Monthly Archives: September 2013

a series of things that I know now…but didn’t know then


children crave structure and so do I

we never arrive and I still haven’t

lists really can help but you need to remember where you put the list

if you want to go outside on a glorious day just go outside and connect it to something academic

happiness is getting box on your doorstep with a funny picture book and that Amazon is sweet,simple and one

                  of my best friends

don’t overbook, don’t overbook, don’t overbook or you will start to feel crazy, loony and just a tiny bit mad

kids always want to tell you important things and it is always important to listen

sometimes it is nice to lend your whistle to little boys who sometimes need to know they are important and will

                 someday remember that you did 

we can wish and hope and pray, but some families never go to recovery or get help to learn how to parent; it is an 

                uneasy acceptance

tootsie rolls in a drawer can get you through the hard times and friends who listen are like golden goodness

the life of a teacher during a school year cannot be understood unless you are fortunate to be one

teachers crave peace, delight in sunny outside recess day, love when they see children delighting in a book while they wait for their ride at the end of the day, love with passion and have knowing and understanding eyes

Thirty-eight years can feel really short, when you graduate in 2014.  



      Yesterday our first grade teachers had Grandparent’s Day.  Many of our children do not live near their grandparents, but never fear, our grandparents who showed up to our classes on Friday morning rallied, to form cocoons of love around those who didn’t have grandparents attending.  Delicious cookies and doughnuts were added to the mix, and of course… books!  The aroma of cookies, happy students reading their cards and first sentences, was definitely is a great recipe for building community at the beginning of the year.  I guess thanks to Hallmark for creating this new day with yet another reason to celebrate.

       Today, on our flight to see our son Jeff, I opened the Spirit Airways magazine to the featured story about gourmet cookies making a come back.  I really don’t think they were ever out of fashion, were they? Actually though, I think back to my family history.  My sweet mom, a baker, she was not.  Her own mom, my grandma, was a master with Swedish coffee cake, breads and Pepparkakor cookies, but baking was not an everyday occurrence.  Both my mom and my grandma worked outside of the home, and pretty much viewed baking as frivolity, reserved only for holiday.  So in my case, baking has skipped three generations. 

       My daughter however, grew up viewing cookies as a sign of love, she still does.   Whenever we visited my husband’s farming side of the family they equated cookies and desserts as love on a plate.  And finally a new baker was born in our family.

       How did your grandparents show their love?  When I think of my grandma she did it a little differently.  When I arrived at her apartment in Chicago, we would first give hugs…which my austere grandma only reserved for my sisters and myself.  We would always spy the green glass candy dish on her hutch.  We knew not to ask right away, but eventually if we asked politely, she would let us pick our favorite Brach Sour Ball candy.  When I see the dish on my piano I think about love, I think about community, I celebrate a relationship.

       My own daughter loves the kitchen smells, loves her mixer, lives for smiles as friends and family samples her creations.  I am like my grandma, a little sour and a little sweet, offering store-bought specials and treasure box prizes, and books to the children in my small groups.  How do you build that connected community in your classrooms and your lives?


PS Sammie is coming for a visit from Ecuador next month.  I think she might just remember our big bathtub, the jets and maybe the books…. don’t worry… I’m not handing out Sour Balls… yet.



Passing through Nebraska now…. just finishing this in the jet plane…. oooh I love to write, I love this habit…. thanks to Ruth and Stacey and all of you.  I’m so thankful!



little red


you know the friends,

the friends we wake up in the middle of the night about,

the friends I bite my nails because of,

the friends that need the most hugs,

the friends that moved away in kinder and you just knew they would be back in time for third,

with little brothers, cousins and sisters

the look

of giant melty eyes that say,

“Love me, teach me, listen to me”,

I stare at the ‘red data‘,

knowing there is much more than just this pin point on a graph,

there is a soul that drips red,

moved, tossed about and out,

into my room,

into my heart,

I love red…

I will secretly read to you, so you will learn about love.

We will laugh and delight in song and verse.

The words will become lovely to you my little rosy friend


I promise patience and because of that


will bloom with our books,

and someday,

you may grow and remember

how it felt to be red… and loved… and then you will



and another

and many lives

by giving the blessing of a book and

red has become


tender, and soft


love to write, love to think, love to SLICE... please join our community

love to write, love to think, love to SLICE… please join our community