Grants & Funding Opportunities


I found this on Scholastic’s website. I hope that it’s useful.

GRANTS AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

School Improvement Grants for Parent Involvement
Online

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program finances school-improvement projects initiated by parents. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: K-12 schools (including charter, private, and parochial schools) and parent groups associated with a nonprofit, K-12 schools. Deadline: Oct. 17, 2008.
http://www.toolboxforeducation.com/

Orville: A Dog Story by Haven Kimmel


Orville (2003), written by Haven Kimmel and illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker, was such a cute little story. It was one of my purchases from the .99¢ store last summer. Consequently, it was also one of the books that I gave away for joining my book club.

Orville lay down in the culvert, covered his eyes with his paws, and decided to never get up again. All night, he lay wet and shivering. In the morning the sun broke through the clouds, brighter and warmer than he’d seen it for months, and he forgot he had vowed to never rise again, and rose and stretched.

This book is a heartwarming story for dog lovers. It’s the story of a big, ugly dog name Orville.

He was taller than a pony, and had a big square head and a black face with a brown patch over one eye. His left ear looked okay, as ears go, but his right ear bent in the middle and flopped up and down when he ran. He didn’t run much anymore.

Orville’s spirit has been nearly broken. He’s about ready to give up, when he’s found by a farmer and his wife. His name was Herbert. Her name was Maybelle, but everyone called her May. Maybelle offered her had, Orville smelled it because when he did he could see into people’s hearts and smell their dreams. Suddenly, from that moment on, he knew that he liked her. Orville became so excited, he began to run in circles.

He thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice just to jump right up on her, but thought better of it.”

The farmer took one look and decided that Orville was the ugliest dog he’d ever seen. But, since the farmer’s wife thought he’d make a good watchdog, he went home with the farmer & his wife. The farmer thought Orville was much too big and too wild to run free. So, he was chained to the barn. This was the worse thing that could have happened to Orville. He became angry and started barking.

Herbert told him if he kept barking, he’d send him to the pound. Suddenly everything changed. A cotton-candy haired girl named Sally moved into the little house across the road and Orville fell in love. In order to be near her, he broke the chains- the only thing keeping him from her. He got into Sally’s house just to look @ her and watch her dream. Maybelle showed up and tried to make him leave. He wouldn’t budge. It took the volunteer firefighters to get him to leave.

That didn’t stop him though. Night after night, he broke his chain to visit Sally. What happens after that is so sweet. But I guess you’re going to have to read it to find out what. Trust me, you’ll love it. Although I don’t really like dogs, this isn’t a story about dogs. It’s a love story. Read it for yourself and find out. You’ll be glad you did.

The War Between The Vowels & The Consonants by Priscilla Turner


** Warning- this post is kinda’ long**

The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants (1999), written by Priscilla Turner, and illustrated by Whitney Turner, is a fantastic little book. My students loved it. They even acted it out. (It was their idea.)

My students may not be up to par in academics, but they are way above par on many other things. What they lack in writing, and/or reading skills, they make up for in verbal skills and enthusiasm. They are very verbal in a good way. They are also very observant. They notice everything. When I noticed that they were excellent and observant conversationalists, I decided to play up those strengths. That is how we came to have a very good conversation about this book.

I originally purchased this book because a couple of my students were struggling with differentiating vowels and consonants. I found this book and thought that it was the perfect vehicle for that. I liked this book for obvious reasons. Firstly, it’s what KRS-1 of BDP fame would call edutainment. It’s education mixed with entertainment. When I read this book, I knew that it definitely fit the bill. Secondly, as there are distinct parts, the book lent itself to being acted out, as my students did during one of my university supervisor’s visit, and she loved it; I came out looking like a star.

First I read the book, then (once Man-Man suggested acting it out) I assigned parts. If you will notice the red and blue planes on the front cover of the book, you’ll notice that one is a vowel (E), and one is a consonant (T). I didn’t notice when I was reading it, but Man-Man did. He noticed everything.

Synopsis: Ever since anyone could remember, there has been contention between the Vowels & the Consonants. Every Consonant knows that you never trust a Vowel. And every Vowel knows that you don’t trust a Consonant.

“Who could imagine what horrible things a gang of roving Consonants might do to an unsuspecting Vowel?”says a consonant.

The Vowels tended to be smug and stuck up. After all, there were fewer of them. Surely, they felt, that made them better than the common Consonants.

For their part, the Consonants thought all Vowels were sissies. “Those silly Vowel sounds!”

“AAAA and UUUU–what sort of noise is that for a letter to make!” Consonants preferred their own sounds: PRGHT! or SSSSP! Good, strong, snapping noises.

Most of the time, the Consonants and the Vowels just disliked and distrusted each other. But one day…

A taunt was answered with a rock…

The rock with a spear…

The spear with a catapult…

The catapult with…

WAR!!!

So began the historic & epic war between the Vowels & the Consonants. They continue to fight until a third party, a mutual enemy, comes into the picture. What happens??? Do they make up? Do they bridge the great divide between Vowels & Consonants? Does the mutual enemy divide them even further???

Well, I guess you’re just going to have to read it and find out for yourself. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed its’ companion book Among the Odds and Evens. They can both be used to teach their individual concepts. Do yourself a favor and pick it up!

While this book is made for 2nd grade and up, I’d say that younger children would still enjoy the book because of the cute little illustration. Those who will appreciate this book more are those who know or at least have a cursory understanding of what vowels and consonants are.

Egg-Drop Blues by Jacqueline Turner Banks


Ever since my friend Jessica introduced me to Joey Pigza, a book about a child with ADHD, I have been on a quest to find other books for tweeners and young adults that deal with the subject of learning disabilities. That’s why I was so happy that I found this book by Jacqueline Turner Banks called Egg Drop Blues (2003). Although I thought the title was kinda’ odd, I gave it a shot anyway.

Reading this book gave me a chance to expand my horizons to chapter books. I don’t recommend a book unless I’ve personally vetted them. It is vitally important that I be able to recommend books to my growing children and to my students. I have been searching for young adult novels that deal with disabilities. Not in a slap you in the face kind of way, but in a subtle, by the way, kind of way.

When I first read it, I thought that it needed a tad more information about dyslexia in there. Then I thought about what a tweener or young adult would want to read. If it was too boring, then they wouldn’t want to read it. In order for young people to want to read it, it had to have all the things that a good book has + a little information on the disability (without reading like a text book). In other words, it had to be a good book even if it didn’t have the information about dyslexia in it.

Did this book accomplish that? Yes, it did. I think that any young adult with dyslexia would enjoy this book. I haven’t asked anyone else to read this and critique it for me, so I can only give my opinion.

