Sunday, September 27, 2020

GOD BLESS THE CHILD & THE TEACHER

 


I was blessed to be a classroom TEACHER for 31 ½ years.  Well, maybe I should subtract two that weren’t so great, but even those years taught me a lot.  Outside of my family, TEACHING has always been my greatest passion.  That may not seem so surprising except for the fact that I never once thought of being a teacher until I had actually graduated from college.  I wrote a post about that HERE, so I won’t go into details.

 

Now that I am retired, I really do miss being in the classroom.  I love retirement (especially not having to hear that alarm clock every a.m.), but I miss the kids, my fellow teachers, and even making lesson plans!

 

Sadly, teachers are not always given the respect these days that we were once given.  Instead of parents supporting the teachers, many today are all too often ready to point their finger at them without seeking out all the details.  OK….didn’t mean to get off on that but many good teachers are leaving the classroom because of lack of respect and support (and some other reasons too).

 

I try to be a CHEERLEADER for teachers and administrators.  They aren’t all perfect…some, in fact, need to go!  But educators are faced with much more than many people realize.  I thought I would share with you just a few of my own personal teacher stories in hopes that it may bring awareness of what teachers deal with on a daily basis…much, much more than just academics.

 


NOTE:  Names will be changed for obvious reasons and the pictures are not of my actual students.  They are from my Pinterest board:  ALL GOD'S BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.


Story #1:  “Mary” was a pretty little blonde girl in my class.  Very quiet & shy…and very, very poor.  She rarely smiled and she dressed very shabbily.  I discovered one day just how bad things were at her home.  She nor her brother even had a toothbrush.  With the help of two friends who had young children, we were able to supply them with some hand-me-down (but nice) clothes and brand new toothbrushes and toothpaste.  That was the first time I ever saw Mary smile.   And I teared up.



 Story #2:  “Tom” was a strange little boy.  Not much to say although his older sister was very outgoing.  I soon noticed that every time I put my hand on Tom’s shoulder or patted him on the head, he would jerk away.  I learned not to touch him but would stand beside his desk with my hands behind my back.  It worried me what might have caused his fear, or at least what I felt was fear.  On the last day of school I always would call my kiddos up to me one-by-one and give them a big hug as they exited my room for the last time.  I deliberately called on Tom last.  When he came up to me I said, “Tom, I know you don’t want me to hug you, but could we shake hands?”  He looked at me a moment, shook his head NO, then grabbed me and gave me one of the biggest (and BEST) hugs I’ve ever had.  I cried!



Story #3:  “Tyrone” was a 9 yr. old (over age for 2nd grade) who came with a reputation…and not a good one.  He had been held back twice already and had given every teacher fits.  The only teacher he really did OK with was our Behavior Disorder teacher.  I was asked if I would be willing to take on Tyrone for the year.  I wanted to scream NO! NOT ME! but I couldn’t do it.  It took awhile for Tyrone and I to geehaw…sometimes he would get mad and dive under his table/desk; sometimes he would say some not-so-nice things to me; but eventually I fell in love with Tyrone.  He and I learned together what we could each handle and how to handle it.  But how could you not at least try and have patience with a child who lived with an elderly grandmother, a mentally handicapped uncle, and a couple other adults and whose mother was in jail?  She had locked Tyrone’s younger sister in a closet for a year and starved her to death.   I still have the Valentine Tyrone made for me from notebook paper…I found it on my desk.  It said, “I love you.”  I cried.


Story #4:  “Karen” was the smartest little thing!  She had so much brains and so much personality but no legs from the knees down and very few fingers.  A couple years before she caught a serious infection from swimming in a motel pool.  She lost her limbs but never her spirit.  Her handwriting was superb…much better than many with all 10 fingers!  And although she had prosthetic legs (wooden back then), she hated them and would in a skinny minute whip them off and scoot around the classroom on her limbs faster than any bunny rabbit ever thought about.  She always made me smile๐Ÿ˜Š



Story #5:  “Linsey” was such a pretty little girl, very thin, very quiet, and very intelligent.  She lived in a trailer with her mother, her sister, and her extremely stern stepfather (ex-military man).  The home was evidently not clean because both girls came to school several times during the year with head lice.  Each time the father would blame it on other children (even though no one else in my class had lice that year).  This EVIL man would shave the girls’ heads, leaving only a thin layer on top.  One day he came to school and was extremely rude to me in front of my class.  He told me he was going to completely shave their heads.  I lost it!  I cried and cried and begged him to please, please not do that.  Thankfully, he didn’t.  Linsey wanted to grow up to be a model she told me one day…I doubt that happened.  In fact, I have seen her name in the arrest reports in our local paper more than once….and each time I cry.



