Saturday, April 30, 2011


If you are blessed enough to have sisters in your life, you know what a wonderful bond that is.  If you weren't so blessed you really should adopt a few.  I was blessed with four sisters, however I've also adopted a few along the journey.  Some research says that sisters are the closest people...They were with you when you were born, they'll be with you when you die.  They are there to support you when you fall down, they are there to salute you when you are honored.  Even though we sometimes disagree in BIG ways, I still don't want ANYONE to mess with one of my sisters!  I'll come to their defense in a heartbeat; I'll try to shield them from danger; I'll celebrate with them; I'll cry with them.  We are sisters.  I received a mug from one of them for Christmas one year that says:  "We are sisters...Same Blood, Different Planets!  We are sisters..." The mug is beautiful.  It has a caricature of each of us and under that is our name:  Charlotte, Debbie, Lenora, Elizabeth, Sandy.  I drink coffee from that mug EVERY morning.  I "pretend" I'm having coffee with my sisters.  They are LOVED!  We live in different cities now, no two in the same.  We're split in two different states.   Sometimes we draw each other close and sometimes we push each other away, just like when we were children.  However we are SISTERS.  This is what I draw from my sisters and try to give to them:


We are sisters!

If you have a sister, adopted or blood, please share what she means to you.  Life is short, enjoy the ride!

Please sit and have a cup of coffee with me!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Drinking from the Water Hose

Janet & Karen
  I have some childhood friends that are still as bratty as ever probably.  These people ain't learned nothing in the last 40 years.  They can still get up to no good in nothing flat!  We were wonderful.  We never got into "serious" trouble.  We were scared of that.  But if a situation arose that needed to be "tended to", we SHOWED UP! 
I remember one particular summer day, my friends Karen & Janet were visiting.  They are sisters and could not be more different.  My mother was their mother's best friend and all of us were very close.  They visited us often and we were at their house just as often.
My older sister had a very important date this particular day.  This was before the age of central air and before the day of blow dryers.  Charlotte had been "primping" all day.  It was just enough to get on my nerves and provoke me to action.  I think at one time I even heard her singing "I Feel Pretty" from Westside Story...Anyway, mother had sent all of us (except Charlotte) outside to play.  Uh Oh!  I heard Charlotte running her bath water.  Because there was no airconditioner in the bathroom, the window was up.  Uh Oh!  My favorite thing to do when I was a child was walk on a barrell.  I was good at it.  So we had been playing on this barrell when I notice that the barrell will get me right about even with that bathroom window.  Karen, Janet and I sneak to the window with the water hose.  We had been told to drink out of the water hose if we got thirsty.  We just happened to get thirsty while walking on the barrell right under the bathroom window.  You got that?  Charlotte was sitting there in the tub with her hair in curlers just waiting for the last curl to dry.  She'd been waiting all day.  The target was on.  She let out a blood curtling cry when the first sprinkles got her from that water hose.  There was no need to hold back then, the damage was done.  So we let her have it!  Oh well another "whippin" came my way and there I was just a walkin' and thirsty.  It's the innocent that suffer the most on this journey.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To Cheer or not to Cheer that is the Question?

 When a friend and I were asked to sponsor the cheer/dance line the first thought that hit my head was, "You do know me, right?"  But the first words that came out were, "I'll talk to Ken."  He's my protector, my reality, my "What are you thinking?" person, my confidant, my husband.  I went home, we had the discussion.  His first question to me was, "They do know you, right?"  I was offended.  Of course they know me and my cheery self.  That's not what he meant & I know it.  Over 100% of my "cheeriness" comes from the fact that I've just thrown someone under the bus or I'm laughing at them about something they've just done or I'm thinking of doing to them or better yet I'm laughing at myself.  I'm sorry.  I can help myself, but I choose not too.  Even my children know if you want someone to cheer you on your journey with a great big, "You can do it!"  Call DADDY!  If you want someone to laugh at you or pick on you, call Mama!  ALL my high school years were spent "sporting" fun of cheerleaders.  I was in the band.  Wehad cheers of our own.  Some of my favorites were:
Leader:  Give me a great big "B"
The crowd around Leader & sometimes cheerleaders on the track:  "B"
Leader:  Give me another "B"
Crowd:  "B"
Leader:  Give me another "B"
Crowd:  "B"
Leader:  What does it spell?
Whole Band: (flicking their bottom lip with finger)  BBBBBBBB

Leader:  Give me a great big "M"
This would repeat just like the above until the end
Leader:  What does it spell?
Whole Band:  (Stands and hums)  MMMMMMMM

Cheer Song
I'm a raindrop
I'm a raindrop
I'm a raindrop in the sky
But I'd rather be a raindrop
than a "drip" from __________ High.

