Tuesday, November 29, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 39

For anyone who doesn't know,
I'm Canadian.
And I like Thanksgiving.
The Canadian Thanksgiving is in October.
Growing up, Thanksgiving was a time when 
instead of my family traveling to Toronto 
to visit relatives,
they would come visit us.

When Scott and I were together,
living in Canada,
Thanksgiving was different.
We didn't always get to travel to Toronto.
I can honestly only remember one Thanksgiving.
We were together in Ottawa.
I wanted a "traditional" dinner,
but a turkey for the two of us didn't make sense.
So we bought cornish hens!

Our Thanksgiving in Korea was a lot of fun.
The Canadian Embassy held a huge Thanksgiving dinner.
Turkey and all the trimmings.

Since leaving Korea,
Thanksgivings have come and gone.
We hardly remember our Thanksgiving.
The American Thanksgiving means 
we need to get our heads around the fact that it's almost Christmas.

Then Thanksgiving happened this year.

I'd like to say we got Thanksgiving off
because it's an American school,
however I'm told not all American schools have this as a holiday.

I got to experience a fabulous Thanksgiving 
with my Lusakan family.

There was turkey.

We had 4 turkeys!
With tons of sides.

And there was dessert.
Tons of dessert.

But the best part of Thanksgiving,
is not the food,
but the mates.
The people who have welcomed us
to Lusaka.
The people who have made us a part
of their family.
The people who bring joy to
our lives.

Happiness is Thanksgiving with your new family.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I hate snakes!
Yes, hate is a strong word,
but it is a strong emotion.

I hate snakes soo much,
I'd rather spend my morning with crocodiles.

Oh wait a minute,
I did!

If You Cannot Sleep

If you cannot sleep
because your husband snores,
you'll move into the spare room.

In the middle of the night,
your son will awake,
and enter your bedroom.

Since your husband is asleep,
he will not have your son go pee
or return to his own bedroom.

Because your son did not pee,
he will now pee
in your bed.

Your husband will awake with a shock
and come wake you to assist.

You will strip the bed,
but decide at 1am,
you are in no mood to change the sheets,
so you will suggest he sleep in the spare room.

He will go to sleep,
while you settle your son,
change his clothes,
and help him go back to sleep.

You will finally crawl into bed
in the spare room,
only to find you cannot sleep,
because your husband is snoring.

The End

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere

I have a wonderful blogging mate,
Love how I call her a blogging mate.

Anyways, of all the awesomeness that is Kim,
she happens to also be a fabulous photographer.
I figure if I can have a teeny tiny piece of her talent,
I'd be incredible!

This weekend we were in Victoria Falls.
And all day today,
I had Kim's voice in my head,
asking me to see the water in a creative way.

I took way too many pictures of falling water.

Then this evening, 
I continued with the Kim theme,
and played with a couple of pictures.

these are for you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 38

Sunday was one fabulous day.
There was a craft and design show in Lusaka.
In other words...

This place was packed!

And they thought of everyone. 
Since it's usually the women that like to shop
and the men and children are dragged along,
there's a spot for them.

I managed to get some fab gifts.
I think I may have even found Scott's gift.
But I shall not be sharing those pics,
otherwise people may figure out what they are getting! ;)

And while it's hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it's so warm out,
they took care of that.

I like to call her the Pimms lady.
For anyone who knows me,
Christmas is not Christmas
until the Pimms comes out.

Even Scott got into the Pimms.

After the market, we went for lunch.

Ethan says,
"Look Connor, I went to Chicago's!"

Happiness is a wonderful Sunday shopping and lunching with the family.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Princess Stinky-Toes and the Brave Frog Robert - Leslie Elizabeth Watts

So as a mum and teacher, I read tons of children's books. And although I write about the books I've read, I've never written about a children's book. Until now.

Ethan found this book in my collection. Yes my collection. I cannot recall when I bought it, nor did I remember ever reading it. So when Ethan asked me to read it, I was happy to.

