School Bells Ring Out Again!

DSC_0177                           August 8th began the 2016-2017 school year. Many schools in the Midwest and East Coast are still enjoying summer vacation while most of us in Arizona are back in school. Thank goodness for air conditioning. Here is the temperature in the shade on our first day back. IMG_1348

We begin every morning at 7:55am with prayer, announcements, birthdays of the day and Pledge of Allegiance.


A great way to begin the day – all of us together. We are a family at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School.

As we began the new school year, I hear comments like this from the students :  “Sister, did you call us 3rd Graders? We are in 4th grade now.”  And I also heard – ” Sister, we are in First Grade now-not Kindergarten. ” They are all so proud that they have moved up a grade.

I have worn glasses since 6th grade and would love not to have to wear them. BUT this 1st grader loves her fake glasses! ( so fashionable these days)












We are blessed to have two active priests at our parish who are involved in our school. Fr. Alan came the first day to bless all of the classrooms. For some of our new students we had to explain what it means to have holy water sprinkled on them.

1st Graders
PreK 4 year olds-isn’t that impressive having a 4 year old be a little altar server already! The little girl is holding the holy water.

Classrooms were blessed on the first day and on the 2nd day at about 8:30am as I was in the 5th grade room teaching Religion, I get a call from my secretary – ” The police just called and told us to be on lock-down. A prisoner from the work crew cleaning the park by school escaped and ran right towards our school!”  We hadn’t even practiced this yet but everyone from last year knew what to do once I went on our new P.A. to announce it. Impressive!

Fr. Ariel, our pastor, came to visit before morning prayer when students were playing in the courtyard waiting for the 7:55am whistle. Whenever he enters the grounds, a crowd gathers around him.

I love the dark blue clouds in the sky as we seldom see clouds -sun most of the days.
Fr. Ariel proudly displays the new shirts on sale in the parish’s gift shop. Great way to be Catholic and proud of it!
Noon Recess – 20 minutes with the older students and then 20 minutes with the younger students. A great way to get to know the students and my chance to be outside.

DSC_0123 DSC_0124

Hopscotch is still in style! Great way to stay agile!

The new game –  Pokemon is popular here. In the evenings, when I am walking in our neighborhood at the convent,  I see a mom and her son spending “quality family time” as they tell me, searching for Pokemon. One night, they were with their phone behind all the mailboxes-but Pokemon was not there.

In the courtyard, before school began, a 3rd grader came up to me and said, “Sister, they aren’t following the rules!” “What are you playing? ” I asked. “Pokemon in Real Life!”  (this is without a phone)  How creative students are on their own.

As we begin our 3rd week of school, I stopped off at school on Sunday morning to prepare for two subs already. A street lady that I often meet in the alley by St. Vincent de Paul or she is sometimes going through our dumpster looking for items for the children who live in the trailer court,  was sitting on the step outside our cafeteria smoking a very long cigarette. She said, ” Hi Sister! ” I replied, ” Hi, how are you today. ” ” I am good. I sure love seeing you in your um, um -” I finished her sentence, “Habit.” “Yes, that’s it. ” Then she told me, ” You won’t be seeing me for awhile. ” “Why is that?” I asked. ” I am going to jail for awhile. ” she told me. ” I replied, “Why?” She told me, ” To get rid of some of my bad habits. ”  I told her, ” I will pray for you. ” “Thank you, Sister. I really appreciate that.  I will come back and see you when I get out. ”

The conversation was a quick reminder to me that we never know how we impress people, affect them in the short conversations we have with them as we pass them in an alley, in front of church etc. We are messengers of God -and at times without us knowing it.

Good Bye Summer Vacation – Welcome Back to School!


We all love summer vacation! As a child I had June, July and August off-just so wonderful in green Wisconsin out in the country. Now as principal of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School I get two weeks and off to Wisconsin I flew. I spent time with my family doing a variety of things but mainly – just enjoying the color green to look at and blue skies with clouds. Hmmmm… Wonderful!

