Sunday, October 23, 2011


In Texas, the temperature is mostly in the 70's and 80's which means that it is fall, finally! The other night I decided to make a favorite fall-ish meal: tomato soup and grilled cheese.

For the grilled cheese I took the traditional approach of using whatever kind of cheese I had in the refrigerator, but this time I added arugula because a life without arugula is a life half lived (lesson leaned in Italy). This is my favorite tomato soup recipe. It is simple to make and the flavor is perfect.

Grandma Belle's Tomato Soup
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups milk
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/4 t. soda
1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Melt butter, add flour and stir. Add tomato juice, soda, and onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Add milk. WHen thoroughly heated, season and serve.

classroom for 1 just begun

One of the most exciting thoughts about having a baby is that it is like I am starting my own classroom complete with curriculum, books, and field trips. Our pal. Charlotte Mason, talks at length about the importance of a child's atmosphere or environment for growth so as a teacher, I have had a lot of fun planning this new space.
The room has a long way to go, but here is a start. I purchased the bedding a few years ago on super sale at Pottery Barn Kids with my mom. Now it is just a matter of filling in the blanks i.e. paint color, reupholstering the glider and ottoman (purchased on Craig's List for a steal of a deal), curtains, and piecing together the rest of the decor and artwork.

bedding fabric

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

things that ought not be said so many times

Below is a list of things that I find being said by me or a student way too many times. It should not be legal.

1. Me: "Stop grunting!"
I do not know what the deal is with middle schools boys and grunting/animal noises, but it is out of control. I do not like it. It is very unnerving.

2. Student: "I would _________ if Baby Freeman weren't here right now."
Usually the blank is filled with an action verb like "hit you" or "throw this." My response is usually something along the lines of "Baby Freeman thanks you, but let's just not do that in general."

3. Me: "I am sick of your pencil games!"
For some reason this year has brought with it much drama with writing utensils of all kinds--pens, pencils, mechanical pencil parts, lead, etc. There is swapping pencils, stealing pencils, more than I can keep up with honestly.

4. Student: "Mrs. Freeman, your stomach is so big. I think it just grew."
I don't quite know how to respond to these comments yet. For so long, comments about having a large stomach were strictly forbidden and offensive to the extreme, but now they are a fact of life. My, how one's perspective can change!

5. Me: "Start channeling the 9th grade, please!"
This is my response to any childish or foolish action that belongs in first or second grade yet has snuck into an eighth grader's repertoire. I have told my students that I am genuinely concerned for their well-being in high school if they cannot step up their game a little.

6. Me: "Sticking out your tongue? Are you serious right now?"
Ok, so I have only said this once, and it was today. But the fact that I had to say it even once to an eighth grader is too much, and therefore, makes the cut.

While funny from a distance, I would challenge anyone to find the humor in the moment.