Saturday, October 12, 2013

Staff Treats: the next chapter

Our theme centered around National Bring You Bear to Work Day. Since our mascot is the Bears, we thought it fitting! Thanks to my dad for gluing the sign! I used the popular and pin worthy mirror print and get wet transfer system for the words.

The Food! We represented famous bears with our food choices. For example, Goldilocks's stolen porridge was apple oatmeal (also from pintrest), the sugar cookies were "Help camouflage Yogi!" (cream cheese sugar cookie recipe, from pintrest), the egg casserole was Fozzie bear "Wa-ka wa-ka Yolk's on you", Smokey the Bear for smoked salmon spread and smoked sausage/egg/potato casserole, and Pooh's honey sticks (chocolate dipped pretzels). 

This was a German Chocolate cake with pecans, because I didn't have any at 9:30 pm when I was making the topping. Made with the puzzle cake system Randi gave me. Shout out to Di!

Grab and Go snack cups with Swedish Fish and Teddy Graham s'mores mix.

I love the decore part, and Meghann did a great job setting the table! Those are flameless candles, of course.Blueberry granola bars finished it off as a quiet homage to Sal.

A few of my favorite bears joined the party. Darcy even sported his Tahoma spirit. A special thanks to Mrs. Tootles and Wally who came along with the Paratrooper and the red bear from Sedro-Woolley.

We even had that big, P.E. uniformed bear come all the way from the library to partake in the fun. I think everyone liked it and most of the food was eaten...a great success indicator! We've already started thinking about April.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Eat healthy or DIE.

This used to be my favorite kind of dinner...

Now I'm more for the salad: heavy on the leafy greens and light on the dressing. 

But, that's okay. Since my dad had a heart attack in April and a triple bypass in July, I am realizing the importance of daily choices. I mean, I always knew...just didn't really care. There's an episode of How I Met Your Mother in which Ted says things like "That's future Ted's problem!" followed by a laugh and consumption of alcohol later and later into the night. He is eventually confronted by future Ted, and future future Ted, and maybe even one more Ted. The point is, those other Teds were not impressed. 

I'm sure that if my dad could go back 10, 20, 30 years, he'd tell past Al to put down the burger and fries, skip the cookies, and go for a walk. I know I'd say it to the chubby, shy girl in Middle School who told herself she didn't care if she was fat because that was just who she was. That wasn't who I was. That was who I chose to be because I was too lazy to care about what would happen to future Crystal. 
Well, no more! 

I'm so proud of my mom and dad for making such huge changes in their diets and for sticking with it! It is SO hard, I know. But, as I sit here eating fresh melon as a snack instead of candy or cookies, I think future me is going to be just a little less annoyed with who I chose to be today.

Also, today I turned 31. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Barbie!

My partner in Barbie crime bought all the Barbies at Big Lots! and returned them the next day. We had a really good time coming up with excuses to tell the cashier. My best one was "She had a boy."
These are all the lessons I've learned from Barbie. I totally jacked it from a website.

This sweet Barbie party dress was created using pull apart cupcake molds. they are silicon cups that you arrange, bake in, rearrange, and then frost over the top of. Thank you to MIRANDA, my super cool little sister, who gave them to me for Christmas. I think their maiden voyage was a great success! (On a side note, the cups do expand a tiny bit when full of cake, go figure, and that is why the two dresses are not quite the same shape!).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cozy Kitty

I made this rice bag cat for an amazing lady at work who just had back surgery. I wanted to give her something she could use, not just a trashy magazine...though I do love a trashy magazine every now and then!

Anyways, I saw the pattern for this cat to use up old scraps of fabric (quilter's scrap cat). I thought, wow, a cat would make a fun microwavable rice bag!  And so I set off to make this beaut on my day off.

First, choose your fabric. Like all things, I chose based on how cute they looked together, and how cheap they were to buy as remnants at Hobby Lobby. This particular choice was Duck cotton, which I have no real opinion about since I am not a real sewer, I only pretend to be... One thing I can say about it is that it unravels at the seams easily, so use generous seam allowances.

Cut your squares, or rectangles in this case. I just randomly chose the size I wanted based on the size of paper I cut out. I know, precision is important to me, too.

