Bake for Good

King Arthur Flour came to school this week and did a bread baking demonstration for the 4th and 5th graders. The presenter was outstanding and had their attention the entire time. She had two student helpers and a camera pointing at her table so everyone in the audience had a good view of the action! She showed them how to make bread, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, pretzels, and pizza crust – all using the same dough!

The bleacher, not in the picture, are full of eager to learn 4th and 5th graders! I had no class at the time so I came to the demo too. :)

After the demonstration, King Arthur Flour sent every kid (and I think the 4/5 teachers) home with a bag of supplies to bake their own bread! The canvas bag had two types of flour, yeast, a dough scraper, a great recipe booklet, and a plastic bag to bring back one loaf of bread. Kids were instructed to bake two loaves this weekend and bring one in on Monday to donate. All of loaves brought in will be donated to a local food pantry.

Eve has made bread with me plenty of times, but this is the first time we did it all by hand! No bread machines involved.

The recipe said to kneed the bread for five minutes and she made it the entire time! Chatting all the while. :)

This braid took a few tries, but turned out pretty great in the end.

I hope some lucky family enjoys this beautiful loaf of bread! We had fun making it.

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She wasn’t thrilled with the way the other loaf turned out, so she didn’t let me take a picture of it. We had some for dinner though and it is delicious!

It was fun to see so many of her friends and teachers posting pictures of their baking and beautiful bread on Facebook this weekend. I feel so truly lucky to be part of such a wonderful school community!

Astronaut memories

Alan was invited to an ice cream party today hosted by one of his favorite high school teachers. This teacher ran a “space mission” program that got a lot of publicity and Alan loved. They built a mock space shuttle in their classroom then spent five days and night in the shuttle, conducting experiments and mock space missions. He loved it and was excited to see his teacher again after so many years.

The party was about an hour and a half away, so I made an attempt at adding another stop to make it a more exciting outing for all of us (nothing against his teacher, but the ice cream thing was mostly and outing for Alan!) Unfortunately all of my plans were lousy and didn’t work out. Fortunately the ice cream was homemade and excellent, the teacher was friendly, and he had a copy of the original news broadcast that covered the space mission. It was neat to see.

A brief moment of sibling togetherness today while they ate their ice cream.

Astronaut Alan

Watching the original news broadcast of Alan’s “space” mission.

The original space suits they wore on their mission.

On the way home we decided to stop for dinner at restaurant that one of Alan’s co-workers started. It’s a great place and it got popular so quickly that she quit working at his company so she could run her restaurant full time!

Lex beat my favorite mindless restaurant game in about three tries. I’ve played it many, many times and probably never won, but he figured it out in no time!

We didn’t get to do out stargazing boat cruise, or visit the cool castle I found online, but we had good time anyway and we are all looking forward to a “no plans” day tomorrow!

What’s going on!?!

Life is so busy these days. So much going on. At the moment it’s 10:30 at night and I’m alone with a glass of wine and Glee on TV. Thought a quick blog post was in order. :) Here’s a peek at what’s going on…

Cool morning walks with the pup, mist on the river.

We have been talking a lot about programming and how turtles are involved (read on up on Logo if you’re interested), so when I saw Eve rolling out the tape with her backpack on, I couldn’t help thinking of programming turtles.

Someone forgot to put Arlo away in his crate for the day. Carnage throughout the house. :(

Lex had open house at the middle school last week (week before? who can remember?!) He is on Team Nova and I saw this cool banner hanging in the hall. I asked if they talked about being Noble, Original, Vigilant, and Adventuresome. He said nope, he never even knew that’s what NOVA was for. Oh well.

My little guy isn’t so little any more! He has a top locker and a bottom locker and his percussion lesson schedule stuck to the door. He’s growing up fast!

Their first assignment in his STEM class was about making their name. I don’t know what the specific requirements were, but it came out pretty neat and STEMy. :)

Back at the elementary school a first grader decided to “fix” my NEW sign for me. :) The letters fell down and he was being helpful.

We have a bulletin board in the lobby with the green instructions written on it and lots of room for people to write their messages. Lex had a little fun with it. :)

This week King Arthur Flour’s Bake For Good program came to school and did a bread baking demonstration. I had a free period at that time and came down to watch. It was very cool! And I know the lady who did the demo! :) They sent all of the 4th and 5th graders home with a canvas tote full of KAF supplies and ingredients for baking bread. The kids have to bake a loaf to keep and a loaf to share (bring back to school to be donated to the food pantry). I LOVE the idea. Guess what we will be doing Sunday afternoon?! :)

My momma brought me lots of plants for my new library. They don’t grow well in my house, but I’m hoping for more success in the bright, sunny library! :) Maybe I can recruit a few plant waterers too. I LOVE my new space. Life is good.

