What’s New?

People keep asking me…”so, what’s new?” Besides, the year, there are other things that are new in the lives of the Sluiters:

Cortney started his weekly Cribbage league this week. He plays at the Pigeon Club in Zeeland with a bunch of guys. He enjoys it – even though he comes home smelling like a smoke stack from all the guys that smoke. Cort says he notices it even more now that he is a non-smoker.

Cort also continues to bowl. In December he rolled in a couple city tournaments: one with his mom and one with our good friend, Cindy. He didn’t do as well as he hoped in either of them, but he had a good time anyway hanging out with a couple of his favorite ladies 🙂 This month he will be traveling to Sterling Heights to roll in the state tournament. He is for sure rolling on a doubles team, and he may also be rolling on a larger team as well. Cross your fingers that he does well!

This week has me back at work. Everything is business as usual at The Park with one exception: I now have a student teacher. This is my first student teacher ever and I am looking forward to the perks and rewards of having him here. This week and next are the last two weeks of our quarter before exams, so he is mostly just observing, getting to know the kids, and developing his lessons. I also have him doing a little grading. Third quarter, however, is all his. So aside from helping a new teacher find his voice as a teacher, I also get a little break from my students and from all the planning and grading. This will be a welcome reprieve because 11th grade testing is coming up and I am the coordinator for that.

I am also working on my next article for the Holland Sentinel’s Life & Style section. I took a couple weeks off from story-writing because I was loaded down (and still sort of am) with grading and planning for the end of the quarter. My editor is great because she gave me a pretty fun topic for the TRENDS section (which runs on Fridays). It’s all about bubble tea and recipes that include tapioca bubbles. So if there is anyone out there who has had this, seen it done, or knows of a recipe, let me know – you may end up in the paper! Or if there is anyone who wants to hang out at Lemonjellos in Holland with me (they have a bubble tea there), to do some research, let me know! 🙂 I’ll let you all know when that article will run!

Aside from those things, it’s all pretty much life as usual at our house. So…what’s new with YOU?!?!


Next article will be in this Sunday’s section (Dec 16) of the Life and Style Section.


Happy reading, fans!

Article #2

Tomorrow (November 20) my next article will run in the Holland Sentinel. If you aren’t in the area, you can read online at http://www.hollandsentinel.com/lifestyles/ . Happy Reading!

This Week in Sluiter Nation…

We started the week off well with an extra hour of sleep on Sunday – the perfect thing to energize us through this busy week. Here it is…the good, the bad, and the ugly of This Week in Sluiter Nation…

Monday night I put in a good 13 hours at school trying to get caught up on grades (they were due for report card printing by Tuesday morning). My WONDERFUL husband drove out to Wyoming to help me grade exams while I graded essays. He also brought us dinner. mmm!

For anyone who watches the news – either local or national – you may have seen some of the press on Wyoming Public Schools. The local ABC affiliate (channel 13 news) and the national FOX News both ran stories about our new “no failure” policy. While there are wrinkles in this plan that need to be ironed out, it is unfortunate that something that is meant to help kids is being so crudely scrutinized in the media. No matter what is said in the media, I can say first hand that while I don’t always agree with policies the district puts in place, I have never doubted that they want to put kids first. I am proud to work for Wyoming Public Schools.

Cortney and my brother Chris continue to bowl on Tuesdays – I haven’t heard any complaints except the occasional grumble about crappy scores.

I continue to plug away at my grad class at WMU.

Keep watching the Life &Style section of the Holland Sentinel – I just submitted my second article. I believe it will be running on a Tuesday – so keep your eyes open!

Finally, Parent/Teacher conferences start tomorrow! Oh joy!

As Promised…

I promised that I would let you all know and here it is:
My very first newspaper story will run tomorrow in the Holland Sentinel. If you don’t get the paper, you can read online at:

Happy reading!

Serious Writers Wanted

Check it out, blog fans! I got a new laptop! How sexy is that?!? (Pay no attention to my beat-down hair do and the sweats…it was a long day)

That’s right, my wonderful tech-nerd of a husband ordered and bought me a brand new laptop! Some of you may know that my old Dell decided to explode and die this past spring – ok, it didn’t explode (would have been a LOT cooler if it did), but it did quit working after only a year of owning it. Angry? You bet I was. How about when I heard “no recall”? You wouldn’t have wanted to be near. I may have said things that would make angels cry, but this new one is SOOO much cooler. I couldn’t tell you why it is TECHNICALLY cooler – you’d have to ask Cort that. He gets excited and starts using words like “hardware” and “storage space” and other foreign language-type words. I just know that it is red, it has a matching red mouse, a matching red storage slip thing, and…AND…it is super cool, and I love it!

