Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Couple of Photos--

Andrew said his musical ability has been very useful in many ways.  Not sure exactly what this venue is, but he--as usual--appears to be having a great time.

This was a great day!

This week is fall break for his college.  They do seem to take a lot of breaks!  So the team is having a retreat, which should be helpful.  He has also been bringing in an interpreter to his large classes of students who know very little English, and said it has helped tremendously.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Fall, Y'all

This is what a friend of mine posted on FB on Sunday. . .

. . .and here is my version, on my bulletin board at school by Monday afternoon.

I had plenty of work to do on Monday, but when I get a good bulletin board idea, nothing will do but to drop everything and work on it. . .

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Like Dissolves Like

This afternoon while spray painting some boxes (for Operation Christmas Child - new way to decorate them rather than wrapping them), I got spray paint all over my hands.  Soap and water, even lots of soap, just made them even gunkier.  I knew Mike would not be happy if I went out to his garage and started digging around for his gasoline can.  Nor was I too crazy about that idea myself.

Then I remembered all those years of teaching solutions in chemistry and physical science.  Like dissolves like.  We even did a lab on that, using oil and water to try to dissolve different things and see how a polar solvent (water) dissolve polar solutes (salt, sugar, etc.) and a nonpolar solvent (oil) dissolves nonpolar solutes (wax, vitamin E, etc.)

So - maybe vegetable oil would work?  I got it down and liberally applied it to my hands.  It worked.

Who knows - I may be the last to discover that vegetable oil gets off spray paint.  But at least my hands are not gunky, or stained red and green, any more.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday's Fave Five, 9/20/13

Link to Friday's Fave Five host blog.

1. I had a very productive week.  It is a nice feeling to leave school on Friday afternoon and feel like it was a good week.  The younger grades are getting sentence structure, and in the older grades we are tackling Julius Caesar, The Scarlet Letter, and Hamlet respectively.  All those book reports are graded and returned.  I even had time to clean the glass top of my desk with window cleaner this afternoon.  Hey, you could even see the top of the desk!  That in itself is the mark of a good week.

2. Mike had breakfast ready for me every morning this week at 6:30.  Eggs, some sort of meat (bacon, ham, or sausage), toast, and sliced tomatoes and cantaloupe.  Every single morning.  I think I'll keep him.

3. My dad has been coming to help me at school with taping the edges and spines of paperback books to make them last longer.  It's been a huge help.

4. Everything has worked out for us to go to a conference we really want to attend next weekend, including Mike getting off work.

5. Daughter has had a great week student teaching.  She is only in the elementary classroom two days a week this semester (fulltime second semester) and she hates to be back in her college classes the other days because she misses so much.  The heart of a teacher. . .

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Selling and Yard Sales

I had every intention of stopping selling on eBay for awhile.

Then I randomly stopped at a yard sale Saturday morning.  Didn't look like much, but it was right there on the side of the road.

And this is what the lady had.  All of these books for $20 (plus some library books going to Alabama later this week with my folks).  Most of them unused.  I can probably triple that or more, easily.

Sigh.  It's bargains like that that keep a person going to yard sales also.  You just NEVER know what you might find.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts for 9/11 - Newspaper Column

Originally written 9/10/10 for the Saturday "Faith and Values" section of our local paper:

One of the precious tenets of the Christian faith is the hope that believers have in Christ, for this life as well as for eternity. No events, not even tragic and life-changing ones, happen without a Christian knowing that he is in the palm of God’s hand.
Several years ago, early one morning, I sat with my dear friend, her family and other friends in a small hospital room as she received final word that her husband had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. As one would expect, the grief expressed in that room was overwhelming. Yet, at the same time, the presence of God’s peace soon became obvious as well. In spite of the shock and the unanswered questions at what had just happened, there was an assurance and a calm spirit in the room. The huge sorrow was not horrific sorrow, due to the presence of a heavenly Father and his grace.
In their hour of need, this family did not have to go looking for the solace offered by a loving savior. They already knew him — in their hearts as well as in their heads. They had lived daily for many years in personal relationships with Jesus Christ, throughout the pleasant times and the hard times of life — so that when this moment came, as well as the difficult months afterward, their sorrow was not the “sorrow of those that have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13).
These thoughts are especially relevant in light of today’s commemoration of the events of nine years ago on this date. How could people cope with the horrible events and tragic results of that day? Those who knew the Lord as personal savior, who walked with him before then, were in a position to sense the hand of God, shielding them, loving them and walking with them through the dark days that followed.
Lisa Beamer, widow of victim Todd Beamer, was one such person. She writes on page 276 of her book, “Let’s Roll”: “The reason I’ve been able to [live in hope] is not because I’m a strong person. I don’t want anyone to go out of here thinking, Wow, she’s so strong; look at her! The reason I’ve chosen to live in hope is because of the heavenly, eternal perspective God has given me. That tells me that fear comes from feeling out of control, and if September 11 has taught us anything it is that we are never really in control … But hope comes from knowing who is in control. Hope comes from knowing that we have a sovereign, loving God who is in control of every event of our lives.”
Jeremiah 29:11 and many other scriptures remind us of his infinite love and power in our lives. The Psalms are full of such reminders. And while Christians are subject to the same griefs, the same fears, the same unknowns as anyone else, we also have the promises of the great God of the universe, who tells us, “I will NEVER leave thee, nor forsake thee!”

