Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

                                              Christmas lunch at the hotel

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Bullet Journaling

I resisted it.

A lot.

For a long time.


I started it.

I started a bullet journal!

At least my version of a bullet journal.  Although isn't that what a bullet journal is?  Your own version?

I LOVE my iPhone.  I keep EVERYTHING in it.  Calendar, to do list, reminders, emails, weight management, exercise, banking, notes etc, etc, etc.

But I need to work on reflection and my prayer life and I don't really know how to do that using my iPhone.

At my last librarian meeting one of the middle school librarians said she makes lists and reflects on them.  And I thought I could do that.

So I search Pinterest for bullet journals and reflections and prayers and found some pages I liked.  I also found some other fun things I'm going to play with like a travel page and a doodle page.

Jay, my mother-in-law, and my lead librarian all love their bullet journals.

I bought a Harry Potter journal.  It's a little thinner and fewer pages than I thought it would have but I think I'm going to like it.  It's a good journal to start with anyway.

Happy bullet journaling!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For Myself

I finished Must Love Mistletoe (Holiday Duet Book 1) (Holiday Duet Series) by Christie Ridgway It was a cute little Christmas book.  Which right now is all I'm reading!

For my book club we are The Hypontist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty. I'm only on chapter 2 but I'm already hooked! 

For School (last week)

Dream Snow by Eric Carle is one of my favorite Christmas books!  I love the snow,  the peaceful flow of the words, and guessing what animals are under the snow.  I read this to all grade levels even though it's really a lower grade book.  There's just something magical about it.  I also project a faux fireplace on my Promethean Board to set a warm, festive atmosphere.

Five For Friday-Christmas

I love Christmas!

1.  I love the pretty lights outside.

2.  I love decorating the inside of my house.

3.  I love buying gifts I think my family and friends will love!

4.  I love the food.  Oh the desserts!

5.  I love being with my family.

Wordless Wednesday

                      Rogue One!

Goodbye to a Friend and Co-worker

This week I had to say goodbye to a friend and co-worker.  She was my mentor my first (and second and third really) year as a librarian.  I took over her library when she moved to another school in the district.

This week she lost her battle with cancer.  

I hate cancer.

She left behind her parents, siblings, husband and two children.  I can't think too much about her children. It's more than my heart can take.

I will be keeping her family, especially her children in my prayers and ask that you do the same.

By the way, I think she'd hate this post. Ha!  She was a very private person and didn't like a lot of attention drawn to her.  But I feel she deserves at least this.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One (Spoiler Free)

Jay, Reagan and I are going to see Rogue One tonight!!!!!!  We bought tickets for the 10:00 p.m showing... on a school night....  None of us were thrilled at going so late.

Then a friend told us there was an early showing in a town about 30 minutes away.  So we sold our 10:00 tickets to a friend and bought tickets to the 7:00 showing in the other town.

I'm so excited that I'll just be tired tomorrow verses exhausted!  Ha!  At least we have early release Friday!

Monday, December 12, 2016

(Half) Hour of Code

Couple of weeks ago my library twitter chat (#txlchat) was on Hour of Code.  A few people posted articles that I emailed to myself to read later.  Everyone who did Hour of Code talked about how wonderful it is and how much fun they had doing it.  I'm almost always willing to try new things so I thought I'd dive in and try it.

First I read all the articles that were posted.  Then I played with coding myself.  Annnddddd then I fell in love!  I had so much fun playing with coding!  

Then I wondered why I had waited so long to try it!

In my library I already have LEGO Clubs and Book Clubs.  So I decided to add (Half) Hour of Code.  It's half an hour because there's just not enough time in the day!

I got with teachers and students and came up with a list of students.  I took 15 students out of each upper grade (3rd-5th).

The first (Half) Hour of Code Club meeting was two Monday's ago.  It didn’t go as I had planned.  I thought we’d get logged into email real quick then create an account on the coding website, go back to email & verify our accounts then have 5-10 min to play with code.

It took the whole 30 minutes to get logged into email.  They had no idea how to even get to gmail.  I was shocked!  So we took it step by step. 


