Friday, 31 October 2014


I follow a librarian on Twitter and his blog as well who is also a runner. He has an amazing streak of never missing a day if is in the 500s or something like that. I see his comments and often think I should do that.

Well, this week I finally started. I am now five for five. It has been tough. Tuesday I went to an exercise class that one of my co-workers runs. These legs haven't done any squats for years. Even though the class was pretty low key, it took me days before I could walk without wincing. I still went out and walked though. I am so proud of myself!! I plan to continue.

I also decided that I will keep a list of benefits of exercise. I decided while I was walking during the lunch hour today that there really are many benefits besides health benefits.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


I am going to try to start blogging once a week about something I want to celebrate. The idea came from Ruth Ayres blog. She is a writer.

This week I am celebrating that we are practically two months into school and swimming and I am handling it. I am the designated driver for Jill this year. She has swim practice three mornings a week at 5:30 am (well, and Saturdays at 7 am) as well as seminary at 6:30 am on Wednesdays and Fridays. I made an attempt at this before and it became clear that I really couldn't handle it. Allen ended up taking over - but he ended up doing so much driving it cut into his time to be able to work and do effective appointments. So this year I resolved again to do it. It is working better this year. And I sure enjoy a nap on Sundays!! 

I have been teaching again for almost five years now. I finally feel like I am taking things in stride rather than drowning. For the first few years I was really quite overwhelmed. Perhaps it is because I have been teaching the same grade for three years now. I know the stories we typically read. I am more familiar with science and social studies units. And I am getting better at classroom management. I feel like I am starting to get kids more. I am able to be with them and think about them in a deeper way than I could in the past. I am enjoying being able to handle all that and still work on my own professional growth. I still enjoy teaching and am grateful to be able to do it!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Dennis Lee at Wordfest

I got to go listen to Dennis Lee at Wordfest!!  It was so fun to hear him share poetry and to see the children's response. It was a very interactive presentation. They chanted and sang and giggled. It was wonderful!

He was asked how he came up with the idea of Alligator Pie. He said one day he was riding his bike and he kept hearing Alligator Pie as the pedals went around. He couldn't get it out of his head and so finally he went home and wrote it down to get it out of his head.

He talked about his favorite books and encourage everyone to read read read and to write write write. Beautiful words!!

Sandy Nichols also spoke. She is an illustrator from Calgary. She illustrated the book Alligator Pie and tonight was the first time she met Dennis Lee in person. I always think of authors and illustrators being quite connected, but apparently that isn't always the case.

She drew Drew Drew and while she drew she answered questions. It was amazing!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Challenge Accepted: The Blogger's Desk

I love 100 Scope Notes. I thought I would also write about where I blog.

I don't really have a blogging 'desk'. Instead, I have a spot where I usually read and where I also blog. 

The view is fantastic.

I think of this spot as a little like Roald Dahl's hut where he did most of his writing...I only wish I was    1% as brilliant!

Where do you do your blogging??

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Shhhhh! I am Reading

I was excited about the two hours I had at the pool today waiting for Jill. I had a meeting on the other end of town and decided to just stop and wait for her rather than drive all the way home. I settled down with my book and was enjoying an extended period of reading. 

Along comes the coach. 

"Are you doing anything?" he says. 

"Uh ya, I'm reading!!" 

"Great!" he says. "Would you mind attending a meeting that is about to start?" 

I had to laugh. 

Why do people think I'm not doing anything when I'm reading?! LOL

Monday, 13 October 2014

Cousin Time!

Today our Letourneaus cousins were driving from Edmonton to Lethbridge so we planned a visit so they could have a break in their drive. 

We went to a park and played frisbee golf. It was a great family activity! In the end, the boys (Peirce, Evan, Zane and Golden) beat us all. 

This is 9 of the 20 Ackroyd grandchildren (I think I have that number correct!)

The leaves in the park were amazing!

After we had dinner at the NAckroyds. It was a great visit.

Look at Jill and Sarah!! You can't tell the difference at all in their hair color!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thanksgiving Fun

We spent the day at Calaway Park with cousins and then had a fantastic family dinner. Great day!


