Thursday, March 31, 2016

sol 31 (ish) A Little More to Get to Know Each Other...

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A little writing prompt to end my slicing time.  A router gone awry tried to spoil my slicing experience.  And while it changed, I'm so glad to have had the time to write again.  Writing juju found?  Check!




i am a wife, mother, teacher, runner, friend. 

i keep clothes for what seems like forever.  Even if they don't fit or I don't need them anymore.

i wish i could take away struggles for students who are in poverty.  And their families too. 

i love my Mr., reading, running, time with friends. 

i dance in the kitchen. 

i sing in the kitchen and in the classroom.  Also in the car.

i think everyone who raises kids, teaches kids, loves kids should get a free-agent contract.

i really am working hard to wake up earlier in the morning.  Morning is hard.  

i need to get the house ready for my sister's visit.  

i should drink more water.  Less Diet Dr. Pepper.

i can Not stay up past 10:30 very well. 

i like days when the work is "done" and you can relax without worrying about too much. 

i make good soup. 

i always hug and kiss My People at the end of the day and beginning of the day.  I always make sure they know how much I love them when we start and end our day.   

Which one of these can you share with me so I can get to know you better?  Thank you Slicers for a wonderful experience!  

Joy!
Kendra

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

sol 30 (ish): 30 Things.

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30 Things I Might Be Thinking About Before School Today:

1.  Music teachers don't get paid enough.  (I know...true for all teachers.  But music teachers...wow.)
2.  My throat is sore this morning.
3.  I've abandoned two books this week.  That is rare for me.
4.  Why does playing piano for chapel still make me nervous?
5.  A thin bagel for breakfast?  Cereal?  Burrito?
6.  Sriracha is spicy.  But I like it.
7.  I still love this writing challenge.
8.  Our kitchen is a crazy mess this morning.
9.  My feet hurt this morning too.
10.  I need new running shoes.
11. I love this new job.
12.  But I wish I didn't have to get up so early.
13.  Will I ever get good at mornings?
14.  What are you dreaming about today?
15.  I wonder if we were approved for a puppy.
16.  Are we ready to get another puppy?
17.  Am I ever going to write a book?  Maybe.
18.  I went with the bagel for breakfast.  And an orange.
19.  How can we really maximize choice and play in the classroom?
20.  I still dream about serving food.
21.  What would my food truck be called?  I could drive it in the summer...
22.  How are we taking care of teachers these days?
23.  My oldest is growing up way to fast.
24.  So is my youngest.
25.  Oh my!  It is spring picture day today.
26.  What new content can I share in a blogging format?
27.  I love the idea of "ish."
28.  I can't forget the picture books today.
29.  I wonder what my summer project will be.
30.  I still adore this Slicing community.

What's on your mind today?
Joy!
Kendra

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

sol 29 (ish): Where I Have Been, A Bad Day, and A Confession.



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Almost one week ago today-it happened.  

Things piled up at school. 
I was carrying a lot of work home.
Ugh.

The weather was changing.  Just enough to remind us that we live in the Midwest.  Not enough to really slow anyone down.  Just sluggish.  
And enough weather to make us want to hibernate a bit more.

As we try to squeeze in one more run, the words start to fly.  
"Hurry up!  The rain is coming!"
"I'm trying to find my socks!"

Isn't it funny, the people we love the most are the ones we are quickest to fly words with?

We run.
In silence.

I sit down to work.  
The storm comes.  

A surge dances through the house.  First the kitchen.  Then the living room.

"No Network Detected."

You.Are.Kidding.Me.

Right away, I know I have to use this time to unplug a bit.  Slicing--just not an option to squeeze it in.  
(More Ugh-ing here.)

It was kind of a bad day.

The confession?
I used that whole time to try and go on the defensive from the flying words.  
(And I read a whole bunch too.)
To become "more independent."
But all along, I'm tuned in to the emotions.
I can't hide behind the router.

Why do I do that?
Because I'm a spicy soul, that's why.  
(See Jen Hatmaker's Book, For the Love.  No really.  Get the book.  I'll wait here.)
I do big emotions.  I'm obnoxious.  I'm passionate and emotional.  I forgot to be the Darling Lamb of a wife and instead, became firey.  
(Again, thanks Jen for giving this words!)

But we are getting to be "Oldyweds" and staying defensive just isn't very fun.
Nor is it really the way.

Reconciliation starts at the dinner table.  
The conversation is so good, we pause to determine if the children should actually be invited to dinner.  
(Don't worry-we fed the children.)

Then we run.  
It's there that the rest of the reconciliation happens.  

Today?
The router comes.  

It takes about 30 minutes before I'm firey about Wi-fi use amongst the Little People.
(Seriously with the Star Wars and the Dragons?!?!?)
But there are snuggles and reconciliations for everyone.  Even me.

Bedtime is near.
And I can write again.  

It really worked out the way it was supposed to.  

Joy!
Kendra







Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SOL 23: 7 Things.

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Funny.  A year ago, I was up early for no reason.  Here I am again.  It's a little long, but thanks to this link on Pinterest (again) I have a story to write.  

Journal prompts:

7 everyday things I couldn't live without:  
  • coffee
  • almond milk
  • yellow-tinted concealer
  • the iPhone.
  • leggings.  (I know, I know, they aren't pants...)
  • tennis shoes
  • crossover bags
7 of my favorite songs:  (Just spend some time on YouTube today and tell me what you think)
  • "Create in Me" Rend Collective
  • "Soul on Fire" Third Day
  • "Life is Better with You" Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • "Dear Younger Me" MercyMe
  • "Renegades" X Ambassadors
  • "Back to You"  Bryan Adams (The MTV Unplugged version from the 90s)
  • "I Need Never Get Old"  Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats
7 Adventures I want to have before I die:
  • a marathon
  • more time in Colorado
  • London
  • a tiny house
  • buy a farm
  • write a book
  • learn to paddle board
7 Pastimes I never tire of doing:
  • reading
  • writing
  • running
  • napping
  • cooking
  • music (Listening and playing)
  • country driving
7 Treats I could eat/drink everyday:
  • Diet Dr. Pepper
  • Cheese
  • chips and dip
  • cookies
  • pizza
  • croutons
  • granola bars
7 People I'd Be Lost Without:  (There are way more than 7...)
  • Mr.
  • Big A
  • Li'l T
  • Mama
  • Daddy
  • Big Sis
  • My Outlaw (or in-law)
7 Places I Want to Visit:
  • Colorado (Again)
  • Portland
  • London
  • Banff
  • The Dominican Republic
  • Hawaii
  • Wyoming

What would you add to these lists?  

Joy!
Kendra

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

SOL 22: 5 Books Everyone Should Read.

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A confession.  (Glances around furtively...)  I didn't know what to write about today.  I went to Pinterest and typed in "Blogging Prompts" to get me started.

And there, on a graphic for March 22nd, was a topic I think we can all related to.  (See title.)

Michelle blogged here on what books have changed her.   That was inspired by a Nerdy Book Club link written this weekend.  

So without further delay, here's a list from me.  A little bit of Reading Touchstone inspiration and a little bit of straight up Sassy Girl's opinion on books that have stayed with me.  (And a nudge from Pinterest this morning...just keeping it real folks.)

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I love the patience in this story.  Friendship takes patience doesn't it?  I also love seeing the imagination that comes out in kids after they hear this story.  

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The Midwestern Girl in me couldn't stop thinking about this book.  It's a book that I have a copy of, but I won't share it with you.  I'll recommend you get your own.  In only the way a girl from Omaha can do, Rainbow Rowell nailed this Midwestern story.  I could visualize my Grandma's neighborhood as I read it, and the interstate system through Des Moines. 

