Thursday, March 31, 2011

Try, Try, Try Again

Blogger w experience having so much frustration posting pictures this week?!?!?!?!?! I have tried & tried & tried over and over to get these pictures posted..... to no avail. I'll attempt a whole new post. For the dozenth time. Golly it's frustrating. I only know how to do things in one manner & when that doesn't work, I'm up the creek without the paddle and no Plan B. Here's the Learning Station guys, Lois and Mar.......... Let's see if the pictures will stay overnight? If so I'll return and write some happy words to stay with them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coastal KEYNOTE!





This is a first. For all of the keynotes that I've given -- from one side of the country to the other, back & forth plus up & down, this is the first 'keynote' ribbon that I have been given!!! YEAH Florida!!!! My very own name tag, complete with keynote documentation!!!! (Isn't it amazing to see what still excites me?) I'm living the dream. That's me on the very big stage just moments before the morning keynote with fellow keynote presenters, the guys from the Learning Station. Then as you go down through the pictures you find me with Lois Wachtel and then Maryann Harmon..... and then the three of us darlings together over in the 150 pod of the sprawling campus. It is my kind, supportive friends that I owe a great debt of gratitude, as Lois was the one to submit my name for consideration for the keynote for this amazing event, months and months and months ago. And I bet that Mar may have been the one to second the motion, behind the scenes. Do you remember? The three of us were together out in California at NAEYC last November..... and here we are all reunited again. When I say coast-to-coast, I kid you not! That's one of the true gifts of the road tours -- seeing dear friends and having the opportunity of reconnecting all over!! Thanks team. Thanks for your encouragement, your support and your stepping stones into the Florida sunshine. I fly further on your wings, your enthusiasm and your gracious generosity. Thank you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Treasure Coast KEYNOTE!



Just how amazing is it that I get to travel across the country and share my experiences? Just how amazing is it that sometimes these educational experiences take place adjacent to a beach? Just how amazing is it that I get to go to the beach and then share my experiences with teachers, parents and librarians?? Here we are, instantly transported to Florida. Having flown into Tampa, we then continue the excursion with a drive down further south to the Treasure Coast. How great is it that we are able to plan our arrival in time for me to make it for a quick splash beach side? Pinch me -- I must be dreaming!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hide & Seek Farewell






It's time to say good-bye to my WonderPeeps and pack up the suitcase and head back to Florida's sunshine. Since we've been playing a lot of 'hide-&-go-seek' I suppose that I shouldn't have been the least bit surprised to 'find' everyone's favorite hiding spot. LOL!! I think I would have noticed the weight addition to the suitcase before we got to the airport, but look at what awesome stow-aways I 'found' after a diligent search. I can't even begin to count the number of times we 'searched' and discovered grandchildren in this perfect sized recepticle. I certainly won't attempt to describe the gales of laughter that errupted after each discovery. Isn't it fun to play a game where everyone is in on the punchline & everyone knows the outcome ahead of time?

Not at all like watching the NCAA basketball tournament's Sweet Sixteen playoff. I wish that if they had to come out on the short end of the time-table, that the Buckeyes could have been unthroned from their number one spot after midnight, this morning. Now forever I will know that they saw their champtionship season come to an abrupt halt on our seventeen wedding anniversary. Sigh. The reality is that I will lose all track of those details by football season.... but in honor of the blogging process, I feel compelled to mention it in 'real time.'

