I read Krissy Venosdale’s blog faithfully. She inspires me every time. I love her passion for teaching and learning. I love that she puts herself out there so her kids feel comfortable doing the same. Although we’ve never met face-to-face, I know we are kindred spirits.

So, when I read her Eleven post earlier today, I thought I’d play along. Here are eleven random facts about me, followed by answers to the eleven questions Krissy posed.

Eleven Random Facts About Me…

  1. Every year, on Christmas Eve, the kids and I make cookies with my grandmother’s cookie cutters just like I used to make with her.  C has already asked how we’re going to divide them when he and S grow up and move out.
  2. I hate to draw. I’m not good at it. I’m too much of a perfectionist to even try to get better.
  3. I climbed to the top of Ayers Rock in Australia. Since I’m not fond of heights, it was more than a little scary, but it’s one of my proudest moments.
  4. I’m working on my doctorate and I love it. But some days I think, “There’s a reason they call it a ‘terminal’ degree.” That’s why I have this quote on my office wall: “The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be…because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!” ~  Mary Anne Radmacher
  5. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is my favorite museum.
  6. I make great birthday and class party treats – cupcakes that look like Van Gogh’s Starry Night, a Chinese dragon, and 3D basketball hoops with truffle basketballs, to name a few.
  7. When I’m really tired I start talking with a bit of a southern drawl. It’s a funny mix of my parents’ Kentucky twang, 17 years of living in southern Ohio, 13 years in Texas, and 17 in Wisconsin.
  8. My favorite way to spend a rainy day is curled up with a good book.
  9. The best comment I ever received on a classroom evaluation was during a 5th grade health class. We were talking about the human body and how your skin holds you in. The principal said that I “used many age appropriate hooks to engage students, including their gross out appetite.”
  10. I have an uncanny memory for detail. I wouldn’t say photographic, but pretty close. It is both a blessing and a curse.
  11. The best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t. 🙂

Now the answers to Krissy’s eleven questions….

  1. What inspires you most of all? Kids – my own and those I teach. They add perspectives I would never ever think of on my own, and they push me to be the person they think I am.
  2. What is the best food you’ve ever tried while traveling? Gelato from a little shop near Piazza Navona in Rome.
  3. What is your favorite holiday? Why? Christmas. I love the traditions we have with our kids – the ones Tim and I have pulled from each of our families, but also the new ones made just for us.
  4. What is one school supply that you could not teach without? Post-it notes
  5. What’s your typical morning beverage? Cold weather – coffee with hazelnut creamer. Warm weather – unsweetened iced tea
  6. When you fly, window seat or aisle? Aisle. I prefer the leg room over the view.
  7. Describe the best teacher you had when you were in school. Wow, this one is hard. I had so many who touched my life in different ways: Mrs. Dean in 1st and 2nd grade; she let me soar as a reader. Mrs. Cone who taught me more than Algebra; she taught me to believe in myself. Mr. Hoovler and Mr. Wiederhold who taught me to love math and science and to be passionate about what you teach. Mrs. Lady who made me a better writer because she set the standard high and pushed me to want to reach it.
  8. Do you enjoy cooking? Anything specific? Yes, most of the time. I like to let the kids pick out new recipes. I find they are much more likely to try things if they have a say in the menu.
  9. What book are you currently reading? I just finished Wonder by R.J. Palacio and am rereading John Hattie‘s Visible Learning
  10. What’s your all time favorite movie? The Princess Bride 
  11. If at the end of your life, there is just room for one word on your grave marker, what do you think it will be? Hmm….I’m thinking I’d want to be remembered for having made a difference so my word would be ‘mattered’.


I need you to respond and share eleven random things about yourself. And answer my eleven questions listed below. Link your post in the comments section.

My questions…

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? From whom?
  2. What’s your favorite children’s book?
  3. What is the farthest from home you’ve ever been?
  4. If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
  5. What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?
  6. Scary movies or happy endings?
  7. What was the most valuable class you took in college?
  8. If you could spend the day doing anything you wanted, what would you do?
  9. What’s your favorite movie quote?
  10. What’s your fondest childhood memory?
  11. What’s your motto?