Monday, November 28, 2011

recipes galore!

The blog posts that are waiting to be 'read' in my google reader aren't all actual posts. Some are recipes, some are crafts, and a bunch are teachery posts (my latest addiction). I've gotta tell you, those teachers that blog about their classroom and the activities they do with their students are awesome. They even create FREE stuff. I love them. :)
Anyway, I wanted to share some recipes that were in my reader for today (that way I don't add to my ever growing queue!). Here's one for latin beef stew (which is kinda weird because the hubs wanted to make a stew last night and whipped up his own version of one. This one sounds pretty tasty. Maybe next time. This next one just seemed really cute. Who can turn down a snowman cupcake??
My sister and I always make a batch of cookies for Christmas. Though she has been venturing into the bar territory for a while now. In any case for you holiday cookie bakers, I saw this and this. I've become a fan of fudge-like cookies in the last couple of years (they're so moist!). And brown butter? I've only used this for ravioli, never baked with it. Oh, and we are fans of toffee in cookies. I used to bake a toffee chocolate chip cookie. We don't have any 'regulars' that we make each year. It's always something different. Though there is always some variation of a chocolate chip/oatmeal (how can you not?).
As an added bonus, here is something non-food related but so frickin' adorable!! They are going to look so cute on a tree! Enjoy.
As an aside, we have been asked if we would be interested in dog sitting again. This time for TEN days. (I must be crazy, right?) My eyes bugged out! My boss said we could possibly split up the time (with someone else) which made it sound more doable.  So we agreed to committing to the Christmas Eve through the 29th. My sister will be in town so she can spend a night over there too.

P.S. I couldn't resist. We had some leftover bananas and I am not a fan of squishy bananas. In fact, I specifically seek out the bananas that are still a little green because I like them firm. Well, the hubs wanted to make some banana bread. He already made some of the BEST ever zucchini bread over the weekend for a work holiday party and tonight, he made the perfect banana bread ever. :) Enjoy! The crust itself is awesome. Excuse the bad macbook pic! I was going for efficiency.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

the knits

Before the move, I had cast on for a handmade kitchen towel. It is still a wip. I think I am nearly halfway finished though.
It is the moss grid towel from Mason-Dixon knitting.
Let's see, I worked on a shawl while I was in Long Beach. I didn't finish it until this month though.
It is the Forest Ridge Lace Shawl. It's currently blocking so this is a pre-block shot.
The next finished item was the sock yarn baby sweater.
I also just finished a tattered shawl the other night. No pics yet. Especially since I totally screwed it up. I have way more dropped stitches than I was supposed to. Oh well.
I've got to get cracking in the shawl dept. Here I thought I was up to 10 shawls. HA. Boy was I ever wrong. I am only up to 9 shawls so I am 2 shawls shy of completing 11 shawls this year..and I only have ONE more month!! Must. Get. Crackin'. As if I'm not already behind on a bazillion other things!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Long Beach

Well, at the end of September, I, along with a few of my colleagues road tripped down to Long Beach for some professional development. I was going to get to meet Constance Kamii! I also got to meet Louise Derman-Sparks. Of course to most of you, neither one of these great women are of any relevance to you. They mean a lot to me and it was an honor to be in their presence. Constance Kamii I first encountered while I was in grad school working towards my teaching credential and my MA in Ed. She was the author of one of my texts that I had to read for my Mathematics in Elementary Education class. Never did I think I would ever get to meet her!  Louise Derman-Sparks I first encountered before I even began working on my teaching credential. I was teaching preschool and taking the basic core curriculum. She is the author of the well-known (at least if you have an Early Childhood Education background!) Anti-Bias Curriculum.
I carpooled with my former director now just friend. :) We took many a pitstop. In fact, she took pictures of me at nearly all the bathroom stops while it was still light out so that we could show my students! One stop was at the Madonna Inn which the hubs and I would drive by ALL the time whenever we'd take the 101 to and from LA. This is right outside of the restaurant entrance. Isn't it pretty?
This thing is a doll suspended from the rafters surrounded by 'tree branches' filled with blossoms.
Very Beauty and the Beast, don't you agree?
Here's a blurry shot of the bathroom stall!! lol.
Here's a shot of the banister on the way down to the cellar.
And I guess that's all I took of the Madonna Inn. Apparently the rooms are themed too. Maybe one day I'll get to stay in one. ha! 
The last few shots from my trip are of the charter school we got to visit while we were down in SoCal. 
Every morning as I walked there (our hotel was practically next door), I thought, "I could work here.."
While we were down in SoCal, I did get to catch up with my very wonderful friend that is still the office manager at my old school. We did dinner in Pasadena. Too bad I wasn't in town longer. I'm not sure when I'll be going down to SoCal again. I thought that my sister would want to go down for New Year's (which has been her pattern for the last few years) but she has no desire to spend NYE with her LA friends. Whodathunkthat?!

Friday, November 25, 2011

my life..since you last heard from me

October was my month of home visits. This year, I succeeded in getting to visit every single one of my students' home. I think the home visit tends to bring the child closer with his or her teacher. I'm still on the fence about whether I prefer conducting the home visit before school starts or a month into the school year. It's would be more difficult to do them before school started at my current school because our class lists are so unstable. We don't know who is really going to be in our class until the first day of school so I don't even bother with making name tags or anything until after the first week!
I also was spending some time volunteering for the Reggio exhibit that was here in town. Veteran's Day weekend, I spent at the exhibit for a day and a half of professional development.
These last few weeks my class has been rehearsing for its very first school-wide assembly. I had discovered that Hickory Dickory Dock is a full on song SO I decided that this was what my children were going to tackle for our first assembly. Boy was it a lot of work. It didn't help that we had the first two Fridays of this month off (because that gave us EXTRA time to have to practice). In the end, it turned out better than I had imagined. Yay for them! They were SO proud of themselves too and they loved hearing all the compliments that the grown ups had for them. :)
The Harvest Feast at my school has come and gone. It was held at a bigger venue this year and I hope we keep having it there.
The hubs got a job! :) He just started last week and so far so good. I have to get used to the idea of having to cook again but that's okay.
I have two more weeks of school before winter vacation begins. I will also have to start working on my narratives for my students. Yuck. I have been thinking about starting them early so that I'm not spending much of my winter break working on them. Maybe they'll be easier this year? Who knows.
My sister will be arriving two days before Christmas. She'll be here for a couple of weeks.
Umm...our apt. is STILL undone. Our across the way neighbors ended up moving out (thank goodness!). So we will be in store for TWO new neighbors (one right below us as that apt is nearly complete) and someone else across the way. We are hoping our landlord will be a bit pickier. One can only hope, right?
I know that I have missed LOTS with all of you and I do intend to catch up on all my blogs. There are 100+ posts in my reader. :(

long time no blog

I really have had every intention of blogging but time keeps escaping me. I had hoped I'd be able to catch up on blogs, letters, and blogging in general over Thanksgiving break but boy was I ever wrong. I am currently house/dog sitting for someone. Trying to keep someone else's dog happy isn't an easy job. She misses her mama immensely. She's stuck with me for at least 3 more days and vice versa. I can't get anything done let alone eat anything. The hubs has decided that this doggy's mama must give her everything but I don't think so. I think she's just trying to milk the new people!! She'll sit nice and still while you're eating so that she (just maybe) might get a lil nibble of what you're stuffing in your mouth as she watches!! If I had a dog, I wouldn't get to eat and I'm such a snacker!
There has been knitting while I have been gone. I just finished three projects in the last few weeks. We'll see if I get around to casting on for them like I hope. :) More to come..