Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wild Things!

Having to give my students the state mandated STAR test, leads to a more relaxing atmosphere. You wouldn't think so, with all of the hype and pressure to do well on the tests, but it does. You see, we spend a lot of time preparing to take these tests. I start sending Test Prep for homework in January. In class, we work on the important concepts reflected in the tests-we do that normally, but there's lots that we don't cover until AFTER the tests. For this reason, I have to make sure I hit those things before we take the tests. It's crazy. It's not going away any time soon, so my job is to make sure they have those skills, necessary in time for the test, and then the skills needed to succeed in 3rd grade. Because of this, and because we have a very demanding Reading series, we don't have a lot of "down" time. We are always busy. We work, work, work, but these two weeks of testing, we can slow down a little. I am not doing the very demanding Reading program this week. Instead, we are enjoying some really great literature books, and some really great projects. Like this for instance...
Where The Wild Things Are (picture that underlined-unable to underline here), is my most favorite children's literature book. I LOVE IT! My favorite part is when the wild things "roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth and roll their terrible eyes..." Awesome book.
See? I even have a "Wild Thing" at school-his neighbors here are Lily and Junie B. Jones, with Madeline toward the end. He's cute, so cute. When Quinn was about 18 months old, we took both boys into the city to see the Where The Wild Things Are exhibit. It had things for the kids to do, things they could climb, parts from the book, interactive stuff, a boat for Max, etc. It was really cute. Quinn was a little afraid of it though, it was kinda dark. Riley really liked it, but he was a little more familiar with the book at that point.
At school this week, we made our own "Wild Things." They are hanging all over the classroom, in varying spots. We wanted to feel like the jungle all around. These three are protecting the lunch boxes. Thanks Sheri for hanging all of these up for us-er, me!
These two are protecting the calendar-or are they looking for something to eat? I love how short that top guy is! 

All of this leads me to THIS! The movie! It comes out in October, and I am very excited about it. When I watch the trailer, which you can do too, HERE, I get all misty eyed. I absolutely love the song they use in the trailer. It's called "Wake Up," and it's by Arcade Fire. I just purchased it from iTunes. I will be very interested to see what they do with the plot of this movie. The book isn't very long, so obviously, they have to create a back story. I can't wait to see it! October 16!

Word for the Day: Better. Quinn is much improved today. He hasn't eaten anything yet, but it's still early. He's drinking though. He still looks a little pale-or paler I should say, as he's usually devoid of pigment. He's on the couch, skinny legs all over the place.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

BIG Bracelets

I was home early today from school. We get out early every Wednesday, but today I left when the kids did. I had to. Quinn was home sick with Kevin today. Kevin had wanted to go in to work when I got home. Didn't happen. You see, he was home in the first place because he was barfing his lungs out at 4:15 this morning. When I got home, a little before 2:00 pm, the barfing started all over again. He is not a happy boy. Poor guy. He can't keep anything down. His stomach constantly hurts. He missed his baseball game too. He'll stay home tomorrow as well. I have a sub for tomorrow, but I will go in, first thing, to give the last part of our Lang. Arts test (STAR tests-state mandated), then I will come home. Since I was home today, early, I made up some more button bracelets. 
My mom wanted one is pinks and greens. I made two of them. She chose the top one. I like that one too. She especially liked the color of the bracelet itself. It's copper. I like the bottom bracelet as well. It has an Amy Butler button ( a scrapbooking embellishment) on it, as well as that sweet bird, which is also a scrapbooking embellishment.
Up close of my mom's bracelet. It's all pinks, greens, browns and a little white.
Up close of the other one. Pinks, greens, gray and white, on a silver bracelet.
I also made this one. I liked these colors. Nice, bright colors.

These are what the bracelet forms look like, before buttons. I am really liking the one with fewer gluing pads. I can use bigger buttons, or small buttons. The top two are great for smaller buttons only. The gold is really, really gold for me. I am more of a silver girl, although I do have some gold, and my wedding ring is gold. 

Word of the Day: Tired. I have been up since 4:15 this morning (dark o'clock). Once we got everything and everybody cleaned up, it was almost 5 am. For me, once someone wakes up feeling sick, or worse, starts throwing up, I just can't go back to sleep. Too worried I guess. I got up to check on Quinn, and he was wide awake too. I asked him if he wanted to watch some TV with me, on the couches. He did, so he and I watched "Lilo and Stitch," on Disney Channel at 5 in the morning. It has been a long day. I am sure I will be asleep on the couch very soon, and I am hopeful that Quinn will sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Champagne and Brownies

Today is Kevin's birthday. He's older than me. Not by much, but he is. He is 42 today. I am a mere 41. Practically a spring chicken! We celebrated by going to the scout pack meeting. I know, ooooooh! We lead such a juicy life!
I also got some of these to help celebrate Kevin's birthday, and clear my head too! Aren't these cute? Baby champagnes. Two of them are chilling in the fridge, even as I type. 
I also got these cream cheese brownies. Yum. Do you think they go with champagne? Maybe everything goes with champagne. Happy Birthday, Kevin! Down the hatch!

