Oh… the things that happen when I step into the kitchen…

I go in phases of enjoying cooking and baking, and then stretches of not being able to think of anything I feel motivated enough to bake.

Tonight I am baking a (hopefully) delicious dessert for my dear friend Rachel’s birthday.  I didn’t tell her what I’m making, so if I sample it and it tastes awful, I can always stop at the grocery store on the way to her birthday dinner tomorrow night and pretend that it was from scratch.

I feel like whenever I step foot in the kitchen, something goes awry.  Tonight it was as simple as being really confused about how many of the finished product the recipe made.  I scoured the recipe, looking for the answer, and came up with 12.  After making 12, I was real confused why I had so much batter left over!  I reread the recipe, and discovered that I was just confused, and it definitely makes 2 dozen.  Mystery solved.

Sometimes my mishaps are not so easy to rectify.  Take Tuesday night for example.  I made tacos for dinner, and had timed it out perfectly so I would finish eating and clean up and head out to small group.  I sit down to eat, and manage to knock my glass of sparkling blood orange juice.  I am pretty sure it happened in slow motion, as I distinctly remembered thinking, “Why isn’t it pouring out of the glass?” and then WHOOSH – it spills all over my pants, my leg, my chair, and the floor.  And of course we are out of paper towels. boo.  I wipe up the mess, mop it twice, stand in the bath tub to try and get the sticky off my legs and feet, and FINALLY sit down to eat this delicious looking meal.  I pick up the taco, and apparently I got lame taco shells, because the whole thing broke apart in my hand and taco fell out the bottom.  I scrapped the tortillas and made a taco salad on chips instead.  I got home and the floor was still sticky.  I mopped again.  Guess what – it is STILL sticky.  Do you have a solution for getting my floor clean again???  Because I do not.

Sunday night I made playdough.  I had a little trouble measuring out the flour, and may have dumped a good portion of it on my foot/the floor instead of into the bowl.  How do I do these things?  The good news is that other than the hand-eye-coordination mishap, I did manage to turn out a successful batch of playdoh!  I was pretty nervous, since last time I made it (back in student teaching), all seemed fine.  Then the kids reached into the bag to pull out a scoop, and their hands came out coated in sticky green goo – not exactly the playdoh consistency I was going for…

So I have come up with a solution to avoid future blonde, clumsy, ridiculous, but good story moments in the kitchen.  Wednesday night, I kind of invited myself over to a friend’s house for dinner (ok, I actually was going over because I was required to do a home visit for my grad class) but it was such a great evening!  I already knew that they are one of my favorite families, but dinner confirmed it.  First, I was greeted by their kids out on the sidewalk.  Secondly, they drew me welcome pictures. Third, they made me delicious dinner (this is where my kitchen related problem solving skills come into play – the rest is just a bonus).  And fourth, they are so fun and love Jesus so much and are such a blessing to me.  So the new plan is to have them adopt me.  Don’t worry Mom, I will still be part of our family too – they will just be my bonus family!  There is an unfinished room in their house – and with my handyman skills (don’t forget I “helped” my dad build that table a while back), I will have it turned into my new bedroom in no time.

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All You Need Is Love

My students are quite concerned about my lack of a family.

Week 1:

Student asks “Do you have a family?” and when I told him I don’t have kids of my own, he replied, “Oh.  That’s sad.”

Week 3:

Another student asks, “Do you have kids at home?”

I answer, “no.”

Another student chimes in, “That’s because you don’t have a husband?”

I reply, “yes”.

“Why not?  You should get a husband.”

I respond by asking: “That’s a great idea, but how do I get a husband?”

Here is some of the advice I recieved:

  • You have to look for one!
  • Drive somewhere in your car and look for a man walking by himself.  Then he can be your husband.
  • You have to be 86.  Or 14.
  • You should find him when you are looking pretty.  You look pretty today, so you can look for him today.
  • My mom and dad found each other at work.
  • You should just ask a man.  (after a short debate it was decided that I should in fact wait until he asks me)
  • You could find him anywhere.
  • Maybe you should ask Mrs. Ticcioni what to do – she has a husband.
  • You should smile at him.  If he smiles back, he can be your husband.

There was definitely more advice that I am struggling to recall, but I am feeling a lot more confident in my romantic future.  Here is my plan.

Step 1: Turn 86.

Step 2: Look Pretty.

Step 3: Drive around town and find all the people.

Step 4: Stake out a street and look for a man walking alone.

Step 5: Smile.

Step 6: Plan the wedding.

Don’t worry – you will for sure be invited 😉

Febreze Fail. Take 1 and Take 2.

So, my scarves smell like Argentine winter.  And not in an awesome memories kind of way.  But in a “I like to remember summer-winter through pictures and stories, not through the smell of cigarette smoke and pigeons”.  However, I was nervous about washing them – what if the washing machine eats them??  So I thought a brilliant solution would be to frebreze them up a little – at least while I researched the best way to actually wash them.

I would like to preface the rest of the story by saying that I have used many spray bottles in my life.  They are not exactly a new invention.  I did not grow up under a rock.