I was in high school in the 1970s.  The music was wonderful.  Another of my favorite "mean" band kid things to do was: (picture this)  The trumpet section would stand.  (We drew a big breath of anticipation, I was a sax player.) They blew the first BOMM BOMM BOMM, BOMM BOMM BOMM to "Jesus Christ, Superstar" .  The cheerleaders flew to get their pom-poms.  This was a wonderful song for their favorite cheer-dance routine.  Pom-Poms in place, first motion made.  Trumpets sat down, no more music...The saxophone section is rolling!  It was particularly funny because they fell for it every time!  If they didn't fall for it then the rest of the band got the nod from the brass section and we quickly joined in and finished the song or at least til the pom-poms went up.  The poor cheerleaders would stomp their feet. Umph, umph umph.. I'm sorry (giggle, giggle).  Would you believe I even came up with a slogan and a shirt for the band?  Our slogan was, "GBBK".  That stands for God Bless Band Kids.  So perhaps what goes around comes around.  I am co-sponsoring the cheer/dance line this next year.  But the first "peep" that comes from that band, better be the "Star Spangled Banner."  Leave the cheering to us cheerleaders, we'll get it done!

Click to view

Life is Full of Moments...I'll Have Another Moment Please!

"I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
George Bernard Shaw

One of my students said to me, "Mrs. Evans I wish it was Friday already."  I stopped in my tracks and gave him a hard, silent, feverish look.  I then said, "Oh baby, don't wish one second of your life away."  He didn't understand.  We are in the habit of saying, "I can't wait for ..."  "If only this day would end..." and such as that.   I do not want to be on my death bed wishing for all the days, hours, minutes or seconds that I've wished away.  I will not say those things again.  When a "Wish Away" moment occurs I hope to turn that moment into a LIFE moment and milk it for all it's worth.  I hope that my candle burns bright and lights torches all around the earth.  I teach math and I tell my students that I can teach a monkey to do math.  More importantly I can teach them how to live.  Life is a journey with many twists and turns.  You never know who you're going to bump into or what will touch you and you'll never be the same again.  Oh to have a life full of MOMENTS!  In fact I think that's what I'll have... another moment please...What a journey!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cousin Sleepover & Easter: It WORKS!

What a FANTABULOUS weekend!  It was amazing, great, fantastic, marvelous...We squeezed and pinched every drop of fun we could into one weekend.  I am WORE out!  Audrey Jane wanted a Mammy & Pappy Cousin Sleepover Birthday Party for herself and Anne-Claire at Mammy's house.  They both turn six this year.  So that's what we did! 

Audrey Jane & Anne-Claire

Then we had Easter also.  A wonderful Resurrection Morning, sunrise service 7 a.m.  I wasn't sure if I could rise & shine.  But I did.  So did everyone else at our house.  We all made it and had a wonderful service.  Ken led us in the Lord's Supper, then we did a Resurrection Reading.  This was followed by breakfast, and ended with a singing.  Whew!  It was GREAT!  All of my darlings sang.  Stacy and Joshua sang a beautiful duet.  Tafta sang a duet with me; we were joined by Ava (who ran up and down the aisle) and Audrey (who stood hugging her mama).  Sadee Ann sang two solos. One of them was the chorus to "Power in the Blood" which she changed the whole ending to, but amazingly it sounded correct!  All 12 of the cousins sang "This lil Light of Mine" with Pappy, and "Countdown".  Ben's angels sang and signed "How Great Thou Art".  It was beautiful.   It all reminded me of "What a Day that will be..."  The Lord is good and worthy to be praised!
Dez, Audrey Jane, Anne-Claire, Josh, Kate, Sully Mac, Kendalyn, Pappy, Sophee, Sadee, Bethany, Mammy, Ava & Riggs 
To check out another family view of  Easter, check out Charlotte's Menagerie. Her blog is great!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Little Kiddos, Little Heathens, Then and Now

When our children were young, my Grandmother Mae lived in Linville, LA.  We had to travel through Haile, LA to get there.  This was an absolute thrill to my four little heathens.  From the backseat Ken and I would here, "Do you think we're in 'Haile' yet?  'Cause this sure feels like 'Haile.'"  This was always followed by multiple giggles, snickers and rebukes from Daddy.  But it got better.  The little darlings could not wait to get to church the next morning and tell the deacons, "Hey we went to see our grandmother and Great-grandmother yesterday.  But we had to go through 'Haile' to get there."  They giggled, the snaffuued, the deacons shook their heads at the preacher's kids. 
Joe, Tafta, Ben and Jonathan
Our first inflatable canoe trip!

