Stories on Board!, Ugly Dogs, Surprises, and Good Food

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It was another eventful day. It started out with a meeting at Bissonet Plaza Elementary. The library media specialist, Ellen Miller, has been hiring me for eight years now to perform an annual residency with the students, grades PK-5. When I go to Bissonet, the students, teachers and staff are like family. It’s always such a warm, loving welcome. My residency will be in April. Each year, I do something different. We have not repeated a residency theme yet. đŸ™‚ This year, we are doing “Stories on Board: Crafting Board Games from Favorite Tales.” Grades PK-2 will hear stories and then play games that I have created from popular folk and fairy tales. Grades 3-5 will be analyzing and mapping out folktales and then creating board games in groups. It will culminate in a gradewide “Game Day” where students will trade games with other classes and play each other’s games. I am so excited about this residency. It’s going to be so much fun! Here is an example of a board game inspired by Cinderella. It was created by my 7 year old, Eliana.

Stories on Board - Eliana’s Cinderella’s Ball

Here is a picture of me, Eliana and Ellen at the school’s library.

Ellen Miller, Dianne & Eliana 2-7-08

Afterwards, Eliana and I met Antonio, my husband, for lunch. We picked him up from work in downtown New Orleans and headed to The Ugly Dog Saloon and BBQ, located in the Warehouse District in New Orleans.

The Ugly Dog Saloon & BBQ 2-7-08

The food is bountiful and inexpensive, not to mention absolutely delicious! They have games that you can play at the table so Eliana and I did a “Falling in Love” domino structure.

Ugly Dog Dominoes - Falling in Love 2-7-08

It was fun watching them tumble down. The Ugly Dog is a very “New Orleans” establishment. Check out this cool piano. Notice that it is completely covered with Mardi Gras beads and red beans!

Ugly Dog Beaded Piano 2-7-08

Then later, we were surprised by a delivery of a large package. It was a gift box from our dear friend, Kat, of Richmond, Virginia. Kat is a children’s librarian and has been our pen pal for several years now. Kat sent us a Valentine surprise! The box was stuffed with wrapped presents, which we excitedly tore open. Soleil’s favorite gift was a small, rectangular purple purse (she collects purses). Eliana’s favorite present was a princess story box with a customizable story book inside and a heart mirror. My favorite was the cinnamon bun candle (yummy smelling!). Kat, we love you!!!

Kat’s Valentine Gifts 2-7-08

The day ended with a superb meal fixed entirely by my creative daughters. Since this week is “Mardi Gras week,” they have the whole week off school. They fixed stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon. The chicken was stuffed with basil crackers, an Italian blend of cheeses, and hot sausage, all laid on a bed of baby romaine, roma tomatoes, mushrooms, and aged Parmesan. It was drizzled with a garlic balsamic vinaigrette. Needless to say, my husband and I were flabbergasted. Eliana, who at 7 years old, aspires to be a chef, created the seasoning blend that coated the chicken! Soleil (17 years old) was the executive chef extraordinaire, while Eliana was the super sous chef. Not only did they execute an excellent dinner, they also cleaned up the kitchen too! Wow! Take a look at this delectable dish…

Stuffed Chicken Breast by Soleil & Eliana 2-7-08

Until I write again, may you enjoy each day to the fullest and rejoice in life’s gifts.

Warmly, Dianne