Sunday, March 30, 2008

Teachers Aren't Supposed To Go On Strike

In the state of New Hampshire, where I live, it is illegal for teachers to strike. It could be a law everywhere, I'm not sure. But that is what is happening in the city where I live. The teachers are going to go on strike.

I am not an expert by any means on the subject, but am just speaking from my own personal views. What has happened in my city is the teachers have been working without a contract for close to two years. They have been trying to negotiate a contract with the town officials for that amount of time, and every time they get close to finalizing it, it doesn't get done. Mostly because the teachers want raises, and the stickler for the Mayor and other town officials is that they don't want to give them
retroactive raises.

So the Mayor has vetoed the contract every time. It's at the boiling point now though. A few weeks ago the teachers union gave the teachers permission to strike if need be. Even though it is a State Law not to strike, the teachers are going to anyway. About two weeks ago they gave the deadline of March 31st and if the contract isn't settled by then, they will strike.

So in the mean time, kids will not be able to attend school, they have threatened teachers their jobs if they go on strike, and parents in the city are worried about the outcome.

As of this writing the teachers union, officials and mediators were in talks for over 10 hours, which ended without an agreement. They are to resume talks today at 9:00 am. If the contract is not settled by the end of today, the teachers will go on strike. And the consequences of that on students, teachers and parents are still to be determined.

Well that's just a glimpse of what has been going on in my life, I just have been kind of worried about it for a couple of weeks now, so thought I would just write about it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Flavor Gum Are You?

Here's a fun personality test. These were my results:

You Are Fruit Flavored Gum

You are quirky and independent. You don't tend to follow any one style or rule book.

You are a mix and match type of person, and you draw inspiration from many sources.

While you're definitely a bit unusual, you get along well with other people.

You're eager to welcome anyone into your world. You are not judgmental at all.

You form close bonds with your friends, and your relationships tend to be very secure.

You hold firm to your beliefs and values, and you don't let anyone talk you into compromising them.

Click here to find out What Flavor Gum Are You?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Freeze Your Bananas

One thing I recently learned was you can freeze bananas. If you have bananas that are ripe, and you don't have time to use them right away, you can freeze them. There has been times when I have had bananas that get to ripe for eating, but you just don't have the time to make banana bread or something else with them. So you end up throwing the bananas away.

But now I found out that you can freeze the bananas, so you can use them later on when you have the time and energy, to make something. You can freeze them in different ways. One is to peel the banana, mash it up and freeze in a freezer bag. Another way is to peel the banana and just freeze it whole in the freezer bag. Or you can even just throw the whole banana, peel and all, right in the freezer, as is.

Then some time down the road when you feel up to making something, you can just grab your frozen bananas and add them to your ingredients. Its a win win situation. Because many times I have had to throw out the bananas, and many times when I am making banana bread I have wished I had a nice ripe banana to add to it! So freeze your bananas!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Let's Make Easter Eggs

Every year my kids like to decorate Easter eggs, especially my daughter. I buy the eggs and supplies you need to make them. And my husband boils the eggs, because I am no good at doing that part! And the kids do the decorating.

One thing you should remember when making the eggs, is to add some vinegar then the dye, it makes the colors come out brighter. Another thing I learned from doing them last year was to buy these plastic containers for the dying - see picture above. Because last year I ended up having to throw away some of my bowls, because the dye wouldn't come out!

It's a great activity to do with the kids, and a great tradition to do every Easter. I guess we'll be eating hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, or egg salad for a while. Hope every one has a Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Letter to a Soldier

This is a letter my daughter wrote for her Brownie Troop. They are going to send some letters and pictures along with 6 cases of Girl Scout Cookies (that they raised the money for) to The Troops.

Dear Soldier,

My name is Amanda. I'm in Brownie Troop 10307. Thank you for helping me be a Brownie. My Dad says you are helping me be free, so I can do what I want. Thanks.

Your friend Amanda
Brownie Troop 10307

(Yesterday was the 5th year Anniversary of the beginning of the War, let us not forget!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

You're Never too Old to Sit on The Easter Bunny's Lap

My daughter turned 8 years old last month, but she still wants to go visit the Easter Bunny this week. Every year we visit Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny. I have a picture taken of her every year with each. It's not my choice, she loves to do it!

This year I keep asking her, "Are you sure you want to go visit the Easter Bunny this year?" And she keeps saying, "Yes." It's not that I don't like the Easter Bunny, it's just I don't feel like going down to the mall, standing in line waiting to get the annual picture taken.

I have some horror stories about standing in line for Santa. One year we literally waited in line for 3 hours so she could sit on Santa's lap! But the poor Easter Bunny doesn't seem to be as popular. The line usually isn't to bad.

But I keep thinking she's too old for it, especially when you get their and it's mostly kids 2 and under. And she's towering over them at her age. But I guess as long as she enjoys it and wants to do it, I should enjoy it and let her do it for as long as she wants. Considering my son was always afraid of Santa, (I don't have one single picture of him with Santa) and only one year when he was like 2 years old did he get a picture with the Easter Bunny.

So I guess we'll go Wednesday, (because she gets out of school early that day) to make our annual visit to the Easter Bunny!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Domino Effect Tag

i'm doing my blogging stuff and rounds to my blogger friends when I got this domino tag from a dear friend housewife @ work

idealpinkrose; vanidosa, Thea is {}, Childstar, Mike, My Scrappy Side, Abie, Aggie, Alpha, Apple, Apols, Jacqui, Jane, Jody, Joy, Kelly, Mich, Peachy, Gatteo, Liza (A Simple Life), Tet, Nyumix, JulianaRW, Liza(MCN), Wifespeak, MAX, Hanna, Michelle, Butchay, allinkorea, korean food, idealpinkrose, housewife @ work , mommy2lots*, *miss hill*, *milou*, *the sphinx*, *nessa*, *canadiansahm*, *hip mommy's place*, *lekahe*, *sue*, and *simply dunn*.


