Friday, December 23, 2011

memorable quotes from The Help

Today I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  It sparked tons of emotion as I read.  I laughed.  I cried.  I rolled my eyes.  I groaned out loud.  And, when I finally got to the part about the Terrible Awful Thing, I almost gagged--but quickly laughed thinking about how sweet revenge really is.

Here are a few quotes from the book that I highlighted as I was reading (another reason I love my iBooks app):

"Cause that's the way prayer do.  It's like electricity, it keeps things going."  
I couldn't agree more!

"But Miss Celia, the way she stares at me with those big eyes like I'm the best thing since hairspray in the can..."
I always thought "the best thing since sliced bread" was a fun expression but never really got it--I've had sliced bread all my life!  I'm totally stealing "the best thing since hairspray in the can" and using it!!  Love it!

"Ugly live up on the inside.  Ugly be a hurtful, mean person."
I had a 5th grader who once said, "God don't like ugly."  Agreed!

"All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl.  But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe."
I have one of those people in my life.  She's had a huge impact on the way I think about the world and the way I think about myself.  She's truly an angel.  I hope everyone has someone like this in their life!

"Every afternoon, I tell her:  You kind, you smart, you important."
Something every one of us should do for kids!

"Saying thank you, when you really mean it, when you remember what someone done for you--it's so good."
What a great reminder for me to thank the people--from the little things people do to the people who have made a difference in my life--and everyone in between!

"That's what I love about Aibileen, she can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right in your pocket."
Sounds like the description of an amazing teacher!

I LOVE how Aibileen writes her prayers, and my favorite is Show me how to teach Baby Girl to be kind, to love herself; to love others, whil I got time with her..."

If you haven't read The Help, hit up your local library and check it out!  And, if you decide to join a book club, check out this fun Book Club Kit, which includes great recipes and book discussion questions!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Most Annoying People on FB

The Most Annoying People on Facebook award goes to:

The Mysterious Friend
This is the person that posts status updates in "code."  Why does the MF do this?  The only answer I can think of is to get people to ask more questions.  Seriously.  Just tell us what you're really thinking so we can all move on with our lives!  I don't have time to connect the dots.  If you don't want everyone to know what your "the duck flies at midnight" status really means, then don't POST it!!

Random side bar: I'm guilty of posting "The duck flies at midnight" onto my sister's fb wall a few times.  It gives both of us a good laugh and she knows exactly what I mean.  But, I'm not posting it as a status update that leaves everyone else wondering what in the world I'm talking about...

Whiney Mama
We all have one of these friends.  Every other post is about how horrible her kids are with descriptions that make you think little demons are running amuck in her house.  Really?!?  I wonder what Whiney Mama's kids would be like if she devoted the time she spends griping about them on Facebook to reading with them or playing games with them instead...

I'm Gonna Die
Add people who complain about their health to my Most Annoying list.  We're all human, and it's ok to occasionally curse the cold or flu bug on fb.  But the people who have to let us know every time they have a hang nail, runny nose, or are a little tired should really rethink their mindset.  I know people battling cancer who NEVER complain about their health on fb.  Why do other people have to tell us weekly about their latest ailments?!?

I already vented my frustration about fb stalkers last week in this post.

While not as frequent, I've encountered a few of these folks on fb.  They are the ones who leave a comment on your status update or photo that makes absolutely NO sense to you or anyone else on the planet.  How do you respond to these posts?  Ask them what they're smoking?  Delete their comment?  Shake your head and move on with life?  I don't have the right answer...

Sick and Wrong
These are the people who feel inclined to give you EVERY detail about bodily functions.  Telling me you have the flu gives me a pretty good mind movie about your condition.  I don't need you to discuss your vomit and raging diarrhea in great detail.  Sinus infection?  Yep, I've had one.  But I don't go around posting about the abundance of brownish-yellow thick snot coming out of my nose!  We get it.  We can all empathize with you without having to hear every gory issue you're facing!

My Life Sucks Worse Than Yours!
Had a bad day?  It doesn't matter with this friend around--he will ALWAYS have something worse that happened to him today.  He scrolls through status updates and has a story to top others.  Sometimes I think this crazy cat looks for drama so people will give him the "sucks to be you" pat on the back.  Why can't I just have a bad day without someone trying to one up me?!?

Unicorns and Glitter
Ok, if I'm pointing out people who drive me nuts on fb, I might as well admit my own flaws.  Yes, I fall into the Unicorns and Glitter category--the people who seem to be upbeat in 99% of status updates.  Do you ever just want to hit those people and tell them that no one can be happy all the time?!?  That's how I feel about some people every once in a blue moon.  But, if you look at a majority of my status updates, I'm living in fairy land with some of these perky people and I'm sure others wonder how my life can always be this happy.  My life isn't always this happy.  I just choose to focus on the positives in my status updates.

You know what?  We're probably all guilty of annoying behaviors on fb at least once in our lives.  That's ok.  Just don't be a repeat offender in one of the categories listed above!  In the mean time, I'll do my best to simmer down some of my happy status updates...

Here's another great article by CNN worth reading--The 12 most annoying types of Facebookers.  Do you fall into any of their categories?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Random-Part 1

We've come to the time of year when most people are posting sentimental Christmasy stories or sharing recipes and craft ideas.  Not me.  I jumped on the random train tonight.  So, here are my thoughts about a few random topics.

PSA #4,902: Lurking is ok on Twitter, but it's called stalking on Facebook.  Pretty sure it isn't socially acceptable.  You know those people I'm talking about--the ones that never update their own status, still have the "generic" Facebook icon as their profile pic or have had the same profile pic since joining Facebook, and never comment on anyone else's status.  But, these same people will stop you in Wal-Mart and tell you 64 stories about your status updates the past month.  Can we say creepy?!?

I love people with a sense of humor--especially when they share their thoughts in writing.  Today I found one of the FUNNIEST blog posts I've ever read.  I laughed so hard I cried when reading this one.  Actually I've read it three times, and it gets funnier each time!  Check out "Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies."  Jen (the author of this blog) deserves to win some award.  While her language is a little "colorful" at times, it's worth reading her thoughts.  A few other funny (but sometimes crude) websites to visit include Sh*t Siri Says and Lamebook.  We all could use a few more laughs in our life!

