Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer's Visit

Thank you to Ruth Ayers!
and join in the #celebratelu

So thankful a special guest finally arrived this past week for a visit.  "Thanks for showing up Summer!"

"Oh, you're quite welcome!  I enjoy returning every now and then."

"I just want you to know how grateful I am that I could spend a little wedge of time enjoying your company before I return to work next week.  Here's what I loved most about you today:

  • rays of Sun shining down to warm my family as we splashed at the pool
  • breezes to cool us as we walked around the shore of the tiny lake
  • puffs of white cloud playing hide and seek with your friend Sun
  • music floating around us bringing us to move to the beat
  • bright light night as Moon visits full for the second time this month
  • reminders from your cicada friends that your visit will be coming to an end
Lake Anna, Barberton 7-31 by Kameron Rudd

So, thank you Summer for sharing your special qualities!  We've adored your visit!  Could you please stay just a smidge longer?"

"W e  l  l,   m a y be..."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tour de Parks!

Special thanks to the Two Writing Teachers

Girl Goes on Playground Tour with Dad!

Made with the Pic Collage App via ipad!

Close your eyes (not yet) and imagine being at your favorite parks from when you were a child (now).  What do you see?  Picnic tables, slides, waterfalls, trees, sun and sand to mention a few?  

What Nattie saw...
  • a worn and weathered picnic table where she sat to eat her packed lunch at the park preschool 
  • a slippery slide newly placed where the old steel pole and metal sliding board once stood
  • a wooden trail down to the basin of the Gorge where only muddy trails once existed
  • a sand digger to sit on and manipulate where only a giant sandbox once was
  • a rock climber where only rusted swings once swayed
A day out with her dad...a tour of his favorite parks from childhood.  Lots of memories floating around. I could see from looking at the pictures and listening to her delight that Nat had an awesome time on the park tour with Kevin.  I know he felt happy about taking her to see the parks.

I didn't go on the tour but it made me think about my favorite parks.  One of them was just across the street from my elementary school.  I played many games there and even camped there for Girl Scouts.  I remember venturing on snipe hunts!  I loved running up and down the hills...chasing squirrels up the tall trees.  I remember cooking in the covered shelter and having picnics with my friends.  I remember hearing kids laughing and screaming breathless as they tagged each other.  A great place to enjoy nature's blessings.

What memories do you have of parks from your childhood?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Crazy vs Lazy Celebrations

at Ruth Ayers Writes-Discover, Play, Build
for hosting this weekly event!

BTW-Ruth will be celebrating 100 Posts for this Community in September!
Woo-hoo!  Hope you'll join in the fun and learning!

The writer in me felt excited to share all of the happenings from this week but wanted to share them in a clever way...I was thinking and typing and playing...I tried two different apps Piktochart and Venngage as I was inspired by 10 things to Try this Year via Alice Keeler -specifically #8-create and use infographics.  I needed to have a paid account to do the things I wanted to for now I will stick with my pictures to enhance my description of celebrations...

Google Apps for Educators.  I am celebrating all the percolating that occurred in my head as I learned about Google Apps and how they could be used in the classroom.  I can hardly wait to share my learning with the teachers at my school and try things out with the kids.  During our Winter Site Improvement Planning training, I created and shared this emaze documenting our work at Barber.  At our presentation, I ended with-"The world is going Google and you should too!"  Now, I've learned so much more and I'm brimming over with possibilities.

Kam had basketball camp this week at the University of Akron.  He attended with his whole team and they "had a ball"!  I'm glad he got to go.  I decided to make sugar cookies for the little team party they had on Thursday.  I tried this new recipe to make the cookies.  They turned out ok but I didn't have unsalted butter.  If you try it, make sure you don't add the salt if you don't have unsalted butter.  They tasted a little salty...

Another celebration this week was finishing up the building of the book baskets.  I worked closely with my friend Rosemary to get the books sorted into tubs and labeled for delivery.  We are so excited to have the books ready for the Akron Reads volunteers who will be tutoring our students this Fall.  Our next step is completing the training for the volunteers.

The week began "Crazy" and shifted down to "Lazy".  On Friday, we visited the library and checked out some new books.  After we got home, I got a big sheet and laid it out on the grass.  Natalie and I read books together in the shade and laughed and giggled as we read.  We spent time just looking up at the sky too-my favorite shape Nattie noticed was the cloud that looked like a giant hightop shoe.  

