Her Name Is Joy

They’re furry, they’re fluffy, and they’re playful. I’m sure you’re already speculating, guessing, or maybe even confident that you know what I am referencing. And if you are thinking that perhaps I’m referring to a family pet, you are correct.

In our home, we call them our fur babies. Yes, they are our pet rabbits, but they are so much more than just pets.

They bring us joy!

We have special little voices we use when we talk to them. Oh yes, I have a certain inflection in my voice that I use when I announce it’s snack time. When I go to the store I’m sure to purchase their favorite treats. And I know if you have a cat or a dog, you most likely do the same thing. Why, why would we do this? Because…

They bring us joy!

In our house it’s not uncommon to have a conversation that revolves around what the rabbits were doing when we got home, how much food they ate while we were away, and well, if they pooped! I send Snapchat pics of my rabbits to my family and friends, just to keep them updated. I know; it’s weird! We care for them just like we care for a child. And we do this because…

They bring us joy!

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Our little fur family began in 2014 when we became empty nesters. In fact, we adopted a new member each year since 2014. That’s right, our first rabbit in 2014, our second rabbit in 2015, and our third rabbit in 2016. Rest assured though, there will not be a new member in 2017! I know that some people don’t understand and perhaps find it odd, but our fur family gives us a purpose.

They bring us joy!

When we adopted our third rabbit at Christmastime in 2016, we couldn’t help but to name her Joy. She was our first female rabbit and she bonded with our sometimes grumpy male rabbit.

She brought him joy; she brought us joy!

Animals are amazing in the way they unconditionally love humans – the way they make us smile and the way they help relieve our stress. They are there for us day in and day out. They are therapeutic.

They bring us joy!

Her name is Joy and we love her dearly!

 

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What does JOY mean to you? What brings you JOY? How do you sprinkle JOY in your day? Write about it and share your post with the #TeachWrite community by linking up to our blog here.

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The #TeachWrite chat is dedicated to supporting teachers of writers and teachers who write. Join us for our next chat on Monday, September 4th at 7:30PM EST. You can sign up for the Remind here.

Thank you Jennifer at #TeachWrite for hosting this platform!

 

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My Wish

A quiet, calm, tranquil Tuesday.

Windows are open,

the air is cool,

the humidity has been erased.

Fresh air,

it brings a sense of serenity

over me as the breeze gently glides

through the room.

Birds are chirping,

cicadas begin their chorus.

The wind chime sings a gentle song,

it begs me to sit here all day!

The rustling of the willow tree,

going back and forth,

back and forth,

reminding me I don’t have to go far,

to find peace,

to find relaxation.

Rays of sunlight stretch out to reach my journal,

my writing space.

Only to smile up at me,

and put me mind at ease.

Oh how I wish,

I wish,

everyday would commence

like this.

~~~~~

sol

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one of those posts

It’s been a while since I’ve been here.

I guess you could say I’ve had an extended recess. Whatever the case, it’s been a challenge to get back into the swing of blogging.

It’s not like I haven’t been writing, because I have have been – in this journal and in that journal. But, well, I’m finding it difficult to add the excitement, the lure, to anything I want to write about.

There definitely is not a shortage of topics that’s for sure!

I could write about the book I just finished, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal…

but not today!

I could write about the book I’m reading now, Only Love Today by Rachel Macy Stafford…

but not today!

I could write about the ten day vacation to Europe that we just completed…

but not today!

I could write about my new fitness class obsession called Barre….

but not today!

I could write about the fact that I don’t have a lot of friends but the friends that I do have mean an awful lot to me…

but not today!

I could write about how frustrated I am with spending money on “pop-up” problems that seem to be happening again and again…

but not today!

I could write about how comparison is the thief of joy…

but not today!

I could write about the cardinal that lives in my backyard…

but not today!

While I may not have the words to tell my stories, today I decided to show up, to say that I am here.

So today is one of “those” posts.

~~~~~

sol

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ten for tuesday {gratitude}

There’s no doubt about it, I’m a list lover! I love to create lists, revise my lists, and well, live by my lists. Heck, I could devote an entire post to my love of lists! Today’s post, however, is dedicated to the top ten things (in no particular order) I’ve been grateful for lately. And, a shout-out to my blogging buddy over at Wondering and Wandering for inspiring this post!

