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. I just realized I didn’t take a photo of them:(. I’ll grab one tomorrow and add it to this post. 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

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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

Who Knew?

Who knew that bookclub could knock a person out?!

Exercise:

Yesterday morning started with my usual Sunday morning run club. We did a regular park route and I felt like I was running fast, but I definitely wasn’t:(  Oh well, I got out and I ran so that’s what really matters. I actually ended up running again in the early afternoon as my running buddies weren’t willing to do an hour in the pouring rain.  The afternoon run went way better, but was still on the slow side. It is weird that for the past two runs, my phone has acted weird at the end and shut itself off, even though it wasn’t out of battery. I wonder if this is it’s formal complaint about running in the cold and wet?

Reading:

I finished the next book in the Return of the Blackwell Brothers Series. This one, The Rancher’s Fake Fiance by Amy Vastine is the fourth in the series and tells the story of Tyler, the second to last Blackwell brother.  Tyler has no interest in the ranch, but promises his employee Hadley a promotion if she will accompany him to the ranch and pretend to be his fiance, so that his brother’s don’t find out he lied about being engaged.

I really liked how the relationship between Hadley and Tyler started out in Portland as it seemed super realistic and made for a nice contrast to how they end up.  I have to say, the whole Portland scene was very realistic and charming too:)

The other part that I really liked about this book was that the Blackwell family played a bigger part.  Ethan and Grace are around in every chapter and Ben and Jon pop in and out too. I really enjoyed the family lunch they all had. It’s about time that family started spending time together!

I can’t wait to see how this series ends with the next book which I will hopefully be starting tonight!

Thank you to Amy Vastine and the publisher for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Cooking:

I had a really tough time coming up with what to make for book club because Malin (an amazing cook in the group) beat me to posting what she was making – lemon cake and Christmas cookies. Well there went my plan for brownies and Christmas cookies. I am definitely more known for my baking than my cooking.  I have been craving cream of mushroom soup and haven’t found a vegan version at the store, so I got busy making that. I used this recipe. It was super easy and very yummy! It will definitely become part of the dinner rotation during these cold, wet months!  I also made up a loaf of Bob’s Redmill Bread and it was a hit.

Bookclub:

I, of course, ate way too much at bookclub, but it was just all so good! Between good food, good friends and a cute baby, it was a great night! We actually didn’t end up discussing a book because only one person completely finished it and two of us got partially through it. We did choose our books for next year though:)  We used to choose the next book each time we met, but it wasn’t very time efficient so now we choose six books for the year at our December meeting. I have to remember to walk over to the library and get the book for February as I am hosting that  month so I’d better make sure I’ve read the book!

I came home from bookclub and immediately crashed into bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Quality Time

It was a day filled with quality time:)

Knitting:

I started the day by finishing a toque in the three colours I had run into trouble with last night. I’m super happy with how it looks and it can either go to my niece or be ready for the holiday market next year. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of it:(

Exercise:

I met up with my friend Sarah and Kula for a trail run.

We tried a new trail but ended up bushwhacking, so it was back to our usual trail but going the opposite direction. Thankfully I can rely on Kula’s sense of direction.

I got out later in the day for a fast 2.3km to finish off my Squad Runner mission. It felt great and I managed to avoid the huge puddles!

Cooking:

I grabbed some groceries in my way home and roasted some veggies. I did a whole tray of broccoli, onion, carrots, celery, and green pepper. It cooled down to lots less, but with the smoked tofu, it was enough to make four lunches for the week:)

Family Time:

This evening I have spent time with my nephew Gus and fur-nephew Banks. This is always a great for me! We went bowling and I beat him big time! I guess I’ve found the activity we will do every time🤣

He made up for it though because when we played Monopoly on his gaming system- he beat me badly!

Birthday:

I guess my birthday continues as my brother, sister in law and nephew got me a cute present. It definitely shows they know me!

Movies:

I have watched a lot of movies today and it’s been great. I watched For Better or For Worse and really wasn’t impressed! I watched a bit of A few other ones, but haven’t finished them yet so I won’t talk about them.

