About Love, Laughter, and Literacy

Hello Friends!  I’m Becca.  I’m a wife,  mom, and kindergarten teacher.  I’m passionate about all things home and family.  I love being home with my kids, hubby, and pets.  I’m not one of those people who loves to get out of the house. I’m very social, but love being home. I’m perfectly happy being snowed in for a week (ok, this pandemic has gone on quite long enough), as long as I can bake, sew, hang out with my family, and just enjoy homelife.
I married my high school sweetheart. (Awwww.) We have wonderful support from our family and friends. We moved into a neighborhood that my sister and my husband’s sister live in. The kids have all grown up together, even going to the same school.

I love animals.  I’d have more, if I could convince my better half half that it was a good idea.  I’d have two dogs, a handful of chickens, and two bunnies.

Ah, Cooper.  He was going to be our small dog.  Our yellow lab, Riley, died when he was 11.  Riley was my husband’s first pet EVER.  As much as he loved Riley, when it was time to find a new dog, he asked if we could find a smaller breed.  We decided on a Laboradoodle.  The breeder estimated that Cooper would be about 50 pounds when he was full grown.  Well, Cooper weighed 50 pounds at about 4 months old and then went straight to 100! I swear, he’s the size of a small horse.  So much for getting a small dog!  He’s a sweetheart and he’s full of personality.

We decided to add a Sheepadoodly puppy to the family around Thanksgiving, 2019. Again, he was supposed to be small-ish. But, we now have TWO very large dogs. I’m not complaining. I adore these guys.

Of course, we can’t forget Steve the stinkbug or Peanut the turtle. They live in my classroom, most of the time, but they are living at my house during the pandemic.

Our kids are our whole lives, as I’m sure is the case with most parents. My oldest is all about sports, which thrills my hubby to no end.  He is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.  He’s caring and considerate… as much as possible for a teenage boy. He’s a sophomore in college. He attends Central Washington University, but is taking classes from home during the pandemic.

My youngest is full of spunk.  She has been that way since the day she was born.  She spent her first 2 weeks of her life, at Children’s Hospital, fighting for every breath.  She suffered from seizures and we were told that she had probably had a stroke.  The hospital staff prepared us to “care for her” since they expected she would be developmentally delayed from the lack of oxygen and her stroke.  Day by day, year by year, we realized that all of that “worst case scenario stuff” was a scenario we would not know as our reality.  We’re glad she’s a fighter and wouldn’t change her spunk or personality for anything.  She’s a perfectly healthy (except for the cyst in her brain), normally developing, sixteen year old girl.  She loves soccer, volleyball, and hanging out with friends.

I learned a love of gardening from my mom.  She always had a vegetable garden, tons of raspberries, and apple trees in our yard. I have good memories of weeding and working in the yard together, picking veggies from the garden, the smell of freshly canned fruit when I came home from school, and blowing bugs off the berries as I picked them.  My mom would always end up with a huge pan of berries, at the end of berry picking, and I would only have a handful.  I preferred to eat as I picked, and still do.

My home and garden are my happy places.  I love sitting on the deck, on a warm summer day, watching my kids and their friends play volleyball or hang out in the yard.  First and foremost, my yard is kid and dog friendly.  If I end up with a few flowers at the end of a football game, I consider it a bonus.  My kids, hubby, and I gardened together when the kids were younger. Now, it’s pretty much a two person job. I’ll bet you can guess which two do most of the work.

It came as no surprise to my family, when I went off to college, that I majored in Family and Consumer Science (formerly known as Home Ec.), and earned my teaching certificate.  I have endorsements in Family and Consumer Science, Early Childhood, Reading, and K-8 Education. Family and Consumer Science is a true passion of mine.  I love to cook, bake, sew, and basically do anything that seems to be a “traditional” female role.

FCS isn’t just about cooking, baking, and being a homemaker. Family and Consumer Science provides individuals and families with knowledge that helps people make informed decisions about their well being, relationships, and resources to achieve a high quality of life. The field represents many areas, including human development, family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition, wellness, textiles, apparel, family relations and dynamics, and consumer issues.  I’m a member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), as well as a member of the Washington chapter (WAFCS). I find the early childhood/human development aspect of FCS to be the most interesting, but all of the areas have components I’m drawn to.
Family and Consumer Science is all about improving the quality of your life. In my opinion, we can improve the quality of our lives through home arts. Creating a healthy, happy, and comfortable home gives us a soft place to land at the end of the day. I want my kids to have good memories of their time at home. I want them to remember the smell of warm cookies coming out of the oven, the taste of homemade bread with butter and jam, and remember all of the projects and experiences we had as a family. My love of home life leads right into my love of learning!

As much as I love my home life, I have another passion. I teach. I teach little people to love learning and especially love literacy. I became a member of NAEYC (National Association of Education of Young Children) a few years ago and I have continued to grow in my learning about early childhood with each passing month. I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I was when I was asked to present at a NAEYC conference in 2014. Dream. Come. True.

I absolutely love children’s books, and teaching reading and writing, using children’s literature. I earned my Master’s degree in reading and literacy, in 2000. It was a game changer for me. I had always been very interested in math and science, as a teacher. I didn’t feel as well equipped to teach reading and writing. I didn’t like to read as a child and I was FAR from being a writer, as an adult. I was trying to teach my kids to become life long readers and writers, but hated doing those things myself. After spending two years, doing intense research and writing papers on reading and writing, I had a much better understanding of the way young children learned. I had a clear picture of where I wanted to go with my teaching. I became very interested in Guided Reading, teaching with a balanced reading model, and especially Writer’s Workshop.

In 2004, just after my daughter was born, my school district started our Collaborative Literacy Project. It started as a group of teachers, dedicated to literacy, involved in extensive training, who would become literacy leaders in our school district.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in the program.  I’ve been able to observe amazing teachers, discuss best practices, receive training and resources, and eventually become a demonstration classroom, hosting teachers from within my school district as well as neighboring school districts.  I don’t claim to be an expert in literacy, but it’s truly a passion of mine, and I’m thrilled to share my beliefs about literacy with others.

I have thousands of books in my collection and can’t seem to stop adding to it. I’m always finding new mentor texts to use with my young readers and writers.  I love to teach units of study, where we can dive into a specific author or genre.  I’m always shocked at the amazing conversations we have, even in kindergarten, around the books we are using in our units of study.  Kids can be such brilliant thinkers!
As I continued to learn about early childhood education, I became very interested in Reggio Emilia.  I love the inquiry, transparency, and reflective nature of  Reggio Inspired work.  Through my work on this blog, I’m hoping to research and continue to grow in my understanding and implementation of these practices in my own classroom. I joined the NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance) a few years ago and have received some fabulous resources from this professional organization.

We all have our passions in life.  My passions are home, family, family and consumer science, early childhood, and literacy.  My blogs try to encompass all of these areas.  The mission of the AAFCS is to help people improve the quality of their lives.  My blogs are about helping people make literacy and quality home life priorities, thus improving the quality of life.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  At the end of the day, it’s all about home and family.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  I write from my heart and hopefully you’ll find a few pretty pictures too.