Monday, September 19, 2011

The Little Things...

So, it has been a great week and a great month! I received this note at work today from my honey, Sam...

It is the "little things" that you do for one another that make each day just a little brighter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

~Moving On...The Next Chapter~

It was a wonderful summer~Now it is time to get back to work and to a bit of reality. I really do hope my summer was my new reality, but only time, faith, and distance will tell. This quote definitely describes how I have been feeling lately.

By J. Johnson, picture courtesy of tumblr
Life, Motivation, Heartbreak Quotes
Maybe it's not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it's about starting over and creating something better.

Yep, I have been described as a "fixer" many times. I unfortunately have many "Debisms" to prove it. My very closest friends know my Debisms and the validity behind their mysteries. Some of my friends~ahem....Small~know the Debisms all too well!~During this time of the year I sometimes just feel fear, I hate it, but sometimes it just catches up with me. I consider myself to be a positive person and so I try to run~really fast~ to outrun those fears and to avoid anything that makes me afraid. Recently, fear has caused me to miss out on some really great parts of life. This summer I have discovered I can't run to avoid dealing with my fears; I don't want to outrun what I have now. The happiness I have now outweighs my fears. I am amazed each day by the wonderful and amazing man I have found. He has a calming nature and really understands/accepts me as a whole~ my stubbornness, literacy nerd quirks, vulnerability, and above all~fears.

By J. Johnson, picture courtesy of alittletoofragile
When You Feel Like Giving Up

Yesterday afternoon I had a sudden and unexpected flood of feelings~emotions; most of which included fear of trusting someone with all of my being; heart and soul. Going back to school I have to trust that love will survive distance in the end; with truth and faith prevailing.I had to call/text for reinforcements in order to stay grounded, aka:Small. There is nothing like a friend who has been down to the depths of grief, who can empathize with "that moment" in which your life was forever changed. Remember, we all know, "Misery loves company."

Small encourages me to move on and one of her favorite things to say to me is: "Don't assume, you're assuming." I don't have to say much to her about how I am feeling, she just gets it. It is an unspoken rule that I don't have to explain any of my feelings to her, she knows, understands, and can appreciate them. Most of the time I wish she didn't totally understand~I never wanted her to feel what I felt, but life doesn't always work out as one would hope. Angie listens to my babbling and then gives me her two cents, okay, a lot more. :) She knows I don't want to look behind, I only want to focus on the positive and what I have always wanted and truly deserved out of life.

I have found myself in unfamiliar territory this summer with a relationship that challenges me and all of the chapters in my book of life. I am thankful for Sam; his patience and kindness is worth taking many risks. No, I did not go to church this whole summer, I feel like such a sinner, especially since God has sent so many blessings my way. I feel so lucky and I am going to make a close to end of the year's resolution to listen, love, and pray more...

By J. Johnson, picture courtesy of factsaboutyou
Life, Encouragement, Motivational Quotes

I have three words to describe the place I am in life right now. Nearly six years ago, I would have not thought them all to be possible, but time, courage, and healing creates change.

1) Blessed
2) Stronger
3) Optimistic

I am in a good place now because of my wonderful family, friends, and my amazing job. Working defines who I am and those little peanuts saved me from the depths of despair on many rough days. I think being a "fixer" in the end was a blessing because when I couldn't fix what was happening in my own life I could always go to my work; help my kiddos with their learning problems and physical~emotional "boo-boos." I would arrive home feeling emotionally exhausted, but knowing I had made a huge difference in some one's life during that day.

The job that I love helped me to remain grounded, hopeful, and positive.

I love my life and the possibilities within this new and exciting journey.

~Twelve Thoughts For Today~

By Karen Saunders, picture courtesy of lovelydreamms
Life, Love, Happiness, Inspirational, Motivational, Belief, Problems, Thinking Quotes

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Knead Bread!

I love bread~it is so wonderful! I savored fresh doughnuts, pretzels, and rolls when I toured parts of Germany in 2002. My Grandma Duren made amazing breads, doughnuts, and cinnamon rolls throughout her lifetime. Growing up, I remember her spending most of her time baking goodies in the kitchen. I really enjoy baking and sharing what I make with neighbors, family, and friends.~

Last weekend, I made some very good cinnamon rolls and this week I decided to make some zucchini bread with a fresh zucchini from our garden. I also made some wonderful banana bread~so yummy! I am including the recipes for the breads.

