Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Little Thanksgiving Lagniappe

Has it slowed down YET?!  Life is good.  Thanksgiving this year was fantabulous with a hustle and bustle that comes when you join Thanksgiving with Christmas and 25 or so people in one nest for three or four fantastic, wondermous days!  Thank you Ginny for chronologicallizing (Shakespeare, how do you like that word?)  our time together.  You can read all about it by hopping over to Ginny's blog, "Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo" at   ENJOY!  I know I sure did! My family is not necessarily extraordinary but they're MINE & I love 'em every one and welcome in new folks to the fold.   Love me some Ginny, Chris, Timothy & Matthew.  God treated us special the day you came along.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Learning Something New

Here I go again!  Ken loves to try new stuff out on me.  I love it, I guess.  I really was quite content with my big old computer, when Ken decided I needed a laptop.  I really enjoyed it, still am actually, but now Ken has decided I would enjoy an i-pad.  It's actually a droid, but same difference.  NOW  Ken has decided that I needed a little blue tooth key pad because  my fingers aren't too good a blog texting...  this is my first attempt lying on the floor in front of the TV lil pad propped on a pillow typing on my lil keyboard...It might be something I can get use to...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh Be Careful Lil Eyes

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Wonderful words of life, but hard to do as I watch TV these days or listen to the radio...Maybe my old Sunday School Teacher had it right when she taught me the song: (sing it with me, if you remember it!) Oh be careful little eyes what you see Oh be careful little eyes what you see For the Father up above Is looking down in love So be careful little eyes what you see. Remember there was a verse for our little ears (what you hear), our little mouths (what you say), our little hands (what you do), our little feet (where you go). I think I'll try to be more careful with my little self. Thank you SS Teacher of old and Sweet Lord.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wow, What a Ride!

These last few weeks have been VERY tumultuous! VERY BUSY and just flat out CRAZY! From Cheer/Dance Tryouts to BETA Convention to Athletic Awards to School Board meetings to Test Result Day to Academic Awards to End of the School Year to What's Up With Next School Year to Let's Start Summer School to Training for other Jobs! WOW! This does not even mention the HUSBAND, GRANDCHILDREN OR CHURCH! Double Wowwzzee If I weren't already a bit on the ZANY side I'd be headed there in a HURRY!!! I have had quite a few calls, cards, e-mails, and gentle nudges over this time and I appreciate all the smiles sent my way. So many stories yet untold. Here's one that happened just the other day in the nail salon. Isn't it funny that I ALWAYS find time for a pedicure and a manicure? At least my priorities have remained in tact. Saturday I was in the nail salon awaiting my turn, playing on my new telephone pad thingie. When an elderly lady said, "Are you reading the Bible on that thing?" I was embarrassed to say, "No mam, I'm just checking pictures of my grand youngins out on facebook. But I do have the Bible on here. What's your favorite book, chapter and verse?" After a conversation about my I-pad thingie. I showed her my regular cell phone & how I also had the Bible on it and so forth. Then the talk turned to all the young kiddos that are now carrying phones and how in "Our Day" we had no such luxury. I told her that in my opinion the young minds that I teach are completely HOOKED on their cell phones. Can't leave home with out them and heaven help them if they run low on juice. Well, I thought the world would come to an end when one of our darlings discovered she had left her charger at home while we were at the BETA Convention. I repeated something I had heard, "One teen actually wanted to unplug Grandpa's life support to plug in their charger!" I just don't know how we got along without them. She told me, "Well today there's so much more danger. What with kidnappings and all. But, I got to tell you", she went on to say, "if any of my kids were calling (children or parents) they'd probably be on the other line or texting or something and I can tell you from experience THEY WOULDN'T ANSWER THE BEEP!" Boy that's enough to beep ya! The journey is sweet, but maybe not as quiet as it use to be!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

If There's a Mic in the House

This is the way it gets started...

Then the next thing you know...

The rule applies:  If there's a mic in the house we must be on it!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mrs. Evans #13 Has Arrived!!

