Wednesday, April 30, 2008


  • Assessments- reading, math, writing, spelling- and then grading them all (that's the worst/most time-consuming part!)
  • Assessment data analysis
  • Parent-teacher conferences
  • Curriculum planning for next year
  • Mothers' Day projects
I'm afraid the next week will be light on posts. With three weeks of school left, there's not much time left for anything else.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Catching Up

I spent over 50 hours at work last week, which accounts for several missing blogs and pictures. Here are a few things that made last week so crazy:
  • I had to attend an all-day training on Monday, which is always difficult for us as teachers since we're not used to sitting and listening all day. Although I suppose it is always a good reminder to make things fun and interactive for our students.
  • I and five others spent Tuesday interviewing candidates for three open teaching spots next year. Fortunately we had some great candidates, which, unfortunately, made the decision-making very tough since we couldn't hire them all.
  • Our school carnival went well on Friday, and best of all, I didn't end up having to sit in the dunk tank! Phew! I did it last year and it was a very miserable 15 minutes. Not getting wet mostly made up for having to work a 13 hour day.
I spent the weekend trying to relax and working on things at home. I went through lots of old magazines and decided to tear out the recipes and things that I would actually use and get rid of the rest. I also worked on a couple of hand-made gifts for my sister whose birthday is quickly approaching. I'll have to post some pictures of those later. (Sorry, Rach, you'll have to wait!)

A few more flower pictures while Spring is still in bloom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Growth

I always get excited when the first green mint leaves start peaking out of the brown leftovers of winter.  They already smell great.  I can't wait to use them in iced tea and for cooking.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Delicious Brownies

I have been promising Kirk that I would make him brownies for a week now, and finally got them made this weekend. I love this recipe. The brownies are moist and rich, but not overpowering.

One Bowl Brownies

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (can be chips or a broken-up bar)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-rising flour (or regular flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350*F. Melt chocolate and butter in microwavable bowl. Add sugar and mix well. Mix in eggs and vanilla, then dry ingredients. Pour into greased 9" x 13" pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bean Bags

A stack of bean bags I made for the bean bag toss at our school carnival next Friday. If only making them could have gotten me a pass on the dunk tank!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Rock Patch

I just love these rocks.  I hope you're not bored by all these rock pictures!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Shell and a Prayer

This is another item from my classroom, a shell a student brought back for me from the Bahamas last year.

I'm glad to have this shell as a reminder of this particular student. Her mom went missing last summer and has still not been heard from or found.  This picture is a good reminder to pray for the Birgfeld/Dixon family and the three young children who have lost their mother.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cracked rock

What I liked about this broken rock as I was taking a picture of it is that it could be mended. There were no pieces missing, they just needed to be pushed back together.
Sometimes I feel a lot like this rock, cracked and letting my ugly insides show. I say something I shouldn't, I have a bad attitude, I don't care as much as I should, and the darkness in me comes right out. Then, I get to try to fix it and be better next time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Boots

Some friends of ours were representing Camp RedCloud at an outdoor gear expo downtown today, so we went to visit them. It was a beautiful day and a good opportunity to get the dogs out of the house.

While there, I found these $195 Ulu boots for $50. Since I had some Christmas money left, I decided to get them. They are insulated and have good quality soles, which will be great for our cold winter weather. The only problem is that now I will probably have wait 6+ months to wear them!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I love checking the mail each day, just in case I happen to get something interesting. Unfortunately, I usually just get junk mail to weed through or bills to pay.
Today was different, though. There was just one thing in the mailbox, an envelope from my mom. Thanks, Mom for making my day and giving me something fun to open!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Box Top Mania

Our school is once again having a contest to see which class can bring in the most "Box Tops for Education" coupons. This has sparked what I like to call "Box Tops mania," something that happens each year during the two week contest.
Students are looking for Box Tops on every box in the classroom. I had to laugh (to myself) when one student was looking for some on my boxes of flash cards. This morning, I had to go through all the Kleenex and Ziplock boxes in my classroom cabinets and cut off all the Box Tops.
Much to my students' chagrin, we did not win the pizza party, but at least we were able to help raise some money for our school. I had my planning time when the announcement was made over the intercom that the first grade had won. I'm pretty sure that the whole school could hear them scream in excitement. That was followed by several rounds of "One, two, three, eyes on me!" "One, two, eyes on you!" as the student teacher in first grade tried to get her students back under control. Then, with students walking down the hall to the bathrooms sharing their excitement with each other. "Did you hear that?!" "That's so awesome!"

The tenth


Very much unlike the two places I have spent most of my life, the part of western Colorado that I now call home cannot be described as gray. Brown, yes, but not gray. As an Oregonian and a Belgian, gray skies have been the norm. The funny thing is that now that I have lived in Grand Junction for almost four years, they seem so foreign to me. When we first moved here I was elated every time it rained because it felt like home. Now, I'm almost disappointed to see the gray skies that have been around all week (maybe also partly due to the fact that they could mean inside recess, which is never a good thing). We are always thankful for the moisture, however, so few people here complain. We know that the storm will blow over in a day or so and we'll be back to our beautiful blue sky and have green grass for a few days.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Une Belle Coccinelle...

... mais pas Rachel, la plus belle des coccinelles.

A cute ladybug eraser from a prize box at school in honor of my dear sister.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great Deals

Everyone knows that I love shopping at Goodwill. Several of my coworkers can bet that if they compliment me on something I am wearing, it most likely came from Goodwill. I decided to stop by there on my way home from church since I knew new colors were on sale starting this morning. I'm definitely glad that I stopped. I got:
  • four champagne flutes

  • three dress shirts

  • two pillowcases

  • one metal candle holder

  • and a partridge in a pear tree (just kidding)

All for a whopping $6.83! Yay for Goodwill!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Signs of Spring

As I was laying in bed this morning, enjoying the fact that it was Saturday and that I didn't have to be at work at 7, I heard the most wonderful noise. There were birds singing outside. I love winter, but the beginning signs of spring are always welcome, even these weeds.

Friday, April 4, 2008


These Mexican Cokes have been a bit of a fixture around here lately ever since Kirk found that Sam's Club sells them by the case. They have two main attributes that make them superior.

  1. They are made with real sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup that seems to make its way into so many American foods and drinks.
  2. They are bottled in glass.

Obviously, the other fixtures around our house are Habe and Jale. Here's Jale relaxing on the couch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lunch in the Park

Our students had lunch in the park with their families today, so I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the bark on one of the trees.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I was reading Orange Flower's blog and saw that she is doing 30 days of macro shots. I don't know that I will be able to post pictures every day, but I'm going to try. It looks like a fun challenge and a good way to practice my photography skills.

Pencils in my classroom.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools!

Second grader April fools jokes heard today:

“It is not important to recycle. April fools!”

“Mrs. Q, there are spiders taking over the classroom! April fools!”

While pointing out the window: “Mrs. Q, is that your car running down the hill? April fools!”

“Mrs. Q, there’s a spider behind you. April fools!”

“Mrs. Q, your coat fell off your chair. April fools!”

None of those actually “got” me, but I played along and acted surprised.

The one that did get me, however was what two fourth grade students did at the end of the day. I had been taking my students to the pick-up area and was talking to a parent. The two aforementioned boys were walking by. J (names omitted to protect the very guilty) says, “Mrs. Q, M’s nose is bleeding!” M was holding his hands over his nose and walking bent over. I spring into action, ask him if he’s okay and hurry to the keypad to enter my code to open the door so that he can enter the building and go to the bathroom. As I turn around, and start opening the door, he takes his hands off his nose and I can see that he has ketchup on this upper lip. April fools!