Sunday, December 2, 2012

Teacher Humor

So I was surfing education blogs to find lesson plan inspiration yesterday when I came across this little gem. Not on a teacher site, but cafe press (Yes, I'll admit I was multi-tasking and trying to find presents for my secret santa). I am in love. It is my life right now. And every teacher out there will immediately get the joke, for there are those days when you just have to wing it and pretend everything is O.K.  

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pin it Friday--Holiday edition

It's almost December and the holidays! More importantly... I have a house I can decorate!! Woo Hoo!!! Since moving to C-ville I have been dreaming of the day we get a house and I can decorate for the holidays. I am by no means Clark Griswold (via Christmas Vacation) or do I plan to make my place look like Santa and snowmen threw up on it... I love meaningful, family traditions--advent wreaths, turning off all the lights and sitting by the tree, a big wreath on the door, candles, and Christmas mugs full of hot chocolate. The smells of the holidays...fudge... I could go on and on. My mom is my inspiration for decorating-- she always made our the house the coziest most wonderful place during the holidays and I have wonderful memories of growing up there. Granted she probably ran herself ragged trying to do it all, but she never let it show. And since I am my mother's daughter after all, I hope that I can make Christmas as special for my son and family as she did for me.

So... how do I find inspiration for decorating my new huge house? Pinterest of course!!! Here are some of my favorites that I either do or are thinking of trying out. Enjoy.

                                                                              Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My first pin comes from It is one of my most repinned pins. At my house during the holidays it always smelled wonderful -- something was baking, the smell of the Christmas tree, a fire in the fireplace -- I loved it. So I tried this pin out last year to see if I could make our tiny place (we were in a tiny apartment) smell more homey, more like Christmas and it worked. This stuff is amazing. Try it. I know you will like it.

                                                                                                  Source: via Kate on Pinterest

My next Pin is about changing up the way do our advent calendar/countdown to Christmas. For so many years we had the advent calendars where you opened up the little window for the day and got a piece of chocolate. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am all for chocolate, but do I really want my son to associate counting down to Christ's birth with chocolate? I want him to experience the season. So that is why I am trying this idea for Using activities to celebrate each day till Christmas. I hope this goes well and it can become a holiday tradition at my house.

                                                                                   Source: via Kate on Pinterest

This last idea is from Cookie Cutter Pizzas! What a fun way to serve pizzas for Dunc. I'm thinking this would also make a fantastic holiday appetizer. Just cut the dough with any holiday cookie cutter and top with pizza sauce and your favorite toppings. this is going to be so much fun. I can have Dunc help make them too.

Hope you all find some inspiration! Happy Holidays. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Currently @ the Innes Family # 4

Happy First Week of Advent, December (as of Saturday) and the Christmas Season. It's time for another session of Currently @ the Innes's.  So here we go...

Watching-- I'm previewing some new instruction videos on Rome our media center got for my Honors World History to see if any of them could be useful in class. So far--one down and one more to go.

Wishing-- for a simple holiday season, but somehow I don't think I'm going to get this one. I really want to toss all the lists and enjoy time with my husband and son. I need this, badly--to rest and recharge. I do hope that I can do this. My "debbie-downer" side is just pushing her way to the front of my head reminding me how much I still need to do (unfortunately most of it is teaching related) before I can relax.

Waiting--for my son to finally go to bed. The hubs was in charge in bedtime tonight and I can still hear little feet running around upstairs. He is going to be a bear tomorrow if he doesn't go to bed soon. I just may have to stage a mommy intervention. 

Wondering-- if we will actually get snow for Christmas or not. Last year we had a green Christmas-- followed by a little bit of snow in January and February.

Worrying--about my son and his really picky eating habits. If it is not fruit, pretzels, cucumbers, chicken nuggets, or peanut butter and jelly, he doesn't want to touch it. I can't tell you the last time he willingly drank milk. I still cook dinner and we give him bites to try, but he doesn't eat them. Now I should say that he has not always been like this-- he used to love lots of types of food, textures, and tastes, but in the last couple of months it's gotten a bit "crazy" and it is really beginning to worry me.  I'll take any suggestions if you have them. I need to get this kid to eat more variety again.

So what's going on at your house? Share your story and link up!

