Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Sad Kind of Joy

This spring John and I started attending the baptist church in town. From the moment we stepped in the front door we knew we were in the right place. That first Sunday we met a very sweet woman named Kathy who asked our names and made us feel welcome. The second week we attended, Kathy immediately greeted us by name and visited with me some after the service, introducing me to another woman in the church and encouraging us to become involved in Sunday school or bible studies as soon as we felt ready. The next Sunday she handed us a book on collecting antique hand tools that she found on her mother's book shelf. I had mentioned the week before John's love of woodworking and especially hand tools.

Friday, May 29, 2009 Kathy Brown lost an 8 year battle with cancer but received the complete healing she had prayed for. God called her home. We had barely met her but were deeply blessed by her. It was her friendliness that helped us know that we belonged at FBC. Her husband Dee was at church this morning, sharing tears, blessing, and joy. He came up to us, welcomed us, told us Kathy was pleased that we'd started coming.

What an incredible testimony.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SOL-Like a kid in a candy store

The Scholastic warehouse sale ends Friday. My husband agreed to go with me, so today after work we found our way over to the warehouse- it wasn't easy! I had dutifully printed out my pass and proudly showed it to the volunteer at the door. She gave us a map and her little spiel, and we were off to roam the isles of a book warehouse where everything with 25 and 50 percent off.

I was quite reserved, much to my husband's delight, and only came away with about 15 books. Now he loves books, too, but as he pointed out, we are verging on having too many books. How can you have too many books? Our floors aren't sagging, yet. Just because the top of the coffee table can't be seen under the piles of books...

Our coffee table isn't just any coffee table. It is a round dining room table, and old pedestal style, that was cut down to coffee table height. My husband's grandmother used to be very active with the town library (he himself is a "Friend" of the library- lifetime membership) and this coffee table at one time lived in the library's reading room. It's a coffee table that can hold a lot of books!

I just love books!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Slice of Life Tuesday

When I was younger I had this often irrational fear of the dark. I especially didn't like looking toward the windows at night. I was always afraid I might see a face or something there. I liked that we pulled the curtains at night in our house. Last night as I sat at my desk marking papers I thought I heard something outside and that old fear returned. I told myself I hadn't heard anything. After all, I had music playing and the furnace had just come on. That wasn't any kind of snuffling or scraping sound I heard out there. I didn't look toward the window. I just kept working. It really didn't help my overactive imagination that I had started reading Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman over the weekend. If you've read the book, you understand what I'm referring to! Dismissing my fears as silly, I went back to marking papers and by the time I went off to bed I'd forgotten all about it.

This morning when my husband woke me up he told me, "We had a visitor last night." The bird feeder pole was bent over and the feeder was empty. After nearly two years of living here and having a feeder we have to start taking it in at night.

Perhaps I would gotten to see the bear if I had never been scared of the dark.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Slice of life

These 7th graders of mine are a hard sell. Sometimes I wonder if they are even conscious during class, until later when a parent mentions their child has told them something we discussed in class and how it impacted them. They're pretty quick to let me know what they don't like; *groan, "Not another project", "I don't get this book", and not so quick to tell me what they do like or what they are thinking about what we are trying to discuss. I'm learning to watch their faces during class and every once in a while get them to give me some written feedback. And I'm trying to listen outside of class for those comments that might seem innocuous, but have a great deal of depth.

This week I read aloud Love That Dog by Sharon Creech to introduce our poetry unit. The majority of the responses I was getting were along the lines of, "ugh, not poetry" and "I don't get this book". As we study different forms of poetry, the kids will be creating a book of original poems centered around a theme they choose. After school I overheard one of the boys talking to his older sister who graduated last year and is having to do a similar project in her freshman English class right now.

"Do you remember Mittens?" He asked, his voice soft. She just gave him a funny look and head shake. "The dog?" He prompted.

"Oh yeah!"

"That's going to be my topic."

This is why I teach.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Love That Book

We went to the library this morning to return some books. I absolutely love books. In browsing for books to use with my class (I'm starting poetry with 7th grade and Shakespeare with 8th grade) I came across some little gems:
Please Bury Me in the Library by poet J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Kyle M. Stone is a wonderful book of poems about books. I think it is my new favorite!

Horizons Poems as Far as the Eye Can See by Jane Yolen, photographs by Jason Stemple is one of several books by this wonderful mother/son team. And they have a new one out, too.