Thursday, December 31, 2009


Tonight when I read the Chester County Independent, I thought about all the events that happened in 2009. I thought I would put some of them down in my blog so that I wouldn't forget them. Michael Jackson, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Swayze, and other famous people passed away in 2009, but I want to remember the things that happened in our town of Henderson.
January: Barak Obama took the official oath of office at his inauguration.
February: FHU's Lectureship: "Crying Out to God: Prayer and Praise in the Psalms" I (with lots of help from Becky) presented our VBS/Bible class lessons about David and Psalms.
On the 27th we had a record snowfall in Chester County - about 12 inches.
March: Mrs. Carolyn Ward was taken from the parking lot of Fred's and later found murdered.
April: Chi Beta wins Makin' Music with "In Living Color." More cuts were make in FHU's budget with 12 more people losing their jobs.
May: CCHS graduation: Jessica Steele was valedictorian.
June: VBS: We taught about Jesus' miracles: feeding the 5,000; calming the sea; healing the 10 lepers; and the empty tomb were our lessons in the 3 year old class.
July: Chester County Sheriff Mark Davidson passed away after battling brain cancer. We also had some bad storms in July - one storm happened during church services on Wednesday night. We all went down in the basement and stayed for quite some time before feeling safe to go home.
August: School started and so did my job as East Chester's principal. I'm so lucky to have Spring with me and the wonderful faculty and students at East.
September: CCHS beat McNairy in football 39-20 for the first time in 16 years.
October: BBQ Festival
November: Mallerie Graves passed away after a long fight against very severe Post Hepatitis Aplastic Anemia.
December: The Henderson National Guard unit left for training in Mississippi before going on to Iraq. Mike Huckabee spoke at FHU's Benefit Dinner. Henderson Police Captain Dennis Cagle dies following attempted robbery. Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the state attended the funeral service for Cagle at Loyd Auditorium to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
The Independent also listed some other facts:
Top 5 U.S. Scenic Drives:
1. Seward Highway, Alaska
2. Highway 1, California
3. Beartooth Highway, Montana/Wyoming
4. Zion National Park Scenic Highway, Utah
5. Custer Scenic Byway, South Dakota
Top 5 Social Networking:
1. Facebook
2. Myspace
3. Twitter
4. Fixster
5. Linkedin
Top 5 Football Movies
1. Rudy
2. All the Right Moves
3. Any Given Sunday
4. Friday Night Lights
5. Invincible
Top 5 Breed of Dogs
1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas at Nana's House

After lunch at Wayne's parents, we went to Cherokee to my parents' house. My mother found out on Wednesday that she has a stomach ulcer, so she wasn't feeling very well. Mother, Daddy, Chris, Stacy, John, Joseph, Wayne, Katy, Daniel, and I enjoyed time together. We enjoyed finger foods together: ham & cheese rolls, cheese ball, chicken ball, sausage balls, candied pecans, fudge, cherry delight, popcorn chicken, Bagel Bites, Granny cookies, sugar cookies, cookie sandwiches, and coconut cake were on the menu for this family gathering. After we ate, we opened presents. It was so fun to watch Joseph open his presents. He got so excited each time and would say, "How did you know that I always wanted one of these?" John brought Daddy a flag from Iraq - that was a special gift. Chris got Mother and Daddy a 26 inch flat-screen TV. We all got wonderful gifts, but we would all have traded them for Mother to feel better. Hopefully, she's on the road to recovery and next Christmas she will be back to her old self. Merry Christmas, Choat Family!!!

Christmas at MawMaw's House

We started Christmas Eve morning by traveling to Florence to Wayne's parents' house. We were joined by Wayne's sister Tina and her husband, Steve. Their daughter Stevie and her boyfriend, Landon, were also there along with their two dogs. Wayne's aunts Carlene and Faye also came as well as his cousin Zack. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch together: ham, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, potato soup, grape salad, peas, and rolls. Dessert was a choice between turtle pie, lemon pie, rice krispie treats, pecan pie, and fudge. We all got wonderful presents. In the pictures Pawpaw Scott is opening knives he picked out; Daniel is opening a video game; and Katy is opening Transformers movies. Merry Christmas, Scott Family!!!

