Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ice-Expanding My Schema

So you've seen the adventures of Daisy in snow. Today we explore what a Freezing Rain Advisory means. 
I checked the weather this morning and saw "Freezing Rain Advisory." Based on information I already had, freezing rain meant the water was snow. I thought that's silly. Why didn't they just put snow. When I arrived at my car I began to start to comprehend. Rain that hits lingers and turns to ice. I'm not really sure about the logistics on this one BUT I do know it meant I couldn't open my car door.
When I pulled on the handle the ice cracked but the door wouldn't budge. I hip checked it to loosen ice but still no budge. The ice scraper-not useful. Hot water-really not useful-and also increased the barrier of ice on the ridge at the base of the door. Finally Luke in his pajamas, coat and boots was able to force it open. 
This ice was so not like frost. 
Once I finally got into the car and got it going, the fans meant a bit of water under the ice and started to melt. I began to hit it with the butt if my ice scraper to cause it to crack and shatter off. 
Seriously peeps. Like a quarter of and inch thick! 
So this is how Idaho weeds out the weak. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Daisy Does Snow

Having grown up in California, and taught middle school in Kansas (no recess in middle school and snow means snow day) it's still a bit surreal to me to be experiencing day to day things in snow. 
Here's the play area this morning blanketed in snow, and yep they played here. As did the people who made these footprints shortly after the snow. 
Me with snowflakes just after the kids had pre lunch recess and I was headed to my lunch break. 
My car. It never occurred to me that I shouldn't park my manual car facing uphill on a steep hill with snow on it. Duh. 
Yep. It's on the peoples grass strip. My principals solution: let it roll back as get both wheels on the curb to then steer off it. 
It worked. I wonder how I'll park tomorrow. 

Black Friday

was not a shopping day for me. At least it wasn't intended to be.
This one actually goes back a week. Luke had a bigger chunk of time off than I did so he left the Friday before Thanksgiving to go visit with his parents. That Saturday his dad had a big "work day" getting ready for a fundraiser put on by the hospital he works for. Luke tagged along to help
and they assembled and hung Santa, his sleigh, and his reindeer.  

Also during that week, Luke and John put up Christmas lights so that they could have their traditional day after Thanksgiving house lighting.
So, on Black Friday we went to the big Christmas Tree show/fundraiser.
We were joined by Jerel and Hailey Luke has known Jerel since forever, and we've loved having more chances to visit with them now that we've moved back to the area! 
We went back to the house and I got going on a turkey noodle soup from stock I'd made the evening of Thanksgiving! On a quick dash out I had driven by a Walgreens, on my way to the grocery store to get egg noodles. They had a sign that said 20% off Legos!?!? So I bought some. AND I had one of those rewards which I also used. Can you say jackpot?! 
We watched the boys unveil round 1 of the Christmas light festivities. 
Came in and enjoyed some soup. 
Then I introduced John, Luke and Neola to the magic of guessing which Minifigures are in the secret packet, actually being right, and the drive to finish the collection. We had one more errand that night (for shells and clay pigeons-my segue into the next post) and I convinced them that we should stop back at Walgreens for the rest of the collection. 
There we stood feverishly feeling up the Lego packets guessing at which Minifigure was inside.
I didn't see any of the stares because I was on a mission. Luke, John and Neola were great.
This was our haul: 
Once home we re-guessed and opened to confirm whether we were right or not.  
This actually turned out to be an excellent move because Luke caught our one and only error before we opened it!

Then Neola and I stopped by Target on Saturday to get the two Walgreens didn't have!
Sweet success! 
I was doing some grading in the computer lab, "My Room" or at least the room I decorated Lego Style, today and it was fun to hear some of their exclamations as they saw them when they came into the room! 
Icing on the cake was that we found this guy at Target too!
Luke and I built it together. 
Do you wanna build a snow man?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

Christmas and Thanksgiving breakfast at the Nickodemus house always means "Sticky Buns" more commonly known as Monkey Bread.
For our big Turkey dinner we enjoyed a fun mix of the Nickodemus and Wood family!
L-R: Neola, Uncle Steve, Aunt Becky, Me, Beckham, Graham, Josh, Lisa, John, Luke.
Thank you photo shop magic for getting everyone in the picture! (Lisa and I took turns taking a picture and then I used an automated Photoshop program to merge them.)
Josh and Luke
Becky brought a fun dinosaur activity and Beckham, who is mega into dinosaurs, was thrilled!

