Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When You Know You Shouldn't Laugh

My mind has been wondering lately.  And let me tell you, that's a very scary thing.  In fact, it's been wondering back to the days when I was a teacher (Okay, so not that long ago, but it sure feels like it!).  With all this chaotic mind wondering going on, I figured I'd better start writing this stuff down before it's too late (i.e. before I forget it). 

You're probably wondering how this affects you as a reader.  Well, it just means you are going to have to endure posts all about the happenings of public school teacher.  Some funny, some sad, some scary, and some down right unbelievable.  Today, we'll start with the funny...

The year, 2002.  My very first year as a teacher.  I loved that class.  I had not a clue what I was doing (four years of college cannot possibly prepare you for twenty-five fourth graders), but I loved those kids.  Still do!  It was right after recess, and the class was silent.  Let's just spend some time reflecting on that word a moment.

Silent (sahy-luhnt)-making no sound; quiet; still

If you have ever been in a room for any period of time with a bunch of kids, you know this is virtually impossible.  However, it happened on this day.  Every single kid was reading, and it was S-I-L-E-N-T.  Sitting at my desk mentally patting myself on the back, it happened.  Little Johnny (not his real name of course) goes to prop his feet up on his desk, leans back in his chair, and rips the loudest bodily function that could ever come out of a little boy.  Of course the silence was replaced by obstreperous laughter, but not from this teacher.  No way.  I wasn't going to laugh and humiliate this kid anymore than he had to be already.  So I very calmly told the class, "Now guys, this happens to everyone.  Let's just get back to reading and leave Little Johnny alone."  I really felt like I deserved an Academy Award for that performance, because I really wanted to fall over, slap my knee, and laugh until I peed my pants.  But, no.  I was professional.  Until...

Little Johnny (who has a horrendous speech impedement) says, "I can't beweive I just fawted in fwont of the hoe class!"  (Translation: I can't believe I just farted in front of the whole class.)  That was all it took.  I lost it.  I couldn't stop laughing.  Tears rolling, falling over, slapping my knee laughing.  Thank goodness I didn't pee my pants (but, it was a close call). 

I'm not really sure what happened after that because the laughter went on for so long, but it goes down in history as one of my all time funniest moments as a teacher.  As for Little Johnny, he'll be a Senior next year, and you'd better believe I'll bring that up at the Senior breakfast!  Poor guy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Target Gift Card Winner

WOW!  I really just wanted to know who actually spent time reading my blog, and I ended up with very touching comments (Kristin, you made me cry!).  A big heart felt 'Thank You'  for spending time following my sometimes ridiculous posts, and leaving comments.  I loved reading everyone's. Now to the loot!

And the winner is (drumroll please)...


 Congratulations, Ms. Jackie!
Your losing streak has come to an end!
I'll personally deliver your gift card to you :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Target Gift Card Anyone?

It's a first here on Torres Tidbits!
Now it's no secret I love Target. You can snag some great deals there, so I thought it would be very fitting to give away a $15 gift card. Stack that with coupons and a sale and you should be able to walk out with a ton of free stuff!
Here's how you enter...
  • First, you have to take a picture of yourself as soon as you wake up in the morning. Then send it to me so I can post it on here. Just kidding!
  • All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT about what you like about Torres Tidbits (i.e. recipes, couponing, my crazy life...)! Whether I know you or not, just leave a comment and it will give you one entry. Become a follower of Torres Tidbits and you'll get an additional entry. Contest ends Friday, March 26th @ Midnight. Winner will be announced on Monday, March 29th!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Give a Camera to a Three Year Old

While I was fixing Little Miss' hair the other day, Little Man grabbed the camera and pretended to take pictures (or so I thought). When I got my disk to upload pictures, there were these two pics along with about fifty others! I have to say that I am completely impressed with his photog skills. I'm just going to add it to his list of things he does well...
  • sucks his thumb like a professional
  • can locate his silky blanket by smelling it
  • picks his nose
  • tattles on his sister and cousin
  • eats pb&j's like none other
  • AND...takes great pics

I'm thinking about starting up a resume for this kid!

