Straight to Bed

I am finally home and didn’t even hesitate to go crawl into bed!

Teaching:

It was a very long twelve hour day at work, but also a great day:)

We did a directed drawing of the grinch to balance out our Santa’s. I was super happy with how they turned out:)

I think that’s all we accomplished today as we had our Christmas concert today. We had one in the afternoon and one this evening. They both went well:)

We are hoping this will be the last evening concert we do. I still remember going to school at night for my concerts, but it doesn’t seem to be valued anymore. So many parents don’t have their children show up at night and don’t even bother to let us know! Why am I volunteering my time if they don’t want to come?

Eating:

The only time I got to leave school today was when I went to grab food with two friends. I introduced my friend to Freshii and it was as good as ever! I completely recommend the Mediterranean bowl with chicken!

I am finally home and glad to get out of my heels!

I’m going to happily watch The Nine Lives of Christmas:)

Have fun!

AJ

Only at Christmas

I end up doing things that I only would do at Christmas!

Teaching:

We actually put pencil to paper this morning and wrote about our cookie decorating tomorrow. This was for hallway writing which is where students write about all major events of the year without any help. At the end of the year I bundle it all into a book. It’s really fun to see how far they come in their writing!

After recess we wrapped our parent gifts. Last year I taught the grade ones how to wrap a present properly and it was funny to see how many of them objected to the tissue paper and bag we used this year. They wanted to “wrap it right”. Next we’ll work on their grammar🤣

We finally got all the directed drawing Santa’s finished so this afternoon we coloured candy canes and then had centres. They were all so good that I got a ton of penguin stuff printed off:)

Socializing:

I left work quickly to run home, shower off the kid and hop in the car to get out to the valley for dinner with friends. We went to The Vault which really does have a small vault and other cool decor. The food was great, as was the company. I had the mixed seafood grill with vegetables. It’s great when you have friends that you can sit down and start talking to like no time has passed when it’s really been at least a half year since you last saw them. I’m hoping we can have one more visit before they go back to Boston:)

Blogmas:

Check out Abbey and all the others doing Blogmas as I swear they have more interesting answers🤣

Snow…. hmmm I love it as long as I don’t have to go out in it!! It makes the world bright, fresh and quiet which is awesome when I can sit by the window knitting and enjoy it, but if I have to go out, I prefer rain or nothing! I once got snowed in st my parents for 2.5 weeks which was crazy and got me started carrying extra underwear in my purse when it calls for snow and I’m going out!🤣

well, I need sleep as it’s the Christmas concert tomorrow!

Have fun!

AJ

Dark and Rainy Must Be My Thing

I seem to do everything in the dark and the rain lately! I can’t wait for that extra minute of daylight to start on Saturday!

Teaching:

I can’t say that we accomplished much today, other than we did get the card made for our parent present. Once again, I was impressed. We gave examples and talked about what was easier and what would be the harder option.

This is one little guy who is always super creative and artistic and he put his own spin on it:)

We also learned about Christmas in Japan. It was our most successful learning yet as it had the simplest video, but the children seemed to pick up more. It was neat to learn that Christmas is completely non-religious there. They decorate with trees, lights and Santa’s. They celebrate in Christmas Eve and actually go to work on Christmas Day! Every family has their own story of how Santa gets into the house and it is often a romantic night for couples, like Valentines Day.

I just had to leap across the classroom to stop the video before they showed the single people partying.

This afternoon was what my students have been waiting for all week! We decorated gingerbread men! It was absolute chaos as there were five classes in the gym doing this at the same time and half of my parent volunteers didn’t show up:(. We all survived and the children still seemed to have a good time:)

Exercise:

I once again came home as quickly as possible to try and get to run in daylight, but it didn’t happen. I ran about 6.7km and had to walk the last few hundred feet as the sidewalk was teeming with people going to the CP Holiday Train. I was supposed to go with friends but it was pouring so we decided not to.

Knitting:

Still working on the green vest. At least it makes progress quickly because of the bulky yarn!

Reading:

I finished Flare Up by Shannon Stacey late last night. It is the latest book in her series Boston Fire.

I loved this book as much as the rest in the series! Grant Cutter and Wren Everett dated and got quite serious before she disappeared into thin air. When Grant rescues her, they have no choice but to deal with their emotions.

I loved how the characters and situations were so real and yet there was no drama for the sake of drama. When Wren is scared, she talks:) When Grant is worried, he talks to friends. Wow these characters actually communicate!!!

I also loved the background cast of all the other characters and how strong a role they played in the book. Friends play a role in our lives daily whether we see them or not so I love that that was reflected in this book.

The pacing of the book is great as the action obviously takes place over a bit of time and yet the reader doesn’t have to read about every go hum day or get whiplash from insta-love. It was actually really interesting to read a book where the characters were dealing with that weird situation of dating someone you’ve already dated.

Finally, the ending was lovely, though I wish it hadn’t come!

Tea:

I have been worried lately that my advent calendar from Twinings was just going to repeat after Day 15, but today I had another new tea. It’s called Pure Rooibus Red Tea. I found that it got strong very quickly, but that it also had a slight green tea flavor to me. It is definitely a Tea I would have again.

Product Review:

Last night when I was supposed to be buying a hamburger patty, I bought a new brand of egggnog instead: Earth’s Own So Fresh Almond Nog. This may just beat So Delicious Coconut Nog as my new favourite eggnog as it has a stronger flavor:) Yum!!!

Movies:

I also watched A Very Very Valentine tonight. I guess I really should be watching Christmas movies, but this was the next one I had taped. It was a cute movie, but I think my favourite part was identifying all the places I know. I’ve had tea at that bakery! I’ve ran that part of the sea wall! Maybe I am just too easily entertained🤣

Blogmas:

When I was a child the only Christmas Eve tradition I remember is that we got to rent a movie and have pizza on this night. This was the only time all year that these two events occurred so it was a big deal!!! Nowadays I don’t really have any Christmas Eve traditions. I admit my mom and I have spent many Christmas eves finishing last minute crafty gifts, but these days I’m usually just sitting quietly at home reading. I hope you all have more exciting Christmas Eve plans than I do!

Well I’m off to bed early because I can😜

Have fun!

AJ

Spend, Spend, Spend

Some days it feels like I do nothing but spend money☹️

Teaching:

My co teacher and I both said it didn’t feel like we got much done today. However, we did accomplish the one thing we needed to- the parent gift. This year our students are creating foam ornaments. I always give a big talk about how they need to go their best as their parents will still be putting it in the tree when my students have children. They seemed to do pretty well, though I was thankful for the help we had in the room at the time!

We did a little bar graphing today and then the afternoon was taken up with a dress rehearsal for the Christmas concert. It’s just too bad our principal didn’t show up for the dress rehearsal!

Exercise:

I got out of work as quickly as I could so I could get a run in, but still ended up running in the rain and the dark. I just did my usual park route, but was slower than usual as my stomach wasn’t happy that I had eaten before I went:(

Shopping:

I really didn’t want to have to go out in the horrible rain, but had to go pick up two more gifts. Spent more than I was expecting to:(. I really need to make sure I get gifts made next year as this buying stuff is way too expensive!

I also stopped in to buy milk and a burger for this weekend, but came home with milk, egg nog and ice cream, but no burger:(. I guess I’ll stop in at the local butcher tomorrow as I just need one burger for myself for Saturday!

I’m super excited as my family Time is going to include even more family! Yay!!!!!

Have fun!

AJ

A Second Quiet Day

A second quiet day in December…how did I get so lucky?!

Exercise:

I headed out for my usual Sunday morning run, but it turned into a walk around the river as I couldn’t breathe through my nose and my running partner’s back was bothering him. It was actually really nice to just walk and catch up and amazingly it stayed dry!

I did get out for a run late this afternoon. It was just the half hour that was necessary for my Squad Runner mission for Monday, but it felt good. Again, I got lucky and it didn’t rain!

Reading:

I guess I have read a lot today as I have finished two books! 🤣

The first is Patience for Christmas by Grace Burrowes.

This tells of Patience Friendly who writes an advice column for Douglas MacHugh’s publishing house in order to make ends meet. MacHugh has asked Patience to write extra columns for Christmas in a literary match-up against rival advice columnist Professor Pennypacker.

I loved this book! It starts with a scene featuring the Wyndham ladies before they were married so I have to assume this book was meant to be from before the Wyndham series. The inclusion of these beloved characters only improved the book more.

By chapter two I was laughing. This book contains humor, warmth and intrigue- a perfect mix in fact!

I also liked how the traditional roles were slightly altered and Patience was represented as a woman with fabulous business acumen and MacHugh was a strong enough man to allow that and even to encourage it.

This book is a lovely, quick read for the holidays!

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My second book of the day was Wrong Bed, Right Roommate by Rebecca Brooks.

This is the story of very organized Jessie Santana and very laissez-faire Shawn Lassiter. She is in need of a roommate for the summer, but doesn’t really want that roommate to be her best friend’s older brother.

This book had excellent pacing. The reader is never bored or just wading through parts. It is realistically timed and yet the reader doesn’t have to read each and every ho hum day.

The characters are very well developed and are multi-dimensional. In fact the characters are so well written that the male lead drove me crazy with his attitude towards everything throughout the book!

The book is very steamy and hot, but also had its sweet moments. I love that it ends on a sweet moment and the reader is left knowing what happened with the couple, though I do hope we get an update when it’s the friend’s turn to find her HEA.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Knitting:

I took a break from reading to do a little knitting. I had two skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky in a green and have found a pattern that claims I can make a vest out of that. Here’s hoping!

Movies:

I watched Stop the Wedding tonight and quite enjoyed it. The characters are sweet and the premise was crazy enough to keep me entertained:)

Well I need sleep as I can only imagine how crazy my students are going to be tomorrow morning!

Have fun!

AJ

A Quiet Day in December

This doesn’t happen often, but overall it was a quiet day.

Exercise:

I lounged in bed for quite a while this morning and then met up with Sarah and Kula for a run around a local lake. It was short- only 3.5km, but super gorgeous. It is kind of sad though as this is another trail that has been pedestrianized so absolutely everyone can use it. That means it won’t be as quiet as it was today for long.

Reading:

I finished The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart today.

This last installment of the Return of the Blackwell Brother’s series features Chance, the youngest and most famous Blackwell. He ran away with foreman’s daughter ten years ago and never looked back, even after he lost his wife. He had plenty of anger to keep him away. However, his love of his brother’s brings him back to the ranch and to the foreman’s younger daughter.

I really liked this final book in the series because it brought the whole family together and that’s important to me.

I was left wondering what happened to Zoe and to Grace’s sister. I suppose it’s tough to tie up every loose end when there are five authors involved, but I was curious about those two.

I’m not a big fan of the sister in law love story, never have been and probably never will be, though I understand it happens often, but thankfully this story has enough other angles happening that this part didn’t bother me too much.

The ending of this story is perfect with the reversal of roles!

Thank you to all five of these authors for allowing me to read their work!

Baking:

I did a little baking today and made some shortbread cookies for the party I went to tonight. They are gluten free and dairy free whipped shortbread. I followed this Recipe and was quite happy with it. I omitted the almond extract and I won’t if I make it again as it would help make it taste more traditional. I did like how the cookies melt in your mouth like real shortbread does.

The shortbread was well received and gone when I left the party. Someone said it really tasted like shortbread, so that’s good!

Socializing:

I headed to my friend Corianne’s Christmas party and it was nice to be out and meet new people. I only stayed a few hours as I had a good book on the go:)

Blogmas:

Thanks to Abbey for organizing Blogmas! Make sure you go check out the other sites too!

Stockings were always fun in my family. I remember my brother waking me up at 5am to open our stockings as we weren’t allowed to open our gifts until the grandparents arrived. The stocking always had our first mandarin orange of the season and a pack of life savers in it. Otherwise, we’d have a little something to play with. I have to admit to being surprised at what people put in stockings, but for us it was simple like chapstick. It was always the most fun to open as it was the first thing we opened:)

Well, I’m going back to my book.

Have fun!

AJ

A Little Bit of Fun

It was a good day with a fun ending.

Teaching:

Today was an okay day. We changed up our Friday journals and I had the children tell me what they have liked best so far this year. Trust me when I say academics weren’t mentioned often🤣

We did some more Christmas graphing and also did a robot directed drawing with our buddies.

It was fine and we managed to not get hurt, though one of my little boys hurt a grade five boy. The principal dealt with it, but I would have appreciated a heads up about the incident.

