December 30, 2010

Car Update

Dear Two Readers,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I certainly did! It was great to see both of my families and relax a little bit. I'll post some pictures from my family's celebration later today.

These last few days have been a bit stressful. I've been looking at cars and been hitting a few obstacles. One obstacle being that my hubby has gotten sick again. I've been nursing him back to health over the last couple of days. Hopefully, things will work out and I will get a car in the next couple weeks.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the car I really like and have been looking at:

It's a Volkswagen CC. I've been looking at used CC's and absolutely love them. Fingers crossed!

On a happier note, my mom is visiting me today and my sister and her fiance and coming to visit tomorrow. We'll figure out our New Year's plans from there.

What is everyone else doing for New Year's Eve? Are you going to a fancy party or staying at home and counting down with the TV (as I most likely will be doing)?

December 23, 2010

My Christmas Present to Myself

This year, I'm treating myself to....

 A new CAR!

I currently drive a 2002 Saturn and have driven this car since high school. It's not a fancy car by any means but I have to say I've never had a serious problem with it.

However, I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things and upgrade a little bit. I'm ready for a car that can actually accelerate to 65 mph in less that the 30 seconds it takes my poor Saturn. Yeah, I want some power and some zip. I'm ready to have fun driving!!! I've been saving money for years now and am ready to buy myself a car!

My father-in-law has been helping me shop around on and to get ideas of prices. After looking at different options, I decided it would be best to go with a certified used car based on the cars that I like (so I don't go too broke!).

First, I'm going to some dealerships today to drive some new cars and have the salesmen really sell me so I can make a final decision. Here are some cars that are in the running:

At the top of the price range, an Audi TT. Not sure about this guy, but if we have time today I might just take it for a spin.

The early favorite: The VW GTI (my husband's really pushing this one). 

I probably won't get one  of these (I hear they eat money) but they still have my heart in the looks department: The Mini Cooper.

Another options: The BMW 128i. I also love the looks of this and it's a BMW

I am sooooo excited to try some cars today. My husband is just as excited because he knows he'll get to drive whatever I get...if I let him :)

I'll let you know how it goes!

December 22, 2010


Oh, Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. You always make me laugh. This Christmas post is great. I thought my family was goofy.

Image from Hyperbole and a Half.


Dear Two Readers,

Since I've been on break, I've had a little extra time on my hands. I've been playing around with redesigning the blog a little bit. It's still a work in progress.

I'm definitely one of those people who knows what she likes and can appreciate good design. When it comes to actually creating something that looks okay, forget it!

Oh, well. I try my best I suppose.

Yesterday, I was trapped inside because of the rain and got no Christmas shopping done and now I feel lazy and gross.

Today, it is still pouring rain and now I have to go Christmas shopping because I am starting to panic. Oh, the joys of being a procrastinator.

I can't complain too much. My mind and body are enjoying taking a little time off from anything work related and I am thoroughly enjoying getting into the Christmas Spirit with my husband for our first Christmas as a married couple :)

Enjoy these beautiful pictures of Christmas lights via The Lil Bee and some not-quite-as-beautiful pictures of some Christmas decorations at my house. Perhaps they will make any last minute shopping excursions calm and bright for you.

December 21, 2010

December Outside the Classroom

Here are some things I've been up to the past few weeks. Even though I've been recovering from a cold, I've still been out and about with friends and family (and my wonderful husband).

My good friend (and fellow beer snob) was in town and found this event. 

Amazing beer selection.

I heart good beer.

Oh, yeah. We got the Cosby Sweater discount.

The spread at my aunt's annual Christmas Tea.

Western themed decorations.

Background for photos.

My aunt has a gorgeous Orange County mansion which was certainly decked out.

Crafts made at the craft table.

Decorating gingerbread cookies.

My Classroom in December

Here are the rest of the ornaments we made as we traveled "around the world" learning about different Christmas traditions.


We learned about St. Lucia's Day and read about other Christmas traditions (including watching Donald Duck on T.V. for some reason).

I didn't read this book to my class but it looks like a cute option.

St. Lucia Wreath ornament.

Star Boy Hat

Making the ornaments.

