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Wednesday Hodgepodge – Deep Questions…Can I Meet the Challenge?

Lord have mercy, but Joyce cooked up some TOUGH questions for us this week!!  Oy vey!  My brain…it is a hurting!  I’m going to give it my best shot, though, but I beg your forgiveness ahead of time.  As a teacher, I am used to challenging my students to think critically.  I think Joyce would have made a FANTASTIC teacher with these thought-provoking, philosophical questions!

Oh, and Joyce, I hope you get to feeling better soon!  Y’all pray for her.  She’s fighting a nasty case of ickiness.

1.  The popular saying, ‘All is fair in love and war’ is originally credited to English writer John Lyly.  Is he right?

I would have to disagree with Mr. Lyly.  To say that “all is fair” implies that anything goes.  Really?  Anything?  Would you really sacrifice your morals for the sake of love and/or war?  Take the shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  Ok.  So they aren’t exactly brainy shows, but they sure do reveal the nasty side of people.  One could say that this program encompasses both love AND war as contestants stop at NOTHING to win true love.


What’s fair about sacrificing your scruples just to win?  To me, anyone who does this is a L-O-S-E-R.

:::stepping off of my soapbox:::

…for now

2.  Are you a cereal eater?  What’s your favorite kind?

I am not currently a cereal eater.  Back in the day, when I was, I preferred Cinnamon Life Crunch.  Oh word, but those squares soaked in milk made me a happy girl indeed!

3.  A five year old in Pennsylvania was recently given a ten day school suspension for talking with a friend about shooting one another with a Hello Kitty Bubble gun (the gun blows bubbles).  She did not have the gun with her at school.

A psychological evaluation was also ordered and the incident was recorded on her permanent record.  The suspension was later reduced to two days and her parents are suing to have the incident removed from her file. Your thoughts?  (If you missed the story click here for details).

Oh goodness!  What an awful story!  I honestly do not know how I feel about this.  The only thing I can say is that I wonder in what context the little girl and her playmate’s comments occurred.  Did the person reporting the incident accurately share how the conversation came about?  I know that everyone is extremely sensitive to talk of violence and, in particular, guns – hence the reaction to this situation.  But still…I wonder.  That’s about all I’m going to say.  My heart hurts about this.

4.  Whatever happened to_____________________________?

Whatever happened to kids being respectful at school?  Oh my word!  I love my students, but a few of them just don’t have a clue about how to be respectful and STOP TALKING during the teaching process!  Sheesh Louise!

5.   January 23rd is National Handwriting Day, billed as a day to reacquaint yourself with a pen and pencil.  Do you like your handwriting? Do you prefer to print or write in cursive?  This date was chosen because its the birth date of John Hancock. What’s the last thing you signed your name to?

My handwriting is okay.  I’m not super-thrilled with it, but it’s fine.  I wish I had “teacher” handwriting, but alas, I am not an elementary teacher.  I write as quickly as I can, and my students don’t complain.

As far as printing versus writing in cursive…hmmm…I enjoy both.  I have to print on the Smartboard for my students, but there’s something very soothing about cursive writing.  It takes more time, which makes it great for putting your thoughts in order.  Cursive writing flows so beautifully across the page, that it’s almost as if your hand is dancing across a stage.  I wonder if this is why one of my students wanted me to teach him how to write in cursive.

The last thing I signed my name to was my restaurant bill on Friday night.  Barb had picked me up (my car was in the shop…still is, matter of fact), and we stopped at my favorite Mexican restaurant so I could pick up my to-go order.  It’s sad that I knew how much my bill would be.  That’s how often I order from the place.

6.  Speaking of John Hancock…ever been to Philadelphia? Do you have any desire to visit the city of Brotherly Love?

I have not been to Philadelphia, but I wouldn’t mind going.  There’s a lot of history there, and I am a history buff.  One summer, I’d love to take a few weeks and just travel around all of the Revolutionary War / Early American sites.

7.  Share something funny you’ve heard a child say.

Because I teach high school students, my definition of “child” will be someone between the ages of 14-17.

Yesterday, I gave my students new assigned seats.  I do this every nine weeks because the kids usually get tired of sitting with the same people, and it’s a good thing for students to work with different people who have different learning styles and abilities.

