May 30, 2016

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Bars

This should've gone up yesterday or Saturday or something, but I was busy. I also didn't post yesterday which kind of throws Blog-Every-Day-in-May off a bit. No need to worry. I'll be back to nothingness next week. I don't know if that's good or bad. 

This is also where I should probably say something eloquent about Memorial Day. I don't really have anything to say because it's not something I can dwell on during seasons of deployment. The appreciation I have for soldiers who have given it all can't be measured.

In case you need a Memorial Day weekend dessert...

I made this for a potluck last week and it went over very well. My mom sent me the recipe and it's an old one. She's been making these bars my entire life, so I figured they'd be a nice addition to my non-food blog. 
They're very easy, you make them the night before, and I had all the ingredients in my cupboard.
They're not your average rice krispy treat. 

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Bars
makes a 9x13 pan

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of Karo syrup (light)
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups of peanut butter
6 cups of rice krispies

1 bag of milk chocolate chips

In a medium pan, heat the sugar and syrup together until it starts to bubble (low heat) and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.  Stir in the vanilla and peanut butter. 

Add the dry cereal to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sugar/peanut butter mixture over it. Stir/fold gently, but well. It takes a few minutes to incorporate. 

Grease a 9x13 pan (spray Pam is what I used) and then press the bars into it. Set aside. 

Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Spread over the bars and let cool. Cut them before storing in the fridge because they'll harden up and be difficult to cut cold. 

And if none of that made sense, here's the original that I went off of:

May 28, 2016

Hot water heater "problems"

The other day, I noticed that the brand-new, very expensive hot water heater seemed to be leaking. This is what had happened with the old one and was what prompted us to replace it. The neighbors' hot water heater had actually exploded a few months ago and all of these houses were built at the same time. A hot water heater certainly needs to be replaced every 10-15 years and ours was about 14 years old.

So anyway. I ignored the leak and hoped it would stop. Avoidance is my go-to strategy, always.
Eight hours later, it leaked again. I ignored it one more time.  Later that night, it leaked again and so I finally took a few pictures and emailed them to Scott, trying not to panic. All I could really think was all the ramifications that would occur if the hot water heater stopped working. I won't bore you with that stream of consciousness.

Scott emailed me back right away.

It's supposed to drip from there (the white pvc pipe). It uses an air exchanger in hybrid mode, meaning it runs air across coils to heat the water. If there is humidity in the air, it will naturally drip water. This will get worse as it gets hotter and will also be worse on days when the air is more humid. Nothing to worry about. Love you.

Therefore, this was not a problem. One less thing, right?

May 27, 2016

5 Things Friday

1. Uhhhhh I'm watching The Bachelorette. I hate it but I can't stop. It is the most dramatic kind of train wreck.

Scout does not enjoy it.

2.  I created a bucket list of TV shows I must watch/catch-up on this summer. Talk about dreaming big.

3. Scout had a birthday this week.


4. Yesterday we had a nasty hailstorm.

5. Yesterday was also our 7 year anniversary. Other anniversary posts can be seen here. SEVEN YEARS!

I like that there's no guesswork. It's always tulips that arrive on the doorstep. 

And Scout is looking at the hail and not comprehending that that is why we can't go for a walk. 

May 26, 2016

This looks like it might be the best show ever...

Blair Waldorf + comedy +  time travel + The American Revolution

I'm not sure how long I can wait for this to come out. 

May 25, 2016

Helping yourself (when it comes to social media)

I've been limiting my social media presence lately. Aside from this blog, I've never been into posting daily happenings on the various platforms. But here are some changes I made to help ME in the last month. The overarching reason has to do with the comparison trap and wasting time online, but I do go into detail below.

1. I deleted Instagram from my phone in May.
It was not bringing me joy. It was bringing me comparison as I *enjoyed* my 25 minute lunch break each day. And it was stealing all my joy, actually. So until they invent a "hide" function for IG, it'll be gone for a bit. I don't want to unfollow. I don't want to block. I want to "hide".
I'll probably bring it back this summer. Maybe.