The book was an easy read. It met the criteria mentioned earlier of being able to stand alone, as if dyslexia were not part of the equation. I would use this book for bibliotherapy (book therapy). I definitely believe in bibliotherapy, especially for children. If you don’t know how to break some type of news, or if the child isn’t listening, books are one of the best ways to get information across.

Theme: sibling love, friendship, dyslexia, divorce, dealing with a disability, step-parents

Age range: 9-adult

Synopsis: Twins, Judge & Jury Jenkins, are the stars of this story. The story centers on Judge, the twin with dyslexia, who is not doing so well in school. Not wanting to split the twins up, but wanting to get help for Judge, their mother tells them that she is going to send both of them to a special private school on the other side of town where the bourgeois people send their children. Jury feels caught in the middle because he isn’t the one with the disability, his brother is. Judge doesn’t want to go to a special private school and neither does Jury. Judge asks if they can stay at their current school if he pulls his grades up. His plan: win the science fair egg-drop contest, for which his grade will be raised a whole letter grade if he and his brother places in the top 5.

In addition to all the drama going on with Judge & Jury, they find out that their father’s new girlfriend may be their new step-mother. Readers are invited along to discover if the twins will be able to win the egg-drop contest and stay in their current school. Will they win or will they have to go to the special private bougie school?

Recommendation: Yes, I would recommend that a tweener, teen, young adult, and parent read this book. I always tell my students that everyone likes to see themselves in a book. With this book, someone with dyslexia just might see themselves.

Guess How Smart I Am?


I am so smart that I decided to take the Dumb Test that pops up. While waiting for my results, something comes up and I agree to it just to pass to the next phase to get my results. Well, before the screen went to the other page, I saw a dollar amount. It was kinda’ wordy with small words so I didn’t really bother to read it. That was such a big mistake. I think that is what that company counts on- people not reading the fine print. I immediately hit the back button. $12.95??? For some kind of voice mail thing???

Whatever!!! I don’t remember putting down my real number. I’m pretty sure I put down a fake number, but I called anyway just to make sure. There was nothing on file. According to the customer service agent, I should not be billed. I’ll check my phone bill next month. Just in case, I asked the customer service agent what to do in the event that I do get charged and she said to call back and they would take care of it.

You see how easy it is to get scammed? If I wouldn’t have noticed the dollar sign, I would have been getting hit up to the sum of $12.95 $9.99/month for a voice mail service I wouldn’t have even known was there, and that I don’t even need.

I don’t remember the name of the company is or their phone number, but if you see the dumb test pop up on your screen, be smart and ignore it.

*** I was online and lo and behold, what should pop up on my screen but the Dumb Test. This time I took the liberty of copying and pasting the information. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:***

All charges will be billed on your wireless service bill for $9.99/month or deducted from your prepaid balance. For help, text “HELP” to 44577 at anytime. To cancel your service, text “STOP” to 44577 at anytime. For questions, please contact customer service at care@Gatorarcade.com or call 1-800-988-6084. By subscribing to either use GatorArcade™ or subscribing to the Premium GatorArcade™ Service, you agree to receive free content and promotional offers from GatorArcade™ and to be bound by the GatorArcade™ Terms and Conditions (which includes disclaimers of warranties, limitation of liabilities and an agreement to arbitrate all claims) and PrivacyPolicy, each located on http://www.gatorarcade.com/, as each may be updated and/or modified from time to time.

If You Don’t Put That Book Down…


If you don’t put that book down, I don’t know what…

This has to be one of the funniest and saddest lines I have ever heard a mother tell her child. Of course it wasn’t from anyone I knew. It was from this mom on NBC’s “My Name is Earl” who wanted her daughter to be a beauty queen. According to the mom, she didn’t want her child filling her head with “useless” knowledge. The mom thought the daughter was wasting her time reading. The girl, however, had other plans. She wanted to be a doctor.

This was so funny to me because it was on t.v. and I couldn’t imagine anyone expressing that sentiment. Had this been in real life, I would have been horrified that a mother would feel such disgust that her child or any child for that matter was a reading dynamo, who preferred to use her brain instead of her looks.

I am so happy that I don’t have that problem. Phillise loves to read and write. I am so proud of her. Go ahead, baby. Don’t put that book down. Pick it up and read it.

Party Over Here!


Yesterday was Moriah’s 1st birthday party. We held it at my house. It turned out wonderfully. It was about 75 people. It may sound big, but considering the size of my family plus extended family, that’s about the size of all of our parties. It would have been bigger, but many of the people who were invited, my little sister’s friends, didn’t show. If they would have, it probably would have been more than 100 + people. That would have been a pretty nice show of people.

My little sister rented the gigantic jumper with the obstacle course inside. When the delivery person delivered the jumper, he asked where he could set it up. I instructed him to set it up in front of my garage where we always put the jumper. He told me that it was too big; that it wouldn’t fit.

“Yeah right.” I thought to myself. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about”. But, as it turned out, he did. Let me tell you how big this thing is. My lot size is 6700 ft. , with my back yard taking up approximately half of that. Well, the gigantic jumper took up more than half of my back yard. Wow!

Moriah got so many gifts. One of which included a little ride on jeep. She looked so beautiful. I love that little girl. I can’t believe that she is already one. I remember her baby shower like it was yesterday. Again, I have to say, “Where did the time go?”

Happy 38th Birthday To Me!!!


My mother-in-law would never write a post like this. She hides her age. I say why!!! I’m not going to tell you her age because she would hate it if I did, but I will say that she retired last year. How’s that?

Anyway, I don’t have a problem telling my age. I’m aging very well, I must say. I’m happy that I don’t look like I’m 38. Many people still mistake me for my late 20’s. Just in case you’re wondering, I am bragging because yes, today, she’s my 38th birthday.

I have some plans. Not big ones, just some nice, quiet plans. For my 40th I’m going to do it big. Until then, Happy, Happy, Happy 38th birthday to me!!!

Women Of Strength


Women of Strength

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape …
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape…

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything …
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear…

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her ….
but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone…

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
a woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings
and capitalizes on them…

A strong woman walks sure footedly …
but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls…

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face …
but a woman of strength wears grace…

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey …
but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she
will become strong…


** If I knew who wrote this I would definitely give them credit because this is beautiful.

Fostering An Early Love Of Reading & Writing, Part 2!


In a post from a couple of months ago, I wrote about fostering an early love of reading and writing. I know that I have to be an example for my children. That’s why when Phillise wanted a blog to emulate her mommy, I graciously obliged and set her up with her own blog a couple of months ago.

