Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have a fun, exciting, and safe New Year's Eve.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Friday!

Hey all! I'm sorry I kind of dropped off the face of the Earth for a while there. End of internship and holidays had me kind of crazy. But I hope this is the first in a multitude of regular posts. Time to link up with Amanda again to discuss what made us happy. I have a whole list of things, not just from this week. Here are some things that brightened up my life in the last little while.

- Christmas Baking! It's lots of fun and helps to spread Christmas Cheer! :)

Here are the results of my first day of Christmas Baking.
- Kids saying the darndest things. One of the famous last quotes in my classroom: "I know what epiphany means... I watched the Simpsons Movie!"Really?! That is where you learned the definition of the word epiphany?!

"Spider Pig, Spider Pig. Does whatever a Spider Pig does!" That is the
only part of the movie I am aware of - I've never actually seen it myself.
- Ten minute hugs from students who keep telling you how much they will miss you. I'm going to miss them too!

- Having the most amazing supervising teacher who helps the most amazing students plan the most amazing surprise party. Look at all the decorations they put up! I felt so special. And spoiled!

They also wrote lots of fun things on the boards.
- Christmas Spirit! This is what my youngest cousin ask for on her Christmas list (well she had more but these were very important): a baby jesus cross (e.g. a wooden cross on a necklace - which she wore around the house and out everywhere) and christmas decorations. This is a 5-year-old's list. How sweet and thoughtful is that list? So Christmas appropriate! This same child came to visit my elderly grandmother (who is not her elderly grandma) and cheered her up on Christmas day.

Here she is - after she helped me with  my makeup Christmas Eve.
- Funky aprons! They are so much fun and help you cover your fancy clothes (see below for an example with my cousins).

The one in the middle is wearing my apron. Love Anthro!
- Cheesy puppy Christmas things. Like antlers, for example.

Christmas Guinny!
- Impromptu visits to my mommy. She got me a ticket right before Christmas so that I could drive back home with her and then fly back home. It was so nice; relaxing and fun! We got to use the hot tub in the snow!
Ta-Da! I love his hands... "No! Snow! Please don't attack me!"
- New books. They are so exciting and I just can't wait to read them; like many things in life, anticipation just makes it better. I went shopping with my mom and got two new books.

Same person who wrote some books I read recently.
Heard this one was great!
This book came highly recommended by a good friend.
- Fun and cheesy Christmas movies. For example, I watched both Santa Baby movies. Santa Baby 2 didn't have the same male actors in it which decreased it's quality greatly.

Starring Jim Carey's ex-wife whom I have dubbed
The Queen of Cheesy Chick Flicks.
- My wonderful, wonderful grandma taking on big challenges to help people and animals. She recently adopted a miniature poodle from a puppy mill who hadn't been socialized by humans. Ever. At all. We looked up the best way to person train her and she is slowly getting used to having humans around her. That means we had four dogs at my grandparents' house this Christmas. That's practically a zoo!

All the puppies in the kitchen, throw your paws up at me!
(Sing this to the Beyonce song and it sounds much cooler...) 
Number four eventually came in...
All the little things combine to create such a beautiful life. What made you happy lately?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Baking!

It is that time of the year again; that Christmas-y time! That also means that it is baking time! Hooray! I always use my Gram's recipes; I am a big fan of family traditions. Tonight was the perfect night for baking. I went and bought all my ingredients. And Christmas tins to store the baking in (Michaels had a sale!). Then I came home, made candy cane coffee, put on my fancy apron (got it from Anthro online this summer), turned on the Christmas tunes, and got to work.

All the supplies!
Christmas tins for all the baking.
Taking over the kitchen...
Candy Cane Coffee: It smells and tastes delicious!
I started by making my shortbread cookies. I realized that I did not have enough butter for the icing. But that is okay since I only ice those as I take them out to eat.
First ones out of the oven...
Ended up with all of these!
While the last batch of those cooked, I started my Hello Dolly squares.
Yum, crust?
And in between Hello Dolly stages, I made my chocolate peanut butter squares and my Cherry Surprises.

My chocolate peanut butter square (double recipe). They're pretty
good! Just ask my friend Riley; he got a batch last year.
I helped him eat it. So generous...
Those Cherry Surprises aren't looking so hot right now. But I promise,
they get better!
My Cherry Surprise production line...
What a productive, fun night! I cannot wait for more tomorrow!

Three hours later... Final products! Yum!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Friday! On Saturday...

So, I'm a day late but I'm still linking up to Amanda for a celebration of the last week. So here are some of the things that made me happy:

- Kids at school gave me so many crafts that I actually have a craft wall behind my table.

- My grandparents came to visit. It was lots of fun! We went out to dinner with my aunt and uncle.

- My school choir was participating in a Christmas Concert. My dad and René and my grandma all came to see. The kids did so well and there were so many cute elementary school things that happened. For example, one student did a crazy hip-wiggle, Beyonce dance when we went up for the first time. Another student jumped up and down and waved at her parents with both hands. Then, for the last song, one little boy had wiggled so much on his seat during the show that half his shirt was untucked and sitting at a weird angle. I loved it!

- When I got home from the Christmas concert, I had mail waiting for me. My advent calendar from my Grandma. Yay! :)

- On Friday, I got to walk to the fireman station with all my students to bring turkeys to the turkey drive they were having. The kids were so cute. It was nice to have them participate in that kind of thing.

- My students also decided they were sick of the garbage in the school yard so they did a clean up. They actually started a group: The Green Guys and Girls! They were so excited when the principle told them that they would be on the announcements. 

