Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


Slice of Life Tuesdays: Enjoying the Exhaustion

Enjoying the Exhaustion

1) I registered to attend the Scholastic Reading Summit (#readingsummit) in Cincinnati next week, after other commitments will keep me out of St. Louis (for the ILA Annual Conference). This is great news! Adrenaline rush — which I need to get me through July. Keeps away the exhaustion.

2) I am babysitting my almost-3-year-old granddaughter on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a few weeks this summer. She is so beautiful and funny and growing too fast! She’s really persuasive about play time: “Grumma, please play Klip-Klop Horsies with me! Come and sit on the floor with me! C’mon!” (Who can say, “No?”) She’s very well-behaved, and I do get an excuse to take naps on those days. (I have to be with her so she won’t fall off the bed, get scared, etc. LOL) Each day when she goes home, I thank my lucky stars that I’m a grandma and not a mom again. It’s rewarding, but tiring.

3) Today, we took a car ride to Fort Wayne to see GG (my mom). We had granddaughter, daughter, mom, great-grandma together for the day. Girls day in! My sister even came over, since she had the day off work. We played with bears, dolls, and musical toys, talked about family and pictures from the past, and ate the banana cupcakes my mom made. Driving back and forth wore me out, but it was worth it.

4) I missed the Twitter chats (again) tonight due to unpacking the car, cleaning up, and needing to sit down for a while. I’m sorry, but I’m exhausted! I’ll definitely read the Storify and run through the feed to catch up with the awesome answers to questions. After a short break to sit and talk to my husband (who also traveled for work all day), I remember…

5) It’s SLICE OF LIFE day! Whoo hoo! I love Tuesdays and Slicing! But now it’s almost 11:30 p.m. and I am spent! (You know I’ll post, then comment on a bunch of posts, though. It’s time well spent and I love it. I also hear there’s a bunch of new Slicers today. Welcome!)

Ok, that’s IT. I’m done. I’m finished. (Funny, because I tell my students NEVER to finish a story with “I’m done” or “I’m finished.”)

“That’s all I have to say about that.” — Forrest Gump


Slice of Life Tuesdays: Life Moves Pretty Fast

Slice of Life Small LogoLife Moves Pretty Fast

Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This year is moving by at the speed of light! It’s already June; that’s half way through 2015. This week is becoming a blur of activity, news, and even forgetfulness. I must slow down!

Thursday marks the end of the school year. As long as the year was, with 8 snow days, it seems like just yesterday I met this group of sixth graders. Looking at the yearbook pictures, they seem so young — oh, how they’ve grown! (I sound like my grandma!)  But I wish them luck and love in the future, and leave them with a summer to fulfill their own adventures.

There’s been quite a bit of news this week: my daughter received a new car she wasn’t expecting. Her former vehicle was totaled (thank goodness all parties involved were not injured!) and the police report, rental car, and new car experience passed by like a race car on the track. The same child inherited a one-year-old Yorkie-poo, the sweetest dog. I guess I’m a grandma again, in a way! She’s friendly and trained. And my little granddaughter loves her already, so the changes are good. Another daughter is in summer school/college sessions and doing well. My youngest finished her junior year of high school. She’s a senior now–yes, time flies.

All of the conversations tonight (why do you think this post is so late?) led to an unexpected and awful happening, though. I forgot to make dinner for my hard-working husband who got home from his second job over an hour ago. He even said he would settle for a sandwich, and after I offered to make it, it slipped my mind! Oh, my goodness!

I’m going to have to take a break at the end of this week, and start my summer more slowly. I don’t want to miss out on the memories.



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SOLSC Day 28: Not What We Wanted

Slice of Life Small LogoThank you to the ladies at Two Writing Teachers ( for hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!

Not What We Wanted

Well, Notre Dame lost in the Elite Eight. That’s ok. They almost beat #1 Kentucky. They played tough, earning the respect of the country. They lost by only 2 points. Not what we wanted.

My granddaughter called me earlier. She was “sad.” “Mommy’s watching her show, but I wanna watch my show.” (Mommy in the background: “You watched your shows all day.”) Aw, that’s ok. I told her, “Let Mommy watch her show this time.” She cried, “Nooo!” Not what she wanted.

Sometimes we don’t get what we want. There’s always something else to make up for the loss. I wanted to go to New York today for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Saturday Reunion. I wasn’t able to attend; the schedule just wouldn’t work this spring. Not what I wanted. That’s ok. I got to spend time at home — relaxing, visiting family members in person and via phone, and enjoying my day on Twitter (following the reunion, of course).

To all those TCRWP teachers: send me your notes! 🙂


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SOLSC Day 27: Weekend!

Slice of Life Small LogoThank you to the ladies at Two Writing Teachers ( for hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!


Just sat down for the night. Wait…the laundry is still in the dryer!

Irish are going to win (maybe?)…We couldn’t squeal any higher!

One kid packed for Florida, the other one waiting until next week.

Dog is barking and crying; can’t find enough food to eat…still trying to seek.

