Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

I can't even begin to wrap my head around the fact that it is New Years! I have had so much on my plate these last 2 months. I haven't been able to share because I was throwing a surprise party for my husband and I didn't want to ruin the surprise. I have been slacking here on my blog and will commit to being more active this coming year. 

I am so excited for 2015! I feel like we all have so much to look forward to in the coming months. 

Love the thought of this.


I am not much into resolutions but I do like to make goals.

I am one of those people who work better with a list.

My goals:


The Kid President

I absolutely love the Kid President. His message in this video, strikes a chord with me. I long to promote my students to be lifelong readers, as I am. I am so very excited to share this with you!

This is where you come in...I want us to all #BookItForward. That means I want you to take a book you love and pass it on. this will promote reading and your love of literature with someone else. It's not just an opportunity for kiddo's at my school but for everyone. Share the books with me that you are going to #BookItForward. Who knows, you could inspire someone to love reading by sharing your favorite book choice.

I am sharing my favorite book with both of my grandson's  (one for each of them). The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. To each of my children I will share The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I absolutely cry when I think of the amazing and inspiring insights both of these books lend. Some books MUST be shared! Those books might be different choices depending on who you might give them to.

I will send home Book It Forward forms. These can be filled out and I will share on instagram, to help the Kid President to reach his goal.  I love that we can all be a part of this amazing opportunity.

My Book Goal:

Another one of my goals is to read more and for enjoyment. So many of you ask me or email/messages about what I am reading or what would be a good book club book. I thought I would share our choices for the year 2014.
 I have been in a book club for several years. I love the ladies in my book club. We have 2 Salina elementary school teachers and a retired  teacher, an attorney, 3 stay at home moms, a nurse, a pharmacist assistant and me, a primary librarian. We each bring something different to our group and I love the conversations and the way our group connects. It is always a lot of fun and I find myself laughing about our conversations weeks or sometimes months afterward. Over the last year we have read some amazing books. Here is our list for this past year, 2014. We meet once a month and it is always a feast for the mind and stomach. 

January: Such A Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster 

This is an awesome book to read in January when everyone is trying to shed a few pounds. It is at times, laugh out loud funny. We had a great time discussing it and throwing caution to the wind and sharing some amazing treats.

February: Three Wishes By Liane Moriarty 

This was actually my book choice for the month. I loved the Liane Moriarty book I had read just a few months before that's called What Alice Forgot and I wanted to read another. This was an easy lighthearted read and we enjoyed it. After the holidays, something easy and fun was just what we all needed.

March: The Art Of Racing In The Rain By Garth Stein

The Art of Racing In The Rain has it all love, redemption, danger and most especially the canine narrator, Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. I loved this book! Thanks for sharing this special story with us Karen, it is one I will always remember. The laughter of discussing this book and contemplating what our dogs/pets must think of us...Oh Boy!

April: Glitter and Glue By Kelly Corrigan

I love all the Kelly Corrigan books, they are a joy to read and so easy to relate to. I was swept away through this sweet and sincere memoir in just one sitting. It was a fast but interesting read. So many times I bounced from relating to the daughter and her relationship with her mother and then suddenly I knew exactly how the mother felt. Discussing this book we found that many of us could relate to the mother or the daughter and 2 of us were able to relate to both of these characters for one reason or another. This is a wonderful book about relationships between mothers and daughters and how that relationship changes over time.

May: Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

This book is absolutely AMAZING! It is well written with 2 narrating voices. It is a true spiritual story of faith in others and also our faith in ourselves to do the right thing. i needed a box of tissues by the end of this book. As we discussed our year of books at our last book club meeting I was told that this book is being made into a movie. It will be a must see for me. I will totally be bringing my tissues.

June: The Good House by Ann Leary

I think we all agreed, that every one of us enjoyed this book. Over the last
2 years I think it was one of our most enjoyed. Not the best by far for me             but the overall, most enjoyed by all. Our discussion went on for several hours.     This book had great characters, wonderful depiction of the community and it's history.   I couldn't wait to see, what trouble the main character would get into next. The workings of alcoholism and the denial that tends to be associated played out through this book.

