Thursday, January 20, 2011

I may be a teacher, but sometimes the kids teach ME!

Yesterday after school let out, I got paged to come to the main office. I always get a pit in my stomach when I hear this message....just like when I was a student. You just never know what is going to happen when you get called to the office.

When I got there, I saw a young man talking with one of our secretaries. Although I haven't seen him in several years, I knew immediately who it was.

His name is Zach and I'll never forget the first day I saw him when he was in 4th grade. It was the middle of the school year and I could tell he must be a "new kid" because I didn't recognize him. But I couldn't help but notice he was wearing a CLEMSON sweatshirt. Hardly anyone in this area of NC wears Clemson so he stood out to me immediately. I pulled him aside and said, "I love your shirt. I went to Clemson for college." He was extremely surprised by this and said he had just moved to NC from SC and his entire family was Clemson fans!

The next school year, he ended up in my 5th grade class. We would chat about Clemson football on Monday mornings. I just remember him as being a really good kid. He was polite, hard working and willing to do anything I asked him to do without complaining. He was never the best student I had academically, but he worked harder than just about anybody.

The year I taught Zach was the same year I had joined the fire department. I was going to my EMT classes at night and would talk to my students about the importance of studying, doing homework, etc, because I had to do all that too. I would share stories from my classes and what was happening at the department. Zach would ask questions just like the other kids did. Towards the end of my EMT class, my instructor came to my class and taught all the students CPR!

Well, yesterday Zach came to visit me. I haven't seen him since May 2007, when his class "graduated" from elementary school. He came by to tell me that he had joined his local volunteer fire department! He had joined a few weeks ago, but was getting his fire gear, helmet, etc that night and wanted me to know!

My job as a teacher is to help students learn what they need to know for academics, but I also feel as though I am to help teach them life skills, social skills, and how to make a difference in the world. I teach them math facts, history, and how to be a better reader. I teach them how to deal with tough situations and how to make smart, wise choices. I teach them to think about others and what they are going through, rather than think of themselves first.

Yesterday taught ME that my students do LISTEN and LEARN!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday-----Daddy's Hot Chocolate

(Daddy and Quinn 1/8/10)

Today's Tasty Tuesday is a recipe I think we could all enjoy on our next cold, rainy, and/or snowy day.

Daddy's Homemade Hot Chocolate

1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups water
1 can (13 oz) evaporated milk
2 cups milk

Combine sugar, cocoa, and salt in a large dutch oven; mix well.

Slowly stir in water. Bring to a boil.

Add milk. Cook until heated thoroughly.

Yields: 2 and 1/2 quarts.

This recipe can be easily doubled if you need a larger amount.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Has it really been 3 years?

It is so hard to believe that in just 3 short years, my son has gone from this.....


March 2008


July 2009 this! 1/9/2011. Three years.....such a short time, yet it seems so long.

Dear Quinn,
You just had your 3rd birthday a few days ago. It seems like only yesterday I was at the hospital waiting for you to make your entrance into the world. You amaze me every day with all the new things you know. I am so proud of you for knowing your colors, shapes, numbers and letters already! You are such a smart boy! You love to have fun and play...especially the slides or swings. It was fun taking you swimming this summer for the first time. I love that you have such a sweet spirit and how caring you are. You love to give me hugs and kisses...snuggle time is the best. You love to go to church and Sunday School.
I don't know if you will remember all this as you get older....but I will. You have stolen Mommy's heart! I am so blessed to be your Mommy. I pray for you every day. I pray that you will grow up to be the man that God would have you to be. And I pray for you to accept the Lord as your Saviour at an early age.
Your daddy and I love you so much Quinn! Happy 3rd Birthday!
Love Mommy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Redneck Sledding

In Eastern NC, the land is as flat as it can be, yet these people still want to go sledding when it snows. And when it snows 8-10 inches in one day, you really feel the need to be out in the snow playing and sledding.

I can hear you asking "But how can you go sledding if the land is flat?"

Let me show you!

My nephew calls this "Redneck Sledding"...I call it resourceful!

First of all, you get all bundled up in snow gear. Or if you're like me, you have none, so you borrow your brother-in-law's hunting suit. Ed's hunting suit was last year's hunting suit....the one he wore BEFORE he lost about 100 pounds. So if it was too big for him, you can imagine how huge it was on me....but I will admit, it did serve it's purpose...I was warm and DRY!

I have never worn so much camo in my life!