At the beginning of the year I thought Kindergarten teachers were saints.  Spending the afternoon with over 60 sweet Kinder babies the day before Christmas break helped me realize that not only are Kindergarten teachers saints, they also posess a "magic" like none other.  Don't they always have the COOLEST comments?!?  The things they say to their little cherubs just make me smile!  This afternoon we were getting ready to hand out hot cocoa and cookies to our Kinder group.  One teacher was giving directions, and told them, "When you're done, make sure to wipe your face so no one else knows you just had a snack."  If that isn't a genius right there, then I don't know what is! 

I never know how long a blog post can be before it starts dragging on and on.  That's why I decided not to share everything on my mind.  I'll continue with the next random post in the next couple days!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fun blog backgrounds!!

Ok, maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake.  But, I just figured out how to change my blog background to something fun created by someone else!!  My blog background came from The Cutest Blog on the Block.  Love all of the blog templates and backgrounds offered on this blog!

The best part of using this website is that it gives you step by step directions for applying the new background or template.  Perfect for newbies like me!  Go check out this website for more fun templates!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

big butts

During a rare Heidi Klum fashionista moment, I came up with a letter of advice to the pants designers.  I'm sure the world will be begging me to sign up for Project Runway after reading this powerful letter!

Dear pants designers,

I HATE shopping for pants more than going to the dentist because I rarely find pants that fit me right.  It's miserable.  So, here are a few tips as you go forth and make new pants.
  • Just because my butt is bigger does NOT mean I'm tall.  Show some love for the short chubby people, will ya?  You might say, "That's what the petite section is for."  Wrong-o.  The petite pants are too short for me.  Go figure.
  • Pleats don't look good on everyone.  In fact, they really don't look good on anyone.  Stop making pants with pleats!
  • Some people enjoy the crease that's ironed into pants when they first buy them.  I hate it.  In fact, the only time you'll see me with that crease in my pants is when I've bought a new pair of pants.  Usually it takes 2-4 washes before the crease works its way out.  Save yourself some time and save me some grumbling--stop ironing creases into pants before you sell them!
  • Belt loops should be required on all pants.  The older generation is constantly complaining about seeing too much crack from younger folks.  Well, some people need to buy a bigger size pants--otherwise they would be too tight in the butt.  Without a belt, if they bend down, we see a full moon.  Belt loops on every pair of pants would definitely help this issue.
I'm sure I'll have more unsolicited advice for you in the coming months.  Thanks for making a few changes.

Your frustrated pal, Jenn

Friday, November 18, 2011


This month I've participated in the daily "thankful" posts on Facebook.  Trying to decide what I'm thankful for each day hasn't been difficult for me.  However, today I have the opposite problem--I'm thankful for so many reasons.  So, I thought I'd list them for the world to see. 
  • Today I'm thankful for Julie and Denine, the FABULOUS library clerks at school.  They always go above and beyond what is expected of them--especially this week during our book fair.  We wouldn't have been able to pull it off without their leadership, ideas, and hard work.  They even packed everything today while I was out of town.  I'm definitely blessed to get to spend every day with them!
  • Today I'm thankful for all the people who have impacted me as an educator.  Spending the day at the KTOY Leadership Conference today reminded me how far I've come since my first year of teaching.  I wouldn't be the teacher, leader, or person I am today without the advice, support, and encouragement of some amazing people!
  • Today I'm thankful for the people who have never given up on me--even on days when I wanted to give up on myself!  These are the people who get the 4 page emails from me at 2:30am when I have something on my mind and can't sleep.  Thanks, friends!!
  • Today I'm thankful that I created my "story" as an educator--and learned how to convey who I am and what I stand for in a CONCISE manner!
  • Today I'm thankful for the radio station 97.9 in Wichita.  They're playing non-stop Christmas music already!!
  • Today I'm thankful for all those random expressions in life.  The best one I heard this morning was, "God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason!"
  • Today I'm thankful for my siblings.  I always walk away from a phone conversation with them even happier than I was before.  They love me despite all my idiosyncrasies, and are always willing to offer their advice--even if it is unsolicited!
  • Today I'm thankful for the little things that made me smile--getting a ginormous stack of my own business cards at the conference (total surprise!!), meeting new educators, Tootsie Pops, learning more about my district KTOY partner in crime, great conversations with 2 wise educators, and being able to relax in my sweats and a hoodie.
  • Today I'm thankful for YouTube--especially highlights from the movie Elf!  My favorite scene is definitely the one where it's announced that Santa is coming!
These are just a few of the reasons I'm thankful, and I didn't even include things I mentioned the past 17 days in my daily Facebook posts.  Sometimes I think the world would be a better place if we stopped to think about all the joy we have in our lives each day instead of dwelling on the negative.  I hope people count their blessings every day of the year--not just in the month of November!  We should all live with the same mantra as Buddy the Elf: "I just like to smile.  Smiling is my favorite."

(Click here for a link to the website where I borrowed this picture)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jilly singing

Jillian--unscripted and unrehearsed--singing her version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

Jenna reading

Here's a video of Jenna reading to me on Saturday.  She had never read this story before.  I'm so proud of my girl!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

birthday luncheon!!

Today I was on cloud 9 and felt like a celebrity because I got to be the Special Guest at our birthdays with the principal luncheon.  Since the principal was gone, I got to "fill in" for her.  Talk about a dream come true!!

The set-up alone is enough to make any kid feel special.  We have 2 large tables on the stage for the luncheon, and our crafty Parent Resource Coordinator lines the tables with jumbo cupcake placemats that she designed.  My description doesn't even begin to do the table justice.  All of the students love the special cupcake they get to enjoy after they eat lunch (and I loved it too)!

During morning announcements, students were told that there would be a special guest at the birthday luncheon today.  They were talking about ME!  I was so excited that I could hardly wait for 11:50.  When the time finally rolled around, I was tempted to wear my tiara--but decided this lunch wasn't all about me.  When the Kindergarten classes came in the gym, several kiddos started yelling, "Miss Stuck!!" while pointing and waving.  I just smiled and waved.  5 and 6 year olds make me happy because they LOVE everything about the world!  Each grade level that filed in also waved and smiled.  Yep, I definitely felt like a rock star!  I commented to each birthday group how fun it was to sit on the stage because "you can see everyone in the lunchroom!"  A first grade boy said, "It's like you're up in the castle!"  Later a fifth grade girl said, "It's like being a princess!  You need your tiara on!"