This Amazing Day

Friday, November 16, 2012

For the love of teaching....

I'm getting personal here. Right now you could say I'm in a funk. I'm not happy with my job--in fact you could say right now I resent it--big time. I resent that it is taken over my life. My brain is always on teaching. My desk at work is full of mountains of papers to correct or pass out. All I talk to my husband about is what crazy, stupid thing some of my 9th grade boys did. I don't look forward to school because I know I must tackle more and more.

Don't get me wrong.  I love teaching--it is all I've ever wanted to do, my passion. I love teachers, my kiddos, seeing students light up when they get a concept, decorating my classroom, even working on curriculum. I will talk theory with the best of best, mentor, join book clubs on educational topics... you name it. I will tout my kiddos accomplishments till the cows come home. I guess you could call me a "teacher nerd" and I love it.

I know that when I choose this profession (dare I say it chose me?) that it would become a defining part of my identity. That my life would be about other peoples children, giving up my time to chaperone field trips, advise clubs, attend football games and school musicals, write curriculum, and finding out what is best for my students learning, not my teaching style. It is who it I am, who I want be, and I totally accepting of it. But for the love of  all things high school, I would love to do something without feeling guilty about the ungraded papers, the lesson that needs tweeked, journal articles, or goals that await me.    

What do I mean? I want to be able to work at decorating my house, put my son to bed,  finish the book on toddler behavior I've been reading for months, or talk to my sister on the phone without feeling guilty about the stack of papers I left on my desk. I want to drink a cup of tea and watch my favorite tv show on Sunday night without doing something lesson plan related.  To peruse Pinterest without pinning dozens of class ideas. The list goes on and on.

I know that life is about balance, but what is it about teaching and feeling guilty about having a life outside of school? We are not superheros, we are human and we need to take time for ourselves. I know I do, but right now, I'm not. I have to start taking time for me, but it so hard to do when you are pulled in so many directions. I'm up for suggestions if you have any, because right now I am suffering.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Something on the walls... finally!

We have been here in the new house for exactly 3 1/2 weeks and I have yet to do any official decorating. Heck, I'm still trying to unpack boxes (I don't even want to think about the boxes that await me in the basement). However, I have been itching to do something decorative especially with the pile of Duncan's artwork. Our fridge front is no longer a magnetized surface so I have been collection papers everywhere. Enter my favorite friend Pinterest.

I pinned this pin from Pinterest months ago... Thanks to the wilson world blog for the idea.  It had morphed from a plan I saw at IKEA to hang kids artwork in their room. All I needed was a wire hanger and a vinyl quote.  Why couldn't I do this in the house? I had two wall "candidates" --- the upstairs hallway and the kitchen. The winner was the kitchen--really because I wanted everyone to see Duncan's work, and I really didn't want to have to walk upstairs to see it and put new work up.

Enter Saturday afternoon. The hubs was out mowing the lawn and Duncan playing away with his trains. It was the perfect time to finally get it done.  I gathered all my tools-- a wire holder and clips purchased from IKEA, wire clippers, my drill and a few screws, ruler/level, my vinyl artwork quote I had purchased from Vinyl Wall Expressions, and all Duncan's artwork.

First up prep the walls. I cleaned the wall, measured everything out, and then went to work hanging the wire hanger. I really hate the picture only directions that IKEA gives sometimes, but it was relativity easy to follow. Cutting the wire turned into a harrowing experience as the first cut had too much slack, and after trimming to little. Thank goodness the second try was perfect.

Wire and clips!
Next up came the quote. The hardest part of this? Rubbing it down to make sure every thing was on the transfer paper. It was real easy to hang. The directions sent with it were so easy to follow.

Ready to get to work.

And... tada!  Here is the finished product. I am pretty proud of my work-- more importantly Duncan's work. Now everyone who comes into my house gets to see it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

So we bought a house....

