December 22

My Favorite Christmas Traditions

My favorite Christmas traditions revolve around photos. When I decorate my home each year, I look forward to these decorations most of all! On my mantle, I hang a banner with clips, so I can attach past Christmas cards. As I clip on each card, the memories attached to each photo come to mind and bring me such joy.

On a side table in my dining room, I have family photos displayed. Behind each photo is another photo of my daughter with Santa. Each December, I just switch the photos, and I can easily switch them back after Christmas.

My friend, Debora, shared the next idea with me. She takes all the photo holiday cards she receives and places them on a ring after Christmas. Then she prays for friends and family throughout the year as she turns the photos on the ring.

November 30

Christmas Tree for Animal Lovers

Three years ago, I gave my almost 91 year old mother a Christmas tree. She had not had a tree for years. Because she was a fan of Animal Planet, I decided on an animal theme and purchased stuffed animal ornaments to adorn her tree. I have added to it each year since then. It brings her so much joy that it stays up all year! Wouldn’t it also be a perfect tree for a child’s room or a science lab?

My mom is in a wheelchair, so I was excited about this addition.

October 5

Interesting Plants

In my garden, I try to have a few unusual specimens each year. These are my favorites:

Shrimp Plant- Click here to find out more. My shrimp plant died back last winter, but regrew this spring.

ChenilleClick here to learn more. It’s the perfect hanging plant!


Turks Cap-“This is one shrub that grows really fast and grows about 6-7 ft. tall and about 4-5 ft wide.  It is a hardy shrub that can tolerate the hot southwest sun or the cold 20-18° degree cold weather.”

August 31

Whimsical Garden Pieces

It’s fun to add a little whimsy to your garden! As I did in my science classroom, I look for ways to add surprises in unexpected places. Still searching for a turtle, a sundial, and rain gauge. The hummingbirds have brought me such joy this summer, I might just add one of those too! The poem below was in my grandparents’ garden.

August 8

Cottonwood Tree

My husband and I drove through Wisconsin this summer, and we found the variety of trees differed from the trees native to Atlanta. I especially enjoyed learning about the cottonwood tree. This massive shade tree grows along rivers and lakes. They belong to the poplar family and are among the fastest growing trees in America. They are easily recognized by their wide trunks. The name “cottonwood” comes from the fluffy white material that surrounds the seeds each spring.

May 29

Good-Bye Science Lab

When I was chosen to be the science coordinator seven years ago and tasked with creating a science lab, I began with an empty room. Creating an inviting, engaging, learning environment has been such a labor of love.

Moving In

As I looked around the room one last time before I closed the door and took the first step in my new chapter, I thought of the classic story, Good Night Moon, in which the character says good night to all the items in his bedroom before going to sleep. I laughed at myself, as I said good-night to all my favorite spaces and materials in the lab, and thought of all the young scientists who have shared this room with me. I already miss them!