Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Perfect Storm, Mom, Cancer Awareness, and a Baking Day at School

This week is Health Awareness week. We've been having different "dress up" days. Yesterday was dress in the colors of your favorite healthy food. I wore red pants, a white undershirt, and a green sweater. We work a lot on re-stating questions in responses, and making "I think" science statements with lots of evidence to show reasoning. SO the bell work prompt was to tell me what healthy food I was and why. It was fun! Tomorrow is wear your "Cancer Awareness" ribbon color. I'm going to wear the maroon color for Multiple Myeloma. The kind of cancer Mom had. 

My friend Patti, who worked with my mom, at the school I grew up in and she taught at for 14 years just posted a picture of her name on the new building being built at the school. Someone wrote "Wherever you go, whatever you do, don't forget, Pinedale is YOU!" It is me. It was my mom. It is my family even though we're separated by a great distance I regularly think of things I learned there from my mom and all the incredible mentor teachers I have met there on my journey as a student, graduate and now a teacher.

Incidentally we're talking about Cell Cycles this week and yeast is a GREAT example so we're heading down to the "Home Ec" lab to bake some bread with yeast. The way my mom taught me. 
Yeast is a great example of living organisms. My mom would always talk to me about how "its alive" and talk about nurturing the yeasties when would bake.

As I'm preparing to take my "tools" to school, I thought of how my mom would cook with her students. One thing they always remember when I get in touch with them later. Whether it was math, science, or even the skills to write directions cooking is a great way to show how applicable skills are. 

Lastly I grabbed flour sack towels to cover the rising dough. The aprons are in the same drawer. All of my mom's special aprons that I'm so lucky to have. And I get to wear them. Tomorrow. When I cook with my students and teach them many of the things that she taught me.

My heart hurts because I miss her,
because I fell so blessed,
because I'm so proud that I learned so much from her,
because I know she's proud,
and because my only regret is that we can't debrief about it all, laugh a little and build on each others lessons, over a cup of tea and a good long phone call. 

and ahhhhh. None of this was planned. None of this was on my brain until it hit me. Like a truck. Say a little prayer I can keep it together. 




One In Every Color- Clean My Phone Out Edition

My phone camera roll has1,035 pictures in my photo album and that's after my first 3 rounds of clean out today. My phone has too much to back up and all I want to back up is my photos and two apps. Sigh.
So.
Photo dump.
One in every color style.


From Cami. And in Dallas.


Popcorn.


Hangers.


Container Store.


Shoes. Two students who wear the same size swapped shoes.


Paper. In a mall in Dallas.


Swimsuits. In a mall in Dallas.


Slippers. By Carol.


Oh no!!! That's it? Ok time to delete some more! ;)
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Monday, October 7, 2013

TV Talk

Generally speaking, Luke and I have fairly different taste in TV but we've settled on some favorites.
The first is the return of The Big Bang Theory. It's back and better than ever!


The other is Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


I was skeptical on that one but I'm kind of hooked. Right now there's a great balance of plot, action and squints. Yesssss. It makes us happy happy happy. Which brings me to the final show we've been enjoying together Duck Dynasty. I think the main reason I enjoy that one is because I know the stupidity is mostly staged.
Shows we watch on Hulu are New Girl and Modern Family.
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So Spirited.

It's football season again and Luke is happily sporting Duck's colors.


I am happily sporting my school colors ...


My friend crales9 made these pendants and earrings I got on Etsy! He's making them to raise and support Autism Awareness.


Check out the ensemble I'm working in.


Also, on football,was some awesome yarn bombing. On ESPN. Yarn bombing.


In my new school colors to boot.
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Growing.

I have been enjoying produce from my garden very much.


I put a new spin on bruschetta by adding cucumber. It kind of makes it more of a salad.


I've been harvesting peppers, tons of cucumber, these hot little peppers and finally TOMATOES!


And more tomatoes!!! Even the icicle and orange tomatoes pulled through! My carrots are getting large and I will harvest them all after the first frost.


