Saturday, August 25, 2012

Confidants, Underwear, and other lessons from a Post turtle!

So the Lord has been revealing many things to me in the most recent of days. I will attempt to capture/conveys those lessons and revelations here. Please be warned that I truly believe that laughter is good medicine:)

Lesson number one:
Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. A plan to give you a future and a hope."
After realizing I would be spending my summer in the pursuit of employment instead of basking in the sunlight, I was reminded of this verse. In conjunction with Proverbs 3:5&6, I saw daily evidence that I needed to 'lean not on my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him (the one who has plans for me) and he will direct my paths. As I was out and about papering the neighboring counties, I found peace as I prayed for doors to open. I have found the door to be opened in an unexpected place doing what I love! God has His best for us, so often we settle for good. Sadly, we miss out because we try to control the 'stuff of life'.

Lesson number two:
Phillippians 4:4-10 We are to bring everything before the Lord and he will gives us peace. And his Peace passes all understanding.

Lesson number three:
I'm a post turtle! Anything good in me is He that is in me. I have nothing that He has not gifted me with, including my humor. Think of the turtle sitting on a fence post. You know that the turtle didn't get there by himself! The Lord is the one who picks us up and sets our feet on high places. We love because He loved us first. He picked this ugly, dirty turtle up out of the mud, so that He could receive the glory not the turtle!

Lesson number four:
I have always prayed for a friend that 'sticketh closer than a brother'. Jesus has shown to be the true friend. Recently, I have seen that sometimes God let's feel His friendship through flesh and bones. I am thankful for earthly friendships with their basis in our faith:)

Lesson number 4.1
We should always pick those friends and confidants wisely because they're like underwear. They support you behind the scenes and protect your most prized assets:)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bodily humor and other first!

Today was a  roller coaster day! Usually not one to enjoy those sorts of thrills, I'll make an exception for today. My boys are all three at three different schools- Haybabe in elementary, Eman in middle school, and Topher in high school! This morning began a great year for all of them. It was their first full day.

I had a TON of things to do and it was Hubbs day off...more about that in a bit. We woke up dressed, ate, and posed for the traditional 'first day photos'. Hubster took one kiddo; I took the others. After depositing my babies at their respected schools, I was off on the daunting task of pre-employment required finger printing and follow-up TB skin testing. At 9:10 am I was to be finger printed in a nearby town. Unfortunately the business had not updated GPS and I was lost! By 10am, I found myself stopping and asking for directions. The whole  process only took 10 minutes!! The thirty minute drive home gave me time to thank God I have a job!
I drove straight to the doctor's office for the nurse to 'read' my TB skin test results and sign a form. Again the wait was about 30 minutes for a 5 minute 'reading'. I never understood that 'reading' thingy. All she did was turn my arm over and rub it once.
I had to rush home to check on the Hubster! Bless his heart! He was having a minor medical procedure preformed later in the afternoon. This 'procedure' was quite a laborious prep task. Drink this, don't eat that, do this.....all I heard ALL weekend long!
While at home before the final hoorah of preparation, I had time to do some research on line about Special Education....looks like I might get to be a SPED teacher when I grow up! Seriously, GRRRRREEEAT news on that front from the state department.
My parents also drove over for the day to help out with afternoon pick up of kiddos because I would be backed up with the Hubster. When mom and dad got in, they brought a bountiful harvest from their garden. We were discuss afternoon arrangements, when they offered to go shop and prepare dinner too!Heaven Sent blessing!

Before I get started, I must warn you the following contains information about a medical procedure! Scroll on at your own RISK!

Hubster has had a colon cleanse like none other. All weekend, bless his heart has been about preparing for the dreaded colonoscopy! Hubster is not always a fan of my humor, today was case in point. I was left alone while they started his IVs and such. This gave me plenty of time to think of wiseCRACKS to share. The sweet little nurse allowed me back to his beside to sit with him before they put him under. The Hubster is a goodlooking studdly dude which I love deeply. When I saw him, he looked so nervous, bless his heart. I decided I would preform my wifely duties of 'lightening' his mood. As I was laughing at his musical toots, I assured him I could research some on line resource for COLONOSCOPY HUMOR. I found a LOAD of them. I was noticing I was the only one laughing though.
That's when my sweet Hubster, looks over ans said the funniest thing I've ever heard him say! (Usually I'm my favorite comedian, but today, I let him toot his horn.) He looked so serious as he turned to me. "Honey, I don't want to be the BUTT of your jokes!" I laughed until the tears ran down my legs!

Thank God for giving us laughter; it truly is great medicine!FYI, Hubster is fine!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm gonna write a book... "Don't quote movies while under the influence to GMA!"

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says,"there is a time to laugh, there's a time to weep" and even dance! I'm not much of a dancer, but I've seen it on TV, if that counts. As for the others, well I can do those! I may even have a Ph.D in laughter. I don't know if any other person thinks I'm funny or not. To be honest, I'm not sure I care because I am my favorite comedian! Being honest again, I laugh at just about anyone or anything but my messy house.

I have the privilege of being related to some of the funniest people on earth...whether they know it or not! A few blogs ago I shared about a Great Uncle. He gets his own book, by the way. Most recently, I had a drug induced conversation with a GMA that has left me in stitches.....

I had to have a minor outpatient surgical procedure in which I was put to sleep. After leaving the hospital, my sweet, caring HUBSTER filled the necessary pain relieving prescriptions. The next day I was in need of the blessed memory erasing jewels. I have come to the scientific conclusion that those 'pain killers' don't actually 'kill the pain' as the name would imply. Rather, they distort your reality in a way that wipes your brain of any memory of pain.
While I was having my memory and reality 'distorted', I had a dear friend come and sit with me. I am still finding out things that were said or done during the brief stay while the Hubs took our kiddos to church. She was a precious. She came barring gifts of Popsicles, get well notes, and a hilarious nightly devotional book for the 'unconventional woman'.
I don't know if I'm a control freak or what. I had just taken my pain pill and undergoing the momentarily memory loss of pain when she arrived. Feeling like I should be a gracious hostess with the mostest, I engaged in causal conversation, or so I thought. Apparently, I decided I would call and wish the before mentioned GMA a happy birthday. While under the influence, I dialed my sweet GMA. When she answered I told her who I was and said, "Happy Birthday!"My sweet dutiful friend sat by and witness the most unusual conversation in history. I have no reelection of the particular details, but I apparently had to tell my GMA several timse who I was and where I lived. I did tell her I wanted her to 'buy yourself something nice, something REEEEEEEAL nice', in my best Randy Quaid impersonation of Cousin Eddie from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. When GMA didn't understand my humor, I felt it necessary to explain which just made things worse. She then was so confused; she thought I was a younger cousin.

I recently, saw GMA face-to-face in real time. I apologized for the birthday call and reassured her I wasn't drunk! She laughed. then looked at me and asked, "Who is cousin Eddie?" I busted a gut laughing right there. I finally had remembered what I said to her that night on the phone. See my friend was there hearing all and witnessing all of my pain being killed. She had related most of the details to me later on in the week when I found that book and note. However, she could not remember what I had told GMA was 'funny right there I don't care who you are."Mystery solved!!

It did take some convincing GMA that we were not related to an EDDIE and call off the Genealogy Lovin' Great Uncle. I'm pretty sure that her hearing/memory issues mixed with my pain-killing antics aren't a good mix, but gives us GREAT material to laugh about! Still don't remember how I remember it was GMA's birthday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Modern vs Classical education.....could solve some problems but I don't know where the spell check, calculators, or search engines are!!

I Teach Students, Not Subjects:

a written response to Dorthy Sayers's
The Lost Tools of Learning”