July: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Trooper

This by far was my favorite book of the year. I laughed, and actually found myself reading parts of this allowed to my husband. This was made into a movie and for the most part was pretty close to the book. I enjoyed our discussion of this book and the ins and outs of this diverse and typically dysfunctional family. I really loved that this book could have been any family in the USA. 

August: The Vacationers by Emma Staub                         This was my first time reading Emma Staub. I enjoyed her writing style and I found the story line amusing.  Another family dynamic you will find connections too. Even in our discussion of the book we drifted off to other things. Not one of my favorites but perfect for a lazy day at the beach.

September: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

My first introduction to Gillian Flynn and I was hooked. I ended up reading all 3 of her books. I loved her writing style and as creepy and mysterious as they were I found longing to know more and to read more of her novels. I was drawn to this book initially because the crime that occurred, to main characters family actually takes place in Kansas. I love when I can make an  initial connection to a book as it tends to draw me in. In our discussion it was a fine line between those that appreciated this book and those that hated it. I, myself am not typically drawn to this type of creepy and brutally telling tale. But I went along for the ride and was happy I did. Most of us went on to read Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. I enjoyed all 3 but I felt this one was the most brutally graphic for me. VERY CREEPY!

October: The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

The Prayer Box was a beautifully written story! I loved it. I couldn't put it down. This story takes a lot of different twists and turns but I really enjoyed how Tandi, the main character begins to sort through the boxes and belongings of Lola Anne Poole, her deceased landlady. She begins to learn about herself as well. In our discussion we all had connections to this story. 

November: Mr. Miracle was a fun easy read it was aimed to  get us into the spirit of the season. It was a quick little read. I am a huge fan of all of Debbie Macomber books and I do believe I have read them all. This book did the trick and opened up our group discussion and set off our cookie exchange.

December: Winter Street by Elin Hilenbrand                            This was my book selection and I was so happy to be able to include it this month. I really enjoy Elin Hilenbrand but have always read her beach reads. I was excited to read this story since it was different from her typical writing style. I wasn't disappointed.

It takes place in a B&B in Nantucket where a family comes together. The ending felt abrupt it left me wondering if there will be a sequel next year...?   Due to the holidays we haven't met to discuss this one yet but aim to meet this week.   

Our book club is much like any book club, friends getting together sharing stories and time together. I have learned a long time ago some of my most favorite reads are the ones I never thought I would read.                    

Library Reading Challenge

I have a blogging friend who has started this library reading challenge I have accepted. I will be creating one for my students and adults that I will share as we get back to school. Good luck and I hope you will accept my challenge.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Mrs. Shamhart

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Christmas Countdown ...

                    Can you believe it is already December?                    

The count down has begun, we have only 15 days of school 

  before we go on break, December 19, that just doesn't seem possible.  

                   We return to school Monday, January 5, 2015.                                          


 Listening-   I absolutely love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I was wrapping gifts and listening. It just isn't Christmas time without a viewing of this movie sometime throughout the month.

Loving-  For Thanksgiving my family and I went to Illinois to visit family and it was so very nice to see everyone. I just wish it could have been a longer visit. It seems the time passes so quickly.

Thinking- How I am going to decorate the library, my house and get lesson plans done and prep for the next few weeks done. I am on a mission I will post some photos as I complete some of the decorating here in the library.

Wanting- To be organized. I am one of those people who likes all my ducks in a row. It helps me to more efficient and this is exactly what I want (And a nice Mocha Latte).

Needing- A small miracle to get all the party planning done, upcoming entertaining, holiday planning and family visiting not to mention all the holiday invites I have been included in. YIKES! SERIOUSLY, I need help.

Giving- Funnies!


This is from Christmas Vacation! 

This is exactly how I felt as we drove home from Illinois last weekend. 

 And so is this one.


Buddy The Elf from "Elf"


For all of my teacher friends.



In the library this week we are reading, comparing and contrasting several "snow books" Snow Day! by Barbara Josse, Snow Day! by Lester Laminak and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats


Whenever I read these books it instantly makes me think of this song!


My latest craft...

Last year our art teacher Mrs. Holaday, showed some of the staff how to create these beautiful wooden signs. I made one last year and this is the one I made this week. I love it! I tell the kiddo's, all the time, how lucky we are to have such an amazing art teacher. 