Today I made a second batch of amazing tomato soup which I freeze in two cup containers for lunch!


Many thanks to Dan, one of my new colleagues who has a bit more expertise in gardening and has been helping me learn to trim and manage all the plants. He's sort of helped me survive the final garden push.


My garden experience has been very useful in teaching already as we have been taking about limiting factors and carrying capacity. Space was a limiting factor on my tomatoes as I planted many of them, close together. Climate was a limiting factor and many of them didn't survive the dramatic changes in temperature, etc. etc. etc. When we got started talking about food chains, producers, consumers and decomposers we references the garden a lot when we talked about the foods that grow, and the decomposers I find in my garden. Which led to a conversation about composting and worms, which led to me deciding our class needs a worm farm.



Not garden related but on a gardening note, my lawn mowing skills are getting so advanced that I've ventured into alternating weeks of diagonal and straight lines. Fancy shmancy!
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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wee Tiny Knits

Many friends and family are expecting wee ones in the near future so I have taken the opportunity to knit some wee tiny projects.


Here's one I made for Chef Shad's baby boy that is on the way.





Here's one for Cheri's son and Daughter in Law's baby boy.





Here's a super stretchy got forever hat.





I made this aviator hat for an Air Force baby that's coming soon.


I also made a purple version of the cables sweater for a friends new grand baby.


These sweaters are so stretchy thanks to the ribbed cables. Here it is on a size 12m baby boy.


I'm now working on a bigger version for sister! Whew lots of knitting! Throw in teaching...no wonder I've been such a slacker on the blog! The great news is I've taken pictures of everything so I can blog it. I'll try to get caught up!
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Sickness

Warning: Husband Gushing I Follow
Last week I experienced my first sickness of the school year. I couldn't tell if it was severe allergies or a cold but I finally concluded I was miserable. When I got home Thursday this caring note was on the door.


This soup was all ready to go by the microwave,


the fridge was loaded with squirt,


my book, a blanket and pillow were waiting on the couch,


and Anne of Green Gables was queued up on the DVD player


Dude gets a gold star.
I stuck it out through school on Friday and spent my weekend on the couch watching episodes of Modern Marvels. I'm pleased to say I'm feeling much better now.
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Books- Ungifted, Chains, A Single Shard




A slave and her sister, who was supposed to have been freed after their master died and was instead sold. Takes place during the revolutionary war. It's interesting. I really like the author's use of primary sources at the beginning of each chapter. This shows that even though its historical fiction, research was still done and the story fits with what took place. I would use caution recommending to youngsters in that it takes place during the revolutionary war and many of the things discussed are those taught with the Civil War. I would want to make sure students had a basic foundation of knowledge of both before recommending the read. Also, I felt like the ending was very cliffhanger and my scheme made it worse.


This was a quick read about a boy with an unconventional family life who embarks on an adventure. For me it didn't stand out much from the other boy adventure books, but I enjoyed the listen.


Grand Finale. LOVED this book. Laughed so hard Luke and I began reading it together...and then he finished it that night after I fell asleep. I finished it, laughing the whole time and have loaned it to a co worker who is enjoying it very much. To sum it up, a kid who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time ends up in a school for "the gifted." What I enjoyed about this book, in addition to the humor, was how it addresses "gifts" and talents. Seriously, read this book.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nailed It

The Friday before the first day of school, I decided I needed a bit of pampering so I went in for a Mani Pedi. I knew I didn't want to be painting my nails in the first weeks of school so I opted to try the gel nail polish that's supposed to last longer and not chip. Well...two weeks in...one skirt made...a scarf knitted on...640 papers graded... many lego sets being sorted and assembled and I haven't got a chip yet!


I haven't even bitten them! The only reason these need work is because they've grown out.
I'm impressed. Insert endorsement here.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Room and The Lunch

I just can't tell you all how much I am enjoying life! Sometimes, when I get in full on crafting mode, I forget just how much I love teaching and enjoy my students! I'm at a great school with great staff and administrators and 4 awesome new teacher colleagues.


