WHAT A WEEK.
I have very little to show you in the way of classroom happenings because so much was happening that I couldn’t take pictures. And there were also a few times that nothing, in fact, was happening, unless you call 30 six-and-seven year olds losing their minds because Santa is coming a classroom happening.
And I do not.
I call it Dear Lord, please help me remember they are only six and seven years old and that I should have mercy on them.
But, really, this class is AMAZING so it wasn’t too crazy. We did listen to a lot of Christmas music while we worked. And by work, I mean make cards for our parents and big buddies, watch a third grade play, watch our school chorus perform a concert, have frequent visits from the Kindness Elf, make sixteen thousand crafts, etc, etc, etc.
Now I’m on break.
FOR THREE WHOLE WEEKS.
Somebody pinch me.
In the midst of all this chaos, I somehow managed to read a book in two days. Shay over at Mix and Match Mama recommended it (and I read her blog every day, and I’ve mentioned her a time or two, and I tend to think in my mind that we are besties) AND NOW I AM RECOMMENDING IT TO ALL OF YOU.
If you are on break, this is the book to read.
It was so good!
I just had to keep reading so I would know what was going to happen.
But I was also so sad knowing that it was going to end!!
I read once that you know you’re reading a good book when you don’t want it to end.
And I did not want this book to end.
I loved the characters, the time period, the story, the prose . . . all of it.
READ IT! You heard it here.
Our administrators gifted us all with socks this year.
The coziest, fuzziest, warmest, softest socks IN ALL THE LAND.
I believe they’re from Bath and Body because the red ribbon says so!
There were two pair in the pack, but the other pair were BLACK.
And, if you live with a German Shepherd, or any other sort of dog who sheds, you do not want to wear black ever.
So I will need to give my black pair away.
But I will wear the heck out of the leopard pair and look fancy, if I do say so myself.
By the way, speaking of shedding, Steve told me that German Shepherds only shed twice a year.
It lasts six months each time.
This is apple dip.
Shay featured it on her blog because, every year, her friends have a recipe exchange party and this year, THIS apple dip won. Sheaffer brought it.
It only has three ingredients.
Cream cheese on the bottom. Caramel next. Heath Toffee bits on top.
And HOLY DELICIOUSNESS.
Steve and I sat hunched over it on the kitchen island with our apple slices and went to town.
When I finally came back to grips with reality, I noticed how much we’d eaten and I was horrified.
Because — Shay had TEN friends snacking on this. A party of people snacking on it.
And Steve and I basically demolished the whole thing. Just the two of us.
We have now made it twice.
The second time, after reading some of the blog comments regarding this recipe, we mixed it all together instead of layering it. And that’s the way to go, I’m pretty sure. Because there’s no digging down to the bottom to get to the cream cheese.
Every bite has everything.
This week, I received two caramel apples (the fancy kind). Steve chopped one up, ate a couple of slices, and then said the apple dip is way better.
Do yourself a favor.
Make this dip and read the book I recommended.
You will not be sorry!!
Friday was pajama day. Those penguin socks were a gift from a former student and I have to tell you, they are now in the running for coziest, warmest, softest socks EVER.
So yes. Friday was pajama day. It was also our party day. It was also our last day before break.
AND IT WAS POURING DOWN RAIN.
Which meant . . . no recesses, pajamas, parties, and getting wet every time we had to leave the classroom, whether it was to go to the bathroom, or walk to the cafeteria.
The last time it rained on our winter party day was six years ago.
Let me set the scene for you:
Six years ago, we lost our 20 to 1 funding which means, for the first time ever in my ENTIRE CAREER, I had 32 kids. We also got a pay cut. We also went from our year-round schedule (I would teach three months on, then get one month off, and I absolutely LOVED it) to a traditional schedule.
In other words, I needed a BREAK.
Well, I didn’t know any better and, as always, I invited everyone to the party. All are welcome, I believe I said.
You can’t do that when you have 32 kids. But I had no idea. NONE.
AND IT WAS POURING RAIN.
And we had zero recesses and we were stuck inside all day.
And after lunch, everyone came. ALL THE WORLD CAME TO OUR CLASS PARTY.
I had moms, dads, little brothers and sisters, high school kids, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and most likely, a foreign exchange student, as well as the milkman, and the UPS guy.
I’m not good at math, but let me tell you something. If 32 kids each have two people come to the class party, then what you have is MASS CHAOS.
And I had 32 kids with AT LEAST two guests each.
There were AT LEAST 100 people in my classroom.
It was the party of the year and NO ONE TOLD ME. I mean, hello? Five little centers where we decorated a cookie, made reindeer food, slapped some glue on an Oriental Trading Craft that wouldn’t stay together because the pieces just kept sliding around and around (kill me now), played Bingo, and made an elf out of construction paper goes faster than you might think, and is not as exciting as some people build it up to be. It was just a first grade classroom party. What in the world?
Did I mention it was raining?
Because, normally, our last recess draws a line in the sand THAT THE PARTY IS OVER. Go to recess or take your child home, but THE PARTY IS OVER NOW. Everyone OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT!
But there was NO LAST RECESS BECAUSE IT WAS RAINING.
And I couldn’t get the people out and I couldn’t hear myself because it was so loud, and I couldn’t walk around the classroom because it was WALL TO WALL PEOPLE.
I remember trying not to cry.
It’s possible I might need some counseling. I look back at that day and start to have heart palpitations.
I have learned from that.
NOW . . . my letter states that due to our large class size, please consider having your child only invite one guest.
That has helped A LOT!
There’s always a rule breaker, but if only one person breaks the rules, then we’re not going to exceed the maximum room limit for people or whatever that’s called.
This year, our party was wonderful because ALL of my parents followed the rules and our five centers were nice and quiet. We had a great time.
EVEN THOUGH IT WAS RAINING.
Because I got even smarter, and earlier in the week, I reached out to three upper grade teachers to see if they would be using their computer lab times at the end of the day. And none of them were because their parties were during that time.
So! Instead of drawing a line in the sand with last recess – which was cancelled due to rain – I drew a line in the sand with TIME FOR COMPUTER LAB! EVERYONE OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT OUT!
And it worked like a charm and twelve parents took their kids home and then I only had 18 kids left and it was like the olden days!
And, just in case you’re thinking why not just have your party at the end of the day? I’m here to tell you that I tried that once and it’s only a 50 minute block and it’s too squishy. It’s a mad dash to get everything done, packed up, and kids to the buses, etc. Talk about stress.
So there you go.
Check, check, check, done, I’m on vacation!
I’ve also been working on this pack all week and I just have three more to record and then I’ll put this in my shop! My class will definitely need these when we return from break!
But let’s not think about that now!
Because it’s break and I’m doing the happy dance!
And by happy dance, I mean I just woke up from a 12 hour night’s sleep, I’m still in my pjs, I’ve got warm fuzzy socks on, a warm blanket on my lap, a cup of coffee next to me, and no plans for the day!
Merry Merry Merry EVERYTHING!