Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend little Adventure

This weekend my town had it's yearly Hop and Heritage Festival. This really is one of my favorite events of the year, and even though I am still grieving, I know I still need to be living. So the Mister and I went the mile down the road (no joke) to take in a good old fashion festival. If you follow me on instagram (caseys_adventures) you would have enjoyed a bit of the small town life.
A Critter Parade
A tractor pull (I don't get it)
Square dancing (I have wanted to join a square dance club since I was little)
Lawn Mower Races
There were also bands, both farmer's markets, helicopter rides, a car show and a pie eating contest. Small town life at it's finest.

And the second best thing that happened:

What could top the Wienermobile? This little fun package was on my doorstop:

A little while ago, I won a give away over from Angi at Backroads and Microphones. The giveaway was for the headband, (which by the way works great on my weird shaped head!)but she sweetened the deal with all these fun Alaskan goodies. That super cute card also had the sweetest note from her telling me that she's been thinking of me through all this stuff I have been dealing with. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Back at it

Yesterday was my first day back to work. Who decided that 5 days is what you get when someone dies? I don't know if I'm ready for life to go back, but I know sitting at home being sad doesn't help me. The truth is, laughing at fart noises is good for me. And I did start to miss some of those little buggers.  I did leave this note up on the white board as a nice reminder to the students.

The kids were actually really sweet. They knew why I was gone, and some gave me hugs, some said sorry for your loss, but most just were happy to see me. It feels good to be liked. My leadership kiddos all brought money and got me these lovelies
Pretty sweet for 8th graders. They smell really good too. So I am keeping them in my classroom. Because 8th grade boys stink.

Thank you all for your sweet words. Things still feel kind of surreal, but I know that slowly things will become a new normal.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Real Talk II

I want to give a big thank you to everyone who posted a comment or said a little prayer for me and my mom after Tuesday's post. That was a hard one to write, but it felt good getting it out there. On Wednesday morning, I received a phone call telling me that my mom had passed away. No one was expecting it that soon. The day before she was up making her morning coffee. This last week has been one of the hardest ones I will ever have to go through. While I have been busy with everything that has needed to get done, I was able to turn to my Google reader or Instagram to give myself a little break in all the chaos. So thank you for blogging and picture taking. I can't explain how important those breaks were to me. I also have never felt so much love and support from everyone around me. Thank you friends for the food, the cleaning, and the love. (And the clean and folded underpants!)

I want to keep this space as a way to remember the positive little things. So I thought I would share some of the little things about my mom that I love.
1983 ish?
I loved holidays at her house. Thanksgiving will never be the same. I loved every single thing on the dinner table,

Speaking of holidays, a few years ago we decided to forgo presents at Christmas and just be with each other. Every year she went to the dollar store and bought Christmas mugs and used them as place markers at the dinner table. I love those dumb mugs.

She could fold a fitted sheet. Like seriously fold it perfectly.

Her pie crust was amazing.
She spoke her mind.

She loved her kids and grand kids.
My mom was a hottie back in the day. And she had some nice legs. In the last week, I have found so many old pictures that I have never seen before.

She had a great laugh.
I sure do miss you Mom.

Friday, September 21, 2012

All Lacquered Up!

All Lacquered Up

Last month I signed up for my first ever blog present swap. I have seen some fun ones floating around: jewelery, make-up etc. but I have never taken part in the fun. This is probably due to one too many Secret Santa games where my Santa didn't really play. Half the fun is giving the little presents, but that means that the other half of the fun is getting the fun presents. (Does that sound selfish? I hope not. I'm just keeping it real.)

Anyway, when I saw that Meghan at shineon was co-hosting a nail polish swap I decided to take the plunge. I am so happy I did! I got paired up with Rachel from in the moment... If you have never checked out her blog you should! Rachel hooked me up!

 Four polishes! Yay! When we emailed about what we liked and were into, I gave her the most helpful email ever "I like nudes, but I am wearing blue. I like everything! But not too much glitter." Sorry Rachel! But seriously, look at what she came up with! 
  • Essie: Good As Gold. Shiney, metallicy and not glittery. Perfect!
  • Revlon: Mischievous. Love this greige for fall. This is one of those polishes that will go with everything. 
  • Revlon: Sheer Petal. Gorgeous! Just a hint of color. 
  • Pure Ice: Wild Thing. I laughed so hard when I pulled this out. I love lime green, and now my nails can match my phone case!
I could NOT be happier! Love the polishes!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Smiling Is My Favorite

After such a heavy post yesterday, I thought I would lighten it up and join Michelle over at Vintage Apple for Oh How Pinteresting today for a look at what has made me laugh lately.

