Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Children (Crazy Teenagers!) are the future.

Yesterday I took my 8th graders on a field trip to Sacramento - 3 hours on a train there and 3 back. They were perfectly well behaved during the tour of the Capitol, and wandering around Old Sacramento - until they discovered the candy stores...when we got back on the train they were sugar crazy!!!

Thankfully we survived and I returned them all to their parents safe and sound. This morning they were drowsy, but excited about what they had learned about the capitol, about each other, and themselves. Nothing like a field trip to build community! That's what I love about being a teacher - helping students make real-world connections and experiencing history rather than just reading about it.

Where can we go next year? I'm already dreaming about a D.C. trip... or maybe Mecca? I wish I were Miss Frizzle with a Magic School Bus!

Coffee swap topic #5

You know with Spring the famous saying goes "April Showers, bring May flowers", please tell us what you like to do when those April Showers are pouring down on you. Do you like to curl up with your knitting, take in a movie or crawl back in bed?

Stay inside when it's raining? You all might think I'm an irresponsible parent (or crazy!), but I think spring rains are an invitation to put on your boots and go puddle hopping! Follow that up with a warm bubble bath and a cup of hot cocoa and you've got the perfect rainy day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Invisible FO

I can't post pictures of it, but I swear it exists - a sweet little something for my mom. Hi MOM! I'll post pics next week, insha'Allah, after I know it is safe in her hands. Have a happy weekend everyone! Here's a peek:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coffee Swap question #4

Let's pretend for a minute we all live in the home of our dreams, have land, and don't have to work so time is unlimited! It's Spring planting season! What would you grow? A little veggie garden? A bed of bright spring blooms? Or is your thumb so far from green that the only thing you'd be planting is your tushy into a nice chair on the porch to get some knitting or crocheting done in the nice breeze?

I dream about this situation daily. How I would love to spend more time with my kids chasing butterflies and bunnies and digging in the dirt. I would plant herbs, especially thyme, basil, mint, and parsley. I would plant green onions and potatoes, kale and more kale and more kale, red peppers and cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes and broccoli. I would set up a "Maya" garden with corn, beans climbing up the corn stalks, and squash plants covering the ground. I would plant lemon, pear and apple trees, plums and loquats and apricots, peaches, oranges and grapefruit. There is a lovely grapefruit in the apartment complex where I live, and the blossoms are so fragrant right now. Finally, I would surround the space with jasmine, morning glories, poppies and nastursiums. AND, I'd like a few sheep, goats and chickens too. One day, insha'Allah...

Plastic is evil.

I've just been reading this article about all the disgusting diseases that can be caused by drinking from a plastic bottle - Bisphenol A, used in the production of baby bottles, toys, etc. will be banned in Canada, but not here. "BPA Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies. Synthetic xenoestrogens are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancer in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes." ( So I spent last night purging the toy box and I bought Sigg bottles for the kids. How do American baby bottle manufacturers sleep at night?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My heart is at home

Now that I'm back at work I realize how much I miss spending lots of time with my kids. When I'm on vacation of course there is still the housework and cooking to do, but there's lots of down time, park time, impromtu Uno games and art projects. When I am working, I just rush around at home. I never thought I'd be the stay at home mom type. I love teaching but I can't wait 'til summer!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Break...

Lovely, but too short.
I spent most of the week spring cleaning and cooking with my Mother-in-law. But we did make it to the park several times and yesterday spent the afternoon at the beach. My boys love the ocean, even with cold water and spring wind!

Didn't knit at all, and the curtains didn't get made, but my kitchen sure is clean! And I donated three garbage bags full of stuff to Goodwill.

It was so nice to reconnect with my family :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

End of quarter update

I chose to ignore the end of March, because I didn't finish my list! But I did complete several projects. Here's my original list of goals for first quarter 2008, and an update:
To finish:
1. first dishcloth - done - I have made 2 more since then.
2. Zaahir's sweater - hibernating
3. Ahmad's sweater - frogged
4. Boys room curtains - to finish by April 20th
5. Kitchen curtains - to finish by April 20th
6. potholders - to finish by April 20th
7. Preemie hats for donations (so far my group has completed 3 with a goal of 10) - to finish by end of May

To make:
8. Fingerless mitts for me (from swap yarn) - next fall
9. Fingerless mitts from Last Minuted Knitted Gifts for a special someone whose name cannot yet be revealed (from some cool burgundy tweed yarn) - next fall
10. Organic cotton bolero jackets for new babies from One Skein - 1 done, another started - deadline for 2nd = April 18th
11. Living room curtains - no fabric yet
12. Stuffed toys from Last Minuted Knitted Gifts (my students are really excited about this project, so I'll be working on the rabbit over spring break. - to finish by April 23rd)

I also finished snake scarf, club banner, and doll dress.

New list:
Swap partner presents - two projects - to finish before May 5th.
presents for cousins - to finish before end of May.

In June I'll go back to the sweaters for Zaahir and Ahmad. I am thinking that I want to make a sweater vest for Ahmad with an argyle deatail and a scottie dog.

1st and second swap topics

Okay, week one I couldn't post a comment for some reason "my computer wouldn't let me!"

Topic 1:
I loved browsing at Crystal's page - she made the cutest daffodil apron! My last 3 posts show my current projects - in sewing, knitting, and legos!

Topic 2:
Since some of us are beginning to see glimpse of Spring, while others are still getting snow, have you changed what projects you are working on? Have you put away the hats, scarfs and mittens, and brought out the cute tank top sweater projects and lacy wraps? Have you changed yarn to something lighter and cooler, not so heavy and bulky? In my Ravelry notebook, I have changed the "in progress" winter projects to "hibernating", because really, I know I won't even look at them again until summer, or maybe even fall. Since I am in California, it's already nice and warm, so I'm not really motivated to work on sweaters - with the exception of a baby sweater that I've promised a friend. My next group of projects will all be for gifts - for my swap partner, and for my cousin who is getting married this summer. So I'm looking at household stuff like lace insets for pillow cases, and table runners, etc.

Playing with Legos and fabric

I am very excited that today I am trying out a new strategy for teaching grammar to my 8th graders: we are going to use legos to represent different parts of a sentence. I hope they like it! While I was putting together the packets for them this morning, I had to play a little:

Last week I bought some beautiful fabric from

I am in stage two of making them into kitchen curtains - insha'Allah I can finish them by this weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Snake Scarf - Done!

Here's the "snake scarf" for Zaahir - super easy, I just casted on 20, then knitted right side and every first two and last two of wrong side and purled the rest of the wrong side stitches, but it's the yarn that really makes it. Zaahir loves it!

He has a beautiful smile on his face, but I have this thing about putting my kids pics on the net - it gives me the heebie-jeebies. By the way, the yarn is Moda Dea Sassy Stripes in "crayon".

Almost done with the "alternating rainbows" dishcloth - I used the simple garter lace pattern, by Nanette Blanchard and alternated every two rows using two coloways of ombre dishcloth cotton - one in purples, greens and blues and one in lavender, yellow, and white. I have about 5 rows left - hope to finish tonight so I can send it off to a secret pal tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Knitting Club banner

Done! Our GIS KNITS banner! GIS stands for Granada Islamic School.

Each girl and each teacher made a square, then I knitted the GIS KNITS square and put them all together.