Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I am in Phoenix today. Yes, it is 60 and sunny. My kids are loving every minute of it. I thought I would look at a few of my mother's pictures while I am here. This is the house that she grew up in. My grandparents moved into the house at the height of the depression.The left is the living room with wooden floors that squeek when a rocking chair goes back and forth. My Nana had a high backed rocker and Mrs Dee a low back. They would spill out the coloring books and blocks in the back hall when my mom would come to visit- allowing them time to sit at the kitchen table and chat.
This is where we are headed on Saturday. Yup- snow in Flagstaff. Thrilled? I would rather be in the warmth- but Jen and James are anxious to see their old house and the town that they considered their home for six years. This is my mom's home in the pines- under the snow that we expect to see.
This is the last family picture before my dad passed away. My crew is not in it- but we all lived far away. It says that it was taken in July 2006.
Later I will post the family pictures from last night. Christmas eve with everyone except Paul and Dad...first time in a very long time!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
He was finally kicked to the curb by the Church.
Another bully bites the dust.
The question is, "Can something truly good ever grow out of something started for evil purposes?"
God can make anything good...I know.
Still the question is difficult for me to answer.
I know the answer:>0 I think too much!
Tomorrow is the last day of school for the year. We are planning a celebration day.
Actually, there are many delightful children in my classes. The few bullies are the ones who drive me insane. This time of year that insanity is worse. I have no tolerance. And when their mommies run to their assistance when another child has finally, after being verbally assaulted for months, lashes out....I just am GRRRR about it.I just want to shake the mom and say, "Your child is SO mean!"
So, tomorrow is the last day that I have to deal with attempting to protect the boy with so many sores the others cringe, the girl who is so timid- she is the perfect victim, the child who is so hurt by life- he shrinks. They will all be with me over the break though. I will be thinking, "What could make this better?" for two weeks. Maybe I will become ...inspired.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thank You Cath for changing my thoughts on the comfort of good cotton!
Darn- my camera is at school.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Pope John Paul II (still love that he gave his popemobile to Mother Teresa to sell)
John Van Hengle - founder St Mary's Food Bank
Father Tom Owens- teacher /priest
Sister Norma Jean Turner- teacher/ principal
Father Fessio- took on his order and founder of Ignatius Press
Michelle- walking the walk every day
Bishop Sheen- founder of the logical/public Catholic
My dad- struggled every day. Attempted to do the right thing as often as possible.
How about you Ruth, Carrie and Michelle? Anyone else? Who are the great spiritual leaders for your life?
I even hate to let them go for the two weeks of Christmas break.
Nope- I am not depressed- I am frustrated- but hopeful.
The baby is walking and I will get to see him in ten days! There is always hope. That is what our Lady of Guadalupe means to me- hope in the winter.
Monday, December 08, 2008
My father always had an amazing devotion to Mary. Maybe because his mother had died at such a young age and he took on Our Lady as his mother figure. Roses were always his favorite. He planted them everywhere for Mary.
That my Jennifer was born on the day of the roses is amazing to me. There is that connection. I used to ask Mary to watch over Jennifer as she drove away to school or on a date. I would place Jennifer in Our Lady's hands when I thought that she was getting too far away. She was a rose- just like one of the roses that Our Lady gave to Mexico. I knew,someday, she would build a Church of her own- in her house with her boys.
Here comes December 12th again. I am not good at getting the cards out on time- but I know I will go to Mass on the 12th and thank Our Lady for helping to guide our Jennifer- a rose of my father and my Church- to be the woman she is. I am forever grateful for that gift of a rose.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Today we were reading the background to ring those "oh yes" bells.
The only one rung was mine!
My findings was that less than 10 out of my 100 students knew ANY Bible stories. One student even said, "What is a Bible?"
This evening I spent working up a Power Point on the history of the Jews. As an educated woman, knowing Jewish history is HUGE. There are so many things that Western Civilization is based upon. Starting with know what a "goliath" is and moving to the Ten Commandments.
Today I found out that I was on the Democrat's list because I am a member of the NEA.I guess I should not be afraid of the list- so many of the people and things I care about are their issues....don't know too many Republicans who see education as a huge priority. Just make sure they read, write and 'rithmatic.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Turkeys are hanging around the house today. Yesterday was the first snow. The first large group of turkeys came by early to see if there was any feed out. They had frost on their back and their gobble was rather soft.