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Post-able Pictures

Recent pictures sent by A.  He says it's fine to post as long as I am careful--no last names, careful talk, no FB tags, etc.  

These are chicken hearts.  He said they were good!  So interesting to see my son, who was a picky eater growing up, eating such a variety of food.  :-)  He's probably doing a whole lot better than I would be.

I would imagine that this was a nice familiar sight in a world of unfamiliar ones.

Beef nachos--he said this was the first meat meal he cooked in his apartment.  Looks good!  There is an open-air market right at his apartment house where he is able to purchase vegetables.  He also said there are a lot of places nearby to eat, and he can get a good meal for about $3 American.

Another familiar sight.  He saw it while passing by, going somewhere else, by and snapped a picture.  Last week he said he would just about kill for a cheeseburger.  :-)  (Apparently this McDs is not close to his home.)  Later that week he went to his group leader's home for a meal, and guess what they served--

Guess rainy days look dreary anywhere in the world--

Classroom.  He says it is going well but that's about all he's said.  He picks up more classes this next week.

Other than the ball of rice, I'm not sure what this is--
He has already been very active in meeting people and being an encouragement to others who think the same way.  He's been using his musical skills a lot already, both in gatherings of his American friends, and for his local friends as well--both at the school and in other meetings.

He says he'll write letters from time to time--I am compiling an email list of people who would like to receive his updates (though make no promises as to how regular he will write).  If you would like to be on it, please email me privately.

He sounds good--he is upbeat when we have texted or Skyped.  As most people know, he's never met a stranger, and that would serve him well in these circumstances.  He has a special app for texting, and we have used it often.  Several people have been able to send him verbal texts through this app., and he has appreciated hearing voices from home.  So if you want to send him a verbal message, see me!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday's Fave Five, 9/6/13

Link to Friday's Fave Five.

1. Son doing well teaching English in a closed country!  He did not even know his schedule until the first part of this week.  Next week he adds more classes.  But he said the ones he taught this week went very well.

2. Daughter doing well student teaching here in the U.S.!  She's just gotten started and will only be in her classroom twice a week this first semester.  But the start has gone very well.

3. Mike has gotten off work for a weekend nights shift so that we can attend a conference we want to go to.  Very happy about that.

4. Having a three-day weekend was great.  A Monday three-day weekend really makes two weeks seem special--the week before when you know the holiday is coming, and the week after the Monday holiday when you only have four days to work.  And always--that great Sunday night feeling of "I don't have to go to work tomorrow."

5. Mother brought me some chicken salad last night.  It made eating the rest of the week much easier--and kept me from having to order a desperation piece of pizza from the school cafeteria tomorrow at noon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Leadership Is A Management Responsibility"

Years ago, in the midst of a difficult leadership situation at the time, I read this quotation which fit the circumstances at that time perfectly.  It is written for a school situation but it applicable for schools, churches, work, or really anything requiring leadership--and I have seen this to be true in a number of situations over the years.  (BTW--my school administrator is doing a great job!)

"Leadership is a management responsibility.  It is not the duty or responsibility of the teaching staff.  Remember, leadership may come from within the organization--but it must always come from the top of one.  In all institutions, be it a business, school, or church, leadership must come from where the authority is.  With appointed authority and title comes responsibility--by ethics as well as by law.  This is the function of administration.

"When grassroots is the expected source of all leadership, then management becomes a position rather than a function.  In truth, in institutions where leadership is effected primarily through grassroots efforts, those being led know it.  All too often, to those they lead, administrators are regarded as an obstacle. . .At best, administration becomes a position of unneeded liaison.  In truth, these kinds of leaders are either unknowledgeable or fear the leadership role they hold.  They also fear or fail to know and understand those they lead.  Amazingly, these kinds of administrators are usually bewildered, hurt, and disappointed because teachers and superiors are critical of their leadership."

DeBruyn, Robert.  Causing Others To Want Your Leadership.  R.L. DeBruyn Associates, 1976, pp. 67-68.