Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wrapping up 2017 and Planning for 2018

Year End Wrap Up

What did I do in 2017?
Parkinson’s ½ (Cottage Grove)
Rock n Roll Nashville ½
RAGNAR Chicago
HER Madison ½
Rock n Roll Chicago ½
Dubuque Labor Day ½
Quad Cities Marathon ½ 
Hungry 4 Some Supper Myself 10K
Plus a few virtual runs including the Fellow Flowers Joy Run and Spartan Challenge

Mileage check in -  Finished with 2102 intentional walking and running miles.

My life was altered in a huge way this year.  June 12 is the day my dad passed away.  
My dad was truly one of a kind---not just a one of a kind dad but ONE of a KIND everything.  
He loved hard and lived with passion.  Life changed when my dad got sick on May 5.   
I knew he hadn’t been doing well as early on as April 7 but I don’t think I had any idea that it
was going to be the way that it was.  
 I have to say that through all of this I have realized that my mom is much stronger than I’d known.  
The life changes and events of May and June definitely impact my goals and ambitions for 2018.
 I will continue to celebrate my dad by eating peanut butter cup everythings
and drinking my soda pop with no ice.  
I will sometimes feel sad but more often I will celebrate that I got to be his daughter.

On Christmas Eve we attended church with my sister at the Cathedral of the Rockies.  
It was familiar because it was a candlelight Christmas Eve service like I’ve attended at
united methodist churches for about 40 years---I’m figuring I’ve missed at least at least
one during my life, right?

(Listen to the sermon HERE:   
starts at about 40 minutes in ---You can also see my sweet and amazing niece singing in the children's
choir and playing bells with the bell choir.)

Anyway---one of the things that the pastor hit on that really struck home with me was the idea of JOY.  
I love JOY.   I loved the Fellow Flowers Joy virtual run a couple of months ago.  I love the feeling of Joy.
 The pastor tied it in with the hymn “Joy to the World” but then he also talked about how it is bigger than
happiness.  Joy is so much MORE!

There was a connection to the inventor of calculus.  When I was in high school or even early college,
I would say that calculus and all things math brought me joy but the story was about the FIRE and JOY
that Blaise Pascal had.    One of my favorite Blaise Pascal quotes that the pastor didn’t touch on but that
I think is important is this, "If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order
to make ourselves happy."  Working on that idea of being truly happy this year is a huge goal for me.  
I am going to spread JOY!

Next the pastor told the story of Zacchaeus.  
The story of his daughter being given new tires on her way home just before Christmas came next.  
JOY ---JOY changes us like it changed Zacchaeus.  
Joy -- joy to the world.  I
t’s a movement and a way to live and I am hoping that 2018 is a year that I can show JOY in all that I do.  

Joy will carry us through the sadness in life.  WHOLENESS and HEALTH and LIFE!  
It’s bigger than happiness!  Joy can turn our sadness into dancing.  Choose JOY!  
It will carry you through all of life---the ups and the downs.    

With that being said I have a few “resolutions”.  These are pieces of my way to bring JOY to 2018.
---Run the 6 halves I have registered for and work toward sub 2 finishes and maybe even a PR
(previous PR is from August 2013 at 1:50 ---The last half I've run sub 2 was Prairie in May of 2015)
        1. Parkinson's Half
        2. Naperville Women's Half
        3. Rock n Roll Nashville Half (as a St. Jude Hero)
        4. HER Madison Half (register and use coupon code MARGARET for a discount)
        5. Indy Women's Half
        6. Quad Cities Half
--Meet my fundraising goal for St Jude for the Rock n Roll Nashville Half
--Clean up my nutrition and drink water daily

Bring on the NEW!

Friday, December 15, 2017

'Tis the Season

We've been caroling, crafting, and creating all week and there is surely more to come next week.  Check out our newsletter HERE.  It includes upcoming events and the spelling words for the first week in January.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Word work with our spelling words

This week all of our spelling words are COMPOUND words.  Today it was time to use those words in a creative story.  Here's one example from our fabulous 4th grade author, Madelyn:
Crazy Day 
    Somebody put their toothbrush nearby. The fireplace was on fire so I had to put it out.
I was going to school.   Since I missed my mom and dad I got homesick.

I had a vision and passed out. I dreamed I was in a make – believe fairy tale.                                                  
   Anything was bad. I finally woke up it was already time to go home.  My mom asked how my day was.  And I said it was all right. I said good bye and my forehead hurts because I passed out.  The reason I passed out is because my classmate hit me.our power went out because of the storm. So I had to get a flashlight .when the storm was done I had to go get my haircut. The barber was twenty-two. But my hair looked horrible .we came back home and parked our car in the driveway. My alarm clack went off for no reason .so I had to turn it off. Since my mom had to go to work I had to baby-sit my baby brother .my mom worked at the airport the mailbox broke because I was going to cheek it. I never want a day like this in forever.

