Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A look down memory lane..from the Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.

The laughter of telling a story that happened on Labor Day.  I will share....
Hub and I took grandson to the Labor Day festivities in a town nearby.  My cousin (her mom is my aunt who is only 1 yr.older than me grew up like sisters) and her hub were there with their son, Dawson,  who is also the same age as grandson.  Anyway both boys wanted to ride some of the carnival rides.  Cousin and her hub were wanting to listen to the music, so hub and I took boys to ride.  We bought tickets, which were kinda expensive, for the rides.  As Dawson was riding the cars, I noticed he had a bracelet on.  Now one could purchase a bracelet, which was much higher than tickets, but you could ride all day. When the ride stopped, I told hub that Dawson had a bracelet on, and we needed to get the tickets back from the rides he had ridden . This way grandson could ride more rides.  Hub proceeded to get the tickets did take some words but hub succeeded.  When we met up with Dawson's parents they offered us money.  Money for what?  The rides of course.  I was confused...Dawson had a bracelet on why did he need money?  Come to find out...Dawson's bracelet was not for the rides..he had made the bracelet earlier in Sunday School!!  Hub tried to return the tickets, but the lady thought we needed our money just returning the tickets.  They would not take the tickets back and hub and I felt like thieves!  We did find someone to give the tickets to, though
The memory of this story had us all laughing and crying.

2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?

Life's Turning Pages
I have surprised many people with the decisions I have made.

3. What made you feel patriotic this year?

July 4th celebrations and Veteran's Day Festivities

4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?

Daughter's wedding....Just seeing two people so much in love and ready to begin life's journey together..Also, there were too many people who I did not get to talk to much with all the other stuff going on...My only thought with doing it all over again...forget the stress!

5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

Oh My! From wedding planning, losing a dear friend, turmoil with family, stressful tests, and retirement..
"God Is In Control..he has never let you down.."

6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?

It would be in the middle--a 5...not too bad  of a year....

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?

Finding my little niche, which I will.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My retirement hasn't really sunk in yet because I have always been excited about Christmas break.  But when January 4th comes around...I will realize I am not heading to school  Hub and I are going to leave for a short get-a-way on Sunday just for a few days...
Also, we have had Christmas Bible School from 6-8-4 nights only.  The children have seemed to enjoy coming out-seeing their friends..and learning more about Jesus.  I think, the parents have enjoyed the break from their kids for awhile! Tonight is the last night!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weekend Rewind...

Weekend Rewind...

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Hope all is enjoying this unusual, warm, unseasonable weather.  Temperatures have been in the 70's-SHEW!  As I was baking some Christmas goodies, I had to open the door...for a little while.  Usually I enjoy the heat, a welcome treat, but not this was a little too warm in the house with all the baking.  I must add, we have had way too much rain!
This year was a little different -hub and I had to share daughter with her new husband's traditions-but it all worked out okay.

Our Christmas decorations are down and put we began celebrating birthdays...youngest daughter's birthday was the day after Christmas and oldest daughter's birthday is this Wednesday.  Even though both daughters are grown, I had gotten in the habit of putting all decorations away to begin birthday celebrations with sleepovers...and not it is a habit I have just gotten into.

Our church has a Christmas Bible School.  It is this week -Sun-Wed from 6-8.  It gives the kids a  chance to come and learn more about our Savior-and sometimes kids do get tired of staying at home over the Christmas break-a kinda break for parents, too!   Tonight we had 103 kids attend-down from last year but I am blaming it on the warm temps, and everyone still wanting to be hanging outside (which I can't blame them)

People keep asking me how do I like retirement?  Honestly, I don't know.  I imagine come January 4th when I see those yellow buses go by my house..I might feel a little down. We shall see...Right now I am just taking it one day at a time.

Hub and I do not have any plans for New Years Eve, as of right now. I would like to do something.. Living in a small town does have some disadvantages...and most of our friends have moved away (after retiring I might add) or most just like to do nothing.  I, on the other hand, want to do something.  Any suggestions..and remember I live in a small town??? year...I wish all the Best of the New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Rewind....