More Favorites

6. Favorite Holiday - I love all that comes with Thanksgiving and how people seem to take a minute to think about all the blessings we have to be thankful for, but I have to say that Christmas is my favorite. I love the songs, the decorations, giving gifts, and the food. I also love getting together with family and friends. 7. Favorite Candy Bar - This is an on again off again favorite. My favorite right now is....

8. Favorite Potato Chip - Chips are my favorite snack of all. My very favorite are...

9. Favorite Flower - I love flowers. My Granny loved flowers, and she always let us help her water the flowers when we spent time with her. I love three flowers in particular.My Granny always had geraniums on her front porch. They were so big and beautiful. She had a green thumb - she could grow anything. Then in the fall, she would break off stems from the geraniums and "root" them so she could have them again the next year. I always plant geraniums in the spring because of Granny.Granny also had buttercups in her yard. We dug up bulbs from her yard, so we now have Granny's buttercups in our yard now. I'm always so excited when they buttercups come up in the spring.

Granny also had roses in her yard. She loved roses. Mother has the same rose bushes in her yard. All Granny would do is stick a branch from a rose bush into the ground and amazingly it would grow. Daddy can do that now. Mother and Granny always wanted a yellow rose bush. Hopefully Mother's yellow rose bush will live. Granny always said that the soil must be wrong in Cherokee for yellow rose bushes. I had lots of rose bushes at our blue house, but so far I haven't been able to find a good place to plant roses at our house now.

10. Favorite Homemade Christmas Candy - Mother's Fudge

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Favorites

For the few remaining days of 2009, I'm going to write down my favorites right now. I'm interested to see if they're still my favorites this time next year...
1. Favorite TV Show
2. Favorite Drink
3. Favorite Football Team

4. Favorite Basketball Team

5. Favorite Restaurant

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!!

Today is my daddy's 66th birthday. We planned a family lunch for him at our house. Mother, Daddy, Chris, Stacy, Joseph, Evelyn, Rhonda, Melinda, Wayne, Katy, Daniel, and I were the partiers, but Stacy and Mother were both sick. Chris stayed with Mother to take her to the doctor. Doug was able to come with Rhonda, so we had nine partiers after all. We had Honeybaked Ham, scallopped potatoes, peas, green beans, deviled eggs, marshmallow salad, grape salad, and rolls. Daddy's favorite dessert is German chocolate cake, so we had that and cherry delight. My granny always had cake and cherry delight at Christmas. Mother also made "Granny cookies." We talked about some memories we had of Granny - that was nice to do. We also played Dirty Santa. I'm so glad that we were able to have this special time for my daddy, Roger Choat. He's an awesome dad!!!

Roll Tide

We're so excited that Alabama is going to be playing in the National Championship Game. The Auburn and Florida games were thrilling, but if we could win the national championship again, that would be just wonderful!!!! Roll Tide

Cookie Exchange

Laura Beth invited Katy and me to her cookie exchange party. Becky made the cutest invitations for the party. Katy and I made reindeer noses for the party. We took three dozen cookies - 2 to eat and 1 to share. The girls made goody bags for some of the elderly neighbors in the neighborhood. The hit for Katy was Becky's chicken ball that she made by her grandmother's recipe. We'll be making one for our family Christmas gathering! We enjoyed the cookie exchange very much!!!

"How the Penguins Saved Christmas"

Each year for the December PTO meeting a different grade level puts on a Christmas play. This year was second grade's turn, and I think they did a great job! Several moms helped with the stage decorations; Mrs. Norma helped work with the kids who had speaking parts: Mrs. Nancy ran the music and sound; and the second grade teachers and students worked so hard getting ready. Everyone enjoyed the program on Thursday night and again on Friday morning. Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fall Festival Entertainment

One of the highlights of Fall Festival was each grade level's singing performance. Every 30 minutes a different grade met in the library and performed some songs for their parents. The auctions for the class items followed the entertainment. We weren't sure how many we would have in our audience for each performance, but the library was crowded every time. We are so lucky at East Chester to have parents and grandparents who are really interested in their children's activities.

Harvest Hoedown

On November 7, East Chester celebrated our annual Fall Festival. This year we called it "Harvest Hoedown." Laurie Tucker, Emily Shelton, and Michele White worked incredibly hard on the festival with decorating, planning, and organizing all the activities. The night went well, and we raised quite a bit of money for our school. Some of the activities included Win a Fish, Silly String a Teacher, Cake Walk, and Plinko. The building looked great with all the fall decorations. Everyone enjoyed the night, but I was glad it was over and that everything went well.

