Thursday, May 31, 2012

Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken

One of my favorite blogs that I follow is Duchess of Fork.  Molly is the duchess and is so cute and has a precious family!  If you read the “About Me” section on her blog you’ll see that we have several things in common: she is an only child, I’m an only child; she is a teacher, I am a teacher; she is a Mexican food lover, I am a Mexican food lover; she is an organization freak, I am an organization freak (must be organized!).  I also just learned that her husband builds beautiful homes in Florida; my dad builds beautiful homes in Texas!  So, it’s no surprise that I love her recipes that she shares on her blog. 

This week I made Molly’s Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken Sliders and, oh my goodness, they were yummy!   I failed to take a picture so I am sharing one from Molly.

via Duchess of Fork

The farmer took one bite and told me that this was one of the top three meals that I’ve cooked so I think it’s safe to say that he enjoyed his dinner.  I actually doubled this recipe so we could have plenty of leftovers.  Also, as hard as it is to believe, HA, we don’t have slider buns in small town Arkansas, so I just used the smaller hamburger buns.  The best part – it only takes five ingredients!  I think this meal will become a regular on our menu lineup Smile

Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken Sliders

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup bottled BBQ sauce (Molly’s recipe called for Sweet Baby Ray’s so that’s what I used)

1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing

2 tbsp. yellow mustard

slider buns or rolls


Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker.  In a small bowl, stir together the BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, and mustard. Pour mixture over chicken and toss to coat.  Cook chicken on low for 4-6 hours, occasionally basting with sauce.  Once chicken is cooked through, remove from slow cooker and shred or chop.  Return to slow cooker and stir chicken and sauce together.  Feel free to add more BBQ sauce if you think it needs it.  Serve chicken on slider buns. 


Do yourself a favor and go browse Molly at Duchess of Fork and find yourself a great new recipe!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Marshall's Visit Little Rock!

Earlier this month we had a nice surprise - the Marshalls came to Little Rock! Brent had to come for work so Megan and the twins joined him for a little getaway. We met them in Little Rock to catch up, see the twins...and Megan and Brent of course, and to have dinner. It was so nice to spend the evening with them and with Allison and her boyfriend. It was a much needed evening with two of my lifelong best friends...of course we missed Amy and Katie...the fab five would have been complete if they were there!

The farmer enjoyed himself tremendously. He said on our way home that he really needed that night to just hang out with old friends – Matt was Brent's big brother in their fraternity at University of Arkansas so they go way back :) I realized just how true "it's a small world" is when I met Matt and introduced him to Brent and Megan and well, he already knew Brent!

Although I felt like I knew the twins, I hadn't officially met them yet. I loved on little Sloane all night!

Knox and Sloane had their own private dinner in the hotel lobby before we went to dinner.

Look at that sweet face! She is such a ham!

We had dinner in the River Market. It was such a nice night that we sat outside and had a great visit!

Our men...very patriotic...Broc, farmer Matt, and Brent

After dinner we went back to their hotel lobby and visited for a long time. The twins were troopers and considering we didn't leave until close to 10:00, they had a very late bedtime!

It was so good to have some of our closest friends in town. Allison and I decided they should come visit our neck of the woods more often!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 14, 2012

what teachers really want to tell parents

Editor's note: Ron Clark, author of "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck -- 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers," has been named "American Teacher of the Year" by Disney and was Oprah Winfrey's pick as her "Phenomenal Man." He founded The Ron Clark Academy, which educators from around the world have visited to learn.

(CNN) -- This summer, I met a principal who was recently named as the administrator of the year in her state. She was loved and adored by all, but she told me she was leaving the profession.

I screamed, "You can't leave us," and she quite bluntly replied, "Look, if I get an offer to lead a school system of orphans, I will be all over it, but I just can't deal with parents anymore; they are killing us."

Unfortunately, this sentiment seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. Today, new teachers remain in our profession an average of just 4.5 years, and many of them list "issues with parents" as one of their reasons for throwing in the towel. Word is spreading, and the more negativity teachers receive from parents, the harder it becomes to recruit the best and the brightest out of colleges.

So, what can we do to stem the tide? What do teachers really need parents to understand?

For starters, we are educators, not nannies. We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don't fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer. I have become used to some parents who just don't want to hear anything negative about their child, but sometimes if you're willing to take early warning advice to heart, it can help you head off an issue that could become much greater in the future.

Trust us. At times when I tell parents that their child has been a behavior problem, I can almost see the hairs rise on their backs. They are ready to fight and defend their child, and it is exhausting. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I tell a mom something her son did and she turns, looks at him and asks, "Is that true?" Well, of course it's true. I just told you. And please don't ask whether a classmate can confirm what happened or whether another teacher might have been present. It only demeans teachers and weakens the partnership between teacher and parent.

Please quit with all the excuses

And if you really want to help your children be successful, stop making excuses for them. I was talking with a parent and her son about his summer reading assignments. He told me he hadn't started, and I let him know I was extremely disappointed because school starts in two weeks.

His mother chimed in and told me that it had been a horrible summer for them because of family issues they'd been through in July. I said I was so sorry, but I couldn't help but point out that the assignments were given in May. She quickly added that she was allowing her child some "fun time" during the summer before getting back to work in July and that it wasn't his fault the work wasn't complete.

Can you feel my pain?

Some parents will make excuses regardless of the situation, and they are raising children who will grow into adults who turn toward excuses and do not create a strong work ethic. If you don't want your child to end up 25 and jobless, sitting on your couch eating potato chips, then stop making excuses for why they aren't succeeding. Instead, focus on finding solutions.

Parents, be a partner instead of a prosecutor

And parents, you know, it's OK for your child to get in trouble sometimes. It builds character and teaches life lessons. As teachers, we are vexed by those parents who stand in the way of those lessons; we call them helicopter parents because they want to swoop in and save their child every time something goes wrong. If we give a child a 79 on a project, then that is what the child deserves. Don't set up a time to meet with me to negotiate extra credit for an 80. It's a 79, regardless of whether you think it should be a B+.

This one may be hard to accept, but you shouldn't assume that because your child makes straight A's that he/she is getting a good education. The truth is, a lot of times it's the bad teachers who give the easiest grades, because they know by giving good grades everyone will leave them alone. Parents will say, "My child has a great teacher! He made all A's this year!"

Wow. Come on now. In all honesty, it's usually the best teachers who are giving the lowest grades, because they are raising expectations. Yet, when your children receive low scores you want to complain and head to the principal's office.

Please, take a step back and get a good look at the landscape. Before you challenge those low grades you feel the teacher has "given" your child, you might need to realize your child "earned" those grades and that the teacher you are complaining about is actually the one that is providing the best education.

And please, be a partner instead of a prosecutor. I had a child cheat on a test, and his parents threatened to call a lawyer because I was labeling him a criminal. I know that sounds crazy, but principals all across the country are telling me that more and more lawyers are accompanying parents for school meetings dealing with their children.

Teachers walking on eggshells

I feel so sorry for administrators and teachers these days whose hands are completely tied. In many ways, we live in fear of what will happen next. We walk on eggshells in a watered-down education system where teachers lack the courage to be honest and speak their minds. If they make a slight mistake, it can become a major disaster.

My mom just told me a child at a local school wrote on his face with a permanent marker. The teacher tried to get it off with a wash cloth, and it left a red mark on the side of his face. The parent called the media, and the teacher lost her job. My mom, my very own mother, said, "Can you believe that woman did that?"

I felt hit in the gut. I honestly would have probably tried to get the mark off as well. To think that we might lose our jobs over something so minor is scary. Why would anyone want to enter our profession? If our teachers continue to feel threatened and scared, you will rob our schools of our best and handcuff our efforts to recruit tomorrow's outstanding educators.

Finally, deal with negative situations in a professional manner.

If your child said something happened in the classroom that concerns you, ask to meet with the teacher and approach the situation by saying, "I wanted to let you know something my child said took place in your class, because I know that children can exaggerate and that there are always two sides to every story. I was hoping you could shed some light for me." If you aren't happy with the result, then take your concerns to the principal, but above all else, never talk negatively about a teacher in front of your child. If he knows you don't respect her, he won't either, and that will lead to a whole host of new problems.

We know you love your children. We love them, too. We just ask -- and beg of you -- to trust us, support us and work with the system, not against it. We need you to have our backs, and we need you to give us the respect we deserve. Lift us up and make us feel appreciated, and we will work even harder to give your child the best education possible.

That's a teacher's promise, from me to you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

fighting fires

Being a Kindergarten teacher has its stressful moments like all jobs, but it can be very entertaining being with five year olds all day! Sometimes I find myself in embarrassing situations that the kids seem to find so funny and I suppose this is one of those moments.

In all honesty it wasn't that embarrassing and actually a little fun :)

I just knew I was going to smell smoky when I undressed, but the chief assured me that his uniform had just been washed. Wearing a firefighter suit is no light load - especially when the oxygen tank goes on your back. And the picture of me in the truck...I had to have help. With all that garb on I couldn't get my leg up!

I guess if I ever get tired of teaching I can try fighting fires.

I'm not really sure I'd last long!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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