Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quinoa for Breakfast?!?!

My recipe test this week is another breakfast one. I have been eating the Portable Western Omelettes almost every day for the last couple of weeks. Time to mix it up!

How to make the best breakfast quinoa
This recipe comes from A Beautiful Mess. It is super easy to make and involves one of my fave foods...quinoa!

I'm not going to detail the instructions here. Just click on the picture and it'll take you right to it. 

But I will say that I give this recipe a BIG thumbs up. 

Here's my version! I followed all of the parts of the recipe except I used whole milk not almond milk and I added raspberries instead of blackberries. Still yummy, though!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Things We Should Say More Often...

For our Gratitude Journals this past Friday, we watched a video by Kid President.

I loooooove this kid! He is so cute and funny. AND...he says things that need saying.

Wish more of us would follow his advice.

Anywho, we watched this video...

And then we had to think of things we could say more often. The teacher next door did the same thing but had her class write about one thing that they think should be said more often. One of my previous students is in her class and wrote this:

I love, love, love the way 7 year olds can just put it all into perspective. We do need to tell people this sometimes but we never want to hurt any one's feelings. 

The truth of it is...people need to take breaks from each other. Friends from friends. Parents from kids. Wives from husbands. 

Knowing when you need to take a break and refuel yourself is such an important skill. I worked with her last year on this same skill. We learned to "take a vacation" from friends every once in awhile if you are getting on each other's nerves. Because just like you don't stop being friends when one of you goes jetting off to Hawaii, you don't stop being friends when you take a mini-vacation from each other at school.

She has learned to take care of herself and let people know what she needs. And, sometimes, what she needs is a break. I am so proud of her for finding the 1,000,000 pounds of courage it takes to say it!

So, what do you need to find 1,000,000 pounds of courage to say?


Ms. Hughes

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Passing it on...

I recently got a student teacher in my class. It was a last minute thing with the student having been placed in a class (in another school) that just wasn't working out. She came to me at the beginning of the 2nd week of her 13 week practicum. 

My principal came and asked me to take it on and (I won't lie) I really wasn't sure. However, having my new principal say that she wanted the student teacher placed with an exemplary educator was very nice to hear!

Between my daughter finishing school, my Mum and her illness, trying to maintain a marriage while living in two houses and just the everyday stuff of my life, I wasn't sure I had it in me to take on this important task. 

Plus, the last time I had a student teacher (very similar situation with mid-practicum placement) it was HORRIBLE!!!! I was a bit worried about history repeating itself.

But, I talked it over with my hubby and co-worker, and decided to go for it.

And...I am so glad that I did!!!! 

She is awesome! She has a lovely way with the students and is both firm and kind. I have a really good feeling about the next few weeks!

It helps enormously that she worked as Special Ed Assistant for the past number of years (in fact, all of the student teachers in her cohort are coming to the teaching profession after years of being support to teachers and students in classrooms!) because she has so much knowledge already (and can share it with me!)

I know that the students are going to benefit greatly from having her in the classroom. She will be teaching a number of the lessons in coming weeks and that will also free me up to work more 1-1 with a few of the kids who need the extra support. Plus, I'll be able to get more books inventoried for the book room which means more books out of the boxes and in the hands of readers! Yay!

One of the best things (so far) about having her in my class is that it is causing me to do a lot of self-reflection about why I do things that I do. What is my philosophy? How do I believe children should be treated? What should a classroom sound like? Feel like? I feel like I am growing as an educator as I talk to the student teacher and answer questions she has about how or why I did something.

It's a win-win. She gets to start her career in a placement that is working and I get to learn from her as much as she learns from me. Love it!!!!


Ms. Hughes

Monday, January 20, 2014

Friday Community Centres...

I am continuously impressed with the creativity that comes out when the students get the opportunity to choose where they want to work during Centre time. Here are some things that came out of the arts and craft table this past Friday.

 How cute are these two puppets? The one on the bottom is pointing to say "That way!" A whole bunch of kids from the community got into making paper bag puppets last Friday. Wish I had gotten pictures of more of them. Sigh...

It's hard to tell but each of these small animals are about the size of a loonie. The two girls who made them worked very hard on them for the whole hour! The top one is even stuffed! I love that they love to sew! 

And I am still dreaming of finding a coffee table that I can use to do this. Know anyone who has one they want gone? I'll take it!!!! You'd think old coffee tables would be everywhere and, if I wanted IKEA tables, that would be the case. Unfortunately, I need a table that has a frame not just four legs screwed to a top (a la IKEA) and these older coffee tables are not quite so easy to find at the used furniture stores. But, never fear, I will keep looking!

