Serendipity by Donalyn Miller

Nerdy Book Club

We moved eleven months ago and I’m still unpacking books. With the speed and efficiency of pit stop mechanics, Don and I can assemble an IKEA bookcase in less than an hour, but it takes me days to fill one. As I open each box, I consider every book and its placement in our new house. We culled a lot of books during the move. Books we’d kept for decades became suddenly less dear when we thought about dragging another box of books across town. Damaged books, that library book Don paid for three years ago because it was lost, books our kids didn’t want to keep—we threw away or donated hundreds of books.

polar express

As we unpack, more books leave for less crowded homes. Duplicates. (Why do we own three copies of The Polar Express?) Outdated books. College textbooks. Hardest of all—books I have to confess I will never…

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To My Robin

My sweet little curly girl
Frilly dresses and sweat pants
Hated “Rocking Robin” and boingy curls
Fighting injustice since she knew she could
Quick smiles and belly laughs
Letting her sister lead her into trouble
Stand her ground
On field soccer cheerleader
Beautiful bad ass
Loving sweet snuggly one
Mama bear
You will always be my baby
Love you forever♡


A Principal’s Secret…But Promise You Won’t Tell the Kids… by Sheila Beckner

Nerdy Book Club

So here is my secret I have learned over time:

It’s not always about the kids.

Sometimes it’s about the adults.

And always…it’s about the books.

Who am I?  I am an elementary principal. I am a reader.  I am a reading role model – or at least that is what I try to be. Like all principals, I am driven to build a school culture that makes reading like breathing – it’s just what we do – it’s how we live.

I diligently read each Nerdy post.  I have stacks of “waiting to be read” books at home and at school.  I fill my office with beautifully arranged shelves and bins of books to share.  As Donalyn taught us, each year I cover my office door with photo covers of books I read throughout the year.  I constantly “talk” books with kids.  I write morning messages to kids about…

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Lost in plain sight
People stroll by
That I am even in the room
Wrapping my solitude
Round me like a cloak
Warm and comfortable
A refuge
From the cacophony
The hustle and bustle
While in the dark recesses
Of my mind
Sunlit patterns beneath trees
Crackling needles underfoot
Sharp cool mountain air

Faded Blue Jeans

Some days I need a reminder
When I try too hard to fit
Someone else’s idea
Of how my life should be.

I start thinking
That I need structure
And organization
And to do what society
Considers normal

Like a pair of designer pants
With tucks and pleats
Need to be dry cleaned
Kept pressed
But damn, they look good.

A prison of my own making.

What I want…
What I need…
Faded blue jeans
Willing to go along
With whatever
With a wink
And fireworks.

Crockpot Pork Roast and Potatoes


1 pork tenderloin
Diced potatoes – plan one potato per serving
1 sliced onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the crockpot.  Cook for 8 hours on low. This is great to start in the morning before work, because you come home and dinner is done!


196030_10150121605782431_592552430_6403881_2768155_nWhat is home? According to the Oxford Dictionary Online, home is “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” Home is so much more than this. It’s more about the people and the memories than about the place. Home is the place where one lives permanently in their mind.

To me, home is…

drinking fresh cow’s milk from aluminum cups

eating trout cooked over the campfire

homemade pecan pie

the smell of baking bread

cows in the field

figs from the tree

endless games of softball, jacks, and war

homemade butter spread thick on homemade bread

panfried steak from a cow named Beefsteak

Grandma saving the turkey carcass from Christmas to make gumbo for New Years

canned figs and strawberry jam


the sound of cicadas at night

moving boxes

playing outside until dark

Grandma crocheting while she watched her shows

Atlanta Braves baseball

lime jello with pineapple

leftovers in old hubcaps to feed the cats

the smell of hay

my aunt’s treehouse and calling her on the phone from the house


Lava soap

fun with my cousins

the sound of airplanes flying over

green apples

whistling with blades of grass

swinging statues

country music

roller skating

Grandma’s attic full of treasures

the needlepoint horse which lives in my kitchen because it was in grandma’s kitchen

riding in the back of the truck or in the “back back home”


playing cards

John Wayne movies

chicken enchilada casserole

pancakes for dinner

sitting around the table in the kitchen

“Look out Ned, we’re headed for the bushes!”


I think one of the reasons I enjoy cooking so much is because we spent a lot of time in kitchens when I was growing up. Both of my grandmas were phenomenal cooks and my parents both taught me to cook. Many of my favorite childhood memories revolve around food and the kitchen table.

To me, home is a kitchen full of good food and people I love.





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