Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Steal of a Deal

Long time no post, I know. But I'm back. Maybe. While I haven't been posting, I've still been visiting the regular thrift stores... occasionally. Coolest find lately? SHRINKYDINKS!

You color an image on the plastic then bake it. It shrinks in the oven. What a way to spend time on Christmas break.

Here's my Where the Wild Things Are keychain. The top picture is what I traced onto the plastic. The mini ones are how they turned out after the bake:

Blurry close up:

I got the coloring/tracing pattern HERE. Free pattern. Wohoo!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goals and Goal

I miss playing soccer. I found a league to join and a friend to do it with but I'm going to have to wait for a few months to see how life plays out. My goal though is to at least join a league by summer time. Until then I have to make do with inspirational videos like this...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pencils Ticonderoga Style

I really love writing with the Ticonderoga Beginners pencils. They're fat, making them more comfortable to grip. Ticonderoga is a quality brand too. You can feel the difference when you right (Thanks Boo for the intro of those priceless tools to our family). Love it. I found some on Amazon. It's cheaper to buy in bulk and I'm a cheap person, so naturally I went the cheapskate route. Too often this cheapness costs me more than it's supposed to for a cheap person. I ended up paying 20 bucks and got a lifetime supply of these:

Actually, I got 6 boxes of 12 (72 total). I know, such a deal. That's only 27 cents per pencil. Don't be misled by the picture. They're fat, but not too fat like those cheapy ones from the dollar store. Here let me show you by comparison to a "regular" one:

Sorry the quality of photo is so poor. I'm still stuck using the camera on my cell phone. Pathetic, but it is what it is. Here's a picture of its pencil shaving, a beautiful flower:

followed by a close up:

Why oh why am I taking pictures and even writing a post like this? I'll tell you why. I love these pencils. Or is it because I'm avoiding grading tons of papers, specifically the six paragraph reports on the water cycle? I don't know. Actually, I do. Both reasons are valid and ya know what? As soon as I'm done with this post I'm gettin in my p.j.s and going to bed. I'm so tired. So so tired. Over and out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The word awesome is too overused for my liking, as are the words cute, good, and amazing. But that's beside the point of this post. The title of this youtube treasure is 5 Minutes of People Doing Awesome Things. My fave is the opening wheel chair scene. Can you do any of those cool tricks? When my brother Ry-guy was little he could stick 4 pieces of a diced peach up one nostril. I think that's the closest our family gets to doing "awesome" tricks. Hm. Do you have any cool tricks? I'd definitely love to see them. If you want, I'll even post them for you, maybe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This week in the subject of "reading" we are studying "The Gold Rush". It's some pretty good stuff. This morning I put a pertinent riddle on the board:

"How do you turn soup into gold?"

The students wrote their guesses on a little sheet and turned them in. They had to wait till the end of the day to hear their peers' guesses along with the correct answer. Here are some of the 4th grade guesses:

"by boiling it with a goldin coin"

"you boil it in extremly hot water"

"you boil the soup and it will be soft and yellow"

"you boil it and what and make it into a ball."

"put it in a fire"

"you need the soup to get hard then roll it up and wait till it Dries"

"you put yellow food coloren"

"Soup is gold by its color"

"You can't turn soup into gold."

"magic or something"

"I think you Put the gold in and the soup turns into gold."

"by a wizard or majic or just a put gold in soup"

"You freeze the soup"

"You can't it is in posible! There is no way you can"

"I dont know its kind of inpossible. But I would think that you would have the soup get stale and Put glitter on it and then make it doughy. Then smack on the ground. Dont as me why I wrote that. I was just guessing!"

Some smarty pants said "You exchange the letters with the letters in the word gold." Get it?

So you want to know the real answer? It's, "Put 24 carrots into it."
Hahaha! O.k. Not that funny but it added much needed pep for the day.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Those who scoff at children's literature lack a refined sense of literacy. True, there are garbage children's books; Just as true is the fact that there's the same amount, no, there's more of garbage adult literature.

