December 14th

Image result for sandy hookDecember 14, 2012 is a day that holds a sad place in my heart. This is the day of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  I can remember sitting there glued to the tv. Blake was in kindergarten, Colby was in Pre-K. This horrific incident happened in an elementary school. It happened in a kindergarten classroom. How? Why?

I can remember thinking we tell children all the time school is a safe place. You are safe here. We tell this to children who are dealing with so much crazy in their lives outside of school. We tell this to children when they are harming each other. This is a safe place, we don’t hurt people here…. we help them.

It got me thinking about the teacher my son had in kindergarten… would she protect him? What would he have done in this situation? Would he know to hide and keep quiet? Would he run?

I thought about the fact that even though I wasn’t teaching at the time, I’m still a teacher. What would I have done? Would I have kept a level head and been able to keep my kids safe? Would I have put my own life on the line to protect my students? Would anyone have come help me?

While I didn’t have all the answers, I do know now that many more thing have been put into place to help with these situations. My children have gone through many, many, many lock down drills. We have talked about what to do if you are outside a classroom during a lock down. We have talked about why there are these drills. It isn’t to scare them, but to make them aware.

Life sucks…. things happen. But how you react and deal with what happens show the true you. To answer some of the questions above…. I know Blake’s teacher on a much more personal level now having been her co-worker and someone I’d consider a friend… I know she would do anything and everything to protect her students (any good teacher would think that way). I know that if if was my own classroom I would switch into “go” mode and get things done and protect my kiddos in anyway that I could.

The kindergartners who passes away during this tragedy would be 6th graders now. They would be tweens, just like Blake. Those teachers, administrators and other school personnel would have touched the lives of so many other children. But, we need them to know… we remember.

So thank a teacher today. Hug your children a bit harder. Reach out and say thank you, or I love you, or I forgive you. Just remember that today is a gift…. treat it as such



life · PreK class

UGH- where is my voice?

Coughing time, coughing time, sneezing all day long. Lots of snot and runny noses. Please cover your cough-ough.  (sung to the tune of jingle bells)

This week it seems like every child in my class is coughing, sneezing or both. And they are 4/5 so the sneezes and coughs go EVERYWHERE. I can show them, tell them and explain over and over how and why to cover you cough and sneeze, but they are 4.

So the germs finally found me! Yep, I feel like crud. Yesterday I came home from work and took a nap. Then I slept terrible last night. First it was the stuffy head and cough. This morning I woke up with no voice, but hey my cough is gone!

Teaching today was tough. But, Thursday is one of my smaller days at least. I did get my voice back around 10:45, and I have an aide so she had to do a lot of the louder talking and read the book.

Now I just need to plow forward and get everything done that I need done for the next few days…. baking cookies at school tomorrow. block party on Sunday that I need to bake chocolate chip cheese cake bars for and then I’ll also make rolls and sweet and sour meatballs.

It never ends, I don’t have time to be sick! Oh and Colby has a chorus concert tonight.  Another cup of coffee, a bit more airborne and a hope for a good night sleep. And hopefully I have my voice tomorrow, because that group needs me to be able to talk!

blog hop

Blogmas- Gift exchange

Today’s topic is gift exchange. I’m guessing that this is addressing group gift exchanges, such as for work and such.

Hmmmm what do I think of this one? I think it depends. I do like the idea of having to get one gift instead of a whole bunch of gifts. But, then I always struggle with the whole idea of what to buy. I really hate the “buy a gift for a female” or male depending on your gender. This is so generic. Often times people buy things that they would like, and if you’ve read my blog enough you know that most likely means I wouldn’t like it. I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I’m super picky about accessories especially jewelry. I have more baking/cooking items than I’d need. So what do you get? The easy answer is a gift card. But then where do you get it? So many people go… I know Starbucks. Ummm I don’t like Starbucks (neither does Richard). So what do you buy???

I don’t mind doing it when I know the person and even more so if you are given a cheat sheet list. Then they know what you like and have some kind of direction on what to get. You have some premise on what is a good gift and can put a bit of thought into it.

