Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Classroom Rules Poster

I've seen a lots of clever ideas for classroom rules posters on Pinterest. Some are painted on wood, some are hand lettered, others are designed with a computer.  I used scrapbook paper, my computer, and stickers from my scrapbook supplies to make this poster for my classroom.  Then I framed it with a poster frame. I'm really pleased with the way it came out. I wonder if my students will be better citizens with this artsy approach to classroom behavior.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Clean Garage

I don't know what got into me, but I spent four hours yesterday, and another three hours today, cleaning my garage.  I should have taken a before picture. I can tell you that the workbench was covered and the whole left side of the garage was filled with boxes, tubs, and all kinds of junk.  Now I can actually do some projects in here.

Welcome Sign

School thoughts have begun, but I'm doing the fun stuff, like making things.  I used the computer, scrapbooking paper, stickers, and a dollar store frame to make this sign to hang outside of my classroom door.  I was inspired by things I saw on Pinterest.  I like the way it came out. Now I have to figure out how to hang it so it doesn't end up on the floor.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Closet Dog

We finally had some rain last night.  When the thunder and lightening got going, Winnie hid in the closet.  That is my down comforter on the floor, so it's actually a pretty cozy place for a scared little dog to be.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Updated Website

It's 102 degrees outside, so the best place to be at a time like this is inside an air conditioned building. I spent the afternoon at Caribou Coffee updating my class website.  Instead of having a website, a separate blog and several wikis, I'm trying to consolidate more of what we do at one location.  As part of updating my website, I created a Voki to welcome kids and families.  Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to do things like that.


We have new reading books.  I finally took the Unit 1 teacher's manual out of my bag and looked at it. I think I'm really going to like this new book.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Socks

Every Thursday evening, from five until seven, you can find me in Ankeny at Knitting Next Door where I'll be sitting and knitting.  Tonight I did the bind off on my socks.  I feel like I've been working on these socks forever!  Finally they are finished and ready to wear, only I'll have to wait for some cooler weather.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Being the Student

Yesterday was a very busy day, with two classes at Knitting Next Door.  In the morning I took a Crocheted Jewelry Class.  We used a ladder yarn to crochet jewelry.  It was a lot of fun, and super easy.

After that I went home for a few hours to hang out with the dogs before going back for my 5:00 class.  This class was a knitting class.  We were learning how to knit a shawl.  The pattern is called Highland Fling, and is the most complicated pattern that I have tried so far.  My evening class had it's ups and downs, and you can read more about that on my Day's Class Notes blog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nuts About Squirrels

Our neighborhood has lots of rabbits and squirrels. I saw this little guy on yesterday's morning walk. Usually I don't manage to get this close before they take off.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

On the Cuff

It's taking me a while, but I am almost finished knitting my second pair of socks.  I am working on the cuff, and then I will be ready to bind off.  I really like the way they are coming out, and I have improved a lot from the first pair I knitted.

Growing Garden

My little container garden is making progress.  There are blossoms on the tomato and pepper plants, and the basil, sage, and parsley plants are think and lush.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lawn of the Week

My neighborhood association honors people who work hard on their lawns by placing a Lawn of the Week sign in their yards.  This house is on my street.  Roses wrap around both sides of the house and line the driveway.  This transformation has been made in just the last 2 or 3 years.  Four of my neighbors have earned this honor at one time or another.  I can't imagine why they have never chosen my yard.

Breakfast Smoothies

I recently bought a Ninja blender so I can make smoothies for my breakfast. It is easy and delicious.

Banana Berry Smoothie

1 banana
1 1/4 cups frozen berry blend (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) I got mine at Costco.
1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (sugar free)
1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach
1-1/2 Tablespoons Splenda

Dump it all in your blender jar and blend well.  Yum!

River Walk Bridge

When Michael was in town, we went down to the River Walk pedestrian bridge.  It was a beautiful day with a beautiful view.

We also spent time exploring the neighboring Asian Garden.

Fan Lessons

Silly boy!  Michael gave me a few lessons on how to snap the fan open, the Spanish way.

Gifts from Spain

On Sunday, Michael returned from a six week study abroad in Spain.  While there, he also took weekend trips to Berlin and Amsterdam.  He brought these gifts back for me.

Big Red

Now these flowers are big!

All Decked Out

This is a house that I walk past each day. I love all the flags that are out in my neighborhood right now.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Patriotic Mailbox

I spotted this patriotic mailbox on my morning walk.  I really like it.

My West Side Office

This is my west side office, Caribou Coffee.  I love to hang out here in the summer. This is kind of ironic, because I don't drink coffee.  I often spend two to four hours here on an afternoon.  There is free wifi, and I am incredibly productive when I'm here.  I have written blog posts, and created websites while sitting at the tables by the window, or lounging in the leather chairs.  They have good iced tea, too.  My favorite is the Mango Black.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


This is Bailey's usual hideout, but Winnie has taken it over. She is really scared of the fireworks.  I was surprised when I saw her hiding there in the corner.  When people started shooting off firecrackers in the front of the house, she moved from the end table to the bathroom, which is dark and has no windows.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Delicate Petals

I don't know what these flowers are, but I like the delicate color and the gentle curve of the petals.

Red Roses

These roses are along my walking route.  I like roses, but I haven't had much success with them in my own flower beds.

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans With Mushrooms

This summer I'm trying to eat better and get more exercise.  In my effort toward improving my diet, I read the book, The Blood Sugar Solution by Mark Hyman.  The rules are no sugar, no flour, no processed foods, no alcohol, no caffeine (though I refuse to give up my tea).  That means I'm eating lots of veggies.  It's amazing how good things taste when you're not eating as much.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest.  You can find the original recipe here.  I added in mushrooms and some onion.  It was really delicious!

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms

1 lb of fresh green beans (trim off ends)
10-12 mushrooms, sliced
1 small thinly sliced onion
Grill Mates Garlic & Herb Vegetable seasoning (if you don't have this just use salt and pepper)
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine green beans, mushrooms, and onions. Separate the onions into rings. Sprinkle with olive oil and seasoning.
  3. Spread the vegetables onto a cookie sheet and grate Parmesan cheese over the top.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Garnish with extra cheese.

Striped Petunias

I wonder how all these beautiful petunias will look after another week in the high nineties?

Garden Tours

I am trying to get out and walk every day. It's not easy right now, because the temperatures are in the nineties, so I'm out early each day.  This house is on my street, but about a block north.  There is a lot going on in this yard, but you can see from the fenced garden area, they have put a lot of work into it.

Purple Petunias

I'm partial to petunias.

Pink Lily

These lilies just started blooming this week. It is located in a yard around the corner from my house.