We had lots of fun conversations throughout lunch.  It was hard for me to enforce the whole "you need to concentrate on eating and not talking so much" idea because I couldn't even stop talking!  The best conversations involved Halloween costume ideas, and the kiddos loved describing their costumes.  I then asked what costume they thought I should create, and here are a couple of my favorite requests.  Thank goodness I had a pencil and paper with me to record their thoughts because they are priceless!

2nd grade boy:
"You like glitter right?"  -student
"I love glitter!"  -me
"Well, why don't you be a glitter princess?  You can get a dress and pour glue on it and then sprinkle glitter all over it!"  -student

2nd grade girl:
"How about you dress up as Ms. L" (our principal).  -student
"That would be fun, but what would I wear?"  -me
"I don't know...principal clothes."  -student

"You should dress up as Queen Elizabeth since you're so big!"  -second grade girl
I wasn't quite sure how to take this suggestion...don't think she meant anything mean when she called me big!

Other costume suggestions that made my "super fun" list include The Tooth Fairy, iCarly, Princess Peach, a bag of pretzels, a candy princess, a can of Mt. Dew, and a diamond.  Kids are so darn creative!

Found out I have a LOT in common with a 4th grader and 5th grader toward the end of lunch.  Here's how that convo went:

"Miss Stuck, do you know the best way to eat pizza?  By dipping it in ranch dressing!"  -5th grader
"Ranch makes EVERYTHING taste better."  -4th grade student
"I totally agree with you!"  -me

Every day is filled with lots of moments that bring a smile to my face, but being the special guest at the birthday luncheon is definitely high up on my "must do again" list.  Is it bad for me to hope the principal has to be gone some other month on birthday luncheon day?  Because I would LOVE to fill in again for her!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bill Snyder's #1 fan

I boldly tell anyone who will listen that I'm stalking Coach Bill Snyder.  I can't help it.  There is no greater coach in college football history.  Period.  He's seriously like the Yoda of coaches, and has earned the respect of players, other coaches, the media, and the entire Wildcat Nation.  Here's what other people have to say about Coach:
  • "He isn't the coach of the year, and he isn't the coach of the decade.  He's the coach of the century."  -Barry Switzer
  • "He was the coach of the last century, and may be the coach of this century if they keep going like this."  -Brent Musburger (10/15/2011)
  • "Bringing back Bill Snyder was absolutely the right move, and at a young 72 years of age, Snyder could coach for 10-15 more years, God-willing.  With a highway to Manhattan named after him, and the stadium the Wildcats play in bearing his name, it's obvious that Bill Snyder has marked his place in history at Kansas State.  Can he do it again?  Who knows.  But the team, fans, and students believe in Kansas State football again, and that's a heck of a start."  -Mike Stanley (10/13/2011)

I don't just like Coach when he's winning.  I like him because of what he stands for as a person and a coach.  I like him for the message he sends to players about football and more importantly, about life.  Here's my favorite tweet he posted:

While "stalking Bill" has become a joke among my friends, it may seem a little creepy to those who don't know me.  No, I don't wait outside Vanier Football Complex every day hoping to get a glimpse of Bill.  I don't follow him into Hyvee for an autograph.  I'm not that bad.  But, I do take a picture of him at every home game (or enlist friends to take pics of him if I don't have tickets to a certain game).  And I yell BILL!!! every time they show him on tv.  One of my proudest moments as a Wildcat came just a couple months ago when I got Bill's autograph and had my pic taken with him at Fan Appreciation Day.  I actually had met him once before at the KSDE conference a few years ago, but that wasn't a place I could squeal and jump up and down with excitement when I met him.

Maybe "stalking Bill" is a little too creepy.  Instead, I'll just go ahead and call myself a Bill Snyder Super Fan. Coach Snyder, if you're reading this, please choose me to be your "cord carrier" for just one game.  I promise I won't talk to you...ok, I'll try really hard not to talk to you.  That would be a dream come true for this Snyder Super Fan!!

Ok, I would probably be remiss if I didn't mention K-State's #12 ranking in the AP poll!  Not bad considering they were picked to finish close to the bottom in the Big 12 preseason poll.  Plus, the Cats headed into their last 4 games as underdogs.  Check out this ESPN article called Surprising K-State up to 12th in AP poll (BH, thanks for posting this article on FB).  Coach Snyder makes me proud to be a member of the Wildcat Nation!  EMAW!!

Love this new welcome screen at!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

Apple's website proved that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Right now this picture consumes their homepage:

I can't even find the right words to honor this mover and shaker.  So, I thought I'd share the words of others that I found inspiring.  Here's what folks had to say on Twitter:

Heaven, be prepared to be reinvented and revolutionized, the greatest genius and visionary has arrived. We will miss you. #ThankYouSteve

To think about how much influence Steve had over an entire industry is amazing. Our lives are the way they are because of him.  #RIPSteveJobs

We will miss you, Steve Jobs. Sent lovingly from my iPhone.

I hope that someday my words impact others the same way these three quotes from Steve Jobs have influenced me:

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”

“Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Changing the world--Steve Jobs changed the world for the better.  In his 2005 commencment speech at Stanford, Jobs said, "You've got to find what you love."  My hope is that people move forward from this and strive to change the world for the better while doing what they love, just like Steve Jobs did.

The most amazing visual tribute to Jobs came from Jonathan Mak.  Look carefully at the right side of the apple.  Wow!

I found Jonathan's picture on his website.  Check it out!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Aunt Louise

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and I want to dedicate this blog post in loving memory of my Aunt Louise, who lost her battle with breast cancer over a year ago.  She is one of my heroes because of what she stood for.  Aunt Louise wasn't dealt an easy hand in life.  An accident left her paralyzed from the waist down when she was 18.  She successfully beat breast cancer once, only to have it return.  This was a woman who had plenty to complain about, yet I never once heard her complain.  She was one of the most selfless people I've ever met.  She loved her family dearly, counted her blessings daily, wrote amazing poetry, followed horse races, was an avid reader, and was brilliant.  Just being in the same room with Aunt Louise made me want to be a better person.  I tend to whine when things aren't going my way, but I'll think twice the next time I want to complain about something trivial, because that's not something Aunt Louise would have done.  Instead, she embraced new challenges with a smile on her face and a fierce determination to defy all odds.  I know Aunt Louise is in Heaven smiling down on the world.  Thanks, Aunt Louise, for being an amazing role model.  I love you!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Christmas in September!!

