Monday, August 5, 2013


In a city full of so much history, I am lucky because I was able to make my own little bit of history. This beautiful city that has seen so much hurt and destruction allowed me to see the beauty of making friendships that span across the world. Thanks to Centropa, I was able to connect with 85 teachers from several different countries. All with the same goal in mind. Teaching young minds the history that has shaped their lives today. Centropa allowed us to come together as teachers and create lesson plans that will connect our students living in different countries with 1 goal in mind. Learning history.

 Everyone has a story: what is yours? What will your future hold? How will your past shape who you will become?  These are questions I pose on a daily basis. This is what I want to teach my students. They can become anything-not let their past influence their future too much!!! Going to Berlin showed me this was possible. A city with such an abhorrent past that has such a bright future.

Walking down the streets of Berlin I see all of the beauty that one city can offer. I don't think I have ever been at peace as I was in this city. I was able to lose myself in the beauty of the world around me not concentrating on the hurt and pain but the hope and dreams.

Although I was unable to write while I was in Berlin- I see it as a blessing. I was able to live life to the fullest while in the city, experiencing things I have never experienced before, forming new and hopefully lasting friendships and relationships. 

I hope that I will be lucky enough to go back to this wonderful city and experience more that it has to offer. 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

until next time

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Willkommen...from Berlin is my second day in Germany. I flew in yesterday afternoon with a few stops in between home. My flight left South Carolina at 7 A.M. Sunday morning and I stopped in Philly, PA (which is great because my MIL lives there and we were able to spend the afternoon together). Then I came back to the Philly International Airport for my flight at 6:30 P.M. which didn't end up leaving until 9 P.M. (BIGGGGG MESS!!!) But landed in Munich about 10 A.M. which was just in time for my connecting flight to Berlin. YAY!!!! I landed about 12:30 P.M. (Monday) and had to wait a little while for my luggage. But I was sooo excited to be here I didn't care I had to wait. Even though I could tell all of the other passengers were not too thrilled. Then I took a taxi to the airport and meet up with a few other teachers from the seminar. We took an amazing trip to the Wannsee House in Germany, which for those that do not know, this beautiful place was where the Nazi party decided the "Final Solution".

Then after the tour we went to dinner at some place in the heart of Berlin (which for a vegetarian is hard to find something good), but the restaurant was delicious. I ordered Gazpacho, and it was phenomenal. And I was so full I couldn't eat it all, but still perfect!!!! Then we went to the rooftop bar at our hotel and had a goodnight drink and went to bed. Wonderful day.

Today we got up and had a 5 course breakfast  at the hotel and then I had to transfer my things to the hotel I will be staying at for the remainder of the Academy. Which meant I had to carry my luggage for about 20 minutes down the streets of Berlin. Let me tell you-what an adventure-but so much fun!

After checking in to my new hotel (which the view is perfect) we met for a welcome lunch then opening words a local Jewish museum/synagogue.

Hotel view:

After the welcome lunch and words we went on a historic walking tour of Berlin-great history in this city!!!!

A few pictures from the historic downtown of West Berlin:

Then we went to the Centrum Judaicum and had a tour of the museum. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!!! After which we had a welcome dinner followed by our elective choices, which of course I chose a video line, where we will be responsible for making a video of our experience here this summer!!!

Pictures of inside and outside of Centrum Judaicum:

Well....gute Nacht

“We are alive. We are human, with good and bad in us. That's all we know for sure. We can't create a new species or a new world. That's been done. Now we have to live within those boundaries . What are our choices? We can despair and curse, and change nothing. We can choose evil like our enemies have done and create a world based on hate. Or we can try to make things better.”  -Carol Matas

until next time,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where is summer going???

Wow, so all I can say is I thought I was on vacation?!?!?! My life is busier now then when I am in school. :)

    But it is great being busy-and most of all it is great hanging out with my girls, family and friends. Here we are already at the beginning of July and I have already done so much this summer, and I still have about a month and a half left. My daughters and I have traveled to North Carolina, Tennessee, and Connecticut. I was able to see NKOTB, Boys II Men, and 98* in concert. (Floor seats might I add) But I am getting very excited about my travels coming up in the next few weeks. I will be attending a Holocaust Seminar sponsored by Columbia College next week and then I will be traveling to Berlin for 12 days at the end of July. (Don't worry- I will blog everyday I am there about my experiences).