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I mean, it's so hopeful and funny.  I do have several copies of this one too.  My heart sang when I realized my 11 year old snatched one of my copies to keep in his collection.

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In my next life, I'm a chef.  Who writes a lot.  And teaches first grade.  Hamilton makes me believe that this could be possible with the right amount of grit.  

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This is an unintended read for me.  But the more I read it, the more I really like it, and may have to get a copy to pass around.  It's just so honest.  

So, there we have it.  A list of 5 books I think everyone should read.  
What's on your list?  

Have a good Tuesday!
Joy!
Kendra









Monday, March 21, 2016

SOL 21: And My Reading Plan Changed. (Again.)

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I love it when it happens.  You see a friend that you should really see once a week, but life gets in the way and you don't.

When you do finally get to see her, it's rooted in all things good.
Ideas for school.
Time for the kids to play.
All the words that need to be said.
Basketball.
Local pizza. 
And books.
You see, Girl knows that I'll always read a book.  And she's right.  So, generously, she sent me off on Friday with this one:

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And I can't stop reading it.  It wasn't in my plan to read this book, but I'm so glad that I am.  If you haven't, get yourself a copy and start reading.  As I was wander through the book store, I would pick it up and then think I didn't need to buy it because I have read a lot of Glennon's writings online.  But I did need to read this book.  It is one that has left me giggling, reflecting, shaking my head no, and then yes.  That is the best way I can share it with you.  
And I have to also share one quote that made me jump up and cheer:
"I love the library.  Also church.  Both have to take you in."

When I'm not sure where or if I am fitting in or what ever, or feeling all jumbly here are two places I'll just run to and be. 

If you have this book, share it with a friend please.  Someone you know needs to read this book.



We also head back to school today after a week of spring break.  I'm feeling tired, but ready.  
And I'm excited about this read aloud:

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Hang on Little Friends.  I have more read alouds to share with you!

Joy!
Kendra




Sunday, March 20, 2016

SOL 20: An Open Letter to the Person Trying out my Identity; Some Thoughts and Advice.

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Dear Would Be Identity Thief,

Ugh.  You nearly ruined my Friday Afternoon.  The one I was enjoying on Spring Break. When I opened up that credit card, the one You applied for in My Name, I let out a big string of swear words.  My first reaction was a big dose of Anger and Frustration.  I am sassy, strong willed, and lots of other things, but I usually don't get Angry like this.  Because of that anger, I was able to stay up late into the night and see my Panthers beat Texas.  So I guess I should say Thank you?

Then I got to work cutting off your efforts at the knees.

Close that account?  Check.
Call the police?  Check.  (You know, they really have more important things to be doing...)
Credit Bureaus called, my accounts flagged?  Check.
Credit reports printed and studied?  Check.  Check.
Taxes frantically filed and accepted?  Check.  Check.  This could have been a celebration yesterday, but we were waiting for the email that said the taxes were actually processed.

Now that I've researched and worked on shutting this down, and I think we've cut it off; my thoughts and attention have turned to you.

Of course my biggest thought is Why?  Why My Name?  Address?  What do you need?  Is this a solution for you?  Are you simply having some "fun?"

I know you probably don't care, but maybe you do, I need you to know that helping people is part of my life rhythm.  If you needed help, you could have shown up and told me your story.  My family and I would have done what we could.  There's a bit of sadness here, because I think that people have turned so inward, we've stopped asking each other for help.  Help is still part of my deal.

However, if you are trying out my identity, the sassy girl in me has some advice for you to do it right, so listen up:

  • You'll need a coffee pot.  Buy your coffee in bulk.  Use almond milk creamer, caramel flavored.  That's how we like it.
  • You dance in the kitchen with your sons.  Usually to Bryan Adams or some obscure pop song from the 80s.  
  • You love carbs.  But you are trying to eat more veggies and lean protein.  Tonight you are having fish and veggies for dinner.  
  • You aren't very tidy.  But it bothers you when things are dirty and need to be cleaned.  
  • You are rooted in faith.  Which is why helping is part of your life's rhythm.  The Bible is pretty clear about that one.  
  • 2 words:  Elastic.Skirts.  
  • You'll need a book stack.  A big one.
  • You'll need a tribe.  Of people.  Quarky, Sassy, Sweet, we love them all.
  • You don't fold the socks.  The kids can do that.
  • Running shoes.  Get some and use them almost daily.  



