Choir concert

Highland had its spring pop concert on May 12, 2016. Ms. Mendenhall had three of her groups performed. It started with her Treble Choir. They performed “Safe and Sound”, “Bella’s Final”, and “Landslide”. The last choir performed “Stitches”, “Let it Be”, and “Viva la Vida”. At the end of the choir concert they recognized all the seniors that are graduating.

A lot of the solos had good songs and made good choice with their picks. Of course, honors choir had the best set, also the best soloist. In the end, the choir concert was good and had good songs and choices.

The choir will take a big hit with most of the seniors leaving. Overall, I would say that it was a good choir concert.

Spring break trip: Washington State

Washington State is a great place to go and visit. Over spring break, I got a chance to see a lot of Washington, from Mount St. Helens to the University of Washington. There is a lot to see and do. You can usually find affordable tickets all year around ($300-$318).

When you are in Seattle you are in the land of the Starbucks. There is almost a Starbucks on every block. That is where the first Starbucks is and the head offices are.


photo taken from

I recommend going to the pier in downtown Seattle. There are lots of great shops along the pier. There is the ferris wheel, which I would recommend going on day or night.

Another great spot in Seattle I recommend going to is Pike Place Market. There are a bunch of cool shops underground. There are also a lot of good seafood places that have fresh seafood that they got from the Market that morning.

Another thing to do in Washington, if you like the Twilight movies or books, is to go to Forks. The town of Forks is based on the book and has nothing to do with the movie (they actually filmed the movie somewhere else). Some things you can do are: you can stay in a cute bed n’ breakfast, you can go to Port Angeles and eat at Bella Italia and have mushroom ravioli, you can always go to La Push where you can see the water and cliffs. The Forks town is all about Twilight. It is not a very pretty town, and there is not much to do, but I strongly recommend staying in the bed n’ breakfast if you do end up going there.

The one last thing I want to tell you about is going to see the Olympic National Park which is by Olympia. It is so pretty and super cool to walk through. The trees having a bunch of moss on them and they call the moss “The snow of Washington.” There is a part of the forest that is North America’s only rain forest. There are tall trees with moss covering them. It’s one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

So, if you want to take a nice trip, for not a lot of money, you may want to check out Washington State.

FFA field trip

The FFA group went on a field trip to Meadow Star Farms. They have 4 different locations: one in Minnesota, one in South Dakota, one in Nevada and one in New Mexico.

Meadow Star Farms has around 8,500 cows at the location that we visited, and it has a milking barn and birthing barn (which are housed in the same building). The FFA group got a tour of the barn. We started with a video about the company and then put on boot covers and went to look at the cow carousel. Then we moved into the main barn and looked at the cows and asked some questions, and then moved on to the milking parlor.

After visiting the main barn we got the chance to go and visit some of the new born calves. When we got done finishing up with the calves we got the option to put our arms up a cows rectum. The purpose of this is to check for a calf.

When we finished up all our actives we had lunch and went to a nearby local farmer’s barn where we got the chance to climb and take a look at some farm equipment. The farmer had a few different tractors and other pieces of farm equipment. That was our day at Meadow Star Farm.

Shamrock shake

~b401463It’s that time of year again, when people start looking forward to drinking green frosty drinks. I looked at three shamrock shake recipes, a regular shake, a diet shake, and a lactose free shake.

The first recipe I wanted to look at was the traditional shamrock shake. It looks super easy and you might just have the the stuff to make it in your home. Here is what you need:

  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  •  1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
  • whipped cream and cherry (if wanted)

In a blender put in ice cream, whole milk, peppermint extract and food coloring.

Mix until smooth.

When adding food coloring add just a few drops.

In this case a little goes a long way.

The next recipe I looked at was a diet shake. What you will need is:

  • 3 1/2 bananas
  • 5 spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoon low-fat wiped cream

Put all the stuff in a blender and mix it up. With the food coloring a little goes a long way. If you feel that you are having a hard time hiding the spinach leaves with the amount of peppermint extract just add a little more at a time to hide the taste.

