Thursday, February 21, 2013


     Today and tomorrow I am allowing my classes to create book marks for their school library. Each student is getting 3 pieces of 6"x1" of a card stock with a hole in the top. They will create 3 book marks and enter one into a contest I have name Mark the Page! They are excited about this little project. It's not every day one gets to put away vocabulary and essays to work on an art project in English class! But I have been focused on getting them to learn the library and use it. We have SSR (sustained silent reading) everyday and they go with me every 2 weeks to the library to check out books for SSR. So, as they are looking for a book every two weeks they are slowly learning the library system, and some of them have actually found authors they enjoy. It has always astounded me that the students in my school don't read. Many of them have never finished a book. Most of them come from homes that don't get magazines or even newspapers. They have no role models that read so they don't either.
     So back to the contest...they are doing a great job. I got together some art stuff and asked for some donations from the staff at school. We will work on them today and tomorrow and then each student will choose the one they want to enter the contest with and we will put them up on a bulletin board. Monday, I have asked staff and administration to come and judge. 1st., 2nd., and 3rd.,place for each block period. There are going to be prizes awarded Tuesday. All of them will be on display for the Open House Wednesday night and then all 250+ will be donated to the library. It is a fun project and I hope #1 that kids respect books and use the book marks, #2 that the Librarians don't have to take time out of their day to make them as they have been doing, and #3 that the students take pride and own a piece of their school and #4 that the students find value in the gift of a donation, however small, and feel good about it all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ahhh, February

     Well, it's February. The month of love. I guess most people need a month set aside to remember and show appreciation to the person they love. I don't think my husband and I have ever really made too big of a deal about it. When we first got married we were too broke to do much for Valentine's Day. A little further into our life I started working as a floral designer. The LAST thing I wanted was flowers for Valentine's Day. And, unless you plan months ahead of time, it is impossible to go out on that night. We tried, once, before the kids were born. We waited 3 hours for a table at a steak house. You can learn a lot about humanity sitting in a bar for 3 hours. And you figure out that you could have planned something just as good to eat at home without all the crowds and expense.
     My husband is a lot like my dad in some aspects. He does stuff. My dad used to pack our school lunches, get us ready in the morning, cook breakfast when his schedule allowed, did laundry, shopped, did yard work, when we weren't living in military housing, and ran errands. My mom took care of the budget and the miscellaneous appointments that come with children, cooked, cleaned the house, (although my dad knew how to clean also) sometimes ran a Brownie Girl Scout Troop, and sold Tupperware. Sometimes she even had a part time job. They shared responsibilities. So it is with my husband and I. Although I must admit, over the years, I am getting the better part of the deal. Doug does all the laundry; he is a laundry whisperer: family brings him stained clothes when they come to visit. By the time they go home, the article of clothing is perfect. He pays all the bills and tracks our finances. I freely gave up this job early in our marriage and now the job is so fine tuned and computerized, I wonder how I would do this chore should something happen to him. He handles keeping up the cars and keeps the sprinkler system going and maintains anything electric or electronic in the house. We share the cooking, although now that he has retired, he seems to be doing most of the shopping and cooking. He has a favorite recipe web site. And now that we don't have the kids at home, we run most of our errands together on the weekends. You ask, "What do you contribute to this relationship?" I admit it. I'm spoiled. I'm in charge of buying stuff: socks, underwear, the cat's flea medicine, deodorant. I cook breakfast every morning and put hot water in his coffee cup to warm it up. I keep up with most of our friends and relatives, and do the Christmas cards every year. I do some food shopping. I do the gardening. Not the mowing; we have a gardener for that, but we have a big yard. It takes a lot of plants. I cook on the weekends and bake at the holidays. And I deal with insurance companies and medical offices, especially when they do something stupid like double billing us. We share our responsibilities, even though some others may not think it is done equally.
     So, this is love. Not one day, in one month, of the year. But everyday. Warm coffee cups, clean socks and underwear, and because not just one of us is doing all the work, time to spend together. The gift of time is the best gift of all.
     P.S. Wow. That last sentence sounds like the ending of a Disney movie :)