Monthly Archives: April 2014

To Teach is to Touch a Life Forever

I’ve always held the upmost respect for teachers, especially one in particular.  This is why I was not only honoured, but excited when I was asked by a gentleman from Webucator, to blog about a teacher who made a difference in my life.  Webucator has been tweeting out the different posts as part of National Teachers’ Day, which is approaching fast.  I’m excited to be part of something that will be recognizing and honouring teachers everywhere.

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I would like to introduce my readers to an amazing teacher who inspired a handful of children every year for about 30 years.  Even though she retired last June, her past students still think very highly of her.  Her passion for teaching sparked a flame in her students to learn and help define their own passions.  The reason was simple, it was because she believed in each and every one of them.  It’s amazing how far a child will go when they know that someone believes in them.  It just takes one person.  That person; Mrs. Terri Cocke.

She would never follow the lessons in her books, but would rewrite them to create a fun and new way to learn.  She would also change them several different ways to adapt to those who needed a different approach.  Terri knew that every child was smart and could learn the material needed, some just needed the material presented to them in a different way.  She loved teaching so much that she was actually teaching kids to love to learn.  

This amazing teacher is the reason why I became an author.  Her approach to novel studies was phenomenal! I enjoyed reading the novels she picked out in the 3rd Grade and completing her novel study program so much, that I now write for that level and am including similar novel studies. Heck, I wrote my first book when I was in her class!  That one is in my ‘memory box’ though for safe keeping.

Out of her hundreds of students, I was the most fortunate one of them all.  Why?  I get to call her, ‘”mom”.  

Being that she is my mom, I thought a few of you might think I’m a little biased.  That is why I reached out to a few of her past students for their input.  Their words are a true testiment to my mother’s impact.

“Mrs Cocke was the best teacher that I ever had. I remember being in grade 2 and couldn’t wait to get to grade 3 for her to be my teacher. She made learning fun and made me want to go to school everyday.” – Melanie Hawryluk

“Growing up, I had many struggles in school due to the fact that I learnt differently then most.  I’m very much a hands on person and need to know the ‘why’.  I had a lot of struggles with math and science because most teachers only taught one way.  They did notes on the boards and when I asked why the answer was what it was, they would say because it is.  However, in Grade 3 I had one of the BEST teachers a kid could ask for.  She not only made it fun, but she actually cared about the students.  Looking back now, I am truly thank full for having a teacher like this because she opened up my eyes to how different every person truly is.  The teacher I’m talking about is Mrs. Cocke!  I still remember coming into class and every morning she had the biggest smile and the greatest welcome.  She made learning fun.  When you walked through the door, you could just feel this positive energy and wanted to be in class.  She taught in many different ways so all the students would be able to learn. If you put your hand up, she would take the time to help you sort out the problem. Even if it took the entire class and into recess, she would be patient enough to sit there and help you through it.  If you were not understanding one way, she would teach you a couple other ways until you found a fit.  Growing up, I had the best marks in her class because she cared.  You could tell how much she truly loved her job. I still remember all the pets, not knowing that she was teaching responsibility. I just thought they were cool, but then again what kid wouldn’t.  She made learning fun and no matter the problem; may it have been homework or another student, she was there for you.  Mrs Cocke is one of the best teachers I’ve ever known and to this day, when I see her, I still get that warm feeling I got as a kid as well as a great big hug!”Raelyn Wade

” “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth'” – Dan Ruther.  This quote represents Terri very well. She was my 3rd grade teacher and made school exciting.  She has a heart of gold and loved to teach, she is respected by many (especially myself) and I always look forward to the days that I see her.” – Christina Johnston

I was the child who liked to dream big and truly believed that I could change the world.  Many thought this was silly, but I knew it was possible.  I watched my mother do it everyday.  She changed the worlds of the children she taught. I can only hope that there is a huge part of her in me and I can do the same thing for every child who gets their little hands on my books in September.  Like my mother taught me; you have to start somewhere.

