Spring and Summer Wreaths

I finished my spring wreath this weekend and asked the hubs to take a photo of it. He of course started snapping away while I was oblivious: 



 I modeled it after a fabric wreath I saw on Pinterest (I mean, isn't everything I do lately inspired by Pinterest?) and the flowers are actually just clipped on so they can be exchanged for different holidays/seasons.

I finally agreed to pose with it ; )

I fashioned another wreath out of a printed fabric that I'm planning on using for summer. I just love the bright, sunshiny happiness they bring to the front door!


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Dr. Klein Visits Room 127!

Max has visited my classroom for every electricity unit that I've taught starting back when we were just dating in California. Back then I taught 4th grade, so it's a bit different now when he comes in to see the firsties, but it's just as much fun (especially for me - I was giddy all day!). 

Being the fantastic teacher he is (he was an instructor at Stanford, after all!) he led with a hook: showing a light up circuit board (ooohhh, ahhhh!) and the circuit board inside an iPod. 


Next, he taught my firsites how to make circuits using battery packs, LEDs and conductive play dough.






My sweet little ones also wrote a basket full of questions that he answered in between experiments.

Finally, the students tested out a bunch of items using their circuits to identify conductors and insulators.

We are now electricity experts! Thanks again, Dr. Klein! We had a blast!

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Look What Siri Can Do!

Max and I sometimes ask Siri random things. Do you know that she can identify prime numbers and rattle off basically any celebrity's age?



A couple days ago we were talking about measuring time with days, and we realized that, being married for two and a half-ish years meant we were somewhere around 1,000 days. But we didn't know for sure. And we didn't want to count days on a calendar. Enter Siri! 


So there you have it! In May, we'll be celebrating 1,000 days of marriage! Thanks, Siri : )
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Backyard Bobcats

Monday night I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a spotted tail. I looked out the kitchen window to see these bobcats! I rushed to get my SLR to snap some photos. 

I definitely got the stare down from them as I stood at the windows. This is when I was debating opening the door. It would have definitely given me better pictures since they wouldn't be taken through the glare of the glass, however I chickened out. And then checked to make sure the door was locked (you know, in case these were the door-handle-opening type of bobcats ; )

They actually stayed in the yard for quite a while. They munched on the rosemary and drank from the pool and played their bobcat games.

Then they got tired. 

They took a double nap. It was a to the dorable. 

This is when I really, really wanted to pet that soft fur! And then I reminded myself that bobcats can take down a cow. And I'm tinier than a cow.


Finally, they were off to the far end of the yard and over the fence they went. See you next time, bobcats!


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Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

This weekend was my school's annual Silent Auction fundraiser. This year it was a black and white theme : ) Max and I didn't bid on anything (though I did have my eye on a Stella & Dot necklace) but we did get one of the $25 mystery grab bags. Here I am showing our loot on the way home (Jamba Juice, Mary Kay and a $55 Master Barber Men's Shave at The Art of Shaving). I think I chose a winner!


I'm trying my hand at home-made fabric roses! I came up with these little guys this weekend, and hopefully will have a fabric wreath to go with them soon!


My real roses are thriving as well! It's so much fun to see the pruning pay off with these ginormous beauties!

I wanted colored chalk for our laundry room chalkboard but couldn't find it anywhere! I finally ordered some online and it arrived this weekend. Here's my first colored message (it was for the hubs of course).

On Earth Day we reached triple digit heat here in the Valley of the Sun! Max and I celebrated with our first pool day of the season.

Happy Monday! 
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Phoenix Firefly Run


Saturday night I joined a lovely group of teachers to run my first race in some five-ish years, making it my first race registered as my married name, Klein! It was actually my first time running at all since we moved to Arizona almost three years ago. We moved in the 100+ degree heat of the summer, which my spoiled California body just couldn't handle. Yes, I admit I was a spoiled runner. For five years I happily dashed through the cool coastal breezes and cliffs that overlooked the Pacific while attending undergrad and grad school in Santa Barbara. Sigh. Then the next four years, I ran through the woodsy Los Gatos trails, only slightly grumpy that there was no ocean. Upon moving to Arizona in the summer of '09, I said good-bye to running. I was deathly afraid of the stories where people would run and get into trouble in the desert heat. I promised myself I would start again when the weather cooled down, but it just never happened. Until now!  


I was so excited to join the fabulous teacher team doing the Firefly Run, which benefited the American Red Cross. The Firefly Run is a night race, starting at that beautiful time when the sun is just leaving the sky. By mid-run, it's fully dark and everyone is illuminated with glow sticks and flashing bands.  The Firefly Run is making its way around the country, so check to see if there's one coming near you. The San Jose run will be in September! 


We actually had a freak cold weather spell here for the race. All week long, I wore summer dresses to work, then once Saturday hit, it was freezing. Max insisted that I wear a puffy vest and ear warmers for the run : ) I did, thinking that I might be walking it, however I teamed up with one of the teachers who was running and just tried to keep up with her the whole time. It worked and I finished the 5k in 32:20 (10:24 minute/mile and quite toasty thanks to my gear). For my first time running in years, I'll take that! 
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Let's Go, Giants!