Fall Festival Class Crafts

Becky, Spring, and I worked with each class to make a class project for each to be auctioned off at the Fall Festival. We decorated gingerbread aprons, turkey aprons, Christmas tree aprons, and flower pots. They all turned out really good!!!

Kindergarten Crafts

Each kindergarten class made two crafts with their children. I was able to get these pictures of their work. I don't have Mrs. Brandi's table runner, Mrs. Michelle's fish pillowcase, or Mrs. J's quilt. The crafts were just precious and the parents/grandparents loved them.

Fall Festival Baskets

Some teachers chose to collect items to make themed baskets for auctioning at the Fall Festival. I think we ended up with about 25 baskets. The gift wrapping basket and chocolate basket were two crowd pleasers. The baskets were assembled and wrapped by Suzanne McCarver and Marla Davidson. What would I do without those two girls? They've helped me with these baskets since Lillie and Kendyl were in kindergarten. Thanks, ladies. You're the best!!!

Fall Festival Trees

One of the many ways that the teachers help with Fall Festival is by decorating Christmas trees for auction. Ten of the eleven trees decorated are pictured here: Dee Arnold's, Jill Egros', Malorie Pusser's, Rosemary McKnight's, Carrie Sells', Sherri Cherry's, Leslie Hunt's, Kim Poston's, Michelle Hopkins', and Wendy Siler's trees were all beautiful.

Joseph's Thanksgiving Photoshoot

Fun With Joseph

I tried to get a good picture of Joseph after we ate Thanksgiving supper at Mother's and Daddy's. Mother had gotten him a book about George Washington, and I was thrilled to hear him read it to me. He only missed a few words like Mount Vernon, Martha, and surveyor. I think I made about 20 pictures before I got a few that were good. We enjoyed the time we had to spend with Josie!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

We had school Monday and Tuesday of this week. I got some kind of bug and felt terrible on Monday. We were expecting the fire marshal, so I went ahead and went to school. After he left, I went to the doctor, got some medicine, and came home and went to bed. I felt much better on Tuesday, so I went to school. Wednesday Katy and I went to Cherokee, and Wayne and Daniel went to Florence. Katy and I went to Valdosta to church with Mother and Daddy. It was good to see Kenny & Patricia and Ed & Emily. Thursday morning Katy and I went to Wayne's parents' house to meet the rest of the family for Thanksgiving lunch. Wayne's mom had gotten up at 4:00 AM to check on the turkey only to find that someone had turned the oven off, so she went to Wal-Mart and bought two turkey breasts. We enjoyed the turkey, macaroni and cheese, dressing, English peas, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and rolls. She also had turtle pie, pecan pie, carrot cake, and cookie things for dessert. Wayne's parents, Van and Jane; Wayne's sister, Tina and her husband Steve; and Wayne, Katy, Daniel, and I were there. After lunch Wayne and I went to K-Mart and bought a few Christmas presents. Then we went to Cherokee to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Mother and Daddy had had lunch at Pawpaw's, and Mother had been cooking for days to get ready for that meal and our supper. We had ham, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, green beans, gravy, rolls, and cranberry sauce. Mother even grilled chicken for Katy. Then we had chocolate pie and cheesecake for dessert. Mother, Daddy, Stacy, John, Joseph, Wayne, Katy, Daniel, and I enjoyed the time together. After supper Wayne and Daniel came home. Katy and I stayed so we could go shopping on Black Friday. Stacy went home, too, but she came back Friday morning and met us to go shopping. We went to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Lowe's, and Martin's. We ended our shopping day by eating together at O'Charley's. We had a great time together. Katy and I were trying to get home in time for the Iron Bowl, but we didn't make it in time. We watched the game with Daddy, and what a game it was. We had a great time especially since Alabama pulled out the victory. We enjoyed a lot of wonderful food, but the time spent with family was what made this Thanksgiving a special one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ABCs of The First Nine Weeks

Well, I've made it to October being principal of East Chester Elementary School. Who would've thought that I would ever be a principal? Certainly, not me!!! I love teaching, and thankfully I still get to teach four-year-olds at church. Now that nine weeks have passed by and we're on Fall Break, I've had a little time to reflect over what's happened so far. I hope that I will be able to be as happy being principal as I was being a teacher, but for now, I'm just happy that things seem to be going well. I want to have something to look back on to remember this first year, so I thought I'd do the ABCs of the First Nine Weeks.

