Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Porter Nursing Home...

I had a strange memory a couple of days ago and decided to blog it so that I wouldn't forget it.

When I was young...think age 5 -8 we lived about 4 miles from a nursing home. It was a small one and quite sad. It looked like the old hospitals...white walls, no decor,etc. My mother used to got there a couple of times a month and volunteer to cut hair there. They had this little closet of a room that had a hair dryer, beauty sink, etc. My mom never cut hair for a living...she just could do the basics.

It taught me a few things:

1. Its sad to see lonely people. Most people rarely or never had vistors and they would try to get you to sit and talk to them so that they could tell you their life story.

2. Old people become children again. There was this lady named Zety and Zetty liked to feel dressed up. She was always seen with a hat on her head (usually a cheap hotel type shower cap :-) and lots and lots of cheap sparkly beads around her neck (think 99 cent store). She looked like a kid that got lost in her mothers closet playing dress up!

There was also another lady that carried a baby doll with her wherever she went.

3. It will amaze you what some people can do with yarn! There was this really crafty lady that would sell little rabbits made of yarn (she made lots of other stuff too.) I remember that I wanted one and didn't get it, but my mom had actually bought one for me for Easter. I still have it and it makes me smile everytime I see it.

4. Old people love to be sung too. You'll never see them smile a bigger smile.

5. Old people think its good to see little kids running around being kids, but they think it is even better when those kids show up on Halloween with their costume on passing out candy!
If you really want to make their day...see number 4 above and do it with your costume on.

6. Making peoples day makes your day.

So if you are wondering if there is something you can do that is service oriented with your kids...find a nursing home and think of something simple you can do. I plan on doing something this summer with my girls at that same nursing home I went to.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Jeanne-Marie...

In Ecclesiastes (yes, I had to look up the spelling!!!)4: 9-10 It states that

Two are better than one,
because they have
A good return for their labor:

If they fall down,
they can help each other up.
But pity those who fall
And have no one to help them up.

Jeanne-Marie was first my Trouble Buddy at TCMS when we were the radical language arts teachers on the campus. We were the pregnant duo when we were at BMS. We saw each other each day, covered each others classes, ate our lunches, shared our munchies, and our lesson plans. She's gotten me car sick on a 5 minute lunch trip away from school, and watched me get a ticket on a 4 hour road trip to the Hill Country.

We now have different careers and work in different buildings. Instead of seeing each other 5 days a week, we see each other less than 10 times a year. I miss seeing her smiling face and wish she was there to "talk me down" as she did for those few years we worked together. But thing that amazes me is that we are still as close as we were before.

10 years ago my mother was bitten by a copperhead and Jeanne was worried about me driving to the hospital by myself. She lived in the opposite direction...but she still chose to follow me 30 miles to Conroe Regional Medical Center to see my mom and make sure I got there okay. And just like she was there for me in a scary situation then...she was there for me again. She knew I was having a tough week with the loss of my students. She's lost more than I have, she's been there and knows how confusing it is. So it shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. Just as I was saying good day to my first graders on Wed. Someone walks in with flowers delivered from my Jeanne-Marie.

I posted on her message board that I didn't think it was possible, but that I loved her more that day than I had before. Yes, I was being silly, but I was also speaking truth.

The bible also says "Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth."

Thank you for showing me love in so many ways over the years Jeanne-Marie. I am so very lucky to call you friend.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My School and its Tragedies...

Yes...we've had another one and it is a heartbreaker. Most of you that read my blog, know that I work in an inner city school. They call it a suburb...but Honey...it ain't! It is over 80% economically disadvantaged and literally one block away from the area that Houston fondly calls "Gunspoint" (Greenspoint).

We have had a teacher commit suicide. We have had a teacher drop dead of a heart attack right in front of the students. We have had a teacher lose a baby when they were less than 2 weeks from the due date. These are the major hits that come to mind, but believe me, the list could go on and on and on. Most students have family members in jail. They understand what drugs and sex and neglect and abuse are. But this weekend was a real kick in the gut.

This weekend a man under the influence of something was driving in the rain. He was on the phone and had his adult brother and 6 children in the CAR with him. They, of course, didn't have their seat belts on. He lost control of the car, flipped and went into a bayou. The man made it out of the car. His adult brother made it out of the car. Thank GOD that the 10 year old girl made it out of the car. The 11 year old boy...my student...didn't get out of the car. The 7 year old, another one of my students, didn't make it out of the car. A 4 year old did not get out. Another 4 year old and almost 2 year old were missing. They finally found the baby...dead. The 4 year old is still missing after 2 days of searching.

How could someone do this? So many questions come to mind. The guy had a rap sheet...and is of right now, not only facing 4 counts of manslaughter, but was already going to be on trial for selling and MAKING drugs. Another question...why did he get out of that car without 1 FREAKIN child in his arms? Why did he not die trying to save his babies? Why did someone let this man near their babies? And why did he feel the need to be responsible for them? What were 8 people doing in a car...and why didn't they have seat belts?

Again...the list goes on and on. The children are, of course, heart broken. Please pray for them. Pray that they see that their is life beyond what they see in front of them. Pray that they see purpose in their lives. Pray that they know they are loved by a mighty God. Pray that the teachers have the words to say, the hearts to love the tough ones and the strength to keep on keepin' on.

Pray that this man finds God. That is about the only well wish I can give him. His show of selfish Godlessness is exactly what I hate about the world we live in. I have so much anger and hate right now for him and can't imagine what the family members, especially the mother, feel for him right now.

Pray for the family. May they know forgiveness, peace and love.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kaytlynn's 1st grade Class Pics.

I love frilly dresses and jumpers. I love Peter Pan collars and smocking. I love embroidery and eyelet lace. I LOVE my little girls to look like LITTLE girls.

I had Kaytlynn's dress picked out. She likes the clothes that I buy her and I don't think I have ever bought anything that made her say ewwww. I choose what she wears almost every day (usually having Delaney match right down to the bows and shoes) and you can count on one hand the number of times she has said that she wants to wear something else that I had not planned for or picked out for the day.

But today was different. I got trumped and I did it screaming on the inside but meekly on the outside. I gave her a few other ideas but they were nixed quickly.

I wanted sweet and innocent. But she chose WILD and FUNKY. I wanted a cotton dress. But she chose POLYESTER. I chose pastels. But she chose FUSCHIA and BLACK. I wanted flowers. But she wanted PSYCHIDELIC SWIRLS She looked cute and fun and happy. But she's growing up and I don't like that fact at all.