Friday, September 30, 2011

A little Math humor from Abbott and Castello for Friday!

Here is a little humor for your Friday!
I LOVE Abbott and Castello! Especially their "Whos on First Skit:!

This video, he is showing Castello how to divide 7 into 28--and he proves it!!! 
Makes me think....maybe this is why my kids are so confused?!?!

video

This is another classic one!!
Enjoy!!
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This week has been crazy busy!!! I will blog about my Minneapolis weekend tonight!!!
-sunshine

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cake Balls


This weekend I was able to take some time and do some baking!!!! The next thing on my list was to make cake balls!!!
First--set the ambiance...I couldn't decided which candle to light...so I lit both!!
Put a pot of coffee on, on this rainy afternoon and I am READY!! :o)

 OK first you bake a cake according to the directions on the box
I made sure to use parchment paper for easier clean up!
 Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes...
then cut into sections
 Pick up 2 sections at a time and rub them together so they crumble....
Once you get all the cake crumbled, mix it with 3/4 of a container of frosting of your choice!!! I chose vanilla cake with vanilla frosting.
 Mix it all together!!
 Form them into balls!!!
 Put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes...(freezing them will help when you roll them in the coating)
 Pull them out of the freezer and coat them with candy coating or almond bark!!! the coating will set fast so make sure you sprinkle each one after each dip!!!

Cake balls are so much fun to make! I am excited to make them again and try different flavors!!!

-sunshine

Saturday, September 17, 2011

long time, I know...

Hello! It has been to long and I apologize!!! This past week I was "off" because my co-teacher was not at work on Monday or Tuesday- so it was just me in the classroom (and a sub who sat), then on Wednesday when she was back we had to orally read the test to a couple of students in the library, so again I was alone in the class. Friday, we had to give the kids a computer assessment so we split the kids in half--half in the classroom and half in a computer lab.
I don't know how many times I heard this week that a co-teaching relationship is like a marriage. After 1 complete school year (and going on 2) I can officially say that co teaching IS a marriage! Chelsi and I are together from 7:45-4:15 every single day! (She usually gets to school before me so when I get to school I always park next to her car!!!--I always forget where I park so when we leave together we always walk to the same spot) Chelsi and I have to share all the "duties" of a classroom, just like a married couple, and when one of us is having a bad day or wake up on the wrong side of the bed, we always warn each other to "look out" :o) and we both understand.
I can't imagine co-teaching with anyone else! I think we bring out the best in each other! We both have our strengths-and act upon them. We share in each others happiness and sorrows!!! She is the one person that I can vent too...get over it and move on.....
ok...that was my "ode to Chelsi"

So...on to my pictures from 2 weeks ago.....
I never wear skirts or dresses to school, but when I was looking threw my clothes to see what I wanted to donate I came upon this skirt that I made when I was a senior in college. I was my cousin Abby's confirmation sponsor, and I made it for that special occasion...I don't think I have worn it since and I don't know why. What you can't see in the picture is my red heels that I am wearing...it always feels good to dress up!!! (I also bought the necklace at the Houston Quilt Show last October)
 I still wear bows in my hair! Being a 7th grade teacher I feel like I can paint my nails what-ever color I want...(right now they are grey and purple) and I can put anything in my hair!

Saturday September 10
Saturday morning I had NOTHING on the agenda...well except laundry and cleaning...but that can always be put off...so I decided to explore Rice Village! It was a wonderful day! My goal was to find a coffee shop, but there was SO much traffic that I was only looking for a parking spot. I happened to park in front of Ruggles Cafe and it happened to be about 1130...so I thought hey, I could go for some lunch!! :o)
I got the grilled chicken salad...little did I know that it came with walnuts, blu cheese, apples, and the most wonderful dressing!!! I can't wait to go back. During lunch I was able to read...and just embrace my surroundings!!

 I got lost in all the twists and turns of Rice Village, went into a lot of shops and probably spent way to much (but thats why I babysit right??) I also bought some Spanish books!! It was a wonderful day and I think I am going to challenge myself to be a "tourist" in my own city! I would love to see more and not only explore when I have friends in town!!!
**One thing I for sure want to do is Zumba at Discovery Green on Wednesdays (9/28 whose on board!?)

On Tuesday night we had parent night. It was great to meet some of the parents and see where our kids come from! It made for a late night at school but it was so much fun!!!