We have a new baby!  Siblee Mae, #13, made her grand entrance on my baby sister's birthday April 17!  What a sweet little darling.  The morning of her birth I was giving the Science & Social Studies parts of the state iLEAP.  I happened to be testing 12 students.  As soon as our secretary knew my students were finished testing, she called me on the intercom.  "Mrs. Evans," she said, "Number 13 has arrived!"  My thought was, "What!  I'm testing these 12; I'm teaching 100 students 7th grade math; I have two homebound students after school.  I'm not testing number 13!"  Before my THOUGHTS could come out of my mouth, she continued, "Your husband called to say mother and baby are doing fine!"  THEN I said, "Oh thank you Lord!"   The journey just got sweeter!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunshine Merry-Go-Round!

This week is my baby sister's birthday week!!!  "You Are My Sunshine" is one of her favorite songs.  She has sung it to each of her children & reminds them all the time of the sunshine that they are to her.  I cannot receive this award without thinking of her.  I cannot pass it on to fellow bloggers without thinking of her.  So to Sandy, "Happy Birthday" and "You Are My Sunshine"!

My sister Charlotte has passed this Award on to me as a sweet gesture.  I thank her and invite you to check her out if you don't already follow her @  Her blog tells of her urban farm, wonderful family and life in politics!

The rules of the Sunshine Blog Award are simple…
#1 Thank the person who nominated you with a link back to their blog.
#2 Answer a few questions about yourself.

Favorite color: Red (It's a power color.)
Favorite animal: Juanita, my chihuahua
Favorite number: 3, the Trinity
Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Diet Coke
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook (It's an addictive way of staying up with everyone.) 
My Passion: The Lord, my husband, my family, education
Favorite flower: Black-eyed Susan
Favorite movie: Gone with the Wind
Favorite painting: anything my grandchildren paint for me

And finally, nominate a few other blogs and include links to them:
#1 A Penny for Your Thoughts @
#2 Raising Wilson's @
#3 Mom to 8:  Raising a Happy Family @
#4 I Think; Therefore I Yam @
Feel free to paste this pretty award on your blogs to show that you’re held in high esteem. I hope I get more awards because there are other great bloggers I’d like to nominate.
Mission accomplished.   The journey is brighter with all this sunshine!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Flowers Are Red

I was reading a fellow blogger's writings about education, Red @ Hiawatha House,  and someone left a comment about this song.  So I looked it up and thought I'd share.  It is a sad statement on "cookie cutter" education but it's definitely the way we are going to go if we keep on talking about testing and measurements instead of human beings.
Click on the hot link and enjoy...Think about it.  This journey should be very colorful!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Not on the Same Page

An elderly man fell asleep in the waiting room of the hospital.  When he awoke he asked his wife, "Where are we?"  She told him and then leaned over to me and said, "We did get up early.  But his doctor says that sometimes he's just not on our same page."  My reply, "Me neither.  I feel like sometimes I'm just struggling to stay in the same book!"

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's A Small World

On "Oreo Day", I wrote of a convention that I was to be acting as emcee for this past weekend.  Well the convention happened!  This past Thursday - Saturday I have been with a large group of people at the Monroe Convention Center at the Civic Center "mcing" the event.  I tell you it was a BLAST!  I enjoyed myself immensely!  The theme was "Feeling Groovy" and so all of the music was from the sixties & seventies.  I was in my element and on stage the entire time!  I had so much fun.  These people came from all over the state, all walks of life, all ages, for one purpose to celebrate healthy lifestyles and to get motivated to strengthen their desire to see this journey through in a more healthy way than they may have been doing.  I am a member of this organization and have tried to be good but am not always successful.  But I tell you, this weekend was really like a retreat for me...very refreshing.  That sounds kind of funny, because I have blisters on my feet.  I worked hard the entire weekend.  But it was a VERY FUN JOB!   I love to be in front of crowds of people, just playing.  And to me that's what "mcing" is even though there's a script and lots of action.  I LOVE it!  Maybe that's why I enjoy the classroom so much.  Anyway, one of the people I had to introduce was the mayor of the city.  He was going to welcome the convention.  The mayor couldn't make it so he sent his assistant.  During a break, a woman from the Business & Convention Center for the city came to me and introduced to me the mayor's assistant.  I looked at him, he looked at me.  We recognized each other.  I swore him to secrecy and thankfully even though he kept my secret on stage, he did tell everyone that he & I had actually met the week before in another city on the other side of the state.  Of course that led to a lot of questions later...  Here's what happened.  I was in a hospital surgery waiting room when he walked through with a box of Krispy Creme Donuts.  That is very dangerous.  I love those things.  I called him out on it!  He said, "Oh these are for my family.  My grandmother's in surgery..."  He came back about 30 minutes later with three that had been left over.  Even though I only ate one, I was afraid for him to say how we met in front of hundreds of people!  Life is funny and even though you may eat something in private, it's really there for all the world to see.  And it is a small world but a great journey.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Teacher Interview Replayed

Thanks Mr. Carol for sharing this e-mail:

From birth to tomb, we educate them all!

