Monday, January 27, 2014

"Calamity Days"

So we have yet another weather day tomorrow - because of wind chill.  Growing up in Alaska and then living in ND, I find this state's "wimpiness" ridiculous.  Yes, it is cold.  No, it is not something you need to huddle up and refuse to deal with!  Should you go play in it for 2 hours?  No, you shouldn't. But can you do what you need to do?  Yes!  I've had school at -50 (without wind chill!).  Was it fun? No. Did I survive? Yes!

Now I think a random weather day is fun, a little treat and I don't mind my kids having them.  But we have had SO many, the boys are missing too much school.  Adam especially needs that regular schedule and he's been improving and I worry this is going to send him backwards.  I don't think we've had a full week of school since we have restarted from Christmas break!  Now that includes some scheduled days off, but it has meant a LOT of extra time off school. 

I get the issue of people not being prepared for cold weather and so (especially in poorer areas) not having a lot of heavy snow clothes, but really, a little common sense is all that is needed and we could all have some schedule back!  I'm sure all the teachers are going to be scrambling to try to get back no track with the end of 2nd quarter.  I know Adam's school had testing scheduled for today and tomorrow and then Wednesday (I was actually scheduled to help tomorrow....they will have to reschedule all of that, I'm sure someone will have SO much fun with that).  As of now, the boys haven't had school since last Thursday!  I have a feeling we are going to be making up days this year....sigh......

We are actually planning to go to Cleveland tomorrow to the museum since the kids don't have school and Kent State is closed so Ray has off as well.  Might as well make lemonade, right?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dentist Woes

As most of you know, I have horrible teeth and a horrible track record with dentists.  So week before last we had dental checkups...we had already been pretty unhappy with our current dentist and this sealed the deal.  So I refused to schedule the work they were recommending and instead found a new dentist, who I like, so far, much better. I do think part of the problem is that our place was a group and we saw a different person each time - some we liked, some we didn't, but each dentist has their own personal theory....and I especially need consistency.  So it was a very had experience, but I think the end result (the new dentist) will be a positive thing.  I still have to go get the work done, but I feel better about it than I did before.

Adam's Piano

Adam got a piano and piano lessons for his 6th birthday (last week).  He seems to enjoy it, we'll see how it goes. We are working on memorizing the keys and learning where to put his hands for now.

New Hat

Just finished this hat - it is actually meant for a friend of Andrew's who loves orange!

Fun in the Snow

We got dumped on here.  We got out and enjoyed it this morning, including taking the boys sledding. 
Adam helping Daddy shovel

Getting a rid from Daddy!

This really shows the depth of the snow!

Hauling the sled back up after sledding down

Playland Fun

We took the boys out to lunch at BK on Saturday so they could run off some energy in the play land.  I was pretty impressed with how good Adam was at running on this!
 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Math Teachers for Mothers

I was looking for a comic for my math class and I found this and it made me giggle! 

Current Projects

I started a scarf for myself

And a pair of socks - I figured I made like 9 for other people, I got one!

A hat for a friend of the boys' who loves orange!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is it February yet?

January has not been our month.  It hasn't all been bad, just super disrupted, crazy and we've had a lot of sickness (mostly me!).  So we started January in Michigan with Ray's parents.  This trip went well, but Adam seemed to come home from it exhausted. And I came home sick....got better (seemed to just be a passing thing)....to get sick again....get better....and get sick again!  AGH!! I finally gave up and went to the doctor's and it was a sinus infection.  They put me on super antibiotics.....which then caused some side effect issues that just NOW seem to be going away.  Again AGH!!  I am really hoping to get better and STAY better for awhile! 