My attempt at an infographic using Venngage!

Create free infographics with Venngage

A busy yet relaxing week...was yours busy or relaxing?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mosquito Stops Time?

Can a mosquito stop time?  The answer in 3 minutes or less...

Cuddling and snuggling...happy time!
Getting our reading on!
Story giggles...conversation and wondering...
Feeling sleepy...
Lights out-click, click, click!

                                                  zzzzz    z z                         zzz         zz

                          zzz                           z                                 zzz                zzz

zzzzzzz                             zzzz                                 zz

"Mommy, I hear a mosquito buzzing!"
"Me too!"

Lights on--CLICK!
Hunting for the swatter...eyes darting around the room to find the tool that will end the zzzz-ing!

Nothing in view-a big tissue!
Arms flying through the air-the elimination process has begun!

zzzzz                    zzz                 
         zzz                           zz                                    z                          zzz

                                         zzz                                                          zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz           zzzz

                                           zzz                        zz                 zzzz z
"Where'd it go?"
"There it is Momma-up by the clock!!"
"Ugh!  I missed it!"

"What was that?" called Daddy from the other room.
"The clock!  I knocked the clock off the wall while swatting the stupid mosquito!"

Dead mosquito, broken clock!  It stopped time...yes, it stopped time!  Now no time!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Celebrating Bug Spray and Itch Cream

Thank you to Ruth Ayres
for Hosting the Saturday Celebration

                                                          bzzzz                                    bzzzzzzzzz

                                  zzzz                                     zzz




Another one down, but the bite is worse than the bark!

"Honey where's the mosquito spray?  I can't take it anymore!  These bugs are BAD!!"

pchit,        pchit,           pchit,         pchit,         pchit

Nattie and I were playing out at the play park.  We already had several bites before the bug spray!  I guess I was wrong in thinking that the breezey-flowing wind and sunny-sun would limit the attack going on by the vicious mosquitoes that have come to reside in our yard this summer.  They are biting through clothes now!!  And they swarm you in the garage as you move toward the car!  I find it a little ironic that Nat wanted her giant magnifying glass outside with her so she can study the bugs up-close!

We came back inside after playing and bumps on our arms and legs.  

"Momma, where's the itch cream?  I need it bad!"

"ME TOO!  Here it is!  (Let's buy stock in it I think to myself).

I here by declare-"NO Mosquito will keep me from enjoying the fun of summer outdoors!  I have bug spray and itch cream!  Take that Mosquito!  Take that!

Celebrating Defense and Resolve!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Naked Truth at the Office

Tuesday Slice of Life
Join the Two Writing Teachers
for the Tuesday Slice of Life
(writing & posting your slice) every Tuesday
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana

  1. the quality or state of being true.
    "he had to accept the truth of her accusation"
    • that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
      noun: the truth
      "tell me the truth"
      synonyms:what actually happened, the case, so;
    • what Natalie tells.

I've been working on a project with our district learning specialists and had to go into "the office" to meet with them.  I knew it would be a short meeting so I decided to take Natalie with me.  REALLY!?!  I packed up what I thought would be entertaining for her:  crayons, paper, stuffy, and books.  I prayed that she could just play quietly during my meeting so I could basically just "get in" and "get out".

As luck would have it, our secretary bonded with Natalie immediately and began an instant friendship.  While I was meeting with the specialists, Natalie conversed with Jeanne  and colored in her notebook.  As an aside, Nattie likes using crayons her way and often peels the paper from them.  Toward the end of our meeting, Jeanne had to leave so I didn't get a chance to thank her or say goodbye.  Later that day, I got an email from her...Slice!  Truth...

"Hi Amy,

Sorry I had to leave before you were done.  Someone was picking me up for lunch.  Anyway,  your daughter is just so sweet.  I loved talking with her.  She really makes you smile.  It made me miss how much I enjoyed doing day care before I came back to work. 

She took the paper off her crayon and I said, 'Oh no, now your crayon is naked.'  She looked at me with those really beautiful eyes and said, 'Those aren’t clothes.'  She is precious.  Just like her Mom.  I really enjoyed her visit.  Bring her and Wolfie by anytime.  I loved it.  Have a great day.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Slice of Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake

Slice 24 of 31
Join the Two Writing Teachers
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
 Have you ever been to a Pampered Chef party?  I accepted the invitation to go to a party hosted by one of my friends.  The room was filled with tasty snacks created to demonstrate the Pampered Chef tools.  