Needless to say, some of my students were not happy.  We’re starting our third nine weeks, and I know my students…oh so well.  I know who they can and CANNOT sit beside…who will cause them to talk incessantly (see question #4)…who needs to be closer to the board to see.

Well, after the bell rang, a girl who is not in my class came into my room to find her friend, who is a student of mine.

When she saw her friend, she said, “Friend!  I saw you, and you weren’t sleeping!”


The girl she was referring to is an avoider.  She’s one of those students who refuses to face the front of the class (my tables make it so kids have to turn sideways to see the board).  She constantly sits with her face in her hands.

I knew this.

I’d planned for it.

She’s in the front of the room right up close to me.

There will be no more naps in my classroom (although I am pretty good at catching the kids…usually).

I had to chuckle.

Even her friend had busted her!

8.  My Random Thought

Yesterday during lunch, when I had my knitting students with me, I decided to show my girls the following video.  I thought they would find it sweet.

They were bored, distracted by the goings on in the room.

However, in the middle of the video, I smacked myself in the head with my palm.

I’d completely forgotten to put the video in yesterday’s post about my Chicky turning 21!!!

I was so bummed!

I’d heard the song on the radio last week while I was getting ready for work.  I’d never heard it before and quickly got on the internet to look up the lyrics.

Oh my word.

Then, I watched the video.

Tears poured forth.

Barb had picked me up for a breakfast we were attending, and she was beside herself when she saw my tears.

“Stop crying,” she said.  “People are going to wonder what I said to upset you.”


She’s such a supportive friend.


I’m sharing the video with you now.  The song is How to Say Goodbye by one of my favorite Christian singers/songwriters, Michael W. Smith.

Chicky, this one is for you.  Never forget that while you’re going off into the big world, those of us at home are fighting the bittersweet feelings that come with letting go.

Patriotic Hodgepodge!

It’s time for the Hodgepodge!  Joyce, as always, has done a great job coming up with the questions.  Thanks so much, Joyce!  Now, on to the questions!

1.  What makes you stand on your feet and cheer?

I cheer my heart out when I watch soccer.  I’ve watched Chicky play since she was six years old (she’s still playing too), and I’ve even been known to hoop and holler when watching it on TV.

Chicky's College Team

Speaking of soccer, did you know that the women’s World Cup just started?  The U.S. team beat North Korea yesterday by a score of 2-0.  Go USA!!  (Pictures can be found at the Denver Post’s site.)

2.  What’s your favorite patriotic song?

I love Lee Greenwood’s Proud To Be an American

3.  Do you believe that opposites attract?  If you have a significant other, are you opposites?

I think that opposites and likes attract.  There’s no rhyme or reason to what draws people together.  The Mr. and I are opposites in many ways.  One thing we agree wholeheartedly on is that we both love Auburn football.

4.  You’re going to get a behind the scenes look some place…where would you like that some place to be?

I’d love to see how “magic” tricks are performed.  I am particularly interested in the trick where the magician holds up a sheet, flips it up, and when it comes back down, in a nano second, someone else is standing there.  Interesting indeed!

5.  How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

I have no idea!  I don’t really care about carousels, so I don’t know where the nearest one is!

6.  When was the last time you saw fireworks?  What was the occasion?  Do you enjoy fireworks?

Gosh…another question that requires me to remember something.  My memory is just not working very well right now.  Let’s see…the last big show I saw was last summer, when I attended the Christian concert series at the beach (blogged about it here).  Michael W. Smith gave a concert on the final evening, and it was followed by a fireworks show that was amazing!  There’s nothing like fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico.

7.  Of all the ‘beauty products’ you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

Would perfume be considered a beauty product?  If so, then I’d have to answer this way.  I don’t own expensive perfume simply because it costs an arm and a leg.  I suspect that consumers are mostly paying for the marketing associated with this product.

8.  My Random Thought

I just finished knitting a rather large project, and it is currently sitting on my dining room table, pinned and blocked out.  It’s drawing the most interesting comments from my family…not the nicest comments either.

As a knitter, it would be so nice to be “understood” and “appreciated” by those closest to me.  It can be discouraging to hear comments that are disguised as “teasing.”  Call me sensitive, but that’s how I roll sometimes.