Every Wednesday we get to wear college shirt and khakis!!! I sponsored an AVID kid and got her a college shirt..UNK of course....I had Kerlyn last year in my math class...now she is grown and an 8th grader!!! When I bought the shirt for her I realized that I hadn't bought a UNK shirt for myself in 3 years....yes that is how long I have been out of college...crazy!!!
So during 2nd period Ms Naylor sent Kerlyn over to my classroom to take a picture!!! All smiles!!! I am so happy she wears her shirt with joy! (she even color coordinated! see the blue and gold hair accessories and blue eye shadow?)

Sorry again!! and I promise to stick to my resolution of writing once a week. This week was just had different stresses that I didn't know how to handle....but this weekend is helping me take a breather...will tell you more about it later!!!

By the way--I really enjoy running each day. I have ran 3  1/2marathons, but it is crazy how much muscle you lose when you don't use it all the time! So I am getting back in the game!! I found out that when I ran in the mornings it helped me have a more productive day!! I felt more energized and had a skip in my step! Made for some early days though... There were also some days where I would get out of school and have only an hour before I would babysit and quickly ran a mile in between. It also helps that when I do babysit, I am able to take the kids to a park and we are able to be outside!!! 
--Quick side note, when I was babysitting for the Harris' I was walking the girls in the wagon and an older couple approached me and said "you have two girls?" my response? "si, dos..errr I mean, yes 2!" (its always easier to tell people that they are my kids instead of a nanny --just making a long story short) but it was nice that spanish came to my mind first rather than English....

ok...I felt like I have written more in this blog than I ever have!
I hope to blog again tomorrow about my weekend.....but I have a bubble bath, wine and a book waiting for me....
Buenos Noches :o)
-sunshine













Heartfelt Videos

Sorry it has been so long. Here is a little bit now..... I will post more later! 

Here is a video that Frida made about our Nicaragua trip. It is amazingly put together and gets me emotional each time!!! I cannot wait for next summer--and raise awareness and donations while here in America.

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This is an amazing video that Cara West shared with me. ( I worked with her in New Hampshire 3 summers ago- she lives in Australia now with her husband and new baby!) (Caras Blog) She is such an inspiration to me, and I learned from her how to live a more carefree life....still working on it!!!
But this video just shows you how "connected" our world is. I love it! I have watched it multiple times and it gives me the chills each time!!!!  :o)
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Will post more soon...sorry for the delay, it has been a crazy stressful week...I should have more time tonight and tomorrow to update you!! :o)
-sunshine


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I saw this picture and it reminded me of summer!
Oh the joys of being able to go anywhere and do anything.

This picture was taken in Nicaragua. After volunteering in Mombacho we headed off to Ometepe for our vacation. I would give anything to go back!!! I really need to work on my Spanish so in the future I can spend more than 2 weeks there! But Nicaragua will always hold a special place in my heart! :o)

Monday, September 5, 2011

A "shot" of my weekend!
and a new thing I am going to start, "challenges"

This 3-day weekend was much needed time off!!!
Friday after school I met up with some friends and we went out to eat near the galleria, then went to a cute quaint little bar were we were able to catch up!
Saturday morning I was able to sleep in, have a pancake breakfast, clean, read, go to the pool with Nina, and babysit! During my babysitting job I was able to catch up on a lot of my grading. It was nice to have a relaxing evening "in" and their internet was out, so i was able to focus with no distractions.
Sunday we were off to the beach. It was rainy and windy but we made the most of it! There is something about being near water!!! We were able to walk the strand and go into little shops! We also stopped to get coffee. It made for a really nice afternoon!!! 
Here is the coffee I ordered! So pretty! Didn't want to drink it!
Cinnamon Mocha Latte
We got home and ordered pizza and was in bed early!!

Monday I was able to go for a run because it was so nice out! I hope this weather sticks around, my favorite season is Autumn.
I love...
 apple cider
leaves on the ground
changing trees
pumpkins
Apple pie
Pumpkin scented candles
craft fairs
pumpkin patches
the smells of fires (in fire places of course)
sunsets
long sleeve shirts and sweatshirt!

Aleshia and I decorated our apartment tonight! :o)

So the run this morning reminded me of all of this!!!
I was then able to meet up with Frida to get some crepes! I bought a groupon for "La Mias Cafe" and we enjoyed our afternoon outside on the porch with our crepes, coffee and great conversation!
Frida works for the womans center, and she is so inspirational to talk too! She makes me want to do more!!! I can't wait to see her again! Our next meet up will be finding a cute coffee shop in Rice Village, and getting lost down there with our cameras! :o)
I spent the rest of my day at the pool reading "Eat Pray Love" My goal is to finish it this week!!! I have a couple more goals...I will mention those later......

