Sunday, December 12, 2010

Inside Recess....

Am I allowed to not title my blog entries?  I hate coming up with creative names.  Either way, I definitely foresee inside recess for this week.  Check out our first big snow:
For some reason the birds act like I haven't fed them for weeks!  Maybe they're storing up some food and preparing to hibernate.  That's what I want to do!

The hubby and I braved the cold and snow today and went to the store to get a few Christmas gifts and other necessities.  I bought some ingredients for a new mint chocolate cookie recipe I found online....excited!  In other cooking adventures....I made a new creamy cheesy potato dish that was really yummy and really easy.  Sorry I couldn't get a good pic:

I wanted to get the teachers I work with something small for the holidays.  I didn't have a ton of money to spend so I was thinking about making something.  That's when I came across one of my  new favorite blogs: Sisters Stuff!  This blog is SO fun!  There are so many easy ideas for crafts and gifts.  I stole their idea of post-it note holders.  What teacher doesn't need post-its close by?!  Here is their entry:  I made 10 of these and spent less than $2 on each one.......probably close to $1.50.  Here are some pics of what I made.  I also decided to make coordinating pens.

Last weekend Nick and I got to go see the zoo lights.  It was freezing but hot chocolate helped us stay warm.  Here's a pic:
5 more days of school until winter break!  I love my job but I'm super excited to have a break.  I feel like I have a ton left to do for Christmas.  Not only am I not done shopping, but I haven't even started wrapping anything!  I'm hoping I can finish shopping this week (depending on the snow....) and then wrap the first week of break!  At school I got a new tabletop whiteboard easel I had been eying for a while. Our PTO gave each teacher $100 to use on something for the classroom.  Since I'm PT, I got $50.  I was still really excited to get some free money to use for my room!  I also used a coupon on this easel so I only ended up spending $10 out of pocket!  The whiteboard is magnetic (great for our magnetic letters) and the back has storage pockets.  After buying it, I found out that the $1 pocket chart from the Target dollar spot also fits on perfectly!  

A few months ago (time is FLYING), I got my  new Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention kit. They included a flyer for a free color alphabet/consonant cluster poster.  I sent in for it and just got it recently.  The kids love this compared to my old black and white copied version!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate :)

I have some pictures to post (finally)!

So I've been working at my other job.  It's alright.  Nothing exciting like school but it will be nice to have some extra money!  Anyway, I worked there M/T/W.  Today is my first afternoon off.  The rest of the week I worked 8a-6p with a 30 min lunch (lunch doesn't include travel time).  I really was looking forward to having this afternoon off.....not to bum around but to get stuff at home done!  I had a long to-do list!  Today at school, they asked me to sub.  Now, tell me if I'm a bad person for not taking the job because I feel so guilty!  Here are the circumstances: 1.) The teacher wanted to leave for the afternoon because she wasn't feeling well. (She never seems to feel well.)  2.) The class is a notoriously rowdy group and I would not get a break the entire afternoon (no specials/planning time).  3.) I hadn't had lunch nor did I have anything to eat - I would have to skip lunch.  4.) The secretary called down to ask me to sub at 12:27.  I would have to "report" at 12:30p.  Seriously?  I guess I'm just typing this out so I don't feel as guilty for not helping out one of our teachers......

Ok, onto fun stuff!  I got two of my four new students this week.  I'm waiting on the other 2 to turn in forms required for intervention.  One of my new kids didn't get to come to class today.  Reason: he is suspended.  (Reminder: he's in 3rd grade.)  Oh dear.  I'm going to have my hands full with that group!

I promised some photos from the OSU/Michigan game so here you are.  Let's not forget Ohio State won again (37-7)!  GO BUCKS! We went tailgating first.  We left home around 8:30a (we took coffee)!  It was freezing but really fun.

Last week I started decorating for Christmas.  Last night we finally got around to getting our tree up and decorated!  Here are some pictures of my holiday decor.  I know it's not anything great but it's not something I love to spend a lot of $ on....a lot of this is stuff I have been given as gifts or hand-me-downs!