This is the fourth group and it is not yet 3pm.
It leads me to believe that the grasshoppers are almost gone and now the difficult time of finding food in the winter has arrived.
Since we have been feeding this particular group since they learned how to fly off of our walls, we will be making sure they have food through the winter. All of the turkeys though? There are way too many this year to feed.
A bit like the economy, isn't it?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
When I graduated from college a great friend wrote my philosophy of education for my interview packet in calligraphy. I pull it out every so often to see if it has changed. Not yet.
"Changing the world one child at a time."
Sometimes that child was my own. At times I was not good at it. Other times it flowed because I love them.
Changing one child right now means working with one family. This year that has been a painful pursuit since the family really needs professional help and I had to be the one to call that help in. The season of giving is here. My Friday shopping is done and this family will be fine for the tree...but how to really help change that lifestyle so the one child at a time can benefit? That is the difficult question for me in the next few weeks.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
My husband is healthy. He is up and around and building something (I have no idea what it is). He is a joy to be around even when I am a grouch. He loves being home and taking care of things. We have been through some tough times, but he is still here with me and I with him. Twenty eight years ago yesterday he asked me to marry him. What a journey it has been.
My children- all three of them- are so dear to me that no words could explain the love I have for them. I am proud of who they are and where they chose to grow. I miss them terribly on days like today.
My sisters are loving people. I have three sisters that I am close to- two by birth and one by marriage. I thank God for them. We laugh and cry together. One is still rather shy, but we are coming closer. We each have had a journey that none of us expected. I am grateful for their presence in my life and their willingness to let me be a part of theirs.
My mother is healthy and trying to find her way without my dad and that is a difficult task. I am grateful that I still have her. Some of my friends have no living parents,what a bummer. I look forward to spending time with mom and laughing at the greatgrandbaby with her.
My home is where my heart lies and right now that is in Kansas. As much as I would like to live near my children, I know we are blessed with this beauty and land for a reason. I just have to figure out what that reason is:>)There is not a day that goes by that I do not love the beauty that surrounds me. Actually, I am surprised that I enjoy the peacefulness of the Midwest as much as I do. The dogs are all a part of the joy that I feel daily in awakening in such a wonderful place.
Last, but not least, I am thankful that God chose to place Nicholas in our lives. He is a reason to know that God will care for the future, for he loves us enough to present us with a joy that is unobtainable any other way.
Now, I think I can start my quiet day. We will not have Thanksgiving with friends or family today, we are saving that for Christmas. My day is complete though with the thoughts of all and the joy of the Lord present in my life.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Have I told you lately that I love to teach? Still, I do not think I will do it for much longer. My energy level is not the same as it was years ago and children take so much. Of course, I am honored to be renewed by their energy and questions.
Who is this generation? I am finding fewer children know the Bible- or any religion. Fewer have connection to Scouts or charities. More are involved with the "me" of club sports and fewer the "we" of school sports. What will be their drive? What will be the will to serve humanity? The need to find what is good for all born and unborn? It should be the job of parent. Some parents take that and move forward, but I see less and less of that. I guess the job has become that for a teacher. Scary that a profession that is usually looked down upon in society is really the driving force for the future.
I am thinking more and more about my grandson's world. What will his education bring to him? What will he bring to the world. Will his teacher be caring and help him form into the caring citizen that he has the ability to be? I guess I need to begin those teacher prayers sooner than later.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
There Meses Boown!" He was showing me his house that he left in Mexico.
I know where some of your minds have gone just now.
Let me put them to rest. This child's father joined the US military. When he was shipped to Iraq the family was allowed to come to the US and live in the housing. This child is a child of my future, your future. He knows where he comes from...misses it terribly...but ...when I asked...even though he speaks very little English...he loves "THE STATES"!
We live in a small world.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The trees outside the front window are bare. The one to the left is always the last to turn and fall. I am not sure why this is. Maybe it is the oldest.
