Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Teacher Needs to Eat: Part 4

Image result for food images

I was thinking, really how much can a teacher write about food?

The answer?  A lot.  

The reason why this story is resonating with me so much is because it's really a piece of self care for me.  When we have food that is prepared and available to eat, I feel like I've taken care of myself and my family.  

 I know this idea of self care can look different in 800,000 different ways.  For us, it's good food.  

So, here's what's up.  

It's Sunday.  I did a little Sunday-Funday with my two Doris's.  More self-care.  We split a pizza and enjoyed some Sunday fun.  

But alas, a family needs dinner, but I was excited to get home and cook it.  

These are enchiladas.  
Image result for wildtree enchilada sauce
This sauce is next to heaven.  
Here's what to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  
Brown some protein.  We used a pound of ground turkey.  
Add 1/2 cup of this delicious sauce to a bowl, also 1 cup of shredded cheddar jack cheese.  
Stir in the protein into the mix with the sauce and cheese.  

Scoop a 1/4 of Cup of the mixture onto a tortilla.  Fold the tortillas up and put them seam side down.  

Put the rest of the sauce on these tortillas.  And some more shredded cheese.  Yum.  

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are heated through.  

Verdict:  Make these again.  

For the rest of the week:

Monday:  Chicken with Wildtree Thai Chili Sauce.  We made this a couple of weeks ago.  And we liked it.  

Tuesday:  Pasta with peas and sun dried tomatoes.  
Orecchiette with Peas & Sun-dried Tomatoes - Wildtree Recipes

Wait!  You may notice that we had this on our menu last week.  Because I know that you are monitoring every menu I write.  (I am fluent in sarcasm too...)  But seriously.  

Sometimes you just need your husband to bring home tacos and crispy potatoes.  And he's a keeper if he brings home the melty cheese without you asking.  (And he did...)  So we didn't make the pasta last week.  

Wednesday:  Grilled cheese.  
My secrets here?  I use texas toast, because it's thicker.  
I season the bread with a little garlic.  
Depending on the cheese, sometimes we serve them with a red sauce.  I like to soften a little cream cheese and mix it with mozzarella.  

Thursday:  Macaroni and cheese.  
I bought cavatappi noodles for this occasion.  And New York Extra Sharp White Cheddar.  
Let's see how this goes.  

Friday:  Pizza.  Always carry out.  Because it's Friday.  

Just a reminder that I don't get paid by Wildtree, nor do I sell it.  I just love their products and use them a lot.  :)

What groove are you in with dinner?  Do you plan out meals ahead of time?  


Celebrate: The Wonderful Among the Weary

Make no Mistake. 
Parenting is not for the weak. 
This week it has left us feeling weary, off-kilter, wondering about our every move, lonely, and a little angry.  

I think that is what true love does to you.  It brings out the wonderful and the weary.  

I was watching him on Saturday and thinking about what I love about him:

He Loves Animals.  Every fact, their well-being, how to care for them, all of it.  We are blessed to be in a town where there is a zoo, so he can observe and ask more questions.  

A new giraffe barn.  Yes, we go to the zoo in the winter.  

He Loves The Game.  
In this season, he wants to watch it, analyze it, play it, keep up with bigger people in his life.  We are so thankful for dedicated coaches.  

Dedicated coach.  I could hear coach asking him questions and just spending time with him.  

He's funny.  Take the pop cans out?  Okay.  No trips needed.  And I'll smile underneath all that.  

He gives the best snuggles.   To humans too.  

So.  I'm celebrating the wonderful among the weary today.  

If you ask me how I'm doing, you may get that as a response.  Don't be alarmed.  

"Wonderful among the weary."


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Slice of Life: Writing like a 9 year old...

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 6.09.23 AM

Slicers.  I'm at the table tonight with my 9 year old.  He's been given a writing assignment.  I'm watching him write, and I'm learning he writes like me. 
Talk about it a bit.
Get up and see what the dog is doing.
Change the music.
Talk to the family.
Write a little.

I thought for sure I would write an earth shattering slice while he did his assignment.  But I was stuck.  And as I'm watching him write, I thought, "I need to try this assignment."  It's good for me to put myself in his shoes.  

The directions:  Roll a dice to determine the setting, character, and plot.  Write freely for 15 minutes.  (I'm already wide-eyed because I'm looking at this outline below.  What?!?!?!)

Setting:  A sail boat at noon.
Character:  A talking gorilla
Plot:  Going to a country Western Concert. 

A Midwestern Kerfluffle
In the floods of the summer before I turned 40, I took my sail boat at noon down to the local taco stand to hang out with my friends. 
(Side bar:  my family is with me.  Country Western music is already blaring through my kitchen.  We also have sing alongs when we write.)
As I slid up to the bar, I noted that a Gorilla was behind the bar with a western hat ready to take my order.  
I ordered my spicy shrimp tacos (crispy, not fried) and a beer-because hey, It's 5 O'clock Somewhere.  (Now we're discussing how we can see Jimmy Buffet this summer.)