From the pictures you can notice that I am at the kitchen table. Gone are the days of me being stuck in the back room feeling sorry for my isolated self. That’s right – now I am on the MOVE. This is perfect for working on stuff for school, typing up homework for my grad class, or working at my new job…that’s right, my NEW JOB…as a freelance writer for the Holland Sentinel.
How in the world…? Last spring the Life&Style section of the Sentinel had open application for a pop culture columnist. I applied and sent in a sample column. I did not so much get that position. I wasn’t discouraged, however, and felt that it was just not the right time – no one can deny that a LOT was going on in Sluiter Nation at that time. So I totally forgot about it.
A couple weeks ago, I got an email from the editor of that section saying that because of certain recent circumstances, she was looking for a few freelance writers to do a couple stories a month for the paper, and she remembered me from the spring. I jumped on it! What a cool opportunity! So she sent me a story idea, I sent her my tax info, and last week I found myself interviewing my first subject!
I submitted my story and it is good to go – just waiting on the art (photos) for the story. Once my tax forms are filed and the page designer sets the art and type, they will let me know when it will run in the paper – and I will OF COURSE, pass that info (and the link where it can be read) to you, my faithful readers!
Is there a career change for me in the future? Probably not, but it IS a fun hobby, and it does provide a little extra shoe-shopping money 🙂
If you are in the area, start reading the Life&Style section! If you are not in the area, you can read online at http://www.hollandsentinel.com/

Back To School!

On his way to work this morning, Cortney saw lots of back to school action! Moms everywhere were forcing their kids into the front lawn to take that “First Day of ____” picture by trees and school buses. Not to be outdone, Cort insisted that I also get my bag and lunchbox and stand by our tree for my first day of school pose. Don’t I look special? I didn’t want Cortney to feel left out, so I captured his sad goodbyes to me as I actually left the house to be productive after my long summer of lazing around the house. He looks REALLY sad, doesn’t he? Hmmmm….that smile must be hiding all the pain inside.
I did snap a few shots of my classroom. It’s good to be back in my nice, neat little room 161. Right smack in the middle of senior hallway. I was greeted this morning with a barrage of “hey Mrs. Sluiter!” “How was your summer?” “Aren’t you glad to be back?” “You missed me, right?” “YES! I have your class again!” All of these things make me feel good about my job. And while I appreciate the time off in the summer. The kids are the reason I come back every fall instead of finding myself an office job where I could sit in a cubical. I mean, doesn’t this look much more cheery than a cubical? (Although, no offense – I’ve seen some of your cubicals out there, and I have to admit, some of you do a decent job at attempting to make three partitions arranged to be walls look cozy.)

Now it’s time to fill up those seats and do some LEARNING!

So what does Katie do all summer?

Many people wonder what the heck I do with my summer while I don’t work. Most summers I laugh at this questions because I am so busy taking classes toward my Masters and/or getting ready for the fall to teach at least one class I have never taught before that my summer is virtually used up. This summer is different, though.

I did take a class at the beginning of the summer. It started at the beginning of May though, so it was done by the end of June. School let out in June as well. I spent the next two weeks finishing up papers for my class and making thank you cards and wedding programs for my friend, Erin whose wedding was June 30 in Montana. Then we left for vacation.

Now that we are back, I have almost two months ahead of me with no real commitments! This is a FIRST for me! I am not taking anymore classes this summer, and this fall I will be teaching English 11 which I have taught for about five years now, so it’s nothing to stress about…yet!

So what AM I going to do? Oh, I’ve got a nice “To DO” list:
I am going to babysit my nephew, Jack – who may just be the smartest, cutest 2 1/2 year old alive – one day a week
I am going to embark on the scary task of organizing – REALLY ORGANIZING – our kitchen
I have scrapbooking projects
I have card-making projects

Other than the To Do list, Curly and I have some fun events happening too! We have a fun weekend in August where my girls from WMU will be over with their hubbys and kids. The week after that we are going to a Tiger game with our friend, Mat. And the grand finale of my summer? Well that is yet another Busscher wedding, of course!

So I will have lots to blog about and lots of pictures to post, I am sure.

Tomorrow I have to take the cat to the vet. Lord have mercy.

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