I think that as humans, we should try to look for positive things to say to each other, even if we don’t “get” the things that other people are passionate about.


It’s frustrating.

Sing-Along With AuburnChick

I finally uploaded the videos I took during the various Christian concerts I attended almost two weeks ago.

First, here’s Amy Grant singing a classic oldie.  Sing with me…”Love will find a way…”

Did you sing?  No?  Then you missed out on the one and only chance to actually sing with Amy Grant AND me!  If you listened closely enough, you might have been able to discern my voice.

No, it wasn’t the sound of an angel but more like a wounded pigeon that ate too much bread from a tourist.


I had fun, so there!

Next on the playlist is actually a short video of the people who stood in front of me during the Chris Tomlin concert.  They were bopping up and down doing the “white boy pogo stick” dance that Chris instructed the audience to do…

Now you are privy to part of Chris’ famous song, “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone.”  This is probably one of my favorite songs EVER!

Sorry for the unsteady hand.  It’s really hard to hold a camera steady when your heart is about to beat right out of your chest!

Next up is a very small snippet of Michael W. Smith’s “River is Rising.”

And last but not least, this is part of MWS’ song “Friends are Friends Forever.”  Oh boy, but this song makes me want to cry every time I hear it.  It is a reminder to me that though I might be separated from my friends on earth, I will be reunited with them once we are in heaven.

I have a particular attachment to this song for another reason.  It is the song I used for a video I made the summer I worked at my church’s preschool.  I had a wonderful class of kids, and it was a great way to spend the summer.  During those months, one of my children lost her father to cancer.  The mom and I got to know each other pretty well.  We saw each other at swim meets and other school functions, and I always asked about her youngest daughter, my student.  We had that bond.  Last year, the mom passed away very unexpectedly, leaving five children orphaned, and my heart absolutely broke.  You might remember me blogging about it.

So, this song brings back those memories as well.

Gee, but I am a downer, eh?

Actually, I’m not, for this song gives me hope.  Please enjoy the rather brief portion I recorded (I did you the favor of not singing along to this one)…

Day 3

Sunday, Day 3 of the Christian Concert Series, loomed, and I’d venture to bet that there wasn’t a single person out there who was more excited than Your’s Truly.

I started off the day by attending church.  The sermon was out-of-this world (I’ll share details some time soon).  Afterward, I went home and worked on lesson plans.  But, I kept my eye on the clock.

I had a date…a date with destiny.

Ok…not really.

But I did have a date, kind-of.

Ms. A, the friend I attended Day 2 with, and I had made plans to attend Sunday’s festivities, and this time, it was my turn to drive.

I was psyched.

I was also a bit concerned.  The weather forecast called for rain, and the skies looked ominous again.

We had left early because we anticipated a large crowd.

Boy, was that an understatement…

We found a spot near where we had sat the evening before.  However, by the time the crowd completely filled in, we were in the front third of the audience…that’s how many people there were.

When we arrived, we saw our friends R and T.  The were on a hot date…or should I say humid date…

Normally, I don’t post my friends’ pictures, but after I took this, T said, “Oh, did we make your blog?”  So, of course, I took that to mean I had her permission.

Isn’t her smile pretty?  She oozes Christian love, as does the rest of her family.

They were not the only lovey-dovey couple I saw.  Take a look at the people who sat in front of me…

As we waited, we chatted.  We saw a lot of other people we knew.  It’s not often…make that never…that Podunk, USA hosts an event like this.

First on the bill was Dr. Randy Carlson, host of Family Life Radio’s program, Intentional Living.

Although I am not fond of “self-help” studies, I did find him inspirational.  He is very Christ-centered and bases his teachings on the Bible.  Good stuff, people.

Then, we had to wait a spell while technicians set up for the next performer.

My stomach tightened in anticipation.

And then, it was time.

Look who came on stage…


This was a huge deal for me because she was the first Christian artist I remember listening to.

In fact, I remember the first time I ever heard one of her songs.  I was in the car, with my youth group (which consisted of exactly five people because I grew up in One Traffic Light, USA)  en-route to the very beach on which I was now standing.  Someone popped a cassette into the tape player (remember the days before CDs and MP3s?).