My third child, Benjamin, called me yesterday.  It had hailed big marbles of ice at his house.  He called all the children to watch the hail with him through their big windows.  Bethany Cate, his third lil darling, was standing there sweet and innocent and very thoughtful.  He thought she might be afraid.  But she was not.  She had something else on her mind.  Finally she turned to him and asked, "Daddy, why is it ok for you to say, 'Come watch the hail.' And it's not ok for me to say, 'What in the hell?' "  The journey is full circle...
Bethany Cate is WONDERFUL!!!
Peggy, Ashley's Mom, says she can't wait to see Ben when BC is 16!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Growing Older is not for a Sissy, Missy or Let Me See Those BINGO Wings!!!

A week or so ago a 94 year old woman called me a youngster!  The adrenalin rush that one comment caused almost put me into overload.  This particular lady, Ms. Ruby, is in GREAT shape.  She still drives, lives at home alone, takes art classes, sells her paintings, makes and sells homemade jellies, sews and takes an active part in different clubs and organizations.  Maybe that's the key to youth.  Stay busy and involved with others!  But I'm thinking that the people I hang out with may actually cause old age and the decay of the body.  Seventh graders have a way of telling you EXACTLY the way it is and how it goes.  However they have learned the power of the pen.  They know that the key to their success is to keep me happy.  VERY seldom if ever will one actually offend me.  If they do I simply say, "What's that I hear?  Oh, it's the sound of your grade FALLING."  Not so true for younger grades...
Me & Cas:  A couple of "Head Cases"!
 Anyway, the very next day my 28 year old daughter-in- law called.  She is also a teacher.  She walked up on a small group of young boys talking and waving their arms madly.  They pointed at her as she walked up to them and one hollered, "Look, she has them too!"  She politely asked, "What, do I have?"  And then she got it, right between the eyes..."You've got Bingo Wings!"  Wouldn't you know it, she could not leave well enough alone.  She had to seek and then she found out.  Innocently she asked, "What are Bingo Wings?"  They all raised their arms to the "let me show you my muscle stance" and started waving their arm while flapping the little skin under their youthful arms.  A brave one explained, "You know, when old women play Bingo and they win.  They shoot up their arm and start hollering ,'Bingo', and the skin under their arm goes to waving.  That's Bingo Wings!"  That's when she turned red and turned on her heels!  That's when I would have said, "Darn, I was hoping Bingo Wings were a type of buffalo wings you serve at a Bingo Party and you were inviting me to your house for supper & Bingo."  She has not taught long enough.  I'm even serving up side orders with my Bingo Wings!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY SISTER!!! it comes!!!  There are six of us Murphy children, born of Frank & Juanita.  We are all very different and yet in a lot of ways, that we don't want to admit, quite a bit alike.  The ancient is true, "You can't get away from your raisin'."  I'm not sure why we so struggle with that thought in our youth, we as humans always return to our roots in the end.  So why not just stay there at your roots.  Get use to them; water them; let them grow...Why fight your whole life to get away from your put it bluntly, "You is what you is!"  This really has nothing to do with today's blog it was just a "self-imposed" reflection of myself, where I've come from, where I am now, where I'm going, and where I'll finish up...

This reflection started as I was thinking about how I felt when Mama told us older five that number six was on the way.  I was APPALLED!  The first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Oh no, everybody's gonna think we're poor!"  Then I ran away somewhere and cried.  I did not realize how RICH little Sandy would make my life.  Number 6, Sandra Elaine, "Elaine", Caboose, Rusty, lil Doodeedee...Sandy is ten years and so many months younger than me.  She is delightfully sassy and brassy.  When she was born I could tell Charlotte and Lenora had a brand new baby doll.  I usually tore the heads off of mine, so I left Sandy alone.  The one time I remember Mama asking me to watch her, while she worked in the garden, things did not go well.  Mama had just bathed Sandy and left her in the middle of her big double bed.  Mama loves to bathe babies in the morning and then let them have a big ole stretch and nap.  She told me to watch her, so I reasoned I best do that in Mama's room on Mama's bed.  I did not want to take a nap and at that time there was no such thing as a "baby swing".  I thought Sandy might enjoy a good bouncing, so I started jumping on the bed.  The baby went bounce, bounce, bounce, then "kerplop" right on the floor.  WOW!  Even then that Sandy had GOOD lungs, she went to screaming and Mama came a running and I went to shaking my head saying, "I don't know what's wrong with this baby."   Funny thing about Mama, she can smell when things are a little fishy...I never was given the task of watching the baby again.  Some other things I remember about Sandy's young years:

