Category Archives: Tuesday 10

Tuesday 10 – Favorite Picture Books

Since I’m chairing the book fair at our elementary school this week, I thought I’d compile a list of my 10 favorite picture books.  Some are favorites from my childhood and some are favorites for my kids.
(All the images have been borrowed from

1- “I can’t” said the ant is the first book I ever remember getting from a book order.  My first grade class read it together and the teacher encouraged everyone to order a copy.

2- The Little House was a childhood favorite.

3- The Poky Little Puppy – another childhood favorite.

4- Love You Forever – Somehow I was in college before I heard of this book.  I got a copy for myself when my oldest was a baby.  I can’t read it without tearing up at the end.

5- The Monster at the End of This Book was a favorite when my younger siblings were little.

6- Another Monster at the End of This Book was a discovery when my kids were little.  Our copy got all beat up, so I need to find another one.

7- Guess How Much I Love You – we didn’t own a copy until I found a “Baby’s First Year” calendar for one of my kids.  Then I had to get the book to match.

8- Stellaluna  was another college discovery.  I’ve used it with my own kids to help them learn that bats aren’t scary.

9- Are You My Mother?  is one I remember having my aunts read to me when I was little.

10- Winnie the Pooh is a classic from my childhood.  I remember reading how to play Poohsticks and thought it was the best game ever.  I even created a version with toothpicks in a cake pan for a group project in my college Children’s Lit class.

I’ll be linking up with Mindy.

Tuesday 10 – Cool Math Games

Tuesday 10 has been taken over by Mindy from My Life As Mindy

This week doesn’t have a topic, so I thought I’d throw a little randomness in.  Have you ever visited Cool Math Games?  I found this through my kids.  It’s one they use for free time at school.  You should try some of my favorite games:

 Bouncing Balls – a strategy game to clear the board before time runs out

40x Escape – A locked door, and you have to figure out the puzzle to open it.

 Fallen From the Moon – Guide the cute little guy back to his home on the moon.

 Gems Swap II – another strategy game, match groups of three or more gems to cover all the spaces on the board

Mini Scientist – Help the scientist find the engine so he can take off in his rocket.

Factory Balls – Dye and manipulate the balls to match the order in the box.  All four versions are fun.

Sugar, Sugar – fill the cups with sugar grains

Mancala – a classic, this version is hard to beat the computer

Ninja Painter – Roll the paint on the marked walls, collect the stars to open the exit door.

Bloons Tower Defense III – Pop the balloons before they reach the end of the track.

What game is your favorite? 

Tuesday 10 – 10 Things I Handwrite

I’m a procrastinator, so very rarely are my posts written ahead of time.  Today’s Tuesday 10 with Lena is no exception.  However, The Author is home from school since she’s not feeling well.  Bugaboo is begging for someone to play the Wii with him.  He even has my mii selected.  How can I say no to that 3-year-old cuteness?  That means you get a guest post from The Author!

Hello everybody! Today’s Tuesday 10 is “10 things I handwrite.” This one is really easy for me. And I know that you all want to have pictures of Bugaboo playing the Wii.

1. Homework
This seems obvious. Sure, I’m at a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) magnet, but almost everything is still done by hand. Being at a STEM school means that we have fabulous classes and half our tech doesn’t work. (And engineering group projects take up all the space in your email.) Homework is unwanted and can take forever. Why, yes, I am thinking of geometry!

2. Notes
My school doesn’t assign computers to each student. I don’t regularly use a computer in most of my classes. Any notes we take are done by hand. Four classes a day (we’re on block scheduling) means an hour and a half per class. Depending on how much we get done, we may or may not spend the whole class period cracking jokes and taking notes.
And everybody wonders why all the pencils vanish… I’m confident that they’re with everybody’s socks and pens.

3. Quiz Bowl Scores
I’m on the Quiz Bowl team. At practices, we have a handy-dandy system that makes scorekeeping very easy. At meets… not so much. If the reader doesn’t have a helper with them, they need the team’s “alternate” to time and/or keep score. Timing is a lot harder because you have to pay attention to the stopwatch, so I delegate that to one of the other team’s members or the helper.

