Tag Archives: celebrations

Celebration Saturday – Spring Celebrations

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 I am happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week(s).

It’s been a while since I posted my celebrations so I am excited to share some celebratory events….

1) Celebrating Spring – It’s springtime in Vancouver and the blossoms are blooming.  While we didn’t suffer the cold and snow like some parts of the country, the sign of spring is always a welcome one to me.  The shorter nights, longer days, color and fresh air gives me energy and lifts my spirits.

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2) Celebrating an Email – I give a lot of workshops in many different school districts and work with a lot of teachers, sharing lessons and anchor books which I hope will inspire.   While I don’t know for certain that what I say is impacting anyone, it is always my hope that someone somewhere will feel inspired, try a lesson or share a great book with their class.   Last week I received a “thank you”  email from a grade 3 teacher from Chilliwack.  She said she uses Reading and Writing Power with her grade 3 class.  During one of her Transform lessons, she read one of my favorite recommended books Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Jenkins.  After reading the book, she encouraged her students to perform “random acts of kindness” in their community.  One of her students went beyond the call to help his disabled twin brother.  You can read the newspaper article here.  I celebrate Christine Blessin, her wonderful class, Lane and his brother, kindness, and the power of books that can transform us.

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3) Celebrating books – This week I discovered a box of new spring releases from Kids Can Press on my front porch!  They send me a box twice a year with their new releases to read and recommend.  It feels like Christmas when I open the box and get to touch (and sniff!) all the new books!  I will be featuring them in a later post – but here they all are on my living room floor!  (Happy book dance!)

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4) Celebrating old friends – In the busy life of being a parent of two teens, teaching and giving workshops, I don’t often get a chance to “hang out” with friends.  During the beginning of my spring break, my dearest friend Cheryl and I went on a “girlie getaway” to Victoria, B.C.  We stayed two nights at the beautiful Oak Bay Beach hotel.  We walked, rented bicycles, went for runs, had tea and scones in bakeries, swam in the pool, had nice meals together, talked and talked and laughed a lot!  The highlight, of course, was spending hours and hours in my favorite books stores – Russell Books and Munro’s Books.  It is amazing what a couple of days away with a friend can do for your soul.

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5) Celebrating New Friends – I meet many amazing educators in my job giving workshops in many different school districts.  Two of these amazing educators, Lisa Wilson and Donna Kozak,  have become very dear friends.  Time spent in the company of my “literacy soul sisters” is a gift to me.  Whenever they come to Vancouver or I go to Kelowna, we try to connect.  Earlier this month, we met at the Secret Garden Tea Room and had a lovely afternoon drinking tea, talking about literacy, life and laughing a lot.  I am grateful for any time I have the pleasure of their company.  They are brilliant, kind and I feel as if I have known them all my life.

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5) Celebrating Snowboarding – Just before Spring Break, my eldest son travelled to Revelstoke, B.C. with his high school ski and snowboard team to compete in the provincial High School Races.  He was racing against students from all over the province – and he won a bronze medal in his second snowboard race!  His whole team did very well and combined for a 2nd place in the event.  Thrilled and proud!

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6) Celebrating family – My cousin got married earlier this month.  It was a beautiful wedding filled with love and tremendous joy.  It was wonderful to be together with cousins, uncles and aunts, sisters, nieces and nephews and friends celebrating together.  Family joy. My mum would have been overjoyed to see Andrew get married.  I miss my parents very much.

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Beautiful bride

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My cousin Andrew and new wife, Melissa.

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My uncle, aunt, two cousins (groom is far left) and two sisters.

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Love my sisters!

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Three Gear girls and their families.

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Uncle Dan and his 3 nephews (my boys are on far left and right….the ones who look as if they are drinking!)

 

I am grateful for all the moments in my life I have to celebrate.  What are you celebrating this week?

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Filed under Celebration Saturday, Family, New Books

Celebration Saturday – Classroom and Christmas celebrations!

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I am happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week(s).

