Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What to do? What to do?

What to do?  What to do?  Summer school is almost over.  We began LEAP testing today; two more days of that and it's all over.  I guess the "fat lady" will be singing. "La,la, la..." That's me warming up the ole vocal chords!   Now what will I do with the rest of my summer?  There's lots of cleaning and scrubbing that needs to be done, but there's also a lot of huggin' and squeezin' that the grandchildren need!    Let's see...Mammy and Pappy Camp will take place July 9 - July 16 and right in the middle of that we will have Vacation Bible School!    Mammy & Pappy Camp takes some special planning.  I've got our Camp shirts in; this year we are MP3 Players! 

Mammy & Pappy Camp 2010
All I need now is to line out our Arts & "Craps" (Audrey word), food, Aunt visitations, Pappy Bucks, pool set-up (Ken problem)...I'll need a week of recovery before we even get started and then hopefully Ken & I will take a trip to Houston and see his folks.   August 1, I'll kick it in to high gear along with my partner Suzanne with Cheer/Dance Camp.  We will have a week of that wonderful stuff!  August 8, I'll report for the new school year.  August 10, all my new students arrive with new notebooks, pencils and willing minds.  I can scarcely wait...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Funny Misspeakings...But They Make Sense to Me!!!

I love the Winnie the Pooh characters!  They make up all the basic personalities that we as humans exhibit:

       Piglet:   very Phlegmatic, always wanting to please, wants everyone to be happy...
       Eyeore:  very Melancholy, always sad even when he's glad, always expects gloom, happy to be alone...
       Rabbit:  very Choleric, bossy, bossy, bossy, always neat & so is all his stuff...
      Tigger:  very Sanguine, always happy, bouncy, life of the party even if there's no party...
       Pooh:  a very balanced sort, a good mixture of all the basic personalities.

I'm sure that A. A. Milne was trying to teach his Christopher Robin how to get along with others through the creation of these wonderful characters.  A true study of each personality shows us the beauty of each and how necessary all are to the whole.  But none so wonderful as the very balanced Pooh.  Piglet describes Pooh perfectly when he says, "Pooh hasn't much Brain, but he never comes to any harm.  He does silly things and they turn out right." 
Audrey and the Cobbler

When I think of coining phrases or "misspeakings", I think of Pooh & the gang.  They certainly have a way with words.  I learned "I think I'll have a small smackeral," from Pooh and can think of no better description of some delicious treat. 

My grandchildren are great at turning a phrase or a word.  Just the other day Audrey Jane was complaining to her mother about her young sister, Ava.  Her mother reminded Audrey that Ava is still a baby, only 18 mos.  Audrey put her hands on her hips and said, "Mama, is Ava a baby or a cobbler?"  Tafta told her the word was toddler, but I think Audrey had it right.  Ava is a delicious, peachy king kiddo!

Sadee Ann has learned new words like "idion".  That would be a cross between an idiot and a moron.  Seems someone told her "moron" was an ugly word.  Well Sadee, Mammy loves idion!  It describes quite a few people I know!

Sadee is no "Idion".  She knows half of baking is TASTING just a lil' smakeral!

When Joe was young, he called his fingers "thingers".  I could not get him to change.  Finally, one day he looked at me with total disdain, holding up his thumb and said, "This is not a Fumb, it is a thumb.  So these (holding up the fingers) are thingers."  That really does make sense...and we do use them to pick up things not fings!

Sometimes we look at children or the characters children love as simple when they make up perfectly brilliant words, yet we called Shakespeare brilliant.  He coined so many words.  I wonder if people scoffed at his "new" words.  I think not, so I will misspeak all I want to and coin away...This journey is short and delightful...at least I've always thunk so!

Share with me all your newly coined words!  What fun...maybe you'll win, just like me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day

I skipped blogging about Father's Day on PURPOSE!!!  My Daddy is gone now and even if he were still with us, I probably would have just called and said, "Happy Father's Day, Daddy."  Ken would have made sure I went to see Daddy on Saturday, because that's how Ken rolls.  He would insist that I needed too.  I loved my Daddy but we were really not super sentimental folks.  As a matter of fact, I was grown before I can remember my Daddy hugging me and telling me he loved me.  That's how he rolled.  I guess I knew he did, he just wasn't the type to say or show it.  I remember as a kid hearing him tell Mama when he would leave for work, "Kiss me or kick me, it makes me no difference."  Then he'd laugh.  He loved to aggravate and I loved that sometimes, especially if he was aggravating someone besides me. 