     This past school year in the state public schools, we saw a huge epidemic of stressed out administrators, panicked teachers, and frustrated parents and students. In efforts to earn and keep Race to the Top federal funding, Tennessee Department of Education implemented a new and 'improved' teacher evaluation system that had even the most seasoned veterans of education seeking refuge! Teachers were trained on how to teach a standard learning principle by posting the 'wordy' student performance indicator on the board and reference it often during the lesson, so that students could then regurgitate the lesson's goal. Students were forced into seminars instead of nurturing learning environment. As educators our job is to foster life-long learners not learners who are taught to become apathetic.
    I have said on numerous occasions that when we as teachers drill the skill, we kill the thrill of learning. The Mighty Creator gave us minds to learn, think, explore, and evaluate natural concepts or basic skills. Students today who are not classically schooled are lacking in many areas. That's not saying all students aren't capable of learning; students, most average learners, are simply lacking the building blocks of the basic learning process. In 2008, Tennessee revamped their 'standard curriculum forcing many students mid-year to forget about the basic skills but to solely rely on calculators and computerized spell checking programs. For example, a third grade math student was handed a Texas Instrument- 30X and taught how to use the input data to derive at the correct outcome of a simple multiplication fact 3X2=6. The goal of most teachers shifted to teaching the student how to use technology, so that they could successfully solved problems for a high-stakes multiple choice achievement test. What happened if a student mistakenly entered an wrong number? Failure. Because they were not taught the basic multiplication fact, they would score below basic showing they had not mastered the calculator, not the problem. As a result, we will be producing students who have 'lost' a mathematical tool.
    What happens to a student when technological devices fail? Frustrated students will not have the skills to fall back on, and they will soon become discouraged. If a student is discouraged, they will seek relief wherever they can find it. I have seen students cheat, lie, and steal answers and assignments. These behaviors are coping strategies to mask the real problem -deficiency in their learning process. Where are all the teachers in this? Most modern, progressive public educators are trapped between knowing what should be done and what has to be done to keep a job. The pressure they feel has a trickle down effect on their students. A vicious cycle of hurry up memorize this skill and fill in a circle that best completes this sentence.
Middle school Language Arts for example, should be a class in which a student is able to write his or her thoughts down in a logical, well-thought out essay. Instead, they are given a common mistake of the tedious nature to correct by analyzing a multiple choice selection of four very similar sentences except the pesky comma that was misplaced or misspelled word. Spelling, as a content area, has been eliminated from most, if not all classrooms, nationwide. And forget about students written responses! With the extremely high pressure to keep up with the most current technology, students are given remote controls to select the correct answer. Again a reliance on a device instead of a firm foundation of phonemic awareness and basic spelling rules. When a student fails to find comfort from their personal failure and discouragement, they are left to find another resource. If those so called resources have always been provided for them, then they were taught they were entitlement not logical application of basic skills. If their quest for things they feel is owed to them isn't met with what they are accustomed to, then apathy will be rooted. What happens to a society when a mode of communication is eliminated? Failure.
   What caused us to digressively progress into a unmotivated, discouraged, and apathetic learning society? In the early 1980's the word accountability was beginning to be used in the business world and other essential paradigms of our great nation. Holding people responsible for their work process by evaluating their final product in and of itself is not a bad concept for most businesses and their so called bottom line. However, to assume that those same standards of evaluation would hold true in the educational infrastructure is ludicrous. To say a teacher may loose his or her job simply based on the number of students that can pick the correct answer from a multiple choice based assessment is asinine. After all a blind squirrel can find a nut to eat once in a while. Students will guess on those high-stakes test that are use as the basis of whether or not a teacher is effective or not. There are too many outliers that are beyond a teacher's control for the data to prove conclusively if a teacher has been 'effective' or not. Authentic assessments, periodically testing of basic skills, and students who can defend their logic in conjunction with a nurturing learning environment shows that learning has occurred; however, that can only be ascertained over a longer period of time.
   “Give a man a fish, he eats for one day. Teach him to fish, he will never go hungry.” If we as churches, families, and schools could grasp all that this quote is truly saying, we would be more eager to explore and evaluate new discoveries everyday. When reading scripture, it says that our Lord has given us the Holy Spirit as a comfort and teacher. He has prepared great things for us to do as we are called laborers with Christ. He mercies are new every morning, proving we are to be in constant daily communion with the Creator of all things. We have to regain our true focus as humans. We were made to love and live for God. Instead, what we have created is a system overhaul that requires teachers to work harder than the student to give students lessons to sole memorize, or teach them tricks to answering multiple choice high-stakes test.
I teach students not subjects. When a student comes into my class, I want them to know that they are loved and were designed for a specific purpose. God has a plan for each of their lives. As we train up the child, we should be equipping them with the tools necessary for achieving those goals with Christ and for His glory. As parents and educators, we should pray for wisdom and discernment to recognize and call out those undiscovered talents of the child so that he or she can then prepare for the future use of that talent. When teaching the grammar aged child, those basic building blocks are critical for mastery of the latter stages.            Teaching a child to read will then allow that student to read to learn more in the future. Having the basics mastered before demanding that partially mastered skills to be applied in various hypothetical circumstances will build the student's confidence and will not allow the ugly cousins of frustration, discouragement, and apathy to take root! Since each of us, in the body of Christ, have a specialized purpose then we should be taught as an individual. Intervention, prevention, and correction of folly in learning will allow students to master the skills necessary to pursue God given talents and interest for His glory and their satisfaction of learning and service. Then the student can live life abundantly!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Golf Peg game at the Crack

Recently, I was out dining in the pride of the South, that is known as the local Cracker Barrel. For years, I have met my nemesis there---- the dreaded Hillbilly IQ tester ( a triangular peg game). The object of the game is to take a peg and jump over another eliminating the jumped peg from the board. You do so until all pegs have been jumped and removed from the game.... hopefully, leaving only one. Proving you are a genius!
Printed on the peg board are the scores: if you leave 4 you're eg-no-ram-goose, 3 you're just plain dumb or moran, 2 and you're pretty smart, leave only 1 and you are a genuine genius. So as not to cause indigestion, you want to leave as few as you can so that you can feel good about yourself as well as have your hunger satisfied.
After many years of failed attempts at genius status, I have found that if no one is looking around after you've unsuccessfully tried to leave only one peg standing there is a solution.... er maybe two.

