Saturday, December 31, 2005

Illo Friday - Flavor

Okay, this is an old illustration (Old, like 1 month!) that I drew to illustrate my Grandmother's apple pie recipe. I LOVE apple pie, so to me, there is no better flavor! :) Slightly crunchy, tart juicy apples, dripping with sweet, syrupy cinnamon held together by a crumbly, buttery crust - if you're lucky there'll be some hardened, carmelized cinnamon sugar drippings in the crust that tried to leak out - that's my favorite part! Yum!

And... my belated Holiday illo is entered below also... as well as my annual Christmas poem - for anyone's interest...

Illo Friday - Holiday

Sorry this is late - I just got around to finishing it...
This year I was intrigued by ornaments - I don't remember them meaning so much to me... but as I unpacked all my "old" ornaments from years gone by to decorate "our 1st Christmas tree," I realized that each ornament was a token from various people or points in my life. These ornaments I drew with glue and decorated with glitter aren't specific like the ones on my tree, but I hope their cheerfulness conveys the sense of real holiday cheer I felt as I decorated our first home for the first time....
Some special ornaments this year:
  • The pink cadillac from Brie - who has no idea why she gave it to me, nevertheless it's charming and endearing because of the giver
  • The red and green hands traced by my nephew, William
  • The hobby horse stuffed ornament my mother made (each of us siblings has a similar ornament)
  • The Little Red Riding Hood book with 3 D Red Riding Hood spinning in the center - from my Aunt Flo in TX, given to me at least 20 years ago, and repaired many times
  • The rainbow fish - a most recent addition to the collection from our honeymoon in St. John...
I suppose I could go on with more memories... but I'll save them for next year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... Julie

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Poem 2005

Come see the place where the little babe rests,
Hailed by angels, shepherds and kings.
Rich gifts they bring to place at his feet –
Incense, gold, myrrh – their hearts, they give.
Silently, Mary ponders these moments,
Treasures each breath the little Lord makes -
Messiah has come to honor this place.
And rude stable, rough manger – are as
Simple and humble – as hearts blessed with His love and grace.

Julie Kieras – Christmas ‘05

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bragging Rights?

Well, I don't really feel I can take the credit, but I'll pretend to for a minute. In September, I had all 80 of my students enter a writing competition sponsored by the CT Commission on Children. For two days, we journaled on topics relating to the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and heroes, etc. I took the kids to the computer lab for a day or to, so they could type them up for submission. The kids were reluctant at first, but they all participated and in the end, I think they produced some great pieces. I posted several of them for a week or so. The students kept asking me what happened to their essays and poems. Unfortunately I had no answers for so long, they stopped asking.
Then yesterday, word came from the state. 2,300 entries had been submitted. 300 from Windsor Locks District (over 200 from our school alone!). 70 "winning" entries from our school were selected - the most from any one school district in the state! 28 of those selections were MY STUDENTS - the most from any teacher in the school! WOW! I was so excited for my students and so proud of them too!
On Tuesday, Dec 6th, they will be honored at a special assembly at the State Capitol - we all get to go; I'm not sure exactly what will go on that day, but I'm glad our school is spending the money to get us there so the kids can get recognition. What a great moment to finally tell the students "what happened to their essays!"
So - I know the kids did all the work, and they had great English teachers last year who taught them to express their feelings creatively. However, the credit I'd like to humbly take, is that I'd had them journaling every day since the beginning of school, so they were used to producing some pretty nice pieces on short notice. But mostly the kids deserve the kudos, I think, for writing heart-felt pieces that caught the judges attention.
Among the winners was a great cross-section of students from Honor Roll to special ed to even students who failed many classes last quarter - so I think this recognition is going to be a wonderful motivator for them, and it emphasizes the importance of long term rewards.


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