Pumpkin Spice Lattes are Better Homemade

Saturday, November 17, 2012

As previously stated in this post, the best part about fall is pumpkin everything. Pumpkin pies are undoubtedly the best, but I’m also a sucker for the portability and deliciousness of a pumpkin spice latte. On of my favorite blogs, A Little Loveliness posted a recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte so I was overly excited to try it out. Even Danny liked it, so I thought I’d share my version of the recipe.

My lactose intolerance means most things need to be made with soy milk. We use light soy milk in our house, which seems sweeter than milk to me, so I added less sugar. I also tend not to drink caffeine so we used decaffeinated coffee, but that’s an easy modification for my caffeine-drinking friends.

This recipe makes one-ish very large, very yummy pumpkin spice latte.

1.5 cups light soy milk

2 Tablespoons sugar

3/8 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon pumpkin spice

4 oz double-strength brewed decaffeinated coffee

whipped cream (if you can handle dairy)

caramel syrup

pinch of pumpkin spice

Heat soy milk in a heavy saucepan until milk is hot and bubbling slightly. Combine hot milk, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin spice in a blender and blend on high until mixture is frothy. Pour milk mixture into a large mug about 3/4 of the way full, fill up rest of mug with brewed coffee. Top with whipped cream, caramel syrup, and a pinch of pumpkin spice. Yum!


Letting Go

Friday, November 16, 2012

A couple days ago the Reveal Family decided to move to a different rental property in our little Kansas town. Our hopeful move date is January 1, and we’ll update everyone with new addresses when our new place actually has an address! The builders are building as I write. With the holidays and our move date fast approaching, this has thrown me into an organization frenzy. Yesterday you would have found me sitting on the bathroom floor sifting through lipstick from 2003.

I think the whole family is much better prepared for this smaller move than we were for The Massive Move from Dayton to Pittsburg a few years ago. At that time the Reveals were so sad to leave our Dayton home behind, we were in serious denial about the whole thing. We got rid of very little, choosing instead put our stuff into storage units or to move silly things (like 50 tubes of lipstick) across the country.

While we still have enough furniture in storage to furnish at least three houses (lucky for me when I decide where to live!), we’re now better equipped to let go of some of the baggage we’ve been carrying.

Speaking of moving, Mom and I met Torey’s family in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago to help Torey move into a new place a few blocks from where she’s been living for the past year. Even though we only had a few days, we had an incredible time unpacking boxes, putting together furniture, eating cookies, and catching up, and Torey was all settled into her new home when we left. Pictures, anyone? Of course Torey and I didn’t take a single picture together all week, so we’ll just have to see each other real soon.


“Thank you for Subistuting”

Monday, November 5, 2012

I received my first thank you note as a “subistute,” (or substitute if you want to be picky) from a fourth grader, and despite her grammar and spelling missteps, giving me brown eyes, and assuming I’m married, she provided a much-needed affirmation that my substitute teaching is not for naught.

My knowledge about group mentality, the current state of the school system, discipline, and effective teaching methods grows exponentially every time I step foot into one of the school for which I substitute. I’d forgotten the fun of kindergarten, the heartbreak of 7th grade, and the boredom of sophomore year. I’d forgotten that substitutes often equal busy work. I’ve also learned some things about myself, most importantly that being the mean sub isn’t as scary as I thought it was and sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. So, here’s a list of a few things I’ve learned these past few weeks:

1) A class’s energy changes dramatically based on the addition or subtraction of any number of elements including: lunch, markers, recess, vocabulary worksheets, and a single student.

2) Seating plans are legit. And important.

3) There will always be at least one kid who defends you.

4) There will always be at least one kid who refuses to learn your name and will refer to you until the end of time as “Substitute.” *Note: Kindergarteners refer to substitutes as “Teacher,” which is incredibly endearing and acceptable.

5) Just because they’re afraid of a bad report doesn’t mean they’ll change their behavior.

6) Students really must be taught how to peer tutor—to show instead of tell and to teach someone to solve the problem when the tutor isn’t around.

7) Kids really want to talk about their lives, what they’re reading, and who they’re playing in football later that day. Someone just needs to listen.

8) Not all kids believe that substitutes actually care if they learn anything that day. Letting them know that I’m one who does can sometimes flip the day upside down.