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:

Let me see if I've got this right.  You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

You want me to do all this, and then you tell me...


Anonymous Author

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's Pi Day!!!

We celebrated Pi Day today by eating cookies and Pi Cake.  Even though we all know the area of a circle is pi(r)squared.  We had happy pi written on rectangle cake.  We did find circumference of several circles, discussed the relationship between circumference/diameter, and discovered "real-life" applications of pi.  Don't you just love the journey?  Especially if a little cake is involved!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Golden Years

Ken & I were visiting with a friend of ours, Ms. Francis, who happens to be 88 years old.  She is NOT a complainer, but she has had bronchitis for quite a little while this season and is having trouble shaking it.  We were discussing things, family, friends, church all kinds of stuff, when I noticed a new picture of an ultrasound.  I asked her about the baby.  She told me it was a new great-great grandchild due this summer.  Then we talked about all of our babies and that was when she gave me another morsel of wisdom.  She said, "These are not the 'Golden Years' that I'm experiencing now.  The 'Golden Years' were back then when my children were at my feet."  Oh how I agree.  I shared that with one of my boys and he said, "Thanks Mom, that is very encouraging."  I pray they enjoy the journey each step of the way as it is laid before them.  I love these years, whatever state I'm in!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's My Little Red Coupe...

Ken and I were visiting the nursing home the other day when I noticed a sign on one of the little lady's wall.   It said:

           We're not Senior Citizens...
           We're Recycled Teenagers.

With that said, here's my new ride...

Let's go...the journey is sweet...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Oreo!

In another month, I have been asked to act as the M C for the state convention of a group that celebrates weight loss and maintaining healthy weight.  I'm trying to be good... We are out of school this week so I've been able to catch up on the news and such.  Wouldn't you know it, yesterday was Oreo's 100th birthday.  These people are personal friends of mine, lifelong friends.  They've been with me through thick, thin, and then thick again.  So I celebrated.  Ken bought me a Sonic Oreo Blast and a package of Double Stuff.  I'm proud to say it was a small blast and the package of  double stuff Oreos are still on the counter with just a few missing.  However, it's not safe for me to go into the kitchen...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Julia Sugarbaker, "I'm saying this is the SouthAnd we're proud of our crazy people.  We don't hide them up in the attic.  We bring them right down to the living room and show them off."

I'll make the cucumber sandwiches, you bring the lemonade and come on over!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Ken has been preaching through the book of Job.  Yesterday he was in chapter 32 where Elihu declares his opinion.  In verse 6 he states, "Great men are not always wise:  neither do the aged understand judgement."  This reminded me of a blog shared by Cliff Morrow where he stated:

"Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age shows up all by itself."

After the service, I told Ken that I was reminded of this quotation and quoted it again in front of our friend Randy.  Randy said, "That's right sometimes age gets in the car and just leaves all wisdom behind."   The journey is great!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where Have All the Diaries Gone???

Do you remember or have you ever heard the song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"  If not, here's a link to the lyrics.

To celebrate my first year blogging, here's another rendition.   I thought of this because my little first grade grand daughter has started her own blog because she ran out of room in her diary.  Please feel free to add your lines!  The journey is great!