1.  Grandma Murphy spanked me.  We were celebrating the Fourth of July down at the picnic spot Daddy had built by the creek.  All of us kids had been running down the hill to the creek, daring each other to fall in.  We'd also been walking back and forth over the big pipe that ran out of the hill across the creek.  Sandy was standing at the top of the hill bossing..."Y'all are gonna fall."  "You better not get wet."  "Somebody help me run down the hill."  With that last request I decided to help her alright.  I pushed her right down that hill.   Grandma Murphy LEAPED off that picnic bench and hit my bottom harder than anyone ever had.  Everyone there was in shock.  She never did that.  Sandy was the baby. 

2.  When Sandy was two we all went to Minnesota to visit Uncle Eddy, Aunt Lawanna and Wendy Jo.  One afternoon I was riding Wendy's bicycle and Sandy wanted me to ride her on the handle bars.  I've never claimed to be very steady at the wheel.  I regret ever doing that, but she doesn't remember...til now...Of course I wrecked and she got a bloody knot on her head...She can holler!  Daddy gave me a...

3.  Sooner or later it happens to all of us.  We go to school and find our new identity.  When Sandy was in first grade she got to take French.  The teacher assigned them all French names.  Sandy's was Elice. Sandy Elaine was so very proud of her French papers.  And really so was I.  By the time Sandy had started school, I was use to her and LOVED her a whole heapa bunch.  But I gotta tell you, when she pranced in saying, "I'm taking French and my name is Elice."  I knew I was going to have a field day.  I took her paper and started singing and dancing, "Sandy thinks her name is Alice...Sandy thinks her name is Alice."  Sandy went to hollering, "It does not say Alice, it says Elice."  Mama gave me a knot on my head...

4.  Sandy was my flower girl in my wedding.  She stood there right beside me with great big tears in her eyes and then streaming down her face.  She didn't want Ken to take me away.  I loved that kiddo!  How could it be that she loved me so very much?

I've always tried to be there for Sandy.  She makes it hard because she's very independent, like her sisters. (I know cause I is one.)  Her children have, until this year, always stayed a week or so with me during the summer.  They are older now and busy.  Madison and Trace Cranor are also helping with Sandy's grandchildren.  They are in so many ways like their Mama and we share a very common bond.  WE LOVE SANDY!   She is the original Sunshine!  Happy Birthday, Lil Doodeedee!  (Couldn't resist that one, one more time...Caren started that anyway!)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Too Blessed to be Stressed! or Bring on the Desserts!

Some things just bring on the STRESS!!!  When feeling totally stressed, I've been told before just work backwards and bring on the desserts!  Get it?



I like that idea but it may be one reason that I'm overweight.  Too much stress and too many desserts!  Oh well, life is short so I always start with dessert...That may account for the excess poundage as well. 
I belong to an organization that is trying to reform my way of thinking.  The "team" really does a GREAT job.  We all recite a pledge that incites us to do better.  We talk about our successes and our trials.  I usually don't offer much here, because I consider it a success if I order a Whopper with cheese without saying "Heavy All".  That means "LOAD THAT SUCKER DOWN!"  My "team" frowns if I say something like that!  I don't talk about my trials, because I consider it a trial if I say to myself, "Ok, if the first slot at the Sonic is not open then I'm not suppose to stop there for a chocolate malt." And then I have to drive around it SIX times before that first slot opens.  THAT'S A TRIAL!  My "team" frowns again.  They also frown at me because I'm counting on the fact that research proves "Laughter is exercise."  See that means I can literally laugh my butt off!  At that point their frowning so BIG at me that I find that funny and start exercising!  One of my dear friends is 93 or 94 years of age.  She is so very wonderful and cares about me so much!  She called me the other day to tell me she had been missing me in our "team" meetings.  I said, "I know, I've just got to get myself together and do something about this."  She said, "Yes baby do it while you're young!"  I'm 53 years young...I think I'll have some birthday cake and ice-cream!  There I go again...Who's bringing the snacks for this ride?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Testing and Football Analogy: The Tweeked Version!

The analogy between No Child Left Behind and football has been around for a while.  After the third day of State Testing, I decided to "tweek" it a little bit to include Value Added and some other "testy" issues...
+ - x /
1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all must win the championship. The Math Teacher (me, in our case) will get to coach the fourth quarter of the Championship Game.  The coach will have to wait on our results in his office.  If a team does not win the championship, they will be graded on a scale of :  Athletically Unacceptable - Approaching Athletic Acceptablity.  Coaches will be held accountable, even for the fourth quarter, and will receive a Bonus called "Value Added" based on fourth quarter stats.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities.  No exceptions will be made based on Fourth Quarter issues.

