Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Letter to the Teacher (that's probably never been written before)

September 1, 2010

Attention: Photographer or Teacher in Charge

Please allow Tyler Broeker to skip the first round of picture takings on Thursday, September 2nd. We will gladly have his pictures taken on re-take day, which usually occurs a month later.

Tyler had an unfortunate run-in with a crazy hairdresser who cut his hair much too short. This has caused much distress and heartache this past weekend for both Tyler and his parents. Thus having a picture taken at this time would result in further hardship. My only other option would be having Tyler skip school on Thursday, which we (his parents) think is a bad alternative. Both Tyler and I value his time in school and hope that just “passing” on pictures will work for you and us.

Please let us know if Tyler can skip Life Touch’s pictures tomorrow, so we can plan accordingly.

Thank you!

Amy Broeker

Tyler’s mother

(This just might give you some insight on my hectic life right now.) :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Iowa State Fair '10

Finally, I am getting around to putting some photos up on our first trip to the Iowa State Fair. It was spectacular! Iowa does know how to put on a State Fair! My co-worker's father shows cattle at several fairs and he said this by far is the best.
I can totally understand why....
Check out this cute butter sculpture! I think it would make a fine addition to my classroom. A little messy, but darling!
I just have to say that I think the ribbon is going to the wrong individual. I'm pretty certain that the bees get most of the credit, but what do I know about beekeeping?
I saw this sign and wondered how was this possible during an era where there weren't pesticides and fertilizers like we have in this day and age. Then I realized that this corn must have come from a seed that Don sold his cow for, just like Jack did.
Here's a metal replica of that same stalk in 1946. How in the world did they harvest that corn?
The kids tried their hand at the Great Grape Escape that was promoting wineries in Iowa. I thought this was funny to see Grant give the grape crusher a spin.
How much juice can you get out of a bunch of grapes?
Tyler and Madison went on this giant rubber band ride.
I really don't know what it's called, but it cost an additional $7. According to the kids, it was totally worth every penny. Kind of ironic though that it's my money they used.
We also watched a guy creating an ice sculpture with a chain saw. The sculpture is a cowboy, but it's hard to tell with a side view photo.
Madison and Grant tried their farming skills at "Little Hands on the Farm".
It was a series of stations where they planted the food, harvested the food and took care of the farm animals. At the end of the stations, kids sell their goods at the market and get paid with a piece of paper money, redeemable for an a real ice cream treat.
Do you suppose these are the recalled eggs that caused a Salmonella outbreak in Iowa last week? I'm telling you those chickens and eggs looked extremely suspicious!
One handsome looking farmer and one awesome day at the Fair!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Zucchini is Bigger than Yours

This morning I received the coolest gift ever....
One very large zucchini from one darling little boy.

You see, transitioning into kindergarten is a tough deal (maybe even tougher on the parent). This child, we'll call him Raymond, didn't want to go to Mrs. Broeker's class today and Mom gave Raymond a zucchini to distract him. This very smart mom told him that it was critical to give me this zucchini. Poor Raymond did come in sobbing, carrying this massive veggie in his arms, which made for the most precious gesture I've seen in a long time. The zucchini trick did make the crying stop after I asked more questions than necessary about zucchini. (Do you like zucchini? Can I really keep it? What should I make with zucchini? Do I eat it raw?...you get the idea)

Check out it's impressive size! I could make several foods with this beast, not that I know how to. So please send any delicious zucchini recipes my way.

Forgive my laziness tonight, I'm just way too tired to blog about the Iowa State Fair and upload multiple pictures. I'm just going to stare at my mammoth sized zucchini and think about tomorrow's day.

Maybe it will be rhubarb?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adventureland, Part 1

We had our last hurrah for the summer by taking the kids to Iowa last weekend for a day at Adventureland and a trip to the Iowa State Fair the following day. I just had to see that fair as I wrote in a previous blog. What a quick, but fun weekend of family entertainment!
My three cuties!
This was Grant's first time at an amusement park. He kept asking where Mickey Mouse was. I guess we'll have to go to Disney again or this child will never let us live it down that we went without him.
This ride is quite tame compared to other rides at the park. However, Andy knows not to go on any ride that spins in circles or swings back and forth. He learned that the hard way three years ago at this same park. So, while we were riding on this particular ride the operator was telling Andy that this is the most puked on ride. She said it's usually caused by adults who chose the seat that faces backwards while spinning in circles. While our ride was uneventful, this same ride had to stop for barf clean up five times that same day. I am glad I knew that after I got off the ride or I would not have gotten on.
Madison is looking thrilled to go on yet another ride with little brother!
This was taken while driving bumper cars. So sad that it came out so blurry. Grant thought he was top dog driving their car.
Thought this was a cute concession stand.
I knew you'd want to know what the other side looked like, so I took a photo from that end too. Imagine going to work and entering under the pig's tail?? Would that make you the butt of jokes? Just wondering....
This is what Grant looks like after a long day at the park.
And this is what he looked like at the beginning of that same day.
Thought this was a pretty sight for an amusement park. I'll share part 2 in tomorrow's blog....the Iowa State Fair!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lancaster County Fair

Teenage boys + sugary slurpies + excessive heat + carnival rides = a rainbow of fruit flavors

This is what we found out at our local county fair on Sunday. It is miserable outside right here, right now and completely unbearable! That means it's time for school. When the weather hits an all time high (with heat indexes of 110 degrees), it's always time for me to go back to work.

Here are some of our photos from our County Fair excursion. We do have plans for the Iowa State Fair this weekend, so hopefully the heat doesn't prevail. I'm guessing it will.

By the way, I like to antique my photos for the fair. It just seems to make everything look better.

I did not know that setting a table was something you could enter in the fair. It is darn cute!

