Reading, Teaching, Learning

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Celebration Saturday

Discover. Play. Build.

 I'm so happy that Ruth Ayres started a Celebrate Link-Up on her blog!!!  I will be joining the celebration every Saturday!!
Lots to celebrate this week:
1.  I forgot to add in last week's celebration post that I received a surprise gift from Louise Borden the Friday before break.  It just appeared at school like an elf had brought it!  It's a beautiful book - The Greatest Skating Race.  If you've ever met Louise, you know that she makes you feel like you've known her forever.  She is kind, funny, and so smart and interesting!  I celebrate the fact we're friends! 

2.  Brenda Power, founder of Choice Literacy, sent December contributors Twitter sugar cookies!  So cute and fun!

3.  It's exciting to read about all the Nerdy Book Club Nerdy Award winners this week!  All nerds who spend every day celebrating books are enjoying each day's announcements!

4.  My friend, Karan Witham-Walsh, ceramics teacher extraordinaire and potter was on the front page of the local newspaper for her work with Empty Bowls.  Read about it here:

5.  My family and I started a new tradition this year.  My parents and other various extended family members are usually here for Christmas week, but this year my parents are in Florida, my in-laws are staying at my sister-in-law's house, and my husband's other sister and family decided to stay in Connecticut.  When we have guests, I usually make a big Christmas breakfast, but since it was just the four of us, we decided to go to Waffle House instead.  We had a great time!  It was PACKED!  Everyone was in good Christmas cheer, though, so it was friendly and fun.

6.  Christmas is my favorite holiday, so I loved spending it with my family and going over to my sister-in-law's for dinner.  Christmas Eve at our church was beautiful, and the four of us were able to play euchre for several hours that night.  Fun!

7.  My birthday is the day after Christmas, and I loved the book-related gifts I got from my family!  My husband gave me a BEAUTIFUL print from Aaron Becker's Journey, my favorite picture book of the year.  It's called "The Journey Begins," and he even got it personalized by Aaron, who is so kind and generous!!  It's at the frame shop getting framed right now.  I can't wait to see it in the green matte and red frame I picked out.  I will hang it in my classroom along with a Matthew Cordell original watercolor and a limited print by Jon Klassen.  My collection is growing!  Libby gave me colored pencils and beautiful blank journals because I told her I was inspired to sketch again from Look Up: Bird-Watching in Your Own BackyardKatie gave me a gift certificate to Joseph-Beth Booksellers, and my mom and dad gave me book money.  My family knows me well!
8.  Two signed Platypus Police Squad books and an original watercolor of the Platypus Police Squad characters came in the mail this week!  I participated in Jarrett J. Krosoczka's annual Joe and Shirl Annual Auction and won those items.  The auction is for a great cause, and Jarrett is such an inspiring person.  Another children's illustrator work to hang in my classroom!  My students are going to be SO excited to get the ARC of Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy!  The watercolor is also being framed right now in a blue matte and a black frame!
Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy

9.  I've been celebrating sleeping in and reading lots this week since we're on break.  It's wonderful that we get another whole week!

10.  I finished my 300th book today, so I met my 2013 Goodreads goal!  Woo-hoo!  My 300th book was Seymour Simon's Extreme Oceans.

Congrats! You have completed your goal of reading 300 books for the 2013 Reading Challenge!
Off to read other celebrations on Ruth's link up!!  Have a great week!


  1. Happy Belated Birthday! Your gifts sound awesome. I love Journey as well. And congratulations to reaching your Goodreads goal!

  2. Oops Did you get my comment? LOVE all that you have shared here! And a BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We will celebrate at our next reunion. Call Megan and set a time and place before school starts. Midway as you have so little time! xo Louise

    1. Thank you! Yes - we will arrange a time! :-)

  3. What a great week of celebrations, Holly. I love your growing collection of book art! I'm just about to post my 300th book too, so I guess we had the same goal. Wonder if you will increase it? I'm not sure! Sounds like Waffle House was a fun tradition to start! Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. Yay for 300, our magic number. ;-) No, I don't think I'll increase it. It was the perfect number and one I can achieve with a variety of genres and formats - it's a challenge, but not too stressful. Happy New Year to you, too, Linda! :-)

  4. This is almost too much celebrating to handle, Christmas and your birthday all in the same week?! And then you go and complete your 300th book. Over the top! All my best for setting and meeting your 2014 goals. I am going back to read Franki's post where she talks about forgiving herself for not meeting her goal.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I'm not achieving ALL my goals - #nerdlution has been a challenge, and I haven't quite kept up with exercising and writing every day, but I AM happy about my books. :-) I loved Franki's post!

  5. Congratulations on meeting your Good Reads goal! I love the picture of your church. I am glad that you are enjoying the holiday season.

  6. What a wonderful week you had. Happy Belated Birthday! Congratulations on achieving your reading goal. 300 seems a very big number to me. I am impressed. Cheers to more reading joy next year!

  7. Happy Belated Birthday and congratulations on reaching your 300 book goal! - Such wonderful things to celebrate. We loved learning about your collection of art work from your favorite illustrators. What a terrific way to celebrate your love of books.