Monday, September 30, 2013

Special Things

Today's the last day of September...not sure what happened to this month but ok.
Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.
So....I don't really have anything passed down or I went looking for an old photo...but a lot of the really old photos that I have--like really little Kimberly are in boxes we find one of the first Facebook photos I ever put up.

Winter 2006!
This was a late movie night with my great friends, Jessica and Valerie.  I don't remember what movie we saw, but it was a 10:00 at least at the dollar theater and it started to snow while we were in the movie.  As we drove home...we got this idea that we were going to get out of the car and play...honestly I blame Jess :P She was always the more spontaneous of the three of us with snow.  If it has been cold enough, when the snow first starts to stick to the pavement it is a lot slipperier.  I was so nervous...because I don't like falling! But there I go :)  We had a blast that night.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dear Facebook

Friday's prompt was:
 An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like. (but don't include people's real names.) 
People on Facebook are sometimes a bit annoying...or over share a bit.  So I am going to do a bit of a Dear Boys style to it.

Dear Oversharers,

We don't really need a "good morning world this is what has happened to me so far".  You don't need to be telling me what you're doing all day long...I am sorry we don't care :)

Tired of Reading your Statuses

Dear Drunk Picture Takers,

Taking a pic with your phone with your eyes all blood shot and holding glasses definitely full of alcohol. You try to make it look like you are having so much fun. You are setting bad examples for everyone around you--especially to children.  And what employer will hire you now?

Close to Just Deleting You as a Friend

Dear Long Status Writer,

So this is just to write novels in your statuses...and honestly I do not read them all anymore because I just don't have the time. Don't know how you have the time to write all of that.

Tired Friend

This video was the last thing I wanted to share today....because all of this is so true!!!

Passing On Memories

This is my make-up post for Friday..the nice thing about this is that I already wrote this awhile ago, I just never posted it.  This is an essay that I wrote about the purpose of memory in honoring the Holocaust for my Coursera class. I am actually pretty proud of it so I share it here with you.

There are many collective events that people will always remember where they were and what they were doing when it happened or when they learned of the events. In the United States, for example, those alive in the 1960s can remember where they were when they learned President Kennedy had been shot.  In addition, many all over the world know where they were on September 11, 2001.  Over time though, the amount of people that have stories like this begin to dwindle.  We are approaching the time when the current freshman in high school are too young to remember what happened on 9-11 and we will be quickly getting to the point where none of them were born.  Because I remember, I share that with my high school history classes that I teach every year to help them understand the fear and terror of that day.  However, they will never fully understand it because they did not personally live through it.  As the generation that survived the Holocaust and lived during that time quickly start to leave us, it is vital to the understanding of future generations that these memories are preserved. 

First, this generation needs to talk about their story anyway that they can.  The younger generation needs to hear from these eyewitnesses to history.  As Kert├ęsz points out, the feeling and the soul needs to be there for the Holocaust to be fully understood. In my opinion, one of the best ways to express these feelings is in the individual words of those who lived it.  Dora Sorell shared her story with such passion, and has left her story for the generations that will follow her in her book.  This is a great resource for her family.  Families are how the memory of the Holocaust will continue to live on.

The next generation needs to pick up the torch from the current, and passing this torch through families will help to continue the need for the emotions involved in the story.  I had an assignment in college to do an oral interview with someone who had been a part of a significant historical event. My aunt introduced me to a neighbor of hers that had lived through the Soviet occupation of Hungary after World War II and had been sent to a concentration camp created by the Communists.  She experienced horrible atrocities, and I was honored that she was willing to share them with me for a simple school assignment.  However, after I had sat and talked with her for a while and was getting up to leave, I learned her daughter was in the next room.  She pulled me aside and thanked me for doing this, because her mother had never talked about her experiences before. This was the first time she, as a daughter, had ever heard her mother talk about it. I was glad that I was able to transcribe our conversation for their family’s history.  And now this family can always remember what happened in their history and talk about the importance of treating fellow human beings with respect—just as the Holocaust survivors do.

By sharing their stories now with the current generation, the memory of the Holocaust will continue to live after they have passed on.  Especially sharing these stories with family members allows for the experiences to continue to have a “human quality” to them.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Review: The DaVinci Code

This is a typical feature on this blog...but also fits into the Tuesday Blogtember post that I skipped this week. So this is a great double blog post....because I didn't post yesterday. Yesterday I ended up with no ability to do a blog post...and I really should have scheduled one earlier, but I didn't get time :( But this is what I did instead of writing...reading :) I finally finished this book!

Title: The DaVinci Code
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Drama
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Did I Read? Well...I read Angels and Demons and this is the next book :)

Summary: Robert Langdon is now thrust into yet another controversy as he visits Paris.  While in Paris, he is scheduled for a meeting with a curator at the Louve.  However, that appointment doesn't end up happening because the curator is murdered. While dying, the curator leaves a message that ends up implicating Langdon in his murder, but also leaves a message that grabs his granddaughter's attention. Sophie, his granddaughter, ends up starting a treasure hunt with Langdon that ends up becoming a quest for the Holy Grail.

What Did I Love: I love how Brown really twists the story around.  Even though I had read this before, I had forgotten about some of the twists and turns that he takes the story through.  He is a great storyteller.

What Did I Hate: Hmm.....I honestly can't think of anything....does that mean I should give it a 5? ;)

Thank you Wikipedia!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pros and Cons of a Small Town

So this is the prompt today....
Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you'd like! Bonus points for including a photo from the coffee shop.*if you can't make it to a coffee shop, at least leave your usual space and write someplace new. con of a small town is that I don't know where a coffee shop is nearby....there use to be one on Main Street...but they seem to have just recently turned it in to a clothing going to a coffee shop is tricky. I mean I guess I could have gone to McDonalds....but that seems lame!

So...yeah I could have gone somewhere else to write someplace new.  But that would mean that I would probably need to bring a notebook.  There isn't a lot of WiFi hotspots. Honestly, if I had planned ahead I might have been able to think of something before everything closed.  But this prompt came faster than I thought.  It would have been great for me to go outside and write but it was really really rainy....and I am worried that it might snow....oh the joys of high elevation.

As you can tell....there are some cons.  But some pros....less traffic! Personally thanking the guy that sold me my food today because I know him. We bought a house super fast....and knew the people all around us. The town feels like a family though there are a lot of new faces with the oil fields. I like knowing my neighbors and feeling like I can walk across the street and talk to them.  So, though I didn't go somewhere else to write this....that's okay with my small town.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Today's prompt is:
Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made
This prompt actually started me thinking about perfection.  So many people try to obtain perfection throughout life--and they hate admitting their mistakes.  It is even worse when our mistakes become public knowledge.  There is a bit of the fact that we have this idea that we like to be right.  We also don't like admitting that we're wrong....but I read this article today and I thought it was amazing.

There is a BYU football player named Spencer Hadley that has been suspended for five games for drinking alcohol.  Now at other schools this is nothing, but at BYU that is breaking the honor code.  We commit to it and consequences happen for our actions.  The sad thing is that he has to deal with this mistake in front of the whole world.  It really is too bad that he has to deal with that along with his mistake. But his story is so powerful....go read the article.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Best Sequels Ever

This list might be tricky to make....because I like series....sequels aren't exactly series...but they are kind of like we go with it :)

  1. The Alanna Series by Tamora Pierce---this is a great quartet!
  2. Catching Fire is a great sequel to The Hunger Games....but Mockingjay was not my favorite
  3. The DaVinci Code is a great sequel to Angels and Demons
  4. Anne of Green Gables series....the second book, Anne of Avonlea is a great addition to the first book..and I like the rest of them too
  5. Little Men is a good sequel to Little Women
  6. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants...the second one is good for sure...I can't remember the third one and I'm not sure if I've read the fourth
  7. Harry Potter series....each book seems to get better which is nice :)
  8. The Face on the Milk Carton...this quartet is great...but it is actually has five books in it--the fifth book was published earlier this year and I'm excited to read it, someday :)
  9. Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, Emily's Quest...also L.M. Montgomery...this is a great trio too :)
Ok so I couldn't come up with a 10th...but I did think of this: Steve Berry wrote the Cotton Malone series..I have only read one--not knowing it was like the was called Jefferson Key.  I thoroughly enjoyed it...and I want to read this actual order now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life Lately

Today's prompt is to write about life lately.....and honestly I don't know what to write about.  People are always like, "What's new?" and I'm much.  I wake up, go to work, I come home exhausted, try to mentally prepare for the next day and I'm lucky if I get anything done around the house that I want to do, go to sleep, and wake up to do it all again.

I almost didn't write this post because I am in the mood in which I will complain...and you know how much I hate complaining on here. So I am going to come up with the positive things of life lately...and though I might be thinking the negative least I'm trying to focus on the positive thing
  1. Our house is really nice
  2. I have a job that has great parts---like my students...and teaching history 
  3. My husband is amazing!
  4. I got to see my family this weekend
  5. The Cardinals are going to the postseason!! Now we need to just get the division title!!
Yay I got to my goal of five :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Personality Test

Today's prompt that I am pulling from is:
Take this short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account - click "click to view" under "You" and "self awareness and personal growth." You can even google your type and find more info on it!)
 So I went and took the test and learned that I am an ISFJ. This means that I am an introvert, sensing, feeling, and judging personality.  Though the interesting thing to me about this part was the percentages:
  • You have slight preference of Introversion over Extraversion (22%)
  • You have marginal or no preference of Sensing over Intuition (1%)
  • You have moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (25%)
  • You have distinctive preference of Judging over Perceiving (67%)
The first one no surprise--I would usually rather stay home and do my own thing but I can be social.  The second one I had no opinion on.  The last two seemed odd because I am a bit of a "gut" person--but maybe that's because I just make fast judgments based on how I feel.  Though I use to describe myself as an indecisive person....I have learned I can't really do that anymore, and this test proves that.

From the test you can get more information, like what career fits you. It is nice to see that education was on that list...along with some things that I have considered: paralegal and graphic design/multimedia (though really this is more social network marketing stuff).

In the "which fiction character fits you best" section--they suggested Dr. Watson--which I could actually see. I like him better than Holmes usually.

And then I started to read the "profile"--the how is this really shown in real-life...and yeah I am guilty of a lot of this.  This was like a....gee thanks moment:
ISFJs are often unappreciated, at work, home, and play. Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty and unstinting, high-quality work, those around them often take them for granted--even take advantage of them. Admittedly, the problem is sometimes aggravated by the ISFJs themselves; for instance, they are notoriously bad at delegating ("If you want it done right, do it yourself").
And reading further through this is scary how much of this is similar to my life!  Go try's kind of fun? Are you an ISFJ too?

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Tuesday's Blogtember prompt is:
A memory you would love to relive
This is an interesting prompt for me to think about because I try not to live in the past.  You can't change it, and you can't recreate the moments that you love because people change and situations change.  But sometimes I wish that we could have pictures/videos to make us feel like we could relive it.

The moment that I would love to relive would be the first date with Brian that was just us.  We went to dinner and a movie. He would probably correct me on the details of the dinner, because to be honest I don't really remember it.  I think we might have eaten at Village Inn...which is probably why it is still one of our favorite places to go--though it is probably because they have great food. Then we went to the theater and saw Stranger than Fiction--which was actually quite good. We probably drove around for a bit afterwards and then he took me home.

The reason I would love to relive that memory is because everything was so new then.  We were just getting to know each other and that is such a fun time.  Being able to relive that now would be a lot of fun :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Meaning of Comfort

Today's Blogtember prompt asks for my definition of comfort.  Comfort I think is what I always seem to be searching for.  This week has been pretty bad with my pain, so I always am trying to find comfort somewhere.  Comfort sometimes is food.....

❥ Chocolate Comfort in a mug! Anything hot in a mug tastes good.
Sometimes it clothes....
to curl up and read in
From Pinterest:
Sometimes comfort comes in a a something someone says...a blanket...  I think that everyone needs to find comfort in something.  I talk a lot with my students about stepping out of their comfort zone...and this is something that is important--doing things that are hard and that aren't comfortable. But I think it is equally important to know where you can go when you need that recharge...and to be able to face the world again.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Dinner Party

Today's prompt from Blogtember asks for a creative writing story about a dinner party. This one is actually making me a bit nervous because I haven't ever written a creative writing post for this here goes nothing.

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. I was regretting even having invited everybody in the first place.  "Why did I think I could do this?" It was like a scene straight out of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

The house started to fill with smoke as the pot started to overflow.  The milk had bubbled to the top and hit the burner and started to scald.  I quickly open the window over the sink to let the smoke escape.  I wanted to keeping the burning smell out of the house for my guests to arrive.  Everything needed to be perfect.  I grabbed the spoon for the pot, turned down the heat, and started to stir the milk down while adding the spices for a great Alfredo sauce to put over noodles and chicken.  At least I had picked something somewhat easy, who can mess up this? But honestly, if anyone can mess up something in the kitchen it would be me.

As I started to set the table for three, I found matching plates, cups, and silverware.  I turned the news on to hear the events of the day.  As the timer dinged, I went to taste the pasta to make sure it was done. With the appropriate texture, I poured the water out of the pot through the strainer. I put the pasta in a bowl, and pulled the chicken out of the skillet to put on a plate.  I double-checked the sauce as the doorbell rang.  "It's showtime!"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Photo Day

Today's prompt in Blogtember is photo day.  This should be an "easy" post because I don't have to write anything :) But seriously....I have no idea what to put up.  The first thing I really thought of was a couple of pictures that show my life--family, religion, and work.

You can see this picture on the Cedar Ridge Academy Facebook page

Photo: Appreciation for Kimberly Hawks.
Pretty flowers from a mom of one of my students:)
My family and religion all in the same picture...the temple where Brian and I were married

Five years ago :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Books!

This week I am going to be making my list of books I want to read this fall.  The funny thing is....this list needs to be a "crap 2013 is almost over" list.  This list also kind of two parts.....books to finish and then start :)

To Finish
  1. Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Society
  2. The DaVinci Code
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird (so close with this one!)
  4. Mansfield Park (this one will be easier said then done)
To Start
  1. The Lost Symbol
  2. Inferno (yay new book!)
  3. Northanger Abbey
  4. Emma
  5. Persuasion
  6. Lady Susan
Remember I wanted to finish Dan Brown and Jane we'll see if I can actually do this. Ha...ha...bets start now if I will actually finish! I'll take $20 on she won't ;)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Public Letter/Dear Boys and Girls

Today's prompt is:
Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn't necessarily need to be romantic.)
This prompt is actually intimating me today, because I honestly have no idea who specifically to write to. I don't want to pick on anyone in my life. I have thought about writing a general letter...but I want it to be a little bit more specific too.  So I am actually thinking I will do a Dear Boys/Girls (idea courtesy of Elise's Pieces)....I haven't done that in awhile.  The beautiful thing about this is that it just changes people's names :)

Dear Fellow Teacher,

We work hard everyday.  I have been in your shoes, and I know what it is to grade all of that! I admire that you have seemed to be able to keep up, and I am so glad that you are here to help us out.

A Grateful Colleague

Dear My 13-Year Old Friend,

Often drama comes into your life--sometimes because we create it and sometimes because life hands it to you. Recently you had a little bit of both.  But just because life hands you drama doesn't mean we have to create it. Continue to try to listen to other people and be patient with others around you. But you teach me a lot about what it means to be a good friend despite the drama.

Your Adult Friend

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Three Month Long Vacation

This is an interesting question to contemplate:
If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do? would be amazing to have three months off.  I have thought of so much that I would want to do!

Knitting--lots and lots of knitting!
Reading--my Kindle would go everywhere with me!
Writing--it would be great to write some stories...but that might stress me out too much.  So that might not happen.

But I would also want to travel...problem is I think that my list might take more than three months :(
  1. I definitely want to go spend some time in St. Louis with the family 
  2. Then I want to go to Washington D.C.--and go all history nerd!!
  3. Then I want to go to NYC--I want to see all the sights and catch a Broadway play!
  4. It would be great to go to Europe and see England... Ireland... Scotland... France... Germany... Italy... Switzerland... Austria. See what I mean about being more than three months of travel....sigh.  Maybe just one of those in the three months and then another three months of a break a little while later :)
These pictures/websites would be essential to my planning!
26 Fun Things to See and Do in Washington D.C.
How To Experience NYC on a Budget!
101 Things Every St. Louisian Should Do
8 Tips for Planning a Europe Trip

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Moments That Change You

Since I didn't get on the Blogtember bus ride on time, I thought that I would go back in time and pick a prompt to do.  This should have been on Tuesday:
Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
The moment I thought of right away was moving to Roosevelt.  I was packing up our apartment in Provo--we needed to move so we were going to Brian's parents until we figured out what school I was going to teach at.  I remember when the school called--I was standing in the kitchen with a box in my hands.  I asked them if I could take the weekend to think about it---but I was glad to finally have a job offer. In a struggling economy, I had been really worried that I wouldn't get a job.  So I jumped at it as soon as I could.  We started make plans--but then the car broke down. Brian wanted/needed to give it a whole new engine, but we couldn't do that in Roosevelt.  We had made arrangements to live on-campus so we could find a permanent spot and I could start work. So he needed to stay in Provo, and I needed to be in Roosevelt. I remember being in my new "home" after Brian left.  I was so nervous--did I make the right call? Were we making the right decision? I wondered that for a long time.  But ever since then I have kept with it.  I still wonder sometimes when I come home from work after a hard day and a hard week (like last night)--did I do what I needed to do? So this is definitely a moment that changed my life.

Self-Portrait Day

So...last night was a bad night.  I was exhausted when I came home, and completely forgot to blog.  Like, I woke up this morning and I was like--dang! I forgot. Today we are going to do two posts :) So, Blogtember's prompt for yesterday was a self portrait.  So I just took a picture with webcam...simple enough

Not very flattering...but it will have to do. Though I think its funny that I always seem to be wearing a Cardinals shirt when I do this.  Go Cards!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How has social media/blogging changed you?

So....I feel like I am way out of the blogging world.  I didn't realize that my good blog friend Jenni started a September blog challenge. I have been struggling for ideas to write about and wanting to just write--like Jenni.  So I really need to hop on this!!

So today's prompt: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.

The interesting thing is that I have been involved in social media since pretty much the beginning.  I like to tell my students that I was one of the original Facebook users when it was a college only group, you had to have a college e-mail to get on.  It was a great way to interact with friends after senior year had ended.  It has now morphed and moved around--but the addiction is still there.  We checked Facebook multiple times a day--and I check it at least once a day. And then there is the ridiculous games that I swore I would never get into and then I did.  So social media hasn't really changed me because my life was just forming when I got on--so much has it has added to my life and become a horrible waste of time.

However, it has changed my career--I do so much more social media marketing as a teacher than I ever thought.  And I really enjoy it--there is something about the desire to see who sees it, likes it, enjoys it, etc.  I have even contemplated leaving teaching to go into this full-time with a company.  I never would have thought that social media would become a marketing tool--but it is really a great way to get your brand out there.

With blogging, I am not sure how it has changed me.  I really started this to write, and write everyday. I had tried other blogs before, but none of them really had staying power like this one I want to keep. Actually thinking about my early blogs....that's kind of how I met my husband.  Gosh I hadn't thought of that until I was writing--great thing about blogging :) But yeah...the short version of this story is that I had a blog, and his roommate found it.  I started a conversation/acquaintance with the roommate, who lived in the same city as me and invited me to go bowling with him and some friends.  Brian happened to be there and you can say the rest is history. So actually blogging has really changed my life!

How has social media/blogging changed you?

Yep...blogging=marriage :P

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th

Today has been one of those days where I feel really old.  Teaching the last three years at Cedar Ridge Academy, around this time, I could say, "9-11, where were you?" I would actually get stories.  Today in my sophomore class...I got crickets.  Some of them figured out they were like 3! Well yeah that makes sense...15-12=3 but seriously!! I am not one of those history teachers that says, "Well I was alive and I remember..." because I am NOT old enough!  Sigh...oh well I guess I am.

But I thought that I would share what we did in class today.  I didn't want to do a lot, because it feels like for these students sometimes it is a dead horse--they often want to do their "choice your topic" research paper on this/bin Laden/terrorism etc.  It fascinates them I think.  So I wanted to do something a little bit different. The site does a service project to coincide with the day.  This year's pledge is to do a good deed.  So I challenged my students today to do a good deed for someone between now and next week's class when they will report.

To go with this challenge I found this website: which has eight different videos about people that have different perspectives on the event.  I chose the 2nd, 4th, and 6th to show in class with the different perspectives. There is a great video from the site here so you can show a video of people remembering where they were when 9-11 happened and what good deeds they are going to do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top Ten (Five) Tuesday: Books That Should be Made into Books and TV Shows

Okay first of, I almost didn't do this question because I don't feel like a book should ever really be made into a movie/tv show. I am honestly not sure if I can think of ten....but I'll try.

1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen--this book is awesome and would probably make a great movie.
2. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld--this whole series might get a good movie following like Hunger Games
3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier--there might be a movie on this one already, but this would be a great one that's all I could think of but I did think of a couple that could use a remake...

1. Merry Wives of Windsor--I have only seen a BBC version and it is really not that great.  The play is better live and it would be nice to show students a better version if you can't go see the play.
2. Ella Enchanted--The current movie is a shame to the it might be nice to see a new version.

What books can you come up with?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall is Coming!

So this morning it was raining.  It was one of those very fall rains...and it stayed pretty cool all day long.  I wore my rain coat this morning and loved it.  I walked out of school and it was probably 70 degrees out.  It felt so nice and smelled so good!  I was able to drive home with my window down and my sun roof open.  It was the best!! I usually dread fall coming because it means winter.  And usually I don't get time to enjoy it. But I really want to enjoy it so that this fall seems to actually be in existence. And I was playing with my favorite obsession...Pinterest! And these clothes seemed so fall like!!  I love fall outfits :)

Great fall outfit with different bootsFall fun layers on top .. looks cozyFall Outfit

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Haven't Done One Like This In Awhile...

I have zero idea what to write about....and I haven't had to say that in a while.  Today I am beginning to wonder if I am going to make it until the end of the year.  The original reason I thought of doing this is because I wanted to write everyday. I do much better with goals if I have visible accountability.  But I was reading this article about writing.  She was talking about how life can get so busy and you can get so un-centered that you can't find the emotion to write.  I get the whole un-centered thing today.  Life has been busy, chaotic, and painful. I told Brian that I didn't want to make this a whining post, but I am in a whining mood so it might be a bit unavoidable. And she was talking about how the writing can center us.  Now granted she was talking about writing stories, poetry, articles etc.--a variety of different things--and I don't know what exactly you would put my daily ramblings in.  But the thing that stuck out to me is that she didn't want us to make it a to-do list item.  Sadly, my blog is that for me--because that is the only way I will get it done. Is that really horrible that it is more of a chore?

It is the same thing at work--if I don't put it on a to-do list--I won't get it done.  But the to-do list gets too long there....and it feels like it has gotten really long at home too. So do I take this off my to-do list so that I have one less thing to worry about? Or is this the one thing that I can always manage to accomplish each day?

Once again...just rambling don't mind me :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Today has been a weird of those days where you plan to do all of these things and it actually seems reasonable, and then things start to get in the way.  The items on the list take longer, massive thunderstorms prevent moving, and it just gets later and later.  I am suppose to be working on a lesson about honesty for church tomorrow, and writing a blog post at the same time.  So, I am going to write about my lesson and kill two birds with one stone :)

Mostly I will share with you guys the stories that I have found about being honest, because they are really powerful.  The first is from Robert C. Gay from his talk entitled, "What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?"
As I was growing up, my parents assigned me chores around the house and paid me an allowance for that work. I often used that money, a little over 50 cents a week, to go to the movies. Back then a movie ticket cost 25 cents for an 11-year-old. This left me with 25 cents to spend on candy bars, which cost 5 cents apiece. A movie with five candy bars! It couldn’t get much better than that.
All was well until I turned 12. Standing in line one afternoon, I realized that the ticket price for a 12-year-old was 35 cents, and that meant two less candy bars. Not quite prepared to make that sacrifice, I reasoned to myself, “You look the same as you did a week ago.” I then stepped up and asked for the 25-cent ticket. The cashier did not blink, and I bought my regular five candy bars instead of three.
Elated by my accomplishment, I later rushed home to tell my dad about my big coup. As I poured out the details, he said nothing. When I finished, he simply looked at me and said, “Son, would you sell your soul for a nickel?” His words pierced my 12-year-old heart. It is a lesson I have never forgotten.
This is a very powerful lesson that he learned from his father--is the lie really worth it?

This next story is from Ann M. Dibb's talk called, "I Believe in Being Honest and True"

“A man … went one evening to steal corn from a neighbor’s field. He took his little boy with him to sit on the fence and keep a look-out, so as to give warning in case any one should come along. The man jumped over the fence with a large bag on his arm, and before commencing to take the corn he looked all around, first one way and then the other, and not seeing any person, he was just about to fill his bag. … [The boy then called out]:
“‘Father, there is one way you haven’t looked yet! … You forgot to look up.
God always knows what we have unless you are willing to have Him always watching you do horrible things, you should probably shape it up :)

Great pic from

Friday, September 6, 2013

Belonging to Reading is Essential to Learning

So I read this quote recently and wanted to share it with all of you:
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. --John Locke
As a teacher, I often try to figure out why my students aren't understanding material.  Not always, but usually I can find something that they haven't done to "tangle" with the material.  Maybe they didn't take notes on a lecture, or try at all on an assignment, or didn't really do the reading if at all. That is when I try to figure out what to make them do to actually tangle with it--just like this quote says.  We have to actually think about what we have learned or we will never have it be ours. And if we can't absorb the knowledge, than we will never learn it.

So what are some techniques that I have used to help students tangle more with the knowledge?

  • Actually take notes on the reading or lecture they were to have done before
  • Asking them questions from the assignment to see what they already know--sometimes this shows them that they don't have it yet at all
  • Supplementary materials...a lot of teachers hate worksheets--and I do to a point.  There is a purpose for worksheets--to give the student extra practice. 
  • Annotating a reading
  • Teaching a fellow student the concept (can only really do this after I know they have at least some of it)
This list is actually one of the reasons I love being at a blended learning school--I have a tool bag of tricks that I could use in a public school but the students don't have time to really learn it.  At my school, they do :) 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Movie Review: Date Night

Last movie that I have watched recently, so last review for at least a little while. Of all three movies this was my least favorite.

Summary: Date Night is about a married couple whose relationship has become very kid driven and they aren't really romantic anymore.  They do this weekly date night but it ends up being just this stale boring thing.  A couple friend of theirs suddenly decides to separate and get a divorce.  They decide that they need to spice up date night.  The rest of the night becomes the movie, in which a case of mistaken identify, almost execution, corrupt officials, and police involvement.

What Did I Love?
  • It was a decent plot line, and they kept us guessing well enough
  • Funny one-liners
  • Funny actors
What Did I Not Like?
  • A very awkward scene in a stripper bar.....I would not watch this with children because of this I really wanted to fast forward
Bottom line....the awkward scene really kind of ruined it for if you don't mind that then this movie would probably would be great for you

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Movie Review: Safe Haven

I mentioned yesterday that I had lots of movie reviews for you guys.  This is another movie I watched this weekend--having finished the book.  (Check out that review here)

Thank you to
Summary: The plot is basically the same as the book--there are some differences.  Katie escapes her abusive husband and runs away to a small town in North Carolina.  She meets Alex and his two kids, and she and Alex eventually start to date.  Her husband though does not give up looking for her, and eventually her past starts to catch up with her.