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's the most WONDERFUL time of the year!!!

There are so many exciting things happening.  Check out what you need to know from our newsletter HERE!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Wrapping up the week and preparing for a new week ahead

It seemed unbelievable to change the calendar to December on Friday!~   The time continues to speed up.  Check out the newsletter HERE!  We have some fun things ahead.

**FOW Movie Night is tomorrow (Monday, December 4)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Today is a half day.  We will be dismissing at 11:45.   There won't be a new newsletter but here is a link to last week's.  Lots of dates to notice and next week's spelling words are there!

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Month of Thankfulness

As we begin November, please know how thankful I am for all of my students and their families. 

Check out our week's newsletter HERE.

In folders today are conference times.  Here is a link to our conference schedule just in case...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spelling Word Work Stories

Today I changed up the word work rotation.  We are working with short u and long u vowel sounds this week.   We've done similar word work activities for about 5 weeks so today I challenged the class to use ALL their words in a story.  The story could be a little silly but had to make sense.  Check out some of their writing pieces and feel free to leave a comment or 2!

    One day I was stuck in the brush.  Then a bunch of monkeys started chasing me!  Who would rescue me?  I got a clue about why they were chasing me when I realized that I had bananas and some other fruit.  I even had a crumb of bread.  The crew of monkeys was amused.  Why?  They seemed to be arguing in between their laughs.  Suddenly I heard a tune.  It was coming from a juice stand.  I refused to stop moving because the monkeys were still behind me.  I tried to call 911 but they thought I wasn't telling the truth.  I saw a car trunk open at the junk yard as I ran past.  I also passed a store that sold suits.  Finally I got away but I slipped on the morning dew and I also said something rude to the monkeys.  Trust me, it happened!
                                                                                 Story by Brady

    I have a bunch of toys in my room but in the kitchen all you will find is fruit or juice.  I argue with my brother sometimes when I have been eating cookies or donuts because I normally leave a crumb or two.  I refuse to clean up the mess my brother leaves from eating.  My class at school is often called a crew.  During our time in music we have been known to make a beautiful tune.  I must tell you the truth.  I need a clue to solved the riddle of the car trunk.  It may not seem too difficult but it seems to amuse my brother.  I've told you quite a bit about my brother and you need to know that once he wore a suit to school.  It's important that you know about my family.  I trust my mom with all of my secrets.  My  dad drinks Mountain Dew.  I am stuck in the middle between my older brother and my younger brother.  It is common for me to rescue my little brother especially after I brush my teeth at night.
                                                                                  Story by Brooklyn

     There were a bunch of people at the football game including quite a crew of fans.  I heard a familiar tune so I turned around.  The man behind me offered me some juice.  I refused to move from that seat in the stands because it was the best seat.  Along with the man who offered me juice there was a bunch of fruit.  The referees called a holding flag but the truth was an offsides so the other team was upset.  I brushed the crumbs from the chips I'd eaten from my lap.  I drank some Mountain Dew.  As I watched I thought that the referee had no clue who won.  There was a man who began to argue with the ref about the game.  A young kid was amused as he watched but I thought it was rude.  I trust the referees and I knew he would be okay when I watched him put his gear into the trunk of his car and drive away.
                                                                                Story by Aidan

We are working toward our 5 "wins" in a row on our Arrow scoreboard and today we got win #1.  Here's to all the great work that keeps happening as we are Running Through 4th Grade!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Month In

It's wild to think that we have our first month of school in!  The time is flying by.  You can read more about what's been happening in our NEWSLETTER.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Quad City Marathon Weekend wrap up

I know this is my classroom blog but since I titled it Running Through 4th Grade, you are lucky enough to get to read running recaps, too ;-)
I headed back to the Quad Cities after being there Friday night for an amazing Kellie Pickler concert.  I left home about 10:30.  Made a quick stop in Dubuque and then I was on my way south on 61.  It's an easy drive and went really quickly.  I focused on hydration all the way since I knew it was going to be a hot race.  

I drank 2 full gallons of water between Friday evening and race morning.
There were so many decisions about what to pack.  My biggest struggle was narrowing down what shoes to wear.  I have these 5 pairs in "running rotation" right now and I really  could have worn any one of them and felt good.  In the end I picked the pair from the bottom  that has the pink and gray. 
Before I left for the race, I enjoyed the beautiful flowers that my cousins had sent and I registered for a November 10k.
I ate well on Saturday.  Lots of fruit and a little bread pudding for carbs.

I got to the expo just in time to see the Happy Joe's race (for the kids).  I cannot imagine how hot it was inside that suit!!!
Katie sang the national anthem and Joe said a few words and then the kids were off and running.
Will would have loved getting to see this sweet corvette that was parked right next to my car when I came out of the expo.

