prayteachlove

A little faith and a lot of love go a long way…

Still got it!

The end of the summer is near.  It’s bittersweet for me. It’s no secret I’ve had a tough time since losing my dad, but the past few weeks have almost…almost…felt normal. I guess it’s my new normal since things won’t ever be the same without my dad, but it’s something. It’s hope. I haven’t had that since December 2013, right before my dad’s mass was found, so I’ll take it, and cling to it, and pray things continue to look up.

Enough of the sappy crap. On to more Pinterest!! I can’t even believe I forgot to mention a certain recipe in my previous post because it was the biggest hit of them all!

I made stuffed French bread and it was beyond delicious. I think. I can’t truly tell you because I only got a very small portion of the 2 foot long loaf that I stuffed and then Big Daddy B ate the rest.  Thanks Big Daddy B. 😏 He was pretty excited about that meal though and it’s definitely one I will make again.

So on to my classroom adventures! It turns out my partner teacher who will focus on ELA is AWESOME! She’s been a huge help in my transition to a new building and position, even entertaining my kids in her classroom while Big Daddy B and I worked tirelessly to unpack and organize everything! She’s been so patient with me too, because I haven’t even been able to focus on any of the curriculum and procedural planning than happens before a new school begins because I’ve been so anxious about the physical state of disarray that my room has been in.

Thankfully, my room is about 95% ready to go as of today. Here are some before photos…   

    
    
  So. Many. Boxes. 😂

And now for the after photos, including my finished “focus” sign! ***Special shout out to Big Daddy B – I would not be so close to being ready right now without his help and support. ❤️❤️❤️***

   

  

I’m using both tables and desks this year. I’m excited to see how that works!

Besides working in my classroom, I also put together some first day of school gifts for my kids’ teachers. I got the idea and free printable here 

I included the following items inside each mason jar:

Chap stick, hand sanitizer, Tic Tacs, Rolaids, Tylenol, a nail file, cute post its, milk and dark chocolate

I’m on a ROLL!

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So many updates!!

Basically, I’m amazing.  Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. There’s so much to catch up on!

To begin with, you may remember that I spent the last two years as a Math Coach.  Well, as many districts have already done, mine finally cut all coaching positions. 

What does this mean for me? I’m going back to the classroom! I’ll be teaching 6th grade Math, Science, and Social Studies in a different building. While it’s no secret that I’m terribly sad to leave my current school family, I am already acquainted with much of the talented staff in my new building and I’m actually SUPER EXCITED to go back into the classroom. It’s true, I really do LOVE teaching! (Someone remind me of that during report card time…😋)

Anyway, with one week left to go in the summer, I’m still trying to get my room unpacked and organized as I only found out about a week and a half ago where I would be. I’ll post before and after photos once I have them!

For now though, I’ve completed a couple Pinterest projects for my classroom. First, I found this clever idea:  

So I created my own letters which I’ll hang before school starts!  
Then, I found this adorable idea…

  

So tonight I just completed the first of two canvasses. Definitely not as nice as the pin but I tried!! (It’s pretty obvious why I teach Math and not Art, Hahahaha!) (The kids will add their fingerprints in green as leaves the first week.)

    

I’ve also been cooking up a storm thanks to Pinterest! 

I made these delicious sweet and sour meatball skewers which were very tasty!

  
I also made this potato salad but I didn’t take a photo of it. It was yummy too! 

Then I made chicken stroganoff and it was also delicious!

  
I also made a loaded cauliflower and chicken casserole that was good (no photo).

Jumping back to the topic of school, I’ve kept busy getting primped for going back to being a full-time working mom. I even changed my hair color for the fall! 

 

So many projects, so little time!! See, I don’t spend ALL my time moping around! 😋

I’m anxious about getting my classroom ready in time for the first day of school, but looking forward to sharing the finished product photos! Coming soon!

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Pinterest project update!

“You stand in the line just to hit a new low

You’re faking a smile with the coffee to go

You tell me your life’s been way off line

You’re falling to pieces every time

And I don’t need no carryin’ on


Cause you had a bad day

You’re taking one down

You sing a sad song just to turn it around

You say you don’t know

You tell me don’t lie

You work at a smile and you go for a ride

You had a bad day

The camera don’t lie

You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind

You had a bad day

You had a bad day”

Daniel Powter, Bad Day

Well, I’ve had a couple of bad days for sure. Today included. I even tried to drown my sorrows in some tasty pasta salad. 
Note: I didn’t drown. Neither did my sorrows. However, I have a pretty bad stomachache to accompany my raging headache and bad attitude.  

