Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring Handprint Craft

It sure turned out cute!
Confetti, sequins or hole-punched dots
3 different size circles (for the body)
Pipe cleaner
Googly eyes

1. Trace the child's hand on cardstock
2. Cut the handprints out
3. Add confetti, sequins or hole-punched colored dots on the hands (wings)
4. Trace 4 circles, 3 different sizzes onto construction paper
5. Cut the circles (body) out
6. Glue the wings to the body
7. Add a face
8. Add a pipe cleaner

**For $5 Target has a 250+ "Fuzzy Kit" full of pipe cleaners, googly eyes and pom poms. I only picked up one package, but plan on going back for more- such a good deal!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wear a Dress Wednesday

Week 3

I am a jeans and hoodie kind of girl so wearing dresses is totally out of my comfort zone. When I saw this dress (which is like nothing I have ever owned), I didn't think I could pull it off, but I really liked it so I decided to try it on. I received so many compliments when I wore this the other week- the pattern is like none other!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carrot Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 pound carrots, grated (about 2 cups)

For the Frosting: 
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

To Make the Cupcakes:
- Heat over to 350. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing once, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake 20 to 25 minutes. 

To Make the Frosting:
- Refrigerate the frosting until slightly stiffened, 20 to 30 minutes. 
- Frost cupcakes, dividing the frosting evenly, and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans. 

**Thanks Dawn Perry and Real Simple for this wonderful recipe. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Is it Spring or is it Winter? Minnesota seems to be confused. For the past two Thursday's we have gotten 6- 12 inches of new snow!! Today, it is gorgeous outside even though, it is the coldest April 20th since 1888! 

The sun is as warm as it is in August so my sister and I decided to embrace the weather and build a snowman for the first time in over 10 years!

Look at the head stand!!

Even our cat was out enjoying the snow.

Bow tie Biebs and our Bow tie Snowman.

And thanks to the sun, this was our snowman an hour later...
It takes a lot of work to make a snowman. Seriously, over an hour!!! I think I know why I haven't made a snowman in over ten years!

Monday, April 15, 2013


You go to a movie theater, you get shot. You go to school, you get shot. You run a marathon, you get bombed. It's so sad that we can't safely go to work in tall buildings, ride on an airplane, watch a movie in a theater, send our children to school, or even watch a marathon. What is our world coming to? #PrayForBoston

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Healthy Leader

For school, I am reading a book by Elaine McEwan called, "How to Deal With Parents Who Are Angry, Troubled, Afraid, or Just Plain Crazy." I was reading chapter four about creating a healthy school and came across a section on healthy leaders. As a leader, I found this section particularly interesting and wanted to share it.

The healthy leader has the following characteristics: 

- Is able to take a position based on values, principles, and beliefs
- Is aware of personal emotions
- Can manage anxiety
- Can manage anger
- Is able to make adjustments in behavior and feelings
- Stays connected to others
- Recognizes and can deal with emotions in others
- Tolerates differences
- Encourages dialogue
- Defines self from within
- Lives with a purpose in mind
- Moves forward
- Stretches and grows
- Is ready for and can cope with the pain that comes with leading

How are the leaders where you are?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Letter to the Legislature

To Whom It May Concern:

I understand the basic skills portion of the MTLE test is being considered for revisions. I am a student who has always been a horrible test taker. I find my MTLE test results being impacted by a lack of time, test anxiety, and a learning disability. I am having the hardest time passing the reading and math portion of the MTLE, but I have met all other expectations for the education program at my college. My letters of recommendation are excellent, methods class assessments have been good, my grades are A’s, and yet, I cannot move on to student teaching until I pass the reading and math portion of the basic skills test.

Math and reading comprehension have never been my strong points. I love reading, but I have struggled with reading comprehension since Kindergarten. My parents did everything from phonics programs to years of tutoring to boost my reading comprehension skills. Throughout fifteen years of tutoring I learned ways to retain what I read. Highlighting, reading out loud, and reading with an index card are three ways I learned that best help me comprehend what I am reading. I am not able to use these tools while taking that MTLE and that puts me at a disadvantage. For example, when I have to read an article silently, I know I will need to reread it at least three times before I am able to fully comprehend what I am reading. When tests are timed I know I do not have time to read each article three times and then try to answer questions. If I was able to take notes or read out loud I know I would be able to read the article one time and then answer questions about what I just read.

On top of struggling with reading comprehension, I struggle with math. I had tutoring year round in math throughout middle and high school. I did not enjoy this subject until I had a fantastic math teacher in my first year of college. He was very patient and knew how to explain the material in a way I would understand it. I would spend 2 hours a day in addition to class with this Algebra teacher, and it paid off. For example, my final for that class took me four and a half hours, but I only got three wrong and passed the class with an A. He has been a tremendous influence as to why I want to become a teacher. He showed me that you can influence a student’s life, make a difference, and be the one to help a student find love for a subject they thought they would never enjoy.

I am not a good test taker and I do not think the MTLE basic skill tests should be the one thing holding me back from being a future educator. Basic skill tests are a test that evaluates what students are currently doing in school. The difference is, in school, students are evaluated on math and reading by homework, projects, and participation not just tests. This allows each student the chance to succeed no matter what his or her learning style is. The reading and math basic skills tests are holding me back from achieving my career goals. Not everyone is able to perform his or her best through a test. Therefore, a new process involving all learning styles is needed to determine how to best assess or ensure the “basic” skills required by all teachers.


Liz S------------

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Joshua 1: 9

At least once a week I wake up around 3am with song lyrics or a particular Bible verse running through my head. This morning, it was Joshua 1: 9, “This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The phrase do not be afraid is written in the Bible 365 times. That’s a daily reminder to live everyday fearless. I struggle with fear everyday. One of my biggest, and probably most petty, fears is snow. Yes, I know I live in MinneSNOWta, but driving in snow is a fear I just can’t shake. I find comfort in Joshua 1:9 and many verses like it that remind me not to be afraid and when I am, to remember God is with me wherever I go. What Bible passages do you find comfort in when you are afraid or discouraged?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quiet Book

Q for Quiet.

Picking Apples.

Matching colors and patterns.

Build a cake.

Fly a kite.

Tic- Tac- Toe.


Build a house by adding 2 windows and a door.
Customize your own Ice Cream cone.
You've got Mail.
I can't sew and most of the Quiet books I found and have seen have involved sewing. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a template for a quiet book using Velcro. Above are the pages in the book I made for the little girl I nanny for.

Here's the link to the template: