Sunday, February 28, 2010

She Said I Had a "Dream Class"

I wasn't planning on writing a "Part II" to my last post.  However, I received many more than a few posts about how important manners are to all of you... and a few bemoaning the manners of today's children and the fact that our schools are not doing enough to help with the epic proportions of disrespect and gratitude among our children today.  Just wanted to let you know that a few teachers are doing their part, yours truly included

A few days ago, I had quite a scare in my classroom:  I thought my computer had a virus.  I totally teach through my computer and Smartboard.  Horrors!!!  The IT person from the district (God bless her!) finally came in the midst of my teaching my fourth graders and had to interrupt me to ask questions throughout the twenty or so minutes she was there.  When she left, she commented to me, "You have a dream class.  I have never seen such polite students."

She is right.  I do have a dream class.  (Sure, they drive me crazy sometimes, but they are nine and ten-year-olds!)  In all my years, I have never had a bad class.  Never.  As a whole, I have always had a good, if not dream, class.  And I'm going to tell you why.
  1. I expect my students to have good manners.  I expect them to say "yes, ma'am" and "no, ma'am".  If they don't they have to repeat themselves until they do.   My class discipline letter states this as well.  In it, I tell the parents that it conveys an atmosphere of respect.  Our town has many northern transplants, and I have yet to have any parent complain.  I also tell them that I expect "please" and "thank you" from each student as I will use those words with the children as well. 
  2. Our classroom rules are created by the students.  Every year, we come to the conclusion that all rules are based on treating others with respect and showing them good manners.  Therefore, the class always includes one that says "We will only say things to others that will make them feel good."  (Too bad all the kids from those horrible Disney and Nick shows don't follow that rule...)
  3. Whenever we have a speaker/visitor come to our class (we've had three so far), I have every student write a "thank you" letter.  We brainstorm on specific things we learned or enjoyed from their visit.  Every letter must be at least five sentences and share how much they appreciated the visit.  This teaches gratitude and showing it to others.  The children love hearing about how much the recipients enjoy their letters - and I get a writing grade!
  4. I am "Mom" from 7:30 until 2:15.  I will love them like a mom, and only expect the best from them... like a mom.  Sometimes when I get onto them, I tell them, "I'm treating you just like I treat Sumter and Jackson."  They laugh and say, "That's because you are OUR mom from 7:30 until 2:15!" 
Now I can't speak for all teachers - or all schools for that matter.  As a matter of fact, I wish our school had more to say about manners.  But I can't wait for everyone else.  I have double duty as a parent and teacher.

And... I love having a "dream class".

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank you for the ride...

My sweet friend, Mama Henley, just blogged about "rules" her family had growing up.  It reminded me of one rule my family had.  It so sticks out in my mind:  Always thank the person who gives you a ride home.

I can remember practicing with my mother.  "Goodbye Mrs. So-and-So.  Thank you for the ride!"  It must be genuine, and our tone must reflect our true thanks.  And it was said every... single... time an adult other than our parents brought us home.  My sister and I were in numerous carpools for church choir, ballet, gymnastics - you name it!  It became rote.  And it still is... now for Sumter and Jackson.

I feel like my own mother, reminding them "don't forget to thank Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So for the ride!"  And they always remember.  I know, because Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So tell me.  We parents notice these things, don't we?  We notice gratitude and good manners.  We notice when our children show thanks.

Yes, we do... and we notice when our children's friends don't...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

Here 's a picture that inspires and
makes me smile every time I see it!
It was at a casual fundraiser for the Gamecock Club here in Aiken.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Wii Just for Mii

You won't believe what I did this past week.  I bought ANOTHER Wii.  Yes, another. Yes, we have two. Actually, the only gaming system our family has in our house is a Wii, and Santa brought it two years ago.  No Play Station, no X-Box.  I have a big issue with kids... well, that's for another day.  We got the Wii because the kids would be active while they are playing the games.

LAST Christmas I got the Wii Fit.  Oh, I was so excited!  The board was so neat, and I could do all these fun exercises and activities.  So my Mii was a little fluffy...  That was OK, because I was going to slim that little blond Mii down.  And I did... for a while, as we brought the Wii downstairs from the playroom and I got all set up in my lovely living room.  I went crazy... for a few days!  But guess what Sumter got for Christmas that same year???  Guitar Hero (with the drum set) for the Wii.  And because there was no way in h@*$ that all that stuff was going to stay downstairs, the Wii went back up to the playroom.  The nasty boy playroom.  Yuck.  Do you know how hard it is to get motivated to exercise in "the nasty boy playroom"?  Very.  I didn't last long.