In the grand scheme of things, my problems aren’t that serious. I know that. So rather than lament on and on about my #firstworldproblems, (yes, I did just use a hashtag in my blog post), let’s talk PINTEREST!!

Basically, I’m a pretty crappy mom about 360 days of the year. There’s about 5 days or so when I seem to nail it and typically those days occurs on birthdays and during the summer. It’s during these warm weather months that I’m blessed to be home with my babies that I try to plan exciting and new things for my offspring. I’d like to think I’m building their background knowledge and keeping them from ever becoming bored and making memories. Then, my little jerks, I mean angels, bring me back to reality by having the following conversations with their father:

Gorilla: Why does mama keep planning things for us to do?

Big Daddy B: She wants you to have fun!

Gorilla: Well, it needs to stop. Now.

Too bad, I’m not stopping. You WILL have fun this summer you ungrateful…well, you will. I demand fun in the summer. And what else is more fun than a PINTEREST INSPIRED PIE PARTY!!

So, awhile ago I found this pin for a mini-pie bar. 

I decided to up the ante a bit and throw a pie party for my kiddos and some of their friends.

There were lots of fun toppings. 



And the end results were pretty tasty.    

The kids seemed to have fun, so I consider it a success!

Besides pie parties, we’ve kept busy in other ways as well.

We’ve spent time at the neighborhood park. 

We went to a local carnival. I should note that I hate heights and Ferris wheels. I especially loathe carnival grade Ferris wheels. I have no trust in the rusty screws that allegedly hold them together. However, my son begged to ride the Ferris wheel, and so I sucked it up, held on to him for dear life, and we rode. Of course, he loved it.   

 
Sparklers with Daddy on a rainy 4th of July.  

A visit to the Choo Choo Barn in Lancaster. 

 

A tour of the Utz potato chip factory in Hanover.   

 
  
  

And while I’m not dragging my family around making them enjoy the all that our local area has to offer, I completed yet another Pinterest project which I’m rather proud of. 

I pinned instructions to make a floating vanity. 
Then I  got to work. My mom, Binxy, and I went to Lowe’s to get my materials. I started with a large shelf. 
I painted it. Big Daddy B kindly hung it. I would have done that myself but he was itching to use the drill. Men and their tools.

And now I have a floating vanity. 

I don’t have my stuff organized the way I want yet, and I still want to add a few girly touches. But overall, I’m very happy with the result!

And if all that doesn’t erase my “woe is me” attitude, my new weather app, (Authentic Weather), certainly will.  

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Summer mommy is here!

This post is an hour in the making and I only just logged in. It took me that long to figure out how to load photos from my phone to my laptop which included everything freezing, me threatening to throw things, and now finally, jammin’ to my tunes as I begin to type. Amen that I didn’t break anything.

So I’m writing this as Summer Mommy.  Summer Mommy is fun. She’s relaxed and laid back.  She doesn’t wear make up and rarely wears anything even remotely constricting. I never really give it two thoughts. Then this morning happened. I scheduled multiple appointments today.  As I waited to see my chiropractor, there was a pretty girl sitting across from me.  I could smell her from where I sat. Ok, that sounds creepy but I swear I wasn’t sniffing her.  She just over did it on the perfume but had she not bathed in it I think I would have liked it. Her outfit was summery and cute and every accessory matched – necklace, bracelet, earrings, shoes, purse. Her finger and toe nails were beautiful.  She checked her make up two times which was subtle but perfect for what she was wearing. Took her mirror back out to fluff her bangs.  I smiled to myself. Oh, to be young and care about my appearance again. I was mentally calculating her age.  Probably early to mid twenties. WAIT! What is that!?! As she “fixed” her hair I noticed it. Wedding bands. She’s married?!?! See, in my head, people who are married are older. They are MY age. They have kids like me. They are tired like me. Or, they are supposed to be.  She’s married?! Does she have kids? I am freaking out in my head that this lady is married, probably has kids, and looks awesome. The next obvious step is to take stock of my appearance in my head.  Even though I’m not wearing perfume, I showered this morning so I’m feeling good. But then I remember I totally did not brush my hair as I ran out the door to my earlier appointment. No make up. Yoga pants and t-shirt. I did remember to put on my wedding rings today so I sort of have jewelry. My nails are kind of trashy – green and black zebra print. One is broken.  Good Lord, why is she looking at me?! Then I watch has she takes out a mirror and changes up her pony tail so that it’s more of a messy bun. This chick even has bobby pins she pulls out of her coordinated purse and re-styles her hair. I run my hand through mine and try not to make a scene as my fingers get stuck in a knot and I trap myself in my own hair.  Thankfully I escape without being noticed as she’s too busy playing hairdresser. Please Lord, do not let her have children. People with toddlers don’t look like that. Do they?