The first two days back to school were cancelled here for "cold."  I personally didn't see the issue, but oh well.  The issue was that the first week for them was Ray and I's last week off (Ray had to work, but no classes) and both of us had a lot of stuff we were trying to get finalized. We got it done, but it was a hassle with the kids home more than expected (don't get me wrong, normally I have no issue with my kids staying home, that was just NOT the week I needed it to happen).  I even got a playdate with a friend in for the boys on Tuesday since they had no school.  Adam then had three HORRIBLE days at school - really bad behavior that really he's better than now.  So we ended up with a parent teacher conference....I am always happy to go in and hear what Adam is up to, but I wasn't happy that his bad behavior brought it on.  He's better now, he just had a horrible week and really just needs a nap thrown in now and then....which he is adamantly against.  Oh, well, we did get some sleep into him and he went back to normal.  Andrew, at least, seems to be doing okay at preschool (knock on wood) and I just had to star cookies for his class and play dough (I convinced Adam he wanted dino cookies for his birthday at school so I could do Adam and Andrew's cookie needs together....that at least saved me some time!).  Reading is definitely an issue for him, but it was Ray as well so I think that if we can get him over this hurdle, he'll be fine...the hurdle is just high for him! 

This weekend, the boys had both Friday and Monday off.  We did Adam's birthday party on Sunday (it was Friday) and he took cookies to school on Thursday.  In addition, he started piano lessons, so we'll see how it goes.  He's also doing skating lessons, which he really seems to enjoy.  Monday, a friend and I took our kids (so three boys) to a bounce house, which they thoroughly enjoyed, but it was definitely LOUD.  I was amazed at how many teenagers go to those things.  It was crowded, as expected on a school holiday.  Then the friend and I sent the afternoon watching Downton Abbey (serious new addiction on both our parts) and dumped the kids on our husbands since they got the morning to themselves. 

In addition, Ray and I had dentist appointments last week - we have been unhappy with our dentist and this appointment was the last straw so we found a new dentist and I managed to get in on Tuesday and had a much better experience. 

Tuesday was quite the zoo.....so Adam had a dentist appointment (we like the kids' dentist) in the morning that Ray took him to (I don't do cavities....I have too many bad associations myself to help them!).  I called to find a new dentist, hoping to get in next week...they could get me in at 1 that day!  So I had to scramble to make it work so I took Adam back to school after his mouth was better, picked up Andrew (trying to get work done in this period, too, of course!) and went shopping (we were out of most things).  Andrew decided to pee himself in the children's' room, so I had to leave half way through shopping and take him home (I was not happy...he's better than that!). Then I took Andrew to Ray so I could do the dentist.  Got Andrew back after that (this is 2 by this point), ate lunch (Andrew had already been fed, don't worry, long ago!) and ran a few Kent errands since I was there.  This included dropping off a carseat that wasn't mine, but in my car, that we'd forgotten o take out on Monday...grr....dumb move on our parts!  Andrew fell asleep in the car, which was something.  We then picked up Adam and went to finish shopping (Andrew didn't get to back to the children's as punishment, which of course is as much punishment for me as him....) and then go home.  I tried to do some cleaning, fed the kids, and then Ray got home so I could leave to go to PTO.  Fun, huh?  Of course, when I got home from PTO, I still had work to finish.....

I just want to find our routine and stop getting BAD news.  I am really hoping that February is better!  I know January has another week left in it...and we just found out that Ray is probably going out of town next week for something work related, but dates/locations still aren't final.  AGH! I am hoping if I get through that, February will be easy.  Right? Can I hope?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Christmas socks

I think I did 9 pairs of socks for Christmas presents...finally got them all done!  Now I'm starting a pair for MYSELF! :) Crazy thought....



Six Years Old!

 
Adam turned SIX today.  I can't believe he's so BIG!!!  I have to say, I'm glad I'm not in the hospital today like I was six years ago! :)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Sick Again....

We always seem to ring in the holidays with sickness. Some of it just comes with working in education.  Yes, we get the holidays off, but the weeks before it are always super busy with grading and finals and yadada.  So we tend to hit vacation and collapse.  This year was no different, with the boys sick as well - both were just tired as well from all the activity of the school end fun.  Well, I've been in and out of health really for two weeks....finally caved and went to the doctor today (I hate going and then being told there isn't anything treatable....) as my one eye is totally swollen and so I knew they'd do SOMETHING.  Yep, sinus infection.  Lovely. But at least I have antibiotics and hopefully will see the end of this.  While I understand the issue of overdoing antibiotics, sometimes I feel like screaming because if one kid has it, we will ALL have it...it is inevitable and this really is something Andrew had two weeks ago.....

