Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Read Aloud

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 Recently I spent an afternoon in classrooms. That is something I haven't done much lately. In a fourth grade class I had the opportunity to do a Read Aloud.  The students were working on persuasive writing, so I read EARRINGS! by Judy Voirst. The class had talked about strategies to use in persuasion.  They were: promises, flattery, bandwagon, facts, and scare tactics.  As I read, the teacher would ask the students what strategy was being used. It was a powerful lesson and lots of fun to team teach.

Today I had a play date with my three-year-old grand daughter. Before nap time, we read a stack of books. Her favorite was:Where's Spot? by Eric Hill.  It's a flap book and she loves lifting those flaps.  I introduced her to the book: To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda and illustrated by Janet Stevens.  She learned some new words like: market and trout. She really enjoyed the pictures, too.

Doing Read Alouds is so powerful both for teachers and parents. Gone are the days of principals saying: "Oh, you're just reading. I'll come back when you're teaching!"  For example, take the Prairie Heights Elementary principal who spent an entire day reading to each classroom. Mrs. Pfefferkorn had a goal of winning books for students, but she also knew she was teaching!

So, over the thanksgiving break, grab a book and do a Read Aloud!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Gramma Day Camp

Today was the first Gramma Day Camp for six of my grand kids. I had been planning this for several months and they have been looking forward to it. We planned to end the day with a pool party. However, the weather here in northern Indiana has been too cold to let that happen.  We made the best of it and still had a great day.

We had three stations that groups of two went to for 15 minutes each. Each station was supervised by one of my neighbor kids. One mother went with each group, too. After finishing a station they would receive a wrist band. One of the stations was Bubbles. They could either blow the bubbles or chase the bubbles. Whatever they did, they had a blast!
Another station was Chalk Art. Each group made all kinds of pictures and designs. They had dinosaurs, flowers, and even a pirate map. They even had a "Hi Granpa" sign since he wasn't too sure about writing on his driveway!  He loved it!
This station is the Game Time. One of the games was to throw two balls hooked to a rope across the bars. Each bar had a value of 3, 2, or 1. They counted to see who won.They also threw bean bags at a board with fish with holes on it. They again counted up the points to see who won the game.
We ended the day with lunch. We had pbj and chicken salad sandwiches, fruit kabobs, chips and Gramma's chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. Everyone took a beach towel and spread out their goodies.

We had a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Book Club Surprise

 Last night we had our monthly book club meeting.  We met at our favorite book club restaurant to discuss the book of the month, catch up with our lives, and have a great Mexican meal, too.  But we had a special project for last night.
The book this month was: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.  At first, I was a little disappointed in the book.  But then when I got into it and realized what it was really about, I loved it.  This would be a book that a teacher would use in the classroom to teach both writing skills and science. However, it is an adult book, not a children's book. The amount of research this author did was amazing. I learned so much!  To top off reading a great book, we had two experts on Monarch butterflies to share their knowledge. Our book club members, Connie and Sandie, gave us all kinds of extra knowledge about this fascinating subject!
When we got to the restaurant at 6:00, we were welcomed with a sign on the back of one of the seats. The sign said: "Happy 5 De Book Club!! with Cathy (sic) and the Gang! The manager of the restaurant was at it again.  He always makes us feel welcome...even if he does put us in a back booth away from the other customers. We had another visitor to our club last night.  Jim, Julia's husband, dropped by to wait for Julia to show up.  We got to share our thoughts with him, too.  But, when we got serious about our discussion, he was out of there!
But none of that was our special project.  As I have already said, Juan is just the best manager ever. He always joins us for some lively discussion, even if he accuses us of chatting away instead of talking about the book. This week, Juan and his wife were waiting for the arrival of their newest little one. The whole family, including three children at home, were anxious due to the baby taking his time getting here. We wanted to do something for the baby and of course, Juan. So we presented him with a bag of books for the new little guy. We are so happy for Juan and his family.
We told Juan the baby now can start his own book club!  Oh, by the way, our next book is The Girl on the Train!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: What a Morning

This morning was really crazy. Thought I was losing it!

At about 9:30 I went to tanning bed. I decided I would run to Kroger on the way home. Ramona had said she was going to call me this morning so I sent her an email saying I would be home by around 10:30.

I dashed into Kroger to get a tomato. Thought we could have hamburgers on the grill for supper. While there I saw corn on the cob which would also go with the hamburgers!  I also got a tub of sidewalk chalk for the kids to play with, some Glad plastic bowls and some kid swimmies.  I was ready to check out.

Only two lanes open so I picked the one w one lady in it. Wrong! She had food stamps or something & was taking forever. The other lane was now open. I looked at the checker & said I'll just go over there & he nodded.

I checked out fast. I took my cart & bags to the car. The cart holder was full and running over. I just grabbed my bags and left the cart as close as I could. I left Krogerat 10:30.

When I got home & inside I could feel my phone vibrate and the answering machine was dinging. I thought it was Ramona.