Banana Bread

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl and the liquid ingredients in another. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl and the liquid ingredients in another. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix well. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-60 minutes.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

August is Right Around the Corner

Joke of the day:
What did the mother buffalo say to her son as he went off to school?

When August comes, so does the start of working again at school. (Ok, not until the 29th...)
August always warns me that summer and free time are both quickly coming to a close. I never really stop thinking about work and the next school year over summer break. In my basement I have a large box that has been filled this summer with new reading buddies, puppets, books, erasers, pencils, and other goodies for this year's kiddos. My break has also provided me with extra time to read and find new resources for parents.

I thought of my brother's family and how they are raising my nephew and already encouraging good values and manners at home. My sister is going to be a new mommy in December (yippee!) and so I thought of her also when I found this handout on parenting written by John R. Eggers. Listed below are a few of his ideas:

What is a good parent?

1. Commit yourself to being a good parent. Make it a passion. Realize that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Most people achieve because they are determined..

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be the Socrates of the 21st Century-ask, probe, remind, conference, tell, listen, write, post, network. Above all, think and learn out loud with your kids. Remember, it's impossible to over communicate.

3. Love your kids. There are three things you need to do to show love for your kids: talk to them, spend time together, and listen to them.

4. Have fun with them-often. Remember, having children was your idea. Enjoy your kids and enjoy special times together.

5. Listen, very simple. Show them they are important to you.

6. Provide discipline. Kids want it and need it. Discipline means security and stability.

7. Rituals and special times are important, create them in your family.

8. Teach for trust: Say what you mean and mean what you say.

9. Laugh a lot. Parents and kids who laugh, last.

I really liked the author's ideas and thought them to be honest, genuine, and not expensive. :)

           Now to other news~ The NFL lock-out is over, whew!~

         Clara and Jebbie~Are you ready for some football?

I have been ready for football since the Superbowl ended! It is always exciting to think of another year when it begins! I am going to be traveling to Champlin to see some Champlin Park Rebel football this fall too! I know one really great coach that I want to support. :)

Now to the bad news of the month: I am not going to finish my crocheting project for the county fair this year. I know, I am a nerd, but I am still going to enter some other knitting items.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

~Change of Days~

Calming peacefulness has eluded,
The wish of many days.
Now a simple, quiet longing,
Enters so gently,
As if lost, in existence,
But has just found its way.

Your soft and loving manner,
Is where life becomes effortless.
The complexity of time,
Exits with a mere, soft touch.
Your heart shining so bright,
Calming all my surroundings.

Gone now is solitude,
Fears of doubts erased.
With such joy and change,
Time still needs healing.
Patience, love, and the happiness of days,
Wonderful you, bringing amazing changes...

*Written for Sam Ferraro, July of 2011*

Monday, July 4, 2011

Little Miracle

" The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him."
~Pablo Casals~

Our whole world is full of miracles, but babies make each day even more amazing. Happy first birthday to my little nephew, Matthew. He will be one on Wednesday and I love him so much. Matthew brings me so much joy and he is truly a sweet little miracle!

I love being an auntie...and I am a good one! I have so much joy and want to share my love with Matthew and others in my life. Matthew's little toothless smile always makes me melt...

Matthew is cuddly and I love to watch him sleep so peacefully...

Happy birthday, blue eyes!
Your first birthday is a special one. It was a first year for us to get to know you, see you grow, and appreciate what a little miracle you really are to the world.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Brightest Summer

de·light (d-lt)
1. Great pleasure; joy.
2. Something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment.
v. de·light·ed, de·light·ing, de·lights

Yes, this summer has been a very bright one, I have not seen the sun very much outside, but within myself. It has been the loveliest time in my life in quite a while and that has been an unexpected surprise.

                                      This is one very small example:

                                       Banana chocolate chip pancakes...

One may think making these perfect little pancakes is a small thing in a big world, but when someone is thoughtful in even the littlest of ways I notice it and those acts of kindness are greatly appreciated...There is always more to a sweet act ~more than what meets the eye ...

Yes, he is someone very special and I have had feelings of happiness.

These are just a few of his positive qualities:

*He is extremely kind, gentle, and friendly.
*Communication is there and he can express his feelings easily.
*Handsome! Handsome! Handsome!
*Giving~He will drop everything to help someone~from his family to a player he coaches~ at any time.
*Passionate about his job, family, coaching, and friends,  I love it!
*He is a great listener and I already regard him as someone special that I can trust and depend on..