Feel free to contact me if you like what you see. He's currently booking for summer sessions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Toy Story I & II

I purchased most of the kids Easter basket items, but when I saw this deal on Coupon Gal, I figured the kids must have Toy Story I & II to go in their baskets as well. It's a great deal, so be sure to snatch this one! Just don't snatch it before I do!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pineapple Salsa

I made this less than an hour ago and it is already half empty (call me a pessimist). It was supposed to last all week long. Don't think it's going to make it!

So here's how it's thrown together...

Pineapple Salsa

1 pineapple
1 large red pepper
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 medium purple onion
-or- 2 green onions
1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Dice pineapple, red pepper, cilantro, and onion.
  • Mix well
  • Sprinkle on lemon juice.
That's it. It's delicious. It's nutritious. It'll be gone fast.
Happy Cooking!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Treasures

Another precious moment brought to by Stay At Home Mama...
Three tikes all crammed onto one toddler mattress.
So much for personal space!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Once Upon a School Teacher

There are two 'holidays' I absolutely despised while being a school teacher...St. Patrick's Day and April Fool's Day. I mean who in their right mind enjoys being pinched and/or straight up lied to? Hmmmm??? Do these so called holidays give you an excuse to be a meany pants to someone else?

Well in my classroom, you got a warning the day before that if you even tried one of the afore mentioned tricks of the devil, then you'd better be ready for some consequences. Now, there's always those boys that love hanging over the edge of that cliff, and they'll test you out. Everytime they would be met with one nasty 'Teacher Look' that sent their challenging eyes straight down to the desk. Followed by a, "Mrs. Torres, I'm so sorry. It won't happen again." Yep, I'm hard core.

You may be thinking, "Wow, she was one mean teacher." Yes, yes I was. But, it gets worse.

A few years back it was getting close to April Fool's Day, and I was starting in on my pre-rehearsed speech, "April Fool's Day is tomorrow...does not give you an excuse to lie to each other...don't even try it...and if you even think about testing me...And one last thing. Today is my last day to be your teacher. Tomorrow, you will have a new teacher who has taught for 50 years. She's a little mean, but if you make good choices you should do okay. I'll miss you dearly and I love each one of you."

Man, those kids went home bummed. I felt a little bad, but not too bad. After all, it was APRIL FOOL'S DAY the next day. They'd figure out it sooner or later!

So let this be a lesson to you readers, don't pinch and don't lie. Unless you are a teacher, then it's okay. Well. Not the pinching part.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beginner Couponing Tips

Since I started couponing last August, I've learned quite a bit. Here are some tips that help me know when a deal is a deal, and when to hold on to your coupon.

  • Take a Notebook- Grab a spiral notebook and hit the store. Start writing down the prices of items you regularly purchase. That way when the item goes on sale at another store, you'll know if it's a good sale or a gimmick. For example, Target and Walgreens generally have higher prices than Walmart. Their 'sale' prices are often more expensive.

  • Go Ahead and Stockpile- I'm not talking about hoarding here!!! However, if you don't need an item, but you find a great deal BUY IT! A perfect example for our household is toothpaste. We have a local drugstore that often discounts their Colgate toothpaste to $1.50. At Walmart it sells for $3.99. Colgate puts out $1.00 off coupons. So when it goes on sale I end up snagging a tube (or more) of toothpaste for $.50.

  • Cut It Anyway-When I first started couponing, there were some coupons that I didn't cut because even with the coupon, the item was more than I wanted to spend. I quickly learned that those 'expensive' items often went on sale, and had high value coupons. A prime example is Fiber One products. The cereal alone (for a small box) is around $4.50. Target often puts these in their ad for $2.50/product plus a Buy 5, get a $5 gift card towards your next purchase. Not to mention, there are a lot of Fiber One coupons in the Sunday paper. My new motto is, "If I'll use it, I'll clip it." I don't think about the price.

Hopefully these tips will help you out. Couponing takes a lot of effort at the beginning, but it pays off in the end. Everyone would like to have more money, and generally you have to work for it. Think of this as your little part-time job. After you get a system down that works for you, this little part-time job will pay you $75 for 30 minutes worth of work per week (at least in my experience). Sounds like a pretty good job to me!

Happy Couponing!