Okay. Sew the columns together. You can do rows instead if you like that better. I don't mind how you accomplish this step. Be careful though to keep same seam allowances.
You can see that I lost the yellow stripe on
the center pieces, but I lost them on both, so that is okay.

Next, sew together the columns, or rows, however you chose to combine them. I tried to line them up so that I had sharp lines across...the key word there is tried. I was mostly successful, but that nasty precision thing came back into play.

I cut out the shape of the cat first, then laid it over the other patchwork piece. You could probably cut both at once, but I wanted to line up seams. This was easier for me to do with the cut out.

Then sew right sides together. I wish I had made the ears wider than the pattern showed since I lost a lot in the seam allowance. Be sure to leave a hole so you can fill with rice.

Turn right sides out, then fill with rice. I wanted the finished product to have an aromatherapy quality as well, so I put a "few" drops of lavender oil on the rice as well as a few sprays of pillow mist (because I got carried away). I also baked the rice for about 7 minutes on 350 to set the scent. I just made that part up, but I think it worked. I wanted the head to hold rice and not just sag and flop, so I filled it, then did a quick stitch across the neckline.

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. My friend was really pleased too, which made it worth any effort!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Silly pup!

I watched Lady and the Tramp tonight with my dog. She was very interested through most of the movie. When little puppy Lady howls and cries her first night, Zu's head twisted back and forth as she listened. She even ran over to the screen and stood on her back legs to listen better. She did not like the Siamese cats. She growled and barked when Lady was chased by the mean dogs (when she gets tied up with the Tramp). She was very alert and excited whenever Jock and Trusty were on screen. The "Bum Bum Bum Ruff" song in the pound provoked a sort of frolicking moment under my table. She was disinterested in the puppies, though I agreed that they were a little too Hollywood Ending.

Another funny thing my little weirdo does is bring her water bowl to me when it is empty. I will hear her in the kitchen rooting around, then she'll come bursting around the corner and run at me full speed, bowl in mouth. Then she'll fling the bowl at me and proceed to dance around (sometimes whining) until I go put water in it. And my dad says she's dumb!

And when I feel stupid for liking my dog so much and wanting to talk about her all the time (which makes it impressive that I don't, because I do have a story about her that fits with ANYTHING that ANYONE is talking about ANYTIME)...I just think about other people who love their dogs and don't get any grief for it.

 See, I'm in good company. Well, maybe not Paris...

Verification that I am a beloved teacher...

In class yesterday, we were learning a system for acquiring vocabulary as part of our new reading unit. Usually the kids hate vocab, but they seemed pretty in to this. Not to pat my self on the back (which is hard for me to do anyways because I am such a pleasant type of rotund and womanly endowed), but I was teaching it in a very interesting way. 
We were talking about using the dictionary to "verify" the meaning of a new word after using context clues to infer the meaning. They didn't know the word verify. Which, as you can imagine, makes it hard for them to do when trying to decipher the meaning of the original word. Also, they wouldn't know decipher.
So, we practiced our system with the word verify. A particularly plucky student says "Like, if we were going to verify that you were the REAL Miss Deighton and not some robot sent to replace you."
Now, some teachers would not allow this sort of tom foolery in their classroom. Most teachers would not even have to address this sort of foolery, but I am not some or most teachers. Plus, I need a little something hilarious to make it through the day. Recall that I don't drink.
Seeing this as a great teaching opportunity (and a waste of the extra 8 minutes I had left the period before), I accepted the challenge. I was thus bombarded with questions about my personal preferences including but not limited to:
"When's your birthday?"
"How many sisters do you have?"
"Are you a robot or alien?"
"What's your favorite color?"
I am proud to say that my answers were satisfactory enough to appease them. I was deemed, in fact, Miss Deighton and allowed to continue the vocabulary lesson. I was only slightly disturbed that they knew quite so much about me, but then don't get voted "Teacher who treats students most like people and not just like students" without sharing a little bit of yourself too. Right, I was also voted that this week by a small group of kids working on a committee to increase Respect, Pride, and Belonging at our school.
All in all, a person win this week!