Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Minnie & I are wishing you & yours a very Merry Christmas!

We'll be spending the day with family and friends at Mom and Dad's house. We're thoroughly enjoying winter break and are pleased the 10 inches of snow won't be keeping family from getting together this year like it did last year!

Maybe snow will come, but let's hope it doesn't strap everyone inside ... I've got a fully booked week off from work. I hope Santa brings you everything on your list! :)

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Monday, December 20, 2010

She doesn't mess around!

At least not when it comes to sweet treats!

Ellen clearly gets this from her mother. It's a McKnight gene: We don't share desserts. We don't turn down desserts. We like most desserts. Ellen has this same affection for sweets that comes at the end of the meal (and sometimes for breakfast - I heard she had cake for her first meal today)! Her father can often be heard saying, "Let's just get one dessert to share." No. Thank. You.

Tonight, we got together to celebrate Molly's birthday (on the 21st). Mom made an amazing meal, like she always does. We ended the night with presents and an AMAZING butterscotch cake. Mom, I'm still thinking about that cake - you need to share the recipe if you can! Ellen begged all evening for a piece of cake. She's got the birthday thing down since she just celebrated her own 2 weeks ago. She inhaled every. single. bite. Here she is, picking up the crumbs to place on her spoon, to deliver them to her mouth. Smart girl, I tell ya!

Happy, Happy Birthday, Molly!

I hope you have a fabulous day! I'm so glad we could all get together to help celebrate :)

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't let me go here ...

I might come back with everything I see!


P.S. That baby in the drawer looks exactly like Minners when she was a puppy! So cute!
P.P.S. I laughed out loud at the saleswoman taping the tissue paper around that pug! Go back & watch again ... you'll laugh, too!

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Girl!

More information to come about the Big Top Birthday bash for Miss Ellen's 2nd birthday. It was a ton of fun, and I'm so happy to be part of her life. I was flipping through pictures tonight and thought this pose on the right looked familiar. Sure enough, here is a picture from last year that is eerily similar. This is one girl that LOVES to be sung to!

*** UPDATE: Okay ... I take it back. I'm too overwhelmed with life to follow up with more information. You can see another post with more information on Molly's blog. Check it out! ***

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

This happens on a daily basis!

Look at what I just made:


Someone in my Twitter PLN (Personal Learning Network) shared a link to Bitstrips that her students had created. They looked like comics and they were fancy. I thought, "There is NO way her second graders created those comics!"

Then, I clicked on the Bit Strips website, and within just 5 minutes I had created this comic. If I could do it in just a few minutes ... imagine how much fun my tech-y students would have on this site! I didn't know what to expect when I started, so I just wanted to make something quickly. I didn't know what I was going to have my comic say until I found the trash can clip art. This is one of my biggest pet peeves ... no name papers :(

Even if you aren't a teacher, go check out the site! It's pretty fun!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Try to contain yourselves!

It's time for ...

Betsy's Favorite Things!

I was reading a few of my favorite blogs this week/weekend. Many of them were doing their own version of "Oprah's Favorite Things" in the form of a blog post, and then sharing what they came up with. I missed my chance to post on the starting day AND I couldn't narrow my list down to just 5 items. So, here you go ... in no particular order!

My DVR: It's hard to believe that just a few short years ago, I was taping my favorite shows on VHS if I couldn't be home when they were on. Now, I record anything from Oprah, to SNL, to my new favorite show, Auction Hunters. {Check it out on SpikeTV!} Oprah's last Favorite Things show aired on Friday ... but she's doing another on Monday! Haven't watched yet, but I bet there was some great stuff!

Apothecary jars: I collected these over 2 years and waited patiently to put them up until I had my own place. Love how they can create great decor pretty easily, and for not too much money.

Bath & Body Works candle: It's my all-time favorite scent! The store doesn't always carry this passion fruit & guava scent, so when I find it, I try to stock up. I'm always happy to get this as a gift. (Ahem ... hint, hint).

Beautiful painting: Passed to me from Aunt Susan. It's giant, and unique, and I love it! Oh, Minnie likes to hang out by it, too!

OPI nail polish: Lots of favorite colors (for my toes), but my MOST favorite is "Ladies and Magentamen"!

Canon Rebel XS: I still love, love, love my Canon PowerShot, but I feel like this new camera has made me a much better photographer. I have to work harder at getting a great picture, which is frustrating at times, but good for the process.