"Everything to your liking, Miss?"  asked the Gorilla.
"Why, yes, it is!"  I responded, chewing with my mouth slightly too full.
"I happen to have these three tickets to the Jimmy Buffet/Eagles concert.  200 dollars total."  
"Oh My!" I exclaimed.  "I can take my sister and my Auntie with me!"  
"I aim to please," shared the Gorilla.

I scarfed down my tacos and beer and ran to call my sister.  We broke into a refrain of "Margaritaville."  There was peace on earth.  The teacher, and the sister, and the Auntie lived happily ever after, even though the concert wasn't completely Country-Western.  Because hey.  Even though we live in Iowa, we don't always want to do that.  

The End.

What I've learned:  
I need to write with my family more.
We all need to be writing our assignments that we give our students.
(This was a good reminder for me.)
A little creative writing isn't a bad thing.  I hardly ever do it.
(See Exhibit A above for my reasons why.)

Do you write all your assignments?  


Monday, January 22, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who links up.

Last week, we were out of school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  There was a 2 hour delay the next day.  Throw in a snow day the week before, I just didn't want to rush through important lessons on compassion, equality, and friendship.  

So this is the week.  Here's what we are reading to discuss compassion and equality.  We have also started brainstorming what we can do to change the world and promote compassion in our community.  




These are just the beginning and for this week.  I'll keep adding to the stack.  What do you have for recommendations?  So many important reads!  


Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Teacher Needs to Eat: Part 3.

Image result for food images

Let's start with dinner tonight.  :)

I love using the Crock-Pot.   On Sundays it just feels lovely to get dinner going, and then leave it for the day.  

I'm still working on my food photography.  Hang with me.  :)

Spaghetti noodles underneath.  In the Crock-Pot I cooked some chicken breasts.  Then about an hour before we ate, I added some organic Alfredo sauce and some frozen broccoli.   

This week has one basketball team ending their season.  We are in a January thaw.  Things are looking good!  Let's eat.  

Homemade Lunchables.  I wrote about these here if you need to see that.  It is my go to when we won't get home until late.  It keeps us out of the drive through.  

Wildtree on deck!  Orecchiette pasta with peas and Sundried tomatoes.  
Orecchiette with Peas & Sun-dried Tomatoes - Wildtree Recipes


Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup - Classic, comforting, and tastes just like grandma made but way easier and faster!! This soup is AMAZING and it'll be your new favorite recipe!!

We make this soup a lot.  We use egg free wide noodles.  You can purchase those at our grocery store!  

Leftovers.  Also, my Mr. mentioned a lovely BBQ place that we love.  

Time for pizza.  


Celebrate: Grace in my Writing.

So.  In January I set off to write for 31 days straight.  

On January 15th, my sinuses had other ideas.  

Oh this week has been a struggle to keep up.  So I just stopped.

And rested.  

Because there is Grace in writing.  So as I bounce back, a link from some writing I did on Tuesday.  

If you pray, I would take prayers for healing.  These sinuses aren't messing around, even after a week of antibiotics.  

Thanks friends.  


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Doris-es: A Slice of Life

I'm blessed to have two.  Doris-es. 
Read here to learn more about what that means. 
After I read this post, I've decided, I'm just going to name my Tribe?  Doris. 

The friendships are years old.  Before children, if there was such a thing.  One entered my life when I was wandering with one foot out the door of my church, feeling isolated after a food allergy diagnosis for my youngest. 

We have seen: (Not an exhaustive list...)

  • marriages
  • babies
  • houses.
  • more babies
  • more houses
  • aging parents
  • jobs
  • no jobs
  • new jobs
  • growing kids
  • kids who do things that aren't in the books
  • babies
  • medical things that only a tribe would show up for 
  • hard things.  We do those.  
And here's what I know about these ladies:

At any given time they are there to speak truth and love to me.  (And the world.  But I'm so blessed, they share it with me.)  I remember sitting at my table, again with one foot out the door of the church, and a Doris holding my hand and saying, "This hurt isn't what God wants for His people.  He is Not rejoicing in this."  That statement kept me in the door honestly.  Why?  Because I felt treasured at that moment.  Not only by God, but by His People.  

And the other one?  Reminded me once that I don't say Yes to everything, because other people have gifts too.  So save your Yes's for things you are truly gifted for.  That encouragement is given to lots of people, and shared freely.  She's also a story teller, and reminds me that God's people aren't always pious and quiet.  Sometimes they wear overalls to church, dress up as Santa, swear a little, and laugh a little too loudly-if there is such a thing.  

My Doris-es also are constantly reaching out to those who might not be seen, who need their story told, who just need a friend.  These ladies love Jesus so much, they can't help but love others too.  

I'm so glad they love me too.