Weekend Progress and Dinner Plans

Our goal, my daughter and mine, was a weekend with nothing.  I think we did fairly well.

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This was the first home game at my son’s school and Grey couldn’t wait.  He rambled on about Friday Night Lights and team spirit.  It was a bit of a nail biter and we were down up until the last quarter when we came from behind to win the game. First home win in two years!

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I was finishing up my niece’s Azel Pullover but had to leave in the midst of the bind off to get to school.  This work thing really interferes with knitting.  Anyway, I finished it up Saturday morning and it’s just waiting for buttons.  Luckily my niece lives in SE Virginia so it’s not likely to get cold down there any time soon.

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I wound my new yarn that I picked up last weekend in Port Jefferson.  It’s Lamstrings Ewetopia Sock and I love it.  I’m working on Nutkin socks.  This is the first folded cuff I’ve done (and it kept me from knitting this pattern for a couple of years).  Much easier than I’d thought. The perfectly coordinated nail color was a fluke (OPI Sailing and Nailing, if you’re wondering).

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Last night we had our first “Fall” fire.  Granted, fall doesn’t technically begin until Thursday but it was chilly out.  So nice to sit and relax with a glass of wine and the boys (the daughter was at a friends).

Phew, there we go.  Now to dinner plans.  I am trying so so hard to cook at home but it’s not a lot of fun.  I’m thinking of trying Blue Apron or something similar to see if I can climb out of this cooking rut.

Monday: Italian Sausage and Broccoli Raabe over Penne Pasta

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan Burgers (kids’ cooking night)

Wednesday: Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu

Thursday: Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili

Friday: Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Chicken

Saturday: Crab Cake Sandwiches

Week Two’s a Wrap

I survived Week 2…just.  The temperatures this past week were in the upper 80’s and with high humidity.  I truly do not know how I grew up in the South where weather like this was and is normal.  I had three fans going and was drinking water like there was no tomorrow (at least my skin’s looking good).  We even had out of uniform Thursday and Friday.  Nothing helped.

Second grade, my friends, is proving to be trickier than I’d thought.  I have a class of sweethearts but they are chatty and they are young!  Oh my.  I need to rethink basically everything and quickly!

  1. In reading my science curriculum very closely I realized that every other day is a lab.  I love this because it means they are doing things instead of listening to me talk but it also means a ton of prep. My room is FILLED to the brim with furniture and I think I really inherited old preschool furniture.  It’s crowded in there and not in a good way.
  2. My dear 2nd graders are used to, and like, sitting near me and the Smart Board or the easel but they are not good at choosing smart spots where they will listen to me and not their BFF.  I’ve been on the fence about ordering Sit Spots but I’m breaking down and getting them this week. I also read on their website that the Sharpie paint pens can be used to write on them so I can number them with the kids’ numbers to make sure they are sitting far away from their friends in the best spots for them.

    Click on the image for the Sit Spots website!
    Click on the image for the Sit Spots website!
  3. We’ve been working on building our reading stamina but we’ve spent some time in the auditorium (air-conditioning).  I’m trying to transition us back into the classroom but we’re having the about difficulties.  Actually it’s only with three kids but…can’t just pick out three kids even if they and the class know who they are!  So I’m going to go ahead and get myself some pillows from IKEA.  I’d almost decided against it after talking with other teachers who stopped using them because of lice concerns but it gets darn cold in Connecticut and I want them to be comfy while they’re reading or we’re going to stay at 8 minutes forever. At $3.99 a pillow, I won’t cry if they fall apart in the wash.
    Click the image to go to the IKEA site

     

  4. Also this year, I went with Brag Tags which my kiddos love but they also need to have some sort of tangible goal to keep their chattiness in check.  So I am back with my trusty Class Dojo.  I did tweek it a bit with this class though.  Because I am using Brag Tags and because they are younger, I am not taking away points.  The mere sound of Class Dojo straightens them up pretty quickly so even though they hear the losing points sound the points are set to -0.  Hopefully they don’t figure me out!
Find out more about these Class Dojo tubs by clicking on the image
Find out more about these Class Dojo tubs by clicking on the image

I’d spotted the above image on Pinterest back in June or July, I think, and was intrigued.  I’d used this highly complicated list of “privileges” like iPad time or lunch in the classroom because I didn’t want to be shelling out even more money (teahers, you know what I’m talking about) but it got to be a royal PITA.  This system from Crazy Critter Café is much much easier because everything in there can be bought at the Dollar Tree or Oriental Trading.  And I snagged candy on special for Halloween.  Oh, and inherited a ton of stickers so I didn’t even have to spend money on those.  Yay!

More Summer Reading: The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: I mistook this for another book when I saw that a movie was being released. I quickly realized my mistake but kept going. Although, I still haven’t seen the movie and now I’m afraid to.

The Light Between Oceans could quickly become a melodrama, and I’m sure many would say that’s exactly what it is. The premise is that rule follower lighthouse keeper Tom marries lighthearted Izzy and brings her to isolated Janus to live. After three miscarriages, a boat washes up on the island carrying a dead man, a woman’s cardigan, and a very alive baby girl. Assuming the worst, and not looking too closely, Izzy convinces Tom to raise the child as their own ~ a fairly easy deception 100 miles off the Australian coast.

