SOLSC 31/31 2012 Hadley's Slice and Loving Friends

As promised today I have a slice of my daughter’s writing from her senior journal. She too chose to write one section about her great grandpa. He was very important to both of my kids (and my husband and I) and I am so grateful they were raised with his influence in their lives. Hadley writes:

     At this time in my life I was beginning to appreciate what was truly important in my life and that for most of my childhood I had abused what I had. I was in the eighth grade, and starting to grasp that nothing was as important in life as family. My entire childhood I had believed that I would always have what I wanted and nothing would change that; I was wrong. On October 12, 2007 I lost my great-grandpa, someone I had loved with all my heart, but did not always show it. After losing him I realized that while always loving him, I was not always kind to him; he showed me what unconditional love was like, and I abused it. I was at times disrespectful and hateful to him, and he did nothing to deserve being treated like that. Today, looking back I can comprehend that something happened to me in the days after I lost him; I began to grow up, I just wish it wouldn’t have taken me losing him to start this change.

Today was my husband’s father’s memorial service. My children did not know this grandpa. He chose to not be a part of their lives, much like he chose not to be a consistent part of my husband’s childhood and life.
The service was very small, but made memorable because of the great friendship between my teaching buddy and her husband.
I tease a lot about my “bestest teacher buddy” but I have to tell you, you will never meet a more loving, giving, faithful, couple than my buddy and her husband. They give beyond belief, and believe in God, love, family and faith beyond certainty. It just “is” for them this life of giving. It is how they lead their lives and why they mean so much to so many.
Two years ago we asked M (buddy’s hubby) to renew our vows for us on our 25th wedding anniversary. There wasn’t a dry eye between us. Because of his giving spirit and his loving words our special day was so much more memorable. It will be a day I cherish for a lifetime.
When trying to decide who could lead the service today M. was our first and only thought. My hubby asked him, but he declined because he did not know my husband’s dad.  
After some thought and having the giving spirit he does, he changed his mind and agreed to lead the service.
Death and funerals are never easy especially when you have unresolved feelings. But because of M. today was made memorable, lighthearted, and something my husband, me, our kids, and our family will appreciate forever.
They are amazing people this teaching buddy and her husband. Our life is richer because of them. But more importantly our children’s lives are richer because they have had the influence of this rare and beautiful friendship, and they have come to know the real meaning of family.   


A Contest? Giveaway? Whatever its called...Not a Slice

Well would you lookie over there  ------    to the,.no,  my right, see it? That little thingy that looks like a picture window, it has all those cute pictures in it.

YEAH that thing MY FOLLOWERS!! It is almost to TWO HUNDRED!!! TWO HUNDRED people!!!
Why it seems like only yesterday my sweet baby was only in the 90’s and I was BEGGING my hubby, son, son’s girlfriend, (daughter will not even admit to her mother having a blogit is the first step on my 12 step program) to become a follower. AND now I am almost to TWO HUNDRED! I have no family left to begL.
SOOOO I'll have a CONTEST! or Giveaway... or whatever you want to call it.. A contest with PRIZES!!! So here goes (I hope this is not against any blogging laws, I am usually a very law abiding blogger)
Contest rules:
1.     You have to play to WIN!
2.   This is all in the name of fun please do not get mad, get upset, call me bad names, or hate me
3.   There are three ways to win
4.   There will be THREE winners and PRIZES none of which have to be mailed by me because I am a terrible mailer.
5.   As is with all good contestsI am the real WINNER!  

Here’s whatcha gotta do to enter and have your chance to win 540 MILLION Dollarsoh wait that’s not my contestscratch that, no money to win BUT you could WINSHOES(aka a Zappo’s gift card) or FOOD (aka chili’s gift card) or BOOKS(aka Amazon gift card)!!

FIRST-Be my follower, leave a comment =1 entry
NEXT- Blog about the Contest leave a comment=2 entries

LAST-if you can convince - Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Farley from Oh’ Boy Fourth Grade, Cara Carroll from First Grade Parade, or Yourself to be a guest blogger on here in April and leave a comment saying you have you get FIVE extra entries. (you just have to leave on comment I'll put you in five extra times before the "official" drawing)   

What-ya win? What-ya win?
3rd place wins a $15 Amazon card
2nd place wins a $15 Chili’s gift card
1st place wins a $30 ZAPPO’S gift card for SHOES!!!

