Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's a Hard Life

Oliver loves having the bed to himself.
Topher prefers to have someone to snuggle with.  Hubs might be slightly annoyed that I took this shot :)
Oliver occasionally wants to snuggle with Topher... when he needs a paw rest!
 Disclaimer: I do make my bed most of the time 
but the cats seem to take advantage of the
disheveled, extra comfy bed for photo ops!

Missing Grandparents

Thinking of the Keneipps today as they are remembering the
wonderful life of their mom/grandma!

Makes me miss remember my Mamaw & Papaw Heilman.
 Look at those snazzy accessories that 
Eleanor & Omar are sporting!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes Ingredients List:
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c cake flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 stick butter @ room temp
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 whole milk
1 roll chocolate chip cookie dough
 Whisk dry ingredients together.
Cream together butter, sugar. 
Add in eggs and vanilla.
Beat in flour mixture alternating flour, milk, flour.
 Mix for 3 minutes or so.
 1 thin slice of cookie dough per cupcake wrapper.
Push down so it lines the bottom.
 Cover cookie dough with about 2 1/2 T worth of cake batter.
Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
 When cupcakes are done baking, bake 
remaining cookie dough in very small cookies 
for cupcake toppers.

Vanilla Frosting:
1 c butter @ room temperature
4-5 c confectioner's sugar
1 t vanilla 
1 T whole milk
Blend until fluffy.

Let cupcakes cool and then pipe icing on with a star tip.
Top with cookie pretty quickly before the icing sets.
Recipe makes 18 cupcakes and it could easily be doubled.
 My mini cookies weren't quite mini enough so 
I ended up cutting them in half to put on top of each cupcake.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Art

 Our happy birds are tweeting our goals for the year!

Yogurt + Fruit + Granola = Delish Breakfast

This is extra good when all of the fruits are in season.
In the off season you can use frozen fruits slightly thawed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

 I followed the recipe above from my mom.
This is my new favorite chocolate cake mix:
 I inserted a knife in the bottom of each cupcake 
so I'd have a spot to insert the icing tip.
 Most filled really well but this is what happens 
if you over fill...
 Iced with chocolate frosting from a can.
Note: Don't use foil cupcake liners 
as they rip too easily when filling.
 Switched tips from the star tip 
to a teenie tip to do the Hostess touch.
 Cream filled center.
Extra tasty if refrigerated.
They are even more delicious than I was expecting!

Happy 25th Birthday Ty!

My baby brother is turning 25 today!
 Hope you had a wonderful day bro!!
 Sure do love you!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Organizing My Classroom

I designed a template for my daily lesson plans several years ago.  The lady I student taught with did this and it really is a great idea!  It saves me a lot of time each week because I don't have to rewrite the same things on my schedule.  I just fill in the blanks.  It's been especially helpful while teaching two grades!
We don't have lockers at my school so each child has a backpack hook.
I acquired a new filing cabinet this year and I'm excited to have another place to put things!
Each drawer has files labeled and organized by content.
I started doing a bin for each day last year.  I plan ahead and keep them filled.  The items in the bins are in chronological order I'm sick, I know it! and ready to be taught.
Teacher planning materials are organized by content and sit nicely on the shelf under my diplomas.
I have acquired more than 2,500 student books during my teaching tenure.  Thanks to very generous parents ordering Scholastic book orders each month.  I send home the orders, parents order anywhere from $100-$300 worth of books and I get reward points for them.  My students are lucky to have such a big selection of books!
Baskets, baskets and more baskets make everything better.
I have two cupboards that are JAM PACKED with art and school supplies.
Awkwardly deep closet that holds paper and bulletin board supplies.
The abyss... I mean the chronologically ordered bulletin board stash that might be the death of me.  I've tried multiple arrangements and I seem to hate this one the least.
I am the chair of the Social Committee and it's a big job.  I just sent out a note asking for dues for this year.  I know I'm going to be doing a baby boy shower this fall and several holiday parties.  LOVE being in charge of this.
Red basket is labeled "Needs to be filed".  Notice that it is spilling out over the top and there is another stack behind it that needs attention... I don't love doing this.  Wish I had an assistant to do it :)  I also have a basket of certificates for "nice notes".  I try to focus on the positives and send home a lot of positive feedback to the parents.  The kids and parents love nice notes.
Stamps, stickers and stamp pads are organized in drawers.
I have a bin for each month filled with seasonal items.
Each child has a mailbox where they keep their planners and any papers that need to go home that day.  They empty it out each day when they are packing up their backpacks.  It really helps to keep their desks clean.
Each child has a planner that they fill out first thing each morning.  It gives them a chance to practice their handwriting and keeps the parents informed of exactly what their homework is each night.  The school provides them for all 2nd-6th graders.
"The Scoop" is my weekly newsletter.  I send it home every Monday.  I write in great detail everything that we are doing for the week.  It includes all subjects, important events and announcements.  Every other week the back side is filled with challenge work websites, apps, and activities that parents can do with their kids at home. 
The is how I organize 29 students... wowza! 
I have an incredible amount of parent volunteers.  Someone for reading, writing, math, and someone to come in to do copying for me once a week.  I label everything with post it notes and the parent comes in to copy for me for 1-2 hrs a week.  I try to stay ahead of the game so that I have to do very little of my own copying :)
It takes a lot of organization to 
run a classroom!