Now my show is over, my glass is empty, and my laptop battery is about dead, so I’m off.  Good night.

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Back writing

I was laying in bed with Eve tonight and I started writing letters on her belly. She is good at guessing the upper and lowercase letters, so I moved on to words like “HI” and “LOVE”. She loves the game and asks if she can draw on my back. I give her “HI” and “LOVE” and she gives me “laff” and “nostruls” and “ostrigges.” That girls really needs to learn to spell! Needless to say we ended up in a pile of giggles and not at all relaxed! Happiness is.

Library blog

Hey all, in case this blog isn’t fascinating enough, check out my new school library blog. (You know you want to, Mom!) It’s filled with exciting things like library schedules and book awards! Of course I got a picture of Eve up there already! (Truthfully, I’m not sure yet on the media release situation, so I thought it best to stick to pictures of kids I know for now.) Enjoy!

Also, did you see I just did three blog posts in one evening? That’s my quota for the week! See ya next week! :)

Electric cars

Alan was showing the Leaf at an electric car show today, so we went to lend our support (and check out the Teslas!)

Eve adamantly did not want to go, so she sat in the Leaf the whole time while I walked Arlo and followed Lex around. He loves these cars! Lex, that is, not Arlo. Arlo wanted to be there about as much as Eve did!

Lex cracked me up because although he has been to several of these events, he was very hesitant at first to sit in the drive seat.  Initially he even said, “I’m not 16 yet, I can’t do that.”  Such a rule abider!  It didn’t last long though.  He stared in passenger seats, then the back seat of the one car big enough to have a legit back seat, and before I knew it….  look out world!

This is a super snazzy looking BMW i8. It looked like a futuristic concept car, but Alan and the BMW dealer that was there with the car both agreed that Teslas are better. :)

We bumped into a friend there with her son, checking out the cars. The boys only kind of know each other, but they were fast friends in the front seat of a Roadster!

This little Tesla Roadster is just about the right size for these two little boys!

Lex couldn’t get over the cool “falcon wing doors” that open up instead of out. He spent a lot of time checking out this Tesla Model X (their only family car so far) and pushing all the buttons.

A very lousy photo of the Tesla Model X and a very fascinated boy in his PJs. :)

After awhile I was bored, Arlo was over stressed, and Eve was hot from sitting in the car, so we decided to say goodbye to Alan (who was talking up the Leaf and quite busy without us around) and head home. That was our family outing for this weekend. :)

Open House

This post is a few days delayed, but better late than never.  Thursday was open house at school.  Each grade does a 10-15 minute presentation of their curriculum, but I wasn’t sure if I could get out of the library that long, so Eve and I went for a sneak peek at her classroom.  She showed me around, we did the scavenger hunt, and got full access to the teachers (ha!) until 6pm when Open House officially started and I scooted back to the library.  I wasn’t sure what to expect for library attendance, but I was pleased that it was packed for the entire time!  Kids stopped by to introduce me to their parents (while I desperately tried to recall the kid’s name in my head!) and parents that I’m friends with stopped by and it was very nice all around.  The hour flew by!

I love seeing Eve’s work.  Her poetry is amazing to me, and not just because it’s often about how much she loves me. :)  Lately she has been sitting in her bed at night writing poetry.  She has a great one about the holidays, and the “mom” poem she wrote me a few weeks ago.  At Open House she showed me her, “I am from” poem that they did in class.  I love it!

Eve is an excellent writer… you just have to decode her spelling! :)

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Animals and Apples

We have been trying to do at least one family activity each weekend and this weekend we decided to head to Wellwood for donuts, petting zoo, and maybe even some apples. It feels a tad early for apples, but we somehow managed to miss strawberry and blueberry picking this year, so I guess we’d better get the apple picking in while we can!

We started with donuts, of course. I’m wishing, in hindsight, that I took a few pictures of that, because check out this picture from our first time ever at Wellwood Orchard!

It doesn’t get any cuter than this!

We had some donuts, chatted with a friend we ran into there, then headed for the petting zoo! Always a crowd pleaser.

Hungry baby piggies

So many birds! Look how tall Lex is!

We watched the piglets for awhile. They were adorable! Then momma pig started doing her bathrooming business and we decided it was time to go! Blech!

