Monday, December 28, 2015

Rowlett Tornado

Today's post is a bit of a somber one. 2 days ago, December 26, my hometown of Rowlett, TX was hit with a tornado that destroyed (as of now) 148 homes completely and left over 854 homes with some kind of damage. Thankfully, my families houses and neighborhoods were not hit and remain completely undamaged, but there are a lot of families who have lost everything and have been displaced. 

The city manager gave an update this morning with what has been assessed so far:

"As you know, Rowlett was hit by a large tornado on Saturday, December 26. The National Weather Service has classified the tornado as an EF3. Based on assessments made by ground personnel, damage is significant and our hearts go out to our residents who have been hit.
We continue to report only 23 injuries and no fatalities.
At this point, we have assessed 1,000 homes in Rowlett with 854 impacted, damage is as follows:
• 220 Affected
• 298 Minor
• 188 Major
• 148 homes have been totally destroyed.
At this point, assessments indicate 43 businesses were impacted:
• 38 Minor
• 5 Major
• 23 have currently ceased operations.
As of this morning, about 4,900 homes were still without power. Oncor has teams in Rowlett working on restoring power and are receiving additional resources now."

There are several places that have opened to receive donations. Here is the list I am aware of as of now:

Red Cross Assistance Center: C3 Church – 3700 Chaha, 972-412-4420 
Life Message – 4501 Rowlett Road, 877-518-1000 
First Christian Church Rowlett – 7301 Miller Road, 972-475-3559 (Also offering hot meals around the clock.) 
The Tide mobile laundry truck, which offers residents a way to do laundry (Will be onsite beginning Tuesday, December 29) 
First United Methodist Church – 4405 Main Street, 972-475-3667 (no longer accepting clothes but are asking for gift cards or other monetary donations. Donations can be made on their website here)
First Baptist Church – 4309 Main Street, 972-475-3510 
Cornerstone Church - 8200 Schrade, 214-384-2249 
Lakepointe Church – 701 E. IH30, Rockwall, 469-698-2200

We were VERY fortunate to not have any fatalities in Saturday night's tornado but there are still families who did suffer a lot. The more I scroll through posts on Go Fund Me and Facebook the more I see old friends from high school or further back who were majorly impacted. If you know anyone in the area or may be able to help those in this area, I know they would greatly appreciate it.

Click here or the picture to get assistance if you are one who needs it or to volunteer or donate.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, everyone! Last week I made some dyed eggs and I've been dye-ing to post the pics! I already think my deviled eggs are the most delicious eggs I've ever had (not that I'm bias or anything), but dying them made them super cute!

Since devilicious eggs (click to see my recipe post) are a household staple for the holidays (any and all holidays that is), I decided to put a little twist on them for Christmas. Each week in December, our school has treats in the lounge and a different group of staff brings goodies for the whole school. I was thinking about dyeing my yolks red and green and looked up red and green eggs, which took me to a post from Trisha at momdot.

Red and Green Christmas Develed Eggs

Does she not have the most vibrant, Christmasy deviled eggs you have ever seen! Her filling is so white, too! I didn't have too much time to let them sit, so I'll try again when I make them over break. While mine weren't as pretty as hers, they still looked cute and were gobbled up quickly. A few of them didn't make it out of the room once my devilicious egg fans saw what I had.

I'll give an update over winter break with how they turned out once I had more time ... and maybe a couple bonus recipes from cooking with mom!

Happy cooking and happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Happy Kwanzaa!

I know it's early, but Happy Kwanzaa! This week in class we're talking about Kwanzaa! And to go along with our Kwanzaa unit, I whipped up some kinara and candle clip art that I'm putting up as a freebie in my TpT store!

This freebie has 8 different clip art files! Kinaras with and without candles and individual candles themselves. Each comes in color and black and white.

Also, swing by my store and check out my Kwanzaa Word Family game! Kids match the words on Kwanzaa candles to their word family kinaras! There are 6 different word families with 7 words for each and a recording sheet.

Happy Kwanzaa... early! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Happy Hanukkah!

It's almost Hanukkah! Each year when we come back from Thanksgiving break, we spend a week talking about Hanukkah, a week talking about Kwanzaa, and our last week before break talking about Christmas. I like for the kid to learn about some of the other winter holidays people celebrate.

Aaaaaany who, Hanukkah themed activities seem to be hard to find, although there are more and more each year. Every year we make paper plate menorah, construction paper dreidels and latkes (we added homemade applesauce this year, YUM!). This year, we're adding a 100's chart mystery picture! Around October we start our mystery pictures for the fall semester and do one for Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we haven't had a Hanukkah mystery picture!

Sooooo ... today I whipped up this little mystery picture for a fun math center! Head on over to my TpT Store OR click on the picture to download this Hanukkah Menorah 100's Chart Freebie from my TpT store!

Also, check out my Hanukkah themed graphing pack and stay tuned for more holiday freebies!

Happy Hanukkah!

Currently December

Ahhhhhhh!!!!!! December already!?! It seems like this year has shot by so fast! I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for this month's Currently Link Up! These are addicting! The good kind ... like coffee ice cream. :)

Listening: I think I've played Can't Sleep Love 50 times in the last 4 days. I can't get it out of my head! But that's a good thing since it's a really catchy song.
Loving: I absolutely LOVE fall and winter weather! It gets cold, it starts to snow, everything is blanketed in a pretty sheet of white. I think it's the most beautiful time of the year (with the exception of fall leaves on trees). So I'm super excited about the lows we have right now! Maybe it will snow soon!