Like, "If you're on an iPad, open Safari.", "Oh, you don't know where Safari is?", "Oh. Ok.  Lets step back a minute."  I hadn't expected this.  I thought they'd know how to open Safari and type in a webaddress.  They did not. So between that and just the simple act of typing in an email address and password, the entire 30 minutes we had was blown.

I called my lead librarian at the high school when it was over and she reminded me that kids do not email.  They text/snapchat/kick (sp?) etc.  So I really did teach a skill today even though it didn’t feel like it.  Ha!

So I’m backing up like 10 steps and taking baby steps when we get back from break.

I did ask them to practice logging in to their email accounts over the break so maybe it won't take so long when we get back in January.

Besties' Christmas Party

As always we had a great time at our Besties' Christmas Party!  There were 6 couples there.  And a ton of amazing food!  I ate way too much!

We played a fun game.  Lara, our host, wrapped candy, hand sanitizer, and lip gloss in green plastic wrap. One person tried to unwrap as much of the plastic wrap as they could while another person tried roll doubles with dice to get their turn. You got to keep whatever goodies fell out of the ball of plastic wrap.  It got a bit competitive when we realized there were a couple of regular size Snickers bars wrapped in there!

We also did a White Elephant gift exchange.  There wasn't too much fighting over gifts this year but there were some good gifts.  I won Chewie footed pajamas that Jay immediately stole from me when we left the party! Ha!

He says he's going to wear it when we go see Rogue One Thursday night.  Reagan and I are hoping he's joking! Fingers crossed!

There aren't many times a year that we are able to together without all our children.  So we really look forward to this night!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

For Myself

I'm still reading Christmas books.  They're light and fluffy and get me in the Christmas spirit.  They're also very easy, quick reads which is about all I have time for this time of year!

Must Love Mistletoe (Holiday Duet Book 1) (Holiday Duet Series) by Christie Ridgway  Billie hates Christmas which is a bit tough seeing as her family owns a Christmas store.  Billie moved away 10 years ago to escape the Christmas madness but has to come back and run the store for 24 days only because her mom and stepdad and divorcing.  Billie runs into her bad boy fling from high school.  It's a rocky reunion until the old spark ignites

For School

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Charlie and Lola) by Candlewick Our students are growing gardens this year.  Everyone from teachers to the nurse to the cafeteria workers are involved.  So of course I have to jump right in the middle of it!  Except I don't like getting my hands dirty so I take pictures and read the books.

Lola doesn't like eating, well, anything really.  So Charlie has to get creative and make up names and stories to go with the food she and Lola are going to eat.  Like carrots come from Jupiter.  The students and I had fun talking about the food we do and don't like to eat.

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha) by Stuart Gibbs is on our Texas Bluebonnet Award List.  I was assigned to read this book and write 25 questions for our Battle of the Bluebonnets in May.  I'm listening to this audiobook on OverDrive.  I'm actually finding it hard to list and write questions so I'm keeping the physical book close so I can go back and look at important events that I want to write a question about.

I haven't finished the book yet but so far I'm liking it.  I like the concept of living in space on the moon but main character 12 year old Dashiell Gibson doesn't.  Dashiell doesn't like being stuck inside a small base with only a few other kids to play with.  The handful of paragraphs he uses to described how to use the restroom on base were hilariously gross!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Five For Friday-Christmas Parties

December is such a busy month for our family.  Jay's birthday is the 1, my mom's is the 23.  Our anniversary is the 18.  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  New Year's Eve.  Elderly Saints, College Students from church, Besties Christmas Parties.  Parent Night at my school.  Christmas Program at Reagan's school.

It can get overwhelming.

But thankfully everything IS fun to do.

1.  I love the party with my besties.  It's a no kid party so we're able to let our hair down without being interupted 42 thousand times!

2.  I love seeing all the different decorations at each party/house/program.

3.  The food!  Oh the food! (This is such a hard time to be losing weight!  But I'm down 12.4, 5% of my body weight!)

4.  I have found time to watch cute, heartwarming Christmas movies and read the same kind of books.

5.  Family and friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Elderly Saints Party

We had a wonderful time at the Elderly Saints Party.  We had about 60 in attendance.  There were many who normally come but could not this year due to illness, surgeries, families obligations, etc.

