Monday, November 29, 2010

Picasso - I love this one

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.

Did you know that Picasso was dyslexic?  My Allie has dyslexic tendencies.  Most of the time, dyslexics train their brains differently.  There is a communication gap from one side to the other side of the brain - and well - dyslexics must find a new way to get their learning done.  I find this fascinating. So many extraordinary people are dyslexic.  Albert Einstein is dyslexic.  In fact - many of his teachers thought he was border line retarded

And now, I'm finding that Picasso was dyslexic too... More dyslexics include -

Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Leonardo de Vinci, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Walt Disney...

Allie is in good company....  She's a thinker.  She like to track down the pastor at our church and ask him "Big Questions."  I'm sure school can be frustrating to her at times.  Learning to find the right answer in a multiple choice test on a computer screen can be down right mind boggling.

Especially when her point of view is a little different of the rest of the kids her age.


I'll be finishing out the year in Oklee.  I'm teaching Spanish.  Their precious teacher passed away last Monday to cancer.  
In the past two weeks, I've learned a lot from stories shared about this precious lady. She was one of those teachers who REALLY loved her job and REALLY loved her students.

She was the type of woman who always had a hug for a lonely heart.

I'm thinking that the hugs weren't reserved just for the cool kids - 
or the kids with a "Good Name."

 Her room is now my room... and my walls lonely....

So, I decided to buy some posters - the kind that will contribute to smiling again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Long Way Home

We had our first snow storm yesterday.  I was driving very slowly on my way home from school when I got a call from Missi.  It had seemed that Mykayla, my preschool niece,  had decided to take the bus to my house.  Missi had the office call the bus and tell Natalie and Allison to wait for Missi at the end of the driveway so she could pick her munchkin up.

Only -

They discovered Mykayla wasn't on that bus.

So - can you imagine the panic ripple that swept across Red Lake County for the next five minutes?

Where was this four-year-old with a pink tog hat?

 It turns out some of her preschool friends wanted her to take the bus with them.  So, she did.  She was in Brooks.  I was on my way home about a mile from the bus.

I convinced the driver to turn around and bring the little elf with pink hat and boots to me. 

I asked my little friend, "Where you scared?"

She smiled brightly.  "No - I didn't go on the wrong bus Bobbi.  I just wanted to ride with Ava and Tristan."

That reminded me of someone I used to know.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Hundred Years From Now.

One Hundred Years From Now
Author: (excerpt from "Within My Power" by Forest Witcraft)
One hundred years from now
It won't matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my cloths looked like
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child.
One of those sappy poems that say a lot about those teachers we don't forget.  Surprisingly, I'm at a loss of words right now.  Maybe that's an ok thing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


For the next bit, I will be subbing in Spanish class.  I'm teaching Spanish through Interactive Television to several schools throughout the area.  When I was driving to the home base yesterday, I was struck how distant the towns are.  I forget how I live in an area that is somewhat remote. And yet, I love how technology makes me forget that...

I love how knowing another language opens the world view even more - a step beyond technology.  I love how learning Spanish opens up my vocabulary in English. 

I love that I get to share that experience with students around the area.  I'm not sure how long I'll be there doing this job.  But I know this for sure,  it's brilliant to open the teacher's manual  and look over my glasses as I'm reading to make sure they're getting it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Skeleton Key

I was browsing through a seventh grade textbook in the Media Center  - I found a good scarrrrrryyyy storrrrry.....  with rats.

Ok - I frighten easily - especially of rodents - for instance.

And now

I know

why rodents
freak me
out so much!!!

I think it would be a great story to use for Predictions, Cause and Effect, and Foreshadowing - if by chance you need students to study for the MCAs -  You can get the story for free here   This is a great story for KWL reading strategy 

Also, Vincent Price narrates the creepy story in this youtube video -

If you don't have youtube available in your school - you can download it on  

It's audible not a visual presentation like the youtube video.

Wouldn't it present a great history lesson on old time radio beside the usual "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" ?

The textbook linked the story to some information on the bubonic plague - which of course, is always some light-hearted reading -

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stuff I'm Gettin' YOU for Christmas.

The Potty Patch!! You'll never miss  the good parts of whatever is on T.V.

Now, your mom can cut your hair without making a mess.  No more hair shards falling down your shirt!!

Wooo wee!

Harriet Carter's website offers a book for some advice for people who like to complain about their health problems.  You know the type.  I know the type.  They are the people who are always sicker than you/me and anyone else in the room.

How not to act like a little old lady is packed with tips and advice to help aging adults stay young at heart. Want to make your golden years more fulfilling, fun and meaningful? Stop acting your age and start thinking young! This lively book is full of ways to enrich each day, be happier and approach life's ups and downs.

Of course, My mom already has one... but I'm thinking of giving my sister this...

Mostly because she won't know why I keep giggling as she thanks me.

I want to get one of these for my dad because that's "Just" the kind of guy he is.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I think the scariest thing that ever happened to me was becoming a mother.  I mean - come on...  It's a lot of work.  Breastfeeding my baby had to have been the hardest things ever.  It looks so easy - but heavens no!  It ain't so.

For eight and a half months, I was sick to my stomach.  As soon as I had that darling in my arms, I was so hungry.  It felt so good to be hungry!

The first food they  brought up to me from the kitchen included chicken, pudding, potatoes, and ta da! Broccoli!

It tasted so yummy.

(If you know anything about breastfeeding, you probably did a little gasp when you read the word broccoli...)

I had known better in my well-rested life before becoming a mom.  But, in my tired as ever state - I had forgotten what was said about the gastro-effects of broccoli - until about 3am  in the morning when Natalie was crying her eyes out...

And the room had a distinct broccoli smell.

I knew two things at that moment.