Where have all the diaries gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the diaries gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the diaries gone?
Gone to bloggers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Bet you saw that one coming...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Riggs, Dez, Ben, Anne-Claire, ASHLEY, Bethany Cate
Ashley turns 30 today!  I'm sure she feels good about that because she is the mother of four and now feels like she has arrived.  Ashley is a wonderful young lady and mother.  She has a spirit about her that keeps on keeping on.  Even though she is married to a TIGGER, she still remains sweet and calm and most of the time unraveled.  I remember one time when they were moving and Mr. Ken & I had traveled to Fayetteville to help, she felt a lot of  turmoil.  If you are a calm person, you don't want to be near Ken and Ben when they are moving or helping someone move.  They are like the Tazmanian Devil.  They are fast and furious.  They get the job DONE and it will be done RIGHT!    Just get out of the way.  That's about all you can do.  Anyway back to lil Ashley.  She had been placed in quite a tizzy and was finally driving her van to the new house, all alone.  She stopped to get gas, just as she was turned on the car the radio blared with, "I will survive!"  She immediately took that as her theme song!  Funny how things like that happen and we hear a word for that particular moment of our lives.  Ashley is a darling in our lives and we are thankful that she is a part of the journey!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Year of 29 Days

Quiz Bowl Team for BETA, 2011
Smart Kiddos!
Yesterday in one of my math classes a most delicious thing happened.  Especially delicious when you consider testing is a month away.  I teach math to 7th graders and I love it!  Every day we date our notebook, and I love to talk about the numbers as I write.  Yesterday as I wrote 2/24/12, I said, "This is great.   Two is a prime number, 24 and 12 are composite.  Two is a factor of 12 and 24.  Twenty four and twelve are multiples of 2.  And 2 x 12 is 24, so we have a fact family.  All in the date."  Then it dawned on me that this was Leap year, so I said, "And this year February has 29 days!"  One student piped in, "That's right Mrs. Evans, it's Leap year."  I decided then to pass on an old joke.  "Well," I said, "This year February has 29 days, how many of our other months have 29 days?"  One kiddo put his finger up in the air like the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz right after he had received his brain, "All of them, I read that on a Laffy Taffy wrapper."  He announced this just like it was news that he'd read in the Wall Street Journal.  So I kept a straight face and pulled it further, "That's right this is the year of 29 days, all of our months have 29 days."  I could tell some of the students caught on and some just kind of stared at me.  I continued to write the objective.  One young man looked really worried.  He said, "Mrs. Evans, what about August?"  "Yep," I said, "August has 29 days."  He looked really upset.  All of a sudden he says, "That sucks!"  I looked at him and asked, "Why would you say such a thing?"  "Cause my birthday is August 31!"  I just shook my head, "I feel your pain, now let's do some math!"  I did not tell him that there would also be a 30th and a 31st.  I figure he'll find out soon enough.  Maybe he'll notice the March calendar next month...The journey is great!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Walk a Mile with me and Joe in Bakersfield...

You know how it is in when you have your brain in neutral and you're just listening to the radio...Well that was the state of my being on the way home from school when I realized I was listening and singing along with Dwight and Buck as they sang "The Streets of Bakersfield".  Two of my favorite lines are...
            "You don't know me, but you don't like me..."
            "How many of you that sit and judge me ever walked the streets
              of Bakersfield?"

Joe and Sadee,
following his footsteps...
This sparked my brain to a delightful memory.  When I was a child my mama had a lot of records and she loved the radio.  Music was a constant in our house.  She particularly loved country music.  One song that I enjoyed and decided was a good mantra to live by was, "Walk a Mile in My Shoes".  I even sang this to my children and my classes anytime I caught them "putting the lip" on someone. 

           "Walk a mile in my shoes,
             Before you abuse, criticize or accuse,
            Walk a mile in my shoes."

One night, in the middle of the night, my youngest child Joe knocked on my bedroom door and woke me up.  He said, "Mama, mama, I now understand and know that you are right."  I muttered, "What are you talking about?"  Joe, "You know how you always say, before you talk about someone walk a mile in their shoes?"  I nodded very sleepily.  Joe, "I think that's the MOST WONDERFUL idea."  I started to get excited.  Finally someone understands.  Then Joe said, "Just think about it, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes!"  Hopefully you won't spend this journey barefoot.  That Joe...

Monday, February 20, 2012

MLK Community Service Award Winner, Charlotte Crawley

Congratulations to my sister, Charlotte Ann Murphy Crawley!  She received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award last evening from Mount Canaan Baptist Church.  It was an amazing worship service and a beautiful Award.

  Charlotte works hard to make her community a great place.  She has been involved with all sorts of city "stuff" from the opera to the farm!  She has opened her doors for the block party, making sure all neighbors know the neighborhood, and to state politicians.  Her passion is her husband, children, grandchildren, family, community and her farm.  Maybe not in that order all the time, but...  Her journey has led her in many directions and she has made friends every step of the way.  Congratulations again Charlotte and thank you Mount Canaan Baptist Church for a wonderful experience!