3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction or to give peer tutoring. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who are NOT interested in football, have limited athletic ability, or whose parents do not like football. The coaches will spend evenings making parental contacts of students who don't like football  in an effort to encourage said players to strive during practices.

4.  There can be NO extra practices held outside of the athletic PE hour and NO child will be expected to "work out", study plays or view game film at any time other than their scheduled PE hour. 

5. Games will be played year-round, but only the Championship Game will count, with special emphasis on the Fourth Quarter.

6. This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals...except the Math Teacher...

"Anyone know of any math teachers out there looking for work and wanting to coach? We've currently got a full time math job open along with 1, if not 2, assistant football coaching jobs open."  Turks HS, Illinois...umm...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Evans Girls

Audrey, Tafta, Katharyn, me, Stacy, Casondra, Sadee

According to Sadee Ann Evans, age 3,  Evans Girls are:

Pretty and Smart
And  Lil' Sweethearts!

I'm so very glad I'm an Evans Girl!  Ken and I have only one daughter, three daughter-in-laws and 8 granddaughters:  Katharyn, Anne-Claire, Audrey Jane, Sadee, Bethany, Sophee, Kendalyn and Ava!  I think that little poem of Sadee's (probably Joe's) is very applicable!  I think sometimes though an Evans Girl can be: 

Sassy and Mean
And believe we're Queens!

That pretty much fits us also. 
Katharyn McKinley Evans
Kate is very daring, competitive, and determined.  Her Pre-K Teacher was leading the class in a game of Travel with pictures of shapes.  Kate had just about won when someone beat her with the answer.  An expletive (learned that from her dad, I'm sure...) popped out of Kate's lovely mouth.  Her teacher quickly scolded her and reminded her that that was an ugly word.  Kate stomped her foot and said, "Yes I know and I meant it." 

Kate, Anne-Claire & Audrey Jane
Even though Anne-Claire likes to follow the rules, she'll throw you under the bus in a heartbeat!  One time she and Audrey Jane were playing at the "kitchen" set in the den.  When Ken walked it and caught them washing their dishes with real water.  They were splashing it all over the floor!  Ken of course said, "What's going on here?", in his big outside voice.  Anne-Claire quickly pointed to AJ and said, "She did it."  AJ swallowed big and said, "Well, don't you want us to have clean dishes?"
So there!

Bethany Cate & Sadee Ann
Then along came Sadee and Bethany.  Sadee is a born "Boss".  She was the smallest atendee an Mammy & Pappy Camp last year but I think she had the biggest presence!  When it was time to show-off to any type of audience (the Aunts, Church, Nursing Home) Sadee was in front due to size.  But if the others were louder or went to answer a question first, she got louder or up went the hand to tell them to stop, "I'll answer this!" So there!

Bethany may have been the youngest at Mammy & Pappy Camp, but she has a BIG voice.  I knew she'd fit in great when Pappy called her to breakfast and she yelled back, "In a minute, I'm busy in here!"  She really was busy, as soon as she was through she ran to him, "Whata ya want my Pappy?"  He is totally wrapped around that finger.  So there!

In one year we were blessed with four new grandchildren, one boy and three girls. 

The babies of 2009:  Dez, Sophee, Kendalyn & Ava

Sophee can show "Brattitude"!
Sophee leads this pack of girls.  She is Sadee's younger sister but is as big if not bigger than Sadee.. Sophee can melt you with her big brown eyes and turn on the "Brattitude" in nothing flat.  She was swinging on the kitchen counter the other day and her mother told her to stop.  She did, but she came over to my chair and said, "Look Mama, I'm doing it some more."  Her mother gave her the look and then the sweet child said, "I'm going to my room to do it in there."  So there!

Kendalyn and Ava don't yet talk much.  BUT they will already turn on the eyes, smiles, finger twisting, tears, everything that we Evans Girls are known for.  You know what we can hardly wait for them to pour it on! That's how we roll... So there!

Kendalyn, Mammy & Ava
Yep us Evans girls! 

Monday, April 11, 2011

The 4 - 1 - 1

When I turned 50 Anne-Claire was the one that helped me bake my cake!

She helped me lick the beaters too!