2. I blocked notifications from The Balanced Life Sisterhood group on Facebook.
So much of my newsfeed was from this group. I love Pilates. I like the point of the group, but I couldn't relate to 90% of it. The topics usually fall into two categories: how to best do Pilates after a c-section OR how do I get back on track after a workout/food-related setback (and maybe my compassion meter is just running low at this point, but I don't understand how every.single.weekend seems to equal a do what you want on the weekend, but saying you need a fresh start every Monday is a vicious cycle).

Sure, the group offers encouragement and people post motivational quotes and tips. But the motivation I need is Yes, Kristin. You can find that rattlesnake and shoot it. You can do this.
Or 7 more months of deployment? You can do that too! 
Or I know you can take care of mowing down 35 acres of field this summer. Seriously. You got this.
Plumbing? You can do plumbing too!

That's what I need to hear. And that's what Scott tells me often because he knows I need to hear it. And that's what matters to me right now. Having the issues of others I don't actually know,  however valid, thrown at me when I have so much on my plate isn't what I need right now. Especially when I can't relate at all.

If anyone knows of a group titled Wives living in locations where they don't belong, but they do it because they love their husbands, let me know.

3. I still don't have Facebook on my phone.
This is a blessing.
I spend maybe 5-15 minutes a day scrolling through my newsfeed and it's not really interesting to me at this point.

4. I don't remember my Twitter password so I haven't been using it anyway.
I'm serious.

Is there a tip or trick you use to help yourself get the most out of social media?

May 24, 2016

Here's to not packing up my stuff again

Every year, I feel like I rehash my resume in an attempt to explain the constant upheaval of the last few years. This is the first year in which I'm not moving, yet I feel the need to rehash again...just to make my point. 

This is the first year since the spring of 2012 in which I will not be packing up my classroom and moving to a new school. It's a really weird feeling to be getting things ready for next year without packing up dozens of cardboard boxes.

It's the real thing when the trimmer comes down.

My first classroom was 2010-2011. Then when another teacher moved, I lobbied for her room (a better room) and moved into it for 2011-2012. I stayed in the same place for 2012-2013. Then I packed up and moved to Missouri for 2013-2014. Then I packed up and moved to Colorado for 2014-2015. THEN, I got a position at a different school (my first voluntary school move ever) and packed up and moved across town for this past school year. I've only ever been in the same room for two years in a row. But I've taught for 6 years now. Those are startling statistics to me.

So, for next year, I will be in the same place, doing the same thing, with the exact same people. That is very strange to me and, I admit, seems a little boring. I feel like cleaning out files, and packing up boxes, and moving around furniture. I'm so used to that part of springtime. However, I will use this energy to get ready for next year. To be honest, I feel like it's time to PCS because we've been here for two years now.

I have NO idea where we're going next or how long from now that will be or what our long-term plan is. These days, having no plan has become my plan. While that's kinda nice (I get bored easily), it's such an odd way to live.

In fact, if Scott stays in the military, we may get to stay here for a few more years (if all goes according to a fictitious plan) or we could choose to go just about anywhere for what it is that he wants to do. We could even go back to a place we've already been...because it's terrifying to move somewhere new. I truly have no idea what's coming next. Which is part of why I focus on one week at a time right control anyway, so I won't worry about that part of things.

As for this summer, I plan on REALLY focusing on getting some teaching material on this blog. Pinning-tips that make sense (i.e. not stuff from Buzzfeed), strategies, etc. I'm not one to make my own worksheets for or anything (I just steal everyone else's...), but I have a wealth of information to offer at this point, so I'll be putting that out there.

Cheers to the end of another school year!

May 23, 2016

Weekend things.

In case you missed it....This weekend, I wrote about my own personal Office-related Beach Day and then I shared my favorite chocolate chip pancakes and then I compared a movie to a book. This blogging every day thing is wearing me out.

And because of that, and because I got into the habit of posting at night last week, I had to post at night one night and first thing in the morning the next day in order to get back on schedule.
I'm not really running out of things to say exactly; blogging every day can just be exhausting because it takes time and (a bit of) forethought.


This weekend I did some chores inside and outside.

Did some snake hunting.

Got the swamp cooler/evaporative cooler working <<My greatest accomplishment to date. This will keep the house between 65-70 degrees all summer (it will be 80-95 outside) without the electricity use of AC or the chemicals/coolants.

Wrapped Scout's birthday present.

