Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guest Student Slicer - Jasmine

Friends are great people.
They are loyal and fun.
They are always there for you
when you need them the most.  
You can call them any time
and ask any question.
Love  Care  Fun.

Guest student slicer - Brennan

Well, today is the last day of SOL.This summer I'm going to write a book. I most likely won't write poems for awhile so here's my last one.
       Day is dark
       So is trust, emptyness
       Love fall's all around us
       The sky at night lights up bright
       Here comes the last flight of the night.

He doesn't know it but we are writing another poetry unit this spring. :)

March 31, 2011 Celebrate!

My class is preparing to celebrate the end of the slice of life challenge tomorrow.  We’ll discuss how it felt to write every day and I’ll have them write down what really mattered to them. A reflection. Then they will have a chance to eat slices of things we chose to bring for tomorrow.  Things like: slices of pizza, cake, oranges, apples, kiwi, bananas, and pineapple.

Life is like that.  It is mixed up and crazy. You can’t count on everything being alike or the same.  We would get bored if it was always the same.

I found that in writing everyday too.  It can be difficult.  I read another person’s slice this morning and he was writing about “last”.  He used song titles and other words but he used a phrase I would like to repeat because it stuck with me; Words and phrases tumbled around in my brain, like clothes in a dryer.”  Sometimes it worked out that way and other times it was more difficult, like a roadblock for a train that never ended.

I found myself going back to my Writer’s notebooks that I started when I began teaching writing workshop that Ruth from Two Writing Teachers mentored me through. What a blessing she was! And is!  I have learned so much from her and this slice of life challenge. Perhaps I should hold all that until tomorrow. J

Life is a celebration too!  Celebrate!  Enjoy your slice!  Happy Slicing! J I’ll miss you! Thanks to all who have written comments on my slices and my students’ slices.  They just loved it!  I have two to add today!  It is really appreciated! God bless you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011 Persuasive essay preparation...

As I am preparing the class for their persuasive research essay, I am writing down what I already know about the topic that I have written something about, Iceland. I spent my 18th year of life in Iceland as an exchange student and I know some things have changed.  That is where the research will come in to help me bring the essay up to date.

The weather is moderate. They have windy (wind that comes over the ocean- so sometimes it is very windy), rainy days and moderate snow in the winter.

Their culture is Scandinavian, similar to the Swedish and Danish, but they have their roots in their ancestors the Vikings. Their meals are somewhat bland, but consist more boiled fish and potatoes.  It varies of course depending on the family and their origin.  They have coffee breaks three times a day with Danish pastries, coffee cakes with plenty of cream. I gained 25 lbs. the first month I was there!

It was difficult to say what they did for entertainment, but most students went to night clubs on the weekends to go dancing.  There were no bowling alleys or sports arenas at that time.  You could go swimming outside in the pools that were heated by the natural hot springs.

I attended school there.  The students had to pass a test in order to attend school past the age of 11-14 yrs.  We would call it grammar school.  Basically there were no assignments that were graded. You worked in class and took notes until the end of the course, then took a test and your grade was based on the final test!  If you didn’t do well, that was it! They speak Icelandic, but many speak English, after Danish.  They begin learning Danish at the age of eleven.  English was my best subject there in school. :)

Their last names were a source of fascination for me.  A person’s name was based on their father’s first name and son or dottir added to the end.  For example:  my Icelandic father’s name was Herbert, so my last name was Herbertsdottir. Telephone books were a riot.  They were alphabetized according to first names. Unless you knew where some lived or knew their father’s first name, it was impossible to know who you were calling from my point of view! J  Unique.
When I get home, I plan to put a picture of me in Iceland then.  Hopefully it will work! It worked!!!! This is Iceland's National Costume. I borrowed it from a friend!

There’s more, but I will stop there for today!  Thanks for reading!  Happy slicing! J
One more day of slicing! L

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011 How did I end up here...?

To my slicer friends, this has been a ride!  I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading slices, commenting, writing and reading the comments others have been kind enough to to share.  I find that others are very sympathetic and either live similar lives or have similar situations.

 We all live on this planet together and want to teach others to appreciate life and what it has to offer. I can’t help but think about the Japanese people and what they are going through.  It is hard to identify what it would be like in a disaster like that.  I feel compassion for those who have lost everything they own, but more than that, for those who have lost loved ones.  You can replace material things, but not a person.

