Saturday, April 18, 2015


This morning I went to the music recital at our school, and went away blessed. Seeing the job that the music teachers have done with those children absolutely touches my heart. One young autistic girl, who is doing so well, sang "Here am I, Lord."  There were damp eyes all over the cafetorium. 

Such a successful recital took a lot of hard work on their part as well as the students'. And they think outside the box - for example, teaching a couple of young men to lead congregational singing, and teaching the students to accompany each other's vocal pieces. Great training!!  It is a privilege to be associated with our school!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Everybody loves spring.  Everybody talks about how it's so nice to be done with winter, and see the flowers, and get outside again.

I don't like spring.   Spring means we are heading into the hot summer.

Pastels are not my colors AT ALL.  Fall and winter colors are great.  The oranges of fall, and the bright Christmas colors - Even stark January and February landscapes (especially when red cardinals are present) are beautiful.  

The thin smells of wisteria and other spring flowers announce the pollen season, which means yellow powder is everywhere.  But the smells of autumn, Christmas, and winter are invigorating.

I feel better in cold weather.  In the spring, though the pollen doesn't cause congestion problems, I truly believe that it affects my autoimmune system.

Most people seem to disagree.  That's fine.  But fall and winter are better!  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday's Fave Five 4/3/15

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog

1. Family and dear friends from Alabama came last weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday. It was a big couple of days and very nice.  Here is a family picture with my folks and their four children.

2. During the visits last weekend, we got to reminiscing about the days when we were all growing up together in Alabama.  We laughed and laughed, remembering old times and some of the funny things that went on.  Good for the soul.

3. SPRING BREAK this week!  The week of spring break always flies.  All of a sudden - it's Friday.  But I got a lot done, especially yesterday.  Closet cleaning, project completing, selling on eBay, and much more--as well as this episode of mailing a box to my son in China.  It's very nice to be out from under the weight of school responsibilities for a few days.

4. I finished sewing a fleece blanket yesterday.  The fabric has been on my closet floor for probably five months.  I'm staying warm under it right now.  :-)  However, it's made with grey, garnet, and black fleece to celebrate my husband's beloved USC Gamecocks.  And they got trounced last night in their baseball game, so badly that he turned off the TV in the fourth inning and went to bed.  So maybe I should turn it over and just look at the plain gray side this morning!!

5. It's been so nice to have time to rest and sleep in this week.  I needed it badly.  Next week - back to the salt mines!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mailing To China

Well, son, it's a good thing I love you, after spending almost two hours of precious spring vacation time and an outrageous amount of money to mail a package to you in China.  :-)

It is unbelievable how much time it took to fill out the customs forms.  The first lady said - Oh, this won't do - you've got to list each clothing item individually, and each bottle of nonprescription meds individually, etc., etc.  For this box, that meant the meds for him and for another person, knit hats, a man's suit, scarves, socks, and little girls' outfits.

The socks were the ONLY thing I could find that was made in America, to send to three ladies that I met last summer.  The other items for their gifts were made elsewhere, but you can only do as much as you can do.  The hats were knitted by the sewing group who made them especially for Chinese believers.

It took me three forms to complete the required listing (you can only list four items on each form), and each form had to have the complete addresses of both sender and recipient written out.  In triplicate.  Those Chinese addresses, even when transliterated into English words, are long.  And involved.  I have no idea if the forms were correct at the end, but figure that once the box gets to China, they'll use the Chinese characters that are also on the label I printed out.

Then, after getting it all done, a different lady helped me.  She took one look at all I had written out and said "Oh, you didn't have to do all that.  All you had to do was write "New clothing items."  Aargh!!!

Anyway, the forms are filled out, the box is gone, and my debit account is lighter.  I love you, son!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

"The Tale of Samuel Whiskers"

My kiddos did a good job last Friday at our Fine Arts Competition.  I was really proud of them.  We did a Reader's Theater adaptation of "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, or, The Roly-Poly Pudding" by Beatrix Potter.  The boy in the back played Samuel Whiskers, and he was especially good playing the part of a stuffy old rat - and the other boy did a good job playing a scared little kitten all tied up in knots.  The girls did well too.  We took second place - and the other junior high speech group from our school took first!  It's not too bad to take second to another group from your school.

For several of these students, this was their first opportunity to participate in a speech project.  I saw once again how good it is for young people to learn to develop confidence from being on a stage.

We had a long but good day.  Overall our school did well.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 3/20/15

Link to FFF Host Blog

This is being written the day before - because tomorrow I will be on a marathon 16-hour day to the Fine Arts Festival with our school.  But I will set it to post on Friday.

1. Well, many years a group of students will come and say "Will you please help us work up a dramatic piece for the Fine Arts Festival?"  And I think of ideas, then agree to help them - and then remember that that means that I have to GO to the Fine Arts Festival, in a city two hours from here.  Tomorrow is the day.  But, it's also a privilege to go to watch these students, most of whom have worked very hard, perform, and I know that it means a lot to them to have teachers there.

2. Sale of a lot of eBay books recently.  Our ChildCare had a whole shelf of unused ABeka workbooks that would not be used because of a curriculum change.  So I sold them - as usual, most of them went quickly - and split the profits.  They get rid of books they don't need - they get $$ for their special fund - I get a little $$ for my effort, and my Paypal account gets built up.  Frankly, I love the "high" of an eBay sale.  Kinda crazy, but it's fun to watch the feedback build up, as well as to have "fun money" in Paypal, so that if something comes up that I would like to buy, the $$ is in there to spend and not feel guilty about.

3. Made stuffed peppers last weekend, and had enough for several lunches for me and also for daughter who loves them.  She always appreciates having a few lunches for her workweek, so it's fun to have a few to give to her.  And this week there were enough for four lunches for her!!  (Maybe I went a little overboard on the stuffed peppers. . .)

4. Out to eat with dear friends last Friday night.  We do not see as much of them since they changed churches, but we still try to get together from time to time.  

5. A pot of soup from my mom for after the root canal this afternoon.  This is being written pre-root canal, but I'm assuming that it will follow through as she has offered!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Made In America?

Jessica, who came to the English
Corner both times.  We have
remained in contact on WeChat.

Seattle, who says I feel like "her
mum."  She is lonely.
Summer, mother of the blind
girl and now mother of this
precious baby at right:

I've got to mail a package to Andrew with several items that he didn't have room in his luggage to take.  I have wanted to include a few presents to three people:  Jessica, Seattle, and Summer (who had a baby last fall).  So the last couple of weeks have included a couple of shopping trips.

However, though this is something that we know in theory, I discovered in full force how true it is.  You cannot find clothes made in our country.  You can find clothes that were made in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Taiwan, and of course (ubiquitously), China.  But not the USA.  

This state of affairs seems to have crept up on us surruptitiously.  Oh, we knew our clothing manufacturing was being farmed out to other countries, but the magnitude of it becomes real when a person truly tries to find something made in the U.S.

Think of how many manufacturing jobs have been eliminated.  Think of how many sweat shops have been created in other countries.  

I finally gave up and settled on clothing made anywhere (but in China) for Summer's two little girls.  I found some socks that are clearly labeled Made in America (brightly written on the package) and will send them to the others along with a couple of other small things.  It was the best I could do.  There is virtually no clothing made in the U.S. any more.  How did this happen?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday's Fave Five, 3/13/15

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog.

1. Well, I can't be thankful for a successful filling, as mentioned on last week's FFF that that would be all that was needed to repair a crack in a tooth.  The problem was much worse than originally indicated.  So, instead, I can be thankful for modern dentistry, that will be able to repair the tooth with a root canal, a post in the remaining tooth, and a crown. 

2. Very thankful for my daughter's best friend, who is also an accomplished hairdresser, who gave me "the works" yesterday.  She gives a mean haircut, as well as a nice highlight job, one that doesn't deny my gray hairs, but definitely tones them down!

3. I had an efficient week at school.  I got a lot accomplished, complete with getting ALL the junior research papers graded, as well as five sets of tests.  And I only have six senior journals to go.

4. Daughter and I had a fun morning last Saturday, last minute deciding to hit the yard sales.  There were only a few, but the first and last ones we went to were like hitting the jackpot, especially for her.  I'm always grateful for the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with her.  We don't get the chance very often.

5. I love this bulletin board.  It's by a mysterious author who goes by the initials d.a.w.  He puts four-line poems in a magazine I used to subscribe to, and they are always very witty.  In case it's not real visible, it goes like this:  "Springtime showers hang around / To see if they can drown the ground. / Resourcefully, the garden copes / By raising little yellow periscopes."  Very clever!  And very adaptable to a bulletin board.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Chronicles 10:13 & 14

I have been reading the Old Testament stories in the ESV, starting in Genesis and now as far as I Chronicles.  The ESV is great to read, because it keeps the basic structure of the KJV but removes the archaic "thees," "thous," and -eth endings. (For example, it says "hear" instead of "heareth" for action verbs.)  And it is very interesting reading.  Much easier than KJV.  It's brought back a lot of memories of childhood Bible stories.

This morning I came across this verse:

13 So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. 14 He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

That is a sobering reminder of the consequences of not following God!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015



I went for a filling this morning, knowing that Tooth #29 was cracked between the tooth and the old filling.  Dentist thought he could fix it with a new filling.

He drilled.  And drilled.  And I could feel it even with three novocain shots.  Turns out the decay was worse than he expected.  Down to the pulp.  Inevitable root canal.  It has to be soon or I will have pain.

Then will come a crown.  Oh, and there's not enough tooth left to support a crown, so a post will be needed in the tooth.

Ouch.  Not only in my mouth, but in my calendar (three appointments coming up) and wallet also.

Trite statement, but one that works:  It is what it is!!