Eve tried to feed the piglets.

Lex had more luck feeding the sheep. These sheep need a shearing. They looked HOT!

We sure know how to take a family photo! LOL!

Those eyes!! She wasn’t really rolling them at me (not exactly), but she was mad at me for not letting her climb the trees. She said, “what’s the point of being here if I can’t climb the trees?!”

Can I just have my sweet little girl back, please?! (Of course, she IS in a tree in this picture!)

There’s her smile! Luckily she doesn’t stay angry for long. Who can be mad when they’re sitting next to that handsome fellow?!

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We swung back by the store on the way out and bought fudge and other treats. Then home again. Over all a very nice day and a very nice memory from the past! Now… off to eat some apples!

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Week one done

We made it through the first week of school and now we are celebrating the long weekend with a “no-plans” weekend.  :)  Other families are off on exciting Labor Day vacations, and we are cozying down in PJs with the weekend comics and a big mug of tea.  That’s the way we roll.

I had a fairly easy transition into my teaching, with just one class the first day, no classes the second day (but lots of learning about the tech at school), and four classes each the last two days of the week.  I was exhausted Wednesday night (my no class day!) and feeling nervous about the next day with four classes.  I put the kids to bed early and myself to be immediately after them.  Thursday rolled around and the day was great!!  Four great classes!  Friday was the same.  I’m sure they won’t always be great, but I’m super happy about how the first week went.  :)

Eve is enjoying her new mixed class with all of the kids in one room.  It’s a big group of students and teachers, but so far she’s happy.  She also got an award for showing Caring, Safe, and Responsible behavior all week long.  It’s a new program they started this year and Eve was thrilled to be one of the first students to get it.

Lex made it to school happily each day.  He has homework now that is often online, so we need to come up with a way to keep track of that.  In the past homework was on a piece of paper that could sit on the table until it was done, but now he’s a big kid and things are changing.  He had a field trip to the lake where they did team building activities and tie-dyed t-shirts.  He had fun.

Everyone is happy to go back next week… after a three day weekend!

First day of a new school year!

Today began a new chapter in this house. Lex headed off to 6th grade at the middle school, Eve started 4th grade, I had my first day at the Media Specialist in the school library, and Arlo got to spend seven hours in his crate! No big changes for Alan though, sorry. Alan brought Lex in and said drop-off went well. Eve and I walked to school. I start later than she does, so I was able to walk her (and Arlo) to school in the morning, then come home, shower, and get myself ready. It’s a plan that kind of works, but needs some refinement. It worked well today though!

Back to school.

Miss Eve heading off to 4th grade.

My middle schooler!

Flowers for the teachers.

This girl is too much!

I only had one class to teach today, but I also had lunch duty, meetings, and an assembly. Tomorrow it’s just recess duty and meetings, then Thursday and Friday I get classes back to back to back! I’ll be ready for the long weekend!

Flowers for the librarian! Thanks family!!!

At the end of the day Eve came to meet me in the library and she was clearly excited about something. She said she wasn’t working on a project and I COULDNT NOT PEEK! She then asked me when my birthday is (precisely) and then decide maybe not to wait that long to share her project. After awhile she asked if she could take my picture and she set up the scene she wanted.

The new school librarian standing by the “NEW” books shelf!

Then she asked to borrow my computer.  The final output was an awesome poem called, “My Mom Poem.”  She said she started working on it in study hall at the end of the day, not as an assignment or anything, but just because she wanted to.  Sadly, she asked me not to share it because it was special for us. I’ll respect those wishes, though maybe I’m breaking them a wee bit by mentioning it here!  I can’t help it though.   She is amazing and I’m so proud to be her momma AND her librarian!

Lex took the bus to me after school and got off with a smile.  There are a handful of middle schoolers that have parents in my building, so he wasn’t the only big kid getting off at the elementary school.  He said the day went well and when I asked if he was planning to go back tomorrow he said, “I guess so.”  Raves reviews from the boy!  I haven’t heard much else from him.

I had a good day.  I’m so happy to be part of a school community that I love.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Arlo did not like his day and was VERY eager to get outside when we got home.  He has been all teeth and claws ever since.  He doubled one of the holes in the yard, scratched up Eve’s arm, and is chewing everything he can find.  Apparently one 3-mile walk in the morning does not sufficiently counter seven hours in the crate!  That’s a problem I’m definitely going to have to work on.  Maybe Alan should take him to work each day!  :)
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