  Last years sign

  Christmas Books:

My favorite time of the year is just around the corner.  I love decorating, baking, and hanging out with my family at home.  At school, I love watching the excitement with the kids, crafting, and of course reading holiday books.  Here are some of my favorites, the links to them are below.

These are a few books everyone in the family will enjoy, regardless of their age.



 Swap Updates:  

I have sent out 2 of my 5 swaps. I received my Cozy Box Swap which was ran by Brandi Lang at Lipstick and Tractors This was a wonderful swap. My partner Beth Wade was amazing and spoiled me.

My next swap was the scarf swap which was by Bethani Gregg over at the The Texan Pantry I just sent my scarf and hat out this past week and made contact with my swap buddy. I will post my wonderful goodies as soon as they arrive. 

I am currently working on 2 swaps that need to be sent out on the 6th. My 12 days of Christmas Swap which is ran by the wonderful ladies  at Chaotic Goddess Swaps and my Christmas Book Swap which is by Carpe Librum on Instagram. I am almost done wrapping these up and need to get them off to the post. My final swap is my Happy Parcel Package which I am really excited about. I will share posts as they all arrive.

Book Challenge Update:

Thus far I have had 47 students turn in completed challenges. How exciting to see so many kiddo's reading!!! We still have a couple weeks to complete the challenge so please keep on reading. I have 2 books left to complete my challenge. I will post all books I read next week. I hope you will share your list in the comments. 

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Shamhart

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Swap updates...

Oh my goodness, I am involved with some amazing swaps and absolutely loved my last few swap partners. I have 4 new swaps and another Chaotic Goddess Swap, I will be involved in this month. The Chaotic Goddess Swaps are always so well done. I am really looking forward to it. Join us there is still time to sign up. I have included some info. On all the swaps I am involved in. I hope you will check them out and sign up too.



It's time for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap!
12 Days of gifts, in one amazing swap package

Your Swap Objective

Fill a package with 12 wrapped presents (one present may consist of more than 1 item, if desired) for your partner that you, yourself, would love to receive. Total package cost must be $40-$50, before shipping, to ensure relative value.
Then you get to open a gift every single day, from December 13th through the 24th!
Dates to Remember:
  • Sign-Ups Start:  Monday, November 3rd
  • Sign-Ups End: Monday, November 10th
  • First Post MUST be posted WITHIN THREE (3) DAYS OF BEING ACCEPTED INTO THE SWAP: This is a new rule, to allow interested followers of yours enough time to sign up
  • Partners assigned: Wednesday, November 12th
  • Packages Shipped By: Saturday December 6th
  • Show-Off Linky Opens: Wednesday, December 24th
  • Show-Off Linky Closes: Friday, January 9th

12 Days of Christmas Swap Rules
  • After being accepted, you must post on your blog saying you're participating within three (3) days of being accepted into the swap.  Post must include the button/link back to the sign-ups.
  • Packages must contain 12 wrapped gifts that fit your partner's preferences (each gift may have more than 1 item in it, if desired, but there must be 12 items to open).
  • You must respond to emails from the swap hosts within a timely fashion.
  • Packages MUST be mailed on or before December 6th!
  • You must send a tracking number for your package to your partner and to us at Chaotic Goddess Swaps.
  • You MUST post and link up your swap reveal post (linky runs 12/24 - 1/9). 

Please do not sign up for this swap if you cannot fulfill your obligation to the rules above.

We don't want anyone to be left out and not receive a package, especially after sending one. If for any reason you become unable to participate YOU MUST CONTACT US here at Chaotic Goddess Swaps immediately so we can work out another arrangement. Failure to send a package, contact us, or to link up a reveal post, will result in blacklisting for all future swaps, and coal in your stocking.

cozy box swap
Winter themed swap to keep you cozy throughout the winter. Get to know your partner and send items that they would like. This box should give off a cozy feel. Send favorite items, Christmas stuff, hot drinks, inspirational items, ornaments, fall/harvest themed, etc. Etsy or other handmade shops would be perfect for this.
•Open to US residents, 18 years old & older.
•$20 minimum before shipping.
•Tracking numbers are strongly recommended. (If you buy postage online from USPS the tracking number is free.)
•You must post a blog post prior to sign-ups closing with the swap button letting others know about the swap.
•Please use #cozyboxswap2014 on all postings.
•If you don’t send a package you will be blacklisted from all future swaps.
•Sign-Ups Close: Friday, November 7th
•Partners Sent Out: Sunday, November 9th
•Packages Must Be Shipped By: Monday, November 17th
•Reveal Link-Up Opens: Friday, November 21st

We’re just hours away from revealing our big project! Follow us on instagram for the latest news 😊

If you’d like to join our first exchange send an email to and we’ll send you all the information you need!