Of course – no vacation is complete without visiting Lambeau Field -home of the Green Bay Packers!

Vince Lombardi -Super Bowl Trophy is named after this great Coach!
Vince Lombardi -Super Bowl Trophy is named after this great Coach!

IMG_1184 (1)

IMG_1191 (1)

My most favorite Packer Game- The Ice Bowl! Outstanding exhibit. One can see the cold breath of the player and fan in this very sub-zero weather game. I am proud to say “My Dad was at the game.”





I had fun running with a family dog – Raleigh. He was always and I mean always ready for a run! We only had one wipe out. He spotted a squirrel and was taking off when I reined him in. Of course- then I tripped over him and my bloody knee told the story. I quickly got up so no one would know I fell and did my run-then I saw the blood running down my leg.

A Sister’s Best Friend!

IMG_1209On to the Seidl farm for a few days.While my brother and sister-in-law were milking the cows I was going to grill our dinner. But the cats got ahead of me. 

July 4th came and I went to the annual July 4th celebration in Sugar Bush, Wisconsin- the tractor and semi pull with fireworks at the end.


IMG_1143                                   I had lots of fun with my grandnephews in Green Bay and my hometown of Luxemburg.

Mason and I went out to check the corn field – “Knee high by the 4th of July and you got a good crop!”

Good Corn Crop this year!

Mason even gave me a ride on his four wheeler. I held on and I did tell him, ” Don’t go too fast now- slow it down!”

Fun on the Farm with the new generation!

I always tell my students, “When you go on vacation – don’t forget to take Jesus with you” and I did.

I made a trip to one of my favorite places to pray – “The Chapel” located in Robinsonville on a farm road about 15 minutes from my home. Mary appeared to a farm girl here in the midst of the Peshtigo fire. The area was spared as she prayed to the Blessed Mother for help.


IMG_1196 (1)

In the peaceful quietness, I prayed for my very special intentions.

IMG_1155 (1)
I was in awe of the peaceful angels and the lighting of all.

I went to my hometown parish for Mass – St. Mary’s in Luxemburg. Since last summer they renovated the sanctuary.

IMG_1158 (1)
Mary welcomes you as you enter the gathering space.


IMG_1220 (1)
Squirrel Alert – just went out!

I spent my last morning just soaking in the green and the wind rustling the leaves in the trees.

Peaceful Summer Day!


My Summer Buddies!






And here I am now ……. back in Casa Grande, Arizona.

No green though- it is monsoon season-we welcome it as we get rain that we really need.

However, before the rain comes we usually get a sandstorm first.

No blue skies – just a rolling cloud of dust that comes ones way.



Sand storm when it comes at night. This is why we are told when driving a car in a sandstorm: 1. Pull off onto the shoulder of the road. 2. Turn off your lights. 3. Take your foot off the breaks 4. Wait out the storm.




I have been busy since I came back preparing for this week’s faculty inservice and getting ready for the 197 students and counting.

They will be happy to see the courtyard with a new coat of blacktop. No more stones to fall into. :):)

Basketball lines even!!
New Hopscotch squares! I will enjoy this myself.










We have a Music and an Art Teacher this year.  The rooms were made ready for the artists and musicians that will be arriving on August 8th.









We will be learning all about St. Anthony of Padua – our patron saint. We are getting ready for our accreditation visit.

Our SLEs and Mission Statement – we will be learning this.


PreSchool Building is beginning to get ready for our 3 and 4 year olds. IMG_1279

A good start to what will be a very lively classroom.
A volunteer from our parish worked all summer on getting the library in shape.


And of course -new soccer balls for recess! We are truly ready for school now!


See you August 4th for Open House 9;00am – 5:00pm and the first day of school 7:55am on Monday, August 8th. St. Anthony of Padua, pray for us.