Just when I thought my job couldn't get any better, I discovered I was wrong.  I received the best package in the mail today--23 BRAND NEW BOOKS from my first library book order.  I'm pretty sure I squealed a couple times when pulling out all the books. 

This moment was better than all my Christmas mornings combined.  23 new books for our library!!  New library books are somehow different from new books from a bookstore.  I think the pages are shinier and crisper on school library books--or at least on our new books.  I did what everyone else does when they pick up a brand new book: opened it up and smelled it!  I don't think I'll ever forget that chemical smell--the smell of a new library book.

I didn't get to browse the books long because I had a class to work with.  After that, I sat down on the floor and read 3 of the books:  Silverlicious by Victoria Kann, Scaredy Squirrel has a Birthday Party by Melanie Watt, and I Broke My Trunk (an Elephant and Piggie book) by Mo Willems.  I laughed out loud several times.  Yep, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  Throughout the day, I read more of the books.  Any time students came into the library, I LOUDLY announced, "Hey friends, we got NEW books in today!!!!"  I proceeded to point out the display of books and could only smile as I watched the excitement on students' faces.

Side bar:  You know that whole "you have to be quiet in the library" rule?  Who came up with that rule anyway?!?  Probably some grown up who needed to enjoy life a little more.  Libraries are supposed to be social environments.  How can this happen when people walk around saying "Shh!!" all day?  Our library is the antithesis of quiet.  Walk in and you'll hear students discussing books with each other, sharing book ideas with the adults in the library, working together on projects, and helping each other find books.  Add a little glitter all over the carpet and you have the happiest place in the school!

Today was one of those moments that was too exciting not to share.  I wish everyone could have the experience of opening a box of brand new library books and squealing with delight!  If not, you get the next best thing--my description of the moment in this blog.

Side bar #2: Many people will tell you that educators should have blogs for a variety of reasons.  Steve Wheeler's blog offers the best list of 7 reasons why educators should blog.  This blog wasn't started for educational purposes--I just wanted a way to share the random thoughts on my mind.  I have no audience in mind when writing this, although I know my mom reads every post (Hi Mama!!!!!).  There are 10 people who subscribe to this blog.  If nothing else, hopefully I've given people something to think about in at least one of my blog posts.

Go curl up with a good book and read!  More new books I got to read today include Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator by Mo Willems, Ish by Peter H. Reynolds, and Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam Rubin. I have one more book order on it's way, and look forward to reading the biographies of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Jaden Smith, and Michael Jackson.  Oh, and the book about Okapis (requested by a student).  I really do have the BEST JOB EVER!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

overheard in the library...

Sometimes there are conversations that are too priceless not to share.  Here are a few convos we've had in the library the past 2 days:

Convo #1 happened with a 4th grade boy yesterday
"Miss Stuck, can you please help me find a book?"  -student
"Sure.  What are you looking for?"  -me
"I want a tornado book."  -student
"Ok.  Those are..." -me
(interrupting) "I looked at all of those but I didn't find anything I liked."  -student
"Well, friend, those are the only weather books we have.  Can I show you my favorite?  I can't get other weather books right this second."  -me
"Why not?  You're a princess, right?!?"  -student

Convo #2 happened in my reading group this morning (with 1st and 2nd graders).  We were brainstorming ideas for a story about a place we've visited.  I was modeling a story about visiting my sister's house.  As I was making my bulleted list, here's the conversation that occurred:
"Ok, I need to tell you a secret that most kiddos at this school don't know.  I am a HUGE Justin Bieber fan!  I love his music!!"  -me
(dead silence as the kiddos tried to figure out if I was for real)
"I know most Bieber songs.  In fact, if I can't be a princess when I grow up, then I want to be a back-up singer and dancer for Justin Bieber.  I already have a sparkly microphone."  -me
"Really?!?  I love Justin Bieber!!"  -student
Then they all burst out in laughter trying to picture me singing and dancing with the Biebs.

Convo #3 happened with a 5th grade boy today (his class was in the library researching facts for a project)
"Miss Stuck, I'm done coloring my states."  - student (one of the requirements by the teacher)
"Great work.  Now which website do you want to explore?"  -me
"Well, can I have some glitter to put on my map?"  -student
"Friend, I'm pretty sure you don't need glitter in order to get full credit for your map."  -me
30 minutes later...
"Hey Miss Stuck, maybe I can get extra credit if I have glitter on my map!!"  -student
I like the way this kid thinks!

I have to do a better job recording fun conversations with kiddos because they're priceless!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm FINALLY updating my blog!

Every kid needs this shirt--find it at

"EVERYONE loves glitter!!"  -2nd grader
We just spent the past 2 weeks in the library making Dot Art after reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.  Students used paint, markers, crayons, and GLITTER to make their art.  The kiddos and I all loved the glitter.  The custodian, however, wasn't thrilled with the stuff being EVERYWHERE.  Walk through the halls and classrooms of FRE and you'll see random specks of glitter that escaped the library on students' hands and shoes.  I think it helps jazz up the decor in the building--especially the ugly brown carpet in the library.

Not everyone shares my passion for things that sparkle.  I get it.  I see glitter for its beauty, but others hate glitter because it gets everywhere and is hard to clean up. You know what?  Dealing with glitter is a lot like dealing with people.  You can either find the beauty in them and build on their strengths, or hate them because they rub you the wrong way.  It depends on how you see the world.  So, the next time you want to brush someone aside the same way you try to clean up those pesky specks of glitter, change your attitude and find the positive aspects of that person.  You never know--that person may just change your life for the better!

Speaking of annoying people...I've decided the people who are quickest to judge others are the ones who have greatest self-esteem issues.  I don't get why people have to drag others down in order to make themselves feel better.  Bite your tongue the next time you want to pop off with a rude comment to someone else.  Is it really worth it?

Hope your week is filled with moments that shine!!  Here's my new favorite expression:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

embrace your inner NeRd!

I'm sitting on the couch recouping from the flu, and I can't help but wonder how another summer flew by so fast!  I officially head back to work this Thursday, and although I didn't jet across the country to a fabulous destination, I enjoyed plenty of pool time, evenings on the deck with great friends, a couple trips to visit the fam in KC, lots of books, and feeding my latest addiction, Twitter.

Why do I love Twitter?  It can't be the 140 character limit--I'm WAY to wordy!  What has me hooked is the limitless information at my fingertips.  Yes folks, Twitter is my nerdy playground for professional development.  Most of the people I follow tweet great information about education.  This is how I learn--I've read countless articles this summer about libraries, technology in the classroom, and much more. 