Good luck! Contest ends Next Friday April 6th


SOLSC 30/31 2012 Beginnig? End? or The Present?

Yesterday I showed glimpse of things from my notebooks that I write in. Today and tomorrow I’m going to treat you to a few writings from my children. They are both uniquely different individuals (how does that happen) and yet they both have a gift of writing from the heart. Something I hope they got from me J.

In their senior English class they are asked to write journals based on topics or questions the teacher gives them. Today I will share two of my son’s entries written in 2008 and tomorrow (if I can steal it from her) I will share two my daughter wrote this year. My son-Kanten, likes to write and does most of his through song and poem. Hadley does not like writing, but I still have hope. Just because you don’t enjoy it does not mean you aren’t good at it.

Kanten begins his journal with this quote from Robert Frost:

You’re searching, Joe, for things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings. Ends and beginnings-there are no such things. There are only middles.”

The Nonexistent Beginning
Life itself, ends when you die, that is a matter of science; but a person never really dies. The aura of the person continues to live on in many people. If someone thinks that life always ends at death then they too are dead. They cannot see what someone who has died continues to contribute after they are gone. Beginnings are an odd idea. There always seems to be one for everything, yet they do not begin when they seem to. A marathon may start at 1:00pm on a Saturday afternoon in August, but preparations for it begin a whole lot earlier. It takes a whole life to train for a marathon. It also takes a whole life to see that beginnings to someone may be the end to someone else. In essence, beginnings and endings run together, to form the present, the most important part of life. You cannot restart life, and you cannot decide when you want to quit, it is already decided.

This second entry is more personal and hard for me to retype. He titles it Everyday and the question for his writing is: If you could take back any deed you have done and do it differently what would it be and why?

          If I could take back any deed it would be when my great grandpa used to pick me up from school. We would walk to his house, I would have taken his hand and walked with him, rather than holding onto his arm and practically dragging him home. My great grandpa is blind and he used to pick me up from school every day when I was little. I used to walk with him hand in hand, but as I got older, I grabbed his arm. He never did say anything; I knew it kind of hurt him.
And there I found the seed of my story I started that summer. Grandpa passed away the spring after Kanten wrote this. I started my story that summer, but still have not finished it (yesterday’s slice). In my notebook I leave out the fact that grandpa is blind until much later, but I added that he was blind yesterday since I wasn’t writing the whole story. Linda (Teacher Dance) suggested I do this too, so I’m glad my first thought was on track.
The problem is publishing companies don’t seem to want to buy stories like these. Too bad.
Tomorrow, on the last day, a slice from my daughter and me, a beginning and an endor is it just the middle in the present? 


SOLSC 29/31 2012 Snippets

Today my bestest buddy and I were talking about this month and how much we have enjoyed slicing (and how fast it has gone). We talked about the different slicers, the slices and the books we keep at home to write in. I keep mine for the stories and thoughts that come to mind, and hers is more spiritual. We differ in our reasons but the outcomes are the same. It is a place to keep our thoughts, feelings and ideas.
We are sad to see the challenge come to an end. I reminded her that after March we could still slice once a week on Tuesday’s, and we made a pact to continue.
As we talked it made me think about my books that I write in. So tonight I brought them out and read through some of them. Here is a glimpse at what some of my pages contain. They are just a few snippets of things I have jotted down, and stories I have started. Maybe broadcasting them to the world will give me the nudge to finish one or do something with one.

Hope had a hand-me-down name. She had hand-me-down clothes and hand-me-down toys. Hope had a hand-me-down room and a hand-me-down bed, be she didn’t mind because they had been handed down from the sister she loved.

It was two days before Christmas and the warehouse was in a tither. The toy makers were making toys. The bakers were adding the finishing touches with frosting. The bookkeepers were checking the inventory and shipment addresses. And the boss was wondering why his lead fight crew was at the top of his downsizing list. What had they done now?