Of course there has to be some sort of conflict or there would be no story. Briefly: in the years following WWI the daughter of the town’s richest man fall in love with and marries an Austrian refugee. Drunken villagers take out their angst against him and their baby and they escape the mob in a rowboat where there are lost at sea and presumed dead. Tom, feeling a nagging sense of shame, contacts the child’s mother and a series of wrongs are attempted to be righted.

The novel itself is moving because of its emotional descriptions of the interior struggles of the three main characters, and the child Lucy/Grace. It’s hard to find one adult who stands above the rest so that you spend a great deal of time conflicted about how this mess should best be corrected. And when the final chapter of the novel leaves me in tears for twenty minutes – that’s a good indication of time well spent.

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You Can Even – A Self Publishing Gift to All of Us

You Can Even: Kate the Wasp's Guide to Recovering from Entitlement (Chapter 6)You Can Even: Kate the Wasp’s Guide to Recovering from Entitlement by Kate Hendricks

I am jumping on this review in mid-read. The waiting for each chapter is getting as painful as wating for the trainwreck of the Real Housewives franchise. Which is not to say this is a train wreck, just that the end of the chapter leaves me somewhat despondent.

Here’s a bit of backstory as I’ve gleaned from Kate’s snapchat: Agent and author had a hard time getting picked up by a publishing house so go the self publishing route on Amazon, a chapter a week at 99¢. And social media erupts. Kate Hendricks has literally amazed me. I have had more than one laugh out loud moment at inopportune moments because I’m reading at random times on my phone’s Kindle app. “I thought the 1% were exclusive” has become a catchphrase in my house. This series is hilarious and a bit cringe worthy since it calls up that moment before we got a clue and grew up. Mercifully some of us weren’t as vacant as our heroine, but I suspect we can all see ourselves in this one.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

There’s a reason it took me over a month to get to this one.  Read on…

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I desperately wanted to love this book. I had been on the fence about it being a script book – I generally prefer to see scripts acted rather than read – but I broke down because everyone was raving about this on Facebook and Instagram. Everyone in the family wants/wanted to read this so we had a rather aggressive game of rock-paper-scissors to determine reading order.

My son got first dibs but wasn’t forthcoming with his opinion. “It jumps around too much,” he said. Knowing nothing about the plot I thought it was because it was his first time reading a play. When my husband got hung up reading something else, I decided to jump ahead on the queue.

I read this in less than a day. It is definitely not a hard read, nor is it a boring one. But it just lacks action until the very end. It’s hard to feel sympathy for Albus Potter, even harder to care about Harry who is still fighting his prophecy. Hermione has lost all the charm she once had, and Ron is just a blundering fool with a drinking problem. The two redeeming characters (and get ready for this) are Draco Malfoy the tragic widower and his equally sad son Scorpious. Yep, these are the two I found myself rooting for the entire time.

The time turning lacks something, probably because it really seems to be a more visual action than words can convey. The “Harry Potter dreams of Voldemort” line is underdeveloped but has potential, and it certainly ends with a new host of possibilities for the Harry Potter franchise – may all fans cheer! But this particular installment? It falls sadly short of expectations.

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This Week’s Menu

Trying to be accountable.  I did manage to get dinner on the table almost every night last week, which was also the first week of school.  Yay, me!  Trying to keep up momentum…

Monday: (Addison’s Night) Beef & Garlic Noodles from Tasty

Tuesday: (Maia’s Night) Ravioli & Salad

Wednesday: Pork Chops, Garlic Green Beans

Thursday: Steak Salad

Friday: Out

Saturday: TBD

Hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend.  We thought out cookout window was Friday but the forecast for Hermine changed so much it turns out we could have cooked out every night!

Yarn Along :: July 13, 2013

Click the image to get more knitting and reading inspiration
Click the image to get more knitting and reading inspiration

 

NO SOCKS! They are done, blocked, and in the drawer awaiting cold weather. —->happy dance<—-

I’ve had a ball of Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce sitting in my yarn stash since January. Ok, I realize that is not a long time but it was on my mind so I needed to find a project for it. And socks were not what I wanted to cast on. So I hunted on Ravelry for a free shawl. I stumbled upon Multnomah which has been in my queue on and off since I heard about it on a podcast a while back. So I figured, why not? I cast on Thursday evening and have enjoyed working on it in the car and the hotels.  Maia’s also gotten me hooked on Supernatural so I work on it while we binge watch (it’s on Netflix, too).  I figured that I have another 34 rows to get me to the 229 stitches I need before starting the lace.  At that point, I’ll need to wall myself up in my bedroom and not be disturbed.

