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Archive for July, 2008

I made a pretty green dress from Simplicity 3622.  I used jersey knit fabric.  The dress was challenging, partly because the sleeves had 6 elastic casings between them.  Here are some pictures of how it went.

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Here’s how I made a chicken and rice casserole.

I mixed 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup water, and 1 cup rice in a casserole dish.

I mixed 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup water, and 1 cup rice in a casserole dish.

I used frozen peas, baby carrots (halved), and sliced mushrooms.

I used frozen peas, baby carrots (halved), and sliced mushrooms.

The peas came out of the bag as a frozen, green ball.

The peas came out of the bag as a frozen, green ball.

I stuck the green ball of peas in the microwave for 1 minute.

I stuck the green ball of peas in the microwave for 1 minute.

Add the veggies to the casserole dish.

Add the veggies to the casserole dish.

Mix.

Mix.

I used frozen chicken breasts.

I used frozen chicken breasts.

I also added dried thyme and sage.

I also added dried thyme and sage.

I sprayed the chicken with Olive Oil Pam and sprinkled it with Garlic and Herb Mrs. Dash seasoning.

I sprayed the chicken with Olive Oil Pam and sprinkled it with Garlic and Herb Mrs. Dash seasoning.

I cooked it (at 350 or 375?) until my meat thermometer informed me that my dinner was ready.

I cooked it (at 350 or 375?) until my meat thermometer informed me that my dinner was ready.

I served it with a salad and it was quite tasty!

I served it with a salad and it was quite tasty!

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Teachers love to write notes about student progress, behavior, parent communication, etc.  Keeping track of them so that you can refer to them on a later date can be difficult.  Sure, you can write on a sheet of paper on a clipboard and later put it into a binder, but then you have two locations of paperwork for a student (you use the sheet on the clipboard until it is full).  You can’t just keep everything in the binder, because it’s terribly awkward to walk around your classroom with a binder flapping open.

I looked into a hybrid spiral (spiral notebook that has binder qualities to it), but it just didn’t seem right.

Last year, I used a large spiral.  I divided it into sections for each subject and numbered one page for each student, per section.  That didn’t work well, because one student would have information in several different places.  Plus, if I ran out of room, I had to flip to a new page at the back of the section, thus adding more places to look for info on a child.

This year, I put numbered sticky notes every 5 pages of a spiral (I assign each student a number — it saves me from replacing name stickers on items each year).  To keep the sticky notes from bending, I covered them with packing tape.  Thus, I had created a spiral that had a section of pages for each student, with tabs (numbered on both sides) for easy referencing.

Of course, the outside of the spiral looked quite awful.  I looked at scrapbooking papers, stickers, and decorations online, and came across some blue ginham that looked quite lovely.  I decided to make my own blue ginham page.

I took a piece of blue printer paper, drew thick lines with a blue highlighter (vertically), drew thick lines with a darker blue marker (horizontally), and colored the entire paper with blue colored pencil (That was a lot of shading!).  After that, I trimmed the paper to fit the spiral cover, printed a scrapbooking tag with a title on it, and then covered my new spiral cover with clear packing tape for durability.

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Sweet Husband’s words:  “Your office is no longer messy, Honey.  I can hear an echo.”

The first half of July, I collected items for my classroom.  To be specific, I nested.  What did I do with everything?  Well, I put everything in several piles in my home office.  It got to the point where I couldn’t walk around without holding on to something for balance or to keep it from falling over.

 

In the past, I read the FlyLady book (Sink Reflections) on how to keep your home organized, but I didn’t keep up with it (my house could be cleaner…).  This week, I came across a website of FlyLady teachers.  I joined the group and downloaded a copy of the School Control Journal.  It teaches you step by step how to organize your classroom while still keeping up with your homemaking.

The first lesson said to have a timer at home and at school.  I bought one for school (at home I use the timer on my microwave) and tried it out in my home office.  The lesson said to set the timer for 15 minutes and work on your desk first (home or school).  Since my home desk was a disaster, I gave it a try.

I couldn’t believe how my desk looked afterwards.  That let to the next pile, and the next pile, and so forth, until I had gone through and organized all of the things for my classroom.  I put materials for each lesson in separate bags/folders, grouped books that would be in the same categories, etc.

 

Of course, my desk didn’t stay neat and organized forever, but at least it’s cleaner (for now)!

After this, I went to my classroom (my sweet husband carried everything upstairs for me), where I proceeded to take everything out of the inside of my cabinets, as well as everything that I had piled on top of them in early June.  I now have a table of mess that needs to be organized, a table of science items, one of teacher books, one of social studies and language arts items, and two tables of baskets, boxes, etc.  At least it’s organized on tables by type of item!

This week, I plan to organize everything in my classroom!  I have 2 cabinets, and one will be entirely for science materials.  I have several rolling storage carts/chests, which I’ll use for math manipulatives, measurement tools, and other math items.  The other cabinet will be for language arts and social studies items.  I’m determined to be more organized!  I’ll continue to use the FlyLady classroom organization lessons to help.  Here’s to organization!

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Why is it that I can’t do daily jogs for a week without getting injured?  Arghhhh!!!!

Last fall, I tried jogging daily (or every few days) for a week, but I had to stop due to a back injury.  I admit that I tried to go too far and too fast, but I’ve changed my ways!  This week, I only did 4 miles and at only 1 mile per day!  Last night, I had some soreness in my shin and calf (right leg).  I took flax oil and used a heat pad.

Today, my left foot was hurting.  As I told my husband when he noticed me limping, “My foot isn’t working.”  At times throughout today, my foot would give me pain signals when I walked on it, specifically when I had to bend it (as you walk, your heel comes off the ground, thus your foot “bends”).  I took ibuprofin and tried to stay off it this evening, so I hope that it will be better tomorrow (or the day after).

I doubt that I will be doing any jogging tomorrow, but I might get on my bike a bit.  It was torture not being able to exercise (says the lady who was incredibly lazy the week before…).  It’s always when you want to exercise that you cannot!

My concern about my foot is that 2 years ago, it got stepped on twice at a wedding, and I wasn’t able to walk on it well for a few days, and I had to hold off on training (and cancel a scheduled race) for a while as well.  It’s the same foot, but I think (I hope) that the pain is in a slightly different spot on my foot.

Anyways, here’s hoping that my foot recovers and that I will be motivated to get back to jogging (I don’t want to be lazy again, even though it’s difficult to jog a simple mile!).

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I recently bought a serger.  I’m so glad that I did!  I want to say a special thanks to Amber and Raphaelle, who patiently taught me everything there is to know about sergers, so that I could make an informed decision.  (Click on each picture to see a bigger image.)

My new serger

My new serger

Using the serger for the first time - I was fixing the fraying edges on some shirts that I had made with my sewing machine

Using the serger for the first time - I was fixing the fraying edges on some shirts that I had made with my sewing machine

This is before it went through the serger

This is before it went through the serger

This is after it went through the serger

This is after it went through the serger

Here you can see the before and after using the serger

Here you can see the before and after using the serger

sewing machine on the left and serger on the right

Before and after: sewing machine on the left and serger on the right

For more crafty ideas, see Sew Crafty Friday at Waiting for Him.

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Crazy and Hungry

It’s 2:30 and I’m starting to get that crazy, hungry feeling.  You know, where you growl at everyone and contemplate dinner, but you don’t even want to put forth the effort to prepare that.  Plus, you know you need to eat a snack, but you can’t decide or put forth the effort to get out of your chair and fix one…

I’m going to publish this post, march myself to the kitchen, and get a snack, even if it’s just graham crackers and milk…

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