Sunday, April 21, 2013

Orange Crush Cake!

Yesterday afternoon I was strolling through Valli Produce and spotted something that got my taste buds thinking:  An Orange Crush Cake.  It looked DELICIOUS!  It was bundt shaped (my favorite shape), it was glazed (my favorite topping), and obviously made with Orange Crush Soda (the sticker on the front was the official sticker of the pop).  Well, let me tell you right now:  I do NOT buy baked goods.  I bake baked goods.  Because I'm a lifelong 4-Her. 

I made a mental addition to my Woodman's list:  Yellow cake mix, an orange, and a can of orange flavored soda (Sunkist TEN was on sale). 

Then, Sunday afternoon was experiment time!  I mixed the pop (12 oz.) and cake mix, greased up my bundt pan,  poured in the batter and baked for 40 minutes.

After cooling for about 10 minutes, I poured on my glaze (powdered sugar and milk).  I sprinkled on some orange zest and VIOLA!!! Orange "Sunkist" DELICIOUSNESS!!! times 1000!!!!

This guy had 2 servings --after polishing off his own steak, a salad, and some potatoes, too! 

This gal gave the cake two thumbs up, too!

By my calculations, the cost was $1.90 for the entire thing (compared to Valli Produce's $4.99!) and the pop I used was only 10 calories, so each serving was around 130 calories if you cut the cake into 10 pieces (minus the glaze and ice cream).  I will DEFINITELY make this one again.   

P.S.  I know you are all insanely jealous of my 1970's Burnt Orange bundt pan.  You're just going to have to work through that on your own. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Nation's Most and Least Satisfied Workers...

This afternoon as I sat down to scroll pinterest for a few minutes (I mean hours), the article on my homepage was about the nation's most and least satisfied workers. 
GUESS WHO IS THE SECOND HAPPIEST WORKER?!?!?!?!   High school teachers!!!
I was relieved, in a way, to read this because our district is experiencing a minor hiccup right now... (some would argue a major belch,) but all in all, I think we all do LOVE what we're doing, it's just the political garbage that is bringing us down.

Here's what the article said about High School Teachers, Special Education Teachers, and Teacher Assistants:
Their well-being index score= 73.6%  (100% would be perfect well-being)
                                   obesity= 79.4%  (This is a bummer, 79.4% of teachers are obese?!?!)
         Percent Satisfied w/Job= 91.1% (100% would be completely satisfied with job)

The article also reported that "teachers were the most likely workers to report that they smiled or laughed, experienced enjoyment or happiness within the past day." 
These teachers also ate healthy diets, second after nurses! 

Some minor and major things need to change in our district, and I have faith and confidence that they will.  The tides will change, everything is cyclical, it's education's turn to be in the hot seat...  But, the fact is this:  It's Sunday afternoon and I AM looking forward to going to work tomorrow!  Here are three reasons why:

1.  I really enjoy teenagers.  They are funny! We have some good times and genuine laughs.  They are at such an exciting time in their lives, the whole future is ahead of them!  Some of my favorite times are with my Algebra 2 students.  A lot of these kids were my students two years ago as freshmen.  They've come so far and we can do some really hard stuff now and solve some really cool problems because they have grown so much academically!  Someday I can say, "I knew him/her when..."!

2.  I have a lovely student teacher right now, and while she doesn't need my help, it's fun to share with her some tips, tricks, games, and activities that I've picked up along the way.  I never do the same thing more than once a year (this can be good and bad, I tend to forget some things,) so everyday is a new adventure!

3.  The life of a teacher is busy from September to May, but it's the perfect job for a mom!  I was lamenting my low salary to my in-laws on Easter Sunday, and as wonderful Aunt Mary Sue reminded me: I'm in a period right now where my number one job is to be a mom and wife.  I can climb the career ladder and get more letters behind my name later.  Right now, I need to be home after school, on holidays, and during the summer.  I'm lucky to be able to do it all! 

If you're interested in seeing where your job ranks, here's a link to the article:

Have a great week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mom's famous meltdown-2013

So, this is what 4-H really means for this family:  Mom having a freak-out/meltdown/spaz-attack which will undoubtedly lead to years of therapy for the Daly kids when they become adults. 

Well, my meltdown this year happened much earlier than usual (normally this happens about mid-June). 

It went like this:  (Tuesday afternoon of spring break...)
Carrie:  "Dave, are you going to be around the buildings this afternoon to help us get the 4-H calves tied up?"
Dave:  "Mmmhhhmmm...."
Carrie:  "Dave, did you hear me?"
Dave:  "Hmm?  What?"
Carrie:  "Am I the only one that is concerned about breaking Danny's calf?  Do you realize that we haven't done anything with those calves since November?  We are busy every Saturday morning from now until June!  Once school gets out, I only have 4 days off until I have to be in Belvidere everyday for two weeks!  Don't you understand that I'm NOT going to be around much in June?  You can't expect us to work with these cattle for 6 weeks and then be ready for the fair!  We're never going to be ready?  Why don't you care?  Am I the only one that is concerned about this?!?!?!"
Dave:  "Whatever.  I'll tie them up.  You are over-reacting.  Get a grip crazy woman."  (I added the last sentence for dramatic affect.)

Well, this is how the rest of the week played out:  We worked with the 4-H calves three afternoons during spring break.  Each day, the twins haltered right up and we led them around like puppy dogs.
Danny's calf has only been weaned about 3 weeks.  We needed to completely break her, so on day 1, we tied her to a post and took turns standing next to her and talking to her. 
On day 2, we tied her up and took turns talking to her and petting her.  When everyone was ready to be tucked back into the pen for the night, I was able to kind of lead her to the water tank at the far end of the barn.  Mostly it was a lot of me holding on for dear life and her jumping in the general direction of the water tank. 
On day 3, we tied her up and petted and combed her for awhile, and then after she was settled down, Danny untied her and led her like a pro!  
In conclusion,  one of the following must be true:
a.  we've cracked the code on how to properly halter break calves,
b.  we've lucked out with some really naturally calm 4-H projects, or
c.    my meltdowns really work.
I'm going with choice 'c.'