Link on over to my sister's blog to read more!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Lil Southern Manners Can Be Beneficial

Maybe this isn't just a Southern thing, I really don't know.  I do know I was told a LONG time ago, if someone sends you home a dish or basket or anything that should be returned make sure when you return it it's full of something!  I've tried to remember to ALWAYS do this and sometimes it was a challenge and a special surprise for friends.  My children also do this, if they remember!  At Christmas this year my sisters and all their families and mine gathered at my brother's house.  My granddaughters came a couple of days early and stayed with me.  We baked gingerbread brownies, cup cakes and candy.  We took some of these goodies to the party.  When Bethany Cate was leaving the gathering to head with her family back to Arkansas, she asked me if she could take the rest of the cupcakes home with her.  I told her sure, but when she brought back my container make sure it was full of something special from her!  She agreed.  Bethany is only 4 years old so I knew that would be something fantabulous!  Sure enough Ashley, BC's mom, called a couple of days later and said Bethany was really being insistent that they mail my plastic container back to me and that before they mailed it she wanted to fill it with Mac and Cheese.  How DELICIOUS!  I told Ashley how the story went down and she said she'd take care of it.  The other day a package arrived from Arkansas.  There was my red plastic container filled with home made macaroons and handmade Valentines from all the children.  How wonderful.

The package arrived!

Inside the box, under the packing, special Valentines and my red container.
Homemade maccaroons!

Then this weekend it happened again.  At Christmas, Ken sent Tafta, our daughter, home with our Sam's cold bag full of venison.  Venison makes the BEST chili.  Tafta came to visit this weekend and returned the bag with all the ingredients for chicken enchiladas!  What's better than that she cleared me out of the kitchen and prepared them!  Now I tell you, that's a mighty fine return on your investment. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Am Spoiled, Oh Well...

Every day around here is another day to spoil Debbie!  Ken does an excellent job.  I lost a diamond out of my wedding ring when I accompanied my sisters on our "Animal:  Sheep Goat Adventure" to Oklahoma way back in September.  Two weeks ago Ken gave it back to me.  I did not even know he'd taken it to the jeweler.  He also had a little silver box that he said I just had to look at  until Valentines Day.   Friday I came home and found roses...

Saturday morning I awoke to coffee, a sausage egg omelet, and pancakes with strawberries and syrup.  Whoa...A girl could get use to this...Too late I already am! 

This is not just about Valentines Day.  It has been the story of my life.  The journey is sweet with my sweetheart and I am blessed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Third Grade Valentine Fiasco

The other day after I posted about helping some of the grandchildren with their Valentines, Ken and I were reminiscing about when we were in grammar school and what we remembered about the Valentine's Day party.  Ken told me about his third grade fiasco!  He said he was so embarrassed that day that it even spilt over into his adult life and that is why he didn't want to help our children or grandchildren with their cards.  It seems little Ken was given a list by his teacher and had purchased a beautiful box of Valentines to distribute to all his classmates.  He sat down that evening and wrote dutifully on the back To:  "Named Each Classmate" From: Ken.    Then put them in envelopes and sealed them.  When he got to school and started delivering them in the bags he realized he had not written any of the names on the envelopes.  All the names were carefully written and carefully sealed inside the envelope.   He said he quietly just dropped them into each sack and prayed for the best.  Sure enough at the party some kid yelled out, "Hey, Ken, you gave me 'So-in-So's' Valentine.  Ken said he bowed his head and said, "Oh just go trade with them, I probably just got a little mixed up."  That poor baby.  He sure has given me some beautiful cards!  And his heart is the best...The journey is sweeter as the days go by.

These cards date back to our first years of marriage...13 grandchildren ago!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day...Have a Heart!