On a completely different subject, did you ever get the Stella Dora cookies when you were younger? My mom used to buy a variety pack of them. Some of the cookies had pink or white icing, some had sprinkles. There were also chocolate "S" shaped cookies, and the yucky plain "S" cookies too. Well, look what I found! The chocolate "S" cookies come in 100 Calorie Packs! The plain cookies do too, but who cares about those, when you can have chocolate!

Word of the Day: Hair. I got a haircut. I love the feeling of a haircut! I love how I smell when I leave the salon too, and how good my hair looks, after my hairdresser does it. I seriously need my hairdresser to come to my house everyday to blow-dry my hair for me. She can get her hands/arms in angles that I just can't accomplish on my own. I need more hands. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

I've Got Booties!

The weekends go pretty fast, but so do Mondays-at least for me. Once you get past Monday, it's all downhill. Today seemed like a blur. Maybe it was all of the last minute reviewing we did in preparation for our state testing, which officially starts tomorrow. I will be very glad to get the testing finished, and so will my students. Such pressure on such little kids. I try to downplay it, but they understand the pressure. I think they can feel it. 
I finished my first pair of baby booties today. They were pretty easy, and I think they are pretty cute. My student teacher is coming by on Wednesday, with her new baby. I want to be able to give these to her. I am also doing a matching onesie, but I am washing the onesies, so a picture will have to wait. 

Word for the Day: Winter. I swear it's still Winter outside. It was really, really cold (again) today. I nearly froze on my yard duty. Why can't we have real Spring weather, like last week? It's crazy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fun Stuff and a Popsicle Stick Emergency

Sundays. I love them and I hate them. Great day for resting, getting things done or playing. I hate them because they symbolize the end of my weekend. Good news though, we get another weekend in 5 short days!
The day was spent looking at Pokemon videos on YouTube-not by me, by the boys. I guess it is wild, wild fun. I tried to watch, but I am just not a fan of that animated cartoon sound, especially if Disney did not have anything to do with it. The boys like it though, and spend a lot of time looking up these videos, or Lego videos on YouTube.
I got some "me" time today. I went to two quilt stores. Once shall remain nameless as they and their unfriendly staff SUCK! I wanted some help with color matching. You know how you can tell when someone doesn't really want to help you? Yeah, I got that feeling, so I left. They had a beautiful Amy Butler print, but it's not as if I can't find that print on the internet. Anyway, after that, I went to The Granary. It is like night and day from the nameless one. They were so thrilled to help me-and they liked my bag-well, Anna Maria Horner's Bag! They even wrote down the website to order some patterns for their shop. The lady was super helpful, and I left with all of the above fabric, plus a pattern. I'm working on something, which is top secret right now. Pictures to come soon.
I bet you were wondering about my popsicle emergency. Here it is. I have all of these "craft sticks," which is what Michael's calls popsicle sticks. I have a box of them. I was taking them back to school-needed some for a scout activity-and the box fell over in the back of the car. Popsicle sticks everywhere! I went to clean the popsicle sticks up this afternoon. Had to put the back row of seats up to get to the jillion that fell between. Did you know that 1,000 of those suckers come in a box? Yep. I have no idea HOW they were in the box. I just know that I can't fit all of them back INTO the box. Many are loose in one of my red Target bags. I'll figure it out at school. I got them all picked up, put the box behind the seat, and then...

proceeded to knock the freakin' box over! Popsicles sticks everywhere AGAIN. I said a not so nice word, as I was alone (well, except for the neighbor, but he was vacuuming his car), and then had to pick up all 1,000 of them (minus those that remained in the Target bag) from the ground. Do you know how hard it is to pick up popsicle-er "Craft" sticks off the ground? The wind was blowing my hair all over my eyes, they were sticking to the cement, etc. It was a big pain in the ass, but alas, I got them up. You will be happy to know that the box is nice and secure, deep in the Target bag, so that this emergency does not occur again.

