Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes, Life is good!


Vote

Over at Scholastic they are having a vote for Mom blogs. I enjoy Like Merchant Ships so much I think you should pop over and vote for her blog. Her blog entries are often light at the end of very long days of winter.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Warm- Photo hunt


Don't you ever wonder how warm it is to be this snuggly wrapped?

Sunday, February 22, 2009




My dog hates to put on jackets. She is too small to go out without one.



The turkey are tired of hanging around the house waiting for corn. They would rather eat worms!

We are all waiting for spring!















Tuesday, February 17, 2009

President Ranking

I have enjoyed the President ranking on AOL. There is great disagreement. I would like to add my two cents.
I agree that Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson for those top spots.
Personally, I think Nixon should be closer to the middle. He was a GREAT diplomat. He opened Russia and China to the world. To blame the Vietnam war on him is like blaming Iraq on Obama. He was simply attempting to GET OUT.It was Kennedy's and LBJ's war. I think Obama may get the same treatment over Afghanistan if he is not careful.
The whole Watergate thing- BAHABBAHA. What a joke. As if that doesn't happen almost every day in politics. I may be a cynic- but I think it is the truth. That he went insane after everyone left him in the dust...well, I don't blame him.
Of course I like LBJ as well. I am not wild about his poverty program- it should have been short lived and we still live with it. But...he had great heart and desegregated most of the country- at least the south. The north remains segregated as far as I can tell.
That the people who ranked the Presidents are "peer aged" taints the poll. But then, I have my own taint- don't I?

This is transparency.

You may not like it- but at least you can look at where the money is going. This is a first for me and I have been following congressional budgets for the last twenty years.
http://www.recovery.gov/
I can't wait for it to be posted. I only wish it was written in a way that we knew who came up with which ideas....

Monterey, Ca


Nautical

My family spent 18 months there while my husband learned Chinese. My daughter's family spent two years for Russian and Poshtu. Lots of memories.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grading. My least favorite subject in school.


Today I listened to four people give presentations for the teachers. One was SO adhd he was difficult to follow. He provided many websites to use in the future, for that I am thankful.
After the speeches/lectures I put on my jacket (the heat is off on non student days) and dove into grading. Papers were all over my desk from last week. Getting behind for a cool workshop on the 11th cost me dearly.
Grading began at 3:30 and ended at 7 pm. This was a second session. First session was four hours yesterday finishing six week grades. Kick me when there is another workshop that I "have" to attend on a planning day and remind me of today, PLEASE!
Six hundred papers were recorded tonight. That is about 35 seconds a paper. Needless to say, most were ready to simply enter the grade in the computer. The papers on the two Greek web searches took a bit more time.
Chuckling at what some of the students wrote, I am sure they thinking "My teacher will never get through this pile of paper". I did. Their grade reflected their synthesis or plagiarism. There will be some moans tomorrow. More moans when they realize these are the papers I choose for parent/ teacher conference. Fortunately, there will be many more rejoicing than moaning.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Do you ever wonder?


I wonder how God feels when a person tells someone else they are simply not good enough to be a part of the Church. Not a Bishop or even a priest, but simply a member who has never heard a confession or knows the disposition of a soul.
I wonder what the judgement would be if that listener was on the border and choose not to return on the recommendation of the person who presents themselves as the Church? Who continued to chide that the person is not good enough- in their opinion.
I wonder what Jesus' following would be like if every person he felt was not worthy- He told to go away. My study and faith is that He would never turn His back on someone who continues to seek.
"Oh Lord I am not worthy that you should come to me. Only say the word and my soul will be healed."
I am so thankful that my faith tells me that God is loving and forgiving.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And life continues on


That is a positive thing. Our lives continue to grow in love and joy. Friends continue to marry and have children. There is something warm about the optimism of being at the beginning. The optimism spreads to us who are on the down side of middle as well. The smiles. The talk of knitting and sewing. The books that need to be read to the next generation.

There is always a way of turning it into "the best time we have ever known."

Thinking


Spending a quiet day is difficult sometimes. My life has been so busy, it is difficult to slow down and just enjoy the bare trees and the quiet of impending spring. Thinking time comes on days like today. What does the future hold and how can I be a part of that?
My thoughts are all scattered as I try to wrap my mind around the idea that our school district will be cutting about one-fifth of the budget in the next two weeks...that is 1/5th of THIS year's budget. We received this sweet (and unrealistic) note from the Superintendent that he intends no "personnel cuts". I just cannot think how he plans to do that. To me that screams that there is much more excess in our system to begin with.
Personally, I would rather take a pay cut than have larger classes. The idea that we can reach students is silly with any more than 25 in a room. Yes, some schools do that. Often those schools do not have special needs students (our population of 900 is about 17% special needs). Our school is known as a place where special needs kids are not only accepted, but expected to learn and advance. They also rarely have conduct disorder students (We average about 5% of our population being conduct disorder). If I had the population of most Catholic schools- 30 students would not make me nervous.
I enjoy teaching where I am. I am exhausted everyday...and that is a good thing. Give me your tired, your poor... I feel like I reach kids whom many would choose not to reach...and that is a good thing.
But, cutting 1/5th of our budget...how will that look?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

From Kristina's board

Just for fun- Kristina
I saw this meme on a few other blogs and it seemed like fun. They don't come simpler than this: if you have done it, bold it(I turned mine black); if not, don't
1 . Started your own blog
2Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (a lunar eclipse)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (no, but I can say Thank you, good bye and where is the bathroom in about 10 languages:>)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (Well- the Middle Eastern part)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (rode with my daughter though)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (saw it-no swimming)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
I still want to see Africa and Israel... but that is about all on this list.

