Monday, January 10, 2011


So today was the beginning of "M" week at school. We are learning about Monet and doing art projects along with M&M graphing. I just hope that when it is time to clean up the art projects at the end of the week my aides will still like me. I think it may take some convincing in the form of Starbucks sometime this week.

Let me tell you why...

Today we mixed powdered paint with shaving cream in Ziploc baggies to see what colors we could make. Yellow + Blue, Red + Blue and Red+Yellow. Luckily no one busted their do not have the same faith in this class and I am totally expecting somebody to explode powdered paint and shaving cream over all the students and my entire room.

Remember, I get to do everything twice because I have 2 classes. M,W,F and T,Th.

So...tomorrow we read about Silly Sam the disobedient monkey and mixing his paint colors. Again.

Tomorrow I am bringing a little stuffed monkey (thank you, Benjamin, for letting me borrow your monkey) and I think I might be naughty and mix my paint colors like Silly Sam for the kids to see. I think some of them were still lost as to the monkey, powdered paint, shaving cream connection.

We sent home a note today letting parents know that we will spend some time on Friday (T, Th class will get messy on Th) getting really art messy. We will have stations with easels, stamps, rollers, finger paints, and painting with paintbrushes.* The other B&B teacher and I will combine our classes, and have a giant paint fest in my room. Surprise! (That is for my aides because they didn't know that we were having 36 kids painting in our classroom on Friday) This means crazy, messy, noisy, impulsive 4 year olds painting in blissful organized chaos. What can be better, right?

Maybe happy teacher's aides.

Hence, the coffee.

*There is still paint splattered on the ceiling from 4 years ago when Sarah went there. It wasn't her; she had some energetic and curious boys in her class that year. Frankly, I'm surprised her teacher liked kids after that year.

Speaking of making connections, I had a rough time connecting Elijah, Elisha and the chariot of fire to the kids. I can usually find a way of tying our daily devotional back to them so they can relate. I had no clue where to go with the whole burning horses thing (which kind of freaked some of the kids out). Luckily, I get to teach it again. I asked the other Buds and Blossoms teacher where she went with that connection. She said that she tied it back in with how Elisha wanted to be like Elijah and we should try to be like Jesus.

In some ways I dread having to do things twice. Like all the tedious little projects, and the messy, "fun" things we do (See my project references). But in other ways I get to redeem myself. Like tomorrow my Silly Sam story is going to be more interesting and involved. And I know that Elisha looked to Elijah in the way we should look to Jesus as an example of how to lead our lives. Wouldn't it be nice to go back and get to "redeem" myself in life like I get "do-overs" at school?

As I think about it; we are Redeemed. By Jesus. It was a messy situation though. A lot messier that some painting stations during "M" week. There are no "do-overs" in real life. We can only look to Jesus as our example and do our best to follow Him. When we mess up we can also take comfort in the fact that we are Redeemed through Him. I guess we don't need that "do-over" after all.

Andrew Peterson - Dancing In The Mine Fields

Andrew Peterson - Dancing In The Mine Fields

I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway

We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We made our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin
'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

I love this song. What a perfect description of marriage. After our "Fairy Tale Wedding" it wasn't exactly "happily ever after". It was hard work and still is hard work. We love eachother very much and wouldn't give it up for anything though. We promised God and each other in front of our friends and family "till death do us part". I take great comfort in that promise because I know without a shadow of a doubt that we both mean that. Through sickness and health. Rich or poor. Good or bad. With God helping, we are in it for the long haul. Even when we fight argue disagree  don't quite see eye to eye... Even when we go dancing in mine fields.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

2 Cups + 2Tbsp+1Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 1/2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 Tbsp Butter, chilled
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 Cup Half and Half, chilled
2/3 Cup frozen Blueberries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use your Flexipat.
Combine blueberries and 1Tbsp flour in a small bowl and place it in the freezer.
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Cut in butter until it is about pea sized. These will melt while baking in the oven; leaving pockets of buttery yumminess.
Add vanilla and half and half until it is just barely incorporated. (I didn't have half and half but I did need to use up some whipping cream. I doubled the recipe and came up 1/2 Cup short so I used regular old 2% Milk and the world survived.)
Knead blueberries into mixture until it forms a ball. Pat dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 9-10inch circle.
Cut into 8 triangles and place 1 inch apart on your baking sheet.
Take 1 1/2 Tbsp butter and cut it up into 8 pieces. Place a piece on each triangle.
Bake 15 minutes.

I found the original recipe from a blog called Good Things Catered. I can't find it though. Sad. She had a ton of awesome recipes. Loved her Window Sill Tomato Sauce.
Sorry there are no pictures. My camera battery went dead. I guess I will be forced to make them again soon...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Orange Cream Cranberry Scones

I have extra Heavy Cream left over from Holiday baking. This is my Holiday Scone.

Here are all my ingredients. I have learned that there is a reason why the cooks on TV have all of their supplies out and ready to go. It just makes everything easier. It also insures that you will not begin making a recipe only to find that you do not have enough sugar/eggs/flour/vanilla/butter/etc.

That includes having your cooking tools ready. Here are the ones I used:

I <3 my Pastry Blender and my Zester!

Mix together:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt (Kosher)
1 tsp grated Orange Zest
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1 1/3 Cups Heavy Cream

When Cream is integrated, knead 8-10 times on a lightly floured surface. (At this time your hands will be too sticky to take a picture.)
Pat or roll out until it is 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into 2 inch circles with a biscuit cutter or drinking glass rim.
form into an 8 inch circle and cut into pizza wedges. Place on a buttered cookie sheet (unbuttered Silpat) 1 inch apart.

Bake at 400 degrees (conventional oven or 350 degrees for a convection oven) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

While the scones are baking you can make the Orange Glaze
Mix together:
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Orange Juice (I just squeeze half of the orange I got the zest from and eat the other half)

Add more orange juice as needed until glaze is smooth and slightly thick.

Drizzle on scones and top with more orange zest.

The original recipe is Lemon Cream Currant Scones. Just substitute Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice for the Orange Zest and Orange Juice and substitute Currants for the Cranberries. Easy, Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!

I got the original Lemon Cream Currant Scone recipe from a cooking class at the YWCA when I was on the Membership board. Lauren Hemenway, who owned The Verve Coffee and Art House taught it. I also have her Peach Scone recipe. Our Favorite! If only I could get her cookie recipe...