Word of the day: Presents. It's Kevin's birthday on Tuesday. We are going to have dinner with the family at "On The Border." The boys are so excited about their gift to their dad-they got him "LIFE," only it's the Indiana Jones version. I'm thinking they wanted it more then Kevin, but they picked it out, and that's what is important.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baseball Saturday

Just a typical Saturday for us. Other then the fact that most of us are extremely tired from the middle of the night vomit session (Riley, THREE times!), it really was a nice day. How bad can a Saturday be, right? Riley feels much better. I'm thinking it may have been something he ate. It's a mystery. Anyway, Quinn had baseball, and a birthday party to attend. Riley was pretty low-key at home, but felt well enough to go to the scout shop to get supplies for his camping trip next weekend. You can thank me later for sparing you the vomit pictures. No, I didn't take any-gross.
Quinn played catcher again today. He's so cute in all of the gear. It's really giant, and hard for him to move in, but he seems to like it. He likes everything about baseball.
He got to bat two times today-that's pretty usual. They play 4 innings. The coaches have just started to pitch to them. They get four pitches, and if they don't hit it, then they get to hit it off the tee. Quinn hit both times today, from the coach pitch! Pretty good hits too! Look at his form!
Saaaawingggg, batter, batter! I think he missed this pitch, but he hit one soon after.
Here he is, after his hit, at first base, giving Coach Ray a "five." You should see how fast Quinn runs. He's a lot faster then he was last year. He has a very low center of gravity, so he can really run. No pictures of fielding today, but there was lots of ladybug gathering today! That's one of the things they do on the field. Pick grass, look for ladybugs, roll around on the grass. It's hysterical. One boy on the team, got his mother's attention on his way to the dug-out, telling her, "Mom, guess what? I caught a ladybug!" Maybe that's why they are red and black-so they can be one with the ladybugs.

I made a trip out to Valley Fair this evening. I had a coupon which was good only for today. I got both of these bags. The black one is LeSportsac. I love LeSportsac! The bags are durable, clean easily, and come in some really great prints. The yellow one in Marc Ecko, and it was on the clearance table-how could I not leave without it?

Word of the day: Cold! I have to say that I am tired of being cold and I am tired of the freakin' wind. I know I don't have it nearly as bad as you folks who live with snow, and below zero weather, but come on! It's California! The weather needs to start acting like it's supposed to! Where is the warmth? When will I be able to wear my capri pants comfortably, without freezing my toes? The beginning of last week it was 90 degrees. Today, it didn't get any higher than 60 degrees. Extreme California weather, I guess.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Ahhhh, can you hear that? It's the sound of Friday afternoon. Love it! It's the best feeling in the world. We have the whole weekend ahead of us. There's baseball. Quinn has a party to go to. Riley has camping supplies to buy for his scout camp next weekend. I have a jewelry party to attend on Sunday afternoon.  We are also celebrating Kevin's birthday Sunday evening, with the family. I love the weekends.
When Quinn got home from school, he wanted to test out his new bubble wand. It runs on one battery. It's pretty cool. It blows lots and lots of bubbles.
I like this picture of Quinn. He looks so darn cute.
Goodbye bubbles, goodbye!

I like the way the bubbles look in front of these plants. 

Word of the Day: Tanbark. Brand new tanbark was delivered to our school playground today, in the form of 6 BIG piles. It's so nice the way maintenance drops off the tanbark and then don't come back to spread it all out, until a week later, when it no longer needs to be spread out. No, it's more fun to have the kids all in it, getting it all over, getting it in the eyes of others, spilling it out of the playbox. Brilliant.  That mountain of new tanbark is a kid magnet. They want to run up to the top of it. They want to kick it. They want to toss it. They want to bury themselves in it. I told my class before they went out for recess, to stay away from it. I explained that they WILL want to climb it, kick it, throw it, and get buried in it, but to resist the temptation. Instead, I encouraged them to stand at the outside of the playbox and watch the other students get in trouble, which they did, and which they seemed to enjoy. I enjoyed the fact that I didn't have yard duty at that spot today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Fun Stuff!