Rings: You can see how they take over the majority of my jewelry box. Some are from family members. Some were gifts. Some cost $1.00. One was bought in Italy. Most were bought at stores around town. I like to wear rings every day, and when I don't, it feels strange.

Bootcut cords from New York & Company: These are a new favorite. I bought the khaki-colored pair first. I got so many compliments on them the first time I wore them, that I went back right after work and bought the green pair. I just went this week to pick up the gray pair. That's how I typically buy things ... find one I like, so I buy all they have. They still have them in the stores.

Eyeliner: I love all kinds of make-up, but I tend to really experiment with eyeliner. I'm not a brand snob, and most of these come from drug stores. My current favorite is the ULTA store brand. I'll wear any color ... I think it's fun to change it up every once in a while.

Diet Coke: No explanation necessary. I'm not a coffee or tea drinker, so I need to have some caffeine to start and get through my day.

Perfume: I've never had fancy perfume. My two favorites are Clinique Happy and Tommy Girl. I still get compliments when I put one of them on (which I don't remember to do every day). They last me a long time, but I'm actually out of Tommy Girl, after several years. I'm a sad girl ;)

Panera: Not only do they have good food, but they have free WiFi and I enjoy working and grading papers so much more when I am out of my house.

Double Twelve Dominoes: If you haven't gotten on the Mexican Train bandwagon, errrr train, then you're missing out! Great game for the family during the holidays!

Garden Veggie Straws & Chips: Of course, my Wal-Mart doesn't carry these, but I picked up a box of the lunch bag size when I was at Costco with Mom. They are yummy & a bit better for me than the other kinds of chips I normally pack in my lunch. I thought I would hate the rosemary olive oil flavor, but they were my favorite.

Top Sites: This is the home page on my MacBook Pro (another favorite). It picks the sites that I visit the most often (you can also set them) and then it notifies you when the site is updated with a blue star. It took me far too long to realize that was what the blue star was for! Are YOU featured on my top sites?

Wrapping paper: I have a ridiculous amount of wrapping paper (and bags, and tissue, and ribbon, and boxes), but I LOVE wrapping presents! I'm dying to wrap what few presents I've already purchased, but promised myself I'd wait until I had my Christmas decor up.

Fuzzy blanket: This picture doesn't really show just how soft this blanket is. I have a few of these (picked up from HomeGoods or TJMaxx) and Minnie and I curl up with one of them most nights during the winter.

Pens: All colors, all brands, anything that makes grading hundreds of papers more enjoyable. Last year, I purchased a set of fine-point LePen markers online that are great colors, but I still like this basic set of Flair Pens.

Vaseline Lip Therapy: No flavor, no color, inexpensive and works miracles for chapped lips! Found at most drug stores & grocery stores at the check-out counters, too! So easy to find :)

Target store brand vitamins: I've NEVER been a girl who takes vitamins. I have good intentions and I'll buy a bottle of them, but then the taste and size of those huge multi-vitamins scare me off. A friend suggested the fruit-flavored gummy daily vitamins to me. I bought them and I actually remember to take them every day! The last time I was there, I thought I'd look at the other kinds and picked up the gummy calcium supplements, too. Mom thinks they're disgusting, but I feel better knowing that I'm taking something ... and I think they are yummy, too!

Didn't realize I was going to end my favorite things post on such an exciting item (ha!) but here we are at the end. Hope you found something you might like ... or something you didn't know about. Maybe you can even get some gift ideas for someone on your list. Maybe YOU should write a post of YOUR favorite things to share with all of us! :)

Here is the link to the original start of the Favorite Things Post.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What are YOUR thoughts?

I was fascinated by this video for a few reasons:

1) The drawings are amazing! I could watch this for days!

2) I wondered if I'm one of those teachers that believes all students should be medicated.

3) I know the creativity is dwindling in my job.

4) The drawing skills are amazing ... do I have ADHD?

5) I believe standardized tests have made great teachers wonder what in the world they are doing in the classroom. And more importantly, why do we care about "1 test that tells what my students can do on 1 particular day"?


What are YOUR thoughts?

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do they make chapstick at Santa's Workshop?

I went over to Molly & Erik's Saturday night so I could get in my Ellen time for the week. Mom & Dad were there to babysit, and I was just there to document Ellen and all of her hilarity!

