Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My 1000 Gifts of Summer Project

I think what has kept me from blogging regularly is that I think anything I write and post has to be really good and teach something really big or have a really big meaning.  What I've realized is that I need to take more time to stop and celebrate the little, daily accomplishments in my teaching, learning, and life and not worry so much about how important or thought provoking or brainy my blogs are. 
Sims, one of my sweet second graders, gave me the book, One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voscamp as an end of year present.  I’m still reading it, and I love it….but as I was reading the other night, I thought it might be fun to capture the daily gifts in my life this summer as photographs. This post includes my first three days of #1000giftsofsummerproject.  (technically it's the #198giftsofsummerproject...not exactly enough days for 1000 photos before I go back to school.)
This post includes the first three days of my project.
DAY 1:  Funny Gifts
 All three of these gifts came from my friend, Jeff, who loves to make people laugh.  
1. A bear stick for protection (in case I go bear hunting in my Homewood, AL neighborhood)
2. A "house warming" and 40th birthday present (This guy has a twin and both statues still sit on either side of my fireplace because they make me laugh.)
3. An original piece of art to hang in my classroom....that he painted himself, while painting with his granddaughter one afternoon.  

DAY 2: The Gift of Time for Summer Projects
I’m thankful for the gift of having time to pursue summer projects, and the happiness that will come from completing these three projects.
1. A Year’s Worth of Video Footage Project….Seeing what footage I actually have…really watching the footage…sorting and categorizing the footage…editing the footage…showcasing the amazing thinking and work of the Corgill kids in the footage…maybe even talking to a documentary filmmaker about the footage…
The Video Project

2. Organizing the Jewelry Drawers Project….So I don’t have to untangle necklaces and find the matching earring that goes with the lonely single one I want to wear.
Organizing the Jewelry Drawers Project

3.  Repainting the Bird House For My Patio Project….so it’s not faded from the sun anymore or a memory of a wedding gift from a bad marriage.... and is a happy and bright red, with a brown roof instead of the ugly, faded, washed out, too many hours in the rainy weather look it has now.
Repainting the Birdhouse Project

DAY 3: Three Things That Make Me Smile and Clap!
Greatest Billboard Ever
My Next Summer Reading Stack!
Quote I Love From Venspired on Facebook!

I like to end my posts the same way my friend and former principal, Phyllis Faust, ended her daily emails to our school faculty....to the possibilities

So...to the possibilities and the gifts of tomorrow!
Ann Marie


  1. This whole post makes me smile! You are a tremendous soul, Ann Marie...from your beautiful footage of children (want to see) to your jewelry drawers(!). Wow. xo, a.

  2. Always glad to see you posting, Ann Marie. I love your summer projects. The video projects sounds a bit daunting. I need to do the same with photos of work I've collected this year. I'm looking forward to some time to get caught up reading, thinking, and writing. Mostly, I'm glad to have time to catch up with all of my friends and the work they are doing.


  3. Amy and Cathy--Thank you for your encouraging words and for taking the time to read the blog! Miss you both and wish we lived closer...thankful for technology that connects us across the miles!
    Much love and happy summer to you both!!
    Ann Marie

  4. I'm always inspired by you! I too have quit blogging but have been thinking about it again. It is freeing to think we don't have to have earth shattering things to say but just the act of writing will make us better. You might have given me the nudge I needed. As always, thank you!