This next Swap, sign ups have ended but it is one you may want to follow on IG: @carpelibrumgirl or her blog at I kind of love the whole book swap idea and have been involved in lots of them over the years. 

View IMG_20141101_143541.jpg in slide show

My final swap for the coming holiday season is the 2014 Scarf Swap which I absolutely had to join.

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2014 Scarf Swap

Sign up by Friday, November 7. You will receive your person’s info Monday, November 10. Spend $15 on said scarf. – this can be purchased or handmade but you have to spend at least $15 then mail scarf by November 30, to your swap buddy. Receive your cute scarf and post about it and link up.

I think I may take a break from Slant and Lift Packages this coming month to check out these other swaps.
Feel free to let me know what might be on your winter/Christmas/book list this holiday season.
Let me know if you sign up for any of these swaps...who knows I could be your swap buddy :)
Happy Reading
Tula Shamhart 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

 Library Update

Wow! I looked back and haven't posted in over 2 weeks. I can't believe all I have missed, telling all my blog viewers and friends.  I have been sick and not just a little cough and sneeze but a miserable sort of upper respiratory infection. I actually missed a few days of school last week and that is always hard for me to do. I have been on the mend ever since. It has been a slow process.

I love this time of year and look forward to many of the simple pleasures of fall both personally and professionally. I am trying to soak it all in, I can't believe Halloween is already upon us.  Enjoying the fall soccer games with my grandson and friends from school, all the pumpkin assorted treats, and most of all the time outdoors before the cold strikes. I love the changing of seasons and the beautiful fall colors.
Which is exactly what I did when my husband brought me this delicious treat.

 My yorkie, Hermione is 8 years old, she is my fur baby. We were all out doing yard work and she had to come out to help.

 I tried a few new recipes this fall which I love to do. Unfortunately, not as many as I would have liked to make.  Here is a recipe for Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Maple glaze. I will continue to post some of the new recipes I try out.


This week in the library was kind of a celebration of Halloween books. I actually love this week of sharing my favorite Halloween read a loud books with my friends. With one set of lights out and our pumpkins all a glow.

Kindergarten friends listened to Minerva Louise on Halloween,  The Hallo-wiener and Space Case.
Books with characters we have met before or will meet again and authors we will continue to learn about.

 With First Graders, we read my 2 most favorite Halloween stories...I love to see some of them jump when I read The Perfect Pumpkin Pie by Denys Cazet and we also read Boo! By Robert Munsch.

All in all we had a lot of fun preparing for Halloween 2014'.  We all shared what we might dress up as and enjoyed visiting about what they were most excited to see or do this Halloween.

Reading Challenge Update

I have had several first graders turn in their reading challenges this past week. I am so proud of them.
The first challenge turned in belongs to this awesome 1st grade reader. Way to go!

My Reading Challenge Update

I have been reading a lot of late, trying to complete my reading challenge.

  Read a book you already have at home but haven't gotten around to yet

Read a book that takes place in the state/province you were born (Illinois)

  Read a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist for fiction.

                            Read a book set during Christmas or another winter holiday


Swap Up Dates

Chaotic Goddess Swaps

Paired me with a wonderful swap partner Niki Abel at
I absolutely loved all the Halloween swap items. See my swap here:

Thanks-a-latte 2014

This was the first swap I have ever participated in with this group and I loved it.
It ran a little differently then other swaps. It was a secret swap where you didn't know your swap partner. I loved all the items I received. Thanks Nicki Glenn!


I am very excited for November, we are looking forward to the upcoming holiday. We will be visiting with family and enjoying this much needed visit.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. Shamhart