Here are the things I’m celebrating this week…

1) Celebrating completed report cards – This is always a stressful time in a teacher’s life – so it is a huge relief to have those envelopes stuffed and sent home.  I am only in the classroom part time, but teaching partner worked extremely hard on these reports.  Thanks, Katie!

2) Celebrating Pen Pals – This year, my class will be Pen Pal’s with a grade 2 and 3 class at the Country Day School in Toronto.  Despite the length of time it took us to get this organized, we finally got our first introductory letters mailed!  Hoping our letters arrive safely and looking forward to hearing from our Pen Pals!

2) Celebrating writing – I have been working closely with the grade 6’s at my school on writing this term.  It has been so rewarding seeing their growth over the past few months, as they have been applying many of the writing techniques to weekly “practice writes”. This week, our final writing piece was on “My Special Place” – where they wrote a description of a special place that holds many memories for them.  We were focusing on trying to create a visual image for our readers by including the senses.  I used my favorite anchor book for this writing – The Hello-Goodbye Window by Norton Justin – a delightful story of a girl’s special place inside her “nanny and poppy’s” house. I am looking forward to reading their pieces this week!

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3) Celebrating Kindergarten Connecting – I have been teaching the kindergarten students about “making connections” this term.  Each week, I visit the class, share a book and we practice making connections.  I have enjoyed seeing the children respond so well to the books.  Last week. I read “Too Many Toys” by David Shannon and the children made connections to toys that they COULD give away and toys that they absolutely COULD NOT give away!  (love the “Dum” truck!)

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4) Celebrating Christmas –  I LOVE Christmas!  It is, by far, my favorite time of year.  Tis the season to pull out my tubs of decorations and said hello to all my old Christmas friends.  Our tree is not up yet – but it’s sitting in a bucket in our back yard waiting to be decorated!  Shortbread recipes are pulled out and my family’s favorites: toffee squares are in the fridge!

5) Celebrating traditions – Every year, my dad would make fresh wreaths for family, friends and neighbours.  He made dozens of wooden wreath rings, which he could replenish with Christmas greens each year and deliver them to neighbours and friends. After Christmas, the greens were removed and the wreaths returned.  When he died many years ago, my sisters and I divided up the wreath rings and tried to carry on the tradition with our own friends. Last week,  I replenished the greens on 8 wooden wreaths and delivered them to my friends, now part of my own Christmas tradition.  There is one wreath ring I keep and make for myself.  It is the one labeled “Adrienne” on the back in my dad’s printing – 8 letters I treasure.

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6) Celebrating my sister – Last week, my sister’s book “Taan’s Moons” was released.  I am so very proud of her!  The book is a collaboration of author, artist and students.  The poem, written by my sister, is highlighted by gorgeous reproductions of large felt tapestries created by artist Kiki van der Heiden and the students of SD 50 Haida Gwaii, B.C., where my sister has lived for the past 17 years.  The story follows Taan (“Bear” in Haida language) as she experiences the wonders of the seasons through the different phases of the moon.  A stunning book with many links to First Nations, science and social studies.

Watch a short clip about the book: http://vimeo.com/97461062

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7) Celebrating giving – Every year at this time, the gals in my book club get together and make hampers for needy families in the downtown Eastside.  We have been doing this for the past 13 years and it is always a wonderful way of giving back to those less fortunate.  The site of these laundry baskets filled to the brim with toys, diapers, baby food, toothbrushes and shampoo brings the Christmas spirit a little closer to all of us.

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8) Celebrating this picture – This is a picture of my eldest son, at the top of Blackcomb Mountain, taken on his first snowboard day of the season.  I celebrate the extraordinary beauty of this majestic province we live in, captured in this amazing photo (taken by his buddy); I celebrate that my son has the opportunity to experience such beauty; I celebrate that when my son showed me this photo he said,  “Look, mum – here’s my Carpe Diem pose”.  The phrase “seize the day” is my motto, my mantra, my words of wisdom that I have always tried to live by.  To hear my son say those words back to me….well, my heart is still smiling.

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What are you celebrating this week?

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Filed under Celebration Saturday, Lesson Ideas, making connections, New Books