Friday, February 28, 2014

The SELF Rule

The stage is in my blood. I was hooked from the first play I saw. The way I remember it, My Dad was the star (he played a chimney sweep) and I was wearing a brand new dress with white pantaloons underneath. I remember my dad also played a grey mouse in another play, and later directed several others.

Sometimes I lined up my stuffed animals and dolls like an audience on my daybed and tilted my bedside lamp like a spotlight. My toys must have attended thousands of my plays. (Most people don't know that... Well, I guess they do now!)

When I was in high school, I wrote The Dramatic Handbook for an assignment in English class. It had all of my best tips and tricks to put on a great show. Below is an excerpt from it, "The S.E.L.F. rule"

Friday, February 21, 2014

The 3 Components of Reading

Learning to read can be broken down into three components:

1. Decoding
2. Comprehension
3. Interest


1. Decoding - The *What* of Reading

This is the component most reading curriculum concentrates on. From recognizing sight words to sounding out CVC's to breaking words into their roots, prefixes and suffixes, decoding is probably the easiest component of reading to teach. The student reader doesn't have to know the meaning of the word in order to pronounce it correctly.

My daughter is a decoding queen...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thank You for Checking Out my Blog

"I checked out your blog."
I've heard this a couple of times in the last few days. This statement usually incites an internal war of feelings in me.

I'M HONORED       VRS.       WHOA, WHAT?
First, the thought that I might get someone curious enough to even look at my blog is amazing to me. I know so many awesome people, and the idea that I might be awesome, too, is a little unnerving.
Second, I'm really hoping I haven't launched my blog prematurely. I'm still learning the ins and outs of blogging, and I know I am making rookie mistakes. So I really hope that if your first impression of me was a bad one, that it wasn't your final answer. 
Third, I'm not one of those who polishes to perfection before I publish, because if I was, you would never see anything I'd written. I know that I will never be able to produce something so perfect that I couldn't improve on it tomorrow. That's why I just publish it, even when it isn't ready. I figure I can go back and edit later if there's something really wrong with it.
So if you checked out my blog,

Thank You!

If you liked it, I hope I can keeping writing content you like. If you didn't, I hope you'll give me another chance down the line when I've learned the social graces of online media.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On a Quest to Replenish my Chocolates!

Amy Oyler,, shared a darling conversation she had with her daughter after Valentine's Day. Her daughter, Kat, was on a quest for chocolates... Amy's chocolates.  Here's a simple recipe to replenish all those empty chocolate boxes...  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Science For Little Eyes

We tell children that if you can read, you can learn about anything. But this truth is then often set aside while our children learn to read the first 20 - 100 words. Instead we give children stories of characters doing impossible, imaginative things that have little or no bearing on the real world around them.

Honesty, a yard full of pink snow? And I don’t know any talking rats, cats, or foxes.

While these wonderful, entertaining books do play a vital role in learning to read, why not also show our children from the very start that reading can be a practical tool for learning about the world around them?

Monday, February 10, 2014


I have seven bad habits when I write. Luckily, I'm aware of them and have put in place some saving graces to combat. So here they are: My Seven Deadly Writer Sins.

My First Sin: I’m in love with my writing.
               When I was a teenager I used to sit on my dresser and just think about my writing. Well, I don’t sit on my dresser anymore, but when I write something really good, I savor every word.

My Saving Grace: My writing is never perfect.
               One time I was collaborating on a script, and I wrote some lines that I thought were really good. I sent it off to my friend, and she emailed me back, “How married are you to this idea?”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Parable of the Intelectual Testimony

    When Paul was young, things were magic. The car got him to school by magic. The stove magically warmed his food. And it was magical the way the rain fell from clouds.

   Magic for Paul was just the yet unexplained. As he grew, Paul began to understand what made the car go, the stove heat, and the rain fall. There was a reason things happened, a method to them.

   Somewhere in that lifetime Paul found out about God. No one knew when Paul gained a testimony, least of all Paul. He didn't need one of those "burning in the bosom" events to know what was right, he just knew. It made sense, it sounded right, in a way only real truth can.