Wednesday, March 28, 2012


If the NFL used this this Pink football maybe I'd be more interested in the sport. #justsayin

**Thank you Pintrest!

Marshmallow Snack

I cannot express how delicious this snack is! 

We put Marshmallows on Saltine crackers. Turned the oven to "Broil" and cooked for 3-5 minutes. They brown pretty quickly so stay close! I wasn't too sure about Marshmallows and Saltine crackers, but try it, you'll love it!!

Squishy Bags

Proper term would be a sensory bag, but when you work with young toddlers these quickly become "Squishy bags!" 

Super easy to make:
Ziplock bags
Corn Syrup

We also taped the top of the bag so the toddlers couldn't open them. The bags have been a hit and we've talked all about textures and colors!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Two Mothers

Two Mothers

Long time ago, so I have been told
Two angels once met on streets paved with gold.
"By the stars in your crown, "said the one to the other
"I see that on earth, you too, were a mother.

And by the blue-tinted halo you wear
You, too, have known sorrow and deepest despair."
"ah, yes," she replied, "I once had a son,
A sweet little lad, full of laughter and fun."

"But tell of your child." "oh, I knew I was blessed
From the moment I first held him close to my breast,
And my heart almost burst with the joy of that day."
"Ah, yes," said the other, "I felt the same way."

The former continued: "The first steps he took-
So eager and breathless; the sweet startled look
Which came over his face-he trusted me so."
"Ah, yes, " said the other, "How well do I know."

"But soon he had grown to a tall handsome boy,
So stalwart and kind-and it gave me so much joy
To have him just walk down the street by my side."
"Ah yes," said the other, "I felt the same pride."

"How often I shielded and spared him from pain
and when he for others was so cruelly slain.
When they crucified him-and they spat in his face,
How gladly would I have hung there in his place!"

A moment of silence-" oh, then you are she-
The mother of Christ:; and she fell on one knee.
But the blessed one raised her up, drawing her near,
And kissed from the cheek of the woman, a tear.

"Tell me the name of the son you love so,
That I may share with your grief and your woe."
She lifted her eyes, looking straight at the other,
"He was Judas Iscariot; I am his mother."
Is there someone in your life you cannot and/or do not want to forgive?

Pastor Bob, the senior Pastor at Eagle Brook Church, was delivering a solid message on forgiveness, which he defined as choosing to let something go.  He told us that forgiveness is a decision, and is a process that can take time.  Pastor Bob explained that forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what someone did or said to you, and you may even need to end your relationship what that person for a time, even if you have forgiven them.  Bob further discussed how forgiving someone is never what you want to do, and it does not benefit the other person as much as it benefits you – it sets you free and allows you to release your anger and sleep at night.

Although I had heard all of this from Pastor Bob before, they were still great reminders. Pastor Bob showed a recent segment from CBS Evening News.

Back in 1993, 20 year old Laramiun Byrd was gunned down by 16 year old Oshea Israel.  Early on, the news segment showed Laramiun’s mother, Mary Johnson, visiting her son’s grave. Mary would say that she forgave Oshea, the boy who murdered her son.

The video took a bit of a twist when stating that Oshea was released after 17 years in prison and now lived in the same North Minneapolis neighborhood as Mary.  Whoa, that’s kind of freaky. Then, the video described just how close they lived.  Mary and Oshea were shown standing three feet apart, each in the front door of their adjacent apartment units.

Next came a few comments from Mary and Oshea, the most powerful being Mary’s comment that, “Unforgiveness is like cancer, it will eat you from the inside.”

The video ended and when the lights in the church came back on, three chairs and a table joined Pastor Bob on stage.  “Hmmmm,” I thought, “what is this all about?”  I was pretty sure Pastor Bob was going to invite a couple people on stage and either moderate a forgiveness between them, or himself grant or ask for forgiveness from them.

So much for that.  “Please help me welcome to the stage, Mary and Oshea.”  After I got over my initial shock of watching Mary and Oshea walk onto the stage and give Pastor Bob a big group-hug.

Over the next 15 minutes, Pastor Bob asked Mary and Oshea a number of tough questions.  Mary was very passionate and eloquent in her answers.  Oshea was pretty reserved, but had many great one liners, including, “I was scared to meet Mary.  Have you ever met an angry mother?  I’d rather deal with prisoners.”

They told the story of how Mary brimmed with anger for 12 years before realizing she needed to forgive Oshea.  She first met Oshea in prison, then she threw him a party when he left prison.  The 35 people she invited to the party took turns telling Oshea how they could help his transition back into society.  These connections ultimately helped Oshea rent the apartment next to Mary.  She joked that being this close to Oshea came in handy this morning as she was able to simply pound on the wall and call to Oshea that it was time to go to church.

Near the end of the interview, Oshea talked about the day he first met Mary in prison.  He was terrified of the meeting, but by the end of it, he felt he needed to do something for Mary.  So, at the end of their meeting, he asked her if he could give her a hug.

He described how she wrapped herself around him, sobbing and wailing, while giving him a most powerful embrace.  Virtually the entire congregation was quite choked up at this point, but Oshea let us off the hook when he quipped, “Here she is hugging me and going hysterical, and I’m looking around at the prison guards thinking, ‘Why don’t one of you get this crazy lady off of me?’”