I know when Hurricane Katrina happened it was difficult to fathom about how many people were affected by it and the flood waters that came from the broken levee. But to imagine the population of Japan and how many live in such a small area, it is beyond my comprehension.

I want to reach out to them.  I want ot do something for them.  I have heartfelt sadness for these people.  It wasn’t enough to have a 9.0 magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake hit and trigger a tsunami, but then it impacted the nuclear reactors.  Somehow from what I have heard and seen they are a very strong people.  They keep on going and rebuild.  The one major highway after it had been split by the earthquake was rebuilt in a very short amount of time.  God be with them!  How did I end up here…?  Have a great week!  I dread the end the slicing! Happy slicing!  J

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011 Storms of life

Thunder clapped in the distance.  The sky was gray and dark clouds rolled in.  I felt like something was about to happen. A storm was preparing to erupt like a volcano.  Life is like that. In my life, I feel like I have really been blessed, but I have had my moments.
As far back as second grade when I was disciplined  for “talking” and sent to the corner, I felt a storm. There was turmoil inside me. I felt it was not my fault. The boy in front of me would not be quiet and I only told him to be quiet.  However, I was the one in trouble.  I was too shy to tell the teacher, I was not talking.  It is hard for me not to take life so seriously.
As a child, I was very compliant. I did everything, for the most part, that I was asked to do.  That has caused me trouble in my own emotional life, and because I have expectations of others acting like I did.  I’m learning to give others grace and also myself!  Have a great evening…  Happy slicing! J  Only 3 more days in March!  Keep on slicing!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 27, 2011 Oops...

Have you ever forgotten something and you're in a hurry?  Well, I have to admit, I did it this weekend.  I was on my way to see my parents when my husband and I stopped to have a bite to eat at Arby's in a town about 3 hours from our destination and left to travel on the road.

We had been driving for about an hour and a half or so when we decided to stop and stretch so we stopped at a McDonalds just to get out there.  I had thought about walking in to get a cup of coffee so I wanted my purse for some money and couldn't find my purse.  We hunted and hunted and then it hit me, "I left it on the back of a chair in the Arby's in the town where we stopped to eat."  What were we to do?  The first thing my husband thought of was to go back to an Arby's we passed on our way to Micky D's and see if they would have the phone number so we could call and see if they found my purse.  So we promptly turned around and drove there.

I walked in and of course they asked, "Can I help you?" replied a very nice young man.

I quickly said, "I hope so, I have left my purse at another Arby's in Columbia City and wondered if you have their phone number.  Could you look it up?"

He smiled and said, "Sure." So he left the counter and returned with the corporation notebook and said if the restaurant is in their same sale district, they would have the number, but if not, it might not be there.  Once he looked, it was not there.  This time he left again and returned with his cell phone to search for the restaurant and could not find any restaurants in Columbia City.  I knew that that the Arby's we had eaten at had been there for many years.  It only sowed locations for Angola and Fort Wayne, IN.

Finally he asked us if the Arby's was in Ohio and we said no it was in Indiana.  We had assumed he was searching in Indiana, but because we were in Ohio, he was searching in Ohio!  This time he found it and gave us the phone number and we called them right then and there on our Trac phone! 

When the Arby's restaurant answered I asked if they were the ones in Columbia City, IN right next to SR 30 and they said they were.  Then I told them that I had left my purse on the back of their chair.  The young lady piped up, "Oh yes, we found your purse!"  I was so relieved!  I told her that we were about 2 hours away but were planning on coming back to get it.  What were their hours?  They were open until and the drive-up was open until .  "Ok, I'll see you!

So...we turned around and headed back toward our home when we were within an hour of our destination.  It was a tough decision. All the way back I kept thinking should I go on home because I would be 45 min. or so from my home and go the next morning or go on to see my parents that night even though it would be very, very late when I arrived there. (I'm about 3 1/2-4 hours from their home)

When we finally arrived at the Arby's, it turned out to be 1 1/2 hrs. instead of 2 hrs., we were not as long as we thought it might be.  BUT we had to wait for the safe to open!  They offered us drinks while we waited - is this a lesson in patience?  The people were very kind and friendly and we were very appreciative. They had been taught that when you find a purse not to open it and to put it in the safe.  If no one comes after a day or so, then open it and find out who it belongs to.

After the safe was opened, we thanksed them and left.  Once again on the road toward my parents.  We decided to get out and stretch for a break at our favorite McDonalds and maybe get some coffee.  Guess what? We discovered it was closed as this was in the late evening.  We turned back to the Arby's we had been to earlier and they were closed- all were completely lit up! So we went on.  We arrive at our destination at Safe and sound.  Very little traffic at that time of night!  :)  Lesson learned?  Don't leave your purse in a restaurant so far away!  Enjoy your week! Happy Slicing! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 26, 2011 Family Together

Today my family is celebrating my mom and dad's 65th Anniversary along with my mom and dad's birthdays'.  I have two sisters and two brothers.  Believe it or not, there are very few times that all of us are together in one place.  We are all here to celebrate today!  I'm so thankful for my siblings and my parents.  We has food catered in and shared our memories.
The only way I am on this computer is because my brother has a cell phone that has a "hot spot" on it so I can access it. We are laughing and having a great time.  These are precious moments.  Sharing these times are priceless.  We've taken pictures and videos, but the memories are beyond that.  Enjoy your day! Thanks for stopping by!  I truly appreciate your comments!  Happy Slicing! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011 A treat in a mug...

A treat in a mug…Watch out you might get addicted.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you! J
A friend gave me this recipe and I thought I would share it. Enjoy.
T. = Tablespoon
Chocolate Cake in a Mug (Microwaved)
  • 4 T. flour (plain, not self-rising)
  • 4 T. sugar
  • 2 T. cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T milk
  • 3 T. oil
  • Small splash of vanilla
  • 3 T chocolate chips (optional)
How to make it
In a microwave safe MUG:. Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork.  Add egg, mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil and vanilla, mix well. Add chips, optional. Put mug in microwave, and cook for three minutes.  Cake will rise over top of mug--do not be surprised! Allow to cool a little; tip onto a plate if desired. Enjoy! Make two if you have company!
Have a great weekend. Happy Slicing! J

Guest Student Slicer - Trey

A week from today is my birthday. I will be twelve on the first of April.  I have a lot of fun on my birthday. We’re not having a party this year because my mom, her friend, her friend’s son and I  are going to Chicago to the Art Museum, the aquarium, and the Lego store.  My mom’s friend’s son is coming to hang out with me.

Trey 3-5-11

Guest Student Slicer - Jasmine

Guess what? My name is Jasmine, and my favorite flower comes from Africa.  It is yellow in the middle with some pink and white on the outside.   That sounds like me, pink for love, yellow with care, white for strong, independent and funny.

Jasmine 3-19-11

Guest Student Slicer - Dominic

It is a rainy day today. It feels like it’s sad outside. It just makes you want to cry. I’m starting a new book. It is called Earthquake Terror by Peg  Kehret. I am going fishing again today. This is a good day to go because it is raining and when it is like this the fish think there are bugs falling on the water. Then they come up to the water and see if there are bugs.

Dominic 3-22-11

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011 Persuasive Research Essay

Persuasive Research Essay…

We’re preparing to write a persuasive research essay.  I have been helping the students think about how they can select their topic.  They must have at least three arguments and three counterarguments. 

I’ve told them to choose a topic that they know something about and that they are passionate about.  Now my example isn’t a topic you would normally pick, but I wanted something that they wouldn’t pick either, so I chose to write about Iceland.  It is pretty neutral, but it is a country I know something about.  I lived there for thirteen months.  I actually was an exchange student there.

I plan to tell them what I know about it and then go into the reasons that I think they should visit it someday.  Of course explaining what that they would say that counter my opinion.

I could use things such as;
1. They would say they don’t speak Icelandic and would be worried about the language.  No problem, most Icelanders speak English.

2. What about the cost to fly over there and maybe they don’t like to fly?  I had to raise
money be an exchange student and I asked others to help me.  I would be willing to help
them to raise the funds.  I had someone help me.  As to the not flying, there are
medications to help those people who don’t like to fly.

3. They would say they don’t know anything about it and it must be very cold there.
Aren’t there Eskimos there?The country is very beautiful and the people are interesting.
I would show them some pictures or include pictures in my essay.  It doesn’t get that cold
there. The gulf stream runs through Iceland.  They have mountains, glaciers and volcanoes
there on their island. I would show research that it is a legend that Iceland was named
"Iceland" by the Vikings and they named Greenland so people would not bother them,
because Iceland is really “Greenland” and vice versa.

