Lessons in Cheesecake

Sometimes I have good ideas.  Sometimes I have ideas I think are good, but really are not.  Sometimes I have ideas, and there is no way to know if they are good or not.  I will let you be the judge of what happened below…

I decided that candy cane cheesecake would bs a definite necessity for Christmas Eve. My sister in law promised she would eat some, so I turned to the internet to find a recipes that looked promising.

Things went well as I began. It was so easy!  Perhaps it was TOO easy. The cheesecake appeared to be delicious as I pulled it out of the oven. But then every cheesscake baker’s nightmares began to come true. It was like an earthquake came through and left giant fissures, canyons,  ravines… right in the middle of my beautiful cheesecake.

Alas!  What is one to do?

I think the answer is fairly obvious.  You should not just sprinkle your crushed candy cane around the outside of the cake, but rather, spread it everywhere.  Specifically fill in those crevices so no one can even tell they are there.

Once again, all is well in the land of baking and cheesecake.  Or was until morning came and I discovered the cheesecake had eaten the candycanes… ravines are back, but now filled with candy cane goo.

To which my family responded… that sounds amazing

Disappointment Retracted

I would like to take back all statements of disappointment and devastation.  I just got my Christmas card from Dan and Kevin Slowey!  It is amazing.  Life is good.  They wrote amazing messages to each of us inside our cards.  Life does not get much more exciting than this.

In Amber’s Card:

Wow.  Just wow.

In Rachel’s Card:

We want 2 20 doses of whatever you three are smoking

In My Card:

Thank you for the card, book masterpiece

The picture on the front is phenomenal.  As well as the generic Christmas greeting on the inside which says “Go get you some holidays.”  I’ll be sure to link you to their card when Dan blogs a Christmas card greeting recap so you can see the awesome picture on the front of their card.

Bottom line:  friendship restored.  sadness gone.

A Short Story Christmas

Christmas Card #4 – taking the poor photoshopping up a notch

As you can see, Buddy the Elf and Santa are a big part of my Christmas greeting options.  Probably because it doesn’t get much better than Buddy and Santa.  Especially with other things photoshopped in.

Rachel, Amber, and myself sent the following as an actual Christmas greeting.

We enjoy Kevin Slowey’s brother’s blog, and each year they do a thing where if you send them a Christmas card, they will send you one back.  Last year we were newer blog readers friends, so we didn’t participate.  This year we were  excited to create our entry.  However, we were slightly disappointed devastated to see that a few days after we mailed our card book to them, they were all out.  Since we have not yet gotten a response in the mail, we think we were just seconds too late in mailing out our card.  However, the important part is spreading Christmas cheer, right?

Well, in any case, please enjoy the following short non-fiction account of a Christmas.

An Uruguayan Christmas

Christmas Card #2 Merry Christmas from me and the Uruguay-an Mafia!

A mafia man living in Uruguay who loves his gelato invited us into his home for Christmas .

Or, we went to a hole in the wall restaurant in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and our waiter seemed like he probably should be in the mafia, and his parents started the first gelato shop in Uruguay?  in somewhere?  The details are fuzzy.  The important part is that there were still dodgy Christmas decorations up in August.  And naturally (in honor of my friend Jill), I had to take a picture with said dodgy Christmas-ness.

Christmas Greetings!

I don’t send out a Christmas card, because I am just me… and my mom writes about me in her card.  However, perhaps this week, I will post some pictures, that if I were to send out a Christmas card, the following would be good options.  This way, if you don’t get any Christmas cards in the mail, you can come and look at my blog and be restored to full Christmas spirit.

Christmas Card #1

Nothing spreads Christmas cheer, like singing loud for all to hear.  Or, if you are Beth Moore, perhaps you would write a Christmas poem instead of singing a Christmas song.

note to self

Dear Future Laura,

Here are some things you will want to remember if you wish to survive until Wednesday at 3:00pm.

1)  The children won’t be learning this week.

2) The children will not listen this week.

3) The children will be loud this week.

4) Your usual “disguise the learning as fun” tactics may not be sufficient.

5) Your student summed it up nicely when the speaker complimented the class on their behavior and the little girl interrupted to say, “Yeah, but we aren’t always this good!”

Best of luck.  I’m sure you will be fine.  But if you aren’t, I’m sure it’s nothing a few (dozen) Christmas cookies can’t solve.





Away in a Manger…

In kindergarten we study traditions.  A big part of this unit is talking about traditions that various cultures have for different celebrations.  Since all the kids can think about these days is Christmas, I figure we may as well embrace that and use it to our advantage.  So we started talking about varying cultural Christmas traditions – but first we spent some time clearing up why Christmas is actually celebrated.

After reading a board book called The Christmas Story to the class, we began talking about Christmas celebrations in Mexico.  One thing we learned is that lots of families have a nativity scene, but not necessarily a Christmas tree.  To help retell the story of the first Christmas, I printed out pictures of nativity scene figurines and we taped them to the board while putting together our own Nativity.

Let’s just say it is a good thing I was there to facilitate the retelling of the Christmas Story. Without my fact and vocabulary corrections, the Christmas story would have gone something like this:

Mary and Josephine rode in on a zebra.  Mary had a baby named Moses and laid him in a crib that fell over.  The three men in neat matching hats came from a long ways away to visit him.  They rode on a cow.  The angel (who wasn’t scary at all) went to tell the butcher, the surfer, and the singer who all watch the sheep that Jesus was born.  God and the devil were there too.  Then we all sang away in a manger and the itsy bitsy spider.  the end.

So – raise your hand if you are not passing “able to retell a story” on your kindergarten report card…

And some side notes:

  • If you guess that a shepherd is called a surfer, no way are you able to laugh at the kid who guesses “singer”.  At least singing is associated with Christmas!
  • The solo rendition of Away in a Manger may be one of the most high pitched versions I’ve ever heard.
  • The three wisemen, or three kings, are depicted in our nativity scene as wearing crowns.  It is not by chance that their hats are matching.
  • Donkeys and zebras are not really the same.

After the nativity fail nativity learning experience,  I showed a YouTube video that was entirely in Spanish about Las Posadas and piñatas.

  • I expected my native English speakers to be a bit disengaged (they were more into it than I expected).
  • I hoped that my Spanish speakers would not hear/understand the narrator to be saying anything sketchy (fortunately it all seemed to be on the up and up).
  • I definitely did not anticipate my African girl exclaiming, “I am just a Kenya girl.  I do not understand this!

And just so we are all clear on the real Christmas story, I have asked Linus to help remind us…

On vanity and honesty…

I think Miss K should take a picture of me.


Because I’m so beautiful


I’m interrogating students, trying to figure out which not-so-innocent little munchkin graffitied up our dramatic play couch.  The culprit wrote words on it, including a few student names.  One kid comes over and says, “It wasn’t me!  I don’t know enough to write that” and I thought, it is so true little buddy.  you really don’t…


Miss K, you teach us everything!  Why don’t you teach us how to cut?  (um, kids – is that not what we are doing with this art project?)


Miss K, did you go to the North Pole?  Did you see me on the good list?


Dear weather, please warm up.  I am going to lose my mind if we have another day of indoor recess and crazy children.  Thanks in advance.