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Our Anniversary!

Steven and I had known of each other ever since we were in 7th grade, but didn't speak to each other until we were Seniors in high school. One afternoon, after our school's pep assembly I walked out to my car to find Steven and his brother leaning on their truck. The parking lot was pretty empty because school had let out quite a while ago. I stayed late for a French Club meeting (don't judge me) and wondered why they were still there. After asking if they were okay, Steven replied that he locked the keys in their truck. Then he went on to make sure I knew he was the 'Single Twin'. Seriously, I'm not making this up! Anyway, his brother said his girlfriend was on her way to pick them up, so I left completely perplexed as to why he would say that. Maybe he wanted me to introduce him to one of my friends?
Later that night, I got on the bus for cheerleading to head out to the football game at a nearby town. Steven, a football player, kept looking over at me on the sidelines. WHOA...me? I was really perplexed then. So after over-analyzing and trying to find 101 excuses as to why he would look my direction, I chalked it up to I had a huge booger or something. Why else would this prime piece of meat be looking at me? Well, turns out he was interested. He asked me out on a date. I accepted. I'm not stupid!
I knew from our first date that I would marry him. Just the way he talked about his family, and how much he cared for his then step-sister, I knew he was a rarity that I would NOT let go. We spent 4 1/2 years apart in college and never doubted that we would eventually be together. He really makes the 'me' in me come out, and I hope I do the same for him. I am so thankful that everyday he still wakes up and chooses to love me, and I him. He is a phenomenal work of a man. Happy 7th Anniversary, Steven! I love you!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Great Deals

I normally don't post the deals I get on a weekly basis, but this week I have time and Target had some great deals. All of the items below I got for $20.27. Without using coupons and the free gift card from Target, I would have spent $40.47. A savings of 50%!

Here's how I got the deals...

Transaction #1
1 Clever Kids Fruit Snacks $2.19
Used $1.50 coupon from Vocalpoint (sign up and they will start to mail you some high value coupons)

4 Johnson & Johnson Buddy Bars* $.97/each
Used two printable coupons here
and two printable coupons here
(coupons are $1 off a Johnson & Johnson product)

5 Kellogg's Fruit Crisps Bars $2.50/each (on sale)
Used $1 coupon from Redplum mailer
Used 4 $1 coupons offered on Targets website
Got $5 gc (used on next transaction)

Total after coupons: $10.39

Transaction #2

Buy 2 Huggies diapers $8.99 each (sale)
Use Target printable coupon (sorry no longer offered on their website)
Use a Huggies manufacturer mailer coupon for $3/2 ($3 off/2 packages)
Used $5 gc from previous transaction

Total after coupons & gc: $9.88

Couponing takes some planning, but it is well worth it! The diapers alone would have cost over $20.

*Even if you don't use the Johnson & Johnson Buddy Bars (found on the baby soap/shampoo aisle), they are completely free. You could easily donate these to your local Neighbors in Need Program. That's why couponing is so awesome. Not only do you get to keep your hard earned money (or in my case, my husband's), but you can also be more giving!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Soap Box Time

"Hello. Soap Box. Are you there?"

"Yes. I'm right here."

"Could you come out of that closet so I can use you."

(sigh) "I guess. How long are you going to be this time?"

"Just get out here!!!"

Okay, here I go...

I like to eat yummy food. I work out hard. I like to eat yummy food. In fact, I just downed nine Oreos and a glass of milk. Like I said, I like to eat yummy stuff. In fact, my main purpose in working out is so I can eat what I want, when I want. Sometimes the yummy food I cook is healthy. Some of it full of artery clogging fat. But as previously stated, I like to eat. So if you are looking for recipes that are 100% healthy, you are in the wrong place!

You may be wondering why I need a soap box right now. Let me share a little story with you...

I'm out and about (location to remain a secret), and so-and-so (again keeping this anonymous) stops to say hi. They proceed to tell me they enjoy looking at my blog. Great! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing that with me. Sounds sweet, right? Well, there's a little more. This person goes on to share that they would love it even more if it had more health conscience recipes on here. (Insert choking on my coffee here). Say what? Repeaten en Espanol. Como vous? I went on to explain that I just share what my family eats, and if it helps you know what to make for dinner and gets your family to sit down together, then that's wonderful. If it's not your cup-o-tea, then there are phenomenal blogs/websites all over this wonderful thing called the world wide web.

