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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Well, we were certainly busy these past few weeks ... continuing our recycling unit with creating pumpkins from recycling grocery bags to creating their own 'treat' bags and then taking the recycling to the fullest by demonstrating how to 'use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without' kind of mentality -- of which most students were astonished over:)

Ok, so Monday we began our pumpkins by forming them as well as putting a coat of paper mache` on them. The students LOVED (most of them, at least!) to dig into the slimy, wet paper mache` and slap it on their pumpkins. They were very inquisitive as to how 'this' would end up looking like a pumpkin, but had faith in their teacher:) Here they are after the paper mache' was applied.

Then, Tuesday we began our treat bags. They were simple white canvas bags that the students traced a pumpkin onto and then used buttons to 'fill in' the space, creating the look of a pumpkin and then wrote the word "Treats" at the bottom. Then, I wrote their names with a sharpie at the top -- I originally jotted their initials to the tag inside of the bag but then thought it would be a nice touch (and much easier for me) to write their names on the outside top of the bag. Here are the bags and the finished pumpkins lined up on our shelf. I think they turned out absolutely darling. We finished painting the pumpkins and the glued dried on the bags
on Thursday, when they both went home.

These are their handmade treat bags:)

These are the recylced pumpkins...cute, right?

This is a shot of their recycled pumkin, miniature jack-o-lanterns they created and a top shot of their treat bags:)

Then our last project began on Wednesday ... carving the pumpkin. The kids really liked this -- I let them dig in and take out the guts of the pumpkin, making them ooey gooey and they enjoyed it!!! This was the first pumpkin I ever remember carving -- I do not remember carving a pumpkin as a child, but I may be wrong about that. However, this is my VERY FIRST pumpkin carving as an adult, I know that. It was a blast and turned out really cute, I think. The students chose the face and I carved it. Then we displayed in the class until the weekend and then I brought it home to dispose of it -- didn't want it to attract any bugs nor stink up the room:()

They loved getting in there and feeling the sliminess of the guts... they had such a blast, and so did I!!!

So, these are our fall/Halloween learning projects thus far. We intend to begin the pilgrims and turkey projects shortly as well as our thankful tree. We have to notate and remember why we are thankful and what all we TRULY need to be thankful for. So, stay tuned for much more to come......


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Fun:)

We began studying recycling in science this past week and will continue with it into next week and so I thought what better example to give than to recycle the old, broken crayons that I inherited! So, to the dollar store I went and found some pumpkin ice cube trays and took on the adventure early this morning ....

Just in case you were wondering ... there are a million and ten suggested ways to do this on the internet and I think that I tried one million of those ways today until I found something that worked for me.

BEWARE....the fumes can be intoxicating!!! So, make sure that you are in a well ventilated area -- open windows, use exhaust fan, etc!!! I started in the microwave but felt as if the microwave was becoming toxic, smelling of crayons, and it really wasn't melting quickly enough for my liking :) So, I switched to the paper liners in a cupcake pan and melted in a 250 degree oven. This worked perfectly -- takes less time and tends to melt more evenly. You may want to open your oven to vent after it has cooled completely (unless it's the winter and you can use a little more warmth in your house:)), just for precautionary reasons.

HERE THEY ARE!!!!!! (some more perfect than others ...)

These are two of the prettiest ones...but I think they are completely cute:) Now, I am off to find a cute label so that the students know they are NOT to be eaten!!!!

Happy hunting ....

School Spirit

Well, again, it has been a million years since I have posted anything on my blog. Between staying afloat with school and trying to get healthy, it has been a struggle, nonetheless!!! My recent 'activity' was to make myself a lanyard to hold my key to my classroom as well as my ID badge, when I needed to wear it -- I don't have to wear it daily and therefore, do not;however, I do wear my key around my neck because if not, I will lose it,I'm sure!!!! We are the eagles and our colors are read, white, and blue - very patriotic, right?!?!!? Anyway, have created several different ones and then totally trashed them because I was not happy with the outcome ... well, took them off the string and started restringing something new. So, here is my school lanyard ....