All the recipes we cooked were mostly from deceased members of our church with a few recipes from older members.  There were pictures of past and present members hanging for people to reminisce about. It was nostalgic and "fun" to remember those who've gone before us and hear stories about the good old days.

We put appetizers on the tables for them to munch on until we started serving dinner.  The cheese ball was amazing!  I wasn't sure I was going to like olive dip but boy, did I! Dinner was baked crusted chicken with carrot souffle, broccoli cheese casserole, bread and salad.  We had about a million yummy desserts!  You can see part of the dessert table in the left hand corner.

Some of our more musically inclined folks played/sang Christmas songs for us and we had a couple of games of 42 happening.

Everyone's picture got taken in front of the Christmas tree.  Jay photobombed a few of them.  Ha!

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Disclaimer: I receive a small percentage of books purchased from the links below.

For Myself:

I finished The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer and I loved it!  I had a hard time getting into it at first but once I got to page 52 (on the Kindle app) I didn't want to put the book down.  I liked the science, the dogs, the mystery, and the people.  I'm a huge Twilight fan so I'm partial to Meyer.  Although I didn't like The Host too much.  Well, I liked it after chapter 10 and I did like the movie.

I also finished Christmas at the Beach (Novella) (Ten Beach Road Novella) by Wendy Wax.  I started the Ten Beach Road series this summer.  Christmas at the Beach is book 2.5.  I didn't want to read it until Christmas time so I skipped over it this fall and read books 3 and 4 so I knew how the book ended because it was referenced in the other books. But I didn't know how we got to the end.  I like these 6 strong women.  I like their interactions and how they handle life.  This series is definitely a beach read.

A Yorkshire Christmas (Christmas Around the World Book 2) by Kate Hewitt is a sweet little Christmas book.  Claire needs to get away from home and her mistakes.  Her godmother offers her home in Yorkshire for a week at Christmas.  So she packs up and heads to England where she meets a grumpy farm and falls madly in love with him and his daughter.

Miss Kane's Christmas : A Christmas Central Romantic Comedy Novella by Caroline Mackelson is another sweet little Christmas book.  Miss Carol Kane's is Santa's daughter.  She's sent on a mission to bring Christmas cheer to a father who is writing a book about how awful it is that parents lie to their children about Santa.  Through some hard work Carol brings the Christmas spirit to this home.

For School:

With Pk-2nd I read Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion by Dominique Roques.   This book is on the Texas Little Mavericks Award list.  I had so much fun reading this book!  I projected it on the Promethean Board using the Elmo.  Since it's a graphic novel I really wanted the students to be able to see the details.  I also wanted to teach them how to read a graphic novel and projecting it aloud me to point out speech bubbles, the direction I was reading, and although this book didn't have boarded panes some pages did have multiple panes.

Some of Anna's friends want to learn how to make a chocolate cake but disaster strikes and chocolate explodes everywhere!  And one of her friends mysteriously bakes a cake... in the living room?

With 3rd-5th grade I read Fishfishfish (Three-Story Books) by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch.  This graphic novel is also on the Little Mavericks award list.  This wordless graphic novel has three stories in one book.  It can be read across the page or top to bottom of one page then going to the next page.  Either way you get all three stories.  It just depends how you prefer to read it.  I started reading it top to bottom but decided I followed the story better when I read it across both pages.

My Junior Library Guild subscription came in last week so I've been reading my way through the box.

First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story by Paul Fleischman I am not a fan of mythology so I didn't care much for this book but if you do like mythology you'll probably like it.  Fleischman takes the Biblical story of creation and combines it with aspects of creation stories from other traditions.  He creates one picture of how the world began.

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol  It's starting to get cold and Grandma needs some quiet time to knit... but no one is giving her any quiet time.  Grandma packs up her yarn and leaves the house to find some peace and quiet.

Who What Where? by Olivier Tallec I'm not really sure why this book is titled Who What Where? when the only question it asks is who questions.  We are introduced to different characters then asked who is missing based on the characters show on the next page.  It is a fun little memory game.

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing  This graphic novel grabbed my attention with monsters in the closet and a monster mediator.  The story was set in a large city (I LOVE cities!) with monsters living on the downside.  Margo mediates between humans and monsters.  When Thompson, who's new to the city, gets scared by a monster Margo is on the case!