I found this book awhile back.

Yep, it's a children's book of the most refined nature. I love the author. In the past, I'd foregone many opportunities to enjoy her books because the cover art typically had a lack of appeal, for my taste. You could say that I scoffed at them, possibly included judgments of "Looks like garbage". At any rate, I eventually ended up reading one of Baylor's (author) books and was dumb-struck-awed by the quality of writing. Baylor is an all-around first-rate writer and storyteller who doesn't even need illustrations for her work to reach the status of "perfection". For sure I'd buy her books without a single illustration. She's a master, a Yoda in her own right.

So, Thanksgiving season is happening at your household? This recently discovered Baylor book is so harmonious in timing for the festivities and good feelings. It couldn't be more perfect. I'm thinking you might like it (the book, but I'm sure you'll like the season with all its entrails too).

It all starts when a girl who is unsatisfied with her family's income and economic standing takes matters into her own hands. That sober girl sets her family down at the kitchen table to council her parents on the matter. And with that intro, here's a few excerpts to finish it off...

No wonder
I had to call this meeting
about money.

Can you believe
my father is
sitting here
looking me straight in the eye
and saying,
“But, Mountain Girl,
I though you knew
how rich we are.”

I say,
“We can’t get very far
in this discussion
if you won't even admit
that we’re poor.”

(Hey, it's me with another little two cents. From this point the mother talks about how rich they are in ways other then money. End two cents.)

But I say,
“Can’t you give me
one single number
to write down
on this paper?”

So we start with
twenty thousand dollars.

That’s how much
my father says
it’s worth to him
to work outdoors,
where he can see sky
all day and feel the wind
and smell rain
an hour before
it’s really raining.

So that makes
four million
and fifty-five thousand dollars.

my brother says
to put down
seven dollars more
for all the nights
we get to sleep
under the stars.

We all say
seven dollars
doesn't seem to be
We talk him into
making it
five thousand.

So there you have a brief, brief clipping of a delicious masterpiece. Isn't is so poetic? There's more in the story but I can't give it all away! Now, I don't think I can recommend it any more highly then I've been going on about, so I'll be signing off.

Thanksgiving, here we come...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Happenings

Halloween is coming! It hasn't been very festive at our house. We're all old and busy. No fun. On a lighter note, I broke down and got a laptop. A Mac of course. I've been holding out for so long but it's just so detrimental and frustrating at times not having one. So a MacBook it is. I decided to christen it by taking some pictures to coincide with the season:

Creepy? Weird? Yes? Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday Freebie on Saturday Night

Happy Halloween! Here's a cool freebie HERE! There's a whole bunch of other free stuff other than Halloween too. See their homepage HERE!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Lady Liberty

Today I bring you an addition to the "High-Fives and Knuckles" library. First, let me take you back to the days of dorky youth-hood. Remember when you made rabbit ears on every person possible in every photo shot?


Yeah. That was so 15 years ago.

Today... I bring to you The Lady Liberty.

I'm here to let you know that you don't have to give up those dorky days. Just enhance the method a tad and you're set to go. Let's keep it fresh people. See HERE for past High-Fives and Knuckles.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Princess Hermione

We girls at home, we're big fans of this movie:

Naturally, we're also big fans of any movie that features this girl:

So when I came across the following trailer I almost felt as though I'd been struck with a blow to the back of the head. How did I miss putting one and one together?! Whoever put this together was inspired. True, the graphics aren't terrific but what it lacks in clarity, it more than doubles in spirit. Unfortunately, embedding the video in this post isn't an option so you'll have to click on the link to view it HERE. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

and Break

It's October Break. I started it out with a quick jaunt to San Francisco to see my dear uncle, aunt, and cousin. Just what the doctor ordered, I mean, I guess, what I ordered. I felt so filled being with them and look forward to visiting again. In life there are people you don't see for years and when the time comes again for reunion, from that moment of greeting and on feelings of friendship and close familiarity flow seamlessly. Conversation carries on like not a day has passed since last communion. That's how it is with this fam. The above picture is missing Uncle Dave (he's taking the pic) but this photo was taken when we attended the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels show (see HERE for details). They were thrilling and the photo below doesn't do them justice but gives you a tiny glimpse.

