite nights as we select old favorites and new to read books! I love it because it feels like a long book commercial. (Our only stipulation is that the book be available in paperback OR that the library have enough copies for several people to share!!)

I used to be in a Book Group in Tucson that chose a theme for the year and all of our books revolved around the theme. It really exposed me to a world of books I would have never read. (A lot like blogging does for me today!) Maybe someday we'll try that! Until then I guess we'll go along as we've been doing for a while!! I've been a part of this Book Group for over 11 years so we've got quite a reading history together!! Our choices this year aren't new books, as a matter of fact there is even a book I read back when I was in high school!! It will be great to become reacquainted with it again. Oh, how I love the camaraderie of friends who love books!

Our choices for 2011.....drum roll, please!

January ...... Fat Cat by Robin Brande
February ......The Help by Kathryn Stockett
March - it's Mystery Madness - we read any one of three OR a mystery of our own choice and share a little about's a mystery!!.....Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins or O'Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
April .....All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott
May.....The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
June.....Dewey, the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
August .....Uglies by Scott Westerfield & Maze Runner by James Dashner
September.....Doing School: How we are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic and Miseducated Students by Denise Pope
October.....Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
November.....The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Want to join us?? We'd love it. The more the merrier!
I can't wait to start.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

For unto us a child is born, a Son is given...and His name shall be called; Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace...

Enjoy a Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm a Christmas-Wrapping Machine

Yep, that's me!! I am a Christmas-wrapping-shopping-baking-machine!!! (And I am loving every minute of it.) It is not stressing me out at all and I have had several shopping miracles along the way. What a difference this year. Now I'm enjoying the time to sit and wrap while watching know the annual viewing of White Christmas, The Santa Claus, Jack Frost and Rudolph!!! (Throw in a chick-flick or two and the time flies.) I still have a few fun projects to finish up and the books are calling my name...I am loving this holiday this year!
The last two weeks of school were a whirlwind.... end of quarter assessments, the Reindeer Run, the All-school Holiday Sing, the class party, Christmas-crafts, report cards and ....continued learning!! Ah, yes, the rush of school compared to the rush of the holidays. I'll take the change, thank you!

Just a funny thing - I did notice a BIG difference in the Christmas gifts my 3rd grade students gave me compared to my first grade little guys!!! (SMILE!) I often got flowers with roots attached, pre-loved stuffed animals, and dollar store statues and candy!! This year, in 3rd grade I got BOOKS, book gift cards (my students know my passion) and iTunes giftcards, to name a few. Now, I have never been one to care much about those things at all. That's not what I expect or want...I teach at a Title 1 school for a reason...but I was so touched at the response of my students to my hobbies and loves. I am so touched at their generosity. Now to find that perfect classroom read-aloud with the giftcards....a great way to share!! Any suggestions??

Assorted notes and thoughts - - -I finished Nectar in a Sieve awhile back and still need to write a review for myself. It was breathtakingly beautiful and has really stuck with me. Rich and I are half way through Cesar's Way by Cesar Milan (trying to be better dog-grandparents) and I am finally finishing The Bee Keeper's Apprentice by Laurie King (it's super!)

Rich and I went to see Jeffrey Deaver at The Poisoned Pen in all the December madness. He was there pushing his newest book, Edge. What a terrific night. Mr. Deaver was a very interesting speaker and he read a bit from his book to bring across the point on how we could learn to care about his character when it was written in 1st person narrative. He was RIGHT! We were captivated. Now that's a skill I really need to teach to those 3rd graders!!

You know it is pretty sexy to see my handsome honey surrounded by books!!

What a great morning to sit and review a little of what's been going on before I return to the madness....bring it on!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Double Take

Today Rich and I were driving down the street when I glanced up at a sign and did a double take!!

We actually turned around so that we could read it again (and get a picture!)

"Where were you driving?" you may ask....

Wait, wait......

by a paint store!!!!!
Too funny!

PS. No reading by this cards, Christmas shopping, Christmas cards, and work!! Ach! (Well I wonder if one could count our third grade Book Club book -
by Mary James

Shoebag, a happy young cockroach who finds himself suddenly changed into a little boy and changes the lives of those around him before returning to his former life ... well, it is a book! My third graders love it and they are loving their first experience with Book Club!! It's worth missing lunchtime one day a week for this!! And it is the extent of my pleasure reading....Things will get better soon!) Until then, keep smiling!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Part of our heart flew off to San Antonio, Texas and Air Force Basic Training today.
We are so proud of you, Drew!
"Nothing will stop the US Air Force!"
Good luck and God bless,
Love, Mom & Dad