Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What are your plans for Easter? Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner?  Dyeing eggs? Attending a sun rise service?  Eating too much chocolate?
We usually go to Mass and I fix a good sized dinner.  

2.  What is something you feel too young to do?
Get a Senior Citizen Discount.

3.  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."  

Of the characteristics mentioned in the biblical definition of love which do you find most difficult to live out and why?
"It keeps no record of wrongs"  I'm not saying I'm the kind of person who holds a grudge, but...

4. What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?
Jonquils.  Daddy had some growing in the backyard, so I guess that's why.

5.  Ever sung karaoke? If so, what's your go-to song? If not and you're given the opportunity, would you?
Nope, never have & don't think I ever will.  I've learned to never say "never".

6. What is something you keep in a basket?
I have some lotion and hair products in a basket on my bathroom counter.

7.  When was the last time you felt foolish?
A couple of months ago.  I had requested permission to evaluate a student (and had been trying to get permission since October).  I finally got it, but when I tested the student, she had completely corrected all of the sounds she was having trouble with in October!  I really should have rescreened her before I sent that last permission!  I felt pretty stupid calling mom & letting her know what I did!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Monday & Tuesday mornings we had snow.  But, not on the road, just in the grass.  Here is a collage I did from yesterday:
The  bottom 2 pictures were taken from  one of the Kindergarten Classrooms.  They have quite a view, no? 

Post Spring Break Weekend Wrap Up

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here.  CH went to a motorcycle rally called "March Moto-Madness", so YS & I just hung out.  Well, not exactly.  YS and his friends hung out downstairs, & I hung out upstairs.  I read part of a Jodi Picoult book, watched some tv, cleaned some of the house (nothing too strenuous, though!), and just relaxed.
I managed to get prepared for the beginning of the week:
Have I mentioned how much I love the TpT online store?  I have a few things in my shopping cart that I want to buy, but so far I've found enough free things that I haven't had to actually spend money on anything.  Yet.

Before I printed the activities out, I had to figure out how to print things from my phone and/or tablet.  I couldn't get it to work on my tablet, but did figure it out from my phone!  Oh, happy day!  What a sense of accomplishment, and it was fairly easy.  Oh, the reason I had to print it from my phone/tablet was that my adapter for my laptop quit.  It's done it before, but I was able to get it working again.  No such luck this time.  I'm not sure (but I have a sneaky suspicion) that it has something to do with Laika using the cord as a chew toy when she was little.  Have you noticed how you can find anything on Amazon?  I'm expecting a new one in the mail next week.

Friday morning, Pepper wasn't feeling so great, and her belly was making all kinds of noises.  She spent most of the day laying around, and Laika just didn't understand.
She stayed close to Pepper and acted very concerned.  It was pretty sweet.

Saturday I was determined to figure out how to cut scalloped edges on the paper bags that my SIL & I are using for the "thank you goodie bags" for our in-laws' anniversary party.  MS' girlfriend is pretty knowledgeable about things like that, so when I asked her, she told me there are paper trimmers that you can buy that have different patterns.  I went to Hobby Lobby & found one.  After I bought it, my SIL asked if I checked my Retail Me Not app to see if there were any coupons.  DOH!  Of course I had completely forgotten about that!  She checked, and there was a 40% off coupon.  I had already left the store & was headed into Michaels, so I looked in there for a paper trimmer.  It's a good thing I did, because their's was 1/2 the price of Hobby Lobby, and I get a 10% teacher discount, PLUS there was a 40% coupon from there, too.  I ended up spending less than half of what I did at HL, so I took that one back.
When I got home, I did all of the bags I had (which was around 80) in less than 30 minutes.  I had tried to do some with a scalloped scissors, but it was taking waaaay too long and they weren't straight.

