Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Twin Day (x 3)

It's Spirit Week at our high school and today is twin day. My hubby and I planned to go as twins but then his office staff decided they wanted to be part of our family as well. Here we are in all our glory!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Student Leaders

Oh how my life has changed! The teacher who was responsible for student leadership moved to Georgia this summer. Another person was asked to assume this responsibility and did not give her refusal until school had been out for a few weeks. Both of these ladies are younger than my youngest child! And yet, here I am, acting like I have the energy to keep up with some amazing high school students. I've had to quit some other things in order to stay a step ahead but so far, so good. I truly love these students. They have great hearts of service and a lot of innate leadership ability. Plus they're fun!

2013-2014 NCHS Student Leaders

Thursday, August 08, 2013

No Excuses

A l.o.n.g. time ago, a friend of mine named Julie stated that the most annoying sound on the face of the earth was that of a whining child. I laughed like crazy. My sons were 2 and 6 so I could relate with her feelings even if I didn't totally agree. As the years have gone by and I have taught school in elementary, junior high, and high school, I would say that the most irritating sound is a kid with a million and one excuses for not doing his part, whatever that is. When I taught junior high, I read the book Do Hard Things to my 7th graders. One phrase in the book "Pursue Excellence, Not Excuses" stuck with me. I wrote it at the top of my white board and any time a student began to give me an excuse for his situation, I would instruct him to read the top of the board. When I moved to the high school, I realized I would have many of my former junior highers again. That's when I decided to make the motto a permanent part of my classroom. I bought one of those rub-on letter thingys, cost a fortune, but it's going on three years old and still well-stuck in place. As I set up my classroom for the coming school year, I looked at those words and realized that they were just as important to me as a teacher as they were to students trying to escape responsibility. I want to do the best I can to prepare students to live well, to be honest and caring, to make a difference in the world. There are no excuses for doing less than my best.

I love the wall of windows and the constant reminder to do my best.

I use the chalkboard wall as a gallery of sorts. Never have cared for chalk!

But I do love books! My loaners.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

My Locals

Last week I stayed at our son's house while he took his lovely wife off to a b-n-b for three days. T had to work so he only came out for dinner and bedtime tuck-ins. The three grands and I had such a great time together!

At the Wolf Haven, the kids climbed the Grandfather Tree. It was huge!

The girls enjoyed the craft room. In fact, Kayla spent over an hour here.

As a last activity, my three symmetrically-oriented kiddos tried to arrange the water table.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

40 Years

My hubby and I have been married 40 years. We married young and had children right away. I tend to think of my life in decades. The first two decades of my life were all about me. And then I married and everything changed. The next two decades were about our sons. We had two boys because we didn't want three boys. My family and my husband's family are boy-heavy. If a girl isn't the first born, it will be all boys. At least that's the historical record. The fifth decade brought grandchildren. Because we started so young, we have been young(er) grandparents. I highly recommend it! We have always been able to play hard with the kids and that's a joy! I have just begun the sixth decade, have six grands (incredible), and have thoroughly enjoyed this life with my man. There have been some really difficult moments with health and hardship, but the blessings far outweigh the trials. Oh how I love him!

Rocking on - Grandpa's foot makes it go faster!

A great reader makes E happy

Hairstyling with Grace

The man - 40 years mine!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


One of the best words to describe our two weeks in France is laughter! We laughed and smiled so much, our faces hurt! Our little ones loved playing with Grandpa and he was more than willing to do whatever necessary to make sure they had a great time. What a delight. Although this is a terrible photo technically speaking, the laughter reflects the ongoing joy of our time together!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I gave that record (yes, vinyl, a 45) to my boyfriend when I left home for college so many decades ago - and now, we are celebrating 40 years of marriage. He is the love of my life... no question about it! To celebrate, our sons have purchased tickets for us to go to France and spend two weeks with this sweet family. We are blessed people!

Brian and Erin, Gracie (5), Eliott (2), and Nora (1)

Saturday, June 15, 2013


How can this year be over already, and what took it so long? Yep, that's how I feel. The year seems to have flown and yet... there were times I wasn't sure I'd make it through the week, let alone the year. At the end of it all, this class selected me as their most influential teacher, said nice things, and gave me pretty flowers. The senior who spoke was well-chosen. G has had a rough time with her family: alcoholism, abuse, multiple divorces. We spent hours talking through many issues. She made it, did very well, and will attend a great four-year university in the fall. Some of the other students counted on my help when dealing with other teachers. One came and confessed a very serious disorder because she was in trouble, needed help, and knew I would contact her parents and convince them to get her into counseling. Counseling led to a critical decision to commit her to an institution that will give her skills to live a new life; at least she'll have a life! It was touch-and-go there for a while. Teaching is about life adjustments, not just growing the brain, but altering a student's perspective on life and learning. I tend to preach as I teach but it works. Through it all, I told these students the same thing I told my first class in 1973... You will change the world; make it better!

Here are two of my best writers: Savannah and Kay.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Officially summer doesn't arrive until the end of next week, but school is out, tonight's graduation. I think this will be one of those summers that flies by at the speed of light. Next week is all the time I have to get ready for a very special trip: to France! In celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary, ours sons bought us plane tickets to France where we will spend two lovely weeks with our younger son and his family. Whenever people talk of going some place, the dialogue seems to turn to things to see and do. It's very different for me; I just want to be, to read to grandchildren, to sit still, take in their presence, breathe the same air, watch emotions expressed on small faces, laugh at silly stuff. I know there are historical sites, educational and cultural opportunities... I don't care. There are three smallish people, living in a French country home with their parents, who mean the world to me. I just want to be... with them.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nora - May Birthday

It has been WAY too long since I have even signed on to this blog. I mean, really, November? Since then Christmas has come and gone as well as our birthdays and one very important birthday. Little Nora had her first one! She is a really happy baby and we are so excited to see her in July. Our sons have given us tickets to France for our 40th wedding anniversary. We can't wait!