Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yes, I am still here...

Whew...a new school year is underway now and I can tell that it is going to be a great one. I cannot believe that we have already been in school for 13 days now. The first few weeks are tough.....getting twenty-one six year olds adjusted to a totally new schedule and routine can be quite overwhelming, but I would not have it any other way.

I have been blessed with the job of leading twenty-one little first graders to the cross each day. Our day begins by sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from HIS word. These children amaze me with their trust in HIM and I am so touched by their innocence and sincere approach to the throne.

Today, we celebrated the our first day since school began of EVERYONE in our classroom making Kingdom Choices. One little girl said, "Well, I have been praying for that and God answered my prayer! I knew HE would!" Is that not precious? ( I said "Thank you - let's start praying for another one!)

There are many lessons to be delievered and many to be learned this year. I have a student who suffers from CP. She has learned to walk on forearm crutches this summer and can I just tell you that she has taught me more about life in 13 days than I will probably teach her all year. She is amazing and determined and I cannot wait to see how God is going to continue to use her to bless the other children in our classroom by her example. What a lesson in compassion, friendship and kindness that we have gained from her already! She and I have already talked about how one day she is going to be able to walk with Jesus on shiny streets of gold - to which she replied, "No, Mrs Staples, I am going to run and dance with Jesus!"

Who else gets to experience what I get to experience each day? What a privilege I have been given! I just know in my heart, it is going to be another great year!

I promise to post more often....I miss you!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Can I get a witness?

Someone sent this to us....don't know if you have seen it or not but it is a sermon in itself!


"I can do all things in CHRIST who strengthens me!" Phil. 4:13

If you carried a cardboard sign, what would it say? Post and let us know.

Remember My Grandfather?

Remember me asking you to pray for my grandfather last month ? Well. we know that we are tremendously blessed to have had a lifetime to spend with him - he is 89 and we do not take that for granted.

After being on IV antibiotics 3x a day for six weeks, he has been released from his orthopedic specialist and given permission to drive again....at 89. With my 84 year old grandmother in tow, they drove to a restaurant to eat ham and eggs together to celebrate.....how precious.

His foot is healed from the surgery and he has been fitted with a special shoe to help him maintain his balance after losing a portion of his foot. And you know where my dad found him today? Yes, out walking around in that garden!

Amazing......God is good, isn't he?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

We got up early this morning to meet some friends at the Harrisburg Town Parade! Thanks for getting us motivated to participate in this celebration Tisha! We had fun!

What's a parade without a horse? This one was beautifully decorated.

Everyone one loves freebies being tossed to the crowd - my son and Tisha's girls loved it!

Be sure to thank a soldier today for his/her service to our country.

Loved those older cars and trucks - that's my son again - grabbing for trinkets.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13

As we pause from our regular schedules today to participate in patriotic celebrations, let us remember the sacrifices made by our forefathers - The vision that they had for religious freedom and independence. The way that they put their lives on the line to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Teach your children about the sacrifices of those men that make America what she is today. Give thanks for the brave men and women of our military who serve so that our freedoms are protected. Pray for continued success in Iraq and peace in their efforts. Pray for our nation and her leaders. And above all, praise God for the greatest freedom that we have in America - the freedom to worship and pray when and how we wish. God bless America!

Enjoy your freedom in Christ today and your time with your family,


Friday, June 20, 2008

News to Share with You....

Hi friends,

I am excited to share the news of my new business with you. I am now a consultant with Thirty-One gifts. (Yes, I will still teach full-time but I also wanted to do something fun and earn some extra money on the side as well.) I wanted to share my website with you. You can view the on-line catalog and view the monthly specials by accessing the following site: www.mythirtyone.com/staples

I recently hosted a Thirty One show in my home and was amazed at how easy it was to earn FREE products. With very little effort, I was able to earn almost 100.00 in free products and I was able to purchase three half price items for personal use and gift giving as well. I LOVED the products so much because they are so reasonable and come with FREE monogramming that I decided to join in on the fun.

To launch my business, I am in need of six friends to host a show in the next 40 days. I know that you are enjoying your busy summer and to make things easy for you, if you get me your guest list within three days of booking your show, I will take care of the invitations for you! The hostess specials for July are the best ever. In addition to earning FREE products, you can earn gift certificates to redeem in the Fall catalog. The customer special for July is a super buy as well and will certainly be enticing to your friends and family.