Can't wait to get caught up around here and show you how we spent our anniversary yesterday. I'll just give you the slightest of clues. AWESOME!!! Think plein air. Think Melrose Spring. Think cypress trees & cypress knees. Are you licking your lips?
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Little Red (Sissy)


Yes. I lay claim to her hair! I'm the one responsible for missySissy's red little mop. I wished it right onto the top of her head.... for decades before her birth I made that desire known with regularity and dedication. Apparently one must wish a very long time to garner enough power to create red on the top of a human bean. My dad and his sister were notrious for their red hair as children, so I do in fact get some biological credit. But I like to think that it was all of the years of my diligent wishing. And yes, I gave her the grass skirt. Shouldn't every two year old red head have a grass skirt of their own?
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Cookin' up Cupcakes





Of course leaving the sunshine of Florida for the gray February/March skies of Ohio and beyond was completely motivated by invitations into kindergartens and communities. Right? The fact of the matter is that my Wonder-Peeps are firmly rooted in Ohio and they are the magnet of pure love that draws me 'home.' Who can resist those smiles while making cupcakes together? WonderBoy is a "batter-taster" -- just like his beloved yet 'scumbled' GeeGee, absolute & convincing evidence of our biological connection (should his blue eyes leave you wondering.)

Scrumble, by the way is a verb. As in 'to scrumble.' As in, "I'm comin' over there & I'm going to scrumble you..... so you'd better start running." Upon further reflection, I suppose scrumble has some adjective-able-ness..... as in, "you have such a scrumble smile, I'm gonna haveta kiss your little scrumble face." [The other day in a telephone coversation, my WonderBoy asked quite genuinely, "GeeGee, can you scrumble me over the phone?" I had to think long and hard and quick and give him my absolute answer with conviction, "Of course you sillywilkins, my scrumbling can reach you right through the phone, cuz I know all the scrumble rules." We both breathed a sigh of relief to have that settled & straightened out, once & for all.]
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Red, White & Blue!!!







What does an entire gymnasium of elementary students look like as they all sign the short hand 'flag' for the three colors within that most symbolic pieces of fabric? Just take a look at that first picture! What does one happily exhausted music lady look like at the end of a ten day northern road-trip tour? Just look at that last picture! Time to head for central Ohio next and love me up some WonderPeeps!

Thank you to the Parent Teacher Organization for making this delightful day unfurl. Thank you to their libraian for giving my name to the PTO. Thank you Greensburgh for introducing me to the librarian. Loved the lunch out at the country club. Loved the enthusiasm of the students. LOVED the energy of the teachers joining me on stage!!!! Gold stars all around!!!! I look forward to a return engagement some time off into the future........ Memorable. Simply memorable!!
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Faculty Piggie Jam






Of all my favorite memories of my visit to my Ford City friends for Right to Read Week, will be my last minute brainstorm to involve all of the teachers of the 'older' grades up on stage with me, for a truly unique rendition of my "Piggy Rap." Debbie and background singers. Imagine about 20 teachers 'up front' with me...... imagine the response of their nearly 400 students in a gymnasium. Imagine the noise generated by the Buckeyes in a Sweet Sixteen appearance and multiply that noise level by about 10! How much noise can 400 mature elementary students make at the sight of their teacher 'dancin' on stage? Use your imagination. Then multiply that sound level. Then smile.

Note to self: use this concept again at the next elementary school, 'gymnasium' show. Enjoy the fireworks!!!
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Participation!!



Grown-up, all grown-up, mature students.
Not to be confused with 'kids' or children.
Love involving them.
LOVE seeing their response.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wanna Join Me, Onstage?






First, I ask for volunteers. Then the kids start waving their hands like crazy. Then I ask each teacher to choose two students from their class -- one boy and one girl. Then the stampede as our selected volunteers make their way to the stage. Then the fun can really get started. Songs written for young children, can indeed be 'translated' for an older participants -- as evidenced by the documentation captured here. I think a very large part of the translation process is my not taking myself too seriously..... and inviting them into the midst of my world. *****Oh, and giving them permission to enjoy, participate and have fun. Yup that's the ticket: give them permission to have fun.
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Da Big Kids, Da Big Kids!





These are the big kids. This is the second half of the K through 6th continuum. Some of these kiddos are as tall as I am! I don't very often get to have an audience filled with the upper grades. So on such a rare day I'm really excited..... can't wait to see how they will react to my ideas. Can't wait to hear 'em sing. Can't wait!! Let's get this afternoon's fun underway.
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