Of course, their information would be based on their research and I will show
them how the research can help them. They have already completed one research
paper this year, but it was very simple and this will be more extensive.  Thanks for
reading this.  (Sorry for the weird typing but I copied this in after I typed this in Word
 and it did something funny) Happy Slicing! J

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Student Slicer - Jasmine

Today is my dad’s birthday and he is 32. You know what is funny, my grandpa’s 52, my uncle’s 42, my dad’s 32, my cousin’s 22, I’m 12, my other cousin is 2.  I mean talk about funny and next year it will be all threes.  And all the birthdays are really close. I mean close. And the other funny part is everyone in my house’s birthday is on a holiday or really close. My mom and dad’s birthdays are a couple of months apart and their both the same age.

Jasmine 3-23-11

March 23, 2011 My Mother

This piece is in honor of my mother who is 86 today!
It is difficult to say what I will look like at 86 years of age, if I am still alive, God willing, but I’ve decided “it’s not how you look, but how you act that is important!”  Those are words my mother has told me throughout my life.  Along with, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  There are many phrases and sayings that my mother has taught me.  They are all well and good, but knowing her kind heart has been the most significant.
        Life growing up on a farm in  Ohio wasn’t always easy for my mother. She was the third child, but her oldest sister died at twelve years old before my mother was born. Then when she was fifteen years old  her mother died and tells stories of going down the road to have a neighbor lady help her with killing and dressing 15 chickens.        Even after she was married to my dad, they lived on a farm, and she was his help mate.  She drove tractors, plowed fields, and helped in the tobacco fields by cutting down tobacco, spearing it and placing it on a lathe.
        Besides working in the fields, she had five children to prepare food for and clean up after.  Times were rough, but she always managed to have fun with us. She loved music. If she hadn’t quit college and married, she would have been a music teacher.
        So growing up, she sang and played the trumpet and piano.  This built an innate sense of music for me.  Mom sang until one day she could no longer sing because of her throat.  That’s another story.
        She had a dream that we all would play the piano and gave us lessons. Mom loved and cared for us.  It was her vocation.  She never worked “outside” the home.   Some of my fondest memories are when mom spent time with me in the kitchen. She was always patient. Allowing my sister and me to play with the dough, she would make pies and other luscious desserts for the hired hands.  The cinnamon rolls just melted in your mouth.
        Then we had special foods for holidays that mom made for us.  Mom made the large pearl tapioca with whipped cream, chocolate pudding, rice pudding, her famous oyster dressing at Thanksgiving, and I can’t forget the small tapioca for my brothers.
        No matter what we had materially and sometimes it wasn’t so much, we had love.  Mom and Dad loved us and that was all that mattered.  They encouraged us to do well and supported us in all our endeavors.  Most importantly God was at the center of our home and I am grateful for that.
        Thank you for reading this.  I love you Mom & Dad!  Happy Slicing! J

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011 My third grandson

My third grandson:
This is my daughter’s only child. He is so much fun and I had a chance to hold him when he was 22 hours old!  What a pleasure, joy, honor and unspeakable elation I had that day seeing him.  All my grandchildren are special but I have not had the opportunity to hold them when they were this young. So this is what I have written about him when he was about one year old.  He is now over 2.

Independent, Friendly, Social, Loves Kitties (Just like his mother)
Blonde, Big Blue Eyes
Grabs my hand and pulls me forward
Loves to go for walks
Explores the world
Checks things out
Picks up a stick at a park & carries it around as if it is a special toy
Enjoys the swings
Watches older children play
He’s tall for his age
Looks like he’s three
That’s why we call him “Little Man.”

Of course there’s so much more but this is enough for today. I have to go.  Happy slicing! :)

Guest Student Slicer - Cedric

To save people is what I want to do. I see people get shot and all I did was duck behind a car, while someone was shooting.  Next chance I go I’m going to do something instead of people dying or getting shot.  I want to save lives not for fame, but because I hate when people die, because no one will help.  I will save futures and save the world someday.

