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. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Livin' the Life

Ahhhhh. It's fall in Moscow! That was a good ahhhhh as fall in Moscow is a beautiful thing.
For those of you not familiar with these parts it might help you to know that the Moscow in Idaho is pronounced with the long "o" vowel sound at the end so that it rhymes with Idaho. Anyway, we have hard fake wood floors on a cement foundation. My feet needed squishy slippers and it's just about cool enough too!
I was thinking of my slipper felting crew the "Twisted Sisters" back in Kansas the whole time I worked on them! Pardon the lint. They were felted with a load of towels haha. My next fall projec was a fall print skirt! This was what I texted my sister to check on the length. Pardon the boxes and such. We're in between stages, and let's face it, creative projects take priority. 
For my skirts, I have formulated a hybrid of all my favorite features from various patterns. I use the waistband (-interfacing) and pockets from this pattern. 
I use the skirt body from this online tutorial. (Front panel=waist/2+10 rounded to 25. Back panels=waist/2+5.5 rounded to 20) It made the most effective use of my fabric. (1.5 yds main fabric, .5 yds pocket and waist lining plus extra) Two yards is about the right amount for this project. Next time wee small ones ask when they're to use math I encourage you to reference this. 
This skirt was great for Mondays golf outing. Luke plays and I walk with him. As we go by tee boxes I collect the colorful broken bits. Like some people collect sea shells at the ocean! 
I'm also getting pretty good at removing the pin (flag) at the appropriate time. Since everyone in Fresno has been enjoying the Big Big Big Fresno Fair, I made up some of those blue ribbon winning snickerdoodles I used to make when I was 9 and we have been enjoying devouring them at an alarming rate. 
You know you're helping with primary math when all you see here is "array" and "multiplication." Today I got locked IN our apartment. We knew it was sketchy and I knew as soon as I flipped it I was stuck. 
The handy man came, went through the window and they figured out a teeeeemporary solution. They said "we'll order the part and next time this happens we'll switch it out." 
....Wait. Next time?!?!?
One of the greatest things about this region?! onions. They're firm and flavorful and yum. 
Meet my mushroom, onion, provolone burger. I made the patties with minced onion, garlic and spinach. A grab of salt and pepper. A pour of Worcestershire sauce. Some paprika. 
Om nom nom nom. Sooooo good. Seriously. 
Also seriously, this local honey from the Entomology family! Spoonful a day-ing. Can't wait to reap the rewards in lesser allergies! (For reals. This works. We did it in Colorado.)
After the amazing burgers tonight? Bike ride. Sunset. Sigh. My muscles burned the way the should when you haven't ridden in a gazillion years, but no but bruises no achey spots. That bike fitting really seriously did the trick. 
Are we living the life or what?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

When God Winks

WWow! What a day! My friend Mary always says "When God winks."
I feel like he must be winking an awful lot today!
The students didn't have school today or tomorrow. I asked my principal if I might attend the teacher inservice  on my time and he said yes! They were great sessions and I enjoyed being there during that time to also kind of get to know the teachers at my school a bit more. They are pretty awesome! I'm really going to learn a lot from working with them. I went to one workshop on math differentiation and another on working with students who have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder, as they said the term is now.) I know my friend Chris has an adorable son who also has autism. I just read a fantastic book
In which the main character has Asperger's Syndrome (encompassed by ASD) who I found myself identifying strongly with.  I also know that when you have met one person with ASD you have met one person with ASD. IE: All are unique individuals with unique experiences. Beyond that my "rule name for everything loving" self is having some trouble getting around it. We were connected with Autism Internet Module as a resource. It was a good start. 
This afternoon I went to my bike fitting! Wow! What a difference! In about an hour and a half T-Jay made more tweaks on my bike than I knew existed. It's especially neat because he helps you understand why things are and explains what he's doing. He put my bike on a stationary attatchment. (We have one at home, but it's currently packed.) First thing he swapped out the seat based on information I gave him about bruises and the two other seats I've used. 
This original seat from a way back when Christmas is what was on it because I had no idea what to do. He tweaked the handles and immediately I was holding them with all of my fingers. I didn't even notice I hadn't been! He raised the seat and my legs extended correctly. He angled the brakes and raised the handle bar. Each time T-Jay pointed out how this would impact healthy bike riding. The best part!?! My leg muscles got sore from being able to ride so long and I'm not one bit "saddle sore!"  On that note, I learned there is such thing as a leather saddle for your bike! The leather molds to your behind! T-Jay says I probably want to graduate into that one. It's spendy. I rode my bike this evening but left it there for a tune up. Somehow the wheel got bent. Not in the three moves, I'm sure. (Sarcasm.)
Another cool thing is that because T-Jay teaches Math and Science through biking and Physics on Ice he knows a lot of people I need to meet. When I called Wednesday to make an appointment with a graduate studies advisor, I said I couldn't meet today because I had a bike fitting. He said, "With T-Jay? Tell him I say hi! We play softball together." Go figure. I even met him in the shop today and was introduced!
So right from the awesome bike fitting I went to the local yarn shop where I met a knitting group!  They are a hoot and a half! I'm so excited to add them to my collection of knitting companions! Knitting groups are a wonderful creature! They are also great at solving problems! I, for some reason, though to ask where I could find super local honey for my allergies. Wouldn't you know it, one of the ladies husbands is an entomology professor and they have bees. And honey. Seriously people! Only at knitting groups! It's a beautiful thing. 

