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Showing posts from June, 2013

Road Trip~Cincinnati

Part of the fun of summer is planning and going on a summer road trip.  With everyone so involved with so many things this year, we decided to do a short trip and combine it with the 4th of July.  As much as I loved the 4th here in New Town, I was willing to give it up in order to spend time with my daughter, Ashley and her husband, Eric. We chose Cincinnati for two reasons:  one, it is a quick drive from Bloomington, about two and a half hours plus it has an IKEA, where we'd like to look for things for our new home! Our trip starts after Ashley finishes her doctor's appointment at Barnes on Wednesday.  We jump into her car and our CR-V and head to Bloomington.  We will spend the night at their apartment, and get an early start towards Cincinnati on Thursday. Thursday we drive from Bloomington to Cincinnati, check into our hotel, which is the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati.  A hotel and contemporary art museum in one space!  This will definitely be just what Ashley and Er
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Pinterest Trial: Key Lime Yogurt Dip

Today I hosted our first New Town Book Club meeting at our cottage.  I miss my Jefferson City Book Clubs very much.  I have joined a PEO book club which I love.  We meet at each others' homes, bring a salad lunch and the hostess serves dessert and drinks.  After which we intensely discuss the book.  It is wonderful!! I wanted a book club close to home, and with New Town, there are so many active people that I wanted to tap that resource!  We had a great meeting and it gave me a chance to try one of my more recent pins:  Key Lime Yogurt Dip. Key Lime Yogurt Dip As usual, I modified the recipe before even making the original, due to the ingredients I had on hand and the ones I could find. Key Lime Yogurt Dip 2 c vanilla flavored Greek yogurt 1/2 c whipped cream cheese juice of 1 key lime zest of one key lime Put all ingredients into a mixer.  Beat until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Spoon into serving bowl, chill until ready to serve. That's it!  I se
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My Summer Reading List

This is the first summer since 2009 where I have had a summer to read things besides textbooks!  I have had a blast remembering how much I love reading!  Titles in RED are finished!! My favorite reading spot at 3299 North Canal Way.  Big comfy leather recliner, two different throws, great lighting, my iPad and holder, with a basket of writing materials close by.  My Summer Reading List includes: The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebowitz Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson The Sharper Your Knife by Kathleen Flinn The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes Issac's Storm by Erik Larson A Road Trip into America's Heartland by  John Drake Robinson The Girl in the Italian Bakery by Kenneth Tingle Happiness for Two by Alexandra Stoddard There doesn't seem to be a theme this year, just getting my hands on a
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We're Building a House!

When Bob and I made the decision to move to the St. Louis area last year, we knew we didn't want to buy a house while we still owned one nor did we want to commit to an area we weren't sure about.  I went online to find apartments.  There are hundreds of apartment complexes in the area and when I got the job I wanted at Wright City and Bob found out he was to be stationed at the Saint Louis campus for Columbia College, we started focusing our search somewhere midway for both.  I found Mills Apartments in St. Charles and they had an apartment opening just at the right time. The apartment happened to be in New Town.  When we drove up to it, we were so excited by its charm.  The quaint buildings, the business area, the things to do... It didn't take us long to fall in love with the New Urban viewpoint.  Bob loves walking all over New Town with the dogs, smoking his cigar.  I am pretty sure he is a familiar sight around NT. We decided around October 2012 that when we sold o
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Our 36th Wedding Anniversary

June 18, 1977 I married Robert Joseph Steffes, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health.  We have managed through all of those things but it was with a lot of hard work, forgiveness and dedication. Anniversary circa 1982, wearing my pearls and the gold watch my Grandmother Holt gave me for my 16th birthday. When I say "thirty-six years" it sounds like a lifetime, but I can attest that the time went ever so quickly.  We did so many wonderful things:  raised a daughter, earned three doctorates between us, traveled all over the United States and Europe, developed hobbies, gave our lives to public education, and so much more.  Keeping track of our blessings is difficult because we have been very blessed. This isn't to say that our marriage wasn't challenged.  It was, over and over again.  Every day we wake up dedicated to working on and making our marriage work.  We have plans, you see, to travel together, get in shape, build a house and
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Leadership Academy Day 3

