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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Happiness Project - Week 34

Tomorrow morning,
a truck arrives to pack up my house
and transport it to Tanzania.
Tomorrow night,
Ethan and I will hop on a plane
and say goodbye to Zambia.

After a fantastic 2 years in Lusaka,
the Nisbets are on the move.
We're starting a new chapter.

So, this week
for my Happiness Project,
I've decided to highlight some people
and events
that helped make Lusaka
home
for the last 2 years.












Happiness is great friends
and good times.

































































Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blood Brothers - Nora Roberts

My dear friend Sarah,
mentioned this book a couple weeks ago,
and I just had to get it.
And then I just had to read it.
I should be packing the house,
studying,
but instead,
I've spent the last few days
reading.
And doing very little else.

Blood Brothers is the first book
in the Sign of Seven Trilogy.
Caleb, Fox and Gage
have been friends all their lives.
They even share the same birthday,
July 7th, 1977.
On the eve of their 10th birthday,
they decide to become
blood brothers.
Their blood sets free a demon who,
every 7 years,
for 7 days
right before their birthday
terrorizes their small town.

Now,
as they approach their 31st birthday,
they fear this may be their last battle.
The thing seems to be stronger.

Quinn Black,
is a reporter,
determined to write a book about the going ons
in Hawkins Hollow.
She and Caleb develop a connection,
not just an attraction,
but a connection to the past.

Can she help him fight this thing?




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Writer's Workshop - Humble

Talk about an experience where you felt humbled. 

A former colleague of mine,
helped set up a trust school
here in Lusaka.
A few years ago,
she went to Project Zero
and brought back her knowledge,
not only to our school,
but to Mukwashi Trust as well. 
Every so often,
she would ask the teachers at our school,
if we would mind hosting some 
Mukwashi teachers.
The teachers spend the day
observing our classroom.
This apparently is really useful for them
and they get a lot out of these visits.
The teachers at Mukwashi are eager to learn.
Like children,
they are sponges,
eager to soak up new knowledge.


This week,
one of our teachers
organised a visit to Mukwashi.
It was out turn to observe them.
Judah,
the director,
had asked we provide 
feedback.
I was prepared to give some advice.
I was not prepared
to have been inspired.
These teachers are unbelievable.
They have taken 
thinking routines
to a new level.


I observed the grade 1 classroom.
I have 20 wild students in my classroom.
This teacher had close to 30.
As much as I try to keep my voice level down,
when students get loud,
or out of control,
my tone increases.
This teacher spoke in a soft tone.
The whole time.
Even when 2 students were fighting on the carpet
she did not flinch.
She knew her focus was on the students
eager to learn.
She made me realise
that a teacher is a facilitator to 
students' learning.
Not a disciplinarian.



She definitely humbled me. 



Wordless Wednesday

Yesterday
I went with some teachers
to visit Mukwashi Trust.
I loved watching these girls
jump rope.








Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Happiness Project - Week 33

I was invited back to AISA
this year,
to work with Margaret MacLean.
I worked with her last year
and we had an amazing group.
This year,
many participants came back.
While we were a smaller group,
the camaraderie from last year was still there.
There was a lot of trust.
A lot of laughs.
And a lot of learning.
I'm feeling inspired.
I'm feeling empowered.


Happiness is working
with an amazing group of educators.




























































Possession - JR Ward

This book was sitting on my Kindle
for a whole 2 weeks before I read it.
Yes, two whole weeks!!!!

Jim and Adrian are back in this
fifth installment of the
Fallen Angels.

The good guys are winning
3:1.
One more win and game over.
But Jim can't get the images of 
Sissy out of his head,
so he offers Devina a deal.
She frees Sissy's soul,
and he'll give her a flag.
With Sissy free,
Jim begins to loose focus on the
"game".
Will he be able to save the soul?

Duke is a bouncer at the Iron Mask
(hello cameo from Xhex and JM).
He's living a tortured life.
Cait is a young artist.
She meets a singer and is smitten.
Then she meets Duke. 
Where does her heart belong?
Without Jim's guidance, 
will she make the right choice?
And what secrets threaten to destroy everyone?