Princess Stinky-Toes and the Brave Frog Robert is not your typical fairytale. Yes, it has the elements of a traditional fairy tale; princess, magic, good vs evil, but that's as far as it goes. This one would be classified as a fractured fairy tale.

As opposed to the helpless princess that relies on a brave knight to save her, this princess is out to save herself. Well, with the help of a brave frog named Robert. She learns a witch intends to feed her to a dragon on her birthday. She also learns the dragon likes beautiful princesses. So instead of accepting her fate, she refuses to bathe for a year, leading her to be a disgusting princess. 

I don't dislike fairy tales. I actually really love them. I even collect Cinderella books. Yes, you read that right. I own about 15 different Cinderella books. And yet while I love my Cinderellas, I'm now a huge fan of Princess Stinky-Toes! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Five

It's Friday!!!!
It's been a stressful week, 
but the weekend is looking good.
There's a craft show so I can start my Christmas shopping
and Sunday we're taking Ethan to see the secondary kids in
The Wiz!

1. Do you have a song that always puts you in a good mood?
So, I'm not really sure if there's a particular song that brightens my mood. However, I do seem to have a habit of singing in class, and it tends to cheer up the whole class. That is, of course, until they beg me to stop singing!!!

I can usually be found singing; 
I'd like to be
Under the sea,
In an octopus' garden
In the shade.

And you can always rely on my kids to sing along. 

2. Are you a real Christmas tree kind of person or do you go with a real fake one?
I do love the real trees.  However, I could never find them in Dar, and doubt I'll find one here. Instead, we have a cute little, and by little I mean little, tree we put up every year. We have been collecting ornaments every year, I almost wonder if they will all fit on our little tree this year!

3. What are you thankful for?
I've had a rough week.
The joys this week are;
My husband and Ethan - I'm so grateful to have you both.
My principal - I am thankful for your support.
Jodie - Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder this week.
Sarah - This week, your Viber texts brought a smile to my face.

4. Which fashion fab from the past do you wish you could wear today?
Could I simply ask to be as slim as I was in the past so I could wear those clothes?
I'm cold right now,
so thinking a pair of legwarmers would be fab!

5. Do you wait until the "low fuel" light comes on before you fill up the gas tank?
I wait.
Granted, currently I am car-less
as Scott has the car.
However, if I had a car. 
I'd wait.
And make Scott fill it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 37

I love chocolate.
Probably too much.
I remember once, before lunch, I had a craving for something sweet.
I grabbed a piece of chocolate.
Scott was not impressed!
"Chocolate? In the morning?"

Well guess what?
I can have chocolate any morning.
That's right.
And not because I'm an adult, so I can.
But chocolate tea.
Yes, you read that right.

Guess what I found this summer?

Yup, you read that right.
Chocolate Conspiracy Black Tea!

So every morning, while I get Ethan ready for school,
I let it steap.

Then place it in my handy-duty Starbucks mug to take to school.

Happiness is a little bit of chocolate to get your day started off right.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thank You Sarah

My mate, Sarah, has a fabulous blog. Have you been there yet? No!!! Why not??? You can visit her here.

 A few weeks ago, Sarah had a Shutterfly give-away. I don't normally enter give-aways, but now I have a US mailing address and am not sure where to make my cards here, so I thought; why not? I need to make some Christmas cards, and this would make life easier. 

Guess what??? I won!!! Teeheehee.

Ok, let me just say there are way too many choices. It took me forever to choose one card. But I finally did! What do you think of it?

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Thank you Sarah and Shutterfly!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Making Thinking Visible - Ron Ritcchart

Did you know the verb think is the 12th most used verb in the English Language?
Shocking! I know!
What's even more stunning, as a teacher, I probably use that word a gazillion times.

Making Thinking Visible is a research-based approach to teaching thinking which began at Harvard's Project Zero. The book is filled with strategies to get your children thinking more. 

Don't be rolling your eyes!

While reading the book, I made a conscience effort to use the word think less and use other words; connection, comparison, prediction, estimate. It's amazing the different responses you get by changing one word.