I went to Palm Sunday Mass Saturday evening, and sat with my parents.  There was an outdoor blessing of the palms, then the congregation got their palms and we went back inside.  Last year, the Mass I went to  was really crowded, and someone ended up sitting in MY seat when we went back in.  I was not happy.  (I realize this isn't the way you're suppose to act-or feel- during Mass!)  This year, a family sat in our pew, but there was some room on the end for us.  I snapped a picture of this bird's nest in a tree that I saw in the parking lot:
It looked a lot cooler in real person, but I think it's so weird how the Bradford Pears are in full bloom, yet this little tree is so bare...with a nest in it.

CH ended up coming one on Saturday night, I'm assuming he did that because yesterday was suppose to be so yucky.  Laika was one happy puppy!  Here she is waiting her CH to get out of the shower:

Sunday, CH & I went to one of my favorite stores:
Oh, how I have missed this store!  There was one in Charlotte (actually Pineville) that I frequented, but we didn't have one here.  This one opened up a month or so ago in the big city, but I just wasn't able to find the time to actually go.  I was looking for some kind of "tree" to hang some eggs on, but I left without finding what I wanted.  These eggs aren't just any Easter Eggs, they're "Royal Copenhagen" eggs.  We did get a couple of little candles to use for camping, a container for my kitty litter (for my "luggable loo"), and a cute little basket for school.

That was pretty much the extent of my weekend. Hope yours was great!

Friday Frags

Mommy's Idea

~  Spring Break has come to an end.  However, the weather is calling for a "wintry mix" Monday morning, so there's hope that it will be extended!

~  We have our campsite reserved for Christmas Break in the KEYS!!!  Come on, December!

~  I watched the first 2 episodes of this season's "Army Wives" Tues. night.  Bawled. My. Eyes. Out.  For both episodes.  I don't know how I'm going to like it with the new cast, but I'll give it a try.

~ After spending more time looking into Bloglovin, I think I may switch over to that when google reader goes away instead of flipboard.  Flipboard is an app only, so you can't pull it up on your computer.  I added bloglovin' to flipboard, but I'm having trouble getting it to pull up the blogs on my tablet & phone.  It's working on the laptop, though.

~  Have y'all seen this?

CH was convinced that it wasn't "real".  The internet says it is!

Flashback Blog Tag

Kicking it OLD SCHOOL

Remember those blog tags where you had to answer
questions and then tag other bloggers? Well,
And, since a friend and coworker was "nice" enough
to tag me, I thought I'd participate and keep it going!
(Be honest:  How many of you are praying I didn't tag
you at the end?)

What were you doing 10 yrs ago?

We were living in SC and were deep into baseball/tball

5 Things on your to-do list

For today:
1.  Fold laundry
2.  Finish book
3.  Wash the towels & linens
4.  Flute Choir Practice
5.  Plan for next week and print out materials from TpT

5 Snacks you enjoy

1.  popcorn
2.  chocolate
3.  trail mix
4.  potato chips
5.  cookies

Name something you would do if you were a millionaire

Pay off our debts, pay off student loans, live in Europe for 
at least a year, invest, and donate to charity

Name places you have lived

East Tn.
Dalton, Ga.
Rock Hill, SC

Name some bad habits you have

Not letting CH finish his sentence (even though I know 
what he is going to say!), biting the inside of my mouth. 
 I'm going to stop there before I let out all of my secrets!

Name some jobs you have had

Basket room at the pool, cashier at a grocery store & 
Target, Speech Pathologist in the public schools (including 
Lead Speech Therapist in SC), home health, and nursing 
home (not all at the same time!)

Name those you are tagging
I'm not actually going to tag anyone, but if you want to play,
 feel free! It was kind of fun!

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Spring Break Style!

Time for another installment of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  

1. March 20th is the first day of she a lion or a lamb in your part of the world? 
During the day, my favorite meteorologist says it should be decent...but a little chilly.  We are expecting a wintry mix tomorrow night, though.

2. What's the most dreaded task on your spring clean to-do list?  Do you have a 'plan of attack'?
Wait.  I'm suppose to have a "spring clean to-do list"???  My whole house really needs a good cleaning, but I sure don't feel up to doing it!  Especially those dust bunnies under all of the beds!

3. 'em or hate 'em?  What's a favorite dish you make using peas?
Hate 'em.  I have zero recipes that uses peas because I don't them!

