Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Our Saturday mornings are basketball games right now.  I like sleep and dislike basketball, but I'm making an exception. 

The first game he scored three baskets and one for the other team, but we don't talk about that.  They don't count it in his league, so it's all good.  

In the second game I thought she scored another three, but he said four, so we'll go with that.  I try to pay attention, but... you know.

Bee's not cheering this year, I can't figure out her real reason.  She says it's because she wanted to be sure to be at Lou's games, but I think she felt weird being the only girl on the squad last year that didn't know the others from school already.  It's one of the drawbacks of not attending the neighborhood school.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

snow daysssss

Wonderful domestic bliss brought to you courtesy of  snow days, a whole bunch of snow days.   We discovered that the car thermometer does not go below 0, because it was actually -23 this morning.  I know it's colder in other parts of the country, but geesh.

There was sort of a theme running in the kitchen.  Carbs.  

With school this year, and me working full time, it's been awhile since I got my bake on.  

This cinnamon raisin bread was made using our fall back bread recipe- milk bread recipe.

I had been waiting for a good time to make this nutella braid bread after seeing it on Pinterst.  (Here are some pictures, although I just sort of figured it out).  I used the same milk bread recipe (as above) except we were low on  milk and snowed in and used mostly water.  It all worked out.  My braid was too long and ended up being a ring.  It was very average when warm, but was pretty good cooled the next day.

And cookies.  Add this to me not visiting the gym much and it's pretty much not a good combination.  Unless you like cookies as much as I do.

Poor Lou, we realized that his little apron was becoming just that, a little apron. 

So, there was some sewing too.  

One day we unpacked my old cabbage patch kids for the kids to play with.  Actually Mandy was mine and Andy was my brothers.  I'm sure he doesn't know I have him.  That's back when they had normal names.

I needed to replace all the old elastic in the pants.  I sent this picture to my mom to see if she remembered them.  She made me and my brother a bunch of clothes for our dolls back in the mid 80s.  They all needed a good wash, but most of them survived all those years in storage.

We've played about every game in the game closet.  Luke ended up with more kids than would fit in his car in Life. He says he does want a large family.

We got Suspend before Christmas.  It's Melissa and Doug, but not their traditional type of toy.  My brother, the physics teacher, introduced it to us at Thanksgiving.  Super fun. I've taken it in to school a few days and the kids really like it too.

We pressed thimbles onto the frosted glass door.  I don't know how this one door frosts up so much and not the others.  We read about this when we read The Little House books but had not tried it yet.  I thought we'd have to warm the thimbles, but you don't at all.  The little circles added another layer of pretty to the already pretty pattern of frost.

The kids and I worked on every 'winter' craft we could think of.  Painting with Epsom salt is one of my favorite winter crafts.  I feel like I've written about it before, but I can't find it.  That little search button on my page doesn't seem to be working.

I've done with project with about every grade and group of kids I've worked with since college.  You just use a white crayon on black construction paper and draw whatever winter scene you want.  The salt will give the illusion of a frosted window, so I usually draw a window and whatever winter scene inside of it.  Mix a handful of Epsom salt -like from the pharmacy for cheap- in some warm water and stir.  I don't have a measurement or a formula.  In fact, I've done lots of experimenting with how much salt and water and temperature of water, etc and it doesn't seem to matter.  If I guessed, I would say we add 3 T of salt to 3/4 c water.  Then, you liberally paint it inside the window.  Liberally, don't over brush, don't be afraid to get that paper wet either.  Lay is flat to dry and walk away.  This takes awhile to dry and let the crystals form.  Do this in the morning and by the afternoon, they'll be done.  At some point, you'll think you've done something wrong and you'll be getting no crystals, I do each and every time.  They're coming.  Be patient.

We made 6 pointed snowflakes again, but my origami paper was at school so we used coffee filters.  We  used  the same directions for getting the 6 points from square papers.  Here are our directions from 2011.  Geesh.  I almost wrote 'last year.'

