Celebrate This Week-11/6


It’s Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres’ blog to read others’ celebrations.

My Classroom

There are so many things that happen every day that cause me to step back and celebrate. My favorite thing this week was the time we took to learn about student stories on ClassDojo. I am looking forward to using this feature to help kiddos to make a digital portfolio of their learning. The students enjoyed taking selfies and posting them. 

I also want to celebrate the chance I got this week to organize part of my shelves. It is something that really drives me nuts each day, so getting my organization on made me very joyful. 

The last thing I want to celebrate in the classroom is the fact that I have hit upon a diffuser blend that seems to be working for us. I am diffusing a mix of Balance, Serenity, and Cheer. All three of these oil blends are specifically formulated for aromatherapy to act as the names say. I really think we have more peace and less toxic negativity when this combination is in our air.

At Home

I had a very successful meeting on Saturday morning and I am excited about where things will go from here. I now have some great prospects for ways to share doTERRA with others and I am looking forward to it.

I made a Paleo pumpkin bread recipe that tastes amazing! I love that I am eating something healthier for me than the traditional recipes while also getting to enjoy pumpkin spice and the yumminess of that.  I need to experiment more with baking gluten free goodies for myself. 

What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!


Gratitude Challenge: Transportation

     I am thankful for our cars. It is nice to be able to afford two vehicles so that we each can get to the things we enjoy. Although we could get by with one car, I am so grateful that we are able to continue to have two cars. 

   I absolutely love our Toyota Venza. We bought it new last year and it has all the bells and whistles. It is so nice to have a car with extra cargo space. 

I am grateful for the cars that we have that help us to get to the places we want to go. 



Gratitude Challenge: Something I do Every Day

    I am so thankful for the ability to read. In recent years, with my diagnosis of Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, I have been much more aware of how lucky I am to be able to see well and think well and read every day. 

   Reading has always been the thing I write under hobbies on surveys. I read avidly and voraciously. I love to read so many different types of books. 

   I read self-improvement books in the morning each day and then throughout the day I find time to read novels. If not any other time of day, I read for at least 30 minutes before bed. Because I am a teacher, I believe it is part of my job to read young adult and children’s titles. I love breezing through new children’s books and connecting to other teachers to share the love. 

I am thankful for reading. 


Gratitude Challenge: Something I Use Every Day

Today I am writing my gratitude post about something I use every day. For me, the most life-changing thing that I now use every day is my doTERRA essential oils. I love how oils support my health goals and help me to deal with aches and pains.

doTERRA oils are so amazing and I love using them every day in many ways. I take a drop of Frankincense each morning, roll on InTune for focus, put on my roller that I made for supporting my MS, take an OnGuard beadlet, and put Breathe on my chest, and Balance on my wrists. These oils start my day and get me out the door with extra support for my immune system. 

During the day, I diffuse every day in my classroom. I really think the diffuser helps all of us to maintain our balance and keeps us all calmer. The blend I use this year almost every day is Balance, Serenity, and Cheer. I love the way the oils clean our air and give us a good smell. I also love the way the oils help all of us to regulate our moods. 

Learning about oils has been one of the best things that I have done in my life. I love being able to deal with my health issues with oils instead of always reaching for over-the-counter medicine. I have changed my home cleaning routines, and my bath and body products to reduce the toxins in my environment. 

I am so grateful for my doTERRA essential oils and the opportunity they give me to share oils with others and educate them about wellness. 



Gratitude Challenge: Nature

Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves are so beautiful. It is a crisp and clean feeling in the air. 

The apple orchards and pumpkin farms that people visit are so much fun. I love to taste apple and pumpkin everything, especially pumpkin bars. 

Getting out to experience nature is always such a great way to relax. I absolutely love living in a place in which I can actually experience all four seasons. I am so thankful for that. 


Gratitude Challenge: Grateful For My Home

     Home is where the heart is, or so they say. I love my home and the city where I live. This wasn’t always the case and it isn’t what I imagined it would be, but it is true nonetheless. 