Most cleaning products have an easy to use “open and closed” or “lock and unlocked” option.  The frebreze also seemed to.  According to the arrows – you can have the top of the bottle twisted to open, or twisted to closed.  I tried to twist it to open.  It would not twist.  I twisted harder.  Still nothing.  So then I used lots of strength, (clearly a little TOO much strength) and twisted it – oh, it opened alright.  Unfortunately I just wanted the spray nozzle to open.  Instead, the whole top came off the bottle and the freshest smelling liquid in town exploded in my closet – on my things, and soaked into the carpet.  I was so sad.  But just used a towel to soak up what I could, closed the bottle and washed it off, and tried to think about how I would be fresh smelling for years.

Fast forward 2 weeks: our landlord is coming over, and I am thinking “hmm… this sweatshirt just came off the shelf for the first time in months.  I knew it was clean, but it just smelled stale-ish… so I decided that I am a capable grown up.  I can master the febreze bottle.  I though about holding it in the sink while trying to open it, but then thought, “no – i know my mistake from last time.  I can do this.”  Mistake.  Febreze all over everything again.  Including me.  Cue doorbell.  Panic sets in.  I walk away.  There is nothing else to do.

I just wanted to be like this lady:

but apparently spraying freshness is not in my skill set.  I shall hang up these signs to remind me in the future to not bother trying again.

sigh.

Oh Monday.

This morning it is like I have a whole new class.  Same children, BUT they are doing SO much better than last week.  HOORAY!  They drew me about a dozen pictures over the weekend too – so sweet =)

Here is my favorite.  See if you can figure out which one I am:

Are those freckles? Or chicken pox? It is so hard to know.

The First Day Is Not My Favorite

Let me start by saying that I will share all of my table building adventures soon.  I hope to find the energy this weekend to upload my pictures.

In the meantime, today has been an exhausting day, and I would like to use my prep to update my blog and then work late to finish lesson plans and real prep work.

Well, I’m going to be honest.  The first week of school is not so much my favorite.  It kind of makes me want to cry.  or think that I will die.  Not because I dread going back to work, but because overall, kindergartners don’t know how to be in school.  My class does not know how to sit down, how to follow a one-step direction, how to use their words instead of hitting, how to share, how to snap their own jeans, or even how to answer to their name.

my feelings on school starting...

Despite all these struggles, I have had some pretty hilarious moments.  I think that eventually this will be a great group on students!

Here are some favorite kindergarten moments so far:

While I am reading a story on the first day of school, a little boy turns around, gives my EA a thumbs up, and mouths to hear “I love school!”

We walk into Spanish class, where the Spanish teacher is looking trendy like usual, and a little girl exclaims, “Oh my goodness!  Has she been doing some modeling?”

Today I was telling the kids about my family.  I shared that I have a mom and a dad, a brother named David, and a sister named Rachel.  I thought about getting into the sister-in-law thing, but I didn’t want to confuse them.  I probably should have just explained it, because soon a little girl said she liked my sandals and asked if I got them for my birthday.  I said that I got them to wear at my brother’s wedding.  She replies, in awe, “your brother is married?  To a woman?  What is her name?”  I said, “yes, he is married to a woman named Rachel.” she thinks about this, then asks in horror, “your sister???”  oh dear… no… it’s real confusing… lots of rachels… hmm…

Boy: “Excuse me teacher, I have a question.  Do you know what planet we live on?  Earth.”

Girl: “Excuse me teacher, I just noticed that you painted your toenails pretty.”

While the children are working, I hear a student say “What the hell is a bad word?!” – I assume she is inappropriately asking what a bad word is, and am about to talk to her about her language.  Then I realize she is telling her friend that she is actually telling her friends that the phrase “what the hell” is a bad word.  Still not ok – but so different than what I heard at first.

After singing a song where the children do things like wiggle their fingers up high, down low, etc, then “put them out of sight” a boy quietly reflects that “out of sight is an interesting word.”

Ooh, I think that I have been sitting still for too long, since my motion detector lights just turned off.  I should probably start my time of productivity.

Yay school??

The Genetics of Mismeasurement

It is now September, and that means it is time to get my classroom ready for a new school year.  I have had the same bulletin boards for years (well, same fabric on them at least) so I decided that I was ready for some change.  I found an adorable vintage looking owl/apple print, and a turquoise and reddish color to accent it with.  I estimated on how much fabric to buy, then regretted not just measuring ahead of time when I saw my total bill for the day, then went to school the next day to measure the exact specifications of each piece of fabric.  I didn’t have a tape measure at work, but I thought “I will just use this 18 inch ruler!  Not a problem”.  OR big problem.

I set off to my amazing grandma’s house to have her help me cut the fabric to the right sides.  She graciously not only helped me, but sent me home with a miniature homemade peach pie.  DELICIOUS!

The next day, I excitedly went to school to hang up my beautiful new fabric.  I began stapling it up (no easy feat when you are singlehandedly stapling up fabric that is multiple yards long – this probably should have been on film for all your amusement).  As I got to the end of the piece, I was crushed to discover that my fabric was multiple feet short.  WHat?  Was an 18 inch ruler not the ideal measurement tool??  I pieced together the extra fabric I’d cut off, and now you can barely tell that I am a mismeasuring fool.  (photos to come)

But tune in tomorrow for the continuation of the classroom project saga, where we learn which parent I inherited my measuring skills from.  (love you dad!)