As you can see, it consists of red, white and a few blue beads (much harder to come by the right color blue) and then te round ones are actually red and white with a blue star...very patriotic:) It was super simple to make and is very durable!!!


Monday, September 20, 2010


It has been about 4 weeks since the start of school and I have seen such progress in my babies that it makes me smile inside and out:) I began with 8 students who would smile and nod to me but would not speak - were basically non-verbal - and they are all using their words (as I say) and have even blossomed to the point of leading a class experiment. We were dicussing weather and the changes in water to ice when a student stood in front of me with this awesome story of making ice pops. I couldn't resist .... ice pops it was to provide a hands-on experience for making water turn to ice. Now mind you that this was a student that did not speak at all and was slow as methusala with EVERYTHING but now hustles with everything. I had him lead the experiment, explaining it to his classmates, and I have seen even more change in him since last Thursday that it just makes me cry to think about it. Can you tell?? I am completely proud of my babies....all 8 of them:) Here are some pictures of them completing the project, no faces of course.

They each got to pour 2 molds of their choiceHere they are each putting toothpicks in their poured molds.

The next day, Friday, we took them out of the molds and ate them while watching our "School House Rocks" video on grammar. What a fun day:)

Thanks for stopping by to read about my blessing ... I couldn't be happier with my 'God job':)



Well, it has been nearly a month since my last posting and SOOOO much has happened since then!! On Thursday, August 12th, I received a phone call from a school in East Point, GA for an interview. It just so happens that was during the time that I spent with my sister, returning home on Saturday, August 14th. However, I didn't check my voicemail (because noone calls me at home, everyone calls me on my cell phone!) until Sunday evening and then went into panic mode! Don't panic, I kept saying to myself ... if it is the job the Lord wants for me, they will still consider you for an interview. Deep breaths, breathe....

First thing Monday morning (even before they would answer their phones) I began calling and kept calling, in 15 minute intervals, until someone answered the phone. I was determined to speak to someone to get an interview -- just speak with me and give me a chance, I thought. So, finally I got through to a live person -- just so happened that it was the assistant principal! She said to come in that day at 1:30 --"Yes ma'am, I look forward to speaking with you soon" was my response. So, there it was ... the interview, the chance, that I had prayed for. And where was this school anyway, I thought, and did I even apply for this specific school??? Oh, I didn't care, I just prayed for a job where I could reach out and teach and touch those special lives. Then it was off to calling my prayer warriors who had bloody knees, I'm sure, from constant prayer for me:) Momma was first and then to my sister ... prayer chain started and now I could get out the 'interview suit' and iron and start to get ready. I had about 4 hours until THE time but wanted to make sure that I was rushing and I was fully prepared!!! Searched the web to get information about the school; however, the web hadn't been updated in a zillion years and so guessed that information wouldn't be vital to the interview. Lord, please put the words in my mouth and let my love of children and desire to teach those special ones come through in my spirit and through my lips, I prayed.

This alphabet is a representative of my new future:)

So, then it was, that Monday afternoon that I received one of the biggest blessings ever!!! I was called back by the principal about 2 hours later and offered the job to teach 1st and 2nd grade interrelated resource. I accepted, of course, and began work that Wednesday (he, the principal, had to wait on clearance from the district office). I went to work at 12:30 on Wednesday August 18th and have never been happer!!

So, hope you will forgive me for my delay in blogging ....


Sunday, August 15, 2010


Sorry it has been a few days since posting anything ... I have been busy rekindling and healing with family. It has been a while since I have had a relationship with my family members and the Lord showed me that these relationships are important and that I needed healing with them and to restore these relationships. I feel as if the Lord also said that He was waiting to provide me with my teaching job until all healing had taken place -- something that has been needed for quite some time!!! So, you'll forgive me for not having posted recently, I hope:)

I got back into town on Friday from my sister's and then anticipated the big sale at Hancock's, so didn't really do any crafting until Saturday. Early that morning I headed out to Hancocks:)  I had a list as well as a budget and spent over 4 hours in the store!!! I was soooo overwhelmed!!

