Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Geography Songs

I'm getting ready for our school's geography bee later this week. Since I am the social studies teacher, and it's a yearly tradition, I am in the midst of planning. We do the normal geography bee things, like early rounds earlier in the week to narrow down our finalists and prepare with more geography lessons, but I also tried some new things last year. It was my first year and I was still figuring things out. I incorporated songs all the kids could sing, participants and observers. Here are the two I had the students learn last year: The Alphabet of Nations by They Might Be Giants (no West Xylaphone isn't a country, but they approach it in a cool way in this video-the kids love it, even my middle schoolers!) Also: Fifty States that Rhyme (We are from Ohio so we hold our nose when we say Michigan and Say Ohio rather loudly ;)) The students still sing and remember them, which I love! :) I'm thinking of trying a new song this year: Animaniacs Geography Song It needs some updating-some country names have changed, but it might be fun to get them thinking-maybe I will just show parts?

Monday, January 07, 2013

January 7, 2013

7 posts in 7 days. My goal is 365. We'll see. I know I won't post everyday, I can't even stick with a month long blogging goal. But this I can do, I think. I can post more than one per day (like yesterday) and not worry that I didn't get to it the day before that. As far as my other goals: 1. Less worry, more growth: I haven't had very many moments to worry about our girls, they have been involved in their normal activities, at home and school. I have been praying for them, and that helps keep the worry at bay, though. 2. I need to grow in wisdom...I Have 2 books on my "To Read" list: Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power and Ladies of Liberty {Thought this would be perfect for Women's History Month coming up!} 3. Attention span -too much social media... Well, it's beginning to erode my happiness, also. People say the meanest things, or false things they don't look up before they post. That is frustrating. 4. I need my time with the Lord and His Word to grow. I have appreciated my time working on this, thus far-and our church sermon was good today, as well. We were encouraged to come up and light candles as the need struck us. My oldest took my hand and had me come with her because she wanted to. So sweet it made me teary. 5. My exercise has been worked on and not ignored. 6. I scrapbooked last night with some friends, and accomplished a bit! 7. I want to grow in activities, but haven't taken action on skiing or kayaking... 8. I will be sending at least two cards/notes this week. It's on my schedule! 9. I have been documenting in a notebook and blogging, as well! 10. Organization goals haven't been met, but I think the work on some of the above goals has been good for the first 7 days of January! :)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Another new recipe: Overnight French Toast Casserole from Betty Crocker

I am trying a new recipe this evening, as well. I had printed a recipe out quite some time ago and then never got to it. Today, I found it again. I thought my girls, who love breakfast foods, would like it. I found a version of the recipe, here, so I could share it with you. I think it looks like a yummy way to start the day... albeit not necessarily a low-fat option! Casserole: 1 loaf challah or French bread (1 lb), cut into 1-inch slices 8 eggs 2 cups whole, low-fat (2%) or soy milk 1 cup half-and-half 4 teaspoons packed light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon vanilla Topping 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped pecans Maple-flavored or real maple syrup, if desired Butter bottom only of 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Place bread slices in 2 rows, overlapping each other on an angle, in baking dish. In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, half-and-half, brown sugar, salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Carefully pour mixture over slices, making sure each slice is completely coated. Cover baking dish with foil or plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. At serving time, heat oven to 350°F. Uncover baking dish; sprinkle butter, granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and the pecans over bread. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 8 to 10 servings

Yum, a Jambalaya Recipe

One of my goals in 2013 is to plan our meals ahead of time, so we're not tempted to cook things that aren't healthy. We weren't doing too badly at the end of 2012, but I am trying to make a conscious effort at trying healthier recipes, too. Today I made the week's menu, picking a couple new recipes and the grocery list. My husband went to the grocery for me (yay! I dislike the grocery on the weekend since it is so busy). Then he came home and began work on a recipe I had selected. I put away the other groceries and cut up some of our veggies for the week. He made a fish, shrimp and sausage jambalaya. He used what we had, which was tilapia instead of the other fish and a spicy sausage that wasn't andouille. We also used cilantro instead of parsley. It was so delicious! Great for a cold, winter day! INGREDIENTS: 1/4 cup butter 10 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons 1 cup diced onion 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced green bell pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (such as Lea & Perrins®) 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's), or to taste 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups medium-grain rice 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined 3/4 pound cod fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (optional) salt to taste 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley DIRECTIONS: 1. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook andouille sausage in the melted butter until completely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel. 2. Cook and stir onion, celery, and green bell pepper in the butter remaining in the pot until the onion becomes translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. 3. Stir garlic into the onion mixture; cook and stir together for 1 minute. 4. Stir tomato paste through the vegetable mixture; cook and stir another 3 to 5 minutes. 5. Return andouille sausage to the pot along with diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, and black pepper; stir to combine. 6. Pour chicken broth over the sausage mixture; bring to a boil. 7. Stir rice into the mixture, place a cover on the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook undisturbed until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. 8. Add shrimp and cod to the rice mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat again to medium-low and cook uncovered another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 9. Season with salt and fold parsley into the jambalaya to serve.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Words for 2013