I answered the cell phone. It was Michelle. She needed to tell me some details about the kids staying here in May. We talked for about 20 minutes. When I got done I hit the answering machine & it was my Avon lady wanting to know about delivering my order. I called her to tell her I was home. She said she was close & would be right there.

I started putting the groceries away. I suddenly realized I didn't have the tomato, corn or cauliflower. The Avon lady came. I got my order and she said I'd better check the car for my bag. When she left, I did. No bag.

I called Kroger & they had it. I had left it in the cart in the parking lot. By now it's11:15. I jumped in the car, drove to Kroger & showed them my receipt. They said yes we found it & it's all on the shelf. We walked around the store retrieving my "stuff".

Getting home I called Ramona and talked until 1:00. I then ate lunch.

What a morning!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: Bam and Graham Playdate

Today was the day we had been looking forward to for months. It was not just a Gramma Playdate, it was a Bam/Graham Playdate!  I went to their preschool and picked them up to come to my house.
They colored pictures. There were a pile of them that I had printed from the computer. Things I thought they would like. They went through the pile and each of them picked something they liked.  Bam had horses and Graham had a fast car. They could use crayons or colored pencils. I put the pictures on clipboards and they went to town coloring up a storm.
Next they went to a pile of books that I had made for them. Again, I chose things that I thought they would like.  All non fiction!  Farm books with horses. Books about policemen. Lots of animal books. They looked at pictures and even started to read a few of them.
These boys are masters of legos. They had the track set up just right. Then they began constructing a boat to float on the water or go under like a submarine. They were very proud of that.

You can't come to Gramma's house and not make cookies. After I put them in the oven and they cooled, they told me what frosting to use for each cookie. Then it was their turn. They each had 10 cookies to decorate. The various sprinkles were in bottles or bowls in front of them. They took their time and did a great job.   After tasting one cookie each, the rest were put in containers for them to take home for their families.
This is a close up picture of the Lego boat. Other things we did today were: paint the garage floor with water from small individual buckets, play board games, and last of all share the iPad for some Angry Bird time.

I don't know who has the most fun...Bam and Graham or Gramma!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Slice of Life Tuesday: April Showers...

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Waking up at about 4:00 this morning was not on my agenda of things to do.  I heard a rustling in the bedroom, but I just turned over and hoped it would go away. No such luck. Instead it got closer. Then I recognized it as the heavy breathing of Dave, our golden retriever.  He was nervous.

Dave hates storms. He gets very nervous and has to be right beside us as the lightning and thunder become stronger. Sometimes, if we are gone during a storm, we come home to find him in the basement where it is dark and he feels safer. He always wants right beside us during storms.

This morning was no exception. He wanted right beside us, but for some unknown reason, he did not feel safe jumping up on the bed. It was probably because his arthritis in his legs was bothering him.  So, he panted and paced from one side of the bed to the other.  Finally, my husband had it.  He got up and helped him onto the bed.

Dave curled up on the blanket we have on the bed for him and immediately fell asleep. We tried to get comfortable around him and get some last minute sleep. too.  What a cuddling baby!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Slice of Life Day 31: A hui hou (until we meet again)

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This being the last post in the challenge to blog every day in March and the last of my travel journal to Hawaii, I want to share with you the ways I am reminding myself of the trip.  First of all, I have a photo album of over 200 pictures. I also have a book I made from Shutterfly that details the trip in summary form. Then I also have the slices of life I have done every day for 31 days. These are saved on my computer as well as printed in a folder. But, how to keep in the aloha spirit?

First of all, I am reading books, usually historical fiction, that remind me of the names and places I visited. Here are a few:
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert is about a young girl who lived most of her life at the leper colony on Molokai. I loved all the historical facts that were entwined in the story.
When I finished Moloka'i, I had to read another of Mr. Brennert's books. This second book is about a girl from Korea who went to Hawaii as a picture bride. Again, I am learning so much about the culture and history of this island community.
The Last Aloha is a novel by Gaellen Quinn. This book takes place in 1886 when a young girl travels to Hawaii to live with missionary relatives she's never met. She becomes involved in the turmoil as the Missionary Party tries to topple the throne and Hawaii's last queen, Lili'uokalani.

I have also purchased several CD's and find that listening to those before I go to sleep, brings soothing nights. Here are the ones I have:
  • 80 Minutes: Hawaiian Surf Guitar by Massage Tribe
  • Sounds of Kauai
  • Lifescapes' Listener Favorites---Just Relax: Maui
Even though I have those reminders, nothing replaces the actual experience of being there. That is why when people on the islands told us: "Don't say, 'If I come back..."  Say: 'When I come back..."  We listened to them. We have already set a goal to go back in three years for our 35th anniversary.  We would like to go back and be able to go to the USS Arizona since we didn't get that part of our tour this time. We would like to see the northern side of Oahu since we didn't have time to fit that in and we want to spend more of our time on Maui. We felt so at home there and absolutely loved Front Street.  Also, as our Maui Downhill guides told us..."There are other places to see and stay besides the Lahaina side." So, we want to do that, too.