So my Wii Fit got very dusty, and I got more fluffy.
(This isn't Mii, but you get the idea!)

And now I can't get my fat derriere in my cute Lilly skirts from last spring and summer (or even the two that I bought from Rue La La at $49 a pop).  Mon dieu!

So I now have a Wii of my very own... and not in the lovely living room so that the boys are tempted to whine that they want to play downstairs (remember they have theirs in "the nasty boy playroom"!), but in my beautiful boudoir.  Ah... I close the door... and karate, box, hula hoop, and lotus to my hearts content.  Because, heaven help us... we now have two Wiis.  And I'm going to get back into my Lillys if it kills Mii.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Three Little Dots...

 First, I am definitely on the mend!  Thank you all for your sweet, sweet, sweet comments.  My bout with the dreaded stomach bug was definitely the twenty-four hour version... and for that I am so thankful!  I am able to go to Sumter's last basketball game and, perhaps, spend some time outside in these glorious 60s degrees temperatures.  (Can you believe that last weekend we had five inches of snow???)

Which brings me to something I have realized about myself... I love "three little dots".  See, I just did it!  (Actually, they are called ellipsis points if you want to be grammatically correct.)  Don't believe I am an addict???  Look at the title of my blog:  "It's a Golden Day..."  Told you so.  I know they aren't the best for formal writing, so I never use them there.  But they add so much when writing my blog, or an email, or on Facebook.  I have to really control myself on Twitter... damn those 140 character limits!!!

But I don't think it's just the "three little dots" I love.  "Three little exclamation points" (!!!) and "three little question marks" (???) also score big in my book.   What is it about "three"?  I'm guessing it stems back from creating center pieces and arrangements with my mother... and what she told me:

 "Never use an even number of anything when arranging.  
It never looks right.
Three (or five) give it just the right punch."
And so I use three... because five would be just too much, don't you think?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not So Golden...

OK, so I'd love to drop more than a few pounds,
but curling up in my bed (as well as spending quality
time with the porcelain god) is not my first choice
in how to get there.

Praying for a better day tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

I have this to the right of my cooktop on my island in my kitchen. (I'll show you the one I have on the other side another day...)  As I make pancakes every morning for the boys, I am blessed by this message from Lamentations.  It reminds me that every single day, God grants us grace and mercy over and over... and over and over.  What an amazing promise to start the day with!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Homemade" Valentines

First of all, thank you for all your prayers for the boys' safe travel!  They made it off the mountain just fine!

Wanted to share with you Jackson's Valentine project.
(Click to get a better picture)
We bought NBA Basketball Stars Valentines a week ago, but upon further inspection, Jackson decided that the girls in his second grade class might not like them.  So he decided to color - and decorate with a Dove chocolate - individual cards for each girl.  Then, he said that the boys' cards needed something special too:  a colored frame.  He worked on this project for four hours.  Hope the kids in his class appreciated all his hard work.  

Even if they didn't, his sweet heart made my Valentines...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland

So it did happen.  And it was beautiful.  

Snow begins falling around 3:00...

Our house...

1 1/2 inches at 5:00...

No leaves in the winter, but the snow looks so magical...

And it continues through the night...

Which gave us almost 5 inches...

Our hammock is blanketed...

A new roof for the birdfeeder...

Beautiful South Boundary in Aiken, but the snow was
beginning to melt by this time...

Many of you might be wondering where Sumter and Jackson are in all of these pictures.  Sadly, they are not at home this weekend.  Mike and I are so bummed out as we wish we could witness all the fun they are having in the snow!  They are with their Mimi and G-dad in the beautiful snowy mountains of North Carolina.  We agreed to let them go as the trip had been planned, and my father has a 4-Wheel Drive SUV.  However, we got a call last evening (THEY ARE ALRIGHT!) from my mother telling me that they skidded off a mountain road into a shallow ditch and almost tipped over.  The angels were with them as my father was able to get the SUV under control and back on the road and safely arrive at Kanuga (in Hendersonville, NC).  The boys were terrified, and my mother could hear both of them praying in the back seat.  They are fine now - snowball fights and building snowmen with friends solves everything!

