Friday, August 22, 2014

Greeting Grandparents

Last weekend, we got to enjoy seeing my parents and the kids' grandparents. For my mom, it was her second time seeing Ainsley since her birth.

For my dad, it was his first time seeing Ainsley, who happened to be his birthday present this year as she was born on his birthday.

With our parents both living in Kansas, it is not often that we get a chance for our kids to see their grandparents, except for the few times when we visit. So it was a wonderful surprise to get a chance to spend some time with them.

And we expect to see Brian's parent(s) in a few days as well, which will be a wonderful treat for the kiddos.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Haircuts for the Boys

I've been cutting Brian's hair for awhile now, so I'm pretty confident in my skills regarding his fading head of hair; but cutting Connor's hair is a different story.

Connor's first haircut was disastrous- not in the cut, but the behavior. But it was obvious he needed another haircut. Brian's solution was to have Connor watch him get his haircut first and then to attempt to do Connor's hair directly afterwards. But Connor wasn't willing to go 2nd and wanted to go first. I think he felt he was going to get his hair combed and he stayed perfectly still as I had the razor (with the highest guide) comb through his blonde hair. Once I tried to get his "mop" on top though he had enough, so after Brian's haircut we had to hold him down to try and get some of the top trimmed up. Most unsuccessfully, but not bad for a first attempt on a little boy with no patience. Maybe I'll try to get it when he's sleeping.

Afterwards though Connor was happy being able to get the broom up and clean up all the hair. Wonder if I can lend him out to salons so he can start earning his keep? That boy has a hard time staying away from brooms, swiffers, and plungers sadly.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Alma Bakery Snickerdoodles

When I worked at Bell Helicopter, if I took a trip to Alma, Kansas, they could almost always guarantee I'd be bringing cookies from the Alma Bakery back with me to share with them. I love her cookies. My personal favorite being the snickerdoodles. Most of the others though prefer the Lemon Cookies. My in laws prefer to indulge in her fruit turnovers. But honestly everything she makes is good. And she's also kindly mailed my orders to Texas when I've been unable to retrieve them from Alma.

So I was happy when Kansas magazine did a report/review on the bakery in their Fall 2012 edition. And it included her recipe for Snickerdoodles! I finally got around to making those cookies with Sophie. And they turned out great and tasted just like they were fresh from her store and I thought I'd share. 

The Famous Snickerdoodles
1 c. shortening
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. white syrup
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Mix 3 Tbsp. sugar and 3 Tbsp. cinnamon to roll cookies in.

Beat shortening, sugar, vanilla, white syrup and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Blend well. Roll balls into cinnamon and sugar mixture and bake at 350 degrees until cookies lift from pan. 

Life Returns to Normal

So the normal chaos of our home has returned.

The kids have started to adjust to the newest sibling.

And Oscar likewise has introduced himself and become protective of our newest member.

Ainsley is taking all the noise and chaos in stride, spending most of her time 'tanning' by the windows. She is struggling with jaundice and working on lowering her billirubin count.

Meanwhile, Brian has become 'super' parent with the two oldest. His super power, draining the energy of children.

Friday, August 8, 2014

In the Beginning there was Memes

Got the idea from Pintrest using Memes to help students to remember the rules in a fun way. Since I needed a powerpoint that would make it easy for the substitute to educate the class on the beginning of the year classroom expectations, Memes sounded like a pretty easy way to do this. And with lots of suggestions online, I was able to borrow some from others and create more myself. I thought I'd share them with you.

I plan to also add these Memes to a bulletin board or somewhere on the walls to remind students of my expectations. Hopefully this will make my transition from maternity leave to teaching a bit easier on myself.