Before I start my pins, I checked my google traffic sources, and people have officially found my blog using the search term "fart." I have arrived.
or target... that'll do
The alternate to abstinence
**As a health teacher I have to point out that condoms are only 97% effective with perfect use. But you knew that if you watched Friends.**
I can't  stop laughing!!
Poop jokes are funny. Always.

Protects your hair when you eat... because getting food in your hair would just look ridiculous.
No words. Is this a real thing??? A hair protector from noodle splatter?
I need some laughs. What has made you laugh lately?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Real Talk

This post is hard. And not fun. And I don't want to write it. I do this activity with my students and we basically end up saying that most of us remember the bad things that someone does, or that happen, instead of all the good things that happen. This blog is a way for me to remember those little good things that happen. It could be the things that happen on the weekend or the small things that make me smile. The less than fun stuff, or the bad stuff, I don't like to talk about it. I don't think anybody does. But, if I am going to be real on this blog, I need to be real. I was actually inspired to write this from Angi, over at Backroads and Microphones. She was so brave as she posted about a medical issue in her family. So real. Because of her, I think I finally have the confidence to put it all out there.

Things are not all happy and fun right now in my family. My mom is in the end stages of non-hodgkins lymphoma. My dad died of the same cancer when I was younger, and now as an adult, I get to see it happen all over again. We are thinking she has anywhere from 1-3 months left, but we are preparing for sooner. And it sucks. My mom named me executor of her estate. I think basically that means I am in charge once she passes. I am 30 years old, but when I am faced with all of this, I feel like a little kid. I don't really know what to do. When it comes down to it, I want to pout, take a nap and run away from everything. I know I need to be spending time with her, but I hate seeing her like this. And to be honest, I don't think she wants me to see her like this as well. When I asked if I could go over and see her last weekend, she said she didn't want any company or visitors. That hurt. But I respected it.

And now? I'm really not sure. I will call again. My friend asked me, when do I stop listening to my mom say she doesn't want people over, and I just go. I don't know. I know I need to see her, but it is so hard.

This blog is a supposed to be a fun place for me. And it is. Prayers for my mom to find peace are appreciated.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Adventures #8

First off, thank you for all of your Instagram hints that you left me on my last post. If you started following me on the IG (as all of us cool, hip kids call it) then you would have seen me hashtagging up a storm this weekend. One thing that I am loving about Instagram is all the bloggy people on it, and that I am interacting with more of you now. LOVE it! And if you get around to it, check me out on Instagram @caseys_adventures

And now, this weekend.
To start, a little story about what happened in class on Friday (I realize me being at work pretty much means it's not the weekend, but it's a good story.) So here we are, having a discussion in class about bullying when all the sudden *prrfft* NO joke, I just Googled how to spell out fart noise. A kid ripped one in class. He cut the cheese. He tooted. Not surprisingly, the other students started laughing. What was surprising, was his reaction. "Awww, my stomach. I'm not supposed to have milk, but I had cocoa crispies for breakfast and I didn't take my pill. I was trying to hold it until after class." I asked him if he needed to go outside, he said, yes and out the door he went. He went outside, and came back a couple minutes later, saying that he felt better. Apparently he told his other teachers that he farted in my class too.  I have had students fart in class before, but never with this reaction. The kids were laughing, but not really at him, more at his reaction.
The Mister and I headed over to Mt. Angel for the annual Oktoberfest. Mt. Angel is a small community, that has quite the German heritage. Oktoberfest brings it out, and there is leiderhosen, sausage and beer everywhere. And wiener dogs. Seriously, it seemed like every daschund in the Willamette Valley was there for the races, or just to look stinking cute.

Clock tower at the Glockenspeil, right before it went off. 

I would be lying if I didn't admit that my favorite part of Oktoberfest is the food.
This was my culinary sampling for the day. Strawberry shortcake, cheese fondue, Bud Light Lime-a-Rita (8% alcohol. What??) and delicious spaetzle. (Spaetzle is a German pasta. Here's the recipe I use for homemade spaetzle if you are interested.)

