Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding Neverland

One of my favorite movies, for a while, has been Finding Neverland. If you haven't seen it, it should be the next film you order on Netflix or borrow from a friend. It's brilliant, beautiful, heart-warming, and great for people of every age.

Because deep down inside we all wish for a Neverland.


Here are some of my favorite quotes from the movie:

"I can't write." -Peter
"Have you ever had a journal or written a play?" James Barrie
"Then how do you know?"

"I don't know what to write about." - Peter
"Oh, sure you do... Write about the talking whale." - James Barrie
"What whale?"
"The one who's trapped inside your imagination and is trying desperately to get out."

"That's nonsense. Young boys should never be sent to bed or else they'll wake up a day older. And before you know it, they are grown up." - James Barrie

"This is just a whole bunch of silliness, really." -Peter
"I should hope so." James Barrie


Friday and today I showed this movie in my classroom to discuss the themes. Students excitedly, yes I said excitedly, scribbled down answers to in-depth questions about the movie's character development, countless themes, and how it inspired their imaginations.

At the end of the day a student, who reminds me of someone quite close to my heart, remained after for a minute to thank me for showing such a great movie. He said that he has never seen a movie like it and that it is now his favorite. He thanked me for letting him watch such an incredible movie in class.

So while I felt guilty for being one of "those" teachers who show movies at the end of the year, I believe that this is one movie that is worthwhile and has a great deal of substance.

I hope to dream of Neverland tonight, as it certainly awakened the child in me. An awakening I needed more than I could have imagined, as just today I accepted another year of an adult job and teaching at my current school.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Slow down, don't dance too fast
Life's too short, the music won't last

I remember hearing this quote back in high school. It's in my head tonight for reasons we won't discuss now, but it's pertinent to my life and maybe yours right now, too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Found in New York City when I went to a conference in March.

At first listening seems a simple task. However, it often gets clouded by our own thoughts and motivations. Ever since seeing this sign I have been thinking a lot about about purposeful and unfettered listening. It has the capacity to make another person feel accepted and loved or lousy and unfulfilled.

This simple act has a lot of power, if we choose to use it :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Time in Nature

The wonder of the world,

the beauty and the power,

the shape of things,

their colors, lights, and shades;

these I saw.

Look ye also while life lasts.

Taken from Wapiti Wilderness by Margaret and Olaus Murie and originally from an old gravestone in Cumberland, England.

*Pictures taken on our hike to Cascades Falls, near Pembroke, VA. Our friend Jeremy was in town and we took him on our favorite hike on a gorgeous May day. Thanks for a great weekend, Jeremy! We made the most of it :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Tomorrow morning my students take their SOL test. Right now I am thinking good thoughts of them all being tucked carefully into their beds, after eating a wonderfully nutritious meal, so that they will be ready to knock the socks of this test!

We've worked hard all year and they've reviewed and targeted areas in which they struggled, but it all just comes down to one day, a few hours, and a computer screen.

Today I went to a family doctor for some horrible neck pains I have been having and basically got a psychiatrist session on the stresses in my life. It was a really good visit and I've been asked to come back on Friday for some Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). And have been told figure out some ways to handle my stress. Some options were offered and I plan to use them but...

(BUT is the key word here. I am finding that I always have a "but." No BUTS!)

...I just need to get through tomorrow and the next 16 days! This said, I need to get through these days by taking care of myself too.

This is easier said than done, but I will try.

How do you handle stress?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthdays Are a Big Deal!

Though Jim will NEVER tell anyone, it's his birthday tomorrow!

Yes, I know that you probably didn't know. Only the most amazing card-senders in the world know that he even has a birthday and those people are his mom and my grandma. Seriously, they mark every holiday with a card. When I grow up, I will do that too. Oh wait, I suppose that means I should be doing that NOW!

But tomorrow is the birthday of one of the most caring, intelligent, generous, and loving people I know. He is certainly the most humble and I love him for it.

But anyway, back to the point- tomorrow is Jim's birthday. Well, last week I asked him what kind of a cake he would want for his big day. He, as always, down-played this day and said that he did not need anything. Persistance is either one of my faults or my strengths, so his answer didn't fly! Finally he said, "Okay, I want a banana carrot cake."

Days later, when the weekend arrived, I found a recipe and wrote down the ingredients I would need. I told him that I'd need to run out to the store at some point and he was shocked to hear that there even was a banana carrot cake! Haha! He thought he'd gotten me!

So, he says that the tradition will have to be that he gives me an outlandish recipe to make for his birthday. It seems fair. Fortunately, for this year, the cake was a success. The recipe will definitely be saved and used again and again over the years.

Find the recipe and pictures of the birthday boy enjoying his cake two days early below, since his study schedule is crazy this week. It may not look good, but it tastes amazing!


