Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's Been Happening?

March has been a busy month, but I managed to get a little scrapbooking done. In January Jim's parents celebrated their 65th anniversary. Jim, his brother, and sisters threw a surprise party for them. I am working on a special scrapbook for them to commemorate the day. The following are two of the pages I have done so far. Hope to finish it by Easter.
The paper and embellishments are from a kit that a friend of mine designed. She opened her own online digi-scrapbooking shop called Truman Studio.
Emme is growing in leaps and bounds and has discovered how much fun it is to tweak noses! She was fascinated by her Pap's nose.
Last week I helped Becky make DC Cupcake's famous frosting to decorate cupcakes for her friend's bridal shower. This is what happened when I turned the mixer on too high with a bowl filled with confectioner's sugar! We were covered in powdered sugar and so was the kitchen! It was a mess! I now have a very clean kitchen!
It's hard to believe as I look out my kitchen window and see snow falling - yes, it is snowing - that just two weeks ago it was warm enough to be outside in short sleeves! Will spring ever come?
I have also been trying some new recipes. This dish - Cheesburger Macaroni - was a featured recipe on Kevin and Amanda's blog ( linked on the left of this page). I modified it somewhat to reduce the fat and added some Tastefully Simple Southwest seasoning to the cheese sauce. I used Mrs. Leeper's gluten-free macaroni. It was delicious! To Aidan and Ryan: "I froze a batch, so when you come for Easter break, you can try it!"
Jim celebrated his 60th birthday this month and DID NOT want a party. I surprised him anyway. Barry. Becky, Emme, Annisa, Sasha, Clara, and Dixon gathered for dinner and cupcakes!
Jim was truly surprised and no, he did not eat all those cupcakes! He shared!
In addition to the handmade cards from the grandkids and a creative story via comic book style graphics from Ryan and Aidan, he got a book about his Philadelphia Eagles (he's a loyal fan) and a new GPS system.
On March 10, I took two bus loads of students to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. After our tour, we had a private session with Holocaust survivor, Nesse Godin. She survived the Einsatzgruppen (SS mobile killing squad), several concentration camps, and a death march when she was just a teenager. My students loved her.
March would not be complete without our traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration. We headed out to TGI Fridays decked out in our St. Patty's gear! Even Emme was ready to PARTY!
Mom-Mom joined us and as always, we had a great time with our family octogenarian. She sure doesn't look her age, does she? She doesn't act it either.
We all know about Becky's Oreo addiction - it's not pretty! Like mother, like daughter - Emme pretended to be watching the table across from us while at the same time, swiping her mom's Oreo ice cream dessert! You go Emme!
Our book club also met this month and read Room by Emma Donoghue. It was a lively discussion and we had quite a feast of food! Can't believe March is coming to a close and April is right around the corner . . . let's hope spring arrives soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Last weekend we spent the day at Destination ImagiNation to see Aidan's team compete in a regional competition. This is Aidan's team (3rd & 4th graders) before they were ready to present their challenge. Destination ImagiNation provides educational programs that foster creativity, teamwork, and problem solving skills.
Their team, the Leonardtown Dragons, had to complete their challenge in less than twenty minutes from the time they unpacked their "creation" to tear down.
These two pictures show the boys unpacking and assembling their "Movinator" and the girls were "selling" the product, which was a challenge requirement.
The girls wrote a great jingle and sales pitch and performed it with wonderful enthusiasm!The challenge was to create something that would move objects from the top of a cardboard tower and place them in the kiddie pool below and then transport two objects from the kiddie pool to the top of the tower. The kids competed against eleven other teams and were the only team that had a mirror and magnet on the "Movinator."
After the presentation, they had to answer questions posed by one of the judges.
We anxiously waited until the awards ceremony and were thrilled when the Dragons were announced in second place (first was a group of 5th graders!) and told that they would compete at States at the University of Maryland in Baltimore on April 7th!
We were so proud of the kids and their team managers, Courtney and Kelly! They spent hours with these kids and the kicker is, they could not help them at all! They could only provide the challenge and the kids had to solve the challenge on their own. Amazing!