Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ridin' in luxury!

Troy has been driving limos to get us extra money this summer. A one income family is super hard, especially in summer when we are ALL off!!! It has been really nice for us to have some extra income, and, well, there are some perks to driving limos! Last weekend he was able to come pick the kids and our cousins up! Stetson and Lucy knew there was a surprise, but didn't know what the surprise was. Here they are waiting.....

 Lucy screamed!!! They were so excited!!!
 Troy even stocked it before hand with Capri Suns, Diet Cokes, and candy bars!

 Sorry for the blurry picture, but the kids were having a BLAST!!!! This is while Troy was driving. 

We then went to Steve and Lynda's ( my in laws ) and picked them up and our cousins who were in town from Utah. 

 Everyone decided they wanted Pick Up Stix! 

Right down the way was an amazing candy shoppe !

 I loved that they were playing Willy Wonka inside :)

 The kids were spoiled! I am sure that they will remember this for a long time! Thanks Troy!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not a SAHM, and definitely NOT a cook!

If you know me at all, you will know that my family eats out most nights, and if we eat "in" it is something frozen from Costco or Trader Joe's. Well, recently I had a Scentsy party and the host was an amazing cook!! She invited a ton of families over, and she made many different dinners! I was shocked! She cooked everything, hosted the party for her friends, and entertained everyone without batting an eye! She also was so sweet to answer my bazillions of questions regarding her food. One of them, was asking for her recipe for her homemade spaghetti sauce. This stuff was wonderful! I got the recipe, and immediately knew I needed to try it out. See I am one of those that tends to get recipes, and well, lose them and never try it. This time I knew it had to be different.
Without further ado, thanks to my friend Kim, here is her recipe.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


3lbs of ground beef turkey, or italian sausage ( or any combination )
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole green bell pepper, seeded & diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup low sodium beef broth ( or this can be replaced with 1 cup white wine )
2 cans 28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can 14 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can 4-6 oz tomato paste
1 jar of good store bought marinara sauce ( I know I know but I promise its good! )
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground thyme
4 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons honey/agave
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper ( optional )
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley ( or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes ) more to taste


In a large pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef until browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon into a bowl and put aside.
Discard any grease in the pot but do not clean it. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the onion and bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.
Pour in the beef broth ( or wine ) and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine. Add oregano, thyme, honey, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper ( if desired ). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine.
Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Note: this makes A TON!!! I fed 5 adults and 2 kids, and had enough to refrigerate some for another night and freeze some for yet another night.

This is an actual picture of my plate that night :)

Not for the faint of heart!

Holy cow! Most of you know that I am a kindergarten teacher ( for the last 2 years ) and before that taught 5th grade for 7 years. We chose to have my husband stay home with our kids and quit his job when we had our second child, because day care was just outrageous!!! It has been the best decision we ever could have made for our family. So I get to hang out with the family on my Christmas, Spring, and Summer breaks.
My hubby and I have been "bickering" over whose job is harder, the kinder teacher or the stay at home dad. Let me tell you, STAYING AT HOME IS SOOOOO HARD! It really hit me this summer. Troy has been picking up limo jobs for the past two months to help us out with our bills, and this week he got put on a jury which will last 3-4 weeks. So lately he has been going to jury duty, and then coming home for about an hour and heading out to do limo jobs till 1am. Therefore it has been the kids and I a lot lately. I have to tell you, I LOVE my kids, but WOW, they are hard right now. Or am I always going to be saying that? They constantly bicker, hit, punch, cry, and make messes! And there are only 2 of them! I always wanted to have a big family, but honestly? Who am I kidding? 2 is it for me! I think some people are cut out for large families, such as, those who have been blessed with a MASSIVE amount of patience!
I am in SUCH admiration of stay at home parents. I get recess, lunch, prep time, commute time, where I don't have to be "on." My hubby doesn't. When I get home I need to be more appreciative of his efforts, instead of fuming because the house wasn't vacuumed. My husband told me when he started staying home that he was going to make it a point to get the kids out of the house, have playdates, be adventurous, and that the house may not be perfect. I am so glad that he takes the kids out, because I know that my struggle this summer has been to entertain them, but clean as well, and in turn I get super frustrated because neither is done perfectly.
I don't have much more summer, therefore what I do have, I need to cherish. Next summer my kids will be 1 year older and may be over this whiny, physical stage. Heck, I may be wanting this stage back!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday Snapshots!

I found a fun linky party today here, and decided to join!! 

Here are some pictures of the last week in the Sherman household!

