Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's a First...

That's right. I have not broken a bone in my life. Well, until now. I tend to prefer muscles and tendons, as you can read about here.

Of course there's a little disappointment that the story doesn't include something more exciting... a courageous rescue, a struggle with the elements outside... anything.

Believe me, it was nothing like that.

I may just leave it up to your imagination to create a story in your mind. It would definitely be more interesting that what actually happened! And maybe someday I'll tell you "the rest of the story."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marshmallow Pops

I love the idea of MckMama's snow pops which were featured on her blog here. As Valentine's Day school parties were approaching, I briefly considered making these artistic delicacies, but time got away from me. Okay, to be honest here, I knew that my three, four, and five-year-old students would not appreciate the design, creativity, and simplistic beauty of these snow pops. So, putting my creative juices to work, I was inspired as I walked up and down the aisles of my local grocery store.

Almond bark. Hmmmm..... What could I do with almond bark? A few steps further down the aisle.... Marshmallows. BINGO! I grabbed a couple bags of each (having absolutely no idea how far the almond bark would go), red and pink sprinkles, and toothpicks and I was set to go.

So here's my adaptation of MckMama's snow pops. Please forgive my simplified version, but I still think they're adorable.

Strawberry heart-shaped marshmallows worked perfectly for this treat, since it's, um, Valentine's Day or some such holiday.

I stuck a marshmallow on the end of a round toothpick, being careful not to poke it all the way through. (Trial and error would prove that the marshmallow would slide down the toothpick if it were poked through.)

After melting vanilla flavored almond bark in a double boiler, I dipped the marshmallows into the hot, gooey yummy-ness. Then I, you know, tried one to make sure it was edible and was pleased to find out it was.

While the almond bark was still warm, I added red and pink sprinkles to the hearts. Ohhhh, they're so cute! (You know, if food really can be adorable.)

I found a 4-inch styrofoam ball and cut it in half, which I then covered with a pink napkin. Well, that wasn't the first thing I tried, and I'm not even going to tell you what I did try. Just believe me, it didn't work! After adding the sprinkles, I stuck the marshmallow-clad toothpicks into the ball to let them dry.

Marshmallow bouquet complete... put in refrigerator to harden.

Aren't they cute?

The only decision now? Which one to eat first!

Maybe someday I'll attempt the real thing, but for today, I'll just pop a marshmallow in my mouth and call it good.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Not Me Monday

After the things that did not happen to me last week, I'm not sure I have the courage to write this post today. This blog carnival was created by MckMama. Check out her blog to read some other not-happenings this week.

Last week we did an "ocean" day, because we were on letter "O" for the week. I had seen an adorable art project. Kids color a scene with crayons, pressing hard on the crayons. Then you color over the entire picture with watercolor paint, giving the effect of an underwater scene. Well, how much fun is it to have to dip your paintbrush in those paint sets that have 8 colors, and the color is barely visible. So, I did not go against my better judgment and use liquid watercolor paint. Non-washable liquid watercolor, mind you. Because we have carpet in my preschool room (not sure of the thought process for that decision), I was worried that the kids would spill the paint and it would drip on the floor. So, I stayed at the table and got more paint on the brushes when the kids needed it. The project went well, and they turned out very cute. Wow, I can't believe we didn't spill anything, I thought, as I was cleaning up. I set the small container of paint on the counter and started cleaning the brushes. One brush done.... As I reached for the second brush, I did not hit the end of the brush and completely tip over the entire container. Liquid watercolor all over the counter. Non-washable liquid watercolor. Thankfully, I had diluted it with some water, so it was relatively easy to clean up. Note to self: Be careful when using liquid watercolor. The kids Miss Heather might make a mess!

Along with our ocean week, I filled the water table with "ocean water," seashells, and ocean animals. Since there isn't a drain in the table, I had to scoop the water out with a bucket, but toward the end, it was difficult to get any water in the bucket. I did not pick up the table and endeavor to blindly dump the water into the small sink in my classroom. When I say small, I mean 10 x 12 inches, roughly the size of a sheet of paper. Well, you can imagine where I'm going with this. I definitely did not spill water all down the cupboards and onto the floor. Yet another mess I did not have to clean up.