I am keeping my fingers crossed, it can't hurt to cross my toes too!

So far for my summer of 2011 checklist:

1) Chicago trip with DAHL-check
2) adorable guy-check
3) family time-check
4) running time-check

As I mentioned previously, not a lot of summer sunshine outside...but that's shockingly okay with me, for right now...

This little "man" has also helped to make my summer look a lot brighter!

I have loved having more free time to see my family and friends this summer! ~I love my shining Matthew!~

Speaking of feelings~For me, trusting again and not being afraid to take any risks is even tougher. Sometimes you have to face your fears to avoid losing that which is new and dear to you.

I think a lot about Kahlil Gibran's writings on love from his book, The Prophet:

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


We all want to fall in love. Why? Because that experience makes us feel completely alive. Where every sense is heightened, every emotion is magnified, our everyday reality is shattered and we are flying into the heavens. It may only last a moment, and hour, an afternoon. But that doesn't diminish its value. Because we are left with memories that we treasure for the rest of our lives."
~author unknown~

"Distance between two hearts is not an obstacle...rather a beautiful reminder of just how strong true love can be." ~author unknown~

My wonderful para Erin, otherwise known as "MISS J", is getting married in October. My students absolutely adore her and so we wrote some messages for her about love. I had a small celebration for her wedding in our classroom because many of my students will not be in a classroom with Miss J next year. The kids had little mini wedding cakes and they were able to dress their favorite paraprofessional up as a bride using toilet paper. The dandelions they had picked earlier in the day, at recess, worked well as a bouquet for her to throw during the wedding celebration. 

The writing topic was: Love is when...  The kids did a great job and really put their thoughts and emotions into each and every note. Here are just a few of their meaningful love sentences:
(I am going to use their "inventive" spelling, but I will give you some help for some unclear words. )

Love is when someone kisis you and gives you badnads (band-aids) when you have a bo bo (boo boo).

Love is when sambady loves you and has enybody ever cist (kissed) you? I bet you have cist sambady but thats nasty!

Love is when someone helps me with homework and when my parents take me on vacashen!

Love is when sum won gives you food. 

Love is when mom or dad tucks you in bed.

Love is when people take you to the Mall of Amarcka and ants and unkls take you camping.

Love is when you get a hug and 100ed kisses. Your husben (husband) buys you erings. 

Love is when sumbuttee (somebody) is cutlee (cuddly) and when summbuttee is mareed (married).

This is one whole writing and it is one of my favorites. The words it contains are so precious:

Love is when you get your ring and when you get mareyde (married). It's so joyfull and loving. It is like you are waking (walking) throw (through) a waterfall of marshmellows (marshmallows). It's a shiny dimende (diamond) on the ring. It is so butifull (beautiful) when you see it.

That has to be just how everyone wants to feel, when they are in love... 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

For the Love of Shoes...


What do you do with old running shoes? NO one would ever want to wear these "puppies" with all of the miles they have seen! I found this idea for putting old shoes to good use in one of my running magazines. My grandma loved marigolds and so I thought of her today as I filled my shoes with her favorite annuals.

Many beautiful moments and miles have occurred while I have been wearing my running shoes. Running has provided me the needed time to think, reflect, and to make some very important decisions during my lifetime. It has been my stress-reliever on many rough days. After Scott passed away I used the time during many running miles to reflect and to work on forgiveness. I do not listen to music on my runs, instead I find myself focusing on the world around me and appreciating all I see and can hear. Today on the trail I smelled the beautiful lilacs and flowering crab trees. It is fun to see and hear everyone out and about enjoying the sunshine and keeping healthy. My advice to anyone who needs time for thinking and reflecting~Find something you love to do and see the beauty, joy, and relaxation in everything that surrounds your interest.

 These are my new beautiful "loves" for this spring.

Asics makes the best marathon training shoes (at least in my opinion) and my "favs" for the moment happen to be Asics Gel Kayano 17. I think they are just so amazingly gorgeous...Don't you agree?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Is it May already?


Golden Apple Award Goes to Rosa Parks Elementary Teacher

Thought of the week: May 1st

I can't believe how fast this school year has flown by...I just love my students this year (ok, and every year) and May usually means that it is not long until they become second graders. It is such a bittersweet moment for all of us, they are growing up and moving on to their new classroom and to new adventures in learning.

