Beyond the Books ~ Made You Smile This Week

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

What Made You Smile This Week?

What Made You Smile This Week?

Two things really made me smile last weekend. On Saturday, I attended the 49th Annual Elgin Western Days. It is in my hometown, and all the classes celebrating get together and do a float in the parade and have their parties. There are also vendor booths in the park and it is hot as Hades even in June. My family has been to every single one…we park in the same place, we sit in the same place. Down in the park there was a little petting zoo with the most adorable babies.

There were these two teeny tiny piggies. This spotted one just wanted to hang out under that feed bucket the whole time. The other one was even smaller, and he’d venture off. What was funny was anytime someone petted them, they’d buck like a bronco! It was so cute. I want one so bad. I think that’d be an appropriate baby for Baby. Don’t you think? She gets in these spells where she wants her own baby and it makes me sad that she’ll never have her own. A baby piggy would do. 🙂

 

 

 

Then there was this poor little Brahman calf. He couldn’t have been more than a few days old, which is cruel to think about in hindsight. He was literally terrified – even of the teeny tiny black piggy! I wanted to scoop him up and love on him and take him back to his mom. He was so scared of everything it broke my heart a little. Ironically, he kinda bullied the goats. They’d make way for him if he got up and went around.

 

 

My dad came to my house on Sunday to fix my water hose. The roofers stripped my brand new one unscrewing mine and the one that came with the house. He ended up staying…all dang day. He – and my brothers – act like they don’t like Baby. And here he was playing with her all day, trying to get her attention, patting and petting on her, being nice to her. He always complains about my brother’s dog he left at my parents’ house that my dad babies. Sissy is awful. My dad always asks why Sissy can’t be more like Baby. I take it as a compliment, but then again I actually worked with Baby and taught her. She’s also an inside dog, not an outdoors dog. Later my dad ended up “falling asleep” (he really wasn’t) with Baby.

What made you smile this week?

Beyond the Books ~ Self-Care

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

Self-Care

Self-Care

I have struggled with self-care ever since I started my career. I was taught that your work is a reflection of you, so if I am not a perfectionist in what I do, I’m failing. I have felt like the shittiest teacher…and yet I’m one of the VERY few who are at my school at all hours preparing and working. Being a teacher is hard, and the work-life balance is harder. I don’t think I could do it if I had a child.

This year I said was going to be the Year of Me. I was going to tell people NO (and I kinda have…and I kinda haven’t), I was going to be selfish and focused on me. So far, I’m doing OK with it.

Self-care is so vitally important to everyone, and especially those in highly stressful jobs that are notorious for bad work-life balance. You can’t continue to give from an empty cup. Some of my favorite self-care things to do include getting a manicure and pedicure, taking the time to style my hair, put on full make-up, a long, hot shower, a night of reading, watching favorite movies, listening to music in a quiet place, cooking a favorite feel-good food.

Take care of yourself!

 

Beyond the Books ~ Cinco De Mayo

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a big thing in Texas. In primary school (K-3), I vividly remember having huge ceremonies about Cinco de Mayo where we would listen and listen and listen to Mrs. Haisler talk on and on and on, and then her kids would get out and dance in their bright dresses.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory at Battle of the Puebla on May 5, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. It is commonly mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16 and happened about 50 years prior. Cinco de Mayo is actually a minor holiday in Mexico. For most Mexicans, it is a regular day. It is not a federal holiday, so all government offices, banks, and stores remain open.

I feel like Cinco de Mayo is more celebrated in the United States to commemorate Mexican culture and heritage. Parties, music, and festive events are hallmarks alongside tacos, tequila, and other Mexican fare.

 

 

 

Upcoming Prompts:

May 10- Self-Care
May 17- What Made You Smile This Week?
May 24- Favorite Cookie Recipe

Beyond the Books ~ Women’s History Month

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

March = Women’s History Month

 

womens_history_wordle

March is Women’s History Month 
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. These entities have created the Women’s History Month website that is super cool. They even have a special page for teachers to plan lessons and curriculum around.

women-history

I starkly remember being fascinated in 4th and 5th grade with Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart. I read everything my school library had on these two ladies. I can’t recall what precisely struck my interest in the two of them – and so close together in time. I do very much remember the cover of a Susan B. Anthony book I read several times. Our library had several of the books in this biographical series. Both of these women were trailblazers in their own rights and set forth forward momentum for where women stand today. I am glad Susan B. Anthony was such a bold woman.

