Wednesday, January 28, 2015


These were taken at my parents' house, last weekend, before the "Blizzard of 2015".

Monday, January 26, 2015

2 Timothy 4:7

Jud Carlberg was President of Gordon College while I was a student there.  His son made this tribute to him. Tribute to My Dad

Many things come to mind as you watch it, but I think 2 Timothy 4:7 sums it up well.  "I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith."

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Here are some links I've enjoyed lately.

Ten Obvious Truths About Educating Kids That Keep Getting Ignored

A Better Way to Say Sorry

Khan Academy on the Ipad - Khan has had an app for a long time, but only had the videos.  Now they have all of the activities and problems online, which is fabulous.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Random Pictures

 My parents got me chocolate covered pineapple for my birthday at school.  I love Edible Arrangements.

 Toby has developed an addiction to my French Vanilla creamer.  Good thing I have 192 of them.

 Amelia is quite good at checkers.  She beat Lucy.

 Toby has many Lego sets and he plays with them all the time, but I love when he just gets out the random Legos and creates things.

I took the kids to Purgatory Chasm on Monday.  We had fun, although not quite as much fun as they have with Sam.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


On Sunday, Toby played defense in his game for the first time and did a fabulous job.  He got a few shout-outs from the coach during the game and then a special speech in the locker room, along with a pack of hockey cards.  He came out beaming.  It's worth even more because his coach only gives praise when it is deserved.

I've been so happy with how much he is enjoying hockey.  He has shown great improvement since October and it's fun to watch his games. Season is over in April and then we'll have to decide if he should do it again next year.  Based on how it is going currently, I think it will be a yes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


We have been doing some fun things in school.

Spelling:  We wrote on our tables instead of whiteboards which they though was great, and it meant that we had very clean tables after washing them.

Bible:  In Bible we just finished the life of Joseph.  The story is always easy for the students to relate to and understand, and we do a quick gloss over Potiphar's wife.  :)

Science:  We are studying weather and created lightning and tornados this week.

Writing:  We are in the publishing stage of our personal narratives.  It is wonderful to watch them work through the writing process.  Almost all of them choose to type their final drafts at this point and they have a great assortment of stories saved in google drive.  Using technology in writing can be slower due to the lack of typing skills, but it definitely causes in increase in enthusiasm for writing.

Math:  We are working on multiplication.  It comes so easily to some students and others struggle.  Once you understand the concept (equal groups of numbers) then I think it really comes down to constant practicing and memorization.  I was using all sorts of programs with Toby, but this year switched to good old paper flashcards and we had great success.

Reading:  We are reading informational texts.  In my classroom, the students read their own books at their own levels.  This means that when I listen to them read and talk with them about their reading, I end up learning quite a bit also.  I have students reading about many different topics, from WWII to Penguins.  Did you know that penguins (maybe it's a certain type, I can't remember) lay two eggs with time between the laying.  When the second egg is laid, they kick the first one out of the nest and concentrate on the second. The student reading that book thought that was pretty horrible.

I love this class.  Most of us have been together for two years which just adds more depth to our relationships and the new students have integrated seamlessly.  We have a lot of fun together and they amaze me each day with their knowledge and eagerness to learn.

On Friday we are going to the movies to see Paddington.  That will be a first for me, a field trip to the movies.  We read the book last year and Paddington is our little stuffed animal that sits on the Special Helper's desk each day, and goes home with students on the weekend, so we are excited about the movie.

We have some openings for elementary teachers next year.  If you are interested or know someone who would be great, let me know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I've been pretty preoccupied lately with a variety of things, and the blog has taken a backseat to real life, but I'm trying to get back into it.

Saturday I read We Were Liars.  I had heard about it from a colleague (I think) who read it in a book club.  It's marketed as Young Adult fiction.  I don't know that a young adult really needs to read it though.  It was a quick read for me (2 hours) and it held my interest in parts.  The ending was surprising, but not one I like, because I'm not a big supernatural fan.  Anyway, if you are looking for  a quick, depressing story, this is the one for you!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Last weekend we celebrated my birthday and my father's birthday with a party at my parents' house.  Both grandmothers were there, along with my in-laws, and siblings.  We had a great time and my mother provided us with sashes, pins, and glasses! :)  Thanks, Mom, for a great party!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coffee and Creamer

When I was at the Islamic school a few months ago, they provided us with a Keurig and various K-cups.  One was Caramel Vanilla Cream from Green Mountain Coffee.  It was delicious.  They also had these French Vanilla creamers and when you put the two together it was the best tasting coffee I've ever had.  When I got home, I put both items on my Amazon wishlist.

My brother got them for me for my birthday. A box of K-cups and 192 creamers!  I had my first cup Sunday night at 8:30.  That might have been a mistake, but it was delicious.


My family (minus me) did a lot of skating this weekend.  Sam took Amelia once last week for the first time and she did great.  She didn't want to be touched and said she could do it better alone and it turns out she could.  This weekend, she went Saturday and Sunday and was very impressive.  She has great balance.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

More Christmas

 Sam got me more little bowls.  I love little bowls.  I don't use them in any way, but I love looking at them.

