Tag Archives: happy

Literacy Week was a Success!

Last week was my favorite week of the school year, hands-down! Literacy Week is just one of those weeks that’s full of excitement and joy, all centered around the love of reading and writing. What’s not to love about that?!?

Just like last year, I decided to dress up as a different book character each week. I then read to classes as the character. It was so much fun! Here were my outfits and books for this year:

Monday: Rainbow Fish

Tuesday: Pirates Don’t Change Diapers!

Wednesday: Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus

Thursday: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Friday: Max from Where the Wild Things Are

I mean…seriously, how can you not have a blast at work when you’re dressed up like this? However, it was difficult for other people to take me seriously in meetings. 😂

In addition to the character read alouds that I did, there were a few other teachers that dressed in character throughout the week and read to classes, which was fun for the students. Here’s a run-down of the weekly events that we had. Let me know in the comments if you want more information about any of the specific events. I’d be happy to share!


  • Literacy Week Introduction
  • Poem in my Pocket began, where students wrote poems that they would carry around in their pockets all week to read to anyone who asked.
  • Cultural Storytellers from Australia
  • Treasure Hunt for lower primary
  • Door Decorating Contest began
  • DEAR Time daily


  • Write Your Heart Out
  • Cultural Storyteller from Japan reading Kamishibai in both Japanese and English
  • Puppet show for upper primary
  • Book Fair
  • DEAR Time daily


  • Pajama Day Read-in
  • Book Bites Bake Sale
  • Cultural Storyteller from Korea reading stories from Korea in both Korean and English
  • Indonesian Wayang Puppet Show (traditional shadow puppets) told in Bahasa Indonesia
  • Book Fair


  • Cultural Storyteller from Indonesia, who told a traditional Indonesian story in both English and Bahasa Indonesia
  • Puppet shows for lower primary, performed by Year 6 students
  • Spelling Bee for Years 3-6
  • Book Fair
  • DEAR Time daily
  • Door Decorating Contest Judging


  • Book Character Dress Up Parade for the whole school
  • Cultural Storyteller from Pakistan who demonstrated oral storytelling of a Punjabi story, mostly told in English, with some Punjabi words mixed in
  • DEAR Time daily
  • Guess Who? Reveal, where students guessed who each teacher was based on the book they were holding in front of their face.
  • Battle of the Books, a book trivia game for Year 3-6 students

Coming back to reality this week has been hard, but the memories of last week are still with me. The students had so much fun, read lots of books, and enjoyed the variety of activities. I think the teachers did, too!

Do you do Literacy Week at your school? What is your favorite thing about Literacy Week?

37 Things That Make Me Happy

While most of the world is focused on the royal wedding today, I’m quietly celebrating my 37th birthday. Rather than having a huge party, I’m keeping it low-key. Due to the fact that Ramadan has just started, parties are frowned upon, at least ones that include loud music and any alcohol. Despite the fact that it doesn’t really feel like my birthday, I am looking forward to spending the weekend in Puncak at a nature retreat and spa about an hour outside of Jakarta with Miriam and Michelle. The plan is to go for a walk, lounge by the pool, read, get massages, and eat yummy food. Sounds pretty good to me!

It’s pretty crazy to think that I’ve celebrated my birthday in a different country the past four years! This year it’s Indonesia, last year was Thailand, before that was Albania, and before that was China. Hopefully I’ll be in Indonesia for the next few! As per a tradition I started a couple of years ago (35 things and 36 things), I like to reflect on things that make me happy on my birthday. In random order, here are 37 things that make me happy.

  1. Country music…lately I’ve been listening to it, which is out of the ordinary for me, but I’m loving it!
  2. Taking my niece Randi and nephew Logan on dates
  3. Bagel sandwiches, toasted with garlic cream cheese, loads of veggies, white cheddar, and a touch of mustard…mmm
  4. Getting lost in a good book
  5. Completing my to-do list, especially when I didn’t think I would
  6. The look on their face when I give the perfect gift
  7. Mango sticky rice…I had a bunch last weekend in Thailand, and it did not disappoint!
  8. No-agenda days
  9. Ice-cold coconut water
  10. Traveling to new places and filling my passport with stamps and visas
  11. Revisiting favorite destinations, stopping by the spots I remember and finding new places to love
  12. Making people laugh
  13. Sunny Shanghai weekends…man, do I miss that place! (Lucky for me I’m visiting again next month!)
  14. Spending time with family and friends
  15. Solving a problem
  16. A clean, organized home or office
  17. Smoothie bowls…Alchemy in Ubud has the best ones, hands down!
  18. Getting to see my former students…last week in Thailand warmed my heart so much when I got to love on my little babes!
  19. A nice-smelling candle
  20. Go-Massages…or massages in general
  21. Feeling strong
  22. Green plants around my home
  23. Teaching others
  24. Nice, colorful pens
  25. Making a difference in the work I do
  26. Pavlova…can’t wait to eat this a bunch in NZ this summer!
  27. FaceTime dates
  28. Participating in the Slice of Life Challenge each year
  29. Iced sweet tea
  30. Watching a movie in the theatre with a big bag of hot, buttered popcorn
  31. My new home…I’ve made it my own oasis, and I love it!
  32. Photography…getting that perfect shot is the best!
  33. Saturday mornings, when I get to do whatever I want…sleep later than normal, FaceTime with friends, catch up on my shows, drink hot English Breakfast Tea, and make breakfast
  34. Comfy leggings to travel in are a must-have!
  35. Buying a new, quirky pair of glasses
  36. Reconnecting with a friend…getting to catch up with Josh last weekend did my soul some good 🙂
  37. Friends who become your family

