Thursday, March 16, 2017

Classroom SOLSC Celebration Ideas (Need advice please!)

I am planning (slightly) ahead ... wondering what I will do for our Classroom SOLSC celebration once April arrives.  My plan is to invite families in to our classroom, serve slices of cake and share writing.  I need advice!  What do other Slicers do in their classrooms?  Gifts?  Ways to share?  Please do comment.  :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Had To Laugh

"Mom, don't look!"  Never a good way to enter the house after a day at work.  I slipped off my boots, threw my school bag down on the garage floor, and sprinted up the stairs, skipping every other one.  "What on earth could have happened?  Is he ok?" I cringed at the thought of what could be awaiting my arrival.  As I turned the corner into our family room, all I could see were giant tufts of brown stuffing, mixed with wood chips and slobber.  Wedged between the shredded bed and my 11 year old daughter, was the culprit.  Crouched down, tail so far between his legs the tip actually touched his belly, he stood-guilty as ever.  One look and a quiet, yet firm "Elvis" was all it took.  He started shaking and peeing uncontrollably all over her sneakers.  "What did you do?"  I didn't think it was possible, but he crouched even lower to the ground and wouldn't look me in the eye.  There was nothing left to do but ... burst into the biggest belly laughs we've had in a long time.  Good 'ol Elvis.  We thought our 2 year old Black Lab had outgrown the puppy chews.  Clearly not.  His reaction-priceless!  Guess he'll be sleeping in a heap of stuffing from here on out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


"Daddy, do you think they'll win?" Sebastian looks up at him-eyes peering at his, in hopes he'll say yes.  The bond between a father and son is like no other.  Some moms may feel jealous.  I choose to feel grateful.  When given the choice, Sebastian always chooses Daddy-time.  Whether it was when he was three and our septic tank backed up (yes, it was THAT bad) or heading to the big game, Daddy is always the one.  We were snowed in today and, from the moment Sebastian woke up, he was concerned with whether or not Daddy would have to go to work.  Every couple of minutes, he'd give the latest meteorologist report and it would always have the power of persuasion (man, he could be a great writer someday).  "Treacherous conditions out there.  The worst we've seen ALL winter!  Travel ban for the entire state.  Brownie day declared."  

This bond-may it never end.  So lucky to see such a relationship between a father and son.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happiness Is ...

  • Belly laughs from my kids
  • Cuddling with my dog
  • Getting in my PJ's after a long day
  • Spending the entire day in my PJ's
  • The first snow of the year
  • Warm sand between my toes
  • Big Squeezy hugs from my daughter
  • Ah-ha moments
  • Fresh pizza 
  • Cold Pizza
  • Completing a long-distance run
  • A clean home
  • No dirty laundry
  • A clean car
  • Love letters
  • Having no plans on the weekend
  • Vacation
  • A good book

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Is it bedtime yet?

Long sleepover last night-kids finally asleep at 5:30 am and suddenly woken up by a text at 8:02.  Time for bed ... and hopefully a great night's sleep.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What's your favorite childhood memory?

Thinking back to 25 years ago, I have to admit that my absolute favorite memory as a child is that feeling I'd get heading off to bed on Christmas Eve.  While most families celebrate Christmas Eve with loved ones-creating an extension on the holiday, my family was different.  I am one of three children, with my brother and sister being 9 and 10 years older than me.  My parents (don't know how they got away with it) always reserved Christmas Eve for them.  They'd let us pick out the latest and greatest movie to rent from the local video store and let us eat our dinner away from the dining table, snacking on sweets of our choice while they'd have their romantic evening just the two of them.  Once we were all in bed and asleep, they'd exchange gifts as well.  Despite the fact that I never understood what other families did on Christmas Eve until I went off to college, I never felt slighted.  You're probably asking, "Really?  That's so sad!"  Christmas Eve, believe it or not, was my favorite childhood memory year after year.  It all centered around that moment I would snuggle up in bed after my dad would read the well-loved, tattered copy of  The Night Before Christmas.  That feeling of anticipation of what was to come when I'd wake up before daylight Christmas morning.  It really was the scene from the story where "children were all snuggled in bed while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads".  As an adult with 3 young children, I still get that magical feeling every Christmas Eve as I head to bed.