Usually she would dictate to me what she wanted to write and I would write it. Now, my little brown lady of 6, has decided that she’s big enough to write her own posts. She has been writing little notes to me using invented spelling. It’s so cute. She even wrote her last post (I love my dad) on her blog all by herself. She left two comments for me by herself. This is what they said:

Her comment: yes i love you too now lef me ualen.ok now som pes and qeit.

The corrected version: Yes, I love you too, now leave me alone, okay. Now some peace and quiet.

Her comment: i love you mom.

She kept telling that she was doing something on the computer and that I couldn’t look. She thought this message was so funny. I am so happy that she loves to read and write. She’s a girl after her mother’s own heart.

Let me say again that I am soooooooo proud of my little 6 year old reading and writing dynamo. Did I mention that she can also draw like nobody’s business. If she doesn’t have the makings of a successful writer/illustrator, I don’t know who does!!!

A Very Full Morning by Eva Montanari


This book, picked by Phillise on our weekly library trip, turned out to be an excellent pick on her part. Since my baby is a new reader, I let her read some books to me, while I read some of the books to her. I liked the look of this book, so I read it to her. Once I read it, I thought to myself that it would be a perfect gift for a first year teacher and/or student teacher.

The book, A Very Full Morning (2006), written and illustrated by Eva Montanari, is a must have for new teachers and/or student teachers. I always say that you can find almost anything you need to find and want to say with a children’s book. If you’re looking for a book written just for teachers/student teachers, this is it.

I plan to read this to my class when I return to school. Here’s why:

Tonight Little Tooth tries to go to bed early.

Tomorrow morning she has to go to a very special place.

But as the hours pass, here eyes are still open and her head is full of thoughts.

Try as she might, Little Tooth could not sleep. Tomorrow is the first day of school, and she is sooo excited. She chooses a dress from a closet full of clothes. Finally the big day arrives. She has a nice breakfast and sets off.

She needs to slow things down. She’s a little scared. Things are happening too fast.

The first day of school seems to have come much too fast. She needs to waste time. First, she comes to a menacing, big gate full of bars. Next, she decides to walk along a path full of stones. Finally she arrives. Once there, she is greeted by a whole school yard full of bags (back packs). She nervously follows the bags into a classroom full of tables. She’s just in time, there’s only one desk left. She hurriedly climbs on the chair; all eyes are on her.  She’s afraid! The room is so full of tension!!! What do they want from her? What is she going to do???  She decides to break the tension and speak to everyone.

This is what she says: “I’m your teacher. It’s my first day of school as well.”

This book is for teachers of all ages. I liked this book because I didn’t know that Little Tooth was the teacher. I don’t usually give away the ending of a book. When someone reads my reviews, I like for them to want to go to the library or the bookstore and read it for themselves. I like to add a little bit of mystery. However, with this one, I just had to tell it. This way, the student teacher or first year teacher will know that this is the book for him or her. Go out and buy it for yourself or someone you know. They will love you for it. Ya’ never know, it may even make them feel better about that all important first day of school.


Happy Birthday, Moriah!!!


We just came back from Chuck E. Cheese for Moriah’s 1st birthday party. I cannot believe that it’s been a whole year already. Wow, where did the time go so fast?

So, before I forget, I want to say Happy, Happy Birthday to my beautiful little niece (who I helped deliver, btw) Moriah! Happy Birthday, Ta Ta!!!

Free Handwriting Worksheets & Handwriting Techniques


As Phillise was finishing up her book report, I noticed that her handwriting & her handwriting technique could both use a little help; so I did a little research on both.

In the process, I happened upon:

  • a nice, but rather lengthy article on the best way to hold a writing instrument. It was in regard to calligraphy writing, but still very informative.
  • one for dysgraphia (It’s very long, but is good information), for which I will write a post on later this week or next week.
  • free handwriting worksheets. Actually, I’ve posted this link here before, but I get so many hits on this that I thought I’d post it again. So, as promised, here is the link for the free handwriting worksheet generators. (Click here)
  • something called a Handwriting Club. I’ve never heard of it, but the concept is very appealing to me. I love it. I will be using it with my students for after school tutoring. It is a partnership/collaboration between the Occupational Therapist and Teacher, using sensory integration strategies to improve handwriting. It’s a medium length article. If you have the time, take a look at it. (Click here). Many of these articles come from **LD Online, one of the leading researchers in Learning Disabilities.

**If you’d like to visit them, here’s the website: www.ldonline.org

Book Club Update #3


It’s the beginning of the third week and I have nothing but positive stuff to say about the club. Calvin has read more than 30 books. Chloe has read 29, Phillise has read about , and David has read 8. I feel a little bad because my own children are so far behind. I have to remind myself that it’s not a contest. I’m just happy that they’re excited about reading.

Some of the totals are inflated because I count the Scholastic video, since it is a book. This kinda’ gets them excited because they’re seeing the book come to life. So, when I have the Scholastic video, we read the book and watch the video.

The Books Are Off The Floor


Well, I finally cleaned up David & Phillise’s room. I got the books off the floor and into the bookcase. In the process, I decided to get rid of about 50 books that Phillise has outgrown. I’m donating them to the church nursery. It feels so good to spring summer clean their room. I’ve only been wanting to do it since I finished work on June 23.

It took a long time, but it’s finally done. Now, on to tackling the bathrooms, the carpet cleaning, the other bookshelves in the hallway, etc…

How To Teach Writing!


My students are excellent artists (the envy of the school actually). Their pictures are so detailed. If only I could get them to transfer for that to their writing. I was beating myself up about it until I spoke with one of my professors @ B.N.U., Tim, who admitted that it took him about 5 years to learn how to teach writing. In fact, most of the teachers that I spoke with said that it took them about 5 years also.

So, I thought to myself that there’s probably no way I can make this process shorter, so I’ll go along for this 5 year ride and learn as much as I can along the way.

One of the ways that I plan to teach writing while I’m on this journey is through art. On my trip to Barnes & Noble last week I found this wonderful book, Complete Curriculum by Harcourt Family Learning. It is a complete curriculum (767 pages). It has:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Selling
  • Language Arts
  • Writing
  • Test Prep

The part that I liked the best in the Grade 2 book was on pg. 528 in the Writing Skills section. The title of the page is Using Details to Tell the Main Idea.

Now, if I could just get them to draw their wonderful picture and describe the details from the picture, I would be at least part way there.

Does anyone else have this problems with their students? If so, is there any helpful advice that you can share with me regarding this situation? I would greatly appreciate. Thanks in advance!!

Until next time people.

The Time Is Not There Anymore………


Let me start by saying that I, like many others, do not care for too much change. I hate it when something that’s been there forever is suddenly not there anymore. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the time announcement service.