I would love to hear from you. I will also be glad to mail you a catalog if you live to far away to host or attend a show. You can always shop on line. Call or email me and we will get your show scheduled. Can't wait to celebrate you!

God Bless you -

Kim Staples
Thirty-One Gifts

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Home again....

Well, we are home once again. Here to stay for a few weeks anyway. I have got to stay put and tackle some of those projects that I started over Spring Break.....the wallpaper....remember...and the border war in my son's room...yeah, it is still waiting on me. The paint fairy never showed up although, I gave him ample time.

We had a great week at the beach with one another. Doesn't this picture of the ocean just look so inviting? We had so much fun playing as a family. I can definitely say that hubby and I have caught up on time that we missed during golf season when he was busy coaching. We have spent quite a few hours in a car on the road together lately.....it all went well though and I really miss both he and the boy once school begins. You sure get spoiled spending two months at home toghether as a family and then school resumes. Oh well, we are blessed to have that time together so we must enjoy it.

I promise to get back to my normal blogging next week. Thanks to those of you who have prayed for my grandparents. My grandfather is home and is doing okay considering all that he has been through. Please continue to pray for the infection to heal and not spread any further. Pray for rest for both of them and an easy adjustment to allowing others to do for them. It is so hard for them because they are independent.....

Have a blessed weekend!


Friday, June 6, 2008

I Have Been Blessed!

Okay friends, I need you to pray for someone special in my life. This is my grandfather. He is 89 years old and has such a very sharp mind. He has been generally healthy but has recently had a difficult time battling gout in his foot. To make a long story short, he developed a severe infection in his foot and has been hospitalized since Sunday. To expedite his trip to the ER last Sunday, he wrapped his foot in a plastic bag to "protect" it while he worked all day in his garden on Saturday which accelerated the infection. He had surgery this afternoon and they attempted to remove the infection by amputating his toe and as much of the infected area as possible without drastically affected his balance. Please also pray for my 84 year old grandfather who will be caring for him when he comes home. They are amazing. They still live on their own and drive and have a huge garden every year.

I had the privilege to go and sit with him in the hospital for the past three days. We laughed about old times - he told me the same familiar stories of what he experienced in WWII and although we have memorized them all, we are going to miss hearing them someday. My grandfather is a treasure. He is hardworking, honest and a man of integrity. He grew up in the depression era and is such a great steward of all that he has ever earned. He dearly loves his wife of 65 years and he never fails to wash dishes for her following EVERY meal. I have had numerous conversations with him standing at the kitchen sink. He also vacuums for her. When facing surgery, his concern was not of himself but of his wife and who would be available to do those things for her while he is recovering.

I was moved to tears this morning when his 77 year old best friend called to make sure that he was right with Jesus. ( and the asked to speak to me so that I could verify that he was - precious I tell you. ) His friend told him that he loved him and just didn't want to face living in eternity without him....it is so sweet to see them humble themselves before God.

So while I am tired from traveling to be with him, I count it a blessing to have been able to do so....

Thanks for your prayers.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, some of you faithful readers may remember that I hit the BIG 4-0 last year and to be quite honest with you, I never felt better. So today, one year later, I am 41. Hubby has been ribbing me about being an older woman....I do not know why, he is 42. Love you - my older man!

Surprisingly, 40 is not the death sentence that I thought it was when I was 20. I had lunch with a twenty-something friend yesterday and she said, "I hate to say that you don''t seem that old....you act so much younger!" Can I just tell you that is the best compliment that one can receive from someone under 25? Love you Am!

So today, I will bask in the joy of celebrating 41 years of God's blessings. He's been so good to me and I certainly don't have the right to complain today about being a year older. I have to0 much to be thankful for and I certainly would not trade the person that I was at 20 for the person that I have grown to be today.

Have a blessed day.


Monday, June 2, 2008

We're home....

My men admiring one of the parts of the Saturn V rocket at the National Air and Space Museum. We had a great week as you will see from the pictures below. Now we are off to do something that interests me a great deal.....soak in some rays at the beach. I will check in with you when we return.
This is the first thing you see as you enter the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Our son has a LOVE of space that has existed since pre-school. When he saw this, he said, "Mom, can we please stay here ALL day?" Absolutely son. It is so neat to see your child absorbed in something that totally interests him. What is the age limit for a mom to chaperon a trip to the moon? Can you imagine being the mom of an astronaut?