After the visit, I arrived home and met my grandma at the airport. She came to visit for the week and it's been so good to have her. She is such a comfort to be around and I think she is so stately and noble. Do you have a grandma as wonderful as mine? I think not (unless of course you are my cousin on my mom's side)! She leaves tomorrow and I'm bummed about it. I wish so badly that we lived closer together. You cousins in Idaho are so lucky to have Grandma. Sorry but I don't have a picture of Grandma visiting!

As far as the rest of the break goes, I haven't done much to make a name for myself. James and I had a torturous game of Scrabble last night. Torture. I don't think we made it past any four letter words. Toward the end I made James let me look at his letters in hopes that I could aid our dire situation. I wasn't much help. I should have focussed more energy on producing my own quality submissions. We even fudged on some spelling. How lame was our game and by what measure? Aside from the measurement factor that I was tortured to the point where I broke and could only laugh to make it through, here is a picture for your "lame measurement" consideration:

As for this Thursday evening, James and I went out long-boarding. Las was gone so I texted her to see if I could borrow her board. She never answered back so I took the liberty of taking it out for a ride. I thought that it'd probably be kosher since she rarely spends bonding time with it. I'm pretty sure it was an o.k. thing to do. If not, she'll probably find out about it via this post (Hey Las) and I won't be in the room. If she does care, I'm pretty sure it won't be enough to remember to bark at me. She's got a stellar boyfriend to occupy her time and thoughts with who's way more interesting than a sister-who's-bored-on-a-Thursday-night-that-takes-her-stuff-for-a-few-breif-moments. Anyway, it was fun to go out with James. It wasn't enormously fun though, so we didn't stay out for long (sorry James).

Here's the photo op of James in motion. He took one of me but the shot made my hips look way to huge. No thanks. Too bad the picture of him is blurry. He's such a handsome young man (minus the knee-high, white socks).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tis the season...

So two years ago this time while James and I were at D.I., a wondrous rack of Halloween costumes popped out at us. James was feeling the festive spirit so he chose a costume to adorn himself in. May I present...

...the young man in all "Hallowed" glory. So yeah. Happy Halloween to you!

As for the student teaching, I'm in a regular 4th grade class. I miss my other students so so so so much but I really like this group of 4th graders. Oh the strings that tug at the heart.

Today I caught a student talking about me to his seat partner. After he said "If you look at her eyes, they sparkle at you" he realized I was standing right by him and heard everything. He was so embarrassed. What a crack up. Anyway, I think it's the nicest compliment I've ever received from a kid (besides the time when Brock, while soaring through the air on the swings yelled out, "Miss Erica! I love you more than my pet dog!"). Good times. Maybe more stories to come. Who knows? I don't. I don't have time to think about bloggy kinds of things. I'm thinking about 42 students. I'm swamped but loving it. Lovin' it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Busy Busy Busy and no pictures for the post

I've been doing a little student teaching lately. O.K. I've been doing a lot of student teaching lately. I'm currently in a MIMD (Mild Mental Disability) 4-6 grade class with 10 students. I have one week left then I'll switch to a 4th grade regular ed class for 8 additional weeks. I love the students and my mentor teachers. I feel like I've had more kaffofles than successes in the classroom but I'm learning tons. Now that I think about it, I guess I can chalk the kaffofles up as successes if I've learned from them. Hopefully I have.

