family · life

Why?

(let me state that I’m writing this post as I, but Richard and I both deal with all these conversations with our sons in the same way. I’m glad that he and I are almost always on the same page and we know that together we show our sons the love and respect that parents can have. We show them that we are both here for them no matter what)

I let this post mull over in my brain yesterday. Yet again we are living in the city that is coping with sadness do to ignorance and prejudiced.

We were living in Orlando, FL at the time of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. These people were out enjoying time with their friends. They were doing the same things others do every weekend. They were doing their own thing and not bothering anyone.

I had to explain to my sons that people thing they are better than others. That people believe that you should not be allowed to love whomever you choose. We had conversations about better ways to disagree. Better ways to deal with anger. Better ways… there have to be better ways!

Now we live outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Yesterday there was a shooting in a synagogue. What was happening inside this house of worship? a Bris. This is a baby naming service. This is a joyful time for parents and family members. It is a new member to the community.  They were doing their own thing and not bothering anyone.

I had to explain to my sons that people still believe that there is a difference between the religions. That some are “better” than others. They do not understand people who are different believe different things and worship differently.

What makes you and yours right and someone else’s wrong? What make you thing that violence will solve problems? I always tell my children and my classes that violence doesn’t solves problems… it just makes new ones.

What can we do to get people to realize that they aren’t helping anyone.

Mr. Rogers was from Pittsburgh and filled his show here. I leave you with a few quotes from him.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, textImage result for mr rogers love your neighbor

Image result for mr rogers hero quote

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Education · PreK class

Changes: Fall and Apples

Can you believe that this is the last Monday in September? And, the first Monday in fall? This week in school we are finishing up our unit on changes. We are looking at the changing seasons and learning about apples.

We created a chart with things that occur during the four seasons. Then, as one of their “must do” centers the children are illustrating their own chart of the seasons. I was impressed with the details they were able to tell me about the four seasons. Summer was the one they had the hardest time listing different things other than it is hot.

We will read other stories about the season of fall and talk more about the changes we can observe based on the seasonal changes.

Today we started a STEM project. Did you ever wonder what is the best way to prevent apples from browning? We cut up an apple into 8 slices. We left two as the control slices. Then, we dipped 2 slices in water, 2 in vinegar and 2 in Sprite. We left them to sit about 5 min and then put them onto a plate. We will observe the changes over the week.

On Tuesday, we will taste test apples to see which apple color we like best (red, yellow or green). We will also begin our graph on how we like to eat apples (whole apple, apple juice, apple pie, applesauce or apple slices)

On Wednesday, it is Johnny Appleseed day. We will learn about Johnny Appleseed and make applesauce. I think I’ll bring in my instapot to speed up the process a bit since I only have the children from 9:15-12:15, I usually do this in my crock pot.

On Thursday, I will tell the story about the star inside the apple.  We will also learn about the parts of the apple and how it grows.

We are also working on writing out names, recognizing numerals, one-to-one correspondence to 5 and ordering numerals.

I can’t believe that we are moving onto our next month and our next theme on Monday. Life moves fast

Education · PreK class

Changes and color mixing

This week we are learning about color mixing in school. We are doing a walking water color experiment and colored ice cubes mix. The children will color on coffee filters with markers and then wet the filters to let the colors bleed together. We are also doing rainbow writing with their names and sorting pom poms by color.

Water walk color experiment: You fill cups with water (I used 9 cups) set the cups in sets of three. Put color into the outside cups and leave the middle cup with just water. Then put paper towel “bridges” between the cups. The water will begin to wick up from the colored water cup into the plain water cup. Then the two colors will mix together. This took a LOT more food coloring than I expected. I ended up having to put food coloring right at the top of the “bridge” to get it to mix. But in the end, it worked and the children got to see yellow and blue make green, red and blue make purple, and red and yellow make orange.

Colored ice melt: Fill and ice cube tray with water. Add a few drops of food coloring to the sections to color the ice red, blue and yellow. Once frozen, you can put the ice into clear cups and then let the ice melt together. As it melts you should see the colors begin to mix. When we do this I will also add a cup that has red, yellow and blue so they can see it mix together into brown.

Coffee filter color mixing. This is a process based art activity. The children draw on coffee filters with markers. Then you have them use pippets to drop water onto the filter a few drops at a time. The marker colors will then begin to bleed and blend. Often times you will also see the colors separate. This is really cool when the black starts to separate into other colors.

Rainbow writing is a great way to help children master writing words. You write a word in one color, pencil or black works best. Then you have the children choose 3 or more crayons. The children have to write on top of the word you wrote with each of the three crayons, layering each on top of the last color. The more you write it the more colorful it becomes, and writing in layers of crayon helps build up the “feel” of the paper. (I often had my first graders use this method to practice spelling words)

Our poem this week is very simple and the children are already mastering it. I wrote it out on chart paper writing each line in the color word at the beginning. I then added quick illustrations to help them remember the last word. The children then had to illustrate their copy of the poem for their poetry journal.