Tomorrow I meet with the Graduate Studies Advisor to help me decide what the heck I'm going to decide to learn! Say a prayer!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Getting in the Groove

Okay. So. We have an apartment that will suffice until July (lease terms here are from August to July) and we find something more permanent. I have a job as an aid at a school that was built in 1884. Its a 3rd-5th grade school. Because the school is old, it doesn't have the capacity for teams of grade level teachers which promotes collaboration and better differentiation.  The other one story older school is K-2 and feeds into ours. I cover recess duty and then work in classrooms. I'm liking how this is giving me an opportunity to get to know teachers and teaching styles. I'm definitely ready to have a class again. My chances to use my creative teaching energy are limited. Luke was home every day during the work week before 6 and on one of the days he was able to come home at 4:30 so we could try a tandem bike. It was great!
I am loving that aspect to no end. 
Luke needed an eye appointment and one of my headlights went out ON the last day drive from Boise to Moscow. Since new beetles only like to be worked on by dealers and Luke needed eyewear ASAP we tromped up to Spokane and then got to crash my cousin Jacquie's daughters birthday party before they move out of state!
 Aunt Grace and Jacquie
 Katie, Jacquie, Me
 Katie and Faith
 Doesn't Luke look happy?

 Gracie is pretty hard core about the chap-stick application!
 Uncle Doug and Benjamin
 Luke got to transfer his lego skills to princess castle building. 
 I got to have some cousin snuggle love!
 Aunt Grace and Me
 Brandon, Benjamin, Grandma Darlene

So yeah. Things are different here in Idaho. Some great, some good, some meh. I haven't found a knitting group yet. That's next on my agenda!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Garden City to Moscow

On truck loading day it was so fun that so many friends could come pizza, load, and show me how to "Magic Eraser!" We couldn't have pulled it together without you!
That night, John and Neola flew in and helped us with a final wrap up. 
Early Tuesday morning we woke up, did a final wipe down, and backed our way out of the house cleaning capers as we went.
While our 26 ft truck wasn't stuffed to the gills, we probably couldn't have fit it all in the smaller size. Which is a bummer because the day before we were supposed to pick it up, we got a call from Uhaul letting us know that our two options for truck pick up were 2.5 hours away. Lame. We bartered a discount, an extra day and then drove to pick it up on Monday.

Driving crew!
Our first stop was at a mega fuel center where Neola and I fueled up on Starbucks. John drove the truck, Luke drive his car and Neola and I were road trip buddies in my car. 
Early Wednesday morning rest stop. 
IKEA! Kitchen ogling. I can assure you our apartment kitchen would love this makeover.
Hello Idaho scenery!
The day we arrived in Moscow was busy! Luke and John went to get paperwork done for our apartment and get some basic groceries. Neola and I went to get my fingerprinting,school paperwork done and take a tour of my new school workplace!

Sooooo much stuff.