Thursday, December 31, 2015


2015 is done.  I met some of my goals for this year.
  • I read 14 nonfiction books (my goal was twelve).  Three I recommend are One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Love Does by Bob Goff, and More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger.  
  • In May I finished the Spanish portion of Duolingo.  
  • In September I learned how to can salsa with the help of my sister.  
My hexagon quilt is not does not have much more completed than I had in January.  I could have completed, but like a few of my other quilt projects, it seemed like it was okay to set it aside for a bit.

There are also lots of things that I did that were not on my list of goals.
  • I finished two quilts (click here and here to see them).  I also began another one
  • I read 60 books.  A few of my favorites besides the nonfiction ones I mentioned above include The Rent Collector by Camron Wright, The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate,  As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti, and Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner.
  • My dad and I went on a week long vacation to northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, spending just one day in Michigan.
  • The eighth annual Camp Clair was at my apartment with seven children in attendance.  It was short due to schedules, number of children, and limited space, but we had a good time.
  • In August I returned to the teaching job that I have had since 2002.  It has been good to be back at work, though some days it seems so much busier than other years.  Maybe it is, or I just became accustomed to a less hectic pace while I was studying Spanish.
What did you do in 2015? 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Waiting by Kevin Henkes is a book children will enjoy.  Five toys spend the majority of their time waiting at the window for different things-the moon, the snow, the wind, and the rain.  Then one day, a cat is added to the group.  The cat is also waiting, but for something completely different.  Henkes has done a good job creating another picture book for preschoolers and young elementary students.  Even my older students enjoyed the story-it facilitated a discussion on different things that we wait for.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Auggie and Me

If you read Wonder, then I would recommend reading Auggie and Me by R.J. Palacio as well.  It is not a sequel to Wonder, but a companion explaining different perspectives of Auggie's first year at Beecher Prep.  Written in first person, Julian, Christopher and Charlotte tell their story in regards to Auggie.  The author wrote it as if you had recently read Wonder, and since I read it over a year ago,  I had forgotten some of the characters.  Labeled a companion book, you would need to read the other book in order to make sense of this one.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

First Snow

First Snow by Peter McCarty is a good picture book to add to a collection of books about snow. Pedro visits his cousin and friends and discovers what it is like to live where there is snow.  Some of McCarty's other characters are in this book-Henry from Henry in Love and Chloe from her self-titled book.  Brief text and great pictures makes this book great for sharing with preschoolers and elementary aged students at the beginning of winter.