It was a classic autumn October day. The sun was full of promise and the breeze hinted of the chilly days yet to come. The leaves swirled and stirred until they finally came to rest heaped upon themselves in the corner of the old schoolhouse. Deep beneath them lay hints of the season after next waiting their turn to appear in the spring.
The children assembled here too, much like the leaves; looking for a place to gather out of the wind.
It was the day before fall break and like the weather the children held a sense of anticipation, a sense of knowing the best was yet to come.

Jackson knew his grandpa would be waiting. He knew he should hurry, but thought if he waited just a few more minutes most of his friends would be gone, and he wouldn’t have to explain. He despairingly gathered his things and watched as the cars left the parking lot one by one.
He saw too, just beyond the parking lot the man waiting by the pole with his cane. Jackson watched as the man shifted from foot to foot waiting for Jackson.
With head hanging Jackson headed out the door. He headed for the corner to meet the man with the cane, to meet his blind grandpa for their daily walk home.  

My home is like a favorite old hoodie
A little frayed at the edges
Not too big
Not too small
Comfy and warm
Tattered and soft
It invites you in
Wraps its warmth around you
Asking you to stay
Hoping you will come again.

Well there they are just a few pages that hold my words and thoughts on any given day. Most of them are from the summer, written on my spot on the patio. All of them holding the hope of one day becoming more. 


SOLSC 28/31 2012 PD Day!

I love professional development. I love going to workshops and listening to others talk about education. I like finding new strategies, techniques or ideas about education.
I try to stay current by attending as many workshops as possible, by reading professional publication, books and of course blogs. I love listening to others in education talk, share, and teach.  I like the feeling of being current and having growth in my profession.  I just like the “learning” of it all.
I don’t like attending workshops that waste my time, or bore me with things I already know, or ones that the presenter reads to me from the handout. I want my valuable time to be valued by them. I was worried that was how today was going to pan out. But it didn’t.
Today I attended “Practical Strategies for Meeting Rigorous Common Core State Standards for Reading.
The morning started a bit slow, but by the afternoon I had many items to add to my tool belt of classroom knowledge, and places to go to find further resources. And to top it off and make it all the more fun and worthwhile I got to spend the day with my bestest teaching buddy, and our two fun second grade teacher friends.   
I won’t give you a blow by blow tonight, but I will leave you with some websites (that are new to me), and a promise of things to come in the way of activities, ideas, and organization.


SOLSC 27/31 2012 To do...

A glimpse at my upcoming weeks and weekends-

March 28th Professional Development Day on OKC
March 29th Fix food and prepare for memorial service
March 30th Memorial service, lunch, family here
April 6th Family here from Montana YAY!
April 7th Willie Nelson Concert (I hope)
April 8th Easter Sunday (I’m cooking)
April 9th -27th testing in First Grade (Shoot me now)
April 14th Daughter’s 18th birthday and party
April 21st Prom for my girl
May 5th Son Graduates College :( 
May 10th Field trip
May 13th Mother’s Day dinner here
May 17th Other brother and family here YAY!
May 18th Daughter graduates High School L
May 19th Party for Daughter
May 26th Party for son Happy Graduation Congrats on the new job!
And somewhere among all of this I have to clean house, cook, alter daughter’s prom dress, make vest for daughter’s date, lesson plans, writing celebration day, report cards, conferences, lose 10 pounds, paint my toes and color my hair.oh yeah and sleep.
Can I have my Spring Break back please??? 


SOLSC 26/31 2012 Just Plain Poopy

My head hurts.
My eyes are droopy.
My feet are swollen.
And I feel just plain poopy.

My thoughts are numb.
My fingers are sore.
My ears are ringing.
Staying awake is becoming a chore.

Are you sick you ask?
Are there doctor’s orders you should follow?
Do you have the flu, a cold, or sinusitis?
Is there medicine you need to swallow?

No, it’s none of that-
It’s much, much worse for goodness sake
It was my first day back to school
After our beautiful Spring Break.


SOLSC 25/31 2012 Classroom Culture?