My favorite even though it's not on a stick, but a fork instead!
Love that look!

Monday, August 9, 2010

What are the Odds?

Madison's 10th birthday is just right around the corner (September 15th to be exact). I asked her what she wants to do for her birthday and her reply....Mom, I've never been to the American Girl store, so can we go?

Well...the closest American Girl store is probably the one at the Mall of American, which is seven hours away. Until now......
American Girl
Grand Opening
Sept 4-5 in Kansas City
Get ready to explore the newest American Girl store,
coming soon to Oak Park Mall!
Discover More
This store would only be four hours away versus seven. This might be her wish come true. Just think of the scrapbooking opportunites?!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

State Fair, anyone?

The Iowa State Fair starts next week and I am so wanting to attend. I've never been to our neighboring state's fair and I think it's about time. I've heard it's a fantastic fair to see! Also, I'm still mad that our State Fair moved away from Lincoln and down the road about two hours away, so I'm boycotting that one for sure.

Why do I enjoy attending the fair, you may ask? Well, I'm really not into seeing farm animals (induces allergies) or anything agricultural related, but I do like the parades, vendors, demonstrations, people watching, concerts and of course.....Fair Food!
Check this out...

Here's the list of foods on-a-stick as of July 2010 for the Iowa State Fair:

  1. Fair Square
  2. Chocolate-covered tiramisu on-a-stick
  3. Turtle mousse bar on-a-stick
  4. Strawberry cream bar on-a-stick
  5. Twinkie log on-a-stick (frozen Twinkie dipped in white chocolate and rolled in cashews)
  6. Octodog (hotdog in the shape of an octopus)
  7. Frozen s’more on-a-stick
  8. Chocolate-dipped cake on-a-stick
  9. Chicken club on-a-stick
  10. Buffalo chicken on-a-stick
  11. Chocolate-covered peanut butter round on-a-stick
  12. Chocolate-covered key lime round on-a-stick
  13. Carmellows on-a-stick
  14. Pretzel rods dipped in caramel or chocolate
  15. Pickle on-a-stick
  16. Pork chop on-a-stick
  17. Corn dog
  18. Cheese on-a-stick
  19. Cajun chicken on-a-stick
  20. Sesame chicken on-a-stick
  21. Carmel apple
  22. German sausage on-a-stick
  23. Teriyaki beef on-a-stick
  24. Corn on the cob on-a-stick
  25. Cotton candy
  26. Veggie dog on-a-stick
  27. Turkey drumstick
  28. Nutty bar
  29. Fried pickle on-a-stick
  30. Hot bologna on-a-stick
  31. Shrimp on-a-stick
  32. Chicken on-a-stick
  33. Monkey Tails (chocolate covered banana on-a-stick)
  34. Taffy on-a-stick
  35. Honey on-a-stick
  36. Ice cream Wonder Bar
  37. Deep fried Snickers bar on-a-stick
  38. Deep fried 3 Musketeers bar on-a-stick
  39. Deep fried Milky Way bar on-a-stick
  40. Deep fried Twinkie on-a-stick
  41. Lamb on-a-stick
  42. Meatballs on-a-stick
  43. Deep fried hoho on-a-stick
  44. Fudge Puppy (waffle drenched in chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream)
  45. Chili Dog on-a-stick
  46. Funtastick Pork on-a-stick
  47. Dutch letters on-a-stick
  48. Turkey tenders on-a-stick
  49. Deep fried hot dog on-a-stick
  50. Chocolate covered cheesecake on-a-stick
  51. Potato Lollipop (4 thick slices of russet potato deep fried and on-a-stick with dipping sauces)
  52. Pineapple on-a-stick (Fresh pineapple dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried)
  53. Chicken lips on-a-stick (breaded chicken breast smothered with hot sauce, served with blue cheese dressing).
  54. Cornbrat on-a-stick (bratwurst dipped in corndog batter)
  55. Frozen fudge brownie on-a-stick
  56. Ice cream cookie sandwich on-a-stick
  57. Rock candy on-a-stick
  58. Salad on-a-stick
  59. Hard-boiled egg on-a-stick
Looking at all of those tantalizing choices, which one would be the first you'd want to try?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

My final week of summer vacation....(sigh). I've totally enjoyed every minute of it, but it is time to get back into a routine. Chauffeuring my kids all over town has gotten old and so has their constant fighting, so off to school we go.

Here's what I've been doing this past week. I wanted some inspiration, so I went to Dr. Jean's website and found this idea. It's a scrapbook for my students telling them about me. You don't have to be good at scrapbooking to make this one. Very simple. This is her version....
Then I felt inspired to cover my bulletin board. My classroom is only 4 years old, but the tack holes were starting to show, so I decided to cover it with material. I've never tried this before, but heard it's better than paper, which fades quickly.
On Friday, we had overnight guests, so my friends could go to a 40th birthday party out of town I had seven children to entertain, so we went fishing. I love free fun! Boy, did they catch a ton too. Emily, my friend's oldest, caught around 20-24. Glad the fish were hungry or this activity would have gotten old rather quickly!
I thought you might like to see the latest with Grant's foot. We never did get into the doctor's office (not for the lack of trying). They were booked solid, so I discussed the toe issue with a nurse. She was honest to say there's not much we could do anyway. So, Andy cut the nail off after a couple days. I wasn't about to volunteer.
However, I did spend another co-pay at the doctor's office this week. Tyler had an itchy rash all over his legs that were spreading to his upper body. Of course, we tried medicating it on our own, which didn't work. Can you believe Tyler didn't want me taking a photo of the rash? It was an impressive one too!

My charm (mentioned in an earlier blog) was also ready for pick up this week. I love it! Sarah does a fantastic job!