library class books 2014

I have been so much more methodical about what I want to teach this year than ever before. Maybe it’s the part-time status; I feel more urgency to be on top of stuff since I only have 2 days a week. I usually only plan units a few months ahead, until the end of the novel studies I do with first grade and older. But sometimes I lose momentum after that because the novels are such a long-term investment, and even kindergarten can lose steam after spring break. So this year I’ve mapped out everything I want to do in grades pre-k through 6th all the way through June. And I think it’s a great plan.

Read more on My Unit Planning for the Year Is Done!…

hallo-wiener

I read spooky and silly and atmospheric stories to everyone in the building this week and last week. October is one of my favorite times for read alouds, and having fifth and sixth grade is extra fun because I can read a few extra creepy things to them.

Read more on Halloween Read Alouds in the Library…

fall porch 2014

Love our front porch this year. I skipped the bats and ghosts and bunting this time. We loaded up on mums and pumpkins and just decorated the front steps.

Read more on Fall Front Porch…

portbeefstew

Short ribs, short ribs, short ribs. Another amazing short rib recipe from the November ’13 issue of Food & WineIt was a good meat issue. I’m finally getting around to posting this after making it way back in March or April. It was delicious. Maybe not as delicious as the Bourguignon, but it was also a little less involved. More manageable on a weeknight. And I rarely cook anything with port, it was yummy.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 large Spanish onions, very thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup ruby port
1 1/2 cups dry red wine

Read more on Portuguese Beef Stew with Ruby Port…

apple picking 2014

We’ve been busy running around and getting into our usual fall pick-your-own adventures. Two trips for apple picking and one trip to Dearborn Market for pumpkins. We haven’t made it out to Atlantic Farms yet this year to pick one out of a real field, but we may still make the drive for turkey and gourds. And to feed the animals.

Read more on Apple and Pumpkin Picking…

back to nature

Oh, I so love a good walk outside. I’ll take one around my neighborhood streets, and I’ll even walk on the treadmill inside. But when I can get out into the woods, or even over to the beach, that is just the best. Sometimes I procrastinate and put every other little task ahead of getting outside. Life gets in the way. Sometimes it snows and the trails ice over. But when I get out there, this is what I see:

Read more on Go for a Walk Outside…

how to bake 1

Adam’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and Hannah was a huge help making his birthday cake. Every year I make a roast chicken dinner for him and bake a three-tiered devil’s food cake with vanilla buttercream. This year Hannah helped with the cake. Baking with her always requires a little project management, but baking a three-tiered cake required a little more.

Read more on How to Bake a Cake with a Two-Year-Old…

apple pie filling

A few years ago, when I first started canning, I put up some apple pie filling. It was fine, but the apples were so mushy by the end of the canning process that they practically disintegrated in a baked pie.

I didn’t try again until last fall, when I read a whole bunch of recipes for canning apple pie filling in the hopes of finding the one that would work.

Read more on Apple Pie Filling Part Deaux…

Nonfiction so far

In the month since I’ve seen students for the first time, things have been super busy at work. I’m up to the 970s with weeding the nonfiction section. You can see above what I have left to do (left side) and what I’ve already done (right side). I still have to decide on shelf labels, but I will definitely hit my first big goal of weeding and shifting the nonfiction section by Halloween.

I’ve weeded a lot of books. And the vast majority of them were barcoded but never imported into our current library catalog. Not an exaggeration; on a cart of 200+ books I weeded this week, 10 were actually in the library catalog. I’m a little terrified of what’s left that’s uncatalogued. It looks like books were weeded but put back on the shelves. So that’s what’s currently giving me fever dreams. But things are definitely improving!

Read more on First Month of School…

September 2014 Outfit

I wore real clothes this month! Lots of them. And a bunch of new dresses from Modcloth (love the cute prints) and eShakti (addicted to the custom sizing) that I bought for back to school.

Also, I went back to school.

Read more on September Outfits: Real Clothes and Total Chaos…

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