Moral to my soap box moment...you don't need to stop me in public to make requests. This is my family. I'll serve what I like. Thank you very much.

"Okay, soap box. You can go back to the closet now."

"Thank you. That was a mindless rant."

"Soap booooxxx! Don't you use that tone of voice with me!"


Ugh! Soap boxes can be soooo touchy sometimes!

Happy 'fatty' Cooking!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Terriyaki Chicken & Rice Bowl

As I was typing the title I realized that I called this Terriyaki Chicken and Rice Bowl, but it's on a plate. Not a bowl. But, Terriyaki Chicken & Rice Plate doesn't sound as good. To make everything in the world right again, PLEASE, serve this in a bowl!

4 cups whole grain brown rice
4 chicken breasts
1 bunch asparagus quarted
1 large red pepper chopped
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 can chunked pineapple
1Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Cook rice according to package directions
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste, and Liquid Smoke (found on the same aisle as Worcestershire Sauce). Cook both sides in olive oil until both sides are golden brown and juices run clear. Remove from skillet, and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar. Toss in asparagus, red pepper, and onion. Cook until tender.
  • While veggies are becoming tender, dice up chicken into 1 inch chunks.
  • Add chicken and pineapples to veggie mix. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over brown rice.
Happy Cooking!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Framing Up

Our new house is all starting to go up! You can actually walk through the house, and stand in every room.



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day Trip to OKC

Two weeks ago, we had family in town. It was a crazy week with moving, but we managed to make it to OKC to meet up with Jaime, Bebe, Gideon, and the rest of our normal 'in-town' family. We were so glad we were able to make it, but the kids were in BEAST form. You won't be able to tell by the pictures below. They look like angels, delicately writing on the chalkboards at the OKC Memorial. Fast forward to Toby Keith's restaurant an hour later and you'd see two crying kids who were all done for the day. In fact, two crying kids pretty much sums up the week Jaime & Bebe were here. We were bummed. We wanted to spend more time with them, but it just didn't work out. I guess that means, we'll be making another trip to Illinois to see them soon :) Now onto my angels...

I'd like to say I have perfect children, but any parent knows that will NEVER happen. Despite the ugly moments, I still love every little piece of them. Even when they make every single person at a restaurant stare at you...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dirty Thirty

It's true. I've made it to the dark side. I have entered the 30's! All kidding aside, I'm actually excited about the 30's. Why wouldn't I be? I'm exactly at the place I want to be. I attend a phenomenal church, I have a gorgeous piece of a man who knows how to clean, two beautiful, healthy children, great family, fun friends, and soon to move into my dream home.

The 20's were good too! Here's a highlight list of my twenties...
  • graduated college in the top 3% of my class.
  • became a teacher at 22.
  • got married to the afore mentioned man at 23.
  • bought our first home at 23.
  • lived the young married life without kids...which included at least one trip every year...ahhh...those were good days.
  • nominated Teacher of the Year at my school after 4 years, and made it to the Top 10 for my district.
  • had my first son at 26.
  • had my first daughter at 28.
  • became a stay at home mom at 29.
  • sold my first house at 29.

That a pretty good list of accomplishments for the twenties. Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for the 30's!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sausage Skillet Breakfast

Ever since Mason was born, our family has a Saturday morning breakfast. After a while, french toast, pancakes, and all kinds of waffles gets a little old. So this recipe got thrown together. It's not hard, and no doubt some of you readers already make something similar to this. If not, add it to your list.

Sausage Skillet Breakfast

6 eggs, beaten
1 lb sausage
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Mix milk and ground mustard into beaten eggs. Scramble in skillet.
  • Cook sausage until no longer pink. Add in onion. Cook until onion is soft. Drain.
  • Add eggs to sausage mixture.
  • Top with cheddar cheese.
See. It's really simple. Sometimes we add in green pepper, serve over hashbrows, or use green onions instead of onion. The possibilities are endless.
Happy Cooking!