Last Sunday I made a dozen breakfast burritos. (BTW, they. are. awesome.) This week, I tackled the bounty of jalapenos in my garden and made some easy pickled peppers.

I Googled quite a few recipes for refrigerator peppers, and this post was mentioned in almost every one I read. And less than an hour later:
We'll see in a couple weeks if they are any good. I don't think the Mister is holding out hope for them. I have visions of nachos.

After I was done being domestic, I decided to pretend it wasn't going to be in the 90's this week, and bought a new pair of boots for the fall. I do have one small problem with boots: I have what I like to call "power calves." This makes finding boots that fit kind of a pain. I ended up with a pair of scrunchie boots.
Hot Kiss Women's Avery Boot
Famous Footwear
I really want a pair of Frye boots, but my hubby would divorce me I just can't spend $350 on one pair of shoes. I ended my Sunday with laundry and I started rewatching season 1 of Gilmore Girls. (Have you gone back and rewatched the early seasons? They talk so SLOW compared to the later years.)

How was your weekend? Ever been to an Oktoberfest? Do you have power calves? What boots work for you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


So Instagram. What's the deal?

About a month ago, I took the plunge and upgraded my super awesome 5.5 year old cell phone, and got a smart phone. Do I need a smart phone? No. Not even a little bit. Although, we have used it to help get directions once or twice. And it has helped me pass some time in a traffic jam and while I am waiting for people. One perk of a smart phone is Instagram. I was so excited to be a part of this Instagram cool club. I had seen my Facebook blowing up with Instagram pictures and I had seen tons of bloggers doing Instagram link-ups and saying things like "if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen..."

But now that I have it, I don't get it. I mean, I sort of do. Take a picture, put a cool effect on it, post it. But what is Instagram worthy? How do I find all you cool people? I am noticing some people hashtag their pictures. Should I be doing this? What are the hashtag rules? Ooh! How do I do a collage for Instagram? So many questions!

Just recently I have been interacting more on Instagram with a couple of other bloggers, which is cool. I don't Twitter, I mean I don't Tweet. Maybe someday, but I need to figure this bad boy out first.

Follow me on Instagram! caseys_adventures

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Day of Service

I think we all remember where we were 11 years ago.
I just want to take a moment to thank all of the heroes that help people everyday.
Police Officers.
These are the people who are out there risking their lives for someone that they most likely have never met. So thank you. Thank you for doing a job that is high stress, high risk, and sometimes comes with low respect. You are our heroes.

Today is now known as a day of service (along with MLK day), or a day to volunteer. I LOVE volunteerism and service. Look at what your community needs. Sign up for an email list or "like" the facebook page of a local volunteer service group. Try "Hands-On (your city/area name)" or ask your local United Way. You will get so many opportunities you won't know what to do with yourself.  Giving money, food and items is a wonderful thing, and is something that most of us can do, but giving your TIME is a whole other ball game.
All throughout high school I volunteered weekly at the local hospital. Since I graduated, I haven't been able to schedule something like that in. But I have been able to sign up to help at one day events like 5ks, trick or treating for canned food, and harvesting fruit. Don't get me wrong, organizations NEED your money, food and other items. And if that is all you are able to do, please continue to do it :)

I am so fortunate enough to work in a low income school. For the last 3 years, I have been able to give my students the opportunity to serve and volunteer for their community. What I have witnessed, is that these "underprivileged" youth have the biggest hearts and love to give. This Friday over 100 of our students will be going through disaster training and then making disaster kits that will be given out to low income seniors and disabled veterans. Next month we have another project planned. I work closely with Hands On Willamette to give my students these opportunities, and my leadership class even chooses what they want to focus on to serve.

So today, when you are thanking the heroes in your everyday life, try to see how you can be a superhero yourself- VOLUNTEER!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Adventures #7ish

Does any one else feel like their weekends break down like this: Friday night is for decompressing from the work week, Saturday is fun day and Sunday is spent preparing for the next week? That's pretty much how my weekend was. If I don't plan out events or something, I end up kind of feeling like I wasted my weekend. I guess that's just how it works out sometimes. And I needed that rest on Friday night. I completely forgot how exhausting teaching is! Friday night I was asleep by 8:30. Yeah, I live an exciting life.