In high school, I learned quite a bit about Frida Kahlo. She was an interesting, if different woman.  I would not be one to select the art style and time period in which Kahlo painted, but I recognize the great efforts she put forth to identify her Mexican heritage in art. She was a pivotal player in the art world. Even if a bit odd, she opened a door for women and strode through it.

 

Other influential women include: Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Malala Yousafza, Eleanor Roosevelt, and so many more women from all different eras.

 

Upcoming Prompts:

March 15– St.Patrick’s Day
March 22– Spring begins
March 29– What’s in your purse

Beyond the Books ~ Read Across America 

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

Read Across America 

NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

 

 

 

I have loved reading ever since I learned how – and I don’t foresee that stopping any time soon. Join me tomorrow, March 2nd, in celebrating Read Across America in celebration of Dr. Seuss.

 

 

 

Upcoming Prompts:

March 8– March is Woman’s History Month
March 15– St.Patrick’s Day
March 22– Spring begins
March 29– What’s in your purse

Beyond the Books ~ Kids & Social Media

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

Kids & Social Media – Rules, Your Thoughts, Is It Changing Kids for the Better, etc.

 

Like all things, in moderation is best. Too much of a good thing can have negative consequences. I think there is too much of a wide array of social media and other duplicitous apps out there to hide kids’ content from parents and send files, photos, locations, and more “anonymously”.

 

The Rules

My kids are not getting cell phones until they are 12-14. I want to ensure they have a strong family foundation and I have the time and opportunity to teach them the appropriate and proper ways to interact and respond in person as well as online. You also have to teach your children about online safety, cyberbulling, and also teach how to be a strong, self-confident individual independent of social media.

  • Screen time is monitored and limited.
  • They cannot download an app without approval.
  • The only social media apps my kids will be allowed to have are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There will be no Snapchat or other strange apps to send content to other users.
  • They have to share their passwords with me.
  • I will do random phone checks. The first time a password does not work, phone goes to jail.
  • All electronics plugged in to the charger in my bedroom at 8:30 pm. (Yes, that means my kids will learn how to use an actual alarm clock.)

The Research 

  •  There is research that social media is affecting our brains, particularly its plasticity (the way the brain grows and changes after experiencing different things).
  • Positive attention on social media (“likes”) shows significantly greater activation in parts of the brain’s reward circuitry. This is the same thing in our brain that reacts to a photo of a loved one. This can lead to positive and negative peer influences.
  • Social media and other screen time can be addictive.
  • The social interaction with others is dying out as social media interaction replaces face-to-face. Subtle gestures and facial expressions are like a new language to read and speak.
  • Social media can cause teens to lose touch with their family foundation as they attach more and more to their peers.

Here is a really good resource on monitoring your child’s social media.

Beyond the Books ~ Blogs I Read and Like

beyondthebooks

Beyond the Books is a weekly meme hosted by Karen @ KissinBlueKaren. Each week features a new topic (mostly non-bookish). This meme is a fun, social weekly post.


This Week’s Topic:

Blogs you read daily. Maybe include why. People love shout-outs!

 

Let me be real…I don’t read blogs daily. I am doing good right now to make it around to everyone’s Sunday Posts an Top Ten Tuesday lists each week, which is usually happening strictly on the weekends. I do love keeping up with certain folks, though. I have built some great blogships (blog friendships) with some really great gals.

Berls & Michelle @ Because Reading is better than real life is one of the blogs I love checking in on each week. Recently (like in the last six months-ish, I think?) Michelle kidnapped Berls and to be her co-blogger because Berls was going to give up blogging. I would have been so sad! I have followed this blog and these ladies pretty religiously since I discovered them. Berls teaches Kindergarten and Michelle runs her own design business, Limabean Designs.

A newer-ish blog I discovered has been Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist. I love keeping up with these ladies and their lives, and Nereyda is the one who pushed and pushed and made me take the plunge to try a bullet journal. She has a great series of bullet journal posts that I largely used to help me get off the ground with mine last year.

Karen @ KissinBlueKaren is also a blogger I enjoy keeping up with. She has so much going on and she has my kind of sarcastic humor that I love reading her posts each week about life.

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived In a Library is another lovely lady I love to follow! I love her top ten lists. She puts a lot of thought into them and they are amazing! I always want to see what she’s said, no matter what the topic.

 

Upcoming Prompts:

February 22– Kids and Social Media (your rules, what you think about it, is it changing our kids for the better, etc)