Doesn't this look like a postcard? I tell you what - I had so much fun shooting pictures with our new camera. This is actually a picture of the Jefferson Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background. I actually took this as our trolley passed by it on our way back to Arlington Cemetery.

A picture of Old Glory hanging from the entrance of Union Station.

I have seen pictures of this monument my whole life. But to see it in person - it took my breath away. It is so lifelike. It was my favorite and one of my son's too!

My son loves to throw pennies in any fountain that we see. He saw this one at one of the memorials. He said, "Quick Mom, give me some change!" After searching my purse for loose change, he tossed a handful in one coin at a time. I photographed the precious images of him making wishes - then, we both turned to walk away and saw a sign that read: Coins damage this fountain by discoloring the stone it is made from. Please refrain from tossing coins in this fountain. Oppps.....sorry National Park Rangers.

Maybe I have not told you that this was my first trip to DC as well. I have been many other places but just not to DC. I was so touched by the changing of the guards ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony. To think that these soldiers are so dedicated. There have only been 400 guards in the past 45 years chosen for this honor. They must meet many requirements on their level of character and they also must memorize a seven page guide on the history of Arlington National Cemetery and recite it verbatim. They also must memorize the grave locations of 300 of the deceased. They guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 24 four hours a day 365 days a year and they have done that since 1945. They pace 21 steps....with such precision. It was incredible to witness.

Okay.....may I just tell you that I had such a moment when I saw this...I am so nostalgic when it comes to antiques and things of yesteryear and I just adored this covered bridge. It was so neat to drive through it and a privilege to take photos of it. This is going to be one that I print and frame for our home.

We stayed at a resort close to this attraction and so we toured the Shenandoah Caverns. I had never done that before and it was amazing to think that we were 220 feet below looking at these rock formations and listening to how they were "millions of years old." Yeah, right. Why can people just not marvel at God's creation without having to come up with their own theories as to how things evolved? Their only explanation as to how old this cavern is was to estimate the growth of the stalagmites and stalactites at 1.25 inches every 125 years and then they counted how many years it would have taken for formations this length to grow. Again, admire God's creation and move on people......it was beautiful and a great lesson in geology for our son who will soon be a third grader.....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

America's Favorite Past time and One of Mine Too!

Well, another year of school has passed and baseball seasoned has ended. We fought hard in the Championship game but we just couldn't pull it out.
I just love to watch that boy of mine play baseball. You just can't get more American spirited than that...
I love it when our family takes in a local minor league game together. Truth be told, it's not the game as much as it is the relaxed environment. (and the salted peanuts in the shell and the post game fireworks.)
We are taking that patriotism and heading to DC this week. Please pray for safe travel and I look forward to blogging on a more regular basis soon after I return.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I am sick. I cannot breathe without sniffing and my ears feel like I am flying at a high altitude and yet, I have not left the couch this evening. This is the time of year when I am supposed to have the most energy. (because first graders still have lots of it and they need a teacher that can enjoy these last few days with them) It happens to me every year during the last week of school. I think it is because as teachers, we just reach a point of exhaustion and our bodies just cannot fight off germs anymore.

This morning, my son said, "Mom, I think you have the SUDS." Now unless your child watches Spongebob that reference will not mean anything to you. What my son is referring to is an episode of Spongebob Squarepants where SpongeBob comes down with a case of the SUDS - a flu-like illness in which bubbles escape through pores in the body...which is a sponge. He is miserable and seeking a cure without giving in and going to the doctor. Mmmmm....being stubborn did not get him anywhere either....

If you are reading this today, please pray that the suds will disappear from me as quickly as they came.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Seven Random Things About Me

Since I have been tagged twice, I decided to post seven random things about me. I know that this will be exciting stuff so enjoy:

1. I am a nerd when it comes to the field of education....I love learning about new trends and techiniques.
2. I am the baby of the family and I lived at home until the day I married my high school sweetheart.
3. My favorite toy when I was a little girl was my Mrs. Beasley doll - I still have her.
4. I cannot stand mayonnaise. The smell makes me gag.
5. I still do not like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. Never did....Never will.
6. I require popcorn when I go to the movies.
7. I cannot open anything in a Chef Boyardee can.....it makes me gag too!

So now, I am even more weird that you thought. I'm okay with that!