4.  Do you feel under appreciated?
At home:  Not so much now that the boys are older.  There was an awful lot of it when they were younger.
At work:  Very much so.  For reasons I can't get into here, since my blog goes to facebook! 

5. Have you been using Google Reader?  If so, what are you switching to now that GR has announced retirement?  If not, how do you read your favorite blogs? 
I subscribe to it, but haven't really been using it.  I usually just scroll through my list on the front of my blog page.  I have put google reader onto Flipboard.  If you don't know about Flipboard, check it out.  It's available for i-users and android users.  You can see FB, twitter, instagram, and any other news feed in one place.

6. Anne Bradstreet is credited with the following quote~
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 
Agree or Disagree?  Why?
I think it's sooo true.  I tell people:  sometimes you have to through hell to get to heaven.  And, you don't appreciate it as much if you don't go through some hard times!  It's kind of like when we tell our kids, "If you had your birthday every day, it wouldn't be special".

7.  When did you last 'spring for something'?  What was it?
It was probably last year when I bought my flute.  It was something I totally didn't need, but it's really brought me so much enjoyment so far!

8.  Insert your own random thought here?
Spring Break is buzzing along nicely.  I haven't done much in the way of housecleaning, but I think that will come in a couple of days.  Okay, maybe not!

Day 1: Spring Break

Yesterday started off pretty well.  I decided that if I woke up in time, I would go to Daily Mass.  I woke up in plenty of time.  After Mass, I went to the Vet to pick up Ally & Pepper since we boarded them over the weekend.  To say they were happy to see me and to get home would be a major understatement!  Pepper even jumped on Laika a few times.

I met the lady who is going on the trip to Germany with the group.  We had lunch and talked about where we might want to go during the kids' homestay.  We looked at train fares to Prague & Dresden, went to AAA (who were little to no help at all), then went to the library.  We decided that we'll research villages/towns around the kids' homestay village, and share what we find.  We decided that even if we go into the homestay without a plan, we'll be okay.  Our objective is to see the "real" long as they speak some English!

I ran a couple of other errands and then came home.  When I checked FB, I got some devastating news:  I have a friend from where we lived in SC whose husband had some heart problems a few years ago.  They both changed their lifestyles, lost an amazing amount of weight, ate differently, and exercised.  Saturday, he was running in the neighborhood and apparently had a heart attack and passed away.  It was no secret that all of the ladies in our circle in our church liked to look at her hubby, and she would just laugh about it.  He was a very nice-looking man!  And, they were still so much in love.  You could tell it from looking at them.  They have 7 children who range in age from college to around 4 (I'm not sure how old their youngest is).  Please keep this family in your prayers.  My friend is a very strong woman who is also very strong in her faith, but she is definitely going to need prayers.

Weekend Wrapup

We had a great weekend to close out winter:  CAMPING!  CH & I both took the day off so we could leave Friday morning.  The "Dixie Chapter Tearjerkers" had their first campout of the season in Scottsboro, Alabama.  It was a 3 hour drive for us, which wasn't too bad of a drive.  And, since it wasn't too far from CH's brother & one of my brothers, they came, too.  CH's brother has a camper, and my brother pitched a tent.  Our campsite was right on the water:
The downside to the site was that we caught all of the wind, but the view was worth it.  Friday night was a "sit around the campfire and chat" night.  The weather was perfect:  upper 60's - 70's during the day, and cool enough at night to have a fire, but we didn't need to turn on the heater in the camper.
The sunset from the site on Friday was gorgeous:
Saturday morning, CH's best friend from high school (who lives near the campsite) drove over and treated us to breakfast:

Saturday we rode to the "Unclaimed Luggage" place to "treasure hunt".  My SIL found a baking pan, and I found some noise cancelling earphones for my trip (only 2 months & 3 days!) for $3.  I haven't checked to make sure they work, but I figured if they didn't, I'm only out $3.  My brother found a tent for $18:  the tent they slept in on Friday was fine, but the wind-flap was for a bigger tent.  When the wind picked up around 4 a.m., it woke them up.  The "new" tent worked like a champ for them.

