slice of my life

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's deliciousness

I always try to cook black-eyed peas for a New year's lunch, and I don't remember a year that I didn't eat them. The last couple of years I have made them with some jalapenos and really enjoyed it. This year, I found a recipe on the website (associated with Southern Living and other magazines). I can't wait to make it tomorrow! I still won't get my children to eat the peas, I'm sure. They're missing out on some good luck!!

Although, you know, B is plenty lucky without any black-eyed peas. I don't know how she does it, but she wins things all the time. The latest was her bike she won in a drawing for having perfect attendance the first semester. (See the first picture in the post below.) That's not even a tardy! But her first win was a blanket in a raffle when she was 2 months old. And shortly after that, a $100 gift certificate to Toys R Us. What's her secret?

But I digress. Here are the delicious (I hope) menu items for January 1, 2009.
  • Black Eyed-Peas with Caramelized Onion and Country Ham
  • Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bagel Chips (from the Betty Crocker website)
  • Basic Cornbread

I hope you all will enjoy your new year and the last few minutes of this one!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Regrets and . . . what's the opposite of a regret?

I probably shouldn't talk about this so soon, but I have regrets about Christmas. It's the time for Christmas letdown, isn't it? Here's a list a of a few things I regret about Christmas 2008:
  • I didn't take enough pictures of family.
  • I didn't make a gingerbread house with my own children. (Do I give too much to my class and the scraps of me to my kids?)
  • I never did get any Christmas cards mailed. (But I did give some out by hand.) Never mind the Christmas newsletter!
  • I didn't get the Christmas lights on the house. The tree does look nice through the window, however! Putting lights on the house is one thing that gives me a lot of holiday joy, and I didn't do it. Sigh.
  • I didn't sit with my hubby enough on the couch and watch Christmas movies. I watched his favorite without him---while I was sitting at the computer, no doubt.
  • I didn't buy those Christmas music books----one for french horn, one for cello, at least. Maybe next year, when the kids have even more experience under their belts. I think B wasn't ready anyway.
  • I didn't make enough Christmas food "goodies" at home.
  • We didn't mail packages to Memphis or Michigan. I still might . . .
  • I didn't make a popcorn garland. I really enjoy that.
  • We didn't do a Christmas countdown calendar or an advent calendar. I did buy one for next year, though, and I LOVE it.

But along with the regrets are the nice things that happened.

We wore our Santa hats for fun times.We attended Christmas music concerts. I was able to go to B's school and help with her Christmas party!!
I enjoyed seeing B in a Christmas play---using her Spanish.
I enjoyed some hot spiced tea mix by the Christmas tree.
I was able to find some presents that really were unexpected and liked. Like this back scrubber for B. She was really eyeing them one time at the store, and I remembered. I also got her a card game called Go Fish for Art----the Renaissance set. She says she'd like all the sets: VanGogh and Friends, Impressionist, and Modern Artists. I also found a pretty hummingbird feeder in the winter for my Dad. I love finding things that people like but they didn't have to ask me for. But isn't that almost impossible sometimes?

We had some time for being silly---even with strep throat!!
Here's a gift Larry had to wait years for. A shirt that says, "Who's your Daddy?" with Darth Vader on it. I finally got it, and he really liked it.
I am glad we got to go to my parents' house. (It was warm when we got there---hence the capris and bare feet!)

So Christmas wasn't a total let-down, of course! I had a great Christmas---despite not being able to do it all. Who can? I think I'm still trying to figure out what's most important to me. This year has been especially challenging since I'm working full time. I'll just be sure to put out my lights on the house right after Thanksgiving next year!

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and will enjoy a happy New Year in 2009. Can you believe it's already 2009? Where has this decade gone?

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Our wonderful Christmas Eve celebrations have been interrupted by B's getting strep throat!

I usually love Christmas Eve, and I had still two presents I HAD to get today (one more paycheck under the belt!). I was looking forward to shopping and watching Christmas movies today and playing with the one present we opened up this morning. That's the house rule---one present on the Eve, and it can be in the morning. Lucky for them the kids opened up their own gifts to each other, which both happened to be board games. We played B's first---the Littlest Pet Shop Monopoly. Of course with her being sick, we put the game on hold after an hour or so and I took her over to the doctor's office.

We saw a doctor we'd never been to, but you take what you can get on Xmas Eve. I had suspected it was strep in her throat, and as soon as he looked in there he said he'd bet it was, too, and that he'd jump out the window (3rd story) if it wasn't strep.

So now we're on an antibiotic for 10 days and hoping she feels better after a few doses of medicine. I did leave B with J for a little while this afternoon to get those last presents, and I found exactly what I needed. B called me as I was finishing up, saying, "Mommy, are you coming home soon?" I was! But I hurried!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

December Performances


B had a "Reader's Theater" performance for the parents at her Christmas party. The kids didn't have to memorize the lines, but just read them. It was quite entertaining. I could tell who the real characters were in her class!