Story #6:  My 2nd year of teaching I taught Remedial Reading to 2nd and 3rd graders; many were children of migrant workers.  “Ella” was a beautiful little Hispanic girl and her brother “Pedro” was so handsome…and they were both sweet as sugar.  Ella had no underwear.  When I told my husband he said, “Get in the car; we’re going to buy underwear” and we did.  Later that year with the help of some great friends we supplied this family with a new- to-them but used refrigerator when their's broke down, some clothes, and food.  Their parents were so appreciative and so humble.  I smiled and cried at the same time!




 

There are so many more stories…some sad, some happy, some funny.  No time for all the details but just to highlight:

*the mother who came to the front office to check out her child wearing her negligee (the mother, not the child!)

*my student whose first name had all 26 letters of the alphabet (I never learned to say it or spell it but she could).  Thankfully she had a nickname!

*”Abby” who was mentally handicapped but 100 times smarter than her mother; but oh how much they loved each other!



*”Shawn” whose mother blurted out in my parent conference for no apparent reason,  “I’m a Lesbian”…don’t even remember how I responded but let’s just say I was mostly at a loss for words

*the father who told me during our conference that his son was having problems because at home his wife was not giving him (the father) enough sex and he guessed it was affecting his son...absolutely no words for that one but I'm sure my face had a strange strangled look!

 

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

PLEASE...RESPECT & APPRECIATE TEACHERS.  I know they aren’t all deserving of it, but most are and most dearly love and care about each and every student in their class.  And if you ever have the opportunity to help a teacher in any way, please do.  They spend so much of their own time and own money on “their children.” 



 

I thank God often for the privilege and blessing of having been a TEACHER.









Monday, September 21, 2020

IS IT TOO EARLY???


 

OK…FALL is here…decorating done. 



October soon will be here…time for Halloween decorations.



November sneaks in  and Thanksgiving decorations will be up about 3 weeks.  




THEN…the day after Thanksgiving it’s…


Time for CHRISTMAS!  

So, what’s too early to begin Christmas?

So many stores already have Christmas decorations.

Two friends recently ate in two different CRACKER BARREL restaurants in two different locations and they were….playing Christmas music!!!!!!  

Now I do love Christmas, but Christmas music in September is absolutely just too early for my liking!  If I start hearing it now, I will be tired of it by the time it’s time to start enjoying it!!!!   Sorry CRACKER BARRELL…waaayyyy too early!

 

BUT!!!  Is it too early to begin Christmas shopping??????

My answer…NOOO.  Definitely not too early. 


I would love to think I could have all my shopping done before December 1; the earlier the better.  Why???


It takes away a lot of stress…no last minute trying to find a last minute gift among the gifts last to go!!!

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Much better selection is available.  All the good gifts will be gone if you wait too long…even if you find really good sales the later you wait.



If you (like me) love to do lots of online shopping, shopping early means you don’t get all stressed out wondering if the gifts will arrive on time.  Plus you will have time to make any needed exchanges so you’ll have the absolute right gift under the tree.

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NOTE:  I have read here & there that more people will be shopping online this year than ever due to worry that there will be another wave of COVID-19 along with flu season. 

 

I have a 17 year old grandson, a 14 year old granddaughter, a son, and DIL, and husband to mainly buy for…plus my mama and a few friends.  We spoil, spoil, spoil the grandkids (and the big kids) at Christmas.  It’s just what hubby and I love to do.  But it’s getting harder and harder because they have so much already…and the older they get the more expensive their CHRISTMAS LIST gets!  I am always looking for new and fun ideas and it seems to get harder every year.  But to me…the hunt is part of the FUN!


My favorite (yet probably most aggravating) part of gift giving is the…

 STOCKING   STUFFERS

My son has always bragged on what great gifts I find for their stockings, so every year I have to work a little harder to uphold my reputation!  My goal:  neat stuff without a big expense.  One mistake I made when the grandkids came along:  I bought HUGE stockings for them!!!!