Really enjoying reading about people's words for 2013. Here is are just a few: *Aby Garvey from Creative Organizing *Ali Edwards *Lisa Leonard *Lemonandraspberry's word *This Kalil Life's *WhippyCake's word *

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Daily Grow

Some years I have ordered a ring from Liz Eaton's shop on Etsy to remind me of my word. I've also ordered small charms in a similar fashion. Today I was thinking about it, wondering if I should. I got out of the shower and put on my birthday gift from my husband. It says "daily grow in grace". It already says grow... and reminds me of my biggest goals-to grow in grace, and to grow daily. Perfect. :)

Grow & Goals

I sit here with a hot mug of green tea. That is a first for me. Growth. :) {Granted, it's only Jan. 2, but who's counting? :)) I have goals in mind for the year, hopes, a long list, of course. *Less worry, more growth: Instead of worrying, I need to work on growing my perspectives. Many changes are ahead in 2013, some I see coming, some I won't. Our oldest daughter graduates high school and heads off to college this year. Our youngest "graduates" middle school and becomes a high schooler. Those are big milestones. I can't worry about what's ahead-the known and the unknown. I just have to continue to grow in faith that it is all in God's hands. *I need to grow in wisdom. I would be such a better teacher if I read more historical information, researched teaching methods more. I need to grow as a Social Studies teacher and student of the history I'm teaching. I need to grow in my knowledge outside the textbooks I teach from. I have done that somewhat, but have so far to go. *Attention span is shrinking for me-too much social media, too little motivation. I need to grow in concentration, get back where I used to be. *I need my time with the Lord and His Word to grow. It has atrophied, as of late. *My exercise regimen needs to grow-since I have been running less {And eating more!} I need to try different things. I have been doing other exercises along with my short, slow distances, over the last few days and it feels good. Moving more, and getting back to watching what I eat. I've gotten back on www.thedailyplate.com again. So my growth in awareness of what I'm eating is coming around, as well. *I fell off the scrapbook wagon the last few years and, as I watch our oldest daughter preparing to leave the nest, I have so many moments I want to document, so much I want to get down on paper... So soon she will be gone from our home, at least on a daily basis... I put wheels in motion for this, as well. I have begun organizing all my Project Life supplies: I've had them for a year or more, but never get past January. I have talked with other friends who scrap and we are getting dates on the calendar, as well. I'm excited. It's a hobby I love, but I don't sit down and put it all together. *I want to grow in activities: I loved my two kayaking trips last year. I'd love to take that up as a hobby, making my core and arms strong in the process. I also want to ski-I cross country skied when I was young and I loved it. That would make me strong, as well. In this beautiful 8 inches or so of snow we currently have, I'd love it! *I need to grow as a person. I used to be more aware of others, sending cards and notes, calling and emailing, letting people know I was thinking of them, checking in on what happened with them. Lately I have been too caught up in my own world to do so and that makes me disappointed in myself. I need to get better. *I would like to grow in my blogging. I enjoy it when I do it, and I feel as if I have journaled important moments. I would like to continue to get better at this, too. *One last growth goal-this has to do with my organization goals, but it's more than that. I need to work on growth in minimalism. I have-we all have-too much "stuff". I went in the crawl space to get out my Christmas decorations, and then later my snowmen, and it is full of stuff we never see or look at. Just too many things I/we don't need, or even want. I need to purge. I get this way every year and then our busy schedules overtake me. This year, I want my give-away/garage sale pile to "grow". Wow, as I look back over this list-wow, if it all gets accomplished it will be an amazing year! :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

One Little Word 2013

Hello, Reader! Happy New Year! I have chosen my One Little Word and after much thought I have chosen Grow. I have chosen words, after reading Ali Edwards posts, since 2008. My first few years I really worked on it. I posted the word around the house, found quotes and Bible verses to inspire me... My words have been: Faith (2008) Peace (2009) Grace (2010) Read (2011) Brave (2012) And then in '11 and '12 I didn't dig as deeply into the words. In fact, I had to look through my old posts to remember what they were. This year my word is Grow. I have so much growing to do, as person, in my faith, as a mother and teacher... I have so many thoughts and reasons for this word. I actually spent a while looking through the list of words posted on Ali's blog and was stewing over it. I took a break, went to let our dogs out and thought, "I really need a word that will help me grow in the many ways I need to this year" and, thus, my word for 2013 was born. I have printed out my definition and Scripture verses to look up. A new list will come later, as to my reasons, more specific ones. Thank you for reading, reader, and commenting-helping me to grow. :) grow [groh] verb, grew, grown, grow·ing. verb (used without object) 1. to increase by natural development, as any living organism or part by assimilation of nutriment; increase in size or substance. 2. to form and increase in size by a process of inorganic accretion, as by crystallization. 3. to arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance, or source: Our friendship grew from common interests. 4. to increase gradually in size, amount, etc.; become greater or larger; expand: His influence has grown. 5. to become gradually attached or united by or as if by growth: The branches of the trees grew together, forming a natural arch.