I admit that I'm behind.  I should have caught the Twitter buzz a long time ago.  However, I'm making up for lost time by reading as many tweets as possible.  I can't stop.  I'm addicted.

If you don't believe me, check out what these other smarty pants have to say about Twitter for Educators!  This article shows you how to get started on Twitter.  Cris Betcher's post about Twitter leaves you with lots to think about.  Finally, Steven Anderson's Livebinder is chalk full of Twitter ideas for educators.

Hope you become addicted to Twitter like me.  Feel free to follow me @jenn_stuck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make History

My dear friend Jenny texted this photo to me:

Along with the photo, her message read, "Not that you misbehave...but this made me think of you and the way you are going to change the world."

Well Jenny, I accept your challenge of changing the world.  I won't always be loud about it (now that I've learned that it's not all about me)...and people might not know I'm doing it.  But, I'll challenge the status quo as I relentlessly find ways to engage students as readers.  I will embrace new technology tools as I strive to create 21st century learners.  Most importantly, I'll challenge my colleagues to find their voice as a leader and help them serve as a catalyst for change.

Sounds easy, right?!?  My hope is that everyone (not just educators) sets out tomorrow with the goal of making the world a little bit better than it was today.  May the force be with you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yes Folks, I Have ADD

I wonder how many people let out an audible gasp when reading the title for this blog.  Surely I wouldn't be crazy enough to write about such a personal topic.  If that's what you're thinking, then think again, because I'm taking a taboo topic that most people are uncomfortable talking about and actually writing about it.  Fasten your seatbelts, because this is going to be a wild ride!

I was diagnosed with ADD when I was in college.  I actually had coping mechanisms for dealing with it before then, which is why it probably went unnoticed for the most part.  I memorize really well and always had A's & B's in school--and most people with ADD have poor grades.  When I was diagnosed, I told very few people because I didn't want them to think I was crazy.  A couple years later, news broke about how people were selling Adderall (the medicine I take) on the black market.  You better believe I wasn't going to speak up and tell people I took meds!

12 years have passed since my diagnosis, and I thought it might help to educate people about ADD based on my experience.  Let's face it, even though there are some people who have worked with adults or kids with ADD, they still truly don't understand this condition.  So, here's my Top 5 "must-know" list about ADD.  These might vary for other people--I'm only speaking for myself.
  1. Medicine is not a CURE for ADD.  It just makes living with ADD a lot more tolerable.  I take the strongest dose of Adderall XR (extended release), but when I'm stressed out or tired, my ADD seems to be worse.  If I don't take my medicine for some reason, I might tell you.  But, it's not kosher to ask me if I've taken my meds.
  2. Until you truly know me, it isn't cool to joke about my ADD.  And, it's never ok to make ADD the butt of your jokes.  Some people might think all those t-shirts with random ADD messages on them are funny, but I honestly find them offensive.
  3. I'm a person with ADD.  Sometimes I'll say, "I'm so ADD."  Remember that I'm a person first and the condition comes second.
  4. Just because I have ADD doesn't mean that I'm defiant or unruly.  It just means that I have the attention span of a gnat.
  5. While medicine isn't a cure, it is a necessity (at least for me).  I've heard parents say that they don't want their child on meds because it makes them like a zombie or alters their personality.  You know what?  People with high blood pressure take medicine, but it might take trying a couple different meds before finding the right one.  The same is true of medicine for ADD.
I've probably just opened up a whole can of worms because a lot of different people will read this blog--from people who know me well to people who really don't know me at all.  But, no matter who you are, it's important to understand people with ADD.  After all, don't we all have issues?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Not Ashamed to Admit, Part 2

Just a few more of my random idiosyncrasies...

I'm not ashamed to admit:
  • It took nearly 30 years (and 2 wise professors) to help me realize life is not all about me and my drama.  Thanks, Dr. D and Dr. M!
  • I'm addicted to carbs.  I tried the Atkin's diet twice, but failed miserably.  Life just isn't the same for me without my carbs!
  • I find the greatest comfort when I throw up the hood on my hoodie.  It's like my security blanket or something.  It lets me shut out the world for 30 seconds so I can get a grip.  I also like to sleep with my hood up.  In line right behind hoodies on the comfort list are chocolate and Christmas music (even in July).
  • I don't cook very well.  In fact, I consider having to boil water "cooking."
  • Swimming in lakes kinda freaks me out (but I'll do it).  I'm afraid some parasite is going to swim up my nose and burrow its way into my brain.
  • I've thanked God many times for unanswered prayers.
  • Change, while exciting, is scary for me.  I have a fear of the unknown.  Changing schools AND jobs next year is the biggest leap of faith I've ever taken...
  • I catch myself acting like my mom more and more each day--especially when I sing to my flowers!
  • One of my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses is that I'm a highly reflective person.  I can't shut off that part of my brain, no matter how hard I try.
There you have it.  Unscripted and raw.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm not ashamed to admit...

Sitting in the 100+ degree heat at the fireworks stand, I busted out singing "If I could turn back time..." Emily looked at me like I was crazy, and I told her, "I'm not afraid to admit that I like Cher.  Or that I'm a Fanilow.  Or that I like Simon & Garfunkel."

You know what?  I think we're all a little strange in our own ways.  Some people have things about them that they would never admit in public.  But, my life is pretty much an open book.  So, I thought I'd share some of those things that help define me.

I'm not ashamed to admit:
  • I used to say that I'd grow up when I hit 30, but now I've decided I don't want to grow up until I turn at least 50.
  • I name things to give them their own personality.  My car is Jimmy Wayne, my suitcase is Bertha, and my orange tree is Tropicana Lite. 
  • I am a natural blonde, but do everything in my power to escape that "dumb blonde" stereotype.  My only problem is that I have book smarts, but not so much common sense--which sometimes comes across as me being a bimbo.
  • Being a Wal-Mart greeter is my part-time DREAM JOB!!  I would love talking to all those people as they walked into the store!  Other random jobs I would love to have for a day are Broadway star, Supreme Court Justice, commercial jingle writer, and flight attendant.
  • I'll probably never outgrow these things: glitter, calling my mom "Mommy" or "Mama", sleeping with a teddy bear, screaming when I open Christmas presents, truly feeling like a princess when I sleep on my 6 year-old niece's princess sheets, or my fear of squirrels, balloons, and storms.
  • When I'm driving, I talk to people in other vehicles, even though I know they'll never hear me.  It's natural instinct for me to say "your turn" to another driver at a 4 way stop.
  • I like to buy dresses based on their "twirl factor."  If it's one I can twirl in, you better believe I'll buy it!
  • I still have the same sense of wonder I had as a little kid--and I hope that never goes away!
There are a few random things you might not know about me.  Stay tuned for Part 2 within the next few days!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

best. job. ever.

