Saturday, December 27, 2008

Evidence that Santa still does exist...

My brother and his girlfriend came back for a visit from Prague this Christmas. We took them up to Keystone for an afternoon on tubing. What a hoot! This was also the first year that Ted and I had the honor of being apart of what parents all around the world get to take part of..."Operation Santa!" We left evidence of Santa being in the house and the reaction that we got still brings tears to my eyes...Yep! Evidence that Santa still exists...if we all just believe...(Polar Express). Enjoy!

Click to play Christmas with the Schneiders 2008
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sleding in the house?????????

This weekend we had Christmas at Ted's parents' house. It was a riot! This was just the first of the many Christmas gathers we have in the coming few weeks!

Click to play Kerbs' Christmas 2008
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

From 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny...

Okay, so I have been reading a book by Phillip Done, a tenured teacher, about little quips that happen in a classroom. Thank you to the handful of you who blogged about this book and championed it as it fell into my hands! Now I can't put it down! Although I have been out of the classroom for a bit, I found this chapter on "Interview Questions" to be HYSTERICAL!!!!! See for yourself:

"The other day I was thinking about the time when I interviewed for my very first teaching job. It's hard to believe that it has been twenty years.
I can still remember my first interview questions: What is your philosophy of eduction? What is your classroom management system? what is your discipline plan?
God if I knew.
This was my first interview. How in the world was I supposed to have an educational philosophy? I didn't even know what that meant.
So I made up my answers and tried to sound like I knew something. I guess I fooled them pretty well. I got the job, and they haven't fired me yet.
I still remember my responses to those first interview questions too. Boy, would my answers be different today, if I were asked those same questions.
Here's what I said then and what I'd say now:

Question 1: If I walked into your classroom, what would I see?
Answer at first interview: You would see children working collaboratively in peace and harmony, praising each other, and sharing their supplies happily with one another. You would see children thinking critically, helping their classmates, and encouraging one another.
Answer today: You'd see Brian hiding the soccer ball between his feet, Peter connecting markers together to make a really long one, and me looking for my coffee mug.

Question 2: What are your strengths?
Answer at first interview: I'm energetic and enthusiastic and extremely hardworking.
Answer today: I can pull off a Band-Aid so it won' hurt.

Question 3: What are your weaknesses?
Answer at first interview: I need to learn to not work so late at night and on the weekends and on all my holidays too.
Answer today: I steal apples off kid' cafeteria trays when I'm hungry.

Question 4: What is your philosophy of discipline?
Answer at first interview: I believe in giving children lost of positive reinforcement, and praising and encouraging students throughout the day, always working to build their self-esteem.
Answer today: Take away recess.

Question 5: What would you do with a difficult parent?
Answer at first interview: I would call the parent and listen to her suggestions. I would work closely with her because we are a team, working together for the success of the child.
Answer today: Say, "Get a life."

Question 6: What would you do if a child threw a chair at you across the room?
Answer at the first interview: First I would make sure that all the other children were safe. Then I would try to calm the student down. Next I would talk with the student and try to figure out what was bothering him, and help him explore his feelings. Together we would set up a behavior modification contract in which I would allow the child to set his own goals and choose his own rewards.
Answer today: Throw it back.

Question 7: What is a teacher's most important tool?
Answer at first interview: Love.
Answer today: Candy.

Question 8: What would your PE program look like?
Answer at first interview: Children would have the opportunity to develop multiple skills through a variety of individual and team sports where good sportsmanship is emphasized in a noncompetitive environment.
Answer today: Heads up seven-up.

Question 9: How would you meet the individual differences of your students?
Answer at first interview: I believe in giving students a variety of choices. For example, when the children are practicing their spelling, the more visual child could draw pictures of her spelling words with different colored pens. The more kinesthetic child could write his words in sand or Jell-O pudding or ketchup or shaving cream.
Answer today: I believe in giving students a variety of choices. You can do your spelling now or you can do it at lunch.

Question 10: What is your view of constructivist education?
Answer at first interview: I think it is great. I think it is fantastic. I believe in it wholeheartedly. Is there any other way to teach?
Answer today: What the hell is that?

Question 11: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Answer at first interview: Teaching at your school and working towards a masters in education and participating in curriculum review and leadership training, and organizing the school's fundraisers and selling wrapping paper for the band.
Answer today: Under an oak tree in Heavenly Gardens.

Question 12: Why should we hire you?
Answer at first interview: I like kids.
Answer today: I like kids.

So, to those of you who are educators out there, either in the classroom still or not, pick up this book! It is great!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Potty training...I'd rather pull off a Band-Aid

For the past week, we have been potty training Aidan. WHEW! He's a tough egg to crack! Although he has got the potty thing down, the poops is a whole other story. We set the timer, and he takes off like a horse in the races to the toilet. He does great and tries really hard, but some of these quotes he gives are just too darn funny to pass up!

"My peepee is hiding mommy! I won't come out!"

"How about I just try later!?"

"Hmmm....I think that later is a better idea."

"Mommy, I look like Papa on the potty!"

"I need a book like daddy!"

"I'm a big boy now, I can go to school and play soccer like the big kids!"

There are so many more, but this last one that was said last night as we attempted to encourage him to go poops on the potty was a class act!

Ted put him on the potty and said that if he went poopy on the potty that we could go to McDonald's to get icecream. Looking at Ted, I said, and you're going to take him out in subzero weather?! LOL! Of course he would take him and I would go too, but in response to this comment, Aidan said:

"Daddy, I don't think my poops will come out, it must be tired!"

Oh my goodness! Ted and I were rolling! His poops was tired!!! That is too much! If you know Aidan, if he doesn't want to do anything, then he is tired or the toy is tired, or the food is tired so he can't eat it. The kid...what are we gonna do with him?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chai Spice "Girls" Cookies

OKay, so I found this recipe in Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I made these for a cookie exchange for MOPS and YUMO! I can't keep away from them! The only thing I wish I did different was to use a girl cookie cutter instead of a boy. That way I could have really called them Chai "Spice Girls"! LOL! Kidding...sort of... :) Enjoy!

2 - spiced chai-flavored tea bags
3 - cups all-purpose flour
2 - tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 - cups butter, softened
1 - cup sugar
2 - egg yolks
2 - Tbsp. molasses
1 - recipe Powdered Sugar Icing

1. Remove tea bag contents (3 teaspoons); discard bags. In medium bowl combine tea, flower and pumpkin spice; set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and molasses. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can; stir in remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until easy to handle.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutters.
4. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.. Decorate with Powdered Sugar Icing.
In medium bowl combine 1-1/2 -cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 4 teaspoons milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until piping consistency.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

This weekend was a blast getting ready for the Christmas Season! Although, I wasn't feeling very well, we did have a ball! It started on Friday when Aidan and I decorated the tree and house for Christmas!

Aidan found a reindeer headband and a Santa hat for us to wear! We even sang jingle bells to boot!

Then on Saturday morning, we woke up to a wonderful snowfall! Time for tobogganing! Daddy even took the day off from side jobs just so we could have some family time! What fun!

Finally, it was back to the house to make Reindeer Treats and a Gingerbread house! We had nice hot bowls of Chicken and Dumplings while the fire roared in the background and Christmas music filled the air!

And to top it all off, we viewed The Polar Express on Sunday evening while eating popcorn and drinking "HOT CHOCOLATE!"

Our family is praying that you find Joy in the True Reason for the Season, Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas!