Friday, April 30, 2010

Yes, I realize it's almost summer ...

... and I realize people don't really eat chili in the summertime, but I still wanted to share this recipe!

It's one of my favorites and it's super healthy, too! Chili Mac. I found it on the Weight Watchers recipe share page years ago, and I always come back to it. I've changed a few things from the original recipe, so I'll make those notes, too.

Ingredients:
* 12 oz ground beef. {I use ground turkey and whatever amount comes in the tray in the meat section. I don't worry about the ounces too much.}
* 1 medium onion chopped {For some reason, I've been buying a red onion all this time. Don't know if it makes a difference.}
* 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes, Mexican style, undrained.
* 2 Tbsp canned green chili peppers, diced & undrained. {These come in a small can & I usually just pour the whole can in.}
* 2 tsp chili powder.
* 1 tsp ground cumin {I add more for extra flavor.}
* 1 cup dry wheat elbow pasta. {I use regular Radiatore pasta because I think it adds some extra weight to the chili.}
* 15 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed & drained.
* 1 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce. {You have to buy 2 small cans and I put both in.}


In a skillet, cook meat & onions until they are browned (about 10 minutes). {I use my large "pasta" pot since I don't have a skillet large enough for all of this.}

Then, stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili peppers, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil.

The stir in your pasta and kidney beans. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

I can normally portion this out into 5 or 6 servings and the little servings fill you up for a long time. Weight Watchers says that a 1 1/4 cup serving is 4 WW points. That might be a bit off since I don't use wheat pasta, but I do use ground turkey, which should help that.
Enjoy! I'm sure this all freezes well, too if you wanted to cook in advance. Let me know what you think about it if you do decide to make this yummy Chili Mac! :)

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What makes YOU mad?

A few weeks ago, I got a great writing prompt idea from my friend, Rachel.


"What makes YOU mad? What makes YOUR PARENTS mad? What makes MS. MCKNIGHT mad?"

So, when I went back to school on Monday, I posted it as my morning work & was excited to take them home to read. What I found was VERY interesting. I had a great insight to what really does push the kids' buttons and they do know what frustrates their parents. When the kids were having trouble completing the work (I told them, it should be a paragraph on each topic), I told them that writing what makes me mad should be easy :) They did have some great ideas, but some of the things were quite funny.

Here some of the best ones (unedited, of course):

  • When students talk back to her. Aslo if they say that they cant do it. Somtimes they get a strike. (I try to not make her mad).
  • What makes Ms. McKnight mad is when we are talking & yelling to each other when she's out of the room.
  • What makes Ms. Mcknight mad is when I know that people are talking. That really pushish her button when it is after the bell.
  • She gets mad when they don't get their assignment notebook signed and she especiley does not like it when she is talking and other people talk over her.
  • Ms. Mcknight gets mad when people put books back on the bookshelf in the wrong spot.
  • What makes Ms. McKnight mad is when someone is not listening to the lesson. It makes her mad because she wants everyone to know the concept, not have their mind blank when she calls on them to answer a question.
  • Ms. McKnight gets mad with ______, _______ and ______ and everybody else when their mouth is open. Or when we don't follow directions. She gets the madest when we talk while she is talking!
  • Ms. Mcnight will get mad if I talkin class or don't pay attention in class. She will also get mad if I talkback. (I never do). She would get mad if I took one of her books home without her permistion. Those are the only few I will tell you.
  • What makes Ms. McKnight mad is when I blurt out. Or talk to a neighbor when I'm not suposed to. When someone sharpens thier pencil while she's talking. When someone is talking during a test
  • What makes Ms. McKnight mad, our tiny minds can only comprehend the hundreds the thousands the millions of things that do. But I will bravly try: Talking when she is talking. Bringing unhealthy snacks. Forgeting home work. Running in the halls. Camping out in the bath rooms. Misbehaving in the lunch rooms. Being late to specials.
  • When someone is talk while Ms. McKnight is talking or if people don't listen to her. When she has to repeat everything again. When she see the same people talking in the line or somewhere else. Go to the bathroom and talk with your friends.
  • Whenever people are talking when miss. McKnight is talking, she just waits intell those people stop. Miss McKnight says that it wastes our time. It mak Miss McKnigh mad and it makes other people mad.
  • It makes Ms. Mcknight mad when someone talks back. Or when were suppose to be quiet and were not and she walks in the hears us talking really loud.
  • What makes Mrs. McKnight mad are a lot of things I've noticed. She's a erupting volcano when we talked when not asked to, when we talk back to her, when we forget our homework for over a week and more. I'm sure she gets mad at us because we know better then to do those things or she's told us not to do certin things. I know she's a good teacher but there are just certin things that make her mad.
  • When people dont falo derectons. When They are bulling somwon. When somwon is talking. When somwon isent sharing. When they dont chec ther name off.
  • Talking while the teacher is talking is pet-peave number one. Anoughter is not listen to instructions. But I better stop writing because we are suppose to be working and my teacher is giving me the eye. Another example of a teacher pet-peaves.
  • When kids don't have penciels moving and thier mough open she gets mad. She gets mad when she gets a bad report from a sub. If tables aren't clean in the lunch room she gets mad.
  • I now what makes Ms. McKnight mad when we all fail a test or something. When every budeis talking at once.
  • There's a million things that makes Ms. McKnight mad. I'm not going to name a million but here are some of her pet-peaves. One is when students aren't listening and when she is done withe the directions those students ask her what were the directions.
They do know me pretty well. I'm impressed they know how to stay on my good side ... now if they could just follow their own advice! I thought some of the things they mentioned were funny. I hardly have time to worry about whether or not they get their assignment notebooks signed and it seems like we are always late to specials! (Mostly because I haven't been watching the clock.)

