Monthly Archives: October 2012

Little Red Hen

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The Princess’ teacher sent home an update on what they are learning about at school.  Counting and estimating for math, how vegetables grow for science and they are reading “The Little Red Hen” and have begun their reading journals for English.  As an avid reader, I always told myself that when I had children I would read whatever my children were reading in school so that I would be able to carry on education at home.  I’m a firm believer that in order for your child to excel at school, you have to carry that on at home too.  I try to mix fun with learning and I’m excited to read Little Red Hen with my Princess.  The Princess has numerous books and we are fortunate to have not one, but three copies of this story.

Basically the gist of the story is Little Red Hen plants wheat, harvests is, mills it and bakes it into bread with no help from any of her barnyard friends.  However, once the bread is baked, all the friends want a bite, but the Little Red Hen says no as she is the only one who did all the work.  The moral of the story is that people who don’t want to contribute to the project, do not get to reap the benefits of the end product.

Originally a Russian old folk tale, the Little Red Hen had its role in reading instruction.  In the late 1800’s, there was a shift from religious texts to texts that still portrayed clear morals with less religious content.  Also with its repetitive vocabulary, it is still is reading technique used for reading beginners.

Quotes About Thanksgiving

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If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men;
but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.
~E.P. Powell

So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart.
~Arthur Guiterman, The First Thanksgiving

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Remember God’s bounty in the year.
String the pearls of His favor.  Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are
breaking out in light!  Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!
~Henry Ward Beecher

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute,
once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude
will allow.
~Edward Sandford Martin

Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off’rings, and a thankful
strain.
~Alexander Pope

What we’re really talking about
is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one
diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?
~Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

<!–, in Forever, Erma: America’s Best-Loved Writing from America’s Favorite Humorist, 1996; CTO–>

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.
~W.J. Cameron

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;The full, the true
Thanksgiving comes from the heart.
~J.A. Shedd

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a
single day.
~Robert Caspar Lintner

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.  They
are consumed in twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence.
~Erma Bombeck

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

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It is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for.  While I have lots and lots of things to be thankful for, I have come up with a list of the most important.

  1. Hubby and Princess.  Here are two of the most important people in my life and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.  Hubby is my rock, my best friend, my other half, the ying to my yang.  We’ve been together for 6 years and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him.  And Princess.  What to say about Princess.  She is my everything.  I didn’t know how much love you could feel for another human being until she was born.  She’s the very reason for this blog.
  2. Extended Family.  I have a great support system with other family members.  I have wonderful parents and two sisters and their partners that I call my immediate family.  They have seen me at my best and worst and I have so many wonderful memories of them.  I also have wonderful in-laws and cousins, aunts, and uncles.  Family means so much to me and I want to let them all know how thankful I am to have them in my life.
  3. Friends.  My friends have had such an amazing impact on my life.  Some I have know for over a decade, and some for only a short while, but whether big or small, their impact has made me a better person.
  4. Good Health.  Sometimes this is often overlooked as something to be grateful for, but after going through so much with infertility, I am thankful for my health otherwise being intact and sound.  My heart is strong and my mind is sharp.
  5. The Necessities.  I am a simple person.  I don’t need fancy clothes or a big house.  I am thankful that I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, money in the bank, air in my lungs, clothes on my back, a job to go to and great people to surround myself with.
  6. YOU!!!! To all my wonderful followers, I am thankful that you still find the time to read this blog and have an interest in what I have to say.  So I wish you all a very wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

I’m Thankful for all my Followers

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I started this blog as a pet project, something I could do in my spare time, but I never expected to have to amazing followers I have.  You all take the time to read, like and comment on my posts and I just want to say how much I appreciate it all.  So here is a big shout out to all of my followers for Thanksgiving and just know I am thankful!  There is no particular order, some of you have been following me since the beginning, others only recently, but regardless, you have my biggest thanks.

Thanksgiving Turkey Marinade

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Some people brine their turkeys, others use a marinade and other’s let the flavour of the turkey speak for itself.  I am one of those people who you uses a marinade and I am sharing it with you all today.

INGREDIENTS 

  1. 1 Bottle of Champagne
  2. 900 mL of Chicken Stock
  3. 2 Navel oranges, 1 diced, other juiced
  4. 3 Celery stalks, roughly chopped, leaves included
  5. 1 cup of Baby Carrots
  6. 1 whole medium onion, roughly chopped
  7. 3 cloves of Garlic
  8. 1 tsp of Kosher Salt
  9. 1 tsp of ground Black Pepper
  10. Whole Turkey – I used a 12 lbs one for this recipe

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Rinse Turkey thoroughly and remove giblets and neck from the cavity
  2. In roasting pan, lay turkey, breast side up
  3. Roughly chop celery, onion, garlic, 1 orange and carrots.  No need to get precise, this will all be thrown out the next day
  4. In another bowl, mix champagne, chicken stock, juice from other navel orange and salt & pepper.  Whisk until mixed
  5. Stuff the Turkey with chopped vegetables.  There will be some left over, these can be laid over the turkey or in the bottom of the pan
  6. Pour liquid over the turkey and vegetables
  7. Put in fridge
  8. Once every hour for the first 3 hours, using a ladle, pour liquid from the pan over the turkey
  9. Leave over night and then in the morning, start scooping liquid again over the turkey
  10. Once you are ready to cook, remove the vegetables and marinating liquid
  11. Season and cook turkey as you normally would

This may seem like a waste of liquid and vegetables, but this makes the turkey so unbelievably moist and it literally falls right off the bone.  They flavour from the champagne and oranges gives a floral note to the turkey, but it is not overwhelming at all.  Enjoy!