The point is this.  Mary could have hated Oshea for the rest of her life and withheld forgiveness, but what good would that have done her?  If Mary can forgive Oshea, the murderer of her only child, we can certainly forgive each other for much lesser wrongs.

Note:  The views and interpretations are my own.  To see the actual message, go to, the message should be online within a couple days.

Beary Cute Breakfast

I found this idea on Pintrest and decided to make it for my toddlers on Friday. 
They loved it!  It was kind of funny, a couple of them were hesitant to eat it.
It's not everyday we eat a "Beary Cute Breakfast!"

Little One Books- Giveaway

I have been following "Little One Books" for quite awhile on Facebook. Today, I entered in their contest to win $25 gift card and the book, "Five Little Chicks." In doing this I came across their blog and Pintrest. I am already addicted to Pintrest, but they have so many cute things pinned that I have yet to see! Their blog also has some great ideas. One idea was to take a family photo and turn it into a puzzle. I work 2 days a week at a childcare center and we just took a group photo so I decieded to turn it into a puzzle. I'm sure this will become a new favorite, who wouldn't love putting themselves together!

Direct link to contest:

Facebook link:

Pintrest link:


Take a look and let me know what you think. Don't forget to enter in the contest, the book looks very cute!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gym Lesson Plan

The Hokey Pokey is a favorite for everyone and I am sure all are familiar with it. I found the Hokey Pokey lesson plan for Physical Education at PE Central. This website has lots of physical education activites for all grade levels!
Name of Activity: Hokey Pokey Aerobics
Purpose of Activity: To try a new spin on an old favorite and get some exercise while having fun!
Prerequisites: N/A
Suggested Grade Level: K - 5
Materials Needed: Recording of the Hokey Pokey; Record player or CD player; Small dumbells or dyna-bands
Description of Idea
Hokey Pokey Aerobics
Put your right foot in (lunge forward on the right leg)
Put your right foot out (return to standing position)
Put your right foot in and shake it all about (lunge forward on right leg and lightly bounce up in down in lunge position)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself about (do jumping jacks while turning in a circle)
Repeat above but do the opposite for the left leg
Put your right arm in (extend arm at the elbow)
Put your right arm out (flex arm at the elbow )
Put your right arm in and shake it all about (do bicep curls)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself about (do vertical jumps while turning in a circle)
Do the opposite for the left arm
Put your right elbow in (elbow flexed, forearm parallel to the ground, flex shoulder away from body)
Put your right elbow out (elbow flexed, forearm parallel to the ground, extend shoulder back towards body)
Put your right elbow in and shake it all about (arm in same position, flex and extend shoulder)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around (hop on your right foot turning in a circle)
Do the opposite for the left elbow
Put your head in (slowly touch chin to chest)
Put your head out (slowly move it back to starting position)
Put your head in and shake it all about (slowly move head side to side)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around (jog in place while turning in a circle)
Put your right hip in (side jump in)
Put your right hip out (side jump out)
Put your right hip in and shake it all about (jump side to side)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around (march in place while turning in a circle)
Do the opposite for the left hip
Put your whole self in (forward jump in)
Put your whole self out (backward jump out)
Put your whole self in and shake it all about (jump in and out)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around (do leg squats)
Put your backside in (backward jump in) backwards
Put your backside out (backward jump out)
Put your backside in and shake it all about (jump in and out)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around (do pushups)
Do the Hokey Pokey, do the Hokey Pokey, ending – can do regular ending or have students pick their favorite exercise. End with a partner high five!
Can add light hand weights or dynabands for older children to expand or challenge.
Change activities or exercises.
Have students work with partners and make up their own Hokey Pokey Aerobics.

Assessment Ideas:
Have students check their heart rates before the dance and again after to see if there are any changes in their heart rate during exercise. Have them note any other body changes (i.e., hot, sweaty, heavy breathing, etc.)
Ask students to create their own "Hokey Pokey" dance using their own movements. Have them label their activities and identify which are cardiovascular, muscular strength and endurance or as flexibility.
Teaching Suggestions:
Have students in scattered formation and in their own self space so they can see the teacher. Give ownership to students after you have created it by having them modify and give new examples to add on to the dance.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Class Book

For one of my school projects I needed to make a class book. I love Mo Williems and the kids do too so I took his book, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and put my own spin on it.
Title Page.


First page. From here each child will make a page.

Closing page.

The end.
The book turned out really cute and I backed each page in blue to make it "pop" a bit. I can't wait to make many more class books with the kiddos.

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella
3/4 cup bread crumbs (store-bought or make your own)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 bunch broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), stalks cut off, florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.

Wipe the pot dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

*The casserole can be prepared in advance with the following steps: after the broccoli is removed from the boiling water, plunge it into a bowl of ice water and cool completely. Assemble the casserole following the directions in the recipe. After the casserole is spread in the prepared baking pan, let it cool for 5-10 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for up to 8 hours. To bake, preheat the oven to 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cover and Bake

Enjoy, it's delicious!!