I had already started working on 2 or 3 necklaces and decided that I needed to finish one project before starting on another ... plus, my new material was in the washer!! So, I finished beading the necklaces today -- maybe one or two ideas left to work up -- with two of them, specifically, being inspired by the fabric (remnants) I just purchased.
These are the 2 inspired by the fabric (as you can see the fabric in the background).These are the others that I whipped together....
one solid pink, one pink and green, one solid purple, a black and grey pearl one and one with pastel pearls.

*******As soon as I figure out how to 'open' up on Etsy, I will put these in the store to sell. **********

For those who read my previous blog "Experimental Fun", you'll remember the peanut butter coffee cake that I made in the individual loaves. Tomorrow is a friend's birthday (also named Deanna but actually goes by her middle name ... how funny!!) and so tucked a loaf of bread in a bread bag, tied it up with a card and VOILA, a handmade/homemade birthday gift! I thinkn she'll love it with one of her 15 million cups of coffee she drinks. Here it is all wrapped up ....
Oops, it is on it's side .... don't really know how to flip the photo....sorry!!

Well, I am off to categorize, label, and group the items that I have left to put together so that I can form an assembly line to finish these projects/Christmas gifts. Tomorrow is cleaning and laundry day, so I doubt I will do much crafting tomorrow ... hopefully I will have something to share with you by Friday.

Till later ....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Update on baking

Well, since the other day in the Olympics of baking, I have since tasted (and so have many other individuals) the coffee cake which is mm mm good!!! This morning before church I sliced a piece of the chocolate peanut butter coffee cake and it was sooooo scrumptious deliumptous goooood!!!! Just wanted to update you on the TASTE of the breads ..... try them, you will LOVE them, too!!!

As for what else I have been up to .... a friend, who has already been blessed to be a teacher, asked me for a few things to put in their 'class store' -- a reward system that the students earn 'money' for doing extra things and are then allowed to 'shop' with their 'money' - and so I have been showing her what all I had in my stash (or what I could 'throw' together with ease!). So, I put some really simple cards together - a pack of 5 with 2 birthday wishes, 1 school-themed card, a hello greeting, and a friends card. She loved them and again, I was about to make 500 zillion sets of 5 when she told me stop and let her take in the ONE set to see if the children will even be interested. Of course they will be interested, I thought, these are too cute!!!!
The envelopes are in the front ... oops, I forgot I still need to make one for the balck, school-themed card!
Gotta get right on that! Don't ask why a majority of them are PURPLE!!!
I also 'allowed' her to take one of my travel pouches (red, purple, blue stripe) and my 'Wild Things' bag in to the store (these pictures you've already seen). I also made this picture for her to take in ... It was a saying that I had earmarked in a catalog, printed it out on cardstock, the frame was one I had from the Dollar Tree and then pasted the saying onto pink gingham and then pasted on black cardstock, which you can barely see. So, tres easy, but so so cute!!!

The other thing that she saw in my collection (which I actually brought home from my Momma's) was the homemade (out of material or felt) fortune cookies. She thought (prompted by me!) that she could use the cookies in her classroom, stuffed with inspirational words in them for her students. These are all things that I have had in mind to do when the Lord blesses me with that teaching job:) I haven't done any of the cookies yet, still need to talk to Momma to ensure that how I think they are made is actually true ... so, stay tuned, more to come!!!

Signing off....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Experimental Fun

I have not been on for the past couple of days because I have been busy doing a bunch of different stuff!!! All of which I have experimented with and love but have no idea for whom nor why I am creating them -- just simply having fun!! You all know about that, though, I'm sure!! I have been crazily attempting to complete all Christmas gifts before August 1st because I am waiting for a job to come through - well, waiting patiently for the Lord to show me my new job. I have recently completed my education degree in special education and am waiting for my blessing that He will be sending my way...

Anywho, today was my 'cooking' day where I was experimenting with breads, some familiar and some new, dry rubs for meat, and other goodies that I can prepare and freeze (closer to the holidays, obviously!) to have on hand for gift giving or unexpected friend drop-ins.

Here is the banana bread that I have made several times and, most often, I will make in the miniature loaf pans but this one is for someone whom I thought would enjoy the whole thing!
The recipe actually came from the PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) Cookbook that was created by all the women of the Chapel at the Naval Weapons Station Charleston, which is the church that I grew up in. The recipe collection was published in 1981, I believe!! Each of the women contributed at least one recipe and this one happens to be one of Ms. Ethridge's contribution. It is so mm mm good and so, so easy!!! Here is the recipe....
Banana Bread:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 cups sifted flour (I sift before I measure)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup nuts (I use walnuts)
Mix ingredients together and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees in loaf pan.

This recipe is new for me ... it is a peanut butter coffee cake out of the Better Homes New Cookbook. This, too, was incredibly easy and, as you can see, I made these into the miniature loaves for gift giving. The recipe actually says to bake in a 9x13 dish, but I wanted little ones, so tried it this way. They seem to have turned out but haven't taste tested as of yet! So, the recipe also has a substitution for a chocolate peanut butter coffee cake and so I made 3 of them with the chocolate (the 3 in the back, if you couldn't tell) and 4 plain peanut butter. I hope that they will wrap nicely and then can be tucked nicely into a bread bag and given as a gift. No, I'm not expecting these to last until the holidays -- I was just experimenting to see what kinds of goodies could be easily prepared in bunches to wrap and hand out at Christmas.
Here is that recipe....
Peanut Butter Coffee Cake:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
For topping, in a bowl stir together first 2 ingredients. Then cut in the next 2 ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 eggs
1/4 cup margarine or butter
              In a bowl stir together 2 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add milk, 1/2 cup peanut butter, the eggs, and 1/4 cup margarine or butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till blended. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl frequently.
             Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan, spreading evenly (remember, I used miniature loaf pans). Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or cool. Serves about 16 people.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coffee Cake:
Prepare as above, except add 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces to topping and stir in 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces into batter after beating. (I used regular sized morsels because that's what I had and I think it turned out ok!) I'll let you know what it tastes like but it was again, a super easy recipe. Can you tell I'm into super easy?!!?!?!?

So, that's what I've done this morning. I also created some dry rubs but haven't 'dressed' them, so can't show you quite yet....stay tuned to see those little babies.

A Couple of Days Ago...

I have also been making some bags - all of which are from others' tutorials - and are just adorable!!!These are the pictures of the ones that I have stitched together.

These are 6 of the little bags that I have made ...either to put goodies in or just to give as a stand-alone gift.

This one (and the one below) have a travel tissue holder sitting in front of the pouch.

These are the cosmetic pouches that I actually started at my mother's during the summer - she gave me a personal tutorial on how to create them and then sent me home with a paper one:) So, when I got home, I was a stitchaholic with these!!! I am my mother's child ... when I discover something I like and that is cute, I make a zillion of them!!!

These are the pencil pouches or personal pouches that I made for some friends' children.

Hope you enjoy all the wonders I shared today...stay tuned for more glorious handmade items:)

Till later ... Deanna

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beginning Stages

Well, I am new to the whole blogging thing ... introduced by my wonderful mother, believe it or not!! I recently spent some time with her and began to relive crafting and creating wonderful things, so thought blogging would be a cool way to show all that I have to offer, especially in the realm of photography - my number one passion:)

So, here it goes ... my first picture on the web! These are my 2 babies ... Madison, who is 8 and Mufasa (yes, named after the Lon King!), who is 7. Phew, time flies ... how did they get to be so old?!!?

Madison Nicole (yes, they have middle names!)
Mufasa Ali