I was presented the Golden Apple Award in January of this school year. It was such a special moment when the news crew came into my classroom, not only for me, but for my kiddos! The students were thrilled and they did their best to be ON the news during the taping. Just imagine 27 first graders competing for video camera time. :) I can't believe this is our last full month of the school year!

Posted: Jan 20, 2011 2:32 PM CST Updated: Jan 25, 2011 9:19 AM CST
When this week's Golden Apple Award winner steps into her first grade classroom, she sees more than a group of students. She sees each child as someone unique...News 12s Lisa Cownie introduces us to Karen Hosier...

Karen Hosier has been teaching for 15 years. Each year keeps getting better she says because each day is different...Karen Hosier says, " I think this is the best job in the world. I just feel so blessed that parents trust me with their children to teach them the things they need to be successful in life."She is so successful because she recognizes each student has their own definition of success. Hosier says, "You see how everyone is unique and can achieve in so many different ways."Learning, whether from a book or just through social interaction, is evident in this Rosa Parks Elementary classroom, but Ms. Hosier says it goes both ways. Hosier says, "I think I learn so much from them and they teach me so many things.

Congratulations Karen Hosier, this week's Golden Apple Award winner.

Thanks KEYC-Mankato and to the wonderful parents who nominated me...I am truly blessed!

That last day of school is so very difficult. I remember when I started as a first year teacher, I cried so hard on that last day of school. A staff member in California told me, "Don't worry, after a few years you will not cry anyone on that last day." There has not been a year when I have not cried on that last day of school with my wonderful students. I think if I ever get to that point  then I really need to retire...

Summer is just around the corner, you would not know it considering the weather. It was 35 degrees outside, yippee, this morning when I went to coffee with the girls. I hope it warms up soon so everyone can stop complaining about our terrible weather. I figure I cannot ever complain since I have chosen to live in a state with sunny weather occurring typically only for three months out of twelve.

This summer will be filled with a trip very soon to Chi-town for some wonderful work and to spend some quality time with my Dahl~that will be just a "little" fun! I predict that Chi-town will be full of  RITAs and a trip to Burritoville! I also hope to spend a lot of time in Madison with my sista, perhaps in her new place! I am thrilled to have an opportunity to tour the UW Campus with my campus BIG WIG. I am thinking of checking out some of the WI programs...hmm...Other highlights of the summer include many birthdays~mumma kitty, daddy-0, and first for Matthew~, a trip to Grey Eagle to play with many friends, and some work for the Minnesota Department of Education. The MNDE work will be exciting and a wonderful way to help our state, students, and teachers. Go MCAS, right? :)

I wonder what other mischief I will manage to fit into summer of 2011? So far I am thinking...

1) I have two new and very fashionable gardening hats for implementation.
2) My relationship status could improve greatly...:)
3) I may finally finish my Reading Teacher article and submit it for publication.
4) There are plenty of books on my reading list that are for the moment, unread...
5) I need to be on "Yarn Hoarders" if I don't do a lot of knitting this summer.
6) My chair at The Fillin Station is waiting for me. Ah, it is so comfy...

Educational and doggie funnies...


Congrats to the royal wedding couple!
It is great to see the world excited about love and happiness!

My own funny in honor of the big event...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting Back on Track!

Sunday, April 17, 2011
Thought of the week:
Grandpa's so German! :

"Good enough, good enough..."
"Can you load the warshing marchine?"

My grandpa's birthday is this Wednesday and I will go to visit him during my Easter break.
His diet consists of donuts, cookies, candies, and breads. I wonder where I inherited my sweet tooth?

My other random thoughts this week:
*How can I love watching the show "Say Yes to the Dress" when I can't stand weddings?
*If cleaners clean and prevent 99% of germs why can't they get that last 1%?
*What are the kids at school are really like when I am gone? Do they act like it is party time?
*I saw that Walmart has their own medical center coming. Who is going to take over the world first, Walmart or Oprah?
*Will Jebbie ever understand that he is not a lap dog at 90 pounds?

So I am back on the marathon track, or at least the running track! Physical therapy is going well and I am finally able to do many exercise routines without pain. God bless the ISJ Physical Therapy Team and my other physical therapy expert! Running is my stress reliever and it allows me time to reflect upon life's happenings. Hopefully I will soon be back to my normal exercise routine and I even have a new running partner. :)

The school year is winding down and warm weather is coming too (hopefully soon)! My summer will be filled with gardening, reading, running, dog walks, and family time. I will be in Chicago after school finishes and in the cities for a week this summer. I have been selected to serve on two of the Minnesota Department of Education's Comprehensive Assessment Panels for reading in Roseville. This just curls my toes!  It will be a great resume booster and an excellent learning opportunity! My focus will also be on finishing my two Reading Teacher Journal articles, wish me luck!