 My husband and I just celebrated our 2 year anniversary and I struggled to find something that would fit into the "cotton" gift category. So here is what I went with. I bought him an overnight bag filled with sunscreen, 2 pair of shorts, and new swimming shorts, as well as tickets for he and I to go kayaking one weekend this summer. This was my thought: the overnight bag, and shorts would be the cotton and everything is just a bonus ;) Leave it to my husband (the organic chemist) however to inform me that the bag was not made out of cotton. "Kelli-nobody makes bags out of cotton-they wouldn't last 2 seconds" But hey it is the thought that counts. Warren on the other hand made the best gift-he got a t-shirt (made of 100% cotton) and wrote on it personally "Love my wife" and he had intended on wearing it out everywhere we went on our anniversary (this past Tuesday), but I told him that I would not put him through the embarrassment. Again-hey it is the thought that counts right :) That was a great day!!!

 Well-You will be hearing from me more now (hopefully) filled with wild stories of my busy life-

 “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”-Judith Thurman

until next time,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Super" woman

WOW....sorry it has been a few weeks since the last time i have posted anything. going back to school, getting the girls back in the swing of things, and just staying caught up with everyday stuff- to say the least it has been a little crazy around here.

that introduction brings me to tonight's blog...   "super" woman.

 i hear that all of the time. you are "super" woman. how do you do everything that you do? you are crazy. how do you have time for everything?

i have heard those things more than i can keep track...

here is the truth...yes i am crazy. it is hard doing everything that i do, i am not saying it is easy. a lot of the time i do wish i was able to just go home and relax. i envy those that do. but my motivation is simple. to me i am not "super" woman. i am just a woman trying to make this world a little bit better off. when i leave this earth, i want to make sure that i have done enough so the next generation can go on living, or possibly leave it better than when i came into this world. i have tried to erase the word "no" from my vocabulary, and replace it with "i will try". with a little bit of motivation, anything is possible. again, i am not saying it is easy. i have spent many nights in sweat, tears, and a broken heart. but you know what, one thing i do- i try to enjoy the beautiful things in this world, such as being able to read a book, any book, or taking a walk down the street and enjoying the sound of my breathing, or the trees around me.

now, that all may seem so simple, or dumb but i think many times we take for granted these things. you want to know what my definition of "super" is?

it is the single mother who HAS to work 2 jobs, just so she can put food on the table and provide clothes for her child. that mom can't often enjoy a "good read", or just a walk around the is the child struggling to stay alive in the hospital, who has recently been told they have less than 1 year to live. they too do not have time to read because they are bored, or take a walk down the street, because it would be too hard to take the machines that are keeping them alive with them. they are focusing on breathing because they know their breaths are numbered... "super" are the children in other countries who are literally dying to go to school everyday so they can learn any and all information in order to make a better way for themselves and their family... "super" is the young girl who gets shot for standing up for what she believes in, even though it goes against hundreds of years of "traditions"... "super" is the child who has endless nights of not knowing what is going to happen next. the list goes on with what "super" really means, and my name is not among them.

i simply just live, the best that i can, even though it may be hard at times. their have been plenty of times where i have wanted to give up, or quit, because it was just too hard, but somehow i managed to hang in their just a little bit longer, and was able to see the victory in my struggles. my thirst for knowledge has only grown stronger and will continue to grow everyday as i feel that i can make this world better. i would rather struggle so others can learn, learn how to be strong, and know that they can too survive even their toughest fears.

so thank you to everyone who has ever told me that i am "super"woman, the compliment means more that you know and lifts me up on the rough days, but know i too think you are "super". anyone can be "super", just live your life the best way you know how, and try to be an inspiration to others.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

until next time,

Friday, January 4, 2013

getting back into the swing of things...

well today is friday and it was our first day back at school (at least for us faculty and staff). we spent the day getting ready for the kiddos to come back on monday. it is so funny that i wake up this morning with the intention of getting soooo much done in my classroom, and as soon as i get there i lose all motivation. i was able to get the next 3 weeks worth of lesson planning completed as well as fix my classroom library up a little. the kiddos wrecked it the last week before break, which by the way is a good thing, because that means i know they are at least interested in the books i have.