This little banner is a gift from my mother-in-law.  I had a few lighthouses in my family room so she thought I wanted to start collecting EVERYTHING lighthouse.  Ha!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Manic Monday!

Have I had that title before?  I feel like I have........?

Either way, today is definitely a manic Monday!  At school I have totally new groups again.  I feel bad for the kiddos because we just changed groups 2 weeks ago!  However, after a meeting with the 3rd grade team, we re-grouped and I got 4 new kids.  My new kids won't start for a few days (paperwork needs to be processed) but it should be fun!  I think I have everything organized for the week, which feels nice.  Once those new students come I have a lot of work to do getting all of their necessary things together ........reading long, writing book, folder, etc.  Hopefully that doesn't take too long since I only have 4 newbies!

I'm home now for lunch and then I'm off to my new job.  Yes, I'm crazy and got another job.  I should have taken advantage of working PT this year and enjoyed some "me time".  I sub now and then but it's nice to have flexible afternoons.....or should I say it was nice!  Today I'm starting work at my uncle's real estate company.  It's a super small office and they needed some extra help so I agreed to help the fam.  I'll be making good $ and only working 10 hours a week......not too shabby.  I'm looking forward to having some extra $ for Christmas shopping!

Speaking of shopping, did anyone brave the Black Friday crowds?!  I was planning on going but I!  I went around 9:30a instead and it was great!  Not too crowded and still a ton of great deals.  I got a lot at Bath & Body Works...some for me, some for gifts. :)  I also got a few gifts at Target.  Bed Bath & Beyond didn't have good deals at all!  Nothing was on sale, they just handed me a coupon...lame!  Kohls seemed to have great deals but the line was literally wrapped around the store.  No thanks!

I had a busy Thanksgiving weekend....I'll post more about that later.  Now it's time for lunch then work!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Today is our first Thanksgiving of this week.  Last week we went to the nursing home to have Thanksgiving with Nick's grandparents.  I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  The nursing home had white tablecloths, lit candles, artificial flowers, wine, etc.  They even printed little menu cards so everyone could make their choices.  It was cute and I enjoyed spending time with the family.  They made a depressing place a little less depressing for a day.

Today we have Thanksgiving at my mom's and Nick's mom is coming as well.  I need to get to work on cooking/baking.  I'm making one side and one dessert...pretty simple hopefully!  I'm doing a broccoli cheese rice casserole for my side.  It's Nick's grandma's recipe. :)  For the dessert I'm doing S'mores bars again.  When I asked opinions on a few options, everyone voted on the S'mores bars!  Tomorrow we have 3 Thanksgivings.  Yes, THREE.  Stop 1: father-in-laws (Nick's grandpa will also be there).  Stop 2: My dad's where I will see my grandma and a few aunts/uncles.  Stop 3: Nick's uncle's where we will see my mother-in-law again.  I'm going to be exhausted but it will be nice to visit with family.  Oh, did I mention we have another gathering Friday?!  So much for time "off", haha!  I'm looking forward to visiting but not traveling all around Columbus.  Saturday we're going to the OSU/Michigan game!  I can't wait :)  I hope the temperature isn't sub-zero....

Speaking of Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for so many things.  I'm thankful for my wonderful husband.  I don't know where I'd be without him. <3  I'm thankful for my family..especially those I'm closest with.  I'm thankful for my doggies....they bring me happiness every day!  I'm thankful for our house which we have made into a home together.  I'm thankful for all of my friends.  I'm thankful to have a job that I absolutely love.  My job is so rewarding.  I'm thankful for so much more but I need to start cooking/baking/cleaning....not enough time to blog today :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I haven't posted in 10 days.  I'm sorry!  I feel like every post must include pictures so if I sit down to post and I don't have any new pictures, I feel bad.  With that in mind, prepare yourself for a few pictures in this post! :)

I've been trying to bake different things that I've found on various food blogs.  My favorite is definitely The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I recently last posted about some "Buckeye"/Reese Bars that I made.  They turned out delicious!  My hubby is obsessed.  here is a picture of a cut bar.  (I'm still working on making my layers's hard!)