Weekend Rewind....

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Actually a little bit of my retirement week, first!

This was my last week of school.  As of Friday, December 18th , I began my next chapter in my life...retirement.  I know it hasn't really sunk in, because I have always been excited about the last day before Christmas vacation....always looking forward to those few weeks off...I know reality will hit on January 4, 2016 when I see those school buses go by my house and I am not rushing out the door with school bag and coffee in hand.  I plan on giving it a few weeks before really thinking about what I want to do.

My fellow teachers surprised me with an amazing luncheon on Wednesday.  Now,I am very hard to keep a secret from, but they did.  I was surprised...and since all three grade levels (6th-8th) eat at different times,,,I ate with each grade level -beginning at 11:15 till 1:00  I ATE!!  Hub joined me at 12:30 which was also a surprise for me.  I worked with an amazing staff, who I will truly miss.

I was also given the honorary title of Duchess from the Kingdom of North Sudan--a fellow teacher purchased this section of land..what an honor.

Many cards and notes from the students will always be a reminder of what a great job I had for 33 years.  Sometimes we (teachers) don't realize all the many times we have truly touched someone's life.

Hub and I took grandson to the Barter Theatre on Sunday to see 'Frosty'. He saw some of his friends and a couple of times I did sneak a smile out of him. The actors, at the end of the show, greet the children on the way out of the theatre.  They say something that is related to the play....amazes me.

He is so excited about being out of school for a couple of weeks. I wanted him to spend the night, but he wouldn't.  My heart broke, but I know it is probably a phase...I hope so where he does not want to spend the night with us, but go home.

Last Saturday, I did participate in my first 5K and I placed second in my age group! Woohoo for me!

I am ready for Christmas...and ready to begin all the baking, but with this very unseasonable warm temps,,,it is been hard to get in the spirit of things..even with me listening to Christmas music.  I can't ever remember temps in the 60's to 70's during Christmas time!

Wishing all fellow bloggers a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday hodgepodge

Wishing all a Merry Christmas!

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1. What's your biggest 'first world' problem?

I hate to admit this, but this is how I feel.  So much of today's workforce and lifestyles depend on wifi. But, how foolish of me to even consider this a problem when many people around the globe are truly hungry, do not have electricity in their homes (may not even a home).  I fret over the small stuff and there are people around the world who are overwhelmed by 'real' problems.

2.  Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse...done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year's selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year? 

A good choice..
I have no idea who I would choose as Person of the Year.

3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it's history and how you display the pieces.

I do have a nativity set in my home.  The nativity set is only about 7 or 8 years old because the earlier one was lost during our last move.  When grandson was younger, the nativity set was used to explain the birth of our Savior.  I like displaying the nativity set....the true meaning of Christmas. 

4.  Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?

I try to do simple things without anyone knowing....buying coffee for someone, paying for someone's meal, helping a young, frazzled mom with her groceries....
One can offer encouragement just by showing kindness, compassion, and lending a sympathetic ear

5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?

I don't have a favorite person to shop for.  There are some people who are easier to shop for than others, 
I do enjoy shopping for the person whose name I have from the angel tree.  If truth was known, I do spend more time shopping for this person, than family members and I do kinda enjoy it more.

6. What's the last delicious thing you ate?

All food I eat is delicious!

7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.

Being courteous in this busy, rushed time of year.  Many seem to be rushing here and rushing there, take time to still be courteous-let someone in front of you in the grocery line, let a car out, smile and offer a helping hand. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

A beautiful, 7 yr.old girl who attends my church and who I taught in Wee Worship was diagnosed with cancer on Friday.  I ask for you to lift up this little girl, Cheyenne Greer, and her family up in prayer. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Weekend Rewind....

Weekend Rewind....

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Oh how my heart aches.....
The dreaded C word...