So I have an interesting story... yes, we bought a house. How we got there is a bit crazy but one that has got to be shared. And...I figure it will help explain why I have been "missing" from blogging for a while. So here we go-

After being on the market for over a year, and 2 offers falling through for various reasons (cough! hate my former HOA covenants cough!) our townhome back in Colorado finally sold in early July--granted for much less than we had ever hoped, but it sold and we were finally free to think about housing here in Virginia. What do I mean "thinking about housing" you may ask-- well originally it was getting out of the apartment we were renting and renting a house so we could still save money. I mean since we no longer had a mortgage and rent to pay our savings could really add up right?!? And more money meant a larger down payment and hopefully a nicer house.  Exciting--- YES!!!

So our next step was to start looking at rentals, which meant lots of time looking at different websites. Both the hubs and I asked colleagues for recommendations on realtors, areas, rental companies, all sorts of questions. Really--people began to get sick of us asking questions. One such recommendation led us to a wonderful realtor named Betsy Swett. I could go on forever and ever how great she has been, but let's just say she has earned my business and recommendation to anyone who is looking to buy or sell in C-ville. She truly is amazing. Anyhoo... back to the story.

August came and we really started looking. I was stalking all real estate sites and craigslist daily. I came across a house for sale that I was really interested in. We could look right? Hubs and I agreed that we were in the best position to look, we could jump if we really wanted to, but if we didn't find the perfect place we didn't have to settle because we were saving money and renting was ok with us. And if we found a house in August cool, if in January cool too. We wanted the forever home and would wait to have it. So in walks Betsy... after showing us the house I was first interested in (turns out not so much) she sat down with us and went through what our must haves and deal breakers, even for a rental, were. Here's what we came up with: 3 or more bedrooms, 2 or more baths, a large living room or play area, a back yard big enough for Duncan to run around in, a garage, and hopefully something that could meet us in the middle of our drives to work (I work on the west side of the county, hubs on the North side). Betsy asked for a few days and she went to work.

About a week later, we got a surprise email saying she was getting ready to preview a house with a realtor, it hadn't gone on the market yet, but she thought it would be perfect for us. 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, on 2.1 acres.  If she liked it, would we want to see it right away? We said yes, and  two days later we were off to see the house. And it was perfect. Well... it didn't have a garage, but with 2.1 acres we could build one!  We had walked into our forever home. Now...just to say how much I love my realtor, she then promptly took us to 2 other rental houses and one for sale so we could compare, get some perspective, and see what was "out there". There was one that we really did like, but it wasn't a forever home. We asked Betsy for 24 hours to think it over and drove straight home and called our mortgage company to see if we could realistically afford this house. I was deathly afraid (and still am) of being house poor, so I didn't want us to get over our heads. Turns out--we could afford the house and still have money left over after all other bills and savings requirements at the end of the month--and we were pre-approved and started the actually application right away.  We immediately put in an offer and it was accepted. All before the house ever officially was listed on the MLS.  We were buying a house.

Wait! We were buying a house! Holy crap is that a scary thing to say-- we are buying a house. Does any one every really know (or remember) everything that goes into buying a house? The paperwork, nerves, worry, the approval process, the packing.... Can you say overwhelming--OH HECK YES!! Oh and did I mention our closing date was the same week as Homecoming at my school (that is a complete story in it's own bag of craziness for later). I think I might have gone insane if it hadn't been for my sister who came to help us out. But it is ours now, our house! There is so much more to share, a TON to still unpack, but I think I will save that for later as well as the official picture tour. But for now this is what I get to see when I come home.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Currently @ the Innes family #3

It's been a long time since I've done one of these.... I really don't know where time goes these days. It seems that I blink and a month has gone by. So here we go... currently at the Innes's...

Worrying-- about having enough time to get every thing I need to done. We just moved into a new house and along with the unpacking (I might be done by Thanksgiving) and helping Dunc get adjusted, it is also the end of the quarter at school which means grades, Hurricane Sandy clean up (at least we did not loose power), the senior mock election project that the government teachers and I put on every year and having to re-arrange everything (again thanks Sandy)... just everything. It is really not helping my anxiety levels at all.

Listening-- to "Hey Wibbly" on Sprout. My child is protesting going to bed so he is watching tv, while I type and my husband is crashed on the sofa. Mother of the year here I know!

Wishing--for more time... see my worry above. Plus, I have missed blogging, I need to carve out time to do it.