B's group was doing a Spanish version of Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo. The old armadillo thinks he's forgotten at Christmastime, but his friends are outside his house decorating and eventually wake him to wish him merry Christmas. B got to snore a lot in her play, but I taped the end when she hugs her old friends. Enjoy!

She also played in the orchestra concert.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

This week's thoughts

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately.

  • I don't think foaming soap is a good idea. Kids love it, though! When you rub your hands with soap, and then rub them under the water, the rubbing action is the most important part of the hand-washing action, I think. You can't just put the already foamy soap in your hands and get all the germs off. The action of rubbing your hands together to get the foam is something important, and I urge you to do so this cold season! Sing the ABCs before you rinse. ;-)

  • I came across a cool website you should check out today---and tomorrow---and the next day! I was looking for Christmas Traditions around the world, and this site came up in the Google search. Check out this Online Interactive World Advent Calendar. Each day you can see a country's flag, guess what it is, answer a trivia question about that country's Christmas traditions, and read more about the traditions there. It's on an elementary level, which is perfect for the Girl Scouts I was researching for.

  • There are some things I love doing in my classroom each holiday! I must post about my favorite things.

  • There are too many good things to do in this season. Including parties. I can't do them all! :-(

  • I love Christmas trees. Mine especially.

  • About 25% of my high school class is on Facebook.

  • I am tired of teen angst and backtalk. Mostly of the backtalk and bad attitude.

That's all for now!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, December 13th

The theme for this week is favorite. These are a few of my favorite things . . . (sing along, folks!) Product endorsements for your consideration!

My husband and daughter's favorite drink is Dr. Pepper, but these are my favorite cans because they are so big!! And because they are in two languages!

This dinner kit was my favorite kit ever because it tasted so great. I would recommend finding it on sale, though, because you have to add your own chicken, and it's not cheap. It really did taste like it came from the restaurant.

This is my favorite necklace. I bought it for myself this fall and took this picture of myself. It's from Premiere Jewelry----the kind you go to a home party for.

This steamed vegetable pouch is my favorite variety---I love those baby corns. I recommend this brand! It was easy, and the family liked it.
I just bought something I hope becomes a favorite tool around the house---a new Swiffer Sweeper and Vac. On our first go with it, I liked it a lot. B even said she wants to use it for her household chore. Hallelujah!!
That's all my favorites for this week!
Uh-oh---next week's theme is WIDE.
Please comment!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter pictures

Sunday I forced the family to dress in coordinating outfits (except Larry!). There's a cute little tree in downtown Bryan I knew would work for our Christmas Card photos. I am still trying to get Christmas cards out despite grand intentions every year and oftentimes failure to make it happen!

As you can see, it was pretty warm. It was a bright blue sky without a cloud anywhere close. Here is the one I'll use for a card (cropped to my liking).

I think J snapped this one of me and B.
B set up this shot.
J being himself

It snowed TWO TIMES yesterday! It was sleeting I think about 4:30 in the morning, and then when we got up, when daylight came, there was a kind of hard crunchy snow on top of the ice. I wonder what the Eskimo (Aleut, is more correct, right?) word for this kind of snow is?
It started snowing again about time for pickup from school. It was really awesome! And since the roads were staying clear, it was really cool! This is our house in the afternoon.
Larry wanted to take the dog in the snow, and B took this shot above. J wanted to make a snow angel, so he did. He came back inside and said that the person who made that up was insane. I think he didn't like getting all wet and cold.
And now today, I am home in my cozy abode. J is sick! He woke up and went in to get a shower and moaned really loud from the bathroom. Larry checked on him, and he was sitting on the floor and said his head hurt so bad he couldn't get up. When he gets a fever, he gets a bad headache. And this was the case---he's got a 101 degree fever.

B was so jealous I was staying home---but it's just what I need to catch up on some things here at home. Yahoo!!! And my principal really made me feel like I was doing the right thing staying home with him. Perfect!

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, December 6th

This is my 500th post on this blog! That's seems impossible. How much time have I wasted here?

On to other matters . . .
Today's photo hunt is brought to you by the word Breakfast. I am trying to eat a more healthful breakfast every day, and part of that is eating a high fiber cereal. I have a few favorites---
This morning I ate shredded mini wheats for breakfast. The store brand. They're okay, but name brand is better! I especially like the vanilla shredded mini wheats. I also have another high fiber cereal in the cabinet, Go Lean Crunch. This is my first box of that, and I've had 2 bowls. It's pretty good. I also get Cranberry Almond Crunch (I think that's the name). My Mom is big on good ol' Raisin Bran.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I need my energy to keep up with the Kindergartners in my care. My son is not big on breakfast, but I'm working on him.
Next week's theme is favorite. I may have to show you my favorite Christmas ornaments or something. Is anyone in this family the class favorite?

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Winter Concert

Our J is in the Winter Concert playing french horn. Nothing is more lovely than a junior high band on a late fall night. (Ahem)

J is on the second row right behind the clarinet in the middle. But you won't see him, probably!

You can see him after they played---in a blue polo. That's a funny pic!

Happy Holidays!

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