Friday, I took my last personal leave and planned to get a few things checked off my list.  Around 2 that day I received a text asking all who could to try and come to the church later for prayer for this sweet girl. Later that night I learned that this sweet 7 year-old girl, Cheyenne was diagnosed with Cancer.I hate and I mean hate that terrible C word!

Years ago I coached high school cheerleaders, and Cheyenne's mom was a cheerleader on the squad.  It wasn't until 4 years ago, I saw Cheyenne's mom (Amy).  Amy was all grown-up, married, had a job as a pharmacy technician, and a daughter.  They started attending the church I went to and Cheyenne was in my Wee Worship class.  We laughed and joked about how hard a cheerleading coach I was back in the day!

Two years ago, Amy became involved in Relay for Life.  She was a go-getter-like me-for this cause dear to our hearts.  Her daughter, Cheyenne, had set up a Lemonade Stand and raised money for the kid's cancer.  I bragged on Amy that she was a great mom and how proud of her I had become.

I went to see Amy today after church.  It felt like something I needed to do.  She explained that she was in shock over the news.  Which she should be.  Looking at Cheyenne one sees a beautiful, blonde hair, 7 yr. old.  Amy explained that she had become concerned over Cheyenne not eating, being tired and going to sleep easily, and her stomach hurting. Cheyenne had seen a doctor on Friday and a tumor was found.  They were sent to a specialist who had confirmed the nightmare.  A 6 inch . tumor was found in her stomach, and her left kidney was damaged, and spots were found on her lungs.  The family will be traveling to St.Jude's tomorrow and surgery is scheduled for the end of this week and treatments will be started. I gave Cheyenne a hug and told her God will take care of her boo boo she has in her stomach and I can't wait to hear about her stories she will tell when she gets home.  According to Amy, they were told to pack a lot of clothes because they could be there for a long time-maybe a year.  Plans are for Amy's hub to return home after the new year.  The family also has a 4 year old boy who will be staying with grandparents.

My heart aches for this child and her parents.  I also feel for their son.  A lot this family has had to wrap their heads around this weekend.  A curveball was thrown last Friday. I asking all to whisper a prayer for Cheyenne and her family for the weeks/months ahead.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear. I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:14)

Have a blessed week

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Hodgeodge

1.  Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.

No, my family has no story.  I hope there are stories here I can read.

2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?

Sometimes I do not speak for fear and this depends on who is around and where I am.  I really don't like to offend anyone with my opinions except hub of course!  Occasionally, more than once, I do blurt out my opinion before realizing what I have said-a case of open mouth and insert foot.

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I'd find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?

I like the two shades Pantone has chosen.  I did not know serenity was a color and how did look this color up.  These are not colors I have in my home, but maybe in the future....maybe in a bathroom-that's what I am thinking right now.  I do have rose quartz in my wardrobe and some jewelry in rose quartz which I love.

4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?

I would chose "Let There Be Peace on Earth."  This was the first song that popped in my head.  I read a little about the origin of this song, because I have heard it sung at other events.  A little history-in 1955 a group of teenager of all races and religions were meeting at a worship center in California.  They hooked arms, formed a circle, and sang this song on top of a mountain.  These young teenagers shared this song and now this song is heard around the globe.  
If I want peace, then I should strive for peace.  There is a tough situation hub and I are dealing with involving hub's son. I want to live in harmony again.  

5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?

No, I will not celebrate National Pastry Day because I am not a pastry fan.  I did purchase something from a bakery a couple of weeks ago for our Sunday morning worship service.  My favorite treat would be Poppy Seed Muffins and definitely store bought.

6. When it comes to holiday decorating_____________________________.

I have downsized in this compartment.  Years ago, I had three or more trees decorated.  My entire house was decorated even the bathrooms.  Now that both daughters have grown, I just decorate one tree and put out a few decorations.

7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.