Saturday night, the Tearjerkers had a chili potluck.  CH & I went down and ate.  He stayed down a little longer than I did; I went back up and got everything cleaned up.  Even though the Tearjerker group was for people in Ga. & Al., I think there were more people from Tn. who were there.  And, only 2 or 3 actually had teardrop campers; most of us had small campers.

After the potluck, it was time for another fire:
One of my SIL's & I had made S'Mores Martinis on Friday night, and we started thinking about it, and decided to make more Saturday night, but add Kahlua and throw some ice in the blender to mix everything up.  Let me just say this:  Marshmallow Fluff Vodka is simply amazing!  

Sunday morning CH made cinnamon rolls & biscuits in the dutch ovens, and we had scrambled eggs, bacon, and fruit.  Then we all packed up and headed home.  YS got home from the band's spring trip (a cruise to the Bahamas...NOT on Carnival!) Friday night and stayed with a friend over the weekend, so I was anxious to see him and hear all about his trip.  He had a much better time on his senior band trip than I had on mine, but that's a whole different story!

Today starts spring break for me, so I'm going to really try to make it around to visit everybody!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  Not only is it Friday, but it's time for Spring Break!  Yep, even though we're technically still in Winter, we're celebrating the vernal equinox with a week vacation!

~ And, what better way to start off break than with a camping trip!  We're looking forward to a weekend with CH's brother & SIL, and one of my brothers & SIL.  

~  YS gets home from his cruise today.  The Small Town's band left Sunday night on a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas.  And, they had the opportunity to perform on board.  I can't wait to hear how YS liked it.

~  The week started off a little strange with just CH & me in the house.  It was weird going to bed knowing there wasn't a child in the house.

~  I'm already loving this new Pope.  I just saw an article that he went to his hotel, picked up his luggage (literally picked it up by himself!), thanked all of the staff, and paid his bill.  

~  Let Spring Break begin!!!

Ignorance is NOT Bliss..or Maybe it is

Disclaimer:  If you are not Catholic, you may not "get" this post.

It hit me yesterday as I checked FB, that there are still so many ignorant people out there.  You would think, in this day & age, that there would be less.  A friend's (who is not Catholic but seemed genuinely excited) status update:
White smoke coming from the Vatican! A new Pope has been selected. Don't know who he is. Live coverage on TV now.

My heart fell when I read the 2 comments below her status:

Satans servant! Many will follow and many will perish because of his false teachings. So sad that the media covers it so greatly........ of course the shows how wrong it is. So sad.

New pope- old pedophile?

Of course I had to put my 2 cents in:

This is definitely an exciting time for Catholics world-wide! Can't wait to see the good that this man does in the name of God! 

I normally wouldn't comment on things like that, but I just had to.  There have been times in my life when I've "strayed" from the Church.  This happens to be one of those times in my life.  I should know better:  It seems that every time that's happened, there has been some event in my life that has drawn me back.  This also happens to be one of those times in my life.

I don't deal well with things not going right in my life.  I like to live in my bubble, pretending that the whole world is a sunshiney place where everything goes right.  Sometimes that bubble bursts... big time.  Sunday night I had a really hard time staying asleep.  Laika wanted out around 2:00, and then I couldn't get back to sleep.  A lot of times when that happens, if I start to say a rosary (even if I don't have one in my hands) I'll fall asleep.  Then, I started thinking about the thing that burst my perfect little bubble, and asked Saints Monica & Augustine to help out.  The result:  I went right to sleep and actually felt pretty good on Monday.  I was able to let a some of the worry go.

Work went well, too.  Monday night I had a talk with CH about some things that had happened (work related) that really had me down.  His comment was something like:  "Sometimes you don't have the best attitude".  I had to laugh at that.  Partly because he was right, and partly because I really, really try to have a good attitude at work.  If you don't have a good attitude, the kids suffer.