First, you have all of the pegs out of the board as if you are going to restart the 'test'. Then casually begin to reinsert the golf pegs into the board as you have done so SO So many times before. Now to outwit those you're dining with, simply put in only 1 peg into the board. At which point you should butter your bread, slap some jam on the biscuit, or take a swig of some good ol' sweet tea. This buys you some time for dramatic effect. After a moment of two, you can shuffle some of the loose pegs around on the table. It might even help to drop one on the floor and ask a fellow patron to hand you your missing peg. Then to every one's amazement you have solved the dreaded test. Then you appear to be the smartest person at the table because you not only 'beat the game' but you've outwitted your fellow dinners.

Some have pointed out that the above mentioned method is cheating... ergo dishonest. So if that doesn't suit you, try method number two!
Pull out your smartphone and do a youtube search for the solution. Then follow the easy steps shown!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reinvention...when I grow up I want to become???

With men the 'mid- life crisis' thing is overtly cliche, with women their 'mid-life' has no time for crisis. Between keeping a home, raising kids, and keeping up with the hubbs....I mean who really has time for a crisis? But such as life when you least expect it something or other tends to 'pop up'. Just to set your mind at ease, NO I AM NOT PREGNANT!

This summer has been one of the best. Kids are enjoying their well deserved break with frequent trips to the grandparents, favorite fishing spots, and camps. Although I feel like we are living out of a suitcase, there have been great relaxing moments. Cozumel with the Hubster, was AWESOME!!!For me personally, always a rip current of uncertainty seeing as how my contract was not renewed and I'm scheduled for some minor medical procedures that will take a few interviewing days away from me.

I was reminded recently that one can not STAND on HIS promises while sitting on the premises, SO today I claim Jeremiah 29:11," For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.Plans to give you a future and a hope not to harm you." God is love and he will provide both a job and peace. When a 'crisis' pops-up, just remind yourself God is God and he knows whats going on..... this didn't catch him off guard. I would like that magical green lined arrow to appear on my kitchen floor directing me to my next place of employment....Ya' know the one on the commercials that directs people with money...errr, never mind.

So I have always joked about 'when I grow up' I want to become a ____________. I have many interest. I feel like a Jack of all trades and a Master of none. I feel as though I would and could sale an Eskimo a bikini and then connect them to the appropriate resources for a great vacation. That is not saying I would be a travel agent. I would like to travel... ok I've digressed. I'm saying I would like to help people in some capacity.

In efforts to brush up the resume a pursue employment, I have found that I needed a new haircut and dye job.......maybe I could cut hair! or maybe write that book I've always wanted too!! Or sale jewelry!! Or work in missions planning short term foreign mission trips!! Or maybe enroll in college and take sign language and Spanish.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

After the dust settles

With our interstate move there have been many exciting great moments. Hubby has a wonderful job and the boys and I have wonderful schools.
Topher is a freshman and loving being in the band. achemmm, He said, "I'm bringing sexy back to the trombone section one note at a time, Mom!" Just what every mom wants to hear.
Eman is adjusting to a great middle school. Poor guy is having a rough adjustment since his mom is teaching across the hall from him!

And then there is Haybabe. All of my children 'go by' their middle names, but leave it to the youngest to find a loophole. His dad and I had noticed several things about his school materials; they were all being labeled for a Alex. When we quizzed him as to the orgin of the name, he simply replied that's what his teacher was calling him. We gave him permission to ask his teacher to call him by his name he has been accustomed to answering too. Several more days go by and even a Open house conversation with the teacher and still his papers were coming home labeled with Alex.
Again we ask him, "Haybabe, why is your teacher still calling you Alex?" He huffed out his reply. "I told her it was okay to call me ALEX, Mom! Because if I were top get a naughty note sent home you wouldn't think it was me. Just the wrong folder for some Alex!"


As recently as this past week we had another misunderstanding. Haybabe had been coming home saying his teacher was sending him to second grade earlier than all the other kids. I know he is smart, but being in the biz I wondered where the meeting information was? Hubby had to go to a meeting at the school for an unrelated matter.
While he was there, he inquired as too the second grade promotion. The teacher informed him that in efforts to encourage Haybabe she had said, "Wow, you are doing so great. You will be ready for second grade!"
When Haybabe came home after school, we heard him bragging again he was going to second grade earlier than everyone in his class. Hubby talked to him and told him that his teacher was bragging on him only (bursting bubbles is so harsh). Haybabe said,"I know. I was only hoping! I tricked you since it is tricker treats month!"