About two weeks before school started I panicked about having outrageous behaviors. I had outlandish fears like I'd have a heart attack or I'd freeze in the middle of a lesson and not be able to speak or move a muscle. I was afraid every student would run around the room in utter chaos with myself spinning in circles watching it happen, incapable of interfering. Valid fears? You'd think "no" but I assure you that I was 99% convinced something like that would happen. KNOCK ON WOOD! The students are ideal. KNOCK ON WOOD! I care so much for each one. They are so important to me, and I haven't had a heart attack yet.

I want to share all sorts of quotes that the students have said during the day but I'm afraid that part of that heartwarming and humor is magnitudinally lessened for you the reader without knowing those who spoke those classic sentiments. I'll share a few anyway (of course names are changed)...

Bernard to me (6th grade): I love other teachers more than you.
Interpretation: I love you more than other teachers.
Bernard to the next teacher right after talking to me: I love other teachers more than you.

On a comprehension test the other day one of the q and a's went like this:
Q- Why did fans appreciate DiMaggio (Joe)?
Bernard's A- Because he died he cared about his baseball team and the manager missed him and the team missed him.

Ha ha! I love this kid. He tells me every day I'm pretty and look nice. He then proceeds to tell the same thing to all the other aides and teachers around. He says it with so much cheese that I have to try not to crack up. This is an almost daily occurrence.

Here's another student
Me to Felicity (4th grade): Do you know you're so great?
Felicity: Yeah!
Me: How do you know?
Felicity: My mom gives me lots of kisses every day.

Me to Felicity: You did such a great job!
Felicity: Smokin!
Me: What?
Felicity (shaking her hands like they're hot): Smokin!

Ha ha ha ha! I taught them "Smokin" a couple weeks ago. I said it when a small group did well on something. They all gasped and said "ooooh" in disbelief! They thought I was referring to cigarettes. I explained the true meaning then quickly moved on. I never thought they'd remember it but I guess you never can be sure.

In conclusion, will there be more blog posts? Maybe but not likely. I've got some smokin deals at the thrift stores that I'd love to share but life is way to busy present such quality finds. I guess for now, student teaching it is. I'll leave you with a summary of my life right now, Only one word is necessary... Smokin!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


One of the most, the very most, soul-satisfying feelings I experience in life happens to be drinking in my mom's gut-deep, face-scrunching, total-body-encompassing episodes of laughter. She's been doing it more often lately than she ever has in the past. I love it. Its more satisfying for my soul than soaking in sunshine or singing in the shower. Speaking of singing in the shower, I'm so out of the habit. I can't believe I've been off the bandwagon for so long. Tomorrow morning, I'm singing in the shower.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday's Steal!

Today James and I made a little pit stop at Goodwill for it's half-off Saturday prices. After making our purchase and heading to the car, James said "I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (cd on tape) in the glass case". Duh! Of course we went back in to purchase it! It ended up costing $2.49 and is in "new" condition. Score! It originally cost $79.95 but is now $50.37 brand new on Amazon or $32.85 used. But lets be real here. Can there be a price value high enough to represent our devotion to our beloved Harry? No, but I sure am excited about that $2.49!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Well, well, well. I've had my eye on this skirt for a few weeks. Isn't it lovely? For goodness' sake, it's knee-length and has pockets and pleats all in one! Wow (with a sigh of awe). Too bad it's a whoppin 148 bucks. Maybe I'll whip one up sometime. Some time when I've attained the artful skill of being able to whip. Anyone know of a pattern similar to this skirt? I guess for all you who just have to have it now for 148 big ones, Emersonmade sells the skirt HERE. Also, below is another photo of the skirt because I bet you, like me, just can't get enough.

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Other Words...