    My house is a small house, but it is one that both my husband and I fell in love with. We have since discovered that neither one of us likes to do home projects, so maybe a house was not exactly the right decision. However, I still love it. It is even more amazing now that I have the updated kitchen, with all the things that we picked out to be our dream space. I am grateful to have a space that is ours. 

     The other place in the world that we would both love to be is Sevilla. If the economy in Spain were better, that is where we would be. I am thankful for the time that I got to spend there. I am also thankful that Ramon was willing to leave his home and come here to be with me. 

     The last thing I am grateful for is the home I lived in as a child. Madison is my hometown, and I love it there. Our house was in a newly constructed subdivision and we had tons of kids to play with. There were fun neighborhood get-togethers and I was able to run around and through the bike paths and neighborhood paths. I loved our house. I am grateful for the time that we had there and the stability of my younger years. 

      What comes to mind for you when you think of home? I would love to hear from you in the comments! 


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/31


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? –From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

I have been really having a difficult time with getting to my blog in the last few months. I don’t really know why. I am just going to share a few of my favorite books from the last couple months here. 

Books I Finished:

I love everything by Jo Knowles. As always, this one made me cry but also filled me with hope. Still a Work in Progress deals with a young middle schooler whose sister has an eating disorder. It is a tough subject but dealt with realistically. This book is absolutely one I would recommend to middle and high school students. 

I listened to Red Queen and I absolutely got absorbed in the story. I sort of wished I had the book once I got close to the end because I wanted to go quicker to find out the resolution to the problems. I will definitely be looking for the next book in this series. I highly recommend this one for middle and high school students. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is another novel set in France during WWII. I really loved the way the author brought me in to the story right away and made me love the characters. I appreciated this story which gave me yet another perspective into the horrors that occurred in that period in history and the brave souls who worked in the resistance. I highly recommend it for older teens and adults. 

My sister gave me Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal for Christmas last year. She knows the author somehow. I think he was a friend in college. I really enjoyed this novel, which celebrated food and cooking as well as exploring relationships and the way we love each other. I can’t say exactly what I loved about the book, but I can say that I loved it. I would recommend this one for adults. 

I really enjoyed reading Ghosts and learning more about the Day of the Dead. I know my students will absolutely love this one. I highly recommend it. 

I wasn’t sure about reading this one, because I thought it sounded more like a memoir and I didn’t think that would help me at all. Then, I read Better than Before and realized that Gretchen Rubin has some great ideas about how to live life. I read The Happiness Project and just soaked up the amazing suggestions about how to be happier. I love the idea of doing a happiness project of my own. The way this book is written really helps the reader to see how some of the principles might apply to their own life. I highly recommend this one to adults who might be looking for self-improvement. 

Books I am currently reading:

I just started reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I am also reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. 

What’s Next?

I will be reading How to Win Friends and Influence People for a training I am doing. I will probably also pick up a middle grade title for times when I only have a couple minutes. I started listening to Start With Why by Simon Sinek also. 

What are you reading this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!



Celebrate This Week-Building Trust and Relationships


This week’s celebration is all about trust.

It’s Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres’ blog to read others’ celebrations.


This week I am celebrating the fact that I am able to have patience. It is so crucial when dealing with children who have emotional health issues and are needy. I am so glad that I am able to grab hold of my temper and keep it in check. 

Relationships and Apologies

This week, one of my students brought me a small care package. He wrote an apology note and was asking forgiveness for having destroyed part of the classroom. What was amazing was this student’s thoughtfulness. His apology gift included small stuffed animals, a number of sharpened pencils to replace the ones he broke, and a handful of cough drops because he knew I had been sick. I was so touched by his thoughtfulness. 

I am thankful for the heartfelt apologies that I get from all of my needy students. I love being able to give them hugs and to remind them that they are loved even though they have made mistakes in their behavior. 

I am also celebrating a new connection made this week with the mother of one of my more challenging students. I think that this family connection will help the student to do better with self-control. 

