Friday, February 28, 2014

Sister love

High tea at Willsonham Palace Gardens


We dressed up in Superman gear for the Superbowl. Grace's shirt says "Keep Calm, I'm Super Girl." My mother-in-law gave us new kit for Christmas - like Millie's complete outfit!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Broccoli update

I bought some broccoli plants a few months ago and I've been so surprised at how well they did. We've had fresh broccoli from the garden sporadically as we wanted it. Not tons, but enough to be pleased with. These I didn't harvest in time and they turned to seed, but I tried to get a picture of the bee buzzing around it. WIN!

These were planted in the flower garden and they are really nice looking. 

This is my "garden" chilling under the awning trying to avoid the freeze. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Science conference

Today was our mini Science conference. I try to go every year if I can. There are some good ideas. I end up learning a lot and getting re-energized for just giving up a Saturday. Every other year for me is pretty great and this was a good one. I won a book from one of my workshops, I bought a great, $7 bracelet and spent almost an hour brainstorming foldables with other people. It was pretty cool for a Saturday morning. I need to start taking pictures of my own foldables and post because I've come up with some good ones. It just takes time and some space to breathe and create to put them together.
I love the planning part of teaching. I've been putting together a heinous month-long lesson cycle on Evolution. It's been exhausting, but I think I've got it almost finished. Of course, we're more than halfway through it, so I'd better get it done soon ;)
Then I go to a conference and see a bunch of other great ideas so I need to add to . . .
Prezi is pretty cool, but seems to require a steep learning curve. I got some specific review stuff for the STAAR, then won the book it came from.
My partner and I have been talking about making up an intensive review based on the reporting standards and I want us to present that next year and at the state conference. It could be great!

Sunday, February 16, 2014


I've been watching the Olympics. I love them. All of the events are unfamiliar to this Deep South girl, but it's really neat. I'm trying to figure out my favorite moments - there are so many - but many of those pictures are probably copywrited. I like following the events and athletes on Twitter.  The athleticism and commitment are incredible. I can't even ice skate and these hockey players and ice skaters and speed skaters make it look so easy.
 I love the personal stories NBC throws in there. And the "Thanks Mom" commercials.

Jeremy Abbott's fall; Jason Brown's success; The Pink Panther program; Noelle Picus-Pace; the snowboarding; hockey - all so good!
I liked the hockey game yesterday. Even though I couldn't watch all of it, the replays are fun. Figure skating has been fun. I've even been watching the skiing events. I don't care - I'm watching whatever's on.
We tried to get Grace to watch the opening ceremonies, but she wasn't interested. She's still not all that interested. She keeps insisting that she doesn't even know what the Olympics are, but Pawpaw explained it to her and she's read a book about the first Olympics, but I guess she's got other things on her mind.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I think I have a bobbin tension problem with my sewing machine. I can sew just fine in straight lines, but when I try one of my cams to get a fancy stitch, it’s all cattywompus. Scott’s t-shirt quilt turned out so well, that I’m thinking (or it was suggested to me) that we can have a little in-house i100_2306ndustry there. That’s really scary. Taking other people’s stuff and cutting it up and . . .

But I’m trying to quilt inside the squares of my quilt and it’s not coming out well. The top stitching looks ok, though uneven, but the back is a huge mess of loops, etc. I’m not sure what to do about it, or who would know how to fix it. I guess I should take it in to a shop and pay for a lesson on my own machine, but . . . yeah.

It’s a good old machine. I’m happy I found the cams that go with it. But I nee100_2313d a lesson, or to spend more time working on it. I’ve tried to sit down and do a zig-zag stitch to secure iron –ons, but I can’t manage it neatly. I’m really not sure if it’s me or the machine. Maybe the machine is not precise enough for that small detail work. Maybe I’m not skilled enough. Even going slow with the zig-zag cam and foot, it’s not working.

I kind of feel like those are the skills that will take me to the next level as far as making things for people. I feel like I’ve mastered the quilt-making – at least the simple, straight blocks, then either using the backing as binding, or RST and flipping – both the not-official, lazy w100_2305ays to do it, but effective nonetheless. I can straight stitch quilt inside blocks (or placemats). But I’d like to start making shirts for gifts. I have the interfacing and the tools to cut out shapes. But I know, even though it’s supposed to stay on with an iron, that it won’t. I guess an option would be a small, straight stitch inside. I may try that, but I like the look of the zig-zag.

I haven’t been in my sewing room very much because it’s terribly messy and Millie wants to meddle in there when I’m there. When she gets older I need to get in there and sew. I have so much fabric. I need some inspiration to start using up some of it. I liked the granny square scrap quilt. I have a lot of Halloween fabric and a lot of Christmas fabric. I need to figure something out, but now I’m focused on the garden.

I got in the room during the second group of snow days and finished my quilt. I wish I were more excited about it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Girl scout update

Our girl scout meetings have been going well, I think. They have been at our house, which is not the best plan. We average between 5 and 8 second and third graders. Sometimes Grace is the naughty one, but she’s so excited to have little girls over. It’s been nice to have an excuse to insist the house be cleaned up once a week, but we’re moving to a church this week.

The second meeting was our Christmas party and that was fun. They  played pin-the-nose on Frosty. I had one of my students draw a big poster of Frosty, though he put a gangsta hat on him.

The girls did a present exchange and I learned they didn’t know their rights and lefts. Ornaments were made and cookies consumed, etc.

One of the best meetings was when my mom came and did scrapbooks with them. All of the girls showed up to that meeting and they were very excited about having the books to do Girl Scout stuff in. I’m using it like a modified science notebook I do at school, trying to fit things in there that go along with whatever activity we’re working on.

So far we’ve finished the Meet Your Customers cookie badge and most of My Best Self badge and are working on the Home Scientist badge.

It’s a lot of work to plan out the meetings. Girls don’t do well with down time, so you have to move fast and be prepared for the next thing. It’s like a lesson plan each week that just lasts 1 class period. I think it will be more fun at the church than at my house.  We’re wrapping up initial cookie orders this week, then there are cookie booths and deliveries, etc. I hate having to worry about the money side of it, but it’s a new skill set for me, I guess.

Pin the nose on Frosty

Present exchange game with Millie in the middle