I’ve already found a few things to stuff the family socks, but the hunt has just begun.  I’m always open for new ideas, so if you have any please let me know!!!

 


 

Checklist:
*laptop 

*credit card√

*coffee √

*glasses √

*ideas  (in progress)

 

LET’S  GO  SHOPPING!!! 


Are you ready???

 

 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I LOVES IT! I LOVES IT NOT!!!

 


These days I watch a lot of youtube channels many of which feature various product reviews.  I don’t have a youtube channel but thought I’d steal borrow their idea and share some of my LIKES & DON'T LIKES.  I always like seeing what other folks use their good money for…and sometimes I even hit on new things I want to try.  So hopefully some of you reading this might get some new ideas too…either for new things to try or to pass on.  Of course, it’s just “my” opinion!


OGX BODIFYING + BAMBOO FIBER-FULL BODY BOOSTING SPRAY MOUSSE...I LOVES IT!



I have very fine hair and have tried hundreds MANY different volumizing products...from $30 a bottle to $4 a bottle...and the more expensive ones haven't been a bit better for my hair than the cheaper ones!  A few months ago I discovered this one, and I really like it.  It's not my HOLY GRAIL (still looking for that) but I like it.  I last paid $10 at CVS, but just saw it on Amazon for $5:( 


FELT COVERED HANGERS...I LOVES IT!



These are the bomb!!!  I am gradually transitioning from all my colorful plastic hangers to these.  They take up less space in your closet & clothes won't slip off.  Amazon has many of them and seems to have the best price.  I've picked mine up here and there as I found them on sale.

Tip (from Pinterest) to save even more space:  slide a pop-top (off aluminum cans) over the head of a hanger & then thread another hanger through it.  I've done this, and I like it!


DELL INSPIRON LAPTOP...I LOVES IT...NOT!

I once had a DELL desktop and loved it, but in Feb. I bought this laptop and it has been nothing but trouble!  At one point, one of their techie people "took over" my laptop, worked on it for more than an hour, then told me everything was now hunky dory!  NOPE!  The techie at STAPLES did help though, and it's better but not great.  I have since read many bad reviews...shoulda checked them out BEFORE buying!  Be forewarned!


FITBIT VERSA...I LOVES IT!

My son & DIL gifted me with this awhile back & I've really enjoyed it.  It helps me keep up with my daily steps, tells me the time & date (which I can't seem to keep up with these days), allows me to set an alarm, and can do a bunch of stuff I have yet to figure out!  My grands love their Apple watch, but I know nothing about them.


NORWEX EnviroCloth & Window Cloth...I LOVES IT...a lot!



I don't have enough time or space to go in depth about NORWEX products, but you can go to their website and read all about these very environmentally friendly products.  They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G...and EXPENSIVE.  The daughter of  friend sells the products (think AVON or Tupperware).  You cAn also watch many youtube videos on these products.  I bought the EnviroCloth & Window Cloth combo specifically for my kitchen windows (but they do so much more).  I have BUNCHES (that means A LOT) of windows in my kitchen and no matter what I used when I washed them there were always streaks...and I hate abhor streaks!  With these two products, STREAKS BEGONE!  You really should check out these products.  www.norwex.com  


IPSY BEAUTY BOX Subscription...I LOVES IT NOT!

These are not products I received


Did you know there are a bazillion "BOX" programs out there that you can subscribe to monthly, bimonthly, etc.  IPSY is one of them & I got rooked into trying it.  I was not impressed.  You get mostly sample sizes of beauty products & the price is $12 per month.  I got one box and canceled because I didn't feel what I received was worth that.  But read on...


WAL-MART BEAUTY BOX Subscription...I LOVES IT!



This is also a subscription, but it comes once a quarter (each season) and it's only (drum roll...) $5!  I have only received one box but I felt it was well worth that price.  It was fun trying out some new products and at least one was full size.  And that BOX...just too cute!  We all like to be pampered once in awhile, so I recommend it:)  


BUCKLE-FREE ELASTIC BELT...I LOVES IT...so much!



Don't broadcast this, but I have a little bit of a poochy belly!  And if I wear a belt to hold up my jeans, the buckle makes me look even poochier!  But this belt solves that problem...no buckle.  It comes in different colors. Yes, if you wear jeans you need THIS


AMAZON SMILE PROGRAM...I LOVES, LOVES, LOVES IT!



