Spring into Summer Reading!

It’s finally spring! I actually wrote this first draft sitting outside on my porch in between entering grades.

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It was still cold! I was in sweats and slippers

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Man, I love the view from my balcony.

When we moved in, we couldn’t use our little balcony area. It had this horrid green astro turf that the previous owner had let their pet piddle on. It also was moldy and plain old gross. We were at Ikea and saw this amazing tile. It is plastic and snaps together. We rolled up the green grossness, and started laying down the tiles.

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The grossness is rolled away, and the tiles are going down

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Tada! We finished laying them, and now we have chairs, too!

I love my job. I am so excited when my kids have an “Aha!” moment and finally understand what I’ve been teaching. But sometimes…it takes alot of work on both our sides (and mom and dad’s) to reach that. It can be draining, but trust me, it’s so worth it. Lately I’ve taken to watching teacher Vlogs while I grade because it’s something outside my immediate bubble that I can learn from. The Lettered Classroom on YouTube is amazing, as is Teachers Learn 2. I love seeing a super organized class, but also seeing the unorganized one. I aim for the organized one, but it generally fails. At least we all know where stuff is in my class. (except the glue sticks. No clue why they don’t seem to notice they’re ALWAYS by the pencils. Selective eye sight? Pencil Tunnel Vision? Seriously, it’s an epidemic.)

I decided to offer my kids a summer reading challenge, with an ice cream party at the end. I’m kind of excited to be looking ahead to next year.  If you want to see the book list/tentative parent letter, click here. It is still being worked on, but I’m definitely using that list! This isn’t your typical list. It doesn’t have a single book title. Some choices include: a book that was published the year you were born, a book from the bottom shelf of a library, and a book whose author has the name first or last name as you. Don’t those sound so fun?

The main reason I’m offering this, is to attempt to deepen their desire to read. Reading is vital to learning.  I shudder to think about what would happen if some of my kids didn’t open a book all summer. Yikes!

I know there are no recipes in this…but that’s mainly because I have barely had time to cook, much less take pictures. 😉

 

 

 

Welcome to crazy

Oh wow. It’s been a month! October got off to a slow start, but by the end, Scott and I were stumbling trying to keep up!
Our Church Successfully hosted our first Children’s Rally. The kids competed in events ranging from the spiritual  (preaching), to the physical (foot races), to the musical. At the end of the day, almost every child won a medal.

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It was also our Sunday school campaign at church. Scott dressed up like a hillbilly, a miner, and grew a beard for grow a beard Sunday. There was a cookout, and we made caramel apples.

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As I said before, I learned how to make and can applesauce. It’s delicious!

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We also had the northwest youth conference. The theme is “marvelous. It was amazing.

Somehow….I made laundry soap. Yupp. I did. It’s sitting in a bucket. I made almost 3 gallons of detergent for $1.17.

It seems to clean well. It got out coffee rings from white tablecloths, macaroni from my husband’s pants, and hasn’t left a residue.

My only complaint is it has no scent. That’s easily solved with essential oils. I have a sample I’m going to add when I refill my snazzy apple juice bottle my laundry detergent lives in. 😉

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Snazzy....the label just add that touch of class.. cough, gasp....not.

Homemade laundry detergent
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda (this is not baking soda)
1/2 bar ivory soap or 1/3 bar felt naphta, grated
Water

Add grated soap to 6 cups water in a saucepan. On low heat, stir until soap is dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from the heat. Add washing soda and borax to pan and mix well. Pour 4 cups of hot tap water in a bucket or large container. Add borax mixture. Stir until dissolved. Add 18 cups hot water. Stir and let sit overnight. In the morning it will have split into 2 layers. Stir until it’s only slightly clumpy. Pour into smaller containers if desired. Use 1/2 cup for large loads. Shake before each use.

Home made crayons

Do you have Littles in your life? I do! I’m a daycare teacher, and I have roughly 10 kids I deal with every Tuesday-Friday. My Co teacher and I have to come up with art for them to do. Sometimes it is involved, other times…not so much. (Ahem, coloring…but hey! It’s practice they need to get sometime.)
One of the other classes got the center started on a crayon making kick. I’ve seen it done before. I have one hanging on my fridge one of my students made a few years ago. Being the follower I am in art (I am not a naturally creative person…..pinterest just makes me seem crafty)

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Homemade crayons...wohoo!

They are very simple to make, and the kids love it. It doesn’t take many supplies. All you really need is a muffin tin and crayons! Any of the other supplies are optional. 🙂

To make crayons you will need:
-Muffin tin
-crayons
-bowl of warm water
-knife and cutting board

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Peeling the crayons....before I learned the.bowl trick

1. Remove paper
There are two ways to remove the paper. The first is to peel the paper off one by one. The other is to put the crayons in the bowl of warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then put your hand in the water and move all the crayons. The labels will practically fall off. It’s so simple!

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Crayons after being broken

2. Break crayons
Cut (using the knife and cutting board) or break using your brute strength. 😉

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Crayons arranged in a straight pattern

3. Arrange.
In your muffin tins, arrange the crayons in the pattern you choose. Experiment with colors!

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Baked crayons are now melted down

4. Bake
Pop them into a 350 oven until they melt. Depending on how full you fill it, it may take between 10-30 minutes.

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Cooled crayons

5. Cool
Let the crayons cool, then pop the tray like you would an ice tray. And voila….crayons!