Me and my Valentines!!!
In one week, it'll be THE Heart day of the year!!!  Valentine's Day!  When I was a child, I looked forward to this day with delight and deprivation.  I was excited to get Valentine cards from all my friends and hopefully some cute boys, but I was scared of who would send what...  My teachers always had us create a Valentine Bag that acted as a "mailbox".  She would hang these in the front of our classroom and we could bring our Valentine cards at any time and deliver them when we finished our work or during recess.  I took my list of classmates home as soon as she gave it to us and got busy immediately.  I worked hard and deliberately.  I studied each Valentine and put thought into it.  I tried to imagine what each person that got a Valentine from me would think of their card.  Each one HAD to be right.  Years passed, I had children of my own.  Valentine giving was not the delight it seemed for my boys that it was for me.  In fact I think I had to discipline, threaten and then perhaps even do them for them myself.  My daughter seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, the boys seemed to get a thrill out of it once they learned to encrypt their names or make up "ghost" names...Those boys.  I learned though that this could be a trial time for parents, so...When Jonathan asked if we'd keep Joshua, Katharyn, Sully and Kendalyn this past weekend, I saw an opportunity to help them get their Valentines addressed and ready for delivery.  I told the children to be sure to be prepared with a list of their names.  Sully told me he knew everyone in his room and he was going to give everyone a Valentine except for Lilly.  "Why not Lilly?" I asked.  The reply, "I don't know where she moved to."  I thought this will be a job.     Well, the day came.  Ken bought the cards, Batman, Spiderman and Tangled Valentine's Day... No one brought a list, but they remembered all of their names and with a little help we were successful in spelling all of them correctly.  Then came the struggle.  The boys, "Do I really have to write all of these names?"  "I'm not sure this is how they really spell their name, I better skip them."  And so it went.  Finally Sully and Josh just wrote "From Josh" or "From Sully" on the back of each card.  They said they were just going to give each person one at recess anyway.  Kate finished each of hers, addressed personally to each person in her class.  When they left me Sunday afternoon, I reminded them to take care of their Valentines until they were able to take them to class.  Last night Ken and I stopped in and visited with the children.  I asked Sully if he remembered to take his Valentines to class.  "Yes and it was just in time."  I inquired what he meant.  "Well," he said, "Today she gave us a list of everybody and said we needed to address them.  But I told her I was already finished and mine were already on the back table.  I'm through with that."   No wonder Jonathan seemed excited when I told him I'd handle the job this year for them...The journey is sweeter with Valentine candy!

Monday, January 30, 2012

January Birthdays OOPSIE!!!

I told you January is full of family birthdays!  I left off two of my favorite people in the whole world...How in the world does that happen? I even visited with these two Saturday and am looking forward  to them being with me this next weeked.  So again how does this happen?  I'll tell you, someone is TOO busy or just on brain overload.  My life has been extremely enriched by my precious Katharyn McKinley Evans and John Sullivan McCartney Evans.  These are two people you must meet!

January 2:  Kate, Wow!  My very first grand daughter.  What a little red head!  She is really a strawberry blonde with a red head attitude!  You don't hold down Katharyn.  If there is attitude she'll handle it; if there is a job to be done she'll get it done; if there's a contest she'll put her best foot forward.  She is a winner!  She is beautiful, sporty and smart.  It doesn't get any better than my Kate!

January 14:  Sully Mac attack, attack, attack...  Sully is all HEART!  He gets along with EVERYBODY!  You know the show, "Everybody Loves Raymond"?  Well the truth is everybody really does love Sully.  He beats his own drum and really doesn't worry about the marching part.  He is a whole heapa bunch like his Pappy.  These two just think different from most people.  You ought to see the look of confusion they'll give you and then hear their wonderful explanations for things.  He is his mama's baby, even though there is now a younger child.  Sully Mac will tell you in a heartbeat he's never going to leave  his mama.  Precious, loving, wonderful child!

The journey is sweet and mine is full of  slips and slides.  Thank you Lord for these two precious people!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Birthdays!!!

Wow!  January is full of family birthdays!  Actually, as fast as our family has grown and is still growing every month is full of birthdays...But these people do kick off the year well.

Russell, Christy, Trent and Jax

January 1  Christy Sanderson White, Aunt Jane's oldest granddaughter, Liz's oldest child. Christy was born January 1, the same year as Ben. Just like Aunt Jane and Liz, Christy is a happy golden nugget in our family and more importantly the family of God.  She is a beautiful, delightful young woman.
Bridget, Charlotte, Jacquie, ACE and Chase

January 7  Charlotte:  What a wonderful person.  My daughter, Tafta, describes her best.  She is like a great literary character: full of life, diversity of interests, unafraid and ready for the next adventure.  Too bad 2012 is the "Year of the Dragon"; I'm sure Charlotte is convinced it is the year of the Goat!  Visit her at  You'll enjoy her one acre downtown farm. 