So tired from the long day, but I’m happy to say…I got my writing post in on time…Hooray!

(Good night!)


Slice of Life Tuesday: Farewell to 2014!

I cannot say it enough: The year, 2014, was a Grinch! Stink, Stank, Stunk! Many, many events happened this year, positive and negative, but when I look back, I want to stomp the year into the ground. Please forgive me for this end-of-year post, but I promise that I’ll say some nice things, too! I’ll even end with a “funny,” OK?

January: Snow storm. We didn’t go back to school after break. That’s a good thing, right? Well, yeah, then it was actually nice. We got to clean, stay up late and play games a few more days, put Christmas items away in storage, read and relax, etc. But…relaxing comes with a price (see June).

February: My dad died the day before my youngest daughter’s “sweet 16” birthday. No explanation needed there.

March: Still cold, I worried about ISTEP testing (we had to back it up due to the snow days). LONG month.

April: April was pretty good. Yes! A bright flower month to welcome spring. Spring Break was great! (OK, so at this point, the WHOLE year didn’t stink. I’m sorry, April 2014. I didn’t mean that you were a Grinch.)

May: I didn’t get to go to IRA (conference) due to ISTEP testing. Don’t even get me started on what I think of standardized testing…My birthday helped ease that blow, though. OK. Continue.

June: Make-up snow days! Stink, stank, stunk! But…I DID get to go to Indianapolis and learn about conferring from Conferring Carl (Anderson). That was awesome — and I even won a Donalyn Miller book in the door prize! (I see where you’re going here, 2014. You’re mixing the good with the bad. I see. Thank you.)

July/August: Summer fun, family time, and reading books! I planned to do some new and exciting things for the new school year, especially teaching an honors section of reading/language arts with my awesome teaching partner. I looked with great anticipation for a superb school year! I told my principal, “I’m pretty excited; I won’t have to worry about my dad being sick anymore, and I’m looking forward to less stress!” (I remember she said, at that time, “Well, as long as there are no surprises.” I thought, “Hmm. I’m ready for a low-key, less-stressed-out year anyway. I wonder why she would say that?”) Bam!

August/September/October: Spent the months worried and upset again. After losing my dad, my mom had a heart attack and bypass surgery. I tried to be as positive as I could to help her out, and my kids and I traveled every day we could to take care of her. We raked the leaves that were piling up in the yard, mowed grass, etc. My own home and campground went to the wayside, as they should, (no one minded at all). But still…

October/November: I didn’t get to travel to TCRWP for the Saturday reunion, and I didn’t get to go to NCTE and meet all my “Slicer” buddies! (Sounds like May, huh?) I didn’t finish my writing work that I wanted to do, and I didn’t get that second job that I really wanted to make some ends meet. My car started acting up (and it’s still not fixed!) and we had an early snow storm. Crazy cold weather! Not the months for me.

December: I counted the days until 2015. One left! It WAS great to see family friends, and cousins, but not at the funeral of my husband’s grandmother! Geesh, 2014, didn’t you give us enough? And the stomach flu! Merry Christmas to all, though, and it was great, and everyone got everything they asked for! My Christmas tree was beautiful, and I’ve relaxed and hung out with my best friend. Not bad, December! Thank you for helping me out this last week.

So,Year 2014, I cannot say “Fond Farewell”, but rather, “Good Riddance.”  — Please don’t let my new door hit you on the way out!

(Note that makes that last line funny: I got a new back door for Christmas! It will be installed early in 2015. :))




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Dad’s Birthday

My dad would have been 77 today. HIS dad (Grandpa) also shared this birthday with his son. How cool is that? I was always amazed when my Grandma retold the story. “No, we didn’t plan for your father to be born on Grandpa’s birthday. That was his surprise present.” (Really, Grandma?) Yes, really.

I’m sure Dad would have gone to a basketball game or something for his celebration. Maybe Komets hockey? If the grandkids were there, he would have invited them to go, and then on the way home, he would have taken the “scenic route” (Mom called it) downtown to see the huge Santa lights on the side of the bank building and he would have driven through the neighborhoods to check out the decorated houses. (Do they still have those lights? I wonder. I haven’t driven home yet this year. I’ll check it out next week.)

My dad would have had steak for dinner and chocolate cake for dessert today. (Nobody was brave enough to actually cook.) That’s ok. We still remember the tastes of the savory steak sauce and creamy chocolate fudge frosting on the mouthwatering moist cake.

At last, present time! The kids always made cookies or gave him a king-size Hershey Bar. He would put his goodies down beside his chair for later. No sharing. Never needing anything, we would still get him a car wash gift certificate or maybe a new faucet for the bathroom sink. (“When you get to my age, you don’t need anything.”) We’d laugh and sing in our awful “Simon-would-cringe-American Idol” voices.

Then everyone would get ready and tuck into bed. He’d stay up in his Lazy Boy and watch an old movie. (“Miracle on 34th Street” was on tonight.) Then he’d sneak a cookie or two, when no one was watching.

Happy Birthday, Dad!