There are certain things that should NEVER be put on a pizza.  Take for example, the McManiac-inspired by none other than McDonald's ... crust topped with sauce then topped with a 6-piece Chicken McNugget, fries, and 2 cheeseburgers that all look like they just came out of a Happy Meal.  Then there's squid ink pizza-the ink replacing the tomato sauce.  I stumbled across what looks like an artery-clogging pie that appears to have every kind of meat stuffed in every single slice of the entire pizza.  The last one I just came across was a pie that contained roast beef, fried hot dogs, ham, buffalo chicken, sausage, bacon, chicken nuggets, meat sauce, pepperoni, and cheese.  Thanks, but no thanks.  Think I'll stick with my usual-Margarita pizza-Yum!

Where'd she come from?

The reserved, always soft-spoken little girl we once knew has temporarily left our home.  She has been replaced by a bouncing off the walls, hyper-active, and hair tossing pre-teen within a matter of minutes.  Performing the latest dance moves-the whip and pickling ... where did she come from?  LOVE how her best friend Izzy brings out this side of her.

Blast of Warmth

"This is your captain speaking.  We've turned off the fasten seatbelt sign.  You are now free to exit the cabin." The moment has finally arrived.  We've reached our destination and the months and months of planning are finally over.  Now only if we could get off this overstuffed and undersized regardless of its appearance vehicle.  Doesn't help we are seated in row 23.  What feels like an eternity is finally over and we reach that moment when you're suddenly walking onto the jet bridge (yes, that's what it's actually called!).  The blast of warmth my body and soul have been craving since last August is finally here.  One of the best feelings ever!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Pictures that Never Leave Our Minds

Last night I was mindlessly roaming on Facebook.  I go on when my brain is fried and when I feel like I have no brain cells left at the end of a long day.  Yesterday was one of those days.  What drives me absolutely crazy is those pictures.  You know the ones I am referring to-the ones that never, no matter how hard we try to squeeze them out of our brains, ever leave our memory.  Last night was one of those nights.  I was scanning, thinking "Look at cute Charlie-his big dimples and toes you just want to eat up."  Scan a bit further down the page to find the hysterical rant an acquaintance put out there about her 8 year old son always missing aim in the bathroom.  (By the way, I really wish I had her talent when it comes to writing humor.  Every single time, she hits the emotion spot-on and has me in stitches).  Anyhow, just below her usual laugh until you cry post, was the picture.  I'll spare MY audience the visual and therefore details because I don't want to leave you with this memory.  Call to action-Facebook is JUST meant for kindness and light reading.

Monday, March 6, 2017

She doesn't have what it takes ...

The year was 1992.  I was one year away from graduating high school.  Socially, I was on top of the world.  Every weekend, plans to choose from and was comfortable choosing to stay home because I knew I didn't have to-I always had a game to go to or a party to attend.  Life was good.  On the social front, that is.

What was not shared with me until recently was that my high school guidance counselor, junior year of high school called me parents in for a meeting on evening as college prep began.  I heard this story a few weeks ago, actually.  

"Please have a seat, Ginny.  I'm glad you took the time to meet regarding your daughter and her future."  My mom apprehensively took a seat.  She knew I was that kid that always got invited back for more playdates when I was little-she always taught me the importance of being "the kid everyone wanted back".  "What on earth could this be about?" she thought as she anticipated this worst.  "You see, we just received her SAT scores."  Long pause.  A long look across the office.  "How bad could the be?" she thought.  "Ginny-the thing is, her scores were atrocious.  Certainly not the worst we have ever seen, but test scores are a true measure and, really, the ONLY measure of a child's understanding and success.  Their only real value.  The only way she will ever be accepted into a university worth attending is based on her ability to achieve on these tests."

And so the conversation went.  Words like, "She'll never amount to anything" and "She doesn't have what it takes" were repeated.  

Can you imagine sitting there, listening to an educator speak this way?  The sadness that must have taken over for my mother at that moment must have been crushing.

Here's the thing-it was everything BUT crushing.  Instead, she believed what any good mother would think.  She even screamed it out, "You couldn't be more wrong!"  "She will succeed!  She will and no one, especially you, will tell her otherwise."

