Sunday, January 31, 2010

When You Reach Me

My daughter requested hard-back books for Christmas.  One of the books she received was When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I chose this book for her on a whim.  One reason I chose it was that the reviews mentioned that a lot of references are made throughout the book to one of my daughter's favorite books, A Wrinkle In Time.

My daughter read the book in one day.  She gave it to me with the instructions that I should not read it until I had three hours straight, because I would not be able to put it down.  Do Mothers ever have three hours straight?

I started the book last Thursday.  I finished it just now.  Wow.  Now I understand why this book was chosen as the 2010 Newberry Winner...just announced on January 18,2010.

I could not figure out the mystery of this book as I was reading.  I love books that surprise you with their ending and leave you thinking.  Not only that, I keep looking back at things in the book and slowly putting everything together.  I could easily read the book again to help it all make sense.

All of this is the reason I had to choose Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me for our Sunday Fun Read. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cute Valentines M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Everyone should have things in their life that they are passionate about.
I am passionate about M.D. Anderson Childrens Art Project in Houston, Texas.
Every year I order their Valentines for my students.
The art comes from the kids who are patients at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
The artwork is then turned into cards, valentines, notepads, napkins, calendars, etc.
My students can look on the back of the card to see the name, age, and city of the child who designed the artwork on their card.
These are a few of the cards I have left from previous years.
My daughter usually orders the mini-Valentines to give to her classmates. 
They fold in half and attach with a punched out heart.
You can check out all the things they have to offer at .
As a teacher, I love seeing the reactions my students have to these cards.  It gives them and me such a feeling of being able to care for others and to count our own blessings.

Ice, Ice, Baby...

I saw God today...

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am a big fan of anything that has to do with Little House on the Prairie.  (You never would have guessed, I'm sure.)  So, a few years ago, one of my students found this book at a yard sale and got it for me.

My daughter got excited when she saw this page inside the book:

She decided that she wanted to make a nine patch quilt like the one in this book. problem.

We purchased the material, and I really thought she would quit after a few squares.
But, what I am finding out is that this is a great project to pull out when we are at home for extended periods of time with nothing to do...  i.e. snow days, Christmas vacation, etc.

Here are the pictures that can speak for themselves.
Another good part of this project has been that my daughter has learned to use the iron.  She has enjoyed ironing the seams and ironing each block.

Way to go Little Sister.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I am now over half-way through the Coupon Mom's new book, The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half.  I have learned some new things about using coupons to save money.  Part of what I have learned are things like emailing companies to ask for coupons and learning how to get rebates.

I am glad I purchased this book, and I look forward to finishing it. 

A teacher friend of mine introduced me to a new website this week:
I am looking forward to the weekend when I will have time to dig deeper into this site.  I think it is going to be a great resource for coupons and for planning my shopping trips.

Krogers has a great sale this week, so be sure to check it out.  Our local Kroger was covered over with people tonight because...we have ice and snow in our forecast.

Happy Couponing!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


My twelve year old daughter received a sewing machine for Christmas last year.  I want her to be able to sew, because using a sewing machine is a skill that I do not possess.  I can sew a straight line, but I cannot make anything other than pillows.  My Sewing Sister, on the other hand, can make anything.  So, I know the genes are probably there, it is just getting them to come out.

My daughter has made several things with her machine.

First, she made a pillow for her cat.

The funny thing is...the cat lays on everything in our house except this pillow.
It looks really cute though in our bathroom floor beside the cat's food and water.

At least, it won't wear out very soon.

This was very good practice for her with sewing in a straight line.  Then, she had to turn it, stuff it, and sew up the hole by hand.

Next, she made a quilt for her doll bed:

She actually made two of these and gave one to a friend.  Not bad for a beginning project.

Later in the year, we found a 4-H Sewing Club that my daughter decided to join.  We have been disappointed that they have only met one time.  At this meeting, she did get to make a pair of pajama pants:

She did a very nice job on these.

I am happy to say, that my little twelve year old is now in the process of making her very own quilt.  I will save these pictures for later, as it deserves a blog of its own.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Cell phones...

Cell phones and teenagers.

What has happened to us?

My son's cell phone died Saturday.

We thought my son was going to die.

We think he may have actually gone 18 hours without a phone.

It was not a good 18 hours.

Thank goodness he had some birthday money to buy a new phone.

The bad news was, Verizon has a new policy on high tech phones, so we have to pay $10.00 more a month, even though the cell phone is no better than the one he had before. 

Of course, the policy just went into effect last week.

Mom and Dad were not happy.

My son is very happy.

He has a nice new cell phone. 

It is a Samsung Alias 2.

The buttons don't make noise when you type text messages.

It opens two different ways.

It is smaller than the one he had before.

It fits better in his pocket.

All his text messages are organized by person.

Teenagers and cell phones.

Can you hear me now???

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Drum Roll Please...

Last week, my Sixth Grade students all voted for their favorite accelerated book , and the winner is...

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume.

As you may know, this is a book for girls.  Obviously, the girls votes outnumbered the boys.  This is a really good book; it is an easy read, and it is a fast read.  I actually remember reading this book when I was in the Sixth Grade.

I was so impressed with just how many different books were voted for by my Sixth Graders.  This just goes to show that there are a lot of really good accelerated reading books out there.  I will be sharing some of the other picks in the coming weeks.

My Sixth Graders and I (well, mainly the girls) hope you enjoy this week's pick for the Sunday Fun Read.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


You will need:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup dried chives
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl.  Add the milk, shortening, and egg just until well combined.  Then add the chives and cheese.  Fill muffin tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

These are good to eat with potato soup, vegetable soup, chicken soup, etc.

Friday, January 22, 2010


The "Big Woods" can seem really brown in the winter time...

So I have been on a quest the last few years to add a little green...

I decided to take some pictures (on a day when the sun was shining) of the things we have in our yard that are still green...

I was pleasantly surprised to find quiet a few...

A patch of ground cover...
Some ivy...
A lenten rose (I purchased this one at last year's Lawn and Garden Show in Nashville.}...
This also came from the Lawn and Garden Show...but I don't know the name...
A pot of something...
A pot of something else...
Some spider grass...
Some varigated grown cover...

My moss covered lawn!!!

Green in the winter time is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Let me introduce you to a new game...

This is Apple to Apples.

     Have you ever played???

     It is so much will laugh and laugh.

     My Sewing Sister got this game for my children for their birthdays. 

     Somehow, we convinced my husband to play (he never plays games), and we all had so much fun that we couldn't stop playing.  We kept raising the number you had to have to win.

Teachers would love this game because you talk about adjectives and nouns.  You just don't realize that you're talking about adjectives and nouns.

When I was looking up the game on Amazon, I noticed that they have a Bible version.                         

     Wouldn't this be great to play with a Sunday School Class?

If any of you have ever played the Bible version, please comment and let me know if it is good.

Today is actually my Sewing Sister's birthday.  I won't share her age...but, she is just a few years older than me.  Happy Birthday Sewing Sister!!!


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