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? Just a few minutes ago, I was lying on the couch and did not feel like getting up to look at the clock. So, I did something that I used to do a long time ago… I called the time (853-1234). Oh, my goodness! Boy did I get the shock of my life. While I listened to the recording, I was incredulous. I didn’t hear:

At the tone, the time will be 4:08: 10 seconds.

No. This is what I heard:

Effective Sept. 19, 2007, the time announcement information service has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience.

My hear was broken when I heard that. What am I going to do when the time changes? What am I going to do when I don’t feel like getting up off the couch again?

Of course, I’m just kidding about the last two questions, but seriously, I am going to miss that service. I remember calling it since I was little. But I guess that everything has to change some time or another.

Only July, & Already Time…


I know I said this before, and I guess I’m going to have to get used to it, but being a teacher is different than being an assistant. When I was an assistant, not once did I ever go back in the summer for meetings or to get the classroom in order. But, I will be doing it this year. I feel like my summer is winding up so fast.

I may as enjoy this time to relax and unwind because the hustle and bustle will start again soon enough. It’s only July and it’s already time to get ready to get ready to go back to school. When I get paid next month, I will go shopping for Dakota, David, & Phillise. I only need a minimum of about $600 extra to do this. When it comes time, I will post my plan like I did last year about how I plan to make this happen. God made it happen last year, so I have no doubt in my mind that He is going to make it happen again.

Oh, To Be A Kid Again!


I love that children are so honest. People say that little kids are cruel because they say how they feel. I love it They’re so honest with themselves and everyone around them. Life is so much simpler when you’re a kid. I would take the opinion of a kid over an adult any day. Why??? Because a little kid will tell you, not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Although there are some adults out there who will do this also, for the most part, it’s a little kid who will tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I wrote/said all that to say that I am still harping on this struggling thing that I’m dealing with. It’s like the same thing, but in a different capacity. I’m talking about feeling guilty for the way that I feel. I don’t give myself permission to feel the way that I feel.

The other day I wrote about giving myself permission to do something different. Today, I give myself permission to feel how I feel- no matter what it is. Even the negative stuff. As of today, I give myself permission to be a kid again!

Struggling…


Have you ever seen a newly formed butterfly struggle out of its cocoon? There are many steps that it has to go through to metamorph to a butterfly.

Now, have you ever heard the story of a man who, seeing the struggle, decides to interfere with nature’s process and help the butterfly out of its cocoon. There were definitely consequences to pay. The man didn’t pay the consequences though, the butterfly did. Since the butterfly did not squeeze out of its cocoon the way nature intended, nature didn’t take its course, blood did not fill the butterfly’s allowing the wings to grow stronger, allowing it fly. The butterfly’s wings did not develop. He did not learn to fly.

As a result of the man’s “helpfulness,” the butterfly was maimed for life. What the man did not realize is that struggle-though it can be hard to watch- is good for us. That’s what I have to tell myself; that a little struggle is good for the soul. I have to tell myself that it’s okay to struggle with some things sometimes. Struggling is a natural part of life. It’s how we become who we are. We have to struggle so that we can know and appreciate what it’s like when we don’t have to struggle so much.

Once I came to the realization that I am indeed human, I realized that maybe, just maybe, it’s     okay to admit that I cannot do everything; that I need help sometimes. However, even though I’ve realized this and have made peace with it, I still don’t do it. I don’t now why, I just don’t.

One of the things I am working on this year is asking for what I need. Even though sometimes it easier to just do it yourself instead of asking for help, believe me when I say that it is better to ask for help when necessary so that you don’t go crazy and have a nervous breakdown.

Remember, asking for help doesn’t make you weak! It’s okay to ask for help if you need it!

Book Club Update #2


The best laid plans of mice and men…

That’s how it feels in regard to my Guys Read book club. I think that we’ve probably started on time once. The start time is 1:15, and it’s only supposed to be 2 hours. However, everyday we start about 2 p.m. and end at about 5, sometimes later. I guess they’re having so much fun that they just don’t want to leave.

Yesterday we went on our weekly trip to the library to return books & get new ones. Let me just say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the fabulous turn out for the summer reading program.

I love that the library offers incentives. They have this thing for the summer called the 1,000 pound book challenge. Children read the book, then weigh it. They are awarded prizes. Yesterday we got Dodger tickets. The kids were psyched. They are looking forward to going.

Have you checked out what your local library is doing for the summer. If not, why not?

Go check it out!

Among the Odds & Evens: A Tale of Adventure by Priscilla Turner


I love children’s literature. You can learn just about anything and everything you need from a children’s book. I love to use books to introduce concepts. This is one of my strong suits. My Math coach loves that I do that. And I did just that when I used this book, Among the Odds & the Evens (2001), written by Priscilla Turner and illustrated by Whitney Turner to introduce the concept of odd & even numbers to my students during a math lesson. My students loved it and the companion book, which I will review later, called The War Between the Vowels & the Consonants.

This book is perfect for introducing the concept of odd and even numbers, but as with many books, the audience is much greater than that. Even if younger children don’t fully understand what’s going on, they will still like the illustrations. Older children will like how clever the author is. It is a cute little amusing story.

When I first read this, I had to have it. Well, I encountered a bit of difficulty because this particular book and its companion book is out of print. I have seen this book sell for as much as $192.00 in hardcover on Amazon. I was lucky enough to find it on Alibris.co.uk in softcover for $7.95. Although I prefer a hardcover book, I had to weigh my choices- $7.95??? $192.00?????????????? The choice was obvious. I may luck upon it at a swap meet or garage sale one day in hard cover, but for now, I’m satisfied with my $7.95 softcover.

Now on to the review. X & Y, two adventurers from the Land of Letters, crash land their Aerocycle into a village- the Kingdom of Wontoo (1,2). Ever the observant ones, they notice that the inhabitants strangely resemble numbers. Even stranger, X, the studious, observant type, notices that the inhabitants seem to be divided into two distinct groups, with some being orderly, predictable, and even-tempered. Y, ever the adventurer, notices that others revel in peculiar dress and  behavior weirdly. One might even call them odd.

As the adventurers are dining, they notice that the Even Wontoois only have even children. Even odder is the fact that the odd Wontoois also have even children. Even stranger, when one parent is odd and the other is even, the children turn out odd.

X, who thinks that it’s quite un-letterlike, is curious as to why this happens, decides to ask if odds ever had odd children like themselves.

“Well,” continued X, “it makes no sense to us. In the Land of Letters, A’s have a’s, B’s have b’s. Everyone has children like himself. And that’s how it should be.”

“I’m sorry if our ways offend you,” 3 said politely but firmly, “but there’s nothing odd about Even children being a product of an Odd pair. Even you must see that.” (This was the part where I told my students to listen up because I was going to ask questions. They really got the concept of odd & even from this book.)

The second biggest priority for X & Y after fixing their Aerocycle, is to get the Wontoois to see things their way. They then set about on their quest of trying to get the Wontoois to see things their way. The Wontoois are appalled. Their custom of Good Manners is the only thing keeping them from calling the Letters rude, interfering fools. They hold a secret town meeting to discuss the fate of X & Y.

What happens to X & Y? Are they banished from the Land of Wontooi? Do the Wontoois finally see things their way?

Well, I guess you’re just going to have to read the book to find out. Let me know how you like it!

Permission To Do Something Different!


This whole year has been so difficult for me. The only thing that I had to look forward to was my summer vacation. Now that it’s here, I’m not doing everything that I planned on doing before summer. I have been wasting it away on the couch.

Well, besides doing my summer book club, I really haven’t fulfilled any of my dreams (smile) of having a glorious, carefree summer. But, I am changing that-little by little. One thing that I have noticed about me, and this probably holds true for others as well, is that I have to do some things in baby steps.

When I’m trying to stop something, I cannot quit cold turkey. I have to do it little by little. The same holds true for starting something. I usually cannot just jump into it. I have to do it little by little also. That is how I am doing with getting things done that I wanted to do during the school year.

What brought me around to this way of thinking was when Phillip and I went on one of our outings to Barnes & Noble. Suddenly I saw things differently. Usually Phillip goes to self-help, business, and/or the computer section, while I go to the childrens section. I even go there even when I have no children with me.

Well, today my way of thinking changed. It’s true that picture books are my passion, but that day I gave myself permission to do something different and possibly embrace other passions. I told Phillip that the next time we went I was going to go to a different section.

I saw a book on crocheting, and drawing, etc. There were so many other subjects that I have been cutting myself off from. No more, I say. As of now,  I have decided to expand my mind and give myself permission to do something different. As always, I am going to do it little by little. Wish me luck!

7 Things About Me


  1. I believe in keeping things short and sweet. Useless talk irritates me. I believe in getting straight to the point.
  2. I am in a state of flux.
  3. I want to know???.
  4. I am scared of starting teaching again.
  5. I sometimes seriously doubt myself.
  6. I am such a geek.
  7. I am learning how to draw.

The Fancy Nancy Thing Is Over…


Whew…it’s finally over; the Fancy Nancy party that is. I had been planning it for months. I still feel like there is more I could have done. I always feel like this, especially when I’m throwing a party. This wasn’t a birthday party though, it was a FANCY party.

This is what I did:

We decorated wands, cupcakes, and paper. Lastly, they played dress-up and took a ton of pictures. It was great. I was so tired I feel asleep in the chair while sitting up.

They had fun, but thank goodness it’s over!

Summer Reading w/Barnes & Noble


While on one of my trips to Barnes & Noble, I picked up some flyers for their Summer Reading with Andrew Clements. It’s called “Imagine If You Called It A Frindle.” It’s based on the best selling book, Frindle, by Andrew Clements.

For reading eight books of their own choosing, children are given a coupon and allowed to choose a FREE book from a special list. To get the coupon for the free book, children need only bring their signed, completed Reading Journal to a Barnes & Noble bookstore between May 29th and September 2nd.

There is a limit of one for per school-age child (grades 1-6). If you would like to know more about this, go to: www.bn.com/summerreading.com

Book Club Update #1


Things for the book club have been going swimmingly. My members have been reading at least 1 book a day on their own, in addition to the one that I’ve been reading them.

Last year, members had to read 10 books to get a prize. This year I decided to lower the amount of books to 5. It’s the first week and they’re all going to get a prize on Monday.

Although I had to cancel the bookclub meeting yesterday because of a funeral I attended, we caught up today.

They’re all under 12, so I can still get away with reading them picture books. One of my members, C, read one of the Time Warp Trio books over night.

I am so proud of them. I will do another update later in the week.

I Actually Went To The Movies!!!


I actually went to the movies. The last time I’ve been is up for debate. Phillip says that it was 2004, while Sam says that it was 2001. I’m not exactly sure, but it was before Phillise was born in 2002.

The movie that I saw this afternoon was Wanted. It was excellent. I can honestly say that it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Everything was so great- the plot twists, the special effects, and the surprise ending. I loved it. I knew that it was going to be good, but it far exceeded my expectations. This is what I expected from Jumper. Jumper, sadly, did not deliver.

I am going to buy it on DVD when it comes out. If you like excitement, go and see this movie.

Tuesday’s Puppet Show


Tuesday was pretty nice. We went to the puppet show @ the local library, we checked out books, came home and did our Guys Read book club thing.

I was pleasantly pleased with one of my members. She went to the restroom and came back with an armload full of books. She presented me with a book that was actually a very good find. It’s called How To Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell.

It is an excellent book. I was thinking about writing about like this, but my book would not have been anywhere near as thorough as this one. Esme, the author, really knows her stuff. I would definitely call her an expert. Her knowledge on children’s book is astounding.

We had a good time. When I figure out how to put the pix on here, I will do so.

Bye for now!

Fast Friends- A Tail and Tongue Tail by Lisa Horstman


This book, Fast Friends- A Tail and Tongue Tale- by Lisa Horstman (1994) is a Dr. Seuss Picture Book Award winner. Now, let me tell you the story of when I first bought it. There was a little bit of confusion on my part as to whether or not it was a Dr. Seuss book.

I bought this book some time ago; probably about 10 years ago. When I first bought it, I thought that it was a Dr. Seuss book. I thought hmm… it doesn’t quite look like a Dr. Seuss book, but I saw Dr. Seuss, so I bought it anyway. Once I opened it and found out that it didn’t rhyme like a Dr. Seuss book, that’s when I took another look inside the book and saw that it was not a Dr. Seuss book but a Dr. Seuss Picture Book Award Winner; the first one ever given.

In 1994, Lisa Horstman, a new author, was talented enough to win a contest and have her book published. What a thrill it must have been to beat out all the thousands of entrants, and win $10,000 to boot.

I like researching a finding out all about an author. Even before I started doing book reviews, I was always curious about the author of any book I liked. I wanted to know their thought process as they wrote it, or how long it took to write it. Now, (duh, duh, da, dum), on to the review.

Of course, I liked the book. It’s a very nice book with a simple message- accept people for who they are; even if they’re different.

The book begins by asking if you have a friend who’s completely different from you. If you do, then this is the story for you. We are then introduced to a cow named Blueberry Sprig who’s leaving his small farm to make his way in the world. As he’s going on his merry little way, a fly lands on his back.

“THWAkK,” goes his tail as he expertly flick it off.