Colors

Orange is a carrot.

Yellow is a pear.

Green is the grass.

Brown is a bear.

Purple is a plum.

Blue is the sky.

Black is a witch’s hat.

Red is cherry pie.

life

September

It’s September! It doesn’t feel like September when I step outside the door. It feels like August. This year has gone by so fast and in some ways I’m not ready for it to move at the rate. Hard to believe that in a few short months we will be talking about the holidays and the end of the year.

Today was my last day in my classroom without students. Tomorrow my students and their parents come in to see the classroom and meet me.  I  feel very comfortable working with the aide I have in my class this year. I feel like we will work well together. I’m excited to see the process of this school year going forward.

I know life is busy for everyone. I’m just ready to get into my new routine. I’m ready to be back to blogging. I’m ready to share my new pieces of my life with you. I just have to figure out how much and what pieces.

family · life

Cleaning schedule

It’s Tuesday! I love long weekends, but I also know that it means that I now have 5 days of work to fit into 4 days. I slacked on housework last week BIG time. I did get a few things done, but I need to work on creating a new schedule so that everything gets done on a regular basis. This is my idea for now:

  • Monday- floors- vac, sweep, mop
  • Tuesday- bathrooms
  • Wednesdays- groceries
  • Thursdays- sweep, iron
  • Fridays- nothing or make up items missed

I figure laundry will happen as needed. I typically dust every other week or so. I try to clean the kitchen nightly. We will see how this works out.

Do you have a weekly cleaning schedule? What have you found works for you, and your family??

 

life · through my camera lens

More painting! Basement this time

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, then you know that we moved into our house in Sept. Yep, it is almost a year since we moved into our house. We have lived in PA for over a year now.  We built the house we are living in and I will tell you one thing about building a house… builder paint sucks! Plus putting a coat of paint on the walls is a simple way to transform a house into a home.

Before we moved into the house, I took a week and moved all the kitchen items into the house and painted the boys rooms. I did Colby’s room in a fish/ocean theme (blue with a painted tank with sticker fish), and Blake’s as an American sports theme (cream walls with a burgandy stripe). (Click on the boys’ names to see the posts and pictures of their rooms.) We wanted their rooms to be done before we moved in the furniture and it was settled before the boys moved into the house.

Richard then picked out a gray/silvery color to paint his office. Again we wanted it done before all the furniture was settled and into the room. This room was done after we moved in, but before all was settled.

I then moved on and painted the downstairs bathroom (hunter green) and then the boy’s bathroom (slate gray). Then Richard and I painted the kitchen, morning room and living room.

This weekend we tackled our next project, the basement. When we built the house we had a majority of the basement finished as part of the building process. We already use this room a lot. It is where we have our larger tv, most of the boys stuff (including all the Lego sets), all the games, the gaming systems and so much more. In the future we plan on getting a pool table, dart board and build in a wet bar. So, this paint job needed to be fun!

We went with two shades of green. The darker green is even named “billiard” green. Richard thought I was crazy when I explained how I wanted to use the two greens in the room, but when we were done with the combo wall he agreed that it looks good.

We aren’t quite done yet. We need to paint the stairwell the lighter green color. Then we will paint darker green in the area where we have the tv as well as the wall the bar will eventually go on. (pretty much any way you see beige in the pictures still needs to be painted)

We are almost done hanging the shelving unit I built for the Lego bins. We will also use this to display some of the built Lego models and possibly put games on as well… we will see once we get everything moved onto the shelves.

I say this is a great start! I’m ready for some organization down there to make it feel more functional.

Education · family · life

Changes and News

Yesterday I took the boys to their school. The teachers aren’t there, but it is an opportunity to find their classrooms. This year they are in the same biome (the school labels the hallways by biomes). Colby has the teachers that Blake had last year and Blake is just moving down the hall to 6th grade. Colby found two people from his class last year that are in class with him again this year. He is happy about that. At this time, Blake doesn’t know who is in his class, but those who know enough to contact are in his biome never mind his class. Oh well that will be good for him, meet and get to know other kids.

I know I haven’t talked about me job search in a while. I was contacted by three different preschools over the summer. I interviewed with all of them. Two of them I went back and taught a lesson. The third one offered me a position at my first interview, that was last Thursday. Yesterday I did a second interview at the other pre-school I was considering. I made a decision today. I accepted a job teaching kindergarten prep.

