Category Archives: school

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What’s Up on the KitPen this weekend?

Looking for a few things to do with the family this hopefully sunny and warm weekend? Well, guess what?! There are some!

Saturday, June 4th

Did you know it’s National Trails Day? Well, now we both do! And the City of Poulsbo has Walking Ambassadors on tap to walk you around nine different routes. No pre-registration required! Read more at their site.

Also, Saturday, get your filthy (well, mine IS) car washed and help out the Bainbridge Island School District. Bainbridge Schools Foundation is hosting a car wash from 9am-3pm at the island’s Chevron station. Do good and look good for it!

Sunday, June 5th

Kitsap Mini Maker Faire is happening Sunday and will have all kinds of items made by knitters, welders, inventors, craftsmen, artists, you name it. Plus, a food booth, so who can beat that?! All the stuff I am totally unable to do and totally impressed by those who can!

Once you’ve checked out the Kitsap Maker Faire, save some energy (and $) to come to Bainbridge Schools Foundation Family Fun Fair from 1-5pm. They’ll have a dunk tank, cake walk, crafts for sale, putt putt golf and more, at Bainbridge’s high school.

So, there, you have no excuse not to have fun this weekend and tear yourself away from your yard for a few hours! Enjoy!!

The Top Ten Reasons This Mom Loves Back-To-School Time

back to schoolBut first… when doing a “Top Ten”… does one go from 10 to 1 or from 1 to 10?

I’m gonna count backwards. That way, I can show off my mathiness.

10. The smell. There is this “smell”. It’s not the smell of Fall, but the smell of “Fall is on it’s way.” It’s like the smell of cookies, but nature-ier.

9. New shoes. For mom. I got myself a pair. You should copy me.

8. A sense of “peace is near”… I can do anything for 9 more days. Even be with my own children. I know, I’m a saint.

7. Sunflowers.

6. School lunch snacks in the pantry. This also sucks because I am not a good resister of temptation. *raises fist to curse the Hostess snack cake*

5. The end of guilt is near. At the end of every school year I am so intent… on making sure the kids do some form of school work for X many minutes everyday… and then they will bring world peace. Well, every year I seem to lower my own bar… and at this point a teeny little red ant prolly couldn’t limbo under my intentions. So… back to school means I won’t feel guilty for undoing the previous year’s education.

4. Peace and quiet. Gloray!

3. New backpacks and school supplies. I bought extra so I could have my own stash and feel like a teacher again. I skipped on the denim overall dress though. 😉

2. A break. I love my kids, but kids are work! And much of the summer I have stayed up very late at night to do my own work. Back-to-school means I may be able to get to bed before 1 a.m. and finish the bulk of my “work life” while they are busy with learning.

1. I love Fall. And my birthday is in the Fall. So… bring it, and by “it”, I mean PRESENTS.

But enough about ME… Why do YOU look forward to “back-to-school”?

– Jenny is a scattered mom of 3 who loves to dance, spray glitter, and dreams of being famous… You can read more about Jenny at her blog Jenny On The Spot, where she has been telling tales of maternal defeat and digression since 2004. You can also find her on Twitter.

Is it That Time Already??

I just celebrated my Birthday yesterday. Growing up, I always knew when Summer was ending because it was Birthday time. I even got school supplies for presents. But that’s another story.

As a parent, I see the signs. Literally. Signs in stores for School supplies, Fall clothing,  and New Shoes with buckles. Even though the weather hasn’t changed, we know it’s coming.

I remember having very clear feelings when it came to this. But now, I find myself torn between wanting my kids around all the time and really needing that break.

Honestly, I am enjoying our loose schedule and free-spirited activities (not to forget all the great produce that comes with Summer). At the same time, I also enjoy the schedules and activities that happen in the Fall. See? Torn.

I understand why there are so many people who Home-school or Un-school. What freedom! Then again, would it mean as much if it weren’t ending? Like having Christmas every day. Not so much fun.

I’m feeling like an emotional yo-yo.

So here we are with *gasp* just a few more weeks before our Summer ends, and I am hanging on with one hand. We are eating as much corn as we can, and being outside soaking up that sun, and laughing with each other and friends. Sand in our toes and chlorine in our hair. Oh and Bubbles. Blowing lots of bubbles cause that is really one of the best things to do.

I am putting off buying supplies and clothing for a bit longer.

I suppose living in the moment is the best…for now.

