Christmas Around the World

Day 3 of Christmas Ideas week on TBA! Around the world is the theme.

Well I'm 1/2 German and we do celebrate a few things the German way. One is advent wreath with candles and the 4 Sundays before Christmas we sing songs and light them (well we haven't the past few years) but I would play piano and my mom the guitar.

We also did St. Nikolaus, on the night of Dec. 5th, you put out your shoe(s) outside yoru bedroom door. In the morning of the 6th, you hopefully have treats and not coal. My treats would be little things like bracelets or a movie, or some candy. So I loved it because it was like a mini-Christmas!

I also make traditional German cookies now, based on ones my Oma makes. Linzer  cookies are so yummy!
My Oma makes them 3-tiered sometimes! She makes heart ones with a circle cut out on top so you can see the jam. The 3-tiered ones are ruffly like flowers.

These are mine from last year!

I plan on making them again this year. Here is one of the recipes I use:

  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts (3 oz)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 12-oz jar seedless raspberry jam
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until fragrant and skins begin to loosen, about 6 minutes. Rub nuts in a kitchen towel to remove any loose skins (some skins may not come off), then cool to room temperature.
Pulse nuts and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer (preferably fitted with paddle) or 6 minutes with a handheld. Add nut mixture and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
With floured hands, form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into an 11-inch round (1/8 inch thick) between 2 sheets of wax paper (keep remaining dough chilled). If dough becomes too soft to roll out, rewrap in plastic and chill until firm. Cut out as many cookies as possible from dough with larger cookie cutter and transfer to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging about 1 inch apart. Using smaller cutters, cut out centers from half of the cookies, reserving centers and rerolling along with scraps (reroll only once).

Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 10 to 15 minutes total, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies from second disk.

Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on flat side of 1 solid cookie and sandwich jam with flat side of 1 windowed cookie. Sandwich remaining cookies in same manner.

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Holiday Craft

Today is day 2 of Christmas ideas week and it's Holiday Crafts! Here it is.....what I've been dying to share with you the last few weeks! And yes, it's Pinterest inspired!

It's an ornament garland! You'll need one thick/sturdy ribbon and then 2-3 different colored skinny ribbons, and ornaments of different colors.

My varied ornaments (color and size!) from Dollar Tree.

My ribbon (Dollar Tree!). The white with snowflakes is my thicker one and the red and silver are my alternating ones.

Cut varying lengths of ribbon and tie them on to the ornaments.

Then tie them on to the big ribbon, staggering the lengths and colors and tack/tie/secure it to a window (I tacked my window frame).

It looks great from the outside too but I couldn't get a good pic. (That's my car in the street. Hi car!)

Next week I'll show you another garland I did. I love it just as much! But it has different materials *wink wink*

Holiday Books

Oh Kinder!
Kiddo: "Teacher?"
Me: "Yes?"
Kiddo: ****** throws up on the floor next to me********

And that's how my morning went. Also caught some little thieves filling their pockets with their teacher's stuff. And then I got told I was beautiful. I also was told that someone was killed with a pencil (stabbed) and my other funny tattle:

Kiddo: "We are never supposed to skip pages our first teacher said. And she absolutely did!"

And I digress lol. It's Christmas Week on TBA...YAY!!!!!!!

Today's topic is Holiday books.

Hmmm hard to narrow down....but I do love:

Anything by Jan Brett! But I do love Gingerbread Friends (and The Hat and The Mitten).

I love Llama I would of course love:

And who doesn't love David Shannon's books?


Sunday Sunday

Ahhh Sunday. Still part of the weekend but you back up to the dreaded Monday.

Today I met up with a friend at 9 this morning, and my parents came too, and another family was supposed to be there but totally forgot we planned it ...woops! Still love ya Liz and Tony! This was the third year we've gone outside to the memorial and put blue Christmas lights up on the memorial for 2 fallen officers (and for the chief, but he is alive, yay!)

Anywhoo, we decorated the memorial (we'll put up wreaths later) and then went to Starbucks. Our little gathering turned into discussing next year's auction (did I tell you all that I'm in charge of decorations because they were so impressed this time around?!?!? I even get a no limit budget, within reason lol).

I'm kind of dreading tomorrow...I work 4 days this week. Tomorrow is kinder, then 1st two days, then kinder (different one) and have nothing for Friday yet. But kinder. After a  5 day break. Yeesh.

So let's change the topic shall we? Hehe. Oh I know, I'll post a pretty picture from something Pinterest inspired (no this isn't the one I was so excited about the last few weeks, that I am saving for December!)

I made an ornament wreath. Well sort of. It turned into more of a 1/2 wreath.  You just need ornaments (kind of like several tubes from Dollar Tree), a wire hanger, and ribbon (optional).