Thinking: I need more teaching time before break. I feel like this time of year I can never have enough teaching time. We have so many holiday crafts, programs, bad weather days, special days and the kids are ready for Santa that teaching time seems to be dwindling away. As much as I love this time of year, I dread losing my teaching time!

Wanting: SNOW! I CANNOT WAIT FOR IT TO SNOW!!! Did I mention that I LOVE snow? :)

Needing: A trip to town ...which is about an hour away. Living in a small town is nice, but it does have it's downside. I need a Hobby Lobby/Target/Old Navy/Ulta trip, like, yesterday. Come on Friday! I need to head into the big city!

Real or Faux: Living in a tiny apartment means a fake tree. And even then that tree ends up in my classroom because there's STILL not enough room for it at home. *sigh* I'd love to have a real one someday.

Head over to Oh Boy Fourth Grade and share what you're doing in December! Thanks for stopping by and checking mine out.

Happy December!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pumpkin Pie in a Bag

The week of Thanksgiving is alwasy one of the longest weeks ... even though it's only 2 days long! We spend a lot of time finishing work, playing in centers, playing games and doing little Thanksgiving crafts. The day before Thanksgiving break, about half of our grade level has a Thanksgiving dinner in their classroom. Since I know it's that time of year when money gets tight, we skip the classroom dinner. This year, however, I decided to make pumpkin pie in a bag after seeing it on a couple different blogs. It went over so well with the kiddos!

15 oz can Pumpkin 
2 small boxes of vanilla pudding
2½ cups milk
Cinnamon to taste
Graham Crackers

Gallon Size Baggie
Snack Size Baggies (one for each child, optional)

The kids came around one at a time and helped me spoon the pumpkin into our gallon bag. 

I added the pudding mix, cinnamon and milk. 

Then, we passed the bag around the table to everyone could take turns mixing it up.

 Once our pumpkin mixture was thick, I cut off one of the corners at the bottom of the bag, and my little helper that likes to sit next to me held open snack sized baggies while I squeezed our pumpkin mixture into them for each kid to have.

Once everyone got their bag, they cut a corner off of their bag themselves and squeezed their pumpkin onto a graham cracker (thank goodness we have an abundance of graham crackers on our share table that can't leave the classroom!)

They LOVED it! I don't like pumpkin, so I didn't partake in our little Thanksgiving snack, but the kids liked it so much they took their leftovers home!

Click here to download our class' pumpkin pie in a bag recipe.

Happy cooking!

Homemade Applesauce!

This week in class we are talking about Hanukkah, which starts Sunday. Every year we make latkes in class as we talk about this 8 day long holiday. And every year, I give the kids store bought applesauce to go with our latkes. Well, THIS year, since we have so many apples on our share table that can't leave the building, I decided we should make homemade applesauce! We gathered our apples and the kids help me wash, core and cut the apples before we put them into our crock pot to cook.

16 apples
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

 Leave it to me to forget measuring cups at home and not grab the kitchen cart at school. So our classroom measuring containers had to do, and they worked out just fine!

After the kids finished cutting up their apples into bite sized chunks and threw them into the crock pot. Then I added our sugar and water.

After our apple cooked for a few hours, I stuck them in the blender, drained the excess water, and blended them up!

We're going to have the most delicious applesauce to go with our latkes! At the end of the week, I'm going to send home our recipe for homemade applesauce and latkes on little recipe cards attached to the kids' menorah's they're making. Well, that's the plan anyway.

Click here to download our class' homemade applesauce recipe in color and here in black and white.

Happy cooking!

Devilicious Eggs

One of the dishes I'm responsible for during the holidays is deviled eggs. I usually make a dozen and a half and that never seems to be enough! The good thing about deviled eggs is they don't take too long and they aren't hard to do. Here's my recipe for my Devilicious Eggs!

18 eggs
1/4 cup mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
2 dill relish
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika (optional)

Place eggs in a pot of cold water on the stove. Bring water to a boil, then remove from heat. I like to let my eggs sit for about 15 minutes, then pour out the warm water and replace it with cold water and grab one egg at a time to peel them. Cut your eggs in half, length wise and scoop the yolks into a medium sized bowl.

Now get to smashing those yolks! A whisk works best for me, but a fork works, too. Smash the yolks as much as you can. The smaller, the better!

Once your yolks are good and smashed, mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, relish, sugar, salt and pepper. 

You can either spoon the filling mixture into the egg whites or do what I like to do ... use a baggie and squirt it in!

Spoon the mixture into a quart sized bag (unless you're making a larger batch) and snip the tip off one of the tips so you will be able to squeeze the mixture into the egg yolks.

Squeeze the mixture from the bag into each of the egg whites. We like a lot of filling in ours to where it's almost overflowing.

And voila! There you have it! Some scrum-diddly-uptious deviled eggs! I like to make these during Dr. Seuss week in my classroom, too. We dye the filling green before we squeeze it back into our eggs whites. Yum! :)

Click here to download a copy of my Devilicious Egg recipe!

Happy cooking!