As for relationships, there have been some new developments... I have nothing more to say about that. :)

I just have to keep following my future goals which are very simple:

~Love and always enjoy my job!
~Cherish my family time!
~Always do things to help others.
~Appreciate the small things in life.
~Be more positive and encouraging.
~Be open to change and new opportunities.
~Focus only on others who improve my life!
~Move on from past relationships that haven't been successful.
~Forgive and  forget, move on!

Everyone loves chubby cheeks!

Ernest Hemingway
My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.

Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.

Benjamin Disraeli
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.

  Clara & Jeb enjoying the sunshine!

I am really into funny animal pictures lately and here are a few of my favorites...

Monday, March 21, 2011

This is Your Life.

What a great message!

This is a very powerful message and is available as a poster by Holstee!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tall and Small Travel to Arizona

Thought of the week: March 20, 2011

It still is really cold outside here in Minnesota, but if you think the high water and fast current at the dog park will scare Jebbie, you are wrong!

Jeb is a fearless little freak who has more lives than a cat! Thank goodness this big pooch is still around and I am glad my heart is in good condition!

I am going to share just a few random moments when Jebbie could have met our maker during his lifetime, there are many other occurrences, but these rank in the top 10:

1) When he ate some rat poison and had swollen eyes, he looked like Mike Tyson. This was one of his earliest emergency vet office visits.
2) The day he ran away from Kristy in North Mankato. She ran all over the neighborhood chasing after him as he ran near hwy 169. If you see her, do yourself a favor and DON'T ever ask her about it!
3) At about 3:00 night when I let the doggies out to go potty. Two went out, one returned (of course, Clara). "Someone" had left the gate to the backyard open and so there was a "Jebbie" on the lose. I found him three blocks over and I had to drive to get him.
4) Another Jebbie allergic reaction moment, not sure what it was this time, another visit to the vet.
5) At Tub and KT's house on our way to pick wild blackberries. Jeb bounded through the field and landed on an old fencepost which went deep into his chest. This event prompted yet another emergency visit to the vet.
6) Oh, and I almost forgot about Jebbie's escapades on the roof of my North Mankato townhouse.
Quote from the little, sweet old lady across the street, "Did you know there is a little yellow dog crawling on your roof?" Yes, Jeb decided to jump from the outside deck onto the roof. He was lucky he didn't fall off!
Hmmm...I love those two dogs so much, but Clara is not as high-maintenance as Jeb.
Go figure, he is a boy. :)

Now to other happenings...


I am going to Arizona with Small. Yes, we are driving there and back, and yes, we hope to still be close friends when we return.

Just a quick movie memory:
Lloyd: You're it.
Harry: You're it.
Lloyd: You're it, quitsies!
Harry: Anti-quitsies, you're it, quitsies, no anti-quitsies, no startsies!
Lloyd: You can't do that!
Harry: Can too!
Lloyd: Cannot, stamp it!
Harry: Can too, double stamp it, no erasies!
Lloyd: Cannot, triple stamp, no erasies, Touch blue make it true.
Harry: No, you can't do that... you can't triple stamp a double stamp, you can't triple stamp a double stamp! Lloyd!
Lloyd: [hands over ears] LA LA LA LA LA LA!

We hope to not recreate this movie moment...

Yes, we are putting all aside and venturing into a new stage of our friendship...traveling together on a long drive to Arizona. Why not fly, you ask? Flights are too expensive right now and as teachers, we do not make the "big bucks" despite what all of the Wisconsin folks think...

Our plans are not written in stone for our trip. There will be a lot of relaxing, sight-seeing, reading, talking,

and knitting, of course.

No matter what our travels may bring, sunshine is always great and life is very good.