I have some special kiddos in my class this year. They are lively and fun, and always keep me on my toes. There are a few who crack me up on a daily basis, and let me know that we do indeed live in a small community and a rural district.
One such little guy came in the other day and was so excited. “Mrs. Klinger did you see that episode of Mud Cats last night?” 
I am grinning as he jubilantly goes on.
“Nick’s cousin was in it, did you see him and that big ol cat he got.”
I begin to smile even more and nod my head as I think to myself-
I am probably the only teacher in this school (any school) that knows what this kid is talking about.
 Last year he had to “enlighten” the kindergarten teacher on the life of “Swamp people.” Thankfully I already know about this show as well.  
“Mud Cats” is a program filmed here in Oklahoma about men (2-4 in a team) and “noodle” LARGE catfish.
By “noodle” I mean swim in lakes and rivers and then stick their hands and arms under submerged rocks or logs until they feel a LARGE catfish and then put their hands in the mouths of these fish and bring them (hopefully) to the surface.
And by LARGE I mean anywhere from 40 to 70+ pounds.
They then race to weigh them and the team with the biggest fish- wins.
The finale is filmed in a small town just east of here and the lakes and rivers around our area or some of the most widely used for this sport.
I of course know about all this and the show because of my kids and hubby and their love of fishing. Reality TV at its finest here at our house.
 Thankfully they are SMART enough not to stick their hands in a LARGE fish’s mouth. But that doesn’t keep them from watching others do it. Hence my Mud Cat knowledge.
So the day Carson was so excited about the episode the night before I had indeed seen it. But I did not know Nick’s cousin had been there “IN REAL LIFE!” I listened as he and Nick went on about their real life knowledge and the connection they had to a SUPERSTAR!
I laughed again this week when I got this message from Carson’s on facebook.
“So Carson convinces his GM to buy him some camo yarn today. Guess what we are all doing now? Yep, finger knitting and watching Swamp is good!”
       The “camo yarn” and finger knitting comes from reading the book Extra Yarn by Mac Burnett and teaching my kids how finger crochet with yarn (read about it here). The boys were so excited when I brought in camo colored for them to practice with.
I am glad to know I have brought a tiny bit of culture into the lives of my kiddos and their families


SOLSC 24/31 2012 My Writers Ear

Today the hubby and I went to the town where my son goes to college. We met him there and then went and picked up my hubby’s birthday gift (a little late). We then traveled another forty miles to the small town his dad lived in to gather some of his things.
If you were to meet my husband you would probably think him to be very quiet and maybe a tad (just a tad) “redneck” or “Okie.”
He is that. But he is also more.
We were young when we met (you can read all about that here). He drove a truck, wore cowboy boots, and wore shirts with the sleeves cut out before Larry the cable guy made them the redneck craze.
       He has always been a man (and boy) of few words. He is always supportive of my writing and my love of reading, but he would rather spend his time fishing or hunting.
He is not the romantic type and very rarely goes all out for anniversaries, birthdays or holidays. His idea of giving me flowers is picking them from my bush (or his moms) and bringing them inside.
But if I ask him to do something, make something, or help me in some way he is endless in his pursuit to please me.
He’s a bit (just a bit) on the sarcastic side and loves to tease and joke.  I’ve never thought him to be poetic or eloquent- that is just not his way.
But in our drive today I found that he is very poetic. I realized I don’t always have my writer’s ear turned on when we are together. I have been missing so much.
One of my goals through this SOLSC (after reading so many great slices); is to listen better with my writer’s ear. I want to remember (or write down) the things I hear from people, songs, sounds, things, around me.
Today as we rode together this is part of what I heard from my husband, with my writer’s ear and heart.

Riding in the Car
It is really getting green
  The rain has been good
     It’s easier to look at-the green
It’s not as harsh on your eyes
     as the brown of winter
There are the horses
   Let me know if you’d like me to stop
for a Kodak moment
     I have to say
they have the prettiest part
   of Osage county
We’re almost there
   Thank you for riding with me.
                           -Donnie Klinger  