I've even begun some of the strategies in my classroom. You can take a look at the See, Think Wonder strategy here.

If you're a teacher and want to open your students' minds, you'll love this book.

Five Question Friday

Don't you just love the blogging world?
Yesterday I blogged about needing Ethan to sleep through the night,
or if he were to wake up, to at least go back to sleep 
in his own room.
And guess what?
He did!!!!
He slept through the entire night.
Touch wood it continues.

Ethan and I are in for a quiet weekend.
Scott and I had a date night planned today.
And a party tomorrow.
And an afternoon of wine drinking at Sugarbush on Sunday.
Then Scott got invited to go fishing.
The Kiambi Invitational Open.
So, instead, Ethan and I will relax.
I have some work to do,
so it should work out ok.

Meanwhile, it's
Five Question Friday!

What's the last thing you spent too much money on?
Do I have to be honest?
According to Scott, everything I buy is too much.
I haven't made any huge purchases lately.
Again, shopping not the best here.
I did, however, spend too much on Ethan's Santa gift.
Even I'll admit it was stupid.
Ethan mentioned he would ask Santa for Lotso.

I found one.
For 40 Quid.

What celeb chef would you want to make you dinner?
So, I've thought about this.
I love Michael Smith (Canadian), Michael Symon and Jamie Oliver.
I even think Paula Dean would be a blast to have over.
If I could survive her love of butter.
But, if I could get a celeb chef,
 I'd have to choose
Guy Fieri.
And this is why,
he makes kick ass food,
with a cool beverage,
after dinner,
we could play
Minute to Win it!

Where do you hide things when visitors pop over or do you let them see the real deal?
See, these are the questions which make me look snobby.
We have a pile of photographs on the floor
that I plan to hang this weekend.
Asides from that,
we've got Mary.
If we're having company come over
she'll make sure the house is spotless.

Who is your oldest living family member?
Am not sure.
I think my dad has a brother that's in his late 70s.
So will have to go for that.
(Feel like this was a trivia question -
did I win?)

What is your favourite DQ treat ?
As soon as I saw this,
my mouth watered
thinking of their banana splits.

But as I started writing this,
my mind wandered over to the Blizzard.

Oh I'm so confused!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Need Sleep

Ethan was a great sleeper.
Notice I said was?
One night, when he was about 3 months old,
Scott woke up in the middle of the night.
He asked me if Ethan had woken.
"No," I replied in a dreamy state.
"Did you check on him?" he asked.
Well Ethan was soundly asleep.
And from that day on, 
he slept through the night.
All my mates were envious.
They had children waking numerous times a night.

And then Ethan turned 4.
And suddenly he's waking at night.
I know the whole Supernanny thing says to walk them back to bed.
But at 1am, you need to make sure he pees.
And then he decided he wanted to sleep in our bed.
But Ethan tosses and turns all night,
so if we want sleep, it's not a good idea
to have him sleep with us.

About 2 months ago, 
this all ended
and Ethan was back to sleeping through the night.
Until last week that is...

With Ethan being sick,
he'd wake at 10pm with a fever.
and wanting to watch over him,
I'd let him sleep with us.

But now Ethan's better.
Yeah, he's better!
Only he's back to waking in the middle of the night.
And he's back to insisting on sleeping with us.
For 2 nights,
we didn't want the fight,
only to have him kick Scott out of bed.
Last night, 
we faced the challenge,

So now, I need some sleep.
Please Ethan,
please sleep through the night.
Or if you do wake,
go back to sleep.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 36

It has been a rough weekend.
Ethan's been sick.
And I was feeling the guilt of being a working mom.
I was on course from
Thursday - Saturday
and left my poor sick boy behind.

But in the midst of
sickness and workshops
I got a little something to brighten the house.