We are doing a Secret Santa at work this year. We are buying $5 gift for the first two weeks and then a $10 gift for the holiday party. I purchased my person a cute snowman mug and hot chocolates (hot chocolate was on her list of drinks she likes). That was week 1. This week I did 3 smaller gifts. I got her an inspirational bracelet (she said she liked inspirational books), 2 bottles of a drink she likes and then 3 chocolate bars (she said that chocolate was something she likes but doesn’t buy herself). For her big gift I have pens, a notebook and then a snowman dip bowl.

My Santa got me a bottle of water, hummus and pretzels and chocolate Santa bars for week one. This week they left me a hugs Minnie mouse mug and hot chocolate.  These were all ideas that are off my list.

So I guess for me I don’t mind exchanging gifts, with criteria?

blog hop

Blogmas- Homemade Presents

Its my 7th day of Blogmas and my list said to me…. talk about homemade gifts please.

Homemade gifts…. hmmm my first reaction is ummm no thank you. But, then I think about it and I think it is more…. it depends.  I do give out home baked cookies often as gifts, so that is a homemade gift. I have received some homemade gifts over the years that have meant something to me, or were at least special at the moment.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that it typically isn’t the gift that means something to me, as much as the thought behind the gift. If I feel like you picked out, made, purchased, whatever a gift because you felt it would mean something to me, it is a worth while gift. If I know you spent time putting it together, finding the right item, baking, whatever and you did it to bring joy to me, and/or my family, and others that you created the gift for… than it is special.

So often we get stuck in thinking about the end product. What will I use this gift for? How will this gift effect my life? And, we forget to think about why the person picked out the gift in the first place. Why did they think I would like this?

When you create a homemade gift you are more likely to put thought into the gift. You will put time, effort and love into creating something for someone. It puts the giving back into gifts. So, I say if you are going to put the thought into what you make and who you make it for. If you are going to put your time and energy into creating the perfect gift… than go for it. Even if the receiver doesn’t appreciate it to the level that they should, you will know that you put the giving back into gifts.

blog hop · food · life

Blogmas- Gingerbread Houses

Today’s topic is Gingerbread Houses… Hmmm I’ve never actually made a gingerbread house. I think they are pretty cool to look at and checking out the ones at Disney were always on the list of to dos when we lived in FL. We got to see a HUGE one on the Disney Cruise when we were on the Disney Cruise two years ago.

But, I don’t get the point of them. Who would actually eat them? If you aren’t going to eat them then why go through the process of making them? Isn’t that just wasting food?  And the time it takes to bake them, make the icing, and then assembly them? It also seems like an engineering nightmare. Does it take forever to get all the walls actually standing and staying upright?

So, while I will go see the overly decorated and over sized gingerbread houses around…. I won’t be making one anytime soon.

Make sure you hop over to the other bloggers who are joining in the Blogmas fun!

life · blog hop

Blogmas- Christmas Music

The next topic on the Blogmas list is Christmas music. I love music of almost every kind. I always have Christmas music playing during the season. We listen to Christmas music on our Alexa. At work, I have instrumental versions of Christmas music playing while the children are working. I always find the all Christmas radio station for my car.

Now, do I like ALL Christmas music…. nope. There are some songs that I think are way over played/over sang. There are ones that I like sung by some but NOT by others.

I know some people love the new songs and some prefer of the traditional ones, But, I love a mixture of both. Christmas music should bring a smile to your face and your heart. Just listen to the “When Christmas Comes to Town” from the Polar express and you will feel what Christmas music should feel like.

through my camera lens · life · blog hop

Blogmas- Annual Ornaments

It’s day 4 of our Blogmas countdown! You can still join in the fun, just start on 1 there are still 20 days until Christmas!! Wait, there are only 20 days until Christmas… eek! Or that means there are 20 more days to enjoy the holiday fun before the holiday is here. Hmmm whichever way you look at it… there are 20 days until Christmas.

Today’s topic is Annual Ornaments. This is a topic I know a LOT about. As a child, my mom picked out ornaments for my brother and I ever year. We also got an ornament every year from my mother’s cousin. Plus we made ornaments in school. That in conjunction with the random ornaments I got from friends and others was a lot of ornaments. When I moved out of my parents’ house, I had enough ornaments to cover my whole 6′ Christmas tree.

On my parents tree now there is one Santa to represent each member of the family. She bought it the first Christmas with each new family member… well not me. My first ornament was an angel and I have that one. I didn’t get my first Santa until I was in my teens. I kept that one too so she had to purchase a new Santa to represent me on her tree, but it’s all good!

