Teepees and Totem Poles

We ended our Native American studies a few weeks ago, and my 5th graders LOVED learning about their resources, housing, culture, etc. At the end of our unit I decided we needed to have a little fun with some hands on things since we had taken a lot of notes while we were learning our standards. πŸ™‚

We made some totem poles-not out of wood and paint since we do have a time limit in school. πŸ™‚ And NO we didn’t make them to tell the history of our families even though that’s what we learned that Native Americans did. We just made animal faces out of construction paper. Give and take people. Give and take. πŸ™‚


Then we made life size teepees since some Native American groups were nomadic and used this type of housing out of convenience while traveling.


Boy were my 6th graders J.E.A.L.O.U.S. πŸ™‚

Somehow my 5th graders have been able to do a little more hands on with history this year than my 6th graders. In 6th grade we have really been reviewing what they didn’t get to last year. We are almost finished with that (thank goodness since the year seems to be really close to being halfway over!!!). Once 6th grade finishes up with the Civil War, we will FINALLY be on our 6th grade standards and can hopefully get more in depth which will lead to more hands on. I’m hoping. πŸ™‚


Internet Sminternet

Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I’ll be back online when my VERY SMALL RURAL COUNTRY TOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE gets the internet fixed. πŸ™‚

Funny story. Or not. Last Wednesday(October 17) our Centurytel guy called me (remember I said I live in a SMALL town!) to let me know that they just changed out the “box” beside the store so I could upgrade to “high speed internet”. Woohoo!

I upgraded with Thursday, Oct. 18 being the effective date for “high speed internet”. πŸ™‚

Hahahahahahaha…..the internet hasn’t worked since then. I think I’ve been able to connect maybe 2 times in almost a week. I’m dying a slow death here!

So I’m writing this post while I’m at school (of course my kids aren’t writing all by themselves while I tend to personal business-what kind of teacher do you think I am?).

As soon as my teeny tiny AL town decides to reconnect with the rest of the world, I will have some book reviews, race recaps, teacher things, and just ramblings ready to send out. πŸ™‚

Hello? Is anybody out there…….

Running Problems Anyone?


This morning I ran 3.7 miles with a few of my dogs. πŸ™‚ Walked 3 times. Let me tell you why.

1. My right calf was BURNING. I know. I know. I just have to stretch it out more.

You might not want to read any farther. It’s a little TMI!

2. Something is up with me having GI (?) problems WHILE I am running!!!!! This has just started in maybe the last 2 months. I’m thinking it might be because I have been eating horribly lately!! I’m talking a pint of ice cream AFTER supper 3 nights in a row. Heavy foods. Cravings galore.

GUYS-you might want to skip this next part. πŸ™‚

No, I’m not pregnant. However, I am about to be 42 and have been relieved of my “grandmother’s visit” since August. WHAT IS GOING ON?? Still have symptoms but NO VISIT! πŸ™‚

I’ve gained 5 pounds since school started. Remember-the ice cream thing?

Yesterday morning I decided not to eat ANYTHING before running. STILL had to use the bathroom while running. And you know-that feeling can REALLY SLOW YOU DOWN. πŸ™‚

Any advice from you runners out there? This has GOT to stop! I can handle sore muscles. Stretch more. I can handle my lungs being on fire. Run more. I have no idea how to handle this.

Well, one thing I’m planning on changing is getting back to eating a little lighter and a little healthier.

Will that do the trick?

Help me. πŸ™‚

3.1 Hilly Miles


I ran with my XC team at 8am this morning. Does that make me dedicated or stupid? You don’t really have to answer that. πŸ™‚

We were wanting to run in a local 5k, but it got rescheduled and then it was too late to register for a cross country meet so I told them I would meet them at the school if they wanted to run-3 of them showed up. Now that’s dedication for a Saturday morning!

We ran our usual killer 3.1 mile course that we mapped out several weeks ago. The one with the kills hills. 7 of them. I think my time was 37:11? I felt good while I was running after I finished. πŸ™‚ Actually I always feel better on that 3rd mile. Definitely NOT the 1st. It hates me, and I hate it!