On Easter Sunday, Max and I attended our first baseball game at Chase Field, home to the Phoenix Diamondbacks. I've always been a bit wary about going to any game and not rooting for the home team, however we found another California couple to go with who was ready to cheer on the Giants on with us. Safety in numbers ; ) Unfortunately, the Giants gave up a six run lead and ended up losing the game (I know! A six run lead! Seriously?). It was a fabulous day anyway. The roof on the stadium was open and they had indoor/outdoor air conditioning for the 90 degree April weather. 

The heat got me to thinking about Giants games in San Francisco, when the attire looked more like this:

Gotta love the Bay Area! 
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Rose Girl

I've become a flower girl! Well, a rose girl is more like it. These pretties are from our rose bushes (flower photos taken by me with my 40D and Max's 50mm prime).

I've been tending to the roses lately (they bring me lots of joy). I've read a little, and apparently you can cut the middle biggest bud and leave the rest to make what will be a spray of roses (like I did here):

Or, get rid of all the little guys on the sides and leave just the biggest one (like I did here):

This should lead to fewer but bigger roses (like this one that's already bloomed) as all the energy is going to a smaller total number:

Of course I actually have no idea what I'm doing so I'm totally open to advice from anyone. Also, some of the roses are browned on the edges (it starts before they even bloom - you have to look closely at the photo to see). What's up with that?

I do love these pink and white swirly guys. I think they're my favorite!

Happy Spring!
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Miscellany Monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

#1: Our house currently smells like vinegar. No we're not dying Easter Eggs yet, my husband spent the weekend re-calking the aquarium to prep it for life in its new home in the wall. Whatever is in the silicone it emits some sort of fume when it dries and it smells just. like. vinegar.

#2: We're testing out this rug for the formal dining room. I like the colors and I love the pattern. The tape is where the rug will be if we buy it in an 8x11 (which is also the biggest size it comes in). We were afraid at first that it might be a bit small, but I think it just might work. I'm thinking of some bright chairs to go along with it (the brown ones are borrowed from the kitchen and won't stay there permanently).

#3: I've been thinking about the number seven! This is my seventh year teaching - wow! How did that happen? And, just for fun - each year I've taught in a room with a seven! In fourth grade in California where we labeled rooms by letter, I was in Room Q - the 17th letter of the alphabet! Then when I taught kinder I was in Room 147, and right now my firsties call Room 127 home. Even when I student taught, I was in Room 17! Love this seven streak!

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Easter Care Package

I love that, even though I'm 29, I still get care packages from my mom! These Easter goodies arrived last week : ) Thanks, Mom! I can't wait to use everything!

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The Hunger Games: A Movie Review



Three years ago when I left California, my sweet ex student teacher (and amazing friend) sent me packing with a copy of The Hunger Games. She said it was all the rage in the fourth grade. I took one look at the synopsis and said No, thank you. A post apocalyptic world where youngsters fight to the death? Had my friend not met me? This in no way was sunshiny goodness.

Fast forward to this past January, 2012. I'm in a theatre watching movie trailers when the I see The Hunger Games movie being advertised. It piqued my curiosity enough to pick up the book and start reading. One week later I was already into the second book from the series, and then the third. Miss Blass if you're reading this, you were right on that I would love it ; )

Since it was the movie that eventually spurred me to read the book, I made sure I would be at a midnight release showing. It was actually my first time at one of those fancy theatres that has waiters you can summon with buttons. A cheese plate and bucket-o-beers to go with a movie? Yes, please. I'm afraid it's ruined me for regular theatres in the future.



When reflecting on the movie itself, I have some things to say. In no way do I want to add to the "the book is always better then the movie" conversations. Obviously books can add background and nuances through text that movies just can't. In the movie, this panned out in several ways, most notably being the Mockingjay pin having little to no significance. With the background that the book provides, the pin is seen as a sign of rebellion (and later becomes the symbol of the resistance to the Capitol). I'm really okay with information being left out - a movie can only be so long, and the pin significance just ends up as some juicy secret you can only be in on if you've read the book.

There is also the fact that many movies stray waaay far away from the book on which they were based. One of my teacher friends is still very bitter that in the movie My Sister's Keeper, the wrong sister dies. Talk about changing the story. And I think anyone who's tried to "watch the movie" instead of "read the book" has realized this won't prepare you for a test in school. In this respect, The Hunger Games earns an A. Changes to the plot were minimal, and the storyline stayed true to the book.

No, what gets my feathers ruffled is that the biggest, most significant part of the book was largely ignored in the movie. I'm talking about what might as well have been another main character in the book: food. It was food that grabbed my attention as a reader opening the book for the first time. If you've read book one as well, you can probably still remember the opening scene that highlighted a round of goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves and freshly baked bread, and how these items were so precious because everyone was starving. I mean the word hunger even made it into the title of the book. The movie largely ignored this desperation for food. There was no train scene with the tributes gorging themselves on fancy dishes, no thank you bread dropped via parachute from District 11, and no Lamb Stew to be found anywhere. These were all key elements in the story that were told through the lens of food. The fancy Capitol dishes showed the great discrepancy between how the districts lived near death while the Capitol lived wastefully and gluttonously. The thank you bread told of a poor district who chose not to live by the rules of the games and to instead send support to the girl on fire who would eventually become the face of the rebellion in later books. The Lamb Stew was a symbol of hope during the later part of the games for the two main characters who were trying to make it though alive. Yes, food, in my mind, was just as important as any of the characters and leaving it out robbed the story of its essence.

Having said this, I did enjoy the movie and would see it again. And I'm still totally going to see the next two movies when they come out. On their opening days : )
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