I hate that I feel like I'm talking "in code", but there are just some things that I don't feel comfortable putting out on the blogosphere.  Thank goodness next week is Spring Break, because I need to get my life in order...professionally & personally.    Hopefully I can take that week to do some soul-searching, rest, and get geared up for the last 9 weeks of school!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino?  Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?
I've never visited a casino or bet on a horse.  I did bet on a dog once at the dograce.  A looong time ago.  I lost.  Definitely not in the lucky column very much!
When we lived in Ga., the people who worked in the "itinerant building" would pitch in a dollar for the "big lottery", but we never won.

2.  Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day? Mashed-baked-hash browned-french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?
I'm not sure.  We'll be coming home from our first camping trip since Christmas Break, and I usually make Corned Beef & Cabbage in the slow cooker.  Plus, it's on a Sunday this year, and Sunday's are our Mexican night.

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over? 
A couple of my coworkers went to the Pink concert last week.  I LOVE her.  Then, one of the 2 coworkers went to the Bon Jovi concert a few days later.  

4.  What's at the end of your rainbow?
Happy, healthy boys  young men who are self-sufficient and love what they have chosen to do for a living.

5. March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-March, 1945).  Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time.  Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal?  Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journaling something new for you?
I don't keep a diary or journal and never have.  Excluding my blog, of course!

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?
I don't think I have anything at all.

7.  Write a limerick with you as the subject.  You can do it!!  Just remember this is a family friendly blog...don't make me get out my wooden spoon. 
For real???  Sorry, just not feeling it right now, but I can't wait to see how creative everybody else is!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have a confession to make:  I peeked to see who Sean (The Bachelor) was going to pick.  But, I wasn't sure if I had the correct information, so I watched every week.  Last night I thought I had it wrong, right up until the very end.  I am very pleased at who the new Bachelorette is; I hoped they would pick her.  Just in case you had to DVR the finale, I'm doing my best to not use names!

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

~  Wow!  Friday already?  It kind of feels like it should just be Tuesday; maybe that would be because of the snow day we had on Wednesday!  You've gotta love unexpected breaks in the middle of the week!

~  This was my view on my way to school yesterday:
Of course, on my way home, all of the snow was gone.  I would have loved to have been able to keep driving past my school to really get into the mountains to see the snow.

~  This morning, as I was walking down the hallway to my room, one of the Kindergarten boys walked into his room and said, "Today's the big day!"  I looked up to see his mom coming down the hall with cupcakes.  Guess someone's having a birthday today!

~  My nephew's wife is coming by this afternoon to take YS' senior pictures.  It may be cutting it close, but I wanted to wait until all of the blonde grew out of his hair before we had them taken, and it took forever for it to grow out!  He got his announcements last week, so they'll be going out soon!  He's decided to stay at home, work, and go to a community college next year.  He said he doesn't know what he wants to do, and this is a much cheaper option.  With the HOPE Scholarship and my teacher discount, he may end up with a little money left over to help with books.  I'm thinking he's made a pretty mature decision.

~  Hope everybody has a good, relaxing weekend!


We had an unexpected snow day yesterday.  YS still had school.  CH was going to go in to work, until I saw the traffic report on tv.  Someone had slid off of the road and the interstate was backed up....waaaay up.  So, he decided to work from home.  He shut himself up in "his office" so Laika wouldn't think it was Saturday and want to go to the dog park, or to Petsmart to play with the kittens.  Here are Pepper & Laika in the morning:
Yep, that was pretty much the extent of the amount of snow we had at my house.  Since I work for the county schools (which include some hills that we call "mountains"!), I guess some of the roads were bad.  I'm not complaining!  The snow was pretty much gone by 10:00.

We were able to have lunch out, and it was a perfect day for this:
We have a small, hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant in town that is excellent.  We hadn't eaten there in a while, so we went in for lunch.  The bonus is that I get to have it again today:  I only ate half of it, so I get leftovers for lunch today!  PERFECT!!!

