Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ahhh... Spring Break!

It's amazing what just 2 weekdays of relaxation can do for the body and the spirit. Even though the rest of my spring break week is full, I feel replenished and rested. I don't think I've been able to say that since Christmas break.

Images of Greatness went really well with the 8th graders. I was so proud of them, and yes, I did get teary. I'm really going to miss this group. I can't believe I've had them in class for 3 years!

Yesterday I went to Iowa City with Andrew's daughter Holly. She's getting ready to leave in a couple weeks for a year of teaching English in Japan. She had a few things she needed to get, and we had a really nice day together. We shopped until I dropped. I literally couldn't keep my eyes open last night when we got home.

Andrew has offered a million times to clean out my car for me. Very sweet. However, when so much of my crap was in the car, I was never willing to take him up on it. On Sunday afternoon, I cleaned all my crap out of the car, threw away all the trash, put all the empty bottles in recycling, and ran it through the car wash. I handed Andrew my keys and said, "It's all yours!" I don't think he could believe that I finally took him up on his offer. He cleaned every inch of the inside, even the disgusting bottoms of the cup holders. Then, he took it and vacuumed it all out. It seriously looks like a new car. It's so nice! He's the best boyfriend ever. Now, I just have to keep the car looking this way. Hm... ;)

The rest of the break is going to be busy, but I've enjoyed these few days of relaxation. I needed them so much. 3rd quarter was soooooo busy. I can't believe we're almost done with March. Where has the year gone?!?!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

White and Nerdy

I heard Donny Osmond talking about this on the radio today. Yes, the finished Weird Al video is funny, but not HALF as funny as Donny's moves in this Take 1 version. He makes me feel better about myself as a white girl with no moves. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Final Countdown

Spring break is in sight. I just have to make it through this busy week. Tuesday is History Day with my 7th grade GOAL class. I only have 9 kids in that class, but with all the snow days this quarter, their projects have some much needed tweaking by Tuesday. I'm taking 2 performances and 4 exhibits... no documentaries this year. I was kind of surprised that no one chose to do a documentary, but it does make my job easier when it comes to all the equipment that has to be hauled for documentaries. I think they'll do well, but it's hard to know exactly how to prepare them for a situation they've never seen before.

Thursday is the 8th grade GOAL kids' Images of Greatness night. The 8th graders are the first group that I've had all 3 years of GOAL. I know I'll probably be teary that night. Their projects are really coming together. This week, they'll practice on stage, getting used to the microphone, etc. They'll have their dress rehearsal Wednesday, and we'll have Thursday in class to adjust anything if we need to before Thursday night.

These are the last two big events of the quarter, and once they're done, I can breathe a little sigh of relief and enjoy a week off. Andrew has his big show at Hoyt Sherman on March 27, so I'm glad I'll be available that week to help him do whatever he needs done in Des Moines. They're really putting out the publicity on the show, and it's exciting. He has ads running on Iowa Public Television as well as on the History Channel!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Weekly Update

It was a busy week, but it was less busy now that the play is over. We had strike on Monday, and the kids worked really hard to get the set broken down and stored, to return the props, and to clean the whole stage area. It's no fun, but it has to be done. I felt a little lost after school on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's weird not having play practice to go to when you've been there every day for 2 months. I think the kids had withdrawal too.

Tuesday I finally got in for a haircut. I usually go about 7 weeks or so between haircuts, but because of the plays and having to work on our scheduled day off, I hadn't had my hair cut since around Thanksgiving! My bangs were so long, I felt like a sheepdog. Luckily, I now feel human again!

Wednesday I had church choir and handbells, so that always makes a full evening.

Thursday I chaperoned for Young Writer's Conference. I haven't been there for awhile, and it was a very nice day. The author for this year was William Durbin, and he writes young adult novels about some subjects I'd never even heard of. I loved hearing about The Voyageurs and The Winter War both. Fascinating. Thursday night we had FACT board. We recapped the winter show Have a Nice Day!, and started getting ready for the summer show, My Fair Lady. It was a fun meeting because we met at Gay's house and had dinner before. Heather wrote up the minutes like a script the next day, and it was entertaining, to say the least. Let's just say that when you get a bunch of hams together on a board, meetings are never dull. :)

Friday after school we had a get together at my principal's house. It was sort of a replacement for our Christmas party that was cancelled because of the terrible weather. It's always fun to be with the staff of my school in an informal setting. Plus, it's nice to see their families too. Lots of our teachers have little ones, and they completely entertain me! I went with Heather, and I got the added bonus of meeting her new boyfriend, Mike. He's been elusive up to this point, but now, I have proof of his existence. ;) Andrew was in Ames at a Century 21 function, so after the party, I went over to Suzanne's to watch more of our Christmas present... Weeds! We're done with 2 of the 2 DVD's now. I seriously love that show. It's funny, dramatic, unexpected, and well-written. I love it when shows can surprise me. Weeds always does that!

Today I'm supervising Saturday School. I have 7 in class, and they're all working hard. Hopefully they can accomplish a lot to help themselves get caught up in their classes.

I don't have other plans for today, but I'm hoping to read and get a nice long nap. I do have papers to grade. I'm working on that now, and I'll probably have to spend some time at school tomorrow to get ready for the 6 week reporting period, but I definitely think a nap is calling me today!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Don't Judge it Until you Try It

I'm not a squash lover, but today, for some odd reason, I'm craving this fantastic recipe that my cousin Kelly made at Fort Mountain Ranch last year during New Year's. You should try it... it's YUMMY! Maybe I'll make it for our FACT board meeting on Thursday... we'll see if I can get it together by then! ;)

Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeño Cream
Time: 1 1/4 hours.

We've tossed spaghetti squash with a spicy cream sauce and baked it, mac-'n'-cheese-style, for a warming, hearty side dish that doubles easily and reheats beautifully. Keep this one in mind for Thanksgiving.

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)

2 cups milk

2 to 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pans

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to remove seeds and surrounding fiber. Put squash, cut side down, on a lightly buttered baking sheet and bake until tender when flesh is pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Or poke several holes in skin of squash with a fork and microwave it on high 10 minutes. Squash should be tender when pierced with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and jalapeños until bubbles form along the edge of the pan. Remove mixture from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Strain and discard jalapeños.

3. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the strands out of the skin and into a large bowl.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in flour and salt and cook, whisking, until flour smells cooked (like piecrust), about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in jalapeño-infused milk while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture over squash and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with jack cheese and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Yield: Serves 8CALORIES 168 (53% from fat); FAT 9.9g (sat 5.7g); CHOLESTEROL 31mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14g; SODIUM 447mg; PROTEIN 6.7g; FIBER 2g

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