Kid Lit

I love books. Always have. This year I have reignited my love for children’s literature. I would be embarrassed to share how much money I have spent on books since started a fourth grade classroom. The urge to buy two of every book is very hard to overcome. See, I need one book for my personal shelf in the classroom and one for the library. Books that make it to the class library are well loved. I’m ecstatic that they are being read, and more ecstatic to hear them discussed, but I feel a twinge of pain when I see how beat up they get. Therefore, I need two of everything! Two of everything is not so practical, books are not so cheap.

My Goodreads list is now full of novels for children. I am finding that when I attempt a “grown up” book lately, the story line cannot pull me in the same way. Whether the book is about an imaginary world (which many are) or not, all of the kid lit books I’ve read have a sense of magical wonder. I want to learn more about their worlds, and like Peter Pan, I don’t really want to grow up anymore. Children’s literature lets me experience the best parts of being a child, while still being a grown up, where I know everything does turn out okay.

Here are a few of my recent loves. I have also been doing book reviews on my classroom blog, A few of my students are working on reviews that we hope to have published after the holiday as well!

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan is just a fun ride. Like many novels for kiddos, it is about a boy who just doesn’t fit in. Percy finds out there are reasons he doesn’t fit it. The books are just a really fun quick read. Rick Riordan has also branched out to start two more series. I recently read The Red Pyramid and am almost done with The Lost Hero. And the guy is a teacher from San Antonio, who doesn’t want to support that?

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Soctt O’Dell was one of my favorite books in elementary school. One of our literature circle groups is currently reading it, and I had to take it home and finish it IMMEDIATELY. This is one of those books that just gives you a feeling of a world you would never know, or expect to know. I find it difficult to describe without giving away to much, but the book it phenomenal. I have several copies of this book, so if you have interest in borrowing, let me know.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is MAGICAL. The book has 284 pictures in 533 pages. The story is told through pictures, and words. There are stretches of 20 pages or so, where there are only pictures, and then a couple pages of words. The words pick up right where you were with pictures. Hugo is a boy who is all alone and lives in a train station. The book gives me the chills. It is the only novel to ever win the Caldecott Medal, which it won in 2008. The book is already in production for a movie to be released next year. I can only hope it will be just as magical.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Disclaimer: this book is not for elementary age children. A colleague who is currently on her way to becoming a librarian introduced me to this book. It is more a middle – high school aged book. In this story, children from each district from ages 12-18 are put in a drawing every year. A boy and a girl are selected from each of the 13 districts. Those selected are sent to the Capital to participate in the Hunger Games. Basically, they are trained, dumped in a arena, and meant to compete for their lives. Only one person may leave the arena. It is televised to each district. This book is insanity. There are two more in the series, that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I’m dying to read.

Clearly, I could go on for awhile. I have found great satisfaction in discussing these books with my students (and colleagues). I truly love bonding with them over books, and in some cases they are books that the students wouldn’t have attempted on their own. I love that I can speak highly of a book, and several kiddos run to the library to get it. I also love having colleagues with the same interests. Regan (the future librarian) and Lauren (the mentor) have a great passion for books as well. Having adults to have impromptu book talks with has been one of my favorite things about my new career path.

I have five days off now. I think I shall read some. Happy Thanksgiving!

Leah is 25 years old, she is as good as gold

Happy Birthday Leah!


Today my dear pal Leah turns twenty-five years old. Once, now four whole years ago, we spent a summer in Mexico together. IT WAS THE BEST SUMMER EVER. While we were in Mexico we went to the city of Tepotzlan several times. Our goal in this city was to climb a mountain, we got there to late in the day a few times to accomplish this goal. The day we made it up, it rained. The rocks were slippery, our clothes were wet, and we didn’t slip and die! It was a glorious experience.