I saw a recipe for "make your own Thin Mints" and decided to mess it up try it.  I know exactly what I did wrong:  you're only suppose to mix up the flour until the dough starts to crumble, not until it does crumble and you have to add milk to make it stick together so you can roll it out.  I also think there's just a little too much cocoa in it.  I may try these again and see if I can fix it.  Oh, and the chocolate covering is melted chocolate chips with peppermint extract. I thought the cookies were suppose to be dipped, but for some reason the chips were too thick, so I ended up spreading it on.
They are edible, but I'm going to have to either ask the blogger about it, or try to tweak it myself.

What do you like to do if you have an unexpected snow day, whether you're stuck in the house or can get out?

Marching into the Hodgepodge

1. My real life friends came through with another question this week so thank you real life friends. When you've eaten in a restaurant do you complete their comment card? Do you take online surveys highlighted at the bottom of store receipts? 
If the service and food was exceptionally good (or bad), we'll fill one out.  Sometimes I take the surveys, sometimes not.  I'm more likely to take the time to do it if there's a possibility of winning something.

2. The (US) ban on women in combat was lifted at the end of January. It will probably be next year before specifics are worked out, but its been reported over 200,000 front line positions will eventually open up to women.  Your thoughts? 
My initial thought is:  Hey, if that's what they want to do, then more power to them.  However, I don't think a woman should be put in a man's spot just for the sake of having a woman in that spot.  If she's truly the best person to be there, then put her there.  And, if the women are vying for that spot, they should be held to the same standards as the men.  When CH went to Airborne School, the females had different standards:  no pull-ups were required, and got to do "girls' pushups".  

3.  In looking back at all the blog posts you've written, what's your favorite posttitle
I looked back at my titles and realized how uncreative I am with them.  

4. What's worse-overly permissive parents or overly protective parents?  Did your own parents lean more to the permissive or the protective category?  If you're a parent where do you fall? 
I'll go with overly permissive parents.  Mine leaned more toward the over protective, but not because I thought they were; they were just big on doing the right thing and acting the right way.  That meant having a handle on where we were and what we were doing.  
I think we're somewhere in the middle.  I tried to make sure the boys grew up in a structured environment, but I think it's important to let them have some independence and make their own choices.  I've seen people just go hog-wild once they went to college because their parents had the apron strings so tight.  Then again, I know some people who were strict on their kids only to have them continue to live the straight and narrow once they left home.  I don't know how they did it. I wish kids came with an instruction booklet.

5.  Candlelight-moonlight-firelight-bright lights in the big city...which one's your favorite? 
Moonlight.  When we were in the Keys, there was a full moon a couple of nights, and it lit up the whole campground.  We didn't even have to use any kind of lights to get around.  It was just beautiful.

6. Dr. Seuss's birthday was celebrated on Saturday. What's a favorite book you remember (Seuss or otherwise) from your own childhood?  Did books play an important role in your growing up years? Explain. 
I grew up loving books.  I really liked "The Borrowers", Nancy Drew, and "Flowers in the Attic".

7.  To quote Dr. Seuss...
"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." 
from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Share something funny you've recently read, seen or heard.  
This is kind of long, but it sure had me laughing!  (Warning:  there are a couple of words in there that may be offensive to some)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
No school today!  As of 6:00 a.m., there is just a dusting at my house, but I work for the county.  That includes the entry to the Great Smoky Mountains, so we're always pulling for the roads up that way to be just a little bit icy.  YS has school, but I'm not sure if CH is going to go into work or just work from home today.  I'm looking forward to a day of catching up with everybody out there in blogland, and some reading.  Oh, and maybe a few more episodes of "Cracker".  (If you missed it, I talked about it here toward the end of the post.)  In fact, I think a pajama day is in order!

Tuesday Snapshots

I took a few pictures yesterday.  As I went out to get one of my students from recess, this was the view the kids had while playing:

And, as I left the school, I snapped this shot:
I got an email from a friend who said her initial thought was "How cute.  She thinks that's snow."  Of course, she lives out in Colorado, so she can't fathom that a dusting has the potential to cause delays and closures!