After my 3 minute mental freak out I calmed down. She may have looked nicer than me but I was definitely winning when it came to personalities.  She didn’t make eye contact with anyone else who walked in. I smiled at everyone and said hi and they did the same. One mom came with her son who was probably 12-13. We joked about the game he was playing on his iPod as he waited for his mom. She completely ignored him.  One of the ladies who worked there reassured the pretty girl that it wouldn’t be much longer. She kind of sighed and acted like she was in a ton of pain. (Um, you’re not in that much pain lady. You’re lifting your arms as you re-do your hair and you’ve been fine when it’s just you and me.) My chiropractor (who it turns out was hers too) happened to walk past with a new patient and was all, “Oh, hey Kari! How are you? How are the kids? I’ll be with you in a bit” and then it was, “Hi _ _ _ _, I’ll be with you in a minute.” Definite difference. Pretty girl didn’t smile once while we waited. So though she may have looked better than me on the outside, behind my summer hobo look I had it going on.

Speaking of my current status of “summer hobo” I’m enjoying it. So when we were invited to a Father’s Day cook-out, I figured I’d make a dessert instead of buying it last minute like I typically do when I’m working.  This of course means that my love affair with Pinterest continues.  Since recently we and some friends of our have enjoyed making s’mores together I thought I’d take a Pinterest and S’more inspired dessert.  Simple, right? Just a few key ingredients…

Marshmallows...I can figure out marshmallows, right?

Marshmallows…I can figure out marshmallows, right?

I began my melting the marshmallows. I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to add butter. Doesn’t butter make it so the marshmallows don’t stick to the pot? I debated for about 5 minutes then figured, everything’s better with butter, right? As I was trying to get the above photo though, they kind of…burned. I figured that would just add a little extra “roasted” flavor and kept going.

Next, I added the Golden Grahams.  Stir, stir, stir.  I got this! I was feeling proud. This wouldn’t turn out like the curdled cupcake incident. I spread the mixture into a container evenly.  All that was left was sprinkling on some more marshmallows and chocolate chips. I couldn’t possibly mess that up!

WRONG! I grabbed WHITE chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate!

WRONG! I grabbed WHITE chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate!

Seriously?! By this point I thought, screw this, chocolate is chocolate and I’m going with it. No one would be surprised – my close friends and family know that I was not blessed with any kind of cooking or baking skills. So I ended up taking this…

and it was a hit! Pretty tasty if I do say so myself. :)

and it was a hit! Pretty tasty if I do say so myself. 🙂

I might be a summer hobo who can’t cook but I’m loving every second of it. 🙂

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Pinterest Update

Well, I figured it was about time that I updated about Pinterest.  Because that is one obsession passion that I still have.  I don’t have pictures of everything I’ve attempted, but here goes…

Awhile ago I made homemade applesauce in a crockpot.  It was deeeeeelicious!

I should be a chef.

I should be a chef.

Then one of my best friends had a birthday less than a month after she had her first baby.  What does every new mom need? LIQUOR.  So I made her a liquor bouquet.

 Ta-da!

Ta-da!

 

liquor bouquet 2.jpg

I also attempted some recipes that I found though I have no pics…those mini chicken pot “pies”…tasty! As well as a chicken cordon bleu casserole…also yummy except for the fact that it included rice. (Due to my gastric bypass I can’t eat rice.) But because I’m an idiot I made it with rice anyways and hoped for the best which ended in violent vomitting. Yes, you’re welcome for that image.