On one of our unsuccessful trips to climb the mountain, Leah and I strolled around the city of Tepotzlan. While in Mexico we saw many people on the streets, and we also saw many stray, hungry looking dogs. A hungry dog was more than Leah could handle. It drove her nuts. So, when we saw these little guys below, Leah marched on over to a taco stand and bought them each a taco. Leah likes puppies. Leah does not like seeing puppies go hungry. That is just the kind of glorious gal she is. Happy Birthday Chica.

Mexico Puppies

Bob Schneider – HOB

We almost recreated Christine’s bachelorette the other night. We saw ol’ Bob at Gruene Hall and Sandra snagged us tickets for us to see him again. Leah and I went once in college too, so basically Bob is getting up there with Dave Mathews concerts now.

Girls @ Bob

Christine, Sandra, and Leah met at my house and we ate blueberry muffins for our pre-concert event. Sarah just happened to be there with a coworker, adding to our Gruene Hall recreation (we never did run into Kim, I guess living in Dallas makes that not so likely).

Bob @ HOB

This is Leah and her friend Bob. His music is just fun, so listen to it. She also remarked that he never looks the same. His hair was crazy jelled up at Gruene Hall and I think he was a skinnier man when we saw him in college.

Bob @ HOB

We were a little confused on the time of this event, so we were early. We really thought that it wasn’t going to be that crowded, but we beat the crowd. Beating the crowd allowed us to get a sweet spot. Leaving this spot and coming back to it was pretty difficult, potty breaks were tough, but it was a great view. The gals and I were super close. It was a fun night and it makes me crave some more fun nights. I need more concerts in my life.

Thank you Sandra for the tickets!

Nay Nay’s Bday


Tranee and I met our junior year of high school, she did not talk AT ALL. It wasn’t until senior year that we became friends and she decided that I was worth talking to. She just lived a few streets over from us and somewhere along the way our family became like family. We just fell into an easy rhythm and more often than not over the last few years, we spent holidays together. I was even surprised last year when she wanted to have Thanksgiving and Christmas at her home in Killeen, but I suppose we are growing up some now. My brother used to call her Nay Nay (and he wasn’t 3 at the time) and so it stuck. My mother refers to her as Nay Nay in conversion now and I think if the dog could talk, she would too.

Tranee has grown into a wonderful woman, a person that I am proud to know. Happy Birthday Nay Nay!

Spidey Devin had a BIRTHDAY

Spidey Devin

Devin and Pinata


Devin and gifts

Today is Devin’s 4th birthday and we celebrated it on Saturday. Sandra did a fabulous job of putting the party together. Devin opened all his gifts pretty quickly. He had to see what was in every package IMMEDIATELY. After his whirlwind unwrapping session he hugged everyone in the room and said thank you. This little guy is growing up to be a pretty sweet and polite kiddo and I’m very proud to say that I have a perfect attendance record at this child’s birthdays.

The Making of a Mad Woman

So, being a girl in a wedding is totally different than being a boy in a wedding. Justin and his groomsmen spent their day at Dave & Busters. Christine and her ladies, spent the day getting all done up. Getting all done up took a significant amount of time. The hair and make up ladies spread out their goods and worked for hours to create our looks.


The other bridesmaids all had longer hair and they got curly updos. I got a Mad Men era bump. Apparently to make such a significant bump, the hairdresser must tease the hair like it has never been teased before.


The teasing kind of hurt. I didn’t really expect that. I had no idea how big it was getting.


I should attend some heavy metals shows. I could probably achieve this look on my own. I could probably not achieve the final look on my own.



Overall, I was impressed with my poof. It was as hard as a rock and people seemed pretty curious of the hair bump I was rocking. No, there was no “Bump it” in my do. Saturday left me with a greater appreciation on the difficulty of being a fancy lady. The nails, the tan, the facials and massages, the make-up, and the hair. I have to give it to good looking women, it is a full time job to be “put together.” It was fun for a day, but I don’t have that kind of time or money.

P.S. Leah looks hot too! Look how cute!

P.P.S Click any of the pictures to go to Flickr and see all of the wedding pictures I took!