Monday, September 13, 2010

The Library Shelf: Educating Esme

A very real look at a teacher's first year of school. This book is written in diary form so it gives a firsthand account of Esme's first year of teaching a 5th grade class at an inner-city public school. She is a 24 year old teacher with the enthusiasm of a ten year old. She brings a fresh perspective to teaching that doesn't sit well with her principal as she is often rocking the boat, struggling against the bureaucracy.

I loved this book! All of the politics that go along with public school teaching in the US just don't make a whole lot of sense to me sometimes. It is great to read about someone who is willing to go out and buck the system for the betterment of her students.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Can you believe this YUMMY looking cupcake is SOAP? It looks SO good that I wanted to eat it! Brings new meaning to wash your mouth out with soap! LOL

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Break's Over

At least for me that is. DD doesn't start until next Monday.

Summer Break went W-A-Y too fast!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reno Road Trip - July 2010

Here is a slideshow from the recent Reno Road Trip. Just click "Play" and away you go. Turn your speakers up so you can hear the music. There are a few slides that have more journaling than others so you may need to click pause (unless you're a speed reader).

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Shirt Refashion

Back from Reno. I'll post pictures soon. Hopefully a lot quicker than the last road trip pictures were posted. ;-)

The night before leaving, I took this man's shirt:

and made it into this cutey:

Very comfy and Very cool! AND....very easy! The hardest part was getting the straps to be the right length (and I'm still not sure I've got it right, but it's good enough for me).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Favorite Muffins

We are getting ready for another road trip - Reno bound this time and all points in between. An important part of our adventures is snacks. Yes, snacks! We can't be without them. Bringing them with us keeps us from having to purchase them along the way for WAY more money. One of our favorite treats to bring with us is Chocolate Chip Muffins. YUMMY!

I ALWAYS make a double batch of these things. They freeze well. They thaw well. They're just great! Here's our favorite recipe (It says it makes 12, but when I double the receipe I usually come out with at least 30. So, I would guess that the original recipe makes about 15 - math genuis that I am.)

Our Favorite Muffins (adapted from 30-Day Gourmet):

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (When I double the recipe, I still only use 1/2 cup and it turns out just fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 oz sour cream (I use the lite kind)
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar, oil, vanilla, salt and sour cream, mixing well. All at one time, add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until all is moistened and slightly lumpy. Pour into oiled muffin cups (I use Pam). Fill 2/3 full and bake at 350 degress for 20 minutes.

I add 1 cup of chocolate chips, but you could add anything you like, berries, nuts, etc.

I've been wanting to try spice muffins, but we love the chocolate chip ones so much I always talk myself out of it. For spice muffins, with the flour, add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

These are definitely not diet-approved, but hey, we're not eating them every day either.

The dryer has buzzed and that means it's packin' time!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Library Shelf: Ana's Story

Another one already? Yes! LOVE summer time (well, except for the heat and the snakes and the ugly, dry grass and the no paycheck).

Today's book is Ana's Story by Jenna Bush (Yes, THAT Jenna Bush). This book is based on her work with Unicef. It tells the story of Ana's childhood and teen years in Latin America. She was born HIV positive, transmitted from her young mother, who died when she was only 3 years old. She lives with relatives being shuffled from one home to another, to a detention center and a group home for those infected with HIV. Her's is a long, hard journey.

While this is the story of one girl's life, it is also unfortunately the plight of many children throughout the world who are robbed of the innocence and carefree spirit of childhood due to poverty, illness and abuse.

This is a quick read because of the very short chapters, but it is also intense due to the nature of the story. I enjoyed the book, others may not because it is not sugar-coated but a true depiction of reality for so many young people.