A Perfectly Timed Rain

Five of the students from my morning class have birthdays within 5 weeks of each other, so we decided to have a picnic before one of them leaves for a visit with family in Mexico. We chose yesterday and had planned on the picnic to start 11am. but rain came through from 10am to 11:30 am, so we changed the time to 12:30.

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Because of the rain, the people who reserved the best shelter in the park did not show up. That meant we could use it for our picnic. The rain was perfectly timed. We enjoyed the best spot in the park because of the rain. The rain left in time for us to have a picnic and a nice sunny afternoon.

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We had A LOT of food, fortunately none cooked by me, a lot of good conversation, and the children played in the playground. It was a perfect early June Saturday afternoon.

Funny thing was that I prayed it would not rain, so it would not interfere with the picnic. But God already had it planned out. By having the rain come and leave at the times it did, it allowed for us to have a wonderful time.

Oh and by the way, I was sent home with leftovers. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Goodbye and Hello

This morning I will say goodbye to the school I have been at for the past eight years. I will continue with Family Literacy at a different school next school year. I actually said goodbye to people already but will be in the building for a meeting this morning. I have been at the new school already having taught in that program too, so that is not the hello I am referring to.

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My summer break begins tomorrow and beyond that I will have a bit more time freed up for whatever God has planned for me. The summer will be spent writing books and also reaching out to refugees and immigrants in my city.

It seems that God is calling me to new adventures. I have a few preliminary ideas and if they start to shape up, I will share more on them. The hello part of this post is saying hello to new opportunities that God will show me.

It reminds me of what Good said to Abraham when he first spoke to Abraham in Genesis 12:1

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

God basically told Abraham get going and I will show where to go as you go. No itinerary, no map, no just get going and trust God.

So for me it is a day of Goodbye and then Hello to whatever it is that God has planned for me that he has not given me the details of yet.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

FriYeah Is Here :)

On the last Friday I will need an alarm clock until August, an epic failure occurred. I woke up an hour before my alarm clock went off. I know it is like a horror story. However, I survived the ordeal, so no need to worry.

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Today is celebration day for both of my classes. Today is also methotrexate day meaning by the time my afternoon class finishes, I will be ready for a power nap. That will be followed by binge watching some shows while laying in bed.

My friend from Venezuela, who I usually meet with on Saturday mornings, has been sick, so we won’t meet tomorrow. I sense a full day at the coffee shop coming. Hopefully they will give me a good coffee mug to use. The last two times they gave me one with flowers on it and one with little birds and hearts on it. Such mugs should be reserved for repurposed sodas like lattes and are not fitting for a coffee purist. A super hero mug is fitting for a coffee purist. 🙂

Anyway back to it being Friday. I counted and I have 14 Fridays coming with nothing to do. That puts a whole new meaning to it being FriYeah. My summer break is almost upon me. If you hear a thud, it will be the sound of sudden relaxation hitting me. 🙂

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The End of Another COVID School Year

My morning and afternoon classes are winding down this week. Tomorrow will be our last class for the school year. Both programs experienced transitions and it was on me to guide them through the transitions in personnel. This has also been the third school year affected by COVID.

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Tomorrow both classes will have an end of year celebration. For my morning class, we will have a potluck with the moms bringing food. I have been assigned to bring juice. The moms don’t trust me to cook and they are wise regarding that. For my afternoon class, we will go to a nearby park and have some treats.

As for me, I am so ready for summer break. It has been a challenging school year. I am looking forward to a summer of spending time at the coffee shop blogging and writing. It is also quite possible I will spend time with Ukrainian refugees new to my city.

This morning I will break the news to my morning class that there is a possibility I will be at a different school next year. There is a possibility that I will be needed at a different school that is experiencing transition.

I am so thankful that Jesus has been with me during this school year. My morning prayer times have been so vital.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

In The Eyes of A Child

Next Monday I have a meeting for my annual appraisal for my role of teaching the moms in my morning class. But I had two last week that were a blessing. They came from the 2nd grade daughter of one of my students. She is biased of course and sees things though the lens of loving her mom. She gave me notes two different days.

The first one said.

The second one said.

Her logic is that because I help her mom, I am a good teacher.

It makes me think about the faith of a child. in Luke 18:

 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

The message of the gospel is simple. Jesus died for our sins, so we can be forgiven and we receive that forgiveness by trusting/believing in Jesus. The message requires us to receive Jesus in faith, faith like a child. That is why 1 Corinthians 1:18 says:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Whatever the official appraisal says, I already have the one that counts to me, the one from the heart of a little girl who loves her mom.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Happy Mothers Day

It is my privilege to teach a group of moms English in the mornings and another group in the afternoons. The moms come to class to learn English and so much more. They come to make a difference in the lives of their children by learning English and also gain an understanding of the education of their children.