Matthew Rogers is the big guy!

January 11  Matt:  The Alliance.  Matthew is my first son-in-law.  He is my best son-in-law.  He is my alliance.  If we vote out the rest of the family, Matt and I will remain.  Tafta says we are a lot alike.  I know for sure we both agree on one thing, I'm awesome...He is too.  He loves my daughter and he is a good father.  The alliance is strong.
William Dezell Evans, the 3rd

January 19 Dez:  My old-man grandson.  Dez turned three this year and he was born old.  This little fellow talked with Ken the other day on the phone and didn't really know how to end the conversation so he just said, "Well, it was good to meet you."  With that he was gone.  Ken has chuckled over that for days.  The young man is going to bring a lot of happiness before he truly turns old.

January 27 PaPa Evans:  Would have turned 105 this year.  He's been gone since the late 1980s.  Ben is named after him, so is Dez.  PaPa was the original Dezell.  He was so very excited about Ben.  I will always remember how he kept telling me, "The third one is the charm."  What a wonderful PaPa he was.
January 28 Ben:  Truly the charm.  Ben has always been a delight.  He is the son of his father's right hand.  Ben has grown into a fine young man.  A man that honors God, loves his wife and guides his children in the way that they should go.  I love my charmer.

Jane Peterson
January 29 Aunt Jane:  What a lady!  80 years old and still going strong.  God has blessed her immensely.  And He has blessed me immensely by letting her be a part of my life.  

I love these people.  January felt a little warmer just thinking of them.  Hope all of your birthdays were the absolute bestest and that all of your journeys have only just begun...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Well What Do You Know...I'm Effective!

I know you can't read this but it is a 6 line formula followed by a 6 line calculation
that leads to a Standard Deviation followed by a Z-Score that leads to a Standard Score.
This is used to figure an teacher's rating Ineffective, Effective, Highly Effective...
I know I feel better...
I attended a meeting this evening conducted by a representative from the LA Dept. of Education.  She baffled us with jargon, said a lot about schools and ratings, gave a formula that took into count some 20 variables or more in order to figure a teacher's Value Added Score.  Seems there are three overall ratings a teacher can achieve based on test scores:  Ineffective, Effective, Highly Effective.  Here's the problem, we received our "score" without a rating last week.  My score was a negative.  My percentile below what I as an educator would deem even vaguely successful.  But this evening it was all explained.  Here it is!  If you have a percentile rating as a teacher below 10% you are Ineffective.  WHAT????  I immediately scooped out my scores.  I raised my hand while I stared at my score.  I said would you please repeat that?  She did.  I hollered well WHOOPEE!!!  I WON!!!  I'm Effective.   Even though I believed what the facilitator said and I had witnesses, I had her repeat it again!  "If your composite percentile score falls between 11% - 90% you are rated Effective!, she restated."   WOW!  Now granted at this point my competitive spirit did rise within me because everyone knows I want to be at the top.  In order to be ranked Highly Effective you have to have a composite percentile score of 91%.  Another WOW!  Remember this is all still WRONG!  Because we are talking about one test versus what I know I have delivered over a year and what I know my student's have learned.  All of this still is a whole lot BOTHERSOME, but I feel better...It's great to know that I've been EFFECTIVE on this journey...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Help! I'm an Ineffective Educator!

I feel like I'm a casualty of war and quite frankly I wasn't prepared.  I thought I was, but that's because I play fair.  Others do not.  The biggest problem in this war is that our children and our grandchildren are at stake.  I am a teacher.  I am one of those dedicated educators deemed "ineffective" by Mr. Jindal.  Yet, I am also the same educator who was rewarded Teacher of the Year for my parish in 2010 and Regional Technology Teacher of the Year.  I have facilitated dozens of workshops for different systems in our state and even spoke at the National High School Association on communication skills that cross personality barriers.  In years past I have been celebrated by my principal for the excellence of my student's scores.  I've received awards from several organizations as well as letters from Presidents of Universities stating former students named me as a teacher that made a difference.   I have ALWAYS received the highest evaluations from any and all of my superiors.   Yet I am ineffective...How did I sink so fast, so low?  One test on one day...
I've been an outspoken critic for years on high-stake testing.  One test, one day...versus a whole year...I have witnessed how it has affected students and teachers.  This has worked so well let's put the whole system under the burden.  This makes no sense.  If you really want to reform education, get rid of high-stake testing.  Get rid of tenure and let the profession govern itself.  Let professional principals hire and fire.  Allow professional teachers to give homework, teach, and test as they deem necessary.  KEEP politics out of education.  In short, LET LEGISLATORS LEGISLATE AND EDUCATORS EDUCATE!  Mind your own business, it's not doing so well...