Happiness is beautiful roses that brighten the home.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Question Friday

My dearest Ethan woke up Wednesday night with a fever.
He stayed home from school, yesterday.
He was not happy about that.
He was convinced with some medicine,
he could handle school.
What's worse,
is I couldn't stay home with him.
I'd have no problem calling into work,
and telling them I can't come in,
I'm on course.
I'm attending a PYP workshop.

We made an appointment with the paediatrician today.
So instead of missing the whole workshop,
I missed a bit.
Ethan doesn't have malaria.
It's viral.
We're hoping he feels better soon.

it's Friday!

1. What movie do you love to quote?
I'm not a movie quoter.
I do have lines I love from movies.
What do you want to marry me for, anyhow?
So I can kiss you anytime I want.
Maggots Michael. You're eating maggots.
But I don't quote them.

2. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?
Oh, you want details?
Nothing too exciting.
Went on a couple dates with a guy who had a bike.
Thought it was pretty cool.
A few years later,
I thought men with bikes were sexy.

3. What's your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?
Make myself a cup of hot chocolate,
curl up on the sofa,
with a blanket
and a book.

4. Do you prefer a bunch of small gifts, or one really big (expensive) gift?
This is a loaded question.
When we go home for Christmas,
small gifts make packing easier.
But not a whole bunch of small gifts.
Big gifts are great.
Except when your brother buys your son
a huge gift and you're stuck trying to figure out how to pack it.

5. Do you ever lose track of days and show up somewhere wrong?
I tend to confuse days.
I'll tell Ethan he has an activity
that he doesn't.
Or confuse my students.
I usually catch it,
so we don't show up somewhere wrong.
when we're on vacation,
I'm utterly clueless!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Writer's Workshop

A couple of weeks ago,
 MamaKat asked us to make a list of
 22 things we have not done.

Last week she asked for a list
of 22 things you have done.

This week she's asking to expand,
tell a story behind one of the things
you've done.

Last week, we had internet issues
so I wasn't able to post my have done list.
So this week, 
 thought I'd combine the two.

22 Things I Have Done

1. I have been to Paris.
When I was working in Canada, 
a mate of mine had her husband surprise her
with a trip to Paris for her 30th.
I told Scott I wanted that.
Well we didn't quite make it for my 30th, 
but we made it there. 

2. I have had a bikini wax.
I only add this, 
as there were posts in the 
have not done 
of people who have not had a bikini wax.
I have.

3. I have been on an African safari.
when you live in Africa,
go on safari.

4. Climbed Mt Kilimanjaro
You cannot live in Tanzania
without having climbed Kili.

5. Given birth
No brainer there.

6. I have had my heart broken.

7. I have trekked through Northern Thailand.

8. Been to Borocay.

9. Been on a cruise of the Greek Islands.

10. I have spent way too much money at Target.
Although I refuse to admit that to my husband.

11. Have had laser eye surgery.
At the moment I was having it done,
 I truly thought it was the dumbest thing I ever did,
but now think it was the greatest.

12. Have had surgery.

13. Gone without power for over 15 hours.
Ah, the joys of Tanzania!

14. Been in the Chu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam.

15. Watched Grease a gazillion times.

16. Met Michael Damian
And thought that made me the coolest.

17. Been snowboarding.
Or, as I like to say,
I took snowboarding lessons,
and learnt to stop without falling down.

18. I have broken a finger
playing beach volleyball.

19. Taken Indian cooking lessons
but I still cannot cook.

20. Gotten a tattoo and had my belly pierced.
Not on the same day.

21. "Met" some of the best women ever.
I don't know what I'd do without my Seeds.
Although we've never met in person,
this bunch of ladies are some of my best mates.
I cannot imagine not knowing them.

22. I have become a blogger.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chef Ethan - Carrot and Feta Biscuits

 Ethan mixes butter and flour.

 Add some feta.

 Handful of shredded carrots.

 And mix.

 Marta helps him pour in some milk.

 And Ethan forms it into a dough.

 Cookie cutters!

 I love how he places each cut out neatly on his baking sheet.

 Before they go in the oven,

and after they\re cooked.
Carrot & feta biscuits.