Sunday, March 30, 2008

They're Back!

As I round the bend of my daily walk I gaze upon the small lake in which my housing addition is built around. I take the wooden path through the heart of the marsh where recently the geese have returned to find new mates. The ducks call out as we pass. I remove my ear buds drowning out the music and focusing on my natural surroundings. I have seen this lake move through the seasons. In the fall I saw the beautiful fall leaves be a backdrop to my little pond. During the winter I gazed at the snow as it fell silently upon the water. The snow, catching on the marsh grasses and reeds laid in little clumps that caught my ever gazing eye. In my mind, in my gazing, I always remembered the red winged blackbirds as they used to sit balancing on the marsh's reeds. Their shrill calls notified all the others that I was present. They disappeared in November, like Floridian grandparents, I longed for their return.

In Indiana we have many different kinds of birds that still stay throughout the winter. The Cardinal, the state bird, stays for most of the winter, although it seems like they disappear during those frigid February months. The Juncos, the sparrows, and the finches all stay if you feed them. The finches change color throughout the year, like a chameleon they change with the seasons. But, the Red-Winged Blackbird, leaves and returns only truly when spring has arrived. My grandmother and I have always had a conversation about this breed of bird. We always remind each other that spring has not arrived until we see the first Red-Winged Blackbird.

Today, as I rounded the bend to the marsh, I heard their call. At first I was stunned by the difference in their call. Then my gaze searched for their bright red wing patches. I searched the tops of trees, and then my gaze fell to the top of a pussy willow out in the wetlands. There sitting, balancing really on its top was my promise of spring. My heart lifted! My spirit, beaten down from the doom and gloom of winter soared with the birds. My step got lighter as I raced home to tell my family!

"They're back!!!!" I shouted when I raced through the door! My family just stared at their crazy mother.

"Who? Who's back?" they said at once.

"I saw them today, the red-winged blackbirds! They're back to spend the summer with us!" I said.

You see like Floridian grandparents returning in the spring, so are the Red-Winged Blackbirds returning the promise of spring.

Welcome Back, we're so glad you've arrived!
(go here to hear the sound of the Red-Winged Blackbird)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Passion Meme

These kids are toasting at the beginning of our publishing party. We soon left, went to music and hoped parents, administrators, and support staff would arrive. We didn't know who would come?!?!?!
This is one of my little girls leaving a message on another student's comment sheet. The students walked around the room, in and out of the crowd, and read other student's books. They left comments, positive and kind, about the books.
This student wrote a question on each and every comment sheet!
I had 11 parents show their support!
My reading recovery teacher came and my k-2 teacher!
Principal and assistant principal!
It was a full house, we had the greatest time ever!!!!

Jen Barney memed me a month or so ago about my teaching passion. Today I captured a few of my cherubs on film so I have a picture to show you. Sorry it took so long! My passion is creating readers and writers. My students truly believe that they are authors, that their words matter. I truly believe it too!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Poem For Easter

Our Many Colored Eggs
by Sarah Amick

Blank canvases
like pearls from the sea

walls of protection, fragile, delicate;

One by one plucked from the carton

diving into colored liquids

red like love

blue like sorrow

green like growth

yellow like the sun

waiting, soaking, absorbing


a change from the blank canvas

the contrast, brilliant, vibrant;

radiant the egg waits for the others.

One by one they gather

each a different color

some with messages

All of them the color of their maker, designer

the artist.

One by one they gather

a bouquet, a rainbow, a mosaic

Our many colored eggs.

*Taking pictures of our festivities, I was just blown away by my new camera and its ability to take really vivid shots. I relished in this little slice of life, what a blessing to color eggs. Messy yes, memories, priceless.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Before the Break

So, this evening I finished my report cards for the third term. I can't believe that it's the third term. We have so much to do still.

We are starting our All About unit tomorrow. Hopefully, it will go better this time. (Cross your fingers)

I have a month and a half of stored up information to report for curriculum mapping. It just hasn't worked for me each time I get on... I am not a very positive person for the mapping.

I am being observed by my principal on Thursday, during my writing workshop time. This is for my Professional Growth Plan.

My daughter has gymnastics on Tuesday and I am going to Kindergarten Orientation for my youngest child (still trying to deny that my baby is going to Kindergarten).

We still have little milk carton bunnies to make and I have to play the role of Easter bunny.

I am planning a celebration for our Young Author's Books for next week.

The storm before the calm is happening in my life...

I am ready for the break. My family is ready for the break. I may sit for a week just catching up on some reading. Taking my children to the Toledo Zoo. Sleeping in, drinking coffee, and watching some "Good Morning America."

Come on break...

These girls need to spend some time just loafing around!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Promise of Spring

My budding photographer, snapping shots. Click here to see more, really very talented if I do say so myself!
This kid is a ham I tell you! She's had tonsillitis twice in the month of February. We just finished the last dose of antibiotics. An afternoon in the snow and woods hopefully will be good to clear the germs away!!!! (mommy really needs the germs to go away, come on spring!)
The surprise of raccoon tracks in the snow. Capturing the surprise in my girls' faces: priceless!
When do we stop imagining about things like this? At what age does that occur?
The girls, pleasantly being warmed by the sun. Melting snow all around. Carefree and young, may they always be able to enjoy the great outside.
"Come On Spring!" we all hope...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Before, July 2007

After: March 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


After Debbie Miller I drove to Chicago from Kendallville and met my college friend. She flew into O'Hare from Colorado. We haven't seen each other in about 2 years. It was a long awaited weekend for two hairied moms with small children. I drove through rush hour during one of the most beautiful winter sunsets I have seen. The backdrop of the city leaking through those tall statues. I thought of pausing but I was urgent to see my friend. I raced to find a parking spot at O'Hare and rushed through the glass doors looking for the sign that read that my friend had arrived. I stood by the down escalator as floods of people descended and then she was there... We both walked to one another and embraced, tears streaming, many words pouring from our mouths, trying desperately to catch up years, in moments.

Friday we awoke after a peaceful night of sleep and wondered about what to do with the day. No obligations, not baby schedules, not responsibilities, she proclaimed, "I want to see priceless works of art!" We rode the train, sitting quietly, or talking in small murmurs, enjoying the moment of just being together. We arrived at the museum to find that the museum was free during the month of February: BONUS! We lazily walked about talking, discussing, adult conversation at its finest. It was pure bliss.

On Saturday a beautiful sunny winter day we meandered around North Michigan Avenue ducking into stores that looked like fun, not really caring about which was a turn would take us. We arrived at a local bakery, our sugar low from the walking, and we sat with cups of conversation and sugary treats. That evening we spent two hours dining at a restaurant of our choice. Two hours, eating, tasting, talking, refreshing. I literally could feel my body unwind and release myself from the daily rituals of my own life.

As I left her off at O'Hare on Sunday I cried as I drove away. Not knowing when I would see her again, knowing that she is going back to a life of rituals, and smallness. I cried because I missed my own children, my husband, and my life at home.

The city was great, just what I needed, but my home is where I belong.