My thougths on the stimulus package

Personally, I know the country needs something. So far I am standing at four students who have parents who lost long time jobs in the last three weeks.There are for sale signs all over town (and our houses are relatively inexpensive-$100,000 range). The nearby school district just cut the days of school- hoping not to cut the number of teachers. We are a VERY stable area because we are home to one of the larger Army forts in the country. If this is what is happening here- I can imagine what is happening elsewhere.
I think lots of people put their heads together for this bill. Yes, there is spending I do not like. Actually, I attempted to read most of the bill last night and the numbers are mind boggling. It is going to take something quite large to kick start the economy. The world is watching. We sold them doo doo and now they are going under as well.
My thought is that there are Limbaugh fans and right wing "I will say anything to oppose the democrats" people out there saying we do not need a stimulus. Here is my proposition. Do not take any of it. That is simple. Do not take the family tax credit (but most of you thought the tax credit was OK under Bush. Mine is still in the mattress.) Do not take credits when your children go to college. Make sure they do not apply for the Pell or government backed loans. Don't take any of the small business breaks. Do not enjoy the increase in value of your home when you sell since the school down the street is finally up to date- in fact give that money back! Take the depreciated value of your home and any profit you could return to the federal government. I could go on and on. The thing is - if you are SO convicted- don't take the money. If you don't take it- there is less to owe. Simple as that.
Now off to a day of Lincoln with my students.

Opps!

How did I miss Ann. I read her blog almost every day. Jessica's wedding was amazing. I have been able to journey with her in my new experience as grandmother.

Listening


The act of listening, really listening, is not as easy as it looks. You have to take into account the person and their feelings- where they are and where they are going. We are all on a journey. My perception is that Jesus was a very good listener. Yes, what we read is many of the things He said, but the listening is implied.
The act of debate is a type of listening. You need to know both sides of an issue and be able to move to either side to "hear" the information of your opponent. My family is so fortunate to live in a country that believes in debate. Sometimes there is mudslinging, but in general, there is debate.
Being a judge is the ultimate listening position. I often wonder how juvenile and family court judges do their work. Loads of listening. The few times I have been in a court room I have enjoyed the sqenched up face of a well respected judge. They are far wiser than me and they know how to listen.
Good teachers lecture little. They offer information and then listen to watch a student learn. The Montessori way is to pre- teach, teach a second time and then listen to the language develop as the learning begins. Children are hungry for language. They will seek it out- if you are listening.
I find myself on an open road these days. It is certainly a freeing experience not to have to give loads of instruction as I felt I needed to when the children were little. Now I am free to simply listen. Sometimes I do a good job of it, other times I fail. My approach for most of my life right now- listen twice, speak once.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

From Ruth



“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”
I had to smile at this. I don't see myself as charming- just willing to put out there what I am thinking.Ruth and Carrie are much more charming. But...I will take it and run with it since I do read a number of charming blogs that you might be interested in reading as well. Some are not friends yet, since I lurk and rarely comment (don't faint), but they are charming. Enjoy!
Cathy my sister is a dreamer. She doesn't blog often, but I enjoy going back again and again to see my native plants and rethink the questions she asks herself. Debbie writes a loving blog. I can feel the rain on my cheeks and the laughter of her children. Patty is photographer with a blog. She lets me pray and think as I read- something I much miss about attending Church. Peyton's mom writes a charming blog about life in the Army in Germany. Mennonite girls is my drooling place ;>) Meg is a young women- soon to be mother. I enjoy her loving way of presenting her ideas. I only wish my grandson lived in her town so she could be his Montessori teacher! I would put my daughter on here- but she does not make her blog public. She got some terrible responses when she was pregnant- so now only a few can share my grandson's pictures:<( . This mom in Alaska brings a smile to my face almost every time I read her blog. And then there is this grandmother farmer. I have just started to read her blog and wonder if we are all so different from each other- no matter where we live on this planet. Hummmm.
If you stop by any of these and comment, you might mention that they have an award here!
Thank you Ruth, for letting me share some of my new friends from afar. It was interesting trying to find someone who neither you nor Carrie mentioned- most of whom I read every day!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Long week

Why do I know it will be a long week?
Today I had to have a student removed from my class for disruption.
I got very little sleep last night thinking about my sister in law's medical tests
(which came back negative!!!:>)
I cannot wrap my head around teaching Greece. It all seems a jumble.
The weather was 70 on Saturday, 40 on Sunday and today, expected to be 20 tomorrow and below that on Thursday....and then back to 60 on Saturday. No one knows which end is up. I fogot my coat today, because it was warm enough without yesterday.
The stock market is on another free fall.
Oh well...maybe I should take a day. Opps...the message from the office said there are no subs available this week.
AGGG! Sometimes I feel like I am too old for this.
"Calgon, take me away" (Yes, I know that dates me!)