Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey everyone! Kyle and Avery are still at his aunt's house eating and watching our beloved Titans crush the Lions (21-3 after the FIRST quarter!), but I had to come back to get tonight's turkey in the oven. After spending the Thanksgiving I was pregnant without turkey (some was fried, the other a HoneyBaked Ham soked breast cut into completely uniform slices--ugh.), I started volunteering to make the bird. Now I couldn't get out if it if I tried!
And I know it's been awhile since I've posted anything new, but I just got back from San Antonio Sunday (had a GREAT trip...one of those where you work really hard, but none of it feels like work), and I've been a little involved reading Twilight. Okay, obsessed. I never expected to like the Align Leftseries; I was only reading the first one because all of my students were, and since it's so rare for them to read any book, I wanted to be able to talk about it with them. When my friend Sarah loaned me hers, she handed me New Moon as well, saying simply, "You'll need this, too." She was right. I started last Tuesday night, and am now half way through Breaking Dawn. For anyone who's read the series, you know that's about 2000 pages in just over a week. TV? Blogs? Laundry? No thanks, I'm reading. I seriously have not been this excited about a book--much less four books--since the Babysitters Club in fourth grade. And I'm an English teacher. I think it's because I skipped from BSC stright to Faulkner, missing out on the whole YA literature thing. Now I get it.

But back to crafty stuff. I saw this really cute fabric out of the corner of my eye a couple of weeks ago at Hobby Lobby, and immediately wanted to make Ave a dress out of it. So far my sewing has been limited to pillows and Halloween costumes that only have to hold up for a couple of hours. But my excited blinded my hesitance. I whipped up this little pillowcase dress in just about an hour, without a pattern. I even used a blind stitch on the hem, something I had not done in at least 15 years, when Mimi tried to teach me to sew.

Ugh. The picture turned out blurry, but you get the idea. I made her hair flower out of a scrapbooking embellishment, simply hot gluing a clippy to the back. She told everyone at church that Mommy made her dress on her sewing thing.
And that may be all for awhile. I'll be done with my book soon, especially since I have a few hours alone babysitting the bird, but I have a website to build, papers to grade and some finals to create. And a house to decorate. And shopping to do. I'm planning to do a lot of my shopping on Etsy this year, so maybe I'll start featuring some sellers instead. Any favorite shops out there? Let me know!

And to all of you crazy people hitting the malls tomorrow, have fun. I'll be hiding in my house, far away from the bedlam.


I Love a Challenge!

I was checking Shyla's blog, Mothering In Grace, and her newest post caught my eye: "a challenge to my oldest friend Heather"...that's me! Shyla and I have been friends longer than either of us can remember. All our lives, literally. We were a tiny bit competitive in Sunday school Bible quizzes, something that happened each time a month had 5 Sundays. We called ourselves Daughters of Thunder (remember that?).

So the challenge? A Bible quiz. How did I do?

You know the Bible 90%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Take More Quizzes

I have no idea what questions I missed, but I think I might have somehow selected San Francisco for the city where Mary and Martha lived. Yea, it had choices like that. For the record, I know that's not the correct answer, but I tend to use my arrow keys to scroll down, and more than once that changed my answers. What an excuse after replying to a parent's email today about how a 90 in my class was perfectly fine and he shouldn't be concerned about his son!
So, Shyla--our usual lunch over Christmas break? I'll buy dessert!
The real challenge I faced today? I made a dress. On my sewing machine. Without a pattern or my grandmother to just do it for me when I grew bored and frustrated. I finished it after Avery went to bed, so pictures of it will have to wait, but trust me, it's cute! Just don't look too close at the seams.


My Pretty Butterfly

No, I didn't forget about pictures of Ave in her Butterfly costume...I've just been busy teaching and writing and cleaning and cooking and running all over town. She looked so stinking cute, though, so I simply must share them...

I had to make it...just like last year and the year before. That's what happens when your 2 year old is the size of a one year old. Ave chose the black and orange butterfly, and I found the gorgeous Pottery Barn one as inspiration. But $90 for a costume? No thanks. Besides, it started at a 2-3T. Maybe when she's in kindergarten. $5 in felt, a headband from the dollar aisle, some pom poms, a turtle neck and mary janes. Done. It was actually pretty easy. Except for finding a black turtleneck in a 12 month size with no snaps in the crotch. Snaps and potty trained kids don't go well together. I'm literally having to cut the bottoms off her tops and hem them to make things work. But I digress....

This is my favorite shot, and it's getting blown up to 8 x 10, even if it is a little blurry. I think it adds to the idea of movement. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

So there you go. One butterfly and one more year of her choosing something classic over the commercial. I know those days will end soon. My little girl is growing up...in fact, they're moving her up to the 3 year old class at school. She's 2 1/2...she's only spent 6 months in Red Snapper! I like to think they are moving her up because of her superior intellect, but I'm pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that they need to move other kids into the 2 year old rooms and she's the one of the only potty trained ones, so she's getting the boot. But she is pretty smart :).

I do have some ideas for Thanksgiving projects and menu items, but those will have to come between birthday parties (my nephew's and cousin's), Leadership Team meeting for the Writing Project and a trip to San Antonio for the NWP annual meeting and NCTE convention.

Enjoy the weekend...for us Tennesseans this may be the last semi-warm one.


Pumpkins in the Classroom

I think I promised a while ago to post how my kids used pumpkins in an assignment for my AP English class. So here it is.

The assignment: to decorate a pumpkin to look like a character from a piece of literature. They could use anything they wanted to make that happen, but no carving was allowed (we didn't want them getting yucky after a week on display).

The purpose: um, I should probably come up with some State Performance Indicators that this fulfills or something, but really it was just for fun. Students and faculty could vote for their favorite, and one of the clubs at school matched each vote with a donation to the new library in our town.

The result: my favorite part! They all turned out sooo cute. I have a favorite, but I'll keep that to myself in case one of my kiddos should find my blog. The mythological ones are from my friends' World Studies class.


Poseidon -- this was the vote winner

Dr. Jekyll...and Mr. Hyde

Mean Wicked Witch of the West

Cute Wicked Witch of the West

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"


Brother and Sister Bear

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

"The Cask of Amontillado"
Isn't that fun! I hope to make it a yearly event for at least my AP class. But now it's back to rhetorical analysis and critical essays. Which I actually find pretty fun. I know.

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