I stopped to see my brother for a little while before checking into the motel and chilling with reruns of Law and Order and a Hallmark movie.

After some sleep I was up at 4:45 to get the day started.
I chose Yellow and Orange for my flowers---Fiercely United and JOY.  They really seemed most fitting for the day. 
YellowJoy, happiness and confidence. To smile for a reason. To appreciate sunshine. To find your happy. Embraces laughter, believes in dreams.

I run because I get to.
I think that anyone who knew my dad would agree that my dad was a laughter.  He definitely had a big smile and so it seemed like a great way to honor him by wearing yellow.  He loved encouraging us to have dreams and work toward them so everything about yellow and joy spoke to me.  
Orange - Bold. Honoring the journey of friendship. We are connected. Fiercely united. Marching foot in front of the other. For health, for hope, for each other. To cherish, to protect - always.
Believe. Achieve. Bloom. Endure.
No explanation needed on orange.   That one was a perfect fit, too.

My brother met me down at the John Deere Pavilion where the start line was.  Although there have been years that went by without us seeing each other, we are family and he was there to see me off on Sunday's 13.1 mile journey.
I am also blessed with running friends that I so look forward to seeing any chance I get.  My #FFCrew girls are AMAZING!  You should have seen them out there on race morning.  There is so much strength and determination in the fellow flowers community.   It was great to see Rachel before the race and to chat for a few minutes with Sara while running over the bridge.    The miles went pretty well between miles 2 and 9.   Mile 1 was crazy slow because there were so many people but I knew it was smart to be conservative because it was going to get hot.  Miles 2 - 9 were all under 10 minute miles and that kept me hopeful for breaking 2:10.  Mile 10 is where you come onto Arsenal Island.  It was awesome to see more water stops, candy stops, freezee stops, and ice stations there.  Such great volunteers throughout the whole course but I really relied on the stops on Arsenal Island.  My miles slowed down for the last 5k of the race but I still moved at an even, steady slog.  I am okay with the result.  Proud of the miles I ran and for taking the time to reflect on the lessons that my dad taught me.

Once I finished, I sat in the porta potty for a few minutes just to make sure I could make the drive home without stopping.  I got on the road and headed home just long enough to change into clean, dry clothes, slather lotion and deodorant on to cover my stench, and then got back on the road to head to McFarland, WI, to catch a couple of Kate's soccer games.

Having to go to McFarland was the perfect excuse to make a stop at Rural Route 1 for some peanut butter cup popcorn!
It was fun to run into another flower at the soccer tournament.  She is training for a November marathon and had 13 miles as a training run earlier that day.  
When I had stopped at home I had switched flowers and put in the red (strength) flower.  I needed to have something on to support my girl and I think red was a perfect's her team color and oh how she showed strength on Sunday.  Sitting for more than 3 hours in a car after running 13.1 miles may not be very smart, but I am so glad I got to see her be strong.  She sure does teach me about resilience and grit!

Coming home to enjoy these beautiful flowers was a great reminder that you are in people's hearts and thoughts even when they aren't able to be physically there with you. 

Celebrate every accomplishment and be proud of each goal met!
Make sure that your goals are something BIG and then work toward them.  Astonish yourself.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Another week, another .....


Check out the newsletter for this week HERE!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

This Week's Newsletter

Check out what's happened this week in our newsletter by clicking HERE!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

1st Newsletter of the New Year!

It is ALMOST the end of our 1st week together.  I have to tell you that I haven't slept the way I should this week and I also haven't eaten or exercised the way I should.  I've been trying to make sure that all the things I have planned for in the classroom are ready each day....  Honestly the days have run themselves just fine.  The class has "won" all 3 days so far.  I have complete faith that next week will be much more "routine".  We will be starting our 1st reading unit, working on spelling words, starting our math book, and beginning a mystery science unit.  Great things are going to happen!

If you would like to know more about what happened this week or what's ahead, please read our newsletter!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

All the BEST things

Today was full of all the best things.  It helped that I got a great night's sleep and had planned out my clothes last night.  

When I got to school this morning, I could feel all the fabulous.  The excitement of the first day is just so hard to explain.  You really just have to feel it!  Since you might not have been there with us, please enjoy some of our pictures:

The morning message told the students to create something using their play doh that could tell about a summer memory.  WOW ---I've got some creative thinkers.  I saw a baseball bat and a real bat along with a baseball, a dolphin, and a hot dog from just one student!  There were some amazing creations.

Then we moved to the carpet to share class rules.  We also did a little corner activity to write about expectations.

We read Miss Mingo and the 1st Day of School, too.  It was time for lunch before we knew it.  By the time lunch was over, we had specials and a PBIS assembly.  By 3:15 when all the kids were heading out the door, I was still in awe of all the amazingness that I get to spend this year with!  Keep checking in on us to find out more about what's happening as we continue to go Running Through 4th Grade!