Pinterest Hits

Like a lot of people, I tend to spend hours scrolling on Pinterest and pinning things. However, I spend more time scrolling than I do doing. Therefore, I have decided to change that this year.

Here is a little list of things I have done this year and any tweaks I made:

1. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers– My husband and I LOVED this. However, we did a few things different than the recipe: We didn’t have the green chiles, so we had to skip it. We used chile pepper in place of bell peppers (not for any specific reason, we just didn’t have it in the house) and we added salsa to the final product to add a little more flavor. We will definitely be doing this again. 

2. Spicy Kale Chips– I followed this recipe. It was great. A little spicy, but no complaints. I will do this again, but maybe a little less red pepper since I’m a wimp.

3. Banana Cookies– This again was great! However, I would say they’re more like “banana bites” than “cookies.” But, hey, I’m just being picky. I added almonds to mine to give a little crunch.

4. Roasted Green Beans– Yummy! Do yourself a favor and make these as a side.

5. Taco Casserole– This is the perfect recipe. It’s easy and delicious. I recommend it to all.

6. Cucumber Salad– I made this for super bowl Sunday. EVERYONE was asking for the recipe. The only thing I changed was I used a food processor for the onions, instead of the slices.

7. Veggie Soup– Ahhhh. This. Was. A-MAZ-ING. It makes enough to freeze, too, so I got to enjoy some a month after I made it. I tweaked the recipe a little: instead of ground beef I used ground chicken and we added some Italian seasoning and seasoning salt to give it a little more flavor.

7. Owl Bookmarks– For Valentine’s Day, I had these printed, laminated, and then cut them out for ALL 117 of my students. The students loved them. I was wanting to hole punch the top and add some ribbon, but ran out of time…maybe next year?





Why I Say “Happy Holidays”

tree1    As the first semester is coming to an end, the presents are coming in. I’ve tried to make sure to send a “thank you” email to parents for their gifts (as well as a card to the students). However, when I get to my valediction, I hesitate.

Since I teach internationally, the school has an extended break–over a month-long. I won’t be back in Costa Rica until the end of January, and Christmas isn’t the only holiday that happens between now and January. So saying “merry Christmas” doesn’t feel fitting. However, being a Christian, I feel like the Christian-society has made saying “merry Christmas” a HUGE ordeal. Am I denying my Christianity by intentionally NOT saying “merry Christmas”? Also, does me not saying “merry Christmas” really mean I’m “leaving Christ” out of “CHRISTmas”?

No and no. When I decide to conclude my emails with a “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas,” it’s because I am wishing them happy holidays. I am not only wishing them a merry Christmas, nor am I throwing my faith out the window. When I say “happy holidays,” I am not leaving Christ out of anything.

I’m not even going to spend my time discussing this so-called “argument” because it’s simply foolish. Moving on…

Now, if I’m literally wishing someone a merry Christmas, say on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, then of course I’m going to say “merry Christmas.” I guess my point to this whole rant is that if some people are so concerned with Christmas losing it’s meaning, then they should do more than pick an argument over saying “merry Christmas.”  DO something that will keep Christ as the focus. Words can only go so far. And now,  from what I see, people are spitefully wishing others a “merry CHRISTmas” and insisting that others say “merry Christmas,” too. In my mere opinion, this is FAR from keeping Christ the focal point.

I wish you all happy holidays.

Students Say/Do the Darndest Things

It’s been almost 50 days since my last post and there’s just too much to write in one evening, so I’ll just focus on what I spend the most of my time on–students.

The following are true stories that have happened since I’ve been teaching this year. Enjoy.

