15 December 2009

Thanks and Goodbye

In one hour school is finished for the year. Being Tuesday, today was also my Walking Bus Day... and we woke up to rain. I'm not talking drizzle or gentle showers; I mean the kind that pelts out of the sky as if it's mad at you. And of course (today of all days) I also woke up late (managing to somehow ignore all annoying requests for food/TV/hair gel).

THEN - horror of horrors - I realised that I had yet to package up the teachers' Christmas Gifts.
Panic stations! Thankfully Mr G didn't have one of his umpteen business brekkies to go to, so he packed the lunches while I ran around the house trying to find just one of our many pairs of scissors to cut up the cellophane.

We got there eventually, the scissors were found, cards were written out, it stopped raining and there were just enough homemade goodies for all three teachers and Ces, the Walking Bus Legend.
I had made Rocky Road on Saturday, and Miss Fab (a.k.a. Princess) helped me bake Christmas Cookies on Sunday, so it's not like I wasn't prepared at all.

We were actually early for the Walking Bus! Dash was meant to wait until we got to school to give Ces his package... but of course he couldn't wait. Merry Christmas! he blurted and shoved the thing into Ces's hands. Ces was delighted and surprised: "I'll get fat!" he exclaimed.

As if! Ces is a local legend, a grandad and father of five. He tragically lost one of his kids to an accident and began volunteering to "drive" the walking bus every day, as a way to stay connected with children. He's one of those gruff old guys, he loves to tease and growl but the kids love him. Merry Christmas Ces, I hope it's a good one!

Here's Miss Fab delivering the goodies to her very appreciative teachers:

The kids found out their teachers for next year and got their school reports yesterday. Dash has a male teacher for the first time - a sporty Englishman - and he is buzzing! Can't wait for Year Three, he says.
Miss Fab's new teacher is an American from Florida - apparently she is lovely and very creative (yay!) so it is looking like a great year next year for my lot.

Here's a few words from their school reports, which made me feel rather proud...

Dash: "...is a caring, sensitive and energetic student. He works very hard across all curriculum areas and has made pleasing progress. It has been gratifying to see the curiosity and enthusiasm he puts into a topic..."

Miss Fab: "...has had a very positive start to school. She has many friends in the class and her social skills are one of her best assets... she is keen to learn new things and makes new children feel very welcome and is comforting toward them... well done on a great start to school!"

Yep, they do me proud. And now here's the recipe for Rocky Road before they come bursting in the door and the Summer Holidays begin...

Rocky Road

(adapted from the Desitute Gourmet, Parenting Magazine recipe)
  • 1 x 375g packet of chocolate melts or buttons
  • 2 Tablespoons of Kremelta (vegetable shortening)
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsalted nuts, coarsely chopped*
  • 180g marshmallows cut in chunks
  • 1/3 cup glace cherries, halved
  • 1/2 cup rice bubbles
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 packet of white chocolate buttons, melted, to decorate (optional)
* approx 3 x small 70g packets of nuts; I used one each of sliced almonds, cashews and hazelnuts

Melt the chocolate bits and Kremelta in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water; stir frequently until chocolate becomes liquid

Pour into a bowl of the cherries and nuts; add rice bubbles and coconut; lastly add the marshmallows.

Spread into a roasting pan lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until completely set; then drizzle white chocolate over the top if you like. (Allow white chocolate to set); cut roughly into squares.

This is the yummiest rocky road I've ever had. I added the rice bubbles and coconut to offset the sweetness which made it extra-delicious. The only thing I did a bit wrong was I should have used a smaller roasting pan so it would have been thicker. But still - not a bad first attempt... I think I'll have to make some more just for us!

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Anonymous said...

That last photo is a goody! I wish I could jump in there and eat that yummy rocky road!
Thanks for sharing!

Gail said...

I'm going to make some too.... YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
What great reports! That is so cool. And I just love that Ces guy. Anyone like that is just too cool.

Widge said...

yum! despite having gorged myself on Gail's fudge I think I could give rocky road a go, tis the season and all that ;)

awwwl Ces! How cool!!

Glad to see in the midst of your rush this morning you still got time to photograph it! heehee that actually cracks me up about us bloggers. I need a camera surgically attached to my head and I'd be sweet ;)

Amy said...

How lucky, we still have school til Thursday lunchtime. I'm a bit (okay, alot) over the driving back and forth but only a few more days... then hopefully some more time for blogging! :) Cute schoolbus guy, and having great teachers does make a huge difference to enjoying your holiday break and getting ready for the new school year. Lovely xx

PaisleyJade said...

Yum!!! After scoffing all of Gail's fudge I don't know if I should try your divine recipe!!

I was laughing about you trying to find scissors - we are just the same! I think we have about 6 or so pairs in the house, yet they seem to macigally disappear right when we need them.

Great reports - enjoy the holidays!!

Unknown said...

Hi Simone! Sounds like your children had a great year! The walking bus is awesome, what a neat man. I hope that your summer is starting off well.

I think we were supposed to blog about our candy exchange goodies, but I have totally dropped the ball on that one. Needless to say, there's not much left to blog about...hope your not upset Gail. It was such fun to be a part of!

Anonymous said...

hahaha...Widge is so right. We can be totally late, dis organized and panicked but the pictures must be taken!!! I like the surgically attached idea myself...actually i think the Horticulturalist thinks the camera is attached to me!!! hehehe
Great reports and yummy looking squares, I think my boys would really love that one!

Trees said...

Completely forgot this was your big summer break. It must be mad at school for the teachers with Christmas and end of year, we are feeling the pressure with just festive stuff.
How long do you guys have off? Our too short two weeks starts on Friday and I'm struggling not to wish this week away!
As for cameras I need one surgically attached because, please forgive me, I keep forgetting mine. I may have forgotten how to use it properly :$

Simoney said...

Summer holidays... it's about 6 weeks we get. The kids are off until beginning of February. It's a lovely feeling, gliding into the end of the year and starting the new one all relaxed and chillin' :)

Sarah said...

Enjoy the hols and well done Super Mum! Those thank you treats look divine! Such lovely school reports too :) Have a fabulous hols and a great break from routine.

Domestic Goddess said...

Oh how lovely - takes me right back to those 'prouda u kids & you're great reports' days to enjoy the feeling all over again! Still prouda our adult kids too! Good on you for honoring those important people in your kids world's. Love the story of the walking bus man! What a guy!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Rocky Road is fast becoming one of my favourite treats. Looks like I'll have to do lots of swimming after Christmas to make up for it :-)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your post and seeing the teachers get such a wonderful gift from your children. I was a KS1 teacher (4-7 year olds) for 11 years and loved my job. Christmas can be a really stressful time of year for teachers and a homemade gift is always so special.
Mandy (UK)

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