Tea:

My Twinings Tea Advent Calendar was Lady Gray tea. I really enjoyed the orange flavor of this and I’m wondering if it was the tea my grandma had regularly. I’ve been thinking about that tea lately and would love to have it more often. I’ll definitely be buying some Lady Gray Tea:)

Blogmas:

Homemade Presents:

Each year I have made presents for my friends and colleagues. They are usually Christmas themed so that their apartments and houses can be filled with Christmas joy. I have made things such as cross-stitch ornaments, tree garlands, fingertip towels for their bathroom, dish towels and dishcloths and the mug cozies from last year. I have always loved spending time making the gifts and giving them! This year I didn’t manage to do that and it definitely feels weird. I plan to start in next year’s gifts when I’m visiting my parents so this doesn’t happen again!

Go check out the other Blogmas posts at Abbey’s, Mischenko, Teacher Turned Mommy, and Amber.

Well I’m going to keep enjoying my Hallmark movies:)

Have fun!

AJ

Whirlwind

The work day was fine, but I feel like I’ve been running ever since!

Teaching:

We did our Friday journals today and it was neat to hear how much the children learned about Christmas Around the World. We then had math catch-Up time and buddies to make cards for seniors. A nice day, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Exercise:

I got out of work quickly in order to get a workout in with Lyndsay. It was tough- alternating different types of burpees with different ab exercises. It sounded horrible, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I expected. I think it helps that I had company and someone to talk to.

Socializing:

I ran home, showered and then went out to my staff Christmas party at a local restaurant. I can’t say I was super impressed as I got plain salad, mushrooms with rubbery gf pasta and fruit for the same price that my colleagues got bruschetta, soup and salad along with some amazing looking veal, chicken or seafood pasta and then cheesecake. Is it wrong that I think the price should have been adjusted for me? I was also not impressed as I had been told that I’d be able to order off the menu!

The one redeeming thing was that I won the secret Santa gift that I wanted. A few weeks ago I was with some colleagues and one bought a great cheese board and knife and I got it!!

It is going to be my new charcuterie board as that’s the type of meal I prefer:)

Knitting:

I came home to enjoy a hallmark movie and my knitting. Of course I have three colours and have run out of one before I should have:( What do I do now? Continue with just two of the colours or pull it out and try to think of something that would be the right size? I think I have too much yarn for a headband, unless I make three separate ones. Help!

Tea:

My Twinings Advent Calendar Tea today was Lemon Ginger. I found the ginger to be the stronger of the two flavors, but I quite enjoyed this cup. It was nice that the tea didn’t become bitter with the tea bag left in:)

Blogmas:

Abbey has done an awesome job of arranging this Blogmas:) and you should definitely check out her and the three other women’s blogmas accounts: Mischenko, Teacher Turned Mommy, and Amber.

Gingerbread Houses are a part of my Christmas! I usually end up doing either a house or cookies with my class. It’s a little chaotic, but the children love it!!!

The last several years I have also done a gingerbread house with my nephew. These are ties that I treasure as it’s always fun! I want to make it look like the picture, while my nephew is all about getting as much candy on the house as possible. It has made for some interesting end products🤣

This year I have plans to have a gingerbread house competition while my brother is over later in December. My mom has bought a house kit for each of the children, one for me and one for my two brothers and their wives. I can’t wait! Though I have to admit I’m worried about the icing killing my kitchenaid mixer!

Well I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

It was quite the day! I didn’t really feel like I was accomplishing much very efficiently.

Teaching:

I work with an amazing woman- she surprised me with flowers for my birthday:)

This morning we went out to blow bubbles and see if they would freeze as it was below zero. I guess it wasn’t cold enough as it never did freeze:(

We also finished up our robot coding for the hidden presents. The children seemed to enjoy it as much today as they did yesterday.

We then tackled Christmas in Germany. The children learned that Germany created the tradition of having Christmas trees. That Saint Nikolaus brings presents to children in December 6th. The children put their shoes or boots by the door and if they were good they get sweets or gifts, but if they were bad they get coal or branches. We then decorated Christmas trees and this afternoon we also did accordion folded tree garlands. We’ll decorate those tomorrow and hang them up in class. I told the children we will decorate with decorations they make.