I had no idea who she was, but I took an instant liking to her because she was the first person who didn’t sound like she was humming elevator music.  Christian music suddenly became “cool.”

Her first two or three songs were some of the oldies…the lyrics of which I had long, long ago committed to memory…

It was at this point that some people in the crowd decided to sit down.

Not me, baby.

Oh no.  I kept standing, swaying my body and singing at the top of my lungs (a huge apology to those who were unlucky enough to hear me).  Though I had not heard the songs in some time, the words instantly came back.

“Love Will Find a Way”

“Baby, Baby”

She even sang a song from her new album.  I had not heard it yet, but I loved it, and so did the crowd.

Sing it sister, I wanted to holler.

Maybe I did.

I don’t remember.

I snapped photos and immediately looked at them to make sure they turned out.  I quickly realized that Ms. Grant sings with her eyes closed…a lot…

Interesting, eh?  This made it difficult to snap a decent picture, but hey.  They’re her songs, and that’s her band.  She can sing however she wants.

Her voice was as lovely as what I’ve heard on my CDs.

After she had finished her set, we had to wait, again, while the next artist’s technicians set up.

Oy…my nerves were literally on edge.

The crowd continued to expand as more and more people arrived.

R and T decided to leave early, though.  We bid them a fond farewell and then moved up into the space they had just vacated.

And then finally, the absolute HIGHLIGHT of the entire weekend…

Look who graced Podunk, USA with his presence…

Do you know who this is?


How about a couple more pictures…I have lots (evil grin)…

Ok…I’ll spill.

I felt incredibly privileged to be in a crowd the size of Aruba, listening to MICHAEL W. SMITH!!!!!!

Way…no way!!!!

It was, by far, the way coolest thing ever!!!!

This man can belt out some tunes, let me tell you, and he constantly gives praise to God while doing so…

He had the crowd jumping, waving their arms, and lifting their hands in praise…

He sang oldies and goodies…there was something for everyone…

I do not often get star-struck, but I’ll admit that on this night, I was smitten.  MWS is very charismatic.  You instantly sense how deeply he is devoted to his faith.  His desire to serve the Lord through his amazing musical skills shone forth through every note he played…

For the record, no, I am not a stalker.  My soul was soaring far above the clouds that had, miraculously, failed to deposit their loads of rain on us.  I wanted to capture every moment, for who knows when this itsy bitsy corner of the world will see the likes of such fine singers again…

All too soon, the last notes faded, and Michael departed with a walk across the stage, waving as he went…

One would think that feelings of sadness would follow; however, such was not the case.

No.  My heart felt only an awakening and a pure joy that rarely has invaded its depths.

The crowd was treated to fireworks as a great send-off, and as each explosion set off a fiery display of beauty, I stood in awe and thankfulness…

I marveled at how I had spent the entire weekend praising God through song.  I wondered, “Will there be preaching in heaven?”

I think not.

I don’t think it will be necessary, for the reaping will be done by then.

All that will remain is worship…exactly what happened on the beach last weekend.

These are memories that will live in my heart for a very long time, if not forever.

When I Think of You

Ok…so in my previous post, I talked about the wrong song!  I do like the one I posted before, but it’s not the one I was listening to in the car last night!

Here’s the one that really gets your toes tapping (am I sounding my age now?).  It’s another Michael W. Smith song, from the same CD.  It’s called When I Think of You.

I’m posting two clips.  The first one is the song in its entirety, but I urge you to also watch the second clip.  It’s shorter, but you’ll see him singing on stage with the African Children’s Choir.  It’s a fabulous organization and one I’ve been privileged to see in person.  The children are adorable.

A New Hallelujah

Last night I had a Prayer Shawl Ministry meeting at church.  During the drive, I popped in a new CD that Rooster bought me for my birthday.  It’s Michael W. Smith’s A New Hallelujah, and it’s fabulous!

This song, in particular, lifted my spirit and put me in a great mood to meet with the other ladies and, essentially, have what I imagine to be a “Knit Night.”  We chatted as we worked on our shawls and prayed over one in particular.  This shawl will be delivered in the next few days.

I hope you enjoy the song.

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