Carrot-Banana Cake
yield: Serves 12
Mashed banana gives this dessert extra moistness.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 1 1/2 large)
1 cup drained canned crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Additional ground cinnamon

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Whisk oil, 1 cup sugar, brown sugar and eggs in large bowl until well blended. Mix in dry ingredients. Add carrots, pineapple, banana and pecans and blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted near center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cake stand in pan 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack and cool.

For frosting:
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl until smooth. Spread frosting over cake. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.)

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Carrot-Banana-Cake-2527#ixzz1MO4eR9OH

So, to my dear husband, I wish a very happy birthday! You are wonderful. The last 5 years of knowing you (not marriage) have been great and I look forward to many more! 5! I can't believe it- time flies :)

Happy Birthday, Jim!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Music, it feeds the soul...

I come from a family of music nuts, I mean geniuses. I do not include myself in this category, but I sure do LOVE my music. You can often catch me singing or humming and it's quite common for me to be brought to tears or laughter while listening to a good song.

It's a bit annoying to be riding in the car with me sometimes because when a good song comes on the radio, everyone better stop and soak it in or sing along! I am reminded of a time in high school, during a period when I drove my brother to school with me every day. I was a senior and he was a freshman. Well, we had developed a sort of pact or understanding, if you will, that during a favorite song NO ONE would talk or interrupt the other from singing and having this emotional experience.

But we had not clued anyone else into the pact because we hardly rode with another member of the family when both together.

Well, one day we were riding in the car and my dad and mom were with us and the song "Desperado" by The Eagles came on and we all started singing it. Then, Dad began to tell us a story or start a conversation. We all participated and talked. And, fortunately, the song was on a tape (remember those?) and so Willem rewound the tape and we began listening to the song again. Each of us humming the chords and preparing for belting the first few lines.

Dad didn't get the memo and talked again. So, again, Willem rewound the tape. It was at this point that we explained how important it was for us to have our emotional release through singing the song! And we all had a good laugh.

When debating whether or not to start a blog, I tried to think of a purpose for writing. The one thing that kept coming to mind was choosing a new song each post and writing about how it relates to life or evokes a particular emotion. So, you may catch a few posts about songs. If it dulls you, I apologize. At least I won't start the tape over again!

But what leads me to discuss this today is what is happening in many school districts around the country: the cutting of funds, teachers, or programs in the areas of music, drama, and art. My siblings, cousins and I have been so blessed to be a part of a family that is so deeply rooted in music and artistic expression AS WELL AS schools that have had music/arts programs and gave us the opportunities to be a part of orchestras, choirs, bands, plays, musicals, talent shows, as well as All-District/Regional/State programs.

We have an uncle who works in Miami and is constantly worried about his music therapy position within the schools, due to limited funding and support. We also have an aunt and her friend who teach music in an elementary and high school and are retiring this year. After developing programs for thirty years, their positions will not be filled by another teacher!

Who will continue to spread this crucial element of our lives and development to future generations if they are not from families with a musical background?

It's a scary time we live in right now. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

The pictures used are all from our wedding. We are so fortunate to have professional musicians in our family, to conduct and play the piano, flute, trumpet, and violin for our wedding music. My dad (green shirt with program in his hand) led a 3-part round and even wrote a song for me and sang it to me on my wedding day!

All pictures by Lucy O Photography

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wisdom Beyond Her Years

Only those who have known love know how to give love.

-A quote written by one of my students today.

Rest, Recover, & Repeat

The weekend has arrived and for some reason I feel like I still need to go to work tomorrow. Whew! Thank goodness that's not true. If I have to hear my name spoken one more time, I just might scream! When you have 70 students throughout the day and allow them the freedom to choose between a few options during each of the 3 periods, you end up getting your name repeated MANY times!

Some students don't realize that you don't need to be beckoned twenty times before you actually hear them! You heard them the first time and hoped that they would recognize that you were speaking to someone else. But the best tactic is really to interrupt the current student with whom you are speaking to tell the beckoner to wait their turn. Only to stop and repeat this process again with beckoner #2. I feel like I am washing dishes sometimes. Wash, rinse, repeat. Scrub. Scrub. Wash, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat!!!

So, I will bask in the fact that I do not need to be called by my title and last name over the next 58 hours. I will sleep and give my brain a rest. I will prep for next week when my wits can handle it. And the SOLs (Virginia's Standards of Learning Assessments) will come and pass next week without any stress or strife. One can hope, right?!?

But by Monday I will be ready to fill the needs, calm the tensions, and facilitate learning, review, and activities. I will be ready to be what my students need of me because that's a gift that I have to give each of them.

And that's what keeps me coming back. That's what keeps all of us teachers coming back. We get to see learning unfold and have difficult, sometimes life-changing, discussions. We get to develop relationships that impact the life of a child. We get to decorate our walls with pictures, poems, and drawings of many students/children who took the time to let us know we are making a difference. Because they really do care, no matter their age. We get to observe and foster growth over the course of a whole year of someone's life.