working at the doctors office during break was great-but i am getting sick which is not great. the best place to pick up germs is in a place where a bunch of sick children congregate. you would think i had enough immunity to all the little germs that get passed by working at a school and a doctors office the last 10 years (give or take a few years) but nope....i still get sick. i think this time i can thank warren. he has been sick all last week. luckily it is friday and i have the weekend to recoup before having to brave all my middle school children. i just have to get passed tomorrow morning at the doctors office, then i have about a day and a half to get better. i also brought home some work to finish up before monday, but i will probably just end up letting the bags stare at me from the bench in my kitchen. :)

i am so thankful that my cohort in crime at school, even though we are both first year teachers, has known me the last 4 years or so. we went to college and graduated together. so it was easier starting this year with him being the other 7th grade social studies teacher because he knew who i was and already knew about me and all of my crazy tendencies. he once again came to my rescue today when i told him i was feeling under the weather. he brought me some hot water and gave me some airborne, which i have never taken before- but he swears by it. i am hoping that will save me from getting too sick.

so after school today i remembered i needed to stop by the office supply store and get a couple of things for my classroom, and i needed to use up my rewards certificate i had before it expired. i knew exactly what i wanted to get, and with not feeling well-it took everything i had to stop there at all. all i wanted to do was run in grab it and leave. when i looked around the entire store twice i finally asked an associate if they had any of what i was looking for. of course they didn't have any in the store. they could order it online, but it would take a while to ship and get it to the store. that meant i would have to go back to the store i didn't even want to go to originally to pick it up. no thank plan b, i have to go tomorrow to another store to see if they have what i am looking for. crossing my fingers they do!!!

i am so excited because miss morgy is coming home tonight. she spent the week in atlanta with the grandparents. they saved us this week, when or original babysitters fell through. and i get to pick miss maddie up from my mom's in asheville tomorrow after work. then the house will be complete again-just in time for the girls to start back to school on monday.

welp tonight i am going to be lazy and stay in bed and watch the two movies i rented from the express rental outside of bilo with my fur babies.

until next time...

"all great achievements require time" -maya angelou


Thursday, January 3, 2013

out with the with the new

well, i have been reading other blogs and have been told by many to start keeping a journal. so this is my journal. i am hoping by making this open for everyone to see, that it could possibly help others through their personal struggles.

i am a busy wife, mother of 3 beautiful girls, teacher to 150 middle school kiddos, helper at the girls drs. office, student, and whenever possible volunteer for local animal rescue groups. when do i sleep you ask? whenever i can. my logic is i will sleep when i am dead. with all the need out in the world this is my way of trying to do my part.

like i said, i am a mother of 3 beautiful girls. maddie-is in the 1st grade and is beautiful and intelligent. she says she wants to be a dr when she grows up and is interested in everything related to the human body. morgan-she is my princess. she loves everything girlie, pink, dresses, and makeup. and gemma-she is my adventurer. she loves being with poppy (that is what she calls daddy) and building and climbing and most of all, getting dirty. all three girls have such different personalities, but are the light of my life. i do not go a day without them teaching me something.

then there are my fur babies. warren and i volunteer and foster for local animal rescue groups (him more so than me). currently we have 6 fur babies. 4 pups and 2 kittens. 2 of the pups are our fosters but i see them as my own. it is so hard to have fosters because we take them in and get so close, but the great thing is-if they leave our house it is usually for an incredible adoptive family, and i know they are going to have a great life ahead of them. and the other plus is that opens up another spot for us to take on a new foster.

my day job is trying to educate our future, the events of our past...which is no easy feat-let me tell you. one of my favorite professors in college told me, if i can teach my students content at least 50% of the time, then i am one of the lucky ones. this is my first "real" year teaching, so i am still trying to get into the swing of things, but i think it is going a little smoother now.

at night you could find me all over greenville. some nights i am helping out at the girl's doctors office-which i have been doing for the last 3 years. it is a great part time job and i love the women i get to work with there. on the nights i am not working at the doctors office i am taking classes at converse college or furman university. i am currently working on getting a couple of different certifications to add on to my teaching license and also on my masters in education, specifically in literacy. after the stop at furman and converse i am hoping to transfer to clemson or carolina to get my ph.d in educational psychology. we will see what life has for me before that happens though.

i couldn't do this crazy life without my husband, warren. he has sacrificed so much for me so i can get where i am at today. if you were to ask who my hero was i would tell you him in a heart beat. not because of anything specific, but the way he is willing to help others, even if he pretends to hate it, at the end of the day, he kills himself for what is best for everyone else. he has shown me to the bigger picture. my love for animals comes from him. he has taught me to take care of this earth, because if i don't then there won't be an earth to take care of.

so hopefully i will add to this blog a few times a week, but with my new schedule, it may be a little difficult. i will post things about my life and the girls, the doggies and warren, and of course i can't leave out my classroom tales. if you are interested check in once in a while, drop a note. would love to hear from you. :)