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Fudge Cookies

This is a fun new Christmas recipe for me. 

Fudge Cookies
Modified from My Recipes
 
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter
7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup yogurt (I actually used sour cream here....which was in my fridge, yogurt wasn't and they are pretty much baking interchangeable)
1 tbsp vanilla
 
Preheat to 350.
 
Combine flour, soda and salt.  Set aside. Melt butter and then stir in cocoa powder and sugars.  Add yogurt (sour cream) and vanilla, and stir to combine.  Add flour mixture, stirring to moist.
 
Drop by tablespoonful on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
 
Cool on racks for a few minutes until putting on cooling racks.
 
Makes 2 dozen.

Play Dough

I had to make play dough for Andrew's class. Nice and simple!

Play Dough
From Mrs. Chrin

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 ¾ cup warm water tinted with food coloring

Combine flour and water.  Add warm water.  Knead the dough for ten minutes.  Keep in fridge in airtight container.

Harry Potter Things

I'd never seen this until recently - 28 things that did happen after the books ended, according to J.K. Rowling.  Nothing shocking about it, it all pretty much plays out how we'd think. The Marauder's Map story  made me smile! 

Not Seen Photos

I like this series of pictures of the non-media ones.  The media always picks pictures to make a statement...and you never see the entire story, so I like this series of pictures you wouldn't know with them.

Turkey-Broccoli Pasta

This is surprisingly good - I thought there was more of a true sauce when I picked it and then found out as I was cooking there wasn't (obviously I read closely....).  But I really liked this.  I liked it covered in Parmesan cheese, Ray like just a little a bit on it. 
 
Modified from Real Simple
 
3/4 lb pasta
2 cups broccoli
3 tbsp. (olive) oil [I think that's what I used and you will taste it, since that's really all the sauce is, but if you only had vegetable oil, I'd use it.]
1 lb ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Parmesan
 
Cook pasta according to directions on package.   Cook broccoli as well (they did this together, I did not).  Drain both and combine. 
 
Meanwhile, put 1 tbsp. of oil in pan and add turkey, garlic, fennel, and red pepper.  Cook until browned, then add salt.  Toss turkey mixture with pasta and broccoli and rest of oil.  Serve with Parmesan (I really liked with Parmesan, Ray didn't....he liked the bite of the pepper while I liked that the cheese helped moderate it).
 
Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Gifts in a Jar

We were debating about doing gifts in a jar as a preschool fundraiser and so I tested out these two recipes. Both pretty good:

Skating Lessons

Adam is taking skating lessons. He's got a bright yellow coat, so he's easy to find. 

ala Uncle Billy!


I took him to free skate with me over Christmas break

 
Some videos:
 

Andrew and Daddy


Adult Presents

We got new shelves for our game collection!

New grill!

School Christmas Projects

He got to wear PJs to school to watch The Polar Express
art class

I helped glue together the popsicles to make this frame....it was so much fun....

Garage car from his teacher!

Gingerbread house - I love this idea with the milk carton!  I helped the class with this by the way.

Snow Fun


Playing in the snow, helping Daddy shovel
 
The boys decided to shovel the lawn instead of the driveway...

Socks

I made like 9 pairs of socks for Christmas presents....I am going to make me one now!
This is leftover sweater yarn!

This is Country Loom yarn and I love it.

Christmas Stuff

Letters from Santa!

This year's wrapping paper

Thank you cards

I've had the boys working on thank you cards for Christmas!  Now just need to get them in the mail....



Pillows

Adam decided he wanted to make pillows, so we made pillows for Grandma and Grandpa and for Andrew.
 
We did the three sides with the machine, then hand stitched it close.


I also made one for Adam after he went to bed. :)