If you are a teacher in my PLN ... what makes YOU mad?

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Woof, Woof!

Remember when I was shopping at the Mission Road Antique Mall and found those adorably cute doggie bookends back in March?


Then, one day my Aunt Susan called to say that she had called the Antique Mall to have them pull the terrier bookends to reserve them for me. She was going to get them for me as an early birthday present.

I drove over to the Antique Mall and they had pulled 3 other sets of bookends, but none of them were as cute as the ones I had picked out a month earlier. I purchased & immediately went home to find the perfect spot for them.

Here they are ... looking very cute in my loft with some great reads AND a lot of other books that I have yet to read.


Thanks, Aunt Susan! You're the BEST :) I love you to pieces.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Too pretty to pass by without taking a picture



Found right outside the door at school. A sign that Spring is here ... oh, and we have just 6 more full weeks of school! :) You can find teachers all around the country counting down the days!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Can I have a do over?

My day ... ugh. I'm thinking that going to bed early will help a fresh day get here even faster!

Here are the bad parts of my day in pictures:

Ready to grab one of the bananas I just bought to run out the door & get to work on time. All of them were soft & spotted already. How does this happen so quickly?

Left school late due to working on grades for progress reports that are supposed to go home Friday. I didn't leave school until close to 6:00, for the third day in a row. I still have grades to do, so that means I'll be staying late again tomorrow.

Had to go to the grocery store on my way home. We are giving our students a pizza party tomorrow to celebrate the end of assessments. I had to get treats for my kids for dessert. When you have a class of 25, buying treats (or prizes or rewards or supplies) can be difficult. Most things are packaged in sets of 12 ... or in this case 24. I don't know that I have any kids that will be absent tomorrow, so I had to get 2 boxes. 48 popsicles for 25 kids!

Walking out of the grocery store, I had to dodge the many cracks and potholes in the pavement. I have a history of being clumsy in these shoes. Remember when I fell in front of my class when I wore these? {Looking back at that post, I laughed because I was teaching the EXACT same lesson today!} Anyhoo ... I stumbled in a hole in the parking lot & broke the strap on one of these shoes. I got them in Chicago a trillion years ago, but I love them to death. Literally ... I loved them & they died today.

Home late ... again. Poor Minnie. She was happy to go on a walk, which was nice, because I walked off some of my stress.

Checked my mailbox. I was able to get the junk mail out, but the package I was waiting for is still in the mailbox because the mailman could put it in my mailbox, but I couldn't get it out on the other side because the hinges were in the way. I had to write a note telling the mailman that I can't get the package out and he'd have to leave it outside my door. Surely they realized this!

After our walk, it was time to feed Minners. Poor baby had to eat off the hallway floor because I spilled the cup of food all over the place! ARG!

That's it! Well at least I hope that's all that is going to happen and make me mad today. Thursday, please hurry up and get here.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I created a monster ...

... but at least it's a cute monster!

I remember when I first got Minnie and she was still a teeny, tiny puppy. I taught her how to jump up on the couch, using cheese as a bait. Mom scoffed, because I had created 2 bad habits: jumping up on furniture AND eating people food. Oh well! I like to cuddle with her ... and my neighbors LOVE to give her table scraps when we grill out!

Check out Minnie's latest trick! How in the world I have an athletic (fur)child, I'll never know! I don't even think that I could do this trick if I tried!

video

Next time you all visit, you now know that Minnie would be happiest if you had a handful of cereal in your pocket!

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Smashing eggs!


I hope you all had a nice Easter. We didn't go to church, but we heard the church bells ringing & enjoyed time with family & friends. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and we spent time after brunch sitting outside, watching the kids play. Ellen enjoyed her first Easter egg hunt and loved smashing the hollow eggs that Mére made. They were filled with confetti & were fun to break.

Gearing up for another big week at school. We have three more days of State Assessments. Math is this week, then we're done. Woo Hoo! It was nice to relax this weekend before I need to get serious and get back into the swing of things. Happy Spring to everyone ... I think it's finally here for good!

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