The last recipe I looked at was a lactose free shamrock shake. What you will need is:

  • 2 cups vanilla soy milk ice cream
  • 1  1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 8 drops food coloring

Mix in blender until smooth.

SPPS school weather

~b975832On Tuesday, February 2 Saint Paul Public Schools did not cancel school.  There is no specific policy in place about closing schools due to snow as there is for cold weather days.

The district specifically states that if the temperature is projected to be -35 degrees, with windchill, school will be cancelled. This is very specific. The district snow policy states that if school buses cannot get through the streets, and it is extremely dangerous for the bus drivers to get to work, then school will be cancelled. This policy is more vague and can be left open to interpretation.

On the 2nd, there was at least 12 inches of snow that had fallen.

The Saint Paul Pubic School district has come close to canceling school this year, but has not yet done so. There was one day, specifically, that was -30 degree windchill, but the district decided that it was not cold enough and that kids needed to go to school.

I feel that it is crazy that it has to be a -35 degree windchill for school to be closed. I think that -20 or -25 is a more appropriate temperature.

When the district does not close school, and it is super cold, kids don’t want to come to school. Class sizes are impacted, and teachers then have to change their plans because half of their students don’t come to school. This ends up affecting overall student learning because there ends up being just a wasted day.





The lowdown on FFA competitions

~b696137Have you ever heard anyone use the acronym FFA? Have you ever wondered what they’re talking about? FFA used to be call Future Famers of America but not everyone is FFA wants to be a farmer, so now we call it Future For Agriculture. There is more then just farming going on in FFA including competitions.

Basic set-up of competition: When you get to the competition your adviser will check you in. Everyone is given a piece of paper, which will be their answer sheet for the entire competition. There are three sections to the competition, and each part includes fifty questions. Each section has a forty-five minute time limit.

Competition example – Small animals FFA competition: What goes in to a small animal competition? There are three parts to the competition.

The first part is identification. There are 150 animals that you need to know plus 20 parasites that you need to know. They will only ask you about fifty of them though, and you don’t know which ones will be included.

The second part is the exam with fifty questions  about basic information about household pets. The test will ask you about anying from when your dog needs a bath to what diseases your cat has.

The practicum is the last part. You have to name all the parts of a given animal, including the bones and organs. You also have to be able to answer real world questions like how much dog food will cost for a specific amount of time.


Wondering where to travel over break? There are lots of fun places that you and your family can go. The four places I picked to write about in this article are places that could be fun for the whole family. The reason why I focused on family friendly destinations was that I wanted to find vacations that would appeal to more than one age group.

The four places I ended up picking were: the Bahamas, Hawaii, Long Beach, CA, and London.

I looked at air plane tickets for these four destinations. There is a range of prices starting at $385 all the the way up to $2167. Specifically:



California – Long Beach -$385-$520


You could have a grate time at any of these places. There are lots of fun thing to do wherever you go.

For example, in the Bahamas you can swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Encounters and lay on the beach or go shopping at the Bahamas Craft shop or go site seeing.

In Hawaii there are so many thing to do. You can go for a hike at Maunawili Falls Trail, or go shopping at the Premium Outlet Mall. You could also spend your time hanging out on the beach, or you could swim with dolphins at Dolphin Quest, or you could check out the animals at the Honolulu Zoo.

7vQAajAqzuETfWt7VZ_2Nj9paKryxY-qDu6ppMqTShWBH8Kog9NmIISnAMhmC2XyHc0KNgXC7WO1_rg6SMGYv8Ox4479mPbAuGa5o6zsXobJ2R_dSAZgA0Ut6tw0bmbWMEL1cAIXIn Long Beach, CA  you can lay on the beach or go to Point Vicente. Another place to go is the Aquarium of the Pacific. One last place you could go is The Pike, which is a touristy international bazaar.




In London you can go see the London Eye or go see Buckingham Palace. Big Ben or the London Zoo are also great places to visit.



All of these places would be cool to visit and explore.