I have the luxury of having a smartboard in my room at my "new" school.  I'm not sure if it even works like it's suppose to.  I need to read the Dummy Book and see if I can figure it out!  This is what I used it for yesterday:
I try to make my life easier by doing the same activity for both schools, so one drawback to having a smartboard there and not at my "old" school is that I have to do a different activity there.  Which means more planning.  Okay, not really.  It just means pulling out another activity and having those students do something different.

We have a new obsession at my house:
Dark Chocolate is suppose to be good for you, and pomegranate and goji is full of antioxidants, so I'm not really eating candy, right?  I had never heard of "goji", but here's what wikipedia says:
Since the early 21st century there has been rapidly growing attention for wolfberries for their nutrient value and antioxidant content. They have been termed a superfruit, which has led to a profusion of consumer products.
So there you have it.

I thought today was this little girl's birthday:
 Her birth mother's owner had to shoot me down and let me know that her birthday is 12 March.  Turns out she shares a birthday with her Aunt, my SIL.  With her being such a diva and all, I think she's going to celebrate her birthday for at least a week.

So, this post turned into quite a fragmented post.  But, it's my blog and I can do what I want, right?  :)

Weekend Wrap-up

I was able to get some decent pictures of the "duck couple" that I mentioned in the Wed. Hodgepodge a couple of weeks ago:

The one with the deformed wing is pecking on the ground in the bottom right picture.  They are so sweet.

We had some snow on Thursday, but when it finally stuck, it didn't stay around for long.  As in literally for 5 minutes.
We have been going to a local pizza place for dinner on Fridays, but decided to stay in and have dinner at home last Friday.  I was thrilled that our cable provider finally decided to add CBS to On Demand!  I got caught up on NCIS, Big Bang Theory, and Rules of Engagement.

For the past 2 Saturdays, I've made some materials for school.  Last week I made these:

I wish I could credit for the idea, but I'm just not that creative!  I found the boxes at the dollar store, then printed out the borders with sounds that I usually work on.  There are pictures in the boxes, so all the students have to do is pull out a picture, say it, then glue it onto the activity we're doing for that day.  I'm using them today for the first time.
This past Saturday, I printed out a couple of things to put on my walls at both schools.  If you're a teacher, or you homeschool, check out  There is a lot of material that's free; the only downside is having to use ink to print it out.  Plus, I put my stuff on cardstock and then laminate it using the laminating pockets.

I practiced making cookies on Saturday for my in-laws' anniversary party in April.  I was having trouble getting my cookies to roll out evenly, so I looked online for help.  One baker  has a special board that she uses.  It looks like a simple board with wooden boards on the sides that she can move to different levels, depending on how thick she wants her cookie.  For $130, I say:  No, thanks.  Some of the commenters mentioned getting dowels and using those.  I went to a crafts store and found some small wooden boards that are just the size I need.  I set 2 of them down, and put the dough in between.  

Then I rolled the rolling pin on the boards, and it worked!  My cookies came out uniform in thickness.
I found a glaze recipe that was similar to the one I've used before, but this one used vanilla extract, butter flavoring, and almond flavoring.  (I didn't have any almond, so I used lemon instead.)  I went back to see what the different ingredients were, and it turned out that my original recipe uses milk; the new one uses water.  The new one was a little more difficult to spread, and it tasted much sweeter...too sweet, really.
So, next batch I make, I'm going to:  1) use my stone since it bakes more evenly, 2) use my original glaze recipe, and 3) add the extra flavorings.  As a trial, I'm going to do half of the cookies with almond flavoring and half with lemon to see which one tastes better.

Sunday was grocery shopping, a little more baking (tortilla strips for MS & muffins for this week's breakfasts), and Mexican for dinner with one of my sisters & her husband.  We talked about our trip to the Keys for next Christmas Break.  I also watched a few more episodes of a British show called "Cracker".  The guy who played Hagrid in Harry Potter (Robbie Coltrane)  is a psychologist who helps out the local police department solve murders. It was on for 5 seasons, and ended in 2006.   A friend and coworker recommended it to me, and I'm hooked.

You've probably already seen this, but just in case you haven't:  The original Harlem Shake:

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