I can't quite wish you the best or luck yet, but I forgive you.  (But I'll be tuned in to all of it...the mail, our accounts, all of it.)

Joy!
Kendra

Saturday, March 19, 2016

SOL 19: It's Time for School: A Reflection on Spring Break.

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Also Friends, You can celebrate too!  Link up at www.ruthayres.com.  I thank Ruth for sharing her space with us. 



Spring break ends this weekend.  On Monday, we go back to work.  It's time.  I've missed my Little Friends, and we have some more work to do.  And I can't wait to go back.

But there is much to celebrate about this last week.

Lots of time to share meals with friends and family.
Time to get a few projects done.  (Under the boys' beds?  clean.  Game cupboard?  Clean.  One bathroom?  Deep Cleaned.  My clothes?  Purged a bit.)
More time with friends.
A nap.  (Or two.)
Time to write!
Time to read!
Shopping for an "I'll never stop growing" boy-complete.
A night out with my favorite 11 year old.
Willie!
An NCAA Shoot Around Afternoon.
Late night basketball.

A Miracle Indeed.  Last night my Alma matter did this. We love basketball in our house.  This was so fun to watch.  I'm so happy for the Panthers.  And Jesperson's Mama.  She must be so happy this morning.  :)

I hope that you too are finding things to celebrate this weekend!

Joy!
Kendra

 


Friday, March 18, 2016

SOL 18: Spring Break Eats.

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Spring Break Eats-A Free Verse.

Blue Tomato Kitchen.

Birthday Fun.
Get the soup!
Gut-busting laughs.

Draught House

Local brew.
Great Friend Time.
An Icy Spill.  Whoops.
More Giggles.

On the Border

New Friends.
Fish Tacos.
Funny ending.
Mamas texting from the grocery stores they stopped at.

Kitchen Table.
Lunch at home.
2 Favorite Boys.
Homemade pizza.
Willie!

Mr.'s House and Mrs.'s House
Like family.
Migration.  Mr.'s house gets lunch.
Mrs.'s House gets dinner.
Grocery store offerings.
15 kids?!?!?!
The best.

I hope you are having a relaxing break with lots of good food!

Joy!
Kendra



Thursday, March 17, 2016

SOL 17: Adjusting the Schedule.

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My apologies if this post rambles a bit.  I'll be working out some ideas on readjusting instruction for my Students at school.  All feedback welcome.  I'll be giving the "short story" a lot, with the assumption that I'm working under a workshop framework that is flexible, yet well planned out based on what kids need and what the observations and some data are telling me.  I work hard to honor a scope and sequence, and yet not be completely tied to it if the children need something else.  The short story is:  They have usually needed something else.  There is huge tie to the SEL health of this class and their ability to work in a classroom setting.

At the end of January, this post was written over at Two Writing Teachers.  It also had this link from Kristine Mraz on scheduling as well.

I tucked these away, because I'm always reflecting on what works for kids.  How can that precious time during the school day be used well so kids find the joy in reading and writing?

I'll tell the short story for the sake of the blog:  I'm blessed to be in a working situation this year where my literacy block can be designed to meet the needs of the kids, not a lot of questions asked.  That is both empowering and terrifying at the same time.

As we do, with close observation, and a peek at some data, I realized that some instruction needs to change at this point in the year.  While some skills are in place, and they LOVE reading; our writing progression isn't as fluent.  At all.  As a teacher, it is the space in my day that I'm the least confident about their progress.