4. Novels
I know that this makes me sound crazy. Yes, I write novels by hand. My friends that also write books do the same. Why?
We’re in school for eight hours a day, with limited computer access. Even if we had regular access, there are filters. They’d probably find a lot of the stuff in our novels “not school-appropriate.” Say, a book about ninjas. With weapons. And magic. And semi-questionable morals. Oh, and it’s set in a dystopia… Easier to handwrite. (Notebooks are easier to carry around, too.)

5. Journals
Mom does this, too. There’s something magical with the concept of handwritten mementos from another time. A person’s handwriting is so special, so unique, and totally different from anybody else’s. Mom writes her journal entries in cursive. I’m so used to print that it’s second-nature to start writing in it.

6. Swim team attendance
I manage the swim team. Actually, I managed the boys’ basketball team (2 years ago), both swim teams (last school year), the volleyball team (this year), and started on the boys’ swim season last week. Managing requires taking attendance, running various errands, picking up equipment, handing out towels at the end of practice, etc.
It’s easier to take attendance with paper and pencil than vanish into the coach’s office for a few minutes to do it online. I don’t have to get the key, go to their office, enter the office, take attendance, close up the office, and come back.

7. Tests
It’s weird when tests are on the computer. We took practice tests to narrow our Academic Pentathlon team down to nine students last week. They were on the computer. It was very different from what we’re used to!
In the past, we’ve even done state writing tests by hand. I’m not sure if we’re doing that this year. The tests start today, and here I am, guest posting at home.

I don’t copy quotes off of the internet or any of that. People say some really weird things. Those random, everyday things are what I write down in the margins of my notebooks.
Here’s a really good example of a quote with a story: “It’s a snake!”
I’m just going to say that PE last year, walking outside, and seeing a snake gets totally out of hand when one of the girls picks it up and everybody else goes crazy. I’m the fast walker sitting on the steps waiting for everybody else to get up the hill, laughing at the whole thing.
I want to put it in a book someday.

Wow. This is harder than I thought it would be.

9. RPG character sheets
I’m the person in my family who has been wanting to run a family RPG (role-playing game) for over a year now. It hasn’t come to anything yet, so I use the book to create RPG versions of my characters. It helps to make them more lifelike and less Mary Sue-ish.

10. Things I want to remember
This goes hand-in-hand with number 8. If I want to remember what somebody said, I write it down. If I want to remember what word I missed at the spelling bee, I find out the correct spelling and write it. If it’s an away meet tomorrow and I need to remember what time to leave class, I take a note.
Fun fact: My school’s National Junior Honor Society has been instructed not to tell the others in the school how much we use our agendas. It’s the example-setters that don’t use their agendas at all… Yeah, we’re normal teenagers.

I can’t leave you with only two pictures of Bugaboo…. Here!

A final note on teenagers’ stance about cursive and handwriting not being taught in schools anymore: When we learned this in my geometry class a few months ago, we were appalled. We had a nice argument with the teacher about whether or not we’ll actually use it. (We insisted that we will, in fact, need to know how to write things by hand.) Most of us use print more than cursive, but there are people I know that are so used to cursive that they’ve forgotten how to print. I think that handwriting is probably here to stay.

Tuesday 10 – Professions I wish I’d had

Instead of a list of 10 for this week, let’s revisit my childhood with what I wanted to be when I grew up, shall we?

Kindergarten – Teacher
First Grade – Teacher
Second Grade – Teacher
Third Grade – Teacher
Fourth Grade – Teacher
Fifth Grade – Teacher
Sixth Grade – Teacher
Seventh Grade – Teacher
Eighth Grade – Teacher or Scientist of some sort (based on a teacher’s recommendation that I was too smart to be a teacher)
Ninth Grade – Secondary Teacher
Tenth Grade – Journalism/English Teacher
Eleventh Grade – Journalism/English Teacher or maybe Elementary Teacher
Twelfth Grade – Journalism/English Teacher

College Freshman – Journalism/English Teacher
College Sophomore, Junior, Senior – Elementary Teacher

I think I was destined to be a teacher, what do you think? I did graduate with my degree in Elementary Education to then be a stay-at-home mom (and teach my children).  I don’t regret it a bit!