Also, looks like we'll be getting two new big arts and crafts tables for our common area. The library just got new tables and I have snagged two of the old ones. One will be near the teacher's sink and paint supply area so that we can do more painting activities and the other will house the craft supplies (that are currently in my studio). I'd like to have just the sewing supplies in my studio (and, hopefully, a sewing table for group projects if I can just get my hands on the right kind of coffee table!!!!)

Honestly, there are days when I wish I could just teach arts and crafts all day long. Sigh...


Ms. Hughes

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cooking it up... #3!!!

Okay, so I have managed to impress even myself these past three weeks. I have made a new recipe from my pinterest board each and every week so far this year! Go me!!!

This week I made a hashbrown casserole. Not something that would normally even be on my radar except that my mother has a lot of frozen hashbrowns in her freezer. The reason for all of the hashbrowns remains a mystery but I needed to find something to do with all those darn potatoes!!!!

The recipe I found was from The Daily Meal and was called Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole. If you click on the link above, it'll take you to the recipe.

Their version looked like this:

Delicious Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole That You Can Make At Home.

Mine turned out a bit different because (of course) I didn't have all the required ingredients on hand and had to do some substitutions. Still, it tasted pretty yummy!

Here's my version:

It tasted pretty gosh darn good but (I have to admit)...is not very good for you. It is basically a lot of melted butter, sour cream and cheese mixed with some onions, hashbrowns and a can of soup. It totally reminded me of the kind of cooking I get down South! However, since we are under Doctor's orders to feed my Mum full fat everything (no skinny lattes for her, no sirree!!!!) it worked out just fine!

Doubt I'll make it again but at least I can say that there are fewer bags of hashbrowns in my Mum's freezer!!!! (Now if I could only think of something to do with the bags that are still left......)

Happy Cooking!

Ms. Hughes

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The BIG List

Don't you hate when you see a great idea and don't pin it right away?

I do!

Somewhere out there in cyberland I saw this neat idea of making a list (The BIG List) to figure out all the things that you want to get done, achieve etc.

Not so much a goal list but a working "To Do..." list of sorts. Wish I could figure out which blog it was on. Aaargh!!!! Anywho, the person who did it then had a second place where she wrote in weekly goals (based on the BIG list) to get some of these things done. 

And...since I always have projects that are either on the go or that I want to do...I figured, why not?

Clearly, creating a pinterest board for my list of "to do's" hasn't worked out very well! And, seeing as how I really like making lists, I thought I'd give it a try. 

So, this is the list so far....I keep adding more to it as I think of things and have already crossed off one item! Go me!!!!

The BIG list is a work in progress that will (hopefully!) help me get all the odd jobs done at both our house and my mother's house in the coming year.

It also includes things that aren't really "to do" but are more lifestyle choices. Like exercising regularly and drinking more water. 

So far, I haven't added much in the way of work items. If I did that, the list would be WAY, WAY, WAY too big!!!! Maybe I should make another one called "The Never Ending Work List"!!!!!

Are you a list maker? I love to make them...just rarely manage to follow through with them!!!! Still there is something highly satisfying about crossing items off of a list, isn't there?

So, now I can cross of the "write post about BIG list" on my list!!!!!


Ms. Hughes

Monday, January 13, 2014

One of my lovelies made this the other day at centres. He spent a LONG, LONG, LONG time working on it. When he was done, he went over to our support teacher, Miss Vanessa, and described in great detail  each part of the creation, what it was made from, how he made it etc. etc. 

Then, she asked him... "But...what is it? What do you call all of it? What is it a picture of?

His Answer: "A masterpiece."

Bless my heart! All I could think was that I hope he keeps on seeing himself as the creator of masterpieces for the rest of his life. We should all have such strong belief in ourselves.


Ms. Hughes 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Cooking...

Week 2 of cookin' up the recipes I have saved on Pinterest.

This week it was apple and feta salad from Cooking Classy.

The recipe there was a bit different from what I ended up with but the basic idea is the same (that seems to be a theme with these recipes so far, doesn't it?) and it turned out really well.

Below is the recipe how it was on the website. They used chicken, bacon, walnuts, and dried cranberries in theirs.
Apple-Feta Salad with Chicken, Bacon and Walnuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe ~ This is a highly delicious salad that is perfect for busy weeknights

 Above is my version. I used bacon, feta, apples and lettuce. No dried cranberries. No chicken. 

But have to say that it was still delish!!!! This recipe gets a high score with me. I would definitely eat it again. (I don't make bacon often but, from now on, I'll tuck away a few pieces to make up this for lunch!)

I better watch out...too many more cooking successes and I might start thinking I like the whole cooking thing. 

Nah! Would still rather read a book!