Last year at this time I was celebrating my 36th with Julie, Lauren, and Kyleigh in Bangkok. 🙂

Miles- SOL


Don’t you just love toddlers? Their natural curiosity and enthusiasm about the world around them astounds me. When did we lose that? When did things suddenly become less awe-inspiring? When did that need to find out “everything about everything” dwindle down to just finding out “something about something”? I’m not sure when, but I want to capture that feeling again. I want to wake up everyday filled with enthusiasm, happiness, and wonder. I want to live in the moment and follow my desires. I want to live like a toddler again!

Miles, the adorable toddler in the photo, is the epitome of cuteness! Don’t you just wish you could pick him up and snuggle him? 😉 Miles belongs to my friends Bill and Carissa, and he is my favorite little guy around! Whenever I see Miles, I light up and turn into one of those babbling, googley-eyed people who suddenly revert to baby talk when a baby is within 50 feet of them. I’m sure I look ridiculous, but I really can’t help myself.

My favorite thing is when Miles sees me and runs over to give me a hug and a kiss. I just melt! It’s so bad…he knows he’s got me wrapped around his little finger. He knows that all he has to do it give me that sweet little smile of his or bat his eyelashes, and I’m going to give into whatever he wants. When he says, “I lub you,” it’s all over! Oh, you want a cookie? Here, have three! 😉

Miles is incredibly smart, too. And I’m not just saying that. Really. His understanding, recognition, and vocabulary are through the roof! I can’t believe just how fast he picks things up! He is curious about everything right now. I love how he will point to new things, ask questions, and “read” books. His two favorite things to do right now are “drive the car” and sweep. Almost every morning I’m greeted with, “Miles drive the car?” which means he wants to pretend to drive the school’s golf cart that sits in the courtyard. As he drives, his hands are on the steering wheel as he says “Brrrrmmmm… Beep! Beep!” I laugh every time! And his obsession with sweeping is over the top! Every time he sees a broom, he says,

“Miles sweep!” Heaven forbid you tell him “no.” His lip puckers out, and in his most pitiful voice he whimpers, “Miles sweeeeepppp.” Who can say “no” to that? Not me! See what I mean about the wrapped around the finger thing?

In June, Miles, Bill, and Carissa are moving back to the States. I can’t imagine not seeing this little guy every morning, but I’m happy for them. I’m just going to have to savor every moment left with him! I lub you, Miles! 

This Magical Life- SOL

You know what? I love my beautiful, magical little life! Today I have a spring in my step and am truly loving life! My mind is going a mile a minute right now with all the things I love, and I can’t seem to even form cohesive sentences or paragraphs, so here’s my list:

*I love being surrounded by people who make me laugh, encourage me, and make me think.
*I love it when I can have conversations about my reading life with others.
*I love the sunshine today!

*I love that I got to talk to Jody for 3 hours this afternoon, and I cannot wait until she visits this summer! I get to show Jody what Shanghai’s all about, and then she and I are traveling to Hong Kong, Macau, and Cambodia together. I love her amazingly fun-loving spirit and I can’t wait to spend some time with her where a computer is not necessary for communication!
*I love writing. I love the changes that happen in my soul when I write. I love finding out more about me!
*I love reading and commenting on other Slices of Life! There are some amazingly talented writers out there.
*I love that in less than a week I’ll be going on my third international trip this year! Seoul, get ready for Jennifer and Linnea, ‘cause we’re on our way! 🙂
*I love celebrating others, whether it’s a birthday, a job well done, or that they’ve made a step in the right direction!
*I love cooking…and I love that I’ll be making brownies later.
*I love learning and boy have I done a lot of learning recently!
*I love where I’m at. I love that I am content with my current situation and that I’m able to live in and enjoy the moment!
*I love my family…immediate, extended, and friends that have become my family!
*I love that I get to meet a ton of new little people this summer…Mandi’s Jocelyn, Ashley’s Ivan, Katy’s Amelia, Andrew and Lisa’s Randi and several other yet-to-be-named babies!
*I love that my mom and I (and hopefully Jen) are taking a trip to New York together this summer! Neither of us have ever been, and we’re looking forward to it. “Wicked” on Broadway, the Statue of Liberty, and Ground Zero are on my to-see list!

I am excited to see what tomorrow will bring!