If you are reading this, leave me a comment and then, consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Sunday Afternoon

On Sunday afternoon, my son and I decided to take a walk through Memorial Gardens in downtown Concord. During the spring, this centuries old cemetary transforms into a magnificent show place. I decided to take our new camera to play with and I encouraged my son took our "old" camera and take some of his own photographs. He was really cute looking for just the right flower to photograph.
Then, we went to Cabarrus Creamery - downtown - it is an old fashioned ice cream parlor - delicious. We sat on a bench right outside the store front and talked. I shared with him how we used to shop in downtown stores like those we were looking at before malls came along in the late 70's and early 80's and before we had internet shopping - most of our stuff comes by UPS now. It was a fun afternoon.
It was really sweet - a lady saw us in the gardens and at the ice cream parlor and she told my son to enjoy the day - that he would never forget these memories and she told him how her mother used to take her to the gardens every spring and how she still remembers it today. She said, "Now she lives in heaven."As we drove away in the car my son said - "Mom, aren't you amazed at how many people that we don't know - Know God. Like that woman - she said her mom was in heaven and we don't her - I am sure there are a lot more."
I love kids because they are self-centered at this age and stage.....but by his conversation today I can tell that he is just starting to realize just how vast God's creation is.....
Poor thing, I had to give him some benadryll before we went to the gardens to keep his allergies at bay - he fell asleep on the way home. He had a great afternoon...I'd say. A walk, an ice cream and a nap....what more could a Sunday afternoon hold.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Loving Lowe's....

Well, about 1:45 this am, I finished scraping, peeling, tearing....mumbling and grumbling and I am happy to report that the bathroom stripping is done. I begged hubby for help....to which he replied, "Why do you always WAIT until 11:00 at night to begin again on a project?" I said, "you know that I am a night owl - so grab a scraper and get with it....Please? And once the highlights of the Masters ended, he did pitch in and help me get it completed. And then I cleaned and tried to make things appear as "normal" as possible - now to the fun part. Spackling all of the oooopppps that I made while scraping and peeling....then sanding and prepping the walls for paint. So what will it be? Motor City Blue, or Blue Coal or Rogue Blue or Pitch cobalt? Whatever we choose, it will be some shade of navy....my hubby's choice - to which I relied, "That is really going to be dark...you have no natural light in there....and then he said, "You watch to many of those decorating shows on HGTV!"

Well, I talked him in to going to Lowe's with me tonight (poor fellow does love me) to select paint chips and then I had to get a few prep supplies for painting, spackling and sanding - some more wallpaper removal stuff for little man's STUBBORN border...this is the only product that I have not tried....it will probably work like a charm....if so, I promise to represent their company well....because I will let everyone know what worked! My goal is to clean that border off so that I can put up a new one....I know I said that I would not but it is either paint the whole room or put another border up.....I do love Lowe's....I walk around and imagine the things that I THINK that I can do while shopping in there.....I found a light fixture that I want for my bedroom because hubby and a friend put up a ceiling fan in there today so now I want new fixture to replace the plain one that the fan overshadows now. Oh what next? I will just have to go to Lowe's for more inspiration.....

Have a great day of worship tomorrow - personally, I am looking forward to a day of rest!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

If We Could Just All Love One Another Like Jesus Did....

Good morning! Thanks for all the emails and comments about my wall paper project. Someone suggested Windex and it does remove the glue residue so I am working with dueling projects. I spray the border in one room......spray the paper in the bathroom which happens to be next to the room with the border and then I scrape one while the other absorbs product and then I scrape the other. I am about one third of the way through and I know that you will notice my skinny arms next time you see me - Just kidding! I am thinking about having hubby take the bathroom mirror down while I am working on this project because I am tired of viewing myself in my jammies from every time I reach to scrape a bit. I mean, even Tyra Banks, would not look hot doing that would she?

Back to my title, I just finished reading my second book by Josh McDowell this week. I have personally heard him speak several times and most recently at the Apologetics Conference in the fall. Let me tell you, that man is on to something BIG. In the first book, he warns that if we do not teach our children to view the world the way that God sees it; then we may very well be the Last Generation that surrenders our lives to Jesus. Is that not a frightening thought? But it is oh so true, Ladies. Once I finished that book, I picked up another title by him: The New Tolerance. It is a MUST read for you girls.....especially if you plan to educate your children in public schools. He gives you advice for what you can do to guard your children's thinking when they are faced with a curriculum that embraces this new tolerance.