Straighten out the wire hanger and then make into a circle. Then slip all the ornaments on to your heart's desire. I alternated colors and size of ornaments. Squish them close together until it's as full as you want and wire it shut. I wrapped ribbon around and made a bow. I just need a place for it now....

Oh and my tree is up! And decorations! And lights on the house!

Don't you just love this ornament tree? It's fabulous!


Sunshine Award

Yay :) Lory from Fun For First awarded me with the Sunshine Award!

The Rules
1. Thank the blogger that gave you the award and mention it on your blog.
2. Answer the list of questions that follow.
3. Pass the award on to ten other fantastic bloggers.

Q & A
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Animal: Cats and tigers
Favourite Number: 22
Favorite Drink: Lattes or mochas
Facebook or Twitter:Facebook.
Your Passion: Teaching, reading, writing, friends, and family.
Giving or Getting Presents: There is something about giving gifts that make it more special!
Favorite Pattern: I like polka dots and also damask.
Favorite Day: Friday :)
Favorite Flowers: Tulips and daffodils

For my ten people, well the ones that I could possibly narrow it down to already have won it. I say that anyone that sees this post and hasn't won the award, you can say you got it from me :)

Saturday Plans

I was so going to post a picture of one of my Pinterest inspired creations, but need to upload the picture and my parents needed to borrow my camera because their battery was dying. They're off to something this morning and then this afternoon my mom and I are going to do some shopping.

Two of my favorite stores...Target and Michaels! Yay!!! I'm going to be getting some canvases at Michaels because it's BOGO and I want to do a spin on the crayon melt on Pinterest. I saw something REALLY cute that I want to try.

And speaking of Target, I love the lady in the commericials. I would have remembered this commericial if they aired it last year on the West Coast, so must have been East Coast only last year.
 This commercial makes me laugh (maybe because it's something my mom and I would so do?!?!) but the song gets stuck in my head lol.

Also, have you heard about Learning Earnings? The school I was at on Tuesday started using this program and it's working great so far. Kiddos can earn e-bucks and actually get cool prizes when they redeem them. They can even save a puppy or kitten! Or they can save up for games, video stuff, etc.  They log in and add up their bucks that the teachers have entered online and then can build up their account. They can even play educational games to earn more bucks.


Holiday Word Wall Freebie!

I'm sooooo proud of myself! I'm actually posting my Holiday Word Wall in time for all of you to use it this year, yay!!!!!

I didn't call it Christmas Word Wall because I included a clip for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah too. I also set it so you can edit it, in case you want to add more/take out something :)

Hope you all enjoy it! And that you survived Black Friday. I just stayed home, raked leaves, had leftovers, and started decorating for Christmas!

Santa has the link to your freebie!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! I made sure I didn't gobble till I wobbled :) But I did eat quite a bit of yummy food that my momma and I made.

We had a wonderful time serving lunch at the church. Several kiddos from the community were there to eat the free meal. But I also saw some of my kiddos there serving :) I got the honor of serving salad and croutons. I served that salad darn well too, with a smile!

Oh and I think I have a new addiction (new to me, old thing though)... eBay! I bid and won and now I'm bidding on 3 other things. Speaking of which, there is one ending in 2 minutes. Got to go! Wish me luck :D And be careful out there tomorrow shopping! I'll be home in my pajamas and maybe venture out midday lol.

Mmmm the smells of Thanksgiving!

I'm cooking up a storm with my momma. See, we are helping at a church tomorrow serving a Thanksgiving lunch to those in need in the community. So we won't be done til after 1 and our family will already be done by then and not everyone will be there anyway.

It'll just be my mom and dad and myself, but that's fine too!  My mom and I have already made 2 pumpkin pies, green bean casserole, stuffing and getting the taters ready which will mash tomorrow. The turkey is thawing and will get brined. Tomorrow it'll be smoked and then cooked. I can't wait! I've been chopping all morning and the house has smelled sweet then savory. Yum!

A few weeks ago I made these awesome pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin creamcheese frosting. I love the cupcakes without the frosting!

  • 18.25 oz Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix** (they don't sell it that size anymore, only Duncan Hines does so you have to get that!)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 tbsp packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.

Makes 24.

**Betty Crocker has reduced their cake mixes, so read the labels on your box. Duncan Hines still carries 18.25 oz boxes.

Recipe from <======addicted to that food blog!

What are you all making? Or having?

Oh and here's our pies!!


Time out Tuesday: I'm linking up!

For Time Out Tuesday I'm linking up with What the Teacher Wants! She is having a Thanksgiving linky party and you say what you are thankful for.

1. What I'm thankful for was that today went smoothly. The kids were great and I had an AWESOME lit group discussion. They were reading about organisms. One group, well we had the BEST discussion about how cells attack bacteria. The kiddos likened it to a battle of good versus evil. And when time was up, they didn't want to go but the next group wanted to come because they wanted to have fun learning, they said lol.