Ellen's FAVORITE thing to play with is the chapstick from Mom's purse. Seriously. She carried these tubes around for about 45 minutes. I may or may not have found some fun flavors for Ellen's stocking. Gotta love cheap Christmas presents!

For the first time ever, Ellen let me braid her hair. I've been asking to try out my french braiding skills on her for months, but she always pushes me away. This time I tricked her into saying it was how I wear my hair. She'll do just about anything that I do! Check out those natural highlights!

Look closely ... you can see her halo. Errrr ... the pretty artwork Ellen took it upon herself to add to the kitchen walls with a pen!

The cousins having a tea party. Minnie looks less than thrilled. "Sit der, Mimmie!"

Here's Ellen playing with Mère's "yeakum" aka makeup. She's got most of the right letters, just in their own order & pronunciation.

Smiles for Mère!

Minnie DYING for some attention. As the first grandchild (dog) she's had a hard time adjusting to Ellen taking over.

"Mimmie nekkless!"

Mom attempting to stop the tears at bedtime. We were telling Ellen that she was scary in her jammies!

Time to brush teeth. She refused until I pretend brushed my teeth first ;)

Minnie wishing she was allowed upstairs with the girls. Someday, Minnie ... someday!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My favorite time of year ... ???

Dad informed me today that I hadn't updated since last Sunday. I've been super busy, but not a ton to share on the blog.

It's my favorite time of year; I love the cool weather, the changing leaves, the fact that my kids are well "trained" after 9+ weeks together, and there are lots of fun things to do in town.

What I don't love is the end of first quarter; report cards are always the most difficult to fill out the first time around. The craziness that comes with the Halloween party is enough to drive you nuts. The soda machine in the lounge wasn't taking my money Friday on party day. Thank goodness Mitzi saved me with a Diet Dr. Pepper she had stashed away. Parent/Teacher conferences are this week. It will mean two 12+ hour days Monday & Tuesday, kids Monday-Wednesday and then Thursday off with kids to have conferences. I have 28 booked this year. It's going to be a wild week, but I'm excited to share all the great things I'm seeing with parents, and thrilled that we can start to make some changes after the parents see the things that are worrying me.

Friday will be a vacation day to reward us for working two nights this week. I hope to work hard this week so that I can really enjoy the day off & attempt to keep that day work-free! Keep checking back for more updates ... and make sure you're checking the daily photo blog. I've been successful in keeping updated, and I'm proud of that fact!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just another afternoon on the deck

Went over to play with Miss Ellen this afternoon ... and to get some photo help from Molly.

While we were waiting for Molly to finish working in the yard, Ells and I sat to have a little chat out on the deck. This is good stuff!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You should make these cookies ASAP! You'll thank me!

Each month at school, a grade level is in charge of lounge duty (cleaning at the end of the day, starting the coffee, running & emptying the dishwasher). When it is your month for lounge duty, you are also in responsible for planning a treat day! Even though it's a bit of work, treat day is always fun and everyone enjoys it! We actually make the time to hang out in the lounge and enjoy each other's company and the good food, too.

Last Monday, I had to start looking for things to make. I made my famous Icing Rice Krispie Treats. I also made a 5-ish layer dip (beans, sour cream with taco seasoning, salsa, shredded cheddar, cherry tomatoes and olives). Then, I started flipping through our Oak Hill cookbook. It was published for the 20th anniversary of our school. Parents & staff donated their favorite recipes.

I found this recipe that needed just a few easy ingredients. We've had the children of this recipe donor bring these cookies for our 4th Grade Market ... and they are YUMMY! I didn't think they'd be as easy as they were!

I made a batch for our treat day. I saved a few to take to Mom & Dad. I also saved a few for me. Shhhhh ... don't tell! They were so good that I ran to the grocery store again Sunday to get another box of the lemon cake mix. I took them when I got together with friends Sunday afternoon. The recipe made between 20 and 25 cookies, depending on the size.

These might be my new go-to cookies. I usually have butter & eggs in the fridge. Cake mix and rice cereal is easy enough to get. You should make them. Seriously. Now. You won't regret it!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

If this doesn't make you smile ...

... I don't know what will! :)

Spent the evening with Ellen ... and Minnie was MORE than thrilled to spend the night around her. You never know what kind of leftovers you can find on her chin or shirt sleeves :)

I know this picture is blurry, but it's a great representation of what happens when these two "cousins" get together.

"Mimmie! Get down!" *giggle, giggle*

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