What we can do:  (As students)

  • We can write pieces.  
  • We have made strides in working on making our writing readable.  
  • We  want people to be able to read our writing.  (This is a HUGE shift from the beginning of the year.)
  • We have ideas.  
  • We can choose topics, start new stories, stick with some writing for a certain block of time.  


Goals:

  • We haven't embraced that our word work is important because it makes our writing more accurate.  
  • Even in our writing attempts of unknown words, we aren't attending to sounds consistently.  (Observational data would indicate that it's a behavior related to focus and stamina.  More quantitative data would indicate the skills are in place to do accurate work.)
  • It is important to state here that I have students who are stuck in the "How do you spell..." paralysis.  While I know I want to promote independence here, I have to do so carefully as this can halt the entire process based on emotional needs.  It is a delicate balance of giving the information they want, while encouraging independence, and supporting the emotions that come with trying something that can be challenging.  (We've worked through A Mindset for Learning by Mraz and Hertz, it's helping!)
My First Attempt in Schedule Flow:

Currently, after our Morning Meeting, we go into a Reading workshop setting.  Writer's Workshop/Word Study comes at the end of the block.  I'm considering a "flip-flop" so writing comes first, like this:

  1. Arrival:  A little math writing (2-3 minutes), Books out!  Shop for books, visit with friends, morning "business." (Arrival time is about 15 minutes)
  2. Morning Meeting/Shared Bible Time (Think shared reading).  (20 minutes)
  3. Word Study in Rotations:  Phonics/Spelling, Handwriting, Sight Word practice.  (30-40 minutes)
  4. Read Aloud/Mini Lesson on Writing.  (It works best if we are always connecting our writing to a mentor text.) 
  5. Writer's workshop.  (45 minutes-ish, including the read aloud and mini lesson up above.)
  6. Snack time/Recess.
  7. Specials (45 minutes; Spanish, Art, etc.)
  8. Reader's workshop (45 minutes)
  9. Lunch time!    
Yes, I really do have about a 3 to 3.5 hour-ish morning.  
I'm hopeful that being more intentional about the words and the writing will produce a joyful shift that results in happy writers!  

Phew!  That's enough for today...I'll write a reflection in a couple of weeks on how it is going.  

Joy!
Kendra


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SOL 16: 16 Things.

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Today has turned out to be an adventurous Spring Break Day.  Before the fun begins, here are 16 Things Thoughts About Today.  (A Quick Write.)

1.  Willie goes home.

2.  I'm going to my first Wildtree Workshop.  It's on grilling.  I'm excited based on all the veggies I was chopping yesterday.

3.  The boys get to see their friends.

4.  NCAA is in town.

5.  NCAA practices are free to watch.

6.  KU and Indiana are here.

7.  More Friends for the boys.  (And their parents!)

8.  I already have a place to park downtown.

9.  The parking is free.

10.  We still slept until 7.

11.  Before Mr. left we were still planning a run for this evening.

12.  I'm making a second cup of coffee!

13.  This is a good lesson in learning to rewrite the to-do list.

14.  The Limbacks' REALLY like watching basketball.

15.  I'm wondering how we'll feed the boys dinner...it will work itself out.

16.  There was still time to write!

Have a Great Day!

Joy!
Kendra

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SOL 15: The Many Adventures of Willie.

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Yesterday, I ran across this post written by Lee Ann Spillane.

Willie saw this post and wondered why he wasn't invited to do some writing...without further delay, Willie shares his adventures...


When these humans pick me up to stay with them, I always get excited.  This time it is Operation Make Friends with the "Big Kid."  I think it is working.  He seems happy to see me.  He makes sure I get enough exercise.  

This Little Kid is always by my side.  His Mom and Dad have to remind him not to say my name 85,000 times a day.  But I kind of like it.  


These people have great places for sleeping.  They always seem willing to snuggle up in a blanket with me.  The Old Lady keeps snapping pictures of me.  I know I'm handsome, but enough is enough...

