Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They Didn't Prepare Me For This In College!

Funny Teaching Stories From My First Week Back in 6th Grade:

Scenario 1: Ghetto what?
-Me: Okay kids, for today's writing prompt, I want you to pretend that you are having a dinner party and you can invite any 3 people you want -- people from the past or present, family or famous. Write about who you would invite and why. What would you serve for dinner, what would you talk about...
-Student 1: Can I write mine ghetto style?
-Me: Uhhh, excuse me?
-Student 1: Ya know, nothin bad, just with some ghetto flava -- ya know, a little ghetto slang!
-Me: (Trying to keep in mind the importance of diversity and not squelching the desire to express oneself...) Uh, as long as your topics are school appropriate and I can understand it.

Fat chance of the latter happening!

Scenario 2: You like fat WHAT?
-Me: "Student 2," do you know why I may be pulling you in the hall to have this conversation?
-Student 2: Uh... (looking away)... cuz I said some things.
-Me: Do you want to elaborate?
-Student 2: I was just talkin about what boys talk about. Those girls thought I was being mean, but I was complimentin them -- I like girls with fat asses.


Scenario 3: Wolf boy
-Me: "Student 3," why do have no work done after 10 minutes?
-Student 3: (LONG pause) My pencil's not sharpened.
-Me: So why don't you sharpen it?
-Student 3: I don't know where the sharpener is.
-Me: Did you look around the room?
-Student 3: No.
-Me: Well, why don't you try that.
-Student 3: (Looks) Oh, there it is. It's on the wall by the door.

How CRAZY is that. Ten minutes later...

-Me: I see you still have no work done. What's up?
-Student 3: The sharpener didn't work that good.
-Me: Well, how might you solve this problem?
-Student 3: (Long pause) I don't know.
-Me: You really have no idea on how else you might be able to get your pencil sharpened?
-Student 3:
-Me: Maybe you could borrow someone's sharpener.
-Student 3: (stares into space)
-Me: Could someone please help him with his pencil!


I talked to the counselor right away and she's like, "Yeah, you're going to have to treat that one as if he were raised by wolves! He's been home schooled his whole life. He's never even set foot in a school. He has no social skills and next to no academics. Good luck!" Oh MY!

Well, it's a few weeks later since that first week and you know what? ... I love those kids! :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Clowning Around with Wilton 1 (No TWD)

Today is Tuesday, which means that I should be posting a TWD recipe, but alas, I am not. I signed up with a couple of friends to take a Wilton decorating class, and that has taken over a lot of my baking time. The class is usually once a week, which wouldn't be a big deal, but this class is condensed to twice a week. I tutor on the opposite days of the class, so my baking time is cut significantly! BOO HOO! As much as I have been enjoying the decorating class, I look forward to having some of my time back. So anyhow, while I don't have any TWD recipes / pics to post, I do have some cake, or in this case, cupcake decorating to show!

Last night, we learned how to do shells, dots, flowers, and another step to the Wilton rose. I learned that while shells look very easy, ummm, they are NOT easy for me! I need some major practice. Consequently, dots are my new best friend! LOL! The flowers (I forget what type they are called) were pretty easy too and I like the look of them, so I'll probably be doing a lot more of them. The Wilton rose was tough for me. The instructor kept yelling and me and my one friend, "Turn, Turn, Turn! Lift up your hand! Higher!" AHH -- the pressure! We were both like, "Are we done with this yet?!" :-) Luckily, we finished off the evening by making clowns! Now when I first looked through my lesson book, I saw this clown cake and thought, "Oh my gosh, that looks so silly! I hope I don't have to make that!" At our last class, I found out that we did have to make it, so I figured that I just might as well suck it up and try to at least make it look good... as much as I could at least! I Google Imaged "Wilton clown" and found lots of super cute clown cakes! The more of them I saw, the more I thought that they were actually cute and pretty fun! I decided to buy the clown heads after all for my cupcakes. Once I got to the table with my clown heads, my friends all kind of laughed. "You actually bought those?!" I said, "Yes! You wait and see! Mine is going to be cute!" Well, after all was said and done, they were borrowing the extra clown heads for their own cupcakes. :-)

Today, I bake my final cake for tomorrow's last class. We will be doing nothing but roses. Oh no... I can hear my instructor already! Wish me luck!