One of my favorite tools I purchased has been my round baking stone and rack/holder.  Since I purchased the stone, one of my favorite recipes is the one pictured above-Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake.  It's always been a big hit wherever I've brought it.  Yesterday was no exception!

My school staff had professional development training with Benchmark Universe.  I wanted to bring a "Birthday Treat" so I thought this would be the perfect choice.  I placed it in the conference room at the start of our p.d.  Throughout the day, teachers were asking for the recipe.  I found it linked here.  If you're interested, click on and try it out.  Everyone who tried it loved the little slice of "Cherry Cheese Coffee Cake"!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Still your Birthday?

Slice 23/31
Join the Two Writing Teachers
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

Yesterday, I celebrated another year older.  I will spare you the details of exactly what age I am...let's call it 29 and holding.  I have to share the events of my day because they were so perfect!

I woke up to my sweet little cherub-faced daughter saying, "Happy Birthday Momma!"  I think everyone should be able to wake up to happy little voice like hers with a special greeting every day.  Trust me, you would love it if you heard it.

The morning greeting was followed up with a special blessing at church on the way out after mass.  We always stop to visit with Father on our way out of mass.  It's such a special way to start off a new week.  Kam let it slip that we were going to celebrate my birthday.  So Father asked when it was.  I told him.  He blessed me with a special prayer and a send-off to a great year.  What an awesome birthday gift!

The day proceeded to be filled with greetings from friends and family via texts, calls and facebook messages.  These were examples of the wonderful ways my life is filled with blessings.

Next, we headed out to dinner at Nuevo Acapulco.  My family asked me if I wanted the waiters and waitresses to sing "Happy Birthday".  I decided, no, I didn't wish to be embarrassed in that way.  Our food was delicious and we were so full we could not head to Dairy Queen for birthday dessert.  Maybe tomorrow?

I laughed and smiled when I woke up today.  Nattie asked me, "Momma, is it still your birthday?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Mudness

Slice 17 of 31
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

The strange look of the piles of mud in the yard (now that all the snow has disappeared) is concerning.  It looks like a cow pasture loaded up with cow dung...but we have no cows.  I mentioned to Kam when we pulled in the driveway tonight, "I wonder how those piles are going to get taken care of?"  

"Yeah, Mom!  Those piles do look bad!"

We'll just add it to the list of major yard work that needs to happen once the weather warms up a bit more.  It will be ok.  They will get taken care of!  The yard will look better-it's just not looking good now.

Fast forward two hours...

Kam raced outside to play basketball when his homework was completed.  While he was outside, he donned his Good Samaritan cape and started stomping down all the piles of mud (which we think are from moles).  As a result of trying to be helpful, his good basketball high tops became a mud-caked mess.  So when he came in the house, the mud came too!

Fast forward 20 minutes...

He tried and tried to clean them up down in the stationery tub without telling us and ended up spraying mud droplets everywhere so now the mud is in the yard and in the basement on the floor, wall, and washer.  I appreciate that he tried to stomp the mud but made more of a mess in the process.

March Mudness is making me crazy!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Belch Heard Round the World

Slice 16 of 31

for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

Oh. my. goodness...I attended my niece's birthday celebration tonight with my hubby's side of the family.  We all met at Chili's to surprise Lauren.  The kids were excited and prior to Lauren walking in with her dad, Kam and Nat looked the menu over and knew what they were going to order.  Nattie decided to get the kids pizza and mandarin oranges.  Usually, she doesn't order chocolate milk, but I let her since we were celebrating a special occasion. (Oh, Momma, what were you thinking?) 

The waitress brought out the drinks as we waited a little longer for the birthday girl to arrive.  We were all chattering away and having a grand time visiting and catching up on the latest with family.  The waitress also brought out some chips and salsa while we waited too.  In 15 little minutes, Natalie had slurped down her whole cup of milk.  Wow, she must have been thirsty.  She also gobbled down quite a few chips...and salsa.

"SURPRISE!" we all shouted as Lauren arrived.  And the visiting and chatting continued as the waitress took our dinner orders.  While we waited for dinner to arrive, Nattie was breathing on the window and trying to draw on it (please don't judge).  

Our dinner finally arrived.  Nattie started by eating her oranges. She started acting kinda funny and was not really interested in eating her pizza.  Surprise?..."Momma, my belly hurts!" she sheepishly admitted.