Socializing/ Christmas Events:

This evening I met up with Lyndsay and Corianne and their families to take in the local Winter Festival. The kids ran around trying every type of free food and drink they had and then we had Freshii and Subway for dinner. It was a great night with friends and I love having time with them. They make me feel like I’m a normal person with friends🤣

Exercise:

I was supposed to do a workout with Lyndsay this evening, but life got in the way, so I did this quick workout from Maureen. It was great- quick and hit all the parts:)

Blogmas:

I don’t mind Christmas music, though I admit I really don’t want to hear it until December 1st. Each year we do a Christmas carol with the children and I always joke that I need to find a song I don’t mind hating by the end! We practice it every day for nearly a month so by the end, I don’t ever want to hear that song again!

Tea:

Sorry I forgot to include my tea last night. Yesterday’s tea was a peppermint vanilla and I have to admit it wasn’t my favourite as it reminded me of something I would drink when I am sick.

Today’s tea is Twinings Earl Grey tea which is a favourite of mine. It is my go-to tea when I don’t want anything flavored. Tonight I mixed it with a little eggnog and it was lovely!

Eating:

Oh and for Linda, I did try the eggnog in my oatmeal this morning and boy is that yummy! That may just be my breakfast every day in December!

I see there is a new non-dairy eggnog so I may need to do a taste test:)

Well that’s it for me tonight!

Have fun!

AJ

Friends

My friends made my day special today:)

Knitting:

I started the day with a little bit of knitting and then ended the day the same way. I finished a child’s cowl and started another one. I’ll share pictures when I can get them in daylight.

The bag of knitted goods that I donated to the Christmas market were very popular and I’ve been asked to get started for next year.🤣

Teaching:

Lyndsay started my day with a Starbucks drink and a David’s Tea gift card. I’ll definitely be putting that to use!

My students were pretty good today, except for my autistic boy. It’s a good thing the daycare let slip that his father is undergoing cancer treatment or I wouldn’t understand what was happening at all. I wish parents would always inform the teacher of big events in their child’s world. It impacts them a lot more than you realize and having that knowledge really helps the teacher deal with it in class! Grrrr!

My students made me cards and sung to me and it was super sweet. They really did give me a nice gift in being well behaved today!

We studied Santa in Denmark today and learned that he is called Julenisse. He is a short, bearded man who wears gray clothes and a red hat. The children leave him porridge and he then hides the gifts around the house. We also learned that lots of children have three advent calendars- a candle one, a gift one and also a tv episode one. My students were amazed that they open presents and have dinner on Christmas Eve and then just have a sandwich lunch together on Christmas Day.

After our reading, we decorated paper presents, hid them and then had to write code to get a robot to the present. My co teacher and I were the robots and the children were super into it and persevered when their code needed to be changed. It went even better than we were expecting!

After school, I picked up what I bought from the Christmas market:)

My sister in law had this bag and I liked it so when I saw it today, I grabbed it:)

Exercise:

Speaking of working out, it was a Lyndsay bootcamp today. We did: bench curtsy lunges, pushups to knee tucks and hamstring curls on the gliders, ab roll outs and burpees, side planks with dumbbell press, bridge with chest fly and bridge with tricep extension, inside heel touches and bird dogs, and medicine ball slams and medicine ball plank jacks. It was a good workout and it was great to get back to it!

Eating:

I had to quickly run down the hill after the workout to meet my close friend for dinner. She had called a few days ago and said I shouldn’t spend my birthday alone so we tried a new Japanese Fusion restaurant.

I had a bowl that I can’t pronounce, but it was sashimi in top of rice. I really shouldn’t have eaten the rice as I was way too full. It was great to spend time with my friend though and nice to catch up!

It was a nice day filled with phone calls and text messages, but now I’m off to bed!

Have fun!

AJ

Change of Plans

Today didn’t go according to plan as I got into my jammies much earlier than I should have!

Knitting:

I got up early so that I’d have some time to knit. It was a lovely way to start the day- knitting and a Hallmark movie. It definitely made me want to stay home today!

I’ve been back to the knitting this evening and am coming close to running out of one colour if yarn. I just have to decide if I’m going to change colors or just end it and make it a kids cowl.