2. I'm thankful for my family and friends. I have some awesome friends that have made my life so much better over the last few years. And my family (well more so the parental units) are very supportive and loving.

3. 3 blogs that I'm thankful for?
Well that would be TBA. I'm thankful they allowed me on board and thankful my little ol' blog is still trucking along thanks to them :)

I'm thankful for A Teeny Tiny Teacher. I look forward to her blog postings for a good laugh, especially on a tough day :)

And it's tough to narrow it down to a third, but I'm thankful for Going Nutty! I love her style and she makes me laugh too!

Guilty pleasure? Pinterest...well that's not a guilty pleasure. You all know I'm addicted. Hmmm Glee? Yes that's my guilty pleasure.

I'd write more but I'd be writing a ton and also I have a meeting to run to!

Hope you all have safe travels and yummy food this Thanksgiving!

You can still link up!


Feeling blah

So I had this whole great idea for a post and what I was going to say and show you all and then one, the picture website isn't working and two, I feel like blah.

My stomach hurst and I have been sipping tea and curled up in a blanket the last two days.

I did make it out to the Dollar Tree and purchased a few lots of items. Seriously though people, Christmas, Dollar Tree, and Pinterest combined can be deadly. But awesome!  I cannot wait for next week for the TBA Christmas week so I can show you what I made, but I have to wait til craft day!

Today I bought bells, snowflakes, and silver ornaments. It'll be my second version of what I made. But cannot say more lol.

Ohhhhh and I found these magnets at the DT. They had letters, numbers, sight words, colors, and short/long vowels.  And with pictures!

So I can see patterns and grouping being used with this

Math games or math center with this!

Picture/letter match up or sound game.

I didn't buy the sight words or the long/short vowels because, well I had to stop or I'd buy a ton lol.

So I thought my trip was pretty successful for my Christmas crafts (2 new ones!) and the unexpected surprise of the magnets. I would be so upset if I didn't buy it because I'd be regretting it the whole time. Do you ever get like that too? Regret not buying something?

I can smell Christmas...

 Christmas season is just beyond my close! I love the Christmas holiday time because of the decorations, the music, the love I feel around me, and giving gifts.  Yesterday I had a Christmas card class. It was the class I bought at the auction and I've been looking forward to it.

It started at 7 pm and there were 6 stations. Four of the stations were for Christmas cards and two were for gift tags. Friends, Christmas music, and being crafty...I was in heaven!

We made these adorable creations with Stampin' Up! stuff. The cards and paper were laid out for us but we had to cut them into the shapes with the little tools. We also got stamp, jewel, emboss and do other fun stuff. I like using little gadgets. Oh they came out beautiful. And to my surprise it was after 9:30 when I was done. And I left and people were still there! Oh and we also got envelopes. It was so much fun!

Here is one of my little beauties!

Christmas is love with all the trimmings is what the stamp says. We had to stamp the stockings, the sayings, cut the stockings. And the black bumps we had to make the black paper bumpy.

And today I was working on another Pinterest project, but can't post pics yet because I'll be using it for

Click the link to see the list of events!

Yay! I love Christmas time!


Thanksgiving Word Wall Freebie

Yeah I know this may be a bit late for all of you, but better late than never! Some of you can still use it for next week (a whole 2 days!) but you can also use it next year :)

I was so inspired by that Halloween word wall, that I decided I want my own word walls for each holiday. Maybe I'll even do theme word walls :) And with more practice, can get fancier lol! I tried converting it over from word but the font I used didn't stick so it isn't quite as cute as I wanted, but still cute!

Click the turkey for the link!


Chart it up!

I love observation charts! I love how the kiddos can be exposed to pics that get them thinking, wondering, and discussing with their group. I've seen them used from first grade and up. But last week I saw them used in kinder and it made me curious.

The teacher wrote " I see"  on all the posters. The pictures were fall related with a scarecrow, pumpkin and apples.

The kiddos also wrote "I see" (great sight word practice) and then she wrote sentences on the bottom for those that wanted to copy it too. How cute are these?!

And she labeled it (can we say GLAD training? It rocks!)

Next to it was a cognitive chart.

She has lifecycle on there twice because she teaches 2 classes and just covers up one side :)
I can tell the kids guess that lifecycle had to do with bicycle how she underlined cycle...or she helped with that clue :) And then posted a meaning. And it looks like none of her kiddos had heard that word either because I see 26 and an ear crossed out :)

Now let's move on to first grade and look at their observation charts!

A poem and the charts. The charts each were the shape of a leaf ! The one you can see here has leaves on it. Another one had seeds and a third had flowers and a bee (they just started a plant unit). I went up and looked at the charts and the kids did a great job sayin  "I see", or "I notice", or "I observe".