What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!


Celebrate This Week 10/8


It’s Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres’ blog to read others’ celebrations.

Digging Deep

For a moment this morning, I paused and thought about not writing this post. This week was tough. I found myself really struggling to maintain the positivity that I try to always have at the forefront. I didn’t even quite feel like myself. I thought that I would need to dig deep and work really hard to come up with celebrations. But then, I started to think about what I might have to celebrate, and the list started coming. I may have been less mindful of the celebrations throughout the week, but when I search for them, there they are.

  • A hug and heartfelt, almost tearful, apology from a kid who was testing his limits this week
  • The laughter and fun to be had on the days that the kid with Oppositional Defiant Disorder takes his medicine and his smart math brain that impresses us all
  • Hugs and a bracelet made for me by one of my Burmese students and the amount of language that the two of them are using already
  • 22 students who kept reading and focusing on their books as 3 students chose to be defiant and were making noise and trying to get our attention
  • The excitement over library time and a step toward many more readers being engaged with their reading
  • Evidence of books being talked about and shared, especially by the student who loves Raina Telgemeier who got her copy of Ghosts this week. There are now three girls reading Smile.
  • Reading aloud Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola and now seeing all the rest of my collection of his picture books in many of the students’ book bins
  • Our shared reading and thinking about The Tiger Rising–I just absolutely love this book!
  • Our beautiful heart maps that we will be able to get ideas from throughout the school year
  • A patient and supportive grade-level partner who will take students for a time-out without complaint and will offer to have those students come in for recess with him
  • Singing along to the song I use for transitions, “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. The class knows the lyrics now and we all end up singing.
  • GoNoodle–I love that this class is loving the brain breaks on this program. Our afternoons are LONG! The breaks help us to maintain our focus and our learning all afternoon.
  • Our Friday game time when we all have fun together. In many ways, I think this is the most important time in our classroom all week. These students need so much work with learning empathy and treating each other well. This game time each week supports their growth as a community of learners that is learning to cooperate with each other and communicate effectively. Everyone played a game this week. No one refused to join in our game time. This was the first week that this happened.

What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!


Celebrate This Week: In Which I Pull a Firetruck


It’s Saturday and time to reflect on the week and celebrate. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres’ blog to read others’ celebrations.

Today, my husband and I participated in a Firetruck Pull. Yes, that’s right. We pulled the fire truck. We were on the team with other women from the Barre gym I go to (and a couple more husbands). It was a charity event to raise money to get winter coats for children in need. It is the kind of event I usually think looks fun. It is the kind of event I usually don’t sign up for. But this time, I did sign up, which meant I had to show up. I couldn’t let my social anxiety keep me from this one. We had a team counting on us.

14435156_10101355326052724_810356637543691946_oWe had so much fun! I would not have had this fun if I had stayed in my comfort zone and let it pass me by. I am proud of myself for stepping up and deciding to do something this time.    



What else in my week could compare to this? What a rush! We pulled the truck seventy-five feet in 23 seconds the first run and 22 seconds the second run. We came in 5th out of 9 teams, but the 4 top teams were all really muscular men. Two of the teams were firefighter teams.


A video posted by Emily (@jungbow) on

It was most fun to watch how teams collaborated and strategized to try to beat their times. We all watched the model firefighter teams. Every team came out the second time and beat their first time. I couldn’t help but think about how much we all learned about pulling a truck. And about how applicable this story will be to my conversations in the classroom about growth mindset. In particular, I am thinking about some of the traits Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz talk about in A Mindset for Learning.

Optimism: Firetrucks are really heavy, yet no one said they weren’t going to be able to do it.

Persistence: Some teams were a lot slower the first time, yet none of them gave up.

Flexibility: Almost all of the teams adjusted their strategy the second time around.

I can’t wait to share with my students. I think they will get a kick out of the videos of the truck being pulled by my team. And I am excited to share with them about the way I applied the traits to get my mind ready for learning.

What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!