Friday Fave

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:   

We Are the Gardeners

I got my hands on this book and read it to my kindergarten students to enrich our gardening theme (We will soon be planting the sunflowers that we started in our classroom in our school garden).    I really enjoyed the story and the illustrations in this book.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

This is another great garden themed read-a-loud that I was able to experience with my kindergarten students this week. It is "an exploration of the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year."   There are appealing information and lots of content to discus as the story flows.   A great garden-themed book to revisit throughout the seasons.


These last weeks of school are crazy-busy in our household.   Between school, work, little league, track, home & the garden we are certainly filling our days.   The garden was calling me (well the weeds anyway) and I spent a good part of the beginning of the week tending our garden space after school and track practice.    

We are not clear for a chance of frost in our north woods, so there is not an urgent rush to get things in the ground.   There are some things popping up in my garden, such as: raspberries, herbs and asparagus.  We had our first picking of chives early this week. This weekend we'll have some asparagus with a meal.

Cheers to the start of the gardening season!


Minnesota Parent - May

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The May issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

My ramblings in my School Days Column this month, I share tips on how to prevent the "'summer slide" of learning.

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Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking --> HERE.

Find the online link to my column---> HERE.


If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As, always - thanks for reading!


Highlights High Five - May 2019

May is going to be a fun and busy month of publication for me!   Today it was fun to find my author copies of Highlights High Five Magazine in my mailbox.  

In the May 2019 issue I have a Hammered Leaf and Flower Prints activity published:

IMG_4629It is an honor to be published in this popular magazine.  I am happy to be a part of their mission:

Celebrating the joys of childhood and helping children become their best selves—creative, curious, caring & confident!

If you happen to get your hands on an issue, be sure to check out the activity!  

Thanks for reading!

Around Here..

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Around Here... 

We put away winter jackets and snow pants.  It was warm enough to run in shorts.  Then we got winter weather again.    It was a beautiful weekend, the ice is officially off many lakes, but I woke up to snow this morning.   Today's scheduled track meet was canceled due to the snow.
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Around Here... 

I have chicks hatching in my classroom!   These three hatched Sunday night and another one during the school day for all of the kids to see.   I am posting some more pictures and videos on my instagram account if you want to check it out!



This act of sharing photographs and ramblings of our daily life is a practice in gratitude that brings me joy.

I encourage you to reflect on the good in your life.

What are you grateful for today?

Meal Plan Monday


Our family meal plan for Aprill 22-26:

Easter leftovers & egg salad sandwiches.

Maybe one night we'll have popcorn.

With a fridge full of leftovers and a short, but busy (2 track meets!) I am giving myself a break from meal planning.

Everyone will survive.

Have great week friends!


Friday Fave: But the Morning Comes by Annie Demko

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

Here's what I am digging this week:   

But the Morning Comes 

But the Morning Comes Front CoverBut the Morning Comes is a collection of poems exploring those ordinary moments that make up a life: the chores remembered, undone, at the end of the day; the child who will not be calmed; the way we become rooted in place through the living of our days; the way we are connected to those who are no longer with us. These ordinary moments are often not pretty and seldom are they neat and orderly. This collection holds the threads of confusion, insecurity and hurt that often weave throughout our days with a gentle honesty, acknowledging their existence alongside the equal truth that still, the morning comes.


This beautiful book of poetry was written by my friend Annie Demko.    Annie and I were roommates years ago when we both attended a Squam Art Retreat.   Since then Annie and I have kept in touch, at least monthly, encouraging each other as writers, supporting each other through our creative endeavors as we speak our voices through written word in the big wide world.  It is my privilege to introduce you to Annie and her first book that is for sale on amazon.  

Meet Annie:

Annie DemkoAnnie Demko lives in a small Northeast Ohio town with her husband and twin boys.  On any given day you might find her learning something new, practicing being present to the tiny miracles of the everyday, or supporting those around her as they find and express their voices.  More than likely there will be a book in her hand and pen and paper nearby.  Annie's work has been featured in Kindred Magazine and others, and she is the author of But the Morning Comes, a collection of poems.  



Enjoy this timely excerpt from But the Morning Comes, and consider purchasing your own copy of her book for your self or the poetry lover in your life:


Today it smelled like Spring;
that sodden earth-waking smell that seeps in
through closed windows and stirs something hidden inside:
stomach, bones, heart.
It pulled us outside then,
first one then two more, then another,
into the novelty of it,
giddy in our bare heads and mud-caked boots.
The trees were giddy, too,
lilacs budding and dandelions radiant among the snow-flattened grass.
Sap dripped into jugs, shining each drop,
reflecting in miniature the bare-limbed trees above
and boots sloshed and squished unabashedly with every step.
The woodstove sat neglected and dark;
but tomorrow or the day after, the cold will return;
crisp cracking ice and splinters of frost on windows
and among the grasses where the dandelions poked their heads today,
and we will rekindle the fire and wait.
But today it smelled like Spring.

Meal Plan Monday

Meal Planning - 1Spicy Shrimp Burrito Bowls that I tried last week - YUM!


I put strong value in family dinners.   It is a time that our whole family can connect, sit down together, have conversation and share a meal.

I do not want to portray the illusion that every family dinner in our household is calm and blissful.   Nor do I want to brush aside the effort it takes to plan, prepare, and time everything so that it works with a busy family's schedule.

I do want to emphasize that, however, that this habit, has paved the way for daily family connection in our family.  As much as it is a chore, the benefits make it all worth it.

I know too, the opportunity to spend this time with my four children around our family table is fleeting.  My children are growing up quickly.   I want to share this experience with them.

To make this happen I take some time each week for meal planning, which I am choosing to share with you as well!

I hope you get some inspiration by what I post. Regardless, this practice is beneficial for me, as it is creating a database of dinner ideas (all you have to do is click on the meal planning category tag on the sidebar to see all my posts on this topic).  

I also value your feedback and appreciate your ideas and inspiration as well! 


I am planning four meals this week.   We'll be on break for Easter Friday through Monday so I am giving my planning brain a break.   

------Our weeknight family meal plan - April 15-18------

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas  with Spanish Rice

need: shrimp, tortillas, spices, peppers, cilantro, limes, spanish rice mix


Spaghetti and Meatballs with garlic bread and caesar salad

need: pasta, pasta sauce, meatballs, french bread, parmesan cheese, romaine lettuce, croutons, caesar dressing


Taco Crescent Ring a variation of this recipe.

need:  homemade crescent dough, ground beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, green onions, lettuce, sour cream

*I have a great recipe for homemade crescent dough from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn't) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money that I will use for the dough.


Homemade Hawaiian Pizza  

need: pizza crust (my go-to recipe HERE), pizza sauce, cheeses, pineapple, canadian bacon




Have great week friends!