The teacher also wrote on the leaf a sentence of her observation, to model. I took a pic of it but it isn't loading :/  Oh well. This gives you a good idea though, of what they are doing.


Leaves, leaves, everywhere!

Funny how as I had decided to talk about leaves, the wind picks up and the leaves are swirling everywhere that JUST got raked yesterday. *sigh*

I'm not going to even talk about my day today (yes, that bad) and just skip to my main focus...leaves!

I've already posted a project I did with leaves and crayons and a hot plate, but wanted to post something even simpler and still cute.

Last week when I was in the snarling kindergarten class (today almost made me wish I was back in that class, ALMOST), I found myself with 20 minutes scheduled at the end of the day that the teacher had scheduled nothing but cleaning up. But there was nothing to clean up. Thankfully I spotted that little tidbit before specials.

So I grabbed a book of the shelf she wanted me to read: Fresh Fall Leaves

I opened to the last page (got to love picture walking before the kids get there) and found this:

Oops took the pic upside down hehehe. Well you get the picture (literally!) :)

And I grabbed a sheet of white paper and drew (I didn't trace one thing!)

I ran off 26 copies.

Then when the kids came back, I read the story. We talked about the colors of the leaves and the shapes and have they seen them before. Then I sent them off with this paper and they colored. They were so cute and said that there are no blue or purple leaves and then listed all the colors there are. I did end up with a random blue or purple leaf, but got mostly yellow, orange, red, brown, and a few green ones.

I let them take it home, but they could always have cut them out and used them on a bulletin board or put them in windows (actually their class is the only one in the whole school with no windows!).

Easy and simple and they loved it and it took up the 20 minutes that could have been pure chaos/panic but instead had a story and coloring (fine motor skill practice!) and made a connection to the story and what they see outside.


Time Out Tuesdays: Pajamas and Laughs

Today, a bit of laughs and smiles, and a bit of inspiration!

How excited was I that I got called in to a certain school today because it's pajama day!!! They are doing Red Ribbon Week and today was putting your dreams ahead (dreams=sleep=jammies!) So I brought jammies along just in case I got the day wrong and so happy to see the prinicpal in jammies.

I saw a kiddo in a footsie pajama and he said, "Ms. T, is it pajama day?" with a look of fear in his eyes and I said yes and the fear washed away. "Good! Cuz I have pajamas on!" Oh I was tempted to tell him no for a moment but that would have been too cruel lol.

One of my kiddos kept shouting outside, "Pajama power!"

And then one was yelling "Photosynthesis!" and making zapping noises. Oh did I mention I was in first grade today? So that's awesome he's using vocabulary like that.

And then I read a story called Mrs. Murphy's Marvelous Mansion whose main theme is that it doesn't matter what you look like on the outside, it's the inside that counts. 

I also got a text message that made me grin. A friend of mine sent it in the morning and he said, "I saw a license plate that said ABC's and it made me think of you." Hahaha how cute! He is impressed that I deal with kids and I let him deal with bad guys (he's a cop and worked with my dad). I see it as a win-win!

So no real theme/message today except for gather up those precious, smiley moments and store them up and write them down!  And of course that you are beautiful inside and the outside doesn't matter :)

This pic makes me laugh and has the message, so it's a perfect combo!


Let's Talk Turkey

I had a heart warming moment today in my kinder class (snarler kinder class from last week). We were all sitting at the carpet and I was about read Ten Fat Turkeys . A little one up front (sometimes a naughty one) looked up at me and said, "Ms. T, you were here last week and now you are here again. You had to come back!" So I asked him why I had to come back and he said, "Cuz you'd miss us too much so you had to come back!" Ahh...melt my heart!!!!!  Those are the moments that wipe out the bad ones lol.

So last week I did turkeys with the other kinder class. It must still be on their mind because I was dropping my kiddos off at lunch the other class yelled hi to me and one little one said, "Ms. T, you did chickens with us!" And I chuckled and corrected her that they were turkeys, but yes, I made turkeys with them.

First I tried using the copy machine to copy the turkey body on brown construction paper, but it wouldn't take it so I had to draw 53 turkeys!

Turkey body kids cut out.

Then I had them glue them on black construction paper.

And then the fun. The feathers!

I used all colors, even pink and purple. We were making fun turkeys!

I showed them that they could use just a little paper and still make feathers. And I told them they could cut or rip the paper with their hands.  And reminded them to use glue with their song "Dot, dot, not a lot!" Then I said they could draw the eyes and the beak and even the wattle (aka as the red thingy lol). To finish it up, I said they got to do something very special and use white crayons for their names.

Here are some of the gobblers:

Um so she didn't follow dot, dot not alot! And can you tell they just went and saw Pinkalicious?

Mine! The kids all ooohed and ahhhhed hehehe :)

Gobble gobble!

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