Veggies?  Seriously?  When I was offered a treat, I thought I'd be getting some of that chicken up there.  Come on Humans!  Dogs don't want peas, they want chicken!  

The Little One and I have a bond.  See?  He knows I can check out what is left over from lunch.  No chicken here either.  

Old Lady!  Did you say, "Run?"  I like to run.  Take me with you.  


While I love these people, I miss my Owner terribly.  Sometimes, I have to lay down I'm so sad.  I hope I get to go home soon...


Joy!
Kendra (And Willie).  

Monday, March 14, 2016

SOL 14: 5 Books on my To Read List.

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February brought a frenzy of reading.  I love that my son's 5th grade language arts teacher honored a competition proposed by the 5th graders:  Who can read the most minutes in February?  The only requirement?  Read outside of school time, share your minutes.  Winner?  Got to read the most minutes.

I love that nearly all the teachers participated.  It's truly a staff that seeks out more reading.

More often than not, Big A and I would giggle and hold up our books to see if we could get the other one to read.  We were constantly asking each other, "What did you read today?"  "How much did you read today?"
Now that March is here, my minutes have fallen off the cliff!  I'm hopeful that spring break will jump start some of my reading again!  Here are 5-ish books that are in my TBR pile:

1.
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On Friday night, Big A and I were out together.  A little dinner and the book store of course.  I picked this one up.  It's been on my radar a bit, and I really can't leave the book store without picking up something.

2.

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Okay Slicers.  A few of you have been blogging about this book.  I was holding it on Friday night.  I almost bought this one too.  You influence my book purchasing!  


The rest of these books have primarily been shared by my sister.  She's an avid reader too, and generously shares her books when she's done with them.  When we are with my mom, we each have a book stack to pass around.  


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What have you been reading?  Is there anything that you would recommend based on what is already here?

Joy!
Kendra




Sunday, March 13, 2016

SOL 13: Dear Piano.

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You might not know that once upon a time, I was a piano player.  So much so, I considered making it a major in college.

As it does, college happened, marriage happened, work happened, kids happened.

Piano didn't happen.

About 10 years ago, a piano showed up in my house.  I would sit down from time to time.    This piano was the one I used growing up.  It's an honor to have it in my house.


Then about 2 years ago, I was tinkering with hymns at my mom and dad's farm.  Grandma let me know I was getting rusty.  "Those boys are getting in the way of your music."  I will never forget that moment because Grandma didn't speak up much.

When I interviewed for the job I have now about a year ago, I stated that I did know how to play the piano.  I didn't think too much of it.  Then I showed up in August.

New colleagues:  "We need you to play the piano for us in chapel."  Big smile.

Me:  "I'm rusty!"

New colleagues:  "It's okay!"  And it has been.

But my journey back to playing the piano in front of people, who sing while I'm playing, has been a bumpy one in my eyes.  It has me always thinking of my students and how they learn new things too.  So today, I thank my piano for reminding me of how my students are working hard every day.

Dear Piano,

Thank you.  When I started playing you again, it was hard.  Really hard.  I really had to think about what I was doing.  All.the.time.  I still do.  You require my total and complete focus.  When people approach me and want to chat when I'm practicing, I have to stop and change gears.

You've taught me, when I speak up in my classroom, I'm approaching a student who requires complete and total focus.
They are working hard.  Really hard.
You've taught me to be careful with the timing and quantity of my words.

I hit a lot of wrong notes.  A Lot.  I'm learning to play through those and keep going.  Play it again so there aren't as many wrong notes.  

Those mistakes in the classroom?  Thank you.  I'm learning how to teach kids to keep going.  Try it again so it's not so hard.

Playing you in front of people is scary.  My "grown up brain" knows it is fine.  Everyone understands.  But each week, my hands shake, and I have to will them to work so I can keep playing.  

