Last week Wednesday, the parent council at our school organised the annual staff appreciation lunch. Each year we gather in the library at lunch time and eat the hot lunch that the parents have organised for us. The food is always delicious, and the chats at each table enjoyable. It is not often that the staff as a whole get together to eat. The atmosphere was relaxed in spite of the work waiting for us in the classrooms.
The lunch was definitely something to smile about last week. 🙂
Yesterday I was manning the desk at the Kindergarten Orientation table and registering parents and their children as they came in. Between moments while waiting for people to arrive, I realised that the decorations on the table would make a perfect backdrop to some photos showcasing my books.
I could not help but smile. Since starting my bookstagram account on Instagram, I am often thinking of different ways to present the books I read.
Do you sometimes see the perfect photo background?
This week I am giving a series of tests to my students to ensure that I give them the correct grade in their year-end report card. Even though they are in grade 1 and 2, I do insist they be quiet while they are writing so that each child has the environment in which to focus. Once the children have completed their test, I give them a sheet of paper on which to draw so that they are kept busy while their classmates continue with their test.
I loved what one of my students drew while waiting for his classmates to finish! He has been reading about the planets with his parents and drew a summary of what he had learned. The constellation he created in his drawing named after himself made me smile. 😀
On Sunday I participated in my first online readathon. The event was planned by the enthusiastic group of people at Harper Collins Canada that run the publisher’s marketing. During the session, participants were able to respond to questions and prompts on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.
I chose two books that I would read during the readathon: The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling. The first book I opened was an historical fiction set during World War II; and the second was part of my re-read of Harry Potter’s novels. I was not sure whether I would get to Harry’s story but I wanted to be prepared in case I finished Manning’s novel.
Even though I was participating in the readathon, I still wanted to go to my Sunday morning Zumba class therefore I did a little reading before I left home for my exercise class. The Song of the Jade Lily had captured my interest and I was ready to spend the entire day immersed in the book.
After Zumba I am always hungry and it was not long after arriving home that I made myself a quick lunch so that I could once again immerse myself in the story I was reading.
One of the fun things about the readathon was the questions that were asked on the hour. Around mid-afternoon, participants were asked what were their bad reading habits. I quickly snapped a photo in response. For some people leaving a book open flat while taking a quick break is definitely a no-no!
The readathon ended at 5pm. I did not get to complete my novel but I enjoyed reading along with other readers all over Canada. I enjoyed the conversations on social media and connected with many readers. The activity made me smile and I will definitely participate in the next one!
Yesterday I came home to bookmail – which I always love. My contact at Harper Collins Canada Had sent me two ARCs of historical novels that I am interested in reading. The covers are beautiful – especially the cover of The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning. I was so excited to read Kirsty Manning’s novel that I started it this morning while eating breakfast. The story depicts events during World War II and so far I have met a young Austrian Jewish girl.
My smile for this week is definitely the bookmail I opened when I got home from work yesterday.
I ordered a picture book to use as part of our celebrations for World Penguin Day a couple of weeks ago. However, the book had not arrived in time so I continued with the other planned festivities. It finally arrived on Friday afternoon and it was worth the wait.
The picture book is beautifulL’y bound with lovely illustrations, and the story is relevant for the children I teach. As I was reading through the story, I came up with a few ideas of activities I could do with them based on the book. I will read the story to them once we have completed our structures unit and begin exploring animals. Watch this space as I will share some of what we will do.
Last week Thursday was World Penguin Day – a day that we celebrate every year at our school. Why? Because our mascot is a penguin. Penguin activities are a great way to not only learn about penguins (there are 18 species), but also to create school spirit.
One of the activity ideas our principal came up with this year was to make bookmarks. I love reading and immediately decided that I would do this. The materials needed were: tongue depressors, a black marker, an orange marker, and some felt.
The children loved making their bookmark and enthusiastically came to my table when I called them. Some children had trouble cutting the felt so I helped them. After I had traced the outline of the penguin onto the stick, they mostly worked independently. At the end of the day, all the bookmarks were lined up on my table. I left them to dry overnight and the children took them home the following day.
Some children immediately took out their current read from their backpack and inserted their bookmark. Seeing that made me smile as I knew that what they had made would be used. My sample is also being used and it works quite well.
Seeing the uniqueness of each bookmark brought a smile to my face as the creation reflects the personality of the creator. I am hoping that each time my student uses their bookmark, they will smile when they think of the day they made it.
The Easter weekend is over and so is my time of relaxation. During these past four days, I took some time out for myself and recharged my batteries a little. I spent time with an old friend, lingered over dinner with my family, and did a fair amount of reading.
This year I did not buy Easter eggs and bunnies for my family. While looking at what was on offer in the supermarket, I decided instead to buy each member at home a small bag of Lindt ball chocolates. The smooth texture of the hazelnut filling is so much better that the sugary sweetness of most commercial Easter chocolate. My husband loved the idea and will enjoy the treats with his tea after supper in the evenings.
The long weekend, the stories I read, and the fact I did not eat too much sugar were definitely things to smile about.
Sometimes I get bored with cooking the same meals every week for my family. A couple of weeks ago, I had a desire to eat a creamy mushroom sauce and decided to experiment. I put together the ingredients which I thought would go well together and added some white wine into the mix. The result was tasty and my family enjoyed it. This week, I tried to make the recipe again.
The meal on Tuesday was even better than I had previously made as the chicken was not overcooked. Instead the meat was tender without falling off of the bone. I savoured the flavour of the mushrooms in wine and was happy when the last bit of the meal was scraped off the bottom of the pot. This dish will be added to my repertoire of dishes to make after a busy day at work as it did not take too long to cook. Hopefully the next time I get bored with my cooking, it will be during my summer break and I will have the time to try a recipe from one of my cookbooks.
Our son has flown into the city for a few days to work and was able to spend some time with us on Saturday. The four of us were excited to see him and could not wait to catch up. We decided to meet him for dinner and take him out to a new Chinese restaurant in our neighbourhood. We all enjoy eating Dim Sum because of the variety of choice and, of course, the chance to eat family style.
We spent the evening catching up on one another’s stories, chatting about the future, and reminiscing on the past. If we could have, we would have extended the moment but alas, we had to sleep!
What are you grateful for this week? And what has made you smile?