Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
We did buy a potty chair this week and we'll work on it over the next week and see how it goes. I'm hoping he's potty trained by 2 (January), so if it isn't going well after a week, we'll probably take a break. The only reason I'm even trying right now is that he brought up it himself. I think if we can make him understand, he'll jump at it as he HATES diapers and being changed. We'll see - I've been reading potty training tips and he is showing a lot of the signs, but he just doesn't have the communication yet. He still isn't talking much, so we'll see.
School started Monday - going alright so far. I have another term starting this coming Monday, so wish me luck. Mainly just the usual first week kinks. I may be getting stats in the spring, so I'm following along with that class this term to figure out how I will want to approach it myself. I look forward to the challenge of a harder math class to teach!
Okay, off to finish up my work for tonight and go to bed.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Term 6 ended Sunday night at one of the schools I teach at, which means I got in final exams in throughout the day. We usually have a 48 hour turnaround time on grades. While I find this really fast, I understand why they do it. They run all 8 weeks sessions, back to back, and so for students needed pre-reqs, this is important. I don't have an issue with it and I have never been late. But mid-week last week, I get an email - grades are now due by Tuesday at noon versus Tuesday at midnight. So 12 hours earlier and for me, that's one nap time earlier. I usually have grades done by Monday night, but we all realize stuff happens. Now their reasoning? Profs are always late! Well, duh, they have a 48 hour turnaround when most universities are about a week or so (5-7 days). So their solution is to late submissions is to make it even shorter? This does not make sense to me. I honestly think the university (as I realize my department has no control over this) is being rather absurd. There is a limit to what we can do in a given amount of time. Two days was bad enough, 1.5 days is just not enough time. I also realize that many professors are not legitimately late (i.e, they are being forgetful or lazy), but I also think that some of they just don't have the time.
So, with this in mind, I hoped to be very productive on Monday during naptime. Adam, sensing this, never took a nap! Yep...my day....so when Ray gets home, we eat dinner and then I start grading right away. Of course, Adam is up and wants attention as although Daddy is right there, Mommy is obviously doing something and so he wants to be a part of it. I did get it finished that night and was actually in bed about 1:30 (which, for me, isn't that late) and some of that was doing other things (as my other university started on Monday), but it was just frustrating.
As I mentioned, my other school started on Monday - we seem to be off to good start there. I have a week before Term 1 (the next term) starts at the one I just finished. As this is their restart of the year time, there is a week lapse. They are now opening the course shells a week early for students so they can get in, check the syllabus, etc. While I applaud that and I like that students are being encouraged to plan ahead, I'm wondering how the practical aspect will work. While students are told not to expect professor input until the actual start, we all know that some will. In addition, I think that the students that really need the lead time won't be the ones using it. So the procrastinators who are always causing the issues will still procrastinate and not be prepared on Day 1. That's just my pessimism coming though. Actually though, I had an awesome bunch of students last term - really impressive! Just a blast to work with and really on the ball. Not a single missed assignment (so no zeros), which is a first!
Last night, I went over to my friend, Mo's, to scrapbook, which was a lot of fun. Today I have to go sit at the pro-life booth at the Randolph Fair. It isn't too hot right now, so pray it stays that way! I not taking Adam tonight as Ray will be home, but he will go with me for my shift on Sunday.
On a happy note, Adam on Monday brings me his diaper wipes and then a diaper and tells me "poop." So I check him, no poop. Not sure what is going, but he poops 5 minutes later - he told me was going to poop ahead of time! So we are buying a potty chair this week and starting potty training. Wish us luck...anyone with any tips, I'd be happy to hear them.:)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I usually read Christian fiction and hence why I found this one. Looking at her previous books, it looks like Karen Young has only written straight romance in the past, so this is a new genre for her. I hope she sticks with it. I looked at her earlier stuff and while I do plan to try some, some of it turned me off. I just am not that into straight romance to start with and in addition a lot of her early stuff is all ESP-like. A turn-off for me. But I’m sure others like it.
I still do read some straight romance (I admit it, I’m addicted to Nora Roberts), but overall, I avoid it as it bothers me that the characters end up in bed before they really know each other in most cases. Christian fiction is great because it really explores the relationship, not the physical stuff.
Adam helping Ray move stone! He is SUCH a good little helper!
Daddy left the big shovel, so Adam went right for it - he thinks he can use it!
Loading up his wagon to take for Daddy - he took the wagon out to Daddy himself!
I had to restart him in the right direction, but he got it there!
Also, I want to hype Better World Books. I found them a couple of months ago and I LOVE them. It is mostly used, but some new, books, they have a great inventory and don't charge shipping on anything. Now their prices are a bit higher. For example, you can buy a book for a penny on Amazon Marketplace, but then have to pay $4 in shipping, right? Well, BWB, just charges the $4 upfront. I like that. Its honest! Also, it benefits literacy and libraries!!! Definitely a great place to ship for books!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
On the way home it finally started raining good, so hopefully the front here and tomorrow will be better so Adam can enjoy the outdoors!
Now we discussed if Adam was done with naps as he has been fighting it a lot. But is is always seriously tired by naptime, usually sleeps at least 2 hours and is still exhausted at bedtime and sleeps all night. So we think he needs it. He doesn't have "slow" figured out - he goes full speed all the time, hence the need for the nap. In addition, with me working at home, naptime is important work time for me. If he didn't need it, we would work something else out, but he seems to really need it, so we keep making him nap.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Anyway, Ray was called once by Michigan during college - same problem as me and Alaska. Well, Ohio called Ray for the next two weeks. The problem is that is the first week of school so we are writing letters to see if we can get him excused.
