Monday, February 24, 2014

Presidents Day And So Much More....

This week in the library we were busy, busy, busy! Presidents Day gave us a day off but we had to make up for lost time in learning about my hero...Abe Lincoln. I grew up in Illinois so for me I learned all about Abraham Lincoln much like the kiddo's in Kansas learn about Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Then our kindergarten friends also, enjoyed the books called Snow Day by Barbara Joose and The Snowy Day By Ezra Jack Keats. These are wonderful books and fit into our story time perfectly since we have been experiencing so much snow lately. We have even been able to enjoy several snow days.
The students were able to make connections with the characters in the story as well as brainstorming what types of things they enjoy doing on a "Snow Day".
Our first grade classes worked on their non fiction book reports this week in the library. We selected from over 25 different farm animals. It has been a lot of fun learning about our animals. We selected and read our books, then shared our books with a partner.

We began writing on our graphic organizer this week and will finish up next week. Can't wait to see the final product and read their book reports. This project always makes my heart sing. I can see just how much they have grown.

Our fact of the week was offered by Cameron and Mrs. Hagedorn as they read through Cameron's book on The Ostrich.
Our Spotlight Book is a wonderful book guessed it snow, snow and more snow!
I love this story. Katie And The Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.
 Winter Read-a-thon...
We have had our first friend turn in their reading log for the winter read-a-thon. Way to go, friend.
I kind of love this! 

My current read has been wonderful and yes I am going to reccommend it to you.
This weekend I finished up the book Starry Night By Debbie Macomber.

I am a huge fan of Macomber's and this book didn't let me down. It was a short little book.
I had it on reserve since December at the library and it finally came in. Even though I felt like this was a holiday book, it was so short, I didn't mind reading it now. Although, typically, I am one of those that likes to read holiday books around the holidays to get me into the spirit, (ha! like I really need any help).

Carrie Slayton is a successful writer for the Chicago Herald, but she feels trapped in the job, and the city. ( I love Chicago and it's my home, totally couldn't relate to this). She wanted a role as a journalist, covering real stories, not weddings and the society page. And, she misses her family in Seattle as holiday season approaches. However, when she begs her boss for a real assignment, he sends her on a quest. Come back from Alaska with an interview with reclusive author Finn Dalton, and she can call her shots at the newspaper. Carrie's determined to make that happen.

It will take a determined reporter to break into Finn Dalton's life. But, Carrie Slayton is desperate, and she has a secret weapon. She talked to Finn's estranged mother. But, that may prove to be a hindrance rather than a help because Finn has bitter feelings toward the mother who deserted him.  It's going to take more than determination to reach Finn Dalton's heart. It's going to take a Starry Night in Alaska.
This book was short, sweet and romantic. Enjoy!

My next book I am just beginning is called Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty.
I loved the last book Husbands Secret so much I wanted another one of her books. So, Here I go.

The premise to this story is about 3 sisters, triplets, celebrating their 33 birthdays and what life brings.
I am looking forward to getting started. It is chic lit at it's finest. I will give you my review next week.

My high school aide Hannah reading with one of our friends: 


32 Great Reasons to Read a Good Book.

32 reasons to read great booksHere are 32 great reasons to read more books.
To escape your normal life.
To travel to real destinations.
To explore new worlds.
To imagine more than you could on your own.
To understand something new.
To understand something old.
To connect with the author.
To connect with other readers.
To dream a new life.
To compare dreams, realities, and in-between.
To laugh and enjoy.
To deepen your understanding and insight.
To know more than you could learn on your own.
To learn what you don’t know.
To learn what you do know.
To discover something extraordinary.
To meet incredible characters.
To build a larger vocabulary.
To cry after a great read.
To be entertained by a great story.
To relax with a great storyteller.
To stimulate thought.
To grow your spirit.
To find motivation to do more.
To go on a great adventure.
To learn how others live or have lived.
To expand your horizons.
To explore inner dimensions.
To educate yourself.
To inspire your own writing.
To learn how to change the world.
To discuss in a reading group.
To share a good book with your friends.

Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart

Notice my new swap through chaotic godess swaps. Love these swaps and the ladies who put it together. Sign up you will love it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is in the air...Valentines Day, Good Friends and Good Byes.

Happy Valentines Day!
May you always have love in your heart and a book in your hands.

This week in the library, you guessed it we talked about Valentines Day and friendship. We read some of my most favorite Valentines Day books. 

 We did some brainstorming about Valentines Day, friendship and acceptance. We made connections and shared our thoughts and ideas. Some of these brainstorm sessions take off in an unexpected way. We had some real fun laughing and sharing this week over some of our fun valentine ideas.
It's never been more true, what they say "Out of the mouths of babes".  Thanks for the giggles this week friends!

We shared valentines and oh my goodness did I get some amazing valentines. Each year they seem to get more and more creative, I love it. I got so many valentines, see my haul here: 

But one of my friends knows we have a connection not just to books, but to our nails. She got me a valentine that included a bottle of my favorite OPI nail polish!!!! Here's a picture after I did my nails using my favorite red polish by OPI, Big Apple Red. What do you think Rylee?
 But I have to say I was very excited when my husband surprised me with a dozen roses, he is pretty amazing. I am a very lucky lady to have so many people think of me during this special day.

I know my gifts for my husband were heartfelt even though they weren't as amazing as his gifts. They may even need a little explanation...heehee. Well he is actually watching what he eats and I was trying to encourage the healthy eating. He has one cheat day, every 2 weeks where he enjoys something yummy and I thought it would be nice to have root beer floats (they are a favorite of his and he hasn't had one since Father's Day) and I got him a video gift card to watch a movie tonight. Happy Valentines Day, John!

