Thursday, November 29, 2012

A nice 5 day Thanksgiving weekend:  Why I love being a Teacher!!! 
Saturday I spent the day slaving over a big pot of spaghetti sauce.   Nah, not Crock Pot did all the work!!! (See my previous Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce post.) 
But, I did get my behind off the couch about 5pm to whip up some mozzarella stuffed meatballs!  
One pound ground beef,
One egg,
About 1/2 cup of bread crumbs,
Two sticks of mozzarella string cheese cut into 1/2 inch chunks,
Form meatballs around cheese chunks.  (About 15 meatballs.)

Bake meatballs for 20 minutes or until no longer pink.  Drool over the ooey-gooey cheese as it seeps out of the bubbly, meat-bally goodness. 

I boiled some fettuccine noodles for a pasta base.  I topped the noodles and meatballs with my spaghetti sauce.  Everyone DEVOURED their dinner.  I need to double the recipe for my hungry tribe next time, though! 
As these Dalys like to say, "Eat Beef and Enjoy"!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

These books you must read...

Along the lines of "You just never know what will happen next," is the saying, "You just never know what you'll find next!"  The other day I walked into the boys' bedroom to put something away and as I glanced out their window, I was surprised by all these creatures!
Younger son has been bit by the "Origami Yoda" bug!  Older son brought home the book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger.  Younger son loves any and all things Star Wars and is a veracious reader, so of course, he devoured the book.  It didn't take long for him to get his hands on the next two in the series, as well (a Scholastic book order steal-- all three for only $8.99!).
Here's the premise of 'Origami Yoda':  Dwight is an weirder-than-usual 6th grader who creates an origami Yoda finger puppet who can predict the future!  Dwight and Yoda become a VERY popular duo at school as people have their futures predicted while trying to figure out if Origami Yoda is real or just a figment of Dwight's imagination.   I think I'm going to read these books myself!  The bits and pieces I've read are really funny!
According to the boys, these books are HILARIOUS!  The pages are mostly text with doodles in the margins and funny conversation bubbles, etc..  As an added bonus, there are origami instructions in the back of each book.   Younger son has mastered making an origami Yoda--he turns church bulletins, old homework papers, fresh/neat/perfect-for-math-homework notebook paper into Yodas wherever he goes!!!   
The three books are (in order):  The Strange Case of Origami YodaDarth Paper Strikes Back, and The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee.
You can check out the official website of Origami Yoda at:

You just never know what you'll find next! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkeys!

Happy Thanksgiving! 
Kindergarten Turkeys...

...these are some of the cutest turkeys I've ever seen!...

1st Grade Turkeys...
   ...thankful for her family, her friends, and her cousins...
Here are some more cute turkeys--and the edible kind!!!   Start with round, cut-out sugar cookies (I bought the package mix for $1.99, so much easier and quicker); frost with white frosting.  The beak is a piece of candy corn, the eyes are two chocolate chips, and the feathers are Reeses Pieces. 
These are quick, easy, and scrumptious!!!      
Here are 5 things I'm thankful for today: 
1.  The Downton Abby marathon on PBS right now.
2.  My new jean jacket that fits well, looks stylish, and goes great with my olive colored pants.
3.  YouTube videos that teach me new knitting stitches.
4.  That great French Vanilla Cappuccino they sell at Mobil.
5.  Pinterest.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Flat Stanley Takes the Stage!

Three friends and I have season tickets to our local playhouse.  We're coming to the end of our third season doing this, and what we love is that it means a guaranteed "girl's-night-out" 5 times a year!  When we went to the play in September, there was an ad for "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr." at the New Sullivan Theater in Rockford. We got this crazy idea that we'd share our love of the theater with our darlings. 

Stanley Lambchop dreams of having adventures, and one night a fairy comes and grants him his wish by dropping a bulletin board on him, squashing him flat.  His parents fold him up and put him in an envelope and send him all over the world.
Flat Stanley is a set of children's books, and in preparing for the play, we read a book where Stanley scares a bully at a Halloween party, and another, longer chapter book where Stanley travels to Africa in search of other flat people.   

  While the play was definitely the highlight of the week, maybe the month..., we all agreed that the best part was being out-on-the-town with our friends!  My "ladies of the theater" friends are so much fun, and normally when we go to the play, the dads all get together and hang out with the kids.  Lord only knows what happens while we're gone...


 The kids all did a great job of watching the play!  My kids reported that their favorite parts were when Flat Stanley's mom took him to the doctor after the bulletin board incident, (the doctor tells Mrs. "Porkchop" that her kid is flat and to bring him back when he has the sniffles or a stomach ache, but don't forget to make a co-pay on her way out!) and the "cool kids" who decide to use Stanley as a kite--until the school bus comes! 

At the end of the play, Stanley goes back to being 3-dimensional, and his closing lines are:  "You don't have to be flat to have adventures, you just have to find the adventures in everything you do!" 
How true, how true. 
 P.S. See you on the 30th, Laura!

The election results are in!

Election years are VERY exciting when you're a grade-schooler!  So, to start election day off right, I whipped up one of our breakfast favorites:  waffles! 

Since it was a momentous day in history, I threw on some star-shaped red, white, and blue sprinkles.

I'm telling ya-- The next time you make waffles, throw on some sprinkles!  Nothing says, "Good morning, Sunshine!  Have a fantastic day!" like a waffle with sprinkles baked in! 

Oh, and for the election results-- the kids reported the results of their mock election at school: 
vanilla won out to chocolate ice cream,
the candy of choice is Kit-Kats,
and the 1st through 4th graders seem to be primarily Democratic-- Obama won. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baby Betsy

Enough time has past since I last blogged about cows, right?  I'm just in a bovine mood today...

The little cutie in front is our oldest son's 4-H calf.  He has lucked out twice now, with his cow giving him two heifer calves.  His herd is growing by leaps and bounds!  Two years ago, his year very first 4-H project, "Bossy", gave birth to her first calf, "Bernie".  This past fall, Bossy had another heifer calf: sweet little Betsy.  Isn't she adorable!?!?!
Here's a picture of mom and her baby.  Bossy is a very good mother, but she is a little "light hoofed" (she kicks like a soccer pro...)  I get along great with Bossy, but oldest son has been kicked too many times to be very comfortable around her.  I don't know if Bossy will ever come back to the fair, but she does her job out in the pasture for us, so we still love her!
 Bossy sat this year out, but Bernie did a good job at the fair.  (The cross-breed yearling heifer class doesn't have very many entries!)  And, if an 11 year old with 3 cows (or soon to be cows) of his own isn't good enough, Bernie will calve next spring!  He's kind of hoping for a bull calf, I think, (it's better for his immediate bottom line ;) ), but he's not overly picky.  Lucky kid!