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