After the paint and water incidents, I figured I was about done with messes for the week. WRONG! Being the nice teacher that I am, I gave my students candy after class one morning, with strict instructions NOT to eat it before lunch. Class done. Jar on my desk. Students gone. Eat lunch. Move box on desk. CRASH! I did not move the box and sweep the candy jar, the one that I had place there no longer than an hour before, onto the floor, shattering it into thousands of microscopic pieces. After rescuing the candy from a sea of crystal, now for the unfriendly task of cleaning up the tiny glass pieces that covered my desk. No problem, I thought. I'll just sweep them into the garbage can. For lack of a broom nearby, I did not use the closest thing nearby... my hand. Wrong decision! Tiny glass shards embedded themselves into my fingers before I realized that my fingers were in pain. And then came the tiny drops of blood on the fingers that had made contact with the glass. Oh, what was I thinking?

At no time during this week did I scream in horror as my beloved Mylo had a near-death experience as he plummeted from the heights of the counter to the floor below. No worries, folks. Mylo is recovering nicely and is resting comfortably as we speak read.

Yesterday I made my weekly daily trip to Wal-Mart before heading to a Superbowl party. School supplies... check. Snacks for party... check. Eye drops for tired eyes... check. I paid for my items, exited the store, walked to the car, attempted to unlock the car. Oops, wrong key. Tried again. What in the world? Glanced up to realize I was not attempting to unlock someone else's car! With all the salt and dirt on the side of the car, it looked just like mine. After looking down the row, I saw my car two parking spaces away, calmly walked over, unlocked the right car, stored my treasures inside, put my embarrassed self inside, and drove away to the Superbowl party.

Speaking of the Superbowl, as I was talking to my sister Erin during my Wal-Mart excursion, I did not ask her, "Who is playing in the Superbowl anyway?"

Thus proving my true feelings about football.

Ahhhh, when does baseball start?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Things I have done during my lifetime...

I saw this on Facebook today, and since I haven't blogged all week, I thought I'd borrow this so you have something to read in the wee hours of the morning when you have insomnia. (Bold items are things I have done.)

* * * * *
  1. Gone on a blind date
  2. Skipped school... During my first year of college, my friend and I went shopping when our Spanish class was canceled. Upon our return to class the next day, the teacher said, "We missed you yesterday." It was my first (and only time) skipping class. I thought I would die. Years later, I wish I would have skipped class when the Harlem Globetrotters were in town. I'll always regret not seeing them. How important was that drug class anyway?
  3. Watched someone die
  4. Been to Canada... I live so close, I could almost walk there!
  5. Been to Mexico
  6. Been to Florida... I flew in to Orlando, but didn't get out of the plane. Does that count?
  7. Been to Hawaii
  8. Been on a plane... See #6.
  9. Been on a helicopter
  10. Flown in a glider
  11. Rafted the Grand Canyon
  12. Been lost... I was traveling late at night to join my parents for a weekend of camping. I completely missed a turn, ended up on dirt logging roads, and had no idea where I was. My mind started playing tricks on me, and I thought for sure I'd have to spend the night in the car and figure out where I was in the morning. I was completely lost for over an hour, and as panic started to set in (especially when I thought about how my parents would be worried), I came around a corner and saw them standing on the side of the road, at the entrance to the campground. To say that I was completely relieved is a definite understatement.
  13. Gone to Washington, D.C.
  14. Gone swimming in the ocean... I can't say that I've technically been swimming, but wading in the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and Costa Rica... hopefully that counts.
  15. Cried yourself to sleep... Who hasn't?
  16. Played cops and robbers... Believe it or not, even though I grew up with two younger sisters, I have played cops and robbers.
  17. Recently colored with crayons... I teach preschool. Need I say more?
  18. Sung Karaoke
  19. Paid for a meal with coins only... When you're a teenager, what else do you have?
  20. Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch... Incredible view!
  21. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't... Student teaching. I almost didn't major in early childhood education because I was scared to death of student teaching. But I'm glad I did. It was one of the best experiences of my life!
  22. Made prank phone calls
  23. Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
  24. Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose... My sisters are Becky and Erin. Enough said. Especially when playing Balderdash!
  25. Caught a snowflake on your tongue... Plenty of opportunity for this in MN!
  26. Danced in the rain
  27. Written a letter to Santa Claus
  28. Been kissed under the mistletoe
  29. Watched the sunrise with someone... On my last night in Costa Rica in the spring of 1994, some friends and I stayed up all night talking and we say the sunrise over the city. Beautiful. I also saw the sunrise from the airplane when I went to Alaska in the summer of 2008.
  30. Blown bubbles... Oh yeah! And did you know that at -20 degrees Fahrenheit, they shatter?
  31. Gone ice-fishing... Dad and Grandpa Lutterman picked me up from school one day to go ice fishing. We drove for a while and when we reached the lake, we parked the truck and got on the "snow machine (Grandpa's term for a snowmobile). In the middle of the lake, we set up five-gallon buckets to sit on, drilled holes in the ice, and waited for the action to happen. I don't remember how many fish we caught, but the thing that stands out in my mind is the homemade handwarmer Grandpa made. Empty coffee can + roll of toilet paper + kerosene = toasty warm hands. Ahhh, good times!
  32. Gone to the movies... First movie memory? Bambi.
  33. Been deep sea fishing... Oh yes. Halibut and salmon fishing in Alaska.
  34. Driven across the United States
  35. Been in a hot air balloon
  36. Been sky diving
  37. Been hang gliding
  38. Gone snowmobiling... See #31.
  39. Lived in more than one country
  40. Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets... Erin and I laid outside and marveled at the northern lights. Beautiful display of vibrant colors. I'm sure there were crickets chirping, but that's not exactly what I remember from this experience!
  41. Seen a falling star and made a wish... Yes, but if I told you, then it wouldn't come true, right?
  42. Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser... Incredible display of thousands of gallons of water shooting 180+ feet into the air every 90 minutes.
  43. Seen the Statue of Liberty
  44. Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
  45. Been on a cruise... Does a week on a private sailboat in Alaska count?
  46. Traveled by train
  47. Traveled by motorcycle
  48. Been horseback riding... Yes, and one time I flew off the horse and landed on my back on a rock. Hmmmm. I think that was the last time I was on a horse.
  49. Ridden on a San Francisco cable car
  50. Been to Disneyland/World
  51. Been in a rain forest... Costa Rica and Wrangell, Alaska. Two completely different locations, but rain forests nonetheless.
  52. Seen whales in the ocean... Up close and personal. They were diving under our boat in Alaska. Incredibly breathtaking!
  53. Gone swimming on the Great Barrier Reef
  54. Been to Niagara Falls
  55. Been to Stonehenge
  56. Been to the Vatican
  57. Ridden on a camel
  58. Climbed Mount Fuji
  59. Ridden on an elephant
  60. Been swimming with dolphins
  61. Been to the Olympics
  62. Walked on the Great Wall of China
  63. Seen and heard a glacier calf... Once again.... completely AWESOME!
  64. Been spinnaker flying
  65. Been water-skiing
  66. Been snow-skiing... I tried cross-country skis once. And only once.
  67. Visited Westminster Abbey
  68. Been to the Louvre
  69. Been swimming in the Mediterranean Sea