Here are a few of my favorite friendship quotes:

Be courteous to all but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence; true friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to appellation.
                                                          GEORGE WASHINGTON

To ensure that the self doesn't shrink, to see that it holds on to its volume, memories have to be watered like potted flowers, and the watering calls for regular contact with the witnesses of the past, that is to say, with friends.
                                                             Milan Kundera

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
                                                         RICHARD BACH


Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

                                                  KAHLIL GIBRAN, The Prophet

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
     HENRI NOUWEN, Out of Solitude

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inspiration and Attitude

March 13: Thought of the week:
Kids really do say the funniest things!

kid pronunciation:                                  actual word:

number squirrels                                      number scrolls

congratulated                                           graduated

New Hamster                                        New Hampshire

creepies                                                    crepes

Last week I had my students write about how they are "lucky" in their lives. One of my students wrote that he gets to choose who he gets to marry. I know this was sparked by a Social Studies conversation about freedoms that we have here in our country and we discussed how some other countries do not have the same freedoms. Another student said he was thrilled to have "congratulated" from doing his adding problems. At times I feel like bursting out in laughter, kids don't know when they are so funny. Ah, to be young...My students inspire me to be a better person and to take time to laugh, smile, and appreciate learning something new each day!

My friend, Launa, shared this video which is awe-inspiring.

Ask yourself this question...
Who inspires you?

My friends, family, and students are inspirations to me each day of my life, but I think everyone has someone in their past who has made a positive impact on their future.

My inspirations...
Elementary School:

Mrs. Maryone Brown: My first grade teacher in Cazenovia, Wisconsin. She was a nice lady and I remember her kindness, which was one of few good memories from my elementary school days. Cazenovia Elementary School memories include the letter people, Kristy opening someone's perfume present at Christmastime and my bestie, Daren Rose. Mrs. Brown is memorable because I didn't have a fun first or second grade year after we moved from her classroom and I always wanted to be a good teacher who made students enjoy school, she was that teacher.

Mrs. Helen Rick: My third and fourth grade teacher at St. Paul's School in Wonewoc, Wisconsin. Helen was young and unmarried when she was my teacher and I LOVED her so much! She is my earliest memory of a teacher reading aloud in my classroom. Helen would sit on her little stool after lunch and read chapter books and it was my favorite time of the day! We never wanted her to stop and begged her to read one more page!I always loved to read, but because of  Helen I felt encouraged and my feelings for books grew even more.

High School:

Mr. George Pomerening: My Principal at Wonewoc-Center High School, Wonewoc, Wisconsin.
I only knew him for a short time, but George encouraged me to really think about the future and my journey in life. He thought I would make an excellent teacher and his positive encouragement was a great motivation to me in high school. George used to sit in his office and chat about life as we ate his LIFESAVER candies together. His life was at a turning point, he was in remission for cancer, and was positive and realistic in his outlook for everything. During my senior year, his cancer returned suddenly and he had a short time remaining to live. George died that spring, which was very shocking and difficult for everyone that knew him and loved him. One special moment in my life was during my graduation when his son, Joe, and daughter, Sally, presented me with a scholarship for college to begin my journey as an educator. His wife attended my college graduation and those memories still motivate me to do my best each day in my job and to be an encouraging mentor to others entering the field of education.

Printed on his memory sheet was the following message:

by: Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.
George lived by this message and his memory still lives on through his wonderful family and the positive impact he made on others during his lifetime.
During my teaching career:

Mrs. Kathleen Behen:I met Kathy during my first year of teaching in Pearblossom, California. She was a very experienced educator and she worked to be sure her students not only cared about school, but also about being kind and responsible. When you would walk into her classroom she had high expectation for her students academically, but she also expected them to be thoughtful and respectful to one another. On one occasion when I was in her classroom someone was unkind to another of their little friends. Kathy stopped and addressed the situation and pointed out to me how every situation can be a learning moment. She said that what was happening in the classroom environment equaled the content all kids were learning. I learned that "small things" can turn into "big things" when they are not addressed. Kathy is an inspirational and positive lady who taught me many lessons that are an essential part of my classroom today.

Mrs. Nugget Fields: Nugget, oh Nugget!  My teaching friend from Kasson-Mantorville who is a fiery, motivated, smart, and encouraging mentor. Nugget did about everything in her teaching career, from teaching reading to many grade levels, to Spanish, etc. etc. etc. She was a success in any field as an educator and was my main motivation to pursue a four-year Reading Master's Degree and a Reading Specialist Degree. Nugget helped me to find a program, there were none offered in the state of Minnesota at that time! Going back to school for another full degree was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. My love for books, literacy, and reading research gurus is greatly due to Nugget's sharing of her knowledge, heart, and friendship.I love you Nugget!

Life improves because of who inspires you and pushes you to follow your instincts. Everyone needs someone to give them joy and be an encouragement.

