Thursday, October 01, 2015

Slow Cooker Steak Chili

We had this for dinner last night, delicious!

Slow Cooker Steak Chili

Cheese on top and served with a loaf of French bread.  I didn't have the red pepper so didn't put any in.  I cooked it for 10 hours on low and then it was on "keep warm" for another two hours.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apple and Cheddar Scones

I made these this past weekend and they were delicious.

 Apple and Cheddar Scones

 I didn't have cheddar so I used Colby Jack.  I also used four apples.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Prayer by Sir Francis Drake

At a church we went to recently, they ended the sermon with this prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake (although that is not definite).  I think there is much that can be learned from this.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Last Week

This past week can be summed up as the week I officially became a principal.  Prior to last week, there's been a lot of meetings, tons of work on curriculum, and other things involving teachers and classrooms.  This past week, I began having meetings with students and parents, some positive, some less positive, all requiring lots of thought, time, and follow up.  Now's a good time to pray for me. :)

I'm definitely enjoying the position.  I love walking down the hall during the school day, stopping into classrooms, discussing ideas for classroom use, and interacting with everyone.  Shaw's donated some money this week and I got have my picture taken holding the large-sized check. ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Trip to Acadia

Here are some of the pictures that Sam and Lucy took on their trip.

 Otter Cliffs

 Bubble Pond

 Hiking up Cadillac Mountain

 The peak of Cadillac

 The top of the Beehive trail

 Tea House 278

 Precipice Trail

 Jordan Pond House - popovers

 Jordan's Pond

 Carriage Roads - Biking

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lucy is 13!

We celebrated Lucy's 13th birthday on Thursday.  She thinks it might have been her best birthday so far.

Her highlights:

- the camping trip to Acadia with Sam
- all the students in her class sang an impromptu birthday song while she was at her locker
- other friends decorated her locker
- my sister, Rachel, had two dozen roses delivered to school
- tacos for dinner, brownies made by Toby for dessert
- we picked up her friend Chizoba as a surprise to help us celebrate after school

 Traditional letter pancakes and breakfast in bed

 Flowers from Rachel

 Card from Uncle Matt

 Card from Grammy S.

 13 dollars from Granny

 Card from Liam's mother

 South African Bracelet

 Gifts from Grammy and Grandpa

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Books and Movies

With Sam away this past weekend, I picked out some movies to watch that I thought he wouldn't be interested in.  I cried my way through "Still Alice". I also got "Far from the Madding Crowd" to watch, and thought it was excellent.

I read Luckiest Girl Alive which I thought was excellent.  I think someone might have recommended it to me, but I can't remember.  If so, thank you.  It is supposed to be made into a movie.

Sam and Lucy are having a great time. Lots of hiking and enjoying Acadia.  I'll post their pictures when they get back.

One of our spring chickens laid their first tiny egg today.

Mary M. retired from teaching and being the assistant principal at WCS last year.  Last week she came into school with a bag full of dinner for us and a card which said that she would be providing dinner the first Monday of every month.  There was enough food for a few meals and it was delicious.  Pulled chicken, rolls, potato salad, cole slaw, and a big container of cookies.  What a thoughtful idea!

Monday, September 07, 2015

Vacation in New Haven, CT

After the busy first week I decided I wanted to do something last Saturday that didn't involve school or home, so we headed to New Haven to spend the afternoon/evening with Rachel and Liam.  What a great time we had.

We started the day with mini-golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and go-karts.  Then we went to downtown New Haven for some shopping and a delicious dinner at Kitchen Zinc: Artisanal Pizza and Bar.  We had delicious pizzas.  My favorite were the Fig and Speck (a type of proscuitto) and the Adonis with lamb sausage and tzatziki. The nutella and peaches pizza was a hit also. Then we went to IKEA and headed home.

Saturday, September 05, 2015


For her 13th birthday I told Lucy she could go on a trip anywhere in the continental USA.  She chose to go with Sam to Acadia National Park in Maine.  They are heading off early Friday morning and coming back Monday evening.  She has made lists of hikes to go on, places to eat, things to see.  They are staying at a campground and the weather looks like it will be perfect.

Lucy just joined the instructional volleyball team which has two practices a week and some games.  It's a great lead-in for JV/Varsity volleyball in the years ahead.

I attended her 7th grade back to school night this week.  What a great year, what a great school!  This year they have implemented BYOD 1:1 (bring your own device, one to one) so she brings her chromebook to school every day and most classes are using google classroom.  Some of her classes are paperless.  Everything is assigned and handed in through google classroom.

It's a great time to be a student!

Friday, September 04, 2015


We've watched a few movies the past few weeks:

Dom Hemingway - I couldn't even tell you what it was about and Sam didn't like it.

Winter's Tale - Not too bad, not too good.  Great set of actors/actresses.

Home - We watched this for family movie night.  The kids liked it.

Bears - I haven't convinced anyone to watch this documentary yet, but it is waiting at our house.

I'm currently reading:

The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way - It's an interesting, quick read, but do you want to know the main secret to a smart child.  Reading, reading, reading.  Read to your children when they are infants.  Read to your child when they are older than infants.  Read to your children even when they can read to themselves.  Have them read every day.  Hopefully they will love to, but if they don't, still have them read.  Go to the bookstore, look for books with them that look interesting to them, then get the books at the library and let them look at the pictures until they can read the words.  But bottom line:  Read!

Why Read 20 Minutes A day? This should go home to every parent at the beginning of the year, but I'd highlight the test score part more!: Why Read 20 Minutes A day? This should go home to every parent at the beginning of the year, but I'd highlight the test score part more!
Image source

Thursday, September 03, 2015


We went to Ikea over the weekend and picked up some Swedish meatballs, sauce packets, and lingonberry jam.  We had those one night this week.

Two days later, we had Hawaiian meatballs, following this recipe.  Delicious!

 Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


In the past two weeks the strut has gone on our van.  Sam fixed it.  The water pump went on the van.  Sam fixed it.  Sam took it to get inspected and it passed.  How much longer can it go???!!!!  Thankful for a handy husband who works hard and saves us lots of money.

Monday, August 31, 2015

First Week

I just completed my first week as a principal with school in session and I loved almost every moment of it.  The biggest change for me is being in charge of my own time.  As a teacher, which is what I have been for the past 16 years, every moment of your time at work is already scheduled.  It's math, then it's reading, then it's a fifteen minute break, and so on.  Every day follows a schedule down to the minute.  Now, I enter the school building.  I greet students as they come in.  When school starts I go to  my office and look at my to-do list.  I start working my way through it.  I can switch the order.  I can have an impromptu meeting.  I can leave my office and take some pictures in classrooms.  I'm in charge of my time.  It's a very strange feeling.

The other change is that my job really ramps up around 2:30 when school gets out.  This is when the teachers are available, so there are conversations and meetings with many different people, which means my job continues until much later than it did as a teacher.

We had our elementary back to school night on Thursday night and it was a success.  My first event with all of the parents.  My beginning session went well (although it was about 95 degrees in the gym) and the teachers had fabulous, informative classroom presentations.

I'm ready for week 2.  This week will be a little easier because Sam starts back to school on Tuesday which means he is available earlier in the afternoon/evening to pick up the kids and help at home.  I also start teaching this week.  5 periods/week of technology - touch typing and computer programming. One class on Monday, three on Thursday, and one on Friday, which I think is a lovely schedule.