It's very poetic that our beautiful Anne-Claire was born today, April 11, in 2005.  Why?  Because if you ever want the 411 on anything, she's your gal.  She is so very smart and observant, if she's in the room she knows exactly what's going on with everyone in the room.  So Happy Birthday my sweet Anne-Claire, with the beautiful hair!  Love you sweet girl!

She also helped blow out the candles!

Anne-Claire is three weeks older than Audrey Jane.  They have requested a special birthday party this year.  Audrey calls it a "Cousin Party".  It will happen here at my house next Friday and Saturday.  Yep, it's a "Cousin Sleepover" and we're pulling out all the stops.  There will be games, crafts, goodies, cake, ice-cream, movies, presents...everything a Mammy and two little girls can dream up.  If you like you can give us suggestions!  Just leave a comment or two...Believe me we can use all the help we can get.  There will be 12 cousins at the sleepover and a Mammy and a Pappy.  Hope the parents come too!  Boy this journey is a good one!  May all your birthdays be filled with cake and ice cream!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Heart of CPJH!

"St Teresa or Lois Lane", one of her military men, and her devoted husband.
Happy Birthday to a very special lady.  I try, as much as possible, to keep some people protected by not using their real names in case they should be embarrassed. If I even remotely think that part of the story could be of that nature, I'll change their name.  I was trying to decide what "name" to give this precious person.  Should I call her "Lois Lane"?  After all if you ever go near our school, you know she has super powers!  She has over many years sponsored the cheer/dance team, coached basketball and softball; served as Test Coordinator, 504 Coordinator, Chairperson for SBLC, Chairperson for Positive Behaviors, and in charge of scheduling every child.  Or would "St. Theresa" be more appropriate?  She is the mother of two military men, grandmother, devoted daughter, loving sister, friend and confidant to all school personnel, and school counselor.  Since both names seemed appropriate, I decided to name her "St. Lois".  St. Lois was one of the first people that I met when I arrived at CPJH.  She gave me the tour and my books.  I knew St. Lois would be a friend to me on this first meeting.  After school began, I was even more sure of it.  She's willing and able to lend a helping hand or a listening ear.  What I had NO idea about was all her "special" abilities.  A supervisor told me to watch the flagpole every Halloween.  Sure enough, on Halloween, St. Lois rides in on a broom and parks it on the flagpole.  That's true and very interesting!  Her sister, who teaches next door to me, will remove the broom from the pole to sweep her room.  She likes things clean and then she'll return the broom for St. Lois's return home.  One morning during announcements our Prince of a Pal let us all in on another secret.  It seems our system, Caldwell Parish Schools, was celebrating its 100th year!  That's astounding, but even more so was the next part of the announcement.  The night before, at the School Board meeting, the Board had had someone read the minutes from the very first meeting.  On the agenda of that first meeting was the hiring of new teachers.  It seems St. Lois was one of those very first teachers!  This is amazing.  She does not look a day over 50 or so...SO Happy Birthday special lady, "St. Lois", and may you call upon all your special talents (and patience) as we TEST this next week! 
Wonderful Grandmother, Sweet Granddaughter!

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Love My MaMa Evans!

I love to blog about people and the crazy things we do and say.  That makes life more pleasurable to me!  But sometimes I need to blog  a "Thank You".  Today is one of those days.  Today, April 13, thirteen years ago a wonderful lady left us...MaMa Evans (Audrey).  I LOVE MAMA EVANS.  Still today the impact she made on my life pops up.  It is MaMa that I quote the most often.  I don't know how she got so smart in such a short life.  Yes, she lived over 80 years but that was too short for me and everyone else that knew her.  A few of my favorites are:

Everyone knows how to treat the devil but the one that's got him.
It's easier to build a boy than to mend a man.    
Debbie, Sometime you just got to talk to yourself in the mirror and say...

When Ken & I got married MaMa, PaPa,  Aunt Jane, and Uncle Herb gave us our silver as a wedding present....every piece.  I'll NEVER forget when we moved to Natchitoches and MaMa and PaPa came for their first visit.  We had a "built in" china cabinet in the dining room.  It had a drawer and there I had placed all the silver still in all their sealed sleeves.  I proudly showed it to MaMa.  She asked, "Why aren't you using it?"  I said, "I'm saving it for special dinners and special guests."  My husband had just accepted his first pastorate and I was sure there would be "special dinners."  MaMa immediately passed me another golden nugget.  She said, "Your children are the most special guests you'll ever have and they eat dinner with you every night."  WOW!  She was so wise and so right!  When she and PaPa left I opened all the silver and got down the china.  The children, who were only 6, 4, 2, and 6 months, Ken and I ate with the silver every meal from then on.  The silver still graces my table EVERY TIME it is set. 
Another wonderful thing MaMa passed on to me...she always had cookies!  That is something I do with my grandchildren every time any of them come to my house.  We bake cookies.  There's nothing like go to MaMa's or Mammy's and eating good cookies.  I cross-stitched the following poem for MaMa:

 Some grandma's ride in limousines,
    wear fine clothes and diamond rings.   
But my Grandma's best by far...
Because she has a cookie jar!!!