If you shop on AMAZON, you really should join their SMILE program.  A portion of your eligible purchases will be donated to the charity of your choice...I chose my favorite ST. JUDES CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.        Go H E R E and you can read about it & sign up.  It may be only pennies of your purchase, but every penny helps.  Please do sign up...or you can just use www.smileamazon.com (I think).


There are many products that I like & will readily endorse, but others nope, nohow, no way!  Hope you may have found something here that either you think is worth trying...or things you now know to be leary of.  Don't say I didn't warn you!




Have you tried any of these products?  If so, what is your opinion?

I'm ALL EARS!


PS:  I hate the new blogger!  I have had SO much trouble getting this post done and published!!!!!













Wednesday, September 2, 2020

I'M FALLING!!!!

 






 
Even though the heat index here in south GA is 105 degrees today and it’s still officially summer, I decided I was going to start FALLing!  That is, I pulled out the FALL dรฉcor today.  After all, they already have CHRISTMAS decorations in many of the stores!!!!  (I am SO NOT ready for that!)  I decided I might as well enjoy a month of FALL decorations before I have to pull out the HALLOWEEN trappings.  Then it will be time for about 3 weeks of THANKSGIVING then I’ll pull out the really big guns for the end of Nov. and the month of December.  WHEW!!!!  I’m tired just thinking about it!

 


Have you seen the two and three tiered trays that seem to be the “IN” thing in holiday dรฉcor?  I have salivated over all those I see on PINTEREST for awhile, so not too long ago HOBBY LOBBY (love that place!) had theirs on 50% off so I figured that was my SIGN…true, right???  

I had a difficult time deciding between painted metal, galvanized metal, or wood but finally went with a white metal one since so much of my kitchen is white.  I’d really like to have the galvanized or wooden one for FALL holidays, but the white one will look really good with all my gingerbread items for CHRISTMAS.  Maybe HL will have another sale and I will grab another one๐Ÿ˜Š

These are all from Amazon:




So, what do you think of my first time diving into TRAY DECORATING?  I’m sort of proud of it; it actually turned out better than I thought since I am so NOT good at decorating.  The chubby little scarecrow and the squirrel came from Hobby Lobby this year and the “blessed” sign came from $TREE (altered by me), but everything else I already had.  I love the FALL pillow with the LITTLE RED TRUCK.  It came from Dollar General last year. They had some other cute one this year, too.



 
 
Here are a few other tiered trays decorated for FALL…thanks to PINTEREST.




I also pulled out my fall plates and placemats.  The placemats were a gift from my sweet neighbor when she was downsizing to move.  They also came from $TREE but are super quality and well made.  And…they are perfect for a FALL  table.  (Thanks, Lois:)  I bought the plates just a few years ago from Wal Mart but I doubt they are still available.  They are also perfect for fall…a cream color with just a tad of brown around the edges.  (You know what a “tad” is, right?  We southerners sometimes forget we have our own vocabulary, so I’m never sure who understands what I’m talking about!!!)



 

I love this pumpkin soup tureen…but it’s never seen a single drop of soup!  I just thought it was beautiful for decoration and bought it a few years ago at TJMaxx. 



 I love to decorate my porch for the seasons.  Here is my ivy “tree”.  It will look better when I have some real pumpkins to sit beside it. 



 

And here is my rocking chair with a cute  FALL pillow (from Wal Mart last year) and a cute scarecrow  from Hobby Lobby.




 I love holiday flags.  This one is new.  Got it at Dollar General the other day for $1.50!  You know I love a bargain! 



 And here are a few more items that found their way into my FALL decorating frenzy.



 




 



 
Now for a sneak peak at two of the cutest HALLOWEEN items I found today at Dollar General….it’s not that I’m cheap, but when you live in a small town you are excited to have dollar stores cause you don’t have much else!


I just couldn’t resist the gingham check and well, the wine one was just too cute not to get…and it was the last one they had๐Ÿ˜Š

 

Is it just me, or does it bother anybody else that you walk down an aisle in a store these days and you see FALL, HALLOWEEN, AND CHRISTMAS decorations altogether?????????????  Doesn’t each holiday deserve its own special time in the spotlight??

 

I am sooooooooooooooo looking forward to when it is really FALL!  I can barely wait for the cooler weather and my first....

I can taste it now (sort of)!  Do you like PUMPKIN SPICE???  Some do, some don’t, but I’m one who DO!!