As a parent, I began purchasing new ornaments for my boys each year. I take time and search out the perfect ornament for that year. The first year they each got a Santa… see how that works?!? Then from then on I found ornaments that might mean something to them. They have some that are the same/similar and other years the ornaments are nothing alike. The boys each put up their own ornaments on the tree. They love finding the ones that are the same/similar and putting them together. They also have a collection of one they made with me or at school. They have ones given by other family members, including my mother’s cousin who now gives the ornaments to my boys instead of to me.

I know that when my boys move out, they will be given a box of ornaments for their tree. And I will keep one or two to represent them on my own tree…


life · blog hop

Blogmas- Winter must haves

The third Blogmas topic is winter must haves. Hmmm what must I have for winter?

I think you can look at this in a few different ways. What items do I have to have to get through the cold and dreary of winter?  Boot! I love shoes and having a variety of boots to choose from is always a good thing.  When I lived in FL there were so many people who would be walking around in boots, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the concept. I’m not just talking about wearing cute boots that have style, but no warmth function. I would see people wearing snow boot. People would be wearing Uggs…. what why? But now that I’m in PA I say wear boot every day from Oct-Mar and you are good to go.

Another must have for me is layers. I love to pop on an unlined zip “sweatshirt” over my shirt just to add an additional layer of warmth. The new feature of the thumb hole is a favorite of mine too. I love the it covers a bit of my hand and keeps it that much warmer.

What other things must I have for the winter? a good hot drink when I get home for work each day. Some days I make hot chocolate, others favored coffee and others tea. Right how I’m working my way through a tea advent calendar.

A cozy blanket to wrap up in on the couch is another must. I have a stack of them in my living room and a few in the basement tv area. When you are curled up on the couch watching tv, wrapping up in a blanket just feels like a necessity.

What are your winter necessities? Want to join in this blog hop fun? Start on day 1 and go through all the topics. Hop over to Abby’s blog to read the rules. Also check out the other bloggers who are having fun with this blog hop.

Uncategorized · blog hop

Blogmas– Ugly Christmas Sweater

Today’s topic on Abby’s Blogmas countdown is… The UGLY Christmas Sweater. I am not a fan of this trend. I have never been a fan of Christmas sweaters. Yes, I know I’m a teacher and most teachers have all kinds of holiday get up, but not me. I have a few t-shirts, back in the 90s I had some vests… yep I was that kind of cool. But, I’ve never wanted to wear any kind of garish holiday getup.

Last year, Richard’s work group had an ugly sweater party. First off, I don’t think Richard’s ever owned a sweater in his whole life, ok ok…. he did live in FL for most of his life, but still. He ended up ordering himself TWO different ugly sweaters, but neither was a sweater. They were both t-shirts that looked like sweaters.

I will not be sad if this trend goes away. I say go for it if you love the ugly sweater, but I’ll skip this trend… thank you very much!

blog hop

Blogmas- Christmas Lights

I was reading AJ’s blog post today and she mentioned joining in the Blogmas. I was intrigued. So I hopped over to Abby’s blog and read a bit more. This is a blog hop based on winter/Christmas topics. You can play along in whatever way works best for you. There are 12 topics to blog about to get you into the season.

The first topic is Christmas lights. I am one of those people who loves Christmas. I have my Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving. I used to put them up right after Thanksgiving. Then one year I decided to put them up early and loved having them up already for Thanksgiving. There is something special about the festiveness of Christmas.

We have decorations on the inside and outside of the house. We have lights on the front and back of the house. All my lights are white. I love the plain simple clean look of all white lights. I have switched a lot over to cool white lights which gives more of a blue/white look instead of a yellow/white look. Yes, even white lights look differently.

I love seeing the neighborhood lit up with the lights. To see the different interpretation of the season. It makes the drive in and out of the neighborhood bring me a smile. Our cul-de-sac is now totally decorated. Each house is decorated differently, but each shows its own personality.

My favorite thing to do on the weekend is to come downstairs in the early morning and just turn on the Christmas tree. Have those white lights be the only light in the house while I enjoy a hot tea or coffee. To stop and relax before the craziness of the day. I will often do the same after I put the boys to bed.

I feel that the use of Christmas lights makes up for the fact that it is pitch black at 5:15pm and we haven’t even got to the Winter Solstice!