Mr. Putter & Tabby Hit the Slope by Cynthia Rylant & Arthur Howard I think this easy reader chapter books is such a cute series.  Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby are a little bored since it's winter. There are no flowers to tend to and the hammock is buried under snow.  Mr. Putter remembers back to his childhood when he'd go sledding in the winter.  He calls up his neighbor Ms. Teaberry and her dog Zeke and they head out to the slopes together.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Library Infographic

I was asked by my lead librarian to put together a one page infographic on my library.
One page
That's not a lot of space.

But it made me really focus on what's important and what I wanted to highlight.  And it made my brain hurt. Ha!

A little background.

This is my 4th year as a librarian in this district.  

*4 years ago every librarian in the district was certified (9 of us). 
*3 years ago the smallest elementary school in the district decided to hire a paraprofessional to run the library one day a week instead of having a part time certified librarian have the library open 2 1/2 days a week (by TLA standards this school did not have to have a certified librarian because their student body numbers were so small). So 8 out of 9 libraries were staffed by certified librarians. 
*Last year we had another librarian leave and were down to 6 certified librarians and 3 paras.  
*This year we are down to 5 certified librarian with 4 paraprofessionals.

Every year we seem to digress.  As you can image the certified librarians find this disturbing.  Part of the problem is that we don't have a lot of certified librarians knocking down our doors to work here.  So it IS hard to hire certified librarians when we don't have any to hire.

But the other problem is:

4 out of 6 of our elementary schools do not have certified librarians.  Some of these principals don't understand why they need a certified librarian.  

With that being said my goal for this infographic is to show what I do as a professional with a masters degree and certification in my field and why a paraprofessional with only a high school degree or even a certified educator (not in Library Science) cannot do all that I do and to showcase what the library provides the school.  My question to you, dear readers, is did I do that?

And another problem is:

 “A lot of what we do very well can be invisible...."  Sara Kelly Johns, school librarian, consultant, and American Association of School Librarians (AASL) past president. Vercelletto, Christina. "ESSA-and Federal Support of School Libraries-Signed Into Law." School Library Journal. Media Source, 09 Dec. 2016. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.  

When I read that quote all I could think is "Yeap!  That's it exactly!"  I showed this infographic to a teacher who doesn't understand what I do.  After he read it he said "I didn't know you did all that.  But the problem is not every certified librarian does this stuff."  True... and how do we fix that?  That's a topic for another time!  I also showed it to a good friend of mine who is an assistant principal and tells me all the time he doesn't see the need for a librarian.

The Infographic:

I tried not to use the pronoun "I" too much.  I didn't want it to sound braggy about what I do.  I want it to be about what a certified librarian can do.  But part of what I do is because I'm doing it. 

If there's something you don't understand more than likely the principals will not either.  Please point those things out to me so I can clarify them in the infographic.

Is there anything I should add or take away?  I have until January to work on this so I have plenty of time to play with it and make sure I'm getting my point across.

Any and all constructive criticism is welcomed!!!

Here's a Google Drive link in case you can't enlarge the picture below.

Elderly Saints Party

Every year, for more years than I lived here, the middle aged people at church put together a Christmas party for the elderly saints at church.

We rent place that has a foyer, a kitchen and a nice size dining area.  With the hosts and hostesses included we have about 80 people in attendance.

Here's a picture from last years party
1.  This is a wonderful time for the "younger" folk to show our appreciation for the elderly folks.

2.  Appetizers, a meal, and dessert are served. So.  Yummy.

3.  Some of our more musically inclined folks sing/play Christmas songs for everyone to enjoy.

4.  Games are played.

5.  Lots of fun is had!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Jay's Birthday

Today my hubby, Jay, turns 40.  We are the same age again!  To hear him tell it, he's 3 months younger than me.

He counts the months.  October + November + December= 3 months

I, on the other hand, count the weeks.  From Oct. 19 to December 1 there are 6 weeks.  Therefore I am 6 weeks older.

This is an ongoing (friendly) argument we have.  Ha!

Happy Birthday Jay!  I wouldn't want to navigate this world with anyone else but you!

Universal Studies November 2015