Saturday, September 30, 2017


Ruth Ayres has a link-up on weekends where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every week.

First in my list of celebrations is cranberry bogs. I've wanted to go visit the bogs since we moved to Wisconsin more than ten years ago. My mother-in-law has been here most of the week and it was just the excuse we needed to make the trip. We got to see some partially flooded bogs and also visited a place that packages fresh cranberries as well as dried slightly sweetened cranberries. They had some cool old equipment to look at too. We purchased some and I've used fresh cranberries to make scones, chicken salad, and an apple salad. Yum!  

We also went on a canoe/kayak trip on the Kickapoo River.  It was a beautiful day and we had lovely scenery the whole way. I enjoyed seeing the moss and ferns growing on the side of the rocks. We also enjoyed the time together as a family. 

My youngest child took Korean lessons a few years ago so we have several books in the house. After watching several Korean dramas, I had started listening to Korean music that went along with the shows. I wondered about the words and decided it would be fun to learn how to read 한글 (Hangeul). I'm working my way through the books and an app called Hangul. I put the Korean keyboard on my phone with the help of my child. I've even written some Korean words that way. It's fun to have a new challenge. With all of the Korean going on I also had to make some 비빔밥/beebimbap. I learned how to make it using the book Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park. It's super yummy. It takes some coordination because it has a lot of different dishes to make, but it's worth it. My mother-in-law was very helpful as we prepared it together. I had made it a few times, but it is always challenging to get everything ready in a timely way without things getting cold.

Another fun celebration from this week is the Lego League I am part of this year. We started in September and I'm coaching some of my students. This is definitely a learning experience.

Finally, I had a great time with first and second grade going outside at school this week. We read the book On Meadowview Street and talked about plants that help provide homes for critters. We went outside to see what critters might be in our meadowlike area. We also looked to see which plants were most popular. The purple flowers above (maybe they are wild bergamot or bee balm, but I'm not positive) had tons of bees buzzing about and many butterflies too. This lesson was really fun and was inspired by the class I took this summer on indigenous plants. 

Many wonderful things have been happening this week for me, but the people of Puerto Rico and Mexico City are never far from my thoughts. Life keeps spinning on here, but may people's lives were just radically changed in the past week. The devastation is too much to comprehend. I know it will be a long time before their lives will get back to anything like normal and for some it may never get there. My mind doesn't quite know what to do with all of that. Some of the students at our school want to do something in response so we will see what we can get going. It's helpful to have something concrete to do when we can't process the enormity of events like this. One of the other schools in our district is doing a fundraiser so maybe we can work together. We'll see what next week will bring.

I wish you a wonderful week full of wonderful things to celebrate.


  1. What a bunch of interesting and unique celebrations. And reflection on our lives that go on as others face devastation. Thank you for writing about both.

  2. It sounds like a busy, but wonderful week of good things going on, Crystal. I admire you for taking on the challenge of Korean, and then cooking too. I visited a cranberry bog with students a long time ago outside of Boston. It was fascinating, and we returned to our place we were staying and cooked them for cranberry sauce with dinner. Yum! The Lego group must be such fun for students. You are busy! I too am watching about the news in Puerto Rico and everywhere else! I don't know what to do except send what money I can. What a week it has been for the Puerto Ricans and the Virgin Islands, waiting.

  3. Crystal, since I have never been to a cranberry bog, this part of your blog was fascinating to me. Cranberries in apple salad-sounds yummy! Is the recipe online? Would your students like to create a class poem on fall for my next gallery, Autumn Ablaze? I would love to hear their thoughts on September's bees.

  4. I love that you were able to get outside with your students. It was always the best experience. And a kayak trip and the cranberry bog - you definitely took advantage of time to be outside this week. I'm in awe that you're studying Korean and even cooking some Korean dishes. I'm with you about the devastation suffered by so many - it's hard to comprehend and hard to know how to help.

  5. Crystal, you have captured so many celebrations from your week. I truly enjoyed reading about them because of their uniqueness. I am in awe of you learning Korean. How neat! Technology certainly does open the door to make the learning more accessible. Your cranberry treats sound scrumptious! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and hats off to a new week!

  6. So fun. A cranberry bog and cranberry treats sound great! And I've been a FLL tournament judge for the last two years. It's a super cool experience for the kids. My head spins with everything going on in the world...trying to do good in my little corner as much as I can. xo