 Putting together Rapunzel's Tower all by herself, only a few meltdowns.

 My aunt had my cousin's wife paint this for me - Gorgeous!  And hanging on my wall now.

 Some new books - 5 year diary (just like I had when I was 10, but a little classier)  Anne Lamott's new book (Have I mentioned she's my favorite author?)  I finished it already.  Haven't started Jam Today yet, but I am excited too!

My mother filled this awesome bag with new towels which I love, and I love this bag.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Christmas Morning

Amelia received a journal and pen from the dollar spot at Target.  It might be one of her favorite gifts.  She spent a few days recording Christmas break in pictures.

Glass dragon from the China store in Epcot

Digital Camera - He greatly enjoys closeup pictures of nostrils and ears. 

 Surprise!  We bought Lucy a Chromebook.  She was very very excited.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Christmas Eve

 My sister made the yarn out of wool and then wove this scarf for Lucy on her loom.

Sam received a lot of hockey gear.  Now he's looking for a league to join.

I just had to put this one in.  Apparently my siblings are ready to go mountain climbing now or perhaps rob a bank?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Being More Awesome

I gave away a pile of books today at work, after going through my bedside table and cookbooks this past week.  One book I gave away was Jen Hatmaker's 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  I bought it a few years ago and I don't think I even finished it, because I found it overwhelming.

But I do follow her blog and today I thought her post was great, especially for me.

The Thing About Being More Awesome

Monday, January 05, 2015

Google Earnings

I've made it over $50 in blog revenue. :)  $50 to go until I receive a check.


Lucy likes to go to my sister's house in New Haven over Christmas break. This year my brother went along also and they spent a day in New York City.  Lucy hasn't been since she was under 2, so she enjoyed the experience.  Of course, she'd enjoy going anywhere with Rachel, and Matt was an added bonus.

 Waiting in line to go ice skating.

Times Square - They visited a Japanese store, the M and M shop, and had NY pizza.  It was incredibly crowded, probably because it was a couple of days before New Year's Eve.

Sunday, January 04, 2015


I'm so far behind on blogging, so I'll start here.

We were excited to receive a package from my cousin Katherine filled with delicious baked goods.  Our cookie jar was well stocked thanks to her.  My favorite was the salted caramel bars. (Yes,  I know the picture is sideways.)

I had a meeting at school during the school day and when I came back the students sang a Christmas song and presented me with this.  A cute tree filled with "hugs and kisses" and "presents" with sweet thoughts on them.

Thursday, January 01, 2015


I've arrived at my brother's house.  He's headed off to stay with a friend, so it's just me, enjoying some alone time to set some goals for the year.  I have a list of things I want to incorporate into this year, along with looking at my goals from last year.  I have a pile of books to start reading or writing in tonight and hopefully regularly.

I'm planning on regularly scheduling time to watch/listen to TED talks, toying with the idea of writing a thank you note to a different person each week, and once again, trying to come up with a good lunch plan for the kids.  

I'm using the balanced wheel analogy to start me off with my planning, seeing what is out of balance and how to fix it.

At the end, I'll schedule everything into my calendar and create a weekly checklist.  

I'm also spending my time here, eating Thai food (which I could walk right across the street and get - benefits of the city) and watching some Downton Abbey.

Happy New Year!

We had a nice night at Jenny and Shawn's house.

I'm heading to my brother's in the afternoon (Thursday) and spending the night there.  I like to be alone to plan my year and set my goals, so I'm looking forward to that.  I'll also do some blogging there.  It's been a wonderful week off so far, relaxing and enjoyable in every way.  I think it's been my best Christmas (as an adult) yet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I received many lovely gifts today.  One student made me these gold sandals.  I wore them until we headed out for roller-skating and they were surprisingly hardy.  He used gold duct tape and aluminum foil.  On the sandals (I called them slippers and was told that was not correct. :)  he wrote, I love you, Mrs. Bowler and I love reading!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


I baked all weekend.  Sugar Cookies, Salted Caramel Bark, Pistachio Cranberry Bark, Dipsy Doodle Balls, Regular Marshmallows, Peppermint Marshmallows, Hot Cocoa Cubes, Granola.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chorizo and Goat Cheese Quiche

I made this on Saturday and Sam said it was the best quiche he has ever had, and not just because he is not normally a fan of quiche. :)

Chorizo and Goat Cheese Quiche

I used ground mild italian sausage, no oil, and regular milk.  It was delicious.  I was hoping to have it for lunches this week but there isn't any left.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Photo Challenge Day #20

Tree Topper - This tree topper was made for me by a student 3 years ago.  I love it!  It sits on top of my tree at school.

Simple Sesame Noodles

I made this recipe last week and everyone liked it.  I stir-fried udon noodles and added in chicken, poured the sauce over everything in the pan, then served in bowls with chopsticks.  Delicious!

Pioneer Woman's Simple Sesame Noodles