Mary Poppins is a childhood hero of mine. She doesn't beat out Maria Vontrap but she's a tough, close competitor. All these years since the beginning of my magical childhood viewing-times, I've never paused to learn how to say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards... until now. A couple of weeks ago I listened over and over and over and over again to the clip of that song with the magical backward word. Now I catch myself saying it in my head at random times of the day, sort of like the way an annoying song pops up in your head, only Marry Poppins could never be annoying. What? You want to say it too? Here's how it goes:


If you say it over and over and over and over again, it becomes quite catchy. Maybe if someone makes a rude gesture at you while you're out driving around, you can say it to yourself and you'll feel better. Or maybe if you want to freak someone out that's bugging you and won't go away, you could say it to them too. I'm sure the magic would work wonderfully and they'd leave you alone. If, in ignorance, that nuisance of a person asks what you just said, you can tell them it was a jinx. They won't know the difference and I'm sure after hearing such news they'd definitely leave you alone. How magical. Thank you Mary Poppins.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Easy to See Why

Ever watch The Munsters?

Fred Gwynne, who played

Herman Munster, wrote and illustrated

He also wrote and illustrated other mention-worthy books which may be located HERE.

Anyway. The premise of today's featured book (Easy to See Why) is that a little girl, on the way to enter her dog in a pet show, passes by multiple dog-owners who look like their dogs. Or do the dogs look like the owners? Let me give you a few pictoral snippets from the book so you can decide for yourself:

So, after reading the book I got to thinking... Do I look like a dog!?

All I had to do was take two minutes and scan through some photos on the computer. I found myself pleasantly suprised to find that yes, I do! If I ever looked like a dog (or still do) I'd definitely be placed in the category of POODLE. There. It's out in the open. I look like a

Yep, see for yourself. I'm a definite poodle.

Impressive right? How did I not know till now that I have such outer potential? You do too, ya know. Do you know what dog you look like? No? Send me a picture. I'll be glad to identify your match and post it up for speculation.

As a side note: Check out this alpaca all trimmed up to look like a poodle. There are so many new family relations I need to become aquainted with.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm

Mom fixed some homemade hash browns not to long ago. They were so good. I've been eating them for breakfast, lunch, but not dinner... yet. I'm going to give you the directions so you too can enjoy their deliciosity (don't be fooled by their looks).


1. Get a cheese grater that looks like this

2. Grate a potato. Set aside.
3. Pour oil into a pan and heat that sucker up.
4. Spread the gratings to form a thin patty-like form.
5. Fry it till it's brown.
6. Flip it and brown the other side.
7. Take it out and put it on a plate.
8. Put salt and pepper on it.
9. You must put salt and pepper on it.
10. Eat it (it probably tastes best with a side of eggs, but I just eat it solo).

So there you go. Ten easy steps to obtain a greased-up satisfied stomach.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hammer Time

Found this gem for 15 cents at the thrift store on Saturday. I'm lovin' the shades on yellow pants guy and the wristwatch on spatter-paint pants boy. MC Hammer would be so proud. If he only knew. If he only knew.

Note: Click on the picture for a magnified view, if you so desire.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Word to the Wise... or the Not So Wise

I was browsing through volume "M" of the World Books yesterday and came across a quote fitting for the end of the summer break (I'm back to school for student teaching in 2 weeks):

"In a government founded on the sovereignty of the people the education of youth is an object of the first importance."

James Monroe, Speech to the Virginia Legislature, December 7, 1801

Ain't it the truth! Em er 'mportant thins ta fink 'bout. Who'da thunk id'll make such'a differnce. Let's gets those young'uns some edjumucation four it's two let.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Freebie

Cute pillow, right? Tutorial is HERE.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When the Family Gets Together

A friend of mine has a sign posted in her house that states "Families are Everything". I couldn't agree more. Last summer at Loyd and Angela's wedding some of us had a little photo shoot. So fun. I think it's time again for someone in the family to get married. There were themes for each photo shot but I can't remember them all. Here are a few of them:

Below is the post photo shoot. Just hanging with some of the couzos:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh What Do You Do In the Summertime?

I went through some pictures from last summer. Las went house-sitting so James and tagged along to swim. Las had a camera and decided to work on sharpening her shooting skills.

She aimed at capturing the mid-dive photos...

And then some...

James's Captain Underpants "Tra-la-la!" pose

The "Firepower" pose