Yesterday, I made a trip to Michael's. It was our scout night, and the theme for April is "dinosaurs." I went in search of dinosaur stuff. I found lots of dinosaur stuff in the dollar bin. Gotta love the dollar bin. Anyway, while on my search, I wandered around the store, just checking stuff out. Check these out...
Glow Stick flip flops!! Aren't these great? $2.99! They come with 8 sticks, and the refills are $1.99. I am going to wear these toward the end of the school year, so I don't jazzy the kids up too much. My feet will be aglow!
These are little bird cages, as opposed to big bird cages. They are for candles, but I'm thinking of making little birds out of felt or Fimo. Aren't they sweet? I don't know if I should paint them all white, or leave them as they are. All three colors will work in my living room, but I really like the way the white one looks. I don't know.
These are totally fun! I have all of these little plastic stacking flowers. I think I showed them to you. I wanted to make some small, flower, art-type pieces, using small frames. These frames are the perfect size, and I even think I like the colors of them. I could paint them, but these are fun, and would compliment the bright colors of the flowers. Plus, I think they look vintage.

I'm working on a button bracelet. I got some bracelet blanks with fewer gluing pads on them, so I can use bigger buttons. They are not glued down yet. I'm still playing.

Word for the day: Talent. Quinn brought home the permission slip for the school talent show. He was in the show last year. Remember? Go here to watch the video. This year he wants to be in it again, but with some buddies this time. Not sure what they will do. Probably some kind of singing thing. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SF Loot!

I don't think I shared with you, the stuff I bought on my shopping day in SF
I got this cool bag at Bloomies. Isn't it cool? It even zips at the top! It's got to be the cheapest thing Bloomingdales sells! $2.50. That's how I roll.
Check these out! I got these at CB2. CB2 is a Crate & Barrel company. Until last summer, there were only 3 of them, all in the Chicago area. These were on sale for $1.95 each! Cha Ching!
I also got these at CB2. They are foam, and they can go on a wall, or as a table runner, or can be used any old way you want-or I want. There are 30 in the box, in two sizes. These were not on sale, oh darn.

See? They can be rearranged in different ways. I'm thinking I want to put them on the wall in my living room

Word of the Day: Dance. Sometimes you just gotta dance. Ellen thinks so. I got treated to a dance today. Two of my students danced a Hannah Montana dance in front of the whole class. They were terribly cute, and very brave. One of them said, about being brave, "well, I know these people, so I don't have to be scared." Priceless. I'm telling you, I have some really cute kids!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Booties and Beyond!

Day 2: Back from Spring Break. Today was just as enjoyable as yesterday. I have a nice little class. We are busy getting ready for state testing, and they are tolerating all that I am throwing at them, really well. Very sweet kids. Very hard workers.
I cut out all of the pieces for the baby booties I am making. How do you like my color combinations? The brown/pink set is for my student teacher's baby-she just had a baby girl last week. The other combination is for a fellow teacher's soon-to-be granddaughter -her first grandchild.
Dinner on the stove-chicken chili. This is one of my last Dream Dinners. I am so sad too. One more meal left, then I have to go again. Looking for people who want to go with me. I don't want to look like a big, friendless, dork all by myself. Any takers? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
These are the corn bread fritters that go with the chili. They are so yummy, and easy. The whole dinner was really easy to put together. Actually, all of the dinners were very easy, and very tasty. Riley really enjoyed them. Quinn doesn't eat.

Kevin picked up the new Depeche Mode CD (sounds of the universe) for me today. I will listen to it tomorrow, during my very lengthy commute to school (it takes me a whole 3 minutes). Mr. President, do you like Depeche Mode? He does, cuz he's so hip.

Word of the Day: Target. I went to Target after school today. Quinn needed to pick out a birthday present for a party he's going to on Saturday-for a girl (I seem to be surrounded by them lately.) We got her a Littlest Pet Shop puppy, a bubble wand, and an "incredible stunt ribbon." Did I do good? Anyway, I got some other fun stuff too, but I have to share that with you tomorrow, when Administrative Professional's Day is over. Trust me, you are going to want to come back! 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again!

Today was my first day back from Spring Break. It was a rather pleasant day. I got to see my students and friends. The kids were really quiet today. They seem well rested, and ready to put a close to this school year. We have state testing starting next week. They are ready. I am ready.
I got this book yesterday, at Jo-Ann's. I had a 50% coupon! Look at how yummy that necklace is on the cover. I love it! There are lots of cool "green" crafts in this book. Some I can do with the boys, and some I can do with my students.
I LOVE this! I feel like I want to go back right now, fight with my sewing machine, and make one! Aren't they super cute-the dolls, not the finger puppet thingys?
After school today, I visited Crazy 8.  If you haven't been there, you should go! I hate my mall with a passion. I don't shop there, unless I need to make a quick Macy's trip or I want to go to Crazy 8-my shopping at JCPenney yesterday, was at Stoneridge Mall. Anyway, I digress, Crazy 8 is a clothing store for kids (sizes baby to 14) by the Gymboree company, but lots cheaper. The clothes are so cute too! I stopped in today to see what they had, and I left with a bunch. The 3 shirts above are for Riley.
These shorts are also Riley's. I have a fascination with plaid shorts-mostly for my boys. Good thing they don't really care WHAT they wear, so I get to pick things out for them, and they wear them, happily.