Observing-- well, not really observing as it is catching up with all my nestie buddies and what we all have been dealing with Hurricane damage. The pictures we have been sharing with each other have been amazing. It makes me very blessed that we were not as affected as everyone thought we would be. Granted the wind was pretty wicked, but the damage at least in my neck of the world is a lot less.

Considering-- getting a massage. Yes, it's a bit superficial, but I've got to take care of me right? Next week I have Tuesday off from work (school). The county uses the schools as voting sites during elections, so pretty much every election day in November we either have completely off (like this year with a national election) or staff development (on off years). I am hoping that I can make it happen. It's on my agenda for tomorrow.

So what's going on at your house?

This Amazing Day

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You know your a teacher when....

I'm guessing that many of you may have already seen this... especially my teacher friends, but it gets me every time. Thanks to one of my "blog stalks" (favorites) for this.

  1. You get a secret thrill out of laminating things.
  2. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.
  3. You walk into a store and hear the words, “It’s Ms./Mr. ____________ and know you have been spotted.
  4. You have 25 people who  accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
  5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under 25 minutes.
  6. You’ve trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day, lunch and planning period.
  7. You start saving other people’s trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
  8. You believe the Teacher’s Lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.
  9. You want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off”.
  10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
  11. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.
  12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, the kids are sure mellow today.”
  13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
  14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.
  15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
  16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.
  17. You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least 5 items!
  18. You ask your friends to use their words and explain if the left hand turn he made was a “good choice” or “bad choice.”
  19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.
  20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer.
  21. You understand, instantaneously, why a child behaves in a certain way after meeting his/her parents.
I hope all my teacher friends, parents, colleagues, and students have had a great start to a new school year. Remember teachers are humans who love their jobs and your kids :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Catching Up Part 1: Vacation Wrap Up.

Yes, I know... I haven't had a post in FOREVER!  Yes, I know... I've been slacking, but in my defense life has happened. Planning for my classes (including a brand new one) and trying to cram as much in with my family as possible before school started took priority over blogging. So to catch you up on all the Innes happenings.... I'll review our summer, staring with our vacation. Check out later posts for the rest.


Our vacation to Grand Haven, Michigan started out with a bang. A huge derecho hit our town and all Central Virginia the night before. What is a derecho you may ask? It is a SEVERE storm -- rain, thunder, lightning and winds up to 80 miles an hour. It knocked down trees, houses, and took out power all over central Virginia (in some places for 11 days) -- 3 days at our place. Now this wouldn't be so bad except temperatures reached 114 degrees too.  But the joy for our family was trying to finish packing for our week long trip  with no power. Honestly most of it got done the next morning and we were a bit late starting our trip.

Here's a picture of our packed car. Yes, I know it looks like we are going for months, but with a toddler in a family of older kids we had had to bring things.  Duncan did really well in the car and handled most of the trip with ease. 

Hanging out sans shoes!! Really all of us took off our shoes as much as we could.

Once we reached Michigan and my hometown of Grand Haven a whirlwind of activity ensued. It was so wonderful to see my family--it's been two years since I've seen my mom and sister, more like 4 years for my nephews. The goal was as much quality family time and holiday celebration as possible.

First up a picture with Grandma Tenney. Check this off our bucket list. My mom had not seen Dunc since he was about 3 weeks old. She was "in love" and could get enough of his crazy funny antics. She kept us going with endless amount of watermelon, sweet tea, chicken nuggets, cucumbers, and hotdogs. 

Not only did my mom have a chair that was just the right size... she had toys and lots of them. Cars, trucks, school buses, tonka trucks.... Duncan was in heaven.

 A walk along the boardwalk and Pier were a must as well. Duncan really enjoyed watching the fishermen and seeing all the waves. He liked the boats and all the holiday hub-bub.

 More fun to be had at imagination station. What is imagination station? Well almost 15 years ago the residents of Grand Haven decided there needed to be an inclusive park for all children. What came out of it was imagination station--a huge playpark with swings, bridges, boats, soft play areas and lots of fun things to play with--and of course--it was a hit.

Duncan driving the "car" (left) and playing in his favorite tire swing (below).