After my run I had a banana for breakfast and sat in my car reading until the Peewee football game so I could cheer on some of my 5th graders. Watched it and then met my husband so we could spend quality time together work in the hayfield. I didn’t really have to do much when we 1st got there because the hay had to be raked by somebody, then hubby had to bale it before we could start loading it. YAY for me and my smartness. I remembered to bring a book to read. Even when I had to get up and do something I only had to throw a few on the trailer, stack some, and then I just drove the truck. πŸ™‚ God was looking out for me! AND while I was stacking the hay on the trailer my leg only fell between the bales one time! Thought I was a goner.

Hubby went to work at 5pm, I got a dinner plate from the little grocery store deli 8 miles from my house, and proceeded to eat and read the rest of my book.

Now I’m sitting on the couch blogging at 8pm and not really planning on getting up anytime soon unless I need another diet pepsi!

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday night!

Four Perfect Pebbles Book Review


Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust StoryFour Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl, Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Goodreads Summary:

“If she could find four perfect pebbles of almost exactly the same size and shape, it meant that her family would remain whole. Mama and papa and she and Albert would survive Bergen-Belsen. The four of them might even survive the Nazis’ attempt to destroy every last Jew in Europe.”

My Thoughts:

This story is about Marion and her family’s journey from Germany to Holland and back. One of the things that struck me in this book was that she was actually thinking about which one was worse: hunger or the cold. She decided the cold was worse because her stomach shrank after being hungry for so long. Can you imagine trying to decide which of these things were worse?

Once she thought she saw a truck load of firewood at her camp-it was just a truck with dead bodies on it.

At her time of liberation in 1945 Marion was 10 1/2 years old and weighed only 35 pounds. Her mom weighed 75 pounds. Some people even died after being liberated for overeating since their bodies weren’t used to it. 3 years later at the age of 13 1/2 Marion weighed 135 pounds. She had gained 100 pounds in 3 years because of her love for fatty food.

This was another story that will exhaust your emotions.

5 of 5 stars

Here’s the official website for this book Four Perfect Pebbles.


How fast is a mile?

How fast is a mile?

Well, it depends on who is running it. We timed our 1 mile runs around the track today at Cross Country practice. They did awesome!

Let me back up. When we started this cross country team NOBODY could run a mile without stopping. Talk about improvement!

Today’s 1 mile times:








Hooray!!! Oh yeah, my time was 9:43. Boooooooo! πŸ™‚

We started off practicing once each week. Then increased it to 2 days each week. Eventually added 1 more day for a total of 3 days each week.

We only have 1 more meet this month before Sectionals at the beginning of November. We haven’t placed at any meet. We certainly haven’t won at any meet. BUT WE HAVE WON. These kids have done what it takes, and I can’t wait to keep on keeping on with them through the years to see where they end up. That 6:49 mile is an 8th grader. Boom. πŸ™‚

So I’m starting to wonder about the time AFTER cross country ends since it’s a Fall sport. Do I continue to run with them 3 days each week all year long? Run once each week with them? Not run at all? Track and Field will begin in Jan/Feb and go through May. How would I do both at the same practice? Any suggestions?

And by the way-what’s your fastest mile???

100+ Follower Giveaway Winner

REVISED 10/9/12:

My winner did not contact me  😦 so I have drawn another name off the floor. πŸ™‚Β 

Barbara please email me with your address so I can mail your Walmart $20 giftcard!! πŸ™‚


Can you find the 3 Ps in this post????

After procrastinating for more than a week I finally pulled a winner out of the hat for my 100+ follower giveaway. I feel I must name the winner in this post but not before I tell you about the puppies. πŸ™‚

One of our dogs (blue heelers) had 7 puppies, and we have already sold 5 of them. Yes, I make a profit whenever I can! We now have 2 left(that’s pretty Β much the highest form of math I am capable of!).

