Thursday, May 25, 2017

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday ~Bringing Closure to a Career

With students no longer in the building,
I can focus on cleaning up and cleaning out.

Months ago, I began the task of throwing away
lesson plans, curriculum materials, and student projects.

This is actually harder than it sounds.
Years of developing, and then,
updating and revising these class activities went into the dumpster.

Sometimes I felt like I was throwing part of myself away.

So, cleaning the appliances was the easy part.
Three refrigerators and an upright freezer...
done.

Demonstration cooktop and microwave...
done.

(A student helped inventory my textbooks.
Thank you, Connor.)

That left the seven student Food Preparation stations.
The students cleaned their labs on the last day of school.
Those of you that live with a teenager,
 know that some are better than others at cleaning.

Plus,
 inappropriate and disrespecful behaviors of three young men,
changed my focus from what I wanted to accomplish,
to working with administration to investigate and deliver consequences.

In my dreams, I had wanted to walk out the last day with everything in place.
However, by Thursday afternoon, I knew that I had to give up on that plan.

Thank goodness for self-cleaning ovens.

With multiple ovens cleaning, I started the vents, 
and used the two-hour opportunity to clean out my network files.

I wasn't the only one hard at work!

Today, I will return to wipe out those ovens.
And by the weekend, I hope to be enjoying the sunshine
with my new retirement cat.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Friday Yay ~Celebrating Retirement with Friends

Within two hours after the final dismissal bell,
we were celebrating my last day of school.

Unbeknownst to me, our friends had arranged for
a special evening of food and fellowship.
They reserved a table in Roma's Tuscany Room.
Hubby and I shared my favorite meal, Shrimp Fra Diablo. 

I love, love, love my gift.
Pretty sure they all think that in retirement,
I will turn into a Crazy Cat Lady...

Here is our host, serving after dinner drinks.
We 'girls' enjoyed his signature Chocolate Martini.

In case you were wondering,
yes, that is a 'beer bouquet' with the cat.
It was cleaverly created by our hostess.

Thank you, for a wonderful evening...
I treasure our friendship.

This was the perfect way to spend 
my first few hours of retirement.


Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to End a Thirty Eight Year Teaching Career ~Bring a Selfie Stick to School

This was the best group of students
 to spend my final teaching days with.

Earlier in the morning,
I waited at this red light for the last time on a school day.

Yes, we were cleaning the kitchens.

Even that can be fun when you are cleaning with friends.

Have a great summer!

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday ~The FINAL Final Project ~Our Guest Meal Report

The culmination of my Foods Class is our guest meal.
Students prepare lasagna, salad, and chocolate mousse dessert.

For two days in a row,
I loaded up my cart at the supermarket.

It warms my heart when students 
invite their parents to visit us at school.
...and I'm sure these dads felt the same way, 
spending the morning with their darling daughters.

My last block of the day is just the best.

(While, the previous block may be one of the worst...
I took NO pictures of that group!)

However, this group reminded me about why I work so hard!

They had their table set early,
so while waiting for our guests, I got these photos.



Again, some parents and older siblings attended our dinner.



A bright spot in my day!
Thank you for making sweet memories.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Blessings to all Women Who Nurture and Care for Children ~Celebrating the Special Women in my Life

Vintage Holiday Crafts
Best wishes today to all mothers and to all women 
who nurture and care for others.
Some women do not have babies of their own, 
but still play such an important role in raising our children.

Some are teachers, nurses, and day care providers.
Others are aunts, Godmothers, and special family friends.

Women are born with a mothering instinct, 
and they naturally provide love and support to those that they care about.

Mother's Day 2012
This was the last Mother's Day we all spent together. 
It was special, indeed, as my mother passed away the following February.
Our girls have moved away...
I have sweet memories of this weekend that we girls spent together.

We will be celebrating Mother's Day today with my hubby's mother
at our traditional gathering in my sister-in-law's home.

Here she is celebrating with these special young women,
our foreign exchange daughters...
Line from Norway and Nellie from Denmark.
I love you and miss you, too!


Enjoy every moment that you spend 
with your family and friends.

Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, May 12, 2017

TGIF ~Teacher Retirement ~~Just a Few of the Things I Will Not Miss

This showed up on my Facebook Newsfeed this week.
I think it pretty much sums it up!

Yay for Friday!
Have a great day, everyone.

Take care,~Natalie

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What'cha Workin' on Wednesday ~Turkey Time...Just One More Time ~These are the Times I will Miss the Most #lovefamilyand consumerscience

My days are numbered...now with single digits.

My potted plant, a retirement gift from the school board,
graced our dessert buffet table on this big day.

This team so efficiently prepared all the turkeys for roasting.

Sometimes, though,
 you just need to call on a young man to do the messy work.


78 pounds of turkey for 90 students...

...waiting, along side the desserts,
in the refrigerator overnight.

Yes, that is 5:40 A.M.
First block turkeys were roasting at 350 degrees.

It wasn't long until the students were busy preparing their side dishes,
as our State Champion Debate Coach, Mr. Konda 
and School Resource Officer Carlson
 did the honor of carving the birds.

A brief message from our guests before we serve.
(Does it look like all boys here?)

Here are the girls (with a couple more guys).

The next block brought SRO Carlson back, along with 
Probation Officer Rau.
We have all worked together for years.

Officer Carlson speaks about family and learning your family's traditions...
on a serious note, he shares about his mom passing away in December.
He misses being able to call her and ask about how a special dish is prepared.


Our last block enjoyed the presence 
of Teacher and Coach, Mr. Hansen.


His message about family and traditions was pretty special.
I'm not going to lie,
I shed a few tears.

This was the perfect ending
to a pretty perfect day!

Take care,
~Natalie