In addition to pretending to be a craft domesticated wifey, I crossed another item off my 2013 bucket list. I went to the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA.  It definitely smelled like a farm…but after a couple minutes you don’t notice it anymore.  Other than that, it was awesome! The kids had a blast and espectially loved the animals!

My cowboy Gorilla!

My cowboy Gorilla!

 

Exhausted from the fun!

Exhausted from the fun!

Big Daddy Byron and I loved the food! The fried cheese and milkshakes were to die for. Seriously the best I’ve ever had. Besides the entertainment for the kiddos and the scrumptious treats…THEY HAD WINE! There were several different wineries set up in one area and you could taste test and buy right there. This mama doesn’t play so I rolled up (at 10:30 am no less) and told them to start pouring because I was tasting EVERYTHING they had to offer. By the time I was done the stroller was loaded down with 4 bottles of wine and I was much more relaxed. (In all fairness 2 of the 4 bottles were a birthday gift for my mom and I had to wait in line to taste at 10 am…so I was not alone in my morning wine-scapade.)  I’ll drink to that!

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Fake It Friday

I promised I’d be back and here I am.  This is an extra special edition of Fake It Friday for several reasons…

1.)  I have not had any wine yet this evening but I have begun typing.
2.)  I will give 3 tips on how to “fake it…”
3.)  …however I will also update you on the cupcake fiasco
4.) …and I will also integrate some Pinterest project updates in this post!

Wow, you all must have been good this week for all that. 😉  Speaking of “you all” I think we should celebrate because I now have 20 followers! Do you know what that means? There are 20 geniuses out there in the world.  20 geniuses with impeccable taste. So if you have not yet joined them in following me, do it now. If you do, I’ll hug you. (No, I won’t…I don’t like hugs. But I will make you laugh. Or at least try.)

So, how do you fake it? Well, here’s what you DON’T do….you don’t write public blog posts telling the world what a faker you are and how you do it when you are supposed to be working hard to make it look like you’ve got it all together.

Hi, I’m a faker…you’re not supposed to know that but I went ahead and started blogging about it every Friday.
*If you want to fake it, don’t admit that you’re faking it on a weekly basis like this clown above.

So besides keeping your faking ways on the DL (down low for you oldheads like me out there), here’s tip #2:  adult hair.

(“Adult hair? Where is she going with this?” – you and the rest of the world)

Get a hair cut that is appropriate for your age and if necessary…get it colored.  If your hair looks professional, you are on your way to looking like you have it together.  That’s why I found a nice picture of Jessica Simpson (my hair muse and role model) on PINTEREST (surprise!), took it to the hair stylist and said, “Lady, I’m about to be 30. I need to start looking like a professional adult instead of a hobo!” which led to the birth of sunlight on my head, a.k.a. HIGHLIGHTS.

“Let there be light.”

 

Well, well, well, look who joined the party…

Hi, I’m Kari’s glass of wine and I’m going to give you the third tip to faking it!

 

3rd tip:  DELEGATE      Say yes to pretty much everything then delegate, delegate, delegate. If you’re like me, you’ll wise up and choose a particular person to delegate regularly too…someone who you can count on….someone like Big Daddy Byron. For example, I thought I’d go ahead and attempt look like that cutesy (yet irritating) teacher who is so with it that in between working and raising children, she had some spare time to craft an adorable little Halloween treat for her students and fellow grade-level teachers.  Hehehehehe…but guess what? All I did was pin the idea on Pinterest….then I sweetly asked for Big Daddy Byron’s assistance, (and if he tells you I was anything but sweet he is LYING), and ended up with 40 marshmallow ghosts hand-crafted by my darling husband.

Casper’s cousin who came all the way from the land of PINTEREST!

Speaking of that darling husband of mine, would you like to know what he and his buddy, “The Godfather,” were up to on Halloween after trick-or-treating?

Sampling those tasty CURDLED CUPCAKES!

Happy Friday!

 

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Super Mom? Super FAIL!