What will you do to keep Summer a little longer?

Are you ready for School to begin?


-Michelle is a mom of 2 who loves to sew, create, thrift~ and to be a Mom. You can read more about Michelle at her blog Falafel and The Bee (formally Noggin’ Toppers), where she has been blogging and creating since 2008.


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Milky Waters

Ask anyone, I don’t usually rant, okay, I might rant get on a high horse about a lot of things. But here I go, climbing up on that horse….

Did you read that story about the Oregon schools adding Root Beer-flavored milk to their lunch menus? What is that, root beer-flavored milk? Something you get as a by-product at the end of your float? A variation on what Laverne and Shirley drank (or just Laverne, as I recall…)?

The Director of Business Operations said they usually offer plain, chocolate and a third flavor that changes throughout the year. Is it root beer season already? It always sneaks up on me.

And we’re told parents should not be concerned that flavored milks have double the sugar content as regular milk because this milk is non-fat. Excuse me, but isn’t that exactly what we learned was a bad thing when obesity number skyrocketed as non-fat diets gained attention??

Isn’t flavored, nonfat milk going to teach kids to expect super-sweetness in beverages? Isn’t that what I’m trying to un-teach myself in my 40’s? Rather than back off of sweetened drinks, they offer more choices of sweet drinks? How about teach kids to drink plain, old, regular milk with at least half its normal fat content? With no added sugars or artificial colors or flavors.

Ugh. Kinda sounds disgusting, now that I mention it. Who would want that?

Welll, if plain milk is such a popularity contest loser, why not just phase it out completely? I mean, we can come up with some better flavors that those dumb cows. How about Jelly Bean-flavored milk? Or Cheddar Cheez-it flavor? And since they’re starting to bear little resemblance to their origin, perhaps we should start calling these milky waters something else, like “Milck” or “Milq.”

Are ya with me?! Any other flavor suggestions you can think of?

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Be sure to visit Wendy at Let the Dog in! where she shares funniness, fact, fiction and photos, and where her dog, Becca, also shares about her dog life, right before she lets herself out. You can find Wendy and Becca both tweeting from time to time. Come, join the conversation!


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The Need for Need

The other day I was watching an episode of Cougar Town. The funny of this show, my gosh!  And then the main character, Jules, says something that was for me, one of Oprah’s ‘Aha! moments.’  Jules, played by the eversogorgeous Courtney Cox, said:

Being NEEDED is my crack!

I never said it was a classy ‘Aha!’   Not even intellectual.  Just self-reflective.

Being NEEDED is MY crack! It is!  Wow. Oh, and to clarify, by ‘crack’ I make reference to addiction.

I need to be needed.  I do stupid things to be needed.  I create fake scenarios in my head of a dire situation in which I ALONE am needed to save the day. I do this. It is an addiction.

If you are hungry, I’ll feed you, what ever I have. My arm even.

If you are broken down on the road, I’ll give you a lift.  I’ve changed tires, jump started engines, you can use my cell phone.  Sometimes I search the ditches for someone who might need me.

If you need to be somewhere, and I need to be somewhere at the same time, I will take you and be late to my thing.

If you need a place to live…. yes. Done that too, will take you in.

Do you need a kidney?  Hey! I’ve got two, you can have one of mine, no problem!  I love to donate blood. AB+ anyone?

So it is fitting that I am an office manager at a school.  The kids need me.  For food, band aids, copies, questions. Lots of questions.  Sometimes they might need to go for a walk with me, and cry. Sometimes they need hugs or high fives.  I live for this part of my job.  Staff need me too, for food, band aids, lots of questions, hugs, high fives, and even…chocolate. It is so nice to be needed.

But it is an addiction for me.  You know how they say addiction is like a monkey on your back.  Mine is like an imaginary cape.  I know there are other moms out there, with imaginary capes.

The other day my addiction kicked in, pre-caffeination, which is when I’m most vulnerable.   A student arrived late and her field trip had left without her, just 5 minutes before.

I felt my cape tug at my neck…”if we hurry, we can catch them!” So we hopped in my minivan bat mobile and called the departed group (hands free, of course) to secure a rendezvous destination.  Green lights all the way.. this was our destiny. She would make it to the College Fair.  Her future was in my hands. <insert dramatic theme music>

All the while, reality battled my addiction.  I should have stayed at work. She was late, I was enabling her.  BUT IT’S THE COLLEGE FAIR! Her future!