Learning to read/write/do math, when it's hard, can be scary.  Kids are brave, and I'm working hard to see that and honor any risks being taken in the classroom.  The will it takes to learn is remarkable.  Each week you remind me of that.

Learning is beautiful.  When I do play things the right way, that feels tremendous!  
We celebrate when the learning is successful in my room!  Hugs and high fives all around!

Dear piano, thanks for leading me back to my students.

Joy!
Kendra

  








Saturday, March 12, 2016

SOL 12 and a Celebration: All Things Joyful.

This post is part of the 9th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for their hospitality and support!  Join Us!

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Also Friends, You can celebrate too!  Link up at www.ruthayres.com.  I thank Ruth for sharing her space with us. 




Oh Friends.  I woke up to a visiting dog gallivanting through the house.  All I could do was celebrate because spring break is here.  I love where I am working.  I'm so thankful for a break.


This week, I purchased clothes baskets for my kids to sit in while they are reading.  They love it.   If you haven't tried this yet, I highly recommend it.  I have a classroom of students who love to "nest."  They were trying to do it in the sink even!  I had seen this idea on the interwebz.  (Thank you Twitter or Pinterest...)  I celebrate a strategy that brings my students success and happiness.  


This dog belongs to a person that is quickly becoming a close friend.  As a family we are watching this dog while said friend takes a few well-deserved (understatement of the year) days to see family.  Willie is funny, and so polite and calm.  We love this dog.  


Let the spring break lists begin!  My OLW this year is Thrive.  I'm working to not get sucked into all the cleaning and work I could catch up on.  (Although, I'll do some.)  About 1/2 of my list today is self-care, rejuvenating activities, and time with friends.  

Also, when I make my menu, I'm going to try and do that without Pinterest this week.  In the spirit of a thriving space, we are working on unplugging a bit too and going screen free for a time.  We haven't worked out the details yet.  Maybe that precious time from 4-9 when we are all here together...

I pray you are getting some time to rest too.  

Joy!
Kendra


Friday, March 11, 2016

SOL 11: Share

This post is part of the 9th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for their hospitality and support!  Join Us!

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I say it several times a day, "You can share!"

I have a visual graphic of it in my classroom.

We insist on it as grown ups teaching children.

Each day I consider the sharing that takes place.

Sharing of thoughts.  Sharing of tape.  Sharing of swings and recess balls.

The kids have it down.  (Mostly)

Sometimes I wonder, why don't I?

Jesus is pretty clear about this one:  Share with those who need it.  Share your home.  Share your food.  Share Me.

As it usually goes, when I drag my feet to share, I'm tired.  Cynical.  Worn out.

But when I'm extending hospitality, sharing that food, and reaching out with His Word?

I feel purposeful.

I feel invigorated.

I feel strong.

I thrive.

Let's share.

Joy!
Kendra

Thursday, March 10, 2016

SOL 10: A Year Ago Today.


This post is part of the 9th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for their hospitality and support!  Join Us!

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http://simplylearningtogether.blogspot.com/2015/03/sol15-day-10-where-i-read-and-write.html

The link above is to my slice from one year ago today.  I find this to be hilarious, because not.a.thing has changed about where I read and write.  I'm sitting in the exact same spot at the dining room table as I type this slice.

Nests of books and notebooks and ideas are still everywhere in this house.

On my little black table next to the couch there are two cookbooks from the library and a book my mom recommended to me.

This completely embodies what we want for our home.  Steady, constant, predictable. The rest of life?  Bring it on.  But home is unchanging.

We still need new carpet and new paint.  I need to update photographs.  Our entertainment center is probably outdated.  But those are just details.

The parts I love the best have stayed the same.  It's just the way I want it.

Joy!
Kendra

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SOL 9: On My Kitchen Table

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You came to us via a trade.  

I love your mid-modern ways. 

I even found a few chairs to match you.  One has been marked as his by a child in this family. Quite a feat from a girl who isn't a thrifter/shopper/antique finder.  It just sort of happened.  