The 4th of July dawned as a HOT, and humid day... so to cool off before all the festivities and picnic, a trip to the splash park was required. I truly think we have a water baby on our hands, Duncan played for two hours straight and wore himself out. But I was ok with it--because I knew he would have an AWESOME nap.  I truly love the expression on his face in these pictures--he was so excited about the water.  Oh and funny story... we lost a shoe on the way home, so daddy double-backed to see if he could find it. Nope, but he did find the sock? Who needs a shoe but leaves the sock?

A couple of visits to Aunt Beth and Uncle Jeremy's farm were also on the agenda. It was great to be able to see my nephews again, especially "my baby" Jonathan-- umm... yeah... he's not a baby, he's 18 and all grown up. Duncan really like the animals and playing on the farm with all the trucks and toys. We even got to ride Cricket, the horse, and play with the barn cats. 

I loved getting on a horse again. It's been forever. Duncan was a bit unsure at first, but settled in and really enjoyed it (especially after giving cricket a treat).

Even daddy rode Cricket!!! 

Having ice cream after riding the horses and playing at the farm our second night there. 

 My "baby" Jonathan.... all grown up. I really am proud of what he has been able to accomplish.

And of course... what trip to West Michigan and Grand Haven, would be complete without a trip to the beach? We met up with my childhood friend Rachel and her 2 sons and played all morning in the hot sand and warm water. Duncan make his first sand castle and once more had a ball in the water. 

 Building a sand castle with Xander and Heath. Duncan manned the shovel!
Playing with daddy in the water. They had such a good time jumping in the waves and floating. To be honest I wasn't sure we'd ever get Duncan out of the water.

Our trip home was uneventful. We did bring a small trailer home with us with some furniture from my mom's old house that I have wanted but have never been able to get to us. Duncan really didn't want to spend the same amount of time in the car on the way home (neither did I), but we made it back in decent time---just in time to go through our freezer to see what had spoiled. Remember, we left when the power was out.... for 3 days. That was a "fun" thing to come home too. All in all, we had a wonderful time and I can't wait to do it again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Before I was a Mom

The other day one of my former students sent me a little email letting me know she was pregnant. We have kept in touch over the years, and I was (still am) very happy for her and her husband.  It got me thinking about what life was like before Duncan, and I found myself thinking over and over just how incomplete my life was. Then today-- from out of the blue (I swear this was karma) I was perusing pinterest (don't you just love nap time?) and this poem was there. It describes me perfectly. Enjoy...

Before I was a Mom -
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
Before I was a Mom -
I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom -
I had never been puked on - Pooped on - Spit on - Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and My thoughts. I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom -
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests...or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom -
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom -
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.
Before I was a Mom -
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Currently @ the Innes Family #2

I have begin to really love currently posts--I think it really gives a snapshot of what is going on our busy hectic lives, and that we are not alone in all the funny crazy stuff that many of us mommy bloggers do. So, without further ado....

Currently @ the Innes family I am....

Cooking--- well really not cooking, but prepping food for taco nite. A favorite here. I think I may just have to run out to the store for more avocado as you can never have too much guacamole.

Making lesson plans. Yes, I am in full lesson planning mode. It dawned on me yesterday that I have three weeks left until I return to work. I took a two week break or so, but now I really have to get cracking, revising, and thinking about what I want my students to learn. Having a new prep also makes it a bit crazy!

Working on cleaning/organization. I'm not talking about the everyday chores, although they really are beginning to drive me crazy and I would give my left arm for a house cleaner (sadly not in the budget) about right now. I'm talking about the organizing, pairing down, throwing away, making space kind. I try to do a bit every day. Right now I really want to get a big load out to our church thrift store. This may end up being a bigger project than I anticipated.

Reading four different books. 2 on boy /toddler behavior (can you tell what my life is like), one on the Supreme Court, and the last a Mary Higgins Clark mystery.

Listening to 106.1 the Corner. Very eclectic station here in C-ville. I really do like it a lot. I get to hear everything from Ingrid Michaelson, Michael Fronte and Spearhead, to the Civil Wars--and really everything in between.

So what are you currently doing? Why not create your own list and let everybody know?

This Amazing Day

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mini-Pineapple Upside Down Cakes--a birthday treat!