Number 10: I finally had the opportunity to plant a few annuals around my house. While they still look young and aren’t bountiful, they bring a smile to face as I peer out my window or sit idly by their side.

~I’m grateful to the sense of serenity that the simplicity of flowers can bring.~

Number 9: I created a my #cyberPD list. (Yes, another list!)  There are three books on my list: Disrupting Thinking, The Writing Strategies Book, and From Striving to Thriving. Disrupting Thinking arrived in the mail last week, The Writing Strategies Book will arrive this week, and From Striving to Thriving is pre-ordered and will arrive on August 9th. Since I’ve created my #cyberPD list, I’ve added two more books to my list! Imagine that, me adding to a list! I’ve added Mentor Texts, 2nd edition and Joy Write. Both of those are slated to arrive next week. Yes, reading for professional development is on my list!

~I’m grateful for budget money from my school district that allows me to purchase these books and devote my summer reading to becoming a better educator.~

Number 8: I was absolutely awestruck to find my Twitter handle on a post written by Kimberly Moran at We Are Teachers. Her post, titled 36 Twitter Accounts Teachers Should Follow, included my account along with many Twitter accounts that I’m proud to say I follow and that blog right here at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life.

~I’m grateful for my PLN and the educators I have “met”. You inspire me to be my best!.~

Number 7: Matt and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on May 25th. Twenty.six.years! It blows my mind! I can’t even believe how quickly time moves. We had a splendid dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Left Bank, and we enjoyed a delightful lunch with my mother-in-law at another favorite restaurant, The First Post.

~I’m grateful for 26 years of marital bliss. Here’s to another 26+ years!~

Number 6: I got a “big girl” camera compliments of my father. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now. My blogging buddy Molly over at Nix the Comfort Zone is partially to blame for this fancy. I love her photography. It inspires me slow down, look around, and capture the simplicity yet breath-taking aspects of nature. I also am just a wee bit anxious to use this “big girl” camera on our upcoming summer vacations. I can’t wait to capture the moments and memories that will unfold over the next few months.

~I’m grateful for gifts, the making of memories, and capturing those memories.~

Number 5: So it is, as I sit and write this post it is another rainy and cold day! While this rain has turned me into a bit of a curmudgeon, I have to admit that it has allowed me the opportunity to sit down to read and write. I am hankering for the warm sultry days of summer, but I’ve enjoyed my reading and writing moments on these rainy days.

~I’m grateful for my many passions that can fulfill my days.~

Number 4: As of this post, there are only one and a half student days left in the 2016-2017 school year. I created a list (Yes, a list! Insert a wink, wink here! ) called Cheers for This Year to help me reflect on all the reading awesomeness that went down during the last 180 +/- days. It brought a smile to my face and allowed me to create some new goals for next year.

~I’m grateful for culminations and commencements.~

Number 3: I stumbled upon a great book that I immediately downloaded onto my Kindle. It’s called Only Love Today. I swear this book is speaking directly to me. I find solace in it each night as I wrap up my day. A shout-out to Michelle @litlearningzone for tweeting about this one.

~I am grateful for books that validate my feelings and bring me comfort.~

Number 2: Matt and I gave our rabbits a “spa” treatment on Saturday. Truthfully, it was more like a wrestling match, but whatever. The boys got haircuts and all three had their nails trimmed. The boys look so cute! They look like baby rabbits. I said they got “puppy” haircuts just because I didn’t know what to call a baby rabbit. I wondered, what do you call a baby rabbit anyway? So, what’s a wonderer to do? Google it, of course! Unbeknownst to me, I learned that a male rabbit is called a buck and a female is called a doe. I think that is kind of weird, don’t you? A baby rabbit, on the other hand, is called a kit. There you have it. My boys look like kits. Um, okay…

~I’m grateful for the sense of curiosity.~

Number 1: I’m glad this post is wrapping up. My word count is way above usual and it’s truthfully more than I wanted to write and probably more than you wanted to read. Regardless, I had fun reflecting and I’m glad you came along for the ride. I heart readers and comments!

