Monday, August 10, 2009

Our BATTY "friend"

It's a little dark, but this is our bat! He likes to roost during the daytime under our porch roof--and yesterday climbed INSIDE the cat enclosure to "sleep" until sunset. I'm a little afraid of bats and so is my DD, so stayed inside, but I did manage to get a pic of the little guy. He's very tiny--only a little bit bigger than a golf ball when curled up!

Tadpoles, Frogs, and Metamorphosis, Oh my!

Not only have we had the good fortune to house 5 baby birds this summer (on the back porch), we have gotten to watch tadpoles metamorph into frogs!!! We realized both our pond and the pool cover had thousands (or so it seems) tadpoles in them, so we couldn't empty either until they were grown. Instead, we have created a science project and are watching the little guys. Most still had tails and no legs or arms when we "rescued" them and brought them inside to watch. We have seen back legs grow, then front arms, and yesterday, we realized that one had no tail. He looked like he was drowning, so I jumped on the internet, only to discover that he WAS indeed drowning! Once they lose their tails, they gain lungs (good-bye gills!). Well, they were in a gallon pickle jar and had no way to get out into the air, so we had to find a new way to house them. Now, they have a half pond/half above water habitat in our 10 gallon fish tank. This little guy is sitting in a teacup awaiting his new home--which he loves! He has suckers on his hand and feet and can climb the walls of the fish tank, climb up the "log" and onto the cement blocks, and he is having a ball! He's everywhere! We have to keep an eye on the rest of the little guys. For some reason, when they get their lungs, they don't always know that they have to get out of the water and will drown, even if there is a non-water place for them to go. So we have to catch them and get them out before they get to that point. Now we are going to the Petco to get "bloodworms" which is what a carniverous baby frog eats. YUCK! We are learning so much about science this summer!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Trip to SETLA 2009

This is me and my friends at the SETLA 2009 Conference in Charleston! We represented Jefferson and Berkley Counties at the Special Education Leadership Conference at the Embassy Suites in Charleston, WV. It was a week of non-stop learning! We were up and eating breakfast at 7:00 am and finished with dinner at 7:00 pm. And, basically, between those two times, except for meals, we were in classes. We learned alot about using technology in the 21st Century Learning environment and we are working on projects throughout the year. It was very tiring--I even went to bed one evening without supper because I was just too tired and in too much pain (shoulder/neck injury from carrying too much stuff a few weeks earlier). But it was WELL worth it! Can't wait to put some of what we learned into practice in the classroom!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

7th Birthday Cake!

I got this idea from a Taste of Home magazine. I tweaked it a little bit and put my own brand of perfectionism to work, and here it is!

It's a labor of love that has lasted over 2 weeks--looking for all the candies required.
Then, the past three days, I've been baking, frosting and decorating. This is my first attempt at working with fondant. I made my own and then rolled it out (WITHOUT a ROLLING PIN!) using my hands and my 4 inch Pampered Chef Pizza Roller!!
I tried to somewhat accurate, but there are at least 4 different Candyland boards since the game first came out, so I took the best of each one--including a REAL Peanut Brittle house!
It's kind-of reminiscent of the Cake Boss, don't you think? :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Week 4 of Debbie's Dare

This is week 4 of Debbie's Dare. I had to choose 7 Decisions that I have made that CHANGED my life. I had a hard time with this one, because I wanted just the right paper. I feel like my life has been just one WILD roller coaster ride! I've had so many ups and downs, and very little straight track. So I finally found the paper that I was looking for. This is actually a two-page spread, but because there are pictures of my students that I do not have permission to print, you'll have to settle for just this half of the page. (The other half contains my current college transcript--All A's--, a picture of George and I during our August 2001 wedding, and some cooking embellishments).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week 5--Debbie's Dare