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Was Jennifer Livingston Really Bullied?

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Jennifer Livingston has become an internet sensation for calling out a viewer who wrote her an email calling out her weight and responsibility as a role model due to her notoriety.  Everyone joined in a round of applause for Livingston defending herself.  October is National Anti-Bullying Month and how fitting was it that just in time, this became world-wide news.  Now my question is, was she really bullied?  Or did Kenneth Krause make a poor judgement call and say something jerkish?  I may become grossly unpopular for saying this, but I don’t think this is national, local or international news, nor was Ms. Livingston bullied.  Was she on the receiving end of a rude email, yes.  Was she bullied, not even in the slightest.

BULLY: a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

By that definition, Livingston was not bullied.  She is not weak, she has the confidence to get on television every night and she herself said that when she first received the email, she laughed it off.  Call me cynical, but I really believe that this was a media ploy.  Krause admitted that he sent the email and was apologetic and said that would have revised his email had he known how it would have hurt her.  Should he have sent the email, no.  Was it a jerky thing to do, yes.  Is he a bully, not even in the slightest.  He sent her 1 email and then apologized for the hurt it caused.  For any of you that have been bullied, myself included, know that bullies do not stop with one  insult.  They are a like a ravaging disease that will not stop unless treated or until they have defeated every bit of you.  They are not remorseful, they do not care, they do not apologize.  This one incident has blown into a full-scale media frenzy when all could have been resolved with either pushing ‘delete’ or saying what she said on air in an email to Krause.  Problem solved.  Instead she rallied the world to her defense to persecute the sender of the email.  Now which is more bullying behaviour, sending a rude email for only 1 person to see, or having the entire world speak poorly of you because you voiced your opinion?  Look at the children who said horrendous things to the elderly bus monitor?  They received death threats, had their homes vandalized, and their tires slashed.  By giving ground for bullies to stand on, you only perpetuate more and aggressive bullying.  Both of these situations could have been handled better and more maturely.  Instead, violence only begets more violence.  Who will stop the cycle?

Instead, Livingston’s husband posted the email online and her fellow colleagues allowed for this editorial to take place.  Since when does a rude email from a viewer constitute world-wide news?  Is there not an election coming up?  Are there not natural disasters that are destroying homes and lives that deserve that air time?  There are children hanging themselves at the age of 10 because of being bullied relentlessly.  Where are their 4 minutes of air time?  Was the Wisconsin news channel so short on stories that an email takes up time that could have easily been replaced with something far more important?  I think the one thing that truly bothers me is that there are literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of children and teens that are bullied worldwide and yet very rarely do their stories reach us at 6 o’clock.  I really feel since they are the future of this world, their lives and stories matter more and deserve more of our attention.  Maybe instead of giving that elderly woman $700 000, it could have been donated to suicide prevention and awareness.  This whole event is so shameful in my opinion.  Look at these two video’s below and tell me who needs their story told more?  Jennifer Livingston or Jonah Mowry?

 

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” – Ghandi

Harvest Soup

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I had the day off today from work and the Princess’ class was making Harvest Soup and was short on volunteers.  I don’t get many days off from work so I was glad to be able to help out.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as it’s been a while since I’ve been in kindergarten and Princess is my first child.  I walked in to see the entire class sitting on the floor listening to the teacher.   Everything seemed quiet and peaceful.  That didn’t last.  Myself, another Mother, the Teacher and the Early Childhood Educator were each assigned 6 children.  Chaos ensued.  I asked the children that were in my group to each go pick a vegetable of their choice.  It was not long before I had a majority of the vegetables on the very small table.  We were given a bowl of water to wash the veggies.  Within moments, water and vegetables were being thrown everywhere and being eaten.  I tried to cut the vegetables while minding the knife.  Never have I been so nervous in my life.  I kept reminding them that knives were sharp and because I was the grown up that I would do the cutting and then they could take the cut veggies and put them into the crock pot.

Soon the kids attention spans had flown out the window and the clean up began.  I have a new respect for kindergarten teachers.  The volume of the classroom was outrageous and they must go home with a headache everyday.  Meltdowns were in full swing, fights over play stations and there were kids going to the bathroom with the door wide open.  There is only one word to describe what I saw and that is INSANITY!  The teacher admitted to the other mother and I that they are not liking the full day kindergarten.  She admitted that instead of teaching, it feels more like crowd control.  I have to say that it was interesting to watch the Princess interact in a school setting.  She really enjoyed the science centre and preferred to play alone as opposed with others.  While I was shocked by it all, I hope that I am able to help out more often because I do want to play an active role in the Princess’ education and school.