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We have fun in class. They like to joke with me about going shopping. I talk about eating cheeseburgers and fries, so I can get that look from them. When I offer to cook for them, they smile and say no thank you.

Teaching these moms from different cultures/languages has shown me how motherhood and all that goes with it is a cultural universal. When I ask who is worried about their children, they all raise their hand. When I ask who wants their children to have en education, they all raise their hand. They all worry when their children are sick. They all try to make sure their children are eating healthy.

Their dedication is inspiring. Think about it. They all come from warmer climates and yet they are willing to brave the winter time to come to school.

My post today is one I have written, so I can share it on my Facebook for them to read.

Happy Mothers Day to my students and to all moms.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Friday Finally-Teacher Appreciate Week

Coming to the end of a crazy busy week, Friday is a most welcome day. I took on a Monday/Wednesday evening class because the instructor could not finish the quarter. Telling myself the class is in Zoom, so no driving, made it seem easier.

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But as a Spoonie, person living with chronic illnesses, somehow I forgot to factor in fatigue. But the good news is no evening class today, so as soon as I arrive home it will be nap time. 🙂

It is teacher appreciation week this week in the USA. Today we will have ice cream sundaes at the school where I teach in the mornings. Mentally that makes it easier to get up and get going. Ice cream is an essential food group for me. In fact when I meet a nurse or nursing student, I ask them to remember me, so if I am ever their patient to bring me ice cream.

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Speaking of Teacher Appreciation Week, it is not too late to show a little appreciation. A simple card, a thank you, a little candy or whatever to let your child’s teacher know they are appreciated can mean a lot. We are coming to the end of the third year of teaching that was affected by COVID.

If you are a fellow educator, as one myself, I wish to say I understand how it has been this year and the previous two. So thank you for what you do.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Zumba or Zoom?

During conversation practice in my afternoon class yesterday, I shared that I teach a Zoom class on Wednesday evenings. One of the moms looked at me and smiled. She asked me if I said Zumba class. I let her know that I said Zoom but perhaps I went with it a little saying I could teach a Zumba class.

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I found a Zumba video on Youtube and played it then acted out Zumba. The moms laughed which perhaps motivated me to go with it a little more.

This may come as a surprise to you but I have never been considered agile nor graceful. When I played American football, I played positions like fullback and linebacker. I preferred to run straight ahead to run into people. That is perhaps hard to believe since you might have an image of me being graceful like a dancer, but let me assure you that is not the case with me.

God has gifted each us differently to serve each other. I love how Ephesians 2:10 puts it:

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God gave me the ability to teach and write, But contrary to what you might think, he did not give me the ability to dance. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Coloring Easter Eggs

Last Thursday the moms in my class enjoyed an activity with the children in the ELL Level 1 class. First they had a scavenger hunt they did together. Then it was time to color some Easter Eggs.

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I joined them for the coloring Easter Eggs part. First to take pictures and then I sat down with them and colored an Easter Egg. The children were very creative in how they colored their eggs as were the moms in my class. Stickers were added, various colors were on each egg, and the paper they worked on somehow was clean except a few spots of color here and there.

As for me, we let’s just say my egg was perhaps the least creative. I used wax to make a smile face which didn’t look so great. It may surprise you to know that the paper under the spot where I was working somehow ended up being the messiest. There were big splotches or coloring all over.

It might just so happen that when I lowered the egg with the little wire thing, my egg rolled off and plopped into the water. In my defense, I think such wire contraptions are designed for little fingers to use not for the fingers of a guy who played American football in his youth and often taped fingers together to take care of injured fingers.

The children did not notice my little work area being the messiest. The moms might have commented on it. But fun was had by all.

Children are precious to Jesus. They bring joy and laughter into life. But they are also vulnerable and need to be protected. They also need a blessing in the morning. It is my privilege to speak with them as they go to their classroom and wish them a good day in school.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Toy Cars in Class

Yesterday in my afternoon class, we had a woman come to talk with the moms about free driving lessons. She brought some toy cars with her for the moms during her presentation. We had translators for the Hispanic moms and Karen People moms, but the translator for the Afghan moms could not be there, so I sat with them.

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My colleague also sat with them. We wanted to make sure the Afghan moms felt included. So what does and experienced teacher do in such a moment?

I started playing with the toy cars, Matchbox, with the two moms rolling them back and forth with them. The moms smiled as we played. They are new arrival refugees having come here in the past two months with no English, so I decided they needed a little fun. It was not about me having fun. 🙂

My colleague, however, did not see the wisdom of my playing with cars with the moms. She took the cars and put them in the box. Talk about a buzz kill. lol

This afternoon is English class time for them, so I get to decide what we will do. I think we will have a few moments of fun. We have round tables in the classroom, so we will walk around them pretending they are roundabouts for a few minutes. I might even make car sounds. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless,