Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I wrote about being thankful for a breeze here. Now that the temperature has jumped 15 degrees and the humidity is twice what my husband is experiencing in D.C., I am reading to shut out any chance of a breeze and enjoy the comforts of air conditioning.

Unfortunately our central air, which is seems had been limping along, is past repair.

We've spent quite a bit of time hanging out in G's room the past week, since it is the only room in the house with the ability to be cooled. (And with school out we don't even get the air conditioning of being at work!)

School had said they were working getting us air, once again. Yesterday, hours before flying out, individual AC units were put in the the other two bedrooms and the living/dining area.


I am also thankful that when we return in August, when it is even hotter and stickier, the AC is in place.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Goals

SOLSC Button

I just closed the lid of the laptop, ready to spend some time with yet another book before heading to bed. As I sat down with my latest title I realized that it is Tuesday. (A byproduct of vacation - lose awareness of days of the week!) I don't want to fall into the pattern I did last summer and fall out of the blog-o-sphere while on vacation. We even have fast, reliable internet this summer.

Books, one of the many things I love about vacation. I have read one novel and one professional development book each day of vacation so far this summer. (Don't get too excited, it's been three days.) I have released a bunch of book from my hold list at my public library at home. Vacation is a time when I read more physical books and fewer on Kindle, since I have more access to printed library material in the States. I am getting the pile ready.

So, my goals for the summer, other than the usual 'spend time with family and friends', 'soak up the joys of summer in the NW', 'spend as much time outside as possible', and 'not set an alarm' include these two as well; 'read' and 'blog'.

The idea of reading a book a day was a challenge I embraced at Christmas and loved it. I was able to read titles I don't have free access to overseas. I found that by getting up before the rest of my family I had a good chunk of reading time in the morning and was able to find other, smaller chunks, throughout the day. Summer is quite a bit longer, there is daylight for loads of it, and we'll see how I fare.

As far as blogging, the Slice of Life Story Challenge will keep me going for Tuesdays. I am sure I can manage to come up with a visual for Wednesdays. Thankfulness will inspire my Thursdays. I would like to find another post each week for a goal of four posts per week. (I also post books I've read on the last Monday of the month, but perhaps for the summer that will be every Monday.)

The biggest challenge for this will be trips scattered throughout the summer. I prefer to blog from my laptop as I love Windows Live Writer (thanks to Kristen's recommendation at some point). I have tried a variety of apps on both my iPhone and iPad and have yet to find something that works well and reliably. (If you have a suggestion, I am open to it!)

So there are my summer goals, in writing, posted for the world. Now there is some sort of accountability. Let's see how it goes.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful that I have packed my last school lunches for everyone in the family until late August.


That is all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How many pairs does one girl need?!


I was a little shocked to realize that my five year old daughter currently has ten eleven pairs of footwear. (I had forgotten to count her slippers.)

I generally buy her clothes when we are in the states, on sale. I then store them until she reaches that size or need. As it starts to be warm I got out the new flip-flops. While I was going through my stash I found a few pairs of shoes I had been saving, because how many pairs can she really wear at one time? I then realized that she will outgrow them before she ever wears them if I don’t get them out. Those, plus a pair of hand-me-downs and a pair Grandma couldn’t resist and here we are; rain boots, slippers, P.E. shoes, flip-flops, and a bunch of other shoes.

As she was going to bed last night I realized that the child had managed to wear the above five pairs, all over the course of ONE day.

She wore the purple sparkly shoes for her Learning Celebration.
She wore her flip-flops when she went on errands.
She wore her flower ‘tie’ shoes to go to ‘after school care’.
She wore her purple Crocs to go see Mr. Ali for a hair trim.
She wore the silver and pink Converse to go get hummus from Mr. Joseph.

Maybe it isn’t too many after all.

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog.<br />SHARE a link to your post in the comments section.<br />GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Launching Minecraft Edu

Having a new tool to use for the last week of school is pretty exciting for everyone. (Don't get me wrong, I will be thrilled to have it all year, next year.)

This is a GREAT way to end the year.

photo 3photo 5

They have created a Google Doc brainstorming all the ways they can imagine incorporating Minecraft Edu into the curriculum. Now they get a chance to see what they can create in with the goal being to prove what they know in any content area.

For once I think we are all looking forward to the last week of school!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thankful Thursday–Classroom Library



At this point in the year, with a week to go, it makes my teacher heart happy that my students are still checking out books. The school library has been closed for check out for weeks. I am reminded that it is worth carting 50 boxes of books around the world for my students to have access to books, from the first day of school until the last day of school. It is worth investing the money in having an extensive classroom library. It is worth the time to read the books in my room so I can help students find books that will need their needs, whatever those perceived needs may be.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You’re invited…


So many times, at this point in the year, we receive invitations. Invitations for graduation and going away parties. Part of it is the nature of the school calendar and part of it is the nature of being an expat.

At one of these gatherings last night the idea was brought up about trying to spread some of these out. Not much happens in February, can we have a couple then?

So, on top of end of the school year craziness, grading, getting a room ready for the summer, packing, and planning trips, and prepping for next year there are lots of other engagements that crowd the calendar and take time and energy.

It is an honor to get to spend time with people and show that you have value who they are and how they have contributed to your community. And these days, it is many slices of my life.

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog.<br />SHARE a link to your post in the comments section.<br />GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Music in the classroom: A reflection

Music note by cyberscooty - Beautiful drawing of musical notes on a serpentine.Clipart by cyberscooty

A couple of months ago I wrote this post about allowing individualized playlists in the classroom. What I have noticed is that after the initial excitement of something new there has been zero interest.

I have even reminded them, occasionally, of appropriate times that they could be listening to music. It is not that they don’t have music with them, most of them have a device in their bag, they simply don’t choose to listen.

Now I am wondering why. So many times we hear how students want to be listening to music while they work, but in my classroom that does not seem to hold true.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Five Years - Thankful!

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Five years ago, today, four units of other people’s blood and great medical care saved my life.

Thank you to all of you who donate blood.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog.<br />SHARE a link to your post in the comments section.<br />GIVE comments to at least three other SOLSC bloggers.
It is amazing how clean my classroom cabinets are
And how the photos at home are getting organized
And trip details for both summer
And next Christmas are getting ironed out
And the jump I’ve gotten on my summer reading.

Any other teacher out there finding all kinds of things they need to be doing before they write their report cards?

Writing this post,
one more example.

Soon my life will be all in order and the deadline will be looming and I will do amazing work under the pressure I have created for myself.

I know I am not alone!


Monday, June 2, 2014


I am one of those people who jump easily. You can tell me you are going to scare me and I will still jump when you say, "Boo!".

Now, realize I live in a city where every taxi driver that passes honks at you, at least once, just to be sure you realize they are there and willing to let you be their next passenger.

Ya, I jump quite often as I walk down the street. I am sure it amuses those walking behind me.

Silhouette, Car, Ride, Transportation, Taxi, Public