Simply add your name to the bottom and pass it forward.

I'm passing this to lost girl, kumowai, itsjusmeili

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Fun to Stay at the YMCA

No, I'm not talking about the song (even though I like that song.) I'm talking about the actual YMCA.

Both my kids take classes there. My son is in a basketball league. Once a week they practice, and then have a game. He really enjoys it. It's not only teaching him the skills he needs to play basketball, but also teamwork and sportsmanship. And it's good exercise for him.

Right now my daughter is taking Jazz/Tap classes. She has taken different types of dance classes for the past 4 years. She also has in the past taken swimming lessons at the YMCA. On Saturdays she has her class and practices her steps. Right now they're getting ready for their recital in May. It's great fun for her and she likes dancing, she also has made some friends over the years through her classes.

I like the YMCA, because it teaches the kids about whatever activity their taking, but also gives them confidence in themselves. And they do it in a fun, not so competitive way. We have tried other organizations for sports and activities, especially for my son, and they were just way to competitive. That's good for some, but my son is not a very competitive type of kid. That's why the YMCA is great for him, they treat everyone the same. And give everyone a chance.

And I think they have pretty reasonable prices, compared to other places. They have a huge amount of activities, even for adults. So check out your local YMCA for the whole family!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Get More Use Out of Your Kitchen Sponge

When your kitchen sponge starts to get old and a little grungy, don't throw them out right away! You can get a lot more use out of it if you do one of two things.

One way to clean a kitchen sponge is to wash it in the dishwasher. Just place the sponge in the top rack of your dishwasher, before you do a load of dishes. Wash sponge in a regular cycle with the dishes, and when you take it out the sponge is clean again, and almost like new.

Another way to clean your sponge is to heat in the microwave. I've been using this method myself for a little while. Just place the sponge on a microwave safe plate, put in microwave for about 30 seconds. Keep an eye on it while your doing it, just to make sure your not heating it to long, and everything is ok. But after about only 30 seconds in the microwave, the sponge is like new again, and heating it kills some of the germs that might be on it. Heating it in the microwave is also great for getting out any odors on the sponge.

Try one of these methods and you can get a little more use out of your kitchen sponge!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Spaghetti Stain Versus the Plastic Container

A great tip I heard the other day has to do with "Pam" (or any other cooking spray) and plastic ware.

You know how, when you put spaghetti, or anything with sauce in it, into a plastic container and then the sauce stains it? It's virtually impossible to get the stain out. So you end up having to throw out the plastic container.

Well a way to avoid that is to spray some "Pam", or other cooking spray, in the plastic before you put the food in it. This will prevent the stain from adhering to the plastic, and save you time from trying to scrub out the stain, and save you money too, because you won't have to throw out all those containers and buy new ones.

I tried this last time I had spaghetti, and it really works!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Making Sugar Cookies

My daughter was home sick from school yesterday, so when she started to feel better by the end of the day, and wanted to make some cookies (for a doll tea party), it was hard to say no. Even though I wasn't sure what we had for ingredients.

We ended up making sugar cookies. I didn't end up having all or enough of certain ingredients. But I improvised. Because that's what mother's do, when there "little girls" are sick and want to make cookies for a tea party! (My son also liked them, just to eat, not a tea party.)

Here's the recipe I used:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Cream together butter & sugar. Beat in egg & vanilla, gradually blend dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
2. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

*Note: I only used (had) 1 cup sugar, 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup of butter & no baking soda, but they still came out good!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Buying Kids Clothes on eBay

You always hear about people selling on eBay, but you don't hear much about buying on eBay. I tried to sell a few things, I had some luck, but to me it seemed like a lot of effort without much profit.

But I have had some luck on buying on eBay. One thing I have bought is clothes for my kids. After doing a little research, I have gotten some really good deals.

I go to the clothing category, click say girls clothes. One piece of advice is go 1 to 2 sizes above their size. The clothes seem to run a little small. Then if I'm looking for say sweaters, I check that and I sort by Price + Shipping lowest first. Then I like to look for more then one piece of clothing sold together.

If you see something you like place a bid on it, enter a maximum bid, but don't go to high. One of the things you have to watch out for is getting in a "bidding war" with someone. You'll end up paying more then you intended. I learned sometimes you have to let some of the items go, if it goes higher then you had wanted. Also make sure you check the sellers feedback.

But for example my daughter takes dance classes, and I won 5 dance outfits for only 1 dollar. I also got about 5 pairs of pajamas for my son for 99 cents. Even with shipping charges they were both deals. Another note is I've bought mostly "used" clothes (that's how you can get such great deals), but all have been in good to practically like new condition.

So if you want to save money on kids clothes, check out eBay for some great deals!

(*above is picture of 2 sweaters I won for my daughter for only $1.79)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

More Snow In New Hampshire

As of yesterday, we were at 102.2" of snowfall in the State of New Hampshire. That had us in 2nd place for highest snowfall in a winter season since 1900 and only the third time we've reached 100" since 1900! We probably will beat the record by the end of the season for the most snow in our state.

We sure have had a lot of snow this winter! My son is stuck in the house with a cold, so he didn't really go out in the snow today. But my daughter, husband and I did. They built a snow man, built a snow fort, and dug a "chair" in the snow, and dug a hole to climb in! Then came in for some hot chocolate.

My daughter loves playing in the snow. It's great fun for kids, but I sure have had enough of it. But it does look pretty, here's a picture of the trees in my back yard.