So this past Tuesday was my husbands "4043945th" birthday... (the actual number is in there--he would kill me if I announced his age to blog land), and I wanted to make something special for him. Anyhoo... the hubs is not a big cake fan but he does like pineapple upside down cake. Correction--he LOVES pineapple upside down cake. The problem? Gluten. So I set out on my quest to find a gluten free yellow cake recipe--which was not easy to find. What I ended up doing was going to the Betty Crocker Cookbook, using their yellow cake recipe but instead switched out the regular flour with some King Aurthur gluten free all purpose flour and added a teaspoon of xanthan gum. Now to add just a bit more confusion, I decided try out a pinterest idea and make "mini" cakes using my texas-sized muffin tins (the really big kind). Here's the lowdown...

Ingredients (cake)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour** (I used King Aurthur's gluten free all purpose mix) 
  • 1cup milk  
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum** (not needed unless you make your cake gluten free) 
 Ingredients (toppings)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted (if you use a regular 9x13 cake pan you will need 1 full stick)
  • brown sugar to taste (I used about 1/3 cup total)
  • sliced pineapple (fresh is best but canned in juice is good too)
  • maraschino cherries
  • walnuts (optional)

  • Melt 1/2 stick butter. Pour in each muffin tin and add brown sugar till it is mixed and completely covers the bottom (you can not use to much of either so have at it!)
  • Add pineapple rings to the bottom of pan, place a cherry (and walnuts if you want) in the center then set aside.                                       
  • Beat butter, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer on high 3 minutes or until fluffy.
  •  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.
  •  On low speed, beat in flour in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, just until blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  • Pour into muffin tins or 9x13 pan if you use a pan. (This recipe yielded 6 giant sized cupcake/mini-cakes)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Take a knife and cut around the edges to help get a clean break.   

  • Place a cookie sheet on top of muffin tin (or cake pan), turn over and remove cake(s) from the tin. If you let it sit too long the sugar will harden and it makes it really hard to remove the cake. 
  •   Eat and enjoy.  

This turned out to be quite a hit in our house. Everyone loved them. I will definitely be baking these again!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bucket List Update #1

This past week we finally crossed off one of our bucket list items. Swimming at the pool. The pool at our complex opened quite late this year due to repairs (can we say earthquake anyone?) So we had to make due with other exciting things (running in the park, daily walks, slides and swings) to tide us over until it was ready. And on a hot humid day we were ready to try it out.

To be honest, Duncan really wanted nothing to do with it. He fought us every step of the way getting his swim diaper and suit on, and lord, don't get me started on the shoes. We had to fake it and say we were going on our evening walk--early. What you say? You don't go walking wearing your swim suits and carrying towels, grapes, a new floatie, a waterbottle and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Well, we do.

As we got closer to the pool, you could hear other children playing in the water, and that pipped his interest, especially when he saw the large inflatable beach ball flying through the air (leave it to a ball to get my son jazzed about the pool). He went right for the gate and wanted to go in. A few minutes later after unloading all our stuff, getting shirts off and floaties on, we took our first tentative steps to the pool. Holy moo cow was the water cold, but my son looked around, and jumped into his daddy's waiting arms. From there it was all play time.The hubs and Duncan splashed around and I finally got in and used to the cold water. 
Checking out the turtle on my floatie.
Here I go!!! Jump!
Splash, splash, with daddy.
45 minutes later, both of us could see that Duncan was doing a bit of shivering (yes the water was that cold, which makes me think that our place needs to get a solar heater cover, but that's another time) and we started wrangling the boy to get out. You would have though we were sending him away for ever from all the crying and pleading to stay in. Thank goodness for the peanut butter sandwich and grapes--they made a great distraction. (Yes, I do have my moments of brilliant forethought) And after a quick bite to eat and drying off we headed home promising a warm shower, brushing our teeth--which is one of his favorite things to do-- and Thomas the Tank Engine on the Sprout channel before bed. Overall, it was a great memory and fun time for our first bucket list event. And... I think we might just have a real water baby on our hands.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crock Pot Mac 'n' Cheese

Here's a easy way to make home made macaroni and cheese that your family will love. I use gluten free noodles but you can easily use any elbow macaroni. I love set it and "forget it" recipes in the crock pot--it makes my life so much easier and I don't have rush home and figure out what to have for dinner.

