Category Archives: Edumacation

There Will Be Cooking…Oh Yes, There Will Be Cooking

Lots of good stuff is happening this week. For one, it’s the last week of classes. Hooray! Next week wraps up final exams, then I get a week off before starting summer school. Wanna know what I’ll be doing during that week off?

Well, aside from sleeping in, I’ll be cooking and baking with the kids. I don’t think I’ve used my bread machine in months, and I’m anxious to try some new GFCF bread recipes that I found online. And oh, the cookies! Zoe, Ayden, and my wallet are tired of me buying store-bought GFCF treats…not that there’s anything wrong with them per se, but everyone is facing tough economic times right now, and I can’t justify spending six bucks on a tiny box of cookies right now. Besides, home-baked cookies rock–and it’s a fun way to get the children interested in cooking.

In other FABULOUS news, Zoe tried out for the school talent show yesterday. Flamenco Dad accompanied her on guitar as the sang “Zippity-Do-Dah.” The principal and the school’s Exceptional Student Ed. specialist were among the panelists watching the auditions, and they were so happy to see Zoe out there doing her best. The  kid has absolutely no fear, which certainly helped her when it came to standing up in front of a group of people and performing.

Ayden reached a milestone this week as well…he is now riding a bike on his own. Two wheels, baby! His favorite word lately is “awesome,” and every time he zoomed past me on the bike  he would yell out, “This is so awesome!”

I’d say they both did a pretty awesome job.


4 Out of 5 Friends and Relatives Tell Me to Frame It

Ever since I went back to school full-time, my competitive side seems to have reemerged in a BIG way. In my first go-round at college, grades were not something I paid much attention to. That’s probably because I was too busy paying attention to the hot guys around campus, drinking WAY too much, and focusing on my tan. Now that I’m older and paying for my education, I actually care about getting good grades. Actually, I care about learning…and kicking some ass grade-wise.

When I finally came up for air this week, I noticed the following letter in my stack of mail. I had to read this letter twice, because I have honestly never seen one of these letters before in my life:

Dear Melinda:

I want to congratulate you for your outstanding academic performance during the Fall Term of 2008! Your grades for that term qualify you for the honor of being named to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List of Scholars.

I am extremely pleased that the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences attract students of your caliber. The Dean’s List of Scholars is only awarded to the top ten percent of the majors in our college who are full-time students. You should be very proud of your accomplishment.

Once again, congratulations on being named to the Dean’s List of Scholars and best wishes for your continued success at the University.

It was at this point when I fell out of my chair. Holy crap! My friend Stephanie told me to scan it, make copies, post it on my Facebook page, and mail one to my mom. Okay, maybe my buddy went a little overboard, but I am quite excited about this. Especially since I had a less-than-auspicious beginning to my academic career. And, of course, now I want to get another one for the Spring Term. I’m going to have to load up on some caffeine.

Not Bleak At All

I’ve been doing a TON of reading this semester. Reading two or more books simultaneously has proven to be a challenge, but so far my sanity is still intact. I think. What have I been working on? Take, for example, the following:


Bleak House. Nine-hundred and eighty-nine pages of Charles Dickens at his best. I know not everyone out there is a Dickens fan; but if you are, then get thee to a bookstore or library as fast as you can and pick up this book. When I saw this book at the university bookstore–I was buying my textbooks for this semester–I panicked. But I am proud to say that I read it from cover to cover, and I adore this novel.

I just rented the BBC interpretation of the novel (starring Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock), and I’m enjoying that as well. Oh, how I love the Victorians!

Countdown to Spring

41ac5wxzk7l1I know it seems like I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here by calling this post “Countdown to Spring,” but I’ve got a good reason for it. The spring semester starts in a week, and I am trying to get myself psyched up for it. The fall semester was tough, but the spring promises to be even more difficult, with more reading and assignments aplenty.

