Take Care of Yourself First

Sometimes we take care of everyone else before we even begin to think about us. What is with that? I am a teacher. I take care of little kids all day long. I take care of my family too. So when my husband volunteers to make supper I am relieved and grateful. But then I hang around the kitchen wondering if there is something I can do. Why do I do that? Is it because I am a teacher and need to control everything? Or a woman and have to multi-task all day under my own control? 

So here’s what I am going to do…I am going to let some of the control go. I am going to do something for myself. Any suggestions?



No matter how old we are, forgiveness is still difficult to achieve. I am experiencing this right now. I want to forgive and I need to forgive. I don’t want to not forgive. My problem is my brain. My brain conjures up all kinds of thoughts, 99% of them didn’t even happen, but it conjures it up none-the-less. I know that anger takes a lot of energy. I am well aware. I always feel better much better when I forgive someone. I was hoping that forgiveness would come overnight. I have had many conversations with the person I want to forgive. When we are done discussing, I always feel better. I just need to remember that it will take time and understanding on both of our parts.


As I sit and watch the Packer game, I am also looking over my lesson plans and making a to-do list. I go back to work tomorrow after a 10 day Christmas break. I would say I am a hard worker. I would say that I am analytical. I would say that those two traits have put me close to burning out. But now, I would also say that I am refreshed. I had decided that I was not going to touch any school work or read any teaching blogs, websites,  or professional books over break. I think that is one of the best things I could have ever done for myself and my students. I am going into tomorrow with a game plan and a clear path for the week. Happy New Year to me!


I Can Do It!

I say this with surprise in my voice. I stuck to it. I did it. I wrote for 31 days straight! Woot! Woot! I found that I really enjoyed the writing aspect of my day. It was a part of the day when I could sit and think. I also thought about it during the day as I was teaching or working with students.

I tried to put myself in my students’ shoes today, in fact. I wanted them to write 10 sentences. Four of the sentences had to have action verbs, 3 sentences had to have linking verbs and 3 had to have helping verbs. I asked myself, “Could I do this? Could I write 10 sentences after my lesson today?” My answer was “Yes! I could.” I could write so much more! Why do fourth graders have such a difficult time getting ideas sometimes? Do they lose some of their imagination? Are they too worried about what their peers think?

We write every day so their writing brains should not be lax. Every experience is a potential writing experience. I tell them that all of the time.

This whole writing experience is totally something I can use in my classroom. When my students ask, “Mrs. Roeck, do you write?” I will say, “Yes, I do!” I don’t plan on showing them my blog because it’s something I want to keep personal. I will explain this to them. I do not read everything in their writing notebooks either. Some of it is just for them.

Maybe next year I will be brave and try the Slice of Life for the classroom. It would be a great experience for all of us!


My Excitement is Building


It’s the end of March! It’s almost April! Soon, very soon I will be able to put in my garden! I can’t wait!

My garden is my sanctuary. I have a vegetable garden and several perennial gardens. We have asparagus, too. We also grow grapes and strawberries. I love to watch plants mature and grow. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also learn something new about plants, soil, and composting every summer.

Every year I experiment with something new. One year it was pole beans. Two years ago it was growing pickles on a trellis. Last year I planted eggplant and tried growing my tomatoes a new way. That didn’t work, but we found out we didn’t mind eggplant.

My garden gives me a reason to go outside every day. It saves us money on our summer food bills too. It allows us to share what we have in abundance, with our neighbors. They, in turn, share veggies with us.

Well, I have to go. I have seeds to order! I know I want lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. Any other suggestions?




Sushi, Anyone?

Less than a year ago, we decided we needed to try sushi, while on vacation, in D.C. We found an excellent restaurant not far from our hotel and walked to the location with our two boys. This meal ended up being one of our highlights of our trip. Since that trip, we have been everywhere to eat sushi in our area of Wisconsin.

Who knew that we would be enjoying sushi like we do. I started slow, with some pieces of tempura. I wanted it cooked. Not my youngest son, he went right for the nigiri, eel and squid and octopus to be exact. My husband was right along with him. My oldest son tried authentic ramen soup. We all enjoyed this new experience.

Since we have been home, we have eaten sushi several times. We have traveled to Milwaukee, DePere, and Fond du Lac so far for sushi. I have opened up my tastes a little more. I eat tuna, salmon, eel, and other fish raw now. I love the spicy sushi! If you had told me that I would be eating sushi someday, I probably would have thoroughly disagreed with you. People change. Experiences are good!

Now, if I could just master those darn chopsticks!