This sat in our class for a couple hours...
- I went to work on my aunt's house. That was a blast! It's always fun to hang out with them.

- One of my friends posted this on Facebook and I just loved it! It's so funny. Thought I would share.

- René and I finished our Jillian Michaels workout this week. I gained a whole inch on each arm! CRAZY!! Guess it worked.

It was such a fun week. What made you happy this week?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Tree Night!

Eggnog, Christmas Carols, and Fondu, Oh My! Who could ask for anything more?

Mmmm... Can't get a real tree so I'll at least get a real tree smelling candle!
René fixing the bottom branches...

All done! So happy!
And a fire in the fireplace. What a perfect Christmas Tree Night!
Hope all of you are enjoying getting into the Christmas Spirit as much as I am. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Ah! I am so excited and I almost forgot to share this. It's now December. That's right, folks. It is Christmas month! And tomorrow I get to put up the Christmas Tree and I think I'll be starting work on my Christmas gifts. It will be so exciting.

Too bad there is no snow here right now...
Happy Christmas month, everyone!

Kids Say the Cutest Things!

So yesterday was a very fun day! It was the first day I was pretty much alone with the class. My supervising teacher was sick so there was a sub in but she didn't do anything because I have taken over the class. Yesterday was also the day that I announced to my class what book we would be studying in English class... Drumroll please...

I am so, so excited and so are the kids. The book is a fabulous, intricate and touching story about Stanley Yelnats, who gets sent to Camp Green Lake because of the curse on his great-great-grandfather and his descendants.

I had a few students who were really negative when they heard that we would be reading this book or when they were reading chapter one. But as soon as they hit chapter three, they were all laughing and discussing parts of the story. Some are so eager to find out what happens, they are already at chapter eighteen.

So that was all great fun! But one of the cutest things related to these Reading Study groups is the Reading Survey I gave the students before we started reading the book. Here are some of the cute responses I got:

- When asked where they buy books, most students wrote "Chapters." However, one student, needing to be completely clear, wrote "Chapters (Indigo)."

- When asked if they could read about absolutely anything, what would it be, a student answered "Adventures to distant lands." How cute is that? 

- When asked what they do when they find a word they don't know, one student said "I look it up in a dicksniare." Notice the spelling of the word "dictionary." Love it!

However, I think the best answers came from the question asking them to finish this sentence: "I think reading is...":

- "Amazing and fun."

- "Amazing and cool!" That's right! Reading is cool. With an exclamation point!

- "Fascinating."

- "Like a movie in my head."

And finally my most favourite answer of them all:

- "I think reading is a totally awesome thing waiting to happen!"

Isn't that just the most amazing answer ever? Anyways, that is all I really wanted to share. It gives me hope as a book lover to see children who get such joy out of reading. The best part was that the great majority of my students claim to really enjoy reading!

P.S. If you haven't read Holes yet, do it! I'm hoping we can show the students the movie as well and do a comparison!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Level 3!

Folks, this is it! The last stretch of my 30 Day Shred workout. I am so excited! My arms feel more muscular, I feel more energetic, and I am exercising, which is all very good for me!

I also wanted to mention that most of the people posting online are right! Level three of the workout is easier than level 2. Well, to a certain extent.

Level two had a lot of plank moves that are really tough on shoulder and arms whereas level three has a lot more cardio.

I like the extra cardio because I found that in level two, the cardio exercises were so shoulder/arm oriented that I couldn't focus on the cardio part.

I'm excited to finish this workout and see and feel the final results. Hope all of you are feeling as healthy and happy as me!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Seven Minutes To Heaven!

Alright! So here is the cookie blog I was talking about!

René and I decided that we were going to make oatmeal cookies a couple Saturdays ago. So we found a recipe online and then we modified them by making a couple batches of coconut and raisin oatmeal cookies. They were all delicious! See?

Mmmm! Cookies in the oven!
Even René enjoyed them!
 And then we had the genius idea to make vanilla greek yogurt sandwiches out these fantastic cookies. That's right folks; homemade frozen yogurt sandwiches. So we buttered one cookie with yogurt and froze it. Then we put a thin "glue" layer of yogurt on the pre-frozen layer and then stuck on the other cookie.
Putting on the glue...
 Then we thaw them out a bit so they aren't as hard and shazam! Frozen yogurt sandwiches! Yummies!

And that is my delicious frozen-yogurt sandwich story!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Love Christmas-Time!

I love Christmas-Time! I don't care what people say about it being commercialized and annoying. You can think what you want and you can let other people's "corporate corruption" ruin Christmas for you. But there are still people in the world who love Christmas because it is a time of sharing, joy, and love.

One of my favourite parts of Christmas is the Christmas Tree. The lights are bright and beautiful, and they smell nice. They just represent beauty, cheer, and happiness. To me, anyways. And I was sad because I still didn't really have a plan for a Christmas Tree yet this year.

Then this afternoon I went on a fun date night with my step-cousin to the movies, and when I dropped her off, her family was decorating for Christmas. And I was telling them about wanting to get a Christmas Tree. Well, her dad used to own a bridal parlour that he had to decorate every year so apparently he has massive amounts of Christmas stuff. Guess what happened next!

They lent me a tree and decorations and everything I need! Just like that! I got a tree and lights and balls and a garland. They said why not since they weren't going to use it and it meant so much to me. They said that's what Christmas is all about! I was so excited!

So my plan is to put up my Christmas Tree next weekend. I cannot wait! I am so grateful to them. It's the best Christmas gift someone could ask for, sharing the Joy of Christmas. I will keep you all posted on Christmas Tree advancements.