My brother-in-law told me that this man in a neighboring town wanted to buy 1 or both of them. So I put the little darlings in my car and headed that way this afternoon. They are 10 weeks old. They are loud. They never stopped barking. They made me want to bang my head on the steering wheel. While I was driving. Just to end my misery. πŸ™‚

I did not find the man at his house. Or at his chicken houses. Lucky me got to drive all the way home with the monsters little darlings knowing that I will once again have to put them in my car this weekend and try again. Sigh. I can see the headlines now:


Just kidding. πŸ™‚

My choice of vehicle this weekend will be the truck and NOT MY CAR!

Now on to the 100+ follower giveaway. The winner is KPurdon. Email me your address so I can mail you the million dollar $20 Walmart giftcard that you were so lucky to win!!! πŸ™‚

Thanks to everyone who commented and/or commented during the giveaway!

Between Shades of Gray Book Review

NOT to be confused with another book! πŸ™‚

Between Shades of GrayBetween Shades of Gray by Ruth Sepetys

Goodreads Summary:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of GrayΒ is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

My Thoughts:

First I fell in love with Lina’s character, then her brother, then her mother…. What a courageous family even AFTER being deported to Siberia and treated like animals. I seriously don’t know what my actions would have been had I lived during a time like this.

And you know what? This just shows my ignorance-I didn’t even realize that the Soviet Union did things like this back then. Of course, I don’t remember learning about the Holocaust AT ALL in high school. In fact nothing in history class stuck in my brain. Sad. I’m definitely making up for lost time now.

Back to the book-you have GOT to read this. Yes, it was another one that had me engrossed the entire time. But I was so strong while reading about the horrors-I didn’t cry. Until one part. And then I couldn’t stop crying.

Put this on your TBR list NOW. Even if historical fiction is not your thing.

Then come back to me and let me know what you thought.



Garmin Forerunner 10

Have you heard of this simple little thing? The Garmin Forerunner 10.

I just ordered it online and CANNOT WAIT UNTIL IT GETS HERE.

I really might be able to figure this out and use it. πŸ™‚

Let’s back up a little to give you a more complete and accurate background of me and tech devices. We don’t really have a happy marriage. My daughter has ALWAYS hooked up my student computers in my classroom at the beginning of school each year. I have never hooked up a VCR/DVD player. The only reason I have songs on my IPOD is once again because of my daughter. I called Direct TV the other night to help walk me through fixing the satellite-within 3 minutes I had sweat running down my back. No joke. πŸ™‚

I did buy one of the watch thingies back in Jan/Feb when I first started running. Eventually gave it to my daughter-couldn’t figure out how to use it!

So I’m hoping. And praying. Will this be a happy marriage?????

Keep checking back for that (hopefully happy) post in the near future.

Here’s the website if you need simplicity like I do!



It’s Monday-What Are You Reading?

Here we are with another chance to share wonderful books with each other thanks to Jen and Kellee over atΒ Teach Mentor TextsΒ and Sheila over atΒ Book JourneyΒ who both sponsor this great meme each week for young adult/children and adult respectively!

Talk about crunching in A LOT of reading in just a few days! Just call me the Queen of that for this week!

I even delayed my trip to B’ham Friday night so I could finish a book! Am I crazy???? πŸ™‚

This was another week of my “addiction to books about the Holocaust”. I also read about The Underground Railroad and The Soviet Union as well as a Little House book. (This one was for Banned Books Week!)

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron CurtainΒ  Β  Β  Β  Β Β We Fought Back Teen Resisters of the Holocaust

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's ShadowΒ  Β  Β  Β  Β Β The Boy Who Dared

All But My Life: A MemoirΒ  Β  Β  Β  Β Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky

Little House in the Big WoodsΒ  Β  Β  Β Β Lost and Found

Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story

It was a great week of learning more about history-it’s amazing the amount of information that can be learned through reading books like these instead of plowing through DRY FACTUAL TEXTBOOKS. πŸ™‚ It’s hard to say which one was my favorite, but if I had to narrow it down to 2 they would have to be The Boy Who Dared and Hitler Youth. (Both by the same author)

My trip to BAM on Saturday when I was coming home from B’ham really paid off. Over $70 worth of books!!! YOWZA!

Can’t decide what to read next-probably because I have so many choices at my house!

Any great books on your list this week?