Lucky Number Seven

Students roll in tomorrow signifying the start to my SEVENTH year teaching.

As my coworkers and I tossed around the number of years we’ve been teaching during in-service last week, the topic of “the seven year itch” was continuously mentioned. This term is associated with marriages most often, but some believe it can be applied to career commitments. While this phrase has yet to relate to me, a number of my teacher friends and I started the same year, so it was an interesting point of view.

Fast forward to a text message from my dad this morning reminding me of “lucky number seven”, and it’s all about perspective. If you don’t have time to read this book I mentioned a few weeks ago, just spend time with my dad. He has the power of perspective.

I’m taking his approach for year seven. I have new ideas. I have new energy. Combine the two, and seven is set to be a success.

Ice Bucket Challenge

IMG_4666A current student challenged me over social media to take the Ice Bucket Challenge in effort to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This challenge is taking over Instagram and Twitter with videos of people pouring ice cold water over themselves and challenging others to do the same. If you’re challenged and don’t succeed in 24 hours, you are encouraged to donate to ALS. Of course, if you do complete the challenge in time, you are also encouraged to donate. The challenge is working. Recent news stated, “The movement has raised more than $5.5 million for ALS Association since July 29th, compared to $32,000 in the same period last year.” Pretty incredible!

I can’t say I was thrilled to be nominated (freezing cold water…no thanks!), but I couldn’t show up to school in two days having disappointed my students. We’re a team!

Check out these Top 10 Ice Bucket Challenge videos from celebrities around the country.

Pineapple Gala

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So much love for former students!

Over 600 people attended the 36th Annual Pineapple Gala last night. The downtown Double Tree served as the venue, and it was beautiful!

John’s boss was nice enough to invite us to the event. In addition to an incredible dinner, a silent and live action served as the entertainment. All proceeds went to Camp Courageous. There were also presentations about Camp Courageous and the valuable opportunities they provide to campers every year.

We went home with a few silent action items and the excitement of helping send more campers to Camp Courageous next summer. It was great to be a part of something so much bigger than us in our community.

How Summer was Meant to be Spent

IMG_4626Today is my last day of summer vacation. Nine weeks did exactly what summer is supposed to accomplish for a teacher. It gave me time to slow down, rearrange my priorities, and return more refreshed.

I spent part of each day free reading for the purpose of enjoyment, spiritual growth, or knowledge for my classroom. More miles were racked up on my shoes than my car most weeks. Time with friends near and far every week kept my schedule just full enough to never get bored. Trips to Boston, Milwaukee, and Chicago helped me suppress the travel bug. Mornings on my front porch helped me keep my relationship with God open, even without eight bells a day reminding me to stop and pray. Evening dinners on the deck with my husband across the table reminded me of the gift I have been given as a wife.

As the inservice schedule arrived in the mail and e-mails seem to be flying in, it would be easy to be overwhelmed. I’m not. The summer did just was it was meant to do, and I’m happy. It’s going to be a great school year!

Peach Salsa

IMG_4644Fresh, perfectly ripe peaches are my favorite summer food. Since they are available for a limited time, I’m making the most of my recipes to include everything peaches.

I adapted this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 diced peaches (I left the skin on)IMG_4646
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cilantro to taste

We served it over chicken, but we also had to try some out with tortilla chips. Both ways were delicious! This recipe will be repeated every summer!

 

Ashley’s Baby Shower

IMG_4635Remember this announcement? September is only a month away! “Baby M” will be here before we know it, and it’s an understatement to say we’re excited.

This weekend allowed us an opportunity to shower Ashley with baby gifts. Complete with  brunch outside on a beautiful August day, it was a great time catching up with those most eager to meet Tony and Ashley’s addition. Since they don’t know the gender, the shower included mostly necessities. The fun outfit shopping will have to wait until the babe’s arrival. My official guess is a boy, but I’m ALWAYS wrong. So, they might as well plan for their baby girl now. ;) Regardless, we hope living close by allows for many cuddling sessions and babysitting opportunities.

Classroom Photos

IMG_4612As promised, here are some photos of my classroom. The iMacs make my classroom a journalism lab. They are fast, efficient, and sleek. The bulletin board received a facelift with new fabric this year. (Teachers receive 15% off all purchases at JoAnn Fabric with teacher ID.) The numbers below the bulletin board are zip codes for sorting and mailing the newspaper IMG_4613many of you receive every other week.IMG_4614