Today I made S'mores Bars.  I haven't tried them yet but they smell amazing!  They weren't too difficult to make but again - I need to work on my layering skills!  Step 1: one layer of homemade graham cracker cookies.  Step 2: one layer of HUGE Hershey bars!
Step 3: one layer of marshmallow "fluff" (this is hard to work with...SO sticky). 
Step 4: one more layer of homemade graham cracker cookies.  For this step, I decided to put the cookie dough on wax paper and then transfer it onto the fluff layer.  Otherwise it would have been a sticky mess!

Finished product:

As for school, last week was conference week and progress report week.  Let's just say I'm glad the week is over!  It feels great to have my report cards done.  Conferences went well but a lot of parents didn't choose to conference or didn't show up...what a bummer!  I finally got student pictures on their writing books - they LOVE it!
Every week we read a different read aloud and focus on a comprehension skill.  We read the same author for four weeks and compare his/her stories and discuss the author's writing style.  After the students hear the story, they vote on whether or not they would recommend that book to a friend.  After all of the students have voted, we graph our results and post them in the hallway.  Here are a couple pictures of our Reader Ratings voting bulletin board and the results in the hallway.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I win, I win!

I'm not the best blogger so I don't even know if I'm doing this right great friend Lindsey from  Waiting for our Miracle  gave me a blog award.  :)  Check out her blog!  I don't really know the point of this award BUT I'm hoping it can get me some more followers?  I follow some blogs but rarely remember to comment so this will let you know that I'm reading religiously :)  FOLLOW ME so I know I'm not a dork ;)

For the "Cherry On Top" Award:
1. Link to the person who gave it to you!
2. Pass it on to 5 more people!
3. Leave a comment on their blog telling them about it!

The 5 bloggers that I would like to give this award to are:
1. The Girl Who Ate Everything - I find the best recipes here!  They are always so easy and delicious :)  Not to mention her blog is fun to read!
2. Blushing Basics - I check this blog just about every day and I'm honestly sad when there isn't a new post!  She gives great make-up and fashion advice....even for make-up beginners!
3. Mrs. Wheeler's Tidbits - I'm obsessed with education/teacher blogs and this one is great!  She has tons of good ideas for your primary classroom!
4. First Grader...At Last! - This is another teacher blog!  I love how she posts student work samples and lots of pictures!
5. Dominoes, Diphthongs and Dinosaurs - This is a great place to find literacy ideas!  Of course I love it since I teach reading.  She also includes a lot of good read aloud ideas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Picture Crazy!

Once again, I'm an awful blogger!  I need to work on posting more.  Either way...this post may be a bit picture crazy but posts with pictures are fun to read, right?!

First I will talk about school since my blog is callled 'Playground Duty' and I rarely end up talking about school!  I made the kiddos little goodie bags for Halloween.  Each bag had a Halloween pencil, eraser, bookmark and candy.  They were SO's the little stuff :)
I had my evaluation a few weeks ago and it went great!  I was a little nervous since this was my first time being evaluated by this principal.  I got excellent feedback and my kids were little angels during the observation. :)  I made a few changes in my room....added some crates and storage, added a "consonant chunk corner", and a few other small things.  I also have started putting up student work in the hall.  They are so excited to see their work with their photo on it.  Here are some recent pics of my home away from home:

Now for my latest culinary adventures.  I'm trying to learn to become more domestic.  If you know me, you would laugh because you know I am completely UNdomestic!  However, I think I'm becoming quite the baker!  Cooking is another story though.  Last week I made my first ever batch of no-bake cookies.  With all of the cookies I've ever made, I have no idea how I've never made these!  Yum.  They were delicious.
This week I was still on the chocolate/PB kick so I made "Buckeye" Bars aka Reese's Bars.  They are chilling in the fridge right now so I'll have to let you know how they taste later.  For this recipe, I needed a double broiler which I do not have.  After a quick google search (did I mention Google is my BFF?), I found a method to create a make-shift double broiler!  Here are some pics from the Buckeye Bar project:

And lastly, I made some homemade pizza rolls.  Anyone who knows me and my husband knows we LOVE pizza!  These pizza rolls were fairly easy to make (besides the rolling and cutting) and they tasted like heaven!  I need to work on my presentation but like I said....they tasted amazing!