Now, honestly, no lawyer would probably ever pick Ray or I as a juror, but we would like to be par to the process. Seriously, can't any state call us when we can actually serve jury duty? We seriously want to help out, not be a pain in butt!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We had a fun time with Dave and Linda - it was a great trip to the musuem and overall a great trip.
I am FINALLY finished with fall classes and have about a week to enjoy it.:) Ray has a week before he goes back to work, so hopefully we can get a little relaxing in. It is my last week of Term 6 for SNHU, so finals and papers this week. But so not thinking about that right now!
I'm so off to bed. Hope you had a good weekend!
And isn't it pretty?
We just did the back fence (remember we had a portion fall in during the winter). We are going to do one side a year for the next two years, so that after three years, we will have a completely redone fence. We want the enclosed backyard and the finished vinyl will really be a good selling point for the house in a few years. We just can only afford to do it a chunk at a time!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I have been working all week on classes for fall as I always have a bunch of updates for my shells to do, hence very little posting.
Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up here next week and be able to say my classes are ready for fall!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Stuffed Green Peppers
Modified from Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook
3 large green peppers [they used six...I only need three for the amount of filling below (their entire recipe)....maybe my "large" are larger than theirs.....as I said, local green peppers!]
1 lb ground beef, browned
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups cooked rice [note that it is cooked rice...you get more than 2 cups cooked from just one cup of uncooked rice]
15 oz can tomato sauce [this is one place where I think we can get more flavor - we'll use spaghetti sauce next time]
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese [again here, I think is a good way to spice it up]
Cut peppers in half and remove seeds (yes, really....so this isn't true stuffed peppers...). Combin eall ingredients but peppers and cheese.
Stuff peppers with mixture and place in slow cooker.
Cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Sprinkle with cheese during last 30 minutes (didn't need this long).
Couple of notes...I'm going to play with this....I think more sauce on top will help...also need mixture from drying out/blackening on crock pot.
Makes 6 servings.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
My neighbor gave me this recipe last year - it is really good! And a great way to hide some of that zucchini!
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
From Betty Lohmir
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
3 extra large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk [or 1/2 tbsp lemon juice plus the rest 1/2 cup of regular milk]
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon [This is a really nice background flavor, but is clear...Ray doesn't like cinnamon so I'm going to try ginger next time.]
1/2 tsp allspice [or 1/4 tsp cloves...I used allspice]
4 tbsp Hershey's Cocoa
2 cups shredded zucchini [see note below on shredding]
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream the sugars, butter and oil together. Add in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cocoa). Mix into the wet ingredients in small portions. Shred the zucchini and lightly drain (I just put it on paper towels for a few minutes...the original recipe had you doing this first, but that would drain it too much in my opinion - zucchini adds moisture to a recipe). Mix in the zucchini to the batter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13 baking pan.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips into the batter. Bake at 325 for about 40-45 minutes. Cool and then frost (I used my whipping cream frosting).
Spring Chicken Roll-Ups with Lemon Dijon Pan Sauce
Modified from Rachael Ray
2 (6-ounce) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast [As noted, if you actually want this to look good, you are going to have to buy thin cut chicken rather than the breasts and split them.]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices provolone cheese [I used provolone on mine and Swiss for Ray as he doesn't like provolone...both seemed to work]
4 thin slices prosciutto cotto [so didn't buy this! I just used bacon...now since bacon isn't pre-cooked, I just cooked it most of the way in the microwave before I put it in the rollups, so it would be completely cooked by the time it was finished...I used about 2 piece of bacon per roll up, so a total of 8 slices]
16 long green beans, steamed to the doneness you prefer [this used asparagus, which we don't like, so I used the green beans...I also prefer my vegetables actually COOKED, so I steamed them...Rachael barely cooked her asparagus, but honestly, chefs are obsessed with undercooked food...raw is fine if that is what you want, but if are going to cook it, I think you should actually cook it!]
1 tablespoon oil [I used vegetable oil, she used olive oil]
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock [I just made up a bullion cube]
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard [I actually used Honey Dijon mustard...we really like that!]
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced [I forgot to buy a lemon, so I just used the lemon juice I had in the fridge and squirted some in]
1/4 cup chopped, flat-leaf parsley, a handful
Halve the chicken breasts horizontally separating each into 2 cutlets (as noted, this was a MESS). Place each halved cutlet in an individual freezer plastic storage bag (with slider tab). Add a tablespoon of water to each bag and pound into1/8-inch thick cutlets (also ridiculously hard and very messy...and I only used one bag as if I used one per piece, I might as well have bought the premium chicken...which as I noted, I would if I ever bought this again).
Arrange the 4 cutlets on work surface. Season cutlets with salt and pepper on the side facing up. Cover each piece of chicken with 1 slice cheese and 2 slices of bacon/ham. Starting on 1 side of the breast, place a small bundle of 4 green beans. Wrap and roll the chicken around the beans. Wash hands. [I think if I did this again, I would use something to secure these because you can see they came apart once I had to flip these.]
Heat about 1 tablespoon oil, a turn of the pan, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, using tongs, add the chicken roll-ups to skillet with seam side down (see note on messy). Season the roll-ups with salt and pepper. Cover the pan loosely with tin foil and cook 4 to 5 minutes, turn roll-ups over and cook and other 4 to 5 minutes. Remove cooked roll ups to a serving plate.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons flour Stir in the chicken stock and Dijon mustard, scraping up any drippings from the bottom of the pan, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley and spoon over chicken.
Makes 4 servings.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The closet area - we put in the new shelves here (wood instead of the original metal we planned because we had to shave one of them to fit - the walls are strange!)