The Bakery I Live At

In 2000, my husband and I bought the family business from his parents. It is a bakery that has been in my husband’s family’s name since 1908. He is the fourth generation to owe this business. Quite a feat, I know, especially in a small town. We are well known throughout our area. My husband and his right-hand man bake everything themselves. Most everything is made from scratch. There are a few things that we get in because they are so labor intensive, like bak-la-va.

We are well known for our breads: white, whole wheat, and a light rye. These are our best sellers. We also fry lots and lots of donuts. This is a German community so bread is hugely important to everyone. Even if it’s packed full of carbs.

Some of the questions I am routinely asked: How are you not 400 pounds?What is your favorite donut, bread, cookie, etc? How long have you two owned it?  Do you eat something everyday from the bakery?

We do lead an interesting life. My husband runs the bakery full-time and I teach full-time.  Then the bookwork is my respon

sibility every couple of days. Not many people can say that they live at their business let alone a small town bakery.




Yes, I am the Youngest…

I have 3 sisters who are all substantially older than me. My oldest sister is 16 years older, then another sister that is 15 years older and finally one who is 11 years older than me. I was what you would call an “oops” or an unplanned pregnancy. I prefer to think of myself as the “one-they-were-waiting-for-because-they-didn’t-have-it-right-yet” child. I tell my sisters this all the time. I heard the usual about how I was adopted, the mailman dropped me off, and my personal favorite, I was the product of a drunken night. 😉 Yes, I have taken a lot of crap over the years, but I can sure dish it out, as well. That is what our sisterly relationship is about. We give each other a lot of grief, but we also support each other through thick and thin.

Since I am the youngest, some of my first memories of were my sisters dating, having friends over and getting “talked” to by my parents. I learned from their mistakes, most of the time. My mother was 40 when I was conceived and 41 when I was born. I am now 42 years of age. I told my mother that I give her a lot of credit for having me when she did. I don’t think I could start over now myself. That is basically what my parents did. My children are finally old enough to be left along, starting to drive and thinking about their next steps in life. And then to start over??? Holy Macaroni! I certainly would do it if God decided that that was what I needed, but my whole world would be turned upside down, just like my parents’ was. Can you imagine?

The big joke always was that I was conceived in January after a friend’s wedding with some heavy libation intake. The drunken night, remember? It was only recently that I set one of my sisters straight. I reminded them that a woman is actually pregnant for 40 weeks or 10 months. Mom was probably already pregnant at this wedding and didn’t even realize it, I declared. My sister didn’t know what to say then. I love setting her straight! So that just supports my theory that my parents unconsciously were trying to have another child,  the “one-they-were-waiting-for-because-they-didn’t-have-it-right-yet” child. 🙂



Winnie the Pooh

When my children were born, Winnie the Pooh was kind of a big deal. People were decorating their nurseries with all the characters at that time. I didn’t. As soon as something gets over marketed, I am done with it. Another example…I always wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll but as soon as everyone was stampeding  people to get one I was done with it. The other night a bunch of teachers I work with and myself were sorting books for our school literacy night. There were several Winnie the Pooh books in the mix. I declared, “I dislike Winnie the Pooh. I really didn’t read too many of those books to my two boys.” Several colleagues looked at me like I was nuts. No one said anything. (Crickets chirping)

Today in my classroom I read the book, Finding Winnie, to my students. Do you know this book? You should read it! I have a new like for Winnie the Pooh after reading this book. My fourth
graders loved it! I came across this book at the WSRA convention. Sunday Cummins used it in her presentation when she talked about reading across two texts. I also bought the other book that she diacussed. They are excellent!

Needless to say I have a new appreciation for Winnie the Pooh. I now know the back story and appreciate it so much more.



Today I am writing about something I am grateful for. We had a very long day at our school today. We put on a “Literacy Night” tonight. Many of the teachers, including myself, volunteered our time to be at school tonight to guarantee that the night went off without a hitch. The night was set up for stations where students would work on a few writing ideas, showcase their own writing, put in for book basket raffles, make oobleck, sign up for silent auction baskets, and work on some websites for reading and writing. We do not get anything monetary for being there. We just do it. I am grateful for the people that I work with. They make my day brighter and my night seem less longer.

Tonight I was able to take a supper break with three of my coworkers before the parents and students arrived. Two of the people were my fellow 4th grade teammates and our art teacher. It has been awhile since I have been able to talk with our art teacher. She is a very funny person, realistic and super pleasant to be around. So tonight we had quite a great supper because we laughed pretty hard talking about some of the hysterical things that have happened to us in our teaching careers.  We laughed pretty darn hard. I am grateful to be able to laugh at life’s experiences.

Read Across America

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! As in many schools, we have been celebrating Read Across America week. Today the students could wear their pajamas to school, and DEAR time was scheduled. Our principal was supposed to announce DEAR times throughout the day. Well, she forgot so we did it for the afternoon. Oops! Even the teachers were supposed to read a book during this time. I am currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Hollow City. All of my students know that I am reading this book because I posted it to our first Book Shelfie Padlet board at the end of last week. Many of my students seemed to be interested in this series at that time. One of my more reluctant readers even asked me if the book was any good and if I was enjoying it. That conversation stayed with me the rest of the day. It reinforces that students need to see their teachers reading something other than professional books. Often times, I share what I am reading during our Reading Workshop time even if it is an adult book. They enjoy hearing about the plots of the books and genres I read. It often leads to some great conversations.




Slice of Life: Day 1

So I have just finished reading the book Amplify by Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke. I was perusing the Facebook page for the book and noticed that Katie posted about the Slice of Life Challenge. I love the writing challenge idea, but I just never take any challenge to completion. So, anyway, I had to start a blog which had been an idea I had been tossing around anyway. What better reason to start a blog? I get to write every day and get to know other bloggers. I am super excited about that because I love to learn from other teachers and writers.

A little bit about me…I live in a bakery! My students always say that but I really don’t. I live in a house attached to a bakery. My husband and I run the family’s 4th generation bakery – Roeck’s Bakery. It has been in business for over 100 years. Can you imagine the ghosts in this place?? Just kidding, there’s only one ghost that we know of. 🙂  Not only do I teach fourth grade, I also complete all of the daily bookwork that goes along with running this bakery business. Do we love our bakery? Absolutely! We also love all the people we know and the new ones we meet on a daily basis.