Friday, January 3, 2014

Receiving Lots of Sunshine

The Sunshine Award has been making its way through blogs like the stomach flu, and I am lucky and honored to have caught it three times.

So, thank you Amy Rudd, Michelle Haseltine, and Julieanne Harmatz, and for thinking of me.

It has been fun reading everyone's random facts and answers.  Here are the rules:
  1. Acknowledge the nominating bloggers
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger creates for you
  4. List 11 bloggers
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they've been nominated.  (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
11 Random Facts about Me
  1. I eloped with my husband 23 years ago.  He was the only child out of 7 who his mother did not see get married.  Good thing she liked me!
  2. I have two children, Megan 21 and Ethan 17.
  3. I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom.
  4. I had a midlife crisis at the age of 40 and returned to school and became a teacher.  (Best decision I ever made with the exception of #1, #2, and #3.)
  5. I have a degree in fashion merchandising, but you couldn't tell by what is hanging in my closet now.
  6. I have an enormous fear of drowning and tornadoes.
  7. I have only read two Harry Potter books and really didn't like them.
  8. I am a "piler."  When I clean, I just move piles, but I can always tell you which pile something is in.
  9. I have two dimples.
  10. I am a retired quilter.
  11. I turn 50 in 17 days and if I told you it doesn't bother is only a number...I would be lying.

I really don't want to answer 33 questions so I will choose 5 from each person.

5 Questions from Amy

1.  How do you prefer to read books, paper or electronic?  Definitely paper!  There is nothing like the feel and smell of cracking open a new book?  However...I did just download my first electronic book last night.  I am writing a review for the Nerdy Book Club and our public library no longer has it.  So, I had no other choice.

2.  What do you think is an important trend in education right now?  I don't know if this would be called a trend, but certainly important - the Common Core State Standards.  The state in which I live has put CCSS on hold which I am fine with, but I know teachers in other states view this as a major concern.

3.  What's your favorite family pastime?  Friday night pizza and donuts.  My husband and I have eaten pizza every Friday night since we started dating.  It is my favorite day of the week because I don't have to cook!

4.  Tell about three highlights of 2013.  These would be professional highlights.  In February I was recognized as a  Peabody Leader in Education.  In June I started my blog.  In December I was asked to do a professional development presentation which will be this Tuesday.  YIKES!

5.  Favorite snack food?  Anything salty!

5 Questions from Michelle

1.  What is your favorite quote and why?  Never underestimate the power of a great book in the hands of a teacher who knows how to use it. -- Steven L. Layne  This is from his book Igniting a Passion for Reading.  It has become my motto, my mantra, what I teach by.

2.  All time favorite book from childhood.  This is a tough one, but I would have to say the Trixie Belden Mystery Series.  She was a "cooler, hipper" version of Nancy Drew.

3.  What's your one little word for 2014?  My one little word for 2014 is REACH.  I want to reach out and have my life grow larger.  I wrote about my OLW here.

4.  What's the best part of your day?  I end every day with a hot bath and a book.  I can sit, soak and read for hours...or until someone starts knocking on the door wanting in.

5.  What are you reading right now?  I am reading The Center of Everything by Linda Urban.  It is one of my 2013 books still on my TBR list

5 Questions from Julieanne

1.  What motivated you to start blogging?  My one little word for 2013 was search.  I was searching  for several things in my life, and one of those was the confidence to write.  My blog became my avenue to express myself.  My biggest inspiration was Katherine Sokolowski at Read, Write, Reflect.  Now the interaction with this community is what keeps me going.

2.  What are you most proud of?  I am most proud of raising my two children.  They are great kids who are becoming wonderful young adults.

3.  What do you find exciting and challenging about growing up today?  The most exciting thing is also the most challenging thing - social media.  The information kids have at their finger tips is amazing, but I also see the issues kids have with being responsible.  I don't think they realize how putting pictures or words "out there" may come back some day to haunt them.  

4.  What did you like about school?  I liked everything about school except 2nd grade.  My teacher made me eat dried apricots and I never liked her or school the rest of the year.  

5.  Why teaching?  As I said before, I was a stay-at-home mom.  I volunteered at my children's school a lot.  When my son entered first grade, I did not like being home by myself.  I started substitute teaching and eventually became an aide in a first grade classroom.  I loved that job and decided I wanted to teach.  So, when I was 40, I returned to school and became a teacher.

My List of Bloggers
(Please do not feel obligated to participate!)

Trying to find people who have not already been chosen has become quite a challenge.  My list is a mixture of people consisting of new bloggers, new Slicers, bloggers new to me or who have been away for while.  Please take time to visit them and help spread a little sunshine!

My 11 Questions

1.  What is the best gift you have ever given?
2.  What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
3.  Which teacher had the biggest influence on you and why?
4.  What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
5.  What is your most favorite teaching moment?  If not a teacher, family moment?
6.  Hot drink or cold drink?  
7.  What are you passionate about?
8.  What are you reading currently?
9.  Which season do you like the best and why?
10.  Did you have a favorite outfit as a kid and what did it look like?
11.  How/why did you start blogging?

Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us and please do not feel pressure to participate.


  1. I loved hearing that you eloped, Leigh Anne, what fun! And your path to being a teacher. I taught early, then stayed home, but didn't return to teaching until I was about 40 something. So glad you started blogging in June. I've been reading Katherine's blog from what seems like the beginning-it's always inspiring. Love all that you said. I need to do this too, probably Sunday!

  2. Wow! Congratulations on being recognized as a Peabody Leader in Education! ...I really enjoyed reading your facts and answers! I feel like we just had a conversation and know much more about you! So interesting!

    Thank you for including me. I feel honored to see my name. It looks like fun!

    1. I'm still working on it...slowly but surely... :0)

  3. Leigh Anne,
    Learning more about you was fun! Congrats on your award! Pizza and donuts on Fridays? What could be better? Also, my niece is currently interested in looking at Fashion design merchandising as a possible major for college. Would you be willing to chat with her about prep for college etc if she's willing to listen? Let me know. Thanks So much for joining in the fun!

  4. Leigh Anne, thanks for the nomination. It was the perfect encouragement and welcome that I needed. I have no sense of how large this community is yet, but I have a strong sense of how wonderful, welcoming, honest, and sharing they are. YEAH!

  5. It was interesting to read your answers and learn more about you. I like how the questions change from people to people. Many of the questions could become longer blog posts.

  6. Leigh Anne, thanks so much for the nomination. It is so very nice to know that I am not writing in a vacuum. I am so happy to have found such a welcoming group of writers in the Slicers. One of the best parts is learning about you all. I would like to pay the ward forward but I don't think I can come up with 11 new names. Is it ok to do it with less?

  7. Thanks Leigh Anne for the nomination. Here is a link to my response!

  8. Thanks, Leigh Anne for the nomination. I am going to write my response today with a surprise influx of time (Snow Day--or should I say Wind Chill/Cold Day). I will give you the link when I am complete. Thanks for spreading sunshine!

  9. Thanks for the nomination. Here is a link to my response!

  10. Thank you for thinking of me. Here is my response...