Friday, June 6, 2014

It's an honor just to be nominated...

There's a special award going around the blog world right now called the "Liebster Award".  It's an award that bloggers give out to each other to help promote other blogs, especially new blogs.  I was very fortunate to be nominated by Ricki Ginsberg at UnleashingReaders, which is a blog that I visit daily, for great books, for author posts and because I love how they flag ideas to use for reading instruction.  They cover everything from books for babies (thanks to Henry and Trent!) through young adult.  Thanks, Ricki, for the mention!
Here are The Liebster Award rules:

The rules:
  1. List 11 Facts about yourself. 
  2. Answer the 11 questions put forward by whoever nominated you. 
  3. Ask 11 new questions to 5+ bloggers. They must have less than 200 followers on Bloglovin’ (or their preferred method). You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.  
  4. Go to their blogs and inform them that they have been nominated!
11 Facts about me:
  1. I'm relatively new to the blogging and tweeting world.  I just started Tweeting in late December and the blog followed shortly after.  It's changed my professional life for the better.  I'm interested in seeing where this will all go!
  2. I love reading.  I despise writing.  Words don't come to me easily.  I can ramble ok (that's what 99% of my posts consist of) but I feel like I have a hard time effectively communicating my point.  I admire people who write so eloquently.  Many of the bloggers I nominate for this award have the capability of doing just that.
  3. I hate packing lunches.  Since we just started summer vacation, the fact that I don't have to pack a lunch hasn't set in just yet.  I'll get used to it soon :)
  4. I am inspired by my daughter.  She is the toughest kid I know.
  5. I started masters swimming this week.  I was nervous, but I kept asking myself why was I doing the activity that I hated the most (running) frequently and not doing what I love (swimming) the least amount?  Masters is a challenge for me because I am swimming with all new people at the same pool and at the same time as really fast kids in front of a lot of parents that I know.  But once I get in the water and get going I forget about all that and just swim.  Now I just need to get faster....
  6. I think I own more books that I haven't read than books that I've read.  Oops.
  7. June is my favorite month.  There is nothing like that feeling knowing you have all of summer ahead of you.
  8. While I wish I lived somewhere in Florida or Arizona, I'll always be proud that Chicago is my hometown (well, technically, the suburbs, but when I'm out-of-state I always say I'm from Chicago, said in the correct nasal accent too).  Chicago is one of the coolest cities.  The way the skyline lights up at night, or the way it lays out in front of you when you're driving downtown, or its museums and shopping and nightlife and sports teams and theaters and lakefront.  Very cool place to go.
  9. I hate the word "vortex".  As in "polar vortex" or "pollen vortex".
  10. I admit that I'm a Starbucks carmel latte fanatic. Pumpkin latte in the fall.  
  11. My dream job was to work at Disney and color their animated films.  But then computers happened.  So there went that.
11 Questions from Ricki:
1. I am going to steal one question that was asked of me: If you could invite any three authors or illustrators to dinner, who would they be?
I would say J.K. Rowling, RJ Palacio and Natalie Lloyd.  They are my current 3 favorite authors and I think the conversation between the 3 of them would be really fun to listen in on!!!
2. If you could be any animal, which would you be, and why?
Dog.  Man's best friend.  Loved by all!!!
3. What were you like in high school?
Pretty quiet at school.  Had a very small circle of friends.  I was in a very large graduating class and most people don't remember me.
4. Do you collect anything besides books?
People collect other things?????
Just kidding.  I guess I collect medals from races :)  My favorite is my Tiffany's necklace medal.  Next would be any from the Disney races.
5. Where is your dream vacation?
Disney Mediterranean cruise.  Starts in Spain and goes to Italy, Turkey, Greece...
6. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Pay off everything, make sure I had plenty of money for my daughter's college fund, buy a small home in West Palm Beach so we have a place to stay for all my daughter's dr visits and future lengthenings, do something special for each family member, buy more Disney Vacation Club points and figure out one super cool thing I can do for literacy.
7. If you could be any book character, which would you be and why?
I don't know if there is one character I would want to be, but I can think of a lot of characters I would like to have characteristics of - I would like Auggie's courage, Harry's belief, Hermione's wisdom, and Piggie's belief in the power of friendship!
8. Which three books were fundamental in the promotion of your love of reading?
Three books come to mind.  The first is Skippyjon Jones.  I remember reading it to some second graders and I decided on a whim to read it with some sort of a really bad Spanish accent.  At any rate, by the middle of the book, the kids and I were crying we were laughing so hard at how silly I sounded.  They loved the book and I loved their reaction.  It's certainly not my favorite book, but that day stands out in my mind.  Along those lines, I love Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  I feel like I do a pretty darn good Fudgie voice that can make the most reluctant reader love that book.  Still love "eat it or wear it"!  But the book that stands out the most to me is Wonder.  It had such a profound impact on me.  It was the first time I remember wanting to promote that book everywhere.  I wanted to talk about it.  I wanted everyone to read it.  I had such a connection, I just needed to share it.  It's one of those books that had "it all" - it made me think, it made me feel, it made me want to discuss.
9. If you could talk about only one book for the next year, which would it be? (I stole this one from Kellee’s post.)
Wonder would be the obvious choice based on my last answer, but I think I would instead choose A Snicker of Magic.  I used it for extended text this year in 4th grade and the kids and teachers and I marked down "lines that stuck to us".  There were so many, I always feel compelled to talk about them!  They could last me a year :)
10. Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
Old ;)
11. If you could live in any setting (any year, any location, any world), where would it be?
I think I would go Arizona, probably Scottsdale.  I just love the mountains - especially the multi colored ones - the reds, browns, sandstones....  There seems to always be sun and warmth.