My room is decorated in a Lego inspired fashion. All those bricks on the wall were decorated by students with their names and images that represent them. Do they look like a wall of stacked Legos?


The cabinets are made plaid with masking tape, with plastic table cloth swags, and laminated construction paper bunting. The Legos on the top of that back cabinet were sorted and assembled by Team Luke and Jess on a weekend when many a feet were sacrificed to the Legos all over our living room floor.


I have not one, but TWO windows accompanied by two lovely columns adorned with lovely blue plastic table cloths and green satin ribbon. Yes, on the wall next to my desk on the right hang THE frog. No, we haven't named him yet.
On a fresh note, I have seriously been enjoying produce from my garden. Onions, basil, tiny hot red peppers, our first bell pepper and cucumber galore!!


While none of my tomatoes have made it home yet (I pick and eat) Pat contributed some delicious home grown from her garden tomatoes to my cause. I made some yummy bruschetta! A fistful of basil, 1/2 a small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, salt...


and to curb my abundance of cucumber I cut one in half, scooped out the seeds diced it up and put it in. (Inspired by my Chef cousin Chris who says anything can be a salad!) I made it the night before, for lunch, and after sitting and flavor meshing all night, the results were heavenly! The cucumber faded into a mild undertone. I started scooping it onto Parmesan baguette chips and then decided shoveling it into my mouth with a spoon was a better option. To top it off all the garlic gave me a nice personal space bubble after lunch in 5th hour.
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to School

Well, I've spent the last two weeks in training and getting my room ready. Today was our first full day if school and our open house. I really like being a teacher. Here's my obligatory back to school photo!


I wore a skirt I recently finished made with Joel Dewberry fabric and the Pleated Chevron Skirt tutorial I found on Pinterest with a substitution of gathers for pleats. And pockets. Deep pockets. From now on all teaching skirts should have pockets.
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Friday, August 9, 2013

Back to School and Other Rambligs

My first week "back to school" (no students, just first year training) has begun.
We've had some extensive training sessions and as many of you know, accessing my creative side while listening helps me take in information.


Ex. Audio books while doing almost anything else.
I have seen my room, and folks, I'm so relieved! Not only do I have a window, I have TWO!


Once I'd seen my room I felt much more able to start planning.
I'm going with a Lego inspired room theme.


Thanks goodness for Pinterest! It was there that I saw this idea for making a printer template and taping the pieces you wanted printing on to the template.


I was surprised out of my socks when I got called to the office to pick up something. (To be honest I thought I'd lost something important, didn't know it, and someone had found it.) Such was not the case. Rather I found these beautiful flowers from M&R!


They're so pleasant to walk in and see after a long day of training!
On the garden front, it's been raining pretty consistently and heavily for the last two weeks or so. I haven't had to water it let alone visit it. Everything is growing growing growing. Here are some of my peppers:


One of the negative effects of te rain is that the soil got soft and so the stakes supporting my tomatoes fell over. Consequently, so did the plants. I see a tomato hunt in my future.


This was the bountiful harvest on Wednesday!


Lets just say I took a grocery bag full of cucumbers to training to give out to my fellow new teachers.


In the midst of all my adventures, Luke is in the middle of one of his biggest weeks at work. He had done quite a bit of laundry last week, but saved the dress shirts for me. Because I know how to do them. As many of you know from previous griping I am not find of laundering and ironing button up shirts, or any clothing for that matter. After much foot dragging I started to gather the shirts. Then I looked at the big stack for a loooooong time. Finally I thought "Why am I doing this if I dislike it THAT much?" So I gathered up all his shirts and took them to a recommended cleaner.


Look how beautiful and pressed they are. I think the ladies in the shop thought I was nuts for exclaiming how beautiful they looked! I'm never doing shirts again.
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