"It does?  I'm sorry."  I rubbed her back a little...
Burping app Google Play Store

Surprise-B  E  L C  H... I was sure the whole world had just heard the most enormous burp ever by the smallest little girl in the room.  I immediately thought-Remove the child from the room! She's going to throw up!  Luckily we were seated near the carry-out door. I quickly whisked her out the door to some fresh air and away from the crowd.  Wow, all I can say is wow!  Thank God she didn't throw up and ended up being ok.  Never again will we mix salsa, chips, chocolate milk, and oranges together for dinner.  It was a bad combination that lead an enormous belch (I'm sure) heard round the world!

Prayerful Slice

Slice 15 of 31
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

As Natalie and I quietly prayed our little prayers...

I started out, "Dear God, thank you for the beauty of this day.  Please watch over and bless all our family and friends-"

Nattie chimed in, "and please take care of my friends Justin, and Griffin and Katie.  And I am giving up my binky.  I am not going to use it anymore.  I will be good without it God."

Amen.  No more bink...please Lord, please help us get through this!  So the dentist doesn't strangle me for not taking it away sooner. So I don't go crazy while she gives it up...she's ready and I know she can do this.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Girl Scout Cookie Time

Slice 14 of 31
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

Ding dong!  Ding dong!  Surprise!

"Hi, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?"

"Would I?  Would I?"  (should I?  my hips say no but my heart says yes!  Heart wins!)  "Yes, I would!"

"Here you go, here's the order form."

"Ok, where are those peanut butter ones-oh, yes, the Samoas.  Those are my favorites!"

"Thank you, Mrs. Rudd!

"You're welcome"

I can't wait for my cookies to be delivered.  On days like today, I want to eat the whole box and cry about it later...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Guilty or Innocent

Slice 13 of 31
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

Voting is now open...

Does this look like the face of guilt or the face of innocence? Vote in the comments below!

I'm asking because this is the culprit who's charged with destroying our internet services for almost a week.  He climbed into the box out at the pole and chewed through our cable line, exposing it to the elements and eventually shorting out our line.  Our cable connection is finally fixed and our new modem is up and running.  I hope the little cousin learned his lesson and never plays with our cable line again.  Don't get me wrong, I like squirrels but I don't like when they mess with my hobbies and my work because of their chewing habits.

Have you ever had squirrel trouble?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Route 91 Log Ride

Slice 12 of 31
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

On the way home from picking Kam up yesterday, we were all smiles in the car!  The air was warmer than it has been for weeks and weeks.  The sun shined brightly and he walked out of aftercare carrying his coat instead of wearing it.  We buckled up and put our windows down a little as the temperature inside the car felt a little too hot!  We loved being able to feel the fresh air rushing past as we headed down the road towards home.
Kameron chattered on and on about how well he did on his health test!


S-P-L-A-S-H!! through our windows and soaked us as if we were on the log ride at Cedar Point Amusement Park. 

 We both screamed in shock as the water hit our faces (we were both on the left side of the car).  And then we started laughing hysterically over what had happened and wiped the water off of our faces.  Kam giggled and shared- "Mom, I didn't know Water Works was going to be open today!" 

"Neither did I Kam, neither did I!" I laughed...knowing exactly what my slice would be!

Moral of the story:  When driving near large flowing puddles in the Spring, anticipate the melting run-off to cause larger splashes of water than normal even if on the other side of the road and remember to put your windows up!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

11 Things Right Now

Slice 11 of 31
Join the Two Writing Teachers
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!
Yesterday, the "inspire" Stacey shared was "10 things right now" and "currently"! Thanks to Mandy and Bev for these mentor ideas!  Here are my 11 things currently  starting with this huge issue that threatens to blow a large hole in the slicing process...

11.  Our modem is not working!! Ugh!  I'm slicing from my phone in Panera.  But I'm enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and nibbling on a little snack!

10.  I started my Easter basket shopping-found some cute stuff.

9.  I just got my hair trimmed!  I enjoyed catching up with Michelle-my stylist!

8.  I'm relieved that round 1 of PARCC and AIR assessments have ended.

7.  I wore a Spring jacket to work today! {fist PUMP}

6.  I played with the fourth graders today to review Ohio History.

5.  I sat in on Math centers with Firsties today.  They showed off the knowledge of 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, 10 less!