This week in the library we also, enjoyed sharing about many of the books we are reading in our Winter Read-a-thon. I am so impressed at just how many kiddo's are participating and how many adults have sought me out in person, on line, through this blog and on bloglovin to let me know that they are excited to also be participating. I am finding so many new books (that I have now on my reading list) from those of you sharing what you are reading, keep those book selections coming. I love hearing that you are reading and who knows it may be my next read.

I wanted to give you my review on my latest 2 books. I shared with you that I read The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty and from my book swap I received The book Always Something There to Remind me By Beth Harbison first off let me just say I absolutely love both of these authors and try to read all of their books.

The Husband's Secret By Liane Moriarty

The story of The Husband's Secret unfolds from the third person perspectives of three women, Cecilia, Tess and Rachel. At first the connections between these women is unseen but the secret Jon-Paul has been keeping for decades will change them all.

Cecilia has been married to John-Paul for fifteen years, they have three bright and beautiful daughters and a busy, happy life. Cecilia is the P&C president, a successful Tupperware host and her neat and orderly world is shattered when her husband returns early from a business trip.
Tess is devastated when her husband announces he has fallen in love with her best friend, cousin and business partner, Felicity. Her only thought is to escape and she abandons her life in Sydney to return to her childhood home. Tess isn't interested in renewing old friendships but finds she can't resist the attentions of an old flame. Every day is an effort for Rachel. It is only the presence of her toddler grandson that relieves the grief that has haunted her since her teenage daughter was murdered more than twenty years ago, and now her son and his wife are moving to New York.
Bereft, Rachel renews her obsession with the man she suspects murdered her daughter, a man that teaches at the school where she is a secretary, a man she is convinced is really a monster.

Moriarty winds her way through a minefield as her story explores the very personal implications of choosing between right and wrong. I'm desperate to avoid spoilers so I can say little except that the author challenges the notions of guilt, of punishment, of justice and redemption.

The Husband's Secret is a compelling, thought provoking novel, inspired by an article about real life deathbed confessions and their surprising consequences. An intriguing examination of conscience, love, betrayal and forgiveness this novel will stay with you well after the last page has been turned.

Always Something There To Remind Me by Beth Harbison  

Is teenage love real? Can love this young, last forever? Erin Edwards faces these questions among many others in Always Something There to Remind Me.

The story flips from past to present each chapter. We see Erin's relationship form with Nate Lawson from glances to each other at a party to the most intense, young love. When their relationship suddenly turns sour and they break up, Erin doesn't believe she can go on living without him. But, of course, she must. And she does. For 23 years, Erin lives without Nate. So, when Erin is asked to take the next step with a beautiful, nice, successful man, why are thoughts of Nate springing to mind? Is Erin really in love with this man? Is she still in love with Nate? Is Nate in love with her? Does he even remember her? Erin soon finds all the answers to these questions and more. One fateful day she runs into Nate and they realize not much has changed in 23 years. Will they be together? Is it too late?

I loved this book and it hit home for me. I connected to the time, the music in the story, the character and I are close to the same age and it felt like taking a trip back. Thanks once again to Beth Harbison for another great read!

Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart

On a personal note:

This week for me personally, it has been a bit of a struggle as I have a friend who is battling cancer and is slowly losing his fight. After some 30 plus years of friendship this is hard to accept. Unfortunately, I am not able to make the trip to Florida before the end of the school year. 

Yet, I wanted my friend to know the impact he had on my life and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to tell him. I decided to write him a letter. Ponder that for a moment... A letter to a friend that you know is losing his fight and yet what do you say? What do you say without dwelling on the inevitable? This was a challenge, a heartache but I was compelled to write it.

Since I've finished the letter; I have laughed, cried, thought about the memories. I've cherished this friendship and appreciated the significant impact this courageous individual has had upon me and my life, now it is time to share it with him. It feels as if there is some finality to all of this, once I share my letter . For some, they may find this a relief, it leaves me feeling a bit helpless. My hope is that it will bring him and his family some comfort. I know my memories will not fade, as they are as vivid as yesterday and I carry them with me.

I decided to share this here on my blog, today, Valentine's Day, in hopes of encouraging everyone to take this time to let those you care about know of your feelings. It seems on Valentine's Day this comes a little easier to us all.

Happy Valentine's Day,
Mrs. Shamhart


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Days, Cold Days...

Its snowing, snowing, snowing. It has been snowing all day and as I type this we have already accumulated over a foot of snow. UGH! We had a snow day today (Tuesday) and we have already heard that there will be another snow day tomorrow. Temperatures will be below zero in the coming days.
I miss the kiddos and think of all we are going to have to  catch up on. Although, I love the snow and the layer of crisp clean white it leaves in its wake. We have a total of 3 snow days this week and a 2 hour late Start day on Friday.
I warmed myself by the fire and finished my book and enjoyed the hot chocolate and snow is falling.  

Just in time for the snowstorm, I received my book swap books from Becca.

Through our Books and Bloggers Book swap sponsored by CG swaps. 

I was so thrilled to get these books. The criteria for this swap was to share a book that you loved.
Share a book you have been wanting to read. Give a book from your partners wish list.
Needless to say I am very excited to get started on these selections.

My current new book club book is the Beth Harbison book you see here, Always Something There To Remind Me.    I will keep you posted on my progress and a full review of both books next weekend.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. Shamhart