Here are the layouts for Week 5 of Debbies Dare "All About You in 52". Yes, I'm a little behind. But I put so much thought into this layout that it took me an extra long time to create it. When I first read the topic "Aside from your immediate family, whose life have you impacted?" I really could not think of anyone whose life I have touched. So many people have touched my life, but I've always kind of believed that you don't always know whose life you have touched until you get to Heaven and find out how many stars are in your crown. It's like that song "Thank You for Giving To the Lord..." You don't know you had an impact until they meet you years from now and tell you what you did that helped them or impacted them. Then, one day, George said that he had run into Skylar (one of my previous students) at the grocery store. He said "You must have touched his life in some way because he always asks about you." A couple of weeks later, I was in the store and saw Skylar and he came running over and grabbed me and gave me a great big hug and reminded me of all the fun we had in class. He said "You'd better never forget us!" Believe me, I have never forgotten him or that class! They were all such great kids. Then, I remembered other special kids throughout the years. Sometimes you think that you never made a difference to any of the students that you teach. I hope I've touched a life, but we may never know until we get to Heaven and see the stars in our crowns. I just hope my crown has at least one star.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This week's topic is "If you could have changed one thing about yourself, what would it be?" Again, I thought back to when I was a kid/teen/young adult, and the thing that would have changed my life the most would have been if I had loved myself more--thought more af myself--had more self-confidence. Back then, all I could see when I looked in the mirror was fat and ugly. So many people told me that I was cute and I didn't believe them or see it. Now, I look back at those pictures and cannot believe that I was thin enough, cute (maybe even pretty at times), and yes, I had a big butt, but I'm Italian and it runs in the family! No matter what I did, I was always going to have those hips! If I could have accepted my body features and embraced them, I think that would have changed the way I lived the rest of my life. I made poor decisions based on the fact that I thought I couldn't do any better or get anything better. If I could see then what I see now...I was 120-125 pounds, had beautiful eyes, a nice curvy shape--so what if I wasn't a size 3! I would love to be 125 pounds again! Sometimes you don't see and appreciate what you have until you lose it! I now see in those photos a beautiful young woman who wanted to be liked, loved, and appreciated.
I used a piece of paper from Basic Grey Fusion, cut the "mirror" out with the CM cutting system, beaded it with gold microbeads from I also used a piece of easter basket wrap for the mirror affect. The mirror was created with silver and gold colored paper from CM. The hearts are from K&Company "Smitten" and letter is Cricut cartridge Schoolhouse Plantin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All About You in 52--Week 2

This week's suggestion for the All About You in 52 Dare is "What did you want to be when you grew up?" So, here is my layout. Did I end up becoming what I always wanted to be? No. I changed my mind when I was in high school, but from the time I can remember until I was 16 years old, this was my goal. I'll have to do another layout explaining why I changed my mind and changed my career choice!

Debbies Dare--All About You in 52

I decided to participate in Debbie's Dare this year. It's called "All About You in 52". It's a suggestion for a layout about you every week. I thought this would be a great gift for my daughter when she is older. I finished week one's thought, which is "Who influenced your life the most?" Now, my thought processes for this one mostly centered around since I was a baby until now, and I went with my gut/first instinct in the end. It turned out to be a two-page layout. I free-handed the background for both pages--the staff and huge treble clef. The brads came from Oriental Trading Company, I think. The cassette is actually a scan of my actual recording and inside the "cassette" is a booklet of journaling about my grandfather and me and our obsession with guitars and music and how this changed my whole life. The cassette album cover is hand-drawn by myself and 4 of the songs on the cassette are songs that I wrote. One song is dedicated to my grandfather, Poppy, and "How Great Thou Art" is dedicated to my grandma on my mom's side who passed away with cancer two years after Poppy died of pancreatic cancer. I know he would have been proud of me! I wish he could have met my daughter, and I wish he could have known that I would be getting my master's degree!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The DORA Room

I FINALLY finished my daughter's bedroom!!! It's taken me 3 summers of working on it to draw, paint and finish decorating my daughter's bedroom. It's a four-wall Dora mural including all of the DORA characters, except for Benny the Bull). Originally, my daughter slept in a train bed that we called "Azule" so we even had the train in the room, but now she's in a big girl bed.
Now that I'm finally done, she looks at me and said, "I don't like Dora any more. I want Princesses. All that work for nothing." My answer? "Dora will be here until you're 30, get used to it!" She has princess bed sheets!