Blog Archive

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recipes to Try

So this week has been pretty busy.  As I wrote about last week I volunteer at my daughters school with their reading program.  The school and volunteers are working hard to motivate the kids to read for this last 7 weeks of school.  Their focus is apparently reliant on the cold weather, and now that it is warm it flew right out the window.  It is thankfully lighter longer and we are all enjoying it.  I have resorted to outright bribery to get them to read.  I help two classes of second graders.  There are about 20 kids per class.  My bribe was if the class could have 15 returned "baggies" (if you need explanation you should have read Volunteering from last week) in one day, I would bring treats.  Wouldn't you know it both classes returned 15+ books within two days of each other.  I couldn't be more proud, or busy baking.  I found some really great recipes on the Food Network website. I have been using this site a lot. I love that I can watch the shows and then grab the recipe and store it in my recipe box.  I have almost 30 recipes saved in there.  Go to my Recipes from Posts page to check out the recipes for the cookies I made.  For my daughters class, I made Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies.  These are for the chocoholic in everyone.  They were delicious, but hard to cook without burning them.  They almost look raw, Paula Deen's definition of gooey, but as they cooled they dried a bit and were delicious.  For the other class, I made a recipe I had made previously for my daughters class.  I love this recipe because it is so easy.  They are called Meringue Cookies or "Forgotten Kisses".  This recipe has very few ingredients and I have actually found quite a few slightly different variations that have all been delicious.  This recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I have used white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and a mixture of dark chocolate and mint chips.  They have all been wonderful.  The other great thing about these is you don't have to time the cooking.  I whipped up the batter in about 10 minutes last night right before bed, then you put them in a 350 degree over and turn it off.  You can leave them overnight, which is what I did.  I woke up with cookies ready to go to school.  They were definitely a hit.  Check these recipes out, they are worth it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


At my husbands suggestion, when I asked what I should blog about this week, he said I should blog about my volunteer work at my daughters school.  I happen to think this is a bit of a boring subject, but I guess since this is supposed to be about my life, and my life is not always exciting, a little boring might be okay. 
I go to my daughters school everyday to help them with a great class project.  Everyday the students take home a "baggie book".  These are a collection of books that the teacher has available for the kids to chose.  They take one book and put it in their baggie, a gallon ziploc with their name on it.  They take the books home and read them for 20min.  They have a slip to be signed by a parent and returned.  If the kids return their book with the slip signed, they get a "purple paw".  These paws can be traded for prizes when they have saved enough.  They also have some contests to see how fast they can get to 500 as a class, and they had a competition to see which second grade class could get the most in a month. 
I think this is a great program to get these kids reading.  I make them treats for hitting goals.  I love being able to encourage their reading and growing. 
My big part in this process is that I am the "bag lady".  I go in every day and record who has returned their book and give them their purple paws and a new slip for the next day.  Even though this is just a little thing, it saves the teachers about 30 min. a day that they can use to teach and do their work.  Every little bit helps.  I am glad that even doing something small like this is helping the entire grade. 
The other great part of this is I get to take my son with me.  We stroller over every day and he sits with me in the classroom.  The children all love him.  He sits and listens to them sing and read.  It is great socialization and my daughters teacher thinks that the kids learning to ignore a small distraction is good for them.
It has really been a great way for me to get out of the house everyday.  It has been so amazing to think of my sons growing through this time.  When we started going to school back in August, he was only 2 months old.  When the school year is over in 35 days, he will be 10 months old.  He has been amazingly patient and sits while I work.  It has been a truly fun experience and I hope that they will let us do it next year as well. 
I encourage anyone with small children to see what you can do with them.  I know it is hard to leave them, and I am surprised to see the opportunities that will let you bring them with.  I volunteer at the school, I am part of our church group and bring him with me to that.  Make sure that you ask about opportunities that you want and see if they will accommodate you and your child.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why Didn't They Tell Me? Church Revealed!

Most of us just finished our Easter dinner with the family.  We have at least one or two people with their pants unbuttoned snoring on the couch.  Most of us even know that Easter is not just about the Easter Bunny, but the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.  I have been Christian all my life, however I just started attending a Lutheran church at the request of my husband.  He had been brought up in this church and our other church was a little too flamboyant for him. 
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Lutheran church, it is quite similar to the Catholic church in that it is very formal, scripted, and steeped in tradition.  The only problem with this is I don't know the traditions.  Where is the Lutheran hand book?  Our congregation is mostly made up of older people who have been doing this a long time, but how can we bring in new members if we don't let them know what is going on?  So, I wanted to take a moment and let you know some of the things I learned this week, and other things I found online.  Feel free to comment on things that you think people should know about your church.
  • Lent..this starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter.  Many of you have heard of giving things up for lent.  Though the Lutheran church doesn't require it, many of us did give things up.  The things I didn't know about this was, Sundays are typically not counted because Sundays represent the resurrection.  There are 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter if you don't count Sundays.  We give something up to represent what Christ gave for us. 
  • Holy Week.  This is the last week of Lent.  There are a few days that I knew about during holy week and few that I had no idea on.  These are the big days to know.  Palm Sunday is the day that Jesus came to Jerusalem.  Maundy Thursday which is the day that we celebrate the seder meal.  Good Friday the day that Jesus was arrested and crucified.  Easter Sunday the day of his resurrection.
  • Maundy Thursday our church held a seder meal.  This is not just your average little dinner party.  This is a commemoration of the passover meal. 
  • Typically there is a Good Friday service, what no one told me is it is the equivalent of a funeral.  While most people were respectfully wearing black, I had no idea.
  • Easter at our church there is a cross to decorate with flowers, but I have heard that it is very common to bring Easter Lillies or flowers of some sort to this occasion.
  • Communion was something new to me as well and our church takes communion twice a month.  When I first started attending the church, I was not allowed to take communion.  I am thinking this is pretty judgmental of the church.  Then I took my adult confirmation class and learned the importance of what communion symbolizes. 
As I learn more I will try to share, but I really think that churches should remember that some people are very new to their church and make sure that everyone knows what is happening and the symbolism behind it.  Share your story with us as well!!

Some of the holy week information take from and is copyrighted by him.  There is a lot of information on his website if you have other questions about religion.