>Holidays, little ones, paint, giving, and ipods…

>It’s so nice to have a vacation where I can sleep late, stay in my pajamas all day, and be able to catch up on some reading and writing. Yay! I finally have some time to blog before meeting up with my best friends visiting from Japan and California.
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I’m experimenting with a new look to my blog. The banner picture isn’t of me, of course. He’s not my son either. He’s my quick-witted nephew who has this curiosity and imagination that you would not believe. This picture of him really captures his personality. One of the best things about this holiday is spending time with him and my neice, his little 15 month old sister. They’re currently in the living room putting a foam puzzle together with my dad.
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Ahhh…Dad and I painted the walls of the dining room. Success! After 2 years of persuading my folks to add color to the interior walls our 20 year-old home, they finally agreed to the change a couple of days ago. We now have a warm, apricot peach dining room with white molding, detailing the bottom of the walls and the archway leading in. The next step is to put the furniture and the window treatments back into place, and getting rid of items that don’t belong anymore.
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So…what did I get for Christmas this year? I really appreciate the gifts I got from my students this year. Lots of cookies and chocolates, mugs that I’ll definietly use, stationery sets, a ceramic frog calendar, more cookies and furikake Chex mix, Bath and Body works sets, a picture of the students from our song competition, a beautiful nativity ornament, Sig Zane handbag, and a homemade Swarovski Crystal bracelet.
For the past 6 years, I’ve thought about asking students not to bring me Christmas gifts. Students who can’t afford gifts have often told me that they wished they could bring something for me. I feel so bad. It happens almost every year. I always tell them that the greatest gift that they could ever give me is good classroom behavior all year long and to always try their best in school. How corny huh? It’s true..my little third graders give me that confused look when I say it to them, as if I didn’t understand what they were talking about.
What made me feel really good this year was being able to provide gifts for two of my most needy students. I got together with the Children’s Justice Center and made requests to provide gifts for their families. CJC came through with all of these presents and just the other day, I saw one of the families shopping at the supermarket with big smiles on their faces. They stopped me, and thanked and hugged me for helping them.
It felt good being one of Santa’s helpers. =)
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I guess Santa thought that I was nice this year, so he gave me an iPod Nano for Christmas. I’m so excited about it! It holds 500 songs and displays pictures. I can’t wait to use it in the classroom and be able to create a podcast with my students. So many possibilities!!! It’ll also be a good way to assess them. They create reports, opinions, and interviews that we can broadcast on our own radio show. Wouldn’t that be fun? =)

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