Then you take a 4-wheeler and a rope. You tie the top of a trash can to the rope. Then you sit on the trash can lid, while the 4-wheeler slings you around the yard.

It can be a little problematic, if you are as tall as Buddy, but if you want to have fun, you make yourself fit.

And just before it's over, you take a victory lap on the 4-wheeler yourself!

A Snowy Vacation

Christmas break was just what we needed. Being a teacher, I had 2 weeks off, of course, but Buddy usually has to schedule vacation days at this time. However, due to a lot of out-of-town work this fall, he had not been able to use his days, so he took a week and a half off at Christmas! Just what we all needed...some overdue family time!

We spent Christmas Eve and the day before with my family. We left on Christmas Day and chased a snow storm halfway to Buddy's parents' house. The snow caught up with us on the 26th, and dumped 8-10 inches of snow on eastern NC.

Quinn is always amazed to see the snow fall. He always holds out his hands and exclaims "Yook snow-in!"

My attempt at nature photography. But notice how much snow is already on the tree limbs...and there was still hours and hours of snow that fell after I took this picture!

Patriotic Snow!

Self portrait fun! Amazingly, at this point, the snow wasn't sticking to the roads yet!

Quinn shares his name with his dad and his papa. They all have a family name, with Papa being the Third, Buddy being the Fourth, and Quinn being the Fifth. (Quinn = Five!) If you don't know what their real name is, ask me sometime. It's quite the mouthful!

A snowy walk is fun until you face-plant in the snow. Quinn didn't want to walk in it too much after this.

(And there is sweet little Charlie dog....remember him?)

My little family in the snow. We had SNOW much fun on our Christmas break!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Meeting Blue

If you know my son Quinn, you know he has 3 loves....besides his fabulous Mommy, of course!

1. Veggie Tales

2. His Penguin, Paddy

3. Blues Clues

I have been looking for a Blues Clues toy for him for MONTHS. Of course, with Blues Clues not being a current show ( it quit production of new episodes in 2006), it is really hard to find things like this in stores. We've even checked antique stores. Sometimes you can find a video or a book, but as for plush toys, we've only seen them online....until last week!

One of my co-workers has a ton of stuffed animals and other trinkets decorating his classroom. I had to stop by his room one day last week to deal with a student issue and I noticed he had a Blue toy sitting on his shelf. I've never noticed it before and so I asked him jokingly "How much do you want for that Blues Clues toy?" Then I explained Quinn's love for all things Blue and Mr. P said, "Just take it...his joy is payment enough!"

I was so pleased to present Quinn with his very own Blue.

He has carried Blue all over the house and on several trips in the car. Blue has been with us to Walmart and to the fire station. Here's hoping we never lose Blue, because I doubt I'll ever find another one.

And in case you are wondering, yes, Blue brought along a Handy Dandy Notebook complete with a green crayon!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesday.....Cheesy Ranch Dip

I am a little frustrated today because I have a ton of pictures I want to download off my camera and I can't get the computer to recognize my card. Pictures of Christmas, snow, and Quinn's birthday.....hopefully these posts will come soon.

Today's Tasty Tuesday is a quick dip for crackers, veggies, etc.

Cheesy Ranch Dip

1 packet Ranch DIP mix (not dressing mix)

1 and a half cups of shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 - 3/4 cup bacon pieces

16 oz sour cream

Combine all ingredients and stir well.

**You can chill this an hour or so before eating for the best taste, but you can also serve it immediately**

**Tastes even better the 2nd day....if there's any left!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday!

So I decided to add a new feature to my blog each week. I am going to call it Tasty Tuesday and each week I am going to post a recipe that I have loved for years, or a recipe that I have recently discovered. When possible, I will try to include pictures as well. I would love to know if you try any (or all) of these recipes, and I hope to learn how to do a "linky" where others can link up and add their recipes as well. (If anyone knows how to do this, fill me in!)

This week's Tasty Tuesday is a recipe that Buddy's grandmother made for us when we visited her over Christmas.

Parmesan Potatoes

4-6 red potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced into rings
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup (or more) of Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder

Layer potatoes and onion in the bottom of a small casserole dish.

Drizzle melted butter over the potatoes and onions.

Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle over potatoes and onions.

Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

**I used more than the 1/3 cup of cheese.....the cheesier the better!**

No I have not dropped off the face of the Earth.

I am still alive, I am still here. Life gets busy around the holidays and we did A LOT of traveling for Christmas this year. I will post updates and pictures soon.