My 5 year old LOVES to be a "mom" and this specific morning she made us all breakfast. She cut up strawberries, bananas, apples, mixed them together and topped them with whipped cream and cinnamon! Here is a picture of mine ( she even put it in "my" mug )

 We went to Lido one afternoon with a few friends and Troy took on paddleboarding like a pro! Don't be fooled, Lucy was too scared to do it, so this picture was just a pose!

 I got to shop by myself at a bookstore of all places! My favorite! I picked up this little treasure. It is a series of mysteries that I am excited to start. This is book #1. Hopefully I can make it through a few before summer is over!

 We went to lunch one day after Lucy got out of craft camp at In N Out with my friend Robyn and her kids. They had a blast and got A LOT of nasty stares from others. I took it in stride and just clung onto the fact that its summer, you only live once, and, well, I wanted to socialize dangit! 

 On the 4th of July one of the things we did was BBQ and have a few of our friends over. Here are some of the kiddos eating dinner.

 Later that night Lucy was taught the duck face, and the peace sign. For the next 6 months or so I say our pictures will be tainted with this new learning .

 Dark picture but I took the kids bowling and Lucy had to be Stetson's right hand man the whole time. Cute if you ask me. And who knows how much longer that will last!

 The kids being cheesy and bringing me a flower at dinner tonight. They even both told me why they love me. Lucy mentioned how I am " the best teacher ." Melted my heart!

And one last family picture from the 4th! How was your holiday weekend?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Teach Like a PIRATE- Chapter 4- Ask and Analyze

This summer thing with no schedule has really been bad for blogging! 

This chapter really changed my mind about the word creativity and the idea of being a creative person. In this chapter I have learned that when you tell someone that they are creative, and use that as an excuse to why you "aren't" it doesn't cut it. Dave says that, " Creative ideas don't come out of the blue,=; they come from engaging in the creative process. If you consistently ask questions that lead to creative and outside-the-box thinking, your mind will provide you with creative and outside-the-box answers. "
Dave also states that, "Creativity is rarely about natural brilliance or innate genius. Much more often creativity results from properly directed attention, laser-like focus, relentless effort, and hard work. "

I have always been the type to tell others how creative they are and how I wish ideas could just come to me. I never thought about all the hard work that those people I have said this to put into what they do. I really think I have taken it for granted. This goes for my crafter friends, as well as teacher friends and bloggers. I think that I need to put more work into the areas that I admire about my friends, because I am just plain lazy! Either that, or stop using Pinterest!!!

As for my classroom, I need to remember that all of my students are creative, and that I need to nurture that side of them, and bring it out in different ways.

For more blogs that are also reading this book click here!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teach like a PIRATE - Chapter 3 Rapport

It is time for my 3rd installment ( ramblings ) of this book.....

 Why do I feel like every chapter I read is better than the last? I guess I should just say that the book keeps getting better and better!!!! Dave begins talking about how an engaged student is rarely a behavior problem, it is just finding out how to engage each student that is the problem. A teacher must find out what engages their students in order to plan an engaging lesson. This all starts with learning as much as you can about the students, from day 1, until day 180. Developing successful hooks is important as well. Finding out about your students is developing rapport with them. One way to develop rapport is to spend informal time with your students. I absolutely love this tip. I feel that the more that you talk with them and find out what makes them "tic", the more comfortable they will be with you, and if they are comfortable in class, they are more willing to take risks and allow themselves to fully immerse in the learning process. Trust is earned, and is key to rapport. Many children can't even trust their own parents, and you may be the first person they learn to trust.
I found it so shocking ( yet true ) when Dave mentions, " They ( the students ) don't believe that school respects and honors their individuality but instead uses it against them as a tool to force conformity." I don't see this as much being a primary teacher, however I totally see how this could be true with junior and high school. We need to work on praising each child for who they are, and it all starts with your relationship with them.
Stay tuned for Chapter 4!!! To visit other blogs participating in this book study, click here!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Teach like a PIRATE Chapter 2- Immersion

Wow did this chapter hit me like a brick! Immersion---completely surrendering yourself to your content and classroom.It is so easy to get carried away with to do lists, upcoming open house, data that is due to your principal ASAP, your child who is sick and the list could go on and on. As a teacher I need to be there mentally and physically with my students. The times when I feel most successful with my students is when I am immersed in small groups with them. I feel like all of the children are working on skills and having fun, and the group that I am working with I am totally involved in their learning and nothing else matters. ( well all the rest of the children do !!! but it feels good to see a groups progress and hear their conversations with each other ). I really feel that since I have moved to kinder I can immerse myself more and feel like I am making progress with my students. You have to immerse yourself like Dave says, as a swimmer in the water, in order to fully be "present" with your class and see them grow. If you aren't immersed, the kids, no matter what age, will be able to detect it. Click here to go visit other blogs in this book study!!!