1. Backstory: Students are coming up to my desk, one by one, to turn in their homework and to see their overall class average. For the most part, all of my students have their work…until one young lady makes her way up to my desk with a huge grin on her face.
Student: Funny thing, Mrs. Kane. This weekend, I didn’t have any paper, so I wrote my homework on my hand.
She shows me her hand, which has a few words scribbled on it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t cut off her hand to grade, so she had to take a zero. Plus one for creativity.
2. Imagine teaching a group of crazy energized students. They finally calm down and are listening. Cue a bird from stage right. Students scream. Some run for their lives into the hallway. Man, I wish I had a video camera for some of this stuff.
3. I had this brilliant idea to let students go outside for a nature walk, since we’re going to be writing haikus. Prior to leaving the class, we talked about how haikus use a lot of sensory details (taste, smell, touch, see, hear). I told the students to find one subject in nature (grass, clouds, wind, etc.) and focus on it. Within 30 seconds of being outside, I have one student eating a piece of grass and another licking a tree. There’s a fine line between dedication and crazy. A|very|fine|line.
4. I drew a huge piece of paper on the board so that we could work on labeling our work in class. I swear, sometimes it’s a scavenger hunt to try to find where students write their name on their paper. Anyways, I wrote the following on my sample piece of paper:
Your Name

I literally had half the class write “Your Name” on their paper. Crazy, right? What threw me off the most is that they did write the date out and their block. What?
5. I sent a student to the hallway for continual talking in class and calling another student a name. He then proceeds to make faces in the door window. I tell him to stop. He does it again. Yellow slip (referral). One would think this would be the end, but these kids are creative. He proceeded to fold the paper up and put it in his mouth. Thank God, for this student’s sake and mine, that I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say. As a side note, this kid has seriously been awesome since then.

There’s so much more I could say, but I’ve got an early morning and I need to recharge to see these brilliant children tomorrow.

It’s A Whirlwind

I’ve been married for a month, I’ve been in Costa Rica for 2.5 weeks, and tomorrow I start teaching. Whew! When I say a lot has been going on–I mean A LOT!

Being married has been great. I love spending time with John everyday and our conversations before bed the most. Obviously there has been some adjustments (wait… you mean, if we don’t go grocery shopping…there’s no snacks in the pantry?), but it’s still great. I’m learning how to cook…as I’m typing this, we have a BBQ chicken in the crock pot. I can’t take too much credit for making it–that’s why I said, “we have”. As soon as John told me I had to break the leg off of the whatever part of the chicken, I lost it.  So, for any recipes including raw meat, it will be a “we” instead of a “me”.

Our first home is definitely a work in progress. I’m learning just how intense my OCD tendencies are, especially when it comes to cob web on windows, muck on the floor, and bathroom drains that make even God plug his nose. Speaking of nasty drains, anyone have any solutions? We’ve tried Drain-o and bleach. Please, for the sake of our poor noses, offer up some feasible solutions.

Oh, yeah, to keep the complain train in motion, the shower head has the oddest shade of green mold I have ever seen. Perhaps, if it wasn’t mold, it would be a pretty eye color. And, in case you were wondering, it is slippery. Not that any of you would reach up and grab it to adjust the water. Advice: don’t.

But, in all seriousness, the place really has grown on me. I love the little bedrooms, the intimate living room, the land lord (what?! Yes.), the two bathrooms, and the location (we can walk to the mall! With my shopping history, I haven’t decided if this is good or not…). John and I are very fortunate for having a place to call home. As strange as it sounds, I do look forward to continuing our cleaning to make our home even more ours.

Tomorrow is the first day of school! Whoo-hooo! I haven’t slept well the past two nights, so hopefully tonight I will pass out. I feel like one of the 6th graders I will be teaching: I’ve already got my outfit picked out for tomorrow, I keep checking my book bag to make sure all my supplies are there, and I’ve got butterflies in my stomach. I’m excited with a sprinkle of nervousness. Okay, maybe more than a sprinkle.  I know it’ll all be fine, truly. It’s just the first part that will be hard–rip that bandaid of comfort off that wound of insecurities! I’ve got to stop procrastinating and making up terrible metaphors. Lesson planning time round…27?

Fairy tales

Ever since I was a little girl, I longed for prince charming to come and save me. For him to ride up on a pure white horse with his shinning silver armor on and take me away to a land of endless love and peace. I knew my prince would accept all of my flaws and embrace the inner princess in me. He would love me no matter what I had done and will do. My cheeks blush as I think of a younger me watching outside my window for this prince…and a part of me is still waiting. I am a romantic. Flowers, kisses, long conversations and simply staring into the eyes of your soul mate. I am currently reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and this book has got me thinking- it’s okay to want to be loved and to love. I was created with a longing for that. A candle in my heart and someone out there has the match.