What is The New Tolerance? I am glad you asked. To adults, tolerance used to mean that we respected one another for having differences in opinion. It did not mean that we necessarily AGREED with them, but that we understood their right to a different opinion. The NEW TOLERANCE says that what is right for me is okay but may not necessarily be right for you. There is no longer a moral compass. It is a "Live and let live' philosophy....It is why a parent earlier this year stood in my classroom told me: "Mrs. Staples, I know better than to live like I am living right now. I was raised in this church and went to Sunday School in this very room BUT, it just doesn't work for young people anymore. Jesus loves me and I know he wants me to be HAPPY!" For those of you that are reading this, you know my response.....did I accept his theory of justifying his sin because Jesus wants him to be HAPPY? Absolutely not. But The NEW TOLERANCE that our culture embraces feeds him this line of baloney and a young man who was once raised in the church who claims that he knows better has bought in to this one size fits all type of thinking. Tragic, I tell you - just tragic.

According to the new tolerance, who you are is inseparable from what you do and think and believe; your identity is wrapped up in your culture and conduct. Therefore, if you express any disagreement over some one's beliefs, you are disparaging them! If you say that their behavior is wrong, you are judging them! If you criticize the culture, then you are criticising them! If you cannot accept their lifestyle, you are being intolerant of them! In other words, if you do not approve of a person's lifestyle, then you do not love the person.

My friend that could not be further from the truth, but our culture has embraced this and it seems as though everyone has rights today but Christians (and it is going to get worse) and it began with a multicultural curriculum that made it's way into our public school classrooms about 15 years ago.

Scripture does not teach that what we do constitutes the whole of who we are; the Bible says that "God created man in His own image....male and female He created them." Gen. 1:27 He created human beings as individuals made in His own image and with His own hands (Gen. 2:7) not just as products of their cultures and communities. Our beliefs and behaviors affect us, OF COURSE IT DOES! Isaiah wrote "Your iniquities have separated you from your God" in Isaiah 59:2, but his words how us a clear distinction between WHO we are and WHAT we do - in this case our iniquities. But praise God that what we do is NOT the same as WHO we are!

Yes, Jesus loves everyone but He loved them enough to tell them the TRUTH during His time here on Earth - remember the woman at the well? He spoke the truth....Do you/

Please read this book and talk about this with your children....our choice is simple - are we choosing the cross or the culture?

Have a great day in Him,

Monday, April 7, 2008

Border Blues

We are on Spring Break this week and so far it has been awesome. I started on Friday clicking some home projects off my list. I also read a book. I am such an avid reader that if I pick up a book, I cannot put it down until I am finished. I read Josh McDowell's The Last Generation and I promise to post about it soon. He has some incredible wisdom and insight about this generation that you and I are raising today.

We are also having a conference at our church and it is a mountaintop experience. If you read this today and you did not attend either service yesterday - DO NOT MISS tonight's service at 7:00 pm. The music was EXCELLENT! I am telling you - they were bringing it! I came home in such a peaceful mood - so I decided that before going to bed last night, I would QUICKLY remove the transportation border from my son's room. I followed directions using the paper tiger scorer cutting small holes in the border that my friend and I put ALL THE WAY around his room five years ago. I read the directions TWICE on the DIF wallpaper stripper NO DRIP - NO MESS gel. I waited 15 minutes as the bottle recommends and then I scraped and NOTHING happened. So I read the directions again - decided to wait a little longer to let the product take effect and I scraped again and NOTHING happened. So I decided to sleep on it and the border would fall of while I was dreaming about it - SURELY......NOT. I woke up to a border slathered in dried gel.

PLAN 2 : According to the EXPERTS on the Internet (what did we do before we could GOOGLE something?) I should have tried a mixture of fabric softener and hot water in a spray bottle. Hubby is on the way to Wally World as I type this......Come on Border.....I have other plans for today.....submit....surrender...Please?

My plan for the remainder of the week was to remove the tartan plaid wallpaper from hubby's bathroom - it is done is a golf motif - and I woke him up last night to break the news that his bathroom may just be tartan plaid for the remainder of our stay in this home. Just kidding - if this fabric softener thing works.....I will be stripping it this week. Nikki, if those six little hands get bored this week - I will take the girls and put them to work. My little man does not find such things entertaining.......even with bribery.

So I will keep you posted and in the meantime, I am looking forward to another revival service tonight. I am going to need one!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This...