A - Awesome Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents
B - Buses
C - Cafeteria
D - Detective
E - Emergency Lights - Spring and I get to check those once a month
F - Fire Drills - I was so nervous before the first one, but it went great!
G - Grandparents Day - menus, visitors, schedules, etc...
H - Help! Everyone has been so wonderful to help out!
I - Illness - Flu especially
J - Jill hurt being a buzzard...
K - Kindergarten - I miss it!!!
L - LEAD conference
M - Meetings - IEP, faculty, PTO
N - Nashville - I've had to go to Nashville all by myself for Beginning Principals Academy.
O - October - Getting ready for Fall Festival
Q - Questions
R - Recess
S - Spring - What would I do without her?
T - Technology - Great when it works...
U - U-turn - I made several when I went to Nashvile
V - Valuable - Everyone should feel valued.
W - Wildlife Show
X - eXhausted
Y - Yummy treats
Z - Zoo - sometimes the office seems like a zoo

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Daniel's 12th Birthday

Daniel's birthday was August 31. We celebrated with our family on the Saturday before. He decided that he wanted a soccer cake this year. We enjoyed grilled hamburger and hotdogs along with cake and ice cream. Nana, PawPaw, Aunt Stacy, Evelyn, Joseph, MawMaw, and PawPaw came for the birthday celebration. Daniel's really lucky to have such a loving family that loves him so much. Happy 12th Birthday, Daniel!! We love you!

Daniel's Playing Soccer

Daniel decided that he wanted to play soccer this year. Wayne and I weren't too sure if he would like it, but he has totally surprised us. Not only does he like it, he is really good at it. He's not too thrilled with his number - 13- he says it's not a good number.

Grannys All Around

I've always enjoyed teaching at East Chester, and I've had great friends the entire time I've been here. It's been so fun watching my friends become grandmothers. They all have different names - "Nana", "Nini", "Mimi", "Grank", and the list could go on and on. This is Allison and one of her grandbabies....Emma. Emma started kindergarten this year! Now we're all looking forward to seeing Leslie become a grandmother, too.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Floor!!!

We're so excited that we were able to get hardwood flooring installed in the living room, down the hall, and in Daniel's room. We love it!!!

John's Home!!!!!

Wednesday was a great day! My brother-in-law John returned home from Iraq after six months. Daniel, Katy, and I went to Decatur, AL, to welcome him home. My parents were also there (oh, and Carolyn, too). We're so thankful that God kept him safe and now he's home!!! Thanks to everyone who prayed for him and our family...

Standards Training: Logic/Research

At the Standards Training, we also learned more about combining activities across curricular areas in order to maximize the students' learning time. This was a cute activity that taught vocabulary, logic, and research. In today's educational world, it also allows the children to make an art project.

Standards Training: Story Map

Recently I attended a Standards meeting at Lexington Middle School with some teachers at my school. Dee Arnold and I attended the language arts session. We learned several neat ways to make reading fun for kids. One way was using these story maps. The class was divided into four groups. Each group was given a category: characters, setting, problem, and solution. We came up with the drawings and then at the end combined our drawings into one big story map. The book we used was Charlie the Caterpillar, a great book!!

VBS Night 4

Night 4: Jesus is Alive!
I thought this lesson was a little advanced for my little ones, so we simplified it as much as possible. Using the tomb that Becky and I have used for the lions' den, the fiery furnace, etc., I made the kids' pictures outside Jesus' tomb. Ava wanted to go inside, and as if on cue, when she got inside, she said,"Mrs. Kim, there's nothing in here." PERFECT TEACHING MOMENT....I couldn't have planned it better. We went from there to explain how Jesus was raised from the dead. We also talked about how Jesus made breakfast for his disciples on the beach. We had fishsticks again - they loved them so much the previous night. We also had resurrection rolls. They were really neat!!! Check them out on the Bible Teachers blog. Sandy made pictures.