SOL 21/31: Listen Boldly!

It is Day 2 of my daughter’s high school choir tour. Tonight we are attending the Seattle Symphony. Last year we were in Calgary for her tour and attended the symphony there. I remember collecting words and phrases from the program to craft a found poem, so tonight it seemed appropriate to repeat the tradition.

Listen boldly

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Johann Sebastian Bach

A musical legacy

Reimagined in our still-new century.

Shapely melodic phrases

Opening cascades

Brief, rapid motifs

A work of introspective loneliness

In the face of approaching death

Restrained and contemplative

A meditation on mortality.

Experience the magic

Of music.

SOL 18/31: It’s a Yes / It’s a No

Coffee … it’s a yes!
Tea…it’s a no.

Thin crust…it’s a yes!
Thick crust…it’s a no.

Coke…it’s a yes!
Pepsi…it’s a no.

Morning…it’s a maybe.
Night…it’s a no.

Dogs…it’s a yes.
Cats…it’s a no (allergies in the family)

Non-fiction…most of the time, it’s a yes.
Fiction…it’s a sometimes.

Typing…it’s a yes.
Writing by hand…it’s a no.

These are just a few of the yes’s and no’s in my little world. Share one or two of yours in the comments!

SOL 17/31: The House is all A-Buzz!

My husband and I raised four busy girls in our house. All but one are gone now, and our youngest will be graduating in May. Gradually the house has become quieter and quieter as each daughter left the nest. With their departures, however, we have gained two terrific sons-in-law, and one amazing grandson. What this means of course, is that when they come back to visit, our house comes alive again!

This weekend was one such occasion. There was a lot of coming and going as our oldest daughter, husband, and son came for a ski race our husbands were participating in (more about that in my post yesterday). We have a large kitchen with a roomy island where it seems everyone always gathers to chat, to tease, and to laugh together. This is when I’m the happiest. Often, I just stand aside and take it all in. A smile on my face, and great joy in my heart.

Before everyone left this morning we gathered for a self-serve breakfast and more banter, laughter, and silliness. There is always a lot of “Remember when mom _____?” or “Why did you always _____?” as we recall memories, both good and bad, always finding something to laugh about together.

I treasure every visit home with my kids. For those of you getting ready to begin emptying your nest, do not dismay! Better days are ahead.

SOL 16/31: Chutes & Ladders on a Mountain

Today my daughter and I spent the afternoon on the top of a local ski mountain cheering on our husbands as they completed an A.T. (All Terrain) ski race. This type of race involves an intense combination of skiing down, skinning up, (aka, climbing up) removing your skis and boot-packing up super steep terrain while sinking in super deep snow, and even traversing a ladder across an embankment. Completing this 5-mile course is not for the weak at heart. These two, and the other racers have incredible endurance to stay the course of this challenging race.

The unique design of this ski resort is that you drive your car essentially to the top of the mountain. When you arrive at most ski resorts, the chair lifts are right there ready to take you to the top of the mountain. Here, you are already at the top, so the first thing you do is ski down, and then ride back up.

This meant that my daughter and I were able to be on top of a mountain as we waited for our husbands to complete the race. Taking in the beautiful snowscape around us was breathtaking. The bright sun reflecting off the white snow was almost blinding, and wearing sunscreen would have been a smart thing to do.

Here is a glimpse of what we got to enjoy on this March afternoon. You can see my husband making his way up the final 200 yards of the race.

No better way to spend a day here in Montana!

SOL 15/31: Poetry Friday! Make Every Day Count

Today for Poetry Friday we are being hosted by Heidi @ My Juicy Little Universe. She has a great in-depth post all about a group of committed young people who are actively trying to raise awareness about global climate concerns. If you are interested in learning more, click here to read her post.

We have just one week of school ahead of us before spring break finally arrives. I’m not sure where the last four weeks have gone – it feels like President’s Day was yesterday! I’m not complaining of course, but just surprised how fast the time seems to have gone.

Once we return from spring break, the rest of the school year feels like it slips right through my fingers. We have much more learning ahead – National Poetry Month in April is coming! Last year I had such a wonderful time introducing poetry to my kindergartners. My group this year will dive right into this genre, I am sure. I may even have a few kiddos who could understand and attempt haikus.

Ten weeks
isn’t long.
So much ahead!
Tricky Teens
Butterflies and
Oviparous animals
to study.

We will not
count down days.
Instead we will


SOL 14/31: Spa Day!

This is the day our dogs positively dread. We try to talk it up with them, convincing them that they are going in for their “spa day,” but the moment we step in the door, they are clamoring to get right back out. The only consolation for today was they went together. I would like to think that having each other there made the torture treatment a little easier to endure.

In honor of Pi Day, I wrote my first Pi-ku! Following the syllable pattern as follows: 3.141592653

Enjoy the cuteness!

SOL 13/31: Thorns In My Side

I know it’s getting old, all this talk of the weariness with winter and the longing for spring. Transitional periods always seem to have a few troublesome things that feel like they are lingering on just a little too long. As you say farewell to winter and greet spring with anticipation, what are you more than ready to see on its way out?

Here are some of mine….

Snowpants. I am so over the snow gear here in kindergarten! They are wet and gross, and I will not be rid of them soon enough.

All snow gear, for that matter. Missing hats, mittens without their mate, and stinky snow boots. Be gone, all of you! I am so longing to just go back to the simplicity of a jacket.

Ice scrapers. Yeah, this morning task has totally worn me down. And it never fails, on the mornings when I’m running behind, yup, you guessed it…. frost-covered windshield. For the record, that wiper fluid that says it melts ice – they’re liars.