Monday, January 2, 2012

"Designing Women" Ain't Got Nothing on the Murphy Family!

Since I've been out of school with Christmas Break, I must admit I've DVRd every episode of "Designing Women".  I watch it in the middle of the night if I can't sleep.  I love it.   My extended family (mother, mother's husband, sisters, brother, in-laws, cousins, grandchildren, great-nephews & great-nieces...etc)  all gathered Saturday and I swear I thought I had walked into an episode of my favorite show.  For a moment I thought maybe it was simply DW Overload but then I noticed all the characters were present and then some.  All the names have been changed, as noted in other blogs to protect the innocent and the ignorant, but here are a few of our own DW Murphy Style scenes!
Happy Birthday Kate, throwing leaves!!!

All of the children were outside in the hosts yard playing in the leaves.  I slip out my phone to take a few pictures.  I hear the Doo as she also is trying to take pictures, only she has an "expert" camera. 

Doo:  "T", get out of my way.  I'm trying to get a picture of the children and all I can get is your butt.

"T":  Ok, grandma...

Mr. C:  Well, if you get a picture of that butt, you'll have to use landscape on your computer.

"T":  Look Mr. C, I'm not afraid...(She added something I didn't hear...)

"S - girl":  T, you better tell him, he's just one hip fracture away from the nursing home.
Safer to build a pyramid than to get in the way of  Doo & her picture taking...

Cut in action

Time to play "Dirty Santa" Murphy Style!  Now I fondly refer to this as the Murphy Family Fight.  Santa would never play as dirty as us.  Every year someone gets a little on the hyper side.  I have to admit it can be over just about anything.  Different family members have been known to have "side" conversations where they tell each other what they brought or who drew # 1 and how much it can be bought for.  Different ones have also been known to make off side deals.  I call it off side, 'cause I don't think they are all that legal, but usually no one throws a yellow flag.  This year, the flags were thrown and the gloves came off!  No one was stealing gifts, it seemed everyone was happy to just open and then came Doo.  She approaches the gifts, picks up a few, settling on one sack.  She removes the colorful red paper and then stuffs it back in, puts that gift down and opens another.

Doo:  (as she drops first gift)  Oh, I don't want that!

Large Elf acting as MC:  You can't do that, you opened it.  You have to keep it.  Maybe someone will steal it.

Doo:  No one is going to steal it and I'll be stuck with it and just's candles.  You know I'm allergic.

Large Elf:  Ok, just this time.  No one else gets to do that.

Much disension from the game players.  And wouldn't you know it.  She DID it again with another gift at the end of the game.  Someone stole her gift, there was only one more gift to open.  She opened it and lo and behold, scented candles,  scented spray, scented soap...a lovely gift...the works.

Doo:  Nope not taking that, I'll just steal this. 

Large Elf along with all game players that were still in the room:  YOU CAN'T DO THAT.  THE GAME IS OVER. 

Doo:  No, it's not over til I get a gift I want.  No one should bring something like that when they know someone is allergic.

S-girl:  Well I brought it and I think it's a great gift.  If you dig in there you'll see I included a bottle of Benadryl.

Doo:  Well, I don't want it.

We allowed this, it was easier than hog tying her...

End of scene

Later in the dining hall/wine cellar:

Large Elf:  Hey Bro., next year you should put a bottle of your home made wine into the Santa Game.

Male married into family:  If he does, I'm opening it and taking a swig before the game gets out of hand again!  Hey I think T just stole one of the Doo's Christmas presents out of her car.  She must think the game still on!

The journey is sweet even if it goes through Swartz instead of Atlanta...