11 New Questions to the Bloggers I Nominated:

  1. How many library books do you currently have checked out?  How many books do you have on hold?
  2. How do you decide which books to buy?
  3. Book judging.  How do you disagree with people who have major book love for something you don't like?
  4. Who are some of the new authors on your radar?  
  5. What professional books have guided your practice?
  6. Kids say the darndest things.  Any stories you have?
  7. If you weren't teaching, what would you be doing?
  8. Money isn't an object... what do you do???
  9. It seems to be movie writers can't come up with anything new so they turn all good books into movies.  What book do you think should be made into a movie next?
  10. We just finished out a school year.  Looking back, what was the best thing you did?
  11. If you had an extra 3 hours in the day, and reading could only be dedicated to one of them, what would you do with the other two?

My Liebster Nominations:
I am nominated the following  people.  They are people who have inspired me at one time or the other.  Maybe it's the way they write.  Maybe it's because they have made me think about something.  Maybe it's because they are starting out and I know that can be new and scary.  Check out their blogs.  I know they are going to inspire you too!

Leigh Anne was one of the first people I "met" on Twitter.  I connected with her early on in my Twitter adventure and she has helped me out more than once.  She is someone I can ask a question to and get an honest answer.  I love that she puts her thinking out there and asks the questions I sometimes don't even know that I have!

Dylan was also one of the first people I "met" on Twitter.  I've had the pleasure of actually meeting him in "real" life :) and he is just as genuine as I thought he would be.  He is a true lover of literature and I love seeing what he is reading next.  He is also an eloquent writer.  Dylan writes the way I wish I could.

Greg Armamentos at
When you read Greg's thoughts and musings, your first thought is, wow, this guy can write.  Then you fiddle around on his blog long enough, you find out, yes, Greg is an author!  I can't wait to read his book Dash this summer.  In the meantime, I enjoy reading his blog posts.  I have trouble coming up with one post, much less a book!  Lots of admiration going his way!

Jennifer Houlette at
I've very recently met Jennifer through the Twitter hashtag #10summerblogs.  I think Greg tweeted a few of us about this hashtag and Jennifer ran with her new blog!  She's written a few posts and I love her thinking behind them!  She's also a fellow swim mom!

Michelle Haseltine at
I've enjoyed reading Michelle's Saturday Celebration blog posts - she celebrates a variety of things and they are always honest and real.  


  1. Aww, Michele, thanks for the nomination and the kind words about me and my blog. I still feel like a beginner myself, so I am honored that I actually inspire someone! I think you were one of my first Twitter friends - such a scary time then! Now look at us. :) Maybe we can hook up some time this summer or early fall. I am about 5-6 hours from Chicago. Let's think about that!

  2. Thank you Michele! That was kind of you to nominate me. Now I'm on a search for other new blogs! :)