 The hat I bought in Galveston yesterday.
 THE BEST crepes (well aside from the ones we ate in Ireland) in Houston.
I found an awesome Groupon for "La Mias Cafe" for half off!!!
Will be going these again! You want to join me?!?!
Nutella, Strawberries, and Banana

Challenges this week:
One thing I want to accomplish this week is finish reading Eat Pray Love. A lot of my friends talk about it and how good it is, and I was able to find it at Good Will for $0.50. I have been slowly reading it. A family that I babysit for has saved the movie on their DVR (SO nice of them) so it gives me more incentive to finish the book! (especially since I babysit for them on Friday night!)

I am going to try and challenge myself each week, and you are welcome to join too!!!
My first challenge:
September 4-September 11
#1Make more phone calls to friends.
I take pride...I am really good at sending out emails and postcards, and simple letters. But there is something about hearing someones voice that's not through a text message. So much more can be said, and so many more connections can be made through a phone call.
So, this week I am going to try and make at least one phone call a night, if not more, to people that I have not talked to in while. It is easy for me to make my list of people since I have moved so far away from home. My list will include some friends, and both of my grandmas.

Challenge #2
September 4th- September 18th
I want this challenge to last 2 weeks, so I am dropping the ball now on challenge #2.
I went running today, and I noticed that my pace is slower than is was in May, and that could be with all the traveling I did this summer (I got out of my routine). So aside from my normal work outs, Zumba, spin class, and swimming laps, I am going to try and run 1 mile a day and really try and push myself. I might need to wake up a half hour earlier in the morning to run a quick mile, or do it after school sometime before I babysit. I really want to improve my time--I have had a 12 minute mile for what seems like forever!!! I know I won't completely shave off a minute in 2 weeks, but it takes 21 days to form a habit, so it will be a good start! :o)

One other thing to put out there....it will probably be a "challenge" in the near future..... but I am toying with the idea of picking up guitar. I remember in Nicaragua, while I was painting I would belt out songs that the kids would try and sing with me....and I was thinking that next time I go I would love to maybe possibly know how to play the guitar....its a thought for now...I need to find a guitar (been checking craigslist and ebay) and I would also need to find a teacher, because I am not a self-learner.
Again...if you have any helpful input leave me a message or email me! Thanks! :o)


Are you going to take one of these challenges???
email me about it! I would love to hear!
kkoch1110@gmail.com
-sunshine

Saturday, September 3, 2011

busy, stressful, FANTASTIC week!

"If you live in the present, every moment is a new beginning."

So I am sitting here, Saturday morning, after a good rest! I let myself sleep in this morning, and I have made a big pot of coffee to last me the whole day! It was really funny, I woke up this morning thinking.... wouldn't it be nice if someone made me breakfast and coffee....and then I thought ugh...I will just have some granola...when I went to the kitchen to make coffee, Aleshia, my roommate, reminded me that our apartment complex had free breakfast this morning! PRAISE GOD!!! Someone else DID make breakfast for me this morn!! Be careful what you wish for....so we hopped over and had pancakes, and eggs, and there was no clean up for us!!! So my day started off with a smile!!! Then...the pool with Nina later......and babysitting!!! Great weekend so far!!! Tomorrow...the BEACH!!! YAH! ok......now for this week........
I heard stripes were back in!!! So I tried out this outfit! I bought a shirt in Dublin Ireland that is striped like this but it also says "Every girl needs a little black drink" (off the quote, every girl needs a little black dress) and it is referring to tall, dark, Guiness....ooo I could use one of those now!
 Late one night I was looking at www.browneyedbaker.com website and found some yummy recipes to try out! Here is the "Chewy Blondies" They were awesome! They had butterscotch, coconut, walnuts and chocolate chips!



Here is the ending result....and the dough was SUPER good....I am surprised I had enough to bake!
For some of my co-workers!

During my baking I had a LOT of school work to do! This Tuesday, I was informed that I would also be teaching 8th grade Title I Math. So 1-4 period I teach 7th grade Title and 6 & 7 period I teach 8th grade Title I Math. For those of you who do not know what Title is, it means that the students I have did not pass the Texas State test last year (TAKS). A lot of my students struggle with something as basic as multiplication facts. So according to 7th grade standards, if I needed to teach Equivalent fractions, I would need to go over finding the Greatest Common Factor, and before I teach that, I need to teach the multiplication table, and before that I need to teach them how to divide. This is why my students are with me for 2 periods, and why there are 2 teachers in the classroom. It is a very rewarding job, although at times it can get very stressful, and  it has really taught me patience.
 So I had A LOT of work to do.....and my roommates cat thought that it was play time with her....and I thought....hey! Practice photography!!!! Hope is very photogenic!


