Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Somebody turned 9!

Nine??? How can it be? Just yesterday she was this tiny little thing and now she's a Tween!! It was a lovely party. With the temperature at near zero outside (Yes!! My friends in the South!! That's Zero degrees FAHRENHEIT!!) But inside, it was a tropical delight, Hawaiian style. The little girls wore swimsuits and grass skirts or shorts and beach shirts or cute little sundresses! They made tissue paper flowers for their hair, played coconut bowling, beach relay, had a hula hoop contest and learned to do the hula dance. A day for fun! All planned and designed by Mommy and Daddy, including the beach scene on the homemade cake.

Monday, January 26, 2009

To Nathaniel Norris

Nathaniel had Cri Du Chat Syndrome which caused him severe developmental delays and mental retardation. Nathaniel has passed to a better place, and his parents are writing a book about their experiences with a special needs child. They asked for a comment (me??? Just one comment???) for the book. I thought I'd post it.

"Meeting Nathaniel was a life-changing experience for me. It gave me reason to examine my previous ideas of families with special needs children. This change in me wasn't just because Nathaniel was a happy, fun-loving little boy. It wasn't just that his sweet smile melted my heart. It wasn't even his response to me and others that made me realize how special he was. No, you, Nancy and David, and your attitude toward Nathaniel was what really impressed me.

Your love for Nathaniel was obvious in your care of him, demonstrated not just by his cleanliness and the cute clothes he wore, but by the gentleness in your manner to him, the obvious joy with which you greeted his smile, his movement, his attempts to reach out. Granted, there was profound sadness contemplating the things that he would never be able to do. In spite of that genuine cause for grief, you were joyful in celebrating his humanity, the milestones he reached. The absence of disappointment spoke to me. Your disappointment was reserved for people who did not acknowledge his humanity, could not celebrate his personhood.

I was moved deeply. Later when everyone was purchasing gifts for the children at home, I felt compelled to buy that huge Panda for Nathaniel. I could envision his wide-mouthed grin, hoping he would like the softness of its touch. But mostly, I wanted to treat him special because you did, because he was not, nor ever would be an invisible child. No, Nathaniel was someone special. Your love for him gave him that gift. And I've never forgotten the lesson."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Celebrating Martin Luther King

We had the most marvelous evening Thursday night. It was a community celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. One of those dinner and speeches things that one expects to be boringly civil and excruciatingly polite. Instead of the usual speeches, Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago were there to sing. And sing they did. Actually, they worshiped God. At the beginning, I got a couple of video clips. Soon I abandoned the camera. It felt like a worship service; it sounded like a worship service; why not act like it's a worship service? And I did. It was wondrously liberating. I didn't quite jig as much as those young kids they ever move!!! But I did a respectable Gospel two-step!! And when I did, more people in our corner joined me.

So for MLK Day, we had a terrific community worship service -- at the Hilton.

Psalm 100:1-2
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just Look Up!
Or, We Have Another Rocket Scientist On Our Hands
We're still experiencing ripples from the "Great Unplugging of 2008". Last week it was the home ec class. Students were seated at sewing machines at long last, after learning all the parts, etc. Ready to sew, the teacher begins the demo. Oops. None of the 25 machines are plugged in. And since it is asking for an accident of some sort, she couldn't ask students to get on hands and knees under the machines to find the plug-ins, nor could she crawl around for several minutes trying to find all the plugs, etc., it was creative time!
And in my study hall, the tv which projects the Power Point with daily assignments still wasn't working due to being unplugged. Last week I called the janitor (it was a substitute) to find the wall socket. He moved the file cabinet beneath the tv, but couldn't find the plug.
Then yesterday, I emailed the regular janitor (who is back from sick leave) explained the dilemma.
Actually, I said "Since our rocket scientist unplugged everything over Christmas break, we have had no monitor in room 304. I use it daily to post homework for study hall. The problem is that some sort of power strip was removed so that the electrical cords that run to the monitor and vcr will not reach any existing outlet. I did request last week's janitor to connect it since I thought it required moving a filing cabinet to reach an outlet. Alas! There was no outlet within reach and apparently he had no available power strip. A solution to my dilemma would be greatly appreciated."
The janitor just stopped me in the hall and advised me he had solved the problem. THE OUTLET WAS HIGH ON THE WALL BEHIND THE TV. Clearly visible if one only looked UP!!
Guilty!! I've now joined the ranks of the Rocket Scientists!
How often have I searched for a solution, looking everywhere, I thought, but failed to look UP? My strength just won't do it. I need HIS!
I will lift my eyes to the hills from which comes my strength. My strength comes from the Lord. Psalm 121:1-2

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's time for a new blog and my brain has gone to the South Pole. I think it found premium parking and just doesn't want to move. Is it summer at the South Pole? Maybe that's why. It's really cold here. Surely even the South Pole is warmer.