...there will be days like this my mama said. I love sharing with my first graders. Sometimes they share things too...like colds, coughs and my latest gift, PINK EYE. I tried to go in to the classroom today excusing it as "allergies" but I did not get very far. So I am home now after a quick stop to the Minute Clinic at CVS. (my new favorite hangout when you are not feeling well.) In and out in about ten minutes with a filled prescription in hand. You can't beat that!

So here I have been at home; feeling great but looking at the world through a grease filled eye. Nothing more attractive than that I tell you. I would love to clean out a closet but my eye is just too irritated. Oh I know that I am blessed and that it could be so much worse so I will stop whining now. And I'll continue rotating between the laptop and Lifetime and resting the eye in between.

Please pray for quick healing for the eye though....I will check in on you later.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Seventeen Years and then some...

Today, hubby and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. We dated for 7.5 years so that is where the "then some.." comes from and before I tell you about my man, I have to share the conversation on the way home from church today.

Mom to 2nd grader: "Did you know that on this day 17 years ago, I married your Daddy?"

2nd grader: "How old were you guys?"

Mom: "I was 23 and your dad was 24."

2nd grader: "Hey, no fair, how come you tell me all the time that I can't get married until I am 30?"

I feel like I am losing him already.

Seventeen years. Wow - seems like yesterday, we stood at the altar, in the latest fashion of the early 90's - miles of white and teal green taffeta and an unending supply of candles and fresh flowers (my mom works at Park Seed), declaring our love for one another. We dated for...well, EVER. We met my Junior year in high school, dated all through college, waited a year to get jobs and then we waited to save money...and we are still waiting on that one. :) But I must say, that I have never tired of my life with my hubby. I have been blessed to marry my best friend.

I have had the privilege of seeing him grow into the husband and father that he is today. I was there when he got a thirst for the word of God. I was right along side him when God called him and equipped him to serve in the ministry and I was with him when the bottom seemed to fall out in a ministry position. I saw the overwhelming look in his eyes when the nurse handed him our son. But I never doubted for once that he would not be there for us.

I will never forget the difficulty he had getting through our vows on our wedding day - he continually chocked back tears thinking of the journey God had granted us to get to the altar. There was no doubt about his love for me on that day as we stood there before nearly 300 members of our families and friends. And I was there to comfort him, when he lost his father and one of his best friends to a massive heart attack just four years ago. It was one of the few times that as a rock solid man, I saw him break. But it made me love him more.

He is a man of integrity. He is loyal. He is trustworthy. He is my protector. He is my dream come true. We are more in love today than that day we walked down the aisle seventeen years ago. For that, I am grateful.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Anniversary Honey...I pray that we are together for eternity and then some.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hear My Cry....

I am not one to generally be affected greatly by stress. For the most part, I don't profess to be under a lot of stress but in the last 90 days it seems as though as a family, we have endured one small trial after another. Now I am not one to complain...I count my blessings often. But it has been a challenging three months for me. Great news: It hasn't been a challenge for my Lord. Read this:

Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings."
Psalm 61:1-4

So I will do just that...I will trust in Him and hang in there. Tomorrow is a new day.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

What is Love?

If you had to work today, I can't think of a better place to spend Valentine's Day than working with a bunch of first graders. They are sooooo precious trying to read the names on their valentine cards and struggling to match it to the rightful owners' bag. In Writer's Workshop, we have realy worked in the past two weeks on writing with depth - trying to get them beyond the normal: I went to Florida. It was fun. I got a new shell. - oh yeah, how did you get there? Who went? What was fun? Where did you buy a shell or did you find one? I admit, it is exhausting but so worth it when they write well.

Today, we tried our hand at poetry. Yep, you guessed it.....Love is....poems.

We talked about the source of LOVE - God. We talked about how love tastes and the things that mom and grandmas cook that cause you to feel loved. We shared ways that our parents and teachers and God help us to feel loved. We talked about what love looks like and smells like - that's an interesting one for first graders. Here are some samples:

"Love tastes like cablegs with hot buder."

"Love smells like dad's chicken warming on a fire pit."

"Love tastes lick mom's chken nudl soope."

"Love feels all snuglee."

"Loves smells like cinimn." (cinnamon in case you don't read the hooked on phonics way)

"Love is OK." (written by a 7 year old boy)

"Love is my granma's chkin on a Sunday aftrnun."