Saturday, the Mister and I went to one of the largest Renaissance Fairs in the area. For those of you who are regular readers, yes, this is the second Ren. fair we have gone to this summer. No, we don't dress up. Or talk in the jargon, with the exception of yelling "huzzah!" during the joust.
Our knight for the joust. 

Giant rocking horses. I wish I would have taken a ride on one.
You know, just guys in metal armor hitting each other with swords.
This festival was pretty fun. There were tons of booths set up and people were selling some pretty cool things. While the Mister was busy looking at swords (because every house needs one) I was thisclose to buying a handmade puzzle ring like this one. I'm actually kind of bummed I didn't get it.
Puzzle Rings 4WSL
You can buy this one here
There were tons of food. I ended up with a hummus, tabouli, chicken combo plate with pita bread. The mister had some lamb and rice as well as some sausage. I really wanted some caramel corn, but I was stuffed after my lunch.

Sunday was a pretty laid back day. The Mister grilled up some chicken, and we made extra so I can do stuff with the chicken meat later in the week. This blog post has a ton of ideas for left over chicken. The chicken enchilada pasta and the chicken/veggie lasagna are both interesting to me. I'll let you know what we end up with!
I also took a cue from Pinterest and made a dozen breakfast burritos for the freezer. I used this post to help guide my cooking, but my burritos had eggs, potatoes, turkey sausage, sauteed onions/mushrooms and cheese (duh!). I am still really new to freezer cooking, so we'll see how these turn out. I have always been bad about eating breakfast in the morning, so hopefully these will help.

Then, because I still had a hankering for some caramel corn, I made some up and made baggies for the rest of the week :)

How was your weekend? Do you feel like your weekends are just trying to get caught up and ready for work?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Okay... It's Thursday.

Its Ok Thursdays
It's okay that I keep some people as my Facebook friends for the entertainment value of their posts. "Entertainment" the way Cops or other trashy reality TV is entertainment.

It's okay that I ate oatmeal and toast for dinner last night.

It's okay that I don't usually get my car washed. By usually I mean I do it maybe 2 or 3 times a year. (Maybe that's not okay. It's kind of gross now that I look at it in writing.)

It's okay that I am bored to death about politics and all the political discussions there are. I get that it is important, and I do have my own opinions, I just don't want to read about it on Facebook or watch anymore dumb commercials.

It's okay that I am really excited for The Voice to start next week. Mostly I am excited to make fun of Christina again.

It's okay that I don't have any weird talents. I was asked that in a team builder activity during our first week back to school, and I couldn't think of anything. It's been bugging me ever since.

It's okay that I am 30 and I LOVE me some Carly Rae. 

What's okay with you??

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pinterest in My Classsroom

Funny Workplace Ecard: Pinning teaching ideas should get you some kind of professional development credit.
I was a busy bee this summer. I was pinning all kinds of classroom goodies. I thought I would share with you things I am doing (not just pinning!) from Pinterest this school year!

First up, Printables:

class rules
Printable. This is absolutely going in my classroom
So great
Original Source
I have the teal/black version
Review game, has printable cards!
This is a review game, and she has printable "zap" cards on her blog.
Use an old CD holder to organize die-cut letters:
CD binder to hold die-cut letters.
Use the side of a filing cabinet as a magnet board:
Instant magnetic "board" with filing cabinet by the desk.
Post-it note lesson plan book:
The post-it lesson plan book.  If you have to move something you won't have to rewrite it!
I have never had a lesson plan book. I always use a piece of notebook paper and write out each day of the 6 week grading period, but I think this is a super good idea, and maybe it just might work for me.
Dish rack as a folder-holder:
Pin on the left, mine on the right
Lesson Ideas:
Hula Hoops for a giant Venn Diagram.
Interactive Venn Diagram- good idea for table work
Paper Slide Video- I am already working this in as my performance based assessment for my first major unit of the year. 

3-2-1 Exit Slip- I think this would be great during the first week of a unit.
Closure activity:  3-2-1  I'm stealing this! exit slip
There is so much more! Check out my classroom board to see what else I am pinning! 

Do you pin teaching stuff? How many pins have you completed off your boards?