Image result for preK

I will be working from 8:45-12:45. I decided this would be perfect for our family. I get to teach and have the fun and challenge of doing what I’m good at doing, but I’m also home when the boys get off the bus. I can do the grocery shopping, cleaning and other things during the week and we can still have our weekends to do fun things.

It will also give me time to do more work on my Teacher Pay Teachers store! I am looking forward to this change and less teaching stress.

I’m excited to take on this new adventure and step in my life.

life

Ready for the new school year?

It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost over. There are often times when I wish the boys went to school all year long. They do so much better when they have a routine. Then there are days when I am so happy that they have summer break. I love the slower moments of life.

Today the boys got up, had breakfast and then went downstairs. They are playing with hot wheels cars. They take control of the fire stick, but that is fine. They don’t always play well together, but when they do it is nice. I enjoy the easy relationship they have together. They certainly are best of friends and worst of enemies. They have a natural relationship together. They are both strong willed and that shows in ugly ways at times, but I wouldn’t change in either of the boys.

We have kept up some routines, schedules and expectations over the summer, but also loosened up some of them too. I like that as they get older they have more independent times. We are getting to the phase in their lives where they balance is shifting. They need to make more and more decisions on their own. They need to be more responsible for their choices, actions and forward movements in life.

So many times it seems that parents want to keep their children younger. They want to shelter the children. They want to stay in control of the choices and decisions that are made. That is not the way that Richard and I parent. We want the boys to have a firm grasp on reality. They need to understand choices and consequences now before those wrong choices could land them in more trouble than an apology can fix.

So am I ready for summer to be over? Yes and No. Am I ready for the boys to grow up? Yes. I love seeing the changes in the boys. I am excited to see what the next change will be. I’m excited to see the growth and development in all aspects of life. Going forward into the next grade of school is a huge step in the development process… so bring on 6th and 5th grades. I’m ready to see the changes it with bring in their personalities, development and all around self. (Not that I’m ready to start the whole get up and function in the mornings)

family · life

August 1st

There is something about the month of August that makes me cringe. This year it could be the fact that as of now I still do not have a job for the school year. It could be that the boys and I have had a good summer and I know that Aug 23rd they go back to school. It could be that it means they are getting older… Blake starts 6th grade and Colby starts 5th. It’s shocking to me how much time stands still and speeds by rapidly all at the same time.

But, I have to admit… it is August 1st. It is back to school time. It means shopping, switching sleep schedule, and so many other adjustments. But, my boys like school, for the most part and I know that they will be happy to find their new classrooms. See the other kids. Meet their new teachers. They are ready to get in there and suck up knowledge.

Until then we will, go to the library, workout, mountain bike, watch movies, and just enjoy the last bit of summer.

food · life · reviews

More protein needed!

Ok so I mentioned on Monday that Richard and I have started using BeachBody’s Liift4. First of all let me tell you that my body hurts and I’ve only done two workouts! Today is our rest day. This program has M, T, Th, F workouts and then W, S, S are “rest days”. We plan on sleeping in on Wednesday and then working out at night with the boys on that day doing either core or cardio workouts.

I am also following their meal plan. I didn’t get the containers, I’m pretty good at portion control and I can measure if I need. They have provide a meal plan based upon your current weight that helps balance calories and type of foods consumed.

I’m allotted:

  • 3 veggies
  • 2 fruits
  • 4 proteins
  • 2 carbs
  • 1 healthy fat
  • 1 seed/dressing
  • 2 oil/nut butter

I’m drinking my shakeology for breakfast. Typically my shake is 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fruit and 1 veggie. I use milk (1 carb and 1/2 an oil/nut butter), a fruit, spinach (veggie) and the shakeology powder (1 protein).

This leaves me 2 veggies, 1 fruit, 3 proteins, 1 carb, 1 healhy fat, 1 seed/dressing and 1.5 oil/nut butter for the rest of the day.

I have no problems with anything except the proteins. I will eat a portion of protein for lunch and one for dinner, but I have to fit in one more portion. Typically I’d grab nuts (those are considered healthy fats), cheese (also healthy fats), peanut butter ( oil/nut butter… oh and you only get 1 tsp in a serving), hummus (healthy fat)

They think of proteins more of meats and eggs. These are snacks to me. I can eat plain yogurt-yuck! I’d have to leave a fruit for this. I can have cottage cheese, which I like, but don’t want to have daily as a snack. They say to have tuna as a snack, but that doesn’t work in my mind… tuna is lunch not a snack.

Now I’m debating on making eggs for breakfast and then moving my shake for later in the day. But, I’m making the shake for Richard too in the morning, he drinks his on the drive into work. So it makes sense to just have mine for breakfast. Plus I’m used to having a smoothie for breakfast that is what I drank every day when I worked.

Ok people… help me how can I make find a way to have a protein snack?