On this Saturday morning, it seems I am a "day late and a dollar short" with my Doodlebugs weekly linky, but real life swept in like a tsunami this week and took precedent over all other things.  

My family bid farewell to my father yesterday, and I have spent the past week riding the waves of overwhelming emotion and quiet reflection.  This morning while going through a box of mementos, I came across this note that was enclosed in my birthday card from Pop three years ago. He usually wrote a poem, but this time he composed a letter. It was the year of my divorce, and needless to say, I cried into my coffee when I read his measured words written in his neat,flowing cursive....


Dear Jen,

So this one is the big 5-0.  It doesn't seem like it has been that long since that very cold night in December 1960.  A lot of water over the dam since then.  Looking forward to seeing you all soon.  It has been cold down here.  I sure hope it warms up for the holidays.  Have a fun day.


School resumes for me on Monday, and after a tumultuous spring break I will need every ounce of resolve to "keep calm and teach on."  The next eleven days will be extended by an hour to make up for those missed by snow/cold during the Polar Vortex this winter, and I am not sure how my second graders will do during our learning marathon.  To help myself make it through, I've pulled this collection of humorous teacher anecdotes by veteran teacher Phillip Done off my shelf, and plan to read from it each morning before the 8:50 a.m. bell rings.  If you do not have your own copy, you need to get one.  The following is an excerpt that I am sure you will relate to....

by Phillip Done
from 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny
Published by  Touchstone Books, Simon & Schuster

I read Charlotte's Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every year, and every year when Charlie finds the golden ticket and Charlotte dies, I cry.  I take slivers out of fingers and bad sports out of steal the bacon.  I know when a child has gum in his mouth even when he is not chewing.  I have sung Happy Birthday 657 times.  

I hand over scissors with the handles up.  My copies of  The Velveteen Rabbit and Treasure Island are falling apart.  I can listen to one child talk about his birthday party and another talk about her sleepover and another talk about getting his stomach pumped last night--all at the same time.

I fix staplers that won't staple and zippers that won't zip, and I poke pins in the orange caps of glue bottles that will not pour.  I hand out paper and pencils and stickers and envelopes for newly pulled teeth.  I know the difference between Austria and Australia.....

I say the r in library.  I do not say the w in sword......

My children, my siblings, my friends, and my pets have been a great comfort this week.  This is Brutus doing his best to keep my son from working on his laptop the other night.  Petting him is often a high priority, and that face is quite hard to resist! Those ears are also a soft and gentle place for tears to fall....

Carpe Diem...SEIZE THE DAY...
is the best attitude, and I will use it to keep moving forward.

As always, thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to peek into my life and times.  My next post is a "work in progress," and will describe the amazing learning experience a local wildlife rescue organization shared with all 80 of my school's second graders during our recent unit study about owls.  Here is a "sneek peek" of one of the mysterious and fascinating birds Nature's Nursery brought to share.  Stay tuned!

If you are in need of some new ideas for your spring lessons, be sure to "like" my Facebook page, click on the yellow tab, and scoop up this FREEBIE this weekend! April is National Poetry Month, and this resource includes my signature literature links and story-song selections!  

Don't forget to continue on through the Facebook Free-for-all to collect more!  Thanks to Amanda from The Primary Gal for organizing this monthly mecca of wonderful resources created by some of my best blogger buddies!


Continue to teach your children well, 
share your story, and hold a song in your heart!


  1. Aw, Jennifer, I am so sorry about your father. It is great you still have correspondence from him. I agree dogs are the best thing in the world for us humans. Mine never came home one day from running in the woods, almost a year ago, and I am still devastated inside. Until you meet again, may your memories bless you!
    Burke's Special Kids

  2. Your kind words give me comfort, Sebrina! And may you someday let a shelter dog (or two) "rescue" you!