Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gobble time


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

Advent begins

This is my favorite song.
Thank you Peyton's mom for bringing it to me this Song Saturday

One day


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

Conversations

I has a conversation last night that left me in a terribly negative mood. This morning I am up early thinking and beginning to change my mood by thinking of what I am grateful for.
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

Christmas is for giving

I need nothing. Really, I don't.
I am thinking about this
http://www.playpumps.org/site/?c=hqLNIXOEKrF&b=2559311
instead of my normal Christmas presents.
We won't be home anyway....so I won't miss the unwrapping under the tree!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
 
Boston
 
North Central
 
The Inland North
 
Philadelphia
 
The South
 
The Northeast
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, November 21, 2008

Amazing discussion

Today we began by looking at the caste system of ancient India. We ended by talking about green cards and who is "more American". What does an American look like? How long is long enough to be a citizen? Is a child of American parents actually "more American" than President Elect Obama - the child of citizens of the US and Kenya? How about the child of a soldier with a parent of another country caring for her while dad is in Iraq? Is she "American"? The discussion was good. There was a bit of twitching, but we did well to maneuver between questions and criticism.
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

The small Earth

Today my student who speaks very little English came up to me at the end of class. He asked me to put up Google Earth on the smart board. Up it went. He typed in a name of a city. Up it came- zoomed in on the 6' board on the front wall of the room. He, then, proceded to grab the city and move the zoom in. Traveling through streets, he was mumbling to himself. "AHHH!
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"!
My!
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

Two years

It has been two years since my dad passed away.
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
grandson.












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.








I have another set of students this year. This will be my third group that I have to mentor through the school year without his advice. He seemed to know what "my boys" needed and how I should word my comments so that others would not be offended. He saw my passion of working with children and encouraged it.
I miss my dad terribly. I miss his hard headed way of attacking a problem and working through the solution with me. I miss his leadership in how to work with the people who need help but are unsure or too proud to ask. Mostly I miss his push for the Lord that I do not feel right now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Google Earth

If you have not played with Google Earth, you need to. www.googleearth.com
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

Obama names

I am settling into having a new first family- almost. Here are their Secret Service names....The "Obama family recently received its new (and alliterative) names: "Renegade" (Barack), "Renaissance" (Michelle), "Radiance" (Malia) and "Rosebud" (Sasha)."
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

What board Game are you? Mine fits me pretty well!

What Board Game Are You?
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

Plow in

My husband has cut down three trees on the land for winter wood. It is solid wood that will burn long and slow. We have emptied all of the gardening containers onto the earth around our deck and hope that it will help when spring comes again.
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

The beauty of the seasons

I will bring my camera home from school tomorrow. The leaves are already gone from the trees and winter has moved in.


My only concern is that our new puppy will need a coat!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Veterans Day

It is upon us. What will you do to remember the people, past and present, who serve the country in the armed forces?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Step back and look

The country is taking a turn. Step back and look at the man we have elected. He is quite intelligent. President Elect Obama is not crafted by others.
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

The right to vote

Today was voting day. Duh, you might say....but it is a big deal. My school voted. My students were SO excited they wanted to vote before our school poll opened.

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

A good night sleep and fall is in view!




My house is beginning to be surrounded by fall. The leaves have changed on about 60% of the trees. It is a warmer fall than last year when most of the leaves were gone by this time.


My husband is out mowing the fields so they are easier to sled by the neighborhood in the winter. They love the big hill by the barn. Last year he did not mow soon enough and snow came. A number of children were bummed out.
This is the time of year that the Tom turkeys come back to the house for feed. You can tell the ones who know us. They run to me when I shake the corn feeder. The smaller ones are the ones who told the larger ones that corn is found at "that house". They are in the lead with the fat strutters carefully hidden in the grass. That all changes when the corn is thrown and it becomes a free for all.