Wednesday, August 17, 2011

greek yogurt

I want to like greek yogurt.. I really do. I have tried all different kinds of flavors- honey, vanilla, and chocolate- they are all gross to me. I know it is healthy.. but do people actually like the taste of it?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I mentioned this in my blog yesterday, but as my roommate Susie was walking her dog yesterday she found these kittens in someone's driveway. She knocked on the man's door and asked him if he knew that there were kittens in his driveway. These are not weened away from their mama kittens, these are week and a half old babies whose eyes just opened. The man said they had wandered up a few days before and he had been giving them milk. We knew this was a total lie because they wouldn't have shown up without their mama because they could barely walk. Also they would not have survived without her for more than a few hours outside especially in the heat. It sickens me that someone would just leave these babies who don't have any chance of independent survival outside- where you could hear them crying blocks away.. I don't know how that man could sit in his house listening to them cry outside.

Susie works for the humane society so we will be able to foster the bottle babies or find a foster, and the kittens will get everything they need as far as vet services and other supplies, so I am very blessed to have that connection!

Bane was bathing them for us- that's why that one's head is wet.

I didn't realize it until recently, but one of my spiritual gifts is compassion. I have always had a heart for animals, but this spiritual gift comes through to humans too :-) The reason I didn't realize that this was one of my spiritual gifts until recently was just because I didn't realize other people weren't as compassionate as me.. if that makes sense. I am in the perfect line of work for this gift because I have to use it everyday working with the students that I do. I work with students who have learning disabilities or need additional support in the classroom like clarification, accountability, and organization.  I love my students, and I want to nurture them as much as I can and help them succeed. I am excited to see what God has in store for me as he helps me gain skills and experience in this gift!

Monday, August 15, 2011

first day of school

Today was the first day of school! This is my second year teaching at Northlake Christian, and I love it because that is the school I went to from 1st-12th. Here is a picture of me on my first day of first grade.

First day of 11th grade and 2nd grade for Bailey

First day of junior year in college. We thought it would be funny to take posed first day of school pictures with our backpacks on like we did when we were kids.

Today went very smoothly- I have 15 students (10th-12th). Since I am a support class, we didn't have
much to do since they had just started their classes so we played banana grams and caught up from the summer.

While I was in NC this summer I bought some dry erase boards to keep under their desks so we could do practice problems on them without wasting paper. I also have supply boxes under the students' desks. I only have 2-3 kids at a time. Today 2 of my boys were sitting and I walked out of the room and I hear "Oh cool!!" and they have the dry erase boards out and their expo markers coloring away. These are my 12th graders. I love the little things :-)

Another thing I have in my room is a homework sticker chart. Yes I teach 10-12th graders.. but the sticker chart gets very competitive!

See my sign posted? It says "Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space"

To top off this exhausting day, Susie found 5 kittens. They are about 10 days old abandoned on someones driveway. So we have wake up in the middle of the night to feed bottle baby kittens. I will post pictures when I get them up again!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My thoughts on The Help

Before I get started on this blog I wanted to let ya'll know that I fixed whatever was wrong with the comment feature, and anyone should be able to comment now regardless if you have a google account or not.

This summer I read the best book I have ever read, The Help. I couldn't put it down and finished it in a few days.

The caption from NPR on the cover of the book says, "This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird... If you read only one book.. let this be it."

I couldn't agree with that statement more! Growing up in the Deep South, I feel like I did not fully understand the major issues that went on in our history 50 years ago. Things have come so far, but still not far enough. There were issues this past year because a Mississippi public high school still had separate black and white proms. In the town my family lives in in Mississippi they have an Azalea Court every year which is kind of like homecoming, but the people are nominated by the garden club. There is still a separate black and white Azalea Court. They justify this in both cases by saying.. everyone likes it because that way more black and white girls get to be on the court.. more black and white girls get the chance to be prom queen. Children are brought up believing that is right to have separation. I saw something on the news a few weeks ago about the new face of the Gerber baby. They said that by 2066 the majority of MIDDLE CLASS American children will be of mixed race. Not necessarily all black or all hispanic, but they will have such a mixture that they won't be identified as one specific race- they will just be Americans.