~I’m grateful for the Slice of Life writing community.~

~~~~~

sol

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fast facts & simple stats

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Scrolling through social media, I stumbled upon these cute little info graphics for individual teacher stats. I just couldn’t resist, so I plugged my info in and let it create one about me.  If you want to create one too, please click here.

I couldn’t stop there though. My mind was meandering down memory lane and before I knew it I was jotting down some fast facts about my teaching career. Here they are:

  • August 2000 through December 2000 – completed my student teaching in 3rd grade at Roundtown Elementary in Central York Schools
  • December 2000 – graduated from York College of Pennsylvania
  • February 2001 through June 2001 – was offered and accepted a teaching position in 3rd grade to cover a maternity leave at Roundtown Elementary
  • May 2001 – was offered a permanent contract to teach 3rd at North Hills Elementary in Central York School District
  • August 2001 through June 2005 – taught 3rd grade at North Hills
  • August 2005 through June 2006 – taught 3rd grade at Sinking Springs Elementary
  • December 2005 – completed my Master’s Degree at Mansfield University and received a certification in Library Science, also received certification for Reading Specialist
  • August 2006 through the present – became a Reading Specialist at Sinking Springs and teach reading for students in grades 4-6

It’s been a great ride. Although I started my teaching career later in my adult life, I have no regrets. I love my job and I am thankful for the opportunities that have come down my path. Here’s to the end of the 2016-2017 school year!

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~~~~~

sol

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three choices

May 7th at 5:20 AM…

The alarm sounded. So it was, time to get up, time to lace up, time to race.

But we weren’t feeling it. Matt wasn’t. I wasn’t. Maddie wasn’t. We wanted to stay in bed. We wanted to continue sleeping. Mentally we weren’t there. Blame it on the cold weather, blame it on the chance of rain, blame it on the life happenings at the moment.

We wanted to give up,

but we didn’t. We laced up and headed to the starting line.

7:00 AM…

We stood in the starting corral and we waited and we waited and we waited. Talking was at a minimal. But our mind was speaking, sending us bad vibes even though there was an occasional smile here and an occasional smile there. Snap that selfie. Make it look good for the camera. Our minds told us give in. You can turn around now, if you want.

We wanted to give in,

but we didn’t.

Then we heard those magic words…RUNNERS TAKE YOUR MARK!

7:23 AM…

We were off, off running through the streets of Pittsburgh.

Matt racing in his 8th marathon (26.2 miles),

me racing in my 10th half marathon (13.1 miles),

Maddie racing in her 6th half marathon (13.1 miles)!

We cruised down the streets, up the streets, over the bridges, around the stadiums and there were spectators everywhere! And they were cheering!

Cheering for us! All of us who decided…

not to give up,

not to give in,

but to give it our all!

On May 7th we had three choices: to give up, to give in, or to give it our all. And give it our all we did! When crossing the finish line we were in a state of dismay, but smiles were on our faces. For we knew that when we crossed the finish line, it was so much more than just that. It was the training we completed, the challenges we overcame, and the choices we made.

 

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Matt’s stats

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Amy’s stats

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Maddie’s stats

~~~~~

sol

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the best part of my ( ____ ) world

the best part of my RUNNING world…

Race day! It is right around the corner. As a matter of a fact, it’s Sunday! I will lace up with more than 40,000 runners from 49 states and more than 20 countries to run my 10th 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles). All this will go down in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. I’ve planned. I’ve complete my training. Some of my training runs I nailed. Some of them I bonked, and some were right where they were suppose to be. What’s left? It’s time to get my mental game on and, of course, pick out which sneakers I will wear.

the best part of my READING world…

Poem in Your Pocket Day! My readers and Mrs. H.’s readers gathered the perfect poems, jotted them down on a pocket, and cut out all those pockets! Our school celebrated by passing out 600+ pocket poems! It was a day centered around sharing and celebrating poetry. Smiles and poetry galore were everywhere!

the best part of my ROCKIN’ MOM world…

This girl! Since we are running in her city, her city of Pittsburgh, I’ll be spending some time with Maddie this weekend. Matt and I will be pounding the pavement and sailing across the bridges as Maddie cheers us on for race day. And, of course, we will try to squeeze in a little celebration for the end of her junior year at college.

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the best part of my RABBIT world…

Story time! Two of my fur kids, Joy and Buddy, enjoy story time. My little Yoshi, on the other hand, decided to just hang back. There’s always one in the crowd who doesn’t participate.

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Joy reading Wally: The Life of a Punny Bunny

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Buddy reading snacking on Wally: The Life of a Punny Bunny

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Yoshi…just chillaxing

So there you have it!

The best part of my world!

Now I’m wondering, what’s the best part of your world?

~~~~~

sol

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