Quotes About Teachers

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I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.
~Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”

The dream begins with a
teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next
plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.”
~Dan Rather

In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work.  It is
invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
~Jacques Barzun

Teaching creates all other professions.
~Author Unknown

If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office
at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be
there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without
assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months,
then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.
~Donald D. Quinn

Modern cynics and skeptics… see no harm in paying those to
whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to
those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.
~John F. Kennedy

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.
~Thomas Carruthers

Good teaching is one-fourth
preparation and three-fourths theater.
~Gail Godwin

A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to
learn is hammering on cold iron.
~Horace Mann

Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special
placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside the
classroom.  To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police
work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people
at the bottom of the institutional pyramid.
~Tracy Kidder

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where
his influence stops.
~Henry Brooks Adams

A good teacher is like a
candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.
~Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, translated from Turkish

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
~Margaret Fuller

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal
influence.  He inspires self-distrust.  He guides their eyes from himself to the
spirit that quickens him.  He will have no disciple.
~Amos Bronson Alcott

A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of
simplism.  ~Louis A. Berman

World Teacher’s Day

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Today is a World Teacher’s Day.  We’ve all had teachers that we loved, liked and loathed.  It’s funny when you are in school you dislike them because they are always giving you homework and tests, but now that Princess is in school, I have a whole new appreciation for them.  Here are a list of my favourite teachers and my not-so-favourite.

FAVOURITE

  1. Ms. C.  My grade 5 teacher was the coolest thing since sliced bread.  She wasn’t like my other teachers, she had Pat Benatar blonde hair, wore cool make up and always put on really cool dance recitals for the talent show!  I was the month of February in the dance number “Calendar Girls” in the grade five talent show.  I really wanted to be in the Grease Lightning number and wear the poodle skirts.
  2. Mr. D.  My grade 7 teacher was pretty awesome.  He definitely had that “No BS” attitude and handled the prepubescent tweens with ease.  If you were talking out turn, you had your name put in a circle and you would have to write lines.
  3. Mr. McK.  This was my grade 8 and grade 12 English teacher.  At grade 8 graduation, some of the students won awards.   I won English, Geography and Science & Technology.  Prior to giving me the English Award, he said “For this student, I just want to say that if she is to do anything as a career, I hope that it has to do with her writing.”  He is one of the reasons I studied English in University, and when I publish my first novel, I will dedicate it to him.
  4. Ms. D.  This teacher was by far my favourite.  She was my 4H instructor when I was in grade school, so when I got to highschool, I knew her and I quickly became teacher’s favourite.
  5. Mr. S.  He was my grade 12 philosophy teacher.  Not only was he charismatic and brilliant, but he was handsome with baby blues (I’m a sucker for the baby blues).  Many girls in school had a crush on him.

NOT-SO-FAVOURITE

  1. Mrs. W #1.  She was my grade 7 teacher and she was tiny, frail and quiet.  Not exactly the teacher needed for a group of prepubescent tweens.  We ruled that class with impunity.  She was ragged by the end of the year.
  2. Mr. Grant.  He was my grade 9 science teacher and I had his wife for computer science.  At parent/teacher, my dad only got to speak with his wife and missed the interview with him.  The next day I told him that my dad was sorry that he missed the interview, and his reply “Don’t worry, my wife couldn’t stop talking about your dad.  Go sit down.”  Turns out, his wife developed a crush on my dad and Mr. G took it out on me.
  3. Mr. B.  I did nothing to this teacher other be my mother’s daughter.  He was my grade 12 computer science teacher and when I stepped in the classroom he stopped me.  “Are you Susan’s daughter?”  I answered shakily “yes.”  He just shook his head and said “we’re going to have problems.”  I went home and asked my mom if she knew this teacher and her response was very similar to his.  Apparently they constantly butted heads.  One day there was a school basketball and when most of the class skipped, I was the only one who got a detention.  Proof is in the pudding.
  4. Mrs. W #2.  She was my grade 11 physics teacher and I loathed her.  Physics wasn’t my forte to say the least and I needed a tutor to help me pass.  They only thing that saved me were my science reports.  I didn’t get the math part, but always got A+ on all my reports.  Easy to see why I choose English.  Anyways when I was 17, I was really into CSI and thought I wanted to be a Forensic Scientist.  When I told her this, she told me “You are too stupid to do that.”  Last time I took physics.
  5. Mr. W.  He was my law teacher and a sexist to boot.  When it came to projects, girls would always get extensions, all you had to do was show some cleavage but when it came to playing sports like football, we weren’t allowed.  I played Rugby in highschool and Mr. W, the football coach and head of athletics, hated the sport.  So he cancelled rugby for the girls.  He said they just didn’t have the money.  Meanwhile when I asked if we could then play on the football team, since there were girls that wanted to play physical sports, he declined.  I started a petition.  I had a lot of support from teachers, students, girls and boys alike and when I went to bring it to the Principal’s office, he stopped me in the office and said “I could strangle you.  Meet me in the library.”  We had a very tense and vocal meeting, but alas I lost.