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I finished Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand.  I’d read the second book, realized it was a trilogy, read the first book, and not rushing to read No. 3 although I did like 1 and 2.  So I’m reading Moby Dick.  I’ve started this book six times but am determined to finish it.  It’s an internal English major issue.  Also, it’s free on the Kindle.  It will probably mess up my 2016 book challenge because I’m fairly certain I’ll lose time.  Then again…

Menu Monday

Image from Pinterest

We are back home after a busy weekend and birthday…and Greyson is already off playing golf!  We’re sticking close to home over the next few days and hoping for a lot of nothing. I need to do a grocery run but I’m not feeling it so Peapod it is.  In the meantime, I need to feed us so I’m getting creative with what we have in the house.

Monday – (G’s board mtg) Homemade Mac & Cheese/Salad

Tuesday – the last of G’s Gold Star Chili (time to order more)

Wednesday – Sausage, Potato and Green Bean Grilling Packets

Thursday – Spinach Lasagna Rolls (I found FOUR boxes of lasagna noodles when I cleaned out the pantry)

Friday – Grilled Steak Lettuce Tacos

Saturday – Pan Seared Scallops with Roasted Asparagus

Menu Monday, er, Tuesday

I hope everyone had a great Fourth. We had family visiting so we packed in a lot in just three short days. Although, really, most of it was at the beach.  For two nights, our beaches here in town, down the CT shoreline and across to Long Island were lit up with fireworks and bonfires – both of which are illegal although the police really just work to keep order.  A facebook post this morning alluded to citizens “showing their independence.” :-)

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Apparently there's something called Fish Racing which, if you didn't know that was a thing, don't feel bad.  I had no idea.
Apparently there’s something called Fish Racing which, if you didn’t know that was a thing, don’t feel bad. I had no idea, either.
Snapchat continues to provide ridiculous amount of entertainment.  But I also realized it works like a little scrapbook when you add a filter.
Snapchat continues to provide ridiculous amount of entertainment. But I also realized it works like a little scrapbook when you add a filter.
Chilly New England evenings make long sleeves almost a necessity so I thought my DAR shirt would be just right.  The back reads "Celebrate America with the DAR"
Chilly New England evenings make long sleeves almost a necessity so I thought my DAR shirt would be just right. The back reads “Celebrate America with the DAR”

On Sunday, we all piled into the car and drove into the city.  It was our first time driving (we usually just take the train) but I think we’ll be driving in all of the time now.  A quick trip in the car and $27 to park on the Upper East Side all day!

Our main objective was to take our niece to American Girl for her first doll since her 5th birthday is coming up.  It’s so much more fun to go to the shop and just order one online. But before we got there, we headed down to Battery Park for the views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. While we didn’t ferry out to the islands, we did head over to the Seaglass Carousel.  I highly recommend doing this.  For $5 you get to ride in iridescent sea creatures and feel like you’re swimming underwater.  Even my fourteen year old was impressed.  And, trust me, there isn’t a lot to do in Manhattan for $5 per person.

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After Battery Park, we headed up to Central Park to go to the zoo.  Central Park Zoo is the perfect size for little kids.  And for big kids who have walked all over creation. And, if you followed the news from NYC on Sunday, we were in Central Park, very close to where the explosion occurred.  My SIL was a little nervous about being in NYC after that, but watching how quickly the NYPD and the NYFD descend upon things like that makes you feel very safe.  My only concern was keeping the big kids with us just in case we ended up having to leave the park. No worries, though, that city is amazing in an incident and we never felt anything less than 100% safe.

Clearly my eleven year old showed no concern while chatting with her friends.
Clearly my eleven year old showed no concern while chatting with her friends.
In the Tropics House - so many beautiful birds.
In the Tropics House – so many beautiful birds…
And very friendly.
And very friendly.

Now that everyone is out for the day, either traveling back to Virginia, on their way to work, or heading down for the first day of work as a Junior Counselor (!!), it’s back to laundry.  I think we used every single towel we own and there is a layer of sand on the floor.  Which, I personally think is a good reason why we need to include an outdoor shower in the backyard renovation.  Just sayin’.

Tuesday – Cajun Chicken Alfredo (from the Buzzfeed app or search for it on Facebook)

Wednesday – Greek Salad Tacos with Cucumber Dill Dressing

Thursday – Grilled Steaks with Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Friday – Phish

Saturday – Phish

Sunday – Maia’s Birthday Dinner

Yarn Along :: June 29, 2016

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I’m still working away on those pesky socks so I thought I’d share an FO just off the needles. If you’re an Instagram follower, you’ve already seen this.

Last week, someone I follow on Instagram posted a “What’s in my Bag” photo that had the coolest little earbuds case. She got it at Target but they haven’t had them in a long time. Since I’d just done a massive purge, I knew I had lots of yarn scraps and figured there had to be something available online to knit. A quick search on Ravelry, and I was in business.

This is a super quick knit, although I don’t have time to just sit and knit so it took me a couple of days. All totaled, it’s just an hour or two for this project.

Pattern: Earbud Pouch by Mary Keenan (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Knit Picks Hand Painted Stroll Sock Weight (discontinued color way)

Needles: DPN 2.5mm, US Size 1

So the book I’m reading is about winter but winter on Nantucket which, for me means summer. I have seasonal books and writers. Elin Hindebrand is definitely a summer writer. It’s an easy beach read and I love the descriptions of Nantucket life and how fully she develops her characters.