Monday, January 30, 2012


These pictures brought a smile to my face today. 
It's amazing how images and music can have that effect on us.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"This Will Be My Tail"

An image that mirrors that of my brother's childhood. This brings fond memories of my brother finding household items to be his "tail." He would walk around and proclaim, "This will be my tail!" And so he spent countless hours being a wolf with imaginary tails and eventually a "real" tail sewn out of furry cloth and somehow attached to his pants.

Everything is better with a little imagination, fun, and resourcefulness...

Last week my trip was cancelled, my students had fluke low scores, and we found out our car is on its last legs. This coming week Jim has meetings for his rotation schedule, which decides where & how we'll live next year, we are buying a "new" car, and I am getting observed... during this time I need to remember the three qualities listed above to survive.

We'll use the time we have and the resources we have in an attempt to live within our means. All because... everything is better that way!

Willem knew that when he was two.

________________ will be my tail!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winter Twilight

Winter Twilight
by Anne Porter

On a clear winter's evening
The crescent moon

And the round squirrels' nest
In the bare oak

Are equal planets.

Thank you, Writer's Almanac, for a simple, yet vivid, poem on this stressful day of state benchmark-testing! We've had some beautiful crescent moons lately, some gorgeous days... every little thing's going to be just fine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Squiddo!

It's Phoebe's 20th birthday! 
It's hard to believe she's beginning her third decade!!! 

Here's to a beautiful person who brings out the best in all of the lives she touches. Here's to a girl who knows no strangers and always makes those she's with feel completely at ease. Here's to a scholar who loves reading and writing and an athlete who can play any sport. And here's to a traveler who has many journeys to come...

We can't wait to watch you flourish!

love, K& J

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Where to?

I'm not sure I had even mentioned the trip on here, but I was planning on going to Costa Rica in June with some other teachers. As of today, the trip has been cancelled and I am feeling down and out. I'm prone to yearn for adventure and excitement and Costa Rica was the cure for that itch this year.

So, where should I go now? What should we plan? I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get crackin' on a new opportunity/journey! Stay tuned :)


And I hate goodbyes! Aunt Beth and Uncle John just came for a really nice overnight and then they left this morning. It flew by, but we sure had fun! They taught us Longastrasse (Sp?)... such a great game! Thanks for stopping by- we love visitors :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Last Friday my students and I took "worn-out" and "well-used" words and replaced them with more vibrant and interesting words. Thanks to Pinterest, I finally found something to do with all of the paint samples I've collected over my many trips to Home Depot and Lowes with Jim over the years!

Yesterday I made the bulletin board in the main hallway and I put the students' products up for display. While looking for some quotes to go with the board, I found the one below and fell in love. "Well-used" words may not be dead, but bringing new words into our vocabulary challenges us and lets us live more fully.

A word is dead
 when it is said, 
some say. 
I say it just begins
 to live that day.

Emily Dickinson

*picture to come... 

Monday, January 16, 2012

"I Busy"

When my brother was younger he coined the phrase, "I busy," when asked to do something. More than likely it was said while double-fisting toy figures or the "paper guys" he created for himself and now it's come to be a phrase that we use quite often.

I look back at the posts I've made recently and I realize that I have been quite sporadic in writing any in recent weeks. And I suppose my only comment could be that "I busy."

But busy with what?

Well, the holidays were busy. We spent 1.5 weeks for traveling to see family and with it got to see a great show in DC and go on many walks, all while eating mouth-watering meals. Then, we arrived home the day before school started, which kept me on my toes for the first week!

Next, we adopted a new puppy (on that first day back of school) and named him Finlay "Fin" Barlow. That's the Celtic name for blonde-haired soldier which fits him to a tee! Jim's done a great job training him and bringing him into the family. Leif's beginning to enjoy having a younger dog around and trying his hand at "top dog."

I started conditioning two girls twice a week for their upcoming soccer season. At first I was quite apprehensive, but it's been thoroughly enjoyable and I've gotten some great workouts in, as well. The girls are super eager and willing to do whatever they're challenged to do and therefore it's a great cap to my school day, where motivation is sometimes overshadowed by behaviors. I'm really enjoying this and will be sad when the time is up.

During this time we've also had two different visitors and we took them both to, yep you guessed it (!), the Cascades! Our first visitor was Pheebs and it was so great to get some quality sister time. We took her to the Floyd Country Store, where she really enjoying the flat-footing and cultural experience. Our next visitor was Jonny, a friend from HSC, who may be interested in attending VCOM in the future. So, Jim gave him the grand tour and we showed him the "sights!"

And now today, I spent from 7:30 AM until 4:30 PM drinking coffee and reading The Help at both Starbucks and Panera. Little did I know that 10:30 would not be the halfway point for my day, as I had expected. Therefore, I switched locations for a new setting. My brain is fried by Panera's muzak and jazz music.

Thank you to our friends Steven & Ashly for loaning us one of their cars for the evening and tomorrow! We are so grateful!

Today perhaps I wasn't busy, but I sure felt busy! Thank goodness for a day off. And how better to celebrate MLK Day than by reading The Help? I became so engulfed by the characters, the setting, and the time, that I began to hear conversations around me and think that they were relating to the issues in the book. It was a bit bizarre. What I kept coming back to was the fact that this was actually set during my parents' childhood... not a century before...

It's amazing how far we've come but it's also pitiful at the same time. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Folly & Zeke

Today I received the sad news that my parents' younger dog, Folly passed away last night. It was a sudden illness and it hit hard for all of us.

Two weeks ago we made the conscious decision to put-down Zeke, Jim's dog since high school, because of his frequent seizures and unpredictable behavior.

Such blows these two events have made to our hearts! Whether conscious or not, pets delve their way into the deepest corners of our bodies and our lives. They become so integral to our routines and provide a rich joy that only other pet owners can relate to the pain and longing that's left by their departure.

Zeke, we miss your love for the cold weather and watching you bound around our woods. We laugh when we think back on the messes you've made. You were a truly loyal dog until the end.

Folly, we'll miss your greetings when we pull up the driveway.  Leif will surely miss romping around Paris Mountain with you, and Rosie has lost the love of her life.  But most of all, we will miss watching you take off to carry out the duty you've appointed yourself or to tree a squirrel. We wish we knew what happened to you. It's only fitting that you passed on a nearly full moon.

We miss you both!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Here's to a New Year!

Thanks for joining us on our first year of blogging/journaling! This year's been full and we're happy you came along for the ride.

Here are some picture highlights from our holidays in Virginia and Pennsylvania. We are so fortunate to have loving families on both sides who welcome and treat us each time we visit.

We hope you have a happy, healthy, & peaceful 2012!

love, K&J