Friday, October 30, 2009

Kade's Art Classes

Kade is taking art classes after school one day a week from a really fun, creative teacher.  So far, he has made a ghost out of cheesecloth and painted a clown face on a pumpkin.  The art teacher also drew a mustache on him and a tic-tac-toe grid this past Monday.  I guess she told him he looked French, because he kept telling me he was Pierre McAdams!  He has lots of fun and I get some really cute art projects to decorate with.

Author Kimberly Willis Holt

I had the opportunity to host an author visit at our school district on Tuesday, October 27.  The author was Kimberly Willis Holt, from Amarillo, TX.  I have been preparing our 5th & 6th grade students since school started by reading her most famous title, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town as well as a new series she has started called Piper Reed, which is so cute.  Everyone enjoyed the experience and getting to meet Mrs. Holt.  She even conducted a writing workshop with 20 students during the afternoon.  I truly hope this is an experience all of our students will remember for years to come--I know I will!

Elementary Librarian, Kimberly Willis Holt, Middle School/High School Librarian (me)

Mrs.  Holt went on to Wichita Falls to visit with schools after leaving us.  She made the front of the Times Record News today (I have pasted the article below).

Ink and paper and lots of sweat
 Woman describes how she makes stories come alive



  Books can grow from tiny fragments of everyday life that strike you as fascinating, said visiting award winning author Kimberly Willis Holt.
  The children’s book author visited Wichita Falls this week to talk
 to elementary and junior high-aged students about how she became a writer. During her presentation, she gave children ideas about how they, too, could launch a writing career.
  Holt has published 11 books, including “ When Zachary Beaver Comes to Town” and “My Louisiana Sky,” and has won more than 100 awards for them from groups like the American Library Association, Booklist Editor’s Choice, and Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List.
  Four new books by Holt are currently in the publishing pipeline, with three sets to be published next year.
  For her, it’s often not the big ideas that inspire books but the little ones.
 Her much-heralded story about Zachary Beaver grew out of her fascination at visiting a sideshow exhibit at the Louisiana State Fair of the fattest teenage boy in the world. Another book, “My Louisiana Sky,” materialized from a childhood memory of her mother explaining that a certain neighborhood lady and her husband were both mentally retarded but had lots of children.
  “What would it be like to be one of those children?” she wondered and eventually told the tale.
  When she learned that an old friend — a cheerful, friendly girl —
 Please see HOLT, 6A

 Kimberly Willis Holt told Barwise students Thursday that two junior high teachers praised her writing and gave her the confi dence to continue. But she wrote only poetry and journals for years before getting the courage to write a book.

HOLT from 1A
 had committed suicide while praying on her knees, with rosary beads in her hand, Holt borrowed the chilling scene for the opening paragraphs of her story, “Keeper of the Night.”
  But award-winning books require much writing and rewriting, she said. Even though several teach ers in junior high school encouraged her to write and praised her writing, she didn’t move beyond writing journals and poetry until she was 33.
  “ I didn’t think I could be a writer. I was not a great student. I was a slow reader,” she said. She read so slowly that she often couldn’t finish tests on time. “I’m auditory. I hear what I read. I’m still a slow reader,” she confessed.
  She writes from home in a favorite chair, in a coffee shop, or out on the porch
 when the weather is nice.
  Her first draft of a story is always done in pen on paper, but the story eventually finds its way onto computer, where it may be edited from 12 to 100 times.
  Holt described the odd talent common to fiction writers of having a character “speak” to her, which often spurs a new book. Usually the character is a compilation of people or experiences that Holt had as a child, and his or her words seem to billow up from within about a topic that is dear to her heart. She tries never to pounce on just any idea, but only to pursue those that are most meaningful to her.
  Writing books also requires creating plot lines and keeping calendars of all the events in a book, just to keep everything straight, she said. When a book is finished, it often
 must be sent to many publishers before it sells. One of her most popular and praised books, “My Louisiana Sky,” was offered to 20 publishers before it sold.
  Holt has also written some picture books, which can take even longer to bring to life. She sold one picture book when her daughter was in middle school and it will be published soon — now that her daughter is 23!
  Holt told a packed auditorium at Barwise Junior High School to remember one thing above all: “Your dreams can come true. Believe in yourself, and work really hard.”
  For those who want a writing career, start today, she said. “Pick up a pen and begin.”
  Holt spoke Wednesday at Southern Hills and West, Thursday at Barwise and Fain, and speaks today at Crockett and Ben Milam.