Today I had one of those stand on a mountain and sing at the top of your lungs moments.  No, I didn't travel to the Alps, but to the library at my new school.  I thought about unpacking my boxes for about 30 seconds, but couldn't focus on anything except for the books.  I was surrounded by them.  After standing there and taking it all in, I heard those books talking to me.  "Pssssttt.  Jenn.  Come here.  It's okay.  You can unpack another day.  Come read me!!"  I was powerless at that point.  I HAD to start looking at our book collection.  It felt like a kid on Christmas morning.  I can't think of any other profession where your entire classroom is a library and every student is "your" student.  At one point I stood in the middle of the library, put my arms out, and spun around just like Julie Andrews does at the beginning of "The Sound of Music." 

Yes folks, I realize life as a librarian isn't all unicorns and glitter, but I just want to stay on cloud 9 for a little while longer.  Obviously I have LOTS to learn about the day to day functions of running a library, but right now I'm ok not knowing everything.  Sometimes it's better not knowing the full gravity of a situation all in one sitting.  I'm grateful that there are many supportive people who have offered to help in whatever way possible.

What do you do when you work in a library?  You bring home books to read.  Duh!  After spending 3 hours in the school library, I walked into my apartment carrying 6 issues of School Library Journal, 3 teacher reference books about reading strategies, and 2 William Allen White award nominees.  Something tells me this is going to be the best job EVER!!

Even though my birthday isn't until June 17, I'm continuing my week-long birthday celebration, and today's moment was dinner at Freddy's (compliments of a birthday gift card I received today).  What a perfect way to end a perfect day!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Truth About Poop

This title caught your attention, didn't it?!?  Poop is just one of those taboo topics that most people don't discuss.  But, a couple years ago I bought The Truth About Poop by Susan Goodman.  This is one of the most engaging, educational books that I've ever read.  Goodman uses a sense of humor to address the topic of feces in a tasteful manner.  Ok, maybe the words feces and tasteful shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence...Another Goodman book my cherubs love is Gee Whiz! It's All About Pee.  Both books are a must-have for any teacher, and were the hottest books in my classroom library.  I also stumbled upon Goodman's blog, I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids).  I can't wait to check out some of the books she recommends on this blog!

Speaking of poop--I'm really annoyed with the darn pigeons pooping on my flowers!  Lots of people have offered ideas for getting rid of the pigeons, but the problem is that the spot where they sit is up really high--higher than any ladder will reach.  Check it out.

I think the easiest thing to do is just shoot them with a BB gun (scare them--not kill them), but I'm not sure that's legal.  My sister Emily reminded me this weekend of Mo Willems' books with a pigeon as the main character.  The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog is my favorite Willems book.  That got me thinking about how weird it is that there are books I enjoy that are about animals I hate.  Another favorite book of mine is Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt...and squirrels are my LEAST favorite animals on the planet!

Ok, you've figured out that the theme for this blog post is actually books--not poop.  Today my roomie and I went to the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library to sign up for their summer reading program for adults.  Thanks to my friend Kathy for telling us about this program.  The part that enticed me was that the program has a theme: "Novel Destinations."  Not that either one of us needed inspiration for checking out books, but some of my happiest memories as a kid include the summer reading program.  It was great coming home and curling up with a great book this afternoon--although it's been hard to put the book down!

Hopefully you have books on the brain after reading this.  Now, go forth and READ!!  By the way, I'm always up for a good book suggestion, so let me know if you have any books I should add to my summer reading list!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sarge, Smells, Starbucks, & Storms

I discovered last night that the title of your blog post can either make or break you, because more people read last night's post than any other post.  Either it was the title or word is starting to spread like wildfire that this blog is a fun one.  Ha ha--couldn't resist.

I have to admit that I have a pretty cool Grandma.  At some point when I was a kid, Grandpa gave her the nickname of Sarge.  It totally fits Gran.  She's one of those people who gets things done her way.  She means business.  Today Sarge was a blessing--she came to help me pack my classroom.  She didn't even bat an eyelash when she walked in and saw my stuff EVERYWHERE.  She packed all my books in about 15 minutes and then started scrubbing my empty baskets.  FYI--it was no fun, but she plugged away without complaining.  Gran is like that though.  She knows a lot about almost every topic under the sun.  She asked lots of questions about my new job, and by the end of the day, she was itching to get into the library to see what it looks like.  I know she's already planning how to help me decorate.  That's our "thing"--Gran LOVES coming to help me set up my classroom for school...only this year she has a bigger canvas to work with.  Can't wait to take her to my new school and let her work her magic.  Here she is below packing a box.  Look at her go!

Yes, I can proudly say that Grandma got SEVERAL boxes packed, and here's the proof:

Can you tell that the title for tonight's blog is the letter S?  I'm a nut when it comes to themes.  I believe that themes make everything in life a lot more fun!  Well, in sticking with the S theme, let me tell you about my smelly car.  Sunday when we got home from the lake I left my windows down so my car wouldn't smell like the lake...but forgot to roll them up.  Sunday night it rained, and when I went out yesterday morning, my seats were soaking wet.  They dried during the day, but this morning I was greeted to the most disgusting smell when I opened the doors of Jimmy Wayne (yes, my car is named Jimmy Wayne).  It smelled like something died in my car.  YUCK!  I kept my windows down all day, but that didn't help.  I'm going to have to google "How to get the stench out of your car seats" or something because it isn't pleasant riding in Jimmy Wayne right now.

Shout out to Starbucks tonight!!  Besides making the yummiest beverages in the world, I also discovered (thanks to Dad & Julie) that they bag up coffee grounds and give them to people to put on their flowers.  Hopefully this magic fertilizer will help my flowers keep blooming--especially my daisies.  Check them out--they're going to bloom any day.  Wahoo!  I'm a proud flower mama!!  By the way, did you know there's a great love song about Starbucks?  Check out "Taylor the Latte Boy" sung by the great Kristin Chenoweth.  I'm still searching for my Taylor!