We had two gravy's this year! I made the usual Roux gravy with flour and butter. 
Then, Aunt Becky showed me how to make a gluten/dairy free corn starch slurry gravy!
John and Aunt Becky 
Of course there must be Pinochle.
John's creative score keeping 
Beckham likes to be a dinosaur and has made the keen observation that dinosaurs don't wear clothes. 
We played the Highlights Hidden Pictures app for a bit! 
We were joined later by the third leg of the Wood Family, Stephanie, Mike, Eli and Gabe.
Here's we've depicted the great adventure of getting everyone to look and smile the same direction! 

Gabe are getting old enough to enjoy the famous marble game! My mom AND Neola both had a set and both saved their sets for when kids come over! 
 The grown ups were skeptics at first but once everyone saw how cool it was...
we we're joined by all! 
It was a great day of fun games and family! 
The funny part is that my dad and Cheri were having Thanksgiving dinner with Cherri's son and family who are also the Woods!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Popcorn. It's what's for dinner.

You know you have strong feelings about the weather when you husband is the first one out the door and he comes back and says "Honey, I just want to warn you there's snow on the ground."
Then, you feel like a weather chicken when it looks like this:
This was all melted by first recess when the snow turned to rain because the weather warmed up. 
Do you wanna build a snowman? 
Dinner last night after I got home from knitting was a very large bowl of popcorn.
An my super sale, super warm slippers have arrived! 
We each watched our own shows on our devices. Scary shoot em up movie for Luke, and I am finishing up my first time watching Gilmore Girls in order and not as re-runs. Ahhhh. I sure do like getting to hang out with Luke again. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cool Factor

Sooooo Idaho gets pretty cold(for me). Last week our highs were in the 20's, and my job involves quite a bit of time outside supervising recess. I'm learning there are a handful of things one doesn't even fathom until really truly working/living in the cold. (No my time on exchange doesn't count. I lived in this happy on campus bubble.)

1.) Shoe SizeS 
As in more than one. I've got the shoe size for ballet flats and Tom's and dress shoes with thin socks or a little liner sock, I've got a shoe size for when I'm wearing my wool socks, and I've got a shoe size for when I'm wearing wool socks and have toe warmers. This has made the debacle of choosing winter boots all the more interesting. 

2.) Cool-Factor
Cool-ness is no longer a factor. Socks with Toms? Yes please. I don't care if I'm dorky. I'm warm and comfortable - ish.  (My Tom's do stretch over time. They're now wool sock size.)

3.)Wiggle Wit It
 Wiggle room. Be sure to have some in your clothes. When you're getting ready for a full frigid day outside one must be wearing long underwear (top and bottom) a long sleeve shirt and a sweater, pants for inside and snow pants for wearing over the top outside. Some people think I'm ridiculous on this one, but snow pants cut the wind and insulate. Cool factor is out the window peeps. So that sweater you got to wear with a cami...its now rather snug with so many layers underneath. And those pants that make your butt look great? If they show off your butt they're too tight for this layer business. 

4.) Frozen Wood Chips

This my dear friends is a bizarre sensation. Woodchips normally get everywhere. On the clothes, in the shoes... when they're frozen they just clump together! They can be broken apart, and even come away in chunks. They're like a dense, mildly spongy, mat. The beauty is that when they're frozen the cling factor of wood chips is reduced dramatically, and they don't get in your shoes!

5.) The Hair
Ah, the symptoms of cold weather hair are generally a result of consistent hatting.
-static (dry air, lots of wool, static!)
-consistently mussed looking
-even if I've washed my hair THAT morning, when I get home after a day of hat application and removal my hair looks like I haven't showered for a week!

Coping mechanism: Braids. Lots of braids. Especially french braids. I braid my hair damp, to keep all wispies in. I wrap my head in a scarf at night to make said braids last longer.