The GREATEST father I know is the father of my children, Ken Evans.  He is not only a wonderful father, he is a wonderful husband and a wonderful man.  Ken has made fathering and "husbanding" his hobby for years.  He calls each and everyone of our four children daily and sometimes even the grandchildren and spouses just to talk to them.   If our children need to know something about nurturing, cooking, cleaning or any "family" stuff they call Daddy.  They know if they call me, I'll say, "Wait, I'll ask Daddy."  I think the reason Ken has become GREAT at this is because he has studied the Word and made that his goal.  He wants to love me as Christ loves the church and literally gives his life to that effort.  Ken also wants to be the type of earthly father that will point his children and theirs to the heavenly Father.  It has been said that you'll know how good a parent you are when you see how good your own children are at parenting.  Our three boys are wonderful fathers, Ken did a great job.  One of our friends said many years ago, "Ken knows two speeds, full speed and STOP."  I hope he keeps rolling for many more years to come.  I sure love this man...The journey is good!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Thoughts on Public Education!

A lot has been said about what's wrong with public education today.  Sometimes I think too much is said and maybe we need to just step back and look at what's right with public education today!  Dr. Steven Covey talks about a "paradigm shift" when trying to solve problems.  Take a step back and look at the problem from a different angle.  This concept has been very useful for me.  I try to teach it to my students.  So in looking at public education and how it can be "fixed",hmm...let's see...Here's some thoughts from different angles:

1.  Public education MUST be viewed as a privilege and not a right. 

2.  Even though we say every child is entitled to a free public education, we all need to understand that public education is NOT free.  It costs!   Its costs are not just monetary.  It's time consuming for dedicated educators, parents as well as students and because we consider it one of our freedoms it has also been paid for with the blood of our freedom defenders.

3.  All stakeholders (educators, parents and students) must view each other with dignity and respect. 

4. There must be an authority in the classroom.  That person is the teacher and they must be viewed as the authority.  If number 3 is adhered to (diginity and respect), authority of the teacher in the classroom is not an issue.

5.  Educators need to educate and legislators need to legislate!  Dedicated educators have studied their profession, it is constantly their goal to hone their craft. 

6.  We all need to understand that even though we were created equal in that God made us with a mind, body and soul, WE ARE NOT EQUAL!  The rich have an advantage over the poor; the strong have an advantage over the weak; the brilliant have an advantage over the dull.  Therefore "cookie cutter" education will not work for all.  People progress at different rates.

7.  The ability to TEACH and to enjoy TEACHING is a gift.  It must be treasured every day!

In my world of education, my classroom,  I view it as a privilege and a gift to be there every day.  I view it as a privilege for my students as well.  My time is valuable, I'm only here for a brief while, so I try to instill that thought in my students' minds.   They, too, are only here for a brief moment.  I treat my students, parents, supervisors with respect and demand it for myself.  A teacher friend of mine called each of his students Mr. and Miss followed by their last names.  That made an impression on me and it was an easy habit to pick up.  The students seem to enjoy hearing their name in that fashion.  Every human that I come in contact with is "SPECIAL" to someone.  They need to be treated that way.  If they are not special to someone, then they need to be even more SPECIAL to me.  I'm not sure about building all this "self-esteem" that we talk about today, but SELF-WORTH is important.  The ability to accept oneself along with your strengths and weaknesses enables one to accept others and improve oneself. 

We've come a long way, baby!

So what's right with public education?  In my world, my classroom, it's great...You tell me...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day!

National Police Week - A member of Newport News Police Department honor guard clutches a flag as he prepares for the beginning of observed for 11 fallen police officers.

This song was in a July 4, Freedom Cantata Ken led years ago.  Beautiful song, beautiful flag, wonderful country!

Proudly she waves Old Glory, over the land of the free.
Promise of hope and freedom, symbol of liberty.
Red, white and blue are her colors, colors both brilliant and clear.
Colors with far deeper meanings than that at first may appear.
Red is for blood of patriots who have died to free us,
White is for justice and government of law,
Blue is for honor and faith in all we do.
This is my flag; this is Old Glory, the red, white and blue.

Today, June 14, is also the day that Phillip Karl Evans, Ken's younger brother was born.  He is no longer with us, but today I thought of him.  Phil remains in our memories...and our hearts...

Friday, June 10, 2011

On the Porch, In the Yard, It's Singing Time

Ms. Lora Ann May

Mark on the guitar and Randy
leads the singin'!
Just spent a magical evening with friends and family, church family that is...Ms. Lora Ann May was hosting her Shell Family Reunion this evening at her house.  She invites the whole church, the community as well as her family.  It's truly a good time with family and friends.  We gathered at about 5:30, her son Mark May was grilling burgers, sausage and weiners.  The "smells" were all there and the tastebuds were ready.  The blessing was said and the food lines appeared.  We ate, we drank, we desserted ourselves.  Someone had made a pecan pie, there were cookies galore and lots of cold soda pop and water.  Then the lawn chairs gathered around as Mark and Kelley played. 