Teaching:

My students were just off today, especially my little autistic boy. I think I’d better just get used to this until the end of December.

We did some printing of the letter o, made our group points posters for the month and tackled Santa in Great Britain. My students were able to tell me at the end of the day that Santa is called Father Christmas. They hang stockings on their bed, go shopping on Boxing Day, stir the Christmas pudding clockwise while making a wish, and leave mince pies for Santa instead of cookies.

My students were definitely the best behaved during this time and worked well on creating a December wish list.

Tomorrow we are tackling Denmark and if anyone knows anything about Santa in Denmark, I’d love to hear it as we haven’t found much information on it.

Exercise:

I got out of work at a decent hour and figured I’d better get started on the 9km mission for tonight. I hedged my bets and used my walk home to start it off and then completed another 6.5km to finish it off. It did feel really great to get two good runs in on back to back days! I felt so active again:)

Tea:

My Twinings Advent Calendar Tea today was a green tea with pomegranate, raspberry and strawberry in it. There are no artificial sweeteners listed on the package. The tea smelled wonderful, but was very light in taste. I steeped the second cup for longer, but it was still light. I also tried it with honey, but it didn’t make much difference. This was still a nice green tea, but not a strong tasting one. It might be good for people who don’t love green tea.

Blogmas:

The topic today is annual ornaments. I was lucky as a little girl that every year my mom bought me a craft project that created a Christmas decoration for my future home. I think I had more decorations when I moved out that anyone else I know! It was a great gift as I was prepared in the future, but also had the fun of a craft on Christmas Day and often a new one to me at that too!

In my role as a teacher, I’ve had many students bring in their annual ornament for sharing. It seems that each year they are gifted an ornament that they keep in a bag labeled with the year, if the ornament doesn’t have the year on it. It seems like an awesome idea!

The final experience I have with annual ornaments is from work. Each of the past three years, the PAC at my school has put up a tree in the staffroom and created ornaments for the teachers. On the last day of school we get to take the ornament home. It is a very sweet present and I see they have already set up the tree this year:)

I was supposed to go to Chapters tonight for some final gifts, but after my run I put on my jammies and haven’t left my fireplace yet!🤣

Well my students wore me out and I’m super tired!

Have fun!

AJ

Bookends

Ugh meetings at both ends of my day didn’t make great bookends for my day!

Teaching:

After trying to walk the dog and defrosting my vehicle, I made my way to work. I’m so glad that I don’t normally drive to work!

I had a meeting first thing this morning where I got to describe the strengths and stretches of my class. Meetings that don’t seem to have any real benefit drive me nuts. At least I said what I wanted to say so I have a clear conscience:)

We wrote about Santa this morning and then this afternoon we started our Santa Around the World journey. We learned about Brazil today and now know that:

Brazilian Santa is called Papai Noel. He wears a suit of silk and fills children’s shoes with small gifts and hides gifts around the house. It was super neat to see how interested and engaged the children were. Maybe it helped that I was also interested:)

After school I had a quick parent meeting and then a staff meeting that was incredibly boring! We had a speaker tell us about the district’s technology plan. Technology has its place for sure, but sometimes I think I’m providing the balance to my student’s world by concentrating on books!

Shopping:

Since I had my car I headed out after the meeting to Winners to see if I could find a certain gift I’m looking for. It was a bust, but maybe tomorrow will be better!

Exercise:

I headed out with the idea of getting 6.5km so that I could finish the Squad Runner mission in the morning, but I found a great route that let me do the full 8km. I found it I went a certain direction around a local complex, it was relatively flat. I might need to try doing five loops and see if I can get a PR for a 5km.

Tea:

Today’s Twinings Tea Advent Calendar was French Vanilla Chai. The tea bag smelled great when I was taking it out of the package. It had a hint of sweetness that was great but not overpowering. I think it would be awesome with milk, but I forgot mine at my brother’s house:(

Knitting:

I have started another cowl using the leftovers from the last one. I hope it turns out as nice as the last one!