I think this book is so important to read because it gives both perspectives. I think that as a white person in the south, we were brought up to believe that these black women wanted to be maids. They didn't mind the divide. I am not saying that everyone in the south thinks this way, but it is important to educate ourselves and our children about how much we didn't know, how wrong our ancestors were for thinking this (even though they didn't know it at the time), and we need to learn what still needs to be done.

I found this plaque at the flea market in Raleigh, NC this summer.

This is very hard to read in this picture, but inside the rectangle it says "coloreds to the rear". This is painted (still) on a building in downtown McComb, MS- leftover from before the Civil Rights Movement.

Last night I saw the movie version of The Help. It was so good. I still recommend reading the book because there are so many details in it and it paints each person's story a little more clearly. The movie is still amazing and they both made me double check my own mindset. It will be very exciting to see how far we have come in another fifty years!

Monday, August 8, 2011

as far back as I remember..

As far back as I remember I have been able to see time in my head. As a kid my mom said I had a crazy ability to understand time even as a toddler. I can pull up memories really far back because in my head the different years and my ages look different in my head. It is 3d abstract space. They aren't colored and I can't draw them, but they are there. It is kind of like how a juke box flips through to a particular record and then pulls it out and scrolls to the correct song. That is how my memories are, but by age.

When I think about time all of the months are in a line and I am standing in the summer time. It is hard to describe, except that if I think about December 31, it feels like I am falling off the edge of the earth. The weeks scroll inside the months vertically and the days scroll horizontally. I do not stand on a particular day, it just scrolls depending on the day. The current day is bigger than the others.

When I think about numbers they ascend vertically in horizontal rows of 10. Math always came easily because I could just jump around through the numbers in my head.

I am not sure how old I was when I told my mom about this.. maybe 11 or 12. I was pretty sure that not everyone thought this way, but I never thought anything of it. I have never needed a planner, and I am really good with time and dates. Recently, my mom told me she heard a guy talking about how he could see time in his head.. she couldn't remember what he said he had. This made me want to know what it was called. It boggles my mind why I never googled it before- I guess I had no idea that there was a name for it.

I have synesthesia. My primary type is time/space synesthesia and my secondary is number form synesthesia. Some people with synesthesia see letters and numbers as certain colors. Some attach personalities to days or numbers (I did this as a kid- I have stopped doing it, but I can remember not liking certain numbers or days of the week because of characteristics they had). The strangest form I have heard of is when people associate certain words with tastes. Crazy right?! There are almost one hundred identified types of synesthesia.

this is sort of how I see numbers- not in color but out in front of me

My years are not circular, but they are shaped and colored spaces that extend from far left (January) through far right (December) I think I stand in the summer all of the time because my birthday is in June and I think in school years rather than calendar years.

Synesthetes do all of this subconsciously. Most kids who have it don't realize that other people don't think this way until they are older. When scientists have studied it and done brain scans- multiple parts of the brain light up when certain things are talked about or stimuli shown.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This always happens

So today I was watching Celebrity Rehab.. minding my own business and I hear this strange noise outside. I pause the tv.. listen.. don't hear it.. put the show back on and  I hear it again. I go outside walk up and down the sidewalk.. still don't hear anything and then I hear it. It is super loud.. it sounds like a lost animal or a baby animal crying. I was looking for a dog.. then I hear it blaring. I look down and it is a baby squirrel with the mama squirrel looking on. I run inside to get a dish towel and a box and scoop it up. The tree over where I park my car is really really tall. This is the third baby we have found under it since spring- 2 blue birds out of the same nest the first time. There is no way that this baby will get back up to his nest.. so into the house we go. It is crying and bleeding from its nose a little. A teacher at the school I work at is my go to guy for my random wild life I find.. this is not my first. 2 years ago I rescued another baby blue bird. You can check out Blue Bell here on his website.