Ms. Hughes

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pinned it...Now do it!!!!

This is my new motto for all of the recipes that are on my pinterest recipe board. 

I have pinned A LOT of recipes over the past months. Lots of main courses but also lots and lots of deserts. I'm not sure why I pin so many them...I don't even eat desert regularly! And I don't eat gluten! They just look so gosh darn good,  I guess!

Anywho, I have decided that I am going to try to make one recipe per week this year. It will hardly put a dent in the number I have pinned but at least I will know if I like the way they taste or just the way they look on pinterest!!!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't really like to cook. It doesn't help that I literally have a 14"x 20" amount of counter space to cook on in my very, very tiny kitchen at home. The space is the size of a cutting board. (I'll have to take a picture one day to show you just how small my kitchen really is!)

But, now that I am at my mother's house half the time, I have a large kitchen at my disposal with a gas oven. Yay! 

So, the plan is to cook at least one thing from my "Recipes to Try" Pinterest board each week. I am here for dinner most nights (even the nights I don't sleep here) and have Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings to cook as well. 

I should be able to do this, right?


(Just keep saying that and I might eventually believe you!!!!)

So, this past Sunday was recipe testing session #1 from the board. I decided to try something that would be useful this first week back to school.
Portable Western Omelettes by thehealthyfoodie #Omelette #Western

I pinned this awhile ago because it looked so good! It is from the Healthy Foodie and is called Portable Western Omelets. The recipe comes from a cookbook I have never heard of but that sounds interesting called Primal Cravings.

I changed some of the ingredients so I could use what I had on hand. Instead of ham or prosciutto, I used bacon. And I didn't have spinach so used eggs, mushrooms, scallions, green pepper and parsley. They turned out like this:

And I am happy to announce that they are also very, very tasty! I individually wrapped and froze the omelets and have been taking them to school. They microwave up perfectly and are very yummy! And they fill me up until recess. 

I am calling this first effort a huge success!!!!

Now, what to make this coming Sunday?!?! Hmmm...

Stay tuned...

WWR - January 8, 2014

Grateful - Hand Painted Sign
from The House of Belonging on etsy

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Currently....January 2014

It is that time again...

The beginning of a new month...and a new year, this time!

I am linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy, Fourth Grade for this month's Currently.

listening...I have W network playing in the background. There aren't very many channels on the tv upstairs at my mother's house and most are playing afternoon soaps (not my thing at all!) but I like to have background noise while I work on the computer. So W channel it is!

loving...I bought a box of specialty hot chocolates and today was just the day to have one. It isn't super cold out but I wanted the coziness of a comfy sweatshirt and hot chocolate!

thinking...of school...and what I am going to teach next week. It is Back to Basics Boot Camp in my room starting Monday (that means REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW of each and every routine taught in first term!!! And after the review it is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE all the routines over again!)... okay, is it bad that I think about work on my vacation? Probably! But, I can't help it. I love my job!!!!

wanting...I have started running again and need new running shoes...PRONTO! My wonderful class gave me a VISA gift card for my end of term/Christmas gift. It is off to the running store for new shoes (and maybe a new top or two) for me!

needing...so, we have been living in two houses for 3 weeks now. So far, so good. No major meltdowns from me or my mother!!!! Anywho, over vacation we have been going from house to house without much of a set schedule. It works fine for my hubs to decide on the day of if he's sleeping at our house or at my Mum's. But...it sooo doesn't work for me! I like to have a schedule and knowing where I am going to sleep each night is one of the things that I need scheduled! So, next week we are going to have to figure out a set (well, semi-set, as life can be unpredictable!) schedule so that I know where to have what clothes, what food is in which fridge, etc. etc. etc.

memory and/or tradition....there are so many things about the Christmas season that I love and enjoy. But, this year, by far my favourite memory is of my good egg singing on facebook. Watching her father's face as he watched her video is pretty darn close, too. He can be pretty hard to read sometimes but there was no way to misread the tears of love in his eyes as he watched his daughter sing. It was beautiful!!!

And, there you go...my January 2014 Currently...

What are you up to...currently?!?!

Ms. Hughes 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

WWR Jan 1...Faith

Somehow, this seems like the right quote to start the year 2014. There are so many things right now that I have to have faith about....
....my mother's health and having faith that she will agree to moving to a care facility when the time comes
....my daughter leaving in a few months to go to university across the country and having faith that she will be fine
...my lovelies that I teach each day and having faith that they will become the best that they can be
...my living situation and having faith that my family is connected and strong enough to handle living in two households while we care for my mother

from here
Faith is going to be my word this year, I think. That and continued gratitude for all the gifts I have in my life.