"Love is God's protection." (love their theology)

"Love is yor parris." (your parents - again, Hooked on phonics worked for me!)

"Love is my mom bakeing a piy."

"Love smells like my dad's fish."

"Love sounds like nice words."

"Love is muzik."

"Love is good."

"Love sounds like God's strong words."

and we all ended with "Love comes from God."

Good stuff from the classroom today. Hope you find as much joy in it as I did!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tag...I'm it!

Nikki at Three Girly Girlz tagged me for a fun thing. I am to pick up the book nearest me....Imagine this Valarie and Nikki - it is my copy of God Calling. I am to turn to page 123 and type the 5th sentence and the next three that follow.

Here it goes: "Follow the path of obedience. It leads to the Throne of God. Your treasure, be it success necessary on the material plane, which will further the work of my Kingdom, or the hidden spiritual wonders revealed by Me to those only who diligently seek, this treasure lies at the end of the track. From one point (a promise of Mine or a Command) to the next, you have to follow, till finally you reach the success you covet.


If you are a bogger and you read this, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sense of Wonder

I know what you are thinking.....two posts in one day? Yes, but I could not pass this one up. Don't you just love that sense of wonder in young children? Our son has always had a deep admiration for God's creation and when it comes to animals he wants to know as many details about how they were created as possible. In this photo, he is actually observing sea lions at Riverbanks Zoo.

This reminds me of something he said on the way to a friend's house today. It is, as Winnie the Pooh would say, "a blustery day" and we saw litter flying about the interstate. From the back seat our son says, "Why do people have to litter? It makes me sad." Trying to get a feel for where he is at in his thinking, I asked "Why is it wrong to litter?" and he responded, "Well, they just aren't showing that they appreciate God's wonderful creation." You go my son....you have a mama who is so proud of the young man that you are becoming but a God who is all the more pleased.I love you buddy!

Whew - What an Awesome Day!

My hubby and I had such an incredible day in the Lord yesterday. We attended the SOng of Solomon Conference together at our church yesterday. Thank you Lord for the reminders that you gave us to cherish one another more....we have been married for almost 17 years and yes, at times, we get lazy and take one another forgranted. Thanks for such creative ideas to fan that flame once again.

Yesterday was really special because not only did we get to spend special time with one another - but we got to have a quiet lunch with the couple that we co-teach Sunday School with and then, we had the pleasure of eating dinner at Outback with another Christian couple who we have really become close to over the past year. It was a truly fun-filled day with Christian friends. To top the evening off, we went back to the church for an awesome concert with Warren Barfield - he is an amazing writer and quite honestly, a talented singer as well. But hang on, the day wasn't over...

If you know me personally,and I hope you do if you are reading this, (if not, leave me a comment and introduce yourself so I won't feel uncomfortable around you), then you know how much I LOVE to laugh. Well, we had a comedian end the evening with his performance and he talked about things that happen to uncool people....if you don;t have children or haven;t turned 40 yet, then you haven't experienced those feelings of being UNCOOL yet....but I found his sense of humor to be one of the funniest things that I have heard in a long time - I laughed so hard that I cried. On the way out, some dear friends that I work with at church, told me that they had more fun watching the camera monitor which eveidently featured me laughing a majority of the show....oh well, as long as it brought them JOY!

I am sorry that I have been so BUSY lately and unable to post. I have some great stuff for you in my heart. Our son has been through a few trials (strep throat, staph infection and then a dog bite) lately and quite honestly, I have put most things aside to enjoy being his "mommy" because nowadays - with an 8 year old - you become just MOM. (until they get really sick and then they want MOMMY) Can I get a witness to that one Mamas?

I promise to be back to share with you soon. Summer is coming and while I love the classroom - this first grade teacher is looking forward to renewal.

May you enjoy this day of worship!


Friday, January 25, 2008

What a Precious Sight!

Isn't this a beautiful picture? My son played the role of the Good Samaritan in chapel yesterday and it just melted my heart. It truly captured the type of servant that he is....one of my favorite things about him is that he always puts others before himself. He seldom asks for anything and if we never had to leave the house to go anywhere, he would be okay with that too. What a blessing!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Storm 2008

WINTER STORM 2008 - that is the warning that we continually saw on the newscast the past 48 hours. I have to admit with all of the warnings that I went to the grocery store after school yesterday to buy some goodies (oh, the pressure of being "trapped" without the necessities for your family) - I am not one to purchase the proverbial milk and bread - if I am going to be in for a day or two, I want grits, bacon and eggs and raspberry hot chocolate with whipped topping. Can I get a witness?

Well, I woke up at three o'clock this morning to see that the ground was covered in snow - beautiful snow. I had the urge to wake the hubby and child but resisted temptation at the thought of them being grumpy if we did have to go. I snuggled back under the covers and just KNEW that we would be at home all day today.

I turned on the TV to check out the news - I just adore our local news forecast. Being that we don't get a lot of snow in this area, we certainly get excited and go overboard at the thought of a little dusting of the white stuff. I laid on the couch this morning and watched two hours of video footage of slag trucks on the roads and reporters warning people to stay in.

I needed to head for the shower but, I waited until 5:15 am, then told myself that our headmaster would call school by 5:30 am, then I said, "Okay - if he is going to call it , surely he will do it by 5:45." You see, all other surrounding counties were out - everyone in our neighborhood was out today, but not us. Now it was okay - mmmm.... let's see: A day off to clean or a great day in the classroom? Either one would be fine but I got the latter.

By the way, the roads were just slushy - they did a great job of salting down all of the local roads and bridges. (and we were thankful to make it safely)

I only had 12 kids this morning and they were MAD that they had to come. I said, "Don't grumble - grab a pencil and write about how you are feeling. They wrote things similar to this:

"I did not want to come to school today. I wanted to stay home and drink hot chocolate. I wanted to build a snowman. I am sad."

You have to love first graders and appreciate them for their honesty.

They were so cute and they got over it quickly when I told them that we would have a great time today. Work a little; play a little; work a little; play a little, etc. Tough conditions but we survived.

Whatever you did today, I pray that you got to play a little too!


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Never Trust a Skinny Cook

That old adage - Never Trust a Skinny Cook - is true. I am a huge fan of Paula Deen and one of the reasons is that I think that she represents the south so well. Most of my childhood memories of my grandmothers revolve around the kitchen.

My grandma lived her last several years alone but she cooked a southern spread for us each Sunday that would make Paula Deen proud. Her southern fried chicken was the best and she made the best fried pies - all from scratch - I well remember her draining the chicken and the fried pies on brown grocery bags across the kitchen counter. No wonder a stick of butter in almost every recipe I make...It is in my DNA...healthy eating is just no fun - although, I know that hubby and I need to make a better effort to do so.

Tonight, we are going to our last party of the season. The hostess intentionally held off planning this party so that everyone could be relaxed and free to attend. (with all the Christmas errands behind them) So today, I thought I would post the recipes of the appetizers that I made to take with us tonight. You may have seen some variation of all of these before but these are my favorites. Enjoy! (and if weight loss is your New Year's Resolution, I warn you to not even tempt yourself by reading them - just print them and hide in a drawer until your next bout of PMS strikes - you'll be glad you did!)

Like Crack Cheesecake Bars:
(Hey, I didn’t name them but once you taste them, you will see why someone selected this name for them.)

2 cans of croissant rolls
2 pkgs cream cheese (8 oz.)
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups sugar

Roll out one can of croissant dough and press together the seams in a 13x9 pan. In a large bowl, blend cream cheese, one cup of sugar and the vanilla. Spread the mixture on top of the dough. Roll out the second can of croissant dough. Press the seams together and place on top of cream cheese mixture. Pour melted butter over the dough, drizzling some along the sides of the pan so it gets down to the bottom too. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm for breakfast or cold for dessert.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

2 bags of frozen meatballs
1 large jar of grape jelly
1 jar of Heinz chili sauce
1 tablespoon of mustard
1 cup of Heinz ketchup

Heat in crock pot – stirring occasionally. Cook on high until ingredients mix well and then turn back to low until meatballs are served.

Dried Beef Cream Cheese Ball

2 sticks of cream cheese
3 chopped green onions
1 jar of dried beef
Dash or two of seasoned salt
Tsp or two of Worcestershire sauce

Chop dried beef and set aside one fourth of it to roll cheese ball in before serving. Mix softened cream cheese, chopped dried beef, finely chopped green onions, seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and form large ball in wax paper. Chill at least an hour or longer. Roll in remaining chipped beef before serving. Serve with triscuits, wheat thins or Ritz crackers

In the words of Paula Deen - Eat up, y'all!