6.) Frosty the Windshields
We're back to parking our cars outside and now time is to be allowed for warming up the car and scraping off the windshield. This always evades my mind until I walk out to my car and it needs to happen. Our clocks are all set to be 6 minutes fast now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Emotion Ninjas

I've recently had several friends lose parents this year. I find myself thinking that I should have some wisdom or advice or wise words to share, and I am at a loss. 
It does get better. You think about them every day. But it doesn't hurt as much. The urge to call them starts to fade and turns to "Mom would have loved this."
But then...on a winter day when I'm suffering from hat hair, I decide to French braid my hair after my shower, the way my mom did....then before bed I start thinking I wish I had a bandanna to tie on my head to save the braids. Luke doesn't have one and then I remember the box of scarves that were my moms. I take the box out and it smells like her still.
And wham it hits me like an emotion ninja. It was happy and familiar and sad all at once. It all started with a winters day hat hair. Sigh. They're fewer and farther between but they still happen. And sometimes it still hurts. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

We Graduated!

It would seem that my most recent photo post caused quite a few questions to be brought up among you. I realized after it should have come with an explanation, I was just so excite at the time I couldn't resist the post! 
Luke and I have just finished the Pride class for foster and adoption in the state of Idaho. This means we only have our home study left in the process to foster and or adopt in the state of Idaho. 
We don't quite know what this will mean for us and our current family of two. Being in education I have worked with many students in the foster system and even seen some who have had to change schools as a result of being placed in the foster system. 
Ideally, by being licensed we may find ourselves with the opportunity to provide some stability for for a student who might otherwise have to relocate. We are open to the idea of adoption should the opportunity present itself. We would appreciate your prayers through this journey that we be open to Gods plans for us, and for the children who join our family in varying capacities. We started the licensing process quickly after moving to Moscow because we know from experience that right after moving we find ourselves with a bit more free time than usual (especially because I don't have my own classroom yet) and knew the classes could take some time! We look forward to completing our home study and to what the future holds. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Multiplication Flash Cards

Oh those multiplication facts. One of the banes of my existence and a pain in my (and my mothers) patutti. We did flash cards every morning before school, while we were waiting anywhere, and before bed. I think they finally clicked in high school. Ish.
Anyway, I see myself in all the kiddos at my school struggling with long multiplication because they still struggle with the basics. There are quite a few downloadable flash cards out there, and even flash cards for purchase but they are pretty big, and take a lot of space an paper. I made it my mission to get 16 cards on a page. Back to back that was 32 problems from one piece of card stock.
I got a surprising response of requests for the document on Facebook so I'm going to try to share it here as a continually accessible resource. 

Make sure you print them at full size. Yes, you know the margins are set outside the printable area. Yes. You want to leave them that way. 
I like hole punching them and using a binder ring aka book ring to hold them together (this way you can easily shuffle.) Curly wrapping ribbon works well too, it's slick and flexible enough. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Yum- egg free

You know that time when you decided to combine three or so things you saw on Pinterest? For something the next morning. And you really weren't sure how it was going to work out. But then you totally nailed it!
For reals, not the mockery meme. 
Meet my easily transportable chocolate pumpkin dessert. So I'm still working on the name. 
Graham cracker crust in the bottom of shallow mason jars. I baked the crust in the jars. 
The whole mission behind this one was egg free. Graham crackers and both puddings are egg free! Score!
I cooked up the chocolate pudding and before it set, I spooned a layer on top of the crust. This is a very rich dessert. A little goes a long way. Why did I do stove top chocolate pudding? Because that's what Aunt Maggie makes. It's tradition. (It's also Gleuten Free, where instant is not.) Pumpkin spice was not available to me in stovetop.
So then I made the pumpkin spice pudding and before IT set I spooned a layer on top of the chocolate pudding. Once again a little goes a long way and you really want to save room for whipped cream and garnish. 
Next I made whipped cream in the kitchen aid mixer with the whisk attachment. About half the small carton of whipping cream. A pour of vanilla and powdered sugar til it tastes right. Whip it. Whip it real good. Until it's aaaaaaalmost starting to turn buttery. This will help it keep it's shape and not collapse. I wish I had whipped mine a bit more. This is why I did not use a can of whipped cream. 
Dallop your "whipped -real good-cream." (Giggle with me as I just noticed auto correct made dallop Fallopian. I'll go fix it.)
Use a vegetable peeler to shave the skinny side of a Hershey's milk chocolate bar. Celebrate the triumph of some if the shavings turning to beautiful curls. Put the lids on them, then stick them in the fridge to chill until you're ready to conveniently transport them to your shindig.