SOLSC 23/31 2012 Nothing Better

Do you know what’s better than spending the entire day with your kids shopping, eating, and laughing?
Today was a much needed day of relaxation and escape filled with my family’s favorite activity (if they can’t do the actual) of shopping for fishing and hunting at the new Cabela’s in Wichita, Kansas.
We all piled in the car and headed north this morning. We have been to the Cabela’s in Kansas City and love it. We were in high hopes this one (much closer to home) would be just the same.  Although a bit smaller; were not disappointed. Hunting, fishing, camping, clothing, yummy snacks, house goods, and even shoes it was a smorgasbord of outdoor delight for my family and a few things thrown in for me.
From there we went to RED ROBINS (can you hear the singing?) for lunch. The waitress was sweet and bubbly, while the hubby was off to the bathroom she asked if anyone was celebrating a birthday today. I told her no but that hubby’s was a few weeks ago. “That’s close enough” she informed us. So at the end of our meal a band of waitresses sang Happy Birthday to hubby dear, as he turned red, and the rest of us laughed.
From there we hit another great outdoors place, a western store, and then yay lucky me we got to go to Kohls and TJ Max!
It was a great day, much needed, and greatly appreciated. 
Nothing better in my world.


SOLSC 22/31 2012 The Hemingway- Way

“Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.
Ernest Hemingway

Who can argue with Hemingway?
So today I am not going to deepen the imprint on my couch cushion by writing about my father-in-law’s passing.
I’m not going to write about the lack of feeling I have, 
or the feelings I do have.
I’m not going to spend my day searching for the “write” words, or sorting the ones that play over and over in my mind.
I’m not going to write down the things I need to do and don’t want to,
or things I want to and don’t.
I’m not going to write about my hurt,
or my happiness, my pleasure or my pain.
I’m not going to spend my day looking answers 
I don’t know the questions to,
or wondering about what-if and whys.
I’m going to spend my day away from my pen, key board, paper, and ideas.
I am going to spend my day living.
So tomorrow I will have something to write.  


SOLSC 21/31 2012 I Chose Donor Choose

A few years ago I set up my very first Donors Choose item for my classroom. I asked for “book bins” for my students to put their independent reading books in so that they would be available for them access at any point in our day, without having to rummage through their desks to find their reading material.
Since then I have learned that they are great for keeping special projects, housing our writing folders, and our daily work folders. They are also great desk dividers when independent work is required. My students and I have really enjoyed these bins.
This past summer I found a teacher that had her husband build a shelf to fit between the desks to house our bins. This summer I hope to entice my hubby into making me some just like them.
I have already had three years of enjoyment from these book bins and I know they will be around for many more, all because of the generosity of the parents, friends, and strangers that donated through Donors Choose for my project.
Every year I try to return the favor by randomly selecting a first grade class to donate to.
This past week I decided to try my hand at a project once again. I (we) are in great need of a new printer for our classroom.
I have one computer. And one black and white laser printer that is on its last leg. We have a computer lab with 20 computers. On a good day 10 or 12 of these computers work at the same time, I have 18 students. The printer in this computer lab has NEVER worked.
My kiddos write every day. They write text and turn them into wonderful books. I would love for them to see their work in “real life” print. But the printer in our room would never keep up.
 Hence the new project for Donors Choose. I sat down the other night and wrote up a grant proposal for a new color laser printer. My kiddos will be so excited and proud to see their work in print and published should our project get funded.
If you have never been to Donors Choose you can find more information here. If you’d like to check out our class project you can check it out here.

If you have ever imagined or wanted something for your classroom that you know your school cannot fund try your hand at a Donors Choose project. You’ll be glad you did!      


SOLSC 20/31 2012 Fragments

So many thoughts, feelings, and words swirling in my heart and head. Pieces I see or hear but can’t gather them together just yet. Scattered dreams. Visions I see. Memories of places I’ve been or have yet to be.
Words that grab me. Phrases that tap on my heart looking for a presence. A place to call home. Visions of what could be-should be-but have never been.  Wanting  Needing a beginning, middle and end.
Fragments of places sounds feelingsmemories
float before me like wreckage from a tsunami adrift on the sea of my thoughts with no destination.
I gather them in and wait. Wait for the pieces to fit -the collective to begin. I wait for the story they belong to, to start flowing from my pen.


Just Saying...

