Hat Day? (SOL19 #27)

As I drove down the road I was feeling pretty accomplished. I made it out the door with a cup of coffee already in, and had enough time to stop for some Starbucks on the way. The sun was shining. It’s sweater weather. Oh, and it’s hat day at school.
OH NO! It’s hat day!
I recently cleaned out the ol’ Explorer. How good did I do? Did I get that baseball cap floating around the back of the car?
I pulled into my diagonal spot silently praying that I missed it. I was lame yesterday and didn’t participate in crazy hair day. I couldn’t go for two days being a non-participant in Spirit Week.
I opened the passenger door and looked under the seat. Nothing. Remarkably clean. This should bring joy. It did not.
I hustled to the back of the car and opened up the hatch. Still nothing. I flipped up one of the third row seats and there it was. Illinois State Redbirds hat.
Mrs. Suomi would participate after all.

Credits Roll (SOL19 #26)

“Quick, we only have one dish left!”
“Put the lettuce on the plate, Katie!”
“Hold your horses, Steve-o!”
“Just need to the tomato. Push! Push!”
“Annnnnnd we did it,” I said as I shoved the last dish in the giant, hungry meatball’s mouth.
We all breathed a sigh of relief as the Onion King congratulated us. I watched the screen intently wondering how they would end the game. The meatball started to shake and then exploded into hundreds of meatballs.
Credits roll.
That was it?” Disappointed doesn’t begin to cover it. Steve looked at me funny. “What’s your problem?”
He had probably seen the end of hundreds of video games, but this was my first time beating a game. “It’s just not what I expected,” I added with a definite sound of glum in my voice.
I don’t know what I expected, but the exploding meatball wasn’t it. Although, I don’t know what would have been worth all the hours of playing this silly game, shouting across the living room, and fear of the next insane cooking challenge.
We did have fun though.
Now, on to Overcooked 2.

Pajama Day (SOL19 #25)

I grabbed my keys and headed up the stairs. So many are on break already. Not me. One more week. I say goodbye to Phil and he looks at me like I have three heads.
“You sure you’re ready?”
I looked down at my outfit and immediately understood what he meant.
Luckily for me it’s pajama day.
“Yep. Jambo day!”
Relief spread across his face. “Lucky you,” he said back. “Every day is pajama day at the Suomi house.”
I rolled my eyes. This working from home thing really has it’s benefits.
“Do you really think I would forget and just go to work in my pajamas on accident?”
“I don’t know. It is a Monday morning, and you look a little tired,” he replied.
Gee thanks. Happy Pajama Day Emerson! Last Monday before break. We’ve got this.

Puzzles (SOL19 #23)

I sat on the leather couch and watched the little boy spin in circles singing and dancing. I thought, if only I had half of that energy. The smile stretched across his face when he stopped and darted toward me. 


He climbed up and sat down next to me resting his head on my arm. His big, beautiful eyes peeked out from under the White Sox baseball hat. 


Giggle ensue. “Auntie, will you do puzzles with me? Yes?” 

His little head tilted as he gazed up at my face.

“Oh geez,” I replied. My face must have made a “oh my goodness how could I say no to that face?” look. 

“Don’t cry. Come with me.” 

I definitely wasn’t crying, and I was definitely wasn’t turning down an invite for some puzzles with my 2 1/2 year old nephew. 

Claps for Units (SOL19 #22)

“Can we clap once for each unit earned?” 


This morning my co-teacher has each student stand up and calls off their names one by one sharing how many units they have gained in the app, Lexia Core 5, for the week. There have been many weeks that my students have dreaded using the research based app for reading skills, but not this week. 

One by one each scholar is recognized for their efforts for the previous week. The look of sheer pride on their faces as their classmates cheer on their progress was incredible. I am so proud of each of them, but am even more taken aback by the classroom climate that we have created that is focused on learning, growth, and community. Each intentional step that we have taken this year has made a difference.  I have the best job in the whole world. 

Check out all that pepperoni!
Each week as the students meet their prescribed number of minutes on the app, they are able to place a piece of pepperoni on our Lexia Usage Challenge Pizza. Today we recognized their units gained in the program during Week 3. 