All Day Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz elbow macaroni (I use Tinkyada's gluten free brown rice pasta/macaroni)
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1. In a large pot, cook macaroni til al dente, and drain (approx. 8-10 minutes).
2. In a large bowl or pot (I just transfer the macaroni back to the cooking pot then) mix cooked macaroni, 3 cups of the shredded cheese, evaporated milk, milk, eggs, salt and pepper.
All mixed and ready to cook.
3. Transfer to slow cooker that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or do what I do and line the cooker with a slow cooker bag.
4. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir the mixture until it is done cooking.  Serve warm.

I like to serve it with a big green salad and some fruit (right now it's strawberries). Yummy! Hope you enjoy.

Note: I am sorry I didn't get a finished picture for you all, my husband dug into the meal before I could snap a photo. Ce la vi...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Currently @ the Innes Family-- 6/21/12

Currently I am....

the Mt. Everest of laundry disappear. I seriously think I could use a cleaning service just to keep up with the laundry at this house. And there are only three of us... could you imagine what it would be like if there were more? I shudder to think!

Listening to...
the sound of silence--Duncan is at day care today, and I am home alone. Actually... I was listening to my relax mix on my cloud player, but it just ended and I've been too lazy to get some new music on. 

Rice Krispie treats. I think I'm going to have to make some later. Although I will say the all day mac 'n' cheese I have cooking in the crock pot smells pretty good too (will be blogging about this later)

my list of things to-do before we go on vacation. There is just so much I need to get done, and I keep thinking of other little the to list has made a re-appearance in my house. If you know me and my passion for to-do lists, you will know that it's a record 2 weeks without one--I was really trying to go with the flow a bit more this summer and not have everything planned. 

at the pictures of Duncan at the pool. Watching him can't help but make me smile. He is so proud of his new floatie and that he can get "in the water, mama". Will be blogging about this too, since we have finally gotten to one of the events on our bucket list (I know, I know---yes, it's another list).

What are you currently doing? Join up with the currently party link below. The list stays active for the week, so have fun. I'd love to see what you are "currently" doing. 

This Amazing Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kreativ Blogger!! Woo Hoo!

Well I'm Geeked! My friend and fellow mom blogger, Mar, over at Raising Bean nominated me for this award! Thank you, thank you, thank you Mar! So now that I've been nominated, I must continue the tradition and nominate seven others. Read on below....

1. Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2. Answer seven questions.
3. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Hand the award on to 7 deserving others.

1. What is your favorite song? That my dear friends is easy! In Your Eyes, by Peter Gabriel... hands down.

2.What is your favorite dessert? Really? I have to pick one? I guess I'd have to say ice cream.

3. What do you do when you are upset? Ummm.... I'd have to say first reaction is cry. I admit I don't handle emotion really well.

4. Which is your favorite pet? If I had to choose, I'd say my very first pet on my own... Sly. I rescued him (or should I say he rescued me) and he was there when I had so many life changing was one of the saddest days of my life when I lost him.
5. Which do you prefer, white or whole wheat? Whole wheat. It just tasted better to me. But I am starting to acquire (very slowly) a taste for millet (gluten free) bread because my husband is gluten intolerant. 

6. What's your biggest fear? Losing those that I love.

7. What is your attitude mostly? I look to the bright side of things. I teach high school so people think that I am insane but I find working with teenagers keeps me young at heart.

Ten Random Facts About Me
1. I am left handed.

2. I love cooking, but absolutely hate to clean up. And laundry... ugh...don't get me started.

3. I like shopping for others, but have no patience when shopping for myself.

4. I could watch the BBC version of Persuasion over and over and over again. It is my favorite Jane Austin book ever.

5. I love Vera Bradley bags. They are the most girly, patterned things I own.

6. I really love falling asleep to the sound of the rain--SO relaxing.

7. If I could, I would take long showers everyday until the hot water ran out.

8. My child dresses better and has more up-to-date technology than I do.

9. If it weren't so bad for me, I'd eat a cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard and pickles every day.

10. I love it when my child naps... I can take a nap too---ahhh... heaven.

My Nominees

Team Studer -- Tabitha's blog was my inspiration for starting a blog. I've been a fan for almost 2 years now.