Kelley & the dobro
The hymn books were passed out and a singin' commenced led by Randy Etheridge.  I'm telling you the circle will not be broken.  Those dear people sang and you felt as if you had been transported back a 100 years.  When did we get too busy or too spoiled to sit in the yard or on the porch and sing with the guitar and such?  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I can play the piano, the saxophone and a recorder, but I tell you I think I'm gonna have to pick up a fiddle or a guitar.  I know I can & I just feel inspired.  I'm ready for another "Louisiana Saturday Night"!  Thank you folks for a pickin', singin', grinnin', GOOD time!
It's a singin' good time!

Mr. & Mrs. Pete Shell, Ms. Francis Walker
Lora Ann's brother & sister

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Earning Money for Camp!

The boys:  Joe, Jonathan, Ben
Yesterday, Ken and I went shopping.  It was not intentional, I just needed a few things...but as always if Ken is with me I wind up buying too much.  He likes shopping for me.  Ain't that nice...  That's a whole different blog.  Anyway, as we were waiting on a cashier, Ken started a conversation with another customer waiting.  It seems she was in town picking up "stuff" for her boys who were getting ready for church camp.  Of course that brought back a TON of memories.  There's nothing like summer camp with 150 kiddos!  For years our children went to camp every summer, for years I directed pre-teen camp, for years I did the singing or co-directed girls camp...I LOVED THAT STUFF!!!  So did our children.  They all went to camp, then when I directed pre-teen they all worked in it, and Tafta even worked at camp during her summers while she was in college.  We were Summer Camp People!  Today I'm thinking about one summer in particular.  It was the summer of our "BIG" vacation.  We took off right after school was out, at the beginning of June.  We helped a friend move back to Boaz, Alabama.  After we got him situated, we kept on going straight up to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  We camped and stomped all over those Smoky Mountains.  Those memories are for another day as well.  Long story short, we spent so much money on that trip that we told the kids when we got home that if they were going to Summer Camp, they would have to earn the money and pay for it themselves.  We get home,  things were normal again...I enrolled in a college class meeting from 8 - 12, Ken's home with the kids from 8 - 12 then working every afternoon & evening with church, kids are everywhere.  Ben literally had his "camp" money in one week, maybe less.  He washed cars, raked yards, weeded flower beds, whatever he had to do.  Jonathan had his money too.  He had mowed yards, fed goats, fed dogs, whatever...Those boys had gotten after it!  I came home one day to find Joe lying down on the couch watching TV.  I said, "Joe, have you earned any of your camp money yet?"  "No, ma'am."  He looked worried.  He finished, "I need you to take me to the dentist."  He was only 6.  But clearly he was having trouble with something.  I said, "Joe, which tooth hurts?"  "None mama, I just need to get all my teeth pulled so I can sell 'em and get enough money for camp."  Poor baby, Ken was not as amused as I was.  That very afternoon, he was out there hustling with his brother Ben earning money for camp.  They all went as usual, and as far as I know Joe still has all his teeth!
Joe and Ben

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beware Daughters of Eve

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
Oscar Wilde
Happy Birthday Crowned Mother, Juanita @ 75...

So "Happy Birthday Doo!"  June 6, my mother will turn 75 years old.  We celebrated this event Saturday afternoon at my sister's house in Shreveport.  As I sat there, watching people, listening to my mother talk, and thinking...a lot was going on all around me and in my head.   I celebrated as I reflected last night all the lovely attributes of my mother that she has passed on to her daughters.  Whether we acknowledge it, admit it, or not...Beware the daughters of Eve, you do become your mothers.

Our mother is quick-witted and always has a song in her heart and mind.  I love this about Juanita!

Charlotte:  loves creating something.  She creates gardens, flower beds, clothing, purses, crafts...  Mother lives on...

Debbie:  read and played with children.  Our mother spent hours reading, playing games and working puzzles with us...Mother lives on...

Lenora:  multi-tasks until the break of dawn and then on and on.  She is NEVER idle.  There is not a lazy bone in her body or a lazy thought in her mind...Mother lives on...

Elizabeth:  lives life with a great deal of passion.  Liz deals with life from a deep part of her loving heart that is so very passionate, in fact it can be painful for her...Mother lives on...

Sandy:  believes in what she believes and stands firmly.  She will not be torn down.  She may be shaken but her beliefs, her roots, are deep and she will remain strong and fight...Mother lives on...

So I celebrate my mother and the daughters she has raised, my sisters and myself.  I'm so glad she passed on these wonderful traits.  May we celebrate the WONDER of life found in our mother. 

Happy Birthday Doo!