My prayer request for you, sweet friends, is for a SAFE AND UNEVENTFUL TRIP BACK HOME tomorrow (Sunday).  The roads will be even icier, and I will be a nervous wreck until I can see and hug them!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

In reading more and more blogs, I have noticed that many of you cute girls have a weekly "thing" that you share each week.  I know you are all so excited and are waiting with baited breath to be inspired with a new fabu recipe to share with your family.  But I am not a gourmet... and though I do enjoy it, cooking does not inspire me.

This does.  I have pictures all over my kitchen, as that is where I spend most of my time.  I add pictures.  I switch them out.  I add more.  Some are in acrylic frames.  Some are clipped to the bulletin board.  Some are on the fridge.  I love these pictures and the people in them!

So... every week, I will share one photo that is a
"Kitchen Inspiration".

This is my sweet Aunt Laura (Aunt LaLa to the kiddos) a few 
summers ago at our family's annual week at Kanuga, 
in the mountains of North Carolina.
She is the best... My sister and I loved her so much as little girls
and so do our children! 
I absolutely love this picture of her, Sumter and Jackson 
and their sweet little cousins.  
They were playing "band" and were having so much fun.  
My two were in shorts and Masters and Edisto t-shirts 
(typical boys)... 
Look at my cute nieces in their matching 
monogrammed dresses and monster grosgrain bows! 


Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's a Sunshine Day!


Do you remember those groovy Brady kids and that great song "Sunshine Day"?  I have given been the Sunshine Award by TWO of my new friends:  Town and Country Mom and A Place to Dwell.  Maybe I should put on my Sunday best and go to Sears!

The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blog world. So maybe I AM Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!  Thanks y'all!  I’m now going to pass along the sunshine and present this award to some bloggers who make my day a just that more sunny and Golden.

The rules, once this award is received, are as follows:
1. Post the logo on blog.
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees' blogs so others can get to know them.
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

Tickled Pink Talk
The Entertaining House
Henley on the Horn
Pink, Green, and Southern
All Things Bright and Beautiful
Bees and Fleur-de-Lis
3 Peanuts
And Emma Makes Five
The Horton Family
Maryland Pink and Green
Blessings Abound...
Molly Lou Gifts

 Hope EVERYONE has a Golden and Sunshine Day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Madras Makes Me Happy

What does madras make you think of?
How does it make you feel?

I went in our store a few days ago and giggled with glee 
when I saw these madras goodies.
Love these cute belts with the tortoise shell slides.
I think of a cute look with khaki shorts, a Vineyard Vines polo, 
and classic Tretorns.
(Oh, and Tretorns can be found on and!)

I think of spring time shopping trips on a
precious downtown street
(Perhaps Laurens Street in downtown Aiken, South Carolina!)

I think of kicking up the sand at Edisto or Pawley's Island,
my two favorite beaches... and lucky blessed me to have 
family homes at each.

OK, a bit of self-promotion:  you can find all these goodies at Tea Garden!  Click on it in the post OR you can click on our store sign on the right side of my blog ANY TIME!

How does madras make you feel?

Monday, February 1, 2010

How Many Times Have You Said This?

"I'll keep you in my prayers." or 
"I'll be praying for you."

How many times have you said this to someone and then failed to follow through?  I admit that I am guilty.  I know I have said it and genuinely meant to do so.  I really did!   Most of the time I do pray, right then, right there (albeit silently).  But, again, I am guilty...

Prayer changes lives.  It alleviates the hurting through tough times.  It provides hope for restoration.  And prayer battles the enemy.  That's why prayer is not a casual promise.

Just today, I found out a sweet girl I team taught with last year is experiencing complications with her pregnancy (due April 1).  Jessica has been told not to go back to work until she meets with a "high risk pregnancy" doctor on Thursday.  I told a few other teachers about this and how worried I am for her.  IMMEDIATELY, one of them said we should stop right then, hold hands and pray for her.  And so we did - right there in my classroom during our planning period.  What a beautiful prayer it was!  An African-American woman, her deep, rich voice resonating with the strong faith she had, prayed for the healing and safety of Jessica and that precious baby.  What a testimony:  She didn't just agree that we should pray for Jessica.  She did it, right then and there!

Am I saying that every case warrants this beautiful story?  No... I just need to remember that the gift of prayer is powerful.   Not a casual gift... a meaningful gift... a powerful gift.