Shoveling. We live on a corner lot. With an uncovered 2-car driveway. Need I say more? Over it.

Sweaters. Oh how I long for the first day of short sleeved shirts! I love me a cozy warm sweater, complete with a warm turtleneck and all its beauty, but by March it’s time to transition the wardrobe. Let’s bare those arms!!

Leggings. Sure my legs are bright white after their winter hibernation. Who even cares? I’m ready like yesterday to don a pair of capris and welcome warmer temperatures with gusto!

Wool Socks & Danskos. This one seems obvious. Can’t wait to dig out my sandals from the depths of the basement. This might need to include a pedicure, right?

Do any of the items on my list ring true for you too? What other annoyances did I forget? I know there are many – share one in the comments!


SOL 12/31: Zoom In…Zoom Out!

Yesterday my husband and I got to play the role of tourists as we meandered about downtown Spokane. It was fun exploring the city, walking the busy city streets, and popping in and out of unique shops. The sunshine felt glorious, and even though it was a brisk late winter day, it was apparent that spring is just around the corner!

Throughout our day, I snapped photos here and there of what we saw. I’ve zoomed in on a piece of each photo…can you guess what your eye is seeing?

Don’t worry, the answers are at the bottom of my post!

#1: Our morning started with a workout in the hotel gym. Here is the display of the treadmill I took a walk on:

#2: You probably recognize the spokes of a wheel. This was a painting in our hotel:

#3: As tourists, having a good map of the city was helpful for planning and for getting around. Google Maps helped in a pinch, but having this map ahead of time allowed us to see all of the spots we wanted to explore.

#4: Was this a dog or cat to you? As a dog loving family, this spoke to my heart!

#5: I’m curious what your eye sees at first glance… Shopping in a downtown mall, this life-size stiletto stopped me in my tracks.

#6: Certainly you see the bird, but you are likely not expecting the full photo. This is the logo for a sweet coffee shop we happened upon. Loved their celebration of the classic book To Kill a Mockingbird.

#7: The Spokane River winds its way through the city, culminating in the spectacular Spokane Falls where we rode the SkyRide. This gondola ride gave us a birds-eye view of these roaring falls as well as the neighboring Riverfront Park, home of the 1974 Word’s Fair.

#8: Back at Atticus, this eye-catching wall art display was a photo opportunity waiting to happen:

#9: Did you recognize this well-know character from our friend Mo Willems? A trip to the city must always include finding a great indie bookstore!

#10: The culmination of our day was attending Chris Tomlin’s Holy Roar Tour concert. What an amazing night of worship it was! His book shares a powerful message of the seven Biblical words God has given for how we can worship. Unforgettable night!

SOL 11/31: You’re Invited to my Happy Party!

We are in the double digits of the March Slice of Life Challenge! To begin my post today, I want to say a big thank you to the team at Two Writing Teachers for all of the time and effort it takes each March to organize and pull this month of writing off. You all have busy lives, and taking on this endeavor certainly adds a lot to your already full plates. I know I speak for every blogger participating when I say THANK YOU!

Today I am borrowing a fun idea from my friend & fellow kindergarten teacher, Christie Wyman. I love this opportunity to share in the happiness others are experiencing, and to share my own. Feel free to borrow Christie’s image below and share your current happiness with a link back to this original post, and/or leave a comment below.

Here are a few things that are making me especially happy today…

  • If you read my post yesterday, you know I am in Spokane for a 2-night getaway with my husband to see a favorite Christian worship leader, Chris Tomlin who is in concert tonight. Hotel life is the best!
  • Dinner out last night at a favorite restaurant: The Old Spaghetti Factory. What a treat! I relished every single bite.
  • Technology in my classroom is so my friend right now… Thanks to a new friend I made on Voxer, I have jumped into the deep end of Seesaw and Classkick with my students. Most of the 50 standards I need to assess for report cards have been done in one of these apps, which is going to make report card preparation much easier!
  • I’m taking this one from Christie’s Happy Party list – and thank you for posting it, because I didn’t know that Rami Malek won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Oh my goodness, I could write an entire post about my love for that movie. I’ve seen it three times and own the blue ray.
  • The Lenten season is upon us, and for the first time my husband and I are diving into learning about and more actively participating in this important season in the Church calendar. With the help of this daily devotional, we are growing more deeply in our faith together.
  • A day before me with NO agenda! Back to my Spokane getaway..this morning we woke up when we wanted to, ate breakfast, worked out, and are getting ready to meander around the downtown area and explore unique shops and sample food and drinks from any and every place that beckons.

SOL 10/31: Getaway!

Today my husband and I took a quick road trip to Spokane. The four hour drive from where we live is especially scenic. There is still plenty of snow in our neck of the woods, and we enjoyed the beauty of countless untouched spaces of snow on the rolling hills that bordered both sides of the highway. Marveling at how the sunshine made the snowflakes glitter on the surface of the snowy fields never got old. We both agreed what fun it would be to skin up those slopes on our AT skis and glide down in the deep snow!

Crossing the border into Idaho at the tippy top of Lookout Pass was stunning. The blue sky seemed especially brilliant with the snow-capped mountains standing tall in their own glory. As much as we are ready for spring to arrive, this beautiful snowy scene was breathtaking to behold.

Arriving in Spokane, we welcomed the just-slightly warmer temperatures than what we have been experiencing at home. Tomorrow we will actually feel 40 degrees – a heatwave!

We are here to see our favorite Christian worship leader, Chris Tomlin in concert tomorrow night. Until then, we will enjoy the simple pleasures of getting out of town: eating out, shopping, and maybe a soak in the hot tub!

What do you love most about getaways from home?