Aunt Jane wrote a story about MaMa's life and her grand daughter Christy copied and posted it in a "note" for us.  If you are friends with either of them on FB you should read that wonderful tribute.  Before I close there is something else MaMa gave to me and that is Aunt Jane.  I love my Aunt Jane.  Yes, she's my husband's aunt, not really my blood, but she's of my heart.  When a horrible family tragedy touched my life years ago and it seems others didn't know what to say or do...Aunt Jane SHOWED UP! 
She was at our door with food, helping hands, listening ears, and a very willing heart.  I've realized since that she was just doing what had been modeled for her all her life.  That is what MaMa did too!  Oh the legacy that has been laid out for my children in this journey, may it continue...

The journey is always a little sweeter with some cookie dough!
May all your cookies come out of the oven just right!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beware of Hail Damage

The girls and I getting ready to get our "slide" on!!!

Well it's almost that time again...Bikini Season...Like that's gonna happen around my house.  Last year our "big" investment for Mammy & Pappy Camp was an above ground swimming pool and a water slide.  It's just right for us and I love it!  I have to confess if I wasn't so afraid of the ladder and getting in by myself, I'd swim in it everyday, but sometimes last season Ken was after dark getting home and I was already busy with something else.  This year will be different!  All of this came to mind last weekend as Ken and I were waiting for our daughter-in-law to come pick me up for a trip to take grand daughter pictures.  We were waiting in the front yard and Ken said, "Debbie come stand in the shade, you probably don't need all that sun."  I quickly reminded him that my "Spa Doctor" told me that the sun is exactly what I do need.  It seems my vitamin D level is at a critical low; she told me to get 15 - 20 minutes of direct sun everyday.  When I reminded Ken of this he started chuckling.  I can read his "chuckles" a mile a way...He was remembering what happened to me last year.  When I came home and told Ken what the "Spa Dr." had said, Ken replied,"Why don't you lay out in the sun in the afternoon the way you did when you were a teenager.  You used to love that."  He is correct!  I did love that.  Back then I had a little green transistor radio and could lay out there for hours, if my mama or daddy didn't know about it.   I would lay out there with my radio and my book and be perfectly content.  Of course there have been some minor changes since I was a teenager, but I was willing to give it a try.  First day, outside, beach towel (big one these days), book in hand...small clouds but I didn't think it was too much to worry about.  There I was when all of a sudden as quick as a wink a small thunderstorm erupted.  If you live in Louisiana you know, if you're not listening to your Doppler, how quick a storm can arise.  I hustled, I bustled, I huffed and I puffed...finally I got inside the house, rushed to the bathroom and started drying off my swimsuit clad body.  Now our bathroom is loaded with mirrors, so I'm drying my body and that's when I saw the back of my legs!  OH NO!   I was just caught in the storm for a few minutes, but in those few minutes I had suffered some major HAIL DAMAGE!  I'm sure of it.  You might say cellulite, but I swear it looked just like some of those cars caught in a hail storm.  That's when I got the idea.  I called the "Spa Dr." told them of the incident and asked if I could come in and get a Dr.'s report so that I could claim this HAIL DAMAGE on my insurance.  They took me serious for a minute and then laughed and laughed...They've got some nerve... Maybe I should try State Farm...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rocky Dress Rehearsal...Great Performance

Wow!  What a day yesterday was!  I walked into our school building only to find that the painters had been very busy over the weekend.  (We're being renovated...) Sometime between Friday evening and Tuesday morning, they had painted all of the halls.  I got a headache with the first breath and then my "Grouch" was on like a chicken bone.  Second hour, my planning period, I stumbled to the copy machine to make a few copies...NO SUCH LUCK.  The copy machine went out one day last week and the secretary ordered a new one...not delivered yet.  I make my way to the back of the office for a Diet Coke.  The machine is completely OUT of EVERYTHING.  I have  to tell you also that there was  only one stall in the lady's bathroom with t p...What pray tell is happening here?  Do we not know that LEAP and iLEAP testing starts next Monday, less than a week away and I cannot breathe, make copies, or get a soft drink...might be time for the hard stuff.  Wait that's what I teach, the hard stuff, MATH! 

