A Tale of Two Blogs

 

In August of 2010 I started my first blog. I had spent my entire summer “stalking” the Two Writing Teachers blog. I coveted. I envied. I dreamed. And finally I jumped. I jumped into the blogging world with First Grade and Fence Posts, and my first post. I was soon opened up to and living through a whole new world.

I have always dreamed of “writing” and thanks to Ruth and Stacey I now had a venue. The friends I “met” and the stories I read from others made my week, and encouraged me to do MORE. In March of 2011 I joined in the Slice of Life Challenge Ruth and Stacey host. I was in LOVE! I sliced each day (except when I had internet trouble), I read comments, made comments, and spent my day dreaming of what I would slice about next. I spoke of Linda, Michelle, the “other Ruth,” Elsie, and so many more to my husband as if they were our closest of neighbors and friends.

Slicing opened my eyes to Professional Development that I had only dreamed of. These bloggers knew who Katie Ray Wood, Debbie Miller, and so many more were, and could join in talks and discussions of their great work (something my teacher friends at my small school couldn’t). They led me to a professional development experience in the summer of 2011 that I still think and write about (a 98/100 on my literature review of Debbie Miller this fall!!! Woo hoo).

And then came the awareness of other blogs in blog-land. I stumbled upon Abby at The Inspired Apple, and Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade. And I fell in awe again. These ladies did it all. They not only blogged but they posted the items they used, and shared ideas for classrooms, and teaching units. Through their example Klinger Café was born.

I tried the combining of the two blogs, but they somehow did not mesh. FGFP is my first love, my place to reflect, gripe, boast, whine, and create stories-thoughts of MY world-my life. It’s where I feel I can write and be me, and will always be accepted.

KC is where I try to keep up (but can’t). I have been introduced to blog buttons, blog stalking, blog hops, giveaways, freebies, and linky parties. I have worked at figuring them all out. I don’t know how to post creative worksheets (yet). I am afraid of breaking “blogging rules” that many speak of (although I have yet to find them written in stone anywhere), and I have not learned the mechanics of cute graphics and lettering, but I am working on it. I am drawn to all the wonderful “teacher” blogs out there. I have “met” many amazing and wonderful teachers, and am appreciative of all they too have shown me, and helped me experience.

The past weeks I have contemplated the difference in the two blogging worlds, and which I prefer (I have trouble keeping up with both), which one I should let go, and which one I should devote my time to. But I can’t let go, or maybe I won’t. I love my “slicing” at FGFP and have a good time with “linking” and “stalking” at KC.

I am appreciative to the growth they have given me, and the world they have both opened me up to (although different ways). I hope I’m not breaking any rules or losing any “buddies” through my plight of two blogs, but until I learn how to join them in harmony I will continue my life as a double blogger, and do my best to give them equal time.

Thanks for allowing me to tag along as I muddle through my blogging endeavors. I hope everyone has the best of holiday season, it is warm (40ish) here in Ok, but snow is lurking next door in Kansas….if only it would blow a little this way.

Tammy

It’s a great day!

 

Do you ever wake up and just know “this is going to be a great day?” That is the way I woke up this morning. No reason really. It’s just Tuesday. Nothing special about this Tuesday. Nothing special about this week. It just feels like a great day.

Then I opened the ice maker and ice rained down on me and all over the floor, twice. I put the dogs out and stepped in “something” in the yard in my best shoes. I cooked breakfast for my daughter and she grabbed a granola bar on her way out instead. I sat down to write and my computer went blank…battery dead. And now when I was way ahead of schedule I am running 10 minutes behind.

But you know what? It’s going to be a GREAT day. A GREAT Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday Slicing friends!

 

On a personal note…I have BIG favor to ask my writing friends. I have a rough draft of a paper due tonight. It has been a LOOOOONG time since I have turned in a “paper” for a grade. Is there anyone out there willing to “read” my rough draft and let me know what I need to do or add??? PLEASE??? I can email it to you if you will send me your email.

Thanks!

Tammy

dtklinger@gmail.com

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Whale Watching From the Heartland

As I’ve said before- I’m not a water person. Water has never been my thing like my daughter. The closest I want to be to water is on the “dock of the bay…” with a good book, sketch pad, or my notebook.

 But then last night and this morning I watched on the news two men kayaking in the middle of the ocean, they were in a kayak, incredibly close, close enough to touch, videoing whales. I was awe struck. What great-beautiful creatures. I found myself thinking “I would love to do that-see that, see them, that close-close enough to touch.”

 I of course live in the middle of the country nowhere near an ocean, or whales. It will probably never happen. But I can do a unit on whales for my class. I can bring them into our world through the world of teaching. I can find ways to see, hear, learn, and hopefully feel the greatness of these amazing creatures, for me and my students.

 My sweet student teacher starts teaching full time in the next few weeks. I will start working on a unit of whales.