Linking up with Lena

Tuesday 10 – My Christmas Wishlist


This week’s prompt for Tuesday 10 with Lena B, Actually is your Christmas wishlist.  I am horrible at coming up with gift suggestions for myself, so I might have to fill in with a few of the kids’ wishes.

Kitchen-Aid mixer
I’ve been told Bosch machines are better than Kitchen-Aids, so I’ll just wish for both!
This tiny cookie scoop.  See, I told you I run out of ideas fast.
Pampered Chef can opener
Guess it’s time to resort to the kids now:
For The Artist, River Song’s TARDIS journal
For The Author, a laptop
For Mr. Adventure, Nerf Double Sword
For Little Miss Sunshine, a Husker Pillow Pet
For Princess, a purple Sock Monkey (to join last year’s pink Sock Monkey)
Finally, for Bugaboo, anything Angry Birds
Hopefully Santa reads my blog. 😉

Tuesday 10 – Favorite Christmas songs


I love Christmas music.  I love tuning into the radio each morning on my drive home from dropping The Artist at school and getting in the spirit of the season.  So, this week’s Tuesday 10 prompt from Lena is right up my alley.  Here, in no particular order, are 10 of my favorite Christmas songs:

White Christmas – the best version is sung by Bing Crosby

O Holy Night – my first piano teacher gave me a simplified version as a gift, I’ve loved it ever since

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth – this is Princess’s theme song this year

Thistlehair the Christmas Bear – by Alabama, I have many memories of singing this with my siblings when we would go caroling to our neighbors.  My aunt provided accompaniment on her guitar and/or harmonica.

Silver Bells – no particular reason, I just like it

Angels We Have Heard on High – I love singing the soprano line in the chorus.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – again, no particular reason, just a favorite

The Canon Carol – I can’t seem to find a professional version.  I’ve heard it done by church choirs and love it.  Then again, it could be because I love Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

The Twelve Days of Christmas  – for a few years, we had a big extended family sing-along.  We would divide up into groups with each group singing a stanza of the song.  One year the first stanza turned into “a cartridge in a bear tree” mid-song.  We then did a version with each group changing their stanza to something silly.  It was great fun.

Christmas Pipes – by Celtic Woman

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Tuesday 10 – Random Acts of Kindness

Today I’m co-hosting Tuesday 10 with the lovely Lena from Lena B, Actually.  I suggested this week’s topic of Random Acts of Kindness.  This is only a prompt.  Any and every list is welcome.


November and December always get me thinking about serving others.  I try to find ways to serve and help my children learn to give of themselves thoughout the year, but I’m especially conscious of it during the holiday season.  So, here’s 10 kindnesses that I’ve been the recipient of, that I’ve given, or that I’d like to do.

Free babysitting
This falls under all three of my categories.  There was a time in our lives when hubby was working out of town, coming home every other weekend, and we had 4 little ones 6 and under.  Two teenage girls from church offered to watch the kids for a few hours each week so I could get out of the house by myself to go grocery shopping, watch the ducks at the park, see a movie, whatever.  I found myself looking forward to those days to keep myself sane.

Ring a bell
I’ve always thought it would be fun to do a shift ringing a bell with my kids.  I’m planning to start this tradition this year!

Pay at the drive-thru
This is another one that I’d love to do.  Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru.

Christmas Jar
This is one of my favorite Christmas books and a favorite tradition.  We keep a jar on the kitchen counter and collect change throughout the year.  Sometime during the week preceding Christmas we secretly deliver the jar to someone in need.
Last year we discovered the program at  You mail letters or care packages to a serviceman or woman that has volunteered with the program to distribute these to members of their unit that don’t often receive mail.  We opted to send as much beef jerky as we could cram into a box, as well as a few Christmas cards.  We never heard back from any recipients, but I’d like to think we made their day a little brighter.

