I do love to cook, really I do. But when I come home after 8 plus hours of teaching kindergarteners everything from the letters of the alphabet to how to blow their nose, as well as picking up after aforementioned kindergarteners and preparing for the next day of engaging, educating and nurturing them, well, I am more than a little ready to spend time on myself. So I am here to tell you that Dream Dinners is one of the most liberating routines I have added to my life in years. How it works: you go to a Dream Dinners Kitchen in your area. They have 14 menu entrees and all the pans, utensils and ingredients to make the entrees. You select the number of meals you want to prepare and get to work. I did 6 meals in about 1 and a half hours. Actually that is 12 meals for our small family because every recipe feeds 4-6 people. Yesterday we had Buffalo Chicken and today it is Autumn Pot Roast. Check out the Dream Dinners website for more information.
What a day I had on Friday! I got to school a half hour early to set up for Science. The lesson was: Investigating how many paper clips it takes to sink cedar and particleboard. We had 4 parent volunteers helping as well as 1 IA and 3 certified teachers (including myself) to guide the investigation. It is certainly ample adult coverage for 52 students but communicating what needs to be done and getting the materials divided up correctly; that is the challenge. But we did it and it went quite well; even managed to get out to recess early for 3 laps around our track (our pattern this year since we have PE only 2 times a week. Once back in the classroom our young scientists graphed their results in their science notebooks. Now as if that was not enough excitement...our Fall Festival was to be in the afternoon. Keep in mind we have no prep time on Fridays and I had a luncheon meeting scheduled. During the kids' lunch (they eat in the classroom) our phone rings. It is Virginia Mason Hospital. The person on the other end says "Teresa were you in Virginia mason 2 weeks ago for XXXXX?" (a midlife test; yucky!) "Yes." All the kindergarteners are quietly munching away they are a 'golden group' ,SO polite when I am on the phone.
The person on the other end is saying, "During your procedure someone attending you
exposed you to a communicable disease."(My mind is racing; "hepatitis, bird flu, SAY the word WOMAN!!" and my heart skippety skips in my ears)"Do you have any cold symptoms? Have you heard of Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough?" My heart finds its normal pace but I am pissed as she says I should have my Dr. Prescribe antibiotics as a precautionary measure. They do not offer to pay the copay for the drugs, her response; "Our policy is that you recognize when you enter a hospital you put yourself at risk." My feeling; if you are employed in a hospital you had better dang well have your immunizations up to date. Isn't pertussis something that falls under an immunization. OK cousin Beth, if you are reading this tell me what you think. Phone call ends, kids wind up lunch and enjoy a lovely fall day on the playground, I go to my meeting. After recess, 4 more parents and two other IAs arrive to help with our Fall Festival. RUSH RUSH RUSH get the paint out for sponge painting tag board maple leaves, find newspaper to cover tables, get frosting, Oreos, licorice whips, and mini m&ms out to make spider cookies. Are there enough bags for the owl puppets? At last we are ready and the kids are in one of the 4 stations,just loving every minute of the break in routine. I like my station most of all: Movement and Singing fall ditties like 'The Leaves Are Falling Down' (each child holds a colored streamer to represent a leaf color and they flutter and fall as their color is sung), Wise Old Owl (tune of Fre Jacque), and Scarecrow, Scarecrow
Turn Around (tune of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear). 3:00 comes fast and they gobble the spider cookies and head out the door oh, SO happy! It would be nice to collapse but no, time to get the message on the board for Monday and get out my reading lesson so I am ready to go. Stop at the grocery store on the way home, pick up ingredients for an artichoke spinach dip. Once in my kitchen I whip it up. Chris comes home with the blended red wine for the 'wine tasting' part of the Halloween party we go to at about 8:00. Our costumes are lame; I am a blind red mouse and Chris is Jason which is kind of tongue in cheek because the host of the party is named Jason (but not at all like the horror flick Jason). The red mouse costume is a recycled classroom costume from 2 weeks back when the teachers dressed like story book characters. I, along with the other Kindergarten teacher, dressed like two of the mice from Ed Young's book 7 Blind Mice. This is our second wine tasting with this group and it is fun. I try to take the tasting seriously, I really want to learn and develop a discriminating taste. But more than anything it is good to relax with a new group of adults. Most of these people we know from the YMCA spinning and pilates classes. One of them, Laura, has suggested I enter a triathalon. Who knows maybe next summer. Right now I am just so thrilled to have my running feet back and I am happy to be in the company of people who like to exercise as much as I do. Anna Rae did not go to this party. She went costume shopping with her friend Erin and then on Sat. night she and Brittany (Erin's sister) went to another friend's house and carved jack 'o lanterns and watched horror movies. Today we visited with our friend Arthur who was in town from L.A. He was here for his brother's 41st birthday. In Japanese culture the 41st birthday is supposed to be a big deal; something about it being a bad year and needing to ward off bad luck. I still don't think I understand it. Anyway it was good to see Arthur. We ate out at Endolyne Joe's then Chris took him to the airport. Whew! This is a LONG post and I didn't even tell you about the 6 hours of hauling chips and yard work that I did on Saturday. The pile of chips is dwindling slowly but surely. Tomorrow night I will take a photo of our Jack 'o Lanterns which are perched on top of the pile.