Friday, October 7, 2011

That'll Be a Cinch...Famous Last Words

As I was looking over my training program, I decided that I am not doing enough cross training. I thought about working out on my eliptical, but then I remembered an old pilates tape that my mother-in-law let me borrow awhile ago. I decided to give that try. I used to do pilates every other day and really liked it, but the tapes I had were only 15 minutes each, so I'd do two at a time. Well the tape my MIL gave me was 50 minutes. I previewed it a little last night just to make sure I knew how to do everything. I told my husband, "Oh, that looks like a cinch."

So after snacking on some Easter candy this morning, (Happy Easter btw!) I put on some comfy clothes and popped in the 50 minute pilates tape. After about 30 minutes, I knew I was in trouble! Some moves I couldn't do because I was not nearly flexible enough. I even started laughing aloud -- "She wants me to do WHAT?!" My husband came downstairs to see what was so funny. Yeah, it was me. Well, after I shooed him away, I tried a few more exercises -- Holy guacamole -- I was working muscles I didn't know I had! And the crazy pilates instructor just kept introducing more and more AND MORE exercises. It was the workout video that would never end! I finally had to turn it off. It was to the point where I could not even get my body to move in the positions she was telling me to. It was crazy! When I finally got upstairs, I told my husband, "I'd rather run 10 miles than to do THAT again!" He laughed. I will try pilates again, but probably not that tape! Not at least for awhile!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Miracle Demystified :-(

A few weeks ago, I went on a run in my brand new pair of Mizuno Waverunner 11s. The trail was snow covered and difficult to run on, but I felt pretty good. I felt even better when my Nike + iPod told me that I had completed my 2 miles at a pace of 7:26! I thought, "these are some miraculous shoes!" Well, I never really hit that time again and I was beginning to think it was a fluke. was.

As part of my workout today, I had to do a 1 mile warm up and I decided to do that on the track by my school. The track was snow covered, but no ice, so I did my four laps without much problem. When I finished, I looked at my iPod to see: Distance: 1.32mi. Say WHAT?! Last time I checked, 4 laps around a track = 1 mile...not 1.32. So, there you go. Apparently in snow, my Nike + iPod is not very accurate. :-( Oh well...watcha gonna do?

Now this coming weekend, I am planning to do a long run of 10K or 6.2 miles. I just turned on the news though and they are forecasting "the storm of the year" with projected snowfall totals of possible 1 1/2 feet! Yikes! How will I run 6.2 in THAT?! Ugh...and what makes it even worse -- it is supposed to hit around 8AM Friday morning and go into Saturday which means I don't even get a snow day off of school for it. Oh well...can't win them all!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Back...Sort of!

Well, I survived my 3 days in the wilderness with 300+ sixth graders! They had an awesome time at camp, and I had a pretty good time too. The weather was terrible our first day, but after that, it was perfect! It'll take me a few days to get back into the swing of things though. For the past three days, I've been operating on minimal sleep (5 hours or less, which for me is torturously too little) and eating food that is horribly bad for me at totally random times of day. Fritos for breakfast, S'mores at 3 in the morning, a midday snack of pancakes and Skittles...ugh, my stomach is aching just thinking about it! Needless to say, I didn't run the Wednesday or Thursday I was at camp, and even though I returned home today at 3:00, I am just not feeling it. Let's just say, after stopping by the house, my DH and I decided to do a little shopping today -- about 5 minutes into our drive to the store, I had already fallen asleep in the car. I am exhausted! Hopefully, after a nice long, hot shower in my own bathroom, and a good nights rest in my own comfy bed, I will feel back up to going out for a run. In fact, I hope to get 6 miles in tomorrow. I have a 5.25 mile race next weekend, so I want to do as much as I can to prepare. From what I hear, the course if supposed to be pretty tough, so I am really crossing my fingers!

Oh, BTW, I read many of your comments regarding the running club I discovered at Fleet Feet and you've all really convinced me to do it! I think it will be an awesome experience and I can't wait to learn more about it! Just a few weeks to go!