Christmas Caroling
What is the Christmas season without caroling?  When I was growing up, my aunts used to take us around to our neighbors on Christmas Eve (probably to give Santa some gift-wrapping time).  We’d be all bundled up and sing a couple of songs before moving on to the next house.  Finish it off with some hot cocoa and you have a perfect service.

There are so many volunteer opportunities in any community.  Find one and give a few hours of yourself.  Maybe you serve food at a homeless shelter, help at an animal shelter, or read to kids at a local elementary school.  Even just picking up trash at a local park is a great service.

Tape Quarters to a Gumball or Vending Machine
Who wouldn’t love to find a random surprise?

Anywhere you go, there’s probably someone that could use a little cheering up.  A happy face can turn someone’s day around.

Say Thank You to a Teacher
Teachers invest so much for their students.  Letting them know they are appreciated makes their day.  A simple note or a treat or a gift card or whatever.  I truly believe this is an instance of “it’s the thought that counts.”

What other great ideas do you have?  I’d love to see them!

Tuesday 10 – Costumes

With Halloween being just around the corner, it seems that I’ve been hearing “Can I be . . . for Halloween?” or “I want to dress up like . . .” for weeks.  I seem to have been a slacker in the photography department for a lot of our Halloweens.  Oops!  Here’s some of the costumes I’ve worn vicariously through my children or ones we’ve used for other occasions.

 50’s girl – This is that vicarious living thing.  I always wanted a poodle skirt when I was little.  I whipped up this one the night before “Decade Day” at our elementary one year.

Avengers – When you’re a self-proclaimed geek and you’re shopping with friends, you can’t pass up an opportunity to try on the masks in the toy department.

 60’s color-block dress – This was also a night-before Decade Day project.  I completely freehanded the pattern and thought it turned out pretty good.  That is, until we had to slash the back neckline to get it on.

Arwen – This was The Artist’s idea.  She saved her babysitting money for months to buy the necklace that is a movie replica.  The dress was a medieval pattern that I made.

Joan of Arc – This was a 4th grade research project.  They did a “Living Museum” and each child gave a short oral report on their person.

 Cub Scout – This is one of our desperation costumes.  Throw on that uniform and instant costume.

Kendoist – This is another family favorite.  We practiced kendo for several years, so the armor makes another easy, instant costume.

Baby Bop – One year Princess fell in love with the Baby Bop costume in our costume box.  I have to admit, she was pretty cute.

Weeping Angel – Maybe it’s not the most high-tech costume, but it sure worked to scare the kids as they came home from school.

Sailor Moon – This was The Artist’s first real attempt at a cosplay costume.  Again, it was a low-tech version, but it worked.

Linking up with Lena B, Actually

Tuesday 10 – Thimbles

This week’s Tuesday 10 with Lena B, Actually is a random theme.  I’ve thought for a while that I ought to share my thimble collection with my online world.  I’ve already talked about my love of apples, but thimbles are right up there, too.

One of the questions I usually get when I give someone my email address (thimbleluvr@ . . .) is, “Do you sew?”  At first this threw me because it seemed like such an out-of-the-blue question.  That is, until I realized that people equate using a thimble with sewing.  Yes, I do sew, but I actually do very little hand sewing and I don’t think I’ve used a thimble to sew since I was about 10 years old and helping my Grandma quilt.

I started collecting thimbles when I was 11 or 12.  I’ve tried to document the different places I’ve visited and I have many that friends and family members have given to me from their travels.  Others have come from my favorite online site.  So, here’s my collection, all 180+ thimbles.

 Since this is a Tuesday 10, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites or most meaningful thimbles.

Yellowstone Teddy, Alora, Indiana log cabin, Washington apples

 1 – The Yellowstone Teddy – This was the one that started it all.  I grew up a little more than an hour away from Yellowstone National Park and we visited several times a year.  I always tried to use my babysitting money to buy some souvenir on each trip.  One year I had no idea what to get.  One of my aunts suggested I get a thimble and said that some people collect them from all the places they visit.  This seemed like a neat idea and a passion was born.  My mom admits that when she and my dad bought my first display case they never thought it would be filled, let alone have two cases full.

