Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexican Restaurant Night!

Tuesday night was our second restaurant night of the year and it was AWESOME! I bit the bullet and organized this night on my own, and I now have an even greater appreciation for all the hard work Kathie I. put into Italian Night this winter. (Thanks Kathie!)

Anywho,  our theme was Mexican! Our menu included chips and homemade salsa, a taco bar filled with fresh veggies, meats, beans, and vegetarian chili, homemade empanadas, and virgin margaritas! One word = YUMMY!

The kids knew they really wanted to work on ambiance (due to the fact we got some lower scores in the ambiance category at Italian Night). SO... we hit the ground running! We created sombrero centerpieces, used bright streamers and table clothes to create a festive atmosphere, hung lights, created signs and place mats and found the best mariachi music to get us going! We even wore bright colors and sombreros all day long to be in the Mexican mood!

We named our restaurant "Mare del Tacos", which means "Sea of Tacos." When our doors opened each student had a specific role and I was very proud of how the kids worked as a team to make the restaurant run smoothly. Gabe was in charge of the margarita bar, Jorgie was my right-hand in the kitchen, Quinn and Arlo were the main servers, and Daltini was our host and restaurant "captain!" 

On the back of everyone's place mats there was a "Mexican History Quiz" that caused a little controversy (cough, cough, Billy B.) But it was resolved and we named the very famous Pancho Villy (also known as Donna) the most knowledgeable about Mexican History! Everyone left our restaurant with full tummies and happy faces, so I would call that a success!

Let the preparations begin... the "youngers" made sombreros for the centerpieces!

I love that sombreros were even worn during the cleaning portion of the day!

The middle schoolers got straight to work on the chopping... there was a lot of chopping to be done!

Time to make empanadas for dessert.

A yummy pastry with fruit filling.

Ambiance here we come!

And back to chopping!

Look how happy and calm Jessie looks in this picture (this must have been early on in the process!)

Gabe's place mat design.

Arlo's design!

Muffy came in to help out and make some yummy vegetarian filling for our tacos!

Quinny creating our restaurant's sign.

Creating signs for our "reused" salsa dishes.

AND... back to chopping.

Ut oh. Time is running out. I think Jessie's stress level reached a defcon 2.

But look at that gorgeous salsa. Mmmm... cilantro.

Quinny and his super hot pepper.

Things are getting checked off our to-do list!

Mare Del Tacos Menu!

The siesta bar, just incase our patrons needed a little rest before heading out on the open road.

The centerpieces. Very festive.

It is looking good to me!

Our stage, complete with margarita bar.

A couple of locals hanging out at the cantina.

The staff.

What's not to love??

Chica bonita 

el capit├ín

muchacho loco!


el presidente!

People started to arrive!

And we were "cookin' with gas!"

Pancho Villa came!

The gorgeous taco bar!

Overseeing the masses!

Fill up those plates!

And it was chow time!

Staff's turn to eat.

Time for announcements.

The results of the quiz!

Then it was time for dessert and clean-up! Mucho gracias to everyone for making this the best restaurant night yet! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010


As you know we have been celebrating Earth Day all month long, but last Thursday we really tried to show the Earth that we cared on the official 40th anniversary of Earth Day!  We began the morning with planting our potatoes in our school garden. Then we did a lesson on ecological footprints and what our footprints are as individuals and as a school. The kids took a quiz to see what their family's footprint was. 

We also reviewed the history of Earth Day and the different ways individuals around the world have tried to help the world over the last forty years. The kids responded to the writing prompt, "Does Earth Day really matter?" I thought their answers were worth sharing with you all:

  I think Earth Day should be every day. One day is not enough. I think it should be at least five days. Lots of people don't care about the Earth. I hope we can do something. - JB

    Earth day is a day that should be every day because we are on the earth everyday. I think this because you live on it, and your ancestors did, and your children will, and everyone else does. Another reason is your sharing the Earth with other species and we are the people that are making the pollution.
    But one day is good too because it would get annoying. Also once is good because every year the government makes a big change. But we can make a change too, just a little change. - AB

    I think Earth Day matters, but if Earth Day is only one day people are going to trash it again. I mean if something is only a day long people can just say, "Oh we are going to clean up on Earth Day even though when the day is over we are just going to trash the planet again." I think we should have Earth Day a month or all year long.
    The Earth we are living on is very important to us because it we pollute the Earth we will have nowhere else to go and we will die and we won't be the only ones who will die. We will also kill all the plants and animals in the world. I think Earth Day matter to us because I know I want to live for a long time and let my kids have a long life too. - QB

   Does earth day really matter? In the big picture, it’s only one out of 365 days. Is that enough time to clean up? No, of course not, Earth day is important and it matters, but take into consideration that many people on this planet don’t care about the earth. We can’t clean the whole earth up in one day or one week, one month, but we have a chance if we have an earth year.  This Earth is not a lost cause, even if people think so. No one wants to live in   a trashed up home, so you clean, but all that cleaning will be for nothing if our earth is turned into another trashed up place. The only reason Earth Day matters is because it inspires us to be better citizens of the earth. Earth Day would matter more if we, bit by bit, expanded earth day. Everyone needs to help to accomplish what needs to be done, everyone needs to contribute, otherwise this task will be impossible. In the big picture, Earth Day is really just an inspiration. For this inspiration to bloom into something that really changes the earth, every one needs to contribute. If we open our eyes we’ll see how beautiful this planet is, and how lucky we are. This is the only home we, why not save it? - DB

We also began binding books from the recycled paper we have been creating! It has been such a fun project and the books are turning out beautiful (due to our island book-binding expert who taught the teacher how to actually bind books!)

We will be selling the "recycled books" as apart of our craft fair fundraiser in June.

We are going to have a lot of beautiful books.

The kids wore their "Earth Day" shirts that they created with Donna while I was away!

In the afternoon we headed to the church to meet community members for an island clean up!

I love this photo.

Look at all our rocking community who showed up to clean up the Earth!

And ready, set, go!

We first tackled Fish Beach.

There was a lot of trash (and chains?)

Then we headed back towards Town.

The bags were getting full fast!

Look at this Motley Crew. 

Marjorie won the VIP award for getting the most trash in the prucker bush!

We headed down to the wharf.

Daltini making some bold efforts!

A quick re-group at school!

And then up to the ball field to finish our clean up!

And celebrate a job well done with a friendly game of kickball!

It was the early birthdays vs the late birthdays!

Quinn "Tater Tot" is one mean pitcher!

Kick it Arlo!

Very excited to have some special guests join us!

We ended Earth Day with a lights out hour from 8-9pm. The school met at the church to walk through town in the dark. I counted 14 different households that had their lights-off in honor of reducing energy for the better of our Earth! 

Personally, I think Earth Day does matter and our Earth Day on Monhegan was a great success! Thank you everyone, and the Earth thanks you too!!