Be THAT Teacher

I will begin my first year as a first grade teacher on August 19.  I’ll share the story of how and why, in my mid-forties, I made it to this moment in the coming days, but for now I wanted to share a thought and video from our 19-year old daughter.  She said, “Dad, watch this video and be that teacher.”

Back to the Future III

This evening I asked our daughters to put into words their thoughts about entering the 4th, 9th and college sophomore years this August. I hope it will someday serve as a bit of a time capsule for their own families to peer back into their lives and see who these wonderful ladies were becoming.  Click here to read our 4th grader’s response.  Click here to read our 9th grader’s response.

Here is what our college sophomore wrote…

“Dad – for the blog. I love you! – Em 

In about a month I will be packing, yet again, to journey back to college. Although it’s not too far away from home, it feels like it takes my heart a million miles away. Getting so close to August 25th is causing me to remember last year around this time when I was so anxious to start college. I remember packing my clothes last year and thinking, “This might be the saddest thing I have ever gone through. I’m leaving home.” 

This year, though I’m not so sad, I’m still very anxious. I’ll be a sophomore in college. I’m starting out the semester taking Calculus, Computer Programming, and 3 different Bible classes. I changed my major recently and am now in a whole other field that is completely different than anything I’ve ever known. 

Writing it all sounds scary, but at the same time it is extremely exciting. I am so blessed to be at the school I’m at, to have the professors that I have, to have the roommate that I have, to be able to take Bible classes, and a million other things. This is just my next step toward the rest of my life, and honestly, I could not be more thrilled. (Sent from my iPhone)”


‘Dear Mr. Blueberry’ – Tuesday’s Look at THIS Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room…


Today’s great book: Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James (1991, McElderry Books)

The Author’s GREAT! Website:

Teacher Resource:  science, biology, ocean life, sea animals, letter-writing; and click here for a lesson plan idea

Time to Read:  short and sweet; bedtime or anytime.

Summary:  from…“Dear Mr. Blueberry, I love whales very much and I think I saw one in my pond today. Please send me some information on whales.”  It’s vacation time, so Emily has to write to her teacher to help when she discovers a blue whale living in her pond. Mr. Blueberry answers that she must be mistaken, because whales live in the ocean, not in ponds.  Throughout the summer, Emily and Mr. Blueberry exchange letters, until Emily has a happy surprise to share with her teacher. In the process, Emily learns a lot about whales. And Mr. Blueberry leans even more about imagination, faith, and love.

Best Quote from the Book:  “Dear Emily, I must point out to you quite forcibly now that in no way could a whale live in your pond.”

Our View:  This was among the first books I bought for my “someday classroom” because a college professor suggested it in a science and social studies course in early childhood education that I was taking in the late 1990’s.  Our oldest daughter loved it because she shares her name with the main character in this story, and whales were so fantastic and imaginatively large in her mind as a little girl that the book quickly became one of our nightly reading rituals.  She loved the teacher’s name, Mr. Blueberry, and would often comment on it as we read through the story.  She also enjoyed the style of the book with its letters back and forth among the child and the scientist.  A great book that brings back so many fond memories of dad and daughter reading time.  


Back to the Future II

This evening I asked our daughters to put into words their thoughts about entering the 4th, 9th and college sophomore years this August. I hope it will someday serve as a bit of a time capsule for their own families to peer back into their lives and see who these wonderful ladies were becoming.  Click here to read our 4th grader’s response.

Here is what our 9th grader wrote…

High school. I am going into high school. That is probably the strangest sentence I have ever said in my life! High school has always seemed like an imaginary land to me. Where giants roam, real life divas rule, and boys supposedly turn into princes (if you’re lucky). It has always been that one thing that I thought, “Oh, you don’t need to worry about that now, it’s a long time till you have to start that!” But now, it’s just one month away!

I have been very blessed though with the fact that first of all, I have not only an older sister who has gone through the same exact high school, but also wonderful and supportive parents who went through it with her. Every nervous thought I have had, my sister either experienced or had the same worry too so my parents know exactly how to help me!

Secondly, I was blessed with a few of the bestest friends on earth this past year. This factor really helps me go into this next year without fear because even though there may be 1,997 people I don’t know, there are still those three really marvelous people I do know.

And last but in no way least, I also know that there is a God that will be walking right beside me and a loving family backing me up every step of the way.

These thoughts alone are enough to get me through the next four years…


‘Friends Who Laugh Together’ – Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

With the end of summer camp, Baby Frederico looked forward to going home to see his family, but he didn’t like the idea of having to leave the new friends he had made while he was away – especially his buddy Rob.
It was Rob who had befriended him that very first day, when Baby Frederico had been at his lowest and most homesick. In the days that followed, the friends played soccer, rowed canoes, told ghost stories, and became friends.
In the evenings, Rob would have the whole camp howling with laughter around the large bonfire that was built for s’mores and roasting hotdogs; this was just what Baby Frederico needed and it helped him enjoy camp more every day.
On the final day of camp, Rob handed his new friend a piece of paper.  It was a list of enough jokes to keep Baby Frederico laughing all the way.  Here is what it said:

To My Brother From Another Mother!  Here are a few jokes, off the top of my head, just to keep you laughing…

Q: Which Roman emperor had hay fever?
Q: How do you smuggle a stack of buttermilk pancakes out of IHOP?
A: SYRUP-titiously
Q: Why is the fall of the year the best time to drive your car?
A: Because then it’s an AUTUMN-mobile
Q: If you misplace a rutabaga, should you look for it?
A: Don’t bother, it will just TURNIP
Q: Did you hear about the horse groomer who was single?
A: He wanted a STABLE relationship
Q: Did you hear about the guy who purchased the wrong bedclothes?
A: He had to issue a BLANKET apology
Baby Frederico finished reading the list and said to himself, “I think this is the start of one great friendship.”  (And he was right.)


Back to the Future

This evening I asked our younger daughters to put into words their thoughts about entering the 4th and 9th grades this August. I hope it will someday serve as a bit of a time capsule for their own families to peer back into their lives and see who these wonderful ladies were becoming.

Here is what our 4th grader wrote:

Here’s How It Feels To Be Going Into Fourth Grade!!! I am very sad to go back to school, but I will be happy to see my friends and teachers. I’m also excited to meet my teacher and to see if my friends will be in my class. And it’s not like I’m moving schools or anything like that. And I know that I will make friends, and I know that almost all the 4th grade teachers are nice. I also have about 6 friends. I know that’s not a lot to some people, but that’s all the friends I need. You know what, there is actually a lot more things to look forward to, than to be worried about for this school year! And that’s how I feel about going into 4th grade!!!

Next week we’ll here from our 9th grader…


‘Fun Size’ – Julia Reviews Tuesday’s Look at THIS Book

Great Book: Fun Size by Gill Davies with illustrations by Gary Neill (1997, Reading’s Fun, Ltd.)

Back of the Book: “Learning about size can be enormous fun! This book explores the extremes: as the flaps open out so the funny creatures stretch and grow – or meet animals of an entirely different size or weight. The funny pictures and amusing poems will delight small children, while at the same time helping them to learn about sizes and opposites. Educational and great fun!!!”

Quote: “Light frogs can rest on lily pads: They are the perfect size. But if a heavy walrus sits on one, he has a wet surprise!!!”

My Review: I absolutely loved this book when I was little. I still love it, and I’m almost 10! I love the flaps and the rhymes and the AMAZING illustrations!!!  My dad says it is also great for math and measurement, geometry and shapes, and just plain fun reading out loud.