Socializing:

I met up with some teacher friends after school. We hit a public house and then had dinner at a local Thai restaurant. It was super yummy and very reasonable. I loved how quiet the restaurant was so that we could actually hear each other talk. I will never understand restaurants! People go out to visit and yet the traffic is so loud you can’t hear the people you’re with!😖

Tea:

My Twinings Advent Calendar Tea today was English Breakfast Tea that was wonderful! It’s a classic for a reason:)

Christmas:

I hit Chapters to pick up a few more gifts and then spent the evening wrapping gifts. It was neat to get them all done.

Movies:

I watched Matchmaker Santa while I was wrapping. It was a very cute movie. I enjoyed the premise as it was realistic, well except for a magical Santa🤣

Blogmas

I am a definite mitten girl as I’m always cold! I find I stay much warmer with my fingers all together. Lately I have been wearing my New Hampshire mittens mostly. These are mittens I knitted with yarn that I got when I visited the East Coast two summers ago. I love these mittens as they fit perfectly and are super warm without being super thick.

I suppose I also mostly wear mittens because I have a very difficult time finding gloves that actually fit my hands. My dream would be to find a pair of leather driving gloves that actually fit!

Make sure you check out Abbey, Mischenko, Teacher Turned Mommy, Life of the Rookie Teacher, and Amber’s blogs.

Well I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Better

Today was amazingly better than yesterday.

Teaching:

We changed up Calendar a bit and had the special helper write the daily equations instead of me. It worked great so we’ll continue with it!

We also started a directed drawing activity of Santa, but didn’t manage to finish it because we had to go do a run through of our Christmas concert song. The music teacher is happy, but my co teacher and I think there’s still some work to do on this.

We also had the children tackle making their own pictograph today and they loved it! Except for starting to glue pictures from the top of the graph instead of the bottom they did pretty good. I realize that mistake is all me as I’m not sure I ever mentioned that!

The boys in my class were better today, even with another inside lunchtime. I realized as I talked with a parent that they are in such a hurry at all times and so wound up, that their bodies aren’t calm which is causing accidents. Today I provided many reminders to have a calm body and we actually got through the day with no accidents and a calmer classroom. I loved it!

Today was an early dismissal so I also had some time in my classroom to putter without children as I had no interviews.

Exercise:

I met up with Lyndsay for a tough workout tonight. I am still a little sore from my Tuesday workout so it was probably good to warm up and use my muscles again. I did the bike and then we did a ladder workout that included lunge hops, weighted jumping jacks, burpees, crunches and weighted squats. We went up the ladder and back down with cardio in between each. My legs felt like jelly on my run home so I guess it was a success🤣

Tea:

My Twinings Tea Advent Calendar today had Earl Grey Tea in it which is a favourite of mine. I love this tea weak with nothing in it or strong with almond milk in it. It’s always a safe choice I think:)

Reading:

I finished the school Bookclub book tonight which was The Losers Club by Andrew Clements. I have read a lot of this author’s books so I had high expectations for this book, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint:). The story is of a boy who is reads his way through life (yup I can relate😀), until he is told by his principal that he has to change his ways. This discussion coincides with him having to go to an after school program. He decides to start his own club where he can just read, and the story is of what he discovers about life from starting this club.

The characters were very realistic and interesting. I could totally picture them and being a teacher, they seemed very familiar. I liked how the fact that people aren’t just one way was emphasized.

I loved the message of the story- that words are words and every word you use labels in some way.

I also liked that the whole book concentrated on books and reading. Many books are mentioned and in fact, a book list is included. I recognized many of the books, and many of the reading habits and it made me want to read some of these books again.

I would highly recommend this book, both as a teacher read aloud, a class novel study or for boys and girls aged 8-11. It would inspire great discussions I think:)

Blogmas:

The topic for Blogmas today is gift exchanges. My family actually don’t exchange gifts. This was difficult for me to get used to, but now I love it because I’m not running around like crazy trying to find something to give everyone. I always found that I was really just excited to give one or two gifts and the rest were just something for the person to open. I also love that I don’t start the new year in debt like a lot of my friends do. In addition, not having to spend all that time shopping also leaves me with more time to do actual Christmas events and projects with friends and family. This year I have actually done two Christmas events this year already and have plans for at leas twice more with friends, plus the Gingerbread house competition and light looking with my family. I love how not doing gifts had put the emphasis back on spending time together and enjoying the season!

