Wednesday, October 31, 2012

H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N

Now I know why people video blog. You can't quite convey a song or chant through typed words..
My blog post title is supposed to be a little song I was taught many, many years ago by a wonderful teacher (I can't remember which one) on how to spell Halloween. Still to this day, I cannot spell Halloween without either singing or thinking of this song.

H, A, double L, O
W, double E, N spells Halloween! :)

I just hope my kids remember something like that from me. I'm not the most creative teacher, but I managed to teach them one song this year about the main idea. One early morning in Saturday school the kids were supposed to come up with a rap about the main idea to remember what it was, so naturally I came up with one. ;) Actually, it was a collaboration, and I teach my kids this every year.

(with beat box in the background)
The main idea,
is the BIG idea.
It tells what the story is MOSTLY about!

Okay, done with the songs. Here are some pictures of my school's goody day for Halloween made by my 2nd grade team and me:

 Many people assured me these looked like Frankensteins and NOT Oscar the Grouches.
I'm not totally convinced.

These went like hot cakes. I love how easy this is to make! The recipe is below:

Cream Cheese Pastries

Ingredients

2 cans of crescent rolls (Pillsbury.. I get the 50% bigger ones)
8 oz. cream cheese (shouldn't be super cold)
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1/4 cup to sprinkle)
1/4 cup of cinnamon
1 t vanilla
2 T melted butter

Directions:

1. On a greased baking sheet, roll out one can of crescentt rolls (It will be a big rectangular piece. If the triangles come apart, just lay them down side by side and it will just bake together).

2. In a glass bowl mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until incorporated. The cream cheese should be spreadable texture. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the rolled out dough (don't spread all the way to the edges).

3. Lay another can of dough right on top of the mixture to form a big pouch. Lightly press the sides to seal the cream cheese.

4. Spread melted butter on the dough with a pastry brush.

5. In a small shallow bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar. Using a spoon or sifter, sprinkle cinnamon/sugar on top of the dough.

6. Bake as directed on the crescent can (usually 12 to 15 minutes). Watch it carefully so the bottom doesn't burn! Use a pizza cutter to cut into 2-3 inch squares!

The duds I left at home..

I found this caution tape at Walmart for $0.89!

I love the candy corn plate!

Our Halloween spread.

Everything was really delicious. I made the 7-layer spider web dip.



 Candy corn cupcakes.

It was an exhausting night making my desserts but it was totally worth it to have all the teachers appreciate it.
I am glad we all survived today and my night ended nicely when I was surprised by a knock on my door from a little batman trick or treating! It was my first time giving out candy! I was so surprised because I never expected them to trick or treat at apartments, and I'm so glad I had a bag of Kit Kats. I was so happy, I gave him two. :)

Well lately it seems as if everyone is stressed and strained including me. I realized I have not been very patient lately and I really need to be patient with everyone, especially my students.
Let's make it til Thanksgiving!




Friday, October 19, 2012

Pink Day

October is breast cancer awareness month, and every year our school has a Pink Day to support it. This week at school has been hectic to say the least; so I had to make some last minute "pink" rice krispies. I used pink marshmallows, but it didn't come out pink enough... I need to use strawberry jello mix next time.

They taste good at least! :)

Once upon a time, three brave teachers (one of whom was very untrained) took on the 3 day, 60+ miles walk for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
We all had someone to walk for. I walked for my father who died of stomach cancer when I was five.
We each raised $2300 with the support of our family, friends, school, and kind strangers.
It was the most challenging, stressful, yet motivating, and emotional thing I have ever done. It's one of those experiences that was hard and wonderful at the same time. I would do it again if I had the chance.

The Pink Galas! We look happy. So this must be Day 1. :)

Pink Galas 2014, anyone?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30 things at 30

Upon turning 30, my friends and I decided I need to make a 30 year old bucket list. I've always had a life's to do list, but never really tried to do them proactively.

But after living for 3 decades now, I realize I don't have time to waste. So I am challenging myself to try 30 new things in my 30th year of life. Fun! And a little scary. My list is tentative and not really in order, so I will post them as I achieve each one.