(on the right is in front of my house; below is the South Pole in January) Okay. It's worse than I thought. My brain is crazy to hide at the South Pole. It's even worse than here!

I did, however, find some pictures to blog while I was looking for my brain in frozen country. So maybe tomorrow....Surely there will be a thaw tomorrow!!

HAPPY 2009, Y'ALL!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Seeping Electricity and Other Public School Phenonema
Our school district is taking money-saving measures. This vacation we were required to turn off all electronic devices (computers, printers, etc). But since turning them off isn't enough, technology came through and unplugged them all as well. God knows, some electrical current might seep through that plug to the dormant machine.
Here's my letter to the new economy-minded Superintendent:

Physically unplugging every electronic apparatus seems a phenomenal waste of time. Today, first I crawled under the computer (literally, hands and knees on floor) to plug the computer back in.

Then this afternoon when I needed to print a document, (Please note: Not one document did I attempt to print this morning. Not one. Not one leaf of a tree destroyed. Not one penny from District coffers did I expend, unless you count the 4 squares of toilet tissue I used. The Kleenex to contain my sneeze, I purchased myself, but I did use district toilet paper) the printer was not working. I then discovered that the printer was unplugged. I headed under the computer desk once again and plugged in the printer.

Still not working.

So I restarted the computer. Perhaps it wasn’t reading the peripheral since it wasn’t plugged in when the computer started. (It happens sometimes). I turned off the computer, sat and waited for my computer, which is deficit in memory, (Poor thing. I can relate!) to log in again.

Still not working.

Just before calling for a computer tech, (I could hear the cha-ching of district funds going down the drain, so I persevered) I checked other cords. Ah! Yes! In pulling out the computer desk to plug/unplug the appliance, the connector cord from printer to computer was disconnected.

Once again…this is three times now (are you counting?), back to hands and knees. Fortunately, (though unfortunate for my dignity) there was a student nearby to whom I could hand the cord up through the back of the desk while I managed to assume an upright stance, recover my dignity, and plug in the errant cord.

An hour later, I was able to use the printer. (How many times was this scene enacted throughout the district?)

What a phenomenal waste of time and unnecessary wear and tear on my hands and knees!

May we please just turn off those pesky things without the additional unplugging? Does the electricity really seep through with them off? More than my dignity is worth?

Vacation is over!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

National Anthem

I guess I'm just out of it. I didn't see the Cactus Cuties perform at the White House Christmas Brunch, and I didn't hear/see them on the Jerry Lewis Telethon. (Does anyone really watch all of that, anyway?) This is from May, 2008 at a San Antonio Spurs game, but a friend just sent it to me. Watch the little girl on the right at 1 minute and again at 1:39. Those are unreal notes for a 9 year old. And I guess she's been singing like this for several years. It impressed me!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

"You should write a blog that!"

Said my husband just a few minutes ago. What more encouragement do I need?

We just made two loans to third world entrepreneurs, $25 each. How much fun is that? And, better yet, it wasn't really my money. It was the best Christmas present! A Gift Certificate to I feel like an international financier! Spending money I don't even have to places and people I don't know. Sounds like big business to me!!

Kiva is an organization that makes loans to third world recipients. They're small entrepreneurial loans to people in third world countries. You just log onto kiva dot org and spend as little as $25 for a loan.

Nan Sieng my first investment. We supplied $25 of the funds for a loan of a few hundred to invest in her husband's blacksmith business. She wants to purchase some steel so he can make farm implements to sell to local farmers. My second international investment went to Morn Khun a 38 year old widow who wants to purchase a cow so she can breed cattle. We loaned her $25 too.

When these people succeed, they pay back the loans. At that time, you can withdraw your money or choose to invest in another 3rd world business person. And you can subscribe to an RSS feed and find out when the people have received the necessary funds. And of course, you my visit the site as often as you wish to invest in more people. Or to receive back your original funds and re-invest them.

An ingenious idea, I think. And what a great idea for a gift! Give people the pleasure of investing in others. Now that's high finance...and a terrific blog topic.

Check out Kiva, here!

Bloggers Over 50

Personal DNA

Personality Profile

My Bloginality is ENTP!!!