What Did I Love?
  • I liked that they picked the leads they did...Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough did a great job.
  • I also liked the girl they picked for the daughter--she was the right amount of cute :)
What Did I Hate?
  • A key plot change in how Alex finds out about Katie's previous life and how the neighbor relationship shows up
  • The son was too young
  • The changes to Alex and Katie's overall relationship--I liked what they had in the book with the trust issues and this just changes that
  • They should have given Josh Duhamel grey streaks
Bottom line: I might own it eventually, but if you watch it just recognize that the book is SO much better!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays: Classics Paired with Current

I am so excited about this Top Ten Tuesday in which we pair a required reading or books that should be required readings.  The English teacher in me is sooo thrilled.  So here we go :)

1. 1984 with The Giver--You have to do the utopian thing together
2. Romeo and Juliet with West Side Story--yes I know its not really a book but a musical...but Romeo and Juliet is a play so deal :)
3. Les Miserables and A Tale of Two Cities-- I did this in my class last year and LOVED IT!
4. The Diary of Anne Frank and Number the Stars--Holocaust from a female perspective plus the whole non-fiction and fiction
5. Mississippi Trial, 1955 and Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of Emmett Till--These were written to serve together as a companion and this should totally be required readings!

Should Be Required Reading
1. The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas--Great book that makes kids thing about the Holocaust
2. Rebecca--I absolutely love this book and it was required in my high school but I don't think many use it
3. Pride and Prejudice--A lot of people don't like to touch this because the boys won't like it...but seriously it is a good book!
4. Speak--This book is more relate-able than most books students read and it is written very well
5. Little Women--Because I simply love it!! :)

Movie Review: 42

So...yesterday I did not blog :( I had a very busy day and a very late night and wouldn't have been able to blog until after midnight this morning.  So I am writing two today---we are doing a 365 blog posts in a year to make up :)

This weekend I watched three different movies so we are going to do one of them reviewed today...this one is my favorite!

Summary: 42 is the recent movie that discusses how Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier of Major League Baseball.  We meet the people that supported him through it all: a reporter, his wife, and the owner of the Dodgers--Mr. Richie.  This was apparently all Mr. Richie's idea, which was interesting to me.  He suffered lack of support from fans, team members, and fellow baseball people.  He had to stand up strong against all the diversity.

What I Loved?
  • All of it!
  • Absolutely loved Harrison Ford!! He acted so very well in this movie.
  • The story....they really wrote a great movie.
  • I learned a lot...and I hope it's all true :)

What I Did Not Like?
  • That the Internet told me that the end bio things were wrong :(
  • It dragged occasionally and had the typical end with all the music and slow motion and the clapping
Bottom Line: I want to own it!!

42 film poster.jpg
Thank you Wikipedia

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Top Posts of August

It is now September.  I was just realizing that the other day that there are four months left of the year.  How crazy is that?! Because it is a new month, we look back on the old and see how we did.

3. Top Ten Tuesday: Secondary Characters--This post was actually a lot of fun to do. I enjoy participating in Top Ten because I get to use my literary brain sometimes!

2. Bout of Books Goals--This kicked off my crazy idea that I might finish Mansfield Park that week. Ha! That book is a bit boring. I am still determined to finish, but wow that was an ambitious goal!

1. Top Ten Tuesday: Making Blog Life Easy--This was an easy post to write because I kind of do this for a living now.  I am all about trying to make our school blog easy to use!

It is no coincidence to me that by jumping on these events with other bloggers is what is on for this month top posts.  I did a lot of stuff with other groups this month and it has made coming up with what to write about easier but not feel so restrictive.  Thanks to my fellow bloggers who put in the effort to do something like that. Maybe some day I will too :)

Seemed appropriate...