Got a box ready to send to Scott.

I went to Target to get Father's Day cards, and ended up just looking at the "To Dad from the Dog" cards. 

Put together end-of-the-year candy bags for staff members who are leaving.

Watched some Banshee.

Met a friend for lunch.

Drove the giant diesel truck into town to get more gas for the mower because I ran out of gas in the middle of the field. <<Figuring out how to use a tie-down strap on the spot is my second greatest accomplishment to date. 

Mentally prepared myself for the last 3 days of school. 2 half days for kids, 3 days for me. Easy enough.

I did not: read, vacuum, get my pedicure (yet...the weather was terrible last weekend and I was busy this weekend), or work on fixing the guest bathroom drain. Now that I don't have papers to grade, I suppose I have many weekends to do these things, right?

May 22, 2016

Book to Movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I think I'll always remember The Perks of Being a Wallflower as being the book I was listening to via Audible when I drove my car into a pond last fall.

However, my coworker had the movie, so she lent it to me and I hooked up the old DVD player so I could watch it while I did laundry.

Here is my original review of the book that I wrote last fall. 

In short, I liked the movie better than I liked the book. I really enjoy seeing how a producer or director can put faces to characters. In this case, it worked. It doesn't always (see: Twilight).

Some things I liked:

+They didn't focus on the journal/diary that much. It started out with letters and ended with letters, but there was no time and date stamp on the movie the way there was in the book. You could tell it took place 20-some years ago, but the setting wasn't over-the-top.
+Charlie in the movie was not how I pictured Charlie in the book. In fact, this whole conversation about the movie/book started when I sent my coworker a gif and she said that was the guy from this movie and it was good.
+I really like Dylan McDermott. He should be in every movie.
+I liked Patrick in the movie better than I liked Patrick in the book.
+I enjoy that it takes place in Pennsylvania.

Some thing I didn't like:

+Sam was kind of annoying. Nothing against Emma Watson.
+About 2/3 of the way through, it kind of lost me. Obviously this is because I knew what was going to happen. But all teen movies tend to end the same way, right?
+Charlie in the movie wasn't like the Charlie I envisioned in the book. That whole autism/ADHD diagnosis I couldn't stop thinking about; I didn't get it from the movie.

It was kind of ironic that The Armchair Librarians talked about books vs. movies this week...I'd already had this sitting by my t.v. ready to go.

What's your favorite (or least favorite!) book to movie???

May 21, 2016

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

The dinner of champions.

When I'm left to my own devices, I rely on pancakes, quesadillas, yogurt bowls, or green smoothies. 
This is a favorite lately. It's what I eat when I really just want cookies for dinner. 

(Doctored-Up) Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 cup Bisquick
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix the Bisquick, egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla with a whisk. After all the lumps are whisked out, stir in the chocolate chips.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat a teaspoon or so of canola oil (or butter). Medium heat (I put it on 5 1/2 or 6) and when sprinkled with droplets of water, the oil should pop (I learned that from a Little House book). I also use a paper towel to wipe down the pan with the oil before it gets too hot.

Pour the batter into the size of pancakes you would like and then cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side before flipping. If it doesn't come up easily with a spatula, then that side's not done yet (Rachael Ray taught me that). 

Anyway, this will make 4-6 pancakes, depending on the size. I usually have 3 with syrup and save 1-2 for a snack with peanut butter the next day. 

May 20, 2016

Beach Day

I had this picture jump into my mind as my class was 17 stations into a TWENTY-TWO station outdoor rotation of games today.

It was Field Day today, which is nothing but a day of games and "fun" at the end of the school year. Just about every elementary school does one. And the picture that jumped into my mind was the beach day episode of The Office. Field Day is the Beach Day of my profession.

My job was just to write down scores. 40 yard dash, long jump, bean bag toss, base run, etc.

I also did a lot of yelling instructions.

Our last station was water dodgeball. The kids decided to seek their revenge on me.  Apparently I've forced them to do schoolwork all year. They were vicious about it and I was soaked and chased and I actually ran quite a distance and they followed. I've never seen this group of kids commit to a task in such a way.

Now I'm tired, sunburnt, and I still feel gross from dirty dodgeball water even after a shower.