“SLURP,” goes Smithfield, the dapper chameleon’s tongue as he catches the bug and gobbles it up. He just happens to be on his way to become a chef for the richest woman in town.

Blueberry tells him that he wants to be a cow-about-town. So, begins their travels as they set about realizing their dreams. They become fast friends. However, as with everything, all good things must come to an end. As it turns out, Blueberry is a bit of slob, while Smithfield is a neat freak.

Blueberry tries to be tidy, but alas, old habits are hard to break, and Smithfield who can’t take anymore, packs his bags and moves in with an old friend. Will things be better where he’s at? Will he miss Blueberry? Will they still be friends?

I guess you’re just going to have to read the book to find out what happens!!!

I also found an interview with the author. If you would like to read it, click here.

A Very Nice Homegoing Celebration!


Today I attended a very special homegoing celebration. It was wonderful. Of course, there was some crying, but for the most part, it was a celebration of a life well lived. Mrs. L., the deceased, was really a wonderful person. She was kind, gentle, mild mannered, woman who never raised her voice. She was such a selfless woman.

After the tragic death of her sister and brother-in-law, she, being the matriarch of the family, was the natural choice to raise her suddenly parentless nephews, M & J. Her original plan was to take the boys back to her home. However, once she saw how deeply the boys were rooted in the community, she decided to let them stay. She moved out here instead.

She did a good job with those boys. Though it was tragic losing both their parents at the same time, they were blessed enough to have the family matriarch as a second mother.

I only wish that I would have gotten to know her better. I think that I’ll always feel like that. Does anyone really feel like they know anyone all the way? But the only thing that I can do is try to be as selfless as she was.

Until next time people!

I Ain’t Gonna’ Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont


This sweet little book is sung to the tune of… hmm…well, you know that commercial with the cute little doggy singing:

There ain’t no bugs on me, on me.

There ain’t no bugs on me.

There may be bugs on some of you mugs,

but there ain’t no bugs on me.

Yeah. It’s sung like that. The book, “I Ain’t Gonna’ Paint No More” (2005) from the author & illustrator team of Karen Beaumont & David Catrow.

The book opens with the little boy’s mother hollering loudly, at the top of her lungs,

“YA AIN’T A-GONNA PAINT NO MORE!,” as she’s putting his paints high up on top of the closet.

So begins the predictable chorus:

I ain’t gonna paint no more, no more,

I ain’t gonna paint no more.

That’s what I say..,

but there ain’t no way

that I ain’t gonna paint no more.

I liked this book because the illustrations bring the words to life, or maybe the words bring the illustrations to life. Either way, the book works. I loved:

  1. the rhyming and the
  2. predictability

As I read it to my class, I asked them if they knew that commercial that I mentioned above and they did. So I invited them to sing along. They enjoyed it. When I finished it, I asked what they liked the most and of course it was the singing along. One student, Lil’ Man, liked the rhyming.

Although I would suggest this book to those in the age range of mainly 4-6, it does boast a larger audience than that because the ages of my students range from 7-12.

If you have a little one who’s learning how to rhyme, pick this book up for them.

Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann


From the author of Goodnight Gorilla, The Day the Babies Crawled Away, & Officer Buckle and Gloria, comes Ruby the Copycat (2006).

Even though this book is great for everyone, it is especially great for little girls, about 5-8, because they are usually the ones who try to emulate other girls, especially the popular ones. I liked it because it deals with real life situations.

I read it to my class because whenever I find a book like this I try to read it to as many people as possible. After I read it, we had a discussion on it. I asked them what they thought the book was about. (Captain Obvious says: Even though the title is Ruby the Copycat, not everyone picks up on that!)

That being said, some did pick up on it and told me that it was about a girl “copycatting” another girl. However, some were waaay off. That’s okay though. In any class, there will be some that are high and there will be some that are low. This is typical of any class, not just a class with special education students.

Now, on to the review. This book beautifully illustrates at least two things: (1) How not to copy someone else, or to be yourself and (2) consequently, how to find your own special talent.

The story begins on Monday, Ruby’s first day in Miss Hart’s class. She’s assigned to the empty desk behind Angela, who is tall with long blond hair in direct contrast to Ruby who is short with short, brunette hair.

From the very beginning Ruby copies Angela. Angela was a flower girl at her sister’s wedding. Well, as it turns out, so was Ruby. Angela has a red bow in her hair. Well, when Ruby returns from lunch, so does Ruby. Angela wears a sweater with daisies on it. After lunchtime, Ruby wears a sweater with yellow & white daisies pinned to it (see front cover). And so on…

At first, Angela is flattered. However, after a while, she becomes annoyed and demands that Ruby stop copying her.

When the bell rings, Miss Hart-the knowing and understanding teacher- sends everyone home for the weekend except Ruby. She asks her to stay after so they can talk. Miss Hart tells Ruby that she doesn’t need to copy everything that Angela does.

“You can be anything you want to be, but be Ruby first. I like Ruby,” she says.

On Monday morning, Miss Hart asks who wants to share. Angela does, and of course Ruby copies her. Miss Hart folds her arms and looks very serious.

“Ruby, dear,” Miss Hart gently says, “did you do anything else this weekend?”

When Ruby answers truthfully what she really did, it sets the stage for revealing her own special talent. Will Ruby stop being a copycat? Will she learn to love herself? If you’d like to know how it ends, I guess you’re just going to have to go to the bookstore or the library to read it for yourself.

Trust me, you will enjoy it!

If You’re Gonna’ Steal…


Although I definitely disagree with what he did, I’m sorta’ glad that he did it. I’m talking about one of my students who stole did not return my book, Joey Pigza, to me.  He loved the book because it is about a child with ADHD-his same affliction.

When I introduced the book to the class, he was so enthralled with the idea that someone wrote a book with a character in it just like him. I let him borrow it so that we could discuss it. Once I asked him to return it, he said the he’d already given it back to me.

I know that I’m forgetful, but I know that he didn’t return it because the previous day we talked about him returning the book to me. He said that he would bring it, but he didn’t. I probably would have thought that he lost it if he didn’t have a habit of stealing.

I was a little mad because I have to re-purchase the book. What I’m not mad about is that he liked to book enough to steal it. I wish that he would have just asked for it, but that’s not his style. When he wants something, he just takes it.

Oh well! This is going to sound crazy, but I guess if you’re going to steal something, a book is the best thing to steal.

The Book Club


The book club is going well. I have two more members than last year. One of the members, Zay, is a voracious reader. He’s 11 and he’s already read all of the Harry Potters + The Spiderwick Chronicles. The other member, Chloe, likes to read also.