The Philippines:

We have a huge Filipino population at our school so my students were thrilled to travel to the Philippines to learn more about and share their traditions. I found lots of information about the Parol, or Star Lantern, hung up around the holidays to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem.

One type of Parol. Aren't they beautiful?

My simplified version.

We used 2 construction paper stars, cut out patterns in the middle for Christmas lights to shine through, and glued some tissue paper in the middle and in the corners.

Our last visit was to Italy. We learned about the Legend of Old Befana (which enthralled my students). I love the La Befana legend. I mean, come on! A Christmas witch that rides on a broom and drops presents down your chimney!  We also learned about other Christmas traditions in Italy including decorations and food eaten.

Our little Old Befana broom ornaments made with popsicle sticks.

Pulling in All Together:

So, I decided it would be a good idea to have the students make these paper trees to hang their ornaments. Bad idea. These were soooooo hard for the kids to make (live and learn). The kids found it very hard to cut out the trees bringing some close to tears. Once they did manage to cut out the trees and glue them they kept falling over! The ones below turned out okay, but I'm going to skip this whole thing next year. I'll think of another way to display the ornaments.

So, that's the end of our Christmas Traditions Around the World! I know I'm posting waaaay late, but hopefully you teachers out there will get some ideas for next year. Parents, I hope you also got some ideas to use with your family this year (or next year...).

It feels great to be on break and I hope to catch up a little bit on posting. I'm finally feeling better and am thrilled to see family and friends for the holiday.

Until next time :)

December 17, 2010

Have a Wonderful Weekend

Dear Two Readers,

Phew! I made it through the week with my raging cold. My voice sounds like a cave troll going through puberty, but otherwise I feel much better (as does my husband whose been battling an awful flu).

I'm too burnt out right now to think about work right now, so my classroom pictures will have to wait for another day.

For now I leave you with this beautiful (and impractical) picture of a bike with Christmas lights on it. Let the Christmas countdown begin!

December 14, 2010

Christmas Program

Tonight was our school Christmas Program. The kids did a great job! I was so proud of them. They nailed their lines and their songs.

Man, were they excited though. We met in the classroom before the performance and there was much squealing, jumping, and inevitably screaming. I had already lost my voice earlier today so I used my best combination of hand raising, clapping, and teacher stare signals to calm the children. They kind of worked.

If we could somehow harness the energy of children waiting in a classroom before a Christmas performance, we could solve the energy crisis. Any ideas?

I have three more days to get through before our Christmas break. I'm looking forward to fully recovering from my illness over the break. My poor husband is also very sick with some other horrible virus so I'm also looking forward to putting more of my energy toward nursing him back to health.

The countdown begins!

December 13, 2010

Traditions of Christmas Around the World

Christmas is almost here....

The students have added "straw" to Jesus' manger. They wrote good deeds that they've seen others do or that they've done themselves on strips of yellow paper.

We've also been "traveling" around the world. I found a passport template online and printed it onto card stock making little passports for all my students.

If I had planned a little bit more ahead of time, I could have found country stamps or stickers. I've just been using regular stickers to stamp the passports. So far we've visited Germany and Mexico.

I've hung some of the ornaments we've made around our classroom. We made the dove, tree, candle, and angel in our first discussion or symbols of Christmas. Then we started making ornaments for each country we visited.

After our visit to Mexico, we made paper poinsettias. I just took four 3x3 squares of red tissue paper, layered them, then pushed a green pipe cleaner (I cut them in half) through the middle of the tissue paper which the students could do quite easily. We then threaded three yellow beads on top and curled the pipe cleaner. We added a green tissue paper leaf (yes, I know the red "petals" are actually leaves too).

 After we visited Germany, we made pickle ornaments. I found the template here along with the Legend of the Pickle papers. I brought in an ornament I bought in Germany and brought pfeffernusse cookies to enjoy.

Up next are the Philippines, Sweden, and Italy. We might have time to do more this week. We'll see how crazy it gets!

UPDATE: Apparently, the Christmas Pickle is not actually an authentic German tradition. You'd think I'd know that having been to Germany! Next year, I'll do a Christmas tree craft since I know the Christmas tree did originate there. Live and learn :)