You are the catch all, literally.  Somebody Always has a project on you.  

Right now?  You are fairly clean.  The Dog Home Visit happens tonight, and there isn't much on you.  We are hoping to offer some hospitality.  

That hat though?  A special kid designed it.  All those pieces next to the hat are connected.  It's Lutheran Schools Week, and things are getting crazy!  

Always post-it notes to remind me what to do.  Always.  

Napkins, as we navigate the world of manners.  

You hear and keep our dinner time conversations.  

You held up all my work last summer when I sat with you for hours each day and pursued that degree.  

When inspiration strikes with one of the boys, you carry the mess, the sticky, and the after effects of what they are thinking.  

You are there in the quiet of the morning.  

You are there in the chaos of the evening.  

A strong unsung hero of the kitchen.  Our table.  

Joy!

Kendra


We never set out to be so connected to a dog.  It's just on my mind as we have a home visit tonight to get approved for adopting another dog.  


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SOL 8: A Brain Dump Before School.

This post is part of the 9th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge.  Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for their hospitality and support!  Join Us!

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This week has gotten crazy friends.  Still, I must write.  But a little more sleep, lack of preparation last night, etc.  has resulted in finding myself with my laptop and nothing clear to write about.  So a peek inside my brain this morning:

1.  The Dog home visit team is coming to see our house.  Are we ready to get a dog again?  Facebook is telling me it was 2 years ago today that we had to let our sweet Jackson go.  That is significant to me this morning.

2.  Jumping rope is a hard workout!  I did that last night for my cross-training.  My arms hurt this morning?!?!

3.  In my devotion time in the morning, I'm learning how to not take for granted parts of my Faith.  Especially forgiveness.

4.  Amazon Prime?  I'm so thankful.  My picture books have shipped!

5.  Last night was crazy.  I'm still processing that.  Nothing bad.  Pretty cool actually.  Just feeling bewildered.  Holidays.

6.  Spring Break.  I've started a flow list of all the things I want to do.  I'll need another week.

7.  It's Pajama day for Lutheran Schools Week.  Amen.  ;)

8.  What Is for Breakfast?

9.  I should be reading more.  February was awesome for reading.

10.  Next week, while on spring break, I'm going to cook without using Pinterest.  (How do I feel about making this a goal?  I don't know...)  We also are talking about how to unplug during spring break as well.

What are you thinking about this morning?

Joy!
Kendra

Monday, March 7, 2016

SOL 7: A letter to my Oldest Son.

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Dear Big A,

11 years?!?!  How did that happen?  I love having a front row seat to your life right now.


You are an awesome big brother.  You know that Li'l T adores you, and you are really good at not taking advantage of that.  (Even on the days I know you want to...)


I love being able to see you at school everyday.  So does my class.  Thanks for letting them hug you.  :)


Speaking of school, I love watching you learn and grow!  Life skills for 5th/6th graders?  Yes please.  Thanks for making this lunch for us the other day.  I'm looking forward to having it for dinner this week.  Most of all, I'm looking forward to you branching out and trying some things in the kitchen.


The other day when you gave me a book recommendation, I thought my heart was going to explode.  I've been waiting for that for a couple of years now!  I love being able to share books with you and to see what you are reading.  The February Reading Frenzy!?!?!  One of the best things to happen to our family.  Let's read all the minutes together!  

You have such a reflective spirit about basketball.  Our family loves to watch, re-watch and watch the game again.  I love your good sportsmanship and your willingness to learn the game.  "I'm your biggest fan!"  (Thanks for smiling every time I yelled that at a basketball game.)

You are an authentic kid of faith.  When your teacher told me you set a friend straight about gender expectations regarding "boy colors" and "girl colors", again, I thought my heart was going to explode!  We were made to love, and you do that with an open heart.  

I love you bunches.  I'm so proud to be your Mama.  

Joy!

Big A's Mama.  (Kendra)