I Love Fall

The view from my reading chair. 


Friday, 10 October 2014


I don't know if I spelled that right at all.

Tonight Jill got to go to a party for her friend Ana who turned 15. Apparently, in the Spanish world 15 is a big deal and you get a BIG party. It was a lot of fun!!

The party was way over in the NE. While Jill was at the party, I snuck off and spent the evening reading at Chapters. It was wonderful!! I spend a lot of time driving and waiting for kids. It is great reading time! Love it!


The last couple of weeks at school have been a little stressful for me. The province has decided to do away with the provincial achievement tests of the past for grade three students. They will continue on and next remove them for grade six students. I'm not sure if it is going on to grade 9 or not. In their place they are doing  SLAs (Student Learning Assessments).

It hasn't gone too smoothly at all. From getting registered in the website, to setting up class lists (and being able to edit errors!) to actually administering the tests, it has been painful - from registering ourselves as teachers so we could even administer the tests to evaluating the results. Every step of the way we have had to take a step back and update technology, try different browsers, re- read the 30 page instruction documents, and wonder what exactly the questions are really asking and if all this time is worth the information we are gathering. Thank goodness we have had supportive admin to help us through this. I am pretty sure without them we would have totally abandoned the assessment.

The government website says: 

Alberta wants teachers and parents to have the best tools available for them to help improve student learning. One new tool is the Student Learning Assessment (SLA).
These assessments are digitally based and focused on literacy, numeracy, and the cross-discipline competencies of Inspiring Education. They take place at the start of the school year to enable both parents and teachers to identify student strengths and areas needing improvement.

As I was complaining about this whole process one day my principal wondered aloud what it is about teachers that we don't like change.
I had to chuckle. In some ways, he is right.
In other ways though, sometimes it seems like change for the sake of change.
We have had a change in our school this year. That hasn't been an easy change either. I mourn what we have lost more than looking forward to new changes, it seems.
I have been reading a great book: The Fourteenth Goldfish. That book talks about how important cycles are. Endings are really a beginning of something and should be considered exciting.
It makes me wonder what I need to be doing to make changes in my life more accepting and how to anticipate them with greater positivity.
How do I turn it into something great when it just feels disappointing and like it is all going in the wrong direction?
I don't know.
Must work on this.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Many I Can Count On

Today our school kicked off Rachel's Challenge, our character education focus for this year. You can read more about the amazing Rachel's Challenge program here.

At the end of the assembly the kids sang a song called You Can Count On Me by Bruno Mars. It brought tears to my eyes! I was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of how blessed I am to have so many people around me that I know I can count on. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Reading Fits Anywhere

My Saturdays are pretty full - kind of. It isn't really anything for is kid activities. I have things that fill my time. We get up early and leave for the pool at 6:30 am. Jill's practice is from 7-9 am and Peirce's is from 10:30-noon. We decided I wasn't going to run up and down Deerfoot shuttling kids back and forth. We bring stuff to work on or read and we wait there while one kid practices. I get to watch some swimming and do some work. Last week it was marking. This week I put the RS newsletter together. And I always do some reading.

This afternoon Jill and I volunteered at the Dino's football game. (More swimming responsibilities.) Today, though, they put us up in Cardel. I love it when that happens!! It isn't very busy up there so I sit and watch the game a little and do a lot of reading. Today I finished Son by Lois Lowry. My dad is probably rolling over in his grave. It's okay though, dad!! One CAN watch a football game and read. Seriously! :)

Tonight Allen took the kids to a hockey game (Thanks Curtis Kruschel for the a booth no less!) I opted to stay home guessed it: read.

Well, I will try and stick it out for a while. At 8:00 I am giving myself permission to turn the lights off and succumb to my exhaustion!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Busy Town

Tonight Peirce and I volunteered at Storybook Theatre. They are doing Richard Scary's Busytown. It was really great: fabulous music, amazing set and great costumes. I really couldn't imagine how they were going to do the characters. They were fantastic.

Lowly the Worm was very cool.


It was opening night so they had a gala after. Lucky us!! It was a very busy Busytown.