I have taken out a couple of my books that he and the others will be interested in. Three of them have started chapter books already. For them I have:

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Trumpet of the Swan
  • Stuart LIttle
  • Joey Pigza Swallows the Key
  • Jeremy Bloom’s Last Place Sports Poems

That’s all I have for now. We’re going to the library today, so they can check out more. In the LAPL system, they’re having a puppet show today from 3:00- 4:00 p.m. I was surprised that the boys wanted to go. I would have thought that they thought they were too big for that. So, we’ll be there with bells on. All 6 of us!

BTW, what’s stopping you from starting your own book club.

Think about it, then do it!

Conscious Decisions For Your Betterment!


I found this quote today that spoke volumes to me: Make a sincere effort to apply resolute effort against the forces of inertia, and good fortune will follow.

Basically what it is saying is get up off your keister and something good will happen to you. Of course, I agree with this. I’m not sure if everyone knows how extra-lazy I usually am used to be in the summer. For those of you who didn’t, there it is. Knowing that I don’t have to do anything or be anywhere, I am on my own time schedule. I do what I want when I want. Most of the time that ends up being nothing.

I know that this stems from my being a housewife for most of my adult life. That is why I avoided signing on to a permanent job for as long as I could. This job is my first permanent job. Ever!

I knew last summer that I did not want this to be the case anymore. Although I do enjoy relaxing for a couple of days, after a little while it becomes monotonous, and I don’t know how to break it. I just wallow in nothingness- sitting on the couch all day or surfing the web for hours on end.

In the beginning, there was nothing like it. Relaxing all day and doing nothing. Are you kidding? I was in heaven. I was entranced- hypnotized even- by my new found freedom.

Needless to say, that time is over. I am over the doing nothing. I know that I need to make a conscious decision to better myself and my situation. For everyone, there comes a time when we have to make that decision. No matter what it is you want to change about yourself, you know that you need to do what you need to do to make yourself and/or your situation better.

So, get up off your keister, do what you need to do, and good stuff will happen to you. Partly because you’re making it happen!

Think about it, then do it!

Proud Me!


I am so proud of my baby. I read her the book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett some time last year. A couple of days ago, I read her the sequel to it, Pickles to Pittsburgh, and she noticed right away that it was the same illustrator. She didn’t know that it was the same author (same author & illustrator, btw). She later asked me if it was the same author.

I am so, so proud of her. She’s already starting to know her children’s literature. Good job Phillise!

Expand Your Mind!


Isn’t it funny how once you expand your mind, you find new and different ways to fill it. I say this because I want more for my children. Ever since the birth of my first child, when I was 19, I decided that I would not be just another statistic; not just another young black woman with no job, education, etc.

Even though it was hard, I continued with my education, but was unable to finish until much later. However, along the way, I and my husband, did manage to do a pretty decent job with our children.

As usual I’ve gotten off track. I tend to do that. And as usual I digress. I started off saying that I have expanded my way of thinking since the time when I was a first time mother who had no idea how the world worked. Now, as a 37, soon to be 38-year old mother of four, I still don’t think that I know enough; as far as being in the know for extra-curricular activities for my children.

I just returned from speaking with my neighbor’s house. We were discussing children going away for the summer. She sends her son every summer. The camps that she showed me looked & sounded wonderful. They were both out of my price range, however. One was $4,300 for the whole summer, while the other was about $1,900. Either way, they were out of my price range.

But, my mind started working. I started thinking that- maybe, just maybe I could afford at least one or two weeks/summer. The camps even let you pay in installments. This is a win-win situation because, if you don’t just have $2,000- $4,000 lying around, then you don’t have the pressure of coming up with the money all at once. Secondly, you can finish paying in installments just in time to qualify for the early bird special- saving you even more money.

That’s why I am going to make a way for David to go to at least one week of camp because it will help to expand his mind. In the camp application, there’s a form for the parent(s) to write the letter to the camp director describing exactly what it is their child most needs to work on.

I like this part of the application process because David is scared of so many things. I want him to go to camp so he can be more independent. He doesn’t like to try new things. He’s so dependent on me for a lot of things; he’s a very young 10. My neighbor’s son, who’s the same age as David, who goes to the camps every summer, is so mature. He’s only 7 months older than David, but his maturity level makes it seem like at least 2 years.

Hopefully, sending him to camp will have a two-fold effect of expanding his mind and being more independent. We’ll see how things unfold!

Until next time people!

A nice quiet relaxing day!


I had a nice, quiet relaxing day. I didn’t do too much. I went grocery shopping at a couple of stores, came home and rested.

After resting, I finished up some of the stuff for my Summer Reading Book Club. I was going to start last week, but had to put off starting until tomorrow.

I will take pictures of some of the stuff I got from a couple of .99¢ stores. As always, it was very nice stuff. For the boys, I got 3 Pirates of the Caribbean books- 2 are pop-ups; the other comes with a read-a-long CD. For the girls, I got a Hello Kitty! drawing tablet and another drawing tablet with black pages that came with a gel pen.

I showed the stuff to the kids who loved everything. We are going to start off tomorrow by reading The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller. After reading it, we will watch the Scholastic video that goes along with it. I am happy that I made myself do it last year. I was actually looking forward to it this year.

Here’s to another year of a successful summer’s reading club.

Until next time people!

CONSIDER THE SOURCE!


I love the title of Pink’s last album- Miz Understood.

Why?

Because up until a few years ago, I was almost always misunderstood. I don’t blame it on anyone else though. I take total responsibility for it. When I was younger, I was very anti-social. No one knew my name. You know why they didn’t know my name? They didn’t know my name because I didn’t tell them because it’s a lot harder to call someone whose back is to you when you don’t know their name.

That was my biggest thrill- to be left alone.

I didn’t want to be bothered. I just wanted to be left alone (Sometimes I still do). Being by myself and enjoying my own company was one of the best things in the world to me.

When someone would speak to me, I would get mad and wonder why they didn’t just leave me alone. As a result, no one really knew me. Even though I liked it like that, I knew that I had to change. That’s when I started introducing myself. Once I changed, I made sure that everyone knew my name. That’s why it kinda’ threw me for a loop when the Principal said that some people mentioned to her that I was unfriendly.

My initial reaction was to get defensive. However, since I considered the source, I pretty much dismissed it.

It’s long been a thing about me presenting myself differently than the way that I actually am. I am one of those people you kinda’ have to know to really know.

I know that to some people, I can seem unapproachable. I don’t deny that, because it is true. I have changed a lot, but the fact remains that I am not a people person, and I am not going to change my whole being just because a couple of people, who no one likes, think that I don’t like them. (They’re right, I don’t).

I bring all this up because I had a meeting with the principal and she mentioned it. Although I do agree that there is some merit to her argument (because I do not cozy up to any and everyone), I disagree with it because of the people who lodged the complaint.