The thing about the DESE's professional development is that they do it up right.  Today we were the recipients of the wisdom of Kim Marshall, the author of Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation. Our leadership team at Wright City read this book as part of a book study and to prepare us for the new teacher evaluation system the state is in the process of changing to by 2015.  The book is great, discussing the merit of face-to-face dialogue following a teacher observation, not the dog and pony show that teachers put on for their admin, but after a short visit.  These short visits, many over a period the of the school year, give a better view of the classroom than does an annual review.  As a teacher I never enjoyed the annual visit, but felt that when my principal came in a few times over the quarter, she had a much better idea of what I was accomplishing in my teaching. What I like the most about his proposal of eliminating the annual visit and concentrating on the multip
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Leadership Academy Day 2

Today our agenda was intense.  We heard an hour of Common Core, now called the Missouri Learning Standards.  These are under great scrutiny but some of the misconceptions are downright amazing.  I suggest people really look closely at the timeline of the Common Core, and make some common sense judgments on how, when and why the Common Core was written.  We learned about MSIP 5, the score sheets and how to find them.  I really like the format and the information that teachers can find to look at their scores.  I am very interested in the 90% attendance from 90% of the students as a goal.  Attendance is so important to getting a good education.  Our third clinic of the day was on the new Educator Evaluation that is being worked on.  We looked carefully at the components and talked about how to share the information with the teachers.  This was our morning work. We had lunch and then got to meet up with our region for an hour.  We talked about powerful moments of the morning and then di
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Leadership Academy Day 1

Today I joined colleagues from around the state in The Leadership Academy, a professional development opportunity ran by the State of Missouri through the Regional Professional Development Centers.  According to the brochure, it is in its 29th year.  Bob went through the Leadership Academy with Doug Miller in the 90s sometime.  I remember how much he loved the experience.  He especially talked nonstop about his Outdoor Experience.  Notice that I capitalized it.  For me, this is one of the meetings I least look forward to doing. Today we spend a lot of the day getting to know one another.  Our leaders are Ned Miller, (you might remember him from STARR teaching!), Michael Auer, (we worked together as principals at South Callaway) and David Buck (my current assistant superintendent).  We used Inside/Outside Circles, Have You Ever, and Hogsuckers (yep, that's right, Hogsuckers).  Each strategy was dissected for its potential to use in our own buildings.  Love that part. We spent a
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Invent-A-Casserole

Back in the day, when I was a young mother and wife, I was in charge of the cooking and grocery shopping.  Bob did all the outdoor maintenance, and with the two houses we owned in Columbia and the one we had in JC, required a lot of outdoor work.  Bob would grill on occasion and that was always a highlight. My grandmothers were fabulous cooks.  My mom would say she wasn't a good cook, but my sister and I loved her fried potatoes with hamburgers, her eggnog and potato soup so much. She could make a mean grilled cheese and Campbell's tomato soup, too!  I loved to bake, and to this day, that's where I like to find myself in the kitchen. I took a vacation day from school today and was looking through a variety of bags that have stuff in them, mostly stuff to be thrown away, but I did find one bag that held many treasures, Ashley's wedding picture disk, my Zonta application, jewelry appraisals, and a file full of tear sheets of recipes. Do you remember making tear shee
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Pinterest Trial: Poached Egg in the Microwave

One of the many items on my list this summer is to give some of my Pinterest pins a trial run.  I pin a lot, probably as much as the average person, but I don't seem to follow up on giving them a try.  I ran across this pin, and decided to try it as it hit two of my lists, the Pinterest list and the Find-a-Fast-but-Not-Fast-Food breakfast. This pin says you can poach an egg in the microwave in 1 minute, 15 seconds in a cup of water.  Sounds fast, eggs are delish, and if the poached egg is hard enough, then breakfast becomes portable, also a great thing. I started off with this mug.  I chose this mug because it is cute.  Bad decision.  This cup has a larger surface and took longer to heat, so my 1:15 breakfast turned into 2:00 minutes.  Ok, not horrible, but if you are late, you are late.  So you crack an egg into the cup of water.  Place it in the microwave 1:15 minutes, as the original pin suggested but then I added an additional 45 seconds because the egg was still raw. 
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