 This was our first time making prints with ink.  I remembered doing it in high school and my sister sent me with some supplies last Christmas she'd saved from a college class. 

The kids carved some drawing in clean Styrofoam.  I think I must have bought some fruit or something on these foams.  It's the same kind that meat comes on from the grocery, but I never want to use those.  So something clean came on these. We used golf tees to do the carving. 

The ink gets rolled on and then you just press the paper on top and lift it off.  Lou's print is the snowman and Bees is the snowflake with dots.  We talked about getting a blue ink the next time we stop by the art shop.

These pictures were left on the camera from the last snow days which were before Christmas.  We actually haven't had enough snow for sledding this time.  A little bit north of us has 2 feet, we have an inch.  Our 'snow days' this time have been for temperature mostly.  Lou and I went sledding with one of his friends.  Bee whined and wanted to stay home, she missed out.  It was the most fun I've ever had sledding!  Next big snow, I'm taking her kick and screaming. 

I also had time that round to do a bit of sewing.  Here's an apron I made my mom for Christmas.  Its uber long!  I must have turned the bottom skirt piece the wrong way.  She'll have to shorten it herself if she doesn't want it so long.  We were snowed in and I had to use fabric on hand.  It's pieced with more fabrics than I like to work with at once but turned out alright.

I've loved these snow days but seriously, if we don't get back to school soon, I'm pretty much going to loose my mind... and patience... and sanity. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I can see everything!

Quality parenting warning!  Bee had been telling us for months that her eyes were blurry.  The school health coordinator finally suggested I take her to the eye Dr.  Frankly, we've been paying for her to have vision insurance for her whole life, it's about time we used it.   Turns out she really needed glasses!  The eye Dr kept saying, "She really hasn't had any problems in school?"  "I can't believe this hadn't become an issue for her."  Oops.

The glasses are in and she's cute in them and can see.  She kept saying, "I can see everything!"  We went right to my classroom to work (snow day! and it happens to be blocks from the eye Dr.) and she was quizzing herself reading things all around my classroom.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas in third grade

Here are some things from the last few days of class.    We spent a lot of time working on the Christmas Program, various kids were in and out at different times, kids with solos, kids with speaking parts, select choir, etc.  So there was time for some other fun things. 

We wrote Christmas cards for soldiers.  My neighbor's son is stationed somewhere warm and sandy and requested Christmas cookies.  My neighbor took care of the cookies, my third graders took care of the cards.

The 24 of us collected 27 Operation Christmas boxes.  The whole school collected like 670 ish.  That's a lot of little ones with special boxes of goodies over the next few months.  Several members of our staff were privileged enough to be part of the passing out of boxes last summer in Uganda.  

Our Christmas party was tons of fun.  The kids iced ice-cream cones and decorated as Christmas trees.

For the snack, they had an ice-cream bar.

The parent presents turned out great.  I went to Menards and had them cut some pieces of 5.25 wide wood into roughly 5 inch tall pieces.

The kids sanded them down.

They painted the fronts white, added a vinyl sticker I cut out on my silhouette, then painted the whole thing grey.  The white and grey paint both needed two coats.  It literally took all week. The kids didn't know, but I gave the second coats afterschool when they were gone.

The kids peeled off the stickers and I snuck them home for some touchups. 

I don't know if they noticed or not.   I sure did.  The vinyl shaped was a 'weld' of three that I purchased through the silhouette online store.  I think I have about $23 dollars in this project and we made 26 blocks.  We could have gotten another 6 or so more out of the supplies left.  I could have saved money by using paint on hand and scrap wood from the garage, but didn't.

These did get painted on the backs too, this is mid-process.  We gave them a quick clear coat and wrapped them up for their mama's and daddies.

I had wanted them to write a bible verse on the back or something but they looked so good, I didn't want to mess them up at all.

They were adapted from last year's Christmas project.


Upon writing this, I have one more last morning of Christmas break.  I might be missing my littles a bit, but am pretty much loving sleeping until 7:30.  That's 2 extra hours.  I think everybody needs 2 extra hours of sleep a few days a week.
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