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Happiness Project - Week 32

My time at the American International School of Lusaka
has come to an end.
My new adventure will soon begin. 
To say goodbye,
we had a cupcake party
for all second graders.
I was bombared with hugs.
Nothings better than hugs.







Happiness is hugs.




























































Monday, October 14, 2013

Just One Year - Gayle Forman

I absolutely fell in love with 
Just One Day.
I didn't plan to like it.
I was intent on not liking it.
But I couldn't help myself.

So, with the sequel,
Just One Year
I was a little nervous.

I'm not sure what I expected.
Just One Day ended
with Allyson showing up on
Willem's doorstep.
I think I expected it to start from there.
But it doesn't.
It begins at the end
of the the day.

Just One Year 
begins with Willem 
waking up in a Parisian hospital.
This is where and when
Allyson believed he left her.
Willem never believed in love.
He didn't believe in family.
He was a traveller.

We see how his meeting Allyson
affected him.
While it seems she broke his heart,
Willem's quest to find her
helps him find what he has lost.
Perhaps she healed his heart.

I may have been over emotional 
when reading  devouring this.
My heart broke
every time Willem thought he found her
only to realise he was nowhere close
to finding her.
It was so innocent
and yet so touching.
I loved it!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Second Grace on the Left - Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson is back!
And kicking butt,
when she isn't getting her 
butt kicked!

In Second Grave on the Left
Charley has a lot to deal with.
Cookie asks her to help her find
her missing friend.
Along the way,
she discovers Dead Truck Guy
in Cookie's car.
Someone,
or a few someones,
want her dead.
And if that's not enough,
she's trying to find 
Reyes' body
before his corpeal being dies.

Now, 
this all sounds very serious,
and very confusing
but Darynda Jones
has a way of making this all
hilarious and entertaining. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Ethan on his class field trip
to Celtic Freight.







Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Happiness Project - Week 31

This past weekend,
I decided to be the awesome mom.
The over-achieving mom.
The mom with grace and patience. 
The mom that makes her own fruit roll-ups.
And I began the mom who can't figure out how to do it.
My roll-ups,
were an epic fail!

But, not to give up,
I decided to try something else.
My cousin in England
shared with me a cool recipe for 2-ingredient pancakes.
Yes two ingredients!


Eggs and banana!
Yes that's it.

Now it called for one banana 
and two eggs.
But when I made the first one,
I was a little concerned
it was an omelet
with banana.
And then I began to wonder,
if this recipe called
for one of those large bananas
I see at home.
So I added an extra banana. 

Ethan loved them.


Even though some were 
slightly
over cooked.


Happiness is pancakes
for breakfast.


























































Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan

I took 3 courses this summer,
so my reading for pleasure
was limited.
So for the last week,
I have been on a reading binge.

I have thoroughly enjoyed 
the first two books
in this series.
So when I found 
The Titan's Curse
in our school's library
I just had to pick it up.

The story begins with 
Thalia, Percy, Annabeth and Grover
trying to save two young Half Bloods.
A battle ensues.
And Annabeth goes missing.
We meet the goddess,
Artemis,
and her huntresses.
But soon,
Artemis is taken.

It is now up to Percy, Thalia and Grover
along with the Huntress lieutenant Zoe,
and newly recruited Huntress and Half Blood Bianca
to save Artemis,
and bring back Annabeth.


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Kate DiCamillo

I read a lot of books to
and with
my students. 
I never include them on my blog.
I don't consider them a part of
my reading challenge.
However,
this book was a little different.

I was looking for a good
chapter book
to share with my class.
Our fabulous librarian suggested
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
I have been loving it.
As had my class.
I have a little over a week left,
before my time at AISL comes to an end,
and I was slightly concerned
that I would not finish the book.
So I brought it home to read.

Ethan took one look
and commented it was a fantastic book.
His class read it at the beginning of the year.
Ohhh..... this must be the book his teacher was telling me about.
Ethan cried at one point.
Makes sense.
I cried too.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
is the story of a china rabbit,
who is loved by a little girl.
But does he love her?
He is suddenly separated from her
and so his journey begins.
Edward is now passing
from owner to owner
(or rather companions).
During his journey,
he endures great love and great tragedy.
He learns that no matter what happens in life
it is most important to open your heart....
and let yourself love and be loved. 





Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Think we need a zip line
at our new place.