Finding my voice


Tomorrow begins the first round of our state testing.  I will be administering the fourth-grade writing test to a group of five students.  After this month of blogging, I will be a little more sympathetic than I have in the past.  Sometimes it’s just plain hard to find something to write about.

I have never thought of myself as a writer but I have to admit that this evening I looked over what I produced this month and I feel proud. I feel like I have found a voice that I didn’t know that I had.

To quote author Natalie Lloyd in The Key to Extraordinary:

It is a known fact that the most extrordinary moments in a person’s life come disguised as ordinary days.

I’m so happy to have this record of the ordinary days and extraordinary moments of my life, at least for this month.

Waiting for the storm

We live in tornado alley. Not as bad as Oklahoma where my daughters live, but our storms can pop up quickly and be severe if the conditions are just right. They are tonight.

I’ve got my eye on the radar on my phone. I’m not worried enough to give up watching the Hallmark Channel where they won’t interrupt for severe weather. I haven’t put on my shoes or bike helmet or put a comforter in the bathtub.

The rumble of the thunder is nearly nonstop. Bright streaks of lightning split the sky. It isn’t raining yet, which somehow make it more ominous.

Yet, instead of scary, it feels cozy. I remind myself we need the rain. Here’s my hopeful haiku for tonight:

Nourishing rain falls.

No hail or high winds follow.

Sweet, blessed, cool rain.

A Walk in the Woods

We headed to nearby Isle Du Bois State Park late this afternoon for our walk. The sun was low in the sky and the prairie grasses were catching the rays and glistening. Somehow these lowly grasses always seem to catch my attention. I just couldn’t quit stopping to snap pictures.


At the entrance to the park, there was a field of bluebonnets. Texas is blessed with a variety of wildflowers but our state flower holds a special place in our hearts. My husband generously agreed to pull over at the entrance to let me hop out and snap a few more pictures.


It was a great afternoon for our walk in the woods. We left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for the week to come.



Date Night

Tonight was date night. I came home and changed out of my Friday outfit of school shirt and jeans and put on something a little dressier.  My husband arrived home not long after and we headed to Hannah’s, the nicest restaurant in our town that caters to the college crowd.

What a wonderful evening!  He had requested a quiet table so we had a big booth in the corner.  A glass of wine, yummy soup, cedar planked salmon, lemon basil risotto for me.  Tenderloin for him.  We shared a piece of flourless chocolate cake (with violets on it!) for dessert with our coffees.

Quiet conversation and undivided attention to each other.  A refresh and a reset after what’s been a long few months since 2017 began. Just what we needed.


“Do Snails Lay Eggs?”

I’m not sure what prompted that question from a curious second grader.  I suspect that the teacher was introducing her annual foray into hatching chicken eggs in the classroom with a discussion of animals that lay eggs. I’ve never really wondered much about snails, let alone how they reproduce but this curious girl piqued my interest.

We found two books about snails.  Both had fabulous photographs including a few of snail eggs and hatchlings. We found it interesting that the first food of snailthe newly hatched snails is often the shell of their eggs.  Who knew?

It warmed my librarian heart that we were able to find the information in books that she could take back to the classroom with her.  I’m sure we could easily have found the information online but students still seem to prefer to have a book in their hands. She was thrilled that I let her check out an extra book so she could take both of the snail books with her.

Interesting questions make my day and I’m so happy to have learned that snails lay eggs.

Acrostic poetry

It’s time to read Steven Schnur’s Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic to my first grade classes.  I’ve already read Autumn and Winter.  I make them guess the acrostic word for each poem.  I told my class today that we don’t have the Summer book and that it’s out of print.  Their teacher thought it might be fun for them to write their own book of Summer poems.  What a great idea!

Here’s a start for them:

A picnic guest

Not invited

To dine.


Balls and blankets packed.

Everybody in the car.

Arriving to see waves

Crash on the shore

Hitting feet with sparkling water.


Cobs and husks are the

Only thing left behind.

Remnants of a golden feast

Needing only butter.



6-Word Stories

I was looking through my bullet journal the other day and came across my half-finished 6-word story challenge from May.  The challenge from @pageflutter on Instagram gave me a theme for each day.  The task was to write a story using only 6 words. I based my stories on children’s books.   Can you guess the titles?

  1. SUMMER:  Summer adventure with lively, loving sisters.
  2. SCANDAL:  Stolen apples? Rumors spread. Lesson learned.
  3. THE QUEEN:  “Ouch, lumpy bed!” said future queen.
  4. CHOCOLATE:  Golden ticket gives Charlie chocolatey future.
  5. CLOSE CALL: Long narrow holes beckon ants–ZAP!
  6. FOLKLORE:  House with chicken legs? Run fast!
  7. THE GIFT:  Jonas receives society’s memories-a gift?
  8. DREAM COME TRUE: Gown, glass slippers, dancing ’til midnight.
  9. ABOUT A DOG: Supermarket stray helps girl find home.
  10. CHILDHOOD MEMORY: Nancy and friends solve every mystery.

Having a place to collect monthly challenges is one of the things I love about my bullet journal. Maybe I should write these stories on sticky notes and use them to promote some of these books.