Loving One Another

Archive for June, 2013

Teacher Perks


Happy Summer Time to all you teachers out there! I love teachers! More than a handful of them made a significant difference in my life. The dedicated, creative, caring ones made me want to become a teacher, too. Then the administrators who were teacher advocates made me want to become an administrator who supported her staff and students and made their school days happier, more successful, memorable times. Teaching is a profession with perks that keep on perking – forever! Dedicated teacher/educators give from the heart. They care about their students and their students’ families. They care about their colleagues. They care about the profession. Dedicated teachers are educators who never really retire; they just teach from a different platform, in a different venue, on a different stage, to a different audience. But, they can’t help themselves. They teach wherever they are.

Like millions of educators around the world destined always to teach, I discovered that the perks of teaching never stop. No, the perks are not “Summers off.” No, they do not include getting rich quick… at least not monetarily rich. But richness comes in many forms. The perks for educators come in the form of feedback – from students, from family members, from colleagues, from community, from life. The perks are in the lifetime of memories, the feeling of making a difference in the lives of others, the blessing of hearing now and then that you did, in fact, matter in the life of one of your students… or a parent … or a colleague.

I retired officially from public school education in 1999. One of my favorite “jobs” during my varied and interesting career was as a teacher/principal in the central valley of California. Last week one of my former colleagues (a teacher at the school where I served nine years as principal) came to visit me here in Montana. What a joy! What a perk!!

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Then, as if the week was not already special enough, out of the blue came a text message from the parent of a kindergarten student that I had in the 1970s! She found me on Facebook. It’s one of the perks of allowing your postings to go “public” instead of limiting the viewings to only those identified as “friends.” This former room mother from the San Francisco Bay Area wrote to compliment me on my recent weight-loss and ask me how I did it. We did the finger-tip chat for a while and then she asked if we might talk on our cell phones. “There’s something wonderful about hearing each others voices,” she commented. I agreed and we chatted on the phone – catching up on each others lives – for almost an hour. It was the best perk imaginable!

Now, you’re probably thinking that during that conversation I heard stories about things she remembered about me as a teacher, right? That would be the usual expectation. Nope! Not really… not as much as, “Do you still fry pork chops with green bell peppers using a splatter guard?” That was my trade-mark meal back in those days! And yes, I do still have that splatter guard 40+ years later. It saves hours of stove top cleanup! She said she bought one after coming to my house for dinner – and still uses hers, too. Pork chops with green peppers is her husband’s favorite meal! Do I remember inviting her and her family to dinner? No! But she does! And “little” gestures like that are some of the things that help me live on in the lives of the students I have taught. Who would’a thunk it?? See, you never know! You just never how know what you say and do will live on in others. When a parent, student or colleague takes the time to find you years later – and tells you about your impact – that’s worth more than a million bucks!Some of my former students from those days in the classroom back in the 70s are my Facebook friends and my on-line Scrabble partners! I love keeping in touch!

Feedback – – – in all kinds of forms – – – it’s the “Teacher Perks” we educators live for!

Take time to contact a teacher who was memorable in your life. Give a teacher a perk. And while you’re at it, take time this Father’s Day weekend to give a “Parent Perk” to your dad (if you are fortunate enough to have him still with you) or your son or son-in-law, or to some other “Dad” figure in your life. Tell him what makes him memorable. It might be the way he fries pork chops! And if he doesn’t have a splatter guard; that’ll make a wonderful gift! Order one today!!

Photo on 6-15-13 at 11.31 AMhttp://www.wdrake.com

P.S. No, this is not a paid advertisement; just one of the perks from a retired educator bent on being a life-long teacher!

 

Flash that Dashing ‘Stache


Is it real or is it painted on? It’s real!!

Cute Overload

“There’s a mustache on mah face,

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There’s a mustache all ovah the place.

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Aaaaaaaa, mustache! It’s gettin’ kinda hairy. It’s gettin’ kinda hairy! It’s gettin’ kinda scary!”

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Via Stashpup on Reddit. Seen originally posted here on CO when Melly posted on CO’s Facebook Timeline.
Earworm warning: lyrics credit goes to The Mustache Song by CKNC

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The Healing Power Of Stuffies


The secret to any recovery: someone (or something) to CUDDLE!!

Cute Overload

An orphaned bebeh foal has found comfort with its very own teddeh bear.

OMGPONIES!!!!1!1!1111!!!!!1!!! FAVE FRAME!

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Cluster


Fabulous macro photography… thoughtful modified haiku. I really appreciate this!

leaf and twig

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Tiny buds
huddle together soaking up sun
gathering the power to flower.

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Hope for Marigolds


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I am a member of the Ennis Chapter of TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). Those initials also might stand for “Take Off Pounds Socially.” As a social being who finds it difficult to remain motivated in isolation, I tried unsuccessfully to take off weight by myself. Seeing the weight creep up over the years so that my size 8 body needed a size 14 to cover it, I had a wake-up call when the 14s were too tight and I realized I might need a 16 if I did any shopping. Hey, I am only 5’1″ and this body was never intended to be more than an 8. Age is not an excuse! Lots of pictures were taken at our 50th wedding anniversary party. When I saw those, I realized pictures don’t lie. I was FAT! I didn’t like the looks of myself. I needed to stop procrastinating and making excuses, stop looking at my obese aunts and rotund paternal grandmother, and telling myself, “You can’t help it. It’s in your genes.” WRONG! My mother avoided excessive weight gain. My father did not become round like his father and mother had. I needed a support group who could help me become accountable – and a program that would teach me to make wiser food choices.