The field trip vehichle we were to meet up with said our rendezvous point would be off the exit to Bangor. In front of the base gates.

FYI… do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever pick this as a meet up destination.  Your minivan full of teenagers will surely be mistaken for terrorists and you will be surrounded by military police in a matter of minutes.  Meeting in front of Bangor is “suspicious,”  according the MP. I was all…. “no, it is convenient!” But he was all…. holding a gun, so I was all…. getting the hell out of there while he checked the drivers license of our other staff person. *red & blue lights flashing* Happened to be our librarian.  She is a saint.  I am a fool.  I immediately called my boss.  I said, “Dude, I’m so dumb and I’m so fired.”  He knew what was up (minus the MP situation) and said, “No Lisa, you are not dumb. You ARE too nice, however.”

Not fired.  Whew.  But will definitely hang up my cape for a while.  I wonder if they make a NEED patch…..

And how much fun is

You Should Have Your Ballot By Now!

February 9th is a big day for North Kitsap schools. That’s the day we get to get our vote on. If you have not yet received your ballot, you soon will.

From the NKSD Levy Home:

This levy is not a new levy. It continues a levy, approved in 2006, which expires at the end of 2010. The current level of State and Federal funding for education does not meet the needs of the District to provide the required services to the students. So the residents of North Kitsap are asked for their support at the local level to fill in the money to pay part of the cost of instructional programs, student support programs, and maintenance and operations support of the District. . The existing levy makes up nearly 20% of the overall district budget.

In short, if this levy does not pass, the North Kitsap School District would have to cut services by 20%.

You can visit the NKSD Levy Home to find out more information.

As politics and taxes go, there are always people on both sides making relevant and good arguments. As a parent whose children attend one of the North Kitsap Schools, I have a personal interest here.

At the very least – by February 9th… send in your ballot, and exercise the priviledge we have — to vote.

Have you made a decision?


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Sweet September… Let the Chaos Begin!

September, September… sweet, sweet September…

For my family, the start of September is the start of a new season. Fall doesn’t “officially” begin until the 22nd this year (today!), but the heart of Fall for us starts on the first day of school…

First day of school

Oh the excitement of that first day of school!

After 3(ish) months of lazy summer days we head full-on into commitments, schedules and a set bedtime (or we should!).
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Dear Weather,

What gives?

We had, what a record run of sunshine and rainless days in May/June, and, and, and… then you rip it from our pale Vitamin D starved epidermis just as school lets out? !!!


What’s the deal, Weather?

I painted words of summer celebration all over the windows of my very attractive minivan for the last day of school.

And by the end of the day, the letters looked like they had been crying over a break-up. I did not take pictures of their “tears”. I wanted us to remember the good times… *sniffle*

I hate to be a complainer, Weather.  I reside here in the Pacific Northwest fully expecting rain and cool-ish weather. However…

How. Ever.

You just can’t give us the glory of the sun for days on end, only to rip her away — the weekend before school lets out!

Come on! We want to bask in the shade of the Indianola Dock… our children want to feel the burn of a hot slide on the backs of their legs… Remember that one day back in May when I took my kids to Lyons Park and the sprinkler system went off? My youngest… her eyes burned from the “sunscream” that dripped in her eyes. Oh the joys that sunshine brings!

Just look at the fun we had in the sun, Weather:

In fact, the sun was so bright, not one child could bear to keep his/her eyes open for one measly picture. However, they did eat all of their 50 cent ice cream cone from Central Market. Weather, we want to to be blinded by the sun!

We want to wear our sunglasses, sunscreen and let ice cream be our source of relief.

Weather, will you please let the sun come out and play? We promise, we won’t take it for granted.

{A special thanks and shout out to Lisa of The Blozulfog for her permission to post a picture involving her children in the “Ice Cream Eaters Blinded by the Glory of the Sun” picture}


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Out To Lunch


Lately, I have been joining my first-grade daughter for lunch at her school in the North Kitsap School District.

Did you know it’s cool to do that? When I showed up in the lunch line my first visit, the principal said warmly – even excitedly, “I think it’s great that you’re here. Feel free to do this anytime you want!” Why does the principal’s approval mean so much, even at my age? I suppose that’s another topic for a different post!


I need to ask myself — Why haven’t I been doing this all year??? First-graders are cool! Well, when 100 of them are not eating in my kitchen, that is *wink*.

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