Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
The birthday party was a huge success. He had four friends over for skating, video games, and pizza.
Two of them spent the night.
We went to the Down Syndrome walk yesterday. One of my students' families is very sweet every year to invite us. There was a small petting zoo there complete with a porcupine on a leash!
We saw Rachel Coleman of Signing Time and heard her touching story and the fact that she and her sister are no longer going to be able to continue Signing Time financially because they have no corporate sponsor and so it won't be on any more after Oct. 1.
I saw another student who launched herself at me. Love 'em!
This is why we teach.
Hope you had a great weekend, too.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Congrats to all the new Chiefs!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Well, it's official. We're HDified.
Didn't even have to have the Geek Squad come install it. We had our own Geek Squad.
Then, they played a preview of tonight's Monday Night Football game on Madden 2009.
Now we just need to call Dish to get the HD channels.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
What else can you say?
So, I've not only noticed a downward trend in children's and parents' behavior, I have noticed a downward trend in the quality of children's books. Children's Literature was one of my favorite subjects in college, I actually aspired to be a children's book author at one point. Don't tell.
Here are some examples of books. Each entry is from one random page in the book. The first is from my favorite book, Miss Rumphius.
From the porch of her new house, Miss Rumphius watched the sun come up; she watched it cross the heavens and sparkle on the water; and she saw it set in glory in the evening. She started a little garden among the rocks that surrounded her house, and she planted a few flower seeds in the stony ground. Miss Rumphius was almost perfectly happy. "But there is still one more things I have to do," she said. "I have to do something to make the world more beautiful." But what? "The world already is pretty nice," she thought, looking out over the ocean.
Miss Rumphius was published in 1982. The pictures are beautiful.
Here's another one:
"Tangerine!" Gabby shrieks. Grandpa nods. "Tangerine, tangerine. All she talked about was tangerine!" "Well, did you make her one? Did you, Grandpa?" "Finally, I did." "I bet it was pretty, too, almost as pretty as my purple coat could be." Suddenly Grandpa clicks two fingers in the air. "I have an idea, " he begins. "Of course, one needs an exceptional tailor...." "You're an exceptional tailor." Grandpa stands a little taller. "This year I will make you something very special," he announces, "a coat that is navy blue on one side-and purple on the other. Reversible!" Gabby jumps high in the air. When she lands, her socks are scrunched around her ankles. "Let's make the purple side first."
That was from The Purple Coat, published in 1986. Another fav with great pictures. These two books have great meaning to the story and rich vocabulary like exceptional, heavens, reversible, announces, tailor. They are kind of long books, very descriptive. Kids used to be able to sit through them and listen quietly. Not any more. A lot of redirecting and skipping of details happens now. Here are a couple more:
After a while, the grass began to grow, the flowers began to bloom, and the birds began to have a party in the sky. Spring had come and, somehow, Charlie knew it was time to wake up.
From Charlie the Caterpillar, published in 1990. Sounds like it's going to be a good story, but somehow to me smacks of only being nice to those that were nice to you.
"Not me!" said Froggie. "Yes, you," said Rabbit. "Come on, I'll read you a story and then you must go to sleep." "Don't want to go to sleep," Froggie grumbled. But he did want to hear Rabbit's story.
From What a Party!, published in 2007. Froggie doesn't even use proper grammar. Kind of like Baby Bop, remember? Drove me crazy! So, judge for yourself. I understand that some books are meant to be easier to read, etc. But I used to be able to spend $30 easy at the Book Fair. We're having ours at school this week. I didn't find one book that was worth buying. Sad.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I finally finished the Dear Jane table runner top and have started blocks for the real deal. I finished/started these back in June, and have been slacking lately, but started again this week, so I thought I'd share. These little blocks are fairly tedious, and as you can see, I've started with the easy ones with no curves, save one. I tried my hand at hand applique, but it looked horrible, so I sewed over it with a satin stitch. I may try again, or take a class. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, or maybe it just takes time and patience, which are usually in short supply here. I can cross-stitch all day, but the applique thing just may not be my bag, so the quilt may be entirely machine made. Oh well, it'll look great all the same.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Every Friday, one of our special education classes comes around to each room to collect paper. They take the paper out to the recycling container in the parking lot. Here are my two recycling boxes. As you can see, I put just about every little scrap of paper in there.
Here's my neighbor down the hall's pile. Ok, so she's only been with us a few weeks, but wow. She even had to write "recycle pile" on it so they would know!
I thought it was funny!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
We went to the Oklahoma City Zoo yesterday. It's not the greatest zoo I've ever been to, but it got better as we went along.
Here's my handsome young man. He's going to be 14 in seventeen days! Wow....
Monday, September 1, 2008
It's quite a process, but worth it in the end. Here's the recipe first:
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert (from The Taste of Home Cookbook)
3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. melted butter
2 pkgs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened (I left it out at room temp. for about 30-45 min)
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
2 tblsp chopped walnuts
1. Place the graham crackers in a Ziploc and crush/roll over with a rolling pin (this was fun, if you need to release some stress, just pound away!). In a small bowl, combine walnuts, cracker crumbs, sugar, and spices; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 10 in. tart pan with a removable bottom. (I used a spring form pan, and now that I am re-reading this it's called Pumpkin Cheesecake "Dessert" so that may have something to do with it's size).
2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined (if you beat too much air in at this point it will puff up and fall while cooking). Add pumpkin and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon; beat on low speed just until combined.
3. Pour into crust; sprinkle with walnuts and remaining cinnamon. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost done. Cool on a wire rack for 1-1 1/2 hours. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 9-12 servings.
Upon reading the instructions in the cookbook and on the back of the insert in the pan I bought this is what I did: I placed a cake pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven. I left it there while the cheesecake cooked for the 40 minutes. When the timer went off, I opened and checked it, and turned the oven off. I left both the water and the cheesecake in the oven for the 1 and 1/2 hours directed. I then took it out of the oven with no crack in sight and placed it into the refrigerator, where it sat until I served it 5 hours later. That is when I took the ring off the spring form pan. Like I said, since it says "dessert" in the title, this may have been beginners luck! But oh well! It was worth it...I think I'll go have a leftover piece now! Enjoy!