"Ok class, My job is to talk yours is to listen.  Let me know if you finish first."  ha!
 My students were either very patient with me yesterday or very scared, I don't know which, but I contacted the powers that be and recommended them ALL for Sainthood.  They could tell it was in their best interest to do as they were told first time and no questions asked, bless their hearts.  Today MUCH BETTER!  A brand spanking new copier arrived, the Coke man filled the machine, and Mona fixed our t p problem!!!  That leaves the paint smell...Last night I went to bed at 7:40 pm with paint in my nose, even after I had sprayed a "Nose Spray" in both nostrils...  The price of beautifying...When I was in the theatre,  producing or performing, the rule is: Rocky dress rehearsal, WONDERFUL performance.  So if I can make a connection here, this practice week started very rocky it has gotten better, let's all pray that next performance week starts off WONDERFUL!!!  Math is Monday morning and my kiddos are READY!  Come on team...let's perform!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Journey is Short...Come Smile With Me A While...

Eating strawberries with your cousin!

If a face can launch a thousand ships...wonder how many a smiling face can launch?
Mona Lisa's smile has been seen by millions around the world....
Wonder how far my smile and your smile can go?
Wonder how many days and lives a smile can brighten?
When I was in high school, one of our English teachers had us collect poetry.  I found a poem in Good Housekeeping magazine that revolutionized my way of looking at life and has stayed with me throughout the years...I don't remember (maybe it was anonymous) the author but I'll share with you the poem.

I had not learned to live
Until I learned to treasure every moment given.
To realize the slightest touch
May hold a hidden heaven.

Sometimes life touches us hard and sometimes life is joyous.  Just like we learn to choose our battles, I think we must learn to choose our joys.  I'm a person that chooses to be happy...and these are some of the things that make me smile...
  1. The Lord
  2. A hug from my husband
  3. A baby's giggle
  4. A call from my mother
  5. Hairdo Day
  6. My children, children-in-law, grandchildren...their comings and goings
  7. My husband's people
  8. My Church Family
  9. My first watermelon in summer
  10. July 11
  11. The first day of school in fall
These are just a few of the things that make me smile, PLEASE use my "comment" section below and share something that makes you smile.  You may leave it anonymously or take credit.  But your "participation" in this journey means a lot to me...Smile a while...or just grin and bear it!!!!

Young Love


Older Love

So share with me PLEASE...what makes you smile???

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teaching Buddies...Thinking Outside the Box Can be Dangerous!!!

Every great now and then you get to work with a teacher that you really "click" with; someone who compliments your teaching style and makes co-teaching an absolute joy.  I've been very blessed in my teaching career; this joy has repeated itself several times over.  One of my "bestest" teaching buddies though was a girl named Shawn.  She is a GREAT teacher and I had the privilege of working with her for three wonderful years.  We didn't 'pal' around a lot after school; Shawn lived in a different town and was very young.  Then she was dating, then a young newly wed, just BUSY!  But school was FUN!  We collaborated together and stuck with each other through the muck and the mire and the joy and the pain and called the thing rodeo...Anyway, one year we had a darling of a lad, Antonio...Shawn can pull the most out of children.  She enjoys teaching them to think "outside the box."  One of my greatest "hoorahs" came one day when Shawn was just about ready to pull her hair out with Antonio.  She told me she had been trying some brainstorming and I promise I could just tell  Antonio had a "thunderstorm" going on...finally she had had all she could take.  Shawn said she pointed a shaking finger at him and said, "You, back in the box!"
Shawn is a very creative teacher.  When I was teaching with her on the same grade level, she enjoyed doing "crafts" with the kiddos.  I enjoyed watching!!!!  One time for Christmas they were making Sock Snowmen to hang on their lockers.  She told me Antonio had been laughing at all the others and had made some very rude comments about them.  Shawn had warned him if it didn't stop, his would soon be headless.  I just about rolled in the hall when I came out of my classroom later that day and observed poor Tony's locker...there it was a headless Snowman!!!!  Antonio delivered several delightful experiences in my classroom as well.   I was in the front of the classroom, maybe running all over it, teaching math.  I observed that Tony was looking down a lot and not in his book, but at something in his lap.  So I called on him for the answer to the next problem.  He did not miss a beat...he knew the answer...but when he lifted his little sixth grade head to deliver his answer he was sporting a new "Spy" mustache...He had just bought a Spy Kit from a book company and had to try it out.  That kid, wonder where he is now?  I know where Shawn is...I know where I am (most of the time)...These kids...Life is a joy, because that's how we roll....