I needed a simple supper since I had a LONG night planned. This is my favorite meal....and I LOVE pizza...so if you want to make pizza fast and cheap....here you go....I buy whole wheat tortillas and smear marinara sauce with Garlic and Oregano. I then chopped some veggies, onion and green pepper, and turkey pepperoni and spread it on top. Then I bought lowfat mozzerella cheese and placed it on sparingly. Put in oven for 10 minutes at 410 degrees. I LOVE when the tortilla gets really crispy! I topped it off with some crushed red pepper. And can you believe that one tortilla pizza is about 200 calories....so you can have 2 and not feel bad!!!!


I bought a new sewing table, it is lilac....It gives me so much inspiration!! and its SO cute!


 Working on a project now.....it may be for someones birthday on September 10th....huh....who could it be??? Almost done! Hoping to get it in the mail soon!!  :o)
 Notice I am blocking my door.....good thing I have a 2nd door that leads into my room!!!!
Here is my next project....a skirt. with this fabric..I am going to use this dress pattern but only the bottom part....I will give updates.....and I am REALLY excited!!  :o)

Wednesday was a whirlwind of a day!  Chelsi and I had to "catch up" all of our 7th graders because they were a day behind, and we had to go over all the rules in the classroom (like day 1) for our 8th graders. I got really overwhelmed at work, and instead of following my resolution to stay at school until 4:45, I packed all my things and left at 4:15. Luckily, KaLynne was able to get pedicures....much needed after a day on my feet (we even worked thru our lunch--so it was a literal...DAY on our feet). So sitting there being pampered with a Diet Coke and good conversation was nice!!! During the pedicure my friend Nina called and was wondering if I wanted to meet up for a beer and wings at Buffalo Wild Wings (which is one of my FAVE restaurants....aside of Panara!) and we talked until late in the night!!!
I got home and it was time to make Chelsi's birthday cake!
So Thursday was my co-teachers birthday! Chelsi and I have been teaching together for a year now, and she is the greatest blessing!!!! I can't imagine teaching with anyone else!!!
I made her a homemade white cake! Simple to make! Then I have some of my grandmas homemade Nebraska cherry jelly for filling!!!!


 Cream Cheese frosting......

 Sprinkles ALWAYS make a dessert happier and more colorful!!!

Chelsi with her cake!!!


Remember I said stripes were back in??? Well I bought this at the Houston Quilt Show last October...I wore it to school....I felt SO spunky!!!!!

This is one of the girls I babysit for! I love babysitting for this family because they are bilingual and I LOVE practicing my spanish (one of my resolutions!) So a friend of mine gave me some spanish books, and Hally and I read it before going to bed!!  :o) She loved it, and started to call it  "her" book!!  :o)
 I am not sure what Hally is doing in this picture....

SO, what is my blog without pictures from school?!?!?!
Chelsi and I LOVE to send out letters and postcards!!!
We want to encourage everyone to come to Back to school night!!! So we will make treats and have fun activities for the parents and students to do!!! These will go out Monday!

Friday was a difficult day with the kids....and I dislike punishing the whole class when only a couple have been disruptive....Luckily I went to Michaels and the day before and found pencils for $0.49...so I gave the kids who listened special pencils....I am so happy that something this small can bring smiles to their faces!!
 The kids colorful math journals!!!! The kids LOVED picking the colors....especially the 8th graders!!! So while I babysit on Saturday night and after the kid goes to bed...this will be what I am doing!!! grading!!!! with a Diet Coke or Diet Sunkist in hand!!!  :o)

Here are some of my 8th graders!!!!

 This is how our staff treats us....giving us ice cream on Friday after school!!
Can I find a better staff?!?!?!
 One thing I learned about this week is to roll with the changes. And change is GOOD! I also learned that experiences make us who we are, and form our personality!!!! I had a fantastic week, and I am surrounded by so many awesome people!!!!
I am also really excited because I bought a ticket to the Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Prince Royce concert on October 12 AND a plane ticket to Minneapolis to see one of my BESTEST friends the weekend of September 23rd!!!! SO excited!!!!!!!
GOD BLESS!!!
-sunshine