Sunday, December 4, 2011

Substitute Teaching

When I stopped teaching art full time, I devoted my time writing
and illustrating children's books. I got a lot of ideas from
my own childhood, my children's childhood and being around
my grandchildren. Since my grandchildren live in Atlanta, I wanted
a venue where I would be around kids more often and be be a part
of the contemporary issues that interest kids and influence kids.
I tried working part time in a day care and loved being with the babies
and toddlers, but I realized that substitute teaching would better
fulfill my creative and intellectual needs.

I have been substitute teaching for three years exclusively at the
Pal-Mac School District.  It feels like full time, because I get a job
almost every day.  I teach children in all grade levels and subjects.
I have learned a lot and the kids inspire and challenge me!

One of my favorite grade levels is 6th grade.  The kids are energetic
and zany.  They are still like first graders in many ways, affectionate and
full of wonder.  Yet, their intellectual growth is on the cusp of complex
abstract thinking.  Emotionally, they are darting in many directions.

Since substituting, I have read a myriad of mid-grade novels.  I have been
working on a few mid-grades and my writing is better for my teaching.

Me reading to the class

Nothing distracts one student avidly reading

One way to absorb Newton's three laws of motion

Would you trust these two with scissors?

Scene stealer

Hands on science project

Typical 6th grade behavior

Night of Lights at Preferred Plants 2011

My daughter, Michele, works at Preferred Plants,
an interior design retail business, specializing in
individually created silk flower arrangements and wreaths.
Additionally, the store features unique furniture, statuary,
ceramic novelties, vases and pots.   Michele is a master at
making beautiful wreaths of all sizes and flower arrangements.

On Friday, Nov.18, Preferred Plants held their annual
Night of Lights to hail in the holiday season.  The store was
glowing with gift giving ideas and a buffet of wonderful
cheeses and wine.  Gary and I really enjoyed the event!

Michele, with her wreath designs, and owner, Inara

Gary's bird carvings on display

Me in front of one of the displays

July 4th, 2011

Erik and his family drove sixteen hours straight, stops
for meals and potty time included, to visit us in NY,
That's an amazing feat with three small children!

They spent the week here.  We were on the go every
minute, swimming, water tubing on Keuka Lake,
playing bocce ball, visiting the Children's Museum,
reading, drawing, painting, and eating, eating, eating
to keep the energy flowing.

I had a few toys for Ty and CD's to play, but Ty loved
just being creative with towels and seed packets.  He
would hide them, stack them, put them in the box
and take them out of the box over and over.
Who needs toys!

Ty and Taylor

Anna, good shot!

Look at the camera

Seed pack play

Towel play

Grandpa and Ty

Ship at the children's museum

Children's museum - story/music presentation

Children's museum train ride

Children's museum merry-go-round

Children's museum - super heroes, Anna and Taylor

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Easter 2011

On our visit to Atlanta for Easter we spontaneously
took some photos on my son's front steps.  It was such
a beautiful day, my daughter, Michele, flew down for the
holiday, and the kids were freshly scrubbed and dressed
(it didn't last), so we simply took advantage of the moment!

My son and family

Me, daughter, Michele, Ty and Tay

Michele and her nieces and nephew

The three grandkids

The Easter Gang including Emily's Mom and Dad and
of course, Beni (Woof, woof)

Ty later in the day!  Did you ever see a happier face?
Love this baby!!

New Marco Book

Marco Flamingo in the Jungle

My new book in the Marco series was released in
the Spring of 2011.

As stated on my web page,

    "Once again Marco has an exciting adventure.  
It is Marco’s birthday and he receives an invitation 
from his friend, E. E. Elephant, to visit him in the 
     Marco has quite a harrowing boat trip across the 
ocean, but arrives in the jungle safely. His friend, 
Elephant takes him to the watering hole to cool off 
after his trip. Then Marco has a great time laughing 
with Hyena, finding buried treasure with Ostrich 
and even roaring with Lion. 

     At the end of the story there is a big surprise. 
Another birthday wish comes true for Marco.

     The illustrations fill the pages with colorful jungle 
scenes and action.Marco’s facial expressions capture 
his excitement and moods."

The book is available from the publisher,
Raven Tree Press, Amazon, and bookstores.

Decatur Book Fest

Labor Day Weekend, 9/2-9/4 2011

My husband and I and our son's family went to the Decatur
Book Fest on one of the hottest days in Atlanta.  It was over
100 degrees!  It was amazing that we lasted three hours,
but there was so much for the kids to do and wonderful
presentations on stage in the tent that the kids just didn't
want to leave.  We tried to beat the crowds to the seats by
the fans.  Don't you think a festival in Atlanta should be
indoors with air conditioning?

Never the less we made it work.  Taylor was soooo excited
to meet Judy Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones
series of picture books.  And even more excited to get a picture
taken of her with the author.

Laura Murray gave a "sweet" presentation based on her book,
The Gingerbread Man Escapes from the Bakery.  And my little
grandson, Ty, who is one year old, loved hearing the music
in singer/songwriter, Caroline Herring's presentation.

Anna and Taylor hoola hooped, Ty ate crackers, and the adults
stayed under the tree!  Our rosy cheeks are due to the heat,
not a healthy complexion!
Taylor and author Judy Schachner

Author, Laura Murray

Caroline Henney's presentation

Anna and Taylor

Me, Ty, and husband, Gary


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Visit to Atlanta
We drove (yuck)-- I hate the long drive, but it's hard
to fly when we have loads of Christmas gifts and luggage 
for a month.  We planned a short hop to Florida or 
Charleston also.  We actually did make it to Charleston
for four days.

It was great seeing our son, Erik, Emily and the three 
grand kids.  We hadn't seen them since September and Ty, 
(7 mo) was crawling and pulling himself up, cruising along
the furniture and climbing stairs.  He is a charmer.  Adorable.  
And cuddly. He amuses his sisters, Anna and Taylor, with 
his antics.

Anna loved the painting set we gave her---also Taylor

Erik finished the basement, so now we have our own bedroom,
bath and family room to get some peace and quiet.  Yeah, right!!
With three kids in the house!!!  And the drum set in the basement.

It was an eventful visit.  First, Gary and I got the stomach virus
(sick for four days).  Erik got it too.  Then the Atlanta ice storm hit.
Schools were closed for the week and Emily got to stay home 
(her office shut down also).  She was happy about that.  But, the
last few weeks rolled along happily.  We also saw the animated 
children's film, Despicable Me four times!  I'm still not tired of it.

Loved every minute of baby sitting Ty.

Holiday Signing 
Lift Bridge Book Shop
December 11, 2010
Main Street, Brockport, New York

I joined fellow authors and illustrators from RACWI
at this book signing event.  I chugged down glasses of
cider and ate fistfuls of cookies (well, more than a few).

Joe Sottile greeted customers in his quirky, 
humorous way.  


Robert Snead had his display next to mine, so we did
a lot of catching up.  I hadn't seen him in a while.

Of course I browsed through books and bought a few gifts.

Vivian Vande Velde took a lot of photos, so here is the link
if you are interested in seeing more of the authors/illustrators
present.  Thank you, Vivian.