Back to School 2009

Well, I survived the first week of school!
This year is one of the first years I was REALLY dreading going back.
I wasn't excited at all. Once August hit, I got really bummed that summer was almost over & that my days of hanging out with the girls all day were coming to an end. As long as some of the days staying at home with them feel, I really do love spending my days with them.
One reason that I wasn't looking forward to going back to school this year is because I am teaching more classes this year. After I had Kate, I started teaching part-time. Because I teach middle school, I don't have to job share, which is awesome! For the past 2 years, I have taught 4 classes each day & I was done at 11:45. It was a SWEET set up. I was usually home by noon & was able to have lunch with Kate before putting her down for her nap.

Well, this year we lost a math teacher at our school (because of budget stuff) and so the rest of the math department had to absorb her classes. Basically, I had to take another class because if I didn't, there wouldn't be anyone else who could teach it. So, now that means I teach 5 classes (teaching 6 is full time) and I have to stay through lunch because my last class is after lunch. Now, I am not done until 1:05.

I know it is only an hour and 20 minutes longer, but it seems much longer than that. The first week was crazy. By the time I picked up the girls & got home it was after 1:30 each day. I have to put Kate down for her nap as soon as we get home and that bums me out because I don't get to hang out with her until AFTER she gets up around 3:30 (or 4!).

Oh yeah, and we got new textbooks for the students, so I have to re-invent all my curriculum and plan everything from scratch. I have SO much prep work to do now. Blah.
Even though I am not thrilled with my new schedule, I am thankful that I have job at a school where I absolutely love teaching at. I love the school & love my co-workers/friends who I teach with. I find part of this ironic though because I DIDN'T want to teach more and there are so many teachers who were laid off or had there hours cut back because of budget cuts. So, I am trying to look on the bright side and be thankful for the situation I am in! I told Kevin that we should put the extra money I am making for teaching my extra class toward a fund for us to go to Hawaii next summer (hint, hint)

I think I have a great group of students this year. I have a set of twins that I baby sat when they were a few months old! I have my high school friend's younger brother in a class. And, I have one of our really close family friend's daughter in my class, which is always fun. I have over 35 students whose sibling I have had in years past.In one class alone, I have 16 students of siblings that I have had! Fun!

And, I really felt old when I realized that this group of students was born in 1997! Ack! That is when I graduated high school. I feel so old!

I have 150 students this year, so that means a lot of tests to correct and a lot of name to start memorizing. I hope to have them all memorized by the end of this week.

My favorite story for the week was from the first day of school. I went over my class policy, told them about my procedures, homework policies, etc.
At the end of class, this student comes up to me and says,
"Mrs. Larson, you do everything like my math teacher did last year. You remind me of her."
I asked him who his teacher was last year and he says, "I didn't go to this school, I went to GR".
(My younger sister teaches math at GR)
I say to the student, "Was Miss C. your math teacher?"
"Yes" , he says.
"That is my younger sister" I tell the student.

Oh my gosh, so funny! I can't believe I have one of my sisters old students. And, the funniest part is that when she started teaching 2 years ago, I told her all my policies & procedures and how I ran my classes, etc. because I think I have a pretty good system going on. So, she runs her math class pretty much identically to how I run my class.
Rebecca and I had a good laugh about that one.

The first week went smoothly. It helped that I got my hair cut & highlighted last Saturday and went back to school shopping for some new clothes. Horray for retail therapy.

I am SO extremely thankful to my mom and Kevin's mom who are still watching the girls for us while I am at work. My mom has even cut back her hours at work so that she can watch the girls for me. Thanks for the sacrifice you are making! The girls (and us) are so lucky to have their Grandmas watch them each day.

And, you probably noticed there are no pictures on this post. (ack!!!)
I haven't had time to take ANY pictures of the girls this week!
I haven't taken a single picture in a week. That must be some sort of record for me. A record I do not like!
I am charging my camera battery as we speak. I can't wait to get behind the lens tomorrow, I am itching to get some pics of the girls.


Flashback Friday: Belly Pics

As I near Claire's first birthday I have been reflecting on this time last year when I was almost 9 months pregnant with her and anticipating the arrival of Baby #2. I realized I haven't made a slide show of my belly pictures from when I was pregnant with her. And, then I realized I hadn't finished Kate's. Oops.

So, in honor of Flashback Friday, I FINALLY put together a compilation of my belly pics for when I was pregnant with each of them.

I have actually been meaning to do this for Kate after she was born, but I never got around to it until now. Oops. At least I have them both done now!

I took a picture every week of my pregnancies so that I would be able to document my growing belly & transformation.

I have 2 slide shows from each pregnancy, full body and close up.

With Kate, I gained 50 lbs (yikes!) and she was 8 lbs 5 oz when she was born (I was induced 2 days after her due date)

Here is a slide show of my Belly Pictures while preggo with Kate from 12 weeks through 40 weeks:

Close up slide show of my belly with Kate:

With Claire, I gained about 45 lbs and she was born 3 days early at a whopping 9 lbs 6 oz! I was induced at 39 weeks 4 days because my doctor thought she was HUGE, and he was right!
Here are my belly pictures of Claire from 13 weeks until 39 weeks:


I was Featured!

Kate's Carnival Party was featured today at Creative Parties & Showers click HERE to check it out!

This is such a fun website that has a ton of great party planning tips & ideas. There are some fun & creative party ideas. I love this site!

I have been known to get a little out of control with party planning, but I LOVE planning parties! And, I really love going to parties!

I can't wait to share Claire's 1st birthday party that is coming up in a few weeks. I promised Kevin I wouldn't go over the top with her party.....


I wish..........

I started a blog when I was preggo with Kate.
I read blogs back in 2006 & 2007...why didn't I start one then? Silly Me!

Because I feel like I need to document some things for her on the blog, every once in awhile, I am going to start doing something called

"Flashback Friday"
stay tuned for Friday's post....


7 years

August 24, 2002
One of the best days of my life!
We dated for 5 months, got engaged on February 15th (yes, the day AFTER Valentines Day, Kevin doesn't like Hallmark Holidays) and 6 months later tied the knot
in front of 250 of our closest family & friends!
Me & my bridesmaids:I had 2 Maids of Honor, both my sisters!
Kevin & his groomsmen:
Our wedding party:
We look so young!
I love you, Kevin! Thanks for being an amazing husband & father.
I am beyond blessed!

Thanks for an amazing 7 years of marriage and for "not getting sick of" me yet ;)
And, this post wouldn't be complete without wishing my parents,
Happy 35th Anniversary!
Yes, we got married the same day as my parents. It happened to be a coincidence. August 24th was one of the only dates left in summer that we could get married (since we had such a short engagement), so we booked it!
Jimmy & Mimi: August 24, 1974


The Dog Days of Summer

.....have ended.
Today was my last day of summer.
(Even though I have gone to my classroom everyday this week)
I didn't to go into school today so that I could enjoy the last day of summer with the girls.
I dressed them in black because I was in "mourning" that summer was over!
We had a fun time bringing lunch to Kevin at work & doing a little back to school shopping (for me!)

It was a hot day today, over 100 degrees & it finally felt like summer had hit!

Kate wanted to play outside with the dog & ride her scooter, but Claire got sick of that & preferred crawling around inside instead.
(she is like her mommy and doesn't like the hot weather!)

We had such a fun (and busy!) summer. It is so sad to see it end. It went by WAY to fast.

Teacher work day on Monday & students come on Tuesday.

I'm not ready, I wish summer wasn't ending!


Jimmy's Homemade Ice Cream

Every year on the 3rd of July, my dad (Jimmy) makes homemade ice cream for the 4th of July Sausage Fest. Seriously, it is the BEST ice cream in the entire world.
It is not good for you, at all, but hey, it's only once a year, right?!?
I have been meaning to post this since the beginning of July, but I totally forgot about it until a few days ago when I was organizing my pictures. Oops!
So, here you go Jimmy's Homemade Ice Cream!
This is what you need:
All the ingredients above are for the "base" or if you wanted to make vanilla ice cream.
Vanilla is boring to our family, so we always make at least 2 flavors.
We ALWAYS make Cookies & Cream. It is hands down, THE BEST. So, grab a pack of these:
The other flavor we make is either Butterfinger or Reeces Peanut Butter Cup. I like Reeces SO much, but this year, Butterfinger was Jimmy's pick (that is his favorite)
This year, Jimmy decided to try out a new flavor. He decided to make a batch of Peppermint ice cream! We added these to the base:
Jimmy's recipe was adapted from this cookbook:
Here are the steps & ingredients for EACH batch in Jimmy "language"
I have deciphered it for you, because Jimmy talk is hard to understand!
(We made 3 batches, so we did these steps 3 times)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2.5 cups milk
7.5 egg yolks, beaten
2.5 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups whipping cream

Step 1: Add sugar, salt, milk to a saucepan & cook over medium heat:
Step 2: Beat the egg yolks:

Step 3: Add the egg yolks to the salt/sugar/milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until heat bubbles appear around edge of pan (about 10 minutes).
Step 4: Take mixture off the stove and cool to room temperature. We made an ice bath for it, like this:
Then we placed the saucepan in the ice bath for 10 minutes:
Step 5: Stir in vanilla to the cooled mixutre:
Step 6: Stir in the cream to the mixture:
Step 7: Strain the mixture into the ice cream canister (so that you don't get any clumps)
Step 8: Prepare your toppings! For the Cookies & Cream & Butterfinger, we crushed about 2 cups worth. We put them in a ziplock bag and used a rolling pin to crush them.
Step 9: Mix in half of the topping (about 1 cup) and then put in the ice cream maker spindle!
Now it's time for the ice cream maker!
Here is what you need for that:
Ice, Rock Salt & an Ice Cream Maker!
Step 10: Place can into wooden barrel. Alternate layers of rock salt & ice until you reach the top of the barrel:

Step 11: Plug in the Ice Cream Maker & let it do it's job!
Step 12: About 10 minutes in, check on your ice cream & then add the last 1 cup of topping:
Step 13: Plug the machine back in & let it continue churning. The machine will automatically stop when the ice cream is done!
This is what you will see:
Step 14: Take your ice cream from the canister & put it into tupperware.
We use these:
Remove the ice cream maker spindle:
And, pour into the tupperware!
One Batch of ice cream fits perfectly into 1 Large Ziploc Brand container:
That is what the Cookies & Cream looks like! It is AMAZING! The BEST Ice Cream EVER!
If you were to make more than 1 batch, then you would just make the "base" and then add whatever toppings or flavor you want. One batch makes a ton, but since we were making this for a large crowd at a party, we made 3 batches.
Here is what the Butterfinger looks like:

Here is the peppermint:
Note: We added 2 cups of crushed starmints & it wasn't minty enough, so you could always add a little peppermint extract.
The ice cream is really soft once you take it out of the maker, so we freeze our ice cream in the containers for a few hours to harden it up.
Step 15: Enjoy!!!!
Kate is a fan!
Jimmy's ice cream isn't hard to make. It takes a little bit of time, but it is WORTH it!
You can also make an extra batch to put in pint or quart tubs & store them in the freezer and give them away to friends
for their birthday. It is also the perfect dessert to bring to a friend with a meal after they have a new baby! You can't go wrong with homemade ice cream!


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