Wednesday, June 20, 2018


On our drive down to Florida, we decided to stop in Savannah for one night because we'd never been there! We arrived around 4:00 and spent the evening wandering around the historic district admiring the architecture. I don't have too much to write about it - or even too many photos to share - seeing as we were really only there for a few hours, but I can definitely see us returning for a longer visit in the future because it is such a pretty city!

The best trip planner / driver / partner in crime!

If you know me, you know I love bridges!

Seeing this means we've finally reached the end of the billboards!

Honestly, bridges are awesome!

If Leopold's is good enough for Harrison Ford, it's good enough for me!

A random Dachshund we came across!

Happy Tails to you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lantern Fest 2018

On Saturday, June 9, we attended our second Lantern Fest! Although they are held all around the country, we again drove up to PA, outside of Philadelphia – the same location where we attended last summer.  This time, though, we went with a group of some of my favorite people ever, and I am so glad we were ultimately able to make it work, because it some herculean efforts for us to all get there!

We originally had tickets for Sunday, June 10, which we bought to celebrate the last day of school on June 8. We kept checking the forecast in the days leading up to the weekend and frankly, it didn't look promising. When these events are canceled due to rain, they try to offer alternative dates when tickets will be honored, but there are no refunds. As such, we weren't sure if things were going to work out because rain was predicted for Sunday.

On Friday, we had our last day of school, and decided we would keep an eye on the weather and make any decisions on Sunday. However, on Friday night, the event organizers posted on the Lantern Fest FB page that since the weather was looking terrible for Sunday, they would honor all Sunday tickets at the Saturday event (that had been sold out when we originally purchased our tickets) for anyone who was able to get there on Saturday and that they would make a decision about whether to cancel the Sunday event sometime on Saturday.

As a result, two of the eight people in our group decided they would not be able to make it because they had tickets on Saturday afternoon to a baseball game. A third person in our group coaches softball and would be away at a game on Saturday afternoon, so it was unlikely that she would be able to make it. That left five of us, and on Saturday morning, we decided the five of us would go. We all piled into the car and hit the road around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon for the three-hour drive.

We hit some traffic along the way, which was not great, but as we were driving, the other three people told us they'd be able to join us, which was amazing news!

The five of us arrived at about 6 pm, which gave us plenty of time to pick up our lanterns, find a good spot of the field to set up our chairs, and get some food. I had all of the tickets, so when our two friends arrived, I walked out to the gate to meet them, and then we were able to spend time decorating our lanterns as the sun went down. Our final friend arrive right around 9:00 as it was getting dark and just in time for the launch around 9:30. Most importantly of all, we were finally all together!

If you have never attended one of these lantern fests, I cannot recommend it strongly enough! It is a completely magical experience to stand in the darkness and watch thousands of lanterns rising up into the night sky. The pictures simply do not do it justice!

After about half an hour of launching and observing the lanterns, we packed up our things and things and headed home. I'm sure there was scintillating conversation happening in the seats in front of me, but I slept most of the way home (nothing new, if you've ever been in a car with me!).

I'm so happy that we were all able to make it work even though we had originally planned to go the next day…especially since the Sunday night event ended up getting canceled!

As Rapunzel sings in Tangled…"I just want to see the floating lanterns gleam!"

Happy Tails to you!

Monday, June 18, 2018

According to my students...2018

You may recall my post from this time last year when I shared some of my students' replies from the "All About Mrs. King" paper I ask them to fill out. I really do take their words to heart and I love going back and reading what students wrote about me long after they are no longer in my class!

Here are the responses to the same five questions I shared last year…not only did I have fewer students this year (three classes versus the four I taught last year), but there were many more duplicated answers this year! (Case in point, at least half of them chose "unicorn" as the animal I would be…not that I'm complaining!)