Heading Farther East in my Cuisine

I haven't title this a "challenge" because I've made this dish a number of times before. I believe this dish originates in China but is more well-known as a Filipino dish. It's called pancit and is something that my mom often cooked for me growing up. It's kind of like fried rice in the sense that it consists of meat and lots of veggies, but instead of being cooked with rice, the meat and veggies are cooked with rice noodles! The rice noodles, also called rice sticks, are probably the only ingredient you might have to search for a little bit. I have to say though, for years, I was only able to get the rice sticks at my local (if you can call a 45-minute drive "local") Asian food store. I'm happy to say though that I have recently seen rice sticks in my local grocery store (in the ethnic food aisle!) Yea! Okay, before I write out the recipe, here are a couple of things you should know:

(1) Because this is like a stir fry or fried rice, you can really put whatever you want in it so don't feel like you can't do this recipe if you don't have everything listed -- improvise! Also, change the veggie/meat amts to your liking.

(2) I use chicken in the recipe. How you choose to cook it is up to you. You can poach and then reserve the water to cook the noodles in OR you can roast the chicken and then just use a different liquid to cook the noodles in. For the recipe, I'll explain using the second option.

(3) The rice sticks package says to just cook in water, but what you need to know is that the rice sticks cook like pasta in the sense that they absorb the flavors of the liquid they are cooked in. So just like you have to salt water when cooking pasta, flavor the water you cook these rice sticks in. You can use soy sauce, throw a few chicken or beef bouillon cubes in the water, or use chicken or beef stock instead. It'll make a big difference! Okay, here we go!

Pancit (recipe from my mom and my aunt)

-2-3 carrots, finely diced
-2-3 celery stalks, finely diced
-½ head of cabbage, finely chopped
-1 yellow onion, finely diced
-2-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2-4 chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, or legs)
-3-4 Tablespoons soy sauce
-1 package rice sticks
-2 quarts water or stock
-1-2 lemons, quartered for garnishing


1. Roast chicken pieces: Cover chicken pieces in olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally and roast in oven. (Time and temp will vary depending on type of meat -- light vs. dark. I use split chicken breasts (skin on and bone in,) and roast at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.) When finished roasting, allow to cool. When meat is able to be handled, remove skin and shred.

2. Begin cooking noodles. Boil about 2 qts liquid in a sauce pan. For the liquid you may use water that is flavored with a tablespoon or so of soy sauce, or you may use chicken or beef stock instead. Once the liquid is boiling, submerge the rice noodles in the liquid, cover, and turn off heat. Allow noodles to soak for 10 minutes.

3. In the meantime, saute garlic and onion in olive oil for a few minutes in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Add carrots and celery. Cover for 2-3 minutes.

5. Uncover and add cabbage. Add about 2 tablespoons soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add chicken, stirring and allowing to heat through. Combine with noodles and mix.

Serve with lemon wedges. (Squeeze the juice on top for some extra fresh flavor!)

This is both one of my and my husband's favorite dishes and it is so easy to make! I hope you give it a try sometime!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Scaredy Cat!

My husband and I have been wanting to buy one of those inflatable holiday decorations for awhile. We finally got a cute snowman to put out. My husband set it up and then later let the cats out to check stuff out. Normally Snoopy LOVES to go outside, but soon as he saw our blow up snowman, Snoopy freaked out! His tail got all puffy and he ran straight to the door! He now refuses to go out at all as long as Frosty is out! We tried to show him that Frosty was just a toy, but Snoops would have NONE of it. What a scaredy!

(Sloooowly) Getting Back to Training!

Well I've gone to Dr. Craig now for a few adjustments, and I feel better already. Last week, I tried to do one of my Firm videos -- Total Body Time Crunch. I could only do five minutes before I had to turn it off. My knees hurt too bad. Well, I got my first adjustment the following Saturday and tried the video again that Sunday. I could do the whole thing with no pain in my right knee and only minimal pain in my left! Woo hoo! I did the video again yesterday and felt just as good. I'd say that's progress! I also went for my first run today in a week and a half. It was only a 2 mile run, so I don't know that I can judge that much, but my right knee felt good! My left was still a little painful though. I am hoping that my continued trips to the Chiro will help! I can't wait to get back to training! I sure hope I'll be up to running those 10 miles in a just a little over a week from now! Yikes!