Go figure...I choose the letter S as a theme for my blog and now it's storming.  Nothing in JC yet, but my fam bam in Cow Town just got slammed by softball size hail.  I'm not even kidding you--I didn't make that up just so it would go with the theme!  Saying prayers for everyone in the storm's path.  STAY SAFE!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Tonight I discovered the seriousness of my hoarding disease when it comes to school supplies--especially supplies that I give to students.  Every year Walgreens and Staples seem to have the best deals on CHEAP student supplies.  Apparently I've gone a little overboard the past couple years, because when I put all my purchases in one location, this is what I came up with:

Sign me up for an intervention!  Seriously!!  I am out of control!!  Disclaimer: I did not buy ALL of these supplies.  Mama and Grandma bought some of the pencil sharpeners, and one of my paras purchased the boxes of yellow pencils.

Somehow I've spent countless hours in my classroom, yet have managed to pack NO boxes.  Yep, a big fat zero.  Not a good sign...Here are my empty boxes in the hallway.

I hit the jackpot today when I found the coveted tie-dye instructions page.  Our Big Kid Land tradition is to dye "Spirit Shirts" with all the 4th and 5th graders every year before state testing.  My sister Emily was our resident Rubber Band Expert and came every year to explain to the kiddos how to make different designs with their rubber bands.  When she was unable to help us any more, she made us an instructions sheet (see below).  Did Val and I ever figure out what the heck we were doing?  Nope!!  But, thankfully we found another rubber band expert to help the kiddos.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

What do you do after spending all day in your classroom?  Blog about it, of course!  Here's hoping tomorrow I can add pictures of boxes that have actually been PACKED!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Little Bit of Everything

"Diamonds are only chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs."  ~Minnie Smith, poet

I stole this quote from my friend Joya.  I think it has a pretty deep meaning AND addresses a topic I love--things that sparkle!  In my first blog post, I promised if you have the attention span of a fly then you would like this blog.  I have a lot of random thoughts on my mind, so be ready to follow this train of thought...

First, a little Fun in the Sun!!  My roomie and I headed to Milford Lake today to the beach.  We tried to go to the beach at the South Outlet, but it was closed.  There was a sign posted about stopping the spread of zebra mussles.  Rats!  Next we went to Thunderbird Marina, but a majority of that beach was under water.  Determined to find a sandy spot, we headed to the campground at West Rolling Hills.  When we stopped at the ranger station to ask about a beach, McHottie Ranger told us to try East Rolling Hills.  45 minutes after leaving home, we finally found a suitable place to land.  Note to self:  Self, sitting on a sandy beach when the wind is blowing 35 miles per hour is not a smart idea.  It actually hurt when the wind blew the sand into us.  Shout out to Maxwell House for letting us borrow her Pepsi chairs from school--we took good care of them!!

This has definitely been a week of reflection for me.  Working in my classroom in an attempt to sort, purge, and pack has given me lots of time to think.  When I worked at Kinko's, there was a sign in the bathroom that said "Leave a legacy of quality wherever you go."  I am proud of the legacy I'm leaving behind at WE--a caring teacher who loved learning with and from my students, singing off-key at the top of my lungs, and creating a nurturing classroom environment where laughter was the norm.  I hope people think about the legacy they're creating for themselves every day of their lives--especially those people who touch the lives of young people in some way, shape, or form!

The city of Joplin has been on the hearts and minds of most Americans this week.  Amidst the stories of tragedy and terror, the stories that have touched me the most are the ones that describe how people have joined together to help those devasted by the tornado.  People who haven't even thought twice about donating money to the Red Cross or other organizations.  People who have driven hours to deliver essentials or help with the clean-up and rebuilding process.  During his visit to Joplin Sunday, President Obama said, "How we respond when the storm strikes is up to us.  How we live in the aftermath of tragedy and heartache, that's within our control.  And it's in these moments through our actions that we often see what makes life worth living in the first place.  That's what in the last week Joplin has not only taught Missouri, or has taught America, it's what Joplin has taught the world."  No matter what your political views, you can't argue with President Obama's words.

Ok, no one could be more excited about Jim Tressel resigning than me.  I've personally disliked the man for as long as I can remember--not because of his shady ways, but because a) he wears sweater vests ALL the time and b) his team wins WAY too much.  The headline on says "The Sweater Unraveled."  Pat Forde (now my favorite person to follow on wrote, "But this has been a lie-and-deny operation from the beginning, and now it ends with Jim Tressel's meticulously polished reputation in tatters."  This just goes to show that honesty really is the best policy.

How's that for random?!?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to Run a Library-Part 2

More wisdom from my 5th grade cherubs as I move from the classroom to the library:
  • Keep them happy, so love them like you love us.
  • Still listen to Justin Bieber.  LOL.
  • Be yourself.  Be confident and have fun.
  • Miss Stuck, you're gonna have to be a lot more quiet than you are.  I don't know why you have to be quiet in the library because no one is going to read books in the library! LOL :-)
  • Always be a pro, even if there are hard times in your life.
  • Show a little humor or else the kids at Fort Riley will think you're boring.
  • You will have to work hard.  Buy Captain Underpants Books.
  • Always organize your desk or you'll lose books and papers in your desk.
  • Make sure that you still have fun but be serious.
  • Help the kids find books.
  • Try not to sing a lot in the library because you might get fired.  So, try to focus on the books.
  • Have fun while you are at your new school and at the same time we will be learning and have new experiences.  PS, I love you and I will absolutely miss you!
  • Keep the books organized and read lots of books to all the grades.  You should have dictionary lessons.
  • Teach the same way.
  • To run a library, you have to deal with a lot of books.
  • Play music and have parties.
  • Try to make sure they have a good selection of books.
  • Have a book give away.
  • You should teach the kids a bit of everything you have taught us.
  • Teach animal books and have animals to show.
  • Put the books in order nice and neat.
  • Decorate your library!
  • Buy more drawing books!
  • Make sure the kids aren't playing around when they're checking out books.  PS, Have fun.
  • You can have a party for whoever brings books back on time or give them a prize.
Gotta love all these nuggets of wisdom!