Cedric 3-22-11

Guest Student Slicer - Kiana

Rain, Rain, go away!
That’s what I’ve been thinking all day long.
I hope later in the season it’s not just rain.
I want it to be Sunny!
I love the sun, and for it to be hot outside.
It seems like when it’s hot it’s too hot!
So people want it cooler, then, when its cold,
it’s too cold so people want it to be hot again.
People now days can’t make up their mind. J

Kiana 3-22-11

Guest Student Slicer - Trey

Yesterday I went fishing. Everytime I put a worm on, a fish would take it.

Later, I took my ATV (four wheeler) out for the first time this spring. I went to start it and it would not start because of the fuel went bad. So I put more gas in it but it still wouldn’t start.

Finally something went right that it turns out that the starter was loose. So we tightened it. We rode with Steve’s friends with four wheelers and dirt bikes for an hour.

Trey 3-22-11

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011 Happiness is...

It’s Monday…I need something simple today.

Happiness is…
Feeling a warm summer breeze on my face
Touching the fur of my cat
Watching my grandson sleep
Blowing on a dandelion after it’s gone to seed
Sitting on the patio listening to the crickets after a long day of work
Planting a seed in the warm dirt and knowing that with time and care it will come up
Having someone special snuggle close to me
Finishing a difficult task and knowing that I did my best
Finding after I taught a lesson that the light bulb came on for a student
Riding my bicycling down an old empty railroad path with my husband
Walking in the sand by the beach on a warm sunny day
Talking on the phone with my mother or my daughter or my grandchild
Relaxing and reading with a good book
Spying on the birds at my bird feeder
Spending time with a friend who is immobile
Blessings from above
It’s the little things of life that keep me going.
Happy Slicing! J

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 20, 2011 A Quote on my mind...

"REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get; we make a Life by what we give."

I don’t know who wrote that quote, but it is important to me. 

Now that I am older I see it more clearly than I did earlier, not that I couldn’t have, but when I was younger, I couldn’t wait as I stated in another slice to get older, etc.

Life doesn’t slow down for anyone. We will grow older no matter what, but our maturity depends purely on us.  Being young at heart is one thing, but being childish is another.

As I mature, I begin to see I gain more meaning in life from giving to others than from what I get from others.  Relationships are more significant than material things.

So the second part of the quote that speaks to “making a Living by what we get” is perhaps speaking about our livelihood in order to provide for ourselves.  Or just taking care of ourselves and not worrying about anyone else.

Finally to carve a life out for ourselves that is truly worthwhile and for God, we must give to others in order to complete our life.

Then we are not really alive unless we are helping others. As I tell my students, in order to have a friend, you must first be a friend!  Enjoy being a friend this week!  Happy Slicing! J

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011 Saturday...

This will be short because I do have many things to do today. I must admit that I wasn't sure I could write everyday and the weekend is the toughest because I'm not at school and not disciplined, in a schedule, and not usually near my computer. 

However, I actually feel this blogging/slicing has slowly, but surely embedded itself under my skin.  I love it! Not that I'm good at it, but I love reading all the pieces, poems, slices, moments, comments, snippets and segments of whatever anyone wants to share. 

Some are sharing about their present, past, themselves, their pets, their students and the world in general.  It has made me more aware of my students and their needs and my need for this as well.

So here's to slicing and what it has done for me and my students!  Thanks to my mentor, Ruth, for encouraging the Slice of Life Challenge! I finally took it on!  I know it's about time!  ( Well, I guess this isn't as short as I thought it would be! ;) ) Happy Slicing! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011 Celebrate Poetry

Since we are thinking of Poetry for next month I decided that I should begin my thoughts about it and I have already started a poem. 

Poetry was…
        Hard to read
Nothing to me
        Georgia Heard!
Yes, she explained to me that it didn’t’ have to be a certain way!
I could read it
        Write it
        Live it
        Love it
        Feel it
        Enjoy it
                My way!
There’s so much more to it than I ever imaged!
        It’s woven in the tapestry of my life. 
The very threads of my life are part of my poetry.
The things that make me who I am are poetic! 
I’m writing about how I grew up, my parents, my husband, my children,
my daughter and son-in-law and especially my grandchildren. 
We are all woven together by life. 
The deepest meaning of life. 
Why are we here? Who created us? Why? For what purpose?
What is love? How can we share it with others? 
There is so much to do and so little time,
God will see us through!
Dedicated in honor of my dad- he is 88 years old today! Happy Slicing! J