4.  I observed a sweet moment when one of my office mates received flowers for her birthday from her daughter and grandsons.

3.  I enjoyed chatting at lunch with a coworker that has a job interview this week and speculating about what questions she might be asked...

2.  I loved watching Nattie kick the snow pile next to the driveway this morning.  Get outta here winter!

1.  I smiled watching Kam give an endearing hug to Nat, who he lovingly refers to as "Pip Squeak"!
My 11 on the 11th!

Shock-Jack Frost MIA

Slice 10 of 31
Join the Two Writing Teachers
for the Slice of Life Challenge
(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!
Our driveway has been like the luge track at the Winter Olympics for about three weeks now!  The more we drove on it, the slipptier (Nat's word) it became.  The height of treachery came last Thursday as the temps again dropped at the near zero mark and I had to dodge the trash barrels while backing out!  SERIOUSLY HONEY?  Can we at least put them on the same side?  The whole family needed baseball spikes to maneuver mail pickups.  In fact, Nat had her boots on and still went down on her crown Friday morning...

I know get to the point, right?  I had to capture all of the slippery details forward to Monday morning!  
"Do you you want to put the garage door up?" I asked Nat. After all, it's one of her favorite morning routines.  
"Sure Momma!" Coat on, zipped and smiles from ear to ear! Click, door going up, she bounded down the steps to the driveway.
"HUUH?  Momma, where's Winter?  Jack Frost finally left our driveway!!"


Where has he gone?  Oh, "I'm sure the devious little fella will be back soon!"
"Yes, Momma, I miss him!"  

Monday, March 9, 2015

5 W's and the H of Maker Space

Slice 9 of 31

(writing & posting your slice) every day for the month of March
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Betsy and Dana
for hosting!

A special thank you to Stacey for asking me to share my inspiration via Bitstrips!

Over the past week, I noticed different posts about Maker Spaces.  I thought a lot about my "Maker Space" and my work.  I had a bit of a revelation.  This could be a slice to tell since we're all working on slices at some favorite spot in our dwellings.


Where do you like to work?
I reflected on where I work.  The more I thought, I noticed a theme emerging.  If I am doing things just for the "fun of it"-play but not real serious, I tend to be around where everyone else is hanging out.  If I have serious work to be done, I tend to hole up in the upstairs office with the door closed to stay focused.  Where are you inspired as you write?  I love looking out my windows on the world no matter where I am.  Looking through windows helps my mind to drift and dream.  I also thought about our students' writing.  Do we give them the freedom to choose a comfortable place as they write?


What tools do you use as you're creating?
I thought about my tools.  I mostly use my laptops.  I have one for work (that I love) and our own for home.  I also now use my phone (iPhone 4S-which I've had for 3 years and now I don't know how I lived without it).  I sometimes snag the family ipad to work on too.  And, my new fav is my own mini-ipad.  I am using blogger for my platform, but I also love Twitter and my new favorite, Google+ as tools to share what I learn.  What tools are we letting students use?  Do they have a choice in tools for composing?


When do you work in your space?  
I have learned that my favorite time to work is after everyone is retired for the evening.  I seem to work better in the quiet of the night or early in the morning when no one is up yet except maybe the sun.  I like to read comments on other slices throughout the day.  For students, do they have a choice in the time?  Is it open ended?  Could it be?


Why do you Slice or Make?
I thought about what is driving me to do this creating.  I want to write because I want to tell my story...I saw a quote on a planning brochure earlier in the evening that captured what this adventure is really about: "The magic is in the story."  I love knowing everyone's stories.  If I had more time, I would love to read every person's slice every day!  Do students have an authentic purpose for writing or making?


Who inspires you in your making?
I am grateful for some inspiring individuals who spur me on to try new adventures in my maker space.  I am grateful to all of the creative thinking that the slicers and writers are sharing @ Two Writing Teachers as well as Ruth Ayers, Cathy Mere, Julie Johnson, Kevin Hodgson, Bonnie Kaplan and Margaret Simon to name a few.  If you don't know them, please check them out!  How do students find others that inspire their work?  How do they learn from each other?


How do you make your work?
Over the weekend, I made a video of my maker space.  I used the iMovie app to create the video.  I used the trailer format that already has an outline and a story map created.  The hard part is choosing the pictures and the zooms to create it.
Here's my "Maker Space".    


What can you share about your Maker Space? or students' Maker Spaces?