2 – Alora – I discovered an online shop many years ago and found this thimble.  It doesn’t have any particular meaning with the design, but the name happens to be the middle name of one of my daughters, and I’ve never seen anything with that particular spelling, so I had to add this one to my collection.

3 – Indiana log cabin – This one represents my first solo trip.  I flew for the first time and even ended up stranded overnight in the airport 4 hours from home.

4 – Washington apples – My college roommate gave me this thimble because she knew I loved apples.

Heritage thimble, Disneyland Minnie bell, Sphinx , Swan

5 – Heritage thimble – This is the one “real” thimble that I have in my collection.  It was used by my great-aunt.

6 – Disneyland Minnie bell – When I went to Disneyland during my senior year of high school, I couldn’t find a thimble other than the one that a friend had bought for me a couple years earlier.  I found this little pewter bell and figured it was about the right size to pass for a thimble.

7 – Sphinx & Swan – When my husband had a job that required him to travel, he knew I expected a thimble from each place he visited.  Usually he was able to find one with the location on it, but sometimes he had to get creative.  Nothing about these thimbles lets you know they are from Michigan and Washington state, but I love them just the same.

Raggedy Ann & Andy

8 – Raggedy Ann & Andy – Sorry for a blurry photo.  I’ve always loved Raggedy Ann and had a well-loved doll as a child. I couldn’t pass up this cute set.

9 – The Care Bears – I was very much a child of the 80s.  I got a Care Bear for Christmas when they were first produced.  When they were re-released my girls fell in love with them, too.  While some of the coloring is off, I still love this row of classic Care Bear thimbles.

10 – Wizard of Oz – I’ve always loved reading the Wizard of Oz books as well as watching the movie. I knew I had to find a place for this pewter/Swarovski crystal set of thimbles.

So now you know a little bit more about me and the background behind my email name.

Tuesday 10 – Channeling my inner geek


Today’s Tuesday 10 theme is “10 Geeky Facts About Yourself”.  When I first started thinking about it, I thought I’d have to change the theme to “10 reasons I’m not a geek” or something like that.


The only geek-related fact I could think of was that I was an adult before I realized Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, and The Empire Strikes Back had anything to do with each other.  I more or less knew that Star Wars had Luke and Leia and Darth Vader.  I knew that The Empire Strikes Back had Ewoks and I thought they were pretty cute.  Yes, I was a child of the 80s, but I had only seen bits and pieces of them, so I didn’t realize any of the characters were the same.  My now-husband was mortified and couldn’t believe it.  I guess that could be another fact:  I married a complete geek.  Only that’s a geeky fact, so it doesn’t work for a non-geek fact.  Anyway, moving on now.

Fact number 2 in my non-geek repertoire . . .
It was like I hit a brick wall.

Time for a change of theme, let’s go back to the geek-related facts since I already have two that sort-of fit.

Number 3: (after days and days of thought) Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television was best friends with my grandfather’s oldest brother.

Number 4: (This is getting a little easier.)  I once won a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit with a friend against our husbands.  That should be permanent membership into the geek club right there.

Number 5: My oldest daughter takes after her dad and has completely embraced geek-dom. I’ve been pulled along into that world whether I wanted to or not. She introduced me to the Doctor Who series.  We recently found out that the Doctor Who universe is just a few steps away from us.  My sister-in-law went to a year of elementary school with Jenna-Louise Coleman (this season’s new companion).

Number 6: Because of my love for Doctor Who, I was just as excited as the kids were to find the TARDIS parked in a nearby back yard.

Number 7: Somehow my husband and I started watching the Firefly series.  I immediately fell in love and am still sorely disappointed that they only had one season and a movie.  There is so much more just dying to be told.

Number 8:  This one is more of another non-geek fact.  I tried to dissuade The Artist from getting an Avengers lunch box, thinking it was too juvenile.  She disagreed and I figured she was the one that was carrying it around the high school every day.  Apparently she’s had many people comment on how cool it is.  I guess I’m out of touch when it comes to geeky coolness.

Number 9: I learned just the other day that not all Bat-symbols are the same.  Who knew?