I really want to be THAT mom. The one who has it all together. The fashionable career woman who balances her work and motherhood with considerable ease. I have yet to truly accept that I’m not that Mom. So I keep trying. And I keep failing. But the upside is that I am getting quite a few laughs out of my feeble attempts. 🙂

With Hurricane Sandy giving all of us East Coasters a good scare, I got to have an extra 2 days with my family. I thought it would be fun for the kiddos and I to make some cream filled chocolate cupcakes. They are supposed to be gourmet. I’m not even posting the link though because you’ll soon see it was not worth it.

For my baby girl’s 1st birthday earlier this month I made another kind of cupcake from the same site and they were ok but dry. I figured that was because I’m a pretty horrible cook/baker so I probably messed something up.

Pinterest inspired (dry) cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries for my daughter’s 1st birthday.

Up close shot of the birthday girl’s big cupcake!

So tonight we embarked on our second cupcake-from-scratch adventure. First Big Daddy Byron gave me a tutorial on how to use the Kitchenaid mixer. He even made me repeat the steps back to him.

You don’t scare me Kitchenaid mixer!

However the Gorilla thought you were loud.

So far, so good…

All was going well.  Binxy was playing happily. The Gorilla was being such a good helper.  Then we put the cupcakes in to bake.

My first clue that this was not going to go as planned….they are overflowing…

Apparently my idea of “3/4 full” is different than the rest of the world’s idea of filling a baking cup 3/4 full. I swear I filled them according to the directions. Did I get a ruler out and make sure I was PRECISE? Hell no, we haven’t instituted the Common Core in our house so no I did not! (Teachers, you’ll get that. Everyone else, you will not. Sorry.)

But we kept plugging along…I pulled the cupcakes out when I was supposed to and besides having overflowed they looked pretty tasty. Then I actually tried to get them out to fully cool.

First cupcake I got out and I knew this was a complete fail. The birthday cupcakes from Binxy’s party? Too dry…these bad boys? WAY TOO MOIST. Completely fell apart.

I was not to be deterred by some moist cupcakes though. Oh no. I had to continue on. So I whipped up the cream filling though I had not yet determined exactly how I was going to fill cupcakes that fell apart if you walked past them faster than a 0.5 mph pace.

So, I was supposed to mix this all together until it was “spreadable.” Um, how about blew right past spreadable and ended up at “pourable.” This was not a cream, it was a liquid.

Still, I could not be stopped. We were going to make cream filled gourmet Pinterest cupcakes and nothing would stop me. I had to be that mom. “Look at me! I work a gazillion hours a week but occasionally I find time to whip up some delectable gourmet cupcakes for my little family! Don’t you wish you were me?!”

I took a little taste of the cream. Not totally horrible but who the hell decided it was ok to tell people to put a “dash” of something in a recipe? What exactly is a dash? I can tell yout his – it is NOT 1/8 of a teaspoon. Turns out, 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract in this particular recipe equals a super sweet almondy-cream. GROSS.  Even that wouldn’t stop me though.  My babies needed these cupcakes, even if they tasted like trash that had been sitting in the hot July sun for 48 hours because we all forgot the trash guys don’t come on the 4th of July holiday.

As I realized I had to somehow get this fluid cream into the center of the cupcakes which had alread deteriorated, I began to get anxious. We had just had a hurricane pass through yet I was more panicked about these damn cupcakes. So I found a few that looked like they might not completely cumble all at once and began to work.

Look, I kinda did it!

So I filled 3 or so cupcakes and was admiring my handiwork. In that 3 seconds that I took to myself in which I could feel the beginnings of pride start to replace the ball of anxiety in my gut, I looked at the bowl of cream. CURDLED.

You think curdled cream filling will stop this determined mama? You’re outta your mind.

By this time the Gorilla was busy torturing his baby sister who was busy torturing my ear drums with her screams. I deftly lifted her to my hip, gave the Gorilla my signature side-eye and threat of an early bedtime (which I never follow through with…sign me up for Parent of the Year!), and finished the job I began.

Ta-da! Gourmet curdled cream-filled chocolate cupcakes courtesy of a big, fat PINTEREST FAIL!

Can I have more chocolate crumbs Mama? Let’s forget about that cream though.

There are three things you can count on though…

1.)  This will definitely be submitted to that Pinterest Fail site at some point.

2.)  This cannot keep me away from Pinterest nor did it curb my desire to be that mom.

3.)  Big Daddy Byron will eat these cupcakes. He will eat anything. Ew.

 

 

 

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