I call his daughter and arrange to bring the baby to school tomorrow morning.. if it makes it through the night. So here we are. "Jumper" is sleeping in his box- in my warm back room- the bleeding has stopped and his breathing is normal. I looked on a "what to feed a baby squirrel" website and it said they are normally dehydrated so they should be fed pedialyte first. I also didn't want to put it further into shock. So baby Jumper has had a little less than 1 mL of pedialyte and seems to be doing great.

I feel like wildlife knows that I am a compassionate person and sick, injured, and orphaned animals ALWAYS find me. My mom has always had compassion for animals and I learned a lot from her over the years- we always were bringing some random animal to the vet or nursing a baby back to help in a pet carrier.

Earlier this spring we found a baby bluebird in the same place- the man who maintains my property found it and rigged up a pully and a trashcan for the bird to be as close to its momma as it could so she could take care of it. It lived up there for 3-4 days and then one morning I saw it out on a limb an it looked like it was about to fall. I go out there to lower the trashcan since the bird was hopping around on the ground. The original bird was in the trashcan. It was another baby that had fallen! At this point there was nothing we could do- my neighbor came out and said how every year the mama blue bird teaches her babies to fly from her fence- so we all herd the 2 babies over as close to her yard as we could. I was late for work at that point and just prayed for the best. I came home that afternoon- there were no dead babies on my street and they were all fluttering around in her backyard by the fence. Success.

Let's all pray that Jumper makes it through the night!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

the coolest thing

I love flash mobs. They have been popping up all over the world over the past few years- I love the looks on all of the unsuspecting people around. Here are a couple a lot of videos- these make me so happy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting my classroom in order

Today I spent my day organizing my classroom and setting up student binders. All. Day. Organized binders with colorful tabs make my heart flutter.

I am doing this post on my phone so I am not sure how the photo order will work.

I found half a roach in the bottom of one of my boxes... The more disturbing question is.. Where is the other half?!?! My mom works at a doctors office and they pulled half of a roach from a kid's ear... Where was the other half?!

I saw these boxes at office depot.. The label made me laugh.
It says "really useful box"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Most Delicious Thing I Have Ever Made (recently at least)

I'm back!!

I kind of took an unofficial break from blogging over the summer break. School is starting back in a week and I am back at the blog!

I had a very eventful summer and I plan on sharing some pictures from my summer trips in some future blogs. :-)

 subscribe to on my facebook account and I have gotten a lot of great ideas from them- everything I have made from that site has turned out great.

This week they featured Smores Candy Bars- I was inspired and headed out to Hobby Lobby to buy candy molds

These were actually pretty simple and worth a try- I'll give you a few shortcuts- that I figured out the hard way

All you need is chocolate chips- I used chocolate melting chocolate from the candy mold section, graham crackers, and marshmallow cream

I learned a new trick when I watched the video on how to make these- how to temper chocolate. This technique solves all of my chocolate problems.
I used one cup of chips at a time and had to make a few batches- maybe 4ish? Can't remember

Okay so you need 2 glass bowls- one to heat in and one to pour into. Heat the chocolate for 15 seconds a time and stop and stir. With my new fancy microwave I thnk I only needed to do 3 rounds.

Here is the tempering part- since you heated the chocolate in short bits and stirred along the way it heated evenly and didn't burn. So once its melted through, pour it into the second (room temperature) bowl. Then let it sit for a minute or so before you use it. This lets it cool down a bit.

Tempering your chocolate does a few things- first it makes it not burn- but the candy bar benefits are that it makes it shiny and smooth looking, it allows it to harden, and once it is harden it does that satisfying candy "snap" when you break it. Life changing stuff right?!

Next I poured the tempered chocolate into the mold- you don't need a lot just coat the edges.
***tip*** I did not spray these with cooking spray and they were a little hard to get out- so it wouldn't hurt to spray these first.
Let the chocolate set until hardish.

This isn't a necessary step- really just created more dirty dishes in my opinion, but I'll throw it in. If you want the toasted marshmallow flavor put your marshmallow cream under the broiler.

Be super super careful that you don't burn it. You have to do a few rounds of this so you brown it then stir it.. over and over. Like I said, I only did this once.

 Once the chocolate is set spread a thin layer of marshmallow over the chocolate.

top with graham crackers.

then top with more chocolate- put these in the fridge for 15-20 minutes until hard

I tried them in peanut butter cup molds too- these were a lot easier to get out of the mold and they were prettier in the end

Next time I am going to put the cups straight in the mold so I can pull them right out 

These turned out so delicious!!! Candy making is not as daunting as it seems- these were so simple.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Batch Cooking

I have always been fascinated with batch cooking, meal exchange, and food storage. The problem is I have one of those 2 door refrigerators with the teeny tiny narrow freezer and the almost as teeny tiny and narrow fridge section. Whoever invented those had never cooked. So for my birthday (last week) I begged and begged for a deep freezer. John and my dad went in together and got me a small one so I was inspired to batch cook. Some days I'm just too tired to cook. I love to cook, but not when I am tired and hungry. I have found it to also be a great way to use all of the ingredients- limp, rotting celery  in my fridge drawer is like the story of my life.

Last week on one of my tutoring days off I decided to try my hand at batch baking. I have a once a month cook book, but like I have mentioned in previous posts, I can't turn down a good cooking magazine. Paula Deen had her 5 year anniversary best recipes cooking magazine out so I was inspired.

There are a few main rules/ideas that I have found that are very helpful to batch cooking:

1. get some storage dishes with tops- for my batch of stuff I used pyrex with lids- you want something that can go straight into the oven-for my grandmother's stuff I made I used tin pie plates and baking dishes

2. invest in some freezer bags, Glad press n seal freezer paper, and heavy duty foil- you don't want freezer burn to ruin all of your hard work

3. use centralized recipes- stick with a few main ingredients so you don't go bonkers in your cooking excursion- I used chicken and shrimp for my stuff and just chicken for my grandmother's

4. never thought you'd add a fraction again? add up all of the amounts of onion, celery, bell pepper, chopped chicken, etc and go ahead and cut it up and measure it. This will save your life.

5. Label, Label, Label!! Label all of your entrees with what temperature to cook them at, what else you need to complete the supper, and attach any toppings possible (I had individual portions of cheese to top stuffed shells)

6. Figure out the best way to store- some stuff needs to be cooked before you freeze, some half, some not at all- I assembled pot pies, stuffed shells, and enchiladas but did not bake them before freezing- i under cooked all pasta since it will be cooked again, I cooked things that needed to meld together all the way through- my jambalaya had raw rice and the squash casserole had bread crumbs

7. If you aren't feeling creative, check out websites on the internet dedicated to batch baking

individual meals

After I did my batch cooking I decided my grandmother would really benefit from this- I just did 1/2 portions of my stuff, but she is blind and bed bound most of the time so she needs individual portions of meals or small family sizes. I found some small chicken pot pie tins and bought 2 dozen. Even with organization and similar ingredients, both times I have done this I've spent about 5-6 hours in the kitchen- it is worht it. It feels so great knowing I have meals in my freezer if  I don't want to cook.

Here's what I made for me:

Spicy Seafood topping to go over stuffed potatoes
shrimp topping for shrimp and grits
chicken and sausage gumbo
tex mex lasagna
squash casserole
chicken cakes
chicken enchiladas
I also saved 15 c of leftover chicken broth in mini 1 c serving bags

For Grandmama I made:

Chicken Jambalaya
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Chicken Noodle Bake
Stuffed Shells

Sunday, June 12, 2011

the best thing about sundays on the internet

I'm back! I'll do a life recap later this week.

Here are some more favorite postsecrets saved from years past. Check out the weekly post of new post cards at