So, a hui hou (until we meet again). Hopefully, you enjoyed our tour and are now planning your own. Aloha, see you in Hawaii

Monday, March 30, 2015

Slice of Life Day 30: Reflection and Camera

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The end of our trip came way too fast. After taking a picture walk through our resort, we packed up and headed to the airport. The road there took us along the shoreline of Maui from Kaanapali past Lahaina. Since it was Sunday, many families were out on the beach having cookouts and camping. It was a beautiful view with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. The really sad part was the fact that we were leaving so many memories inside my camera there in Hawaii.

The rest of that story is: We decided as soon as we were settled in at home, I would spend the day calling that exact rental place in Kauaii.  Darrell would do his part by calling the rental place home office and giving them the information on how unhappy we were with that particular car rental. We had a plan of action.

Fortunately, we didn't need to do that. When we got home (the next day) I received an email from the rental company. They had found my camera and would be sending it right out. What a wonderful message!  Sure enough, a week later, the camera came home. Now I had all my pictures!  Here are the places we stayed on each island, along with our favorite ice cream store on the islands!

Our "home" in Oahu
Our condo in Maui

Our bottom floor condo in Kauai

Each of our places to stay was great. I think our favorite condo/hotel was in Kauai. This is because it was most like a real home!

Lapperts in Kauai

Lapperts in Oahu

Lapperts on Front Street in Lahaina, Maui

Mahalo for taking this trip with  me over the month. Mahalo to the Two Writing Teachers for giving me the platform to share it. Tomorrow I will sum it all  up and let you know what's next for us with getting our Hawaii-fix!  Aloha!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Slice of Life Day 29: Watching Whales Up Close

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The adventure of watching whales was happening on our last full day on the islands.  It was an amazing site. We had been waiting by the dock watching all the catamarans come into shore. Finally, it was our turn.  We all boarded the boat and took seats. We got close to the front on one side.

 The entire staff gathered on board and explained the rules and what we would be doing. One of the rules that stayed with me was that the boat was not allowed to get closer than 300 feet of a whale. That is unless while stopped, a whale came to the boat.
 We would see a few boats gathered in one spot, so we would head that way too. Then we would stop and wait. Sure enough a whale would breech close to us.
It was such a peaceful, wonderful site. These mothers, babies and guides would bounce up any where. The mothers had come to this area in December to have their babies. The area between Molokai, Lanai, and Maui was a safe area for them.
The passengers would hustle from one side of the catamaran to the other trying to get pictures of these creatures!  I gave the camera to Darrell to run from one side to the other. I had taken a pill that morning to help any seasickness, but I still was a little drowsy. He did a great job getting pictures.
Sometimes, a pictures would be taken after the whale had gone back under. They were so fast. The baby whales would pop up and then soon go back under. They couldn't hold their breath as long as their mothers could. They would by the time they left in April or end of March to head out to Alaska waters.

After over an hour of watching whales, we headed back to the shores of Lahaina. I know I could do the whale watching every single day I was there. However, our time was running short. One afternoon and a morning was all we had left in this amazing state.

Tomorrow I will reflect on the whole trip plus give an update on the lost camera. No, I still did not have it or know anything about it. The car rental place assured me they would still look for 30 days, but I hated to have to leave without those pictures!  Aloha!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Slice of Life Day 28: Lahaina Harbor and Whale Watching

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On our last full day on the islands, we booked a Whale Watching Tour. Lahaina Harbor is home to a wide range of whale watching tours and this is where our was out of, too. We had it scheduled for the morning session. We wanted to be sure to get a parking spot on this Saturday because parking was at a minimum in the middle of the day. So, we parked and walked round the area before we got in line for our tour.
Maui is the gateway to some of the best whale watching in the world. The waters here are shielded by the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala, creating calm and clear waters for great visibility. The whales come to this are from December to May to have their young. Being here in February was perfect for whale watching.
Our catamaran came and parked in front of us. We watched as another tour group unloaded. Then they prepared for us.
From 1825 to 1860, Lahaina was the center of whaling in Hawaii. This port town was once the royal capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom before it was moved to Honolulu in 1845. During this time, Lahaina was known as the Pacific's most significant whaling port.

We had so much fun watching the whales that day, that we wished we had done that EVERY day. Tomorrow's blog will show pictures of the whales we saw. Amazing!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Slice of Life Day 27: Kapalua Golf

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One of the places we had on our list to visit when we were on Maui was the Kapalua Golf Course.  This is a famous course, so Darrell really wanted to at least see it.
On our last afternoon on the island, we took off from Lahaina and traveled north until we found it.
We first just walked up to the Pro Shop and looked around inside. Darrell found a hat he liked and purchased that. It was fun to see the variety of Vera Bradley items they had there. I wanted to tell them that I was from where Vera Bradley is, but I didn't.
We then took a peek out the back at the beautiful grounds. It was a real paradise. Just beautiful.
We were so glad we got to spend at least a small amount of our time at this course. I am sure Darrell will remember this trip every time he watches a match from there!