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Copyright © 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. 10/30/2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Burnin' Brush Piles

The boys spent this past weekend with my parents.  They, of course, had a blast and are always ready to go back.  Kade lost his third tooth on Saturday, while he was there.  We knew it was loose and sure enough he wiggled it all the way out while watching cartoons!  On Sunday, the boys burned brush piles with my dad in their pasture.  Layton would use his famous quote, "Fire em' up" each time they got out of the Ranger and started a new fire.

My mom took these pictures for me.

Kade with his missing middle tooth.  The other one is loose, so I'm betting by Christmas he will be wanting his Two Front Teeth.

Pa-Paw, Layton & Kade

Someone did not want their picture taken!

Look at those long legs!

Clint and I went to a Halloween party on Saturday night.  I dressed up as Pocahontas.  I refused to buy anything, so I put all this together using things I found in my mom's attic.  It is like a mini-mall in there!  I know I gripe mom, so this proves that I should shut up about it.  Clint was dressed funny, too!  We will just leave it at that.  We had a wonderful time and it was so much fun to see all of us adults dressed up.

Pocahontas, Burger King & Sexy Devil Woman

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Full Weekends!

We have been so busy the past two weeks and weekends, I have not had one chance to post.  Plus, we have all been sick with stomach virus and flu symptoms.  Last night Layton and I went to bed at 6:15 in the evening and got 12 hours of sleep.  It was wonderful and I think it really helped us.

Okay, I'm going to fill you in on what we've been up to.

During the weekend of October 10-11 my parents took the boys to see my sisters, Sommer & Skye.  They all had a wonderful time and the boys were spoiled!  I have not had a chance to take the boys to get Halloween costumes so my mom and dad took them to a Halloween store.  They had the best time picking their costumes out.  Layton decided on Spiderman and Kade is the scary guy from the movie Scream.  Notice the following two pictures--Layton wore his Spiderman costume the entire trip! The boys also got to go see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" at the movie theatre.  Also, with the cool weather approaching fast, Kade had NO clothes, so they made a trip to the Gap.  Their clothes are so cute and we don't have one near us, so I was excited to get Kade clothes from there!  Thanks Mom, you are the best for taking them to try on clothes!  I know this is not any fun at all!

Clint and I had the weekend alone, but he worked the entire time and I ran in the Race for the Cure and worked in my yard.  We missed our boys!

At the movies.

My dad and Layton going into Wal-Mart.

A large group from my hometown participated in the Race for the Cure.

My friend and I running in the race.  We are the ones in white/black, dressed alike and on the same foot!  I guess that is why we make great running partners.  We try to run everyday after work together.

I added an iron decoration, a flag, pumpkins, mums and plants in front of the shrubs in my front yard.  This was an all day deal, because I had to extend the flower bed and pull up grass, till the soil, etc.

You can see the liriope and pansies in the bed here.

The weekend of October 17-18 we worked my parents' cow herd and took family pictures.  The four of us have not ridden in forever, so riding horses took a toll on our bodies!  I did not get many pictures at all, because I was riding with the boys most of the time.  On Sunday we took family pictures with a nearby photographer.  We had a lot of fun and I can't wait to see the pictures.


Kade on Cinco

Layton on OG (Old Gray)

Sunday on Karo and Layton on OG

I had intentions of snapping pictures during our photography session, but didn't get it done.  So, I took this pic of the boys at the house after we were done.  *Funny note-the photographer had wanted the boys to shotgun their jeans for the pictures.  Well, Kade was fine with it, but Layton will absolutely not shotgun his jeans.  They have to be nice and neat over his boots.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch & Kitty Headstone

This past weekend we had our 2nd annual First Presbyterian Pumpkin Patch at our church.  It is a lot of fun, but wears you out!  My body feels like I took a beating from handling all those pumpkins.  They range from 18-30 pounds each and we had about 250 of them.  So, on Sunday we just lounged around after church and tried to rest up.  Layton was sick with strep throat all weekend and is still recovering, so he missed out on the actual pumpkin patch. 

On Friday, Clint, the boys and I went to Floydada to pick up the pumpkins and while we were there Clint snapped a few pictures of the boys.

Kade was a big help on Saturday.  I hated that Layton missed it, but he felt terrible.

Well, we have two kittens left.  It hasn't taken our dogs long to go through this bunch.  I just hate it, but I guess that is part of having dogs.  One of our dogs actually killed a kitten right in front of the boys on Saturday afternoon while they were playing at the barn.  The boys handled it well, though, and carried it up to the house where I was spreading weed & feed on the lawn.  I talked to them about the ordeal and the next thing I knew they came and got me again to show me the headstone they made after burying the kitten in my flower bed.

Sony (it is pronounced Sunny)
The cat that we all loved.
Color Yellow