Meeting Lauren -- Jackie is mom to Lauren, a beautiful baby girl with downs syndrome, and a rambunctious toddler Ryan. I am blessed to know her and love reading about her family adventures.

Growing Up Geeky -- a fellow teacher and blogger, Melissa has a great blog about family and life.

Meet the Dubiens -- what would I do without this awesome crafty fun blog by Jill? Her weekly "bento" snack boxes have been a life saver and allowed me to try new things (a.k.a. foods) with Dunc.

Funny PostPartum Lady -- I found Funny Post Partum Lady when I was looking for inspiration about being a military wife. All I can say is what a fun blog to read, hands down you should follow this fellow military mommy.

The Nonsensationalist -- Cesca (aka Francesca) is actually a former student of mine from my first years of teaching (we won't say how long ago that was ok?). He has a wonderful family now and I've really enjoyed following the antics of her crew. She is such a great writer.

One Good Thing by Jillee -- I found this blog via Pinterest when Jill posted the XL chocolate chip cookie in a mug. OMG it was heaven. I now follow her for crafty tips and ideas. I big puffy heart her blog! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Top 10: Why I love you

In honor of Father's Day I have created my very own top 10 as an "ode" to my husband. So here we go--the TOP Ten Reasons Why I love you!

1. I love watching you play with our son. You are such a great role model.
2. Who else could I share my politics obsession with?
3. When I'm sick, you always take care of me--and that say's a lot because I am a terrible patient.
4. It touches my heart when get a "SOS"-y, and show your emotions (and let the cat sleep on your lap).

5. You are the ultimate technology nerd.
6. I love that you have served your country for these last 23 years. I am so proud of you for that.
7. You kill/move/handle all the creepy bugs, spiders, and crawling things so I don't freak out! That is true love right there.
8. Your corny sense of humor never fails to make me smile and laugh.
9. You aren't afraid to try new things, meet new people or have a new experience.
10.  You married me, with all my faults, craziness, and weirdness, you married ME!

 Happy Father's Day my dear husband!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quick and easy dinner--is there such a thing?

If you are anything like me there are just some nights you're tapped out of ideas for dinner and you have about 30 minutes till all "hades" breaks loose because people are hungry--what to do? Well instead of calling for pizza, or begging your husband to agree to a family dinner at chick-fil-a, consider trying one of my (and my family's) favorite go to meal. My husband probably would eat this every night if I let him, and my son will actually eat the spinach! AND... I can make it in about 25 minutes! So I present to you--

Chicken and Spinach Florentine

The finished product.
- 1 TBSP. olive oil (I use EVOO)
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and dried (I just use the ready mix bag spinach and cut the leaves in half)
- 2 cups rice, uncooked. Minute Rice is best for this (I use their brown rice)
- 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved.
- 1 can (10.5 oz) chicken broth
- 1 tsp. each of basil and oregano
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated (I like to add the second cheese for a really tasty blend, but it is totally optional).

-  Heat oil in large deep skillet on medium heat.
- Add chicken and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir frequently.
- Add spinach, rice, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and broth; mix well.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 5 minutes
- Stir in cheese and let stand 5 minutes.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Toddler Rules

Note: I must admit, I did not make this up... a friend of mine (thanks Dee) sent it to me. It describes my son and his behavior perfectly--you moms out there with toddlers, you know what I'm talking about. And because it's "about" him, I just had to throw in a picture so you can imagine him doing all this. Enjoy!

The Rules of a Toddler! 
What every parent needs to know.

If it is on, I must turn it off. If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
If it is high, it must be reached.
If it is shelved, it must be removed.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
If it has leaves, they must be picked.
If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.
If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.
If it is closed, it must be opened. If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
If it has drawers, they must be rifled.
If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.
If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied. If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.
If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.
If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest. It must be pushed by me instead.
If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried. If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
If it is paper, it must be torn.
If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
If the volume is low, it must go high.
If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.
If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.
If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.
If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.
If it is a phone, I must talk to it.
If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.
If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.
If it is not food, it must be tasted. If it IS food, it must not be tasted.
If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.
If it is a car seat, it must be protested with arched back.
If it is Mommy, it must be hugged.