Sunday, March 25, 2018

Week in Review 03.25.18

Those who know me well won't be surprised as I proclaim today is nine months til Christmas. I always use the 25th of the month as the official countdown to my favorite holiday. I receive mixed reactions when I post the announcement on FaceBook, so I'm curious... Are you as excited about this festive celebration as I am ... or do you tend to proclaim bah-humbug?

Today is also Palm Sunday, and while I wish the temperatures were warmer here in the Midwest, I am grateful the snow of the Northeast by-passed us this year.

The picture to the left is a throwback to 1999 when our local church performed the passion play: The Victor. Our entire family participated in this meaningful portrayal of Jesus' final week before the crucifixion. We have fond memories of this collective experience.


I've taken time off from #MarchMysteryMadness to read The Boys in the Boat - my first EVER book club read.

I must admit... I did not have high expectations despite the phenomenal reviews of this book. I am not a sports fan, and I know precious little about rowing. I just wasn't sure I would be hooked. How wrong I was!

This is not a light read. It is a dense book with lots of detail about the sport as well as the global events of the time. But it is also a compelling story about an unlikely hero, Joe Franz, who overcomes overwhelming obstacles to secure a spot on the Olympic Rowing team.

I have only read a third of the book so far, but I know this will be one of my favorite reads of 2018.

I look forward to hearing others' opinions when our club meets for the first time mid-April.

I don't normally "browse" the shelves at the local library. I am more likely to put books on hold and pick them up at my convenience.

This week, however, I walked by the new-release shelves and couldn't help but notice these three little gems.

The Prayer Wheel was a quick read and an interesting concept.  The Wheel incorporates the seven precepts of the Lord's Prayer - the seven Spiritual Gifts (as outlined in Isaiah) -  the seven elements of Christ's Life - and the seven Beatitudes. A printable PDF of the Prayer Wheel is available, and I chose to complete the wheels by adding the seven subjects of prayer (self-family-friends-vocation-country-world-church) - the seven pieces of Armor of God - and the seven fruits of the spirit.

I'd Rather be Reading is a lovely little gift book for bibliophiles like myself. Filled with book art as well as a few choice essays, this collection celebrates the life-long reader. While I would probably not purchase the book for myself, I could easily imagine myself giving this to several friends who enjoy reading as much as I do.

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence is a book that I am choosing to savor. The subtitle tells you all you need to know: A librarian's love letters and break up notes to the books in her life. Each letter is less than two pages long - so the book is a quick read. But I don't want to skim this collection. Instead, I desire to read only a few letters a time, experiencing the emotional relationship between an avid reader and the loves of her life.


I had the privilege of substituting for the third-grade class this week. Yes... I said privilege.

I am an upper-level educator. Truth be told, I would relish teaching at the collegiate level. But since my credentials render that impossible, I am thrilled to teach 12th grade English Composition.

But this week I was asked to substitute for the third-grade class and conduct a writing workshop.

On Monday we focused on Fractured Fairy Tales. We spent 90 minutes in the morning and then another 90 minutes in the afternoon analyzing and brainstorming fairy tales. They created a storyboard for an original tale and then went home to revise and create a final "six-page" book. They did a GREAT job and surpassed my wildest imagination!

On Friday the students proudly shared their revised fairy tales and then we transitioned into writing a mystery. We spent another three hours reading and analyzing picture book mysteries and then students created an outline of their own thriller, which included a detailed setting - a realistic detective - a puzzling case - a distraught victim - a list of suspects - a collection of clues - and a viable solution.

The highlight of the week: one student raised her hand and proudly exclaimed she wanted to take my creative writing class in high school.


I missed last week's Week in Review ... but for a very good reason. We helped my son and his family move from Nashville to the Kansas City area!! I can't tell you how excited I am to have them close again. And I will most definitely enjoy watching my six-month-old grandson grow and mature.

I did manage to write the A-to-Z Challenge Theme post. This will be my third year to participate in this blogging challenge and I am thrilled to share my love of Boston!

I love this challenge for so many reasons. It fosters creativity (some letters are easier than others) and it develops a consistent writing discipline. I will use the upcoming week to do a bit of research on the chosen topics, and then it will be a matter of writing every day. Wish me luck!

Feeling like a Traitor:
I started this post confessing my lack of sports enthusiasm.

However, this was a big week in Kansas basketball. Our two teams were both in the elite eight. And last night K-State played Chicago Loyola.

True Kansas fans cheered for a KU Jayhawk vs K-State Wildcat showdown. But I was partial to Sister Jean, the 98-year-old nun (and chaplain) of the Chicago team. So while my neighborhood is in mourning, I am silently beaming.

Next year I will cheer wildly for those boys in purple, but this year... I'm thrilled that the underdog is going to the Final Four!


  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed your time in third grade this week. I love the can-do spirits of primary students. I often think how lovely it would be to teach accomplished high school or college students, but then I remember that I helped them get that way.

    1. I am SO grateful to teachers and librarians like yourself, who encourage the primary students (and I am in awe of your patience!) :)

  2. I love Christmas but don't get excited about it so early. I love your enthusiasm about it, though.

    I loved The Boys in the Boat!

    Sister Jean is a gem - I'd love to see Loyola win the whole thing for her.

    1. I am secretly hoping Loyola wins the tournament too :)

  3. I have a neighbor who is like you, in that Christmas and can't wait for it either. I guess, though, sorry to say, I have to proclaim bah-humbug. I just don't feel it year-round, but maybe I should, I know...The Prayer Wheel sounds like an interesting book. I'll have to check it out...and ah, I was wondering where you were last week. That explains it.

    1. I thought of you while reading the Prayer Wheel, Bryan. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  4. This was a great post, Molly. Enjoyed hearing about the books you picked up, the book group book you are currently reading, your family moving closer, March Madness and especially about your time with the 3rd graders. All were so positive. Hope you guys have a wonderful Easter!

    1. Oh my... when I read your comment, I sound really busy :) Happy Easter to you and yours, Kay!!

  5. Hooray for Sister Jean and the underdogs... I'd love to see Loyola win it all! Boys in the Boat was excellent on audio, too.

    1. I just love that nun :)
      Actually, my good friend recommended the book to me after she listened to it. My husband loved the audiobook as well.

  6. Yay, I found you! Will peruse when I have some time to check out all your blog nooks and crannies! Hooray for journal girls!

    1. Glad you found me :) I look forward to participating in Random Journal Day and Planner Boot Camp. My April is going to be BUSY!


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