That child who had difficulty taking tests and finding her way academically until she found her niche has gone on to become an educator and one who believes with everything she has in insisting at measuring success by contributions to our world instead of a single (and stupid!) test.

SOL 17

March 1, 2017
My one little word is BREATHE.  Every day, I seem to be in such a frantic rush.  I sleep until the very last second before my alarm goes off.  5:45 am.  Gym clothes strategically placed on my tub in the bathroom, waiting for me to rush out the door for a quick workout, for “me time” at the Y.  I then race in the door, grab my coffee, jump in the shower, and throw my hair in a wet ponytail.  “Are you ready?” I call out to my kids in hopes that they have done everything from brushing their teeth to grabbing their lunch boxes.  The day goes on and on this way, day after day, week after week, and what feels like year after year.  BREATHE.  I need to say this more often.  The simple act of taking a slow, deep breath every now and then could be my one little word that could make all the difference.


People say dogs have no sense of time.  I beg to differ!  Speedy-Dog, my best friend's pup was the master of time-telling.  Every afternoon at exactly 3:22, our big yellow school bus would pull up to the stop sign at the corner of Stony Corners and Main Street and who would be standing there?  No one but loyal, sweet, TIME-TELLING Speedy-Dog.  I cannot remember a day when he wasn't standing there, waiting like a parent for his "sister" Katie.  The most remarkable part of it all was Katie lived at the very end of our street-a street that must have been over a mile long.  All of the neighborhood parents would smile when anyone mentioned Speedy.  At 3:18 every day, he'd leave the confines of his yard and trot down the side of Stony Corners, past the Mooney's, the Savage's, beyond the falling down barn that was transformed into the neighborhood fort, and straight to Bus 16's stop.  Speedy-Dog was always on a mission to greet his kids and always on-time!

Bitter cold!

It takes your breath away.  The second you exit the warmth of your home and step outside, your nose stings, your eyes water, and your body begs to turn around and head back to warmth.  That's how it feels today.  All I want to do is curl up under my blankets in bed and read my book.

It's Friday!

The day before the best day of the week-the day when everyone anticipates the weekend and all of their free time to be with family and friends, sleep in, and catch up on things lost during the week because of the hustle and bustle of school.  Every Friday, I wake up feeling excited.  Excited to see my kids one last day this week.  Excited to wrap up all of our learning from the week.  Excited to head home and have Friday night pizza night with my family!  Excited that, tomorrow, I don't have to wake up to the dreaded sound of my alarm but instead, be woken up by the sound of my son running downstairs to snuggle up on the couch with cartoons.

Wear a helmet!

"Go ahead," I hollered.  "I'll meet you at the next bend."  We were on the second run of the day and the day felt absolutely perfect.  The sun was shining, the temps were in the low 30's, and we were beyond the first ski-trip as a family so we didn't have to spend the entire day on the bunny hill, taking a 30-second run down and repeating it all over again ... time and time again.  
As I began gaining speed, I thought to myself, "Finally!  The wind in my hair, the beautiful backdrop of the Green Mountains, and time with my family."  I never wanted that moment to end.  

Next thing I know, I turn a corner-the one that leads to the narrow trail and in the blink of an eye, I hear a blood-curdling scream that I knew in an instant was the scream of MY daughter.  I frantically scanned the trail left to right up and down but she was no where in sight.  As each second passed without spotting her, the faster my heart beat.  About 100 feet further I spotted a large family off to the side of the trail peering down a ravine.  "No, please no.  Do not let it be her down there where they are frantically peering."  There was an older man who appeared to be the father who had already taken off his skis.  He was heading down to get her.  All I could do was repeat over and over again, "Please let her be ok!  Please let her be ok!  Please let her be ok!"
From that moment until ski patrol got her down the mountain, time seemed to move in slow-motion.  Because of the way she was wedged between two trees and the depth of the powdery snow, it took 3 adults to carefully hoist her back up to the trail.  When ski patrol showed up, she comforted us-reassuring us that, although she hit her head on a tree, she was going to be ok.  She was transported to first aid and then to the local medical center.  "We're so glad you were wearing a helmet, sweetie!"  Everyone repeated those words over and over again.
We all learned a very important lesson that day.  Be sure to ALWAYS wear your helmet when skiing!  They really do make a difference.