Kristy and Karen waiting for the school bus! Note the dog BEGGING for our love! Speaking of love...
I love my beautiful twin sister who has inspired me throughout my whole life. I cannot put into words how much she means to me, she is a truly motivated, creative, and charismatic person!

Inspirational Quotes

Monday, February 28, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Week of March 6: Milk does not come from the "butt" of a cow, dear little first grader, that is called an udder. You are precious, don't let that fact scare you, and please keep drinking your milk...

This week I look and I have one follower, Mags, you win the prize, which is...nothing! Sorry, I am just an educator.:) Thanks for being my groupie! My mom even knows I have a blog and actually read mine last week! I love you mom and didn't realize you were such a techie!

Ok, let's get to my thought of the week. I am not hard to please, I enjoy the simple pleasures in life. So, like most American women, I reserve my Monday nights for Brad Womack and his second time search for love on the Bachelor. Sure, his first attempt was far from a success, but once again he is trying to find love and doing it again on national television~no pressure, right?

So each week, like most of my friends,  I reserve 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. to watch twenty plus girls chase after this one guy. Each week a few girls get sent home, cry, and profess their love for someone they didn't really even know in the first place. Why do I watch it? I admit I do have a love/hate relationship for this show, meaning, as hard as I try not to watch it each season, I do tend to get sucked in. If I watch the first episode, I am in for the long haul and can't miss one week. During the commercials, I get texts from my friends and it is nice for me to feel as if I am watching the show with someone! I can't wait for the final rose ceremony and tell myself, after each season, that I am never going to engage in wasting numerous hours of my life watching something so mindless and unintellectual as this show. Those two hours each Monday could be good reading hours or they could be spent doing something to better my own life. I could have worse habits I guess...

I think there has been one successful marriage that has evolved from the Bachelorette show. I know it is not actually a true reflection of real life or how to relate while dating a new person.When you are in a South African paradise no one argues over who is driving the kids to dance class or basketball practice. There are not conversations to decide if you will buy generic ketchup or Hunt's. My idea is to have Chris Harrison host a special show where the couples do real-life activities such as shopping for groceries or doing dishes together and see who bails first from the show. I want to see the couples thumb wrestling over the remote or doing rock-paper-scissors to decide what kind of laundry detergent they will use, that is somewhat closer to real-life.However, my show would probably not be a big hit, so I will not receive the millions from my non-existent show.

I am not one to judge or make decisions about the relationships of others. I know life and relationships are not easy. It is a tough dating world out there right now and the older you get, the tougher it gets...For most of us older daters, it seems easier to stay set in our ways and remain at home alone. I do not enjoy the bar scene and rarely have anyone say that they have someone that is "perfect for me". I had never imagined being unmarried and childless at almost 40 years old. Where does the time go?

For the time being, I am enjoying my life, a path more uncertain than it was when I was in my 20s. I hug my pooches, go to my great job, and come home to dinners which are usually quick and alone. Maybe I just need to try harder and put myself out there? No National Television for me, however, but no matter what, I can always be thankful for each day and the simple pleasures it can bring...

Simple Pleasures

The piercing sun softly touches a face,
Warmth gently fills and smooths your skin.

Sweet smiles, quick whispers, and a telling nod,
Love reaches a hand to easily grab and capture you.

Delicate flowers flowing swiftly in the breeze,
Colors cheerfully blanket each of your surroundings.

Subtle sounds of life quickly fill an empty morning,
Excitement follows for all the miracles still left to come.

Karen L. Hosier
winter of 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Week of February 27: Do not assume all children do not want to learn. Some students want to learn and may even try to take the teacher's manual home...

Blog smog, why not? I like to write. I am, by no means, a writer. Sure, I wrote a great thesis, but I consider myself more of a bookworm. I really enjoy writing poems, so I am going to include one of my poems on each of my blogs. Here is a recent one fitting for today:


The amiability of the sun,
Gently embraces your face.
Blooms and new life,
Envelop all that you see.

Life looks altered,
The feeling of uncertainty is evident
Changes bring new experiences
Yet the familiarity of peace exists.

Finding oneself again,
Can be exhilarating and inspiring.
Embrace all you do with passion,
And life's exuberance will surround your days.

Karen L. Hosier
*Written with love for Terrick Giefer, 2010
I think about how much life has changed for me over the past five years. I have great family, friends, doggies, and others I adore. Change can be painful, but many good things can happen to you as life changes.