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Me Monday

Monday's here!!! It's time for Not Me Monday, a fun, creative idea started by MckMama. Check out her blog for more Not Me stories.

This past week, in an attempt to offer a delightful, squishy, not-your-typical-everyday kind of experience for my preschool students, I did not endeavor to cook ten plus pounds of noodles (we were learning letter "n"). I was not super excited about this week, since I did it last year and it was a definite hit. Well, trying to save time so I could move on to bigger and better things, I did not put five pounds of spaghetti noodles in one pot, hoping it would all fit. One pound... no problem. Two pounds... piece o' cake. Three pounds... getting full. Four pounds... can I fit one more in here? Five pounds... ahhhh, I made it!

Little did I realize that my frequent stirring would be insufficient. I did not begin to smell an unpleasant aroma. Probably something on the burner I thought. WRONG! Draining the pasta did not reveal nearly a pound of the noodles scorched on the bottom of the pan, stuck together where the spoon did not reach during stirring. Hmmmm. I hope four pounds will be enough!

After cooking three other varieties of pasta, a new complication presented itself. How do I transport all this pasta to school tomorrow? My brilliant plan? I did not grab an 18 gallon tote and dump all the pasta inside, slight burnt stench and all.

At school the next day? My students were not thrilled with the opportunity to play with "food," as you can see here. Of course I did not join them!

Three classes, seventeen grubby pairs of hands, and one tired teacher later, I decided the noodles had served their purpose and could happily be thrown away. Since they were still wet, I did not opt to leave them uncovered to dry out overnight, thinking clean-up would be easier. What greeted me Friday morning was not a child's sand table filled with slightly-dried, somewhat slimy, completely rancid noodles. I was not glad I had skipped breakfast that morning, because I probably could not have kept it down! I did not find rubber gloves and after lining the same tote with a huge garbage bag, I did not dump all the noodles inside and put the lid on, only to dispose of them after class.

Class done. Kids gone. Clean up. Friend called. Go to movie. Out to dinner. Home to PJs.... I did not completely forget to get rid of the stinking, rotten mess what was in my classroom!

So there's a look at my week, and if you really think about it, I'm sure you could come up with something great to write about, so why not give it a try! It's fun and it's cheap therapy also.