A friend here in Ennis, Montana who is about my height and used to weigh about what I did, encouraged me to join her in the newly formed TOPS group. My friend had lost a pound a week over about 25 weeks. She looked terrific. If she could do it, I decided, I could, too. I joined. That was about a year and a half ago. Today I have reached my 30 pound weight-loss goal and have graduated to KOPS status. I have given away all the size 12s and 14s – and I am determined to live up to the KOPS label: Keep Off Pounds Sensibly. I presented my weight steps “secrets” in a program for my support group today. I titled it “Hope for the Marigolds” and gave a marigold plant to each of the others (5 of them) who also has reached her goal weight.

Here are the “Seven Steps from TOPS to KOPS” that I presented today:

     Select
Healthy

Options ; Choose

Portions

Effectively.

Find

Opportunties for

Renewal.

Move

Actively.

Read

Inspirational

Guidelines.

Own your

Limitations.

Decide on

Slimness/Success!!

 

Seven Steps to Being Merry and Reaching the Gold (Reaching your Goals)

1 – Select Healthy Options

2 – Choose Portions Effectively

3 – Find Opportunities for Renewal

4 – Move Actively

5 – Read Inspirational Guidelines **

6 – Own Your Limitations

7 – Decide on Slimness/ Success

 

** Some of inspirational guidelines that TOPS members are familiar with are the pledge we recite at the beginning of each meeting and the poem we recite at the close of each gathering. They are below.

PLEDGE:

“I am an intelligent person. I will control my emotions, not let my emotions control me. Every time I am tempted to use food to satisfy my frustrated desires, build up my injured ego, or dull my senses, I will remember, even though I overeat in private, my excess poundage is there for all the world to see. I will TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY.”

FAREWELL (close of each meeting):

“You take my hand and I’ll take yours
And we’ll start out today.
For a helping hand is what we need
To guide us along our way.
For the road to goal is a rocky path.
We need someone to care.
So, reach out, my friend, and take my hand.
We’ll encourage and we’ll share.”

Unlike some other weigh-loss organizations, TOPS does not end when you have reached your goal. It only costs $5. a month to join the local organization – and an annual dues of $29. for the national membership. It is not only affordable to remain in the group, but it is wise, encouraging, and altruistic. By continuing to belong, members encourage one another, remain accountable to the group, recognize the importance as serving as a role model for others, and keep from slipping back into old habits. TOPS and KOPS are not a diet program. They represent a way of life. Once you have learned a healthier way to live, you won’t want to slip back into those bigger sizes ever again – and you will want to be there to support your new friends, just as they supported you when you were on the path to a better body.

I gave a marigold plant to each of the ladies who had met her goal. I encouraged the others to follow the seven steps being “Merry” and reaching their “Gold” also. I have a marigold for you. Come join us!

KOPS Pledge:

I am an intelligent person. I have controlled my emotions and not let my emotions control me. Every time I am tempted to use food to satisfy my frustrated desires, build up my injured ego, or dull my senses, I will remember that I am to be an example of what TOPS can do, as I KEEP OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY.”

 

What is Faith?


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When you enter the foyer of my home, you see a circle staircase that will take you up to my sanctuary. To the right of it is the word art my son and daughter-in-law gave to me for Mother’s Day. It says, “The Greatest of These is Love.” Bob and I appreciate so much the fact that our children see in us the LOVE which is a gift from God, who first loved us. That love is born of FAITH – another Gift from God.

A recent sermon at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana was a follow-up to the previous Sunday’s Trinity message. Rev. Jean Johnson explained that understanding the concept of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit was a matter of Faith… only obtained from God. Not something we could work to obtain by ourselves.

Like LOVE, we receive faith from our Heavenly Father, and as Christians we learn how to LIVE it by studying the life of the Son, Jesus Christ. When we need a “refill,” we go to the Holy Spirit who is our Teacher and Guide here on earth. Today’s sermon contrasted FAITH based on such a gift with faith borne out of reasoning and pragmatic expectations. Here is what the sermon said to me. I took these “notes” while listening intently:

WHAT is FAITH?

Faith is not the product of reasoning.
Faith is a gift from God, our Father.
The skeptics question our beliefs –
And so do some sisters and brothers in Christ.

What does Faith give to me?
What do I get out of it?
Some Christian leaders teach that it is “utilitarian.”
Faith is good because it’s useful.

Pragmatism is a dominating force in the U.S.A.
It is the basis of our consumer society.
Pragmatists go beyond “What IS it?”
They go to “What is it good FOR?”

Some feel FAITH is magic words like “I Believe”
or “Eternal Life is mine.”
When pragmatists hit a crisis,
They give up on Faith; it failed them!

What IS the value of Faith?
Is it what it produces for us?
Most of us believe God is more than
A helpful idea that makes us feel better.

He is more than the Great Granter of wishes.
God is Good… All the time!
Even when our needs are not being fulfilled.
Is Jesus of value for what He can do for you?

Is Faith about getting what you need to make life worth living?
Or is FAITH about a relationship with God?
Prayer is not just a self-help therapy.
Prayer is about listening and praising.

It’s not just about talking and asking!
Do not surrender to pragmatism.
Receive the gift of faith from God.
Pray to listen for God’s desires – and SERVE.

What can I do for God?
What can God do IN me?
God’s tenacious desire to talk to me and love me…
That’s FAITH!

Amen?

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