My Inspiration


I’m sitting in front of my computer screen trying to think about what part of my very quiet Saturday is worthy of noting on my blog when I hear a small snort. Peering around my computer, I see my very cute, but sometimes annoying dog, Sophie, staring at me. Her gaze doesn’t let go of mine. I quickly turn back to my screen and act like I haven’t noticed. Again, a short, but slightly louder snort escapes, accompanied by a few wiggles and paw stomping. I know what she wants. What she always wants. I resume staring at the key pad, but this time, a real bark escapes. I turn to her and patiently tell her to wait. I NEED to get my post started. I try to get back to business. I can see her out of the corner of my eye still staring. Patience she does not understand. Especially when it comes to what she wants. Another bark. This time I reprimand her and she jumps on the couch beside me. Sitting there. Looking at me. I begin typing, as she has given me inspiration. One minute later, she is standing up and puts a paw on my computer. I quietly lift it up and she walks across my lap to settle down in between my husband and I. To wait patiently. Well, now I must get her a treat. Her favorite…a raw carrot. Especially since I lamented that she knows nothing about patience, and here she is, lying on the sofa waiting quietly for her turn. She knows that when I’m finished typing, she may begin to snort again. And I will go to the kitchen and fetch her a baby carrot. And she will be happy.


Rainy Day



Rain and thunder

Whistling wind

Rain drops pelting

Window panes

Gray and cool

Birds chirping

While bathing



Warm and inviting

Watching the rain

Bring green to the trees

Book open

Music quietly

Creating the mood

Enjoying the stillness

Photo Box


I think it is required that on spring break, spring cleaning occurs. In keeping with that tradition, I’m trying to organize my office/craft room. Not an easy task! Today, I put photos in photo boxes. I have four of them, each labeled to help with organization. In one of these boxes, I have placed my school photos. I’ve been an educator for 29 years, so there were lots of pictures to rifle through. There were small wallet-sized school pictures of former students that had their names on the back, and sometimes an “I love you, Miss Morris!” Photos of old bulletin boards, student work, school programs, and Halloween parties were all piled inside this box. I so enjoyed remembering as I sorted through them.

There was the time my partner fourth grade teacher and I dressed in pioneer dresses and treated our students to a day of living like a pioneer for our unit on Missouri history. Thrown in the box were several photos of student teachers that had worked with my class. Oh, and several first days of school pictures, where students were eating an ocean treat with blue jello, graham cracker sand, and whipped cream waves.

And then there are the photos of students. Some individuals, some in groups, on the playground, working at their tables, or saying their lines in school programs. One made me chuckle. A little third grade boy, Logan, with glasses and the cutest smile…he now works at my school as a special education teacher. Their sweet smiles and funny poses took me back to the happiest years of my career. Although this chore took longer than most of my spring cleaning, it certainly has been the most fun!

Mathematical Slice

  1. One dog:  Sophie, who is 11 years old and terribly spoiled
  2. Two nieces: They are almost like my own daughters. I just took one out for dinner last night.
  3. Three cups:  I enjoyed three cups of coffee this morning. I most enjoy my coffee when I can take it on my back porch.
  4. Fourth grade:  My first teaching job was teaching 4th grade in a little school for five years.
  5. Five years:  My husband and I have been married 5 years in May. For our anniversary, we are traveling to Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
  6. Six visits:  I’ve been to Hawaii six times. It’s my favorite vacation spot.
  7. Seven books:  I have seven books in my “to read” pile. Included are The Light Between the Oceans (currently reading), The Little Paris Bookshop, The Lake House, and The Magnolia Story.
  8. Eight years:  I’ve been an instructional coach for eight years, currently in grades 5-8.
  9. Nine innings:  My husband and I enjoy watching baseball. Last night, we caught the game between Japan and the USA in the World Baseball Classic.
  10. Ten years:  It’s been ten years since I’ve been in the classroom. I have missed it!
  11. Eleven players:  Our daughter plays soccer at our local university. Next year, she will be a senior; her last fall to play soccer. Hard to believe after all the games and tournaments she has participated in throughout her young life.
  12. A dozen:  Monday, I made 3 dozen of my husband’s favorite cookies. Like tiny cakes with icing, they are truly the best cookies I’ve ever eaten.
  13. I was born on the 13th of November and my grandmother was born on the 13th of July.


Thank you, Teri Cote for your slice idea!

Little Girl


She is slight and blond. All smiles and heart-shaped sunglasses. Popping into my living room at 6:30 am, she never stops. We visit about this and that and I smile each time she utters a word that ends in “r”, as she pronounces it “r-ee”. “I am four-ee!”, she proudly announces.She loves the story I read to her about Big Al, and she patiently glues on fish scales as we create this sweet fish from a paper plate. The tent we created from a sheet and chairs is full of pillows, my battery-operated candles, coloring book and crayons, and her tea set. Her little hands help spread the jelly on our pb&j sandwiches we make for our picnic. Her humor surprises me. My husband brings home pictures of the hail that pelted the parking lot of his business. Her reply is, “Henny Penny said, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling!’” The two of us color, and pretend to drink tea, and play with my knickknacks. Nap time arrives, and I chuckle as I listen to her whistle each time she breathes out, as she quietly snores her way through her nap. My heart melts when she gives me a spontaneous hug and plans for her next visit. It amazes me what she knows already. And as she proudly washes her hands all by herself, I know it won’t be long until she’s all grown up, and we will miss the tiny little piece of sunshine that we are blessed to spend our time with.

Spring Break



enjoying breakfast with my husband

sipping coffee on the porch

soaking in the warm weather

listening to the chirping of the birds

completing a list of “to-do’s”

taking a walk

taking a nap

eating out at lunch, at a leisurely pace

making cookies

sampling too many


Real Beauty


This weekend our family saw the new rendition of “Beauty and the Beast”. Of course we enjoyed the show, including the singing, the animation, and the live action vs. the cartoon. Riding the trolley back to our hotel after the movie, we all talked about what we enjoyed. Our daughter summed it up best, “I liked that the lesson in the movie is that beauty is from the inside, not the outside.” Sometimes when we watch this age-old French story, we forget about the message. In life, we forget about the message, too. We spend so much time coloring the gray out of our hair, buying the most slimming outfits, worrying about lines on our faces, and putting in countless hours at the gym. What do you suppose would happen if we all spent as many hours working on our insides? What if we practiced being kind in front of  the mirror so much, that kindness just came out of our mouths, even when we were agitated? What if we let go of as much money on being thoughtful as we did on those new shoes? What if we flexed those smile muscles so that anyone would feel welcomed, no matter where they were? What if we loved everyone, even the unlovely, the gruff, or those who seemed to have no redeeming qualities at all?


Leave it to our children to just tell it like it is. It really IS simple, isn’t it?