Well, I’m up late and I’m pretty sure the children will be crazy again, so I’d better get to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Dragging

All day I felt like I was just dragging. It must be the time of the year as lots of other teachers were complaining of feeling this way too.

Teaching:

We made Christmas cards for seniors this morning and did a little bit more about pictographs for math. This afternoon we tackled a directed drawing of a poinsettia. My students are doing really well in the mornings but the afternoons are tough. Today was especially tough because we had an inside lunch:(

My day didn’t end great as one of my tough boys didn’t want to put on his boots because they were wet, so I left him in the classroom as I took the rest of the class out. I sent my co-teacher in to check on him as he hadn’t come out and he had hit his head:( ugh the first time in sixteen years I’ve left a kid alone and he hits his head☹️😫

Shopping:

I got invited by my co-teacher this morning to go shopping with her after school. I knew I should be heading home to run and clean the house, but I said yes. She got the gifts for her boys that she needed and I picked up some tea and chocolates to go with some friend gifts. It was nice to wander and have some non-work time!

Household:

It’s a good thing Knit night is at my house every other week as it forces me to tidy my place up. It doesn’t get super dirty, just cluttered.

Exercise:

The wind sounded horrible outside and I definitely didn’t want to go out in it! I texted Lyndsay and she had just started an at home workout so she sent it to me and that got me up and moving! I don’t know if I’ve just really been slacking or if these workouts were tough, but my legs were shaking by the end! I first did this sock workout and then I tackled this bosu workout. I definitely feel like I worked!

Knitting:

I have dug out three balls of horrible blue acrylic that has been in my stash forever and I have casted on for the Mosaic Coverlet which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I’m hoping this pattern will use them all up and then I will be able to delete them from my stash number. I didn’t want to make anything that would be against someone’s skin. I had never actually heard yarn squeak until I started with this stuff!

Movies:

I watched Stranded in Paradise tonight. It is about an HR woman who ends up losing her job and going to a conference in Puerto Rico anyways. The conference is a flop and lots of tough stuff happens, but of course she finds the love of her life. It was a cute movie and has a good message about thinking of whether you are actually happy.

Tea:

My tea today was cinnamon and orange spice. I really liked this tea and think it was perfect for Christmas time. It was reminiscent of those orange clove balls you can make and hang at Christmas time!

Well I’m off to bed in the hopes of not dragging tomorrow!

Have fun!

AJ

Quick Turn

After an amazingly wonderful morning, my students became different people in the afternoon:(

Teaching:

This morning we did a free choice journal that my students did awesome at! I was impressed with how much they were writing and how well they were writing. It was great to see them doing so well!

We started graphing after recess and then tackled Christmas in Mexico this afternoon. We learned that Christmas goes from December 12th to January 15th and that Santa brings presents on Christmas Eve, but the three wise men bring presents on January 6th. We learned that there are posadas leading up to Christmas where the front of houses are decorated and people move from house to house. They also break a piñata at the last house of the posada in Christmas Eve. I sure hope I got all the details right. I should write notes like my students do!

Knitting:

After leaving school quickly for a massage, I have spent the evening knitting. I did a new to me TinCan Knits pattern called Northward which is free on Ravelry. I love the fact that TinCan Knits include so many sizes in their patterns!

These are the two hats I have finished lately. I had planned on the teal one for me, but I think I’m going to put it in the Holiday Market pile for next year. It was an easy knit though and only took a couple of hours:)

I used Titan Bulky yarn by Mary Maxim. This was given to me and was quite bulky and I think the hat will be super warm with it:). It also got another skein out of my stash:) Unfortunately, I also broke my 6mm DPN needle. I think I now have a good excuse to hit Michael’s or maybe the LYS:)

Tea:

I was hesitant about my advent tea today as Honeybush, Mandarin and Orange sounded quite exotic to me! It turned out to taste mainly of orange and was quite delicious. It wasn’t a really strong flavor, but was enjoyable:)

Movies:

I have spent the evening watching Hallmark movies as I knitted. I watched Autumn Dreams which was very cute, except I was extremely distracted by the lead male’s unintentionally!

I also watched Walking the Dog which is set around Valentines Day. It was a cute movie with an interesting premise and characters.

Well, I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