Morning Routines (SOL19 #21)

5:00 AM
How is it already 5:00 AM? The sound of the alarm goes off on my phone on the nightstand. I listen for the comforting sound of the coffeemaker coming to life in the kitchen. The smell then begins to permeate the house. I breathe a sigh of relief once I can know that the pot is in fact brewing. I drift back to sleep until the second alarm goes off.
5:15 AM.
I yank the covers off and slowly descend down the stairs. The cups are sitting out, ready to go. I am so grateful that he didn’t forget to set the delay on the coffeemaker AND that he had the cups out, ready to go. I make the two cups, creamer & coffee, then bring them back upstairs.
I place each cup noisily on the nightstand. I fiddle for the light switch, turn on the bedside lamp and jump back into the bed. Click. TVs on. Time for the news.  I glance to my left and see him still sleeping.
“I brought you coffee. Don’t you want to have coffee with me?”
He groans. “Thank you. In a little bit.”
“Gosh, it would be so nice to have coffee with you this morning.”
“Whoa. Did you see that?”
“I can’t believe it’s still so cold.”
“What a funny video! Phil, look!” 
Every morning the ritual is the same. I get the coffee and make as much noise as possible until he wakes up and hangs out with me before I go to work. No sleeping in on my watch.
Recently my husband has started working from home full time. He starts at 9:15, and calls the time that I leave for work his “morning reflection time.”
Morning reflection time means- stay in bed, turn on a movie, and rest until he is feeling mentally and physically ready to make the trek across the hall to the home office. 
I call it unfair.
Thus, I have started my ever important Suomi morning coffee time.Wake up early, watch the news, and drink our morning cup of joe together. No excuses.
I’m surprised he still likes me. My husband has the patience of a saint.

Exact-o-ly What I Feared (SOL19 #20)

’m a self proclaimed worrier. I can make a mountain out of a mole hill and can come up with the worst case scenario quicker than most.
“Where’s that exact-o knife?” She was on a mission. A mission to stop the old table from scratching the floor.
“Over in the cabinet to the right in the black toolbox,” I called from across the room. She walked over and got quickly to work. I looked up and thought, “Oooh. That might end badly.” I thought back to my own anxiety as I tried, unsuccessfully I might add, to cut the same tennis ball a month before.
I heard the audible GASP and saw her immediately put the knife and the tennis ball down on my table. The red blood started to come as she looked at her thumb and sized up the situation.
“Just go,” I said calmly. Inside, I was not as calm. I was instantly queasy. The way you feel when you see someone get hurt and can just imagine how the injury feels. It seemed as though every hair on my body feel like it was standing on edge. Sympathy pain I guess.
Luckily all was okay. She’s a trooper. It was not nearly as serious as the 8 pages of an accident report that needed to be filled out. Don’t worry, I got to fill out the witness page.
(To read her account of the incident, check out this blog

A Great New Store (SOL19 #19)

“Mrs. Suomi! I went to a great new store yesterday that I think you would really like!”
Really? I love to shop. What store is it?”
The student grinned with excitement. “It’s this store called Barnes & Noble?” The inflection at the end of his sentence let me know that he wasn’t completely sure of the name of the store. “It was GREAT! They have all sorts of books and other things too. I think you would really like it.”
“Books you say? Oh wow! I will have to check it out.” I smiled back and thanked him for the recommendation.
Now of course I have heard of Barnes and Noble, but it made my day that he was so excited about visiting a store that houses so many books. I told my husband about this exchange later on that evening and he was surprised that the student had never heard of Barnes & Noble. I had to point out to him that many of those brick and mortar stores that are so familiar to us have been closing over the course of his young life. It’s strange that those common experiences like browsing through a book store are changing to the swipe of a finger. 

Blinking Cursor (SOL19 #18)

I’ve been watching this cursor blink for the last 15 minutes. I’ve got nothing.
The list of things that I need to get accomplished tonight is growing, but not the number of words in the doc.
Tomorrow I’ll be better. I’ll be more observant for that small moment. Today, I need to check some things off this insane to-do list.

St. Patrick’s Day Miracle (SOL19 #16)

Being a tall, not so skinny girl I have always had trouble when it came to shopping.
Too short, too tight, you name it. 
Today was different. 
The pants fit just right.
There were tops that were long enough and large enough.
There was a dress in emerald green that was perfect.
It’s a St. Patrick’s Day miracle!

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