If there is EVER a Dancing with the TEACHERS…I get MAX. I’m just saying…


SOLSC 19/31 2012 Time

      Before the sun makes its debut, the wind whips the curtains across my bed. I smell it before I hear it. I rise and close the windows in preparation for its early morning onslaught.
     The dogs greet me with their usual eager whine and thumping of three happy tails in unison. “Not yet guys, you’ll have to wait awhile.” They reluctantly settle back into their spots.
      I tip toe into daughter’s room and quickly shut hers hoping not to be waylaid by one of the many piles on her teenage floor. Her head at the foot- she never stirs. I hesitate and glance quietly at her sweet sleeping face, unaware of my visit or the early storm.  
      Just as the last window drops; so does the downpour. It looks to be an inside first day of spring break. I wonder what the rest of the week will bring. But for now I will enjoy my early morning and time with the quiet of the rain.  


SOLSC 18/31 2012 Fun With Fonts

I love fonts! They are fun and inspiring.
They make me smile I love the names they are given. 
Cajun boogie is one of my favorites is makes me want gumbo and zydeco. Rebecca’s birthday reminds me of a little girl’s birthday party with streamers and balloons. Claudia Jean makes think about a great aunts letter that was written long ago, and found among her family’s things after her days have come to an end.
Digs my heart is one that pulls me in and makes me want to write words of my own. It seems part print part script scrawled on a torn piece of paper on the way out the door. Firefly castle gives me the feel of a warm summer night writing among the stars and of course the fireflies light. Life is good assures me that life is indeed good. 
And Crazy goofy cool reminds me of the days I embarrassed my daughter in front of her friends being crazy and goofy while she tried to be cool. Butterfly kisses feels like a soft whisper upon my cheek and down this road brings me back home. Storyteller writes about who I am. Sweet Home Oklahoma is about where I belong.  
Kentucky Fried Chicken is finger lickin good, and cream and sugar is sweet. Pass the chex means it’s time to party or to tailgate in the fall. 
Wizards Magic conjures up images of cauldrons and spells. While rough day sums it up in a nut shell.    
Fonts can make me feel silly, funny or warm, they can be stuffy and formal or frivolous and fun
They say a lot about you, and tell you much about me. And of course my favorite one of all is the one called TAMMY!  


SOLSC 17/31 2012 Baby Snakes and Cake

I am gearing up for the first cook-out of the season tonight. It’s the earliest I think we have ever had a cookout, because the actual season is winter, but as crazy as it is we are grilling hamburgers and hot dogs tonight. Mother's day is usually our first-not St. Patrick's Day. But sorry there will be no green beer, or eggs.
We will have about ten here- my bestest teacher buddies are coming, my kids are home, my mom will be here (yay pie!), and the sweet new additions to our group- son’s girlfriend and daughter’s boyfriend (even though that one is still a little hard to sayshe’s still my baby).
We will be having hamburgers, hot dogs, B’s potatoes (I hope), baked beans, a BIG garden salad, Hadley’s polka dot salad, and of course mom’s pies. If that doesn’t make you hungry I don’t know what will.
I tried to talk the son into sharing some of the crappie (that’s craw-pee for those of you unfisherman) he caught yesterday, but no such luck. He is saving them for his buddies, (or maybe his uncle).  I raised him well, he loves hosting a good cookout as much as I do.
My friends may be a little disappointed I am NOT making crock pot cake, but I think they will forgive me when they taste moms chocolate pie, but I have news for them the vanilla is all for me!
Right now hubby is out ridding the patio of dead leaves. We don’t have trees near our patio, but our neighbors leaves seem to gather there each year.
As I sit writing he calls from the open window to come out. I’ll bet there are new flowers he wants to show me. WRONG it is a SNAKE! A baby snake-but a SNAKE.
He tells me it is a copperhead (yes they are the poisonous kind), and wants to show me the way it will strike at him, and the shape of its head. He informs me it is on our patio because of the leaves that have gathered there.   
I tell him to kill it. And inform him I will NOT be going out to help him later. I will be heading to the neighbors with an AX.
I am sorry all my slicing/blogging buddies can’t join us for our cookout tonight. The way I cook there will be Plen-ty!
So to appease you I have decided to leave you my recipe for crock pot cake (my friends will be so jealous), and a picture of Mr. Dead Baby Snake (the only good kind of snake).
Keep your fingers crossed there are not any brothers or sisters out there, and that this is not my LAST cookout of the season.  

1 box devil’s food cake mix
8 oz sour cream
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 cup chocolate chips
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into crock pot.
Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! Yummy!