What are my strengths?
  • Everything – nothing can stop her
  • Math
  • Being kind
  • Loving dogs
  • She is funny
  • She has a good personality
  • She finds creative ways to teach
  • Being tough when she needs to
  • Being fair
  • Her power to be strict and not strict
  • Making math fun
  • Being patient and kind
  • Encouraging her students
  • She has dog powers
  • Making us feel happy
  • Decorating
  • Knowing lots of Disney stuff
  • Helping students when they don't get it
  • Hockey knowledge
  • She gives good pep talks
  • Being a teacher and liking pens
  • Making us laugh

What is your favorite thing about me?
  • She likes Star Wars and Harry Potter
  • Her love of Disney
  • She likes hockey and math
  • How she decorates her classroom
  • She loves math
  • She doesn't give up on her students
  • She loves unicorns and rainbows
  • How she decorates her classroom with the things she loves
  • She has a good sense of humor
  • She is funny
  • She is cool
  • She takes interest in the things I like
  • She is always kind
  • She loves all animals, but especially dogs
  • She is always calm
  • How she can act like a kid in a good way
  • She is so smart
  • She is always very patient
  • She can keep everyone from being crazy
  • Putting Disney music on while we work
  • She makes us laugh
  • She's only serious when she has to be

What book/TV/movie character am I similar to and why?
  • Tinker Bell because she is magical and lifts people's spirits
  • Bolt because she loves adventure
  • Judy Hopps because she is always willing to help you
  • Belle because she loves books and would do anything to save someone from a curse
  • Moana because she likes adventures and fun
  • Merida because she is strong
  • Harry Potter because she loves magic
  • Bing Bong because of music and rainbows
  • Joy from Inside Out because you're always happy
  • Mulan because she fights for what she believes in and is adventurous
  • Joy because she is nice and bubbly and controls the pack just like Mrs. King controls the class
  • Hermione because she is smart
  • Rapunzel because she wants to see the world
  • Mufasa because you are a leader
  • Belle because you are brave and you don't care what people think
  • Mary Poppins, she is smart and encouraging
  • Fairy God Mother because she makes dreams come true
  • Merida because she is never scared to do anything
  • Billy Coleman because she loves her dogs just like he does
  • Professor McGonagall because she is tough but fair

What things do I love?
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Books
  • Having a good time
  • Her family
  • Dachshunds
  • Unicorns
  • Dogs
  • Animals
  • Disney movies
  • Up
  • Colors
  • Magic
  • Numbers
  • Music
  • Canada
  • Maddy and Ginny
  • Being a teacher
  • Hockey
  • Coffee
  • Traveling
  • Royal things
  • Rainbows
  • Harry Potter
  • Her husband
  • Disneyland
  • Disney World
  • Students that pay attention
  • The other fifth grade teachers
  • Star Wars
  • Summer
  • Winter
  • Teaching
  • Her students
  • Sparkly things
  • Sad movies
  • Crowns
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Tinker Bell
  • Watching hockey
  • Not grading papers
  • Disney songs

What am I famous for saying?
  • Yet! You just don't get it YET!
  • Sit down and do your work!
  • Stop talking!
  • Hand me the clipboard!
  • Is this your best work?
  • Get out your folder!
  • Can we get ourselves together?
  • Don't quote me!
  • That's nonsense!
  • Don't give up!
  • You can do it!
  • Do your best!
  • I literally JUST said that!
  • When you're done, play a math game!
  • What made you think that was a good idea?
  • Get your work done!
  • What is happening?
  • Get it together, friends!
  • I believe in you!
  • What on earth?!?
  • I'm proud of you!
  • I'm not surprised because I knew you could do it!
  • Make yourself proud!
  • Put that pencil away because we are checking and this is for a grade!

There is something special about teaching fifth graders. I've taught fourth grade and I've taught sixth grade, and fifth grade just seems to be the sweet spot! These kids have made me smile with the sweet, funny, and honest things they wrote. (I'm still laughing over the answer "What made you think that was a good idea!")

I will miss this group and I hope they come back to visit often!

Happy Tails to you!