Number 10: Finally, the last and possibly most important geeky fact about me: even my last name is geeky.  It’s Batman with an “e” in the middle.

Tuesday 10 – My favorite things

I decided to change the topic a little for this week’s Tuesday 10.  Instead of “10 things I wish I’d known 10 years ago” I’m sharing some of my favorite things lately.  I may not actually hit 10 things.  Oh well!

I’ll admit, I shamelessly borrowed this photo from my sister’s blog since I don’t have any in my house at the moment.  Thanks Becky!

Hello Panda Cookies
My sister suggested trying these cookies.  She sent some home with The Artist last summer.  It took months, but I finally found some in one of our Targets.  I’ve seen them in the regular snack food section, but why pay more when they’re generally available in the dollar section.  These things seem to jump into my cart every time I walk past.  They’re the perfect size for a quick snack while out shopping or when I want a treat but don’t want to have to share with the kids.

My favorite store. I could shop there every day.

I’m loving a little bit cooler weather with a nippiness in the mornings.  Now my grass has an excuse to look brown and dry instead of lush and green.

Quiet days
With all 5 of the older kids in school, my days are pretty quiet, especially when it’s naptime.  Quiet = happy time.

I’m enjoying my early morning walks in the church gym while my oldest is taking her religion class.  Kind of like above, quiet, me time = happy time.

image borrowed from ABC

After a summer off, my Monday nights became complete again with last night’s season kick-off of a new season of ABC’s Castle. All is right with the world again.

Feeling appreciated
I love feeling like I make a difference to other people.  Even though I get overwhelmed and swamped sometimes, I enjoy feeling valued when I’m asked to help with school events or at church.

I got the brainstorm one day to say “Thank You” to our elementary teachers and staff.  I took three loaves of zucchini bread in along with a sign expressing our appreciation to them.  They must have enjoyed it, there were only crumbs left the next morning.  I’m also enjoying my bi-weekly Saturday mornings volunteering at our local Bountiful Baskets site.

 Sherpa throw
I’m loving these sherpa throw blankets we found at Costco.  Sure, they’re 100% polyester (probably why they can be so cheap) but they’re so soft and snuggly.  Plus, if you get their coupons, you can save $5, making them less than $15!

Well, I made it further than I thought. Nine favorite things is good, right?
Come back for next week’s installment: “10 geeky facts about me”.  Hmm, might need to adjust that one, too.  We’ll see.


Tuesday 10 – Goals

When I saw that this week’s Tuesday 10 theme was goals to accomplish by 2013, I knew I had to participate since I already had most of the work done with my Bucket List post.  At least I started out thinking that way.  In actuality, most of my goals are longer-reaching than 3.5 months, but here’s my best shot:

Could this be the last box of diapers I ever buy?

1 – This one is a total surprise and not one I would have even thought of a couple weeks ago:  Buy my last package of diapers.  Who knows, I may have already done this.  I don’t even attempt potty-training until my kids are 3.  Who would have thought that Bugaboo would want to start on his own at 2 1/2?  I suppose I should add little boy underwear to my next shopping list.

2 & 3 – I’m combining these two goals since they kind of go hand-in-hand.   Declutter my house (at least the main living areas) and host a Christmas Carol Sing-along party.

4 – Learn to knit.  I have a specific project in mind, but since my older girls read my blog, I won’t give away the surprise.

5 – Finally read the Old Testament (I’ve hit the dreaded Psalms roadblock.  You’d think after I’ve waded through all the tediousness of Numbers and so on that Psalms would be easy — they’re short and poetical.)

6 – Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.  I do pretty good with getting 4 or 5, but more than that is extremely difficult.  I think I’ve found a solution that should work involving hair ties worn as bracelets.  We’ll see.

7 – Finish personalized Christmas stockings.  Last year I posted this photo as a sneak peek to the stockings for Little Miss Sunshine and Princess:

That’s still what their stockings look like.  Hopefully by the time Christmas rolls around this year they’ll resemble something more like this:

8 – See if I can master the art of homemade wheat bread.  I think I’ve finally found a great recipe, it just ends up a little softer than I’d like.