1. My baby had been eating enough.

2.  Not to eat broccoli until she was done nursing.

Last night, we were enjoying one of Nat's favorite meals in honor of her birthday...  I took a  look at the meal and smirked at Nat -
"Guess what I forgot to make for you?"

She paused between bites. 


She gave me the stink eye but a smile cracked as she looked down at her rice.

Spelling Test

I was subbing for a seventh grade English class somewhere.  I was to give a pretest for spelling after the kids had finished their worksheet.  I asked the kids to put their words away, to take the pretest.

As I was giving out the words along with sentences to go along with the word - I noticed one girl copying directly from her worksheet.

Now - it's always best to presume innocence - right?

"Dear - I think you need to put your worksheet in your folder."

"She's cheating."  Another student was horrified.

"Just put it away." I said.

The young dear looked at me and announced... "We can look at these for our pretests - how else are we going to know how to spell them?"

I was not prepared for her to defend herself in THAT manner.


"THE pretest is just so you get an idea on what words you have a problem with."  Another student suggested irritatedly.

"I'm not putting it away."  She was stubborn.

"Ok."  I said.

"YOU'RE going to let her cheat!"  They were surprised.

"No."   I was calm.  I looked at the girl and said.  "I'm going to write a letter to the teacher explaining what happened. I"m quite sure I don't want to argue about this"

Boy - did that sheet get put in her notebook quickly.

The rest of the class sighed in relief.

I went on to the next word.

Friday, November 5, 2010


There it was - Look at that Candy.  OOOO mom said we could pick one piece of candy because we were good in the supermarket.

"Missi - Look!  They have all kinds of candy here."

"Bobbi - that's the seeds.  They're for gardens.

"They are candy - look - a picture of a watermelon.  - What do you think the carrot candy tastes like?"

"Bobbi - it says seeds on the bags."

"Does not."

"Bobbi - those are seeds.  I can read it.  You can't read."

"Missi - you're such a bragger.  I can read - it says Candy."

I was five.  I didn't read when I was five.

Mom let me buy that back with the watermelon on the front.. "Let her find out for herself, Missi."

When I got to the car, I opened the bag to find candy that looked like watermelon seeds.

I tasted one - expecting sugary goodness -

But - geez - it tasted like seeds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Best Seat in the House

Ta da!  I was the first kid on the bus! Hooray hooray for me!  And guess where I got to sit?  Right behind the bus driver.

Hooray hooray for me.  Me and my new friend were so excited.  Whenever a kid got on the bus, we would promptly look at them and smile - because guess who had the best seat in the house?  And it was even my first day of Kindergarten?

The only thing is that it sure took a long time for those busses to get going.

My sister, Missi, entered the bus.  She had been crying...  What a baby.

"Look Missi!  I got the seat behind THE DRIVER!"

"Bobbi - you're on the wrong bus.  I've been looking for you on all the buses.  When mom finds out, she's going to be SO mad."  She was grabbing my arm.

"You're SO bossy!"

"I"m staying right here!"
Pretty soon Shirley came in to the bus.

"There you are!  You had your sister all worried."  She grabbed my hand and Missi's hand and dragged us  off the bus.

Missi turned to me and pointed to the number pinned to my jacket.  "YOU went on the wrong bus!"

"Who cares?"  I said.  I would have gotten home.

Shirley bent over and pointed to the number 2  - "Bobbi - that's your bus number - that's where you go."

We trampled into Bus Number 2.  I walked passed Brad - he was sitting right behind the bus driver with big white teeth.

Missi pushed me into a seat four seats down from the driver and proceeded the aisle.

I looked up and Brad was still gloating.  I hid the hot tears streaming down my cheeks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This morning, Allison asked if she could bring my ipod to school so she could listen to it on the bus. 

"That's against school rules."  I told her.

"No, it's not..." she shook her head.

"It is - I read the student handbook."

In all seriousness a soon-to-be-nine-year-old could muster, she said

"It's not against the rules if they don't know about it."

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Cousin - ettes?

I made the three youngest girls poodle skirts for Halloween.  Here they are getting their loot from Grandma Vic.  They looked like those girls who sang songs about "Johnny and Me"  or "It's My Party."  The girls were so cute. 

A Close One

Yesterday morning, I cleared off our dining room table to make room for carving pumpkins.   I put my embroidery machine into its case and put away all of the notions that were scattered throughout the area.

This is the same machine I got about five years ago and tried to make a business out of it - le sigh - it didn't work out because well, yeah... I don't have all that much business sense to tell you the truth.  But I love the machine..  It has many inspired many "Sewing With Nancy" posts and has created many crazy birthday and Christmas presents including embroidered toilet paper = awesome!

I figured I'd take out my machine this morning when the girls were at school and I was trying to fill a few hours before I sub in Kindergarten this afternoon - which have I ever told you- is the hardest job in the entire world - but the kids are cute - and have soft cheeks - so all is well.

After many hours of trick or treating, the girls came home and got their things ready for today.  Allison wanted a picture of her and Nat with their pumpkins.  I was in my room getting my camera when


I was so scared of that sound - you know the one- where you wonder how hurt your baby was - Jason ran - and I heard..

"Are you all right?"


Natalie was crying.

"Good" he said.  I dared to take a peak.

The table was broken - pumpkin guts were scattered all over the ground along with wax dried on the floor.

"Oh ...  Thank God.." I said.  "I thought you were hurt."

Natalie was clearly upset.  She thought for sure that I was mad at her.

"Are you kidding?  I paid five dollars for that table at an auction.  I'm just glad you're ok."

I took a look at the mess on my dining room floor..

I moved pieces of the table away and took a picture of the girls next to their pumpkins with mine - My pumpkin is the one in the middle - the one with the ironic smile.