Sometimes it's frustrating and it's easy to want to leave on the closest jet plane, but we get to witness incredible moments each day and we wouldn't miss them for the world.

Our Haiku Bulletin Board

Our Folk Tale Bulletin Board: Cinderella Stories from Around the World

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Love Will Keep

So many types of love displayed above!

This song has come up a few times on my pandora station and every time I am listening to it my hands are wrist-deep in washing dishes or stirring a pot on the stove. Fortunately, for me, this time I was drying my hands after washing dishes and got to the computer in time to press the "thumbs up" button and catch the singer.

Here's a snippet from the song, but you need to hear it in order to do it justice.

I love you in the winter when the roots grow deep
Love you in the spring when the leaves turn green
I love you in the summer when the trees grow tall
I love you in the fall of the year
When the leaves turn brown
When they cover the ground
Down where the roots grow deep
My love will keep

by Adrienne Young

Beautiful sentiment and imagery.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lost Colony

My brother left this weekend to live on Roanoke Island acting with "Lost Colony" for the summer. We cannot wait to see him in the show. We are so proud of you. Enjoy your time, Will!

Willem as Ajax in The Ajax Project at CNU

The three Krumich Siblings- Käthe, Willem, and Phoebe (who had recently dislocated her shoulder in ultimate frisbee)

Willem and me at Cascade Falls on New Years Eve Day

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A favorite blog.

This blog is one that gives me great food for thought. I found the blog through my cousins, Marianne and Julie, and her insights and way of life are so intriguing. When I grow up I want to be like her...


New River Gorge

This weekend we had the opportunity to spend time with old friends doing what we all love best, climbing! It was wonderful. We went to the New River Gorge, camped at Roger's campground, and climbed for a full day. It was glorious and a much needed break from reality.

We left refreshed and reminded of how much we love climbing and camping. It had been way too long.

Here are some pictures of our marvelous friends, pups, and climbs. Enjoy!

We will definitely be going back! The rocks are great, the climbs are great, and the people are great.

I need to wish one incredible woman a VERY Happy Mother's Day! Mom, you are the strongest, most intelligent, creative, and curious woman I know. Thank you for your guidance and love. You are loved.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Tomorrow we embark on the first climbing and camping trip since we got married. How did we make it through almost two years without camping? Well, we've been busy and moving and traveling and visiting. But, can you sense my excitement about this weekend? Pulling out all of our gear, packing, and organizing food and items just got me super anxious to hit the road. How will I sleep tonight with anticipation?

It's too bad I still have a full day of teaching until we get to start our journey, but the New River Gorge will be waiting for us! And so will good friends :)

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


My dad is the artistic director of a children's ensembled called The American Children of SCORE. He founded the group in Savannah, Georgia MANY years ago. After starting it in Georgia, he started another group in Virginia, and a colleague started another group in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For a year of my life he would leave every Sunday night and travel to Harlem, New York to assist a school in starting their own SCORE. He's been on TV, on tour, written arrangements for orchestras and choirs, performed at festivals, churches, universities, workshops across the country and abroad, and has even had a group (mine) perform at the Kennedy Center.

SCORE stands for strings, choral, Orff, and recorder ensemble and 8-12 year old children from over 9 counties audition to be a part of this after school, extra-curricular experience.

It wasn't until after I had graduated from this group that I began to realize how truly rich and beautiful SCORE is. The music that they create brings me to tears each time I sit in the audience. My heart swells with love for my father and his music genius in arranging the pieces and creating such a unique opportunity for both the children involved and for those in the audience.

This past weekend I had another chance to hear SCORE perform and this time it was with Mark Jaster, a mime. He might as well be an international celebrity for our family. We spent many a day trying to disapear as if we were going down the stairs, an elevator, or an escalator, but no one can do it like Mark Jaster. I think Willem spent more time in the mirror making acting faces at himself because he observed such a natural, and he is a natural as well.

But back to SCORE and my dad. I am always just so in awe of his ability to pull so many children, on so many instruments, with so many different parts, together to create such beautiful sounds, ballads, songs, instrumentals, and stories.

It's soul music. It feeds me deep inside, as only this music can. It is the music of my childhood, it's soaked through my skin, and is deep inside my bones. It makes me experience so many different emotions, like no other music can. I feel truly blessed to both have been a part of it when I was a child and be a part of it now.

Thank you, Dad, for providing so many with this gift! You have touched so many people, some whom you may never even know or hear from again.

Thank you for music that touches the soul. I'm so proud of you, Dad!

Check them out at the link below:


I look forward to seeing them again on May 28th at the Delaplane Strawberry Festival at 12 noon!