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For more information on Webucator and their part in National Teachers’ Day, click here :)

 

 

Why Go Out?

After spending the evening out at a pub for my husband’s birthday, a friend asked me if I miss the bar scene now that I have a baby and don’t make it out to ‘party’ much (not like I really did before, but that kinda ruins the punch line here)

Do I miss not spending more nights out with friends, having a few drinks?  That got me thinking and my readers should know what that means!  I introduce to you…

 The Top Ten Reasons Why My Baby is Like a Drunk Person

1) She has no shame being naked in public.

2) She can vomit without warning.

3) She passes out after having a bottle.

4) She can only stand up if she’s holding onto something, just to fall a couple seconds later.

5) She can burst into tears for no particular reason.

6) She will pass out in odd places

7) She thinks it’s hilarious when she burps or farts.

8) She doesn’t make sense when she talks.

9) She will suddenly get too affectionate and try to cuddle you.

And of course…

10) She wets herself.

I hope that answers my friend’s question.  To summarize, why do I need to hang out at a bar or pub, when I have a little drunk at home :)

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Chicken, Brie & Mango Quesadillas with a Cilantro Butter

Who says you can’t have fun with quesadillas and change them up?  If you’re like me and LOVE brie cheese and mangos then you MUST try this!  Just a little something I cooked up to tackle a bunch of cravings at once…no I’m not pregnant, I just love food more than the average human.  

*You can also swap the mangos and cilantro butter for cooked apples in cinnamon and raspberry jam! Mmmm!  Delicious! 

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I have to admit, I’m impressed I made it look this good. With my low patience level my food usually looks like Piper made it.

Ingredients:

Makes 4 Quesadillas

  • Tortilla Wraps 
  • 2 Ripe Mangos
  • 2 medium Grilled Chicken Breasts
  • 350 grams Brie Cheese
  • 1/4 c. Butter
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped Dill (optional)

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Melt the butter with the finely chopped cilantro and dill in small saucepan on the stove.  Keep it on the lowest heat setting, stirring occasionally while you chop the chicken and mangos.  Alternatively, you can use the microwave to melt the butter, but letting it simmer on the stove will allow the flavours to blend fully and get happy! Chop the chicken and mangos into smaller chunks so they’re easier to work with.

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Slice the brie into thin slices and set aside.  Start warming up a skillet on medium heat when all of your ingredients are ready.  Keep in mind that every stove is different.  I find that I need to cook these in the middle of the low and medium heat setting or the tortilla cooks too fast or burns without the cheese melting.  

With a pastry or sauce brush (or carefully with a spoon) spread a small amount of the cilantro butter mixture into the skillet and give it about 30 seconds to heat up.  

Put a tortilla in the pan and spread a little more of the cilantro butter mixture over the whole thing.  Start layering the brie, mango and chicken (in that order) on half of the tortilla.  Try not to overload it as that will cause issues when you are trying to fold and flip it!  Immediately fold the other half over, covering the ingredients in the fold.  When the bottom is brown enough to your liking, gently flip the quesadilla over to cook the other side.  When both sides are a nice golden brown, put it on a plate or cutting board and cut it into wedges and enjoy!

 

Throwback Thursday!

I figured I would finally give in to Throwback Thursday with a modern twist!  Here’s a picture of myself and Piper around the same age.  I’d like to take this opportunity to give a HUGE shout it to my mom for dressing me like a clown. It complimented my orange-like hair and skin tone wonderfully.  Thank you mother; thank you.  Now my followers might understand why I felt the need to dress my own daughter up as a leprechaun last month and like (spoiler alert) a bunny for Easter.

Enjoy!

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Happy April Fools Day…Bring on the Nightmares!

I think Brazil takes the cake when it comes to pranks!  I had seen the ghost in the elevator a year ago and it creeped me out, but now I found the corpse in the elevator…. enough said!

If you like a INTENSE scare, check these out.  If you creep out easily DO NOT HIT PLAY!