Scott is beginning to play in the barn more. He said he would help me set "Jennifer's room" for quilting for the winter. Quilting used to come easily. Even remembering those times is sometimes difficult. Working with the fabric to make something of joy. Purchasing pieces of cotton- where ever the road leads. My favorite memory was staying up all night to make something special with a friend. Those were good times that would be welcome again.
Darkness no longer scares me as it did in my past. The sunset is not the end of the day, but the beginning of a new adventure.
Friday, November 14, 2008
A long three years of wandering in and out of my
religion and environment.
Many good things have happened. We added a son
in through a wedding of joy. I thought how much my
dad have liked to be a person to help form another
Our other son graduated in a ceremony that would
have made my dad proud.
We added the first great grand child.
Dad would have glowed with the joy
of the arrival. He would have read the
baby poetry and shown him the pictures
in the books as he did with his grandchildren.
Dad never really enjoyed flying, but he enjoyed seeing the
family enjoy their passions. He didn't come to that until
later in age, but he desired to bring out the passion that
each of the grandchildren reached for- horses, art, flying,sports.
He would have loved to see his James fly.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Today we began our two week study of India. I went to Google Earth to show them how the subcontinent is slowly running into the continent of Asia. They were once again glued.
I live for GLUED!
Tomorrow it is on to the study of language at www.ancientindia.co.uk
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Chigago SunTimes announced.
What wonderful names for the children. I pray that the Lord protects them all.
On another note- Veteran's Day went without a hitch at school. I have four boxes to mail out to the four parents we have deployed currently. More than a third of my students have family members in the Armed Forces. Many more than that have family mmeber who have once served. The stories were interesting and the day was good.
Monday, November 10, 2008
You Are Chinese Checkers
You live a hyper, fast paced life. You rarely ever slow down.You are good at juggling many things at once. You are the ultimate multi-tasker.You enjoy being in a group - in fact the bigger the group, the better.You are an enthusiastic competitor, and you can be a little ruthless when you play games.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
We have done the same thing with our stocks. We have plowed into the market again- this time buying America. We decided that sitting back afraid will do nothing for us or our children's future. We have to believe that it will get better.
It will be a long winter of recession. We will have to pull together. Our school has started a food backpack for the families that have nothing at home because parents have been laid off from their simple jobs as waitresses and food processors.
If you have a job- go out to dinner. You need to support the local people in any way you can. Holding all of your money in hand does nothing for your neighborhood. Don't go into debt- just go out to eat.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
He writes his own speeches. Do you know how long it has been since we not only had a person in the White House who can give a speech- but actually WRITES what he says? A very long time.
The people first person he taps is a deeply religious man- Orthodox Jewish.
He is deeply committed to his wife.
He is the poorest man we have elected since Truman. He only owns one house and it is in a neighborhood.
He was raised primarily by grandparents who lived through World War II. They knew the hardships and pain of war and depression. They put all of their money and time into him and he thrived under their love. He grew up probably going to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and watching REAL patriotic parades in the streets of Honolulu. My experience was that Honolulu had more parades than anyone else.
He struggled in high school but thrived in college when he grew up.
He is----half African and half white. I am here to tell you that Hawaii is a great place to visit if you are different but not a great place to live if you are not Japanese. Still, many alternative lifestyles exist in Hawaii and they are just there- there are no worries about that ....
He CHOSE to return to the states for high school over staying in an Islamic country for high school. Yet, he experienced living overseas- seeing REAL poverty- feeling what others feel when they do not speak the language- learning that there are ways to get better (but the US is the best ).
Some fear that he will open the flood gates. His speech did not indicate that. I think this is a pensive man who cares deeply about his children's future and in turn YOUR future. He chose to be here.
Yes, I feel that President elect Obama road a wave into this election. Just like riding a good wave you have to paddle and struggle and wait. Then the ride. Then the paddle and struggle and wait again.
I may have to eat my words- but I do not think so. This man has the material it takes to be a great President. I may miss a wave or two that he takes, but I hope to take many with him.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I knew what they felt like. I got up at 5 am to be at my poll by 6:15. That way I could vote and make it to school on time. Our poll opened at 7 am and I was about 20th in line! One of the teachers who lived in a TINY town had the line wrap around the courthouse by the time the poll opened. She thanked me for giving her the thought to go early.