 I wonder what else I can bring to Oklahoma that my students and I may never have the prospect of seeing…feeling…

Once in a Blue Moon

I love days all about ME! I admit it I am a brat. I love the days that I am the center of. Of course as a mom everyone knows they don’t come but every blue moon… in odd years…and cool nights… but this year… I, ME, MOM had a day with nothing but ME ME ME in it!!

Last Friday I picked up my BRAND new sewing machine. For you sewers out there it is a Phaff. The last sewing machine I bought was when I needed a reliable machine to make maternity clothes. I was pregnant with my son…he will be 22 next month.

My hubby took me to pick it up, and then told me I should have got the more expensive one! We then went to lunch, and shopping for new shoes…I got jewelry instead from a gift card my son gave me for my birthday.

But it didn’t end there! When I got home (had to drop the hubby at the fire department to fight fire) there were THREE boxes on my front porch all of them for…yep you guessed it ME!!!!

New shoes from the birthday money my mom and mom in law gave me. A brand new box of BOOKS from Amazon, AND a huge box of bags from Thirty One I had ordered.

I even had time for a short little nap. Then it was supper with my favorite kids (mine), my mom, and my brother in from Montana.

Oh I do so LOVE those rare and fun filled days that are all about ME, even though they are few and far between. It helps me remember the really important things; like family, kids, new shoes, naps, and a really nice sewing machine!

I hope you all have a day full of YOU, soon…before the next blue moon!

Catching up…

Catching up Quickly

This is our fourth full week of school. We have been through testing, procedures, discipline, eye exams, snowball “fights” to learn names and make friends, worked on independent reading, just right books, and partner reading, our first Rise and Shine assembly, fire, tornado, and stranger drills and the dreaded inside recess. We are coming together learning to trust and love each other; we are becoming a first grade community-family.

In some ways it feels as if we have just started in others it feels as if we’ve been there much more than four weeks. Miss Lindsay started her student teaching the second week of school. We are so happy to have her in our little family she is a shining spot of our first grade routine. The second week Miss Lindsay was with us she shared a book with us she had made about “her.”

I liked it so much I decided to change my family involvement project I do for our writing notebooks. I usually have the kids decorate them with their families with pictures about them, and then add a note about the student. Instead of naming them “writer’s notebooks” I called them “Me Notebooks.” We still discussed how to use them, what heart stories and ideas would fit well in them, and how other writers use theirs. The kids and families did a great job. My favorite part was in the note I asked the parents to write why they were so proud of their child. The answers were heart- warming.

This past week we read Laura Numeroff’s 10 Step’s to Living With Their Monster . It is a great story and one I’ll be adding to my yearly read aloud list. We made mental images after I read the story the first time through without showing the illustrations. Then we read it again (this time with the illustrations). I then gave the kiddos some templates I’d made of “monster parts.” Each one picked their parts, traced, cut out and glued. Their creations were MONSTERLY creative.

This week we read it again (because Miss. Lindsay had missed it the first two) and then wrote a class book “The 10 Step Guide to Living with Your First Grade Monster.” Their responses and ideas were very intuitive and FUNNY!  We will be placing all in the hallway outside our door for everyone to see!

On a personal note Monday night was my daughter’s first Senior night. I had no idea this senior stuff would begin so early in the year, and I have another to go through in the spring. Her brother surprised her by showing up, and of course that made me choke back even more tears….Oh where did my babies go?  

Labor Day Weekend

 

The early morning sun slanted across my face through the thin slats of the rustic wooden shutters. I adjusted the cozy covers and my pillow to block them for just a few more minutes of sleep. The bed is warm and soft, softer than mine at home.

I can hear my family downstairs talking quietly readying themselves for their morning hunt. The screen door opens and shuts again, and I hear murmur of my brother’s voice thank the deliverer of the yummy goods. More soft murmuring and I doze off again.

Finally I hear Donnie tip-toe up the stairs to ask if I’m ok. “Yes,” I stretch and reply “just waiting for the party to leave.” He tells me they were waiting on me, but assured me they would be off now.

The final slap of the screen door, and I peer out the window to make sure they are gone. The coast is clear, so I make my way to the one and only bathroom, and hopefully what’s left of the breakfast goodies. I hear my sister-in-law’s voice and give her a quick wave. She smiles and waves back. I see she had the same idea I did.

After a quick shower I head for the tray near the kitchen sink. I lift the cover and grin. One left. One. One of the homemade cinnamon rolls from the owners of the Doyle Creek Bed and Breakfast. Since the passing of my grandparents a few years ago we now spend our Labor Day “nights” at the B& B. It’s not the same as grandma and grandpas but it is nice.

My family comes for the days filled with card games, visiting the family farm, fishing, and the hunting. But I come for the relaxation, restful atmosphere, beautiful scenery, memories of days gone by, and of course… the cinnamon rolls.