Do not make cake while looking at the snake!


SOLS 16/31 2012 Eighteen Hours and Two Brothers

The drive was eighteen hours long, I40 most of the way through desert and mountains and finally the endless flat of Oklahoma and Kansas. Sometimes we did in one day, sometimes it took two.
We almost always traveled the same path, but sometimes my dad would switch it up and take a different route; up through Oklahoma City instead of cutting through the panhandle of the state.
I was the youngest and my spot was in the middle. I was too young to sit by the doors they told me. No seat belts or car seats. I liked being sandwiched between my two brothers-“the boys” as they were known in my family. I was the baby and only girl.
They tried to act cool and ignore me, but I wouldn’t let them for too long. “Where are we now, how much longer, and are we close yet?” Were some of my favorite pestering questions. It wasn’t long before they taught me to watch for familiar landmarks and how to follow a map.   
We stopped in the same cities each year for gas and meals. My favorites were Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. I think I liked the way that they rolled off my tongue. Albuquerque had the prettiest rose colored lights as you entered the city limits. Those lights told me we would be stopping soon, and we were one day closer to “the farm” where my grandparents would be waiting.
Sometimes my mom would pack our meals- beef heart thinly sliced on white bread for one brother- fried chicken for the other. The faster we ate the sooner we could get back on the road.
Breakfast was my favorite.  We were often treated to those little cereal boxes you open from the side and pour milk straight in the box.  The boys had their pick, then me- SnAp, CrAcKle and PoP greeted me as I leaned my ear in. “Watch your hair,” the boys would warn. But I didn’t care ice cold milk and singing Rice Crispies on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere was the best way to start the morning.
Some years we’d stop at truck stops and eat with other weary travelers and the truckers that ruled the interstate. I liked the ones with the little juke boxes right in the booths. Crystal Gale crooned about her brown eyes turning blue and Tanya Tucker was doing the San Antonio Stroll back in those days. The boys struggled with who play John Denver or Charlie Rich.
There were no video games, dvd players, or ipods on our trips. I had a sketch pad, color books, and a brand new pack of sixty-four crayons to keep me occupied.  The boys had a deck of cards. I was often the table, or banished to the floorboard to color.
Eighteen hours and five states every summer was all worth it when one brother leaned forward in his seat and called “I’m going to see the farm first!” 
It didn’t matter that I was the youngest and stuck in the middle I knew I would never be first. It didn’t matter. We had made it once again.
As young as I was-I knew we had just left our house in the desert to travel HOME to “the farm.” 


Giveaways GALORE!

Good Gravy have you seen the AMAZING giveaways out there??? I really shouldn't let you in on them but since I'm not so whoopee at keeping secrets I'll tell just a few of you, the rest of you close your ears eyes.

The first one is from Holly at Crisscross Applesauce she is almost to 400 followers (I think she is past that now) and she has a too cute new look. She is having some unheard of amazingly cool things to give away INCLUDING a guest blog from that Teeny Tiny Teacher Kristin!!! Personally I think my buddy Kristin should do that for me just cause we're both Okies and we both LOVE Ted's.... maybe if I offer to send her some tortillas.....

Kindergarten Lifestyle

THEN Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a super cool giveaway too AND she has this really neat way to enter...I swear I am not technology educated enough to keep up with this blogging world. I wonder what I can bribe her with for a extra shot??? She's probably never heard of Ted's...Oh well I guess I'll just have to take my chances like the rest of you.

SPRING on over for these AHHH-MAZE-ING giveaway girls (and boys?) but be thinking you've got a better chance than me....remember I have Ted's!


SOLS 15/31 2012 Spring Break

Our spring break starts today! We have eight days for rest and play. I’m going to buy flip flops and paint my toes. Sleep an hour later- or maybe two who knows? I’ll be doing a little spring cleaning some sewing, cooking, painting, shopping and a lot of day dreaming sitting in the sun. My patio better get ready- because here I come.
Our spring break starts today my classroom I left behind. I’m not going to think about it at all- no way. I hear my blog calling- my stalking is way behind. I’ve missed my blogging buddies-I wonder what kind of new lessons and fun activities I can find