~b282678Thanksgiving is that time of year that you can come together and spend time with family, eat good food, and relax. I always remember going to my grandma’s house and helping in the kitchen and then sitting down at the table that was set so beautifully. Spending time with mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa. It is one of my favorites holidays. I love to spend time with family and relax. Knowing how much Thanksgiving means to me, I decided to ask a few people what they thought about Thanksgiving.

Darron Chapmen

I asked Mr. Chapmen the following questions:

What are you thankful for? Being the age that he is. He didn’t want to comment on his age.

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Eat a lot of food when visiting with relatives.” 

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? “It’s when family gets together and sits down and eats a good meal and talks about things that pertain to family.”

Andrea Dickinson

Ms. Dickinson, my school counselor, was asked:

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Get together with family.” 

What are some traditions you do every year? “Eat food tried to go out for a walk.” 

What are you thankful for? “Heath ,family and spend time with family.”

John Edwards

I asked a student in my class the following:

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? “Sit down with the family and eat and talk about about how thankful we are for each other and how we appreciate each other.”

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Eat with his family.”

What are you thankful for? “I’m thankful for having a good family.”

Tationna McGee

Another student in my class was asked:

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Gather  with family and play game and hang out.” 

What does Thanksgiving mean to you and what are you thankful for? “Giving thanks to people in your family and being thankful for what I have.”







The do’s and don’ts of taking your test!

The Do’s and Dont’s of driving


When you first go to take your driving test it is important to remember where your lights are and where you emergency brake is. They will ask you to turn on and off your lights and and left and right turn signal. They will also ask where your windshield wipers are and your defroster is.


Now the Dont’s

  1. Don’t hit a pedestrian
  2. Don’t roll through the stops
  3. Don’t turn into the wrong lane/incoming traffic  
  4. Don’t forget to check your mirrors
  5. Don’t go too fast or too slow

Now for the Do’s of taking your test!

  1. Do be a confident driver
  2. Do remember not to hit polls
  3. Do remember  your left and right
  4. Do remember to be prepared with you driving information at the window
  5. Do ask questions at the end if you’re confused about anything

These are the Do’s and Don’ts of taking your test. It is important to remember the do’s and also the don’ts. If you fallow the do’s and you remember not to the don’ts then you are sure to pass you test on the first try!


Popcorn balls

Do you like popcorn? Do you like candy? Have you thought about trying to combine the two? If so, then a popcorn ball may be for you.

Online, there are many recipes. I decided to compared these three recipes. I thought that all of the recipes were good, but I thought that the Martha Stewart one was the best of the three. I thought that the Food Network one was simple, but it was just missing something. I thought that the Karo Syrup one was good too, but it was not my favorite.

Food Network

Things you will need

  • 2 cups suger
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 18 cups poped corn

Here is what you need to do

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, syrup, vinegar, and salt. Cook over high heat until mixture reaches 255 degrees F
  2. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popped corn, tossing gently to coat.
  3. When mixture is cool enough to handle, press popcorn into 3-inch balls with lightly greased hands. Cool completely on waxed paper.

Martha Stewart recipe

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering hands
  • 1 package miniature marshmallows (10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 quarts popped popcorn
  1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and brown sugar and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

  2. Pour popcorn and cranberries, or English toffee bits if using, into pot; toss well. With buttered hands, shape into 2 1/2-inch balls. Set on parchment lined baking sheet to dry slightly.

The last recipe is from Karo Syrup

  • 3 quarts (12 cups) popped popcorn
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Spray large roasting pan with cooking spray; add popcorn and place in 300ºF oven until warm. (Popcorn can also be warmed in a large microwave safe bowl for 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH (100%) power.)
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat. Continue stirring and boil 2 minutes.
  3. Remove syrup mixture from heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour syrup mixture over warm popcorn stirring to coat well. Cover hands with two plastic bags, spray bags lightly with cooking spray. Working quickly shape twelve 3-inch popcorn balls.
  4. Cool completely. Wrap individually in plastic wrap.