This weekend I did something that I haven’t done in a few years: I sat at the dining room table with my daughters while working on a project. My youngest started bullet journaling earlier this year and I loved how she has created her own planner with a creative flair. The concept of journaling appeals to me as each planner I have tried does not quite suit my needs.
My intention had been to start my own bullet journal in the beginning of 2020 and have been watching plenty of YouTube videos for inspiration. Last week, however, I decided to begin for this month – why wait? So on Saturday I picked up my pencil and started planning my first ever page. The music was playing and my girls were chatting to me. There was a very festive air around the table while we were drawing and counting.
I love the way my first pages turned out. And even though I made errors, I see these as being a part of the journaling experience. The bonus? It was definitely spending time with my teenage girls, listening to their choice of music and swapping anecdotes. We were all smiling the entire time. 😀
I was so happy when I saw that The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds had been translated in French which meant that I could use it in my classroom. I love the story about a little boy who enjoys words so much that he collects them. Eventually he makes sentences with his collection; and when his collection gets too big, he shares the words with everyone.
This week I read the story to my grade 1 and 2 students and afterwards I opened a centre at which they browsed through some books and found words to record in a notebook. My plan is that at the end of every week, my students will take the notebook home in order to practice reading and writing the words they have collected.
The children love the activity – especially as they are able to write using colorful gel pens. This is one task that they will all complete with joy!
This week I am grateful for authors and illustrators who create stories that inspire my lessons and centre tasks. It always makes me smile to see the children enjoying both the stories and the activities.
Yesterday morning the landscape in my neighbourhood was grey, brown and dreary. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees leaving the bare branches reaching for the sky. It felt like winter had already arrived, especially as snow was falling during the walk to work.
The snow did not stop falling and continued throughout the day. The amount of snow covering the ground was unexpected and I messaged home for my daughter to bring me my winter boots. While walking home, I was glad that I had been able to reach her – inches of snow lay on the ground and the salt coating the sidewalks would have damaged my good shoes.
While walking home in the twilight, I could not help stop but admire the scene before me. With the twinkling lights and the gently falling snow, the scene before me looked like a Winter wonderland: a scene that made me smile in appreciation.
Our second snowfall of the season will linger a little longer than the first. The children in the playground will certainly appreciate it.
Have you yet experienced the first snow of the season?
It is that time of year when I receive many leaf bouquets. I enjoy the colours of the Fall leaves and am always pleased to bring them into my classroom and enjoy the array on my desk.
No matter what year it is, the children in my class show their appreciation of nature’s beauty by collecting the leaves that have fallen on the ground. I remember my own children doing this when they were younger. It is a practice that does make me smile.
(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October; and Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive. )
Yesterday all Canadians voted in the elections – or at least, one hoped all Canadians would. (According to the stats, 68.5% did). My family and I strategically went to vote soon after we had eaten an earlier than usual dinner as we wanted to avoid waiting in any vote lines.
Our strategy worked and we were in and out of the voting room quite quickly – no long line awaited us! What made me smile, though, was the fact that both my daughters are now voters. Performing our civic duty is something we can now do en famille. It made me proud to see them registering to vote and then casting their ballot for the first time.
(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October; as well as Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)
On Saturday I was excited to attend my first Zumbathon: two hours of non-stop of Zumba to Latin-inspired music.
The experience was awesome and the guest Zumba instructors AMAZING! I loved the choreography, the music, and the energy that they brought to the room. After an hour and a half, my own energy was flagging a little but I could not stop. It is not often that a person can experience such talented instructors. At the end of the two hour stint, I was thirsty and tired – but content.
I was sore when I arrived home but the experience was worth it. Not only did I reach my goal of 10 000 steps, but I also enjoyed the exercise immensely. I look forward to attending the next one that the dance school organises.
On Tuesday I posted my book review of The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton across all of my social media including Goodreads. The historical novel, which is coming out 10 September, is unreservedly a 5 star read for me and I stated my reasons why in my review. When I got home yesterday, I saw that the author herself had responded to my words.
I could not help but smile when I saw that she had taken the time to read my words and respond to them.
On Sunday after lunch, I headed out to an event that I have always enjoyed in the past – the event for the young adult upcoming releases organised by Harper Collins Canada. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by some of the people who work for the publishing house. At each event, I am always warmly received by our hosts and it certainly encourages me to attend frequently.
Many of the upcoming releases look exciting! The ones that interest me are the fantasy novels and there are many that look promising.:
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. This is a high fantasy novel written by a debut author.
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Another debut featuring a French inspired fantasy. Anything French and I am in!
Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth. This is an alternate history fantasy set in 1800s England.
Memory Thief by Laureen Mansy. A romance set in a fantasy world.
The Sky Weaver by Kristen Ciccarelli. This is the third novel in her series.
Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh. A fantasy fiction with similarities to The Amazing Race.
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. A fantasy that focuses on climate change.
The End and Other Beginnings by Veronica Roth. A collection of futuristic short stories.
I look forward to seeing what other bloggers and bookstagrammers think of these stories – though I am sure that I will be pre-ordering some of these without their input! There are also a couple of novels that are not fantasy stories that I am interested in reading:
Suggested Reading by Dave Connis. This novel is about a bookworm who fights back when her school censors a number of meaningful books.
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau. The first of the duology centres on information restriction and censorship.
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen. The main characteer in this romance takes her advice from Jane Austen novels. As an Austen fan myself, this book is a must for me to read!
At the event, we also had the opportunity to hear Jamin Kaur speak and read some of her poetry from her upcoming release When You Ask Me Where I’m Going.
Her poetry is powerfully written and her words gave me chills.
We were each lucky enough to receive a signed ARC of her upcoming release. I look forward to reading her words.
Upon leaving the event, each person who attended was given a swag bag which contained three ARCs of the upcoming releases. When I peeked into mine, I gave an inner squeal of delight when I saw what I had received – a couple of the books were what I had wanted to read.
As always the event had me smiling – during and after. I have placed the books I received on the top of my TBR and will read them in the next few weeks while sipping the tea that was dropped into my swag bag.
Last week when I came home from a day’s outing, I saw that the magazine for OCTs (Ontario Certified Teacher) had arrived. I could not help but smile at the photo on the cover.
Karen Murray is one of the people who spoke at many events that I attended when I began working for the TDSB (Toronto District School Board). She is extremely knowledgeable and is so inspiring. It definitely made me smile to see that she has been recognised in the teacher’s magazine.
During my Summer Break, I am spending time organising my home. While shopping with a friend of mine at IKEA yesterday, I came across a small wooden crate that would be perfect for me to keep the books I plan to read for the month in a neat space. I grabbed it enthusiastically, even though I noticed that I had to build it myself.
Earlier this afternoon as I prepared to build the crate, I hoped it would not be too complicated. IKEA instructions are not always as easy as one would hope.
I pieced the crate together like a puzzle and referred to the instructions to determine which size screws to begin the construction.
Screwing the pieces together were not easy as not all of the holes had been pre-drilled. I found myself having to use my body weight to ensure that the screw would sink into the wood.
I managed to complete putting the box together on my own. For a moment, I thought I would have to wait for my husband’s help and strength to screw the pieces together as I had some difficulty sinking the crew into the wood. Determination and perseverance, however, ensured that I succeeded.
My TBR is now neatly placed in the crate next to my bed. Seeing the box when I enter the room makes me smile. What makes me smile even more is that I managed to build it on my own without any help. 🙂