Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I Call Him Flash, Reason #412

"Hey, Flash! Check out this book Stacy just sent me! Read the title!"

"Ella Minnow Pea? Where have I heard that before? I swear I know that from someplace. 'Ella Minnow Pea'...?"

"Um, Flash? L, M, N, O, P...?"

"Oh, right. That's it."

A Godsidence

I cannot begin to articulate how badly my day stunk. One of those days where despite the fact that I've been covering for a co-worker (my boss) who is out on medical leave (for the past many months) without any added benefit, today was a day of pointing fingers in my very specific direction. Without cause.

So yeah, a feel-good kind of a why-can't-I-just-quit-my-job kind of a day.

It's all because of this new literacy curriculum we're learning this year - curriculum I really enjoy and love and believe in. I'm sure it's not without its faults, but in general, I believe that giving children the tools necessary to decode our compicated language is a step in the right direction.

So, I sat through a day-long inservice where we were supposed to be covering new material and instead...well, it just was ugly and not fun at all.

So I arrive home looking forward to my once-a-week dinner to myself (while Flash is at youth group, I enjoy a little solitude) trying to shake the stress of this day and wishing that I could be working with a team of enthusiastic teachers on this new curriculum when I spy a box by my back door. The box we all love - the one that says it's from Amazon, the heaven of all boxed surprises!

I told Flash he had a package (his birthday was a week ago - what, I haven't blogged about that?!?) and then saw my name on the label. I immediately squealed and said, "It's from Stacy! It's from Stacy!" 'cause I know my dear, amazing friend, Stacy has this amazing ability to know exactly what to say and do at exactly the moment I need her to say or do those things. She is full of grace and generosity with word, deed and spirit and can transform a difficult moment in my life into a blessing just by her perspective. In short, I adore her, and I KNOW she is an angel that God has placed in my life.

The box contained two books. One that is what appears to be, a delightful tale that has to do with language and letters.

Do you see what I mean? Just as I was wishing for SOMEONE to appreciate our language and the joy of learning it - it is Stacy to my rescue. Saying here, read this book alongside me so we can talk about it!

I don't have the words to articulate my gratitude, today, Stace. You are an amazing gift in my life - one that you may never truly understand the magnitude of. I love you, too!!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

For Those Who Think It's a Cake Walk

I have a profile on Plenty of, which is a free internet dating site. I refuse to pay to meet someone online (I think it's a lame way to meet people, but since I'm not meeting them any other way...) so there it is.

Just so you marrieds have an idea of what it's like on the other side of the fence, I thought I would share a day in my life.

I get an email. An email that notifies me of mail at POF. I get home and check my POF inbox. There's mail from some guy I haven't corresponded with previously.

Step One: read his profile. Even before I read the email he sent, I want an idea of who sent this. His profile mentions things like, "in search of a family oriented, well educated, fun loving woman..." "I enjoy spending time on Sundays watching football or playing with my kids", blah, blah blah. But what really catches my eye is this line, "if we do not mack good chat and feel it gooding good on the date than it will not work'''' or if we see it all hot,chat is good. than we will go there." Um, what?!?!

Yeah, so being that well-educated woman, I'm a little concerned. I decide that it doesn't matter what his email says, he'll get a polite, "I don't think we're a good match" line.

His email reads, "come to your area on the 15th for my football game. look at my profile and my wecan meet that sat night or not the wab page in in my profile.. hopw you been?"

Yeah, so about that...I send my polite but firm rejection, wondering what on earth I do to deserve this. I get a reply that's more entertaining than the rest of this... "i see that is ok i am dateing 2 woman now full time. got to love a good 3way gf bf gf there moveing in this week. andi have been friend for 10 yr with both of the woman move in work good .. thank you for your time and bye"

Well, now that we got that cleared up...

Hug your spouse. Appreciate the things s/he does even if they drive you nuts sometimes. When you say your prayers tonight be grateful you're not out here in the dating world.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Silver Maple

I was talking to a boy last night, one I've talked to a couple of times and plan to meet for coffee later on today (Coffee= The New First Date). He was talking about Ephesians 5, and the desire he has to replicate his parent's marriage with the sort described in those verses.

I was sitting out on my deck this morning watching the grey clouds blow over thinking about the conversation we had last night and praying about this man. It's a difficult balance to want to get excited (again) for a first meeting, but trying to remain somewhat unattached to that hope (again) in case it doesn't amount to anything (again). You can't make a good first impression if you're a cynic, but allowing yourself to believe that this might be the last first date is too much in the other direction.
In any case, I was looking at my yard and allowing myself to feel satisfied and pleased with the progress we've been making. Of course, such thinking also leads to plans for more projects and changes, but that has a certain joy attached to it as well. Eventually, my gaze fell upon the old silver maple in the yard.

I noticed how the trunk is huge and solid at the base, for the first six feet or so, but with a visible line that makes me wonder if it originated as one tree, or if it was two that fused themselves together. From there, however, it splits into two solid and substantial branches. Seeing all the limbs from each coming together to make the tree balanced made me think of the relationship this boy was speaking of in Ephesians. Two people, fused together in faith, solidly one unit and yet individual with balance and purpose and most of all, a common direction to be heaven-bound.

Maybe this boy isn't the one. None have been so far. But I'm grateful, today, for his shared desire for such a relationship. And for the beautiful reminder of that in my own backyard.


I was beginning to wonder if they were coming up or not...


Never Saw it Coming

We have a new literacy curriculum this year that is teaching reading from a refreshingly new perspective. It gives the students the knowledge (and therefore the power) to figure out words for themselves (imagine being a first grader stuck on the word "bicycle" and having a teacher say, "sound it out!") I work with small groups of at-risk students as well as filling in for a couple of teachers while they are out on maternity leave (since their subs aren't trained in the new curriculum, I get to fill in - which I love!)

It was during my half hour with the first grade class that it happened. I had given them ten spelling words so I could see just how much they have absorbed and what aspects we still need to review and practice. A particularly challenging task for this age is to understand why some words have double letters in them, something this class is getting very good at explaning (which I could not have done well six months ago!)

I had collected their papers and we were going through the words on the board one by one when I reached such a word. "Alex? Do you want to try to spell 'tennis'?" Alex was eager to give it a try and I was so delighted when he told me "t-e-n-n-i-s". I followed-up by asking Alex how he knew that "tennis" needed to have two n's in the middle.

(I have to interject here for those of you who, like me earlier this year, don't know why tennis has two n's. Doubling letters is how the designers of our language (and other languages) created a way for us to ensure that a reader of a word would know we meant the 'e' to be a short 'e' and not a long 'e'. Think of the difference between something like 'tigger' and 'tiger' for example. )

Alex, confident of his perfect answer replies, "Because if it didn't have two n's, it would say, 'tenis'!"

Which of course, created an eruption of giggles in the classroom - a word far too similar to 'penis'.

We all recovered nicely and moved right along to "simple" without much of a glitch. Maybe the little giggle over 'tenis' will help them all to remember the rule for double letters!