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Run a Library-Part 1

On the last day of school, I told my 5th graders that I'm moving to a new school and a new job next year.  I was crying so hard that I had trouble spitting out the words.  I admitted that I was scared to death to leave my school family and everything that is comfortable to me.  I also told them that I have a lot to learn about being a library media specialist, and decided to enlist their help.  Here are some of the responses they came up with when asked how to run a library:
  • Be yourself.  Don't change just because you leave.
  • Make sure the library doesn't look boring.  Ask if you can have sparkles on walls.
  • Keep playing Justin Bieber music.
  • Be a great librarian and let kids read in the library.  Keep a smile on your face.
  • Have lots of parties!
  • You should teach them the life lessons you taught us.  PS, You did a great job teaching us them.
  • When you have to count the books it'll probably be easy since you are a Math goddess.
  • Keep your library organized!!
  • Not all librarians are "quiet."
  • Have fun.  Just do what you do.
  • Don't get too close to the kids at your new school so they won't replace us.
  • When you eat chocolate, be careful not to cover your hands with chocolate or you'll have to clean the books.
  • Do your best and scan some books and sing.
  • When they turn in a book, ask them how it was so that way they know you care about them.
  • You should have fun lessons with the kids.  And don't use big words with small kids.
  • If you want to turn up the volume on a computer while playing a movie, remember to first check the CD volume.  Check the video volume and the stereo volume.
  • Make friends with the students and encourage them but don't be very strict.
  • Talk to kids a lot.
  • If you need help, just ask for help.
  • Always have fun!
Their deep thoughts made me laugh, cry, and think long and hard about running a library.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of their advice!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fish Tales

I was sitting in the boat, basking in the sun, feet propped up, munching Cool Ranch Doritos, and holding my fishing pole.  All of a sudden, I felt something tug on the end of my pole, and scrambled to start reeling it in.  I'm pretty sure everyone at Milford Lake heard my excited screams as I struggled to reel in the fish that must have weighed a couple pounds.  Sweat beads started to gather on my forehead as I kept working.  All of a sudden, reeling became easy.  Too easy.  I knew that familiar defeated feeling, and my heart sunk...the fish got away.

I wish I was a good fisherwoman, because if I was, I'd sit here telling you that I caught too many fish to even count.  Fact is, I didn't catch one.  Nada.  2 1/2 hours on the lake and I had NOTHING to show for it...unless you count the weird sunburn.  Before you skin cancer nuts start lecturing me, you need to know that I DID put on sunscreen--I even put more on after an hour on the water.  For some strange reason, I have these white streaks on my left arm in the midst of the sunburn.  Attractive?  Nope.  But, it could be a great conversation starter.

Why do I like fishing so much?  I'm not sure.  I've always enjoyed the thrill of catching fish, even though I hate eating them (and all seafood for that matter--except coconut shrimp from Red Lobster).  That whole "you have to be quiet when you fish" rule is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  Personally I think some guy invented that rule in order to shut up his nagging wife.  I've had fish bite when I was talking, so I don't ever abide by the quiet rule.  I even like to sing when I'm out on the open water--the louder, the better!  While I absolutely avoid most things in nature at all costs, for some reason I love to fish.

When I wasn't catching any fish, I decided to focus my attention on something else--the other boats on the water.  I kept hoping one of them was the game warden, and that he'd come over to check my fishing license.  Yes, I am the proud owner of my very first fishing license.  Didn't realize I needed a license to fish.  But, now that I had one, I wanted to show the world--or at least the guy on the boat patrolling the lake.  No such luck.  I didn't even see a boat that resembled the lake cops.  Darn it.  Having a fishing license and wanted to get carded is like when I turned 21 and wanted everyone to ask for my ID.  Once I hit 25, it got a little annoying.  But, now that I'm weeks away from turning 31, I like STILL getting carded.  So, hopefully the next time I'm out on the open water, I'll catch at least one fish AND be asked to show off my fishing license.  Wishful thinking I'm sure...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good Mood Food

What is it about commercial jingles that make them stick in your head for an hour after hearing them?  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve sang “It’s good mood food” (complements of Arby’s) this evening.  I’ve said many times that I want a CD that is chalk full of commercial jingles.  THAT would be the perfect blend of two things I love—music and food!  Would you believe they actually have CD’s like this?  Amazon has Tee Vee Tunes: The Commercials.  I’ve played the sample for “I’m a Chiquita Banana” three times already.  Sign me up for this hit CD!  Ooh, guess who has a birthday one month from today (hint, hint)…

Speaking of food...I’ve checked out several blogs recently to figure out the “ins” and “outs” of blogging, and it seems the savvy bloggers post new and exciting recipes.  Not to be outdone by the blog gurus, I decided to post a favorite comfort food recipe.

Jenn’s Comfort Crackers
*1 tub of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip frosting
*graham crackers (the more, the merrier)
*spoon (optional)

Break apart each graham cracker.  Open the tub of frosting.  Dip a graham cracker in the frosting.  Eat, repeat, and enjoy!  Thanks to Betty Crocker for inventing the yummiest frosting on the planet!

Don’t get me wrong—I truly DO like cooking.  My problem is that I eat like a 6 year-old.  Give me a grilled cheese sandwich and mashed potatoes any day, and I’m a happy girl.  Even if I liked half of the food listed in recipes, I still don’t understand the jargon in the directions.   Words like basting, blanching, braising, folding in, cutting in, and dredging mean NOTHING to me!  Why don’t recipe books come with glossaries?  Also, the demands of cooking are enough to send my blood pressure into triple digits.  Having some liquid simmering on the stove, chopping ingredients, measuring ingredients, stopping every 5 minutes to look up a word in my dictionary app, and dealing with the timer going off simultaneously is too much for me to handle.  I admit it—I can’t handle grown up cooking.  Maybe I need to take a step back and try my luck with kids cookbooks.  I think I’ll add Cooking Rocks!  Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids to my birthday wish-list!

By the way, for those of you who can handle a more “grown up” recipe, check out this recipe my friend Val shared with me from  Easy Pina Colada French Toast.  This looks like something I could actually make!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A blog is born!

Yes folks, Jenn Stuck has joined the 21st century and FINALLY started a blog!  I’ve always been a girl who has a lot to say about every topic under the sun, and decided it’s time to share my random thoughts with the world.  If you have a sense of humor, short attention span, and are easily amused, then you’ve stumbled upon the right blog.

My big obstacle is figuring out what I have to say that others would be interested in reading.  Stay tuned for my first random rambling about Hallmark cards…