9 – Visit a corn maze, either on a date with my hubby or with the family

10 – Add shelving to our laundry room.

What goals are you hoping to accomplish by the end of the year?  Come share them at Mom2MemphisAndRuby’s Tuesday 10 link party.


Tuesday 10 — School Memories

Today I decided to link up to Tuesday 10 at Mom2MemphisAndRuby.  (By the way, I’m super-excited to be hanging out on her sidebar this month.)


This week’s topic is school memories.  As you might imagine from the schoolhouse-theme to my blog, I have a few of those memories. The problem is that they happened a long time ago.  (Remember from my Bucket List post that I’m old:  next year will be my 20th high school reunion!)  Here I go back into the far-reaches of my brain to dredge up some old recollections.

10 – Chicken Pox
I actually had chicken pox twice.  Once was in preschool where I’m pretty sure I caught them from one of my classmates.  We were doing some kind of circle game and she had a couple spots on her hand.  Mine was a fairly mild case.  I caught them again in 3rd or 4th grade and had a big outbreak.  I think I might have missed the last day of school and then shared them with all of my siblings.

9 – First Grade
I had the fun privilege of starting first grade at the same time as my aunt.  She was a brand new teacher and I was a student.  She taught first grade for many years before finally “graduating” to third grade.

8 – The Hobbit
My 3rd grade teacher read this classic to us.  I won a gift certificate to a local bookstore from the school-wide reading competition and bought this as well as the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Another aspect to the reading competition was earning the chance to spend the night at the school.

7 – Challenger Explosion
I was in 5th grade when the principal came into the classroom and said that he had a short video he wanted to show us.  We knew the Space Shuttle was launching that morning, but hadn’t heard what had happened to it, so we all sat there excited to be watching a movie, then in horror as it launched and then exploded.

6 – Young Woman of the Year
Today this program is known as Jr. Miss.  For a few years the name was changed to put the emphasis on it being a scholarship program, not a beauty pageant.  I had seen some of my older friends go through the program, so I decided I would participate during my junior year.  My experience wasn’t particularly noteworthy, but I did make many friends, increased my poise and confidence and won a scholarship for my efforts.

5 – Newspaper
Much of my high school experience revolved around the newspaper staff.  I was on the editorial board my junior and senior years with various responsibilities: Entertainment Editor, News Editor, Business Manager.  I spent many late nights and early mornings getting the paper ready to go to press.  Our staff had a lot of fun with trips into town for food and just a general camaraderie. I also worked for our local newspaper and then continued on to work on the college paper for my freshman year.  At one point I had decided to teach journalism, but then reverted to my original elementary education plan.

4 – School bus
I always rode the bus until I started working in high school.  My senior year was also my youngest brother’s kindergarten year.  On that first day, my parents decided they wanted all 8 of their kids to ride the bus (our district had all schools with the same time schedule, so high school and elementary rode the same buses).  We were all lined up in our driveway and trooped across the street to file onto the bus.  It was the one and only time I rode the bus that year.  The rest of the time I drove our old monster van.

Snowflake by MarieH Designs

3 – Snow days
Every year we hoped for snow days.  Our district was usually the last one in the valley to cancel, so we spent many mornings listening to the radio while we were slowly getting ready, hoping to hear those magical words that our district had cancelled.  As a parent now, I dread those same words, knowing that means my kids will be hyped-up and probably up at the crack of dawn in the morning.

2 – Teaching
From the time I entered Kindergarten, my career goal was to become a teacher.  I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up — a teacher.  I did lean toward an engineer for a year or two, but came back to teaching.  I founded a Future Educators of America club my senior year.  When I went on to college, I changed my focus from secondary education to elementary.  I had many experiences teaching in classrooms through practicums and my student teaching.

1 – Freedom
Nowadays, school means more freedom for me.  All I have left at home is my little Bugaboo during the days.  We don’t have to stick to any particular schedule, we can go on playdates or shopping trips without needing to be home for a bus to drop off.  My days can be as full or as lazy as I want them.