Blogmas:

Hmm my winter must haves are mostly centered around trying to stay warm! Over the past few years I have been building my warm clothing and tonight I was just thinking how happy I am that I’ve stepped up and paid for some warm clothes. Many, many years ago I spent a few hundred dollars on a winter ski jacket. I had just started as a teacher and it was a lot of money! However that jacket has kept me warm for many years now and is still going strong. It has been joined by two down jackets, a down vest, and a big fluffy jacket for casual wear. I also invested in some silk long underwear that has saved me many times! My sub zero Sugoi running tights are a great addition as well for my outdoor pursuits.

I suppose the last of my winter essentials are my scarves, toques and mittens in multiple colours. I like to match so I just keep adding to the collection. In fact I just decided yesterday that I definitely need a toque in my favourite colour added to the collection!

I’m sure that there are probably a zillion other things I consider essentials, but this is what I could think of tonight. Please let me know what your essentials are and remind me of what I should have said!🤣

Check out Abbey, Mischenko, Teacher Turned Mommy, and Amber’s blogs for their ideas about Winter Must Haves!

Well I’m looking forward to my own bed tonight so that’s where I’m headed.

Have fun!

AJ

Couch Potato Status

My day was awesome, but I felt guilty for most of it🤣

Exercise:

My run this morning turned into a walk as no one else was running. This was a lovely walk because it was a gorgeous, sunny, cold morning, but it definitely didn’t balance my brunch out!

At least I finally got a bit of a run in this evening with the dog. I wasn’t sure if it was going to record as being fast enough to count with all the stopping and sniffing he was doing. Then at the end when I needed just two more minutes, he refused to budge. I ended up letting him into the house and doing the street one more time to finish up.

Knitting:

After letting the dog out, I ran home and finished my knitting project.

I am super happy with how it turned out! It’s the Everyone Likes Stripes Cowl, free on Ravelry.

I have a little bit of each of the colours left, plus a bit of a fourth colour, so I think I’ll try to make another scarf out of it.

Movies:

I’ve spent the afternoon with a puppy dog on my lap watching Hallmark movies. All I can say is that it’s a really good thing that I don’t normally have cable!

The first movie I saw was Christmas in Graceland. It had Kellie Pickler in it and you could tell that the movie had been completely designed around allowing her to sing. The best part of this movie was the fact the lead actor was super cute!

The second movie was Christmas Joy. I enjoyed his movie and thought it was well done as I even cringed at the awkward moments🤣. I have to admit it was also very cool to see Hycroft house as the place where the “gala” was held when I was just there a couple of weeks ago.

Third up was the “Angel of Christmas”. The female lead seemed a little awkward, but the male lead is one of my Hallmark favorites:). The story was also quite unique- no widow with a single son in this one!

Ice Sculpture Christmas was back to a widower with a single daughter. It was neat to watch this movie as it takes place at Swan-e-Set golf course which is local to me and where my cousin got married. I always enjoy an opposites attract story and this one definitely was that! I just think they could have done a better job on the ending!

Tea:

Today the Twinings Advent calendar had The Goodnight Blend which contains camomile and spearmint. When I opened the package it smelled very peppermint to me, but I suppose that’s the spearmint. I had my first cup early in the day and t was perhaps a little early as it was nice, but not what I needed at the time. I think it would be perfect just before bed though. It was quite refreshing and fresh.

Eating:

The brunch was awesome as usual. We went to the Coquitlam Grill and I had my usual Sunriser Jumpstart.

I laughed when I was on the way out of the restaurant complaining of being way too stuffed and the owner said that that is the smallest dish on the menu 🤣

I also tried out Skip the Dishes tonight. It’s a popular program where I live where you can order from a local restaurant and someone brings it to you. I ordered from Freshii and it came right to my door. It worked great and I now have a healthy recess and lunch for tomorrow:)

Blogmas:

Ugly Christmas Sweaters is the topic today. I have to admit that I’ve never worn an ugly Christmas sweater, however, I did get close! When I was young my grandma made me an outfit the included pants, shirt and bonnet that was in red, white and green stripes. I actually wore that outfit all day!!! That must count! These days I stick with wearing red and green clothes as much as possible at work during December and wearing my massive collection of Christmas earrings.

Well I have to go console a heartbroken puppy!

Have fun!

AJ