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

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

Impromptu

Well tonight definitely didn’t go according to plan!

Teaching:

The best thing that happened today was that I got my report cards back and they are stuffed and collated so I don’t have to look at them again before I hand them out on Friday:)

We also did our Friday journals, practiced counting by 2s and had buddies. It was odd that the children liked doing movement while counting by 2s, but didn’t remember writing to Santa🤔

Exercising:

I was supposed to be working out with Lyndsay tonight, but we ended up meeting up with Corianne and Sue. Sue went home and the three of us went to Lyndsay’s place, so I just quickly did a workout here at home. I did 3 sets of 12 of each of the following exercises: military press, rows, tricep extension, bicep curls, chest press, squats, sumo squats, roundhouse kick, front kick, curtsy lunge, full weighted sit up, and reverse curls. It was at least something!

Socializing:

It was great to meet up with the girls tonight and have a relaxed gab fest. I, of course ate too much and I’m a little mad at myself that I had a glass of ginger brew, but the socializing and venting was worth it! I’m lucky to have these two friends in my life!

Clean November Challenge:

While it was not quite as successful as I would have liked, I will now own up to how my month went.

60% on eating only planned food. This is definitely my weakest moment and the item that I have to continue working on. I think it may become easier the emptier I get my cupboards. I did best when all of my food was planned and portioned out but unfortunately that only happened 18 of the days this month☹️

70%- Drink 2+ water bottles per day- this happened 22 days this month which I have to admit is better than I thought it would be. I think I still drank a lot of water the other days, it was probably just in the form of tea. This is another item I want to keep working on!

97%- no alcohol. I have to admit to being a little upset at myself for this one as I only ruined it this evening. I had a glass of ginger brew with the girls. It was in celebration of finishing report cards and my birthday coming up, but part of me wishes I had gotten 100% on this one. I don’t drink a lot anyways so this is never a big thing for me, but I will continue to try and choose water more often.

100%- exercise every day. I am super happy with how I got back to exercising everyday. I did four yoga sessions this month, 11 weight workouts and 15 runs. I loved getting the exercise each day and plan to keep it up. The challenge got me to do the yoga on my massage days and it got me out the door when it was super wet. The challenge even got me to do weights tonight after I got home just because I didn’t want to ruin my streak! I am starting to feel stronger and definitely want to keep up the workouts as I know they will benefit my running.

Well, I definitely learned the food portion is way more difficult for me than the exercise. While I will continue to not drink much, I will o my be trying to keep up the drinking more water, exercising daily and planning what I eat in the weeks to come.

Well I desperately need sleep!

Have fun!

AJ

They’re Done!

I worked every extra second today and managed to submit my report cards this afternoon🎉🎊

Teaching:

My students were wired and crazy today and then I found out this afternoon that all the classes were like that! I thought we were done with the full moon!

We got through writing to Santa this morning. The children got to ask for one present and then ask Santa a question. They had some very interesting questions! Which makes your sleigh fly- the sleigh or the reindeer? Do you have children? How naughty are the elves? Etc.

We also started counting by 2s. It was a bit of a challenge for a lot of the kids, but we’ll get there.

This afternoon was a little crazy! While my class was at computers an EA came and got me as my friend Lyndsay’s class was without a teacher so I hung out with them for my prep. It turned out Lyndsay had to take her sick son home and called for a TOC, but at the same time our sub secretary went home sick and a new one came so no one knew Lyndsay had left and that no TOC had shown up.

See it was just one of those days!

After school I read report cards until my eyes were crossing and then finished up the prep to be able to start Santa Around the World next week. It was a late night, but hopefully it will help next week!

I do have to say that I have the most amazing co-teacher! I came into my classroom to plan to see a package sitting on my desk.

Last year we both had the David’s Tea advent calendar and weren’t really impressed for the price. I can’t wait to try this one out as Twinnings is one of my favourite brands. I had just been thinking today that I need to figure out an advent calendar for myself this year.

Exercise:

I got home and realized exactly how late it was when I immediately had to head out to Athletic Yoga. I swear that class was trying to kill me today. It probably didn’t help that all I could think was that I was hungry!

Travel:

I still hadn’t had confirmation of my tickets to visit my parents so I called tonight and the lady said it was confirmed. I like confirmations!

I have to admit I’ve crawled into bed and turned on a Hallmark movie on. It will be lovely way to end the night!

Have fun!

AJ

A 360

Our weather is insane here! It was a gorgeous sunny day (nice enough to take the kids out to play) until exactly 2:20 when our earthquake drill started.😖😫

Teaching:

We did our last overt lesson on pre reading strategies and I think most of them have gotten it.

We did some practice of counting by 5s backwards.

We also did an art lesson that was led by three of the girls in my class. This is quite the surprise as one of these girls was so shy last year she wouldn’t talk at all! It’s been nice to see her come out of her shell this year!

This was of course interrupted by a lovely earthquake drill where the first drops came down as we were exiting the building and by the time we got to go back in, it was pouring!

Exercise:

I got to enjoy the rain bouncing off the sidewalks even more during my run. I ended up only doing 4.5km as I had had enough! Every part of my body was dripping!

I was thankful for the Clean November Challenge though as it got me out the door in this terrible weather!

Shopping:

My package from Amazon arrived today.

I can’t believe that the slime and the LEGO were the same price! The LEGO box is about a fifth of the size of the slime. I might have to get something to go with it just so that it looks more equal as these are for a brother and sister.

Of course since I was getting a package anyway, I may as well get a little something for myself too😜

Socializing:

Tonight was my blind date that a parent in my class set up. I really didn’t want to go as I was freezing and tired and really just wanted to go to bed!

I went and it was okay- he was a nice guy, but not the nice guy for me. I feel like he thinks I’m a ditzy blonde. Then he mentioned being fatigued and I knew he still had a drive home so I said I should let him go and he acted surprised. So then I was left feeling socially awkward, as usual. The date ended with a hug, but not any hopes of a second date.

Now I’m home in my cozy bed with my knitting and a movie. Night!

Have fun!

AJ