The excitement had spread at school. I teach with MANY 20 something year olds. Many came up to me today and asked me questions about the process. I have been very careful to give out information from Factcheck.org and scholastic news source - which seem to be right down the middle of the road. I was passing out that information until I left the building at 5 pm last night. I have a teacher friend who went around talking Hitler and the end of capitalism under Obama as well as another who predicted WWIII under Mc Cain. I don't go for either of those things. My advice is to dismiss the extremes and look at the information. The extremes turn me and most of the twenty somethings off (I haven't figured out why others have not figured that out).
In general, 14 out of 15 of the teachers voted in my wing. All 104 of my students cast Kidvote ballots. I do not know who they voted for. Really, I do not care. I care that they finally are part of a process that makes our country the best on the earth. The right to vote is amazing. I will defend THAT to the end (a bit extreme- aren't I?)
Off to watch the results. Yes, we can- no matter who wins- we can change the direction of the country. I am EXCITED!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
And then- I read the next email from the Red Ribbon committee that crazy sock day will be on Veteran's Day.
I GIVE UP!
I have no plans to be there on Veteran's Day now. Adults drive me CRAZY!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
SOOOO, I watch our pennies.
I kept our old portfolio active, just to see what would have happened if we had stayed the course.
Today it is official.
If we has stayed in the market, we would have lost half of our liquid assets. I cannot say life savings since most of our savings are in the place we call home.
It is a sobering thing to look at that portfolio.
How are people doing it who did not know to get out of the market when it was higher? I have so many friends who have money in 401K or IRAs who did not think that they could move their money to cash within those accounts.
I am worried about senior citizens who depend on their savings for an OK life in the future.
I am anxious for the elections and convinced that no matter who wins----it might settle down just a bit.
What a year!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
How can this be considered a compassionate world where children have to grow up because their parents cannot put food on the table with only two paychecks?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Spa Bowen- two years from last September....anyone else up for a trip?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
I'll miss mommy and baby when they are gone.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Get up late, after a short night of sleep.
Restless after watching the market yesterday. Stomach knots over 403b's of friends who did not watch the market and are surprised that they do not know that our funds are getting walloped.
Go to school- forget that we are supposed to be in a meeting.
Arrive at the meeting 15 minutes late (with a thousand other things on my agenda)
Get called to a bus accident
Calm a few kids- no one seriously injured- and go back to school
Have a teacher shrug off that kids are going to be a bit upset "so, nothing unusual". (Yes, I work at a tough school)
Chat with a student about failing grades in other classes (Cheer leading was never my uniform- but I seem to wear it as an adult.) Arrange for meetings to keep up on work.
Settle into a day of writing and correcting. Actually, that is quite fun, but exhausting.
Have a parent meeting after school
Rush home for pictures with the baby....but the appointment was canceled due to the high volume of parents leaving for Iraq needing/wanting pictures with their babies (understandable).
Listen to my husband as he investigates where our stole credit card money was spent and how "they might be able to catch this guy---in New Jersey"
Meet with a soldier and his parents before he deploys next week
Debates on our Senate race (hotly contested)
I hope I will sleep well tonight. I NEED it!
thinking of Patty again today- I could really just use a weekend alone of farming!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Seems like I was just sharing the virtue of putting things on a card to track it....
LOL- Patty- I am back to paper money!
Oh well, next year will be better. I know it will. Fifty-one has a great sound to it!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Filling the barn with things.
These are what a young man
who leaves for war this week
is leaving behind. His stuff
will await his return.
And then the tonado doors. Scott found a man selling the doors from his 100 year old home in Chapman. He paid way too much- but it was an effort to help. I don't know what they will turn into at our house- but knowing Scott- it will be beautiful.
A clip from Raiders of the Lost Arc showing Egypt
Google earth compared to map on wall for placement of Egypt
Compare terrian maps of Egypt and Mesopotamia (Iraq)
Do a venn diagram on the smart board on the comparison- have students take notes
Show a quick demonstration of flooding and silt
Finish with an entry in the vocabulary book on delta, silt and flooding
How do you fit that into a 3x3 square?
This is the 21st century. Why do we teach educators the same way we used to?