Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Carpet of Petals

Each spring I look forward to the time when the big Magnolia Tree in front of school begins to bloom.  It is right beneath my classroom windows, and it is a beautiful sight after a long winter.  This year I almost missed the entire experience.  Because of the unusually warm weather, it began blooming while we were on spring break, and by the time we came back on Monday, the petals were already carpeting the lawn.

Early Lilacs

It's hard to believe, but my lilac bushes are fully bloomed, and it's only March 31st.

Blue Bag

I have a new purse.  The clothes I wear day to day maybe on the boring side, but this bag provides that fashionable pop of color. I love turquoise!

Sock Success!

Today was my last sock knitting class.  The only thing we had left to do was to bind off the stitches.  Now I am wearing them!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Edcamp Omaha 2012

Saturday was an awesome day!  I got up early, hopped in the car, and drove to Omaha for Edcamp Omaha. This was the second year, and it was better than ever.  It was great seeing friends, and making new friends, face to face.  These are people I have talked to before via Twitter.  We were all there with the purpose of sharing, learning, and improving our teaching.  Many sessions were tech related, but others were not.  This conference is different than the traditional conference in that there is no pre-arranged agenda. Once you arrive, people sign up for the sessions they would like to present, then you just go where you want to do.  The first session I went to was about using iPads, iPods and apps in education.  The person who posted the topic, wanted to know about this subject.  I learned the most amazing things from the participants.

It was great seeing my friends, @BarbinNebraska and @KathyPerret.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fuzzy Leaves

I don't know what this plant is, but it is in my neighbor's flowerbed. I like the fuzzy leaves and the small blue flowers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tree Blossoms

Many of the flowering trees are already in bloom.  This is way ahead of schedule, but it's because of all the warm temperatures we have had.  They are beautiful!

Age of the Mammoth

I saw this guy in the Atrium of the Iowa Historical Building.  The fourth graders will be taking a field trip here in April. I think the kids will be very excited when they see these guys.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Some people hate leftovers but I like them, and being as I live alone now, when I do cook, it usually lasts me for several days.  I still end up wasting more food that I want to, so I have been trying to use up the things I have before making another run to the grocery store.  The internet sure does make that easier with all the cooking blogs and ideas for recipes.  Even when I don't follow the recipe all the way, it still gives me ideas for how to make sauces, and make foods more flavorful.

This was dinner tonight, made with some scallops and shrimp that were left in the freezer along with veggies from the crisper.  I got the idea from the Pioneer Woman's blog.  If you haven't checked out her website, you should go there now. Click here for

Daffodils 2012

The weather has been so unusually warm that daffodils are already blooming around the neighborhood.

Paint Chips

For the past two years I've been "thinking" about painting the living room.  I've already peeled the wall paper, and I've patched holes in the walls.  All I need to do is paint!  I thought I was going with the Sparkling Sage, but now I'm not so sure.  The Frosty Grass is looking good to me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Clean Dog

Bailey went to the groomer yesterday. He had a bath and a haircut, and got his nails trimmed.  That little dog is white after all.  He was a very dirty dog when he went.

Socks With Heels

Yesterday was my second Sock Knitting Class. This time we learned how to turn the heel.  Now my socks have heels.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Green in March

When I got home from school yesterday, I took Winnie and Bailey for a walk. It's mid March and the grass is already turning green, and plants are beginning to poke out of the ground.  What a great beginning to Spring Break!

Basketball Coach

Here in Iowa, we are experiencing beautiful blue skies, sunshine, and warm temperatures.  We left the jackets inside and enjoyed recess in short sleeves.  There were some great basketball games going on, with Mr. P supervising.

Open Window

Temperatures in Iowa reached 80 degrees yesterday, and for the second day in a row we had our classroom window wide open.  It was glorious!

First Blizzard of the Season

This winter we haven't had much snow here in Iowa.  In fact we've been having record breaking high temperatures for March, which brought the first Blizzard of the season.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Expensive Socks

Last Saturday I began taking a Sock Knitting class at Knitting Next Door in Ankeny.  It has been very challenging.  Although I first learned to knit in Girl Scouts, when I was about ten years old, it was only recently that I began knitting again.  Up until now, my projects have been very basic; slippers, a scarf, and a hat.  This class is using a Magic Loop, beginning at the toe and going up, and two socks at a time.  Add to that, the fact that I am left handed.  It is a right handed world, so patterns are written for right handers.  I always have to analyze the pattern and do the opposite.  When you are doing two socks at a time, you also have to coordinate your two separate balls of yarn.

After my class, I came home, ripped everything out and started over.  I love my yarn!  It is both colorful and sparkly.  I am making progress, and things are getting easier, but last night I realized that I had somehow picked up two extra stitches, so once again I had to rip out about an inch of one sock.

 As I was re-knitting that sock this morning, I realized that this is going to be one very expensive pair socks.  Between yarn, my Magic Loop Knitting needles, and tuition for the class, these will be $70 socks, and I'm not even sure they will be wearable!  Although these socks may prove to be one of the more expensive items in my wardrobe, it is money well spent.  I am really enjoying learning these new things. The fantastic thing about knitting or crocheting is watching yarn become fabric, and then an actual useful piece, and then knowing that I'm the one that did that.  I'm loving it!

Dean's List

Thursday I drove to Ames so I could attend a reception where Michael was being honored, along with other Liberal Arts Students, for being on the Dean's List. To be on the Dean's List a student must have a 3.5 or better grade point average.  Great work, Michael!

Tar Beach

Mrs. Rasmussen hung a new quilt outside her door.  This one is made with a picture from the book, Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold.  What a great way to inspire kids to be more creative!