30th on my list is something that comes at an opportune time that I have never done before: pumpkin carving.

Reactions from people around me were the same; Whaaaaat? Seriously?

I hope people don't think I missed out somehow or lived a boring life. I would not trade my life with anyone; I went through struggles and hardships, and experienced things I wouldn't want anyone else to go through. But I wouldn't be me if I didn't go through all those things. I am definitely stronger because of them. It humbled me and gave me empathy for people in similar situations. I know what's important in life, and I thank God that I have a loving family and friends around me that support me.

Okay, on to my pumpkin carving!

30. Pumpkin carving 10-13-12

Kristin and her friend Lacey helped me with my first pumpkin carving experience and it was really fun! The perfectionist in me came out at times, but they reigned it in and kept reassuring me when I messed up. A chunk of the 'W' came off, but I used the pumkin carving blade I broke and used it like a toothpick to attach it. Here is the result:

Wicked 30! :)



Kristin looking dangerous!                 


Step 1: Pick the pumpkin.

 I chose the "mama bear" sized pumpkin in the middle.


Step 2: Cut off the top...


I look a little scary there..

...and pull it out.


Step 3: Take out the "guts" and carve it smooth.

It was a slimy process. Not my favorite part.


Yea! All cleaned out!

Step 4: Pick a design and tape it on the pumpkin.

I was trying to decide between the cat/pumpkin (top left) and a witch pattern, but when I saw the 'Wicked' one I knew I had to do that one. Mostly because of my love for the musical, Wicked! Unfortunately I did not realize the difficulty level was high AND letters are tedious. But it was worth it.


The girls, hard at work!


Step 5: Poke, peel, and start carving.




I added 30 to my design.


The letters were difficult to carve and I was the last person to finish, but I did it!

Yep, we're professional carvers. Haha.


I'm really glad I finally carved a pumpkin. Now I have 29 more to go! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Birthday Weekend



I feel like I've had an Indian wedding; I've celebrated my birthday since Friday. And why not? I'm 30!
I have to say, 30 isn't so bad. I cringe less and less when I tell people I'm 30 years old. I think that's progress.

Well, my lovely friend Ari blogged about my birthday so instead of reblogging, I will just put a link to her blog here: lavender and pink - happy-birthday-flo

Thanks Ari!

From left: Heather, Joanna, Kristin, 30 year old me, Sarah, and Arianna

Photo credit: lavender + pink

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kings and queens, and birthday wishes too


"Today I feel perfect!"

"Happy Birthday. Hug!"

"How are you going to drink that coffee?"

"Are you 68? Um... 23?"

"Is it fun being a teacher? I think it's fun."


Today was full of funny quotes from my students.  My amazing room dads and awesome friends surprised me for an early birthday celebration at school!


 I walked in this morning to such festivity:

Ari, thanks for the decorative cup o' joe and birthday song!


My room dads secretly asked all my students to bring flowers for a class bouquet. In all my years of teaching, I have never gotten so many flowers (although teacher appreciation week comes close). It was really cute seeing my class holding all the flowers in line.

Balloons, everywhere...
My thoughtful friend Caitlin + crew got me the Dorothy TOMS I blogged about a few weeks ago!
I have happy feet!


...and flowers everywhere.

I took most of the flowers and made this lovely bouquet:


And my room dad even baked this HUGE cake for me and to share with all the teachers.
It was delicious and had turquoise lettering too. :)
                                                                  Before . . .    and after.

In addition to the flowers, my kids made me cards and drawings. One student wrote me a letter which was too cute!




To be honest, I had been dreading turning the big 3-0. I remember at 16 thinking, 'Man, will I ever be that old?' And in 3 days, I will be. People around me kept telling me 30 will be fantastic but all I could think of was wrinkles and aching bones. But today I realized how blessed I am to be who I am, where I am, and how I've gotten to this point. What I thought was going to be a curse, is actually a blessing.
Thirty is going to be fantastic!