I am okay with the way things are because you cannot please everyone. If only 4 people out of about 50 think that I’m unapproachable, I’m not that upset about it.

However, back to the Principal and those who said that I was unfriendly. I did look to myself to see if there was possibly any type of merit to it and I discovered that there was a little. Although these people did rub me the wrong way, how I responded was all up to me. I acted just as badly as they did. I definitely could have handled things differently.

While some of the stuff was going on at work were pressing problems, these little clashes were like flies buzzing around. I didn’t write about these little clashes because they were so unimportant that they didn’t bear repeating. They were a little irritating, but not worth writing about.

However, as usual I digress, I just want to say that I said/wrote all that to say, when something happens, Think about it & consider the source.

Until next time people.

Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed


Ever since I came across this title, I’ve wanted to read it. I am so glad that I did. It was a cute little book. From the title, I kinda’ knew what to expect. I have to admit that I did not have the faintest idea who Berkeley Breathed was before I read this book. I found out about him because anytime I like an author, I look for other books they’ve written. That’s how I ended up finding his other books. I also found out through my research that he used to write a comic strip called Doonesbury. (For those of you who knew, go ahead and say “Duhh”.)

N-e way, all that to say that I wish I would have known about him sooner. I’m pretty sure that I would have enjoyed his strip. So, on to the review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was so cute. Not only did it teach about the rhyming, and the consequences of lying, but it also taught about sibling rivalry, and sibling love.

The story of Edwurd Fudwupper (2003) is told by Edwurd’s little sister, Fannie Fudwupper, with Berkeley Breathed helping slightly. Fannie begins by expressing her frustration that Edwurd doesn’t like her or even notice that she exists. She then fills us in on just how big a fibber Edwurd is.

The story begins:

From a long line of liars, there’s none higher upper…

Than my fibbing big brother,

The Edwurd Fudwupper.

It’s almost like an episode of The Simpsons where everything in the episode, though seemingly unconnected, is connected. It begins when Edwurd tells Mabel Dill:

“I read you’ve been voted the queen of Brazil!

They want you to come!

Bikinis! BRING TEN

Fanny laments that his fibs she could forgive, if only he liked her or noticed she lived. That morning Edwurd did it big. He told one of his biggest lies to date. He hit a baseball in the den and cracked his mother’s pig. He then tells his dad that two pigs from Pluto did it. They were cruising by Earth, saw his mother’s pig and fell in love.

The alien pig tried to kiss his mom’s pig, but broke it instead. The pig then left brokenhearted, upset and unseen, as his ship picked him up with a pig-lifting beam.

Their nosy neighbor, Lorna-Mae Loon, who was listening outside, insisted that Mabel Dill must have been taken by the pig-lifting rays also. She then gets on the phone and calls the Air Force, and the dog catcher too!

Edwurd is going crazy. He didn’t mean for things to get out of control like this. He really didn’t mean for the Air Force to come looking for space pigs. He definitely didn’t mean for them to demand the return of Mabel Dill.

“How much worse could this get,” thought Edwurd to himself.

Oh, boy! He shouldn’t have said that, because suddenly a face fills the sky; and it doesn’t look happy.

It was purple and green

with an eye on its snoot.

It opened its mouth, roaring,

“Who started this hoot?”

What happens after this? I guess you’re just going to have to read it for yourself and see. Trust me. If you like silly books like I do, then this is the book for you.

The Power Of Positivity!


I was just at Content Black Woman’s blog. While there, I happened upon a very interesting and enlightened post of hers regarding speaking positively. We seem to be on the same page. Isn’t if funny how when you set your mind to something, everything else wraps itself around that idea?

I have been “in the midst” of a change for a while. Well, I am tired of being “in the midst”. I want to move on to the next phases of doing and implementing. There are a couple of things that I want to change about myself that have recently come to the forefront that I really need to deal with.

So, if you’d like to read the articles for yourself, click here and here.

B.O.S.S.- Building On Spiritual Substance


When Sam & Dakota were younger, I found a program that was wonderful. It was lead by Al & Hattie Hollingsworth- a wealthy Christian couple who believe in putting God first in everything they do.

I was just reading their testimony on the CBN website (700 Club) and was just in awe. They have been through so much. I personally heard some of their testimony when I attended one of their seminars @ their house in Diamond Bar. (It was very nice by the way.)

Anyway, the program that I found for Sam & Dakota was designed to build their confidence while learning spiritual principles.

I am sad to say that they didn’t finish it. I can’t remember why now, but I’m sure I came up with some excuse. I loved this program. I am so mad at myself that I didn’t have them finish. However, as usual, I digress. As I write, I am in the process of rectifying the situation. I am looking for another B.O.S.S. program for Dakota, David, & Phillise as I write. I will write more if I find one around the city.

If you would like to know more about the program, here’s a link (click here).

The Right Words!


I found this great post about choosing your words- “Choose Your Words, Choose Your Life”. (Click here) This could not have been more timely as I am working on that and other stuff about myself that I dislike. In the article, the author says to choose your words carefully because they become your thoughts, become your belief.

The Right (Multipurpose) Tool For The Job!


I am a big fan of the Food Network. I just love Alton Brown. You know why? It’s because he always uses the right tool for the job. Another thing about him that makes him a man after my own heart is that he doesn’t  use specialized single use tool. He knows that there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

He’s always thinking ahead. Whenever a job calls for him to use a single use, specialized tool, he doesn’t do it. He uses his head. Instead, he gets a multipurpose tool; one that can be used for that specialized purpose and then some.

That’s the way it should be. Having a single use tool is not the way to go. That’s how it is with teaching- with my position. Teaching is not a single use tool position. I was the right tool for the job because I AM a multipurpose tool. I not only teach the students academic skills, social skills, and etiquette skills, I also give them lots of hugs and love.

During the year, I was beating myself up because I thought that I was just hired because I was the only person up for my position and no one else wanted it. To tell you the truth, I didn’t think that anyone else interviewed for the position. I thought that I just got the position just because! I didn’t give myself any credit.

Now, I know that maybe, just maybe, I got the job because I was the right one for the job!

One thing that changed my mind and made me know for sure that I was the “right tool for the job” was when I met a person, who was up for my job, at training a couple of weeks ago. I talked to her a little and got to know her. I thought about it concluded that she was absolutely not the right person for the job. I simply could not picture her in my place. She was not the right fit.

Believe me when I say, with all humility and no conceit, that I was then and still am the right person for the job. I am a good fit with the children in my class. Even though it’s been one of the hardest things in my life extremely hard, I really couldn’t imagine being anywhere else or with any other set of students.

Thank goodness I am the right (multipurpose) tool for the job and that I’ve found the right fit for me.