A couple of weeks ago, I was rushing around trying to bake cookies, do laundry, straighten up the house, and talk on the phone.  I forgot I had left the bottom drawer.of the oven open.  I went through the house to get something and then come back and check on the cookies baking.  I tripped over the oven drawer. I think I fell for 10 minutes!  Hub was down stairs and yelled what had I dropped.  Laying with one foot in the drawer, I answered a pot.  Later, when telling him about it, we both laughed  By the way, my ankle was bruised...

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I leave you with this....

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Weekend Rewind....

Weekend Rewind....
Image result for packing up a classroom clipart

For the past couple of months I have been gradually packing, sorting, throwing away,giving away, and burning school stuff.  After 33 years of teaching-elementary, high school, and middle school students, I have collected a lot of stuff.  And as most teachers, we NEVER throw ANYTHING away-hey we might need that one fun activity,that one handout, or that one book one day, right?  33 years of stuff!!

When the calendar rolled to December, I knew I had to get my butt in gear and begin the process of cleaning out my file cabinets, bookshelves and teacher desk. As I was going through my file cabinets, I chuckled at some of the things I had kept over the years.  I found books I used on the old blue copying machines.  I thought about the times I had blue ink all over my hands and the awful smell of the ink.  I thought about some of my co-workers that had passed away and what wise wisdom they had given me.sigh

I did find some treasure in my bookshelves.  A few years ago, well 18 years ago (teachers remember dates), an author had come to the elementary school in which I was teaching.  I love books so I had bought two books and he had signed both of them-one for my daughters and one for me.

Oh MY!  What special meaning/treasure these books remind me of.

Retirement is supposed to be a happy time and everyday at school some of my co-workers say I am lucky.  Yes, I do consider myself lucky.  Lucky to have enjoyed 33 years of teaching students, which are tomorrow's future. Yes, I have taught them the academics of school, but I hope I have instilled in them more than academics.  I hope every student I have taught knew how much I loved and cared about them-even the ones and all teachers know that one student that always tries to get your goat! I hope I have taught them to never give up on their dreams, to always persevere, to show respect, to be compassionate, to love, to give thanks,to give back, and that life isn't always fair-but to take the hand you are dealt with and embrace it.

The school hallway was empty Saturday....

my name will be taken off my classroom door in a couple of weeks...

a new person will be filling my shoes and life and learning will go on.

Our principal has assigned the book Teach Like a Pirate for our book study this semester.  My voyage has ended and new one begins...not sure what? not sure when? but I know my ship will sail again.
"You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose."  Dr. Seuss

Have a great week and Enjoy Life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday hodgepodge

1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?

I did not watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special because I go to Zumba on Monday nights. My favorite character though would have to be Charlie Brown.  He just seems so sentimental and I like his values.
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"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus  

Would you agree? 
Everyone needs a little quiet.  This would be a way to be still.

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind?

Now that we are approaching the end of another year, the sounds that come to my mind are firecrackers and sparklers.  We always had sparklers and let off firecrackers to ring in the new year.  I can remember what seemed like 20+ kids having so much fun doing this on New Year's Eve.

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Image result for firecrackers and sparklers

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec?

I would like to see the Aurora Borealis in Norway.  

4. Who or what keeps you humble?

I think I keep myself humble....not to sound too humble about this, of course.

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain.

I like preparing our annual Christmas morning breakfast.  This year it will be different since there have been some changes in our family.  Hub and I use to get up early--5am or earlier-to prepare breakfast before the girls woke up. Slowly it has changed to getting up a little later and preparing breakfast.  We serve a humongous breakfast, opened up presents, and then just relaxed a little before dinner.  Because after dinner, our tree usually came down in order to get ready for #2 daughter's birthday party/sleep over the next day.

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?


7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year?

Right now I can't think of anything on my calendar to begin or finish before the new year rolls in.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I will be participating in my first 5K December 12th.  Wish me luck!!
As we begin this holiday season-especially all the eating that will be going on..I thought of this song...

Wednesday Hodgepodge

  1. June 12 is National Simplicity Day. In what way is your life simple? What's one way that it's not?  The only way my life is sim...