Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fourteen in 2014

Not only have I been bad about blogging, I also haven't been keeping up on reading the blogs I follow either.  As a matter of fact, I haven't done much at all that is school related.  This is good for me, as probably like most anyone who is reading this, I tend to spend more time than I'd like to admit planning, thinking, or creating things for my classroom.  But I found this linky today, and thought I'd join Miss Kindergarten, Teeny, and Dragonflies in First for reflecting on 14 in '14.


LEARNING! - I've always loved the opportunity to constantly learn new things as a part of my job, but this year I've enjoying taking on my own learning to include jumping into the TpT and Blogging World.  This learning has also allowed me to share my ideas, and to get ideas shared by other amazing educators.  This has sparked a new energy into my teaching!
This is going to sound cliche, but running.  In 2013 I ran a marathon, and was less than 2 minutes from qualifying for Boston.  In 2014, I barely ran at all, or did any other exercising for that matter.  I'm not waiting for the new year, I've logged a couple of runs in the last week+, and plan to do another run today.  I even signed up for the Glass City half-marathon in April to MAKE me stick with it.  Ultimately, I'd like to run a full again in Detroit this October, but I'm not making that my 2015 goal, just a hope.

I enjoyed running a leg in the Glass City last year with these great ladies (and co-workers).  I training minimally for this, and know that only a half marathon or bigger will really force me to get back to it.  I'm also hoping to get one of those ladies in the pic to join me.  Hint, hint....I know she will read this!
 A whirlwind trip with my dad and kids this summer.  2,500 miles in just over a week.  We did Niagara Falls, Boston, Acadia National Park, and checked out 30 foot tide change in 6 hours at the Bay of Fundy in Canada.  As the photographer, I didn't get in many photos, but here's one I love of my dad and kids walking along the ocean somewhere in Maine.  I love shots from behind.

 Speaking of shots from behind, this old photo is one of my favorites.  My daughter (now 13) going fishing with her great-grandpa.  We celebrated his 90th in July, and then lost him in September.  This photo has been my Facebook profile pic since.  It also was one of his favorite photos.

I'll keep this simple, it goes with my number 1 item, blogging.  

No Prep Book Groups.   This was one of my Monday Made It posts.  I've been doing informal literature groups for years, but ideas from bloggers helped me to make it even better this year.  I've LOVED seeing some students go from hesitant readers to reading monsters!  A group of boys who struggled to make 1st quarter goals, before I opened up lit groups, now choose to stay in for recess to read and discuss, and are determined to hit 200% of their second quarter goals!

Okay, I'm not a big pinner.  But I think I'd like to get back into this more.  I also am thinking about trying Instagram too.  I'll add these to my goals for 2015.

We are not big gift givers.  My husband and I don't give each other birthday, Christmas, or Valentine's gifts.  Bah humbug, I know!  My meaningful gifts are all the regular little "gems" that students make and give me.  At the beginning of the year, one of my students from last year (last two years actually because I looped) snuck an elaborate origami rose onto my desk at Open House (I have his brother this year.)  And the many emails that I regularly get from this group of students are better than any wrapped gifts I could ever receive!

 Hmm.  Well, since I stopped writing this post yesterday to get ready for our New Year's Eve party, the first thing that comes to mind is the root mash dish I made.  Yes, root mash, and yes (to those that know me) I MADE IT!  I don't normally cook, but my husband was one of 6 of our party guests that were unable to make the party due to a bad virus.  So, I complete the meal.  The root mash recipe I got was from Tyler Florence, who is one of our favorite chefs to watch on TV.  I used celery root, turnips, rutabaga, carrot, sweet potato, and parsnips.  It was so much better than mashed potatoes, and no gravy was needed.  So my meal was a success, even the chicken en croute.

Okay, I'll admit it looks gross in the picture ;)

This is a hard one, I have so many.  I'll go with Burger Bar 419.  I've only gone there twice, but the menu is so unique, I'm looking forward to going back because there are so many things on the menu I want to try.  The Sirracha-Soy Deviled Eggs are amazing!

I don't watch much TV.  Besides tennis, I only watch a handful of shows with my husband, and Walking Dead is our favorite.  It constantly surprises my husband that I like it, as violence is not my thing.  Killing imaginary beings doesn't bother me.  There are times where the human brutality is too much for me.  I wasn't sure I could continue watching after this season's opener (if you watch you know what I mean), but I endured.

Also not a movie fan.  Most from this year were flops in my opinion.  I go with The Fault in Our Stars.  The movie was cute, but it was memorable as I went with my daughter after we both read the book.

My Long and Lean tank tops from Target.  I have a drawer full, and wear one under my clothing almost every day, and sleep in one every night.  I don't mind dressing up, but I'm really a comfy cozy clothing person.  I change immediately when I get home from work every day.

Now quotes I am a fan of!  I could take forever overthinking my favorite, so I'm just going to pick one that comes to mind.

Well, now the holiday parties are done.  My house is cleaned up and decorations are down.  I guess it's time to get back in the mode of school and start working on plans for next week.  I hope you all enjoy your final days of break, thanks for reading!


  1. Great post, Mary! Congrats on making that fancy meal! It looks delicious. I wish I had the skill and patience to cook something other than spaghetti, grilled cheese or pancakes. Good luck on your half-marathon training. I know you'll do great.

    Math is Fundamental

  2. Catching up on my blog reading right now! Haha. Very funny. Thanks for calling me out! And thanks for encouraging me ((nagging me)) about running!

    EduKate and Inspire