So how’d I do this fall? I’m pleased to report that I earned straight A’s–four of them to be exact. This coming from a woman who hasn’t been a full-time student since the first George Bush was in office. I was truly excited and happy to see that I pulled off a really great semester. This semester is going to be an even bigger challenge. I’m taking four literature courses: Early Shakespeare, American Lit. from 1912-1945, The 19th Century British Novel, and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation. Oh, and I’m taking Ballroom Dance as a P.E. elective (for fun, exercise, and a major dose of stress-busting). You can see why I’m trying to get myself in the proper frame of mind to tackle my upcoming work. On the advice of one of my professors, I started doing some of my reading now. I picked up Wuthering Heights, which I’m hoping to complete by the weekend–that should be no problem if I keep a somewhat relaxed schedule of 50 pages a day. Ater next Monday,  I’ll be buried in books for the next 15 weeks.

With These Kids, I’ll Never Run Out of Blog-able Material

My son wins the prize for the funniest line of the week. This week the school fundraiser began…and Lord help me they are selling cookie dough. I say “Lord help me” because they are difficult to resist; I want to eat them even though I can’t. Zoe can’t go anywhere near them, which means Flamenco Dad, Ayden, and my mother-in-law are going to be getting their cookie on.

Anyway, I digress…

Since Ayden is new to the school thing, naturally he is also new to the school fundraiser thing. He hops into the car and announces that the school is having a cookie-dough fundraiser. The class that sells the most gets an ice cream party. He TOTALLY wants the free ice cream. And he tells me that he’s going to miss out the ice cream party because he can’t sell cookie dough, ’cause he doesn’t even know how to MAKE cookie dough!

Had I been drinking a beverage at the time, it would have shot clear out my nose.

See You In September–I Mean, August

Hello, Internets! I have returned from my self-imposed exile, and I’ve got lots to share. Man, the summer just flew by here at Casa de Flamenco. I wrapped up summer school at the end of last week, and Ayden finished the week before that. My little guy absolutely LOVED pre-K, and is looking forward to starting kindergarten on Monday, and…

And I cannot believe I just typed that. It seems like I just gave birth to the little bugger last week, and now I’m getting ready to send him off to school. I think I’m gonna need a martini.

This summer was particularly challenging for me because I am now a full-time college girl. It was no easy feat, but I made it through the semester with my sanity (relatively) intact. The best part of all is that I kicked hairy a** this semester, with 2 A’s and 1 A+. Can I get a “hell yeah”? I’ve signed up for 4 classes this fall. Wish me luck.

Miss Zoe is starting 5th grade next week, in a mainstream classroom. We’re so proud of her–and we’re on the edge of our seats wondering how she’ll do in her new classroom setting. Tomorrow we’re going to meet her new teacher and give Zoe a tour of the new classroom…best to get the lay of the land before Monday. And in other (read: embarrassing for my daughter) news, I had to take Zoe–gulp–bra shopping recently. I haven’t recovered from that one yet. Could someone please explain to me why it’s so hard to find a non-trampy-looking bra for my pre-teen daughter? I mean, it’s not like we were shopping at Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood. Since when does a child need a push-up bra? Hello?

Oh, and you know I couldn’t leave out Flamenco Dad. In addition to busting his butt all summer teaching and playing weddings, he was asked to be a part of a book about guitar technique. FD was given the task of demonstrating some chords in photos to appear in the book. So he got to be a model for a day! The picture above is not going to be in the book, but it’s an awfully cute picture, so I thought I’d share it. There’s more to cover, but I’m exhausted. I’ll save the rest for another day.

Be Back Soon

Hello, internets! I’ve been a naughty blogger…few posts, no visiting other blogs…what gives? Well, next week is my last week of summer school; so I’ll soon have plenty of time after that to share lots of gfcf goodness and family fun. I promise!!

I had a bad run of it with wheat and dairy recently; this was partly due to laziness, and partly due to the fact that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been very well organized in the kitchen and have dined on-the-go more than I care to even think about. Yuck. Folks, it hasn’t been pretty. But I’m determined to get back on the bandwagon. Fear not: Zoe has adhered steadfastly to eating gfcf. I guess I took what precious little time I had to hook Zoe up, but I neglected to do the same for myself. Chalk that one up to a lesson learned.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that I do well on my finals!