Quinn's clothes are so tiny, they fit in one shot. As you can tell, I really liked the yellow shirt and the darker plaid shorts. I got them for both boys. No, I won't have them wear them on the same day. I've never been a fan of the dress them exactly alike thing. It has happened, but I am generally not a fan. Quinn's brown shirt says, "The Amazing Flying Pig Bros." What can I say, it spoke to me.

Anyway, if you have a Crazy 8 near you, run there, now. All shorts are $9.99, and shirts are $7 if you buy two or more. If not, check the link above, maybe you could order online!! Oooooh!

Word of the Day: HOT! It was about 92 degrees here today. Crazy (hahaha) hot for April! Maybe my word should have been "crazy" as I seem to have a theme going. Anyway, it was hot, and we had a fire drill, and it took a long, long time, and it was hot. It's nice to have short sleeve weather, and not have to worry about a jacket at all, but it's a little early for me. It's supposed to rain by the end of the week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Projects on the Horizon

It's my last day of Spring Break. It's a little sad, but not so bad. Only 9 weeks until summer! 
I went to JC Penney today. They were having a sale, and I needed short sleeve shirts. I got 6 shirts, and a pair of really wild plaid shorts-see them over there, on your left? Very colorful assortment of shirts. The purple one (behind that shocking blue one) is for school-purple is our school color.
Here's my next project. Baby Booties. I got this off the internet. I googled "tutorial for baby booties," and this one came up. I have two babies to make some for-both girls. It looks really simple.
Here's a closer look. Cute huh? 

I'm also going to make some more of these. They are reusable snack and sandwich bags. I ordered them from etsy, from WasteNot Saks. I love them. They look easy enough to make myself. We are going to send them to school with the boys tomorrow-trying to get away from using the plastic containers, which are bulky. These bags are nylon on the inside, so they should wipe out easily, and they can also be washed in the washing machine. 

Word of the day: Kindness. Someone displayed a random act of kindness toward me today. I was in line this afternoon at JC Penney, waiting to pay for my rainbow of shirts, and a lady walked over to me and gave me a coupon for an additional 20% off (Friends and Family flyer). Isn't that awesome? I thanked her all over the place. So very nice of her. It saved me $20 too! There are kind people out there. Now it's my turn to do a good turn. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Finished My Bag!

Today was filled with baseball and sewing. Quinn had a game this morning. It was rather warm outside. It was nice. We came home and I finished my bag. Sounds super easy huh? Read on.
Here's the pattern I used. Directions were pretty clear. I was a little confused in a couple of places, but after I read and reread, I figured it out.
Here is the finished product! I'm very happy with it. It's HUGE, and it has lots of pockets. I love pockets.
A closer look. I can't take credit for the color combination. It's the exact combination from the inside flap of the pattern. I liked the colors, and I wanted one just like the picture. I'm going to load my crap into it and see how it works. Warning: the next paragraph is filled with not so nice language as I unload my frustrations. I apologize in advance.

This is the biggest bitch on earth. I am convinced she is the devil in disguise. I would have had my bag finished at 8 tonight, but Nooooooo! My machine had other ideas. The bobbin kept getting all messed up. It wouldn't stitch. It would stop stitching. It would get all tangled on the back. I would start to top stitch and then just before the end, it would crap out. I have never had to rip out so many seams in my life. Piece of crap. I am throwing her out the window. I have a new machine, a nice machine, a machine that is going to be my friend. I just didn't want to try to figure out the new machine on my last two steps. I finally got the bitch to cooperate, and I got my bag finished. The End.

Word for the day: Dickey's. Ever been to Dickey's BBQ? It's pretty yummy. We had dinner there tonight. Kids eat free on Sundays-yes we know that tomorrow is Sunday. We wanted to eat there tonight. Plus I needed more interfacing, and the Jo-Ann's is right there. The only thing that pisses me off is that they have a side called, "baked potato casserole." It's mashed potatoes. Why can't they just call it by what it is? Irritates me every time, and I always ask for mashed potatoes, and they always ask, "Do you mean the baked potato casserole?" Yeah, whatever.  Ok, I'm gonna go now and get out of this potty mouth, pissy mood I'm in. It's that sewing machine's fault. At least my bag is finished, and I love it!