P.S. I have to give credit to this amazing blog where I find a ton of my recipes.  Her blog is fun to read and has a variety of yummy recipes!  If I can make them, anyone can!  Check her out!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Let's be honest (totally reminds me of Michael Kors), I am lazy and (once again) have not uploaded my latest pictures from my camera!  I only have a few pictures to share today and they're from my cell phone.  :/ 

Trick or Treat was Thursday night for us.  I honestly don't know why my city chooses not to have it on Halloween but it caused for a long Friday with a bunch of kids hopped up on sugar at school!  We got a good amount of trick or treaters.  My favorite costume was a little puppy dog.  I also liked the boys dressed up as Iron Man with a mask that seemed like you couldn't see through it AT ALL!  Poor kids!  Here is a pic of Chip and Dixie waiting for the trick or treaters:

We carved pumpkins the night before Trick or Treat and they turned out pretty cute.  I'll let you guess which was mine :)

p.s. Why is it SO hard for me to get my pictures next to each other on blogger?!  It drives me bonkers.

I keep saying I'm going to rate some movies on here and I finally decided to use a grading scale - A/B/C/D/F.  Today I'll rate a few that we've watched recently....

1. Sherlock Holmes - This movie was pretty good.  It isn't my "type" of movie.  I'm weird and I'm not into movies that have costumes because they rarely seem realistic to me.  However, they did a pretty good job with this.  Robert Downey, Jr. was entertaining as Sherlock and Jude Law was a great Watson.  There were a few funny parts but I have to admit that I fell asleep during one of the slow parts.  (Note: I fall asleep during most movies...)  I love Rachel McAdams so I was glad to see her in this movie.  The movie had a pretty good storyline and was entertaining throughout but it was not something I would buy or watch again.  I give this movie a B because it kept me entertained for most of the movie.

2. Marley and Me - I have been wanting to watch this movie for a while.  Unfortunately someone spoiled the ending for me a long time ago but I still was interested in watching it.  This came in the mail from Netflix and sat on our TV stand for weeks (possibly over a month) before I could convince Nick to watch it with me!  We finally watched it and I was a little disappointed.  It starts out as a feel good movie but there isn't really a good storyline.  The movie follows Jennifer Aniston (Jennifer Grogan) and Owen Wilson (John Grogan) through the ups and downs of their relationship.  I didn't fall asleep during this movie but I have to say that I was upset that the movie was happier in the beginning than in the end.  Maybe I'll read the book.  The book is always better.  I gave this movie a C because I was disappointed with the ending and the lack of a solid storyline.  I have to admit though, Marley was super cute!

3. The Social Network - I wasn't dying to see this movie until I heard good reviews from everyone who had seen it.  I decided I better go check it out so Nick & I went to see it at our favorite theater, The Movie Tavern.  (Dinner and drinks during the movie?  Yes please!)  I have seen Jesse Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg) in a few other films and I really like his acting style.  For some reason he reminds me of Michael Cera....does anyone else agree?  I have to say this movie did not disappoint me.  I think it's definitely geared toward a certain age group.  (I'm not good with generations...)   In other words, older people probably would not enjoy this movie.  However, I'm starting to wonder how many of my friends' grandparents have facebook!  Most of our parents do. :)  Back to the review - because this movie is based on a true "story", it obviously had a great plot.  The movie was easy to follow and kept my interest.  There were also a lot of funny parts.  I was happily surprised with Justin Timberlake's performance as the founder of Napster, Sean Parker.  I would recommend this movie if you are as addicted to Facebook as I am!